"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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