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Introduction

Introduction

At a Glance
Product Infrant ReadyNAS NV / Slim Devices Squeezebox bundle
Summary Bundle of two category-leading products for whole-house networked audio
Pros - A combination of two nice devices
- Cost savings over individual prices
- Unique, user-developed features available
Cons - May be overkill and too costly for some
- Lack of documentation
- Server too noisy for living-room location

When I started using network attached storage (NAS) devices on my home network, one of the first customizations I made was to add a music server. It just seemed like a natural fit. I could store all of my digitized music out of the way on a big NAS hard drive and then feed it across the network to a device that would play it back on my stereo. And better yet, it would make the same music library available to anyone, or any device on my network.

Since a music server is a lightweight application, running it on even the lowest-powered NAS wasn't much of a load. It could still be used for normal duties such as file serving, backups, Web serving, print serving, etc. I found this addition an easy way to extend the capabilities of an NAS, and now manufacturers are coming to the same conclusion. Music servers are starting to show up on many of the consumer-level NAS devices on the market.

In this review, I'll take a look at a two companies that have joined forces to go after the whole-house audio market. Slim Devices is now offering a deal bundling an Infrant 1 TB NAS with two of its popular Squeezebox networked music players. For $1,500 you get a bundle of a one Terabyte, RAID 5, Infrant ReadyNAS NV preloaded with music server software set up to feed two wireless Slim Devices Squeezebox music players.

I won't go into detail on the individual products since we've already reviewed the ReadyNAS NV here and the Squeezebox here. Instead, I'll focus on how I used the Squeezebox / ReadyNAS combo and how well it works. And since this combination is aimed at buyers of high-end whole-house networked audio systems, I'll make comparisons to another high-priced home music system I recently reviewed: The Sonos music system.

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