Finally Being Able To Listen!
To get things started, I plugged in a pair of Klipsh powered speakers that I use with my computer. The sound was as good as it gets. I then hooked up the Squeezebox to the auxiliary input of my JVC receiver, which drives a series of Paradigm speakers. The sound was fantastic and room filling. The Squeezebox did an excellent job of shuttling the audio from the network to the receiver, playing the music with no delay or distortion. Using the IR remote to communicate with the Squeezebox, informal testing showed that even 30 feet the remote still commanded with ease.
Playing ripped tracks over your stereo may seem like a one-trick pony, but the Squeezebox is anything but. Using the SlimServer browser I was able to select streaming music from across the Internet. I picked something from World Music. The SlimServer showed that I was playing Celtic music live from Ireland, while the Squeezebox showed not the name of the song, but the name of the show. In this case, the LiveIreland show is a ShoutCast station that is streamed free over the Internet and at 128 kbps it sounded fantastic.
So What Is New With Version 3?
If you already have a Squeezebox, you may be wondering what's different between the first-generation Squeezebox, Squeezebox2 and now the third-generation Squeezebox? The first thing you notice is that the third-generation Squeezebox has a completely redesigned form factor, though it is functionally identical to Squeezebox2. Features that distinguish the latest generation from the first-generation Squeezebox include:
Some of these updates are enough that with a discerning pair of ears (and speakers) the Squeezebox v3 really outshines its earlier incarnations.
The SlimServer software, on the other hand, still needs work. Version 6.2 looks (and acts) a lot like its earlier incarnations. While sections have been added for Internet radio, the standard audiophile will still not find it intuitive to get their music collection to actually show up for playing by the Squeezebox. Many may be left puzzling over the disconnect between having your audio files showing up on the SlimServer page and getting those same files to migrate over to a playlist that the Squeezebox can play.
The remote itself has not changed noticeably since the original. If anything, the original remote is better at resisting fingerprints, and the light blue "play" buttons of the earlier version made it easier to find this critical function.