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post #1 of 8 Old 09-24-2015, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Sirius XM player for home audio - replacement for Squeezebox?

I have two home audio systems (Nuvo Concerto) which rely on Squeezebox devices for sending Sirius XM to the audio system (via RCA ports). Unfortunately, Logitech purchased the Squeezebox line, supported it for a few years, then orphaned the technology. It has continued to work until now, when Sirius XM introduced a hiccup by changing their transmission format. Logitech and Sirius XM could not come to terms on the change and Logitech said "F-you" to their whole user base, basically saying, we still support the product, but no one cares about Sirius XM so its going away Sept 30.

I am looking for a similar product. Once that can stream music from my library (iTunes or other) and internet radio (Sirius XM, Pandora, etc). I really need to replace all the Squeezeboxes, as I need the ports for the new device. Cost is an issue (I have over $1000 invested in the Squeezeboxes already). Closest option I can find is Grace Digital, but they don't seem to have the perfect comparable. Logitech Music Service, the root engine, was the best line I have seen, and Logitech is just killing it. Sucks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-16-2015, 01:29 PM
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I have a possible solution also a question for other SirusXM users.


First solution for your music:


Install Plex software on your desktop, or wherever you have the range of audio/music stored.
Purchase a Chromecast Audio (about $30.00) and plug this into your NUVO.
Install free Plex App on your phone (either iPhone or Android)


Your Plex App then sees all your music/audio etc. etc. and your Chromecast Audio and you can instruct the material to be played into your whole house system, Your individual wall Nuvo controllers can continue to be used to control which room and audio level etc.
This is actually a very elegant and easy solution and Google says that very soon their Chromecast Audio will be able to play HiRes audio recordings. You can even add multiple Chromecast Audio dongles and attach them to other receivers etc. around the house and use these as needed.
And FYI this is now how I project my own music around the house and I too was orphaned by Logitech by their distancing themselves from the old Squeezebox purchase. The house I bought a couple of years ago also had a whole house music system by Nuvo!!!!


Now Solution 2 is a work in progress re SirusXM.


2a) Use the Chrome browser and I go to Chrome Extensions and download Chromecast.. Within 20 seconds it will install and you see the chromecast tiny box appear top right of the horizontal bar.
The use the Chrome web browser to go to SirusXM and sign on. I presume here you are using their all in plan which has Streaming. You can then activate the streaming via the web browser and click on the chromecast box and whatever channel you have selected will be sent via the Chromecast Audio dongle to your Nuvo and to your whole house audio system.


2b) Here is where I am right now doing more research. A home run would be for the cell phone App for SirusXM to be set up for chromecast as then one could control SXM audio without leaving the room you are in. But I do not now whether SXM have allowed this yet? i.e. is their App written to be compatible with chromecast. Many Apps are a few are not.


Fall back might be (not sure yet) if using the Chrome web browser on your phone (enabled for chromecast) and sign into your SXM account and hit the chromecast button.
But I do not yet know whether this is allowed by SXM. It should because SXM say you can go into your streaming SXM on any desktop, laptop, tablet or phone you own. But some entities are dragging their feet about allowing mobile "casting".


Hope this helps and hope someone else can chip in re 2b....

Ian

Last edited by IRJ; 12-16-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-17-2015, 12:47 PM
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Having been through the "In home listening"-crap...

There's no good/easy way to make this work and it sucks.

Early on Sirius and XM worked with home audio manufacturers to have external tuner boxes for receivers and to have a few tabletop models.

The technology seems to be slow to change with regards to this so you may be able to find some home receivers with the odd port on the back for (typically their version) of a Sirius or XM tuner.. You can probably track down an outboard tuner off of eBay..

See how much it's already beginning to suck?

Tabletop units also happened with built-in tuners. There was a Timex model (XM) and a Denon model (S-52) and a few stand-alone models. These bubbled up back in 2007 or so and then faded as there isn't much of a market for them..

If you're able to cobble that altogether then you face: How do I get the signal to my tuner?

Sirius/XM (separate) thought of that, kind of after they got with the manufacturers and each produced repeaters which were originally sold for about $100-150, if I remember correctly, then were on clearance about 5 years back for ≈$20.. Then disappeared and showed up on eBay for ≈$300.. No idea what they go for now but you could probably search eBay and find one. The problem was that the repeaters came out both expensive and on the tail end of the tabletop and home units (at least with regards to the outboard tuners). Plus you had the two failing companies, the merger, and a collapsing economy in 2009..

Let's say, in addition to getting a receiver/tabletop, acquire a repeater. Now you need, at least for XM, a Southern-facing window/wall or some kind of external mount for the antenna. This can be done but look how far you've had to come just to get stupid sat-radio into your home. Further, from my experience, if you have a Southern-facing home then it works fairly well but you still have a little bit of a tree problem unless you live in an area with repeaters which may solve that. With the Sirius side, though, your home is stationary but the satellites are moving (or were, I think we're down to 2, at this point so it makes this even harder) so it was possible, even back when you had 3 Sirius sats in orbit, to set it up where it works but some time later it wouldn't work or the signal would drop in and out.

My point being: Every step of the way this was hard and a PITA to get Sirius/XM into your home. Something the normal consumer may want to do but probably wouldn't put up with or invest in.


The other way to get Sirius/XM into your home was through streaming and this opened up another can of works. At the high level it sounds easy:
- Most everyone has internet
- Most everyone has WiFi
- There are internet streaming stations
- Most regular radio stations stream
- Sirius/XM streams
- Build a radio that knows how to stream!

This should be a walk in the park. While I haven't tried Logitech/Squeezebox, the actual implementations have been pretty crappy. To be fair there are a number of obstacles:
- different kinds of streams (not insurmountable but they still have to deal with it)
- different kinds of services. OK, so you have ACC, MP3 streaming... Now ClearChannel wanted to do their own walled-garden app with iHeartRadio which means each of the radio stations which you may want to listen to may, or may not, be part of that and you have to kind of know, "Oh, my favorite station WXYZ is (or is it?) owned by ClearChannel so, thus, I need to iHeartRadio stream it!" - so dumb. Then you have the subscription service of Sirius/XM which, in and of itself kind of has to be a walled garden and because of that it's a small subset of all streaming so it's kind of treated as a checkbox-junk add-in on radios - meaning, "It'll kind of work..."..

For me, I've tried the Denon S-52 and Denon Receiver w/ a repeater and it works mostly well. I get some fade, depending on the season, weather, and the trees outside but it mostly works. The advantage is that the stream comes from the satellite to the antenna/repeater/tuner and straight into the radio and it generally works. You don't have to wait for some 3rd party company to update some firmware for you to download which may or may not be supported in order to listen. The weak link, though, is the outdoor antenna location and repeater.

When I saw the Grace Digital radios I thought, "There's the solution! Finally I'll be able to listen to SiriusXM in my home and it'll "just work"!"... but it doesn't. You run into odd firmware bugs because there's not enough of a market for these devices for anyone to keep up with the development on them. For the longest time you'd go to listen to SiriusXM on it and it'd just timeout loading the categories and channels. Fret not because, if the radio didn't crash, you could go BACK into the SiriusXM menu and it would have cached the categories and channels and you could then select the channel you'd like and sometimes it'd even play! That's a crappy user experience.

Oh, the Denon S-52 had internet streaming but only for internet radio, not SiriusXM (sort of: Why would they because when it was built it was build for the sat-signal) but even there you're dealing with really old, clunky web pages to set it all up. It doesn't support iHeartRadio (because iHeartRadio is it's own thing, of course) so you're limited to non-ClearChannel stations and other independent internet streaming stations.


There is another way to make this work, which is all I use now but I really hate doing it: Get a bluetooth audio adapter (I use a few of these: http://*******.com/pqc5evk) and run the output from that to the input on your receiver/tabletop and then connect your phone to it, via Bluetooth, and just always stream from your phone. It's still clunky because you have this "chain" of devices to make it work, but it's reliable. I'd much prefer a tabletop and receiver that just properly handled streaming audio and companies that worked together to make this seemless.


In my mind it would see like it'd be in the best interest:
- for content producers and manufacturers to work together on this.
- for manufacturers to release properly tested products, instead of this hobby-crap that they seem to want to release in the streaming market, and for them to support said devices.

It's stupid frustrating, though, if you want to listen to local radio, SiriusXM, Pandora (this seems to work nearly universally - good for them!), ClearChannel, etc.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-18-2015, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Bishop View Post
Having been through the "In home listening"-crap...

There's no good/easy way to make this work and it sucks.

Early on Sirius and XM worked with home audio manufacturers to have external tuner boxes for receivers and to have a few tabletop models.

The technology seems to be slow to change with regards to this so you may be able to find some home receivers with the odd port on the back for (typically their version) of a Sirius or XM tuner.. You can probably track down an outboard tuner off of eBay..

See how much it's already beginning to suck?

Tabletop units also happened with built-in tuners. There was a Timex model (XM) and a Denon model (S-52) and a few stand-alone models. These bubbled up back in 2007 or so and then faded as there isn't much of a market for them..

If you're able to cobble that altogether then you face: How do I get the signal to my tuner?

Sirius/XM (separate) thought of that, kind of after they got with the manufacturers and each produced repeaters which were originally sold for about $100-150, if I remember correctly, then were on clearance about 5 years back for ≈$20.. Then disappeared and showed up on eBay for ≈$300.. No idea what they go for now but you could probably search eBay and find one. The problem was that the repeaters came out both expensive and on the tail end of the tabletop and home units (at least with regards to the outboard tuners). Plus you had the two failing companies, the merger, and a collapsing economy in 2009..

Let's say, in addition to getting a receiver/tabletop, acquire a repeater. Now you need, at least for XM, a Southern-facing window/wall or some kind of external mount for the antenna. This can be done but look how far you've had to come just to get stupid sat-radio into your home. Further, from my experience, if you have a Southern-facing home then it works fairly well but you still have a little bit of a tree problem unless you live in an area with repeaters which may solve that. With the Sirius side, though, your home is stationary but the satellites are moving (or were, I think we're down to 2, at this point so it makes this even harder) so it was possible, even back when you had 3 Sirius sats in orbit, to set it up where it works but some time later it wouldn't work or the signal would drop in and out.

My point being: Every step of the way this was hard and a PITA to get Sirius/XM into your home. Something the normal consumer may want to do but probably wouldn't put up with or invest in.


The other way to get Sirius/XM into your home was through streaming and this opened up another can of works. At the high level it sounds easy:
- Most everyone has internet
- Most everyone has WiFi
- There are internet streaming stations
- Most regular radio stations stream
- Sirius/XM streams
- Build a radio that knows how to stream!

This should be a walk in the park. While I haven't tried Logitech/Squeezebox, the actual implementations have been pretty crappy. To be fair there are a number of obstacles:
- different kinds of streams (not insurmountable but they still have to deal with it)
- different kinds of services. OK, so you have ACC, MP3 streaming... Now ClearChannel wanted to do their own walled-garden app with iHeartRadio which means each of the radio stations which you may want to listen to may, or may not, be part of that and you have to kind of know, "Oh, my favorite station WXYZ is (or is it?) owned by ClearChannel so, thus, I need to iHeartRadio stream it!" - so dumb. Then you have the subscription service of Sirius/XM which, in and of itself kind of has to be a walled garden and because of that it's a small subset of all streaming so it's kind of treated as a checkbox-junk add-in on radios - meaning, "It'll kind of work..."..

For me, I've tried the Denon S-52 and Denon Receiver w/ a repeater and it works mostly well. I get some fade, depending on the season, weather, and the trees outside but it mostly works. The advantage is that the stream comes from the satellite to the antenna/repeater/tuner and straight into the radio and it generally works. You don't have to wait for some 3rd party company to update some firmware for you to download which may or may not be supported in order to listen. The weak link, though, is the outdoor antenna location and repeater.

When I saw the Grace Digital radios I thought, "There's the solution! Finally I'll be able to listen to SiriusXM in my home and it'll "just work"!"... but it doesn't. You run into odd firmware bugs because there's not enough of a market for these devices for anyone to keep up with the development on them. For the longest time you'd go to listen to SiriusXM on it and it'd just timeout loading the categories and channels. Fret not because, if the radio didn't crash, you could go BACK into the SiriusXM menu and it would have cached the categories and channels and you could then select the channel you'd like and sometimes it'd even play! That's a crappy user experience.

Oh, the Denon S-52 had internet streaming but only for internet radio, not SiriusXM (sort of: Why would they because when it was built it was build for the sat-signal) but even there you're dealing with really old, clunky web pages to set it all up. It doesn't support iHeartRadio (because iHeartRadio is it's own thing, of course) so you're limited to non-ClearChannel stations and other independent internet streaming stations.


There is another way to make this work, which is all I use now but I really hate doing it: Get a bluetooth audio adapter (I use a few of these: http://*******.com/pqc5evk) and run the output from that to the input on your receiver/tabletop and then connect your phone to it, via Bluetooth, and just always stream from your phone. It's still clunky because you have this "chain" of devices to make it work, but it's reliable. I'd much prefer a tabletop and receiver that just properly handled streaming audio and companies that worked together to make this seemless.


In my mind it would see like it'd be in the best interest:
- for content producers and manufacturers to work together on this.
- for manufacturers to release properly tested products, instead of this hobby-crap that they seem to want to release in the streaming market, and for them to support said devices.

It's stupid frustrating, though, if you want to listen to local radio, SiriusXM, Pandora (this seems to work nearly universally - good for them!), ClearChannel, etc.

Have you tired via the Chromecast Audio yet?

Ian
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-19-2015, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by IRJ View Post
Have you tired via the Chromecast Audio yet?
No. What I have: iPhone -> Bluetooth works well enough.

My main point was that internet radios/receivers ought to be commonplace at this point and it shouldn't be that hard to get SiriusXM into your home.

I should be able to be nearly any receiver/tabletop radio off the rack (save for the lowest end units) and it should have the ability to do all of this and it should be refined enough to where you don't have the radio resetting or not loading the categories/stations fast enough or not supporting whichever stream (iHeart/SiriusXM/Whatever).

In 2007 or even 2010, Ok, I get it, it's still relatively new. At this point it's not. It still feels like we're stuck back in 2009 with this.

Your solution isn't a bad one but it's one that really shouldn't be needed.

At this point we really should be talking about the cool new features of one radio over another. Instead we're still stuck with: What (barely) works?
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-19-2015, 10:22 AM
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I have found you buy a home doc and an fm transmitter. It's to bad that sirius or xm never adopted a whole house system. Instead they chose to nickle and dime the loyal customer to death with second radio fees and the cost of additional tuners. I strongly feel if they had setup a home subscription where you can listen in every room they would be in much better shape as a company with a much larger subscription base. The worst part is sound quality is better on the internet access then on the sat signal. My Yamaha receivers all get the siriusxm internet feature so it's very nice even if it uses up our data limits on the internet connection.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-20-2015, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pgershon View Post

I am looking for a similar product. Once that can stream music from my library (iTunes or other) and internet radio (Sirius XM, Pandora, etc). I really need to replace all the Squeezeboxes, as I need the ports for the new device. Cost is an issue (I have over $1000 invested in the Squeezeboxes already). Closest option I can find is Grace Digital, but they don't seem to have the perfect comparable. Logitech Music Service, the root engine, was the best line I have seen, and Logitech is just killing it. Sucks.

My 2014 Denon receiver does XM pretty well. The GUI is not as nice as the iOS app on phone or iPad but is very useable. I thought I would use my XM streaming subscription more on the home receiver but I listen to 320mb/sec internet radio stations on the Denon tuner more.


Modern receivers also can do most of what the OP is trying to do. The cost is certainly less than a bunch of squeeze boxes, evidently. If the OP is due for a receiver upgrade, do consider selecting one that has built-in streaming of internet sources.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-29-2015, 03:35 AM
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I am streaming xm thru my ipad into a pure dock/dac then into preamp. Works consistently,good audio.
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