Since I hate installing software to make the products that I review work, I didn't want to download and install the SqueezeCenter open source server that is the Boom's trusty companion. But if you want to install it, Figure 5 shows downloads for Windows, Mac OS X, Debian / Ubuntu and Linux RPM, Perl Source code and plugins for NETGEAR ReadyNASes. (The two ReadyNAS versions are needed to support models using the Infrant custom storage processor and Intel CPUs.)
Figure 5: SqueezeCenter Download
SqueezeCenter is a networked music server administered via a browser-based interface with a rich feature set including:
- MP3 & WMA Internet radio
- Automatic iTunes library and playlist import (Windows and Mac)
- Automatic metadata tag import
- Title, artist, album or genre browse / search
- Albums or song shuffle and repeat
- .pls, .cue and .m3u playlist file create, save, and import
- Multiple synchronized player support
Logitech says that SqueezeCenter will also serve to "any software MP3 player on your network", but I didn't try this.
Given my installation aversion, I instead set up a free SqueezeNetwork account to get started. SqueezeNetwork is basically a SqueezeCenter "in the cloud", except for the ability to access your locally-stored music. Actually, you can access your own music by using the MP3tunes Music Locker option. Figure 6 shows the SqueezeNetwork login landing page.
Figure 6: SqueezeNetwork Home
Figure 7 shows the Browse page so that you can get an idea of the music source options. This list may look small, but the Internet Radio search and free Music Services like Pandora and Slacker provide plenty of options. Note the upper right-hand corner of Figure 7, which is the player control. Even though SqueezeCenter is a hosted service and the Boom was using an 802.11g connection, control delay was generally negligible, with only occasional pauses of a few seconds.
Figure 7: SqueezeNetwork Browse
But the ultimate goal was to get the computer out of the equation, even if it was just running a web browser. So I downloaded and installed the SqueezeCenter plugin for my ReadyNAS NV+, after first upgrading the NV+ firmware so that it could accept the Version 7.3.2 plugin.
Figure 8 shows the NV+ SqueezeCenter plugin browser interface, tuned to an Internet Radio station. The left-hand pane shows the Tune In URL option, which can be used to access any Internet Radio station that you have a stream URL for.