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View Full Version : Wishlist: Co-development with hi-fi manufacturers



Squirrel
2006-10-22, 01:46
Just a thought... but now Logitech owns Slim Devices they might have more clout.

Several well known hi-fi manufacturers make some pretty decent all-in-one units, eg Denon, Arcam (the Solo), as well as some of the cheaper HTIB (Home Theatre In a Box) systems.

I'd propose that it's worth Slim/Logitech approaching these companies with a view to building Squeezebox client functionality into these devices. It shouldn't add much to the cost - all these units already have a VFD and MP3 decoding hardware.

That way SB can integrate totally into the living room hi-fi without any need for extra boxes.

Philips do something similar with the Streamium system, but this uses a proprietary protocol. The SlimServer protocol is open and documented, and adoption of this wouldn't tie you to one make of hi-fi throughout the house.

Comments anyone?

jimmy100
2006-10-22, 09:51
Logitech already make speakers - It seems likely the first new product to come out of the new slim-logitech entity will be a one box squeezebox + speakers unit. I doubt they will see the need to involve another manufacturer. It will be interesting to see what kind of form factor they come up with. I hope it's similar to the bose wave radio, or the creative soundworks equivalent:
Creative soundworks (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=261&subcategory=262&product=10276)

Rather than something like the roku or acoustic energy products, with both look quite poor imho:
Roku Soundbridge radio (http://www.rokulabs.com/products_soundbridgeradio.php)
AE wifi radio (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/WiFi_radio/WiFi.asp)

Whatever it looks like, I'm pretty sure I'll buy one for the bedroom. I currently have an SB3 connected to some AEGO M speakers (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aego_series/Aego_M.asp), which sounds great, but there's too many cables for my liking.

audiofi
2006-10-22, 10:02
Logitech already make speakers - It seems likely the first new product to come out of the new slim-logitech entity will be a one box squeezebox + speakers unit. I doubt they will see the need to involve another manufacturer. It will be interesting to see what kind of form factor they come up with. I hope it's similar to the bose wave radio, or the creative soundworks equivalent:
Creative soundworks (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=261&subcategory=262&product=10276)

Rather than something like the roku or acoustic energy products, with both look quite poor imho:
Roku Soundbridge radio (http://www.rokulabs.com/products_soundbridgeradio.php)
AE wifi radio (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/WiFi_radio/WiFi.asp)

Whatever it looks like, I'm pretty sure I'll buy one for the bedroom. I currently have an SB3 connected to some AEGO M speakers (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aego_series/Aego_M.asp), which sounds great, but there's too many cables for my liking.

I'm testing the MagicBox Imp Radio (effectively the AE in a different box) and it works well as an internet radio, but sound quality isn't great. It also has to buffer each MP3 for what seems like hours.

Will be getting the Roku Radio to test later this month/early next month for a couple of weeks

tygar
2006-10-22, 10:31
Rather than something like the roku or acoustic energy products, with both look quite poor imho:
Roku Soundbridge radio (http://www.rokulabs.com/products_soundbridgeradio.php)
AE wifi radio (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/WiFi_radio/WiFi.asp)


Why do you feel these implementations are poor? I have a poor impression of Roku (and without support for Real Audio, what's the point of an Internet radio standalone device?) but I've heard good things about the Acoustic Energy unit.

In particular, it appears to me that the Acoustic Energy device has several advantages (as an Internet radio device):

(1) It already has a pre-compiled, online, continually updated list of Internet radio stations (not just live365 and radioIO);
(2) It doesn't require a server program such as Slim server (of course we can use SqueezeNetwork, but that doesn't allow us to receive AlienBBC); and
(3) It has minimal setup requirements -- especially compared to the double installation of SlimServer and AlienBBC

In the end, I don't feel the advantages of the Acoustic Energy device outweigh the advantages of the Squeezebox. Nonetheless, I do wish that SqueezeNetwork also had a pre-compiled list of Internet radio stations.

jimmy100
2006-10-22, 10:45
Why do you feel these implementations are poor?

Some qualification is in order - I was refering to the styling of the two products. I haven't used either of them, so I can't comment on how they sound or how well they work. Slim seems set to enter the market of one box wifi players, and I was expressing a desire that they come up with something better looking than the competition.

How it will sound will be another matter of course - I do hope they don't just stick a pair of cheap logitech computer speakers to an SB3 and rebox it to get something out quickly. I doubt Sean and co. would allow that though.

I think there is a potentially huge market for a stylish, compact unit with the functionality of a squeezebox and a sound comparable to decent $200 active speakers. Sell it for under $500 and you have something that for many people could serve as their main stereo. For the rest of us it means when we get up from listening to our transporters to fetch a drink, we have the same music playing in the kitchen ;-)

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-22, 21:39
I'd propose that it's worth Slim/Logitech approaching these companies with a view to building Squeezebox client functionality into these devices. It shouldn't add much to the cost - all these units already have a VFD and MP3 decoding hardware.

I thought the same thing until recently, but there are problems here: the VFDs, even in the top receivers, are nowhere near those in the Squeezebox, 320 X 32 pixels, greyscale, graphical.

Also the Squeezebox 2/3/Transporter doesn't have an MP3 decoding chip - it's all rewriteable (I believe the Xilinx CLPD?) which means it is not limited to what's hard-coded into the chip like the SB1.

And finally, the Squeezebox requires a 250 MHz 8-way multithreaded RISC CPU to handle everything, primarily the display if the Transporter is any indication because it has to run at 325 MHz in order to handle the second display. There's no way a DSP as found in most receivers can handle this.

Without these critical components, you'd have something in between a SliMP3 and a Squeezebox 1. Not bad, but not the real deal. I'm not sure if the CLPD and the Squeezebox's processor are expensive but they are pretty complex. But the display is very expensive, it's the single highest-cost component in the Squeezebox.

You could have a simple SlimServer-aware client though, but not really a Squeezebox-in-a-receiver.

JJZolx
2006-10-22, 22:43
Just a thought... but now Logitech owns Slim Devices they might have more clout.

Several well known hi-fi manufacturers make some pretty decent all-in-one units, eg Denon, Arcam (the Solo), as well as some of the cheaper HTIB (Home Theatre In a Box) systems.

I'd propose that it's worth Slim/Logitech approaching these companies with a view to building Squeezebox client functionality into these devices. It shouldn't add much to the cost - all these units already have a VFD and MP3 decoding hardware.

That way SB can integrate totally into the living room hi-fi without any need for extra boxes.

Philips do something similar with the Streamium system, but this uses a proprietary protocol. The SlimServer protocol is open and documented, and adoption of this wouldn't tie you to one make of hi-fi throughout the house.

Comments anyone?
Would have been a great idea before the company was sold to Logitech. Maybe the reason it wasn't more aggressively pursued was that the company was being shopped around at the time.

Logitech would be more likely to throw the guts of a Squeezebox into one of their own mass produced plastic audio products before they'd have any interest in working with someone else. If they don't make an all-in-one or boombox system, then they could easily churn one out in a matter of months, turn it over to one of their Chinese manufacturing plants, and have it in Wal-Mart next to the $39 DVD players and $8 clock radios before SlimServer 6.5.1 is released.

Squirrel
2006-11-03, 09:49
Actually the Slim protocol is pretty open, right? The mvpmc software (open source replacement for the MediaMVP software) uses the Slim protocol for music playback and appears as a SliMP3 in SlimServer.

And SlimServer can transcode on the fly...

I'm currently feeding high quality VBR MP3s from SB3 through an Arcam Black Box 50 and having done A/B comparisons between the MP3 and original CD I'm having a hard time telling which is which. Indeed I may only think I hear a slight difference because I "know" that I'm playing the CD rather than MP3. And yes, I'll admit to being one of the "golden eared brigade".

There are products around (Soundbridge, Hifidelio SX64) that use the daapd (iTunes) protocol. Soundbridge resamples everything to 48kHz though, and the SX64 cost around 500 last time I looked - somewhat overpriced for what it is. Sonus is also expensive.

Even a wi-fi boom-box would be a start in getting this system accepted by the Great Unwashed Masses. And MP3 would be more than adequate for a boom-box or midi system, so a SliMP3 emulator would be fine for this purpose.