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PRGeno
2008-06-10, 05:59
I've been a Squeezebox 2/3 and SlimServer/SqueezeCenter user for several years. I've been looking for a wireless remote solution for all my Squeezeboxes to primarily be used from my patio.

I've tried web browser based, and small client application based options on PDAs, UMPCs, and tablet PCs. Each one offered some good things, but all had some issue that I couldn't accept, to become the ultimate solution.

When the controller arrived, I thought I finally had my answer. I patiently waited for it to become available without the Duet Received, since I already have 6 Squeezeboxes covering all my required zones. I purchased one as soon as it became available by itself.

I am very please with the operation of the Controller, and know, as the Squeezebox and SqueezeServer, it will only get better from a software standpoint. But like all previous attempts at finding a remote, the Controller has one issue that I simply cannot get past.

The Controller's screen is basically unusable anywhere with even a modest amount of ambient light. There are three issues I've found with the screen:
1. The screen is so dimly back lit, even at it's highest brightness setting, and using a wallpaper with the most contrast, as to make it useless in all but dark rooms.
2. The plastic covering the screen is very glossy, which causes reflections that, together with the dim back light, make the screen even harder to read.
3. Lately, after the short period of ownership, it appears a fog has come over the plastic cover. I've taken extremely good care of the device, and yet this fog cannot be cleaned off the cover. It appears the plastic has a film on both sides, inside and outside, again adding to the inability to read the screen.

I love my Squeeze system, and want to love the Controller, but the screen is a real issue. This issue, for me, makes my investment in the Controller useless in it's intended purpose. Surely I cannot be alone in my disappointment with this screen.

So, Logitech: Are there plans of releasing a Controller with a more usable screen in the future? And if so, what will you do for your existing users, who have paid full boat for a controller that is, in my case, unusable in the role it was intended to fill?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

PRGeno

P.S. I must state again: I'm not some Sonos troll. I LOVE my Squeeze system, including the Controller, except for this screen issue. I hope you take this criticism in the constructive manner in which it is intended, from a loyal user.

andynormancx
2008-06-10, 06:17
The Controller's screen is basically unusable anywhere with even a modest amount of ambient light. There are three issues I've found with the screen:
1. The screen is so dimly back lit, even at it's highest brightness setting, and using a wallpaper with the most contrast, as to make it useless in all but dark rooms.
2. The plastic covering the screen is very glossy, which causes reflections that, together with the dim back light, make the screen even harder to read.
3. Lately, after the short period of ownership, it appears a fog has come over the plastic cover. I've taken extremely good care of the device, and yet this fog cannot be cleaned off the cover. It appears the plastic has a film on both sides, inside and outside, again adding to the inability to read the screen.


I can absolutely agree with the fact that the screen is unusable outside in daylight (I can just about see it if I shield both sides and the top of the screen with my hand).

But there must be a big difference between your screen and mine. It is perfectly comfortably readable every where inside the house. Even if I stand with my back to a sunny window I can still read it fine (though obviously I do have to tilt it to the right angle to remove any reflections).

I guess there must be some variability between screens, some are likely to be brighter than others.

My screen does get very dirty very quickly, with grease from my fingers. But I find it cleans off very easily with a bit of lens cleaning fluid and a clean cloth. I do wish the screen was a little less glossy, though I do realise that glossy is very "in".

Maybe you should talk to Logitech support and see if you have a dud ?

MuckleEck
2008-06-10, 06:34
I have to agree, I have some external speakers and drive them with one of the SB3s however the controller screen is very difficult to use outside especially with any sun about. I have to move under the gazebo or go indoors just to see what is playing...

ON the flip side I have installed a Zagg screen protector which has dulled the screen down a bit as well as providing a scratch proof cover...

PRGeno
2008-06-11, 15:27
Thanks to both of you for your feedback.

I am simply not able to overcome the limitations of the Controller's screen.

To Logitech's credit, they processed my return request for the Controller immediately and without question. They also sincerly wanted to understand the problem, to hopefully improve the product in the future, even if I was returning it for a refund. Logitech/SlimDevices has very fine support in my book.

I'm still looking for the right solution for my needs. Next up an iPod Touch with the iPeng plugin. I'm picking one up tonight and will give it a go.

As in each previous attempt at finding the right solution, I'm cautiously optimistic, and I still love my SqueezeStuff.

ezkcdude
2008-06-11, 18:41
Anyone who has an iPhone or is thinking of getting one, may want to check this (http://penguinlovesmusic.de/?page_id=3) out.

PRGeno
2008-06-11, 20:18
OK, I got myself an iPod Touch (after long vowing to never own an Apple iPod of any kind).

First let me admit, I've never been a big fan of Apple. I've used Macs as a necessary evil for years in the prepress world, but never enjoyed it.

Apple fans like to hate MS, for what they perceive as restrictive practices and other crimes against humanity. But I've found Apple to be even more restrictive and demanding of their users. The iPod Touch will not even turn on without installing iTunes (which also installs Quicktime and Bonjour, without giving me an option to not do so). I don't want any of that junk on my computer, I just want to control my SqueezeBoxes, and maybe surf the net a little. Why am I forced to load all this Apple gunk on my clean, lean Vista machine? Because Steve says so, thats why!

OK, now with that off my chest (and as I hear the Apple fans starting up their flame throwers):

Once I got the Apple gunk installed, and the iPod registered, it took me a total of about 5 more minutes to get it talking on my WIFI network, install iPeng, and have it up and running on the iTouch.

It was all quite simple, and I must say this combo is pretty cool!

The iPod Touch screen is wonderful, far brighter and more readable than the SB Controller. The Controller does most things faster and smoother, and I am partial to having some hard buttons, but the iTouch screen can actually be read outside. OK, I have to admit the iPod Touch is a very cool device.

The iPeng plugin is also a wonderful piece of code. It's a bit slow, and it loses it's mind once in awhile, but it really is a nice way of controlling my SqueezeBoxes. The folks that created and contributed to this thing have done an incredible job. Way to go guys!

I've only been playing with it for about an hour, but my first impression is "This might be the one!"

Club1820
2008-06-11, 21:15
Gee. That's too bad. After the Duet/Controller came out. I was trying to think of a reason for me to buy a controller. I couldnt come up with one.

This was of course until it finally got warm around here (Chicago) and I was in the back yard listening to one of my Sb3s that is connected to my main system via my outdoor speakers. Then it hit me. I need a controller so I dont have to keep running in and out to change a song that was playing (random mix) that I wasnt necessarily in the mood for. YES! A reason to spend and justify the controller!

But now I hear you cant see the damm thing outside! Oh Well!

andynormancx
2008-06-12, 01:34
This was of course until it finally got warm around here (Chicago) and I was in the back yard listening to one of my Sb3s that is connected to my main system via my outdoor speakers. Then it hit me. I need a controller so I dont have to keep running in and out to change a song that was playing (random mix) that I wasnt necessarily in the mood for. YES! A reason to spend and justify the controller!

But now I hear you cant see the damm thing outside! Oh Well!

For your specific case of just skipping a track it would of course work fine, you can skip a track with it without looking at the screen...

signor_rossi
2008-06-12, 01:49
Gee. That's too bad. After the Duet/Controller came out. I was trying to think of a reason for me to buy a controller. I couldnt come up with one.

This was of course until it finally got warm around here (Chicago) and I was in the back yard listening to one of my Sb3s that is connected to my main system via my outdoor speakers. Then it hit me. I need a controller so I dont have to keep running in and out to change a song that was playing (random mix) that I wasnt necessarily in the mood for. YES! A reason to spend and justify the controller!

But now I hear you cant see the damm thing outside! Oh Well!

Someone already made a suncover for the controller display? Future accessory? ;)

Seriously, a screen that is better readable in the sunlight (not broad sunlight necessarily) should be considered in a future hardware revision.

Bye, signor_rossi.

maggior
2008-06-12, 10:02
OK, I got myself an iPod Touch (after long vowing to never own an Apple iPod of any kind).
.
.
.
OK, I have to admit the iPod Touch is a very cool device.



I have a 5.5G 80 GB iPod. I too vowed never to succumb to Steve J. and his over-priced fashion accessory, but I caved in when prices became reasonable and gapless support was introduced.

Yeah, iTunes is a real bloated PITA, but not too bad once you get used to it. I use it only a means of loading my iPod - ripping of CDs and tagging of files is all done outside of iTunes. At least it is open in that regard.

I haven't had the need to splurge on an iPod touch, but I still think my 80 GB iPod and my wife's 2G 8GB Nano are really cool. I love my iPods, but I don't love Apple.

Club1820
2008-06-12, 11:18
For your specific case of just skipping a track it would of course work fine, you can skip a track with it without looking at the screen...

Yes, you are correct. But if I am going to have the controller with me outside, I will most likely want to use it to its full potential to justify the purchase. Not just hit the Skip Track Button.

Hopefully they will come up with a solution for this in the next version. By then, next summer will be around. LOL. I guess I will be jogging in and out this summer.

PRGeno
2008-06-12, 11:31
..... I guess I will be jogging in and out this summer.

Something to consider:

The Controller price is $299, and does a very good job of controlling SqueezeStuff, except for when using it outside or in a brightly lit room.

The iPod Touch 8GB price is $299, and when paired with iPeng, can control SqueezeStuff, browse the Internet, play locally stored songs, view videos & pictures, show the weather forecast, look at maps, and receive your email, among other things.

I wish it could connect to my Windows network shares to access photos and music from there verses syncing them to local storage it via iTunes, but then again I did only buy the thing to control my SqueezeStuff, which it is doing nicely (outdoors) so far.

hunta
2008-06-12, 15:27
I use a Nokia N95 8GB on my wifi network with the handheld skin. Great for performing the basics, so long as you're not in a mad hurry.

And you get a phone! Oh, and 8GB of space to put tunes on for when you're out and about.

aubuti
2008-06-13, 06:54
Yes, you are correct. But if I am going to have the controller with me outside, I will most likely want to use it to its full potential to justify the purchase. Not just hit the Skip Track Button.

Hopefully they will come up with a solution for this in the next version. By then, next summer will be around. LOL. I guess I will be jogging in and out this summer.
You might not want to write it off so quickly. I was puzzled by this thread because I've been using my controller outside on my deck regularly without problems. Most of the time was in the early evening, but I just took it out in the morning sun and I had no problems reading it. When I turned it in some directions I needed to shade the screen with my other hand, but for most orientations it was fine. YMMV and all that.

Try it out this summer, and send it back within 30 days if it doesn't work for you.

andrew.michie
2008-06-17, 10:44
You might not want to write it off so quickly. I was puzzled by this thread because I've been using my controller outside on my deck regularly without problems. Most of the time was in the early evening, but I just took it out in the morning sun and I had no problems reading it. When I turned it in some directions I needed to shade the screen with my other hand, but for most orientations it was fine. YMMV and all that.

Try it out this summer, and send it back within 30 days if it doesn't work for you.

I have this problem with both of my units. Although I have a covered area to my patio, it is pretty much impossible to use either controller outside. Unfortunately as is usual for me, by the time I got round to installing the outside the speakers I had gone past 30 days. It never crossed my mind that the display would not be as visible as my pda phone, so I did not test it!

Very disappointing considering the typical applications of this product.

ianstuart
2008-06-21, 08:41
I also can't read the Controller in sunlight. I would not mind that so much if the Duet worked indoors. Like too many of the posters I am finding the Duet much less stable than the SB3, weaker Wifi range, problems connecting, conflicts with the Router and range extenders. All in all a step backwards. I am hoping that things will improve but there is litte sign of it so far.

ggultoprak
2009-01-23, 04:41
I'd like to agree with the commentators that the controller is too dim and unreadable in a well-lit room during day time. This is very disappointing and Logitech needs to seriously consider better technology (OLED screens?) for the next rev. of this product if a software solution to increase the brightness is not feasible.

ds2021
2009-01-23, 08:35
The iPeng plugin is also a wonderful piece of code. It's a bit slow, and it loses it's mind once in awhile, but it really is a nice way of controlling my SqueezeBoxes. The folks that created and contributed to this thing have done an incredible job. Way to go guys!

I've only been playing with it for about an hour, but my first impression is "This might be the one!"

Although the iPeng plugin is free and gives you a good idea of the usability of the ipod touch or iphone, it does suffer from lag normal for a web interface. Are you aware that there is an iPeng app in the appstore? You would likely find that the speed concerns that you express are removed.

And yes, I agree that the Squeezebox/iPhone-iTouch combo is a winner.

BlueScreenJunky
2009-01-23, 13:30
Heh... I'm considering buying an iPod touch for that purpose too... But I still think it's a little overkill for a remote... If only they made an iPod touch 128Mo without any audio capabilities :-P
(maybe my gridlfriend would actually use it as a DAP once in a while, but I know I'll never use an iPod instead of my Sansa Clip.)

ds2021
2009-01-23, 15:39
You could always use it as a backup flashlight as well. In all honesty, I think it is likely that you would find some apps available (even at no cost) that would provide some added value to you. I know I have.

luuk
2009-02-12, 09:22
I still haven't taken the plunge but am sorely tempted by the Duet. So far my setup encompasses a SB2 hardwired to the network. How do the Duet and the iPod Touch with iPeng compare? Are they both equally functional? With the iPod touch 8Gb now costing just 200 Euros, isn't this the better solution?

Luuk