Electric Jukebox doesn’t want to be Spotify or Chromecast, so what is it?

As if we needed another streaming service in our lives. Well, according to the new Electric Jukebox, we do. The space between our headphones has become a battleground for services like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora. But for some, keeping track of all the features and monthly billing proves to be a bit much.

Instead of offering a streaming library across iOS, Android and other platforms with varying degrees of hardware compatibility, Electric Jukebox is rolling it all into one experience. Think Chromecast meets Spotify, kind of…

Let’s start with the hardware aspect of Electric Jukebox. It’s all centered around two pieces: a remote and a HDMI dongle. The former controls playback as expected while the later serves as the hub of communication with built-in Wi-Fi and an auxiliary 3.5mm cable for use with external speakers. To get started, simply plug the Jukebox into an open HDMI port on your HDTV and connect it to your wireless network with the remote.

This turns any HDTV into a quasi-Jukebox and provides access to a library of “tens of millions” of songs. The interface looks pretty decent with large imagery and playback controls at the forefront of the experience. Voice-powered search is enabled by a microphone on the remote, while a built-in motion sensor allows for a Wii-like navigation experience. There are also back, pause and OK buttons on the remote as well. Music is played through your HDTV or external speakers that are connected via the 3.5mm cable. The drawback here is that your display must be turned on to navigate and control playback. There is not an iOS or Android app for added functionality.

Electric Jukebox retails for $229, which includes a year of its streaming service. By comparison, the new Chromecast 2 or Chromecast Audio retails for just $35. Even with a year of Spotify service ($120) you’re still ahead of the game plus iOS and Android compatibility. But Electric Jukebox doesn’t seem to be aimed at Spotify users. Instead, it was to bring in consumers that have never used a streaming service before. By rolling its software and hardware into one package, the goal is to simplify the listening experience.

At this time, it is unclear what artists have signed up for the new Electric Jukebox service. But it promises unlimited streaming from “millions of albums, radio stations and mixtapes”. After a year, listening becomes ad-supported or you’ll be able to grab another year of premium service for $60. Pre-orders are currently open for the Electric Jukebox with a $30 off incentive if you snatch one up by October 21st.

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Source: Electric Jukebox

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