Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Logitech Squeezebox review

Here some notes about the Logitech Squeezebox IP radio.   squeezebox.jpg
Until few months ago, my only experience with the IP Radio was with an Aluratek, until it broke down.
Since I did not have ANY KIND of support from Aluratek, even if the radio was under warranty, I decided of course to don't go again with that brand.
If maybe somebody has not understood ...  Aluratek is a no no brand for IP radio !  

Then a friend of mine  made me a nice gift with the  Logitech Squeezebox IP Radio.
Here some notes and impressions.

Pro and cons

Here a quick lists of pro and cons based on my experience so far.
Pro :
  • Well, the brand.  It is a nice product and the company support rocks !
  • Easy to operate, easy to configure
  • No needs to read manuals/documentations
  • Wired and wireless connection available
  • Very nice sound
  • Hackable !!!
  • It uses Linux !
  • Streaming server open source and available for Windows/Linux/Mac
  • With a battery it can be disconnected from the main power and become portable (battery and IR remote as expansions)
Cons :
  • The cost
  • No IR remote by default


The radio is really nice and "heavy" enough, easy to manipulate.
The user interface is based on a rotary encoder  pushable and few main buttons.  Easy to operate, though boring if you have to write something (like searching for a song or radio digiting the name).
Few problems with the wireless setting and DHCP but I think are my network problems, not a radio fault.
Setting a fixed IP and wired connected solved for now all the problems.  I'll experiment eventually in future with the WiFi. In order to have the radio working properly I had to disable the WiFi router DHCP server, keeping only the main one (on the main router).
Once set up the WiFi the radio was able to catch an address from the DHCP server.
By default the radio try to connects with a Logitech server,
Going there with a browser allows you to set up many features of the radio and found a lot of radio stations.
Then it is possible to install a server (available for Windows, Linux and Mac) in order to stream your own music from your network.
From there all the radio are accessible as well, so basically there is no need (like Aluratek) to access a specific company-related server.
And amazingly ... the radio is Linux based and the server is open source !!!
And now some more details about some characteristics/experiences.

Setting up

As I said, the radio is easy to configure and set up.
I had few problems with the WiFi setting, very probably due for my network.
I didn't want to spend too much time on that, so for the moment I solved assigning a fixed IP to the radio and connecting it in wired mode.

Both DHCP and direct IP are supported, for wired and wireless connections.
No problems.


I installed the Logitech Sqeezebox server for Debian (Ubuntu) and it worked as soon as the installation was ended.
However I had to solve a small problem (again due to my system and not to the server).

Music Library

During the server setting,  it is necessary to assign a path for the Music Library to use for the stream.
In my case the music collection is hosted on a 1 TB Hard drive.
For some reasons, the hard drive is not automatically mounted at the boot time, so the first time I turned off the PC and then back on, the server was not able tofind the scanned music.
Mounting the hard driver and restarting the server solved the problem.
probably solved the problem installing an utility called pysdm (sudo apt-get install pysdm).
This utility assigns a fixed name for a driver and mount it at every boot.
Now the drive is mounted at the boot time so the server (that starts automatically) always find the music files.


Basically the radio shows a list of the possible "networks", among them the server.
When selected, the radio try to connect to it in order to retrieve Favorites and settings.  Alarms included.
This actually created an unexpected behavior.
If the computer running the server is turned off, turning on the radio causes the PC to start !
Because of that, the PC starts automatically when an alarm is firing !
For me is an extra feature, I have the PC turned on automatically in the morning !


If in a directory containing a MP3/FLAC CD, exists the cover image of the original CD, the picture will be showed both on the radio and on the server.
I'm not sure about what name it should have.
I experimented with "Folder.jpg" and AlbumArt_Large.jpg, AlbumArt_Small.jpg and AlbumArtSmall.jpg.
In case images are added, it is necessary to force the rescan of the Music directory on the server.


Here some tips and trick about the radio.


In order to use or configure the server, simply open the browser and digit :
Of course if the server is running on a different machine, simply use the machine IP.
From the server is possible to control the radio. In my case is working also :


Server selection

In order to use the server, the radio needs to select it.
Using the radio menu and controls, select the server (it will appears with the name used during the server installation)


  1. What a brilliant post. You should do a series! :)I did a sort of blogging for dummies over on one of the craft forums and I thought it was too simple for them, but the amount of emails I got asking questions just like what you addressed was unbelievable. As young people today we have grown up with computers, but it's easy to forget that even people just a few years older have not! Really good post! :)

  2. Hi sbappy2, thanks for the kind comment :-)