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View Full Version : Slim Devices' crocodile in the bathtub



mortslim
2008-11-25, 13:44
Much as Slim Devices (Logitech) may want to ignore it, like the crocodile in the bathtub or the elephant in the room, the availability of third-party applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch, is game changing.

It is a Black Swan event(from the book of the same name, which got its title from the story of Captain Cook unexpectantly finding a black swan in Australia, not previously known to exist - at least to the Old World).

Logitech can embrace this new reality for a symbiotic relationship.

Sonos embraced it in releasing a free app.

Ipeng (and Squidgy, et al.) are doing the same for the Logitech products.

Logitech should look at the Slim Devices Controller as an inducement to incentivize sales of the Squeezebox and Boom and Duet, not necessarily as a profit center in itself.

In light of the new alternatives, the pricing structure of the Controller and Receiver should be changed. An iPod Touch is $229. plus $10. for iPeng. The sum of those is less than the current price of a Controller.

How about $150. for the Controller and $225. for the Receiver? Once you get the price of the Controller down, the perceived value added from the lower price (from the consumer's point of view) will hopefully produce higher profits through a higher volume of sales, not a higher mark up on each Controller sold. And more Controller sales will in turn drive further sales of the other Slim Device products. And lowering the price of the Controller would justify raising the price of the Receiver.

And since there will be times when your computer is off (hopefully a lot, to save the planet), a mobile version of the squeezenetwork website would also be very helpful to those with an iPhone/iPod Touch. The existing website is just too awkward to use now with the Apple products. This would also incentivize more sales of squeezeboxes and booms and receivers.

mherger
2008-11-25, 13:54
> Much as Slim Devices (Logitech) may want to ignore it, like the

We don't ignore it. We're excited about seeing iPhone apps out there!
We've been involved in the beta testing and have supported the developers
where needed. But it's not up to us to write reviews in the app store :-).

Michael

pippin
2008-11-25, 14:03
Ipeng (and Squidgy, et al.) are doing the same for the Logitech products.


So what's wrong about that for Logitech?
As Michael said: My experience is that Logitech have been pretty supportive on the development of iPeng and this way they get not one but three apps to support their line of audio players. Maybe there are different flavors of apps and in the end they will even reach a broader public.

Giving the pricing structure of these audio players, I don't think the 10$ the Sonos app is cheaper than iPeng make a big difference in helping to promote the product line.

As long as they can make sure all features they need are supported, maybe this isn't the worst environment.

socistep
2008-11-25, 14:50
I have been thinking similar on this.

I guess mortslim is asking whether the success of iPeng etc. combined with the increased usage of iPhone/iTouch would impact future sales of the SBC, it seems from the reviews of the iPhone apps that a lot of current controller owners would now question whether they would have bought a controller given the cost of that versus a iPhone/iTouch with an app.



So what's wrong about that for Logitech?
As Michael said: My experience is that Logitech have been pretty supportive on the development of iPeng and this way they get not one but three apps to support their line of audio players. Maybe there are different flavors of apps and in the end they will even reach a broader public.

Giving the pricing structure of these audio players, I don't think the 10$ the Sonos app is cheaper than iPeng make a big difference in helping to promote the product line.

As long as they can make sure all features they need are supported, maybe this isn't the worst environment.

mortslim
2008-11-25, 14:56
"it seems from the reviews of the iPhone apps that a lot of current controller owners would now question whether they would have bought a controller given the cost of that versus a iPhone/iTouch with an app."

Exactly.

All I am saying is that unless Logitech rethinks its pricing of the Controller, its going to lose a lot of sales.


The late Otto Kaus, California Supreme Court Justice from 1980-1985, coined the metaphor of “crocodiles in the
bathtub” to describe a judge’s predicament of deciding controversial cases while facing re-election: “[I]t was like finding a
crocodile in your bathtub when you go to shave in the morning. You know it’s there, and you try not to think about it, but it’s
hard to think about much else while you’re shaving.”

pippin
2008-11-25, 15:32
I understand all that. But my experience so far has been, that companies are best of, when they know what their core business is and focus on that.

I believe (I may be wrong on that), that the core business for Logitech (I am talking "SlimDevices" here) is audio players, isn't it?
The rest is more of an enabler, and an additional enabler can only be useful.

I mean: the iPhone remotes are out there, can't ignore them. They are there for iTunes, for Sonos and the great Penguin knows what else.

You see, that other company I work for once decided to NOT maximize profit on parts sales for the cars they make because cheap parts mean cheap repairs, mean higher residual value for used cars means higher sales price for new cars. Which are their core business...

pfarrell
2008-11-25, 15:42
pippin wrote:
> You see, that other company I work for once decided to NOT maximize
> profit on parts sales for the cars they make because cheap parts mean
> cheap repairs, mean higher residual value for used cars means higher
> sales price for new cars. Which are their core business...

many companies are not smart enough to recognize what their core is. I
think its much more fun when the company knows what to focus on.

I'm looking forward to when my universal pocket computer controls all
the technology in my life. The Controller is a good first step for some
parts.

And so far, Sean and co have done a bang up job.
IMHO, of course.


I'm also looking forward to what competition in the iPhone space does
for us.

ModelCitizen
2008-11-25, 15:49
that other company I work for once decided to NOT maximize profit on parts sales for the cars they make because cheap parts mean cheap repairs, mean higher residual value for used cars means higher sales price for new cars. Which are their core business...
As someone who has just had to splash out over 100 UKP for a glove compartment door for their TT I can tell you don't work for Audi.

MC

pippin
2008-11-25, 15:53
As someone who has just had to splash out over 100 UKP for a glove compartment door for their TT I can tell you don't work for Audi.


Au... who?

Goodsounds
2008-11-25, 16:46
many companies are not smart enough to recognize what their core is. I
think its much more fun when the company knows what to focus on.

The challenge is to develop a good understanding of what the market thinks is a company's core. It's not easy to know. The risk is thinking you have a good understanding, pursuing that aggressively and then later finding out your were wrong. Companies sometimes appear to waffle and spread themselves thin with initiatives. This is often done to diversify the risk of being wrong, which is inevitably the case with some number of ideas.

I'm old enough to remember, and I think you are too, when Apple was fighting for its continued existence. It had the coolest products that no one wanted to buy.

Can I interest you in a slightly used Lisa PC?

mortslim
2008-11-25, 17:13
The challenge is to develop a good understanding of what the market thinks is a company's core.

I believe the market will come to know what the Slim Devices' products are via the Apple iPhone App Store more so than through any advertising Logitech does.

The App Store is a free form of advertising for a lot of companies to introduce the market to their products.

Millions of people have the iPhone/iPod Touch and it is growing rapidly. Many of them will see the iPeng app, for example, and start their own inquiry about Slim Devices. Once the consumer then proceeds to investigate these products, the Controller will be the last item on their shopping list at current prices.

socistep
2008-11-25, 20:12
Good point, I think it shows the potential of Slim Devices putting out an "official" iPhone/iTouch app, it would increase awareness of their products to the wider growing iP/iT market - I'm sure this will also start with iPeng, Squidgy etc.


I believe the market will come to know what the Slim Devices' products are via the Apple iPhone App Store more so than through any advertising Logitech does.

The App Store is a free form of advertising for a lot of companies to introduce the market to their products.

Millions of people have the iPhone/iPod Touch and it is growing rapidly. Many of them will see the iPeng app, for example, and start their own inquiry about Slim Devices. Once the consumer then proceeds to investigate these products, the Controller will be the last item on their shopping list at current prices.

mortslim
2008-11-25, 20:48
Tivo has just launched a mobile web site

https://m.tivo.com/


This is another example of a company working with mobile devices to leverage its own service and products.

Goodsounds
2008-11-25, 22:08
Tivo has just launched a mobile web site

https://m.tivo.com/


This is another example of a company working with mobile devices to leverage its own service and products.

I know you've got market facing activities on your mind, and your comments are thought provoking.

But be careful what you wish for. Tivo has been a VERY unsuccessful company from a financial operations standpoint. They've raised (and LOST) 3/4 of a Billion dollars. They've just won a lawsuit, so they'll have cash to stay around for awhile, but losing money is not a recipe for corporate or product longevity. Even now, with as well known a name they have in the consumer markets, it's a pretty small company, and getting smaller as customer revenue shrinks.

peter
2008-11-26, 00:18
mortslim wrote:
> "it seems from the reviews of the iPhone apps that a lot of current
> controller owners would now question whether they would have bought a
> controller given the cost of that versus a iPhone/iTouch with an app."
>
> Exactly.
>
> All I am saying is that unless Logitech rethinks its pricing of the
> Controller, its going to lose a lot of sales.
>

Well, at the moment I keep running into Duets in places I've never seen
an SD product before. If I were SD, I'd look at my sales and make
decisions from that. I own two controllers and I still find it hard to
believe that a PDA would work as well. iPeng and sorts will boost sales
of SB3s and SBRs. Now if someone would start to market cheap 3rd party
players... ;)

Regards,
Peter

ds2021
2008-11-26, 06:35
Good point, I think it shows the potential of Slim Devices putting out an "official" iPhone/iTouch app, it would increase awareness of their products to the wider growing iP/iT market - I'm sure this will also start with iPeng, Squidgy etc.

It also has the potential to kill off the third party developers of similar products however. This could be the effect that the Sonos app has on the three others who had previously developed controller apps prior to their own.

This is not necessarily a problem if the "first party app" (is that a new term?) is far superior to what third parties may have developed. In the present situation, at least in my opinion, I find that iPeng exceeds the performance of the other available options for control, and I think it will force others - in and out of the Slim team - to consider what control should be.

I was one of the first to chime in that I thought Sonos made a smart move in releasing their own app (and it may prove to be for them - they continue to get press exposure as a result of this). I now wonder if it is smarter to see what others can contribute to the SB system - this is, after all, one of the most successful features of the product family: the input from the community.

maggior
2008-11-26, 08:34
How about $150. for the Controller and $225. for the Receiver? Once you get the price of the Controller down, the perceived value added from the lower price (from the consumer's point of view) will hopefully produce higher profits through a higher volume of sales, not a higher mark up on each Controller sold.

This would upset me. I like the fact that I can add additional players at a very reasonable cost. I have a duet and added a receiver shortly after. At $225, I would not have done it. And with SB3s going for $209 on Amazon, it would be silly to ask for more money for a device that does not have a display.

I understand what you are getting at, but dropping the price of the controller and increasing the price of the receiver is not the answer.

Dogberry2
2008-11-26, 09:03
Not everyone on the planet gets a hardon over iPhones and the apps that can be shoehorned into them. It makes more sense for Logitech to keep their SlimDevices team focused on SD products. I have trouble buying the notion that millions of people are going to go through a mental process along the lines of, hey, I have an iPhone; I wonder what neato-keen apps I can put on it; oh, look! there's this app for something called SqueezeBox, I wonder what that is?; hey, that looks like a cool app so I think I'll go buy some SqueezeBoxes so I'll have a reason to install and use this cool iPhone app. Maybe it really would make SBs fly off the shelves, but it doesn't sound like a rock-solid foundation for a business plan to me. The target market for SBs is not identical to that for iPhones, despite the fact that there will obviously be some overlap. I like the fact that Slim has focused on music and targeted people who are interested in music; a phone (even a glitzy one with gee-whiz gizmos) isn't what music lovers think of when they're looking for a music system. Since the SD software is open source, if there's a real market for iPhone tie-ins, somebody will develop them, and Slim will profit from it by selling hardware. But taking resources from their engineering development pool to work for Apple, when they could be improving their own products doesn't make much sense.

MrSinatra
2008-11-26, 09:22
pippin,

will the iphone/ipod be able to act as a player the way the SBC is going to?

i for one think that if Slim is cool with your development, they should start development of DLNA for PS3 and other DLNA hardware.

seems to me people want flexibility... i think most people would want SOME manner of slim hardware to go with the software, but don't want exclusions.

in other words, i want ONE software that will power all my needs... SC, and their hardware, is less attractive as a result since it doesn't.

Mark Lanctot
2008-11-26, 09:36
Not everyone on the planet gets a hardon over iPhones and the apps that can be shoehorned into them.

Yes!

I personally will never get an iPhone or an iPod (or any Apple product, actually) because I just don't agree with their very closed, pay-premium-for-everything approach. I also don't follow "tech bandwagons".

But even if I did, the iPhone is really unattractive here in Canada. You can only get it from one cell provider and it's saddled with an expensive long-term (3 year) cell phone contract, $60-$75/month. You can't get it without a contract.

The SBC is cheap by comparision - a little more expensive upfront but cheaper after a couple of months since you don't have those monthly fees.

socistep
2008-11-26, 14:27
Opinion is going to be completely split on this, with those iPhone/iTouch owners likely to push the debate more then others.

I think there are two types of impact

1) Existing SB owners who may reconsider purchasing a controller in future

2) Potential new SB owners through the Apple route

IMO both are hypothetical and difficult to measure, I don't think anyone is expecting Logitech to change their business model based on a few opinions on here but I'm pretty sure they have discussed potential impacts of the success of the apps and iP/iT.

From my perspective I have more friends with iPhones then SB kit, I am always selling the SB to them and you add a handy and cheap iPhone app into the equation it may well sway them.

For the record I'm also not a massive apple fan due to the restrictions around their kit but do like the iPhone


Yes!

I personally will never get an iPhone or an iPod (or any Apple product, actually) because I just don't agree with their very closed, pay-premium-for-everything approach. I also don't follow "tech bandwagons".

But even if I did, the iPhone is really unattractive here in Canada. You can only get it from one cell provider and it's saddled with an expensive long-term (3 year) cell phone contract, $60-$75/month. You can't get it without a contract.

The SBC is cheap by comparision - a little more expensive upfront but cheaper after a couple of months since you don't have those monthly fees.

socistep
2008-11-26, 14:34
I got into SB through Pandora, I started listening to Pandora and followed the links from the site...I don't see why the same concept can't occur for iPhone but who knows on what level that would be



Not everyone on the planet gets a hardon over iPhones and the apps that can be shoehorned into them. It makes more sense for Logitech to keep their SlimDevices team focused on SD products. I have trouble buying the notion that millions of people are going to go through a mental process along the lines of, hey, I have an iPhone; I wonder what neato-keen apps I can put on it; oh, look! there's this app for something called SqueezeBox, I wonder what that is?; hey, that looks like a cool app so I think I'll go buy some SqueezeBoxes so I'll have a reason to install and use this cool iPhone app. Maybe it really would make SBs fly off the shelves, but it doesn't sound like a rock-solid foundation for a business plan to me. The target market for SBs is not identical to that for iPhones, despite the fact that there will obviously be some overlap. I like the fact that Slim has focused on music and targeted people who are interested in music; a phone (even a glitzy one with gee-whiz gizmos) isn't what music lovers think of when they're looking for a music system. Since the SD software is open source, if there's a real market for iPhone tie-ins, somebody will develop them, and Slim will profit from it by selling hardware. But taking resources from their engineering development pool to work for Apple, when they could be improving their own products doesn't make much sense.

andynormancx
2008-11-26, 14:52
But even if I did, the iPhone is really unattractive here in Canada. You can only get it from one cell provider and it's saddled with an expensive long-term (3 year) cell phone contract, $60-$75/month. You can't get it without a contract.

The SBC is cheap by comparision - a little more expensive upfront but cheaper after a couple of months since you don't have those monthly fees.
If someone wanted an Apple device mainly as a SBC alternative then surely they'd get a. ipod touch which is pretty much the same price as the SBC.

radish
2008-11-26, 20:35
I'm not going to weigh in on SBC vs ipod (they both have their pros & cons) but I did want to address the question about third party vs first party apps. Personally, the number and quality of third party apps for controlling SC is a great demonstration of the openness and extendability of the platform. I'd much rather have 3 or 4 or 5 commercially supported apps to choose from than be stuck with the one "official" one which gets released and then not updated for 2 years. As far as I'm concerned an open platform with a thriving third party development community is a huge win for the users.

agillis
2008-11-26, 22:00
Many times dedicated devices are better then general purpose ones. Using an ipod touch as a remote is nice but you don't get the features of a dedicated device. I like buttons it will be very hard for a touch screen to replace the feel of dedicated buttons.

This is why lots of people including me have a regular cell phone. For making calls. Not for browsing the web etc. There is some allure to having one device that controls everything but in the end its less complicated to have a few dedicated devices that are more focused.

I don't regret buying my SC even though gen one ipod touches are on ebay for $180. I have been having a lot of fun hacking my SC. Some day they may come up with a device to control everything but we aren't there yet.

peter
2008-11-27, 02:23
radish wrote:
> I'm not going to weigh in on SBC vs ipod (they both have their pros &
> cons) but I did want to address the question about third party vs first
> party apps. Personally, the number and quality of third party apps for
> controlling SC is a great demonstration of the openness and
> extendability of the platform. I'd much rather have 3 or 4 or 5
> commercially supported apps to choose from than be stuck with the one
> "official" one which gets released and then not updated for 2 years. As
> far as I'm concerned an open platform with a thriving third party
> development community is a huge win for the users.
>

Yeah, it's a bit of a nuisance that you have to buy the app in order to
test it, but having supported applications that create some revenue for
the makers is a big plus. I'm pretty tired of having plugins break on me
whenever I upgrade to a new SC version. With a commercial app there's at
least a good chance the developers will provide timely fixes.

I recently bought a HDX-1000 media server for playing video's. That's a
reasonably open $219 device (similar to the popcorn hour). I suppose
someone could write an SB client for it, effectively turning it into an
SBR. That way I can play music *and* movie sound over the same pair of
powered speakers, which would be very nice. Kind of a Video Squeezebox!
(someone already wrote a non-playing browsing client:
http://code.google.com/p/squeezenmt/ )

You could control the result with an ipod touch, and end up with a fully
functional SD music network *without* any SD hardware ;)

Oops!

Regards,
Peter

cakes
2008-11-27, 04:55
radish wrote:[color=blue]
That way I can play music *and* movie sound over the same pair of
powered speakers, which would be very nice. Kind of a Video Squeezebox!
(someone already wrote a non-playing browsing client:
http://code.google.com/p/squeezenmt/ )

You could control the result with an ipod touch, and end up with a fully
functional SD music network *without* any SD hardware ;)


That is what I do today. I have an Hauppauge MVP with mvpmc (www.mvpmc.org) software on it. This comes with a slimserver client which can be controlled with the MVP remote or the iPeng app, just like a normal SB. Admittedly, the MVP is a bit of outdated hardware and I think of buying a popcorn hour in the future. So I hope that SB client for the NMT really evolves....

Cakes

radish
2008-11-27, 07:15
Yeah, it's a bit of a nuisance that you have to buy the app in order to
test it

Agreed 100%, but that's an Apple issue. I'd love it (and almost certainly buy more apps) if the apps came with free demos. Something similar to Xbox Live Arcade would work well IMHO.

Mark Lanctot
2008-11-27, 07:44
You could control the result with an ipod touch, and end up with a fully
functional SD music network *without* any SD hardware ;)

Gee, wouldn't that be nice. :-/

At some point there is an obligation to support the company that started all this and made it all open.

I guess how Logitech can insure it won't happen is to make sure the players are competitive (or better) than anything else out there.

tamanaco
2008-11-27, 10:03
I'm not an iAnything fan, but I respect the user interfaces that Apple puts out. The iPhone/iTouch interface is the measuring stick for mobile user interfaces. Windows and Linux still have some way to go as it relates to UI. To me Windows/Linux are analogous to driving a standard (Stick-Shift) car while Apple is like driving an Automatic car. I can see and understand the advantages and comfort associated with driving an Automatic car, but you can never convince me to buy one. Ok… it's easier to drive, but some of the fun, for me, goes right out the Window. I've been using computers for some time now and being able to use my ever decreasing tech skills to tweak my devices still appeals to me. Being able to push my car to jump start it appeals to me. iAnything devices do not easily lend themselves to this kind of tweaking… I love the pain associated with tweaking digital devices... call me masochist.

In regards to the iPhone/iTouch platforms vs. the SC, first let me say that the iTouch is a better fit than the iPhone. The iTouch is basically a portable DAP with WiFi while the iPhone is just doing too many things… is more of a Cell Phone Swiss Army knife. Unlike the SC... the iTouch was not designed from the ground up to be a remote. (I'm talking at the firmware and hardware level… not at the app level). As I compare the iTouch to the SC I can not help but see that the SC platform will always be "optimized" to be a "dedicated remote" to the SC server and SlimDevices Players while the iTouch platform will not. The iTouch will be optimized to interface to iTunes and to a lesser degree to other music streaming servers via installed apps.

The SC is still evolving. Let's not forget that the SC has IR and Headphones ports that are not yet "officially" enabled. If and "when" the IR is enabled, it has the potential to "directly" control legacy AV devices and therefore increase the SC flexibility. The SC has physical buttons which, in my opinion, are better suited for certain remote control tasks. One can Play, Skip, FF, RW tracks without having to look at the screen. Maybe it is just me, but to really take advantage of the multitouch interface of the iTouch, you need to use two hand. With the SC you can easily hold a beer on one hand, skip to the next track with the other while watching the game on TV… One thing that kills me is that the SC is missing is a Keypad… Oh well, maybe one can be implemented via the scroll wheel.

The wife is starting to scream… "GET OFF THE D... COMPUTER!"… Happy Thanksgiving everyone… gotta go.

peter
2008-11-27, 10:42
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> peter;364149 Wrote:
>
>> You could control the result with an ipod touch, and end up with a fully
>>
>> functional SD music network *without* any SD hardware ;)
>>
>
> Gee, wouldn't that be nice. :-/
>
> At some point there is an obligation to support the company that
> started all this and made it all open.
>

No, there isn't. The SD folks probably started SD to get rich and they
succeeded. Their choice of the open source model was instrumental in
this. It has advantages and disadvantages, risks and benefits.

> I guess how Logitech can insure it won't happen is to make sure the
> players are competitive (or better) than anything else out there.
>

Yes. In my case, I would like a popcorn-hour like device with a good DAC
and squeezeslave or squeezeplay pre-installed. The popcorn NMT software
is sub-licensed to other companies, so it would be relatively cheap and
easy to manufacture the mythical Video Squeezebox.

Regards,
Peter

Mark Lanctot
2008-11-27, 11:17
> At some point there is an obligation to support the company that
> started all this and made it all open.
>

No, there isn't. The SD folks probably started SD to get rich and they
succeeded. Their choice of the open source model was instrumental in
this. It has advantages and disadvantages, risks and benefits.


If enough people decided not to get SB players then sales will drop enough that eventually Logitech will shut down the unit. If these devices get discontinued and the development team gets redeployed to other Logitech units then everyone here will suffer. While SqueezeCenter will still be available and distributable (being open source), development will be severely affected. Also no new firmware for any Logitech/SD device.

peter
2008-11-27, 11:27
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> peter;364264 Wrote:
>
>>> At some point there is an obligation to support the company that
>>> started all this and made it all open.
>>>
>>>
>> No, there isn't. The SD folks probably started SD to get rich and they
>>
>> succeeded. Their choice of the open source model was instrumental in
>> this. It has advantages and disadvantages, risks and benefits.
>>
>>
>
> If enough people decided not to get SB players then sales will drop
> enough that eventually Logitech will shut down the unit. If these
> devices get discontinued and the development team gets redeployed to
> other Logitech units then everyone here will suffer. While
> SqueezeCenter will still be available and distributable (being open
> source), development will be severely affected. Also no new firmware
> for any Logitech/SD device.
>

I'll be damned if I buy SD hardware to keep them afloat.
My house is full enough of the stuff already.

X.

DaveWr
2008-11-27, 12:00
First of all happy thanksgiving to the Slim Team (and all our US Colleagues)

The controller and iPeng are still not the complete solution. I us SB as the front end to my complete music system. This involves a DAC and amplifier. To enable good WAF (and as I get older - to make my life easier) I currently use a Harmony One. This sorts out all the connections for video, audio, cinema stuff etc. If I use only this I have the choice of web interface - not super convenient, or the basic remote interface. If I was to use a controller or iPeng, I am still stuck with what to do for volume control.

We seem to have lots of small pieces but no holistic mechanism. This holistic approach is what draws consumers to all in one music centres - even the high end Classic systems from Linn, or Solo from Arcam.

If Slim is to progress in the next wave of product families, I am sure some simplification will be necessary. If I was not available, my wife would struggle to maintain a SB / Squeezecenter environment.

I think care is required if we are all to continue to enjoy what Slim Devices created - it was (and I believe still is the best environment), but others wait in the wings.....

Sorry about the rant - but SB is the best investment I have made in audio in the last 5 years, I hope it will survive commercially for the next 5.

Regards

Dave

gbruzzo
2008-11-27, 12:28
As someone who has just had to splash out over 100 UKP for a glove compartment door for their TT I can tell you don't work for Audi.

MC

Same here, same situation. £100 for the glove compartment of an A3. No, don't work for audi...

G

peter
2008-11-27, 13:23
gbruzzo wrote:
> ModelCitizen;363671 Wrote:
>
>> As someone who has just had to splash out over 100 UKP for a glove
>> compartment door for their TT I can tell you don't work for Audi.
>>
>> MC
>>
>
> Same here, same situation. £100 for the glove compartment of an A3. No,
> don't work for audi...
>

Do you eat glove compartment doors or is Audi so terrible at making them?

That's nothing, though. I once had a Saab. The heater control knob broke
off. Cost 400 Euro's to fix. Thank god it was still in warranty.

Regards,
Peter

pippin
2008-11-27, 14:59
Oh yes. Saab top them all!
I think that's because they can only bring over the spare part with Reindeer sledges when the Baltic sea freezes over...

mortslim
2008-11-27, 16:36
Actually there are two crocodiles.

In addition to the debut of the Apple App Store, a few days ago Apple updated the firmware of the Apple TV to version 2.3.

The Apple TV, which is equally an audio player as well as a video player, with its own built-in hard drive for storing music files, can now, with the update, stream music to any room in the house via the wi-fi network by wireless connection to an Airport Express connected to an amp or powered speakers.

And this can be controlled, also through the wi-fi network, by the “Remote” application available for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

So basically your music library can be broadcast to any room in your house without the need for your computer to be on.

This also works for internet radio streaming from the Apple TV as well. (This needs to be set up first: In iTunes, go to your favorite radio station under Radio, drag it to a new playlist. Add as many radio stations you want to the playlist. Sync the new playlist with your Apple TV. On your “Remote” application, navigate to the new "radio" playlist you made. Select the stream you want to play and you're ready to go. The computer does not have to be on.)

The Apple TV has become a music server for your local network. It serves both local music files and internet radio to any room in your house. And the iPhone/iPod Touch acts as a controller for this.

The Airport Express is $99.

Just another example of competition in action.

Slim Devices may want to consider its own hard drive equipped Squeezebox with networking capabilities as a response.

JadeMonkee
2008-11-27, 17:21
Slim Devices may want to consider its own hard drive equipped Squeezebox with networking capabilities as a response.

Not a bad idea... a more simple solution than a NAS or a low-power server (or any dedicated server, for that matter), and a Squeezebox music server would be far more preferable (at least to me) than an iTunes one, as I dislike almost everything about iTunes, and need support for flac and ogg.

But I'm not in that market, as I already have an always-on SqueezeCenter in the form of my NAS, and I'm sure a lot of people on these forums would prefer the flexibility that installing SqueezeCenter on a dedicated home server brings.

But there is a market for less tech-savvy music listeners that Apple TV (and iPod/iTunes, for that matter) taps into, and Slim Devices could maybe muscle in on. The first immediate advantage (in my opinion) of a Squeezebox over an Airport Express, is the built-in display and ir control that the SB3 has (it's so much quicker/simpler than having to pick up something and open an app--especially as the lame-o iPhone doesn't allow background applications to run--just to see what song is playing or to change a track). I wouldn't trade either of them for anything.

erland
2008-11-27, 22:58
How about $150. for the Controller and $225. for the Receiver? Once you get the price of the Controller down, the perceived value added from the lower price (from the consumer's point of view) will hopefully produce higher profits through a higher volume of sales, not a higher mark up on each Controller sold. And more Controller sales will in turn drive further sales of the other Slim Device products. And lowering the price of the Controller would justify raising the price of the Receiver.

Have you seen other technology products that have raised their price after introduction ?

It happens in Europe due to the currency exchange rates but besides that it's very hard to do and get acceptance.

The Controller hardware has always felt expensive in comparison to the iPod Touch hardware to me. However, I think the idea is that most customers will buy the Duet and not a separate Controller and the Duet price is good. For people that just want the Controller, the iPod Touch is an attractive solution and in my opinion it will still be unless the Controller price is decreased to something like $150. A decrease like that is obviously not going to happen in the close future.

When comparing the Controller and the iPod Touch solutions, you will have to realize:
- The Controller is still more feature rich, it basically support almost all features available in SqueezeCenter. Besides this it also supports SqueezeNetwork.
- The Controller has hard buttons which makes it easier to control in the dark than the iPod Touch, the Controller is also easier to control with a single hand than the iPod Touch.
- The iPeng Skin version is close to the Controller regarding important features, but it still lacks the SqueezeNetwork support and the performance isn't as good as the Controller
- The iPeng Native version still needs more features to be able to compete with the Controller as the single remote for your Squeezebox. It works really good already today for some people but it won't work for others depending on which features you need.

The big advantage with the iPod Touch as I see it is that you also get a portable player. The Controller have audio playback support in 7.3 but it still lacks the physical format and local storage that makes it suitable to put in your pocket when you are leaving the house.

In the long run I think the iPod Touch is going to win as a remote control for people that don't want the complete Duet package. However, today this is still not the case, many people need more features than what the iPod Touch native solutions currently offers or need better performance than what you get for the skin version.

In the end all this might not be a bad situation for Logitech, because they are going to sell Squeezebox players independent if a user selects to control it with a Controller or a iPod Touch. A user that have a iPod Touch can buy a cheap Receiver to get a player for it, a user that doesn't have a iPod Touch can buy a Duet to get a cheap package with a graphical remote and a player.

IMHO, the focus should be to make sure that a solution with AppleTV + Apple AirportExpress can't compete with a Squeezebox solution. To do this there are probably other things than the remote control that needs to be in focus. In this scenario its a pretty good idea to let third party developers handle the iPod Touch applications and skins and focus Logitech resources on other parts of the package.

JJZolx
2008-11-27, 23:02
But there is a market for less tech-savvy music listeners that Apple TV (and iPod/iTunes, for that matter) taps into, and Slim Devices could maybe muscle in on.

Less tech savvy than iTunes/iPod users? Now that's a scary thought.

amgalitz
2008-11-29, 02:15
Interesting discussion.

I've never been a fan of 'swiss army' devices, but there is at times a value to synergy. Now that battery life has improved, if I already had a phone with WIFI ability, I would actually purchase an app that would let me control or listen to my SC library around the house, especially if I could plug in headphones. I was actually thinking of suggesting a small device to drive headphones from the SC to SD. I have 3 SB2's and 1 SB1. I've been toying with getting a Sqeezebox Boom for working in the garage and yard but now am wondering about a SBC to plug into my electronic hearing protection. If my phone could do that then the Boom would be a sure bet.

I have not seen anyone mention this iPhone alternate that uses the Windows Mobile operating system:

http://www.htc.com/www/product/touchhd/overview.html
http://www.pcworld.com/article/154636/hands_on_with_the_htc_touch_hd.html
HTC Touch HD has a 3.8-inch WVGA (480x800) pixels touch sensitive display. It features a newer version of the TouchFLO 3D, Wi-Fi, aGPS, 3G and 5-megapixel camera into a 12mm slim body.

It looks to be available in the US 2009QTR1.

Now before I get flamed about windows, be mindful of the large body of software out there for such WM based PDA's and Smartphones. I have used over the years a string of such PDAs (currently Dell Axim x50v) to hold medical textbooks, drug interaction programs and a "peripheral brain" note taking program that syncs to my desktop. AFAIK there is no Apple, (and unfortunately) linux based alternative. The Palm architecture is significantly inferior in function. The Axim I have has a CompactFlash AND a SD (not sdhc) slot. It is multitasking. I can move my 2 and 4 GB SD cards with mp3's to my Garmin Nuvi and have trip music.

This new device as a larger and more detailed screen than the iPhone, good battery life, a standard headphone jack with by report decent sound, micro sdhc slot (so up to 32 GB) and a very good touch screen (even if resistive vs capacitive). I intend to seriously consider one to replace my aging Axim, unless something awful come out about them. However reviews have been very good for versions released out of US.

Clearly the PDA market is merging to the smartphone. Dell is out and my Axim is not longer supported by the notes software I have become dependent on. I suspect if I let my MS ActiveSync upgrade, I will loose desktop syncing as well. Up to the htc touchHD, no WM smartphone had a screen to match the size and clarity of a PDA like the AXIM x50/51v. This get very important when at times you begin to need reading glasses! <g>

I'm not an iPhone, iPod fan as their iTunes borders on viral behavior, wanting to take over my music library. I also prefer the more open formats of mp3 and flac. I have two servers running SC, a new one, and a very old one (10 y/o bx6 celeron 400). I still haven't figured out how to make my wife's ipod nano play nice with the SC library so I just copy over the files from the server onto her machine. I was given a wide screen nano a year ago and haven't even used it.

pippin
2008-11-29, 03:14
The HTC touch HD is quite cool.
Not as usable as the iPhone, but quite cool.

amgalitz
2008-11-29, 19:36
Cool it is. I'm cringing a bit to see how badly Verizon will cripple it when it comes out. I may end up switching carriers, but everywhere I go Verizon has great reception, while other carries last I checked seemed to have dead zones in half of my house! Go figure.

Usability is personal. I have software that only runs on WM that I have become dependent on for my profession so an iPhone is not very useful. I don't want too much from a PDA/phone: decent battery life and call reception, ability to run the professional support software I use. MP3 over a headset is useful, internet browsing is gravy and would mainly be usefull for syncing up databases. My stuff has to work if there is no internet.

I would prefer to migrate away from windows, but extensive searching has not yielded with the same functionality in the Linux, or mac world. It works out for people less locked in by their jobs to MS products.

That has always been the problem with Apple, if you did what they thought you needed to do it was great; if not well ... Thats why I've been exploring linux in Gentoo and unbuntu flavors. There are increasingly capable software packages and at times open source is MORE compatible than Microsoft with older MS files. I was a bit dissappointed though in OpenOffice 3's handling of Word 2003 files but hopefully that will improve. I want to migrate away from windows but in my profession as a corporate employee having to use ms office, MSActiveSync, cisco vpn, citrix, IE6 for remote access, it is looking much harder than I had hoped. Best I can hope for is to get something like VirtualBox running my XP and Office 2007 concurrent with a linux desktop

I've used Gentoo for years, and now debian/ubuntu for my home servers and they have been solid and reliable. Then Gentoo box once went 320+ days up before I had to bring it down for an upgrade. Thats on 10-11 year Bx6 motherboard and celeron 400. Latest debian kernel runs just fine on it as long as you don't try KDE or Gnome. XFCE is bit slow but usable and Thunar (even firefox) not bad over an SSH X session. Took forever for it to come back up as it insisted on checking every f...g filesystem (600G and DMA 33 IDE argh) So far, debian/unbuntu on the same box is working fine, up 3 weeks since finishing ubuntu install and seems to be running just as fast as with Gentoo. Of course, its all alot faster on the AMD 2.5Ghz/4GB ram box <G>.

pippin
2008-11-29, 20:14
Can't you buy one from another vendor and use it with verizon? Are you still bound to the phones that come from you mobile phone provider in the US?

That's what I did with my iPhone, I don't have an iPhone contract. Over here in Europe you can even buy them unlocked by Apple (thanks to the legislation in some EU countries). Expensive, but you get around the lousy contract.

Regarding OpenSource: Depends on what you want to do.
I run all my servers on Ubuntu and I love it for that.
Applications...Hm... I've tried - like in REALLY tried, for more than a year - to use OpenOffice professionally. Eventually I gave up and switched to an older MSOffice version (which is more stable than the new ones).
My main concern with a lot of OpenSource software is, it's not tested as well as professional software. You know, to test software REALLY, you need testers, not test users, because test users only follow their specific use cases.
Symptomatic for this are all new major versions of Firefox, Thunderbird and OppenOffice. Whenever a new version of those come out you can bet, that three days later the first fix comes out for something really essential that got completely broken....

Regarding usability: I like to rate that in "time to success" on a specific task for new and for experienced users (hard to make it right for both).
Plus maybe "being not so annoying".
And usually, these things REALLY are the hard part. Look at all the discussions around how to do this and that on SqueezeCenter or the SBC. And I swear I spend over 50% of the development time for iPeng just for tweaking those little details. Trying something, testing it, changing it, testing it again...
And at least on iPhone, Apple has got that pretty well - I'm not sooo happy with my Mac, there are still quite a few things I like better on Windows (let's start with the horrible keyboard of my MacBook, especially the German layout is close to unusable for development), but iPhone... phew. Had a Symbian smartphone before and the difference is just dramatic.

amgalitz
2008-11-30, 03:32
Well a quick google turned up that usually the phone has to either be 'white listed" VZ or be the same model or even branded for VZ. Since the phone really isn't out in the US yet, I'm content to limp with my PDA/Axim and separate little LG phone until spring. I'll see what is out then. I may even be eligible for a discount by then.

My point for the thread was that the htc touchHD might be worth writing apps for given its capabilities. I has clear distinctions from the iPhone such that I expect it will carve out a niche. Right off the bat, anyone using a Windows Mobile PDA in a corporate environment could dispense with their phone and with that gorgeous screen and some reading glasses do real web work for short stints; powerpoints with a bluetooth projector dongle

Yeah, I'm real happy with Ubuntu for servers. I've had some issues on the AMD64 box running the 64bit desktop intrepid but that's not a surprise. I allocate partitions for 3 OS installations and a separate /home and /grub. I also keep the data on separate drives. So its easy to switch between a hardy 8.04 desktop into one of the extra OS partitions, most likely a 32 bit version and compare how they work. I have a good idea now of which packages I'll actually use so the install will be cleaner. I also know more and won't muck up the conf files so much troubleshooting <G>.

Getting user interfaces right is a challenge and ongoing process and just when it seems to be there, the market, technology, regulations etc change!

I been resisting moving from Office2000, but the latest service pack at work, quietly removed the word 2000 compatibility open. Our IT department was surprised when we could no longer find it on the menu. I had hoped OpenOffice would step in but I work on regional documents that use features in Word2003 it doesn't seem to support. Oh well, NewEgg has 3 license copies of OFFICE 2007 home and student for $70 right now and I've just sent Redmond some green. It doesn't have Outlook but I'm migrating to Google apps for mail and calender anyway. That's were the WM and internet connectivity of the phone might pay off unless VZ kills it. If so then that is a business opportunity for other carriers.

I've just gotten spousal approval for a SqueezeBox Boom. She bought the idea that portable tunes increased chances of workshop and house project completion. She also like the idea of synchronized tunes outside during parties. I love the whole integrated SC, SB networked concept. After this, I'll have portable tunes in the garage shop, outside, living room, Tv room, master bedroom with a SB1 left over for somewhere. Now it would be way cool to control it from my phone too, (yes, iPhones do that now, but I need WM).

Actually, come to think of it, has anyone written an app to control SC from a WIndows Mobile wifi capable PDA like the Axim or HP IPAQ? that would port right over to the HTC TouchHD?



Oh yes. Saab top them all!
I think that's because they can only bring over the spare part with Reindeer sledges when the Baltic sea freezes over

and you forgot about the Reindeer having to go through agricultural quarantine at the border.

cheers

Browny
2008-11-30, 03:39
From what I've seen so far SD have been very good at listening to what their customers have been asking for on these forums and developing it. I'm sure all these threads are being watched with interest.

For me the Controller was a response to everyone banging on about the Sonos remote. Same with the Boom - it came along because enough people asked for it.

I'm sure that SD will be looking at iPeng et al with great interest (not least because its once more killed off Sonos's USP). I agree that there should be an official version and suspect that one could come in time.

As to iPod/iPhone vs Controller I see these as very separate products that can be made to overlap on functionality, but they cater to very different markets. I think the case for overlapping customer bases is suspect at best - simple reason being if you're an "average" iPod user then your first port of call for home audio will be a dock for the iPod rather than a network audio player.

The main beef I have about the Controller is that its too expensive to justify (for me). That's not to say that I don't think its a superb bit of kit, but given the myriad of other ways I have of controlling my SB3 its just not worth it. I'd rather spend the money on a Boom!

I don't have an iPod either for similar reasons - its a cool bit of kit, but the only reason I would buy one is because I needed a portable MP3 player. My BlackBerry does this just fine (btw Flipside on the BB is excellent since it scrobbles to Last.fm) and I got it "free" with my job. Again I'd rather spend my money on a Boom!

Can you guess what I want for Christmas??

dennis55
2008-11-30, 08:48
"Job Security", would be a very nice pressie Browny in your profession....
dennis






From what I've seen so far SD have been very good at
listening to what their customers have been asking for on these forums and developing it. I'm sure all these threads are being watched with interest.

For me the Controller was a response to everyone banging on about the Sonos remote. Same with the Boom - it came along because enough people asked for it.

I'm sure that SD will be looking at iPeng et al with great interest (not least because its once more killed off Sonos's USP). I agree that there should be an official version and suspect that one could come in time.

As to iPod/iPhone vs Controller I see these as very separate products that can be made to overlap on functionality, but they cater to very different markets. I think the case for overlapping customer bases is suspect at best - simple reason being if you're an "average" iPod user then your first port of call for home audio will be a dock for the iPod rather than a network audio player.

The main beef I have about the Controller is that its too expensive to justify (for me). That's not to say that I don't think its a superb bit of kit, but given the myriad of other ways I have of controlling my SB3 its just not worth it. I'd rather spend the money on a Boom!

I don't have an iPod either for similar reasons - its a cool bit of kit, but the only reason I would buy one is because I needed a portable MP3 player. My BlackBerry does this just fine (btw Flipside on the BB is excellent since it scrobbles to Last.fm) and I got it "free" with my job. Again I'd rather spend my money on a Boom!

Can you guess what I want for Christmas??

Browny
2008-11-30, 09:26
"Job Security", would be a very nice pressie Browny in your profession....
dennis

Hmmm...very true - the banking sector is not the best place to be right now. Although at present I think the same could be said for a lot of people.

amgalitz
2008-11-30, 15:49
As to iPod/iPhone vs Controller I see these as very separate products that can be made to overlap on functionality, but they cater to very different markets. I think the case for overlapping customer bases is suspect at best - simple reason being if you're an "average" iPod user then your first port of call for home audio will be a dock for the iPod rather than a network audio player.


I quite agree. Same for a SD app that ran on a large screen (3.5 - 3.8") Windows Mobile PDA (Like IPAQ or HTC TouchHD). I already have a WIFI capable pDA running windows mobile, if I could download an inexpensive app for it to give it some SC like function I would and likely get a SqueezeBox Receiver or two. That availability would not have stopped me from getting a SC since they serve somewhat different uses. More ways to control the whole SB, SC system makes placing more SB Receivers around the house easier and less expensive. I'd see people interested in placing more music delivery points first, then upgrading the ways to control them. The SC is very nice, although I actually like the bigger screen of something like an Ipaq, iPhone or htc touchHD.

As more WM large screen format smartphones get deployed by companies and bought by professionals, people could have a could portable controller not dependent on a SC running on a pc even. That would drive the core of selling the music delivery points (SB, SB Boom, transporter which is really the core). I want music first in more places, then better control. After a while, using a phone/PDA as the controller will be a hassle and having a nice remote at a generally known location (read charge cradle) and better UI will draw sales me thinks.

Consider this too, who is likely to be using these more sophisticated, larger screen devices? Older professionals who need larger screens and technophiles, not a bad demographic. People who don't understand why 20-100 gb in not enough to hold all their music are less likely to be SC/SB customers anyway. They are happy with ~100K vbr mp3 quality. With soon to be 32GB micro SDHC you do not need a distributed music system like the SC since you would just duplicate the entire library at each delivery point. If you want lossless codecs of high quality music, at least for the next few years you need larger storage either in a single server or meshed multiple servers.

The SC, SqueezeNetwork system also has the seamless use of internet sources. That is just as important IMHO as personal music storage. In 5 years we likely will be able to carry our whole Flac(etc) lossless library on our pocket devices anyway. Internet Radio/music sources lets someone else be the DJ and allows for the discover of new music. Better interaction with this and likely video delivery will be needed for SD longer term survival.

JadeMonkee
2008-11-30, 21:03
Less tech savvy than iTunes/iPod users? Now that's a scary thought.

Sorry, I was referring to iTunes/iPod users as the less tech-savvy market.

sander
2008-11-30, 23:10
Not a bad idea... a more simple solution than a NAS or a low-power server (or any dedicated server, for that matter), and a Squeezebox music server would be far more preferable (at least to me) than an iTunes one, as I dislike almost everything about iTunes, and need support for flac and ogg.

To me this sounds like the only missing piece in the Logitech arsenal, but obviously offering a home server unit is a whole can of worms, which moves way beyond music.

Like you I have a readynas, but ultimately built another unit so I could run MusicIP, which has been well worth the effort BTW. Slim and Readynas had high hopes for this before their respective buyouts, but ultimately the original Readynas has a too puny of a CPU to do Squeezecenter justice. The new Readynas architecture would work better, especially now the 7.3 has a plugin installer, but I don't think the companies have the same relationship any more.

As for the original point of the thread, if the ultimate goal of Logitech is to get people to run Squeezecenter and buy into the hardware which subsidizes the development then I don't see how catering to people who buy into a completely different system (itunes) helps at all. Even if there's a short term uptick in sales, they're ultimately undermining their main product.

I used a number of other music streaming devices, before I finally went all Squeezecenter a couple of months ago, and the more you mix systems the less you get out of Squeezecenter. All systems seem to interpret tags differently, and moving playlists between systems is always a pain.

I think the best solution is for Logitech to continue what they've been doing and that is to offer everyone more ways to access Squeezecenter from as many devices as possible, while saving the best integration for their devices.

I'd like to see a better computer software client, which should be here with 7.3, and hopefully a gateway to transfer music to portable devices someday.

socistep
2008-12-01, 03:55
I guess the dilemma that a lot of us face is that SB kit is the enabler that sits between your music files and your audio equipment and given that it works so well it leads to a lot of people asking questions over the overall solution

- How should I manage my music ?
- Do I need a dedicated music server ?
- What speakers should I use ?
- Do I need a DAC ?

etc. etc.

It in effect becomes a project and for me a very enjoyable one at that, I do however agree that a music server of sorts would be powerful, say a link with Logitech and a NAS supplier for example.

As this started on a discussion re: iphones/iTouch, we can look at apple who offer users products to meet some of their requirements such as Mac Mini, AppleTV etc. - I'm not suggesting for a second to use them but I guess Logitech are concentrating on the enabling part.



To me this sounds like the only missing piece in the Logitech arsenal, but obviously offering a home server unit is a whole can of worms, which moves way beyond music.

Like you I have a readynas, but ultimately built another unit so I could run MusicIP, which has been well worth the effort BTW. Slim and Readynas had high hopes for this before their respective buyouts, but ultimately the original Readynas has a too puny of a CPU to do Squeezecenter justice. The new Readynas architecture would work better, especially now the 7.3 has a plugin installer, but I don't think the companies have the same relationship any more.

As for the original point of the thread, if the ultimate goal of Logitech is to get people to run Squeezecenter and buy into the hardware which subsidizes the development then I don't see how catering to people who buy into a completely different system (itunes) helps at all. Even if there's a short term uptick in sales, they're ultimately undermining their main product.

I used a number of other music streaming devices, before I finally went all Squeezecenter a couple of months ago, and the more you mix systems the less you get out of Squeezecenter. All systems seem to interpret tags differently, and moving playlists between systems is always a pain.

I think the best solution is for Logitech to continue what they've been doing and that is to offer everyone more ways to access Squeezecenter from as many devices as possible, while saving the best integration for their devices.

I'd like to see a better computer software client, which should be here with 7.3, and hopefully a gateway to transfer music to portable devices someday.