Broadcast your MP3s with i2i Stream


Aerielle_i2i_handThese cool little dongles let you share your tunes, or listen to a friend’s iPod up to 30 feet away, with no wires.

You may not be old enough to remember the dawn of the portable audio age, which happened in the early 80s (1979 to be totally accurate) with Sony’s original Walkman. It was an exciting time let me tell you. Everyone was walking around with headphones on, listening to their favourite tunes – albeit one cassette tape at a time – while tuning out the rest of their environments. Pumping your tunes to the whole world with a ghetto blaster was suddenly very uncool, unless you were hell-bent on making people angry, or into break-dancing.

The solitary nature of the walkman hasn’t changed much even though the device itself has undergone the most important evolution in consumer electronics. People are still wandering around, usually with little white earbuds, privately enjoying their music. If you’ve ever wanted to break down that virtual wall, your choices have been limited: the good ol’ headphone jack splitter, an iPod-compatible boom box, or jamming as many friends as you could fit into a car. Talk about 1980.

Almost 30 years after the first Walkman hit the store shelves, we’ve finally got a music sharing solution worthy of the social networking era. The i2i Stream is a simple device designed to do two things really well: share your tunes from any audio source wirelessly with friends, and listen to those who are doing the same.

The i2i Stream is a 2.4Ghz transceiver, which means it can operate in two modes: Transmit and Receive. It can do that transmitting and receiving on 7 different channels, which means that if you and six friends were all hanging out together, each with your own iPod (or Walkman, FM Radio, satellite radio etc.) you could take turns playing DJ. While listening to the first person’s music, the next person in your round-robin could be cueing up the next track. When the first song ends, everyone switches to the next channel and the session moves on. And since the "streamer", as i2i likes to call it, is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, you can listen in for up to 5 hours before calling it quits. Of course there are other creative ways to use a streamer, since it can be hooked up to a pair of powered external speakers (patio party anyone?).

The unit is dead-easy to use. To charge it, simply plug it into any powered USB port on a PC, Mac, or wall-outlet based adapter. Don’t use a non-powered hub like your keyboard. Once charged, disconnect it. Plug your iPod or other audio source into one end using the included cable, and your headphones into the other end. Then choose to use the included neck-lanyard or fabric-clip to carry it around.

The volume and power switches are combined into a single clickable "rocker". Push it to cycle the power, rock it up or down to control the volume. The round button in the middle lets you select the channel you want (it even glows in 7 different colours to let you know which one you’re on), while buttons on either side let you choose between transmit and receive modes.

Frankly I’m not sure why these needed to be two separate buttons, but maybe the folks at i2i thought having one button would be too confusing.

My only other criticism is that you can’t leave the streamer plugged into USB power and use it to transmit, although it will still "pass through" your tunes to your headphones if they’re connected.

You can pick up the i2i stream as a pair for $99 USD.

Oh, and – to quote Steve Jobs – one more thing…

The folks at Arielle kindly provided us two pairs of streamers to give away. Nice, huh?

If you want to be the first on your block with a set of i2i streams, drop in a comment below telling us why you need one. Make us laugh, make us cry, heck – make us worry for your social life. The two most creative responses (as judged by us of course), received over the next 9 days will win. Just make sure you use a valid email address when you post, or we won’t be able to contact you. Please don’t put any personal info in your comment (email etc.), we wouldn’t want you to get spammed. Good luck, and just in case you’re curious, here are the official rules.

Update 1: Thanks for all the comments(entries)! On the off-chance that you entered, don’t get picked, and live in the U.S., check out the random3ss blog for another chance to win a pair of i2i’s.

Update 2: The contest entry period is now over. Winners will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise we’ll choose another commentor. Thanks everyone!

Update 3: Congrats to Yin and Shelley Gross, our winners. To everyone else, thanks for entering. We’ll be trying to do more giveaways in the weeks ahead, so keep us bookmarked or subscribed. Rick, I’m sorry about the banana – I really am – I don’t like them either.

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44 comments

  1. Patrice Boivin

    Oh the old Walkman! Those were the days when fast forwarding between songs was quite a task in itself. No digital screen to display the track number but only song titles printed on the audio cassette itself and your ear to guide you. Everyone has used a pencil to reel the tape back after it all got tangled at least once in their life. It would be awesome this winter to share music with my friends while skiing in Whistler. Heck, we could even find each other in the fog perhaps (more than 30 feet away you lose the signal). My 2 cents. Cool gadget and cool article.
    Cheers,
    Pat, BC

    Like

  2. bigted

    Given the proprietary nature of I-Pods this is a cool little gadget. What I do like is the ability to broadcast the I-pod/mp3 player through a set of powered speakers. My Mom loves to listen to old time radio plays and this would be an awesome way to share the plays without having to burn them to disk first. It even sounds like it would be easy enough for her to use too!
    I too am a child of the Walkman generation and have many memories of hauling my brick around from place to place. I marvel at how technology has changed so that players are now smaller that the batteries used to power the bricks!

    Like

  3. Sean

    The walkman was my best friend 20 years ago as I trained for track meets in highschool. Now the IPOD I just purchased is the only thing keeping me going as I try to find the form, and shape of years past. I could really use a i2i Stream to torture my son with my 80's classics as he runs with me.

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  4. carolyn

    First there was the walkman, then the discman & now the ipod, question is what's next? I think this is the best gadget I've heard of in a while. I could use it while running with friends, skiing & even while bbq'ing with the help of some speakers, good times! Not only I could use it to scope out a friends new tunes but I could also use it to torture family members at Thanksgiving & Xmas. Nothing says 'I love you' quite like subjecting the clan to the latest noise. Isn't technology grand?

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  5. Gilles Morin

    Boy ! oh ! Boy ! The famous walkman , by today standards this was a huge brick strapped to my waist , I kind ah walk with a limp now and I trace it back to those days when I had it , if a could get this new stream device along with my current mp3 player strap it onto the opposite side of my waist maybe a could correct my limp

    Thanks !!!

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  6. kevin

    Awsome product / idea !!! I listen to my mp3 all the time but unfortunately geographically I can not get high speed internet. This makes the traditional online dowload/purchase of music very slow for me. A device like this is perfect for me as I can listen to my friends music when we are together. If the manufacturer would like another suggestion … make a blue tooth adapter for the same unit allowing it to share mp3's wireless and listen to wireless ( Really starting to hate hard wired anything)

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  7. NN

    Oh how I always wanted to listen to what my friends are listening to!…maybe if I get one, my dreams can come true! But where can i score myself a set? I wonder…:)

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  8. Moosa

    I NEED THIS MAAAN!
    ALL I GOT IS A OOOLD OOLD ( older than me) MP3 PLAYER!
    i beg uuuu!
    i neeeeed ittttt!
    this thing would be so crazy to have and the best part is no need to download!
    I WANT ITT!
    PLEAAAAASE!
    all my friends got ipods, mp4,s blah blah blah. pisses me off.
    i wanna make em jealoussss!
    i neeeeed ittt!
    pleaseee?

    thanks:)

    Like

  9. Daddyo

    Sweet. Now as consumers we can all broadcast quazi-socialist propaganda mp3's to everyone. A world where 1 year of clown school would be mandatory upon high school graduation and everyone would have to car pool to work with 20 other clowns in Cooper Minis. Ok maybe not but what a cool concept. Underground radio stations everywhere!!! Could this be the death of commercial filled radio stations broadcasting?

    Like

  10. Carl

    This is something I really need.

    My neighbors are tired of hearing my muffled music through the walls of the building. With this at least I could hook it up to their stereo and they could hear it properly.

    Gotta have it!

    Like

  11. Robinson

    The headphone jack splitter, talk about a major pain…. Practically having to sit in someone's lap to hear what they are listening to? It shames me to say I use that thing….. This sounds like a handy little device to have on your person, because it sure beats being on another. Not only can you listen to someone else's music but you can have up to seven choices? Seems too good to be true, it's amazing technology has advanced that much in under 30 years.

    I'm definitely going to have to get one for my dad. That way he won't have to steal my iPod anymore….

    Like

  12. Debbie

    The reason I think I should win is I have two teenage children who always think they have one up on me when it comes to the IPODS as we all own one. I would love to show off the lastest way of listening to the IPOD showing them I have one up on them and can listen to their IPODS at the same time or force them to listen to my music yeah I'm sure they would love the 80's music.lol This sounds like a great invention.

    Like

  13. Ed Switalski

    I'm an old folkie/hippie from the sixties and my daughters (26 and 12 years of age) are more into the comtemporary and hip hop scene. It would be fun playing deuling I-pods(does anyone hear banjo music playing…..?????), while technophobe (and earbudless) Mom wonders, "What the heck is going on?". Just imagine us three doing kariokee in perfect harmony (me off key of course), while mom wonders,"Where's the music?????"

    Like

  14. Michael Laidlow

    As much as I love to enjoy my music,my greatest pleasure comes when I can share music with others.Music is like the elixer of life,it has the ability to make us laugh ,cry, feel angry,thoughtful and in my case the need to share this wonderful gift with others.Good luck to everyone and please keep sharing your music with others.

    Like

  15. eileen

    I'm a 47 year old single mother of 4 and to be the first to get one of these i2i would really surprise my kids, as they think that I still listen to my cassette tapes (which I do) and still brag about my records (lps and 45s)..lol. I do not own an ipod, mp3, nor a digital camera, because to be honest.. i have no idea how to operate them. I do have music on my cellphone (with the help of my youngest daughter), but for once I would like to experience the latest electronic model of choice. Please enter me in this contest just to spice up my life a bit. Thank you

    Like

  16. Cavin Knor

    um.. I need one because I just lost my dog.. and its realy really really boring wandering through the park looking for my dog and listening to my music when HECK I could be listening to other peoples music well roaming the park aimlessly looking for my dog :(
    so I beg of thee! please please.. I want to be a winner!! :P

    Like

  17. Grace

    I really need this because I don't own an Ipod. If I win this I might get an IPod for Christmas from my husband!

    Like

  18. ELIZABETH SAINSBURY

    WHEN IT COMES TO NEW TECHOLOGY AS A 57 YEARS OLD MOM OF 5 AND GRANDMOTHER OF 7, I AM JUST PLAIN DUMB WITH A CAPITAL D, MY 14 YEARS OLD HAS TO DOWNLOAD MY MUSIC FOR ME ON MY IPOD, I STILL CAN NOT EVEN TURN ON HIS PLAYSTATION 3 OR TURN ON THE DVD PLAYER WHEN HE IS AWAY, HELP!!!!! IF I HAD ONE OF THE I2I STREAMERS I WOULD BE ABLE TO SHOW MY SON THAT I KNOW HOW TO CREATE WAYS TO USE IT AND SHOW HIM THAT HIS OLD MOM IS NOT SO DUMB AFTER ALL.

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  19. Bridgett

    As the mother of 2 teenage boys that feel what is mine is also their's including my i-pod, the new I2I streamers would be perfect for me and them. They would be able to share their same heavy metal music taste without erasing my geeky music and not killing my eardrums when I feel I should take a quiet moment for myself listening to the music I like.

    Like

  20. Yin

    I work at a dead end boring job(which I hate) and my Ipod is the only thing that I look forward to everyday. I have a 160Gb Ipod classic with over 15,000 songs on it, I love to shuffle everything and listen to whatever it comes up. To quote from my favorite Forest Gump: music "…is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." This uncertainty of what's up next lessens the pain of my very slow day, except for 1.5 hrs during lunch.
    During my lunch break, I usually go on a treadmill and do some cardio. Although nice, I can't use this giant beast when I go do my cardio, because the hard drive inside of this beast will eventually stop, since the anti-skipping only lasts about 15-20 minutes. I'd love to have this i2i stream so I can still listen to my shuffled music when I run. This sounds like a great gadget to have!!
    Help me ease my pain at work by giving me this i2i stream gabget!

    Like

  21. Simon Cohen

    Er Yin, the i2i won't help you with your treadmill problem – unless you workout with someone else who isn't on a treadmill and doesn't mind sharing their tunes with you :-) Want to try again?

    Like

  22. Sean

    Why do I need a wireless streamer? When working out at the gym or at home, those damn wires just get in the way all the time. I've ripped the plug out of my phone and my MP3 player so often, I've lost count. I've been through one MP3 player (the jack got pulled out), three headphone sets due to catastrophic wire separation (in the last 6 months). The worst damage I've done, was to my ear. Don't know how it happened, but one time when the wire got in the way, the ear bud ripped a good cut in the inside of my ear. I couldn't listen to any music for a couple of days, it just hurt too much to put anything in.It's gotten to the point that I always have a spare headphone at the gym and at home. The folks at Best Buy almost know me by name now.

    Like

  23. yin

    Hey Simon:

    What I mean is to leave the Ipod on a desk and keep it playing and use the i2i stream when I run.

    Like

  24. Christine Sylvester

    I need this product because I have a huge butt. I recently started going to the gym regularly and literally working my butt off. This product would make the time go faster and I would enjoy my workout more. Thanks!!!

    Like

  25. Simon Cohen

    Hey Yin +10pts for you… never thought about using BOTH streamers as a bluetooth replacement for wireless listening… nice!

    Like

  26. Joe

    I need the i2i stream because with every passing day, I'm finding it harder and harder to find cassettes to play in my Walkman. And you wouldn't believe the looks I get on a daily basis when I have to turn my casssette over to play the other side.

    Like

  27. Akshdeep Bhatia

    Okay, I have the first iPod Nano made. I am in love with it, i mean i cannot live without my music, music gives me a HIGH!!!

    Well, with all the new iPods and cool MP3 players coming out i really want to upgrade. But my parents will not let me buy a new one. So, I am looking for ways to make my iPod more oomph-y…if that is a word!

    Also, what good is music if yo only keep it to yourself?! Music is meant to be heard by the WORLD. So the i2i Stream will help me spread the beautiful sound of music!

    This cool new device might just do it for me, so please, I BEG OF YOU!!!!!!!

    Thank You…

    Like

  28. Chrissy

    *sigh* where do I begin…okay, so I work at UBC and I go to school at SFU, yes, it's weird, I know, i've heard it many times.

    Anyways, I have a 512mb MP3 Player, and I've recently found out that they don't store a lot of music on it…at all, so i'm constantly listening to the same songs over and over and over again. The worst part is, I can't browse through songs and pick one, I have to switch from song to song to find the one I want to listen to, so if it's number 103, i gotta switch, from number 1, all the way to number 103…which, by the way, eats my battery like a lion on a hyena! So along with the constant switching of songs, i'm constantly changing the battery! Yes…an actual battery. Carrying around a pack of 60 batteries is actually really heavy!

    Anywho, i think you've heard enough of my pathetic existence, the reason that I want the i2i Stream is so I won't have to constantly be changing songs and eating up my batteries, if I get to a song that I'm not in the mood for, I can just look around on the bus for a hip hop style looking guy, and join in with him. Heck, we'll be rapping together….which could lead to hip hop guy and me talking…which could lead to hip hop guy and me DATING, and maybe even marrying! And then I can tell my kids how hip hop guy and me met…through the i2i Stream! Oh, just Think of all the possibilities!!

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  29. ROss Healy

    I am a teacher of grade 7 and 8 students in Toronto. There is nothing that kids this age die for more than the newest bit of technology. Ranking slightly below this desire is their notion that old people don't "get" technology like they do – don't understand it, are afraid of it, and certainly aren't close to cutting edge stuff. If I could demonstrate the fallacy of this, while also demonstrating that one can be social as well as being cutting edge, it could really turn these kids around to the idea of communicating with each other.

    Like

  30. Kelly Vansevenandt

    Making the Technology Connection
    Reaching towards each other to connect leaves us more isolated than before.

    Cell Phones, Internet, MP3 players…all these things that we build to help connect us as a population and as a society only serves to isolate us in the long run, because as much as we try to reach out to each other through them, we are divided by their very presence. How often do we make the effort to visit someone if we can just give them a call or text? How much meaning is lost in translation from type, to talk, to the actual presence of a person? It is said that communication between individuals is 55 percent visual cues, 38 percent tone of voice, and only 7 percent words. This means that chatting online only conveys 7 percent of someone’s intended meaning. Right now, you have no idea if I’m a man or a woman, what race I am, what color my hair is, my history, where I live…all you see is one soul speaking their mind in the chaos of the internet – speaking the best truth they know in printed words, hoping to make a point.

    Music is instinctually recognized. It reaches the soul through both ages of evolutionary biology and cultural immersion. It is so rooted and ingrained in humanity that it helps to define it. It is a way for individuals to have a voice and to share a part of themselves. They send their voices out into the world, hoping that by taking a stand they encourage others that agree with their point of view to connect with each other through their similarities.

    Then we isolated it. We took it away from everyone and gave it to the individual to hear alone in public places, hoping to prevent conflict when others are forced to listen to songs they do not enjoy. The individual is still connected with the artist, but not as much with the people around them. The artist is not usually accessible to the public. Music is shared through passing it back and forth over the internet, or through the close friends that are willing to share an earbud with a friend. There is no longer the opportunity for those who are friendly but not intimate to bond together through music.

    But then there was i2i…a way of letting two friends connect via primitive pathways of the brain. To discover themselves and their friends through their preferences and choices as to which voices they agreed with and which they discarded, what rhythm they prefer and what lyrics have meaning for them. It’s the first step in finding the balance between individualism and the needs of the many.

    (How’s that for a heck of a different take? I would use the i2i to learn more about all of the new music that I love but can’t find anywhere except for my rare visits to dance clubs. Please help an out-of-the-loop, over-responsible eighteen-year-old get up to date!)

    Like

  31. Shelley Gross

    I definitely NEED these i2i streams! I am a 36 year old single mother of an electronic freak. My son is constantly getting embarrassed of me because I still have my original Walkman, you know those big, bulky ones with the HUGE earphones? Yeah that's me. Then when I found my Commodore Vic 20 out from under the bed at my son's birthday party, I thought my son was going to faint! He had this huge blue vein that started popping out of his forehead, he turned white and told me to go and get them some more sodas. What am I, a maid? Oh, I could go on and on about how my son thinks that I am "electronically retarded," but I digress.I guess in a way I do need to jump into the technological age, and you can help by making me the proud, new owner of these AWESOME i2i streams. My son would really think I'm "hip" then. (Is hip still a cool word?)

    Like

  32. Debra Bashford

    I have a crush on the mailman, he really rings my bell, and I am going broke sending myself parcels!!! If I could win this fabulous prize it would sure help. I am pretty sure he is getting suspicious because the return address is always the same. Help me please!

    Like

  33. Ladybug

    Wow! Wouldn't it be neat if you could hook up the i2i Stream to a co-worker's iPOD whom you don't like and broadcast a shock-jock radio show (e.g., Howard Stern, into the company's PA system. And then when the company techies finally traces the source, the embarassment and anxiety on the person's face would be simply priceless.

    Like

  34. Carrie Taylor

    i really need one of these because i have just started working out to lose some weight and this would be a great motivator

    Like

  35. Tom

    This will be perfect to broadcast streaming tunes from my PC to wherever I am in the house! Or in the yard or garage or at the neighbours or in the street or washing the car in the driveway or anywhere!

    Like

  36. Natalie Perna

    Well, you see, the thing is, I have this Unisaurus Rex. Basically the idea is, it's a mythical beast like a T-Rex but with wings like Pegasus and a horn that's twirly and beautiful like a unicorn. It's a beautifully vicious creature really, with the cutest little twiggy arms. The thing's just been running rampant though and I can't seem to control it except through calming classical music. I absolutely need these i2i Streams so that I can calm my dear mythical companion with soothing sounds or else who knows what he'll do. The High Clan of Leprachauns might take him away from me! Please help!

    Like

  37. Lillea

    This is perfect timing – when my stocks finish their plummet, I'll have a cheap, easily concealable form of entertainment for my new life on the street.

    Like

  38. Rick Knowles

    Ok, I'll make it simple, I'll holding a loaded banana in my hand and I'm not afraid to use it. Send me the darn thing or I'll be forced to eat it.Just to show you I'm serious, I must tell you I hate bananas.Now, could you live with the guilt when there is such an easy solution….

    Like