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herbman
2010-04-16, 07:31
Hey all,

I've had a slimp3 since sometime in 2003, running some late 4.x server and updating regularly to my current 7.5 install on linux. I've been keeping my eyes open for quite a while, thinking about when to upgrade. I've been considering the boom, the radio, the touch for a bit, but I hold reservations about current quality.

I know back in the day (slimp3, sb1(no g, g), etc.) that many people would have issues with the server responses, etc.. but as an experienced user/sysadmin-type I could always work with whatever. With the motion towards the player-side thicker logic, it seems that the general quality level is a bit more challenged these days.

My question: For slim-experienced and generally technically capable folks, are the new devices production-stable enough for daily use? Which is best? I'd be inclined to think the boom just from its legacy design sw-wise. Do people feel that the boom will be on its way out soon to be replaced by a similar squeezeplay-based device? I don't want to get a boom and then have it feel like a stepchild in 1-2 releases, but I'd prefer it over radio for the sound quality.

Since I already have the slimp3 in the living room, this next one would be more likely a bedroom or kitchen purchase.

snarlydwarf
2010-04-16, 07:43
I know back in the day (slimp3, sb1(no g, g), etc.) that many people would have issues with the server responses, etc.. but as an experienced user/sysadmin-type I could always work with whatever. With the motion towards the player-side thicker logic, it seems that the general quality level is a bit more challenged these days.

hrm, I don't think so.. certainly there is more complexity and complexity causes problems.. but I'd say the vast majority of problems are "cross platform" (ie, wireless, mysql, some SBS services, etc).



My question: For slim-experienced and generally technically capable folks, are the new devices production-stable enough for daily use? Which is best? I'd be inclined to think the boom just from its legacy design sw-wise. Do people feel that the boom will be on its way out soon to be replaced by a similar squeezeplay-based device? I don't want to get a boom and then have it feel like a stepchild in 1-2 releases, but I'd prefer it over radio for the sound quality.


The boom is rock solid, but the 'best' would depend on the application....



Since I already have the slimp3 in the living room, this next one would be more likely a bedroom or kitchen purchase.

Sounds like Boom or Radio. Which would be ideal depends on the form factor you need, and perhaps portability. (The Boom wins for better/louder sound, but, then the radio can run off batteries... when the sun comes out here I wonder if I should bring my Radio back home to take outside... or keep using the boom for that...)

Considering current SBS still supports slimp3's (just not on the touch since the 'slimmer' clients take more server work), I wouldn't worry about "stepchild" products.

Now if only other Consumer Electronic products had such a great lifespan.

pfarrell
2010-04-16, 07:54
herbman wrote:
> I know back in the day (slimp3, sb1(no g, g), etc.) that many people
> would have issues with the server responses, etc.. but as an
> experienced user/sysadmin-type I could always work with whatever. With
> the motion towards the player-side thicker logic, it seems that the
> general quality level is a bit more challenged these days.

I'm not sure I'd agree. The old Slim Devices were slim and stupid. It
was easy for them to be reliable. Of course, bad Wifi and other issues
still caused problems for them, but once you had a proper server setup,
they worked.

> Which is best? I'd be inclined to think the boom just from its legacy
> design sw-wise. Do people feel that the boom will be on its way out
> soon to be replaced by a similar squeezeplay-based device?

All computer stuff is on its way out, the day its released.

There are too many products in the lineup to answer "what's best"
without knowing you requirements.

I've been beta testing a Touch for over a year, and I think its solid
enough for production, but it is a release 1.0 product. And its a lot
different than the old Slim Devices, its got a full blown Linux in it,
so its not as reliable, yet, as the old fixed function devices. And
there is a bit of a problem that it doesn't yet do everything that the
SB3/Classic did.

Between the Radio and the Boom, I prefer the sound of the Boom and do
not need the small size of the Radio. If you are space constrained, you
may prefer the Radio. Its no secret that the Radio firmware is a release
1.0 product, and while its been out for some time, 99% of the
engineering effort has gone to the Touch. Thus there are some known
issues with the Radio. I expect them to get fixed fairly soon now that
the Touch has been launched.



--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

herbman
2010-04-16, 08:10
I guess my primary concern is that I seem to get some willies about depending on a squeezeplay device, since everything seems so shaky right now. I know with the boom i'd get my reliable and familiar experience, but the newer features of the GUIs tempt.

I think if I had to make a purchase right now it would be the boom, but I'm inclined to stay on the sidelines a little longer and see how well the squeezeplay-platform devices stabilize. If something boom-sized and boom-sound-quality came out with a (matured) squeezeplay interface, that would be the ideal for me.

pippin
2010-04-16, 08:33
Radio was very shaky when it came out and so was the 7.4 server release.
To me, 7.5 looks much more stable and I've been using the Touch for a long time now without experiencing any serious issues for some months.

Radio is still a little bit less stable but the unit I mainly use is a beta one with an early revision of the hardware which prints a nice warning that "not everything is supported on this device" on every boot, maybe that has an edge in it, too. Plus, I know Logitech eventually want it back for that reason (that it will eventually be no longer supported).

The only real glitch I'm still seeing in all SqueezePlay devices is one related to having more than one server in the network all of which use authentication when switching devices between them. If you don't have such a setup, this probably doesn't apply to you if you do, be prepared to use a non-Squeezeplay device to switch them.

andynormancx
2010-04-16, 08:33
I have a couple of Booms, a Radio, a Receiver and a Controller. I don't find my Radio to be any less stable/reliable than the others. However I don't use the alarm or a direct connection mysqueezebox.com, which seems to be where most of the pain occurs.

Goodsounds
2010-04-16, 08:44
I guess my primary concern is that I seem to get some willies about depending on a squeezeplay device, since everything seems so shaky right now. I know with the boom i'd get my reliable and familiar experience, but the newer features of the GUIs tempt.


I get the willies thinking about having to listen to music through a device that arguably was obsoleted 5 years ago.

For many people, the relevant quality factor is sound quality. While you've been waiting on the sidelines, many increasingly capable and excellent versions of these devices have provided great service to a lot of people.

The product you have would be unacceptable to most people these days. I'm not sure what you're waiting for and frankly I suspect it's not so clear to you either.

herbman
2010-04-16, 08:50
I get the willies thinking about having to listen to music through a device that arguably was obsoleted 5 years ago.

For many people, the relevant quality factor is sound quality. While you've been waiting on the sidelines, many increasingly capable and excellent versions of these devices have provided great service to a lot of people.

The product you have would be unacceptable to most people these days. I'm not sure what you're waiting for and frankly I suspect it's not so clear to you either.

My device doesn't give me the willies because it's proven over the long term, so it's not a consideration that it would stop working unless something finally fries or the server support drops. You're correct in the fact that I'm not 100% sure what I'm waiting for either, but this was an attempt to get a feel from more experienced users over the years about the current state of things, in context. I could look at all the negative posts and conclude that things are bad, but I know better from both my knowledge of the product history and my awareness of internet forums.

I'm detecting a small note of hostility in some of these responses. I'm really just asking some questions and expressing some concerns; there's no need to jump on me for it. I was an early supporter and will likely be a future supporter, I'm just trying to get a grasp on the best timing for what will work for me.

snarlydwarf
2010-04-16, 08:59
I'm detecting a small note of hostility in some of these responses. I'm really just asking some questions and expressing some concerns; there's no need to jump on me for it. I was an early supporter and will likely be a future supporter, I'm just trying to get a grasp on the best timing for what will work for me.

I don't think any hostility was intended.

But your problem reminds me of an ex.. She took a photography class three years or so ago, and the instructor insisted everyone use film, not digital cameras. The logic was 'digital cameras are outdated as soon as you buy them, so you should invest in film'.

Total nonsense: unless you pay a small fortune for a top of the line slr and lenses and film, film is outdated already. Yes, there will always be "something better" coming in the future.. but you deprive yourself of the present for that.

(Not to mention, especially for students, digital is a gift: feel free to waste as many shots as you learn, it substantially lowers the cost of experimentation.)

So, yeah, some year there will be a Boom2 (or would it be Radio++?). There will be a SuperTouch or whatever. But why deprive yourself of present and near-term (for some definition of that... who knows if it will be a year or 4?) in hopes of that future product, which will also be superceded at some point...

If you have the money, choose the player that suits your needs, it's silly to wait for future technology.

BigPotato
2010-04-16, 09:18
Come on in the water is fine!

I've never used a slimp3, but I'm still using my original SB1 along with a couple of SB3's and 3 Radios. A Touch is on the way. I've had very little serious trouble with any of them. I'm very picky about household technology, if it requires too much futzing or my wife won't use it then it gets canned in short order. My experience is the that the SB1 and the SB3's are 100% rock solid. The Radio's used to crash every once in a while, but it never caused much inconvenience. They just restart and everything is fine. I've not had any crashes with the 7.5.0 firmware (yet).

Caveats:

I'm running SBS on a highly reliable server machine that is always on and has a wired connection.
I rarely use MySB.
I never use the alarm functions (though I use sleep every day and it works fine for me).
All my squeezeboxes either wired or have solid wireless connections to a good reliable router.

To sum it up: for me the newer devices just work like appliances should. I push a button and music comes out.

DigitalMitch
2010-04-16, 09:29
The only real glitch I'm still seeing in all SqueezePlay devices is one related to having more than one server in the network all of which use authentication when switching devices between them. If you don't have such a setup, this probably doesn't apply to you if you do, be prepared to use a non-Squeezeplay device to switch them.

Pippin,

is this just a switching issue or could it destabilise the STS into rebuffering, stalling andother music performance issues?

I guess it explains why my controller connected to full SBS can't see any devices connectedto STS.

Sorry for hijacking.

Mitch

Goodsounds
2010-04-16, 10:58
No hostility intended. Snarly's response captures my thoughts.

You realize that the device you are holding with a death grip is little more than a proof-of-concept prototype that was developed by a seat of the pants, under-financed start-up. The DACs and other components have in stages been seriously upgraded and enhanced, the firmware significantly improved, the capabilities expanded immeasurably. You're using current server versions, you get that, but you're passing the sound through two cans connected by a length of string.

You'll enjoy any current product you buy and will find them to be (almost) trouble-free. Mine have been trouble free, but I understand everyone has a different setup and different experiences. It's nothing to have concern about, and that is coming from someone (me) who is not a techie person.

I've seen guys out surfing who pass on most waves and just keep waiting for the perfect wave. It never comes.

Soulkeeper
2010-04-16, 13:09
I have a Duet. I find the Receiver to be flawless. The Controller is not quite as stable (no surprise, as it's much more complex), but it's usable, and it's a fun nerdy gizmo. The Duet in effect gives me two players in one... or two, YMMV.

Today I just bought myself a 3 months old secondhand Boom on the Internet, for half the price of a new one. Can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm going to build myself a battery for it, warranty be damned!

Should you buy a Boom? I checked it out in a store, and it was heavy. Heavy means quality. Plus, people here say it's rock solid. I have no idea what you are waiting for. ;)

pippin
2010-04-16, 13:22
is this just a switching issue or could it destabilise the STS into rebuffering, stalling andother music performance issues?

No, this only affects moving players between servers with a SqueezePlay user interface. The bug is in the user interface for the switching, I believe. If you move them using iPeng (:D ) it works fine and as long as you keep them where they are, it also works fine. This is typically an issue for me with the Controller, which I sometimes switch to use it's headset output. Rebooting the Controller helps.


I guess it explains why my controller connected to full SBS can't see any devices connectedto STS.

Is "STS" the touch? Then it doesn't explain it because the Touch doesn't have authentication (it doesn't have a web UI either through which you could set that).
If "STS" is an older server: only servers with the same sofware generation (7.4 and 7.5 being "same") can see each other's players. It also usually takes a while until that info is communicated.

Mnyb
2010-04-16, 13:37
SqueezePlay was introduced in the controller, so the majority of pain was with that release.
It's now 2-3 years later and it is much better.

pippin
2010-04-17, 00:55
SqueezePlay was introduced in the controller, so the majority of pain was with that release.
It's now 2-3 years later and it is much better.

Not as a player. That was planned with Touch and came with Radio. It's getting stable right now as you can see in the FLAC thread.

You can have as many beta testers as you like, you will never cover the combined experience of thousands of users so you will inevitably miss some issues.

However, IMHO Touch has been one of the more stable releases I've seen on the Squeezebox side, especially since it only had big changes in the device firmware while the big changes in the server and MySB were made for Radio with 7.5 mainly bringing in fixes.

DigitalMitch
2010-04-17, 11:38
Pippin,

thanks for reply - main switching problem is controller.
unfortnuately the wifi on my iPhone has died so I am without iPeng - which has always been the only sensible inetrface for multiple servers/players and sync.
pondering whether I could use 3G and get back into my network that way? but only a month til phone conract up and chance to upgrade.

STS is shorthand for Squeezebox Touch Server - I thought I picked that up from somewhere, but can't find where. I think it is convenient to distinguish from a full SBS and makes more sense than TinySC.

Back to OP - I agree with othr comments 7.5 and Touch as player has been a very clean release. I seem to be having problems with Touch as a server but not seeing many others with same issue. I didn't think Touch as a player would be as good as an SB3 for cross-room visibility, now I've got one I think the colour screen on Touch is better with albumart plus the touch and Squeezeplay interface.

Mitch

pfarrell
2010-04-17, 11:56
DigitalMitch wrote:
> STS is shorthand for Squeezebox Touch Server - I thought I picked that
> up from somewhere, but can't find where. I think it is convenient to
> distinguish from a full SBS and makes more sense than TinySC.

You want names to make sense ??? :-)

When the Touch software OS was first developed, the real server was
called SqueezeCenter. So calling it TinySC made sense, it was a smaller,
lighter, less feature full SqueezeCenter.

Somewhere along the process, SqueezeCenter became SqueezeBoxServer.
Renamed by some marketing dude, I assme.

So TinySBS would be more accurate, but the old beta testers are used to
calling it TinySC.

One big advantage to calling it TinyFoo for some Foo, is that a fair
number of the recent posts in the Touch forum are asking why feature X
or Y is not there.

In short, it ain't there because its a TinyFoo, running on a Tiny CPU
with what is realistically a tiny amount of ram.

> Back to OP - I agree with othr comments 7.5 and Touch as player has
> been a very clean release. I seem to be having problems with Touch as a
> server but not seeing many others with same issue. I didn't think Touch
> as a player would be as good as an SB3 for cross-room visibility

Have you tried the 10 foot fonts? One of the interesting observations
about the Touch is that if you want to be able to touch it, and don't
have ten foot long arms, what you want in a UI is totally different than
what you want as a SB3/Classic replacement, where you never touch it,
and use it from far away.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

DigitalMitch
2010-04-17, 13:30
DigitalMitch wrote:
> STS is shorthand for Squeezebox Touch Server - I thought I picked that
> up from somewhere, but can't find where. I think it is convenient to
> distinguish from a full SBS and makes more sense than TinySC.

You want names to make sense ??? :-)

not necessarily ;-) just some consistency would be nice - I keep an eye on Beta so I'm comfortable with TinySC, but that's in no documentation that a noob would see. I've fallen into the trap of using something else that equally isn't understood by all (and sorry can't find where I 'learnt' it from).


Have you tried the 10 foot fonts? One of the interesting observations
about the Touch is that if you want to be able to touch it, and don't
have ten foot long arms, what you want in a UI is totally different than
what you want as a SB3/Classic replacement, where you never touch it,
and use it from far away.

I think I was expecting worse distance performance and therefore Touch has exceeded my expectation. I am frequently sat close enough to my two SB3's for the 10 foot font not to be an issue and for long distance would use SBC or iPeng. Therefore the touch interface is an added feature to an SB3. I accept that the 10 foot font may be an issue for some.

apologies if the format of reponse is messed up, trying to improve my forum skills.

pippin
2010-04-17, 13:55
pondering whether I could use 3G and get back into my network that way?

OT, but..
Yes, that works. You need:

a) Set username & password on your server and run nothing critical on it since I'm not sure all this is safe.
b) open a port on your router ("aPort") and connect it to port 9000 on your Squeezebox Server (or the Touch)
c) Get a Dyndns domain ("foo.bar") and configure that in your router
d) in iPeng add a server manually (Settings->iPeng Settings->Add Server) and enter "foo.bar:aPort".
e) on the multiPlayer screen (swipe right on NowPlaying) select "foo.bar" under "Music Sources". Done.

Or you only use MySB in whcih case you need to do nothing but select it as a music source in iPeng.