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dekaliber
2007-02-12, 12:48
Under product info, Slim states: "Our sole goal is to provide everyone access to their digital music collection, from any room in the home. We deliver pure digital sound without the hassle of shuffling through CDs."

Extending that statement a bit, how about a truly audiophile MP3 player? The iPod is ubiquitous, sure, but is disappointingly proprietary and appeals to the undemanding masses. I would personally love to see a quality sounding, open source, and beautifully designed MP3 player when I can't be enjoying my Squeezebox at home.

Specifically, something with these kind of specs
+ provides the same audio format support as the Squeezebox
+ allows for easily upgradeable and open source firmware
+ similar audio output (24-bit DACs, 100+ SNR, < 0.03% THD, etc)
+ looks as sleek as the Squeezebox
+ a similar 4 directional arrow interface
+ 80 gigs of storage

Perhaps a "wireless" version too?
+ wireless audio transfer
+ Internet radio support

I don't claim to know a whole ton about audio player design, but something like this could really appeal to the high end market. Are these impossible aspirations?

bludragon
2007-02-12, 13:06
My idea for an audiophile portable player is as follows:

Digital output
User configurable storage - have an sd slot + a 1.8in hdd bay.
Decent DAC + headphone amp - I seem to remember TI or someone announcing a fully integrated but high end headphone amp a while back...
flac, ogg, mp3 support.
replacable battery.

The point of the replaceable battery and storage are that it would make it much less of a consumable.

Mark Lanctot
2007-02-12, 13:20
It does come up from time to time: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=27378

With Logitech's financing they'd be able to do it. However gaining market share on the 800 lb gorilla that is Apple is a tall order. Also portable audio isn't Slim's core competency or even Logitech's. The market is littered with once mighty companies and fantastic players that have been killed off by Apple.

Something they could offer which Apple doesn't is wi-fi connectivity. This could be for synching with your home network to update your music library or playing from your SlimServer at home or on the road (at a wireless hotspot or a hotel).

Mark Lanctot
2007-02-12, 13:25
My idea for an audiophile portable player is as follows:

Digital output

...why a digital output in a portable player? Wouldn't a Squeezebox be better for this? Presumably you'd be using the output with fixed speakers, don't know why you'd want a portable player for that application.

bklaas
2007-02-12, 14:10
Under product info, Slim states: "Our sole goal is to provide everyone access to their digital music collection, from any room in the home. We deliver pure digital sound without the hassle of shuffling through CDs."

+ 80 gigs of storage


I think the implied message in "access to their digital music collection, from any room in the home...without the hassle..." is that the digital music collection resides in a central location. As soon as you add 80 gigs of storage, a portable squeezebox becomes a whole lot less interesting to me. Plus, adding local storage means an increased cost-of-goods, esp. considering you'd need to have some kind of slimserver or other software interface for your local tunes.

Make it a truly slim device, with no local storage and a reliance on a central slimserver over wifi, and the R&D cost of creating such a thing goes way, way down. I don't know if the market exists for such a device...after all, this means that as soon as your squeezeboombox is out of wifi range you're kind of up a creek, but...well, I'd buy one.

#!/ben

matthijskoopmans
2007-02-12, 14:17
If a portable player would be in the planning, it needs to stand out, and create its own little niche. Some features that I would be thinking about:

1. wireless
2. sync from SlimServer, with transcoding via lame if the format is not directly supported on the player, or the user prefers to compress music (listening to lossless in the airplane makes no sense to me, even with noise canceling headphones).
3. reasonable amount of storage
4. no headphones in the package, the users can decide how much they are willing to spend
5. a very sleek design
6. plugin support
7. when connected to SlimServer, it acts just like a squeezebox
8. radio streaming via wireless
9. RSS feeds (connect via bluetooth with mobile?)

just my 2 cents...

JJZolx
2007-02-12, 14:38
Just what the world needs... another portable mp3 player.

What would qualify the talent at Slim Devices to create such a player? They have about as much experience in that area as they do designing and building CD players.

peter
2007-02-14, 07:38
JJZolx wrote:
> Just what the world needs... another portable mp3 player.
>
> What would qualify the talent at Slim Devices to create such a player?
> They have about as much experience in that area as they do designing and
> building CD players.
>

They could create an 'open' mp3 player by incorporating the free Rockbox
software. It's a new angle, if it's enough to create a market share is
doubtful.

A car based mp3 player is perhaps a more interesting market. A small
player (just a display really, no battery, no storage) that you connect
to your head unit via line in and connects to a standard USB hard disk
for storage. Could be cheap to make because it needs no own storage and
the software could be (free) Rockbox. The storage capacity would be
almost limitless and it would play flacs.

Regards,
Peter

tyler_durden
2007-02-14, 16:29
My tablet PC that I use as a remote control for slimserver can also serve as a sort-of portable player by running softsqueeze. The problem with it is that it has a 10" display, requires a running wifi card to play the music, and has horrendous battery life- 2 hours if I turn the display brightness down to minimum. It also weigh 3 lbs.

The point is, it is far more efficient to copy your files from your HDD to your portable player and play them that way than to try to run a wifi card to receive the signals from the HDD. If you're going to run a wifi transceiver, you're not going to get long battery life (at least not from anything anyone considers portable).

Now you could interface a stereo FM transmitter to the squeezebox and have it transmit the audio to a small portable receiver such as those built into many non-apple mp3 players. The receiver itself wouldn't be able to control the system, but it would be very small and able to play for many hours on a charge.

Using an FM transmitter would allow you to stream internet radio to your portable player.

TD

peter
2007-02-14, 23:23
dekaliber wrote:
> Extending that statement a bit, how about a truly audiophile MP3
> player? The iPod is ubiquitous, sure, but is disappointingly
> proprietary and appeals to the undemanding masses. I would personally
> love to see a quality sounding, open source, and beautifully designed
> MP3 player when I can't be enjoying my Squeezebox at home.
>

IMHO the market for mp3 players is only temporary. In time everybody
will be using their mobile phones for playing music. Nokia, Ericsson,
Motorola and Apple have all realized this and are scrambling to create
better music playing phones.

Regards,
Peter