Just wanted to post my first impressions here.

First of all, I really like the concept. I've thought for a while that the SB4 should consist of two pieces - something smallish that plugs into an amp, and a detachable color display/controller. This seems like a big step towards that.

However, I'm not crazy about either the form factor or the screen. IMO the screen is too small and too dim, and the thing overall is kind of clunky. I would like to be able to read the screen from a distance, or see album art displayed, so that when not in use the display can sit on or near the stereo and be visible.

In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that I've had an iphone for a few months now, and it's kind of raised my expectations for any other remotely similar device. But I doubt I'm unique in that regard.

I'm also not very thrilled with the interface. The biggest problem is lag - it can take a good 15 seconds to open the "Albums" list, during which there's no obvious feedback to tell me that the button press has registered and I just need to wait, or that it hasn't and I should press again, or what. Then scrolling through the list is painfully slow, with lots of pauses while art loads (or even when it doesn't). I have a few thousand albums in there, and it takes a while just to get past one letter. There needs to be some faster way to navigate through long lists, like some method where you can jump to a letter, like on the SB remote or with the iphone. The search function is hard to use for the same reason, as is entering long wireless passwords - scrolling linearly through the alphabet takes a while. It reminds me of those old arcade racing games when you were entering your initials using the steering wheel after getting on the high score list...

I don't mean to be only critical - overall it certainly adds major functionality to the SB, and there's lots of potential. One thing I really like is the seamless interface with internet radio and with the local server easily accessible from the top level menu. And being able to control SS from anywhere in my apartment is very nice.

Hmm - as I've been typing this I've been listening to music, and suddenly my SB has shut off and the jive seems to be locked up - or rather reacting extremely slowly. Slimserver seems to have crashed - after several attempts it restarted, and now things are working again.