New CC WiFi-3: C.Crane offers discount to CC WiFi customers after demise of Reciva aggregator

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who notes the following announcement on C.Crane’s website:

We were happy to be one of first companies to offer ad-free Internet radio because it allowed anyone to listen to the world without a fee. Fifteen years ago, Ben, the founder of Reciva, had a small staff to create the software and volunteers around the world to help manage the station streams. We are sorry, but Reciva’s software will soon not work anymore. The software would need to be recreated from scratch. Even If this was done, it would not be possible for the existing radios to be compatible with this new type of software. This is the same way Apple and Microsoft might release a new operating system that is not compatible with older hardware.

We are working on a new radio called the CC WiFi-3. We will be testing the first pilot run of the new CC WiFi-3 in January with the first delivery by April if all goes reasonably well. There are still no ads or graphics to annoy you and nobody tracks your habits for advertising offers. It looks almost the same as the previous CC WiFi but has been upgraded in several ways:

  1. It uses a new 3rd party stream provider called Skytune.
  2. You can add your own streams (URLs) yourself so you are somewhat protected if the service fails for any reason.
  3. It is a little easier to use and it has a good built-in equalizer available.
  4. This radio comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

Anyone can add a valid stream to Skytune. This makes the platform very different from smart speakers that do track your habits and make recurring income. There is no recurring income for C. Crane just like with Reciva and the CC WiFi. The only income is the initial hardware purchase which includes the use of Skytune’s technology embedded on a chip.

If you feel comfortable going forward please read our offer.

This is a one-time offer from C. Crane. This offer will end June 1, 2021.

  1. If you have purchased a CC WiFi and it is under the 1 year limited warranty, contact us for the available options.
  2. If you have purchased a CC WiFi and it is no longer under warranty, the CC WiFi-3 is available for half price – $60.00 USD plus shipping. You must fill out the form (click here) and include a picture of your serial number(s). Instructions are included on the form for how to locate your serial number. If you need help with this, please contact us. You will be contacted once we receive our shipment to get payment information and to confirm your address.

The CC WiFi-3 comes with the risk of losing connection to Skytune’s server if they were to shut down in the future. As we have previously documented in our catalog and on the web: C. Crane has no control over content or the stream provider for Internet radios and cannot be responsible for Internet radio programs or availability.

We think the CC WiFi-3 is a remarkable radio for listening to a clear signal from your favorite station and for discovering new stations. You can go to Skytune.com, click on the “Radio” header to be sure they carry your favorite station or host.

Note: Saving your own list of streaming stations for use takes some computer knowledge. Many of your big streamers block or change the URL daily so you cannot save it. As usual, you have C. Crane’s US Based customer service to help you with any questions about the operation of the CC WiFi-3.

A number of us have been frustrated discovering that the Reciva aggregator, which is the backbone for so many WiFi radios, will shut down by the end of April 2021. While I’m sure many of us are now leery of investing in a new WiFi radio, I love how 1.) C.Crane is offering a 50% discount to existing customers and 2.) are being up-front about the risks of WiFi radios relying on aggregator services.

I’ve been using the Skytune service on my Ocean Digital radio and have been very pleased. I’m pleased to hear the new CC WiFi-3 has an option to manually load Internet radio streams if needed.

Thanks, Ron, for sharing this tip!

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21 thoughts on “New CC WiFi-3: C.Crane offers discount to CC WiFi customers after demise of Reciva aggregator

  1. Paul Origlio

    “Many of your big streamers block or change the URL daily so you cannot save it.”

    Why do they do that? If it’s what I suspect, then why do they stream at all?

    Reply
  2. KA7EII

    Guess I’m a bit “old fashioned” as I still desire a stand alone wi-fi radio on my nightstand for nighttime listening with a pillow speaker. Wish the CC WiFi 3 also had Pandora but it looks like Skytune has most of the stations I get on my old CC WiFi. Filled out the forms on the C. Crane site and will wait.

    Reply
  3. Jordan

    It’s good of C Crane to offer this deal, but unfortunately, it looks like shipping and clearance costs to Canada will be half as much again as the radio will cost (and I’m sure the same will be the case for other non-US addresses) so I’m not sure it’ll actually be worthwhile for those of us not in the USA.

    Reply
  4. Mark Fahey

    Ha I wish Thomas wouldn’t post articles like this – they always lead to me opening my wallet! I didn’t buy anything from C-Crane this time, but I have just ordered 3 different models of internet radios direct from from Ocean Digital! They have a great range of devices and they look like they may fill a few different needs I have.

    Also in an above post Neil mentioned Radio Garden (App & Website). Why jump into Radio Garden and head to Bali Indonesia where I am the CEO of the Radio Seribatu network. We are the most comprehensive broadcaster in the province and have four 24 hour stations. Seribatu is the “blob” on the map in the middle of the island. (We are also in most aggregators / radio directories as well if you want to listen in or another device or some other way).

    Reply
  5. Jordan

    It’s nice that they’re doing this, though I am skeptical overall of long-term reliance on a closed, third-party aggregator.

    While a cell phone plus Bluetooth speaker is more future-proof, there is something to be said for a stand-alone device.

    For those who are technically inclined, one can consider building a home-brew Internet radio (https://bobrathbone.com/raspberrypi/pi_internet_radio.html for example — all the plans are there). I’m almost done the process of converting a non-functional 1940s AM radio to one of these, but you can start with just a wooden box and the parts. It has basically the same functionality as the C Crane Wifi, but does not rely on an aggregator.

    Reply
  6. rtc

    That is exactly what I did with an old Kindle tablet.Just get one of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/Headset-Extender-Headphone-Extension-Smartphones/dp/B06Y5HFTMY/ref=pd_rhf_ee_s_rp_c_2_0_1/142-9354971-7672928?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B06Y5HFTMY&pd_rd_r=564590c4-b39c-4439-8bb3-d68a8dca59c7&pd_rd_w=ervyC&pd_rd_wg=JT0aK&pf_rd_p=45ea3989-28e2-45c9-97ac-7e99f613a91b&pf_rd_r=ZMWPHJ781R0MY6PRA22Y&psc=1&refRID=ZMWPHJ781R0MY6PRA22Y

    and feed it into a C.Crane FM2 or whatever.

    Reply
  7. Neil

    It is great of CC Craine to do this.. However I think the best “future proof” solution would be to have a cheap phone/tablet/pc and a decent wireless (or wired) speaker . Then you could explore with radio stations with freedom using http://radio.garden (you can simply bookmark the locations of your favs) or just bookmark the radio station URL’s.
    You could even stick a bluetooth speaker (and old phone?) in your (defunct after April) internet radio case if you want to be creative 🙂

    Reply
  8. Ronald Luyster

    Are the Logitech Squeezebox Boom receivers going to be affected by this in any way? I have three of those in operation as well as one of the Grace receivers. The Grace one is going to be rendered pretty much useless by this Reciva fiasco.

    Reply
    1. Mike S

      I haven’t used my tabletop Squeezebox in ages, but last I checked they were still using the Logitech-repackaged link to the TuneIn aggregator.

      Reply
  9. Barbara Harris

    I got a note from CCrane that since my radio was still under warranty, I could get the WiFi 3 as a free replacement, or I could get my money back. The new radio has a 2 year warranty, too. And I like the way this radio is organized. So now I’m torn between a) getting the new radio, or b) getting my money back and figuring out another way to stream music in my den. My WiFi radio was my den radio and I really want to have some sort or other kind of radio for it. As an alternative, what experiences has anyone had with smart speakers? I’m thinking of something like the Amazon Echo Show.

    Reply
    1. John

      I have an Amazon Echo and really love it.

      Books, movies, music, electronics, household items etc… God I’m so baked into the Amazon ecosystem I wonder how I ever managed in the pre-Jeff era.

      Reply
      1. Barbara Harris

        That’s useful to know. How does it work with radio specifically? And what about the sound quality? Would I want to pair it up with some kind of optional speakers?

        Reply
  10. Tom Servo

    I don’t understand why people would be willing to take (another) risk on another station-list server that could go down at some point in the future, gimping your expensive piece of audio hardware.

    It’s ever so slightly more clunky, but it seems a better bet would be buying an inexpensive unlocked cell phone or wi-fi only tablet and pairing it with a quality Bluetooth speaker so that you have access to whatever app store and browser the device ships with. This would basically future-proof your radio streaming habits at the cost of having two devices to charge/plug in.

    Reply
    1. Mike S

      Expressing once again what’s probably a minority view here, but here goes (and speaking as a long time owner of a Logitech Squeezebox).

      In recent years I’ve increasingly questioned the market need for an internet radio _device_ in the form factor of a traditional radio.

      True these radio-like boxes offer convenience, portability and ease of use, but having that type of usefulness dependent on an aggregator service. Their very existence is tenuous because they make almost no income for providing the service and are constantly the targets of fights, lawsuits, and restrictions posed by local, national, and international laws.

      Numerous other “connected” devices (PCs, phones, tablets, “smart” TV devices, even newer car sound systems) can stream radio content from the Internet, and are far friendlier when it comes to contingencies when the existing arrangement fails for one of the reasons listed above.

      I think it was good when it lasted, but more and more we’re beating a dead horse on a nich market within a nich market which is now in its death throes.

      Reply
  11. Tom G. ABQ

    Thanks for the heads up! I have 2 of these radios and love them. I filled out the form(s) and will upgrade when the new radio’s are available. $60 is a bargain for a new WiFi radio.

    Reply
  12. Bill (WD9EQD)

    “You can add your own streams (URLs) yourself so you are somewhat protected if the service fails for any reason.”

    Question: Does this mean that the radio will store the URL’s locally and that the radio will still play those URL’s even if the Skytune’s server goes down?

    Or do they mean that you can add the URL’s to Skytune’s server and if the server goes down so do the stations you have added.

    Hopefully it’s the first – locally.

    Bill
    WD9EQD
    Smithville, NJ

    Reply
    1. Rob

      That’s a good question Bill. I spoke with Crane a while back on the matter, and the answer wasn’t entirely clear. I didn’t think this was due to any evasiveness on Crane’s part, but more that they just don’t know at this point- and error on the cautious side of indicating that there is a possibility that if Skytune pulled the plug, we’d be back in the same boat. It seems to be one of those ‘just get it and see’ approaches. Not entirely encouraging if one is likely to be outraged at another go-around of the same thing.
      BTW- My Crane Wifi2 is also mostly worthless. I was unaware of the changes with TuneIn, and most of my presets no longer work, nor is the option to add anything else. A few still work, but a very, very sad situation. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
      Rob

      Reply
    2. Tom G. ABQ

      The CCrane WiFi 3 is basically a re-branded Ocean Digital WR-202. CCrane will likely tweak the firmware a bit. From what I understand the Favorites (AKA station presets) are stored in the radio. The radio can store 99 stations. The radio also includes an embedded WEB server. Meaning that you can log into the favorites lists with any browser from a computer/phone/tablet connected on the same network. You go to the info screen on the radio to find out the radio’s IP address. Then you type that IP address into your browser and you are greeted with a “My Stations” list that you can edit. So yes, even if Skytune were to go belly up you would still be able to use the radio. That is assuming that you know the radio stream URL and there are numerous ways to figure that out. It’s a completely different setup from the Reciva chip that was used in the past. Refer to page 13 in the following link for a more visual description.
      https://60d3ce65-8f3a-4aa3-82a3-b858382abf24.filesusr.com/ugd/f938ba_a111a365b8bb48a29d338df5d0c60d9c.pdf

      Reply

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