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View Full Version : iPeng vs. Android apps...?



pipetman
2010-03-01, 09:29
When the SB Touch comes out, I plan to ditch my Duet + Controller. But I'd still like to have a controller with a nice display and thus, I'm looking into some smart phones.

On one hand there's obviously the iPhone + the iPeng app and on the other hand there are a plethora of Android phones + various apps to control SC. iPeng seems to be a well established app. I was just wondering how the Android apps compare to iPeng? Are they pretty much comparable or far worse? In general, I'm not a big fan of Apple and their proprietary software/hardware universe, but if iPeng was vastly superior, I'd bit the bullet.

BTW: I don't foresee to get any data plan with that smartphone, I'm doing just fine with my T-mobile $50/year (yes, that's year not month!) pre-paid voice plan (and yes, I'm that cheap).

gorman
2010-03-01, 10:29
You could get an 8GB iPod Touch. Fully functional iPeng at a fraction of an iPhone cost.

pipetman
2010-03-01, 10:55
I pondered getting the iPod Touch, but my current phone is on its last leg and I like consolidating devices. And I'd probably try to get a cheap iPhone off Craigslist.

mac
2010-03-01, 12:12
Any device that can browse http can control a squeezebox. There is no need to use a specialized app like "iPeng".

http://<your_squeezeserver>:9000

There is a nice compact css that you can enable for screens w/little realestate.

That said, take a look at http://code.google.com/p/android-squeezer/ for the Android platform.

pippin
2010-03-01, 16:07
Any device that can browse http can control a squeezebox. There is no need to use a specialized app like "iPeng".


If you think so, you haven't used one.
iPeng's still a bit ahead on functionality today but if you want to go the Android route I'd recommend SqueezeCommander.

GlenL
2010-03-01, 16:18
Another vote for Squeezecommander on Android here.

Since downloading this app onto my Nexus One, I have pretty much stopped using the Duet Receiver.

m1abrams
2010-03-01, 18:20
Any device that can browse http can control a squeezebox. There is no need to use a specialized app like "iPeng".

http://<your_squeezeserver>:9000

There is a nice compact css that you can enable for screens w/little realestate.

That said, take a look at http://code.google.com/p/android-squeezer/ for the Android platform.

The web browsing experience versus using the dedicated app is night and day. Using the browser is a neat trick to show people, using the dedicated app actually makes it usable. The web browser experience on a portable is far from usable, response time is just too slow.

Muele
2010-03-02, 01:23
There is also the SlimCtrl for Windows Mobile phones.

I have no idea how it compares to the other apps for smartphones. But it beats the crap out of the browserinterface. http://sc.sciatec.de/

The browserinterface is nice for letting your guests access the squeezeboxes. They get quite impressed by that. But for everyday use, its not really an alternative IMO.

bobkoure
2010-03-02, 06:26
Archos has just announced a couple of Android driven tablets, which have much slower processors than the iPad, but will be lots cheaper. They already have a 5" tablet. Dell's coming out with a 5" android-driven smart phone (the archos tablets are not phones).
I'm tempted by the Archos gear, but they don't seem to have the buttons specified in the Android spec - so one of my excuses for buying one (build Android apps) doesn't hold up. Sigh...

bobkoure
2010-03-02, 06:31
The browserinterface ... not really an alternative IMO.
Erm... think "...Served by an old 800 mhz IBM T21 Thinkpad" might have just a little bit to do with that?

pippin
2010-03-02, 07:20
Erm... think "...Served by an old 800 mhz IBM T21 Thinkpad" might have just a little bit to do with that?

No. The web UI is slow. No matter where you run it on.
Browsers on mobile devices are also slow, even on iPhone and Nexus.
WiFi and 3G are slow (high latency) on mobile devices, too.

Muele
2010-03-02, 07:21
Erm... think "...Served by an old 800 mhz IBM T21 Thinkpad" might have just a little bit to do with that?

Could be, but have you tried one of the smartphone apps? Even with the fastest server for the webUI they're not really comparable i think.

slate
2010-03-02, 07:51
No. The web UI is slow. No matter where you run it on.
Browsers on mobile devices are also slow, even on iPhone and Nexus.
WiFi and 3G are slow (high latency) on mobile devices, too.

Regarding browsers; after hearing all the trumpets about how fast the new Firefox and Chrome browsers are I decided to play around when I were building my server last fall. At the time it was running Win7 RC and compared with IE8 I couldn't see any improvements at all. I guess that something in the design of SBS is to blame.

Before we get totally off topic I would like to add that I use SlimCtrl on my Sony Ericsson X1 and is happy about it. Sync settings and all ;-)

m1abrams
2010-03-02, 08:15
Erm... think "...Served by an old 800 mhz IBM T21 Thinkpad" might have just a little bit to do with that?

No that is not the issue. I have a dedicated modern quad-core with 4GB of RAM as my server and the webui is slow on an iphone browser. As pippin stated beyond web interface just being sluggish, mobile devices are slow at rendering pages. Nevermind the added control that Pippin can add to the dedicated app such as the option to keep the connection alive, and disable sleep. Both of which you can not do with a browser interface, and both of which make the device more usable as a remote.

flattermann
2010-03-02, 17:05
Archos has just announced a couple of Android driven tablets, which have much slower processors than the iPad, but will be lots cheaper. They already have a 5" tablet. Dell's coming out with a 5" android-driven smart phone (the archos tablets are not phones).
I'm tempted by the Archos gear, but they don't seem to have the buttons specified in the Android spec - so one of my excuses for buying one (build Android apps) doesn't hold up. Sigh...

The newly announced Archos 7"/8" tablets look nice, but a higher resolution than 800x480 would really be great. Unfortunately, that's (at the moment) the maximum resolution officially supported by Android.

One thing that I also do not like with these tables is that they do not have hard keys for home/menu/back but they display these buttons in the upper part of the display. It works, but you'll probably waste screen space for these buttons... :-(

Furthermore, Archos seems to have some problems with its Android base system. Many users complain about an unresponsive and slow system (at least for the Android 5").

Looks like a great idea with high potential, but the current implementation does not meet the user's expectations. :-(

Locuth
2010-03-02, 21:03
As several authorities have already said - you cannot compare the speed of the web-interface of SqueezeCenter to a native application like iPeng, SqueezeCommander or SlimControl.
The apps are much faster and more intuitive than the browser interface.

Given that these apps cost a fraction of the hardware it all depends on what you are willing to spend on the hardware. And what you'll be doing with it besides controlling your SqueezeBox.

If you fancy an iPhone - go get it and iPeng comes for like 2% extra money.
Same for an Android phone & SqueezeCommander.

If you merely want to control your SqueezeBox get a PDA for 30 bucks and SlimControl for another 15.
If you want to be able to make phone calls with your 'controller' get a reasonably priced smartphone like a HTC + SlimControl.

Just my 2c.
Sebastian

hunta
2010-03-03, 06:39
I have both iPeng on an 8GB iPod Touch and SqueezeController on a Nexus One.

iPeng is a more mature product and is therefore more robust and has been through one or two visual overhauls.

SqueezeController is less mature with the very occasional glitch here and there but I wouldn't say it's flaky by any means. Some might say the navigation is slightly more intuitive, although the cosmetics are still being worked on (I'm helping out on the beta programme).

One major plus for Android is the lack of restrictions on what is and isn't allowed. For instance, downloading tracks or whole albums / artists at a time to local storage is implemented in SqueezeController, but apparently disallowed (though theoretically easy to implement) by the Apple Police in their infinite wisdom. It's the principle of that which really jars for me to be honest.

In terms of applications, until one or other brings streamed playing in first there's little in it. Both will take the place of a Controller easily. You're better off focusing on your other demands for the device. If it comes down to Apple vs. Android, I'd say that rests largely on whether you're someone who likes an easy, always-works-in-its-potentially-proscriptive way approach or something more flexible, open source with the pit-falls that go with it.

FWIW I found myself in the second category.

flattermann
2010-03-03, 08:54
I have both iPeng on an 8GB iPod Touch and SqueezeController on a Nexus One.

s/Controller/Commander/ ;-)

hunta
2010-03-03, 11:49
s/Controller/Commander/ ;-)

Oops. Sorry, my bad.

I must re-read my posts.
I must re-read my posts.
I must re-read my posts.
...

:-)