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Electric Jukebox is the ultimate music gift for Spotify naysayers

Own a TV? Love Music? Hate Spotify? Then we’ve found the perfect Christmas present for you: Electric Jukebox.

Last year, Electric Jukebox was announced as a way to listen to music for the people who weren’t too keen on Spotify. In short, it’s a Wi-Fi streaming stick that plugs into your tele, offering up millions of tracks direct to your living room. It’s finally available, and goes on sale from tomorrow, albeit for a hefty price of £169 in the UK.

So how does it all work? Well, first you’ll need a decent Wi-Fi connection, as well as a TV with a HDMI port. Once you’ve plugged it in, you’ll go through a self-described “two-minute set-up”, at which point you’ll be able to listen to all (or at least most) of the music you desire.

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The Discover section lets you browse hundreds of music channels, the My Music tab lets you build your own collection of favourite songs, and Search does exactly what you’d expect. You’ll also get personal mixtape and playlists from celebs like Stephen Fry, Sherly Crow, Alesha Dixon, Robbie Williams and Ayda Field.

But the real exciting feature is the remote control, which comes with its own built-in microphone. This lets you voice search; say the name of a song, and it’ll play instantly. You also have OK, back, and microphone buttons on the remote, for additional controls. It’s a clear bid to appeal to users who don’t want to control their music using a phone, tablet, or some newfangled sentient AI. The creators of the Jukebox say the system is as “simple as a CD player”, which could make it a popular Christmas gift for older relatives.

The curated music channels are free to listen to, although you’ll need to fork out an annual payment of £52 for an ad-free version with all the features – you get a year of this membership for free, mind. Oh, and there’s no monthly subscription option, which is a little unfortunate, although a year’s membership stills works out cheaper than Spotify (£119.88) overall.

“Electric Jukebox makes streaming fun again,” reads the product website. “Just plug it into your TV, connect to Wi-Fi and choose from millions of songs. Simple and fun.”

Other features of note include a visualiser that plays slideshows of fancy images sourced from Getty, as well as an explicit track filter that will keep children from being blasted with curse words when your NWA mixtape comes on. The Electric Jukebox is available in black, red, and blue, and will be on sale at the official website, as well as Amazon, Argos, and Selfridges.

Related: CES 2017

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