A Music Lover’s Dream

Some of you may have thought about digitizing your music collection.  You can do that quite easily by importing CD’s to your iTunes library.  And even digitizing old LP’s and 45 RPM records is a lot easier than you think.

I have done all of that and I recently discovered a fabulous tool that makes listening to music a dream come true.  It’s a gadget called the Squeezebox Duet.  This is a device that lets you play your music wirelessly from your computer.  It comes with a small receiver that plugs into your stereo system with standard audio cables.  The other piece is a handheld controller that works like an iPod.  Only it’s a whole lot better!

First of all, let me tell you that the Squeezebox Duet is on sale at Amazon.com for only $299, which is almost one-third off the list price, plus no sales tax and free shipping.   I got mine about a week ago, and I’m still marveling over all the things it can do.

Imagine you are sitting on the couch, reading a magazine or the newspaper.  You want to put on some music.  In the old days, you would have walked over to a shelf full of CD’s and rummaged through them to try to find something.  Or, before that you would have picked out a stack of LP’s, dusted them off, and put them on the record player.

With the Squeezebox, here’s how cool it gets.  You grab the controller and scroll through the Artist list.  Pick out and album and hit the Play button.  It starts instantly.  Then, you decide what you want to play next.  Pick out another album and hit the Plus button.  Boom, you’ve just added a second album to your Now Playing List.  It’s that simple.  Now just relax and enjoy the music.  The sound quality is superb, much better than you get from an iPod dock.

Let’s say you are planning a party and you want some good music to entertain your friends.  Before they arrive, you can quickly pick out a few hours worth of fun music, to be played in whatever order you want.  Let’s say you want a mixture of Jazz and Pop.  And you want the songs to be shuffled at random.  Just go to the Genres menu and check off Jazz and Pop.  Then hit Random Mix, Songs, and Play.  That’s all there is to it.

The device offers just about every flexible option you can think of.  It’s like having an electronic jukebox at your fingertips.  All of your iTunes playlists are available.  And you can create your own playlists from the controller.  If you pick out a group of songs, albums, or a combination of both, and you decide to save that set as a new playlist, you can do that with just a few clicks.  And of course you can play every song by a single artist if you wish, right from the Artist menu.

And if that isn’t cool enough, you get free access to dozens of Internet radio stations.  You can punch them up just as easily and control the music in amazing ways.  All of your local radio stations are there, plus every style you can think of over Internet radio.  Last night I was listening to Slacker Radio.  I had already saved it to my Favorites menu, so it was easy to find.  But after a couple of good songs, they played one I didn’t like.  So, just for the heck of it, I tried hitting the Skip button.  Believe it or not, it jumped to another song instantly!

Yes, there are even apps for the Squeezebox.  On their website, you can select from a number of free apps that give you radio stations that you can customize to suit your style.   And there are apps that give you an interesting array of daily and weekly podcasts.

So, you need not be stuck in front of a computer or music player to control your music.  Nor do you have to get up and go to the iPod dock and change selections.  It’s all right there at your fingertips.  And, if you hear a song that you don’t recognize, just grab the controller and read the title and artist name, even from a local radio station.  And did I forget to mention?  If you like a song, the Amazon.com MP3 store is only a couple of clicks away.  Like I said, the Squeezebox is a music lover’s dream.

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One Comment on “A Music Lover’s Dream”

  1. Ryan Mozek Says:

    I love this new technology. It’s amazing what is available to us now in terms of new and emerging technology as well as the integration of different techs making life simpler, well sometimes.

    Now I don’t know if you are running a mac or a pc but you can pick up Apple TV for mac which basically does what you are talking about but integrates movies, videos, etc.. into the mix. Also you can link iTunes Libraries from different computers in the house (this can be used with either system (mac or pc) or from a mac to a pc and vice versa).

    I’ll have to look into squeeze box, awesome stuff Bill!


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