Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New York Times Reviews the Squeezebox 3 from Slimdevices

" Over all, you have to love this sweet, satisfying machine. Its creators have sweated so many details, you want to hand them a towel. Now that CD players, tape decks and turntables are rapidly disappearing, the Squeezebox brings us one step closer to the era of the stereo-free stereo. " -- David Pouge,


While this blog is about kiteboarding, I could not resist passing on this article from the New York Times.

David does an honest, balanced (and very positive) review of one of my favorite products. The one thing i want to highlight --

What's most interesting about this product is the amazing number of downloads available that have been written by the company's fanatical user base. At last count, there are around 150 plug-ins or mods ranging from Netflix and TIVO plug-ins to Asterix VOIP and RSS feed adds for the slim setup -- all generated by the user community. You can find them on the site under community, plugins.

Today, this company reminds me of an on-line version of the homebrew computer club -- for those that aren't familiar with that group, the early meetings were held at Stanford with attendees including Gates & Allen, Jobs & Wozniak, and Bectolsheim & Joy among others. Lots of passionate hackers working personal magic around platforms they believed in and wanted to use themselves.

I can still remember the day when Slimdevices' founder, fresh out of Monte Vista High School in Cupertino was introduced to me after he had posted "illustrated TIVO hacking" and "ethersketch" on his personal website. Sean showed me a radio shack breadboard stuffed with parts (a xilinx fpga, microchip microcontroller, and a micronas MP3 decoder) he had taught himself to program. After asking where my ethernet port was, Sean used a hacked remote control to show me song titles on his home PC which he then streamed with no latency to a boom box he brought to my office.

My reaction? I took out my checkbook and wrote him a personal check and said "go make 'em and send one to me.." (the "bubble" was definitely fun in some ways ;) ) After I rallied a few friends to invest alongside, Sean used that meager capital base to build a solidly profitable company with a huge following today. I happen to have 6 units throughout my home and office. Love em. -- kitevc


Blogger ChinaLawBlog said...

Wow, it does sound amazing. I just wish it could play my Itunes downloads. But, I am definitely going to get one. Thanks for the rec.

7:08 AM  
Blogger David Pogue said...

Great blog! However, just a tiny, tiny point--you say that I failed to mention the Squeezebox plugin community? But I didn't! Here's the paragraph from the review:

"The server software is open source, meaning free and open to the public to modify; as a result, you can download Squeezebox plug-ins that give it even more abilities. (For example, a plug-in called SoftSqueeze lets you listen to your home music collection from any computer anywhere, via the Web.) A lively discussion area helps build a sense of community."

--David Pogue

7:35 PM  
Blogger pkh said...

That's funny, I am a kiteboarder with two SqueezeBox's, no SB3 yet though =o(

1:35 PM  

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