Logitech Squeezebox Info

Discussion in 'MOG, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio' started by MikeV, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. MikeV

    MikeV Member

    Ok... so Logitech's Squeezebox Boom and Duet have been touted as two great ways to bring Slacker into your home audio environment without being tied to the computer. But I'll be honest... after having bought the Squeezebox Duet and spending all this afternoon playing with it, this is one amazing system!

    It can work two different ways... the first is semi-tethered to your computer, which allows an insane amount of customization, as well as being able to access your [DRM-free] music library. The second is tethered to Logitech's SqueezeNetwork via your internet connection, which doesn't provide as much customization, and also provides no access to your personal music library (except through a couple of online services, but nothing stored on your own computer). But regardless of which you choose, you still have the ability to access Slacker - and a WIDE variety of other internet radio and music services - making it a perfect topic of discussion for this site!

    The list of services supported includes:
    • Sirius Internet Radio
    • Last.fm
    • Slacker
    • Pandora
    • Live365
    • Shoutcast
    • RadioIO
    • and MORE!

    But that's not the only thing that is so amazing about this whole system. Apparently, the whole Squeezebox system - from the desktop software (which is available in Windows, Mac, and *nix flavors) to the device software - is open source, meaning that it's got AMAZING potential for expandability! This is very evident in the Duet's controller, which has an infrared transmitter that isn't currently being used (can we say future Harmony Remote device?!) and an accelerometer that is only being used to sense when you pick the thing up (wouldn't it be cool to be able to just shake it to enable shuffle play?).

    Combined with some of the built-in features that the system has - including the ability to CROSSFADE (which is AWESOME with Slacker, given that their web interface doesn't have this ability, causing sometimes large gaps between songs) - the Squeezebox experience can greatly enhance the internet radio that you already know and love, while also making it available to your home stereo or bedroom with minimal to no computer tethering (if running the desktop software, your computer has to be on and running the software, but the Squeezebox will still directly access the internet radio service, rather than use your computer as a proxy).

    I've only used it with Slacker and my own music library at present (in fact, I've disabled some of the other services' plugins in the desktop software so they don't clutter up my controller's screen, since I don't use or pay for those other services), but it seems like a great system given that I've only played with it in depth for a couple of hours.

    All the details, including links to the Wiki, forums, and other great info, can be found at www.slimdevices.com (apparently Slim Devices was bought by Logitech... the domain still points to a different site than Logitech's, but has all of the info on the various Squeezebox devices).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  2. MikeV

    MikeV Member

    NOW... that's the general info.

    What it can do with Slacker is completely SWEET, for something not developed by Slacker! My experience here is with the Duet (which is essentially a bundle of the receiver and controller; two devices that work together over the network, though the controller can control ANY Squeezebox device).

    Obviously, you can listen to any Slacker station that you can access through your Slacker web player... your favorite stations, stations you've recently played, custom stations, and all of the professionally programmed ones. You browse through them on the controller using the scroll wheel and the select/back buttons.

    Once you are listening to a station, you can add the station to your Slacker Favorites, rate a song as a favorite, save the song to your Slacker library (if available), ban the song or the artist, and more. Use Pandora? Immediately flip to the Pandora artist station for that artist, if one exists. Get more info on the artist or album from Amazon (possible e-commerce extension? Buy album from your recliner without touching your computer!).

    And if you select one of your custom stations, you can even add/remove artists to your station from the controller, rename the station, and review songs and artists that have been banned (you can't remove them from the banned list though)

    And as I mentioned above, the Squeezebox improves on the web player by offering a crossfade option, eliminating long periods of silence between songs!

    I'm extremely happy with how this thing works with Slacker, and look forward to seeing what other great features Logitech and the Squeezebox community bring forward in future updates!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  3. MikeV

    MikeV Member

    EDIT to the first post... I am mistaken regarding the infrared transmitter in the controller... It is used for the older Squeezebox model and the Transporter device. The Squeezebox Boom and Squeezebox Duet Receiver work solely based on the network connections.
     
  4. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    This thing does look pretty sweet, but rather pricey. Since I already have an iPod touch for Pandora and the Slacker G2, I really don't see any need for it. But I guess if you didn't have either of those devices this would be a great solution for home or office use. I really like the crossfade that would be nice, but not worth another investment.
     
  5. MikeV

    MikeV Member

    It's definitely an investment, but something else I've done brings a computer back into the equation (at least until I save up a bit to invest in something else)... As part of the desktop software, there's a Java application that allows your computer to emulate a Squeezebox receiver, so what you can play through your Squeezebox you can also play through your computer.

    And all three of these "Squeezebox receivers" (since two of them are really computers running software) can be controlled from the Squeezebox controller... One controller lets me pick what plays in each room!

    Each device can be playing something different (though only one can be playing Slacker at a time), or I can synchronize all of them to play the same thing! I could have one playing from my music library, one playing a RadioIO station, and one playing Slacker, or have all three playing the same Slacker station, synced perfectly!

    Plus, I'm now able to wake up to Slacker (or any internet radio station)! If you want to do this and can't figure it out, that's because it isn't very evident... You set the alarm to "Current Playlist" and make sure to leave it on a Slacker station (or other internet radio station) when you turn off the Squeezebox at night. Then when the alarm hits, it'll start playing that station again!

    I definitely see a Squeezebox Boom in my future to replace the laptop in my bedroom... but it's gonna be a bit before I go for that... :)
     
  6. I used the device at a friends house. It certainly is a very cool device, but I have no need for one at my residence.
     

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