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totoro
2007-01-25, 18:17
I don't have any major complaints (I have minor ones about the fragility of the album art feature, but that isn't what I want to address here.).

However, others clearly do.

Because of the passion involved, some of these complaints end up in somewhat unrelated threads.

I thought I'd start one here. If it gets big/angry enough, it will attract the attention of slimdevices people, thus satisfying people upset with the hardware or software.

At the same time, it _might_ relieve some of the pressure on other threads where people whose sb3/transporter/whatever simply didn't work for them are expressing their frustration.

Sorry if this is presumptuous.

--Michael

CatBus
2007-01-25, 20:32
No substantial complaints here either. Maybe if the thread stays subdued and congenial, SlimDevices people will be proud of their fine work.

Nice username BTW. Now all we need is Mei's response and we're all set.

pfarrell
2007-01-25, 21:06
Johnny Stork wrote:
1: Slimserver is a dinosaur and should start looking to Jinzora for interface ideas.

If you are arguing that the Web UI needs work, you really should say
that. I do not agree that the SlimServer is a dinosaur. It works well
for me.

The UI is not all AJAX and Web2.0 compliant, and many people expect it
to be. But it meets my needs fine.

2: A small/embedded web server and video output on the SB would allow
for a big screen interface to the SB.

Video output is totally against what I want. I don't want a TV anywhere
near my audio.

Clearly we disagree, but don't force me to put a stinking TV in my audio
room.

3: Transporter could have dual, mirrored, quiet SATA drives, and
embedded Linux for a for standalone device.

The music server needs to be in another room. No drive is quiet enough
for me. If the Transporter had disk drives in it, I would not have
bought one. My music server is in the basement. If I wanted a PC holding
my music, I would have bought one, or used one of the 20 or so I have in
my house. I bought my first SqueezeBox explicitly because the audio unit
is slim, and the server goes in the basement. Buy from FatDevices if
that is what you want.

YMMV, etc.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 21:59
1. it doesn't handle net radio streams as robustly as other solutions. this is all but proven in other threads, please don't argue with me about it.

2. it currently crashes everytime i click "T U or V" in my library. to say that sucks royally is putting it mildly. btw, i filed a bug, haven't heard much back yet.

(i think it doesn't like some artwork file, but i can't say for sure)

3. SS itself mostly sucks as an interface. it certainly has its uses, and i'm not saying a web backend isn't an attractive feature, but why must it be the only way in on the front end?

4. lack of a device driver alternative that would allow the SB to be treated as "just another sound card" is really annoying, b/c if SD had such a thing, it would at the very least give me a workaround as to the first 3 issues i've listed.

5. it is a memory and resource hog. it more than doubles any other app i have. and running multiple processes isn't terrific either. i especially don't like the way mysql remains running even if i quit SS.

6. this is minor, but when SS starts, it opens an IE window, (i have IE7), and it goes to a blank page. why? b/c SS doesn't open fast enough. elegant, it ain't.

7. the default skin is very unappealing. hopefully 7 is more interesting. why not incorporate some of kdf's fishbone features into the default? of course, switching skins can be a problem too, as i found out when updating versions.

i don't want to change the topic to suggestions or what i want to see, but i do think a display on the remote, to complement one on the SB would be nice, as well as a video out IF you wanted to use it. (not saying video out for media streaming, but more for putting on top of the screen, translucent like)

kdf
2007-01-25, 22:17
On 25-Jan-07, at 8:59 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> (i think it doesn't like some artwork file, but i can't say for sure)
>
you could help everyone concerned in a really BIG way if you mentioned
this in the bug report, and did us the favour of splitting those T-V
albums to a temporary library one at a time until you snag the album
art that IS a problem. As some have said all along, it is something on
your system. This is what makes it very hard to fix using only OUR
systems. Give us all a break, and please try to help with the fix. I
don't men to sound harsh, and certainly don't want to add more fuel,
I'm asking...now it's up to you to decide if it's worth making the
effort.

thanks.

-kdf

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 22:29
WHOA... wait a minute here kdf...

first of all, i'm JUST GUESSING its artwork.

secondly, no one, NO ONE, including you, had suggested ANYTHING to try to date.

thirdly, i DID mention it in the bug report.

fourthly, where do you get "as some have said all along" no one has said anything, but i never said it wasn't something on my system either. where do you get that???

what i do say, is that bad artwork file or no, SS shouldn't crash and burn as a result, IF in fact, that is what it is.

look, i will happily try what you suggest when i have the time to, but before you complain about me sitting around doing nothing or whatever it is you think, how about giving me a fair shake and at least ONE CHANCE to do something?

as to what you suggest, b/c of the way my dir folders are, its not simple to simply pull out all the T U Vs and so on... but i'll give it a go.

Skunk
2007-01-25, 22:31
I love the architecture and would like to thank all the plugin and skin developers for their efforts.

When iTunes gets fired up by the roommate it wreaks havoc on my PC, while SS, OTOH, is rather benevolent (though the server is shut down when not listening, so can't speak as to runaway processes etc.). Does what it says on the tin so far as I'm concerned.

It wouldn't be that hard, Mr. Sinatra, to pick up a CSS/HTML book and read a bit- rather than write so profusely about what amounts to little/no headway in solving the problem. SS can do what those prettier interfaces do, and so much more I would guess . The pieces are all there waiting for someone intelligent like you to put them into an aesthetically pleasing whole.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 22:36
and there is also the added complication of tags not always matching the dir names...

i suppose SS ignores "The" tho, so i shouldn't have to worry about those.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 22:41
It wouldn't be that hard, Mr. Sinatra, to pick up a CSS/HTML book and read a bit- rather than write so profusely about what amounts to little/no headway in solving the problem. SS can do what those prettier interfaces do, and so much more I would guess . The pieces are all there waiting for someone intelligent like you to put them into an aesthetically pleasing whole.

you flatterer.

i don't like itunes myself, but winamp is very well behaved, and uses a mere fraction of the resources.

in any case, i am not a programmer, nor do i really "believe in" the web interface design.

i am a SB user, and like my opinions or no, i feel that as a user i have the right to voice that opinion, just as you have the right to disagree. i certainly respect that.

my opinion is a device driver for the SB would benefit a great many people, myself included, and i hope logitech hears that opinion, b/c my guess is, they'll agree.

kdf
2007-01-25, 22:42
On 25-Jan-07, at 9:29 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> WHOA... wait a minute here kdf...
>
you know what, forget it. you are hopeless.

good luck.

i won't waste any more time trying to get anything more from you on
this.
don't try to get anything from me.

thank you.

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 22:50
well kdf, when you say a bunch of untrue things in that post to try to make me look like i'm some deaf dummy, what do you expect?

next time, don't lie or mischaracterize. and if you do, don't be surprised if someone is put off.

peter
2007-01-25, 22:59
MrSinatra wrote:
> my opinion is a device driver for the SB would benefit a great many
> people, myself included, and i hope logitech hears that opinion, b/c my
> guess is, they'll agree.
>

It would be a nice extra (especially if t would play nice with
Slimserver). However it is quite easy to guess that people like you
would not really be happy with a (windows only!) sound driver (and I'm
not even talking about possible sync problems when playing DVD's). The
next request would undoubtedly be a way to control iTunes/WinAmp/WMP
from the SB remote, which is harder to do in a generic way. Then it
would of course be unacceptable that the SB isn't displaying the
trackname of what is playing either.

So if you think things through, delivering such a feature might start
the SB/TP stuff to be sucked in a whole different direction. Perhaps
it's a good idea commercially, but perhaps it isn't. I certainly
wouldn't want to miss the current slimserver architecture.

Regards,
Peter

kdf
2007-01-25, 23:07
On 25-Jan-07, at 9:50 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> well kdf, when you say a bunch of untrue things in that post to try to
> make me look like i'm some deaf dummy, what do you expect?

when I suggest a course of action, I expect that, in good faith, you
will try it.
a guess is perfectly valid. It's something worth proving out. And, I
fully expect that I will honour the response by following through on
anything that comes as a response to my suggested course of action.
Your response shows an assumption that simply isn't valid.

> next time, don't lie or mischaracterize. and if you do, don't be
> surprised if someone is put off.
>

oh blue eyes...I've never lied.

when you stop your poor behaviour, I'll still be here to walk you
through if you are interested. just remember: even if a step seams
dumb, it has to happen. You never know if the power problem is simply
due to a loose cord.

again, if you wish to calm down and provide the info (I'd even be
willing to download the entire collection of TUV if that makes it
easy), then I'll continue to do what I do. If you wish to fire
insults in all directions, then I'm sorry...but I will withdraw my aid
as I have on every occasion where you have become aggressive with or
anyone else. You can disagree, as I know you can do so well. It comes
down to what result you want. You have the option.

good night.

-kdf

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 23:08
people like me? whats that? people who like "easy"? people who like "simple to use"?

in any case, no, i wouldn't expect the SD remote to control any given app, nor would i necessarily expect the SB display to have any info on it if using something other than SS.

however, creative sells sound cards that have remotes that CAN control multiple different apps, and can be user customized. 3rd party remotes are not uncommon.

also, i don't think it would be a monumental undertaking for a SB driver to check to see if a given audio app, (like WMP or winamp) is putting out song info, (much as they do when giving that info to say msn/windows messenger).

i think logitech will do "the sucking" ;) ie. into a whole new direction as u put it. and frankly, i look forward to it, b/c i am sure they will look into this kind of a solution, b/c there is no doubt its a more commercially viable one.

again, i'm not saying either/or. i say why not both?

mherger
2007-01-25, 23:41
> Because of the passion involved, some of these complaints end up in
> somewhat unrelated threads.
>
> I thought I'd start one here.

Thanks, good idea. I was thinking about a "why slimserver sucks" thread as
well, and put it on my blacklist straight away ;-).

--

Michael

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

MrSinatra
2007-01-25, 23:55
kdf, let me be absolutely clear:

i have NO BEEF with you, i have no problem with you.

i don't have any beef or problem with anyone on here. nothing i'm saying is personal. i distance myself from that truly insulting person in the other thread who is saying Dan and so on should retire, etc... i thought that was beyond rude. i may be a crank, but i'm not rude. but i do have many valid frustrations with this product.

i simply say things as i see them, and for reasons which are not logical in almost all instances, mainly due to their love of this product, some get all upset. i believe you sometimes, not always, fall into that category.


On 25-Jan-07, at 9:50 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> well kdf, when you say a bunch of untrue things in that post to try to
> make me look like i'm some deaf dummy, what do you expect?

when I suggest a course of action, I expect that, in good faith, you
will try it.
a guess is perfectly valid. It's something worth proving out. And, I
fully expect that I will honour the response by following through on
anything that comes as a response to my suggested course of action.
Your response shows an assumption that simply isn't valid.

i have no idea what you are talking about here. its like you're writing a response to something i didn't say, and ignoring what i did say.

what i said is that you said a bunch of untrue things, and you did. lies? mischaracterizations? i don't know, i don't know your true intent. but thats irrelevant b/c regardless of your intent, it [what you said] simply was NOT true.

here's what you said:


On 25-Jan-07, at 8:59 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> (i think it doesn't like some artwork file, but i can't say for sure)
>
you could help everyone concerned in a really BIG way if you mentioned
this in the bug report,

not true. i did mention it, in both bug threads.


and did us the favour of splitting those T-V
albums to a temporary library one at a time until you snag the album
art that IS a problem.

great suggestion although not easily done, and btw, its the first time anyone has suggested anything to me about this.

when i have lots of time to blow, like a day, i'll do it.


As some have said all along, it is something on
your system.

not true, i don't know anyone who said it was something on my system, as no one has said much on it at all. there is no "all along." but i certainly never said it wasn't something particular to me and my system, (on this particular issue) i simply said that even if it is, whatever it is its still a bug, b/c it shouldn't result in a crash and burn.


This is what makes it very hard to fix using only OUR
systems. Give us all a break, and please try to help with the fix.

mischaracterize... give you all a break???

look in the bug threads, i say clearly:

"in any case, i am willing to try whatever, just tell me exactly what you'd like
me to try."

when have i not been open to a suggested fix on this?

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4699

four days and counting btw.


don't men to sound harsh, and certainly don't want to add more fuel,
I'm asking...now it's up to you to decide if it's worth making the
effort.

thanks.

-kdf

imo, that post mischaracterized me and said things that weren't true. it put me off.

if you want to help me, you can do it without saying things that aren't true. don't expect me to allow you to beat me up just b/c i need help. that won't happen.



> next time, don't lie or mischaracterize. and if you do, don't be
> surprised if someone is put off.
>

oh blue eyes...I've never lied.

call it what you want, u said things that weren't true.

look, i'm not upset about it, but it is what it is, its there plain as day for anyone to see, and i guess the reader will decide.


when you stop your poor behaviour, I'll still be here to walk you
through if you are interested.

MY poor behavior? the chutzpah is shocking.


just remember: even if a step seams
dumb, it has to happen. You never know if the power problem is simply
due to a loose cord.

when did i say such and such a step regarding this was dumb? when have i ever not done whatever to rule out the "obvious" first?

another baseless mischaracterization.


again, if you wish to calm down and provide the info (I'd even be
willing to download the entire collection of TUV if that makes it
easy), then I'll continue to do what I do.

all i want, is to not be mischaracterized. don't lie or say i didn't do things, and so on...

the problem with my TUV is its huge, gigs and gigs and i don't have big upload speeds, typical cable modem.

however, perhaps i could copy out all my Folder.jpg files, and send them to you or whoever, but then you'd have to put them all in their own dirs...

i dunno, its not easily duped.

i would be willing to send an external drive of my lbrary to SD or someone like that, don't know how feasible that is.


If you wish to fire
insults in all directions, then I'm sorry...

what are you talking about?? you lie and mischaracterize about me, and i'm the one insulting others?

who did i insult in this thread? in the bug threads?

you are totally spewing nonsense.


but I will withdraw my aid
as I have on every occasion where you have become aggressive with or
anyone else. You can disagree, as I know you can do so well. It comes
down to what result you want. You have the option.

good night.

-kdf

and as i always finally end up telling you kdf, do whatever the hell you want. but don't expect that i will allow you to lie, mischaracterize, and beat me up, just b/c i have an issue here that SD should fix. is that an aggressive pov? then so be it.

i really don't understand where you're coming from, b/c what you said simply isn't true.

your only contribution to the bug threads re:me btw, was to say i "confused" the first one and tried to "keep it open," and to reprimand me for setting a target in the second one, the horror!

i don't care about all this personal business, you at least gave me something to try in this thread, a first on this issue for anyone so far, so i appreciate that.

but i won't lick your boots and not call you on your BS just b/c you might help me. your help is not a license to beat me up.

kdf
2007-01-26, 00:19
On 25-Jan-07, at 10:55 PM, MrSinatra wrote:

>
> kdf, let me be absolutely clear:
>
> i have NO BEEF with you, i have no problem with you.
>
that's cool. it's mutual.
I've given my suggestion/request. If you can isolate the artwork to
prove out your suspicion, that will help me to isolate the problem.
I'm more than happy to take a copy of the problem artwork and fix the
server side. If that isn't the problem, then you'll have helped remove
another suspect. The problem is that so far, you are the only one who
can reliably produce the error, so everyone is relying on you to
provide info. I am only asking that you do, and offering the steps for
doing so. That is all I can do, and all anyone can do unless someone
else stumbles upon the same problem.

all of the devs will appreciate any effort that you can make on this.

cheers,
kdf

peter
2007-01-26, 00:20
MrSinatra wrote:
> people like me? whats that? people who like "easy"? people who like
> "simple to use"?
>

People who really wanted to buy a different device ;)
> in any case, no, i wouldn't expect the SD remote to control any given
> app, nor would i necessarily expect the SB display to have any info on
> it if using something other than SS.
>
> however, creative sells sound cards that have remotes that CAN control
> multiple different apps, and can be user customized. 3rd party remotes
> are not uncommon.
>
> also, i don't think it would be a monumental undertaking for a SB
> driver to check to see if a given audio app, (like WMP or winamp) is
> putting out song info, (much as they do when giving that info to say
> msn/windows messenger).
>

See, when you start thinking about it you want it already ;)

> i think logitech will do "the sucking" ;) ie. into a whole new
> direction as u put it. and frankly, i look forward to it, b/c i am
> sure they will look into this kind of a solution, b/c there is no doubt
> its a more commercially viable one.
>
> again, i'm not saying either/or. i say why not both?
>

Perhaps, that will be the case. I'm merely pointing out that this would
probably only be the first in a long line of demands to turn the SB's
into a different kind of device. The kind that the poster wished they
had bought.

Regards,
Peter

Kevin O. Lepard
2007-01-26, 01:03
>Video output is totally against what I want. I don't want a TV
>anywhere near my audio.

Agreed there.

>The music server needs to be in another room.

Agree there, too.
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

cliveb
2007-01-26, 02:01
My two cents:

It strikes me that a lot of people's complaints about SlimServer are founded on the expectation that its web interface should be a nice media player, along the lines of iTunes. Well, that's not its purpose. The audio player is the Squeezebox, and the day-to-day interface device is the remote. They work well.

As far as I'm concerned, the web inteface to SlimServer is for doing occasional administration and maintenance operations. And for this, it does the job. Granted, it's a bit clunky and sluggish, but when you only fire it up once in a blue moon, who cares?

To those who want to use a computer as the user interface to your music collection, I say this: the Slim Devices paradigm is wrong for you. Don't try to force the Squeezebox/SlimServer approach into doing things it was never intended for.

JJZolx
2007-01-26, 02:38
To those who want to use a computer as the user interface to your music collection, I say this: the Slim Devices paradigm is wrong for you. Don't try to force the Squeezebox/SlimServer approach into doing things it was never intended for.

Quite the contrary... The paradigm is perfect and the web interface is infinitely better than the remote interface. For me, the remote interface lacks badly in usability. All the necessary functionality is there, but it takes too much work to do simple tasks and browsing a large library is all but impossible.

I like the web interface and use it exclusively, although it could be better. It will likely never approach the ease of use of a native media player, but it also has a long way to go to meet its full potential.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 02:39
I love the architecture and would like to thank all the plugin and skin developers for their efforts.

When iTunes gets fired up by the roommate it wreaks havoc on my PC, while SS, OTOH, is rather benevolent (though the server is shut down when not listening, so can't speak as to runaway processes etc.). Does what it says on the tin so far as I'm concerned.

It wouldn't be that hard, Mr. Sinatra, to pick up a CSS/HTML book and read a bit- rather than write so profusely about what amounts to little/no headway in solving the problem. SS can do what those prettier interfaces do, and so much more I would guess . The pieces are all there waiting for someone intelligent like you to put them into an aesthetically pleasing whole.

Re: Runaway
I have my main PC on all the time, and it run slim server. Uptime is counted in months, and slimserver usually just works. (If it was initially developed for Linux, as someone claimed, it should just work.)

General note: Just hide the bl**dy server and don't mention it, and technology phobics will be much happier.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 02:43
My two cents:

It strikes me that a lot of people's complaints about SlimServer are founded on the expectation that its web interface should be a nice media player, along the lines of iTunes. Well, that's not its purpose. The audio player is the Squeezebox, and the day-to-day interface device is the remote. They work well.

As far as I'm concerned, the web inteface to SlimServer is for doing occasional administration and maintenance operations. And for this, it does the job. Granted, it's a bit clunky and sluggish, but when you only fire it up once in a blue moon, who cares?

To those who want to use a computer as the user interface to your music collection, I say this: the Slim Devices paradigm is wrong for you. Don't try to force the Squeezebox/SlimServer approach into doing things it was never intended for.

I have no complaints about the current web interface (OK, it is a bit slow, but no major complaints). However, to gain general acceptance it would be wise to make it slicker, and a lot less "browsery". (I really don't like iTunes, BTW. I haven't found a way to see albums instead of a massive "tunes" listing..)

Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int)
2007-01-26, 02:48
Cliveb,

I couldn't agree more. I use the web interface for admin only. When on
my PC I actualy use SoftSqueeze in place of other media players. This
lets me "Grab" playlists from other players and means I only need to
learn the one interface.

The remote/payer interface works very well - I 1st bought a Slimp3
(still have 2 in use) and have loved it ever since.


__Minor__ wishes:
1. media buttons on PC keyboards to work with Softsqueeze
2. SlimServer to allow me to define the menus once for all players -
currently after each upgrade I have to go through and reset the menus
for each player to the way I want them.
3. PixelMagic media box to include SoftSqueeze - the media box is my
video solution but it attempts to be a music solution as well and is v.
bad.




Gavin

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Craig, James (IT)
2007-01-26, 02:51
> (I really don't like iTunes, BTW. I haven't found a way to see albums
instead of a massive "tunes" listing..)

You just click on the browse button/icon, then select an album in the
top pane.
Only the tracks of that album are displayed in bottom pane.

I don't think iTunes is really that 'album friendly' though...


And to keep the thread on track, I use the web interface way more than I
use the player's interface.

James
--------------------------------------------------------

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ModelCitizen
2007-01-26, 04:49
Quite the contrary... The paradigm is perfect and the web interface is infinitely better than the remote interface. For me, the remote interface lacks badly in usability. All the necessary functionality is there, but it takes too much work to do simple tasks and browsing a large library is all but impossible.
I'm amazed at how many people use computers to control their Squeezeboxes/Transporter. It's been a bit of an eye opener. I'm also surprised by the comments above. For me the Web GUI is slow and clunky and I've always found it quite incredible that Slim Devices felt that putting out the default skin was acceptable.

I have around 1,500 flac albums, and almost always use the remotes, which I find extremely usuable and responsive. They have a few small oddities and *hard to find* functions but work very well.

Transporter and Squeezebox 3, 6.5.1 on XP, wireless signal strength 80>90% (with no other wireless networks within half a mile).

MC

Marc Sherman
2007-01-26, 05:29
kdf wrote:
>
> again, if you wish to calm down and provide the info (I'd even be
> willing to download the entire collection of TUV if that makes it easy),
> then I'll continue to do what I do. If you wish to fire insults in all
> directions, then I'm sorry...but I will withdraw my aid as I have on
> every occasion where you have become aggressive with or anyone else.
> You can disagree, as I know you can do so well. It comes down to what
> result you want. You have the option.

Wow. You really are a saint, kdf. I can't believe you haven't just
killfiled this guy and put him out of your misery by now.

- Marc

Marc Sherman
2007-01-26, 05:34
cliveb wrote:
> My two cents:
>
> It strikes me that a lot of people's complaints about SlimServer are
> founded on the expectation that its web interface should be a nice
> media player, along the lines of iTunes. Well, that's not its purpose.
> The audio player is the Squeezebox, and the day-to-day interface device
> is the remote. They work well.

Yup. IMO, it would better if the default skin didn't even have the
right-hand pane. I run the web interface maybe once every couple months,
for admin tasks, and I can't remember the last time I did anything
remotely media-player-like in it.

- Marc

Skunk
2007-01-26, 08:04
I use web interfacing 85% of the time. My server is wired to the router and player, so responsiveness is as snappy as any application, for me.

When not in front of the server, I use a small tablet PC to build playlists, view covers/reviews, and of course change settings. It's an 802.11b device, but using the status.html of the handheld skin it's as snappy as the server itself. I've modified the skin so that the album cover is bigger and I can see the review in the same pane from the status page. It's a joy to lie on the couch with the panel propped up and watch the albums go by.

I keep another window open on the tablet with all the abum covers showing in nokia770, so I view covers there and make playlists in the handheld browser. To do so while fishbone is running on the desktop is a minor miracle to me, and makes me smile every time.

servies
2007-01-26, 08:09
My two cents:

It strikes me that a lot of people's complaints about SlimServer are founded on the expectation that its web interface should be a nice media player, along the lines of iTunes. Well, that's not its purpose. The audio player is the Squeezebox, and the day-to-day interface device is the remote. They work well.
Couldn't agree more with you...
The specific reason why I bought a Squeezebox and not an Apple Airport Extreme is that it can run without an human operated interface (like iTunes) on a computer.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 08:22
I use web interfacing 85% of the time. My server is wired to the router and player, so responsiveness is as snappy as any application, for me.

When not in front of the server, I use a small tablet PC to build playlists, view covers/reviews, and of course change settings. It's an 802.11b device, but using the status.html of the handheld skin it's as snappy as the server itself. I've modified the skin so that the album cover is bigger and I can see the review in the same pane from the status page. It's a joy to lie on the couch with the panel propped up and watch the albums go by.

I keep another window open on the tablet with all the abum covers showing in nokia770, so I view covers there and make playlists in the handheld browser. To do so while fishbone is running on the desktop is a minor miracle to me, and makes me smile every time.

Yes, the ability to seamlessly use the web interface in several places without any procedure to "grab" the command is a major bonus. I wouldn't want to lose that flexibility just for a slicker interface. Improving sync speed between GUI and what's going on, and making it a bit slicker and more responsive is all it needs.

peter
2007-01-26, 09:03
P Floding wrote:
> Skunk;174474 Wrote:
>
>> I use web interfacing 85% of the time. My server is wired to the router
>> and player, so responsiveness is as snappy as any application, for me.
>>
>>
>> When not in front of the server, I use a small tablet PC to build
>> playlists, view covers/reviews, and of course change settings. It's an
>> 802.11b device, but using the status.html of the handheld skin it's as
>> snappy as the server itself. I've modified the skin so that the album
>> cover is bigger and I can see the review in the same pane from the
>> status page. It's a joy to lie on the couch with the panel propped up
>> and watch the albums go by.
>>
>> I keep another window open on the tablet with all the abum covers
>> showing in nokia770, so I view covers there and make playlists in the
>> handheld browser. To do so while fishbone is running on the desktop is
>> a minor miracle to me, and makes me smile every time.
>>
>
> Yes, the ability to seamlessly use the web interface in several places
> without any procedure to "grab" the command is a major bonus. I
> wouldn't want to lose that flexibility just for a slicker interface.
> Improving sync speed between GUI and what's going on, and making it a
> bit slicker and more responsive is all it needs.
>

The best solution would be a Moose like application (improved), that can
run as an alternative to the webinterface. Web interfaces are great but
they can't really provide the flexibility that stand alone clients can.
By adding a client app you only *gain* flexibility.

Mind you, writing a good client is an art in itself, as well as a matter
of 'taste' so I wouldn't be that surprised if SD came up with a client
that I'd hate to use if they'd decide to create one.

Regards,
Peter

pfarrell
2007-01-26, 09:14
ModelCitizen wrote:
> I'm amazed at how many people use computers to control their
> Squeezeboxes/Transporter. It's been a bit of an eye opener. I'm also
> surprised by the comments above. For me the Web GUI is slow and clunky
> and I've always found it quite incredible that Slim Devices felt that
> putting out the default skin was acceptable.

I rarely if every touch my Slim remote.
I always use a computer to control it. I have no idea how to do things,
such as search for a song or album using the remote.

For me to get interested in the remote, it would have to be vastly more
functional, essentially a PDA with wi-fi or ZigBee or some other
networking, so that it could have a display at least as good as my cell
phone, (a low end Motorola V180). I expect that since the cell phone can
surf the web, it would be possible to put a skin on it and use it, but I
just use a computer. A remote that would replace my computer interface
would cost nearly as much as another SqueezeBox, and I'd rather have
another SqueezeBox

YMMV, etc.

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Mongo
2007-01-26, 09:50
I am generally very happy with the entire slimserver product, considering all that it does, except for the recent upgrade to 6.5.1. I have only general knowledge of computers, but it seems strange to me that the major release (6.5) integrated easily onto the computers that I use while the bug fix release (6.5.1) triggered what I assume are firewall issues on both computers that I use (home; xp home with SP2 and IE7 and standard windows firewall, Work; xp pro with IE6 and some unknown corporate firewall).

I do think that a lot of people on these forums get very invested into the software, just as DOS geeks did 30 years ago, maybe because after debugging their sytem all weekend they finally get it going and maybe they feel some sort of pride in the accomplishment.. I don't know.. I think they are in many cases defending the indefensible. In my view the scanning function has only recently become stable; a vastly improved interface, on both the remote and pc side is the next logical step in product development,and once it happens and people have it in their hands they will say, "yeah, the old UI was pretty clunky, wasn't it" .

Skunk
2007-01-26, 09:53
Web interfaces are great but
they can't really provide the flexibility that stand alone clients can.
By adding a client app you only *gain* flexibility.


I agree 100% that a client is sorely needed. My only concern is that the Web interfacing not be abandoned, and that I not be forced to install the client.

Also it's agreed that they wouldn't get it right the first try. I think what everyone wants here is something like the Soloos(?) interface on the youTube video that was posted awhile back. I can't find it anymore though, so maybe it wasn't such a great model after all.

I posted a pic of the Hitachi tablet I use, which would be useless without a Web interface. http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=174495&postcount=422

Siduhe
2007-01-26, 10:29
A while back in a "what do we want for Slimserver" thread, I suggested branching the User Interface.

1. Keep the current, open source, full featured webUI for those who want it.

2 Have a [closed?], design heavy but feature light [not so many tags supported, less flexability with library structure / album art structure for example] media player UI for those who want to use it.

I have no idea how realistic this is in terms of development and compatability with Slimserver, but I was struck by the number of comments in response along the lines of "but I'd want that to have all the functionality of the current UI and some more besides...".

All design is a trade-off between concept, functionality and usability. A lot of people who complain about slimserver (and I'm far from a fanboy/girl in that regard) want something that works just for the exact way they have set up their systems, and don't consider how one of the great strengths of Slimserver is that it can accomodate such a broad church.

I'd be interested to know if those who want a more slick UI, would be willing to give up some features (and if so, which ones) and reorganise their music and setup to match ?

mick_w
2007-01-26, 11:13
Using a PC as an User Interface for a Squeezebox might be fine for some users, as long as your PC is in the same room as your player...

(But if your going to have a PC next to your stereo, why bother with a Squeezebox at all - why don't you just wire your sound card to your amp directly and use your favourite player software ?)

Controlling your Squeezebox with your PC just isn't an option for some (most?) users if:

- They prefer to have the PC in a different room
- They run SlimServer on a headless server
- They have a Squeezebox in several rooms

As far as I'm concerned SlimServer is purely a music server application to stream music to different rooms in my house from a remote server, and it does that extremely well.

A fancy Windows specific front end with added functionality (ripping, tagging, etc...) has no appeal to me as like many other users I run SlimServer on a headless Linux server.

It is essential SlimServer keeps it's web base UI so it can be ran and administered remotely on a server.

(I'm convinced the future will be running SlimServer on dedicated NAS / Server box rather than having a PC powered up constantly).

I currently use my PC only to rip my music and copy them to the server. There are lots of good software packages available to do this, so what benefit would a Windows specific "SlimServer deluxe" have for me?


My personal opinion is the effort would be better spent developing a dedicated graphical hand held wi-fi remote (similar to the Nokia 770/800) - surely this would have a far more widespread appeal?

Do you think people that use the Sonos system think "...If only I could use my PC rather than that graphical remote..."?

Nostromo
2007-01-26, 11:29
Slightly modified version of what I wrote on the other thread...

I love the Squeezebox itself. I love the screen and the analog VU is très cool. I don't want it to go. I don't mind the remote either. Once you get the hang of it, it does its job very well. It may not be as purty as the SONOS remote, but its probably as functional, if not more.

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 or smart playlists, its not very good. For example, those 'up' and 'down' arrows aren't exactly the creme of crop, UI-wise. Again, this is not aimed at the people who work on the Web UI: its aimed at the technology itself. I don't think the Web UI 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.

Nostromo
2007-01-26, 11:43
My two cents:

It strikes me that a lot of people's complaints about SlimServer are founded on the expectation that its web interface should be a nice media player, along the lines of iTunes. Well, that's not its purpose. The audio player is the Squeezebox, and the day-to-day interface device is the remote. They work well.

As far as I'm concerned, the web inteface to SlimServer is for doing occasional administration and maintenance operations. And for this, it does the job. Granted, it's a bit clunky and sluggish, but when you only fire it up once in a blue moon, who cares?

To those who want to use a computer as the user interface to your music collection, I say this: the Slim Devices paradigm is wrong for you. Don't try to force the Squeezebox/SlimServer approach into doing things it was never intended for.

You should tell that to the developpers. Why did they put media player functionality in SlimServer? ;-)

I'm like you, I use the remote most of the time. And it works just fine. That's why I tolerate the Web UI.

peter
2007-01-26, 12:47
mick_w wrote:

> Using a PC as an User Interface for a Squeezebox might be fine for some
> users, as long as your PC is in the same room as your player...
>

Mostly, yes. But I control the SB's in my other rooms from a laptop in
the living occasionally. I use the web interface for controlling
playback approx. 50% of the time. More if I count remote softsqueeze use.

> (But if your going to have a PC next to your stereo, why bother with a
> Squeezebox at all - why don't you just wire your sound card to your amp
> directly and use your favourite player software ?)
>

I don't know if you noticed, but for many people PC equals laptop these
days and laptops are usually wireless and mobile, it's not real handy to
hook them up to your sound system with a wire, don't you think? I often
control my SB's from my wireless laptop and so does my girlfriend from
her wireless laptop. We spend a reasonable amount of time behind our
laptops (or PC's in the study).

I'm sitting behind my laptop right now. If I want to play some music I'm
definitely not going to pick up my SB remote to do it. I'll open my
browser and do it from here. The SB is 9 meters away and my eyes are
just not good enough.

> Controlling your Squeezebox with your PC just isn't an option for some
> (most?) users if:
>
> - They prefer to have the PC in a different room
>

My laptops move, I have 4 SB's in different rooms.

> - They run SlimServer on a headless server
>

I run slimserver on a headless Linux server which has been running (in
various hardware incarnations) for about 13 years (just so you'll
understand I'm not a clueless newbie ;) ).

> - They have a Squeezebox in several rooms
>

I do. I still use the web interface a lot. When I play music with
SoftSqueeze at my place of work (over the ADSL line) I use the web
interface to control slimserver.

> As far as I'm concerned SlimServer is purely a music server application
> to stream music to different rooms in my house from a remote server, and
> it does that extremely well.
>

That's wonderful. I use mine for lots of other things to, like
controlling my MythTV, for waking me up in the morning as a weather
station and as a clock too!

> A fancy Windows specific front end with added functionality (ripping,
> tagging, etc...) has no appeal to me as like many other users I run
> SlimServer on a headless Linux server.
>

It appears that your usage pattern is a bit different from mine. Also I
guess, it will be different from most other users. The same goes for me,
of course.

> It is essential SlimServer keeps it's web base UI so it can be ran and
> administered remotely on a server.
>

Absolutely, few people advocate getting rid of it. Some people advocate
modularizing it. I think that would probably be a good idea.

> (I'm convinced the future will be running SlimServer on dedicated NAS /
> Server box rather than having a PC powered up constantly).
>

If slimserver is all you use your server for, yes. Servers are useful
for loads of things. NAS'es are a bit slow for me.

> I currently use my PC only to rip my music and copy them to the server.
> There are lots of good software packages available to do this, so what
> benefit would a Windows specific "SlimServer deluxe" have for me?
>

I'm not advocating an included ripping application. There are lots of
good and friendly rippers, there's no good SS UI (IMHO).

> My personal opinion is the effort would be better spent developing a
> dedicated graphical hand held wi-fi remote (similar to the Nokia
> 770/800) - surely this would have a far more widespread appeal?
>

Problem is that it would be expensive to make even in volume, ask Sonos.
Adding a slick client app would benefit the existing users and add value
to the standard SB offering (which is not selling like hotcakes) so that
other people will more readily buy one. If you read a
Squeezebox/Transporter review and they include a picture of the system
and a screenshot of the web interface, the first looks slick (especially
with the new remote) but the second looks cheap and clunky. Selling
things is also about having an attractive package. The web interface is
not that attractive. This is a problem because every article that
reviews an SD product has to explain that this is a software/hardware
combo. Since you can't really 'show' slimserver, they'll show the web
interface. It just doesn't look very attractive. This forum is full of
people complaining about it. I wouldn't mind a good alternative myself.

> Do you think people that use the Sonos system think "...If only I could
> use my PC rather than that graphical remote..."?
>

I would, but then again I'm a different user than you, obviously. When
I'm behind my laptop I'd like to control everything from my laptop. I'm
not that far yet, but I can control the music all over my house from
here and I can watch television and schedule tv recordings from here.

Regards,
Peter (from behind his laptop)

ModelCitizen
2007-01-26, 13:37
My personal opinion is the effort would be better spent developing a dedicated graphical hand held wi-fi remote (similar to the Nokia 770/800) - surely this would have a far more widespread appeal?
I find it very hard to believe that Logitech are not already planning/making this. It just seems so obvious that they will.
MC

kdf
2007-01-26, 13:45
Quoting ModelCitizen
<ModelCitizen.2l1bsn1169844001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> It just seems so obvious that they will.
> MC

indeed:
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,crid=2084,contentid=12498

Mongo
2007-01-26, 14:23
It sure is neat. Too bad it costs more then the Squeezebox. Even though it can control all your electronics I think they need to work on that price point a bit..

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 14:33
kdf wrote:
>
> again, if you wish to calm down and provide the info (I'd even be
> willing to download the entire collection of TUV if that makes it easy),
> then I'll continue to do what I do. If you wish to fire insults in all
> directions, then I'm sorry...but I will withdraw my aid as I have on
> every occasion where you have become aggressive with or anyone else.
> You can disagree, as I know you can do so well. It comes down to what
> result you want. You have the option.

Wow. You really are a saint, kdf. I can't believe you haven't just
killfiled this guy and put him out of your misery by now.

- Marc

funny, you quote him talking about me, but nothing i said.

you know why? b/c i didn't do anything he said i did.

so sainthood for mischaracterizations and you run with it.

you could be baghdad bob.

MrSinatra
2007-01-26, 14:35
Quoting ModelCitizen
<ModelCitizen.2l1bsn1169844001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> It just seems so obvious that they will.
> MC

indeed:
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,crid=2084,contentid=12498

i am curious...

they have the RF extender... but what about TCP/IP?

i am kinda curious as to why there are no networked wireless remotes... i understand costs, but this is a high end product.

(and yes, i realize the controlled item would also need to be on the network)

Nostromo
2007-01-26, 14:48
I'm all for a fancy new remote à la Sonos, but it should be optional.

I'd prefer something smaller myself, about the size of an iPod. A next gen tactile screen like the iPhone would be pretty nice.

bklaas
2007-01-26, 14:50
Quoting ModelCitizen
<ModelCitizen.2l1bsn1169844001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> It just seems so obvious that they will.
> MC

indeed:
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,crid=2084,contentid=12498

along the same price point, there's the PepperPad3
http://pepperpad.com

Obviously, not an in-house product, but it's a handheld internet tablet that sports both WiFi and IR. They market it as being able to control all of your IR devices in a similar fashion to a harmony remote. Plus it does a whole lot of other crap.

If there's anyone out there using one of these to control a squeezebox (esp. with one of my skins), I really would like to hear about it.

cheers,
#!/ben

P Floding
2007-01-26, 14:55
P Floding wrote:
> Skunk;174474 Wrote:
>
>> I use web interfacing 85% of the time. My server is wired to the router
>> and player, so responsiveness is as snappy as any application, for me.
>>
>>
>> When not in front of the server, I use a small tablet PC to build
>> playlists, view covers/reviews, and of course change settings. It's an
>> 802.11b device, but using the status.html of the handheld skin it's as
>> snappy as the server itself. I've modified the skin so that the album
>> cover is bigger and I can see the review in the same pane from the
>> status page. It's a joy to lie on the couch with the panel propped up
>> and watch the albums go by.
>>
>> I keep another window open on the tablet with all the abum covers
>> showing in nokia770, so I view covers there and make playlists in the
>> handheld browser. To do so while fishbone is running on the desktop is
>> a minor miracle to me, and makes me smile every time.
>>
>
> Yes, the ability to seamlessly use the web interface in several places
> without any procedure to "grab" the command is a major bonus. I
> wouldn't want to lose that flexibility just for a slicker interface.
> Improving sync speed between GUI and what's going on, and making it a
> bit slicker and more responsive is all it needs.
>

The best solution would be a Moose like application (improved), that can
run as an alternative to the webinterface. Web interfaces are great but
they can't really provide the flexibility that stand alone clients can.
By adding a client app you only *gain* flexibility.

Mind you, writing a good client is an art in itself, as well as a matter
of 'taste' so I wouldn't be that surprised if SD came up with a client
that I'd hate to use if they'd decide to create one.

Regards,
Peter

I'm not familiar with Moose, but I would have thought that today's browsers would have enough scriptability etc to allow a pretty slick user interface? Perhaps I'm wrong.. I haven't looked into web programming for a long time. (It was sort of in it's infancy when I last time worried about such things.)

bklaas
2007-01-26, 14:55
along the same price point, there's the PepperPad3
http://pepperpad.com


I somewhat randomly clicked on the "contact us" link on the PepperPad website and found that the U.S. contact is so close to my house I could walk to it. Maybe I'll have to pay them a visit...

#!/ben

pfarrell
2007-01-26, 15:10
P Floding wrote:
> I'm not familiar with Moose, but I would have thought that today's
> browsers would have enough scriptability etc to allow a pretty slick
> user interface? Perhaps I'm wrong.. I haven't looked into web
> programming for a long time. (It was sort of in it's infancy when I
> last time worried about such things.)

It depends on how slick you want to be, and how many browsers you want
to support. All the fancy AJAX stuff is just javascript, there really is
nothing new other than the name itself, which is rapidly becoming less
of a meaningful acronym and more of a generic buzzword.

The problem with all slick browser stuff is that you have an installed
base. Lots of users use a wide variety of browsers with assorted levels
of patches. And sadly, the most popular one, MS InternetExplorer is the
worst at complying with standards or working the same across versions.

For a company with serious engineering talent, such as Google, it is not
a big deal to support all of it. But for a small team, paid or
contributed, the combinatorial explosion of browser compatibility is
very expensive. You have to write code that tests for feature existance,
proper operation, etc. and then you have to Quality Test it against all
the combinations. IE 5 on Win98 is not IE6 on XP.

You can do it, it is just a SMOP.
Small matter of programming.

Sometimes small is in the mind of the marketing product manager.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

bklaas
2007-01-26, 15:15
I'm not familiar with Moose, but I would have thought that today's browsers would have enough scriptability etc to allow a pretty slick user interface? Perhaps I'm wrong.. I haven't looked into web programming for a long time. (It was sort of in it's infancy when I last time worried about such things.)

IMO, yes. I tried to get the ball rolling with adding loads of Web 2.0/AJAX features into Nokia770/Touch skins.

If the Slim UI were to follow this direction, the end goal would be a stateful web application that gave the user a high level of responsiveness (a proof-of-concept would be the player controls on the 'now playing' page of either Nokia770 or Touch).

Classically in browsers, real-time user experience has sucked because you end up serving dynamic content through full page refreshes. AJAX aims to solve that in two ways: by immediately returning control of the page to the user after a click, and by refreshing individual elements on a page rather than requiring full page refreshes. Nokia770 and Touch do that partially right now, but navigating between major elements of the UI (home, playlist, now playing, search) is still done via classic URL hyperlinking, which feels clumsy in this type of app.

(queue someone complaining about how the underlying webserver isn't fast enough and AJAX won't do anything to help that)
(queue someone saying how the ONLY way to build a useful UI is with a dedicated GUI app written for a specific OS)
(sigh)

When I dove into the Nokia770/Touch stuff, I think I was kind of hoping that it would gain enough attention that others would take the AJAX ball and roll further with it. It gained lots of attention, but I'm not seeing anyone else belly up to the bar. Who knows, I may still do it myself.

cheers,
#!/ben

bklaas
2007-01-26, 15:28
Pat- I pretty much agree across the board about what you say, but a few counterpoints:

1. The problem of supporting the installed base is fairly simple-- the skin concept allows for a fully pimped out AJAXed skin to sit alongside Default and other classically driven web skins. You default everyone to the lowest common denominator and make other options available to those that want them.

2. IE is an ornery S.O.B., to be sure. Even IE7 doesn't address the standards problems IE has (I'm a bit of a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist on this one...I think MS screws up standard support entirely on purpose). However, CSS in my experience is the hard thing to deal with in programming for IE, not javascript. Third party javascript libraries like Prototype (which is in the slimserver codebase) get around most of the hairy IE javascript support issues.

cheers,
#!/ben

totoro
2007-01-26, 15:36
I can understand one rationale for keeping the controller a webapp, which is just that you don't have to install anything on the client machine (esp useful for things like pdas, I would guess).

But the user already has to install a server, so why not give them a native app to run the thing on? I'm not a huge java fan, but doing it in java would make the platform support relatively easy.

IME, it's a lot easier to get stand-alone apps to do interesting new things than it is with web apps. I never have to do front end programming for real, so I realize that my experience isn't necessarily worth much :). But all my prototype guis these days are straight C#, and I don't miss having to f&^% around with tomcat or whatever to get out a prototype demo.

Nostromo
2007-01-26, 15:37
P Floding wrote:
> I'm not familiar with Moose, but I would have thought that today's
> browsers would have enough scriptability etc to allow a pretty slick
> user interface? Perhaps I'm wrong.. I haven't looked into web
> programming for a long time. (It was sort of in it's infancy when I
> last time worried about such things.)

It depends on how slick you want to be, and how many browsers you want
to support. All the fancy AJAX stuff is just javascript, there really is
nothing new other than the name itself, which is rapidly becoming less
of a meaningful acronym and more of a generic buzzword.

The problem with all slick browser stuff is that you have an installed
base. Lots of users use a wide variety of browsers with assorted levels
of patches. And sadly, the most popular one, MS InternetExplorer is the
worst at complying with standards or working the same across versions.

For a company with serious engineering talent, such as Google, it is not
a big deal to support all of it. But for a small team, paid or
contributed, the combinatorial explosion of browser compatibility is
very expensive. You have to write code that tests for feature existance,
proper operation, etc. and then you have to Quality Test it against all
the combinations. IE 5 on Win98 is not IE6 on XP.

You can do it, it is just a SMOP.
Small matter of programming.

Sometimes small is in the mind of the marketing product manager.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Interesting stuff.

I really hope that Logitech will pump more money into SlimServer development and hire a crack team of programmers.

JJZolx
2007-01-26, 15:47
(queue someone complaining about how the underlying webserver isn't fast enough and AJAX won't do anything to help that)

Not so much the web server. The oop database code and lack of query optimization seems to be the source of most of the web interface slowness (not the clunkiness). Either way, AJAX fairs quite badly if the backend server isn't highly responsive.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 15:58
IMO, yes. I tried to get the ball rolling with adding loads of Web 2.0/AJAX features into Nokia770/Touch skins.

If the Slim UI were to follow this direction, the end goal would be a stateful web application that gave the user a high level of responsiveness (a proof-of-concept would be the player controls on the 'now playing' page of either Nokia770 or Touch).

Classically in browsers, real-time user experience has sucked because you end up serving dynamic content through full page refreshes. AJAX aims to solve that in two ways: by immediately returning control of the page to the user after a click, and by refreshing individual elements on a page rather than requiring full page refreshes. Nokia770 and Touch do that partially right now, but navigating between major elements of the UI (home, playlist, now playing, search) is still done via classic URL hyperlinking, which feels clumsy in this type of app.

(queue someone complaining about how the underlying webserver isn't fast enough and AJAX won't do anything to help that)
(queue someone saying how the ONLY way to build a useful UI is with a dedicated GUI app written for a specific OS)
(sigh)

When I dove into the Nokia770/Touch stuff, I think I was kind of hoping that it would gain enough attention that others would take the AJAX ball and roll further with it. It gained lots of attention, but I'm not seeing anyone else belly up to the bar. Who knows, I may still do it myself.

cheers,
#!/ben

OK, you seem to have it nailed!
Of course a server-client approach is in no way inherently slow. Just multithread the server if there are problems.

I suggest Logitech employs you to do a proof-of-concept!

(So it's AJAX now? ;-) Glad I passed on the "beans" and what have you..)

bklaas
2007-01-26, 15:59
But the user already has to install a server, so why not give them a native app to run the thing on? I'm not a huge java fan, but doing it in java would make the platform support relatively easy.


Is cross-platform support in java easy?

I remember in the 90s when Java started coming into the buzz as the killer new cross-platform language. I was truly excited about it. Since then, it's done almost nothing but give me fits. Softsqueeze, while a nicely written app, is not worth running on my linux machine; java-based web apps almost universally stink; the swing interface makes me soooo sad, yaddah yaddah.

There are notable exceptions to this, the most prominent in my head being Azureus, which is a downright fantastic bittorrent client that really is cross-platform. I have lots of friends that are solely java programmers and they really are jazzed about working in that language. I just haven't seen the benefits that it was touting a decade ago come to fruition.

Programs in any language are only as good as their designers, but I see a far higher percentage of apps written in java that turn out to be garbage.

cheers,
#!/ben

P Floding
2007-01-26, 16:00
I can understand one rationale for keeping the controller a webapp, which is just that you don't have to install anything on the client machine (esp useful for things like pdas, I would guess).

But the user already has to install a server, so why not give them a native app to run the thing on? I'm not a huge java fan, but doing it in java would make the platform support relatively easy.

IME, it's a lot easier to get stand-alone apps to do interesting new things than it is with web apps. I never have to do front end programming for real, so I realize that my experience isn't necessarily worth much :). But all my prototype guis these days are straight C#, and I don't miss having to f&^% around with tomcat or whatever to get out a prototype demo.

A well written client-server app will look just like any stand-alone app. The confusion is in associating client-server with the "web browser" experience.

A client server app has the major advantage of allowing multiple GUIs on multiple platforms controlling the same thing.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 16:02
Is cross-platform support in java easy?

I remember in the 90s when Java started coming into the buzz as the killer new cross-platform language. I was truly excited about it. Since then, it's done almost nothing but give me fits. Softsqueeze, while a nicely written app, is not worth running on my linux machine; java-based web apps almost universally stink; the swing interface makes me soooo sad, yaddah yaddah.

There are notable exceptions to this, the most prominent in my head being Azureus, which is a downright fantastic bittorrent client that really is cross-platform. I have lots of friends that are solely java programmers and they really are jazzed about working in that language. I just haven't seen the benefits that it was touting a decade ago come to fruition.

Programs in any language are only as good as their designers, but I see a far higher percentage of apps written in java that turn out to be garbage.

cheers,
#!/ben

Yes, "swing".. I shudder in horror...

totoro
2007-01-26, 16:08
A well written client-server app will look just like any stand-alone app. The confusion is in associating client-server with the "web browser" experience.

A client server app has the major advantage of allowing multiple GUIs on multiple platforms controlling the same thing.

There's a big difference between a client in the general sense, and a webapp client. A stand-alone client can be written in a proper typesafe language with a compiler that gives you warnings. It can do more complex server requests. It can manage its own memory. It can manage state much more easily. It can be developed in a system where unit tests are easier to run.

etc, etc, etc

pfarrell
2007-01-26, 16:11
bklaas wrote:
> Is cross-platform support in java easy?

Sure, if you want minimal common subset.
Oh, you don't like that. Hmm, then it isn't so easy.

> Programs in any language are only as good as their designers, but I see
> a far higher percentage of apps written in java that turn out to be
> garbage.

I will make the jump that you mean application designers, and not
language designers. Mostly because it is the application design you see,
not the sausage behind it. Its not the language, its the designers or
perhaps the amount of effort that the implementors are willing to put
into the application.

Good design is hard. Period. Good user design is very hard, and gets
harder the more widespread your user community is. Wider can be measured
in variety of users (expert, casual) or variety of domain (medical
nurses versus patients). Wider can mean platforms, versions, or
interests. I listen to a lot of jazz and bluegrass, so the players and
sidemen are important. This is not important for pop or rap, most of the
session musicians are not even credited.

Finding a design that makes a classical music nut happy while keeping a
jazz or pop nut happy is nearly impossible. I had a friend with hundreds
of Grateful Dead concert tapes, I have no idea what kind of structure
would make navigating through that work. What do you do to identify
specific takes when you have 500 copies of a song?

Skins help a lot, but they can only go so far.



--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

totoro
2007-01-26, 16:11
Is cross-platform support in java easy?

I remember in the 90s when Java started coming into the buzz as the killer new cross-platform language. I was truly excited about it. Since then, it's done almost nothing but give me fits. Softsqueeze, while a nicely written app, is not worth running on my linux machine; java-based web apps almost universally stink; the swing interface makes me soooo sad, yaddah yaddah.

There are notable exceptions to this, the most prominent in my head being Azureus, which is a downright fantastic bittorrent client that really is cross-platform. I have lots of friends that are solely java programmers and they really are jazzed about working in that language. I just haven't seen the benefits that it was touting a decade ago come to fruition.

Programs in any language are only as good as their designers, but I see a far higher percentage of apps written in java that turn out to be garbage.

cheers,
#!/ben

Trivially easy? No. Easier than the alternatives? yes.

I'm actually a pretty dyed-in-the wool c++ bigot, so I don't give the recommendation to use java lightly (I could chew your ear off about what a complete joke java generics are, but that's awfully OT). But maintaining a gui in a cross platform environment written in c/c++ sounds pretty unpleasant to me.

bklaas
2007-01-26, 16:27
Trivially easy? No. Easier than the alternatives? yes.

I'm actually a pretty dyed-in-the wool c++ bigot, so I don't give the recommendation to use java lightly (I could chew your ear off about what a complete joke java generics are, but that's awfully OT). But maintaining a gui in a cross platform environment written in c/c++ sounds pretty unpleasant to me.

But there's an alternative-- the browser. Though widely derided by both the knowledgeable and not-so-knowledgeable on this forum, I really think Slimserver's Perl, Template::Toolkit, and skin API makes building a gui in a cross-platform environment pretty manageable. AJAX is the bridge that makes the browser a viable UI for this type of app.

I'm also a big fan of those that are spinning things their own direction-- Moose, Softsqueeze, SlimRemote, etc. That's why an open source model makes for such a rich set of alternatives.

#!/ben

I'm doing my best to be the anti-complainer today. I'm not sure why, but today's posts were probably the most contentious I've ever seen. There are some people spending an enormous amount of effort typing out passive aggressive (and in some cases, massive aggressive) insults back and forth endlessly. Don't you realize there are better ways to spend your time? In fact, I'm going to take that advice and pour myself a wee dram of Highland Park and call it a day. Cheers!

totoro
2007-01-26, 16:34
But there's an alternative-- the browser. Though widely derided by both the knowledgeable and not-so-knowledgeable on this forum, I really think Slimserver's Perl, Template::Toolkit, and skin API makes building a gui in a cross-platform environment pretty manageable. AJAX is the bridge that makes the browser a viable UI for this type of app.

I'm also a big fan of those that are spinning things their own direction-- Moose, Softsqueeze, SlimRemote, etc. That's why an open source model makes for such a rich set of alternatives.

#!/ben

I'm doing my best to be the anti-complainer today. I'm not sure why, but today's posts were probably the most contentious I've ever seen. There are some people spending an enormous amount of effort typing out passive aggressive (and in some cases, massive aggressive) insults back and forth endlessly. Don't you realize there are better ways to spend your time? In fact, I'm going to take that advice and pour myself a wee dram of Highland Park and call it a day. Cheers!

Eek, I hope you didn't take my comments that way. They weren't meant in that spirit.

It's just that I've had lots of experiences at work where my humongo-multithreaded-ai-server-thingy had to do work I really thought was purely presentation information because it was "too hard" to do the stuff in ajax. I admit that I wasn't the guy who had to do the ajax stuff. But it happened again and again, coloring my perceptions of that way of doing clients.

FWIW, I would think the best thing would be to have a "thick" stand alone client, and a "thin" web client. But that's just meant as my _opinion_, not a slam or a jibe or in any way a critique of all of the work that's been done to date.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 16:34
Ajax seems very reasonable for this type of stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_(programming)

interesting.

P Floding
2007-01-26, 16:47
P.S: I wouldn't want to lose the cross platform ability of today, that allows even my Nokia N80 to control the SB.. So any new slick interface is hopefully backed up by the good old web interface..

totoro
2007-01-26, 17:03
Is cross-platform support in java easy?

I remember in the 90s when Java started coming into the buzz as the killer new cross-platform language. I was truly excited about it. Since then, it's done almost nothing but give me fits. Softsqueeze, while a nicely written app, is not worth running on my linux machine; java-based web apps almost universally stink; the swing interface makes me soooo sad, yaddah yaddah.

There are notable exceptions to this, the most prominent in my head being Azureus, which is a downright fantastic bittorrent client that really is cross-platform. I have lots of friends that are solely java programmers and they really are jazzed about working in that language. I just haven't seen the benefits that it was touting a decade ago come to fruition.

Programs in any language are only as good as their designers, but I see a far higher percentage of apps written in java that turn out to be garbage.

cheers,
#!/ben

I think the reason for there being more bad programs in the "easier" languages is precisely because they're easier. That leads to, in some cases, unqualified people thinking they can write good programs, and in others to the suits thinking that because they're using the magic-bullet language, that they can cut corners on schedules.

If I had my druthers, we'd all be programming in OCaml :).

totoro
2007-01-26, 17:05
bklaas wrote:
> Is cross-platform support in java easy?

Sure, if you want minimal common subset.
Oh, you don't like that. Hmm, then it isn't so easy.


I don't think he minimal common subset is so small these days, due to all the work IBM put into it (no thanks to Sun).

Philip Meyer
2007-01-27, 04:26
Some ideas:

If there is a problem navigating to T-V and you suspect it to be due to artwork, I assume this is because you have the display mode set to album artwork, rather than text listing. What if you change the mode to text listing before clicking on the T-V link?

How about using Browse Music Folder and clicking into each folder - you might find the problem artwork that way?

Philip Meyer
2007-01-27, 04:30
"a nice media player" and "iTunes" don't belong in the same sentence ;-)

Phil

Meatwad650
2007-01-27, 05:04
Wow, I feel bad for you guys that seem to have so much trouble with SlimServer. It works well for me, although I'm only in my second week. I have designated my bedroom a computer free zone but now I have all my music in there. And I like the Internet radio - the 4 radio stations I listen to all stream so I don't need that Bose wave radio in there anymore...

I also don't quite get all the iTunes hating. I like the interface and it works well with my iPod (duh). Then again, with 4 Macs in my small apartment (and soon to be a few more) I've pretty much drunk the Jobs kool-aid so I may be biased...

totoro
2007-01-27, 10:32
The only 2 issues I have with itunes are the directories with weird characters and the inability to handle flac (someone there pointed me to a quicktime extension dll, but it didn't seem to help me).

I can see why people like it though, having switched from alac/itunes to flac/eac/the godfather/album art aggregator. My current solution works, but.....

Just wondering-- how much of the complaining about the lack of an itunes-like interface could be reduced by doing something like bundling a version of the j river product (or whatever, really) on a restricted license, with an option for a discounted upgrade.

I think it would be fairly nutty for slim/logitech to _write_ such a thing, but this licensing/bundling thing could make sense.

Is this idea completely daft, or do people think it has some merit?

tyler_durden
2007-01-27, 12:06
I've been using the "Touch-Screen" interface to control Slimserver via a tablet PC for a few days now and I gotta say anyone who is complaining about the browser interface is just nutz. It works very well. Browsing by cover art is such a nice way to select music, and if you don't use gigantic .jpg files for the art work it is very fast.

Maybe the people complaining about the web interface speed are running on old, slow PCs (though my tablet is only a 500 MHz celeron with 128 MB of ram), or running very slow network cards (I am using a g card), or maybe they have a lot of network traffic going on while they are trying to control slimserver (running bittorrent for example).

I have found a couple small bugs and annoyances. The biggest problem is that the cover art pages are broken up alphabetically into groups of letters. For example, if I want to go to disc titles that start with the letter L, the discs that start with J,K,L, and M are all displayed on one page so I have to scroll through the page to get to the L discs. I understand that you wouldn't want to have a single page for all the artwork because it would be slow to load on a system with a big library, but why not just do a separate page for each letter? That way when you hit L it will go right to L. Scrolling on my touchscreen is a bit of a pain.

I found a bug that affects the playlist display. When I first go to the playlist page, it shows the songs in the list along with all the artists, but for some reason, after several seconds, the artists all change to read the same 4 digit year number, as if something in the server is grabbing the year tag from one of the songs and substituting it for the artist field in all the songs in the playlist. I haven't figured the exact conditions that cause it but when I do I'll check bugzilla and submit a report if it isn't already there.

Another bug is that when browsing by cover art with the discs sorted by artist, the letters to select the search near the top of the page don't agree with the actual pages that come up. For example, the page that is supposed to display R, S, T actually displays everything from R - Z. Selecting the U, V, W, X, Y, or Z brings up an empty page.

TD

bklaas
2007-01-27, 12:53
I found a bug that affects the playlist display. When I first go to the playlist page, it shows the songs in the list along with all the artists, but for some reason, after several seconds, the artists all change to read the same 4 digit year number, as if something in the server is grabbing the year tag from one of the songs and substituting it for the artist field in all the songs in the playlist. I haven't figured the exact conditions that cause it but when I do I'll check bugzilla and submit a report if it isn't already there.

Another bug is that when browsing by cover art with the discs sorted by artist, the letters to select the search near the top of the page don't agree with the actual pages that come up.



I fixed that playlist bug, but not before 6.5.1 came out. If you upgraded to a recent 6.5 nightly build, it will be fixed.

The second bug you mentioned has also been fixed, and I believe that fix did make it into 6.5.1. Again, upgrade to a 6.5.1 nightly and that bug will go away.

cheers,
#!/ben

JJZolx
2007-01-27, 12:59
Another bug is that when browsing by cover art with the discs sorted by artist, the letters to select the search near the top of the page don't agree with the actual pages that come up. For example, the page that is supposed to display R, S, T actually displays everything from R - Z. Selecting the U, V, W, X, Y, or Z brings up an empty page.

This has been fixed in 6.5.1.

Nostromo
2007-01-27, 16:06
I've been using the "Touch-Screen" interface to control Slimserver via a tablet PC for a few days now and I gotta say anyone who is complaining about the browser interface is just nutz. It works very well. Browsing by cover art is such a nice way to select music, and if you don't use gigantic .jpg files for the art work it is very fast.

Maybe the people complaining about the web interface speed are running on old, slow PCs (though my tablet is only a 500 MHz celeron with 128 MB of ram), or running very slow network cards (I am using a g card), or maybe they have a lot of network traffic going on while they are trying to control slimserver (running bittorrent for example).

I have found a couple small bugs and annoyances. The biggest problem is that the cover art pages are broken up alphabetically into groups of letters. For example, if I want to go to disc titles that start with the letter L, the discs that start with J,K,L, and M are all displayed on one page so I have to scroll through the page to get to the L discs. I understand that you wouldn't want to have a single page for all the artwork because it would be slow to load on a system with a big library, but why not just do a separate page for each letter? That way when you hit L it will go right to L. Scrolling on my touchscreen is a bit of a pain.

I found a bug that affects the playlist display. When I first go to the playlist page, it shows the songs in the list along with all the artists, but for some reason, after several seconds, the artists all change to read the same 4 digit year number, as if something in the server is grabbing the year tag from one of the songs and substituting it for the artist field in all the songs in the playlist. I haven't figured the exact conditions that cause it but when I do I'll check bugzilla and submit a report if it isn't already there.

Another bug is that when browsing by cover art with the discs sorted by artist, the letters to select the search near the top of the page don't agree with the actual pages that come up. For example, the page that is supposed to display R, S, T actually displays everything from R - Z. Selecting the U, V, W, X, Y, or Z brings up an empty page.

TD

I can't agree more. If you're complaining about those up and down arrows and the lack of drag and drop, you must be nutz ;-)

I use SlimServer 6.5.1 (Fishbone skin) on a Windows XP PC (AMD 64 3000+ with 1 GB of ram) and SS is slow. Even if there's nothing else worth mentionning running. For example, when I rate a song, it takes about 2 to 3 seconds for the change to take place.

tyler_durden
2007-01-27, 20:42
I loaded 6.5.1 today in windoze and it I think it was behaving the same way. I'll check again. I went to 6.5.1 in Linux as soon as it came out. I don't know which OS was running when I was having the problems, maybe windoze with 6.5.0.

A few minutes later...
I just checked and the bugs are fixed! Thanks, gentlemen!

One more problem I have noticed: The touch screen interface to control player volume moves in steps that are too large. The volume is either too loud or too soft. Is there some way to get finer steps in there? (Yes, I use replaygain and smart volume).

TD

tyler_durden
2007-01-27, 20:56
I use SlimServer 6.5.1 (Fishbone skin) on a Windows XP PC (AMD 64 3000+ with 1 GB of ram) and SS is slow. Even if there's nothing else worth mentionning running. For example, when I rate a song, it takes about 2 to 3 seconds for the change to take place.

I don't know what else may be running on your machine, but response is nearly instantaneous on my machine. I am running an 3000+ AMD64 cpu with 512 MB of ram for the server, with Avast antivirus. My library is 682 CDs worth of flac files. The machine is plugged directly into my wrt54G router. This machine is dual booted between win2k and AMD64 ubuntu. Performance seems about the same under either OS.

I am controlling the system using a Fujitsu ST3500 tablet with a measley 500 MHz celeron and 128 MB of ram, and a 802.11g PC card. Right now there is no antivirus, but that will have to change. Even the tablet is fast (maybe because it has almost no hardware attached to it- no floppy, no CDROM, etc.)

Maybe there is some service sucking up resources on your system... I don't know what "rating a song" is...

TD

mherger
2007-01-28, 00:09
> For example, when I rate a song, it takes about 2
> to 3 seconds for the change to take place.

That's not the most representative example for slimserver as it's a third
party plugin. Its author might have an explanation, but core SlimServer
has nothing to do with it.

--

Michael

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

martman
2007-01-28, 15:11
When I use archive.org with my squeezebox 3 it has a tendency to cut the end off all / most of the songs. This is particularily anoying with live music. perhaps a way to pre-buffer new tracks when streaming would fix this. Is this even possible?

MrSinatra
2007-01-28, 18:29
Some ideas:

If there is a problem navigating to T-V and you suspect it to be due to artwork, I assume this is because you have the display mode set to album artwork, rather than text listing. What if you change the mode to text listing before clicking on the T-V link?

How about using Browse Music Folder and clicking into each folder - you might find the problem artwork that way?

found the problem, it was an artwork file. works fine in the track listing tho. only crashes SS as a thumb.

uploaded all the info into the bug report i filed. not sure why a jpg would crash SS, but i think now that they have the info and file, they'll figure it out. thx.