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gorman
2006-09-24, 04:59
This is a product suggestion.

Why doesn't Slimdevices create a "deluxe remote" with a color screen, jog shuttle, touch screen, something... that would more or less give users the same experience you can get through Sonos?

It could work via Wi-Fi connection to Slimserver or IR to Squeezebox or Transport (I suggest both, so as to be adaptable to customers' configurations).

What do you think?

I'd pay $199 for it. Don't know it's enough to cover costs...

stinkingpig
2006-09-24, 07:43
On 9/24/06, gorman <gorman.2en11z1159099201 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> This is a product suggestion.
>
> Why doesn't Slimdevices create a "deluxe remote" with a color screen,
> jog shuttle, touch screen, something... that would more or less give
> users the same experience you can get through Sonos?
>
> It could work via Wi-Fi connection to Slimserver or IR to Squeezebox or
> Transport (I suggest both, so as to be adaptable to customers'
> configurations).
>
> What do you think?
>
> I'd pay $199 for it. Don't know it's enough to cover costs...
>
>
I bet you would pay that much... I'd buy just about anything at half-price,
if only to resell it on ebay :)
http://www.sonos.com/products/controller/features.htm

At this point, there is excellent support for using any of the wireless PDAs
out there as a remote. Many users have posted that they do just this. For
SDI to chose a specific one and market it as a Squeezebox remote seems like
a bad idea to me, as most are more expensive than your price point, all
offer features beyond the remote capability, and none are as easy to use as
the Slimserver itself. My two cents.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

gorman
2006-09-24, 09:25
Well, I could pay more... the price I mentioned was more an idea of a possible price point.

On the other hand, what you suggest... first it's not as market oriented as my idea. Not a lot of people want to buy an handheld computer to then use it just as a remote. Moreover, handhelds with a good screen and Wi-Fi are still hugely expensive, aren't they?

tomjtx
2006-09-24, 09:32
This is a product suggestion.

Why doesn't Slimdevices create a "deluxe remote" with a color screen, jog shuttle, touch screen, something... that would more or less give users the same experience you can get through Sonos?

It could work via Wi-Fi connection to Slimserver or IR to Squeezebox or Transport (I suggest both, so as to be adaptable to customers' configurations).

What do you think?

I'd pay $199 for it. Don't know it's enough to cover costs...

I asked the same question 2 weeks ago. The short answer is a pda is cheaper and Ben's nokia skin is great. The Nokia770 is a wifi pda that you can use for much more than just a remote.
They are out of stock or selling above retail in most stores. An ebay seller still has some new for only 330.00 I bought mine there.

To use the skin go to your web address for your slimserver and after 9000 put in the skin eg.

9000/nokia770. Try this on your computer and you will see how nice the gui is

tomjtx
2006-09-24, 09:37
Well, I could pay more... the price I mentioned was more an idea of a possible price point.

On the other hand, what you suggest... first it's not as market oriented as my idea. Not a lot of people want to buy an handheld computer to then use it just as a remote. Moreover, handhelds with a good screen and Wi-Fi are still hugely expensive, aren't they?

the sonos remote is either 349.00 or 399.00. I don't remember which. The nokia770 is 330 on ebay. you get a great remote with a fantastic, free, gui, and you can use the remote as a pda when you travel ( the reason the nokia is hard to get is that many people think it's the best new pda on the market) I don't have an opinion on that bit I do like mine
So what's the better deal?

tomjtx
2006-09-24, 09:40
Well, I could pay more... the price I mentioned was more an idea of a possible price point.

On the other hand, what you suggest... first it's not as market oriented as my idea. Not a lot of people want to buy an handheld computer to then use it just as a remote. Moreover, handhelds with a good screen and Wi-Fi are still hugely expensive, aren't they?

One other thing, there are even cheaper pda's that wil do the job as well as the Sonos.........so you could spend even less.............
Check out the nokia on the web, check out Ben's skin and I think you might find this a good solution.
It was so easy to do this that even I, a computer illiteate coud do it ;-)

Marc Sherman
2006-09-25, 05:40
gorman wrote:
> This is a product suggestion.
>
> Why doesn't Slimdevices create a "deluxe remote" with a color screen,
> jog shuttle, touch screen, something... that would more or less give
> users the same experience you can get through Sonos?
>
> It could work via Wi-Fi connection to Slimserver or IR to Squeezebox or
> Transport (I suggest both, so as to be adaptable to customers'
> configurations).
>
> What do you think?
>
> I'd pay $199 for it. Don't know it's enough to cover costs...

I'm starting to think that Slim should work out an OEM deal with Nokia
or another vendor of one of these devices, not because it would make
them any significant amount of money, but just so that they can check
off that box on their feature list: "Available graphical remote for
people who want to compare our feature list to Sonos'".

- Marc

tomjtx
2006-09-25, 07:29
great ida, I wouldn't have figured it out if I hadn't spent some tme in these forums. If it were a part of the package more people would know about it and not go with the sonos.






gorman wrote:
> This is a product suggestion.
>
> Why doesn't Slimdevices create a "deluxe remote" with a color screen,
> jog shuttle, touch screen, something... that would more or less give
> users the same experience you can get through Sonos?
>
> It could work via Wi-Fi connection to Slimserver or IR to Squeezebox or
> Transport (I suggest both, so as to be adaptable to customers'
> configurations).
>
> What do you think?
>
> I'd pay $199 for it. Don't know it's enough to cover costs...

I'm starting to think that Slim should work out an OEM deal with Nokia
or another vendor of one of these devices, not because it would make
them any significant amount of money, but just so that they can check
off that box on their feature list: "Available graphical remote for
people who want to compare our feature list to Sonos'".

- Marc

bklaas
2006-09-25, 08:07
I'm starting to think that Slim should work out an OEM deal with Nokia
or another vendor of one of these devices, not because it would make
them any significant amount of money, but just so that they can check
off that box on their feature list: "Available graphical remote for
people who want to compare our feature list to Sonos'".

- Marc

If they do that, I want a(nother) free pony. ;)

FWIW, as the person probably most familiar with the Nokia 770 as a slimserver remote-- if you did a side-by-side demo of the 770 controlling a squeezebox and a Sonos remote controlling a Sonos, I'd have to guess the user experience would go hands down to Sonos. To me, the principal reason for this is that the 770 is a first-gen device that still has some quirks. That said, it's a reasonable alternative to the Sonos, allows you to use the (IMO) superior squeezebox/slimserver, and I can promise that I'm dedicated to building on the Nokia770 skin's UI (as well as the Touch skin, now largely under my stewardship).

One of the great selling points, to me, of the Slimdevices software model is allowing average schmoes like myself to contribute original ideas/interfaces to the user experience. Sonos might have put a ton of $$ into developing an proprietary solution, and give them their due--it's a sharp looking solution-- but I'd be bummed if my only outlet to changing/enhancing a feature to the product would be asking the company to fix it. With Slim, I can actually fix it myself.

I know not everyone can/wants to interact with a company in that fashion (what? I paid for this thing, and now you want me to work on it???), but isn't it cool that there is an organically assembled bunch of open-source developers tinkering with this thing and enhancing its feature list?

I use the Nokia 770 for two main things now (though it can do so much more): as a slimserver remote, and to make phone calls using Gizmo Project. I don't recommend using a Sonos remote for making phone calls ;)

cheers,
#!/ben

MahlerFreak
2006-09-25, 09:18
For me, another factor with the Sonos is that their controller controls Sonos gear only. So if, like me, you have a multi-component playback system controlled from a single device through NetRemote or Charmed Quark or similar, you have no way to integrate that slick music browsing experience with the rest of your system control. Web-based UI will integrate with almost anything.

And of course, just like SlimServer, the Sonos provides almost no classical-friendly browsing features.

gorman
2006-09-28, 03:27
Ok, I've taken a long look at this Nokia 770 and my proposal stands. I don't think that, for a company in an open market, with competitors and everything, a solution this complex can be seen as ideal.

Yes, if they could strike an OEM deal with somebody that already produces something similar to what we need... that would be cool.

But sitting on a couch and needing to use a pen-like device on an internet tablet... it doesn't strike me as the top of user friendliness.

And, for what is worth, I guess a good GUI on a dedicated remote could have far more potential buyers than a niche product such as the Transport (which I'm happy Slimdevices created, by the way).

Cheers! :)

gb115b
2006-10-01, 02:45
I just had a play with the Sonos Remote in a hifi shop yesterday, and although i am impressed with the neatness, UI, and functionality of it, there are still a few things putting me off selling my slim devices and getting a sonos.

I really hope they get working on a 'sonos' style remote. if they're catering for the audiophile market, they should soon start catering for the more mainstream audio market too, and that means having something thats easy to use, fast and... well, pretty...which the current solutions don't seem to be...

i think the sonos remote is just about perfect, needs more horsepower i think as menu navigation seemed a little slow... (and the screen could have been brighter)

actually i think the best thing would be that if slimdevices did make one, it'd probably be even better than the sonos one (and be open source too - OpenDoom on your SlimRemote anyone?)

the best thing about the Slimserver is its open architecture, so people can develop what they want for it, i'd sorely miss my audioscrobbler etc. if i went sonos, but that remote still has that 'gotta have it' appeal...

gb115b
2006-10-01, 02:48
oh, also, i would happily pay 300quid or whatever sonos charge for a remote as it'll

a) save me buying lots of sonos kit to go with the remote
b) i'm sure the remote would be worth it if its as good as other slimdevices products...

ooh the only other thing about the Sonos is i quite like the ability to buy one with an amp built in, so you can quickly add a new zone to you house without any hassle whatsoever....but we're gettign off the point.... remote first!

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-01, 08:51
ooh the only other thing about the Sonos is i quite like the ability to buy one with an amp built in, so you can quickly add a new zone to you house without any hassle whatsoever

That (and the price) is one of the things that turned me off about Sonos. I can find/buy/upgrade my own amp. With Sonos' amp, you're stuck with it. It might be good but if it wasn't, you're still stuck with it.

Might be OK for a second zone but in my main zone I'll use my own amp.

gb115b
2006-10-01, 08:54
then just buy a ZP-80 - the model that doesn't have an amp...

(and do some research before you post.... )

;p

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-01, 09:16
then just buy a ZP-80 - the model that doesn't have an amp...

(and do some research before you post.... )

;p

I know about the ZP-80, but they didn't have that out when I was looking at it about a year ago!

Doesn't matter now that I have the Slim Devices gear anyway.

gb115b
2006-10-01, 09:25
yeah, i was waiting for a while, i still think slim is the best hifi way to go (esp if you want to go the transporter way

the remote for me would complete the package, and would be worth paying for...

i'm suprised there isn't better flash /xmlrpc type clients out there for pocket pc, i'm tempted to write one, but my wifi pda is a bit flaky sometimes, and i want something that works all the time reliably

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-01, 09:55
Slim Devices certainly has the advantage when it comes to flexibility.

But yes, the remote issue comes up again and again. And by all accounts the Sonos gear is quite reliable. It's a nice idea, a mesh network, but it means that you have to have a ZP hardwired into your router. If it's close enough to be hardwired into my router, it's close enough to my PC that I can just use my PC speakers, so it's redundant in my case.

Regarding the remote, have you checked out the Nokia 770?

gb115b
2006-10-01, 10:19
seen the pics, but not seen it in action...

to be honest i hate the web interface currently.

it's just not as repsonsive or friendly as it should be.

not sure if the 770 is the same...

i just see no reason why there aren't more decent clients out there..

stinkingpig
2006-10-01, 10:38
On 10/1/06, gb115b <gb115b.2f0ejb1159723201 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> seen the pics, but not seen it in action...
>
> to be honest i hate the web interface currently.
>
> it's just not as repsonsive or friendly as it should be.
>
> not sure if the 770 is the same...
>
> i just see no reason why there aren't more decent clients out there..
>
>
I'm totally fine with the existing remote, and pretty okay with the web
interface, so this is mainly a curiosity question:

I see a lot of whinging about interface, and I see a lot of answers. Is
there something lacking about Moose, SlimRemote, SqueezeBoxPlayer Widget,
&c, &c? Do the complaining people just not know about these, or do they try
them and find them lacking? Maybe they're not acceptable because they're not
SDI-provided? I haven't used any of them as the existing remote is
excellent, but I've been reading this mailing list for years, and it's like
the right hand needs an introduction to the left hand.

This is separate from the remote question, as the difference between a lame
PDA/Internet tablet solution and a dedicated remote with super functionality
is clear. It's not clear that the people asking for the super duper remote
realize how expensive it will be if/when it happens, though... we're talking
$300 worth of hardware minimum IMHO, plus software production costs. Even if
SDI decides to open source the resulting firmware, they'd still be on the
hook for producing the first release, and that'll cost a lot of
Transporters.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

gb115b
2006-10-01, 11:15
ugly ugly ugly...

is basically my problem, rudimentary bad ui design afflicts them all...

the sonos isn't perfect (especilly to do with responsiveness) but its streets ahead of what seems to be available for slimserver.

also as much as some people love tinkering with different uis maybe making their own, some of us just want a system that works...and i think that those people will end up taking their money to sonos...

a good ui and remote will stop that imho..

Balthazar_B
2006-10-01, 21:22
Let's put it this way: if Apple had released the iPod with a web interface for navigation instead of the simple but brilliant wheel mechanism, it would have flopped in the marketplace (I suppose one could say the Newton was the original flop). SanDisk, Creative, et al. have pretty decent navigation mechanisms as well. A small device (as a remote should be) whose essential function is navigation really needs something like this, and IMHO that's one of the strongest points about the Sonos (despite that the remote could still stand improvement). Messing with a web interface compared with a device where hardware and firmware are well-matched will almost always be a poorer user experience.

gorman
2006-10-02, 02:22
Let's put it this way: if Apple had released the iPod with a web interface for navigation instead of the simple but brilliant wheel mechanism, it would have flopped in the marketplace (I suppose one could say the Newton was the original flop). SanDisk, Creative, et al. have pretty decent navigation mechanisms as well. A small device (as a remote should be) whose essential function is navigation really needs something like this, and IMHO that's one of the strongest points about the Sonos (despite that the remote could still stand improvement). Messing with a web interface compared with a device where hardware and firmware are well-matched will almost always be a poorer user experience.There we go, you managed to explain it better than I could (and I surely don't love Apple, btw).

Regarding the price, yes, it's expensive but... is it more expensive than buying a dedicated amp, quality speakers, thousands of CDs? No compared to all of that it would still be cheaper. And yes, I, too, would spend $300 for it. My initial price point was just to make it clear that I didn't want something cheap.

radish
2006-10-02, 07:11
Let's put it this way: if Apple had released the iPod with a web interface for navigation instead of the simple but brilliant wheel mechanism, it would have flopped in the marketplace (I suppose one could say the Newton was the original flop). SanDisk, Creative, et al. have pretty decent navigation mechanisms as well. A small device (as a remote should be) whose essential function is navigation really needs something like this, and IMHO that's one of the strongest points about the Sonos (despite that the remote could still stand improvement). Messing with a web interface compared with a device where hardware and firmware are well-matched will almost always be a poorer user experience.

I have something like 15 remote controls in a drawer in my living room. All of them look essentially the same as the standard slim remote, a bunch of buttons on a rectangular lump of plastic. The display, if any, is on the device itself - not the controller. Now I'm not trying to argue that this is an ideal situation - I replaced all 15 of those with a Harmony after all - but it doesn't seem to be a major problem in most people's eyes. I don't see Best Buy going out of business because no-one's buying TVs anymore, and the vast majority of people use the stock remotes perfectly happily.

Like I said, I have nothing against a fancier remote control being available, but comparing a squeezebox to a portable player is not comparing like with like. I can't read the screen on my ipod from the other side of the room either, but I don't see people complaining about that. For myself (and I realise I don't represent everyone) - it's the web interface which sold me on slim. Without that I wouldn't have bought the 4 squeezeboxes and a transporter which currently sit in my apartment.

(oh and if Slim ever do anything as annoying to use as that stupid ipod wheel I'm selling up and switching to Roku!)

stinkingpig
2006-10-02, 08:39
On 10/2/06, radish <radish.2f20mz1159798501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
> ...people's eyes. I don't see Best Buy going out of business because
> no-one's buying TVs anymore, and the vast majority of people use the
> stock remotes perfectly happily.



well said.
...

>
> (oh and if Slim ever do anything as annoying to use as that stupid ipod
> wheel I'm selling up and switching to Roku!)
>
>
The wheel does suck, much as iTunes sucks, but there is something to say for
its market share. The question is, does that market share come from people
who think the wheel navigation is the best thing since monkey pie, or does
it come from people who don't realize that there are non-Apple choices?

/me enjoys the confusion when people try to use my iRiver iHP-120 running
Rockbox. Part 1 -- "When did Hewlett Packard start making players?" Part 2
-- The joystick is exactly unlike the wheel.

--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

Balthazar_B
2006-10-02, 17:25
I have something like 15 remote controls in a drawer in my living room. All of them look essentially the same as the standard slim remote, a bunch of buttons on a rectangular lump of plastic. The display, if any, is on the device itself - not the controller. Now I'm not trying to argue that this is an ideal situation - I replaced all 15 of those with a Harmony after all - but it doesn't seem to be a major problem in most people's eyes.

I can't read the screen on my ipod from the other side of the room either, but I don't see people complaining about that. For myself (and I realise I don't represent everyone) - it's the web interface which sold me on slim. Without that I wouldn't have bought the 4 squeezeboxes and a transporter which currently sit in my apartment.


In my case, I want to stash all the electronica away in a closet and so can't depend on line-of-sight to some display to show me what I'm doing. Nor do I want to carry around the equivalent of a tablet PC to run my audio system (I should add that I also have a universal remote, the chief virtue of which is that it replaces a bunch of others reasonably well, although I don't much like its size). I'd rather have a smaller device with a context-sensitive UI brilliantly designed to the task, which in this case is navigating a variable number of songs, albums, playlists, categories, etc. Apple didn't invent the jog wheel -- I saw it on Sony VCRs over 20 years ago -- but they adapted it admirably (IMHO) to host navigation functions in a simple but effective way. I'm no fan of Apple and it's proprietary formats, but I have to give credit where it's due.

radish
2006-10-02, 17:43
Nor do I want to carry around the equivalent of a tablet PC to run my audio system
Not sure what you mean by this. The Nokia 770 is considerably smaller than the Sonos remote (135x78x14mm vs 165x97x24mm) and around half the weight (185g vs 360g). The screen is also much better (larger and higher res), and of course it does things other than just control your music system. I've used the Sonos remote, and the first things that struck me about it were that it was really heavy, kinda chunky, and slow.


I'd rather have a smaller device with a context-sensitive UI brilliantly designed to the task, which in this case is navigating a variable number of songs, albums, playlists, categories, etc.
So we're in agreement then! The Sonos remote is too big, heavy and slow. 770 & slimserver it is!


Apple didn't invent the jog wheel -- I saw it on Sony VCRs over 20 years ago -- but they adapted it admirably (IMHO) to host navigation functions in a simple but effective way. I'm no fan of Apple and it's proprietary formats, but I have to give credit where it's due.
We'll have to agree to disagree. Jog wheels are great, but the thing on the front of the ipod is _not_ a jog wheel - it's a circular laptop trackpad. The first gen ones were actual wheels, and I quite liked them, but the current ones are far too inaccurate and lack physical feedback. I hate them (YMMV, of course). Take a look at the front of the Transporter - now THATS a jog wheel!

Balthazar_B
2006-10-02, 19:10
We'll have to agree to disagree. Jog wheels are great, but the thing on the front of the ipod is _not_ a jog wheel - it's a circular laptop trackpad. The first gen ones were actual wheels, and I quite liked them, but the current ones are far too inaccurate and lack physical feedback. I hate them (YMMV, of course). Take a look at the front of the Transporter - now THATS a jog wheel!

Too bad they didn't put it on the remote :). Actually, if they'd made it an RF remote instead of IR -- and the requisite display and nav functions -- that would probably seal the deal.

mherger
2006-10-02, 23:25
>> I hate them (YMMV, of course). Take a look at the front of
>> the Transporter - now THATS a jog wheel!
>
> Too bad they didn't put it on the remote :).

They had an early prototype of a remote featuring the Knob:

http://www.slimdevices.com/images/KRONOS.jpg

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

rbdavis
2006-10-03, 03:26
To put in my X cents worth, I currently use SlimServer to listen to my iTunes music library on several PCs. I have been taking a while to consider my upgrade path to a 5-room hardware solution.

I'd like to keep using SlimServer because I think its a solid solution and has a great community, but the web interface and the SoftSqueeze/SqueezeBox "single line of text" interfaces are too painful compared to, for example, the iPod or iTunes UIs. I'm therefore regretfully considering Sonos over SqueezeBox because of their remote.

(The other factor for me is that my server PC is quite slow and it seems that Sonos takes more of the load off the PC. But i guess I can solve that by upgrading to a NAS that runs SlimServer at some point).

So SlimDevices - if you announced a remote with simple and fast navigation using buttons and a screen, artwork display, instant control from switch on, close integration with SlimServer features, etc. you'd bring me back from the 'other side' in an instant...! ;)

gb115b
2006-10-12, 06:29
oh and i'd insist on a scroll wheel, quite honestly, the wheel on my 2g ipod provided me with the best user experience i've ever had using any device...

not too keen on the new ones with the buttons on the wheel itself...

Nostromo
2006-10-12, 08:12
I think Apple owns the copyright for the scrollwheel, otherwise every MP3 player would sport one.

radish
2006-10-12, 08:28
You're confusing copyright with patents. I'm pretty sure Apple do have a patent on the "click wheel" they currently use (looks like 7046230), but I'd be surprised if they have one for the general wheel concept - as they're used in lots of products including, for example, Sonos.

gb115b
2006-10-12, 08:38
i wouldn't be opposed to a non-touch sensitive one, the actual 1g wheel was excellent too (though possiblity of unreliability due to it being a moving part)

oreillymj
2006-10-13, 05:54
It's possible to do an onscreen scrollwheel for the Nokia770 or touchscreen skins. I knocked one together in under a hour using a image map and some Javascript.


Now I'm not saying it 100% reliable but it certainly could be integrated into an existing sking for testing part of Slimserver 7
It could manage multiple functions with a bit on addtional work and could be used on any device that uses a stylus.

I've attached this to a previous thread and got no replies or interest, so here goes nothing ;-)

Timbo
2006-10-14, 02:58
As rbdavis said "I'd like to keep using SlimServer because I think its a solid solution and has a great community, but the web interface and the SoftSqueeze/SqueezeBox "single line of text" interfaces are too painful compared to, for example, the iPod or iTunes UIs. I'm therefore regretfully considering Sonos over SqueezeBox because of their remote."

I started a thread http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28409 about using iTunes instead of Slim Server or SB remote - and I agree you really can't compare SS with something like the Sonus system and its remote. I have played with this at shows and look forward to hearing the baby version ZP80 without the built-in amp.

The audiophile in me knows that the SB3 sitting there delivering extremely cultivated digits to my DAC is all I need and so what if I have to squint to see the text or blow it up so big it has to scroll to show me the track number let alone artist/album etc!!

But then the techie in me wants a Sonus remote in his hands and he wants it now!!!

My solution would be a sub-notebook (mine is virtually silent apart from the occasional whir - perhaps a 'dum' or 'slim client' device would be better with no HD or whirring bits!) on the coffee table, running iTunes and all it's great graphical ways of choosing what you want to hear (love the cover art scrolling view - you get a pretty picture of whats playing!). Then all thats needed is a NAS with your files on it and some way of making Slimserver play what iTunes tells it to - pity you can't just use iTunes as a server and forget about Slim Server (Roku I think manage this trick?)

.

hfu1
2006-10-19, 07:26
Has anyone tried to drive the Slimserver with the Logitech Harmony 1000 or the Phillips Philips RC9800i http://www.homecontrol.philips.com/.
These two look pretty solid although I guess there's lots of other remote control options out there in the market.

The Phillips one does look very swish and very similar to the Sonos remote.