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amrace
2012-01-23, 10:48
Hi,

Does anyone know aything about the new Logitech Airplay Speaker? I can't find much information on it yet but was thinking that it would be nice if it was also compatable with the Squeezebox family / LMS. I would like another Boom type device to add to my existing system of 2 Classics and Boom.

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2011/10/theres-a-logitech-airplay-speaker-hiding-out-on-amazon/

Andy

Soulkeeper
2012-01-23, 12:15
If Logitech released a 802.11 player without LMS support, that would be very stupid IMO. Not to speak of how utterly disappointing it would be. So I, for one, am going to keep hoping.

Perhaps that's the Boom II right there. Here's a small "preview" at cnet (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20125156-233/logitech-set-to-release-apple-airplay-speaker/) from October. It's a looker! I certainly hope it sounds as good as it looks (if it supports LMS, that is, 'cause if it doesn't I couldn't care less about either). ;)

amrace
2012-01-24, 05:15
I found a download of the user manual here.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/70131052/Logitech-Air-Speaker

It appears to have wifi and an ethernet connection but there's no mention of LMS. It looks like it's purely for Airplay streaming. Do you think Logitech will keep both Squeezebox and Aiplay wifi streaming systems in its future product lineup?

Andy

gruntwolla
2012-01-24, 16:03
I found a download of the user manual here.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/70131052/Logitech-Air-Speaker

It appears to have wifi and an ethernet connection but there's no mention of LMS. It looks like it's purely for Airplay streaming. Do you think Logitech will keep both Squeezebox and Aiplay wifi streaming systems in its future product lineup?

Andy

I'm pretty sure this device is going to make squeezebox owners very unhappy, particularly if it sells in large numbers. Looking at the manual, it is clearly aimed at owners of ios devices. For those people, LMS would just be a confusing distraction, so as it isn't mentioned, it won't be there.

aubuti
2012-01-24, 16:24
Do you think Logitech will keep both Squeezebox and Aiplay wifi streaming systems in its future product lineup?
And don't forget the Bluetooth-based wireless speakers that Logitech introduced in late 2011. Those devices are actually on shelves now, unlike this AirPlay device which the audio blogosphere claimed -- back in October 2011 -- was going to be announced by Logitech "in a few weeks."

I personally don't see Logitech sticking with three different wireless systems for very long, and think we won't see a new SB model. Even though SBs have features that clearly differentiate them from Bluetooth and AirPlay, the masses don't care about those features, and Logitech (with the notable exception of the SB devs, of course) cares about what the masses care about.

Mnyb
2012-01-24, 20:18
Logitech seems to have no problem with having a lot of different products, look at thier mouse keyboard and computer speakers.

They seems to have problem with products like squeezeboxes, who is more involved and takes longtime support .

1000's of fit and forget stuff with a very short shelf life, is their usual fare.

Soulkeeper
2012-01-26, 09:20
As the device already has 802.11 and Ethernet, adding support for LMS must surely be a "simple" matter of firmware.

Which should be cheap enough for us to expect them to actually do so.

verypsb
2012-01-27, 01:36
If I understand correctly, Apple doesn't allow Airplay on devices with an open (streaming) OS, like LMS/SqueezePlay.

bhaagensen
2012-01-27, 02:24
. Looking at the manual, it is clearly aimed at owners of ios devices. For those people, LMS would just be a confusing distraction, so as it isn't mentioned, it won't be there.

Though the ultimate conclusion may be right, I think you are overlooking the fact that many are using the very iPods, iPhones, and iPads to control LMS...

DaveWr
2012-01-27, 02:51
I think 90,000 new iPhones per day is a little larger target market, than squeeze things.

Don't forget Logitech got burn't on Google TV.

Anyway I don't think that they want to undermine the current Squeeze price points.

Soulkeeper
2012-01-27, 05:10
If I understand correctly, Apple doesn't allow Airplay on devices with an open (streaming) OS, like LMS/SqueezePlay.

Every time I start considering to buy an Apple product (this time it was the iPad), something like this comes up. And makes me turn on my heels. Thanks for the reminder. :)

(Starts looking for an Android pad.)

TheLastMan
2012-01-27, 09:15
(Starts looking for an Android pad.)
Don't. You will regret it.

Regardless of your feelings towards Apple, the iPad is streets ahead of any of the Android pads in usability, app availability. There is a reason why it is twice the price of the Android pads.

Anyway you cannot really blame Apple for the fact that Logitech wants to use its technology.

Soulkeeper
2012-01-27, 09:35
Don't. You will regret it
Ok? No pad for me then?


Anyway you cannot really blame Apple for the fact that Logitech wants to use its technology.

And I don't.

Besides, it's not my feelings towards Apple that makes me turn away from them. It's just that I don't want to spend money on a sense of claustrophobia; that I can get for free if I want to. ;)

I'll rather wait for a decent pad to hit the market. It's bound to happen sooner or later (unless the next dinosaur killer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater) comes around, and then all bets are off anyway).

pippin
2012-01-27, 09:48
There is a reason why it is twice the price of the Android pads.


It's not. There are capable Android Pads but they cost as much as Apple's although they are really lacking Apps.
Kindle Fire & Co don't really help with that.

Me thinks the market will settle towards Apple covering the "big" iPads and Android powering the smaller, cheap devices market.

Unless, of course, Apple really shows a 7" iPad next week...

pippin
2012-01-27, 09:50
It's just that I don't want to spend money on a sense of claustrophobia; that I can get for free if I want to. ;)


Yes, you are right. Easy to get a bit claustrophobic with all the content on that platform. Compared to that you do indeed get a good sense of freedom on an empty Android Pad :D

Oh, and if you feel Apple's being rigid, have a read at Google's or Amazon's contracts....

erland
2012-01-27, 11:53
I assume people know that they can make any AirPlay speaker/receiver a Squeezebox by combining it with one of the iOS apps which support playback, for example iPeng or SqueezePad.

As long as you don't need synchronized playback it should work very good. Just configure the iPhone/iPad to output its sound through the AirPlay speaker and start playing music through the player support in iPeng, SqueezePad or other iOS app that supports playback.

The result is that you can control it using your iOS or Android or Squeezebox Controller in same way as any other Squeezebox. It will of course use a bit of battery on the iOS device which runs the player, so for playback during long periods I suppose it's best to put it in a docking station.

I wonder if it might even be possible to install AirFoil (http://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/) on the computer running SBS/LMS and stream music on SqueezePlay/SoftSqueeze on the SBS/LMS computer directly to the AirPlay speaker ? If that works, you can make the Logitech AirPlay speaker a Squeezebox for $25 (which AirFoil costs). It probably won't work for people that need synchronized playback, but I suspect the majority of all users will be fine without support for synchronized playback.

Does anyone know which audio quality you get through AirPlay ? Does it allow some lossless format or is everything encoded through some lossy codec ?

Of course, the issue with all the above is that it gets a lot more complicated than hitting play button on your Squeezebox Boom II.

MrSinatra
2012-01-27, 12:19
Does anyone know which audio quality you get through AirPlay ? Does it allow some lossless format or is everything encoded through some lossy codec ?

i have no idea how airplay works, but i suspect it allows for different codecs, and it might transcode or something based on wireless speed.

see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless

"The Apple Lossless Encoder (the software for encoding into ALAC files) was introduced into the Mac OS X Core Audio framework on April 28, 2004 together with the QuickTime 6.5.1 update, and thus available in iTunes as of version 4.5 and above. The codec is also used in the AirPort Express's AirPlay implementation."

and:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPlay

so one would hope that all airplay was lossless, but i doubt it. besides, if the source material is lossy, why bother? its prob like DLNA in that way.

DaveWr
2012-01-27, 12:50
Does anyone know which audio quality you get through AirPlay ? Does it allow some lossless format or is everything encoded through some lossy codec ?



Everything is converted to 16 bit 44 khz cd standard ALAC according to Linn, who have incorporated Airplay support in their v expensive streamers. They have also added Songcast to support high sample rate 24 bit music.

gruntwolla
2012-01-27, 13:20
Though the ultimate conclusion may be right, I think you are overlooking the fact that many are using the very iPods, iPhones, and iPads to control LMS...

I don't disagree with that; I was referring more to the thousands who are happy to plug their ios device into a dock and play lossy files. If they were to be conronted with LMS and all its attendant plugins/add ons/updates/bugs, then I stand by my previous statement

MrSinatra
2012-01-27, 13:21
Everything is converted to 16 bit 44 khz cd standard ALAC according to Linn, who have incorporated Airplay support in their v expensive streamers. They have also added Songcast to support high sample rate 24 bit music.

that seems really odd... why bother to make a mp3 lossless to send wirelessly?

and whats really odd about it, is i have seen in practice, music go from a laptop, wirelessly, to a router, to an airport express and / or apple tv, again, wirelessly, and not hiccup even once.

pretty remarkable considering its lossless thru the hops, and LMS essentially requires itself to be hardwired to the router, even for lossy stuff.

color me confused.

DaveWr
2012-01-27, 14:44
that seems really odd... why bother to make a mp3 lossless to send wirelessly?

and whats really odd about it, is i have seen in practice, music go from a laptop, wirelessly, to a router, to an airport express and / or apple tv, again, wirelessly, and not hiccup even once.

pretty remarkable considering its lossless thru the hops, and LMS essentially requires itself to be hardwired to the router, even for lossy stuff.

color me confused.

Probably a degree of future proofing, with Apple you can never tell what's next week. Everybody complained about DRM, then we got DRM free with 256k AAC. Also Airplay works from laptops and can be used for film soundtracks etc.

Overall it looks as though Airplay has certainly got some momentum, even Logitech have woken up!

shaboyi
2012-01-29, 19:12
what would be a great SB innovation is if the SB Touch could be a
Airplay receiver (like an Apple TV, Denon Receiver or the growing list
of devices that can do it) As an earlier post pointed out, it may be
that Apple won't allow it on an open platform, but I thought the SB
Touch firmware was proprietary, no?

I think Airplay's appeal is the growing number of Apps that support it
(examples: Pandora, Spotify, etc) and the fact that it will playback
local content from any iOS device. A friend comes over, they can play
there stuff directly from there phone/iPad, etc

(One of the ironies of Airplay is that it allows the Apple TV to
playback streaming services that it is otherwise closed to - like
Pandora and Spotify,. It makes no sense to me....)

on airplay quality - it's not so great. For example if you want to
use Pandora with Apple TV (or other Airplay receiver) from a iOS
device it has to get the content from the Internet over WiFi and then
send it back out over Wifi to the Airplay Receiver (and maybe another
Wifif hop if the Apple TV/Airplay Receiver is not hard wired). In my
test/use with only lossy formats there are dropouts - not so many to
make it unusable but enough for it to be not unexpected.

nevertheless, given Airplay's momentum, I think the SB Touch doubling
as an Airplay receiver has enormous appeal and would be a great
selling point for it.

erland
2012-01-30, 00:00
nevertheless, given Airplay's momentum, I think the SB Touch doubling
as an Airplay receiver has enormous appeal and would be a great
selling point for it.

While I agree with you, I guess it's also a question of price. Would you be willing to pay $100 extra for a Touch with AirPlay support compared to the current Touch price ?
Or is it only of interest if it's cheaper to get a Touch(with AirPlay) compared to get a AppleTV+Touch(without AirPlay) as separate devices ?

I'm asking because adding AirPlay to the Touch would probably mean that Logitech have to include some extra chips in the device plus that they have to pay a license fees to Apple, so it's likely going to increase the price a bit. $100 was just an example, might be less or more, not sure how high the license fees are.

AirPlay is interesting and it is cool, but I wonder how useful it really is for music listening. Feels like the main interest would be for people who don't have enough input in their receiver/amplifier to connect both a AppleTV and a Touch. Because the likely usage is that you want to play music not available in the Squeezebox universe, for example music stored locally on the iPhone/iPad, and to access this you would use a different app than you usually do so it's not going to be a completely integrated experience anyway. So maybe just getting a AppleTV or receiver with built-in AirPlay support would be good enough, I can't imagine myself using AirPlay for my own main music listening as that will be handled a lot better through SBS/LMS and one of the iOS apps for remote control.

Of course, if Logitech would somehow just add AirPlay support to the current Touch device without charging extra for it, I guess it would be a good solution for current Touch owners as they don't need to get any extra hardware. However, I don't think this is a likely scenario because Logitech have to earn money on it to be able to cover the license fees to Apple.

MrSinatra
2012-01-30, 02:20
logitech products are becoming increasingly unnecessary for most users... thats the real issue.

on the one hand you have apple and all its tight integration that for most apple people works very well, or at least, prefectly for them. airplay is now becoming a standard that 3rd party hardware incorporate.

on the other hand, other hardware is integrating more and more dlna/upnp type things, also right into TVs and receivers and game systems.

logitech meanwhile, sells an audio only platform that requires mastering a fairly complicated server which has an extremely unintuitive and unforgiving browse exp.

what boggles my mind, is logitech makes money from hardware sales, not server development. why they haven't concentrated more on hardware, and making the server just be a middleware layer that allow any app to send the A/V to the hardware, i can't understand. it would save them tons of money from continuing to develop server, which as a music player, is an antique at best.

and besides, as audio only, its not only niche, but imo, doomed.

erland
2012-01-30, 11:13
logitech meanwhile, sells an audio only platform that requires mastering a fairly complicated server which has an extremely unintuitive and unforgiving browse exp.

Does other DLNA based solutions available on the market today provide a more intuitive and forgiving browsing experience ?

Does any hardware based player provide a more intuitive and forgiving browsing experience ?

I know there are computer based players that does it, but is there any hardware based player that provides a better browsing experience than Squeezebox, especially if we also include the available third party Squeezebox related iOS/Android apps ?

virgiliomi
2012-01-30, 12:55
Does other DLNA based solutions available on the market today provide a more intuitive and forgiving browsing experience ?

There's one DLNA server that does quite a bit... it's the PS3 Media Server (http://www.ps3mediaserver.org). Having looked at it quickly, it appears that it does realtime video transcoding. So if a file is in a format that isn't supported by a device, it will transcode it to a format that IS supported by the device. This is easily the best feature of this software, as it enables someone who has a wide variety of video files in different formats to not have to worry about what formats their TV or Blu-Ray player supports... the server software takes care of all the converting automatically. LMS does this with audio, but not with video. Video files are strictly served in their original format, so if a device doesn't support it, you'll get an error on the device when you try to play the file.

PS3 Media Server also does some audio transcoding, but it doesn't look like it supports as many formats as LMS does. And it even supports RAW picture files from Canon and Nikon... not just JPEGs.

Obviously the realtime video transcoding requires some CPU/GPU horsepower behind it to make it work well... so putting something like that in LMS, which is often run on smaller, lower-powered devices/systems, probably isn't going to happen.

I can't speak to how PS3 Media Server handles browsing through your files, since I've not downloaded it, but it seems to have a rather large user base, so I would imagine that it works fairly well.

trautigan
2012-01-31, 08:58
Does other DLNA based solutions available on the market today provide a more intuitive and forgiving browsing experience ?

Does any hardware based player provide a more intuitive and forgiving browsing experience ?

I know there are computer based players that does it, but is there any hardware based player that provides a better browsing experience than Squeezebox, especially if we also include the available third party Squeezebox related iOS/Android apps ?

Sadly the 'browsing experience' isn't the deciding factor for most people - Ease of use is higher on the list.
And Logitech's products are bottom of the list in that area for most non-tech mortals when it comes to that.

I've had Logitech products for years - currently Duet, Boom, the docking station, webcam...but I'm coming to the end of the road with the Duet/Boom/server combo.

Especially when I compare it with the ease of use of Apple Airplay.

I'm even looking at moving to Sonos, as their prices have (unsurprisingly) dropped.

The Logitech sync bug which has hit my setup (meaning I can't run it in sync!) is the final straw - that's after the Spotify buffering problems, the server upgrades which simply didn't work (I stopped ugrading to latest versions to get round that one), the BBC iPlayer issues - all magnificently fixed by Triode but which just shouldn't have happened in the first place, the remote control units which gave up the ghost...

I've always received good support and advice on these forums but IT JUST SHOULDN'T BE NECESSARY for a consumer electronic device.

It saddens me to say, but I think this particular technology avenue is a dead end.

Please convince me otherwise by pointing me to a glossy roadmap showing some fantastic upcoming products and/or a commitment to resolve what looks to me like some internal software development issues and/or a statement of support from senior Logitech sales/marketing. Until I start to see some of that then I will continue my planned drift away...

erland
2012-01-31, 10:17
Sadly the 'browsing experience' isn't the deciding factor for most people - Ease of use is higher on the list.
And Logitech's products are bottom of the list in that area for most non-tech mortals when it comes to that.

I've had Logitech products for years - currently Duet, Boom, the docking station, webcam...but I'm coming to the end of the road with the Duet/Boom/server combo.

Especially when I compare it with the ease of use of Apple Airplay.

I'm even looking at moving to Sonos, as their prices have (unsurprisingly) dropped.

I completely agree that AirPlay and probably Sonos both beats Squeezebox regarding ease of use.

However, someone still has to show me the DLNA solution with devices from multiple manufacturers involved that's easier to use or provide better and more intuitive browsing experience than a Squeezebox. I personally think Squeezebox is low on the list but I honestly think it's above anything based on DLNA with devices from multiple manufacturers. At least all the DLNA solutions I've tried has been less user friendly and more buggy than the Squeezebox, but maybe I've just been unlucky and tried the wrong ones.

Gingernut63
2012-01-31, 12:24
At least all the DLNA solutions I've tried has been less user friendly and more buggy than the Squeezebox, but maybe I've just been unlucky and tried the wrong ones.

I agree. At the moment DLNA works well enough for videos but the audio aspect is a far less satisfying experience. Maybe it's just me but some of the things I want with an audio delivery system are access to the tagging info, the ability to search for tracks easily, creation of playlists, organise the database the way I want etc ... The DLNA systems I've seen can't do this. You can say that LMS struggles in some of these areas but it is still light years ahead of DLNA in usability.

To me there are two main types of audio listener. The ones who just listen to music, who don't care about database structure, who have smallish collections. Then there are the audio tragics who have large collections (or working towards) who want proper database management and access to a plethora audio information, oh and they love listening to music as well (I'm part of this group). The first are easily catered for with the present systems DLNA, Apple Airplay etc, the second lot are more difficult to please so the audio software has to becomes more complicated to deliver the required outcomes.

It's easy to see which audio group is being catered for; the less R&D time the greater the profits. Again it still baffles me why Logitech purchased Slim Devices, its just too complicated for them, and it only took them five years to work that out.

Hopefully as the technology (DLNA etc) improves the usability will improve but will it? And where does this leave Squeezebox? Again the future doesn't look good.

KMorgan
2012-02-01, 01:35
I love my Squeezeboxes, but it's only when you try to explain to someone how it all works that you realise that for the average bod it's all quite complex.

A non-techy pal of mine visits and really enjoys using Squeezepad to browse Spotify and listen to anything he wants (well almost). So, he gets an ipad and asks me 'how do I get this to do what yours does?'. Then it gets difficult. I try to explain about servers, plugins etc., and get nowhere. My recommendation? Get an airport express, connect it to the aux-in of your Bose thing, load the Spotify app on your ipad, and off you go.

One more airplay user, one more sale to Apple. One less squeezebox user, one less sale to Logitech. Pity.

Keith

TheLastMan
2012-02-02, 05:31
I love my Squeezeboxes, but it's only when you try to explain to someone how it all works that you realise that for the average bod it's all quite complex.

A non-techy pal of mine visits and really enjoys using Squeezepad to browse Spotify and listen to anything he wants (well almost). So, he gets an ipad and asks me 'how do I get this to do what yours does?'. Then it gets difficult. I try to explain about servers, plugins etc., and get nowhere. My recommendation? Get an airport express, connect it to the aux-in of your Bose thing, load the Spotify app on your ipad, and off you go.

One more airplay user, one more sale to Apple. One less squeezebox user, one less sale to Logitech. Pity.

Keith
Yes, I am afraid you are spot on with this. I think even Sonos will not survive in the long term, despite it being arguably easier to set up.

The only significant advantage Squeezebox has over Airplay and DLNA is its ability to play different streams to different players and/or synchronise players all from a single music server.

However, in most households each music system has a different user with a different music collection. My daughter is not interested in playing my or my wife's music. She is quite happy to download or rip her Jessie J and Take That CDs on her laptop, transfer them to her iPod touch and play that in her bedroom through her little £50 iPod dock.

It is quite nice for me to be able to synchronise the kitchen and living room players, esp. for parties, but that is not a big enough advantage to make it worth the hassle for most people.

Most households have an iPod per occupant and docks around the house where music might be required. They simply plug the 'pod in wherever they want music. Simples.

High fidelity? Most don't need or care for it.

aubuti
2012-02-02, 06:58
High fidelity? Most don't need or care for it.
And among those who do need or care for it, iTunes (with WAV, AIFF, or Apple Lossless) + Airplay-equipped name brand consumer-grade receiver (Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Harmon Kardon, etc) + decent speakers is "good enough" for most. iPhone/iTouch optional.

bhaagensen
2012-02-02, 16:30
I agree things are looking fruity at the moment, but I think you are all assuming that Apple manages to maintain their [unrealistically?] high momentum in the long run - iPhone/iMac/Macbook/iPad/iPod. Though tempting, looking at the tech landscape, its not a horse I would put my own actual money on, over the run of, say, the next 5 years. Would you really?

pski
2012-02-02, 17:12
I love my Squeezeboxes, but it's only when you try to explain to someone how it all works that you realise that for the average bod it's all quite complex.

A non-techy pal of mine visits and really enjoys using Squeezepad to browse Spotify and listen to anything he wants (well almost). So, he gets an ipad and asks me 'how do I get this to do what yours does?'. Then it gets difficult. I try to explain about servers, plugins etc., and get nowhere. My recommendation? Get an airport express, connect it to the aux-in of your Bose thing, load the Spotify app on your ipad, and off you go.

One more airplay user, one more sale to Apple. One less squeezebox user, one less sale to Logitech. Pity.

Keith

Hi Keith,

It's really simple: the server (LMS) is a website that lives in your home and understands how to play your music to your squeezeboxen.

Also simple is the fact that the server (LMS) lets you also listen to internet radio streams.

Also simple is that with a server (LMS) you can have music play to all or any of your players at the same time.

Also simple is that a player can be software that plays through a computer's speakers or a "hardware" player that attaches to a real stereo or that has its own speakers.

Also simple is that any computer or squeezeboxen can control other players. In short, any computer on your house network can control it all.

Also simple is that iPhone/Pad or other web device can control the players and that some Android devices can also play your music wherever you are.

bobm
2012-02-02, 21:58
I really like my touch but I am curious. If using an IPOD doc and using apples lossless, will the quality be close to that of a SB touch? Not being a MAC guy, I looked at airport express and some IPOD docks, they don't seem to have digital out's for connection to your reciever but I may be missing it.

Can you purchase apple lossless from itunes now?

Thanks Bob

erland
2012-02-02, 22:23
I agree things are looking fruity at the moment, but I think you are all assuming that Apple manages to maintain their [unrealistically?] high momentum in the long run - iPhone/iMac/Macbook/iPad/iPod. Though tempting, looking at the tech landscape, its not a horse I would put my own actual money on, over the run of, say, the next 5 years. Would you really?

So which system/company do you feel have a more promising future over the next 5 years so you would be prepared to put your money on it ?

The offerings from Apple certainly have their limitations at the moment, especially for advanced users or users with specific needs (like people that want HiFi quality), but as mentioned previously in the thread, most people don't care about these kind of features.

So if I would mention companies that have the biggest potential to take over the market, Apple would be pretty high on that list, they would be in the top. Reason being that they have it all:
- They have the backend music store
- They are focused at usability and ease to use
- They are able to produce high quality hardware in high quantities
- They are inventive

They will of course not manage to keep their high momentum in the long run, but if we look for the next 5 year period I honestly can't mention anyone else that looks more promising. However, things are likely going to change over time, we just don't know in what direction it will move and which company that will lead the change.

erland
2012-02-02, 22:32
The only significant advantage Squeezebox has over Airplay and DLNA is its ability to play different streams to different players and/or synchronise players all from a single music server.

People keep mention DLNA...

Could someone let me know which DLNA based system that's more user friendly and more intuitive than a Squeezebox for music listening ?

Feels like I've missed something because all DLNA based system I've tried has been more hostile and more buggy than the experience I have from Squeezeboxes.

DLNA is great for video where you rarely browse or navigate, you just select what to play and watch it for 1-2 hours, but for music I can't see its big potential because browsing, searching is too big part of the usage scenario when listening to music.

It might sound good that you can mix devices from different manufacturers as you like, but is there anyone that really has got this to work reliably ?

All my experience tells me that often there are incompatibility issues between the hardware/software from different DLNA manufacturers, and this causes a lot more issues than the initial setup issues some people have with Squeezebox solutions.

moley6knipe
2012-02-03, 02:16
DLNA's a dead end, I think. I've played with a few over the years, notably Twonky, but I can't believe a non-techy will sit there and configure it to try and get audio *and* video working.

Squeezebox is great, but for me at least it's another layer on top of my configuration. I run a Windows box with iTunes on, for all of my video and audio. The iPhones sync off that (and of course I can use iTunes in the Cloud and/or iTunes Match to access stuff when away from home). I use AppleTV which, providing you're happy to use mpeg4 for your video and apple lossless/aac/mp3 for your audio (and none of those are niche, esoteric formats), is genuinely brilliant.

The Remote app for controlling AppleTV and/or your iTunes library from an iOs device is good, but not perfect. e.g. browsing music via Remote has no way of browsing by album artist. If you've got umpteen 100s of compilations that means your artist view is effectively too big to be useful.

On top of all of that is Squeezebox Server. To be fair, it works great most of the time. I've stopped upgrading the software because that doesn't work great! My only niggle in trying to properly integrate SBS into my set-up is scanning.

If I "use iTunes" in SBS then SBS updates when iTunes library changes. Good. I also get my iTunes playlists. Good. But I get all of my films and TV shows in SBS unless I untick them in iTunes. Bad.

If I don't "use iTunes" then I can point SBS to my Music folder, and get only my music in SBS. Good. But now I have to manually export my playlists from iTunes. Bad. And manually or via schedule, rescan SBS to pick up new and changed music. Bad

But add something like iPeng to SBS and it's a game changer. Access to my music anywhere, great interface.

So I'm somehow going to continue making SBS work even though I'm going Apple. But if one of the Squeezeboxes dies, it'll be replaced by an Airplay product. New purchases will be Airplay.

Good round-up of airplay speakers here:
http://reviews.cnet.com/2300-12698_7-10007138.html

amrace
2012-02-03, 03:15
It appears that many of us think that the future of Squeezebox is not too bright so I’ve been looking at what else is on the market for when the time comes to update my ageing kit or to build on what I have now. Sonos and Apple Airplay are similar alternatives but the Apple option has been described by some as non-HiFi.

My current system is something like this:

Apple lossless files - iTunes – Squeeze server – Lossless streaming over Wifi – Squeezebox Classic – digital coax out to DAC amp and speakers - iPad control using iPeng.

An Airplay version would be something like this:

Apple lossless files - iTunes – Airplay Lossless streaming over Wifi – Airport Express – optical out to DAC, amplifier and speakers – iPad control using Apple Remote.

Is the Squeezebox method more “HiFi” than the Apple?

I think I’ll have my Squeezebox system for some time to come though as it works really well for me. After the initial set up (which can be a nightmare) it’s quite a user friendly system, especially when used in conjunction with the iPeng iPad app. Even adding new music is easy, rip a CD into iTunes and in a few minutes it appears in on my Squeezeboxes, no tagging, scanning or whatever is required, it’s easy.

I'd like an extra zone on my system and I'm quite tempted to give the Airplay system a try. I appreciate i can't sync it with my squeezeboxes but I dont really need that option where its going.

Andy

TheLastMan
2012-02-03, 03:41
So which system/company do you feel have a more promising future over the next 5 years so you would be prepared to put your money on it ?
Ease of setup, use and administration is the key. The company that gets all of that right will dominate the market in the long term.

IMHO the biggest Squeezebox failing in this regard is paradoxically also one of its biggest attractions - a free "server" based on open software, and all the betas, plugins, bugs and continual development that goes with it.

Slim Devices was a computer hardware / software company that went into audio, and for that reason they have sought "computer" solutions to most issues. Logitech are also a computer company although more "consumer" oriented that SD.

Most of these networked media systems come primarily from this computer background, including Apple, but I have a feeling the big winner will eventually appear out of an audio/consumer electronics industry that understands what the large majority of consumers want.

If it ever appears, the "killer" networked home audio server, which will also be a home video system, will:
- be primarily a server, both hardware and software in one, fixed, box. If they are clever it will have a proprietary network like Sonos.
- work straight out of the box exactly as advertised
- be a totally closed system with no upgrade or plugin options
- be 99% reliable with no crashes or bugs
- work for 5 years and be then binned to be replaced by the "latest model" (just like your TV)
- have its own basic LCD screen and controls, but also be controllable with iOS and Android apps.
- include an optical drive for CD ripping
- have limited functionality, providing just enough for most situations
- will support various makes of player, but designed to work mainly with its own brand of "players", speakers and TVs.
- will provide links to a limited range of internet radio, video and music services (Spotify, netflix, iPlayer etc)

If Sonos were called "Sony", were half the price and included a server of the type discussed above they would have this market sewn up.

If Logitech had developed the Touch to include a proper hardware server then they would be closer.

In my opinion the failure of Logitech or Sonos to produce a "consumer friendly" (aka "idiot proof") server is the main reason this has not taken off.

The truck drivers, car mechanics, bank tellers, secretaries, school teachers and airline pilots of this world will not want to (or cannot) manage buggy software on a PC, leave it switched on all the time, configure WOL, hack linux to install LMS on a NAS, install plugins etc etc.

They should be able to attach a pre-configured server to their router, put a CD in their PC or laptop run a very simple setup routine and transfer their music and video. The rest should be pressing buttons on a remote control or app.

I would not want such a system, but 95% of the population would prefer it.

bobm
2012-02-03, 05:36
An Airplay version would be something like this:

Apple lossless files - iTunes – Airplay Lossless streaming over Wifi – Airport Express – optical out to DAC, amplifier and speakers – iPad control using Apple Remote.
Does Itunes have AIRPLAY built in or do you have to run another server on your MAC in order to stream. Can Airplay be run from a PC?

Thanks Bob

amrace
2012-02-03, 06:12
When you open iTunes 10 or later on your Mac or PC, you'll see an AirPlay button at the bottom right-hand corner of the iTunes window.Clicking on the AirPlay button will let you control where you stream your content.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4325

Andy

andynormancx
2012-02-03, 06:12
Does Itunes have AIRPLAY built in or do you have to run another server on your MAC in order to stream. Can Airplay be run from a PC?


Yes iTunes has AirPlay built in and yes it works on a Windows PC as well.

aubuti
2012-02-03, 06:45
So if I would mention companies that have the biggest potential to take over the market, Apple would be pretty high on that list, they would be in the top. Reason being that they have it all:
- They have the backend music store
- They are focused at usability and ease to use
- They are able to produce high quality hardware in high quantities
- They are inventive
I'm no Apple fan, but I think these are all true, and I'll add another reason (which, no doubt, is a by-product of the 4 reasons Erland mentions):
- They have big time buy-in from other hardware makers, whether it's AirPlay receivers and speakers or simple docks.

EDIT: The link posted earlier (http://reviews.cnet.com/2300-12698_7-10007138.html) gives a sampling. I can't say that any of those offerings are particularly appealing to me personally, but I'm sure there's a big market there.

aubuti
2012-02-03, 06:48
Can you purchase apple lossless from itunes now?
I don't think the iTunes store sells any lossless files. But obviously you can rip CDs to Apple Lossless, and I've noticed that many artists who sell downloads choose Apple Lossless as their only lossless option.

erland
2012-02-03, 09:14
Is the Squeezebox method more “HiFi” than the Apple?

No, the Squeezebox just gives you more choices regarding which file format to use for the music files.

It would be interesting if someone with good ears and good equipment did a blind test between an AirPort Express and a Squeezebox, both connected to an external DAC. I personally suspect the the difference would be small or not exist at all.

bobm
2012-02-03, 12:59
Yes iTunes has AirPlay built in and yes it works on a Windows PC as well.

Interesting, but can you also stream Internet content with iTunes like you can with Touch/LMS, i.e. local radio stations, Slacker, Mog.....?

Thanks Bob

andynormancx
2012-02-03, 13:27
In the Apple universe the best way to do that is to use the appropriate app on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and use AirPlay to send it to the AirPort.

trautigan
2012-02-10, 06:40
logitech products are becoming increasingly unnecessary for most users... thats the real issue.

on the one hand you have apple and all its tight integration that for most apple people works very well, or at least, prefectly for them. airplay is now becoming a standard that 3rd party hardware incorporate.

on the other hand, other hardware is integrating more and more dlna/upnp type things, also right into TVs and receivers and game systems.

logitech meanwhile, sells an audio only platform that requires mastering a fairly complicated server which has an extremely unintuitive and unforgiving browse exp.

what boggles my mind, is logitech makes money from hardware sales, not server development. why they haven't concentrated more on hardware, and making the server just be a middleware layer that allow any app to send the A/V to the hardware, i can't understand. it would save them tons of money from continuing to develop server, which as a music player, is an antique at best.

and besides, as audio only, its not only niche, but imo, doomed.

An excellent post with which i wholeheartedly agree.


I'm in the process of switching from Logitech to Apple, mainly out of frustration with that 'unintuitive and unforgiving' browser app. I think Logitech's strategy of heroic support from a few talented developers is a fire-fighting one, not a sustainable one that'll support growth.
I am not an Apple evangelist by any means - I just want something that is simple to use, decent sound quality and I'll take care of future-proofing against the constant (and usually welcome) stream of technology changes myself. To this end, Apple represents the next phase of evolution, Logitech represents the past. Shame really - the opportunity was there..

So far the transition has been a doddle - in fact, quite enjoyable. It is also relatively cheap to do - Apple TV costs 100GBP, I can reuse my speakers with built in amps, configuration is so simple, and I've loaded all my music into iCloud (22GBP for up to 25000 songs for a year).

I'll continue using the Logitech kit in a 'running it down' sort of way - but it means that the next time Logitech introduce a bug into software that was previously working fine I won't have to tear my hair out, just switch on my Apple kit and smile..

bhaagensen
2012-02-10, 08:28
Sorry about a late reply...

So which system/company do you feel have a more promising future over the next 5 years so you would be prepared to put your money on it ?


Don't know :)



The offerings from Apple certainly have their limitations at the moment, especially for advanced users or users with specific needs (like people that want HiFi quality), but as mentioned previously in the thread, most people don't care about these kind of features.

So if I would mention companies that have the biggest potential to take over the market, Apple would be pretty high on that list, they would be in the top. Reason being that they have it all:
- They have the backend music store
- They are focused at usability and ease to use
- They are able to produce high quality hardware in high quantities
- They are inventive

They will of course not manage to keep their high momentum in the long run, but if we look for the next 5 year period I honestly can't mention anyone else that looks more promising. However, things are likely going to change over time, we just don't know in what direction it will move and which company that will lead the change.

I don't disagree as such, but I do not find it hard to argue against either. For the first two points - take e.g. Spotify. They deliver content and accompanying software for most platforms - and its easy to use. Right, they do not have a own hardware. But then there is Android. The number of Android based phones and tablets is growing and non-negligeble. And of course Windows 8-based units (due in 1/2 yrs) - if you believe Microsoft can ever do a comeback, this would be another "threat". So I certainly don't mean Apple disappearing, but that there is room, and a likelihood, that the field will have other players, also in the next 5-yr period.

In the longer run - who knows... Some (I think Arcam, Electroncompagninet, Audiolab), are selling DACs with a wireless interface to the computer sound-driver. Personally I hope this (at the moment specialized market/feature) will drive the development of a server/client architecture for sound-systems at the OS level. Kind of like Airplay at the OS level. Whats the status of Pulseaudio by the way?

maggior
2012-02-10, 09:10
Is it true that airplay works per instance of iTunes or an iOS device? For instance, I have one computer with iTunes on it and somebody in room A is listening to music via AirPlay, somebody in room B cannot choose to listen to something else via AirPlay from that computer.

In that scenario, is it possible at least for both room A and B to listen to the same music in sync?

I've always thought of the independent playback per Squeezebox along with the syncing capability as differentiators for Logitech. I just want to double check (never having used AirPlay myself) that I'm correct in my understanding.

pippin
2012-02-10, 09:26
You can play different music on different AirPlay devices if you've got more than one source but iTunes can only handle a single playback queue.
So "yes" to your first question.

Syncing kind of works but it's not an active sync but only through Multicast or other network means so devices _can_ get out of sync although it's usually good enough.

maggior
2012-02-10, 12:29
You can play different music on different AirPlay devices if you've got more than one source but iTunes can only handle a single playback queue.
So "yes" to your first question.


Thanks for confirming my understanding. To me, this setup has limited use - kids with an iPod or iPad that want to listen over speakers in their room, college kids looking to do the same, etc. Though I guess that limited audience is pretty large :-).

bhaagensen
2012-02-10, 15:23
kids with an iPod or iPad that want to listen over speakers in their room, college kids looking to do the same, etc. Though I guess that limited audience is pretty large :-).

The DK goverment has a goal of getting some 80 percent of the population through college, so that's a good start for Apple then :)

But seriously. I love the SB for its advanced functionality, but I could certainly make use of easily being able to redirect the sounds from my fruits to the stereo. British hi-fi's such as Naim and Linn will certainly not switch to Airplay-only, but at the same time users are demanding Airplay as additional functionality and Linn already delivered and Naim promise to do within months.

aubuti
2012-02-10, 16:07
I would like another Boom type device to add to my existing system of 2 Classics and Boom.
I was surprised to see the Boom listed in a recent email from Amazon about network music players. And "only" US$500....
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DJ64D4/ref=pe_77200_22618660_pe_epc_dt3

shaboyi
2012-02-10, 16:38
Great discussion...I still wonder why the Squeezebox Touch could not
also be an Airplay device - so you could select it as a receiver and
use Airplay to stream to the SB. This would be the best of both
worlds: a superior networked 'open' audio solution (Squeezebox) and
the convenience of Airplay. .

BTW, I noticed that the D-Link Boxee is doing this now - via a recent
firmware update. I believe there software is also open. Curiously,
they don't call it Airplay but "Enable Streaming from iOS device."

One other point seems to be missing in the broader discussion - the
SB products are perfect for multi-room setups: you can have one (or
more) music libraries and stream virtually any music source to
individual players - either synched or individual (different) streams
You can then also control all rooms via one pretty good web-interface
on any networked computer, or via an App (iPeng, etc.). There is also
pretty much no limitation on the type of source (local music of most
formats, radio, numerous services) and all can be played back from one
interface. The Apple stuff does not do this well - the best way I
can think of to achieve multi-room/multiple streams with Apple is to
have multiple Apple TVs and then use Apple Remote App for local music
(iTunes libraries) and then Airplay for other Apps. Conceptually
this is not much different from multiple networked SBs, except that it
can also do Airplay. And it has downsides compared to an SB
solution: you can't sync multiple Apple TVs, limitations on music
formats for local music, no wired streaming of services like Pandora
etc (only Airplay), and inferior management (you have to switch back
and forth with the Apple Remote app to control different apple TVs).

In any case, I think Airplay on the SB would be a great feature and
make good business sense. Logitech should figure out a way to do it!

pippin
2012-02-10, 16:46
Great discussion...I still wonder why the Squeezebox Touch could not
also be an Airplay device - so you could select it as a receiver and
use Airplay to stream to the SB. This would be the best of both
worlds: a superior networked 'open' audio solution (Squeezebox) and
the convenience of Airplay. .
...
In any case, I think Airplay on the SB would be a great feature and
make good business sense. Logitech should figure out a way to do it!

It's not up to Logitech.
Google Apple's terms&conditions for AirPlay and you know why it won't happen.

pski
2012-02-10, 16:59
You can play different music on different AirPlay devices if you've got more than one source but iTunes can only handle a single playback queue.
So "yes" to your first question.

Syncing kind of works but it's not an active sync but only through Multicast or other network means so devices _can_ get out of sync although it's usually good enough.

So this means <apologies> that Airplay/Apple does not support playing one thing to one device and something else to any others.

Add to that the fact you have to use a playlist to pick what is playing next.

Stupid is as stupid does.

P

shaboyi
2012-02-10, 17:20
>
> It's not up to Logitech.
> Google Apple's terms&conditions for AirPlay and you know why it won't
> happen.

i am not a lawyer so i'll skip wading through terms&conditions, but it
seems odd that so many other hardware devices can....is Logitech or
the SB Touch unique is some regard? I used the example of D-Link Boxee
- they enabled it via a firmware update. The Boxee (video streaming
player) is not so functionally different from an SB (audio streaming
player). if the terms are so restrictive, why can a company like
D-Link/Boxee do it and not Logitech? Or the growing list of other
hardware AV companies?

pippin
2012-02-10, 17:23
So this means <apologies> that Airplay/Apple does not support playing one thing to one device and something else to any others.


No. AirPlay supports it, at least as an overall system (don't know whether you can have two streams from the same device since AirPlay is pretty much built into the OS).
What does not is iTunes, iTunes can only play one queue at a time.

erland
2012-02-10, 22:37
But seriously. I love the SB for its advanced functionality, but I could certainly make use of easily being able to redirect the sounds from my fruits to the stereo. British hi-fi's such as Naim and Linn will certainly not switch to Airplay-only, but at the same time users are demanding Airplay as additional functionality and Linn already delivered and Naim promise to do within months.

But do you need the same device handle it ?

AppleTV already exists, just buy one if you like AirPlay to the amplifier, there is no reason it have to be integrated in an all-in-one Squeezebox. We want Squeezebox to be really good at it does, we don't want it to become a multi-purpose device that does a lot but doesn't do anything really good, do we ?

The situation is a bit different if you are talking about a device with build-in speakers, because you likely don't want a multiple set of speakers in the kitchen, you like to be able to reuse the ones you have on a Boom/Radio, both for AirPlay and main music library on LMS. And this is where it might be interesting with AirPlay, but for me personally, I'm more or less always in the main listening room when I feel the need to listen to something via AirPlay, so I'm not really sure I would use it much in the kitchen and bedroom.

The question we also need to ask us, is if we are prepared to purchase a new Squeezebox with current functionality plus AirPlay if it's price is $99 higher than today. As mentioned previously it requires new hardware components, so it won't work with the current hardware due to restrictions from Apple. And it will be more expensive as licensing costs for AirPlay and hardware costs for these extra components have to be covered by the price. It could of course also have the same price but then some of the current functionality/features will have to be removed, for example the audio quality.

erland
2012-02-10, 23:14
the best way I
can think of to achieve multi-room/multiple streams with Apple is to
have multiple Apple TVs and then use Apple Remote App for local music
(iTunes libraries) and then Airplay for other Apps. Conceptually
this is not much different from multiple networked SBs, except that it
can also do Airplay. And it has downsides compared to an SB
solution: you can't sync multiple Apple TVs, limitations on music
formats for local music, no wired streaming of services like Pandora
etc (only Airplay), and inferior management (you have to switch back
and forth with the Apple Remote app to control different apple TVs).

It's important to understand that Apple and Logitech(Squeezebox) have different approaches to this.

Apple is designed with the mind that each family member have his/her own iOS portable device (iPad, iPhone, iPod) and each family member have his/her own music library on a computer and whole or a part of it is also available locally on their personal portable device. Often a specific family member just want to listen to his/her music in the headphones but sometimes he/she like to share it with friends in the same room, by using AirPlay or putting it in a docking station.

Squeezebox is designed with the mind that their is one single music library for the whole family. Each family member want to be able to select something to listen to independent which room they are in, but they are all interested to select something from the whole music library common for the whole family. Sometimes they also want to play the same music synchronized in the whole house, except for demo purposes this is basically usable in two scenarios, single person households or during parties.

An iOS device per family member + AirPlay speaker in every room might be more expensive than a Squeezebox in every room, but on the other hand, some of the family members would likely have a iOS device even if they use a Squeezebox system at home.

In my mind, it's important to be able to play my music in any room, but the possibility to synchronize music between rooms isn't really that important, it's mostly just a cool demonstration feature for me.

So what advantages does the Squeezebox really have over an AirPlay solution ?
Which of these advantages are relevant to 80% of the customers ?

Some questions people should ask themselves:
- Do you hear a difference between a Squeezebox and AppleTV regarding audio quality ?
- Does the whole family mostly like the same type of music ?
- Is your favorite tunes, radio stations, artist the same as the favorites of the other members in the family ?
- Is synchronized playback important to you ?
- Is it often that the whole family want to listen to the same tune ? When located in different rooms ?
- Is it possible to put all music you like into the relatively small storage on a iOS portable device ?
- Is it useful/suitable to have one single library for the whole family ?
- Do you purchase most music on CD's or through iTunes Music Store ?
- Is it important that friends visiting can output some track they have on their portable device through your speakers ?

For me personally, Squeezebox generally fits my needs better, but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of families who also would prefer the Apple philosophy, I actually suspect Apple is the preferred way for families while Squeezebox is more adjusted to households with one or two persons.

This is of course based on the current Squeezebox functionality, it would be possible for Logitech to change this and introduce a "user concept", but I haven't seen any indications that this is in their current plans.

erland
2012-02-10, 23:18
So this means <apologies> that Airplay/Apple does not support playing one thing to one device and something else to any others.

Add to that the fact you have to use a playlist to pick what is playing next.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Apple concept is based on that each family member have their own personal iOS device. If this is the case, it works beautifully, one family member output some track from an iPhone to the AppleTV in the living room, another family member output some track from the iPad to the AirPlay speaker in the kitchen.

DITC101
2012-02-11, 14:10
I am always wondering why Logitech doesn't offer a speaker only product like the Sonos Play 3/5.
Currently I am looking for something small for my bedroom. The Boom is EOL, the Radio is too small and the display isn't really readable from 3m away.

reniera
2012-02-11, 18:23
I am always wondering why Logitech doesn't offer a speaker only product like the Sonos Play 3/5.
Currently I am looking for something small for my bedroom. The Boom is EOL, the Radio is too small and the display isn't really readable from 3m away.

Too small ? Personally, i find the radio the perfect speaker for a bedroom. I suggest you try it. Every 5 bedrooms at home have a radio. Kids love it. Get it on amazon an return it for free if really you don't like it.
Note : with volume at 20%, it's loud enough to get you out of bed

aubuti
2012-02-11, 21:10
I am always wondering why Logitech doesn't offer a speaker only product like the Sonos Play 3/5.
Currently I am looking for something small for my bedroom. The Boom is EOL, the Radio is too small and the display isn't really readable from 3m away.
For a table-top product like that I personally find the lack of front controls (such as on the Sonos 3 and 5) a drawback. Having to grab a remote to control something that is often an arm's length away is a pain. I don't feel that way about my SB2s and SB3, since they're hooked up to proper stereo systems.

As for readable from 3m away, it obviously depends what you're displaying. For artist and track info it's a problem even at 1m. For time, no problem at all at 3m.

paul.raulerson
2012-02-11, 22:47
If I understand correctly, Apple doesn't allow Airplay on devices with an open (streaming) OS, like LMS/SqueezePlay.

Airplay is on a lot of DNLA capable devices right now. Besides, there is nothing that says Logitech won't update LMS to stream to Airplay devices as well as SBs. Airplay is currently limited to 16/44.1, but it won't be for long...

-Paul

Soulkeeper
2012-02-13, 02:13
Personally, i find the radio the perfect speaker for a bedroom.

Same here. I tried the Boom first. Great for getting me up, but too "boomy" to listen to at night. So the Boom went in the kitchen, and a Radio replaced it on the nightstand. A much better fit.

TheLastMan
2012-02-13, 04:03
It's important to understand that Apple and Logitech(Squeezebox) have different approaches to this.
[Snip very good post]
Correct in every respect, but both systems can co-exist quite happily provided there are amplifiers in the house with more than one line level input.

I have a Squeezebox Server setup with Receivers in the kitchen and livingroom. However, because all but one member of the household now has an iThing of some description, I have rigged up docks on both systems so the users can either listen to music via their pod or via the Squeezebox. Also, there is no reason why an Airplay enabled amp could not also have a Squeezebox attached.

The music on the server is mostly mine and my wife's. However the children do use the Squeezebox to access Napster (for music they don't yet have on their pods), BBC iPlayer and other internet radio. Squeezebox can also add to what is available via Apple's systems via the "player" function in iPeng - which my daughter uses occasionally even though the Venn Diagram of our musical tastes only has a very small overlap!

The two systems can live happily side-by-side but I am sure most households will make a choice of one or the other according to the considerations that Erland has listed.

maggior
2012-02-13, 08:15
I have a Squeezebox Server setup with Receivers in the kitchen and livingroom. However, because all but one member of the household now has an iThing of some description, I have rigged up docks on both systems so the users can either listen to music via their pod or via the Squeezebox. Also, there is no reason why an Airplay enabled amp could not also have a Squeezebox attached.

The music on the server is mostly mine and my wife's. However the children do use the Squeezebox to access Napster (for music they don't yet have on their pods), BBC iPlayer and other internet radio. Squeezebox can also add to what is available via Apple's systems via the "player" function in iPeng - which my daughter uses occasionally even though the Venn Diagram of our musical tastes only has a very small overlap!


In our house, all of the music exists on the music server - mine, my wife's, and the kids'. So, anybody's "iThingy" will be a subset of what is available from the server. My kids are younger (oldest is 7), so this may change in the future. So far, Rhapsody has saved me from having to add things like Justin Beber to my music library :-).

andyg
2012-02-13, 10:48
>
> It's not up to Logitech.
> Google Apple's terms&conditions for AirPlay and you know why it won't
> happen.

i am not a lawyer so i'll skip wading through terms&conditions, but it
seems odd that so many other hardware devices can....is Logitech or
the SB Touch unique is some regard? I used the example of D-Link Boxee
- they enabled it via a firmware update. The Boxee (video streaming
player) is not so functionally different from an SB (audio streaming
player). if the terms are so restrictive, why can a company like
D-Link/Boxee do it and not Logitech? Or the growing list of other
hardware AV companies?

Can you post a link to the Boxee source code that implements this? To implement an Airplay receiver and avoid being sued to death by Apple you need to buy a specific chip, are not allowed to run Linux, and I'm sure a host of other restrictions as well.

DaveWr
2012-02-13, 11:47
Linn DS devices do it. Software only update. They have no special chips as they pre-date Airplay. Indeed a year ago they said they wouldn't support it.

http://mafipulation.org/blagoblig/2011/04/08#shairport

bhaagensen
2012-02-13, 14:48
Linn DS devices do it. Software only update. They have no special chips as they pre-date Airplay. Indeed a year ago they said they wouldn't support it.

http://mafipulation.org/blagoblig/2011/04/08#shairport

Well - as pr. andyg's post, Shairport is 3rd party and I suppose not at all endorsed by Apple. Its in your link - "So I took it apart (I still have scars from opening the glued case!), dumped the ROM, and reverse engineered the keys out of it."

Actually someone did some work on getting it working with the SB - I tried, but could never get it to work reliably.

andyg
2012-02-13, 14:54
And now you see why we cannot include it...

bhaagensen
2012-02-13, 15:09
But do you need the same device handle it ?


Yes.... Ideally I'd prefer not to double the efforts of my SBs with an extra ATV/AE for each of my setups.

Technicalities and all other issues aside [real as they may be], what Airplay does is something many are going to look for. From a user pov I think its rather good. But certainly not brilliant in any way. As I wrote earlier - my ideal world would contain an open server/client-architecture for sound systems implemented at the OS level on Win/Mac/Linux. Pulseaudio anyone?

As for me, I'll resist for as long as I can - for audio, a simple 30$ Bluetooth receiver gets you most of the it (short on fidelity) and albeit in a more generic way - though the ATVs/AEs are going to look tempting every single day!

bhaagensen
2012-02-13, 15:13
And now you see why we cannot include it...

Yes of course its not happening officially and with Shairport. But I know far from enough to understand why it so definitely could not be made/negotiated/licensed to happen in a future SB device?

Mnyb
2012-02-13, 15:20
Neither Linn or Boxee can do it with shairport if they do they will be in the news for it really soon when apple sues them ?

Or are these third party addons ?

There is some info missing here

andyg
2012-02-13, 15:22
IANAL but from what I understand it's probably possible in a closed device like a Linn but not an open or Linux-based device like ours. Also there is certainly a huge per-unit Apple licensing fee meaning it would be unlikely we could add it to existing players for example, even with no technical limitations. BTW this is just my opinion... it is probably more likely we could see a 3rd party solution though.

pippin
2012-02-13, 15:42
Or are these third party addons ?

Yes, I believe. And similar addons exist for the SB, too.

Also, you have to see that Boxee is NOT a hardware manufacturer, Boxee is a sofware, absed on an open source project that is being used by several HW manufacturers to build devices.

AFAIK, the chipset limitation is that you have to use the very chipset for which the AirPlay firmware Apple will license you is available.
Maybe Linn just got lucky and did already use that chipset.

bhaagensen
2012-02-13, 15:53
Yes, I believe. And similar addons exist for the SB, too.


Are you sure its 3rd party - its prominently featuret on the official pages and no mention of 3rf party:
http://news.linn.co.uk/news/2011/12/songcast-shares-it-all.php

Btw. do you have the SB (shairport based) version reliably working?

pippin
2012-02-13, 16:04
Are you sure its 3rd party - its prominently featuret on the official pages and no mention of 3rf party:
http://news.linn.co.uk/news/2011/12/songcast-shares-it-all.php

I was talking about Boxee, sorry.
And no, I'm not _sure_ there either ;)


Btw. do you have the SB (shairport based) version reliably working?

Never tried, wouldn't know what for.

shaboyi
2012-02-13, 16:47
more on the d-link boxee - they might have done it in software. it
appears to run on some sort of linux and apparently you can get ssh
access with some effort. they also don't call it AirPlay - they call
it "iOS Streaming." that may say something.

it also in not an expensive device - less than the Touch ($199).
Works great for video.

i tried the shairport install and got lost. i am no pro at linux but
get around OK and those instructions were real basic and the author
must assume the reader knows all sorts of things that many would not
know.

DaveWr
2012-02-14, 10:36
The Linn solution is from Linn Engineering - it is part of their Davaar software release. It is not third party.

erland
2012-02-14, 11:12
The Linn solution is from Linn Engineering - it is part of their Davaar software release. It is not third party.

I wonder if they have really licensed it, when searching the net and also the fact that they call it "NetAux" and not AirPlay, it kind of feels like they have an unauthorized reverse engineered solution.

They certainly didn't plan to license it one and a half year ago:
http://blogs.linn.co.uk/giladt/2010/09/its-not-an-apple-world-its-a-networked-world.php

However, I guess Linn can take the cost if Apple requires them to officially license it, it's a bit different for Logitech and its devices for $299 and less.

Phil Leigh
2012-02-14, 12:03
I wonder if they have really licensed it, when searching the net and also the fact that they call it "NetAux" and not AirPlay, it kind of feels like they have an unauthorized reverse engineered solution.

They certainly didn't plan to license it one and a half year ago:
http://blogs.linn.co.uk/giladt/2010/09/its-not-an-apple-world-its-a-networked-world.php

However, I guess Linn can take the cost if Apple requires them to officially license it, it's a bit different for Logitech and its devices for $299 and less.

I really don't think that Linn would risk legal action by Apple!

DaveWr
2012-02-14, 12:27
I wonder if they have really licensed it, when searching the net and also the fact that they call it "NetAux" and not AirPlay, it kind of feels like they have an unauthorized reverse engineered solution.

They certainly didn't plan to license it one and a half year ago:
http://blogs.linn.co.uk/giladt/2010/09/its-not-an-apple-world-its-a-networked-world.php


I think they discovered sales in the US needed it, although not convinced its a licensed version. they have said it is very confusing on what rates etc it supports. If it were licensed I would assume they would have comprehensive documentation.

erland
2012-02-14, 12:33
I really don't think that Linn would risk legal action by Apple!

You might be correct, but they don't call it AirPlay for a reason, and there are posts on the Linn forums that say that the reason for that is licensing restrictions from Apple.

So I might be wrong, but neither Linn nor Boxee Box feels like Apple authorized solutions when you read about them. Linn have decided to call it something else (Net-Aux) and Boxee Box provides it as an experimental feature which is disabled by default.

However, I assume both have done it in a way so they feel they can defend their solution if lawyers from Apple would come and visit. I'm not sure what actually requires a license, maybe you are "allowed" to reverse engineer it as long as you don't officially call it AirPlay.

MusicManiac
2012-02-14, 18:46
Not sure how Linn is going about things, but I believe Boxee still uses Pascals Airplayer:

http://pwiddershoven.nl/blog/2011/01/05/airplayer.html

...which was later implemented in xbmc:

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/commit/ae7b0b54384485e85124bc33c0743ed7cad627a4

It's been awhile since I've used either so things may have changed...

-mm

Gingernut63
2012-02-15, 19:35
Personally I couldn't care less about AirPlay, what should be happening is that Logitech should be producing cheaper portable devices that connect to Squeezebox Server (LMS). This would get people buying into the system and then they could look at the more expensive Touch for better sound quality.

Yes I know, what about Boom and the Radio. Boom is dead and was too expensive for casual/non hi-fi users, I have one and love it but the general masses weren't going to buy it. Radio is mono, still relative expensive and not available in some countries i.e. Australia.

I don't like Apple due to their restrictions and buy-in methods but I purchased an iPod Touch for my wife so she could walk around the house and yard listening to music via headphones. I installed iPeng Play and she is connected to LMS to access the full music collection and she loves it. I have a pathological aversion to iTunes so I use 3rd party software to load music to the device if required.

Why use the iPod? There is no other device like it that offers the functionality and reliability. If Logitech produced a portable unit that could perform similar duties to the iPod musically, sans the internet browsing and apps and coupled it with a cheaper sound delivery system then they might find more people are interested in Squeezebox. The unit doesn’t need a high quality DAC, it just needs to deliver music. It could have storage via SD card, it could be like a scaled down Squeezebox Controller which is plugged into a set of speakers like the Logitech S135i. Coincidentally I have actually used a Squeezebox Controller with the S135i and it makes an acceptable portable music system. Obviously it can be used with iPod as well.

You may suggest using mobile (cell) phones as music players connected to speakers, but I have to say I generally find this a less than satisfactory option and would prefer standalone equipment.

Yes I also want higher quality music delivery and the SB Touch can deliver that, but there also needs to be less technical maybe less functional devices that can connect to LMS as well. It can be done it’s just unfortunate that Logitech have not gone down this route and it appears it is probably too late to try.

As mentioned by other users, Squeezebox is far more versatile than AirPlay, offering a multitude of options. Erland mentioned that he doesn’t use the synchronise function, I use it quite a bit when I want the same music through the house i.e. a party. I like the versatility via plugins to connect a multitude of third party equipment to the system. It’s too good to lose, I’m just very annoyed that Logitech have dropped the ball on Squeezebox.

froth
2012-02-16, 09:18
The biggest issue I have with the squeeze line is ease of use for techo neofites. My system is sold, little to no issues all rooms using wireless with a wireless infrastructure that has N based devices and extenders. Even my microwave no longer causes disruptions in the kitchen setup.

The problem comes when the wife wants to use the system beyond presets I have put on a boom in the kitchen for her or the favorites I have created.

We use iPeng on ipod and iphones to control the system. So to me the interface is good and easy to use. She still has troubles, the kids not so much but they do say things are much easier to do when playing music from their ithing docked in a base. In fact, often if they are in a room with a boom, instead of just using ipeng to play what they want, they will connect their ithing to the external input into the boom and play right from their ithing. I hate that as for the most part we keep everything on the server and then when they want to update their ithing they have a way to easily add the music to their ithing from the server.

For the wife if I know she is doing something and will want certain rooms synced, I predo that for her and then ask her what she will want to play for music so I can easily put the sources there for her such as streaming from Sirius XM or playlists from our large library. So I end up being the DJ so to speak just so she does not get frustrated, go to the basement and unboxes thousands of CD's and go old school.

In some ways I believe we need a very simple interface offering basic features to make this easy on the people who are not technical. For example, a sync interface where is actually tells you what to do on the infterface to sync devices in very easy terms and steps. iPeng is close but not close enough so my wife can easily figure it out.

TheLastMan
2012-02-17, 03:18
The biggest issue I have with the squeeze line is ease of use for techo neofites. My system is sold, little to no issues all rooms using wireless with a wireless infrastructure that has N based devices and extenders. Even my microwave no longer causes disruptions in the kitchen setup.

The problem comes when the wife wants to use the system beyond presets I have put on a boom in the kitchen for her or the favorites I have created.

We use iPeng on ipod and iphones to control the system. So to me the interface is good and easy to use. She still has troubles, the kids not so much but they do say things are much easier to do when playing music from their ithing docked in a base. In fact, often if they are in a room with a boom, instead of just using ipeng to play what they want, they will connect their ithing to the external input into the boom and play right from their ithing. I hate that as for the most part we keep everything on the server and then when they want to update their ithing they have a way to easily add the music to their ithing from the server.

For the wife if I know she is doing something and will want certain rooms synced, I predo that for her and then ask her what she will want to play for music so I can easily put the sources there for her such as streaming from Sirius XM or playlists from our large library. So I end up being the DJ so to speak just so she does not get frustrated, go to the basement and unboxes thousands of CD's and go old school.

In some ways I believe we need a very simple interface offering basic features to make this easy on the people who are not technical. For example, a sync interface where is actually tells you what to do on the infterface to sync devices in very easy terms and steps. iPeng is close but not close enough so my wife can easily figure it out.
I feel your pain! Things are not so very different in my household. However I have reduced the extent of a couple of the problems:

Updating kids iThing from server:
Both my older children have access to a laptop which they use to update their pods. I have set up iTunes on this so that it uses folders in the same music library on my server as the Squeezebox (not a shared library, just "adding" folders from my SB library). My library is split into two identical halves, one with MP3s for pods and one with FLACs for squeezebox.

This library is synced between NAS and a PC giving some backup protection for their iThings, and I have set up iTunes on the laptop so that when they add music from the server it keeps a local copy on their iTunes folder on the lappie.

After a bit of cajoling they also let me buy downloads and rip CDs for them as I can do that a lot cheaper than iTunes, and usually a lot quicker too. My son is now getting interested in this process and has offered to take over the job! He is an intelligent lad and understands the advantages.

Wife friendly control:
My wife is happy to use the Controller, because it has "real" hardware buttons with obvious functions not unlike an iPod. She simply does not get on with either iPeng on my iPod or Squeezecommander on her HTC. I have also added an extra genre tag to "her" music so that it is all located in the one menu location, she does not need to scroll through long lists of my "what's this awful racket" music to get to her own stuff.

Sync players:
Not sure what your problem is here. I have set it up so that the "choose player" and "sync" options are a the top of the home menu so that she can find them easily. Even my technophobe wife quickly got the hang of the sync option after 2 minutes of training (the limit of her patience with these things!). However she finds swapping between players with the Controller a bind, so I may have to buy a second one!

socistep
2012-02-17, 03:27
The biggest issue I have with the squeeze line is ease of use for techo neofites. My system is sold, little to no issues all rooms using wireless with a wireless infrastructure that has N based devices and extenders. Even my microwave no longer causes disruptions in the kitchen setup.

The problem comes when the wife wants to use the system beyond presets I have put on a boom in the kitchen for her or the favorites I have created.

We use iPeng on ipod and iphones to control the system. So to me the interface is good and easy to use. She still has troubles, the kids not so much but they do say things are much easier to do when playing music from their ithing docked in a base. In fact, often if they are in a room with a boom, instead of just using ipeng to play what they want, they will connect their ithing to the external input into the boom and play right from their ithing. I hate that as for the most part we keep everything on the server and then when they want to update their ithing they have a way to easily add the music to their ithing from the server.

For the wife if I know she is doing something and will want certain rooms synced, I predo that for her and then ask her what she will want to play for music so I can easily put the sources there for her such as streaming from Sirius XM or playlists from our large library. So I end up being the DJ so to speak just so she does not get frustrated, go to the basement and unboxes thousands of CD's and go old school.

In some ways I believe we need a very simple interface offering basic features to make this easy on the people who are not technical. For example, a sync interface where is actually tells you what to do on the infterface to sync devices in very easy terms and steps. iPeng is close but not close enough so my wife can easily figure it out.

I agree and think its frustrating for us SB enthusiasts, we have an excellent system that delivers so much functionality and music, multi-room, multi-service etc. etc., yet I've often had conversations with people who just aren't interested and happy to stick with ipod in a dock producing a basic sound, I've learnt now just to let it go, safe in the knowledge that my system is much more suited for my needs

My girlfriend does use the system via iPeng, she knows what to do however isn't a massive music listener compared to me (prefers to have the TV on as background noise which drives me mad!), however she will listen to BBC radio, playlists, albums if needed so she knows what to do, she likes the benefits when some of her friends come round and I'll put on one of the dynamic playlists (e.g. 80s pop!) - however she also is quick to mock my 'geek' system, haha

socistep
2012-02-17, 03:29
I feel your pain! Things are not so very different in my household. However I have reduced the extent of a couple of the problems:

Updating kids iThing from server:
Both my older children have access to a laptop which they use to update their pods. I have set up iTunes on this so that it uses folders in the same music library on my server as the Squeezebox (not a shared library, just "adding" folders from my SB library). My library is split into two identical halves, one with MP3s for pods and one with FLACs for squeezebox.

This library is synced between NAS and a PC giving some backup protection for their iThings, and I have set up iTunes on the laptop so that when they add music from the server it keeps a local copy on their iTunes folder on the lappie.

After a bit of cajoling they also let me buy downloads and rip CDs for them as I can do that a lot cheaper than iTunes, and usually a lot quicker too. My son is now getting interested in this process and has offered to take over the job! He is an intelligent lad and understands the advantages.

Wife friendly control:
My wife is happy to use the Controller, because it has "real" hardware buttons with obvious functions not disimmilar to an iPod. She simply does not get on with either iPeng on my iPod or Squeezecommander on her HTC. I have also added an extra genre tag to "her" music so that it is all located in the one menu location, she does not need to scroll through long lists of my "what's this awful racket" music to get to her own stuff.

Sync players:
Not sure what your problem is here. I have set it up so that the "choose player" and "sync" options are a the top of the home menu so that she can find them easily. Even my technophobe wife quickly got the hang of the sync option after 2 minutes of training (the limit of her patience with these things!). However she finds swapping between players with the Controller a bind, so I may have to buy a second one!

Its a shame Mrs TheLastMan won't pick up Squeezecommander or iPeng as they are really easy for controlling and syncing players!

Mnyb
2012-02-17, 03:44
Easier would be SqueezePad or *shrug* the official app .

You can not make Squeezebox LMS simpler it would not function properly anymore ? thus being useless .

A car that only steers left and goes only forward is simpler than one that goes both ways and left/rigth, 1/4 of the complexity but useless.

TheLastMan
2012-02-17, 04:13
Its a shame Mrs TheLastMan won't pick up Squeezecommander or iPeng as they are really easy for controlling and syncing players!
I know, its strange. I really rate iPeng, and so does our daughter. But Mrs TLM is quite happy with the Controller so there is no issue as long as it continues to work.

She really does prefer "hardware" buttons to a touch screen and was contemplating dumping the HTC for a Blackberry but is sticking with it solely for our shared Google calendar which is a boon for both of us.

She has a huge error rate using the touch screen - always cursing as icons get accidentally dragged off the home screen, widgets disappear, phone calls unanswered as it refuses to respond to her "swipe". HTC/Android really needs a "screen lock" function that will stop accidental rearrangements and deletions. I have to "repair" her HTC home screen at least once a week!

I don't think she is alone either, which is why it is short-sighted of Logitech to discontinue the Controller without making a replacement. Even geeks occasionally acquire wives and children, and Logitech devices have to be friendly to them as well as their geek "masters".

She will, however, happily use an iPad. I think the size of the HTc screen is the issue (her eyesight is quite poor, even with specs). But I am loathe to pay over £400 just to get a touch screen Squeezebox Controller my wife will use when she is quite happy with the one with buttons we already have.

garym
2012-02-17, 05:48
Mrs. garym also prefers the CONTROLLER. Although I've never tried her with ipengHD or SqueezePad on my ipad. may do that if I get an iPAD3 and leave the ipad2 sitting around for her use....

erland
2012-02-17, 11:04
You can not make Squeezebox LMS simpler it would not function properly anymore ? thus being useless .

We aren't necessarily talking about removing functions, I think it's primarily about making them easier and more intuitive to access. There are many design choices in the Logitech user interfaces that are based on a technical or geek perspective rather then a usability perspective. You can't just add a function as a new menu item, to make a good user interface you need to start thinking about when and in what context people are going to want to access that function.

Gingernut63
2012-02-17, 15:36
We aren't necessarily talking about removing functions, I think it's primarily about making them easier and more intuitive to access. There are many design choices in the Logitech user interfaces that are based on a technical or geek perspective rather then a usability perspective. You can't just add a function as a new menu item, to make a good user interface you need to start thinking about when and in what context people are going to want to access that function.

Exactly. Use basic menus and have an advanced selection to expand the menus for instance. Personally I would use the advanced selection but plenty of users just want to view the basic functions. This applies to both the hardware interfaces and LMS. As mentioned previously it may also mean changing some of the selections to make them more intuitive for the less capable user.

The hardest thing to do when designing software is placing yourself in shoes of the user. How simple or technical do you make it. If it's too hard then people give up and try something else. Conversely if it's too simplistic or limited then the technically inclined can get frustrated with the usability (see Apple). For Squeezebox to survive it needs more users and therefore needs to reassess the interfaces to make it simpler but at the same time not alienate the geeks, technically minded and the HiFi crowd.

As mentioned previously this also would include producing some simpler hardware along side the Touch. It's not diluting the concept but expanding it.

froth
2012-02-22, 09:36
I like the idea of a simplistic interface for those who just need the basics and the advanced with all the features.

When I made the venture into the Squeeze line of products ease of use for the whole family was something I did not consider. This caused a decline in the adoption of the system. My wife loves the system when it works. And when I say works, when she can play her music and sync players when required.

You know they make cell phones with big buttons and the likes to make them easy to use for seniors as many only want to receive calls and make calls. My father in law has one of these and he loves it. He could make (to him) his complicated Nokia phone work before.

I think the only way we are going to really see a change in adoption of this system to the masses is to provide options in controller interfaces.

gruntwolla
2012-02-24, 13:57
I know, its strange. I really rate iPeng, and so does our daughter. But Mrs TLM is quite happy with the Controller so there is no issue as long as it continues to work.


She will, however, happily use an iPad. I think the size of the HTc screen is the issue (her eyesight is quite poor, even with specs). But I am loathe to pay over £400 just to get a touch screen Squeezebox Controller my wife will use when she is quite happy with the one with buttons we already have.

I got my wife ( I can't bring myself to call her Mrs Gruntwolla!)an ipad for Christmas. Although it wasn't purchased for Squeezebox use, I did slyly install Squeezepad! To my surprise, my wife has just taken to it. I can't really explain why - maybe she finds the extra space on the screen more friendly, or maybe just because it's hers, but she suddenly gets the whole squeezebox thing. A happy experience.