Sunday, 16 December 2007
Posted by Dave
For too long I've been enviously eyeing devices like the Squeezebox, desparate to set my mp3 collection free of my pc and mp3 player, but the 180 quid price tag was simply little too high for me to justify.
But I recently spotted the Pinnacle Soundbridge Homemusic on Amazon for 40 quid, and stone me if it doesn't look like the audiophile fave Roku Soundbridge device. A bit of googling, and it turns out this is indeed a Roku Soundbridge with the big screen replaced with a two line diddy thing and a cheaper remote. Big screens rock and all, but this thing is 140 quid cheaper, and ticks all the boxes.
So now I have one, working, and it's bloody lovely. Needs a firmware update first off to get you on wifi wpa security, but it's got a little SD card slot that make that pretty painless. WPA key entered, it's found my upnp server (twonky), and suddenly all my tunes are available via the soundbridge.
Can it really be that easy? Seems so. No addional client software installed or required if you're already doing some upnp, so I've now got the same libary shared out to me xbox 360 in the living room and me soundbridge in the dining room.
What's more, as this is actually a roku device, all the online roku shit works a treat. You go to Rokuradio, it finds your device on your lan, and shows you what it's playing. Want to preset some radio stations to buttons on the remote? Do it via the web, now the device is truly wife freindly; "turn it on dar, and press 1", that's it. Here's how my presets are set up:
1 - Radio 12 - North Pole Radio (it is xmas!)3 - Radio 7 (for the kids)4 - xfm Manchester5 - Manx Radio6 - Radio Paradise
The last ones a bit of a new find for me, but after tuning in, they played Radiohead, Jose Gonzalez, Coldplay and the Stone Roses, so it's a keeper!
Problems? Well the screen is small, so navigating huge collections is a drag. It does have a nice search facility though, and you can skip forward one alphabetical letter at a time through any list, so it's all well thought out.
Playlist support is also a bit wonky, tho that might be twonky rather than the Soundbridge. It's also fully reliant on tags rather than file names, so I really need to spend some time sorting that stuff out in my collection.
Dead chuffed tho, a total bargain for 40 notes.