• 01-11-2013, 03:03 PM
    E-Stat
    I'm lovin' my Squeezebox Touch players
    After using a pair of server based Touch players to replace single disk based players, I cannot imagine going back. I may be a boomer, but I get what the Y-Gen demands.

    I frequently use the random feature to walk through my collection which often finds tracks that I haven't heard in a while. If I don't want to hear that choice, I simply skip it with the trusty iPeng app on my iPhone. Or use a playlist. The immediate access and flexibility of server based music is addictive.

    Many evenings after work, I'll listen to the garage system and enjoy the great outdoors. Maybe I'm surfing the net on the laptop while out there. I was trying to imagine what else would be useful and just discovered a new feature offered by iPeng - song lyrics. The Squeezebox server looks for internet based content and streams the results to the iPeng app. Now, while listening to my tunes, I can swipe the playlist or album art screen to where the song lyrics appear and scroll automatically.

    I'm a really happy camper!
  • 01-12-2013, 07:53 AM
    recoveryone
    1 Attachment(s)
    And that my friend is what I call pure listening enjoyment! As your mood change you can just make a few swipes on your Ipad or use the remote and BAM! new genre or album at your finger tips. I consider server base music as important as the CD changers when it comes to listening enjoyment, but with the ability to have Hi rez music playback or at least Redbook CD quality.

    I love it on my days off during the week, I can just pick a genre and sit back and hear tracks I love and some less known. I know some of the old school purist will cling to their 2k plus transport but for the best bang for the buck and quality its hard to beat a server base setup. Also the ability to view the album art just on the touch, and if you have the Ipad or even most smartphones you can get an app that controls the squeezebox without being in the same room.



    The squeezebox system brought me back to listening to music on a regular bases, with kids and just life in general you find yourself putting personal passions on the back burner until your able to find a way to fit it in and using a sever base system made it easy. No storage issues and other related problems and the bonus of easy transfer of music from home listening to my vehicles
  • 01-12-2013, 07:57 AM
    mlsstl
    1 Attachment(s)
    You're right -- the Squeezebox Touch is a great player. It allows access to your music collection in an incredibly flexible and immediate fashion that is impossible with CDs or LPs. I mainly use a Kindle Fire with Squeeze Commander to control things. (I like the size of the Kindle much better than the same app on my phone.)


    Attachment 9116
  • 01-12-2013, 12:11 PM
    Feanor
    I'm glad the Squeezebox Touch is working out for you. I should think it would be a great solution for many people. Apparently it's no longer in production unfortunately.

    According to a C|NET review, HERE, Logitech says their UE Smart Radio, HERE, is the successor to the Squeezebox.

    The Squeezebox, and maybe its UE successor, look like a rather slick tool to interface you hifi system with your computer based music library. There are, of course, other tools for doing this, the main ones being maybe:
    1. A DNLA-compliant or similar device of which ther are many, e.g. Blu-ray players and standalone media players, and
    2. A computer using various OSs plus one of dozens of music or media players such as Foobar2000, J River, Media Monkey, etc..

    Most of these device will read a standard OS file system structure. The Squeezebox and the UE, however, need a program to run on whichever computer is storing your music files. I suppose this additional server-side software isn't a big deal but I tend to see it as a downside.

    The Squeezebox has as a nice but very small viewing screen; same for the UE Smart Radio, and I think you can use your iPod or smartphone as an alternate UI. But here again I see the small screens as a downside (if only because of my aged eyesight). Maybe an iPad would be viable??

    I'm fortunate to have a dedicated computer for my stereo system, a Vista Home Basic, and I use Foobar2000 as my music player. I just don't see a Squeezebox/UE Smart Radio being a better alternative in my case. The Foobar2000 provides a large and very customizable UI, e.g.

    http://gallery.audioreview.com/data/...igPicturet.jpg

    My music library is stored on a local external hard drive; this is duplicated to a Window Home Server machine which is also accessible by any computer in the house.
  • 01-12-2013, 12:40 PM
    recoveryone
    Feanor, I don't think we were pushing the squeezebox as the die for device, but any server base system (just that we all have the system and like it very much). Squeezebox was never a hot off the shelf item for retailers, but more of a cult item that many found while searching the net like I did 7 years ago looking for way to stream their growing collection of digital files. I went from a netgear DAR , to a linksys one and then found the squeezebox system. Now days you have AVR with built in DLNA software along with just about everything that plays music has some sort of Ipod support. It is a shame that Logitech has decided to go another direction with the squeezebox line, we all are hoping there will be a device that bridge both technology together and keep us old style people in the game. But it was no secret that Squeezebox was the standard that everyone else was compared to and truly pushed the technology for quality digital playback units.

    More and more conversations on many audio boards are about how to setup a system with digital stored files, and what is needed to get the best sound. So maybe Squeezebox was way before its time as a retail hit (starting as a small company) and not compormising the product. When Logitech brought SlimDevice out many feared it would be the death of the product or the quality of the units and to a point it came true. I just feel it will be more appreciated as time goes on just like a classic car.
  • 01-12-2013, 01:50 PM
    mlsstl
    Feanor, yes, you're right that the Squeezebox Touch has been discontinued. They are still available, though the prices are currently pretty high. Time will likely cure that to some degree.

    The new UE Radio is not a replacement for the Touch as it doesn't have either analog or digital line outs. It's just a self-contained internet table radio. There is some speculation that Logitech may bring out a UE Touch, but I personally suspect that's unlikely.

    As for the screen size, you'll note above that I use a Kindle Fire as a controller. It's a good size for me and works perfectly. My Acer netbook (and any other computer) also works fine as a controller. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've used the Touch itself to select and play music.

    I didn't really read E-Stat's original post as suggesting that everyone go out and buy a Touch, just that he really enjoys the one he has. There are lots of appliances, equipment and other items I've bought over the years that are long since discontinued but still work great for me. I believe the Touch's lifespan was limited by two things. First and foremost, is Logitech did almost nothing to promote it to a broad audience. People don't buy things they don't know about. Second, the Touch was a bit too geekish. They should have had a somewhat simpler default version knowing that the true geeks and hackers would still experiment.

    I expect my two Touches (and SB3 and Radio) to run just fine for a long time. I suspect that I won't need go searching for a new digital playback source for quite a few years.
  • 01-12-2013, 06:19 PM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mlsstl View Post
    .....
    I didn't really read E-Stat's original post as suggesting that everyone go out and buy a Touch, just that he really enjoys the one he has. There are lots of appliances, equipment and other items I've bought over the years that are long since discontinued but still work great for me...

    I didn't read it that way either, but I did feel that possible alternatives should be mentioned for the benefit of tha uninitiated.
  • 01-13-2013, 09:50 AM
    E-Stat
    Rename post to "Loving Computer Based Playback"!
    The nice thing about computer based music is the incredible flexibility as to how you incorporate the technology. As to whether using small dedicated players like the Touch or Sonus is the best approach or using general purpose computers running applications like Foobar is best, the answer is simply yes. It all depends upon your needs and leveraging what computer gear you already have.

    Actually, I regularly employ both approaches. When I first put my toes in the water with the concept, I used Windows Media Player on the desktop located in the office. I then converted the content to FLAC for the tagging capabilities and got a plug in for WMP. After reading Feanor's recommendation, I got Foobar. I continue to use it on a daily basis driving the in-house system (via a ten meter run of Belden 1694 to the nearby Kenwood receiver) and with its ten year old predecessor now situated in a bedroom upstairs. Foobar works perfectly using existing infrastructure.

    When I decided to plunge into the deep end and replace disk players in the main system upstairs and the garage, I started evaluating other possibilities. I could have purchased general purpose computers for those location, but found that Touch players offered additional benefits in remote locations.

    1. They are compact. There really wasn't room in either rack for even a laptop.
    2. They are instant on, don't require constant operating system upgrades and incorporate linear power supplies for lower noise. I considered moving the older desktop to the music room, but didn't want that unit running anywhere near the system sharing the same power. The music server is located on a different floor of the house using completely different AC circuits. I ran 100' of CAT6 from the router up through a bookshelf through the ceiling into the attic above and over to the listening room. The garage is connected via WiFi.

    I was going to add the benefit of using iPhone/iPads for remote control - which is my preferred way for both Touch based systems, but discovered today there is an iPhone/iPad based app for controlling Foobar as well. That will be great in the summer when I'm listening to the in-house system at the pool and want local control.

    My suggestion to anyone contemplating the move is to leverage what you already have and start exploring the capabilities. If your needs extend to multiple location access, then you might more closely evaluate the available options.
  • 01-13-2013, 12:29 PM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    The nice thing about computer based music is the incredible flexibility as to how you incorporate the technology. As to whether using small dedicated players like the Touch or Sonus is the best approach or using general purpose computers running applications like Foobar is best, the answer is simply yes. It all depends upon your needs and leveraging what computer gear you already have.
    ...

    I agree completely that different needs have different solutions. Squeezebox has the advantages you mention and will fill a particular need; for that it is quite elegant solution.

    The major problem with Squeezebox is that it is no longer available, (or shortly won't be), which is a pity. Logitech has promised to support existing hardware for the time being.

    Does anyone know of a current Squeezebox alternative with the same principal advantages, viz. relatively simple, compact, self-contained with tablet or smartphone extension, analog and digital output??
  • 01-13-2013, 01:55 PM
    recoveryone
    @Feanor, this is where the Squeezxbox was top of the heap, from the price point, features and quality of build. There are several units out there, but you will find yourself giving up on features or quality of playback ability. happy hunting :)
  • 01-13-2013, 03:47 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    The major problem with Squeezebox is that it is no longer available, (or shortly won't be), which is a pity. Logitech has promised to support existing hardware for the time being.

    I bought a third unit for backup purposes. :)

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Does anyone know of a current Squeezebox alternative with the same principal advantages, viz. relatively simple, compact, self-contained with tablet or smartphone extension, analog and digital output??

    The closest answer is likely the Sonos Connect which is strictly a "headless" solution. I'm convinced that over time, there will be more similar solutions.
  • 01-14-2013, 04:31 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    ...
    The closest answer is likely the Sonos Connect which is strictly a "headless" solution. I'm convinced that over time, there will be more similar solutions.

    The Sonos looks good though its a bit up-market from the Squeezebox. Once you get up to the $400 level you're into computer territory.

    With the Sonos you apparently need a wired device connected to your router, either a player or bridge, that can then connect wireless Sonos's. That is, Sonos devices have their own network: what's with that?
  • 01-14-2013, 06:58 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    The Sonos looks good though its a bit up-market from the Squeezebox. Once you get up to the $400 level you're into computer territory.

    The basic "Connect" unit is $349.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    With the Sonos you apparently need a wired device connected to your router, either a player or bridge, that can then connect wireless Sonos's. That is, Sonos devices have their own network: what's with that?

    I don't get that impression. The "Connect", like the Touch, supports both wired and wireless connections. The "Bridge" is an optional extender.
  • 06-26-2013, 01:24 PM
    Unworthy
    Hi guys/gals, new member here who has been lurking for a while. Strictly an amateur at this stuff and not an audiophile by any measurement. Dusting off an old thread, but I think this is a fascinating subject and it would be interesting to see how the subject has evolved in 6 months. Also wanted to comment on the last post: I think that the Sonos Bridge is required unless you run an ethernet cable directly between the router and the Sonos Connect because of their proprietary wireless format. As was said before, "what's with that?"

    I'm wanting to evolve my basement stereo system from wireless router>laptop>DAC>receiver. Originally thought that the SB Touch was a beautiful solution, but don't really like investing in discontinued technology and would be perfectly happy with setting up something that works reasonably well and spend my time and effort on enjoying music. I already have an iPad and several other iDevices in the house that can serve as pretty elegant interfaces for playback, in fact I have used just the iPad headphone out>split RCA>receiver for a while and it worked pretty slick for Pandora, my favored internet choice. The laptop>DAC replaced this config primarily to implement my DAC of choice. Works great, but I would love to lose the tether of wires from the laptop>DAC.

    I like the idea of starting with what you have, but I don't have a old desktop that can re-purposed for playback and storage, so implementing new parts over time is my strategy. Right now the leading candidate for the first domino seems to be a new generation Bluray player like the Oppo and Cambridge Audio offerings, using the iPad as a wireless controller. In addition to excellent playback of any disc format ever imagined, they can also wirelessly stream from my home network. My digital music library at this time is almost exclusively mp3 files acquired, mostly through iTunes, for iDevices. If I ever decide to build a hi-rez library, a NAS device with (2) 1TB drives is only a few hundred dollars and getting cheaper every day, maybe even with solid state drives!

    So, anyway, I'm mostly curious to hear how others are intending to move forward (with or without a Squeezebox Touch). Trying to follow all of the developing technology, with its varied packaging of features, is dizzying.

    D