Stream any number of things wirelessly or wired. (November 16th, 2006)
Product Manufacturer: Slim Devices - A Logitech Company
Price: $249 to $299 US
- Solid build quality. The display is really nice and very readable from a distance. Faultless music quality and streaming.
- Installation is a bit daunting. The manual doesn't explain wireless security connection well. Software not included and must be downloaded.
As I type today, I feel a bit more upbeat, because I am streaming music to a Squeezebox from Slim Devices. Squeezebox streams a music collection from your computer to your stereo system through your network using Ethernet or wirelessly. This review covers the wireless model. The Squeezebox does a lot more than just stream music from your computer; so let us take a closer look.
The nicely designed Squeezebox hardware is a mix of brushed aluminum and high gloss smoked plastic. You can choose a model with a white or black finish on the back. The unit comes supplied with a power adapter, analogue RCA audio cables, a remote control complete with batteries, and a printed user manual.
Set It UpSlim Devices claims that the Squeezebox setup takes a few minutes, and as long as you read the manual, it is straightforward. It took me a bit longer. It is easy to physically connect, you just plug it into the main power supply and connect either the analogue audio cables or the SPDIF optical or digital cables. The latter type of connection has better sound quality. Next, you must download and install SlimServer onto your computer. SlimServer Version 6.5.0 supports Windows NT/2000/XP, Mac OS X 10.3-10.4, and Linux RPM. Although installation is easy, I experienced a spinning beach ball on my screen, where a progress bar should have been. The application installs as a System Preference. The start button launches SlimServer, but the first start-up takes a long time because the software scans your music library. Subsequent start-ups are a lot quicker.
Next, you configure the Squeezebox wireless connection with the remote control and instructions on the device display. This is where my second problem occurred. When I chose the type of security on my network, for example 64-Bit or 128-Bit WEP, I had to type in the long encryption key set on the router. The Squeezebox only supports hexadecimal keys and my router uses ASCII characters. Initially I changed my router settings to hexadecimal, which meant I had to change all my other devices too. A search on the Slim Devices support pages turned up an ASCII to HEX key converter. I changed everything back to how it was and converted my original key. It would have been nice to include this information in the beginning of the manual, rather forcing me to search for it online. After I entered the security settings, everything worked fine.