I have yet another gadget to add to my ever growing, neverending stack of useless gadgets. This time it is the Chumby.
The Chumby, according to their website, is an interactive media player that constantly streams your favourite parts of the internet in a fun, always on, always fresh format. Blah blah.
To simplify it. The Chumby is an internet appliance – how 80s does that sound? The Chumby is all that I dreamed of from my 3Com Audrey. A wireless, streaming, touchscreen, widget playing, useless gadget.
Ah, the 3Com Audrey. I loved that little thing. Except I never actually got it working and it is rotting away in some drawer somwhere. But I had such high hopes for it. It was so cute and had so many possibilities. It was just way ahead of its time and died a sad little death completely unnoticed by the general populous.
Back to the Chumby.
I didn’t have as high expectations for the Chumby as I did for Audrey. This is one thing that a gadget geek learns along the way. There are going to be disappointments when you are an early adopter.
Got the Chumby used on Amazon for about $150 and had it sent over from the States (they don’t have them here in the UK).
At first glance it is a cute little guy. Soft sided and little screen. Plugged it in and got customising it right away from their website.
You can add a bunch of different widgets to your Chumby. My personal favourites are:
- Obama bobblehead
- Tube status
- How many days till Christmas
You set these up into different channels, presumably for different times of the day, I guess. I only use one channel because I am lazy.
Then you let it roll.
The coolest part of the Chumby has to be the internet radio and music. It has a jack at the back for your ipod where it will read off your ipod and act as a speaker (plus it charges it). It also streams shoutcast stations and Pandora radio (if you are in the US). I am totally digging this to listen to talk radio at my desk.
Overall opinion: I actually like the Chumby a lot more than I thought I would. The usability on the music widgets could be vastly improved, but overall it is a great little gadget that serves as a digital photo frame / radio for me.