Streaming internet radio is a consumer’s killer app #1 for the chumby.
Hackers immediately find the joy in a cheap, hackable, portable linux mini-computer. But Muggles might ask, “How much did you pay for that?” or “What is it for?”
While the chumby still lacks a webbrowser (a tall order on a 266MHz ARM9 with a 3.5 inch screen), the beta control panel brings the chumby *much* closer to being an end-consumer device. If the rate of improvement and community interaction continue, I’ll be quite pleased, come spring, to have dubbed myself ‘chumbylover’.
I’ve used chumby more this weekend than anytime since Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I flipped from Berkeley’s KALX to skip sports programming from their match with Princeton, just to find WPRB gearing up for coverage of the same match. Earlier, Handel’s Messiah was streaming from my chumby. (Thanks WCPE!). Now I’m listening to oddly soothing music from WFMU–a nice mix of instrumental (I’ve never heard a bass clarinet do *that* before), jazz, and pop music. Easy-listening, but not in the pejorative sense.
And how easy streaming is–in the control panel sense. 🙂
The default control panel has one music option: playing off an iPod.
Beta control panel 2.6.49 music options are much richer:
In either case, you can also ssh into the chumby to access other music sources.
Bottom line: Sure, I could pull streaming audio off my computer or a dedicated device, but the chumby–with its built-in speakers and rounded, hand-friendly shape, makes internet radio much more fun.
If only my house had more power outlets!