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Since buying Slim Devices in 2006, Logitech has expanded the Squeezebox range of networked music players considerably, adding devices like the two-speaker Squeezebox Boom and no-speaker Squeezebox Duet. Like those machines, the single-speaker Squeezebox Radio, which retails for about £150, is no one-trick pony.
Small and stylish
In many ways, the Radio is similar to the Boom, which Logitech released in late 2008. But it's a much smaller device, with a mono speaker, and it's designed more for listening to radio in the kitchen or bedroom than use as a full-blown music streamer.
Squeezebox devices used to look like they'd been knocked up in a basement by engineers who hadn't seen the light of day for several months, but recently they've become much more stylish affairs. The Radio is housed in a plastic case, available in either glossy black or red. Our red review sample looked the business. The front of the device is divided in two, with the speaker on the left-hand side, and the bright, 60mm (2.4-inch) colour screen and controls on the right.
Setting the device up on your network (it supports both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connections) is very simple. When the radio first starts up, it presents you with an easy-to-follow installation wizard. Unfortunately, entering passwords is tedious, as you have to enter each letter or number using the main rotary dial. If you want to use the Radio with your PC's music collection, you have to download the necessary software from the Web site, as it's not included in the box.
Once the Radio is set up on your network, you'll find that the menu system is very easy to use. It behaves much like the user interface on the . Instead of a scroll wheel, however, you use the large rotary knob on the front to whizz through menus. Radio stations are neatly grouped into different categories, sorted by geographical region or the style of music that they play, so it's easy to find the types of stations that you want to listen to.
There are also six buttons dotted around the screen that can be used to save presets. When you're listening to a station you like, you just press and hold one of these buttons to assign the station to it.
As well as streaming Internet radio, the device also acts as a networked music player, so you can use it to play music stored on your PC or network-attached-storage box. A huge range of audio formats is supported. For example, MP3, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA and OGG are supported natively by the hardware, while AAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, APE, MPC and WavPack are automatically transcoded on the fly by the Squeezebox Server PC software when accessed.