Living With…..

My co-blogger and I like to consider ourselves as being fairly knowledgeable and on the leading edge of technology.  We both own our fair share of tech toys (although I think I have a ton more than he does).  The one thing that we both noticed is that when a new item comes out there are usually a handful of reviews on the item at launch.  We figure that the reviewer usually spends only a few days, maybe a week with an item as they write their review.  We decided to try a new thing called “Living with..”.  These reviews will be based on our actual experiences with items that we, just like you would, spent our own hard earned cash on and use in our actual lives.  That one time introduction being said, here is our first review:

Logitech Squeezebox™ Radio

What the heck is it?: The Logitech Squeezebox Radio is a compact digital music player radio with a built-in speaker.  It allows you to stream internet radio, your personal digital music library and online music services.

Why did we purchase it?:  I had made the purchase after one of our local radio stations stopped broadcasting “old time radio classics.”  I had gotten addicted to listening to the old stories of Dragnet, Fibber McGee and Molly and Suspense.

Fancy Technical Stuff:  There really isn’t anything too technical about this device.  It’s basically a radio that uses the internet to get broadcast instead of an antenna.  If you know how to hook up a wireless device to your network at home, that’s probably the extent of your technical need for the basic usage. You can connect it to your network via an Ethernet cable as well, but if you’re like most people you won’t have a port near where you would like to listen to it.  If you want to use the device to play your musical digital library, you will need to install some software on your PC or home server.

Cool Stuff:   

  • You can stream almost any radio station you can name.
  • The amount of free musical services available is also pretty decent.  They have Absolute Radio UK, Pandora, BBC Radio and Mediafly just to name a few.
  • I’m no audiophile, but the sound that comes out of the one speaker is pretty decent.  It’s not like a high end system, but it sure beats anything from the iHome audio series.
  • You can also purchase a battery pack to take it anywhere you need, but I just use the AC plug.
  • There is also a smartphone app that allows you to remotely control your device.  There isn’t a ton of options on the app, but it does come in handy.
  • You can program up to six presets that will allow you to instantly go to that streaming audio source from a cold start.
  • If you own more than one device you can sync them so they play the same.
  • You are able to use this an internet radio device to connect to your stereo.  It can act as a tuner and not use it’s speaker if needed.
  • Seems to have an active support community on the web.

 

Boo Hiss Stuff:

  • Can be a tad bit quiet if you have a big room
  • Some of the earlier versions of the software were a tad bit buggy.
  • Every once in a while the squeezebox main server will go down for maintenance and you lose all radio abilities.  I’ve learned to follow them on twitter and learn of any planned downtime.
  • Not a problem with the device, but some internet radio stations just seem to disappear  into the great unknown.

Well, was it worth it?  I truly believe it is worth the price.  I use this device on a daily basis either by listening to old time radio classics or listening to my Pandora stations.   Heck, even my kids get into the act by going in my room and firing it up when they are upstairs.  It’s one of those rare devices that actually delivered on what I wanted and thought I was getting.  It definitely made me a happy llama.

 

Living with … lessons: 

Update the software to the latest version immediately.

For those who love old time radio, here are some streams I connect with:

Antioch AM 1710 http://radio.macinmind.com/

Old Time Radio Fan http://www.otrfan.com:8000/stream.m3u

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