PDA

View Full Version : Time for a speculation thread...



FredFredrickson
2011-02-28, 09:33
What's the next big squeezebox going to be?

My guess is a touchscreen boom, or a touchscreen remote. The touch with a battery, and no audio capabilities.

Ideas?

I don't want this thread to degrade into pointless logitech killing the franchise arguments. Just ideas about the next squeezebox.

Mnyb
2011-02-28, 09:52
"Duet 2"

Controller 2 .

because the current one is way behind the smartphone apps, to slow etc to small display etc, ( or simply endorse one of the current apps and bundle players with an iPod Touch )

Reciever 2 .

Support for more formats on the device, this would make spotify work on it and also fit the goal to make sbs run on smaller servers (like the Touch) by getting rid off as much transcoding as possible , will have 24/96 .
(In my dreams a decent setup facility ) .

This would not differ much from Touch in price but the Recievers form-factor size and stow away capacity is very wanted by many .

autopilot
2011-02-28, 09:56
I would buy...

A Touch 2, with more memory, faster processor and improved USB implementation, which can run it's embedded SBS really stably (i have very few problems, but it appears many do in certain circumstances).

A Boom/Touch hybrid would be great too.

As for a touchscreen remote - Not sure about that. With the ubiquity of smart phones i think it would be better to concentrate on the player itself.

Would a move to Android be a good thing?

maggior
2011-02-28, 09:57
A touchscreen Boom would be interesting. If not touchscreen, at least a color screen. I think the Boom is the next logical device to get updated.

I'd like to see the buttons and knob remain and the screen updated to color. I like the knob on the Boom. I think it's easier to use than swipes on a touch screen.

maggior
2011-02-28, 10:02
As for a touchscreen remote - Not sure about that. With the ubiquity of smart phones i think it would be better to concentrate on the player itself.


I agree. It would be nice if Logitech could provide the iPhone app for free, like Sonos does. But that would mean Logitech would taking over things like iPeng. That probably wouldn't be good.

slate
2011-02-28, 10:40
It would make sense to work on replacements for the ip3k based products.
I do not see the point of sticking a touchscreen in the box; the screen shoukd really be at hand.
But with the abundance of 3 party apps that we have, why should Logitech use time on making a new controller. They can't make it better nor cheaper than a smartphont

Look at the Sonos camp, how they have to wait for the apps to appear for the different platforms.

I think that Logitech should keep their focus on the infrastructure; SBS, hardware and firmware

erland
2011-02-28, 11:24
What's the next big squeezebox going to be?

Some thoughts follows below:

Receiver 2:
- Based on SqueezeOS, basically a Touch without the screen.
- One issue is that it needs faster CPU and more memory to be usable as a SBS replacement with its built-in server.
- Another issue is that Logitech probably learned some lessons from the Reciever which didn't have a screen and caused a support headache.
- Based on this I'm not sure this is a very probable product, it's probably better for them to make a Touch 2 but it feels a bit early for that.


Touch 2:
- A Touch with faster CPU, more memory and a 1 inch larger screen.
- The Touch get a lot of complaints for its built-in server which could result in a Touch 2 but since users have the workaround to run SBS on a PC I'm not sure it's a priority.
- The Touch also gets a some complaints for it's text visibility from a distance but I don't think it's enough to result in a Touch 2 this soon after the Touch release.


Boom 2:
- A Boom based on SqueezeOS with a color display, possibly with a touch display and possibly with a battery option.
- Makes sense to get rid of IP3K architecture, the question is just if it provides enough advantages compared to the Radio which is already available. The main difference would probably be stereo vs mono and I'm not sure it's enough considering the fact that it will probably be in the same price range as the Touch.


Picture Frame:
- A display only device which is fairly cheap and can be used as a large display to view what's playing from a distance. With the right price this could be a huge success, an open source picture frame would be possible to use for a lot of other things than just displaying what's currently playing.


Controller 2:
- A Controller with a Touch screen.
- This doesn't make any sense at all to me, there is no way Logitech can provide anything close to the Android/iPhone/iPad based hardware. It's a lot better for them to focus on including the current third party offerings in their marketing strategy.


Harmony Controller:
- A harmony remote with two way Squeezebox communication, basically a Harmony remote with hard buttons but also with integrated Controller functionality.
- I believe this could be a potential success, it would also be a way to both get the Harmony technology into Squeezebox owners home and get the Squeezebox devices into Harmony owners home.
- Even if some new devices can be controlled over IP, the IR interface is still going to exist for a long time.


Revue 2:
- A Logitech Revue with Squeezebox support. This would also be a great way to extend the Squeezebox family, the question is just if the Revue has been successful enough to continue building future products on. It's obvious that it provides great functionality but it's also obvious that it's still a bit too geeky for the mass market.
- I'm not sure this requires new hardware, it might be possible with a software update of the existing Revue.

Muele
2011-02-28, 11:38
I think they should put their money on UPNP/DNLA support on the serverside.
And make the Touch support network-drives, with just the DB stored on usb/memorycard.

Regarding new models, there must be something coming up pretty soon or there never will IMHO.

If we look back at the rate of release of new products. The next product has always been well under development when a product was released.(Edit: at least as far back as I know the history og Squeeze.) The Touch was greatly delayed, so the HW developers has had lots of time finishing their part of the new product(s). I haven't really been following beta lately, so I have no idea what big issues could keep the new product(s) from appearing (if software is the reason for them not to have been released yet).

I agree with those that think The Boom is next in line to be replaced. However, then what about the work being done on "Onebrowser"? wouldn't that generally be wasted? Sorry if I overlook something important in Onebrowser. As mentioned I haven't been following beta since 7.5.0 or 7.5.1

I personally would like to see a touch with amplifier capabilities and OEM licensing.

erland
2011-02-28, 11:57
If we look back at the rate of release of new products. The next product has always been well under development when a product was released.(Edit: at least as far back as I know the history og Squeeze.) The Touch was greatly delayed, so the HW developers has had lots of time finishing their part of the new product(s). I haven't really been following beta lately, so I have no idea what big issues could keep the new product(s) from appearing (if software is the reason for them not to have been released yet).

Logitech has done at least two reorganizations during the development of Radio and Touch which affected the Squeezebox resources so this might have slowed down the product development a bit. They might also have used some of the hardware engineers for the Revue development which occurred during the same time and probably needs similar skills.



I agree with those that think The Boom is next in line to be replaced. However, then what about the work being done on "Onebrowser"? wouldn't that generally be wasted? Sorry if I overlook something important in Onebrowser. As mentioned I haven't been following beta since 7.5.0 or 7.5.1

"onebrowser" would still be important unless they plan to drop support for old products. Since the same mysqueezebox.com is used for both old and new products, I'm pretty sure dropping support in the server for everything based on the IP3K platform isn't an option.

Mnyb
2011-02-28, 12:38
Replacing all ip3k based machines and make all squeezeplay products have the same capacity for file formats would be logical .


Touch is very capable just dump the useless Tiny server and use the cpu for other things and that platform can be enhanced for years to come.

But you got to have new products it's good for marketing, we that that owns squeezeboxes realizes how many years they actually provide essential functionality and they get better each year, but it migth be hard to get trough in advertising, so lure the market in with yet another product migth work.

Boom also has it's dsp and digital xover so it sound better than radio .

You really could rationalize the whole product range to 2 products .

Boom 2 (instead of Radio and Boom )

Touch as is with better fw for now until replaced with Touch 2 ,reintroduce the built in server with Touch 2 .

With built in amp ? no , amps are built better by others. And there is another promising trend you actually see more and more active speakers that is not so expensive (like the new Audiopro range ).

What they could do that would be a paradigm shift to fill the hole after the transporter, would be a complete "home theater preamp" and squeezebox thing in audiphile class with capacity for multi channel music, maybe include revue functionality too. with DSP for room correction etc all in open source + 7.1 analogue outputs hdmi switching.

But the small and unpredictable audiophile market may not be their target these days.

jean2
2011-02-28, 15:41
A mix of logical extrapolations and wishes.

Boom2 : Basically a Radio with two speakers. Same screen as Radio if they want to keep cost down, or maybe the Touch touch screen if they want market differentiation (most likely not). Make sure audio quality is there to differentiate from the Radio.

Classic2 : Basically a Radio without the speaker nor the battery but with both RCA and digital output, in a small package. It still has the buttons and the screen of the Radio so can be used and configured standalone (no controller needed - addresses shortcomings of Receiver). It maxes at 44.1/24 and has a normal quality DAC, to differentiate it from the Touch. With the removal/addition, and because it uses the same volume parts as the Radio, its price should be similar to the price of the Radio, and consequently similar to the price of the Receiver. It replaces both the Receiver and the Classic, and extend in the low end of the market and compete with upcoming products in that space.

Touch2 : twice the CPU, twice the memory, twice the audio spec (192 MHz), twice the screen size, twice the USB connectors (for USB audio out). TinySB with web-interface and plug-ins. Move further upmarket.

Controller2 : get an unbranded OEM phone from HTC, put Logitech custom firmware on it. That would be probably the most efficient way to move forward with the controller, as dedicated hardware will end up either too expensive or underpowered, and also not as power efficient (volume is key). The loss of the scroll wheel and buttons is the big challenge UI wise, but the Touch shows they may be able to pull it.

Transporter2 : License SqueezePlay platform and protocol to one or two established super-high-end audio vendor competing with Linn and Olive. Brand name and funny marketing is the ticket at the high end, and Logitech won't do it.

And of course, we should hope for something more revolutionary, but I'm too realistic for that...

Jean

sebp
2011-02-28, 16:37
I'm pretty sure dropping support in the server for everything based on the IP3K platform isn't an option.
My understanding is that "onebrowser" tries to unify the IP3K, web and SP interfaces, so that the server code and plugins are easier to maintain.

They'd really be crazy removing support for their older players, IMHO.
At least, it shouldn't happen as long as Michael still uses his SliMP3 (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=485630&postcount=9)... ;)


Touch is very capable just dump the useless Tiny server and use the cpu for other things and that platform can be enhanced for years to come.
What you find useless is indeed useful to a lot of people.
Most people I know IRL who bought a Touch weren't looking for its 24/96 audio playback or touch screen capabilities, but especially for its embedded server capability.
I've also been told from some beta testers that the embedded server was working really well lately.


But the small and unpredictable audiophile market may not be their target these days.
I'm not confident we'll ever see something like a Transporter 2.
But, to be honest, the only things I'll really miss from my Transporter whenever it'll die, given a Touch and a good DAC would probably sound better, is its form factor and second screen (there's nothing like these good old analog VUs on a VFD screen!).

JJZolx
2011-02-28, 16:52
My bet is none. We've reached the end of the line.

goody
2011-02-28, 17:47
my bet is none. We've reached the end of the line.

+1

ModelCitizen
2011-02-28, 17:51
New product? I can bet you what it won't be.... reliable, intuitive, well thought out, top quality.

I'm with Jim. The product line is finished. Logitech may have sold lots of plastic boxes but they've not developed a product with a future, concentrating instead on sales in the short-term and squandering all the Squeezebox goodness that used to exist.

iPhone
2011-02-28, 18:23
This might be a dumb statement/question......

Other then the SB1/SB2, when has ANY Squeezebox been updated? Look at the product line, its all new boxes, the SB2 being basically completely new inside just in the old SB1 box. So I personally don't see any Duet II, Touch II, or TP II coming. The TP SE seems a step backwards to me (basically a way to use boards and cases that were left over without TransNav Knobs).

I could see a Receiver type product based on a display-less Touch as having some value as long as one doesn't have to have a Controller to do setup. I would not put the word Duet or Receiver in the name of this possible new product.

I really only see two things that are holding any new products back: being forced to have an Internet connection to set the unit up the first time and having to have a display with user input for setup. This is the one area Sonos has the upper hand, but one pays through the nose and must use their proprietary network to achieve this.

It would be simple enough to have video out or interface with a networked PC for setup. The Touch Receiver could be setup using the IR remote to see input on a TV or figure it out on a Network PC.

Just my thoughts, but I wonder too if we have seen the last of the Squeezebox product line. All the money is in video today and the bottom as fallen out of that market price wise, $59 for a Roku box.

pfarrell
2011-02-28, 18:29
On 02/28/2011 08:23 PM, iPhone wrote:
> Just my thoughts, but I wonder too if we have seen the last of the
> Squeezebox product line. All the money is in video today and the bottom
> as fallen out of that market price wise, $59 for a Roku box.

Plus, the Logitech entry in that race has not gotten good reviews. Not
clear to me that its Logitech's fault, but the product can't be selling.

I agree that $59 for a box is death. You have to give Best Buy at least
$10, with distribution, etc. the Bill of Materials cost is only going to
work at huge volumes. Huge volumes means video and Hulu/Netflix.

While I think the Touch is very cool, at $300 retail, its a niche
product. I don't think Logitech is interested in niche products. But I
don't have any special insight into this.

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

jean2
2011-02-28, 19:03
My bet is none. We've reached the end of the line.

Do you have facts to back that up ?

Logitech SqueezeBox are selling well :

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/322215011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_e_1_3_last
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/172633/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_e_2_3_last
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/172681/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_e_3_3_last
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/667846011/ref=zg_bs_nav

Those rankings have been fairly consistents over the last months. The most amazing to me is the portable radio and boombox category, where the Radio is competing effectively against $30 radios !

Second, if Logitech was not making money, and its products were not successful, the competition would not try to emulate them :

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/30/grace-digital-adds-color-displays-on-new-solo-touch-bravado-x/

Facts are : First, according to one of the largest US retailer, Logitech products are selling well. Not as much as iPod, obviously, but I don't think it's possible. Second, the SqueezeBox line is seen as sufficiently successful and generating enough profit that competitors are jumping in, not the sign of a dying market.

It's true that Logitech could decide to stop here, but the signs are that Logitech is successful with the SqueezeBox line and will continue to try to serve that market and sell more boxes. And, because of competition raising the bar, this will mean new products.

Now, the communication and actions of the company may not be that clear, but all big companies are like that. Logitech may make blunder short term, but long term they can not ignore what the market is telling them.

Jean

erland
2011-02-28, 23:19
Do you have facts to back that up ?

Since there aren't any facts available, just strong indications and suspicions, let's follow the wish of the original poster of this thread, shall we ?
For anyone that haven't already seen the indications, just search in the forum, we don't have to repeat them in this thread.

Just as a reminder to everyone, FredFredrickson initially said:



I don't want this thread to degrade into pointless logitech killing the franchise arguments. Just ideas about the next squeezebox.

bluegaspode
2011-03-01, 00:33
I think a Controller2 would make sense as well.
Just think of a Touch without cables and just a battery/stand. It could compete with any phone because the screen is larger (I'm still no friend of iPeng or SqueezeCommander, though they do their best on the small screen), and it could (hopefully) compete with any tablet because of the price tag.

Then let's also not forget, that most people first see the product line, only a few search the web if there are alternative controls for phones/tablets that could replace any of Logis devices.
Many people write 'I first had a controller, now I'm using yours ..', so there is definitely a consumer market for a better controller. And packet together with a receiver like the Duet it would still make a great appeal in shops and on Amazon.
Sonos got a Controller as well, even though they have free iPad/iPhone markets.
I would be dumb to miss this side of the revenue stream.


I think Logitech has got a great asset with Squeezeboxes. As seen on this thread, for each Squeezebox there is an 'easy to do' upgrade, when they just mix their known products (i.e. Boom II) or just upgrade them (i.e. Touch II).
At least on the software side they don't need to do much - it's just the hardware guys that are asked to provide new casings.

I'd bet on Boom II.

JJZolx
2011-03-01, 03:10
A better Controller, along the lines of the Sonos Controller 200, might make some sense, but I'm not sure how much of an impact it would make as a product. Nobody is going to buy a $200 Controller for a $130 Radio/Alarm Clock. Logitech long ago decided to aim low with the Squeezebox product line and the Radio is the logical endpoint of where Logitech wanted to take Squeezebox - an inexpensive player for the masses that doesn't require being hooked up to the increasingly rare home audio system. The only real direction left for them is to lower the price point.

They've pretty much painted themselves into a corner. The marketing of the Squeezebox product line has been abysmal from the day they bought the company. But again, that's just IMHO.

toby10
2011-03-01, 04:53
...........
Harmony Controller:
- A harmony remote with two way Squeezebox communication, basically a Harmony remote with hard buttons but also with integrated Controller functionality.
- I believe this could be a potential success, it would also be a way to both get the Harmony technology into Squeezebox owners home and get the Squeezebox devices into Harmony owners home.
- Even if some new devices can be controlled over IP, the IR interface is still going to exist for a long time.......

I think this makes more sense than a new player. If Logitech could come up with an iTouch like universal remote, with both WiFi and IR, full integration with Squeezebox players, at a reasonable price point, that just seems like a winner to me. Plus, if successful, this would breath new life into both existing and future SB player sales.

IMO Logitech have missed the mark for SB players in three main categories, and your Harmony idea addresses one of them (#3).
1. Marketing: try finding a SB at a retailer
2. Stability: player itself, but mostly SBS and MySB.com
3. Product Integration: Harmony? Boom sub? Separate speakers for players? Addl single speaker for Radio?

Granted Logitech does not make high end audio accessories, but why not offer an accessories link to their EXISTING products for possible add-ons?

Rick B.
2011-03-01, 05:19
- A harmony remote with two way Squeezebox communication, basically a Harmony remote with hard buttons but also with integrated Controller functionality.
- I believe this could be a potential success, it would also be a way to both get the Harmony technology into Squeezebox owners home and get the Squeezebox devices into Harmony owners home.
- Even if some new devices can be controlled over IP, the IR interface is still going to exist for a long time.


I would stand in line to buy this!

pfarrell
2011-03-01, 05:49
On 03/01/2011 05:10 AM, JJZolx wrote:
> A better Controller, along the lines of the Sonos Controller 200, might
> make some sense, but I'm not sure how much of an impact it would make
> as a product. Nobody is going to buy a $200 Controller for a $130
> Radio/Alarm Clock.

I would love to see a touch screen Controller. But that would have to be
essentially a Touch with batteries. I'm not seeing how it could cost the
$100 that fancy remotes seem to get these days.

With the Logitech Review, you get the video streamer and cool remote for
$300, so that sets an upper bound

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

phildeeze
2011-03-01, 07:16
I think Logitech could greatly increase the sales of all their devices if they built a better remote for the units not including the Duet of course. Now I know you can buy the Duet remote and pair it will the other units but I think they need to build a better standard remote. The line of site just kills the remote use, and honestly there isn't really a point in having a remote if you have to be so close to the unit. They should create a new remote with a simple screen or they could even do without a screen if they just increase the range and use a better form of radio transmission. As far as a new unit would go, I would like to see a new portable touch. Basically a touchscreen Duet.

iPhone
2011-03-01, 08:55
As I have typed often on this Forum, I would love to see a Duet Remote mated with a Harmony 1000. The problem would be getting it to a price point that more then 10 Squeezebox Fanatics would be willing to pay.

The fact that anybody can get a used iTouch on EBAY and buy iPeng for it and have a killer remote and an iPod, makes it hard for any new Logitech product to be a Squeezebox remote control. And we are not even talking about the new iPad type tablets that are on the way.

oktup
2011-03-01, 09:18
Maybe they're waiting for the technology to catch up. The killer feature is surely a TinySBS that can happily run a 'normal' setup, ie supporting several devices and a decent sized library. Maybe the fierce competition in mobile phones is bringing the necessary hardware to an SB-friendly price level?

A Squeezebox with more reliable networking (n?), and that doesn't need an external server, is one I can recommend to everyone I know...

Controller-wise, I'd suggest rewarding the 3rd party app makers and making them quasi-offical; perhaps also lining up an OEM mini tablet running Android, to sell to those people who really want a dedicated remote.

erland
2011-03-01, 09:53
1. Marketing: try finding a SB at a retailer

Actually this has improved a lot where I live. Back in 2006 I think there were one (or maybe a few) online store in Sweden where it was possible to get a Squeezebox, today I can get one from one of the bigger electronic stores in the city where I live which have a population of about 80 000 people. There was basically no way for me to see the device in action before the purchase while Slim Devices was in control, this has changed a lot since Logitech took over. Of course, the situation might be completely different in other parts of the world since I think it's each regional office within Logitech that decides what products they want to distribute to the stores in their region.

maggior
2011-03-01, 10:32
The fact that anybody can get a used iTouch on EBAY and buy iPeng for it and have a killer remote and an iPod, makes it hard for any new Logitech product to be a Squeezebox remote control.

You've hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. This is why a new Controller from Logitech would be doomed. iPeng even supports playback now, so the differentiating factor of playback on the controller is no longer a factor.

Muele
2011-03-02, 00:52
I think we have covered what devices might or might not appear.

What do you think Logitech should do to keep the product alive and profitable?

I think we need to realize that in order for the Squeeze-product-line to give us audio-pleasure, it needs to prosper. And mass market is where the money is for a company like Logitech. If the line prospers, there can be ressources for good sound quality and advanced features.

To me there are three important things:
1. Make it work as stand alone player. The touch has a server built in. But it's hardly good enough. It should also support files that are on the network as well as directly attached. Having to have a server/(Powerfull-)NAS/PC of some sort running to listen to music keeps a lot of people away. Streaming services ofcourse help this a lot.
2. Make it easy to set up. Setting up a wired stand alone Touch should be no more difficult than setting up a SONOS.
3. UPNP. Make a great, free UPNP server. People will install it and eventually realize that native Squeeze-products will give them more than the stock UPNE-ones.
4. Marketing. Sell the damn stuff. Its actually good products. Afordable whole house audio ranging from cheap bathroom quality audio to audiophile quality-gear. That is unique. But Logitech chooses to just show a boring list of anonomous porducts on their website.
5. If the Touch cannot support the server decently, sell a server. Something like squeezeplug. Plug it in: network, usb-disk and power, ready to go. Logitech-branded!! Easy way to point to a network share is of course also mandatory, but it adds to the geekyness. Plug and play is the way to go.

Ok, that was more than three ;)

Someone could also suggest that this i a good time for Logitech to sell off the productline to some other company to develop it further. But to who, and what direction should they take it?

reniera
2011-03-02, 02:09
4. Marketing. Sell the damn stuff. Its actually good products. Afordable whole house audio ranging from cheap bathroom quality audio to audiophile quality-gear. That is unique. But Logitech chooses to just show a boring list of anonomous porducts on their website.
5. If the Touch cannot support the server decently, sell a server. Something like squeezeplug. Plug it in: network, usb-disk and power, ready to go. Logitech-branded!! Easy way to point to a network share is of course also mandatory, but it adds to the geekyness. Plug and play is the way to go.

Marketing : I have never seen a single squeezebox product in a shop in Belgium/France/Luxembourg. I have seen SONOS a couple of time tough but not so many because they were out of stock. Squeezebox, noone knows in the usual electronic/hifi/music shops. Perhaps there is a market to develop ...

item 5. definitely true. I like Squeezebox but I would never recommend it to anyone because of the complexity to setup a server [that just works].

TheLastMan
2011-03-02, 11:55
I think the missing link is a decent server. The item most people have most trouble with is the server software on their PC - esp as most don't want to leave it on 24/7.

Tiny SBS works just about OK in the Touch, but IMHO a full specification dedicated mini server (such as a Vortexbox appliance) running a full version of SBS badged and supported as "Logitech" is a major missing link. Setting up your own NAS or mini-server is simply too geeky for most people - it needs to be "plug and play".

Ideally it should have an Intel x86 processor, a simple Linux interface and a single 1TB hard drive. Price it at under $300 / 200 and you would have a real winner - esp if marketed in a bundle with the Touch. The Vortexbox is nearly there, but it needs to be sold and supported by Logitech if you are going to get most retailers and customers to buy it.

Just my 2p!

erland
2011-03-02, 15:23
Ideally it should have an Intel x86 processor, a simple Linux interface and a single 1TB hard drive. Price it at under $300 / 200 and you would have a real winner - esp if marketed in a bundle with the Touch. The Vortexbox is nearly there, but it needs to be sold and supported by Logitech if you are going to get most retailers and customers to buy it.

Would any of your non-technical non audiophile friends or relatives who don't own a Squeezebox today pay $299 for a Touch plus $299 for a 1TB server box ?

IMHO, the solution with the Touch which have a built-in server is the best solution if they want to target the non-technical non geeky users and local music, two boxes means two CPU's duplicate memory and thus makes the solution too expensive. Honestly, I'm not sure any of my non geeky friends would even get a $299 device with working built-in server.

I think the Radio together with mysqueezebox.com is the best option available for the mass market, it has the right price and can with mysqueezebox.com be used for online music without a local server. It just needs mysqueezebox.com to be a bit more reliable than it has been during the last years.

A separate server box gets more interesting when we start to talk about a multi room solution, but then we are back on the geeky side again.

erland
2011-03-02, 15:52
What do you think Logitech should do to keep the product alive and profitable?

They should just decide on a long term strategy and try to work towards that in their marketing and development plans. I've often felt that there doesn't seem to exist any clear strategy for the products. I completely understand that they don't want to make the strategy public but based on the development during the last years I have some doubts if there even is an internal strategy within Logitech.

If they like to target the mass market they need to stop listen to people in this community. Yes, I know this sounds wrong, but when you think about it you realize that most people in this community aren't in the mass market segment. We want more functionality, we want more options, we want better audio quality and most of us are prepared to pay for it, the problem is that we are too few so it won't make the product profitable and people in the mass market segment have different interests, they want cheap products, simplicity and don't care much about advanced features and audio quality.

pski
2011-03-02, 17:16
Look at what Sony did: Best Buy had a huge display but the stuff didn't sell because it stinks.

Logitech needs a WORKING display kit that shows how it works, including a PC/router/Touch/Boom and a player attached to a generic stereo. This should include in-store demos as well as a "self-guided" tour on the PC. The display should stress "your computer/router/stereo" here and point out the higher quality audio available. (Face it, since Apple is selling ATV for $99, their "player" is really cheaper than SB and works with iTunes which everyone uses despite it's shortcomings.)

iTunes integration could be improved by having SBS periodically scan the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder as well as the "purchased" music in iTunes.

Pandora and other services could also be part of the demo. Push the internet radio: most of the younger demographic are already eating this up.

Logitech needs also to develop/buy control and playback apps for iPhone/Android and provide them free to hardware player buyers and stress the remote streaming possibilities. "Free Your Music" by not having to decide what to carry with you is a powerful argument.

The display needs to be in THE MUSIC/CD department, not the arcane and ill-defined hardware department.

p

TheLastMan
2011-03-02, 17:35
Would any of your non-technical non audiophile friends or relatives who don't own a Squeezebox today pay $299 for a Touch plus $299 for a 1TB server box ?

Well I have three "non-technical non audiophile" friends who have bought into Sonos at 600 / $900 dollars for a single player! They mostly use online music services but two use their PCs with the Sonos software installed and complain that they have to leave their PC on to play from their music libraries.

There are plenty of people who are prepared to pay $600 for networked music players. What they want is a simple reliable system that works 24/7. A Touch / Server bundle would do that for them and give them a lot more than they would get from Sonos.

JJZolx
2011-03-02, 17:35
Logitech needs a WORKING display kit that shows how it works, including a PC/router/Touch/Boom and a player attached to a generic stereo.

That doesn't sound like a good idea to me. It tells the customer he needs all that gear just to get a radio to play a single note. It's like putting big orange safety warning stickers on a kids' toy and expecting anyone to buy it.

I think someone at Logitech has figured out that the Squeezebox thin client approach just isn't a mass market product. It may be profitable now that they've pulled most of the development and QA staff off of the project, but I don't think Logitech is likely to ramp up marketing or development again.

A revamped Touch that can run the server with much better performance and stability may make sense. Even though the Touch is relatively new, it was in beta testing for a long time and the hardware design and prototyping undoubtedly took a while before that. The design is now years old, so it's conceivable that they could produce a much more powerful machine for the same price today. To me, that's the only new Squeezebox product that would make any sense at all.

pski
2011-03-02, 20:16
That doesn't sound like a good idea to me. It tells the customer he needs all that gear just to get a radio to play a single note. It's like putting big orange safety warning stickers on a kids' toy and expecting anyone to buy it.

I think someone at Logitech has figured out that the Squeezebox thin client approach just isn't a mass market product. It may be profitable now that they've pulled most of the development and QA staff off of the project, but I don't think Logitech is likely to ramp up marketing or development again.

A revamped Touch that can run the server with much better performance and stability may make sense. Even though the Touch is relatively new, it was in beta testing for a long time and the hardware design and prototyping undoubtedly took a while before that. The design is now years old, so it's conceivable that they could produce a much more powerful machine for the same price today. To me, that's the only new Squeezebox product that would make any sense at all.

So when I see a Touch or a Radio at Best Buy and it doesn't do a thing but turn-on how do I know what it does? DUH? The issue is that most people ALREADY have the other stuff. Nothing in their marketing has a single reference to using the player without a server. Of course that's my opinion and you could be right but show me.

Which hand do you use?

P

JJZolx
2011-03-02, 20:50
So when I see a Touch or a Radio at Best Buy and it doesn't do a thing but turn-on how do I know what it does? DUH? The issue is that most people ALREADY have the other stuff. Nothing in their marketing has a single reference to using the player without a server. Of course that's my opinion and you could be right but show me.

The product category of "internet radio" is becoming more common and well known, so you can place Radios in boxes on shelves with no need for a live demo. They'll sell a bazillion of them to people who don't have any desire to ever rip a CD. Online streaming of radio and music service been the overwhelming focus of development for the last few years.

The thin client SB with no speakers is a lost cause. It was a good product for a mail order only company with a handful of employees.

Mnyb
2011-03-02, 22:16
Also a x86 server box at 300$ can you really get a quality machine with good spec for that ? At least it must have a separate flash or ssd for the OS, music on a separate drive and you want to be able to expand it with at least one extra drive ? Dual core atom.

This a common mistake done on daily basis on this forum , trying to get a server for the same price or cheaper than the Touch ? 500-600$ is more like it for a bare bones no frills thing.

Other ideas.

The idea of an actually working Touch with built in server as a base product is good.

A stopgap fix would be to provide a USB drive that works with the Touch with an Logitech logo on it.
A drive with it's own psu.

It may be true that Touch fulfils the usb spec, but everybody knows that usb drives don't so designing it like that was doomed.
It's like designing a car that goes exactly 60mph why more your not allowed to go faster anyway ;)

The separate server box can be marketted against multiroom users, Logitech is not good at advertizing
the multiroom aspect. Sonos call some of thier player zone players so that people really gets it.
I think you can get another couple of year out of the existing kit if sold as a multiroom solution, for smart homes .
You also gets more money for whole house audio integration than a one off gadget.
And jus keep such people as logitech US on a tigth leash so they don't blow the multiroom aspect by for example not having the intended expansin box, in current product range the reciever in stock.
A key aspect is that Squeezeboxes works best collectively as a system. So all Logitech in all markets must carry all of them, or sales over theese artificial market segments borders must be allowed

Cooperate more with iPeng and SqueezePad keep these product in mind when developing, they are so comonly used that their functionality and stability is an issue that Logitech should be interested in.

erland
2011-03-02, 22:54
Nothing in their marketing has a single reference to using the player without a server.

Which marketing are you talking about ?
There isn't much indication in the material on their web shop that indicates that you need a local server to use the device ? Have I missed some other marketing channel ?

I agree with JJZolx:
- The Radio should be market as an player for online music, with its physical design and support for Spotify, Pandora, LastFM, Napster, Rhapsody, WiMP and similar services it should be very hot for the users that want an internet radio.
- The Touch needs to work reliably with music from UPnP servers and USB drives without running a separate server, without this support it's hard to sell it to a lot more people.

The Radio is for bedroom, kitchen or outside the house while the Touch is the solution if you like to play the music through your existing amplifier and speakers.

As mentioned before, many of us are happy to run a separate server and like the thin client model in our multi room setups, but it gets too complex for the masses.

Also, they should use the existing third party offerings for iOS in their marketing. I mean, $10 for an iOS app is nothing if you just have purchased a $299 product and previously an even more expensive iOS product. Mentioning iOS and Android on the box and in the marketing material will make the devices easier to sell. Logitech could even arrange so you get a $10 discount to make it possible to get the iOS app and still be below $300. Trying to build an iOS app themselves is just stupid, they will never be able to do something as good as current third party apps and they will never be able to earn back the investment, it's a lot more cost effective to just promote the existing third party offerings. In the long run, we will get a lot better support and a lot more features if the third party offerings is used, if Logitech is in control they will just make something that works good enough to put it on the box and then halt the development since it's not worth investing more as they have to give it away for free. If they insist on having a Logitech logo in the app, I'm sure they will be able to come to an agreement with the third party developers as long as Logitech don't get greedy and want to start earning money on the app themselves. Personally, I wouldn't prefer a re-brand because it removes the competition between the apps and the result is that there is no reason for the third party developer to keep adding features to stay ahead of competing iOS apps, I think some kind of discount arrangement would be preferred.

At last, to be a great success they also need to improve how you get the music to the device, the current process with ripping and tagging is too complex, what we need is either:
- Mainly use online music services, like Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora, WiMP, Napster, LastFM
or
- Integrate a music store similar to iTunes Music Store.

Even though a music store would be great, there is no way Logitech can compete with Apple in this area, so this once again means that their focus needs to be on good integration with online music services, something Apple has more or less ignored so far.

In my mind, all this means that the focus needs to be on the client side and on the mysqueezebox.com side, unfortunately the standalone server in the form of SBS really doesn't fit in the above scenarios. I'm sorry to say this because I really want it myself but to be honest, it's not the best way to reach the masses.

There could possibly be room for a more geeky multi room solution with a Logitech provided server product on top of this, but it would be targeted at the geeks, a bit similar to the more expensive Logitech Harmony remotes. Still, the Radio and Touch products needs to work good as standalone players without any local server, so a standalone server wouldn't be a great source for profits but it would make the Squeezebox product line more attractive to users who need a multi room setup and is ready to pay. A re-brand or collaboration with vortexbox seems like the logical choice for such a box.

TheLastMan
2011-03-03, 03:04
Also a x86 server box at 300$ can you really get a quality machine with good spec for that ? At least it must have a separate flash or ssd for the OS, music on a separate drive and you want to be able to expand it with at least one extra drive ? Dual core atom.
It does not have to be such high spec. My NAS runs SBS perfectly well with a 800mhz cpu (no FPU), 128mb memory and no flash memory for the OS.

1GB memory and a single hard drive would be fine. Remember you can miss out the whole graphics side of things which will save money. No need for the OS to be on flash. The idea is it is on 24/7 so if it takes a little while to boot-up so what?

Remember this is a single-purpose server. It only needs to be good enough to run SBS which is a very undemanding application.

A couple of USB ports on the back could be used to attach other drives if you need to expand capacity.

The idea is this should be simple and built to hit the $300 (200) mark.

There are loads of mini barebone PCs with integrated Atom processors for around 140 retail (eg Foxconn). These are usually dual core and include a basic graphics chip and wi-fi into the bargain. Add in a hard drive and a single 1GB stick of memory and you will be around the 200 retail. Logitech should be able to put one together with a linux distro and SBS installed for a lot less than that. Leave out the wi-fi and the graphics and it could be a real money spinner for them!

The costs of this kind of device have really come down in the last year. When I looked 12 months ago a PC with this spec would have cost me 300.

Mnyb
2011-03-03, 03:13
I was thinking dual atom because arm based NAS does not do transcoding . No SOX or flac, alac, lame and similar, problems with streams etc.

So a server should be able to transcode at least 2 separate streams to be multipurpose enough .

Hmm prices going down, maybe is see motherboards at slightly better prices too.

aubuti
2011-03-04, 08:28
Also a x86 server box at 300$ can you really get a quality machine with good spec for that ? At least it must have a separate flash or ssd for the OS, music on a separate drive and you want to be able to expand it with at least one extra drive ? Dual core atom.

This a common mistake done on daily basis on this forum , trying to get a server for the same price or cheaper than the Touch ? 500-600$ is more like it for a bare bones no frills thing.
That may be the situation in Sweden, but in the US it's not hard to meet your spec for under $300. Requiring a separate drive for the OS (which no average-Joe computer user does anyway) restricts the choices slightly, but it can still be done. Shuttle, MSI and other brands have some good offerings in this part of the market (see newegg.com).

epoch1970
2011-03-05, 16:04
I don't want this thread to degrade into pointless logitech killing the franchise arguments. Just ideas about the next squeezebox.

A new batch of SB Classic would be great for 2011. Any color. I'll have 3, thanks.

pski
2011-03-05, 19:14
A new batch of SB Classic would be great for 2011. Any color. I'll have 3, thanks.

And given the price of the competition they should have good stats and cost less that $150.

P

socistep
2011-03-29, 05:03
Couple of things from me

1) Touch 2

Has been mentioned numerous times before, one of two options

- Upgraded CPU/memory etc. so that full server can be ran on device and enabling USB HDD plugin to be successfull for all, I think this has the potential to be a great feature as TinySBS has been well received by a lot of people

- Integrated Touch with ripping solution, someone mentioned before but a one stop box that rips/tags CD's and then acts as a player, this would fully remove the 'server' element which confuses the masses. Potentially like a Brennan JB7/vortexbox mixed with a SB Touch

2) Smart streaming

An update to the OS so that it brings in an element of 'smart' decisioning on your music libraries

- Links Spotify, LastFM etc. with your local music more effectively
- Provides recommendations up front on new music or if an artist you have in your collection releases a new album, again linking lastFM, spotify etc. to your local music
- Download sync - You can easily download from Amazon, HDTracks etc. into your SB via on screen rather then having to go onto seperate pc, this would be powerful if you linked with recommendations

This could be a feature that you can turn on or off as required