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Amazon.com Review Deciding how to offer a review of the third-generation Squeezebox by Slim Devices without gushing forth a stream of typical market-speak accolades ("Incredible!" "Outstanding!" "A must-have for any music lover!") is not easy. And even more difficult, given all that Squeezebox has going for it, is deciding where to start describing the wealth of features this little box boasts.
Squeezebox gives you full control over your entire digital music library. And it couldn't be easier.
Stereo level meters are a nice touch. View larger.
All the connections you need are on the back. See detail.
Enter Squeezebox to save us from this hassle. After plugging this streamlined device into your stereo via a standard RCA cable, and taking all of five minutes to download software to your computer and configure Squeezebox to your wireless network (okay, maybe seven minutes if you're chewing gum at the same time), you can immediately start "pulling" music off your Mac or PC for full-sounding playback through your entertainment system. Imagine being able to keep your computer on your desk, and your digital player in your pocket, and still crank your digital music with abandon! It's really that simple: within a few minutes of unpacking the Squeezebox, your digital files are yours for the asking from the comfort of your couch. (Squeezebox is also offered in a "wired-only" model that connects directly to the Internet via an Ethernet cable.)
Once Squeezebox is set up, it immediately presents your music on its easy-to-read display by genre, artist, song, album and even year. With the help of a handy remote, you can scroll through just about every music file on your computer and play songs in whatever sequence you desire. As long as your digital files are in a single location (in your iTunes folder, for instance), Squeezebox will get them to you. Although your computer must be on in order to play your digital files, you don't necessarily have to start it up just to play your music. Squeezebox also gives you the option of using the remote to wake your PC or Mac from a "sleep" state remotely, adding to the system's ultimate ease of use.
Squeezebox offers lots of setup options.
A handy remote is included. View larger.
Surely there must be a catch, you're probably thinking. In fact, there are a couple of glitches that beg for improvement in the next-generation model.
First, while you can create play lists for Squeezebox on your computer via the software's browser interface -- a somewhat clunky procedure --, or with the remote itself -- an easier, though still time-consuming process --, Squeezebox could not access the play lists we had already created in our iTunes player. According to the manufacturer, only iTunes users suffer from this problem; Squeezebox recognizes lists created in Windows Media and other popular players. The second issue has to do with encrypted files. Simply put, it can't play any files you purchase or download from an online store, such as the iTunes Music Store, that are protected. For those files, you'll have to continue to resort to the primitive plug-and-play method.
Internet Radio without a Computer
In addition to playing digital files, you can use Squeezebox to stream Internet radio straight into your living room without a computer. Squeezebox feeds directly from your wireless network to do this. With the Web interface, or via the remote, you can create a list of your favorite Internet radio stations for streaming. Squeezebox also comes loaded with several stations covering the full array of musical genres, from jazz and world music, to 70's pop and 90's electronica. For news junkies, Squeezebox can also stream your favorite RSS feeds across its aqua blue display.
About the size of a bedside digital alarm clock, Squeezebox can sit inconspicuously on any horizontal surface. The ports, all located on the back of the unit, include a mini headphone jack, RCA connections, a digital optical output and coax output, and an Ethernet connection. An extremely intuitive interface on Squeezebox lets you easily configure the display's text size, illumination, screen saver, and track information.
Until the day comes when affordable entertainment systems exist that offer seamless convergence of wireless Internet and digital technology with high-performance playback, Squeezebox will let you share your digital music loudly and clearly with just a few clicks of the remote.
I use it all the time. Too bad they sold the business to Logitech. I then bought the Logitech Boom in addition which produces great sound but the Boom's remote controller is... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Damon Raphael
I bought this in the UK to extend my iTunes library - did a great job. Easy to set up wirelessly (I'm not a complete techy!). Read morePublished on September 9, 2009 by Nicholas Beard
I've owned this unit for about a year. Not cheap, but in this case you get what you pay for and then some. Read morePublished on June 30, 2007 by Jam Meister
I was looking for a dual-purpose device for my living room: 1) access my MP3 collection on my computer and 2) access Internet radio. I needed 802. Read morePublished on June 12, 2007 by CoyoteTeacher
I bought the wired version. I love the product because you can play just about any format. The display is stunning. Squeeze did an outstanding job on the hardware. Read morePublished on June 9, 2007 by S. Smith
I have used a the squeezebox and the rokulabs M500 & M1001. The squeezebox promised a lot, but failed to deliver. Read morePublished on May 26, 2007 by Lewis W.
Like most, I have a good sized collection of MP3's on my computer. In fact, nowadays, I buy CDs and immediately encode them to MP3's and shelve the CD away. Read morePublished on April 30, 2007 by TobycW
Delivers on all the promises made, but broken, by other music streaming products. No drop-outs, wonderful server software. Worth every penny!Published on April 10, 2007 by D. Hoffman
This unit is easy to set up and get running initially; it's the perpetual irritation and disfunctionality that occur afterwords that make this such a useless piece of [...]. Read morePublished on February 2, 2007 by James Brown