So, my brother wanted us to sort out multi-room audio for him for his birthday. Easier said than done; all my research turned up expensive, bespoke systems with remote controls the size of toasters and slightly annoying file library systems (all non-networked). Thanks to a little hype and a lot of research, we decided to go for Slim Device’s WiFi Squeezebox, with an accompanying Qnap NAS drive. Whilst expensive, we managed to get it all set up and working, and were quite impressed.
Setting up the Squeezebox’s and NAS drive (we got 2 boxes and one NAS drive) took about 10 minutes – sorting out the music collection – thanks to the mess that is iTunes – took several hours. Squeezebox, frustratingly, can’t play M4A or M4P files (both DRMed and non-DRMed AAC files) – so had to convert them all, which required finding (and paying for) a batch conversion program. On the plus side, that worked and was good (from imtoo.com I think).
So: Squeezebox rocks but would be better if it could cope with iTunes files, iTunes sucks and it would better if it used MP3s. And my music collection has been 100% converted now :)