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View Full Version : All-In-One Device - does it exist... is there a market



Kaizen28
2007-05-28, 19:39
Hi All

I hope you'll all forgive the ramblings of a caffeine-fueled individual....

I have been the prod owner of a Nakamichi SoundSpace 8 for about 7 years and while it has a substantial Wife Acceptance Factor and looks just beautiful floating on the bedroom wall, the fact is it simply isn't very good.

I have reached a point where I would like to replace it but I'm really struggling to find anything suitable. Currently the SoundSpace connects to my SqueezeBox which I LOVE but interaction is somewhat limited with multiple remotes and the non-existent alarm function of the Nakamichi. I've pondered removing the Nakamichi entirely and having really pretty wall-mounted speakers with a hidden amp but Internet radio streams can be unreliable and quality is questionable.

So, is there anything out there in a single elegant package that can stream media like my beloved Squeezebox, play radio stations (HD or otherwise) and possibly CDs too?

I've not found anything and I guess there just isn't a market for an all-in-one device.

Any thoughts are welcome!

peterw
2007-05-28, 20:56
So, is there anything out there in a single elegant package that can stream media like my beloved Squeezebox, play radio stations (HD or otherwise) and possibly CDs too?


I recently bought a never opened Griffen Radio Shark so that my Slimserver host could stream local FM to my Squeezeboxes, including my kitchen setup that's just a Squeezebox, a bookshelf speaker, and a small amp hidden behind the speaker. I haven't gotten around to writing a plugin for changing the station because I usually listen to the same local station (whose 32k public internet stream is worse than "questionable" quality; it's sooo much better listening at 160k).

It sounds like control is your biggest problem -- have you looked into good universal remotes (the MX-500 looks quite good, but I've already invested time in some far cheaper One-For-All remotes) and Felix Mueller's IR Blaster plugin?
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?IRBlaster
Depending on the codes available on the SoundScape (especially discrete "on" and "off" codes), you may be able to get alarm clock functionality with the free IR Blaster plugin and a $7 infrared transmitter cable.

-Peter

mflint
2007-05-29, 05:11
I recently bought a never opened Griffen Radio Shark so that my Slimserver host could stream local FM to my Squeezeboxes, including my kitchen setup that's just a Squeezebox, a bookshelf speaker, and a small amp hidden behind the speaker. I haven't gotten around to writing a plugin for changing the station because I usually listen to the same local station (whose 32k public internet stream is worse than "questionable" quality; it's sooo much better listening at 160k).
Peter...

A very timely post! I've wanted to do just that, and have been looking for a RadioShark. Hopefully I'll win one on Ebay soon...

I'd want to get some tight integration to SlimServer - I like the idea of being able to retune via the squeezebox. (Dare I mention the possibility of pausing / rewinding too!?)

Would be happy to collaborate on this if you have the time and inclination!

Matthew

ps: Kaizen28> apologies for the thread-jack!

Kaizen28
2007-05-29, 06:04
Peter...

ps: Kaizen28> apologies for the thread-jack!

No problem! It's all for the greater good am I'm learning loads at the same time.

Sike
2007-05-29, 07:32
The radio shark would be a cool solution, but what about DAB. Are there any recievers? There used to be a Psion waverider (or something like that) .. the only thing i can find now is Trinloc device: www.trinloc.com

mflint
2007-05-29, 07:40
The radio shark would be a cool solution, but what about DAB. Are there any recievers? There used to be a Psion waverider (or something like that) .. the only thing i can find now is Trinloc device: www.trinloc.com
That would be my ideal solution, but there are no USB DAB radios that I can find which will work under linux

I've searched. I've googled. I've emailed manufacturers directly, asking for advice, data sheets and words of encouragement. But, if I'm lucky enough to get a reply, it's always "Sorry, not supported".

(For your info, trinloc didn't reply to my emails)

Unfortunately, my slimserver lives on a small PowerPC linux box (the "KuroBox") so I'm very reluctant to invest in a new Windows box just for USB DAB hardware support...

HEY LOGITECH! Have you ever considered making a USB DAB device!? ;-)

peterw
2007-05-29, 14:02
A very timely post! I've wanted to do just that, and have been looking for a RadioShark. Hopefully I'll win one on Ebay soon...

I'd want to get some tight integration to SlimServer - I like the idea of being able to retune via the squeezebox. (Dare I mention the possibility of pausing / rewinding too!?)

Would be happy to collaborate on this if you have the time and inclination!


I'd love to have such a plugin, but I fear that I don't have much free time to work on it.

More on my setup:
- I'm using DarkIce (via ALSA, I think) to send the Shark's audio to my IceCast server. My DarkIce init script uses the "shark.c" libhid app to turn off the LED and tune the Shark.
- I've set a Slimserver Favorite to the IceCast stream URL.
- I have a cron job that uses streamripper (http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/) to save MP3s of a favorite weekly radio show (which is why I encode at 160k instead of 320k).

streamripper has the ability to save multiple files, splitting at quiet moments. It could be a good way to get rewind capability. With a pruning mechanism like 'tmpwatch', you could have around-the-clock radio caching, and could start listening to something "late".

I've had trouble getting streamripper to save filenames in the dir/filename format of my choosing -- it doesn't seem to behave as documented, and I haven't bothered to track down the problem. I also didn't have much luck with tagging via streamripper, and re-tag streamripper's outout once it's done. I don't recall what version of streamripper I'm using, but it's certainly not the latest.

streamripper presents a complication for my wish list -- I'd like any tuning plugin to be smart enough not to let me change the station if my cron job is recording a show. I can imagine at least one easy fix for this: have the plugin test if the shark executable exists and is usable; if so, have a scrollable list of presets and allow the user to use the buttons to dial in a frequency; if not, display something like "Sorry, cannot change the station right now". Then you could point the plugin at a copy of the shark app that the cron recording job would chmod 0 before recording, and fix after the recording was done.

Minimal function for me would be a web UI for entering frequencies & station names, and a player UI for selecting different frequencies. Being able to "save"/"record" through the player UI would be very nice.

Definitely search the forums for other threads that discuss the RadioShark. For instance, one user reported better sound with a low pass filter. I didn't see obvious ways to incorporate lowpass into the DarkIce ALSA mechanism, so I haven't bothered trying to make a lowpass filtered recording with mplayer, arecord, etc.

DAB -- you might check the MythTV lists & forums for that. It seems fairly common for TV tuner cards to include radio tuners, and I think I've seen a fair number of UK folk discussing DAB.

-Peter

wolo
2007-05-29, 16:15
I just stumbled upon this link on the main Slim Devices homepage: http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_radiotime.html?

I spent a few minutes snooping around the RadioTime website, and it looks like a server-side version of the Radio Shark concept.

-Wolo

Kaizen28
2007-05-29, 18:28
Hi

The RadioShark looks superb but.... it just needs to work off my ReadyNAS running SlimServer. Pity, that's not there yet.

I'll do some investigating into the IR Blaster option as I'm not sure how I'd get this to turn on the Nakamichi at a given time though. It's such a waste leaving it on in AUX mode.

Thanks again for some great information.

peterw
2007-05-29, 20:12
I just stumbled upon this link on the main Slim Devices homepage: http://www.slimdevices.com/dev_radiotime.html?

I spent a few minutes snooping around the RadioTime website, and it looks like a server-side version of the Radio Shark concept.


RadioTime is a great idea, but, aside from the fact that I take issues with some parts of their implementation (mainly security & privacy issues, search the forums for more details), they depend on the streaming of the radio stations. In my case, a local station that has great programming only streams at 32k, which I find unlistenably bad. With the RadioShark they save $ on their internet bandwidth, and I get a better stream.



I'll do some investigating into the IR Blaster option as I'm not sure how I'd get this to turn on the Nakamichi at a given time though. It's such a waste leaving it on in AUX mode.


IR Blaster will send the "on" codes you specify whenever the associated Squeezebox comes on, and the "off" codes when the player turns off. This is great if the SoundScape and Squeezebox were always turned on/off together, or if the SoundScape has a discrete "on" command (vs. a generic "power" command -- you don't want the Squeezebox coming on for an alarm and IR Blaster turning the SoundScape *off*). IR Blaster will let you set multiple codes per on/off/vol+/vol- event, so you could do something like send On and then Aux when the Squeezebox powers on, wakes up for an alarm, etc. It's a great plugin.

-Peter

mflint
2007-05-30, 01:30
OK, I'm now feeling really bad about the threadjack... so started a new thread:

RadioShark etc (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=35720)

Matthew

Kaizen28
2007-06-05, 11:55
It sounds like control is your biggest problem -- have you looked into good universal remotes (the MX-500 looks quite good, but I've already invested time in some far cheaper One-For-All remotes) and Felix Mueller's IR Blaster plugin?


The suggestion of the IR Blaster plugin is inspired. It's such a simple, and elegant solution! I'm speaking with the nice people at Infrant to see if the default volume can be changed with the ReadyNAS version. If not I guess it's time for a feature request...

mswlogo
2007-06-05, 12:44
Hi All

I hope you'll all forgive the ramblings of a caffeine-fueled individual....

I have been the prod owner of a Nakamichi SoundSpace 8 for about 7 years and while it has a substantial Wife Acceptance Factor and looks just beautiful floating on the bedroom wall, the fact is it simply isn't very good.

I have reached a point where I would like to replace it but I'm really struggling to find anything suitable. Currently the SoundSpace connects to my SqueezeBox which I LOVE but interaction is somewhat limited with multiple remotes and the non-existent alarm function of the Nakamichi. I've pondered removing the Nakamichi entirely and having really pretty wall-mounted speakers with a hidden amp but Internet radio streams can be unreliable and quality is questionable.

So, is there anything out there in a single elegant package that can stream media like my beloved Squeezebox, play radio stations (HD or otherwise) and possibly CDs too?

I've not found anything and I guess there just isn't a market for an all-in-one device.

Any thoughts are welcome!

If you want compact elegance and performance check out the F-80

http://www.thef80.com/

It does not stream like a SqueezeBox. But you can hook a SqueezeBox to it. If you want elegance (i.e. easier usability for server music) check out Sonos. I have nothing against Slim Devices they make a great product. But Sonos really shines on usability (Wife Acceptance). A Sonos + F-80 would be ideal.

Serious performance in small packages costs though. F-80 is new and available in europe and should be in US soon.

The same company also has in wall active biamped digital crossover speakers which are pretty awesome.