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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Christmas Gift Idea [Nov. 26th, 2004|06:20 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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If you have a geek friend, here's an xmas gift idea..

I love these things:

http://www.slimdevices.com/

I just bought a second one, as well as another power adapter, so I can have one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and wiring setup for one outside for the hot tub(without leaving it outside).

Reasons they rock:

-- server software runs on anything
-- server software Just Works and is damn intuitive
-- server software is Open Source, and Perl! (good for me)
-- open protocol, so TONS of clients for everything imaginable
-- multiple clients can sync and play the same stream, controlled by one server
-- "soft clients" so you can have squeezeboxes and computer synced, playing the same music
-- the company is generous: when they upgraded hardware models, they offered a kit for people to upgrade their old model's screen, not forcing them to buy the latest hardware
-- a ripping service -- how awesome is that?
-- The volume control goes up to 11.

I dunno, the list just goes on and on. I bought mine ages ago just upon hearing the software was Open Source and written in Perl. I didn't use it for awhile because I was swamped with work, but Dina's been complaining it's too hard to play music so I hooked it up again and setup the server so she can change music from her laptop and listen to it anywhere and now we're both loving it again.
LinkReply

Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 02:31 am (UTC)
Apples and oranges.

For playing music without TV display, the Slimp3 wins hands down. It also has digital audio outputs and is damn small.

For playing any video game ever made in two dozen emulators, the Xbox wins. (but it's huge, heavy, and loud)
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 02:55 am (UTC)
I have a modded Xbox, ya know...

It comes down to: I'm not going to lug an Xbox and a TV out to my hot tub, and I'm not going to listen to the Xbox's ginormous fan while I listen to music in the living room. Plus I don't want to turn my TV on and off to control it... (though I imagine there are remote network control interfaces for the xbox, but the size of the xbox alone kills it for me)

Oh, and the digital connections from the squeezebox to my receiver makes sure I don't get an annoying hum that seems to plague my rats nest of wires.

To complicate matters, I also have a Roku HD1000 which can play music (but best in connection with High-def slideshows) and stream video over the network.

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[User Picture]From: livejamie
2004-11-27 02:31 am (UTC)
they go for about a hundred dollars less on eBay.
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[User Picture]From: edm
2004-11-27 03:39 am (UTC)

Wireless model also allows wired connection?

In your self-apppointed role as marketeer for slimdevices (:-) ) perhaps you can answer a question for me: does the wireless model also have the Ethernet port on it?

It's not obvious to me from either the manual (http://www.slimdevices.com/documentation/Squeezebox-Owners-Guide.pdf) or from the "what's included" list (https://secure.slimdevices.com/order/index.cgi) whether the wireless model includes the ethernet port as well (but not the ethernet cable), or whether it's "wireless only" or "wired only". I want to plug it into an ethernet switch intially, but it seems rather lame to always have to drag an ethernet cable out to it when the wireless model is only about 30% more expensive, and cheaper than a separate access point to plug it into.

Thanks,

Ewen
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[User Picture]From: edm
2004-11-27 03:50 am (UTC)

Wireless model _does_ have Ethernet port

Wouldn't you know it. _After_ I give up and ask the question, I manage to find the answer:

http://www.slimdevices.com/su_faq.html#about-diffs

"What's the difference between Squeezebox Wired and Squeezebox Wireless?

Squeezebox Wired and Squeezebox Wireless share all the same features, including a built-in ethernet port. Squeezebox Wireless adds a built-in 802.11b wireless adaptor to connect to wireless networks."

Apologies for the noise.

Ewen
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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 04:36 am (UTC)

Re: Wireless model also allows wired connection?

In your self-apppointed role as marketeer for slimdevices (:-) )

Heh.

I just love the little thing... it's so cute!
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[User Picture]From: edm
2004-12-01 05:03 am (UTC)

Self-appointed marketeer

Wow - the volume really does go up to 11!

Now all I need is a receiver with digital inputs, and some decent speakers, and then the setup will be much less low-fi. (Bah, mains hum.)

Ewen

PS: You should ask for your sales commission :-)
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[User Picture]From: gaal
2004-11-27 06:16 am (UTC)
I wonder why they don't offer to rip to Ogg? Not dissing — I wish I'd had this service available to me when I'd ripped my collection — but they're in a neat position to push hardware support for it, so why not?

Maybe they just don't advertize it, but do do it if you ask.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 06:20 am (UTC)
Wouldn't surprise me.

I think it's cool they offer FLAC encoding.
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[User Picture]From: gaal
2004-11-27 12:32 pm (UTC)
Offering FLAC is a bit like the "CDROM to DVD backup agggregation" service that is bound to spring up in a few years as people realize their old burned media is starting to die (ever wonder what "short strategy type" meant?).

And thinking about FLAC, their ripping service sounds like very good business: the more people use it, the less actual ripping they need to employ, assuming they actually to rip everything to FLAC and store it on their system. They just read the id off your CD and give you the data, caching popular encoding choices.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 06:32 pm (UTC)
Except I doubt they do the caching to stay on the legal safe side.
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[User Picture]From: noogz
2004-11-27 06:50 am (UTC)
does it work like a mini radio, with its own sound output, or do you have to hook it into an existing stereo system?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 07:42 am (UTC)
It just has audio outputs, so you need an amp or something.
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From: kfringe
2004-11-27 11:25 am (UTC)
It also has digital out, which is damned handy if you want to pump the output through a decent dac. It pretty much eliminates cd transport jitter. Yes, you get convenience, but you also get a huge improvement in sound quality.

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[User Picture]From: crschmidt
2004-11-27 01:42 pm (UTC)
This basically ends up being the open source version of the Airport Express without USB, right? Drop the need for iTunes only, add in the fact that it's got a display and a bunch of extra features, and that's what it sounds like to me.

I'd been thinking about the airport express, but didn't like the closed source aspect, nor the iTunes only aspect (I've got a Mac now, but Jess and I are still on Linux a lot.)

Now, if only I could get one with bluetooth, and write a client for my phone... ;)
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[User Picture]From: mart
2004-11-27 02:17 pm (UTC)

These things seem to be the opposite of what I'd like. What I want is a single box which plays music and then clients to remote-control it like a jukebox. These things spread the audio and not the control, right?

Maybe it does both and I just need to read some more…

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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-27 06:31 pm (UTC)
They're dumb clients reporting everything to the server, so you can do anything.

The server lets you sync multiple clients (from a client), so then you can change music anywhere in the house and control my any node in that sync group controls all nodes.
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[User Picture]From: majestros
2004-11-28 02:01 am (UTC)
how do these things compare to the Roku soundbridges which can cost less (at least for the wireless versions) ?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2004-11-28 04:06 am (UTC)
No clue.... don't have one.

But given how cool Roku is as a company (the Roku HD1000 is all open-spec) I imagine they're about the same. But it seems the Squeezebox has a bigger community.
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