Wonder why they would discontinue something that apparently can be considered a success...
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A technical success maybe, but from a marketing standpoint it was a bomb. Too complicated for the masses I guess.
Hopefully continuing support for current owners will last for a few years.
The new Smart Radio has no digital out, mono, no support for random play, has to be connected to the internet.
Some interesting insight from some insiders on the slimdevices forums.
Are we jumping to a conclusion perhaps still regarding "SB is dead"?
It's not clear to me from anything I've read yet that the Squeezebox line is dead.
IT could just be a marketing refocus to make newer devices easier to use and more appealing to the masses.
As long as Logitech maintains compatibility between all their recent devices and the server, things should be OK and continue to improve over the long term.
I will not cry if they just offer a player with no DAC in that I and many who care use external DACs anyhow which is where most of the sound quality is determined.
It would not make sense to me for Logitech to kill off their current market while moving forward to gain new users.
ALso, the news releases on teh new products only indicate that these new products are targeting the mobile listener market mainly. THat makes sense from a marketing perspective to gain new users. There is nothing to indicate that home audio users will be ignored. THey are currently well covered by teh Squeeze devices.
Gaining a larger market shoudl be a good thing for Logitech that might help keep the entire line including products for home audio use more viable.
Just read the threads on the slimdevices forums. There are some great posts from current and former Logitech employees. The new system is incompatible with the SB Touch. Current SB Radios can be upgraded to the new system.
They are going in a completely different direction.
Current SB does not go through the internet for streaming files on a local server, the new system requires the internet.
No random play on the new system.
The current system will be supported for some time due to consumer protection laws.
The software side may be ok for a while longer due to an active community, but there is said to be no new hardware for the current system.
IF even possibly true I would suggest SB fans communicate their displeasure to Logitech.
I will try to read some more when I have time but for now will take any unofficial comments on forums with a grain of salt.
The home audio market is surely not a big target for anyone, but Logitech already has developed viable solutions for that. All they need do is make minimal investment to continue to support it moving forward as they try to broaden their market into mobile applications, which is clearly "where it is at" these days.
If they do not, I would be willing to bet that some savy home audio company, perhaps even one that is popular on a site like this, snatches up the SB technology rights to continue to move forward.
If that does not happen at a minimum, it will be sad day for the future of home audio. CD players and turntables just will not cut it alone anymore these days.
You've said it well, Mapman.
In the end, with all the continued speculation about Logitech's direction, my next iteration of a front end will be a Mac, USB out to my external DAC. I'm tired of guessing and stressing.
I feared this would happen when Sean got greedy and sold. A profound shame in the history of the evolution of digital home audio.
As a 25+ year computer systems and development professional, an audiophile, and a music lover, I strongly believe that the SB system, while not perfect, is too good of a thing to go by the wayside. Someone will recognize the value and choose to invest, if not Logitech. If not, something else similar will take its place.
As long as I do not have to spend time rebuilding my music library down the road to use it, I will be happy. I have taken some precautions to avoid that. We'll see...
My experience as a customer with Logitech was as follows: the tech people in the trenches were great. The management and corporate people are the most unresponsive I've ever seen. Their customer service and communication policies created new enemies every day. They're about as bad as the tv cable companies during the 90's. I can say, without fear of future contradiction, that the people who run Logitech do not care in the least what any of us think. To this day, the devices cannot consistently and reliably run streaming services like Pandora and MOG as advertised because corporate will not allow appropriate fixes to be made. It really is a shame because, when the devices worked, they were wonderful.
BTW, you cannot speak to anyone in charge at Logitech corporate headquarters because they don't answer any of their listed numbers nor do they return any calls. Logitech is the very model of a major modern mess of a business. I feel sorry for stockholders.
By eliminating digital outputs on their new line, they've lost me for good. I guess Sonos is in my future.
One other thing worth mentioning is that I think the Squeezebox/Logitech MEdia Server software itself has accumulated a lot of baggage and complexity over the years as the related technologies has evolved. I have noticed the pace of automated software updates to have slowed in recent months and have not seen a new one in a few months. The time might be right for Logitech to take a fresh start with the server software regardless of what devices are offered. Once/if they do, I would be very surprised if the more recent Squeeze devices would not be supported, although I expect the main focus would be to support the newer devices that are current or planned for the future, which I would hope to include an even better SB TOuch-like device. A DAC less such device would seem like a no brainer. Even lower cost than Touch perhaps + audiophiles probably want to use their own favorite DAC and resulting sound anyhow.
Haven't used it, but I prefer the philosophy behind the squeeze model in which I can integrate with my dac, amp, etc. the original sonos I don't think was able to, not sure about current models. Also, the squeeze line was all about audiophile quality, not sure the sonos really had as much focus on that.
My next move will be to computer integrated USB based. I also don't believe in all in one units.
I'm expecting my (five) Squeezebox devices to continue making music for years to come, with the large Squeezebox developer community collaborating to ensure LMS/Squeezebox Server software remains viable (at least for local streaming). Whether Pandora, RadioIO, or other streaming internet radio stations continue functioning remains to be seen. In fact, I just ordered a "backup" Touch.