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Good: Looks good, sounds reasonable, keeps the house clear of CDs
Bad: advanced setup issues and system freezing.
Comment: I have the WACS7500 and think this is a fantastic idea, all your music stored in one place allowing you to keep your hard copies out of the reach of the little darlings grubby, destructive fingers. This also means you don't need to search through the pile of CD cases only to find empty or mixed up disks/cases or worse... damaged disks. All your music is stored neatly in exactly the same place for evermore.
Sound quality is good enough for an average listener, it's not high end prices so don't expect high end quality, so if you're an audiophile and you want to sit in a quiet room and appreciate pure sound quality then this system isn't for you. If you just want to listen to your music as you potter around the house then it's ideal. Using the broadcast function i can have my music playing all over the house.
It's not without its problems though. Every now and then the system freezes and needs unplugged from the wall and you need to go through the setup process again, mostly the station rather than the centre.
The 2 way remote control is tempramental, refusing to connect to either the centre or the station 85% of the time, but the 1 way remote works fine on both the centre and the station.
Music seems to take forever to transfer onto the hard drive so loading the machine up with 100s of albums to begin with is a task, but after that initial session i only load the occasional disk whick is no great hardship.
Setting the system up for internet was relatively easy today, nearly two years after i first bought the system, although i have tried many many times before this (and done nothing differently) without success, so it seems a little hit and miss for my liking. I have now moved on to setting up the UPNP function and don't seem to be getting anywhere fast.
All in though, it's a small, neat, good looking system that does everything i need it to do for a good price. It plays stored music and FM/internet radio all round my house. Any advanced features are only a bonus and i'd recommend it even if i never get the wireless or upnp set up properly.
Good: Looks good, nice idea, good wireless range, not a bad sound, relatively cheap
Bad: menu options, internet radio, UPNP setup, general little quibbles
Comment: I bought this a few months back as a means to stream music from my PC round the house. First impressions weren't bad and as i'm fairly ok with IT i had it up & running in a hour or so. Then i came across the first problem. Because of my firewall settings i could not stream files from my PC (or at least not without a load of hassle) so i needed to upload my music to the 80GB hard drive on the Streamium. Not a bad idea i thought as that's what it is there for and it means the PC won't have to be on. Unfortunately the only way to upload data from an external source to the Streamium is wirelessly therefore after a 2.5 days of continuous running i could finally access my tunes.
The other main gripe is with the remote control and search facility, the control constantly fails to connect (it was replaced after 1 week and the 2nd was the same) and the search is really fiddly and annoying to use especially when you have alot of files!!! I mean it, this was probably the clincher problem for me!
- The internet radio stations drop out sporadically which means you have to get up and turn on and off
- If you unplug the unit without first going to eco standby mode it can bugger up your connections so
make sure you tell your wife/girlfriend to not unplug for hoovering purposes.
- when in broadcast party mode you can't fast foward to other tracks. I don't know whether other
systems can but it bugged me.
- Sometimes it would just hang, which required a 'reboot'. I guess the fact that it has a hard drive
makes it a sort of computer and we all know what they're like!!
So....last week i took it back to the really nice shop that i bought it from (Richersounds) and bought a Squeezebox Duet. This, unlike the Streamium, is an excellent piece of kit which i would thoroughly recommend to anyone.
Good: The style and WiFi functionality...second to none
Bad: Substations controls
Comment: With this system (WACS7000) you get a main station and a sub station that wirelessly connect. No need for a computer or even a wireless home network. These little babies can see each other quite happily and at a decent range, mine are over 10 meters apart, although I am using a wireless router, which can apparently double the range.
The WACS7000 comes with a 80gb hard drive which is adequate. The two-way remote control is also a little belter as it reads out the menu off your system on a handy 2.5" screen, so no need to keep jumping up to see what your selecting.
As for the operating system and the software, I would say its very easy to get up and running and its an intuitive interface. All the expected features are there, such as a search function, play songs from the same artist, genre etc... etc... However the software on the substation seems less responsive.
Also on the downside transferring tracks onto the system from your computer or ripping them from a CD (you can put into the unit) can also take a while.
Overall I love this system, it looks very stylish, it sounds great and it has that all-important wireless functionality, I know I won't be changing it for a while. In-fact the only thing I'll be doing is adding more substations.
You can read more of my opinions on this and other products at, http://neilsmithdesigns.blogspot.com/
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