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View Full Version : Where is the "SBC dock":-)



ThomP
2009-01-07, 05:34
The Squeezebox Controller has an (unused) expansion port with USB, audio out, power in etc.

With Squeezecenter 7.3 it also has built-in audio playback capability.

When will we have a (cheap) docking station for this portable music player? Am I the only one who thinks that there is an obvious need for something similar to the hundreds of "iPod speakers" on the market, ranging from "cheap kitchen" to "Boom-ish" sound quality?

I have a couple of "real" Squeezeboxes (Receiver+Boom) for the main listening areas, but it would be very expensive to put a Boom (or receiver/SB+active speaker) in every room for the occasional need to listen to streaming music in the garage, the bathroom, the bedrooms etc.

Based on the prices of iPod speakers, a basic active speaker system with a dock could be sold at maybe half the price of a Squeezebox Receiver, adding even more flexibility to the Squeezebox concept - and allowing the controller to be charged even though it is away from home.

If the market is too small or too differentiated - we don't all have the same needs regarding quality, design etc., a simple dock with audio out and power in might be the way to go!

rainjacks
2009-01-07, 14:14
I just use a set of iPod speakers with a line-in jack on them. Many, if not most iPod speakers have this capability. Look for any speakers that list compatibility with "any" mp3 player. Then a simple cable between the speakers and the controller and you are good to go.

ThomP
2009-01-07, 15:25
I just use a set of iPod speakers with a line-in jack on them. Many, if not most iPod speakers have this capability. Look for any speakers that list compatibility with "any" mp3 player. Then a simple cable between the speakers and the controller and you are good to go.

Yes, I know that's an option, but it's not very elegant/practical if you wnat to be able to take the controller with you - I also suspect that battery life will suffer greatly when streaming without outlet power?

rainjacks
2009-01-07, 15:34
My iPod speakers are powered, but you are correct, the controller is just running from battery when I use it like that. But, I've had it streaming music for quite a while with no issue. Also, it doesn't look very good if asthetics is important.

JadeMonkee
2009-01-07, 17:53
I wish Apple documented the protocol used in their ipod expansion port (although I believe the Rockbox (http://www.rockbox.org/) project is on the way to documenting it themselves?), that way maybe a simple adaptor (and some software on the SBC) is all that would be needed.
Maybe.

thomsens
2009-01-07, 18:32
The best answer would be an adapter to allow the controller to be connected to an iPod dock. That way, it's plugged in for power, you can still use it to control the music and it can connect into a huge range of products already out there.

JadeMonkee
2009-01-07, 22:30
The best answer would be an adapter to allow the controller to be connected to an iPod dock. That way, it's plugged in for power, you can still use it to control the music and it can connect into a huge range of products already out there.

That's what I meant by adaptor. I guess I kinda left that part up to assumption...

ThomP
2009-01-08, 00:51
I wish Apple documented the protocol used in their ipod expansion port (although I believe the Rockbox (http://www.rockbox.org/) project is on the way to documenting it themselves?), that way maybe a simple adaptor (and some software on the SBC) is all that would be needed.

With all the existing iPod-compatible hardware available an adapter would be a great solution! But knowing Apple I would not be surprised if there is some stupid licensing policy related to using their protocol?
On the other hand, the controller has it's own controls, so all that it needs is to be able to connect audio and power - it could be a simple matter of rewiring (provided the port's audio out is enabled in firmware and the voltages is compatible)!

Howard Passman
2009-01-08, 03:49
...Logitech still can't get a flippin spare charger available for the SBC. It would be 1,000 years before they could pull off a docking device.

Ahhhhh, that felt good..

Howard

ThomP
2009-01-08, 04:44
...Logitech still can't get a flippin spare charger available for the SBC. It would be 1,000 years before they could pull off a docking device.


It doesn't have to be a Logitech product - like most of the iPod docking devices it could be third party.



Ahhhhh, that felt good..


:-)

Howard Passman
2009-01-08, 04:55
[QUOTE=ThomP;381015]It doesn't have to be a Logitech product - like most of the iPod docking devices it could be third party.
{/QUOTE]

That's true and, if anything, that's what will have to happen. I like the idea of a dock because it could be used as a charger while the SBC is in there. For the first time I actually ran my SBC all the way down last Sunday. It took about 4 hours and I wasn't done listening to it so a dock or a charger would have helped.

Howard

slimpy
2009-01-08, 05:40
I have Squeezeboxes at fixed locations.
A SB always beats the controller in terms of audio playback in those locations, quality and reliability wise.
The controller is only used as a player if I want to move around while listening to music.
IMO there's simply no need for anything else than a charging dock.

-s.

Howard Passman
2009-01-08, 06:03
I have Squeezeboxes at fixed locations.
A SB always beats the controller in terms of audio playback in those locations, quality and reliability wise.
The controller is only used as a player if I want to move around while listening to music.
IMO there's simply no need for anything else than a charging dock.

-s.

I half way agree with you. I think the SBC makes a good playback device as long as you are using a set of powered speakers or less in quality. In other words. there's not much difference between listening to an SBC or a SBR over a set of powered speakers. Since that's all I have down stairs where I workout, I find the SBC perfect for there. I've moved the SBR to other places. Of course I also use the SBC when walking the dog, etc.. I don't have any issue with reliability of the SBC or sound quality through powered speakers or ear buds/head phones. Ever since using SC 7.3 beta I have always noted the stable updates and related SBC firmware so that if a stinker comes out I can fall back.

Back to the point though, anywwhere where I might use a less expensive audio set up, I wouldn't hesitate to use a docking device and the SBC. The garage, basement or in the back yard are ideal for me.

Howard

ThomP
2009-01-08, 07:05
I have Squeezeboxes at fixed locations.
A SB always beats the controller in terms of audio playback in those locations, quality and reliability wise.


What locations? - I don't need Hi-Fi when I work in my garage a couple of hours a month (just an example)!
I know a SB is "better", but the controller is much more flexible if you don't just "sit and listen" and I don't think using it as a walkman with headphones works - I would much prefer to take it with me and dump it in a dock nearby.

Besides, a SB Boom costs 5 times as much as a cheap set of iPod speakers. For the places I would put a dock, I would never even dream of spending that much - the frequency of use and the demands for quality just doesn't justify the investment!

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-08, 07:26
...Logitech still can't get a flippin spare charger available for the SBC. It would be 1,000 years before they could pull off a docking device.

Ahhhhh, that felt good..

Howard

I'm going to have to agree with you! My old beta SBC has been out of commission waiting on a battery and charging cradle.

Batteries and charging cradles first, fancy docks second (sorry ThomP!)

It shouldn't be that hard, no development work is needed, they just need to be available separately.

jth
2009-01-08, 07:57
Batteries and charging cradles first, fancy docks second (sorry ThomP!)

You can get spare batteries through Logitech directly (p# 993-000145) from
the parts section of the Controller sales page. For some reason they aren't
on Slim's own site though. No spare cradles yet.

Dogberry2
2009-01-08, 08:56
For mobility or odd locations where I don't have a SB (or just for private listening so as not to disturb anyone else) I find I get better quality by pumping an SBR through a set of Sennheiser wireless headphones. I can still control the music via the SBC, but I'm not wired to it, and not running its battery down. And it sounds better.