• One nagging problem was how to rig up his music system. Digital music was exploding on the internet, and Millington had spent many hours methodically trying to collect every Billboard Top 40 hit from 1945 onward, amassing a wide range of other, more eclectic music files along the way. But listening to his treasure trove of tunes felt like living in the dorms again. All of his MP3s were stored on the boxy PC he kept in his living room. "At the time, my music setup was a Gateway 2000 tower PC and then I had a laptop," he says. "I would do terminal server into the PC and play MP3 files there. That wasn't cutting it for me."

    Around that same time, a Santa Barbara, California, startup called Sonos was hiring engineers. Sonos courted Millington with a simple pitch: It wanted to make digital music players that would look respectable on his "fancier" Ikea shelves, wirelessly access his MP3s without requiring him to touch a PC, and play all of his music in every room of his house. Millington wanted in.


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