55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
The best device for streaming audio,
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This review is from: Squeezebox Wireless Network Music Player - All Black (Electronics)
I ordered the squeezebox with some trepidation. I have previously owned the Philips Streamium (clunky software, and not fully Vista-compatible) and the Logitech Wireless DJ (looks great but really isn't a finished product) and neither really lived up to expectations. Squeezebox, however, is different.
As other reviewers have noted, the Squeezebox (it's now a logitech product and will come with a Logitech logo on it - rather than the SlimDevices logo shown in the pictures on this page) has the 'finished product' feel that the others lack.
Setup was really straightforward. First you download SlimServer from the web (which is fully Vista compatible) and it searches your hard drive for any music files. It indexes them in the same way as I-tunes automatically. The interface is web-driven and worked fine for me in IE7, Firefox 2 and Opera 9. Next you connect Squeezebox to your router (use an ethernet cable) and key in your wireless network settings. Squeezebox accepts WEP, WPA and WPA-2, which is much better than the Roku Soundbridge (for example). You use your remote control to enter the WPA key and you're away.
In use, Squeezebox is fast and straightforward. There are basically two separate programs in the firmware. One is the SlimServer, which you can use to play your music collection (it supports nearly all file formats), or to browse internet radio. You'll benefit from a Live365 passowrd (which you get from [...] and is free), which you key in to the web at [...] The web links to your own Squeezebox through a PIN. Live365 gives you access to 1000's of web radio programs (though to avoid adverts, you would need to buy a live365 subscription at around $50US). The second is the SqueezeNetwork, which lets you access the internet radio (Live 365, Pandora etc) and RSS newsfeeds with your PC switched off. Pandora is only available in the US, though....
Sound quality is excellent, and the display size can be varied to suit the short-sighted, or with some basic (but fun) visualisations. I've had no buffering problems or drop-outs at all on a standard home broadband connection.
Connections to your amp can be by RCA phono plug (the usual red-and-white cable) or by optical or coaxial audio cable.
All-in-all I'm very - VERY - pleased. If you're in the market for a streaming, audio-only device to connect to your HiFi, this is the one!