Dmitry Leskov

After Fifteen Years, the Kitchen Entertainment Problem is Finally Solved

I had assembled a complete set of HiFi components, albeit Soviet-made, well before our marriage. (More precisely, I had no CD player then, but I owned a reel-to-reel tape recorder if you know what that means.) Nevertheless, ever since moving out of my parents’ apartment back in 1996, we would say to each other every once in a while: “We gotta get us something to enjoy music in the kitchen.”

To put you in context, most people in Russia live in apartments, and in most apartments here the kitchen is a completely separate room, too small for a full-size audio. Some people would have removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room, but if that wall was part of the building structure, as in our case, you were out of luck.

During the occasional visits to the electronic stores, you know, the real, brick-and-mortar ones, we would have looked at those classic tape+FM boomboxes and the flashy all-in-one systems, but we did not quite like any of them. Then a friend upgraded his CD player so we started collecting CDs, and at about the same time all the good FM stations went south, so we decided we’d buy a CD microsystem. Then the MP3 boom came, so I started looking at MP3-enabled boomboxes. Then all of a sudden everyone who went to trade shows had a surplus of USB thumb drives. Now, of course, we needed something with an USB slot. Then I read about Internet radio receivers and thought that is what we should get, but for some strange reason they were not available in Russia at that time – usually we get our hands on new gadgets quickly thanks to the proximity to China. ;)

And then I realized we only need one simple gadget to finally solve the problem.

Here is the setup we ended up with:

- Internet connection
- WiFi router
- PC holding a copy of our CD collection
- iPad
- Bluetooth speakers (that was the missing piece)

Is not it amazing that so many technologies had to emerge, commoditize and consumerize to let me get some jazz with my morning coffee?


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