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Sparky
2007-03-02, 00:03
I discovered Sonos on the Rhapsody website and have been planning on acquiring it, but recently found Slim Devices there as well. Since I don't own either one, I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has tried both. I am particularly impressed with the Sonos hand held controller, as using a "conventional" remote control is not that appealing and the user interface seems very important. At this point, I would leave out the Transporter from the discussion. Thanks, Sparky

mherger
2007-03-02, 00:13
Please search the forum for Sonos. You'll find plenty of discussions of
this topic.

> I am particularly impressed with the Sonos hand held
> controller, as using a "conventional" remote control is not that
> appealing and the user interface seems very important.

I think it comes down to:

Sonos:
+ simpler to set up
+ sexy controller
+ DRM support(?)
- closed system
- expensive
- you need that expensive controller to control your device without
computer

SlimDevices:
+ no compromise on quality
+ very open and flexible (plugins, developpers listening to the community,
no closed networking etc.)
+ great display
+ great community :-)
- no support for DRMed files
- no two way remote control besides the web interface (not an issue for
many)
- less sex appeal (remote, web interface)

But then I don't know the Sonos...

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-03-02, 01:40
Michael Herger wrote:
> Please search the forum for Sonos. You'll find plenty of discussions of
> this topic.
>
>
>> I am particularly impressed with the Sonos hand held
>> controller, as using a "conventional" remote control is not that
>> appealing and the user interface seems very important.
>>
>
> I think it comes down to:
>
> Sonos:
> + simpler to set up
> + sexy controller
> + DRM support(?)
> - closed system
> - expensive
> - you need that expensive controller to control your device without
> computer
>
> SlimDevices:
> + no compromise on quality
> + very open and flexible (plugins, developpers listening to the community,
> no closed networking etc.)
> + great display
> + great community :-)
> - no support for DRMed files
> - no two way remote control besides the web interface (not an issue for
> many)
> - less sex appeal (remote, web interface)
>
> But then I don't know the Sonos...
>

Still it's a pity. If there were a sexy 2 way controller option that
comparison would look so much better, wouldn't it?

What I would find most annoying is the need to keep these things charged
up all the time. Yeah, I know, just put it in the cradle. I'd like to
avoid adding 4 cradles and wall warts to my living space (I hate the
friggin' things). How's that wireless power coming along anyway...?

With the simple SD remote control setup, I can now control all my A/V
devices (SB3/TV/MythTV) with one Logitech universal remote control and I
don't even have to switch from one layout to another. That's the kind of
simplicity I like.

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-03-02, 02:06
> Still it's a pity. If there were a sexy 2 way controller option that
> comparison would look so much better, wouldn't it?

From the rest of your response it looks as if it wouldn't...

> What I would find most annoying is the need to keep these things charged
> up all the time.

Two way communication will consume a lot more than simple IR remotes do.
I'm pretty sure that cool sonos controller will spend a lot of time on a
charging station.

--

Michael

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

peter
2007-03-02, 04:04
Michael Herger wrote:
>> Still it's a pity. If there were a sexy 2 way controller option that
>> comparison would look so much better, wouldn't it?
>>
>
> From the rest of your response it looks as if it wouldn't...
>

Yeah, it's like a stream of consciousness post. ;)

>
>> What I would find most annoying is the need to keep these things charged
>> up all the time.
>>
>
> Two way communication will consume a lot more than simple IR remotes do.
> I'm pretty sure that cool sonos controller will spend a lot of time on a
> charging station.
>

Nevertheless, it's clear that lots of people choose Sonos over SB
because of the Sonos remote. It would be nice for SD (and for us) if
they could beat the Sonos on its most valued selling point. I might even
buy one myself, I guess I could put up with one more cradle.

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-03-02, 04:14
> Nevertheless, it's clear that lots of people choose Sonos over SB
> because of the Sonos remote.

One other advantage of Slim Devices I mentioned was the developpers
listening to their customers... There's hope!

--

Michael

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

ds2021
2007-03-02, 05:05
Please search the forum for Sonos.
...
Sonos:
...
+ DRM support(?)


The Sonos does not appear to support iTunes purchased tracks. From their site:

**Tracks purchased from iTunes Music Store are DRM restricted and not compatible with Sonos.

mherger
2007-03-02, 05:25
> The Sonos does not appear to support iTunes purchased tracks. From
> their site:

iTunes isn't the only source of DRMed media. They support the MS flavour
of things.

--

Michael

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

Nikhil
2007-03-02, 06:26
I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has tried both.

Thanks, Sparky


They are both awesome, and they happily coexist side by side in my home.

Here's something I wrote about a year ago. Most of it still holds true, but I would be happy to elaborate on any particular aspects if you'd like

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=23490

snarlydwarf
2007-03-02, 09:08
iTunes isn't the only source of DRMed media. They support the MS flavour of things.


Only the "PlaysForSure" flavor of things, not the Zune flavor...

Runner400
2007-03-02, 11:35
Only the "PlaysForSure" flavor of things, not the Zune flavor...

Actually Sonos does support Zune Marketplace tracks.

Nostromo
2007-03-02, 13:25
The DRM thing isn't a big deal. I bought some tracks on iTMS and play them on my Squeezebox. You just have to burn them on CD and them rip them in FLAC. Its easy and perfectly legal.

I never tried the SONOS remote. It looks nice, but I'm not sure its better than the Squeezebox's remote. Its sexier and it displays album art. Which is nice. But its too big and doesn't look as functional as a Squeezebox remote. I'm sure I can find tracks a lot faster with my Squeezebox remote than a SONOS remote. In part thanks to the Lazy search plugins.

And, one of SONOS models doesn't have a digital out, IIRC. So you're basically stuck with the DAC that comes with it.

peter
2007-03-02, 13:57
Nostromo wrote:
> The DRM thing isn't a big deal. I bought some tracks on iTMS and play
> them on my Squeezebox. You just have to burn them on CD and them rip
> them in FLAC. Its easy and perfectly legal.
>

No big deal, just don't buy into DRM.

> I never tried the SONOS remote. It looks nice, but I'm not sure its
> better than the Squeezebox's remote. Its sexier and it displays album
> art. Which is nice. But its too big and not as functional as
> Squeezebox's remote. I'm sure I can find tracks a lot faster with my
> remote than a SONOS remote. In part thanks to the Lazy search plugins.
>

I played with it in a store once. It is pretty nice. Big advantage is
that it saves you from having to read the display from a long distance.
Now, the SB3 display is great and pretty large, but if you have a large
room it's still hard or even impossible to read. So if I want to control
my SB from the dinner table I'll have to use my laptop at the moment
which is not ideal. I hope the Nokia E90 I'm buying next will work well
with the Nokia 770 skin so I'll be able to use that. Keyboard only,
though, so it won't be ideal either.
> And, one of SONOS models doesn't have a digital out, IIRC. So you're
> basically stuck with the DAC that comes with it.
>

I can imagine that would be a problem for some people, but I'm not one
of them...

Regards,
Peter

Listener
2007-03-02, 19:37
The Sonos remote allows for displaying 9 or 10 lines in addition to the menu and status lines at the top and bottom. That gives you a much better view into your files than a single line on the SB remote.

I can't imagine preferring a 2 line display to a 11-12 line display.

Bill

2eleven
2007-03-02, 22:05
I looked at both products for a long time before buying 4 squeezeboxen for my house. The Sonos remote was the only thing I felt they did better, and really only for the ipod-like scroll wheel. The display isn't the best in the world, though it is nice. The scroll wheel is a god-send for people with large music collections.

That said, the Squeezebox is one of those golden products I've bought where it has worked exactly as advertised. I have found minimal bugs - it just works really well. The one time I ran across a bug that was an issue for me, I poked through the open source slimserver code, found the bug, and fixed it with the help of the great folks on the developer forum. I am more than convinced that I made the right decision with the Squeezebox.

Hope that helps,

John

utowana
2007-03-03, 05:03
I've owned a SB for over a year and, after my wife and daughter, it would be the next thing I grab in a house fire. Having said that, my bro in law recently asked for my help setting up a complete home audio system. He has a designer home and wanted clean, sexy and easy to use. After a lot of soul searching, I helped him purchase and install a frightfully expensive SONOS system that included multiple controllers and base units. It was effortless to set up and sounds fine. He loves it. It gave me a lot of time to play with the system directly. I found the controller to be cute, but surprisingly choppy in its response. One of the controllers needed to be reset several times a day...and I recommended he send it back. I hated the software installed on his "host" computer. Despite the occasional oddities of SS, I'll take it any day over what Sonos is passing off. After playing with the Sonos for a day, my brother in law asked how to create a custom play list. Well, just try doing some creative searching on the Sonos software. It can barely be done from the controller. I was forced to install Media Center on his computer, taught him how to really search his database of music, create an interesting playlist, export it, and save it in a folder that the Sonos would search (oh yeah, and then have Sonos rescan the library). I could go on, but my sense was that the Sonos was for music listeners and the SS/SB is for music lovers. Sometimes a prix fix meal is fun, but generally I like to order a la carte.

tamanaco
2007-03-03, 06:45
I also considered the Sonos before buying my SB3. It has been said many times before that people choose the Sonos based on the its sexiness and on the two way functionality of its remote. Folks also buy it because of its ease-of-installation reputation. These are similar to the reason why people buy iPods. The iPod and the Sonos are "close" systems whose components are made by the same company. Because of this, there aren't many issues of integration and therefore they are "easier" to install. BUT, with a "close" systems there is very little flexibility. If Sonos does not enhance the system it is very difficult for anyone else to do so. You won't catch me dead holding an iPod or a Sonos remote. I rather have the freedom of open components like the SB3. This is the reason that I have owned portable DAPs like the Nex II (Flash based) and a Rio Karma (hard drive-based) and more recently a Cowon D2 4GB. I bought these portable DAPs and the SB3 because they don't tie me to their software platform, because they provide support for many media file formats and because they don't tie me to a single online services provider like the iPod. Btw, I know that there is pain associated with "open" systems, but thoroughly reading the components manuals and having friends or family members with a little tech savvy... helps.

About the two way remote... Now that Logitech owns Slim Devices, maybe the Harmony division would consider making a "Universal" IR/RF remote with two way WiFi capabilities. This would be a better remote than the Sonos as it would take only "one" remote to control your whole A/V system. I've been dreaming of this remote for quite some time. It should be an "open" remote and support other popular media servers not just the Slimserver. The battery and docking stations are issues that can be addressed. There are better batteries technologies in the market and there are many ways to save power like putting the remote to sleep and waking it up with a motion sensor like the Harmony 880. A high resolution color LCD and a navigation wheel would be icing on the cake. Of course, I'm assuming that this would be an "optional" (expensive) remote made so that Logitech can sell it in other market segments not just in the SB-Slimserver market.

chiphart
2007-03-04, 20:22
utowana wrote:
> I've owned a SB for over a year and, after my wife and daughter, it
> would be the next thing I grab in a house fire.

I understand the sentiment, but my SB would be the LAST thing I
grab in a fire.

"Yes, sir. That's where I had my Transporter. Er, both of
them, right. A pair in each room. That's it."

--
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.

Hamlet
2007-03-25, 19:52
What do you guys think about using something like this with the browser client for times when you want a "Sonos-Style" remote?

http://viewsonic.com/products/desktopdisplays/wirelessmonitors/airsyncv210wirelessdisplay/


Of course it's bigger and heavier than the Sonos remote, but some may find that appealing, plus it will function as a whole lot more than just a remote (i.e. checking your e-mail from bed or on the john ;) ) It even has a speaker/headphone jack!
If it work as well as I imagine, it with a few slims, would beat Sonus hands down (at a price of course, but comparable and with many extra capabilties).

Mark Lanctot
2007-03-25, 20:20
What do you guys think about using something like this with the browser client for times when you want a "Sonos-Style" remote?

http://viewsonic.com/products/desktopdisplays/wirelessmonitors/airsyncv210wirelessdisplay/


Of course it's bigger and heavier than the Sonos remote, but some may find that appealing, plus it will function as a whole lot more than just a remote (i.e. checking your e-mail from bed or on the john ;) ) It even has a speaker/headphone jack!
If it work as well as I imagine, it with a few slims, would beat Sonus hands down (at a price of course, but comparable and with many extra capabilties).

Interesting - first I thought it was a Tablet PC (those have been discussed here - generally, they're as expensive as a laptop) but it appears like it's a specialized device that runs .NET applications from ROM.

It would depend what the cost is. On the low cost end, you have the Nokia 800, but its screen isn't nearly that big. On the high cost end, you have the tablets and laptops. Somewhere in between, almost as much as a laptop, is a device called a Pepper Pad 3. It would be interesting to see where this fits.

There is a .NET SlimServer viewer, highly developed and quite advanced, called Moose: http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove/ Hopefully it'd be able to run it.

Hamlet
2007-03-26, 00:57
Interesting - first I thought it was a Tablet PC (those have been discussed here - generally, they're as expensive as a laptop) but it appears like it's a specialized device that runs .NET applications from ROM.

It would depend what the cost is. On the low cost end, you have the Nokia 800, but its screen isn't nearly that big. On the high cost end, you have the tablets and laptops. Somewhere in between, almost as much as a laptop, is a device called a Pepper Pad 3. It would be interesting to see where this fits.

There is a .NET SlimServer viewer, highly developed and quite advanced, called Moose: http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove/ Hopefully it'd be able to run it.

Thanks for the Moose link. I played with it a bit and so far am pleased with it. It seems perfect for a tablet such as this one or the pepper. I believe the price of this unit falls closer to that of a laptop (I've seen used models selling near $1k). I believe there is value in having a flat device with touchscreen vs. a more cumbersome and possibly bigger/heavier laptop. I'm not sure I'd want to use a very small pda type screen, since that might be almost as tedious as using the remote.
Between the Viewsonic and the Pepper, I guess the cost vs. screensize and other utility that you would want are the determining factors.

I think my dream solution right now would be something like the N800 with a few more inches of screen, and perhaps a usb port as a nice bonus (to plug a modem into) to give it the cost-effective second utility of a remote 'go-anywhere' internet access device.

Dr Lovegrove
2007-03-26, 05:57
On 26/03/07, Hamlet
<Hamlet.2o1lxz1174896001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Thanks for the Moose link. I played with it a bit and so far am pleased
> with it. It seems perfect for a tablet such as this one or the pepper.

Careful though - I dont think Moose will work on the viewsonic as it
runs the cut-down Windows CE, which means it's basically a PDA.

UMPCs like the Q1 or OQO run the fuller tablet edition versions of
windows, which Moose and most windows apps work fine with..

Im hoping to make Moose's UI a bit more tablet/touch-screen friendly
over the next few months too..

--
- Dr Lovegrove
http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove
http://groups.google.com/group/moosenews

bklaas
2007-03-26, 07:26
Thanks for the Moose link. I played with it a bit and so far am pleased with it. It seems perfect for a tablet such as this one or the pepper. I believe the price of this unit falls closer to that of a laptop (I've seen used models selling near $1k). I believe there is value in having a flat device with touchscreen vs. a more cumbersome and possibly bigger/heavier laptop. I'm not sure I'd want to use a very small pda type screen, since that might be almost as tedious as using the remote.
Between the Viewsonic and the Pepper, I guess the cost vs. screensize and other utility that you would want are the determining factors.

I think my dream solution right now would be something like the N800 with a few more inches of screen, and perhaps a usb port as a nice bonus (to plug a modem into) to give it the cost-effective second utility of a remote 'go-anywhere' internet access device.

Couple of notes on what you said, Hamlet.

The PepperPad3 is linux-based, so Moose is a no-go there. The slimserver web UI with the Nokia770 skin would likely work well. Also give SlimFX, the flash-based skin a shot (you'll need to search the forums to find links for that).

Second, the Nokia N800 can go online by connecting to a cell phone via bluetooth, so there is no need for the USB port you mentioned.

Also, search the forum for Tyler Durden's solution of using a Fujitsu Stylistic tablet as a touchscreen UI. Pretty cool stuff, and seems to fit exactly what you're hoping for.

cheers,
#!/ben

4mula1
2007-03-26, 08:32
Second, the Nokia N800 can go online by connecting to a cell phone via bluetooth, so there is no need for the USB port you mentioned.

That's making the assumption that the DUN profile on their phone isn't crippled.

Hamlet
2007-03-26, 12:32
Couple of notes on what you said, Hamlet.

The PepperPad3 is linux-based, so Moose is a no-go there. The slimserver web UI with the Nokia770 skin would likely work well. Also give SlimFX, the flash-based skin a shot (you'll need to search the forums to find links for that).

Second, the Nokia N800 can go online by connecting to a cell phone via bluetooth, so there is no need for the USB port you mentioned.

Also, search the forum for Tyler Durden's solution of using a Fujitsu Stylistic tablet as a touchscreen UI. Pretty cool stuff, and seems to fit exactly what you're hoping for.

cheers,
#!/ben

Thanks for the helpful comments. I see you have been around these forums on this same subject looking for similar solutions.

What do you think of this one - For about $300 you get a refurb airpanel portable monitor http://cgi.ebay.com/ViewSonic-airpanel-V110p-Portable-10-Monitor-REF_W0QQitemZ300093350545QQcategoryZ74934QQtcZphot oQQcmdZViewItem
which you would use to remote connect to desktop of an older pc that you are using (or will use) as a server. You could run any windows client you want on the pc but effectively be controlling from the airpanel. Since it's just an airpanel there is no noise issue.

Hamlet
2007-03-26, 16:43
That's making the assumption that the DUN profile on their phone isn't crippled.


Aside from that, you couldnt use the new modems which work on Rev B broadband, or even worse, depending on the phone and the service, you might be on dial-up like speeds.

4mula1
2007-03-26, 17:35
Aside from that, you couldnt use the new modems which work on Rev B broadband, or even worse, depending on the phone and the service, you might be on dial-up like speeds.

I've used my N800 with GPRS and it's well, slow. Very slow. But I can still hit the road with the N800 and have some connectivity if I need it.

timmorris
2007-03-30, 09:46
I'm in the process of setting up an N800 as a dedicated Squeezebox remote. When (If!) I can get it working in kiosk mode to make it easier for other family membersto pickup it will be perfect. It is pretty easy as it is as I've downloaded the SB3 + remote icon from the products homepage and all you have to do is click on the icon to load the webpage and then press one button to make the page fullscreen.

I've also done a tiny bit of editing on the server side to turn the drop down player select box into a display field and will eventually set up a dedicated remote for each player by using "/index.html?player=<name>" at the end of the squeezebox url. While it does start to get a touch expensive buying one remote for each zone the slimdevices solution is so much more configurable than the Sonus plus I'm putting the players in place of a centrally wired Soundserver and QED MusiQ system. The SB3s will sit hidden out of place in a home cinema rack with the N800s as a discrete touchscreen remote next to the speakers in each zone. I'm also thinking about installing a TCP/IP to IR interface. Instead of just a zone controller it could form the basis of a Smarthome control hub.

Tim

markwm
2007-07-21, 17:02
When you guys refer to the Sonos having a 2 way remote, what does this mean?

Mark Lanctot
2007-07-21, 17:57
You send a command, you get something back.

The SlimServer equivalent would be a Nokia 800, laptop or desktop on the LAN.

An IR remote is one way - it sends a command and doesn't get anything back. It doesn't know the state of the system.