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View Full Version : How do you use your Squeezebox Controller?



Dylan Rhodes
2008-05-21, 13:47
We've had some discussions in the office about how we use our Squeezebox Controllers at home, and I'd like to learn more about how our customers' use matches up with the informal straw poll I've taken.

In my case, most of time, I'll walk up to the Controller, remove it from the charging cradle, select my music (usually a Pandora or Rhapsody station), then place it back in the cradle and go about my business. Occasionally I'll grab the Controller and take it with me, so I can fine tune my programming wherever I'm sitting. But most of the time, the Controller stays in the cradle.

Please feel free to post a message elaborating on your answer.

Dylan Rhodes
GPMM for the Streaming Media Business Unit

andynormancx
2008-05-21, 13:51
When am I listening to music I keep the Controller with me, especially if I have it on random or Pandora. So mine only goes back on the cradle when I've stopped listening.

I'm surprised that using music services you don't keep the Controller with you. Do you not find you need to skip tracks reasonably regularly ?

Dylan Rhodes
2008-05-21, 13:56
I'm surprised that using music services you don't keep the Controller with you. Do you not find you need to skip tracks reasonably regularly ?

It depends on my mood. With the Rhapsody channels I generally like everything that I hear, so when I have a compelling desire to skip tracks, I don't mind walking over to the cradle. My Pandora stations are pretty well aged so I don't need to use Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down as much as I used to. But they'll occasionally go off in strange musical directions and I have to get skippy. When that happens I do what you do... grab the Controller and take it with me to wherever I'm hanging out.

Kaizen28
2008-05-21, 14:22
My controller is next to the bed. I use it to brows music and then make a selection. Generally it's then replaced in its cradle.

It hardly moves around the house as I have a ProntoPro for that so it's never from being recharged.

CatBus
2008-05-21, 14:23
I think the answers to your question will change dramatically when audio is supported on the remote ;)

jsprag
2008-05-21, 15:05
Mine comes out of the base when I start listening and then spends about 20% of the time in my pocket and 80% of the time on a counter or table in the listening area. Doesn't go back into the charger until I'm done listening for that part of the day.

mherger
2008-05-21, 15:20
I'm taking it out of the cradle when coming home, turning on my stereo. It then lies around the living room until battery empty or end of the day.

bklaas
2008-05-21, 15:52
spends about 20% of the time in my pocket

follow-up question: were you aware that pressing add and play together will enable "pocket mode", locking the keys and screen? I find that a real handy hidden feature.

I always cradle my SBC, and I know where I developed that habit-- from another Logitech product, the Harmony 880. I've often reflected that now that I have remotes that require a lot of juice, an unexpected latent outcome is that I never have to search for them, since they are always placed in their charger.

For some reason I can't transfer this habit to my cordless phones though...

cheers,
#!/ben

jsprag
2008-05-21, 16:13
follow-up question: were you aware that pressing add and play together will enable "pocket mode", locking the keys and screen? I find that a real handy hidden feature.

I did not know that. If only I could teach it other tricks to perform while in my pocket...

iPhone
2008-05-21, 17:24
We've had some discussions in the office about how we use our Squeezebox Controllers at home, and I'd like to learn more about how our customers' use matches up with the informal straw poll I've taken.

In my case, most of time, I'll walk up to the Controller, remove it from the charging cradle, select my music (usually a Pandora or Rhapsody station), then place it back in the cradle and go about my business. Occasionally I'll grab the Controller and take it with me, so I can fine tune my programming wherever I'm sitting. But most of the time, the Controller stays in the cradle.

Please feel free to post a message elaborating on your answer.

Dylan Rhodes
GPMM for the Streaming Media Business Unit

My SBC comes out of the cradle in the morning. I use it where the player I am listening to is. At the end of the day, it ends up back in the bedroom. After about 3 days, instead of being in the bedroom all night, it goes Back in the Cradle again for the night. Repeat.

I can almost hear Steven Tyler singing "Back in the Cradle". I'm back, I'm back in the cradle again. I'm back, I'm back in the cradle again. I'm shining up my Controller.

Mark Miksis
2008-05-21, 19:05
I keep in on a table or otherwise near me. In fact, the SBC has actually changed how I use my SB2's quite a bit. I find that I actually listen via SB2 more often and I use it more interactively. I previously would select an album/playlist/station/etc and let it play. With the SBC I spend a lot more time jumping around, skipping songs, etc. I also love the SBC's Now Playing display when I'm listening to Slacker or another music service and want to check on the artist or album.

Speed
2008-05-22, 00:16
Normally remove from cradle, go to room I want to listen to music in, select music, but SBC down and then somehow when I want to change music/turn off, SBC has disappeared into another room or even outside. -how does this happen?

lhmperth
2008-05-22, 00:22
I would have thought to ensure a longer battery life it is best to keep it out of the cradle until it is due for a charge. I know that Li-ion batteries have less of a memory effect than the old NiMH batteries, but my experience with any battery operated device is that you should minimise the number of recharges.

peter
2008-05-22, 00:38
lhmperth wrote:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A poll associated with this post was created, to vote and see the
> results, please visit http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=47945
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Question: How do you primarily use your Squeezebox Controller?
>
> - I usually place it back in the cradle after I've selected my music
> - It tends to follow me around the house
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I would have thought to ensure a longer battery life it is best to keep
> it out of the cradle until it is due for a charge. I know that Li-ion
> batteries have less of a memory effect than the old NiMH batteries, but
> my experience with any battery operated device is that you should
> minimise the number of recharges.
>

Too much hassle to be worth it IMHO.
And the NiCADs in my 5 cordless phones are still working fine after
keeping 'm in their cradles for almost 10 years. (I had them out for one
whole year as well, perhaps that's the secret).

Regards,
Peter

Howard Passman
2008-05-22, 01:57
:-) If I'm listening to the radio I usually put it back in the cradle. If I'm listening to my music I keep it with me and build impromptu playlists depending on my mood. I would guess that I listen to my files 80% and radio 20%. I did get a second receiver so now it also follows me upstairs.

Believe it or not I do use it to follow baseball scores at night and check the weather. I don't really watch TV and for some reason never check these things online.

I'm having a ball with the while thing. I've even been using SoftSqueeze on my PC and I never used to listen to music on my PC.

Have a great day!

Howard

autopilot
2008-05-22, 03:29
Moves with me, hence why i cant wait to buy a second charging dock for the other end of the house ;)

Cant wait to be able to plug some headphones in either and use it as portable Squeezebox - that will change how i use it too :)

iPhone
2008-05-22, 09:22
Normally remove from cradle, go to room I want to listen to music in, select music, but SBC down and then somehow when I want to change music/turn off, SBC has disappeared into another room or even outside. -how does this happen?

Well I will give it a go. It is either the tracks you are playing are so pleasing that your mind is on autopilot and forgets what you have been doing recently. Or it has something to do with drinking, popping, or smoking something while enjoying tunes (if this is the case, invite a friend over before the next listening session so they can take notes so that you might share which and what it is)! Then of course it could just be the Aliens or you pressed the secret sequence of SBC buttons simultaneously that sends out the return homing signal to our parallel dimension.

Then again it could just be that your choice in the poll should be answer number three, "I tend to carry it around with me but forget where I set it down"!

MrC
2008-05-22, 10:24
Wife picks up controller, places it at her work area when working and listening to music, and returns it to the base when she's done. Rinse, repeat.

SadieKate
2008-05-23, 08:40
None of the above. I listen to Pandora almost exclusively. The only way the Squeezebox reliably works is to use SqueezeNetwork to start the Pandora station. At some point in time, the Pandora station connections drops. Only way to get it started is to use the computer again.

If I want to listen to Internet radio (which is rare), the controller works fine and it goes back into the cradle where it sits 99.9% of the time. I really only use it for software updates which don't fix the problem above.

I was going to buy a 2nd SB to use in the bedroom but if I have to keep a computer next to the bed, it's pointless.

RonM
2008-05-23, 17:30
Turn on the computer (no full-time server yet), while it boots turn on the remote, then turn on the SB. Choose music.

When I have it on random on the whole collection (which I've been doing lately), I keep it near me -- too much music there, and it's a nice challenge to see if I can remember the obscure group/album from years ago that I listened to twice, so the display is essential. Under these circumstances, skipping a track or two often becomes essential.

Oddly, I've come to like the odd random mix of rock and roll, roots, jazz, classical and opera, among other things. Getting a short track from Die Zauberflaute (Mozart's The Magic Flute) mixed in with bluegrass is kind of fun.

If I'm playing a new acquisition, full album, I don't worry about that so much.

R.

DLORDE
2008-06-02, 07:11
Oddly, I've come to like the odd random mix of rock and roll, roots, jazz, classical and opera, among other things. Getting a short track from Die Zauberflaute (Mozart's The Magic Flute) mixed in with bluegrass is kind of fun.
Me too - Whenever I'm not sitting down listening seriously, I listen to a random selection of everything. If something doesn't fit the mood, I just skip on to the next track. It's surprising how often I wouldn't know what I'm listening to without the controller...

I keep the controller with me so I can select the nearest SB3 or receiver to listen to.

EnochLight
2008-06-02, 20:25
I think the answers to your question will change dramatically when audio is supported on the remote ;)

LOL - I totally agree. Although I voted "follows me around", it does tend to spend *some* time in the charger. However if audio is activated in the headphone out (finally) it will be with me on the balcony and patio plugged into some portable active speakers. Can't wait!


follow-up question: were you aware that pressing add and play together will enable "pocket mode", locking the keys and screen? I find that a real handy hidden feature.
#!/ben

I never knew that - thanks ben! I tend to carry mine around in my pocket and often find the battery wearing since the accelerometers keep it awake as I walk around the house. Cool feature indeed!

ralphpnj
2008-06-03, 02:34
My answer would be none of the above but that doesn't seem to be a choice.

I use the Controller mostly at night when listening via headphones in a dark room since the Controller is easy to use in the dark. Most of the other times I use the regular SqueezeBox and Transporter remotes since 1) I use the Lazy Search plugin to find music on my server. I find that Lazy Search is the quickest and best way to navigate my very large music collection (over 5,000 albums). And 2) I also use the regular remote to add new music to the database by using the browse -> Music Folder feature, which I find faster and easier to use on the regular remote than on the Controller because with the regular remote one can easily jump to any letter of the alphabet within a given music subfolder and then start to stroll through the listing to a given sub-subfolder rather than having to scroll (via the scroll wheel) through the entire listing to get a given sub-subfolder. I hope that's clear.

However, the little, tiny, minute album art display is pretty cool even if it is completely useless.

EnochLight
2008-06-03, 05:05
My answer would be none of the above but that doesn't seem to be a choice.

I use the Controller mostly at night when listening via headphones in a dark room since the Controller is easy to use in the dark....

Sorry - come again? You're using the headphone out on the Controller??? Please elaborate..

ralphpnj
2008-06-03, 05:28
Sorry - come again? You're using the headphone out on the Controller??? Please elaborate..

Details:

My bedroom system consists of a SB3 digital out connected to the digital input of a "maxed out" Headroom Desktop amp. By using the Controller I gain two things - 1) the ability to completely turn off the display on the SqueezeBox which is helpful since my wife is usually lying in the bed next to me and trying to sleep and 2) the ability to clearly see the buttons and display on the Controller rather than having to try to operate the non-backlit regular remote in the dark.

Only disadvantage - no Lazy Search on the Controller.

EnochLight
2008-06-04, 08:49
That's cool, I just thought you meant you were using the headphone out on the Controller - in which case I was about to hop into whatever alpha/beta testing I needed to in order to get that function working.

False alarm!

EnochLight
2008-06-04, 08:52
follow-up question: were you aware that pressing add and play together will enable "pocket mode", locking the keys and screen? I find that a real handy hidden feature.
#!/ben

Ben, is there a trick to getting that to work? Do I need to hold down the two at the same time for several seconds? Does it "click" letting me know its locked? Does the screen go dim? And how do I unlock it?

I can't seem to get this to work on my Controller...(?)

techmaster
2008-06-05, 09:15
I use the controller around the house. I have a whole house audio system so I placed the reciever at the distribution amplifier. I can then select and listen to music in any room.

A key reason I got the Duet was to listen via headphones connected to the controller - otherwise I would not spend this much on a "remote" control (ok I already got 3 Harmony remotes - but they're worth every penny). I later found out that this feature will not be available until release 7.2 (6-12 months?). I wish Logitech would put a higher priority on this feature. It would significantly increase the value of Duet. I would get a 2nd controller if this feature was available. I could then bring the controller to work and listen to my music via the network. I'm currently considering if I should return the Duet and wait until 7.2 is ready.

malone
2008-06-11, 20:06
From new user. I've got a Squeezebox controlled by Slimserver 6.5.4.

Presumably the "controller" you refer to is the remote control I got with my Squeezebox?

How do I use my controller? I've never used it - probably never will. The main reason I use the Squeezecentre is as a method of getting high quality audio wirelessly from the external hard drive where all my MP3s are stored to my amplifier. Most of my listening is to classical music for which I find classification systems based on the MP3 ID tags unhelpful. I don't directly view the Squeezeserver via a browser on my computer because I prefer to customise the classification and search of my MP3s my way.

My "controller" is my general purpose laptop computer running MS Excel. I have a database of all my MP3s classified according to my own system on spreadsheets. I've written code in VBA which allows me to search and select the appropriate piece of music, and then VBA sends http commands to instruct Slimserver to play the appropriate music and control the player.

I don't want wall-to-wall musak - I just want to listen to a piece of music every now and again. Most of the pieces I play last over 1/2 hr so I'm quite happy to return to my laptop when I want to hear a different piece of music.

I'm very happy with the result. It may be a different approach from most people, but a decently designed product like the Squeezecenter should, and does, allow this sort of flexibility.

pfarrell
2008-06-11, 20:18
malone wrote:
>>> Question: How do you primarily use your Squeezebox Controller?
> Presumably the "controller" you refer to is the remote control I got
> with my Squeezebox?

No, a Controller is a product of SlimDevices/LogiTech. Its a fancy,
computer with WiFi. Its offered as part of the Duet, which has a
Controller and a Receiver.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

iPhone
2008-06-11, 20:26
From new user. I've got a Squeezebox controlled by Slimserver 6.5.4.

Presumably the "controller" you refer to is the remote control I got with my Squeezebox?

Hello Malone and welcome to the Forum. It sounds like you have an SB3 because you are on SS 6.5.4 and not SC 7.x. The Controller comes with the Duet or can be purchased separately. This is what we are talking about:

http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_controller.html

The SqueezeBox Controller or SBC for short is way more then a remote control.

Again welcome to the Forum

Pale Blue Ego
2008-06-12, 07:36
Most of my listening is to classical music for which I find classification systems based on the MP3 ID tags unhelpful.

Only the ID3v1 tags have those weird genre choices. ID3v2 tags can contain any text. You can create any number of Classical genres and sub-genres to suit your needs.

EnochLight
2008-06-12, 07:53
From new user...The main reason I use the Squeezecentre is as a method of getting high quality audio wirelessly from the external hard drive where all my MP3s are stored to my amplifier. Most of my listening is to classical music ...

If most of your listening is classical, might I suggest going FLAC? I absolutely cringe at the thought of using the mp3 format to listen to classical. Yuck!

FLAC is the only way to go, especially for classical. I have a hard enough time bearing pop music in the mp3 format!

Just my 2 cents.

Cheers!

malone
2008-06-12, 19:14
Thanks for those responses. Having had a look at what the controller is, I can't actually see any extra features that would make it more useful for my particular needs than my present system. So, if I had a Duet, I suspect my answer to the thread's question would still be "wouldn't use it", assuming I could still control the server using http.

Thanks for your observation EnochLight. Yes, I've spent some time comparing WAV and MP3 160Kbit/s and have decided that I can hardly detect the difference on a blind test. I have good audio equipment and I suspect the reason is to do with my age. It is known that one's sensitivity to high frequencies deteriorates with age, and now I'm over sixty (so old I can't work out how to change my description on this forum from Junior Member) it's possible this effect is disguising the artifacts introduced by the MP3 compression. Mind you, I am sure there are stacks of people around who pontificate authoritatively on the merits of FLAC over MP3 who would consistently fail a blind test. But this is off-topic.

agbagb
2008-06-13, 08:07
Question: does the Controller talk to the other half of the Duet (ie, the box handling the actual audio out) or does it talk to the server via the router?

I'm an SB3 guy - but a remote that worked all round the house / office (rather than locally to an audio box) would be most useful and might persuade me to upgrade to Duet.

AGB

pfarrell
2008-06-13, 08:16
agbagb wrote:
> Question: does the Controller talk to the other half of the Duet (ie,
> the box handling the actual audio out) or does it talk to the server
> via the router?

Server.


> I'm an SB3 guy - but a remote that worked all round the house / office
> (rather than locally to an audio box) would be most useful and might
> persuade me to upgrade to Duet.

You could just by a Controller if you are happy with your SB3

agbagb
2008-06-13, 08:38
agbagb wrote:
> Question: does the Controller talk to the other half of the Duet (ie,
> the box handling the actual audio out) or does it talk to the server
> via the router?

Server.


> I'm an SB3 guy - but a remote that worked all round the house / office
> (rather than locally to an audio box) would be most useful and might
> persuade me to upgrade to Duet.

You could just by a Controller if you are happy with your SB3

Thanks - good idea! Checking through this thread, I think I'll wait until the headset out facility in the Controller becomes active. One use - and a delightful one - would be listening to music or streaming radio out on the deck late at night, quietly (and with a glass of something nice.....)

AGB

EnochLight
2008-06-13, 09:01
..One use - and a delightful one - would be listening to music or streaming radio out on the deck late at night, quietly (and with a glass of something nice.....)

AGB

I have dreamed about this day since I got my SB3 years ago - a portable walkman/boombox Squeezebox. An active audio-out via the headphone jack on the Controller would solve this for me in spades. My patio/deck is calling!

That said, I couldn't wait and was one of the first to pre-order the Duet and have never been happier. As far as I am concerned an audio-out Controller would just be a bonus sometime down the road.

EnochLight
2008-06-13, 09:04
...Mind you, I am sure there are stacks of people around who pontificate authoritatively on the merits of FLAC over MP3 who would consistently fail a blind test..

Only if they're over sixty. ;-P

I kid, I kid - I totally understand. If it sounds good to you then that's all that matters.

Cheers!

Nonreality
2008-06-28, 18:03
Thanks for those responses. Having had a look at what the controller is, I can't actually see any extra features that would make it more useful for my particular needs than my present system. So, if I had a Duet, I suspect my answer to the thread's question would still be "wouldn't use it", assuming I could still control the server using http.

Thanks for your observation EnochLight. Yes, I've spent some time comparing WAV and MP3 160Kbit/s and have decided that I can hardly detect the difference on a blind test. I have good audio equipment and I suspect the reason is to do with my age. It is known that one's sensitivity to high frequencies deteriorates with age, and now I'm over sixty (so old I can't work out how to change my description on this forum from Junior Member) it's possible this effect is disguising the artifacts introduced by the MP3 compression. Mind you, I am sure there are stacks of people around who pontificate authoritatively on the merits of FLAC over MP3 who would consistently fail a blind test. But this is off-topic.Nice post and every time I hear someone that use cringe or some other descriptive word to let everyone know that mp3 is below them I just want to really see if this is the case. Unfortunately they all seem to "cringe" if you bring that up. :( The guy the other day that said he just couldn't even stand a 320kbps mp3 in a car made me about cry laughing. Oh yeah the Junior, Senior thing is just on how many posts you do. I think it's every 100 or so that it changes. You just have to gab a lot. :)

raaurora
2008-06-29, 07:27
I usually stream a rhapsody channel or a long playlist from my library. So, once I get it going the remote goes back in its cradle.

EDIT: actually, now that I realize I can do most everything from the web interface, I almost never use the controller. If I connect to squeeze center, I can still go to music services and then out to Rhapsody for my stations. So, I'm not really sure what the remote adds for a streaming scenario.

Pale Blue Ego
2008-06-29, 18:18
I actually never take the Controller out of the charging cradle. I glance at it once in a while to look at current album art, but otherwise I use the old IR remote - it's just faster.

phoutman
2008-07-05, 08:08
I use wireless headphones (output from SqBox) and my favourite use is when in the garden - so i am really pleased with the controller in my pocket - previously i had to accept whatever i had programmed in before leaving the house (actually i also used my ipaq through wi-fi)

- but i am another one who didnt know about add/play combo - thanks to the forum for this!!

Hayrickshaw
2008-09-17, 01:09
Hi
Does the headset out work on the squeezebox controller yet. If so, what do I have to do to get it working?