Anyone watching my last.fm profile may have noticed a considerable lift in the number of tracks scrobbled recently ... the reason is the arrival (finally! - backstory below ...) of the Logitech SlimDevices Squeezebox ...
I'm fairly certain I first heard about this device from Fred Wilson's blog (where I've heard plenty about music over the last few years ... thanks Fred!) but searching through it, I couldn't find anything specific. I do know that I first installed the SlimServer (now called SqueezeCenter) software back in 2005, and used the SoftSqueeze music player for a while ... but somehow never managed to justify buying the physical device.
Then, back in August, the family was asking what I would like for my birthday, and it clicked - why not give me money to put towards the purchase of this funky little device? They were nice enough to pony up, and now I have a soundtrack again. It was ludicrously easy to set up, physically and virtually, and worked as advertised straight out of the box - the music on the PC through the home theatre set up (and in fine weather, through the outdoor speakers onto the back deck ... scares the neighbours sometimes!). And it scrobbles ... so my last.fm played count goes up.
[The back story: I purchased on line from an Australian e-tailer MrGadget (no link love) via credit card on 18th August. At the end of September, with very little response to a couple of emails requesting an estimated delivery date, a poor sod from Logitech did the customer service thing, and contacted me to see how I was enjoying the new toy. I don't think I was too harsh, but did point out that enjoyment of the device required possession, something I didn't yet have. What followed was an example (in my estimation) of one link in the supply chain going out of their way to do the right thing (props to Logitech) versus their distributor, who not only couldn't deliver or advise of a potential delivery, but tried to stiff me for more money after an exchange rate movement. In the end, Logitech just delivered the Squeezebox directly, rather than waste my time any further with MrGadget. My thanks to Michael Valera, Suzanne Harrison, George Saad and Nick Angelucci, all from Logitech (US and Australia - I told you they went above and beyond) - I'm loving the Squeezebox, and without you guys I probably wouldn't have got it this side of Christmas!]