Discussion:
What if Logitech pulls the plug
(too old to reply)
franklyfred
2012-06-24 23:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Not a real computer coder, IT pro all of the above. Just wondering does
logitech control the box. If logitech drops out will this device be
usable with out their support. Bye the way I love my Touch and two
Radios.


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m1abrams
2012-06-24 23:49:43 UTC
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Well mysqueezebox would no longer work. However LMS is open source so
it would continue and means the players would continue to operate.


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garym
2012-06-25 00:01:04 UTC
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m1abrams wrote:
> Well mysqueezebox would no longer work. However LMS is open source so
> it would continue and means the players would continue to operate.

lots of old thread on this conjecture. Bottom line, LMS would continue
to work with your squeezebox players. You could play local music files
and any internet radio stations where you can add the URL to the
favorites (this is already true for most of my internet radio stations
(radio paradise, wwoz, WNYC, etc.). You wouldn't be able to play
Services (pandora, mog, siriusXM, etc.) unless someone wrote a plugin to
allow you to connect and login, etc. Bottom line, 90% of my use would
be unaffected (my own music and internet radio).


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djdrey
2012-06-25 02:36:52 UTC
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It would be sad if they did, but considering the audio world seems to be
turning into a ipod/Apple mono-culture, it seems like it could easily go
that way.

I would hope that someone else would pick up the business and run with
it, but who else out there is willing to spend the $$$ required to build
and distribute hardware? That said, as the world moves to a
digital/streaming model, the SB product line is only becoming *more*
relevant, so it would be an ironic time to shut it down, considering
you've already gotten thru the hard times.


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JJZolx
2012-06-25 02:52:31 UTC
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No, Squeezeboxes will continue to work with a local server and local
music files.

But if Logitech were to abandon mysqueezebox.com, several capabilities
would be lost:

- access to music services (passwords are stored by mysqueezebox.com)
- browsing of the radio station directory
- the ability to listen to radio stations without a local server running

I could possibly see someone coming up with plugins to work around the
first two.

Even if mysqueezebox.com is kept running, if the code isn't maintained
then access to some music services might eventually stop working when
those services change their access methods.


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SBGK
2012-06-25 05:13:25 UTC
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Doesn't the touch need to contact the mysqueezebox.com during setup for
device registration ?

I have never been able to setup the touch without connecting it to the
internet during setup.

So presumably if mysqueezebox.com was no longer there then there would
need to be a work around to allow the setup to continue after a factory
reset.


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JJZolx
2012-06-25 06:37:11 UTC
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SBGK wrote:
> Doesn't the touch need to contact the mysqueezebox.com during setup for
> device registration ?

I'm pretty sure that can be bypassed, but it's been quite a while since
I did an initial configuration from a factory reset.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-25 08:58:04 UTC
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djdrey wrote:
> It would be sad if they did, but considering the audio world seems to be
> turning into a ipod/Apple mono-culture, it seems like it could easily go
> that way.

Fortunately, the music world is *not* going in the direction of an Apple
mono-culture. Actually the real trend is towards UPnP / DLNA. All the
major audio/video consumer device manufacturers (think of the big names
like Sony, Samsung, Philips, LG, Denon etc.) already support it. It is
an open interworking standard so anyone can use it without paying
royalties or risking legal disputes.

Ok admittedly some manufacturers (including Logitech) did not master the
UPnP technology, and some implementations are still quite quirky; but on
balance all the major manufacturers are using it, learning from their
mistakes, and continuously improving their offerrings. Indeed even
Microsoft supports UPnP. So basically it is Apple vs. R-o-W, and it is
stacking up to become yet-another format war like Blu-Ray vs. HDDVD,
however in this case I am putting my money on UPnP...


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pippin
2012-06-25 09:07:09 UTC
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AndrewFG wrote:
> even Microsoft supports UPnP

"even" is nice for the ones who developed it (with Intel).
The problem with UPnP is that it sucks as a standard (especially UPnP
AV) and more specifically most of the implementations do.
The reason a lot of consumer electronics companies support it is that
they have no idea of SW development or relevant product management so
they use what is cheapest and most easily available and dubbed as a
"standard".
I have no data (how could one have) that even today more AirPlay devices
are being used for audio streaming than UPnP devices, simple sales
figures don't mean a thing. By sales figures I probably own a dozen or
so "UPnP enabled" devices, none of which I have ever used for audio
streaming through UPnP.

I'm pretty sure there are even more Squeezeboxes out there being
actually used for audio streaming than UPnP devices.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-25 12:18:23 UTC
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pippin wrote:
>
> The problem with UPnP is that it sucks as a standard (especially UPnP
> AV)
>

If you want to make an assertion like that, you have to provide us with
specifics. { IMHO, as in a court of law, your assertion is wrong until
proven otherwise. }

pippin wrote:
>
> ... and more specifically most of the implementations do.
>

No. Most of them don't suck. But many of them are very shoddy, I suspect
mostly because the coders did not RTFM well enough before starting to
cut code. (Been there, done that.)


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pippin
2012-06-25 13:28:22 UTC
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AndrewFG wrote:
> If you want to make an assertion like that, you have to provide us with
> specifics. { IMHO, as in a court of law, your assertion is wrong until
> proven otherwise. }
>
No, it's just my opinion after spending quite a bit of time on the topic
over the last year. It's overly complex, uses badly performing
interfaces like SOAP and the architecture is 1990ish not taking into
account the realities of today's world. I especially do not believe that
it's possible to do a well-performing controller-renderer model that
does not have the CP on either the server or the renderer. I know there
are extensions that would help but they are being supported by close to
nobody.

I know good people who have tried hard to do multiroom-synchronization
with UPnP and who have failed and reverted to proprietary solutions
instead.

At best it's a data source protocol. Which is why it works for video
where this is actually all you need. No need for gapless transitions
between movies and you also rarely queue up dozens of them at a time.
Plus your CP is usually on the renderer, after all, you do already have
a screen.

>
> No. Most of them don't suck. But many of them are very shoddy, I suspect
> mostly because the coders did not RTFM well enough before starting to
> cut code. (Been there, done that.)
Sorry, English being not my mother tongue I fail to fully get the subtle
semantics of "is shoddy but doesn't suck".
Actually I don't believe this is due to incapable programmers. System
faults are often put on the developers. Maybe I'm wrong and out of
coincidence, all capable remote control programmers came to decide to
develop for systems like the Squeezebox and all the bad ones happened to
develop UPnP remotes but I don't believe that's the case.

There's also a reason why CE companies do these bad implementations of
their renderers and "out of coincidence" this reason is the same that
kind of let down the Squeezebox product range over the last years:
Software cost has to be calculated on the piece-price of the device
which is something that simply doesn't work for products which have
their functionality mainly defined through software or even backend
services.
I could no go on and elaborate for a few hours why this is also why
Apple and Microsoft make so much money but that would certainly be a bit
OT here....

DLNA will go away.


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tamanaco
2012-06-25 15:16:10 UTC
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As been said here, UPnP for video is fine if you keep away from large
video playlists... but for large categorized (carefully tagged) music
libraries the DLNA indexing mechanism leaves a lot to be desired.
Searching using the tags is also limitted. I own a Revue (Logitech
Google TV) and use a subset of my music library in MP3 format derived
from my main FLAC library so that my wife can listen to music using the
TV. I tried and failed to maintain a "reliable" music playing setup
using a UPnP/DLNA players and servers. I tried LMS with the DLNA server
enabled and with the Whitebear server (Whitebear being very reliable),
but always found issues related to the UPnP players being unable to
maintain a reliable index of the library. Using the Windows Media Player
from a PC proved to be the most reliable. If another of my Windows
computers with the DLNA server enabled entered the network the players
(LMP, aVia, GTVBox) in the Revue would sometimes associate with the
Windows computers instead of the LMS server. Indexing would have to be
started from scratch every time some communication issue occurred or
whenever indexing glitches came up during simple library updates... like
adding a new album. Of course, this would always happen when my wife had
friends over and wanted to play some music using the Revue. I found that
most of players that I tried lacked a settings granularity flexible
enough to allow me to display and search my library as I wanted. To make
a long story short, I opted to upload my MP3 library to the Google cloud
and use Google Music as a player in the Revue instead. It took a long
time to upload, but no more indexing issues. The library is rendered
quickly with all its album art and all the main tags are displayed
correctly.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-25 21:23:42 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> No, it's just my opinion after spending quite a bit of time on the topic
> over the last year. It's overly complex, uses badly performing
> interfaces like SOAP and the architecture is 1990ish not taking into
> account the realities of today's world.

Well, I have spent more than a "bit of time" on it; more like ten years
(which probably explains why it is "1990ish"). And yes, it does take
hard work to master the protocol; you need to actually read the
documents; and you need to make an effort...

pippin wrote:
> I especially do not believe that it's possible to do a well-performing
> controller-renderer model that does not have the CP on either the server
> or the renderer. I know there are extensions that would help but they
> are being supported by close to nobody.

I suppose belief is a matter of religion. The architecture considers
three entities, the CP, the DMS and the DMR. Each such entity may be
either on the same machine, or on another machine. The physical location
does not make any difference...

pippin wrote:
> I know good people who have tried hard to do multiroom-synchronization
> with UPnP and who have failed and reverted to proprietary solutions
> instead.

I don't doubt they are good people. If you want to do multi-player sync
in UPnP then you have to either A) implement the UPnP push streaming
model, and or B) implement the SyncPlay(), SyncStop() and SyncPause()
actions. Your "good" people seem to be implementing the UPnP pull
streaming model (HTTP GET), and also implementing only the (non
sync'ed) Play(), Stop() and Pause() actions. And these good people then
start to yammer about UPnP not supporting sync'ed play... C'mon, get
real!!

pippin wrote:
> At best it's a data source protocol. Which is why it works for video
> where this is actually all you need. No need for gapless transitions
> between movies and you also rarely queue up dozens of them at a time.
> Plus your CP is usually on the renderer, after all, you do already have
> a screen.

As mentioned before, the location of the CP is irrelevant. And, I am
sorry to say it, but the gapless play " issue" comes back down to your
"good" people. If you want to do gapless play in UPnP, then you need to
implement both the SetAvTransportUri() action AND the
SetAvNextTransportUri() action. Anyone who ignores implementing the
SetAvNextTransportUri() action, (or who does not even know what it
means), has no authority to yammer about UPnP not supporting gapless
playback.

pippin wrote:
> DLNA will go away.

It won't...


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bluegaspode
2012-06-25 21:50:14 UTC
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Andrew,

how many UPnP renderers do you know, which fully support the
specification, so that people can really enjoy sync + gapless playback?

I only had one encounter of UPnP, which was my Samsung TV where I wasn't
able to play a single song of my library. And a program called
plugplayer, which crashed multiple times and seemed to be very slow.
I only tested with LMS (and the integrated UPnP server of the FritzBox)
though - so maybe Logitech is to blame for my bad experience.


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Korny Sietsma
2012-06-27 07:09:33 UTC
Permalink
Jumping in here, because I lost my Squeezebox in a breakup, so have been
playing with UPnP a bit (it seems I'd have to spend $500 on a Squeezebox
Touch if I wanted to go back to Squeezeboxes? Seems like paying a lot for
features I don't really need)

Anyway, I've been pretty impressed by how many things actually do DNLA/UPnP
quite well:

- The DNLA server on my Synology NAS is very nice, works well, an
impressive web-based UI, and has managed to serve up pretty well all
content I throw at it.

- The UPnP player built in to my TV (Samsung something) is rubbish and
would play almost nothing

- I bought a $130 WD-TV player, and it does all things UPnP quite nicely,
happily streams 1080p movies to my TV. Audio browsing is OK, not anywhere
as good as the SqueezeServer of course.

- It turns out my amplifier has a built in audio-only UPnP player, which is
neat (It's a Pioneer VSX-921) - it plays audio nicely, without needing a TV
running (a limitation of the WD-TV). The interface is poor, but I can
control it pretty well from my tablet (more on this below).

- I also have a FritzBox modem but haven't tried it's UPnP server because I
haven't had the need.

- I have a Galaxy Tab (android tablet), I've tried two players, Bubble UPnP
and UPnPlay - both seem to work OK, for streaming low-def video and audio,
and also to control other devices - this is how I play music on my amp,
using UPnPlay to queue up music. HD video seems to not work so well, not
sure if it's a bandwidth issue or decoding speed.

- I haven't found a decent UPnP player for my Macbook - VLC has one but it
crashes trying to browse my server.

The big things I miss from the SqueezeBox are:
- iTunes playlist integration - haven't found a way to get the NAS to
recognize my iTunes playlists yet
- The UIs are useable, but pretty poor compared to SlimServer / the
Squeezebox.

(I have my old slimp3 in a box somewhere - tempted to see if it still
works, it might be all I need)

- Korny

On 26 June 2012 07:50, bluegaspode <
bluegaspode.5eqj4n-NUepA2SMhDQqspMVqqL2D+4xXEVPTSb/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:

>
> Andrew,
>
> how many UPnP renderers do you know, which fully support the
> specification, so that people can really enjoy sync + gapless playback?
>
> I only had one encounter of UPnP, which was my Samsung TV where I wasn't
> able to play a single song of my library. And a program called
> plugplayer, which crashed multiple times and seemed to be very slow.
> I only tested with LMS (and the integrated UPnP server of the FritzBox)
> though - so maybe Logitech is to blame for my bad experience.
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>



--
Kornelis Sietsma korny at my surname dot com http://korny.info
"We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit
playing" - O.W. Holmes
erland
2012-06-27 09:05:32 UTC
Permalink
So, just to investigate this a bit further, to make sure I don't make
any conclusions based on guesses.

My current setup looks like this:
- A Squeezebox Radio in my bedroom which is used as alarm clock in the
mornings and listening to music while going to sleep or waking up.
Automatic turn of after a certain interval in the evening is nice but
powering on and playing music at a specific time in the morning is a
must. I mostly listen to dynamic smart playlists playing either random
tracks from the favorite parts of my library or random tracks among
those recently purchased. It's always controlled with the buttons on the
Radio itself, never from a remote control as those tends to be somewhere
else when the alarm triggers in the morning and I don't want to get out
of the bed.
- A Squeezebox Touch in the listening room connected via analogue
connections to the Sherwood receiver (neither supports AirPlay nor
UPnP). This player is controlled either with a Harmony IR remote or an
iPad, IR remote if I just want to play a smart playlist and iPad if I
want to browse the library and try to find something specific to play.
- A Squeezebox Boom in the kitchen which is used now and then to play
music, both smart playlists and specific albums. Sometimes controlled
with the buttons directly on the Boom but mostly using an iPad or
iPhone.

(I've more players than the ones described above, but it's only the
above ones I consider to be critical)

- Audio quality is important in listening room but less important in the
other rooms.
- Available space is restricted in bedroom and kitchen, so the devices
in these rooms can't be much bigger than the Radio and Boom I have
today.
- All players needs to be able to play both files on my central NAS
(QNAP) and Spotify tracks, currently it's handled via a Linux server
running LMS.
- The local files on the NAS are all in FLAC format, so support for FLAC
is a must.
- I rarely sync players, it sometimes happens between kitchen and
listening room but this is not a critical functionality for me.
- The setup needs to be stable and I rarely have crashes in the current
setup and I like to keep that situations. Reboots/restarts with an
interval of a month or so is ok as I do this already today when
upgrading server software or player firmware.
- Support for Internet radio except for Spotify is nice but not a must,
support for Spotify is a strict requirement.
- Gapless playback is nice but not a strict requirement.
- I don't want to be forced to turn on TV to listen to music in the
listening room, the kitchen and bedroom doesn't even have a TV so there
a TV controlled devices isn't even an option.
- Regarding smart playlists it doesn't need to be that advanced but as a
minimum I need to be able to:
-- Exclude tracks I rarely want to hear but still want to keep in my
library
-- Restrict the playlist to tracks added during the last two months

For my personal setup any software have to run either on Mac or Linux as
that's all I have, but let's not restrict the answers to this as Windows
still is pretty popular as desktop/laptop computers among other users.


Now, let's say I would like to replace all this setup with something
completely based on UPnP, are there any recommendations from someone
that believes in UPnP and know it's possible to accomplish something
that works with UPnP ?
Is it even possible to accomplish something similar with a UPnP based
solution ?
In that case what hardware/software do I need to get ?

Don't restrict the answers to what I currently have, to make it easy
let's assume I don't have anything and want to accomplish a system like
described above based on UPnP.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-27 17:59:03 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
>
> Now, let's say I would like to replace all this setup with something
> completely based on UPnP, are there any recommendations from someone
> that believes in UPnP and know it's possible to accomplish something
> that works with UPnP ?
> Is it even possible to accomplish something similar with a UPnP based
> solution ?
> In that case what hardware/software do I need to get ?
>

Well, I would suggest two solutions:

CASE A. IF YOU WANT A PURE UPNP ONLY ENVIRONMENT:[/B]
- USE J. RIVER MEDIA CENTER AS YOUR MAIN MEDIA SERVER AND CONTROL POINT
- USE WHATEVER UPNP HARDWARE PLAYERS THAT TAKE YOUR FANCY. YOU COULD
SELECT FROM SOME OF THE PREVIOUS POSTER'S SUGGESTIONS, OR LOOK AT J.
RIVER'S \"MEDIA NETWORK\" FORUMS FOR DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHAT PLAYERS WORK
AND WHAT DO NOT.

[B]CASE B. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR SQUEEZEBOXES AND ADD UPNP PLAYERS
AND/OR CONTROL POINTS TOO:
- Use LMS as your main media server
- Use Whitebear i) to integrate your LMS media library into the UPnP
world, and ii) to integrate your Squeeze Players into the UPnP world.

In both of the above cases, you can have one (or more) tablet or PC
based Control Point applications. In case B you need at least one
Control Point application. If you are in the Windows world you can use
Windows Media Player 12, Asset Control, J. River (used as Control Point
only), or Kinsky. Another candidate that I know about, but do not use is
XBMC. If you are in the tablet world, there are many choices depending
on what OS your machine runs. On the iPad I have Kinsky loaded and also
PlugPlay (but to be honest I use iPeng to control the Squeezeplayers
directly). Also the previous poster has suggested a few other UPnP
Control Points for tablets.

I admit that Whitebear is Windows platform specific. Personally I use a
small Atom based black box Windows machine (a Shuttle) that runs LMS and
Whitebear.

Note that there are basically two types of Control Points:

a) A few Control Points (the only examples that I know of are J. River
and WMP12) create a local image of the attributes of your library. Such
CPs create their own browsing experience and have more powerful sorting
and searching tools. But when first run, they take a while to browse
through your whole library (in a background process) to create the local
attributes image of the library. Obviously the local image requires some
memory. Here is a screenshot from (for example) Kinsky:

13543

b) Other Control Points (almost any other one than the above mentioed)
use a dynamic page-by-page tree based browse algorithm. In such CPs, the
browse tree is structured by the server. In the case of Whitebear, it
presents the standard LMS top level browse tree Artists, Albums, Genres,
Years, Folders, PlayLists, etc. including whatever Favorites and
Playlists you may have defined using the Logitech standard UI. And it
also has an option (admittedly normally turned off) to present the
standard LMS Add-Ins folders (Radio, Podcasts, Apps) in its browse tree.
These CPs don't store anything locally (browse tree pages are served
one-by-one) and so they can run on light weight machines like phones or
tablets.

If you specifically want gapless playback then J. River (acting as
either Control Point or main library server) plus Whitebear (front end
to the Squeeze players) are to be recommended.


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erland
2012-06-27 18:47:07 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Well, I would suggest two solutions:
>
- Is smart playlists supported if I control the player with a tablet and
use JRiver Media Center as server ?
- Is Dynamic Playlist plugin provided smart playlists supported if I use
Whitebear ?
- Do you know if Spotify is supported in any UPnP players ? If it are,
are those players possible to control with an external UPnP Control
Point ?

I've tried PlugPlayer and it's was way to buggy for my taste, but I used
it towards LMS built-in UPnP server so possibly the crashes can have
been caused, thanks for the tips of the other tablet apps, will take a
look and see if any of them works better.

AndrewFG wrote:
>
> On the iPad I have Kinsky loaded and also PlugPlay (but to be honest I
> use iPeng to control the Squeezeplayers directly)
>
Why do you use iPeng instead of a UPnP controller ?
Is it because there isn't anything with the same functionality using
UPnP or is there some other reason ?


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AndrewFG
2012-06-27 20:54:29 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
>
> - Is smart playlists supported if I control the player with a tablet and
> use JRiver Media Center as server ?
>
Sorry Erland, but I don't know what you mean by a "smart playlist"?

erland wrote:
>
> - Is Dynamic Playlist plugin provided smart playlists supported if I use
> Whitebear ?
>
Not currently. This is because your plugin presents itself in the top
level menu of the LMS Web UI, and this makes it difficult for me to
support.
I don't know your plugin well enough to be sure, but I am guessing that
if the dynamic playlist would present itself (say under PlayLists) as a
regular "track" (having a specific "virtual" track_id) then a UPnP CP
could command LMS, via Whitebear and the CLI, to play that "track" as if
it would be a real one.
Or alternatively perhaps if it would present itself as a remote stream
(having an http url) under Apps, then a UPnP CP could command LMS, via
Whitebear and the CLI, to play that "stream".
Obviously I don't want to hard code anything in Whitebear, so one would
have to find a dynamic way to step down the browse tree (as it already
does in the case of Apps, Podcasts, Radio).

erland wrote:
>
> - Do you know if Spotify is supported in any UPnP players ? If it are,
> are those players possible to control with an external UPnP Control
> Point ?
>
I don't know much about Spotify, so I don't know if there are any UPnP
players that support it natively.
But even though I don't have a Spotify Account, I can tell you that with
Whitebear, I was able to browse down to "Andrew's
Music->Add-Ins->Apps->Spotify->I don't have an account"..., so I am
guessing the chances are not bad that if I did have an account, I should
be able to browse further down the tree until I got to a playable remote
stream. And if that would be so, then one could use any UPnP CP with
Whitebear as the server to play Spotify either to a Squeeze player or
indeed to any other UPnP player. (Although not knowing Spotify, I can't
say if there may be authentication issues if Whitebear/LMS would be the
browsing agent, and another device (having a different IP address) would
then try to play the stream. It might depend on things like NAT...)

erland wrote:
> I've tried PlugPlayer and it's was way to buggy for my taste, but I used
> it towards LMS built-in UPnP server so possibly the crashes can have
> been caused, thanks for the tips of the other tablet apps, will take a
> look and see if any of them works better.
>
Yes, it is indeed buggy.

erland wrote:
>
> Why do you use iPeng instead of a UPnP controller ?
> Is it because there isn't anything with the same functionality using
> UPnP or is there some other reason ?

Well basically I like iPeng.
And as I already have a way to go iPeng->LMS->SqueezePlayer then why would
I want to take the longer path OtherCP->Whitebear->LMS->SqueezePlayer ??


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erland
2012-06-27 21:01:46 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Sorry Erland, but I don't know what you mean by a "smart playlist"?
>
Minimum requirement would be possibility to have an automatic playlist
that either:

- Contains all tracks in my library except for those I've marked it to
ignore. The ignore can be accomplished with low ratings or something
similar, doesn't matter as long it works. I don't want to have to
manually update the playlist, when I add new music to the library it
should automatically be added to it. The tracks in the playlist should
be in random order.

or

- Contains all tracks which I've added to the library during last 2
months. The playlist should be updated automatically when a track gets
older then 2 months or when new music is added to the library. The
tracks in the playlist should be in random order.

Basically I'm looking at some kind of minimal sub set of what Dynamic
Playlist + SQL Playlist plugins achieves.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-27 21:15:50 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> Minimum requirement would be possibility to have an automatic playlist
> that either:
>
> - Contains all tracks in my library except for those I've marked it to
> ignore. The ignore can be accomplished with low ratings or something
> similar, doesn't matter as long it works. I don't want to have to
> manually update the playlist, when I add new music to the library it
> should automatically be added to it. The tracks in the playlist should
> be in random order.
>
> or
>
> - Contains all tracks which I've added to the library during last 2
> months. The playlist should be updated automatically when a track gets
> older then 2 months or when new music is added to the library. The
> tracks in the playlist should be in random order.
>
> Basically I'm looking at some kind of minimal sub set of what Dynamic
> Playlist + SQL Playlist plugins achieves.
Yes, I think that J. River should be able to do both of the above two
things. Caveat: I personally did not test it beyond checking that it can
create things called "smart playlists" that dynamically play tracks
based on various standard sets of rules (e.g. ratings, recently played,
added etc.) => Perhaps you can get a trial version and test this
yourself? (Or ask on http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php )


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erland
2012-06-27 21:24:53 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Yes, I think that J. River should be able to do both of the above two
> things. Caveat: I personally did not test it beyond checking that it can
> create things called "smart playlists" that dynamically play tracks
> based on various standard sets of rules (e.g. ratings, recently played,
> added etc.)
>
> Perhaps you can get a trial version and test this yourself? (Or ask on
> http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php )
>
For me personally JRiver isn't an option as it only runs on the
OS(windows) which I don't use, just thought I'd ask in case someone else
reading this thread is interesting of a UPnP only setup using JRiver.


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erland
2012-06-27 21:20:05 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
>
> I don't know much about Spotify, so I don't know if there are any UPnP
> players that support it natively. But even though I don't have a Spotify
> Account, I can tell you that with Whitebear, I was able to browse down
> to "Andrew's Music->Add-Ins->Apps->Spotify->I don't have an account"...,
> so I am guessing the chances are not bad that if I did have an account,
> I should be able to browse further down the tree until I got to a
> playable remote stream. And if that would be so, then one could use any
> UPnP CP with Whitebear as the server to play Spotify either to a Squeeze
> player or indeed to any other UPnP player. (Although not knowing
> Spotify, I can't say if there may be authentication issues if
> Whitebear/LMS would be the browsing agent, and another device (having a
> different IP address) would then try to play the stream. It might depend
> on things like NAT...)
>
The issue with Spotify is that I don't think it expose a http url, it
just expose a spotify identity and the player have to understand that
and use Spotify API on the player side to get the audio data. Is
something like that possible through UPnP or does UPnP require that the
server provides a http url to the player for the player to be able to
play the music ?

Theoretically it might work with Triode's plugin as I think it expose a
http URL, but in practice it doesn't work because I think Triode had to
disallow streaming to non Squeezebox hardware because of Spotify
licensning restrictions to ensure it's not possible to rip the streams.

I could probably try by myself but the issue is that I currently don't
have a Windows machine so it requires a bit of work to setup a Windows
machine to be able to run Whitebear just to try. If someone else seeing
this thread have access to Spotify and are using Whitebear, please let
me know if it works or not.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-27 23:37:25 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> The issue with Spotify is that I don't think it expose a http url, it
> just expose a spotify identity and the player have to understand that
> and use Spotify API on the player side to get the audio data. Is
> something like that possible through UPnP or does UPnP require that the
> server provides a http url to the player for the player to be able to
> play the music ?

Virtually all UPnP players can play http lpcm streams or http mp3
streams, so that would be ideal. Anything exotic would require some form
of transcoding proxy in between; that is not impossible, but it is very
specific to the Spotify service provider, so not very motivating to
do...


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 07:33:50 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> The issue with Spotify is that I don't think it expose a http url, it
> just expose a spotify identity and the player have to understand that
> and use Spotify API on the player side to get the audio data. Is
> something like that possible through UPnP or does UPnP require that the
> server provides a http url to the player for the player to be able to
> play the music ?

More thoughts on this:

Most App plug-ins in LMS expose urls with a custom protocol scheme (e.g.
aardvark://... instead of http://... ) and the plugin includes a
protocol handler that knows how to interpret this protocol scheme; i.e.
it knows how authenticate the user, fetch track meta data and cover art,
and download the music stream.

Therefore I am pretty sure that a UPnP CP served by Whitebear would be
able to navigate down such an App's browse tree until it reaches a leaf
containing such a custom track url; and it would then be able to handle
a UPnP Play To command to play such track on a Squeeze player, since the
plug-in's protocol handler could handle all the mechanics.

But on the other hand, a UPnP Play To command targetted at a regular
(non Logitech) UPnP player would almost certainly fail since the
respective player would not have a handler for that custom protocol.

{ note: the current Whitebear release is hard coded to reject non
http://... urls, so I would have to adapt it to be more generous about
accepting such custom schemes... }


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erland
2012-06-28 07:54:05 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> More thoughts on this:
>
> Most App plug-ins in LMS expose urls with a custom protocol scheme (e.g.
> aardvark://... instead of http://... ) and the plugin includes a
> protocol handler that knows how to interpret this protocol scheme; i.e.
> it knows how authenticate the user, fetch track meta data and cover art,
> and download the music stream.
>
> Therefore I am pretty sure that a UPnP CP served by Whitebear would be
> able to navigate down such an App's browse tree until it reaches a leaf
> containing such a custom track url; and it would then be able to handle
> a UPnP Play To command to play such track on a Squeeze player, since the
> plug-in's protocol handler could handle all the mechanics.
>
The problem is that Spotify doesn't allow anyone to send their streams
unencrypted over the network.
- Logitech's Spotify plugins solves this by letting the player access
libspotify API and stream to the player directly from Spotify.
- Triode's Spotfy can transcode it but to avoid licensing troubles it
doesn't permit an unknown software player to play the transcoded
streams, so I don't think you will be able to use that to send it to a
random UPnP playback device.

So basically, I guess it means that if a UPnP solution should support
online streaming services like Spotify the UPnP player (MediaRenderer)
will have to have native support for calling libspotify API ?

The issue with this is that Spotify isn't alone that works this way,
many online streaming services are forced by the recording companies to
protect any stream they expose to ensure it isn't possible to rip it,
basically ensure it's not possible to send it to a playback device which
haven't been explicitly authenticated with the streaming service. So
since online streaming services is the future, it feels like UPnP has to
have support for things like this if it want to be the future solution
for music streaming. Else it will only be the future for locally stored
music and that's something that's likely going to be less and less
common, especially among the masses.

And for it to work in an environment with UPnP devices from various
manufacturers, there has to be a standard definition to how Spotify
streams should be exposed, because the above means that the media server
must expose them in such way that they can be understood by a player
from another manufacturer. If it's not in the standard it's simply not
going to work in an environment with UPnP devices from multiple
manufacturers.

AndrewFG wrote:
>
> { note: the current Whitebear release is hard coded to reject non
> http://... urls, so I would have to adapt it to be more generous about
> accepting such custom schemes... }
>
No problem, I was wondering more about what's possible through UPnP than
what works specifically in Whitebear, thanks for the information, I
appreciate it.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 08:18:36 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> So since online streaming services is the future, it feels like UPnP has
> to have support for things like this if it want to be the future
> solution for music streaming. Else it will only be the future for
> locally stored music and that's something that's likely going to be less
> and less common, especially among the masses.

Indeed. A very precise observation.

Principally the UPnP Digital Media Standard allows extensions beyond the
currently supported http:// and rtsp:// url schemes. In technical terms,
an extension is trivial to implement. The real difficulty would be in
getting device manufacturers and service providers around a table to
define and agree on the respective scheme. So it is probably more of a
corporate political challenge than a technical one.

Nevertheless, the UPnP Digital Media Standard does miss an explicit
mechanism for securely passing Digital Media encryption keys and
authentication tokens between devices and servers. The base standard
does have a Device Security service that would provide the underlying
encrypted comms infrastucture (think of UPnP DevSec as something like
the http*s*:// transport). But the Digital Media people would need agree
on their industry specific security objects (digital rights
certificates, tokens, keys) that would be conveyed over the DevSec
service. This is more complex, since it would involve a lot of crypto
guys and lawyers as well.


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erland
2012-06-28 09:18:26 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Indeed. A very precise observation.
>
> Principally the UPnP Digital Media Standard allows extensions beyond the
> currently supported http:// and rtsp:// url schemes. In technical terms,
> an extension is trivial to implement. The real difficulty would be in
> getting device manufacturers and service providers around a table to
> define and agree on the respective scheme. So it is probably more of a
> corporate political challenge than a technical one.
>
> Nevertheless, the UPnP Digital Media Standard does miss an explicit
> mechanism for securely passing Digital Media encryption keys and
> authentication tokens between devices and servers. The base standard
> does have a Device Security service that would provide the underlying
> encrypted comms infrastucture (think of UPnP DevSec as something like
> the http*s*:// transport). But the Digital Media people would need agree
> on their industry specific security objects (digital rights
> certificates, tokens, keys) that would be conveyed over the DevSec
> service. This is more complex, since it would involve a lot of crypto
> guys and lawyers as well.
>
Thanks for the information, it's good to know that the UPnP standard is
prepared for it.
Now I'm just getting a bit worried the music industry will ensure we
will end up with something like HDCP that causes even more struggling
and incompatibilities for end consumers.

Do you know if the music industry is working on agreeing regarding this
and apply it to their UPnP solutions ?
Do you know if streaming providers such as Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and
similar are involved ?

This got to be a problem also for video, we are getting more and more
commercial online streaming services for video which also currently
seems to be mostly built on proprietary solutions instead of using UPnP.
I'm thinking of Netflix, Hulu, Voddler and similar services, they
currently don't use UPnP, do they ?

>From my perspective this incompatibility with online streaming services
is a lot bigger issue for UPnP than gap less playback and synchronized
playback between different rooms which is often brought up as the main
arguments against UPnP. Gap less playback and synchronized playback
between different rooms might be nice, but I'm pretty sure they are not
critical features for 80% of the users, support for online streaming
services on the other hand is or is going to be very critical
functionality for most of the users.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 13:02:36 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> Thanks for the information, it's good to know that the UPnP standard is
> prepared for it.
> Now I'm just getting a bit worried the music industry will ensure we
> will end up with something like HDCP that causes even more struggling
> and incompatibilities for end consumers.
>
> Do you know if the music industry is working on agreeing regarding this
> and apply it to their UPnP solutions ?
> Do you know if streaming providers such as Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and
> similar are involved ?
>
> This got to be a problem also for video, we are getting more and more
> commercial online streaming services for video which also currently
> seems to be mostly built on proprietary solutions instead of using UPnP.
> I'm thinking of Netflix, Hulu, Voddler and similar services, they
> currently don't use UPnP, do they ?
>
> From my perspective this incompatibility with online streaming services
> is a lot bigger issue for UPnP than gapless playback and synchronized
> playback between different rooms which is often brought up as the main
> arguments against UPnP. Gapless playback and synchronized playback
> between different rooms might be nice, but I'm pretty sure they are not
> critical features for 80% of the users, support for online streaming
> services on the other hand is going to be very critical functionality
> for most of the users.

Here is the UPnP forum membership list: http://upnp.org/membership/list/
-- I don't see any media companies (except possibly Sony).

Here is a quote from the UPnP AV Architecture document:

> The UPnP AV Architecture was explicitly defined to meet the following
> goals:
> - To support arbitrary transfer protocols and content formats.
> -To enable the AV content to flow directly between devices without any
> intervention from the control point.
> - To enable control points to remain independent of any particular
> transfer protocol and content format. This allows control points to
> transparently support new protocols and formats.
> - Scalability, i.e. support of devices with very low resources,
> especially memory and processing power as well as full-featured
> devices.
> - Synchronized playback to multiple rendering devices.
> - Access Control, Content Protection, and Digital Rights Management
>


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pippin
2012-06-28 13:32:13 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> But it is interesting that http://www.pv.com is one of the steering
> commitee members, alongside the hardware guys...
>

What is interesting here? They bought Twonky, who make what still
probably is the most ubiquitous server SW used in many embedded devices,
not really a surprise I would think.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 15:13:22 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> What is interesting here? They bought Twonky, who make what still
> probably is the most ubiquitous server SW used in many embedded devices,
> not really a surprise I would think.Oh. You are not surprised that such a company is investing in active
support of what you consider to be an outdated and doomed standard and a
hopeless waste of time and money (??).


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pippin
2012-06-28 16:12:54 UTC
Permalink
In Twonky's case it's 100% of their business, so why would they not
invest in it?

A lot of companies invest money into things that are a hopeless waste of
time and money, this is not a particular strange case, isn't it?


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banned for life
2012-06-28 23:45:07 UTC
Permalink
The stability of the product will vastly improve.

bfl


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AndrewFG
2012-07-02 14:08:06 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> The issue with Spotify is that I don't think it expose a http url, it
> just expose a spotify identity and the player have to understand that
> and use Spotify API on the player side to get the audio data. Is
> something like that possible through UPnP or does UPnP require that the
> server provides a http url to the player for the player to be able to
> play the music ?
>
> Theoretically it might work with Triode's plugin as I think it expose a
> http URL, but in practice it doesn't work because I think Triode had to
> disallow streaming to non Squeezebox hardware because of Spotify
> licensning restrictions to ensure it's not possible to rip the streams.

Just for info, I signed up to Spotify, and have been trying it out with
Whitebear using Triode's plug-in. And I can give the following
feedback:

_*1)_Browsing_the_ContentDirectory*_

There is no fundamental problem to map the Spotify (Triode) browse tree
into the UPnP ContentDirectory browse tree. The UPnP ContentDirectory
comprises two types of elements, namely "containers" (e.g. albums, or
playlists) and "items" (e.g. tracks), and the Spotify (Triode) plug-in
follows this paradigm nicely. (On the other hand, the Logitech plugin
would be more difficult to map since it comprises entitities which may
be both containers and items at the same time).

One thing that does not map from the Spotify (Triode) browse tree into
the UPnP ContentDirectory browse tree, is the tree called "Search". The
UPnP ContentDirectory supports two distinct actions called Browse and
Search; whereas the Spotify (Triode) plugin merges these into a common
browse tree. This means that the Spotify Search branch of the browse
tree delivers nothing useful. A fully featured Control Point would have
to split these two functions and route them accordingly.

_*2)_Playing_tracks_on_UPnP_players_via_\"Play_To\"*_

When the ContentDirectory (Media Server) and the player (Media Renderer)
are hooked to the same LMS server, then there is no fundamental problem
for the "Play To" function from the LMS server to a Squeeze player. The
material flow looks a bit like this this

*Browse Command Dialog : * Spotify <=> Triode <=> LMS <=> Whitebear
(ContentDirectory) <=> Control Point (Browser) ...
*Play To Command Dialog : * Control Point (PlayTo) <=> Whitebear
(Renderer) <=> Triode (<=> Spotify) <=> LMS <=> Squeeze player
*Binary Data Stream Flow : * Spotify => Triode => LMS => Squeeze
player

The reason why this can work is that the Spotify/Triode/LMS instance
used for browsing is the same as the Spotify/Triode/LMS instance used
for playing, and both parties share the same access and authentication
with Spotify. So far so good...

On the other hand, it will be much more difficult (if not impossible) to
do Play To a third party player as follows, because the 3rd Party UPnP
Player lacks the Spotify access and authentication:

*Browse Command Dialog : * Spotify <=> Triode <=> LMS <=> Whitebear
(ContentDirectory) <=> Control Point (Browse) ...
*Play To Command Dialog : * Control Point (PlayTo) <=> 3rd Party UPnP
Player
*Binary Data Stream Flow : * ???

And indeed the only way I can think of making it work would be to
interpose Whitebear as a proxy stream server as follows. (But it is
possible that Spotify might not permit that...)

*Browse Command Dialog : * Spotify <=> Triode <=> LMS <=> Whitebear
(ContentDirectory) <=> Control Point (Browse) ...
*Play To Command Dialog : * Control Point (PlayTo) <=> 3rd Party UPnP
Player
*Binary Data Stream Flow : * Spotify => Triode => LMS => Whitebear
(Proxy Server) => 3rd Party UPnP Player


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erland
2012-07-02 15:56:34 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Just for info, I signed up to Spotify, and have been trying it out with
> Whitebear using Triode's plug-in. And I can give the following
> feedback:
>
> _*1)_Browsing_the_ContentDirectory*_
>
> There is no fundamental problem to map the Spotify (Triode) browse tree
> into the UPnP ContentDirectory browse tree.
>
>
Sounds great, thanks for looking into it.

AndrewFG wrote:
>
> _*2)_Playing_tracks_on_UPnP_players_via_\"Play_To\"*_
>
> When the ContentDirectory (Media Server) and the player (Media Renderer)
> are hooked to the same LMS server, then there is no fundamental problem
> for the "Play To" function from the LMS server to a Squeeze player.
>
Sounds great, thanks for looking into it.

AndrewFG wrote:
>
> And indeed the only way I can think of making it work would be to
> interpose Whitebear as a proxy stream server as follows. (But it is
> possible that Spotify might not permit that...)
>
> *Browse Command Dialog : * Spotify <=> Triode <=> LMS <=> Whitebear
> (ContentDirectory) <=> Control Point (Browse) ...
> *Play To Command Dialog : * Control Point (PlayTo) <=> 3rd Party UPnP
> Player
> *Binary Data Stream Flow : * Spotify => Triode => LMS => Whitebear
> (Proxy Server) => 3rd Party UPnP Player
>
Yes, this is the issue, Spotify license says:
>
> 3.8 You understand and agree that use of the Service by Users is
> governed by the “Spotify Terms and Conditions of Use” and that the
> Application shall not enable any person to access or use the Service in
> any manner that is not permitted under the Spotify Terms and Conditions
> of Use. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not include any
> so-called "stream ripping" or other functionality in the Application
> that enables or makes it easier for Users to capture or otherwise make
> permanent copies of streamed content. You agree to cooperate with
> Spotify in pursuing any violations of the prohibition against ripping or
> other capture of streamed content.
>

I believe Triode has interpreted this as he is not allowed to permit
unknown software players to read the streams he expose because in theory
that can mean that a stream ripping software can act as a player and rip
the stream which means that he would have violated the above section of
the license agreement. I believe his plugin has two modes, one direct
mode in which Spotify streams directly to the Squeezebox and one
transcoded mode in which Spotify streams to Triodes Spotify plugin which
streams to the player through SBS/LMS but only allows the stream to be
passed to Squeezebox hardware players. However, I don't know the
details, so check with Triode if you want to completely understand it.

For UPnP this probably means that there has to be some kind of mechanism
where the UPnP MediaServer can guarantee that the stream can only be
used by a UPnP MediaRender which have been authenticated with Spotify,
and as I understood from your previous posts this is something that the
standard people are working on but it's going to take time since it's
more of a political and legal problem than a technical problem.

The whole point of using UPnP in my mind is if it allows me to mix
players, controllers and servers from different manufacturers in the
same system, if I'm forced to use only components from the same
manufacturer I suspect I will be better of using their proprietary
protocols.


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AndrewFG
2012-07-02 16:35:09 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> The whole point of using UPnP ... is if it allows me to mix players,
> controllers and servers from different manufacturers in the same system,
> if I'm forced to use only components from the same manufacturer I
> suspect I will be better of using their proprietary protocols.

Following is in my opinion a more accurate redaction of what you said...


The whole point of using UPnP ... is if it allows me to mix players,
controllers and servers from different manufacturers, -and to mix
content from different content providers,- in the same system, if I'm
forced to use only components -or content- from the same manufacturer
-or content provider- I suspect I will be better of using their
proprietary protocols.

Unfortunately it does not lead to a happy conclusion about
interopability. Either you go with Apple with (bindings on hardware and
content); Or with UPnP (no bindings on hardware, but limitations on
content); Or you go with something like the Squeezebox environment
(bindings on hardware, some freedom of content); Or ??


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erland
2012-07-02 17:14:27 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Following is in my opinion a more accurate redaction of what you said...
>
>
> The whole point of using UPnP ... is if it allows me to mix players,
> controllers and servers from different manufacturers, -and to mix
> content from different content providers,- in the same system, if I'm
> forced to use only components -or content- from the same manufacturer
> -or content provider- I suspect I will be better of using their
> proprietary protocols.
>
> Unfortunately it does not lead to a happy conclusion about
> interopability. Either you go with Apple with (bindings on hardware and
> content); Or with UPnP (no bindings on hardware, but limitations on
> content); Or you go with something like the Squeezebox environment
> (bindings on hardware, some freedom of content); Or ??
>
Agreed.

Since I have the devices to consume music, this means that I'll continue
to choose the solution which doesn't restrict me regarding which
content/content providers I can use, currently I think this means using
Squeezebox or Sonos proprietary solutions. Where Squeezebox have the
advantage due to their open architecture which allows me, you and other
third party developers to add the missing pieces ourselves if Logitech
doesn't do their jobb properly. I'm not sure Squeezebox would have been
the preferred choice if all streaming services would have to go through
mysqueezebox.com, fortunately we have the possibility to add support for
streaming services also by installing plugins in LMS/SBS.

Hopefully we will get some kind of established standard in the future
that allows us to also mix devices from different manufacturers, either
UPnP or something else. However, unfortunately I'm a bit skeptical
because with both Google, Amazon and Apple having their own music store
they are all bound to try to get us to use their proprietary solutions
to make us to use their music store instead of the ones provided by the
competitors.


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pippin
2012-06-28 07:20:25 UTC
Permalink
Spotify uses Ogg and it's encrypted, you need libspotify to decrypt it.
How do you usually handle Ogg or FLAC?


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 07:55:23 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
>
> How do you usually handle Ogg or FLAC?

The UPnP server side of Whitebear offers tracks in: lpcm (transcoded),
mp3 (transcoded), and native (if native is not already mp3), and the
remote UPnP player can decide, depending on its capabilities, which of
those three offers it chooses to download and play.

Note: lpcm is the common "must support" format for all UPnP servers and
players to guarantee that music can always be streamed between servers
and players at CD quality (16bit, <=2channel, 44100/ 48000Hz)

The UPnP renderer side of Whitebear accepts tracks in: lpcm, mp3, wav,
aiff and flac. (And the latter three at <= 24bit, <=2channel, <=
192000Hz)


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pippin
2012-06-28 08:07:52 UTC
Permalink
So you transcode FLAC or OGG to mp3 and lpcm?


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 10:54:49 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> So you transcode FLAC or OGG to mp3 and lpcm?
Yes.

As mentioned before, the media server side of Whitebear offers each
track in 3 formats lpcm, mp3 and native (e.g. flac). And the player is
free to select which one of those three offers it wants to download. If
the player selects a format that needs transcoding then Whitebear
harnesses LMS already installed transcoding helper applications
(faad.exe, flac.exe, sox.exe, lame.exe etc.) to do the work.


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pippin
2012-06-28 08:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Good. I don't doubt you know UPnP better than me.
Now give me one or two examples of devices that can do multiroom sync
using UPnP


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 11:38:18 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
>
> Now give me one or two examples of devices that can do multiroom sync
> using UPnP

I don't know of any such devices. But to be honest I have not surveyed
the player market very much.

My point is that it is wrong to blame the specification for such lack of
multi-player sync; instead one should blame the manufacturers for not
implementing the relevant parts of the specification.


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pippin
2012-06-28 11:49:33 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
>
> My point is that it is wrong to blame the specification for such lack of
> multi-player sync; instead one should blame the manufacturers for not
> implementing the relevant parts of the specification.

OK, so we just have to disagree. You assume that virtually all
manufacturers are too dumb to just implement the brilliant spec (I know
at least one manufacturer personally who tried to and failed) while I
believe that a spec that is obviously so complex that people don't
manage to make it work is failed.

Maybe it's just a matter of perspective but I'd like to point out that
as of now we have several independent implementation of the Squeezebox
synchronization protocol around here and that doesn't even have a spec,
but maybe bluegaspode and James and all the others here are simply
brighter than all the other consumer electronics developers out there.


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bluegaspode
2012-06-28 13:59:06 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> but maybe bluegaspode and James (who did iPeng's sync) and all the
> others here are simply brighter than all the other consumer electronics
> developers out there.

_I_ tend to believe that :D

I'm still wondering if I could beat PlugPlayer with my own App, but I am
very very reluctant if I should really try or if I'd stumble into a can
of worms of not correctly implemented renderers. And then a spec would
not be a big value at all.
Then the working mode is like with Squeezeboxes - take the spec as a
guideline but do a lot of reverse engineering. Fortunately Squeezeboxes
all share the same codebase, the count UPnP renderers with all their
quirks might be uncountable.


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pippin
2012-06-28 14:20:38 UTC
Permalink
I have thought about that so many times, too.

Whenever it happens again I start PlugPlayer and have a look at the list
of device types it searches for and the number of different ones that
answer even on my network and then I'm cured again for a while...


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pippin
2012-06-25 22:30:47 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Well, I have spent more than a "bit of time" on it; more like ten years
> (which probably explains why it is "1990ish"). And yes, it does take
> hard work to master the protocol; you need to actually read the
> documents; and you need to make an effort...
>
Believe me, I read the specs. Most of them at least. And I did make an
effort. I even implemented some of the more obscure parts of the spec
myself, I know it quite a bit by now.
>
> I suppose belief is a matter of religion. The architecture considers
> three entities, the CP, the DMS and the DMR. Each such entity may be
> either on the same machine, or on another machine. The physical location
> does not make any difference...
>
That's what the theory and the spec says. Real life, however, says that
you want to have your CP OFF for 99% of the time and that doesn't work
with DLNA, at least not with how it's implemented in >>99% of the
renderers and a "standard" which has it's implementation fail in >>99%
of the installations IMHO is a failed standard. Yes, you can call this
religious.
>
> I don't doubt they are good people. If you want to do multi-player sync
> in UPnP then you have to either A) implement the UPnP push streaming
> model, and or B) implement the SyncPlay(), SyncStop() and SyncPause()
> actions. Your "good" people seem to be implementing the UPnP pull
> streaming model (HTTP GET), and also implementing only the (non
> sync'ed) Play(), Stop() and Pause() actions.
>
Nope. They started just like you and then they learned that life,
unfortunately, is not according to the spec and scrapped it after puttin
g a lot of work into it.

The spec says
>
> The pre-condition is that the different MediaServers and MediaRenderers
> in the home are synchronized to the same master clock and support the
> appropriate clock synchronization protocol (such as NTP, IEEE 802.1AS).
>
which equals to "Our spec is perfect. It's your job, dear developer,
through the use of unobtainium, to guarantee the ridiculous
preconditions we set for this system to work. If you just do that, you
will see that it works perfectly".

Apart from that iven this is not true because there is no way in the
protocol to compensate for clock drift which would even be an issue if
you managed to actively synchronize your clocks because this very
synchronization requires you to re-sync the audio, too.

Push streaming, btw, is another case of "unobtainium". I'm not talking
theoretical setups here, I'm talking real world CE devices.

Name one implementation where this works.
>
> C'mon, get real!!
>


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86atc250r
2012-06-27 01:47:26 UTC
Permalink
Sorry to get away from the UPnP / DLNA discussion but.....

If Logitech was to pull the plug on mysqueezebox.com, I'm guessing
there's enough programming talent and motivation in the community that a
workable solution to mysqueezebox.com would become a reality pretty
quickly if push came to shove. Who knows where it might go from
there.... I've seen it happen in smaller communities already. The
geeks will find a solution, we always do.

What a great platform. I can't believe after all these years, there
still isn't really anything that touches the flexibility of these boxes
in allowing me to listen to what I want, how I want.


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AndrewFG
2012-06-28 08:28:25 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> Believe me, I read the specs. Most of them at least. And I did make an
> effort. I even implemented some of the more obscure parts of the spec
> myself, I know it quite a bit by now.
Ok, pippin, I did not mean to put you down.

But, (I don't want to brag about it this), I would point out that I was
a member in the working groups that wrote the UPnP Home Automation
specifications and also the Device Security specifications, and indeed I
was the prime author for a couple of the SCPs for home automation. And I
am the author of the Whitebear DMS and DMR too. So I think I can safely
claim to know the theory and the practice of UPnP pretty well.


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pablolie
2012-07-01 05:44:28 UTC
Permalink
The key here is to define "work" - would the software continue to be
officially worked on and thus available for new OS updates that, over
time, are sure to obsolete any application frozen in time? No.

However, the way I see it, for the foreseeable future it is easy to
create a dedicated appliance that can run the music environment for many
years. That appliance is self-contained, can stay frozen in time OS-wise
with the last official LMS release (whould it come to that) and can be
controlled/accessed via a web server. One copuld also use free software
such as VMware Player (not an andorsement) to run an old OS and the LMS
application on top of a newer machine and OS if needed (for as long as
said virtualization software vendor supports the old OS, that is).

So I don't worry too much. I often wonders about all of the LMS upgrades
I have done over the years - where they really necessary? Why not simply
stay with an old, proven version? Honestly, the only new feature I ever
required ion the SBS/LMS software was support for new players or in rare
cases error fixes (I don't remember which version utterly screwed up
synchronization, that and making the wireless usable are the only
upgrades I ever recall feeling I really needed).

I think some new technology development will eventually once again yet
more fundamentally change the way I listen to music. I am not *that*
old, but I feel my way of listening to music (relatively high end
*stereo* system in a dedicated environment) relegates me to dinosaur
status. :)


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slimfast
2012-07-01 10:16:49 UTC
Permalink
pablolie wrote:
> The key here is to define "work" - would the software continue to be
> officially worked on and thus available for new OS updates that, over
> time, are sure to obsolete any application frozen in time? No.
>
> However, the way I see it, for the foreseeable future it is easy to
> create a dedicated appliance that can run the music environment for many
> years. That appliance is self-contained, can stay frozen in time OS-wise
> with the last official LMS release (whould it come to that) and can be
> controlled/accessed via a web server. One copuld also use free software
> such as VMware Player (not an andorsement) to run an old OS and the LMS
> application on top of a newer machine and OS if needed (for as long as
> said virtualization software vendor supports the old OS, that is).
>
> So I don't worry too much. I often wonders about all of the LMS upgrades
> I have done over the years - where they really necessary? Why not simply
> stay with an old, proven version? Honestly, the only new feature I ever
> required ion the SBS/LMS software was support for new players or in rare
> cases error fixes (I don't remember which version utterly screwed up
> synchronization, that and making the wireless usable are the only
> upgrades I ever recall feeling I really needed).
>
> I think some new technology development will eventually once again yet
> more fundamentally change the way I listen to music. I am not *that*
> old, but I feel my way of listening to music (relatively high end
> *stereo* system in a dedicated environment) relegates me to dinosaur
> status. :)


Very much agree.

I run my main Squeezebox system with an old QNAP NAS and the endless
upgrading of Slim Server/ Squeeze Center/ Squeezebox Server/ LMS/
whatever they are calling it this month has caused me many headaches.
I can't say I've ever noticed any major improvements with any of the
upgrades but they did frequently break the system and leave me without
music, in some cases for weeks until I could get the time to figure out
how to fix things.

The only ones that were worthwhile were when I needed to do so to access
a specific service, like when Napster was taken over by Rhapsody.

Whereas the open nature of the system where you roll your own server
hardware is flexible, they probably should have got something like the
Squeezebox Touch with it's integral server capabilities out much earlier
(only with beefier processor power). Then you could buy the Touch as
the initial player and base the rest of the system around that.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-02 07:37:59 UTC
Permalink
i have to say that my exps with upnp and DLNA are not overwhelmingly
positive, but it does mostly work to some degree, just not usually
elegant.

interestingly, thats exactly what i think of the squeezebox paradigm.

neither one is elegant.

by far, the single best thing about apple is airplay. i'm not an apple
guy, i typically do not like their stuff or their hardware or the
choices they make. but airplay IS elegant. airplay IS robust. airplay
IS flexible. i mean, audio, video, computer, TV, tablets, handhelds,
mirroring, streaming, local, online, it does it ALL and it does it even
with everything in wifi. and the adapters are CHEAP. apple tv = $99.
i mean, come on!

the problems with it don't bother most people, but do me. itunes is,
for me, a non-starter. i won't use it. and there are some technical
questions regarding the quality of apple hardware adapters and how they
do their airplay magic that again, are for me, an obstacle, but for the
vast majority, are not.

also notice how airplay is going into other companies products.

does anyone really believe that an audio product should exist today
whose main UI is webui? i would bet most people still using server are
using some other UI.

i hope logitech sells slim to someone else. i thought they'd be good
for slim. i was WAY wrong.


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ModelCitizen
2012-07-02 07:50:23 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> i hope logitech sells slim to someone else. i thought they'd be good
> for slim. i was WAY wrong.
Logitech misunderstood this product and messed up development in so many
ways. They could have really made something of it but they blew it,
concentrating on the hardware and missing the bigger picture. I hope
they sell it too, to a company that has imagination to realise it's
potential. I don't think the boat has sailed just yet.


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Korny Sietsma
2012-07-02 08:06:27 UTC
Permalink
I tend to think, sadly, that for slim devices to make money, they need to
integrate video. Audio fans want their crisp neat audio interface, but I
think the mass market wants video as well - they want their downloaded
tv/movies, they want youtube and netflix and whatever else they are
watching.

I'd love something that was a hybrid of the Squeezebox with something like
the WD-TV (http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=330), give it a
simple 2-line display like the old slimp3 for when the TV is off and you
just want audio, and a HDMI TV output for video or for more complex music
browsing, and the squeezeserver web interface for full power. I'd buy one!

(actually I'm not sure how you'd do audio with the tv off - the simplest
wiring uses HDMI to send audio as well as video, if you had separate audio
cabling it might not play well with HDMI devices.)

- Korny

On 2 July 2012 17:50, ModelCitizen <
ModelCitizen.5f2ewo-NUepA2SMhDQqspMVqqL2D+4xXEVPTSb/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:

>
> MrSinatra wrote:
> >
> > i hope logitech sells slim to someone else. i thought they'd be good
> > for slim. i was WAY wrong.
> Logitech misunderstood this product and messed up development in so many
> ways. They could have really made something of it but they blew it,
> concentrating on the hardware and missing the bigger picture. I hope
> they sell it too, to a company that has imagination to realise it's
> potential. I don't think the boat has sailed just yet.
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ModelCitizen's Profile:
> http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=446
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=95603
>
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss-***@public.gmane.org
> http://lists.slimdevices.com/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>



--
Kornelis Sietsma korny at my surname dot com http://korny.info
"We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit
playing" - O.W. Holmes
erland
2012-07-02 09:40:26 UTC
Permalink
korny-***@public.gmane.org wrote:
> I tend to think, sadly, that for slim devices to make money, they need
> to
> integrate video. Audio fans want their crisp neat audio interface, but
> I
> think the mass market wants video as well - they want their downloaded
> tv/movies, they want youtube and netflix and whatever else they are
> watching.
>
> I'd love something that was a hybrid of the Squeezebox with something
> like
> the WD-TV (http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=330), give it a
> simple 2-line display like the old slimp3 for when the TV is off and
> you
> just want audio, and a HDMI TV output for video or for more complex
> music
> browsing, and the squeezeserver web interface for full power. I'd buy
> one!
>
> (actually I'm not sure how you'd do audio with the tv off - the
> simplest
> wiring uses HDMI to send audio as well as video, if you had separate
> audio
> cabling it might not play well with HDMI devices.)
>
It has been said before, but I can say it again, audio and video is two
completely different use cases. It can make sense to mix them in the
same device in the living room, but it doesn't make sense to mix them in
the player you want to have in the bedroom, kitchen and outside beside
the pool in the garden.

The problem with audio+video devices is that they all tend to focus on
video, so you will get a video device that also can do audio. AppleTV is
a great example of this, works great as a video device and can also do
audio but the audio part isn't its strong side. Still, in the living
room, an AppleTV is a great solution, the issue is just that it's pretty
useless in the bedroom, kitchen and outside in the garden where you
usually might not have a TV.

However, if someone would like to create a music streaming solution for
the living room, a combined device that supports video+audio might be an
excellent solution, for a whole house music streaming solution I'm still
very skeptical to these kind of combined devices. Of course, many (but
not all) mass market users are probably going to be happy with a music
streaming solution for the living room.

As a side note, something that sometimes occurs to me is that people on
this forum seems to plan ahead a lot related to Squeezeboxes.
When we talk about Squeezebox products we worry that Logitech might
shutdown the development soon and stop supporting the devices in a
couple of years, but when looking at other products we don't do the same
thing, is anyone sure that the WD-TV is going to be supported and sold 2
years in the future ? Does anyone know much product development WD did
on WD-TV during the last 3 months ? Does anyone know what the next
product in the WD-TV product family is going to be ?
WD-TV is just an example, you can pretty much say the same thing about
any other mass market music streaming product on the market.

So, I guess what I'm saying is just that there might be reasons to be
concerted about Logitech's commitment, but on the other hand we don't
really know if anybody else (except for Sonos) is any better in this
regard.


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The Moog
2012-07-02 13:14:14 UTC
Permalink
With regard to worrying about what will become of the Squeezebox product
line and the reasons behind this, surely it all comes down to
investment?

The purchase of an £80 box to stream media to the TV requires little
invested in either time or money; if the product line is discontinued by
the time it breaks several years down the road you buy another one from
another brand that does nominally the same thing, and you have had your
use out of it. The worry for me with my Squeezeboxen is that I have
invested much more in time and money to set up a whole-house system
consisting of many various interoperable devices. The software seems to
work well for me so I should be fine if this were never updated, but
eventually the hardware will stop working and what do I do if it can't
be directly replaced? Do I have to start from scratch with a completely
different system at significant investment or do I limp along with a
partially working setup?

Furthermore, and of more concern to Logitech and their bottom line, do I
now invest any more in expanding the Squeezebox system that I have if I
am worried that the range may be coming to an end?


The Moog


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pablolie
2012-07-03 03:24:06 UTC
Permalink
erland wrote:
> It has been said before, but I can say it again, audio and video is two
> completely different use cases. It can make sense to mix them in the
> same device in the living room, but it doesn't make sense to mix them in
> the player you want to have in the bedroom, kitchen and outside beside
> the pool in the garden..

i would agree with *one* notable exception: album notes. that is the one
thing i majorly miss from the days of buying albums. awareness about
composers/contributors etc. i now control my SBs with my ipad but still
no luck with the visual album notes integration. so there is space for
better video with music.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-03 03:37:43 UTC
Permalink
neither the apple TV nor the airport express has a display. the apple
TV does connect to a TV obviously. but apple has determined that there
is little to no need for the media adapter you connect to your other
gear to have a display, and i agree with that. in most usage cases, its
not needed or even desired.

your handheld, tablet, or TV can be the display.

so apple has both choices, audio only, for like $60, or audio + TV, for
$99.

slim is dreaming to think the touch even has a place. the whole product
line needs to be re-thought out.


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jo-wie
2012-07-03 07:26:29 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> n but apple has determined that there is little to no need for the media
> adapter you connect to your other gear to have a display, and i agree
> with that. in most usage cases, its not needed or even desired.

And I and my family are happy about to have an alternativ. For us is a
control feature and display on the device a very usefull feature and we
would miss it.

We can control the boxes via PC, Tablet, Smartphone, iPod, IR remote and
device keys. But very often the direct device control is been used
insted for digging for a mobile control device.

What's playing now is simply answered by have a look at the device
display. TV is not running 24 hours and in every room here.


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bernt
2012-07-03 07:55:46 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> neither the apple TV nor the airport express has a display. the apple
> TV does connect to a TV obviously. but apple has determined that there
> is little to no need for the media adapter you connect to your other
> gear to have a display, and i agree with that. in most usage cases, its
> not needed or even desired.
>
> your handheld, tablet, or TV can be the display.
>
> so apple has both choices, audio only, for like $60, or audio + TV, for
> $99.
>
> slim is dreaming to think the touch even has a place. the whole product
> line needs to be re-thought out.

For me a display and ir (or rf) is a must. Squeezebox is the only audio
device that have what I want.


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bluegaspode
2012-07-03 09:58:06 UTC
Permalink
This is also, why I (beside the price point) cannot switch to Sonos.

My wife wants to hit a button in the kitchen or bathroom to start the
radio.
And my son (2 1/2) needs the 6 preset buttons to start his own tunes
(yes - he is having is own Squeezebox already :) )


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MrSinatra
2012-07-03 15:38:15 UTC
Permalink
in response to the posts above since mine, let me clarify...

i don't begrudge anyone a display if they want one with a display. but
where is the SB ALONE with NO display? the SBR isn't sold alone
anymore, right? and certainly isn't easy to setup if its all one has.

and again, while i don't begrudge it, i don't think most people need it
[a small display on the device] or want it, esp at the price logitech
puts it at. apple would seem to agree, and while i'm no apple fan, i
think at this point one has to bow to their market research.

this is probably because most people don't need to see whats playing to
know if they want to hear it or not, they merely listen to determine if
they should skip the track or not.

i mean, first of all the price for slim stuff is ridiculous. lets start
there. then consider what it costs to do up your house with that stuff,
vs alternatives, be they apple or otherwise. then consider there is no
video. then consider you can't connect to a TV. then consider that the
screens on the devices, in most cases, are too small to see what they
say unless you are nearly in arms reach anyway.

again, i don't begrudge anyone their own preferences, i surely have
mine. but if we want to see the slim paradigm survive, i think it needs
completely rethought out.


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bonze
2012-07-03 17:01:29 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> and again, while i don't begrudge it, i don't think most people need it
> [a small display on the device] or want it, esp at the price logitech
> puts it at. not everyone has a 'droid' or 'iThingy' so a screen becomes necessary.
I can't imagine how anyone could control an SB without some sort of
visual feedback ???


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MrSinatra
2012-07-03 17:04:58 UTC
Permalink
bonze wrote:
> not everyone has a 'droid' or 'iThingy' so a screen becomes necessary.
> I can't imagine how anyone could control an SB without some sort of
> visual feedback ???

no, not everyone does, but pretty much most everyone considering slim
stuff do.

and the webui is how it would be done without one.

let me be clear, i support the option of having a self contained server
with a display, b/c then you don't need anything else. i get that. but
it should not be your MAIN product, but instead should be a high end
niche filler in your lineup.


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autopilot
2012-07-03 17:29:10 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> ...if we want to see the slim paradigm survive, i think it needs
> completely rethought out.

We can discuss individuals use cases forever, but essentially i think it
comes down to one thing - profit. I cant see how it's really that
profitable for Logitech. The money is in content these days, so unless
Logitech get a significant cut of the Spotify/Last.FM/etc, i cant see it
continuing personally. And even then, audio revenue streams are small
compared to video. Many one last ditch attempt to rescue the line is on
the cards, but if take up is not very high I'm extremely pessimistic
about the Squeezebox's future. I hope i'm wrong, i really do.

A few years back i got laughed off the forum for suggesting a switch to
Android. Is that still such a crazy idea?


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jo-wie
2012-07-03 19:51:54 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> this is probably because most people don't need to see whats playing to
> know if they want to hear it or not, they merely listen to determine if
> they should skip the track or not.

I agree but that was not the idea behind my words - just a display to
see whats playing to dig further into unknown music.

Devices with displays can be the difference between the systems, if I
need an Apple solution will I buy Apple. Why should be a Squeezebox the
same as an Apple device? They can learn from Apple but a copy ... no
please.

I agree with you that we need also some kind of new Receiver without
display to complete a SYSTEM.


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mlsstl
2012-07-04 00:29:06 UTC
Permalink
Interesting how many people in this thread seem to think they have
unusual insight into what Logitech "should be" doing as respects their
product line up.

As a profitable company that's been around for awhile, I strongly
suspect they have more than a few people who know what they're doing
when it comes to making a buck. I think the odds are pretty good that
they've done some market research and have a good idea where they are
going from here. Maybe they don't want to compete with the video
streamers with sub $100 Rokus and the like. Sometimes a company finds it
more profitable fulfilling a smaller niche than competing in a more
congested, lower priced market.

Same thing with the video screen. Some portion of market would love a
screenless player, but what's the percentage? Would those sales justify
the design, production & distribution costs? Once again, we're pitting
our rather biased individual preferences against a company that is in
the business, has access to a lot more info, and is probably a shade
more dispassionate about the whole matter.

Yes, there are any number of companies that I wish would bend the
specifics of their product a bit more to my liking. Sometimes a company
takes heed of customer input and sometimes they don't. It's just rather
unrealistic to think that every idea I have is going to end up a high
priority for a manufacturer.

I'm not in the consumer electronics field, but after 35 years in the
business world I know that decisions often include quite a bit of info
that is pretty much invisible to those on the outside. Sure, sometimes
in hindsight a business may wish they'd made a different decision, but
if they are successful in their industry, the overall odds lay on their
side of the court.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-04 00:42:45 UTC
Permalink
Indeed! Who are the unwashed masses to question the minds behind the
mighty revue!?


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mlsstl
2012-07-04 01:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Just love it when one gets a one-line reply that not only discusses
nothing but also seems to illustrate that the poster didn't bother to
read the entirety of the prior post.


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pippin
2012-07-04 01:33:30 UTC
Permalink
No. You are wrong and MrSinatra is right, that's how it is.


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mlsstl
2012-07-04 02:04:19 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> No. You are wrong and MrSinatra pretty much nailed it, that's how it
> is.
>
> You should also have a look at Logitech's financial reports as to
> "profitable company".

Their 2011 report shows a profit of $128 million on sales of $2.3
billion, and a shareholder equity that increased over 20% to $1.2
billion.

Seems like they made a few bucks.

But, perhaps they need some new directors for product development &
production. Sounds like we have some talent here in the forum ranks!


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pippin
2012-07-04 02:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Their reporting year ends in Summer. Look at the 4 quarterly reports
since then.
They discontinued Revue and fired their CEO in that period.
Happy and confident company.


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JJZolx
2012-07-04 03:21:01 UTC
Permalink
They've also reorganized the company. Yet again. Seems they've done that
about every 12-18 months since buying Slim Devices. I have no idea what
they now call the business unit that the remaining Squeezebox products
are under. They're a company that's been treading water for the past
four or five years as they try to break away from dealing in commodity
computer peripherals. Without much success.


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mlsstl
2012-07-04 03:38:55 UTC
Permalink
One quarter of problems in this economy? Big deal.

Don't forget that at one point (1985) Apple's Board stripped Steve Jobs
of all authority and he left the company. In 1997, Apple lost over $1
billion. They've come back, but it's a pretty safe bet that they'll
still make a few errors here and there in the future.

As noted before, every company makes mistakes they wish they could
recall. That doesn't mean that every back seat driver on the outside has
the answer. And it sure doesn't mean that what I personally envision for
a product represents what the majority of the public wants.


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pippin
2012-07-04 03:48:14 UTC
Permalink
mlsstl wrote:
> One quarter of problems in this economy? Big deal.
>
5 quarters. 4q/11 was already bad, you should read the reports you
quote.
> As noted before, every company makes mistakes they wish they could
> recall.
We were specifically talking Revue above where you discredited an
actually very accurate observation.

I won't comment on the rest of your observations.


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mlsstl
2012-07-04 12:20:04 UTC
Permalink
pippin wrote:
> I won't comment on the rest of your observations.

Whatever. 20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing and no other company
makes mistakes. Still think you guys should volunteer to run the place.
;-)


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mlsstl
2012-07-05 21:47:44 UTC
Permalink
Your earlier comments with respect to the financial performance of
Logitech certainly suggested they are failing to do something others
routinely get right. That was the whole point of the Apple comparison I
made. They may be the big cheese at this particular moment, but Apple
has certainly had their financially down years and various products that
didn't capture the public's imagination for whatever reason.

And, interestingly, when I looked at the unaudited 2012 year end
financials for Logitech, they still showed a profit for the year (a bit
over $70 million) -- just not as much as they made for 2011. Big
difference between not making as much as investors would have wanted
versus losing money for the year.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-05 21:56:29 UTC
Permalink
hey pal, you need to settle down. people are free to make comments.

your POV is valid but so is the opposite POV.

the whole point i was trying to make to you which was done in good
humor, is that logitech is not above criticism. you seem to act like
b/c they are a company, or because they make money, they are. thats
silly imo.

furthermore, i cited an example of a product they lost hundreds of
millions of dollars over, and as was said, got their CEO fired. that
just happened recently. so if that happened recently, it puts other
things they are doing in a questionable light, does it not? it
certainly would seem to at the very least harm their credibility.

now if you want to point out that people posting here also have
credibility issues, i think thats totally fair. but that doesn't mean
we can't say what we think, or that logitech is above criticism.

i'm sure people defended IBM when it put out WARP, ...does IBM still
being around today make those criticisms invalid?


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mlsstl
2012-07-05 23:30:34 UTC
Permalink
"Settle down"???

What have I written that has been so contentious?

You talk about alternate points of view but the tone of your post
suggests I should have kept my comments to myself. It's either a public
form or it's not.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-06 00:28:31 UTC
Permalink
mlsstl wrote:
> "Settle down"???

yeah, thats right, b/c you're the one coming on here and acting like the
rest of us have no place to speak, and then get all huffy when we don't
agree with you.

take it easy, francis!


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erland
2012-07-06 06:27:15 UTC
Permalink
Everyone, please calm down a bit, everyone is allowed to have an opinion
and post so but *mlsstl* is right in the sense that very few (probably
none) of the forum people posting have experience of being in charge of
a big company as Logitech, I'm fairly sure none of us would have done a
better job than Logitech management did, we might have done things
differently but probably not better. It's also often easy to think that
some things they do look stupid or unprofessional but we also have to
realize that we don't have access to all information Logitech management
have when they make their decisions and we have no idea what kind of
exciting Squeezebox products they might currently be working on. We
don't have a clue if Squeezebox so far has been an economical success or
failure, all we know is that it's a great music streaming product for
geeks like ourselves.

However, the fact that Logitech still produce and sells Squeezeboxes
indicates that it's not a total failure or that they are really trying
to understand and remain in the music streaming business, else
Squeezebox would have been shutdown in the same way as Revue was by now.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-06 06:57:35 UTC
Permalink
come on erland, i know you don't believe that, just based on other posts
you've made about differentiating the product, ie. why would someone
want a SB over something else, especially something cheaper.

anyway, i happen to believe i would do a better job than the folks at
logitech. sean and dean certainly did. remember them? they were the
guys who invented this stuff in the garage, and logitech came along and
bought it. amazing that logitech couldn't do what they did with all
their brainiacs and corporate structure and precious info.

look, my beef here was with the notion that people posting here didn't
have any credibility while logitech had all the credibility, and
therefore us unwashed masses should stuff it. thats nonsense imo. its
fair to say we may not be credible, but given logitech record, its
fairly demonstrable that they are not credible.


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bpa
2012-07-06 07:19:33 UTC
Permalink
The following may be helpful - it was part of Morgan Stanley Telecom Feb
2012 conf call with Logitech CFO Erik Bardman. It feels to me the
briefing notes are providing non committal answers for the analysts but
with an excuse why sales are limited.

Code:
--------------------

Francois Meunier – Morgan Stanley

And you mentioned the Squeezebox, which is a company you bought maybe two years ago.

Erik K. Bardman

It's probably about four years ago, I think, now.

Francois Meunier – Morgan Stanley

So, what’s going on there, because I remember when you bought it, I thought it's a pretty good idea to have them.

Erik K. Bardman

Right.

Francois Meunier – Morgan Stanley

It was a software, which was a big source.

Erik K. Bardman

Right.

Francois Meunier – Morgan Stanley

Where is it now? It's bit like off the radar.

Erik K. Bardman

Yes, so it’s a product that among its most loyal users, is very, very popular, right? And we've made some good improvements,
we came out with a new product a little over a year ago called the Radio, which was one of the smaller form factors for it.
We actually are taking some of the technology capabilities and it’s helping us in some other product that will necessarily
be clear to the end-consumer, they don’t really care where the technology comes from, so we’re leveraging some of that.

We also think if there is opportunity over time, there are improvements we need to make it a little more user friendly,
because it’s such a powerful product in terms of what you can do with it, but it's still not easy enough to use right out of the box.
The out of the box experience has got to get better, that's one of the things that's on our product roadmap.
But, we like the capability. We like the technology that it gives us.

--------------------


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erland
2012-07-06 11:16:55 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> come on erland, i know you don't believe that, just based on other posts
> you've made about differentiating the product, ie. why would someone
> want a SB over something else, especially something cheaper.
>
I think they can do a better job, I'm just saying that I don't believe
most forum members know how to manage a product within a big corporation
as Logitech. It's easy to think that Logitech is one united company, but
in reality I suspect it works similar to any other big corporation which
means that in reality it consists of many smaller organizations wanting
to do things their own way with none or minimal communication between
upper management hierarchy and lower management structure that actually
produce the products. To make it even more complex, higher management
need to give most attention to the areas that produce most income or is
most important for the corporation as a whole, I strongly suspect
Squeezebox isn't considered to be one of these areas, which is likely
one reason why the last year has been as passive as they have been.


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amcluesent
2012-07-06 11:57:40 UTC
Permalink
Seems all too likely the Division Head who decided to buy Slimdevices
with a strategy to grow that business has been moved on/fired and no-one
else is much bothered so it's being run on a shoestring. Certainly in
London, there's been plenty of Sonos adverts on the Tube (our metro) but
you never see Squeezebox advertising in any media.


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Grumpy Bob
2012-07-06 14:35:09 UTC
Permalink
I find it interesting is that I bought my first Squeezebox (SB3) several
years ago in response to a very positive review in Linux Format. I never
had any significant problems setting it up - at that time on an Ubuntu
box, or in maintaining the system, now running from LMS7.7.2 on a NAS
box and which has two SBRs attached. Conversely, while reading the Sonos
and Philips Streamium web pages, I find it really difficult to identify
what components of those systems I would need to buy, and which
operating systems are supported.

If Logitech pulled the plug, I'd buy a few Squeezeboxes for future use.
I think the system, particularly as added to by iPad apps, is
excellent.

My own view is that I'd be interested in seeing future Squeezebox
products with different grades of hardware (to suit different users'
audiophile habits), but probably losing the touch screen in favour of
the sort of screen used on the SB3. I'm not about to leap over to the
HiFi to search for the next track or album on a touch screen.

Robert


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erland
2012-07-06 18:45:23 UTC
Permalink
amcluesent wrote:
>
> Certainly in London, there's been plenty of Sonos adverts on the Tube
> (our metro) but you never see Squeezebox advertising in any media.
>
And IMHO that's a much bigger issue than the fact that we haven't got
any new Squeezebox hardware the last 2 years, I think some advertising
that made people aware of the existence of the Squeezebox products would
make a big difference.


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pippin
2012-07-06 19:06:18 UTC
Permalink
amcluesent wrote:
> Seems all too likely the Division Head who decided to buy Slimdevices
> with a strategy to grow that business has been moved on/fired and no-one
> else is much bothered so it's being run on a shoestring.

Well, it's more a case of nobody taking or being given the time. Keeping
your management around for more than a year or so would certainly help.
In the four years I've had contact to Logitech on the Squeezebox now
I've met at least three "generations" of management people and none of
them are still around today.


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amcluesent
2012-07-06 19:10:12 UTC
Permalink
Then again, maybe Logitech wanted to enter the kitchen cookware
marketplace and there was a misunderstanding...

[image:
http://uk.russellhobbs.com/images/sized/details/product_b742_15071_inset1.jpg]


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epoch1970
2012-07-06 19:18:13 UTC
Permalink
amcluesent wrote:
> Then again, maybe Logitech wanted to enter the kitchen cookware
> marketplace and there was a misunderstanding...
Ah a colorful display, that's it :)

I'd like to thank to bpa for an interesting post (#89) in this
meandering thread. And also Grumpy Bob (#94) for having expressed my
exact opinion, FWIW.


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MrSinatra
2012-07-06 22:00:14 UTC
Permalink
amcluesent wrote:
> Then again, maybe Logitech wanted to enter the kitchen cookware
> marketplace and there was a simple misunderstanding! What might have
> been...

but does it work with online fruit?


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garym
2012-07-06 22:34:42 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> but does it work with online fruit?

aha. online fruit. online groceries. Remember WebVan..... starting to
all make sense now ;-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webvan


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mlsstl
2012-07-07 15:05:03 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
> yeah, thats right, b/c you're the one coming on here and acting like the
> rest of us have no place to speak, and then get all huffy when we don't
> agree with you.
>
> take it easy, francis!

I reread my original comments and you're taking offense where none was
intended. There is nothing I wrote that said you were wrong. I just
pointed out that when one is watching as a consumer on the outside,
there are a lot of things we don't know. There are explanations other
than yours that are quite possible.

Rather that state with great certainty, as you did, that "this is what
happened" or "the company should have done this instead", I pointed out
there are a lot of facts unknown to those outside management that may
alter the picture being painted. There is a big difference between my
providing alternative possibilities and your claim that I said you were
wrong.

Can you point out the sentence where I told you or others not to speak
or that you were wrong? I don't think you'll find it unless you have an
unusually active imagination that doesn't require much material to weave
an over sensitive response.


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Korny Sietsma
2012-07-04 04:55:16 UTC
Permalink
Calm down a bit folks - no point getting so heated in speculation about
what a company may or may not do, nor what they should or should not do -
it's all highly hypothetical and not worth getting steamed up about!

(this wasn't particularly about mlsstl - I just picked a post to reply to
at random...)

On a (to me at least!) slightly positive note - I picked up a set of
Logitech speakers for my PC today, I got some that have optional coax
inputs - and I note that all over the documentation it pushes the
Squeezebox, with lines like "to use the RCA inputs ... plug your Logitech
Squeezebox, DVD player, or game console into the RCA jacks".

- Korny

On 4 July 2012 10:29, mlsstl <mlsstl.5f5jrz-NUepA2SMhDQqspMVqqL2D+4xXEVPTSb/***@public.gmane.org>wrote:

>
> Interesting how many people in this thread seem to think they have
> unusual insight into what Logitech "should be" doing as respects their
> product line up.
>
> As a profitable company that's been around for awhile, I strongly
> suspect they have more than a few people who know what they're doing
> when it comes to making a buck. I think the odds are pretty good that
> they've done some market research and have a good idea where they are
> going from here. Maybe they don't want to compete with the video
> streamers with sub $100 Rokus and the like. Sometimes a company finds it
> more profitable fulfilling a smaller niche than competing in a more
> congested, lower priced market.
>
> Same thing with the video screen. Some portion of market would love a
> screenless player, but what's the percentage? Would those sales justify
> the design, production & distribution costs? Once again, we're pitting
> our rather biased individual preferences against a company that is in
> the business, has access to a lot more info, and is probably a shade
> more dispassionate about the whole matter.
>
> Yes, there are any number of companies that I wish would bend the
> specifics of their product a bit more to my liking. Sometimes a company
> takes heed of customer input and sometimes they don't. It's just rather
> unrealistic to think that every idea I have is going to end up a high
> priority for a manufacturer.
>
> I'm not in the consumer electronics field, but after 35 years in the
> business world I know that decisions often include quite a bit of info
> that is pretty much invisible to those on the outside. Sure, sometimes
> in hindsight a business may wish they'd made a different decision, but
> if they are successful in their industry, the overall odds lay on their
> side of the court.
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> mlsstl's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=9598
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=95603
>
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss-***@public.gmane.org
> http://lists.slimdevices.com/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>



--
Kornelis Sietsma korny at my surname dot com http://korny.info
"We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit
playing" - O.W. Holmes
erland
2012-07-04 08:39:27 UTC
Permalink
korny-***@public.gmane.org wrote:
>
> On a (to me at least!) slightly positive note - I picked up a set of
> Logitech speakers for my PC today, I got some that have optional coax
> inputs - and I note that all over the documentation it pushes the
> Squeezebox, with lines like "to use the RCA inputs ... plug your
> Logitech
> Squeezebox, DVD player, or game console into the RCA jacks".
>
Another good sign is that even if they are cutting other parts of the
organization, they still seem to hire people to specifically work with
Squeezeboxes:
http://hire.jobvite.com/CompanyJobs/Careers.aspx?c=qgX9Vfw1&v=1&page=Job%20Description&j=oRydWfwi
http://hire.jobvite.com/CompanyJobs/Careers.aspx?c=qgX9Vfw1&v=1&page=Job%20Description&j=oZPjWfwN

Future will tell what's going to happen, but it's nice to know that the
oldest Squeezebox (Classic) I've had for over 6 years are still going to
continue working great for local music and for streaming services
through third party plugins for many more years, independent of what
actions Logitech takes. I can honestly say that the number of hardware
devices which are used on daily basis that survives 6 years in my home
are fairly limited, the Sherwood amplifier still beats the Squeezebox
but most other newer devices have already been replaced.

Is anyone sure anything from Apple (except for computers) which you
purchase today is going to be useful 2018 ?
I think my iPod Touch 1G was purchased 2007 and it became more or less
useless about 2-3 years later, theoretically it still works but in
practice most new apps requires newer iOS versions than the iPod Touch
1G supports.


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pippin
2012-07-04 09:17:32 UTC
Permalink
Both of my 1G iPod touch's are still being used every day although both
not by me.
I bought the first one on the day it came out, that's almost 5 years
now.

You are right, App support is almost nonexistent anymore (I can't even
make iPeng builds for it myself now, for example) so they've pretty much
become what the Squeezebox has always been: single purpose devices as a
remote control or an actual audio player (something the "iPod" touch
hasn't been throughout the first few years of it's life.
Although one is still being used for internet browsing an e-mail, too.

But you are right: my SB3s are still the _most_ used Squeezeboxes I have
so there's clearly a difference in the level of aging.


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amcluesent
2012-07-06 07:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Looking at the Camridge Stream Magic 6, this IMHO could have been the
Transporter II in 2010. Cambridge are still struggling with the s/w to
do gapless. Logitech never recognised the IPR they had there, and could
have done an blitz on AV Receiver manufacturers etc. who ended up using
crappy DLNA for streaming.

Some say Logitech $$ saved Slimdevices after the Duet debacle and delays
to the Touch. More like gave it a lingering death.


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Michael Herger
2012-07-06 07:42:19 UTC
Permalink
> Some say Logitech $$ saved Slimdevices after the Duet debacle and delays
> to the Touch. More like gave it a lingering death.

It would have been _before_ the Duet. Just to be correct on the timing.

--

Michael
erland
2012-07-02 09:14:49 UTC
Permalink
MrSinatra wrote:
>
> does anyone really believe that an audio product should exist today
> whose main/native UI is webui? i would bet most people still using
> server are using some other UI.
>
No, I don't think an audio product whose main UI is web based have a
strong future. To expand this even further, I don't think an audio
product whose main UI has to be accessed from a computer have a strong
future. In comparison, I think a web UI has a greater future than a
Windows based UI, because there is at least a theoretical chance the web
UI will work on tablets/smart phones.

However, the web UI is not the main UI for the Squeezebox products, the
main UI for a Squeezebox is either a smart phone/tablet or the on-device
controls (Touch screen, hard buttons) and this kind of UI's definitely
have a future.

If we would have a poll among all Squeezebox users (not just the geeks
on this forum), I imagine that a very small percentage would say that
they sit beside the computer when they control their Squeezebox.

MrSinatra wrote:
>
> i hope logitech sells slim to someone else. i thought they'd be good
> for slim. i was WAY wrong.
>
In theory, Logitech provides what Slim Devices didn't have:
- Economical strength ( of a large company)
- Global distribution
- Knowledge about mass market users

In practice I see similar issues as you do, but the issue isn't the
above points, the issues are other points like:
- Lack of product strategy
- Lack of knowledge regarding user needs around music streaming
- Lack of marketing/advertisement skills

Most of them were supposed to come from Slim Devices but unfortunately
Logitech didn't succeed in keeping everyone from Slim Devices as
Logitech employees.

It's not as simple as just dedicating more resources to the development,
first they have to understand what kind of functionality the users
want.

Regarding possibilities to sell to someone else, the only thing I see a
real value in is:
- SBS/LMS (which is already open source and free for someone else to
take)
- Agreements with service providers (which Logitech probably can't or at
least aren't willing to sell)

So hoping for someone to suddenly buy Squeezebox product family is
probably to hope too much unless someone in the community or among
previous Slim Devices employees would decide it was of interest


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erland
2012-06-25 13:03:43 UTC
Permalink
AndrewFG wrote:
> Fortunately, the music world is *not* going in the direction of an Apple
> mono-culture. Actually the real trend is towards UPnP / DLNA. All the
> major audio/video consumer device manufacturers (think of the big names
> like Sony, Samsung, Philips, LG, Denon etc.) already support it. It is
> an open interworking standard so anyone can use it without paying
> royalties or risking legal disputes.
>
> Ok admittedly some manufacturers (including Logitech) did not master the
> UPnP technology, and some implementations are still quite quirky; but on
> balance all the major manufacturers are using it, learning from their
> mistakes, and continuously improving their offerrings. Indeed even
> Microsoft supports UPnP. So basically it is Apple vs. R-o-W, and it is
> stacking up to become yet-another format war like Blu-Ray vs. HDDVD,
> however in this case I am putting my money on UPnP...
>
Can you give some concrete examples of UPnP based players with decent
(non IR) remote controls that gives me a browsing experience similar to
either Squeezebox or a Apple solution ?

I've tried some UPnP server and I've also tried some remote controls,
all have either been very limited or very buggy or very user unfriendly
and this is simply not acceptable in my listening room. However, it
might just be me that haven't found the good/working implementations.

Do you have any recommendations regarding good and working:
- iPad based UPnP control
- Android tablet based UPnP remote control
- A good UPnP server working on Windows
- A good UPnP server working on Linux
- A good UPnP server working on OSX
- A good UPnP server working on Sheevaplug or other similar devices with
restricted resources
- A UPnP player similar to Squeezebox Radio
- A UPnP player similar to Squeezebox Touch

I would love if UPnP (or any standard) would get a broad acceptance and
provide the user experience I want, unfortunately the only solutions
that offers that kind of user experience seems to be based more or less
on proprietary protocols (Squeezebox, Apple, Sonos, ...)

>From what I've seen UPnP have two major problems (unless I've
misunderstood something):
- It's very complex, because it tries to support a lot, which causes
more or less all implementations to be buggy or incompatible in some
way.
- It requires the remote control (if it's UPnP based) to be powered on
all the time, which uses a lot of battery on a smart phone/tablet based
control. The reason for this is that the controller is the one that
controls the playlist and instruct the player which track to play next.


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