So, my Squeezebox Touch got here today. In a lucky break, so did my switch and ethernet bridge. To recap, the SB Touch is a network/internet music player you can hook up to your stereo. I can stream the music from my computer via the network to it, or I can use it independently to listen to internet radio stations.
Here’s how I set it up. Since I’m on FIOS, I was able to use a MOCA ethernet bridge to get the internet from the coax cable in my room. I took that ethernet cable and attached it to a 5 port switch. That gave me 4 more ethernet ports. I then simply hooked the computer and the SB Touch into the switch and I was done. I now have the music from my computer going over our network in the house.
I have been enjoying listening to my music without having it bog down my computer. I’ve also been enjoying the radio. I listened to my college’s radio station WICB for hours, they are still one of the best college stations I have heard. I can also get all the worthwhile local stations like WTOP for news, and the Public stations too. I need to figure out when a Prairie Home Companion comes on so I can start listening to it again… All of these sound much better than regular FM, and as far as I can tell I can get damn near any station in the US.
Of course the other great thing that internet radio allows is the ability to use services like Pandora or Slacker. Slacker is a really good internet service. They sound great and have a lot of diverse stations. Pandora is a service that allows you to make your own stations based on an artist or song. It will pick others like the one you picked and then you can tell it what you like and don’t like to narrow the view down. So far, I have made Buddy Holly radio, Silversun Pickups radio, Tito Puente radio, Beck radio, and Where is My Mind radio (from the Pixies song).
I overspent on all of this, but I am already really enjoying the experience and plan on taking the radio around the house since it ties into the wireless network as well. My iPod touch controls it through the wireless as well. This is the first audio toy I’ve bought in years, and it’s a winner. I’ll let you know if I find any hidden gems out there while “twisting the dial….”