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RIP Squeezebox

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by Autopilot, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    So the Squeezebox line is all but officially done.

    The SB Radio hardware is being rebranded Ultimate Ears, but the firmware is dumbed down and very different (won't sync, connect to LMS etc).

    A sad day for streaming device and Squeezebox fans.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. audioenthusiast

    audioenthusiast Active Member

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    Where's this info coming from? Is there a press release/link you've got?
    I'm an avid squeezebox user, and yes this saddens me. Except for the concept of a lot of end-of-line gear going cheap...


    And is there anything similar on the market? Something that runs a server on your NAS, and has good streamers to connect to a quality hi-fi, like the Touch, and which can be synced with other rooms? Sonos seems to lean too much towards all-in-one units.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  3. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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  4. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda Active Member

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    So what does this mean for existing SB's? Will they stop being supported or server softeware updated?
  5. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Kind of ironic Logitech kills the product the same day that leaks of Apple Airplay 'direct' matching Sonos' cabability appear.
  6. Hem

    Hem Member

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    I did wonder when I saw the email regarding the new line of Logitech audio products, then stumbled across the pink fish media thread on the subject. A very sad day if true, the squeezebox touch is the one component in my system I'm most happy with and have no intention of replacing any time soon.

    Might be time to pick up a second touch as a backup?
  7. graham.myers

    graham.myers Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    I've posted a couple of photos on my blog of the SB Radio's new UE branding. It was only a quick walkby so I didnt get to play.
  8. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Active Member

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    Try searching for Squeezebox on the Logitech web site, and then clicking on the result for the Touch. It takes to the new UE radio page!! Very sad, and narrow minded I feel.
  9. lmccauley

    lmccauley Active Member

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    Argh! I was just looking to buy another SB Radio, and probably a Touch. I googled to see if there was any information about a new version of the Touch, and discovered that Logitech are dropping the SB idea.

    I'm right in the middle of re-ripping all my CDs as FLAC onto my home server, and was going to use SB as my music playing solution. There doesn't seem to be anything else in the same price bracket, so I guess I'll wait to see if they get sold off cheap.
  10. stevedster

    stevedster Member

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    This is a sad day indeed, what alternatives are there apart from the much more expensive Sonos?

    Why on earth has the management at Logitech made this decision, they have a large community base and an industry leading product which only really needed a minimal refresh, OLED screens etc. Seems a very shortsighted descision... not logical from Logitech !!
  11. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley AVF Reviewer

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    Sadly, I think this is a reality check for this industry, how small it really is. The Squeezebox Touch is one of the most numerous streamers out there but for Logitech was probably less profitable (and with more support costs) than force feedback steering wheels.
  12. HeadBanger

    HeadBanger Member

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    There's certainly a market for dedicated music streamers. Logitech's downfall with the Squeezebox was their lack of marketing. For example, I have never seen an advert for the SB Touch nor a proper display / demo in any retailer that I've visited. It's criminal that they had such a good product and failed to market it properly. I just hope that UE (the Logitech division that have re-branded the SB Radio) wake up to this and eventually ofer something Squeezebox like in the near future.
  13. stevedster

    stevedster Member

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    Whilst I understand what you are saying this decision is a classic example of a marketing team for a large company not knowing what they really had, so if such a small market then Sonos must be next to go to the wall!! Without such systems we will all go backwards, ****** iPod docks and individual internet radios , sad and angry, just like the entire SB community
  14. stevedster

    stevedster Member

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    For those that have not read this, here is a view from the inside (one of the development team)... just backs up how Logitech have mismanaged a great product, they did not know what they had and misinformed marketing management killed this great product line and brand (I work for a large US manufacturing company so I know exactly how marketing rule the roost often make big mistakes, not fully understanding products or consumers etc).... anyway here it is...

    ------------------------
    This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper



    hi all-

    Before I say anything I want to thank Michael for his openness and candor on this thread. You rock Michael. But you should rename the thread to "New Not Squeezebox Radio"

    It's been ages since I've posted here. I had to reset my password because it was 297 days old. When I left Logitech in June 2011 I had benevolent plans of doing 3rd party development, particularly on the Squeezeplay side, but it turned out I couldn't do it. The honest truth is because it was too painful after what I'd gone through with Squeezebox.

    The beginning of the end for Squeezebox happened in Fall 2009. We had released Squeezebox Radio after what I can only describe as a grueling march. It was the hardest I've ever worked on a tech project. I was willing to put in that effort because I believed very strongly in the squeezebox line, and that Radio was going to be the first product to really seriously put us on the map, with Touch soon to follow. Unbeknownst to all of us doing that work in the trenches though, there was a plan already in the works that summer to shut everything down, and poach everyone for work on what eventually became Logitech Revue, the Google TV boat anchor that Logitech over-invested in.

    So, Radio gets released, and sure enough a month or so later we get called into a meeting and told that the Mountain View office was being closed. Squeezebox was going to be pushed over to another business unit along with some of the employees, but a very high percentage of the software team was being redirected to work on Google TV. After about 10 days of being part of this GoogleTV team, the numbers started rolling in for Squeezebox Radio and it was selling far beyond expectations. Scrambling, they sent several of us back to working on Squeezebox. I was one of them, and was really relieved because from the get-go I didn't believe in Google TV (this doesn't make me Nostradamus; this was the general consensus of every engineer from the old Squeezebox team). However, it was difficult to imagine how things were going to move forward in the absence of people like Richard (squeezeplay/squeezeos architect), Tom (low level squeezeplay UI and monkey wrench programmer), and Caleb (acoustic genius), who stayed with GoogleTV.

    But, as former SlimDevices CTO Dean liked to quote "the graveyards are full of people the world could not live without", so I thought hey, maybe we find a way to move things forward. Michael and Felix will fill in some gaps, Andy's still here, and maybe we'll get a quality hire or two.

    Sadly, we moved into a business unit that could not have been more the polar opposite of how we did things in Mountain View. Incredible politics and bureaucracy ruled there, and thus began the long trend downward for Squeezebox. I'm sure the paper pushers from that period would speak of how they "turned squeezebox around", but the principal reason the dollars went from red to black during that time was because of the market validation (with practically zero actual marketing, I might add) of Squeezebox Radio, and to a lesser extent Squeezebox Touch (still IMO the best Squeezebox ever, but more of a niche product compared to Radio; nevertheless, it also blew expectations out the window and they had to scramble to make more). In that time with that group, we brought to market exactly zero new hardware products. We'd work on something for months, then get it unceremoniously cancelled. Lather, rinse, repeat. Some of these products were clearly wrong turns. Others were clearly going to sell like crazy. Not one thing made it to the point of building a prototype. The only significant contribution from that 1.5-2 year period was the squeezebox mobile app, which Michael (and to a lesser extent, Felix and I) did a really nice job with.

    After Squeezebox was wiped from the roadmap for about the Nth time in 2011, I got out. Logitech was why I got to work full-time on Squeezebox in the first place, but (for me) they'd destroyed everything that was there that made me want to be there in the first place. Worse (for me) yet, they didn't destroy it quickly, but slowly and painfully. As I would tell Steven (another ex-Squeezebox employee), "it's like they shot my dog but then made me live with it for two years. It's like, yes that's my dog, but EWW".

    After my departure, there was a brief light of hope when the almost-no-heartbeat Squeezebox product line was shifted to another business group, run mostly by the Ultimate Ears folks (headphone company, another Logitech acquisition). Squeezebox alive again?? Turns out, not so much.

    So, after almost exactly 3 years since Squeezebox Radio was released, we have the Ultimate Ears Smart Radio by Logitech (catchy, huh? good god). I view this product as:
    1. First and foremost, a rebranding project and little more
    2. UX changes to fit whatever the marketing department of the month thinks is important
    3. An explicit severing of ties from the "legacy" squeezeboxes

    The product itself...man, it's so notable in how not notable it is. There isn't one new "wow" thing this has over the 3-year-old SB Radio. And it's hitting the market at US$179 MSRP. Ouch. Good luck with that, UE.

    I write all of this history here because, again for me, this is the final chapter where I can close the book. At times, working on squeezebox was the best job I ever had. It was certainly the one I was most passionate about. In the later stages, it became impossibly frustrating and untenable.

    I continue to extend good wishes to my past co-workers who are still doing their best to deliver innovative products. Maybe something good will eventually be released (because this isn't it). It just won't be a squeezebox.

    Squeezebox is dead, long live Squeezebox.

    cheers,
    #!/ben
    --------------------------
  15. davepuma

    davepuma Well-Known Member

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    Funnily enough I've been reading about this over in the slim devices forums. Hopefully my two squeezeboxes will last for a while yet. They have transformed the way I have listened to music and for that Thank You Logitech (slim) !!
  16. socistep

    socistep Member

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    Hi all

    I'm also frustrated by this decision, I was hoping for a refresh of the product line (touch 2 etc.) and generally that logitech would start marketing the products more however didn't expect the simplifying/rebranding approach that seems to cut ties with the legacy users.

    Part of me agrees that the line needed simplifying for the mass market but a way of running old and new would have helped.

    For me there is no impact in the medium term unless devices fail and I continue to enjoy listening to multi room music on my SB players.

    Ian
  17. calligaro

    calligaro Member

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    Thanks for the insightful look through post
  18. Timmy C

    Timmy C Active Member

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    Well this is a real shame. Guess I might not be selling off of my spare Squeezeboxes now after all. I currently run 2 classics, a Duet, Boom and Radio and love all of them. Got a spare Duet and Touch for a rainy day too!
  19. peepingtom

    peepingtom Member

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    This is sad indeed. I have the radio, boom, and 2 touch's and use them all daily.

    I don't know if it affects current devices for me, as I don't really use any of the custom stuff. Just listen to radio, and stream from PC.

    I would have liked to see SB touch integrated with video streaming, and a web browser. Ah well.
  20. Maxson

    Maxson Member

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    In one of those threads I read that the touch sold much better than they expected so it would seem likely they will come up with a similar new product.
  21. stevedster

    stevedster Member

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    From what I understand both the Touch and Radio smashed their sales targets... so it baffles me why they would dump this brand / system. Poor marketing decision IMO, the UE radio will not sell as much as a SB Radio no matter what marketing manager with their own agenda tries to tell me. They had probably the most respected brand in the audio streaming sector and erm threw it away.
  22. ozbrit

    ozbrit Member

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    I also 'had' a squeezebox, mine was the classic 3. It was mostly used for listening to internet radio streams through a home receiver and speakers. The great looks, display and internal dac were quality. For me the downside was the squeezebox's inability to receive and decode AAC+ streams. You could do this via their software but to do that you'd have to leave a computer on with the slimserver software open, which imo defeats the Internet radio concept.

    Yeah a nearly perfect product. Now I'm able to do the same things with a £70 android streamer (Blue times) purchased off eBay, only drawback being we do need the TV on when we navigate around the menu or to change stations. But added bonus is to download virtually all the apps available at Google Play.

    As peepingtom said in his post a few days again, they could have included video streaming and a web browser in a future generation SB, like with my Android streamer does.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  23. delback

    delback Member

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    The Squeezebox concept was, and always should have been, a niche product. Slim Devices as a company was small enough to live off that. But once Logitech dangled a bag full of cash in front of Sean & Dean, the writing was on the wall. You can't blame Sean & Dean for taking the money - I would have done exactly the same thing. But I bet that they both knew in their hearts that Logitech was the wrong company to take over the line. It was inevitable that they would need to dumb it down for the mass market that their sales targets would have to win over. I really don't believe that Logitech ever actually understood the Slim Devices vision.

    There is still a small market need for a dedicated high quality music streamer that hooks into a good stereo system and has nice navigation capabilities without the need for a TV to be turned on to control it. My next project will be to try and build a DIY Squeezebox with a Raspberry Pi using SqueezePlay or SqueezeSlave, driving a USB DAC to achieve good sound quality. I suspect the biggest challenge will be getting multiplayer sync working. If I succeed, then I'll make the boot image available so anyone can download it onto an SD card and turn a RasPi into a cheap SB player. If I fail, someone else will succeed. The Squeezebox ecosystem will survive, although probably without the mysqueezebox.com services.
  24. Danfan

    Danfan Member

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    This is sad new indeed! I have a LMS on a QNAP running off a FLAC repository of music. A duet and a radio works as players. Great echosystem which needs to be preserved. Will be doing a great job as long as it works even without mysqueezebox.com. Is the SW fenced with patents?
  25. Emanef

    Emanef Member

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    So has anyone seen any Squeezebox Radio's being sold cheaply in the UK? I want to pick one up to go with my two Touch's before they're all gone!
  26. juggler

    juggler Member

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    The first practical sign that the LMS system is being cast adrift? Logitech's own Squeezebox app no longer works on iOS6. iPeng and the others all seem fine, btw.
  27. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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  28. juggler

    juggler Member

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    Yes.. though developers of other apps seem to have found and published workarounds already.

    Very pleased to hear it.
  29. PatrickVogeli

    PatrickVogeli Member

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    I think a good alternative, and way cheaper, would be the Rapsberry Pi. Raspberry Pi + XBMC + XBMC remote app for Iphone/Ipad or Android... that could be a winner combo!

    The downside is that the raspberry pi audio output is HDMI or the normal stereo jack. An optical output would it make a great device.. If you have an AVR or whatever with HDMI then it's perfect, but if not... an optical audio output would be the key!
  30. ayggp

    ayggp Member

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    Is it still worth buying a Squeezebox Touch? (The Sonos is too expensive) Is there anything else out there that does a similar job at the same price or should I buy a Touch whilst there still available? Thanks

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