30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
My most favourite gadget!,
This review is from: Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black (Electronics)
Now, I'm a massive gadget fan, as my bank and credit card balances will testify. I'm also a massive music lover, so as you can imagine this product, before I ordered it, had the capacity to tick all of my proverbial boxes!
Thankfully, upon it's arrival and installation, I realised it's far better than I ever thought it would be.
Firstly, the server software for this device must be downloaded from the internet (the Slimdevices website), for free obviously.
Before I splashed out and made my purchase I downloaded and installed it to see how it'd run on my PC and how easy it was to use etc. I think that's probably a decent bit of advice for anyone interested in buying one too.
Basically you install the software onto the PC/Mac/NAS (you don't even need a PC to be on if you use a compatible NAS - check the Slimdevices website for a list of compatible NAS equipment) on which your music is stored and let it scan your music folder(s) for your tunes which it then makes available via Artist / Album / Genre / Year selection menus!
For this scanning it relies heavily on your file ID tags (artist, track number, album etc) being correct etc although I believe this is not an absolute must. If your music is well tagged and organised however, it makes the whole process, and the interface with the device itself, much, much easier to set up and use.
Connected to my Aego M 2.1 speaker set up I can assure you the Squeezebox is absolutely stunning in terms of it's sound and performance. It has a high quality Woolfson bit of gadgetry inside that ensures the sound quality is absolutely perfect with well-ripped, decent bitrate music - I'd suggest for MP3 192k as a minimum to ensure decent quality.
The remote control works intuitively and, as the device is entirely menu driven using the up, down, left and right keys on the remote (or via the web interface if you prefer) it's child's play to use.
There are plenty of plugins available for the device too, all easy to install. For example listening to BBC live and listen again streams is a simple task with the AlienBBC plugin. I have a screensaver plugin installed which enables me to keep abreast of live football scores as and when the goals go in. Genius!
The internet radio feature is excellent too. The world is basically your oyster when it comes to which radio stations broadcasting on the net you want to listen to. If the station you want isn't in the myriad of listening options already configured on the player, you can add it yourself with a couple of clicks of the mouse. Excellent!
The device works well both wired and wirelessly in terms of it's connection to the internet and/or your PC/music server. Wireless performance is good, with no drop outs to report. It can be connected to powered speakers (I can recommend the Aego M 2.1's I use, unreservedly) or a full hi-fi / amp set up. Basically it can be connected to anything with the standard RCA inputs!
I don't have a single gripe or negative about this device apart from maybe it's price which I suspect is off-putting for a lot of people, understandably.
But I assure you, when all is said and done, it's a quality device, with quality support and third party plugins and it definitely produces a quality sound which is well worth every penny.