For digital-music loving dads, consider picking up a Squeezebox Duet by Logitech this Father’s Day. The Squeezebox Duet turns your home-entertainment or stereo system into a digital music player that can access your MP3 collection, internet radio stations and subscription music services like Pandora, Slacker and Rhapsody – even while your computer is off! My husband loves listening variety, but he often found himself switching between listening to our iPod plugged into the stereo, Pandora on the computer or a local sports radio station on the radio. No more! With a quick flick of the Squeezebox remote, you can switch between a local talk radio station, a downloaded podcast and your favorite Pandora station with ease. And without getting out of your chair.
What You Get: The Squeezebox Duet consists of a Squeezebox Receiver, remote with charging station and necessary batteries and cables.
How It Works: The Squeezebox Duet uses WiFi technology to allow you to play your computer-based music collection as well as Internet-based radio and music services on your home stereo system – without wires, without your computer being on and without physically transitioning between various stereo equipment. (Still confused about what exactly the Squeezebox Duet is? Check out this YouTube feature which shows the Duet in action.)
System Requirements: Here’s what you need to make sure your computer has.
• 256 MB RAM and 80 MB hard disk space
• Ethernet or wireless network
• Windows: 733 MHz Pentium running Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista
• Mac: OS X 10.3.5 or later
• Linux / BSD / Solaris / Other: Perl 5.8.3 or later
• Broadband Internet connection
How To Set It Up: There are four parts to the set-up. I’m going to try to keep it as un-techy as I can – just be sure to keep track of all the different “squeezes”.
Receiver: Plug the Squeezebox Duet receiver into an outlet and connect it to almost any stereo or powered speaker system with the included RCA cables. Insert the battery into the remote and plug it into the charging station.
Internet: Set up a SqueezeNetwork account online. SqueezeNetwork is Logitech’s free, Internet-based service that allows you to connect to a variety of Internet radio stations and music services like Pandora and Last.fm. You can also store your own MP3 music collection in a “digital locker” here so that you can access your song collection even when your computer is off.
Your Computer: Download and install the SqueezeCenter onto your computer. This is the application that allows you to wirelessly connect your computer to the Squeezebox receiver and give it access to your music desktop music collection.
Remote: Remove the remote from the charging station and follow the directions on the remote LCD to connect it to your computer network as well as to your receiver.
Things I Like:
• Listening variety! I love the hundreds of artists, albums, stations and music services that are available at your fingertips.
• You can quickly and easily build and add to playlists from the remote.
• I don’t have experience with the other music services, but with Pandora the Squeezebox Duet remote allows all the same functions that the Pandora website offers – approve/disapprove songs, create new playlists, find our more information about a song or even purchase it.
• Since the remote works through WiFi, you don’t have be in sight of the receiver to adjust volume or change song or music source. You can even add additional Squeezebox receivers and control the music in multiple rooms with the same remote.
While set-up was not seamless, it was well worth the effort. I love that we can seamlessly transition between various music sources on my computer, my husband’s computer and the Internet. The remote is sleek and attractive enough to sit on the counter and I’m impressed with the features, options and settings the it offers. Visit www.slimdevice.com to learn more about the Squeezebox Duet or take advantge of the current free shipping offer and order one for your main squeeze in time for Father’s Day. And for those who love the concept, but don’t have an existing stereo or speaker system to connect the Squeezebox Duet to, consider Logitech’s Squeezebox Boom, an all-in-one unit that provides many of the same features of the Duet as well as built-in speakers.