Live365 on internet radio devices - but not the SoundBridge

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Live365 on internet radio devices - but not the SoundBridge

Postby dupondt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:01 am

While for many months Roku have not bothered to enhance the user experience of SoundBridge owners, others have now accomplished what has been asked over and over again in these forums: http://corporate.reciva.com/pages/111.

Greetings
dupondt
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Postby FrankB » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:37 am

Thanks for the link, I went to it and tried to find what device was so great that could potentially replace my awesome Soundbridges. But they aren't there. You pointed to an internet radio directory. Now this in itself is nice of you because I may be able to find some new streams that I wasn't aware of. This in fact has been happening since I started moderating on RadioRoku and both my wife and I have found some nice new stations.

But anyway, back to the task at hand, internet radio stand alone devices that might be better than the Soundbridge....

Some googling turned up this page http://logikir100.tripod.com/recivamodels.htm. Boy are they ugly, maybe I'm just spoiled from how gorgeous my VFDs are, but seriously, none on that page looked nicer, before I even started to compare capabilities, and most of them were either discontinued or never launched!

Anyway, if you can point to a better Soundbridge replacement with the following qualities (and I know they may be specific to me), please do:
- UPnP client
- Plays Internet Radio (mp3, aac, wma nice to have)
- Open network control protocol (so I can control it with my itouch/N810/PocketPC - some kind of remote, hopefully commodity)
- Itunes client a bonus
- Polished (I've used several UPnP media streamers and none have worked as well as the Soundbridge - no reboots (I do reboot the SBs occasionally due to the time bug))

thanks,
Frank
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Postby dupondt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:40 am

Frank,

I didn't post the above information to start a discussion on internet radio devices. My intention was to illustrate what Roku could have achieved with both the SoundBridges and Radio Roku had they followed only the most important of the countless suggestions both alanmc and myself sent them over the past two years.

Anyway, here are some comments to your post.

You pointed to an internet radio directory.

No, I posted a link to a press release.

Now this in itself is nice of you because I may be able to find some new streams that I wasn't aware of.

Beware! The Reciva database might appear to be in a much better shape than Radio Roku (where approx. 30 percent of the stations do not work), but it has quite a few disadvantages, too (loads of duplicates, triplicates and quadruplicates, for example).

if you can point to a better Soundbridge replacement

You can't seriously compare the SoundBridges with Reciva based radios, because

a) with the exception of the R1000, the SoundBridges aren't "stand-alone" devices, as you have to connect them to a stereo or amplified speakers, whereas most of the Reciva based devices come with built-in speakers, look like kitchen or bedside radios and work like kitchen or bedside radios;

b) the SoundBridges were designed to stream local content and offer internet radio as a bonus, Reciva based devices by design are internet radios which offer local media streaming (either via UPnP or directly from a shared directory) as a bonus.

c) the SoundBridge is EOL, Reciva based radios are still on the market (as are some other devices, for example Frontier Silicon based radios) and their users benefit from active product and firmware development.

Itunes client a bonus

You won't find that on the market, as Apple do no longer license their protocol to third parties.

Greetings
dupondt
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Postby FrankB » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:52 am

dupondt wrote:
You pointed to an internet radio directory.

No, I posted a link to a press release.


Yep, totally my bad, I got ahead of myself. I jumped from the press release to what the press release was referring to.

dupondt wrote:
Now this in itself is nice of you because I may be able to find some new streams that I wasn't aware of.

Beware! The Reciva database might appear to be in a much better shape than Radio Roku (where approx. 30 percent of the stations do not work), but it has quite a few disadvantages, too (loads of duplicates, triplicates and quadruplicates, for example).


Actually what I found is that I didn't care for the Genre breakdown, without even delving into the quality of the streams. Rock for example is too broad to be useful in my opinion.

dupondt wrote:
if you can point to a better Soundbridge replacement

You can't seriously compare the SoundBridges with Reciva based radios, because

a) with the exception of the R1000, the SoundBridges aren't "stand-alone" devices, as you have to connect them to a stereo or amplified speakers, whereas most of the Reciva based devices come with built-in speakers, look like kitchen or bedside radios and work like kitchen or bedside radios;

b) the SoundBridges were designed to stream local content and offer internet radio as a bonus, Reciva based devices by design are internet radios which offer local media streaming (either via UPnP or directly from a shared directory) as a bonus.

c) the SoundBridge is EOL, Reciva based radios are still on the market (as are some other devices, for example Frontier Silicon based radios) and their users benefit from active product and firmware development.


I didn't know enough about Reciva based systems to realize that. But based on the number of discontinued Reciva systems on the page I found, it looks like they are EOLed as well with a good frequency.

dupondt wrote:
Itunes client a bonus

You won't find that on the market, as Apple do no longer license their protocol to third parties.


Apple is probably quite pleased that Soundbridges are EOL.

Frank
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Postby jdc1947 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:42 am

@ FrankB

With due respect to you as a volunteer moderator, as mentioned by 'dupondt' earlier in this thread, and from what I have estimated there now appears to be several thousand stations within the database that no longer play.

And given the fact that many of the widgets listed on Radio Roku's Home Page have not worked for at least 18 months, and that Roku's own staff have failed to fix any of the reported bugs, which IMO sadly indicates their complete lack of interest in Radio Roku, how are you going to persuade them to resolve this situation, for I'm of the opinion that the software requires a total rewrite.

You are a braver man than me, I really hope they are paying you enough :wink:
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Postby dupondt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:25 pm

Frank,

But based on the number of discontinued Reciva systems on the page I found, it looks like they are EOLed as well with a good frequency.

Unlike Roku, Reciva do not manufacture and sell internet radio devices, but produce two modules ("Barracuda" and "Stingray") which they sell to manufacturers who then produce the radios. In addition to that Reciva provide the content (the station database).

This leads to a variety of products from rather simple kitchen radios (Grace IR-1000 or Sanyo R227) to quality stereo radios (Sangean WFR-20) to high end audio components (Sonneteer Morpheus) and many more devices.

As you can see on the Grace product page, Reciva have integrated Pandora, Aupeo, Sirius, MP3Tunes and Live365 as well as CBS Radio. They also cooperate with Clear Channel.

Just imagine what a fantastic internet radio product the SoundBridge would be if only Roku had put a little bit of effort into it.

Greetings
dupondt

PS: Of course there's also something called the Squeezebox...
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Postby FrankB » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:38 pm

Hi,

I probably just have a different perspective. The non working widgets don't bother my enjoyment of my Soundbridges one bit. I'm sure you could identify the specific shortcomings and I could probably search them out on the forum threads but I really don't care. As it stands, I can search stations, I can save them to my favorites, and I can correct station streams. I'm good. Low expectations? Maybe so.

And honestly, persuading them to resolve this situation will come down to the money. Sales of product attract attention. If there was a business case, the most problematic issues would be corrected. But face it, we are a niche audience. How many people "get" Soundbridges? How do you explain to them the liberation of having ALL of your music available at any place in your house? I have a technical background and didn't really envision the ways my music listening would change.

Frank

jdc1947 wrote:@ FrankB

With due respect to you as a volunteer moderator, as mentioned by 'dupondt' earlier in this thread, and from what I have estimated there now appears to be several thousand stations within the database that no longer play.

And given the fact that many of the widgets listed on Radio Roku's Home Page have not worked for at least 18 months, and that Roku's own staff have failed to fix any of the reported bugs, which IMO sadly indicates their complete lack of interest in Radio Roku, how are you going to persuade them to resolve this situation, for I'm of the opinion that the software requires a total rewrite.

You are a braver man than me, I really hope they are paying you enough :wink:
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Postby FrankB » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:49 pm

Hi dupondt

And Roku produced a module as well that could be embedded into other's products. It's not obvious that this product succeeded in the marketplace.

My point is that Reciva didn't unlock the secret of successful products either. There were so many units that were discontinued, that their content partnerships did not save them.

I'm certainly not advocating that having more options would not be better. It's just that the option has to be considered from the effort to provide the additional option versus the additional customers gained. It's hard to point to a single feature that would result in opening a new market for digital media players.

For example, you like Pandora, I like last.fm. I would bet the relative difficulty in adding support for each would be similar. But either one has just a fraction of the overall market.

I hold that Roku put a lot a bit of effort into it and it paid off.

I respect Squeezebox, I just can't get over the fact that they are isolated in regards to protocol. Besides PC and Squeezeboxes, anything else speak their language? With UPnP, my Soundbridges, my OmniFi DMS1s, my Nokia Internet tablets and other devices can share the same music server. I suppose you could say Soundbridges support slimserver. :)

Frank

dupondt wrote:Frank,

But based on the number of discontinued Reciva systems on the page I found, it looks like they are EOLed as well with a good frequency.

Unlike Roku, Reciva do not manufacture and sell internet radio devices, but produce two modules ("Barracuda" and "Stingray") which they sell to manufacturers who then produce the radios. In addition to that Reciva provide the content (the station database).

This leads to a variety of products from rather simple kitchen radios (Grace IR-1000 or Sanyo R227) to quality stereo radios (Sangean WFR-20) to high end audio components (Sonneteer Morpheus) and many more devices.

As you can see on the Grace product page, Reciva have integrated Pandora, Aupeo, Sirius, MP3Tunes and Live365 as well as CBS Radio. They also cooperate with Clear Channel.

Just imagine what a fantastic internet radio product the SoundBridge would be if only Roku had put a little bit of effort into it.

Greetings
dupondt

PS: Of course there's also something called the Squeezebox...
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Postby dupondt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:16 pm

Frank,
I hold that Roku put a lot a bit of effort into it and it paid off.

According to Anthony Wood, it didn't: "But the unfortunate truth is that we have never made money on SoundBridge and continue to loose money on it." (please see his entire post for further details). If you believe that or not, of course, is your own choice.

Besides PC and Squeezeboxes, anything else speak their language?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to play internet radio stations the Squeezebox does not need to communicate with a PC (we're discussing internet radio in this thread). Logitech cooperate with Radiotime and a few other services like last.fm or Slacker.

I suppose you could say Soundbridges support slimserver. :)

None of my six SoundBridges ever used that type of server, they're happily connecting to Firefly and Twonky and never missed a beat.

Greetings
dupondt
Roku SoundBridge R1000, M1001 and M1000 • Pinnacle SoundBridge HomeMusic • DNT IP-dio • Clint L1 • Roku XD
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Postby FrankB » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:35 pm

dupondt wrote:Frank,
I hold that Roku put a lot a bit of effort into it and it paid off.

According to Anthony Wood, it didn't: "But the unfortunate truth is that we have never made money on SoundBridge and continue to loose money on it." (please see his entire post for further details). If you believe that or not, of course, is your own choice.


Sorry, I meant that it paid off in a fine product, financials aside. I'm usually in the minority on products I like though.

dupondt wrote:
Besides PC and Squeezeboxes, anything else speak their language?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to play internet radio stations the Squeezebox does not need to communicate with a PC (we're discussing internet radio in this thread). Logitech cooperate with Radiotime and a few other services like last.fm or Slacker.


While it's certainly true that Squeezboxes can play on their own (kind of, I bet they still rely on a server provided by SlimDevices) without a PC, my point is that no other devices will play from a Slimserver, unlike UPnP. That's what keeps me from Squeezeboxes.

Frank
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Postby Paul Webster » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:40 pm

FrankB wrote:
While it's certainly true that Squeezboxes can play on their own (kind of, I bet they still rely on a server provided by SlimDevices) without a PC, my point is that no other devices will play from a Slimserver, unlike UPnP. That's what keeps me from Squeezeboxes.


However, Squeezebox via the multi-platform SqueezeCenter (or whatever they call it next) can play from UPnP source.
There is also a 3rd-party tool called Whitebear that is attempting to work the other way around - allowing UPnP devices to see SqueezeCenter as a UPnP server.
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Postby FrankB » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:17 am

Thanks Paul, that's good information. I looked up Whitebear and that's a good start. It's Windows only at the moment so it rules NAS type solutions out. But if Windows is available, that's a nice addition.

Frank

Paul Webster wrote:However, Squeezebox via the multi-platform SqueezeCenter (or whatever they call it next) can play from UPnP source.
There is also a 3rd-party tool called Whitebear that is attempting to work the other way around - allowing UPnP devices to see SqueezeCenter as a UPnP server.
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