Archive for April, 2011

Squeezing Accessibility out of Stand-Alone Internet Radio

April 26, 2011

Hello again and a Happy Easter to you all!

 

Sorry for not updating my own Blog for quite some time and yep, there’s plenty to write about.

 

I trust the Easter Bunny brought you some good cheer, in my case he – with my approval and with my money – purchased a Logitech Squeezebox Boom on my behalf, I’ll explain more about the unit later but first I think it important to relate the background of me wanting this item.

 

I had been looking for a “Stand-Alone” Internet radio solution and I think my reasoning would be fairly obvious, who wants to be working in their kitchen with a computer near them, who wants their computers on just to listen to Internet radio and so on.  I was prepared to take a unit even if it meant that I could just press preset buttons or scroll through preset channels, this may have meant that I’d need a lot of help from someone with vision to set such a device up so I thought I’d write about my needs to the pc-audio mailing list and see what sort of reaction I got or hear from others on their experience in this field and I have to admit that my hopes weren’t high.

 

A few members got back to me including a couple which were using the Logitech Squeezebox system, they both had Squeezebox Boom players.  The Squeezebox system allows for the streaming of audio to a compatible player but not just that, you can control much of the way your Squeezebox player behaves from a Squeezebox Account which you create on the Squeezebox web site.

 

You set up your favourite radio stations, apps and so on and you can even remote control your player through the “Remote Controller” page in your account, customise the menu system for your player or players etc.

 

There are to my knowledge 3 players available, the Boom looks like an 80’s mini boombox hence its name.  The Duet is designed for connection to a hi-fi or powered speaker system and I intend to get one of these devices in the future so I’ll reserve further explanation of the Duet until I have the system at my fingertips.

 

The Squeezebox Boom player has a 15 watt digital amp so the signal – given that its all digital – is distortion free.  I can tell you that the volume is loud! and the sound has plenty of character reflecting high, midrange and low frequencies extremely well for such a small device.

 

You will need visual assistance to set up the Squeezebox Boom, it needs to be connected to your Squeezebox account on the Internet or through a Squeezebox server running on your computer but once that’s done then you’re free to let your imagination roam.

 

Naturally the Boom can be connected to either a LAN or wi-fi network though as far as I know only G Wireless protocol and below is supported, I suppose it doesn’t matter much really as this device is not used for playing video content.

 

All the usual security protocols are supported including WPA, WEP etc and you can configure a manual IP address if you prefer.

 

Setup took a little while as you have to use a jog-dial to select the choices, letters and numbers.

 

So now I have the Boom playing my favourite radio stations at the touch of one of the preset buttons on the front, the presets are nifty in that you can easily set them by holding a preset down for a few seconds, the station you’re listening to will be stored in that preset until you reset it, 6 presets in all and if you want to play more radio stations then you can just use your Squeezebox account to search for them or browse through your favourites.

 

Favourites can be entered in a variety of ways, you can enter an URL manually or search for the station you want and add it to your favourites that way.

 

The Boom comes with a remote controller which is interesting in itself, its a very heavy controller and I wondered about its weight when I first saw it, perhaps its the rather strong magnet which attaches it to the top of the Boom player when the controller is not in use.

 

The Boom can be used as an alarm clock and the alarms can be set from your Squeezebox account, quite a few options here when it comes to configuring your alarm exactly how you want it to sound, once again it seems that there are no limits to the alarms you can set, wake up to preset sounds or your favourite radio stations and be rest assured! should the power go off or should you move the Boom player from one room to another that your alarm settings will be kept in memory thanks to the battery backup.

 

I think I’ll leave my writing on Squeezebox here for now and as you can see I’m going to have plenty to write about in the coming weeks.

 

I managed to purchase my Squeezebox Boom for $209.00 delivered to my door, prices range all over the place as I’ve seen the Boom for $399.00 at some shops.

 

 

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