iHeartRadio builds app for new Logitech UE Smart Radio device

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 12:20pm

Clear Channel has announced its iHeartRadio Internet radio platform is now available on the Logitech UE Smart Radio device.

The UE Smart Radio is Logitech's replacement for the well-knows Squeezebox line. Like the Squeezebox, users can stream content from online radio stations, music services, and their music libraries over their home computer network.

IHeartRadio features streams from more than 1,500 broadcast radio stations, plus the user-generated "custom stations" (a la Pandora).

We have prior coverage of the UE Smart Radio here

Logitech ad campaign to herald launch of streaming products on Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 9:00am

Logitech this week began the digital marketing campaign to support its new line of streaming music devices and accessories. The Logitech UE line includes two boom boxes, a smart radio that plays Internet radio, online music services and music on a computer, noise-isolating earphones, and three styles of headphones (coverage in RAIN is here). The ad campaign was spotlighted in The New York Times' Media & Advertising section.

The campaign is three different videos depicting "real-life situations where music played a vital role" (a Christmas Eve cease-fire on the Western Front during World War I, pirate radio off the coast of Britain, and astronauts on the International Space Station listening to music).  

Logitech, incidentally, raised the ire of the Squeezebox user community (of which your humble correspondent is/was an avid participant) when it became apparent that the company will (at some point) discontinue support for the platform in favor of UE line. CNet explained (here), "The Squeezebox network audio streamers weren't typical products; owners were buying into an ecosystem of products. The ability to add more Squeezebox products to your network was a major selling point, making Squeezebox owners more invested in the platform than you'd be with another gadget. The Squeezebox ecosystem also includes software, and now there's a serious question as to how long the now-discontinued products will continue to work at full functionality. Squeezebox products rely on the MySqueezebox.com server to access streaming services like Rhapsody, Spotify, Pandora, and Internet radio."

Logitech did eventually state that it intends to "actively support the (Squeezebox) service," but hasn't not indicated how long that support will last.

Webcasters Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker are running the campaign in the United States (it's also on Vevo, Myspace, YouTube, and Spotify). Logitech is also running banner ads with links to the videos on hundreds of web sites in the U.S., Britain, Switzerland, and Sweden.

Logitech's new UE products are currently available only at Apple retail locations and on the Web sites of Apple and Logitech. Beginning October 21, they will be available online and offline through BestBuy and at Amazon.com, while select products will also be available at Verizon stores in November.

Read The New York Times' campaign spotlight here.

CNet: Logitech latest tabletop Wi-Fi radio a great pick, unless you own a smartphone

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 1:20pm

Logitech UE Smart RadioBack in August, Logitech released a new line of Internet radio-friendly audio devices, from Bluetooth boomboxes to the UE Smart Radio: a tabletop Wi-Fi radio that succeeds the earlier Squeezebox Radio (more RAIN coverage here).

The UE Smart Radio is definitely a step up over the Squeezebox Radio, says CNet in a new review of the device. "But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right compact music system for your home." Sure, the UE Smart Radio offers Spotify, Pandora, MOG, Slacker, TuneIn, Last.fm and more. And its "great sound," compact size and rechargeable battery "make it an attractive compact music system, but you may be better off with a Bluetooth speaker."

CNet explains that with the UE Smart Radio, you're "reliant on Logitech to add support for new streaming-music services, rather than simply using the app already on your phone." Plus most Bluetooth speakers are cheaper than the UE Smart Radio's $180 price tag.

That said, if your life doesn't revolve around a smartphone, "it's a well-designed product and a decent value." Find CNet's full review here.

Wired's Geek Mom: Squeezebox Touch "revolutionized the way I listen to music"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 11:25am

Squeezebox Touch"The Squeezebox Touch makes me feel like Jane Jetson," writes Sarah Pinault in Wired's Geek Mom section. But does the touchscreen desktop music streaming device "meet the needs of this geek family"?

The Squeezebox Touch from Logitech -- among many functions -- can stream music from Pandora, Songza, Slacker, Last.fm, Live365 and thousands of streaming radio stations from around the world.

"Just by touching the screen I can access any type of music from any country. I can listen to talk radio, non-stop music radio, or simply listen to a playlist," writes Pinault. "I am far more likely to utilize this device to its full potential than I am of searching for local or even international radio stations online. The Logitech Squeezebox has revolutionized the way I listen to music and has rekindled my love of the medium."

You can find her full review on Wired here. The Squeezebox Touch is available on Amazon for $240 (here).

Sony, Logitech, Netgear and (perhaps) Apple intro new wireless music streaming offerings

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 11:25am

New speakers and devices to stream web radioLong gone are the days when your Internet radio listening experience was limited to your computer speakers. There's now a wild, wide world of speakers and devices to stream web radio (see our story below for a new review of one popular choice). That world expanded today with the introduction of several new devices (and one new rumor from Apple). 

Logitech has launched several new devices including the new UE Smart Radio, "the next generation" of Logitech's Squeezebox web radio players. The tabletop radio can stream Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody and thousands of web radio stations.

Also from Logitech: the UE Boombox -- an impressive and "booming" wireless Bluetooth speaker -- and its little brother, the UE Mobile Boombox. Both are capable of playing music from any Bluetooth-enabled device (including your web radio-streaming smartphone). CNet has more coverage here.

On the topic of wireless speakers, be sure to check out the SRS-BTM8 offering from Sony. The distinctive device boasts Bluetooth and NFC connectivity ("an addition that lets you play music simply by tapping the speaker with your smartphone," writes Engadget). It's powered by four AA batteries (remember those?) "that promise 20 hours of playback time." Engadget has more here.

That's all well and good, but what you if happen to already own some decent speakers, perhaps as part of a home entertainment system? Netgear has you in mind. The company launched what it call the Powerline Music Extender, which boils down to streaming your music around the house using your electrical outlets.

You may have seen devices that share your network around the house via your outlets, but now Netgear offers a device (XSUB2511) that lets you stream music too. The device connects to any audio device via RCA jacks, reports SlashGear here and PC World here. Netgear's sytem supports both Apple and Android devices, even integrating with Apple's AirPlay system for iOS gadgets.

Speaking of AirPlay (click here for a refresher on what AirPlay is), The Telegraph reports Apple's wireless music/video sharing service may be getting an upgrade soon. AirPlay currently relies on your Wi-Fi network to stream audio (like Internet radio streams) and video around the house. But on September 12, Apple may announce "AirPlay Direct," an upgrade that would allow AirPlay devices to connect directly to each other, without the need of a Wi-Fi network. (Apple may also announce an update to some phone it makes that day, too). Find The Telegraph's coverage here.

So what do you think? Any of these gadgets sound appealing? Have a better suggestion? Let us know by leaving a comment!

More choices than ever for Internet radio enthusiasts

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:10am

Crosley's Radio RancheroThanksgiving is almost here and if your family is anything like mine, you'll be talking holiday gift ideas while carving up a turkey. Twice.com helpfully has a long list of gift ideas for the web radio fan in your life. Find it right here.

To that we'd like to add a few ideas of our own. First up is the Crosley Radio Ranchero (pictured), an iPod/iPhone dock with a "great-looking, vintage aesthetic," according to PC Mag's review. Find out more about the $200 device here.

For listening to web radio in the car there's always the Livio Radio Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit, which CNet recently listed as a Car Stereo Top Pick in its Holiday Gift Guide (here). You can save 20% when buying the device from LivioRadio.com when using the coupon code 'holiday.' AccuRadio (which is run by the same folks who bring you RAIN every day) has partnered with Livio Radio to offer $20 off and free shipping on the Car Kit. Find out more here.

Spar's Zephyr portable Bluetooth speakers are another great way to stream web radio on the go. They connect to your smartphone wirelessly to blast your favorite webcasts. Engadget has more here

Finally, Wired's GeekDad recently recommended the Logitech Squeezebox. Ken Denmead writes that the device is "a very interesting piece of home audio, successfully bringing streaming internet radio into the form factor of a slightly retro countertop-sized box meant to replicate the look and feel of a quality analog radio of decades past." Find out more here.

Got your own great Internet radio gift idea? Tell us by commenting below!

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