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Keymaster
2009-09-24, 02:29
I just wanted to pipe up quickly...although (especially with the battery pack and WiFi)the SB Radio is a super music player due to its portability, great sonics, killer interface, etc...I am mostly using mine as my alarm clock/bedside radio.

I have gone through a dozen such devices in the last decade.

The SB Radio is THE BEST ALARM CLOCK SINCE THE INVENTION OF TIME AND/OR THE 5 DAY WORK WEEK (although I would imagine that somewhere a chicken and egg are offended).

In all seriousness, if you're remotely contemplating a purchase with this application in mind, I cannot see how your EVERY expectation will be exceeded. I mean...geez...You can define the length of snooze...I have never seen that elsewhere (I like 9 minutes, not 10...'cause I'm funny that way)

Waking up has never been so happy an event :) :)

In general, if you are a first time Squeezer, prepare for one of the most positively consequential purchase that you will every make!!!

Bert0123
2009-09-25, 15:58
Good to hear!
I wish the same was true for the Boom, which is not so reliable because it most of the time works, but not always. And with this invention of the 5 day work week I can't afford to get to work too late 1 or 2 days a month because the Boom failed to wake me up...

sander
2009-09-26, 14:05
I'm not a tester, but according to another thread the alarm clock functionality in the radio is the same as the boom. If you have trouble with the boom you'll have trouble with the radio.

I hope Logitech will get their stuff together and fix the functionality of these multi-hundred dollar alarm clocks to give the same level of dependability of say a 1 dollar promotional item.

sebp
2009-09-26, 15:06
The SB Radio is THE BEST ALARM CLOCK SINCE THE INVENTION OF TIME AND/OR THE 5 DAY WORK WEEK (although I would imagine that somewhere a chicken and egg are offended).
Working for Logitech must be really enjoyable, because I was talking with a colleague yesterday, and we were both ready to kill the man who invented the 5 day work week with our own hands for not having preferred the 5 day weekend. ;)


I wish the same was true for the Boom, which is not so reliable because it most of the time works, but not always.
In more than 2 years I own a SB and use it as my alarm clock, my Classic never ever failed to wake me up in the morning.
Sometimes, because I got to sleep too late (and a bit too drunk), it took it up to an hour to do so, but it always succeeded.

My only complain with the SB used as an alarm clock so far, is that it doesn't (yet) read my mind and automatically turns off/delays an alarm when I don't have to wake up at all/so early in the morning, and I forgot to change the alarm accordingly.
That's what I'd call the best invention since... say... holidays. ;)

eap
2009-09-26, 16:49
I'm not a tester, but according to another thread the alarm clock functionality in the radio is the same as the boom. If you have trouble with the boom you'll have trouble with the radio.

I hope Logitech will get their stuff together and fix the functionality of these multi-hundred dollar alarm clocks to give the same level of dependability of say a 1 dollar promotional item.

What exactly is the issue with the boom's alarm?

sander
2009-09-26, 20:52
The issue with the Boom, and apparently the other new models, is that they're no more reliable as alarm clocks than the original slimp3.

Despite all the marketing and promises, when the network is down the new units will tell time, but the alarms will only play for either 30 or 60 seconds and stop.

If they were indeed the "best alarm clock ever" they would be completely dependable, and would have additional settings for fall back alarms and such. As they are they are less reliable than traditional alarm clock. If you choose an internet stream to wake you up, you have two points of failure with no recourse. Given the premium paid for these devices its ridiculous that this charade has gone on for so long.

Now, I have a boom and the issue only has affected me once, but its pathetic that Logitech considers this a low priority issue when it's a promise they've been making for almost two years now.

If you told someone you paid more than $100 for an alarm clock (more than $200 in my case) which wasn't completely reliable, they would laugh in your face.

I love the Squeezecenter system, but its ridiculous that if I really need to get up the morning I'm better off relying on a 15 year old Sony Dream Machine over a system I bought less than a year ago for more than ten times the price!

Goodsounds
2009-09-26, 22:13
Reality is probably somewhere in the middle, as with most disagreements.

I don't have an SB Radio, but from my other SB devices, I'd agree that calling them the best alarm clocks ever is probably unwarranted. But they're probably not the worst either. If you're unhappy because you look at your >$200 purchase as an unreliable alarm clock, I'd suggest your expectations are the problem.

Why think of these products as anything other than great network music players/devices with an alarm function? It's a bonus, not a core function. It's no more reliable than your and my crappy networks, patched together with products and technology made by others and out of the company's control.

In any system, reliability comes from redundancy. If oversleeping is not an option, relying on just one device (no matter what kind) involves risk. Use two to be certain.

Mnyb
2009-09-27, 02:00
But they are dragging thier feet regarding making the backup tone last longer on the boom.

The other older players can not be improved on, it's only the boom (of the old players ) that have an on board real time clock and can function without any server at all,
making it better than an SB3 in this regard.

So making the backup tone 30 minutes would be a good start.

What is puzzling with the boom is that it can only remeber one alarm on it's own so more than 24h of any server is blows the alarm .
Why not putting 0.01$ on an rtc chip with an weekly schedule, very strange decission ?

I hope/assume that the new players can remember more than one day. This would be easy for the Touch as it can be it's own squeezecenter, making all this very possible.

I don't know what radio could do, but an applet for it would not be unlikely, products are not released yet so I have not seen one irl .

But the new line has far more brains than the old ones soo if someone made it a priority I think they could be much more reliable as alarms than the old products.

Justme
2009-09-27, 05:00
Why think of these products as anything other than great network music players/devices with an alarm function? It's a bonus, not a core function. It's no more reliable than your and my crappy networks, patched together with products and technology made by others and out of the company's control.


Well, as it advertises as an alarm clock, I think it is justified for people to expect it to be 100% reliable (presuming the device doesn't physically break down). My Nokia phone has an alarm. It is certainly not the core function of the phone. But it has never failed me.

That said, as I don't use my kitchen boom as an alarm, I can't say if it is reliable or not. But I am very interested in buying this new Radio for the bedside.

eap
2009-09-27, 06:16
The issue with the Boom, and apparently the other new models, is that they're no more reliable as alarm clocks than the original slimp3.

Despite all the marketing and promises, when the network is down the new units will tell time, but the alarms will only play for either 30 or 60 seconds and stop.

If they were indeed the "best alarm clock ever" they would be completely dependable, and would have additional settings for fall back alarms and such. As they are they are less reliable than traditional alarm clock. If you choose an internet stream to wake you up, you have two points of failure with no recourse. Given the premium paid for these devices its ridiculous that this charade has gone on for so long.

Now, I have a boom and the issue only has affected me once, but its pathetic that Logitech considers this a low priority issue when it's a promise they've been making for almost two years now.

If you told someone you paid more than $100 for an alarm clock (more than $200 in my case) which wasn't completely reliable, they would laugh in your face.

I love the Squeezecenter system, but its ridiculous that if I really need to get up the morning I'm better off relying on a 15 year old Sony Dream Machine over a system I bought less than a year ago for more than ten times the price!

If the power is out my Sony Dream Machine doesn't work at all and it has no network connectivity whatsoever, so I'm limited to staticy terresterial radio.

It sounds like with the boom when the network is down (which happens almost never for me at home) -- you still get an alarm, it just doesn't go off forever? I wake up in the first few seconds of any alarm -- so this sounds like it won't be a problem for me. 30 or 60 seconds is more than enough to wake me up.

Also, I'll be wired (not wireless), so should be even less of an issue for me.

eap
2009-09-27, 06:19
Despite all the marketing and promises, when the network is down the new units will tell time, but the alarms will only play for either 30 or 60 seconds and stop.



How often does your home network go down? For me it happens about as often as a power failure (usually caused by a power failure), and then no alarm clock that I have now works.

eap
2009-09-27, 06:20
Well, as it advertises as an alarm clock, I think it is justified for people to expect it to be 100% reliable (presuming the device doesn't physically break down). My Nokia phone has an alarm. It is certainly not the core function of the phone. But it has never failed me.

That said, as I don't use my kitchen boom as an alarm, I can't say if it is reliable or not. But I am very interested in buying this new Radio for the bedside.

He is not saying the alarm fails, he is just saying it doesn't stay on for more than 30 seconds.

Justme
2009-09-27, 06:24
He is not saying the alarm fails, he is just saying it doesn't stay on for more than 30 seconds.

That actually isn't too much of a bother for me then. But as I play my music from mp3tunes locker, I am still rather concerned. I know this is an independent service but it is terribly unreliable. Many times the song selected simply doesn't play. This isn't a network issue, but a problem with mp3tunes as far as I know. So I wonder if the radio will be clued up enough to know if a song isn't actually playing (i.e. no sound coming out of the speakers) and then play a substitute.

sander
2009-09-27, 08:51
Like I said earlier, in about a year of ownership this has only affected me once, when my server crashed, but this is really pure luck. The problem is there is no fallback in the current alarm settings.

In order for me to wake up to a streaming radio station, the boom has to be networked, Squeezecenter has to be running, the internet connection has to be working, and radio station has to be up.

If any of the last 3 aren't working the alarm just doesn't go off. If the boom isn't networked it plays some sound for a minute and stops. All of which are unacceptable for a high end device like this marketed as an alarm clock.

I can make a case the Boom is a great alarm clock. I have access to a tremendous amount of content. I can have it fade as I got to sleep. Powersave shuts down the device once the songs over, and AutoDim makes it go completely dark for most of the night.

But this lack of redundancy in the alarms is a black mark on this and other Squeezebox products. The boom forums have been full of this complaint for a while now.

Logitech should fix it or stop touting it in their marketing material.

eap
2009-09-27, 09:15
If any of the last 3 aren't working the alarm just doesn't go off. If the boom isn't networked it plays some sound for a minute and stops. All of which are unacceptable for a high end device like this marketed as an alarm clock.

.


Isn't the fall back the one minute of alarm? In other words, an alarm DOES go off when its not networked, etc -- just not what you wanted to stream.

My alarm is usually on for less than 1 second before I'm up. What's wrong with one minute?

peterw
2009-09-27, 09:23
What's wrong with one minute?

Right. This is the question that needs to be answered. Is it too quiet? Not obnoxious enough? Does it need to play for longer (if so, how long)? File an enhancement request on bugs.slimdevices.com. Logitech is good at addressing this stuff, and improving existing products through software updates.

kdf
2009-09-27, 09:47
Mnyb wrote:
> B
> Why not putting 0.01$ on an rtc chip with an weekly schedule, very
> strange decission ?
>
got the part number handy for that 1 cent rtc?
-kdf

ModelCitizen
2009-09-27, 10:39
I don't think the alarm code has not been touched since before the Boom was released (despite having several outstanding bug/enhancements against it). My Boom and SB3 alarms have failed recently for three reasons:

1) The alarm code does not handle the new BBC iPlayer playlists
2) There is a bug in the way it lists favourites
3) Power cut leading to router failure (back up alarm failed despite power recovery).

Goodsounds. The Boom was sold as a bedside radio/alarm/hifi (amongst other things). The Radio is aimed directly at bedside use. For these devices a reliable alarm is definitely "a core function".

MC

dean
2009-09-27, 18:01
The Squeezebox Radio does not have a special purpose RTC chip, it has a low power general purpose microcontroller with an accurate crystal. It also has, like Boom, a backup super-capacitor, which can power that microcontroller for up to 24 hours when the power goes out to keep time. This processor can also be powered by the rechargeable battery, and in fact, manages the battery charging and can power up (and down) the main CPU.

The current plan is to copy the basic behavior that Boom has in the case of a power and/or network loss. Preserve the real time clock and, in the case that the network isn't available remember when the next alarm time is and play a back-up alarm sound if it can't play the network audio.

If you have the optional battery installed and there's no AC power available, Radio can also power itself up before the alarm time and play back the network audio if there's a network available, then fail back to the built-in alarm sound.

I think this is a great first-cut for the 1.0 release. Because the main CPU and the microcontroller can both be upgraded in future releases, there's plenty of opportunity for improvement. Please let the team know how you think this can be improved...

epoch1970
2009-09-27, 18:51
My alarm is usually on for less than 1 second before I'm up. What's wrong with one minute?
Mine is on for 5 minutes on my Boom before I emerge. At least.
What's wrong with playing the tone until the user presses stop or off ? Why should the interaction be any different from the normal alarm, that can play up to 90 minutes ?
(In fact, I also think it should go off louder than the normal alarm. )

mkozlows
2009-09-27, 19:30
The SB Radio is THE BEST ALARM CLOCK SINCE THE INVENTION OF TIME AND/OR THE 5 DAY WORK WEEK

Okay, so things that I absolutely love about my current Sony alarm clock (which I am weirdly passionate about), and which are must haves on any BEST EVER alarm clock:

1. It shows the alarm time when the alarm is enabled. So it's not just a little red light or whatever, it's "7:20 AM", so I don't get tricked by having re-set my alarm to a different time and forgetting to set it back.

2. After the alarm goes off, you can snooze it 10 minutes for tapping the snooze button; or you can snooze it longer by tapping the snooze button repeatedly, in 10-minute increments, and it shows how long you're sleeping: 10, 20, 30, &c, at least up to an hour. This is wonderful for when I'm still way too tired and decide that I'm going into work an hour late -- I don't have to fumble around with resetting my alarm, I just hit snooze repeatedly so the alarm goes off again in an hour without waking me up every 10 minutes along the way.

3. When in snooze mode, the alarm time blinks so that you know it's doing something special and that it's not just turned off/reset for tomorrow.

4. All of the above for two alarms, so my wife and I can wake up at different times, know exactly whose alarm clocks are set and for when, and sleep in without massively irritating the other person if needed.

From what I've seen, I don't think any Squeezebox has any of these features, but I'd love it if I'm wrong, because I don't need much in the way of excuses to add a fourth Squeezebox to the house.

epoch1970
2009-09-28, 02:22
How often does your home network go down? For me it happens about as often as a power failure (usually caused by a power failure), and then no alarm clock that I have now works.


He is not saying the alarm fails, he is just saying it doesn't stay on for more than 30 seconds.

Well, well. I missed these yesterday. Let me help you:

1) You should go buy a $5 generic brand alarm clock. It has battery backup and FM radio. It will work even when the power is out. Or try and find a mechanical clock.

2) The purpose of an alarm is to wake-up people. Oversleeping means failure.

All in all, when the situation is terribly degraded for the Boom, I want to see it ooze the last milliwatt it has trying to wake me. At that moment, it must be its one purpose. And I don't care if the sound is ugly, if the display goes blank, if it needs complete reboot afterwards, ...
Same goes for the Radio of course. I hope the Radio can use its big brains and battery to power its amp and boost the volume of the alarm, alternate sounds/frequencies (wake up the dog??), alternate silence and alarm, flash its screen, try what's available on line in...
Whatever it takes.

bpa
2009-09-28, 03:12
Okay, so things that I absolutely love about my current Sony alarm clock (which I am weirdly passionate about), and which are must haves on any BEST EVER alarm clock:

1. It shows the alarm time when the alarm is enabled. So it's not just a little red light or whatever, it's "7:20 AM", so I don't get tricked by having re-set my alarm to a different time and forgetting to set it back.
...

From what I've seen, I don't think any Squeezebox has any of these features, but I'd love it if I'm wrong, because I don't need much in the way of excuses to add a fourth Squeezebox to the house.

The SB3 shows the time of the next alarm when SB3 is OFF. Not enough room on Boom display but quick tap on snooze button will tell you time of next alarm.