Slim Devices Inc. on Wednesday introduced new metallic chassis colors for its SqueezeBox, a network music player that connects your stereo to your computer’s digital music. What’s more, the company also introduced its own CD ripping service and updated SlimServer, the software that powers the Squeezebox, adding a variety of new features.
Squeezebox is still available in classic black, but now it comes in four metallic colors covered in a shiny clear coating. Slim Devices describes the colors as “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Tangerine Dream,” “Purple Haze” and “Triple Platinum.” The colored Squeezeboxes are being offered in limited quantities, and cost US$289 in wireless form or $209 for the wired version. Pre-orders start today, and Slim Devices expects to ship them starting next week.
Slim Devices is also offering users who are too busy to rip their own music from audio CD to digital a CD ripping service. The company is also aiming the service at professional audio installers who don’t have the time or the manpower to handle the conversion of their customers’ audio libraries. Customers place an order through Slim Devices’ Web site. Shipping supplies are sent along with a prepaid UPS label; properly tagged digital files are then burned to DVD or CD-R. Slim Devices can rip audio CDs to MP3, WMA or AAC formats at bit rates ranging from 128 to 320Kbps. The company charges $129 to convert up to 100 CDs, $179 for up to 150 CDs, or $229 for up to 200 CDs. Discounts are available for larger libraries, and Slim Devices will use lossless encoding and multiple formats for an additional fee.
Slim Devices also announced the release on Wednesday of SlimServer 5.4, an update to the software that enables the Squeezebox to work. SlimServer 5.4 adds support for an Internet radio directory, enabling listeners to tune in to “Slim Devices Picks,” Live365, Radioio, ShoutCAST and AudioFeast Internet audio streams from around the work. The new release also adds RDF Site Summary (RSS) news feed reading abilities — users can view RSS feeds from their favorite news sources using Squeezebox’s own display, browsing headlines or watching a ticker-style display. New streaming formats are also supported in this release — including Windows Media Audio (WMA) (though only for Windows users) and Ogg Vorbis radio streaming. SlimServer 5.4 is available for download for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems, and the Perl source code is also available, released under the Open Source GPL license.