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Dead365
2006-06-06, 21:31
This is the story from SD technical help desk today:

*Live365 stations cannot be stored and then accessed via Favorites - even for VIP accounts.

*If you do try to access a station immediately after saving it using the remote, SB will produce the "cannot access remote URL" error message. Same deal if you try to use the Squeezenetwork to play the newly saved station - out of luck.

*If you want to store a list of Live365 stations, you have to do so through their website. To actually play a station, you then have to access your list by using the remote to get to the Live365 "My presets" menu.

*You need to have toggle between two web pages (Squeezenetworks and Live365) and two areas of the SB menu to manage and play your list of stored stations.

*There is no way to use SlimServer if your computer has a firewall, as http://localhost:9000/ produces a blank browser page.

SB is way too complicated to set up and use, has a very clunky interface and awful documention. You really need a lot of free time and an engineering degree to properly deal with the beast (which is why everyone in the support forums sounds like they majored in EE at Stanford).

SD needs to immediately hire someone from Apple to design a proper user interface - it would make a tremendous difference. Can you imagine if this product were as easy to us as the iPod and iTunes?

All that being said, it is the best toy I have bought in the years. You could not pry it out of my hands, bugs and all.

radish
2006-06-06, 22:08
I don't use live 365 so I can't comment on what you said about it, but this:



*There is no way to use SlimServer if your computer has a firewall, as http://localhost:9000/ produces a blank browser page.

is entirely false. You just need to know how to open port 9000 in your firewall, for which you should consult the fine manual.

seanadams
2006-06-06, 23:00
[...]everyone in the support forums sounds like they majored in EE at Stanford). [...]it is the best toy I have bought in the years. You could not pry it out of my hands [...].

ROTFL I will pass that on as a compliment. :)



SD needs to immediately hire someone from Apple to design a proper user interface

You mean like our CTO?

Seriously though - good feedback. If you want you may file these at bugs.slimdevices.com. Specific issues like these are likely to get attention... except for the firewall thing - that is your firewall doing what it's supposed to do! As radish says, you need to allow port 9000.

Dead365
2006-06-06, 23:10
I don't use live 365 so I can't comment on what you said about it, but this:


is entirely false. You just need to know how to open port 9000 in your firewall, for which you should consult the fine manual.


Sorry, but I've been there and done all that, and spent 45 minutes on the phone with a tech who certainly seemed to know what he was doing. No luck.

dean
2006-06-06, 23:17
On Jun 6, 2006, at 9:31 PM, Dead365 wrote:
> *Live365 stations cannot be stored and then accessed via Favorites -
> even for VIP accounts.
>
> *If you do try to access a station immediately after saving it using
> the remote, SB will produce the "cannot access remote URL" error
> message. Same deal if you try to use the Squeezenetwork to play the
> newly saved station - out of luck.
I believe both of these problems are related to bug 3362 <http://
bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3362>, which we plan on
addressing for the upcoming 6.3 release.

> *If you want to store a list of Live365 stations, you have to do so
> through their website. To actually play a station, you then have to
> access your list by using the remote to get to the Live365 "My
> presets"
> menu.
>
> *You need to have toggle between two web pages (Squeezenetworks and
> Live365) and two areas of the SB menu to manage and play your list of
> stored stations.
Once bug 3362 is addressed, then you can use your favorites (or
playlists) to manage your Live365 stations.

dean
2006-06-06, 23:25
On Jun 6, 2006, at 11:10 PM, Dead365 wrote:

>
> radish Wrote:
>> I don't use live 365 so I can't comment on what you said about it,
>> but
>> this:
>>
>>
>> is entirely false. You just need to know how to open port 9000 in
>> your
>> firewall, for which you should consult the fine manual.
>
>
> Sorry, but I've been there and done all that, and spent 45 minutes on
> the phone with a tech who certainly seemed to know what he was doing.
> No luck.
A substantial fraction of SlimServer users do have firewalls running,
either the ones built into the operating system or a third-party
firewall. We test with a large number of them and provide setup
documentation for them in a variety of places. Indeed, the
SlimServer installer for Windows automatically configures the built-
in XP firewall for you automatically.

What firewall software are you running?

Dead365
2006-06-06, 23:33
Trend Micro (not my choice, but cannot be rid of it.)

We unblocked the following, to no avail:

Port number: 3483 (TCP) - Name: SlimServer Control

Port number: 3483 (UDP) - Name: SlimDiscovery

Port Number: 9000 (TCP) - Name: SlimServer Web

Dead365
2006-06-07, 00:22
[QUOTE=seanadams]ROTFL I will pass that on as a compliment. :)



You mean like our CTO?

No, precisely NOT like your CTO. He may very well be a truly brilliant engineer and PERL / C++ programmer, but the entire user experience of SB is still painfully early 1990's. He would do very well to hire someone really good at designing user friendly interfaces and make this thing much, much easier to use

Your customer base is currently mostly hobbyists - a few thousand middle-aged technicians who spend their weekends soldering their own power supplies. All you need to do is scan the forums to see that. Make SB nearly as easy to use as iTunes and you open up an entirely different - and much larger - market of people who just want to plug the damn thing in and listen to the music.

Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of companies who engineered technically superior products that were just too much trouble for the average idiot to figure out. Don't do that.

Now, back to Live365 Delta Blues - amazingly great.

mherger
2006-06-07, 00:34
>> Your customer base is currently mostly hobbyists - a few thousand
>> middle-aged technicians who spend their weekends soldering their own
>> power supplies. All you need to do is scan the forums to see that.

Rewrite "your customers" "your audiophile forum visitors". This is a small
number of users. I'm none of them - I can't handle a soldering iron :-)

--

Michael

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

smc2911
2006-06-07, 03:11
Ditto that on the soldering irons. I am not a technician (current or former), have a firewall on both the desktop running SlimServer and on the laptop I use for my browsing and have never had a problem accessing the interface.

Victor
2006-06-07, 05:22
*There is no way to use SlimServer if your computer has a firewall, as http://localhost:9000/ produces a blank browser page.


If you have a firewall that blocks connections to/from your computer, how is that even remotely a Slim issue? This is the equivalent of writing a letter to General Motors complaining that your car can't get out of the garage because you don't know how to operate the garage door.

tamanaco
2006-06-07, 05:47
[QUOTE=seanadams]Your customer base is currently mostly hobbyists - a few thousand middle-aged technicians who spend their weekends soldering their own power supplies. All you need to do is scan the forums to see that. Make SB nearly as easy to use as iTunes and you open up an entirely different - and much larger - market of people who just want to plug the damn thing in and listen to the music.

Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of companies who engineered technically superior products that were just too much trouble for the average idiot to figure out. Don't do that.

I hear you... This is exactly what happened to Rio Audio. They had the most feature rich and technical advanced DAPs in the market, but lost the battle to less technically advanced DAPs with "friendly" user interfaces.

On the SD side... Given the "character-based" linear user interface of the SB there is only so much SD can do without moving to a graphical interface. I believe that a remote with a thumb-wheel might alivate some of interface navigation pain. The thumb-wheel is one of the key features that separated Blackberry from their competition.

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-07, 18:06
On the SD side... Given the "character-based" linear user interface of the SB there is only so much SD can do without moving to a graphical interface. I believe that a remote with a thumb-wheel might alivate some of interface navigation pain. The thumb-wheel is one of the key features that separated Blackberry from their competition.

But navigating the player interface is really incredibly easy. I fail to see what would be added by a thumbwheel, as frequently as it's requested. What would it do? Scroll up or down? What's wrong with the up/down cursor buttons?

It's the web interface that people sometimes complain about, unfairly IMHO. It could do with a tweak or two but I really don't see why people slam it so much.

Ultra54
2006-06-07, 18:56
Huh...I just bought my first and not my last SB and tore into the box like a kid on Christmas morning and my early 90's brain immediately grasped it. What an incredible toy. I own a speciallty coffee shop and hooked it up there today and had all the regulars amazed at this little gem. I bet I sold 3 of them today. The ability to operate it through the Squeezenetwork.com is a boon to me.

Dead365
2006-06-07, 21:55
If you have a firewall that blocks connections to/from your computer, how is that even remotely a Slim issue? This is the equivalent of writing a letter to General Motors complaining that your car can't get out of the garage because you don't know how to operate the garage door.

That's a wonderful analogy.

General Motors is a great example of an organization that has driven itself to the brink of bankruptcy thorugh it's own stubborn incompetence. I agree with you - they would tell their customer that he is indeed an idiot, and that he should figure this very simple garage door problem out by himself.

Toyota, on the other hand, would listen and then design a low cost solution to their customer's problem. Which approach do you recommend?

SD should make ALL configuration issues art of the original installation process, or - at a minimum - provide some sort of wizard-like solution that would not waste their support desk's time and try their patience. Design, design, design.

NWP
2006-06-08, 00:11
That's a wonderful analogy.

General Motors is a great example of an organization that has driven itself to the brink of bankruptcy thorugh it's own stubborn incompetence. I agree with you - they would tell their customer that he is indeed an idiot, and that he should figure this very simple garage door problem out by himself.

Toyota, on the other hand, would listen and then design a low cost solution to their customer's problem. Which approach do you recommend?

SD should make ALL configuration issues art of the original installation process, or - at a minimum - provide some sort of wizard-like solution that would not waste their support desk's time and try their patience. Design, design, design.

No, you are just displaying the same ignorance that prevents you from configuring your firewall correctly. If you can't manage to install Windows on your machine is slimdevices supposed to come over to your house and do that for you too?

Here's a quick tip, no charge: Turn your firewall off. If you are still having a problem, it's not the firewall. If the problem goes away, you are configuring your firewall incorrectly.

There are always tradeoffs in life. The fact that Slimserver is an open source software package that runs on PCs has advantages and disadvantages. A disadvantage is that it is not an instant plug in solution for people who are not tech savy. An advantage is that a user like bklaas can make a completely awesome skin for the Nokia 770 and have it incorporated into the system. Or I can make a mame replica arcade machine and also have it serve as a jukebox.

If you are unwilling or unable to learn the basic computer skills necessary to enjoy the Squeezebox/Slimserver solution to its fullest you have two options: Pay someone to set it up for you, or spend more money and get a Sonos or a custom system that lack flexibility but are easier to use.

tamanaco
2006-06-08, 05:44
But navigating the player interface is really incredibly easy. I fail to see what would be added by a thumbwheel, as frequently as it's requested. What would it do? Scroll up or down? What's wrong with the up/down cursor buttons?

It's the web interface that people sometimes complain about, unfairly IMHO. It could do with a tweak or two but I really don't see why people slam it so much.

The thumb-wheel gives you "variable" speed control and precise scrolling. Also, you get a single mechanism to move up/down, select/play and even move side to side if implemented a la Logitech. Spinning a wheel is a more natural, efficient and ergonomic. (For those who use their SBs 24x7 it also reduces their risk of repetitive-strain :-) If you have 500 artists and want to get to those whose name start with L... give it a quick, short spin. One can select choices without the need to lift one's finger to press a "different" button. A thumb-wheel works very similar to the wheel in an iPod. Notice the layout of the cursor buttons in the remote... they're in a circle... coincidence?... I think not. Look around at the latest designs of pointers to graphical interfaces to laptops, DAPs, PPCs etc. You'll find that touchpads, knobs and wheels are becoming more common. These are variable-speed-multi-directional-click-to-select pointers.

Regarding the Web interface, it needs to be more responsive (faster).

Siduhe
2006-06-08, 06:13
Your customer base is currently mostly hobbyists - a few thousand middle-aged technicians who spend their weekends soldering their own power supplies. All you need to do is scan the forums to see that. Make SB nearly as easy to use as iTunes and you open up an entirely different - and much larger - market of people who just want to plug the damn thing in and listen to the music.

I don't disagree with your general sentiments, and I know lots of people who would like to see (amongst other things) a more intuitive and less clunky web UI and remote, me included. SD's also aware of this and AFAIK, some of the big changes that are being made to 6.5 are part of their steps to address this.

However, I'm not with you on the customer base. You're using the makeup of the regulars on the support forum to extrapolate the customer base which just doesn't make sense. The people who come on this forum tend to be a) new users with basic setup issues (just like any other product forum) b) regulars with a keen interest in developing or improving the product. What about the many other people who buy, plug in and never have a support issue that requires them to post ?

Just by way of example, five (soon to be six) of my friends have an SB - one of them introduced it to me and between us we got the other four hooked. I'm the only one who's ever posted on the board so far as I am aware and I'm as far from your assessment of this board's users as you can get (unless you think 30 is middle-aged). None of us program in any language, know how to operate a soldering iron or have a T-shirt with binary on*. We do, however, have a common interest in beautiful, functional homes and a love of music.

* To anyone who's ever offered me help or advice and does own such a t-shirt, NOM and TFIC for the avoidance of any doubt...

peter
2006-06-08, 06:45
On Wed, 7 Jun 2006 18:06:08 -0700, "Mark Lanctot"
<Mark.Lanctot.2926yn1149729001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
>
> It's the web interface that people sometimes complain about, unfairly
> IMHO. It could do with a tweak or two but I really don't see why
> people slam it so much.

Unfairly? What's fairness got to do with anything? This is an appliance,
don't get sentimental about it.

A web interface is great because it provides a lowest common denominator
that can be used from almost any computing platform, but it's not ideal
as far as usability goes. The silly page reloads are clunky and cause
problems with filling out forms in Firefox (when an SS window is active
in the background). Controlling multiple players (volume + synch) is
incredibly imprecise and clunky and requires lots of clicking.

A dedicated client program that runs on the main desktop platforms (Win
+ OS/X) could be an incredible improvement to the system.

Or am I being unfair now?

Regards,
Peter

tamanaco
2006-06-08, 07:04
A dedicated client program that runs on the main desktop platforms (Win
+ OS/X) could be an incredible improvement to the system.

Or am I being unfair now?
Peter

Have you tried SoftSqueeze, SlimRemote or Moose?

radish
2006-06-08, 07:30
Toyota, on the other hand, would listen and then design a low cost solution to their customer's problem.
What would that be - a battering ram?

The fact is that _everything_ has a level of assumed and required knowledge of "other things". If you go to buy a car the dealer assumes you know how to drive - if you don't they're unlikely to do much other than point you at a driving school. Should companies that make frozen pizzas be responsble for teaching you how to operate your oven? or dishwasher ("these damn pizzas made all my plates dirt so now I can't eat anything!").

Likewise, if you buy a computer based product it is assumed you have a minimum level of knowledge of how to operate your computer, and moreso, any software (such as firewalls) you may have installed. There are so many firewalls out there, with so many different ways of configuring them that it's simply impossible for Slim to cater automatically for all of them. But they try, and they provide plenty of information if you're willing to look for it (e.g. http://faq.slimdevices.com/index.php?action=artikel&cat=2&id=76&artlang=en).

As it happens, I've had _far_ more problems trying to get the "wonderful" iTunes working properly than I have slimserver, so any comparison to that P.O.S. is entirely bunk in my eyes.

SMWinnie
2006-06-08, 11:25
(Paraphrased)[E]verything has a level of assumed and required knowledge of "other things". [...] If you buy a computer based product it is assumed you have a minimum level of knowledge of how to operate your computer, and moreso, any software (such as firewalls) you may have installed.
Flip what you said around, and it reads as follows:
If you can't figure out how to configure a firewall exception, you shouldn't buy a SqueezeBox.

That may, in fact, be correct. I suspect Sean Adams and his team have a pretty good estimate of how many potential sales they lose by sticking with the enthusiasts. (Let's face it. With the exception of SqueezeNetwork, this is a product that requires you to have a 24/7/52 fileserver.)

radish
2006-06-08, 12:43
If, with the assistance of the firewall vendor, the firewall user guide, the slimserver user guide, the slimserver faq and this forum you still can't figure out how to setup a firewall rule you should probably just disable the firewall - most people don't gain any benefit from them anyway.

ModelCitizen
2006-06-08, 14:11
If, with the assistance of the firewall vendor, the firewall user guide, the slimserver user guide, the slimserver faq and this forum you still can't figure out how to setup a firewall rule you should probably just disable the firewall - most people don't gain any benefit from them anyway.
Hmm, not too sure about the wisdon of disabling your firewall. However if, with the assistance of the firewall vendor, the firewall user guide, the slimserver user guide, the slimserver faq and this forum you still can't figure out how to setup a firewall rule you should probably give up with computers and go and grow carrots or something.
MC

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 08:53
The thumb-wheel gives you "variable" speed control and precise scrolling. Also, you get a single mechanism to move up/down, select/play and even move side to side if implemented a la Logitech. Spinning a wheel is a more natural, efficient and ergonomic. (For those who use their SBs 24x7 it also reduces their risk of repetitive-strain :-) If you have 500 artists and want to get to those whose name start with L... give it a quick, short spin. One can select choices without the need to lift one's finger to press a "different" button. A thumb-wheel works very similar to the wheel in an iPod. Notice the layout of the cursor buttons in the remote... they're in a circle... coincidence?... I think not. Look around at the latest designs of pointers to graphical interfaces to laptops, DAPs, PPCs etc. You'll find that touchpads, knobs and wheels are becoming more common. These are variable-speed-multi-directional-click-to-select pointers.

Hmm, that sounds interesting. I guess because I've never used one before I didn't know how it could be used or what the possibilities would be with it.



Regarding the Web interface, it needs to be more responsive (faster).

Where specifically is it slow? About the only time the web page doesn't come up immediately for me is during a rescan, for obvious reasons.

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 08:58
Unfairly? What's fairness got to do with anything? This is an appliance,
don't get sentimental about it.

Yes, unfair. Unfair to Dan's work and unfair to the work done by the many contributors.

As the software is provided gratis, I can't understand why people whine about it.


A dedicated client program that runs on the main desktop platforms (Win
+ OS/X) could be an incredible improvement to the system.

Or am I being unfair now?

Regards,
Peter

Not unfair at all, but as pointed out, there are such programs already. Moose, in particular, is very advanced.

jonheal
2006-06-09, 09:17
Yes, unfair. Unfair to Dan's work and unfair to the work done by the many contributors.

As the software is provided gratis, I can't understand why people whine about it.



The vast majority have very little inkling as to the monumental effort that goes into producing software of any sophistication whatsoever. But I'm not sure I would characterize Slimserver as being provided "gratis" as the box itself is completely useless without it.

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 10:02
But I'm not sure I would characterize Slimserver as being provided "gratis" as the box itself is completely useless without it.

You can use it without a Squeezebox though.

jonheal
2006-06-09, 10:13
You can use it without a Squeezebox though.
I forgot about Softsqueeze. Still, I'd call it "quasi-gratis," as its "day job" is still the Squeezebox, IMO.

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 10:17
I forgot about Softsqueeze. Still, I'd call it "quasi-gratis," as it's "day job" is still the Squeezebox, IMO.

Right. I guess I just have different expectations about software I have to pay for.

It's impossible to say how much of the cost of a Squeezebox goes towards SlimServer development, but it's obviously not zero.

kdf
2006-06-09, 10:37
Quoting Mark Lanctot
<Mark.Lanctot.295ajb1149873601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> It's impossible to say how much of the cost of a Squeezebox goes
> towards SlimServer development, but it's obviously not zero.

some users give a portion of $300 toward development.
consider even just minimum wage, and some give a lot more than that
toward the development of slimserver.
-k

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 10:53
kdf:

Yes, I do realize that contributors outside of Slim Devices aren't paid.

I am trying to defend the software here. Based on all the work people are doing with it, to have someone wanting to trash it completely and start over is just what I stated earlier - unfair.

kdf
2006-06-09, 11:06
Quoting Mark Lanctot
<Mark.Lanctot.295c5n1149875701 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> kdf:
>
> Yes, I do realize that contributors outside of Slim Devices aren't
> paid.

you do. not everyone does. but that wasn't really my point. no
matter, regardless of anything you get what you put into it. Some time
and understanding of how it works, you can tap a greater portion of
its potential. Expect a fixed set of processes and features, with no
effort or willingness to learn how it might work in the given
framework...and you roll the dice.

Perhaps if the software was sold for $140+tax+S&H then maybe the
so-called masses would be more willing to do what the software
requires vs the other way around?
-k

jonheal
2006-06-09, 11:16
kdf:

Yes, I do realize that contributors outside of Slim Devices aren't paid.

I am trying to defend the software here. Based on all the work people are doing with it, to have someone wanting to trash it completely and start over is just what I stated earlier - unfair.
As you said, Mark, there is likely some budgeting, internal to Slim, to account for the portions of Slimserver that developed in-house. I have no idea what percentage of Slimserver is developed in-house, but I assume we are paying for it in the cost of the Squeezebox. That portion developed outside of Slim by people like Kevin, Triode, Fred and others who are NOT Slim Devices employees is certainly gratis, and complaining about the work of these people is completely out-of-order.

I liken the development of medium to large software projects to writing a novel a big novel. How many of us know anyone that has pulled off that feat?

The silly little images for the analog VU meters I contributed took a fair amount of time. I can't imagine the havoc people like Kevin, et al are wreaking on their personal lives!

NWP
2006-06-09, 17:05
I'd have no problem criticising the Slimserver software just because people work on it for free. The mentality that open source projects are above criticism because they are free annoys me. If something is a piece of crap, it's a piece of crap whether or not it's free.

But in the case of Slimserver, I object to criticism because it kicks ass. I tried many pieces of software before I found SlimServer and I don't think anything else out there even comes close. The web interface is key, as it allows the user to control the interface from a myriad of devices rather than tying them into one remote.

I don't even own a Squeezebox. I can't afford one right now (long story, but suffice to say that lawyers are friggin' expensive). But I've sold other people on buying Squeezeboxes (and Nokia 770s) based on my opinion of Slimserver.

So, it's cool that a lot of these guys do it for free, but they should be commended less for that and more for the quality of the software that they have produced. Their long hours of labor have paid off in my opinion and they have created something they should be very proud of.

jonheal
2006-06-10, 07:46
I'd have no problem criticising the Slimserver software just because people work on it for free. The mentality that open source projects are above criticism because they are free annoys me. If something is a piece of crap, it's a piece of crap whether or not it's free.

But in the case of Slimserver, I object to criticism because it kicks ass. I tried many pieces of software before I found SlimServer and I don't think anything else out there even comes close. The web interface is key, as it allows the user to control the interface from a myriad of devices rather than tying them into one remote.

I don't even own a Squeezebox. I can't afford one right now (long story, but suffice to say that lawyers are friggin' expensive). But I've sold other people on buying Squeezeboxes (and Nokia 770s) based on my opinion of Slimserver.

So, it's cool that a lot of these guys do it for free, but they should be commended less for that and more for the quality of the software that they have produced. Their long hours of labor have paid off in my opinion and they have created something they should be very proud of.
Sometimes comments come across as constructive critisism, other times, complaining. I was referring to the latter.

Philip Meyer
2006-06-10, 08:57
>SD needs to immediately hire someone from Apple to design a proper user
>interface - it would make a tremendous difference. Can you imagine if
>this product were as easy to us as the iPod and iTunes?

Just for the record, I absolutely detest Apple iPod and iTunes. It's just not designed for Windows properly.

The user interface in iTunes is horrible. I hate the fact that all music is in one massive spreadsheet display, rather than structured and viewable by artist/album/genre, etc like Slimserver and Foobar. I can't see what all the fuss is about regarding playlists either.

I find iTunes much harder to set up appropriately for my situation. I don't use it, but my wife wanted an iPod, so I installed iTunes for her.

iTunes seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to detecting her iPod. Windows always sees it as soon as it is connected, but iTunes frequently won't see it.

iTunes doesn't work with windows fast multi-user switching. I tend to leave my account logged in, and the wife logs into her account to sync her iPod with her music. Even though I plug her iPod in only when logged into her session and only use iTunes from her account, iTunes says its registered with another user. To fix this, I have to mess about killing processes, stopping/restarting services, whenever she wants to log in.

My wifes account is a limited user account. iTunes won't allow some settings to be changed as a limited user, so I have to run iTunes as an adminstrator user from her account to change some settings from time to time.

My wifes music collection was organised quite nicely. After she ran up iTunes (I left her to it - bad choice!), by default it converted a load of her ripped wma albums to aac format, creating copies of the music on my C drive, rather than another disk where I usually keep all music files. Confused the hell out of her. It split up compilation albums, so that each track was stored in a folder for each artist (rather than in a folder for the album). I think this is why compilation album logic within SlimServer was awkward to handle, because it had to allow for iTunes. It took a while to reorganise things and get iTunes working with music stored in the correct place.

The iPod Nano frequently locks up and requires some magic sequence of keypresses to power it off.


Phil

Philip Meyer
2006-06-10, 09:03
>It's the web interface that people sometimes complain about, unfairly
>IMHO. It could do with a tweak or two but I really don't see why
>people slam it so much.
>
I agree with this. The web interface works well and is easy to use, but I don't particularly like applications that use web interfaces. I can understand why it's like that, and there are good alternatives too that should perhaps be a bit more public.

I think it would help if SlimDevices built a specific (or set of...) windows apps, like Moose, as part of the standard distribution.

Philip Meyer
2006-06-10, 09:06
>The thumb-wheel gives you "variable" speed control and precise
>scrolling.
I never have the feeling that I need to scroll faster through a list. It probably means you are using the wrong mechanism to get to where you want to be.

Eg. If I want to go to a specific artist, say "Pink Floyd", I will either go to browse by artist, press "7" to quick-jump to the first artist beginning with "P", and scroll a little way down from there. Alternatively, I use the search button...

tamanaco
2006-06-10, 13:12
Eg. If I want to go to a specific artist, say "Pink Floyd", I will either go to browse by artist, press "7" to quick-jump to the first artist beginning with "P", and scroll a little way down from there. Alternatively, I use the search button...

It is a matter of preference... but how many times and how many buttons did you have to press to get to Pink Floyd?

Let's see... click the Right button to get to Browse, Click the Down Button to get to Artists, Press the "7" to Quick Jump to "P". How many Artist do you have that start with "P"? I have about 37, so I either have to click the Down button several times or press and hold... or find the 2nd letter to narrow the list down... Hmmm, I say about 10 clicks. Then click the "Play" button

Assume a variable speed wheel and a corresponding GUI in the SB that responds to variable speed spins of said wheel. Also having a remote with a wheel which responds to up/down right/left and press to select/play. Without lifting my finger I go Left, One down to select Browse by Artist, a short quick spin down to the "P" a slow spin to get to Pink Floyd and Press the "Wheel" down to Play. I do not have to look at the remote control to do this. I just keep an eye on the SB. Maybe not for small libraries, but for large libraries speed of navigation is a must. Of course, with some level of training I can also do this with the existing SD remote... But wait... I use other remotes.

Which would you prefer? A car with two levers to move the wheels left and right or a car with a steering wheel? This is reason behind large knobs for volume and tuning in "most" stereos. Design studies show that people feel more confortable controlling dials (wheels) than rocking buttons. Choosing a song with the SB, for me, should be just like tuning a radio to the right radio station. Again, to each its own.

Steve Baumgarten
2006-06-10, 15:35
> It is a matter of preference... but how many times and how many buttons
> did you have to press to get to Pink Floyd?
>
> Let's see... click the Right button to get to Browse, Click the Down
> Button to get to Artists, Press the "7" to Quick Jump to "P". How many
> Artist do you have that start with "P"? I have about 37 [...]

May I suggest the indispensable "Lazy Search" plugin?

http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/lazysearch

With it you would do the following:

1. Press the "Search" button on your remote.
2. Start typing "Pink Floyd".

By the time you hit "k", you'd probably be looking at the correct match.
If not, you might either continue typing or just press the down arrow a
couple of times.

It makes the player UI experience much, much nicer. No scroll wheel
necessary...

SBB

tamanaco
2006-06-10, 16:42
>
May I suggest the indispensable "Lazy Search" plugin?

http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/lazysearch

With it you would do the following:

1. Press the "Search" button on your remote.
2. Start typing "Pink Floyd".

By the time you hit "k", you'd probably be looking at the correct match.
If not, you might either continue typing or just press the down arrow a
couple of times.

It makes the player UI experience much, much nicer. No scroll wheel
necessary...

SBB

I'll give it a spin... I'll try anything that requires less steps to get me to the song I want to play. I'll try Lazy anything. Hmmm, spelling "might" be a bit of a problem for me as my library is composed of mostly World Music. Spelling the name of some of these artists or the name of their songs is not easy. Example. Djelimady Tounkara ... the D is silent, so the pronunciation does not help.

Never mind... it is unfair to judge anything before trying it. I'll give Lazy Search a try tomorrow when I update to nightly.


Thanks...

EDIT: I'll have to wait little longer as I'm using the split-scanner 6.5b1.

From the Lazy Search web site:
"Note - I have not yet updated the plugin to work with the split-scanner changes that have recently landed in the main development trunk. Therefore, this plugin version requires a pre-split-scanner version of SlimServer 6.5. I'm currently still on SlimServer r7484, which I know works. I'm working on an update for the new trunk - see ticket #12 for details and to see progress."

Philip Meyer
2006-06-14, 11:28
>It is a matter of preference... but how many times and how many buttons
>did you have to press to get to Pink Floyd?
>
Well, most of the time I use the web interface to set up a few albums to play, or I use my PDA from the lounge coffee table. When I haven't got the PDA nearby, I tend to just select something at random, eg. maybe use random play. If I want something specific, I use search/lazy search.

The standard remote is perfectly adequate for everything I use it for, which has the added benefit that it is small, lightweight, reliable and the batteries last ages. Perfect for the limited space I have on my bedside table; not as much of a concern for the lounge though.

>I do not have to look at the remote control to do this. I just keep an eye on the SB. Of
>course, with some level of training I can also do this with the
>existing SD remote... But wait... I use other remotes.
>
How many standard remotes have jog wheels and the like though? I don't own any standard remotes like that. Most have a similar layout to the squeezebox one.

>Design studies show that
>people feel more confortable controlling dials (wheels) than rocking
>buttons. Choosing a song with the SB, for me, should be just like
>tuning a radio to the right radio station. Again, to each its own.

I thought that most studios have slider bars for volumes, etc. Then you can see their relative position, whereas with a jog wheel, you need some additional feedback to show you where you are at.

tamanaco
2006-06-14, 13:01
The standard remote is perfectly adequate for everything I use it for, which has the added benefit that it is small, lightweight, reliable and the batteries last ages. Perfect for the limited space I have on my bedside table; not as much of a concern for the lounge though.


If you're satisfied with the current remote then fine. I'm glad you're happy. To a certain extend I feel the same way. If it ain't broke... don't fix it. My previous suggestions were for improvements on the existing model thinking out-of-the-box for future "possibilities".


How many standard remotes have jog wheels and the like though? I don't own any standard remotes like that. Most have a similar layout to the squeezebox one.


Think in terms of something similar to the Sonos remote... Maybe without a screen although I'd love to have one. I've been testing SlimRemote on a PDA. I like the idea of being able to to select and play specific songs from another room and impress my friends by showing them the album art of the current selection on the LCD.


I thought that most studios have slider bars for volumes, etc. Then you can see their relative position, whereas with a jog wheel, you need some additional feedback to show you where you are at


I thought we were talking about remotes; not consoles or stereos systems. Notice that sliders are rarely if ever used for "tunning" stations. Sliders on a remote?... again to each its own.

Simon Still
2006-06-15, 04:39
On 6/10/06, Philip Meyer <phil (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
> Just for the record, I absolutely detest Apple iPod and iTunes. It's just
> not designed for Windows properly.
>
> The user interface in iTunes is horrible. I hate the fact that all music
> is in one massive spreadsheet display, rather than structured and viewable
> by artist/album/genre, etc like Slimserver and Foobar. I can't see what all
> the fuss is about regarding playlists either.
>
> My wifes music collection was organised quite nicely. After she ran up
> iTunes (I left her to it - bad choice!), by default it converted a load of
> her ripped wma albums to aac format, creating copies of the music on my C
> drive, rather than another disk where I usually keep all music
> files. Confused the hell out of her. It split up compilation albums, so
> that each track was stored in a folder for each artist (rather than in a
> folder for the album). I think this is why compilation album logic within
> SlimServer was awkward to handle, because it had to allow for iTunes. It
> took a while to reorganise things and get iTunes working with music stored
> in the correct place.


I'd agree with some of those points but not others. I tend to rip music
outside iTunes and then import in. Organising everything by
artist/album/track seems to make sense to me. Having iTunes organise your
music is optional and you can specify where it's library sits (but like
pretty much all windows apps it defaults to C). the compilation treatment
works for itunes and the ipod - why would you ever navigate your music by
directory?

I've a 2nd gen iPod which i've stopped using because of battery life
issues, a winmobile2005 phone (which i use to play music off a memory card
via win media player) and an iRiver T30. The latter two need to be synched
via Windows Media Player and it's horrible.

iTunes is wonderfully responsive - type the first few letters of an
artist/album/song in and the 'spreadsheet' view instantly shrinks to the
relevant entries. finding stuff is a breeze. Alternatively click on the
genre/artist lsit at the top and find stuff that way. A search in windows
media player results in a few seconds of uncertainty as to whether it's
crashed. the web interface to my SB3 is much the same.

What iTunes lacks is the idea of a now playing list - click a track and it
plays it. Want to set something up to follow? Sorry, time to create a
playlist and start over.

I really like that aspect of Slimserver - via the web interface i can start
with one song, add a musicip selection, remove all tracks by a particular
artist. really good. But it isnt very responsive, icons are too small,
the layout confuses new users.

This is why review after review in the mainstream press marks down the
Squeezebox against Roku (most recently in the June issue of Stuff in the
UK). I've high hopes for 6.5.