MP3 Alarm Clock

How is it that there seems to be no good option for an MP3 alarm clock? There are programs you can use, if you want to actually have a computer on your night table. Your cell phone can be set to wake you, but my RAZR at least doesn’t allow me to use anything but the pre-installed sounds on an alarm. There are alarm clocks that double as iPod docs, but don’t actually use the music to wake you. There are alarm clocks with SD slots to store and play music, but again you are restricted to using radio stations to wake you. There’s one fifty-dollar cube-shaped model with strange limitations including a lack of a sleep button.

What the hell is up here? Is there some kind of arcane law against this one use of digital music? It seems obvious that there’s a demand for an alarm clock you can plug into your computer, fill with music, and when you put it on your nightstand it functions exactly like an alarm clock, except that it uses your MP3 files to wake you. Why are there so many things that almost, but don’t quite, fill this niche?

iPods have a built-in alarm clock feature.

My phone can do this. It’s a Samsung Behold and I can set the alarm for any audio track on the phone, mp3’s included.

That’s only the more mysterious. If there isn’t a legal restriction to combining these functions, why do so many products not quite take that final step?

There are products like this

Some of them work by docking an iPod on them, some of them don’t wake to mp3 but you can look around.

The docking feature makes sense, 'cause that way it can market itself as an accessory to an mp3 player, instead of a replacement for one.

There are lots of alarm clocks that will wake you to a CD track. I you want to burn your MP3s to CD this will work.

Maybe, in the case of the iPod at least, it’s not viewed as necessary. The iPod has its own built-in alarm clock function, so why duplicate the functionality in another device that has a dock?

Don’t you have to hook the iPod up to some kind of speaker at least? The Nano my wife had before it crapped out didn’t have any built-in speaker.

There are many apps for the iPhone that will wake you to mp3’s. The iPhone also has a built-in speaker, so you can leave it plugged in on your nightstand to serve you as an alarm.

And now to what the OP actually asked for:

Timex makes exactly such a beast, Model #TM80. Sleep to/Wake to your MP3’s from an SD card or USB flash drive. Also AM/FM and comes with a remote control.

[shamelessplug] RadioShack carries them, but is clearancing them out. Ask your local Shack if they can scare up a SKU 120-0508 from another store for you.[/shamelessplug]

Also, Philips makes a nice little shelf radio that does this IIRC, its kind of a Bose Wave Radio Knock-Off that sounds pretty good. Has an I-pod dock and a USB flash drive port for your MP3’s. Model DCM230

Their own product description doesn’t make it clear, but user reviews on Amazon make it clear that this actually does use the MP3s to make the alarm. Thanks. I must admit, though, that fifty bucks seems a bit pricey now that it’s possible to buy a buy an MP3 player for under $20. What kind of price does Radio Shack offer for clearance?

Currently $29.67. Usually, but not always the same in every store. Ask your local Shack to check other stores around it and they’ll have it shipped in for you.

There’s an I-Phone App I use which allows me select anyone, or any number of songs on the device to wake me up. I kind of like the random feature, so any given morning it can be some screeching metallic punk, or a soothing ballad.

I thought most of the alarm clock/iPod docks allowed you to wake to buzzer, radio or the iPod. The iHome allows you to select a playlist to wake up to. The one I have (the iWakeUp by Memorex) does also and has a headphone jack. I use mine with my iPhone. I don’t know how they work with other mp3 players.