Logitech's Squeezebox Duet network music player doesn't really have any faults but if you absolutely had to come up with an Achilles' Heel it would be the need for an amplified stereo system for it to play through. Not an issue if you only want music in one room, but more of a problem if you want tunes all around the house. Now …
wot no uPnP?
Personally I'd find the lack of uPnP a pain; I assume this means that this box can only stream music from PCs running the bespoke SW, and not from a NAS box? Not impressive for a 200 quid (ish) box, if this is the case.
kick back, open a beer and listen to your music
mmhh.. beer... and its not even pub^H^H^Hfriday yet
You can install the open source SqueezeCenter software on a NAS box.
Although I agree that having to install special software makes the whole setup a bit less flexible, it means the firmware in the boxes only needs to speak a single protocol, and can therefore be simpler.
I already have a Squeezebox Duet in the living room, and will certainly buy one of these for the kitchen.
NAS boxes supported
The review mentions that there are versions of the Squeezecentre software available to run on various NAS boxes.
And Squeezecentre gives you far more options then you'd find in most uPNP servers such as nice x-fading, Replaygain support and solid sychronisation.
Every day is... er... Friday here at Vulture Central.
As the review explained, you can stream online content direct to the box without involving a computer, but there are also several NAS boxes that can run the necessary software to support Squeezeboxes and some even come with the software pre-installed.
fails on the lack of uPnP
I've recently spent a few evenings ripping my CD collection to lossless and shoving them on a 1TB low power NAS box, with the direct intention of not having to have a dual core power hungry desktop running for streaming purposes.
So this is a complete failure for the likes of me :(
I've been a Logitech (nee SlimDevices) customer for many years, best gadget(s) I've ever owned - can't remember the last time I touched a CD, all my music at the touch of a button and no freakin' iTunes anywhere to be seen.
The Boom! is on my christmas wish list for sure :)
@ wot no uPnP?
The sw is written in Perl and source code is available, so it'll run on anything that will run Perl. I believe it's possible to run it on many NAS boxes, provided you've hacked it sufficiently to allow installing of SW, and it's powerful enough to run perl, decode the music and stream it (IIRC squeezeboxes stream the audio rather than sending the compressed file, meaning the streaming end has to have enough grunt to do the decoding also - the advantage is being able to synchronise playback across multiple devices, which you can't do with uPnP)
No uPnP? Sod that
A somewhat silly omission, considering there are a number of well reviewed, cheaper devices from manufacturers like Pure.
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.
@ Anna Log
As noted in the review, the SqueezeCentre software will certainly run on Netgear/Infrant NAS boxes. It's running on mine and is, I believe, a standard part of recent software releases.
I run my squeezebox from freenas its just perl code with lots of instructions available over the web - they mention this in the review that it works with readynas. Try reading!
Paris because I'm sure she reads and digests everything
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.
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?
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.