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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I've poked around the forums, and it seems there isn't a comparable product to the Squeezebox Duet -- at an equivalent price point.


In my case, I want to be able to run music from multiple rooms and have full-control (visually) at the remote.


Are there any other products I should be looking at, at the same price point?


Also, any rumors as to a release date for the next-generation duet?


Thanks!

Avery
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolio107 /forum/post/17003706


Squeezebox 3 and iPod touch as a remote


But I'm obviously biased as I write iPhone remote control software for iPhone (iPeng), but this is also what I use myself.


What do you see as the real advantages of the iPod touch? I've actually found (with my phone) that I'm not so hot on the touch screen approach... no tactile feedback.
 

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There are lots of other types of radio beyond those subscription services. you asked for alternatives. I proposed one that is close. I own both and think they both have issues compared*to my good ole xbox running xbmc. There are lots of plugins and third party utils for example that allow me to stream to airport expresses through 3rd party programs like WinAmp, MediaMonkey, and Pandora, last.fm etc... Its all possible with airports and they are way cheaper than SB3 or duet. Its a comparable alternative. There are tradeoff's in all solutions....


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AveryN /forum/post/17006730


What do you see as the real advantages of the iPod touch? I've actually found (with my phone) that I'm not so hot on the touch screen approach... no tactile feedback.

different strokes for different folks... There is no right answer....


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AveryN /forum/post/17006730


What do you see as the real advantages of the iPod touch? I've actually found (with my phone) that I'm not so hot on the touch screen approach... no tactile feedback.

What phone did you try? Didn't see a lot of others that come close to iPhone. I've got a brand-new htc hero and while it technically is a very good device, the UI sucks because they got so many details wrong.

I agree that iPhone actually is not the best of phones, but for browsing things I didn't see any better UI approach, yet.


There's pros and cons to anything, in this case: iPhone/iTouch are lacking hardware buttons for quick access to functions (e.g. pause, skip) but if you search for music it's simply the most convenient way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith /forum/post/17007051


There are lots of other types of radio beyond those subscription services. you asked for alternatives. I proposed one that is close.

Ok. As you said "similar in features and function..." I assumed it does the same.

I actually found these services to be very, very useful (and I don't pay for any subscriptions, yet, but will probably buy Napster) after I discovered them, although I didn't care at the beginning.

It's pretty cool to be able to just play an album you don't own.
 

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I came here basically asking the same question. The Squeezebox system is good, but it is really for extreme technophiles and people who want to worry about software versions, configurations, plug-ins and their management, betas, issues and how to resolve them.


I've been using the system for a year and I loved it at first but now I think it's worth just sucking it up and paying $350 to get an entry level Sonos. However, I can't do that either since Sonos, while reliable and simple, does not even offer the most basic of features like ratings or playcount leave alone MusicIP integration. Well the last one is a moot point since MusicIP is basically dead.


So now the only system with working music suggestion is iTunes/remote. A $229 iPod touch and any PC/MAC can get you started. However it too is not perfect. It can sometimes run slow (IMHO Squeezebox via web interface is also slow) and glitch out at times. Maybe running it on a dedicated machine would help. But then that increases the cost to Sonos levels.


From the research I did recently (still ongoing) I suspect that Squeezebox is the lesser of all evils. I mean I am willing to spend more money to not have to deal with Squeezeserver flakiness and the developers sitting there running their system on PERL to maintain compatibility across the entire universe of computers/NAS devices and even phones (ARM Version in the works). They also have gone back and forth between the database engines they are using and each time they do that they break compatibility with essential plug-ins like Trackstat that handles ratings and statistics. Without those plug-ins I may as well settle for the reduced functionality of Sonos and no headaches of Squeezecenter.


Squeezecenter will over time make you want to stop using it as it starts to basically demand maintenance from you. It is not for those who want to come home and just listen to music without fixing some problem here and there. Yes, on some days it works on others it will put you through some work, troubleshooting and researching and fixing before you can listen to your music.


Right now even though Squeezecenter runs on NAS and other low power equipment it really runs like a dog. I have it on a dual core Intel Core 2 1.86Ghz machine with the entire server and database and cache running on a RAM Disk and I can see that when I select an album list or even artist list it pegs one CPU to 100% but does not use the other core at all. Also just to display a list of 50 of my albums it uses 100% CPU of one core for about 4-5 seconds straight. If it had to load my entire collection of 2000 it would take over a minute just to show me my albums. So basically it is a dog to browse and great for searches and playlists. It's very poor coding and improvements take years to make their way in the system. The future also looks unclear with the dev team delaying their switch back to SQLlite until next year. That means that the whole system will change next year again and we will have to wait for plug-ins to be made compatible.


I know they keep it open and they really do try their best, and I see how awesome and open the devs are even replying to your questions on the forums, but it's just too much tech and waiting and tweaking even for this geek. I was about to spend $1000 for a new computer overclocked with Core i7 to 4GHz to make this thing run faster, but then I thought about it. It's like putting a W12 Bugatti engine in a 1985 Yugo because the Yugo's drive-train makes the car stall sometimes. Right now I don't even really know what to do, I am willing to throw cash at the solution but there seems to be none out there.


I have to wonder if I am best served by having both systems running in parallel right now.
 

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I'd recommend you simply stop using betas.

All the compatibility issues you mention are for 7.4 beta which really, really isn't for "use".

What was the last time you had to have maintenance to your system when you were just using a release version of SC?


I agree on the performance of the web interface, though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxr71 /forum/post/17076691


From the research I did recently (still ongoing) I suspect that Squeezebox is the lesser of all evils. I mean I am willing to spend more money to not have to deal with Squeezeserver flakiness and the developers sitting there running their system on PERL to maintain compatibility across the entire universe of computers/NAS devices and even phones (ARM Version in the works).

I think this is the biggest potential downfall to the Squeezebox product line. The user experience is extremely neglected in favor of the goal of running of every possible hardware. It is a tech-driven environment and it is difficult for anyone who doesn't speak code to get their voices acknowledged. That said, the overall system and hardware design is quite powerful. I'm hoping they can turn it around in the user experience area.


That's the biggest thing Apple brought to personal media players - user experience. Their hardware and software capabilities were nothing to brag about for years, but they created a loyal customer base that enjoyed the end to end experience so much that they promoted it to friends etc.


As much as I love my Squeezebox, I would NOT currently recommend it to a non-techie friend (especially one with wireless networking
).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdc /forum/post/17081306


That's the biggest thing Apple brought to personal media players - user experience.

I'm not trying to start a flame war here, but Apple was able to do the great "user experience" by locking down the hardware and software. Don't get me wrong, we have an iPod Nano and Touch and really like them, but Apple completely controls the hardware and software (with iTunes). Very similar to the tactic used by Sonos, custom user interface on a locked down hardware/software solution. This always makes it much easier.


Trying to do the same thing with a media streamer, but still make it compatible with all the possible hardware/software solutions on the Windows/PC side has just been a nut no one has been able to crack yet. However, I keep waiting and hoping...
 

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I agree that Apple had control over the ecosystem, but my point wasn't to compare Apple's products to Logitech's - rather, to point out that when Apple entered the PMP market - which already had some established companies - it didn't do it by focusing on great hardware or software functionality, but on a seamless user experience. And look where it got them.


It is always easier to control the user experience when you control everything, but that doesn't mean you can't TRY even if you are working with diverse platforms.


I consulted with the Microsoft Zune group for a year as a usability researcher. They are/were making the same types of mistakes - more concerned about features and hardware bullet points than the user experience. Those are things techies love, but techies tend to be brand loyal only until the next thing comes along. (This forum is the perfect example - you see constant switching from product to product in search of nirvana with many members.)


From a technical standpoint I applaud Logitech/Slim's efforts, but I don't currently believe those will result in a product that is purchased by the masses. And I *want* the Squeezebox to be purchased by the masses so there is continued development and support for many years to come.
 

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for strictly ease of use, its tough to beat Apple Products.


If you can get accept their formats, I haven't found anything that works as good and more importantly, easily, as the multi-combination capabilities of iTunes + iTouch/iPhone + AirportExpress. Swap in the AppleTV if you want to watch 720p wireless.


Every system out there right now appears to have some sort of comprimise(s), but as this thread hints, it boils down to ease of use. My mindset has really changed especially for music - I want to simply enjoy it.


one thing that Apple could really improve though is integrating Pandora and Spotify into the mix.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenassco /forum/post/17115928


Every system out there right now appears to have some sort of comprimise(s), but as this thread hints, it boils down to ease of use. My mindset has really changed especially for music - I want to simply enjoy it.

Apple compromises, too.

I find iTunes horrible from a usability standpoint, but that may be just me. It doesn't find my artwork, it doesn't run on playlists and there's not even a way to tell it some music is no longer available.


Multi-Room with Airport express is limited and - as you pointed out - online media support is very weak.


I carry along my notebook which doesn't have enough memory to hold all of my music so I have to decide whether I want to sync my iPhone with my laptop (which means I can add new stuff while on the move but means I can't use most of my library) or with my home machine (which means I can get all of my library but can't put anything new on my iPhone). This, alone, makes me curse iTunes at least twice a week.


As you said: It's all a compromise...
 

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I looked at all that are out there, and bought the Squeezebox duet in July. The others Sonos, Yamaha are out of my budget. I use the squeezebox all the time no problems at all. Connection is perfect, no dropout, easy to use and build on. Since my original purchase, I bought two more receivers, one for the garage, and another for the deck. Alltogether I have spent $500. You can't touch the others for near that price, and I can't believe the others do something special over the squeezebox accept empty your wallet. I think the key to it all is the quality of your wireless connection. I would highly recommend this product. My 2cents.


John
 
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