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Thread: HEXUS.reviews :: Slim Devices Squeezebox 3 Wi-Fi Network Music Player

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    HEXUS.reviews :: Slim Devices Squeezebox 3 Wi-Fi Network Music Player

    We feel there's a huge market waiting for an easy-to-use method of streaming digital music around the home. Slim Devices certainly thinks so, and its Squeezebox aims to do exactly that, with the minimum of fuss. With that in mind, let's take it for a review spin. Read on to find out whether it's as good as it sounds (pun intended).
    http://lifestyle.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=6381
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    Wink Squeezebox 2 & 3

    I have now bought my 2nd Squeezebox, frankly I can see no benefit in buying CD players anymore, this is considerably more convenient. and the quality matches £200+ CD players. Especially since a dedicated server (like a QNAP) is considerably more transportable than several hundred CDs.

    The review diesn't mention that it also supports FLAC. which is the same quality as the original CD but somewhat more compact.

    Slim devices are also now launching a genuine hi fi spinoff at around 1000USD.

    If someone will lend me one I'd be delighted to review it

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    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    I have had my SB3 for nearly a year now and can say that it is without doubt one of the best things i have ever bought in my life, and the best gadget by far. While i am no coder these days, i do take part in the beta testing a reporting of bugs/feedback on the beta versions of Slimserver. Making the server software open source was a stroke of genius and Slim Devices really listen to thier customers - we asked for native Ogg Vorbis decoding to be added to the SB3's firmware and they did. They are like the complete opposite of Apple, constantly listening to thier customers and improving fuctionality as we want it.

    Nice review Steve, i have been waiting for my favourite tech site to finally get around to reviewing the SB3 (it's been out quite a while now).

    I would like to point out a couple of things though;

    The one downside of having music streamed from a PC is the need to have the computer on whilst listening to music; there's no way around this. It would be handy to set the Squeezebox up to a 24/7 server in your home and run it from there.
    You made a bit of a mistake there sorry - You can link it up to a NAS box. There are plenty NAS boxes that will run slimserver, in fact Slim devices even do a bundle deal.

    Or you can access Slimsever on any PC that is accessable across your network - even a PC at your mates house is technically possible. Many people build cheap, low power and quiet Linux boxes as a dedicated server which you can hide away (not that Slimserver is a system hog, it's less of a system hog than MS media player). If you have a Laptop with WiFi, you can connect that directly to the SB3 too in AhHoc mode. But i don't see how having to have the PC on is an issue, thats the whole point of the SB3, to pipe your PC's digital music collection anywhere in your home. It's like saying, i bought this joystick but i have to have my PC on to use it.

    And when Rapsody finaly arrives in the UK, we won't even need to have any music file's of our own stored at all - it's a subscription based service that will allow you to access a huge 'listen on demand' catalogue of music over the internet. US based SB3 owners have this now, it's built into Slimserver already. IMO, that is the future for in home listening.

    One of the other things not mentioned was the ability to have mulitple SB3's in different room's and sync them etc, which is a big feature for many people.

    it was easy to discern between the audio produced by WAV files and their compressed internet-based counterparts, inferring the quality of the rendering device.
    The SB3/Slimserver supports FLAC - a lossless audio compression format which will reduce the file size by 50% or more with no loss in sound quality at all. This will reduce network load (WAV wont work over a 'b' speed network, FLAC will perfectly) and save storage space. Plus remember that you can't tag WAV files. Without tagging it would be virtually imposible to organise and navigate your music collection.

    As for the remote; SD have used a cheaper, but very functional and easy to use, remote because it keeps the cost right down. Most people will not even bat an eyelid at the remote (although i must admit it i agree it does look rather out of place next the the amazing build quality of the main unit), but those who would prefer a better IR remote will spend the money saved on chosing the one that will suit their needs better (like the Logitech Harmony 880 for example).
    However, as Slimserver interface is webbased, any device with a web browser (and access to your network) can be used to fully control the SB3 playback, and modify settings, create playlists, browse artwork, even the volume/power, ect. I use my T-Moble MDA Vario PDA phone and my PSP to control my SB3 (i prefer the PSP but the PDA does have touchscreen). The Nokia 770 however seems to be the choice most people make.

    Here is an example of the Nokia 770 skin;



    Here is a PSP skin that is in development;




    There is even talk of a skin being developed for the DS Lite when the Opera web brower cart is released, which will make use of the dual touch screen.

    I don't think Slimdevices make a mistake at all with thier choice of remote, i think it was quite canny decision in fact.

    As for DRM, well thats in the pipeline we've been told. Although i doubt that it will include Apples DRM.

    I highly recommend the SB3 too, Hexus are spot on there. Nothing in it's class comes close. A Sono's costs thusands and i would still take the SB3 given the chioce.
    Last edited by autopilot; 22-08-2006 at 10:05 AM.

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