PURE Digital – The Bug review

Digital radio and MP3 player with style
Photo of PURE Digital – The Bug

Pure Digital, or the artist formerly known in one guise as Videologic, is the latest firm to have a tie-in with a designer. We’ve had Microsoft involving Starck to make some rather ugly mice, while Pinnacle used the expertise of Porsche on some of its video editing products, to not that great a visual effect.

Pure Digital, though, has proven that such a match-up can work, as The Bug has a distinctive look to it that actually lends itself to the job in hand. Developed in conjunction with Wayne Hemingway, rather than taking lots of words here to describe exactly how it looks, a cop-out is in order. So instead, we’d point you towards the picture we’ve thoughtfully provided. Naturally, as with most aesthetics, it’s going to be good news for some, and not so good for others.

Checked it out? Good, then we can carry on. You’ll note that there are two distinct sections to The Bug. The base includes the main body of controls and in-built speakers, while the ‘head’ features a clear on-screen display and easy access to ten pre-sets.

Perhaps it would we wise to let you in on what the unit actually does. It’s basically a digital radio that also supports MP3 playback and, save for a couple of niggles, it’s an excellent gadget. As a digital radio it works a treat, and is as easy to get up and running as you’d hope. It took less than two minutes in our case, as you simply unpack the unit, plug it in, raise the aerial (which is tucked away on the base) and The Bug sets about finding DAB digital radio stations. The audio output is clear and crisp, with the in-built speakers surprisingly good, although there’s SDPIF and stereo outputs too.

Pure Digital makes much of the inclusion of radio’s equivalent to timeslipping, and rightly so. You can pause, rewind and record live radio via the simple controls on the base, and it’s easy to do. It’s done via an in-built 8MB of memory, and the unit accepts an SD card on which to save stored radio (a 512MB card will hold around 7-8 hours of radio).

However, where the product is limited is as an MP3 player. While there are no problems with the output, that limited 8MB of memory means you need to hook your PC up to The Bug or transfer MP3 files to SD cards. It’s a bit of a bind when the rest of the unit is so blindingly straightforward.

Yet, for the price, it really is hard to argue. While there are cheaper DAB radios available, they lack the timeslipping functions, the style and the (albeit limited) MP3 support of The Bug. In short, it’s a smashing piece of kit.

Company: PURE Digital

Contact: 01923 260511

One or two issues aside, The Bug is desirable, it works like a dream and it's got plenty of features. A great gadget.