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thing-fish
2008-01-15, 15:22
Does anyone know if AppleTV will stream internet radio and thus accept stream.mp3 from SlimServer/SqueezeCenter? I know a lot of audiophiles talk about having no interest in having video pollute their audio stuff, but I'm very interested in having the SlimServer ecosystem available to my home theater. With the announcement of the various upgrades to AppleTV today at MacWorld, the AppleTV is suddenly very interesting to me and I wonder if I could leverage my existing software stack on it.

Anyone know?

willyhoops
2008-01-15, 15:55
Wow yea I was just watching that AppleTV advert over at apple.com. Amazing that for the less that the price of the new duet plus remote you get the whole 160Gb apple tv system. It looks really really strong. Pro audio people will want multiple high quality audio only units with no dependence on a tv set, but for the mass market it's the way to go. Once they add music subscription to the video on demand it's a done deal. And with the tv as your interface all the hassles of small screen guis are gone. The cover chooser browsing by genre looks awesome. I am blown away - I think I have seen the future and I am bit gutted that it's apple.

CardinalFang
2008-01-15, 23:42
I am blown away - I think I have seen the future and I am bit gutted that it's apple.

I was actually disappointed. The movie rental side is great, but you still need to buy a TV even if you just want an audio player, so for audio fans like me the total cost is way higher. There were rumours of there being a new model with a built-in display, which really would have been cool. The killer blow though is the links to all the major studios for movie rental. That makes it a must have for people who use rental stores a lot.

On the pricing side though, I think it reflects the mass market nature of the product. Although Logitech might have mass market aims with the Duet, the pricing is still way too high for that, no matter how fair we might think it is. So it's still in the region of carefully researched first time network audiophile players alongside the Sonos, not an impulse purchase like a DAB radio.

At CES there seemed to be a lot more going on from the high end, this web site covered a ton of stuff, http://www.computeraudiophile.com/. Now that more high end players are entering the fray, I think Sonos has become the B&O of network players, but I can't think of an equivalent for Slim! Perhaps NAD? Great sounding, but not quite high end?


EDIT: Just a thought, but if B&O ever do enter the network player market, Sonos would suffer greatly IMO.

aubuti
2008-01-16, 00:23
EDIT: Just a thought, but if B&O ever do enter the network player market, Sonos would suffer greatly IMO.
I'm not entirely clear on their various offerings, but it looks like B&O is already into the network player market: http://www.bang-olufsen.com/page.asp?id=12

willyhoops
2008-01-16, 01:13
You could always pick up a tiny 10 inch monitor if all you wanted was audio and it would have the advantage of a nice big interface. Remember the HDMI output means sound quality is unlimited.

The global movie rental deal with all the studios really shows Apple's power. Clearly they can and will put together a subscription service for audio as well. Then, for a flat month fee, you could play any CD in the world and copy anything you fancy onto your ipod (which would refuse to play it if your subscription expires). That's the dream that will change the music world, and it solves that pesky competition problem with Amazon as well! With this Apple could dominate both Video and Audio and go on to be one of the most poweful companies in the word.

The problem anyone will have in competing with apple is getting the same content offerings (eg I can't get Rhapsody in the UK), the economies of scale in equipment costs ($325 for 160Gb Apple TV vs $400 for simple duet + remote), and the extreme difficulty of writing software sexy enough to compete with Apple (slimserver vs itunes).

You mention Sonos - I think it will die; but if there is a lesson in the popularity of that, I think it's that slimdevices have been too focused on the people on this site who like to hack and play with degrees in geek. The key to software development is to reign in the geeks and focus pragmatically on the real user. But even Sonos has missed with no built in hard drive and you can not seriously recommend the qnap to the mass market. The hard drive is key, as Steve Jobs summed up: "[up till now] we've all missed... we are back with Apple TV Take 2 - NO COMPUTER REQUIRED".

PS I am gutted because I dislike Apple, who claim superiority but actually sell a tinny sounding ipod, a proprietary drm to lock people in, and an underpowered itunes. Personally I would rather have seen Microsoft do it, but they don't have the focus of the one man religion which Apple has become. Trying and failing to ape Apple, Microsoft’s latest GUI designs are unusable, also their diversions into search and xbox spread the creativity too thin, and great innovation (eg blackberry) usually requires you own the hardware. Anyway, at the end of day you have to be long apple shares - this is a monumental moment in history. And hats off to best best CEO in the world, even if he is full of it.

radish
2008-01-16, 07:13
Remember the HDMI output means sound quality is unlimited.

Only if you have an HDMI capable DAC. Outside of home theater I'm not aware of too many of those.


Then you could play any CD in the world and move anything you fancy onto your ipod all for a flat monthy fee.
I'll believe that when I see it. 50% (rough guess) of the music I buy isn't even on iTunes for sale yet, never mind rental. Recently we've seen more pushing against Apple from the major labels, and Amazon are making very good ground. Interesting times.



$325 for 160Gb Apple TV vs $400 for simple duet + remote

The duet is far from "simple" - particularly compared to the AppleTV. The level of functionality and convenience (for audio, obviously) is far higher IMHO.



I think it's that slimdevices have been too focused on the people on this site who like to hack and play with degrees in geeek.

When you have a community-built product it tends to become a community-focussed product. I find that refreshing and it's obviously a key part of what makes the product line so successful. And yes, IMHO you can be considered successful without selling 100m units.



The key to software development is to reign in the geeks and focus pragmatically on the real user.

Actually the key is to first identify your users, then identify what they want, and then get the best geeks you can to build it for them. As a user, AppleTV doesn't do what I want, neither does Sonos. Maybe that puts me in a minority, fine, so be it. I'm happy to have the option to get the product which does do what I want - diversity is a good thing :)

Mark Lanctot
2008-01-16, 07:54
Remember the HDMI output means sound quality is unlimited.

From what I understand it's not much better than S/PDIF. Higher bandwidth but no bi-directional mechanism for clock synch for jitter reduction. HDMI is primarily for video, audio is an afterthought, a matter of convenience. Until recently (HDMI 1.3) HDMI didn't even support the new HD audio codecs, while the video standards have been supported since day one.

This is an old article (2005) but nothing has changed in the standard with respect to jitter reduction:

http://hiddenwires.co.uk/resourcesarticles2005/articles20051201-02.html


Using current implementations, HDMI audio appears to have a relatively poor jitter performance meaning that, although mainstream consumers will find the resulting sound quality rather good, it is unlikely to satisfy audiophiles.

moley6knipe
2008-01-16, 09:24
I'm sure it'll get addressed in an AppleTV firmware update, but for now searching and browsing for songs on a SB3 is a lot more fun than on an AppleTV.

My friend's got an AppleTV with a VAST music collection attached, and it makes my eyeballs go disco-crazy scrolling through it all. Plus, as and when they add a search function to AppleTV for anything other than YouTube, you'll still be entering it on the screen via the Apple remote; whereas for me i just type it into my SB3 remote - ah, the joys of LazySearch!

willyhoops
2008-01-16, 09:29
Yes on HDMI, but the potential is there with buffering. Apple TV is close to the be all and end all of video on demand, but a few more things are needed before they take audio. Still I think the future is clear and if they play their cards right they can take it. Quite an amazing thing and with the shares at $160 right now i think it's a buy even if the p/e is pretty high.

moley6knipe
2008-01-16, 09:38
Oh for sure. It's a great piece of kit notwithstanding my comments; and I have to say when I move house it's going to replace the SB3 in our living room; that way I just have my DVB-T PVR (and let's face it, they're already an 'old-fashioned' way of watching TV!!) and an AppleTV.

And I guess like most things Apple they'll find a way to do effective searches using a remote with only 6 buttons that my poor little brain ould never come up with ;-)

ddewey
2008-01-16, 19:15
Quoting willyhoops (willyhoops.339ryz1200471301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):

>
> You could always pick up a tiny monitor if all you wanted was audio and
> it would have the advantage of a big interrface.

Ugh. There are always people that bring this up, and I guess some
like the idea. I've had music streaming from my server to my Tivos
for years (even flac), but when I choose to listen to music I don't
want the distraction of a TV screen on. I may be in the minority.
This has been discussed many times before...

> The movie rental deal with all the studios and for many countries not
> just the USA is of course amazing and really shows Apple's power.
> Clearly they can and will put together a subscription service for audio
> as well.

Didn't Jobs say in the keynote that renting music was pointless?
Something like people want to OWN music, but only watch a movie once
or twice? Paraphrasing of course, but that was the gist.

willyhoops
2008-01-17, 01:26
He said that owning films was pointless and renting them much better. He said that didn't apply to music where people wanted to hear the same thing many times.

By that does not mean a music subscription service would not work. To date none of them have proved that popular, but that's probably becuase you mostly have to be connected to the net and play the music on the PC (The Slimdevices PC free Rhapsody Unlimited service being an exception. Another exception is the Rhapsody To Go service which allows you to copy music to (the few) players compatible with its DRM technology). Would you pay $20 a month for all the music in the world if it included the ability to copy it to your 80Gb iPod? I think many would...

It's also perfect for Apple because the security around making sure the music on the portable player expires when the subscription expires etc requires you control the hardware and software - thus they can lock people into Apple TV with the iPod. Also Apple collect all the revenue, no one on this service is going to buy any music from Amazon. Also Apple's software skills make them one of the few people able to build a GUI nice enough to navigate hundreds of thousands of CDs and showing commentary about the artists/albums/tracks etc.

What do the numbers look like: Some people put wordwide users of the iPod at 100million - if 25% of them took the service we would be talking $6 billion of revenue a year - as high as Apple's entire revenue today. Actually I think the numbers would eventually go much higher. It's a mouth watering prospect.

You said you don't like the idea of a screen: but looking 20 years into the future a subscription service for Music with full integration between video and audio looks inevetable. So people just listen to music on their iPod in the car but put on music videos at home. Also the screen allows for a much richer GUI which you would need for really advanced browse. Eg your subscription service would be like a encyclopedia of music. Also lots of scope for playlists, maybe a whole new word of people creating playlists with video and text and earning revenue as people use them.

Of course this is already being talked about with Mobile Phones: Vodafone has unlimited music downloads with MusicStation. But in a Vodafone vs Apple fight I know who I will back!

Its hard to be sure that Apple will do all this - Steve Jobs is not perfect. He is stubborn and much less reluctant than say Microsoft to change direction and take on board other peoples ideas. And Apple does not really have the software development skills of Microsoft. Still, it looks like a good bet to me.

2008-01-17, 02:19
> He said that owning films was pointless and renting them much better. He
> said that didn't apply to music where people wanted to hear the same
> thing many times.

That's not quite accurate; he didn't say "pointless" but did say that music was listened to many times and movies were often watched only a time or two and in that setting a rental model makes sense.

You don't have to believe me, though; you can watch the keynote yourself.

Personally, I think a rental model for movies works fine. I rent movies now and would rent them via Apple TV if I had one. I wish you had a week to watch them once started instead of 24 hours, but that's me.

I buy some movies that I think are worth watching over and over, but most are something I only want to watch once and paying a rental fee is cheaper in that setting.

> By that does not mean a music subscription service would not work.

I agree. I subscribe to Pandora and enjoy it. I know others like Rhapsody. Those services may not enjoy the success of iTunes Music Store, but they appear viable. I still buy most of my music, though.

> To
> date none of them have proved that popular, but that's probably becuase
> you have to be connected to the net and mostly have to play the music on
> the PC (the Slimdevices Rhapsody serives is an exception).

Agree here, too. If it were not for my Squeezeboxen I wouldn't subscribe to Pandora; I don't listen to mucis on my computer much.

>Would you pay
> $20 a month for all the music in the world if it included the ability to
> copy it to your iPod? I think many would...

I wouldn't, but certainly others might.

>
> It's also perfect for Apple becuase the security around making sure the
> music on the portable player expires when the subscrciption expires

DRM certainly benefits from a closed eco-system. Still, I predict this will be hacked so you can save movies in virtually no time. I guess we'll see.

Kevin

thing-fish
2008-01-17, 11:44
Didn't Jobs say in the keynote that renting music was pointless? Something like people want to OWN music, but only watch a movie once or twice? Paraphrasing of course, but that was the gist.

He definitely is missing the boat as far as my own personal desires. I joined Rhapsody partly because of the SlimServer integration and am hooked. I have a large music collection and continue to buy lots of stuff, but having access to a library that's orders of magnitude bigger than that is truly amazing. I buy stuff when I want the best fidelity, to more directly support the artist or (of course) if it's not available on Rhapsody. But I'm finding a wealth of stuff that I'm completely happy to rent instead of to own. And for exploring new artists, how can you beat it? As long as the price stays low, I could see having a music subscription forever. The deeper / non-SqueezeNetwork integration of Rhapsody in the upcoming SqueezeCenter is something I'm really looking forward to, I'll enjoy everything even more!

slimmert
2008-01-30, 04:08
Just bought an Apple TV. The device isn't that exciting out of the box. But the (hacking) community behind the device IS! There are multiple plugins available doing all kind of different stuff. See http://plugins.awkwardtv.org/
There's more to come. Lots of developers create different apps for the Apple TV.
The main purpose of my ATV is displaying my networks stored movies. I don't want to turn my tv screen on to select a music file and turn the tv off again. No way. My SB3 is perfect for selecting and playing musical content from my NAS. Although sometimes...

... I wish I could control SlimServer/SqueezeCenter from my ATV. In the case I already watch tv, I wish I could go to my ATV and browse my music collection (with great Apple GUI) select an album and let the SqueezBox take over the sound.

Is it simple to develop a plugin which controls my Squeezebox? Sounds like a Jive solution maybe?

aubuti
2008-01-31, 01:37
Is it simple to develop a plugin which controls my Squeezebox? Sounds like a Jive solution maybe?
Maybe. But I suspect something using the command line interface (CLI) would be the easiest way to go. Check out the documentation at http://wiki.slimdevices.com/

Brad Smith
2008-07-12, 18:35
Just bought an Apple TV. The device isn't that exciting out of the box. But the (hacking) community behind the device IS! There are multiple plugins available doing all kind of different stuff. See http://plugins.awkwardtv.org/
There's more to come. Lots of developers create different apps for the Apple TV.
The main purpose of my ATV is displaying my networks stored movies. I don't want to turn my tv screen on to select a music file and turn the tv off again. No way. My SB3 is perfect for selecting and playing musical content from my NAS. Although sometimes...

... I wish I could control SlimServer/SqueezeCenter from my ATV. In the case I already watch tv, I wish I could go to my ATV and browse my music collection (with great Apple GUI) select an album and let the SqueezBox take over the sound.

Is it simple to develop a plugin which controls my Squeezebox? Sounds like a Jive solution maybe?
With the new "Remote" app for the iPhone/iPod touch, I could realistically see myself replacing the SB in my theatre setup to an AppleTV. Any quality reasons that the SB would better (assuming HDMI or optical/coax connections and lossless files for both)?

mortslim
2008-07-12, 21:56
For that matter, any ipod can be connected to several models of yamaha receivers using an optional dock and there are also several all in one powered speaker units, including several by logitech itself, that are made specifically for direct connection by an ipod.

The above is for people who want a digital connection.

And the above allows remote control of your music.

My yamaha receiver allows me to view my ipod music on my tv

And my apple tv also allows viewing my music on my tv

If you are happy with analog connections, just use a y cable with eighth inch stereo to rca plugs, and plug an ipod into any receiver aux ports.

An apple tv is just an ipod on steroids