|Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System
|List Price: $399.99
Our Price: $359.99
You Save: $40.00 (10%)
streams music from your computer for playback on your home audio system * connects to your wired or wireless home network * wireless controller with scroll wheel and 2-3/8" color LCD screen * works with iTunes?, MusicMagic, Live365?, RadioIO, Shoutcast and Windows Media? * not compatible with protected DRM music files purchased from online stores such as iTunes or Zune * supports playback of lossless music files (Apple, FLAC, WMA), uncompressed files (AIFF, WAV, PCM), and compressed files (MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, MP2, MusePack, WMA) * compatible with Internet radio stations *
- Intuitive hand-held controller with color screen for easy access to all your digital music
- High-fidelity 24-bit DAC for crystal-clear audio
- Support for all major digital music formats for playing all your favorite songs
- No need to run wires - wireless technology for clean, clutter-free installation
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with sleek recharging stand
- excellent progress with the Duet
I've had the Squeezebox players since the product line began. I have had two 1st generation Squeezeboxes, and two 3rd generation. Currently I have 4 Squeezeboxes counting the Squeezebox Duet. This iteration of the Squeezebox sounds fantastic and is the perfect way to get my Lossless Non-DRM FLAC and WAV files played through my stereo system. I connected the Squeezebox duet to my Bel Canto DAC3 and in about 10 minutes (after the firmware updates) I was on my way to an experience which to my system is the flawless execution of having all of my music I ripped from my over 2,000 cd collection in every room of my house.
The sound is better than the 3rd generation squeezebox (possibly due to the upgraded power supply and lack of screen noise). You can connect the controller directly to the Duet base station or through your whole house wi-fi to control all of your players (even the older players which are connected to Squeezecenter). This makes having house parties a breeze with different music in the bar in the basement, the living room, pool area and bedrooms. Excellent. Also this device works flawlessly with Amazon.com's mp3 store files as well as files downloaded in many other formats which aren't locked down by useless DRM. The future is here (although this is nothing new to me because I've been using the earlier Squeezebox products over 5 years now). I use the Linux version of the Squeezecenter software, I've had the server system going for over 2 years now with no problems, just lock that server in your closet away from sight and you have all your music at your fingertips through these things.
Highly recommended....more info
- 7 Months In
This product is absolutely amazing. I have been searching for something like this for YEARS, and then BOOM! Here's the DUET, a sleek, wireless, home entertainment system.
First, I should address network issues. They happen. There are complaints of network issues. I personally am in the beta program and run the latest software available, and I would like to mention that typical network issues are usually issues with your router. I personally replaced my old linksys and watched ALL my wireless problems dissapear. While the network setup isn't always painless- it's a good start for a product in this price range. You certainly don't need to be a computer geek to get this going. The setup is simple, and troubleshooting is generally simple as well. If you're having network problems or frequent drop-outs, I find that unplugging your router and plugging it back in will fix the issue. Make sure to change your wireless channel so you're not conflicting with the neighbors or your telephone. Watch your microwave as well. (My Microwave kills my wireless network).
The community. The software is open- and there's a community at slim device's website (now rebranded to logitech) that will discuss problems, troubleshooting, and best yet- feature ideas.
The programmers that work full time on the software for all the squeezeboxes frequent the forum, and discussing ideas directly with the developers is common, and easy. I personally have seen an idea that I suggested become implimented in the latest beta (soon to be released, next month I believe)- Party Mode (Playlist setting). Although, thanks to the community, after I posted my initial ideas, everybody joined on and a full discussion was launched. After that, it was a matter of time before the developers added the feaure and there you go! Amazing!
It's great to join and interact with the community, but it's not a must. This player stands on it's own. If you're looking for any easy-to-do plug in and turn on solution, this will definitely get you going. But, if you love to tinker, set things up just right for yourself, this is also a perfect addition to your collection. The software is very customizable, and if you don't like it, you can make changes yourself! Write your own plugins, download the source and change it! With a very open standard that they've created, you can easily write software to interact with your squeezeboxes.
New features are added ALL THE TIME! They've added sirius stations, for anybody who's a subscriber, which is awesome. They've got Rhapsody, which is awesome. They've added synced crossfading. You can sync different players, or keep them seperate. It's a full home audio solution, and when your friends see it, they're gonna want one.
I very highly recommend this product. It's a fraction of the cost of the SONOS, and it's open. Even if the sonos was the same price, I'd go the open route ANY day....more info
- Excellent product, but some tech knowledge required
So as not to bury the lede, I'll state up front: I really like this product. It works well for me, and meets exactly the need for which I purchased it, which was: to make my entire CD collection easily and conveniently available throughout my house, in a way that was simple enough for family and friends to use without lengthy tutoring. I wanted a way to get my music from a central source to different parts of the house, wirelessly, without having to go back to a central location every time I wanted to change the music. And the Duet delivers, beautifully.
Now for the "however": this is still new technology, and for people lacking experience, knowledge and vocabulary of the technology involved, it could possibly be troublesome to set up, get working, and keep working. Many advocates of the SqueezeBox line of products (or other networked streaming music systems) seem to forget that not everybody is as savvy as they are regarding ripping; configuring router ports and DNS options; IP and MAC addresses; audio compression formats (lossy or lossless) and codecs; ID3v1, ID3v2, APEv2, and VORBIS tags; or the vast array of computer programs and tools available for handling these things.
If the list of geek-jargon terms in the preceding paragraph are unfamiliar or intimidating to you, you should still be able to use this system once it's set up, but to get it all set up and working, you will probably have to spend some time on the Internet researching and learning about those things. If the prospect of that scares you off, perhaps you can get a tech-ish friend to help you get going. But to think that a technical novice can get full use out of this system without having to learn some of the computer-networking-techie arcana is probably overly optimistic. I found it relatively painless to set the system up and get it working, but I'm a computer geek by profession; I wouldn't suggest that my parents tackle the project without assistance.
Fortunately, there is a lot of excellent information available to help the novice along, much of it in the SlimDevices Wiki at http://wiki.slimdevices.com. There is also a good support forum available at http://forums.slimdevices.com. If you are reading this review trying to evaluate the product and decide whether to purchase one, you would do well to explore the Wiki first (the Beginners Guide is excellent), and then perhaps skim through the support forum. (Remember, though, that the support forum, by its nature, gets a lot of questions and complaints from people having problems. Take that with a grain of salt, because most of the people who don't have problems don't spend time posting messages saying "I'm not having any problems.")
As for the product itself: it works very well, the sound quality is excellent, and the controller is terrific. It offers just the sort of interface I was looking for: portable, convenient, easy to use; it allows me to browse through my music collection quickly and select music in a variety of ways, including by artist, by album name, and by genre. I can also search for songs or albums by title, though it is true that entering the letters of a title via the controller can be tedious. However, I personally don't take that approach very often; I generally know what album I want to put on, and get at it by scrolling quickly through the albums or artists in my collection. The browsing/scrolling wheel works very well; I can go through over 500 albums from A to Z in seconds. The design of the interface might not be completely perfect (what in life is?) but it's very, very good, and very flexible to use.
Another feature I really like is Playlists, which should be familiar to any user of media players. Essentially, this is just a collection of songs, as many or as few as you like, which you put together and give a name, for future access. Playing a predefined playlist is very simple, quick and easy. Putting together an extensive playlist using the controller, however, can be quite tedious and time-consuming. But the good news is, you can (if you have some slight technical know-how which isn't difficult to learn) put together a playlist using any one of dozens of media-player applications on your computer, and then make it a part of the playlist collection available to your Duet.
One aspect of the Duet I hadn't given any consideration before buying is the use of Internet radio. However, after getting my own collection of music up and running, I started playing with this feature, and found several stations and services that suit me, and Internet radio (particularly the free Pandora service) is now a common source of music in my house. There are also many other options and features (too numerous to go into here), either built-in or available as "Add-Ons" from the SlimDevices website.
In summary, I'm extremely happy with my Duets, and use them to bring music (not only my own personal CD collection, but also Internet radio) to different parts of my house, with a controller that makes it easy and convenient to select what I want to listen to, and where. But people who are unfamiliar with the world of CD ripping, audio codecs, network administration and other computer-technical jabber should approach it with open eyes and a willingness to do some reading and learning, rather than just assuming it's as easy to install as an old-fashioned record player....more info
- Logitech Squeezebox Duet
I am generally happy with the Duet when it works correctly. I have had two issues with it: 1.) It has gotten into a locked up mode where it was stuck "connecting to squeezebox"; I fixed it by unplugging / rebooting everything and 2.) the XM add-in does not work. Overall, the sound is great, especially with FLACs, and unlike some reviews I read, I have not had any trouble with delays on playback....more info
- Music in the kitchen
Great product along and straightforward service. The box showed up within 5 biz days seemingly brand new yet almost $100.00 cheaper....more info
- Wow! Just Wow!
I was so impressed with Logitech's Squeezebox Boom that I decided to give the Duet a try. Now I'm kicking myself for not trying this brilliant peice of equipment sooner!!!!! I realized I'd probably never be able to afford the Sonos music system, but I really wanted to pipe music in just about every room of my house, and the Squeezebox Duet does it easily and affordably. The remote isn't as fancy looking as the Sonos, but it appears to be easier to operate with one hand, and the range is incredile. I haven't found a spot in my house where the remote can't get a signal to control recievers.
What impressed me the most about this system is how perfectly it puts so many music sources at your fingertips. From Rhapsody to Last FM to Shoutcast to Sirius it's all right there in the palm of your hand!!!! Simply amazing. If you have any doubt that this product is worth the money just read the other reviews. I love mine so much that I picked up another one! Logitech does it again!...more info
- Logitech Squeezebox Duet
It sounds nice, command tree understandable, and looks great. Great support.
But: it would be better if installation simplier and support was not needed, it hangs too often (the software updates seemed to have helped), no easy way of entering a long key, and finially it would be much more useful if it worked with network disks without the need for having a computer on also....more info
- Finally, control of ALL of my digital music!!
The short: Great product for those looking to consolidate all of their digital music and have control of it to a selected output!
The long: I have a whole house audio system and over 60GBs of music stored on my Macbook as well as a Rhapsody account that I used on it as well. I have my laptop connected to the system and never have to bother with commercial radio or a CD and life was good. The problem I was trying to resolve was that I could only control the music from my laptop if someone decided to play Michael Bolton and I had to get it off. Enter Squeezebox and now life is great! The set up was super easy, took maybe 1/2 an hour. The remote is super responsive and my I can even control my Rhapsody account from it. It synced with my iTunes account no problem and even found the playlists I had created on it. As a test I made a new playlist and ten minutes later it listed it.
I got mine for less than $300, which is still pretty expensive. However, for a true audiophile it is worth it to have this level of control. Goodbye commercial radio and CDs, hello Squeezebox!
- great technology, not quite ready for prime time
I bought this device a few months ago and was blown away by its "coolness" factor. It's quite innovative and is definitely on the right track. I absolutely LOVE how it ties into a large number of different music services, including Pandora, which I use a lot.
Unfortunately, the software is not very stable, the UI could use a lot of polish (they need to take a note from Apple, a company that is able to come up with vastly superior UIs).
I wanted to buy a Squeezebox Duet for my parents, but the fact that it's not stable has held me behind. It has problems trying to upgrade firmware (which it does automatically, and there doesn't seem to be a way to turn this off.. how lame!) This device needs way more polish and is not ready for prime time.
Logitech, we are not in the 90s anymore. Please wake up and make this product better. Cool hobbyist toy....more info
- Purchase the older Squeezebox 3 instead
I own two of the older Squeezebox-3 units with the more traditional infrared remotes. These work great in our home sound system. One drives a Plinius amplifier hooked to a pair of Martin Logan SL3s and sounds wonderful, very good quality digital to analog converter...etc.
My mistake was to purchase the newer duet and it's companion receiver. The duet remote with LCD display takes 40+ seconds just to bootup....while the older style remote works instantly as one would like and expect. This quickly becomes rather annoying, but read on and learn how much worse things can become. Our music files are served by an Infrant (now Netgear) ReadyNAS. When the SqueezeCenter music server software was upgraded to v7.2 the older Squeezebox3's automatically updated their firmware over the network to be compatible and everything worked fine. However, the poor little duet receiver has now become an expensive brick, constantly complaining that it can't get the new firmware it needs so it sits mute. It had been working OK, albeit with a horrible user interface (thru the remote) and many other annoyances which the Squeezebox3's bypassed. Two months later I am still working off-and-on reading comments on the Logitech forum, trying to resolve the receiver firmware problem. Avoid this hassle and enjoy listening to your music instead of troubleshooting another Logitech product that was released to soon, buy the older Squeezebox3....more info
- Squeezebox Duet
The product itself is way cool. Unfortunately, it is on the bleeding edge of technology and thus administrating the system is more of a science project. If you are capable of doing that then go for it. If not then choose something else. For example, sometimes the controller goes to sleep and then does not see the system when it wakes up. Other problems include the Rhapsody system dropping in and out and sometimes not playing a song at all. If you are a tech head then you will love the system....more info
- Daddy has a Squeezebox and momma never sleeps at night!
Just purchased the Squeezebox based on past reviews and am extremely haapy with it. The sound quality is superb...as if I'm listening to a CD. The only knock I have is the unsynchronized album artwork that is displayed on the remote. I'll figure that out later. Overall though, a great little gadget!...more info
- Audiophiles will love this
I miss Triple J, the radio station in Australia, and often would listen to it online. But my computer speakers left a bit to be desired, and trying the Squeezebox would give me the opportunity to stream not only Triple J, but Pandora, other radio stations, or i-tunes via my wireless network.
Setup: very straightforward. I'm not much of a techie, but have managed on my own to set up my wireless network, my Tivo, and my stereo. This was about as challenging as I've had to deal with, and it wasn't terrible. BUT, while typing in (a bit cumbersome I might add) my WEP password, I must have made an error, and there was no going back. So, I figured I'd just hit up the website FAQ, but nothing there. I emailed tech support and never received a response. NEVER. A few weeks later I got the standard "how was our customer service? email" to which I responded with some harsh words about their complete lack of response. And I received a complete lack of response.
Fast forward a week or two: I managed to figure this one out on my own, through much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth.
Was it worth it? Well, the thing is pretty cool. It seamlessly moves from one track to the next. Radio stations come in clearly (depending on your internet connection). It's pretty nice, and does everything it says it will do.
Overall, its a pretty neat gadget, although fairly spendy. Even in today's economy, I would expect true audiophiles to not only want, but need a squeezebox. For the casual music lover, its not really a necessity.
My attitude toward the Squeezebox was really soured by my poor customer service experience. I suppose I could have tried harder (multiple emails or something) but for this kind of money, I shouldn't have to.
So I give it 4 stars for its coolness, and take 1 away for support issues....more info
- Good but might be worth waiting for v2
Overall I'm happy I bought this. While I appreciate (or at least aspire to appreciate) hi-fi audio, my main goal in a music system at least for now is to have flexible on-demand delivery first, audio fidelity second. I primarily use it for rhapsody which works pretty well- its nice to have their entire catalog "at my fingertips". There is little to no lag on the stream and the audio quality is pretty good. I've never heard it skip. I have it connected to a stello DA100 DAC. Compared to playing my computer straight into the DAC's USB input, at least streaming, the sound quality is actually better with the duet(I think it streams to the player @ 192 kbps vs. 128 to the computer).
A couple of improvements could definitely be made, mainly to the user interface. "Typing" with the scroll wheel (in order to search for songs) is cumbersome. Also, playlists are not particularly dynamic- it would be nice to be able to insert a track to the current list and then continue with the playlist afterwords but I've struggled to do this. Also I don't think it's possible to move tracks around. A touch screen with a virtual keyboard would solve the search/typing issue and might also make playlists more dynamic through the ability to visually drag tracks around.
Despite these potential improvements, I think this is a good product and I'm glad I have it.
As a sidenote, I ordered a second receiver which didn't work and is being exchanged. Having two zones was one of my main motivations for purchasing the system. If this function works well my opinion will turn more favorable. ...more info
- Does exactly what it says it can do...
I have to say that I am very pleased with purchasing the duet. My need was to have a system that plays my music, Rhapsody, and Sirius through my Onkyo home theater audio system, and do this using my wireless network, and that is exactly what this does. In fact, I was very surprised and impressed with the audio quality I am getting.
I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about ordering this after reading a few of the negative reviews, but when I did go to the Slim Devices Forum as one reviewer suggested. I found many that were very pleased and excited about this product, and the actual developers of the product participating in the discussions.
Now to my actual rating, I gave this product 4 stars (if I could give it 4.5 I would have). If you read the manual, it does suggest that if you are going to set it up wirelessly to do so near your router. I did not do this at first, and had a pretty miserable time getting the whole thing to connect. As soon as I started over and did this, it setup very quickly, and I just then moved it out to its current location which is about 30 feet from the router (and working just fine).
Also, make sure you know your wireless settings before you start, once these are entered (such as your wep key) if its incorrect, you are unable to change it. You will then either have to do a reset on the handheld, or go to Other Networks to enter your Network Info again.
I did however have a problem with the digital outputs (both the optical and coaxial), for some reason I could only get analog to work. I called technical support, and they had me do a factory reset and of course I had to go through the setup again, but this time the digital outputs worked just fine.
Thanks Logitech, the next thing to work on is Video!...more info
I've had earlier squeezeboxes, so squeezecenter already set up. I needed to move the box to an unwired location, though, so I thought I'd try the duet. Took a grand total of 10 minutes to get set up, found my network, existing squeezecenter etc. The whole thing, including packaging, is clearly intended to mimic the ipod. That's no bad thing....more info
- Love my Squeezebox
Unquestionably the best piece of music equipment I've ever bought, and I've bought a LOT of stuff over the past 30 years. After buying the original squeezebox, I bought the Duet as soon as it was released. Out of the box, both were a snap to set up and have worked flawlessly ever since. I stream music to my bookshelf stereo system and to a set of high-end powered speakers in another room and a single Sony wireless SPIAR speaker I can move from the patio to the porch to the pool. I can listen to Internet radio, Pandora, Sirius Satellite and it all sounds great. I can even stream tunes from my MP3 collection on the slimserver at home to my PC at work. Awesome!...more info
- Poor Quality, Network stinks, Remote forgets!
Ok, first let me state that I am a techie...have always been one. However, I am an average consumer in that I expect the product to work as advertised.
I spent about 3 hours today attempting to get the Duet up and running. My home pc is on a wireless G network...about 30 feet from the Duet and also about 40 feet from the router...the Duet is about 25 feet from the router.
1)The software on the pc is stated at version 7.0.2 but looks and feels more like version 1.0. It's horrible...interface it black and white and right out of 1992.
2)The remote control CONSTANTLY has 2 major problems:
a)It forgets what Duet I am connected to (and I live far from neighbors so there aren't any other Duets around)
b)The menus on the remote keep dropping menu choices! For example, the Home menu typically has 3 choices but sometimes it only has 2!!! Ditto for all the other submenus.
3)The performance is the WORST I have ever used...and I've used Tivo's mp3 player back in 2003-2005 over a wireless B network and it was better! I tried moving the base unit next to the tv, in the cabinet, etc...nothing...the music either never plays (but boy oh boy the remote shows that it is playing) or that the music comes in 2 second spurts followed by 1 second pauses. I know it is not my network because I transfer files all the time between my 2 wireless pcs on the G network and routinely get 2 megabytes/second transfer rate or faster. Let me put that in perspective for you...after 1 minute I would have easily transferred a 120MB file from pc to pc. Now, my mp3s that I am attempting to "stream" via the Duet are 192k mp3s...so a 4minute file is about 8 megabytes. That means that an 8 megabyte file should take no longer than 4-5 seconds, AT WORST, to completely transfer...yet the Duet can't even transfer it (stream it) over a period of 4 MINUTES?!?! Outrageous!!
I immediately sent this back.
Read the reviews. If your router is 10 feet away from the Duet ***AND*** your home pc is 10 feet away from the router/Duet, **MAYBE** this will work for you. I wouldn't count on it.
Another note that is more of a design issue is the remote's wheel function...Logitech attempted to mimmick the iPod...but very poorly. If you plan on never touching the round wheel, you'll be happy. If you ever use it (whether to navigate the menus or simply find a song) you will hate it.
A product this expensive should be flawless.
- Don't buy the DUET before doing your homework.
If you look on the Logitech's support forum, you will find a lot of complaints which unfortunately I didn't read before buying the Duet. After spending many hours with tech support they told me to return the unit. I feel that this is not a very well tested product, has worked for some lucky few though,I was not one of them....more info
- Awesome Addition To My Home Audio System
Received my Squeezebox Duet yesterday and had it up and running within 1 hour. I was impressed from the moment I opened the box, very nicely packaged. The Squeezebox is smaller than expected and tucks away nicely with my home audio system. I followed the instructions provided and setup was smooth. Connection to my wireless network was surprisingly simple. Once I loaded the software on my computer and pointed to my music library I was up and running. Internet radio feature is great.
The remote is the masterpiece of this system. Function is flawless, very intuitive control and AWESOME display. The album art displays very large and clear. The remote can even sense movement. It turns off the display after a preset time to save battery life I assume, but turns back on upon movement.
Sound quality is very good. Unit uses a superb digital to analog converter, giving the music a very lively presentation.
Overall satisfaction with this product is Excellent! I would not hesitate to recommend and/or brag about this product to family and friends. I've owned or own several Logitech products and honestly I have never been disappointed.
- Inexpensive and Easy to Install - Killer Sound
I am an audiofile of sorts - and wanted to have the convenience of a hard disk source for my extensive collection of "red book" CDs. I looked at Olive Media Products - but contstant production delays and the worst customer service on the planet forced me to look elsewhere. I had read about the Squeezebox System in Stereophile - where it was said that "great sound can be had with a Squeezebox and a little computer knowhow".... Well they were right. I run an Apple iMac with a wireless 750GB drive - additionally I run an 802.11 n wireless router from DLink. Setup of the entire system - including the wireless server drive - took about an hour and a half. The Logitech was one of the easiest pieces of computer like hardware I have ever installed. It effortlessly connects to the computer (you can not run the Squeezebox off of the wireless drive except through a computer interface - so the computer must be running as it needs to use a simple resource program in the background of your computer system to operate). Sounds was very good - iPod quality or better right out of the back of the Logitech device - but once I paired it with my DAC (Bel Canto e 1 DAC $2495) the unit just sings. A to B comparisons with my Marantz Universal Disk Player and the Logitech system offered no downside in sonic quality and a HUGE upside in convenience. Now I can sit in my easy chair and seamlessly hit all of my favorites without getting up and loading and reloading CDs. Did I mention that the Logitech unit will also play iTunes?? Fantastic - you can hear the sonic improvements that a CD has over the compressed mp3 file - all wirelessly. Downside to the Logitech system is - of course - patience as you have to load the CDs by hand into your computer and save them as full uncompressed files (very simple) - this takes time.... This system is a must buy!!...more info
- Massive Frustration, after hours of setup, it won't play
The one guy was right about the packaging, it is a work of art in itself when you open the box! The remote is awesome looking, and has a much better display than my Harmony remote.
To start off, I'm a programmer, I set up encrypted Wifi all the time, it's a snap. So I thought setup with this would be easy. Not so. I found it all to be very confusing. The documentation that comes with is is a little brochure. I connected mine up with a wired network connection, but it seems like the remote uses WiFi to talk to the box, I'm not sure. After about three hours, I could not get it to connect to my computer. I couldn't get back to some of the setup steps to check the work, or redo it. Suddenly it connected (got the white LED), and it seemed like it was playing music. Why did it start working? I don't know, I didn't do anything but the same setup steps for the hundredth time. There was VERY LITTLE to do on the remote, only about three steps would show this entire time. Entering in the WiFi encryption key was weird. First of all, mine was wired, so why was it asking to hook to the WiFi? Then it said press the center button twice when I was done with the WiFi Key. That didn't work - it kept adding zeroes to the end of the WiFi key - very awkward. Once I did that, I never saw that entry again - it seems like you can't get back there.
Then started the second part of my frustration. I can't get any sounds out of the device. Also, it seems to be playing a song, but when it gets to 30 seconds (on the timer display), it starts over. If I adjust the volume with the remote, the song starts over (from the timer going to zero, again - no sound). The server part on the computer seems like iTunes - that it should be able to play songs on the computer. It looks like it is - but no sound on the computer either.
I hooked it up to my Pandora, that worked, I see my stations, but it won't play anything. It appears to, but no sound.
I'll update this review if I get any good news, but at this time, I think I'm going to have to return it. I'm tired of spending hours with this, if it doesn't work soon, back it goes....more info
- Sleek, elegant and usable
I have owned a lot of squeezebox devices from way back in the slimp3 days. I listen to a *LOT* of music and have a fairly good sized music collection. I hadn't used squeezecenter in the past because it would choke on the number of songs I have. Version 7 of squeezecenter is able to index a large number of songs in reasonably quick fashion.
I wanted the duet because I was tired of having to go to a computer to interface to the squeezebox (v3), which was in a different room. The convenience of having the UI on the remote is unbelievable. I can sit outside on the patio and control everything. The internet radio stations are fantastic. I listen to Pandora and Sirius almost exclusively now.
If you are looking for a home music player, this is definitely the one to get. I played with the Sonos a bit, and the UI on the duet is comparable, but the whole unit is much, much cheaper. ...more info
- SqueezeBox Duet fits the bill!
I absolutely LOVE the Squeezebox Duet. I have been looking for a low-power network appliance to access my music collection for years. I run a Linux server 24/7, and I was really tired of connecting a laptop to my stereo to listen to my music. I toyed around with the idea of building a "fanless" PC, but components are expensive, and I never found a good way of controlling that without a wireless keyboard. Not what you want to use to control your music.
Enter Squeezebox Duet. I was never convinced to go for the original Slim Devices players. But, the LCD on the new remote was EXACTLY what I had been looking for. Just enough to see what's going on, no more. The navigation wheel works fine -- although, scrolling through a couple thousand artists can take some time. You can customize your home menu so that the features you use the most are right at your finger tips. You can also save playlists, artists, albums, or internet radio stations to your "favorites" for quick access.
As soon as I ordered the Duet, I installed SqueezeCenter on my Linux server (Windows and Mac versions available, too), scanned my music collection, and played around with the Soft Squeeze emulator from my Windows PC. In fact, you can use those even if you never purchase the hardware -- although, you're missing out on the freedom of moving your music anywhere.
Once the unit arrived, I was up and running in about 10 minutes. It would have been sooner, if I hadn't opted to do the optional firmware upgrade. I have not experienced a single glitch in operation in the week that I have had the unit.
I highly recommend this solution to anyone who keeps their music on a machine that they already run 24/7, but one that they'd rather not have sitting in their living room next to the stereo.
PS. This unit now serves as my alarm clock. You can set alarms independently for any day of the week. Quite a nice feature!
I also bought these powered speakers for listening: Digital Monitor Speakers....more info
- Excellent alternative to the more expensive Sonos system
I did a lot of research before I decided to purchase the Logitech Duet. I was able to narrow my choices down to the Logitech Duet, the Sonos system, and Yamaha's MusicCast. I couldn't be happier with my decision!
I purchased two sets of this, so I have two controllers and two receivers. I can control either receiver using either controller from wherever I am within my home network's range. I have the receivers and controllers connected to my home network via my home network's wi-fi signal.
Much cheaper than the Sonos or Yamaha systems.
REPLACEABLE batteries for the controllers, (the Sonos' battery is built in). The batteries are rechargeable and it comes with a cradle, but eventually, the batteries will have to be replaced (true for ALL rechargeable batteries)
Free Internet Radio which allows access to music without a PC or media server
Whole House music, or different music per room. With multiple receivers, it is possible to play different music in different rooms. When the players are synchronized, all players can play the same music throughout the house!
Expandable system. You can buy more receivers to expand your connectivity to multiple rooms, even when you have just one controller. Receivers can be purchased separately for about $150 apiece.
Wi-fi connected controllers do not need line-of-sight to control a receiver. As long as you are within range of your wireless network, you can control the music from anywhere in the house without being able to see the reciever.
Intuitive user interface. I am able to navigate the menus very easily without reading any manual.
Automatic firmware upgrade, which has already happened twice during the one month I've owned the equipment. Each upgrade so far has resulted in a monumental leap for the system's performance, usability, functionality, and my overall enjoyment of owning the systems.
Terrific sound reproduction/transmission. You have the option of hooking up the receiver to your audio gear using analog RCA cables or an optical digital cable. I have one of my receivers hooked up to a $10,000 audio system, and I am enthralled by the quality of the sound!!
You can remotely turn on your PC using the controller!!! I've read reviews on the internet that you need to have your PC on all the time for the convenience of accessing your digital music files anytime. That is not necessarily true. I have my PC's "Wake on LAN" function enabled (most newer PC's have that function available), so I can have my PC's in hibernate mode when not in use. I can then use my Logitech Duet Controller to "wake up" my hibernating PC remotely when I want to listen to music.
Set up may not be as easy for the less than technically inclined. It is very do-able, but it just won't be as easy as loading a CD ROM on your PC and clicking on the "next" button as what most people would probably prefer. I am somewhat of a techie, and it took me a couple of days to iron out connection kinks. But then again, I am a perfectionist, so I may have made my system more complicated than necessary. What I consider a 'kink' may not bother most people.
Not compatible with Apple music files. I've read that Apple music files aren't compatible with this equipment. Not an issue for me because I rip my digital music files from my own CD collection. If all your music files are Apple, you need to buy another system.
Won't work with some dedicated network drives. If you don't want to use your PC as your music server, you can use a network drive. However, the Logitech Duet will not work with just any network drive. It is very picky, unlike the Sonos system which will work with any network drive. The Logitech Duet works only with a select few models. I know it works with Netgear's NAS Ready Duo series network drives, the cheapest is around 400 bucks for 500GB of storage. Sonos will work with any $100 network drive.
I love my Logitech Duet, which is why I have two sets. I highly recommend this system to any music lover who wants the convenience and pleasure of accessing thousands of music files from the PC. Just make sure you have a solid, solid home PC network already in place, and you will not be disappointed!!!
- Great idea, poor product
Bought the first Squeezebox Duet at the end of June. Fired up fine. Within a week the remote began to fail. Within days of that the remote failed completely.
Logitech's support was excellent once I got pass the first level gatekeeper. Per their instructions I re-set the unit several times. The remote might work for a couple of hours or a day and then fail. I also learned at that time that the problem with the remote is widespread.
On the 30th day of ownership, Logitech advised me to send my unit to them for a re-furb or back to Amazon for a new replacement. Hmmm. Let me think about that.
Exchanging for another with Amazon was a piece of cake. They do things right. The replacement arrived a couple of days later. The new remote was DOA. I immediately returned it to Amazon and was issued the proper credit.
Props to Logitech Support and Amazon. They have great customer service. Thumbs down to Logitech for continuing to sell a product that they know is a lemon. A better managed company would pull the product from the shelves and do a general recall for those that are out there....more info
- Nice idea, good hardware, bad software
Overall, a nice product that I enjoy having, and I expect to get better.
The set-up was okay - it worked mostly as they said it would.
It took a software update to actually connect to the computer. I never figured out how to get it to work through SqueezeNetwork. Maybe this is fixed by now.
It has really strange bugs sometimes. Sometimes it will start a radio stream over and over and the only way to stop it is to reboot the controller. This doesn't happen too often and is not a showstopper.
Another complaint is that it will stop playing streams. Again, a correctable software problem, but very annoying.
The hardware is nice. Not as nice as an Ipod, but quality.
Overall, it works most of the time, and when it works, it's an incredibly nice toy. However, the only real advantage over a laptop is convenience and (maybe) price - put a small box near your receiver. It's cheaper than a dedicated laptop and doesn't need many wires.
With better software, this will be a great device....more info
- Nifty Little Toy
My family bought this product when we decided that TV was rotting our brain and cut the cable. For the most part it seemed like TV was white noise, so we figured why not just listen to the radio? Unfortunately, we didn't actually HAVE a radio in our main family room, so we went looking for stereos, doing some online research, and found this.
It's a little pricey, but then again, so is cable. At least this is only a one time expense, unless you decide to sign up for the paid services like Sirius and Rhapsody (we didn't).
The upsides are great - free streaming music on Slacker without any commercials, local radio stations through another service, HD local radio stations, internet radio with stations all over the world (really, it's overwhelming - we choose a radio station sometimes based on what we're having for dinner, so for example if we're having lasagna, we can find a station in Italy!), live concert (thousands of Grateful Dead shows, if you're into that ... I'm not, but my husband is - heavy sigh), plus the ability to play whatever songs you have on your computer's hard drive.
I've read some reviews stating that it was difficult to set up the wireless connection but we didn't have much trouble. I read the WEP key and my husband went through the letters. The controller doesn't have a keyboard so you have to scroll through letters but since you only have to do it once, it's not a big deal - no need to put in a whole keyboard for a one time thing.
Although I've never owned an iPod, the interface looks similar - a scrolling wheel dial.
The only downside I can see, and this is extremely picky, is that in the navigation to stations there are a lot of "play" buttons, as in you have to hit play three times to finally get to the final drilled down "play" that will actually cause the station to start. ...more info
- One word - BRILLIANT
Have been playing with it for 3 weeks now ... the sheer joy of rediscovering your music - can't be put to words ...
Detailed review on my blog - http://venkythinky.blogspot.com/2008/08/imagine-or-should-i-say-visualize-this.html
Excerpts from my review -
The sheer brilliance of the design is that the remote has a screen!!!
It is like having an Ipod/Music-player in your hand with
1. Infinite capacity - as much as you want to have on your computer
2. Wireless music transmission and remote - completely WiFi so no pointing at anything!
3. Instantaneous Lyrics browser - yep there is this plugin which finds the lyrics for the song playing and also scrolls automatically with the song!!
4. Wireless RSS reader
5. Internet Radio player
6. Podcast player
7. Expandable - I can add as many receivers as I want ... and they all can synchronize to play the same music OR - hold your breath - play their own streams ... so I could be listening to Led Zeppelin in the living room and D could be listening to The Beatles in the bedroom!
8. Fully customizable software and firmware - yep the Squeezecenter (the server software) is open-source - so boatloads of plugins and goodies updated daily - it's a programmers dream (makes me want to start programming!!) and god bless all those programming souls out there that write so many cool plugins for everyone to use .
Get this - they are writing new firmware features and plugins for the Controller as we speak - essentially enabling more cool features on your hardware - how do you beat that!!! The sheer excitement that every software release is going to make your hardware more cool just cannot be explained ... Now that's definitely a first!! Yaaaaaaaaaaay! Shame on you Apple - look and learn - your stupid firmware update pretty much made my Ipod Classic a no-video device - pfffffffffffft!! (ya ya - before you Apple lovers scream like little girls I know that I can buy an Apple docking station to output video to my TV ... I have one question ... WHY? how dare they tie me down to one stupid hardware when there are so many better ones out there :P ... but I digress)
- Lovvvee the SqueezeBox!!!
What comes in the Box:
The Duet consists of a base station and remote. The base can pull audio from a PC or the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It outputs to your stereo from analog or digital jacks.
The sleek 10 button Controller features a 2.4-inch color LCD screen, scroll wheel and buttons that let you browse, select and play music from your personal collection, Internet radio and online subscription services. In addition you can use it to control volume, play/pause, track forward and reverse....
Installation. The Good. The Bad.
Installation was easy but somewhat annoying as the program upload was slow and required a 128 bit key code. I strongly suggest you record this number in notepad for future reference.
It's mostly all good with the Squeezebox, but here's the short list.
You can search music by artist, albums, playlists, and genres.
The system lets you theoretically add album covers and additional nodes in the home or office, but these features weren't tested by me.
Good hardware quality. Great touch-and-feel.
Great sound quality.
Configuration with I-tunes could be easier. And I was surprised that the program did not go through my directory and find MP3s automatically. Perhaps thats indicative of a bias towards on-line sources like Rhapsody.
It's annoying that the remote has to re-find the computer if too much time time has elapsed.
While it's super easy to play a list, it is work to find and play a single song. (You have to dig down through multiple menus)
Lovvvee the Squeezebox duet. The equipment has good looks and a solid feel. The sound is great and setup is fairly easy although not idiot-proof.
If you have any tech-sense at all, you should have a great time playing with this system. That said, I would be hesitant to give this as a gift to non-techy type people. The controller for one is different from what most people are used to using. It works elegantly, but the controls just isn't what you would find on a typical stereo or television remote, and as a consequence you've got to be the sort of person who is willing to either futz around to figure out what does what, or else be the sort that is willing to read instructions thoroughly.
Pam T~...more info
- Not compatible with my Buffalo WiFi router
After several hours of struggling, I need to re-configure my wireless router without WEP key, then Duet can see it and connect with it successfully.
Also, I look around and hard to find the URL to download the squeezecenter. And after downloading it, I try to double click and it says "choose program to open with". After I add ".exe" to the file, it works then.
I mean, at first I expect it to be a very easy to handle product, but still, need to user to have certain extent of network knowledge in order to use it.
The difficulties of setting it up really make me nuts....more info
- Get an iPhone/iTouch and AirPort Express instead
I really wanted this product to work. The packaging and quality of the hand set were very nice. But it's just not the iPod like experience I wanted.
-- Background --
* MacMini with 60 gigs of legal music in the den
* Sony mini stereo hooked to Bose speakers and base unit in the living room
* 3 Netgear routers and two switches
-- Setup --
Much has been said already about the difficult setup. The handset had no trouble finding and configuring for internet access. However, the server is a whole other level of issues. You have to rely on the open source server software to stream your music to the squeezebox. This took a couple of days to complete.
Seqeezebox did not initially recognize my iTunes library or playlists. Of course, that's why I bought it in the first place. To make a long story short, here were issues I encountered:
* Sqeezebox seems to have a lot of trouble with my library size. It took many hours for it to scan my library.
* Sqeezebox seemed to have "hung" a few times during initial scan of my library
* I had to make it relocate my music 2x before it found my playlists
* A few restarts of the seqeezebox were necessary
* Who's bright idea was it to make the server a Setting instead of an app? It's useless there. You have to open a web browser to change all the settings. We all know how well web browsers are with complex setup tasks. Very awkward and out of date.
-- Evaluation --
* Performance is very sluggish. It takes 2-8 seconds to respond to a volume change or skip to next track.
* Free services like Pandora are not free with sqeezebox. This was pathetic, IMO. I made sure it would work with Pandora before I bought it. I didn't think to make sure free wasn't free with Squeezebox. What's up with that?
* I kept trying to make the handset work like my iPhone. No touching the screen, it won't help you.
* I kept trying to make the handset work like my iPod. It's an actual wheel you need to spin dummy. What exactly do those forward and backward arrows do? Seemed very inconsistant.
* Skipping tracks takes you back to your music list, then back again to what your playing. This takes a few seconds so it took some getting used to. Okay, I never got used to it.
-- Conclusion --
I'm sending it back. This would have been acceptable 2 years ago. Now with Remote on the iPhone and my AirPort Express, I have way better functionality at less cost! Apple Remote software doesn't handle Pandora. However, Remote Buddy, that I've had for years, allows more complete control of my Mac and can run Pandora via a browser.
My biggest interest in this product was in the hopes my family could use it to play our music library in the living room. The user experience is inadequate. I'm better off giving my iPhone to use or buying an iTouch just for a music remote....more info
- Extremely pleased, with some minor things to note
First and foremost, I am very pleased with my Squeezebox Duet. I have listened to it every day since I've gotten it. Second, I have not tried any of the competition, so the minor annoyances I have with this unit could be even worse in competitive products.
My first problem was regarding the "bridging" feature. I had recently purchases a Blu-Ray player that was Ethernet-ready but I have a wireless network. I saw several reviews of this product that mentioned it's ability to act as a bridge between a wireless home network and another Ethernet device such as an XBox 360. When you get the Squeezebox, there is no mention of bridging or setting up bridging in the provided or online documentation. I went to the Slimdevices forums and found a third-party tool that I could install and configure bridging using a command-line tool.
The second problem I have is probably also related to my particular network topology. I suffer from occasional power outages during the spring and fall storm seasons, and my network is set up with DHCP. When the wireless router resets, the SB Receiver and/or Controller sometimes become "lost" and have to be power-cycled. For the Controller, this means removing the rechargeable battery. I could probably set up static IPs for the units but haven't done so.
The third has to do with the randomness of the library. I am terribly lazy and have never set up a playlist. I just tell the unit to play random selections from my entire library (less than 100 CDs). Perhaps it is just the nature of randomness or my own perceptions but it seems like some songs will play frequently, even two or three times in an evening, while some entire CDs seem to have never gone into rotation.
I am sure that I could find additional help with all of these by visiting the forums again. There are many extremely helpful people on there, regularl users as well as the developers from Slimdevices/Logitech. I am just one of those people that has gotten tired of having to figure out and tweak my technology; I want it to work the way I expect right out of the box. In the end, that's probably too much to hope for from anything more complicated than an electric toaster.
I would highly recommend the Logitech Squeezebox Duet; I have been extremely pleased with the quality of sound reproduction; with the steadiness of the wireless signal regardless of what else I'm doing on the network, and the simplicity of the SB Controller. Also, my favorite NPR station (WAMU) is preset in the "Internet Radio Favorites" and sounds better over the SB than my FM Tuner....more info
- the glue that holds your music system together....
Who knew that this little integrated music system would become one of our most used electronic items in such a short span of time? My husband and I are both music lovers and have a rather eclectic blend of music that we enjoy. The squeezebox brings it all together in one integrated music system.
The set-up was done by my husband, who can give you a bit more detail on the technical aspects of this system. I'll admit, without the techie husband, I would have the "geek squad" on speed dial for this kind of stuff:
Husband Geek Squad here, may I help you? Yes, I resemble that comment. I must say that the documentation is the best I've seen for a home entertainment add-on. Putting on my non-techie hat, I followed (oh my gosh, did I really admit to that???) the directions
to connect the squeezebox to the stereo via the supplied RCA cables (I connected ours with a fiber Optic cable - you'll need to get these separately). Next was finding
a spot on the shelf to put the small receiver, this is the component that gets the WiFi signal from the network and converts it into audio the stereo can play thru the speakers. Ours sits under a photograph and blends very nicely with the black shelf without sticking out "like another gadget or toy" added to the audio system.
The controller, which is the hand held remote with a screen, is the brains to the system. Both of these devices connect wirelessly to your WiFi network - and become two separate addresses on the network. The controller's setup walks you through connecting both devices to the network. It had no trouble connecting to our "harden" network - although - you probably want to enable your SSID broadcast name the first time connecting to the network. I enable the broadcast name to keep the process simple (this is the default for most routers). Once connected to the network, it started a scan to detect the receiver. I had to reboot the receiver (press the button on the front of the box) to get it to download the needed updates. All the updates download without any problems and once connected to the system I was able to dial in "Radio Ireland" from the internet. Very Cool.
If you use iTunes like we do, the included SqueezeCenter, is an application that run on your PC - either at login or as a service as a local WebServer. It points the SqueezeCenter local WebServer to your music storage files (iTunes, .MP3, etc) and then plays them through the receiver. You can have more then one receiver connected to the system in different parts of the house. Even more nifty is the ability to select from the Controller ANY selection from your music library or any station from the internet.
Now, back to the music, this system holds all of your music, all of our ipod music and then you also have a whole array of internet stations that are already in the system. A little Jazz from New Orleans or Paris, all Irish music from Dublin, Country, R&B, 60's to the 90's, pop, rock, Hair Bands, Grunge, Electronica, well, you get the gist, it is all there. You just name it and you can dial it in. All the internet stations are free. You can also sign up and download Rhapsody music into it or Sirius Radio to really expand your collection.
The size of this unit is small....really small. The base is approx. 4x6" and the remote
unit is sleek and small with it's own docking station. I've really become impressed with how tiny they can make these pieces and how intuitive they are. It is a very simple system to use and gets daily play at our house. It is wireless, but you can also wire it up if you want to prevent problems with interference. We have a small home and the microwave will make the squeezebox stop if we have them going at the same time. Other than that, we have seen no problems.
Who would have thought that we would enjoy this little gadget so much? My husband calls it "the epoxy that holds your music system together". We love it and if you are a music lover, you will love it too.
- Deathcab for Squeezebox ...
1. A nicely packaged piece of equipment out of the box that for some, will be simple to use, install and enjoy as they will have the correct set-up to enjoy the product fully.
2. Albeit an expensive option, the Squeezebox is a nicely packaged Internet Radio Player.
3. Logitech makes a grand promise here to deliver you wireless broad-range audio in a no-hassle environment.
Too bad they just cannot deliver this to the majority of the public as most users who may want and buy this may find the product too restrictive to be entirely useful. They really push this in the graphics above, stating that it has a "myriad" of connection options ... but where's the USB, people?
1. I listen to a fair amount of internet radio through the day via my iTunes application on my PC. The set up for this product for anyone a) on a Mac or b) using iTunes will be a chore. I'm on a PC and have a Mac and on both platforms it was buggy and problematic.
2. The documentation provided with the hardware is barely passable as documentation for something such as this. For the record, the advertisement inserts included, together, had more information on them than the actual `destructions'.
3. The software should've been included on a disk since the customer is shelling out almost $400 bones for this bad boy. I've purchased $5 digital cameras that came with driver and software disks. Why Logitech thought to not include one and force the download is a bad move.
4. The software that you must download - does not play nice on even a brand new, freshly installed copy of Windows Vista sp1 Premium. I cannot begin to tell you the frustration I had getting the application to launch.
5. The hardware setup is daunting and while it may look simple it is not, It is rigid and constraining, forcing the user to strictly use a right/left analog or fiber optic connector. This device should've come with a USB plug as an option, which would've served many more customers wisely and a staggering number of speaker configurations as well.
6. A continuous array of services to sign up for, and new "free" 30 day memberships to maintain so you can actually listen to your own music(?) Nice one. The Squeezenetwork is about as nasty as Sony's SonicStage was back in 2005.
7. Customer Service ... don't even think about it. It's like playing Zork back in the eighties trying to get through. "Press 5 if you want to go left." "Press Zero if you now feel inadequate." Ughh!
Over all, too many wants at the end of the day and this just ends up looking like an overpriced and over-hyped internet radio player which is not worth the money.
You can hate on me for saying this in a review as it may not pertain to you and your setup, but don't forget that the bulk of users will want something that is easier to use, easier to set-up, better supported and a little more intelligent over-all.
It looks cool though ... a few points for style.
- Logitech support hours are terrible
Unless you are a firewall expert, you will need support from Logitech to install the unit and get it running. Unfortunately, their support hours make it very difficult for someone on the west coast to get support. At 9 AM to 7 PM, a normal working person would have less than one hour a day of coverage.
I wouldn't buy the unit with Logitech's current commitment to customer support. ...more info
- Great Product!
Received the Squeezebox Duet for Father's Day, after much research into network music systems (and LOTS of hints to the family!). The unit arrived as advertised, and was extremely easy to set up with the included instructions. The sound quality is excellent, and the partner Internet music services and Internet radio stations are amazing--it is almost addictive trying to "stump" the thing with a genre of music it can't find.
One caution, however; I wanted to extend the wireless range of my Linksys WRT 54G wireless router (to control my music from outside where the pool speakers are located). I purchased a Linksys WRE54 wireless range extender, and installed it per the mfr's instructions. This did not work well at all--the squeezebox player and remote both lost connectivity, and remained screwed up even after I disconnected the range extender. The GOOD NEWS from this experience, however, was the excellent experience I had with Logitech's customer service group--fast, professional, and helpful--and we got the unit working properly again. I wound up buying a high gain antenna for the wireless router, which did improve the range somewhat.
Bottom line: This device will "free your music," just like the remote pronounces when it boots up! The sound quality is stellar, and I can't imagine how the Sonos and other units that cost thousands of dollars can be worth the difference.
p.s. - If you get one, start pushing Logitech to make a protective cover for the remote--they don't have one available, and at $299 the remote is in no way an "accessory" to this system. I covered the screen with one of those universal plastic film screen protectors, but would love some more protection....more info
- Does What It Should, Sounds Great ... But Do You Need It?
I am one of those people who has a huge digital music library or my desktop and the idea of streaming my music via a wireless connection to my family room surround sound stereo seemed like a wonderful idea. I have an iPod and an iPod dock that I was using to put my music collection on my stereo, but I also use my iPod in my car and I didn't always remember to take it out of my car for use inside the house. So the Squeezebox Duet arrived at my house as a solution to that problem.
The Squeezebox Duet is an amazing network music system for people who have a wireless network and a huge digital music library on their computer. The first time I used the system at a party I thought it was the perfect music solution and a great conversation piece at the party. However, the more I think about it the more I start to consider this device was VERY expensive, and I rarely use it except when my wife and I have a party. Also, the Squeezebox only offers me a couple of benefits over the iPod dock I also use: I can carry the Squeezebox controller around the house to control the music and browse the music library with the little iPod-like screen, and the Squeezebox gives me access to internet radio that the iPod cannot.
The Squeezebox has been trouble-free and performing as advertised for some time now. However, the initial setup process was a little more difficult than I expected. I am a very technical person who not only knows about computers and networks but knows how to disassemble and reassemble desktop and notebook computers and setup complex wireless networks. When I say that I had trouble setting up the Squeezebox that should be a sign that the setup process isn't as easy as advertised.
Overall, this is a great product, but I suspect it's one of those things that is a superfluous purchase for many people and you probably should only buy one if you have a clear need/desire for it in your home. In other words, despite the fact that the Squeezebox is a great product that makes it easy for me to enjoy my music when and where I want, the Squeezebox Duet has become "just another rarely-used electronic device connected to my home entertainment system."...more info
- Squeezebox Duet not ready for prime time
The Squeezebox Duet (SBD) is a product not anywhere near ready for prime time. Setup is awkward and even the support people are stumped sometime. They tell you to update the software, but the link doesn't work. Finally, I got it setup, but I couldn't tell you what I did, because I don't know.
Operating...lag time between pushing a button on the remote and response can be several MINUTES. The random mix feature is the worst...it is almost completely unresponsive to commands from the remote.
The web interface is bulky and awkward. Completely non-intuitive. Why they chose a web interface is beyond me. Whatever happened to good ole software?
Today, after returning from vacation, it decided not to work and I cannot figure it out. It says push "refresh", but I'll be darned if I can find a refresh button.
Logitech has some good hardware, but the people who write the software I think need a brain scan....more info
- Neat idea, but not all it's cracked up to be
I was intrigued by the concept behind Logitech's Squeezebox Duet network music system. A wireless device that allows you to play your digital music library all over the house sounded like a great idea, so I decided to give the system a try.
My house has three floors. My CD collection (roughly 2000 discs) is in the basement, as is my stereo mini-system. My digital music library (which is essentially 75% of my CD collection, uploaded to iTunes) is on the iMac upstairs. My goal with the Squeezebox system was to be able to access my iTunes music on the main floor through my home theater system.
Unlike Logitech's Harmony One universal remote, setting up the Squeezebox is not very intuitive. There isn't a startup CD, so I had to go online to download the software, which was not Mac friendly at all. I finally got the remote programmed and the Squeeze Network up and running, so the next step was to hook the receiver up to my home theater system. Here's where the "wireless" tag is misleading. The Squeezebox receiver is in fact connected to the stereo via a set of red and white cables. It took some heavy troubleshooting, but I finally got it working, only to discover that accessing my iTunes would take a fair amount of detective work.
If you're not using the Squeezebox to access internet radio, the search by artist, album, etc. is largely useless, as they do not "look" at your iTunes library. You have to navigate through a complex series of steps to get to that music, which is more than a little frustrating.
I still think this kind of system is a cool idea, but unless you're a big internet radio fan, I just don't see how useful the Squeezebox is going to be. Most stereo and home theater systems come with some kind of iPod interface, and it's a lot easier to plug in the iPod than it is to configure and navigate the Squeezebox system.
- Burnished technology puts great sounding music (and more) at your beck and call
I have been using my Duet for a week and it's been a real pleasure. Its great sound quality and ease of use have had me rediscovering music that's been lying fallow on my computer and Rhapsody account for ages. Its software and interface also give seamless, casual access to radio stations (if they are streaming over the internet) and podcasts.
Making valued experiences handier, richer, and farther-reaching--isn't that what technology is supposed to?
Like all well-designed technology, the Duet's controller adds a layer of pleasure all its own. With its responsive control wheel, sharp display, motion sensitivity, and appealing screensavers, it offers iPod/iPhone/Wii-class looks and handling--making if fun, rather than a chore, to hunt up what you'll be listening to next.
Given some customer comments about technical difficulties, I was worried after ordering. Luck was with me--I experienced no problems with setup, even on an aging Dell desktop and a very modest Toshiba laptop. In my case, The Quick Setup instructions and the setup prompts given by the controller worked without a hitch. Everything was up and running in half an hour. I've been enjoying effortless access to music ever since.
- There Are Certain Setup Requirements!
Like most Logitech devices, the Squeezebox Duet is attractive, sleek and very intuitive. It looks good anywhere and the convenience of listening to music out of any entertainment center from files stored on your computer are fantastic. The sound is as clear as you can expect as well.
However, there are some things you need to know about the Squeezebox Duet set-up before you buy. Your computer needs to have wi-fi or a router connected to it. If you use a direct DSL cable (Ethernet cable), you also need an Ethernet cable in the room where your entertainment center is (My computer is in my office and my entertainment center is in my living room). The only other option is to run a cable through your walls between you computer and entertainment center, which is a hassle. I have direct DSL cable, so I switched from that to my old router system (fortunately, I also had an Ethernet cable source in my living room). Then I just installed the Squeezebox Receiver directly into my Music Entertainment receiver with the stereo analog cables. The set-up with the controller was a little tricky, as I had to call my service provider to get my SSID numbers (An SSID is the name of a wireless local area network (WLAN). All wireless devices on a WLAN must employ the same SSID in order to communicate with each other). Then I had to enter my Key Code. After that it was amazing stuff.
The handheld controller is very cool. It has a bright 2.5 inch screen that shows all your music information. The SqueezeBox Network controller displays all the song title information during playback. You can also save Internet Radio favorites in a play list. Your entire music collection can be stored online in an MP3tunes music locker and played back through your Squeezebox. The music volume is easily controlled and I found that the sound was even throughout, even when switching from rock to classical.
One minor question I want to ask Logitech: Why do all your socket plugs hang vertically instead of a direct push-in like any plug? I find myself with numerous circuit breakers.
- Pretty nifty.
I'm satisfied, but not overwhelmed by this product. It does what it is meant to do, and pretty well. I suppose my only criticisms are unfair, because they come from a Mac-user, and someone who is accustomed to Apple's design philosophy. While this item is designed well, it's not 'perfect' in the ways that it easily could be.
Design-wise, it's nice. It looks smart on my media console, in front of the plasma. I like the clock screensaver. The remote unit feels sturdy and solid. The 'box' is small, and sits behind other equipment, so i never really notice it.
The remote's interface is the primary area that could stand improvement. The click wheel is not as smooth or accurate as an iPod's. There is a bit too much 'navigating,' even though everything IS modeled from an iPod. The button layout isn't quite common-sensical.... And, it always seems to require one or two more button pushes than i expect.
Lastly, it looks like some of the paint on the physical buttons was a bit worn, immediately after i took it out of the box. I didn't notice it in the packaging, but two seconds later, the remote looked like it was already a month old. Maybe i was sold a refurb? It doesn't seem to have gotten worse, though.
All in all, a nice product. I wish they could upgrade the design of the interface via online/network update, but i guess someone at Logitech would first have to realize it was called for.... I'm glad i have it. I guess that's the bottom line. I would buy it again, if this one suddenly vanished.
Oh, i also have a Roku Soundbridge. I bought the Roku a bit over a year ago. That, also, was nice, but i vastly prefer having the visual controls in my hand, versus a simple remote and having to look at a distant display. The Duet wins there, easily. Haven't compared audio quality. I never will. Both sound(-ed) fine. I haven't compared between the two of them, and i haven't compared their output to a reference CD. I'm listening to MP3s, recorded at various bitrates, so i can't be too picky. Nevertheless, i don't feel like i'm missing anything, sonically. If you're an audiophile, perhaps you can find reason to get into the converter specs and such. ...more info
- Wish It Worked
I had high hopes for this product, but the setup was not smooth. Using a network with WEP required manually entering in the password in hex. Even then, it had trouble connecting the devices. After a couple of hours of trial and error, I discovered that the receiver box was too far from my wireless router and wasn't getting a strong enough signal (even though the controller was connecting). Other wireless devices in the house work fine. The lack of an antenna probably contributes to the low signal pickup.
I was also hoping to stream music off of my NAS, but alas I can't do that either without a computer running SqueezeCenter powered on....more info
- I like it!
The Squeeze Box is a must for all the music lover. Through Pandora, Rhapsody and Slaker, I enjoy all the songs I know. And even more, I have discovered a lot more new songs that I love. I connect it to my backyard and inside the house.It is any music everywhere.
I would say the only downside of this product is that it could be a little slow in surfing the web....more info
- Squeezebox Sensation
This is a terrific product--pushing hard toward the convergence of our A/V and computer systems....more info
- Great product. I finally upgraded from an ancient Netgear media server.
My old desktop finally died so I had to upgrade my media server to something a little more current. I went with the squeezebox duet based on it's cnet review and most of the reviews I've seen here. I was not dissapointed.
Setup took about 30 mins on my wireless network. Sound quality for my mp3's is very good and for my Rhapsody streaming it is unbelieably clear. Ran it for about 4 hours tonight between mp3's and Rhapsody. Worked great. A few highlights:
1. entering my 26 byte wep key was kind of a pain on the spin wheel control, but fortunately a one time set up.
2. the unit automaticaly updates to the latest firmware which is a big improvement over a lot of other network devices I've used.
3. the squeeze center software is really slow. Use it for the initial configuration and adding your unit, but then use something like Windows Media Player to create playlists (m3u format). Not only is the squeeze center slow but the user interface is not user friendly and fairly frustrating.
4. I downloaded the user manual and it is a little light on detail. Not a lot of info on how to use the controller, and not a lot of info on how to use squeeze center. kind of dissapointing so be prepared for some trial and error.
other than that, not much to report. for those who are having connection issues, I learned long ago with the Netgear media server (mp101) to leave the unit unplugged when I wasn't listening to music. For some reason these things do much better when you start them up fresh before using them. You cannot unplug the controller but you can turn it off by holding down the home key. now that I have it all set up and have gotten the hang of it, I'm pretty happy with the purchase....more info
- Outstanding device for early-adopter geeks
This is a v1 product, so it has bugs; the user interface needs work -- it's just not intuitive to do some basic things (like synchronize the music in multiple rooms). If this is going to bother you, don't buy this device. If you don't know anything about computer networking, this device will frustrate you. If you work, support isn't open for this device during nights and weekends. If, however, you are computer literate, and you don't mind v1 product bugs, this device is absolutely outstanding. The quality is great, and what it does is great for a decent price on a technical platform that makes more sense than Sonos. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. It gets a four because it is slightly buggy....more info
- Greatest thing since the birth of Rock 'n Roll !!!!
Your entire music library in the palm of your hand! This thing is incredible, it accesses the music on your PC as well as online services like Pandora, Slacker and the one that I have been exploring the most, RadioIO. Music from around the world at your fingertips! The remote is easy to use and the wi-fi range is excellent. I can sit on the front deck or back pavillion and listen to whatever I want as well as control the volume. Buy this! You will not be disappointed!!! ...more info
- One of a kind product
This is really a wonderful product. I was skeptical myself, considering that the Sonos system does the same stuff for more than two times the price of this little gadget. After seeing the product my brother-in-law is going to buy one soon as well, it's an easy sell. No wonder it got voted as one of the best products at CES.
Tons of music selection, including local radio stations streamed over the internet to the device and your receiver. Other items such as Rhapsody (pay service), Live Concert Archive (free), and some free (gimmicky) sound effects from Logitech (waves, ocean, river, crickets, fire, etc.) are a big plus for me. You can stream Flickr photos to your device as screen saver as well.
The only con I have for this device is sometimes after selecting an item to play, there is a delay and the duet controller doesn't tell if it's working or not. 9 times out of 10, it's working, it's just taking the device a little longer to stream the music. It would be nice to have some sort of feedback after you've selected and are waiting for the stream to being.
Wish list for new controller:
Ability to control a receiver via RF signal, don't know if this is possible, but it would certainly make this device several times more appealing!...more info
- Nice product
The Duet is a very well designed and a nice product. The Duet clearly delivers but not without some initial setup help from Logitech. As an early Duet adopter, I needed to get through a few setup challenges notwithstanding my excellent tech/IT skills. The good news is Logitech was very responsive and provided a solution within a day. I believe this device will challenge the less tech savvy users until the software improves (or bring your patience). More good news, I have already received at least one automatic software update and my system is works much better. Clearly this is a leadership product, as such I do expect the Duet to only get better.
For over a year I explored competitive solutions and could not justify spending the ~$250 to $900 on any of the current internet audio products. The Duet is by far the best value! My needs are probably different than others as I have a home distributed audio system. I painlessly plugged the Duet into my home network and amplifier, the sound is great. The solution is perfect for my needs as I can change the music, volume and/or source anywhere inside and outside the house just by toting the WiFi Duet remote. My benefit is I do not need an expensive in-home audio system controller with remote controllers in my wall.
The Duet provides pre-programmed worldwide radio stations as well as access to Sirius and Rhapsody after a free trial for 30 days. Once setup, my daughter 17 easily used the Duet as it has a similar interface to the iPod.
The good: nice design, nice user interface, great worldwide radio access, great value.
The challenges: Software, network & computer setup ( I am sure will get better). Does not recognize some of my purchased MP3s from MusicMatch. Does not work with Yahoo's MusicMatch/ Music Jukebox library. Note: I have not yet attempted working with my daughter's iTunes.
- great fun
I use Squeezebox to occasionally stream music from my computer, but mostly to stream internet radio. I subscribe to premium DI.FM and it sounds great streaming over the Squeezebox.
I do recommend a strong wireless signal to both of the units (the controller and the player) else you will have problems. With a strong signal it works well. Still once a day or so going into a menu choice the controller seems to get stuck, but I just back out and select it again and it's fine.
If in the "stream music from computer" mode, you will not want folks logging in and out of the computer. They can use the computer - just don't log out! That throws the Squeezebox system into a minute or so of confusion.
On the other hand the "stream music from internet" mode (internet radio) it doesn't matter what the computer is doing or if it is even on. This is great, and mostly what I use the Squeezebox for (did I mention DI.FM premium sounds really nice).
Sometimes I wonder if when I've paused playback if the radio station is still being streamed, but muted. Since bandwidth is a precious resource to Internet radio stations, they might prefer devices such as this to actually stop the stream when paused. It took me a few days before I realized that to stop I could hold down the pause button for a few seconds.
Listening to radio in our cars we all have become accustomed to switching between favorite stations in one button push. With the Duet, even with favorite stations saved, it is a few clicks and scrolling. It looks like the older Squeezebox had(has) a numeric keypad on the controller, which did(does) support one-click favorites.
Overall I really enjoy this thing. I didn't really want to hook a laptop up to my stereo system. This is better because you can wander around the house with the remote. My wife says it's like we've brought the world into our living room. I haven't even tried Slacker with it yet - seems like that will be great....more info
- Listen to ALL your music and MORE!
I am a computer geek and I don't fear the command line. (But I also work alot with usability related questions so I understand why some prefer not to...)
Packaging/First experience: Great - very stylishly packaged and the looks are nice - both of the Receiver (the "slightly smaller than most DSL modems box that connects to your stereo) and the Controller (the remote control.
Set-up: Very simple and quick - just push the button on the receiver and wait for the controller to find it. Install of SqueezeCenter software on your PC is quick and quite simple too - you do need to enter where your playlist and musicfiles should be stored.
As a source of music you have a few options (you don't have to have a PC):
* A PC running the included SqueezeCenter software - which must then be turned on to listen to music
* One of the supported NAS boxes (harddrive connected via LAN)
* SqueezeNetwork (a sort of SqueezeCenter on internet)
There are lots of services - some free, some not;
* The excellent Pandora and Rhapsody (both of which allow you to listen to just about any music you want - just search for it on the remote).
* MP3Locker - which allows you to store your MP3 on a server on the internet and access them directly.
The remote has an option to show Flickr images as a screensaver - I set it to show pictures with "interestingness" and I adore it!
Sound quality is outstanding - it supports MP3 (all variants I've thrown at it including Variable Bit Rate/VBR) and flac (lossless compressed to 50% of a CD) and WAV. The only problem is that the higher bit rates (like flac) can be difficult to provide if you have poor WLAN coverage.
Battery typically lasts for 2 days without charging - but it depends on how much you use it.
Overall the only issue I have is that of operation in poor WLAN coverage - my laptops (I have 3...) don't work very well from my kitchen either so the WLAN sensitivity of the Squeezebox is probably fine.
The Squeezebox will play ordinary MP3's quite well but will studder a bit if you try to play 200+ kbps files; if you have really poor reception (like at dusk when interference seems worse at our place - and when we like to enjoy music :/) the remote can be a bit sluggish as well.
The software is updated daily - quite often adding or improving features. There is also a quite healthy community providing many plugins - like displaying the weather forecast or improved ways of searching you music. They even have a few simple games :)
I also have an older squeezebox v3 - it is actually quicker to use to find music if you use the excelllent "Lazy search" plugin. I often sync the two players so I hear the same music in different rooms and it works very well for MP3 and flac - there is no noticeable time difference between the players.
Overall I thoroughly recommend this product - but I caution you to make sure you have good WLAN or maybe even fixed LAN for best performance. To make use of community added plugins it helps if you know someone who knows about the commandline :)
- Good Idea, Very poor and unstable implementation
I think you should wait for a couple more iterations. They need to change the Crappy Squeezecenter that they currently have to a more robust one. The problem with the squeezecenter is that it is terribly slow when you have a giant music collection (in my case over 70 GB). It is virtually unusable on my iMac ( I have the 3.06 ghz 2 GB Ram iMac ). Plus, They have to make it 802.11n capable. The difference between g and n networks is very noticeable.
Plus, This software works very poorly if your music collection is in a network harddrive or not in the same machine that runs squeezecenter. That is a huge negative.
Even though , it makes an ideal father's day gift, it really ends up being a nauseating headache because of its 802.11g Network and a very poor streaming logic....more info
- squeezebox server heaven
I am not one of those people who has his music stored on a drive in his computer. My collection consists of mainly vinyl recording of opera,ballet and musicals which I have collected over 40 years. It would not be a labor of love to put them on a hard drive. That is why I use rhapsody to listen to recordings I may have and to hear them without the scratches or other artifacts then have crept in over the years. The drawback was I had to listen on a computer with good but not great sound. Wireless transfer to my music system usually required that the music reside in my computer and have the necessary tags for the system to catalog it. The squeezebox duet system does not require any of this. It connects to the server of any music service as rhapsody and will display your hitlist on the controller from which you can make you selections. I find it easier to make up a hit list from the computer rather than from the controllers search function though my son has used it. I have learned many of functions of the controller by trial and error. I have used it for several weeks now and except for a couple of times when the system was down for maintenance or whatever the system has been reliable and the sound through my onkyo amplifier and bose speakers has been excellent. One annoying thing I found. If you are in an album and want to skip the first two selections and play on from there you must select each entry. There does not appear to be a way to select multiple entries without making a list. ...more info
- If only it worked ....
This would be a great product if only it worked. I have had it for two weeks now (one controller and two receivers) and it has not yet worked properly for more than a few hours at a time. The controller repeatedly loses contact with the receivers and is unable to regain contact, often for hours at a time. Sometimes, the controller will access internet radio, but not music services. When it works it is very good, but it just does not work very often or for very long. I have a Mac running 10.4. Maybe this is a Mac connection problem. In any event - at least if you have a Mac - you should not buy this product unless you are prepared to struggle for hours to make it work. This is definitely not plug and play....more info
- Fun to use, great value.
This is a solid product. The UI is snappy and easy to use. I can give the remote to any guest in my house and say "play what you want" and within 60 seconds they've figured it out (including Pandora an Rhapsody) and want to use it all night. It was pretty easy for me to set up on my wireless network as well.
There are a few small features they could improve on, such as slightly better Pandora support (doesn't allow you to rate songs) and adding last.fm, but it's tough to complain when it does everything from functioning as an alarm clock to displaying your flickr feeds. One really cool feature people might not know about is the "Live Archive" music service which gives you access to literally thousands of live recordings from hundreds of artists for free.
The sound quality is excellent. I think this device is going to give some real competition to Sonos, even though there are apparently some small things Sonos does a little better, such as multi room syncing (not everyone needs this). If you don't own Sonos already, I think it would be hard to justify the investment considering this price point....more info
- Love at first sight, love at first sound!
I've been an audiophile for many years, so when I heard about this I was both hesitant and eager to try this out. I was hesitant because I didn't want yet another gadget gathering dust, and also did not want to be let down.
On the other hand, the Squeezebox promised too much for me to let me say no.
Right out of the box, the set up was completely intuitive. I immediately assembled the plugs and got power going to everything, as well as connecting the RCA cables to my receiver. I then looked at a postcard included that gave me the registration web site, so off to the computer I went to enter my personal information and music services. The squeezebox updated itself once I told it what network to connect to and immediately I was able to bring up my Pandora account and start streaming my favorite music to the stereo. The cover art was gorgeous on the ipod-like display and the controller was completely intuitive and minimalist at the same time. Right from the controller I was able to add additional Pandora stations. My daughter had a friend over and they challenged me to find some ballet music and within a minute crystal clear commercial free ballet music was streaming from my stereo. I was astounded at the ease of set up. My son was next in taking the controller and programming in some of his favorite artists and genres.
I tried out the other music services as well, but Pandora is definitely the best service in all aspects, and it's nice to be able to enjoy it on my home stereo rather than limiting my listening enjoyment to my computer.
I don't have my MP3's stored on my computer at present due to the fact I have a new computer, but rather they are on my MP3 player, so when I get a chance I will load them onto the computer and report back the results.
The other thing I am very impressed with is the fact that the controller is wifi so I can control the stereo from anywhere in the house, without having to worry about being in line of sight. The volume control is also helpful saving me a trip to the family room when I need to turn it down.
Also, the pause button works flawlessly, even on Pandora, so I can pause a song at any time, which really surprised me.
Overall, the engineers at Logitech scored a homerun with this one and I'm very impressed in all regards. ...more info
- Great concept and works decently overall, A little buggy
Overall, this product is great. You can play any song in your music collection. The controller is similar to an iPod, and controls everything. The screen shows you the music and allows you to scroll through your collection like an iPod. I connect everything wirelessly, which is great because as long as you have a signal in your wireless network, then the remote will work so walls are not an issue.
A few bugs, the remote is slow to respond at times, if I click on a button, it might 2 seconds to respond. I am still running a B network but my place is just over 1,000 sq feet so it's not really big and I get a solid signal throughout.
I often have issues finding the music source. Not sure why, it might work great for weeks, then for a week, I have issues finding it. Again, maybe upgrading my Router to a G network might help since my router is like 5 years old.
Setup took me about 25 minutes. If you know how to setup a simple wireless network with encryption, then you can do this. If you aren't comfortable setting up a wireless network, then you will probably need help setting this up.
- Great Device
I am a computer expert, but I think most people would find the setup fairly easy. After you plug the player into your stereo with the RCA plugs, and intall the battery in the controller, the controller leads you through the steps. The only manual step is setting the wifi password.
After that you need to install the Squeezecenter program on your PC, and sign up to SqueezeNetwork for internet radio. I also installed a great little addon calld AlienBBC, which allows you to listen to BBC radio
After the PC installation. Squeezecenter scans your music library. I found that most of my albums have no album art (which apears on the controller as the tracks play) and some of my collection had poor mp3 tags, so I spend a few hours retagging my collection. I found a great little program called Mp3Tag which does a great job of simplifying this task.
Over the years I have accumulated a ton of MP3s. If I wanted to play them on my stereo, I had to burn them to CD. Now with the squeezebox, all my mp3s are a couple of clicks away.
I love this thing.
- Squeezebox Duet - well thought-out design
Having read the reviews here, I made the leap and bought the Squeezebox Duet. I have to say, I'm impressed. Someone at Logitech took the time to design and deliver an outstanding product.
I've loaded around 400 CD's onto my computer and love that it's all at my fingertips through my stereo. It plays perfectly - has never skipped a beat. The remote is intuitive and easy to use.
Setup took a little futzing (likely because of my personal firewall and router needing time to work through the new settings. And it took awhile for me to discover that the MAC address for the remote is behind the battery.)
I like that the remote's battery is replaceable, and that the remote uses WiFi - enabling its use inside or outside - no line-of-sight issues you'd get with an optical remote.
I'm delighted. Seems a fair price for a superior product.
- Changed how I experience music
I bought the Squeezebox Duet a few weeks ago and waited to write the review.
Short background - I have a lot of experience with consumer electronics and love gadgets. I had messed with my brother-in-law's Sonos system and knew I wanted one. I just didn't want to spend the money on the Sonos. So, I took the plunge and tried the Duet. Right out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised at how small the receiver and controller were. In the same order, I bought 3 sets of decent Sony bookshelf speakers for 3 more rooms in the house. Setting up the Duet was simple. If you can get a computer on an encrypted wireless network, setting up the duet will also be a joke. Once online, the Duet was great. Before the Duet, I used iTunes for everything. In fact, I had about 1000 songs that I had bought from iTunes so those were DRM tracks. It is true that you CANNOT play those through the "My Library" on your Duet. HOWEVER, all I did was sign up for Rhapsody and it "subscribed" to all of the DRM protected music, so it was really pretty seamless. After that, I started looking through the duet menus and came across Slacker and Pandora. Slacker is fantastic and I use it about half the time with the duet. Sometimes the duet can take a while to respond - especially if you're trying to go through "my library" and you have thousands of songs. Battery is average, but the charging stand is very nice and you can operate the controller while it's on the stand which is very helpful.
All in all, the duet has changed the way we listen to music. After wiring the house with speakers, we're constantly listening to stuff. With Slacker and other playlists you can download from Rhapsody, I've found about 25 new bands that I really like. If I hear something good, I pick up the duet to see who the artist is, and then simply hit "more from artist." From the remote, I've instantly added those artist's albums to Rhapsody. Very cool....more info
- Delivers the mother of all jukeboxes!
After researching the Squeezebox generally and then the Duet model, I went for the Duet. With over 6,000 ripped tunes on my PC I was looking for a way to pipe those tunes into my low-end would-be audiophile stereo/surround system. In short, this thing works as advertized. The remote functions a lot like an iPod....only better in my opinion. The linkup to my wireless went without a hitch. The software download/setup was simple and direct. I'd give this product a 9.5 out of 10 with the 0.5 shortfall left over for incremental software improvements which I look forward to but could live without if they never came. The sound was very satisfactory but I opted to upgrade with a CIAudio DAC w/ PS which runs off the digital output of the Squeezebox.....which definitely pushed the audio quality into audiophile land. With hard drive costs next to nothing, I've upgraded to 1 TB drives and am re-ripping everything into lossless FLAC files...which work flawlessly on the Sqeezebox. A big thumps up for the Duet. ...more info
- Now with Sirius radio! Count me in!
It's hard to review the Squeezebox Duet without comparing it to the Sonos system, current ruler of this class of products.
Since there are already many excellent reviews, I thought I would focus on a comparison of the two, to help you decide which system best fits your needs.
Both controllers are responsive, pleasant to hold and operate. They are well built, and their LCD screen of excellent quality and easy to read.
Squeezebox: thin, light, easy to operate with one hand, excellent battery life, battery is user-replaceable, comes with charging stand. It also features an infrared blaster and a headphones port, which will be supported at some point in the future (although Logitech makes no promises there have been demonstrations of prototype firmware using both features), as well as a 3D accelerometer (yes, like a Wii remote).
Sonos: bulkier, designed for two-handed operation, battery life could be better, battery is not user-replaceable, charging stand optional.
I did not compare the two systems in the same location, but they both operate well with a range sufficient for most medium-size houses.
Sonos: uses proprietary mesh networking that requires to plug one of the players into the wired LAN. Other players act as repeaters.
Squeezebox: uses standard 802.11g networking. Can hook up to an existing wireless network, or the player can be used as an access point for the remote.
Sonos offers two players: the ZP100 has a built-in amplifier and the ZP80 doesn't (but it offers a digital output missing from the ZP100). Both players feature an Ethernet hub and an audio input.
Squeezebox: on top of the inexpensive player bundled with the Duet, the Squeezebox system is also capable of controlling all other Squeezebox devices (excluding the first generation models).
Audio quality is comparable, although audiophiles may be attracted by the compatibility with the Squeezebox Transporter.
This is where both systems differ radically. Sonos connects to existing SMB shares whereas Squeezebox requires that you install and run the SqueezeCenter server on your computer. SqueezeCenter is open source and runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Sonos: less intrusive, no software to install, works happily off a lowly NAS. But: if your music collection is larger than 30,000 tracks, you may hit the limit of the indexing capabilities, a problem with no easy workaround.
Squeezebox: requires simple installation of server software, so you have to have a computer always on. Server is too CPU-intensive to run properly on a low-power NAS such as the D-Link DNS-323
Sonos: Napster, Rhapsody, Audible, eMusic, Zune Marketplace, Sirius, Pandora, all configurable from the controller
Squeezebox: Rhapsody, MP3Tunes Locker, Radio IO, RadioTime, Slacker, Live365, SHOUTcast, Sirius, most must be configured and authorized from a computer using the SqueezeCenter web interface.
Both companies offer spectacular support through their on-line forums.
Price: Squeezebox. A three-zone Sonos system will cost you about twice as much as a three zone Squeezebox system.
Ease of setup: Sonos
Ease of use/WAF: Sonos. The Squeezebox interface is beautiful, but Sonos is more logically organized and simpler.
So, should you get Sonos or Squeezebox? It depends. Both systems are excellent.
If you're a tinkerer and want a solid, inexpensive system, the Squeezebox is for you. If you don't mind the added cost, want the best, simplest, friendliest user interface around, Sonos is still the ticket.
One thing is for sure: Sonos finally has some serious competition.
- A piece of junk
Great idea, when it works, which is infrequently. I have both a Duet and an SB3 (the previous version). Logitech should never have released this product before they had set it up to work properly. Essentially you are working as a beta tester if you buy it. The Controller drops connections repeatedly, cannot find the music source (when it is next to the router and the receiver in another room can without any problem)and has to be reset repeatedly. To add insult to injury the older model works perfectly, even though the Controller cannot find it, and Phone help does not answer while email help does not respond. ...more info
- as much as i love the Squeezebox "Classic", the Duet is not yet stable enough...
the duet is basically qthe classic squeeezebox with a change in user interface philosophy - the album info now migrates to a nicer (albeit small) interface on the remote's (called the "controller") nice color display. before you'd have to look at the SB itself to look at what was playing on its LED display. the player itself (the "receiver") now offers no song information, just status information via a button that changes colors depending on whatever operation status its in.
so look at the squeezebox reviews for opinions on the amazing sound quality you can get out of this little box, provided the rest of your system is up for it. and the convenience is unbeatable.
the setup was just as geek-optimized as it is for the squeezebox, if you expect things to work out of the box this may not be the product for you. you better enjoy to fiddle with setup and software.
unfortunately, in my wireless configuration, which has worked flawlessly with a number of other devices (other classic Squeezeboxes for one, but also many computers and iPhones and what not) the Controller is an extremely temperamental device, and based on the discussion forums on the Logitech support site i am not the only customer that has its controller drop connections with stunning regularity.
so while i think the concept has a lot of potential, for now i prefer the classic squeezebox due to its stability. for now the duet just gets 2 stars for the receivers merits in sound reproduction, but as far as the controller i can not award points....more info
- A Few Flaws Stand in the Way of Playing Your Music Anywhere...But It Does Work Eventually
I was unclear why this was called a Squeezebox Duet until I discovered it to be a two-part system - the Squeezebox Receiver base station and the Squeezebox Controller remote. The functionality of the base station is pretty clear - it's a black brick that pulls audio from a networked PC or the Internet via your Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet home network. The remote is a multi-room controller with a 2.4-inch full-color LCD screen. The combination allows you to roam your home and take advantage of the music you have on your PC and have it play through your home entertainment system.
It's a terrific concept, but installing the Logitech Squeezebox Duet was among the most frustrating experiences I have has as a non-techie. It was only through persistent trial and error that I was successful in connecting it to my Sony home entertainment center and only after purchasing additional coaxial cables to make it operable. Once that was complete, the rest of the procedure was fairly straightforward. What I like most about the Squeezebox is how it operates completely from the palm of my hand. The controller lets me browse from Internet radio stations and free services, such as Rhapsody, MP3tunes.com and my personal favorite, Pandora. In turn, it allows me to access my own selected music collection. The one barrier, however, is that Squeezebox doesn't play music with copy protection, which includes any songs offered on Apple's iTunes music store. As a partial offset, though, I can play podcasts and even soothing sound effects that help lull me to sleep.
One other flaw worth mentioning is what I consider the lack of intuitive navigation on the controller. This was surprising to me considering how well Logitech designed its Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote. The main menu is segregated by Music Library, Internet Radio and Music Services, and Settings, among other choices. I didn't have a problem moving up and down menus via the scroll wheel, but my tendency is to look for physical buttons to start play or turn off the whole thing. Neither exists. I also noticed sometimes there was a lack of synchronicity between the music and the album art displayed on the screen, but I wasn't sure if it was the fault of the music service or the Squeezebox. All in all, even with its shortcomings, I think the Squeezebox Duet is a relatively solid product for anyone who wants broader access to the music they are used to finding just at their PC....more info
- I absolutely LOVE this new toy...
I can play music from anywhere in my house and actually find the music I want to hear. For a technophobe like myself married to a computer geek who thinks all music should be stored digitally this is one happy toy. :o)...more info
- Squeezebox Duet
I like this product very much. I already owned the original Squeezebox when I purchased the Squeezebox Duet. I know have music in 2 rooms of my house, and I frequently synchronize the 2 Squeezebox players. I like the music player-like remove of the Duet. Being able to see the album art is nice.
I will say that I am anticipating a firmware upgrade that hopefully fix a few glitches. Sometimes the "now playing" feature on the Duet remote "gets stuck" -- that is it does not update when the next song plays. Also if you try to see the "now playing" list of songs, it too is not current with the song that is actually playing. Sometimes I need to re-boot the remote and the only way I know to do that is to remove the battery and put it back in.
While these glitches are annoying, I still like the Squeezebox. Having your entire music collection available through the remote is great. I like to play a random mix of an entire genre, such as jazz. It's like having a radio station that plays nothing but the music that I like.
- Apple Airport Express for $99
Assuming you use iTunes and assuming you have a wireless network in your house already, there is absolutely no reason to spend the extra money on this unit when a $99 Apple Airport Express will do the job for you. I have been using one for several years now and it works flawlessly - streaming my iTunes music library to my Denon receiver over a wireless link. I can even control it from my laptop, which may be only seeing a "shared" library from another computer, again over the wireless network. I'm giving it 4 stars because it sounds like a nice system and if a user doesn't meet the iTunes/wireless prerequisites for an Airport Express, then I'm sure this is a great way to go.
(update 7/23/08) And with the additional purchase of Airfoil for about $20 (google it), you don't even need to use iTunes to stream your music to your Airport Express. I stream XM radio via the web through Airfoil to my Airport Express and into my Denon receiver. Airfoil can route any audio stream to an Airport Express on your wireless network, iTunes not required. Works great. Total cost Airport Express + Airfoil = $125. This squeezebox is way too expensive.
- A product whose need is yet to be determined
I was excited to get the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Music System. Once I had it though, my excitement dimmed considerably. Here is why...
Even though Logitech asserts that the system works with OS X, I had to get a beta from customer support for Leopard. The rep warned me that "sometimes" the beta works perfectly with Leopard, and sometimes not. My luck, I got the "sometimes not."
Now that does not mean Logitech won't solve the wireless connectivity issues with Macs. It just means that so far the solutions have not worked reliably across the board. My guess is in a few weeks or months I will be able to connect wirelessly to my Mac. But what to do till then?
I "solved" it by connecting the Squeezebox to an open ethernet connector on my Apple Time Capsule MB276LL/A 802.11n 500 GB Network Backup Hard Drive, which is basically a router with a 500GB hard drive attached. The controller even senses you want to make an Ethernet connection and provides you with that option. In just a very few minutes I was up and running.
But as Hamlet said "Aye, there's the rub" because a wired connection means that the system must be tethered to the router, and all the advantages of mobility within your house or office are gone. But it works, and soon I was enjoying subscription Internet radio.
And that is where my final question arises. Even with wireless connections in an iPod, satellite radio, cable radio age, do we really need this service to pump sound into a room which may be the only one in the house without some form of digital music? My guess is that Logitech will have to make a major marketing push to differentiate itself in a marketplace filled with alternative competition....more info
- Released my collection from computer prison
Reason I purchased
I own approximately 1000 CD's of which most have been ripped to MP3 @ 320 kps for ease of use but minimizing the compression's impact to sound quality (I still prefer the sound of the original CD).
I have a multi-room setup with speakers in assorted rooms, garage and outside. It was for this setup that I purchased the squeezebox. Prior to purchasing the squeezebox I had a networked computer hooked up to the multi-room setup using the main TV as the monitor. This worked however whenever I wanted to listened to music at the pool but my wife wanted to watch TV I had to get her to pause her programming so I could control the computer. The same setup would apply if I wanted to change programming (song, etc...). This frustrated my wife several times.
Obviously, I wanted a system that would work w/o using the TV as the monitor. This requirement removed all media extender (including apple TV). I also wanted the capability of controlling the music via remote (preferably Wi-Fi or other non-IR control). This further narrowed my choices to Sonos, Squeezebox, or even more expensive systems by Control4, Creston, etc...
Squeezebox won due to price.
Setup was easy but could be a little simpler. The directions could be a little better (such as indicating squeezecenter must be working for the squeezebox to find the computer). I also ha to attempt to connect several times before everything was working. I have the squeezeboxes set up wired and the remotes are wireless (obviously).
After the system is setup the operation is flawless. I can scroll through my entire library and pick and choose as I feel or have the system do a random selection (by song, artist, album, year, and genre) which I love (since I don't do playlist). The buttons allow for pause, FF, REW, home, volume +, volume - (which is nice so I do not have to go to my wall panels). There is also a scroll wheel (like an iPod). The remote can control multiple squeezeboxes but only one at a time. However, multiple squeezeboxes can be set up to play the same programming (if desired). In addition through squeezecenter (on your PC), you can control the programming on any squeezebox.
The remote's range is really good for my applications. I can go anywhere in my house or yard and still control the devices. I did notice outside the screen is barely visible. Hopefully, Logitech (slim devices) will make the screen brighter in either future versions (or via firmware upgrade, if possible).
The system does use iTunes for artwork, playlist, etc... For some this may be a con but I prefer iTunes for ease of use over WMP.
One neat feature I just found is you can access your Flickr account and stream your pictures to the remote to be used as a screensaver.
The expansion possibilities are there too. The remote as an SM slot and jack in the top (don't know what that is for). You can also upload 3rd party applications that allow the squeezebox to do other features including playing SAT radio. It would be nice if Logitech could combine the Harmony series remotes with this product ...
For the future, I intend to buy a windows home server and centralize all of my media onto that. I would then run squeezecenter on that. The forums on the slim devices website indicate this works flawlessly.
Note: I have not even tried the internet radio functions of the device.
To music lovers, this is an incredible piece of technology. There are so many uses for the Squeezebox that I hardly know where to start describing what a good buy this is!
Rather than dish out a listing of the features of what this thing can do, suffice it to say that for me, the Squeezebox is the epitome of a computer-based music management system.
It took me all of a five minutes to set up on my wireless home network and within a few minutes after that, I was listening to Internet radio, and with a few clicks on the remote, signed up for some of the premium online music services (such as Rhapsody and Pandora--these come with between 30 and 60 days free trials) and of course, connection to my PC-based music.
The latter required installing a Squeeze Center software to be installed on my windows PC although I read that you can also use most any OS.
The squeezebox is compatible with just about *all* non-DRM music types, although I wish I could play some of my iTunes music. But that's just such a tiny letdown that I don't care. Another letdown was the remote control itself--I found it a bit difficult to use due to its unresponsiveness. It's iPod-like wheel doesn't work as smoothly as my iPod's and clicking on buttons sometimes needs to be done a few times before it "takes."
The system is actually in two parts: a base station, which can be connected to external audio (speakers, etc.) via several types of connections, from RCA and digital audio. The other is the remote which I mentioned. The remote is also wireless and can turn on and off the base station, which doesn't have a power switch. The base station can also be turned off and on by the SqueezeCenter running on the PC.
Honestly, this thing is easy to use and very versatile. With the online music services, I can create dynamic play lists. I can search for just about any song on both the service as well as in my PC's music library. If you don't mind the sometimes irritating unresponsiveness of the remote and the way it works to choose letters (which takes some getting used to), this is a must-have for those audiophiles who are transferring their musical collection into digital format.
- Two Thumbs Up!
I confess: I didn't install it myself (hubby did it) as the set-up seemed more than a little intimidating, but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to technology, so maybe other people will find it a cinch.
In any case, once installed, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System is a dream come true for music lovers. It let's you play pretty much anything you want (radio channels, Internet radio stations, music from your PC, etc.). If you can think of it, The Squeezebox will give it to you.
- This has got to be nominated for awards. It's that amazing!
Organizing my music collection through the years has become impossible. My iTunes folder has nearly 30,000 songs in it. My 80gb ipod does not have enough room. I bought an iMac with a huge hard drive, and it accommodates all content. But I was stuck either hooking my iPod to my stereo or listening from the computer speakers if I wanted to play digital files. I did buy some thing that hooked up to my TV and had an on screen display to find music, but it was so annoying, I hardly use it. And then along come My Squeezebox. I cannot be more happy or excited about this, you have no idea.
First of all, it was painless and easy to setup. You set the system up via the remote screen and it connects your wireless network. There's "Squeezbox" software to connect the two effortlessly, and you are up an running. Simply connect your stero system speaker to the wireless port, and the remote gives you on-screen access to your entire iTunes folder, or any folder you wish. The remote feels familiar to your iPod, and with all the same features such as shuffle etc.
You also have access to internet radio, and other option features. I chose to delete things like Rhapsody (why are they still in business) etc. as there is no need for anything like that.
I did have to contact customer service as there was a minor piece missing from the ac adapter. It was fully functional, but the missing piece would provide more convenience. Not only did they answer within seconds, they were going to ship the piece overnight. I told them to ship normal mail as it was not urgent, but I was so impressed with the phone call and service, it's great to know they are there in case something more major happens down the road.
This is something I will buy repeatedly even if it breaks. I am so thrilled being able to control my music and find everything I want at the touch of a button. ... and it looks really cool. Buy it yesterday and soon you'll be living in the future....more info
- A Truly Amazing Product!!!
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PYOUYHRW3SUP Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System
By William Higgins, Editor-in-Chief at http://www.5dollarmusic.com
The iPod revolutionized the personal music experience, but the Squeezebox Duet will revolutionize how you listen to music in your home!!!
I am really blown away by this product. With springtime upon us I used this the time this past week to wire my den and back porch with in-ceiling speakers. I had an old Onkyo A/V receiver that I installed in a closet to power the 2 rooms. My grand plan was to get this all setup for the Logitech Squeezebox Duet. I looked at the Sonos Music system but it was way out of my budget. The Logitech Squeezebox Duet was more than worth the money.
The install was a snap. It really only took a few minutes to setup. I did a little homework before I got the device and went ahead and installed the SqueezeCenter software on my computer first. So when I plugged in the hardware everything worked right away. No issues.
The interface is so slick and intuitive. Simple, efficient, and familiar to anyone that has used an iPod or any other portable MP3 player. I was amazed at how responsive the system is to the controls on the WiFi remote. Going from track to track, or album to album was instant, no lag. Really, I have used other music streaming systems before and some of them had a distinct lag in the controls. I am very happy to report that Slim Devices and Logitech got this right with the Duet. This is one of the few products that exceeded my expectations. ...more info
- Perfect System!
Here's one system that I cannot find anything wrong with! Once it's set up and running you can find and play anything online (other than Apple), and I do mean anything.....all at your fingertips!
For those of you who are talk radio junkies, you can find thousands of channels from around the country or around the world! Say you're relaxing for bed at 10PM eastern, well it's around 4PM Hawaii time, you can listen to LIVE afternoon drive from Hawaii LIVE on the squeezebox!
Keep in mind you need a router and high speed internet connection for this to work. And as I always say with new electronics, set aside a good hour to set it up so you don't rush through it.
Honestly, I can't find anything negative to say about this system. You can find all sorts of music live to play on this for free and from all around the world, all at your fingertips with the remote! This is great for someone who can't get outside or such....it brings the world to them! ...more info
- The Duet is Awesome!!!
The Duet is very cool. It allows you to wirelessly link to all the mp3 files on your computer and play them over your stereo. You do this with with a hand held unit that is similar to a cell phone. I really like it and recommend it, but it setting it up can get a little technical. I go over setup and usage issues below:
I've had my complete CD collection of close to 500 CDs on our PCs hard drive for a few years now. We mainly use it to fill our MP3 players. There wasn't a good way to listen to it. Now with the Duet we can play all of our music over the stereo easily. I can find a song and start it playing within seconds. Finding the CD on the book shelf and getting it into the CD player can take minutes longer unless it's misfiled or in the car then longer yet! I really love this system. It puts my complete music collection at my finger tips and merges the computer with our stereo system.
The duet hooks into your network wirelessly. There is a way to plug the player into a wired port and use adhoc mode to connect the controller to the player, but I didn't use that mode. Setup is straight forward, but not "easy". I'm a computer geek, so I didn't have too hard of time. You'll need to know your WEP key/password so the duet and player can access your network. If you are using a MAC address filter as well, the player and remote have their Mac addresses on them so that helps.
The remote is very cool. If you can operate an ipod, the remote will be pretty intuitive. The color screen is great. You can even link to a Flickr account and have it use your own pictures for screen savers. I have the album artwork in the tags of all my MP3s so the now playing screen shows you that picture. The remote comes with a charging cradle that it sits in. Both the remote and player have updateable software that you can update by selecting an option on the remote.
- You need to run the Squeeze Center software on one pc in your house. It's the server software that the Duet uses to access your music. There is a website that you can get help and submit bugs if you find one. The player setup didn't find this machine by name when I set mine up, so I had to type in the IP address. Then it found it by name.
- Playlists: You can create and use playlists. This lets you have all sorts of mixes.
- Searches: You can search your library from the remote. This is fast and very cool. Know just part of the song name or the artist, no problem. It will list all matching songs.
- New Music: Under the tab for your music library, there is a New Music section. This shows in chronological order the music you last added to your library.
- Updates: The remote has a headphone jack. I thought it would be cool to be able to listen to music with just the remote and earphones. You can't now, but I called tech support and they said they are working on it.
- You can have multiple players. The Duet comes with one controller and one player. You can add another player (and I think up to 5) in another room and it can play different music than the first. The controller will control them both. I'm thinking of getting one for my basement stereo system.
- Two delivery guys from a big box store were installing our new dishwasher while I was playing with the Duet. When I explained to them what it was, they both got every excited. They get a discount on their purchases and both wanted to get one.
- My wife who has an ipod has no problems using the Duet. ...more info
- Worth the wait
While I was frustrated with Amazon's backordered status of the Duet, I used the time to continue research on the competing Sonus (just too much money for me to justify), start converting my CDs to FLAC computer files, and planning my ultimate configuration which is serving up my music collection from a Network Attached Storage device.
But, now I have my Duet and it was worth the wait. First impressions: product "fit and finish" is outstanding - even the packaging (once I got it out of the Amazon box) made it seem a little like Christmas. First priority, start charging the remote.
Setup went quickly. Even entering the WEP security code for my wireless network was made simple. I powered the receiver up and downloaded and installed the Squeeze Center software as instructed, and started it running. The receiver was quickly identified by the remote, but the software didn't find the receiver until I cycled it by pressing the button on the front of the receiver. That was all it took.
Next step, just point the Squeeze Center application to the disc folder where the music files were, easily accomplished via the familiar browse process. With the receiver now connected to a pair of powered speakers, I picked up the remote, scrolled over to my Music Library, picked an album, and music started flowing. And sound good it does. The 24-bit digital-to-analog converters did their job. I could not discern any quality degradation from the original CD. (I chose the FLAC file format to retain the audio quality of my CDs instead of going the mp3 route. One objective is to regain the shelf space currently consumed with hundreds of CDs.)
Can't get too much easier that that! Next step? Add additional receivers and order the NAS box.
- Doggone Good Way to Get Your Music
I have hours and hours of Bob Dylan music on my hard drive, tons of Stones too. I'm also a huge fan of the Blues, have Billie Holiday everything. I'd marry Eric Clapton in a heartbeat and I swoon when I hear Jim Morrison, have everything the Doors have ever done. Do you get the fact that I'm a girl who really, really loves her music?
Enter the Squeezbox Duet. This nifty device takes the music from my computer and delivers it tomy home stereo system. I have a McIntosh MC 2105 Power Amp, the one with the big blue VU Meters, and I connected the Squeezebox to it via the RCA jacks on the back, turned my Amp select knob to Aux, turned on the Squeezebox, which found my wireless network without a problem and in no time I was good to go.
My twin sister Tiffany has the Sonos Music System in her house and I was considering getting that as well, but the Squeezebox is less than half as much and about the only difference I can see is that you can't listen to different internet radio stations in different rooms at the same time, but then I'm only in one room at a time, anyway. And maybe the Sonos Music System is a touch more responsive, but that's nitpicking.
I guess I should mention that like with the Sonos Music System you need a box, amp and speakers for every room you want your music in. Or you could use powered speakers. I have a second box in my bedroom and I thought of maybe getting one for my office, but I use Logitech's Z CinĂ©ma Advanced Surround Sound System there and really like it. I guess I'm just a Logitech girl.
Reviewed by Stephanie Sane...more info
- Squeeze Me, Baby
The Squeezebox Duet is just about the neatest thing I've owned in a whole long time. I've got music galore on my Mac's hard drive. I've got two personalized Rhapsody radio stations and I listen to a heck of a lot of internet radio stations (music and talk) and until now, I've had my iMac hooked up to my stereo amp via the headphone jack on the back of the Mac. No more. With this little baby I can get all my iTunes music, plus my Rhapsody stations and my favorite internet stations easy peasy.
The Squeezebox Duet comes in two parts. The base station like device hooks up to your stereo and it communicates wirelessly with the iPod like remote. The remote's got a brilliant color screen and is as intuitive as an iPod. From my sofa I can control my music and I just love it. My hubby Dub is a fan as well. Crystal clear Beatles and Stones, Airplane and Floyd, can't get better than that. Five big stars from me, would that I could give it more.
Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne
PS, there is one small problem that may bother some people, but not me. You cannot listed to Apple's DRM music on this device, but like I said, that doesn't bother me, as I've got all my music in MP3 format. If you've got a lot of Apples AAC DRM stuff, you might want to consider converting it....more info
- The promise of open and easy access to all of my music finally fulfilled.
A promise fulfilled. Quick, convenient, and effortless access to both my own local music files, but also internet radio and popular online music services. Easy to configure, easier to use. Attractive, intuitive, and responsive. A wonderful solution, and I'm rediscovering music files I hadn't touched in years. That's my review, and if you're looking for a quick and easy synopsis, that's it. What follows is my experience, and it's quite a bit longer.
Several years ago, I took the time to burn all of my CDs to MP3 form. It was a relatively slow and painful process with over 400 discs, but I was completely sold on the prospect of being able to randomly shuffle through every track I owned, without having to constantly switch discs out of a player. I liked the idea of having it all on my home network, being able to listen to songs on any machine, being able to plug into my home theater/stereo, and listening to it on the big Martin Logans. There's been a certain technological divide between that notion and reality over the years. Sure, there have been various solutions. I once had a product from X-10 that wirelessly connected my desktop to my speakers. So all I had to do was pull up Windows Media Player and play things - but the signal was poor, and the hardware poorer. It was clunky, required direct intervention, and was not the "fire and forget" solution I was looking for. We tried sharing the MP3 folders, and this worked well enough to get it to the other PCs. We ran an optical cable from the PC to the pre-amp, that got it on the stereo, but this was all still pretty clunky and dissatisfying. When the Xbox 360 Pro Value Bundle came out, we were excited about the prospect of being able to use that to play music, but (for reasons I won't waste time upon here) I'm just not a big fan of Windows Media Center. What I'm getting at, is that I had thousands of MP3s, and had downloaded thousands more over the years, and for the most part they just sat quietly and untouched on one hard drive or another. Sure, I'd toss a pair of headphones on and listen on my laptop while working on a paper, or would load a few directly into the 360 in order to pull into a game, but casual listening just didn't happen.
The Squeezebox Duet changed that moments after it showed up. I was absolutely skeptical. Despite being a big fan of the quality of Logitech products that have crossed my path as of late, such as the Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote and the Wilife DVS800I LukWerks Indoor Starter Kit, I figured this was going to be an up-hill battle. I run two different non-broadcasting wireless networks (one N, one G) with WPA2 encryption, I was out of free USB ports (I assumed I'd need one, and you don't), I was afraid the interface would be slow when burdened with so many music files (Media Center choked on them). I was, as I said, skeptical.
This is going to seem a silly diversion before I get into the installation and configuration process, but I have to say it. At a time when it seems everyone is just sealing their products in that impossible-to-open sealed heavy plastic "clam" packaging, Logitech has truly made an art of packaging and presentation. Yes, even the packaging is both aesthetically pleasing, functional, and well organized. Everything is meticulously wrapped and presented, but easy to open and access. They clearly spent some time and extra money thinking about the packaging, so I'm going to spend a few words celebrating that effort, it's definitely appreciated. Out of the box, I plugged the power in for the remote base, and for the unit itself, which isn't much bigger than two decks of cards sitting side by side. I plugged an optical cable into the box, ran that to the stereo, downloaded and installed software from the SqueezeNetwork website, and put the Lithium battery in the remote. The remote walked me through the steps of connecting the handset to the network, then had me connect to the box (easy as pressing a single button on it), then had the box connect to the network as well. That was it, the whole process took no more than 10 minutes. The software on the desktop had finished scanning through my media files, and I was instantly browsing by artist, album, genre, or even year (amongst others). Ultimately, I told it to just randomly grab songs, and that's just what it did. As fast as I could browse around, I was seeing album covers and details about the songs in the visual display on the remote. The dial-based navigation quick and easy, the whole experience smooth and responsive. Even on random, I can hit a button and see what the next several songs are going to be. With a couple presses, I can leave my hard drive and connect to online streaming radio, and/or a service like Pandora. I walked through the whole of my two-story home trying to figure out where it wouldn't work, and never had it lose connection even from a floor, several walls, and about 60 feet away.
From the handset, I can flag songs that are playing as favorites for easier future access, browse details about them ranging from the technical (bitrate, file length, sample rate), to the genre, year, album name, etc. -- everything you can detail in your ID3 tags. You've got the time played and the time remaining displayed for a given track as it rolls, as well as the track number, title, and artist name (complete with the album cover, when available). When steaming over the net, the song title and time is displayed. The roughly 1.5"(w) x 2"(h) display dims and shuts down on its own after a while, and just picking up the remote brings it back to life. The handset makes this duet the dream that it is, hard for me to imagine having one without the other.
This is the solution I've desired for years. It's a brilliant piece of engineering, and an instant hit in my household. This is one of those products that I'll be enthusiastically recommending and demonstrating to my friends.
- PC Music And Stereos Unite!
The Good: The Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System lets you wirelessly stream music from you computer or the internet to your stereo or standalone speakers to any room in your house that can access your wireless network. The iPod-esque controller also allows you control from any room that has a signal from your network giving you extreme flexibility. This device brings together the best of both worlds between mass storage of mp3 format music and quality sound of a dedicated stereo system. In addition it also brings internet radio stations and music subscription services to your home stereo to boot.
The Bad: Setup may intimidate wireless networking novices. A couple of other aspects of the setup process could be a little more user friendly as well.
Overall: This is a digital music lover's dream come true. What follows is my experience from out of the box to day to day usage.
SETUP: I had my system up and running in less than 30 minutes, and this is a pretty small investment for what you get in return. The Quick Start Guide included in the package is all you need. For the physical components, it is a breeze. Install the battery into the control, snap on the connectors for the power outlets of the controller and receiver, plug them both into an outlet, and connect the receiver to the AUX jack on your stereo or standalone speakers.
At this point, you will need to sign on to the Squeeze Network web site and create your account. They use a pretty standard registration process, and you will receive an e-mail to activate your account. Once activated, you need to download and install the Squeeze Server software. I did find it challenging to find the actual link for the download. As I mentioned in my Harmony One review, Logitech could benefit from paying more attention to the usability of their software. While this is fairly minor in the grand scheme of the product, some people will be frustrated by it.
The slowest step is downloading the Squeeze Server software that runs on your PC; however, I prefer this to having a CD-ROM that I'll never use again. While CDs are not expensive, it does save the manufacturer a little as well. Once downloaded, the installation process is very easy.
Once this is in place, you are ready to configure the controller and receiver. Once you install the battery into the controller, you are prompted to begin the configuration process. The on screen instructions are pretty straightforward. The one thing that I found annoying was around entering my wireless network information. I do not broadcast my SSID, and I use 128-bit WEP encryption. I had to use the wheel to key in my SSID by hand followed by the 26 hexadecimal key. I can understand why Logitech made this trade off because you only have to enter this information once, and alternatives would require more complicated hardware either to allow a more tactile entry on the controller or USB connectivity to your PC where you could make use of a full keyboard. Neither of these complications is really worth the cost so grit your teeth and be thanking that you only have to do it once.
A final note on setup. If you are able to connect a laptop to your wireless network, you have all the technical knowledge you need. However, if you needed the "Geek Squad" or someone else to set this up for you, you should expect to need the same level of assistance to get this device up and running.
USAGE: The Squeezebox is a great "glue" device in that it brings the best of both worlds together from digital music on my PC and my stereo. I get about half of my music electronically this days, and I really only listened to it on my computer or my mp3 player. With the Squeezebox, my complete music collection is again available to my stereo even though my computer is on a different floor of the house! I also love the fact that I have access to all of the CDs that I have ripped to mp3s through my stereo without having to change discs. I also have access to my playlists that jump from one CD to the next at will. In addition, my stereo has a poor antenna. Thanks to the Squeezebox; however, I can get crystal clear reception of any radio station that streams music over the internet. So, not only do I have access to the majority of my local radio stations, I have a wealth of additional choices for national radio stations that stream. And if that's not enough, you can also access your digital subscription music services such as Rhapsody. Simply store your login information in your Squeeze Network account, and you'll be able to stream any music through your stereo that you would using Rhapsody on your PC. There are other services as well. Of course iTunes is not included, but this isn't an Apple product so shouldn't come as a shock.
I found it easy to control all of these features from the iPod like controller. A clearly marked "home" button takes you to the main menu at any point. It was a minor adjustment to get used to the wheel feature. I have owned Sandisk mp3 players which do not use a wheel but rather a directional pad. This is a minor point. What really matters is the easy of use of the menus. The wheel drives the controller's 2.4 inch display which allows you straightforward access to your music library on your computer as well as the plethora of internet radio stations. After scrolling to your selection, the center button is used for selection. Other buttons are dedicated to volume up and down, pause, previous track, and next track buttons. All operate as expected.
Another feature accessible from the controller's main menu is a series of settings that you can change. Here you find ways to change your wallpaper, date and time format, clock settings, etc. Further, you have control over screensavers, and display dimming timers, etc.
The display itself is sharp and of the same quality of the Logitech Harmony One's display. If your collection has the album art stored with the music, you will see the album cover for the song that you are playing. This works very much the same as Windows Media Mobile does on a PDA. During radio station play it simply shows an icon of a broadcasting radio tower with the station info.
Finally, I recently had a power outage that seemed to get things out of sync between the controller and the receiver. I tried a couple of things to sort it out, but at the end of the day, the controller is a computer. So I did the equivalent of rebooting (much like you have to do with cell phones at times), and I removed the battery for about a minute - the amount of time was purely a guess. After replacing the battery, the controller booted up and everything was back to normal again.
CONCLUSION: As I said at the beginning, this is a music lover's dream. In a way, it made my home stereo relevant again. At the end of the day, you have easy setup and great, easy to use features. For me it is a no brainer five star item....more info
- Easy to use...and fun!
Streaming audio files over a home network is nothing new. But never has it been this easy or fun. The Duet's base station is small and barely noticeable. And the remote is a subtle addition to the top shelf on our home audio rack. The remote itself is a nice weight -- it feels like a quality product in your hand. The navigation is very intuitive and is similar to click-wheel Ipods. If you leave the remote in sleep mode it finds the network very quickly when you pick it up. But we sometimes shut it down completely. Start-up from a complete shut down takes about 1-2 minutes. But hey, it's a essentially a computer!
In terms of graphics, the visual interfaces and menus aren't as Apple-pretty as an Ipod but the display is nice and big and will show album art. You can also customize the display with some very basic built-in wallpaper and screensavers. I believe there is a way to add your own photos to the display but I haven't played around with that yet. Navigating to a specific song or album works well via the click wheel. If you have a big music collection the wheel will speed-surf to a letter of the alphabet after a second, which allows you to find what you re looking for relatively quickly. The Duet imports your playlists from Itunes but you can also set random or user-specified playlists on the remote itself very easily. The only problem with this is if someone picks up the remote to play a different song in the middle of a playlist the entire playlist will cancel and you will have to re-set it. If you are using this for playlists at a party you re better off using a pre-designated Itunes playlist, which can all be imported into your Duet when you set it up (or whenever you rescan your music library).
This product passes the "girlfriend test"; my non-techy girlfriend was able to use it with very little instruction and is not afraid to use it on a regular basis. In fact, she's finally stopped using CDs.
Setup was relatively easy and after a couple of early crashes, one having to do with our home network, not the Duet, it has run flawlessly. I called Logitech support after the first crash and they were very helpful. We are running the Duet wirelessly but you can also use an wired ethernet connection. You can check the Logitech Squeezebox online forums for more comments about this kind of stuff The forums are farily active and Logitech employees occasionally post as well to respond to questions, etc., which is great. We've had ZERO dropouts after the first couple of setup crashes, but that may speak to the fact that our wireless router is pretty decent and the primary computer where we store our music is new and fast. The Duet streams audio from any computer on your network running the SqueezeCenter software, a free download for Mac OSX or Windows, although the switching time between source computers is somewhat slow so you'll probably want to have a dedicated PC or Mac for all of your audio files. And that computer has to be on and not in sleep mode, which means you may have to wake it up if you want to access the audio with your Duet. This is a slight hassle but can be easily overcome by setting up a dedicated always-on computer for your music or by changing the sleep settings on whatever computer you use for music storage and management. One caveat: the Duet DOES NOT recognize DRM-protected Itunes AAC files, i.e., music purchased from the Itunes store. There are apparently ways around this issue but if most of your music is stuff you bought from the Itunes store this might be a hassle for you. Start using Amazon's MP3 store already -- it's great and it's DRM-free!
There are other ways to use the Duet besides playing your own music collection. The online services right now include Pandora, Rhapsody, and Slacker. I am a big fan of Pandora so we listen to that quite a bit. One note: you have to pay a fee - $30/year as of now - to run Pandora through a Squeezebox (Pandora from a computer is free). But I love Pandora so much that I'm happy to pony up a few bucks to support what they do.
Many, many, many internet radio stations are also built into the Duet's menu and there s also a menu of stuff uploaded to the "Internet Archive," which is primarily fan-recorded live shows by lesser-known modern bands and the Grateful Dead. As a former Deadhead I was happy to be able to dial up a Dead show by menus that display the date and location of the shows. I've found that the internet radio stations don't always play reliably but this probably has more to do with particular station's streaming issues than with the Duet. You can surf for internet radio by genre or location from the internet radio top menus. We've had some fun listening to stations from around the world through our home stereo system. You can do this on your computer but the Duet menus make it more fun somehow. It's also wowed more than a few of our friends to grab the Duet remote off of the coffee table after dinner and pull up an Australian station (or whatever) on our main stereo system while we re just sitting around because it all happens so simply and with such little effort.
The Duet isn't perfect but it's pretty incredible. If you have a nice home stereo system and are starting to burn or buy music on one or more computers this is a really fun way to link those together. You re going to find yourself wanting to rip your CDs at higher quality levels which can be done in Itunes preferences menu (Advanced --> Importing) if you use Itunes to manage your music, because they sound SO much better thorough your stereo than through your computer.
Go for it! The Duet rocks!!!...more info
- I Consider the Squeezebox a Treasure. . . Now
I Consider the Squeezebox a Treasure. . . Now.
But I was ready to send it back to Logitech the first couple of days I owned it. The problem was, I didn't know how to set it up. Reading the specs on the Logitech page, I now realize that the Quick-Start Guide was missing from my box.
As a result, I didn't know that I had to rotate the scroll wheel rather than tap it to engage the scrolling function. Nor did I understand how to add the Squeezebox to my wireless network.
Fortunately, a tech support guy in the Logitech's Slim Devices division was able to guide me through the setup process fairly painlessly, and I was up and running - finally!
From then on, it was fun, fun, fun! I live in a small community where radio transmissions are iffy on good days and non-existent on bad days, so finding that I could access all internet radio stations in clear, quality transmissions was a joy. And the controller has introduced me to a variety of stations around the world that I never realized existed. I've enjoyed talk radio and music of all kinds.
The receiver will also play music you've stored on your computer. While you might say, "who cares?", you would be delighted at the difference in the sound quality from computer to Squeezebox receiver. So, who cares? I do. You can also search your own music and create play lists to suit your taste.
In addition, you can listen to subscription music services, such as Pandora or Rhapsody. I have so much left to sample that it will be weeks, if ever, before I consider adding a subscription service.
Possibilities for Improvement
1. Double-check package contents to ensure a Quick Start Guide is included. I wasted many hours making setup difficult instead of a breeze.
2. A search function for Internet radio stations would be a great addition. I'd like to be able to quickly find my local classical station rather than scrolling through all available options. (Once you find something you like, you can add it to your "favorites" list. It's finding it that might take a little while.)
3. Having album covers show up on the screen is a temporarily attractive feature, but, in the long run, it takes up space for no compelling reason that I can tell. The controller has so many important functions that it seems a shame to waste space on cover graphics.
I am delighted to be able to recommend the Logitech Squeezebox Duet wholeheartedly. It's a genuine treasure!
- Probably closer to 3.5 stars
Logitech has become quite the innovator in the world of personal electronics. I have found Logitech remote controls and keyboards to be far superior to their competitors. While I am a true believer in Logitech - however when reviewing an item like the Squeezebox I think in terms of Apple... and namely... Apple TV.
The Logitech Squeezebox is a very effective way to stream internet radio stations, and selected content into the stereo system of your choosing. Itunes and other music libraries can easily be accessed and streamed once you have established a Squeezebox account (Although you CAN NOT stream music purchased through Itunes... Apple does not give up that easily!). You may also subscribe to music services such as Rhapsody which gives you the ability to store music online and play on-demand. So far so good....
Other Positive Features.
- Using the optical output the music quality is excellent. Internet radio stations are CD quality or better.
- The box is highly portable. It really wouldn't be much to take it to your friends house.
- More than one box will allow multiple-room music that can be controlled by one remote.
- The remote (as could be expected by the people that brought us the line of Harmony Remotes) is excellent.
- A computer is not required in order to play internet radio stations.
- Like most Logitech products the set-up was painless.
- The remote includes a rechargeable battery and charging base.
-The squeezebox unit is small - roughly the size of two decks of playing cards.
Areas for improvement
- Cost - The Squeezebox is roughly twice the cost of Apple TV. While Apple TV is not as "Stereo Friendly" it will also stream Itunes.... Allows streaming of video (including You-Tube), and will alloy you to rent movies. The remote control for Apple TV does not compare nor does it play Internet radio... but it is roughly half the price.
- While this is mainly my fault (so I did not deduct any stars) I am unable to consistently stream from Itunes. My router is roughly 100 feet from the Squeezebox (and on a separate floor) so the signal is not strong enough to stream without interference (I have a linksys N router). While the distance is the primary problem it does not help that the squeezebox does not have any internal memory to help aid in buffering.
My final verdict... The Logitech Squeezebox is an effective way to stream music/audio files into your stereo (even though I currently personally limited by the distance between my router and the unit). Smaller homes or people who have their routers more centrally located my not be effected. My only complaint is that all of the technology that is built into the remote has caused the price to jump to a point that will limit interest. For roughly the same price you can buy a nice Ipod and a set of powered speakers.... ...more info