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View Full Version : My wish for a new product



malaugh
2008-09-12, 18:39
I would like to switch my music to a NAS. The options are:

Keep running my PC to run Squeezecenter.
Make a NAS from an old PC and run Squeezecenter on that
Type quirky commands to install Squeezecenter on the NAS and hope it works.

I would like another option. How about if Slim Devices made a small device that ran Squeezcenter, and I was able to attach it to my network. It would not need to be very sophisticated, since all it would do would be to run Squeezecenter. No Hard drives, just the basics.

How many people would buy this? How about making one Logitech?

pfarrell
2008-09-12, 18:48
malaugh wrote:
> I would like to switch my music to a NAS. The options are:
> Keep running my PC to run Squeezecenter.
> Make a NAS from an old PC and run Squeezecenter on that

The alternative is to get a cheap PC, nearly any will work, and run
SqueezeCenter on it. Move the music to the cheap PC, or not, keep it on
the NAS if you want.

Run folding@home on the cheap PC, so you can save the world while it
runs all the time.

> I would like another option. How about if Slim Devices made a small
> device that ran Squeezcenter, and I was able to attach it to my
> network. .... How many people would buy this?

I expect very few. I could be wrong, I don't work for SD/Logi.

It would be a subset of folks who have a NAS, and it can't cost more
than $100 or so, since you can get a cheap PC from craigslist for about
that.

I think a $400 PC/ripper/disk would be more attractive. I just ordered a
one terabyte disk from newegg.com, it was $130. it can't cost much for
the basic PC and CD drive. I bought a complete computer fro Newegg for
about $500, it had a quad processor, three gigs of ram, and a 500 GB
disk. Its massive overkill for running SqueezeCenter.


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

amey01
2008-09-12, 18:53
Sometime or another, it's essential!

I personally would put a hard drive in it as well. And some sort of CD drive to rip.

I really think something like this is what stands between keeping the Squeezebox (and other music servers) a geeky niche and having it become mainstream. That is, if granny or pop could run down to their hi-fi dealer and come back with something that they could plug in and press "Play" - just like they do with a CD player.

malaugh
2008-09-13, 11:24
pfarrel

I was thinking that the whole thing would code just over $100. They may even be able to re-use the Duet Receier. As far I as I know that is just a small Linux computer anyway. I think once you start adding hard drives, CD burner etc, you start needing a a screen, and it turns into a computer.

amey

Exactly my thoughts

pfarrell
2008-09-13, 11:33
malaugh wrote:
> I was thinking that the whole thing would code just over $100. They
> may even be able to re-use the Duet Receier. As far I as I know that
> is just a small Linux computer anyway. I think once you start adding
> hard drives, CD burner etc, you start needing a a screen, and it turns
> into a computer.

Sorry, you are dreaming.
A decent sized disk is $100, cost. That means $300 retail price.
While the Receiver is a computer, its lacking a few things, and adding
them will not be free. Things like:

- a large case
- a larger power supply
- disk drive controllers

What you are suggesting can easily cost $500, and that just happens to
be the price of a low end PC.

The solution is not for Slim/Logi to sell PCs, since they have to
support and mark up anything, its for you to buy a PC that you like


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

toby10
2008-09-13, 14:23
Sometime or another, it's essential!

I personally would put a hard drive in it as well. And some sort of CD drive to rip.

I really think something like this is what stands between keeping the Squeezebox (and other music servers) a geeky niche and having it become mainstream. That is, if granny or pop could run down to their hi-fi dealer and come back with something that they could plug in and press "Play" - just like they do with a CD player.

You mean like:

Olive Music Server (Opus):
http://www.olive.us/products/opus4.html?PHPSESSID=22844ec288153d0ed93c8d5d0ffbf c5b

Yamaha MCX-2000:
http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/productdetail.html?CNTID=560668

malaugh
2008-09-13, 17:29
pfarrel

I think you misunderstood me:
what I want is:
Hard disks - NONE
Power supply - same "wall wart" as a squeezebox
Disk controller - NONE

The idea woul be to use the NAS as the disk drive for the squeezecenter box, or to have the option of adding a USB drive.

malaugh
2008-09-13, 17:36
amey

Thenks for the post, I never knew the Olive Music Server and the Yamaha existed (Opus), however I think they are solutions in search of a problem. The problem is not ripping the music, or storing on a hard drive; computers do an excellent job of that, and anything less is a compromise. The problm eis how to get to your music aefter you have ripped it withiut turning on your computer.

radish
2008-09-13, 19:21
The problm eis how to get to your music aefter you have ripped it withiut turning on your computer.
So you're going to buy and power two things (NAS & this slim thing) instead of using the computer you already have? How is that a saving?

kgturner
2008-09-13, 20:36
i'd really like to see a controller with a learning remote function. i don't use the volume control of my sb3, but every other function i do use. it'd be nice to program the volume of my preamp into the controller. hell, if logitech would wrap it in an aluminum enclosure with corresponding charging cradle, i'd be willing to pay $500 for it.

kevin t

Goodsounds
2008-09-13, 21:28
Full moon in a few days.

malaugh
2008-09-14, 16:49
So you're going to buy and power two things (NAS & this slim thing) instead of using the computer you already have? How is that a saving?

Its not a saving, it just allows you to stream music from your NAS so you do not need to turn your computer on. I know some people have installed squeezecenter on their NAS, but its not a easy installation, and some people try for hours without getting it to work. I would pay $100 or so not to have to have those problems.

aubuti
2008-09-14, 18:49
Its not a saving, it just allows you to stream music from your NAS so you do not need to turn your computer on.
And how is this proposed product not a computer?? As you've described it, it runs server software (SC), it will need to have some kind of read/write storage so you can upgrade the server software, and it needs to work with your network. Sounds like a computer to me. Maybe you just need to think about a smaller computer... (http://www.gumstix.com/)

Or, on the other hand, if your NAS supports UPnP, you might be in luck. SD/Logi is talking about supporting UPnP via SqueezeNetwork. But it's not implemented yet.

peter
2008-09-15, 04:01
malaugh wrote:
> radish;340092 Wrote:
>
>> So you're going to buy and power two things (NAS & this slim thing)
>> instead of using the computer you already have? How is that a saving?
>>
>
> Its not a saving, it just allows you to stream music from your NAS so
> you do not need to turn your computer on. I know some people have
> installed squeezecenter on their NAS, but its not a easy installation,
> and some people try for hours without getting it to work.
Wait for UPNP support. It's being worked on.

> I would pay
> $100 or so not to have to have those problems.
>

Software upgrades are free, so it'll cost you nothing.

Regards,
Peter

fattybacon
2008-10-09, 03:05
Sometime or another, it's essential!

I personally would put a hard drive in it as well. And some sort of CD drive to rip.

I really think something like this is what stands between keeping the Squeezebox (and other music servers) a geeky niche and having it become mainstream. That is, if granny or pop could run down to their hi-fi dealer and come back with something that they could plug in and press "Play" - just like they do with a CD player.
I wouldn't go as far as a cd drive in, but might be interested in a hard drie, but this is exactly the problem everyone I show the the SB3 to.

They all love the display, the remote, the interface and, above all, the quality. Then they ask where the music comes from and I tell them I have a server running upstairs. And that's all she wrote. NO SALE.

Basically, they'd all love a SB3 or Duet or Boom but none of them want to run a server. The majority have external drives with all their music on, and they plug it into a desktop/lappie when they want to play or rip music. They are dying for a device like the Duet, if the duet receiver had a USB port and was running SC.

As for people saying that what you are asking for is a computer so use a computer, I think they are missing the point that the duet receiver is also a computer. So why not use it?

As for the Yamaha and Olive offerings, have you seen the price of them? The market wants Duet prices not megabucks.

mattybain
2008-10-09, 04:18
I wouldn't go as far as a cd drive in, but might be interested in a hard drie, but this is exactly the problem everyone I show the the SB3 to.

They all love the display, the remote, the interface and, above all, the quality. Then they ask where the music comes from and I tell them I have a server running upstairs. And that's all she wrote. NO SALE.

Basically, they'd all love a SB3 or Duet or Boom but none of them want to run a server. The majority have external drives with all their music on, and they plug it into a desktop/lappie when they want to play or rip music. They are dying for a device like the Duet, if the duet receiver had a USB port and was running SC.

As for people saying that what you are asking for is a computer so use a computer, I think they are missing the point that the duet receiver is also a computer. So why not use it?

As for the Yamaha and Olive offerings, have you seen the price of them? The market wants Duet prices not megabucks.

So what they really want is a Squeezebox connected to a service like Rhapsody via SqueezeNetwork(or Napster or Spotify if they were available). Then you could just plugin your SB, connect to SN and then select the music you want to listen to. No server, no hard disc, no hassle.

Even if the SB did have a harddisc you would still need to rip and store the music.

Makes me wonder all the more why Logitech are so slow to implement Napster when Rhapsody continues to alienate 95% of the world!!

pnharrison
2008-10-09, 04:38
fattybacon: I understand what you mean; but I'm not sure it could make sense from a commercial viewpoint.

To turn the SBR into a "SqueezeBoxServer" would almost certainly require improvemnts to the processor/memory plus additional interfaces for usb ports etc. etc which would price it above a mass-produced NAS. And I'm sure it would take an enormous investment to create a user interface which is less fiddly than current NAS offerings.

As mattybain points out; people can opt to use the Squeezenetwork with no home server at all.

For those that want to play the music stored on external hard drives; that you mention, they can easily get going using an existing PC to run SC. If they find themselves using it lots; they can create a dedicated server using myriad NAS / Unix / Mac / PC options.

QNAP's NAS's and Ripserver come with SC installed; I think Logitech (or anyone else) would struggle to beat those for price & convenience.

http://www.ripfactory.com/ripserver.html
http://www.qnap.com

Just my two cents. Peter.

syburgh
2008-10-09, 05:36
UPnP support could be a solution, and outsourcing the entire SC instance would be most desirable (with VPS prices these days, it's not too far over the horizon for DIY).

I think the OP has a point. Cost of such an embedded-SC device could be contained if it was an NSLU2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2)-style, with ports to attach peripheral USB disks and CDROM drives for storage and ripping.

It's not a stretch to see SC7 run on such a device (the hardware in an modern mobile handset is nearly sufficient). A PC could manage it as a USB slave device or via web interface.

So BOM would at least need: modern CPU (Intel Atom comes to mind), 256MB-512MB of RAM, sufficient flash memory for OS+SC+future, wireless and wired NICs, USB controllers, PSU, case. SD/Logitech is already supporting one such platform (the controller) which has most of the necessary features (though not in the necessary quantity for a good user experience running SC), so I don't see why it would be too hard to apply that experience to a SC appliance.

This would also be a great reason to rework SC to be less resource hungry. I am still baffled by the incredible memory consumption and poor web UI performance (400-2000 msec per pageview on modern 1+ GHz hardware is shockingly slow). IME, SC uses much more memory than the combined footprint of a standard Redhat/Fedora installation, and this is before the first library scan (starts at 60-80MB, grows to 110-150MB with 10k tracks). Fortunately SC7 seems pretty stable, and hardware is cheap these days. I wouldn't trade the cross-platform or reliability aspects for better performance.

The economics clearly exist: wouldn't an Apple TV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV) (released over two years ago) have nearly everything necessary after stripping out the disk? I can buy an MSI Wind PC for $150 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856167032) at retail today.

This sounds like a modest undertaking on the hardware side, so I would guess that research indicates there is simply not a large enough market for such a device (or a preference for players with more in-built functionality, Roku-style). If the "success" of WHS and the original NSLU2 are any indication, the market for such a device is probably smaller than we forum regulars might hope.

Mark Lanctot
2008-10-09, 08:31
They may even be able to re-use the Duet Receier. As far I as I know that is just a small Linux computer anyway.


As for people saying that what you are asking for is a computer so use a computer, I think they are missing the point that the duet receiver is also a computer. So why not use it?

No, the SBR doesn't run Linux. And it's only a computer in that it has a CPU and RAM. But it's not even close to something you could get Linux to run on - it has a Ubicom network processor that's definitely not your conventional x86 architecture and it uses firmware developed in expensive proprietary software.

You'd have to build a whole new product. You can't simply drop SC into the SBR and expect it to run.


As for the Yamaha and Olive offerings, have you seen the price of them? The market wants Duet prices not megabucks.

But that's what a server-and-networked-media-player costs. There are reasons why they cost so much. Sure, those are overpriced, especially the Olive, but they will be a lot more than $100.

I don't really understand why people can't follow the suggestions in this thread and get a low-powered computer, install SC on it and be done with it? I keep seeing this request pop-up though, perhaps there is a market for just that - a low-powered PC with SC preinstalled, marketed as a "SqueezeCenter server". I keep thinking I would like to do this but then I picture the support nightmare, I wouldn't want to touch that with a 10-foot pole...

mvalera
2008-10-09, 09:14
http://www.ripfactory.com/ripserver.html
http://www.qnap.com


And Netgear too:

http://www.netgear.com/Products/Storage.aspx

The new ReadyNas Pro looks nice.

Mike

funkstar
2008-10-09, 10:23
I wouldn't go as far as a cd drive in, but might be interested in a hard drie, but this is exactly the problem everyone I show the the SB3 to.

They all love the display, the remote, the interface and, above all, the quality. Then they ask where the music comes from and I tell them I have a server running upstairs. And that's all she wrote. NO SALE.

Replace "server" with "iTunes" and it sudenly doesn't seem nearly as scary.

aubuti
2008-10-09, 11:37
They all love the display, the remote, the interface and, above all, the quality. Then they ask where the music comes from and I tell them I have a server running upstairs. And that's all she wrote. NO SALE.

Basically, they'd all love a SB3 or Duet or Boom but none of them want to run a server. The majority have external drives with all their music on, and they plug it into a desktop/lappie when they want to play or rip music.
Then just say "computer" running upstairs instead of "server" and most people will find it a lot less daunting.


As for people saying that what you are asking for is a computer so use a computer, I think they are missing the point that the duet receiver is also a computer. So why not use it?
Actually it would be a huge stretch to call the SB Receiver a computer. Judging from this and a previous post about it running linux I think some people are confusing the capabilities of the SB Receiver (which is really a dumb appliance) and the SB *Controller* (which is a pretty sophisticated little computer running linux). But it wouldn't make much sense to start hanging hard drives off the SBC!

Mark Lanctot
2008-10-09, 12:05
Actually it would be a huge stretch to call the SB Receiver a computer. Judging from this and a previous post about it running linux I think some people are confusing the capabilities of the SB Receiver (which is really a dumb appliance) and the SB *Controller* (which is a pretty sophisticated little computer running linux). But it wouldn't make much sense to start hanging hard drives off the SBC!

Yes, that must be it. The Controller has a Samsung 200 MHz ARM processor. Still not conventional x86 architecture but capable of running Linux, and it does. However at 200 MHz and with limited memory it's simply not capable of running SC.