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Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int)
2005-08-16, 04:06
In last nights Evening Standard (read by many commuters into London) there was a section on the new Zen Sleek (Creative Labs ipod clone), below is the second paragraph.

"ROKU's Soundbridge lets you listen to music held on your computer anywhere in the house wirelesly. It's a small, brillantly designed gadget that simply plugs into your hi-fi or speakers. The remote control, although small, is eay to use and finding the sond you want is really straightforward.

Crucially, the Soundbridge can also play back songs stored in iTunes and those bought from Napster and other on-line stores. It is by far the the best wireless music player on the market and is a must-have for anyone serious about turning their record collexction digital. £153, ........."


Now we all know that the SqueezeBox beats the pants off the SoundBridge - so why is it no listed? Last month it was T3 (uk gadget magazine) and now a major tabloid paper.

I love the SqueezeBox2 and my old faithful Slimp3s and hope for many more useful inovations from SlimDevices

To everyone on this list in the UK, spread the word - SqueezeBox is far better than SoundBridge.

Gavin

yes - I know the disclaimer is long and tedious, there is no point reminding me about it.


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JulianL
2005-08-16, 04:39
Yeah. I think it's tough for a small company like Slim Devices to get the world wide marketing exposure. I was very pleased to see that they at least have some decent distribution in the UK because often US companies don't even get this right. Having SB2 listed at Dabs, and at a price that is actually a pretty fair dollar to pound convertion, is really good. The problem is that distributors will do nothing to proactively market a product, they will just act as a fulfillment channel, so it is down to the company itself to create the end user market awareness.

I'd be interested in knowing what sort of program Slim Devices does have for getting units reviewed in magazines. The UK has various gadget magazines and a lot of specialist audiophile magazines. I would have thought that the audiophile credentials of SB2 would get them some reviews in these mags. There's also the Saturday Financial Times "How To Spend It" section and loads of other places to try and get reviews placed. It probably just comes down to peoples bandwidth at Slim Devices HQ I would think. That's always a problem with a small company.

- Julian

max.spicer
2005-08-16, 04:39
What HiFI apparently raved about some expensive device this month. I can't remember the name, but you had to buy a single server for some expensive amount of money (c. 500GBP) and then a device for each room (c. 300GBP). The device for each room was basically a pda that gave you a colour screen and let you control playback. I heard about this, and couldn't help thinking how cheaper a SB2 solution would have been. However, no mention of the SB2 at all. It was also missing from their wireless player round up the month before.

Max

hubner
2005-08-16, 04:47
JulianL wrote:

>Yeah. I think it's tough for a small company like Slim Devices to get
>the world wide marketing exposure. I was very pleased to see that they
>at least have some decent distribution in the UK because often US
>companies don't even get this right. Having SB2 listed at Dabs, and at
>a price that is actually a pretty fair dollar to pound convertion, is
>really good. The problem is that distributors will do nothing to
>proactively market a product, they will just act as a fulfillment
>channel, so it is down to the company itself to create the end user
>market awareness.
>
>I'd be interested in knowing what sort of program Slim Devices does
>have for getting units reviewed in magazines. The UK has various gadget
>magazines and a lot of specialist audiophile magazines. I would have
>thought that the audiophile credentials of SB2 would get them some
>reviews in these mags. There's also the Saturday Financial Times "How
>To Spend It" section and loads of other places to try and get reviews
>placed. It probably just comes down to peoples bandwidth at Slim
>Devices HQ I would think. That's always a problem with a small
>company.
>
>- Julian
>
>
>
>
Although not familiar with the UK market my experience is that a
dedicated user base can contribute in this regard. E-mail the editors in
question and ask to the to pay attention to the Slim range of products.
So - although Slim Devices is a small company, its users are probably
far more loyal than the Roku-users and word of mouth can add
significantly to a marketing campaign. Since the SB2 is, with the new
components, an audiophile product - start off with the magazines
targeted towards audiophiles and expect the Financial Times to pick it up.

/Johan

--

Dave D
2005-08-16, 05:03
I have noticed that Roku gets some (seemingly) free press here in the US as well. Or, maybe they are paying for some of it... presumably, they have deeper pockets than Slim Devices; their founder has been in the industry for a while.

I'm an electrical engineer and get the EE Times publication. This month they rean a "Tear Down" article on the Soundbridge, where they pulled out the circuit boards, pointing out the various conponents and their functions. They were very complimentary. Obviously, they didn't do any comparison with SB2.

Earlier in the same issue, I saw an ad for Analog Devices Blackfin processor (used in the Soundbridge). There in the sidebar were three products; the Soundbridge family was one of them. I don't know if Roku has to pay for this publicity, but it's a win-win situation for both companies. Granted, ADI is a huge company, but I have never seen an ad for Squeezebox's Ubicom processor.

On the positive side, I have seen Squeezebox2 ads on-line, in areas where music lovers would be found, so they are advertising in (probably) the most effective venues, as far as sales per advertising dollar are concerned. I've seen Rokus in both Tweeter and Best Buy, but I don't know how many sales that generates, and the profit margins are going to suffer by going through one of those retailers.

Especially with the Squeezebox2, the word _is_ getting out. You can Google "Squeezebox2 reviews" and the first hit takes you here, which lists links for a number of reviews:

http://www.vistra.com.au/products/slimdevices/Squeezebox2_Reviews.htm

This one is not listed:
http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000807035126/

[Interestingly, a search for "Squeezebox reviews" (without the 2) pulls up the older (not as complementary) reviews on the older Slim Devices model.]

Finally, in a not-so-small "by the way", last year, Sean, Dean, and Slim Devices were featured in EE Times in a really great, inspiring article (two actually). So they've had some time in the sun, too:

http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=26806405
http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=26806414

audiofi
2005-08-16, 05:34
I have noticed the same, Roku are even advertising in T3 now which explains the awards there!!

I used to sell the Roku myself, but then it failed, I bought a Squeezebox and haven't looked back!!

Every demo I take all of the different players (except the Roku which is now gone!), but the Squeezebox is the one I actually play. Once people know about them, they sell themselves (trust me, I'm no salesman!!), but the problem is making people aware.

It features in all of my adverts/website etc. and hopefully it will all help push it forward more.

Andrew
www.audiofi.co.uk

nmizel
2005-08-16, 08:40
www.audiofi.co.uk

Arggggggh, the link "Click for a larger image" on the Squeezebox2 page on your (?) site (http://www.audiofi.dudehost.com/squeezebox.htm) points to a Roku SoundBrige picture...

Nicolas

audiofi
2005-08-16, 08:54
Oh dear God, sorry about that everyone, I will change it as soon as I get back tonight!!!!!!!!!!

I can assure you, I won't ever be selling the Roku again anyway, had a poor experience with both the product and the company!!

Sorry

Andrew

Yannzola
2005-08-16, 09:03
Too bad there isn't such a thing as an open-source marketing ;)

Ideas: Can anyone think of creative ways of turning SlimDevice enthusiasts into true media evangelists?

y.

max.spicer
2005-08-16, 09:07
A simple thing might be to watch out for reviews of products similar to SB2 that don't mention the SB2 and email the mag/website asking why they don't cover the SB2, along with links to slimdevices.

Max


Too bad there isn't such a thing as an open-source marketing ;)

Ideas: Can anyone think of creative ways of turning SlimDevice enthusiasts into true media evangelists?

y.

Old Guy
2005-08-16, 09:56
I agree. But unfortunately, each media has its own individual (financial) agenda and those comments may not be effective. Roku's founder is an experienced enterpreneur and apparently knows "how to sell". "Roku" means "6" in Japanese and according to him (non-Japanese), this venture is his sixth. So, we may just have to post reviews or comments on various internet forums and/or consumer review portal. Otherwise, SD may have to bring in venture capitalist who has capital and knows how to sell.

Lee Harris
2005-08-16, 11:03
As the UK distributor for Slim Devices, that Squeezebox2 as certainly been
reviewed in the past 3-6 months:

- T3
- Stuff
- What Hifi
- Sunday Times (Doors)

And you'll find Squeezebox2 in the next issue of Stuff in a feature on
devices with hidden games. From the data we've access to, SB2 outsells Roku
in the market 5x-10x.

Cheers

Lee.

-----Original Message-----
From: Old Guy [mailto:Old.Guy.1tv9lz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com]
Sent: 16 August 2005 17:57
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Re: SlimDevices losing out in the UK


I agree. But unfortunately, each media has its own individual
(financial) agenda and those comments may not be effective. Roku's founder
is an experienced enterpreneur and apparently knows "how to sell". "Roku"
means "6" in Japanese and according to him (non-Japanese), this venture is
his sixth. So, we may just have to post reviews or comments on various
internet forums and/or consumer review portal. Otherwise, SD may have to
bring in venture capitalist who has capital and knows how to sell.


--
Old Guy

max.spicer
2005-08-16, 12:59
I didn't know that What HiFi had reviewed the SB2. What did they say? Does anyone have a copy?

Max


As the UK distributor for Slim Devices, that Squeezebox2 as certainly been
reviewed in the past 3-6 months:

- T3
- Stuff
- What Hifi
- Sunday Times (Doors)

And you'll find Squeezebox2 in the next issue of Stuff in a feature on
devices with hidden games. From the data we've access to, SB2 outsells Roku
in the market 5x-10x.

Neil Davidson
2005-08-16, 13:44
> And you'll find Squeezebox2 in the next issue of Stuff in a
> feature on devices with hidden games. From the data we've
> access to, SB2 outsells Roku in the market 5x-10x.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lee.

Obviously I don't know what this data is, but if true, that is possibly why
you see the Roku in 'reviews' and adverts a lot, they actually *need* to
advertise it where SlimDevices do not.

I have no idea, just a thought to throw into the conversation :)

Mark.Bennett
2005-08-16, 14:06
On Tue, 2005-08-16 at 04:39 -0700, max.spicer wrote:
> What HiFI apparently raved about some expensive device this month. I
> can't remember the name, but you had to buy a single server for some
> expensive amount of money (c. 500GBP) and then a device for each room
> (c. 300GBP). The device for each room was basically a pda that gave
> you a colour screen and let you control playback. I heard about this,
> and couldn't help thinking how cheaper a SB2 solution would have been.
> However, no mention of the SB2 at all. It was also missing from their
> wireless player round up the month before.
>

The main feature was for Sonos, which they appeared to love.
However they also have a "Reader Rescue" article in the magazine,
and this months reader was looking for, you guessed it, a network
audio client for a collection of music on a PC. And the best
solution was - (right again) the Roku. It was compared against the
Netgear MP101 and the Sonneteer BardUSB.

I've also contributed to the sales of at least 4 Squeezebox 2's
through my enthusiasm for the product and demos. It's just very
frustrating that there is virtually *no* press coverage in the UK.
(I think I saw it in Stuff magazine last year, where they really
liked it.)

I must have missed the What HiFi review - I don't buy every copy
so this is possible, and they don't appear to have a review list
on their web site anymore. If it was reviewed then they can't
have liked it since it doesn't make it into their product tables
which take up about a third of the magazine. The Apple Express,
Netgear MP101, Roku Soundbridge. Sonneteer BardUSB and some very
expensive Opus system are listed.

The SB will sell itself, to people that know about it. At the
moment it's limited to word of mouth and some web advertising.
That just isn't going to compete with high profile coverage like
the UK hi-fi and gadget magazines.

As the UK distributor and someone who's been trying to push the
product into magazines maybe Lee can tell us if it does take
advertising or bribes to get coverage. Otherwise, why is what
appears to be a market leading product in the UK getting so
little coverage, especially given it's audiophile following.

--
"The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

danco
2005-08-16, 15:00
On 16/8/05 at 22:06 +0100, Mark Bennett wrote
>
> >
>
>The main feature was for Sonos, which they appeared to love.
>However they also have a "Reader Rescue" article in the magazine,
>and this months reader was looking for, you guessed it, a network
>audio client for a collection of music on a PC. And the best
>solution was - (right again) the Roku. It was compared against the
>Netgear MP101 and the Sonneteer BardUSB.
>
>I've also contributed to the sales of at least 4 Squeezebox 2's
>through my enthusiasm for the product and demos. It's just very
>frustrating that there is virtually *no* press coverage in the UK.
>(I think I saw it in Stuff magazine last year, where they really
>liked it.)
>
>I must have missed the What HiFi review - I don't buy every copy
>so this is possible, and they don't appear to have a review list
>on their web site anymore. If it was reviewed then they can't
>have liked it since it doesn't make it into their product tables
>which take up about a third of the magazine. The Apple Express,
>Netgear MP101, Roku Soundbridge. Sonneteer BardUSB and some very
>expensive Opus system are listed.
>
>The SB will sell itself, to people that know about it. At the
>moment it's limited to word of mouth and some web advertising.
>That just isn't going to compete with high profile coverage like
>the UK hi-fi and gadget magazines.
>
>As the UK distributor and someone who's been trying to push the
>product into magazines maybe Lee can tell us if it does take
>advertising or bribes to get coverage. Otherwise, why is what
>appears to be a market leading product in the UK getting so
>little coverage, especially given it's audiophile following.

Possibly hi-fi dealers don't like the Squeezebox, and maybe they
haven't tried SB2. Or perhaps the features that make us really like
SB don't seem of interest to them.

I had to drop in to my usual dealer, who I generally find reliable. I
commented on the fact that they had the Roku but not the Squeezebox,
and they said that the Roku was much better. I would doubt that even
for SB1. Unfortunately I did not have the time to discuss it further
with them.

--
Daniel Cohen

CardinalFang
2005-08-16, 16:47
On 16/8/05 at 22:06 +0100, Mark Bennett wrote
I had to drop in to my usual dealer, who I generally find reliable. I
commented on the fact that they had the Roku but not the Squeezebox,
and they said that the Roku was much better. I would doubt that even
for SB1. Unfortunately I did not have the time to discuss it further
with them.

--
Daniel Cohen

I think one of the issues has to be the look of the product. Many people like it, but I do think that the Roku and Sonus products have more mass-market appeal. I bought the SB2 for a number of other reasons, predominently sound quality, but also support for 802.11g.

I could definitely see other products gaining sales because the SB2 has less shelf appeal, plus it does have a more geeky image than the Roku.

Having said all that, I got the best player and it's the one I recommend to others, but I would have liked it more if it came in a more hi-fi case. I'm currently modding my SB2 to remedy this, but I would have pulled the buy trigger faster if it was a more attractive product (to my eyes anyway).

hal9000
2005-08-16, 19:52
I agree with the comment on the look. When I first installed the SB2 my wife said "You are NOT putting that alarm clock in our living room!". Then I showed her what it could do and she became a instant evangelist. My wife is not techy and when I heard her describing the wonders of SB2 to her girl friend I almost passed out from laughter...she hasn't done that since TIVO.

This product would benefit from a make over that hides the music technology goodness under the hood.

danco
2005-08-16, 22:59
On 16/8/05 at 16:47 -0700, CardinalFang wrote
>danco Wrote:
>> On 16/8/05 at 22:06 +0100, Mark Bennett wrote
>> I had to drop in to my usual dealer, who I generally find reliable. I
>> commented on the fact that they had the Roku but not the Squeezebox,
>> and they said that the Roku was much better. I would doubt that even
>> for SB1. Unfortunately I did not have the time to discuss it further
>> with them.
>>
>> --
>> Daniel Cohen
>
>I think one of the issues has to be the look of the product. Many
>people like it, but I do think that the Roku and Sonus products have
>more mass-market appeal. I bought the SB2 for a number of other
>reasons, predominently sound quality, but also support for 802.11g.
>
>I could definitely see other products gaining sales because the SB2 has
>less shelf appeal, plus it does have a more geeky image than the Roku.


Yes, I do prefer the Roku's looks. That may have influenced my
dealer, but I don't think it can have been the only reason.

--
Daniel Cohen

Aylwin
2005-08-16, 23:37
Other than sound quality, why is the SB better than the Roku? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the SB. In fact, I've just bought my 2nd SB2. But where I live, I can't test anything. Even my first SB2 was bought on faith.

Anyway, I just had a look at the Roku website. I must admit that the Soundbridge looks kinda neat. Plus, it appears to support SlimServer. And the Photobridge is something I've been waiting for. Of course, I'd prefer a Slim Devices product if one becomes available.

Mark.Bennett
2005-08-17, 00:30
On Tue, 2005-08-16 at 23:00 +0100, Daniel Cohen wrote:
> On 16/8/05 at 22:06 +0100, Mark Bennett wrote
>
> Possibly hi-fi dealers don't like the Squeezebox, and maybe they
> haven't tried SB2. Or perhaps the features that make us really like
> SB don't seem of interest to them.

I think there is an element of truth in this. I took my
laptop/SB2/Benchmark Dac-1 into a couple of hi-fi shops at the
beginning of the year to audition new amps/speakers.

One shop was very dismissive of the technology, saying that it
could never sound as good as a real CD player. The other shop
was more ambivalent and were vaguely interested in how it
performed.

Perhaps the real issue here is that the SB2 doesn't appeal to
hi-fi shops. It doesn't look like the rest of their products,
there's not enough margin to make it worth their while and
there's probably too much risk of a novice needing far too
much support to get a system working.

--
"The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

danco
2005-08-17, 02:42
On 16/8/05 at 23:37 -0700, Aylwin wrote
>Other than sound quality, why is the SB better than the Roku? Don't get
>me wrong, I'm all for the SB. In fact, I've just bought my 2nd SB2.
>But where I live, I can't test anything. Even my first SB2 was bought
>on faith.

Well, sound quality is pretty important. But the open source approach
of SS makes for rapid development and improvement also.

--
Daniel Cohen

Patrick Dixon
2005-08-17, 11:23
One shop was very dismissive of the technology, saying that it
could never sound as good as a real CD player.I've done a few mods to my SB and I'm 100% confident that I can prove that's just not true! BTW, my 'real' CDP is a Naim CDX. The difference between the modified and standard SB is quite significant though, but there is definitely nothing wrong with the technology!


Perhaps the real issue here is that the SB2 doesn't appeal to
hi-fi shops. It doesn't look like the rest of their products,
there's not enough margin to make it worth their while and
there's probably too much risk of a novice needing far too
much support to get a system working.Absolutely correct. Why sell an SB2 and make £15 when you can sell a CDP and make ten times that? But sooner or later they will have to adjust to the technology or go out of business.

Aylwin
2005-08-17, 12:52
Well, sound quality is pretty important. But the open source approach of SS makes for rapid development and improvement also.Sound quality IS pretty important. That's why I own an SB2. ;) But, if you're not an audiophile who just wants music anywhere in the house I don't think sound quality is THAT important. I mean, who cares about detail, phase, timing, depth, timber and all that when you're listening to music while cooking, or dining, or taking a shower, etc.

As for SS, apparently the Roku supports it as well. Speaking of which, if SS is open source, does Slim Devices get paid any royalties or licensing fees if another company's product uses it? I hope so.


Absolutely correct. Why sell an SB2 and make £15 when you can sell a CDP and make ten times that? But sooner or later they will have to adjust to the technology or go out of business.I think it'll be a LOOOONG time before they need to adjust to the technology. At least when it comes to using a PC as a music server. It's a hard sell to convince traditional audiophiles for minimal profit. I don't think there's enough incentive for "audiophile" stores.

danco
2005-08-17, 13:11
On 17/8/05 at 12:52 -0700, Aylwin wrote
>As for SS, apparently the Roku supports it as well.


But not the current version. of SS And since SS is designed for the
Squeezebox (and Slimp3) and they have no connection with Roku, it's
unlikely that future development of SS will work on Roku.


>Speaking of which,
>if SS is open source, does Slim Devices get paid any royalties or
>licensing fees if another company's product uses it? I hope so.

As it's open source, no.
--
Daniel Cohen

kdf
2005-08-17, 13:55
Quoting Aylwin <Aylwin.1txcdn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> As for SS, apparently the Roku supports it as well.

character mode only (think original squeezebox before display upgrade), and
'well' might be oversimplifying. anything I've seen suggests some are happy,
some are very frustrated by it.

> Speaking of which,
> if SS is open source, does Slim Devices get paid any royalties or
> licensing fees if another company's product uses it? I hope so.

open source, means no royalties and no licensing fees. Anyone can take, use, and
modify at will. The only requirement (in the case of GPL) is that any
derivative work must also be made available under the same open source license.

-kdf
--
NOT a Slim Devices employee

radish
2005-08-17, 14:07
As for SS, apparently the Roku supports it as well.

I think using the work "suppport" is a bit of a stretch :) Their devices work with it (5.x only IIRC), to some extent.



Speaking of which, if SS is open source, does Slim Devices get paid any royalties or licensing fees if another company's product uses it? I hope so.

SlimDevices make SlimServer available to anyone at no charge, whether they're a Roku user, a Slim user, or neither. So no, they get no money.

JulianL
2005-08-17, 15:19
On Tue, 2005-08-16 at 23:00 +0100, Daniel Cohen wrote:
> On 16/8/05 at 22:06 +0100, Mark Bennett wrote
>
> Possibly hi-fi dealers don't like the Squeezebox, and maybe they
> haven't tried SB2. Or perhaps the features that make us really like
> SB don't seem of interest to them.

I think there is an element of truth in this. I took my
laptop/SB2/Benchmark Dac-1 into a couple of hi-fi shops at the
beginning of the year to audition new amps/speakers.

One shop was very dismissive of the technology, saying that it
could never sound as good as a real CD player. The other shop
was more ambivalent and were vaguely interested in how it
performed.

Perhaps the real issue here is that the SB2 doesn't appeal to
hi-fi shops. It doesn't look like the rest of their products,
there's not enough margin to make it worth their while and
there's probably too much risk of a novice needing far too
much support to get a system working.

--
"The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)
Indeed. One wonders how the SB2 would be received if it was put into a fancy minimalist but bulky high end housing, increased in price by an order of magnitude, and some key designer from Krell/Naim/Linn/Meridian or similar taken onto Slim Devices staff just so they could spin an audiophile message to the shops and mags. Audiophile shops rubbishing the concept is ridiculous, people like Linn and Meridian already offer equipment that in principle is the same as SB2 (Meridian make a big point of jitter reduction by taking the bitstream out of a big solid state buffer and Linn sell an HD player). Slim Devices just quietly deliver this stuff at a fair price and, since their entire company is built around this one concept, they have really thought hard about the protocols and the UI. I do have reasonably high-end audio, I'm sitting in front of over $10,000 of Meridian equipment as I type this, but I am very excited about swapping my CD transport for a SB2.

- Julian

mkozlows
2005-08-17, 18:27
Other than sound quality, why is the SB better than the Roku? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the SB. In fact, I've just bought my 2nd SB2. But where I live, I can't test anything. Even my first SB2 was bought on faith.

Anyway, I just had a look at the Roku website. I must admit that the Soundbridge looks kinda neat. Plus, it appears to support SlimServer. And the Photobridge is something I've been waiting for. Of course, I'd prefer a Slim Devices product if one becomes available.

It's all in the details. Except for tragic missteps like ruining Browse Music Folders in 6.1, the Squeezebox 2 does just about everything right, in little ways that you don't even notice most of the time -- things just work right and intuitively. With the Roku... not so much.

My review of the SoundBridge, which goes into more detail:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=553516

Paul Runyan
2005-08-17, 20:35
I think it'll be a LOOOONG time before they need to adjust to the technology. At least when it comes to using a PC as a music server. It's a hard sell to convince traditional audiophiles for minimal profit. I don't think there's enough incentive for "audiophile" stores.

I think it may not take so long. Sales of CDs are in decline, due to music downloading, particulary among the younger demographic that used to be main market.

File-based rather than CD-based systems will become the norm. The issue for the SqueezeBox down the track is going to be to fit into the various digital rights management schemes that evolve.

- Paul

Aylwin
2005-08-17, 22:55
mkozlows, thanks for the link to your review. I really don't know much about the Roku and it's nice to read about first hand experience.


I think it may not take so long. Sales of CDs are in decline, due to music downloading, particulary among the younger demographic that used to be main market.It may not take not so long... for the mainstream market. I believe the younger demographic should be the target. They are a HUGE potential consumer base. Kids nowadays are very much into computers and electronic gadgets. As they start their first jobs, they get disposable income for "toys" like iPods and PDAs and the like. The SB2 would be very easy for them to setup and use.

As for the audiophile community, I still think it'll take awhile. While CD sales are declining, there's SACD and DVD-A. And vinyl is still around. For me, the future of CD playback is the SB2. The possibility to store all your CD music in a lossless format on a harddisk for easy and instant access, AND to play it back with audiophile quality is IT.

However, audiophiles and audiophile retailers, in general, are very snobbish. I'm thinking along the same lines as JulianL. Put the SB2 in a hi-end looking box, multiply the price several times (which includes significant markup for the retailers), and get a well respected big name in the audiophile world to be associated with your product. Maybe then it'll turn some heads.

Mark.Bennett
2005-08-18, 00:36
On Wed, 2005-08-17 at 15:19 -0700, JulianL wrote:
> Indeed. One wonders how the SB2 would be received if it was put into a
> fancy minimalist but bulky high end housing, increased in price by an
> order of magnitude, and some key designer from Krell/Naim/Linn/Meridian
> or similar taken onto Slim Devices staff just so they could spin an
> audiophile message to the shops and mags. Audiophile shops rubbishing
> the concept is ridiculous, people like Linn and Meridian already offer
> equipment that in principle is the same as SB2 (Meridian make a big
> point of jitter reduction by taking the bitstream out of a big solid
> state buffer and Linn sell an HD player). Slim Devices just quietly
> delivery this stuff at a fair price and, since their entire company is
> built around this one concept, they have really thought hard about the
> protocols and the UI. I do have reasonably high-end audio, I'm sitting
> in front of over $10,000 of Meridian equipment as I type this, but I am
> very excited about swapping my CD transport for a SB2.

As you and others have said, it's a very tempting idea.

Take the guts of an SB2, stick it in a big box. Include a big,
heavy, linear power supply, and maybe some of the HW mods that
have been described (especially supply regulators, word clocks
and digital output fanglers - the HiFi magazines love these).

Put the price up to, say 1000UKP and add some pretentious marketing.

I'm convinced this would get some interest from the hi-fi press.

--
"The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

Fifer
2005-08-18, 02:20
It is a very tempting idea. A few more thoughts: Slim Devices get into bed with a small, respected, audio company (Cambridge Audio spring to mind; robust, reasonably priced, respected product line, similar to Slim Devices). Put the SB2 internals into a Cambridge Audio box (tweaked as above, decent linear PSU, high end electrolytics, ditch the op amp and add two RCA sockets and a switch to provide an external DAC input) and voilą, the Cambridge Audio Wireless Music Server & DAC (with embedded Slim Devices technology).

NealG
2005-08-18, 03:10
I reviewed the MKI and MKII for Hi-Fi World.

MKII review here: http://www.slimdevices.com/au_news.html

Nick Silberstein
2005-08-18, 07:40
Fifer wrote:
> It is a very tempting idea. A few more thoughts: Slim Devices get into
> bed with a small, respected, audio company (Cambridge Audio spring to
> mind; robust, reasonably priced, respected product line, similar to
> Slim Devices). Put the SB2 internals into a Cambridge Audio box
> (tweaked as above, decent linear PSU, high end electrolytics, ditch the
> op amp and add two RCA sockets and a switch to provide an external DAC
> input) and voilą, the Cambridge Audio Wireless Music Server & DAC (with
> embedded Slim Devices technology).

A small, unobtrusive, reasonably priced unit with a compact power supply
fits in nicely with the Slim Devices moniker. I know the name of the
company is likely a play on "thin device", referring to the brains being
server-side in the form of SlimServer, but I think this philosophy
carries through to the hardware design too. I like that it's not a
huge, mostly empty metal box*!

Nick

* - I have no doubt that, had it arrived in a huge, mostly empty metal
box, there would be more than a few people posting about extracting the
innards and placing it in a small enclosure...


--
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Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.338 / Virus Database: 267.10.12/75 - Release Date: 8/17/2005

Fifer
2005-08-18, 08:16
I agree Nick and personally have no problem with the form factor. The ideas discussed above were designed at widening the appeal of the product to (a) those who do have a problem with the 'radio alarm' look, (b) audiophile shops who are uncomfortable with new technology, slim margins and a new (to them) brand and (c) the more conservative customers of (b).

vetinry
2005-08-29, 01:20
Morning

I am new to this forum and have been having a lengthy read through of several of the topics.

As someone working in marketing, I have quite a few comments about the level of media interest in the squeezebox 2 vs the roku soundbridge - I was about to purchase a Roku soundbridge before I stumbled across a link to the squeezebox and then to the squeezebox 2.

But that isn't the reason for my post.

I would really like to purchase something that is going to give me as high sound quality as possible and it seems that there have been some back to back comparisons (either on this site or elsewhere) of the SB2 and the Roku.

Please can someone direct me to them.

And has anyone actually seen the What HiFi review. I read it most months and haven't seen anything (although the Roku review was what was sending me that way!)

Finally, I'm in the process of re-ripping all of my CD's into Apple Lossless files using EAC and a great little programme called iTunes encode. I would like to be able to continue to use iTunes to manage my songs - does the slim server software allow this?

Any help and advice gratefully received

Cheers

Steve

audiofi
2005-08-29, 03:42
Steve,

I'm not sure if there have been many reviews of them both side by side, I have the What HiFi here somewhere, but from what I can remember it only had the Roku and Netgear in it, no Squeezebox.

Having owned both the Roku and Squeezebox though, the Squeezebox does sound better, the Roku really needs an external DAC, the built in one isn't brilliant.

Although the Roku links straight into itunes, when I had one it refused to play AAC files (that may have been fixed now, I'm not sure).
The Squeezebox will quite happily link to your iTunes database file so you can manage the files in iTunes and play them via SlimServer, I do this and I'm sure a lot of other people do.

One other thing, the Squeezebox is on offer at Dabs at the moment which makes it cheaper than the Roku

Hope this helps a little

Andrew

Morbiato
2005-08-29, 04:45
As a non-techie new owner I can't help thinking that this wonderful device would be accepted in GB rather more if it was possible to get the BBC digital transmissions on it! Ok so there's AlienBBC but I have been quite unable to get it working and before the last software update had got Radio 7 in my "Favorites" which have now gone - for ever?

Aslak
2005-08-29, 04:58
As a non-techie new owner I can't help thinking that this wonderful device would be accepted in GB rather more if it was possible to get the BBC digital transmissions on it! Ok so there's AlienBBC but I have been quite unable to get it working and before the last software update had got Radio 7 in my "Favorites" which have now gone - for ever?

I agree with that. I have a DAB radio too, but I hardly ever use it because it's stand-alone and not plummed into the hifi. Being able to listen to more regular and digital radio stations would be great. I have managed to find Virgin in one of the "radio" index's though. :) It sounds quite backward to want to listen to regular "FM" and digital radio on the Squeeze but there you have it.

Haven't tried Alien but read about it, and it scared me. And I've been using Unix/linux since 1996....

I do think Slim need more PR/reviews in the UK though. I got mine through broadbandstuff.co.uk and am very glad I did!

Lawrence

CavesOfTQLT
2005-08-29, 05:31
Quite agree with the Digital Radio bit - the other half listens to ClassicFM and wants to buy a DAB radio because my SB2 can't 'play' it. I'm trying to hold her off purchasing one, but it's getting difficult as the days go by. If anyone gets ClassicFM streaming (and I'm not on about Wavefinders or Trinloc USB DAB units) on their SB let me know, if only to keep her 'quiet' :)

ceejay
2005-08-29, 05:52
Two parts to this:

(1) I agree about the value of access to more "radio" stations. I have managed to get AlienBBC working, though its not usable for live listening. I do listen to some of the internet stations, but would certainly appreciate reliable BBC or other stations.

(2) What can enthusiastic owners do?

1 - tell your friends
2 - (as noted earlier) send an email to publications that review other devices
3 - add a review on the website of whereever you bought yours from
4 - put a plug on your personal website, if you have one


Ceejay.

danco
2005-08-29, 06:14
On 29/8/05 at 04:45 -0700, Morbiato wrote
>As a non-techie new owner I can't help thinking that this wonderful
>device would be accepted in GB rather more if it was possible to get
>the BBC digital transmissions on it! Ok so there's AlienBBC but I have
>been quite unable to get it working and before the last software update
>had got Radio 7 in my "Favorites" which have now gone - for ever?
>

Give us some details of your system and setup, perhaps in the forum
about third-party addons, and we'll see what you can do to get
AlienBBC to work.

There are several places where things can go wrong. I have it working
fine on my Mac, but there are several different versions of mplayer
and of the necessary codec, and they don't all work well with each
other and with AlienBBC. It really is an extremely useful plugin.
--
Daniel Cohen

danco
2005-08-29, 06:16
On 29/8/05 at 04:58 -0700, Aslak wrote
>Haven't tried Alien but read about it, and it scared me. And I've been
>using Unix/linux since 1996....

It's really not that difficult if one is used to Unix, and even if
one is not. The trouble is that one has to pick up bits from various
sources and they don't all work well together. But there's no actual
mystery, or hard Unix work, about it.
--
Daniel Cohen

danco
2005-08-29, 06:19
On 29/8/05 at 05:52 -0700, ceejay wrote
>(1) I agree about the value of access to more "radio" stations. I have
>managed to get AlienBBC working, though its not usable for live
>listening. I do listen to some of the internet stations, but would
>certainly appreciate reliable BBC or other stations.

It seems, from some discussions, that mplayer, which is an essential
part of AlienBBC, has its problems with live listening. It looks as
if reports of the situation are needed and should go to the mplayer
developers at some point.

I am in England, so never bother with live listening. I don't have
any troubles with Listen Again in all its versions.
--
Daniel Cohen

radish
2005-08-29, 09:46
Just as a word of encouragement for those wanting more radio on their SB2's - I installed Alien for the first time at the weekend and it took about 10 minutes (if that). I had a bit of trouble with setup because I have a non-standard slimserver config, but with the help of the forum I was up and running by the end of the day. I can now listen to Radio 1, Virgin, XFM, etc without a radio. Which is nice, seeing as I'm currently on the wrong side of the Atlantic :) Which brings up a very off-topic question - does anyone have a stream url for Capital?

Steven Moore
2005-08-29, 11:28
http://playlistmag.com/reviews/2005/08/squeezebox2/index.php

Steven Moore

nmizel
2005-08-29, 11:36
Which brings up a very off-topic question - does anyone have a stream url for Capital?
Capital Radio London / UK
http://ms1.capitalinteractive.co.uk/fm_low
http://ms1.capitalinteractive.co.uk/fm_high

Cheers,
Nicolas

nmizel
2005-08-29, 12:00
Arghh, these are urls (probably wma) that play in M$ Media Player...

Milhouse
2005-08-29, 15:25
Off Topic Post:

I grew up and still live in London, and detest Crapital Radio with a vengeance! :)

Do yourself a favour and get some radioparadise.com on your Squeezebox - their 128bit MP3 Shoutcast feed can be found at:

http://www.radioparadise.com/musiclinks/rp_128.m3u

It's excellent listening for anyone over 24 years old (precious little DJ noise other than the occasional site ident and no ads means practically 100% good music!)and RP works great with Squeeze Network as a manual addition. :)

Milhouse
2005-08-29, 15:25
On Topic Post:

I've just finished reading this months T3 magazine and there were approximately 4 references to the Roku, either as direct editorial, reviews or advertisments.

Total references for the SB2: Zero.

Even the MP101 got a write up. And in a comment giving examples of available streaming kit just about every available device got a mention EXCEPT for the SB2 - one almost gets the impression it's a conspiracy!

The SB2 definately needs it's profile raised in the UK, but it's likely the same could be said for the rest of Europe too. This is definately going to be a problem long term for Slim Devices but is this something their distributors should be sorting out, or Slim? Deep pockets will be needed to fund any in-your-face advertising, so perhaps a review on theregister.com would help raise the profile globally without costing too much?

Word of mouth sales will only work so well - trust me, I'm a UK TiVo owner! Eventually maintsteam marketing is required to sustain the product, and in this regard SB2 is an also ran. :(

Aslak
2005-08-29, 15:40
On 29/8/05 at 04:58 -0700, Aslak wrote
>Haven't tried Alien but read about it, and it scared me. And I've been
>using Unix/linux since 1996....

It's really not that difficult if one is used to Unix, and even if
one is not. The trouble is that one has to pick up bits from various
sources and they don't all work well together. But there's no actual
mystery, or hard Unix work, about it.


Looking at AlienBBC I remember now what the problem was. I run SlimServer on my fileserver box (Fedora), and it dosn't have X, which is a requirement for mplayer. So I'm kind of screwed because I really don't want to clog up the machine with an X install. Well, I guess the problem is my own making.

Lawrence

radish
2005-08-29, 17:30
Arghh, these are urls (probably wma) that play in M$ Media Player...
They work fine if I switch HTTP to MMS - thanks!

mherger
2005-08-29, 21:24
> http://www.radioparadise.com/musiclinks/rp_128.m3u

Amazing how many RP listeners there are on this list :-) It's clearly my
favourite station I've found so far. And they made me detect quite some
good, new (to me) music.

> It's excellent listening for anyone over 24 years old (precious little
> DJ noise other than the occasional site ident and no ads means
> practically 100% good music!)

That's right! So much good music and almost no noise.

> and RP works great with Squeeze Network as
> a manual addition. :)

Don't have to add it manually. You should find it browsing the Shoutcast
streams (that's where I found it).

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
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mherger
2005-08-29, 22:21
> The SB2 definately needs it's profile raised in the UK, but it's likely
> the same could be said for the rest of Europe too. This is definately

I just had some mail exchange with a french guy who asked me where to buy
it in France - me being Swiss German :-). He told me that one of the
distributors stopped selling them. I see this here in Switzerland, too.
As SliMP3, SB & Cie. have been tested/mentioned in the german press, it's
known in the german part of Switzerland (but still something rather
exclusif). But I know of one single person here in the french part who
knows it (besides me, obviously). And I think he's American/British.
France seems to need some development, too...

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
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Robin Bowes
2005-08-29, 23:20
Aslak said the following on 29/08/2005 23:40:
> Looking at AlienBBC I remember now what the problem was. I run
> SlimServer on my fileserver box (Fedora), and it dosn't have X, which
> is a requirement for mplayer. So I'm kind of screwed because I really
> don't want to clog up the machine with an X install. Well, I guess the
> problem is my own making.

Lawrence,

You don't have to *run* X to use mplayer, you just need to have it
installed.

As long as you continue to start up into Runlevel 3 (not 5) then your
machine will not be "clogged up".

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

docbee
2005-08-30, 00:16
I think slim devices could easily pump up their sales volume in Europe by bundeling it with a link/tera/buffalo-station (or similar) where all the necessary configuration is already done. Many people do like the sb2, but are not enough computer savvy to get the building blocks sorted out themselves.

These bundles should be pushed to market via regular audio/video electronic stores or by a dedicted online store.

What comes along with going to the regalur public will be an altered upgrade policy. For these bundles there should be a "one click upgrade" via the internet, something I really like when I look at my ipcop, for example.

just my $0.02

audiofi
2005-08-30, 06:22
I run a business up in the North East where I both sell and install the Squeezebox (and others, not the Roku though!) to people in the local area.

As I install all of the software as part of the service (including any plugins etc.) the user does not need any technical knowledge except ripping their CD's.

Even with this, business is very slow and I think the problem is that people simply don't understand the technology and an advert in a paper/magazine still doesn't really explain it fully, I have to offer a free demo before hand. Once I get my foot in the door, the product sells itself, the problem is getting that first step.

Getting reviews in the likes of PCW/What Hifi/Mac etc. is a good step, but these magazines are read by a very niche group. The iPod has become huge and now MP3 is a common format, so I think somehow the Squeezebox needs to be reviewed in less technical magazines and papers, but also in such a way that it won't confuse the general user.

The general install is very straight forward for everyone who posts here, but I'm guessing a lot of you work in the computer industry and therefore understand how these things work. For someone who has a computer and an iPod but has no idea how to do much else, it is a very daunting task.

The scope of such a product is huge, home users, businesses with phone switchboards (on hold music, but with a web interface!), pubs and even DJ's in clubs!

All my opinion of course

Andrew
www.audiofi.co.uk


By the way, if anyone has any tips for marketing, I'm all ears!!

stinkingpig
2005-08-30, 06:32
audiofi wrote:

>I run a business up in the North East where I both sell and install the
>Squeezebox (and others, not the Roku though!) to people in the local
>area.
>
>As I install all of the software as part of the service (including any
>plugins etc.) the user does not need any technical knowledge except
>ripping their CD's.
>
>Even with this, business is very slow and I think the problem is that
>people simply don't understand the technology and an advert in a
>paper/magazine still doesn't really explain it fully, I have to offer a
>free demo before hand. Once I get my foot in the door, the product
>sells itself, the problem is getting that first step.
>
>Getting reviews in the likes of PCW/What Hifi/Mac etc. is a good step,
>but these magazines are read by a very niche group. The iPod has
>become huge and now MP3 is a common format, so I think somehow the
>Squeezebox needs to be reviewed in less technical magazines and papers,
>but also in such a way that it won't confuse the general user.
>
>The general install is very straight forward for everyone who posts
>here, but I'm guessing a lot of you work in the computer industry and
>therefore understand how these things work. For someone who has a
>computer and an iPod but has no idea how to do much else, it is a very
>daunting task.
>
>The scope of such a product is huge, home users, businesses with phone
>switchboards (on hold music, but with a web interface!), pubs and even
>DJ's in clubs!
>
>All my opinion of course
>
>Andrew
>www.audiofi.co.uk
>
>
>By the way, if anyone has any tips for marketing, I'm all ears!!
>
>

Maybe focus on SqueezeNetwork as the primary reason to have it, then
tell them it can play their iTunes library as a bonus feature.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org : It's a Scientific Venture!
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
so across the Western ocean I must wander." -- All for Me Grog, traditional

Dan Goodinson
2005-08-30, 07:10
audiofi wrote:

>For someone who has a
>computer and an iPod but has no idea how to do much else, it is a very
>daunting task.

Audiofi,

Maybe I'm over-simplifying but I'd say that if someone can use an iPod,
then they would have no problems using a Squeezebox.

I don't have an iPod, but I'd guess there must be some sort of
'server'-side app which runs on a users' PC to sync the iPod with the
music database. If I'm correct in this assumption, then that would
surely equate to the slimserver application.

Other than that, the hardware performs much the same function. In the
same way that you can probably run an iPod through desktop PC speakers,
you can do the same with a Squeezebox. The major difference is that you
can run Squeezebox through your stereo (which, as I understand it you
can't do with an iPod without some additional hardware).

So if there is some sort of 'server'-side software for the iPod, then
I'd reckon it would be an easy transition from iPod to SB...

Dan.

hubner
2005-08-30, 07:16
Dan Goodinson wrote:

>audiofi wrote:
>
>
>
>>For someone who has a
>>computer and an iPod but has no idea how to do much else, it is a very
>>daunting task.
>>
>>
>
>Audiofi,
>
>Maybe I'm over-simplifying but I'd say that if someone can use an iPod,
>then they would have no problems using a Squeezebox.
>
>I don't have an iPod, but I'd guess there must be some sort of
>'server'-side app which runs on a users' PC to sync the iPod with the
>music database. If I'm correct in this assumption, then that would
>surely equate to the slimserver application.
>
>Other than that, the hardware performs much the same function. In the
>same way that you can probably run an iPod through desktop PC speakers,
>you can do the same with a Squeezebox. The major difference is that you
>can run Squeezebox through your stereo (which, as I understand it you
>can't do with an iPod without some additional hardware).
>
>So if there is some sort of 'server'-side software for the iPod, then
>I'd reckon it would be an easy transition from iPod to SB...
>
>Dan.
>
>
>
>
Yes - there is a server-side app for the Ipod - Itunes. There is however
a major difference, the SB shall work as a normal hi-fi gadget but is
dependent on a server computer but you will only run Itunes when you are
syncing your ipod - not to actually use it. My friends (all major tech
geeks all of them) is reluctant since they do not want to have a pc
running all the time (noise, electricity bills etc etc). To the majority
of potential customers the threshold is exactly there - having to set up
a computer to be always on. This is not an obstacle to most of us
here...but for normal people it is.

Therefore - bundling with Linksys/Buffalo Linkstation or other
NAS-devices having built in Linux and storage capacity is a way to
circumvent this problem.

/Johan

--

Milhouse
2005-08-30, 07:18
Even with this, business is very slow and I think the problem is that people simply don't understand the technology and an advert in a paper/magazine still doesn't really explain it fully, I have to offer a free demo before hand. Once I get my foot in the door, the product sells itself, the problem is getting that first step.


I totally agree... 4 years ago I bought a TiVo and would discuss it with people who were unable to differentiate it from a standard VCR. Now that Sky have spent millions advertising their Sky+ product "Joe Public" is beginning to "get" and now crave the concept of PVR/DVRs. People who weren't interested in a TiVo 4 years ago wouldn't live without a Sky+ PVR (a shame they didn't cotton on sooner and buy the superior product, but there you go!)

It's all about raising awareness - having a streaming MP3 player in the living room is not something people really need. Yet people will quite happily sit in front of a PC and listen to music, or rip all their MP3s for their iPod and still keep their CDs next to their HiFi.

With a streaming media server you buy the CD, rip it, put it in storage garage and never play it again. It's about changing how people listen (and manage) their music - simple, clear examples of the benefits of streaming kit is required in mass media publications (Sunday papers, for example). Obviously many of the benefits of streaming media apply to all the manufacturers (Slim, DLink, Netgear, Roku etc.) but Squeeze Network is a key differentiator in Slim Devices favour.

IMHO the inability to easily listen to the BBC will count as a big negative for Joe Public UK. My parents listen to Radio Alba (Radio Scotland, Radio nan Gaidheal for Gaelic, Real Audio stream) and if this were available on Squeeze Network they'd be sold as would many other avid BBC listeners. Unfortunately AlienBBC is beyond most people, including my parents.

BBC Radio on Squeeze Network would be a killer feature - of course it would be far better if the public funded BBC didn't use proprietary encoding, but that's another issue (anyone know if they have any plans to change to MP3 streaming?)

mherger
2005-08-30, 07:21
> Maybe I'm over-simplifying but I'd say that if someone can use an
> iPod, then they would have no problems using a Squeezebox.

Use, yes; install and configure, no. The problem is networking.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Dan Goodinson
2005-08-30, 07:37
Johan wrote:

>My friends (all major tech geeks all of them) is reluctant since they
do not want to have a pc running all the time (noise, electricity bills
etc etc). To the majority
>of potential customers the threshold is exactly there - having to set
up a computer to be always on. This is not an obstacle to most of us
here...but for normal people
>it is.

Fair comment. Although it truly is shame that this should be an
obstacle :( In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't take much setting
up (to build a "headless" server) and it doesn't use up all that much
electricity. And it can be easily arranged to have a server somewhere
it won't be in the way or be a disturbance - particularly on a wireless
LAN. (e.g. my server is basically in the shed outside). It's a shame
that more people don't realise this :(

>Therefore - bundling with Linksys/Buffalo Linkstation or other
NAS-devices having built in Linux and storage capacity is a way to
circumvent this problem.

Very true indeed, and it may tempt some people. But I'd say that if a
user thought that setting up and maintaining a server was a bit of a
hassle, they'd most likely feel the same way about setting up and
configuring/maintaining a Linkstation with built-in Linux. Or, maybe
not... I guess Knoppix might be an option - Slim Devices could
distribute a complete, ready-configured OS on a CD for each major
release. Then any technophobes would simply have to turn the PC on (and
boot from CD) to have SS up and running within a couple of minutes. For
those users that found it easy to use, they could perhaps migrate to a
non-Knoppix build, which could be configurable by the end user.

It would probably be a fair bit of work for slim devices though. That
would ultimately push the cost up and might put off as many people as it
persuaded :(

mherger
2005-08-30, 07:49
> I guess Knoppix might be an option - Slim Devices could
> distribute a complete, ready-configured OS on a CD for each major
> release.

They don't, but I do ;-)

http://www.herger.net/slim/detail.php?nr=763&kategorie=slim

And as you guess it's based on Knoppix, or rather Damn Small Linux,
which in turn is based on Knoppix.

> Then any technophobes would simply have to turn the PC on
> (and boot from CD) to have SS up and running within a couple of
minutes.

There was some talk today about how to achieve this using my "SlimCD" in
the plugins forum.

> For
> those users that found it easy to use, they could perhaps migrate to
> a
> non-Knoppix build, which could be configurable by the end user.

My own dedicated slimserver machine is running on SlimCD. It needed some
tweaking, but has been running now for a few weeks without a minor
glitch. I installed it to a CF card using DSL's "frugal install".

I thought about enhancing it with some server management tools (to get
"Windows" file sharing). But time is limited...

Regards,

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Robin Bowes
2005-08-30, 07:57
Dan Goodinson wrote:
> Slim Devices could distribute a complete, ready-configured OS on a CD
> for each major release. Then any technophobes would simply have to
> turn the PC on (and boot from CD) to have SS up and running within a
> couple of minutes. For those users that found it easy to use, they
> could perhaps migrate to a non-Knoppix build, which could be
> configurable by the end user.

I think there's some mileage in this. I'm pretty sure Michael's SlimCD
could be modified to function in this way.

What would be required is for the CD to boot into an install Wizard
which looks in a pre-defined location on the existing HDD for a very
simple configuration file which points to the "real" configuration file.
For example, c:\windows\slim.ini on a Windows box, or /etc/slim.ini on a
unix/linux box.

If this file is found, read the configuration and continue booting.

If the file is not found, run through a configuration Wizard which asks:

- where to store the configuration settings
- where the music library is
- where the playlists are

There should be sensible defaults for these options for all O/S. It
should be possible to detect the primary O/S on the machine even when
booting from CD.

Getting really advanced, there should be an option to copy the whole
slimserver bundle onto the local HDD and to run from there.

I reckon that would make life a lot easier for less technically adept users.

> It would probably be a fair bit of work for slim devices though.

Nah, Michael could do it :)

> That would ultimately push the cost up and might put off as many
> people as it persuaded :(

There's really not an awful lot of work involved - Michael's slimCD goes
a lot of the way. I run my server on Linux and track the latest svn
source. But if I wanted to take my SB somewhere else, I'd most likely
use a liveCD with my media library on an external HDD so I could just
boot from the CD no matter what O/S the PC was running.

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

Dan Goodinson
2005-08-30, 08:30
>> It would probably be a fair bit of work for slim devices though.

>Nah, Michael could do it :)

>> That would ultimately push the cost up and might put off as many
>> people as it persuaded :(

>There's really not an awful lot of work involved - Michael's slimCD
goes
>a lot of the way. I run my server on Linux and track the latest svn
>source. But if I wanted to take my SB somewhere else, I'd most likely
>use a liveCD with my media library on an external HDD so I could just
>boot from the CD no matter what O/S the PC was running.


Michael's CD looks pretty cool :) :) :)

I'm going to have to have a play with that when I get back home :)

mherger
2005-08-30, 10:20
> What would be required is for the CD to boot into an install Wizard
> which looks in a pre-defined location on the existing HDD for a very
> simple configuration file which points to the "real" configuration file.

This should be possible with the next release: DSL has a simple mechanism
to backup/restore settings. If hda1 is writable (ext2/3 or fat32, NO
ntfs), restore is done automatically.

In fact this should have been possible with the last release. But I...
let's say there's a bug :-)

> If this file is found, read the configuration and continue booting.

At startup, before starting the slimserver, the init script checks whether
there's a preference file. If it does not exist, it copies an existing
template

> Getting really advanced, there should be an option to copy the whole
> slimserver bundle onto the local HDD and to run from there.

In the next release the backup mentioned will backup the whole slimserver
tree. This would allow for installing additional plugins, updating
slimserver etc.

'Nugh talked. Back to work if I want SlimCD 1.1 to surface one day...

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

scalesr1
2005-08-30, 11:52
Just checked your web site and clicked on the link for a larger version of
the Squeezebox - what do you see?

Richard Scales


-----Original Message-----
From: audiofi [mailto:audiofi.1ukwzn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com]
Sent: 30 August 2005 14:22
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: [slim] Re: SlimDevices losing out in the UK


I run a business up in the North East where I both sell and install the
Squeezebox (and others, not the Roku though!) to people in the local
area.

As I install all of the software as part of the service (including any
plugins etc.) the user does not need any technical knowledge except
ripping their CD's.

Even with this, business is very slow and I think the problem is that
people simply don't understand the technology and an advert in a
paper/magazine still doesn't really explain it fully, I have to offer a
free demo before hand. Once I get my foot in the door, the product
sells itself, the problem is getting that first step.

Getting reviews in the likes of PCW/What Hifi/Mac etc. is a good step,
but these magazines are read by a very niche group. The iPod has
become huge and now MP3 is a common format, so I think somehow the
Squeezebox needs to be reviewed in less technical magazines and papers,
but also in such a way that it won't confuse the general user.

The general install is very straight forward for everyone who posts
here, but I'm guessing a lot of you work in the computer industry and
therefore understand how these things work. For someone who has a
computer and an iPod but has no idea how to do much else, it is a very
daunting task.

The scope of such a product is huge, home users, businesses with phone
switchboards (on hold music, but with a web interface!), pubs and even
DJ's in clubs!

All my opinion of course

Andrew
www.audiofi.co.uk


By the way, if anyone has any tips for marketing, I'm all ears!!


--
audiofi

mherger
2005-08-30, 12:03
> Just checked your web site and clicked on the link for a larger version
> of the Squeezebox - what do you see?

This depends on whether you click on the text or the image :-/

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Robin Bowes
2005-08-30, 12:18
Richard Scales said the following on 30/08/2005 19:52:
> Just checked your web site and clicked on the link for a larger version of
> the Squeezebox - what do you see?

Ooops!

On a related note, I thought I'd check out Radio Paradise after hearing
it recommended on these forums.

I went to the home page [1] and...guess which music player has an ad. on
the home page? Hint: not SB2

[1] http://www.radioparadise.com/

R.

--
http://robinbowes.com

If a man speaks in a forest,
and his wife's not there,
is he still wrong?

audiofi
2005-08-30, 14:20
Arghhh, sorry about that everyone, I tried to remove all traces but obviously missed one, will fix it now!!

I did previously sell the Roku, but after some hardware failures I gave the Squeezebox a try and haven't looked back since. It gets a far better reception from customers as well!!

audiofi
2005-08-30, 14:26
Fixed now, again, sorry everyone!!!

gingerneil
2005-08-30, 15:20
On Topic Post:
so perhaps a review on theregister.com would help raise the profile globally without costing too much?


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/13/slimdevices_squeezebox/
a little old.. and SB1 - but thereg are not against reviewing Slim stuff. Maybe if someone from Slim Devices sent them a sample ... ??

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-08-30, 17:27
>>> audiofi.1ulj7n (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 08/30/05 5:20 PM >>>
>
> Arghhh, sorry about that everyone, I tried to remove all traces but
> obviously missed one, will fix it now!!

Well, two...check the mouse-over text as well...

Paul

audiofi
2005-08-30, 17:38
Fingers crossed thats everything this time!

jhall_uk
2005-08-31, 08:20
Of course, you could go the way of Bose or other high end manufacturers and build a hifi module that is all in one - with the hard drive and cd player built in.

If you use the Bose units with the hard drive built in (the word 'computer' or 'hard drive' is not even used, therefore you don't scare the pants off people!), you simply insert a new CD to the unit and it rips, encodes and tags for you. Next time around you just play from the unit without the CD.

It wouldn't take a genius to get a slimserver o/s based unit that is chunkier that the existing squeezebox2 (the size of a full size hifi or midi hifi separate), but has a cd drawer for ripping, high capacity hard drive, and ethernet port/wireless capability for access to the internet / PC link for PC based music storage.

If people don't know it is a computer then that's half the battle won.

John


---------------------------------
Yahoo! Messenger NEW - crystal clear PC to PC calling worldwide with voicemail

Milhouse
2005-09-18, 16:31
I've just finished reading the October "Computer Shopper" and November "T3", and as far as Slim Devices are concerned, you guys just don't exist - very depressing reads from a SD point of view.

These mags had several articles about audio streaming and the Roku, Sonos and Netgear take center stage.

Computer Shopper has an article about hacking the Buffalo LinkStation to run TwonkyVision server, citing the MP101 and Roku as possible clients (quote: "Another good product is Roku's SondBridge, which costs more but comes in a remarkably good-looking cylidndrical container and won't look out of place with even the smartest hi-fi system").

T3 starts with a gushing letter from a reader singing the praises of his Roku, and has an item suggesting the Sonos is "best for multi-room music". There's also half-page ads from Roku and Sonos.

It's been many months since I've seen reference to Slim Devices or Squeezebox in any of the magazines I read each month - in comparison Roku and more recently Sonos seem to be doing a fine job of getting their products in front of prospective buyers. :(

Perhaps Roku and Sonos have a better UK distributor?

I know this sounds like a complaint, but that's not the intention - it's simply a heads up that the competition are doing a far better job of placing their products here in the UK. I don't know how well Squeezebox is selling in the UK - well, I hope - but I fear that given the lack of publicity, Joe Public doesn't even know it exists and instead buys a Roku (or if he's well-heeled, a Sonos).

audiofi
2005-09-18, 16:49
I noticed that too, especially in the T3 who seem to adore the Sonus (but then they always prefer the most expensive thing possible)

Would the Roku advert in every issue have any outcome on their decisions? You'd hope not, but it does raise the question, if one company advertises and another doesn't, will they recommend the advertiser regardless?

Its also odd that people are recommending the Netgear, I thought it had been discontinued and replaced by the one without a screen!!

patrick
2005-09-18, 17:04
I would not interpret advertising as a measure of performance but as a need
to stimulate sales.

Note that Roku's UK distributor also picked-up UK distribution of Sonos.
Would you pick-up a competitive product if your original entry in this
category sold well?

Patrick

---
Patrick Cosson
V-P, Sales & Marketing
Slim Devices, Inc.
415-359-7407 cell
413-638-5248 efax

"Simply put, Slim Devices' Squeezebox2 is the best product in its class.
You're not buying a computer peripheral, but rather a superbly engineered
audiophile component."

Editors¹ Choice | LAPTOP Magazine | September 2005



On 9/18/05 4:49 PM, "audiofi" <audiofi.1vkwlc (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:

>
> I noticed that too, especially in the T3 who seem to adore the Sonus
> (but then they always prefer the most expensive thing possible)
>
> Would the Roku advert in every issue have any outcome on their
> decisions? You'd hope not, but it does raise the question, if one
> company advertises and another doesn't, will they recommend the
> advertiser regardless?
>
> Its also odd that people are recommending the Netgear, I thought it had
> been discontinued and replaced by the one without a screen!!
>

dean
2005-09-18, 17:29
On Sep 18, 2005, at 5:04 PM, Patrick Cosson wrote:
> Note that Roku's UK distributor also picked-up UK distribution of
> Sonos.
> Would you pick-up a competitive product if your original entry in this
> category sold well?
Yes, I would.

But yours is a bad example, the Roku and the Sonos aren't really
competitors...

Milhouse
2005-09-18, 18:34
I would not interpret advertising as a measure of performance but as a need to stimulate sales.

Note that Roku's UK distributor also picked-up UK distribution of Sonos. Would you pick-up a competitive product if your original entry in this category sold well?

Patrick

---
Patrick Cosson
V-P, Sales & Marketing
Slim Devices, Inc.
415-359-7407 cell
413-638-5248 efax


Scenario: Joe Public picks up Computer Shopper, T3 (or any other publication that is brim full of rave Roku/Sonos reviews) with a view to identifying the latest/hottest audio streaming devices. Do you honestly think he's going to end up buying a Squeezebox? Not everyone will research the audio streaming market to the n'th degree - they'll do basic research (ie. read a few magazines) and on the basis of their new found wisdom make a purchase if the price is right. Given this scenario, Squeezebox won't get a look-in as it's not mentioned anywhere - effectively, it doesn't exist!

Are you honestly telling me that Squeezebox is selling itself, by word-of-mouth and without any traditional advertising? Trust me this won't work, I've been here before with TiVo UK and word-of-mouth works only so well.

Roku/Sonos may well have a need or desire to stimulate sales - from this can it be concluded that Slim Devices do not? I'm really sorry if this offends, but your statement is nonsensical unless you and Slim Devices are being utterly complacement about their position within the market - at this rate you will appeal to only a small number of potential purchasers, those who have taken the time to discover the existence of Slim Devices and Squeezebox. The bulk of your potential sales will go to Roku who have taken the time/effort/expense to get their product "out there".

Maybe that's your plan - to appeal to the more discerning purchaser, rather than the "mass market"?

Milhouse
2005-09-18, 18:40
As an aside, I tend to read the more computer/gadget-oriented magazines each month, and I have no idea of the sort of coverage given to Squeezebox and the competition in more HiFi-oriented publications, anyone got any idea?

It's interesting that audio-streaming devices straddle both fields, and given the more-audiophile credentials of the Squeezebox it's possible it may receive favourable coverage in HiFi circles.

However if Roku/Sonos dominate in HiFi magazines too, this surely indicates that whoever is responsible for marketing Squeezebox in the UK isn't pulling their weight - unless of course, orders are indeed flooding in despite the lack of coverage which is excellent news! :)

ceejay
2005-09-18, 23:54
As an aside, I tend to read the more computer/gadget-oriented magazines each month, and I have no idea of the sort of coverage given to Squeezebox and the competition in more HiFi-oriented publications, anyone got any idea?



October "What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision", product listings, "Music Server Clients category", lists:

Apple Airport (£89, stars 5)
Netgear MP101 (100, 3)
Opus Tech Opus System (5740, 5)
Roku Soundbridge M1000 (180, 5)
Sonneteer Bard USB (240, 5)

I should point out that this particular magazine is notoriously arbitrary in its listings, but even so...

Ceejay

Aylwin
2005-09-19, 00:37
I don't read magazines much but I check online sources a lot. I used to check cnet and zdnet for reviews on the latest computer stuff. They've been fairly up-to-date on all sorts of gadgets, peripherals and things. But they have no review of the Squeezebox2. There's only the Squeezebox reviewed in April 2004.

When compared to "most popular Digital Media Receivers": http://reviews.cnet.com/4540-6739_7-30600812-4.html?tag=tab

On the otherhand, when the Soundbridge is compared to others the Squeezebox doesn't even show up: http://reviews.cnet.com/4540-6739_7-30794476-4.html?tag=tab

Incidentally, if you search for "Roku" or "Soundbridge" on cnet or zdnet the Squeezebox shows up as a "sponsored match".

At PC World, I can't find the Squeezebox (but the competitors are there): http://www.pcworld.com/

At PC Mag, the Squeezebox is there somewhere but it's not one of their top rated products: http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,924250,00.asp

In my opinion, these are the places Average Joe will go to get help in making purchasing decisions. So this is all just for awareness in case someone wants to try and improve the situation. I think it would be nice if the Squeezebox had better visibility.

radish
2005-09-19, 06:59
Now this is a nice product. Well, it would be if it had a SlimDevices logo on the front...

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000243059438/

conger
2005-09-19, 07:29
This product is pretty neat too. http://www.rokulabs.com/products/soundbridge/SoundbridgeRadio/index.php

Isn't technology getting really good these days.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-19, 07:29
>>> radish.1vlzy0 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/19/05 9:59 AM >>>
>
> Now this is a nice product. Well, it would be if it had a
> SlimDevices logo on the front...
>
> http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000243059438/

That is EASILY the second ugliest product I've ever seen, only
topped by that other dorku product of theirs. Are they focused
on making dumb looking products? They must employ an
anti-design team...

Paul

Craig, James (IT)
2005-09-19, 07:31
I thought it looked really nice until I saw the HUGE speaker hiding
behind it!
I think the display is probably too small as well.

James
--------------------------------------------------------

NOTICE: If received in error, please destroy and notify sender. Sender does not waive confidentiality or privilege, and use is prohibited.

ultra238a
2005-09-19, 07:34
Hi,

Ok lets put things in to perspective sales wise when comparing SB2 to Roku.

We all know that the SB2 is functionally better and sounds much much better than the Roku but the Roku is cheaper are arguably better looking for retail.

I have just spoken to one our more major retailers who sells both the SB2 and the Roku M1000 and so far this month they have had their best month ever on the Roku at a massive 20x units, previous months have see huge sales figures of 17x units and 12x units respectively. In comparison the SB2 has sold nearly 5x the amount Roku has sold this month and is looking like it will be 7x or 8x as much this month.

What does this tell you? Well:

1. The SB2 is a better product and customer know it.
2. It doesn't matter that the SB2 is more expensive and not quite as nice looking.
3. We are selling more SB2 in the UK than Roku are selling M1000 regardless of all of their great reviews and PR that they get.

Oh and by the way, I think that new Roku Radio looks minging - discuss......

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

radish
2005-09-19, 08:03
>>> radish.1vlzy0 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/19/05 9:59 AM >>>
>
> Now this is a nice product. Well, it would be if it had a
> SlimDevices logo on the front...
>
> http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000243059438/

That is EASILY the second ugliest product I've ever seen, only
topped by that other dorku product of theirs. Are they focused
on making dumb looking products? They must employ an
anti-design team...

Paul

Well it doesn't look much worse than (say) a Bose Waveradio, and plenty of people have those by their beds. Anyway, I wasn't really coming at it from an asthetic POV (I think it looks rather bland) but from a functionality POV. The speakers are built in, it has a radio, and there are real buttons on the device itself. It's perfect for bedroom use. This would do a great job of replacing the SBG & computer speakers setup I have in the bedroom. If it weren't a Roku I'd buy it in an instant.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-19, 08:14
>>> radish.1vm2yb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/19/05 11:03 AM >>>
PAUL WILLIAMSON Wrote:
> >>> radish.1vlzy0 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/19/05
9:59
> Well it doesn't look much worse than (say) a Bose Waveradio,
> and plenty of people have those by their beds. Anyway, I wasn't
> really coming at it from an asthetic POV (I think it looks rather
bland)
> but from a functionality POV. The speakers are built in, it has a
radio,
> and there are real buttons on the device itself. It's perfect for
bedroom
> use. This would do a great job of replacing the SBG & computer
> speakers setup I have in the bedroom. If it weren't a Roku I'd buy it

> in an instant.

Fair enough. Although if I had a way of doing the following:

1. IR blaster to turn my TV on using the alarm plug-in and
switch to the video2 input on my TV
2. Play local radio instead of a playlist or internet radio
upon firing up.

I would buy a squeezebox to do the same thing, but better.
No need for snooze (for me), I've never sen the point. I
set my alarm to wake me at a specific time to wake up, not
to delay the inevitable for another 9 minutes.

My wife would never let me put a wave radio in the bedroom.
They are really ugly and take up too much space on an end table.

Paul

--
radish

ultra238a
2005-09-19, 08:27
The problem with the Roku radio is that it looks like it has been made out of cheap plastic and doesn't have any quality about it - for $400 no thanks.

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Milhouse
2005-09-19, 12:29
The problem with the Roku radio is that it looks like it has been made out of cheap plastic and doesn't have any quality about it - for $400 no thanks.

Paul
Progressive Consumer Electronics Ltd

Give it the same "scuba" coating as a Squeezebox and even cheap plastic will look good.

I wonder how much a wireless SB2 would cost with semi-decent stereo and sub speakers? The aesthetics of the SoundBrige Radio don't appeal to me, but the concept certainly does.

My only question about the SoundBridge: does it support a custom alarm track, and where can I get a sample of Quasimodo shouting "Esmeralda, Esmeralda"? That hump is damned unattractive.... but stuck in a corner it might not be so bad!

Milhouse
2005-09-19, 12:34
Hi,
I have just spoken to one our more major retailers who sells both the SB2 and the Roku M1000 and so far this month they have had their best month ever on the Roku at a massive 20x units, previous months have see huge sales figures of 17x units and 12x units respectively. In comparison the SB2 has sold nearly 5x the amount Roku has sold this month and is looking like it will be 7x or 8x as much this month.


Paul - that's good to know, clearly these consumers must be finding out about the Squeezebox through word-of-mouth or via the web because there is precious little coverage of Squeezebox in gadget/computer/hifi mags, many of which would be ideal publications for targetted marketing.

Think how many more units could be shifted by raising the profile of Squeezebox!

David Miller
2005-09-19, 13:27
Neal Gabbons wrote a comprehensive review of Squeezebox 1 (version 2)
and Slimserver in the May edition of HiFi World. He was enthusiastic
about the sound and even suggested numerous tweaks to the squeezebox
that included replacing the power supply and some internal components
with upgraded electronics! The comparison was with an esoteric Naim CD5
and Flatcap 2 power supply costing many times the price! All in all,
the review was very positive with Mr Gabbons extolling the virtues of
the Exact Audio Copy codec (http://www.exactaudiocopy.de) he used and
declaring that after tweaking, his Squeezebox sounded almost as good as
his Naim! There was no comparison with any competing WiFi device in the
review and being a committed audiophile, he made no attempt to compare
any other lossy codecs alongside lossless EAC. So at least the niche
HiFi press is taking the Squeezebox seriously!

David Miller

sheridan
2005-11-13, 08:21
I've set up several PC music devices for friends, but not the Squeezebox because it won't allow streaming audio from Napster.
It's such a shame, because Squezebox is better than any of its rivals.
PLEASE implement streaming from Napster.

Michaelwagner
2005-11-13, 10:34
A simple thing might be to watch out for reviews of products similar to SB2 that don't mention the SB2 and email the mag/website asking why they don't cover the SB2
Too late, though. Gotta find a way to insert ourselves earlier in the cycle. Like look in magazine's theme schedules for the coming months and get their attention then.

DougP
2005-11-13, 12:20
Guys - This marketing coverage issue is pretty simple is it not? Vendors that pay (yes, P - A - Y) advertising money within mags, specialist or not, will get more visible and favourable coverage. I know Slimdevices are a technology driven company etc, but standard business practices must also be used.

Slim and their distributors have a choice therefore - play (pay) the game or go the way of Betamax et al...remember the best technology does not always win. (Windows, anyone??).
Doug

dwc
2005-11-13, 16:40
Does Sean have a full-time focused PR guy?
-Dan