simon-may.com

June 10, 2008

Squezebox part 1: Squeezebox Duet Installation Experience

Filed under: Geek cool,How I Use...,Media Center,squeezebox,Technology — Simon May @ 4:00 pm

So time for my long awaited Squeezebox Duet review, actually make that series of posts.  I first read about the Squeezebox when it was announced, and Automatedhome.co.uk also has great review.

Whilst I was in the states I picked up a Squeezebox Duet from Fry’s in Seattle, it was actually on sale on Memorial Day weekend, so it cost $349 + TAX.  This thing is brilliant!

CIMG1587 When I got it home it was a doddle setup.  First off, I bought this in the US, so power needed to be sorted out.  The power supplies are international and can take anything from 100 to 240v input, just a case of changing to the UK adapter.

The next thing to do was to install the SqueezeCenter 7 software on the Media Center.  Again a simple process, no install glitches – but I did have to manually start the scan of my music library.  About 20 minutes later it finished and had catalogued all the albums.

Next I installed softsqueeze3 on the Media Center.  This is a cool bit of software that emulates a squeeze box.  After configuring it with a name and pointing it at the SqueezeCenter installation, a web address on port 9000, it was able to access the media fine.  So I turned on the Duet controller.

CIMG1588

The controller picked up my Wifi network and asked me for the security setup.  Then it found my SqueezeCenter server automatically, and, I was a bit surprised about this, it let me select my SoftSqueeze installation on the controller.  All of a sudden my Media Center was pumping out tunes controlled by my Squeezebox Controller!!

Very cool.  This thing can control any squeezebox!

CIMG1589 So I went into the kitchen and setup a micro hifi and plugged in all the stuff for the Squeezebox Reciever.  I pressed the button on the front and… the controller sprang into life and picked up the receiver, automatically configuring it!  Next thing I know I’ve got some Fun Lovin Criminals bouncing out of the stereo in the Kitchen…and it sounds, GREAT!

Wondering what else this thing can do I found the ability to sync the output from the Kitchen Squeezebox Reciever with the Softsqueeze installation in the lounge!  This is going to be great when we have a party.

Next I went into SqueezeCenter, which is really the heart of everything and found that I can control all the squeezeboxes through the web interface.  Including being able to make changes to them.  So I did, I changed the names, the Softsqueeze to “Lounge” and the Duet Reciever to “Kitchen”.

This is becoming one cool whole house audio system.  Need to sort out Media Center integration though, enter MCE Softaqueeze.

How would I rate ease of installation 5 stars, Ease of use 5 stars.  I love this thing.

Comming soon:

Part 2 – Overview of the Squeezbox controller

Part 3 – Looking around SqueezeCenter

Part 4 – Extensions

Part 5 – The wish list

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