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audiofi
2005-09-14, 08:08
After a quiet morning (and afternoon) and reading threads about people putting the squeezebox into a different case, I thought I would have a go at drawing what I would see as my ideal squeezebox design so that is it retains the small dimensions, but looks more hifi-ish.

I have no idea whether this would even be possible, but thought I would post it anyway in case it gives anyone any ideas.

Sorry about the 3d drawing, not my strong point!!

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox.gif
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox3d.gif

Actually, I think green buttons look better:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox3dgreen.gif
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxgreen.gif

Pictures are quite big, I tried to keep it to scale.

Andrew

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-14, 08:20
>>> audiofi.1vctun (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/14/05 11:08 AM >>>
> Sorry about the 3d drawing, not my strong point!!
>
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox.gif
>http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox3d.gif
>
> Pictures are quite big, I tried to keep it to scale.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but those drawings
look about as far from hifi gear as any I'ver ever seen.

They look like a modified shuttle case, which, IMO,
are kind of techno-geeky looking, but far from hifi.

The drawings themselves are pretty good, but anything
that isn't a 19" wide form factor (to me) isn't hifi
gear - it's something else. I'm not ure what, just not
audio.

With a few more buttons, this is what I'd like to see...

http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/plugins/BigHam/front-small.jpg

but maybe in black. I can't wait for the platinum/silver
fad to die down.


Paul

audiofi
2005-09-14, 08:31
I was thinking along the lines of the Musical Fidelity range like this:
http://www.pult.ru/upload/images/29138.jpg

Also, it would capture the users of micro systems like the Denon, Onkyo etc. which would hopefully make it a little more mainstream.

From the posts I have read, it seems people like the idea of it being small, but would prefer less of an alarm clock look.

If I get a chance, I'll try and alter it to a full width seperates one, moving the buttons next to the screen etc.

Andrew

pfarrell
2005-09-14, 08:39
On Wed, 2005-09-14 at 11:20 -0400, PAUL WILLIAMSON wrote:
> The drawings themselves are pretty good, but anything
> that isn't a 19" wide form factor (to me) isn't hifi
> gear - it's something else. I'm not sure what, just not
> audio.

Most serious audio gear is on a 17" form factor.
Some, like Meridian, is much narrower.
Some of the 17" stuff has options for bolt on rack ears,
which are of course setup for 19" racks.

Real professional studio gear is always rack mounted, but
most of that stuff is mono.

> With a few more buttons, this is what I'd like to see...

Knobs, real hi-fi has knobs.
Computers have buttons.
Tubes (or as the Brits say, values) make it better still.

> but maybe in black. I can't wait for the platinum/silver
> fad to die down.

I love platinum/silver and hate black. YMMV.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com

m1abrams
2005-09-14, 08:56
Well since we are saying what our dream box is.

I like Black. I like my equipment to hide into the background, not be the center stage. Its the music that should be noticed not the gear ;) But that is just my opinion.

audiofi
2005-09-14, 09:08
Black:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezebox3dblack.gif

kdf
2005-09-14, 09:55
I'd go for pale blue and orange, with blinking acrylic knobs. Very 23rd century
:)

m1abrams
2005-09-14, 10:02
I'd go for pale blue and orange, with blinking acrylic knobs. Very 23rd century
:)
Thank goodness your title say "NOT a Slim Devices Employee" ;)

Patrick Dixon
2005-09-14, 10:04
Sounds great, can we see the drawing please Kevin.

kdf
2005-09-14, 10:18
Quoting m1abrams <m1abrams.1vcz6c (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> kdf Wrote:
> > I'd go for pale blue and orange, with blinking acrylic knobs. Very 23rd
> > century
> > :)
> Thank goodness your title say "NOT a Slim Devices Employee" ;)

yes, its much more accurate than the former "moderator" :)

on the serious side, I'd have to say I'm in the black camp. motorised knobs for
a few features and a nice remote. I would have to admit a bit of a nostaligic
feel for an old space-heater tube amp. I still remember the errie orange glow
from my grandfathers home-built kit.

-k

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-14, 10:34
>>> pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com 09/14/05 11:39 AM >>>
> > On Wed, 2005-09-14 at 11:20 -0400, PAUL WILLIAMSON wrote:
> > The drawings themselves are pretty good, but anything
> > that isn't a 19" wide form factor (to me) isn't hifi
> > gear - it's something else. I'm not sure what, just not
> > audio.
>
> Most serious audio gear is on a 17" form factor.
> Some, like Meridian, is much narrower.
> Some of the 17" stuff has options for bolt on rack ears,
> which are of course setup for 19" racks.

True. I tend to forget that. I look at my rack and think
19" because the rack is that wide.

> Real professional studio gear is always rack mounted,
> but most of that stuff is mono.

Good point again... ;-)

> > With a few more buttons, this is what I'd like to see...
>
> Knobs, real hi-fi has knobs.

Well, knobs and buttons. I have yet to own an amp
that has anything but a huge knob for volume...none
of those silly little up/down buttons...

But my tuner (almost replaced by the sb) has buttons
for all my presets...

> Computers have buttons.

True.

> Tubes (or as the Brits say, values) make it better still.

Tubes make everything sound warmer. My dad has
a tube amp and I swear there is a difference in
sound. Not that I believe it, but that's what he says ;-)

> > but maybe in black. I can't wait for the platinum/silver
> > fad to die down.
>
> I love platinum/silver and hate black. YMMV.

Just goes to show you that not everyone has the same
opinion. Now where was that all gold Marantz amp I
have in my attic?? I'm sure at one time I thought you
were crazy if you didn't go all gold.

I don't like that the platinum says "Look at me!" instead
of just blending in. I find that to be too distracting, even
behind some smoked glass... But, like you said Pat, YMMV.

Paul

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-14, 10:44
>>> slim-mail (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com 09/14/05 12:55 PM >>>
> I'd go for pale blue and orange, with blinking acrylic knobs.
> Very 23rd century :)

More like Edmonton Oiler-ish or NY Islander-ish...

A little under a month to hockey season...game on!

Paul

audiofi
2005-09-14, 14:33
For those who wanted full width hifi size:

Silver: http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif

Black: http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-14, 18:25
>>> audiofi.1vdbob (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/14/05 5:33 PM >>>
>
> For those who wanted full width hifi size:
>
> Silver: http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
>
> Black: http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif


Not bad, but it doesn't appear that the scale is quite right...is that

really about 17.125" wide?

Paul

audiofi
2005-09-15, 03:54
Yep, you're right, they were too small, I resized them to the same width as my Rotel amp:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif

Screen remains the same size as the current squeezebox.

Robin Bowes
2005-09-15, 04:02
audiofi wrote:
> Yep, you're right, they were too small, I resized them to the same width
> as my Rotel amp:
>
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif
>
> Screen remains the same size as the current squeezebox.

The control buttons are horrible.

The control pad should be circular (think iPod).

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

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

Dave D
2005-09-15, 04:47
Yep, you're right, they were too small, I resized them to the same width as my Rotel amp:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif

Screen remains the same size as the current squeezebox.

Thoughts:

-- black camp :) but see if the pics can show a matte-black finish vs. jet gloss black.

-- move the screen to the left (the design is not symmetrical and putting the screen in the center makes it feel lopsided.)

-- power button lower left corner. Rectangular, tactile feel/soft touch, momentary.

-- headphone jack to the right of the power button.

-- replace the control pad with:
-- large, weighted, volume/selection knob on the far right.
-- three buttons to the left of the volume knob:
-- Left button (momentary up/down rocker): Mode select. Depending on menu arrangement/options/modes, might be able to get rid of this button.
-- Middle button (momentary): Item select
-- Right button (momentary left/right rocker): menu left/right. In place of left-right rocker for menu left-right, could use digital potentiometer (smaller knob) with detents for each selection.
-- volume knob controls menu up/down when in any mode but volume. Spinning the weighted volume knob will have affect of fast scrolling.
-- volume mode is entered automatically (timer expires) or by selection (press/hold select button). (Remote has it's own modes, buttons, etc.)
-- buttons have tactile feel: rubber-click.
-- buttons and knobs are backlit. Option to dim/turn off control backlights after timer expires. Backlights turn on as necessary, i.e. whenever a button is pressed or knob is turned.
-- No mechanical limits on knobs. Volume knob must spin. Digital pot (left/right menu select) should be turnable any direction at any time.

Thoughts?

Steven Moore
2005-09-15, 04:57
What about putting the buttons on the top? This would only work if
the sb is the top piece of equipment but it would give it a cleaner
front.

Steven Moore
On 15 Sep 2005, at 12:47PM, Dave D wrote:

>
> audiofi Wrote:
>
>> Yep, you're right, they were too small, I resized them to the same
>> width
>> as my Rotel amp:
>>
>> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
>> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif
>>
>> Screen remains the same size as the current squeezebox.
>>
>
> Thoughts:
>
> -- black camp :) but see if the pics can show a matte-black finish vs.
> jet gloss black.
>
> -- move the screen to the left (the design is not symmetrical and
> putting the screen in the center makes it feel lopsided.)
>
> -- power button lower left corner. Rectangular, tactile feel/soft
> touch, momentary.
>
> -- headphone jack to the right of the power button.
>
> -- replace the control pad with:
> -- large, weighted, volume/selection knob on the far right.
> -- three buttons to the left of the volume knob:
> -- Left button (momentary up/down rocker): Mode select.
> Depending on menu arrangement/options/modes, might be able to get rid
> of this button.
> -- Middle button (momentary): Item select
> -- Right button (momentary left/right rocker): menu left/right.
> In place of left-right rocker for menu left-right, could use digital
> potentiometer (smaller knob) with detents for each selection.
> -- volume knob controls menu up/down when in any mode but volume.
> Spinning the weighted volume knob will have affect of fast scrolling.
> -- volume mode is entered automatically (timer expires) or by
> selection (press/hold select button). (Remote has it's own modes,
> buttons, etc.)
> -- buttons have tactile feel: rubber-click.
> -- buttons and knobs are backlit. Option to dim/turn off control
> backlights after timer expires. Backlights turn on as necessary, i.e.
> whenever a button is pressed or knob is turned.
> -- No mechanical limits on knobs. Volume knob must spin. Digital
> pot (left/right menu select) should be turnable any direction at any
> time.
>
> Thoughts?
>
>
> --
> Dave D
>

audiofi
2005-09-15, 05:05
I'm just working on Dave's suggestions, then I'll try dropping the controls onto the top.

Andrew

audiofi
2005-09-15, 06:08
One for Robin:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxwheel.gif

and for Dave:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxwidenew.gif

The green button part is meant to be the backlight, the knob didn't come out very well I'm afraid, I'm still a photoshop beginner.

And controls on the top:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtop.gif

Andrew

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 06:33
For a "clean" look, I'd rather see a fold down door of sorts.
Now what would be really cool (getting out of hand here...)
is the fold down door could house a bluetooth mini keyboard
for total control of the squeezebox.

Forgoing that idea, what about a fold down door with the look and
feel of the remote (a la softsqueeze "wide" remote). Buttons
on top wouldn't work for me because all my gear is in a 19" rack
screwed in place.

Paul

>>> steven (AT) mooreni (DOT) freeserve.co.uk 09/15/05 7:57 AM >>>
What about putting the buttons on the top? This would only work if
the sb is the top piece of equipment but it would give it a cleaner
front.

Steven Moore
On 15 Sep 2005, at 12:47PM, Dave D wrote:

>
> audiofi Wrote:
>
>> Yep, you're right, they were too small, I resized them to the same

>> width
>> as my Rotel amp:
>>
>> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidth.gif
>> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxfullwidthblack.gif
>>
>> Screen remains the same size as the current squeezebox.
>>
>
> Thoughts:
>
> -- black camp :) but see if the pics can show a matte-black finish
vs.
> jet gloss black.
>
> -- move the screen to the left (the design is not symmetrical and
> putting the screen in the center makes it feel lopsided.)
>
> -- power button lower left corner. Rectangular, tactile feel/soft
> touch, momentary.
>
> -- headphone jack to the right of the power button.
>
> -- replace the control pad with:
> -- large, weighted, volume/selection knob on the far right.
> -- three buttons to the left of the volume knob:
> -- Left button (momentary up/down rocker): Mode select.
> Depending on menu arrangement/options/modes, might be able to get
rid
> of this button.
> -- Middle button (momentary): Item select
> -- Right button (momentary left/right rocker): menu left/right.
> In place of left-right rocker for menu left-right, could use digital
> potentiometer (smaller knob) with detents for each selection.
> -- volume knob controls menu up/down when in any mode but volume.
> Spinning the weighted volume knob will have affect of fast
scrolling.
> -- volume mode is entered automatically (timer expires) or by
> selection (press/hold select button). (Remote has it's own modes,
> buttons, etc.)
> -- buttons have tactile feel: rubber-click.
> -- buttons and knobs are backlit. Option to dim/turn off control
> backlights after timer expires. Backlights turn on as necessary,
i.e.
> whenever a button is pressed or knob is turned.
> -- No mechanical limits on knobs. Volume knob must spin. Digital
> pot (left/right menu select) should be turnable any direction at any
> time.
>
> Thoughts?
>
>
> --
> Dave D
>

Dave D
2005-09-15, 07:46
and for Dave:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxwidenew.gif



Hey, that's not too bad, Andrew, and quick, too. Gee, I only posted it this morning! There can be tweaks, of course, since this is our own imaginary design and we do what we want to:

-- screen is a bit too far left--about 1/2 inch.
-- buttons are a bit too prominent, relative to knob. Need to diminish them somewhat (reduce size 30%), and I think they would look more high-end if rectangular with flat surface, vs. rounded surface. The option for the left-right button to be a small knob with detents (I called it a digital pot, but it's really a digital rotary switch) is cool, but I think would detract from the high-end feel.
-- knob is black, too. We should pick black or platinum and stick with that and try not to appease both worlds with one design (that would be "cheap":)
-- knob should have backlight option as well.
-- the more I think about it, Mode select button is redundant. There's no reason all modes could not be incorporated in the menu system using left/right button, Volume knob controlling up/down, and a select button.
-- the idea here is one-hand control: thumb can control left/right menu and select buttons while the fingers spin the knob. Left-handers will get used to it.
-- Slim Devices will need another color scheme for their logo. No way we put the color red on this box. Lots of companies have multiple color schemes for their various products. Logo can't have front/center status, either. Upper left or bottom right, but I prefer bottom right to not detract from the display and the left edge has enough attention with the power button and the headphone jack.
-- headphone jack is a tad intrusive, I think. Maybe be better on left side of power button? Maybe above the power button? Moving the display to the right a little bit will help. I think the headphone jack needs to be black anodized.
-- Now for the minimalists: We can spend more money on mechanicals (probably at least 2-3x, b/c of custom design) to get a soft-touch, swivel-down control panel. This display could remain in the down position while still looking good and not posing any risk to being broken off like a door would. Imagine a press-and-release mechanism on a flat front panel. A 3-inch section of the panel swivels softly almost 180 degrees, to reveal the extra buttons for control. The panel is pushed back in place by pushing up on the bottom of the panel, swiveling it back up and clicking it into place again. The volume knob would always be visible. If we used this type of swivel-down display, the "knob" option for the left/right menu control would probably get bumped.

CardinalFang
2005-09-15, 09:06
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80817171@N00/41384712/

This might help visialise the dimensions better. It's my modded SB2 in a 2U high case (for a hefty linear supply and other mods that I plan to do). As you can see, there's a lot of metal.

I'd like two knobs on mine, with press to select, so that they work like the iPod interface.

audiofi
2005-09-15, 09:34
Hey, that's not too bad, Andrew, and quick, too. Gee, I only posted it this morning! There can be tweaks, of course, since this is our own imaginary design and we do what we want to:

-- screen is a bit too far left--about 1/2 inch.
-- buttons are a bit too prominent, relative to knob. Need to diminish them somewhat (reduce size 30%), and I think they would look more high-end if rectangular with flat surface, vs. rounded surface. The option for the left-right button to be a small knob with detents (I called it a digital pot, but it's really a digital rotary switch) is cool, but I think would detract from the high-end feel.
-- knob is black, too. We should pick black or platinum and stick with that and try not to appease both worlds with one design (that would be "cheap":)
-- knob should have backlight option as well.
-- the more I think about it, Mode select button is redundant. There's no reason all modes could not be incorporated in the menu system using left/right button, Volume knob controlling up/down, and a select button.
-- the idea here is one-hand control: thumb can control left/right menu and select buttons while the fingers spin the knob. Left-handers will get used to it.
-- Slim Devices will need another color scheme for their logo. No way we put the color red on this box. Lots of companies have multiple color schemes for their various products. Logo can't have front/center status, either. Upper left or bottom right, but I prefer bottom right to not detract from the display and the left edge has enough attention with the power button and the headphone jack.
-- headphone jack is a tad intrusive, I think. Maybe be better on left side of power button? Maybe above the power button? Moving the display to the right a little bit will help. I think the headphone jack needs to be black anodized.
-- Now for the minimalists: We can spend more money on mechanicals (probably at least 2-3x, b/c of custom design) to get a soft-touch, swivel-down control panel. This display could remain in the down position while still looking good and not posing any risk to being broken off like a door would. Imagine a press-and-release mechanism on a flat front panel. A 3-inch section of the panel swivels softly almost 180 degrees, to reveal the extra buttons for control. The panel is pushed back in place by pushing up on the bottom of the panel, swiveling it back up and clicking it into place again. The volume knob would always be visible. If we used this type of swivel-down display, the "knob" option for the left/right menu control would probably get bumped.


I think this has covered what you wanted:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew.gif

This is to scale, should be the same width as my Rotel amp and the screen is the same size as the current one, so the height should also be ok for size.

Dave D
2005-09-15, 09:53
I think this has covered what you wanted:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew.gif

This is to scale, should be the same width as my Rotel amp and the screen is the same size as the current one, so the height should also be ok for size.

Yes, that's much closer to what I was envisioning!

-- Now it looks like the power button could be left edge, above the headphone jack.

-- You changed the button order though, and we can get rid of one. I really think all you need are these:
-- left-most button is select
-- to the right of that is the left/right button.
-- to the right of that is the volume/up/down knob.

This is very close, though. No need to re-draw it unless other suggestions come in; this gets the point across.

There will be many opinions on how it should look. I think the same design would look also great in platinum. It has a professional feel with a minimum set of controls to be able to fit into the realm of high-end audio (at least from the pictures I've seen, since I don't own any true high-end stuff.) [Just my opinion, folks.]

Anyway, thank you again for the drawings, Andrew. Who knows what the Slim Devices team is working on for future products, but drawings like these go a long way to illustrate what customers might be looking for. Plus, the mod houses have something else to work toward.

audiofi
2005-09-15, 10:00
No problem at all, I'm enjoying drawing them and as you say, it would be good to get some ideas together.

Here are those couple of changes (only took 2 mins to do):
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew2.gif

Open to any other suggestions from others.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 10:21
>>> audiofi.1vetlz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 1:00 PM >>>
>
> No problem at all, I'm enjoying drawing them and as you say, it
> would be good to get some ideas together.
>
> Here are those couple of changes (only took 2 mins to do):
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew2.gif
>
> Open to any other suggestions from others.

This is almost what I was thinking too. A few questions/comments...

The power button and headphone jack look odd. I don't know
why, I just think they do. Maybe put one or the other on the
top left?

How would you differentiate that you wanted to go left/right
rather than turn the volume up? Would a push cycle through
the choices?

I'd rather see left/right in the buttons instead of up down.
Put the up/down on the knob. When I want to fly through
1,500 artists, it would be much easier to spin the knob than
to press the button about 750 times. Then again, a little
flip down door in between the buttons and the display with
a tiny keyboard (or 0-9 like the remote) to get to the general
area of a list fairly quick would be trick.

If you exchange the buttons, rearrange them so that they are
side by side rather than over/under. It would look better (IMHO)
if all the buttons were on the same horizontal "plane."

Now on to the back of the unit!

Nice job, Mr. Photoshop! Now you need to work on your
textures so this thing looks like a photograph rather than
a drawing...

Paul

audiofi
2005-09-15, 11:05
With Paul's changes

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew3.gif

I'll look into the textures tonight and tomorrow and see if I can work out how to make it more of a matt metalic look rather than the current perspex.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 11:45
>>> audiofi.1vewun (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 2:05 PM >>>
>
> With Paul's changes
>
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxnew3.gif
>
> I'll look into the textures tonight and tomorrow and see if I can
> work out how to make it more of a matt metalic look rather than
> the current perspex.

So, now the question is...how difficult would this be to
actually implement? For no additional improvement in
sound quality, what is something like this worth?
US $349? $399?

One technical note, if the volume is set to be fixed, there
should be a way to make the volume functionality of the
knob be replaced (maybe through some sort of plug-in)
with something else - maybe the right/left functions.
Pushing the knob would still cycle through the functions.
Heck, it would be cool to assign any number of options
to the knob. LOL - one knob access to all functions. One
of the functions could even be a sort of alphabetic chooser.

Paul

pfarrell
2005-09-15, 11:55
On Thu, 2005-09-15 at 14:45 -0400, PAUL WILLIAMSON wrote:
> what is something like this worth?
> US $349? $399?
>
> One technical note, if the volume is set to be fixed, there
> should be a way to make the volume functionality of the
> knob be replaced (maybe through some sort of plug-in)
> with something else -

Audiophiles would want something like this:
http://www.transcendentsound.com/step%20attenuator.htm
but the part costs $120 so things are starting to
get pricey.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

audiofi
2005-09-15, 13:39
and....texture:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

Dave D
2005-09-15, 15:29
and....texture:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

Oh, beautiful!

I have a couple more suggestions and will reply to some of Paul's suggstions a bit later. Just got home from work and have to run out again.

JJZolx
2005-09-15, 16:12
and....texture:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif
:-) Now my 2 cents...

Power button and headphone jack are too close to edges of the bezel.
Move the power button down to about middle height on bezel.
Headphone jack should have a text and/or icon label.
Display should be centered vertically in the bezel.
Display is too far to the left.
After moving power button down, and display to right, place 'SQUEEZEbox2' logo in upper left hand corner.
Slim Devices logo should have orange colored bars.
There should be a choice of bezel colors - black or silver, but the body can be painted black (textured) for both rather than being a brushed texture.
I assume the wheel is for scrolling up and down through large lists. I think you also have to have a volume knob, especially for headphone listening. Same size as wheel. Both centered vertically on bezel.
The 'dot' on the wheel should be a larger, concave depression (not colored) so that you can easily roll it with a figertip. Volume knob should have a small 'Volume' text label over top. It should have no 'dot', since the volume control will be digital.
Move left/right/plus buttons to the right of the wheel, so that thumb can roll wheel and left/right buttons could be operated by fingers. I'm assuming right-handed operation, as this would be easiest with the display to the left.
Order of knobs, wheels and buttons to the right of display: volume, thumbwheel, then buttons.


I'm not a fan of the minamalist approach. You'd almost need a remote in your hand to make this panel convenient. I'd suggest a minimal set of essential buttons. In addition to the '+' (Add) button I think the light blue buttons from the remote, 'Play', 'Pause', 'Fwd', and 'Rwd' are necessary. It should be comparable to the controls on the typical CD player, plus the navigation controls. No 'Eject' button necessary. :-)

audiofi
2005-09-15, 17:02
With all of those suggestions (keep them coming!)

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured2.gif

Any more changes I'll do tomorrow morning (its 1am over here)

Andrew

radish
2005-09-15, 17:11
Audiophiles would want something like this:
http://www.transcendentsound.com/step%20attenuator.htm
but the part costs $120 so things are starting to
get pricey.
From what I can tell that is an actual volume control, i.e. it talks about attenuation. In this case the actual attenuation is happening digitally, in the SB, so the wheel itself just needs to be an encoder.

pfarrell
2005-09-15, 17:30
On Thu, 2005-09-15 at 17:11 -0700, radish wrote:
> pfarrell Wrote:
> >
> > Audiophiles would want something like this:
> > http://www.transcendentsound.com/step%20attenuator.htm
> > but the part costs $120 so things are starting to
> > get pricey.

> >From what I can tell that is an actual volume control, i.e. it talks
> about attenuation. In this case the actual attenuation is happening
> digitally, in the SB, so the wheel itself just needs to be an encoder.

Of course, one of the other buttons toggles whether the SB uses
digital wide open to the actual volume control or
if it uses the digital volume in the SB itself.
For $120 I want both.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 17:51
It still *looks* like it was drawn...

>>> audiofi.1vf3sn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 4:39 PM >>>

and....texture:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif


--
audiofi

Dave D
2005-09-15, 18:04
Very good ideas, Jim, and great job again in the illustration, Andrew.

I wanted to respond to Paul first, then to Jim.


The power button and headphone jack look odd. I don't know why, I just think they do. Maybe put one or the other on the top left?

I agree they looked wrong. I think Jim & Andrew fixed this, but the power button aspect is still a bit long. I would make it a bit more square, then flip it vertically.


How would you differentiate that you wanted to go left/right rather than turn the volume up? Would a push cycle through the choices? I'd rather see left/right in the buttons instead of up down. Put the up/down on the knob.

Oops, we goofed there and I didn't notice! That is exactly what I was describing earlier, I thought, but maybe I transposed it. The volume knob is also an up/down control. That up/down toggle button needs to be changed to a right/left control.

I envisioned the volume operation this way: Volume knob is always "volume" unless you are working in the menu. You tell the device to enter "menu mode" by pressing the Select button. All other modes of operation can then be selected with the Volume knob (to select up/down) and the right/left toggle button. You are right on target with the fast scrolling. The weighted knob would be a digital rotary switch, with no mechanical stops. You could use this to zip through hundreds of songs quickly. I would implement velocity sensing as well: Turn the knob slowly and the scrolls are much slower. Turn the knob faster and they are faster. Thus the amount you turn the knob does _not_ relate directly to how far you scroll. It depends on how fast you turn the knob. Give it a quick partial turn and scroll a lot. Or turn it slowly, many turns, and also scroll a lot. Make sense?

After selections in the menu are complete (use the Select button like we use the Play button now), press-and-hold the select button to revert back to "volume mode." Or, just wait for the timeout and the player would go back to volume mode by itself.


If you exchange the buttons, rearrange them so that they are side by side rather than over/under. It would look better (IMHO)if all the buttons were on the same horizontal "plane."

I might agree, especially with a right/left toggle. But I'd have to see it. However, the buttons in a horizonal orientation play better into the horizontal aspect of the whole unit.


Slim Devices logo should have orange colored bars.

Where on Earth did you come up with that? And it looks good...


There should be a choice of bezel colors - black or silver, but the body can be painted black (textured) for both rather than being a brushed texture.

Are you referring to a textured powder coat? That would look nice, too. I would have to compare other high-end equipment finishes.


I assume the wheel is for scrolling up and down through large lists. I think you also have to have a volume knob, especially for headphone listening. Same size as wheel. Both centered vertically on bezel.

Think I answered this one above. Does it make sense? ("Volume mode" is the default mode.) So two knobs are not necessary, I don't think.


The 'dot' on the wheel should be a larger, concave depression (not colored) so that you can easily roll it with a figertip.Volume knob should have a small 'Volume' text label over top. It should have no 'dot', since the volume control will be digital.

I agree. The finger depression is a good idea. The dot is superfluous. The volume knob would not move when the remote control was being used.


Move left/right/plus buttons to the right of the wheel, so that thumb can roll wheel and left/right buttons could be operated by fingers. I'm assuming right-handed operation, as this would be easiest with the display to the left.

Our first disagreement. The little buttons look like they're gonna fall off the edge of the unit. The volume knob was visually anchoring them. I'm thinking of using the thumb for select and right/left and the fingers (index finger?) for rotation of the knob.


I'm not a fan of the minamalist approach. You'd almost need a remote in your hand to make this panel convenient. I'd suggest a minimal set of essential buttons. In addition to the '+' (Add) button I think the light blue buttons from the remote, 'Play', 'Pause', 'Fwd', and 'Rwd' are necessary. It should be comparable to the controls on the typical CD player, plus the navigation controls.

I'm not a minimalist, either. I've seen lots of pics of "high-end" equipment and much of it looks bare-bones though. I would have no problem added a small set of essential buttons, but they have to be laid out right.

We have not discussed the color of the back-lighting. Blue LEDs are available all over the place, but they vary in color quite a bit, and we don't want to clash with the color of the VF display. Would white backlighting be a good compromise? We might have an issue with the platinum finish, though.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 18:14
Ugh, now it's ugly...

This one:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

Was almost perfect IMHO.

The knob was multifunction. No need to have two separate knobs.

No need to label the 1/4" jack. I'm pretty sure most users
would understand you can't plug an amp or guitar into it. ;-)

All those little buttons on the right make it look cluttered.

I liked the light in the knob. Indents on buttons and knobs
are important on a keyboard or a car radio, but since I can
keep my eye on a home stereo piece of equipment, I really
have no need for indents. A little light is more helpful.

This where it gets interesting. Some people like things
one way, some like it another. I tend to lean toward
minimalist, while it seems like some of the people
like lots of buttons. To each his own...

Then again, this is all folly. Nice diversion...

Paul

>>> audiofi.1vfdab (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 8:02 PM >>>

With all of those suggestions (keep them coming!)

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured2.gif

Any more changes I'll do tomorrow morning (its 1am over here)

Andrew


--
audiofi

Dave D
2005-09-15, 18:27
From what I can tell that is an actual volume control, i.e. it talks about attenuation. In this case the actual attenuation is happening digitally, in the SB, so the wheel itself just needs to be an encoder.

I think it does not even need to be an encoder. We just need to sense movement and calculate velocity. With just 1/0/1/0 digital switching happening as the dial is turned, we have a lot of latitude on implementation. It actually does not matter if our sample rate is a tad too slow for the fastest spinning dial; if we miss a bit here or there, it wouldn't even be noticable, or worst-case, we bottom out on velocity. I think we would be CPU limited at some point, anyway (scrolling fast enough.)

Dave D
2005-09-15, 18:38
This one:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

Was almost perfect IMHO.


I agree, but I like _some_ aspects of what Jim and Andrew came up with, specifically:

-- the display moved a bit more to the right and centered vertically. It is much more balanced now.

-- the power button moved down and away from the edge.

-- the headphone jack moved away from the corner a bit. "Phones" label is ok.

-- the logo at upper left. And, geez, orange accents, but it looks good! No red, though (sorry!).

-- the dot removed the Volume/selection knob. Finger detent is ok. I would get rid of the "Volume" label.

The power button and the other two buttons don't look the same, though. The power button has a different kind of shading, and the backlighting is less prominent. Overall I like the look of the power button better. I do think it's a bit too long and thin, though, and would consider a vertical orientation.

I like the raised display bezel, vs. flush. Also like the over shape vs. hard corners.

JJZolx
2005-09-15, 18:55
I agree they looked wrong. I think Jim & Andrew fixed this, but the power button aspect is still a bit long. I would make it a bit more square, then flip it vertically.
Rethinking the power button... Should it just be a "stop" button (usually denoted with a solid square icon) since I'm assuming it won't actually power off the unit. If so, then group it with play, pause, fwd, etc.


I envisioned the volume operation this way: Volume knob is always "volume" unless you are working in the menu. You tell the device to enter "menu mode" by pressing the Select button. All other modes of operation can then be selected with the Volume knob (to select up/down) and the right/left toggle button. You are right on target with the fast scrolling. The weighted knob would be a digital rotary switch, with no mechanical stops. You could use this to zip through hundreds of songs quickly. I would implement velocity sensing as well: Turn the knob slowly and the scrolls are much slower. Turn the knob faster and they are faster. Thus the amount you turn the knob does _not_ relate directly to how far you scroll. It depends on how fast you turn the knob. Give it a quick partial turn and scroll a lot. Or turn it slowly, many turns, and also scroll a lot. Make sense?

After selections in the menu are complete (use the Select button like we use the Play button now), press-and-hold the select button to revert back to "volume mode." Or, just wait for the timeout and the player would go back to volume mode by itself.
If you go with a single rotary knob to do both volume and up/down scrolling then there obviously needs to be a way to switch modes. I'd agree... normally the unit is in 'volume' mode, but pressing a button would switch to scroll/menu mode.

I prefer a separate volume knob. One of my peeves is not having a volume knob on digital gear that I can just grab and turn it down FAST. That's the problem with the mode thing - having to sometimes press a button before being able to control the volume.


> Slim Devices logo should have orange colored bars.

Where on Earth did you come up with that? And it looks good...
Umm... http://slimdevices.com. :-) Should be more red-orange, though.


> There should be a choice of bezel colors - black or silver,
> but the body can be painted black (textured) for both rather
> than being a brushed texture.

Are you referring to a textured powder coat? That would look nice, too. I would have to compare other high-end equipment finishes.
Exactly. I'm think this is more practical. Also quite common on even the priciest gear. Texture painted steel body cover with a brush finished aluminum faceplate.



>Move left/right/plus buttons to the right of the wheel, so that
>thumb can roll wheel and left/right buttons could be operated
>by fingers. I'm assuming right-handed operation, as this would
>be easiest with the display to the left.

Our first disagreement. The little buttons look like they're gonna fall off the edge of the unit. The volume knob was visually anchoring them. I'm thinking of using the thumb for select and right/left and the fingers (index finger?) for rotation of the knob.
I don't particularly like the placement of the Play, Pause, etc. buttons in the illustration either.

A better idea might be to move the display higher and place a row of these buttons (with labels) below the display window. I'd even add a couple - Brightness, Size, Shuffle, Repeat, and maybe Now Playing. These could small round buttons - figure 8 or 10 will fit comfortably beneath the display.

See: http://www.arcam.co.uk/images/fmj_C31_large.jpg

The front faceplate will likely need to be taller. I think something along the lines of 3.25" to 3.75" would be ideal. The current size in the drawings looks a bit slim to me.


We have not discussed the color of the back-lighting. Blue LEDs are available all over the place, but they vary in color quite a bit, and we don't want to clash with the color of the VF display. Would white backlighting be a good compromise? We might have an issue with the platinum finish, though.
IMO, backlighting isn't particularly necessary, but I'm Ok with it. Are we talking about all buttons or just around the knobs? I'm not sure what the illustration attempts to show - it appears that the edges of the knobs are lit up, which I've not seen. It should be area around the base of the knobs where they meet the faceplate, ala Rotel and others.

Dave D
2005-09-15, 19:40
Jim, the volume knob acts as a volume knob by default. If you press "Select", you'll go into "Menu Mode." The the volume knob acts like an up/down menu control. If you press-hold "Select" you'll go back to "Volume Mode." If you do nothing, it will go back to "Volume mode" automatically after a timeout. SO the knob which looks like it controls volume will do just that, almost all of the time.

Ha! The Slim Devices logo is _orange_?! The logo on the top of this forum screen looks _red_ to me. Well what do I know? ;) I don't like the logo in red on the front of this box. Don't exactly know why. Maybe with very thin red accents. I think the yellow-orange is ok--less distracting maybe. This is a minor point. If SD builds it, it'll be what they want it to be.


A better idea might be to move the display higher and place a row of these buttons (with labels) below the display window. I'd even add a couple - Brightness, Size, Shuffle, Repeat, and maybe Now Playing. These could small round buttons - figure 8 or 10 will fit comfortably beneath the display.

See: http://www.arcam.co.uk/images/fmj_C31_large.jpg

The front faceplate will likely need to be taller. I think something along the lines of 3.25" to 3.75" would be ideal. The current size in the drawings looks a bit slim to me.

Ok, I see what you mean on the Arcam box. Wouldn't like it to take more vertical space, though. I would be up for a _few_ more buttons, but I also like the backlighting of the functional icons on the buttons. The Arcam labels are not back-lit. The Arcam box has so many buttons, they had to come up with a way to display them all. We have far fewer. Moving the display off vertical center to accomodate buttons seems like a big detraction. Our VF display is larger, more prominent, and much nicer looking than the Arcam display. It's the most noticable aspect of the whole box and needs to be placed carefully so that other features do not detract from it.

Re: backlighting in general: On a black box, inside a dark entertainment center in a dimly-lit room, I think the backlighting of the buttons is necessary. With only two buttons (select and left-right toggle), they would not need back-lit icons; perhaps only back-lit outlining, like the volume knob.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-15, 20:19
>>> Dave.D.1vfkp0 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 10:40 PM >>>
>
> Jim, the volume knob acts as a volume knob by default. If
> you press "Select", you'll go into "Menu Mode." The the
> volume knob acts like an up/down menu control. If you
> press-hold "Select" you'll go back to "Volume Mode." If
> you do nothing, it will go back to "Volume mode" automatically
> after a timeout. SO the knob which looks like it controls
> volume will do just that, almost all of the time.

I'd like this do be controlled by software. I have really
no need for a volume knob on this unit, because it
will be connected via optical and the volume will be fixed.
If this form factor is built, I'd probably pick one up for
the bedroom, but still wouldn't use the volume knob.
Maybe I'd put one out in my garage and use the
volume knob... ;-)

> > Jim Wrote:
> > A better idea might be to move the display higher and
> > place a row of these buttons (with labels) below the
> > display window. I'd even add a couple - Brightness, Size,
> > Shuffle, Repeat, and maybe Now Playing. These could
> > small round buttons - figure 8 or 10 will fit comfortably
> > beneath the display.
> >
> > See: http://www.arcam.co.uk/images/fmj_C31_large.jpg
> >

Ok, now we're talking...the little buttons would be cool. And
small would allow the unit to stay slim.

> > The front faceplate will likely need to be taller. I think
something
> > along the lines of 3.25" to 3.75" would be ideal. The current size
in
> > the drawings looks a bit slim to me.

Isn't that in keeping with being a "slim device" ? I'd much prefer to

keep it skinny. Not much reason for it to go above a 1u (maybe 2u,
but no more - that's 3.5").

> Ok, I see what you mean on the Arcam box. Wouldn't like it
> to take more vertical space, though. I would be up for a _few_
> more buttons, but I also like the backlighting of the functional
> icons on the buttons. The Arcam labels are not back-lit. The
> Arcam box has so many buttons, they had to come up with a
> way to display them all. We have far fewer. Moving the
> display off vertical center to accomodate buttons seems
> like a big detraction. Our VF display is larger, more prominent,
> and much nicer looking than the Arcam display. It's the most
> noticable aspect of the whole box and needs to be placed
> carefully so that other features do not detract from it.
>
> Re: backlighting in general: On a black box, inside a dark
> entertainment center in a dimly-lit room, I think the
> backlighting of the buttons is necessary. With only two
> buttons (select and left-righttoggle), they would not
> need back-lit icons; perhaps only back-lit outlining, like
> the volume knob.

Outlining all the small buttons would be cool.

How about, if you keep the number of buttons/knobs like in this one:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

and doubling the width of the display?

And rather than "phone" for headphones, a simple headphone
icon above the jack would be sufficient.

Paul

JJZolx
2005-09-15, 20:42
>I'd like this do be controlled by software. I have really
no need for a volume knob on this unit, because it
will be connected via optical and the volume will be fixed.
If this form factor is built, I'd probably pick one up for
the bedroom, but still wouldn't use the volume knob.
Make sense. But then you would never want the mode to automatatically fall back to 'Volume'. That would just be frustrating.


How about, if you keep the number of buttons/knobs like in this one:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif

and doubling the width of the display?
I think we're assuming use of the current display. Which reminds me - the illustrations seem to depict a display that protrudes from the faceplate. I think it's safe to assume that if you used the current display that it would have to be sunk into the back of the faceplate, so the display will actually be slightly recessed. I'm not sure how round the opening in the faceplate could be for the current display - I think you'll end up with a rectangular cutout, with slightly rounded corners.

My thing with the simplified button scheme is that if you're going to put buttons on it at all, then why not make them useful? You just can't do much with three buttons and a scroll wheel. For example, how do you play a song or album rather than just adding it to the playlist? Without a 'Play' button, I don't see how. You may as well have no buttons at all and always use the remote if you're going to need the remote to do even basic stuff like skip to the next track. (And we're right back to square one and the current Squeezebox design.) I'd prefer to have most of the functionality of the remote, sans search capability. I'd want something good looking, but it doesn't have to win an abstract design contest.

audiofi
2005-09-16, 03:45
I hope this covers the latest points from everyone:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured3.gif

Dave D
2005-09-16, 04:29
My thing with the simplified button scheme is that if you're going to put buttons on it at all, then why not make them useful? You just can't do much with three buttons and a scroll wheel. For example, how do you play a song or album rather than just adding it to the playlist? Without a 'Play' button, I don't see how. You may as well have no buttons at all and always use the remote if you're going to need the remote to do even basic stuff like skip to the next track. (And we're right back to square one and the current Squeezebox design.) I'd prefer to have most of the functionality of the remote, sans search capability. I'd want something good looking, but it doesn't have to win an abstract design contest.

Yep, you're right, Jim. I was thinking this through last night more carefully (about how I would go about using the two buttons and knob interface for various tasks), and I agree that, for control of the box at the box, it is too cumbersome. - Dave

Dave D
2005-09-16, 04:51
I hope this covers the latest points from everyone:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured3.gif

That looks very nice. Functional, practical, while still having a high-end look. Couple of comments:

I am concerned that the label backlighting on the buttons beneath the display detracts from the display. However, this will go away when the backlighting dims down.


I think we're assuming use of the current display. Which reminds me - the illustrations seem to depict a display that protrudes from the faceplate. I think it's safe to assume that if you used the current display that it would have to be sunk into the back of the faceplate, so the display will actually be slightly recessed.

I think you could have a smoked glass lens/bezel which protruded slightly, just as Andrew has drawn here:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured2.gif

The display itself would be recessed. Enough space needs to be present around the display to prevent hiding part of it behind the edges of the front bezel, when viewing it from the side.

The bezel looks good to me either way (recessed or protruded), but is easier to keep clean if protruded.

-- I think the power button will now look better horizontally (sorry for the churn; the display moved right and the resulting open space needs to be re-balanced). Also, the button seems just a tiny bit too small. Maybe 15-20% larger (length and width, i.e. retain the aspect ratio.)

-- The toggle button will need to be lengthened a little (20%?) to be used comfortably.

-- For some reason, the toggle and select buttons on the right don't seem to fit with the whole design any more. I think they look too bright/bold; too prominent. My eye is drawn to them, and they don't deserve that attention.

Maybe move them down from center (so that the lower edge of the buttons aligns with the lower edge of the display)?

Anyone have suggestions for them?

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-16, 05:28
>>> JJZolx.1vfngz (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/15/05 11:42 PM >>>

PAUL WILLIAMSON Wrote:
> >I'd like this do be controlled by software. I have really
> > no need for a volume knob on this unit, because it
> > will be connected via optical and the volume will be fixed.
> > If this form factor is built, I'd probably pick one up for
> > the bedroom, but still wouldn't use the volume knob.
>
> Make sense. But then you would never want the mode to
> automatatically fall back to 'Volume'. That would just be
> frustrating.

That's why it would be nice to do this in a plug in. Then have
a webpage that gives you a number of options for turn left,
turn right, push, push and hold, push and turn left, push
and turn right. I'm thinking of something like the Griffin
Powermate.

> > How about, if you keep the number of buttons/knobs like in this
one:
> >
> > http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured.gif
> >
> > and doubling the width of the display?
>
> I think we're assuming use of the current display. Which reminds me
-

True. I just figured since we were dreaming, that's one of the
things I'd like to see increased. Do that, and I'm guessing $499
retail.

> the illustrations seem to depict a display that protrudes from
> the faceplate. I think it's safe to assume that if you used the
> current display that it would have to be sunk into the back of
> the faceplate, so the display will actually be slightly recessed.

Funny, it looks recessed to me. Then again, audiofi has been
improving his photoshop skillz at our expense, so I'm sure he'll
get the kinks out of the perception thing soon!

> I'm not sure how round the opening in the faceplate could be
> for the current display - I think you'll end up with a rectangular
> cutout, with slightly rounded corners.

I agree.

> My thing with the simplified button scheme is that if you're
> going to put buttons on it at all, then why not make them
> useful? You just can't do much with three buttons and a scroll
> wheel. For example, how do you play a song or album rather
> than just adding it to the playlist? Without a 'Play' button, I
> don't see how.

That could be selectable. Maybe press momentarily gets it on
the playlist, hold it switches right to the song. Heck, even the
little plus sign beside the knob in the three button/1 knob
layout could be used to add it. Why not have all the buttons
programmable? I'm thinking that the panel controls would only be
used once in a while, not as the primary interface.

> You may as well have no buttons at all and always use the
> remote if you're going to need the remote to do even basic
> stuff like skip to the next track. (And we're right back to
> square one and the current Squeezebox design.)

Nah, just make the right arrow press a skip, while right arrow
hold is FF.

> I'd prefer to have most of the functionality of the remote,
> sans search capability. I'd want something good looking,
> but it doesn't have to win an abstract design contest.

LOL...images of one huge knob with everything on it. Brings
back memories of a Bugs Bunny cartoon - get REALLY
close (like with a magnifying glass) and you'll see that
the one button have about 50 thousand functions, with
a flip-up top that revals tons of other buttons and
switches...

Paul

audiofi
2005-09-16, 06:47
With the most recent changes:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured4.gif

The screen is meant to be slightly recessed on this one.

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-16, 07:41
>>> audiofi.1vgfhb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com 09/16/05 9:47 AM >>>
>
> With the most recent changes:
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured4.gif
>
> The screen is meant to be slightly recessed on this one.

That is just about perfect. Although with everything else being
round, how about making the square buttons round too?

I'm not sure if they should go on the same horizontal plane as the
other buttons, only because they are grouped with the volume
knob. It makes more sense to keep them even with that.

Nice job. Let's get someone to build a bunch of them!

FrontPanelDesigner should now be called upon. Someone
want to see about a bulk discount?

Paul

audiofi
2005-09-16, 08:27
Round buttons as requested, I would DEFINITELY buy one of these!!!

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured5.gif

Dave D
2005-09-16, 08:35
Round buttons as requested, I would DEFINITELY buy one of these!!!

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured5.gif

Yep, that is sweet. Nice job.

mherger
2005-09-16, 10:00
> Nice job. Let's get someone to build a bunch of them!
>
> FrontPanelDesigner should now be called upon. Someone
> want to see about a bulk discount?

How do you connect all those fancy buttons to the SB?

--

Michael

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Bruce Hartley
2005-09-16, 10:29
Right now I don't think there is an easy way to connect the buttons.

You could always butcher a remote and connect the buttons to that ;-)

PAUL WILLIAMSON
2005-09-16, 11:18
>>> slim (AT) herger (DOT) net 09/16/05 1:00 PM >>>
> > Nice job. Let's get someone to build a bunch of them!
> >
> > FrontPanelDesigner should now be called upon. Someone
> > want to see about a bulk discount?
>
> How do you connect all those fancy buttons to the SB?

The same way as how we'll actually see this - in our dreams?

That's for Sean and company to figure out. We came up with
the design for the outside (at least the front), it's up to
slimdevices to do the actual work!

LOL,
Paul

exilejedi
2005-09-16, 13:50
Round buttons as requested, I would DEFINITELY buy one of these!!!

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured5.gif

Almost perfect... Though I would prefer some changes to the Play/Pause/FF/Rew buttons:

* buttons should be ordered logically: Play, Pause, Rew, FF (and possibly add Prev/Next track). I think my head would explode if I pressed on the rightmost button and the progress bar went to the left. :-)

* buttons should sport the standard icons used by audio devices (and thus be large enough for these to be printed/displayed on their surfaces)... |> || << >> (or |< >| if we're going with the Prev/Next model over or in addition to FF/Rew

Of course, that will probably lead to changing button shapes/labels for the other buttons so that the whole thing doesn't get unbalanced/inconsistent. Sorry. :-(

Aside from this minor nit-picking, I have to say major kudos... It's looking really quite sharp and is readily approaching the point that I'd buy it in a heartbeat if SD made it.

audiofi
2005-09-16, 14:10
Good point on the buttons, I had got the order wrong, with changes:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured6.gif

I can add skip buttons or re-label the current FF/Rew ones if wanted.

JJZolx
2005-09-16, 14:48
Good point on the buttons, I had got the order wrong, with changes:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured6.gif

I can add skip buttons or re-label the current FF/Rew ones if wanted.
I don't think there's any way you're going to backlight the icons on the small buttons. The icons should be above the buttons. My first choice would definitely be |< and >|, and FF/Rew could be added if space permits and it's felt that they're important.

I would make all control labeling white on the black faceplate and black on the silver face.

Spacing of the small buttons should be even. Keep the gap between the >, ||, |<, and >| and the others, but all other spacing should be even.

Add a 'Size' button. Shuffle and repeat should be either grouped together or placed on the left end of the right group. Size, Brightness and Now Playing should be grouped together in the same order as they appear on the remote (for those already familiar with the remote).

Don't make this change, but I'd lobby that the 'Play' button should as prominent as the + (though I'm not sure what a clean layout of the four larget buttons would be). A lot of people don't even use dynamic playlists - they just find an album, track or saved playlist and hit 'Play'.

I still think the large buttons should be to the right of the wheel - especially important to have the left/right buttons near the wheel.

audiofi
2005-09-16, 15:15
Colour and other changes with buttons to the left of the wheel:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured7.gif

And to the right of the wheel:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured8.gif

PRGeno
2005-09-16, 16:09
If we're really trying to come up with the "Ideal" Squeezebox, shouldn't it have a bigger display?

The only advantage the Roku device has over our beloved Squeezebox, is the larger display of the Roku M2000.

It doesn't have to be quite as big as the M2000, but something I can read from across the room with the same, or even more information displayed, would truly be ideal in my world.

Dave D
2005-09-16, 16:18
Colour and other changes with buttons to the left of the wheel:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured7.gif

And to the right of the wheel:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured8.gif


Thanks Andrew. I like this one better:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/s...oxtextured6.gif

I really don't like the large buttons to the right of the knob. They look abandoned over there. (My wife just agreed, though I expect WAF would not carry much weight in this discussion.)

I also like the uniform backlighting, vs. the 2-tone with the white labels.

audiofi
2005-09-16, 16:38
This is the version you prefer, but with the extra size button and the slightly altered order of the buttons and different play etc. labels.

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured9.gif

I think WAF should play a more important part, there will be more willingness to pay a premium for a design which they prefer over the original 'alarm clock'

Dave D
2005-09-16, 17:01
This is the version you prefer, but with the extra size button and the slightly altered order of the buttons and different play etc. labels.

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured9.gif


Well, no. I prefer the labels under the display to be uniform (not some with icons and some with words.) That's #5 or #6:

http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured6.gif

The little icons on the four left buttons are ok, but might be difficult to light the inside of a button that small. I think it would be possible to get VF backlighting for the whole front panel, but not sure how the button outlining would work. Some kind of light piping would work: maybe even just a clear plastic inset around the buttons and knob to bring the light out. LEDs might be cheaper, but would have to be a different color entirely so not to clash with the VFD's blue-green.

audiofi
2005-09-16, 17:12
More like this:
http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured10.gif

I agree that the backlighting would be near impossible on the buttons and painted on wouldn't really look right with the other lights

Michaelwagner
2005-09-16, 20:02
It's starting to look a lot like my first love, an Audiotron.
:-)

Michael Amster
2005-09-16, 22:36
Michaelwagner wrote:

>It's starting to look a lot like my first love, an Audiotron.
>:-)
>
>
>
>
Or a NAD designed piece of equipment...

bjackson
2005-09-17, 13:14
I've been working on a redesign of my Squeezebox to have a new headphone section and DAC and put it in a more...elegant frame.

Any thoughts?

http://hilltop.bradley.edu/~bjackson/Squeezebox.jpg

Philip Downer
2005-09-19, 02:13
On Fri, 2005-09-16 at 19:00 +0200, Michael Herger wrote:
> > Nice job. Let's get someone to build a bunch of them!
> >
> > FrontPanelDesigner should now be called upon. Someone
> > want to see about a bulk discount?
>
> How do you connect all those fancy buttons to the SB?

The Geekport?

Phil.

Dave D
2005-09-19, 04:49
On Fri, 2005-09-16 at 19:00 +0200, Michael Herger wrote:
> > Nice job. Let's get someone to build a bunch of them!
> >
> > FrontPanelDesigner should now be called upon. Someone
> > want to see about a bulk discount?
>
> How do you connect all those fancy buttons to the SB?

The Geekport?

Phil.

Seems the best way to handle the new design might be with a new design ;)

I would think the front panel would comprise the set of buttons, volume control, and backlight, with another ribbon cable to the (new) printed circuit board (PCB). Add a little programmable logic device to the PCB (assuming the existing Xilinx device is full or pin-limited or just not desirable to change, otherwise this function can go there). The function could debounce the switch contacts, and interrupt the CPU on a button press. Multiple outstanding button presses could be saved, but I would think the CPU could service the requests fast enough. Info could be retrieved over a simple interface like I2C or SPI. It doesn't take much to do this. I would not be surprised to see a little part already available from Maxim/Dallas or Analog Devices which does button sampling already in an I2C-accessible device.

Jim McCall
2005-09-20, 10:51
I have been lurking following this thread - quite nice to watch.

The design has come along way - the one thing that bugs me is the "plus" and
the "< >" buttons. They look gratuitously round. Kind of like the ford
taurus eggmobile look. There could be other sexier shapes done. Perhaps the
< > might be better as rectilinear? 3 not-identical rounded shapes in a row
is a bit awkward. The large round wheel button could probably use some
moxie, since it is the largest feature of the entire box.

Jim
__

>
> More like this:
> http://audiofi.dudehost.com/other/squeezeboxtextured10.gif
>
> I agree that the backlighting would be near impossible on the buttons
> and painted on wouldn't really look right with the other lights
>

Paul Webster
2005-10-10, 02:56
I came to this thread following a reference to it in the recent price-drop thread.
I have to agree with Michael Wagner ... looking very similar to an Audiotron. I have one as well.
They are not made any more - which is what pushed me to buy an SB2 when I wanted to get music in more rooms.
For those that haven't seen one
http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/audiotron/indetail.asp

JJZolx
2005-10-10, 03:46
I came to this thread following a reference to it in the recent price-drop thread.
I have to agree with Michael Wagner ... looking very similar to an Audiotron. I have one as well.
They are not made any more - which is what pushed me to buy an SB2 when I wanted to get music in more rooms.
For those that haven't seen one
http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/audiotron/indetail.asp
And it was only $200? They may not have been making much, but so much for those who think wrapping an SB2 in a real case with controls needs to add $500 to the price tag.

Dave D
2005-10-10, 05:01
And it was only $200? They may not have been making much, but so much for those who think wrapping an SB2 in a real case with controls needs to add $500 to the price tag.

Maybe there's a reason they are no longer available :)

If you read the thread carefuly, you'll see that Audiotron is not such a good comparison to what we proposed.

Also, I don't recall anyone saying it needed to "add $500" to the price tag. I recall that the new price might be "under $500," and that would allow a decent profit margin to actually stay in business.

The slight outward visual resemblance to an Audiotron would be as close as our fanciful SB got to an Audiotron. Recall:

-- retain the VF display (or make it even longer)
-- retain the high quality SB2 components
-- add the front panel with backlit buttons
-- add high-quality, weighted, velocity-sensitive volume/selector knob, also backlit
-- add high-quality case

A colleague of mine (an original SliMP3 owner) and I went through this quickly at work to size the cost (we build networking equipment, not audio equipment). We took the present cost of the wireless SB2, backed out a guessed-at margin, added the new features using small-company prices/volumes, added back in a nice profit margin, and came in around $500. Lower with good volume pricing. And that assumed low-cost assembly.

The VF display is quite expensive. It's actually a large chunk of the cost. Also, the new case; custom front panel circuit board and buttons with surround illumination; and the weighted knob probably come close to the entire BOM cost of the current SB2.

Granted, it was a 5-minute, "napkin estimate."

And let me also say that neither Audiotron nor NAD was considered when we were putting the "ideal SB" together. The resemblance was purely by chance. (check out the beginning of the thread to see what it looked like then.) It could look even better with some proper industrial engineering.

audiofi
2005-10-10, 05:34
I agree, it does look similar to the audiotron, but I certainly hadn't thought of that when I was designing it, I was just working off suggestions and adding them where I could.

I would definitely be willing to pay extra for one like this and $500 seems perfectly reasonable (providing that doesn't mean 500 over here like with everything else these days!!)

The other thing to consider with a higher price is that it does influence opinions, a higher price people associate with better quality, especially in the hifi market.

Andrew

radish
2005-10-10, 07:11
I had an audiotron for a little while before I discovered slim. That thing looked fine for a studio, but totally out of place in a hifi stack. It was plastic, the buttons felt cheap, and the display was tiny. It was also too thin (about 1U, which is much thinner than most hifi). While the SB2 looks even less like a piece of hifi, it at least doesn't look as if it's making a really bad job of imitating one :)

Michaelwagner
2005-10-10, 08:33
And it was only $200?
As I recall it started out higher and dropped to $200 US after a while. I have one I bought new and one I bought used just around the time we found out they had been discontinued.

Michaelwagner
2005-10-10, 08:43
It was plastic
Really? Both of mine are metal. I carry (sorry, carried) them around in 19" racks.

the buttons felt cheap
They were rubber chicklet buttons. Not the nicest, true. But they worked fine. Not that I used them much. Power on was the most popular one, after that I controlled by a home-written computer interface. Didn't use the buttons, didn't use the display.

the display was tiny. It was also too thin (about 1U, which is much thinner than most hifi).
While 1U might have been an aesthetics problem, it was, ironically, overkill. The insides were about the same size as the slim insides, one circuit board huddled in a corner at the bottom of a 1U case, rest of the space empty.

I, for one, appreciated the 1U size, because I could put 2 (and a small control computer) inside a 4U Gator Rolling Rack. Although, for a DJ, a dual unit inside 1U would have made more sense. I considered hacking mine but then they anyways discontinued them ....
I might still take my 2 slims (not currently built into my racks at all) and make a 1U dual slim out of it.

radish
2005-10-10, 11:58
Really? Both of mine are metal. I carry (sorry, carried) them around in 19" racks.

Sorry, should have been more specific. The fascia was plastic (matt finish IIRC), the case was indeed metal.

They were rubber chicklet buttons. Not the nicest, true. But they worked fine
Indeed, they worked fine. But they didn't look the part for a hifi rack. There were too many buttons, the lettering was ugly, they felt cheap, etc etc. Again, fine for a pro/studio environment, but not suitable for home (IMHO).

I, for one, appreciated the 1U size, because I could put 2 (and a small control computer) inside a 4U Gator Rolling Rack. Although, for a DJ, a dual unit inside 1U would have made more sense.
Again, if you're in a studio or live environment 1U is perfect. It's not perfect for home.

As an (offtopic) aside, I can't quite get how you'd DJ with either SBs or Audiotron - no pitch control, no cueing, not even decent FF/REW. I love my SB2s for home use, but there's no way I'd take them anywhere near a club. There are much much better tools for that (http://www.serato.com/products/scratchlive/).

Michaelwagner
2005-10-10, 16:50
The fascia was plastic
Mine looks metal, feels like metal, but I don't want to scratch it to check for sure. Next time I take it apart I'll check the back surface, where I can't damage the visible portions.


As an (offtopic) aside, I can't quite get how you'd DJ with either SBs or Audiotron - no pitch control, no cueing, not even decent FF/REW. I love my SB2s for home use, but there's no way I'd take them anywhere near a club.
Ah, for this you have to be older than rap crap and have some idea what "real" DJing is.

I belong to a (sadly vanishing) school of DJs who thinks we are artists in selecting the right music for the current mood of the current crowd. And that's all we do. We don't change what the artist did. We don't cross-fade, we don't pitch blend, we let every song start the way the artist intended it to start and end the way the artist intended it to end (except for some "live recordings" (how's that for an oxymoron?), where we'll remove the applause).

We also don't fancy ourselves musicians so we don't loop, we don't scratch, we don't talk over, with or against the music, etc.

It helps that the music I DJ for mostly is swing era jazz and post-swing era R&R & R&B. The dancers are all swing dancers. There are also follow-on dance styles, done to '50s and '60s music, modern music, even post-modern music, and yes, I've been forced to play some hip-hop, provided it's danceable (most of it isn't - at least not to swing dancers ears).

I also occasionally DJ for ballroom dancers, and they too don't expect their DJs to scratch either.

BTW, while I use them less and less these days, I have 2 DJ double-heads which do pitch blends, cross-fading, looping, all that jazz. The newer one can do motor breaks, freewheeling, several different loops stored in memory at once, key correction for pitch, yada, yada, yada. All so much bullshit. If I touch those controls once a year it's a lot.

Except for the key correction, which is useful once in a while, IF I'm DJing for a dance AND there's a teacher teaching before the dance AND they didn't bring music of the appropriate speed to teach to AND so we have to use some other music AND they want to slow it down, I can make it sound natural.

The rest I could happily throw away.


There are much much better tools for that(http://www.serato.com/products/scratchlive/).
Perhaps. I don't know the product, although I'll probably spend some time in the next while and check out the URL. But if it's major selling point is "Make me a star" DJing, it's not something that interests me. I should be the "man behind the curtain" of the music, and the music should speak to the dancers directly.

If it's good music, it doesn't need me to bend it, shape it. And, IMHO, if it needs that much mangling, it isn't very good music.

All opinions my own, etc. No offense to people who scratch, and there are some good ones who actually are musicians. It's just not my style. If I wanted to play music, I'd pick up my violin and play from the raw material, steel strings, horsehair, rosen. When I pick up CDs, I want to hear what the artist recorded on the CD. If that makes me old fashioned, so be it.