Breaking news! Logitech has discontinued Squeezebox and launched the UE series instead. Read more here.
One key USP for choosing Squeezebox for a multi-room solution is that it is able to play Spotify AND doing so with different songs to multiple zones at the same time. That cant be done on a PC for instance.
Squeezebox has been around since 2001 and the current line-up consists of the Squeezebox Radio and the Squeezebox Touch. Those two has the top functionality (including Spotify) and we will focus on them.
The Radio is a standalone player with built-in speakers. It has only a 3.5mm out but can be connected to a receiver through that.
The Touch has a larger display which is also touch enabled obviously.. It lacks speakers and has multiple line outs including digital. It also has a built in squeezebox server and can have disks connected through USB.
Both devices streams music from the local network but the Radio requires a Squeezebox server on the network for doing so.
They both play Spotify fine, through mysqueezebox.com or a local squeezebox server.
Squeezebox Server and mysqueezebox.com
The Squeezebox Server concept is central in a Squeezebox setup. The server will handle your local network files and be an interface to your remoting apps.
The server software can be located on any pc that is attached to your local network. Many NAS products also has it on them. Squeezebox also has mysqueezebox.com that works as a server for those that cant have their own. The only mayor drawback is that you cant play local mp3:s. Apart from that, mysqueezebox.com works fine for remoting your zones and even to play spotify on them.
The Touch has a built in Squeezebox Server (the Radio has not). So if you have a Touch in your setup, you wont need another Squeezebox Server. The best is to have both a local server and a mysqueezebox.com account in case your local server is offline or has other problems.
Controlling the devices
One advantage with these Squeezebox devices is that you can control them both on the device itself and by remoting apps. That is not the case with the competitor Sonos, that always require their devices to be controlled through remoting.
The Android app Squeeze Commander is great for remoting. It automatically finds the server and the devices on the network. You can group the devices togin all zones or different music in each zone. It costs a few dollars, which it is worth.
Squeezebox has also released an own Android remote app, Logitech Squeezebox Controler. It has less features than the Commander but it gets the job done. It ihavs free.
If you a Squeezebox Server on your network, it has a web remoting interface which can be used in any browser.