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EnochLight
2006-02-12, 09:17
...or not! Looks like Apple might move the iPod to 802.11G, allowing people to connect to iTunes via a WiFi spot. With a simple device like an Altec Lansing iM7 or cradle dock for your Hi-Fi, could an evolutionary step like this be a potential Squeezebox killer for home networks?

I hope not!

Read here:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=753

funkstar
2006-02-12, 09:54
i'll believe it when i see it, there have been all sorts of iPod rumours over the years.

EnochLight
2006-02-12, 10:02
OK, but assuming that it happens?

ceejay
2006-02-12, 10:15
Well, speaking personally - the two main reasons I went for Squeezeboxen were (1) really good quality sound into my audio system and (2) the ability to choose music with a remote control, using a device with a display I could read from the sofa.

Wifi enabling an iPod wouldn't change that.

Ceejay.

peecee
2006-02-12, 10:15
OK, but assuming that it happens?
I think they already tried this with the AirPort? Didn't seem to do much. Although I figured having 5,000 songs on an ipod would be enough. What are they trying to get more of? It's not like their sales are sagging, and then the ipond becomes fairly useless outside your home, because you know they won't allow you to just connect to another persons' home network any play your songs through their stereo...

EnochLight
2006-02-12, 10:46
..and then the ipond becomes fairly useless outside your home, because you know they won't allow you to just connect to another persons' home network any play your songs through their stereo...

Yeah I think that their idea is to be able to allow you to purchase music/video on iTunes no matter what WiFi network you are on. I just see a plethora of accessories coming out that will allow you to use the iPod as a streaming music box ala/Squeezebox in a similar capacity.

To me, the only attraction would be iTunes/DRM stuff - but not nearly enough to take away from the elegance of the Sqeezebox (10-foot display, full function remote, etc).

Just playing devil's advocate as the idea has some merrits...

snarlydwarf
2006-02-12, 11:17
Well the iTunes DRM stuff makes me not want it... :P

I'd rather my music not be tied to a specific company, whether that's Microsoft, Apple or even Slimdevices.

Heck, some day Roku may make something that doesn't suck.

Really.

Stranger things have happened. :P

KenF
2006-02-12, 11:41
This product is expected in the next year. It will work as follows:

You'll have an Airport Express / Airtunes / Airmedia adapter with digital audio output connected to your stereo system.

The iPod (with its quality color screen) will act as the remote. Digital music from the iPod will be streamed wirelessly to your stereo system from anywhere in your home. You'll have access to Apple's music stations directly from the iPod (to play on the iPod or via your stereo system). You'll be able to play music purchased from the Apple Music Store. Usable range of around 100 feet.

This makes the system superior to the Squeezebox in almost every respect. Two areas where it will be lacking: 1) format compatibility -- Apple doesn't support formats outside of its own and mp3, and 2) storage. Many users on this forum prefer to use FLAC and other lossless formats for maximum possible audio quality. Today's iPod is available with a maximum of 60Gb storage; next-generation drives for the iPod are expected to hold 100-120Gb. This is still short of the capacity necessary to hold large music libraries in FLAC / lossless format.

notanatheist
2006-02-12, 12:21
Let's not forget to mention the SB doesn't require a hard drive in it so no moving parts, gives you a very readable VF display you can see from across the room, and plays back more file types. You cannot put Ipods in RAID affordably. Your storage is limited. You're stuck with just a couple of formats. The Ipod solution does not seem ideal for mulitple users either. The *only* solution I see as an actual competitor to Slimdevices is the Sonos system. Nothing else comes close in performance and playback features. What would truly be ideal is if the Sonos and Squeezeboxes played with each other! Of course there's always the Nokia 770 for a color remote too!

DrNic
2006-02-12, 12:22
I don't own one, and don't want one..
So this doesn't make me fear for Slim at all.
I don't agree with KenF that what he states makes the iPod superior in almost every respect at all. But YMMV.
You are stuck with Apples laws on playing your music, and you need to pick it up to see what is playing (further info obviously).
But I'm sure the droves of white ear bud wearing sheep will go out and buy it in their masses.

JJZolx
2006-02-12, 13:02
A wireless iPod doesn't make a lot of sense - in the same manner that a portable squeezebox would have very limited usability. If it contained both internal storage (drive or flash) _and_ wireless capability, then you might have something.

And if Apple came up with an "iPod" that was akin to the Squeezebox (without speakers) or a similar unit with internal amp and speakers, then yes, this would steal quite a bit of sales from the Squeezebox. No doubt more due to the huge marketing clout of Apple, and the momentum of iTunes than anything else.

In any case, you're seeing more and more products from all segments of the electronics industry aimed at this market, in most cases with better focus than the Squeezebox. You have cheap consumer mp3/wma players, audiophile playback systems, and multi-room systems, most of which are better suited for their particular target audience, either because of price or features. Squeezebox has a couple things going for it right now - probably because it does all of those things fairly well. It's inexpensive, it's passable at doing multi-room audio (for the price, anyway) and it's caught a small following in the audiophile community because of its relatively low cost and ease of being tweaked to enhance performance.

SoundBoy
2006-02-12, 13:56
Howdy folks - I am an Apple fan, running my wifi network with apple computers, owning an airport express and an IPod and an SB3. Why did I buy the SB3 - easy call, because of the big display, the nice remote and the possibility to connect to the Internet without the need to have a computer running.

- My IMacs stream Internet music superior then SB3 (under my DSL network conditions)
- I do not do FLAC as I am using ITunes to stream music via airtunes to all the other rooms except the SB3 bedroom.

As an Apple fan, flac is not doing anything for you. So what does it need to get rid of my SB3.

A Airport express device that has a display and can connect to the internet without a computer's help.. then.. but only then you can have my SB3.. An WiFi Ipod is not doing much for me as long as it does not connect to the internet...

Cheers








A wireless iPod doesn't make a lot of sense - in the same manner that a portable squeezebox would have very limited usability. If it contained both internal storage (drive or flash) _and_ wireless capability, then you might have something.

And if Apple came up with an "iPod" that was akin to the Squeezebox (without speakers) or a similar unit with internal amp and speakers, then yes, this would steal quite a bit of sales from the Squeezebox. No doubt more due to the huge marketing clout of Apple, and the momentum of iTunes than anything else.

In any case, you're seeing more and more products from all segments of the electronics industry aimed at this market, in most cases with better focus than the Squeezebox. You have cheap consumer mp3/wma players, audiophile playback systems, and multi-room systems, most of which are better suited for their particular target audience, either because of price or features. Squeezebox has a couple things going for it right now - probably because it does all of those things fairly well. It's inexpensive, it's passable at doing multi-room audio (for the price, anyway) and it's caught a small following in the audiophile community because of its relatively low cost and ease of being tweaked to enhance performance.

EnochLight
2006-02-12, 14:00
...An WiFi Ipod is not doing much for me as long as it does not connect to the internet...
Cheers

That's just it though - if it has WiFi then I'm guessing they will have some sort of means to connecting to the Internet, although it might be only through an iTunes front end of some sort.

jmpage2
2006-02-12, 14:26
I think that we are only going to see more and more integration of the iPod with home and car audio. There are now lots of people who have purchased hundreds (if not thousands) of Apple DRM tracks from the iTunes music store, so what else are they going to play them with?

I think the iPod will continue to evolve into the "jack of all trades master of none" role while products like the Squeezebox continue to evolve as audio specialist appliances that offer much better sound quality and more flexibility.

I guess what I'm really getting at is that there is plenty of room in the market for both products.

joncourage
2006-02-12, 14:38
I don't see it. A wireless iPod still doesn't do what the SB does, unless I'm missing something.

What's the tie-in to a decent sound system? I mean, I can connect my wireless laptop to a pair of powered speakers any old time, and have access to a heckuva a lot more music of a much better quality.

Besides, I can't stand iTunes, and the proprietary nature of the Apple formats is a deal-killer for me.

I just don't see what the big attraction is?

stokessd
2006-02-12, 15:00
802.11 is HUGE for the iPOD and pretty meaningless for Squeezebox competition. I'd love wireless for my iPOD: I have a Dension mount in my Tacoma where the iPOD always lives (either in the truck, miata, or at work). To sync it up when I change music or download podcasts (IT conversations is great), I have to walk out to the garage and grab the iPOD and bring it to the computer and drop it in the cradle. IF it had 802.11, then whenever I drive into the garage, my iPOD syncs, no more bringing it to the computer for a meeting of the minds.

The Squeezebox and the iPOD use similar enabling technologies, to provide the same product, but in different ways for different uses. To me, they are complimentary. Even the airport express is complimentary, not really a replacement.

Sheldon

bikerx
2006-02-12, 18:35
I have to agree that the iPod is complementary to the SqueezeBox. Unfortunately, I do think that adding WiFi will cut into the market for the SqueezeBox a little, but only if you truly can hold the iPod in your hand while it plays music on your stereo. The iPod interface is as easy to use as the SqueezeBox and the display size is irrelevant if you are holding it in your hand. I believe that 128kb data is sufficient for the average person, and the mediocre D/A converter in the iPod probably is too. I suspect that battery life will take a serious hit, or the size would have to increase for a bigger battery.

That said, I considered getting an iPod as a primary audio storage device and decided that it wouldn't work for me because it didn't have enough storage to be able to keep all of my music in a lossless format. I also wanted an audiophile DAC and the option to "upgrade" to an external DAC later if I wanted to. I do like the iPod as a portable music system, though. When I'm on an airplane, I just want to drown out the noise of the guy snoring next to me.

A WiFi iPod wouldn't make me give up my SqueezeBox, and it wouldn't have changed my decision. Unfortunately, I realized a long time ago, that I don't often fall into the 80% of people that companies usually market to.

nelamvr6
2006-02-12, 18:46
One thing that Apple zealots still, to this day, fail to realize is that Apple computers make up a tiny fraction of the computers in use.

This thing could be a huge hit in the Apple community and yet not even be noticed by the world at large.

JJZolx
2006-02-12, 18:58
One thing that Apple zealots still, to this day, fail to realize is that Apple computers make up a tiny fraction of the computers in use.

This thing could be a huge hit in the Apple community and yet not even be noticed by the world at large.
Huh? Who's talking aboput computers? Apple has sold a few zillion iPods and they're not done yet. They have iTunes running on Windows, and I'd guess those probably account for the vast majority of iTunes installations.

Face it, if Apple wants this market, it's theirs for the taking. Make the iPod easier to use as a main music system source and people will eat it up.

Don't overestimate the intelligence of the American consumer. They're lemmings.

nelamvr6
2006-02-12, 19:17
Huh? Who's talking aboput computers? Apple has sold a few zillion iPods and they're not done yet. They have iTunes running on Windows, and I'd guess those probably account for the vast majority of iTunes installations.

Face it, if Apple wants this market, it's theirs for the taking. Make the iPod easier to use as a main music system source and people will eat it up.

Don't overestimate the intelligence of the American consumer. They're lemmings.

Yeah, i guess you right.

But I still don't think it'll dethrone the Squeezebox. The folks who will go for that will not care much for superior sound, mediocre sound will do just fine for them. But those who care about sound will still gravitate towards the Squeezebox.

stinkingpig
2006-02-12, 20:13
....
> I have to agree that the iPod is complementary to the SqueezeBox.
> Unfortunately, I do think that adding WiFi will cut into the market for
> the SqueezeBox a little, but only if you truly can hold the iPod in your
> hand while it plays music on your stereo. The iPod interface is as easy
> to use as the SqueezeBox and the display size is irrelevant if you are
> holding it in your hand. I believe that 128kb data is sufficient for
> the average person, and the mediocre D/A converter in the iPod probably
> is too. I suspect that battery life will take a serious hit, or the
> size would have to increase for a bigger battery.
> ...

The Apple device will do well among those who don't do any product
research and those who do legitimately find it to meet their needs. Most
who do any searching for a product will end up at Squeezebox.

--
Jack Coates 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" - traditional

stinkingpig
2006-02-12, 20:18
....
> One thing that Apple zealots still, to this day, fail to realize is that
> Apple computers make up a tiny fraction of the computers in use.
>

Let's don't go there -- for one thing, all computers suck equally
(http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/suck), and for another thing Apple's
computer market share is growing exponentially. At the rates they're
showing, it doesn't take long to make insignificant into somewhat
measurable.

Anyway, the most important thing to focus on when considering why not to
go there is this: flamewars are boring, and the phrase "Apple zealots" is
highly likely to start one.

--
Jack Coates 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" - traditional

nelamvr6
2006-02-12, 20:33
....
> One thing that Apple zealots still, to this day, fail to realize is that
> Apple computers make up a tiny fraction of the computers in use.
>

Let's don't go there -- for one thing, all computers suck equally
(http://www.monkeynoodle.org/comp/suck), and for another thing Apple's
computer market share is growing exponentially. At the rates they're
showing, it doesn't take long to make insignificant into somewhat
measurable.

Anyway, the most important thing to focus on when considering why not to
go there is this: flamewars are boring, and the phrase "Apple zealots" is
highly likely to start one.

--
Jack Coates 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" - traditional


Well it turns out that the prime reason not to go there is that the device in question will work on windows computers as well as Apple computers.

But of course, we both realize that if it only worked on Apple computers it would hardly be worth mentioning. ;)

CardinalFang
2006-02-13, 01:56
Yeah, i guess you right.

But I still don't think it'll dethrone the Squeezebox. The folks who will go for that will not care much for superior sound, mediocre sound will do just fine for them. But those who care about sound will still gravitate towards the Squeezebox.

I suspect Apple will have a Mac Mini media centre device before too long - plug into a TV (it already has a remote) and add a digital out and you have something that seriously rivals the Squeezebox, simply because you just know it will be a lot easier for the average person to use. My kids can use iTunes with no instruction from me - they look blankly at the SlimServer interface, it's slow and clunky.

I got my Squeezebox because of audio quality and the only reason I'll switch is when something sounds better, or I find something that sounds as good and not suffer from SlimServer response times with a large music library.

Paul

egd
2006-02-13, 05:09
... and then the ipond becomes fairly useless outside your home, because you know they won't allow you to just connect to another persons' home network any play your songs through their stereo...

Agreed. I have an iPod. It's good for long flights and the car etc. That's about where it begins and ends. It's a portable music device, nothing else. Offers absolutely nothing for anyone serious about their music on a decent stereo. Hell, how many flac files could you play on a full battery...a few CDs at most.

To top it all, I like to store and listen to _my music_ _my way_, without Apple or anyone else dictating to me where/how to enjoy it.

Christian Pernegger
2006-02-13, 07:35
> The iPod interface is as easy to use as the SqueezeBox

I read again and again that the iPod was supposedly easy to use ... to
the point where I got one for my girlfriend.

Long story short, the touch-sensitive wheel thingie makes it almost
impossible for me to use - I have not been able to figure out how to
prevent it from triggering button actions when I want to scroll and
vice versa. Every time I want to press next (track) I end up changing
the volume. Once even drastically enough to nearly blow my eardrums
... Can't use it while not looking at it (coat pocket) either. The
menu structure is "very interesting".

All other pros and cons aside, why do people hype the godawful interface?

So that's: The iPod interface is _not_ as easy to use as the SqueezeBox

The only advantage I see in using an iPod to stream audio to one's
stereo is the multi-user aspect. When each member of the family has
their own iPod the music collections are nicely seperated, which is
not possible atm with the sb.

C.

nelamvr6
2006-02-13, 08:11
> The iPod interface is as easy to use as the SqueezeBox

I read again and again that the iPod was supposedly easy to use ... to
the point where I got one for my girlfriend.

Long story short, the touch-sensitive wheel thingie makes it almost
impossible for me to use - I have not been able to figure out how to
prevent it from triggering button actions when I want to scroll and
vice versa. Every time I want to press next (track) I end up changing
the volume. Once even drastically enough to nearly blow my eardrums
... Can't use it while not looking at it (coat pocket) either. The
menu structure is "very interesting".

All other pros and cons aside, why do people hype the godawful interface?

So that's: The iPod interface is _not_ as easy to use as the SqueezeBox

The only advantage I see in using an iPod to stream audio to one's
stereo is the multi-user aspect. When each member of the family has
their own iPod the music collections are nicely seperated, which is
not possible atm with the sb.

C.


Well there are a lot of people in this grand world of ours, let's just say that the vast majority of people find the iPod UI to be easy beyond compare, a thing of beauty and a model to be emulated.

So it's still "The iPod interface is as easy to use as the SqueezeBox" - for the vast majority of the humans on this planet.

John Stimson
2006-02-13, 15:38
There are actually a bunch of networked audio players on the general market.

Slim, I believe, has the market cornered for the sound quality freaks and the non-proprietary freaks (guilty on both counts!).

The device originally described (an iPod that can hook up to iTunes wirelessly) isn't really a functional equivalent to the networked audio player. That just allows you to download/stream audio without a cable to your computer. That really doesn't add much in a home environment if the idea is to have the iPod hooked up to your stereo. It's great if you're carrying it around the house wearing headphones (I guess -- I never do that).

A device that hooks up to your stereo, streams music from iTunes, and is controlled with a remote...I'm not that familiar with Apple's product lines, but isn't that an AirPort? I think an earlier poster pointed that out. Something like that is probably more of a threat to all the "me too" products out there. The Squeezebox has two unique properties (mentioned above) that I don't think will ever be threatened by Apple. While that may make the Squeezebox a niche product, I think it will prevent an Apple product from cutting into the SB customer base.

Ben
2006-02-13, 15:41
I would have to think that it would integrate with the airport express. You'd hook that to your system, and the iPod would stream to that wirelessly. So, it would be it's own remote. The airport express certainly won't have the sound quality of a Squeezebox, but I suspect it will be enough for a lot of people.

I'm not sure about all the comments of 'how Apple lets you play your music'. You can play your own ripped music however you want, just like a Squeezebox. Certainly, they don't have support for FLAC or OGG or other some of the other formats, so it would be less flexible the a Squeezebox, but it would have both lossy and lossless formats.

Having one thing that is both your portable music player and the full color remote for your stereo system player would certainly be a draw for a lot of people, I think...

Ben

(edit) I agree with the comment above. The Squeezebox will certainly still appeal to folks how won't top end sound quality and don't like MP3, AAC, or ALAC. Slimserver is certainly more flexible as well with it's plugins.

stinkingpig
2006-02-13, 21:48
....
> All other pros and cons aside, why do people hype the godawful interface?
>
> So that's: The iPod interface is _not_ as easy to use as the SqueezeBox
....

It's very different than anything else. Same thing with iTunes, which I
also find horribly difficult. Why some people say it's intuitive is beyond
me, but if you dig a bit you'll usually find that they've never used
anything else. So it's intuitive because it's the first one they've seen,
and because other people say it's intuitive. So twenty years from now when
it's all a distant memory, people will complain the wonderfully intuitive
interface design of the Naughty Naughts is lost forever, and those damn
kids won't get off the lawn.

--
Jack Coates 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" - traditional

ponch
2006-02-14, 15:25
...but, who wants to use a dinky little remote to approach your iPod from mere inches and control it. The slimP3 player I have is visible from across the room and controlable also. iPod is a completely different animal that does not compare to slimP3 let alone a squeezebox. You settle for less when you alternatively make this inferior choice or whatever that silly option was to connect to your HD via airtunes.

I have an iPod. The earbuds they provide are a dime a dozen. The device itself is great but only for personal purposes. If only people wanted to upgrade their stereos. DO IT RIGHT, BUY A SQUEEZEBOX!

Ben
2006-02-15, 06:18
I think the idea is not that you will have a remote for your iPod, but that your iPod will be the remote for your stereo, so you pick a song on your iPod like you normally do, and it will stream to your stereo wirelessly instead of playing through the headphones.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point...

Ben

DerekErb
2006-02-15, 10:46
I love my iPods and I love my Squeezeboxes... I wouldn't replace either real quick.

As regards all the DRM comments as regards the iPod and iTunes I must be an exceptional user in that I just use my iPod as an MP3 player. I make all my MP3 files myself and upload them to my music library (which is used by my SlimServer and the iPods).

However my iPod can't hold my entire music collection and I don't think it will any time soon nor do I think I necessarily want it to do so.

But my iPod travels with me. It's portable. I don't want to have to buy one iPod for travelling and several others I leave home so everyone else can listen to the music library on the stereos around the house.

The quality, power and sound of what comes out of my iPod has never come close to that coming out of my Squeezeboxes. I've plugged my iPod directly in to my stereos, with old-fashioned wires, and it's still much weaker.

A WiFi iPod? A great idea and it'll sell quite well. Is it a Squeezebox killer? Don't think so... apples and oranges...

Simon Still
2006-02-15, 14:51
I love my two squeezeboxes and i've just supplemented my iPod (2G) with a
iRiver T30 because i was fed up with having a portable device that didnt
have a replacable battery - i spent more time carrying it dead than
listening to it. I've not used the iPod since. I wouldn't buy any DRM'd
music and stick to open formats.

However, I think the iPod interface is supurb and iTunes is a good looking,
intuitive, program. It kicks the butt of WMP or Slimserver at the moment
(though the lack of a 'current playlist' is a bit of a weakness).

Slimserver still comes across as hobbyware - it's fiddly, unintuitive and
inconsistent in the way it works. Settings are hidden all over the place
and it it's skinned and skins are, IMO, a terrible idea - 10 poor,
incomplete interfaces rather than one good one.

EnochLight
2006-02-15, 17:37
Slimserver still comes across as hobbyware - it's fiddly, unintuitive and
inconsistent in the way it works. Settings are hidden all over the place and it it's skinned and skins are, IMO, a terrible idea - 10 poor, incomplete interfaces rather than one good one.

I think that's a bit harsh, in my opinion. Although the intuitiveness isn't close to something as simple as iTunes or an iPod, the power that is acquired through Slim Server and a Squeezebox more than makes up for it.

That said (and I could be going out on a limb here), I don't think Sean ever intended the Squeezebox/Slim Server to be dumbed down to iTunes/iPod standards. Sure he wants the company/products to be successful (and sell alot), but the Slim Device audience is different: it's audiophiles who want the finest in modern technology. The typical iTunes/iPod owner doesn't care about Burr Brown DAC's or the customization options available in Slim Server.

We do. ;-)

And as far as the skins comment is concerned...now I think you're smoking something. Anyone who doesn't see the brilliance of the Nokia 770 skin is on crack as far as I'm concerned. ;-)

Michaelwagner
2006-02-15, 18:50
I realized a long time ago, that I don't often fall into the 80% of people that companies usually market to.
I think this is true for many (most?) people here. Sure is for me.

EnochLight
2006-02-15, 21:06
Me too. ;-)

Simon Still
2006-02-16, 01:03
The 770 skin *may* be brilliant but i'll reserve judgement until it achieves
a release outside betas. I probably was rather harsh on skins - a
different skin is necessary for handhelds, touchscreens and maybe some
specific devices. However, as an example of the current issues with
Slimserver - i've tried using the touchscreen skin on my 770 and it seems to
be buggy and incomplete. Some screens look different to others, some of the
buttons don't seem to do anything.

Another example of the QA process not working.

Browny
2006-02-16, 03:09
i've tried using the touchscreen skin on my 770 and it seems to
be buggy and incomplete. Some screens look different to others, some of the
buttons don't seem to do anything.

Another example of the QA process not working.

I think you've missed the point of a Beta - it is part of the QA process. Constructive feedback on the issues you've found to the developer would be more useful.

If you're after something more 'rich' as an interface I can recommend Moose. (not on a 770 tho!!)