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  1. #1
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Pre-Announcement: ickStream Music Platform

    Since some people seem to be getting a bit nervous about the current situation relating to Squeezebox products and are starting to abandon the Squeezebox and move to other music streaming platforms, we thought we would make a brief announcement that we have been working on something for a while. We initiated the project in 2011 when we started to see indications of the direction Logitech was moving in and have been working on it since then in parallel with our other activities.

    We have seen the current trend in the market where hardware vendors are forced to do proprietary software solutions, typically resulting in users getting locked in to a specific vendor specific solutions with limited device choices for a good whole house audio experience. On top of this online streaming providers have to make proprietary integrations with each individual hardware platform to be able to offer their services everywhere, resulting in a fragmented experience. UPnP was supposed to be the solution to some of this but it really never worked for music.

    Our belief is that people don't want to be locked into a specific hardware vendor, they want to have the option to combine hardware from different manufacturers in the same system, to use high-end devices in the main listening room and cheaper devices in kitchen or bedroom. We also believe people want to use locally stored music as well as music provided by online streaming services.

    Our goal is to provide an open platform which can be integrated with third party hardware and also enhanced by third party software. We will provide controllers and players for iOS and Android ourselves, and in addition to this we are talking to hardware vendors. We have also done some prototyping of running our platform on Squeezeboxes and have a plugin that makes it possible to use LMS as content provider for local music. This way we want to make sure you can keep your Squeezeboxes alive even when Logitech ends the support for them.

    The platform will be commercial because we don't think integration with online services and long term survival is possible without a charging, but our current intention is to try keep the community feeling from the Squeezebox community, where it's possible for third party developers to easily provide additions for free. To support this we will provide an API that can be used to extend the system we want that capability build into the DNA of the system and it's actually an area we are focusing on right now.

    The current state of the platform is that we are doing some alpha testing with a selection of people from the community and the group of testers will be extended over time so we can release a first version available to the public sometime later this year.

    Unfortunately we can't share more information than this at the moment, but feel free to post feedback in this thread if you know things we should think about to make the solution fit your setup better.

    Finally, you are probably wondering who is part of this, so to give you some idea:
    - Joerg Schwieder (pippin): Developer of the iPeng app family for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch devices
    - Erland Isaksson (erland): Developer of many free and commercial plugins and applets for the Squeezebox
    - James Fearon: Developer of the playback logic in the iPeng app family
    - Remco Derksen (remd): Previously in charge of Partnerships and Business development for the Squeezebox.
    - Some of the other third party developers and some graphics/marketing/business oriented resources

    You will find our web site at http://www.ickstream.com where we will provide more information of the platform as it becomes available.

    Finally, please don't worry about our current Squeezebox related work. Both the iPeng apps and Erland's plugins/applets will continue to be supported and the new platform has of course taken some inspiration from our previous work as well as for the things we were not able to do on the Squeezebox platform in the past.

    The ickStream Team
    ickStream - A world of music at your fingertips
    Last edited by pippin; 2013-04-12 at 12:20.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  2. #2
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    Good news! I shall follow developments with great interest.

    Not sure about the ickstream name though. Maybe it sounds better to German ears?!

  3. #3
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    I was at the stage of thinking about selling my beloved Squeezebox Touch but this news is terrific. I have monitored Erland's posts over the past few months and knew he had something up his sleeve. Will this platform take he place of Mysqueezebox.com? I've looked around but haven't found anything matching the Touch's flexibility and value. I primarily listen to Spotify through Triode's app. Will I be able to continue this through the new platform.I'm glad that you care enough to work on his. Many thanks and I look forward to developments. Will we all have opportunity to trial this platform prior to its release?
    Steve

  4. #4
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corelli45 View Post
    Will this platform take he place of Mysqueezebox.com?
    The ickStream system has a cloud server part that will do a bit similar things as mysqueezebox.com plus a lot more.
    It's also built from the ground up to be scalable and reliable with many users.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corelli45 View Post
    I've looked around but haven't found anything matching the Touch's flexibility and value. I primarily listen to Spotify through Triode's app. Will I be able to continue this through the new platform.I'm glad that you care enough to work on his. Many thanks and I look forward to developments.
    We are working on adding support for many different online streaming services and we will add them gradually, we can't say exactly which ones that will be available at the initial launch, but support for big online services like Spotify is definitely something we know is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corelli45 View Post
    Will we all have opportunity to trial this platform prior to its release?
    Steve
    Probably not everyone, but we will gradually add more beta testers so those who we feel have been good beta testers previously or we know use the system in a specific way or in a specific environment are good candidates. We will probably ask in this thread if we have a need for a certain kind of beta tester and on top of this we also have a mailing list for people who like to eventually participate in beta testing which you can register to on our web page http://www.ickstream.com
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Lead platform developer of ickStream Music Platform - A world of music at your fingertips

    (Also developer of many plugins/applets)

  5. #5
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    I had been considering an Olive One as it has open architecture and will include Spotify but your announcement has taken me by surprise. When are you likely to launch your product?
    Steve

  6. #6
    Senior Member maggior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    We have also done some prototyping of running our platform on Squeezeboxes and have a plugin that makes it possible to use LMS as content provider for local music. This way we want to make sure you can keep your Squeezeboxes alive even when Logitech ends the support for them.
    Interesting. This explains some things Erland has said in the forums :-). It seemed like he was privvy to something going on.

    I'm curious what you mean by "running our platrorm on squeezeboxes". Are you replacing squeezebox firmware? Or are you referring to using squeezeboxes in a mixed enironment with ickstream devices?
    Rich
    ---------
    Setup: 2 SB3s, 4 Booms, 1 Duet, 1 Receiver, 1 Touch, iPeng on iPod Touch, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze, and SqueezePlayer on Xoom and Galaxy Player 4.2. CentOS 6.3 Server running LogitechMediaServer 7.7.2 and SqueezeSlave.
    Current library stats: 40,810 songs, 3,153 albums, 582 artists.
    http://www.last.fm/user/maggior

  7. #7
    Senior Member maggior's Avatar
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    gapless playback

    One request:
    please please please make gapless playback of LAME mp3 and FLAC a "must have" feature and not something left to be dealt with after release.
    Rich
    ---------
    Setup: 2 SB3s, 4 Booms, 1 Duet, 1 Receiver, 1 Touch, iPeng on iPod Touch, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze, and SqueezePlayer on Xoom and Galaxy Player 4.2. CentOS 6.3 Server running LogitechMediaServer 7.7.2 and SqueezeSlave.
    Current library stats: 40,810 songs, 3,153 albums, 582 artists.
    http://www.last.fm/user/maggior

  8. #8
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    Also. Are you linked with John Swenson's development?

  9. #9
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    Terrific news! I look forward to your progress and helping/supporting in any way that I can.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    "Running on Squeezeboxes" currently means our software client runs in parallel to the MySqueezebox.com integration so you can use the original system of ours and seamlessly switch but at least right now we don't have combined playlists or something.

    Gapless works right now, I believe, although I would have to doublecheck? I believe that's currently just an implementation detail. But both gapless and synchronization are basic design requirements although syncing in our system is the one thing that is more challenging compared to the SB although Somos does get it to work fine with a similar approach.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

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