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View Full Version : Yet Another Remote Idea



Balthazar_B
2006-09-07, 19:26
I'm one of those people who stuffs all the audio gear in a closet, out of sight. I use a universal remote supporting RF to control things. Now the idea of Slimserver (and Transporter) appeals to me a lot, but the execution of the Sonos system has some appeal, not least of all because of its clever remote.

Now I've just read that the Chinese company that produces the Miniplayer (http://reviews.cnet.com/Meizu_Mini_Player_2GB_white/4505-6499_7-32034099-2.html?tag=nav) is rumored to be coming out soon with a player in the same form factor, but running a 522Mh chip and Windows CE as its OS (and a ridiculously low price). How much of a stretch would it be if Slim Devices were to contract with this mfr to add Wi-Fi and a nice fat client for controlling the Slim system. This would pretty much eliminate the dependency on line-of-sight control, and steal most of the thunder from Sonos.

I realize that another potential solution involves leveraging Wi-Fi capable PDA/phone devices with embedded browsers, etc., but from what I can tell none of the solutions quite matches the elegance and navigability of the Sonos remote. If I go down the Slim path this -- specifically a WM5-compatible widget -- is the solution I'd need to use, I guess, but I'd pine for something better.

Thoughts? Am I just grasping at straws?

Nostromo
2006-09-07, 21:02
I'm happy with the remote and the way things are right now. And I certainly don't want to hide my Squeezebox. I think it looks great.

What you're suggesting should be optional. I'm very happy with the price of the Squeezebox, particularly since its better, soundwise, than the SONOS. The SONOS remote certainly looks cool, but its ridiculously expensive en looks HUGE.

The ideal remote, for me, would be a mix between the current remote and the iPod video with that big, yet still portable screen and that scroll wheel. But that, too, should be optional.

Have you tried the Nokia, btw?

Sleestack
2006-09-07, 21:28
I use the Philips Pronto TSU7500, which has hard buttons and a large, completely programmable/designable LCD screen. You can pretty much design any Squeezebox remote you want.

bpa
2006-09-08, 00:29
Before chumby appeared I thought the GP2x (http://wiki.gp2x.org/wiki/GP2X) could make good remote
- available, not too dear (i.e. less than the price of an SB3), Linux, open source, perl already ported, TV out.
The main drawbacks - appearance, Wifi needs an adaptor SD/USB, no touchscreen.

Alternatively, this device could be a server (same processor speed as NSLU2) - with the bonus of an interface on a TV ?

Balthazar_B
2006-09-08, 06:30
I'm happy with the remote and the way things are right now. And I certainly don't want to hide my Squeezebox. I think it looks great.

What you're suggesting should be optional. I'm very happy with the price of the Squeezebox, particularly since its better, soundwise, than the SONOS. The SONOS remote certainly looks cool, but its ridiculously expensive en looks HUGE.

The ideal remote, for me, would be a mix between the current remote and the iPod video with that big, yet still portable screen and that scroll wheel. But that, too, should be optional.

Have you tried the Nokia, btw?

I'd be more likely to get (and hide) a Transporter, and put the "free" SqueezeBox in a back room somewhere (or tote it out to the deck with some amp'd speakers, etc.), leaving no visible tuning aid in our main room.

The nice thing about the device I mentioned in my first post is that it's relatively small, but even better, incredibly inexpensive (much less than the Sonos remote, anyway). With an onboard Linux or CE OS, a developer could do pretty amazing things with UI/functionality, particularly since it has tactile tracking (which is the main selling point of the iPod, etc., IMHO).

Haven't tried the Nokia, but others report that it feels slow. I understand it's also using a web-based interface, which generally means compromises in functionality compared with a dedicated, optimized, fat client UI. If I'm wrong about this, let me know.

mherger
2006-09-08, 06:51
> The nice thing about the device I mentioned in my first post is that
> it's relatively small, but even better, incredibly inexpensive (much
> less than the Sonos remote, anyway).

From what I've understood it's a media player. No networking, small
screen, probably little horse power. I doubt this could be used or
converted into something useful without some more (expensive) extensions.

--

Michael

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Siduhe
2006-09-08, 06:52
Haven't tried the Nokia, but others report that it feels slow. I understand it's also using a web-based interface, which generally means compromises in functionality compared with a dedicated, optimized, fat client UI. If I'm wrong about this, let me know.

I think it depends what you are looking to get out of the Nokia770. If you are just using it as a remote (and not also for internet browsing, IM, email etc), I personally find it more than adequate. The recent upgrade to the OS has helped matters as you can now create and use a swap memory partition very easily (whereas before you had to hack the OS).

It is still web-based, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by any compromise of functionality that results ? Do you mean that any web/ui will inevitably run slower than a proprietory remote ?

The Nokia770 skin developed by Ben is full featured and intuitive. I think you can try it yourself on a normal box providing you use Firefox rather than IE to see whether you like the style.

Balthazar_B
2006-09-08, 10:51
Michael: Yes, the device I linked to (and its successor) is a music player. But the successor will have a quite powerful processor, the tactile navigation, a powerful OS, and a screen with sufficient resolution to serve as a remote if it had Wi-Fi and a dedicated remote UI. My suggestion was for Slim Devices to see whether the Chinese mfr could produce a Sonos-killer remote at low cost.

Siduhe: My main problem with web interfaces is that (even with Ajax) they tend to trade lowest-common-demoninator functionality in exchange for multiclient support. So to use one example, they probably won't be able to take full advantage of iPod-style tactile navigation hardware since it's so platform-specific.