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Slim Devices restyles wireless MP3 player

Third-generation Squeezebox

Slim Devices will next week ship the third generation of its wireless digital music system, Squeezebox.

The new version focuses more on looks than functionality. Never one to miss a turn, Slim Devices is offering the redesigned unit in white and black versions, tapping into Apple's latest iPod colour scheme. The unit sports a bright, crisp 320 x 32 vacuum fluorescent display.

Slim Devices' Squeezebox 3

Like the previous release, which was only introduced last March, Squeezebox 3 supports 802.11g wireless networking and incorporates a 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC for superior sound reproduction. However, the new unit's twin antennae are now hidden inside the box.

Slim Devices will also offer a wired-only version - both incarnations incorporate a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. They also feature a headphone socket, RCA analog audio ports, and co-ax and optical digital audio ports.

Squeezebox 3 will ship with support for SqueezeNetwork, which allows it to connect to Internet radio stations and RSS feeds directly. The latest version of the SlimServer software, which runs on a host computer, adds WMA radio support, wake-on-LAN, unicode font support, and an extended directory of Internet radio stations. SlimServer 6.2 runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems.

The player can reproduce MP3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, AIFF and WAV files natively. Through SlimServer it also supports AAC, WMA and Ogg - the software can be set to transcode these formats to MP3, FLAC or WAV before beaming them to the player. Alas there's no support for DRM-protected AAC and WMA files. Other formats are supported through third-party decoders.

The wireless Squeezebox 3 costs $299, while the wired-only version is $249. Slim Devices is selling the Squeezebox 2 for $249 (wireless) and $179 (wired-only), while stocks last. The new machine ships 1 November. ®

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