Slim Devices will next week ship the third generation of its wireless digital music system, Squeezebox.the new version focuses more on looks than functionality. Never one to miss a turn, Slim Devices is offering the redesigned unit in white and black versions, tapping into Apple's latest iPod colour scheme. The unit sports a bright, crisp 320 x 32 vacuum fluorescent display. Like the previous release, which was only introduced last March, Squeezebox 3 supports 802.11g wireless networking and incorporates a 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC for superior sound reproduction. However, the new unit's twin antennae are now hidden inside the box.
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Slim Devices will also offer a wired-only version - both incarnations incorporate a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. They also feature a headphone socket, RCA analog audio ports, and co-ax and optical digital audio ports.
Squeezebox 3 will ship with support for SqueezeNetwork, which allows it to connect to Internet radio stations and RSS feeds directly. The latest version of the SlimServer software, which runs on a host computer, adds WMA radio support, wake-on-LAN, unicode font support, and an extended directory of Internet radio stations. SlimServer 6.2 runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems.
The player can reproduce MP3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, AIFF and WAV files natively. Through SlimServer it also supports AAC, WMA and Ogg - the software can be set to transcode these formats to MP3, FLAC or WAV before beaming them to the player. Alas there's no support for DRM-protected AAC and WMA files. Other formats are supported through third-party decoders.