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View Full Version : Audiotron vs SqueezeBox2



Tracy_D
2005-08-05, 14:18
I have had an Audiotron for three years and love it. Lately it's been getting rather tempermental, and I am looking for a replacement. Can I get some feedback from the group on my personal comparison between the two (I don't know THAT much about the SB2, but have read these forums).

Audiotron:
(+)
It doesn't require ANY server software on your PC to access music.

The menu's and configuration are all accessable from the front panel via the control knob.

The remote has buttons to allow you to browse and then play by Genre, List, Group, Title, Artist, etc.

Solid looks and feel of a real piece of audio equipment.

(-)
You can't stream from AT across the Internet to another PC like it sounds like you can with SB2

Not supported by the manufacturer anymore!

Very tempermental and sensitive to network hicups.

Hard to read display.

Web interface is pretty limited.

Very slow to read music library unless you use a TOC.

SqueezeBox2
(+)
Opensource code makes for much greater incorporation of features.

Great display

Fast at scanning libraries.

Can be connected to across the Internet and music streamed to another PC?

(-)
The Remote looks like you can only select music to play if you know the artist name or the song title. No way to pick by genre or lists??

Fit and Finish look pretty bad. Maybe they should call it the "CheeseBox". I haven't seen something that looks so bad since the clock radios of the 80's.

It requires SERVER software to work! If this software works anything like Windows Media Connect - NO THANKS!

Please feel free to cut me to ribbons here or be nice and provide some constructive feedback. I use the hell out of my AudioTron, when it works, and would definitely like to find a better solution.

Thanks!!

TracyD
Houston, TX

kdf
2005-08-05, 14:34
Slimserver is free to download and try. It even comes with a software player
that very closely emulates the behaviour and remote control of the squeezebox2.

just follow the download link from the Slim Devices home page.

-kdf

radish
2005-08-05, 15:36
I had an audiotron for a while, and whilst kind of fun, and the SB is leaps and bounds ahead of it. I'll take your points one at a time (I'm missing out the ones I agree with!):



Audiotron:
(+)
It doesn't require ANY server software on your PC to access music.

Not true. It requires SMB shares to be available. This is built into Windows, but if your music is on (say) a Linux box, you need to run something like Samba. Don't even get me started on the fun it takes to get Audiotron working properly if you decide you want to password protect your shares.



The menu's and configuration are all accessable from the front panel via the control knob.

Same as SB (via remote).



The remote has buttons to allow you to browse and then play by Genre, List, Group, Title, Artist, etc.

Same as SB.



Solid looks and feel of a real piece of audio equipment.

Your opinion. I thought the Audiotron looked like a piece of extremely cheap 80's studio equipment, not home/hifi at all.



Not supported by the manufacturer anymore!

As opposed to SlimDevices, who provide world-beating support.



Very slow to read music library unless you use a TOC.

This is the killer. Scanning takes HOURS, and a rescan is needed to pick up new files. You end up having to run scripts to build TOCs (essentially flat db files) - so not exactly user friendly.



SqueezeBox2
(-)
The Remote looks like you can only select music to play if you know the artist name or the song title. No way to pick by genre or lists??

You aren't limited by which buttons are on the remote (unlike the Audiotron). You have a full menu system which allows many types of browsing, searching, etc. Plus plugins, config, and so on.



Fit and Finish look pretty bad. Maybe they should call it the "CheeseBox". I haven't seen something that looks so bad since the clock radios of the 80's.

Have you ever actually seen one? Fit and finish is excellent, far better than the plastic button & LED fest which is the Audiotron. That looks like an 80's reject, the SB looks how it should - clean & unobtrusive.



It requires SERVER software to work! If this software works anything like Windows Media Connect - NO THANKS!

Like I said above, so does the AT. That aside, what you get by having a real server which knows about music is far greater performance, flexability and power. I really have no idea why people are so aghast as the idea of running a server.

You also forgot a few SB plus points:
Wireless
Supports FLAC
Excellent display
Plugins for RSS tickers, weather displays, caller id, etc etc

Tracy_D
2005-08-05, 15:56
Wow, thanks Radish. I haven't yet ordered the SB, but am getting very close to doing so. I did take your suggestion and downloaded SlimServer. I'll see how it looks. As for the remote, when I made the comment about not having dedicated buttons for genre, artist, etc, I looked at the product photos only. Maybe it's all done just by playing in the menus on the device. Let me investigate.

Thanks so much for the reply. I am dying to find a replacement for my Atron that I can better depend on.

TD

radish
2005-08-05, 17:59
No problem - check out softsqueeze and come back to us with any questions. I'm pretty confident you'll see it as an upgrade to an audiotron :)

Fun related note - an old boss of mine (with far too much money) has this insane, totally wired house. Everything is touchscreen, automatic, programmed (there are 4 servers around the house just to control the automation systems!). There are temp sensors in the wine cellar which control the aircon, and email him if it gets too warm (or humid), the front door opens as it senses his proximity tag walking towards it, and displays all his new email on the hallway plasma screen. You get the idea. Anyway, a year or so ago he gave me a stack of 6 audiotrons (which I ebay'd 5 of) because he'd "found something cooler". I think he must be one of Slim's biggest customers now :)

Oh and sorry if my original post was a little confrontational (I just re-read it) - it's 9pm on friday night and I'm still at the office :(

tgoldstone
2005-08-05, 18:20
I have to say that I don't know why people keep ripping on the SB looks. Compared to my other components (read: space wasting, huge and massively square) the squeezebox is small, light and looks so great with the spectrum analyzer screensavers that no-one pays any attention to the fact that it doesn't look like an audio rack component. Would I want an old brick cell phone when there are newer ones that do so much more and just happen to look a little different? Personally after living with 2 squeezeboxen for a while I have noticed that they are so much more refreshing to look at than my monster stereo system. Of course this is subjective. Some people like to have square components and I cannot fault them for that.
Just my 2 sense...

Fifer
2005-08-06, 05:37
+1 for everything radish said. I'm on my second SB (first is an SB1 wireless, second a SB2 wireless) and after a year, they are still my favourite toys bar none (and I do like my toys). Play with SoftSqueeze and I'm sure it will quickly convince you to buy.

As for tgoldstones comments, I agree that the fit and finish is fine and I really like the form-factor. It fits in places that a standard separates component wouldn't. I've been critical of the platinum finish, but it's not bad, it just isn't as nice or subtle as the 'rubberised', soft-touch black finish. My opinion, others see it differently.

JulianL
2005-08-06, 06:53
First a disclaimer. I don't own a Squeezebox yet but I think I am about 3 weeks further down the line than Tracy in my explorations, i.e. I am running SlimServer 6.1.1 and Softsqueeze on my very ancient PC (600MHz Athlon with 256MB RAM) and I would definitely agree with the other posters, it is an excellent way to try before you buy. I was surprised how effective the menu system is on that display.

As far as looks go, that is of course entirely subjective. I would just add a couple of things:

1) If you find the black too un-adventurous then there is always the Platinum colour option (disclaimer again, I have seen neither in real life).

2) If you really can't stand the looks, here's an idea... make it invisible! You can't get much more discrete than that. Look at the remote control section of the Slim Devices web site and there are a couple of options for controlling SlimServer from an 802.11 enabled PDA (Telcanto software or handheld skins for PDA devices). I just bought a Dell Axim X30 which will sit on my coffee table and be 100% dedicated as a remote control for my SlimServer running the Telcanto software (well, OK, maybe not 100% dedicated. In playing with it when I first got it I've now developed an addiction to the Jawbreaker game that comes pre-installed :-) ).

My original plan was to put the SB2 in a cupboard and run the whole UI from the Dell Axim although, after playing with SoftSqueeze, I suspect that I might find the SB2 front display sufficiently informative that I might end up leaving the SB2 on display. Still, you can create options for yourself to hide the device completely if you really want.

- Julian

Fifer
2005-08-06, 09:38
My AV gear sits in a glass fronted cabinet beneath the TV. The black SB became effectively invisible when in the cabinet, with the display appearing fron nowhere when turned on. The platinum SB2 is visible all the time though.

Tracy_D
2005-08-10, 13:53
Let me just say that I have tried the SoftSqueeze software now and love it too. The first thing I realized was that I no longer needed a drive mapped to my music on my network server. I guess the slim server has it's own web server in it and not having to map drives is a Godsend. Second, the remote capabilities are much better than I expected. Once someone realizes what the arrow keys are capable of, you can go to town.

I have a question about using SoftSqueeze though, and I think I'll make a new post, but in case anyone reads this, is there not a separate installer for this? The only way I can install it is by installing the slimserver and then I get a link to Squeezesoft. I would like to install SoftSqueeze on my Thinkpad and then be able to get back to my server across the Internet from my hotel room and stream my music.


Thanks for all the feedback.

Tracy D.

kdf
2005-08-10, 14:01
Quoting Tracy_D <Tracy_D.1tkghp (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> I have a question about using Squeezesoft though, and I think I'll make
> a new post, but in case anyone reads this, is there not a separate
> installer for this? The only way I can install it is by installing the
> slimserver and then I get a link to Squeezesoft. I would like to
> install Squeezesoft on my Thinkpad and then be able to get back to my
> server across the Internet from my hotel room and stream my music.

two options:

1) open your server (port 9000 and port 3483) to the 'net so you can access the
web UI remotely from the thinkpad (youd have to do this anyway for softsqueeze
to be able to connect). Look in the help section for a link to softsqueeze.
Click on the webstart link and softsqueeze will be installed an launched on the
thinkpad.

2) http://softsqueeze.sourceforge.net/ You will have to configure the prefs to
point to your slimserver after install.

-kdf

dean
2005-08-10, 14:02
On Aug 10, 2005, at 1:53 PM, Tracy_D wrote:
> I have a question about using Squeezesoft though, and I think I'll
> make
> a new post, but in case anyone reads this, is there not a separate
> installer for this? The only way I can install it is by installing
> the
> slimserver and then I get a link to Squeezesoft. I would like to
> install Squeezesoft on my Thinkpad and then be able to get back to my
> server across the Internet from my hotel room and stream my music.
You can install it on any computer that can connect to the web
interface running on a remote SlimServer.

Just connect to that web page, click on the SoftSqueeze link in the
HELP section and away it goes.

-dean

samdad
2005-08-10, 15:47
Hi all.

Newbie alert - be kind! I am looking at replacing some Audiotrons which are proving to be unreliable for network streaming (as opposed to playing local files via network share). Can anyone advise me if you can get the Squeezebox2 to play a Windows Media stream (mms://..... ) directly rather than having to via the Squeezenetwork (like Turtleradio.com for the ATs)?

Second question - I want the Squeezebox2 to be standalone - basically connected directly to a DSL modem (providing the SB2 a DHCP IP address) and on to the Internet without needing a PC with the server software. We will not be playing local files only a Windows Media stream. Is this possible?

Thanks.

Regards.

Samdad

kdf
2005-08-10, 16:17
Quoting samdad <samdad.1tkltb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> Hi all.
>
> Newbie alert - be kind! I am looking at replacing some Audiotrons
> which are proving to be unreliable for network streaming (as opposed to
> playing local files via network share). Can anyone advise me if you can
> get the Squeezebox2 to play a Windows Media stream (mms://..... )
> directly rather than having to via the Squeezenetwork (like
> Turtleradio.com for the ATs)?

You will require an initial connection via slimserver or SqueezeNetwork. Once
initiated, the streaming is direct to the device, but all menu handling and
display text is sent from the server to the Squeezebox2. Windows Media Format
is also not yet supported natively by the player. This means that
SqueezeNetwork cannot support an mms: stream at this time. If you install
slimserver locally, then the server will allow local transcoding into a format
that the SB2 can currently handle.

-kdf

dropbear
2005-08-11, 01:26
Hi Tracy,
softsqueeze is also available from Sourceforge, in fact you can usually get the latest version and updates there first:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=105169&package_id=113211&release_id=347569

Pete

bflatmajor
2005-08-11, 08:28
Regarding the windows media stream;

I listen to jazztrax.com which streams uses mms://bla bla bla,
To get it to work, I had to create a playlist that contained the mms:// bla bla bla. Then play the playlist..

It works great!!