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moos_man
2012-10-03, 06:37
Hey Guys,

I would like to understand how big/active/passionate the Squeezebox community really is at this point, and how much real interest there is in keeping things going, and growing, into the future. I'm not talking about keeping this on life support (as per what is going on now), but in terms of new products and restoring the commitment to quality music playback - think transporter on steroids and other cool products.

I'm seriously thinking about making an offer to Logitech for the rights, so would appreciate considered feedback.

Cheers,

Moos Man

garym
2012-10-03, 06:42
Hey Guys,

I would like to understand how big/active/passionate the Squeezebox community really is at this point, and how much real interest there is in keeping things going, and growing, into the future. I'm not talking about keeping this on life support (as per what is going on now), but in terms of new products and restoring the commitment to quality music playback - think transporter on steroids and other cool products.

I'm seriously thinking about making an offer to Logitech for the rights, so would appreciate considered feedback.

Cheers,

Moos Man

As I noted in your other post (by the way, better not to cross post), I'm not sure what sort of evidence of size/passion you are seeking. The existence of these very active forums for many years is one data point. Look at my signature for all the SB stuff I own. This is certainly evidence of my *personal* passion for the SB ecosystem for playing music.

kidstypike
2012-10-03, 06:51
I voted yes, if below $500, budget is governed by my wife's patience. Also I don't have golden ears, the present Touch's sound is good enough for me
Also, it would need to work alongside present Squeezeboxen

moos_man
2012-10-03, 06:54
As I noted in your other post (by the way, better not to cross post), I'm not sure what sort of evidence of size/passion you are seeking. The existence of these very active forums for many years is one data point. Look at my signature for all the SB stuff I own. This is certainly evidence of my *personal* passion for the SB ecosystem for playing music.

Thanks for the note garym - and sorry for the double-post. Definitely want to be a good citizen, but have not been an active poster before. Hopefully my posting malfunction shall be forgiven! :)

I know that size/passion is somewhat hard to quantify - getting responses to this thread is definitely an indicator. The activity level on the forum is also a good data point. That aside, it would be interesting to find out how many people would be genuinely interested in buying new products if they became available - the poll which I put up will hopefully provide an indication.

garym
2012-10-03, 07:01
Thanks for the note garym - and sorry for the double-post. Definitely want to be a good citizen, but have not been an active poster before. Hopefully my posting malfunction shall be forgiven! :)

I know that size/passion is somewhat hard to quantify - getting responses to this thread is definitely an indicator. The activity level on the forum is also a good data point. That aside, it would be interesting to find out how many people would be genuinely interested in buying new products if they became available - the poll which I put up will hopefully provide an indication.

No harm on cross posting (it just makes it complicated to follow a thread....the way most folks read this forum, they see *all* the new posts, regardless of the thread they are posted to). I'm generally not budget driven on such purchases within reason (given performance-price tradeoffs as I don't want to waste my money of course). In this context, I did buy a Transporter and would have probably bought a "Transporter II" had it evolved. However, one major issue for me beyond the "audio quality/flexibility" of the player is the software backbone (e.g., LMS) and its ability to *also* allow me to connect to internet radio (relatively easy) and music services like MOG, SiriusXM, Pandora (a bit harder I assume in the case of "paid" services).

That is, it is easy for me to buy a good quality network music player (the hardware) such as a LINN or NAIM product. But the rest of the package is simply not there for me on those products. I've not been happy with any DLNA/upnp approach to managing connections/libraries, etc. that I've personally dealt with thus far.

Ikabob
2012-10-03, 07:07
I am a Squeezebox lover and I have recommended past devices to many friends.
I would definitely consider future purchases and future promotions to others, if the devices were compatible with my present Squeezebox ecosystem. I vote yes.

epoch1970
2012-10-03, 07:18
I would like any new product to return to the thin client roots of the SB system. Only this can truly provide the long lifecycle that fits audio products without vastly over-engineering the device.
I am not going to throw more than $/€ 500 in an audio device (except speakers) as a matter of principle. As durable and competent as it was, the $2000 Transporter was not in my league. But I would have upgraded some (at least one) of my SB 3s to a newer upmarket model in the $500 range, had it retained the thin device concept (Touch was cheaper than that but not durable enough in my opinion.)
I doubt many would consider a $500 product for their first device. Something around $200 is needed too I think. The Boom was almost the miracle entry device, albeit a bit large and too expensive in absolute terms (value has proven quite good.)

EDIT: over the last 5 years (?) I bought for me/family/friends something like 10 devices. People around me have bought about 5 devices following on my example. I stopped recommending the SB system when the Boom was discontinued.

moos_man
2012-10-03, 07:37
No harm on cross posting (it just makes it complicated to follow a thread....the way most folks read this forum, they see *all* the new posts, regardless of the thread they are posted to). I'm generally not budget driven on such purchases within reason (given performance-price tradeoffs as I don't want to waste my money of course). In this context, I did buy a Transporter and would have probably bought a "Transporter II" had it evolved. However, one major issue for me beyond the "audio quality/flexibility" of the player is the software backbone (e.g., LMS) and its ability to *also* allow me to connect to internet radio (relatively easy) and music services like MOG, SiriusXM, Pandora (a bit harder I assume in the case of "paid" services).

Yes - I absolutely get the music services aspect and how important this is.

pz1
2012-10-03, 07:49
I was very happy with my Radio and Touch, but now I would never buy again a product that is part of an eco system, where the manufacturer does not guarantee that the eco system will be available for the next ten years or so.

edit: This is just the motivation of my vote. I am not interested in opinions on this statement

garym
2012-10-03, 07:53
I was very happy with my Radio and Touch, but now I would never buy again a product that is part of an eco system, where the manufacturer does not guarantee that the eco system will be available for the next ten years or so.

There may be some, but I'm personally not aware of any products that I've ever purchased where the seller or manufacturer guaranteed the product (or a product is backward compatible with the old product) would be available for 10 years. I have vague recollections of of auto companies being required to have replacement parts for maybe 10 years after a model year. Then again, they promised certain pension and healthcare benefits to retirees under legal contracts that didn't necessarily get fulfilled either.

edit: and I have some Eastern Airlines frequent flyer points that I could never redeem either. ;-)

cliveb
2012-10-03, 08:23
I haven't voted because the option I would vote for is not there - I would buy another Squeezebox player under $500, but only to replace one of my existing players if it dies.


I'm seriously thinking about making an offer to Logitech for the rights, so would appreciate considered feedback.
I don't really see what IPR there is that Logitech actually own and is worth buying. What "rights" are you hoping to buy that you can't get for free? If you are thinking of starting up a business building hardware players, you already have all the data you need: Squeezebox Server is open source; SlimProto is in the public domain.

The Squeezebox ecosystem is either going to die or refresh itself as a community effort. Plenty of hobbyists are experimenting with running Squeezeplay and/or Squeezeslave on cheap commodity devices like the Raspberry Pi, hoping to drive USB DACs for good sound quality. We're not there yet, but pretty soon someone will succeed. If you are thinking of building new hardware players, you will be in competition with that, so I can't see how there is a business case for manufacturing new hardware players.

azinck3
2012-10-03, 08:29
I was very happy with my Radio and Touch, but now I would never buy again a product that is part of an eco system, where the manufacturer does not guarantee that the eco system will be available for the next ten years or so.

If you bought your devices with the primary goal of listening to streaming online services then I can understand your dissatisfaction. You must, of course, recognize that you're relying not only on Logitech's continued support but also on the ongoing existence of the streaming companies themselves and on them maintaining a pricing level, selection, and audio quality that you find satisfactory. In other words, there are a number of interdependent pieces here that could fall apart. I'm pretty content relying on the cloud, but there are many for whom that level of uncertainty is not acceptable and it's a strong argument for owning and maintaining your own music.

FWIW, I've now owned various Squeezeboxen for about a decade and even my oldest devices are still in daily service and have more capability than when I bought them. That's a pretty good argument for the longevity and flexibility of the Squeezebox ecosystem. Will the next ten years be as kind? I'm not sure, but as an overall architecture the Squeezebox world has a good track record.

moos_man
2012-10-03, 08:40
I haven't voted because the option I would vote for is not there - I would buy another Squeezebox player under $500, but only to replace one of my existing players if it dies.


I don't really see what IPR there is that Logitech actually own and is worth buying. What "rights" are you hoping to buy that you can't get for free? If you are thinking of starting up a business building hardware players, you already have all the data you need: Squeezebox Server is open source; SlimProto is in the public domain.

The Squeezebox ecosystem is either going to die or refresh itself as a community effort. Plenty of hobbyists are experimenting with running Squeezeplay and/or Squeezeslave on cheap commodity devices like the Raspberry Pi, hoping to drive USB DACs for good sound quality. We're not there yet, but pretty soon someone will succeed. If you are thinking of building new hardware players, you will be in competition with that, so I can't see how there is a business case for manufacturing new hardware players.

Hi cliveb,

OK - great feedback, thanks. I totally get the hobbyist angle wrt running on cheap commodity hardware - I myself own 3 high quality DACs and a bunch of embedded Linux platforms.

The real question is whether Squeezebox as an ecosystem will not just survive but grow in a hobbyist/hacker-only form (I use the term hobbyist/hacker with greatest respect here!). It seems to me that one of the brilliant things about the original Slim product was very nice integration - it was not a bunch of DIY assembly boards for hackers, but a really neat little box with a very high wife/girlfriend acceptance factor. It is true that there was a lot of open source effort inside the box, but overall the package was a complete product which people were buying, until recently.

BTW - Given that Logitech paid a reasonable amount of money for Slim, there were likely to be various rights involved (brand name is one example, though I suspect there is more).

toby10
2012-10-03, 09:38
....
I'm seriously thinking about making an offer to Logitech for the rights, so would appreciate considered feedback.

I wish you luck and tell me (us) what we can do to help. But I think the idea will go nowhere for numerous reasons. The most glaring of these reasons is that you are asking Logitech to give you permission (albeit paid permission) to compete against their own UE products. Just doesn't make sense.

But, I'm with ya. Where do I sign up? :)

erland
2012-10-03, 09:47
The real question is whether Squeezebox as an ecosystem will not just survive but grow in a hobbyist/hacker-only form (I use the term hobbyist/hacker with greatest respect here!)

It depends, it can certainly get new features but without the distribution chain and non geek hardware it will be very hard to get anywhere near the volumes Logitech have had.



BTW - Given that Logitech paid a reasonable amount of money for Slim, there were likely to be various rights involved (brand name is one example, though I suspect there is more).

I hate to make you disappointed, but considering the fact that Logitech tries to market their new UE Smart Radio products I'm very skeptical that they would be willing to sell the brand name to someone that might take market shares from their new UE Smart Radio devices.

I'm pretty sure the rights to streaming services, closed source software components and similar things can't be transferred to someone else as long as Logitech still want to keep using them in their UE Smart Radio products.

Without mysqueezebox.com, which Logitech probably can't sell due to the above mentioned limitation, your devices would be a very crippled Squeezebox which only supports local music.

erland
2012-10-03, 10:09
I would like to understand how big/active/passionate the Squeezebox community really is at this point, and how much real interest there is in keeping things going, and growing, into the future. I'm not talking about keeping this on life support (as per what is going on now), but in terms of new products and restoring the commitment to quality music playback - think transporter on steroids and other cool products.

I strongly believe there is still a lot of interest both in this community and in the market for an open system which can fill the whole house with music and let you explore it.

I fear the interest will degrade over time, we have seen this already during the last year with decreased activities from Logitech's side, but I seriously hope people will stick around and not move on to other products already now. I believe someone will eventually fill the hole and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the future of music streaming and whole house audio starts right here in this community.

I also generally believe it's bad idea to get stuck in the past, we should learn from the history, use that experience and move on to the future. :-)

pallfreeman
2012-10-03, 10:24
I usually find my answer to polls is "none of the above".

I don't I need another squeezebox player; I already have 12 logitech devices and a bunch of other toys to stream music. But if logitech came out with something like the revue which actually worked I'd probably buy one. It would have to have certain features, though...

So I answered "yes sub $1000" and "no".

sg60
2012-10-03, 10:42
Hey Guys,

I would like to understand how big/active/passionate the Squeezebox community really is at this point, and how much real interest there is in keeping things going, and growing, into the future. I'm not talking about keeping this on life support (as per what is going on now), but in terms of new products and restoring the commitment to quality music playback - think transporter on steroids and other cool products.

I'm seriously thinking about making an offer to Logitech for the rights, so would appreciate considered feedback.

Cheers,

Moos Man
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It would be so nice to see this brand revitalized. It was a sad day when SlimDevices sold out to Logitech, although I can hardly blame them for wanting to cash in. They developed a great set of products with a passionate community supporting them. All that has now come apart and seems to be in danger of disappearing completely. I have two Squeezebox products that I continue to use because they're fantaastic devices with a software system that is highly configurable. I would happily buy another Squeezebox product, especially the Transporter which is a true high end digital music device. I hope you do manage to get the rights and it would be great if some of the original partners came back into the fold to breathe some life back into this brand.

maggior
2012-10-03, 12:08
I responded that I would by if it were less than $500, but that's not entirely true - I wouldn't pay over $300. The only thing I could see wanting in the future was to upgrade my Booms to something with a color or touch display - essentially a stereo radio which people have shown here via photoshop.

Honestly, I don't need new hardware. What I'm more interested in is the continuing evolution of the software and capabilities. On top of that list would be a viable alternative to the now-dead MusicIP capability.

To me, the value hasn't so much been in the hardware (which is great!) but in the software.

JJZolx
2012-10-03, 12:41
If another company ever produces a Squeezebox, I would expect it to cost well over $1000. I don't think either Slim Devices or Logitech ever turned a profit on the Squeezebox line when you factor in the R&D, tooling, software development costs and the (small amount of) marketing they did for the products.

azinck3
2012-10-03, 12:44
If another company ever produces a Squeezebox, I would expect it to cost well over $1000. I don't think either Slim Devices or Logitech ever turned a profit on the Squeezebox line when you factor in the R&D, tooling, software development costs and the (small amount of) marketing they did for the products.

I'm not challenging you, but I genuinely wonder about this. I wonder if Slim Devices was profitable before they were bought up by Logitech. Do we have any comments from anyone "in the know" that would hint one way or another?

pallfreeman
2012-10-03, 12:54
If another company ever produces a Squeezebox, I would expect it to cost well over $1000.

That's $900 dollars profit. Sounds good to me.

$50 for an ARM-based board and $50 for a half-decent DAC. Size of a cigarette packet. The pre-production models already available from the Chinese guys at your local airport are good enough for most people.

JJZolx
2012-10-03, 13:02
That's $900 dollars profit. Sounds good to me.

$50 for an ARM-based board and $50 for a half-decent DAC. Size of a cigarette packet. The pre-production models already available from the Chinese guys at your local airport are good enough for most people.

I'd also expect a display (of a size that could be viewed from across a room), analog plus S/PDIF and USB digital outputs, and an IR receiver and remote. I'd no more want it to be the size of a cigarette pack than I'd want it to be the size of a cigarette.

Mnyb
2012-10-03, 13:33
The poll is somewhat meaningless , what kind of player would my money buy ?

I can balk at 100$ but easilly fork out 1000$ if it's something is really worth it.

garym
2012-10-03, 13:51
The poll is somewhat meaningless , what kind of player would my money buy ?

I can balk at 100$ but easilly fork out 1000$ if it's something is really worth it.

That's a much clearer way of expressing my point earlier (i.e., I'm willing to spend lots of money, but only for something worth that money).

dasmueller
2012-10-03, 13:56
I love the 2 Squeezebox Touches I have. That being said I am not overly impressed w the quality of their support team. They claim continuing support but cannot fix something as simple as the Live Music Archive app. They will not even say-we are not going to fix it. The best I could get was a statement that the request for a fix would be forwarded to the appropriate personnel.

I would recommend a Squeezebox to others if they understood that the support level is minimal at best under the current operation.

pallfreeman
2012-10-03, 15:17
I'd also expect a display (of a size that could be viewed from across a room), analog plus S/PDIF and USB digital outputs, and an IR receiver and remote. I'd no more want it to be the size of a cigarette pack than I'd want it to be the size of a cigarette.

That's a TV.

Ariel might be reading. Don't give them more ideas sure to fail.

azinck3
2012-10-03, 15:26
That's a TV.

Ariel might be reading. Don't give them more ideas sure to fail.

I can't speak to whether or not the idea would fail, but I CAN say that I'm with JJZolx on this one. I don't want a TV everywhere I might want an SB for MANY reasons (cost, aesthetic, heat, etc.). And even if I do have a TV there I don't really want to have it on just so I can glance up and see what's playing. TV's (especially when they're on) have a way of dominating a room and commanding attention; it lends a different atmosphere to the room that I don't want when listening to audio. Maybe I'm not imaginative enough, but I'd be super happy if they'd make something very similar to the SB3 but figure out a way to get it to support Airplay (not something I care about personally, but I recognize it as being important for broader adoption).

Labarum
2012-10-03, 18:47
I like my Squeezeboxes, but there are many ways to stream media - in the end I will go for ease and cost effectiveness.

Three or four times I nearly bought a Touch. What stopped me? The knowledge I could buy a small format PC (eeeBox or similar) for about the same price, and the fact I could run a software instance of Squeezebox on an HTPC hidden in a cupboard and linked to a decent DAC with a long optical lead.

The competing hardware has to be the Apple Airport Express for £80 ($100?) - with iThingies and Android Handies a display is not needed. A small screen can be a nice feature, but not if it doubles or triples the price.

The other issue is the integration of audio and video streaming where the competing hardware is the Apple TV for £100 ($120?). Some want the integration, others don't.

The streaming boxes all have acceptable internal DACs and this will be enough for many (most?). Others can add the DAC of their choice.

So there you have it - $100 is the target price for an audio only streamer - there's not that much in the box!

Google got their Nexus streaming sphere gloriously wrong. They should have launched their versions of the Airport Express and Apple TV, made them easily hackable, and marketed them at the same prices. If Logitech had any sense, even now they would bring such boxes to market.

dsdreamer
2012-10-03, 22:15
The Apple TV and Airport Express both retail for $99 MSRP in the US. I think this end of the market is entirely owned by Apple, who benefits from the ubiquity of iThings and PCs/Macs with iTunes installed. Metcalf's Law can be said to apply, (the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system). Someone trying to displace the incumbent faces a hopeless odds unless they have a unique value proposition, preferably something disruptive.

However, I see a big gap between the $99 boxes by Apple and the cheapest Sonos ZonePlayer, which is $350. A product not too different from the Touch is needed in that price range (anything up to $350). I don't know the secret of how Logitech were managing to lose money on it, other than they were charging too little for it.

erland
2012-10-03, 22:30
I don't know the secret of how Logitech were managing to lose money on it, other than they were charging too little for it.

The Touch was probably not their biggest cash cow but are you sure they actually loosed money on it ?
I don't think I've ever seen anything like this mentioned from an official source, but I might have missed something.

reinholdk
2012-10-04, 00:44
Voted for "less than $500", because I'd love to see the system keep on living (and growing).

But since I recently bought a Touch and a Radio as spares (for my Touch and 2 Radios in use), buying a new box wouldn't happen soon -- unless its features convince me to replace the existing devices.

cliveb
2012-10-04, 01:29
It seems to me that one of the brilliant things about the original Slim product was very nice integration - it was not a bunch of DIY assembly boards for hackers, but a really neat little box with a very high wife/girlfriend acceptance factor.
That is a fair point, and certainly there would need to be such a turnkey device available.

Vortexbox is a good example of how this could end up working. They offer for free download a pre-built server. It's really simple to take pretty much any old PC you have lying around and install Vortexbox. Or if you want to buy a ready-built device, you can buy a Vortexbox Appliance.

For a player, I envisage a downloadable Raspberry Pi boot image pre-configured to run Squeezeplay/whatever that someone can just stick on a SD card and plug into a Pi. Control would be via the server web interface and/or iPeng/etc. And for those who just want to buy a working device, an enterprising company could sell pre-built "RaspberrySqueeze Appliances".

But let's face facts: there will never be mass market appeal for this. Nobody is going to make their fortune doing it.

And regarding the online services (which I admit that I never use): let's be realistic and admit that this side of the ecosystem cannot continue without the support of a major player. Who else will be able to cope with the hassle and cost of negotiating with the likes of Pandora/Spotify/whoever. And who's going to pay to run the central servers? Strikes me that the correct way forward is to develop Squeezebox Server plugins to support online streaming services and return the ecosystem to its original vision, where the user must run a local server.

castalla
2012-10-04, 01:42
That is a fair point, and certainly there would need to be such a turnkey device available.

Vortexbox is a good example of how this could end up working. They offer for free download a pre-built server. It's really simple to take pretty much any old PC you have lying around and install Vortexbox. Or if you want to buy a ready-built device, you can buy a Vortexbox Appliance.

For a player, I envisage a downloadable Raspberry Pi boot image pre-configured to run Squeezeplay/whatever that someone can just stick on a SD card and plug into a Pi. Control would be via the server web interface and/or iPeng/etc. And for those who just want to buy a working device, an enterprising company could sell pre-built "RaspberrySqueeze Appliances".

But let's face facts: there will never be mass market appeal for this. Nobody is going to make their fortune doing it.

And regarding the online services (which I admit that I never use): let's be realistic and admit that this side of the ecosystem cannot continue without the support of a major player. Who else will be able to cope with the hassle and cost of negotiating with the likes of Pandora/Spotify/whoever. And who's going to pay to run the central servers? Strikes me that the correct way forward is to develop Squeezebox Server plugins to support online streaming services and return the ecosystem to its original vision, where the user must run a local server.

I agree with this analysis.

I suspect there's a fragmented market for all these players. Some mainly use the internet radio features, some the paid streaming (how many?), and many the home music library features. For example, in my case, we use the radio vs. music player at about 10:1. I won't pay for online streaming services.

moos_man
2012-10-04, 01:56
That is a fair point, and certainly there would need to be such a turnkey device available.

Vortexbox is a good example of how this could end up working. They offer for free download a pre-built server. It's really simple to take pretty much any old PC you have lying around and install Vortexbox. Or if you want to buy a ready-built device, you can buy a Vortexbox Appliance.

For a player, I envisage a downloadable Raspberry Pi boot image pre-configured to run Squeezeplay/whatever that someone can just stick on a SD card and plug into a Pi. Control would be via the server web interface and/or iPeng/etc. And for those who just want to buy a working device, an enterprising company could sell pre-built "RaspberrySqueeze Appliances".

But let's face facts: there will never be mass market appeal for this. Nobody is going to make their fortune doing it.

And regarding the online services (which I admit that I never use): let's be realistic and admit that this side of the ecosystem cannot continue without the support of a major player. Who else will be able to cope with the hassle and cost of negotiating with the likes of Pandora/Spotify/whoever. And who's going to pay to run the central servers? Strikes me that the correct way forward is to develop Squeezebox Server plugins to support online streaming services and return the ecosystem to its original vision, where the user must run a local server.

Hi cliveb,

All great points, and I tend to agree with them. The question of own music vs services is an interesting one. I would envisage supporting very high quality playback of music stored on your local server(s) at up to 24bit/192kHz (which you can readily buy these days), but would also have to continue supporting, and even expand the cloud service offerings.

I terms of services, moving away from current model of all services going though a cloud portal and back into a plugin mode is a possibility - there are pros/cons to this, but both ways are workable in my opinion. I have a fair bit of experience in this as I was a co-founder of a company which did a bunch of deals with the likes of Rhapsody/Pandora/etc - company shall remain unnamed for the purpose of this discussion :) The point here is that a re-vamped product range - if it was to go ahead - would, in my view, focus on both very high quality local playback and a rich set of services, hopefully providing the best of both worlds at reasonable price points.

garym
2012-10-04, 04:38
the point here is that a re-vamped product range - if it was to go ahead - would, in my view, focus on both very high quality local playback and a rich set of services, hopefully providing the best of both worlds at reasonable price points.

Very much agree.

chemirocha
2012-10-04, 05:37
I can't speak to whether or not the idea would fail, but I CAN say that I'm with JJZolx on this one. I don't want a TV everywhere I might want an SB for MANY reasons (cost, aesthetic, heat, etc.). And even if I do have a TV there I don't really want to have it on just so I can glance up and see what's playing. TV's (especially when they're on) have a way of dominating a room and commanding attention; it lends a different atmosphere to the room that I don't want when listening to audio. Maybe I'm not imaginative enough, but I'd be super happy if they'd make something very similar to the SB3 but figure out a way to get it to support Airplay (not something I care about personally, but I recognize it as being important for broader adoption).

I also wouldn't want a TV but then neither does the display have to be visible from across the room - I personally use my android phone to control all my squeezebox receivers and it works very well.

For the majority of users, I would imagine a plug and play system, streaming music via the internet is pretty much what they want, if the price was right, including music subscription. For those of us who want local copies of our music ripped from CDs etc. then I for one would prefer hardware that is plug and play compatible with different sources - i.e. if I have Squeezeserver hosting my music or JRiver MediaCenter, it doesn't matter. I buy the hardware that I need for the audio requirements (cheap and small for the kitchen, better DAC etc for the main room) and mix and match it with the software solution that suits me best.

I was hoping that UPnP/DLNA was the solution but hardware support is very patchy.

The raspberry pi (or similar) idea mentioned before sounds good and may be the way to go, but again not for the majority.

epoch1970
2012-10-04, 06:01
I also wouldn't want a TV but then neither does the display have to be visible from across the room - I personally use my android phone to control all my squeezebox receivers and it works very well.
IMO video and audio should be separate. In my small appt. I have 4 locations from which I can choose to listen to music, 1 desktop screen (home office) and no TV. There is 1 video projector for watching movies (via hacked appletv v1). When I wish to be enlightened and see what goes on in the TV realm I fire up youtube or the like, preferably on my iPad.

I wonder you many users there are for the youtube plugin ? I suppose this population would like to see the video along with the audio.

dsdreamer
2012-10-04, 07:03
The Touch was probably not their biggest cash cow but are you sure they actually loosed money on it ?
I don't think I've ever seen anything like this mentioned from an official source, but I might have missed something.

Probably the cost of after-sales support added to the CDN fees and network costs of keeping mysqueezebox.com alive make it marginal or worse (my guess). I wouldn't expect Logitech had the luxury of killing off profitable lines of business.

Mnyb
2012-10-04, 14:05
Hi cliveb,

All great points, and I tend to agree with them. The question of own music vs services is an interesting one. I would envisage supporting very high quality playback of music stored on your local server(s) at up to 24bit/192kHz (which you can readily buy these days), but would also have to continue supporting, and even expand the cloud service offerings.

I terms of services, moving away from current model of all services going though a cloud portal and back into a plugin mode is a possibility - there are pros/cons to this, but both ways are workable in my opinion. I have a fair bit of experience in this as I was a co-founder of a company which did a bunch of deals with the likes of Rhapsody/Pandora/etc - company shall remain unnamed for the purpose of this discussion :) The point here is that a re-vamped product range - if it was to go ahead - would, in my view, focus on both very high quality local playback and a rich set of services, hopefully providing the best of both worlds at reasonable price points.

I think one issue both slim devices and Logitech faced regarding services was encryption and other secret "handshakes" the providers do not trust this to be on a open source server.
Thus a cloud service was there to proxy and provide user login , but mysqueezebox.com was closed source .
The paranoid service provider could keep their secret with Logitech and we could use the service .
But I assume that most service providers are not that paranoid .
For example lib spotify that triodes uses , he can do that without problems ( I assume ).

So a modiefied proposal is to actually require local server and only use a cloud server for stuff that could not be done in any other way, this would be a much lighter versions as the local servers do most of the work ?

erland
2012-10-04, 21:23
I think one issue both slim devices and Logitech faced regarding services was encryption and other secret "handshakes" the providers do not trust this to be on a open source server.
Thus a cloud service was there to proxy and provide user login , but mysqueezebox.com was closed source .
The paranoid service provider could keep their secret with Logitech and we could use the service .
But I assume that most service providers are not that paranoid .
For example lib spotify that triodes uses , he can do that without problems ( I assume ).

In my experience, many service providers are paranoid, especially the big ones, which also are the ones people really want access to. Some of them doesn't even give you access to an API before you are backed by a company, can show that they as a service provider can earn significant money on being part of it, and you have signed a NDA.



So a modiefied proposal is to actually require local server and only use a cloud server for stuff that could not be done in any other way, this would be a much lighter versions as the local servers do most of the work ?

I don't think we should be afraid of a central server when playing online music, if the software isn't maintained or is broken it doesn't matter if it's installed locally or on a central server. Sure, some geeks might be able to fix it if it's installed locally but for the general user the situation is often worse if the software is installed locally since he/she might not have the knowledge to realize that it needs to be updated and how to install the update.

For local music playback the situation is of course a bit different, this is something you want to be able to do without a central server as you really don't want to end up in a situation where you can't play music because your internet provider is doing some maintenance work.

poilus141
2012-10-06, 10:40
Dear passionate fellows,

I'm pretty disappointed to read in the news (not only here) that Logitech is changing the sales strategy attached to the Squeezebox range.
The SLIM DEVICES company was doing well and the buy out by Logitech was once an expansion guaranty but not a last-long guaranty.
That said,
Yes, i would continue to buy and use SB line of products.
They are solid, easy and pleasant.

My configuration :
SB server running on Synology
3x SB radio + 1 SB Duet + 1 SB Touch
Various controlling devices/apps thru Android devices, tablet and phones.

Yes, if any community is ready to "run" the existence of the software behind the Squeezebox, count me in.

Thanks

Chris.

mps
2012-10-07, 17:51
In my experience, many service providers are paranoid, especially the big ones, which also are the ones people really want access to. Some of them doesn't even give you access to an API before you are backed by a company, can show that they as a service provider can earn significant money on being part of it, and you have signed a NDA.


Most of the services have Linux and Windows web clients. Could we stream from those by embedding xulrunner in LMS?

nervoteso
2012-10-08, 06:22
please save squeezebox, i've SB in all my home and i don't want they become useless

TheLastMan
2012-10-08, 07:58
Although I voted for sub $500 here, I doubt that is actually the route I would go down. First of all I haven't totally given up on Logitech's UE route yet. I still think it likely that they will produce a higher quality player with RCA analog and digital output stages.

I know the control system and plugin support is will be poor relation to the SB line, but for me that is less important than player synch and a proper "ecosystem" with full support for radio and third party apps.

Mind you, rather than going with UE or some unsupported SB system, I think it is more likely I will go with Sonos especially as I am very unlikely to get anywhere near its 65,000 track limit. To replicate my current system in Sonos kit I would need 2 Sonos Connects (to replace the Receivers) and a ZoneBridge - altogether around £600 which is not much more than two SB Touches.

I will probably leave this to until it was totally essential (either the hardware fails or Triode's Spotify and BBC iPlayer plugins stop working) as it would seriously irk me to replace my more capable SB setup with a considerably less capable Sonos one.

MadScientist
2012-10-09, 07:42
I'd have to be convinced that the new owners had a sound business model and were it in for the long haul.

Given that, I'd pay up to $3000 for an audiophile, 'Transporter2'-type product and up to $500 for new 'Touch'.
MS

ninthsrw
2012-10-09, 10:11
I'd have to be convinced that the new owners had a sound business model and were it in for the long haul.

Given that, I'd pay up to $3000 for an audiophile, 'Transporter2'-type product and up to $500 for new 'Touch'.
MS

Agree whole heatedly with this. So long as it has a 24/192 DAC and can ALSO send 24/192 out over toslink or coax then I would be happy to buy a $3000 successor to the Transporter - particularly given that similarly priced options from other companies pale in comparison when it comes to quality of software interference inherently available to any SB successor. A USB input and XLR outputs would also be musts for such a range topping device.

In so far as a $500 unit is concerned: so long as it passes 24/192 via toslink or coax I would be all over it - at $500 I care much less about the DAC inside than its ability to pass a 24/192 signal to receiver. USB connectivity would be a plus. I imagine most consumers in the market for such a device would also appreciate some sort of screen, though it need not be touch. Replicating the UI of the SB3 would be perfectly adequate.

ninthsrw
2012-10-09, 10:25
Seems to me that there three distinct markets evolving here:

1) is the Radio market (i.e. streamer + built in speaker) - a SB revival won't win this because Logitech has it locked down, and it is an already saturated segment - though such a device is arguably best suited to mass i-device appeal.

2) the sub $500 market of people who want a device to deliver streaming music to their existing stereo (from personal cloud storage, internet radio, NAS, USB stick, SD Card, PC/Mac, whatever). In this case the user's stereo is likely comprised of a receiver with its own DAC(s). Accordingly, analog outputs and amplification are completely UNnecessary - the entire device could be digital, designed for the sole purpose of passing the highest quality (bits/Hz) signal to a receiver for decoding - from a marketing perspective the quality possible should be better than the best offered by Sonos. Omitting all analog out and amplification ought to help drive the cost down some. Building AirPlay or Bluetooth into a device like this might also increase the size of the market to which it would appeal. Maybe AirPlay and Bluetooth could be done with a USB dongle, to help minimize cost, and minimize the inevitable delays that would be encountered from getting apple to license AirPlay for such a device. With good remote control apps, a screen could also be completely omitted - mere LED indicator lights would likely suffice.

3) the HiFi folks who want their streamer to also serve as a super high quality DAC - the use case here is for folks who are going to plug a Transport like device into a power amp, such that high ANALOG quality outputs are an absolute necessity. Users of this deice would probably not want any AirPlay or Bluetooth potentially introducing noise. Other digital inputs that use only the super high quality DAC portion, so that the device can be used independent of any related streaming functionality, would also probably be appreciated by these users. Such a device ought to include a screen, ideally showing the precise quality of signal being decoded and quality being output.

Why not aim for 2 and 3? Seems there profitable markets for both.

azinck3
2012-10-09, 10:31
Seems to me that there three distinct markets evolving here:

1) is the Radio market (i.e. streamer + built in speaker) - a SB revival won't win this because Logitech has it locked down - though such a device is arguably best suited to mass i-device appeal.

2) the sub $500 market of people who want a device to deliver streaming music to their existing stereo (from personal cloud storage, internet radio, NAS, USB stick, SD Card, PC/Mac, whatever), which is likely comprised of a receiver with its own DAC(s). In this use case, analog outputs and amplification are completely necessary - the entire device could be digital, designed for the sole purpose of passing the highest quality (bits/Hz) signal to a receiver for decoding - from a marketing perspective the quality possible should be better than the best offered by Sonos. Building AirPlay or Bluetooth into a device like this might also increase the size of the market to which it would appeal.

3) the HiFi folks who want their streamer to also serve as a super high quality DAC - the use case here is for folks who are going to plug a Transport like device into a power amp, such that high quality outputs are an absolute necessity. Users of this deice would probably not want any AirPlay or Bluetooth potentially introducing noise. Other digital inputs that the super high quality DAC portion can be used independent of any related streaming functionality would also probably be appreciated by these user.

Why not aim for 2 and 3? Seems there profitable markets for both.


I think this is a fair assessment. But what was/is so nice about the SB ecosystem is that it provides a common framework for both Radios AND Transporters. Manage your library once, access it anywhere. Also: sync between such disparate devices. The only difference is playback quality. That's why I think it's important to support a broader spectrum of devices rather than just targeting one of your use-cases.

epoch1970
2012-10-09, 11:35
Seems to me that there three distinct markets evolving here:

1) is the Radio market (i.e. streamer + built in speaker) …
2) the sub $500 market of people who want a device to deliver streaming music to their existing stereo …
3) the HiFi folks who want their streamer to also serve as a super high quality DAC …
I don't see how analog outputs could be removed on devices targeting 2) and 3).
The equivalent of the IR Blaster feature is also necessary, I think. I am certainly not going to buy a Harmony remote… and my amps are not internet-enabled.

As for market 1). I think that an SB-enabled radio makes a lot of sense… to SB owners. We all have room and use for a networked, amplified, device, if it sounds good.
For people looking to listen to internet radio on a single device, I believe the smartphone+BT speaker will win. We'll see how UE Radio fares.

I can understand the interest for ethernet, wifi-g/n, Airplay, maybe DLNA, android@home (??), but not really BT audio, unless it doesn't notably add to the cost. It would be good to be able to kill the unneeded RF interfaces.

The ability to use an internet proxy to listen to my music from afar would be most interesting to me (iPeng, Boom…)

Mnyb
2012-10-09, 12:52
As a said in another tread , a complete system must span the whole price range otherwise it's actually less attractive for any buyer.

More models actually increase the strength of the lineup, there is a device for for every conceivable purpose and they all play well together .

I'll be happy with an digital out only device ( as evident by my signature , there is no piont in interfacing my hifi in any other way ).

The software itself could be improved in so many ways that we leave that for other treads , let's just say that even if like it it lacks obvius features and probably not so obvius ones that I would love if I get exposed to them .

garym
2012-10-09, 13:04
As a said in another tread , a complete system must span the whole price range otherwise it's actually less attractive for any buyer.

excellent point. I have transporter, but also Radios for the deck and kitchen, touches other places. I want all to work together, fed by a single system/source. With synching available (although I'm happy to accept transcoding to lowest common denominator if needed when synching, e.g., if I sync my transporter and radio, the files are 24/48 because of the radio limit).

Sakkerju
2012-10-09, 13:30
The best thing for me is the versatility of the whole system with a singe 'jukebox' source and internet radio access.

I have a Touch with a (Duet) Controller as remote in the livingroom hooked up to my Denon amp and Kef speakers.
This is for casual/relaxing mood lisening.

I have a Radio in the kitchen, for music while busy in the kitchen. It is in sync with the living room.
Most of the time just playing internet radio (Radio Paradise)

Second Radio is in the bedroom, basically serving as a clock with alarm function.

Recently I bought 'spare' Touch and Controller. These are now in use together with my Little Dot MkIII headphone amp as a semi-portable music system.
It basically plays my 24bit/96KHz files for more serious, undisturbed listening.

I also use the remote app on my Andriod phone and Squeezeplay on the Wintel laptop.
What system can serve me like that?....24/96 DAC, shared remote, sync systems, share favourites, music, playlists etc.
Having apps and custom plug-ins is nice, but not THE factor for me.

ninthsrw
2012-10-09, 13:48
I don't see how analog outputs could be removed on devices targeting 2) and 3).
The equivalent of the IR Blaster feature is also necessary, I think. I am certainly not going to buy a Harmony remote… )


You are correct in so far as #3 would require high quality analog outputs - sorry for the lack of clarity. Such outputs ought to be toggled between streaming functions. Such analog outputs should also allow the device to be used for its high quality DACs alone via digital inputs, completely decoupled from any streaming functions.

In so far as control goes - IR Blaster or otherwise - I think we can all agree the future of device control is network oriented, be it via portals such as SmartThings, or IR Blasters running out of a SB... so yes, I agree it would be a nice function to include, but given the fragmentation and diverse array of highly targeted options available now, most of which were not available when SB hit the market initially, I suspect the utility of the IR Blaster functionality will diminish over time for most users. As products like SmartThings, Twine, network connected receivers, etc... proliferate, I think it will ultimatley be more important to develop plugins for the player software that enable the SB player software to interact with the networked functions of other devices implicated in the playback experience- i.e. receiver (power / standby, DSP, volume, source), television, power supply, room lighting, etc... All that said, I am certainly not advocating that IR blasting be left out, especially when it comes to use case #1 and #3 - in so far as #2 is concerned, I imagine any analog coudl add costs that would diminish digital component quality... so it might be worth questioning IR blaster utility there.

ninthsrw
2012-10-09, 14:12
As a said in another tread , a complete system must span the whole price range otherwise it's actually less attractive for any buyer.

More models actually increase the strength of the lineup, there is a device for for every conceivable purpose and they all play well together .

I'll be happy with an digital out only device ( as evident by my signature , there is no piont in interfacing my hifi in any other way ).

The software itself could be improved in so many ways that we leave that for other treads , let's just say that even if like it it lacks obvius features and probably not so obvius ones that I would love if I get exposed to them .

I agree the diversity of the ecosystem is a huge asset, overall.

However, Logitech has kept the radio idea for itself, as evidenced by their intent to sell it as part of the UE ecosystem. Additionally, the radios compete more directly with the exploding field of mini-speaker systems and apple airplay systems with built in speakers. This is to say it is a crowded market in which it is both difficult and expensive to distinguish any given product. Though I would immediately acquiesce that margins for these types of products are likely the highest and the market is arguably the largest relative to #2 and #3 type products.

In so far as #2 and #3 are concerned - they are aimed directly at satisfying the existing SB enthusiast market by accommodating future expansion of existing SB systems (as evidenced by your own example), and providing a point of entry into the SB ecosystem for which there are few direct competitors, if any: Naim and Linn have laughably high margins that kept them from competing with the SB price point; Sonos is both slightly more expensive and doesn't support high quality play back; Cambridge's software is painful and their app doesn't run on some recent android phones; Olive has promise, but is also relatively expensive, and necessarily ties in a hard-drive containing device if 24/192 playback is desired; UPnP based systems are painful to use, and make library curation a Sisyphusian task, and so on...

The point is #2 and #3 are products in markets where SB can handedly stand out and continue to thrive - as it has before - in terms of price-to-quality ratio. #2 and #3 are appear to be the segment of the market which Logitech has abandoned by moving onto UE. SB has been the price-to-quality leader from the beginning, and it can continue as such, by continuing to stand out where the not-perfect-but-usually-awsome-super-feature-rich software is a huge asset when coupled with quality hardware (syncing, gappless FLAC playback, plug-ins, etc..). Taking on competitors based on the iTunes/AirPlay-crowded-market-of-mini-portable systems is not the answer in the near term (this is not to say that iTunes integration isn't important to use cases #2 and #3).

epoch1970
2012-10-09, 14:42
it might be worth questioning IR blaster utility there.
I had to google for Twine and stuff… I bought an amp I like a lot, something like 2 years ago. I had bought the previous one 10 years before. My amp has an IR input socket, pretty cool. It doesn't have digital in. It is not internet ready, and doesn't react on tweets. 10 years from now, maybe I'll buy a new amp and it will do all those nice things.
In the meantime, I suggest a 3.5mm stereo socket and IR out capabilities are not completely out of place nor crazy expensive.

garym
2012-10-09, 14:44
I suggest a 3.5mm stereo socket and IR out capabilities are not completely out of place nor crazy expensive.

I've always wished I had this on my Transporter (or TOUCH for that matter).

amey01
2012-10-09, 15:11
Go for it I say. But I really don't understand why you need to buy anything. Squeezebox Server is open source and as such can be modified or forked immediately if you so desire.

That's all the IP you need - then you can go out and manufacture a player that will connect to this software.

Squeezeplay is also open source if you want to start somewhere.

So what exactly is there to buy from Logitech?

epoch1970
2012-10-09, 15:19
So what exactly is there to buy from Logitech?
Assurance they won't restart marketing SBs on a whim ?

Mnyb
2012-10-09, 20:44
I agree the diversity of the ecosystem is a huge asset, overall.

However, Logitech has kept the radio idea for itself, as evidenced by their intent to sell it as part of the UE ecosystem. Additionally, the radios compete more directly with the exploding field of mini-speaker systems and apple airplay systems with built in speakers. This is to say it is a crowded market in which it is both difficult and expensive to distinguish any given product. Though I would immediately acquiesce that margins for these types of products are likely the highest and the market is arguably the largest relative to #2 and #3 type products.

In so far as #2 and #3 are concerned - they are aimed directly at satisfying the existing SB enthusiast market by accommodating future expansion of existing SB systems (as evidenced by your own example), and providing a point of entry into the SB ecosystem for which there are few direct competitors, if any: Naim and Linn have laughably high margins that kept them from competing with the SB price point; Sonos is both slightly more expensive and doesn't support high quality play back; Cambridge's software is painful and their app doesn't run on some recent android phones; Olive has promise, but is also relatively expensive, and necessarily ties in a hard-drive containing device if 24/192 playback is desired; UPnP based systems are painful to use, and make library curation a Sisyphusian task, and so on...

The point is #2 and #3 are products in markets where SB can handedly stand out and continue to thrive - as it has before - in terms of price-to-quality ratio. #2 and #3 are appear to be the segment of the market which Logitech has abandoned by moving onto UE. SB has been the price-to-quality leader from the beginning, and it can continue as such, by continuing to stand out where the not-perfect-but-usually-awsome-super-feature-rich software is a huge asset when coupled with quality hardware (syncing, gappless FLAC playback, plug-ins, etc..). Taking on competitors based on the iTunes/AirPlay-crowded-market-of-mini-portable systems is not the answer in the near term (this is not to say that iTunes integration isn't important to use cases #2 and #3).

But the cheap generic radios does not sync with my squeezeboxes or use the versatile plugin architecture of the squeeze system .
And radio is 2-3 times more expensive than the competition .

Now that logitech have dumbed it down to UE radio lets see how that fares when it's twice as expensive ;)

To be fair Eu radio still have the app system so some advantage over the compettition .

The point is that there must be cheaper parts in squeezebox system it's the integration that is the main thing .

Even if the radio is simple it is greatly enhanced by the versitality offered by your LMS server such as compatibility with file formats that none of the generic radios plays if they play local files at all ?

And my personal pow, there is no need for a super expensive product with analog out's anymoore .
The DAC market has exploded and many users hifi ,high end. Or home theater system is best interfaced with a digital interface be it spdiff ,ToS ,USB or hdmi .

However it can be necessary to "package " the thing in audiophile guise to reach audiophiles some of them would not accept it otherwise ;) even if they intend to use as a digital transport and a Touch would be just as good .
And the economy of a small bussiness can be that the unit price must be higher , so be it.

And there are customers that apriciate the combined high end DAC and streamer that is the transporter .

Another development neglected by logitech is discrete multichannel ! 5.1 24/96 FLAC files for example, for that hdmi is needed and some small adjustment to the server to accept them for example some convert-conf setting to offer mix down to 2ch for lesser players.

mps
2012-10-10, 04:55
Go for it I say. But I really don't understand why you need to buy anything. Squeezebox Server is open source and as such can be modified or forked immediately if you so desire.

That's all the IP you need - then you can go out and manufacture a player that will connect to this software.

Squeezeplay is also open source if you want to start somewhere.

So what exactly is there to buy from Logitech?
The agreements they've made with the streaming music providers? You'd need to offer a cloud service like MySB.com

DaveWr
2012-10-10, 07:42
The agreements they've made with the streaming music providers? You'd need to offer a cloud service like MySB.com

Or support Airplay.

ninthsrw
2012-10-10, 12:09
Point 1:
But the cheap generic radios does not sync with my squeezeboxes or use the versatile plugin architecture of the squeeze system . ...
To be fair Eu radio still have the app system so some advantage over the compettition .

Point 2:
The point is that there must be cheaper parts in squeezebox system it's the integration that is the main thing .
...
And my personal pow, there is no need for a super expensive product with analog out's anymoore .
The DAC market has exploded and many users hifi ,high end. Or home theater system is best interfaced with a digital interface be it spdiff ,ToS ,USB or hdmi .

Point 3:
However it can be necessary to "package " the thing in audiophile guise to reach audiophiles some of them would not accept it otherwise ;)...


Thank you for the thoughtful response. You make some good points. I've broken out what I find to be the three most salient points you've raised.

Point 0 on here is that in the absence of Logitech continuing to manufacture products like Touch or Transporter, somebody, somewhere will need to pickup the hardware manufacturing mantel, given the absence of equivalent products in the market. Home brew kits are not tenable for everyone, and the degree of hardware optimization required for high quality audio playback suggests (though doe not necessarily require) that specially designed hardware would be best.

Re: Point 1:
Implicit in your statement is that the end user cares where the app is running. I do not think this is the case. Most users do not care if the app connecting them to a cloud service or their locally stored music collection is running on their i-Device or somehow integrated into the speaker. Thus, all the apps that an i-Device can run pit all the i-Devices and Airplay/Bluetooth/3.5mm speaker systems against the UE radio, despite all the apps the UE radio can run locally. Accordingly, I do not think the UE radios ability to run apps is a advantage over the competition in the view of the average small-speaker-system / AirPlay-radio-like-device-consumer. If anything, the ability to run apps within the small-speaker-system itself (e.g. like the UE radio) adds additional cost to each setup that will discourage consumers who want speakers sprinkled throughout their environment - why pay for the hardware to run an app in each instance of a speaker when you can pay for the hardware only once by levering an i-Device and AirPlay (wherein AirPlay hardware is substantially cheaper than the hardware to run an App or music server software)?

Re: Point 2:
A: Hell yes HDMI out of a "#2 Device" (i.e. all digital SB, maybe also with IR blaster output) would be f-ing brilliant. That would be a huge step forward over the competition. I suppose it would take a Meridian-Man such as yourself to see it so obviously, sorry I didn't think of it myself. I for one would love to play back ripped 5.1 DVD-A and SCAD via an SB device using only the DACs in a receiver.

However, in so far as a #3 Device" (i.e. price is no object super SB) is concerned relative to those of us who don't live in a Meridian world (I am B&W 800 series to your Meridian), the explosion of the DAC market, though generally welcome, has resulted in horrific redundancies within individual home stereo setups, unnecessarily inflating costs. Justifying the expense of a super fancy DAC means it ought to provide every sort of input and output - so that its awesome performance can be leveraged in every conceivable way. Accordingly, a $3000 SB product filled with a compliment of high end DAC(s) ought to allow its DAC(s) to be used alone, completely decoupled from the SB streaming functions, for decoding playback from CD players, BluRay players, USB connected media, etc. and thereafter sending signal into a power amp (a configuration that is somewhat foreign in the world of Meridian).

The point is that home stereos are increasingly a-la-cart, such that in an expense-is-no-object SB product the interested market can be substantially increased by adding functionality which negligibly increases the cost of the expense-is-no-object SB product (i.e. adding analog outs). When dealing with an expense-is-no-object product, a minor increase in cost is always favorable when it will significantly increase the potential market size. To this end, where DACs in price-is-no-object products are concerned, there should always be 5.1 analog outs, and maybe balanced XLR too.

Re: Point 3:
I would prefer not get side tracked with what is and is not "audiophile" - instead let's focus on raw technical merits. I don't think packaging matters at all - as long as the price can be justified by the hardware that is inside and the software that integrates it all.

cliveb
2012-10-11, 01:20
A: Hell yes HDMI out of a "#2 Device" (i.e. all digital SB, maybe also with IR blaster output) would be f-ing brilliant. That would be a huge step forward over the competition.
[snip]
I would prefer not get side tracked with what is and is not "audiophile" - instead let's focus on raw technical merits.
I agree with your sentiments, so let us focus on technical merits. Digital out via HDMI may well be convenient, but I am worried about its merits. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the jitter levels of typical HDMI implementations are catastrophically high. Regular readers here will know that I am sceptical about the significance of jitter, but even I would baulk at the thought of using an interface which typically exhibits jitter at the thousands of pS level. Properly implemented asynchronous USB seems to be the future interface of choice (although I personally am happy with SPDIF).

DaveWr
2012-10-11, 03:45
I agree with your sentiments, so let us focus on technical merits. Digital out via HDMI may well be convenient, but I am worried about its merits. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the jitter levels of typical HDMI implementations are catastrophically high. Regular readers here will know that I am sceptical about the significance of jitter, but even I would baulk at the thought of using an interface which typically exhibits jitter at the thousands of pS level. Properly implemented asynchronous USB seems to be the future interface of choice (although I personally am happy with SPDIF).

The facts about HDMI at AES. Arcam presenter:

http://www.aes-media.org/sections/uk/Conf2011/Presentation_PDFs/14%20-%20john%20dawson%20-%20Audio%20Transport%20over%20HDMI%20-%20AES%202011.pdf

Dave

cliveb
2012-10-11, 12:12
The facts about HDMI at AES. Arcam presenter:
http://www.aes-media.org/sections/uk/Conf2011/Presentation_PDFs/14%20-%20john%20dawson%20-%20Audio%20Transport%20over%20HDMI%20-%20AES%202011.pdf
As I read it, this presentation seems to confirm that audio over HDMI routinely has very high levels of jitter. The notable exception appears to be the Arcam device - no surprise there, given this presentation is from Arcam.

Bottom line as I read things: it is possible to implement an audio interface over HDMI well, but very few manufacturers do. Therefore developing a source component with audio out on HDMI is inviting it to be partnered with devices that are likely to make a hash of things. If someone were to build a new generation of Squeezebox type players (which is where this thread started), we'd better pray that HDMI isn't the ONLY digital output it offers.

Mnyb
2012-10-11, 13:19
I agree with your sentiments, so let us focus on technical merits. Digital out via HDMI may well be convenient, but I am worried about its merits. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the jitter levels of typical HDMI implementations are catastrophically high. Regular readers here will know that I am sceptical about the significance of jitter, but even I would baulk at the thought of using an interface which typically exhibits jitter at the thousands of pS level. Properly implemented asynchronous USB seems to be the future interface of choice (although I personally am happy with SPDIF).

I may be spoilt by the meridian HD621 hdmi audio processor! That deals with most of this .

And it is a fixable problem , a good hdmi implementation would deal with it .

Compare the situation with USB interface a surprisingly large amount of them or not very good,but there is a large portion of well implemented solutions ,this was not the case a couple of years ago .
The fact that audiophiles seems to praise *every* USB input is another issue ?
I suppose well implement hdmi will be more common in the future .

Beside if you heard a good discrete multichannel recording the jitter discussion would fade :) that is a big difference in my world.
And due to varius paranoia at the content providers hdmi is the only standard consumer interface that offers discrete multichannel , so that is what we have like it or not .

I could use one of my leftover MHR inputs for 3*spdiff in my processor but that is hardly standard ? Not many processor or ht reciever has such inputs .

OT if I want to listen to my DVDA discs on my system I use a MHR interface ( 3*spdiff with proprietary meridian protocol )
And not hdmi from my DVDA player to my processor, this interface was invented before the hdmi standard offered this.

ninthsrw
2012-10-11, 15:33
I may be spoilt by the meridian HD621 hdmi audio processor! That deals with most of this .

And it is a fixable problem , a good hdmi implementation would deal with it .
...


Brilliant.
So what exactly would a good hdmi implementation look like? Anyone know of any particular chip sets that are ideally suited?

And since we are on the topic of HDMI - what about a WiDi / Miracast implementation (to be clear, I am just throwing this idea out there - not really advocating one way or the other)?

So an ideal all digital device - transcoding only, no decoding - would have asynchronous usb, toslink, coax for digital only, and a good implementation of HDMI, and an IR blaster - all for less than $500... sound maybe doable? I would buy such a thing.

dasmueller
2012-10-11, 17:51
There is no category for votes where we currently feel we have what we need but if something dies etc. what would ones choice be. If that were the case yes I would buy another Squeezebox probably at the less than $500 price.

dsdreamer
2012-10-11, 21:58
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone

I've been looking around what I can buy in the way of audio streamers for under $1000. It's pretty hard to find anything that is competitive with the product that Logitech killed. You would think the invisible hand of the market would come to the rescue, but results so far are not positive. Perhaps there really isn't a big enough market for this stuff, but I see increasing interest and awareness from so many on-line tech sites and forums, which makes me think more people know and care about this stuff than ever before.

DaveWr
2012-10-12, 00:33
I've been looking around what I can buy in the way of audio streamers for under $1000. It's pretty hard to find anything that is competitive with the product that Logitech killed. You would think the invisible hand of the market would come to the rescue, but results so far are not positive. Perhaps there really isn't a big enough market for this stuff, but I see increasing interest and awareness from so many on-line tech sites and forums, which makes me think more people know and care about this stuff than ever before.

Why do you think the invisible hand of the market could make money at this when Logitech couldn't?

Mnyb
2012-10-12, 00:59
Why do you think the invisible hand of the market could make money at this when Logitech couldn't?

IMO Logitech has missed most of the potential customers for the SqueezeBox due to virtually no marketing or any other effort to reach the kind of user that would like such a product.

I supose slimdevice made actual money ? on even fever sales ?

DaveWr
2012-10-12, 01:10
IMO Logitech has missed most of the potential customers for the SqueezeBox due to virtually no marketing or any other effort to reach the kind of user that would like such a product.

I supose slimdevice made actual money ? on even fever sales ?

I agree about the marketing. Good quality sound equipment through mouse and keyboard channels! But I believe most of the lost customer opportunity has already voted with their money elsewhere.

I still have several SB products, but have already chosen an alternative route for HiFi use. Is it better, marginally, but it is consistent, features always changing with SB, firmware space limitations etc. I think the whole open platform for applications will never achieve market penetration outside of technically capable people, which isn't necessarily the same group as high quality audio purchasers. I asked a local department store why they didn't stock SB anymore. Too complex to support for the product price, they now major on Sonos.

Schindler
2012-10-12, 01:35
That is why Logitech will fail also with the UE Line. Only because you rename the brand and shrink the software you don't make a consumer friendlier product. Or have you ever heard anybody with a Sonos complain about it? I guess in this price range Sonos is the winner and will be for some years to come...

So I bought some Touches as spare and will be happy for some years... ;-)

Mnyb
2012-10-12, 01:54
Would not say that it is overly complicated ,but the failure to maintain bugs and functionality .

Example why in seven hells must the scanner crash if it encounters a file it cannot scan :) just mark it very clearly in special log as problem (and offer a button to send it over the internet to logitech accompanied with the logg).
And continue to the next file ?

toby10
2012-10-12, 02:17
....... Perhaps there really isn't a big enough market for this stuff......

I think this is key. ;)

When the original SlimDevices made the early SqueezeBox players there was very little else out there. Even at their zenith SD/SB was a niche device. Logitech made it less of a niche, but still SB remains a niche device.

Nowadays it's a whole different market with numerous alternatives. Networking AVR's, smart phones, AirPlay, BlueTooth speakers, DLNA, Roku (with a $49 video & music player), AppleTV, many others.... None of these have the features & benefits of a SB, but then few people need/desire such advanced features & benefits which keeps SB like players in the "niche" category.

Mnyb
2012-10-12, 02:31
I think this is key. ;)

When the original SlimDevices made the early SqueezeBox players there was very little else out there. Even at their zenith SD/SB was a niche device. Logitech made it less of a niche, but still SB remains a niche device.

Nowadays it's a whole different market with numerous alternatives. Networking AVR's, smart phones, AirPlay, BlueTooth speakers, DLNA, Roku (with a $49 video & music player), AppleTV, many others.... None of these have the features & benefits of a SB, but then few people need/desire such advanced features & benefits which keeps SB like players in the "niche" category.

I agree on that but I think the niche is actually bigger than the amount of people Logitech reached so far ?

toby10
2012-10-12, 02:48
I agree on that but I think the niche is actually bigger than the amount of people Logitech reached so far ?

Absolutely! Hence why there is Sonos, Linn, Sooloos, Denon, etc.... streaming devices. But that just means a smaller piece of the small niche market.
As I mentioned in another thread, of all of the friends/family/neighbors homes & apartments we SB users have entered, how many use a dedicated music streaming device even remotely close to a SB player? I see people using cable/sat services, iPod docks, networking AVR's, game consoles, smart phones, DLNA, simple wired mp3 players, or just plain old FM radio and CD's. I've bumped into exactly one other Sonos and I've heard of one other SB (met the couple, not been in their home). Any other SB users I know of are a result of my suggesting a SB. :)

DaveWr
2012-10-12, 02:49
I agree on that but I think the niche is actually bigger than the amount of people Logitech reached so far ?

For the last two years in the UK it's been less reach more exist, even their specialist early adopter companies have moved on to other products.

Mnyb
2012-10-12, 03:38
Dare I say that the latest 2 decades of development in audiophiledom have "helped" a lot :D

If they where more audiophiles there will be more people in this niche .

But I dare not mention that I aspired to be audiophile once in polite company as the whole bussines has deteriated to an obscure cult ?
Instead of being a nice hobby and a pastime .

I have to explain that my cables does not cost 100k$ and are made of silver insulated in Yak hair .

If the audio hobby where not so silly more people would be interested , quality playback does matter .

garym
2012-10-12, 05:35
Or have you ever heard anybody with a Sonos complain about it? I guess in this price range Sonos is the winner and will be for some years to come...


Sonos does great marketing and some things are simpler (their wifi network, etc.). But regarding complaint, a quick browse of their forums indicate many of the same sort of complaints we see here at this forum).

garym
2012-10-12, 05:38
As I mentioned in another thread, of all of the friends/family/neighbors homes & apartments we SB users have entered, how many use a dedicated music streaming device even remotely close to a SB player? I see people using cable/sat services, iPod docks, networking AVR's, game consoles, smart phones, DLNA, simple wired mp3 players, or just plain old FM radio and CD's. I've bumped into exactly one other Sonos and I've heard of one other SB (met the couple, not been in their home). Any other SB users I know of are a result of my suggesting a SB. :)

almost identical to my experience.

majones
2012-10-12, 06:01
IMO Logitech has missed most of the potential customers for the SqueezeBox due to virtually no marketing or any other effort to reach the kind of user that would like such a product.
In the UK, Logitech did get the SB Radio into a major high street retailer (John Lewis). So they were trying. At the time, I thought this marked the breakthrough that the product required. But it evidently didn't.

Mnyb
2012-10-12, 06:29
In the UK, Logitech did get the SB Radio into a major high street retailer (John Lewis). So they were trying. At the time, I thought this marked the breakthrough that the product required. But it evidently didn't.

They where at some well known retails here in Sweden too, but that's not all there is to selling this kind of product .

There is the system aspect that you could use them to fill your home with audio everywhere .

But anyway there is a lot swedes here so it did OK for a while :)

As you say (and logitech ) the radio was the most sold an popular player of them all.

wuffles
2012-10-12, 14:12
Anyone care to comment on this? It appears another vendor is running with the squeezebox architecture - the fusion research web site (http://www.fusionrd.com) says that their hardware uses mysqueezebox.com as well as existing android/ios control apps. The price, of course, is substantially higher and it may not be offered through retail channels.

Interestingly, they mention slim devices but not logitech! Have they made a deal with logitech, or are they simply using open source and advocating their customers to leach off of logitech's infrastructure?

http://www.cepro.com/article/squeezebox_is_backbone_of_new_multiroom_audio_syst em_from_fusion/

http://www.fusionrd.com/Documents/Ovation-OMS1.pdf

toby10
2012-10-12, 14:47
Well, Fusion's low end streamer starts at $995. Another possible road block is they may have planned all of this prior to Logitech announcing the end of SB. I'd want that clarified and how they intend to support a local server absent LMS and online streaming absent MySB.com before I plopped down $1k on one of their players.

It's been posted here since August.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?96231-What-a-time-to-launch-a-new-SqueezeBox-based-product&highlight=fusion

nekomatic
2012-10-17, 01:00
I was close to buying one or two Squeezebox Touch-es when the announcement came out, but instead of locking myself in to the Squeezebox hardware I've instead picked up an iPod touch, which I'll use with iPeng in a mini-hifi-with-dock in the kitchen, and resurrected my old G3 Powerbook on which I'll use Squeezeslave (thanks for the G3-compatible build, ralphy!) in the living room. But the Powerbook only has a headphone output socket, so I won't be getting optimum sound quality out of that - I'm no audiophile, 16/44.1 is fine for me and the hi-fi isn't anything special, but I'm guessing I might notice the difference with something better.

If there was some indication of ongoing support and development on the Squeezebox/LMS ecosystem, I might be prepared to pay a Squeezebox Touch sort of price for a Squeezebox Touch sort of player. But then again, the web interface via the Powerbook is perfectly OK, so I could make do with a cheaper, headless audio receiver. Sort of like the Airport Express, in fact.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, getting up to use the iPod in its dock to change tracks is OK, but if there was a small, cheap, headless audio receiver I could plug in to the hi-fi then I could pick up the iPod and just use it as a remote. Something sort of like the Airport Express, in fact.

It's possible for third party software to stream to AirPlay hardware - Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil does. If I wanted to keep Squeezebox/LMS going as a home-server-based multi-room-capable audio solution then what I'd look at is how to get it to play to Airplay as well as to hardware and/or software Squeezebox players. I don't know if synchronisation would be good, or even possible, but it would at least solve the problem of Logitech no longer making the kind of hardware that some of us want. And I realise it wouldn't satisfy the audiophiles who want 24/192 or whatever the current state of the art is, but I think we've already agreed that's a niche within a niche, and if some of you are prepared to pay over $500 for it then someone in their back room ought to be able to make a living out of filling it :-)

Pascal Hibon
2012-10-17, 02:24
I was close to buying one or two Squeezebox Touch-es when the announcement came out, but instead of locking myself in to the Squeezebox hardware I've instead picked up an iPod touch, which I'll use with iPeng in a mini-hifi-with-dock in the kitchen, and resurrected my old G3 Powerbook on which I'll use Squeezeslave (thanks for the G3-compatible build, ralphy!) in the living room. But the Powerbook only has a headphone output socket, so I won't be getting optimum sound quality out of that - I'm no audiophile, 16/44.1 is fine for me and the hi-fi isn't anything special, but I'm guessing I might notice the difference with something better.



I guess you have two options for the living room:
1. Get a second iThing with a dock and iPeng
2. Use an external DAC with a USB input such as the Audiolab M-DAC together with Squeezeplay on your laptop

toby10
2012-10-17, 04:01
Well, Fusion's low end streamer starts at $995. Another possible road block is they may have planned all of this prior to Logitech announcing the end of SB. I'd want that clarified and how they intend to support a local server absent LMS and online streaming absent MySB.com before I plopped down $1k on one of their players.

It's been posted here since August.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?96231-What-a-time-to-launch-a-new-SqueezeBox-based-product&highlight=fusion

FYI: I emailed Fusion last week asking about their current and future support of that streaming hardware tied to SqueezeBox LMS and MySB.com. They have yet to respond. My guess is they can't respond because they have no answer, likely because they were also caught off guard by Logitech ending SqueezeBox.

A $1k player that is rack mount only and has no WiFi, tied to (essentially) a defunct architecture with a very questionable future?
No thanks. :)

nekomatic
2012-10-17, 06:31
I guess you have two options for the living room:
1. Get a second iThing with a dock and iPeng
2. Use an external DAC with a USB input such as the Audiolab M-DAC together with Squeezeplay on your laptop

Yeah, those would both be options. Though I was thinking more along the lines of a USB or Firewire audio interface at £100 or less, rather than a £500+ DAC :D