Logitech Squeezebox Duet multi-room music streamer
Slim Devices' winner revamp
The main, iPod-like revolving control wheel is nicely calibrated and allows you to zip up and down your artist or album lists with both ease and speed. A tap of the centre button takes you into the next menu or view. Surrounding the scroll wheel are four quadrant keys that allow you to add tracks to your playlists, move back to the previous screen, return to the main menu/switch on and off, and play the selected or next track. Below the scroll wheel sit the controls to raise and lower the volume, pause, fast forward and rewind.
It's all very straightforward and just plain works.
The controller sports a clear, well-designed display
The controller has of a number of nice peripheral touches too. It allows you to scroll over the hump from XYZ straight to ABC rather than having to run all the way back up the alphabet. And it has a motion sensor, so pick it up once the screen saver has engaged and it immediately comes back to life and brings up the main menu.
Don't like the screen saver? You can set the controller to pull in random images from Flickr if that is what lights your candle. Want to keep with with news? Check the built in RSS feed. Want annoy the hell out of the neighbours? Go to the Sounds and Effects menu, select Fog Horn, Ambulance or Rain & Thunder and turn the volume up LOUD.
Before we get too carried away, let's have a look at set up. Too many media streamers have one major drawback, namely the tendency of reduce buyers to gibbering wrecks who, after trying to decipher the farcical user manual, are forced to resort to yelling: 'Why won't you work, you unspeakable git?' at their newest purchase.
Step one is to throw away the enclosed User Guide, which leaves something to be desired and is likely to confuse the technically less adept. Step two is download the far more comprehensive manual from Slim Devices' web site. With this to hand, set up is a breeze. Essentially, you download and install the SqueezeCentre server software, follow some falling-off-a-log simple instructions to import your music library, hookup the receiver, charge up the controller, switch it on, enter any relevant network security codes, and you're done.
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