One day my wireless network will stream music throughout the realm, and it will be good. Forsooth, we’re close but not quite there yet. I had well thought that the SqueezeBox player might do the trick, and so hastily and with wanton bloodthirst (e.g. desire to live on the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology) did I order it over the Internet. But, alas, it does not stream non-MP3 files so well –and I, having been a foolish knave, had ripped all my CDs into the Apple AAC format. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Oh well, another failed technology initiative. Still, the good news is that I have sampled the future of wireless music. I have heard it streaming through my abode and noted that, were it not for the halting sound that an AAC file makes as it wirelessly fights its way (like a desperate digital salmon) toward the Squeezebox, there is great promise in the idea of streaming music thru the home.
One day, in a future land not far off, I predict that Apple will release the "iPod of Wireless Home Music Devices." It will be an sleek thing that people will crave just for it’s award winning design. But it will be easy to use and highly functional. The iTunes music program that you have on your Windows PC or Mac will communicate very nicely with the futuristic gizmo (e.g. it will allow you to create playlists in iTunes that the streaming music device can read easily, and you will be able to control the device from any computer in the house). And it will even let you play protected AAC files that you’ve downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.
I know that Microsoft and its Clone-Army of Developers are working on this too. But, for the record, let’s be clear about what we are supposed to be working on: a device (not a full blown computer) that attaches to your home stereo and wirelessly gathers digital music from computers in the house and plays it to through the stereo. I want to be able to control this device remotely from any computer in the house (e.g. increase volume, create playlists on the fly, schedule ‘sleep’ timing and alarm wake up events).
Okay, now that you know what you are supposed to do. Go out and create this thing, and –for God’s sake– make it ridiculously easy to set up and use. Is that too much to ask?
Update: The Register has this review of the Squeezebox and apparently the choppy audio for AAC files isn’t a deal breaker for them (even though they give as an example that the AAC drops a 1/2 minute from a 4 & 1/2 minute song!!??).