Squeezebox Wireless Media Player

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User Experience

 

Navigating through the music collection is simple and intuitive, thanks to the small bundled remote. However, the creation of playlists is clearly easiest through interfacing directly through the main PC, although it is still entirely possible using the remote. While on the subject of the remote, one of the most interesting characteristics of the Squeezebox is its ability to be controlled by a wide variety of devices. The Squeezebox can be controlled by everything ranging from a Sony PSP, a web browser on a PC, Pocket PC's, universal remotes, and even cell phones. This is largely possible thanks to the open-source nature of the software behind the Squeezebox and the efforts of third-party vendors that create appropriate plug-ins. In reality, it is entirely possible that the Squeezebox will increase in functionality and ease of use as time goes on as new software is released that will continually improve the overall user experience.

Getting back on topic however, the overall user interface of the Squeezebox is very clean and simple to navigate through. Without question, the team at Slim Devices have done an admirable job of making the device as consumer friendly as possible. From the initial setup time to the responsiveness from an "off" state, all aspects of the Squeezebox are extremely quick and timely.

A very unique and convenient feature of the Squeezebox is its ability to act as a Wireless Bridge. In short, a desktop PC or notebook can plug directly into the RJ45 jack on the back of the device and use its wireless capabilities to access the network and gain internet access. Just add a squeezebox to a room with a PC you want on your network and in addition to the functionality of the device, you can save yourself the grief of running CAT5 cable across your house. In practice, it is entirely possible to have a Squeezebox in every room of your house if so desired so the overall network of music is very scalable for each application. For grins, we tried to connect a notebook through the device and see what sort of connection we would have. Surprisingly enough, the network speed was just as fast as when using the integrated wireless card to get the notebook online.

   

Equipped with a beautiful VFD display, it is no surprise to find that the Squeezebox has some impressive graphics. Thankfully, the high quality display provides crisp text that is very easy to read even from a distance. Should your eyesight be less than stellar, the Squeezebox can vary the size of the characters on the display to allow even those that are somewhat visually challenged the opportunity to enjoy endless wireless music. For those whose eyes aren't content with streaming metadata like song, album, and title there are some unique screensavers that are sure to impress. From an RSS news feed to stock tickers and a cool analog meter, there are plenty of eye candy options for using the display to the best of its abilities.


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