As SqueezeCentre will run on the majority of Linux distros, the Logitech and Roku devices are self-recommending to the open source community.
How the server software sorts your files in only part of the story - the ability to navigate through your tracks is at least as important. Here the remote controls that show colour album artwork - the Sonos and Logitech devices - have a clear advantage. Both allow you to navigate through even the largest media libraries with ease and speed from anywhere in the house. The Sonos' iPod-style scrollwheel is particularly handy here.
The Roku's display: bright
Neck and neck between the Sonos and Logitech players here with both supporting MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, Apple Lossless and WAV. The Sonos also supports AIFF and Audible, while the Logitech has WMA Lossless. The Roku and Philips players restrict themselves to the basics: WMA, non-DRM AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, MP3 and AIFF for the Roku, and MP3, WMA, non-DRM AAC and PCM on the Philips.
The Streamium screen: big but blocky
Now let's be honest, crushing audio bores and Pipistrelle bats aside, sound quality is not a reason to buy any one of these devices in preference to the others. Fill your hard drive with 64Kb/s files, play them back through a 2.1 active speaker system you picked up in Asda for 20 quid and the results are going to sound horrible. Play decent bit rate files using a quality home cinema system or Hi-Fi and the DACs in all four devices will do just fine. Even the Roku, which makes do with pumping its audio out via a 3.5mm audio jack, proved more than competent.
I am happy with my NP1100
As indicated in your review, set-up is simple for Roku and Philips. I have choosen the Philips because it was cheapest and didn't want to spend too much to test a new technology.
Result is I am very happy with my NP1100 which is quite nice and so easy to use. I am also amazed by the number of station available.
When I have plug-it in the first time, SW has been automatically updated and now BBC is working very well.
I really love this device which allow me to listen internet radio without PC and also all my MP3 on my Hi-Fi system.
Tks for your usefull comparizon.
Problems with Squeezecenter & Ubuntu
If your music sits on a Linux server, check that the Squeezecenter server software works on your machine before parting with your hard-earned cash on the Logitech offering.
There are known problems trying to get Squeezecenter 7.2 running on Ubuntu 8.04 and derivatives. The advice from Slimdevice's support team is limited to telling you to go and read the forums - thanks guys.
I for one have given up with this and am going to investigate the Sonos product.
Aren't these technically a violation of copyright?
After all it is making available to others. If they have a receiver and live close enough they could pick up your transmissions and GOD FORBID copy it onto a cassette tape, then encode it to FLAC (sarcasm).
Honestly though, surely there is a legal question about these devices. They duplicate the copyrighted works don't they. And transmit them to all and sundry.
Bloody Freetards, paying lots of money to make available copyrighted works. I think that you all should pay the artists, no the music labels on a per listen basis.
Roku in Pinnacle disguise too
You can get a down market version of the Roku SoundBridge in Pinnacle clothing. DLNA compliant, I use a Buffalo NAS with a UPnP server built in. I generally use the web interface for all set-up as it's much easier than the remote, much better way to set up the radio streams. The Pinnacle version has an SD card slot for a local music library too.
I would avoid the Logitech
It's not DLNA compliant, and uses it's own propitery streaming system (something which if it were Sony doing this, would be dragged over coals for).
I like the idea of having the media info on the remote, but for the moment, my trusty Noxon2's work just fine.