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JimC
2007-01-05, 15:46
Hi there.

My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.

Wait! That's my match.com ad copy.

Actually, I'm the new Director of Product Marketing here at Slim -- now known as the SMS Business Unit at Logitech. Prior to accepting this role, I was the iPod/MP3 and wireless music business manager for Logitech in the America's region. And before that, I've had stints as one of the founders of Virgin Electronics, as a jack-of-lots-of-trades at Creative Labs, and further back than that just doesn't really matter.

My first order of business here is to offload some of the work of integrating Slim with Logitech, so Sean and Dean can get back to sleeping once in a while. Overall, I'll be responsible for the customer-facing aspects of this business, and for helping shape how we tell the rest of the world about how great the products are...

To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can best implement that, as well.

If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want me to finish that match.com ad, let me know.

SuperQ
2007-01-05, 15:57
Hi there.

My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.

Wait! That's my match.com ad copy.

Actually, I'm the new Director of Product Marketing here at Slim -- now known as the SMS Business Unit at Logitech. Prior to accepting this role, I was the iPod/MP3 and wireless music business manager for Logitech in the America's region. And before that, I've had stints as one of the founders of Virgin Electronics, as a jack-of-lots-of-trades at Creative Labs, and further back than that just doesn't really matter.

My first order of business here is to offload some of the work of integrating Slim with Logitech, so Sean and Dean can get back to sleeping once in a while. Overall, I'll be responsible for the customer-facing aspects of this business, and for helping shape how we tell the rest of the world about how great the products are...

To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can best implement that, as well.

If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want me to finish that match.com ad, let me know.

#1: There's very little need to tell everyone how great the squeezebox is.. everyone that comes over and uses mine realizes that they ARE great. ;)

#2: Service/Support..
a: I've never had a problem dealing with SD support people, they answer questions simply and without any hand waving.
b: Software updates, including new product features for "old" hardware are great.. the fact that you can still use a slimp3 with slimserver 6.5 is great. (I have a server built by a company that got bought by HP, now I can't get any software for it. bad!)

bklaas
2007-01-05, 16:19
Welcome, JimC. Your irreverence should serve you well in this eclectic community.

I am one of the oddball contributors to the Slimserver code--in my case, that is largely restricted to the Nokia770 and Touch skins. As such, I've spent a lot of time on the forums and even longer on the code itself, so I have some opinions. They are not organized. They go like this:

1. Don't drink the Windows-only kool-aid. One of the great things about slimserver is it's cross-platform support. I imagine a great deal of Logitech products have listed on their box "Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista". If I ever see that happen to slimserver I'll bail quick as can be, along with a lot of the other pro-bono contributors to the software.

2. Stick a knob on the Squeezebox, a la Transporter. If you do a search of my posts on this forum the word "knob" comes up several dozen times, and not because I am one.

3. The web interface is much maligned, but there is potential for a great deal of usability improvements that would really stimulate customer satisfaction.

I tried to introduce the kind of responsiveness the UI needs with AJAX in the Nokia770 and Touch skins. While I puff up with pride at the positive reviews users have given me, I really believe that what I've done is only a proof-of-concept, and there's a huge amount to be done in this area. UI should be quick, intuitive, and beautiful. Web browsers are notoriously poor in these areas, but it's the closest thing we have to a fully cross-OS GUI development platform, and with AJAX things can be much better.

What will such an effort require? IMO, head count. I built Nokia770 on my own time, much like lots of stuff available for slimserver, but Logitech can't expect all good things to happen via the community. Invest in one or a couple of good front-end web programmers and reap the benefits of it down the line. My big hope on the Logitech transition is that they will backup their acquisition with the resources (i.e., $$) a large corporation can offer.

4. One word (or is it three?): Squeezeboombox.

5. Harmony remotes, which I have yet to try, people seem to think are the bee's knees. A Harmony with native slimserver support, including 2-way communication, would be a huge win. If you build it, they will buy.

I'd write more, but it's happy hour in Minnesota. Cheers and good luck,
#!/ben

Mike Anderson
2007-01-05, 16:44
Based on my own preferences, and from what little I know about other computer users:

I think you guys REALLY REALLY need a slick, responsive, clean-running GUI along the lines of the iTunes software. For example, the ability to drag and drop songs to make playlists. A slider to forward or rewind through the song. Something that doesn't have to refresh. Etc.

I'd be willing to be that the present software interface (and all its bugs) is the number one reason your average customer shies away from this product.

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 17:09
Based on my own preferences, and from what little I know about other computer users:

I think you guys REALLY REALLY need a slick, responsive, clean-running GUI along the lines of the iTunes software. For example, the ability to drag and drop songs to make playlists. A slider to forward or rewind through the song. Something that doesn't have to refresh. Etc.

I'd be willing to be that the present software interface (and all its bugs) is the number one reason your average customer shies away from this product.

Howdy Mike, nice to see a AR face in the room. let me warn you up front about your remarks. Get ready to put up your guard, I said simular things about the SS interface and been punching my way out of the corner since on anything I say.

Oh by the way welcome aboard Jim

JJZolx
2007-01-05, 17:26
Based on my own preferences, and from what little I know about other computer users:

I think you guys REALLY REALLY need a slick, responsive, clean-running GUI along the lines of the iTunes software. For example, the ability to drag and drop songs to make playlists. A slider to forward or rewind through the song. Something that doesn't have to refresh. Etc.

I'd be willing to be that the present software interface (and all its bugs) is the number one reason your average customer shies away from this product.

As a programmer, I absolutely LOVE the current web-based software approach.

As a rational person, however, I couldn't agree more with Mike. You don't have to drink the Kook-Aid to realize that the vast majority of _potential_ (and a good majority of current) Squeezebox owners are running Windows systems and that they have come to expect a more feature-rich user interface. The software interface IS the face of the device to most people. I think a good native Windows application would sell many tens of thousands of Squeezeboxes.

Secondly, to appeal to an even greater number of people, the "slim" approach needs to be rethought, perhaps not for all products in the lineup, but certainly an all-in-one solution has been requested by many, many people. The biggest issue is that of needing to run a PC 24/7, and it comes up constantly in these forums. A product that houses a low power consuming server and hard drive(s) within the body of the music device is the logical answer.

Last, I think the Transporter missed the intended mark just a little bit. I've seen the analog stage design critiqued by many audiophiles and electronics designers in a number of other audio forums. Not that this makes the Transporter sound any worse (actually, I think it sounds wonderful), just that I don't believe that at its price point it has nearly the appeal to the audiophile crowd as was hoped. If you intend to continue pursuing this market then maybe collaborating with a good, experienced audio electronics designer would be a good idea for future products.

Mike Anderson
2007-01-05, 17:30
let me warn you up front about your remarks. Get ready to put up your guard, I said simular things about the SS interface and been punching my way out of the corner since on anything I say.

Oh I know, I've been through it before.

Let me just say, to all the fine folks who have worked hard to put together the present software interface: I do not mean this as a slight against you, and I sincerely hope you don't take it personally.

I realize it is not easy to develop a GUI like iTunes that would work across all platforms, and I do not mean to suggest that the company abandon the web-based interface. But there's no reason they could not also have a slick GUI for Windows and Apple users, say.

JimC
2007-01-05, 17:56
#1: There's very little need to tell everyone how great the squeezebox is.. everyone that comes over and uses mine realizes that they ARE great. ;)

Cool. Can you open up a few hundred more houses for me to send prospective customers to?

On a less facetious note, WHY do they realize it's great? Do you have a particularly cool way of demoing the features? Do you hand them the remote and just say "try it"? Any insight on this sudden recognition of greatness phenomenon? I'm looking to understand the dynamic that makes your visitors say to themselves, "Self, I want one of these and I want it now." Because if I can bottle that, I might actually be able to retire someday.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-05, 18:06
Recoveryone wrote:
> Mike Anderson;167500 Wrote:
>> Based on my own preferences, and from what little I know about other
>> computer users:
>>
>> I think you guys REALLY REALLY need a slick, responsive, clean-running
>> GUI along the lines of the iTunes software. For example, the ability
>> to drag and drop songs to make playlists. A slider to forward or
>> rewind through the song. Something that doesn't have to refresh.
>> Etc.
>
>> I'd be willing to be that the present software interface (and all its
>> bugs) is the number one reason your average customer shies away from
>> this product.

I would agree. It's great for me (computer professional, linux geek,
perl hacker) but there's no way on earth you could give this stuff to
your average man-in-the-street.

Hopefully, the Logitech tie-up will improve this.

>
> Howdy Mike, nice to see a AR face in the room. let me warn you up
> front about your remarks. Get ready to put up your guard, I said
> simular things about the SS interface and been punching my way out of
> the corner since on anything I say.

No, I think the reaction to your posts was rather more concerned about
correcting your factual inaccuracies.

R.

CatBus
2007-01-05, 18:12
Jim,

Here are the things I love about your products, with commentary:

I love that you can download SlimServer and SoftSqueeze and do a better "try before you buy" than anyone else offers. That said, this might not be obvious to people. More availability/demos within brick-and-mortar stores would be great. Maybe even a link off your front page that says "Try before you buy!" with a link to instructions on how to do it. But if you push this, use appropriate warnings that the performance of SoftSqueeze is worse than your players.

I love that I can have music "my way". Gapless, organized correctly, with volume normalization, in Ogg Vorbis format--all the things I can't do with iTunes. You have a strong appeal to very anal-retentive people. And lots of music lovers are anal-retentive.

I love that you are cross-platform and that your server software is open-source. People have been burned by proprietary incompatibilities in the consumer electronics world before. I like knowing I'm not buying the next Betamax.

Plus your products look and sound GORGEOUS. If you could get in-store demos going in a few places, I think people would flip.

Also, I rave about your products to everyone who might care. Your customers are happy customers. Testimonials may be helpful to you.

Recoveryone
2007-01-05, 18:16
maybe you sould go back and read the rest of the thread
and this Jim seems to think on the same level as I do concerning the mass appeal of this product. Maybe I'm not in the minority.

azinck3
2007-01-05, 18:27
Plus your products look ... GORGEOUS.

Haha, how far we've come in this area, eh? A couple of years ago I can hardly have imagined that sentiment being uttered on these forums (well, only mailing lists at that point).

JimC
2007-01-05, 18:51
Welcome, JimC. Your irreverence should serve you well in this eclectic community.

If only it served me well in real life.


I am one of the oddball contributors to the Slimserver code--in my case, that is largely restricted to the Nokia770 and Touch skins...

Thanks! One of the things that I find most intriguing about this opportunity is the community and the third-party developers.


1. Don't drink the Windows-only kool-aid. One of the great things about slimserver is it's cross-platform support. I imagine a great deal of Logitech products have listed on their box "Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista". If I ever see that happen to slimserver I'll bail quick as can be, along with a lot of the other pro-bono contributors to the software.

There are no plans that I know of to switch to Windows-only and I certainly won't be pushing for it.


2. Stick a knob on the Squeezebox, a la Transporter. If you do a search of my posts on this forum the word "knob" comes up several dozen times, and not because I am one.

Hehe... he said "knob".


...I tried to introduce the kind of responsiveness the UI needs with AJAX in the Nokia770 and Touch skins. While I puff up with pride at the positive reviews users have given me, I really believe that what I've done is only a proof-of-concept, and there's a huge amount to be done in this area. UI should be quick, intuitive, and beautiful. Web browsers are notoriously poor in these areas, but it's the closest thing we have to a fully cross-OS GUI development platform, and with AJAX things can be much better.

While I haven't yet used your skins, I understand exactly what you're asking for and I happen to agree with it 100%. I think one of the biggest improvements that can be made to the overall platform is the UI on the PC side. And it does need to be quick, intuitive, and beautiful. (I would insert a comment here to the effect that "that's how I like my women" but it might misread and since my wife -- who is all three -- doesn't read these forums I wouldn't be scoring any points with her.)


What will such an effort require? IMO, head count. I built Nokia770 on my own time, much like lots of stuff available for slimserver, but Logitech can't expect all good things to happen via the community. Invest in one or a couple of good front-end web programmers and reap the benefits of it down the line. My big hope on the Logitech transition is that they will backup their acquisition with the resources (i.e., $$) a large corporation can offer.

We do want to -- and plan to -- staff up the resources on all sides of the business, and Dean's group has the biggest needs right now.


4. One word (or is it three?): Squeezeboombox.

Interesting idea. Complicated, though, in terms of deciding just how good it should sound. Decent audio quality should keep it sub-$500, I would think, but if the audio quality expectations are for something higher it could climb over that. How attractive do you think it would be if it were under $500? How much does that change at more than $500?


5. Harmony remotes, which I have yet to try, people seem to think are the bee's knees. A Harmony with native slimserver support, including 2-way communication, would be a huge win. If you build it, they will buy.

Mumble, mumble...great minds and all that... mumble, mumble.


I'd write more, but it's happy hour in Minnesota. Cheers and good luck,

And since it is now happy hour here in Mt. View, I'm signing off too.

snarlydwarf
2007-01-05, 20:14
(I would insert a comment here to the effect that "that's how I like my women" but it might misread and since my wife -- who is all three -- doesn't read these forums I wouldn't be scoring any points with her.)

Well as long as she doesn't find out that you "like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars" or at least the context of that quote, you're okay.

Mr_Smiley
2007-01-05, 20:33
The squeeze boom box has been dicussed a number of times and I thought about trying my hand at one (since I'm an Industrial Designer). A squeeze walkman has also been mentioned.. It seems to me that the satellite radio concept could work. Where you have a reciever that plugs into your car or your stereo or a boom box with speakers. Just plug your SB3 into place and it's ready to go. The boom box itself would just need to have the interface, the battery and the speakers. Some controls and a wi-fi booster might be nice as well.

Marc Sherman
2007-01-05, 22:08
JimC wrote:
>
>> 4. One word (or is it three?): Squeezeboombox.
>
> Interesting idea. Complicated, though, in terms of deciding just how
> good it should sound. Decent audio quality should keep it sub-$500, I
> would think, but if the audio quality expectations are for something
> higher it could climb over that. How attractive do you think it would
> be if it were under $500? How much does that change at more than
> $500?

I'd love to see a cheap squeezeboombox (sub-$500 seems right) that takes
advantage of Logitech's existing powered speakers business. People who
want high quality sound will buy the existing component products, and
plug them into their expensive amps and speakers using expensive cables;
the boombox version is for convenience, so I can take my squeezebox out
on the deck, or use it as an alarm clock in the bedroom, not for high
fidelity listening.

My wishlist for a squeezeboombox:

- powered stereo speakers built in
- knob and buttons on board (at least the buttons above the arrow quad,
if not the full remote control pad)
- reduced i/o, if that saves costs -- just ethernet in, power in, and
headphone out are absolutely required for this kind of device
- others have requested battery power, but that's not on my wishlist,
and personally I think it would be impractical

All IMO, of course.

If you came out with one of those, and had some kind of buy two discount
like the SB3 had, I'd pre-order two of them, one for my bedroom and one
for my daughter's.

- Marc

erland
2007-01-05, 22:35
To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better.
The main things that made me fell in love with my SqueezeBox
================================================== ==========
1. You get your whole music library easily accessible, no more CD switching.

2. The sound quality. There are other products that solve point 1, but often they do it in a way that decrease sound quality compared to a standard CD player.

3. The display!. The way you can actually sit in the sofa and see which music is playing is great. This is the thing most of the devices from other companies are missing, they either have no display at all, a small display that can't be seen from the sofa or requires the TV to be on. The display is one of the things that looked even better in place in my livingroom compared to when I read the product pages on internet. I guess you just won't realize its potiential until you see it live.

4. The plugin architecture and open source model. This is something that most normal customers won't think about directly. In my opinion there is a great potential here because it means that Logitech can focus on the core/massmarket functionality and make it really good, simultaneously third party developers will contribute with plugins and extensions to the slimserver code to broaden the functionality to cover all non massmarket interests.

5. Linux support. Since I nowadays runs most of my computers on Linux I would really hate if the linux support would be dropped. Linux also makes it possible to run slimserver all sorts of small footprint devices such as NAS boxes.

Point 1 and 3 is the things that will make almost anyone love the SqueezeBox at first sight.

Some things that could be improved
==================================
1. The web interface works for me since I don't use it much, but for people used to iTunes or similar applications its a huge step back. Ajax is one solution a Windows client is another. I think the people complaining on the interface are typically Windows (and maybe Mac) users.

2. The server hardware. A thing that has been frequently requested the last year, when I have read these forums, is some sort of server hardware. It is sometimes requested directly and sometimes indirectly as a including server functionallity directly in SqueezeBox making it a non slim device and sometimes by questions about how to install slimserver on NAS boxes. The thing is that most massmarket customers won't like to have their computer running 24 hours a day. Without a 24 hour server I don't think I would love the SqueezeBox as much as I do. The problem is that instead of just switching the SqueezeBox on, I would have to also turn on a noisy computer everytime I want to listen to my music. To keep full flexibility I would suggest that there should be a SqueezeBox offer with both the SqueezeBox and a dedicated preconfigured silent server hardware. This way people which already have a 24 hours server can buy only the SqueezeBox and people which don't can by the SqueezeBox+server package. It's important that the server is preconfigured with slimserver already installed, this would probably get rid of some of the installation problems people are having today.

3. Stability. People are sometimes complaining about slimserver crashes, sometimes due to actual bugs but often due to incorrect configuration or a plugin that doesn't work correctly. With the plugin architecture in slimserver the stability for malfunctioning plugin must be improved, today a malfunctioning plugin will often crash slimserver. Many times the problem is that people are running a plugin version incompatibile with the current slimserver, but sometimes the problems are caused by a bug in the plugin code.

4. Tagging and ripping. Today people must buy/get a separate program to tag and rip their music before it can be used with slimserver. I think the current solution where no ripping/tagging functionality is included in slimserver might be correct, but there is a need to include some sort of tagging/ripping software with the SqueezeBox/slimserver to get it ready for the massmarket. It might be solved by bundling the software with the SqueezeBox or just adding some links and instructions to the slimserver download pages.

Thanks for a really great product, keep up the good work.

mherger
2007-01-05, 23:45
> But there's no reason they could not
> -also- have a slick GUI for Windows and Apple users, say.

There is: human resources, limited manpower.

BTW: did you ever try Moose (Windows native) or SlimRemote (Java, cross
platform, even PDA)?

--

Michael

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

tyler_durden
2007-01-06, 00:08
Welcome!

Here are my thoughts.

When was the last time you bought an item at the store and and had to jump through hoops for a week to get it working and were satisfied with the purchase?

The whole system is too complicated for your average Joe Blow. People see/hear the SB3 and think it's great, but then they find out what is involved in setting it up and they balk at the ripping/tagging, network setup, server setup, and etc. I think if you want to go mass market you will need to do some sort of server hardware as someone said in a previous post. If it doesn't work right out of the box it will never become a consumer item.

You might even have to start your own "itunes' type operation (or make a deal with one of the existing ones) where you supply CORRECTLY tagged flac files, either a disc or song at a time, that can be ordered via the SB remote control. Maybe set up your own web radio station to play new releases and have a "purchase" button on the remote. Leave out the DRM (digital restrictions management) or forget the whole idea.

You may need to think about streaming video, too. I don't think there are many audio only systems left in the world except among audio maniacs.

TD

mherger
2007-01-06, 00:12
Hi Jim

Welcome aboard!

> To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about
> what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and
> about what we can do to make them better.

- It's not only about the devices, but about a certain spirit: I like the
openness in many levels: open source, cross-platform, APIs for third party
developers, addition of the pony to the SB2 (as requested by users) etc.

- Many folks are asking for the SqueezeBoombox. When I first saw SB3 I
thought: this is the pluggable SB which will fit in a "docking station" -
turned out it isn't. But the SB4 could be. Logitech is big in the iPod
accessory business. Why not add a (some) docking station(s) which would
upgrade the SB4 to a SqueezeBoombox?

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-01-06, 00:25
JimC wrote:
> SuperQ;167488 Wrote:
>
>> #1: There's very little need to tell everyone how great the squeezebox
>> is.. everyone that comes over and uses mine realizes that they ARE
>> great. ;)
>>
>
> Cool. Can you open up a few hundred more houses for me to send
> prospective customers to?
>
> On a less facetious note, WHY do they realize it's great? Do you have
> a particularly cool way of demoing the features? Do you hand them the
> remote and just say "try it"? Any insight on this sudden recognition
> of greatness phenomenon? I'm looking to understand the dynamic that
> makes your visitors say to themselves, "Self, I want one of these and I
> want it now." Because if I can bottle that, I might actually be able to
> retire someday.
>

Exactly, because in my experience, it's not an easy sell at all. When I
show people my Squeezeboxes and tell them how they work their eyes just
sort of become blank and they start talking about the weather or
something. Part of that is probably because they know I'm technically
far ahead of them, what I use must be far ahead of them as well. Even my
technical colleagues are slow to warm up. One of them has bought a
second hand SB1 now. I know I'm not the world's greatest salesmen, but
the product is hard to explain, just check the "I've read and read"
thread by metroman. That's fairly typical and he got here because he
thought he really wanted one.

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-06, 00:30
JJZolx wrote:
> Mike Anderson;167500 Wrote:
>
>> Based on my own preferences, and from what little I know about other
>> computer users:
>>
>> I think you guys REALLY REALLY need a slick, responsive, clean-running
>> GUI along the lines of the iTunes software. For example, the ability
>> to drag and drop songs to make playlists. A slider to forward or
>> rewind through the song. Something that doesn't have to refresh.
>> Etc.
>>
>> I'd be willing to be that the present software interface (and all its
>> bugs) is the number one reason your average customer shies away from
>> this product.
>>
>
> As a programmer, I absolutely LOVE the current web-based software
> approach.
>
> As a rational person, however, I couldn't agree more with Mike. You
> don't have to drink the Kook-Aid to realize that the vast majority of
> _potential_ (and a good majority of current) Squeezebox owners are
> running Windows systems and that they have come to expect a more
> feature-rich user interface. The software interface IS the face of the
> device to most people. I think a good native Windows application would
> sell many tens of thousands of Squeezeboxes.
>

Yes, I agree. A professional version of something Moose would do. One
that allows you to easily manage multiple players and doesn't need
manual setup and seperate database drivers to download. When you're
demoing your SD setup to others the web interface doesn't make as sleek
an impression as a dedicated (responsive) application could. Everybody
likes things to look good. Imagine spending $2000 on a Transporter and
being stuck with the current web interface.

Regards,
Peter

EnochLight
2007-01-06, 00:48
5. Harmony remotes, which I have yet to try, people seem to think are the bee's knees. A Harmony with native slimserver support, including 2-way communication, would be a huge win. If you build it, they will buy.

Mumble, mumble...great minds and all that... mumble, mumble.


Hi Jim! I picked up my Squeezebox about a year ago and haven't looked back, but I must agree - the need for a Harmony-type remote with native Slimserver support, along with some sort of 2-way communication is absolutely key to Squeezebox's expansion and success. The biggest complaint I have is the anemic remote that comes with the Squeezebox and the need for me to have a computer running just to access a GUI-type interface.

That's one area where the Sonos wins hands down.

Cheers!

Robin Bowes
2007-01-06, 00:58
Recoveryone wrote:
> maybe you sould go back and read the rest of the thread
> and this Jim seems to think on the same level as I do concerning the
> mass appeal of this product. Maybe I'm not in the minority.

Maybe you should re-read my post and understand that maybe, just
*maybe*, I'm actually agreeing with you.

Maybe.

R.

Skunk
2007-01-06, 01:00
I would suggest letting joe blow do his thing, as it's hard to add to the convenience factor of 60 Gig MP3 players, not to mention that some of them look good enough to eat (or is that a new cell phone).

OTOH the a reputation for audio quality is an advantage SD holds over the competition, and that could be quickly lost by catering to joe.

My favorite thing about the Transporter is that it raises the benchmark. I just don't want to see it *remain* the benchmark while R+D is poured into a candy bar.

With a slick interface and touchscreen (thanks ben!), I'm pretty sure I could sell a squeezebox to a deaf person who never used a computer..

SuperQ
2007-01-06, 01:29
JimC wrote:[color=blue]
>
> Cool. Can you open up a few hundred more houses for me to send
> prospective customers to?
>
> On a less facetious note, WHY do they realize it's great?

Exactly, because in my experience, it's not an easy sell at all.

Regards,
Peter

Never underestimate the network affect!

I saw the slimp3 on slashdot many years ago and thought "damn, that's cool".. but I had just got my empeg, so it seemed kinda lacking. A few years later, I don't drive to work anymore, so I don't listen to music in the car so often, and spent more time at home listening via the linux box I kept in stereo cabinet. A friend of mine said "hey, check out this new toy I got" this was my introduction to the squeezebox.. pretty cool, so i got one for my parents to listen to music with. Another move, and I end up in Mountain View, and discover the SD office is near by.. neat, I should get the new box SB2. I ended up getting 2, so I can stream to 2 rooms. I show it to a few co-workers, and a few of them get them.

I do a bit of "check it out, it's handy" and a bit of "oh.. play around a bit"

I've also sold a couple via softsqueeze demos.

peter
2007-01-06, 01:36
Skunk wrote:
> I would suggest letting joe blow do his thing, as it's hard to add to
> the convenience factor of 60 Gig MP3 players, not to mention that some
> of them look good enough to eat (or is that a new cell phone).
>

A software client is just an add on, technically and audiophilically.
Most top end car makers know that they need good looks as well as
technical excellence.
> OTOH the a reputation for audio quality is an advantage SD holds over
> the competition, and that could be quickly lost by catering to joe.
>

That's the advantage of the split between the Transporter and the
Squeezebox. You can do both.
> My favorite thing about the Transporter is that it raises the
> benchmark. I just don't want to see it *remain* the benchmark while R+D
> is poured into a candy bar.
>

If a slick Windows client (one skilled programmer can do that) is what
it takes to get considerable extra sales, SD/Logitech would be would be
fools in a commercial sense to do that. You don't get to be as big as
Logitech by being a commercial fool...
> With a slick interface and touchscreen (thanks ben!), I'm pretty sure I
> could sell a squeezebox to a deaf person who never used a computer..
>

You must be a better salesman than me.

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-06, 01:45
SuperQ wrote:
> Peter;167582 Wrote:
>
>> JimC wrote:
>> [color=darkred]
>>> Cool. Can you open up a few hundred more houses for me to send
>>> prospective customers to?
>>>
>>> On a less facetious note, WHY do they realize it's great?
>>>
>> Exactly, because in my experience, it's not an easy sell at all.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Peter
>>
>
> Never underestimate the network affect!
>

I'm living proof of the fact that the network effect doesn't work that
well in this case.
> I saw the slimp3 on slashdot many years ago and thought "damn, that's
> cool".. but I had just got my empeg, so it seemed kinda lacking. A few
>

That was different for me, I was waiting for the thing even before it
was announced, check out my 2001 news post:

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.home.automation/msg/b99c1b2d71ec5f27?hl=en&

> years later, I don't drive to work anymore, so I don't listen to music
> in the car so often, and spent more time at home listening via the
> linux box I kept in stereo cabinet. A friend of mine said "hey, check
> out this new toy I got" this was my introduction to the squeezebox..
> pretty cool, so i got one for my parents to listen to music with.
> Another move, and I end up in Mountain View, and discover the SD office
> is near by.. neat, I should get the new box SB2. I ended up getting 2,
> so I can stream to 2 rooms. I show it to a few co-workers, and a few
> of them get them.
>
> I do a bit of "check it out, it's handy" and a bit of "oh.. play
> around a bit"
>

I've now got 4 SB3's, an SB1 and a SliMP3. I loaned my SB1 to 3
co-workers, they liked it but only one of them bought one. It's to
complicated to give one to my mum, I fear. She won't want to keep her PC
switched on.

> I've also sold a couple via softsqueeze demos.
>

That's good to hear. I was one of the people who persuaded Richard to
write SoftSqueeze (I even invented the name) partly because it would be
a great way to show people how the SS/SB combo works in practice. I'm
glad to see it actually worked out that way in practice. I must have at
least some commercial sense, then... ;)

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-06, 01:50
Mr_Smiley wrote:
> The squeeze boom box has been dicussed a number of times and I thought
> about trying my hand at one (since I'm an Industrial Designer). A
> squeeze walkman has also been mentioned.. It seems to me that the
> satellite radio concept could work. Where you have a reciever that
> plugs into your car or your stereo or a boom box with speakers. Just
> plug your SB3 into place and it's ready to go. The boom box itself
> would just need to have the interface, the battery and the speakers.
> Some controls and a wi-fi booster might be nice as well.
>

Don't forget my car Squeezebox (with external USB disk) based on the
free Rockbox firmware. That would fit great in the community concept.

Regards,
Peter

Patrick Dixon
2007-01-06, 02:48
Hi there.

My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.


Shame listening to music didn't figure in there ;-)

Marc Sherman
2007-01-06, 06:06
Skunk wrote:
> I would suggest letting joe blow do his thing, as it's hard to add to
> the convenience factor of 60 Gig MP3 players, not to mention that some
> of them look good enough to eat (or is that a new cell phone).

I agree 100%. The people in this community are _not_ in the least
experts on what it would take to sell Slim Devices products to a
mythical "Joe Blow". Logitech has a professional marketing and product
development team for that. What this community is an expert at, and what
I hope Jim pays more attention to in this thread, is what it would take
to sell _more_ Slim Devices products to us.

- Marc

CCRDude
2007-01-06, 07:14
I bought two Squeezeboxes a year ago, and now a Roku Soundbridge, which probably is "the" competition. And to be honest, when I show both around to friends, the Roku clearly wins - hope I am allowed to say this here - I'll try to explain what people like more about it, and why two of those I showed bbought a Roku as well.

Soundbridge wins over Squeezebox:

* Setup: plug in the Soundbridge, and it'll show your PC (see next topic), every dummy can do that. Plug in the Squeezebox, you've got to enter your IP (DHCP didn't work well back then, and home users often don't have DHCP), enter the server IP (otherwise I had problems as well)... the first, I can give to my mother, the second I can only recommend to friends who know their network, which is about 5% of them.

* Connecitivity: plug in the Soundbridge, and you'll see iTunes, Windows Media Player or a dedicated Firefly installation. Plug in the Squeezebox, and you have to install its special server software. Having it connect to something existing, I can again give even to my mother, telling people they need to install this special software, I hear "oh well, nice idea, but with my luck, I'll spend days getting it to run"...

* Speed: having the PC running all the time? Few people I know would want that. The alternative: an old PC in a corner where the noise won't harm, or for people who also think about energy consumption (a 24/7 PC can use up a few hundred Euros here in Germany), a NAS. But while using a 200 Mhz NAS with Firefly and a Soundbridge is lightning fast, a Squeezebox connecting to Slimserver on that machine is soooo slow. And Firefly is a good proof that platform independent code is possible even in C and doesn't need that slow Perl stuff.

Squeezebox wins over Soundbridge:

* Display: visualisation and progess bar are advantages; sadly no t ones that weight a lot imho, since the size allows to choose songs from about the same distance.

* Plugins: quite nice to have the weather on it in standby mode, for example. But to be honest, Plugins are geek features for a small percentage of possible users.

* Web interface: Slimserver has a nice web interface. I like the ability to browse (even though on the NAS its quite slow) and create playlists that way. But then... the point of a stand-alone player is to NOT switch the PC on to manage. A dedicated remote with display like the earlier mentioned one could be a very nice advantage, but the web interface in itself, while being quite nice, is something for people who sit too much in front of their PC, not for casual PC users.

Neutral:

* Sound: lets be honest, this is still mostly about MP3s. Audiophiles may gain something from the Transporter etc., but the big consumer market won't hear any difference.

* Security: WPA for the Soundsbridge took a long time - and that SD was caring about WPA security is in my personal eyes a very important thing... but then, I'm more thinking about security than most people. To me and my recommendations to others, that weighted more than all the Soundbridges advantages... until now that Roku has WPA.

Summary:

Within a year of having Squeezeboxes, people looked at them, liked them, but found them too complicated once I explained the additional work. Within a week of having a Soundbridge, I had someone buying himself one as well (and that guy knew the Squeezeboxes).
So if you want to hear my opinion what could be made better: have a server thats available as native bytecode (can still be OS and multiplatform), and make those boxes able to connect to iTunes and WMP at least (in the worst case with some kind of really easy to one-click-install proxy software) to give users instant success. Or in shorter words: improvements that would allow you to give one to your mother with the confidence that you won't need to help her. Competition has proven that it's possible ;)

fathom39
2007-01-06, 07:52
I've never understood the whining by some about horrible out-of-box experiences. Maybe it is the 80/20 rule in effect. I am neither a Joe Blow nor a Ted Techie. I don't like products that insult my intelligence (e.g., Microsoft Office, Clippy, "you have unused icons on your desktop", etc.) nor do I try to out-think a company's product. I found SB/SS to be very intuitive for me.

My SB experience
================
1. Spring 2005 saw Roku Radio Paradise web site.
2. Began reading Roku forums and found references to Slim Server software.
3. Researched SD web site and bought SB2, intending to compare SB2 (30-day return) with Roku at Fry's. Never did.
4. SB2 arrived two days later. I opened the box, hooked it up, installed the SlimServer software, and successfully played a few MP3 files.
5. Later, I learned more about .flac, EAC, file tree organization, etc.
6. I have upgraded SS, and the firmware, flawlessly about three times. Pretty darn close to ridiculously simple.


Enhancements
============
1. Knob, fat server, larger screen, display menu on TV, Sonos style remote, etc. might help you sell more units. Just dont' abandon any of the current features we also love: no knob, slim server, small form factor, etc! :-)

2. Stick with a web-browser UI... along the lines of the Yahoo! Mail beta which is crazy quick and slick.

3. Add support for streaming video and displaying images onto TVs. I know this is primarily a sonic device but how hard could it be to add flix/pix? I suspect the majority of homes still use the 'entertainment center' concept in their living rooms.


Evangelism
==========
1. "What's that?!" my friend mocked when I showed him the web site. After I explained the concept he thought it was cool. Another friend still doesn't get it.

2. I tried describing my system to another guy who does home audio wiring and he went off on me about how X Box kicks ass and can find "any" media on any networked PC and play it. Oh, well.

adamslim
2007-01-06, 08:44
When was the last time you bought an item at the store and and had to jump through hoops for a week to get it working and were satisfied with the purchase?

The whole system is too complicated for your average Joe Blow. People see/hear the SB3 and think it's great, but then they find out what is involved in setting it up and they balk at the ripping/tagging, network setup, server setup, and etc. I think if you want to go mass market you will need to do some sort of server hardware as someone said in a previous post. If it doesn't work right out of the box it will never become a consumer item.

You might even have to start your own "itunes' type operation (or make a deal with one of the existing ones) where you supply CORRECTLY tagged flac files, either a disc or song at a time, that can be ordered via the SB remote control. Maybe set up your own web radio station to play new releases and have a "purchase" button on the remote. Leave out the DRM (digital restrictions management) or forget the whole idea.

You may need to think about streaming video, too. I don't think there are many audio only systems left in the world except among audio maniacs.

I agree with all aspects of this post:

The hassle of setup will alienate many people. You need to have a properly set-up wireless network, and it took me an hour to get anything at all, and longer to get it working well. Part of the problem was a rather duff wifi access point, so it's not a problem that Slim Devices can solve, but it was grief.

Tagging and general navigation through (especially large) libraries is an issue too - I agree that the web front end needs work, although I actually quite like it myself.

And the video point is well made: as it is, the SB3 is limited to audiophiles that are computer fans too - probably a big enough market, I guess, but...

So my ideas:

- Release a mini-server box, that has basic server software and a 300GB HD for less than the price of a Squeezebox. It needs ethernet and just enough oomph to run SlimServer, probably on linux. It needs to be small - the size of the SB2, maybe - and quiet.

- Consider releasing a mini-server that can operate completely without a PC (i.e. has a CD drive and a display so you can rip directly into this).

- Put some more cleverness in the SB4 so that it can access USB drives.

- Release a video SB that can access the video files and TV cards in the server PC. But I wouldn't buy it ;)

- Release a SB that comes with a HomePlug adapter built-in, and offer a complete package with a HomePlug for your computer too. Support this entire package.

- How about a HomePlug adapter built into the server mentioned above?

- Release a Sonos-like remote. I've tried using my HTC Universal and it's flaky; I'd like the interface to look better too. (The 770 skin doesn't work well. Handheld works, but boy it's ugly!)

My in-laws have recently bought a Sony thing that has an HD; they feed in their CDs, and it looks them up on the internet, and rips them (in ATRAC...). They want a simple solution - not a computer that's on all the time. The Sony works, and they like that. Shame it sounds so c**p!

Adam

stinkingpig
2007-01-06, 10:15
On 1/5/07, tyler_durden
<tyler_durden.2jz8yn1168067401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Welcome!
>
> Here are my thoughts.
>
> When was the last time you bought an item at the store and and had to
> jump through hoops for a week to get it working and were satisfied with
> the purchase?
>

Straw man. You're trying to simplify the purchase of a complex system
into the terms of a simple system. Besides which, you're still
incorrect -- I'll bet you, like most people, have a junk drawer full
of simple items that didn't work out but are too inexpensive and
unimportant to bother returning.

> The whole system is too complicated for your average Joe Blow. People
> see/hear the SB3 and think it's great, but then they find out what is
> involved in setting it up and they balk at the ripping/tagging, network
> setup, server setup, and etc. I think if you want to go mass market you
> will need to do some sort of server hardware as someone said in a
> previous post. If it doesn't work right out of the box it will never
> become a consumer item.
>

Another straw man, and a familiar one from the OS fanboy arguments...
first the argument never takes into account people's willingness to
take action for an outcome (how many Joe Blow types are able to
successfully work their VCRs or Motorola phones, both of which could
take UI tips from Slimserver), and second the argument assumes that
99% penetration of the electricity-using population is in fact a
reasonable goal.

> You might even have to start your own "itunes' type operation (or make
> a deal with one of the existing ones) where you supply CORRECTLY tagged
> flac files, either a disc or song at a time, that can be ordered via the
> SB remote control. Maybe set up your own web radio station to play new
> releases and have a "purchase" button on the remote. Leave out the DRM
> (digital restrictions management) or forget the whole idea.
>

That seems insane to me.

> You may need to think about streaming video, too. I don't think there
> are many audio only systems left in the world except among audio
> maniacs.

By that logic, there should also be a games console. Quite frankly, by
that logic the thing should make cake. I've asked for it a number of
times now, and my wishes are being ignored... come on,
LogiSlimTechDevices!!!! I want a cake maker in my SqueezeBox!
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

Skunk
2007-01-06, 10:29
If a slick Windows client (one skilled programmer can do that) is what
it takes to get considerable extra sales, SD/Logitech would be would be
fools in a commercial sense to do that. You don't get to be as big as
Logitech by being a commercial fool...[color=blue]


My point was that the niche market of high quality streaming should continue to be SD's domain, while logitech could market anything of subpar audio quality under their name- just like car manufacturers. Why ruin a good thing when unit sales could stay the same through ppl buying the logitech product instead?

If you want to drastically increase the niche then audio should go to the back burner and you should be working on getting an hdmi out into one of the new products...

upstatemike
2007-01-06, 11:19
Another niche market that I hope is not abandoned is the "whole house audio" crowd. While the majority of Squeezebox sales are 1 or 2 units used wirelessly, there are some folks who use several players in sync to provide distributed music. Most find that once you go above 8 or 10 players that keeping things in sync with wireless players becomes a challenge and switch to hardwired networking.

I'd like to see a slightly less expensive player without the wireless functionality targeting the distributed audio crowd who need to sync a large number of players. It would also be nice if it had some additional mounting options such as a way to mount it to the underside of a kitchen cabinet. A shorter form factor would also help with this type of mounting.

peter
2007-01-06, 11:42
upstatemike wrote:
> Another niche market that I hope is not abandoned is the "whole house
> audio" crowd. While the majority of Squeezebox sales are 1 or 2 units
> used wirelessly, there are some folks who use several players in sync
> to provide distributed music. Most find that once you go above 8 or 10
> players that keeping things in sync with wireless players becomes a
> challenge and switch to hardwired networking.
>

Absolutely, the music distribution stuff is great.
> I'd like to see a slightly less expensive player without the wireless
> functionality targeting the distributed audio crowd who need to sync a
> large number of players. It would also be nice if it had some
> additional mounting options such as a way to mount it to the underside
> of a kitchen cabinet. A shorter form factor would also help with this
> type of mounting.
>

I'm sure you must be aware of the present cheaper wired variety (not
available in all black)...?

Regards,
Peter

upstatemike
2007-01-06, 11:55
I'm sure you must be aware of the present cheaper wired variety (not
available in all black)...?

Regards,
Peter

No longer available in any color.

EnochLight
2007-01-06, 12:01
2. I tried describing my system to another guy who does home audio wiring and he went off on me about how X Box kicks ass and can find "any" media on any networked PC and play it. Oh, well.

I own an Xbox 360. My entire mp3/aac library is accessible via my 360, and the fullscreen visualizations on my 50" plasma are awesome in HD. And it worked out of the box without much issue the first time I turned it on...the moment I installed WMP11 on my PC that is. Oh, and a codec that allows it to see my iTunes library. And another codec that allows it to see the id3 info embedded in those files. Sometimes. And - woops - doesn't play FLAC or Ogg? And I can't save playlists on it unless the media is actually on the 360's own hard drive? Well that would be fine and dandy if the anemic hdd wasn't a crappy 20 gig.. *grumble*

The Xbox is a mediocre media server front end at best, IMHO. I still prefer my Squeezebox over the 360 for music. Video is kind of cool on the 360, though...if it's in WMV format that is.

*grumbles*

tyler_durden
2007-01-06, 12:01
I think there might be a big market in bars, restaurants, airports, bowling alleys, and etc., for an SB juke-box type system. Imagine a nationwide network of jukeboxes/slimservers to which audio content can be distributed via internet subscription service. Different feeds can be targeted towards bars that cater to the dance crowd, sports fans, lawyers, investment bankers, etc. Put a connector on the side of the thing to allow a bigger display to be plugged in and when it isn't playing music it can display RSS feeds of sports scores, news, weather, stock quotes, flight delays, and etc.

TD

ModelCitizen
2007-01-06, 12:07
Shame listening to music didn't figure in there ;-)
It'd be quite unusual to be dancing without music though.
:-)
MC

Mike New
2007-01-06, 12:11
Jim,

I've been a Slim customer for several years, and have purchased a total of 5 Squeezeboxes for myself and for gifts. Suffice to say, I'm a fan.

Things I like...
- Support for FLAC - and overall attention to sound quality
- Incredibly powerful, flexible server software (thanks to all!)
- Ability to sync multiple Squeezeboxes
- Direct access to Internet radio and other music sources
- The sleep & alarm clock functions (I have an SB at my bedside)
- The ability to browse music by folder (I wish my iPod could!)
- The ability to rescan a library (another iTunes shortcoming)
- All the things I can easily do with the remote.

What I don't like...
- The UI. Despite the power of the software, it really fights back when I try to manipulate music. The process of changing the position of a song in a relatively long playlist is awful. Having to return to HOME for everything and then stepping through all the screens to browse for songs is cumbersome. (I have a large music library.) The UI desperately needs a complete makeover.

Things I'd like to see...
- An iTunes-like interface, where you can drag/drop music; re-order columns for artist, song, etc.; scroll to anything; change song filenames and tag info; find and delete duplicates.
A sliding progress bar for Fast Foward and Rewind would be very cool.

- The ability to play iTunes playlists without adding the iTunes library to the Slim library. Since I use FLAC on Squeezebox and MP3 for everything else, I can't play iTunes playlists without having two of everything in the Slim library. I've tried re-creating the same playlist in Slimserver, but it just makes me angry.

- The ability to create a playlist that isn't "now playing." This would allow, for example, the ability to preview a song before adding it to a playlist. It would also help prevent wiping out a nice list in progress when accidentally hitting Play. As with iTunes, it would be nice to just drag a song to a playlist.

- Changeable remote codes. When I lower the volume on my Squeezebox, the drawer on my DVD player opens.

- Better control of fast forward and rewind via the remote. It would also be a nice touch to pop up a large progress bar on Squeezebox during the operation.

Bottom line, I think this music system is awesome - except the poor UI. Throw some good talent at this aspect and you'll have a system with widespread appeal for anyone who truly appreciates music (not just hard-core geeks and audiophiles).

Good luck and best wishes for huge prosperity!
Cheers - Mike

ModelCitizen
2007-01-06, 12:24
It's obvious that the web GUI is the main gripe for most people.
I tend to alt/tab when I am doing anything with Slimserver web GUI so I can get on with something else whilst it is loading or going to the next menu. I can't think of any other programs I have to do this with.
However, I don't care too much as the web GUI is not a major part of my SlimServer experience. The remote is much (much) more important. I suspect this is the case with most Squeezebox, and especially Transporter, users.
MC

tyler_durden
2007-01-06, 12:34
Straw man. You're trying to simplify the purchase of a complex system into the terms of a simple system. Besides which, you're still incorrect -- I'll bet you, like most people, have a junk drawer full of simple items that didn't work out but are too inexpensive and unimportant to bother returning.

> The whole system is too complicated for your average Joe Blow.

Another straw man, and a familiar one from the OS fanboy arguments... first the argument never takes into account people's willingness to take action for an outcome (how many Joe Blow types are able to
successfully work their VCRs or Motorola phones, both of which could take UI tips from Slimserver), and second the argument assumes that 99% penetration of the electricity-using population is in fact a reasonable goal.

> You may need to think about streaming video, too.

By that logic, there should also be a games console. Quite frankly, by that logic the thing should make cake.

Actually, I'm an engineer and I don't have anything sitting in a drawer that doesn't work. I fix most of my stuff when it croaks, and other people's stuff, too. When I buy something that doesn't work it goes back immediately. If something dies and is unrepairable, I throw usually it away, unless I can harvest some interesting parts before I throw it away. I make a lot of my own stuff. You can see some of it here: http://mark.rehorst.com

I had no trouble setting up my SB3 system, but I have maintained computers for other people for years, so I am familiar with "Joe Blow's" ability to deal with computer networks, software to rip, compress, and tag music files, and his ability to fix it when something goes wrong. I am also familiar with the effort he is willing to expend to get that cool sound system up and running. Most are not willing to do so.

Streaming video is obvious, making cake isn't.

I think what is needed here is to separate the SB audio system from the home computer system. That means a box that works the minute you plug it in because that is all that Joe Blow can handle. That means plug in an internet connection, a CD player/ripper (or have one built in), all the software to rip, compress, and tag the music, a big HDD to store it on, and preconfigured wireless networking. Essentially a Sonos or similar competitive system without the amps built into the remote receivers and hopefully without the high prices, too.

TD

peter
2007-01-06, 13:13
upstatemike wrote:
> Peter;167722 Wrote:
>
>> I'm sure you must be aware of the present cheaper wired variety (not
>> available in all black)...?
>>
>> Regards,
>> Peter
>>
>
> No longer available in any color.
>

I didn't know that. Can't say I'm surprised, though. I bet they weren't
selling very well compared to the wireless version and it's always extra
hassle to keep up different models. It would've been nice if they'd
lowered the wireless price to the wired to mark the occasion. I'd always
spend the extra $50 for he wireless option, you never know when you
might need it.

It would be interesting to know how well the other stuff is selling in
comparison. White, black and all black models and of course the
Transporter. But they're not *that* open, are they...? ;)

Regards,
Peter

stinkingpig
2007-01-06, 14:43
....
> Actually, I'm an engineer and I don't have anything sitting in a drawer
> that doesn't work. I fix most of my stuff when it croaks, and other
> people's stuff, too. When I buy something that doesn't work it goes
> back immediately. If something dies and is unrepairable, I throw
> usually it away, unless I can harvest some interesting parts before I
> throw it away. I make a lot of my own stuff. You can see some of it
> here: http://mark.rehorst.com
>

Cool stuff -- so okay, you don't have a junk drawer, but I still think
that it's not that unusual :)

> I had no trouble setting up my SB3 system, but I have maintained
> computers for other people for years, so I am familiar with "Joe
> Blow's" ability to deal with computer networks, software to rip,
> compress, and tag music files, and his ability to fix it when something
> goes wrong. I am also familiar with the effort he is willing to expend
> to get that cool sound system up and running. Most are not willing to
> do so.
>

Correct -- and that's okay. The same fellow doesn't have an RJ-45
crimper, either, and is more inclined to replace his wireless router
than to change its default channel to one that doesn't conflict. He is
not the target consumer for this product. If you want to make a
product for him, fine, but changing this one into his product is a Bad
Idea(TM).


> Streaming video is obvious, making cake isn't.

Correct -- it's a "reductio ad absurdum" argument, used in order to
point out that streaming video is outside of the functionality that
the Slim Devices product line is currently targeted at. A video
streaming product would be kinda cool, but it's not a
Squeezebox+Slimserver, and I don't think it should be.

>
> I think what is needed here is to separate the SB audio system from the
> home computer system. That means a box that works the minute you plug
> it in because that is all that Joe Blow can handle. That means plug in
> an internet connection, a CD player/ripper (or have one built in), all
> the software to rip, compress, and tag the music, a big HDD to store it
> on, and preconfigured wireless networking. Essentially a Sonos or
> similar competitive system without the amps built into the remote
> receivers and hopefully without the high prices, too.
>

There is only one reason to go into a market with a well-defined
owner, and that is to trounce them by doing a better job. Sonos wins
the turnkey solution folks, Slim wins the hackers.

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

morberg
2007-01-06, 15:45
A professional version of something Moose would do.
Agreed, if you add local playback that doesn't rely on softsqueeze.

adamslim
2007-01-06, 15:47
I own an Xbox 360. My entire mp3/aac library is accessible via my 360, and the fullscreen visualizations on my 50" plasma are awesome in HD. And it worked out of the box without much issue the first time I turned it on...the moment I installed WMP11 on my PC that is. Oh, and a codec that allows it to see my iTunes library. And another codec that allows it to see the id3 info embedded in those files. Sometimes. And - woops - doesn't play FLAC or Ogg? And I can't save playlists on it unless the media is actually on the 360's own hard drive? Well that would be fine and dandy if the anemic hdd wasn't a crappy 20 gig.. *grumble*

The Xbox is a mediocre media server front end at best, IMHO. I still prefer my Squeezebox over the 360 for music. Video is kind of cool on the 360, though...if it's in WMV format that is.

*grumbles*

And the Xbox sounds like a jet aircraft taking off... Even my 14 year-old nephew complains about that!!!

Adam

morberg
2007-01-06, 15:50
Squeezebox wins over Soundbridge:
You made some excellent points in your post, but missed one that made the choice easier for me: 802.11g rather than 11b.

Gary_W
2007-01-06, 16:27
Since I bought my SB3, two work colleagues have bought based on my raves. The things I like:-

Sound quality / native flac support

The ability to browse your whole music collection really easily.

The 3rd party pluggins are great. Pandora is fantastic, though it needs the ability to use it via Slimserver as well as through Squeezenetwork so you can log your tunes on LastFM ;)

The display is great, and the overall look is very easy on the eye.

I don't like:-

Playlists / integration with iTunes. I have an iPod, as do an awful lot of potential customers. This means I have 500 odd albums ripped as MP3 and another 150 or so ripped as FLAC. All the FLACs have MP3 duplicates so I can listen to them on the iPod. I want Slimserver to ONLY play the best quality of song it can, so if there is a FLAC version I don't want it to bother with the MP3. At the moment, it causes a terrible amount of faffing around that I still haven't really got to grips with.

The web interface isn't so good.

I use a Harmony 895 remote. As you're all the same company now, better 895 support should surely be pretty easy? It works fine, but it should be bang on out of the box.

Thanks

Gary

ddewey
2007-01-06, 16:42
Quoting tyler_durden (tyler_durden.2k07gb1168112101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):


> I had no trouble setting up my SB3 system, but I have maintained
> computers for other people for years, so I am familiar with "Joe
> Blow's" ability to deal with computer networks, software to rip,
> compress, and tag music files, and his ability to fix it when something
> goes wrong. I am also familiar with the effort he is willing to expend
> to get that cool sound system up and running. Most are not willing to
> do so.

But how many of those people are serious music listeners? In my opinion,
the Squeezebox is not a product for people that are content listening to FM
radio in their cars or are content with the storage capacity of their Nano.

Most people in my experience that are serious enough music fans to
accumulate large collections are technologically savvy enough to deal with a
Squeezebox. They may be audiophiles, dealing with highly complex systems
and concepts, or they've already been involved for some time in downloading
music to accumulate the collections they've built.

Just look at the size of the music collections that people on these forums
have. I haven't seen many (any?) posts from people that have 200 songs in
their iTunes library and are interested in Slim products. The slimserver
market, again in my opinion, is comprised of passionate music fans that
aren't going to be daunted by the minor complexities of setting up a server.

Malor
2007-01-07, 02:22
From my perspective, the strengths of the Squeezebox (I own two and use Softsqueeze as a third station) are:

1. Very high sound quality.
2. Superb remote interface.
3. Easy synchronization between players.
4. Unobtrusive and silent.
5. The open source, free server software.
6. Softsqueeze. Both a useful player and a great sales tool.

Weaknesses:

1. Difficult setup for non-geeks; I can't even imagine turning my mother loose with a Squeezebox without help.
2. Frequently unstable software. I appreciate that the dev team works so hard, but they just don't have the resources they need for proper testing. (and aren't long on the charisma necessary to recruit new testers... at one point, I was kind of trying to volunteer as a tester, but people were rude and I gave up on the idea.)
3. The website says 'use the stable build, the nightlies are dangerous', when in actual fact, that's exactly backwards. The devs think that 'stable' means 'code that isn't changing' -- whether or not it actually works. They left up a completely broken release for about two weeks. When I complained, I was told it was 'stable' code, and thus shouldn't be changed. It didn't work -- it couldn't work -- but it was 'stable', so they didn't fix it for ages. Anyone downloading the software in that window (I think this was the first release of 6.3.0) simply would not have a working server. From my perspective, that's a customer relations disaster. If it's broken and you can't fix it immediately, pull it and put the old one up. Most folks think of 'stable' code as an implied promise that the program will work. Knowingly putting them through pain and frustration is extremely bad customer service.

Overall, in my experience, the nightly builds of the stable branch are far more likely to run well than the official point releases. Solicit other opinions, but I believe the website should reflect that.

4. Perl. The existing server is written in Perl, and it's slow. It's fine on a big machine -- I run it on a dual core Linux server, and it's very quick -- but it's sluggish on small boxes. That means you can't easily put out an NSLU3 with the server built right in. (The NSLU2 does run SlimServer, but it's very slow. 6.5 may be better, but 6.2.X was glacial.) That said, however, there is a huge pile of work in that code, and it's not something that should lightly be abandoned. The CUE/FLAC logic was particularly hard to work out, judging from the number of odd little buglets I've seen over the years.

I don't know what the solution is there...a rewrite in something faster may be the only solution, but I think that would be a path involving much pain. Whatever the choice is, make SURE that it's still open source or it won't be widely accepted.

Things that sell Squeezeboxes:

1. High quality sound
2. The try-before-you-buy combo of Slimserver and Softsqueeze. The system is complex, but because it's all a free download with a solid emulator, people can find out if they like it or not before they spend a cent. Strong sales tool.
3. The great display
4. Slim's excellent customer support.

Overall impressions:

The Squeezebox hardware is incredibly good in the price range. In all honesty, I think it's the awesome hardware that sells the Squeezebox more than any other single factor. It's really, really good.

(As an aside, I'd like to see a new form factor that fits into an audio stack better. The Transporter is very good there, but a mite expensive.)

The software's acceptable, but it's not in the same league as the hardware. It needs interface work and more testing for sure. A total rewrite in a faster language might also be a good idea. And more focus on the customer experience would be good. Leaving broken software up for download isn't the best idea I've seen.

I'd also like to see the ability to do ANYTHING with the web control that you can do with the remote. Having to dig out the remote for the 'sleep' and firmware update functions is kind of a pain.

The suggestions for a turnkey solution have been very good. If you could get the software running fast enough, a modified NSLU2 with a USB CD and hard drive might fit very well... small, silent, and inexpensive.

Alternately, good front-end software on the PC would also be fine, and you could save on the CD drive. I think the box is already running Rendezvous, so it should be trivial for software on a PC to find it. It should easily be able to rip, compress, tag, and load music onto the server. This should literally be a one-click process... put CD in, click Rip. Everything else is just handled. (and handled WELL. That's really important. )

The existing hardware is a great foundation. You can go in a lot of directions from here. You've already got the geek crowd. Now's the time to polish it up and go after their friends and relatives. :)

CCRDude
2007-01-07, 05:08
You made some excellent points in your post, but missed one that made the choice easier for me: 802.11g rather than 11b.

You got a point there as well... but: 11b devices may slow down a 11g network a tiny bit, but who many normal consumers know or care? 11b is sufficient enough even for uncompressed data I guess (will use not even 2 of the 11 available MBit/s). So it's more or less again just a point for a quite small group of users.


But how many of those people are serious music listeners? In my opinion, the Squeezebox is not a product for people that are content listening to FM radio in their cars or are content with the storage capacity of their Nano.

In my opinion, Logitech is a name that stands for quality products, but also for making affordable quality products for the masses.

Selling more units means more turnover means more return. It also means less production costs which means even more return. On the other hand, making things easier to set up for the masses wouldn't even raise the per-unit production costs.

Might be nice to feel like an elite who knows how to handle the setup, but won't pay Logitechs employees and shareholders - and, no doubt about that: they're in for profit (like any commercial operation, nothing bad about that), not for pleasing a few elite audiophiles, who wouldn't even lose their quality, just their elite I-know-how-to-setup-these-things felling ;)


Most people in my experience that are serious enough music fans to accumulate large collections are technologically savvy enough to deal with a Squeezebox.

That may be true of the people who found their way here - but lets be honest, most people with really huge music collections in general are not these audiophiles, but people who know how to use P2P.


6. Softsqueeze. Both a useful player and a great sales tool.

Compare it to the competition - Firefly and iTunes as a PC client - and it's just an awkward player. Granted it's really nice to test the feeling of using the unit beforehand. But then, it gives users the chance to try to setup the software beforehand. Might be fair, but may spoil a few sales because people who thought they would be able to set up things and be content with it may actually experience they aren't.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-01-07, 06:47
I think you've got 2 main groups of customers here. The first, and probably largest, are geeks who love music. They already have a network and a large collection of music files. They rarely have trouble setting up the Squeezebox and are willing to tinker with settings, plugins, nightly builds, and even raw code. They love the Squeezebox as a music playback device, but also as a geek toy.

The second group are primarily music lovers and audiophiles. They see the Squeezebox as a wonderful way to organize and playback a massive audio collection. They are extremely interested in sound quality. As a group they have a widely variable skill level as far as computers and networking; for some setting up EAC and FLAC will be the most difficult computer task they've ever attempted. But many audiophiles have a tinkerer's mentality and can usually get up to speed after absorbing the new concepts required.

Notice the conspicuous absence of Joe Blow in this picture? Joe probably isn't aware of the music server concept. He knows about iPods and might even know someone who has one - but he probably doesn't have one himself. Forget about this guy. He probably doesn't have a DVD player either, preferring to watch old Monster Truck rallies on VHS.

The greatest potential for expanding the Squeezebox market is from the iPod crowd. They have computers and they "get it" that music is just bits and it's cool to carry around your whole collection. The problem, for Slim Devices, is that this group is being served by the many audio systems that now feature an iPod dock. That makes it easy to pop your iPod into your home or portable stereo, and for many people, that will be all they'll ever need or want. The iPod is their home music server.

Slim Devices is a viable solution for people who have in some way "outgrown" their iPods. Either they have a lot more music than even the largest iPod will hold, or they realize that lossy files don't sound very good on a decent home stereo. At this point, the customer begins to resemble one or both of your core customers - the geek or the audiophile.

The idea of dedicated slimserver hardware is an intriguing one. A small, silent PC with enough horsepower to speedily run Slimserver and some kind of expandable storage would be a good start. But how pain-free could you make it? You're probably talking about a specialized version of Linux optimized to run Slimserver. But what about ripping and tagging? What about network shares? How do you update the server software and plugins? Solving these problems might go a long way toward offering a music server platform for "everyman" - but you'd also be in many ways limiting the flexibility that Slimserver currently offers. And you'd be opening whole new realms of customer support headaches.

I will throw in a few feature requests for a next-generation Squeezebox (SB4):

Full-width component with full-width display. I'm not talking about the 2 displays ala Transporter, but a single display that is double the width. This is the killer feature that will sell a lot of SB4s to current SB owners (though it might tick off current Transporter owners).

A better DAC. The DAC in the SB3 is good, and the one in the Transporter is supposedly excellent. I'm not saying the Transporter DAC should go into the SB4 - that might bump the price too high - but with each hardware generation an effort should be made to find the best-sounding DAC in the price range.

A linear power supply. There would be room inside a full-sized component for a larger and better power supply than the external switching supply of the SB3.

Basically, I'm asking for SB4 to be "Transporter Lite" - an evolutionary step forward taking some of the Transporter features and putting them in a more reasonably-priced component. Say $500 or $600 tops. Of course if some of these advances could be incorporated in a $300 device, that's great, too. I'd like to see some kind of SD hardware remain reasonably-priced, even if that means continuing to sell the current SB3 along with a better, more expensive SB4.

shabbs
2007-01-07, 07:46
Joe Blow - heh heh - up here in Canada, we call him Joe SixPack. My reply below is more towards Jim's question of "WHY do they realize it's great? Do you have a particularly cool way of demoing the features?".

I have been an SD customer since the SB1 came out. I remember when the SliMP3 came out but I was just beginning to understand digital music at that time and did not realize what it really represented. When the SB1 came out, I picked it up and was hooked. I have since bought an SB3 as well and will most certainly purchase more products from SD as they continue to grow.

Every time we have guests over to our house, they see the SB3 in our living room, notice that it's showing info about the music that is currently playing and start to ask questions about it. When I begin to explain the setup (mp3s, home network, home stereo, slim server etc...) one of two things happen: they get the concept and are interested, or they gloss over and don't understand. When I see people glossing over, I usually bring them back to reality with a quick summary, show how the remote can access the music wicked fast (even letting them try it) and then get them a drink as they listen to the music. For the ones that get it, they usually want more details on how it all works, how much does it cost and where they can get one. After that, their reaction is usually "Man, that sounds like too much work." or "Damn that's expensive." or "I'll be getting one of those real soon". To date, I've only had one buddy actually buy one after seeing mine, the rest I'm still working on.

The "oohs and aahs" usually come from the following:
- How quickly I can access all my music using the remote (search, genre, playlists etc...)
- The look of the browser interface with album art etc... that can control my Squeezeboxen
- The sound. "That's an MP3 we're hearing? Wow it sounds just like the CD" (neither myself, my equipment or my friends are Audiophile-quality btw)
- The plug-ins ("Hey, it says the Giants are up 28-0 over Philly in the 3rd! Cool!"
- Synching the SB1 in my basement with the SB3 upstairs
- Internet radio integration (everyone has heard of Shoutcast)

The other oohs and aahs are for the Harmony 880 remote which controls my whole entertainment system.

I find everyone loves the sound and look of the SB3, but don't want to spend the time/effort to set it up and get it done right. The "iPod crowd" gets it, but would rather just plug their iPod in to their stereo. The "non techie crowd" just wants something they can plug in and work right away and not need a dedicated server to run the show. The "techie crowd" understands right off the bat but the decision then comes down to cost/effort.

I'm always showing it off when we have guests over that are interested and I will continue to do so because I feel it is the best product out there for streaming digital music.

My $0.02.

Cheers.

erland
2007-01-07, 07:48
Notice the conspicuous absence of Joe Blow in this picture? Joe probably isn't aware of the music server concept. He knows about iPods and might even know someone who has one - but he probably doesn't have one himself. Forget about this guy. He probably doesn't have a DVD player either, preferring to watch old Monster Truck rallies on VHS.The quantity customers are probably outside the audiophile and geek groups. So to expand I think Logitech has to aim in the direction towards Joe Blow even though they may not have to actually reach him to get to the quantity customers.


The greatest potential for expanding the Squeezebox market is from the iPod crowd. They have computers and they "get it" that music is just bits and it's cool to carry around your whole collection. The problem, for Slim Devices, is that this group is being served by the many audio systems that now feature an iPod dock. That makes it easy to pop your iPod into your home or portable stereo, and for many people, that will be all they'll ever need or want. The iPod is their home music server.

Slim Devices is a viable solution for people who have in some way "outgrown" their iPods. Either they have a lot more music than even the largest iPod will hold, or they realize that lossy files don't sound very good on a decent home stereo. At this point, the customer begins to resemble one or both of your core customers - the geek or the audiophile.I had a iPod before my SqueezeBox, the main reasons I "upgraded" the iPod to the SqueezeBox wasn't sound quality. I already had a capable receiver and didn't want to by a new one just to connect the iPod, I had a iPod docking station with line out connecting the iPod to the stereo. The two main things that made me upgrade was:
1. Remote control, to be able to change track from the sofa.
2. Display so its possible to see what is playing from the sofa.

Phil Leigh
2007-01-07, 08:12
I believe that roughly 20 friends and colleagues have bought an SB on the back of me either showing it to them or explaining to them how it works (high level obviously!). The killer feature seems to be this:

"Remember that wall of CD's I used to have?"
"yeah"
"They are in the loft"...
2,000 (even 1,000) CD's takes up a lot of lounge real estate!

The next killer feature is the sound ("So I can sell my CD player - nice!")

Then the mgical ability to do random mixes for parties etc - most people love that.

Then lastly - but importantly - it's the price! ("is that all?")

OK so these folks are technologically savvy and have large CD collections - just like me. Some of them have very nice systems - some don't. However, all are very happy. However I do have to run a one-man helpline for some of them ... :0)

Thanks for a great product. An SB4 boombox (with analogue audio outs AND bult in speakers (mains powered) would be great!
Thanks
Phil

shabbs
2007-01-07, 08:30
I believe that roughly 20 friends and colleagues have bought an SB on the back of me either showing it to them or explaining to them how it works
Impressive.


Then lastly - but importantly - it's the price! ("is that all?")
Damn... I must have cheap friends. ;) Only two have not sniffed at the price.

Cheers.

DrNic
2007-01-07, 08:35
*snip*
Notice the conspicuous absence of Joe Blow in this picture? Joe probably isn't aware of the music server concept. He knows about iPods and might even know someone who has one - but he probably doesn't have one himself. Forget about this guy. He probably doesn't have a DVD player either, preferring to watch old Monster Truck rallies on VHS. *snip*


This, to me, has been the most sensible summation so far.
I'm intrigued by the "problems" discussed here on most counts..
I _listen_ to my music downstairs, away from my computer, therfore the display on the SB3 itself is the most important thing to me - I hardly use the "server interface" - so don't give a monkeys about how quick it is. I can see where it can be useful but so far haven't had a bad experience when I need to use it.
Never had a problem setting up my players - from my first SB1 through to my 2 SB3's. No difficulties despite 2 computer changes and a few reinstalls of Windoze, it just _worked_...

Lets not dumb down the product for this idiot Joe Blow (?!), even friends of mine who are by no means geeks/audiophiles/etc have managed to set up theirs with little or no intervention from me.

I am no fool, and realise that progress will occur with the Squeezebox's, but lets make sure it is progress rather than regression just to suit the masses. Slimdevices haven't done all that bad to now have they?

For the sake of Jim (welcome BTW!); what sells the device when people see mine? The ease of accessing all your music, the playlists, random play, and that darn sexy display.... :)

Nic

mrfantasy
2007-01-07, 08:53
1) FLAC. This is really huge the more I consider it. I like the fact that I've ripped all of my (>1000) CDs and I never have to do it again (although FLAC 1.1.3 is out with higher compression ratios, all I have to do is decode and recode the same files, with no loss, if I think it's going to buy me something. I have to check in to that.)

2) Serious listening. I am a serious music listener--I'd say one rung on the ladder down from the true "audiophile". While MP3s or WMA files are fine on my portable device (a 3 year old Nomad Zen 60GB), I find them unlistenable at home on my decent Denon receiver, or even my decent Sony receiver. Squeezebox is a high-grade, mass-market stereo component. If you compare it to the Netgear or Buffalo or (ahem) the Logitech products there's no comparison. Roku is about the same in the marketplace but the lack of FLAC support is a non-starter there. Slim competes with the Sonos, Olive, and Escient stuff well, at a fraction of the cost. Sure the Sonos controller is better but the controller alone costs more than a Squeezebox.

3) Ease of use. The Squeezebox took a lot of hacking for me to get running (especially since I insisted on using it with a Kuro Box and all the resultant hacking that took to get it working) but my wife can use it with minimal hassles. It's as easy, probably easier, than taking a CD from the rack and playing it. That's huge.

4) Upgradability and backwards compatibility. I like that my Squeezebox 2 is so far completely compatible with the Squeezebox 3. I like that you're still supporting SliMP3s. I anticipate the future products will add features that my box won't have, but I hope you continue to make it all make sense. That's what will keep loyal customers and add new ones.

5) Hackability and flexibility. I can dip into things and tweak them. I can use SoftSqueeze to listen at work, and the streaming interface wherever else I might be. I have control over things at nearly every level. Admittedly more mainstream users may not care about that, but I think you can create simple default configurations for them while still satisfying the hacker mentality.

That's most of mine in a nutshell. It basically sums up to not abandoning the philosophy that made Slim great and desirable as an acquisition.

stinkingpig
2007-01-07, 09:26
> 2. Frequently unstable software. I appreciate that the dev team works
> so hard, but they just don't have the resources they need for proper
> testing. (and aren't long on the charisma necessary to recruit new
> testers... at one point, I was kind of trying to volunteer as a tester,
> and got chased off.)
> 3. The website says 'use the the stable build, the nightlies are
> dangerous', when in actual fact, that's exactly backwards. The devs
> think that 'stable' means 'code that isn't changing' -- whether or not
> it actually works. They left up a completely broken release for about
> two weeks. When I complained, I was told it was 'stable' code, and
> thus shouldn't be changed. It didn't work -- it couldn't work -- but
> it was 'stable', so they didn't fix it for ages. Anyone downloading
> the software in that window (I think this was the first release of
> 6.3.0) simply would not have a working server. From my perspective,
> that's a customer relations disaster. If it's broken and you can't fix
> it immediately, pull it and put the old one up. Most folks think of
> 'stable' code as an implied promise that the program will work.
> Knowingly putting them through pain and frustration is extremely bad
> customer service.
>

I agree with these points.

> 4. Perl. The existing server is written in Perl, and it's slow. It's
> fine on a big machine -- I run it on a dual core Linux server, and it's
> very quick -- but it's sluggish on small boxes. That means you can't
> easily put out an NSLU3 with the server built right in. (The NSLU2
> does run SlimServer, but it's very slow. 6.5 may be better, but 6.2.X
> was glacial.) That said, however, there is a huge pile of work in
> that code, and it's not something that should lightly be abandoned.
> The CUE/FLAC logic was particularly hard to work out, judging from the
> number of odd little buglets I've seen over the years.
>

This would be correct if the NSLU2 was an advertised build target --
you're essentially complaining that you bought a Jaguar V12 and had a
lot of trouble fitting it into your Chevy Sprint :) More to the point,
Perl's problems for that platform are caused by it's being a
high-level, cross-platform language, and any other high-level,
cross-platform language you'd care to rewrite in will have the same
problems. The cost of doing cross-platform C is pretty high, so then
cross-platform goes out the window, along with a very large portion of
the customers.

A lot of people complain about Perl without any foundation for doing
so, which alienates the developers, causing the attitude you complain
about, and obscures any real issues which Perl may or may not have. As
the development platform for Slimserver, the only problem I can really
see with Perl is its history: a lot of people learned Perl as their
first language, blamed all their mistakes on it, and moved on to
something else while badmouthing Perl to the skies.
....

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

konut
2007-01-07, 10:13
Hi Jim, thanks for putting that bulls-eye on your forehead.
I bought a SB3 in Nov. of '05 because it offered the greatest potential for sound quality. I had it modified by Vinnie Rossi of Redwine Audio. I am thrilled with the sound quality. As I am not the most computer savvy of sorts, I barely got the interface to work. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that my albums appear as playlists, there are no artists or genres, and some albums appear, but only randomly. Some albums/playlists don't appear at all, but the individual track files are in the music folder. I am loathe to change anything for fear totally screwing things up to the point of not being able to use it at all.( If there are any tagging savvy individuals in the Bellingham WA area, I would appreciate any help in sorting out these problems) I could care less about album art or streaming internet radio. I would REALLY have appreciated a CD included with Slimserver and all the software needed to rip and tag ( EAC, FLAC front end etc.) my CDs. How difficult would that have been? ( A rhetorical question)
Its my impression that Slimdevices fans fall into 2 distinct camps. Those, like myself, that value sound quality above all else, that wouldn't be caught dead using MP3s, and those who want all sorts of convenience with various formats, internet streams, album art, plug-ins, alarm clocks, etc. I wouldn't care if my next SB were encased in fuzzy grey carpet as long as its audio quality was superior to my existing SB3.
Being a baker by trade, I can make a cake at least 4 different ways. If you want a great cake, leave the cake making to the professionals. All I want from Slim Devices is a great front end for my stereo.
Jim, welcome to the asylum!

Pale Blue Ego
2007-01-07, 12:39
I thought of a great way Logitech could promote the Squeezebox. Slim Devices was always a very user-oriented company; a lot of the ideas and features came directly from the user community. Slim did a great job listening to its customers and letting the customers drive the direction of the company.

Logitech's ad campaign for the Squeezebox should embrace the user-driven nature of the Squeezebox by letting users create the ads. Sponsor a contest where users can submit digital video productions, flash-based ads, maybe banner ads demonstrating why the Squeezebox is so wonderful. Award a Squeezebox or Transporter for the best ads. The enthusiastic user base will provide.

Skunk
2007-01-07, 13:14
*Feature not yet supported by Squeezebox

RiccardoR
2007-01-07, 13:34
First: sorry for my poor english, I'm from Italy.

Thanks to Jim Carlton to asking to as some ideas about Squeezebox. Many and many are the suggestions about it; these depends about our way to use the Squeezebox. For example I don't use much Internet radio or I don't need a stand alone SB (I use a little and inexpensive server by HP).
I think that every suggestion has to consider costs, engineering, and above all the final price: how much will buy an SB with the costs of a Sonos/Olive?

So, here my suggestions:
1) SB Z10 - A Boombox compound by an Sb and the nice Z10 speakers (with attached or detachable speakers), good sound for bedroom or kitchens;
2) I like the shape of SB, but I agree that a knob (Transporter style) will be better: adding an USB port on SB feel free the users to buy or not a SpaceNavigator 3Dconnexion (another Logitech company).
3) For those who need a better remote (I use an HP handheld) as Sonos remote or Nokia 770, I have a suggestion: is possible to realize a cartridge for Nintendo DS Lite? or a skin to use with the DS Browser? A Nintendo DS costs much less of the costless WiFi Handheld!

Bye (Ciao), Riccardo

mik63
2007-01-07, 16:39
Many of the people in this forum are (or have become) quite smart in dealing with music and software.

The rest of your "potential" customers are not, nor they should be.

1) Provide a solid, complete and easy to use ripping software (it should work for all music, including classical). No, iTunes doesn't do all of that, unfortunately.

2) Make the Slimserver look like "another set of speakers for the computer" so that music can be simply directed there when needed.

3) A remote display would be a fantastic enhancement; it must be big enough for 40+ to read it (boomers have the bucks, the toys and the passion for hi-fi). In fact, I wonder how many of your customers sit at more than 10ft. from the current device, making the current display much less useful. I can see a box connected to the hi-fi as a "docking station" for a 6x4" wireless touch screen display....

4) A matching hi-fi quality wireless headset (none out there)

5) Source a great PSU and sell it as an option so the discussion about PSU ends...

By the way, great acquisition!!

Mik

stinkingpig
2007-01-07, 20:46
On 1/7/07, Skunk <Skunk.2k23yz1168200901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> *Feature not yet supported by Squeezebox
>
>
> +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
> |Filename: cake.jpg |
> |Download: http://forums.slimdevices.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2232|
> +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
>

Now that's what I'm talkin about! That's looking like gooood cake.


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

aubuti
2007-01-07, 21:20
I think you've got 2 main groups of customers here. The first, and probably largest, are geeks who love music. <snip>

The second group are primarily music lovers and audiophiles. <snip>

Notice the conspicuous absence of Joe Blow in this picture? Joe probably isn't aware of the music server concept.<snip>

The greatest potential for expanding the Squeezebox market is from the iPod crowd. They have computers and they "get it" that music is just bits and it's cool to carry around your whole collection. The problem, for Slim Devices, is that this group is being served by the many audio systems that now feature an iPod dock. That makes it easy to pop your iPod into your home or portable stereo, and for many people, that will be all they'll ever need or want. The iPod is their home music server.

Slim Devices is a viable solution for people who have in some way "outgrown" their iPods. Either they have a lot more music than even the largest iPod will hold, or they realize that lossy files don't sound very good on a decent home stereo. At this point, the customer begins to resemble one or both of your core customers - the geek or the audiophile.
I think that's a great analysis PBE. But I'm not completely convinced about the convergence of the iPod-heads to the geek/audiophile camps. I can see them gravitating to the SB without becoming complete geeks or audiophiles.

Capacity and sound quality are certainly two factors that would encourage migration to SBs, but there's also the conveniences of having the music and the playback *control* distributed throughout the house or flat (and it really helps that the control is readable from across the room).

I have not done very well in my SB proseltyzing/demo-ing -- I get a lot of blank looks. For those that get the concept, I almost always lose them when I get to the NAS that runs slimserver and holds the music library. Whether they completely get it or not, one of the biggest selling points that does seem to click is having access to your collection anywhere in the house, as long as you put an SB there. The biggest mistake I made when I bought my first SB a little over a year ago was not taking advantage of the "$100 off when you buy 2 SBs" deal, because I now own 3 SBs and am planning on a 4th.

The second selling point that gets some people, especially those who have a lot of their collections on a PC/Mac is having control in the listening room. This has especially resonated with friends using AirTunes, who have gotten weary of having to get up and go to the computer (like a geek!) to skip/add/delete a track in the playlist.

Noticing the huge array of iPod accessories that Logitech sells, they clearly understand this market far better than I do. Maybe a SqueezeBoomBox that also has an iPod dock is a way to draw them in, while at the same time satisfying a frequent request of the already-converted?

SuperQ
2007-01-07, 23:09
Being a baker by trade, I can make a cake at least 4 different ways. If you want a great cake, leave the cake making to the professionals. All I want from Slim Devices is a great front end for my stereo.
Jim, welcome to the asylum!

Maybe you should ship your CDs to SD for riping/tagging.

Dr Lovegrove
2007-01-08, 04:45
On 05/01/07, JimC <JimC.2jyltb1168037401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about
> what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and
> about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in
> additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as
> promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for
> our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can
> best implement that, as well.

Hi Jim, welcome, etc..

One very simple thing I've often thought would be a great idea would
be a dedicated forum for frontends.. There are loads of web-skins now,
and an increasing number of software-based front-ends, so I guess
there'd be traffic, and it might help ease the plugins forum traffic a
touch.

--
- Dr Lovegrove
Grab Moose (windows frontend for Slimserver) at:
http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove

mecouc
2007-01-08, 05:23
Improvements I'd like revolve around:

1) I managed to get Slimserver running fine, but I'm a techie. I agree with others who ask for a more automated method for installation. Test it on someone who just about knows what an mp3 file is and see how they get on. Many problems resolved around plugins, and non-recovery from crashes. Ways to make Slimserver restart itself automatically after a crashshould be offered in the interface, or on installation. That would prevent much anguished running up and dopwn stairs to restart it.

2) A plugin manager. I've had many experiences of Slimserver crashing, and ages trying to make plugins work. A plugin manager that allows you to install plugins from a list if they're compatible with yoru Slimserver version, and lets you know which installed plugins are not compatible would be good.

3)An off switch on the Squeezebox. When I'm not listening to it (at least 90% of the time) I want it turned off consuming zero watts of power. I do not want it on with a screensaver, or even on with a blank screen.

Homeplug/powerline often works much more easily than wireless - I'd suggest making more of that as a fix for people with wireless problems. A homeplug squeezebox? I guess that's asking too much!

Balthazar_B
2007-01-08, 06:22
Hi Jim! I picked up my Squeezebox about a year ago and haven't looked back, but I must agree - the need for a Harmony-type remote with native Slimserver support, along with some sort of 2-way communication is absolutely key to Squeezebox's expansion and success. The biggest complaint I have is the anemic remote that comes with the Squeezebox and the need for me to have a computer running just to access a GUI-type interface.

That's one area where the Sonos wins hands down.

Cheers!

Agree, agree, agree!!!

I'm one of those people who stuff their A/V gear into a closet and (today) runs everything from an RF-equipped remote. Actually, my wife prefers it that way, and come to think of it, I do too. Now it's certainly within Logitech's power to market a WiFi remote with a UI and navigation controls optimized for accessing and managing large, complex music (or media) libraries. Even an Ajax web interface isn't enough (if Apple had relied on that running its iPod devices, it would have failed miserably). For me, a simple (think iPod, Zen, Sansa, etc. -- and a small screen is essential) portable remote control that lets me queue up music, playlists, change from stored to Internet radio, etc., would be a profoundly great thing.

My $.02.

chinablues
2007-01-08, 07:12
This means I have 500 odd albums ripped as MP3 and another 150 or so ripped as FLAC. All the FLACs have MP3 duplicates so I can listen to them on the iPod. I want Slimserver to ONLY play the best quality of song it can, so if there is a FLAC version I don't want it to bother with the MP3. At the moment, it causes a terrible amount of faffing around that I still haven't really got to grips with.

The web interface isn't so good.

Gary

Echo the above point. I don't have an iPod but do have lots of MP3's. Since getting the Transporter I have re-ripped all CD's to FLAC (about 7000 files or so). So I have MP3s and FLACs of the same CD. I also have a lot of MP3s with no corresponding FLAC. If I could mix in same library but have Slimserver automatically select the FLAC when there is a choice, that would be great. Yes, I've tried Duplicate MP3 Finder & that allows duplicate MP3s and FLACs to be found, but as Gary mentions, gets you into the "faffing around" zone. A put-off for folks that don't like 'faffing around' with databases etc..

The web interface is too geeky. Ok for me, but not for my wife (who also likes music). Also my computer is in another room, so selecting there when sound system is elsewhere is a pain. This should be an easy fix/addon I would have thought & would improve the marketability no end.

Maybe been mentioned before, but would be nice to have a headphone version. ie minaturised battery powered SB3 embedded in a headphone.

From Pale Blue Ego: (PS Great post!)

"The greatest potential for expanding the Squeezebox market is from the iPod crowd. They have computers and they "get it" that music is just bits and it's cool to carry around your whole collection. The problem, for Slim Devices, is that this group is being served by the many audio systems that now feature an iPod dock. That makes it easy to pop your iPod into your home or portable stereo, and for many people, that will be all they'll ever need or want. The iPod is their home music server."

Maybe. But consider this. I bought a Transporter and got the free SB3 included. It's sitting unopened in the box. I went back to the UK at Christmas & thought this would make a great gift for my daugher & husband who are into iPod's. But I didn't take it. Why? Because the 3 days I had with them at Christmas would not have been enough time to get it set up in a way that they would understand. Need to defuse this 'geek warning zone' issue.

Dan

MrSinatra
2007-01-08, 14:56
hi Jim,

as you can see, SD forums are basically two camps, cheerleaders and cranks.

i'm a crank.

i guess my problem is that i know exactly what i want, and no one makes it.

i have a SB2, and like most people, i think the web UI stinks. sorry, but thats my opinion cheerleaders, and i'm entitled to it. my other concerns are that the SS software is very buggy, that the display is only on the device, not the remote, (a big problem for me and many others i'm sure) and that only SS software powers the device; it can't be used as an external soundcard, (and therefore you can't "winamp it" or itunes or dvd, or whatever...)

it [ss] also in recent versions has developed a weakness in streaming internet stations b/c now the hardware does it alone. i like that paradigm, but the hardware needs to be as robust as software streaming solutions, (like winamp). some ISPs are flaky, SD products must recognize that. if winamp can do it, SD hardware better be able to do it too.

some of this has been gone over before, please see these links:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821

(interestingly, its the cheerleaders who are the most paranoid about logitech, whereas i'm not at all)

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=29153

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28676

in any case, there's lots to love about SD, i'm not all negative. it is what i've used and i have tried to give feedback to fix problems with it. i am a believer in open source and i like that people can hack it and so on...

i hope the next product will combine the best of SD, with the best of the logitech product i talked about in an above link.

maggior
2007-01-08, 15:38
This is a very interesting thread. Jim - glad to see your request for input from the community.

For a frame of reference, I am computer and home networking savvy and though not an audiophile, I have pretty high standards regarding audio. I have a large collection of music (2,000+ CDs) that was aquired myself, not via downloads from the Internet. I purchased my first SB just 2 weeks ago, though I've been following the product for the last year by reading the forums and playing around with slimserver and softsqueeze.

A common theme in many of the responses was the usability issues regarding setup and usage via the web interface.

Frist, I'd like to comment on the setup difficulties. The issues surrounding setup of the SB3 are much simpler than that of setting up a home network. If somebody is considering purchasing an SB3, they already have a home network set up, so they've already been through the worst of it. With things like DHCP, setup of the SB3 is a breeze! I chose to use a static IP to speed up power up, but that was my choice. I also had to enter my SSID since I have its broadcast disabled. These hurdles are no different than configuring a new laptop to communicate with the network.

So, a new SB3 owner will either be familiar with what is required to set up a networked device since they already have a network, or know a geek to help them out (this geek would have set up the network to begin with). I know this from experience - I have set up 4 home networks including my own. (Personally, I found the setup to be a breeze.)

The point is that anybody even thinking about purchasing an SB3 will have no problem setting it up or know somebody who does.

Secondly, there is the entire issue of ripping and encoding music. This is a hurdle even for the iPod crowd, unless music is purchased via iTunes. Maybe that's what most people do, not sure. The point is that the technical difficulties in this area are shared with any other media product, such as iPod (which is so highly praised for usability).

The difference though is that iTunes provides a means to rip and encode whereas SlimServer does not. It would be useful to provide this capability. And just like with iTunes, if you already have your favorite set of tools you use, you may choose to continue to use them.

Thirdly, many have commented on the web interface for the server. It took me some getting used to, but it is very servicable. Since this is only used on the back end, I don't think its look-and-feel is as critical as on the client. An OS specific application to configure slimserver would be useful, but the web functionality and interface should be maintained as it is flexible - I can access it even from work!


So, what do I love about my SB3? I own an iPod. I have docks for it. I have listened to it connected to my stereo and was content, except I had to get up to navigate my music library. SS3 allows me to navigate my ENTIRE music library (including what doesn't fit onto my iPod) from my chair. That's killer! Something I didn't expect is that the SB3 sounds quite noticibly better than my iPod in its dock. That was a great bonus!

I had stayed away from iPod because it did not support gapless playback. I was stuck with Sony ATRAC on an HD3. When Apple introduced gapless playback of LAME mp3s in Sept, I jumped in and bought the new 80GB model. This is a key feature for me - if SB3 didn't support it, I wouldn't own one. You guys listen to your customers and bring the features that they want. You guys reacted much more quickly to this than Apple did.

FLAC is supported natively on the client - another huge plus. And the open server and plugin architecture is great. I have last.fm and weather forcasts thanks to 3rd party developers in the community.

Internet radio access is great too. I like that I can tune in virtually any URL I want. And being able to interact with Pandora and Last.fm via the remote is killer! The XM radio went out the window thanks to those features!

My only complaint so far is the price. I wish it was just a little bit cheaper. Though I do understand that quality like this comes at a cost. Over time I'm sure there is at least one more SB3 in my future. I also wish I could go into Circuit City or Best Buy to purchase. Now that you are part of Logitech, perhaps larger distribution is in the future.

Rich Maggio

stinkingpig
2007-01-08, 16:42
On 1/8/07, MrSinatra
<MrSinatra.2k43hz1168293601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> hi Jim,
>
> as you can see, SD forums are basically two camps, cheerleaders and
> cranks.
>

I'd actually rename those camps to those who bought what they want and
those who want something else but bought a Squeezebox anyway :)

> i'm a crank.
>
> i guess my problem is that i know exactly what i want, and no one makes
> it.
>
> i have a SB2, and like most people, i think the web UI stinks. sorry,
> but thats my opinion cheerleaders, and i'm entitled to it.

Aaargh!!! To the barricades me hearties, defeat this infidel!!!! Oh
wait, I actually don't care at all. Sorry for the confusion.

I don't think you can say "most people" without something to back it
up. Here's a stab at a poll:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=31443 -- I'd say that
every vote for Option 2 or Option 4 is a vote you can count against
the stock interfaces :)

> my other
> concerns are that the SS software is very buggy, that the display is
> only on the device, not the remote, (a big problem for me and many
> others i'm sure) and that only SS software powers the device; it can't
> be used as an external soundcard, (and therefore you can't "winamp it"
> or itunes or dvd, or whatever...)
>

Four issues conflated into one sentence...
1) Slimserver is buggy, yes, and I'd personally like to see either
more rapid releases, or a move to the "perpetual beta" idea of these
Web 2.0 companies. Dump the release idea altogether and just put a
link to the latest nightly up on the download page.
2) Display on the remote is requested from time to time. Does nothing
for me, but you go right ahead.
3) Having alternate servers would be mildly interesting, except that
it would require switching from SS or SN to whatever, and back.
4) A VLW (very long wire) mode has the same problem, plus a
requirement to disable the buffer (which means that wireless users
will have even more problems than they do now). At the end of the day,
either of these issues end up with a device that does exactly what far
cheaper alternatives do (Airport Express for instance). Not saying
that's a bad thing to add-on, just that I have no need for it.

> it [ss] also in recent versions has developed a weakness in streaming
> internet stations b/c now the hardware does it alone. i like that
> paradigm, but the hardware needs to be as robust as software streaming
> solutions, (like winamp). some ISPs are flaky, SD products must
> recognize that. if winamp can do it, SD hardware better be able to do
> it too.

I don't use enough Internet radio to comment, though I do think it's
kind of specious to use Winamp running on a full computer as your
standard to judge the SB by.

>
> some of this has been gone over before, please see these links:
>
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
> (interestingly, its the cheerleaders who are the most paranoid about
> logitech, whereas i'm not at all)

huh? I must have missed the score card, and the team rosters too :)
I'm pretty happy with the Squeezebox/Slimserver system as it stands,
but I'm in favor of the Logitech acquisition, but I like to mock the
people who scream that the sky is falling because their favorite
feature isn't present, so which team am I on?

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

MrSinatra
2007-01-22, 01:02
On 1/8/07, MrSinatra
<MrSinatra.2k43hz1168293601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> hi Jim,
>
> as you can see, SD forums are basically two camps, cheerleaders and
> cranks.
>

I'd actually rename those camps to those who bought what they want and
those who want something else but bought a Squeezebox anyway :)

allow me to be more precise...

how about 'those who are happy with it doing whatever the hell it wants to do,' and 'those who are unhappy it doesn't do what its advertised to do?'


> i'm a crank.
>
> i guess my problem is that i know exactly what i want, and no one makes
> it.
>
> i have a SB2, and like most people, i think the web UI stinks. sorry,
> but thats my opinion cheerleaders, and i'm entitled to it.

Aaargh!!! To the barricades me hearties, defeat this infidel!!!! Oh
wait, I actually don't care at all. Sorry for the confusion.

I don't think you can say "most people" without something to back it
up. Here's a stab at a poll:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=31443 -- I'd say that
every vote for Option 2 or Option 4 is a vote you can count against
the stock interfaces :)

thats ridiculous.

just because someone uses the stock interface, and doesn't seek out an alternative, does not, in ANY way constitute APPROVAL of it.

you have engaged in whats known as a logical fallacy.

your poll does not in any way guage if users LIKE what they use. it merely ASKS what they use.

it doesn't ask if people like the option they use, or if they like ANY of the options they use.

and your population here is skewed towards the SD enthusiats as well.

try again.



> my other
> concerns are that the SS software is very buggy, that the display is
> only on the device, not the remote, (a big problem for me and many
> others i'm sure) and that only SS software powers the device; it can't
> be used as an external soundcard, (and therefore you can't "winamp it"
> or itunes or dvd, or whatever...)
>

Four issues conflated into one sentence...

not conflated, listed. am i not to list them for fear you will conflate them?


1) Slimserver is buggy, yes, and I'd personally like to see either
more rapid releases, or a move to the "perpetual beta" idea of these
Web 2.0 companies. Dump the release idea altogether and just put a
link to the latest nightly up on the download page.

how does going from buggy releases to buggy betas solve anything?

how about putting out a release that is bug free, and adding features slowly over time so they are also bug free?


2) Display on the remote is requested from time to time. Does nothing
for me, but you go right ahead.

thx jack, i will. and it seems logitech and many others think its a good idea, imagine that!


3) Having alternate servers would be mildly interesting, except that
it would require switching from SS or SN to whatever, and back.

i'm happy to have mildly interested you.

i wasn't really suggeting that tho, i was suggesting a mini SS that acted as a dsp plugin for WMP, so winamp could handle all the thing SS does so poorly.


4) A VLW (very long wire) mode has the same problem, plus a
requirement to disable the buffer (which means that wireless users
will have even more problems than they do now). At the end of the day,
either of these issues end up with a device that does exactly what far
cheaper alternatives do (Airport Express for instance). Not saying
that's a bad thing to add-on, just that I have no need for it.

well, i have a need for it, and i think many other people could use it that way to wokaround their SS problems. it also adds the extra ability of acting as the audio interface to your stereo for DVDs, both video and audio.



> it [ss] also in recent versions has developed a weakness in streaming
> internet stations b/c now the hardware does it alone. i like that
> paradigm, but the hardware needs to be as robust as software streaming
> solutions, (like winamp). some ISPs are flaky, SD products must
> recognize that. if winamp can do it, SD hardware better be able to do
> it too.

I don't use enough Internet radio to comment, though I do think it's
kind of specious to use Winamp running on a full computer as your
standard to judge the SB by.

well, that might be the case, IF SD didn't advertise the product as being capable of such actions on their website.

i don't think anyone buying it gets a "warning" from the SD website that this solution is NOT to be as robust as just about ANY other one you have used, (winamp just being an example of one).

the working standard is out there and established. if SD says it can do the function, it should meet the standard.



>
> some of this has been gone over before, please see these links:
>
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=28821
>
> (interestingly, its the cheerleaders who are the most paranoid about
> logitech, whereas i'm not at all)

huh? I must have missed the score card, and the team rosters too :)
I'm pretty happy with the Squeezebox/Slimserver system as it stands,
but I'm in favor of the Logitech acquisition, but I like to mock the
people who scream that the sky is falling because their favorite
feature isn't present, so which team am I on?

hmm, when i wrote that, i don't think i specified anyone... i think its clear i was speaking in generalities.

i don't know or care which side you're on, but you're right that the pom pom crew is now split... some are so pom pomish they have gone with the acquisition hook line and sinker, while the other pom pomers (the x file crew) are aghast at what this might mean for their open source religious philosophy.

the cranks meanwhile, (like me) seem to think that maybe logitech will help. a small few imo, think nothing will help.

look, i want a good product, and i think its valid to say what i said without you parsing it to death. i'm glad u like SS more than not... but i want to see some improvements, both to UI and to bugginess and robustness, and thats valid whether you like it or not.

CardinalFang
2007-01-22, 01:46
(1) A faster, slicker UI. This can be made cross platform using Java or any number of porting technologies out there. This is the biggest downside to the product, it is so clunky and unappealing. If there was a decent remote it wouldn't be so bad, which brings us on to...

(2) A better remote - Sonos-like if possible, my eyes aren't what they were and squinting at the SB screen just doesn't work anymore!

(3) A transporter without all the knobs and whistles. Cut out the displays, knobs and extraneous metalwork and put it in a simple well-built case. Supply it with a good remote with display and that would be a far preferable solution for me. Oh, and then you could bring the price down too.

(4) The ability to rip CDs within the software package. There's nothing worse when telling people about SLim than when you have to explain the collection of software and settings that are required to get the library together. The more technical users may enjoy the challenge, many music lovers won't.

I think we also need to leave our tech hats at home once in a while too. I have been working on consumer products for some time now and I think the dismissive attitudes that sometimes appear regarding iTunes and other consumer orientated products are very misplaced. I believe over 30 million iPods have shipped and many, many more copies of iTunes. There is something to learn there.

It's also tempting to try to keep something you have found to a small community, like when you discover a new band, and the old ways are clung on to and anything remotely commercially orientated is rallied against. Let's not get bent too far out of shape when they want to change to make it big.

danco
2007-01-22, 01:52
Frist, I'd like to comment on the setup difficulties. The issues surrounding setup of the SB3 are much simpler than that of setting up a home network. If somebody is considering purchasing an SB3, they already have a home network set up, so they've already been through the worst of it. With things like DHCP, setup of the SB3 is a breeze! I chose to use a static IP to speed up power up, but that was my choice. I also had to enter my SSID since I have its broadcast disabled. These hurdles are no different than configuring a new laptop to communicate with the network.

So, a new SB3 owner will either be familiar with what is required to set up a networked device since they already have a network, or know a geek to help them out (this geek would have set up the network to begin with). I know this from experience - I have set up 4 home networks including my own. (Personally, I found the setup to be a breeze.)


Rich Maggio

I think you are over-simplifying here. It's not that unlikely that someone starts networking precisely because they have decided on a Squeezebox.

I know that's the only rason I have a network (though subsequently I have found other uses for it).

So I had to go through the issues of creating a network at the same time as setting up the SB. Fortunately it turned out very easy, except for issues such as microwave interference.

)p(
2007-01-22, 03:03
I would like to be able to control slimserver in 3 ways.

1) The current display method on the device

2) A windows media center plugin. I think mce machines and clients like the xbox360 will show up in more and more living rooms when vista is released. It would be a shame if we cant control slimserver from the mce interface.

3) A graphical remote. I would like to see a intelligent one that has a local copy of the database that is automatically synced with the slimserver database. I think apple tv does do it like that. An expensive graphical remote that is not very responsive is a big no no for me.

peter

Balthazar_B
2007-01-22, 10:07
3) A graphical remote. I would like to see a intelligent one that has a local copy of the database that is automatically synced with the slimserver database. I think apple tv does do it like that. An expensive graphical remote that is not very responsive is a big no no for me.

peter


A very interesting idea. It would likely take only a little bit of flash memory on the controller device (probably a better term than "remote") to cache the SS DB, and would cut down considerably on the over-the-air transactions that would tend to make the control sluggish. The synching could be done on-demand or trickled as DB changes were being made on the backend.

But the key element of a successful control device is not so much its processing power per se, but control interfaces that are optimized for media (in this regard, while the iPod is not perfect, it excels in its elegance and simplicity well beyond most of its competition).

raymay
2007-01-22, 23:24
I'm looking to understand the dynamic that makes your visitors say to themselves, "Self, I want one of these and I want it now."

I just got into these things. I read about the positive reviews in the audiophile forums.

Then I looked for something that had a good control interface (computer) and this was it. I previously had a Phillips streaming device perform poorly on just connecting to the network and doing basic searches. If the wife has to wait three minutes to get her favorite tune, she will walk away.

As well, perhaps Joe public does not appreciate this, but having all the folks supporting this product (open source)and the friendly atmosphere makes me confident that issues will be answered and resolved.

To answer you question:
Yah, i just picked up the remote after the install and played with it. I wanted to be able to get my favorite tracks up fast...that's about it. If you can find the music when you want it, that is all there is... It is like stepping to a CD rack and finding what you want. It has to be easy and it is.

Rich

MrSinatra
2007-01-22, 23:42
A very interesting idea. It would likely take only a little bit of flash memory on the controller device (probably a better term than "remote") to cache the SS DB, and would cut down considerably on the over-the-air transactions that would tend to make the control sluggish. The synching could be done on-demand or trickled as DB changes were being made on the backend.

But the key element of a successful control device is not so much its processing power per se, but control interfaces that are optimized for media (in this regard, while the iPod is not perfect, it excels in its elegance and simplicity well beyond most of its competition).

a cheaper and better way to do the remote, is to make it an independent device, that uses wireless networking. in other words, it has its own tcp/ip addy, and can be used anywhere in the house via the same wireless network that powers all your other wireless gear.

put a 1gig micro card in it and u could have a nice display that shows artwork or whatever else... let it communicate with the server and DB, don't put the DB in the device.

the remote could even have a headphone jack.

mrchrispy
2007-01-23, 15:15
Not much new for me to add, but wanted to be another voice in the chorus of people looking for a slick ui on the computer side. In an ideal world iTunes would be able to actually drive the squeezebox since millions of iPod users have made it the most widely accepted standard out there (itunes isn't perfect, but it's close for the vast majority of users).

Related to the above point I'd like to see some way to initiate a limited rescan on specific items. For instance if I've just corrected a tag in some way I'd like to ask Slimserver to rescan that album rather than just generically telling it to look for new and changed music and waiting for it to finish.

Would love to see Logitech also take on improving the Nokia 770 skin as a full time job - I've been watching that develop and it's nearly at a point where I'm considering picking up a Nokia 800 (or maybe a UMPC). That said, hats off to Ben for taking it as far as he has on a volunteer basis.

Balthazar_B
2007-01-24, 14:31
Not much new for me to add, but wanted to be another voice in the chorus of people looking for a slick ui on the computer side. In an ideal world iTunes would be able to actually drive the squeezebox since millions of iPod users have made it the most widely accepted standard out there (itunes isn't perfect, but it's close for the vast majority of users).


:) That would have happened only had Apple purchased SlimDevices. Of course, that would have probably meant no more open-source -- or if OS, a severely-crippled -- SlimServer...

MrSinatra
2007-01-24, 14:35
actually, it can happen if only a virtual device driver is made to power SB so we don't have to use SS. then itunes, or any app, will power it fine.

since its all open source, i'm surprised no driver writing geek has done one already... you would think someone would want to be able to use the hardware freely with any pgm, and not be tied down to SS.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-01-24, 14:57
Related to the above point I'd like to see some way to initiate a limited rescan on specific items. For instance if I've just corrected a tag in some way I'd like to ask Slimserver to rescan that album rather than just generically telling it to look for new and changed music and waiting for it to finish.

There's an easy way to do this. Just browse the Music Folder via the remote control or the web interface. Navigate to the location where the new or changed tracks are, and they will be added to the database.

Listener
2007-01-24, 15:40
actually, it can happen if only a virtual device driver is made to power SB so we don't have to use SS. then itunes, or any app, will power it fine.

since its all open source, i'm surprised no driver writing geek has done one already... you would think someone would want to be able to use the hardware freely with any pgm, and not be tied down to SS.

I did consider it last spring. At that time, the documentation of the streaming protocol wasn't up to date. Is it accurate now?

Bill

adamslim
2007-01-24, 16:34
So the SB3 would appear as a sound device on the host computer? That would be great for me - I have my computer connected to the hi-fi for playing DVDs and TV through the projector, and would dearly love to remove a cable and improve the quality.

I think this would transform acceptance of the SB3 by non-geeks. Install a driver, and whatever is playing on your computer plays on the SB3, with great quality sound --> sales potential increases by an order of magnitude.

SD should contract you - a month's work and they can pay you in Transporters!

Adam

snarlydwarf
2007-01-24, 16:44
So the SB3 would appear as a sound device on the host computer? That would be great for me - I have my computer connected to the hi-fi for playing DVDs and TV through the projector, and would dearly love to remove a cable and improve the quality.

That would almost certainly be useless for DVD or TV, though. It would be virtually impossible to keep the audio and video synced.

adamslim
2007-01-24, 17:04
That would almost certainly be useless for DVD or TV, though. It would be virtually impossible to keep the audio and video synced.

Drat! I remain slave to the cables!!

shabbs
2007-01-24, 19:07
Drat! I remain slave to the cables!!
Long live the cables!

Nostromo
2007-01-25, 09:54
Exactly, because in my experience, it's not an easy sell at all. When I
show people my Squeezeboxes and tell them how they work their eyes just
sort of become blank and they start talking about the weather or
something. Part of that is probably because they know I'm technically
far ahead of them, what I use must be far ahead of them as well. Even my
technical colleagues are slow to warm up. One of them has bought a
second hand SB1 now. I know I'm not the world's greatest salesmen, but
the product is hard to explain, just check the "I've read and read"
thread by metroman. That's fairly typical and he got here because he
thought he really wanted one.

Don' explain how it works. People don't care about the technical details. Just show them what you can do with it. They'll understand that. That's what I did with people around me. I talked about it to my brother, who is not technically minded at all, and he was all jazzed up: "Wow! where can I get one?" Unfortunately, I had to break to him the bad news: : "Sorry, but if you don't know beans about computers, I don't recommend it."

adamslim
2007-01-25, 11:13
Unfortunately, I had to break to him the bad news: : "Sorry, but if you don't know beans about computers, I don't recommend it."

'Look how cool this is' ... 'You're a bit too thick to be able to use one' ... Did he hit you? :D

Seriously though, I agree - Slim need a simpler system. I think that the device driver approach (while useless for me) might work, provided that any delay in sync is fairly small. I've spent ages getting my SB3 working the way I like it (and I have manifested OCD in tagging classical music...), but most won't.

Adam

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 13:28
Don' explain how it works. People don't care about the technical details. Just show them what you can do with it. They'll understand that. That's what I did with people around me. I talked about it to my brother, who is not technically minded at all, and he was all jazzed up: "Wow! where can I get one?" Unfortunately, I had to break to him the bad news: : "Sorry, but if you don't know beans about computers, I don't recommend it."

hilarious, this is sublime...

the first guy says they glaze over when told how it works, so the second guy says "no! don't tell them how it works, show them" so they get all into it and then at THAT POINT say, "pft, your dumbass can't handle the truth!"

hilarious!

that short lil exchange more than any other goes to PROVE that the SB needs, MUST, get a virtual device driver for differing operating systems, starting with XP since its the major one.

if i can't do dvd sync'd to video, fine, but i would love using winamp to power my SB, and i'm not alone. many people out there want to use the hardware, but want to use their software of choice with it, not some amalgem of mysql, browser, scanner, that oh by the way, can't rip, can't edit, etc...

its such a slam dunk, WHY isn't anyone at SD doing it? why are they forcing all of us to use FREE software? wouldn't their hardware be better served by letting any software use it?

snarlydwarf
2007-01-25, 13:36
its such a slam dunk, WHY isn't anyone at SD doing it? why are they forcing all of us to use FREE software? wouldn't their hardware be better served by letting any software use it?

Because most of us see little difference between that and a Long Ass Cable to the stereo?

And wtf is the "forcing all of us to use FREE software?"

If you want to replace mysql with Oracle or MS-SQL, go for it...

I really don't see what the copyright has to do with anything at all.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 14:00
Because most of us see little difference between that and a Long Ass Cable to the stereo?

what do you mean? you don't understand the difference? the difference is i would not need the cable. the difference is i could use any software, not just SS.

how do you not understand that?


And wtf is the "forcing all of us to use FREE software?"

If you want to replace mysql with Oracle or MS-SQL, go for it...

I really don't see what the copyright has to do with anything at all.

perhaps i worded this poorly, allow me to expound:

SD FORCES US to use SS to power their hardware. thats what i mean.

often, on these forums, when someone criicizes SD/SS, much is made of how the software is FREE, and all we paid for is the hardware, with lil thought given to the fact that this is the only software that powers the hardware.

my point is, in the SD business model, WHY would they tie their hardware, (which is not free) to "free" software?

do you not see the financial insanity of that?

if the hardware is all they make money on, then the adoption rate of it would be FAR HIGHER if it worked with any software.

Skunk
2007-01-25, 14:07
Long live the cables!

No, follow the gourd!

smc2911
2007-01-25, 14:11
I suspect that the potential increase in sales revenue generated by allowing any software to server music to the SB would be more than offset by the increase in development costs that would be required for the SB to accommodate such diversity.

snarlydwarf
2007-01-25, 14:32
what do you mean? you don't understand the difference? the difference is i would not need the cable. the difference is i could use any software, not just SS.

how do you not understand that?

You do know that there are long-ass-virtual-cable products like the Airport Express or others from DLink and ... Logitech?

If that is what you want, you can get one of those much cheaper than an SB.


SD FORCES US to use SS to power their hardware. thats what i mean.

...

No one forced you to buy a Squeezebox.

You can use whatever software you want. That it doesn't work is the problem of the software. "OMG, I cant use WORD to play music!"

Hint: you -can- use Winamp to play music.

Most people, though, bought a squeezebox so that they could control it remotely and not sit at a computer. That remote control is what seperates the Squeezebox from something like Airport Express or the Dlink and Logitech products.


often, on these forums, when someone criicizes SD/SS, much is made of how the software is FREE, and all we paid for is the hardware, with lil thought given to the fact that this is the only software that powers the hardware.

No, what people are saying is that the software is Free, as in Libris, as in Liberty, not as in Free Beer: if you don't like the way the software works, then you can change it! Don't like the way J. River works? Tough. Don't like the way Itunes works? Tough.

If you don't like the way Slimserver works: go download the code and change it.




my point is, in the SD business model, WHY would they tie their hardware, (which is not free) to "free" software?

do you not see the financial insanity of that?

No, I see that you have difficulties with words having more than one meaning.

Nostromo
2007-01-25, 14:42
SD FORCES US to use SS to power their hardware. thats what i mean.

Complaining that SlimDevices forces us to use SlimServer is like complaining that Mazda forces you to use the rotary engine. Others could explain this a lot more clearly than me, but its my understanding that SS is an intrinsic part of Squeezebox, its not just another media player. You couldn't simply replace it with iTunes or Windows media player, not without loss of functionality.

P Floding
2007-01-25, 14:48
Hi there.

My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.

Wait! That's my match.com ad copy.

Actually, I'm the new Director of Product Marketing here at Slim -- now known as the SMS Business Unit at Logitech. Prior to accepting this role, I was the iPod/MP3 and wireless music business manager for Logitech in the America's region. And before that, I've had stints as one of the founders of Virgin Electronics, as a jack-of-lots-of-trades at Creative Labs, and further back than that just doesn't really matter.

My first order of business here is to offload some of the work of integrating Slim with Logitech, so Sean and Dean can get back to sleeping once in a while. Overall, I'll be responsible for the customer-facing aspects of this business, and for helping shape how we tell the rest of the world about how great the products are...

To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can best implement that, as well.

If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want me to finish that match.com ad, let me know.

Hi Jim!
I hope you have thick skin, if you want feedback from us here.. ;-)
OK, in no particular order:

Personally I think the current implementation model (SlimServer) has a lot to commend it.

However, the web based GUI needs an alternative interface that better hides it's HTML based nature. Slicker and more "local app" -like. It could then have a "local app" operating mode as well for those that despise the server model -just run the server locally and don't mention it! (Actually, that should probably be the default mode, and remote access, with identical GUI, being the icing on the cake.) In short: Talk less to customers about how it's done, and make GUI slicker..

I never use SqueezeNetwork, since I don't like the logging-off and logging-on procedure.

Re-scan should be automatic and intelligent (using file date information). No two hour scans please!

A history function would be superb so one could go back to previous songs/albums after listening to a few different things. (I know a playlist could emulate this, but it's so easy to just press "Play" and erase any list. After which you utter some unmentionables..) On the same theme: "Favourites" is a bit primitive. At least I haven't discovered any way to structure it..

I like the device-driver-talks-to-SB suggestions I've seen lately. Would make the SB universally accessible as an audio device. (Although SB display info would be limited.) Questions arise about control over the SB though.. (Must also be optional, since we don't want our direct-coupled SBs suddenly blowing our speakers with Windows "boings".)

Whatever you do, don't save pennies on the sound quality, or I (and I'm sure most here) might as well get a Roku or whatever.. (In fact, I'd still use my CD player.) Sean knows best! ;-D

Can we have a Transporter Light without the knob and without balanced connectors for around $1000, please? (And _optional_ handles...)

Rgds

slimdemage
2007-01-25, 15:00
Jim,

I've been following the product line since I returned my Squeezebox last year when it did not perform as advertised.

A year later I am testing the latest Slimserver with Softsqueeze, just to see if the situation has improved. My friend, you have a major mess on your hands. I am not trolling and I would be glad to discuss the matter further, in vast technical detail. Sean and Dean need a permanent vacation. It is clear your company is understaffed and continues to push out products that are buggy. I've never seen a community with so many problems in my life. Briefly, if I had to summarize it all it would read:

- multiply software development efforts by 4X, because slimserver is a complete mess
- perfect and own softsqueeze-type player software

One day may your team get this right.

bklaas
2007-01-25, 15:11
JimI am not trolling and I would be glad to discuss the matter further, in vast technical detail.

oh no, that wasn't a troll at all. not one bit.

good god has this thread turned to bile.

Nostromo
2007-01-25, 15:19
Hi there.

My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.

Wait! That's my match.com ad copy.

Actually, I'm the new Director of Product Marketing here at Slim -- now known as the SMS Business Unit at Logitech. Prior to accepting this role, I was the iPod/MP3 and wireless music business manager for Logitech in the America's region. And before that, I've had stints as one of the founders of Virgin Electronics, as a jack-of-lots-of-trades at Creative Labs, and further back than that just doesn't really matter.

My first order of business here is to offload some of the work of integrating Slim with Logitech, so Sean and Dean can get back to sleeping once in a while. Overall, I'll be responsible for the customer-facing aspects of this business, and for helping shape how we tell the rest of the world about how great the products are...

To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can best implement that, as well.

If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want me to finish that match.com ad, let me know.

Welcome Jim!

I think the SlimServer moto sums up what's great about the Squeezebox: free your music! It frees your music from the CD. And, to me, its not simply a more convenient way to listen to music. Thanks to the Squeezebox, I can now listen to music anyway I choose. I can listen to whole albums, the old fashioned way. Or I can listen to my favorite Nick Cave songs, or my favorite Beatles songs. I can listen to chillout songs, to some classical piano or whatever... And if I'm tired of my own music collection, I can listen to internet radio or Pandora.

I love the Squeezebox itself. I love the screen and the analog VU is très cool. I don't mind the remote either. If you introduce a SONOS-like remote, it should be optional. I don't want to 1K$ for my Squeezebox 4.

I have some issues with SlimServer, though:

- No offense to the fine folk who try to improve the Web UI, but the Web UI is OK if you want to change settings, but if you want to use SlimServer to play music, create playlists, its not good. I don't think it will ever be as good as a GUI. That's why I wish SlimServer came with both a Web UI and a GUI, say a polished and fully functional version of Moose.

- Support for playlists and smartplaylists could be vastly improved. I know, Erland created great plugins to adress those issues. But he's the first to admit that they're workarounds.

- It would be nice if plugins would as easy to install as Firefox plugins. Dito with upgrading.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 16:28
You do know that there are long-ass-virtual-cable products like the Airport Express or others from DLink and ... Logitech?

If that is what you want, you can get one of those much cheaper than an SB.

sure. the rca lyra can be had for $20 and uses any software you want with it, AND it has a rca universal remote that lets you control musicmatch and virtually any other hardware.

BUT it is a tad inferior sonically, thus why i own a SB.


No one forced you to buy a Squeezebox.

You can use whatever software you want. That it doesn't work is the problem of the software. "OMG, I cant use WORD to play music!"

ridiculous. this ignores the whole point i made that SD only charges you for the hardware, NOT the software.

their hardware should work with different kinds of software, not only a free, costly [to them], buggy product [ss] many people don't like. it doesn't benefit them in hardware sales, (ie. their revenue stream) to be so restricted.

and btw, their product COULD do both. its not necessarily either / or.


Hint: you -can- use Winamp to play music.

sure, but not easily on a SB, without running shoutcast, rewiring and so on... (unless i'm mistaken).


Most people, though, bought a squeezebox so that they could control it remotely and not sit at a computer. That remote control is what seperates the Squeezebox from something like Airport Express or the Dlink and Logitech products.

i disagree, many of those products have a remote, and i'd say logitechs is probably superior.

for me, the hardware quality sonically, and its ability to be tcp/ip'd and sync'd with other SBs, is what sets it apart.


No, what people are saying is that the software is Free, as in Libris, as in Liberty, not as in Free Beer: if you don't like the way the software works, then you can change it! Don't like the way J. River works? Tough. Don't like the way Itunes works? Tough.

the problem is i can use winamp if i don't like itunes (which btw is true). i DON'T have that option here, as long as i want to continue using the fine SB hardware.


If you don't like the way Slimserver works: go download the code and change it.

not a realistic reaction for a successful business model.


No, I see that you have difficulties with words having more than one meaning.

no bile from me, not sure if this is from you. i can debate civilly, if everyone else can. in any case, if you'd like to explain that, i'll see if i can get it thru my thick head.

snarlydwarf
2007-01-25, 16:49
ridiculous. this ignores the whole point i made that SD only charges you for the hardware, NOT the software.

And Apple only charges you for an iPod but not for iTunes. So what?

The license to Slimserver is GPL. It is also Gratis. If Slim Devices charged you $200 for it, would that make you think it is better? Or would you only feel better if they didn't let you have source code?

Which version of "free" are you so pissed off about:

1) Free as in Liberty
2) Free as in Gratis

You are upset that the software is "free".. so which is it? How will charging for software or hiding the source code make things better? Personally, I would rather have software that costs less and gives me freedom... I don't know why you would object to either.... but whatever.



their hardware should work with different kinds of software, not only a free, costly [to them], buggy product [ss] many people don't like. it doesn't benefit them in hardware sales, (ie. their revenue stream) to be so restricted.

And iPods should work with different kinds of software, not only a free, costly [to them], buggy product many people don't like. it doesn't benefit them in hardware sales...

??

Do you see the illogic here yet?

It is not the job of Apple, Slimdevices, Microsoft or anyone else to make their hardware work with the software of other companies.... If you want to use J.River to control a squeezebox: TALK TO J.River. If you want to use iTunes, talk to apple. Slim does not have the code to those products and can't change them.

You, on the other hand, have the code to Slimserver: if you don't like it, change it.




the problem is i can use winamp if i don't like itunes (which btw is true). i DON'T have that option here, as long as i want to continue using the fine SB hardware.

You do, actually. Hint: Shoutcast plugin for Winamp. This makes Winamp play nice and talk to other hardware. Again, last I checked, the fine folks at AOL do not give out source code to Winamp... Why don't you ask them for source code?




not a realistic reaction for a successful business model.

I am sure Steve Jobs will be glad to hear that he should charge for software since expensive software is somehow better than gratis software, and that the iPod will never sell because it won't play nice with other people.....

Again: it is technically possible to make a virtual audio device on Windows serve out an HTTP stream, which is all that it would take to make the SB very annoying with mail beeps and bloops and all the other "system sounds" windows loves so much...

At least with XP.

With Vista? If Microsoft is keeping their word to content providers -- no, you will not be able to interecept the output of iTunes or WMP or anything else that plays DRM'd files.... doing so would be violating the DMCA.

Mark Lanctot
2007-01-25, 17:00
I've been following the product line since I returned my Squeezebox last year when it did not perform as advertised.

And you've been whining about it ever since.


Sean and Dean need a permanent vacation.

This has got to be the lowest comment I've ever seen in this forum. Congratulations, you just lowered the bar.

Guess who designed the Squeezebox and the Transporter in the first place? And guess who originated the market?

This is like walking into a McDonalds, loudly proclaiming the food sucks, repeating it over and over again to everyone in the place, demanding that they make their food not suck so much, yet refusing to leave because you want a Big Mac and wish it didn't suck so much.

USAudio
2007-01-25, 17:10
Hi Jim,
Product suggestion: I'd love to see a new mid-market player from Slim Devices, positioned between the SqueezeBox and Transporter as described here:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=31935

Thanks for your consideration.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 17:35
i apparently have to explain this in painstaking detail...


And Apple only charges you for an iPod but not for iTunes. So what?

ipod will work with other software, NOT ONLY itunes.

if it ONLY worked with itunes, it wouldn't be as popular as it is. thats "so what."


The license to Slimserver is GPL. It is also Gratis. If Slim Devices charged you $200 for it, would that make you think it is better? Or would you only feel better if they didn't let you have source code?

you are totally missing the point, you completely misunderstand me.


Which version of "free" are you so pissed off about:

1) Free as in Liberty
2) Free as in Gratis

You are upset that the software is "free".. so which is it? How will charging for software or hiding the source code make things better? Personally, I would rather have software that costs less and gives me freedom... I don't know why you would object to either.... but whatever.

try reading everything i wrote again.

i am NOT pissed about EITHER free, nothing you just wrote there above applies to me.

here's what i meant, and if you want to lay the blame at my feet for not being clear enough the first time, so be it:

SD makes NO MONEY or revenue out of developing SS. there is no revenue in it for them. i would also venture to guess that the costs ofdeveloping it far outweigh any partnerships they have with rhapsody and so on, if indeed those generate revenue at all.

they MAINLY make their money out of selling the hardware.

since that is the case, why FORCE us to use their free software? why not make the hardware able to be used by any audio app, like winamp or itunes or musicmatch or whatever?

if they still wanted to develop and use SS they could, but it should not be the only way.

what confuses me, is why they FORCE is to use this ONLY way, when they give it out for free and make no money from it, and incur headaches and costs from it.

is this now clear?


"And iPods should work with different kinds of software, not only a free, costly [to them], buggy product many people don't like. it doesn't benefit them in hardware sales..."

??

Do you see the illogic here yet?

It is not the job of Apple, Slimdevices, Microsoft or anyone else to make their hardware work with the software of other companies...."

it is in the interest of ANY company whose main revenue stream is SELLING HARDWARE to have their product more compatible, then less compatible.

SB is one of the only products out there that refuses to work with any other software.

yes, its open source, its free, its cross platform. but that doesn't mean much to me if i don't like using it b/c it sucks in various ways.

i think a lot more people, even non techie newbies, would get a lot out of a SB they could use as "just another sound card" on their computer, that allowed them to use ANY pgm they wished with it.


If you want to use J.River to control a squeezebox: TALK TO J.River. If you want to use iTunes, talk to apple. Slim does not have the code to those products and can't change them.

all i want is a device driver for the OS that powers the SB. i don't care if i can control it via remote or not. i hardly think my request is sacriledge.


You, on the other hand, have the code to Slimserver: if you don't like it, change it.

not realistic from a business model standpoint.

by that logic, SD shouldn't develop it at all, merely maintain what others do.


You do, actually. Hint: Shoutcast plugin for Winamp. This makes Winamp play nice and talk to other hardware. Again, last I checked, the fine folks at AOL do not give out source code to Winamp... Why don't you ask them for source code?

what are you talking about?

i already said that setting up shoutcast and analog cables in my soundcard to give me a workaround so i can "feed" my SB is not a solution i'm interested in, as it defeats the sonic purpose and is inelegant to say the least.


I am sure Steve Jobs will be glad to hear that he should charge for software since expensive software is somehow better than gratis software, and that the iPod will never sell because it won't play nice with other people.....

straw man, not my argument.


Again: it is technically possible to make a virtual audio device on Windows serve out an HTTP stream, which is all that it would take to make the SB very annoying with mail beeps and bloops and all the other "system sounds" windows loves so much...

At least with XP.

actually, windows allows you to run more than one "sound device." you can route "system sounds" and so on, to one device, and all your music and so on, to another device, (presumably the one where your stereo is).

i'm not sure what u mean by having the xp machine serve out the stream on a virtual audio device.

are you saying that if i want to run winamp, i should also run shoutcast, have it encode whatever winamp is doing, (via line in i suppose) and serve it out re-encoded?

that may work for winamp, but its not a good solution.


With Vista? If Microsoft is keeping their word to content providers -- no, you will not be able to interecept the output of iTunes or WMP or anything else that plays DRM'd files.... doing so would be violating the DMCA.

in my case, DRM has nothing to do with anything i'm doing. i make my own mp3s and listen to mp3 streams.

i don't think that this should preclude the development of a windows driver for SB, to replace SS as the only method of using a SB.

totoro
2007-01-25, 17:47
i apparently have to explain this in painstaking detail...



ipod will work with other software, NOT ONLY itunes.

if it ONLY worked with itunes, it wouldn't be as popular as it is. thats "so what."



you are totally missing the point, you completely misunderstand me.



try reading everything i wrote again.

i am NOT pissed about EITHER free, nothing you just wrote there above applies to me.

here's what i meant, and if you want to lay the blame at my feet for not being clear enough the first time, so be it:

SD makes NO MONEY or revenue out of developing SS. there is no revenue in it for them. i would also venture to guess that the costs ofdeveloping it far outweigh any partnerships they have with rhapsody and so on, if indeed those generate revenue at all.

they MAINLY make their money out of selling the hardware.

since that is the case, why FORCE us to use their free software? why not make the hardware able to be used by any audio app, like winamp or itunes or musicmatch or whatever?

if they still wanted to develop and use SS they could, but it should not be the only way.

what confuses me, is why they FORCE is to use this ONLY way, when they give it out for free and make no money from it, and incur headaches and costs from it.

is this now clear?



it is in the interest of ANY company whose main revenue stream is SELLING HARDWARE to have their product more compatible, then less compatible.

SB is one of the only products out there that refuses to work with any other software.

yes, its open source, its free, its cross platform. but that doesn't mean much to me if i don't like using it b/c it sucks in various ways.

i think a lot more people, even non techie newbies, would get a lot out of a SB they could use as "just another sound card" on their computer, that allowed them to use ANY pgm they wished with it.



all i want is a device driver for the OS that powers the SB. i don't care if i can control it via remote or not. i hardly think my request is sacriledge.



not realistic from a business model standpoint.

by that logic, SD shouldn't develop it at all, merely maintain what others do.



what are you talking about?

i already said that setting up shoutcast and analog cables in my soundcard to give me a workaround so i can "feed" my SB is not a solution i'm interested in, as it defeats the sonic purpose and is inelegant to say the least.



straw man, not my argument.



actually, windows allows you to run more than one "sound device." you can route "system sounds" and so on, to one device, and all your music and so on, to another device, (presumably the one where your stereo is).

i'm not sure what u mean by having the xp machine serve out the stream on a virtual audio device.

are you saying that if i want to run winamp, i should also run shoutcast, have it encode whatever winamp is doing, (via line in i suppose) and serve it out re-encoded?

that may work for winamp, but its not a good solution.



in my case, DRM has nothing to do with anything i'm doing. i make my own mp3s and listen to mp3 streams.

i don't think that this should preclude the development of a windows driver for SB, to replace SS as the only method of using a SB.

Regardless of whether you have a point or not, all of your posts have been hopelessly OT on this thread. Rather than hijack a thread, start a new one.

This thread was supposed to be for people introducing themselves, NOTHING ELSE.

Really, seriously, start another thread. This is NOT the place.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-25, 17:48
MrSinatra wrote:

> do you not see the financial insanity of that?

Hey, it's soooo insane, they just sold the company for $20 million.

Jeez, I wish I was that mad.

R.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-25, 17:48
MrSinatra wrote:

> do you not see the financial insanity of that?

Hey, it's soooo insane, they just sold the company for $20 million.

Jeez, I wish I was that mad.

R.

totoro
2007-01-25, 17:51
MrSinatra wrote:

> do you not see the financial insanity of that?

Hey, it's soooo insane, they just sold the company for $20 million.

Jeez, I wish I was that mad.

R.

Don't feed the troll. This was supposed to be a happy thread.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 17:53
totoro, who died and made you king? reread the first post:


Hi there.
To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the community about what you think is great about Slim Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key value-add for our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can best implement that, as well.

If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want me to finish that match.com ad, let me know.

as to the other post, yes, they got $20million. but the point is they could have gotten a lot more.

from a business model perspective, what i said is true, 20mill or not.

totoro
2007-01-25, 18:22
totoro, who died and made you king? reread the first post:



as to the other post, yes, they got $20million. but the point is they could have gotten a lot more.

from a business model perspective, what i said is true, 20mill or not.

I am embarrassed to admit, but I had confused this thread with another. My apologies. I screwed up.

At the same time, I do think that there needs to be a place where people who are unhappy with the architecture can post, which will not be hopelessly intertwined with other discussions, to the detriment of complainants and parties to other discussions. Please consider posting to the general complaints thread I posted in the general forum, or consider creating your own thread.

This should benefit everyone, I _think_ (of course, I could be proving what an idiot I am-- oh, well).

regards,
Michael

snarlydwarf
2007-01-25, 19:21
i apparently have to explain this in painstaking detail...

Well this is my last post. Feel free to rant and have the last word.



ipod will work with other software, NOT ONLY itunes.

Bull. The only reason it works at all with other software is because other vendors have reverse-engineered the structure of data on the disk. It is not simply using a USB_Storage driver.




if it ONLY worked with itunes, it wouldn't be as popular as it is. thats "so what."

Again, Bull. I would venture over 98% of iPod owners only use iTunes to load software and playlists on their iPod.



try reading everything i wrote again.

i am NOT pissed about EITHER free, nothing you just wrote there above applies to me.

Yes, you are: you keep blaming everything you dislike about Slimserver on the fact that it is (in caps, your style) "FREE". Then you won't explain what your problem with it is other than that you hate MySQL.... ok... whatever.



SD makes NO MONEY or revenue out of developing SS. there is no revenue in it for them. i would also venture to guess that the costs ofdeveloping it far outweigh any partnerships they have with rhapsody and so on, if indeed those generate revenue at all.

they MAINLY make their money out of selling the hardware.

Again, what differs there between Slim and ... um, Apple?

Your logic sucks.



since that is the case, why FORCE us to use their free software? why not make the hardware able to be used by any audio app, like winamp or itunes or musicmatch or whatever?

And here is where you are flat out wrong: No One Is Forcing You To Use Slimserver. NO ONE.

You could write: "It sucks that even though SlimProto is documented and pretty damned simple to implement that no one else has bothered to write anything using it". That would be true.

You could write "Wow, Slimserver has a command line interface -and- and method of using HTTP commands, so people can write things like Moose.. I wish more people would write neat things like that, that would be cool."

Nope, you blame Slim because no one has taken the publicly documented and simple-to-implememt protocols and done anything with them.

Do you not understand why you are blaming the wrong people? Slim does not have source code to every other music player on the planet: they have, however, documented their API, and even have source code available so that you can study the API. If you really really hate the API, then you can write a pluging that -replaces- the CLI and does it all via whatever command set you want.



if they still wanted to develop and use SS they could, but it should not be the only way.

It is NOT the only way.

If you want the Widgetmaster XYZ MusicJukebox to work with your squeezebox: Talk to the people at WidgetMaster. Explain to them that the protocols are open and documented. If they don't bite, then don't blame Slim... blame Widgetmaster.



what confuses me, is why they FORCE is to use this ONLY way, when they give it out for free and make no money from it, and incur headaches and costs from it.

No one is forcing you to do anything.




in my case, DRM has nothing to do with anything i'm doing. i make my own mp3s and listen to mp3 streams.

Then for christsakes..

Your music is in mp3 now.

You like Winamp.

Set up shoutcast.

And... tell Slimserver to "tune in" to http://localhost:something/listen.pls...

And guess what?

You are using winamp! You can queue stuff up in winamp, you can play with it all day. You never have to scan a thing into Slimserver but can use Winamp for all your needs!


i don't think that this should preclude the development of a windows driver for SB, to replace SS as the only method of using a SB.

The DRM chain in Vista does. All sound drivers must be signed. I am sure that is somehow Slim's fault, too in your world.

Analogy:

You buy a brand new Porsche, but because this is a hypothetical world, in this magical world Porsche gives out complete schematics to their car. No, wait, not just schematics: the CAD documents they used on their production floor. They figured "what the heck, if we go out of business we arent screwing our customers and they may be able to suggest tweaks to the cars for future revisions"

You then complain to them: "Why are you giving away schematics, you should make this car take a Chevy engine, because I like my old '327... and you have no right to force me to use your engine!"

The Porsche engineers look at you confused: they say, "If you want a different engine here are all the schematics and you can either change our engine around or figure out how to change the Chevy so it fits."

But then you rant at them that if they charged more for the manuals instead of giving them for free, they would have the money to make it work with a Chevy engine.

Get it yet?

Well, that is a rhetorical. I don't care if you don't get it. You would rather argue and I have better things to do.

Marc Sherman
2007-01-25, 19:23
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> what confuses me, is why they FORCE is to use this ONLY way, when they
> give it out for free and make no money from it, and incur headaches and
> costs from it.

Why do you keep saying they "FORCE" you to use slimserver? The slimproto
is documented. If you don't like slimserver, and you can't modify it
into something you do like, replace it with something else entirely.

- Marc

BigBirdy
2007-01-25, 20:56
As a user/owner of SB's since version 1 (I have three), and a user/tester of a few other streaming products like the Roku, along with a few PVR's including MythTV, I have had a fair amount of experience with streaming audio and video throughout my house and trying to integrate numerous systems and of course, access all media (video and audio) simply and quickly from any location. I am somewhat of an audiophile with systems in all rooms, multiple home theatres and flat screens all over the place and have high expectations for sound. My point is that I am passionate about getting my audio and video systems working seamlessly and utilizing the best that open-source and Linux have to offer in these areas. Although the SB meets most of my expectations, my biggest complaints with the SB are:

1: Slimserver is a dinosaur and should start looking to Jinzora for interface ideas.
2: A small/embedded web server and video output on the SB would allow for a big screen interface to the SB.
3: Transporter could have dual, mirrored, quiet SATA drives, and embedded Linux for a for standalone device.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nostromo
> [mailto:Nostromo.2kzlrb1169763601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com]
> Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 2:20 PM
> To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> Subject: [slim] Re: Introducing..... me!
>
>
> JimC;167482 Wrote:
> > Hi there.
> >
> > My name is Jim Carlton. I'm a Virgo. I like long walks on
> the beach,
> > candlelit dinners, and dancing under the stars.
> >
> > Wait! That's my match.com ad copy.
> >
> > Actually, I'm the new Director of Product Marketing here at Slim --
> > now known as the SMS Business Unit at Logitech. Prior to accepting
> > this role, I was the iPod/MP3 and wireless music business
> manager for
> > Logitech in the America's region. And before that, I've
> had stints as
> > one of the founders of Virgin Electronics, as a
> jack-of-lots-of-trades
> > at Creative Labs, and further back than that just doesn't really
> > matter.
> >
> > My first order of business here is to offload some of the work of
> > integrating Slim with Logitech, so Sean and Dean can get back to
> > sleeping once in a while. Overall, I'll be responsible for the
> > customer-facing aspects of this business, and for helping
> shape how we
> > tell the rest of the world about how great the products are...
> >
> > To that end, I would absolutely love to hear from the
> community about
> > what you think is great about Slim
> Devices/Squeezebox/Transporter and
> > about what we can do to make them better. I plan to bring in
> > additional resources to help expand the community here, as well as
> > promote our third-party developers and plug-ins as a key
> value-add for
> > our products. It would be great to hear what YOU see as how we can
> > best implement that, as well
> >
> > If you have any questions, feedback, gripes, or just want
> me to finish
> > that match.com ad, let me know.
>
> Welcome Jim!
>
> I think the SlimServer moto sums up what's great about the Squeezebox:
> free your music! It frees your music from the CD. And, to me,
> its not simply a more convenient way to listen to music.
> Thanks to the Squeezebox, I can now listen to music anyway I
> choose. I can listen to whole albums, the old fashioned way.
> Or I can listen to my favorite Nick Cave songs, or my
> favorite Beatles songs. I can listen to chillout songs, to
> some classical piano or whatever... And if I'm tired of my
> own music collection, I can listen to internet radio or Pandora.
>
>
> --
> Nostromo
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> Nostromo's Profile:
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6322
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=31324
>
>

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 21:41
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> what confuses me, is why they FORCE is to use this ONLY way, when they
> give it out for free and make no money from it, and incur headaches and
> costs from it.

Why do you keep saying they "FORCE" you to use slimserver? The slimproto
is documented. If you don't like slimserver, and you can't modify it
into something you do like, replace it with something else entirely.

- Marc

i say "force" b/c SD offers no alternative to SS if you don't like SS, (but do like SB).

again, i am not saying SS shouldn't exist... but given all its well documented flaws, problems, bugginess, bloatware characteristics, wouldn't it be nice for people who want to use other software to be able to do so?

wouldn't the company that wants to sell the hardware to make their money want those people to be able to do so?

would that not increase their potential market?

turning around and telling me that if i want it, i have to become a programmer is illogical and frankly immature. i'm not going to do that.

telling me i should just get something else entirely ought to send a red flag to logitech.

but i'll bet you logitech eventually gets the memo, and SS will eventually not be the ONLY way, [ie forced way] to power a SB.

why does my desire to have a device driver alternative drive some of you so crazy? it makes no sense.

Robin Bowes
2007-01-26, 06:33
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> from a business model perspective, what i said is true, 20mill or not.

Sorry, I forgot. Everything you say is true. No-one else has a clue.

Must remember that in future.

R.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 13:06
gimmie a break.

look, its as simple as this:

IF you accept the notion, that a product, any product, will make more money if its potential market is bigger, rather than smaller, than what i said is true.

its not rocket science, and its not a matter of me pushing a subjective opinion. it is a fact of the free market.

thats all i'm saying.

oreillymj
2007-01-26, 13:18
Slimserver is not bug free. Name one piece of software that is.
Windows is riddled with them, but I'm sure you've e-mail Bill Gates to tell him how he can fix that product and increase market share.

For me Slimserver runs 24/7 and has done for months with 0 problems, but maybe that's just me. Maybe I have lower expectations than you. I use my system to listen to MP3's.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 14:05
well i can't even click on T or U or V without it crashing.

i can't listen to my fave webstream most of the time either.

and i am not alone in complaining about the bugs.

u can get all offended although it makes no sense to, but i am saying with valid reason to do so, that this product is not ready for prime time.

aubuti
2007-01-26, 14:32
gimmie a break.

look, its as simple as this:

IF you accept the notion, that a product, any product, will make more money if its potential market is bigger, rather than smaller, than what i said is true.

its not rocket science, and its not a matter of me pushing a subjective opinion. it is a fact of the free market.

thats all i'm saying.

Well, that notion of yours does conveniently assume away any costs for development of, and support for, the additional software and device drivers.

It also conveniently overlooks another basic "fact of the free market": people vote with their wallets. They buy those things that best meet their wants and needs, within their given budgets. Frankly, I don't give a rat's derriere whether a product does what you want it to do. I buy it to do what I want it to do, and assume you will buy what meets your needs. Adam Smith's invisible hand and all that.... And producers won't necessarily try to please both of us (product differentiation), which is well demonstrated by the current offerings from SD, Apple, Olive, etc.

If you're so convinced that there's demand for an alternative way to feed music to the SB, then go for it. The slim protocol is documented, so SD doesn't have to be the provider any more than Dell needs to include a Linux CD in every box. It doesn't matter if you can't program it yourself -- you have such a slam dunk business concept that you can hire the code-flunkies and split the proceeds.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 14:57
Well, that notion of yours does conveniently assume away any costs for development of, and support for, the additional software and device drivers.

actually, quite the opposite. all along i have said SS is a gigantic cost providing little return. its an aspect of their business model i don't get. it may be viable, but its not efficient.

in any case, i agree that there would be minor costs in developing a device driver, perhaps 3-4 weeks investment, and probably a one time deal at that per OS, (where there would surely be overlap btw).

however, this relatively minor cost, would surely pay off, as many more people could actually then use one of these things, with pgms they already know how to use and like.

i have never recommended a SB to anyone, b/c most people i know aren't tech enough to deal with it, and of those who are, they would think i'd gone nuts in this esoteric byzatineness of the device.

HOWEVER, if it had this layer between OS and device, i could even get my parents to use it.

sorry, it just seems obvious to me. don't know why that offends you.


It also conveniently overlooks another basic "fact of the free market": people vote with their wallets.

i fail to see how i overlooked that.

in fact, many other products are far more successful. why? costs perhaps, but also ease of use perhaps.


They buy those things that best meet their wants and needs, within their given budgets. Frankly, I don't give a rat's derriere whether a product does what you want it to do. I buy it to do what I want it to do, and assume you will buy what meets your needs. Adam Smith's invisible hand and all that....

and i am arguing against that? huh?


And producers won't necessarily try to please both of us (product differentiation), which is well demonstrated by the current offerings from SD, Apple, Olive, etc.

so, your position is that if i take the SD solution today, [SB/SS] and add another feature to it, [OS device driver], i will NOT gain anymore sales inspite of the rather large increase in potential market such a move is sure to provide?

comeon now, you can't seriously be arguing that increasing potential market size is NOT in SDs best interests, can you? or that having a device driver would do just that, can you?


If you're so convinced that there's demand for an alternative way to feed music to the SB, then go for it. The slim protocol is documented, so SD doesn't have to be the provider any more than Dell needs to include a Linux CD in every box. It doesn't matter if you can't program it yourself -- you have such a slam dunk business concept that you can hire the code-flunkies and split the proceeds.

well, i have no financial incentive to, Slim does imo.

that can anger you for reasons that baffle me, but it doesn't change the dynamics of the situation.

like i've said, i bet logitech gets the memo, and we'll see something along these lines. i just hope its for the product i already own, not a new one.

and of course, just to be clear, i'm not saying either/or, i'm saying why not both? if you can explain how expanding the potential market is not in slims interest, i would be curious to hear it.

aubuti
2007-01-26, 15:16
well, i have no financial incentive to, Slim does imo.
But you do. The people are clamoring for it, you'll sell millions when SD's market share shoots up. Maybe you can even sell it to SD/Logitech. Quit your day job. It's a slam dunk.

and btw, I'm neither offended nor angry. Just a little amused, especially at the contention that market share is the only measure of success.

totoro
2007-01-26, 15:18
in any case, i agree that there would be minor costs in developing a device driver, perhaps 3-4 weeks investment, and probably a one time deal at that per OS, (where there would surely be overlap btw).

Not to quibble, but how can you so blithely make the 3-4 week claim?

We're talking about a whole fresh code base, from scratch, as far as I can see. I would think that there would be more than 3-4 weeks just in QA time for such a thing. Never mind little things like time to design it, etc.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 15:22
But you do. The people are clamoring for it, you'll sell millions when SD's market share shoots up. Maybe you can even sell it to SD/Logitech. Quit your day job. It's a slam dunk.

first of all, i'm sure the GPL would prevent me from selling it even if i developed it.

secondly, it would be very difficult to sell as a 3rd party item.

its like selling 3rd party chips for a car or xbox... if the car maker, or xbox itself offerred it, they would be far more successful.

the idea is to push the main product anyway, not a 3rd party item.


and btw, I'm neither offended nor angry. Just a little amused, especially at the contention that market share is the only measure of success.

straw man, i never said that. there are many measures of success, and i would not argue that SD hasn't been a success.

what i am saying, and i stand by this 100%, is that making your potential market larger is in the best interests of a business selling a product, at least certainly so in this case.

and i don't hear a plausible argument to the contrary.

aubuti
2007-01-26, 15:36
what i am saying, and i stand by this 100%, is that making your potential market larger is in the best interests of a business selling a product, at least certainly so in this case.
Well it's a little more complicated when you have several products with overlapping markets. There's less to gain when one product is canibalizing your own sales. You've said Logitech "will get the memo," but fact is, they already sell the product you describe (more or less). It's just not an SB. Maybe there will be convergence, maybe there will be continued differentiation. I would bet on the latter, but I wouldn't presume to tell SD or Logitech which is better for them.

Victor
2007-01-26, 15:44
first of all, i'm sure the GPL would prevent me from selling it even if i developed it.


Of all of the inane things you've said in this thread (and there's been quite a few), this is by far the dumbest one.

You might want to hurry up and get on the phone to RedHat, Oracle, IBM, Nokia, and thousands of other companies to tell them that the GPL is preventing them from selling the software they have in the marketplace.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 16:07
well vic, my guess is that if i developed the software, i'd have to give them the source code, which they then could use and develop freely and distribute, so who would pay for what i did?

you're right tho, i'm not a developer and i only have tertiary knowledge. way to be classy pointing that out.

totoro
2007-01-26, 16:25
well vic, my guess is that if i developed the software, i'd have to give them the source code, which they then could use and develop freely and distribute, so who would pay for what i did?

you're right tho, i'm not a developer and i only have tertiary knowledge. way to be classy pointing that out.

Open source companies exist, nevertheless. They usually get paid for consulting/service and sometimes custom (pay) versions of their products.

From the 4-6 weeks comment, I would say you have a level of knowledge that is asymptotically approaching zero. Yet you persist in making claims about what it would take to do things. Do expect people not to call you on that?

I'm not saying that I think slimserver is the best piece of software I've ever seen (I mean, there are really amazing things like photoshop out there). But mindless ranting and spouting of pretend-knowledge certainly won't help.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 16:33
Open source companies exist, nevertheless. They usually get paid for consulting/service and sometimes custom (pay) versions of their products.

yeah, for OPERATING SYSTEMS, not pass thru device drivers.

besides, i would want them to be further developed by volunteers, once established.


From the 4-6 weeks comment, I would say you have a level of knowledge that is asymptotically approaching zero. Yet you persist in making claims about what it would take to do things. Do expect people not to call you on that?

i expect people not to get rude just b/c they disagree with me.

and i will readily admit that i'm not a developer, but i am not a novice either. and you guys can't have it both ways... you can't say its some monumental task, and then turn around and say "the streaming protocol is out there, you do it" even while u bash me for being ignorant.


I'm not saying that I think slimserver is the best piece of software I've ever seen (I mean, there are really amazing things like photoshop out there). But mindless ranting and spouting of pretend-knowledge certainly won't help.

mindless ranting? you guys really do take the cake. how dare i! how dare i suggest something! just who do i think i am?!

totoro
2007-01-26, 16:42
I didn't get rude with you because I disagreed with you. I got rude with you because you made a plainly idiotic statement (about development time) which you were clearly unqualified to make, while being snotty yourself.

And yes, amazingly, programmers get shirty when business-types go around spouting froth about how easy or hard a development task is, and what the schedule should be. What about that surprises you?

P Floding
2007-01-26, 16:48
I didn't get rude with you because I disagreed with you. I got rude with you because you made a plainly idiotic statement (about development time) which you were clearly unqualified to make, while being snotty yourself.

And yes, amazingly, programmers get shirty when business-types go around spouting froth about how easy or hard a development task is, and what the schedule should be. What about that surprises you?

That martini-guy is an obvious mega-troll. I wouldn't waste any time on him.

Rgds

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 21:01
anyone care to bet if the next product that the slim/logitech team does has a device driver app?

just friendly wagers, any takers?

and totoro, exactly when did i get snotty? how did i start anything rude?

aren't u the same guy who apologized to me earlier in this thread for talking crap? the chutzpah.

erland
2007-01-26, 21:52
first of all, i'm sure the GPL would prevent me from selling it even if i developed it.

I'm not a GPL expert but I think it probably would be possible to do this as a separate thing from slimserver, the result would be that you wouldn't have to license it as GPL.

From my perspective there is a number of ways to do it:
1. A device driver connecting to slimserver, using the already existing CLI interface to add and play the currently played track on your PC.
2. A device driver implementing SlimProto and connecting directly towards the SqueezeBox.

In both situations you don't have to mix your code with any GPL licensed code, so you shouldn't have a problem with the GPL license.

Note! I'm not sure my understanding of GPL is completely correct, so you might want to check with someone that knows it better before you start.

Regarding a device driver you should note that there are a number of problems you need to solve.
1. You probably want some of your PC sound to go through the PC speakers and some other sounds to go through the SqueezeBox. So the software you are using on the PC probably would have to support some way of selecting output device.

2. The SqueezeBox is a networked device, networks sometimes sends data fast and sometimes not. SqueezeBox solves this by buffering all sound before its played. This works since slimserver knows the next thing that is going to be played so it can send it in advance to the SqueezeBox, that wouldn't be the case with a device driver. The result you probably be bad sound quality. I guess the SqueezeBox could buffer the data by it self, but you probably don't want a delay of 15 seconds from the time you press play until the music starts. Another issue with the buffering is that you probably expect the sound to be in sync with the visualization stuff in the player of your choice, due to the network and buffering this will probably be hard to accomplish.

If you are not a developer yourself, I'm sure there are many developers that would be interested in helping you if you just payed them for their work. As an example you might want to look at http://www.rentacoder.com or similar sites.



secondly, it would be very difficult to sell as a 3rd party item.

its like selling 3rd party chips for a car or xbox... if the car maker, or xbox itself offerred it, they would be far more successful.All those companies selling iPod accessories sure have a hard time selling their stuff, don't they ?

If a device driver solution were available, I'm sure it would be possible to get an agreement with SlimDevices/Logitech to announce it somewhere here.


anyone care to bet if the next product that the slim/logitech team does has a device driver app?

I'm not into betting, but I think there is a lot of other things that are more important than a device driver. I would be dissapointed if SlimDevices/LogiTech choosed to write a device driver as the next thing instead of focusing on improving the current SlimServer/SqueezeBox architecture.

If a device driver could be written by a 3rd party developer on the other hand that would be good, then you would get what you want and I would still get the benefit of improvements in the current architecture by SlimDevices/Logitech. As I see it this is one of the strenghts with the open source solution with available protocol specifications. SlimDevices/Logitech can focus on the core and 3rd party developers can focus and the add-ons and bells and whistles.

What I'm a bit tired of is people that just complain on the current solution and aren't willing to help improving it themself or paying for someone else to do it. I still appreciate that people are announcing what things they like to be improved, because thats a matter of getting feedback, but when they just repeat the same thing over and over again it is starting to get a bit annoying. You should be aware of that although many parts of SlimServer has been written by SlimDevices there are also a lot of contributors who have spent their free time without any salary contributing to it in one way or another. Some contribute by writing code, others contribute by helping to find bugs or beta testing the stuff.

Listener
2007-01-27, 00:52
Erland,

I appreciate your efforts in developing plugins for SS.

> 1. A device driver connecting to slimserver, using the already
> existing CLI interface to add and play the currently played
> track on your PC.

I don't understand this at all. A device driver gets a stream of audio data. It does not get a file name to associate with that stream.

> 2. A device driver implementing SlimProto and connecting
> directly towards the SqueezeBox.

Yes. Another alternative is to send the stream of audio data to SlimServer. A Slimmer Server would be more attractive for this purpose.

> 1. You probably want some of your PC sound to go through the
> PC speakers and some other sounds to go through the SqueezeBox.
> So the software you are using on the PC probably would have to
> support some way of selecting output device.

The [Squeezebox] device driver would tell Windows that there is one output device for each SB or Transporter. Windows has a mechanism for selecting the default output device. An application can choose the output device it wants from a list of available output devices or just use the default one. Windows will continue to send system sounds to the default output device.

> 2. The SqueezeBox is a networked device, networks sometimes
> sends data fast and sometimes not. ...

I don't think that the situation is qualitatively different when you are routing audio output from another player to the Squeezebox. There would probably be a quantitative ddifference in total buffering.

The most obvious effect of increased buffering is that Fast forward/rewind commands seem to be slow and out of sync. That happens now. Windows XP is a poor environment for a real time task; it is quite common to fix glitches by increasing the size of buffers in the driver and the player application. The problem of slow response to FF/Rewind commands is already present and we live with it.

> Another issue with the buffering is that you probably expect
> the sound to be in sync with the visualization stuff in the
> player of your choice, due to the network and buffering this
> will probably be hard to accomplish.

Sorry, I just can't get excited about out of sync visualizations. A good laugh maybe.

Staying in sync with video when you are using a Squeezebox for audio output is a much more serious problem. If you make the Squeezebox a regular audio device, customers will expect it to do everything any other audio output device does. That includes playing audio that accompanies video.

Bill

MrSinatra
2007-01-27, 01:11
this is a great post, i appreciate the consideration given without ire, i'll try to truncate my responses:


I'm not a GPL expert but I think it probably would be possible to do this as a separate thing from slimserver, the result would be that you wouldn't have to license it as GPL.

as was pointed out, i don't know, i'm not a pro in these matters.

but i would imagine that if i used any of their info in any way, they'd have the right to use my work. very reasonable imo. it just means that i probably couldn't make money off it, as someone else suggested i should try to, not that that was ever my intent.


From my perspective there is a number of ways to do it:
1. A device driver connecting to slimserver, using the already existing CLI interface to add and play the currently played track on your PC.
2. A device driver implementing SlimProto and connecting directly towards the SqueezeBox.

In both situations you don't have to mix your code with any GPL licensed code, so you shouldn't have a problem with the GPL license.

Note! I'm not sure my understanding of GPL is completely correct, so you might want to check with someone that knows it better before you start.

no danger in me starting. and i have no problem in saying this isn't my field. of course, neither is politics, but i have opinions there too. ;)


Regarding a device driver you should note that there are a number of problems you need to solve.
1. You probably want some of your PC sound to go through the PC speakers and some other sounds to go through the SqueezeBox. So the software you are using on the PC probably would have to support some way of selecting output device.

since xp supports multiple sound cards, a lot of apps allow you to pick the specific audio device, or the "direct sound" api, or what have you.

so if the option is there, from an app perspective, its no problem. and this allows the user to send music only to one set of speakers, system sounds to another.


2. The SqueezeBox is a networked device, networks sometimes sends data fast and sometimes not. SqueezeBox solves this by buffering all sound before its played. This works since slimserver knows the next thing that is going to be played so it can send it in advance to the SqueezeBox, that wouldn't be the case with a device driver. The result you probably be bad sound quality. I guess the SqueezeBox could buffer the data by it self, but you probably don't want a delay of 15 seconds from the time you press play until the music starts. Another issue with the buffering is that you probably expect the sound to be in sync with the visualization stuff in the player of your choice, due to the network and buffering this will probably be hard to accomplish.

ok, admittedly i'm def out of my depth here... i am not sure first if anyone offers a tcp/ip audio device via device driver, but someone may. if so, it would show it could be done.

i know in radio, there are very similar types of routing devices.

but in any case, couldn't the driver work like a delay in terms of buffering?

you hit play, and it starts to play right away, hopefully getting all the bits it needs for the first few seconds or so, while at the same time, you build up (buffer) the next seconds.

this would be fairly easy for local files, but i can see where for net streams, a wait to play mode might have to take effect. of course, that not too far different from the current way it works now, (in terms of user interaction)

that all of course assumes that the driver could request for the information to be pulled from the app faster than real time i guess... but the SB buffer could handle a lot in advance if it could, thus mitigating network problems.


If you are not a developer yourself, I'm sure there are many developers that would be interested in helping you if you just payed them for their work. As an example you might want to look at http://www.rentacoder.com or similar sites.

i appreciate the suggestion, and actually i may use them for other stuff, but this is something i already paid for, and i don't think i should have to pay more for something that will benefit a lot of people, not just me.


All those companies selling iPod accessories sure have a hard time selling their stuff, don't they ?

not really. i know thats your point, but its really not a valid comparison.


If a device driver solution were available, I'm sure it would be possible to get an agreement with SlimDevices/Logitech to announce it somewhere here.

definitely.


I'm not into betting, but I think there is a lot of other things that are more important than a device driver. I would be dissapointed if SlimDevices/LogiTech choosed to write a device driver as the next thing instead of focusing on improving the current SlimServer/SqueezeBox architecture.

again, why not both? i'm not saying either / or.


If a device driver could be written by a 3rd party developer on the other hand that would be good, then you would get what you want and I would still get the benefit of improvements in the current architecture by SlimDevices/Logitech. As I see it this is one of the strenghts with the open source solution with available protocol specifications. SlimDevices/Logitech can focus on the core and 3rd party developers can focus and the add-ons and bells and whistles.

What I'm a bit tired of is people that just complain on the current solution and aren't willing to help improving it themself or paying for someone else to do it. I still appreciate that people are announcing what things they like to be improved, because thats a matter of getting feedback, but when they just repeat the same thing over and over again it is starting to get a bit annoying. You should be aware of that although many parts of SlimServer has been written by SlimDevices there are also a lot of contributors who have spent their free time without any salary contributing to it in one way or another. Some contribute by writing code, others contribute by helping to find bugs or beta testing the stuff.

well, this thread was for making suggestions and gripes, etc... its just when i made mine, i got attacked for it. i still don't understand that, but hey, everyone has their pet tech loves i guess.

getting back to your suggestion...

assuming a user had a stable local network capable of using SS/SB as it exists now, how valid is it that using the SB via a audio device driver and TCP/IP would be anymore problematic than current networking issues?

i'm asking b/c i don't know... it just seems to me the same BW gets used, only the how is different. how impactful is this change to the network and the quality of the given audio?

MrSinatra
2007-01-27, 01:20
another great post, i didn't see it b4 my last one...


Sorry, I just can't get excited about out of sync visualizations. A good laugh maybe.

Staying in sync with video when you are using a Squeezebox for audio output is a much more serious problem. If you make the Squeezebox a regular audio device, customers will expect it to do everything any other audio output device does. That includes playing audio that accompanies video.

Bill

i agree on the visualizations, not my concern. i don't necessarily agree users would demand video sync "just because" esp if a disclaimer was present at download.

however, if the audio had the necessary bw locally, how "behind" would it be to any video? would it always be noticeable? or only depending? or would it always grow slowly out of sync over time?

erland
2007-01-27, 02:01
i agree on the visualizations, not my concern. i don't necessarily agree users would demand video sync "just because" esp if a disclaimer was present at download.

however, if the audio had the necessary bw locally, how "behind" would it be to any video? would it always be noticeable? or only depending? or would it always grow slowly out of sync over time?I can't say for sure since I don't know exactly how device drivers work. But I suspect the software is pushing data to the device driver at the exact time the software wants the data to be played. At the same time the software would push video to the graphic card to show on the monitor. If the device driver works this way (which I am not completely sure of) then it would mean that the:
- The sound is going through the network (which might be wireless) and into the SqueezeBox and out to the reciever and finally out in the speakers.
- The video is going internally in the computer into the graphic card and out to the display.

Obviously there is no way the sound and video would be able to move at the same speed to their final destination. The result would be sync issues between audio and video. One way around this is if the video also went through the SqueezeBox, which isn't possible today, then the SqueezeBox could make sure the video and sound was synchronized. Another way is if the software player had options for delaying the video a little, then the video and audio could arrive at the same time. At least as long as the network speed was exactly the same at all times, which it isn't in most networks especially not in wireless networks.

As a side point, if any buffering should happen in this senario if device drivers works as I think it must happen all the time. This mean that when you hit play it will take a while until the music starts. The reason that this works with slimserver is because slimserver sends the sound in advance to SqueezeBox, SqueezeBox starts playing directly with no buffer but then the slimserver sends the data faster than SqueezeBox needs it to fill up the buffer. I suspect this would probably not be possible in a device driver solution, the software probably sends the sound information exactly when it should be played.

Please note that if device drivers doesn't work as I think most of the information above is incorrect.

The reason I would like the device driver to happen as a 3rd party thing is that SlimDevices/Logitech probably has limted resources and have to choose what they want the developers to do. A device driver is something that most current SqueezeBox owners probably aren't interested in, so it makes much more sense if SlimDevices/Logitech focused on features that most people wanted and left the unusual stuff to 3rd party developers. A device driver is also something that is completely different to implement compared to the existing slimserver code. So I would guess that some additional education/training of the developers would be required. It this instead happened through a 3rd party developer which already have worked with device driver I suspect that the result could be achieved much faster.

Anyway, I haven't read all your posts lately, so I am not sure if you have answered these questions already:
1. Is the reason for a device driver just that you want to start playing music from a specific software you already know instead of using the slimserver/SqueezeBox interfaces ? In that case, do you have a specific software in mind or does it have to work with everything ?

2. Is it for both locally stored music and internet radio and other music not stored on the local computer ?

3. Is it just for playing music or are you also thinking about using this as a way of view videos or redirecting sounds in games to SqueezeBox ?

I'm asking these questions just to get an idea why you want a device driver. A device driver is probably one solution but there might also be other solutions available that also solves your problem.

Regarding GPL, it is definitely no problem making non GPL software that uses open specifications/APIs of GPL software. In that case it would be impossible to sell any commercial software on the Linux platform and such software do exist.

MrSinatra
2007-01-27, 02:26
don't miss my reply to you as well, its the post b4 the one of mine you just quoted.

real quick: i think SD would gain adoptions with a device driver. i don't think it would tax their resources too much, and be well worth it in the long run. i only ask that it pass the audio on. features could be done via 3rd party, but establishing it first is what i want SD to do.

to answer a question rudely put forth earlier, i GUESSED 3-4 weeks b/c obviously the slim team has a lot of gifted programmers and know alot about coding audio. they also have some exp with coding audio for different platforms. i'd bet with logitech now heading the project, they could put 2 and 2 together and what i'm asking for out there pretty quick. its a complement to them, imo.

also, i know less than u about device drivers i'm sure, but i gather from what the other poster said that the driver itself could buffer at least some of it, esp local files. i'm not sure how well it could do that in "real time" things like net streams though.

if there had to be a slight delay, as opposed to other [traditional] sound card methods, i could live with that. like i said, its not much different than the SB today as is.


Anyway, I haven't read all your posts lately, so I am not sure if you have answered these questions already:

understandable.


1. Is the reason for a device driver just that you want to start playing music from a specific software you already know instead of using the slimserver/SqueezeBox interfaces ?

partially, yes, certainly. i love winamp.

but also b/c i simply don't like SS, for a whole host of reasons, from bugs to difficulty of use to resource hogging, etc...


In that case, do you have a specific software in mind or does it have to work with everything ?

for me, winamp, but i would expect it would work with any app capable of streaming bits to a sound device.


2. Is it for both locally stored music and internet radio and other music not stored on the local computer ?

yes, i listen to mp3 streams, as well as local mp3s.


3. Is it just for playing music or are you also thinking about using this as a way of view videos or redirecting sounds in games to SqueezeBox ?

definitely secondary to my concerns.

it would be neat to play DVD audio on it, but i don't know if SB can do 5.1 or anything beyond normal stereo, can it?

still, if the network was latent free, and the buffer started audio immediately, and then built itself up, is it not possible it would sync to the video?


I'm asking these questions just to get an idea why you want a device driver. A device driver is probably one solution but there might also be other solutions available that also solves your problem.

my main reason is b/c i truly don't like SS or the remote as a way to use the SB, due to bugs and inelegance of usage.


Regarding GPL, it is definitely no problem making non GPL software that uses open specifications/APIs of GPL software. In that case it would be impossible to sell any commercial software on the Linux platform and such software do exist.

i could be wrong, i really don't know... but if i were to use information i got from SD, wouldn't i then have to give it back to them, and they then could use it however they wanted to?

and even if not, how would i stop this close knit community from buying once and sharing 10000 times?

in any case, its moot b/c i won't do it, and i wouldn't want to make money off of it anyway... that was someone elses petulent remark.

erland
2007-01-27, 02:30
MrSinatra, I just search a bit on google and found SHOUTcast:
http://www.shoutcast.com

If I understand it correctly it is a server software you can install on your computer to publish internet radio. There is a WinAmp plugin to send things played through WinAmp to SHOUTcast.

SqueezeBox is able to listen to internet radio, so you can probably point the SqueezeBox to your local SHOUTcast server and to listen to the sound your PC is publishing.

I haven't tried this myself so I'm not sure how easy it is to setup and if it actually works with the SqueezeBox, but I think there is a chance it will.

MrSinatra
2007-01-27, 02:36
MrSinatra, I just search a bit on google and found SHOUTcast:
http://www.shoutcast.com

If I understand it correctly it is a server software you can install on your computer to publish internet radio. There is a WinAmp plugin to send things played through WinAmp to SHOUTcast.

SqueezeBox is able to listen to internet radio, so you can probably point the SqueezeBox to your local SHOUTcast server and to listen to the sound your PC is publishing.

I haven't tried this myself so I'm not sure how easy it is to setup and if it actually works with the SqueezeBox, but I think there is a chance it will.

yeah, i absolutely could do that... i use it to put my radio stations streams on the net.

but that whole method is a bit of a kludge, it requires that i run a lot of software in addition to what i already do, it also adds additional coding stages and so on, meaning it would re-encode in realtime everything i already compressed once, even if at the same bitrate... (i could be wrong on that point, but i think thats how the DSP works)

but yes, it would absolutely work and thx for your efforts in finding it.

peter
2007-01-27, 03:01
MrSinatra wrote:
> also, i know less than u about device drivers i'm sure, but i gather
> from what the other poster said that the driver itself could buffer at
> least some of it, esp local files. i'm not sure how well it could do
> that in "real time" things like net streams though.
>

Drivers can't buffer local files. They just get the raw audio data from
the application that's feeding them.

> if there had to be a slight delay, as opposed to other [traditional]
> sound card methods, i could live with that. like i said, its not much
> different than the SB today as is.
>

For some applications delays would be fatal.

> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> Anyway, I haven't read all your posts lately, so I am not sure if you
>> have answered these questions already:
>>
>
> understandable.
>
> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> 1. Is the reason for a device driver just that you want to start playing
>> music from a specific software you already know instead of using the
>> slimserver/SqueezeBox interfaces ?
>>
>
> partially, yes, certainly. i love winamp.
>
> but also b/c i simply don't like SS, for a whole host of reasons, from
> bugs to difficulty of use to resource hogging, etc...
>
> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> In that case, do you have a specific software in mind or does it have to
>> work with everything ?
>>
>
> for me, winamp, but i would expect it would work with any app capable
> of streaming bits to a sound device.
>
> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> 2. Is it for both locally stored music and internet radio and other
>> music not stored on the local computer ?
>>
>
> yes, i listen to mp3 streams, as well as local mp3s.
>
> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> 3. Is it just for playing music or are you also thinking about using
>> this as a way of view videos or redirecting sounds in games to
>> SqueezeBox ?
>>
>
> definitely secondary to my concerns.
>
> it would be neat to play DVD audio on it, but i don't know if SB can do
> 5.1 or anything beyond normal stereo, can it?
>

Yes it can if you use the digital out. (never tried it but I read others
have)
> still, if the network was latent free, and the buffer started audio
> immediately, and then built itself up, is it not possible it would sync
> to the video?
>

I don't think so. I think when playing video and audio through a normal
media player application, the audio is sent to the device driver in real
time. Therefore the mythical slim driver would be unable to send future
audio to the SB, which would be unable to buffer, unless the SB played
with a delay. Some delay is of course acceptable, but with video/audio
sync it quickly becomes annoying. Ethernet is an unreliable medium,
because collisions can occur at any moment. The busier the network, the
more likely the collisions. With wireless ethernet these problems are
even bigger because all stations share the same bandwidth and radio
interference may cause problems. If a collision or other transmission
error occurs packets must be resent and delays will happen. If you have
a small buffer any delay will lead to (very annoying) dropouts in the
sound. When playing with a minimal buffer any considerable network
activity (like copying a file from one workstation to another) will
probably interfere with your video playing. The customers will complain
loudly.

> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> I'm asking these questions just to get an idea why you want a device
>> driver. A device driver is probably one solution but there might also
>> be other solutions available that also solves your problem.
>>
>
> my main reason is b/c i truly don't like SS or the remote as a way to
> use the SB, due to bugs and inelegance of usage.
>

You're looking for a replacement. I'd like it as a nice extra since I
really like the SS architecture. I've explained elsewhere that those
people looking for a replacement wouldn't stop at just a device driver.
They'd want to use the remote and the display as well. Why pay for it if
you can't use it?

> erland;174726 Wrote:
>
>> Regarding GPL, it is definitely no problem making non GPL software that
>> uses open specifications/APIs of GPL software. In that case it would be
>> impossible to sell any commercial software on the Linux platform and
>> such software do exist.
>>
>
> i could be wrong, i really don't know... but if i were to use
> information i got from SD, wouldn't i then have to give it back to
> them, and they then could use it however they wanted to?
>

No, not if it were just information. If you use GPL code, then you have
to share your product's source code with the world.
> and even if not, how would i stop this close knit community from buying
> once and sharing 10000 times?
>

I don't think they would.

> in any case, its moot b/c i won't do it, and i wouldn't want to make
> moeny off of it anyway... that was someone elses petulent remark.
>

If you don't want to make money, then copying is no problem either, is it?

Regards,
Peter

Victor
2007-01-27, 07:42
but i would imagine that if i used any of their info in any way, they'd have the right to use my work. very reasonable imo. it just means that i probably couldn't make money off it, as someone else suggested i should try to, not that that was ever my intent.


Please...just *please* stop this nonsense. Stop speaking authoritatively (or even guessing) about things you know nothing about. If you want to know why people here consider you rude/abrasive, this is exactly why.

Statements like this are borderline FUD and you need to knock it off.

oreillymj
2007-01-27, 08:36
Totally agree with Victor.

Mr Sinatra has admitted he knows nothing about developement, device drivers or the GPL but still believes all his grand plans are possible. But what really made me laugh was this pearl of wisdom


yeah, for OPERATING SYSTEMS, not pass thru device drivers.

besides, i would want them to be further developed by volunteers, once established.

Now what exactly makes you think volunteers are going to touch the project your suggesting? I'm sure your constant bitching about features you don't like and/or bugs will be real motivating.

Now getting back to the original reason you started posting. Something in 6.5 broke your favourite radio stream. You've also found some other bugs. Well you have options. Go back to 6.31 being the most obvious.

What I can't stand is people who continually want/suggest new features for Slimserver, and upgrade, but then begin bitching when something breaks. These people typically couldn't be bothered to log a bug. No one forces you to upgrade. If 6.31 was working for you, stay with it. Also you knew Slimserver was part of the deal when you bought your SB. You even had 30 days to return it if you weren't happy.

Look at software from rival companies, and look at their support forums. You'll find in most cases, the likes of Philips and Sony give you 0 new features once you buy their product and leave plenty of bugs unfixed.

MrSinatra
2007-01-27, 09:36
both of you guys need to knock it off...

its not like i ever said i WAS a developer or i knew this stuff like the back of my hand. i am free to propose things, and i am HAPPY to be corrected, civilly. try it.

also, i did help get andy to fix a bug re:winamp/shoutcast, (new in todays nightly download) altho i haven't had a chance try it yet. but sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease. and i have bothered to file a bug.

and if SD put out a ver 1.0 of the mythical device driver, (great term), i'm sure the community here would work on them, and not b/c of anything to do with me.

you guys are funny in how much bile (as someone else likes to say) you can generate simply b/c someone else says something that they disagree with, (and again, i don't say the disagreement isn't valid, but the over-reaction absolutely is not). get a grip fellas, its just a music server.

and yeah, i'd still like to see a driver.

Marc Sherman
2007-01-27, 09:37
MrSinatra wrote:
> well vic, my guess is that if i developed the software, i'd have to give
> them the source code, which they then could use and develop freely and
> distribute, so who would pay for what i did?

You should really _read_ the GPL. The only people you have to distribute
source to are the people that you distribute (ie: sell) your binaries to.

- Marc

Victor
2007-01-27, 10:15
its not like i ever said i WAS a developer or i knew this stuff like the back of my hand. i am free to propose things, and i am HAPPY to be corrected, civilly. try it.


Then why do you feel the need to pontificate, discuss, and argue on topics you clearly know nothing about?

Screw it. I am done feeding this troll.*Plonk*

http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/P/plonk.html

CardinalFang
2007-01-27, 15:00
Then why do you feel the need to pontificate, discuss, and argue on topics you clearly know nothing about?

Well, to be completely honest, we all do that! It's only by doing so that we get corrected and learn from the experience.

The Slim fora can get very hostile to any poster who is off-message, i.e. if you don't think Slim is the best thing since sliced bread etc., whereas the reality is that it isn't perfect and the best way to make it better is to examine its shortcomings and listen to users, no matter how uncomfortable that may be and how much you'd like to ignore them (or smack them round the face)

It's the part of product development that is the most rewarding yet the most frustrating - the end customer. Why aren't they happy, I love the product, so why don't they? Are they dumb, can't they see the brilliance of the design? Why are they complaining just because they laid down X dollars for a device, what rights do they think they honestly have? eh?!!!

The truth is that the Slim system hasn't actually advanced that much over the years compared to other technology. It is still essentially a back end server with a thin client playing audio. True it's pretty damn fine audio, but the SLIMP did that years ago, why does the user interface still feel clunky compared to where the market is?

In the meantime we have had HD TV, SACD, DVD-Audio, High bitrate internet audio, Blue-Ray, iPhones, AppleTV, XBox-360 and all manner of devices raising the media bar, so people's expectations have risen too. The SB box has evolved to the Transporter, so we have a better DAC, but the experience hasn't entirely evolved with it. It still needs end users to assemble a bunch of software to rip and serve music, whilst companies like Sonos appear to have claimed the high-end in the perception of the reviewers. Sure it's cool to be the true audiophile product, but it sure stings when others like Olive, Sonos and Sooloos are presented as the true high end because they are more slick.

SlimServer needs to stop evolving from open source collective approach and be taken by the scruff of the neck and shown some real UI design, establish true use case, build in affordance and become a typical-user product whereby user manuals and fora are redundant. If you have to read the manual or ask a question on a newsgroup, the developers have failed. If you don't believe this, then you have't understood consumer software development because supporting consumers costs money - it is to be avoided at all costs.

BTW, the device driver concept is ultimately flawed, it doesn't move forwards usability one iota, it's another bit of technology that doesn't improve the product per-se, just complicates it further. The end game is audio quality and access to music as easily and obviously as possible. If the idea doesn't contribute to that, ditch it. Think about what you are trying to achieve, not the technology, technology is a means to an end.

Rant over!

peter
2007-01-27, 15:12
Marc Sherman wrote:
> MrSinatra wrote:
>> well vic, my guess is that if i developed the software, i'd have to give
>> them the source code, which they then could use and develop freely and
>> distribute, so who would pay for what i did?
>
> You should really _read_ the GPL. The only people you have to
> distribute source to are the people that you distribute (ie: sell)
> your binaries to.

But they can distribute copies to anyone they want, right?

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-01-27, 15:44
> Now getting back to the original reason you started posting. Something
> in 6.5 broke your favourite radio stream.

....and Andy did check in a possible fix for it. Did anyone of you test it
or are you too busy designing device drivers for the SB?

--

Michael

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

27ph
2007-01-28, 07:45
Haven't read the whole thread, but as a new (happy) user here is my input:

I know this has propably been mentioned before, but the need for a running PC is annoying. NAS are expensive and can be difficult to implement. USB drive support and built-in slimserver would be huge.

vH pH

Aragorn
2007-01-29, 05:52
Mr Sinatra,
I fully support your position.
I have at least three friends who asked me about feedback about my squeezebox. My answer: great hardware, software which is just for jerks that want to spend more time in debugging that playing music. In short - SORRY, BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT -

The driver would be a very, very good idea. If this is not possible, a software product (whatever it is) that works and do not introduce more bugs any new release like ss does.

My suggestion: you have done your point very clear, probably at Logitech (which does understand consumer business) got it, stop wasting your time arguing with all the attacks to you. Many people in this thread seems do not want to understant it. Probably spending time debugging make their ego feeling good.

Aragorn

erland
2007-01-29, 06:37
I have at least three friends who asked me about feedback about my squeezebox. My answer: great hardware, software which is just for jerks that want to spend more time in debugging that playing music. In short - SORRY, BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT -

The driver would be a very, very good idea. If this is not possible, a software product (whatever it is) that works and do not introduce more bugs any new release like ss does.Do you want a device driver because you think there would be less bugs in a system that consisted of a completely newly written device driver + an external application not written by Logitech ?
Or do you really want the device driver for the functionality ?

The reason I'm asking is because newly written code often has more bugs in it than old code and this is especially true if code from different companies shall collaborate.

I'm not arguing that a device driver is wrong, I'm just checking that you want it for the right reason.

The problem with slimserver is that the environment it runs in can be completely different.
- Some people uses MP3 files some other people uses FLAC files.
- Some uses iTunes or MusicIP plugins for scanning files and some uses the native scanning mechanism builtin in slimserver.
- Different software is used for tagging music files.
- Some people knows what tags are other have no idea what a tag is
- Slimserver runs on different operating systems.
- People are having different type of networks, some wireless some wired.
- Some people are running slimserver on servers, some are running it on the desktop where new games and other applications are installed every week.
- Sound quality is number one priority for SlimDevices, while other products might focus more on usability than sound quality.

The problem with this senario is that it is impossible for SlimDevices to test all different configurations without the help of the end users. I know this might sound bad, but we are not talking about Microsoft here we are talking about a quite small company (at least until Logitech bought SlimDevices).

I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running official releases on it. I have only FLAC music over a wireless network and it has been running for about a year now. I can honestly say that I haven't had a single problem during this time. I know you guys that are having problems might not feel any better because of this, but at least it shows that it can actually work really good.

peter
2007-01-29, 07:27
erland wrote:
> I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running
> official releases on it.

What OS does this server run?

Regards,
Peter

erland
2007-01-29, 07:48
erland wrote:
> I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running
> official releases on it.

What OS does this server run?

Regards,
PeterLinux (Ubuntu), it has of course been restarted a few times during the year since I also use it as my web server, and slimserver has been restarted every time I have released a new plugin version. But what I am saying is that I haven't had any problems whatsoever with slimserver during this year.

peter
2007-01-29, 08:02
erland wrote:
> Peter;175264 Wrote:
>
>> erland wrote:
>>
>>> I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running
>>> official releases on it.
>>>
>> What OS does this server run?
>>
>> Regards,
>> PeterLinux (Ubuntu), it has of course been restarted a few times during the
>>
> year since I also use it as my web server, and slimserver has been
> restarted every time I have released a new plugin version. But what I
> am saying is that I haven't had any problems whatsoever with slimserver
> during this year.
>

I thought so. I'm running Linux on my server too. I suspect that most
problems are found running on Windows platforms.

Regards,
Peter

Aragorn
2007-01-29, 08:06
Hallo erland
>Do you want a device driver because you think there would be less bugs in a system that consisted of a completely newly written device driver + an external application not written by Logitech ?
>Or do you really want the device driver for the functionality ?

I would like to be able to use Slimbox as a (high quality) remote soundcard. The beauty of device driver concept (if the implementation is high quality) is that it would allow the use of any software. Basic integration would just stream the sound, while advanced integration would also support the display

>The reason I'm asking is because newly written code often has more bugs in it than old code and this is especially true if code from different companies shall collaborate.

I am not a developer, as a user this waht I would like to have.

>I'm not arguing that a device driver is wrong, I'm just checking that you want it for the right reason.
>
>The problem with slimserver is that the environment it runs in can be completely different.
>- Some people uses MP3 files some other people uses FLAC files.
>- Some uses iTunes or MusicIP plugins for scanning files and some uses the native scanning mechanism builtin in slimserver.
>- Different software is used for tagging music files.
>- Some people knows what tags are other have no idea what a tag is
>- Slimserver runs on different operating systems.
>- People are having different type of networks, some wireless some wired.
>- Some people are running slimserver on servers, some are running it on the desktop where new games and other applications are installed every week.
>- Sound quality is number one priority for SlimDevices, while other products might focus more on usability than sound quality.

>The problem with this senario is that it is impossible for SlimDevices to test all different configurations without the help of the end users. I know this might sound bad, but we are not talking about Microsoft here we are talking about a quite small company (at least until Logitech bought SlimDevices).

I am not blaming SlimDevices, simply noticing the big gap between hardware and software quality. In my opinion the software is not mass market ready and I believe Logitech should address this issue.

>I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running official releases on it. I have only FLAC music over a wireless network and it has been running for about a year now. I can honestly say that I haven't had a single problem during this time. I know you guys that are having problems might not feel any better because of this, but at least it shows that it can actually work really good.

I am also running my slimserver on a linux server, however for my needs and my enviromental feeling, this is an overkill.

Aragorn

mherger
2007-01-29, 08:11
> I thought so. I'm running Linux on my server too. I suspect that most
> problems are found running on Windows platforms.

I don't have any longtime experience with SlimServer on Windows, as I only
use it on my development machine (which is a Windows laptop). But I think
there are so much more tools installed on typical Windows systems which
can make live for a server type application harder: antivirus tools,
personal firewalls (and both with often not very transparent behaviour and
configuration), "optimizing" utilities etc.

And then there's simply a much bigger number of Windows installations out
there. Which increases the number of problems even if both systems are on
par. And you'll mainly hear about the troublesome installations. Happy
campers don't bother subscribing to forums.

But still: ome say the problem was sitting between keyboard and screen -
this happens a lot less with headless Linux boxes :-)

--

Michael

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

erland
2007-01-29, 09:49
I am not blaming SlimDevices, simply noticing the big gap between hardware and software quality. In my opinion the software is not mass market ready and I believe Logitech should address this issue. I completely agree. Although my box is working perfectly there has been a lot of posts lately about users having problem. I would expect the number of complaints to increase as the massmarket sales goes up, so its definitely something that Logitech need to address.

I also believe that slimserver probably isn't the cause in most situations, I think most of the problems people are having is because the environment slimserver is running in. It might be everything from an operating system filled with applications and games that conflicts to badly tagged music files or users that aren't used to using a computer.

So I think Logitech needs to focus on addressing the source to the problem instead of making slimserver handling all kinds of strange environments. Some examples to this would be to:
- Provide a prefered ripping and tagging tool with the product
- Sell an optional small PC like hardware with preinstalled slimserver
- Provide virutual machines with slimserver (for example VMware based)
- Improve the installation program so people doesn't have to uninstall and reinstall every time they upgrade

erland
2007-01-29, 10:02
erland wrote:
> Peter;175264 Wrote:
>
>> erland wrote:
>>
>>> I'm running my slimserver on a server and has only been running
>>> official releases on it.
>>>
>> What OS does this server run?
>>
>> Regards,
>> PeterLinux (Ubuntu), it has of course been restarted a few times during the
>>
> year since I also use it as my web server, and slimserver has been
> restarted every time I have released a new plugin version. But what I
> am saying is that I haven't had any problems whatsoever with slimserver
> during this year.
>

I thought so. I'm running Linux on my server too. I suspect that most
problems are found running on Windows platforms.

Regards,
Peter
Just as a side note, Windows can be very stable as a server to. The problem is when you use it as desktop and install new software and games every week and upgrade to new version of drivers now and then and start to install firewalls and antivirus software. A few years back I was running my web server on Windows (W2k I think) and it was as stable as my current Linux box.

The reason that most problems are found on Windows is probably because there are more Windows users and the Windows computer often tend to also act as the ordinary desktop where all kind of strange things are installed.

mherger
2007-01-29, 10:05
> - Provide virutual machines with slimserver (for example VMware based)

SlimCD anyone? :-)

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-01-29, 11:52
Michael Herger wrote:
>> - Provide virutual machines with slimserver (for example VMware based)
>
> SlimCD anyone? :-)

Isn't it so that VMware allows you to distribute their player freely?
That way you can make a VM with their VMWare server (also free) and ship
the result with a player. I haven't done this but it could be pretty
smooth...

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-01-29, 11:58
> Isn't it so that VMware allows you to distribute their player freely?

I don't know whether I am allowed to distribute it - but I wouldn't want
anyway. It's freely available from their site.

> That way you can make a VM with their VMWare server (also free) and ship
> the result with a player. I haven't done this but it could be pretty
> smooth...

It really is easy. And for an even easier experience there are "live cd"
VMware images available on the internet:
http://www.virtualization.info/2005/10/how-to-launch-iso-and-use-livecds.html

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-01-29, 12:20
Michael Herger wrote:
>> Isn't it so that VMware allows you to distribute their player freely?
>
> I don't know whether I am allowed to distribute it - but I wouldn't
> want anyway. It's freely available from their site.
http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

"VMware Player lets you evaluate new or pre-release software contained
in virtual machines, without any installation or configuration hassles.
You can also share existing virtual machines with colleagues or
friends---just use VMware Player to run any virtual machine."

I thought you might want to distribute a VM version of slimCD...

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-01-29, 14:52
> I thought you might want to distribute a VM version of slimCD...

I thought about this. But there are two reasons I don't think it makes a
lot of sense:

- setting up a VM yourself is really easy (given you're using that live
disk VM)
- the main problem remains the same as when using the CD with your
computer: how to connect SlimCD to your collection - that's no easy task
for a Linux newbie

As an alternative I just did a quick test with a "SlimNAS" VM, based on
FreeNAS, featuring two shares (Music and SlimNAS installation folder). A
full install with a 100GB virtual disk would easily fit in a 100MB ZIP
archive. But again: does it make sense copying a collection to a virtual
disk, if it's already on your harddisk?

And a VM run on your computer needs a lot more RAM than the SlimServer
itself. So... while this is might be a good approach for demoing the
possibilities, I don't think it's mass market. There must be something
leaner than VMware to make this approach reasonable.

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-01-29, 14:56
Michael Herger wrote:
>> I thought you might want to distribute a VM version of slimCD...
>
> I thought about this. But there are two reasons I don't think it makes
> a lot of sense:
>
> - setting up a VM yourself is really easy (given you're using that
> live disk VM)
> - the main problem remains the same as when using the CD with your
> computer: how to connect SlimCD to your collection - that's no easy
> task for a Linux newbie
>
> As an alternative I just did a quick test with a "SlimNAS" VM, based
> on FreeNAS, featuring two shares (Music and SlimNAS installation
> folder). A full install with a 100GB virtual disk would easily fit in
> a 100MB ZIP archive. But again: does it make sense copying a
> collection to a virtual disk, if it's already on your harddisk?
>
> And a VM run on your computer needs a lot more RAM than the SlimServer
> itself. So... while this is might be a good approach for demoing the
> possibilities, I don't think it's mass market. There must be something
> leaner than VMware to make this approach reasonable.

OK, makes sense.

Regards,
Peter

snarlydwarf
2007-01-30, 19:41
Assuming JimC is still reading here...

I just got a cheapo Harmony 550 today. (Okay, cheap in relative terms...)

It would be slick if you guys had a way to abuse the Logitech relationship and get a "deal price" of some sort on Harmony's. The 550 is slick even for their lowend unit. (My god, I finally have a remote that works -right- with my DVD player! Why do they all assume that I use the TV volume for DVDs?)

And now it works happy with TV, DVD, and Squeezebox.

This may be doable as a bundle deal: buy a SB, get a Harmony for $X off or something, and done at retail as well as online. Odd are that people with SB's are working toward complicated setups and want to reduce some of the remote-clutter in the process.

Since the Harmony tie should be helpful in getting SB's into retail stores, it would be nice to cement that.

peter
2007-01-31, 01:18
snarlydwarf wrote:
> Assuming JimC is still reading here...
>

I'll bet he isn't. The SD guys probably told him about 'the community'
and how important it was. He put it on his agenda to check it out.
Placed a few posts and crossed it off his agenda again. Oh well...

> I just got a cheapo Harmony 550 today. (Okay, cheap in relative
> terms...)
>
> It would be slick if you guys had a way to abuse the Logitech
> relationship and get a "deal price" of some sort on Harmony's. The 550
> is slick even for their lowend unit. (My god, I finally have a remote
> that works -right- with my DVD player! Why do they all assume that I
> use the TV volume for DVDs?)
>

I never got the 550's volume buttons to work properly with my SB (press
and hold doesn't work), perhaps I should try reprogramming it.


Regards,
Peter