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View Full Version : Buy a Squeezebox now or wait?



jacques
2006-10-22, 11:46
Will it make any difference? Any conjectures? Buy a Slim branded device or wait for a Logitech device?

Anyone have a guess as to if there will be any differences?

Did things change when Logitech took over the Harmony brand?

Thanks!

CatBus
2006-10-22, 12:26
My opinion is that existing products will not be altered one bit, except perhaps in packaging and availability in brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

Future product directions are another story. If you were looking into something with dubious mass-market appeal like the Transporter, I'd say buy now for fear that it could be discontinued in favor of a lower-end consumer model. But the Squeezebox is an established crowd-pleaser and money-earner. Logitech won't touch it.

snarlydwarf
2006-10-22, 14:33
My opinion is that existing products will not be altered one bit, except perhaps in packaging and availability in brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

I agree with that.



Future product directions are another story. If you were looking into something with dubious mass-market appeal like the Transporter, I'd say buy now for fear that it could be discontinued in favor of a lower-end consumer model. But the Squeezebox is an established crowd-pleaser and money-earner. Logitech won't touch it.

I don't agree with that: how did Harmony's product line change?

You and I may be sane and not think it's worth $200 for a keyboard, but Logitech sells them. (no idea why anyone would pay that for a keyboard, but I know a lot of people who don't understand why I use a Squeezebox instead of just an iPod plugged into a stereo...)

I don't think Logitech cares about what is a niche market and what is not: they seem to like to have a wide range of products and get people at every price/feature mark. The people satisfied with throwing away $10 mice when the break (me, though I will admit it is very rare that I can't fix one by cleaning it), and the people that spend $100 on a mouse.... The people that want a plain old Universal Remote, or the people that want a programmable remote with custom keys and LCD display.

As for buy now vs wait: sure you can wait. Or not. The ex- had a photography teacher that denounced all digital cameras because "they keep improving them, so whatever you buy will be outdated!"

By that token, you shouldn't buy a car, since newer models will come out with more features. And don't buy a TV, the price will come down on huge HD screens.

Buy stuff if you want it: "new stuff" coming is always true for electronics. If you want to wait until a technology settles, you will miss out.

jeffluckett
2006-10-22, 17:29
Really your choices are quite simple.

If you buy now, you're getting a known quantity.

If you buy later, you can't be sure what you're going to get. Will it be better, or compromised for mass-market appeal? Will the pricepoint shift? Who knows.

So, if you're a gambling man, wait ... play the market, put all your chips on 13 Black. But if you are a "money in the bank" kinda fella ... then buy one now.

jacques
2006-10-22, 20:19
Well I have a feeling that I'll be buying one now and more later. Right now I have a computer in the basement playing audio server with Slimserver and TiVo software on it. The CDs are all ripped and we use an old laptop and SoftSqueeze upstairs to listen to our music. The laptop would get replaced with a Squeezebox.

But, my wife would like something in the kitchen also. The upstairs is connected to a component audio system. But that's overkill for the kitchen. What are people using for compact players with the Squeezebox?

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-22, 22:16
>Will it make any difference? Any conjectures? Buy a Slim branded device
>or wait for a Logitech device?

If it meets your needs now, buy now. I own 3 SB2s and 1 SB3, and
would really love to buy a Transporter. I would have no qualms about
purchasing any of them.

The quality and nature of the product are unchanged with the
announcement. The server software is open source, so you don't have
to worry about someone taking it away. If Logitech cancels the
product tomorrow, your hardware and software will still work until
you have a catastrophe.

I've expressed my opinion on the Logitech acquisition, and I honestly
think that wait-and-see is the only way to go. I think they've done
a good job with the Harmony remotes. I expect and hope they will do
the same with Slim Devices. As far as branding goes, I think we can
see how that is going to be by looking at the graphic at
slimdevices.com.

Anyway, if it meets your needs now, I'd go ahead and buy now.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-10-22, 22:18
>What are people using for compact players with the Squeezebox?

I'm using a Bose with one of mine (a fact that I'm sure will elicit
rolled eyes and groans from some here) and a Denon bookshelf system
with another. Both are fine for where they are in use.

If you want smaller yet, I hear the Tivoli's sound pretty good,
though I've not had the chance to listen to any myself.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

jeffluckett
2006-10-23, 04:08
What are people using for compact players with the Squeezebox?


I have heard of people using setups as inexpensive as a set of powered set of PC speakers connected to the headphone jack on up to high-dollar audiophile mini systems.

It all depends on how good you want your sound to be in the kitchen ... keeping in mind that kitchens don't typically make the most ideal listening environment with lots of hard surfaces, ambient noise, things that rattle, etc...

Personally, I think a quality set of powered sub/satellite speakers would do you just fine if you don't also need the ability to play CD's or other "packaged" media or tune into "over the air" broadcasts and you're really looking for the most compact package. If you're looking to listen to more sources than just the SlimServer feed and internet radio , any small system that isn't a k-mart special that accepts a line-in should fit the bill. ...unless you have audiophile disease ... then only your bank account and credit rating limit your choices. :-P

Jon
2006-10-23, 05:28
What are people using for compact players with the Squeezebox?
I picked up a set of Klipsch ProMedia powered speakers (including a subwoofer) for my bedroom ... they sound very good and plug right into the headphone jack on the Squeezebox. $119 on amazon.com.
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-ProMedia-Certified-Computer-3-Speaker/dp/B000062VUO/sr=8-1/qid=1161606194/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-1098072-7977563?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

roamingstudio
2006-10-23, 05:46
I made the decision that I would buy now - and maybe again in the future. I wanted another one which I could work with; modify etc safe in the bank.

The future is bright - the future is orange. Sorry wrong brand - but you cannot predict what will happen - probably even SD et al dont rightly know. The transporter is a definite buy now, may not be able to again. But I suspect SB's will be around in some form or another for a long time yet; just not necessarily with the current level of loving care and attention in the development and assembly. It could be even more loving care and attention in which case I would buy another...

If Logitech step in and make lots of changes, if there is a cheaper SB3 v2 coming out, if they rebrand the boxes and hardware, I would be suprised to see it hit the general market / distributors before end november. Logitech may still try a hard sell for Christmas - but even then there is probably not enough stock available for demand. I suspect things will really change (if they are going to change) sometime in the new year.

cliveb
2006-10-23, 05:59
>Will it make any difference? Any conjectures? Buy a Slim branded device
>or wait for a Logitech device?

If it meets your needs now, buy now. I own 3 SB2s and 1 SB3, and
would really love to buy a Transporter. I would have no qualms about purchasing any of them.
The dilemma is more subtle than this.

I am *very* interested in buying a Transporter. The hardware as it stands now seems to meet my needs. But I need to know that the firmware update Sean promised (back when it was still his company), to add the digital FX loop and fix the "vibrating knob even though you've only used the remote" bug, is still going to happen. The danger of buying a Transporter now is that Logitech might quickly decide it's not in their product future and cease all development work - and hence no firmware update.

So the answer seems clear: wait to buy a Transporter until I've seen the firmware update in the field. But by that time, it's possible that the Logitech bean-counters have forced some cost-reductions through and the hardware design has been compromised. There again, it's also possible that some changes to the Transporter might actually be an improvement. (One cost reduction I'd be happy about would be the removal of the knob altogether - it may be cool, but I can't see myself using it).

So you see, I'm in a serious quandry, and suspect others may feel the same way.

Seineseeker
2006-10-23, 06:34
I would buy now. I am seriously thinking of buying a second SB or even a third as well. The SB3 does everything I want it to, and the open source software should mean whatever happens in the future we will always have a healthy community behind it.

tmarino
2006-10-23, 14:02
I plan to buy soon, can't afford it right now but definitely want to get a new Squeezebox soon. Funny I was thinking of selling my original Slimp 3 and original SB but now I may re-consider that for sentimental reasons if nothing else.

seanadams
2006-10-23, 15:21
But I need to know that the firmware update Sean promised (back when it was still his company), to add the digital FX loop and fix the "vibrating knob even though you've only used the remote" bug, is still going to happen.

Clive, I've said this before but please don't take anything we say with respect to future features as a "promise". This has nothing to do with whose company it is. There are many uncertainties involved in R&D, and that is why we don't make such commitments. However, we do from time to time comment on things we're working on or looking into, as a way of inviting customer feedback.

Relayer35
2006-10-23, 20:49
I made the decision that I would buy now - and maybe again in the future. I wanted another one which I could work with; modify etc safe in the bank.

The future is bright - the future is orange. Sorry wrong brand - but you cannot predict what will happen - probably even SD et al dont rightly know. The transporter is a definite buy now, may not be able to again. But I suspect SB's will be around in some form or another for a long time yet; just not necessarily with the current level of loving care and attention in the development and assembly. It could be even more loving care and attention in which case I would buy another...

If Logitech step in and make lots of changes, if there is a cheaper SB3 v2 coming out, if they rebrand the boxes and hardware, I would be suprised to see it hit the general market / distributors before end november. Logitech may still try a hard sell for Christmas - but even then there is probably not enough stock available for demand. I suspect things will really change (if they are going to change) sometime in the new year.

I think the Harmony 880 was the first Logitech created Harmony remote. I had a 659 prior to owning a 880. I was pleased with the 659 for the most part (the Harmony setup needs to be streamlined and the web interface is too slow), but decided to upgrade to the 880 due to the rechargable battery. I'm not extremely happy with the new 880. I've had to return two of them already, and the second return took a very long time. There is no question, that Logitech will have worse support than SD customers are probably used to.

I'm not trying to bash Logitech here. I have a whole slew of Logitech products, including four different sets of computer speakers and numerous mice (in addition to the two Harmony remotes). In fact, I'm listening to one of my squeezeboxes right now on a set of Logitech speakers and using my Harmony to control it! They usually make pretty good stuff, but it can be frustrating. I won't touch their newer computer speakers, and getting all the mouse buttons to work in computer games usually requires manually editting the Windows registry. Logitech has a lot of neat products, but the quality has been a little suspect, especially lately.

My advice, buy now!

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-23, 21:11
What are people using for compact players with the Squeezebox?

One of the best-sounding systems that is modestly sized and priced is the Aego M from Acoustic Energy. Get them for $200 at www.ccrane.com or www.audioadvisor.com

oreillymj
2006-10-23, 23:15
I haven't bothered to read most of the bitchfest that the Logitech announcement thread has become, and this threatens to become.

Slim != Logitech , so stop posting your mouse,keyboard, remote horror stories here.

The question that was asked, was should you purchase now or hold off following the Logitech acquisition.

The way I see it, nothing has happened in the last week that would change my decision to purchase. If the SB3/Transporter fitted my needs last week, then they still fit my needs this week and sound, as good, if not better.
FW67 was posted after the announcement last week making further improvements to a great product. I can only see it getting better.

The way to screw things up is to hold up sales. Then you'll have started a self fulfilling prophecy.

So buy now, enjoy your music, and forget about who owns the company and what might happen. It's pointless speculation.

peejay
2006-10-23, 23:43
IMHO the Slim Devices logo/branding looks much better than Logitech's. At least half of the appeal of the Squeezebox for a lot of people is in its visual aspects, again my opinion only. Get one now before accepting the risk that the next manufacturing run of cases has a different logo on the front.

ModelCitizen
2006-10-24, 00:48
Get one now before accepting the risk that the next manufacturing run of cases has a different logo on the front.
My sentiments entirely. I shall be well aggrieved if my Transporter arrives with anything but a pure SlimDevices logo on it! :-).
I did idly wonder about buying ten Transporters now just in case they became classic collectors items in the future.

I do hope Slim fix the knob soon though. I can see that becoming a little annoying quite quickly.


MC

cliveb
2006-10-24, 02:18
Clive, I've said this before but please don't take anything we say with respect to future features as a "promise". This has nothing to do with whose company it is. There are many uncertainties involved in R&D, and that is why we don't make such commitments. However, we do from time to time comment on things we're working on or looking into, as a way of inviting customer feedback.
OK, understood, and my apologies for using the word "promise". It's just that Slim Devices have a history of mentioning things that might happen, and then they nearly always do. So when in a previous thread you indicated that the vibrating knob issue was being looked at, I got a very warm feeling that it almost certainly would be "fixed".

Suppose I did buy a Transporter now, and then this issue *doesn't* get fixed in a firmware update, would there be any safe way to simply disable the knob altogether, perhaps by disconnecting it from the power supply? Or it is so completely hard-wired into the main circuit board that this isn't possible?

fathom39
2006-10-24, 02:24
One of the best-sounding systems that is modestly sized and priced is the Aego M from Acoustic Energy. Get them for $200 at www.ccrane.com or www.audioadvisor.com

Just ignore any propaganda from ccrane. For instance, on the Acoustic Energy Wi-Fi Internet Radio page they state "Most of these stations broadcast at or near CD-quality, and many stations even broadcast at 192K which is better than CD quality and a huge step up from any satellite radio." Ha!

rtitmuss
2006-10-24, 02:39
Suppose I did buy a Transporter now, and then this issue *doesn't* get fixed in a firmware update, would there be any safe way to simply disable the knob altogether, perhaps by disconnecting it from the power supply? Or it is so completely hard-wired into the main circuit board that this isn't possible?

Well I've already fixed the knob problem in the latest firmware in the 6.5.1 beta release. And if it did still cause you a problem it would be on my bug list to fix again for a later release. In the worst case it is easy to unplug the knob.

Richard

cliveb
2006-10-24, 04:46
Well I've already fixed the knob problem in the latest firmware in the 6.5.1 beta release. And if it did still cause you a problem it would be on my bug list to fix again for a later release. In the worst case it is easy to unplug the knob.
Thanks Richard, that's great news.

Incidentally: I knew that you are SoftSqueeze's author, but I never realised that you're also (one of) the developer(s) of the SB/Transporter firmware. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

rtitmuss
2006-10-24, 06:01
Incidentally: I knew that you are SoftSqueeze's author, but I never realised that you're also (one of) the developer(s) of the SB/Transporter firmware. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

I have been working on the SB/Transporter firmware for a while now, see http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22693.

Richard

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-24, 06:36
I do hope Slim fix the knob soon though. I can see that becoming a little annoying quite quickly.

With one in actual use (with the "original" firmware) it's no big deal.

If you're playing music you don't hear it.

If you're not playing music, you'll hear it about 30 seconds after the knob has to reconfigure itself (from locked to hard stops to detents with hard stops). You'll also hear it 30 seconds after you turn it off.

It sounds like a floppy drive seek noise, but not nearly as loud. Since you can only hear it when the music isn't on, it's really no big deal.

It isn't like a vacuum cleaner or something.

mherger
2006-10-24, 07:06
> It sounds like a floppy drive seek noise, but not nearly as loud.

I've read about this many times, but have never heard it in two weeks.

> Since you can only hear it when the music isn't on, it's really no big
> deal.

Ah, that's it! Can't stop listening to my T's sound :-)

--

Michael

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

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-24, 07:17
> Since you can only hear it when the music isn't on, it's really no big
> deal.[/color]

Ah, that's it! Can't stop listening to my T's sound :-)

:-) Take a second or two before you start playing to move around the menus with the knob. It's very cool - go to volume and you have a smooth range with hard stops at each end. Go back to the main menu and you have hard stops at the beginning and end of the menu with detents on each item. Go to an area with only one item in the list and the knob is locked.

After the knob reconfigures itself in that way, you'll hear the sound about 30 seconds after you leave it. You'll also hear the sound after you turn it off.

It's a degaussing cycle for the magnetic brake apparently.

This is with the original firmware, 18.

bergek
2006-10-24, 07:58
I have been planning to purchase a Transporter and a few powered Genelec speakers for a few days but the news of Logitech has temporarily halted my decision process. Just like many others, I too, own quite a few Logitech products and I am perfectly happy with them. But in my eyes they play in a different league imagewise.

In addition to upgrading my home system, I am trying to convince my brother in law who is a long term audiophile that there are new ways of producing truly fantastic sound. First impressions are important and if that first thought in his mind is a keyboard and mouse manufacturer (which is how Logitech is perceived here) I fear that the battle is half lost from the beginning.

I seriously hope that the Logitech will NOT rebrand the Transporter into a standard Logitech product. For the time being my problem is that the Transporter is out of stock at all distributors here in Sweden. I don't want to place an order now and later receive a Logitech branded device - even if they will of course produce the same sound. The risk of getting such a device is currently stopping me from placing an order.

bergek
2006-10-24, 10:46
I have been planning to purchase a Transporter and a few powered Genelec speakers for a few days but the news of Logitech has temporarily halted my decision process. Just like many others, I too, own quite a few Logitech products and I am perfectly happy with them. But in my eyes they play in a different league imagewise.

In addition to upgrading my home system, I am trying to convince my brother in law who is a long term audiophile that there are new ways of producing truly fantastic sound. First impressions are important and if that first thought in his mind is a keyboard and mouse manufacturer (which is how Logitech is perceived here) I fear that the battle is half lost from the beginning.

I seriously hope that the Logitech will NOT rebrand the Transporter into a standard Logitech product. For the time being my problem is that the Transporter is out of stock at all distributors here in Sweden. I don't want to place an order now and later receive a Logitech branded device - even if they will of course produce the same sound. The risk of getting such a device is currently stopping me from placing an order.

Sorry, didn't realise until too late that the topic concerned the Squeezebox and not the Transporter. My thoughts are the same, although to a somewhat lesser extent.

benh
2006-10-24, 14:27
Well, for what it's worth, I'm a relatively new SB3 owner, going on about 3 months. Love it. So much so that I'm in the process of re-ripping my entire 800+ disc collection to ALAC and then the CDs go into deep storage.

Based on my experiences with the SB3 (and having read all 30+ pages of the Logitech Thread), I pulled the trigger on a Transporter today. I think it will be a nice addition to my system and I'm eagerly anticipating its arrival, if not the impact to my wallet. Eek. I'm looking around for things to Ebay now to offset the cost.

I've got mixed feelings about the Logitech acquisition. I liked the small company feel that I was getting from Slim Devices, and I like supporting small companies, and that was part of my initial decision to get an SB3. But now that I have that SB3 (and soon a Transporter) I guess I'm more interested in how well the products work. I'd still *prefer* the small company feel, but it's not a showstopper for me.

I see potential for both good and bad. I'm hoping that the quality of the hardware and the attention to detail remain, and that the (presumably) increased resources that can be brought to bear will benefit everyone. I'm not concerned that Logitech bought Slim to shelve them. Slim has several strong products that give Logitech a big leg up in the market and it'd be poor business to kill those products.

But I also figure that worst case, I end up with the hardware I have now, and the software I have now, and both work well now. It's not like the product will just quit working if Logitech decides to shelve further production/development.

The server software is open source and written in perl, so even absent corporate support and development, the software can continue to be developed and improved. Even by me with my heinous perl skills.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you like what the hardware/software can do right now, get it now. If you're not sure it's a good fit for you, maybe take advantage of the 30 day guarantee and give it a shot.

If you're concerned that Logitech will orphan the product or screw it up in some way and you're concerned about long term support, maybe wait for things to shake out. But I'm not that concerned.