What’s this brightly-coloured wand? A home karaoke microphone?
No, but you’re right in thinking it’s music-related. This is the controller for Electric Jukebox, a freshly-launched new music streaming service – with a difference.
And that difference is…?
That it works solely through your television. You hook a dongle up to a TV via HDMI, then connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi. Once that’s done, you can use the TV Stick controller to access over 29 million songs at CD quality – that’s almost as many as you’ll find in Apple Music or Spotify’s libraries – and listen to them through your TV.
But my TV's speakers are tinnier than a tuna cannery!
Well, then, get a better telly.
But you make a good point in that, clearly, this isn’t going to be for everyone. Electric Jukebox is pitched at the mass market, at people who just want a simplified streaming service right there in front of them. To that end it features voice search to make finding your favourite tunes faster, a cursor-based interface and playlists curated by the light entertainment likes of Robbie Williams and Alesha Dixon rather than uber-cool tastemakers.
I hope it's a bargain, then
Well, kind of. An Electric Jukebox Premium Music Pass costs US$60 for a year, while Spotify/Apple Music/Google Play Music are all US$120 – a significant saving. However, that’s really how much it’ll cost in your second year, as in the first year you’ll have to buy the remote and dongle, plus the subscription, for a package total of US$230.
Also, you can’t access Electric Jukebox on any devices except your telly, while Spotify et al work on a huge bunch of devices. So for now, the jury’s out on whether this is truly a competitor to the trad streaming services, or merely for people who want something totally different.
Look out for Stuff's full review soon.