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View Full Version : The competition is catching up and some surpassing Squeezebox...fast!



audiomuze
2010-01-25, 23:18
http://www.olive.us/products/olive4hd/specs.html
http://www.qsonix.com/Public/v5/ProductQ110Overview.aspx
http://www.bluesmokesystems.com/
http://www.auraliti.com/

Phil Leigh
2010-01-26, 00:06
Perhaps in terms of casework...
Sound?
Cost?
Functionality?

audiomuze
2010-01-26, 00:52
Perhaps in terms of casework...
Sound?
Cost?
Functionality?Most are capable of higher resolution playback and prices are comparable, especially if factoring in server req's by squeezebox. Most have iPhone apps and some have db's/ interfaces streets ahead. Have a look at the links...

Soulkeeper
2010-01-26, 05:46
Ah, but competition is good for us consumers.

My next receiver will probably be cheaper, better, or both. With or without the Logitech logo.

DaveWr
2010-01-26, 06:16
Brennan.co.uk

Combined Ripper, Storage, Player & Amplifier, even records analogue.

Ikabob
2010-01-26, 06:23
Sorry, but I love the Squeezes and cannot imagine any system better....fidelity,functionality,synchronization,a ppearance,solid structure,community forums,variety of players, etc,etc. I also think Logitech is getting it together.

audiomuze
2010-01-26, 06:39
I also think Logitech is getting it together.Let's hope so, because it won't be long before they're trying to play catchup across the board.

davep
2010-01-26, 06:54
Most are capable of higher resolution playback and prices are comparable, especially if factoring in server req's by squeezebox. Most have iPhone apps and some have db's/ interfaces streets ahead. Have a look at the links...

Not wishing to be too provocative, but seriously one of these at least, the Bluesmoke, looks like a dorm room project. Uses Windows Media Player as the front end, handles Flac and WMA Lossless only (even I have the odd mp3 I'd like to play now and again), needs an external DAC, suggests for wireless you add a USB wifi dongle, runs only on Windows Vista (huh?), has documentation which is "coming soon", etc. Some kind of smoke for sure... And all this for only $7,000! Oh, almost forgot: no display. The info suggests use of an external one such as those from Tyco Electronics. Following the included link to their website dumps you in a maze of pages about Point of Sale display terminals with 800x600 resolution and the suggestion you send them a "Request for Proposal".

Against my $2,000 transporter with wireless and wired networking, balanced and unbalanced inputs, high-end DAC with external input, ability to handle almost any format you throw at it, dual displays, access to plugins, internet radio, etc, etc, not to mention use on my Mac and Linux servers, I seriously don't see this as competition at all. BUT it did get a mention in Stereophile as having been at CES...

The serious competition I see for high end is from Linn, who appear to have made streaming audio a cornerstone of their new range. Given their track record of sticking with things and developing them over the long haul- and their clear commitment to hi-fi audio - I tend to believe they will be around with these products for a long while. I am 100% committed to digitally stored and transported (2-channel) audio and know I will never go back to CDs so want to feel confident that my chosen partner in this will stick around and not get distracted by video or Facebook (!), or decide to drop it entirely after a year or two . This partner could be Logitech if they do it right but I am less confident now about this than I was a year ago.

davep

davep

DaveWr
2010-01-26, 07:10
I don't agree I think Linn is in the Transporter market, nowhere near Logitech Radio / Touch market.

Today Logitech competition in the UK is Sonos. Virtually all Squeeze dealers have a Sonos portfolio as well. Some (eg Ripcaster have Linn).

Dave

davep
2010-01-26, 07:20
I don't agree I think Linn is in the Transporter market, nowhere near Logitech Radio / Touch market.


Er.. that's exactly what I said. The OP was talking about the higher end I thought, with things like Olive and Bluesmoke, rather than the Radio/Touch space. My point was that the TP has this pretty well covered already with the added advantages of being able to share infrastructure with lower spec devices elsewhere in your house for a very flexible and realistic solution. Linn doesn't do the latter parts but does have impeccable hi-fi credentials and can be made to work with SBS (sort of).

I agree that the Sonus is more well known as a competitor in the everyday "sophisitcated iPod" end of the market.

davep

DaveWr
2010-01-26, 07:48
My Linn DS works very well with Squeezebox Server.

Dave

davep
2010-01-26, 08:44
My Linn DS works very well with Squeezebox Server.

Dave

That's very good to know as I might go there myself in the future. Not having any personal experience of using the two together, but knowing of the self-confessed "hobby" nature of the Skweezy plugin writer, I wasn't sure how well this actually worked.

davep

ronaldg
2010-01-26, 09:38
I think the real comp may end up being the ever cheaper and higher performing netbooks.

Ron

autopilot
2010-01-26, 10:38
I think the real comp may end up being the ever cheaper and higher performing netbooks.

Ron

Really? i dont, far from it.

Other than Squeezebox, the only other systems worth buying are Sonos, Linn and maybe Naim. The latter two concentrate on audio quality, they dont seem interested in multi-room, decent UI design or online services etc. Which is fair enough if thats the area they work in.

I would not consider the OP's original list even close to Squeezebox or Sonos, strange choice. Maybe even the Apple Airport is closer, not that i think its all that great.

There is a new German made system thats recently been released that looks very promising though. Forgot the name though.

pippin
2010-01-26, 10:56
There is a new German made system thats recently been released that looks very promising though. Forgot the name though.

Raumfeld? The one with that "automotive" style controller?

DaveWr
2010-01-26, 11:05
With the steering wheel ??

Dave

Phil Leigh
2010-01-26, 11:15
Most are capable of higher resolution playback and prices are comparable, especially if factoring in server req's by squeezebox. Most have iPhone apps and some have db's/ interfaces streets ahead. Have a look at the links...

1) I don't need - nobody needs - higher than 24/96 (which I have with the Touch) - and there's sooo much more to sound quality than bitrate (as I'm sure you appreciate!)
2) My server was free - I already had it. Most people do if only they'd stop this silly NAS obsession. BTW the internal disks of these alternatives seem expensive to me...
3) iPeng? + I think you'd need to really live with a deice to conclude if it's UI really was "streets ahead" and not just marketing babble.

If I was going beyond Logitech I'd go for a Linn Akurate DS for sound quality (+ a Touch for UI/display purposes only)

Phil Leigh
2010-01-26, 11:20
Brennan.co.uk

Combined Ripper, Storage, Player & Amplifier, even records analogue.

My Brother-in-law has one of these. Neat unit - just add speakers. However:
1) no internet access - tagging from internal DB with updates that must be purchased! (yeuch)
2) no FLAC
3) 500Gb disk (max) internally - 600 CD's in WAV...
4) no external disk support

I think you'd really have to go with MP3 for this device.

DaveWr
2010-01-26, 12:04
My Brother-in-law has one of these. Neat unit - just add speakers. However:
1) no internet access - tagging from internal DB with updates that must be purchased! (yeuch)
2) no FLAC
3) 500Gb disk (max) internally - 600 CD's in WAV...
4) no external disk support

I think you'd really have to go with MP3 for this device.

Note too hot in the flesh, although cheaper than most. I'll stick with my DS and SBs though.

Dave

maggior
2010-01-26, 12:55
It's pretty telling that the recent Linksys offering hasn't even been mentioned yet. From what I've read, that system suffers from typical Cisco/Linksys usability and configuration issues.

Personally, I think general media streamers (boxee, popcorn hour, popbox, etc.) are what will be competing. Most people don't care about what we obsess about on these forums. I've even seen Blu Ray players that include Pandora!

autopilot
2010-01-26, 12:56
Note too hot in the flesh, although cheaper than most. I'll stick with my DS and SBs though.

Dave

The Brenon looks like it fell out of someones dashboard. Is it the the same dimension as a car head unit?

havoc1
2010-01-26, 13:11
Totally agree about the statement about the NAS 'obsession'. It's a nice idea but surely a pain in the arse to actually get and keep working well.

Regarding these other solutions - I don't see any of them having a ghettoblaster form factor, which is surely a huge part of the Squeezebox appeal. I presume the OP was being provocative.

jimwillsher
2010-01-26, 13:46
My SB3 units and my Boom are, and probably will continue to be, my best gadgets in the house. Totally reliably, excellent quality, configurable, high geek value. I love them. Nothing else comes close.


Jim

jimbo45
2010-01-26, 15:12
Hi there
Sonos units are Very high end - and quite "wallet busting" too.

Squeezebox does exactly "what it says on the tin", is affordable, and while some people have a few problems the vast majority of users I'm sure are EXTREMELY happy with the products.

The only mod I'd like say on the Radio would be a USB connection so I could plug in one of those little 320 - 500 GB WD passport disks and play music from "the locally attached disk" without needing my computer to be running.

Cheers
jimbo

bhaagensen
2010-01-26, 15:31
Other than Squeezebox, the only other systems worth buying are Sonos, Linn and maybe Naim. The latter two concentrate on audio quality, they dont seem interested in multi-room, decent UI design or online services etc. Which is fair enough if thats the area they work in.


As far as Naim goes, I think you are wrong in some of those assumption. Have you heard of NaimNet?

http://www.naimnet.com/

The catch is, without knowing details, that I'm fairly sure we are talking major $$$.

However it could possibly be the case that they will be letting the technology trickle down to the more standard product-ranges which could make it more intresting for many.

iPhone
2010-01-26, 15:53
Hi there
Sonos units are Very high end - and quite "wallet busting" too.

Squeezebox does exactly "what it says on the tin", is affordable, and while some people have a few problems the vast majority of users I'm sure are EXTREMELY happy with the products.

The only mod I'd like say on the Radio would be a USB connection so I could plug in one of those little 320 - 500 GB WD passport disks and play music from "the locally attached disk" without needing my computer to be running.

Cheers
jimbo

To address the USB issue/question buy a Touch and run TinySBS, Jimbo.

Not starting a Flame War, but I and I think many others would not call Sonos Very High End! Very High Dollar, yes! If one compares the specs with Sonos and then does listening tests, one quickly sees that they are way over priced. Do they look a little Higher End then Squeezebox, sure I would agree to that (other then Transporter), but for 3 to 5 times more money they should. And the built in amps are nothing to right home about. I would never use Sonos on my Main Listening System if I were given one for free. $500 for 55 watts of Class D power, again thanks but no thanks.

I believe that not a single Sonos unit has an XLR Balanced out option. I also believe that Sonos will not do 24/96 (couldn't find anything either saying yes or no). So if one is not over paying for a Digital Transport (using the ZP90 S/PDIF), how in the world can Sonos even remotely be called High End, much less Very High End?

DoomWolf
2010-01-26, 16:34
Most are capable of higher resolution playback and prices are comparable, especially if factoring in server req's by squeezebox. Most have iPhone apps and some have db's/ interfaces streets ahead. Have a look at the links...

How is the Qsonix comparable to Squeezeboxes?

Base Price $6,800.00!!!

http://4hd3d.ohns4.servertrust.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Q110

That's not what I would call comparable.

ntom
2010-01-26, 18:55
Noone mentioned Meridian Soolos...?

From what I've seen the interface looks fantastic & i suspect it sounds great but again price a bit out of my league!!

tedfroop
2010-01-26, 20:39
I am surprised no one mentioned the current crop of "do it all" Media players like the Asus O!Play and the WD Live. They are very capable players for not a lot of money. Mine will play everything my SB will, and video as well. It just lacks the ability to do it in the simple easy way my SB does.
Lack of good support for playing play lists, genres, and album play ability make it look pretty poor at things the SB excels at, plus there's no SuperDateTime.

I can't help myself here either Nas's are not an obsession. As people collect more digital photos, music, media etc, backup is no longer an option. Hard drives fail, recorded disc media has a shorter shelf life than what makes me comfortable.

Huge amounts of hard drive storage are quite affordable (less than $100 a TB). Stick a couple drives in a $120 box, turn on Raid 0 and use it as redundant backup. If you can set up your Squeezebox a NAS should not be much of a challenge.

Just remember how long it took to rip and tag your collection..and think about how you would feel if the drive its on failed.

I know exactly how it feels....

usch
2010-01-26, 20:48
Attached Images
Those all look like ordinary NASes to me, maybe with audio outputs and some pre-installed media server software on board. But where are the dedicated players? Small, unobtrusive devices that I can put on my bedside table or on a shelf in the kitchen and synchronize with each other, with a Now Playing display that is easily readable from across the room?

MrSinatra
2010-01-26, 22:54
Personally, I think general media streamers (boxee, popcorn hour, popbox, etc.) are what will be competing. Most people don't care about what we obsess about on these forums. I've even seen Blu Ray players that include Pandora!

i basically agree with this. all in one boxes that do video/dvd, etc as well as network media adapters that do video.

i think the SBS paradigm is inherently niche and can't graduate to the big BIG time until video is included, and an all in one FAT (not slim) box is available.

mherger
2010-01-26, 22:55
> Totally agree about the statement about the NAS 'obsession'. It's a nice
> idea but surely a pain in the arse to actually get and keep working
> well.

If the NAS devices were used for what they were designed, they'd be totally ok. Storage. Network Attached Storage. But not a do it all for me but don't consume any energy server. But yeah, home users didn't want to buy servers. That's for the pros. Even MS had to learn this lesson and therefore published "Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?"

http://gizmodo.com/342499/microsofts-brainwashing-childrens-book-mommy-where-do-servers-come-from

--

Michael

rmorten
2010-01-26, 23:40
Hmm... It seems that there is one very important feature missing from all these players; the text driven interface (or at least XML).

The only one remotely interesting is something I wish Logitech would check into and that is a video version. I would like a piece of hardware that can play my video files on my theater in 7.1 Dolby. I don't know a thing about "Blue Smoke" but they are at least working toward attracting my interest...

2 cents...

usch
2010-01-27, 01:31
Argh. The day when Squeezebox goes video will probably be the day when I start looking for a different system. Or at least freeze the current state of my hard- and software and stop updating.

Video is a completely different concept. For example, you don't have the typical artist / album / track relationship. Or would anybody want a random mix of their favorite movie scenes?

The biggest drawback of all video-capable players I have come across is that you have to hook them up to a TV, otherwise you don't even get a menu to operate them because they have no display of their own. And I surely don't want TV screens all over my flat.

IMHO the step away from the large text display to tiny graphics displays was already a step in the wrong direction. Instead of enjoying the cover art on the screen, people are asking "Why can't the Radio play YouTube videos?" - the customer is never satisfied. :rolleyes:

DaveWr
2010-01-27, 01:38
+1

Dave

autopilot
2010-01-27, 04:04
The biggest drawback of all video-capable players I have come across is that you have to hook them up to a TV, otherwise you don't even get a menu to operate them because they have no display of their own. And I surely don't want TV screens all over my flat.



I agree with this. I'm not sure how I would put a popcorn in my bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Even in my main living/listening room i would hate to have to turn my plasma on just to change track. In fact for a while I did with my HTPC, which I ditched in favour of the more elegant Squeezebox 3. None of the the 'jack of all trades' streamers I have used, while great, come close to being as competent an audio player as the Squeezebox.

There is a cost element too. Surely a video capable device would cost more to develop and produce the an audio. I would not want to pay for features I never use.

That said, I would not be adverse to a SqueezeVideo(tm) as long as the video capable device complimented the current range and focus on continuing to make the best music devices was not lost. But it would sit next to my existng SB.

BlueScreenJunky
2010-01-27, 04:05
Argh. The day when Squeezebox goes video will probably be the day when I start looking for a different system. Or at least freeze the current state of my hard- and software and stop updating.

Video is a completely different concept. For example, you don't have the typical artist / album / track relationship. Or would anybody want a random mix of their favorite movie scenes?

The biggest drawback of all video-capable players I have come across is that you have to hook them up to a TV, otherwise you don't even get a menu to operate them because they have no display of their own. And I surely don't want TV screens all over my flat.

IMHO the step away from the large text display to tiny graphics displays was already a step in the wrong direction. Instead of enjoying the cover art on the screen, people are asking "Why can't the Radio play YouTube videos?" - the customer is never satisfied. :rolleyes:


Well you can always imagine a squeezebox 3 with an hdmi output, which would act exactly like a SB3 when you play music, and be able to send video through hdmi (and display menus and stuff on the TV) when you want to watch a movie.
it would just need another item in the menu, something like "my movies" right next to "my music".

pablolie
2010-01-27, 09:15
what i don't get about many of these other offerings is that they want me to replace my CD player with a new box - a server/player-combo-box that stores my music there right next to my amplifier and somehow must look like audio equipment. err, i have a perfectly good server in the house, and i don't want a music server as a replacement for my CD player - i want a very lightweight client.

the storage and computing is better done where it belongs - on a general purpose computer. at better cost points, with better service- and upgrade-ability. my home server is my private data center (and for now private computing cloud) in the household, better do things there.

so i think the basic architecture of some systems is flawed by trying to be some sort of new appliance that replicates functionality that is available elsewhere, and includes areas of expertise that are alien to audio vendors (why on earth should they design a better computer than established computer vendors)?

i think the SB fundamental architecture is the smart way to go. especially since now with the Touch i get all the functionality of these high end boxes in a better priced, more compact, and most likely equally well sounding package (get an external DAC if you don't like the built in DA conversion).

i think the flaw of the SB system for the regular user is still the CD ripping process (but that will probably matter less and less as people just download music), and the temperamental nature that SBS has developed at times. since software seems to be the weak link (for rips and troublefree operation) perhaps it means that Logitech needs to find a way to monetize software some more so they get (a) some return on development and (b) more customer lock in. but then the software *has* to work in utterly reliable form, and upgrade fiascos and lapses in operation then are no longer acceptable. and the linux version should still be free. :-D

the Touch in my opinion is genius and points the way to the future. i think the client had to become smarter from an interface point of view, yet remains lightweight from a music path point of view. it is the best of all worlds. Logitech has this nearly won: the interface is pretty, the box very flexible, the cost point just right.

snarlydwarf
2010-01-27, 09:24
Argh. The day when Squeezebox goes video will probably be the day when I start looking for a different system. Or at least freeze the current state of my hard- and software and stop updating.

Video is a completely different concept. For example, you don't have the typical artist / album / track relationship. Or would anybody want a random mix of their favorite movie scenes?


That and the usage model of video is entirely different than music.

There are very few movies that I have watched more than a dozen times. I have many many albums that I have listened to dozens of times, and will listen to dozens of times more.

Regardless of how cheap disk space is, and how fast bandwidth gets, I really don't see a need to rip a DVD so I can stream it around the house. It's easier to carry the DVD to the player I want to use.

Not to mention that I -do- watch 'extras' on DVD's, and on several CD's (Icky Flix, or The Commercial DVD), the navigation is an integral part of the experience.

bhaagensen
2010-01-27, 09:47
so i think the basic architecture of some systems is flawed by trying to be some sort of new appliance that replicates functionality that is available elsewhere, and includes areas of expertise that are alien to audio vendors (why on earth should they design a better computer than established computer vendors)?


Sorry, but I don't think this argument holds water. It is assuming everyone can be bothered to: buy, own, maintain, pay for, allocate space for, have some remote interest in - a server. I doubt that is the case for the general public - at least not to an extent where it makes sense to rule out the option.

aubuti
2010-01-27, 10:08
Sorry, but I don't think this argument holds water. It is assuming everyone can be bothered to: buy, own, maintain, pay for, allocate space for, have some remote interest in - a server. I doubt that is the case for the general public - at least not to an extent where it makes sense to rule out the option.
Obviously there are several markets, or at least market segments. For my own use, I feel pretty much the same way as Pablo, and I imagine that's true of a lot of current SB users. But a lot of people balk at "having a computer on" to play music, ignoring the fact that NASs or some of the devices in the OP *are* computers.

As a glimpse of one of the other market segments, last week I went to a friend's housewarming party. A brand new, big, $2m house. And among the technological items that impressed people was a little recess in the kitchen wall where you could stick an iPod and it would play through the in-ceiling speakers. I didn't notice if they were in other rooms of the house, but they probably are. I asked my friend what brand the system was, and he said "I have no idea. Whatever the contractor installed." He and his wife are both computer savvy (though their PhDs are in economics, so they lose a few points for that...), but they just wanted an easy solution.

As for the $1k-and-up market that are in the OP, I think that Logitech is choosing not to compete in this market. They'll keep selling the TP for a while, but I don't see any successor to the TP under Logitech's ownership.

bhaagensen
2010-01-27, 10:30
aubuti:

Indeed, and I somewhat agree with you in that there, for all practical intents and purposes, currently are several market-segments for these things.

However at the end of the day I don't think they are that different. I'm a computer scientist, and I do have a server doing various things. But I must admit that I would happily bin it if I could get the job done by plug'n play devices. Though this is not going to happen tomorrow, there is no reason it can/will not become reality in the forseeable future.

Of course, this excludes the segment of those that likes tinkering for the sake of tinkering. But there are plenty offerings for those already.

IMO.

maggior
2010-01-27, 11:02
Even MS had to learn this lesson and therefore published "Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?"

http://gizmodo.com/342499/microsofts-brainwashing-childrens-book-mommy-where-do-servers-come-from
--
Michael

As a brief aside, I thought this was a joke when I saw it when it came out. It is hysterical. If you haven't read it, you should just for the entertainment value. It's modeled against the educational pamphlets you see in hospitals and doctors offices.

alfista
2010-01-27, 11:07
That and the usage model of video is entirely different than music.

There are very few movies that I have watched more than a dozen times. I have many many albums that I have listened to dozens of times, and will listen to dozens of times more.

Regardless of how cheap disk space is, and how fast bandwidth gets, I really don't see a need to rip a DVD so I can stream it around the house. It's easier to carry the DVD to the player I want to use.

Kids on the other hand will gladly watch the same Bob the Builder movie a gazillion times (not only that, they often insist to do so), and kids aren't exactly kind to DVDs so having a rip stored on a server could make sense. Maybe I'm a kid too, since there are a few movies I enjoy having instant access to.

Of course the database for video would need to have a different structure than the music database, but it seems to me that designing a video catalog should be a doddle compared to music. Most of the cheap media players pouring out these days are almost entirely intended for video with very poor support for music. They may handle a bunch of audio file formats just fine, but browsing, building play lists, listening to online services is severely limited or non existant. All the stuff that makes SB stand out is missing. To at least briefly touch the topic of this thread, with added support for video in the SB range it could probably compete pretty well with those boxes based just on superior support for music.

My reason for thinking video could be a useful addition is that I think the SB architecture is pretty damn clever. The SBS is a formidable backend and I think a similar concept would prove to be a good solution for video also. And I'm guessing some of the chipsets used by late model media players could run SqueezeOS which I think would provide a nice and practical UI.

I just don't see the conflict here. Why would the sky fall down and the world come to an end if SBS was extended to support video files and a video player was added to the line of boxes?

iPhone
2010-01-27, 11:22
There is a cost element too. Surely a video capable device would cost more to develop and produce the an audio. I would not want to pay for features I never use.



WHY would it cost to much? And are you telling us that you use "every" available feature on your current Squeezeboxes? I understand you use the main one, Audio. Would you not use Video if it were available?

There are two devices for under $250 that do just what SB does for audio that do the same for video as well as they both also play audio. The cheaper one (http://www.hdtvsupply.com/1080p-high-definition-media-server.html) appears not to support FLAC. The only real drawback I see is that they use an external video display and that is probably because they were designed for Video so it is assumed that one will hook it up to a video display.

It would be extremely easy to build/include the same video engine/decoder in a device just slightly larger then a Touch so that it would have a display for when using just audio IE a Touch that does both Audio and Video. So if this was designed the cost would not be the cost of both devices added together due to the shared nature of the device doing basically the same thing. Would I pay $379 for a Touch that did streamed 1080P HDMI and 24/96 FLAC? I would.

toby10
2010-01-27, 15:07
I like three olives with my martini's.
But how much would it cost to sync three Olive music systems in my home?

I'll stick to SB players and put the difference into my IRA, thank you. :)

iPhone
2010-01-27, 15:36
I like three olives with my martini's.
But how much would it cost to sync three Olive music systems in my home?

I'll stick to SB players and put the difference into my IRA, thank you. :)

+1

And a better return on your investment also!

And you must have a huge Martini Glass if you can get three Olives in one! ;=}

aubuti
2010-01-27, 15:42
But how much would it cost to sync three Olive music systems in my home?
Note that after getting one Olive 4/4HD as your server ($1500 - 2000), for the other rooms you could use the Olive 2 players, which are "only" $600 each. Yeah, that's steep.

Danione
2010-01-27, 15:50
Note that after getting one Olive 4/4HD as your server ($1500 - 2000), for the other rooms you could use the Olive 2 players, which are "only" $600 each. Yeah, that's steep.

I sort of like the Olive 2 thingy, but I'd never buy the Olive 4/4hd. I want to get rid of boxes, not adding yet another "hi fi" sized box. The Olive solution reminds me of the Beosound 5/Beomaster 5-setup: It's a step back to separates (and in the case of the BS5 you don't even get wireless, and there is no remote feedback on screen when using the remote), utterly defeating the benefits of digital audio (well, in my book).

autopilot
2010-01-27, 17:01
WHY would it cost to much? And are you telling us that you use "every" available feature on your current Squeezeboxes? I understand you use the main one, Audio. Would you not use Video if it were available?

There are two devices for under $250 that do just what SB does for audio that do the same for video as well as they both also play audio. The cheaper one (http://www.hdtvsupply.com/1080p-high-definition-media-server.html) appears not to support FLAC. The only real drawback I see is that they use an external video display and that is probably because they were designed for Video so it is assumed that one will hook it up to a video display.

It would be extremely easy to build/include the same video engine/decoder in a device just slightly larger then a Touch so that it would have a display for when using just audio IE a Touch that does both Audio and Video. So if this was designed the cost would not be the cost of both devices added together due to the shared nature of the device doing basically the same thing. Would I pay $379 for a Touch that did streamed 1080P HDMI and 24/96 FLAC? I would.

No, I don't use every feature (although I use most). But there is a line, in my mind anyway. It would just feel pointless having a video capable player in all the rooms which don't even have a TV. So no, for the most part I would never use a video feature. I realise the cost might not be a massive factor, but it would play some part. Maybe that's just my perception.

I agree, a touch with HDMI and 1080p output would be nice. But I would not want it to be a compromise. I would still want audio only devices for each room. Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong angle. I was wrong before about a touch screen on the player and USB until I got a touch!

GeeJay
2010-01-27, 20:35
I'll start paying attention to these competitors when a) the price comes down below $1k for a multi-room setup, and b) they come up with software that approaches the genius of Erland's suite of plugins...the closest thing to the perfection I'm seeking in combining the dynamic nature of a commercial jukebox-style playlist and the ability to customize that playlist through a simple rating system (including the ability to automatically rate tracks).

So far I haven't seen it.

usch
2010-01-28, 09:28
WHY would it cost to much?
Video capability might not make the players more expensive, but the price for it would be even less development resources for the core components audio, SBS, and MySB. I'd rather have the known bugs fixed before they start implementing yet another feature.


And are you telling us that you use "every" available feature on your current Squeezeboxes? I understand you use the main one, Audio. Would you not use Video if it were available?
I know that I must be a rare species, but I don't watch video at all. My music library has nearly 20,000 tracks (and still counting while I am ripping my CDs), but I don't own a single movie on DVD.

For your amusement: I only noticed that all analog TV transmitters had been turned off when I read it in the newspaper. I was like "really?", turned on my TV set, saw that I saw nothing, and turned it off again. That was in 2005 if I recall right, and I haven't bothered to get a digital receiver up to now.

So yes, for me video would be nothing more than a useless gimmick.

bobkoure
2010-01-28, 20:59
I'm having a hard time understanding why the server software should be the same for both video and audio, and why there shouldn't just be separate players.
Want video? Install/run the video server software (optionally on the same server a music server is running on).
The video player's probably going to be more of an internet video player, but if it can run videos from your own server that's a feature for at least some folks (and maybe the server can cache downloaded HD movies for you so you can get full bitrate and no chance of a latency problem)
It shouldn't be that hard to make it feel like a unified system. Make sure the touch can also control the video gear, keep web UI of the two server apps at least somewhat similar in look and feel. Make sure there's a shared API (in the sense that both server apps support the same API) for plugins, so plugin authors can do clever things.

Gerry123
2010-01-28, 21:49
Video capability might not make the players more expensive, but the price for it would be even less development resources for the core components audio, SBS, and MySB. I'd rather have the known bugs fixed before they start implementing yet another feature.


I know that I must be a rare species, but I don't watch video at all. My music library has nearly 20,000 tracks (and still counting while I am ripping my CDs), but I don't own a single movie on DVD.

For your amusement: I only noticed that all analog TV transmitters had been turned off when I read it in the newspaper. I was like "really?", turned on my TV set, saw that I saw nothing, and turned it off again. That was in 2005 if I recall right, and I haven't bothered to get a digital receiver up to now.

So yes, for me video would be nothing more than a useless gimmick.

A man (or woman) after my own heart. Video, be it TV or films have never managed to immerse me as music does. I watch films/TV but have no desire to watch the same thing again even if I did think it was quite good. Music on the other hand I could listen to again and again and often do.

I have a video streamer and it's connected and it works (server runs on same computer as SBS), but bought it for the novelty factor more than anything. Rarely gets turned on to be honest.

But then again, I'm really old so what do I know?

Gerry.

erland
2010-01-29, 11:22
I'm having a hard time understanding why the server software should be the same for both video and audio, and why there shouldn't just be separate players.

The obvious reasons are:
- It's often cheaper to get one device than getting two
- For the manufacturer it might be cheaper to be able to share some hardware and software which are the same for both audio and video. Remember that a video device needs to do be able to do audio anyway so why not also allow audio without video.

However, the issue is that the Squeezebox isn't a video device, it's a audio device. In this situation the advantage of adding video isn't as obvious, it is a lot easier for a video device to add audio support.

I can see one use case scenario where video would be interesting:
- Music videos

GeeJay
2010-01-29, 21:47
A man (or woman) after my own heart. Video, be it TV or films have never managed to immerse me as music does. I watch films/TV but have no desire to watch the same thing again even if I did think it was quite good. Music on the other hand I could listen to again and again and often do.

....

But then again, I'm really old so what do I know?



Same here...at least on everything but the old part LOL!

MrSinatra
2010-01-29, 23:17
was this already posted in the forums?

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Internet-Radio-Grace-Squeezebox,review-1499.html

Nonreality
2010-01-30, 02:14
I don't know but it seems I can watch the Unforgiven over and over and if I'm switching channels and the Shawshank Redemption is on, then I'm stuck. There are others that do this to me also. Video's do mean something to me.

tedfroop
2010-01-30, 13:15
Add to all that - public domain movies. There is a ton of movies in the public domain now. Download and watch free. If you have a pc based dvr you can record and watch what you want when you want.

If there was a device Squeezebox device like my media player I would buy one in a heartbeat. The combination of software and hardware in the Squeezebox architecture is what makes it simple to use and endlessly customizable as well.

My media box has no such simplicity. I know my wife has no problems using the Squeezebox but I doubt she could figure out the media box or use it a second time without written instructions.


I would love a single device but things being as they are, I will live with two.

grego.speiser
2010-01-30, 16:21
In the midst of renovating our attic, I am re-considering my plan to use a squeezebox touch.

With the advent of cheap nettops that can output 1080p video thru HDMI, I will likely buy an Acer Aspire R3610 for $300 (Canadian) and install XBMC, SBS and whatever the software-based player is called (squeezeplay, softsqueeze?).

I was attracted to the Touch since I would be able to shut down the old desktop that is my current music (and video) server, but for the same price I can get a computer that will act as music and video server and player.

I currently own a SB3 and a Boom and use my Ipod touch with Ipeng's app. I was a prime candidate to add to the line-up with a Touch, but will likely opt for a nettop computer given the following factors:
-high price of the touch
-relatively low price of 1080p playing nettops
-I'm not an audiophile so the Touch's superior audio compared to nettop+AV amp is not a personal selling point although I can certainly see it is for others
-the Touch is still unavailable (I likely would have purchased in December)

phill
2010-02-06, 17:30
Saw this article today and recalled this thread.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/05/AR2010020504740.html?hpid=sec-tech

bobkoure
2010-02-08, 06:18
...I will likely buy an Acer Aspire R3610 for $300 (Canadian) and install XBMC, SBS and whatever the software-based player is called (squeezeplay, softsqueeze?).

You want squeezeslave (runs at the command line). See this thread (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=63966).
Of course, if you're thinking about the Touch, you might care about 24/96. Squeezeslave AFAIK doesn't support that.

Personally, I've got Squeezeboxen scattered about the house, but 90% of my listening is at my PC. (squeezeslave -> asio -> spdif-> receiver-> near field monitors). Sound is very good. Imaging as good as can be expected with a big honking obstruction (monitor) between the speakers.

More on-thread-topic: I'd expect a HTPC with squeezeslave to also be something Logitech needs to be aware of....

Daverz
2010-02-08, 07:49
and b) they come up with software that approaches the genius of Erland's suite of plugins...

I have the same question: do any of these other systems have anything comparable to CustomScan/CustomBrowse? I'm sure I'd have given up on SB by now without these; it's just too painful to browse a large classical collection album by album. And if any of them provided a tag database with quality metadata for classical music, that would be the killer feature for me.

erland
2010-02-08, 10:53
And if any of them provided a tag database with quality metadata for classical music, that would be the killer feature for me.

I wonder if there are enough Squeezebox Server users that have quality tagged classical music to make a central database ?

I've had some ideas earlier that it could be useful to make it possible to share metadata/tags between users. The main reason I haven't tried this yet is that I'm not sure what bandwidth and storage amount that would be required.

Daverz
2010-02-08, 13:23
I wonder if there are enough Squeezebox Server users that have quality tagged classical music to make a central database ?

I've had some ideas earlier that it could be useful to make it possible to share metadata/tags between users. The main reason I haven't tried this yet is that I'm not sure what bandwidth and storage amount that would be required.

I think storage requirements for a properly normalized database would be fairly modest in modern terms. Hundreds of megabytes, but not gigabytes.

Bandwidth would probably be fairly low if you avoid sending artwork over the line.

But sharing data is not much of a help if there's no data integrity, and the best place to enforce that is in the tagging software itself.

Eventually, I suppose, everyone will download files already tagged by the producers.

snarlydwarf
2010-02-08, 13:50
But sharing data is not much of a help if there's no data integrity, and the best place to enforce that is in the tagging software itself.


I think the big hangup would be religious: tagging "correctly" is a very personal issue.

Daverz
2010-02-09, 06:56
I think the big hangup would be religious: tagging "correctly" is a very personal issue.

People should be able to tag however they want, but submissions to a shared database should follow some standards.

Anyway, this is getting off-topic, but if anyone is interested in pursuing these ideas, let me know.

andyg
2010-02-09, 07:22
Why not work with MusicBrainz to improve their tagging of classical music? That's the obvious answer to this problem.

eq72521
2010-02-09, 16:19
From http://www.olive.us/products/olive4hd/specs.html:


The Olive 4HD Hi-Fi Server is designed and custom-built in San Francisco, expressing the innovative energy of the Silicon Valley and the music passion of the Bay Area.

They're careful not to come out and say it, but I love it when SF tries to associate itself with the Valley.