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View Full Version : Slim, Logitech, and the future of network music



joatca
2007-03-09, 11:41
Like many people here, my reaction to the purchase of Slim by Logitech was... let's say "mixed". Lots of concerns over whether it is a good or bad thing, whether I'll lose Linux support, whether new devices will have the same sound quality.

I personally doubt that Logitech will kill the quality of our favourite device, and even if they do develop a "low-fi" version, there is still a market for higher-fi, perhaps the model range will expand.

However I have come to the conclusion that when you look at the big picture, even if Logitech were to do the absolute worst... close-source new versions of SlimServer, de-support everything except Windows, de-support older Slim boxes, drop hifi devices and other evils, it doesn't really matter.

Consider:

1. Existing Squeezeboxes and Transporters will still be good. SlimServer itself can be forked by the community and kept current for a long while, even without firmware updates to the devices. Even as the copyright holder, you can't close-source previous versions of something under the GPL, only future versions. So, your current device will be useable for years to come.

2. Other devices that perform the same core functionality already exist. By that I mean "stream music from hard-drives or network at high-fidelity". That is the guts of it... the SB's nice display and RSS plugins and such are just gravy. If a hole is left in the market by changes in the Slim direction, someone else will fill it, and do it better. Sonos, Hifidelio, and others already fill slightly difference niches.

If you don't like the other alternatives available now, there will be better ones around long before your SB becomes useless.

We all owe Slim Devices a debt of gratitude for showing that not only can you make a network music player, you can make a very good one at low cost with an open development model. They have changed hifi forever. Anyone who has enjoyed a device like this can't go back to putting dumb CDs into players again.

To Slim Devices: I've very happy with my Squeezeboxes and if the quality and openness continues under Logitech I'll most likely buy more in the future. If it doesn't, I'll be sorry to see you go, but it'll be okay. Accept my thanks for opening up a new market, but I'll buy from those that fill your shoes.