Set up is exactly as per the Duet. So you download the SqueezeCentre application to your computer, fire it up, let it scan your music files, switch the Boom on, type in any relevant wireless security codes, kick back, open a beer and listen to your music. Simple as that.
The display runs from retina-removing bright to barely visible dim
As SqueezeCentre is available for Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS X and Linux – including tweaked versions for Debian, Ubuntu and Netgear's ReadyNAS devices – everyone should be happy. You can also download the Perl source code if you like tinkering under the virtual bonnet.
SqueezeCentre will support MP3, AAC, WMA, Ogg, Flac, Apple lossless, WMA lossless, WAV and AIFF music files but only those without DRM. Rights-managed files don't just not play, they don't even show up in the SqueezeCentre library.
The Boom can also access online content directly over Logitech's SqueezeNetwork so as well as individual MP3-, Ogg- or WMA-formatted Internet radio streams you can also hook up to Last.fm, MP3tunes, RadioTime, Radio IO, Live365 and Shoutcast, all pulled over the net directly so you can keep your computer switched off.
The six radio pre-sets below the screen are a nice touch, allowing you to change channel without having to access the main menu.
Dock the remote next to the Snooze button
The Boom's small size gave made us slightly concerned about the sound quality we might get out of it, but we needn't have worried. The 19mm high-definition, soft-dome tweeters and 76mm woofers chuck out a hugely impressive and composed sound. Bass was solid, stereo separation good – presumably helped by some technical trickery Logitech calls "Stereo XL" – while higher frequencies where clear, bright and wholly distortion free. The Boom can also be cranked up to a pretty ear-splitting volume for those loud party nights.
Repeated plays through Chris Knight's outstanding new album, Heart of Stone, at near full volume after a trip to the pub left us in no doubt that we could easily live with the Boom as our only home music player.
uPnP is supported by squeezecenter
The boombox uses squeezecenter which in turn lets the player use uPnP visible by it.
So, there IS uPnP :-)
Too bad it has no FM... not always there is a nice WiFi connection outside a home.
NAS - Synology DS207
This box is tempting. Was very dissapointed to see no UPnP support but then spotted that Synology have released an update so I can use it with my DS207:
However, DS207 might not have enough memory to run it... Ho hum.
Doesn't everyone have a NAS box now? Surely you don't all leave your PC's on 24/4?
Got one, and it's brilliant
I bought one of these a few weeks ago. I've had Squeezeboxes before, and I'm glad to see that nothing has faded in product quality since they were bought up by Logitech. The build quality, finish and software quality is just as superb as it ever was.
I use a Mac mini in my office at work running iTunes to keep all my music on, and I run the Slimserver on there, streaming all my music down my broadband link as I don't have a permanently-on copy of my music at home (I don't need one). All the radio stations worth listening to these days stream their feed over the net anyway, so the lack of FM or DAB tuners is not a problem at all. My main living room hifi has a Squeezebox attached to it as well, I haven't used any of those nasty silver discs in years.
And the "radio preset" buttons they mention in the review don't have to be radio stations, I have some of mine as podcasts from the BBC and iTunes smart playlists as well.
I would thoroughly recommend this little beastie to anyone, they are fantastic and well worth the money.
There is so much more to it than just "playing your music collection". Mine puts me to sleep with random songs from my "Late Night" playlist at low volume, and wakes me up gently in the morning by slowly fading in BBC Radio 4 nice and loud (except on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays when I don't have to go into the office). And when it's not telling me anything else, it scrolls the day's news headlines across the screen so I know what's happening in the world.
re: wot no uPnP?
Regarding the NAS box, most of them run Linux anyway, so you could install slimserver on there and away you go. In fact, a NAS box is probably the ideal place for slimserver if you don't already have a Pea Sea on 24 hours a day. To be honest, given that the slimserver software will run almost everywhere [UNIX clones and Windows], uPnP is moot.
Ok, so it's not a radio. But anyway. What, no form of regular radio? No DAB, no FM, no nothing? For £200? And with a glossy exterior so that it will look as pitiful as possible within days of use in the kitchen? Naa. Naaaaa. I dislike IP-only radio devices the same way I am not interested in IPTV. You need to keep the old-world solution around or you will be without a fallback whenever the line kicks out, meaning you lose two in one stroke. Any smallish radio (maybe running on batteries. Safe from line AND power outages... the mere idea...) with a line-in will be more useful. I'd hook it up to just another multi-purpose AirPort Express controlled from the mobile and that's it. Sure, there'd have to be a computer running. As if it wasn't anyway.