What will rise from the ashes of our beloved Chumby?
May 7, 2012 11:27 AM   Subscribe

With what should we replace our beloved Chumby?

So Chumby is dead, which explains why the ChumbyOne we keep in our kitchen has refused to load Pandora over the past few days. We use it at least several times a week to listen to music and podcasts while washing dishes or while I work (our kitchen table is my usual work spot). What should we buy to replace it? I'd like something that can stream Pandora, possibly last.fm, and NY Times podcasts, minimally, with a fairly low imprint and its own speakers. Should I be looking at some sort of tablet + dock or a logitech squeezebox or what? I'd love to get something that won't eventually die on me like this, too. The lower the price, the better, since I had no idea I'd be replacing the Chumby after only a year of loyal service.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi to Technology (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Logitech Squeezebox radio

It has replaced my squeezebox for listening device at home. Better sound quality, extremely responsive controls.

I picked up an open box unit from logitech for $87 last year.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2012

A Kindle Fire meets the low cost goal $199 but you will need a dock with speakers to make it sound decent. A dock designed with the Kindle Fire in mind will ship in late May available for pre-order now (~$55 for the dock) most of the Android tablets require external speakers or headphones (wireless Bluetooth is a treat). There are cheaper Droid tablets out there but you should opt for the better known brands a few dollars more but worth it in my opinion having owned several "bargain" tablets/readers. I love my Asus T201 Transformer Prime it is not cheap though however. I have become attached at the hip to it since January. It does about everything from movie editing to free VOIP in the US and Canada, plays games 1080p output 8 mp camera sounds good without a dock Bluetooth WiFi GPS etc.... Android is here to stay for a while.
posted by pdxpogo at 11:52 AM on May 7, 2012

I have a rooted nook that I use for netflix, pandora, etc. It needs real speakers, but it was cheap and easy.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:02 PM on May 7, 2012

If you can get ahold of a set of powered speakers (or just add a cheap amp to regular bookshelf speakers you might already have), an Airport Express or other AirPlay-capable device can play audio sourced from Pandora, Rhapsody, etc. with AirFoil, as well as play items from an iTunes library.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:20 PM on May 7, 2012

Best answer: a kind genius 'zurk' released a modified OS for the chumby that makes it not dependent on chumbys servers to continue working. Soundforge Apparently it lets you run all the widgets without the chumby servers, it does take some elbow grease to get going. But.. among a handful widgets, Pandora does depend on the chumby server to continue to run.

I did load up a subsonic client that streams audio from a local subsonic server, and its the cats pajamas, but alas, my wife loves pandora.. so we may need to replace the kitchen entertainment system.
posted by edman at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2012

I looked into all of these options and basically decided on using an iPod touch. It streams everything, can switch over to new services when available (i.e. Spotify and Rdio), and can be controlled from my laptop.

New ones are $199 but they carry refurbished models, and can be found slightly used on ebay (buyer beware - seems to be a hot ticket item for annoying scams).
posted by barnone at 2:02 PM on May 7, 2012

Response by poster: So we ended up picking up a Logitech squeezebox radio (new, not refurb--it looks like they no longer sell refurbs. Thank god for credit card points!). I just got it all hooked up, and it's awesome. All the features we were looking for, great sound. I'm currently controlling it from the next room. Very nifty.

Meanwhile, we've put our old chumby in the bedroom with zurk's files to use as a new alarm clock, as our old one chose an appropriate moment to die on us. Perfect solution. Very happy not to have to throw the old boy out.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:30 PM on May 14, 2012

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