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View Full Version : Whats the deal with integrated MP3 players..



elo
2006-03-08, 10:09
... like this one:
http://reviews.cnet.com/Denon_AVR_4306_A_V_receiver_black/4505-6466_7-31736750.html?tag=nl.e722

Seems like SlimDevices has a turn key solution for a/v manufacturers to get in on this. With SB's superior feature list, maybe the higher-end manufacturers would like to partner-up and integrate BS's into their AV-Receivers/Integrated-Amps/Single-Box-systems(a la Bose)?

Seems like people ask about putting a simple amp+speakers+SB system together on a regular basis. Plus with SqueezeNetworks, kickin' butt, even non-techie/non-SlimServer-admins can join in the fun.

... Just bouncing the idea off the wall.

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-08, 12:09
That is a very good idea! It would give Slim an additional revenue stream and may not require that much work.

If the manufacturer were to install the same Ubicom IP3023 processor and Xilinx CPLD that Slim uses in the Squeezebox, I would guess that Slim could just provide them with a modified firmware image. Slim could also charge a licensing/royalty fee for each receiver sold.

In order to have the firmware as close as possible to the Squeezebox, perhaps Slim could either specify or supply the networking devices, but nearly everything else is there:

- power supply
- DAC
- remote control interface
- headphone outputs

Slim could do away with the cost of the PS, DAC, remote, headphone, connection jacks, etc. and have audio sent directly from the processor to the receiver DAC.

The only big problem might be the display. Even high-end receivers don't have nearly the display the Squeezebox does.

But the receiver manufacturers are very interested in networked audio for their mid- to high-end receivers. It's a big selling feature for them. Nearly every manufacturer has come out with or will come out with something.

This "something" is very basic, even for the ~$2K receivers like the Denon 4306. It usually consists of MP3 playback only. Sometimes limited streaming Internet playback is possible (Onkyo NetTune). Everyone will agree Slim beats them by miles, and in fact even Roku demolishes such primitive systems.

It solves another problem for the receiver manufacturers: software. SlimServer is highly developed and capable, and free! I shudder to think what receiver manufacturers would cook up on their own! It also offloads software support, which I doubt receiver manufacturers could handle.

To anyone at Slim Devices reading this: a few months ago there was a highly-placed product manager at Pioneer answering questions at AVS Forum: Chris Walker, Manager of New Technology, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/member.php?u=7511438

This is actually a very exciting idea. Squeezebox functionality integrated into a receiver would allow that receiver to utterly dominate the networked receiver field. The others would struggle for years to keep up...by then SlimServer will be in version 7.0+.

This is actually a very exciting idea. Due to cost reasons, I will always be using a receiver for audio (I can't afford a separate 2-channel only setup). If there was a receiver that had integrated Squeezebox functionality and didn't cost much more than receiver + Squeezebox I'd be all over it!

JJZolx
2006-03-08, 12:35
... like this one:
http://reviews.cnet.com/Denon_AVR_4306_A_V_receiver_black/4505-6466_7-31736750.html?tag=nl.e722

Seems like SlimDevices has a turn key solution for a/v manufacturers to get in on this. With SB's superior feature list, maybe the higher-end manufacturers would like to partner-up and integrate BS's into their AV-Receivers/Integrated-Amps/Single-Box-systems(a la Bose)?

Seems like people ask about putting a simple amp+speakers+SB system together on a regular basis. Plus with SqueezeNetworks, kickin' butt, even non-techie/non-SlimServer-admins can join in the fun.

... Just bouncing the idea off the wall.
I'll bet a company likes of Denon has all of its MP3 functionality on a chip. Can't see why they'd want to replace a $5-$10 chip with $100 worth of electronics when most people will be happy with the existing WMA & MP3 functionality. The hundred-fold added complexity of running SlimServer, dealing with firmware, etc., etc. would have less than zero appeal to a company of that size.

Now, I could maybe see a boutique hi-end audio manufacturer jumping in and integrating an SB controller (ditching the analog output section) into a DAC or an integrated ampl + player. But we're talking about selling a few hundred units a year. Or maybe that manufacturer just designs and builds the "audiophile" Squeezebox we've all been talking about and Slim Devices labels and sells it.

Jacob Potter
2006-03-08, 13:13
On 3/8/06, Mark Lanctot
<Mark.Lanctot.24d7mn1141845001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> If the manufacturer were to install the same Ubicom IP3023 processor
> and Xilinx CPLD that Slim uses in the Squeezebox, I would guess that
> Slim could just provide them with a modified firmware image.

http://www.seanadams.com/ip3k/cpu_module/

- Jacob

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-08, 13:33
http://www.seanadams.com/ip3k/cpu_module/

- Jacob

Interesting. Nearly everything required on one board (don't see the Xilinx though). I also note:
However, plans to offer it as part of a development kit have been halted due to a lack of interest.

Pricing is $56.80 in the quantities receiver manufacturers would request. JJZolx is right, they may balk at this. However, if they want to knock the competition out...?

Surely $56.80 isn't a lot for a receiver that's priced at $1999.99?

BTW this could be tied directly into a DSP as it has GPIO out while DSPs have GPIO in (see Cirrus's 49500 (http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/proBulletin/CS49500-pb.pdf)). Also note the pricing on this DSP is $12.95 in quantities of 10 000. Since this is Cirrus's "flagship" DSP and since the DSP is the heart of an A/V receiver, perhaps $56.80 is higher than these manufacturers would consider.

But I still think it's a good idea.

elo
2006-03-08, 14:31
I guess I'm not surprised the guys over at SlimDevices already thought about this concept...

"lack of interest" maybe because the idea is ahead of it's time.

I wasn't thinking a company like Denon would be willing to invest in all the extra, hifi, stuff SB has to offer. I was thinking the high-end guys would. Clearly the Audiophiles have stood up and noticed SBs value-add. Hmmm.. maybe it's not totally dead.. just posponed, I mean the website is up with all the details. I guess we'll eventually find out.

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-08, 15:27
I wasn't thinking a company like Denon would be willing to invest in all the extra, hifi, stuff SB has to offer. I was thinking the high-end guys would.

Actually in that price range, Denon is no slouch. The 4306 is probably among the top receivers.

The competition is fierce. If a company could offer Squeezebox functionality, even at a large price premium, there would be enormous buying interest and bragging rights. Look at the Denon 5805 - the thing is a $6K behemoth yet they can barely keep it in stock by all accounts.

So Squeezebox functionality in a flagship receiver would be a trump card for any manufacturer, and in that range, money is no object. Perhaps price might be an issue in the midrange receivers.

bolfings
2006-03-08, 18:21
I would be happy if I someone offered a small amp that matched the SB and powered on/off with the same remote (or with the alarm function). It wouldn't need to be a large or very powerful unit, but something to keep in the bedroom or kitchen and run a decent pair of bookshelf speakers off of. That would prove the desirability of an all in one unit later on -