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cliveb
2007-10-02, 10:07
I've had the Jive handset for a few days now, and some feedback is in order. It struck me that if I were to post one great big essay that covered everything, it stood little chance of being read. So I've decided to create separate threads to cover various aspects, in the hope that if anyone cares to respond, we can keep focussed.

So here's the first installment - my thoughts about the Jive concept:

I presume the Jive controller is a response to those who have expressed disatisfaction with the standard Squeezebox remote, and would prefer something more along the lines of the Sonos controller. I personally don't have a problem with the standard remote, but my wife does, and when I briefly showed her the Jive controller her reaction was positive. There again, she has an iPod, so she's used to the sort of interface presented by Jive.

I support the idea behind the Jive controller. But I presume it will probably cost a fair amount (anyone have any idea how much?), so I do not believe it should become the only controller available: the standard remote should be continued as the low-cost (default?) option. Were the Jive to be the only controller, one might argue that the VFD display could be removed from the Squeezebox. Perhaps a new cost-reduced Squeezebox without the VFD could be produced. If such a display-free SB + Jive handset were available for the same price as the current SB + standard remote, then I can see that it would be an attractive alternative for some buyers. Indeed, for those people who want a multi-room system, if additional display-free SBs were available without the Jive handset at low cost, one could buy multiple SBs and fewer (perhaps only one) Jive controller. But a standard SB with display + IR remote should always be available for those people who do not run a wireless network of any kind.

What is the hole on the top? It looks like a headphone socket. I understand that the Jive also has an SD card slot. Is that the slot you gain access to from underneath the battery? I'm wondering if there is some intention that perhaps the Jive handset could also become a portable music player (like an iPod), with MP3s loaded onto the SD card. If so, I can't see this working - the device is simply too large for that purpose, and I for one wouldn't want to take it out of the house and risk losing it if it was my preferred gateway to music at home. Assuming there isn't a plan for the Jive handset to be a portable player, what is the purpose of the headphone socket?

slimpy
2007-10-02, 10:13
Were the Jive to be the only controller, one might argue that the VFD display could be removed from the Squeezebox. Perhaps a new cost-reduced Squeezebox without the VFD could be produced.
I think this is happening right now...

Assuming there isn't a plan for the Jive handset to be a portable player, what is the purpose of the headphone socket?
To listen to music directly streamed to the Jive HW. Sort of in-house portable.

-s.

vrobin
2007-10-02, 10:57
I think this is happening right now...

To listen to music directly streamed to the Jive HW. Sort of in-house portable.

-s.

And why not some sort of combo remote... at home it's the remote. Remove the screen from the keyboard, and it's a portable player... yeah, it would rock!
Some sort of mix between I-Pod, Harmony Remote and a Transformer Robot ;)

erland
2007-10-02, 12:54
At first I thought I was very happy with the current remote I and had no use of an extra remote control like the Jive remote. My main concern was that it would result in a second remote in the living room since it couldn't replace the current Harmony universal remote. But having used the Jive remote a bit I'm actually starting to change my mind a bit. I think there are a number of different concept a Jive like remote could cover, but I'm not sure a single product is the best way to cover all these concepts.

Universal remote:
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I need a universal remote in the living room which can control all devices. I don't want a second remote for doing simple things like turning on the music, starting a playlist, turning on the TV, changing channel on the TV, increasing the volume. A Harmony remote without Jive support together with the SqueezeBox display works great in this scenario. The Jive remote wouldn't really add a lot of value here. In this scenario you could also put changing album when I know which album I like to listen to.

Music selection:
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When I don't know what to listen to I need to be able to browse my library in many different ways with the goal of finding something interesting. For this purpose the Jive remote is a huge improvement compared with the current remote and the SqueezeBox display. I hadn't realized this until I had actually tried the Jive remote. The single line display on the SqueezeBox is really to limited for this purpose, it is in my opinion a lot easier to browse your library with the Jive remote where you see more text rows simultaneously. The competition on this part is a laptop. Selecting music through the SlimServer web interface is even better than the Jive remote, but that requires a laptop. The limitation regarding this point is that the standard SlimServer isn't that good at helping you selecting music when you don't know what you like to listen to. To give good support for this there needs to be a lot more ways to browse your library and it needs to have support for things like similarity and browsing statistics of played tracks. Anyway, I think the Jive remote would have a great potential to work really good as a music selector.

Garden listening:
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Regarding outside listening there are two situations for me. One case is when I'm just outside the house in the garden the other case is when I leave the house to go somewhere else. In both these cases I would like to take my music with me on a portable device. In the garden I think the Jive remote might work if it has decent audio circuits, the headphone socket is enabled and the current WiFi range is improved or it can store and play music locally on the device. This would result in that I would be able to listen to all my music as long as I'm within WiFi range. The current size of the Jive device wouldn't be a problem for me personally in this situation, but it really depends on if you are just sitting and reading a book or if you are working with something. If you are working with something I think the current size might be a bit large for this usage. In this scenario a universal remote is of no interest, I don't need to be able to change channels of the TV from the garden.

Off site listening:
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The other situation when I leave the house to go somewhere else would require a smaller device than the current Jive prototype. It needs to fit in the pocket, my limit is about the size of a iPod classic but the preferable size would be something like the iPod nano. When leaving the house, the requirement isn't to take the whole library with me, it would be enough with 10-20 hours of listening time. However, if it doesn't contain the whole library it would also require a good synchronization mechanism that has good support for picking the correct part of the library on the portable device. Needless to say, in this scenario a universal remote is of no interest, I don't need to be able to change channels of the TV when I'm not at home.


In my opinion the current Jive remote only target the "Music selection" scenario really good, assuming that the SlimServer part is improved either with third party plugins or with standard functionality. But I can see potential for a device to cover several of the scenarios.
- A Harmony based universal remote supporting Jive could cover both "Music selection" and "Universal remote".
- A iPod similar device with ability to synchronize with SlimServer could cover both "Music selection", "Garden listening" and "Off site listening".

However, I think Logitech might have done the right thing with the current Jive remote. Choosing to target the "Music selection" part means that they neither need to worry about the complexity of a real universal remote nor the specific requirements of a portable player.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-10-02, 20:04
Thinking this through - the idea of the Jive Remote as an audio playback device. Take the Jive with you - to work, a friend's place, or any wi-fi hotspot, and you've got access to SqueezeNetwork and/or your home slimserver. If you move out of wi-fi range, the audio playback defaults to whatever's on the SD card. Sweet.

funkstar
2007-10-03, 02:23
Thinking this through - the idea of the Jive Remote as an audio playback device. Take the Jive with you - to work, a friend's place, or any wi-fi hotspot, and you've got access to SqueezeNetwork and/or your home slimserver. If you move out of wi-fi range, the audio playback defaults to whatever's on the SD card. Sweet.
The only problem with that is the battery. At the moment you have to take the base with you if you want to charge the thing. Either a standard round socket on the bottom would be nice, or even a way to charge it over USB.

I could have used this last night actually. Listening to music late at night and my headphone aren't long enough to reach into the kitchen, so had to pause to make a cup of tea. It would be great to use the remote instead :)