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MP3 Players

Freecom MusicPal: Video won't kill this radio star

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, don't be so stupid; it's an Internet radio that streams your music collection over your home network. It's made by Freecom and it's extremely affordable...

Freecom may not be the household name for music streamers, but the Dutch manufacturer has come out with an attractive £100 solution for the home. The MusicPal can pull MP3s and WAV files from a PC (or a Mac) over your home network, and can suck Net radio down your connection too.

The company is working on an update that adds support for WMA files. There's a built-in speaker, composite and line-out and support for WEP and WPA Wi-Fi security. Interestingly there's also some love shown for RSS feeds, such as those used to distribute podcasts. M3U playlist files are also compatible, so building a fat list of your favourite tunes for remote access isn't out of the question.

MusicPal could be a great alternative to some of the more costly music streamers on the market. Products such as Sony's Giga Juke 50HDE may be beautiful pieces of kit, but £500 is a hell of a price if all you want is streaming audio. What the MusicPal won't do is give you access to on-demand albums, unlike the (exorbitantly expensive) new Sonos setup we checked out last week.

The MusicPal goes on sale in the UK soon and should retail for £99.99. Look out for our full review, which'll be up lickety-split. -Nate Lanxon