Friday, December 9, 2011

A Logitech Touch joins my squeezebox powered home

If you've read my previous article on my whole house streaming audio solution, you know that I like the Logitech squeezebox product line.

Since I wrote that article I've added two more squeezebox radios (one for work), built a custom battery pack and recently picked up a Logitech Touch.  I had been waiting on the Logitech Touch as I was using my Media PC to stream music to my main stereo.  As convenient as my Media PC is to use, I've found that having a device dedicated to music is nice to have.  Plus, I missed having a display that showed me what I was playing.

Here are some quick thoughts on what I think about the Logitech Touch.

Logitech Touch v.s. Logitech Radio

On the surface, the Touch and the Radio seem quite similar (ignoring the speaker).  They both have the same menu interface (which is nice).  Audiophiles will like the fact that the Touch outputs 96khz audio (if you have the media).  The Touch also has lots of extra features such as the ability to play files directly off of a sdcard or an usb attached disk using an embedded version of Logitech Media Server.

However what I really liked about the Touch was its large display (easily readable from across the room).  The included full featured remote (v.s. the mini remote that came with my Boom) is also quite useful.

One subtle feature is that the Touch changes its UI depending upon if you are using the remote or touching the screen.  When touching the screen the menu font is normally small.  When using the remote, the menu font is extra-large (making it readable from a distance.  Very sensible!

The Touch has some really cool screen savers and even the ability to stream photos from the web.  However, for everyday use I find that I prefer the simple album art display (shown above) and the large clock (when off).  If I had a Touch on my desk (v.s. across the room), I might take advantage of some of the other features & plug-ins.

One minor flaw in the design that I've noticed with both the Touch and the Radio is that their screen has a very limited vertical viewing angle.  If you are sitting below the level of the table on which it is sitting, their display can be hard or impossible to read.  I get around this problem by tilting the unit forward a bit, but I wish I didn't need to do this.

All in all I'm quite happy with the Touch (and my multiple Radios).  The touch interface is actually quite useful.  My kids even like it too (although I'm not likely to replace the Radios in their room until a version of the Touch comes out with speakers (like the Boom).

Nice job, Logitech!


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