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seanadams
2006-10-18, 14:00
I am pleased to announce that Logitech is acquiring Slim Devices, and I am glad to have the opportunity to share the news here in our forum before the official press release goes out.

We have been building a relationship with Logitech for quite some time. As we got to know their executive team, it became clear that there was a compelling opportunity for us to work together to bring Slim Devices’ products to the mainstream market. As you may know, Logitech recently launched the Wireless DJ music system, and also produces Harmony remote controls, which many of our customers already use with their Squeezeboxes.

This is an opportunity for us to introduce Squeezebox and Transporter more quickly to a lot more people. Slim Devices will benefit from Logitech’s brand, their retail channel, their expertise in developing quality hardware, and their existing portfolio of complementary products such as speakers and remotes. Logitech believes this will be a fast growing segment of their business, and we are looking forward to making that happen.

One of the most exciting things about this opportunity is Logitech’s enthusiasm for our open development model, and the way we collaborate as a community to improve our products. We plan to expand this model as we continue to develop great new software and hardware. SlimServer will continue to be available free of charge under the GPL, and we will participate in these forums in much the same way.

All of our employees have accepted new employment offers, and we will remain in our Mountain View location. Dean, Patrick and I expect to stay for the foreseeable future.

I’ll be here on the forums if you have any questions, and as always, welcome your feedback and ideas.

Best regards,

Sean

CardinalFang
2006-10-18, 14:07
Well I can't blame you from a business perspective, I'd do the same. I guess most people here, including me, would be concerned that larger company attitudes and needs to satisfy shareholders will result in cost-cutting to equipment we've grown to know and love.

This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?

I suppose the burning question for me is "how independant will the Slim design process be?" Logitech are a fine company, I just wouldn't buy high end audio from them.

bklaas
2006-10-18, 14:11
Congrats, Slimdevices employees. I can only hope this acquisition made your day, year, lifetime.

Personally, my heart sinks on this news. I'll adopt a wait-and-see on the "Logitech embraces open-source model". Corporations have a great way of killing statements like that.

deep, heavy, sigh,
#!/ben

junien
2006-10-18, 14:20
Well I can't blame you from a business perspective, I'd do the same. I guess most people here, including me, would be concerned that larger company attitudes and needs to satisfy shareholders will result in cost-cutting to equipment we've grown to know and love.

This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?

I suppose the burning question for me is "how independant will the Slim design process be?" Logitech are a fine company, I just wouldn't buy high end audio from them.


Let me introduce myself. My name is Junien Labrousse, Logitech SVP of the Entertainment and Communication Business Unit.
The first thing I'll say is that we are very excited about the opportunity that Slim Devices will bring to Logitech. This is
a great extension of our current business. Let me assure you that one of the main reasons for this acquisition is the development capabilities of the Slim Devices team. The technical level of this group is a key asset that we fully intend to leverage. The Slim Devices entity will function independently, keeping the spirit of advance audio technology and strong product innovation.

Logitech will bring its global distribution and marketing capabilities, providing a jump start to a large visibility and adoption of Slim Devices products.

Junien

seanadams
2006-10-18, 14:35
This applies most directly I would say to the Transporter, where a great deal of the appeal lies in the concept of high-engineering ideals and selective component control. Will it now start to be built in the Far East and standards drop?

We actually do much of our higher complexity manufacturing in Asia already, while final assembly, quality control, and kitting take place in Mountain View. That won't change immediately, but as we grow we will take advantage of Logitech's manufacturing capabilities.

Transporter is selling well, and while it certainly carries a higher price point than other Logitech products, it fits quite well with their recent trend towards higher-end AV products - for example, the Harmony 1000.

Chippy
2006-10-18, 14:39
Hi Junien -
Perhaps you could also give the Logitech take on the open source approach? Most folks around these parts (myself included) believe that it's a major strength of the Slim Devices portfolio, and at this time could be concerned about the direction Logitech may take.

Thanks
Chippy

fuzzyT
2006-10-18, 14:42
Do you expect that your products will be marketed under the SlimDevices
brand or the Logitech brand?

CardinalFang
2006-10-18, 14:44
Logitech will bring its global distribution and marketing capabilities, providing a jump start to a large visibility and adoption of Slim Devices products.Junien

In that case, I would guess that in order to match the higher profile and wider consumer appeal that you would want to acquire, products like SlimServer have to break out of the more tech-led user base it has so far and develop a more consumer-friendly look and feel?

Open source development is unlikely to provide that as it tends to build products that match the community's requirements, not the mass market's. You are also less likely to get support from that community now that it is to generate returns for anomymous major shareholders and not company founders. I would assume therefore that more in-house design and productisation is required - that would be the route I'd take.

I'd actually like to see the server software get more consumer friendly, I'd feel more comfortable recommending it to friends. I wouldn't contribute freely to that myself though - Logitech are a rich company...

CardinalFang
2006-10-18, 14:47
We actually do much of our higher complexity manufacturing in Asia already, while final assembly, quality control, and kitting take place in Mountain View. That won't change immediately, but as we grow we will take advantage of Logitech's manufacturing capabilities.

Oh, so the price will come down :-)

Damn, I'm a cynical b*sta*d.

autopilot
2006-10-18, 14:50
I can't blame you for doing this, but i too am very worried.

So please now please dispense with the vague PR speak, and please be as up front and honest as you can - how is this actually going to work?

1) Will Logitech just own the company, with Slim Devices operating as a separate entity? Or will the Slim Devices brand name be phased out and the next model (SB4?) be a 'Logitech' device? i fear the latter. In fact it pretty obvious really, in the long term anyway

Let not forget the edgy ‘cool’ factor that the Slim Devices products have. I’m sorry, but Logitech just don’t have that, no matter how hard you pretend I will always associate Logitech with low end PC speaker systems and horrible keyboards (although i love my MX1000 mouse to be fair).

2) Will Logitech leaving the Slim Devices team alone to carry on their great work? After all, Logitech effort in this sector have been less than amazing. Much Logitech software is a dog in my experience. The setpoint crap was terrible last time i used it. Will Slim Server remain open source? Be honest now, I Fear not in the long term. Please don’t lose sight of what made Slimserver so popular and won so many people over.

I hope this is a positive move for us consumers. I am sure it will be one for SD and Logitech (financially anyway). But the ethos of both companies is so different …

Logitech = Mass market, bang ‘em out. Dumbed down and closed 'lowest common denominator' systems.

Slim Devices = Consumer centric, specialised “it’s ready when it’s ready” listening to the customer and responding in a personal way, open source.

Does logitech care about things like internal CUE sheets? Or would they rather forget them in return for a faster output of products, let support issues and selling them to every Joe?

The response I got when I mouse was faulty was a totally different experience to what I got when my SB3 screen failed. Are they REALLY compatible in their current forms? Again, I doubt it.

This could be sooooo right for Slim Devices, more money could mean even better products. But Logitech is a large corp and I fear they just want a cash cow like every other large corp.

Sorry for being so negative, but we have seen this before, no matter how chipper the PR releases are.

junien
2006-10-18, 14:50
Hi Junien -
Perhaps you could also give the Logitech take on the open source approach? Most folks around these parts (myself included) believe that it's a major strength of the Slim Devices portfolio, and at this time could be concerned about the direction Logitech may take.

Thanks
Chippy

Chippy,

Thanks for asking this. Logitech is not new to development communities. We have successfully managed one for our gaming products, with many fans and loyal contributors. We know that it's people like you that can bring innovation, support and credibility to advanced products. Slim Devices open source approach is indeed a critical component of the products' features and success. We are fully committed to keep and nurture it.

Junien

Chander
2006-10-18, 14:51
Here in Europe, Logitech is best known for their mouses (OK, the best so far), trackball and other bargain products like PC speakers, MP3 accessories, etc. All but high end audio !

So, how can a truly audiophile product like the Transporter be matching with such a company !? I've just adviced the Transporter to a big french audiophile forum. What can i say now this product is distributed by Logitech ! Hmmm, i feel some disappointment in the air...

I hope your Transporter will not be, as we say in french, "le chant du cygne"...

Sigh...

MeridianMan
2006-10-18, 14:52
Transporter...fits quite well with their recent trend towards higher-end AV products - for example, the Harmony 1000.

Please say that the Harmony 1000 touch screen will incorporate album views and music selection from SS; or, link up TP with the DJ-style remote!!!

Ron F.
2006-10-18, 14:53
Logitech makes speakers? I did not know that. Maybe they will purchase Magnepan next. Ok - that was a cheap shot.

I hope the "high-end" 'tude of the Slime Devices product line is not going to be lost in the hail of boom-boxes at Fry's Electronics.

-Ron

fuzzyT
2006-10-18, 14:59
CardinalFang wrote:

> In that case, I would guess that in order to match the higher profile
> and wider consumer appeal that you would want to acquire, products like
> SlimServer have to break out of the more tech-led user base it has so
> far and develop a more consumer-friendly look and feel?

I would say that the hardware, and the post setup user experience is
already very consumer-friendly.

> Open source development is unlikely to provide that as it tends to
> build products that match the community's requirements, not the mass
> market's.

This is not necessarily the case. Positive leadership in areas such as
feature support and UI design can guide even the most raucous community
to a usable outcome. Firefox is a good example. Also consider that the
server is eminently skinnable, and would allow customizations for
divergent user classes.

> You are also less likely to get support from that community
> now that it is to generate returns for anomymous major shareholders and
> not company founders.

But community work still supports the community of users. Add a new
feature then enjoy it yourself and enjoy the accolades of the other users.

> I would assume therefore that more in-house design
> and productisation is required - that would be the route I'd take.

SlimDevices is already doing the bulk of this in-house.

> I'd actually like to see the server software get more consumer
> friendly, I'd feel more comfortable recommending it to friends. I
> wouldn't contribute freely to that myself though - Logitech are a rich
> company...

And when rich companies join forces with a visionary community good
things may come to be.

Sure, this sort of change is scary. But I'd rather remain hopeful and
work to keep the community going than to assume the worst and abandon
the effort.

Just my .02

--rt

Cleve
2006-10-18, 15:03
Let's be fair to Sean, Slim, and Logitech. It seems premature to complain at this stage. Clarion's aquisition of McIntosh didn't wreck their product line, after all. I'm willing to keep an open mind.

If bad things start to happen, then I'll complain.

funkstar
2006-10-18, 15:05
When i saw this thread i had to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Well done to Sean and the rest of the SlimDevices guys.

Logitech are going to work hard to maintain the extremely loyal following of many of the contributors on these forums.

junien
2006-10-18, 15:08
In that case, I would guess that in order to match the higher profile and wider consumer appeal that you would want to acquire, products like SlimServer have to break out of the more tech-led user base it has so far and develop a more consumer-friendly look and feel?

Open source development is unlikely to provide that as it tends to build products that match the community's requirements, not the mass market's. You are also less likely to get support from that community now that it is to generate returns for anomymous major shareholders and not company founders. I would assume therefore that more in-house design and productisation is required - that would be the route I'd take.

I'd actually like to see the server software get more consumer friendly, I'd feel more comfortable recommending it to friends. I wouldn't contribute freely to that myself though - Logitech are a rich company...

Actually I am not sure I see a dicotomy between tech-led development and user-friendliness. In fact I was personally impressed about the ease of installation and of use of my Squeezebox. The user interface of the Slim Server could probably become more consumer oriented. Yet this is not a priority.

We are much more interested in extending the current technology to new hardware products and new markets.

I also hope that the open source community will continue to be motivated in making the products stronger and more versatile.

Junien.

autopilot
2006-10-18, 15:13
Chippy,

Thanks for asking this. Logitech is not new to development communities. We have successfully managed one for our gaming products, with many fans and loyal contributors. We know that it's people like you that can bring innovation, support and credibility to advanced products. Slim Devices open source approach is indeed a critical component of the products' features and success. We are fully committed to keep and nurture it.

Junien

Thats good news.

Mitch Harding
2006-10-18, 15:16
I feel the same way. I had some trepidation initially, but I am willing to
give them the benefit of the doubt.

Now I still need to somehow get the money for a Transporter. :)

On 10/18/06, Cleve <Cleve.2fw92b1161209101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> Let's be fair to Sean, Slim, and Logitech. It seems premature to
> complain at this stage. Clarion's aquisition of McIntosh didn't wreck
> their product line, after all. I'm willing to keep an open mind.
>
> If bad things start to happen, then I'll complain.
>
>
> --
> Cleve
>
> McIntosh MX-132 preamp/tuner
> McIntosh MC2205 amplifier
> McIntosh MC7100 amplifier
> McIntosh MAC4100 receiver
> Klipsch CF-4 speakers (front and center)
> Klipsch CF-3 speakers (surrounds)
> Denon DR-M3 Cassette Deck
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Cleve's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=2048
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Wombat
2006-10-18, 15:18
And the biggest Avatar already has... ;)

Well i don´t see a problem in general but can´t imagine going to my fellow telling him: "Hey, i heard a Logitech audiobox that sounds better than your Naim"
I bet he will recommend me the best doctor he knows :)

radish
2006-10-18, 15:21
My immediate thoughts are to the purchase of Harmony by Logitech a while ago. When I bought my first Harmony remote they were a small company making innovative products which worked really well but which could have used better industrial design, packaging and marketing. They even had a kind of open-source aspect in that the DB of IR codes were user submitted. I was pretty bummed when I heard they were bought by Logitech, but the net outcome has been fairly positive. The products look a _lot_ slicker, work generally just as well as before, and they're a lot easier to get hold of now. I would say support has gone downhill, and I too dislike any Logitech-supplied software I've ever used (SetPoint - ugh!), but I'm still buying the remotes :)

IMHO Slim don't need help in the design department, but having Logitech's marketing group behind them won't hurt. I am a little concerned about support and general QC (my Harmony 880 STILL won't charge properly because of a faulty cradle, and support are pretty horrible to deal with) but we'll see.

My major concern is that the desire for people to pitch in and help with the software will dry up as Logitech can surely afford to hire as many devs as they need and everyone knows it. Slimserver wouldn't be what it is now if it were a purely in-house product. But again, if Logitech can find some way of keeping the small club feeling whilst expanding the user base 10x, then maybe it'll all be OK.

I can say one thing though - any fancy schmancy remote they make better work with my Transporter!

SteveEast
2006-10-18, 15:24
So I bought a Harmony remote and Logitech bought Harmony. Then I buy a Slim Devices SB and Logitech buy SD. OK, I'm gonna buy a wood chipper this weekend - let's see Logitech buy Yard Machines.

Steve.

gorstk
2006-10-18, 15:24
> Actually I am not sure I see a dicotomy between tech-led development
> and user-friendliness. In fact I was personally impressed about the
> ease of installation and of use of my Squeeze Box. The user interface
> of the Slim Server could probably become more consumer oriented. Yet
> this is not a priority.
>
> We are much more interested in extending the current technology to new
> hardware products and new markets.
>
> I also hope that the open source community will continue to be
> motivated by making the products stronger and more versatile.

Video squeezebox??
(not actually interested in one myself)

Will logitek on board (with their added clout) mean DRM support?
(again, not that I am actually interested myself!)

MrC
2006-10-18, 15:31
So I bought a Harmony remote and Logitech bought Harmony. Then I buy a Slim Devices SB and Logitech buy SD. OK, I'm gonna buy a wood chipper this weekend - let's see Logitech buy Yard Machines.

...and it would fit nicely into the product line, rebranded as a floppy, paper, disk shredder.

seanadams
2006-10-18, 15:32
//I can't blame you for doing this, but i too am very worried.

When we first started down this road, I was worried too! However, Logitech has an extremely good track record with the very few acquisitions that they've done. I've been very impressed by the fact that those companies have not only prospered, but maintained their personality, their autonomy, and their key people.

// So please now please dispense with the vague PR speak, and please be as up front and honest as you can - how is this actually going to work? 1) Will Logitech just own the company, with Slim Devices operating as a separate entity?

Slim Devices will become a distinct division within Logitech.

//Or will the Slim Devices brand name be phased out and the next model (SB4?) with a 'Logitech' device? i fear the latter. In fact it pretty obvious really, in the long term anyway

We haven't nailed down all the naming specifics yet. However, Logitech's brand is of enormous value to us, and it will appear on our products as we get into their channels.

//2) Will Logitech leaving the Slim Devices team alone to carry on their great work? After all, Logitech effort in this sector have been less than amazing. Much Logitech software is a dog in my experience. The setpoint crap was terrible last time i used it.

I would say that their hardware strengths complement our software capabilities. The plan is to combine only the best aspects of both companies.

//Will Slim Server remain open source? Be honest now, I Fear not in the long term. Please don’t lose sight of what made Slimserver so popular and won so many people over.

Absolutely. And furthermore, we will continue to lead its development.

// I hope this is a positive move for us consumers. I am sure it will be one for SD and Logitech (financially anyway). But the ethos of both companies is so different … Logitech = Mass market, bang ‘em out. Dumbed down and closed systems Slim Devices = Consumer centric, “it’s ready when it’s ready” listening to the customer and responding in a personal way, open source.

We're actually not all _that_ different, but again this is a point where we will complement each other, not a conflict.

// The response I got when I mouse was faulty was a totally different experience to what I got when my SB3 screen failed. Are they REALLY compatible in their current forms? Again, I doubt it.

Tech support will by handled by our team, as it is a completely different animal than supporting a single-function device such a mouse.

//Let not forget the edgy ‘cool’ factor that the Slim Devices products have. I’m sorry, but Logitech just don’t have that, no matter how hard you pretend I will always associate Logitech with low end PC speaker systems and horrible keyboards. Just assimilating Slim Devices could be a disaster for the SB and it’s fans.

Hmmm... personally I have been very happy with their keybaords and mice for many years. I don't know if your position is widely held, but you are cetainly entitled to it.

//This could be sooooo right for Slim Devices, more money could mean even better products. But Logitech is a large corp and I fear they just want a cash cow like every other large corp.

I think their track record with previous acquisitions demonstrates that they know how to invest appropriately to grow new divisions quickly. We are really looking forward to being able to expand our engineering team.

//Sorry for being so negative, but we have seen this before, no matter how chipper the PR releases are.[/QUOTE]

It's quite alright. You've made some great points, and they are concerns that we all raised very early in our discussions with Logitech. Personally, I am feeling very good about this, but I've had a lot longer to get to know their people.

autopilot
2006-10-18, 15:32
And the biggest Avatar already has... ;)

Well i don´t see a problem in general but can´t imagine going to my fellow telling him: "Hey, i heard a Logitech audiobox that sounds better than your Naim"
I bet he will recommend me the best doctor he knows :)

Indeed, does Logitech do niche products? And how are you going to get the audiophilie community, that you are after with the transporter, to get over the 'Logitech' name? Can the logitech brand become synonymous with high/quality end audio/HiFi kit? I hope you can, but it will be a very steep climb indeed.

bklaas
2006-10-18, 15:39
Actually I am not sure I see a dicotomy between tech-led development and user-friendliness.

Junien, thanks for saying what I couldn't tactfully. That goes a long way into easing my fears.

Open-source can absolutely work for the mass-market, and already has. Firefox is probably the type example of that.

#!/ben

autopilot
2006-10-18, 15:40
//I can't blame you for doing this, but i too am very worried.

When we first started down this road, I was worried too! However, Logitech has an extremely good track record with the very few acquisitions that they've done. I've been very impressed by the fact that those companies have not only prospered, but maintained their personality, their autonomy, and their key people.

// So please now please dispense with the vague PR speak, and please be as up front and honest as you can - how is this actually going to work? 1) Will Logitech just own the company, with Slim Devices operating as a separate entity?

Slim Devices will become a wholly-owned subsidiary.

//Or will the Slim Devices brand name be phased out and the next model (SB4?) with a 'Logitech' device? i fear the latter. In fact it pretty obvious really, in the long term anyway

We haven't nailed down all the naming specifics yet. However, Logitech's brand is of enormous value to us, and it will appear on our products as we get into their channels.

//2) Will Logitech leaving the Slim Devices team alone to carry on their great work? After all, Logitech effort in this sector have been less than amazing. Much Logitech software is a dog in my experience. The setpoint crap was terrible last time i used it.

I would say that their hardware strengths complement our software capabilities. The plan is to combine only the best aspects of both companies.

//Will Slim Server remain open source? Be honest now, I Fear not in the long term. Please don’t lose sight of what made Slimserver so popular and won so many people over.

Absolutely. And furthermore, we will continue to lead its development.

// I hope this is a positive move for us consumers. I am sure it will be one for SD and Logitech (financially anyway). But the ethos of both companies is so different … Logitech = Mass market, bang ‘em out. Dumbed down and closed systems Slim Devices = Consumer centric, “it’s ready when it’s ready” listening to the customer and responding in a personal way, open source.

We're actually not all _that_ different, but again this is a point where we will complement each other, not a conflict.

// The response I got when I mouse was faulty was a totally different experience to what I got when my SB3 screen failed. Are they REALLY compatible in their current forms? Again, I doubt it.

Tech support will by handled by our team, as it is a completely different animal than supporting a single-function device such a mouse.

//Let not forget the edgy ‘cool’ factor that the Slim Devices products have. I’m sorry, but Logitech just don’t have that, no matter how hard you pretend I will always associate Logitech with low end PC speaker systems and horrible keyboards. Just assimilating Slim Devices could be a disaster for the SB and it’s fans.

Hmmm... personally I have been very happy with their keybaords and mice for many years. I don't know if your position is widely held, but you are cetainly entitled to it.

//This could be sooooo right for Slim Devices, more money could mean even better products. But Logitech is a large corp and I fear they just want a cash cow like every other large corp.

I think their track record with previous acquisitions demonstrates that they know how to invest appropriately to grow new divisions quickly. We are really looking forward to being able to expand our engineering team.

//Sorry for being so negative, but we have seen this before, no matter how chipper the PR releases are.

It's quite alright. You've made some great points, and they are concerns that we all raised very early in our discussions with Logitech. Personally, I am feeling very good about this, but I've had a lot longer to get to know their people.

Thank you Sean, i very much appreciate you taking time in responding to my points. I was only worried about the product i like so much. This has helped. I'm not totally convinced, but time will tell. Just don't let those corporate monkeys ever push you around and continue making products as good as the SB range and Tranporter!

Good luck to you Sean.

kdf
2006-10-18, 15:41
Quoting radish <radish.2fw9zn1161210301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> My major concern is that the desire for people to pitch in and help
> with the software will dry up as Logitech can surely afford to hire as
> many devs as they need and everyone knows it. Slimserver wouldn't be
> what it is now if it were a purely in-house product. But again, if
> Logitech can find some way of keeping the small club feeling whilst
> expanding the user base 10x, then maybe it'll all be OK.

From the working side of the picture, I can certainly imagine that
expanding user base with the existing small club will be crippling.
Those of us working on "free time" (don't get me wrong, free kit is
cool, but it is a lot of time spent to get it) can easily end up
trampled. Even just the added base from SB3 and the NY Times press
gets hard to manage. I used to read every single forum/mail post and
responded to easily over 50%. Now, subject is critical or I just
don't have the time. Thankfully others have pitched in with the
helpful info. I think the high profile of Logitech can work both
ways. More money for in-house resources, but also a higher profile
for attracting contributors. Selfishly speaking, I already have more
than one SqueezeBox per room in my house. Remotes to access them and
all my other electronics would be a nice change, now that my current
universal remote (non-logitech) has a crippled IR output :)

Welcome to the team, Logitech...you have a keen eye for greatness in
picking out Slim Devices as a strategic growth path. Now, who's buying
the rounds???

-kdf

junien
2006-10-18, 15:51
Indeed, does Logitech do niche products? And how are you going to get the audiophilie community, that you are after with the transporter, to get over the 'Logitech' name? Can the logitech brand become synonymous with high/quality end audio/HiFi kit? I hope you can, but it will be a very steep climb indeed.

We just introduced Harmony 1000, a high end, touch screen remote control. Would you consider a $500 remote control a niche product?
Our overall strategy is to become more prominent in the living room. Transporter gives us an opportunity to test new price points. This has been the trend for Logitech in the past few years.

Junien

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-18, 16:03
Indeed, does Logitech do niche products? And how are you going to get the audiophilie community, that you are after with the transporter, to get over the 'Logitech' name? Can the logitech brand become synonymous with high/quality end audio/HiFi kit? I hope you can, but it will be a very steep climb indeed.

The Transporter is their first, and only, very high-end audiophile, niche product. Depending on how things work out, it could be that Slim Devices may not be able to introduce new products to this market - they may no longer have the "credentials" for this. I hope what Junien just posted is right, but audiophiles are a finnicky and fickle bunch.

But what really pays the bills is the Squeezebox, aimed at the up-market consumer. Slim Devices may have been kind of caught here in terms of growth - they just did not have any retail presence. Where could they have gone from here? We heard calls for taking the Squeezebox to the consumer - how could that have happened otherwise? This now completely eliminates that concern and will allow Slim to expand its product line for things users have been asking for - the Squeezebox boombox, the Squeezebox clock radio, perhaps even the Squeezebox portable player? The sky is kind of the limit now. They will have the financing and the marketing ability.

The Squeezebox was not really a consumer item. Now, suddenly, it is.

There was one mention about Apple DRM. Support for this has gotten much closer - I'm sure Apple would never have worked with Slim Devices but they might work with Logitech.

Also they can solidly trounce Roku, as if they haven't already. :-)

audiofi
2006-10-18, 16:09
I think this could be a good thing, the Harmony 1000 plus Squeezebox could well give the Squeezebox the edge over the Sonos

jeffluckett
2006-10-18, 16:16
Hooray for Slim. I hope the goodness that has befallen you extends to us that bought your product.

I've been using logitech mouses (mice?) for years ... I'm a trackball snob ... and have largely been impressed with the quality of thier hardware. Where I've never been impressed is with the quality of thier software.

I am in the camp that believes that SlimServer is in need of some major help in the UI and performance department. Hopefully Logitech will be able to bring some resources to bear and get the Server whipped into shape ... just as long as they keep thier in-house developers *far* away from the project.

ezkcdude
2006-10-18, 16:20
Is this acquisition official yet? I looked up the press releases for LOGI and didn't see anything.

Mister-E
2006-10-18, 16:23
Maybe this means that, when the new "Logitech" software is officially released, it might actually be usable. That'd be my hope.

The offical release of 6.5.0 was just plain horrible, even worse than a Logitech or Microsoft 1.0 release. Hours-long database rebuild? Check. Tons of inexplicable "No Artist/No Album" entries? Check. Crashing promptly and repeatedly? Check. Running screaming for the Uninstall button? Check.

I'm starting to think Open Source means releasing buggy software, then waiting for your user community to get bitten and start filing bug reports. A user community should not be substituted for a QA department!

I mean, COME ON. Hopefully Logitech can impart some QA methodology to the software side of the house. When your hardware is "slim", the software had better be bullet-proof...

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-18, 16:23
Well my thoughts have changed from when this thread was first started. My first reaction was "oh no!" (In fact I said that out loud.)

But yes, we should give this some time before jumping to conclusions. There are hopeful indications - Logitech's last acquisition was of Harmony, and Harmony remotes are overwhelmingly recommended:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28639

Harmony still seems to be putting out good products and retaining their independence. And I saw one in a Staples (Office Depot) the other day!

My concerns are as others have stated:

- I hope hardware quality doesn't decline as components are selected for cost rather than performance.

- I hope the open-source aspect is retained. We have seen promises that this will be so.

- While things could be made more consumer-friendly, I hope that it doesn't get too dumbed-down.

- I hope that Logitech realizes what brought Slim to where it is today, namely community involvement.

- I hope that Slim Devices, a division of Logitech, still cares for their customers. I'm not only talking in terms of support, I'm also talking about respecting our freedoms to use whatever OS we please, to customize SlimServer as we see fit, to meet our needs in terms of audio formats supported, etc. It seemed that Slim Devices bent over backwards for its users. This would be a terrible thing to lose. Many companies' software forces the user to adapt to their way of doing things, and if you don't like it, tough! SlimServer instead tries to be as accommodating as possible to the idiosynchracies of the user. Sure, it isn't perfect, but what is?

Let's give it time. Hopefully this thread can be retained so we can hold Junien and Sean to their promises. :-)

seanadams
2006-10-18, 16:24
Is this acquisition official yet? I looked up the press releases for LOGI and didn't see anything.

Their press release has not gone out yet - I wanted us to announce it here first.

mrfantasy
2006-10-18, 16:25
My first thought when I saw the title was, "it's April 1st again?"

But, it sounds much better than that. Just keep the quality up (or at least offer a product with the quality that previous Slim Devices products have) and I'll be just fine.

Definitely talk about the Harmony remotes working even better with Slim a la Sonos.

At least I can say I was a customer from "way back" (one year ago).

mkozlows
2006-10-18, 16:33
However, Logitech's brand is of enormous value to us

I can see that for the Squeezebox, but not at all for the Transporter. Big mass-market companies sold at Best Buy in colorful boxes have zero high-end audiophile cred.

Maybe use the Logitech name for the Squeezebox (which'll probably have to be significantly de-awesomed sound-quality-wise to hit a more consumer-friendly $199 price point), and Slim Devices for the Transporter?

Also: Will you continue to sell directly from your Web site? Because it doesn't seem like Logitech has the kind of distribution outlets that'd be able to sell a $2000 music streamer...

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-18, 16:48
Maybe use the Logitech name for the Squeezebox (which'll probably have to be significantly de-awesomed sound-quality-wise to hit a more consumer-friendly $199 price point), and Slim Devices for the Transporter?

Hopefully that market is for products like the Logitech Wireless DJ.

I view the Squeezebox as an "upscale" consumer product, and hopefully Logitech does too. I think they do, they seem to have realized that Harmony remotes aren't $29 Radio Shack specials. The Squeezebox is for someone who wants more than what the cheapest device on the market will provide. Someone who's willing to pay for quality.

seanadams
2006-10-18, 16:48
Also: Will you continue to sell directly from your Web site? Because it doesn't seem like Logitech has the kind of distribution outlets that'd be able to sell a $2000 music streamer...

That won't change any time soon. We will continue to sell online, and will expand that over time. Logitech actually is already entering a good number of A/V-only dealers for their remotes.

andy_c
2006-10-18, 16:52
I am in the camp that believes that SlimServer is in need of some major help in the UI...

Well, you said that much more diplomatically than I would have. I reported a web UI bug back in the 6.5 beta that made it unusable for me. The fix got pushed back to 6.5.1, then to 7.0. I've tried out every skin extensively on a laptop with a small display. Most of the skins have a problem on a small laptop when you enlarge the font in the browser to make the text easily readable. The controls in some of the skins don't resize with the text, making the text they contain unreadable. Other times, fixed-size UI elements partly cover up the controls when the text is enlarged. The least buggy skin I've found so far is Fishbone, but even it has a UI panel that partly covers up the main combo box used for navigation after enlarging the fonts. This is all stuff that can easily be found with even the most casual testing.

And this refers to 6.3.1. From what I've seen, 6.5 is even buggier still. UI elements that used to behave well by virtue of being in an HTML table now show overlapping text in the dark skin when resizing the browser window. I could go on, but after having wasted time in bug reporting when the fixes get pushed back to an unacceptable point in the future, I've had it.

junien
2006-10-18, 17:11
Hopefully that market is for products like the Logitech Wireless DJ.

I view the Squeezebox as an "upscale" consumer product, and hopefully Logitech does too. I think they do, they seem to have realized that Harmony remotes aren't $29 Radio Shack specials. The Squeezebox is for someone who wants more than what the cheapest device on the market will provide. Someone who's willing to pay for quality.

Exactly what our position is. The Squeezebox is complementary to Wireless DJ. DJ is for people who don't have a network or don't wnat to mess with it. It only allows streaming from the PC (and some more limited capabilities). SB is for more serious music lovers, more comfortable with their network, offering of wider set of features and functionality. In both cases the products are for people who are looking for an advanced music experience with no compromise on quality. The price points of the devices as well as the way they are positioned in the market show the differences with typical, undifferentiated media adapters, positioned as an infrastructure play.

Junien

Kyle
2006-10-18, 17:15
Junien, how long before we see a DJ-type remote for the Squeezebox?

junien
2006-10-18, 17:20
Junien, how long before we see a DJ-type remote for the Squeezebox?

Well... we are just starting the integration. Our main focus will be on jumpstarting sales at retail. Product roadmaps and developments will take a while :-)

Junien

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-18, 17:28
Exactly what our position is. The Squeezebox is complementary to Wireless DJ. DJ is for people who don't have a network or don't wnat to mess with it. It only allows streaming from the PC (and some more limited capabilities). SB is for more serious music lovers, more comfortable with their network, offering of wider set of features and functionality.

Thanks Junien. As long as these distinctions are made, I don't see that Slim Devices and Logitech are incompatible as a whole.

Like some others in this thread, I did not previously consider Logitech for serious audio. However it seems that Logitech wants to change, and it seems you realize that Slim Devices had some good experience in this area.

JohnnyLightOn
2006-10-18, 17:52
My Logitech mouse is so damn good I'd consider any product Logitech makes with an open mind. To me they are an innovative company that produces quality products.

I couldn't care less about audiophile cred. I don't show off my audio gear as a way of impressing others. I do show off how my system sounds, however. My biggest concern is that the Squeezebox and Transporter continue to be developed with audiophiles in mind. It doesn't cost much more to make a product that sounds great, and if there's any credibility issue at all, a great-sounding product at a good price will take the audio world by storm any day. Just witness the SB2/SB3.

ob_kook
2006-10-18, 17:55
I'm a fan of Logitech actually. I use their G15 keyboard, mouse, and speakers. I'm looking at the Harmony as a remote for my SB2, and I think that this move will eventually help with the integration of some of these peripherals into how we all use SB's.

I too have never associated them with upscale audio, but if they intend to keep Slim Devices acting as an independent business unit, I think the synergies are compelling. It would be nice to see the Squeezebox and Transporter really hit the mainstream audio!

Kook

Ron F.
2006-10-18, 18:20
I'm a fan of Logitech actually. I use their G15 keyboard, mouse, and speakers. I'm looking at the Harmony as a remote for my SB2, and I think that this move will eventually help with the integration of some of these peripherals into how we all use SB's.

I too have never associated them with upscale audio, but if they intend to keep Slim Devices acting as an independent business unit, I think the synergies are compelling. It would be nice to see the Squeezebox and Transporter really hit the mainstream audio!

Kook

The Transporter is not going to be hitting mainstream audio.

I am looking at the Logitech website, and viewing a page for the Wireless DJ. It does not appear to play FLAC. Does it play any kind of lossless format? Nothing is listed for S/N, etc. Yet, earlier in this thread, the Logitech svp described it as a product that is for consumers who want no compromises.

Well - there are compromises there - obviously. This is the background of a mass-market oriented company such as Logitech. They have to make many compromises every day - they have no choice.

Think of the number of mass-market oriented companies also making truely high-end audio products? Can't think of many. I seriously doubt the Transporter has a future against that stage, but we shall see.

-Ron

shabbs
2006-10-18, 18:52
I am looking at the Logitech website, and viewing a page for the Wireless DJ. It does not appear to play FLAC. Does it play any kind of lossless format? Nothing is listed for S/N, etc.
It is a bit ambiguous:

From: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2653,CONTENTID=11828#Specifications


Plays any format your PC can play:
* MP3 & WMA
* iTunes® (AAC)
* Internet Radio

My PC can play FLAC, OGG, WAV etc... will it play those? The devil is in the details, and details is what SD consumers like.

As for the acquisition, I think this will be a good thing in the end as long as SD can maintain control of their product and direction. Greater integration with relevant products like the Harmony 1000 will be a Good Thing(tm).

Cheers.

wat
2006-10-18, 19:12
Regardless of the long term impact, the fact that Slimdevices posted the announcment here prior to making a general announcement is significant in my opinion. I do believe it demonstrates the amount of respect they have for their customers, their user community, to do this rather than simply making a joint press release with Logitech.

Thanks.

shvejk
2006-10-18, 19:14
Oh, no. Must get my Transporter fast, before they change the logo. It is going to be a classic....

Congratulations to Sean. I've been watching your work since Slimp3 was first mentioned on slashdot. Your story gave me hope that a talented individual can still achieve something great in this corporate dominated world. I am glad that SlimDevices have proven to be successful. On the other hand, today is a sad day for many of your fans. It is an end of the era. Good luck for the future.

Corporate America is focused on maximizing profits. Build your product as cheaply as possible. Sell as much as possible. Ignore your customers as much as the laws allow you to. SlimDevices approach was so different, that is it almost unimaginable to be preserved in the future. Will I be able to add new features to my SB2 by simply refreshing the firmware with no extra cost? I would expect a corporation to push SB4 on me instead of offering free upgrade of my SB2. We will see...

snarlydwarf
2006-10-18, 19:26
Regardless of the long term impact, the fact that Slimdevices posted the announcment here prior to making a general announcement is significant in my opinion. I do believe it demonstrates the amount of respect they have for their customers, their user community, to do this rather than simply making a joint press release with Logitech.

I noticed that, too. And I appreciate Junien's candor and plain-speaking.

shriekback
2006-10-18, 19:41
As a happy Logitech stockholder (130% increase), I think Slim Devices is a great acquisition. I was an early buyer of your SliMP3 player, and apart from a couple of poor server releases, I've been very satisfied with what you've produced. Maybe I'll cash in some gains and buy a Transporter... Good luck!

Brad

joncourage
2006-10-18, 19:55
Oy. The beginning of the end. What a profound shame.


I can't blame you for doing this, but i too am very worried.

So please now please dispense with the vague PR speak, and please be as up front and honest as you can - how is this actually going to work?


Obviously you've not been through a corporate acquisition before. As a C-level exec who has been, more than once, I can tell you from direct personal experience you will not get candid answers from someone with "SVP" in his title.

Folks: if you think good things are going to result from this rather odd marriage, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'm selling.... Krell buys Slim? Sure, believable. But Logitech? C'mon, may as well be Hasbro.

Congrats Sean & Co. I hope you enjoy your new mansions and Porsches.

joncourage
2006-10-18, 20:08
Here's the official Press Release:

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061018/20061018006053.html?.v=1

Seems to me for all intents and purposes to have been made public around the same time as Sean's original post here. Not exactly like the Forum got some great advance scoop as implied in the OP (and that probably wouldn't even be legal since Logi is publicly traded).

notanatheist
2006-10-18, 20:09
Wow. Shocking to say the least. Then again, if we can get individual units for $199 or less as a reseller then I'm on it. Just please keep things as they are with SlimDevices and don't try to customize or cheapen it with a crappy LCD or proprietary software. I know this has been covered already but every voice that's heard will only enforce the idea. Open development drives product adoption.

So, where is that Logitech mouse software for linux eh? Just kidding.

Bon chance to all involved (including us users!)

paul830
2006-10-18, 20:12
I am a new member to this forum. I have had my Squeezebox3 for only one week. I did a lot of research before finding a product that was open source, high quality, and also has a wonderful user forum and WIKI. After recieving my Squeezebox, I couldn't believe how great it sounds and looks... I was really happy to find a company,which from my reading in this forum, appeared to care about a quality product and serving their customers. Most large companies only care about the bottom line... not customer service...I hope that Slim Devices can maintain some control over their quality and customer service. Best of luck...

tygar
2006-10-18, 20:13
Congratulations to Slim Devices on its latest success. I hope that the partnership with Logitech allows Slim Devices to reach more households!

stinkingpig
2006-10-18, 20:22
On 10/18/06, shvejk <shvejk.2fwkmz1161224101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
> ...
> Oh, no. Must get my Transporter fast, before they change the logo. It is
> Corporate America is focused on maximizing profits. Build your product
> as cheaply as possible. Sell as much as possible. Ignore your customers
> as much as the laws allow you to. SlimDevices approach was so different,
> that is it almost unimaginable to be preserved in the future. Will I be
> able to add new features to my SB2 by simply refreshing the firmware
> with no extra cost? I would expect a corporation to push SB4 on me
> instead of offering free upgrade of my SB2. We will see...
>
>
Surely you meant to refer to corporate Switzerland...
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/about/company/US/EN

anyway, your concerns are potentially valid, but there's no guarantee of any
outcome; not only do different companies behave differently, but different
divisions behave differently, and any unit changes over time. Simply look at
Sony's slide from well-respected quality into crack-smokin' irrelevancy...
ten years ago, would anyone have predicted complete debacles like the
rootkit CDs or the exploding batteries?

We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Personally, I'm still planning
to buy another squeezebox for Christmas.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

inguz
2006-10-18, 20:26
Congratulations. I've been a fan of SlimDevices for a long while (since way before I was a customer); now I hope you can create the same enthusiasm in a much broader audience.

And good luck! Don't let the suits in! :-)

kdf
2006-10-18, 20:33
On 18-Oct-06, at 8:08 PM, joncourage wrote:

>
> Not exactly like the Forum got some great advance scoop (and that
probably wouldn't even
> be legal since Logi is publicly traded).
>
time of post was about 2pm pacific. time of that article 9:57 pm ET
so that's about 5 hours by my count. Fairly significant for as you say
a publicly traded company.
nevertheless, both after trading hours for NYSE. As Logitech is
headquartered in Switzerland, I expect it is Zurich stock exchange that
really matters.

-kdf

jasenj1
2006-10-18, 20:43
Well, I'm saddened. Once the MBAs, lawyers, and accountants get ahold of Slim, things will change.

Good bye hackable hardware - someone might zap themselves and sue.
Good bye over-engineered/quality components - If we change to this DAC and reduce the cost by $X while reducing the retail price by $Y, research shows we'll reach Z more customers and make MORE MONEY!!! (And legally, we MUST do that for the shareholders.)
Good bye close correspondence with the top guys - EVERYTHING has to go through legal, or we might violate some SEC rule about insider info.

Sorry, but a publicly traded company is a beast unto itself. The rules change.

True, the Slim guys will probably make a fortune. And they'll probably be able to release some cool new products that they couldn't pull off before. But the soul will be gone.

Please feel free to prove me wrong.

- Jasen.

nbrown
2006-10-18, 20:46
Please just keep FLAC and high quality sound/DAC. that is all that I ask.

Dan Sully
2006-10-18, 21:17
Too late, Sean already has a Porsche.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-18, 21:51
my Harmony 880 STILL won't charge properly because of a faulty cradle, and support are pretty horrible to deal with) but we'll see.

The 880 cradle problem has been fixed. Harmony should be happy to send you a new improved one. They sent me 2 new cradles and a new rechargable battery.

shokunin
2006-10-18, 22:02
Congrats to the Slim team!!

Well, only time will tell what will happen. Will Sean stick with Logitech over the long haul, which is easy to say "yes" to now. However, the soul and excitement of creating and fostering a successful startup becomes lost in sea of politics, budgets and profit margins, and differences in philosophies.

What made SD successful was and is it's people and culture. Often times that is what is lost during an M&A, nothing will probably change for the first 12 months. Then frustration sets in around 18 to 24 months from now, the thought leaders at SD will leave to find more lucrative and newer opportunities. The Slim brand loses it's simple undeterred focus and becomes lost in diversification and blurred product lines and focus on glitzy features over sound quality.

Hopefully I'm wrong, dead wrong, but as someone who worked through a small startup and then got acquired by 16,000 person software workhorse, there are constantly talks about the good 'ol days.

Glenn

oreillymj
2006-10-18, 22:10
The way I see it, Slim has a great product line ready for mass market adoption.

By not taking advantage of that product being one of the best out there and becoming the iPod of network music players, it just becomes a matter of time before Apple or some Chinese/Taiwanese producer brings out a clone that cleans up in the market place.

1) Logitech gives Slim the marketings and distribution to get there product into thousands of stores world-wide and gives them a chance of mass-market adoption.
2) They also give them the financial muscle to perhaps try some riskier products that perhaps there wasn't the cashflow to attempt.
3) Perhaps Slim will also gain access to some DRM licenses that weren't financially viable for Slim at their current size. That could enable more functionality in the existing product line.

Now, will the Slim be able to stay as responsive to the community when they have 10x the customer base?

Only time will tell. I hope so.

Best of luck guys, enjoy the Porsche(s) and keep up the good work.

Michaelwagner
2006-10-18, 22:23
When i saw this thread i had to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Funny. That was my first thought too. Damn! Did I manage to sleep through the entire winter?

SundarNagarajan
2006-10-18, 22:34
I am very happy for Slimdevices and the excellent team there. I am a proud owner of 2 SBa, and I have bought 3 more for friends and family.

The product, the company and it's attitude towards customers, users etc has been exemplary. All my interactions - whether it is buying SBs, a spare power cable, or downloading and using slimserver have been happy ones.

I hope, like everyone else on this forum, that the purchase by Logitech will not kill the free spirit of this company.

I love the sound and the quality construction of the SBs, but what initially attracted me was the openness of the platform, and the warm embrace of the developer and user communities.

Sean and team: I hope you all make out well. I also hope they don't kill your excellent product or morph it into some poor "mass market compromise".

Michaelwagner
2006-10-18, 22:43
Here's the official Press Release:

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061018/20061018006053.html?.v=1

Seems to me for all intents and purposes to have been made public around the same time as Sean's original post here.

Sean was 2 hours earlier, if I have my time zone arithmetic right.

TomDac
2006-10-18, 22:46
My experience with Logitech products has been good AND bad..

Bought the original Cyberman and Cyberman 2 for 3D gaming (Descent) and they both were quite expensive and horrible build quality. Logitech would not stand by either of these products which left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I swore off Logitech products for awhile until I got a cordless MX Laser mouse and webcam for my birthday. My initial reaction when i opened them was, "oh no.. Logitech CRAP", but both have been great.

http://incolor.inebraska.com/bill_r/logitech_cyberman.htm
http://www.3dgamers.com/articles/more/38/



I'll keep my fingers crossed on what happens to Slim Devices. :-)

Tom

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-18, 22:55
Thoughts:

I don't blame anyone for cashing in. They've worked hard and deserve to be rewarded. But only $20 million for the world's leading player in a rapidly emerging field? Where are the guys who negotioted the YouTube deal when ya need 'em?

Maybe Slim believed they would be steamrolled by the many mainstream offerings that will certainly emerge in this category. Better to *become* a mainstream offering, I guess.

But I don't really think that the SB3 build quality needs improving and the current price is certainly reasonable. With Logitech's manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and the resulting economics of scale, there's no reason why the SB couldn't sell for $199 - but their SVP has already indicated that they don't want to crowd out their existing product at that price point, so I wouldn't look for any price improvement (and probably no $100 off 2 deals either)!

And certainly no pony!

The biggest thing this deal will accomplish is to put Squeezeboxes on the shelves of major retailers and multiply the customer base. Make room in the Beginners forum for a flood of new users.

But I fear the soul of Slim Devices will be lost. This company was a huge anomaly in a world of bean counters and bottom-lines. They tirelessly worked to add value to every device, even years after it was sold. Can that continue in a large corporate environment? When less than 1% of their customers use Linux, will they be abandoned? Will Logitech cave to RIAA pressure and decide that MP3 *is* a crime? We shall see.

It's not all gloom and doom, though. I'm pretty sure we'll see a lot of the stuff we've been asking for - better remotes, maybe a boombox, slicker interfaces, etc.

Nothing stays the same. We'll take the good with the bad. And someday when there's a SB7 in every home, that garage-built SliMP3 player will bring me $4000 on eBay.

roamingstudio
2006-10-18, 22:56
Most people dont like the idea of a small independant company with a good track record being taken over by a large multi-national; always fearing (often rightly) that product quality, support takes a nose dive. This may happen even now - we can hope not and that certainly over the next year or so hope that the support / intervention in the design process is not too severe.

In the long run it would be good to have devices which can be modified using a relatively open hardware platform - and that Slim-Logitech-Devices allow this to occur. One possability would be to use modular designs - if they downgrade the DAQ chip / circuit then use a standard layout so that others can easily interchange the circuit - e.g. something like a small mini-pci type / memory connector to bridge to a new board. Similarly I would hope SLD were open to listing basic product specifications. Often it is the user community which can find, spot and possibly fix a bug / fault before a large corporate group can.

Perhaps there could be a mass market for a SB-Lite; SB-Pro; Transporter.

In the meantime I hope that the SB / Transporter range continues unchanged and reliable.

cashman
2006-10-18, 23:06
And to think that I just bought a Logitech 880 last week to enhance my SB experience....

I've used Logitech mice for years - they are great products. Sorry, but I just can't get enthused about "Logitech high-end audio" gear.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always Mr Glass Half Full Optimist - I just hate to think that something will have to be sacrificed in order to gain mass-market appeal, be it audio quality, build quality, etc. I'm sure with their economy of scale, Logitech can make the products cheaper - hopefully not make them cheap.

I wish the Slim Devices crew all the best and hope that we can see some great new products coming soon.

Robster
2006-10-18, 23:08
So I bought a Harmony remote and Logitech bought Harmony. Then I buy a Slim Devices SB and Logitech buy SD. OK, I'm gonna buy a wood chipper this weekend - let's see Logitech buy Yard Machines.

Steve.

Got up this morn and had to do a doubletake, as I ordered an 885 remote on Tuesday! Spooky.

R

ehjones
2006-10-18, 23:32
Hi,
What are the plans for continued linux support?
Logitech doesn't appear to support use of it's devices under linux at all - is this set to change?

Ed

sgard9
2006-10-18, 23:45
Sean, Dean and all at SD,

Congratulations! I wish you all the best in this new relationship. I
vividly remember your first year at MacWorld SF. Lots of enthusiasm
in that booth! Had never heard of a SliMP3, but I bought one from
Dean. Still have it of course and it is working well. The next year I
got to chat with Dean again, met Patrick and bought the new SD
remote. Last year another chance to speak to Dean and ended up with
an SB3. I really like the design of the SB3. So, where will I find
you guys this January? SlimDevices booth, or Logitech booth? Pleeeeze
don't show me the Transporter! Not sure that my wallet can take the hit!

-- Scott --

seanadams
2006-10-18, 23:58
Hi,
What are the plans for continued linux support?


That is the plan. It is a small effort since our software is fundamentally platform independent anyway, and NAS support is also an important and growing part of our business. Oh, and SqueezeNetwork runs on Linux. :)



Logitech doesn't appear to support use of it's devices under linux at all - is this set to change?


Don't expect linux drivers for mice and keyboards to come from Slim, but yes, this does mean that one division of Logitech will be supporting Linux.

gocam
2006-10-19, 00:05
Congratulations, Sean & team - I'm on my 4th SD device and have recommended to many others - only recently retired the SLiMP3 - together with my tivo, these are the best range of electronic devices that I've ever had the pleasure of owning, and hope the research and development continues to push the envelope.

Seineseeker
2006-10-19, 00:14
I think it was inevitable, a small company like SlimDevices wouldn't be able to compete as larger companies would have basically copied the SB and made it cheaper sooner rather than later.

So an acquisition by Logitech, whereas everyone has concerns over small innovative company swallowed up by large corporation, it probably is the best way to keep SlimDevices products competitive.

I wonder if the SB will be rebranded? The snob in me would rather have a SlimDevices product on my hifi rack than a Logitech.

CardinalFang
2006-10-19, 00:16
Actually I am not sure I see a dicotomy between tech-led development and user-friendliness. In fact I was personally impressed about the ease of installation and of use of my Squeezebox. The user interface of the Slim Server could probably become more consumer oriented. Yet this is not a priority.

I appreciate your answer, but you've kind of shown your hand there a bit - it's usually Sean who says what the priority is ;-) Apologies, I'm a bit too sharp sometimes, I'm sure that wasn't the meaning of your post! But it does raise a point, the UI is an issue for a lot of people. I suppose the answer is a fancy new remote - it's something I wanted, so I can't complain.

I was referring to the fact that as a tech-led development, consideration for non-technical users can be a low priority (and I didn't say it is in this case) since it is a community driven development for that community of technical people. To get that 10x user base happy and contented, you're going to have to start making design and marketing decisions about the product and request that the community follow them. If I were Logitech and examining the complete cost base for extending the product market size, then support has to be measured and relying on the free time of enthusiasts isn't really going to cut the mustard.


We are much more interested in extending the current technology to new hardware products and new markets.

With more users, the cracks in SlimServer will show more. I hope the community here is feeling up to the job. Believe me, once the average Joe gets hold of this and starts asking where he plugs it into his computer, this forum will get a taste of the future.


I also hope that the open source community will continue to be motivated in making the products stronger and more versatile.


That depends - at the moment they are developing for a community of generally polite fellow enthusiasts who love the product because it is hackable. When that changes as SlimServer is used with numerous other products and the user base extends to 10 times what it is today and comments on the groups change from "I'm having a few problems" to "the pos software won't work", that willingness to contribute may change.

Hey, I'm probably wrong, but as I said I'm a cynical b*sta*d - unfortunately that's usually the correct stance when it comes to corporate life.

I've watched and been involved in acquisitions several times. The usual timetable is that the founders leave as soon as the financial handcuffs come off (earn-outs, restricted stock selling etc.), key staff go somewhere else where the small compoany spirit still exists (or where there is equity to be had), the proposed new products get shelved (testing new price points == we'll kill it if it doesn't sell) and the original customers who enjoyed the kudos of owning the audiophile product go elsewhere. I'd buy a Slim Transporter, not sure I'd buy a Logitech one. Yes, that's dumb if it's the same product inside, but HiFi snobbery is a critical aspect of the market.

roamingstudio
2006-10-19, 01:17
Sean

You mentioned NAS support - well it would seem a logical development to have a NAS branded device (even with the recent tie-ups). If you / logitech / infrant do end up on the NAS route please *please* PLEASE do not lock the system down and allow it to be configurable. Decent NAS blocks which are quiet, low power usage and slim (e.g. Synology / QNAP) are the ideal future - unless you manage to make a transporter clone with inbuilt copper pipes for passive HDD cooling. Now that would be nice! (it is also a mini project of mine).

flattop100
2006-10-19, 01:21
I've watched and been involved in acquisitions several times. The usual timetable is that the founders leave as soon as the financial handcuffs come off (earn-outs, restricted stock selling etc.), key staff go somewhere else where the small compoany spirit still exists (or where there is equity to be had), the proposed new products get shelved (testing new price points == we'll kill it if it doesn't sell) and the original customers who enjoyed the kudos of owning the audiophile product go elsewhere.

Seems to me that only happens in companies who don't love what they make. I get the totally opposite impression from SD.

fairyliquidizer
2006-10-19, 01:47
Let me introduce myself. My name is Junien Labrousse, Logitech SVP of the Entertainment and Communication Business Unit.
The first thing I'll say is that we are very excited about the opportunity that Slim Devices will bring to Logitech. This is
a great extension of our current business. Let me assure you that one of the main reasons for this acquisition is the development capabilities of the Slim Devices team. The technical level of this group is a key asset that we fully intend to leverage. The Slim Devices entity will function independently, keeping the spirit of advance audio technology and strong product innovation.

Logitech will bring its global distribution and marketing capabilities, providing a jump start to a large visibility and adoption of Slim Devices products.

Junien

Junien,

Welcome to our world! Congratulations on selecting a great acquisition target. You have acquired a great team with strong design and development skills. I am sure that your marketing and distribution skills will assist in extending the addressable market of the Squeezebox.

Unlike some of the people here I think that Logitech is a good match. Sure the Logitech will move into new terrain in some senses but in others it has long been associated with quality premium products. My MX700 was reasonably expensive for a mouse when I bought it (just after launch) and was by far the most expensive mouse I had ever bought. Why did I buy it? Because it was the best and a quality product, with excellent build standards. Very similar to the reasons why I bought my SB3.

Sean et al,

A good move and I hope you grasp this opportunity to acheive greatness. I personally had worried that the old smaller Slim Devices would struggle to grow in the face of increasing competition from Apple etc and would end up limited to a niche market. I now think that there is every reason why the squeezebox can become the leading brand in digital home audio.

On a personal note, I like most other people here am very attached to the Squeezebox and may find future brand changes difficult, however if it brings a healthy future to SlimDevices, it's people and products then I for one am very pleased.

Regards,
Fairy

KlaymenDK
2006-10-19, 01:59
Dear Sean and Junien,
I sincerely hope and ask you will find opportunity to answer this one question:

What will happen to openness in regard to platforms and data formats?

I use BSD and keep all my music in FLAC. Concisely put, this is a principled conscientious choice. I would be very sad to see support for these freedoms go.

Please tell me that Slimdevices will continue to support open formats and free platforms. Please?

gorman
2006-10-19, 02:08
Let me introduce myself. My name is Junien Labrousse, Logitech SVP of the Entertainment and Communication Business Unit.Dear Junien, if you treat them well you'll be rewarded by a very loyal community of early adopters, opinion leaders and trend setters.
I'm personally very happy for this news. I would have hated to see SD reach the same "end" that Rio reached, and in a competitive market, in the long run, you need big shoulders to survive.

Since I have you here Junien, maybe you'll read this: why, why, why don't Harmony remotes allow users to reorder commands on the LCD at will... it's the only grain of sand in an otherwise supremely well oiled mechanism.

And... given your expertise with Harmony... can we expect a Sonos like remote in the future for our Squeezeboxes? :)

Siduhe
2006-10-19, 02:14
I'm likewise in the "congrats" camp. Sean and the team at SD, as well as all those other contributors from the developers forum have done a fantastic job and developed a great product in the Squeezebox. But I'm not surprised that SD has decided to come under the umbrella of a larger organisation in order to take it to the next stage.

The fact it was announced here first and immediately followed by some posts from Logitech shows that everyone is sensitive to this community's likely reaction.

The big issue for me is how SD can continue to harness this vibrant and quite unique user / developer base to improve the product, whilst making it "user-friendly" enough to move it to mass market. Someone recently suggested the software could split into two - a "it just works" version (mp3, wma only not so many option), and the current ultra configurable version.

I hope that the deal with Logitech takes account of the things that are likely to be most important to the community developer group - open-source, cross-platform, multiple format support being the three that come to my mind. In the time I've spent on the boards, my impression is that they can act as a crucial "sense check" on new product features and code.

Without knowing any of the details, I suspect that SD could have been sold for more if the product line had simply been handed over and the software closed off (or at least the current software no longer supported and new, closed source software subsequently implemented), and so I'm hopeful that this is the beginning of just another chapter.

Dougal
2006-10-19, 02:20
Hi,
Speaking as a Windows desktop user and Logitech purchaser (mouse, keyboard, pc speakers, Harmony) I suppose I should applaud the news, but I do think those with the most concerns will be the open source community who may fear a forking of development and maybe being left with a product with less than full functionality.
Best Regards,
Doug.

CardinalFang
2006-10-19, 02:21
Seems to me that only happens in companies who don't love what they make. I get the totally opposite impression from SD.

The snappy answer is that they currently enjoy what they do, that may change for the worse or it may get better. Don't forget it isn't strictly SD anymore and no matter how independant they may be, new rules apply from now on. It's up to Logitech to make sure their new acquisition is happy - most of what they've paid for is the people, if they walk, that's a lot of money down the tubes.

However, there's nothing like cash in the pocket to give you a more relaxed perspective to life, and in Sean's shoes I'd be looking forwards right now. Whether a few months down the line the team get itchy feet is yet to be seen.

I don't want anyone to get me wrong though, I still love the product - as I said a Logitech Transporter doesn't appeal to my hifi snob sensibilities, but perhaps it'll evolve and look even cooler.

gorman
2006-10-19, 02:23
Their press release has not gone out yet - I wanted us to announce it here first.This deserves a separate thank you. I've personally been involved in a corporate acquisition and giving info the go on an internet forum speaks volumes about your dedication to customers.
Thank you Sean.

mherger
2006-10-19, 02:24
> -What will happen to openness in regard to platforms and data

It's been mentioned before: SQN is running on Linux (or even BSD?) -
they'll have to further support *x systems if they want to continue SQN.

--

Michael

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

gorman
2006-10-19, 02:41
as I said a Logitech Transporter doesn't appeal to my hifi snob sensibilities, but perhaps it'll evolve and look even cooler.Well... you already said it: you know what's inside. You could mod it to your heart's content and have the greatest player in a totally cool CardinalFang box. ;)

ehjones
2006-10-19, 02:46
Re: Continued linux support:


That is the plan. It is a small effort since our software is fundamentally platform independent anyway, and NAS support is also an important and growing part of our business. Oh, and SqueezeNetwork runs on Linux. :)



Don't expect linux drivers for mice and keyboards to come from Slim, but yes, this does mean that one division of Logitech will be supporting Linux.

Sounds great :)

Along with other comments in this thread, I agree that this was rather inevitable for continued growth of SD. I certainly don't get the feeling that this is a complete sell-out ;)

Good luck and whatever will be, will be. And in the meantime enjoy the Hawaiian Island...

aubuti
2006-10-19, 02:55
Congratulations to the Slim Devices team, and to Logitech as well. I share the concern of many others about where the new ownership will take the product line, and especially what will happen to its open and cross-platform nature. An earlier favorite gadget of mine, Xircom's Rex 6000 micro-PDA, didn't survive when Intel bought Xircom, but a community grew up to hack, support, and extend that proprietary source project. Obviously this is different, because the Rex6K wasn't Intel's motivation for buying Xircom (just like Logitech didn't acquire SD to get the Slim cleaning cloths, or remotes).

So I'm taking a wait and see attitude, although this might push me to get off my butt and buy that 3rd SB that I've been thinking about for several months.......

funkstar
2006-10-19, 03:18
Too late, Sean already has a Porsche.
Can he park it any better than the Merc he had a few years ago?

:P

cliveb
2006-10-19, 03:44
...as I said a Logitech Transporter doesn't appeal to my hifi snob sensibilities...
This is bang on the mark. The high-end audio marketplace is *extremely* badge-sensitive, and the Transporter branded as a Logitech product will not sell, period.

What ought to come out of this is that Logitech will sell shedloads of Squeezeboxes, which is a good thing, because it means that the best affordable network player around gets to survive.

But the only way the Transporter (or evolution thereof) will stick around is if it retains its Slim Devices branding, or perhaps better still (from a marketing perspective) Logitech cuts an OEM deal with one of the "names" in high-end audio. If Logitech try to sell Transporters with their own badge, they simply won't shift and we'll see this superb cutting edge device get axed.

Simon Still
2006-10-19, 04:01
I think this is good news - what Slim needed to progress to mass market was
more R&D investment, access to mainstream, global, distribution and cheaper
manufacturing costs to get the end product price down.

All of that should come with Logitech. They're one of the high end
aftermarket peripheral companies IMV. Their current audio kit might not be
aimed at the high end but that can change and the Harmony remotes are most
definitely aimed at high end AV.

The Harmony remotes are excellent and the potential for integration between
Harmony and SB is huge.

Sir G
2006-10-19, 04:19
Let's be realistic. When you are in business, there are offers you simply can't refuse.
I'm only sorry I don't own SD stock.
Congrats to all at SD

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Peter_N=F5u?=
2006-10-19, 04:31
Congratulations!

I see no immediate impact on my own Slim relationship, but note happily
that this deal just possibly might be a beachhead into mainstream
consumption of electronic gadgets, for a heavily open sourced community
product development participation model. Hopefully more mainstream media
will report on the benifits of this, and others might follow... dream on :-)

peace,
peter

gb115b
2006-10-19, 04:36
cool, i hope this will let slim get devices into more households...

and you can say you were there when it all began!

I'll put my slimp3 next to my 1st gen ipod in the trophy cabinet....

also i hope that this will enable a more consumer-product (as oopose to geek-toy) approach. I'd love to see slim products with the ease of use / setup - and remote! of Sonos...

while keeping all the best it has to offer...open software, great plugin architecture...frequent software updates...

utowana
2006-10-19, 05:04
When I purchased my SB, I immediately started to worry about the viability of SlimDevices. Will they be there forever for me? I worried even more after I fell in love with the product, the service, the forum, even the server software (despite some fits and starts). I work for a company that is positioning itself to be purchased (someday). The American way. Do good work and be rewarded for it. Things have to change at SD. It is inevitable. Corporate will slowly encroach. I want my little company back...I'll take the anxiety. Good for the guys at SD. They deserve it, but we didn't.

It is rare to have a product in the marketplace that engenders loyalty and passion. I hope you can sustain that.

Neurotically yours....

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 05:22
Can he park it any better than the Merc he had a few years ago?

Low blow! :-)

And where was the link to that picture?

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 05:25
One thing I have to ask ... will the cash infusion mean that a homeplug version might be possible now?

And I second the comment about having to being prepared for a bunch of newbies in the beginner forum.

interspectrum
2006-10-19, 05:55
Anyone who has worked in software development knows how expensive it can be, even in open source.

One of the problems we have seen already is the lack of proprietary formats and DRM support. This requires licensing, which requires money.

Now Slim Devices has some deep pockets behind them to support more of these formats. First thing I can think of is Play For Sure and/or Zun support.

Also, I would love to see a sqeezebox video player. Do with video what you do with audio. I have never bought a "media player" because all of the ones I have looked at do not support the audio formats that my slimserver/sqeezebox 2 does.

So I say good move guys! I do hope that Logitech remembers why they bought you and also remembers that many buyouts fail because executives forget why they bought a company and then go in and kill those very things that made the old company work!

jeffluckett
2006-10-19, 05:56
I think it's definitely too early to tell how this is going to impact the future generations of the SqueezeBox and Transporter lines ... my personal feeling is that they're going to loose some "Street Cred" if/when logitech puts thier big goofy-looking logo on the product.

I am quite happy that I bought a pre-logitch device, because I will always have that "known quantity" for as long as it continues to operate. Hopefully it'll last as long as some of the other electronics in my posession ... some on the order of decades.

That said, I'm future-proofing myself by keeping copies of old SlimServer versions so I know I'll always have something that works with my SB, even if Logitech manages to bumble up the Server software down the line in some capacity or other.

I also worry about the future of the SqueezeNetwork ... I don't see that as much of a cash cow ... there's no advertising ... maybe there's some kick-back from Pandora subscriptions ... dunno. I can't see Logitech keeping SqueezeNetwork alive if it is mostly liability with little potential for profit.

I predict that SqueezeNetwork will either be scuttled, become a fee-based subscription service, or be riddled with advertising (unless you pay your ransom and subscribe).

Fortunately I'm not "addicted" to SqueezeNetwork, and I have my old server software which supports internet radio, and my old hardware that isn't 'locked down' at the firmware level from being able to have the flexibility I now enjoy.

I know this is fairly pessimistic view of the future of SlimDevice's product line ... but history shows what happens in cases where a small, innovative, flexible, service-oriented company is taken over by a publicly traded Corp-monster who's primary responsibility is to shareholders, and customers are just money trees to be plucked and groomed only enough that they keep sprouting dollar bills. I present as "Exhibit A" what happened to Linksys. They were becoming quite popular among the "Hacker" crowd due to their support of open source ... the WAP54G was highly regarded as a great product before V.5. Then Cisco came in ... and hamstrung the 54G with VxWorks and then introduced a "Hackable" version of the router at a higher price-point. Way to squeeze the blood out of the very community that was making the original product popular.

That said ... I have been using Logitech hardware for years, and invariably they have worked well ... I've never had to make a call to thier support dep't. so I can't comment on that. I do hope that they "do right" by the SlimDevice line and maintain its character. I also hope they do a better job with SlimServer than they have with thier MouseWare in the past ... or (preferably) keep thier developers away from the software.

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 06:14
I am an old Amiga user - bought the original 1000 when it hit the shelves.

Amiga was bought by Commodore. Commodore was no stranger to computers, having been involved with the 6502 development and having brought the PET and the 64 to market.

And yet, they didn't understand what they had bought, had less than zero clue how to market it .... and they totally botched it.

I hope Logitech understands what they have bought.

)p(
2006-10-19, 06:40
We just introduced Harmony 1000, a high end, touch screen remote control. Would you consider a $500 remote control a niche product?
Our overall strategy is to become more prominent in the living room. Transporter gives us an opportunity to test new price points. This has been the trend for Logitech in the past few years.

Junien

The design of the 1000 sure comes close to the brushed metal rounded corners look of the sb3 already...seems like a pretty good basis for creating the sb remote everyone seems to want ;)

peter

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-19, 06:41
Paranoid thoughts:

If Logitech, who just launched a product in this category, saw Slim as a major threat, then $20 million is a drop in the bucket. If they wanted to kill the SB so it wouldn't compete with their own product, this is a cheap way to do it.

ModelCitizen
2006-10-19, 06:43
The design of the 1000 sure comes close to the brushed metal rounded corners look of the sb3 already...seems like a pretty good basis for creating the sb remote everyone seems to want ;)
peter
Judging by a comment Sean made some time back and the new SD ownership I'm sure it can only be a matter of time before there is a new remote.
MC

jncraig
2006-10-19, 06:45
> I hope Logitech understands what they have bought.

If you're interested in a postive example, I'm assuming that Logitec
purchased Harmony, and that's why the remotes are named Logitec
Harmony.

For me, congratulations to the Slim Devices people!

--


Joe

Timbo
2006-10-19, 06:49
Congrats Slim and Sean - well done with taking your business where it has to go to continue to grow like it needs to in order to survive :-)

I don't tend to get emotionally tied to product, just go for the best compromise I can find at the time I am looking. Will watch this space with great interest - just sort me out something that features a Sonus style intelligent remote combined with a dacless Transporter and my dreams will be answered - by next Spring guys if you can... :-)

.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 06:55
And where was the link to that picture?

http://flickr.com/photos/ycantpark/25737470/

Sean did sucessfully defend himself here:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=47272&postcount=9


First of all, that is exactly where they told me to park.

Secondly, my car is NOT QUITE AS GAY as riding a pony around town.

Lastly, no, we never sent out those stickers. They are a vinyl cutout and a bit of work to stick on, but we could have a bunch made if people are interested. Pic:

http://www.seanadams.com/slim_sticker.jpg

Hey, I also noticed that Sean's site is gone. :-(

davep
2006-10-19, 07:00
I have been mulling this over all day thinking about my reactions to what was actually quite a shock first thing this morning. I have two concerns at this point.

1. One of the major attractions for me about the whole SS/SB thing has been the incredible responsiveness to user demand and its seemingly endless capacity for tweaking in all sorts of directions. If people look at the SB and think this is just a way to get their mP3s out of the PC and into the stereo then they are missing a lot. Just think for a moment what the current software/hardware combination can do - multiple file formats, automatic volume levelling, weather forecasts, scrobbling, cricket scores, wireless bridging, Palm/PPC/Nokia 770 remote control, streaming over the internet to my hotel room, softsqueeze, synchronised multi-room systems, etc, etc - oh, and damn fine audio serving as well. Can we really expect this level of innovation and "why the hell not?" attitude to continue under a mass-market, quarterly-profit driven environment?

A vivid example in this area is AlienBBC - one of the primary reasons for me, as a globally displaced Brit, to spend so much time and money on my SBs. This is very much a 3rd party plug in and needs to be maintained since the BBC will always want to move stuff around. Also it is dependent on 3rd party codecs and things like M-player. I believe that AlienBBC is a magnificent achievement by all of those involved but it does not seem like the kind of effort that fits well in a structured corporate set up. I fear for its future.

2. The Transporter is my second area of concern. I can see how the SB3 might fit into a Logitech product line-up as they are obviously moving into that area, but not the Transporter - it just not feel like a match for a company founded on mice and keyboards. And, as others have pointed out, the high end audio world is unlikely to embrace a Logitech device as being a credible serious device, however good it is. And I believe from my own experience it is a VERY good high end audio source. I cannot honestly see the Transporter surviving for long under the new owners (so get one while you can).

Of course I might be completely wrong about all of this...

davep

Robert_W
2006-10-19, 07:01
Congrats to Sean and the folks at Slim. It's hard to turn down cash when it's staring you in the face.

But unfortunately I just can't help but think that this will be the demise of Slim as we know it. My thoughts went right to negative as I read the news this morning.

I may now wish that I had ordered my Transporter sooner. But I suppose my SB'3 will be the last of a dying breed.

Logitech? Quality Audio? Kind of an Oxymoron.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 07:08
Then again, if we can get individual units for $199 or less as a reseller then I'm on it. Just please keep things as they are with SlimDevices and don't try to customize or cheapen it with a crappy LCD or proprietary software.

Err, aren't you asking for contradictory things?

"Drop the price to $199."

"Don't cheapen it."

?

I'd prefer to pay a bit more for a VFD which has some distinct advantages over an LCD, and I hope Logitech feels the same way.

chiphart
2006-10-19, 07:21
kdf wrote:
> From the working side of the picture, I can certainly imagine that
> expanding user base with the existing small club will be crippling.

As is often the case, kdf's comment is among the most insightful
among the chatter. The one thing I fear about this change is
*the management of success*. Many of us were here when AOL
arrived on usenet. Remember that? I'm a SB1 owner ("old"
but hardly among the originals) and I remember reading every
single slimlist post...now, forget it. I finally aliased a
"Delete Thread" key in my mail client just for this list.

What's going to happen when we get 10K new users? [Note the use
of the pronoun "we" - as if it's something more than just a cool
box that plays my music.]

P.S. - I can only imagine some of the discussions over the
phone/table. "Well, first we have this users' group. Second,
we have this guy, kdf..."

Good work, slimdevices. You deserve every bit of your good
fortune.

--
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.

kanoot
2006-10-19, 07:22
The thing that worries me is that the first post made by a Logitech employee included the word "leverage"...

run away!!!

totoro
2006-10-19, 07:33
The Transporter is their first, and only, very high-end audiophile, niche product. Depending on how things work out, it could be that Slim Devices may not be able to introduce new products to this market - they may no longer have the "credentials" for this. I hope what Junien just posted is right, but audiophiles are a finnicky and fickle bunch.

But what really pays the bills is the Squeezebox, aimed at the up-market consumer. Slim Devices may have been kind of caught here in terms of growth - they just did not have any retail presence. Where could they have gone from here? We heard calls for taking the Squeezebox to the consumer - how could that have happened otherwise? This now completely eliminates that concern and will allow Slim to expand its product line for things users have been asking for - the Squeezebox boombox, the Squeezebox clock radio, perhaps even the Squeezebox portable player? The sky is kind of the limit now. They will have the financing and the marketing ability.

The Squeezebox was not really a consumer item. Now, suddenly, it is.

There was one mention about Apple DRM. Support for this has gotten much closer - I'm sure Apple would never have worked with Slim Devices but they might work with Logitech.

Also they can solidly trounce Roku, as if they haven't already. :-)

But if the quality stays the same or better, who really cares if the "audiophile credibility" goes down? At $300, the sb3 already
doesn't have "enough", and is cheap enough to go pretty mass market.

I, for one, couldn't care less, since what I want from the thing is sound quality and convenience, rather than bragging rights. ;)

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 07:44
But if the quality stays the same or better, who really cares if the "audiophile credibility" goes down? At $300, the sb3 already
doesn't have "enough", and is cheap enough to go pretty mass market.

I, for one, couldn't care less, since what I want from the thing is sound quality and convenience, rather than bragging rights. ;)

I didn't say that I buy based on bragging rights either, I buy based on quality and performance.

I was just saying that that segment of the market may have to be dropped, because Slim Devices may be able to sell Transporters, but Logitech might not, even if they are the same device. It's a shame, but it will probably be the case. In fact audiophiles are so finnicky that many of them don't like the networked audio approach at all because they believe that they can hear the difference between WAV, FLAC, and direct off a CD. Makes no sense, I know, but then again, this makes no sense either:

http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NOB_C37_C&Category_Code=VOLUME&Product_Count=2

http://marigoaudio.com/vtstuningdots.htm

icky2000
2006-10-19, 07:57
I still love my original SliMP3 and I've steered many friends and family into buying a Squeezebox. Great stuff. I hope you guys have all been handsomely rewarded for building such a great company.

totoro
2006-10-19, 08:00
I didn't say that I buy based on bragging rights either, I buy based on quality and performance.

I was just saying that that segment of the market may have to be dropped, because Slim Devices may be able to sell Transporters, but Logitech might not, even if they are the same device. It's a shame, but it will probably be the case. In fact audiophiles are so finnicky that many of them don't like the networked audio approach at all because they believe that they can hear the difference between WAV, FLAC, and direct off a CD. Makes no sense, I know, but then again, this makes no sense either:

http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NOB_C37_C&Category_Code=VOLUME&Product_Count=2

http://marigoaudio.com/vtstuningdots.htm
Sorry if I sounded snippy.

I guess we just disagree about whether losing that particular market segment is truly a shame :). As far as I can see, it's shrinking rapidly, and the correlation between sound quality and "audiophile credibility" got really weak a long time ago. There are good reasons why younger people and more tech savvy people are turned off to the whole "audiophile" culture, as exemplified by the links you posted.

As the technology gets more mature, there shouldn't be much reason for a mass market company not to be able to make good products. We don't by "artisanal" cpus for our computers, after all. And at this point, rowland is selling icepower amps with el cheapo asp modules in them for 5k-- the whole scene has jumped the shark, imho.

tamanaco
2006-10-19, 08:01
Congratulations Slim Team!

Like others in this forum I feel that this will be the end of innocence for SD. In most cases where small innovative/independent companies are acquired by large bureaucratic publicly traded companies... innovation becomes the first victim. The killer(s)?... A: The excesive number of processes and guidelines that need to be followed before releasing a product and the bottom line driven by demand for returns from the stockholders.

Will we get better quality Logitech/SD products?... That's still TBD. I hope history does not repeat itself.

Where is my new remote???

Btw, I almost called this one a week ago... but I meant partner with... not get acquired by... Logitech.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=145212&postcount=15

aubuti
2006-10-19, 08:06
Paranoid thoughts:

If Logitech, who just launched a product in this category, saw Slim as a major threat, then $20 million is a drop in the bucket. If they wanted to kill the SB so it wouldn't compete with their own product, this is a cheap way to do it.
Good point. It's awfully hard to see them keeping two products at the same price point with the same basic function (even if the details are very different). Maybe Logitech is out to kill the SB, but I'm hoping that we'll end up with a win-win convergence. Like the slick remote many have been craving, while maintaining SB's support for lossless formats and top-notch hardware.

But then I read lines like this (from the web page on the the Logitech product) and get more pessimistic.

"Compatible Applications

StreamPoint software accesses the media libraries of:

* Apple® iTunes® 6.0.2 (and higher)
* Windows Media® Player 9 (and higher)
* Musicmatch® Jukebox 9.0 build 508x (and higher)

Plays any format your PC can play:
* MP3 & WMA
* iTunes® (AAC)
* Internet Radio"

schalliol
2006-10-19, 08:14
Congratulations, team! You've developed some great products needed in the market!

Mitch G
2006-10-19, 08:17
Maybe I'm in the minority, but my SB sits alongside my one and only hi-fi system (i.e. home theater and music system). It's the only IP-networked element in that system.

So, SD has managed to get footprint in my HT before any other IP-based device has (e.g. Apple or Microsoft). I would love to see Logitech use their deep pockets to leverage this fact plus the fact that they also have footprint on the coffee table (i.e. Harmony remotes).

Maybe this is completely out of left-field, but I would love a SqueezeBox-like Tivo-type product (form factor would likely have to be more Transporter-like, but you get the idea) that uses something like MythTV or GBR. I don't want to build (or pay a premium for) a media PC to record TV any more than I did for listening to music.

One final thought, I always forget that Harmony is owned by Logitech. In other words, they are Harmony remotes - not Logitech remotes. I don't see why this same phenomenon won't occur for SD products.

Congrats to SD and here's to hoping for some exciting products down the road.


Mitch

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 08:22
Err, aren't you asking for contradictory things?

"Drop the price to $199."

"Don't cheapen it."
He did say $199 to the resellers.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 08:23
Sorry if I sounded snippy.

You didn't, that's OK. :-)


I guess we just disagree about whether losing that particular market segment is truly a shame :).

Not exactly - as I said, I don't really think it pays the bills for Slim Devices. The SB3 is their bread and butter, and to get mass-market consumer adoption, something like this was inevitable. A product like the Transporter really gives a chance for a company to show off its engineering prowess though.

I'm an audiophile only in as far as I can actually perceive/measure the difference, and where it makes physical sense. I'm an engineer and a practical person - I don't agree with the cable magic bunk and I have those two links in my bookmarks I bring up whenever anyone starts to get into the cable magic argument.

However the Transporter has some practical things where you can actually measure a difference, and Sean has posted oscilloscope traces to prove it.

My Transporter is on a UPS truck somewhere on the 401 right now, actually. :-)


As far as I can see, it's shrinking rapidly, and the correlation between sound quality and "audiophile credibility" got really weak a long time ago. There are good reasons why younger people and more tech savvy people are turned off to the whole "audiophile" culture, as exemplified by the links you posted.

Yes, it is true that this market is shrinking. More and more people are turned on by video and surround sound.

I personally don't care much for video. Audio is just so much harder to get right and there's something just more impressive to me about really good audio. I can't explain it.


We don't by "artisanal" cpus for our computers, after all.

Actually there is some nonsensical product devotion flying in the face of reasoning going on here too. For example, people think that dual-core CPUs will be a whole lot faster in a single-user, non-multitasked environment. (And hey, those upcoming quad-core CPUs will be FOUR TIMES AS FAST, right??) Or that the AMD FX processors are so much better because they're so much more expensive.

tamanaco
2006-10-19, 08:32
One final thought, I always forget that Harmony is owned by Logitech. In other words, they are Harmony remotes - not Logitech remotes. I don't see why this same phenomenon won't occur for SD products.
Mitch

The BIG unknown in this equation is SD's "Open Source" and community based developement that does not have to wait for big brother to approve code releases. When was the last time you were able to make "your own modifications" to the Harmony remote code just to make the remote do exactly what you want? Not possible... right? You're tied to a web interface/wizard that only allows you to make "predifined" changes. This is what's at risk here. But again... this is still TBD.

datavortex
2006-10-19, 08:33
Congrats guys!

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 08:37
Was Harmony open source prior to the acquisition by Logitech? If not, it
seems like apples and oranges, as far as that goes.

On 10/19/06, tamanaco <
tamanaco.2fxlob1161272101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> Mitch G;147743 Wrote:
> >
> > One final thought, I always forget that Harmony is owned by Logitech.
> > In other words, they are Harmony remotes - not Logitech remotes. I
> > don't see why this same phenomenon won't occur for SD products.
> > Mitch
>
> The BIG unknown in this equation is SD's "Open Source" and community
> based developement that does not have to wait for big brother to
> approve code releases. When was the last time you were able to make
> "your own modifications" to the Harmony remote code just to make the
> remote do exactly what you want? Not possible... right. You're tied to
> a web interface/wizard that only allows you to make "predifined"
> changes. This is what's at risk here. But again... this is still TBD.
>
>
> --
> tamanaco
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> tamanaco's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=4620
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

jmpage2
2006-10-19, 08:37
Wow, less than 12 hours after the announcement and people are already predicting doom and gloom that they don't have "bragging rights" or "niche status" with their Squeezeboxes any longer.

Folks, I thought it was about the music. Logitech can probably help Slim reduce costs on the more mainstream products like Squeezebox while still allowing a high end Transporter product to succeed in the market.

I see a simple windows installer for the "noobs" and a high end server product for custom installs or those users who want to do their own compiles, add their own plugins, etc.

This is all good for us, the consumers, as likely one big benefit of the acquisition is that prices will go down. Don't condemn this deal until it bears sweet or bitter fruit.

And for those exceptionally bitter people, buy as many Sbs and Transporters as you ever think you will need and get the latest server software, it does virtually everything you would ever want to do for music listening in the current state it's in.

Hats off to the Slim Devices team, congrats on this deal, I'm sure it's good to get handsomly rewarded after years of hard work!!

fuzzyT
2006-10-19, 08:38
davep wrote:

> 2. The Transporter is my second area of concern. I can see how the SB3
> might fit into a Logitech product line-up as they are obviously moving
> into that area, but not the Transporter - it just not feel like a match
> for a company founded on mice and keyboards. And, as others have
> pointed out, the high end audio world is unlikely to embrace a Logitech
> device as being a credible serious device, however good it is. And I
> believe from my own experience it is a VERY good high end audio source.
> I cannot honestly see the Transporter surviving for long under the new
> owners (so get one while you can).

Two thoughts on this:

Slim may continue to co-brand or solely brand a portion of their lines.
Or they might decide to define a new brand for their high-end
offerings. So the Transporter might be the "Logitech Transporter", it
might something else entirely. After all, the Harmony remotes are still
branded under that name.

The R&D costs of the Transporter are sunk. And that product is an asset
that Logitech has just paid for. It doesn't make sense to me that a
decision would be made to kill a product just as it is beginning to make
money. It also provides an entry point into AV specific sales channels
that may be desirable in Logitech's planning.

--rt

jfalk
2006-10-19, 08:46
Like the guy above, I bought a Harmony remote one month before Logitech bought them, and I bought a Squeezebox 1 month before Logitech bought them. My buying habits are obviously of intense interest to Logitech. In that case, I can tell them that a major reason I bought the Squeezebox was that the Logitech wireless bluetooth music streamer I bought never worked reliably. But the Squeezebox does. (As does my Harmony remote.) Keep it that way.

Ramage
2006-10-19, 08:57
I'm relatively new to SD, but I have been impressed with the quality of the product and the responsiveness and enthusiasm of everyone involved both from the company and active forum contributors.

The SD product appealed to me not only for its high spec but also because it was a techie and tweakable solution to my requirements. I have spent many happy hours messing about with the software and hardware.

Good luck Sean and all at SD, enjoy the fruits of your hard work and inventiveness.

I for one will stay upbeat regarding the future.

tamanaco
2006-10-19, 09:12
Was Harmony open source prior to the acquisition by Logitech? If not, it
seems like apples and oranges, as far as that goes.


I know it looks like apples and oranges, but not when you look at SD and Harmony as small nimble companies that were able to turn the direction of a product in a dime. Look at the number of hardware releases and software updates from Harmony since they were acquired. Now the are fewer and far apart. I just hope SD does not end up tied to a code release schedule dictated by bureaucrats.

Btw, I do not underestimate the deep pockets of Logitech which can also make a lot of good thing happen.

Let's wait and see.

Linzer
2006-10-19, 09:18
First: Congrats to all of the SlimDevices owners and employees. Make sure Sean buys the rounds tonight.

Second: While I was going to wait until Christmas to purchase my second SB3, this pushed me over the edge. I read through all 14 pages (and counting I'm sure) of this thread and pressed the submit button on the orders page. The "coolness" factor of owning a SlimDevices product will probably be gone in a year or two, but I will have mine for years to come. IMO, Logitech doesn't have the same cache.

Finally: I didn't try "Logitech" as a promotional code...should have I?

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 09:23
Certainly congratulations are in order for the SlimDevices crew.

It makes me nervous primarily because of the issue of product focus.
Slim was always very focused. Logitech is much larger with a much
more diverse product line, and I fear that the product focus may be
lost.

Of course, with more resources, marketing, etc., this could be a huge
boon, too. Combining that DJ PC remote with SlimDevices would be
very cool. I also have trouble picturing Sean selling the company to
someone who was going to screw it up (I base that on my long
participation and lurking here, as well as his). And I have to say
that the Logitech products I have (Harmony remote, wireless game
controls, and a bluetooth headset) have all been of good quality.
(And I have to say I'd love to see a Mac version of that "advanced"
keyboard they have in the pipeline.)

In any case, the hardware will remain what it is, and the server is
open-source, which is a major reason I originally went with the
SLIMP3 to begin with.

The forums are going to be swamped, though. I fear it will harken
back to the days AOL loosed its clientele on the internet, albiet on
a smaller scale. :-)

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

fredbould
2006-10-19, 09:26
hello all,

i did the industrial design and most of the product design engineering for the squeezebox 3, transporter and the new remote. from my perspective, logitech's acquisition of slim devices bodes well for new product development. finding and affording quality vendors to do the various plastics, stampings, sheet metal, etc. for all of these products can be challenging; this is a gross understatement. logitech knows design and manufacturing. having logitech's resources backing them up will allow the team at slim devices more time to focus on how to make their products cooler.

cheers,

fred

larry104
2006-10-19, 09:26
Congratulation's Guy's,

I hope the acquisition finally gives you the opportunity to integrate a nice video solution (of cause open source based) and I also hope that you don't have the same destiny as Empeg had when they were acquired.

Mike Anderson
2006-10-19, 09:54
If you're interested in a postive example, I'm assuming that Logitec purchased Harmony, and that's why the remotes are named Logitec Harmony.

So will the new devices be named Slim Logic?

:\

Mike Anderson
2006-10-19, 09:56
The user interface of the Slim Server could probably become more consumer oriented. Yet this is not a priority.

It should be. If you guys want to market this to a broader group of consumers, it really, really should have a slicker user interface along the lines of the iTunes interface.

Some of us have been clamoring for it a long time already, and we aren't even Joe Consumer.

PhilNYC
2006-10-19, 10:02
Will new SB3's and Transporters be shipping with the Logitech logo on them at this point?

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-19, 10:10
likely one big benefit of the acquisition is that prices will go down.

I'll believe that when I see it. Logitech already has a $199 product in this category, which isn't half as good as the SB3.

BTW, I paid $199 each for the last 2 SB3s I bought, getting wired models with a "$100 off 2" promotion. So, a wired SB would have to be lower than $199 to beat the deal I already got. Not likely.

diomark
2006-10-19, 10:17
congrats guys!

Just don't do what Empeg did:( (got bought out by sonicblue/rio, which promptly killed the product by poor marketting.. oh well... still the best mp3 car head unit i've seen even 6 years later...)
-mark

rick's cafe
2006-10-19, 10:19
Wow, less than 12 hours after the announcement and people are already predicting doom and gloom that they don't have "bragging rights" or "niche status" with their Squeezeboxes any longer.

Folks, I thought it was about the music. Logitech can probably help Slim reduce costs on the more mainstream products like Squeezebox while still allowing a high end Transporter product to succeed in the market.

I see a simple windows installer for the "noobs" and a high end server product for custom installs or those users who want to do their own compiles, add their own plugins, etc.

This is all good for us, the consumers, as likely one big benefit of the acquisition is that prices will go down. Don't condemn this deal until it bears sweet or bitter fruit.

And for those exceptionally bitter people, buy as many Sbs and Transporters as you ever think you will need and get the latest server software, it does virtually everything you would ever want to do for music listening in the current state it's in.

Hats off to the Slim Devices team, congrats on this deal, I'm sure it's good to get handsomly rewarded after years of hard work!!



Well said!!

hats off to the entire Slim team .. sure they deserve every penny!!!! its a great product and I am sure that is a fact not lost on Logitech

TiredLegs
2006-10-19, 10:38
...at this point, rowland is selling icepower amps with el cheapo asp modules in them for 5k-- the whole scene has jumped the shark, imho.
A poignant remark indeed about the "audiophile" community, and hopefully NOT too prescient regarding the fate of Slim Devices post-Logitech.

From the Wiki on "Jump the Shark":

"Jumping the shark is a metaphor that was originally used to denote the tipping point at which a TV series is deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark", fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm...

Jump-the-shark moments are typically scenes that finally convince viewers that the show has fundamentally and permanently strayed from its original premise..."

ncpl
2006-10-19, 10:45
I find myself agreeing with rick's cafe in some respects.

I bought my SB3 because I'd read on another forum that some folks were finding that their SB's were giving some serious hi-end players a good run for the money. If someone was saying that whilst sat on a £10k player investment then I simply had to look into it.

If, on finding the product, it was packaged as a Logitech Squeezebox I don't think it would have made a jot of difference. My enthusiasm for it comes primarily from the sonic performance it provides me with. I haven't spun my player for a few months now. All the other perks like streaming my library to my work pc are just icing on the cake.

I do hope that the fellows at Slim are able to maintain the integrity and dedication that they clearly have now. There is no doubt that it will be difficult though.

We can bitch and moan about it I guess and that reflects the club/family feel that such dedication produces. We want to protect the relationship we feel we have with product and the people.

It's gonna happen...clearly.

Thanks Sean and Junien for the generous sharing of this news on the forum.

Wishing you best of luck

LarryD
2006-10-19, 10:48
First off, congratulations to LogiTech, you have made a wise investment in a great company.

I hope you will keep the SlimDevices branding. LogiTech has a good reputation for making quality products at an affordable price but it is viewed by consumers as a mass merchandise company. SlimDevices, I believe, is viewed as a company that produces superior products with better more personalized support. I think their products should be labeled SlimDevices with subtext “a LogiTech company”. This has worked well for LinkSys and Cisco Systems.

Future products I’d like to see:
1) A portable player with wireless support so that music could be listened to at home (with a wireless network) or away (at a hotspot) with 10 to 20GB of storage. With Microsoft’s Zune coming soon perhaps a deal with Microsoft is possible as to allow people to tap into their home SlimServer with Zune’s wireless ability.
2) A hardware SlimeServer. It would an affordable device that would run SlimServer and provided network attached storage for PC access. Just plug it in and optionally connect to wired network. No software setup needed. Copy your music to it and go. 300GB storage would be good. This should be a RAID 1 storage device with easy to swap replacement drives. This way consumers don’t have to worry about loosing their music libraries to a hard drive failure. A rackmount feature would be cool too.
3) Whole House Audio components. An in-wall SqueezeBox interface with display would be awesome. That would be paired with one or more scaled down Squeezebox devices without displays (which would be out of sight connected to amplifiers and other audio components). This would allow SqueezeBox technology to be integrated into multi-zoned whole house audio systems. It also would sell well with item 2 above.

simonuca
2006-10-19, 10:55
Hey! stop being selfish. Give SD an Logitech a chance to prove themselves. I dont use to post a lot, but I can speak for myself in this regard:

This is great news for SD and the hard work they done so far, so I must say CONGRATULATIONS. Events like this prove the excelent company SD evolve into, I know most of you will agree with this.


If everithing go the oky doky way I can say: hey I have a colectors SB3 from the Old Generation.
If everithing go the DODO way I can say: hey I have a expensive SB3 mint condition colector item.

But untill it happends its just speculation

MrSinatra
2006-10-19, 11:02
Actually I am not sure I see a dicotomy between tech-led development and user-friendliness. In fact I was personally impressed about the ease of installation and of use of my Squeezebox. The user interface of the Slim Server could probably become more consumer oriented. Yet this is not a priority.


i couldn't agree more, and actually, i wish it would become a priority.

i for one am not paranoid over this buyout... i've always liked logitech products and found them to be very reliable as well as very user friendly.

i actually am hoping that logitech can offer what it does best, making user friendly products, with what slim does best, making versatile, functional open source products.

some things that would be great logitech...

1. putting a color screen on the remote, that lets you see artwork. (linksys has something like that i think)

2. allowing the device to work as it does now, AND as a remote soundcard, like some competitors products. (i'd like to stream DVD movie audio over it, or defeat drm strategies, etc...)

3. developing "plugins" for winamp and similar pgms that will power the SB without needing SS.

anyway, i hope the new deal bears fruit, and i think it could be a great partnership. well done, -mdw

bobharp
2006-10-19, 11:04
As junien stated:
"We are much more interested in extending the current technology to new hardware products and new markets."

I hope to see that SB WiFi Boombox full of knobs and whistles!

I also think that the increased product visibility will put a strain on SD's support and this forum/community.


Congratulations to the Slim Devices team. It was bound to happen and this seems like a great fit.

nicketynick
2006-10-19, 11:05
I think one has to keep in mind that we're talking about a market space (bringing digital media to the living room) that is still in its infancy. SD is clearly leading at this point, and from Logitech's point of view $20M is a pretty small investment to make sure they keep the lead on their competition (CreativeLabs, maybe, not to mention M$oft). And once everybody has this functionality in their living room, it sure is going to be a good thing to already have a content distribution system (AKA subscription services) in place! Know very many people who own a TV but don't pay for content?
Just another angle......

Jetlag
2006-10-19, 11:12
I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite hesitant. My concerns?

1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response to user input) disappear altogether?

2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing" presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?

3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?

3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?

4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech logo emblazoned on the front?

Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....

cracknut
2006-10-19, 11:15
As nicketynick said, the connected digital home is on the radar for many CE and computer hardware firms (including ones you might not expect).

That said, the SB3 is really the only reasonable choice for audiophiles who support open compression formats. Hopefully this acquisition will enable SD to add DRM'd formats to the playlist.

As the subject suggests, I also hope SD will now have the resources to create an HD box in the living room that will beat the Apple iTV. Just as we archive music and play it across the home network, we want to archive video (e.g. DVDs) and play it across the home network.

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 11:19
I think the trepidation you have shouldn't stop you from buying a
Transporter. Why? Because even if they never release another update to
Slimserver, you have a working product. This product works with FLAC.

I certainly hope Slim keeps up with the excellent work they have been doing,
but if they dropped off the face of the planet today, I would still be happy
about all of my purchases from them. I'd just be sure to keep plenty of
backup copies of the Slimserver install media.

On 10/19/06, Jetlag <Jetlag.2fxt2z1161281703 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite
> hesitant. My concerns?
>
> 1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates
> and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every
> blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response
> to user input) disappear altogether?
>
> 2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use
> iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding
> MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or
> sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make
> from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car
> or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing"
> presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for
> and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the
> Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?
>
> 3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?
>
> 3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my
> current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being
> part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to
> big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?
>
> 4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech
> logo emblazoned on the front?
>
> Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....
>
>
> --
> Jetlag
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Jetlag's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=1012
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Robert_W
2006-10-19, 11:27
I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite hesitant. My concerns?

1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response to user input) disappear altogether?

2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing" presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?

3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?

3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?

4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech logo emblazoned on the front?

Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....

Here here....exactly.

FLAC support? What'll you bet it goes away real quick?

I've read all 16 pages now and have yet to see any one from SD or Logitech address specifics.

Please give us all some reasurance that the things that make these audio products great will continue to be the main stay of the business model.

sorenson
2006-10-19, 11:36
I dont see much future for a Transporter under the Logitech brand either, but market wise there is a lot that can happen between the SB3 and Transporter price points, I do like my SB3 but there are a few things I wouldnt mind seeing implemented. An LCD instead of the VFD for one, or the other way around, maybe the more probable way, the same VFD but an improved remote (Harmony style maybe).

Jacob Potter
2006-10-19, 11:39
On 10/19/06, Jetlag
<Jetlag.2fxt2z1161281703 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> 2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use
> iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding
> MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or
> sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make
> from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car
> or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing"
> presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for
> and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the
> Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?

I'm pretty sure no company has ever released a music player that
/only/ supports DRMed files. It would be an absolute flop.

I have my worries about this, sure, but some of the speculation going
on is just ridiculous. Slim Devices has said clearly and repeatedly
that their open source server / development model are not going to go
away.

- Jacob

ModelCitizen
2006-10-19, 11:41
I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite hesitant. My concerns?
1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response to user input) disappear altogether?
2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing" presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?
3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?
3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?
4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech logo emblazoned on the front?
Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....

Go and buy it!
I'm very glad I've ordered a Transporter and one with a SlimDevices logo on it too (although this might not change). For the first time in the three or so years I've owned a Squeezebox I now have a system that causes me no trouble at all. I have no reason to upgrade as 6.5.1 provides all the features I require and it just seems to work (I'm even perfectly happy with the current remote as my main controller). I'm pretty sure it'll work just as well in the Transporter (when it arrives).

So, if Slimdevices decided to go interplanetary travelling I would not really care. At last I have what I want, an audiophile network player that only requires powered speakers or a power amp and speakers.
In the event of things changing... (i.e. new MS OS, new wireless standards, new super-compressed lossless files etc) I am sure that there are already enough SB*'s around that the open source software would get updated.

I do think Sean should have made the firmware open source before selling the company though! :-)
I wonder if he thought of this, or if it was discussed.

MC

jeffluckett
2006-10-19, 11:41
Here here....exactly.

FLAC support? What'll you bet it goes away real quick?

I've read all 16 pages now and have yet to see any one from SD or Logitech address specifics.

Please give us all some reasurance that the things that make these audio products great will continue to be the main stay of the business model.

Just curious ... but what motivation would Logitech have for dropping FLAC support???

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 11:44
Even if they do remove FLAC support (which I tend to doubt), you still have
a working product now -- just don't download version 8.5 (or whatever one
removes the feature that you want)...

On 10/19/06, Robert_W <
Robert_W.2fxtrz1161282601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> Jetlag;147847 Wrote:
> > I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite
> > hesitant. My concerns?
> >
> > 1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates
> > and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every
> > blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response
> > to user input) disappear altogether?
> >
> > 2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use
> > iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding
> > MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or
> > sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make
> > from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car
> > or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing"
> > presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for
> > and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the
> > Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?
> >
> > 3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?
> >
> > 3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my
> > current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being
> > part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to
> > big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?
> >
> > 4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech
> > logo emblazoned on the front?
> >
> > Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....
>
> Here here....exactly.
>
> FLAC support? What'll you bet it goes away real quick?
>
> I've read all 16 pages now and have yet to see any one from SD or
> Logitech address specifics.
>
> Please give us all some reasurance that the things that make these
> audio products great will continue to be the main stay of the business
> model.
>
>
> --
> Robert_W
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Robert_W's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6540
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 11:49
An LCD instead of the VFD for one

Good God, why? That's one of the best things about the Squeezebox!

Other manufacturers don't use ones this large because they feel they are too expensive. In fact I believe I read that the display is the highest-cost component in the whole player. However SD correctly realized they are extremely easy to read from a considerable distance.

An LCD could never do that.

mzpro5
2006-10-19, 11:50
I periodically look at the forums but rarely post so just saw this announcement. Went thru all 17 pages and only saw one person concerned about the future of Squeeze Network. I use SN alot and woudl be very disappointed and p****d off if somewhere down the road we lost the SN or ability to connect to a network without going thru the PC.

Can Sean or Dan or someone from Logitech address conserns about Squeeze Network's future?

Jetlag
2006-10-19, 11:56
I periodically look at the forums but rarely post so just saw this announcement. Went thru all 17 pages and only saw one person concerned about the future of Squeeze Network. I use SN alot and woudl be very disappointed and p****d off if somewhere down the road we lost the SN or ability to connect to a network without going thru the PC.

Can Sean or Dan or someone from Logitech address conserns about Squeeze Network's future?

I hadn't thought of this yet, but will add it to my list of concerns that I posted earlier. I use SN as often as I listen to my own music. Losing it would be a huge negative IMO.

CatBus
2006-10-19, 11:57
Just curious ... but what motivation would Logitech have for dropping FLAC support???

If, for example, Logitech negotiates licensing terms for the WMA codec that charges them per codec supported by the device, then it is in their finincial interests to reduce the number of supported codecs as much as possible. I have no idea if such terms exist, but it would be not unlike the licensing terms for OEMs that charges them per unit shipped, regardless of the MS software on the unit (which works as an incentive not to ship non-MS software).

Yes, it's a bit conspiratorial, but it's precedented. I seriously doubt anything like this would happen, but you asked for possible motivations...

More likely scenario: support for bugs in non-proprietary codecs (other than MP3) will be de-prioritized, as will support for non-mainstream features. Who cares if you can't fast-forward through a Vorbis file? Nobody uses Vorbis anyway! Who cares if gapless doesn't work on synced players? Hardly any devices support gapless playback anyway! That sort of thing. I sure hope not, but you never know.

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 12:03
It's not anything definitive, but yesterday when someone expressed concern
that Slim would stop supporting Linux, Sean tried to reassure them by
pointing out that Squeezenetwork itself runs on Linux. That comment would
be a little misleading if Sean knew that there were plans to kill off
Squeezenetwork, and I've never seen Sean be deliberately misleading in that
way.

On 10/19/06, Jetlag <Jetlag.2fxv5z1161284401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> mzpro5;147872 Wrote:
> > I periodically look at the forums but rarely post so just saw this
> > announcement. Went thru all 17 pages and only saw one person concerned
> > about the future of Squeeze Network. I use SN alot and woudl be very
> > disappointed and p****d off if somewhere down the road we lost the SN
> > or ability to connect to a network without going thru the PC.
> >
> > Can Sean or Dan or someone from Logitech address conserns about Squeeze
> > Network's future?
>
> I hadn't thought of this yet, but will add it to my list of concerns
> that I posted earlier. I use SN as often as I listen to my own music.
> Losing it would be a huge negative IMO.
>
>
> --
> Jetlag
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Jetlag's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=1012
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

byKnight
2006-10-19, 12:04
Can Sean or Dan or someone from Logitech address conserns about Squeeze Network's future?

I was just about to ask the same question.

About half of my SB use is via SN. I even paid for a Pandora account so I could listen to it on my SB via SN.

Of course, even before Logitech, no one ever promised me SN would always be available.

Robert_W
2006-10-19, 12:35
Just curious ... but what motivation would Logitech have for dropping FLAC support???

Just hypothetical but lets say......

When one big corporate entity, IE the RIAA decides that maybe DRM is the way to go, then they put pressure, or go into cohoots with say....other big corporate entity....IE Logitech and every other player in the game and decide that since FLAC is open source.....well, you get the idea.

I could very easily seeing it being phased out over time. What we have now would be fine. But what happens when you can no longer buy a "physical" CD and we're all having to download our media digitally?

Mark Norton
2006-10-19, 12:36
This is bad news - the worst. Every Logitech product I have ever bought has been garbage - badly made, dummed down to the lowest possible build cost and it will only be a matter of time before the rot migrates across to the Squeezebox and SlimServer. And don't get me started on Logitech support. Staffed by people who know nothing and care less.

jonheal
2006-10-19, 12:42
This is bad news - the worst. Every Logitech product I have ever bought has been garbage - badly made, dummed down to the lowest possible build cost and it will only be a matter of time before the rot migrates across to the Squeezebox and SlimServer. And don't get me started on Logitech support. Staffed by people who know nothing and care less.

Buy another SB3 now to keep as a spare for when your current SB3 dies. Buy two! That should keep you going for another 10 years, or so. :-)

SuperQ
2006-10-19, 12:52
Congrats, I hope you can use the large company power to get more people using sqeezeboxen. Every time I goto a store and see a Roku, I think.. "I wish the squeezebox was on the shelf next to it"

I hope you don't end up like the poor guys at empeg. After SonicBlue/Rio/D&M were done with them, there wasn't much left. The only thing they have now is the TrekStor. (it's still cool tho)

ModelCitizen
2006-10-19, 12:53
If, for example, Logitech negotiates licensing terms for the WMA codec that charges them per codec supported by the device, then it is in their finincial interests to reduce the number of supported codecs as much as possible. I have no idea if such terms exist, but it would be not unlike the licensing terms for OEMs that charges them per unit shipped, regardless of the MS software on the unit (which works as an incentive not to ship non-MS software).
I bet you that terms like this probably do not exist in written format, but that they do exist. And this is a big worry. I am certain that it would be easier to aquire a license for Apple/MS stuff if you did not accommodate the opposition (open source and free flac etc).
Our local newspaper the Evening Argus (known coloquially as the Evening Anus), a US owned Gannet publication, informs newsagents that if they stock rival start up papers (the independant Brighton News being the case in point) they will not be supplied with the Argus. This is not writtent down anywhere, but it happens.
As for SqueezeNetwork... I really would not get too attached to this. It's almost inevitable that it will disappear or not change at all. It doesn't make any money and it's not generally a reason anyone buys a Squeezebox.

As for not being able to buy a CD... who tf cares? If the only choice we are left with is DRM even the currently sanctimonious will be using BitTorrent, DC++ or Soulseek (or whatever) to download lossless CDs.

MC

Dan Sully
2006-10-19, 13:01
FLAC support is here to stay.

SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.

Linux/Unix support is here to stay.

Jetlag
2006-10-19, 13:05
I was just getting ready to order a Transporter, but now I am quite hesitant. My concerns?

1. Will we continue to see the release of "dailies", timely updates and bug fixes or will this turn into a rare firmware upgrade once every blue moon? Will these frequent updates (usually created as a response to user input) disappear altogether?

2. DRM - I don't own and iPod or Zune because of it (nor do I use iTunes, Rhapsody, etc as I refuse to pay $1 for a lossy crappy sounding MP3 song | Your opinion may be different). I don't illegally trade or sell my music, but once I buy a CD, I want to use the FLAC files I make from them as I wish whether it be in my home setup, on my DAP, in my car or on my laptop. Because of Logitech's more mainstream "computing" presence (for lack of a better term), will we soon be forced to pay for and download Logitech branded MP3s that will only play on the Logitech-Slimdevices gear and possibly ONLY on that specific player?

3a. What is Logitech's plan for continued support of FLAC?

3. I love the integration between my Infrant NV ReadyNAS and my current SB2 and SB3. Will this relationship continue with SS being part of the ReadyNAS OS or will this also vanish in the future due to big company corporate meddling in my much loved current setup?

4. How soon will we see the SB3 and Transporter appear with a Logitech logo emblazoned on the front?

Much trepidation and concern over the future of my music....

My top 3 concerns for Logitech/Slim Devices:

1. Will SS remain an integral part of Infrant's "Frontview" OS in their ReadyNAS line? ***this is critical for me***

2. FLAC support in perpetuity (unless something better AND also free comes along in the interim)?

3. Squeezenetwork - including all the currently available programming (i.e. Radioio, etc.)?

I cannot buy a Transporter until I see these three items addressed, particularily #1.

Care to comment Sean or Junien?
Do you work for SD/Logitech Dan? Pardon my ignorance on who you are (no offense, just asking for clarification)

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 13:10
Wow, that's not my experience at all. I've had several mice from them and
one webcam, and all of them performed well and were good values for the
money. Not sure about support since I've never had to call it for my
Logitech products.

On 10/19/06, Mark Norton <
Mark.Norton.2fxx0n1161286802 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> This is bad news - the worst. Every Logitech product I have ever bought
> has been garbage - badly made, dummed down to the lowest possible build
> cost and it will only be a matter of time before the rot migrates across
> to the Squeezebox and SlimServer. And don't get me started on Logitech
> support. Staffed by people who know nothing and care less.
>
>
> --
> Mark Norton
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Mark Norton's Profile:
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=4722
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 13:12
I don't think the RIAA really worries much about FLAC. If they were go to
go after anything, it would be MP3. FLAC is used by so few people that I
doubt it's causing anyone to lose any sleep.

On 10/19/06, Robert_W <
Robert_W.2fxx0n1161286801 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> jeffluckett;147863 Wrote:
> > Just curious ... but what motivation would Logitech have for dropping
> > FLAC support???
>
> Just hypothetical but lets say......
>
> When one big corporate entity, IE the RIAA decides that maybe DRM is
> the way to go, then they put pressure, or go into cohoots with
> say....other big corporate entity....IE Logitech and every other player
> in the game and decide that since FLAC is open source.....well, you get
> the idea.
>
> I could very easily seeing it being phased out over time. What we have
> now would be fine. But what happens when you can no longer buy a
> "physical" CD and we're all having to download our media digitally?
>
>
> --
> Robert_W
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Robert_W's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6540
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

mrfantasy
2006-10-19, 13:30
While Slim Devices probably has the best solutions overall from a technical standpoint (especially now with their true audiophile player) that they're nowhere near the top of market with sales. I'd imagine Roku, Apple (Airport Express), Linksys, etc. have the bottom end covered, and Sonos, Escient, Olive, et al have the "high end" market share. Does anyone have actual numbers on this?

At any rate, I think Slim realized hitching their wagon to a bigger company was the most effective way of increasing their market presence. If you think about it they almost had to be bought by someone--better that it's by a company who's willing to let them remain mostly autonomous as opposed to merging with one of their competitors. We'd be in real trouble then (and I assume Sean and Dean wouldn't have done that.) Slim also couldn't have grown in terms of breadth of products, new technologies (video?) and positioning without a larger company backing them.

I'm reasonably confident we'll be seeing the Squeezebox Radio shortly, and perhaps other neat products (handheld but with no local storage, just WiFi?)


I think one has to keep in mind that we're talking about a market space (bringing digital media to the living room) that is still in its infancy. SD is clearly leading at this point, and from Logitech's point of view $20M is a pretty small investment to make sure they keep the lead on their competition (CreativeLabs, maybe, not to mention M$oft). And once everybody has this functionality in their living room, it sure is going to be a good thing to already have a content distribution system (AKA subscription services) in place! Know very many people who own a TV but don't pay for content?
Just another angle......

mrfantasy
2006-10-19, 13:33
I'd guess most FLAC files out there are ripped from commercially produced, legally produced CDs and are not (yet) generally traded. Like most of us who don't listen to our physical CDs anymore, but still buy them. The other FLACs I have are live recordings that are usually at least allowed by the artists if not formally sanctioned.


I don't think the RIAA really worries much about FLAC. If they were go to
go after anything, it would be MP3. FLAC is used by so few people that I
doubt it's causing anyone to lose any sleep.

On 10/19/06, Robert_W <
Robert_W.2fxx0n1161286801 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> jeffluckett;147863 Wrote:
> > Just curious ... but what motivation would Logitech have for dropping
> > FLAC support???
>
> Just hypothetical but lets say......
>
> When one big corporate entity, IE the RIAA decides that maybe DRM is
> the way to go, then they put pressure, or go into cohoots with
> say....other big corporate entity....IE Logitech and every other player
> in the game and decide that since FLAC is open source.....well, you get
> the idea.
>
> I could very easily seeing it being phased out over time. What we have
> now would be fine. But what happens when you can no longer buy a
> "physical" CD and we're all having to download our media digitally?
>
>
> --
> Robert_W
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Robert_W's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6540
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Browny
2006-10-19, 13:35
FLAC support is here to stay.

SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.

Linux/Unix support is here to stay.

Come on Dan...stop sitting on the fence!!

nicketynick
2006-10-19, 13:39
As for SqueezeNetwork... I really would not get too attached to this. It's almost inevitable that it will disappear or not change at all. It doesn't make any money and it's not generally a reason anyone buys a Squeezebox.

MC

Don't kid yourself, SN is here to stay. The real money is to be made in content delivery,ie. subscriptions, on-demand media - monthly cashflow that never stops! Pandora and Rhapsody are just the tip of the iceberg - the Squeezebox or something like it is going to be the conduit into the living room that everyone including M$oft has been trying to get into place to control content delivery. Hopefully the SB doesn't lose its current 'personal archive' functionality in the meantime!

Browny
2006-10-19, 14:14
On reflection I'm dissappointed about all this, but to a certain extent I don't know why.

What I have always loved about the Squeezebox is that it married my interest in music and hi-fi with my love of IT. This was then made even stronger by the fact that I could read the source and understand how it worked and even tinker with my system when I felt the need.

BUT....fundamentally I am not a mainstream user. Non-techy friends have been blown away by what the Squeezebox device can do, but once I told them what it cost and what was needed they were not always so keen.

I think the problem here is that Slimdevices has become too successful to continue as it was. Media Streaming is clearing an up and coming market and SD are not going to be able to continue forever on ripped CDs as a source - CD is a dated format now and I'm sure the music industry would dearly love to hasten its demise. Online music and DRM is going to be the future whether we like it or not.

For SD to continue to move forward they do need to appeal to the mass market - it can be done as Apple have proved. This is where a link with Logitech makes more and more sense.

I suspect the future will be to embrace DRM and get down to a mass market price point. Otherwise I fail to see how Logitech can get a return on their investment. This is a real opportunity for there to be a SD device in every living room - the only shame would be that it may not be in mine....There will always be another start-up coming along that delivers what I want!

It does feel like the end of an era, but to quote the late great George Harrison 'All things must pass'.

radish
2006-10-19, 14:20
My top 3 concerns for Logitech/Slim Devices:

1. Will SS remain an integral part of Infrant's "Frontview" OS in their ReadyNAS line? ***this is critical for me***

Only Infrant can answer that one...



2. FLAC support in perpetuity (unless something better AND also free comes along in the interim)?

Slimserver is GPL, nothing can change that. So even if they wanted to remove FLAC support (and Dan says they won't) I don't see how they could in any meanigful way. Someone would just add it right back in.



Do you work for SD/Logitech Dan? Pardon my ignorance on who you are (no offense, just asking for clarification)

Yes, Dan works for Slim.

arge
2006-10-19, 14:22
This acquisition makes sense. I have experienced acquisitions that didn’t (most of them).
Why yes:
1) The acquisition price seems reasonable. I have seen over the top to a point to weaken the buyer.
2) Logitech acquired state of the art, proven products (not a given in an acquisition) with devote followers to prove it.
3) As good and useful Slimdevices product are, most of their potential customers have no clue that they exists or is for them. Logitech will definitely provide exposure to more eyeballs.
4) Slimdevicer duds made some money, why not? Hey CEO, remember to pay your developers. They did matter (Even if the UI could use less text lines and more icons).
5) More distribution channels
6) Even if it feels like it, we existing owners did no lose our unique and refined good taste because also Logitech got it. We are just smarter and faster thinking then Logitech, Yheaa that’s it!

Why not:
Synergies. Very abused M/A word that means that the other guy will pick up each other work. There are no Synergies. If Logitech looses too many Slimdevices people the deal will be a loser.

What Logitech should not do: Put a colorful Logitech logo on a Transporter. Instead diversify the Brands with a new High End brand name (e.g. Acura) with a stylish logo that is so understated that is way overstated (like a very lightly illuminated apple).

Good work, make it work.

I am not an M/A expert but I have slept in a …

PRGeno
2006-10-19, 14:24
Junien, how long before we see a DJ-type remote for the Squeezebox?

I agree with a little elaboration.

A new packaged deal with a Squeezebox IV (a SqueezeBox encased in a Transporter style enclosure), with an enhanced DJ Music System style remote (The Harmony 1000 is way too large), supporting not only local Slimserver audio, but all network streams like Pandora, Rhapsody, and other SqueezeNetwork and Internet radio sources, directly via the DJ remote's UI, for about $500 (so long Sonos, we're hardly knew ya).

Now we're talking!!! I want one now and I don't care what logo they put on the box.

PRGeno

shvejk
2006-10-19, 14:58
Not a bad price....

http://blog.wired.com/music/2006/10/slim_devices_ac.html

"Slim Devices founder and CEO Sean Adams will still be in charge of the products -- which might become household names with Logitech's strong distribution channels and marketing budget."

ModelCitizen
2006-10-19, 15:10
I bet you that terms like this probably do not exist in written format, but that they do exist. And this is a big worry. I am certain that it would be easier to aquire a license for Apple/MS stuff if you did not accommodate the opposition (open source and free flac etc).
Our local newspaper the Evening Argus (known coloquially as the Evening Anus), a US owned Gannet publication, informs newsagents that if they stock rival start up papers (the independant Brighton News being the case in point) they will not be supplied with the Argus. This is not written down anywhere, but it happens.
And from:
http://blog.wired.com/music/2006/10/slim_devices_ac.html
this:
"I wonder how this will affect Logitech's relationship with Apple. Logitech makes all sorts of iPod accessories as part of Apple's "Made for iPod" licensee program, and soon, its new Slim Devices department could be competing with Apple, when it releases its networked media player (tentatively called the iTV) early next year".

MC

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 15:10
>But what happens when you can no longer buy a
>"physical" CD and we're all having to download our media digitally?

Then I quit buying music. Sad, but that is what I will do.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 15:13
>Every Logitech product I have ever bought has been garbage

This has not been my experience. I use a wireless bluetooth headset
daily (and people tell me they can't tell I'm using it, the quality
is so good) and several Logitech wireless game controllers (and my 8
year old son isn't always a gentle as I would be) as well as several
mice. No problems.

I'm sure some of their products have had problems, but so have some
of Slim's (that's not a knock on Slim, btw).

As I said, I worry about a loss of product focus, but I think we'll
just have to see how it plays out. There certainly is a potential up
side, and I'm going to be optimistic until I have reason not to be.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 15:15
>FLAC support is here to stay.

Hurrah!

>SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.

Hurrah! (#2)

>Linux/Unix support is here to stay.

Hurrah! (#3)

We're certainly a fretful bunch, aren't we? ;-)

Thanks, though.
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

shabbs
2006-10-19, 15:16
I see the logo has already incorporated the Logitech name:

http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_squeezebox.html

It has begun...

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 15:16
>1. Will SS remain an integral part of Infrant's "Frontview" OS in
>their ReadyNAS line? ***this is critical for me***

I suspect a lot of that is up to Infrant, not SlimDevices (or Logitech).

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

PhilNYC
2006-10-19, 15:16
2. FLAC support in perpetuity (unless something better AND also free comes along in the interim)?


With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?

thaumaturge
2006-10-19, 15:20
Well, Sean and the boys cashed out. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Good for them. Better to take the offer now before the SB shipments drop off after even more media-server products are released this quarter at half or a third of the SB price. Slim Devices' exit was never going to be an IPO anyway.

Now while the press release doesn't state it overtly, there is a much bigger payment than $20M cash waiting for them from Logitech should they meet certain targets down the road. Obviously, those targets are based on quantitative factors and will lead SD straight down the road toward higher volume shipments and maximized profits. Will this lead to more Transporter or SB-level devices? Not if I were running Logitech, how 'bout you? If that performance-based payment is really going to be several times the $20M, then those profits have got to come from somewhere. In any case, the investors in SD just made 20x or so on their money and stand to do better in the future.

The days of considering SD to be somebody's audophile / open source company are over. Logitech no doubt loves the free development provided by the open source world. From a business standpoint, this makes perfect sense - to a point. The current UI of SlimServer and some SB functionality is an obvious nightmare of confusion and complexity for current customers of Logitech products (and others too), so I am hopeful some things will change for the better.

From the point of view of the current SD customer base, this is likely to mark a high point in SD's product development history. Logitech has never steered their products toward the high end and understands that the market served today by SD is a tiny niche. The real money will come when the $99 Logitech SB ships (my guess). In all likelihood, the future will hold no place for audio-only devices like the SB anyway. Whether or not you care about video, the window of opportunity for the current SB has closed.

Dateline Switzerland - 10/18/2006
Logitech Delivers Best-Ever Q2 Sales and Profit
Sales up 19%, Net Income up 36%.
How many audiophile companies do $500M/Qtr and post those numbers?

BTW, Logitech is exchanging ADRs and starts trading directly on the Nasdaq next week.

Wombat
2006-10-19, 15:22
With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?
Still they don´t give away free HDs and tagging, replaygain and other things and this is OT here.

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 15:26
Even if the digital music is lossless and not DRMed? If so, what is the
rationale? I'm just curious -- not trying to be argumentative.

On 10/19/06, Kevin O. Lepard <kolepard002 (AT) charter (DOT) net> wrote:
>
> >But what happens when you can no longer buy a
> >"physical" CD and we're all having to download our media digitally?
>
> Then I quit buying music. Sad, but that is what I will do.
>
> Kevin
> --
> Kevin O. Lepard
>
> Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.
>

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 15:28
I see the logo has already incorporated the Logitech name:

http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_squeezebox.html

It has begun...

Yeah, I saw that.

I saved their old logo from my SlimServer page just for old times' sake:

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 15:30
I don't think Logitech would be selling $1k Harmony remotes if the only
market they cared about was $99 players...

On 10/19/06, thaumaturge <
thaumaturge.2fy4nn1161296701 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> Well, Sean and the boys cashed out. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.
> Good for them. Better to take the offer now before the SB shipments
> drop off after even more media-server products are released this
> quarter at half or a third of the SB price. Slim Devices' exit was
> never going to be an IPO anyway.
>
> Now while the press release doesn't state it overtly, there is a much
> bigger payment than $20M cash waiting for them from Logitech should
> they meet certain targets down the road. Obviously, those targets are
> based on quantitative factors and will lead SD straight down the road
> toward higher volume shipments and maximized profits. Will this lead
> to more Transporter or SB-level devices? Not if I were running
> Logitech, how 'bout you? If that performance-based payment is really
> going to be several times the $20M, then those profits have got to come
> from somewhere. In any case, the investors in SD just made 20x or so on
> their money and stand to do better in the future.
>
> The days of considering SD to be somebody's audophile / open source
> company are over. Logitech no doubt loves the free development
> provided by the open source world. From a business standpoint, this
> makes perfect sense - to a point. The current UI of SlimServer and
> some SB functionality is an obvious nightmare of confusion and
> complexity for current customers of Logitech products (and others too),
> so I am hopeful some things will change for the better.
>
> >From the point of view of the current SD customer base, this is likely
> to mark a high point in SD's product development history. Logitech has
> never steered their products toward the high end and understands that
> the market served today by SD is a tiny niche. The real money will
> come when the $99 Logitech SB ships (my guess). In all likelihood, the
> future will hold no place for audio-only devices like the SB anyway.
> Whether or not you care about video, the window of opportunity for the
> current SB has closed.
>
> Dateline Switzerland - 10/18/2006
> Logitech Delivers Best-Ever Q2 Sales and Profit
> Sales up 19%, Net Income up 36%.
> How many audiophile companies do $500M/Qtr and post those numbers?
>
> BTW, Logitech is exchanging ADRs and starts trading directly on the
> Nasdaq next week.
>
>
> --
> thaumaturge
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> thaumaturge's Profile:
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6723
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
>

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-19, 15:31
>>>But what happens when you can no longer buy a "physical" CD
>>>and we're all having to download our media digitally?

>>Then I quit buying music. Sad, but that is what I will do.

>Even if the digital music is lossless and not DRMed? If so, what
>is the rationale? I'm just curious -- not trying to be argumentative.

Lossless without DRM would be fine. I--perhaps incorrectly--assumed
from the prior conversation that downloaded content would be DRM'd.
I have not objection to lossless, CD or better quality music free of
DRM.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

EFP
2006-10-19, 15:33
With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?


because you can't properly tag a wav track.

Jetlag
2006-10-19, 15:33
With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?

How about tagging? A massive music collection isn't very useful without tags. Unless of course you want your audio gear to function like a Shuffle!

Mitch Harding
2006-10-19, 15:35
You could be right that they will go that route and try to force people into
DRM. I can't imagine them getting rid of CDs and then not giving us a
lossless option, but I can definitely seem them trying to force us down the
DRM path.

However, I have a feeling that in the long run fair use will win out. Maybe
I'm just an optimist, though. In the meantime, though, I have no moral
problems with breaking DRM in the name of fair use and not file sharing.

On 10/19/06, Kevin O. Lepard <kolepard002 (AT) charter (DOT) net> wrote:
>
> >>>But what happens when you can no longer buy a "physical" CD
> >>>and we're all having to download our media digitally?
>
> >>Then I quit buying music. Sad, but that is what I will do.
>
> >Even if the digital music is lossless and not DRMed? If so, what
> >is the rationale? I'm just curious -- not trying to be argumentative.
>
> Lossless without DRM would be fine. I--perhaps incorrectly--assumed
> from the prior conversation that downloaded content would be DRM'd.
> I have not objection to lossless, CD or better quality music free of
> DRM.
>
> Kevin
> --
> Kevin O. Lepard
>
> Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.
>

DrNic
2006-10-19, 15:41
Well, I don't whether to be happy or sad.... Come to think of it I feel it's more disappointment.
I too hope that the big company ethos doesn't bleed over into Slim Devices, but somehow really have to try to convince myself of this.
All I ask (like most on here) is that the current relationship between SD and its customers (you know - the ones who put you in a position to be "bought out"?!) is retained. And that when I buy (or "if" I buy) another squeezebox it isn't emblazoned with Logitech across its beautiful brushed aluminium front.

I really hope this doesn't spell the end for a product that has somehow become more than a piece of hardware.

Remember your roots SD team....

Nic

mkozlows
2006-10-19, 15:48
FLAC support is here to stay.
SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.
Linux/Unix support is here to stay.

I believe that you mean this. But -- and I don't mean this to be harsh -- the whole problem with a buyout like this is that you're no longer in a position to make these decisions. If Logitech corporate decides that SqueezeNetwork is too expensive to maintain, or that providing support for Linux and FLAC isn't worth it, it doesn't matter how much you want to keep them around.

And yeah, I know Logitech won't do that right now, and maybe they never will. But man, you can only watch so many good products die after being bought out before a pattern starts to become apparent.

Anyway, though, that's where the open source thing comes in. One of the key motivators for me to purchase the Squeezeboxes is that the software is open source, so if Slim went under or got bought for pieces, my devices would still work (and could even be enhanced, if there was a big enough community or I was willing to wrangle enough Perl). So there's always that as a backstop, which prevents the worst case from being too terrible.

thaumaturge
2006-10-19, 15:51
Mitch Harding> "I don't think Logitech would be selling $1k Harmony remotes if the only
market they cared about was $99 players..."

While I didn't say $99 players was the "only market" they cared about, this is the market they play in well. Lots of companies have a flagship or 'flyer' product like the Harmony, and they expect to sell a relative handful. The $1K remote market is even smaller than the current $300 SB market!

From the latest Logitech Quarterly results:

Net sales by product family:
Retail - Cordless 134,241,000
Retail - Corded 83,693,000
Retail - Video 87,607,000
Retail - Audio 89,935,000
Retail - Gaming 30,077,000
Retail - Other 21,379,000
OEM - 55,109,000
Total Q2 net sales $502,041,000

I'm guessing the SB and Harmony don't factor into many board room conversations in Switzerland.

ErikM
2006-10-19, 16:07
I'm also not sure to be happy or sad. But my experience from 25 years in consumer electronics tends to move me in the not happy direction. Anyone remember Infinity before Harmon took over or JBL, or Mark Levinson?? and Harmon is an electronics company. Many examples of high'er end companies that were bought out by bigger companies seeing the quality and uniqueness of their product go away...I can also understand the financial reasons Sean and Co. would sell.. Hell we all have families.. I've been really thinking of buying a Transporter.. so do I wait, and maybe it ain't the same product it is in a month or 3? Does a new better one come out? Does a high end company introduce one? Does the high end industry now sign a collect breath since they now don't have to compete with Slim Devices and a $2K killer player? Do the bean counters kill the high performance Transporter or dumb it down? I really wish that if SD had wanted to sell, for what ever reason that they had aligned themselves with a major audio company, Meridian, B&W/Rotal, Krell, CJ, ARC, Sumiko.. I think that maybe the upfront $$ might not have been as good, but that long term the product would have gotten better. Of course when Mike Valentine sold/ left Escort he started Valentine One.. I wonder how long Sean's Non-Compete clause is?? Cause Sean, guys like you always want to build killer products.. a couple of years of smashing your head against the corporate bean counters will have you back in the thick of it!

Frankie Boy
2006-10-19, 16:20
I'm sure you all agree that Sean and his team, know their product, and what is best for the product's expansion, and their personal pockets.
They would have investigated Logitech , and Logitech's experience with take overs of this type, plus they also know what it takes to expand their business, without large amounts of regular capital infusions.
Taken the two alternatives of going it alone, or being bought out by Logitech...they made the decision to sell.

Good luck to them. Lets all wish them luck.

In a years time we can all look back ...and ......we'll see.

autopilot
2006-10-19, 16:21
In future, the only way to move SlimServer truely forward is to completely redesign it from scratch. At some point soon they will have to IMO. Thats when we will see if we still get an open source and Linux version of Slimserver i guess, if it fact its still called Slimserver after Logitech start bringing it into line with their current porfolio.

I wonder how the Sonos boardroom have taken this news. Laughing or crying? The Cred-O-Meter(tm) has just swung massively in thier direction judging by most peoples reactions.

hdarwen
2006-10-19, 16:33
>
> With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just
> rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?
>
>

erm ... cos FLAC has tags ... and if you save 40% of hard disk space ...
FLAC does make a difference when you have lots of tracks ...

autopilot
2006-10-19, 16:42
>
> With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just
> rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?
>
>

erm ... cos FLAC has tags ... and if you save 40% of hard disk space ...
FLAC does make a difference when you have lots of tracks ...

Not to mention network load with larger files.

Wombat
2006-10-19, 17:00
Some things that may happen now that i am thinking in a bad mood somehow (not related to this thread)
1) If something like the Transporter don´t sell in high enough numbers - goodbye
2) Adressing issues only concern some, when the crowd of users grow to logitech niveau - goodbye
3) If the majority of people out there already know mp@128k=cd, why better? Clean Lossless support? - goodbye
4) Slimdvices in the name coexistent to Logitech? Who will know slimdevices in 2 years? - goodbye
.
.
34) Resampling everything to 48kHz (hey, this is directx standard) Why 44.1khz? - goodbye

One idea would be to build a subgroup into Logitech itself like "Logitech Quintessential Line" that clearly stands next to Logitech and centralize the art of doing things better and may of cause integrate the mastermind companys they have eaten.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 17:05
I wonder how the Sonos boardroom have taken this news. Laughing or crying? The Cred-O-Meter(tm) has just swung massively in thier direction judging by most peoples reactions.

It depends which direction Slim goes now. If they want to take on Sonos one-on-one, Logitech's financing and marketing can squish them like a bug.

If they decide to go low-market, Sonos will likely no longer view them as a serious competitor.

So, like us, they are probably saying "we'll see."

bpa
2006-10-19, 17:18
Logitech are taking a bit of a risk with SD since Slimserver is GPL - they have only bought IPR to the SB firmware/hardware and possibly Squeezenetwork.

If users don't like the direction Logitech takes, it is quite possible for a small startup to make new Next generation/High end Squeezeboxes - it is not the same risk as when SD started. There are 6 yrs of developement in Slimserver and Plugins and it is proven. A lot of the functionality of Squeezebox can be understood from SoftSqueeze. Main knowledge gap is in DSP stuff and Wifi support. The barriers to entry are not high.

To get to market asap, a new Squeezebox need only support WAV/FLAC (especially if high end) in the first instance as Slimserver will do transcoding. Other decoders/functionality could added after launch.

Skunk
2006-10-19, 18:33
just tell us first if you're gonna start putting rootkits and stuff in the software, unkay?

TiredLegs
2006-10-19, 18:41
just tell us first if you're gonna start putting rootkits and stuff in the software, unkay?
Maybe then we'll have to start calling the company Fat Devices.

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 18:49
Maybe then we'll have to start calling the company Fat Devices.

Or Sony Devices.

jasleinstein
2006-10-19, 19:10
Congratulations to Sean and all of the Slim team. Also congratulations to Logitech for another great acquisition. If Logitech can repeat the success of the Harmony acquisition we will all be off for it.
The success of the company will also be very dependent on the support of the open source community as well. As a non technical user with a large music library, in a fairly complex environment, we are most dependent on you folks out there. The work you all do is most valuable.
Every time I have had a question or issue one of you jumped in within hours to help us out.
thanks to the slim team and the open source group.

Quicken
2006-10-19, 19:15
This is bang on the mark. The high-end audio marketplace is *extremely* badge-sensitive, and the Transporter branded as a Logitech product will not sell, period.


You see IMHO this is just not true at all. The biggest audiophile community I am aware of is head-fi: the kind of place people will spend thousands of dollars on a set of headphones (take your pick on the brand), hundreds of dollars on a headphone amp, a thousand dollars on a Lavry black DAC, and 20 dollars on a Chaintech AV-710 sound card for their computer. Why? Because, when you mod it, the Chaintech produces bit-perfect output though it's digital out, and when you've got a good DAC that's all you need. The kind of people who would buy the transporter are the kind of people who frequent head-fi, and you know what? - they read the reviews. Sound quality is everything to audiophiles - especially computer audiophiles. Sometimes it needs to come from an esoteric brand high-end brand, but only because nobody else is doing it. If you can get the same thing for 20$ that other people are paying 500$ for, you're laughing all the way to the listening room. And you know what - who cares if it says *tech on it? You buy it to listen to, not read.

Q

Quicken
2006-10-19, 19:22
>
> With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just
> rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?
>
>

erm ... cos FLAC has tags ... and if you save 40% of hard disk space ...
FLAC does make a difference when you have lots of tracks ...

Absolutely! I have over 100 gigs of FLACs already (and growing) and they are all backed up on another HD to prevent loss. That isn't small compared with modern drives... and I haven't even started getting into video on the PC yet - that's will make my HDs beg for mercy! FLACs are good mmmkay...

Q

LHawes
2006-10-19, 20:43
Just heard the news so am of course quite late to the discussion. Read most of the posts and can see many different futures ahead for SD and Logitech but to my mind the most likely is that Logitech will create a good or perhaps very good music device - with a much larger market. Slim Devices had the chance to create a GREAT music device - with a much smaller market.

As much as the Logitech folks might like to think of themselves as a company they are not, they will, in the end, be driven by a passion for the bottom line and not a passion for musical excellence. A company their size has no choice.

During this transition we will read all the perfectly crafted messages stating how involved Logitech will remain in the current community, and how dedicated they are to the SqueezeBox.

This is not a knock on Logitech as they are obligated so say such things in our modern corporate culture.

I only hope they can come to this table and be honest about their corporate responsibities, which must come first as the nature of reality in the corporate world, and not pretend to be able to attend to the existing audio community established here, let alone be willing. The two directions are simply at cross purposes and cannot exist in a company of that size.

I would also assume that this forum will change radically as well. Again, out of necessity. Nightly builds will disappear, as they must. A more consumer friendly product (or many) will surface very shortly and the transporter seems VERY out of place in a world of consumer driven products, can't see how it can survive.

I won't bid a farewell as of yet but it will come soon enough, and to that end i would like to thank all of the people here who have made the SB such a great device and most of all to the community that has a added lot to my knowledge in a kind and courteous way.

Best to all,
Larry Hawes

Nostromo
2006-10-19, 20:45
Reading some of the posts in this thread, you'd believe that it was Wall-Mart, and not Logitech, that bought Slimdevices.

IMO, its very interesting that Logitech wants to branch off in the a/v business.

Maybe Logitech should model themselves on the car industry: have one brand for high-end products (Transporter and its successors) and another one for consumer products (Squeezebox and the DJ thing). Like Toyota and Lexus, for example. There's clearly an element of conspicuous consumption present in the audiophile crowd. These people like their brands.

JayNYC
2006-10-19, 20:52
My experience dealing with Slim Devices has been nothing but a customer service and technical support pleasure.

My experience dealing with Logitech has been nothing but a customer service and technical support hassle.

I own recent products from both companies; I guess the dream ride is over.

I think SlimDevices has created tremendous value and I will always be indebted to them for advancing this space.

totoro
2006-10-19, 20:52
You see IMHO this is just not true at all. The biggest audiophile community I am aware of is head-fi: the kind of place people will spend thousands of dollars on a set of headphones (take your pick on the brand), hundreds of dollars on a headphone amp, a thousand dollars on a Lavry black DAC, and 20 dollars on a Chaintech AV-710 sound card for their computer. Why? Because, when you mod it, the Chaintech produces bit-perfect output though it's digital out, and when you've got a good DAC that's all you need. The kind of people who would buy the transporter are the kind of people who frequent head-fi, and you know what? - they read the reviews. Sound quality is everything to audiophiles - especially computer audiophiles. Sometimes it needs to come from an esoteric brand high-end brand, but only because nobody else is doing it. If you can get the same thing for 20$ that other people are paying 500$ for, you're laughing all the way to the listening room. And you know what - who cares if it says *tech on it? You buy it to listen to, not read.

Q

Well said. And the average age of poster on head-fi seems younger than most audiophiles: I'd say that part of the hobby actually has a future.

Ben Sandee
2006-10-19, 21:02
On 10/19/06, Nostromo <
Nostromo.2fyjpc1161316202 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
>
> Reading some of the posts in this thread, you'd believe that it was
> Wall-Mart, and not Logitech, that bought Slimdevices.


+1. There are have been a large number of simply obnoxious posts the last
few days from some people who have somehow associated their own [overly
elevated] self esteem with the notion that their music hardware is from a
"cool" company and now that it's not they get bumped down a few notches.

Get a grip everyone -- it's a little bit of hardware and some software!
It's the same software and hardware it was two days ago and it's not going
to implode the minute Sean, Dean and Dan's checks come from Logitech!

Michaelwagner
2006-10-19, 21:34
Well said, Ben.

bflatmajor
2006-10-19, 21:43
Can I get my bug/issue fixed now!!

Now that SD has access to more resources!! :-)

live long and prosper!!

Lowrent
2006-10-19, 21:44
Congrats to the Slim team. I just hope they will stay a bit when all their options are vested... I have been through 4 acquisitions and have never seen anything good coming out of them. Sure, I made some cash but lost a lot of pride.

Talking about pride, even if the quality of the hardware and the service stays the same, the Logitech logo will never be near my hi-fi gear...

shvejk
2006-10-19, 22:00
How hard it would be for Sean to take the money, go back to his garage and design another cool toy?

And we still would have been left with our working boxes and SlimServer software to play with...

Logitech must keep Sean (and the SD team) happy for a while. Otherwise, the acquisition does not make sense.

There is not that much value in the SD brand/hardware/firmware. It could be replicated.

Logitech has bought the team and there is a hope they will not break it up...

Smiler33
2006-10-19, 23:11
I would like to congratulate the Slim Devices crew on their sale to Logitech.

I have only had my Squeezebox for unde a month but it is possible one of the finest things I have bought.

As long as the management team stay, or have opportunity to imprint their ethos on the Logitech appointed replacements in the more distant future.

The Slim Devices brand should stay. Logitech produce some cheap product and I feel as previously suggested Audiophiles (Transporter in mind) will steer clear for sure.

To me the Slim Devices brand almost has an Apple type quality. Little touches make a truly great product.

if you look at Toyota as an example, they created Lexus because nobody with money would buy into the Toyota brand even though the build quality is excellent.

I am sure Logitech realise that once trashed a brand name is worth nothing.

Make Slim Devices the brand it can be! At least now it has the opportunity.

Keep the development and great products coming. At least money will be available to put all Seans ideas into action!

mherger
2006-10-19, 23:16
> Media Streaming is clearing an up and coming
> market and SD are not going to be able to continue forever on ripped
> CDs as a source - CD is a dated format now and I'm sure the music
> industry would dearly love to hasten its demise. Online music and DRM
> is going to be the future whether we like it or not.

I really hope you're wrong in this point. I like to carry my own music
with me. When travelling, when abroad, when in places where there's no
internet, not even mobile phone. And DRM is just out of discussion for me.

> It does feel like the end of an era, but to quote the late great George
> Harrison 'All things must pass'.

Last night I listened to some songs of this very album. But I'm sure even
great musicians can be wrong :-)

--

Michael

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

mherger
2006-10-19, 23:38
> Unless it's a IR based device (limited functionality and not what
> people want) or just a fancy Logitech/SD branded web tablet (i.e. a
> crippled 770), it's going to have to have some kind of proprietory
> software if it's going to be as slick as, and compete with, the Sono's.

What does proprietary exactly mean? Closed? Not following standards? Isn't
SlimServer proprietary as it is not following common standards (eg. UPnP)?

I think what you want is a dedicated, fat client. Not a web interface, but
a binary executable on a dedicated hardware device. But couldn't this
application be open source (as eg. the Nokia770)?

Might be my understanding of prprioetary is a linguistic problem of mine
:-)

> So, my questions are; Are logitech prepared to build a device and
> software that will function in Linux and all the OS's that SlimServer
> currently does?

It does not have to: there's already the very powerful CLI. It could talk
to the server on that base and http requests (for coverart and more).

> And will that remote's software be open source?

I hope so.

> There is no way they will start making there own products open,
> something will have to give.

Why not? I assume you've heard of Open Office. Some ten years ago this was
closed source StarOffice, pretty successful in Germany, but hardly
anywhere else. When Sun bought them, many of the users thought this was
the end. A little later Sun opened the source - something they imho hadn't
done before.

> The only way to move SlimServer forward is to completely redesign it
> from scratch. At some point soon they will have to IMO.

I doubt that. 6.3 to 6.5 didn't add much functionality, but there were
massive changes in the background. One of the major issues people were
complaining about was the scanning process. Too slow, GUI unusable during
scanning etc. 6.5 separated the scanner - and complaints about these two
issues are virtually gone.

> Thats when we
> will see if we still get an open source and Linux version of Slimserver
> i guess, if it fact its still called Slimserver after Logitech start
> bringing it into line with their current porfolio.

That's where I agree: starting from scrath would be a mess. Implementing
the current level of functionality would not be possible with a reasonable
effort. So why start from scratch anyway?

I still don't understand why everybody's thinking Logitech wanted to kill
SD. SD wasn't a competitor. Logitech has its own line of entry level
systems. I'd rather say, they want the higher end. Money's not only in the
masses, but in the audiophile world, too.

--

Michael

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

CardinalFang
2006-10-20, 05:26
FLAC support is here to stay.

SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.

Linux/Unix support is here to stay.

With all due respect Dan, no-one could or should make that promise. Things beyond your and your company's control can affect what happens and all you can really say is that there is no current intention to change anything. You really wouldn't want a law suit...

Ali-M
2006-10-20, 05:48
So you're officially "going Hollywood"...I can't blame you though.

Well, laugh now and cry later. If Logitech screws this up then I'm not as forgiving as I am now. I'm seeking products in the high-end audio segment - not toys, and yes, I am and always will be associating Logitech with toys...

Remember what Creative did to Aureal back in the day? Yeah, you remember that...

So Junien, what is it you REALLY want?

Marc Sherman
2006-10-20, 05:49
CardinalFang wrote:
> Dan Sully;147909 Wrote:
>> FLAC support is here to stay.
>>
>> SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.
>>
>> Linux/Unix support is here to stay.
>
> With all due respect Dan, no-one could or should make that promise.
> Things beyond your and your company's control can affect what happens
> and all you can really say is that there is no current intention to
> change anything. You really wouldn't want a law suit...

That's definitely true about SqueezeNetwork (well, except the lawsuit
part -- I'm pretty sure that an unsanctioned statement like Dan's
wouldn't be actionable, but IANAL). But as for FLAC and Linux/Unix
support, the code is GPL'd. If Logitech takes it in a way the community
doesn't like, it can always be forked. Logitech _knows_ that, which
makes them unlikely to force the issue.

That was the whole point of buying gear from a company with open source
server software, remember? Now we're protected from the big bad
corporate overlords!

- Marc

Robin Bowes
2006-10-20, 05:50
CardinalFang wrote:
> Dan Sully;147909 Wrote:
>> FLAC support is here to stay.
>>
>> SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.
>>
>> Linux/Unix support is here to stay.
>
> With all due respect Dan, no-one could or should make that promise.
> Things beyond your and your company's control can affect what happens
> and all you can really say is that there is no current intention to
> change anything. You really wouldn't want a law suit...

Legal bollocks.

That's exactly what he is saying.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

R.

Robin Bowes
2006-10-20, 05:52
PhilNYC wrote:
> Jetlag;147912 Wrote:
>> 2. FLAC support in perpetuity (unless something better AND also free
>> comes along in the interim)?
>>
>
> With the never-ending price drops in hard drive prices, why not just
> rip to WAV files and not worry about FLAC?

Because WAV files don't support tagging. And, regardless of the price of
hard drives, you *still* get more music/megabyte with FLAC.

R.

bobharp
2006-10-20, 05:58
Well, Sean and the boys cashed out. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Good for them. Better to take the offer now before the SB shipments drop off after even more media-server products are released this quarter at half or a third of the SB price.

I doubt the boys will take the money and run. I can't wait to see what products will come.

Any speculation on how they might meet these sales goals?
Discounts?
New stuff?
Pyramid sales schemes? (http://www.falseprofits.com/MeaningofPyramids.html)

sorenson
2006-10-20, 06:39
Good God, why? That's one of the best things about the Squeezebox!
Other manufacturers don't use ones this large because they feel they are too expensive. In fact I believe I read that the display is the highest-cost component in the whole player. However SD correctly realized they are extremely easy to read from a considerable distance.
An LCD could never do that.

Yes, I would have to say you are correct in your assumption, but my point being that with large databases the VFD is a bit limited to work with (it might be that I am the limited one!), but I do see you point and have to agree with it, so it would have to be the remote using the LCD.

charlesr
2006-10-20, 06:44
As a consumer that just wants things to work well and support as many formats as possible without DRM rubbish (which has never stopped anyone from copying music), I'm in two minds about this. However, as long as support for a wide range of formats (especially FLAC) remains and I don't have to start paying for server software upgrades, then I reckon this will be great.

Logitech, keep me happy!

I'd also suggest ways to incentivise the continuation of community driven development, perhaps via "plugin of the quarter/year" prizes etc.

jeffluckett
2006-10-20, 06:48
Yes, I would have to say you are correct in your assumption, but my point being that with large databases the VFD is a bit limited to work with (it might be that I am the limited one!), but I do see you point and have to agree with it, so it would have to be the remote using the LCD.

This is going off-topic ... but...

1. I love my SB3 with the VFD, it's quite beautiful. It's very bright, and with the text set to LARGE, I can easily see it from across the room. I do wish that it could display more information sometimes, but I'm willing to give that up, as I can easily use my laptop and the web interface when I'm doing something that requires more information than what fits on the SB screen.

2. I agree the LCD would be a good choice for the remote, as I'd really want the cost of that to be kept as low as possible, and VFD is also simply too power-hungry to use on a remote relying on batteries. I'd also like it to be full color displaying album art and such. LCD and OLED displays are coming down in price so much, I'm sure a remote capable of interacting with the Slim web interface could be built economically. Unfortunately I fear that it'd be priced to high (no matter how inexpensively it could be built) for me to justify the purchase though (at least initially) ... because that's how the electronics indurstry is.

jarome
2006-10-20, 07:03
1) I have Logitech mouse/keyboard, webcam, and semi-wireless speakers for my HDTV. I like them all. They are good values for the money and I have had no problems with them.
2) I agree with the comments about software QA. Open source is great, and necessary for the SD success, but 6.5, and 6.5.1 have so far been disasters for me. Maybe Logitech can provide more muscle for fixing bugs.
3) I hope SD does NOT do things like adding video or color screens. There is no real reason to see album covers, and the niche market is high-end audio, not video.
4) I hope there is better support for classical music fans. I would like to be able to file things by composer (rather than calling the composer an artist). the online databases have special sections for entering classical music data. Why can't I access them from my SlimServer?

So, I look at this as a hopeful event.

Jim

CardinalFang
2006-10-20, 07:07
CardinalFang wrote:
> Dan Sully;147909 Wrote:
>> FLAC support is here to stay.
>>
>> SqueezeNetwork is here to stay.
>>
>> Linux/Unix support is here to stay.
>
> With all due respect Dan, no-one could or should make that promise.
> Things beyond your and your company's control can affect what happens
> and all you can really say is that there is no current intention to
> change anything. You really wouldn't want a law suit...

Legal bollocks.

That's exactly what he is saying.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

R.

Sorry, was that aimed at me? "Too much time on my hands"? Since when did you know what I do with my time?

All I am pointing out that if someone buys a product based on a comment from an employee and that turns out at some point to be not true, some wacko may sue - they sue for a lot less. "You promised me support for SqueezeNetwork/FLAC/Linux forever!, now it's not in version X and you have ruined my listening experience for the rest of my life!"

Yes, it's laughable, but how many times do you read about such stuff in papers?

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-20, 07:23
This is going off-topic ... but...

1. I love my SB3 with the VFD, it's quite beautiful. It's very bright, and with the text set to LARGE, I can easily see it from across the room. I do wish that it could display more information sometimes, but I'm willing to give that up, as I can easily use my laptop and the web interface when I'm doing something that requires more information than what fits on the SB screen.

2. I agree the LCD would be a good choice for the remote, as I'd really want the cost of that to be kept as low as possible, and VFD is also simply too power-hungry to use on a remote relying on batteries. I'd also like it to be full color displaying album art and such. LCD and OLED displays are coming down in price so much, I'm sure a remote capable of interacting with the Slim web interface could be built economically. Unfortunately I fear that it'd be priced to high (no matter how inexpensively it could be built) for me to justify the purchase though (at least initially) ... because that's how the electronics indurstry is.

Yes, I agree with you and sorenson, an LCD belongs in a remote, not in the player.

Ironically the Logitech Wireless DJ has a very nice remote with a bright LCD screen. From the photos, it almost looks like a VFD, but the text clearly states it's LCD.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-20, 07:26
3) I hope SD does NOT do things like adding video or color screens. There is no real reason to see album covers, and the niche market is high-end audio, not video.

Yes! And there are growing calls for this, in this thread and others.

Video streamers and music players relying on a TV as a primary display are a dime-a-dozen these days. I don't need or want one, whether it's made by LogiSlim, DevicesTech, or anyone else.

Ali-M
2006-10-20, 07:41
1) I have Logitech mouse/keyboard, webcam, and semi-wireless speakers for my HDTV. I like them all. They are good values for the money and I have had no problems with them.
2) I agree with the comments about software QA. Open source is great, and necessary for the SD success, but 6.5, and 6.5.1 have so far been disasters for me. Maybe Logitech can provide more muscle for fixing bugs.


1] Your Logitech mouse, keyboard, webcam and semi-wireless speakers for your HDTV are not products made by Slim Devices - the Squeezebox is. If Logitech starts to screw around with the SB's software, hardware and the open-source community to save costs or for whatever reason they'll end up having one crappy device.

2] Slim Devices has done a great job by fixing bugs etc. together with the community - what do we need Logitech for again?

3] I totally agree...

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-20, 08:06
>Talking about pride, even if the quality of the hardware and the
>service stays the same, the Logitech logo will never be near my hi-fi
>gear...

That's just silly.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

soxfan
2006-10-20, 08:16
I've just spent over an hour reading through the entire 25 pages and growing of this thread. I've owned a Squeezebox2 for about a year and a half now, and have recently been contemplating buying a Squeezebox3. Just thought I would add my 2 cents, although I'm probably not going to say anything that hasn't already been said in one way or another.

First, congratulations and best of luck to the Slimdevices folks!

Second, I fear this is bad news for the *NIX, open-source fans out there. While I love music, I do not consider myself an audiophile. Before buying, when I researched the product I was very impressed with comments that I saw about the quality of the product itself, and of the sound quality of the device. But what really hooked me was the open source software, the community support for it, the plugins, etc. Logitech is going to want to push this out to the mass market, and unfortunately the mass market means Windows-based PC's. Right now the slimserver software is primarily written in Perl and uses a MySQL backend database. Granted these things run under Windows, but they have their roots in *NIX world. If 90% of the future Slimserver owners are running Windows how long will it be before they decide it is in their best interest to develop software that is more native to Windows, in addition to, or in replace of the current open-source model? Then, if most of the customers are running the Windows version of the software where will the software R&D money go?

I appreciate the responses by both the Slimdevices and Logitech folks reassuring us that the current software model isn't changing any time soon. However, I certainly don't see these responses as any type of guarantee. I think the market will dictate the future direction of the product, both in terms of hardware and software. As others have pointed out we have the current software, which we can continue to use. And hopefully there will remain a strong open source community involvement. I'm just not sure of the Logitech/Slimdevices direction.

Hopefully I am proven wrong!

CardinalFang
2006-10-20, 08:18
>Talking about pride, even if the quality of the hardware and the
>service stays the same, the Logitech logo will never be near my hi-fi
>gear...

That's just silly.


A Skoda is a Volkswagon in all but badge. Which one would you prefer on your drive?

People strongly believed that the Jaguar X-Type was a Ford Mondeo with a new body, sales never amounted to anything close to success. Brand is important, Apple know that and so do many others.

I wouldn't buy a Logitech Transporter because they are not renowned for high-end audio engineering or for understanding the needs of the HiFi audience. Right now, that's dumb, in 2-3 years, it may well be smart. We shall see.

LHawes
2006-10-20, 08:40
I wouldn't buy a Logitech Transporter because they are not renowned for high-end audio engineering or for understanding the needs of the HiFi audience. Right now, that's dumb, in 2-3 years, it may well be smart. We shall see.

I don't think you'll have to worry about buying a Logitech transporter because in my opinion they simply won't sell one. Not because they are an evil large corporation that hates excellent audio, but because there is not a large enough market for a company the size of Logitech to pursue.

All of the other changes that Logitech will bring to the table will be born of the needs of their company. Their choices will be very limited as product cycles and markets will dictate product.

This is not to say that Logitech is WalMart but they will make decisions based on similer criteria - they have to because their business model will demand it! And that criteria will probably have very little to do with fine audio reproduction and very little to do with what made the SqueezeBox excellent and the Transporter great.

It has nothing to do with Logitech's business ethics and everything to do with the reality of a large business.

Large buinesses simply do not pursue small markets and the transporter represent a VERY small market. That is why I would not expect it to survive for very long.