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Eivindz
2010-02-26, 05:59
Can you give me any good reasons for buying the SB controller instead of an ipod touch (which is much more than a remote control and costs approx. the same)?

andynormancx
2010-02-26, 06:13
Hardware buttons. That is the main advantage.

In theory the Controller has the advantage that it is always a Squeezebox Controller, i.e. you pick it up and use it, rather than having to pick up the iPod and load the right app. In practice because the Controller has to take aggressive power saving measures to get good battery life this advantage isn't as convincing as it could be. It takes a lot longer for the Controller to wake from sleep than it does to open iPeng.

I've got an iPhone and a Controller, if I had neither I'd probably buy an iPod Touch before buying a Controller.

aubuti
2010-02-26, 06:19
You can use the SBC to set up the SB Duet Receiver (SBR). If you have an SBR but not an SBC, you can use the Net::UDAP utility to setup the SBR. The utility works fine for most people, but some find it beyond their abilities or comfort levels. Obviously this is only relevant if you have an SBR, or plan to get one.

mherger
2010-02-26, 06:21
> It takes
> a lot longer for the Controller to wake from sleep than it does to open
> iPeng.

Did you actually measure this? It's not true for me. Maybe my iPod is 1st generation or otherwise slow. But starting iPeng and wait for it to find my server actually takes longer than picking up the Controllen when in standby. I timed this several times. The difference is minor, but it's there.

The only advantage for iPod/iPeng I could see in this comparison was that it's much more fun pressing a button or two, than watching a spinny for the same amount of time... and it has a penguin on the startup screen.

But then the iPhone 3GS is said to be 2x faster than the previous model. Maybe they improved the iPod as well.

simonjedrake
2010-02-26, 06:46
Can you give me any good reasons for buying the SB controller instead of an ipod touch (which is much more than a remote control and costs approx. the same)?

As an owner of both a SBC & an itouch running iPeng for a long time, I would 100% vote for the itouch option. It is just so much more user friendly, fast & brilliant display. My SBC works reliabably & does what it is meant to but its display is just too small.
If you can wait, how about the new ipad - now that will be "cooking on gas" with the ipeng app - as well as everything else it it will do.
Simon

andynormancx
2010-02-26, 06:46
> It takes
> a lot longer for the Controller to wake from sleep than it does to open
> iPeng.

Did you actually measure this?
Just did a quick test, of "wake and pause":

- Controller 16 seconds
- iPeng 10 seconds

The difference was bigger last time I tested it, with the Controller closer to 30 seconds than 15. Looks like the wake has been speeded up in recent firmwares, which is good.

This is with an iPhone 3G, a 3GS would be a bit faster at launching iPeng.

Of course if I was using a iPod Touch as a direct dedicated replacement for a Controller then I'd jailbreak it and set iPeng to run in the background ;)

mherger
2010-02-26, 06:55
> This is with an iPhone 3G, a 3GS would be a bit faster at launching
> iPeng.

Oh, one more difference might be iPhod vs. iPhone: the latter usually is on, as it's a phone. But iPod is in standby too: hit button, slide to unlock, start iPeng. Might be a few more seconds. Ok then. I need a new toy. My 2yr old iPod is just too slow :-)

Eivindz
2010-02-26, 07:04
This was really helpful. Thanks a lot!

I'll go with the ipod.

andynormancx
2010-02-26, 07:18
Oh, one more difference might be iPhod vs. iPhone: the latter usually is on, as it's a phone. But iPod is in standby too: hit button, slide to unlock, start iPeng. Might be a few more seconds. Ok then. I need a new toy. My 2yr old iPod is just too slow :-)
My iPhone tests included pressing the button and unlocking, just the same as it would be with an iPod Touch.

andynormancx
2010-02-26, 07:21
It doesn't help that the Controller does actually appear to honour the suspend timing setting. If I set it to 2400 or 3600 seconds it appears to ignore the setting and suspend after 20 minutes or so. I really should check sometime whether that is a currently logged bug. Given that most albums last 40 minutes, suspending after 20 minutes isn't very useful for me.

Oddly though it does honour the setting if I set it to 60 seconds.

Rick B.
2010-02-26, 08:26
Isn't the biggest difference that you can listen to your music via headphones with the Controller, but not with the iPod?

andynormancx
2010-02-26, 08:31
Isn't the biggest difference that you can listen to your music via headphones with the Controller, but not with the iPod?
It would be, if it worked. In practice it isn't really usable, even with the various tweaks.

It was only ever a beta function, which kind of worked ok on 7.3.x but isn't listenable to any more on 7.4.x

iPeng will almost certainly gain player functionality reasonably soon, so that difference won't apply either.

Rick B.
2010-02-26, 08:34
It would be, if it worked. In practice it isn't really usable, even with the various tweaks.

It was only ever a beta function, which kind of worked ok on 7.3.x but isn't listenable to any more on 7.4.x

iPeng will almost certainly gain player functionality reasonably soon, so that difference won't apply either.

Ahh! I'm still on 7.3.3. I guess this is another reason why I won't be upgrading to 7.4.

I do have an iPod Touch with iPeng and a Controller - I'd be thrilled if the iPeng becomes a player, too!

MadScientist
2010-02-26, 09:21
For me a big plus with the Controller is that it can be fairly easily tweaked (by adding an applet) to provide IR control for your amp (volume plus on/off). I use mine to control my Meridian G68. That's not something you can easily do the iTouch for those of us who want the digital volume fixed at 100% in the server

MS

mustbemad
2010-02-26, 09:39
I Cant comment on one being faster than the other as I only have iPeng running on a jailbroken 3Gs. Its a great solution and works flawlessly. One of my players is a SBR and I found it pretty easy to set it up with UDAP, but there does seem to be a bug in the SBR DHCP client which can make it lock up - use a static IP address & its fine.

A couple of things you can do to make iPeng start up faster:

Increase the beacon frequency on your wifi AP - this will reduce the available throughput a little, but will mean that devices pick the network up faster. Mine's usually ready to go < 2 seconds after the wifi is connected (which might take another second or so).

In iPeng, theres an option to keep the connection up when the phone sleeps - as long as you don't exit the app. I'm jailbroken, so I leave it running - then theres no delay at all :)

If you're jailbroken then I highly recommend using Kirikae to switch between apps - it absolutely 'Makes' Backgrounder...

mustbemad
2010-02-26, 12:10
Oh - forgot to add, if you use the powersave & powercentre plugins, you can get the squeezebox to switch on amps etc via X10 - and switch them off again after n minutes of inactivity - works a treat...

youngml2009
2010-02-26, 19:08
Although the controller is a nice device, ipeng on iPod touch/iPhone is amazing. A couple of points in favor of ipeng. First, with ipeng you can read the text of menu items, album names, radio station names, etc., very easily. The typeface for the controller is too big for the screen and you can't see the text easily without waiting for it to scroll. The menus in 7.4 were clearly designed with the SB Radio and Touch in mind, not the Controller. Second, if you want to search for something by entering text, with ipeng you can use the iPod/iphone's pop-up on screen keyboard. While some may not be thrilled by that keyboard, it is SO much easier than entering text with the Controller's scroll wheel. These may not be huge points, but they have made my use of my Squeezeboxes so much more enjoyable.

Brian Ritchie
2010-02-27, 17:52
I borrowed an iPod Touch just to try iPeng. At first, I couldn't get on with it all, because I couldn't get the swipe gesture to work - often, instead of changing screens, it would select a different track, sometimes wiping my playlist completely. Then I took the thick rubber skin off... :-) Turned out it was preventing me swiping to the edge of the screen - and that appears to be crucial for iPeng.

I'd considered switching to iPeng as I'd had lots of problems with the controller disconnecting too frequently, and thought it was turning to slok; but since then, I've discovered that not only do I need to disable wireless power save (or whatever it's called), but I need to keep doing it, as it gets reset (for no obvious reason). With that, the controller is OK (albeit a little more power-hungry).

There are many ways in which I prefer iPeng over the Controller: a single screen that shows all my Squeezeboxen, and lets me sync or unsync them easily (though I'm still occasionally surprised by the sync direction); it's quicker to switch between players; being able to move tracks around in the current playlist; and physical and screen size.

I've noticed one tiny quirk: sometimes when I launch a MusicIP mix, the playlist view doesn't update properly, and still shows the old playlist beyond the current track. I find some of the screen buttons difficult to press in iPeng; for example, it can take me a while to change the shuffle mode. I still get some of the gestures wrong occasionally, so for example, instead of dragging the playlist, I end up switching to whatever song was under my finger at what I thought was the start of the drag gesture.

(Perhaps I should add that the borrowed Touch is 1st-gen; perhaps a 3rd-gen would perform better.)

There's one reason why I still tend to use the Controller a lot, and that is that I often want to do other things with the iPod, such as check my mail, surf the web, or just play some silly game - and I have to shut down iPeng to do any of these things. I can't *quite* justify having two iPod Touches :-)

Recently, we've started to get IP conflicts on our network, and I think I've pinned it down to the Touch and our router not quite using DNS properly when reconnecting after sleep. Should be simple to fix, though (just switch to fixed IP addresses for known kit).

Overall, if I didn't already have a Controller, I probably wouldn't bother. If I already had a Touch, getting iPeng would be a no-brainer. (I'm still using the borrowed Touch - must get my own sometime! but the original owner isn't missing it.) Bear in mind though that I rarely use my Controller as a player - I might feel differently if I did.

-- Brian

andynormancx
2010-02-28, 01:15
I borrowed an iPod Touch just to try iPeng. At first, I couldn't get on with it all, because I couldn't get the swipe gesture to work - often, instead of changing screens, it would select a different track, sometimes wiping my playlist completely. Then I took the thick rubber skin off... :-) Turned out it was preventing me swiping to the edge of the screen - and that appears to be crucial for iPeng.

Getting close to the edge of the screen for that sideways swipe gesture isn't at all crucial for iPeng. I can kick of the gesture using an area in the centre of the screen little smaller than the end of my thumb.

I think the issue is more likely that you just aren't an experienced iPod Touch/iPhone user. Most people coming to iPeng are likely to have been using their Apple touch screen for a while and the sideways swipe is probably more natural to them. It takes a while to get used to the fact that gestures have inertial, meaning you don't need to move your finger as much as you expect, flick aggressively to the side and the whole gesture will complete without moving your finger much at all.

Mind you, the swipe is harder to get right in iPeng than on say the Apple homescreen, because the lists you are swiping can also scroll vertically.

I expect you'll get better with practice, especially if you spend some time web browsing etc on it.

pippin
2010-02-28, 02:43
Brian,
Are you probably still using iPeng 1.1.2?
The scrolling got much easier with 1.2 and I don't think you can still get confused about the sync direction.
The iPeng update is free but you'd need the iPod firmware update to 3.0 or later which is $5.

andynormancx
2010-02-28, 03:19
Ah yes, good point, I hadn't considered that he might be using the older version. Does the app store still offer up the old version to people who haven't updated their firmware to match the one needed by the current version ?