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View Full Version : Logitech should hire Pippin! Those having difficulty w/Controller should get iPeng.



rksingla
2009-12-06, 21:56
Maybe this is old news, but . . .

I have been struggling for a year with the squeeze controller and web interface. They are unresposive (particularly for a stereo system) and have counterintuitive interfaces. E.g., it is very hard for a non-techy to figure out how to successfully synch players. It is almost to the point that I regret entirely going with Squeeze instead of Sonos or Apple's airport express. I am not an audiophile and I dont need FLAC. I just want something that works.

But yesterday, I bought my wife an iPhone. As an afterthought I installed iPeng, not expecting much more than the squeeze controller software. The difference, however, is night and day. I am going to do away with my contoller and buy another iTouch just to run iPeng and so my ~$1000 investment into a squeeze system is not for naught.

1. iPeng on installation instantly connected to my server, found all my players, downloaded the music database, and was ready to go. Within seconds. Why cant the controller/web interface do that? Why does it need up to 2 minutes to find all the receivers/players even a year after I bought it?

2. iPeng is very responsive. You hit pause and the music immediatey pauses. You lower the volume and the volume immediately goes down. Why not with the Controller or web interface?

3. When iPeng starts up it instantly connects to the server and players. Why does the Controller/web interface need 5-30sec to do that?

4. iPeng's interface makes sense. E.g., to synch players you click on two from a list and hit sync, then it asks you which player's playlist you want to adopt for the set. Why does the Controller (or web interface) not have an intuitive way to synch players?

5. Squeeze is marketed (and I bought it) as a "whole-house" audio solution. But the controller is designed so that you have to "connect" to each player separately (which takes 5-30 seconds) just to change the volume or turn it on or off. Why? iPeng has what seems obvious a screen from which you can affect volume and power for all players instantly.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

This email is a bit of a rant because I had assumed till now that the problems were caused by my network or the inherent limitations of this kind of system. Obviously that is not correct. I realize that iPeng can use the iPhone's OS to display lots of eye candy and respond to gestures, but most of what I am talking about does not seem unique to the iPhone platform.

In the vain hope that one more voice makes a difference, Logitech needs to contract Pippin or find some programmers of its own to create something like iPeng in place of the current controller and web interface and build similar apps for Blackberrys and whatnot. Regular people are not going to be happy with Squeeze until they have responsive, intuitive, beautiful controls.

Phil Leigh
2009-12-06, 22:26
I agree re: Pippin.
However, sync/un-sync on my web interface (Chrome, XP SP3. SBS 7.5 - wired to router) is instantaneous. No delay at all.
Can't comment on Controller as I don't have one.

I suspect you have an underlying problem with your network, as such delays are not normal IME.

mherger
2009-12-06, 23:54
> to contract Pippin or find some programmers of its own to create
> something like iPeng in place of the current controller and web
> interface and build similar apps for Blackberrys and whatnot.

I can't agree. If Pippin was on Logitech's payroll, he wouldn't be free to do what he thinks is better than our solution. Being 3rd party not only has disadvantages.

If we were planning to do our own iP* solution, I'd reconsider this though :-).

--

Michael

Sike
2009-12-07, 00:25
>
I can't agree. If Pippin was on Logitech's payroll, he wouldn't be free to do what he thinks is better than our solution. Being 3rd party not only has disadvantages.


Then Logitech should not only hire Pippin but make him CEO. I own a couple of Logitech shares, I would vote him in!

andynormancx
2009-12-07, 04:01
I agree with your love for iPeng.

However, there is something clearly wrong with your setup. The web UI and Controller shouldn't be that slow.

iPeng is probably more responsive because it caches a lot of data locally, thus disguising the issues with your setup.

On a properly working system with a powerfully enough server the Controller should be every bit as quick as iPeng.

ModelCitizen
2009-12-07, 06:11
However, there is something clearly wrong with your setup. The web UI and Controller shouldn't be that slow.
iPeng is probably more responsive because it caches a lot of data locally, thus disguising the issues with your setup.
On a properly working system with a powerfully enough server the Controller should be every bit as quick as iPeng.

Doesn't the fact that the OP states that iPeng will stop and start a track instantly give the lie to your caching and underpowered server explanation?

I think the Controller hardware is too finnicky and unforgiving for its purpose. Logitech have devoted lots of developer time trying to sort out the Controller's wireless connectivity problems (but curing the problems for some users always seems to introduce them for others), and countless firmware revisions on there are still large amounts of users who have troubles with the Controller.

The hardware on the iPhone/iPod must be better researched and better specified (or better funded maybe?). I've not heard of any iDevices that have problems controlling any SBS devices over any wireless network. Certainly all the ones in use I know of work flawlessly.

As for Pippin working for Logitech... that's funny.. somehow I don't think he'll want to. He does not have a marketing department or ill-informed, short-sighted bosses breathing down his neck forcing development decisions on him he knows to be futile, and.... he has developed a product that Logitech are not going to bother competing with (they'd have to release it free, ala Sonos..... and you just know that there's no way it'll be half a good as iPeng).

And anyway I understand he has a job (yes, it does seem hard to believe).

MC

andynormancx
2009-12-07, 06:37
Doesn't the fact that the OP states that iPeng will stop and start a track instantly give the lie to your caching and underpowered server explanation?

I think the Controller hardware is too finnicky and unforgiving for its purpose. Logitech have devoted lots of developer time trying to sort out the Controller's wireless connectivity problems (but curing the problems for some users always seems to introduce them for others), and countless firmware revisions on there are still large amounts of users who have troubles with the Controller.

It would do, if he didn't also complain that the same issues plague the SBS web UI. So it can't be purely controller issues that are causing the unresponsiveness, otherwise the web UI wouldn't be effected.

If there are no problems with the setup and the server is even vaguely powerful enough then pressing pause on the web UI should be every bit as quick as iPeng, Controller or no Controller.

jtf
2009-12-07, 07:05
As a purchaser of iPeng for my iPod touch I have to say Pippin has done a great job. I've owned slim products since the SliMP3 and iPeng has been the one thing that has tied the whole-home audio system together.
I hope you're making good money from the iTunes store Pippin!

I have a friend who wants an SB. She pre-ordered the SB Touch and has no idea when it will arrive. I told her that the best solution right now is the SB Classic plus an iPod touch.

Jeff

ajkidle
2009-12-08, 05:42
There are many reasons it might not be a good idea for Logitech to formally hire Pippin (namely, Pippin may not be interested.) However, I believe Logitech would be well served by formally sponsoring and branding the iPeng app. To a new customer, I think it looks sloppy that the app is (1) not free and (2) not associated with Logitech in any way.

Full disclaimer, I own iPeng, love it, was worth every penny, etc. I am not arguing that Pippin should not be compensated for his fantastic app. Rather I'm trying to look at it from the perspective of someone not already immersed in the Squeezebox community / mindset. We on this board understand the power and benefit of the open source approach, but the masses do not. And for my 2 cents, I think it gives the appearance (on the surface) of not being a fully integrated, credible, and clean solution that Logitech is not formally associated with the app.

Again, I mean no criticism of Pippin or iPeng here, rather that Logitech's strategy on this front could be improved.

testmatch
2009-12-08, 06:18
There are many reasons it might not be a good idea for Logitech to formally hire Pippin (namely, Pippin may not be interested.) However, I believe Logitech would be well served by formally sponsoring and branding the iPeng app. To a new customer, I think it looks sloppy that the app is (1) not free and (2) not associated with Logitech in any way.


How would you treat the developers of the other applications for controlling Squeezeboxes on the iPhone, Android and various other platforms. There's no Logitech-branded control application for the increasingly popular Android phones, but there are at least four free applications and at least one paid (the stunningly-good Squeeze Commander) that provide some of the same facilities and sometimes more. There's also Moose for Windows users - an application I love and use all the time.

In other words (and this is a serious question), why single out the developer of one application when I suspect very few of us have tried all of them, and so aren't in a position to judge between them?

John

sander
2009-12-08, 09:47
As much as I admire Pippin and the good work he's done, after using iPeng on a first generation itouch, I think the controller has a much cleaner UI and more responsive. I know the controller's had its problems, but so does ipeng or any other aspect of SqueezeX.

Maybe its different on a newer device, but the ipeng UI can be slow, and I haven't warmed up to its UI conventions as much as everyone else.

That said I'm glad I bought it as I do use it more at home and, in conjunction with vpn from my router, I can stream remotely to my ipod, which is very nice. Also ipeng is the only UI, I know of, that shows you an active view of all your devices/streams in one area.

Lastly, I don't think one developer can make the difference at this point. Hiring Pippin won't make up the fact that the controller hardware was under spec'ed and Squeezeplay is still a work in progress. The problems people are having are more systemic.

andynormancx
2009-12-08, 09:51
Maybe its different on a newer device, but the ipeng UI can be slow, and I haven't warmed up to its UI conventions as much as everyone else.
Was that iPeng 1.2 or an ealier version. Things got a lot snappier and cleaned up in 1.2

ajkidle
2009-12-08, 10:56
In other words (and this is a serious question), why single out the developer of one application when I suspect very few of us have tried all of them, and so aren't in a position to judge between them?

John


I guess what I really mean to argue is that Logitech needs a formal branded iPhone/iPod app. And they certainly are in the position to evaluate and judge the various apps that currently exist. (Seems silly to start over given the maturity of iPeng and others.) If there is something better than iPeng, they should use that.

mjm2705
2009-12-08, 15:12
I bought the Squeemote ipod touch app (4.99) before knowing that ipeng existed. I love Squeemote apart from one thing, it doesn't seem to be able to disregard "The" in band names therefore all bands with "The" appear under 'T' in the alpha sort list !!!

Does ipeng do anything that should tempt me to spend more money (5.99) ??

pippin
2009-12-08, 15:28
I bought the Squeemote ipod touch app (4.99) before knowing that ipeng existed. I love Squeemote apart from one thing, it doesn't seem to be able to disregard "The" in band names therefore all bands with "The" appear under 'T' in the alpha sort list !!!

Does ipeng do anything that should tempt me to spend more money (5.99) ??

Disregard "The" in the band name, for example ;-)
Otherwise: Have a look:
http://www.penguinlovesmusic.com

mortslim
2009-12-08, 20:03
Hip, hip, hooray for Pippin !!!

iPeng is a must have when using your squeezebox if you want the ultimate in convenience to listen to music.

GeeJay
2009-12-08, 20:08
So...what exactly is wrong with Pippin staying independent and carrying on his fine work in the manner he always has? It's a great app and it's reasonably priced...a real bargain if you already own an IPod and you compare it to purchasing a Controller.

I vote for no change at all (or any change that makes it easier for Pippin and other 3rd party developers to carry on their work).

Andy8421
2009-12-08, 22:29
I am a huge fan of iPeng and have 3 copies across the various i* products owned by my family. I am in agreement however that an officialy supported product gives comfort to users that the product will continue to be supported going forward.

A case in point would be Inguz, the room correction add in. By all accounts a fine piece of software that gives squeeze products significant dsp capability. I have held off implementing this as every squeeze software update seems to break Inguz, and it is only because of the dedication of the original author that the software is brought back to life.

What if Pippin were to win the lottery tomorrow and spend his declining years on a beach somewhere? The next squeeze software update would probably break iPeng (see the developers forum for discussion of squeeze's lack of a stable framework to hang add-ins on), and who would bring iPeng back to life?

No criticism of Pippin, he has done a fine job, but I would feel more comfortable if it were a Squeeze supported product.

mherger
2009-12-08, 22:51
> What if Pippin were to win the lottery tomorrow and spend his declining
> years on a beach somewhere?

I'd rather expect him to have a skiing accident. Keep him busy, so he can't get out to ski!

> No criticism of Pippin, he has done a fine job, but I would feel more
> comfortable if it were a Squeeze supported product.

Some people express the same concerns about Logitech: what if they...

--

Michael

pippin
2009-12-09, 00:19
> What if Pippin were to win the lottery tomorrow and spend his declining
> years on a beach somewhere?

I'd rather expect him to have a skiing accident.

Hey, were have you seen me skiing? Sounds realistic :)


Keep him busy, so he can't get out to ski!

So THAT's the strategy behind all these last minute changes?
Forget it, no chance :) :)

Luke Redpath
2009-12-09, 05:47
I bought the Squeemote ipod touch app (4.99) before knowing that ipeng existed. I love Squeemote apart from one thing, it doesn't seem to be able to disregard "The" in band names therefore all bands with "The" appear under 'T' in the alpha sort list !!!

Does ipeng do anything that should tempt me to spend more money (5.99) ??

Hmm, this appears to be a regression; this was certainly fixed in an earlier release. If you come across any bugs please do try and report them on the Squeemote support site (http://getsatisfaction.com/lukeredpath) as I won't always see them on here.

I'll make sure this gets fixed in the next release.

rksingla
2009-12-09, 09:14
I have to say that I was being a bit facetious about Logitech hiring Pippin. I did not mean that literally, really. My point was more that (1) Controller was a disappointment compared to what a controller might be; (2) Logitech seems to be ignoring the front end -- whether that means a robust web UI or stand-alone applications -- which is more important to the great mass of consumers than supporting every possible music format.

erland
2009-12-09, 10:53
I guess what I really mean to argue is that Logitech needs a formal branded iPhone/iPod app.

Why ?
How would they earn money on it ?

As I see it today Logitech will earn money on iPeng (by selling more Squeezeboxes) and they don't have to spend anything in support and development costs besides a few minutes now and then when they support third party developers. Third party development like this should really be a win for Logitech.

I have no idea how much pippin has earned on iPeng but I suspect it's not close to the time he has spent designing, developing and supporting users who purchased it. I suspect the case would be the same for Logitech if they maintained it. I strongly suspect there isn't a single third party developer on the Squeezebox platform that has earned back their investment in hours of time spent developing and supporting their add-ons. Fortunately most third party developers don't do it for the money. Still, I'd be much more afraid that iPeng would die in the hands of Logitech than in the hands of the original developer.

I'm personally VERY impressed with iPeng and I know there are a lot of design and development hours behind it, pippin really deserves all the credit he gets.

Logitech should focus on making the software that runs on their own hardware as good as possible and to make it interesting for third party developers to do the extras.

pippin
2009-12-09, 11:09
Without wanting to get into the rest of the discussion, my views on UI can be seen in iPeng, two things:

1. I agree it would be a big and important advantage for Logitech if they managed to capitalize more on the 3rd party developments; this would include a more structured support to not demoralize people like yourselves.
_I_ can't complain about bad support, though, also I, too, sometimes write rants abou these things, expect the next one in January when I try to catch up with the next round of last-minute-changes-to break-things when 7.5 release dates move closer.
If you want to see a recent, good example on how to create a hype around something like that:
http://www.boxee.tv/

2.


How would they earn money on it ?

Like this:
http://sonos.com/whattobuy/zoneplayers/s5/micro/default.aspx?lang=us

ModelCitizen
2009-12-09, 11:23
http://sonos.com/whattobuy/zoneplayers/s5/micro/default.aspx?lang=us
Wow, doesn't that look so straightforward?

MC

erland
2009-12-09, 11:30
Like this:
http://sonos.com/whattobuy/zoneplayers/s5/micro/default.aspx?lang=us

Yes, but my point was that they can do that already today even though it's developed by a third party developer.

Would you complain if Logitech would include iPeng on the front page of their marketing material ?
If I remember correctly I think they already link to all the iPhone applications somewhere on their web site.

Linking to something someone else has developed and still increase the hardware sells of their own hardware seems like an optimal solution to me. Why invest in software development if you can get someone else to do it better for free ?

pippin
2009-12-09, 11:50
Yes, but my point was that they can do that already today even though it's developed by a third party developer.

That's of course true. It's just a bit harder because you have to pay for the App something some people seem to have bad feelings about.
For some reason I will not understand, lots of people would rather pay 100$ more on hardware instead of 10$ for additional software.

iPhone
2009-12-09, 12:00
That's of course true. It's just a bit harder because you have to pay for the App something some people seem to have bad feelings about.
For some reason I will not understand, lots of people would rather pay 100$ more on hardware instead of 10$ for additional software.

I'm with you! I need another device/remote like I need another whole in my head. Have an iPhone and its with me just about anywhere I go. Adding a $10 app makes more sense adding another device/remote at any price.

ModelCitizen
2009-12-09, 12:04
That's of course true. It's just a bit harder because you have to pay for the App something some people seem to have bad feelings about.
What a bizarre culture. I'm amazed Sonos don't charge for their iPhone controller app. 5.99 is an absolute snip for iPeng (but don't put the price up, right?).

MC

erland
2009-12-09, 12:15
That's of course true. It's just a bit harder because you have to pay for the App something some people seem to have bad feelings about.

Logitech could solve this by giving a $10 discount to anyone that has purchased one of the iPhone applications. Or is there even a way for logitech to bundle some kind of Apple AppStore check with the device ?

It's all about supporting third party development and making it interesting to increase the income through hardware sells.


For some reason I will not understand, lots of people would rather pay 100$ more on hardware instead of 10$ for additional software.

People need something they can touch and software can't be touched, it's just a file in the file system.
I know it's a bit strange but I also know that sometimes I also do this myself, its easy to buy some kind of hardware for $10 but buying software for $10 is for some strange reason a harder decision for most people.

jmpage2
2009-12-09, 14:23
I have actually been surprised myself that Logitech hasn't simply made an offer to buy the iPeng product line, rebadge them as Logitech branded applications and offer them for free to drive more sales of the hardware they make money on.

What would be the harm in them offering him $250K for his sweet sweet application if he also agrees to go on retainer to continue supporting it for the next few years?

Certainly seems like a win win to me, although admittedly as soon as the marketing geniuses at Logitech get involved they will muck up the interface, slap annoying ads in it, etc.

On 2nd thought it would be a very BAD idea for Logitech to acquire this app! :)

bluegaspode
2009-12-09, 15:50
What would be the harm in them offering him $250K for his sweet sweet application if he also agrees to go on retainer to continue supporting it for the next few years?

Thats what I thought as well. Just would have started with 100.000 :) (not to diminish pippins work which I don't know - price just estimated on what a typical open-source developer might be happy with ).

Ben Sandee
2009-12-09, 16:17
On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM, bluegaspode
<bluegaspode.42y8ko1260399122 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Thats what I thought as well. Just would have started with 100.000 :)
> (not to diminish pippins work which I don't know - price just estimated
> on what a typical open-source developer might be happy with ).

Interesting, but iPeng is not open source AFAIK.

Ben

bluegaspode
2009-12-09, 16:44
On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM, bluegaspode
<bluegaspode.42y8ko1260399122 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Thats what I thought as well. Just would have started with 100.000 :)
> (not to diminish pippins work which I don't know - price just estimated
> on what a typical open-source developer might be happy with ).

Interesting, but iPeng is not open source AFAIK.

Ben

Sorry - meant 3rd party developer of course.
Doesn't change the (first offer) price (for getting the app + sourcecode + all rights) :)

Did I mention that my weather-screensafer is for sale as well *G* ?

pippin
2009-12-09, 16:45
Sorry - meant 3rd party developer of course.
Doesn't change the price (for getting the app + sourcecode + all rights) :)

Did I mention that my weather-screensafer is for sale as well *G* ?

Really???
You know developers here in Berlin who are willing to work, say, three years for 60TEUR? (you forgot about the "few years" of support!)
Please PM me some phone numbers, need to make them happy :)

bluegaspode
2009-12-09, 17:30
Really???
You know developers here in Berlin who are willing to work, say, three years for 60TEUR? (you forgot about the "few years" of support!)
Please PM me some phone numbers, need to make them happy :)

You are saying that you did work 40h/week for three years on that plugin ? Hell - what did you do for a living in the rest of the time ?
*searches pippin on Xing - think I found you - do you know nicole w. ?*

Anyway - from a business point of view the offer is not about how much time you did spent. It's about what your future expectations are.

Say you go on - then you will need to spend at least 40h/week ;) also the next year(s) with coding and support. With x sold units you will earn x*(price-commision) Euros with your work.
If the offer is just twice (or three times) as much - you will make a lot of money and don't have any hazzle anymore. Instead a lot of time to write a new good App that you can sell in three years again...

You are free to claim that you expect to sell more then 10.000 units in a given time period to push my initial offer of 100.000 of course :)
Maybe you even got rich with this App already ?

pippin
2009-12-09, 17:41
You are saying that you did work 40h/week for three years on that plugin ?

Oh, you were talking about me? Didn't get that :)
You said "typical open source developer" and "make happy" with "money" also a limited sum of it... all didn't quite fit together.

Sounded like you found some jobless coders, for some strange reason these always disappear whenever you need them.

erland
2009-12-09, 18:08
I have actually been surprised myself that Logitech hasn't simply made an offer to buy the iPeng product line, rebadge them as Logitech branded applications and offer them for free to drive more sales of the hardware they make money on.

What would be the harm in them offering him $250K for his sweet sweet application if he also agrees to go on retainer to continue supporting it for the next few years?

Once again, if they use these $250K to spend some resources to encourage and offer better support for third party development I bet they would be able to get a lot more third party add-ons besides just the iPeng app.

I understand that some people seems to think that everything will be better if it's owned by Logitech but I personally really don't think this is the case.

I believe Logitech would get more advantages of supporting third party development than actually owning the third party development. One reason that we have some very creative solutions made by third party developers today is that they aren't restricted by the Logitech management and strategy in the same way as all in-house development are. Third party developers can create solutions that are a bit outside the box, while all in-house development has to follow the main strategy.

Luke Redpath
2009-12-09, 19:27
I have no idea how much pippin has earned on iPeng but I suspect it's not close to the time he has spent designing, developing and supporting users who purchased it.

I don't know how many copies iPeng has sold but I'm certain its significantly more than Squeemote. But even then, I can safely say that if I was to calculate how much Squeemote has "cost", based on my typical daily rate and the time spent on it, what I have earned from it wouldn't even be approaching a quarter of that amount.

bluegaspode
2009-12-10, 00:59
Once again, if they use these $250K to spend some resources to encourage and offer better support for third party development I bet they would be able to get a lot more third party add-ons besides just the iPeng app.
Despite my calculations on prices I'm fully with you !

I like the idea of giving say App-Store vouchers to logitech-buyers for the right to market the 3rd-party iPhone solution.
If they give normal discount or do such a voucher-thing wouldn't even matter to them I guess.
It might be unfair to other 3rd party developers who developed similar solutions of course (but I guess this wouldn't matter to logitech anyway)

This neat little link to the Sonos-site pippin gave WILL draw people to the dark side *g*. We are all gadget lovers and so are all iPhone-owners even more.

I'm always impressed of what you can achieve, if you really start to support 3rd party development.
It then might look like the following http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/tour/plugins.jsp which is a great marketing plus.

pippin
2009-12-10, 01:15
This neat little link to the Sonos-site pippin gave WILL draw people to the dark side *g*. We are all gadget lovers and so are all iPhone-owners even more.


Well, I mainly wanted to point out what you can do. The advertising itself (by Sonos) is bullshit. Especially in it's elevated form (not the one I linked, but didn't immediately find a better link) where they claim that the S5 is "best for iPhone users" while indeed there is absolutely no difference between the S5 and the other Sonos units WRT iPhone support, nothing new here.

In fact it's the other way around since lacking controls the S5 is pretty much useless as a standalone device if you do NOT already own an iThingy.

But it draws attention.

BTW, you are all thinking way tooo complicated on that marketing thing :)

Anyway, I think we all agree that promoting 3rd party developers would be the biggest gain for Logitech, but I doubt that 250k$ will buy you a lot here. It's not about money but about a develoment strategy that supports 3rd party development, providing stable APIs and development support. That will cost much more than that, but quite frankly, I believe doing this would save 10 times it's cost even internally (at Logitech) in QA savings. But that's just my 2cts.

And in Logitech's defense: they DID try to hire me, almost 2 years ago and if I had accepted, (see Michael's remark) iPeng would now probably be called the Logitech(R) Squeezebox(TM) Controller for iPhone and act exactly like the Squeezebox Controller.

ajkidle
2009-12-10, 04:24
I understand that some people seems to think that everything will be better if it's owned by Logitech but I personally really don't think this is the case.


This isn't the argument, at least not the one I'm trying to make. It's purely a marketing, image, product positioning move. I don't expect iPeng or any other 3rd party development would be automatically improved by Logitech taking ownership, and agree that the opposite is a real risk. However, I'm already a Squeezebox devotee hook line and sinker, read these boards daily, and love to tinker with this stuff. So given that, I have no issue or discomfort with iPeng being 3rd party. But from a broader perspective, considering potential new customers, I think it's a detriment to the product line that the iPhone app isn't directly associated with Logitech. And without reading these boards, one could reasonably come to the conclusion that a non-Logitech app isn't going to work as well as an official app (i.e. Sonos.)

Although I'm not a developer (wish I had the time to develop those skills,) I echo the benefits that could be derived from better and more consistent support for 3rd part development. And I'd extend the argument to improving front-end support/integration as well as back-end API support. As an example from an end user perspective, it was way too difficult to get weather to appear on my Boom.

jmpage2
2009-12-10, 12:19
Once again, if they use these $250K to spend some resources to encourage and offer better support for third party development I bet they would be able to get a lot more third party add-ons besides just the iPeng app.

I understand that some people seems to think that everything will be better if it's owned by Logitech but I personally really don't think this is the case.

I believe Logitech would get more advantages of supporting third party development than actually owning the third party development. One reason that we have some very creative solutions made by third party developers today is that they aren't restricted by the Logitech management and strategy in the same way as all in-house development are. Third party developers can create solutions that are a bit outside the box, while all in-house development has to follow the main strategy.

It depends. If the net benefit of rebranding iPeng as the "Logitech Remote App" for Squeezebox, advertising it and giving it away on the Apple store generates an extra 5000 unit sales per year it would be far better than hoping that 3rd party development generates these types of additional sales.

ModelCitizen
2009-12-10, 13:26
Logitech would get more advantages of supporting third party development than actually owning the third party development. One reason that we have some very creative solutions made by third party developers today is that they aren't restricted by the Logitech management and strategy in the same way as all in-house development are. Third party developers can create solutions that are a bit outside the box, while all in-house development has to follow the main strategy.

This is spot on. The third party dev is a BIG USP that Logitech would be wise to support and encourage. It marks the product apart from all competitors and expands the functionality to areas un-thought of by anyone but the users (think about the importance of this.. the added attraction of the product it lends and the low development costs and responsibility incurred).

However, all that I've seen so far leads me to believe that Logitech just want a simple no-frills music server that doesn't give them any headaches and enables them to develop and sell various cheap "state-of-the-art" (sic) hardware devices. To restate the case: Logitech don't do software (much), they do hardware.

This short-term, blinkered, middle-management thinking makes one concerned about the longer-term viability of the product range.

I suspect that Logitech might throwing out the baby with bathwater.

I'd prefer to be wrong.

MC