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jacobdp
2006-02-28, 11:59
Well, the rumored Apple entry into the home audio space is here...

... and it's an iPod dock with built-in speakers. "Frequency response: 53Hz to 16kHz 3 dB". For $350.

I don't think the folks at Slim Devices have much to worry about. :)

shvejk
2006-02-28, 12:05
Looks like a perfect thing to mount SB on top :)

http://www.apple.com/ipodhifi/

CardinalFang
2006-02-28, 12:11
Well, the rumored Apple entry into the home audio space is here...

... and it's an iPod dock with built-in speakers. "Frequency response: 53Hz to 16kHz 3 dB". For $350.

I don't think the folks at Slim Devices have much to worry about. :)

Errr.. go take a look at the new Mac mini. It now has SPDIF input and output, plus connects seamlessly to all the music and video in the house stored in iTunes, connects to a TV and your stereo, comes with remote and AV software.

I'm seriously tempted if it's quiet since you can now hook it up to a decent DAC, use lossless and browse music by artwork. Plus no slow server response times. That's the true competition for SB. It's $599, but you get a whole media centre plus a very usable computer! That would be good enough for most people. I think the route forwards for Slim is up the audiophile chain to a higher end spec.

Paul

Kyle
2006-02-28, 12:11
I see they promise "natural, room-filling sound." Sounds like the promo for the Bose Wave Radio, which was a huge disappointment when I actually heard it.

ezkcdude
2006-02-28, 13:19
Errr.. go take a look at the new Mac mini. It now has SPDIF input and output, plus connects seamlessly to all the music and video in the house stored in iTunes, connects to a TV and your stereo, comes with remote and AV software.

I'm seriously tempted if it's quiet since you can now hook it up to a decent DAC, use lossless and browse music by artwork. Plus no slow server response times. That's the true competition for SB. It's $599, but you get a whole media centre plus a very usable computer! That would be good enough for most people. I think the route forwards for Slim is up the audiophile chain to a higher end spec.

Paul

Yeah, but who wants the computer right next to the stereo? Also, where would you put the monitor?

Pale Blue Ego
2006-02-28, 14:09
This iPod Hi Fi looks promising for what it is. For people whose whole musical existance revolves around their iPod, this is a decent way to fill a room with tunes.

Other companies have done this, some much better, some much worse. One thing I like is the battery power option and the fact that it's relatively portable. Makes this a viable component to take outside for a day, to the beach, on a picnic, or to somebody's house that doesn't have a stereo. So there's the "boombox" people have been asking for.

You can take it to a party and everybody could take turns plugging their iPod in and sharing some music.

It'd be cool to have one in the workplace, too. A different shift comes in and they can play different music.

It doesn't really compete with the SB.

CardinalFang
2006-02-28, 14:42
Yeah, but who wants the computer right next to the stereo? Also, where would you put the monitor?

But it doesn't look like a computer and you use the TV as the monitor - a lot of people have home cinema set-ups rather than two-channel hi-fi systems. This thing streams video as well as audio, so it's natural fit there.

It may not be for you, but it will appeal to a lot of people, Apple do their homework.

nicketynick
2006-02-28, 15:13
I don't think Slim should take this lightly. This is _exactly_ the thing (form, function, etc) I was looking for that led me to the Squeezebox, because nobody was making anything suitable yet. There is a huge market out there that does not have $$ invested in hi-fi gear, but has extensive music collections on PCs and i-Pods. (and some of us who had neither, and when considering jumping in, realized hard-drive storage of music is the way to go - but how to build a green-field system?) These things are going to sell like hotcakes, thereby significantly reducing Slim's 'potential' market (what the heck is the word for this - scavenging? - I'm drawing a blank?). As previously mentioned, Slim is going to have no choice but to continue up-market, selling to those folks (I dare say 30-35+) who have significant hi-fi investments. Will they be able to keep volumes high enough to keep the price down, or will they soon need to price like a hi-fi maker? Apple knows their sustainable money-makers are 18-25, and they're tieing them up pretty nicely with this product.
I'm happy with my SB for now, I just hope Slim has a sustainable business model that allows them to keep on truckin' against this sort of 'market' competition (note I didn't say 'product' competition - since when does a product's capability have anything to do with the market it commands?) Slim has been successful because they were first (and best) into a market space - they are going to have to continue to be that. So what will be next for Slim?
Rant complete - over & out.

bishopdonmiguel
2006-02-28, 16:11
> It may not be for you, but it will appeal to a lot of people

Dude, spot on. And it not only plays tunes, but will serve photos, video, and play DVDs. As a non-audiophile it's going to be very tough to justify keeping the SB around if this can serve as a reasonable music server replacement.

I've got 3 Squeezeboxen. One is now slated to go dark when the Mini arrives. The other 2 might follow if the MM lives up to its hype.

Siduhe
2006-02-28, 16:29
That would be good enough for most people. I think the route forwards for Slim is up the audiophile chain to a higher end spec.

Paul

I don't necessarily disagree with Paul and NicketyNick - I think the Apple hi-fi will appeal to a lot of people looking for an 'out of the box' solution. But [IMHO] there's a fairly wide category of people who want a bit more than a speaker set to plug their Ipod into, but don't class themselves as audiophiles or have high end systems. I can already plug my mp3 player into the back of my (mid-range) stereo and play it through my (mid-range and 10 year old) speakers and get a pretty good result.

The big plus points of the SB for me are the expandability (plugins, support for lots of formats) the upgradability, and the support from the developers. It's opened up my music collection / tastes in a way that the Ipod hi-fi can't. That said, I wouldn't necessarily want the spec to get more specialised or audiophile focused. Like someone else said recently, I'm more about the fact of the music than the purity of the auditory experience.

nicketynick
2006-02-28, 17:08
I don't necessarily disagree with Paul and NicketyNick - I think the Apple hi-fi will appeal to a lot of people looking for an 'out of the box' solution. But [IMHO] there's a fairly wide category of people who want a bit more than a speaker set to plug their Ipod into, but don't class themselves as audiophiles or have high end systems..

But the question remains - is Slim going to reach enough of these people to maintain their current business model? I think Slim will see a sizable drop in volumes, although innovations like Pandora are going to help - but they'll need more of these! I'm afraid the lower volumes will force them upstream into a higher-margin market segment, if they can't keep volumes propped up with a steady stream of innovations. They may do better in the US & UK due to better market penetration - but they're certainly going to have tough sledding here in Canada (no jokes about all 3 of us already having one from the peanut gallery!)

Michaelwagner
2006-02-28, 17:08
... and it's an iPod dock with built-in speakers. "Frequency response: 53Hz to 16kHz 3 dB". For $350.
It claims "pumping bass to bright treble"

53Hz @ -3dB rolloff is pumping bass?

Mike Anderson
2006-02-28, 17:31
I think Slim will see a sizable drop in volumes, although innovations like Pandora are going to help - but they'll need more of these!

I'll take this opportunity to put in a plug one more time for some kind of iTunes-like GUI for Slimserver on PCs and Macs. That's what really makes me think about using something else (even though I probably won't.)

I frequently use my laptop to control the Squeezebox, and I'm not that thrilled with the clunky HTML approach. I'd really, really love to be able to drag and drop to create and save playlists, scroll through my entire collection of songs on one fast, responsive screen, and use a slider to navigate through a particular song - Just like iTunes does, basically. If Slim Devices could come up with a slick frontend like that, I'd forget about anything else forever.

I'd be willing to bet that a lot of other people feel the same way, especially those of us already used to iTunes.

(And yes, I'm aware of Moose - it still isn't there yet, IMO, and it doesn't run on my iBook anyway.)

Michaelwagner
2006-02-28, 17:40
Oh, BTW, this thing weighs 14 pounds. Not exactly a boombox ...

Pale Blue Ego
2006-02-28, 18:55
Oh, BTW, this thing weighs 14 pounds. Not exactly a boombox ...

I actually like that it has some heft. It probably sounds a lot better than a boombox. It's not something you'd want to go jogging with, for sure, but taking it to a different location and usiing it there wouldn't be a problem.

It's a decent move for Apple, but still they'll have to compete with every other audio company making a speaker/amp base for iPods.

jazzfan
2006-02-28, 19:31
But it doesn't look like a computer and you use the TV as the monitor - a lot of people have home cinema set-ups rather than two-channel hi-fi systems. This thing streams video as well as audio, so it's natural fit there.

It may not be for you, but it will appeal to a lot of people, Apple do their homework.


I agree. And the WAF is extremely high! I have ordered one today. I plan to use it for HT & music both. I'm considering a tube DAC or buffer behind it for my 2-channel listening. I know I'm interested in comparing my SB2 against iTunes radio feeds along with it's music server performance.

SoundBoy
2006-02-28, 19:57
Sounds like my system for the living room.. smile.. and yes - I want to have it on top of my stereo and use it to stream Internet Radio and my ITunes libraries and to show my DVDs.. smile.. finally.. I do not care about FLAC but about ITunes. The SB3 will stay in my bedroom as a InternetRadio streamer.

Cheers


I agree. And the WAF is extremely high! I have ordered one today. I plan to use it for HT & music both. I'm considering a tube DAC or buffer behind it for my 2-channel listening. I know I'm interested in comparing my SB2 against iTunes radio feeds along with it's music server performance.