We all like music in this house. We’re not music buffs or music snobs, but we do all enjoy listening to music. We’ve got pretty eclectic tastes. For me it’s Queen and the Levellers from back in the day, pop from the 90s and early noughties, plus anything that’s on Radio 1 right now. My husband remembers some very obscure tracks from the 80s (which definitely should have been forgotten!) and the kids have inherited some of our musical tastes and added in a few random bits off YouTube of their own.
So we all liked the sound of Electric Jukebox – a clever little device for streaming music through the TV. With Electric Jukebox, we’re not limited to what we’ve already bought on iTunes or CD and we don’t have to sit through a loads of adverts on YouTube. We can listen to what we want, when we want!
Released onto the market just last month, and backed by Robbie Williams, Alesha Dixon and Stephen Fry, Electric Jukebox gives you access to over 29 million songs ads-free and with no monthly subscription. My kids couldn’t wait to give it a go!
Setting up and searching for tracks
I am reliably informed that set-up was easy (with technology-loving sons in the house, there was no need for me to get involved). You plug the stick into an HDMI port on the back of your TV – and if there isn’t much space, there is even an extension cable to ensure it fits. Then plug the stick into a power socket, select the right HDMI channel on your TV, connect to Wi-Fi and you’re ready to go.
The controller is a lot like a Wii controller, which you point at the TV to make your selections. Discover is where you’ll find ready-made playlists and all the latest hits. MyMusic is where you build your own playlists. Of course, everyone wanted to create their own individual playlists. You can do either a text or voice search, but you have to speak pretty clearly to get a voice search to work. A search will bring up albums, the artist and songs – you then select which songs you want to play or add to your playlist.
We had a lot of fun building up our playlists and listening to them. I can’t imagine anyone else would have a playlist containing both Jeff Buckley and Rick Astley (my eldest) or Nirvana and East 17 (me). It’s nice to see the kids using the TV for something other than watching reality TV and it’s nice to see them looking up from their phones and tablets for a change.
There were a few tracks we couldn’t find – mainly from the 90s/ early noughties and some very up-to-date ones, but the list of tracks on Electric Jukebox is being constantly updated. We noticed that there were a few cover versions on the catalogue, so you have to be pretty clear on your search results if you don’t want to add Viva La Vida by some total random to your playlist.
My ever-cynical husband was concerned that we might get drawn into paying a subscription (have you ever tried getting out of an Xbox Live subscription – it’s almost impossible), but there is no subscription at all! When you purchase your Electric Jukebox, you get a year’s premium pass included. After a year, your jukebox switches to a free service with ads and a slightly more limited catalogue, although you can pay £52 a year for a further premium pass, a lot cheaper than Spotify Premium at £9.99 a month.
I was concerned about how my family would accept having our one and only working TV out of action so that somebody could listen to music, but, as long as they all got their turn, they were were more than happy with it! I was amazed when my daughter got up and announced ‘I want to listen to my music’. This is the girl who puts Dance Moms on TV as soon as she possibly can every day.
One of the only downsides was that the music kept cutting out momentarily when our Wi-Fi signal dropped a bit.
At £169 and with access to almost endless music, Electric Jukebox is a great gift for a music-lover. Or why not treat the family to enjoy some music together over Christmas. A Christmas playlist without Mariah Carey?! That’s my next job!
Electric Jukebox is available direct from Electric Jukebox or from retailers including Amazon and Argos.
We were sent an Electric Jukebox for the purposes of this review. All opinions and eclectic musical tastes are our own.