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The World's First Internet Boombox

Logitech Squeezebox Radio

If you want to listen to your music by a pool, in your garage, or some other venue a 1980s era boombox is still the best choice. But I think that's about to change with the release of the world's first internet boombox. Actually, the boombox is not entirely new, but what is new is a battery pack which makes it portable for the first time. It transforms the Logitech Squeezebox Radio into an internet powered radio.

The Logitech Squeezebox radio is a solid music player with high quality display and great sound from a svelte package. Until now it was missing what any classic boombox had - batteries; which meant to use it you needed to be tethered to an AC outlet which limited its versatility.

Now available in the US is an accessory pack that includes a battery and remote for under $50. Remove one screw, insert the battery and you have turned an anchored net appliance into an internet driven music machine.

Logitech remote control and battery
Logitech Remote and Battery
  Installing the battery
Install Logitech Battery

I have several Logitech Radios in my house but to listen outside I had to drag an extension cord out of the closet. And, skipping a song meant getting up and walking over to the unit to click a button. After installing the accessory pack, I can grab the unit (using the built-in handle) and move it anywhere. Using the remote, I can now advance or rewind songs from the comfort of my chair. The packaging claims a battery life of 6 hours but my tests showed it got more than 8 hours. There's also a sleep mode where if you aren't playing any music for an extended period of time the unit hibernates to save the battery life. The battery automatically charges when the device is plugged in.

With the MP3tunes service I don't need to leave a PC on or run some special software to use this device to play my entire music library. Instead I install the MP3tunes app. Then I select Shuffle mode from the playlists menu to get a random mix of my personal music - skipping songs that don't suit me and listening to others that grab me multiple times. Besides my personal music collection I can listen to hundreds of internet radio stations of music, news, talk weather, and sports. For even more selection there are apps for Napster, Rhapsody, Pandora or Slacker.

You can buy the Logitech Squeezebox Radio for about $170 and the accessory pack for under $50. Together they create the world's first internet boombox. I'm listening to music in lots more places with the Logitech radio because it's convenient to just grab the device and move it anywhere I like. Of course it requires a wifi connection but that link opens it up to a whole world of content.

--MR
michael@michaelrobertson.com



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