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Is this so much to ask for?? How about a plug in the back that can turn on a lamp, too. You guys might think is baked, but go and try to find an alarm that wakes you up to a random song. All alarms require you to specify a track which means that you are waking up to the same song every morning unless
you adjust it manually.
I've seen the lamp that gradually turns the light brighter. How about an alarm that gradually turns the volume up until it reaches the volume you've specified.
I nearly jumped out of bed one morning when I woke to a radio station playing a car crash sound. Suffice to say, I was grumpy all day... They might as well design an alarm clock that dumps a bucket of water on your head!
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||Wouldn't it be cool to have the alarm clock play a random sound file though? Might ensure that you don't sleep through it if, on one day, it wakes you to the sound of a rooster crowing, the next day, the sound of a multiple car pileup, or gunshots, or a baby crying, or . . . whatever.
Perhaps, you could select families of sounds ("violent sounds," or "sounds of nature") to wake by.
||The last several stereos I've owned have all had a "turn on at a set time" feature which could be used to wake up to a CD, a tape, the radio, whatever. I don't think I tried combining this with the "random play" mode, though.
||I like the idea of the computer-driven alarm clock which plays soundfiles (or MP3s/oggvorbis/what-have-you). It could include sensors --- motion sensors, or water-flow sensors in the shower head, or weght sensors in the bed --- so that if you don't get up it could progress to more and more obnoxious sounds. This way, if I spend the night at my girlfriend's and forget to turn the machine off, I can come back home to discover that my neighbors have bored through the wall and smashed the speakers! Neat!
||Many stereos have a sleep function that will turn it off after x minutes - just set x to the length of tracks 1 and 2...
||I use my pc to randomly play mp3s at a preset time. Winamp has multipul alarm plugins. (at 7:45 mpg123 -Z /home/user/mp3/*.mp3)