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View Full Version : Just One Question To The Original SD Team



sgmlaw
2012-11-25, 12:01
Now that Logitech has clumsily killed their baby, why doesn't the original Slim Devices team just buy the essential IP and keep it going?
It should be cheaper than what Logitech paid for it, and I'm sure Andy knows how to revive it in the right direction again.

erland
2012-11-25, 22:57
Now that Logitech has clumsily killed their baby, why doesn't the original Slim Devices team just buy the essential IP and keep it going?
It should be cheaper than what Logitech paid for it, and I'm sure Andy knows how to revive it in the right direction again.

This has already been answered in other threads, but to repeat it:
1. Logitech is still using most of the software in the UE Smart Radio products so they can't sell the software and the online streaming services access rights.
2. The only thing Logitech could sell is the Squeezebox brand name but people have already previously tried to buy that but they didn't want to sell it.
3. The founders of Slim Devices have moved on and if they wanted to do something in this market segment I'm sure they would like to do something new revolutionary and not pick up the pieces after Logitech.

The Squeezebox brand is going to die, it's just a matter of time, we might be able to keep it alive for a while but it's not going to be a long term solution.

The good news is that if there are people who are willing to pay for products in this market segment there is probably a business opportunity and this usually means that someone eventually will provide what we need, this is also just a matter of time. As I've said previously, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the future of music streaming starts right here in this community in one way or another.

DaveWr
2012-11-26, 01:58
Now that Logitech has clumsily killed their baby, why doesn't the original Slim Devices team just buy the essential IP and keep it going?
It should be cheaper than what Logitech paid for it, and I'm sure Andy knows how to revive it in the right direction again.

Logitech is a company with shareholders, they will not have killed off the Squeezebox line as an oversight, but on the basis of success and profitability.

IMHO the major problems with squeeze stuff has been engineering and marketing.

Conceptually the idea is good, but the implementation have always required a geek approach to support the product. Features have disappeared as changes have been made to support newer features. The direction of the product has lacked coherency, the duet should have cleaned up in the mass market, but the configuration and operation compared with say Apple TV, too much for retailers and users to handle.

The marketing is Logitech's fault. There was/is none. Audio and entertainment products are sold through a given set of retailers. Some of those did take the product on, but very few sustained that approach. Marketing monies disappeared, leaving distribution to Internet and computer retail only.

Frankly unless the plug and play nature of the product could be improved radically, along with appropriate price levels, I think the product has little future no matter who owns it.

earthbased
2012-11-26, 08:56
As I move away from video to books and music, Logitech cancels a modern audio product to replace it with a Big Brother whatever. Guess this is another sign to head to the Gulch. Great work original team; maybe see you in the Gulch with your new product for the true 1%.

Gadgety1
2012-11-27, 02:13
Logitech is a company with shareholders, they will not have killed off the Squeezebox line as an oversight, but on the basis of success and profitability.

IMHO the major problems with squeeze stuff has been engineering and marketing.

Conceptually the idea is good, but the implementation have always required a geek approach to support the product. Features have disappeared as changes have been made to support newer features. The direction of the product has lacked coherency, the duet should have cleaned up in the mass market, but the configuration and operation compared with say Apple TV, too much for retailers and users to handle.

The marketing is Logitech's fault. There was/is none. Audio and entertainment products are sold through a given set of retailers. Some of those did take the product on, but very few sustained that approach. Marketing monies disappeared, leaving distribution to Internet and computer retail only.

Frankly unless the plug and play nature of the product could be improved radically, along with appropriate price levels, I think the product has little future no matter who owns it.

According to the Logitech market analysis I saw, the growth is in the radio type devices, smaller, cheaper, built in speaker and amplifier, low power where even someone with dementia could operate them. Logitech are going for the growth segment and abandoning the stand alone high rez Touch and Transporter type products because they deem the market too small, and the growth rate too low. Apparently their marketing department has not been able to convince enough users that it offers high value for money compared to the well marketed Sonos and the absurdly expensive proprietary hifi solutions from the likes of Linn etc. Admittedly updating the SqB range with firmware has usually led to some type of complication. With this new approach they simplify for the user and eventually they'll probably go to subscription mode as well, where there will be a monthly fee to enjoy the device.

DaveWr
2012-11-27, 03:03
According to the Logitech market analysis I saw, the growth is in the radio type devices, smaller, cheaper, built in speaker and amplifier, low power where even someone with dementia could operate them. Logitech are going for the growth segment and abandoning the stand alone high rez Touch and Transporter type products because they deem the market too small, and the growth rate too low. Apparently their marketing department has not been able to convince enough users that it offers high value for money compared to the well marketed Sonos and the absurdly expensive proprietary hifi solutions from the likes of Linn etc. Admittedly updating the SqB range with firmware has usually led to some type of complication. With this new approach they simplify for the user and eventually they'll probably go to subscription mode as well, where there will be a monthly fee to enjoy the device.

Yeah and Logitech market analysis thought the revue was a great idea.

Logitech is a pile it high fast consumer goods company, the have bought several innovative companies, most have seen decline. I expect the radio is a last stab as showing the shareholders that they have some use for the money they invested in Slim Devices. If they are serious about the radio market they need to check out the competition, that has cheaper solutions, which operate in cloud mode, DLNA mode and as standard digital and FM radios.


They had a SNAFU with Slim Devices. No market strategy, no reliable product direction. With sensible management they could have had Sonos for breakfast, but just muddled along.

amcluesent
2012-11-27, 11:58
Apparently their marketing department

The no-marketing department, surely?

mark-e-mark
2012-11-27, 21:52
I was just thinking how an open-source product will never work for a mass-market consumer products company, and that this is not really a surprise. I remember wondering this in 2006, but like everyone else, hoped for the best and was glad to see the original Slim Devices team rewarded for bringing a wonderful set of products to market.

Anybody remember the Flip camcorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_Video)? The Flip is dead simple to operate and has fewer functions, so mass-market consumers won't get tripped-up. Cisco bought it and didn't know what to do with it. The product had an awesome write-up from David Pogue in the New York Times (this might sound familiar to SB fans), and everyone was and is baffled by Cisco's decision to buy it and their inability to run it. Cisco decided to kill it since the Flip does not fit in with their core product offerings.

In my revisionist history, Logitech buys Flip and has a real winner with feature-set extensions all over the place (see webcam for examples). Meanwhile, Cisco buys Slim and the engineers there fall in love with it and help smooth out the wifi kinks. Well, that's how it shoulda gone.

mbonsack
2012-11-27, 23:06
Well, that's how it shoulda gone.

No, it shouldn't have. At about the same time or a little before the flip, Cisco came out with a Sonos/Squeezebox competitive product line. Being an employee of Cisco at the time (and of course an avid Squeezebox devotee as well) made me particularly interested to see how this product would fare.

It died a quick death after being in the marketplace in less than 6 months if I recall correctly.

Osamede
2012-11-28, 03:12
According to the Logitech market analysis I saw, the growth is in the radio type devices, smaller, cheaper, built in speaker and amplifier, low power where even someone with dementia could operate them. Logitech are going for the growth segment and abandoning the stand alone high rez Touch and Transporter type products .This for me only confirms how incompetent these guys must be. And passive as well. They are not smart enough to make markets and they are not smart enough either to interpret data with insight.

Why because its quite instinctive and clear to me that the "growth" market they are talking about ends dominated not by appliances but by actually smartphone and tablets! iPeng player on a smartphone or small tablet sounds good enough, virtually indistinguishable from these mono radio appliances in many low end use cases - bathroom, small kitchen etc.

And the smartphone/tablet is a lot more powerful. Would you rather buy a UE Radio in your kitchen or would you rather have a table that can play the same music AND all kinds of recipe book/cooking apps and so on. No brainer, actually.

Also Logitech havent the slightest clue if they thing grandma who wants a kitchen radio is going to sign up online for UERadio.com account or whatever. That aint gonna happen. It might seem like a simpler thing than running a Squeezebox server but in fact its not something that is enough to break barriers. "Simple" would have to mean a brower app on the device that is directly connceted to the web, not a gateway that you need to sigh up for etc.

So ultimately you want to target people who do like music and know a little something technically.

castalla
2012-11-28, 03:48
And the smartphone/tablet is a lot more powerful. Would you rather buy a UE Radio in your kitchen or would you rather have a table that can play the same music AND all kinds of recipe book/cooking apps and so on. No brainer, actually.


Not for me - I'd like a simple small radio - not a shiny squeeky-sound piece of glass where the battery runs out when on wifi - as for recipes, I'd use a recipe BOOK! Although a music playing table does sound good!

P Nelson
2012-11-28, 16:19
Slim Devices was offering a product (SB classic and transporter) that higher-end audio was not offering. Logitech, a maker of basic computer accessories buys Slim Devices, and does not know how to market to wider higher end audio. (Slim Devices was marketed to technophiles that also liked audio.) However, high-end audio will not sit idle, eventually they will, or are, moving into streaming audio from your computer. Logitech does not have the branding for high-end audio to complete with well-known brands. Can they compete in the long-term? Is high-end audio a business they want to compete in?

The SB line also suffered from that is required some geek knowledge to get it to work at its best, and it was not plug-in-play like Apple stuff. Explaining to my wife how to use the SB when the computer is on vs off was a pain. (However, the Touch has a built in server which solved that problem, somewhat) SB flexibility is what made us like it, but it could have been its downfall.

I am frustrated that Logitech dropped the SB line, but I can see why they did what they did. I do think Logitech was stupid to strand many of their existing customerís and not offer us SB users a better fit into their new product line. At least they could have kept making the Touch.

castalla
2012-11-28, 16:45
Slim Devices was offering a product (SB classic and transporter) that higher-end audio was not offering. Logitech, a maker of basic computer accessories buys Slim Devices, and does not know how to market to wider higher end audio. (Slim Devices was marketed to technophiles that also liked audio.) However, high-end audio will not sit idle, eventually they will, or are, moving into streaming audio from your computer. Logitech does not have the branding for high-end audio to complete with well-known brands. Can they compete in the long-term? Is high-end audio a business they want to compete in?

The SB line also suffered from that is required some geek knowledge to get it to work at its best, and it was not plug-in-play like Apple stuff. Explaining to my wife how to use the SB when the computer is on vs off was a pain. (However, the Touch has a built in server which solved that problem, somewhat) SB flexibility is what made us like it, but it could have been its downfall.

I am frustrated that Logitech dropped the SB line, but I can see why they did what they did. I do think Logitech was stupid to strand many of their existing customerís and not offer us SB users a better fit into their new product line. At least they could have kept making the Touch.

Disagree. Setting up and using the SB radio is pretty simple. A heck of a lot easier than those androidy things (I've got an Archos Home Connect radio - a real pain to set up. My android tablet isn't much better - too many updates, adverts, all the usual 'give us yer money' crap - and it eats the battery when on wifi - & the audio output is tinny).

I agree with those who point out that Logi missed out on decent marketing of excellent products compared with some competitors.

Future iterations of the Rspberry Pi will probably offer a decent audio internet enabled system for enthusiasts at a minimal cost! It's almost there already with LMS and Squeezelite!

GeeJay
2012-11-28, 20:16
I've owned and used Squeezeboxes for over 5 years. My wife and two college-aged daughters are still scared of it.

That tells me everything I need to know about why Logitech couldn't advance the product line beyond the truly passionate music enthusiast.

castalla
2012-11-29, 02:41
I've owned and used Squeezeboxes for over 5 years. My wife and two college-aged daughters are still scared of it.

That tells me everything I need to know about why Logitech couldn't advance the product line beyond the truly passionate music enthusiast.


Scared? Are they frightened by anything else?????!!!!

bernt
2012-11-29, 03:22
I've owned and used Squeezeboxes for over 5 years. My wife and two college-aged daughters are still scared of it.

That tells me everything I need to know about why Logitech couldn't advance the product line beyond the truly passionate music enthusiast.

My wife and my 14 year old daughter use it every day. They play Spotify, radio and local music without problem.

The daughter has manage to install the Logitech app on her phone and control the SB all by her self so there is nothing to be scared of.

maggior
2012-11-29, 06:46
My daughter has been using her's since she was in the first grade (6 years old). My wife uses our duet in the kitchen all of the time...and has for years. My wife gets easily frustrated with electronic stuff and has managed to have no trouble with the duet.

Granted, if she had to set it up all herself, that would have been a different story.

JonWill
2012-11-30, 02:41
Granted, if she had to set it up all herself, that would have been a different story.

I think that is the key issue - my family (at least my wife, 15 yo and 6 yo) have absolutely no trouble with them - but my they get frustrated when I have to reboot the server/ the internet goes down etc. And they have no idea where the music lives, or that there is such a thing as LMS... luckily I love fiddling ...

sgmlaw
2012-11-30, 05:58
And they have no idea where the music lives, or that there is such a thing as LMS...

But I'm sure they all know about iTunes as they sync their phones and pods to it, and watch Apple TV via AirPlay through it. Not that much different from a methodological standpoint.

Rotten marketing killed this product line, pure and simple. And insufficient R&D commitment to the tech.

And now it's fallen behind the tech curve from the R&D resource-starvation.

Not that iTunes EVER has any problems . . .

aubuti
2012-11-30, 07:00
But I'm sure they all know about iTunes as they sync their phones and pods to it, and watch Apple TV via AirPlay through it.
Actually, not in my family. My wife has had an iPhone for a couple years and still doesn't have an Apple ID because it is "scary" or "complicated" (not sure which), but she uses our SBs every day, especially the SB Duet Controller. And our son doesn't have an iAnything, but navigates the SB just fine, including using our Boom as an alarm clock.

smiggs
2012-11-30, 09:58
Slim Devices was offering a product (SB classic and transporter) that higher-end audio was not offering. Logitech, a maker of basic computer accessories buys Slim Devices, and does not know how to market to wider higher end audio. (Slim Devices was marketed to technophiles that also liked audio.) However, high-end audio will not sit idle, eventually they will, or are, moving into streaming audio from your computer. Logitech does not have the branding for high-end audio to complete with well-known brands. Can they compete in the long-term? Is high-end audio a business they want to compete in?

The SB line also suffered from that is required some geek knowledge to get it to work at its best, and it was not plug-in-play like Apple stuff. Explaining to my wife how to use the SB when the computer is on vs off was a pain. (However, the Touch has a built in server which solved that problem, somewhat) SB flexibility is what made us like it, but it could have been its downfall.

I am frustrated that Logitech dropped the SB line, but I can see why they did what they did. I do think Logitech was stupid to strand many of their existing customerís and not offer us SB users a better fit into their new product line. At least they could have kept making the Touch.

This for me is the issue, Squeezebox is not a mainstream product but that is entirely Logitech's creation they have owned the brand for six years but failed to transform it into a consumer friendly product. The rebranding effort appears to be an effort to change that, but for reasons beyond my comprehension they have allowed no upgrade path or compatibility between the two products even though the new product build appears to be built upon the Squeezebox code base. It's a bizarre reckless abandonment of a loyal customer base, what exactly are they thinking? I for one will not be purchasing any future Logitech products because of their stupidity.

GeeJay
2012-11-30, 21:43
Scared? Are they frightened by anything else?????!!!!

Scoff if you will, but I think they are representative of the broader market Logitech has failed to reach. It really disappoints me that my wife will plug in her iPhone to a set of external speakers rather than use the SB in the same room.

Mnyb
2012-12-01, 00:53
Scoff if you will, but I think they are representative of the broader market Logitech has failed to reach. It really disappoints me that my wife will plug in her iPhone to a set of external speakers rather than use the SB in the same room.

That can also be marketing iPhones and other smartphones are "must have things" would not say that they are inherently easier to use ,a smartphone does have a myriad of settings apps and functions .

But as you must have it, you will eventually get on the learning curve if you spend 2 hours on the bus with it every day with nothing to do , very smart move Apple have got people to use even more advanced tech than before and they have got brand loyalty , these persons really want this interface on everything and everything else suddenly becomes impossible :)

And there is also an interface problem if you come in from the outside with playlist on your phone ,the easiest way to keep it going is to plunks it down in a dock or AirPlay it .

kidstypike
2012-12-01, 02:40
Scoff if you will, but I think they are representative of the broader market Logitech has failed to reach. It really disappoints me that my wife will plug in her iPhone to a set of external speakers rather than use the SB in the same room.

+1
After 6 years of using Squeezeboxes, my wife has NEVER shown any interest whatsoever in them.
To listen to BBC Radio 2, I tell her to just press the second preset on the Radio or Boom, no chance, she would rather use an old FM radio instead.

garym
2012-12-01, 05:58
my wife has zero interest or understanding of how it all works, but she has become addicted to having everything at her fingertips. She uses an actual CONTROLLER but all she does is point at one of the favorites I've set up (various internet radio, some SiriusXM stations, etc.) and start, and then use volume up and down. The system is setup so that starting anything to play will automatically turn on amp, etc.

garym
2012-12-01, 06:02
my wife has zero interest or understanding of how it all works, but she has become addicted to having everything at her fingertips. She uses an actual CONTROLLER but all she does is point at one of the favorites I've set up (various internet radio, some SiriusXM stations, etc.) and start, and then use volume up and down. The system is setup so that starting anything to play will automatically turn on amp, etc.

edit: then again, she has zero interest in our TV media setup too. But she certainly wants to use it. But again, I've got the AV equipment, cablebox, tv, etc. all setup on a master controller so that she only has to know to hit the TV or DVD button and change channels or volume. The controller is programmed to turn everything needed on/off in the background. Heck, she can't even figure out how to setup her bedside radio alarm. She's no dummy (two master's degrees and a professional job in a technical field). But she is missing the gene that relates to any interest in how things like this work. Then again, why should she bother when she has me making everything work automatically and flawlessly in the background.

kidstypike
2012-12-01, 08:30
edit: then again, she has zero interest in our TV media setup too. But she certainly wants to use it. But again, I've got the AV equipment, cablebox, tv, etc. all setup on a master controller so that she only has to know to hit the TV or DVD button and change channels or volume. The controller is programmed to turn everything needed on/off in the background. Heck, she can't even figure out how to setup her bedside radio alarm. She's no dummy (two master's degrees and a professional job in a technical field). But she is missing the gene that relates to any interest in how things like this work. Then again, why should she bother when she has me making everything work automatically and flawlessly in the background.

+1, Yes, I can relate to all this :)

Jaca
2012-12-01, 08:33
edit: then again, she has zero interest in our TV media setup too. But she certainly wants to use it. But again, I've got the AV equipment, cablebox, tv, etc. all setup on a master controller so that she only has to know to hit the TV or DVD button and change channels or volume. The controller is programmed to turn everything needed on/off in the background. Heck, she can't even figure out how to setup her bedside radio alarm. She's no dummy (two master's degrees and a professional job in a technical field). But she is missing the gene that relates to any interest in how things like this work. Then again, why should she bother when she has me making everything work automatically and flawlessly in the background.

+1

danc27
2012-12-01, 10:42
This for me is the issue, Squeezebox is not a mainstream product but that is entirely Logitech's creation they have owned the brand for six years but failed to transform it into a consumer friendly product. The rebranding effort appears to be an effort to change that, but for reasons beyond my comprehension they have allowed no upgrade path or compatibility between the two products even though the new product build appears to be built upon the Squeezebox code base. It's a bizarre reckless abandonment of a loyal customer base, what exactly are they thinking? I for one will not be purchasing any future Logitech products because of their stupidity.
This is what really bothers me - why is there no upgrade path for the Squeezebox Touch?

Maybe there will be when a Touch "equivalent" comes out with the UE brand. If that happens.

Edit - Although I would be very concerned about losing support for iPeng and the other remotes available now. I wonder if something like that would change on the new UE system.

JonWill
2012-12-03, 00:54
Actually, not in my family. My wife has had an iPhone for a couple years and still doesn't have an Apple ID because it is "scary" or "complicated" (not sure which), but she uses our SBs every day, especially the SB Duet Controller. And our son doesn't have an iAnything, but navigates the SB just fine, including using our Boom as an alarm clock.

Ditto in my family ... wife has an Android phone but has never and will never sync anything to it ... 15yo is happy with iTunes but obviously the 6 yo is not allowed anything like that :). There was some complaining in the early days but my wife is now happily streaming all kinds of "interesting" music from Napster and catching up on the Archers via the iPlayer ... she can see the value in it...

JonWill
2012-12-03, 00:56
edit: then again, she has zero interest in our TV media setup too. But she certainly wants to use it. But again, I've got the AV equipment, cablebox, tv, etc. all setup on a master controller so that she only has to know to hit the TV or DVD button and change channels or volume. The controller is programmed to turn everything needed on/off in the background. Heck, she can't even figure out how to setup her bedside radio alarm. She's no dummy (two master's degrees and a professional job in a technical field). But she is missing the gene that relates to any interest in how things like this work. Then again, why should she bother when she has me making everything work automatically and flawlessly in the background.

+1

pippin
2012-12-03, 01:21
Edit - Although I would be very concerned about losing support for iPeng and the other remotes available now. I wonder if something like that would change on the new UE system.

There will be an iPeng for UE.

JJZolx
2012-12-03, 14:17
Because the original owners made their money by selling the company, not by selling Squeezeboxes.