Feel chained to your tunes? There are a number of ways to get your home music library from your computer to other rooms. You could go the DIY route and set up another computer on your wireless network to share songs. But for a simpler setup, go with a dedicated media-streaming device.
If you want a hassle-free solution and don’t mind using iTunes, Apple’s AirPort Express ($100; apple.com) provides a quick and painless approach—just set up the device on your network, plug it into an outlet wherever you want to listen, and connect it to your speakers. Roku’s SoundBridge M1001 ($130; soundbridge.roku.com) works with virtually any music software and supports many types of files, such as WMA, FLAC and OGG. It also has a display, so you can keep tabs on what’s currently playing from afar, and Internet radio to ensure that your ears never get bored.
Logitech’s Squeezebox Boom ($300; logitech.com) ups the ante even further with built-in stereo speakers and a potent 30-watt amplifier, enabling you to stream your jams (including the ones on Pandora and other online music services) to another room without needing a separate sound system. It also has an alarm clock, as well as a jack for your MP3 player, so you can even take it out of the house to use as a portable stereo. If you’re willing to spend the money, it’s the perfect all-in-one device for hearing your music just about anywhere.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.