Additional “Squeezeboxes”

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a period of time where I believed that my Squeezebox 3 audio player had terminally died. This seemed at the time to be a complete disaster, because Logitech no longer service, nor sell them. Fortunately, I was rescued by a colleagues superior electronics skills, but in the meantime I’d started investigating what options I had for replacing my Squeezebox. The obvious choice was to purchase either a new Logitech Touch, or Logitech Duet system, both of which are essentially plug and play replacements for my (older) Squeezebox 3. However, at more than £250 each, this would have been an expensive option, especially for a device that I was not terribly taken with.

A more interesting option was the discovery that it was possible to take the control system software from the Duet, and port it to a generic Linux computer. This would allow that computer to act like the Duet system, at least functionally.

The really interesting discovery was that people were running this on “hacked” O2 Jogglers creating their own Squeezebox Touch, but with a bigger touchscreen display. Given that Jogglers can be purchased second-hand on EBay for around £50, this proposition starts to look very attractive indeed. The only drawback is the lack of high quality audio outputs.

However, this can be easily resolved through the use of a USB DAC, which can be connected between the Joggler and an amplifier, to provide very high quality audio out – potentially much better than that provided by my existing Squeezebox 3. Something like this HRT Music Streamer II would be perfect.

In the end, I no longer needed another very high quality Squeezebox, but the opportunity to add a couple more “adequate quality” Squeezeboxes, at very low cost, was too good to miss. I acquired a pair of second-hand Jogglers, added the additional software to them and plugged some powered speakers into the headphone sockets.

The result is “good enough” music/video players for my study and the kids playroom, that can also do interesting things with various internet-based applications (calendars, news, weather, mapping etc). Result!

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