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jackaninny
2005-09-19, 08:23
more aimed at the bose product and that customer...

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/12685951.htm

Posted on Mon, Sep. 19, 2005
Get up! Roku Internet radio rocks on easily
By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Mercury News

Roku wants to replace your bedside clock radio with a gadget that tunes in Internet radio stations and plays your digital music collection.

The SoundBridge Radio, which Roku announces today, is one of those rare home-networked devices that was easy to set up and use -- just like a radio. And it produced surprisingly rich sound quality that put it on a par with Bose or Cambridge SoundWorks.

The SoundBridge Radio works like its traditional namesake -- it tunes in AM and FM stations and plays music through its built-in, high-fidelity speakers. But it also connects to your home's high-speed wireless network to fetch and play music off your computer's hard drive or receive Internet radio stations. Those include local stations that stream their broadcasts online or channels that are found only on the Internet.

But Roku will have a tough time competing with the audiophile's favorite, Bose's Wave Music System, when it comes to looks.

Roku's original networked home music player, the SoundBridge, has a distinctive tubular design with a long LCD display that gave it a sleek, futuristic feel. The SoundBridge Radio, on the other hand, bears an unfortunate resemblance to those gigantic home intercoms of the '60s.

Some people will hasten to note that what's important is not how a radio looks, but how it sounds. Still, if Roku wants a spot on my granite kitchen counter, it better look hot, too. That's doubly true if I'm prepared to lay out $399 for a clock radio, instead of the usual $10.

But enough about looks.

Roku recognized an opportunity in the growing popularity of Internet radio, which now attracts about 40 million listeners. The original SoundBridge let people listen to Internet radio or their digital music collections through their home stereo.

Of course, not everybody wants to invest the effort in modifying their existing stereo equipment to liberate the music from their home computers. The SoundBridge Radio targets this less-hassle-is-more market.

It took less than five minutes to add the radio to my encrypted wireless home network. The LCD screen prompted me to provide the most basic information -- language, time zone, country of residence and network password, which I did using the remote control.

After briefly restarting, the SoundBridge Radio was ready to rock. A source button lets you select audio options: AM or FM radio, Internet radio or your digital music collection stored on a computer's hard drive or a memory card.

I was impressed with how the SoundBridge Radio automatically found the music tucked away inside my Mac's iTunes folder. The only limitation -- and it's a significant one -- is one Apple Computer has imposed. The SoundBridge Radio cannot play music purchased from Apple's iTunes Music Store, because Apple refuses to license its software to other hardware makers. (Apple, c'mon, set my music free.)

The SoundBridge Radio works with other digital music services, playing music purchased or played in a continuous stream from Napster or MSN Music. It also will play music streams from RealNetworks' Rhapsody. But given that Apple controls 82 percent of the paid online music market, this will give iTunes music buyers pause.

Roku added some other nice touches that are worthy of mentioning. It ships with 50 pre-programmed Internet radio stations, including my personal favorite, the eclectic Radio Paradise. A scan button lets you find new stations, just as you would tune any other radio.

The radio also has six preset buttons along the top, which can be configured to remember 18 channels. Naturally, you can store your favorite radio stations. But what I liked was the ability to also store playlists or even albums fetched from my computer's hard drive. For example, I stored Coldplay's ``X&Y'' by simply playing the album and touching a preset. The system conveniently and automatically assigns names to each channel, so you don't need total recall.

One more thing: It's a clock radio with alarm, with a big snooze button. But don't toss this across the room when you're half asleep. You'll regret it.

the help desk
Contact Dawn C. Chmielewski at dchmielewski@ mercurynews.com or (800) 643-1902.

Bruce Hartley
2005-09-19, 11:32
Slim Devices must be way ahead of the curve............

Their units have always looked like clock radios ;-)

ymilner
2005-09-19, 12:21
Slim Devices must be way ahead of the curve............

Their units have always looked like clock radios ;-)
Sorry to say; that sort of attitude might lead to a loss of market (if not already...).
Roku does have some advantages that appeal to "common" people, if I may (like big displays, MS media server support, TV integration). This new device hits a quite certain niche in the market, and will help them get audience.
I will give you an example.
I myself just recently jumped on the home digital music wagon, buying my first SB2. Immediately I had a problem, since I wanted to put it into a bathroom, and I had to think about an amp, enclosure, speakers, etc. For me, a bathroom device does not mean top notch quality, so if their would be a readily available "bathroom-frienly" slim unit with an integrated amp - that would be a great relief.
My next unit is going to be a living room one - and there I really would need a big display - or a TV connection.
And a clock radio version with integrated speakers fits my bedroom just right - no need to buy a mini system just to connect an SB2.
Somehow Roku is on an easier path - they do not have to care about the server software, so they can concentrate on different hardware units for different niche markets.
For Slim Devices its a hard task to follow them, since they have also to take care of the server application.
Variety in hardware version is a big advantage, though...

Lee Harris
2005-09-19, 13:33
Now there's something that actually does look like an alarm clock :)

-----Original Message-----
From: jackaninny [mailto:jackaninny.1vm3vn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com]
Sent: 19 September 2005 16:23
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] roku annouces 'clock radio' unit


more aimed at the bose product and that customer...

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/12685951.htm

Posted on Mon, Sep. 19, 2005
Get up! Roku Internet radio rocks on easily By Dawn C. Chmielewski Mercury
News

Roku wants to replace your bedside clock radio with a gadget that tunes in
Internet radio stations and plays your digital music collection.

The SoundBridge Radio, which Roku announces today, is one of those rare
home-networked devices that was easy to set up and use -- just like a radio.
And it produced surprisingly rich sound quality that put it on a par with
Bose or Cambridge SoundWorks.

The SoundBridge Radio works like its traditional namesake -- it tunes in AM
and FM stations and plays music through its built-in, high-fidelity
speakers. But it also connects to your home's high-speed wireless network to
fetch and play music off your computer's hard drive or receive Internet
radio stations. Those include local stations that stream their broadcasts
online or channels that are found only on the Internet.

But Roku will have a tough time competing with the audiophile's favorite,
Bose's Wave Music System, when it comes to looks.

Roku's original networked home music player, the SoundBridge, has a
distinctive tubular design with a long LCD display that gave it a sleek,
futuristic feel. The SoundBridge Radio, on the other hand, bears an
unfortunate resemblance to those gigantic home intercoms of the '60s.

Some people will hasten to note that what's important is not how a radio
looks, but how it sounds. Still, if Roku wants a spot on my granite kitchen
counter, it better look hot, too. That's doubly true if I'm prepared to lay
out $399 for a clock radio, instead of the usual $10.

But enough about looks.

Roku recognized an opportunity in the growing popularity of Internet radio,
which now attracts about 40 million listeners. The original SoundBridge let
people listen to Internet radio or their digital music collections through
their home stereo.

Of course, not everybody wants to invest the effort in modifying their
existing stereo equipment to liberate the music from their home computers.
The SoundBridge Radio targets this less-hassle-is-more market.

It took less than five minutes to add the radio to my encrypted wireless
home network. The LCD screen prompted me to provide the most basic
information -- language, time zone, country of residence and network
password, which I did using the remote control.

After briefly restarting, the SoundBridge Radio was ready to rock. A source
button lets you select audio options: AM or FM radio, Internet radio or your
digital music collection stored on a computer's hard drive or a memory card.

I was impressed with how the SoundBridge Radio automatically found the music
tucked away inside my Mac's iTunes folder. The only limitation -- and it's a
significant one -- is one Apple Computer has imposed. The SoundBridge Radio
cannot play music purchased from Apple's iTunes Music Store, because Apple
refuses to license its software to other hardware makers. (Apple, c'mon, set
my music free.)

The SoundBridge Radio works with other digital music services, playing music
purchased or played in a continuous stream from Napster or MSN Music. It
also will play music streams from RealNetworks' Rhapsody. But given that
Apple controls 82 percent of the paid online music market, this will give
iTunes music buyers pause.

Roku added some other nice touches that are worthy of mentioning. It ships
with 50 pre-programmed Internet radio stations, including my personal
favorite, the eclectic Radio Paradise. A scan button lets you find new
stations, just as you would tune any other radio.

The radio also has six preset buttons along the top, which can be configured
to remember 18 channels. Naturally, you can store your favorite radio
stations. But what I liked was the ability to also store playlists or even
albums fetched from my computer's hard drive. For example, I stored
Coldplay's ``X&Y'' by simply playing the album and touching a preset. The
system conveniently and automatically assigns names to each channel, so you
don't need total recall.

One more thing: It's a clock radio with alarm, with a big snooze button. But
don't toss this across the room when you're half asleep.
You'll regret it.

the help desk
Contact Dawn C. Chmielewski at dchmielewski@ mercurynews.com or (800)
643-1902.


--
jackaninny