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Musketeer
2007-12-10, 23:21
I've been spoilt by my Squeezebox. You see its given me easy access to my whole music collection, countless radio stations from every corner of the world and podcasts of every nature. My living room audio is fully catered for.

Because of this, lately the bedroom clock radio is starting to get really annoying. Being limited to the few local AM/FM stations with scratchy reception and packed full of advertising is just not cutting it anymore.

I would get another Squeezebox, but it doesn't quite fill the need. I need a small, tidy, bedside unit that has its own speakers and dedicated buttons for presets, snooze etc without having to navigate menus for everything. This would be used to go to sleep to and to wake up to.

I can see some devices on the net, but am not too sure about some of them. Roku seems to have released something recently, but its a touch on the chunky side and I'm more of a "Slim" person ;) I wonder if the Slim/Logi guys have anything in the works?

Do any of you use a wifi internet clock radio that you can recommend?

benshead
2007-12-11, 08:31
That's exactly what I want! Other than the Roku product, I don't believe there is anything that will work with Slimserver out there and I agree with you that Roku's clock radio is unacceptable for a number of reasons.

Certainly, the simplest approach would be a dedicated Squeezebox plugged into powered speakers. I agree with you, though, that that approach isn't clean enough, especially for fumbling around in the dark when the alarm goes off at 6am.

I'm not much of a hardware hacker, but I am what you would call a wannabee, so I've started assembling the pieces of my ideal system, since no manufacturer seems willing to sell me what I want.

1) Amp6 amplifier kit <http://www.41hz.com/> to serve as the amplifier.

2) Used SB1G or SB2 to take apart (trolling eBay, but hoping prices will come down after the holidays)

3) Power Supplies (to go 120VAC-->15VDC for Amp6 and then 15VDC-->5VDC for Squeezebox)

4) Walnut and aluminum for case (I fancy the old KLH aesthetic)

5) 2" extended range drivers for speaker. I probably will mimic the old KLH builds by including one stereo channel in the clock radio and then have a satellite speaker to handle the other channel. This could go on my wife's side of the bed.

My plan is to take apart a squeezebox remote and mount the remote's PCB inside the clock radio. Buttons mounted on the outside of the case will be wired to it and it will in turn control the Squeezebox.

The only volume control necessary will be the squeezebox's, but I have to admit to preferring a big analog knob, so I am not sure if I lock the SB volume control and just use a potentiometer or whether I will set the Amp6's output where I want it with a resistor and use the SB to control volume. It would be nice if the SB was able to control volume, however, so that I could take advantage of plugins like SleepFade <http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/SleepFade.html>.

I am still in the planning stages and would love to hear from others who have attempted or contemplated building something similar.

sander
2007-12-13, 15:02
I've been looking for the same thing.

It actually looks like the best solution for boombox/alarm clock style is one of the zillion ipod extender things. I don't own an ipod or plan to, but there's such a variety of form factors at this point, playing $300 for something as crippled as the SoundBridge Radio or a hacked up Squeezebox seems to be more of an exercise than it's worth.

Something like this: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=206582683 seems like a better place to start.

aubuti
2007-12-13, 15:53
What about something like this: http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/product_range/wifi_radio/WiFi.asp

I've seen some other similar things out there, but I forget brands now.

SuperQ
2007-12-13, 16:32
I use this setup:

SB3 with remote on the beside table.
Super T-Amp under table
Definitive Procinema speakers mounted to wall.

Sounds nice, works well, gets me up in the morning.

Maybe one of these days I could build a nicer box that holds the T-Amp and SB3 in a single box.. could be fun. I also have an SB2 I could use for the project.

jsclarke
2007-12-13, 17:21
To any talented entrepreneur out there- I'd pay $300 for a wifi clockradio in a heartbeat.

Or- even an easier way to do this- write a piece of software that would run on a laptop computer- and give you a display with a clock, sleep function, etc. Business people could use this in hotel rooms- "tuning" in to the internet versions of radio stations they'd normally listen to at home- over the hotel wifi. Ever try to get ANY radio station on a hotel clock radio? It's almost there- all you need is a way to shut off the audio in 30/60/90 minutes, etc. John

Musketeer
2007-12-14, 04:59
My plan is to take apart a squeezebox remote and mount the remote's PCB inside the clock radio. Buttons mounted on the outside of the case will be wired to it and it will in turn control the Squeezebox.

The only volume control necessary will be the squeezebox's, but I have to admit to preferring a big analog knob, so I am not sure if I lock the SB volume control and just use a potentiometer or whether I will set the Amp6's output where I want it with a resistor and use the SB to control volume. It would be nice if the SB was able to control volume, however, so that I could take advantage of plugins like SleepFade <http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/SleepFade.html>.

I am still in the planning stages and would love to hear from others who have attempted or contemplated building something similar.

Wow - you're obviously a bit braver with tools than I am ;)

ModelCitizen
2007-12-14, 06:22
Have a look at the Roberts WM201 WiFi Internet Radio - radio/alarm/clock/music player.

It seem to fit your bill perfectly. Plays Flac files too.

MC

m1abrams
2007-12-14, 07:11
One thing I do not understand about clock radios like the SoundBridge is why they feel the need to put stereo speakers in them. For the common placement of a clock radio stereo speakers is not needed and you are actually better off with a good single speaker and decent mono amp. When your stereo speakers are only 8 inches apart and you are listening to to them pretty much directly off the side stereo separation is not really possible.

benshead
2007-12-14, 10:31
@Musketeer - Or stupider! I get a lot of enjoyment out of the process, though, even when the product isn't as good as I'd hoped.

@ModelCitizen - The Roberts radio looks interesting, but I'd like to make use of Slimserver, err SqueezeCenter, as much as I can.

@m1abrams - I agree. I won't bother with stereo unless I can put the second speaker on the other side of the bed. Or maybe the speakers will be outside the cabinet. Putting drivers in the cabinet requires a lot of compromises on speaker size & shape.

I need to make a firm decision on form factor before I go further, since keeping the scope of the project as simple as possible is usually the key to success in my world.

Cheers to all. I'll keep you posted on my progress...

bpa
2007-12-14, 11:13
I had thoughts of porting Squeezeslave to a Logik IR100 (Wifi Radio) same h/w as Roberts and AE radios.

The main chips is the same as the one used in Jive remote.

This guy has already done some work on it.
http://internetradiohack.blogspot.com/

benshead
2007-12-14, 11:51
Wow, that sounds very promising, bpa, though out of my league. I like the look of the Roberts radio, especially the volume knob.Not sure, though, whether the display would be too small.

Do you know how they sound?

sixofone
2007-12-15, 16:52
Well, to these ears the Roberts WM-201 sounds pretty good. It has two decent-sized full range drivers in a solid, bass-ported cabinet. I would say that it's at least the equal of a Tivoli Model One.

The Reciva-based internet radio functionality is in many respects superior to what Squeezebox offers and the alarm works very well. There are 4 independent alarm programs. The display is a backlit LCD measuring about 3x1 inches. This shows 3 lines of scrolling text when the radio's on, or a giant-sized digital readout of the time when in standby. Brightness levels are fully adjustable.

As a media player it has limitations when compared to a Squeezebox, though I've found it to be perfectly serviceable as a bedside device in this role (EyeConnect is my upnp media server of choice).

To be honest, I use the Roberts far more that my Squeezeboxes simply because it's somehow more............. convenient, I guess.

It's also sold in the US as the Sangean WFR-20.

peterw
2007-12-15, 19:02
My plan is to take apart a squeezebox remote and mount the remote's PCB inside the clock radio. Buttons mounted on the outside of the case will be wired to it and it will in turn control the Squeezebox.

The only volume control necessary will be the squeezebox's, but I have to admit to preferring a big analog knob, so I am not sure if I lock the SB volume control and just use a potentiometer or whether I will set the Amp6's output where I want it with a resistor and use the SB to control volume.

This sounds like a great project!

What about a jog-dial style knob that would be tied to the volume up and volume down contacts on the PCB? And I'd use a pot for the amp volume, sticking out the back of the enclosure.

You could use a subset of the remote control buttons -- probably the top 11 buttons (sleep & power to the 4-way d-pad) from a current Transporter-style remote control. Hmm, maybe the 0-9 buttons would be good for Favorites presets (and SaverSwitcher, of course!) Instead of gutting an offcial Slim/Logitech remote, consider using a relatively cheap universal remote. You could teach it codes for the Slim buttons, and you should also be able to teach it other (non-Squeezebox) IR codes that you could map to specific functions with SlimServer/SqueezeCenter. E.G. map some specific non-SB IR code to the snooze function in your alarm plugin of choice and wire that to a nice, big physical snooze button. For a real hacker flourish, use a JP1 remote control and leave the JP1 jumper block accessible on the back of the unit for reprogramming the buttons.

I'm not sure where you'd place the buttons. My first thought is on top of the enclosure, like an old clock-radio, but then you want to see the VFD when you're reaching out to press the buttons. Are you handy enough to mount the buttons on the front? Do you remember the old clock radios that had a nearly horizontal panel for buttons below and in front of the displays?

Mount the IR emitter and IR receiver such that the unit can respond to IR codes from an actual remote control.

I second the suggestion about monophonic sound. My bedroom and kitchen units are mono, mainly for placement/WAF reasons. I'd rather have one good speaker enclosure than two poor, tinny enclosures -- or stereo sound in a location where I can't, or simply won't, listen from a good location between the speakers.

-Peter, looking forward to progress reports (& pictures!)

ModelCitizen
2007-12-15, 22:51
Well, to these ears the Roberts WM-201 sounds pretty good. It's also sold in the US as the Sangean WFR-20.
Based on your "review" I've just added this to my Christmas list. The Sangean seems to vary in price a lot in the States (a cursory search shows $299 to $399) and the product description doesn't even seem to mention the ability to play your own music via wireless and upnp. How wierd is that? - http://www.ccrane.com/radios/wifi-radios/sangean-wfr-20-wifi-internet-radio.aspx

It doesn't have a remote does it?

I have a Roberts digital radio in my kitchen with a not-dissimilar cabinet and that sounds perfectly acceptable (good even).

MC

sixofone
2007-12-16, 02:22
It doesn't have a remote does it?



Yes it does.

Check out the full spec and download a manual here:
http://www.sangean.com/product.php?model=WFR-20&prod_id=42

DanielTheGreat
2007-12-16, 05:13
I'm very happy with my second SB3 as a 'clock radio' (actually a 'clock-flac-player'!). I have two decent speaker boxes (one each side of the bed) driven by a sony mini hi-fi system (sitting on one of the speakers), fed by the SB3 and its remote sitting next to the bed. I have the screensaver set to 'time' (and at a low brightness) so that at any time during the night I can see what time it is, even while music's playing.
Don't worry about the fiddly SB3 menu system - set it up from SlimServer (just once), with whatever playlists you want for each specified day, and with your appropriate wake-up volume setting for each chosen day.
I leave the Sony amp's volume up 'loud', and control via the SB3 remote. For example, falling asleep I use an SB3 volume of '20', and I have each of my (weekday only) alarms set for volume '60'. The SB3 has the required sleep function (with good choices of sleep times), so I can fall asleep to quiet music and be woken up by loud music (which fades-up from zero volume beautifully - full marks to the SlimServer programmers for that thoughtful touch!)
Works a treat for me - couldn't be happier with my alarm arrangement.
Daniel

Musketeer
2007-12-17, 05:33
Well, I got the SoundBridge Radio in the end - came today actually. It's still early days, but it seems to be what I was looking for.

I feel like I'm cheating by bringing a roku into the house :o But hey, if Slim had a clock radio I would have probably gone for it. Anyways, other than the bedroom, the rest of the house is still a Squeezebox zone :)

sander
2007-12-17, 14:11
Well it's been a pretty informative thread nonetheless. I thought I knew all the UPnP devices, but there are more of these things than you can shake a stick at. If Logitech doesn't work on some more form factors all the bells on Squeezecenter won't save them in the long run IMHO.

The Revo Pico Wifi looks especially interesting since it co-exists with FM and is "splash proof" (?) and portable, although the Sangean WFR-20 looks like the best bet for a clock radio since it has a battery backup a decent alarm options.

I was searching some more and came across the Freecom MusicPal http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3593&CatID=8060&sCatID=1147463&ssCatID=1147463 Which has the added perk of RSS feeds (although it sounds a little immature at the moment).

What's interesting about these wifi clock radios is that they're almost all (except Roku) from European companies. You'd think with more vacation days they'd have less use for them. :) I kid, I kid.

It's too bad none of them have really taken the concept to the next level as far as I can see. I have a Timex clock which adjusts (incorrectly now) for Daylight Savings, and has a battery backup so theoretically it never needs to be set. With a larger UI, say a web interface, these devices should be programmable for much more, like turning off on my vacation days or setting special reminders, but heck some of these $300 devices can't even figure out it's the weekend.

ModelCitizen
2007-12-17, 14:23
The Revo Pico Wifi looks especially interesting since it co-exists with FM and is "splash proof"
That'll be the one for the bathroom then.

MC
European and loves long holidays
:-)

peter
2007-12-21, 02:49
m1abrams wrote:
> One thing I do not understand about clock radios like the SoundBridge is
> why they feel the need to put stereo speakers in them. For the common
> placement of a clock radio stereo speakers is not needed and you are
> actually better off with a good single speaker and decent mono amp.
> When your stereo speakers are only 8 inches apart and you are listening
> to to them pretty much directly off the side stereo separation is not
> really possible.
>

I'm willing to bet a substantial portion of buyers (you know, the ones
that pay the money) would buy a stereo model over a similarly priced and
featured mono model. Now, try to imagine you're a clockradio
manufacturer and you want to make a profit... ;)

Regards,
Peter

SadGamerGeek
2007-12-21, 03:14
Out of interest, does anyone know how all these "Listen Again" compatible radios know where to get their streams from? AlienBBC obviously has config files that can be easily modified, but how do the units listed cope when the BBC has a revamp of their website?

aubuti
2007-12-21, 07:47
I'm willing to bet a substantial portion of buyers (you know, the ones that pay the money) would buy a stereo model over a similarly priced and featured mono model. Now, try to imagine you're a clockradio manufacturer and you want to make a profit... ;)

Regards,
Peter
While I completely agree that a substantial share of buyers would choose stereo over mono, I also think that Tivoli has proven that there's a healthy market for well-made mono models. Vive la difference!

Paul Webster
2007-12-21, 07:48
Out of interest, does anyone know how all these "Listen Again" compatible radios know where to get their streams from? AlienBBC obviously has config files that can be easily modified, but how do the units listed cope when the BBC has a revamp of their website?

Reciva run a Perl script somewhat similar in principle to AlienBBC to rebuild their list (daily I think) which they then use to populate their database ... which is then shipped to the radios as XML.

If the Beeb changed their site then they would have to fix their script but would be transparent to the radio users.

Note, however, that they do not generate the day-by-day lists that AlienBBC parses - so reduced functionality in that area.

If AlienBBC wrote output for WikiRadio (daily/hourly) ... then people wouldn't have to update the script if the BBC web-site changed ... would just need a maintainer to run it to update the links.

BBC have been pretty good at keeping their site consistent though.

claypole
2008-02-10, 06:34
After intensive research, I have just recently purchased the Blik Radiostation (www.revo.co.uk), which is a fantastic all-in-one FM/DAB/DAB+/WIFI Internet clock radio.

My key requirements were:

1) Integrated speaker (one box solution)
2) Very flexible Alarm clock radio functionality
3) Support for Internet radio and broadcast radio
4) Ability to upgrade for future functionality

Sound quality, display brightness, Hi-Fi connectivity, the size and aesthetics were also deciding factors.

I have written a wiki on how to get it working with SqueezeCenter too: http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BlikRadiostation

So far, I am very pleased with this solution!

ehjones
2008-02-10, 08:04
A solution I use is simply a set of wireless speakers.

The transmitter is plugged into the red and white line outputs, whilst the sitting room amplifier uses the optical digi output. The audio quality isn't the best but more than adequate as a bedroom radio/alarm replacement. I use a laptop to control squeezecenter/slimserver and it works great for me.

The speakers I have are connected essentials CES10s, which don't seem to be available anymore.
These are similar: https://www.withandwithoutwires.com/wireless-speakers-_-connected-essentials-(ces20).html

An added bonus is that they can be battery powered so are pretty good for outdoor use in the summer. I know it's not quite what you were after (and not nearly so cool as a wifi radio) but it is a solution :-)

mnrbig
2008-02-11, 04:04
I was searching some more and came across the Freecom MusicPal http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3593&CatID=8060&sCatID=1147463&ssCatID=1147463 Which has the added perk of RSS feeds (although it sounds a little immature at the moment).



According to the website, the MusicPal uses open source code. It is currently on the 2.6 Kernel. Quote from spec page "Open firmware (based on Linux Kernel 2.6), upgradeable to ensure that the latest capabilities and services can be offered on your Freecom
MusicPal". Maybe we will get a Slimserver plugin for it some or other time?

sander
2008-02-12, 22:26
Since this thread last reared its head, I bought, and subsequently returned, a Sangean WFR-20. The build quality was good, the speakers great, but the firmware was a little buggy. The deal breakers for me were it had trouble with Twonkyvision, and the alarm was lacking (no snooze). Additionally the only interface on the unit is a single knob which really made the device dependent on the remote.

During my ownership, I did find out a couple of things though:

Practically all the wifi alarm clocks are built around a chipset and firmware from a company named Reciva. If you go to their forums https://www.reciva.com/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard&Itemid=108&func=showcat&catid=3 you can get the skinny on most their devices.

They even have an alternate firmware project, Sharpfin http://www.sharpfin.zevv.nl/index.php/Main_Page although it doesn't look like it offers much at this point.

I might consider one of the Revo units when the prices come down, but it's still quite a premium. I think the market for wifi radio could be substantial with the right product, but these units are too expensive to buy sight unseen at this time, and no one's making a real play for the mainstream.

I had hopes that when Logitech bought Slim they would break out into the mainstream, but this whole fauxnos strategy leaves me cold.

One of these days someone will get it right.

ModelCitizen
2008-02-12, 23:19
fauxnos
Can you tell me what this means?

A google search for "fauxnos" returns your post even though it's less than one hour old. Truly incredible.

MC

oktup
2008-02-13, 04:26
fauxnos
Can you tell me what this means?


A portmanteau of 'faux Sonos', maybe? :)



A google search for "fauxnos" returns your post even though it's less than one hour old. Truly incredible.

Mmm, that is a bit scary, indeed ;)

bpa
2008-02-13, 04:48
I had hopes that when Logitech bought Slim they would break out into the mainstream,

What is the mainstream ?
I think internet clock radio is a niche market.

The Reciva chipset was around for a long time before it got taken up - the design decisions limit the user interface on all their devices. They have hinted at a new generation. The alternative firmware group state they will not do anything with the audio so the mods are minimal.

The alternatives (Roku SB Radio and Freecom Music Pal) have no RealAudio support.

Khuli
2008-02-13, 05:07
A google search for "fauxnos" returns your post even though it's less than one hour old. Truly incredible.

and another Googlewhack ruined.... Google finds 3 links.. and 2 (possibly 3 now) are these posts!

sander
2008-02-13, 18:37
A portmanteau of 'faux Sonos', maybe? :)

That's what I meant, but it's up to the googlebots at this point.

To me the new Slim products means moving more to the professional home integrator market targeting Sonos, not expanding into people who just want to get started in streaming music.

My feeling is wifi streaming devices could be a mainstream with the right product. I would like it to be some open/semi-open as opposed to some new flavor of the Apple hegemony.

It's clear there's just a quantum difference in manufacturing discounts in mainstream products opposite niche products. Take a gander at http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AJL308-Clock-Radio-Display/dp/B000U6LEGS
With all the talk on whether the display of the Squeezebox adds to its cost, look at what Philips can offer for $130 list with better codec support than some of these wifi alarm clocks at 3 times the price.

In a perfect world I could get this for little more with a wifi chipset and support for some streaming protocol.

sander
2008-02-13, 19:05
The Reciva chipset was around for a long time before it got taken up - the design decisions limit the user interface on all their devices.

I've always thought that Reciva and vtuner just looked at the hardware as borderline loss leaders to build a subscription base of some sort (even though they offer lifetime subscriptions).

I don't know if UPnP AV server offers the ability query or do anything more than return lists, so I've generally blamed that for the poor ui on most of these devices.

Paul Webster
2008-02-15, 04:28
I've always thought that Reciva and vtuner just looked at the hardware as borderline loss leaders to build a subscription base of some sort (even though they offer lifetime subscriptions).

Reciva sells the guts of the radio processing and the software to the "brands" that get the box built around it - so I suspect that Reciva are looking to make money on their hardware and software licence directly from the "brands", plus the potential of, like vTuner, selling licence for 3rd-party access to the database with their own hardware/firmware.

vTuner also sell a software application to end-users (30USD)


I don't know if UPnP AV server offers the ability query or do anything more than return lists, so I've generally blamed that for the poor ui on most of these devices.

However, the Reciva models do not rely on UPnP for internet radio access. I think that he lack of search (it is limited to browse within category) is a significant drawback, especially for first-time users. It works at its best if the user has a number of stations/podcasts that are regularly listened to and choose to put them in the "My Stations/My Streams/My Podcasts" area.
Trying to scroll through over 1000 stations when looking for a particular one is painful.
I'm sure that they could implement a lazy search (and this sort of thing has been asked fo rby users) - they do have a text entry system that is used for entering the wireless access code on initial set-up - but no sign of it yet.

claypole
2008-02-15, 08:26
The Revo Blik Radiostation uses Frontier Silicon's combined radio FM/DAB/DAB+/WIFI chipset (http://www.frontier-silicon.com/media/releases/07/1212-revoblik.htm) to be able to bring this unit into the mainstream. At 149 its not cheap but comparable and cheaper than units with less functionality (think Tivoli Audio, Vita R1, none of which even have WIFI!). The sound quality is very good for such a compact unit and as I said in my last post, there basically isn't another unit out there at any price that does what this does. It is designed totally as a mainstream device so I've no plans to start playing Tetris on this any time soon, but it does exactly what it says on the tin and there are some interesting plans for it's development.

If you need a capable, future-proofed alarm clock radio, this comes highly recommended :D

On the Squeezebox development, unless I'm missing something, isn't the new "Fauxnos" sticking very closely to the original principals behind Slimserver/Squeezecentre, by creating an open API (Jive) platform to enable people to develop the concept further? Sonos is completely closed and proprietary. They haven't stopped making the SB3, but provided people with the ability to hide the unit that delivers the sound to the amp, if that is the set-up they desire, while introducing a powerful handheld device to control both SB3's and Duets. They're not copying Sonos at all, they are making the Squeezebox range more accessible and flexible.

spedinfargo
2008-02-26, 18:30
OK, this thread intrigued me since I will probably need something similar when I jump on the Slim bandwagon.

Call me crazy, but it seems like most of the ideas here are making things too complicated. There are tons of inexpensive clock radios out there that have AUX inputs thanks to our friend the Ipod.

Wouldn't a good solution be to get one of the new Slim Receivers for $150 and then just hooking it up to one of those clock radios with it set to AUX input?

I'm assuming that there is scheduling plugins available that would tell that particular Receiver to always "tune" to a particular playlist or internet stream, say from 5 am to 9 am, correct? As long as the Receiver is streaming during some window of time when your alarm is set for, you'd be able to hit snooze, etc. whenever. Any flaws in this logic?

On a side note, one thing that bugs me with all of those overpriced Wi-Fi alarm clocks, or for any digital audio equipment for that matter, is that they always seem to sacrifice AM radio... can't live without that...

oktup
2008-02-27, 03:01
On a side note, one thing that bugs me with all of those overpriced Wi-Fi alarm clocks, or for any digital audio equipment for that matter, is that they always seem to sacrifice AM radio... can't live without that...

I wonder if that's from necessity. I've got an SB3 which now sits on top of a Tivoli Model 1, and if I want to listen to AM, I have to move the SB3 elsewhere (or simply remove the power lead, which is easier). Otherwise the interference is too great.

sander
2008-02-27, 21:08
Since there are other electronic devices that also only have FM (Nokia tablets, iRiver Mp3 Players) I chalk it up to either a) interference like you suggested, or b) super-cheap FM chip set everyone has access to.

mctigercom
2008-02-29, 17:28
I use a set of Sony 2.1 speakers. I also use the "Auto Dim Display" plugin to automatically make the display darker from 10:00pm until 6:30a. I can wake up to any streamed radio station or my normal playlist that's guaranteed to wake me up.

corbey
2008-03-01, 07:19
Last weekend I found the Roku Soundbridge Radio at Fry's for $99.99. From what I'd read about it, I had my doubts about buying it, even at that price, but would have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised by how well it performs. Physically, it's smaller than I expected and for a table radio, the sound is excellent. After upgrading the firmware, it was able to connect to my network using WPA2 security. It recognized SlimServer immediately, even though I'm running a recent build of SqueezeCenter. Plugins don't work and synchronization is awful, but I was able to play tracks from my music library without any problem.

The Roku's real strength is streaming radio. With 18 presets, it's great being able to select your favorite Internet stations with a push of a button. The Roku includes an AM and FM tuner, but it needs a strong signal to perform well, especially for AM. Other nice features include a light sensor that automatically dims the display at night and a clock that sets itself from a configurable network time server.

Granted the Roku has many limitations when compared to a Squeezebox, but it seems like a very acceptable compromise solution for a bedroom, kitchen, or other room, especially since you may be able to find it now at a discount price.

sander
2008-03-03, 12:27
99 bucks for a Soundbridge Radio is quite a find, but at the usual price $299, I'd pony up more for the Revo Pico at $319 or the Blixstation (if they ever offer them stateside).

It is impressive that it works with Slimserver out of the box though, I'll have to keep that in mind. My main gripes with that unit have been the lack of an Ethernet jack and the alarm doesn't support different weekdays, which seems inconceivable that they would leave that out.

corbey
2008-03-05, 13:35
According to Roku's website, the Soundbrige radio is most compatible with Slimserver 5.4. Guess Roku stopped development after that. However, I was able to connect and get the basic functions with SqueezeCenter. I think the highest SlimServer firmware build I could download to it was 40. It's also compatible with other media servers, like Firefly and TVersity.

Another thing to note is that the Soundbridge radio only works with 802.11b. After I set my router to transmit both b and g, I haven't had any problems.

bhyman
2008-03-10, 11:08
Anyone tried this one out?

http://www.chumby.com

It sounds like it can stream the SlimServer MP3 stream. It is kinda cool, in a cheesey sort of way.

dhiren
2008-03-20, 09:24
I use the chumby to stream off my slim server. Works like a charm
The only quirk ive found so far is that it won't play one of my internet radio station and songs that are in proprietary formats such as wma.

I am going to install lame on the SS box to see if on the fly conversion works :)

It also does a lot more of the cool stuff and its totally hackable!

sander
2008-03-20, 14:02
dhiren, maybe you can clarify, how much control do you really have over the chumby?

I've browsed their forums from time to time, but it's unclear if you can only choose what the chumby network has to offer and if you ultimately have control over it without completely hacking it. I seem to recall all the devices stopped working when their network went down. It seems less like a Squeezebox connected to a slimserver and more like a squeezebox hardwired to the squeeze network (to put it in a form we can all understand).

It really looks like you could build the ultimate alarm clock with it, but it also looks like it could turn into a 3d web pop-up next to your bed!

Ralph 411
2008-03-20, 16:04
We also were spoiled by SqueezeBox access to internet radio played over our audiofile system, and wanted a solution that allowed us to wake up to internet radio with high-quality sound. At the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest we looked a options and selected the Audio Engine 5, relatively small self-powered speakers, for our second SqueezeBox. This configuration works well and sounds great, if you are willing to use the remote to control the SqueezeBox. I actually have come to prefer that method rather than fumbling around on the case of a radio.

One problem: things work well only when SqueezeNetwork keeps the alarm function working. Ours has not worked since the February migration. This problem is being addressed by Logitech as Bug #4855.

appeal2
2008-04-29, 21:50
I love my Squeezebox, probably more so than the Duet. However, it just cannot be trusted as an alarm clock. I have installed extended alarm and have used the alarm on the squeezenetwork as well. It seems there is routinely a mess up once or twice per week. I have taken to setting an alarm on my cellphone as a backup, but what is really the point of this? You don't have a backup for your clock radio. I have examined the Chumby. It has the ability to stream radio stations, you can hookup your non Ipod Touch as a music source. You can set as many alarms as you like per day. It has a touch screen and can put flickr and other image files through the screen as well as rss feeds, stock tickers, etc. It has a button that can be assigned the snooze bar function. I am about ready to give it a try.

SuperQ
2008-04-29, 22:38
A couple friends have chumbys. It should be reasonably easy to port squeezeslave, but I wonder how much work it would take to make a softsqueeze client for the chumby.

The chumby widgets are flash-based, so I suppose you could do something like connect the squeezeslave, and the use flash UI to http to push the control buttons. Since the chumby is also running linux on arm, you could in theory port the Jive framework to it.

appeal2
2008-04-30, 22:31
I have an SB with Audioengine 5's. I loaded the extended alarm plugin which allows an unlimited number of alarms per day, per week, etc. And it uses the SB remote numbers as a 10 minute snooze bar. Draw backs, network errors lead to no wake up and sometimes the radio streams go dead for no reason.
Works about 95 percent of the time but I am going to check out the Chumby and see how it works.

Millwood
2008-05-01, 05:49
What I need is a self contained (controls on the box) damp resistant unit I can leave on the bathroom vanity.