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RokuMike

SoundBridge 3.0 and Radio Roku have been released!

Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:31 pm

Greetings,

We're very pleased indeed today to announce the final release of SoundBridge Software 3.0, with version 3.0.44. Special thanks is due to those users who have generously contributed their time in beta testing both 3.0 and the Radio Roku site.

Version 3.0 is a major update in how SoundBridge products browse and play Internet radio stations, and is designed to work with Roku's new Internet radio directory service, Radio Roku. ( http://www.radioroku.com )

Radio Roku is an online directory of Internet radio stations, featuring over 3,000 stations from all over the world, in many different styles. The web site features a user-customizable "widget dashboard" that offers features like browsing, searching, live updates of content available on Internet stations, and the ability to control the SoundBridge players on your home network.

On the SoundBridge, you'll notice some great new features as well. First and most obviously, when you choose the menu option to "Play Internet Radio", you'll be able to browse and search the complete Radio Roku database. Unlike the previous Internet station listings in earlier versions, this database is accessed live over the Internet, and is updated to provide current, high-quality streaming URLs for the stations listed. You can also search for stations by name or description. And, you can mark stations as Favorites for easy access (more about Favorites below).

About Presets and Favorites
SoundBridge software 3.0 contains two features to make it easy to quickly play your favorite content. It's important to understand what these two features do, in order to get the most from your listening experience.

Presets
Presets were first introduced in SoundBridge 2.5, and they're a great way to quickly play any of your favorite content. Each of the 18 Preset locations on the SoundBridge can contain essentially any content that you can navigate to on your SoundBridge and play by pressing the Play key. In other words, a Preset can be an Internet radio station, an album in your PC/Mac library, a playlist, all tracks by a particular artist, even an entire genre. On music servers that support searching, you can even save the results of a search as a Preset! About the only thing that you can't save as a Preset is a list of songs that you've built up by browsing around your library and using the "Add" features on the SoundBridge.

Favorite stations
Favorite stations are a feature that is specific to Internet radio. In SoundBridge 3.0, the Favorites feature has been completely re-written to take advantage of the power of Radio Roku. You can mark as many stations as Favorites as you want. They show up on your SoundBridge in the "My Favorites" menu in the Internet Radio feature.

What's more, since Favorites are now stored on the Radio Roku server, the same list of favorite stations appears when you use the Radio Roku web site, and also on all of your SoundBridge units. Changes made on the web site show up on all of your SoundBridges, and changes made on one SoundBridge show up on the others, and on the web.

How to get 3.0
If your SoundBridge is running software version 2.5 or later, it will automatically offer the update to you when waking up from Standby, or when changing libraries. Or, you may manually check for updates in the System Configuration menu.

Please note that units running 2.5 will need to update first to 2.7, before updating to 3.0.

Please also note that when first booting into 3.0, you will be asked to select the country where the unit is being used. This information is used to provide tailored station listings when browsing Radio Roku.


New features in 3.0
  • Complete integration with Radio Roku
  • Improved "Favorites" functionality, with distinctive icons for favorite stations.
  • New "Refine this List" functionality when browsing Internet stations allows browsing by multiple criteria. For example, browse by genre. Then, in the resulting list of stations, go up one line to reveal the "Refine this List" option, where you can additionally add a "Language" term, and so forth.
  • When saving an Internet station chosen from browse menus as a Preset, the station's information is now saved in such a way that the SoundBridge will always get the most-current streaming URLs for the station when it is played.
  • When playing an Internet radio Preset, the Song Queue is automatically populated with your other Internet radio Presets, so the Next/Prev or up/down buttons will allow you to cycle through your Internet Presets.
  • Changes to the initial setup process to include a complete ISO-compliant list of countries. This information is sent to Radio Roku to allow station lists to be geographically tailored.
  • On new or reset units, initial Internet radio Presets are fetched from Radio Roku so they are always current.
  • Improvements to the shuffle feature
  • A Settings menu option to adjust how the elapsed time indicator is displayed. Options include:
    • "hide automatically", which is the same as the 3.0.27 behavior
    • "always show", which leaves the indicator on at all times, even on Internet Radio and when the font is set to the largest size
    • "never show", which turns the indicator off at all times.
    These options can be found in the "Settings" menu that is available when you are connected to a server (this is the same menu where you find other display options, like the visualizer choices). Please note that this feature does not apply to SoundBridge HomeMusic models, which use a different display layout.
  • Improved the display of Internet radio metadata from some stations.
  • Altered the SoundBridge HomeMusic display dimming behavior. The display now remains at the user's selected brightness while music is playing. When idle, the display will dim to a slightly higher dimming setting. For HomeMusic users who were seeing the display turn off completely, the display should now remain on, but dim.
  • Numerous RCP enhancements requested by some of our RCP developers, including the ability to get the name, type and search/browse capabilities of the current server, the ability to get and set the power state of the unit, the ability to sort list results in various ways, and full support of the new browsing options for the expanded Internet radio feature (like ability to browse stations by country or language, fetch favorites, etc).
  • Preliminary support for aacPlus Internet radio stations. This feature works on most SoundBridge units, but some older units do not reliably play aacPlus stations. We hope to improve this support in the future. On units that are unable to play aacPlus reliably, aacPlus streams will not be offered when browsing Radio Roku.
  • Improved support for AIFF files streamed by some versions of TwonkyVision
  • Improved compatibility with certain WMA radio stations.
  • Added numerous RCP commands requested by third-party developers.
  • Fixed a problem that prevented the Now Playing screen's menu from opening if the Song Queue was empty

Bugs fixed in 3.0
  • Fixed a problem that could cause a failure to play one Internet radio station to lead to playback of the next station in the list. Now the unit will properly re-try the selected station.
  • Fixed a problem with the volume control on SoundBridge Radio that caused the speakers to still play at very low volume when "0" volume was selected
  • Fixed an RCP bug that could cause RCP to get into a bad state where a reboot was the only way out
  • Fixed a problem that prevented the check mark on "Pass Multichannel" from being properly initialized
  • Fixed a problem that could cause UPnP discovery of the SoundBridge to fail.
  • Fixed a problem that could prevent some WMA stations from playing.
  • Improved support for browsing the built-in SoundBridge web pages from IE7 on Vista
  • Fixed a drawing problem on the Software Upgrade confirmation screen
  • Fixed a confusing message when returning from Standby on certain Internet radio stations
  • Ensure that the "Stop" menu item is available when attempting to play an Internet radio station that has not yet started playback.
  • Various other "under the hood" fixes and improvements

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