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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 04:39 GMT 05:39 UK
UK bans iPod gadget
iTrip on an iPod
A gadget that lets you send songs from Apple's iPod music player to an FM radio has fallen foul of UK laws.

A M Micro, the UK distributor of Griffin Technology which makes the iTrip, said use of the device was prohibited under the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1949.

The act forbids the use of radio equipment without a licence or an exemption.

The iTrip transmits at very low power on an FM frequency and so in theory could interfere with broadcasts from a radio station.

Pirate radio

The $35 cylindrical device, made by Griffin Technology in the US, has won critical acclaim from fans of Apple's digital music player.

Use of the iTrip in any FM broadcasting bands is strictly prohibited
A M Micro statement
It is plugged into the iPod and can be tuned to any FM frequency.

There are no restrictions on its use in the US, where people can use it to listen to songs stored on the iPod on a home or car stereo.

But in Britain, using it is akin to setting up your own pirate radio station.

After discussions with the Radio Agency, A M Micro concluded that using the gadget would mean breaking the law.

"In the UK FM broadcasts are allocated for the exclusive use of licensed broadcasters," said the UK importers of the iTrip in a statement.

"No other systems are permitted to operate within these bands. The UK authorities have allocated all existing analogue FM bands.

"Therefore, use of the iTrip in any FM broadcasting bands is strictly prohibited."

According to reports, two other countries - Austria and Iceland - have also stopped sales of the iTrip because of problems with radio frequencies.

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