“ Logitech Squeezebox Classic „
This is a fixed MP3 player for your HiFi. It works using either a wired or wireless (WiFi) Ethernet connection and also requires a plug-in powers supply and of course an audio connection to your HiFi,
The unit looks very nice - available in silver or black (I have one of both) and the green fluorescent display is bold and easy to read.
The unit is fairly easy to control although not recommended for people who cannot operate a video recorder.
The sound from the unit is very good and I cannot fault it - it also depends on the quality of the music files of course and I cannot distinguish the sound from this and a very good CD-Player I also own. There are a variety of connection options so this should not be a problem.
The machine only works when connected to a music server. This can be either a dedicated computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) or be one used for other things. You need to have sufficient hard disk storage to hold your music library and it would be a very good idea if this was backed-up in some way or other to provide data security - I use a mirrored system and an external drive to be safe. As the music can only be played when the music server software is running then it is better to have a dedicated machine for this.
The system can play a lot of different music formats, not just mp3.
The music server software is downloaded free from the company's website and is easily installed to Wndows PCs, Macs and Linux machines. There is also the Perl sourcecode if you want to try and install it on a different operating system. I tried installing this on a Sun Solaris machine and it is so difficult that I had to give up. I currently use an Apple Mac Mini G4 which is just about powerful enough for the job.
The music server software is controlled and adjusted via a web interface - this is OK and not too difficult. Again if you have difficulties understanding and operating a video recorder then this is not for you.
The whole system needs someone who is a bit technical to set-up and so will never be of any use to non-technical people, unfortunately. Taking this into consideration this is a really great system and lets you quickly and easily browse through your music library, select and play music at high-quality and gives you back all the room taken by your CDs and CD player. You can install multiple players throughput your building and have them play the same or different music.
I have dealt with the company concerning faults and problems and they were always helpful and courteous. This is before they were bought by Logitech and I have not dealt with them since then.
The remote control for the player is OK and reasonable clear - I have both types - slim white and fatter black.
I would give the system 4.5 out of 5 overall - they lose half a point for the technical expertise required and occasional technical problems which they may be able to solve in the future.
Logitech / Digital music server/streamer