I finally got around to installing a SlimDevices SqueezeBox at home. It was a gift from my wife some months back, but the idea of wrestling with our in-wall cabinetry to hookup the audio cables and get my MP3 collection onto the living room stereo put me off for a long time. But I was in a cleaning mood this weekend and wanted to get rid of a bunch of boxes, books, and other clutter, so I figured this was as good a time as any. The installation was fairly simple, as long as you know how to convert a WEP key into hex.
All tolled it took about 15 minutes, including messing with the cabinets while balancing a receiver from it's cables. I didn't even have to reboot anything. Now I've got living room stereo access to all my MP3 songs from my desktop as well as Internet Radio, Pandora and the Squeezenetwork. It also supports most other unprotected audio formats including WMA, FLAC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis and WAV files, though I'm not sure why anyone would use WAV files anymore. For those curious, my music choices are rather out of date. I'm currently listening to a lot of Los Lobos, Hugh Cornwell (ex-Stranglers front man), Pink Floyd and legendary sixties garage rockers The Remains.
While Squeezebox is not the only way to get your MP3's onto a home stereo (I could have just plugged in my iPod), it works well, it's got a good display and the sound is excellent.
One interesting element of the SqueezeBox is that the SlimServer software is all open source. As the configuration info shows, SlimServer is running MySQL 5.0.22 and Perl 5.8.8.
If you're so inclined you can download the software for Windows, Mac, Linux, and check it out before buying a SqueezeBox. The software has been localized into multiple languages and there's a healthy community that's sprung up providing various plug-ins, skins, mods and development tools.
- SlimDevices: Main, SqueezeBox, SlimServer, Download, Forums
- Reviews: CNet, Rhino, Gadgeteer, NY Times /IHT
- Amazon: Los Lobos, Hugh Cornwell, Pink Floyd, The Remains