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Still Livin' La Vida Linux

Jan 02, 2010, 20:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeremy Allison)

"It's been over a year since I wrote about my conversion to a Linux based digital media environment, and since it's the holiday season (or just after) I thought it was time to update the story, and describe some new Linux based devices I'm using that others might find useful.

"In the original essay I spoke about converting all my physical CD's to digital files into the patent-free FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format. At the time I was looking at the Sonos multi-room music system to play the files. I took the plunge and ended up buying a four room system last year. They aren't cheap, but they're the most robust devices I own. They never crash (and for a device as sophisticated as this that's a real pleasure). I've owned televisions that fail more often than the Sonos boxes.

"The Sonos platform is based on an embedded Linux kernel, but the user interface is completely custom, using separate Linux based controller devices to select play lists (although you can also use an iPhone). This is embedded Linux done right. It is incredibly easy to use. My wife, who is an avowed technophobe, finds it simple to program the music she wants. I'm trying to find excuses to buy more of these devices as it's such fun to have all your music available anywhere you want, or even listen to Chinese traffic radio broadcasts (available on the Sonos over the Internet) – although I'm running out of rooms to put them in :-)."

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