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  1. #1
    Peter van der Landen
    Guest

    What the Squeezebox needs IMHO

    I received my 2 SB3's last week and I must say I'm quite pleased. The
    Squeezeboxes are finally starting to look as expensive as they are and
    the display is a huge functional improvement since I'm finally able to
    read it from my couch. My optometrist was making a fortune out of me .

    My non-nerd friends are finally becoming interested as well when they
    see my sleek setup which is no more than a SB3 connected to two Active
    Studio Monitors. Less is more...

    But when I return to my laptop and try to control my 4 zone
    SliMP3/SB1/SB3 setup (yeah, I'm a seasoned user) I see what is perhaps
    the most importent reason why the SB isn't ready to be sold in my local
    electronics store. The server software is wonderful, but the prefered
    way to control it with the web browser is definitely sub-optimal.

    Just controlling volume and synchronisation on 4 devices requires
    horrible amounts of clicking. The way the playlist display refreshes
    creates it's own problems. On FireFox I find that having a constantly
    refreshing SlimServer page in the background interferes with filling in
    webforms. When I fire up IE instead, I'm annoyed by the constant
    clicking that accompanies the loading of a new page. (anyone know how to
    turn this off selectively?)

    I think this is holding back market penetration. Imagine a smart
    frontend client (complementary to the web interface) with a nice mixer
    panel that allows the user to easily control his SB's levels. A GUI app
    that allows him to synchronizes by simple clicking or dragging and that
    allows easy management of player status and playlists. Wouldn't that be
    a lot better? It also makes for some nice screenshots on the website.
    I'm afraid the current website doesn't do a very good job of explaining
    what it is exactly that the buyer receives. A non-nerd music lover
    (we're talking 10's or 100's of millions of people here!) would probably
    be put off by this webpage:

    http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_features.html

    Holding off on the technical details, adding a few screenshots with a
    GUI app that nicely visualizes an SS network in operation (instead of
    the very boring looking web page) would make a huge difference. OK, for
    the current userbase the fact that it's in Perl and in Open Source is a
    huge bonus (I wouldn't have bought mine otherwise) but most of the
    potential customers couldn't care less. In fact it might even frighten
    them away because they fear it's complicated and requires knowledge of
    scary things like 'Perl'...

    I think the Squeezebox is firmly positioned in the top end of the
    market. The section where people are willing to spend money on multiple
    players that work seamlessly together. In my opinion there's a lot of
    room for improvement in that area.

    You have a wonderfully mature product that's almost ready to take on a
    developing market. Why not take it, before Apple or MS does it and
    leaves us nerds with yet another closed proprietary 'standard'.

    Regards,
    Peter

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    163
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter van der Landen
    When I fire up IE instead, I'm annoyed by the constant
    clicking that accompanies the loading of a new page. (anyone know how to
    turn this off selectively?)
    Go into sounds and remove the "start Navigation" sound under Windows Explorer.

    for more detailed instructions: http://www.allscoop.com/tools/IE_No_Click/index.php

    they should probably add this to the FAQ - it's really annoying.

  3. #3
    Senior Member autopilot's Avatar
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    I can see pros and cons for web interface Vs standalone GUI. But personally, and i think most people here agree, the best thing about using a web interface is the ability to access it via web enabled device, be that an other PC, laptop, PDA, Smart phone, PSP, etc, regardless of OS.

    A web interface is easier to quickly update to everytime a new SlimServer version is released. And given that it's fairly easy design a new skin, a more newbie freindly 'simple mode' could be made with limited options. Not something i would want, being a control freak, but i'm suprised no one has done this yet (or have they?). Also, in some ways i think a stand alone program could confuse people more. Lets face it, even the most inexperienced PC users are used to working with web pages now.

  4. #4
    Peter van der Landen
    Guest

    Re: What the Squeezebox needs IMHO

    On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 01:24:02 -0800, "dangerous_dom"
    <dangerous_dom.25bn7n1143451501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
    >
    > I can see pros and cons for web interface Vs standalone GUI. But
    > personally, and i thinmk most people here agree, the best thing about
    > using a web interface is the ability to access it via web enabled
    > device, be that an other PC, laptop, PDA, Smart phone, PSP, etc
    > regardless of OS.



    Absolutely, and I don't recommend discarding the web interface
    altogether. But as everyone who's ever programmed a web interface to an
    application knows, it's hard to make it really user friendly without
    resorting to portability-destroying techniques like DHTML, ActiveX and
    AJAX and the like. Try running that on your PDA

    > A web interface is easier to quickly update to everytime a new
    > SlimServer version is released. And given that it's fairly easy design
    > a new skin, a more newbie freindly 'simple mode' could be made with
    > limited options. Not something i would want, being a control freak, but
    > i'm suprised no one has done this yet (or have they?). Also, in some
    > ways i think a stand alone program could confuse people more. Lets face
    > it, even the most inexperienced PC users are used to working with web
    > pages now.


    As a web browser is no more than a stand-alone program, I gather they
    must've had experience with that first. I find it extremely hard to
    believe people would prefer changing webpages via a drop down menu and
    change volume by clicking a few numbers (anyone else think that volume
    control on the web page is too coarse) than dragging a few adjacent
    sliders. I'm an extremely seasoned browser user (I remember thinking
    Mosaic was a great new app) but I find controlling my boxes with the
    webinterface unnecessarily cumbersome.

    Modern libraries like QT or WxWidgets (I used wxPerl to write my
    VideoBox) can easily be used to create interactive intuitive and
    user-friendly applications that install and run on Windows, Linux and
    OS/X.

    Regards,
    Peter

  5. #5
    Peter van der Landen
    Guest

    Re: What the Squeezebox needs IMHO

    On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 00:48:02 -0800, "NWP"
    <NWP.25bllb1143449401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
    >
    > Peter van der Landen Wrote:
    > > When I fire up IE instead, I'm annoyed by the constant
    > > clicking that accompanies the loading of a new page. (anyone know how
    > > to
    > > turn this off selectively?)
    > >

    >
    > Go into sounds and remove the "start Navigation" sound under Windows
    > Explorer.
    >
    > for more detailed instructions:
    > http://www.allscoop.com/tools/IE_No_Click/index.php
    >
    > they should probably add this to the FAQ - it's really annoying.


    Thanks, I never thought of looklng for it there.
    A definite candidate for the FAQ IMO.

    Regards,
    Peter

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Another vote for a good gui app. I find the web interface way to slow for normal day to day use. I want instant feedback. I think moose is a good start but a full gui app supported by slim devices would be a great addition.

    peter

  7. #7
    Senior Member autopilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter van der Landen
    anyone else think that volume
    control on the web page is too coarse
    Yeah, i just started using the fishbone skin which allows a finer volume adjustment.

  8. #8
    Dr Lovegrove
    Guest

    What the Squeezebox needs IMHO

    On 27/03/06, Peter van der Landen <landen-slimp (AT) frg (DOT) eur.nl> wrote:
    >
    > I think this is holding back market penetration. Imagine a smart
    > frontend client (complementary to the web interface) with a nice mixer
    > panel that allows the user to easily control his SB's levels. A GUI app
    > that allows him to synchronizes by simple clicking or dragging and that
    > allows easy management of player status and playlists. Wouldn't that be
    > a lot better? It also makes for some nice screenshots on the website.


    This is why I wrote Moose.. It cant control syncronisation (yet) and
    admittedly is tied to windows, but for player status and music management
    I think it's doing ok..

    --
    - Dr Lovegrove
    http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove

  9. #9
    Senior Member ezkcdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,108
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Lovegrove
    On 27/03/06, Peter van der Landen <landen-slimp (AT) frg (DOT) eur.nl> wrote:
    >
    > I think this is holding back market penetration. Imagine a smart
    > frontend client (complementary to the web interface) with a nice mixer
    > panel that allows the user to easily control his SB's levels. A GUI app
    > that allows him to synchronizes by simple clicking or dragging and that
    > allows easy management of player status and playlists. Wouldn't that be
    > a lot better? It also makes for some nice screenshots on the website.


    This is why I wrote Moose.. It cant control syncronisation (yet) and
    admittedly is tied to windows, but for player status and music management
    I think it's doing ok..

    --
    - Dr Lovegrove
    http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove
    Hey, Dr. Lovegrove, keep up the good work on Moose! I love it.
    There are 10 kind of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.
    ShinyMetal
    Site| RSS |Forum

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    7
    Well said Peter, I made a similar point a few months back. A winamp style interface would blow the market up wide for this device.

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