Putting a CD in your home stereo is fast becoming an antiquated way of listening to music.
These days, you're more likely to have a hard drive full of downloaded music, whether you grabbed them from Apple's (AAPL) iTunes store or ripped them from a peer-to-peer sharing site. And gadgets like the iPod have allowed you to take that massive music library on the go.
But what happens when you want to leave behind those tinny laptop speakers and sub-par earbuds and hear your digital library cranking out of your home stereo? Fortunately, an army of audiophiles is way ahead of you, having developed a number of high-tech and easy-to-use solutions to the digital music quandary. Here are some of the best products to help you enjoy your favorite artists, be it Stravinsky or Soundgarden, without being tied to your computer.
Squeezebox Classic by Logitech (LOGI), $269.99.Hooking this small, glossy black box to your home stereo is as easy as connecting a CD player: Plug in a power adapter and connect audio cords to your receiver. Then, a few clicks of the remote will connect the Squeezebox to your home's wireless network. Once that's done, just download the SqueezeCenter software to your computer and start scrolling through your music library from your home stereo. And if nothing in your digital collection grabs you, the Squeezebox offers access to thousands of Internet-based radio stations and supports subscription-based streaming music services such as Rhapsody and Pandora. (My favorite: TSF, cool jazz straight from Paris.)
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