Logitech Wireless DJ Music System

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It was 9 a.m. I had set aside the better part of the morning to set up Logitech's Wireless DJ Music System. There's a USB transmitter that plugs into the PC, a remote control with 100-meter range, and a charging station that you connect to a sound system or boombox. With three distinct, potentially tricky components, I was prepared for a slow trudge towards harmonious functionality. Instead, I was grooving to my tunes by 9:17.

And by my tunes, I mean songs I bought on iTunes. That's right, in addition to unprotected MP3s, the Logitech Wireless DJ lets you stream purchased tracks that were carefully locked down by the good folks at Apple (plus those secured in Microsoft's competing rights-managed formats). It's a can't-beat-'em-join-'em strategy: The practically invisible Logitech StreamPoint simply tells the iTunes and Windows Media Player software what songs to play. When the music starts, the software streams it wirelessly through the USB transmitter to the receiver waiting at your sound system.

Many wireless music systems have walked in and out of my life, but with Logitech's simple setup and compatibility with all of my Internet music purchases, I was really loving it. The clincher is the wireless remote, which displays all of the artists, albums and songs alphabetically on a clear and spacious screen. There's a wheel for scrolling through names, and a special button for adding tracks to an on-the-fly playlist. Admittedly, the design isn't brand-new — Creative had a primitive version of this years ago, and Sonos has a more advanced one (for a more advanced price). Still, the speed with which I could remotely access songs stored on my PC, all alphabetized together despite their various origins, had me feeling that my years-long search for a convenient wireless music system was over.

Like the Sonos, you can install extra receivers (sold separately for $79) in various rooms, and label them for easy access from the remote; unlike the Sonos, the Logitech DJ can only stream one song at a time to one location, period.

Setting aside my zeal, I should mention a few issues that could become problematic. Certain song names appeared with their track numbers, and sometimes letters or characters appeared incorrectly. Logitech assures me that programmers are hard at work fixing this, and will issue an update shortly. A larger issue is that the music hiccups every now and again. If you're handling the remote while music is playing, the system gets busy and you hear little nuggets of silence. Although the system operates on a powerful version of the Bluetooth wireless networking system — and sounds significantly better than any stereo Bluetooth device I've heard to date — it can also experience interference with Wi-Fi devices and other radio-emitting products in your home. Such are the pitfalls of wireless technology.

Hiccups notwithstanding, I have to hand it to Logitech for unlocking the secret of managing other people's music. Though this product is currently for Windows PCs only, it answers the needs of many Internet-music buyers who want to access songs stored on their PCs, and stream them around the home. Sure, there are plenty of iPod docks and iPod solutions for this, but Logitech's DJ takes the iPod out of the equation, and adds flexibility in the process. It's a trick of simplicity that even Steve Jobs would be proud of.