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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Ideas for improving the sync-experience

    The squeezebox system always gets bashed for it's poor user interface when it comes to managing synchronisation.

    Can we as a community come up with some good ideas that can the developers can use to improve on this?

    Could we as a community come up with constructive ideas how the developers can improve it?
    Not so much on the touch. They can get plenty of inspiration from iPeng, Sonos, Slimcontrol etc. But for the spinning-wheel/knob devices, Radio and controller. Maybe also leave out the VFD based devices as their limited visualization makes it hard to do the massive improvement that is needed. I don't own one, so I may be wrong. But my own focus will be on squeezeplay devices with a wheel/knob.

    I will start out with a couple of ideas:

    1. Let users define sync-groups that the system remembers. I.e. which players are in the group and which playlist should take over.

    2. Easier stopping of multi-sync. If I e.g. sync 3 devices I need to switch between players to get the players to play individually. The party has finished, I just want to kill all sync "with one click".
    BR Mogens

    2 Radios (1 battery), 2 Controllers, 2 Receivers, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze and SqueezePlayer on Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

  2. #2
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    From a user point of view I think we need some kind of "zone" concept, I suppose this might be the same as what you call sync groups.

    - It should be possible to configure a player so it's part of several zones but obviously it can only play music in one zone at the time
    - In the user interface you should be able to select a zone (or a single player)
    - When you select a zone and starts to play, it should move all players in the zone to the correct server and start playing them synchronized

    Some samples of zones:
    - Bottom floor
    - Whole house
    - Livingroom and kitchen

    In this concept, the kitchen Boom might be part of all three zones.
    1. The user select "Whole house" and start to play something, the kitchen Boom is connected to the sync group and starts to play.
    2. The user select "Bottom floor" and start to play something, the kitchen Boom is disconnected from the "Whole house" sync group and connected to the "Bottom floor" sync group and starts to play the new music. The remaining players in "Whole house" keeps playing the old music.

    I think it's also worth to look at iPeng as I think it provides the best synchronization configuration available for the Squeezebox products at the moment.

    The issue that's going to trouble the developers are the fact that players might be connected to different servers. When you select a zone some of its players might be connected to MySB.com, some to the Touch and some to your full SBS server somewhere else in the house.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets

  3. #3
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for improving the sync-experience

    Please also have a look at the current incarnation of the SyncOptions plugin.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by erland View Post
    ...some kind of "zone" concept, I suppose this might be the same as what you call sync groups.
    Yes, thats what I meant. You just formulate it a whole lot better than me
    Last edited by Muele; 2010-02-18 at 01:54.
    BR Mogens

    2 Radios (1 battery), 2 Controllers, 2 Receivers, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze and SqueezePlayer on Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

  5. #5
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
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    What Muele and Erland describe is pretty much how I use The Synchronizer plugin. I have several sync groups or zones defined, with a given player designated as the 'master' of each. Players can be in more than one sync group, which is especially useful for my Boom, which divides its time between the upstairs bedroom and the patio. Were there other features you had in mind, or are there gaps in The Synchronizer feature set that I'm overlooking, other than the obvious part about it being a plugin rather than built-in?

  6. #6
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    I don't think it is features really that is the main issue here, it is understandability and usability.

    I've just installed the "The Synchronizer" plugin and even though I'm software developer myself I can't begin to fathom how the web UI side of it actually works. The setting up of sync sets has me complete bemused as to what I am supposed to do:

    http://norman.cx/photos/links/sync.png

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chunkywizard's Avatar
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    I have never used this before but it seems simple to me. You have Sync Sets and you say which of your players are in each sync set. Currently nothing is set. But if you wanted Office and Radio synced to Kitchen in the Downstairs sync group then click the menu item for them and set it to sync (in the Downstairs sync set). Looks quite useful, I might investigate it myself...

    CW
    Squeezebox: Boom x2 (Kitchen and Living Room), Radio x4 (Kids, Play Room and Bedroom), PiCorePlayer (Office)
    Server: 8.0 for PCP
    Plugins: Spotty | Dynamic Playlists | SQL Playlist | Music and Artist Information | TrackStat
    Remote: iPhone6/iPad Air running iPeng
    Music: Last.fm

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunkywizard View Post
    I have never used this before but it seems simple to me. You have Sync Sets and you say which of your players are in each sync set. Currently nothing is set. But if you wanted Office and Radio synced to Kitchen in the Downstairs sync group then click the menu item for them and set it to sync (in the Downstairs sync set). Looks quite useful, I might investigate it myself...
    I'd agree, that would be easy if that was how it worked...

    But that isn't how it works. To get to this state all I did was create the three sync sets.

    Taking the Upstairs set as an example, the dropdown lists are as follows:

    Kitchen - "Unsyncronized or master", "Office", "Radio"
    Office - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Radio"
    Internet Radio - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Office"

    I honestly don't know what I am supposed to set to get the various players into the right sync sets. I expect I can work it out by experimentation, but it is far from obvious (to me) without said experimentation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chunkywizard's Avatar
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    Set Office and Internet Radio to Kitchen would be my guess. You point at the master.

    CW
    Squeezebox: Boom x2 (Kitchen and Living Room), Radio x4 (Kids, Play Room and Bedroom), PiCorePlayer (Office)
    Server: 8.0 for PCP
    Plugins: Spotty | Dynamic Playlists | SQL Playlist | Music and Artist Information | TrackStat
    Remote: iPhone6/iPad Air running iPeng
    Music: Last.fm

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunkywizard View Post
    Set Office and Internet Radio to Kitchen would be my guess. You point at the master.
    Some experimentation suggests that you are right. My point however was that the UI on first encounter is completely baffling and the average new user would never even do the experiments to find out how it worked.

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