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Nostromo
2008-06-20, 07:44
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4464


Conclusion

The Logitech Squeezebox Duet commands a hefty price tag coming in at $399 retail and offers great audio quality and a decent interface. The key problem though is the software and lack of detailed instructions which can bring even the most skilled computer user to their knees if something goes wrong. When the Sqeezebox is working properly, it is easy enough for anyone to use it. Unfortunately, if the Squeezebox isn't working the way it should you can get stuck in an infinite loop of pain and anguish. I found this out first hand, but once everything clicked it turned out to be pretty amazing.

While I might have an easier time recommending the Squeezebox if the pricetag was $100 less, it is still a great product assuming you have the budget for it ... and once the setup kinks are worked out the Squeezebox makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

Pros

* Excellent audio quality
* Plays a wide range of audio formats
* Cool control and interface

Cons

* Software can be buggy at times
* Setup can be simple and painless or a nightmare depending on the conditions
* Controller scratches easily

cliveb
2008-06-20, 08:38
Once again we read about someone having setup problems, primarily due to lack of documentation. Does the Duet come complete with the user guide? (I got my Duet as part of the beta trial, so I don't know how it's packaged for retail).

In my experience, if you carefully follow the setup instuctions in the user guide, things go pretty smoothly. Too many people these days expect to pick up a random piece of consumer electronics and operate it by trial and error. I've been guilty of this myself, including struggling with setting up my Duet.

So if the user guide isn't included, it damn well should be. And there should also a big note explaining that you really need to follow the instructions for setup - don't just try and wing it. Perhaps a removable sticker over the Controller's screen that says "please read the manual - it's worth the effort".

bklaas
2008-06-20, 08:57
Once again we read about someone having setup problems, primarily due to lack of documentation. Does the Duet come complete with the user guide? (I got my Duet as part of the beta trial, so I don't know how it's packaged for retail).

In my experience, if you carefully follow the setup instuctions in the user guide, things go pretty smoothly. Too many people these days expect to pick up a random piece of consumer electronics and operate it by trial and error. I've been guilty of this myself, including struggling with setting up my Duet.

So if the user guide isn't included, it damn well should be. And there should also a big note explaining that you really need to follow the instructions for setup - don't just try and wing it. Perhaps a removable sticker over the Controller's screen that says "please read the manual - it's worth the effort".

People don't read any more, they skim (sadly, myself included)

An interesting article this month in the Atlantic about what the internet is doing to our brains.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google
The funny thing is that I bet more than half the people that browse to that article will then only skim it.

AFAIK, there is documentation, in the form of a "Quick Start Guide", included with a packaged Duet.

cheers,
#!/ben

Howard Passman
2008-06-20, 09:02
I think the Quick Guide could be better. I also believe if all of the devices (receiver and controller)could be statically addressed (IMHO) via a web browser similar to most routers, switches, NAS, etc..it would be very helpful.

My observation of the forums leads me to believe that a good portion of the installation problems could be avoided with addressing via a web interface and finding an easier way to get the PIN number or better instructions on when and how you get it. I really don't believe the guide is explicit on that point.

I read the manual before getting my DUET and while it didn't help me on the install, it did answer some queestions afterward. I think the purpose of any quick guide it to get you up and running with basic settings so you can enjoy the device. After that, the manual should add clarification of function and feature with a more thorough explanation of each and every setting.

Again, these are just my opinions so they really can't be right or wrong.

Have a great weekend.

Howard

iPhone
2008-06-20, 09:25
Once again we read about someone having setup problems, primarily due to lack of documentation. Does the Duet come complete with the user guide? (I got my Duet as part of the beta trial, so I don't know how it's packaged for retail).

In my experience, if you carefully follow the setup instuctions in the user guide, things go pretty smoothly. Too many people these days expect to pick up a random piece of consumer electronics and operate it by trial and error. I've been guilty of this myself, including struggling with setting up my Duet.

So if the user guide isn't included, it damn well should be. And there should also a big note explaining that you really need to follow the instructions for setup - don't just try and wing it. Perhaps a removable sticker over the Controller's screen that says "please read the manual - it's worth the effort".

As "Most" all devices today in this price range, the full manual is a download away. If one is buying a NMP, it is not a big stretch to assume the buyer has Internet and can download a PDF file and save some trees (and I am not even a tree hugger and agree with this) by always having the manual saved on the PC and know where to find it.

The Duet does come with a quick start manual. The manual is good, but people have to read and then follow it. It is like cutting lumber, measure twice cut once. Setting up the Duet, read manual twice before touching the unit, setup once! The problem today is that nobody reads anymore. One more reason not to waste money and trees by putting a manual in the box that is a few clicks away on the Internet. The Internet also makes it easier to update the manual. This is where most companies miss the opportunity to apply the feedback they receive from consumers. Its online so update it often.

We are also not talking about adding a CDP or DVR to ones system. These are simple to setup, input/output and power. All systems are not the same, but they all have all three. A home network and PC have a 1000 variables and almost as many brands with their own quirks. Then there is how many million possibilities for different software programs. It is impossible to cover all these in a manual or to make it plug n play!

Welcome to modern consummer devices that take advantage of ones home network without being a closed system.

egd
2008-06-20, 09:28
I read the Duet manual and had seen some posts on the forum prior to configuring my Duet and still had endless crap with it. In all honesty, getting MiP integration working was easier and less esoteric, even without documentation.

I've never quite had the Receiver working properly (intermittently only) and the Controller suddenly decided a while ago that it no longer wanted to connect to my WAP (despite everything else I can throw at it connecting) so I gave up on it too and the Duet has now for all intents and purposes become useless to me. Frankly I don't have the time nor the inclination to _uck with it any longer.

peter
2008-06-20, 10:10
egd wrote:
> I've never quite had the Receiver working properly (intermittently
> only) and the Controller suddenly decided a while ago that it no longer
> wanted to connect to my WAP (despite everything else I can throw at it
> connecting) so I gave up on it too and the Duet has now for all intents
> and purposes become useless to me. Frankly I don't have the time nor
> the inclination to _uck with it any longer.
>

If it works intermittently there must be some kind of wireless problem.
No documentation could fix that.

Regards,
Peter

mvalera
2008-06-20, 12:15
Or... you might have a bad unit.

I would call tech support.

Mike

egd
2008-06-21, 00:00
If it works intermittently there must be some kind of wireless problem.
No documentation could fix that.Wow, that's insightful, thanks.

You've assumed that the Receiver was connected wirelessly. No documentation could fix that!

egd
2008-06-21, 00:03
Or... you might have a bad unit.

I would call tech support.

Mike

I might do that if/ when I'm overwhelmed by the need to go through endless rounds of frustration with the Receiver again.

peter
2008-06-21, 00:15
On Sat, 21 Jun 2008 00:00:38 -0700, "egd"
<egd.3bcfeb1214031901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
>
> peter;313750 Wrote:
> > If it works intermittently there must be some kind of wireless problem.
> >
> > No documentation could fix that.Wow, that's insightful, thanks.
>
> You've assumed that the Receiver was connected wirelessly. No
> documentation could fix that!

Obviously not, I did assume the Controller was connected wirelessly
though.

My point is that the documentation is good enough when everything works.
But when something subtle goes wrong with networking devices, the
documentation is generally useless. Try any network device, router,
switch, access point.

X.

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 02:19
getting back to the op...

i think the conclusion of the review is pretty accurate. i still think the SBC is simply amazing, b/c of how easy it is to work it. i can show someone it, and they can use it, almost instantly... i just say click this, click that, and they get it. thats great.

however, the connection issues are a liability, as is the SC software itself.

i would like to use the hardware but have a new piece of software. sure, keep developing SC, you should, but give the masses a way to use the SBC with winamp or itunes (i hate itunes btw) or other apps. surely a plugin for winamp or some kind of go-between layer could be installed that would route the audio from ANY application into TCP/IP to get it to the hardware.

another plugin could operate as the SBC way to manipulate winamp. it may sacriface some features to do so, but so be it.

the question ultimately will come up at logitech... do we want to forever more develop a product that needs its own limited music library (via web browser!) software that can run on everything, or do we want to just sell to the 97% of the marketplace that has windows or mac?

in other words, would we make more sales if our hardware integrated seamlessly with existing platform specific apps?

i think its hard to argue they wouldn't. i know a ton of people who would buy this stuff tomorrow if they could power it with itunes or winamp, via a more or less transparent intrepreting software layer.

Pale Blue Ego
2008-06-21, 05:49
the question ultimately will come up at logitech... do we want to forever more develop a product that needs its own limited music library (via web browser!) software that can run on everything, or do we want to just sell to the 97% of the marketplace that has windows or mac?

So you're implying that the browser interface is the problem and everything would be better if the front end was a Windows app? That makes no sense at all, since the vast majority of problems are related to network or wifi issues.

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 06:34
actually no...

i am suggesting that developing SC as the only pgm possible to power the hardware isn't the best soluton, given its serious limitations, which are legion.

again, i respect SC and i'm not saying it should be thrown overboard, but why force it to be the only solution?

Enoch Soames
2008-06-21, 06:55
Much as I love my Duet, I have to agree with the review. Things have mostly gone right for me so far, not that I can give much credit to the extremely sketchy quick-start guide that came with the Duet. I'm a semi-fiddly kind of guy, so I was able to get it up and running despite the too-brief instructions, which (as I recall) didn't even include a clear explanation of how all the darned controller buttons work, or what the different colors on the receiver mean.

Entirely by accident, some days later I stumbled across the online guide, which was enormously helpful and enlightening. It would have been even more enormously helpful if it had been printed and included in the lavishly fancy box. Or at least alluded to somewhere; I could be wrong, but I don't think even a link to the online guide was included.

As I say, I've been lucky. But I have had a couple of tense moments, and I know that something in the whole complicated system (computer/Duet/wireless) may yet go wrong, and I'm gonna be in big trouble. This is probably my fault - I'm fiddly, but I'm not THAT fiddly. But I'd be loath to recommend the Duet to friends, most of whom would have difficulty setting the thing up and maintaining it without a lot more help than is provided in the package.

dvdit
2008-06-23, 15:49
I almost pulled the trigger today. But I think I rather wait till all bugs are sorted out and proper installation guide is available. Heck, I am not even sure if the sound quality is worth the set up hassle. Loving my X5 in the mean time.

radish
2008-06-23, 18:28
again, i respect SC and i'm not saying it should be thrown overboard, but why force it to be the only solution?
Who's forcing it to be the only solution? All the protocols are open, you've got SC as a reference implementation, go ahead and make your own. Saying that Logitech should build an alternative to SC is one thing, but to imply that SC is the only _possible_ solution is entirely wrong. There's at least one other server implementation that I know of (not that I'd recommend it!), and I've even thought about writing one myself.

pablolie
2008-06-23, 20:15
i am a huge SB3 fan.

my Duet experience is very lukewarm. the receiver works well. the controller is a problem, and it has nothing to do with documentation - the wireless behavior is erratic, and there are many users reporting such issues. i have gone for many of the suggested workarounds (power settings etc), but i refuse to change a wireless Linksys router that is only a few months old and has always worked flawlessly with a large array of devices, from pc's with different OS's to Iphones to 4 different SB3s, and more.

something is weird about the controller's wireless capabilities, the evidence is quite overwhelming when cruising the forums. i wish it was different.

i have demoted the Duet to where it does little damage - secondary duty in the bedroom system. it's not what i had in mind given the expense, however the last thing i want to do when i am in an audiophile mood to listen to *music* is to troubleshoot and work around wireless issues. thus the duet is not an option for my main system, and i will not recommend it to friends. unlike the SB3, which i have wholeheartedly recommended for years, and have converted many people to.

dvdit
2008-06-23, 20:23
i am a huge SB3 fan.

my Duet experience is very lukewarm. the receiver works well. the controller is a problem, and it has nothing to do with documentation - the wireless behavior is erratic, and there are many users reporting such issues. i have gone for many of the suggested workarounds (power settings etc), but i refuse to change a wireless Linksys router that is only a few months old and has always worked flawlessly with a large array of devices, from pc's with different OS's to Iphones to 4 different SB3s, and more.

something is weird about the controller's wireless capabilities, the evidence is quite overwhelming when cruising the forums. i wish it was different.

i have demoted the Duet to where it does little damage - secondary duty in the bedroom system. it's not what i had in mind given the expense, however the last thing i want to do when i am in an audiophile mood to listen to *music* is to troubleshoot and work around wireless issues. thus the duet is not an option for my main system, and i will not recommend it to friends. unlike the SB3, which i have wholeheartedly recommended for years, and have converted many people to.

Thank you. That was a very helpful info. I guess I will read up more on the SB3.

egd
2008-06-23, 20:30
i have demoted the Duet to where it does little damage - secondary duty in the bedroom system. it's not what i had in mind given the expense, however the last thing i want to do when i am in an audiophile mood to listen to *music* is to troubleshoot and work around wireless issues. thus the duet is not an option for my main system, and i will not recommend it to friends. unlike the SB3, which i have wholeheartedly recommended for years, and have converted many people to.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. As another user put it, "I'm a geek, but of the "I don't have the time to deal with that shit" (pardon my French) variety".

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more infuriating that settling down to listen to something you've been looking forward to only to find you have to "deal with that shit".

Nostromo
2008-06-23, 22:18
Thank you for quoting me, but from what I've read, it would seem that your Controller is defective. I understand your frustration (it happened to me a couple of times with other software/hardware), but I'm happy to say that my Squeezebox never gave me shit. Sorry to rub it in ;-) When I encountered major problems, it was 99 times out of 100 the wireless network's fault. And since I upgraded from ADSL to cable, all my wireless problems disappeared. I wonder, did you get your Controller to work? If not, have you contacted support? What happened? When you'll fix the damn problem, you'll discover what an amazing little device it is!

Robin Bowes
2008-06-26, 03:58
MrSinatra wrote:

> i am suggesting that developing SC as the only pgm possible to power
> the hardware isn't the best soluton, given its serious limitations,
> which are legion.

Mr. Sinatra, you're talking bollocks again.

SC has its flaws, yes, but from the way you talk anyone would think it's
practically unusable.

Please learn what the word "hyperbole" means, and try to not use it so much.

> again, i respect SC and i'm not saying it should be thrown overboard,
> but why force it to be the only solution?

As others have already replied, no-one is forcing anything.

R.

chinablues
2008-06-26, 08:34
Some interesting points in the original few posts about lack of and/or need for clear/simple documentation. As an engineer myself, I have to admit that 'reading the manual' is tantamount to an admission of defeat. But I think I'm the exception, not the rule... I had a nice experience recently doing a clean install of Windows Vista Ultimate. After installing SC & pointing it to my music folder lo and behold, there was Transporter conncted wirelessly with no need to reenter any WEP encryption or anything else. After scanning the music, it just played as before on Xp. (Yes, I had a little issue with MaCafee, but that was minor).

So, no installation issues....no Network issues, no wireless issues, and yet, all too often we read here about one problem after another in these areas. And this brings me to my dilemma here in Phuket.

A friend is looking at spending some serious money in setting up a villa with wireless music. He doesn't know what he wants, but has lots of money. Someone is pushing the Sonos system to him. Do I push Transporter, Squeezbox and/or Duet? Well for a starter Sonos has an agent here, Logitech has none as far as I know, so + 1 for Sonos. Today I had a look at the Sonos web site & it has a certain kind of 'non-techy' appeal. Looks like it's just plug & play. I guess that's + 2 to Sonos. (even given my easy experience with Vista). I'm the kind of guy that takes a perverse pleasure in the number of wires at the back of my system and could rewire from scratch without any 'manual'. My friend has every wire labelled not 'technically' but 'third plug from left, second row down'. And he wants all his wires hidden. Sonos has this kind of Bose, Ipod 'Mr Clean' feel to it somehow (even my wife knows not to use the word doze in our house..). So, + 3 to Sonos.

I have to admit that my friend probably represents a bigger slice of the market than techy folks like me. So he'll probably end up with a Sonos system & never know what he is missing in terms of eg. Transporter audophile qualities...

I will try to push the Logitech solution, but I think it will prove to be an uphill battle..

Dan

MrSinatra
2008-06-27, 05:40
MrSinatra wrote:

> i am suggesting that developing SC as the only pgm possible to power
> the hardware isn't the best soluton, given its serious limitations,
> which are legion.

Mr. Sinatra, you're talking bollocks again.

SC has its flaws, yes, but from the way you talk anyone would think it's
practically unusable.

Please learn what the word "hyperbole" means, and try to not use it so much.

> again, i respect SC and i'm not saying it should be thrown overboard,
> but why force it to be the only solution?

As others have already replied, no-one is forcing anything.

R.

yeah, how DARE i have an opinion that doesn't require pom poms. what was i thinking?

i stand by what i said, and if u don't like it or disagree, fine, but i find NOTHING exaggerated with what i said.

radish
2008-06-27, 06:27
i stand by what i said, and if u don't like it or disagree, fine, but i find NOTHING exaggerated with what i said.
Just factually incorrect? You're very welcome to your opinion of SC, but what you said regarding it being the only possible option is just flat out wrong.

MrSinatra
2008-06-27, 06:39
don't ignore the context of what i said...

i was talking about what slim does, and they choose to ONLY develop SC and nothing else. thats the reality.

in any case, focusing on my perceived error on this point is a myopic tangent and doesn't change my larger contention; the big picture is no other software works with the hardware, and another server isn't the solution to address the issues.

peter
2008-06-27, 07:12
pablolie wrote:
> something is weird about the controller's wireless capabilities, the
> evidence is quite overwhelming when cruising the forums. i wish it was
> different.

Well, I have no problems.
I probably don't post that regularly enough...

X.

peter
2008-06-27, 07:15
chinablues wrote:
> I have to admit that my friend probably represents a bigger slice of
> the market than techy folks like me. So he'll probably end up with a
> Sonos system & never know what he is missing in terms of eg.
> Transporter audophile qualities...
>

Perhaps, but budget wise the Duet appeals to a much bigger slice.

> I will try to push the Logitech solution, but I think it will prove to
> be an uphill battle..
>

Probably. I wouldn't bother if I were you. Let him make his own choice,
tell him about yours, but leave it at that.

X.

aubuti
2008-06-27, 07:37
don't ignore the context of what i said...

i was talking about what slim does, and they choose to ONLY develop SC and nothing else. thats the reality.

in any case, focusing on my perceived error on this point is a myopic tangent and doesn't change my larger contention; the big picture is no other software works with the hardware, and another server isn't the solution to address the issues.
You complain that nothing else is developed, and then say that another server isn't the solution. Just what is a slim client going to talk to except a server? Can't you see that doesn't make any sense?

And as for Logitech developing an alternative to SC, you've heard of limited resources right? So which are they supposed to spend their time on, an alternative to SC, or fixing the various bugs and enhancements they are working on, including the ones you've filed?

Robin Bowes
2008-06-27, 12:22
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> yeah, how DARE i have an opinion that doesn't require pom poms. what
> was i thinking?

Straight in with the "fan boy" line of defence, I see. *yawn*.

>
> i stand by what i said, and if u don't like it or disagree, fine, but i
> find NOTHING exaggerated with what i said.

You said, about SqueezeCenter:

"...given its serious limitations, which are legion."

You make it sound like the software is barely fit for purpose, which is
not the case.

SqueezeCenter has several known quirks/faults/bugs, call them what you
will, but there is *no* way it can be described as having "serious
limitations".

I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate.

R.

Robin Bowes
2008-06-27, 12:28
MrSinatra wrote:
> don't ignore the context of what i said...

Ok, here's what you said, in its entirety:

>> again, i respect SC and i'm not saying it should be thrown
>> overboard, but why force it to be the only solution?"

You then follow that up with:

> i was talking about what slim does, and they choose to ONLY develop
> SC and nothing else. thats the reality.

Hmmm, so are SD choosing to develop only SC, or are they forcing it to
be the solution?

> the big picture is no other software works with the hardware, and
> another server isn't the solution to address the issues.

So, do we need another server or not? Should SC be the only solution, or
not? You appear to be contradicting yourself.

R.
(wonders why he bothers getting involved...)