Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player, Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Black color
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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.
Although the tools to convert CDs to digital files have become standard fare on nearly every computer, by comparison the tools needed to play those files on a high-performance sound system can be clunky, inconvenient, and downright frustrating to use. Until recently, our options have been either to drag expensive computers to the living room and wire them directly to our stereos, or to buy an expensive digital music player that we then need to continually plug and unplug.
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.
- A seamless way to stream digital music through entertainment systems
- Offers easy and remote access to all unencrypted digital music files on our computer
- Streams Internet radio through your receiver without a computer
- Does not play encrypted music files from online digital services
- Does not recognize iTunes playlists
- Creating playlists can be time consuming
Squeezebox Network Music Player, AC power adaptor (appropriate plug by region), user's manual, SlimServer software (requires download), custom infrared remote (2 AAA batteries included), and 6-foot gold plated RCA patch cord.
Top Customer Reviews
I have a huge investment in my current audio system (more than $20k). I read about the Squeezebox on one of the audiophile websites, and was intrigued by having all my music accessible on a computer, but with sound quality to match my high end CD player. After a month of living with the Squeezebox, I can confirm how good it sounds, how simple it is to set up, and how versatile it is. I have not turned on my $3000 CD transport in 2 weeks, and plan on selling it shortly.
I encourage anyone ready to set up a computer system to visit my blog at musicserver.blogspot.com to see how easy it was to set up your music collection on a computer.
For the 95% of people out there who don't understand or care about audiophile quality sound, don't worry. A stock Squeezebox playing your music stored on your computer will sound better than anything you can buy for any reasonable amount of money.
For the uninitiated, a Squeezebox is part of a system of storing your CD collection on computer, and you use the Squeezebox to access/browse your computerized music collection. You need a computer, of course, and to get the best sound quality, you need to rip your music using a high quality format, like WAV or Apple Lossless or FLAC. It works with computers running Windows, Linux or Apple operating systems, and it does not require an expensive computer.Read more ›
That's the short story.
There are plenty of well-marketed but poorly designed consumer electronics out there, many from companies who often rely on their corporate size to impress users. But much of what they're selling is marginal when it comes down to it.
Not this time.
I've been on the prowl for some time, hunting for a networked media player to put in our living room, in order to leverage the large music database I have organized on our home "server." My wife really likes music in the house, and it had been a while since we had a reasonable means to play her collection. I'd done some searching through many electronics review sites, as well as Consumer Reports and user forums, trying to find some way to compare apples to oranges; most devices do different combinations of things, so it is tough to sort out what we would need.
Wired connectivity was contemplated, as I didn't want to put a burden on our household wireless network, which gets pretty busy with everyone in the family accessing our server's image library, scans folders, using print services, and automated backup tasks pushing loads of information over our 802.11g setup. Also, since our network is running WPA-PSK on the wireless, this would limit the number of media players if I opted to go wireless.
However... I wasn't sure where the player would eventually end up, and didn't want the trouble of running a new network wire down the walls. A check of media player capabilities turned up the Squeezebox 3 as a player which they claimed could handle WPA-PSK. Another media player, SoundBridge by Roku, was in the running up to that point, but it has no WPA-PSK, which is important for a secure home wireless network.Read more ›
Specifically the SB3's bass response was slightly off in pitch and clarity and the depth was attenuated in a minor fashion.
On the other hand if you are listening to your average mass market CD player you are hearing worse right now.
A few overall comments to those contemplating a purchase:
a. This is a great box by any measure.
b. Fingertip access to your music will mean you will realize more value from your music collection.
c. Forget about lossy format ripping. Ripping is time consuming, do it once and do it right, storage is cheap.
d. The convergence of the computer and high end audio is here ---
enjoy cheap, high quality digital sound.
e. If you are looking at the McIntosh, Linn or Escient music server systems --- forgetaboutit... Save your money and architect a better solution with the SB3, a cheap dedicated PC, a bunch of cheap storage and optionally one of the better outboard D/A converters...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 on January 16, 2014 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