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HelgeP
2011-04-09, 01:53
One of the pros of a Sonos system for me has always been the availability of a dedicated easy-to-use controller. Sure, we have the Controller (as in "part of the Duet") if you can wait the 30 seconds it needs to wake up or can live with the clunky wheel interface. Sure, we have the apps for Android and iDevice, but if you have non-techie guests or partners, a real dedicated controller would be much easier in my opinion.

Is there any possibility to build a complete dedicated controller that is just used for controlling the squeezeserver (+ a receiver in my case)? Without any lockscreen or app searching, a controller that just shows the interface as soon as you lift it from the table (most of the phones do have a sensor for that, right?).

Would that be possible? Am I the only one who would spend some money for that alone? Otherwise I have a hard time convincing the rest of my household to adopt the SqueezeBox as the main music source...

hubbaloo
2011-04-09, 07:02
I don't think you can compare Squeezebox directly with Sonos. Sonos devices don't have a screen or any buttons (besides volume) so a super responsive remote is perhaps more important.
Maybe if I only had a setup based on Receivers I might think differently.

aubuti
2011-04-09, 07:10
Possible? Certainly. Profitable? Almost certainly not. One of the knocks on the Controller -- even among those like me for whom it works fine (I have 3) -- is that it only controls SBs. It will be very hard to compete against the Android devices and iDevices. Because those devices are all-purpose the production scale is way beyond what a dedicated device would be, and therefore the price much lower and the app development community that much bigger.

Yes, Sonos has their dedicated controller. But it's very pricey and I would be surprised if they have it for the long haul.

If you are routinely getting a 30 second wait for your SBC to wake up then I suggest you change the power management settings to something more satisfactory for you.

pippin
2011-04-09, 07:20
Sonos have to keep their controller because without it they lose a lot of the advantages of their mesh network and even turn them into disadvantages (you need a second WiFi network with full coverage)

aubuti
2011-04-09, 07:36
You're right of course -- I overlooked the proprietary mesh network aspect. I also hadn't realized that they have discontinued their old clunky two-handed controller, so the CR200 and the free apps for 3rd party devices are all they have.

Just curious, but what are the disadvantages of using a Sonos with one of their free Android or iPhone apps?

erland
2011-04-09, 08:08
The only dedicated controller from Logitech that would make sense to me is a combined Squeezebox+Harmony remote with some hard buttons and a touch screen that could also control all my IR based equipment. Something like that, I'd definitely consider buying, but not a dedicated controller that only can control my Squeezeboxes.

Until they release something like that, I'll continue using the Harmony IR remote or the iPad with SqueezePad or iPeng depending on what kind of operation I'd like to do.

pippin
2011-04-09, 08:42
Well, functionality wise the Apps are complete.

Sonos makes big noise about their mesh network (can't judge, I only have one device) and the better range yo can get with that but of course you lose all that if you use a device that needs a separate, standard WiFi network as a controller. So if their claims are correct that has to be a big disadvantage.

UI wise I'm not as excited about their Apps as some others but that may be just me - they don't fit my philosophy of doing things:

iPhone: you don't have a tab bar and iPeng's "two-sided" menu. Some people find this confusing about iPeng but it has the big advantage that yo can jump back and forth between browsing and controlling players. In the Sonos App, whenever you want to change a volume you have to browse the whole menu tree from the start whenever you return.
The CR200 doesn't have this issue, it has dedicated volume buttons and also it returns to the last position if you close the zone control.
Also, the App uses a lot of space for non-content stuff and has small artwork. My summary would be, very easy to understand but can get tedious in everyday use because you need a lot of clicks per action.

iPad: it uses the space on the device more or less to show three views of iPhone-App pages side by side: the NowPlaying screen with the current playlist, the zones and the main menu. The cool thing is you can drag&drop to the current playlist, the bad thing is, you have the same just-a-deep-menu-structure approach and the same tiny artwork on the iPad. If you like that, again, it's simple to understand, I definitely don't like that one.

JJZolx
2011-04-09, 11:51
Would it be possible? Yes.

Would Logitech **** it up? You can bet on it.

There would be some strange network setup crap that would work only half the time. There would be some reliance on mysqueezebox.com that nobody can explain and that is prone to failure. There would be menus that shift and change depending on what the Controller is connected to. There would be bizarre and ugly graphics treatment and color schemes that cant be customized.

If the Squeezebox product line continues, I wouldn't be surprised to see Logitech move to Android based devices. Linux based SqueezeOS and SqueezePlay has given them fits, seems unfinished, and is now just barely supported, with only bug fixes being done.

Mnyb
2011-04-09, 23:39
The iPad works great as a controller ?

What more could you possible want ?

tamanaco
2011-04-10, 06:13
The only dedicated controller from Logitech that would make sense to me is a combined Squeezebox+Harmony remote with some hard buttons and a touch screen that could also control all my IR based equipment. Something like that, I'd definitely consider buying, but not a dedicated controller that only can control my Squeezeboxes.

Until they release something like that, I'll continue using the Harmony IR remote or the iPad with SqueezePad or iPeng depending on what kind of operation I'd like to do.

I'm on the same boat, but I use Android instead of iOS. If LMS becomes a successful Logitech mainstream product maybe they'd consider developing a hybrid Harmony AV Remote + LMS Controller.

When the existing Controller was under development, I remember asking about building a hybrid using Logitech's Harmony code. At the time, if I remember correctly, I was told that there were some intellectual capital restrictions that prevented the Harmony developers from sharing code with the Controller developers. Maybe these restrictions no longer apply. Having such a remote from the get-go would make LMS a more appealing Media Server for the masses.

HelgeP
2011-04-10, 06:38
Whoah, thanks for all the input, guys. :-D

I think I phrased my questrion a bit confusingly: I was really wondering whether someone (not Logitech) would be able to transform any kind of Android phone (I took Android as it is a supposedly more open system) into a Squeezebox controller via some kind of hack (removing the lockscreen and single-tasking the controller app).

I don't mind using a phone 'only' as a controller, seeing as I would be spending the same amount for Sonos' dedicated controller.

tamanaco
2011-04-10, 14:01
Whoah, thanks for all the input, guys. :-D

I think I phrased my questrion a bit confusingly: I was really wondering whether someone (not Logitech) would be able to transform any kind of Android phone (I took Android as it is a supposedly more open system) into a Squeezebox controller via some kind of hack (removing the lockscreen and single-tasking the controller app).

I don't mind using a phone 'only' as a controller, seeing as I would be spending the same amount for Sonos' dedicated controller.

Why does it have to be a hack? There are SBS remote control applications for Smartphones. Have you looked at SqueezeCommander? That's the application I use for Android to control my Squeezebox setup. I think there one or two more similar Android apps.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=69352

flattermann
2011-04-10, 19:13
Whoah, thanks for all the input, guys. :-D

I think I phrased my questrion a bit confusingly: I was really wondering whether someone (not Logitech) would be able to transform any kind of Android phone (I took Android as it is a supposedly more open system) into a Squeezebox controller via some kind of hack (removing the lockscreen and single-tasking the controller app).

I don't mind using a phone 'only' as a controller, seeing as I would be spending the same amount for Sonos' dedicated controller.

Sounds not very complicated (from a technical point of view).

But I don't think there's a large market for that.

Because the price will not be lower than an existing Android Device, but you can do a lot less with such a solution. (No Internet, no Mails, no other Apps at all... Yes, I know, that's the point.)

Mnyb
2011-04-10, 21:43
What exactly was the piont ? Whats wrong with the existing andriod or iPod apps, they are all better and faster than controller. if you dont switch to another app it can be in the foreground ?

You can go in to the factory test menu in the controller and turn off all powersave, but battery time would be reduced.

not even the iPad apps are instant, but very fast, all bettery powered devices needs some kind of powersave to be practical

Muele
2011-04-10, 23:56
>Go on, just buy a Sonos then!
You could do that, but you would probably miss the flexibility Squeezebox gives over Sonos.

>Are the two extra clicks really that bad?
In squeezecommander you can set the phone to keep the screen on=0 clicks (will cost some battery-time) or diable the lock-mechnanism = 1 click.

>The original Controller works well!
You can do some things to improve the controller, e.g. disable the powersaving features. And there's a setting somewhere to allow you to scroll one letter at a time instead of one album/artist at a time.

>Yes, such a controller would be the icing on the cake!
Sure, if it came from Logitech, maybe it would generate a few extra sales but probably not enough to justify the effort. For existing customers I think aftersales of such a controller would be close to 0. Based on the expected pricetag of such a device, compared to what alternatives are out there.

All in all I think there are plenty of existing choices. Posting a thread like this could perhaps inspire some of the 3rd party app-developers to add the functionality you are missing. As I see it there are two issues: Keep the users from exiting the app by mistake, and allow the screen to shut off and be awakened by the accelerometer. For an existing app, the extra development could be worth the effort. (Third issue is ofcourse setup of the Receiver, but there are also 3rd party solutions for that)

Take a look at what options there already are for iThings and Android, and I'm sure you'll find something with a satisfactory FAF (Family acceptance factor).

Soulkeeper
2011-04-11, 02:15
An Android phone with SqueezeCommander is the best starting point, I believe. Then you just need some sort of app that can disable everything else on the phone.

What I want from Logitech is a Harmony/Squeezebox system that allows me to control every remote-controllable thing that I own from my Android. This could be done via a server software that sends some commands via IR blasters, others via the network (to SBS, for instance) and integrates with home automation protocols (for future use). But I digress.

tamanaco
2011-04-11, 05:45
>Yes, such a controller would be the icing on the cake!
Sure, if it came from Logitech, maybe it would generate a few extra sales but probably not enough to justify the effort. For existing customers I think aftersales of such a controller would be close to 0. Based on the expected pricetag of such a device, compared to what alternatives are out there.

I have different "speculative" take. I believe Logitech would like to increase their share of the streamed media market. This is evident by their acquisition of SlimDevices and their partnership with Google. So far, as separated offerings the SqueezeBox and Revue have not been very successful. I would not be surprised if the Squeezebox and the Revue were integrated to give customers a "fully" integrated stream media solution. The Revue already has the functionality of a Harmony remote including an IR blaster to control AV components. Adding a bit of hardware to make it into a "SqueezeVue or ReSqueeze" should not be that hard and it would remove the hardware fragmentation they currently have with music and video stream players. The recent development of LMS hints that Logitech is moving in this direction either with completely "new" hardware box that can take advantage of their new Media Server, currently under development, or with the integration of their existing assets in an "enhanced" Revue box. This also would allow them to integrate their streamed media development and cut cost. With such a device it would then be possible to control all of your AV components with a single remote and even allow you to view your album art using your computer, Smartphone and on your TV if you so desire. The Revue already has a Smartphone remote app. Again, this is all speculation, but given that LMS is also a video server and that the current product line has no offerings to take advantage of this additional server functionality... makes one wonder.