I’m a keen user of Slimdevice’s Squeezebox 3. If you are into huge MP3 music collections, have a decent enough Hi-Fi system and a spare PC to dedicate as a music server, this is a great addition!
Check it out at http://www.slimdevices.com
I’ve got a PC server (whose noisy fans lives nice and far away from my listening room – it’s actually locked in the garage) that has a RAID drive stuffed with music ripped from CD singles and a few favourite albums.
This server runs Slimdevice’s ‘SqueezeCenter’ software that indexes the whole music collection in a MySQL database. This can be accessed by the Squeezebox, various web browsers and lately the iPod Touch and iPhone.
As well as replaying MP3’s (and AAC, ORG, FLAC etc…) another great feature of the Squeezebox is its support for Internet Radio, which sounds much better replayed on this player than through the audio system of a PC.
Most of my collected music comes as CDs from charity shops like those that support St Lukes Hospice for Harrow & Brent. Of course there is iTunes for music as well 🙂
CD singles are an interesting music source – the multitude of different remixes of the same track fit well into a random mix automated playout, where as if you’d just played the CD single in a normal player you’d soon tire of listening to them sequentially.
I’ve even written a Perl module for this system to control the power state of the server – details here.