When we saw Logitech’s first iteration of the Squeezebox at the 2007 CEDIA Expo, we knew they were on to something. Back then, customizable internet music services like Pandora were just beginning to gain popularity, but Logitech believed that we would soon want a device that allowed us to integrate our digital music collection with the growing possibilities of internet-based music.
Since then, Logitech has steadily improved their Squeezebox brand and, today, offers the Squeezebox Touch: A touch-screen Wi-Fi enabled music server that provides easy access to your digital music collection, internet radio stations and paid internet music services like Rhapsody and Napster.
The Squeezebox Touch comes packed with a power cord, remote control, a set of stereo RCA cables and a very simple user manual. There’s no software disc and no need for a flash drive to update its firmware. Everything the user needs is built right in. The Squeezebox Touch is gloss black and has a very clean face, adorned only with Logitech’s logo. The bezels on the unit are a little large and tend to make the screen seem small in comparison to the device’s overall size.
Features and Design
The addition of a touch-screen to the Squeezebox makes operating the unit and navigating its menus extremely easy, never mind that it’s just plain cool to play around with. The 16:9 touch-screen measures about 4.3” diagonally and brightens or dims based on ambient lighting. When needed, a virtual keyboard not unlike the one found on the iPhone will pop up to allow easy data entry.
The Squeezebox Touch is designed to be integrated with an A/V receiver, powered speakers or headphones. On the back, the Squeezebox offers analog stereo outputs, optical and coaxial digital outputs, a headphone output, USB port, SD card slot and Ethernet connection.
Once plugged in and powered up, the Squeezebox Touch automatically searches for available wireless networks then prompts you to make a choice and enter a password. With wireless internet access secured, you’re already prepared to listen to music from a myriad of internet radio stations. To access music sites such as Pandora or Last.fm, or to listen to music stored on a home computer, further setup us required.
We set up access to our Pandora and Last.fm accounts by adding the appropriate apps from the Squeezebox menu. Once usernames and passwords are entered, access is instant. Enabling other music services such as Napster or Rhapsody involves the same setup process. Simply add the app, provide login information and get listening.
To get access to our home computer’s iTunes library, it was necessary to first download a server program from Logitech’s website. Once downloaded and installed, the program scanned our iTunes library and playlist information. After about 15 minutes, the scan completed and our iTunes media was available. Adjusting a few more settings allowed us to send album art and other media related data to the Squeezebox as well.
Since the Squeezebox Touch offers USB and SD card access, we connected a 2 gig USB flash drive loaded with uncompressed music. Access to this content was immediately available through the on-board menu under the “my music” heading.
The Squeezebox Touch is compatible with just about any operating system and will play back almost any music file type including high resolution 24 bit/ 96 Khz files and lossless/uncompressed files ripped from your CD collection
We connected our Squeezebox Touch to an Onkyo A/V receiver via both analog and digital connections and kept a pair of reference headphones handy as well. Total setup took about 20 minutes.