Going Back in Time on the Radio - 2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

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2010 GMC Terrain: Going Back in Time on the Radio

April 21, 2010

GMC Terrain.jpg

The radio in our long-term Terrain comes with a TiVo-like time-shift feature that you lets you rewind up to 20 minutes of a live broadcast and listen to it over again. So if you missed that traffic report, sports score or news item or just want to rock out to "Free Bird" again in its entirety, you can go back in time to listen to it again.

But with TV and TiVo, you know in advance what you want to watch and can set up to record it. With the time-shift feature in the Terrain you have to anticipate that you may miss something you want to record.

The feature works whether you're listening to AM, FM or XM. Hit the play/pause button to halt the live broadcast and begin buffering it to the Terrain's 40 GB hard drive. A status bar at the bottom of the radio display shows the amount of content stored in the buffer and the current pause point. To resume playback from the pause point, press the play/pause button again and you're listening to time-shifted content.

After enough content is buffered, you can use the seek up/down buttons to rewind or fast-forward through the time-shifted content. You can also press and hold the seek-up button at any point to go back to the live broadcast.

What's really cool is you can hit the seek up/down buttons to go to the next or previous song in the time-shift buffer. Another neat feature is that if you pause the radio before turning off the engine, content will continue to be buffered from the current radio station for up to 20 minutes. So if you jump back into the vehicle within 20 minutes, playback resumes from the paused point. No more waiting for that riveting NPR segment to end before running into Starbucks for your morning latte.

But if you change radio stations, the current content is dumped and the buffer automatically restarts from the new station. So if you switch to a different station and catch the last chords of your favorite tune, you can't go back and listen to it. Or, as happened to me this morning while switching from FM to XM, if you hear the DJ recite a long list of tracks after an extended set, you can't skip back to one you want to hear.

But maybe that will come later, along with larger automotive-grade hard drives like the 200 GB version Toshiba introduced last week.

Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology, Edmunds.com

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

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