One of the features that helped put videocassette recorders in in every American home was its ability to do “time shifting.”
With a VCR, you didn’t have to stay up late to watch David Letterman or be home at 7 p.m. every Sunday to see “60 Minutes.” You could set the VCR to record a program, then watch it whenever you wanted.
Time shifting is a standard feature on almost every VCR, but the concept curiously never caught on with radio.
I’m sure there are plenty of Rush Limbaugh fans who wish his show was on in drive time instead of work time. And I miss “This American Life” on the local NPR station more times that I catch it. Yet I’ve never seen a radio-tape recorder combo that could do time shifting – at least not until I found the Radio Program Recorder.
The RPR is a trio of portable devices mounted inside a zippered canvas pouch that looks like carrying case for a CD collection. The devices work together to capture, store and play back radio broadcasts.
Programming the RPR is far from a one-button solution. In fact, it’s more complicated than programming a VCR, which a surprising number of people never have mastered.