Squeezebox and Napster – the perfect combination?

I’ve just posted a review of the Squeezebox Boom, a lovely device that once set up is perfect for hiding all the computer gunk and letting you enjoy the music wherever you are in the house. During the review I noticed that Logitech’s Squeezenetwork, which aggregates a number of Internet radio stations and music services for use with Squeezebox, announced Napster support last week.

I tried this, and it is amazing, though you do need to subscribe to Napster; trial accounts are available. If I want to play any song or album in Napster’s vast library, I select Squeezenetwork as the music source on the Boom, select the Napster music service, search the Napster library, and play the music. No computer has to be running for this to work. Sound quality is good though noticeably worse than locally-streamed lossless FLAC; more radio than hi-fi.

I’ve also been spending time with Spotify. Like Napster, this makes a huge library available, plus it has a couple of advantages. Performance is better, with near-instant search results and playback; and best of all it is free, if you can tolerate occasional advertisements. Unfortunately Spotify does not integrate with Squeezebox yet, though users are clamouring for it.

The Squeezebox is a schizophrenic product with one foot in the old world of local media storage, and one foot in the new world of Internet streaming via Squeezenetwork. Squeezebox plus Napster is great; Squeezebox plus Spotify would be even better. Either one makes Apple’s iTunes purchase-and-download model look dated.

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2 thoughts on “Squeezebox and Napster – the perfect combination?”

  1. Squeezebox is a great piece of music streamer. Have used it a lot with internet radios. So easy to use and the new remote control is awesome.

  2. Tim – Napster with a Squeezebox is fabulous. Much as I like Spotify, Napster has the edge at the moment because it seems to have a more comprehensive library (at least for my music taste). The Squeezebox integration is very slick. For example, if you are listening to a track via Napster, you can easily switch, say, to related LastFM stations very easily.

    I bought a copy of the book 1001 Albums To Listen To Before You Die a few years ago. I thought it might be a pipe dream to ever be able to listen to even a fraction of these albums. Based on around 50 albums so far, I’d say that Napster probably has over 95pc of the tracks referred to in the book. Not such a dream after all.

    Until Spotify works with the Squeezebox, my £9.99 a month for Napster is well worth it for the closest attempt yet at the Universal Jukebox.

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