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m_c@shaw.ca
2008-10-11, 08:55
Does anyone know if Logitech is planning to add a regular FM radio to the Squeezebox Boom? To me, that is about the only feature missing.

autopilot
2008-10-11, 08:59
Does anyone know if Logitech is planning to add a regular FM radio to the Squeezebox Boom? To me, that is about the only feature missing.

Why, what stations cant you get over the net?

ModelCitizen
2008-10-11, 11:15
Isn't it about bandwidth costs?

I surprise myself by thinking it'd be good if there was an FM receiver in the Boom... much of my bandwidth usage (and therefore costs) are now due to BBC Radio 4.

I am convinced that bandwidth restricted broadband will be come the norm (yes, even in the US), so an FM receiver could become something that Logitech could consider adding to the Boom at some point.

Personally I doubt very much if there will be anything like a Boom 2 released in the near future though (or possibly at all)...

MC

Goodsounds
2008-10-11, 12:01
There still are some stations without internet streams. Not many, but still some. And there are others that stream but at quite low quality rates, certainly below the acceptable threshhold for music.

I would be interested to know if anyone has ever investigated what internet bitrate stream is roughly equivalent to a decent FM reception stream. I realize this is subjective, and the kind of question that can be argued without resolution, but just on a rough basis, I wonder where it is. Is 128 the magic number for music?

I can't see usage limits becoming prevalent in the US. At least not for reasonable usage levels. I don't think the market would accept it. Besides, for now there is plenty of unused capacity, or so I've been told.

Pricing by speed tiers is a type of usage volume restriction anyhow, that may be as far as it goes.

pfarrell
2008-10-11, 12:07
ModelCitizen wrote:
> Isn't it about bandwidth costs?

Huh?
Comcast is talking about a 250GB cap.
In a month with 31 days, there are 744 hours
3600 seconds per hour, so there are

2678400 seconds per day

250000000000/2678400 = 93,339 bytes per second or
93.3 KB/s

Now raw RedBook audio is 172 Kbytes/second
So all you need is a two to one compression, such as you get from FLAC,
and you can play music 24 hours a day, 31 hours a day, 365 days a year.

But no online radio stations that I've ever seen use lossless.
They typically use 128K MP3, which is about 10 to 1 compression.
So you could have five independent channels of constanly streamed audio.

The ISP caps are about p2p movies. They have nothing to do with streamed
audio.




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

pfarrell
2008-10-11, 12:09
Typo alert:

Pat Farrell wrote:
> So all you need is a two to one compression, such as you get from FLAC,
> and you can play music 24 hours a day, 31 days a year.

That should have been 31 days a month, all year, every year.

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

bpa
2008-10-11, 12:31
In Ireland - the entry level broadband package has a cap of 10Gb/month.

If you want FM stations on your SBs put a FM receiver card in the SC PC's and stream FM through SC.

Paul Webster
2008-10-11, 12:34
I tried pleading the case for old-fashioned radio being in the box as well.

Not all ISPs and certainly not all contracts are as generous with their bandwidth caps.
I know of plenty in UK that are less - but just did a quick search for one in USA and found Frontier - 5GB per month
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=534648

Here is an old thread that went through the pros and cons as seen by both sides.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=51748&highlight=fm

JJZolx
2008-10-11, 14:28
Why, what stations cant you get over the net?

I get just three local FM radio stations that I enjoy and for which I get excellent reception. None of the three have anything better than a 32 kbps radio feed available on the Internet, and the URLs are constantly changing or else the feeds just break for hours or days at a time.

max.spicer
2008-10-11, 16:41
Isn't it about bandwidth costs?

I surprise myself by thinking it'd be good if there was an FM receiver in the Boom... much of my bandwidth usage (and therefore costs) are now due to BBC Radio 4.

I am convinced that bandwidth restricted broadband will be come the norm (yes, even in the US), so an FM receiver could become something that Logitech could consider adding to the Boom at some point.

Personally I doubt very much if there will be anything like a Boom 2 released in the near future though (or possibly at all)...

MC

I must admit that I too fall into this camp. I have a very poor broadband connection at home and so used to use it for nothing other than http, imap and ssh. Since getting a Boom, however, my internet radio usage has probably increased to the point of being far above everything else. Basically, I get woken up to BBC Radio 4 every morning and then lie in bed listening to it for at least 15 mins every day. I have another Boom in my kitchen and so also now listen to it when cooking/washing up in the evening. Due to my previous broadband profile, I have a pay per GB plan, so probably now spend more on my internet usage than I used to. This is all due to my now listening to 'FM' far more because I now have a up to date, network media player. Oh, the irony...

So basically, I reckon Logitech owe me. Who do I send the bill to? ;-)

Max

ModelCitizen
2008-10-12, 01:28
Comcast is talking about a 250GB cap.
250gb? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Typical UK broadband offering:
http://www.plus.net/residential/?home=resindextop

Recent increased radio usage is in addition to regular usage like web browsing, email, downloads, etc. The Boom radio usage is pushing me into the next Plusnet usage band.

I listen to BBC Radio four/World Service an awful lot (which should mean I'm highly informed.... but in reality means I just worry about the economy a lot more).

MC

fuzzyT
2008-10-12, 09:46
I would have enjoyed having an FM tuner in my SBB also.

And it's not about bandwidth costs, it's about simplicity and reliability.

My SBB is in the dining room. It's where we take breakfast, read the
newspaper, and hang out in the mornings. The majority of the time,
we're not using the extended capabilities of the SBB. It's great to be
able to rock out to internet radio, sync up the other two SBs and glance
at the screen to see what's playing. But a _lot_ of the time, we're
just listening to NPR. Very strong local FM signal, good fidelity, dead
reliable. And listening to the net stream works pretty well, when it's
working. But it doesn't always work. Various things have happened:
streaming congestion, wireless interference (neighbors, microwave, etc),
problems with the SC box or connection, etc. And what this means is
that maybe one time in twenty, I push the preset button to tune NPR and
I get...a debugging puzzle instead of the radio. More troubling, the SO
pushes the button just gets frustrated. It could be better. For this
one simple function, it _was_ better when we had just a simple Tivoli
One radio in the spot where the SBB is now.

I know, I know; I should wire the connection. I should connect to SN
instead of SC, etc. I could wire a simple FM tuner to the line in. I
know how to debug the issues as they come up, and I know what the longer
term solutions are, but wouldn't it be nice if I could map a preset to
an FM tuner and have it _just work_.

I've traded a very simple (and therefore very reliable) system for one
that is significantly more complex and less reliable. And all for the
want of an FM tuner chip in the hardware spec.

I love my SBB, and I love using the all the connections that the Tivoli
didn't have, but I do wish my SBB had an FM tuner inside.

--rt


m_c (AT) shaw (DOT) ca wrote:
> Does anyone know if Logitech is planning to add a regular FM radio to
> the Squeezebox Boom? To me, that is about the only feature missing.
>
>

Goodsounds
2008-10-12, 16:19
250gb? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Typical UK broadband offering:
http://www.plus.net/residential/?home=resindextop

Recent increased radio usage is in addition to regular usage like web browsing, email, downloads, etc. The Boom radio usage is pushing me into the next Plusnet usage band.



The US and the UK are different in more respects than most people realize, always have been, likely always will be. I say this without intending to make a political/ethnocentric comment. Neither is better or worse, but life and culture in each is quite different from the other.

Many things come to mind that are well established in the UK that I believe will not likely cross the Atlantic. In the area of media/utilities/necessities, I think of annual TV/radio taxes, high value added tax, high taxes on gasoline, high prices irrespective of exchange rates (dare I say that?),etc. Maybe we should have some of those things in the US. For now, we don't.

Severe usage restrictions on internet connections, as cited for the UK? My guess is that this is unlikely to become common in the US.

peterw
2008-10-12, 16:44
I know, I know; I should wire the connection. I should connect to SN
instead of SC, etc. I could wire a simple FM tuner to the line in. I
know how to debug the issues as they come up, and I know what the longer
term solutions are, but wouldn't it be nice if I could map a preset to
an FM tuner and have it _just work_.


Similar situation here. My setup: a first-generation RadioShark USB tuner on the SqueezeCenter host, tuned to my local station. Search the forums for details. Anyhow, I have a Favorites button mapped to that station, and it just works -- and sounds much better than the station's 64k stream, and saves the radio station bandwidth & licensing costs.

Plus, it works on ALL my Squeezeboxes, not just the Boom.

*And* this setup allows me to easily record broadcasts as MP3s for time-shifting.

An integrated FM tuner would be a step backward for me.

-Peter

iPhone
2008-10-12, 21:26
Does anyone know if Logitech is planning to add a regular FM radio to the Squeezebox Boom? To me, that is about the only feature missing.

What is the deal with Tuners? Don't we all already have more of them then we know what to do with?

Before the Squeezebox Boom, there were these things called Tuners. Some of these tuners were even built into a device called a Receiver that included the pre-amp, amp, and even speaker connections.

I suggest maybe looking into buying one. I would even venture to say that most everybody already has one. Which might be the reason Logitech didn't put one in the Boom. Besides it would have missed its price point by including a Tuner. Since it seems everybody that wants a Tuner in a NMP is looking for local stations since the Boom does Internet Radio, just go out to the dollar store and buy one of those $5 FM Walkmans and plug it into the Aux In.

Boom (pun intended) you're done! Even if they did put one in the Boom, where would it stop? They would need different models for all over the World instead of just one NMP model. Just AM & FM, or doesn't it need HD Radio also? How about shortwave, Single Side Band, and full general coverage receive while we are dreaming?

On a personal note, the only tuner other then in the cars that I have used in a few years is my HD Tuner. There is not a single pre-set set in any Receiver in my home. And once I have my mobile vehicle suqeezebox system finished to where it is foolproof for the better half, I will not even be using the tuner in the car!

pfarrell
2008-10-12, 21:38
iPhone wrote:
> What is the deal with Tuners? Don't we all already have more of them
> then we know what to do with?

I have a nice Yamaha tuner that I bought maybe a decade ago. I haven't
used it since I got my first SB-1.

I assume its still in the basement, it hasn't been plugged in to even
power in five or six years.

Obviously, it would drive the boom's line level input just fine.

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

funkstar
2008-10-13, 02:09
Does anyone know if Logitech is planning to add a regular FM radio to the Squeezebox Boom? To me, that is about the only feature missing.
I would rather have an FM tuner connected to my server so the feeds can be made available to *all* my players.

Maybe thats just me though ;)

ModelCitizen
2008-10-13, 02:49
Severe usage restrictions on internet connections, as cited for the UK?
I used my UK broadband supplier as an example. As I understand it metered bandwidth to the levels indicated in the example is very common throughout the world (not just the UK), the current main exception being the US. I'm not dead certain about this and quite honestly I care so little I'm not going to check! :-)

In current circumstances attempting to predict future events seems a tad fruitless.

MC

iPhone
2008-10-13, 09:21
I would rather have an FM tuner connected to my server so the feeds can be made available to *all* my players.

Maybe thats just me though ;)

This was brought up before when the FM Tuner issue was raised in the past (maybe even by you, Funkstar). Making it available to *All* Squeezeboxes on the network does kind of make since if somebody just HAS to have a Tuner for the Boom.

So the next question is, how would one go about doing that? A PCI FM Tuner card in the PC/Server? A Tuner or Receiver providing a Line Level input for the server? Thoughts? Applications?

upstatemike
2008-10-13, 14:00
This is one area where Sonos is still ahead of Squeezecenter. They can stream a tuner from any player's line input to all of the other players in the system. It would be nice if Logitech would provide similiar functionality, perhaps with a separate Logitech "InStreamer" type device that could be managed through the SqueezeCenter UI. (And hopefully be cheaper and easier than using the Barix Instreamer option.)

JJZolx
2008-10-13, 14:17
This is one area where Sonos is still ahead of Squeezecenter. They can stream a tuner from any player's line input to all of the other players in the system. It would be nice if Logitech would provide similiar functionality, perhaps with a separate Logitech "InStreamer" type device that could be managed through the SqueezeCenter UI. (And hopefully be cheaper and easier than using the Barix Instreamer option.)

Squeezeboxes don't have enough smarts. And only the Boom has a line input, which was something of an afterthought to accommodate iPods. I can't see such a thing server-side, as the software is designed to run on a couple million different platforms with no common hardware.

Until the Squeezeboxes themselves are made a lot smarter and given a line input, this isn't likely to happen. Sonos will remain ahead.

fuzzyT
2008-10-13, 14:29
iPhone wrote:

> What is the deal with Tuners? Don't we all already have more of them
> then we know what to do with?

While I take your point, you should realize that two of your arguments
($5 FM Walkmen vs. Boom price point) are in direct conflict with one
another.

The deal with tuners is that they provide reliable access to valuable
programming.

The deal with the Boom is that it puts everything (access, amp, speaker,
controls, clock) into one box. I would not want to set another box next
to the Boom. The whole point of the Boom is it's compact size and
fitness for locations not suitable for a full component stereo installation.

It's not a deal breaker (obviously as I bought the Boom and do like it)
but I do maintain that a simple FM tuner would be a valuable addition to
the product.

Yes, the Boom is a forward-looking product. And, yes, FM is format past
it's prime. But, ideally, the Boom would add all of it's new features
while continuing to perform at least as well at all of the functions of
the unit it replaces. And on this one small but important function it
does not.

--rt

bpa
2008-10-13, 14:30
For Linux based SCs - I have a PCI TV/FM card in the PC and I can stream FM radio to any SB. The Frequency to be played comes from a fake URL stored in favorites used to start the start playing various stations. The tuner cards are available from a number of vendors - main one is Hauppuage but there are plenty of smaller vendors.

I also have a Griffin RadioShark which can also do the same with FM/AM on Linux systems. The RadioShark can work on NAS with USB and no PCI if the NASs Linux has the right kernel module.

I have been working on an application which will provide the same functionality on Windows based SC. The Windows applications works with PCI card but I believe it should also work with USB based Tuners as long as they have DirectShow support (e.g. supported by Windows MCE).

From looking at the Windows interface, the Windows application could also be adapted to work with the digital TV/Rado tuner cards (i.e. DVB-S, DVB-T and ATSC).

I hope to package the FM tuner version up as a plugin but at present it needs more testing before it can be considered suitable for users.

iPhone
2008-10-13, 17:08
iPhone wrote:

> What is the deal with Tuners? Don't we all already have more of them
> then we know what to do with?

While I take your point, you should realize that two of your arguments
($5 FM Walkmen vs. Boom price point) are in direct conflict with one
another.
There is no conflict. There is a huge difference in buying a $5 Dollar Store Cheap-O over produced Walkman Tuner clone and the Boom having to be resigned to have the room for a Tuner, more controls, more function switches so a source can be selected, having a Tuner of good enough quality (read expense) to be included in a Boom, and so on and so on.

So there is no confilct with my statement, you just over simplied what it would cost and take to actually include a built in tuner worthy of being inside a Boom!

The deal with tuners is that they provide reliable access to valuable programming.
What valuable programing? You must be joking. At least here in the US, only a few decent independent stations remain and one has to be lucky enough to live in one of those cities!

That is the whole idea behind Internet Radio. So no matter where one lives, one can still listen to the few decent stations that remain.

pfarrell
2008-10-13, 17:25
iPhone wrote:
> fuzzyT;349450 Wrote:
>> The deal with tuners is that they provide reliable access to valuable
>> programming.
> What valuable programing? You must be joking. At least here in the US,
> only a few decent independent stations remain and one has to be lucky
> enough to live in one of those cities!

There has been nothing worth listening to on FM in the Washington DC
area for years. WHFS was good, but they first moved it to the boonies
with no transmitting power, and then changed format.

Give me RadioIO over all of the OTA fm stations.

Goodsounds
2008-10-13, 17:42
.....
What valuable programing? You must be joking. At least here in the US, only a few decent independent stations remain and one has to be lucky enough to live in one of those cities!.....


Formula for successful morning radio (in the US)= Local news, sports news, weather, traffic. AM or FM, doesn't matter. Even lousy stations get listened to, unless they're really rank. This formula is why even national network broadcasts (TV and radio) have local segments, to provide local content.

If no tuner in a boom, my guess is that people will either put up with a poor internet stream of their favorite local station or continue to use their old radios to listen to what they want to hear. Many people start listening at home to whatever station they listen to while driving to work.

I suspect there is an age break for this behavior - I think I read somewhere that younger people are less likely to listen to news/weather/etc in the morning (or afternoon or evening).

lhmperth
2008-10-13, 22:44
I too would love an FM and AM tuner in the Boom. It is they only reason holding me back at the moment.

I already have a number of Squeezebox products, which I love. However, I love to listen to radio in the morning. The station I listen to is on the net. However, where I live (Western Australia), this station is a delayed broadcast from the east coast of Australia. The streamed station is live. I prefer hearing my 7am news at 7am, rather than having to get up at 5am for it!

I have thought of having an AM and FM tuner in my PC. However, I do not run my PC all the time. My SqueezeCenter runs on a Synology NAS. Don't think I can add a radio tuner to that! (However, looking at what Synology keeps adding the the device, I would not be surprise if it will soon be making my toast and coffee in the mornings too.)

Bring on an AM/FM tuner please!

iPhone
2008-10-13, 22:59
Formula for successful morning radio (in the US)= Local news, sports news, weather, traffic. AM or FM, doesn't matter. Even lousy stations get listened to, unless they're really rank. This formula is why even national network broadcasts (TV and radio) have local segments, to provide local content.

If no tuner in a boom, my guess is that people will either put up with a poor internet stream of their favorite local station or continue to use their old radios to listen to what they want to hear. Many people start listening at home to whatever station they listen to while driving to work.

I suspect there is an age break for this behavior - I think I read somewhere that younger people are less likely to listen to news/weather/etc in the morning (or afternoon or evening).

I enjoy music. I really do. Morning radio is so bad in Atlanta that I would rather listen to talk radio then put up with the FM babble. One of the stations brought in a National Morning Show where all the guy did was talk about himself. In three hours he played 4 songs and did a little traffic/sports/weather. Thank the stars that didn't last long but they fired 4 of the local DJs to bring in the national show. So the afternoon DJ everybody loved was moved to mornings when the national show was fired. It was the best 6 weeks for Atlanta morning radio. At the top of the hour, traffic and local news with weather. Bottom of the hour, traffic and national news. The rest was music just like in the afternoons. Of course, until they hired two new morning clowns.

We have a station called The New 97.1 The River, the classic hits station. They have been in town three years but the DJs are required to say 'The NEW' every time or they will get fired. The station has a 350-song playlist. Thatís it. If I hear Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon one more time I will shoot myself. Yes they do move songs in and out of the playlist, but it is always only 350. Since they only move them in or out about every two months, its a waste of time to listen unless one likes hearing the same thing over and over and over for three years. The DJs come in and record their shows and aren't even in when their show is on the air. Itís all canned. They don't even know what they are going to play until it comes up on the prompt. They are given a list with codes. Somebody put this model together and itís profitable for the station and brings in advertising dollars because it gets the woman to listen. They don't take requests and couldn't if they wanted to due to being a canned show. They can't play Hot for Teacher even though it fits the formula for picking the 350 songs because it is sexist. The formula uses song ranking and weeks on the chart to determine if itís a classic hit. But it still canít be offensive.

I guess every city canít have a 100.3 The Buzzard or KFOX with a rock star for the morning DJ. But hey, isnít that what Internet Radio is for? No wonder people are willing to pay for XM Radio.

pfarrell
2008-10-13, 23:34
iPhone wrote:
> 350-song playlist. That’s it. If I hear Fleetwood Mac -Rhiannon- one
> more time I will shoot myself.

How about The Eagles' - Hotel California? Its always in the New Hot 350
playlist.

autopilot
2008-10-14, 03:36
The only benefit i can see is as a backup alarm when the network is down etc. But there are plenty of products on the market that do FM and internet radio/UPNP streaming. The Boom is not one and i am glad :)

fuzzyT
2008-10-14, 07:05
iPhone wrote:
> There is a huge difference in buying a $5 Dollar
> Store Cheap-O over produced Walkman Tuner clone and the Boom having to
> be resigned to have the room for a Tuner, more controls, more function
> switches so a source can be selected, having a Tuner of good enough
> quality (read expense) to be included in a Boom, and so on and so on.

Now you're mixing your timeframes. Originally you wrote about 'hitting
their price point'; past tense. Now you're writing about 'redesigning';
future tense. If FM had been part of the original spec, I imagine the
hardware cost of building it in would have been negligible. I don't
know what a proper FM tuner chip costs, but seeing this feature in some
small, cheap portables (that sound pretty good) tells me it's not much.
Software required of course. But for me, and perhaps others, a
valuable benefit.

> What valuable programing? You must be joking. At least here in the US,
> only a few decent independent stations remain and one has to be lucky
> enough to live in one of those cities!

I'm not going to try to defend the entirety of programming on the FM
band these days. Overall, quality has declined precipitously. But
there are islands of light in the commercial muck: NPR, college radio,
and the other independents on the 'left of the dial'. I am fortunate
enough to live and have lived in areas with excellent indie FM radio:
WHFS, WUVT, WUNC, WKNC, WXYC, WPFW, WDCU, WSHA, etc. I've worked at
some of these stations, and continue to give financial support. These
stations in my area remain a worthy part of my listening diet. and the
over the air signal is both more reliable and better sounding than their
net radio streams.

> That is the whole idea behind Internet Radio. So no matter where one
> lives, one can still listen to the few decent stations that remain.

Yes, I get it and am a big fan, I'd just like to be able to tune over
the air on the one box for the locals that are available. No one is
arguing that net radio isn't great.

--rt

fuzzyT
2008-10-14, 07:08
Pat Farrell wrote:

> There has been nothing worth listening to on FM in the Washington DC
> area for years. WHFS was good, but they first moved it to the boonies
> with no transmitting power, and then changed format.

I still listen to a lot WPFW and WDCU when I'm in the area. They're not
so great at certain times of the day. But at other times they can be
fantastic. Great community radio for the DC area.

--rt

fuzzyT
2008-10-14, 07:13
autopilot wrote:
> ... there are plenty of products on the market that do FM and
> internet radio/UPNP streaming. The Boom is not one and i am glad :)

I don't expect this feature will have value for every buyer of a Boom.
Least of all "The Converted" that occupy these forums. We're all
comfortable with net radio, online services and ripped libraries. But
for some here it would. And it might be a valuable bridge feature for
new users who can't conceive of a table radio without a (non-WLAN)
radio. Adding this feature might well expand the market to those who
might have otherwise purchased a (shudder) Bose wave radio or the like.

Just because it doesn't appeal to you personally doesn't mean there's no
value for anyone.

--rt

upstatemike
2008-10-14, 07:24
Squeezeboxes don't have enough smarts. And only the Boom has a line input, which was something of an afterthought to accommodate iPods. I can't see such a thing server-side, as the software is designed to run on a couple million different platforms with no common hardware.

Until the Squeezeboxes themselves are made a lot smarter and given a line input, this isn't likely to happen. Sonos will remain ahead.

I am not suggesting that the squeezebox needs to add "smarts" to support streaming as I don't think every player needs to have that ability. What I am suggesting instead is a separate streaming only appliance, similiar to a Barix Instreamer, that could be used to distribute that one local radio station that you can't get over the Internet (or your old reel-to-reel tapes that aren't worth the time investment to convert to MP3s, or the audio from a Home Automation system that reads you the weather forecast, etc.)

toby10
2008-10-15, 05:22
Personally I have no interest in terrestrial radio on an SD device. My initial interest in SD products was for better and more flexible access to Internet Radio streams. I hear enough FM garbage in my car.

However I can understand others wanting FM access, although I'd bet it's a minority group of SD customers.

IMHO two things to keep in mind should SD incorporate FM:
1. If possible, make the FM antenna removable. I think a telescopic antenna would detract from the Boom's aesthetics. I'd remove it from my Boom.
2. If they are going to go down the FM path (which I seriously doubt they will) then they may as well go the extra step and add HD-FM as well.

peterw
2008-10-15, 09:43
2. If they are going to go down the FM path (which I seriously doubt they will) then they may as well go the extra step and add HD-FM as well.

Rumor has it that the licensing fees for the "HD Radio" IP in the US is pretty high. Here's one Goggle-suggested post that claims the IP holder has been asking for USD $50 *per device* from consumer electronics vendors: http://currentpublicmedia.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=2105606%3ATopic%3A269 Insane. This page says that the broadcasters have to pay $30,000 - $200,000 in capital costs and $5000/year in licensing: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hd-radio1.htm Wikipedia says HD Radio is a power hog, with a portable unit consuming batteries far more quickly than even disk-drive equipped MP3 players: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio#Portable

toby10
2008-10-15, 11:54
Rumor has it that the licensing fees for the "HD Radio" IP in the US is pretty high. Here's one Goggle-suggested post that claims the IP holder has been asking for USD $50 *per device* from consumer electronics vendors: http://currentpublicmedia.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=2105606%3ATopic%3A269 Insane. This page says that the broadcasters have to pay $30,000 - $200,000 in capital costs and $5000/year in licensing: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hd-radio1.htm Wikipedia says HD Radio is a power hog, with a portable unit consuming batteries far more quickly than even disk-drive equipped MP3 players: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_Radio#Portable

Looks like the lawyers are going to screw up HD-Radio just as they are poised to silence Internet Radio. :(

fuzzyT
2008-10-15, 12:54
toby10 wrote:
> 1. If possible, make the FM antenna removable. I think a telescopic
> antenna would detract from the Boom's aesthetics. I'd remove it from
> my Boom.

Better yet, use a decent internal antenna.

> 2. If they are going to go down the FM path (which I seriously doubt
> they will) then they may as well go the extra step and add HD-FM as
> well.

Disagree. This is a far more fringe feature than straight FM. Maybe in
a future model if and when this catches on. No need to conflate FM with
a kitchen sink approach.

peterw
2008-10-15, 14:15
Looks like the lawyers are going to screw up HD-Radio just as they are poised to silence Internet Radio. :(

Hey, I love a good lawyer or legislator joke as much as the next American, but I think it's the business folk at iBiquity (?) setting those prices. They could open their specs and charge $0.01 for the IP if they wanted.

Maybe a regulator joke is in order -- I don't know to what extent the FCC has "blessed" HD Radio, but they certainly shouldn't be encouraging any technology that's not only encumbered by IP claims but also unreasonably priced. It certainly didn't seem like the licensing for the IP related to stereo & secondary audio channels in broadcast TV was as outrageous as this stuff.

toby10
2008-10-15, 14:46
Hey, I love a good lawyer or legislator joke as much as the next American, but I think it's the business folk at iBiquity (?) setting those prices. They could open their specs and charge $0.01 for the IP if they wanted.

Maybe a regulator joke is in order -- I don't know to what extent the FCC has "blessed" HD Radio, but they certainly shouldn't be encouraging any technology that's not only encumbered by IP claims but also unreasonably priced. It certainly didn't seem like the licensing for the IP related to stereo & secondary audio channels in broadcast TV was as outrageous as this stuff.

Well someone had to write the licensing agreement. *wink*

I don't think the FCC would do much (or even care) what the business intends to charge for their product/service as long as the product/service is within the FCC technical guidelines. You could go out tomorrow and get an FCC license to start PeterW Telecom cell phone service. If you chose to charge $1000 per phone and $1 per minute the FCC would only care that you paid your FCC licensing fees and that your phones & towers were safe and not overpowering other frequencies.

Now you wouldn't sell many phones and contracts, but I'd bet your phones would have built in SC7 connectivity! :)

Paul Webster
2008-10-25, 07:44
However I can understand others wanting FM access, although I'd bet it's a minority group of SD customers.

I agree with the expectation that it is a minority of *current* SD customers that would be interested in this. But my view is that the Boom form factor has the possibility of broadening the SD customer base.

For a similar price, people can already get devices with internet streaming, FM (some with AM [or for UK ... DAB] as well) plus local playback.
While they may not do a good a job of local playback as a Squeezebox/SqueezeCenter combination ... they generally do a similar (and arguably better) job in providing internet radio streams from around the world.

So folks coming into this arena starting as a radio listener rather than playing local ripped tracks may well go for the offerings from the competition to replace their existing kitchen/dining-room/bedroom radio and in their leap into the new world would prefer to have the old-style radio as well.

Obviously, if the local receivable broadcast radio is rubbish then it would not be important to them. Perhaps this is more relevant in Europe.

toby10
2008-10-25, 08:27
[QUOTE=Paul ...........Obviously, if the local receivable broadcast radio is rubbish then it would not be important to them. Perhaps this is more relevant in Europe.[/QUOTE]

No, it's rubbish everywhere. :)

Unless you are into Top 40 stuff than most FM markets have limited coverage of other genres. What I love about Internet Radio over FM crap:
- far fewer commercials (some have none)
- 100's of excellent quality stations to choose from within most any popular genre
- metadata
- very little dj/host banter (those dj/hosts that think they are funny and interesting, but usually are not)
- FM news, sports, weather, traffic. Important & needed info, but once I've heard it I don't need to hear all the same info six times in the next hour. If I want news or talk I'll tune in a news or talk station (and I do)

I get plenty of AM and FM coverage in my car. I have zero interest in hearing this in my home. I have a very capable Yamaha AVR and I've never bothered with hooking up any AM or FM antenna to it. Just never interested me. But again, I can certainly see where others would like such capabilities in a Boom type device. :)

Of course with the current state of Internet Radio this may all (or a large portion of it) be gone in the near future. Hope not, but who knows.
Enjoy it while we can. :)

SadGamerGeek
2008-10-29, 10:42
There certainly seems to be a reasonable number of people who'd really like access to FM stations via their SBs (not just booms), and I count myself among those.

For me it is about better sound quality and simplicity of access to what I think are good quality (BBC) national stations.

There are some very good reasons why the Boom doesn't have a built-in tuner, but very little time seems to have been given to the discussion about providing a stream from the server. Am I right in thinking this is possible on Linux but not on Windows? What's the barrier to getting this working on Windows?

toby10
2008-10-29, 12:35
There certainly seems to be a reasonable number of people who'd really like access to FM stations via their SBs (not just booms), and I count myself among those.

For me it is about better sound quality and simplicity of access to what I think are good quality (BBC) national stations.

There are some very good reasons why the Boom doesn't have a built-in tuner, but very little time seems to have been given to the discussion about providing a stream from the server. Am I right in thinking this is possible on Linux but not on Windows? What's the barrier to getting this working on Windows?

Have you tried RadioTime?
http://radiotime.com/region/c_101309/United_Kingdom.aspx

I think there may be other services similar to RadioTime but are UK or EU specific.

bpa
2008-10-29, 14:20
What's the barrier to getting this working on Windows?


On Linux there are a number application which can be used to capture the audio stream. Furthermore, as they are open source it is easy to customise to SC.

On Windows most applications assume audio from Tuner should be played through speaker and source code is usually not available. For FM tuning and audio capture, there are very few example using the interface and the code probably needs to have some vendor specific support as Tuner card hardware varies.

That said, I'm inching towards a Tuner plugin for Windows and Linux which can work with a variety of PC tuner hardware.

Grahame
2008-10-30, 12:42
This may have been stated in another form earlier in this discussion, but this is what I have done.

I have a Sansa Clip. The Sansa Clip has a built in FM tuner. My Boom has a line-in input. The 3.5mm cable provided with the boom connects the clips headphone out to the booms line in.

I can now listen to FM radio on my Boom. Job Done!

For those of you not aware, the Clip is smaller in area than the boom remote,
so it does not add to the bulk of the solution - you could use a longer cable for better positioning of the clip wrt. FM reception.

As an aside, you can also detach the clip for listening on the go - walking around an almost deserted Costco, whilst listening to one of the recent Presidential Debates was somewhat surreal.

It should be noted the latest clip firmware enables flac playback - so no transcoding needed to enjoy a subset of my music collection on the go.

TonyT
2008-10-30, 13:06
On Linux there are a number application which can be used to capture the audio stream. Furthermore, as they are open source it is easy to customise to SC.

On Windows most applications assume audio from Tuner should be played through speaker and source code is usually not available. For FM tuning and audio capture, there are very few example using the interface and the code probably needs to have some vendor specific support as Tuner card hardware varies.

That said, I'm inching towards a Tuner plugin for Windows and Linux which can work with a variety of PC tuner hardware.

Do you think you could elaborate some on how this would all work and what equipment/software is needed?

I am someone who is somehwat bandwidth limited and my girlfriend often listens to Radio 4, Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Service. I'd love to be able to capture these somehow from an FM or DAB tuner and then stream them to the Boom. I'm aware of pieces of software like shoutcast but I don't know how a tuner would fit into the equation nor how a tuner and the streaming from it could be controlled by a Boom.

bpa
2008-10-30, 14:35
I have similar reasons to create the plugin - bandwidth limit and also better quality BBC live streams available from cable / satellite.

The main pre-requisite will be a Tuner either a Card or a USB adaptor to be installed in the PC. The Tuner card has to be able to pickup FM. There is usually a connector for an external antenna. As many servers will be shut away quality of FM signal is a consideration - no point putting an FM card in the server if it is in the basement and there is no way to get an FM signal to the card. One of the biggest difference between cards can be the quality of TV/FM reception from antenna.

There are a diminishing number of Analog TV Tuner cards available and not all can do FM. The more expensive Tuner cards have fancy Video hardware which are not necessary for FM so cheap cards adaptors will do. However newer cards seems to be Analog TV/FM and Terrestrial Digital TV and Satelltite Radio support.
Example products:
Griffin RadioShark2 whch can do AM as well as FM ( http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/radioshark2 ) and could work on a NAS with the right kernel module.
Hauppauge WinTV ( http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_radio.html )
Pinnacle PCTV ( http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/uk/Products/Consumer+Products/PCTV+Tuners/PCTV+Analog+PVR+%28cable_antenna%29/PCTV+Analog+PCI.htm )

A plugin for SC will enable a user to select the Frequency (e.g. defined as Favorites) and the audio from the Tuner will be directed to SC to play through an SB. When no used by SC - the tuner card is available for use by PC (e.g. record TV)

The main issue with a Tuner Plugin is the application to take audio from the card. Whether the Plugin can get audio from the card will depend on the card's interface support for the OS. (e.g. card may have standard support on XP but not Vista or Linux)

upstatemike
2008-11-02, 07:57
While the FM/TV card plugin idea sounds good, I still submit that the problem of getting local FM stations into a Boom is really just a subset of a more general requirement to be able to stream local analog audio sources to Squeezeplayers.

Besides the issues noted about getting an FM antenna feed down to a basement music PC I would also point out that many people interested in this solution will be using a NAS or "Green" PC to hold their music library. These people would be excluded from using a solution that depends on adding cards to a traditional PC.

A more elegant solution would allow you to purchase a cheap but decent tuner off of eBay and stream the audio from this to the Squeezeplayers. This also has the advantage that you can substitute any other source- CD, reel-to-reel, etc, and utilize the same solution for all of them.

I think the Barix Instreamer would be the ideal device for getting FM, or any other source, into a Boom except that it is too expensive and too hard for the average person to configure. Unfortunately I don't know of any cheaper, easier, equivalent to this this device.

An alternative approach might be to use those usb connected sound input devices advertised for converting your tapes and records to mp3 files. These are cheap, have decent analog circuits, and because they are usb connected, they would work with PCs that do not have traditional PC card slots available. If a plugin could take the audio from one of these and turn it into a stream that all the squeezeplayers on your LAN could access then that would give you the ability to stream local FM, or any other local audio source you like.

florca
2008-11-02, 16:04
There's actually a pretty simple solution on a Linux-based server to stream any set of radio stations within a single DVB-T (Freeview) or DVB-S (Freesat / Sky) multiplex (so in the UK & most of Northern Europe you can get all the BBC national radio channels). Brief details are here: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=29703 and I've been using it for a couple of years without any real issues. The big difference between this and the FM card solutions is that different Squeezeboxes (or Booms) can listen to different channels simultaneously (so my daughter's SB3 alarm can fire up Radio 1 while mine wakes me up with the Today show).

Works great with the Hauppauge Nova-T PCI card and I think it should also work OK with the Nova-T DVB-T USB sticks that Curry's / PC-World are knocking out for £25 at the moment (see http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Hauppauge_WinTV-NOVA-T-Stick ). Nick Humfrey, the guy who originally wrote DVBSHOUT (the code at the core of this) stopped work on it several years back and I think now works at the BBC, but it's been pretty rock solid for me on an P-III Ubuntu Server system. Not entirely sure, but I think you might also get this running on some of the NAS (eg DS-209+??) devices given that they also appear to support the LinuxTV USB DVB drivers?

Brgds
Phil