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View Full Version : What's the role of the SqueezeNetwork?



jma2
2005-07-05, 12:26
Hi all,

I'm looking for a device which allows me to stream Internet Radio without needing the PC switched on. As far as I've been looking, the SB2 comes close to what I want. I've been looking around in the forums but could not find exactly how this SqueezeNetwork works.

Maybe someone could tell me if my understanding is correct:
The SqueezeNetwork is used to store a list of personal URL's (on a SqueezeNetwork server) so that the SB2 can select a station from the list when the PC is off. Once the connection is established, the SqueezeNetwork (server) is no longer involved.
Are there other uses of this SqueezeNetwork?
Why not enabling/allowing for standalone operation with a list of stations stored local on the SB2?

One of the things which I also would need from the device is support of WMV streams. Is support for this format somewhere in the pipeline?

Thanks in advance for your reactions.

Greetings,

Jan

kdf
2005-07-05, 12:39
Quoting jma2 <jma2.1rpojz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> Hi all,
>
> I'm looking for a device which allows me to stream Internet Radio
> without needing the PC switched on. As far as I've been looking, the
> SB2 comes close to what I want. I've been looking around in the forums
> but could not find exactly how this SqueezeNetwork works.

http://www.squeezenetwork.com

> Maybe someone could tell me if my understanding is correct:
> The SqueezeNetwork is used to store a list of personal URL's (on a
> SqueezeNetwork server) so that the SB2 can select a station from the
> list when the PC is off. Once the connection is established, the
> SqueezeNetwork (server) is no longer involved.

Not quite yet. There is a large selection of internet radio options in the
current Beta including Shoutcast, Live365, RadioIO and the Live Music Archive.
Future plans to include the addition of custom urls

> Are there other uses of this SqueezeNetwork?

RSS Newsfeed reader
Alarm Clock, with choice of radio station or included 'natural sounds'

> Why not enabling/allowing for standalone operation with a list of
> stations stored local on the SB2?

That will be dictated by the firmware.

> One of the things which I also would need from the device is support of
> WMV streams. Is support for this format somewhere in the pipeline?

The goal is to support as many formats as is possible. It licensing issues
allow, then its possible. Slim Devices would have to answer on the specifics,
if they are in a position to do so.

-kdf

Josef Shvejk
2005-07-05, 12:42
You can already add custom urls to the favourites list

On 7/5/05, kdf <slim-mail (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com> wrote:
>
> Not quite yet. There is a large selection of internet radio options in the
> current Beta including Shoutcast, Live365, RadioIO and the Live Music Archive.
> Future plans to include the addition of custom urls
>

dean
2005-07-05, 12:42
Hi Jan,

On Jul 5, 2005, at 12:26 PM, jma2 wrote:
> Maybe someone could tell me if my understanding is correct:
> The SqueezeNetwork is used to store a list of personal URL's (on a
> SqueezeNetwork server) so that the SB2 can select a station from the
> list when the PC is off. Once the connection is established, the
> SqueezeNetwork (server) is no longer involved.
Sort of. SqueezeNetwork actually provides all the user interface on
the player, as well as storing your favorite stations, providing
Alarm Clock functionality, RSS News Reader, etc...
It's like a turbo-charged SlimServer run by us for you.

> Are there other uses of this SqueezeNetwork?
The ones I mentioned and many more to come. The great thing about
this model is that the upgrades happen automatically on the server
and appear on your player without any effort on your part.

> Why not enabling/allowing for standalone operation with a list of
> stations stored local on the SB2?
The SB2 doesn't have the horsepower to provide a rich user interface
for doing this kind of function. Luckily, since you are already
connected to the Internet to hear your radio, the SqueezeNetwork
servers are also avialable for you.

> One of the things which I also would need from the device is
> support of
> WMV streams. Is support for this format somewhere in the pipeline?
WMV is video, I think you are talking about WMA. We don't support it
yet, but it's definitely in our plans.

All the best,

dean

JJZolx
2005-07-05, 12:53
Maybe someone could tell me if my understanding is correct:
The SqueezeNetwork is used to store a list of personal URL's (on a SqueezeNetwork server) so that the SB2 can select a station from the list when the PC is off.
Yes and no. The SqueezeBox connects to SqueezeNetwork where it gets URLs for music streams. But personalization is optional. There's a default list of stream URLs - you need a SqueezeNetwork account only so you can save settings, such as a personal favorites list.


Once the connection is established, the SqueezeNetwork (server) is no longer involved.

The SqueezeNetwork server does not relay the stream, so that much is correct. The SB2 is connected directory to the streaming server. But the SqueezeNetwork is still involved for all control functions. If you want to change the station, for instance, you're talking to the SqueezeNetwork.


Are there other uses of this SqueezeNetwork?

There's an alarm, and "nature" sounds coming directly from the SqueezeNetwork, I believe. RSS news feed screen saver and undoubtedly other stuff in the works.


Why not enabling/allowing for standalone operation with a list of stations stored local on the SB2?

I can think of a few reasons:

You need a solid Internet connection to play streaming music, so connecting to SqueezeNetwork for player control should be no more work, or any less reliable.
You're limited by non-volatile memory space.
Additionally, without SqueezeNetwork, you'd need to either use a local SlimServer, or else implement a server-type interface within the player itself. The SqueezeNetwork is designed to make the first an option (with SqueezeNetwork, a user might never set up a local SlimServer) and the second is limited by firmware and non-volatile memory space.


The only real disadvantage to this approach would be when SqueezeNetwork is unreachable or the servers are down.

jma2
2005-07-06, 01:22
Thank you all for the feedback and answers.

I'm looking forward to WMA support (I voted for bug #1763 !), because the Internet Radio Stations I would like to listen to use this format.

On the role of the SqueezeNetwork I personaly see some pros and cons:
- On the pro-side I see the additional services that some people might like such as an alarm clock or the natural sounds. To me those are of no importance. And I would be surprised if the RSS feeds are such an interesting feature. We are talking about a radio connected to the stereo, so I wander if people will be watching the display that closely to follow the RSS feeds. I see it rather as a fancy feature.
- On the cons side I see the serious disadvantage of being dependent on the SqueezeNetwork server. If the service is stopped someday or the server is down then forget about PC-less operation.

I doubt if support for full standalone operation in the firmware (having a list of URLs stored localy and providing routines for selecting a URL from the localy stored list) would require so much resources in terms of memory space or complexity.

I would definitely appreciate having support for full standalone operation, maybe in addition to the SqueezeNetwork operation. As such people could enjoy the benifits of current and future services offered by the SqueezeNetwork and at the same time have the possibility of Radio Streaming without a PC in case the SqueezeNetwork is unavailable.

Best regards,

Jan

kdf
2005-07-06, 01:50
Quoting jma2 <jma2.1rqofo (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>And I would be surprised if the RSS feeds are such an
> interesting feature. We are talking about a radio connected to the
> stereo, so I wander if people will be watching the display that closely
> to follow the RSS feeds. I see it rather as a fancy feature.

you'd be surprised. some users seem VERY focussed on RSS news and demanding
various features that have nothing to do with audio and everything to do with
instant and configurable access to rss.

> - On the cons side I see the serious disadvantage of being dependent on
> the SqueezeNetwork server. If the service is stopped someday or the
> server is down then forget about PC-less operation.
>
yes, but then that's what PC's and CD players do quite well right now :)
in this hypothetical future, there is every likelyhood that everything we know
about computing right now has been completely overturned (might be that the
only way to get music will be from iTunes for all we know now)


> I doubt if support for full standalone operation in the firmware
> (having a list of URLs stored localy and providing routines for
> selecting a URL from the localy stored list) would require so much
> resources in terms of memory space or complexity.

yes, it would. hence why such implementations are so much less flexible and
more expensive. Even the display that you see on the screen would have to be
implemented locally.

>
> I would definitely appreciate having support for full standalone
> operation, maybe in addition to the SqueezeNetwork operation. As such
> people could enjoy the benifits of current and future services offered
> by the SqueezeNetwork and at the same time have the possibility of
> Radio Streaming without a PC in case the SqueezeNetwork is
> unavailable.

I'd suggest looking into sattelite radio devices, then.

-kdf

nhopton
2005-07-06, 02:29
Quoting jma2 <jma2.1rqofo (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> I would definitely appreciate having support for full standalone
> operation, maybe in addition to the SqueezeNetwork operation. As such
> people could enjoy the benifits of current and future services offered
> by the SqueezeNetwork and at the same time have the possibility of
> Radio Streaming without a PC in case the SqueezeNetwork is
> unavailable.

I'd suggest looking into sattelite radio devices, then.

-kdf
Oh, I don't know about that. I have a satellite system but it doesn't give me the range of content that the SB can provide. It was to make good the lack of content suited to my special interests that led me to buy the SB in the first place and I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

It would be reassuring to have the facility to connect to, say, two or three streams without using the SqueezeNetwork though, even if the URLs had to be entered manually from the controller. The *only* concern I have about the SB is that in the event of the SN going down it would instantly be rendered useless (for PC-free listening, at least, but this is what I bought the SB to do).

Regards,
Nick.

kdf
2005-07-06, 02:48
Quoting nhopton <nhopton.1rqrfz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> kdf Wrote:
> > Quoting jma2 <jma2.1rqofo (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:
> >
> >
> > > I would definitely appreciate having support for full standalone
> > > operation, maybe in addition to the SqueezeNetwork operation. As
> > such
> > > people could enjoy the benifits of current and future services
> > offered
> > > by the SqueezeNetwork and at the same time have the possibility of
> > > Radio Streaming without a PC in case the SqueezeNetwork is
> > > unavailable.
> >
> > I'd suggest looking into sattelite radio devices, then.
> >
> > -kdf
> Oh, I don't know about that. I have a satellite system but it doesn't
> give me the range of content that the SB can provide. It was to make
> good the lack of content suited to my special interests that led me to
> buy the SB in the first place and I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

which is another item that I did point out. flexiblity at the cost of
dependance on outside drivers.

>
> It would be reassuring to have the facility to connect to, say, two or
> three streams without using the SqueezeNetwork though, even if the URLs
> had to be entered manually from the controller. The *only* concern I
> have about the SB is that in the event of the SN going down it would
> instantly be rendered useless (for PC-free listening, at least, but
> this is what I bought the SB to do).

right, but that part you are missing is that the ENTIRE interface to navigate
and choose is being driven by another device. Adding this to the firmware
would take up a huge amount of space. Maybe that's doable, but at a cost. That
cost would be applied against the flexiblity of the device.

What might be realistic is to perhaps save the last connected url for direct
streaming. If everything went dead, you'd have that last url available. More
than that, I'd expect, would require a shift in hardware platform design.


-kdf

jma2
2005-07-06, 03:06
Quoting jma2 <jma2.1rqofo (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>And I would be surprised if the RSS feeds are such an
> interesting feature. We are talking about a radio connected to the
> stereo, so I wander if people will be watching the display that closely
> to follow the RSS feeds. I see it rather as a fancy feature.

you'd be surprised. some users seem VERY focussed on RSS news and demanding
various features that have nothing to do with audio and everything to do with
instant and configurable access to rss.

> - On the cons side I see the serious disadvantage of being dependent on
> the SqueezeNetwork server. If the service is stopped someday or the
> server is down then forget about PC-less operation.
>
yes, but then that's what PC's and CD players do quite well right now :)
in this hypothetical future, there is every likelyhood that everything we know
about computing right now has been completely overturned (might be that the
only way to get music will be from iTunes for all we know now)


> I doubt if support for full standalone operation in the firmware
> (having a list of URLs stored localy and providing routines for
> selecting a URL from the localy stored list) would require so much
> resources in terms of memory space or complexity.

yes, it would. hence why such implementations are so much less flexible and
more expensive. Even the display that you see on the screen would have to be
implemented locally.

>
> I would definitely appreciate having support for full standalone
> operation, maybe in addition to the SqueezeNetwork operation. As such
> people could enjoy the benifits of current and future services offered
> by the SqueezeNetwork and at the same time have the possibility of
> Radio Streaming without a PC in case the SqueezeNetwork is
> unavailable.

I'd suggest looking into sattelite radio devices, then.

-kdf

A few comments:

1) I do believe that some people are highly interested in RSS newsfeeds. However the SB2 is advertised as a rather high-end listening device (component part of HiFi set including a good quality DAC), so audio and listening should be the primary concern.

2) I am still not convinced that firmware support would be that demanding. I assume there is a display driver already in the SB2 now, so getting display information from the SqueezeNetwork, the SlimServer or from a local URL list shouldn't be that much difference. I could imaging for example configuring such a URL list via the SlimServer which stores the list in such a format on the SB2 that allows for "compatible" display interfacing.

3) The stations I'm interested on are not distributed over the sattelite, so your suggestion is unfortunately not an option :(

4) Would be interesting to see how many people would like to have independent (read: independent from the SqueezeNetwork server) PC-less radio streaming.


Kind regards.

Jan

nhopton
2005-07-07, 10:03
[...]
4) Would be interesting to see how many people would like to have independent (read: independent from the SqueezeNetwork server) PC-less radio streaming.
[...]

Well, as you'll have gathered I certainly would, were it to be possible. I think that most of the people who have bought the SB2 to date tend to use it for streaming ripped audio files and I do this too, it's fun. But I'm pretty sure that the SB2 has the potential to enter the mainstream consumer electronics market for use by non-technical people who want to access a wider range of program content than that offered by conventional radio receivers. PC-free and SN-free operation would be a good selling point for these potential customers.

Regards,
Nick.