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Guest batman

squeezebox : pandering to modern day needs?

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so now i,m in the market for a new source . i have been trawling through some old threads and came across the squeezbox one in the reviews section . got me thinking ,sound s pretty good , all my tracks at the touch of a button . however the more i,ve thought about it , is it not a sign of everyday life that we need everything NOW , right away . playing only our favourite tracks , would we then never discover new music or those sleeper songs on cd,s that we don,t really get on the first couple of listens . its the ipod generations home system , singles, only never sitting through a song that doesn,t instantly stand out or grab our attention .. i can see the benefits , but i,m scared it would just narrow my listening to convenient bite size chunks of music .. discuss....

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batman wrote:

so now i,m in the market for a new source . i have been trawling through some old threads and came across the squeezbox one in the reviews section . got me thinking ,sound s pretty good , all my tracks at the touch of a button . however the more i,ve thought about it , is it not a sign of everyday life that we need everything NOW , right away . playing only our favourite tracks , would we then never discover new music or those sleeper songs on cd,s that we don,t really get on the first couple of listens . its the ipod generations home system , singles, only never sitting through a song that doesn,t instantly stand out or grab our attention .. i can see the benefits , but i,m scared it would just narrow my listening to convenient bite size chunks of music .. discuss....

I’ve had exactly the opposite experience; I now listen to, and buy more music from a wider range of genres and artists than I’ve ever done before as a consequence of getting an SB3 and then a Transporter.

Ripping my CD’s was a laborious, frustrating and a time consuming process, three months :shock:but since initially buying the SB3 I’ve had not regretted doing so for one minute.

It’s the future :cool:IMO :D

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I've had a Roku for a good few years now (similar thing to the squeezebox) and going through my x-dac etc doesn't sound too bad at all, but to be honest when it comes to listening to an album you have on CD, by the time you've gone through the menu system to get to something you want to listen to, you could have gone through your CD racks and found something just as easily. It was quite a novelty to begin with, not having to leave the chair to find something else to play, but I don't really bother any more - can't remember the last time I downloaded an album on to my computer to be honest.

Where it is really useful for me is the radio side of it, I listen to loads of internet radio stations using it and have come across quite a lot of new (to me) artists, and have then gone on to buy their albums.

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batman wrote:

but i,m scared it would just narrow my listening to convenient bite size chunks of music .. discuss....

Deeply wrong, it enables you to find cool stuff deep in your collection. Sit down and let me explain ;)

You can tag your music however you like, and use multiple tags too. With some add-ins you can choose to browse however you like, based upon your custom tags.

For example, I can look for folk and male vocal, which will highlight a couple of dozen artists; then I can decide which I fancy. With classical, the majority of my collection, it goes much deeper, but the same principles hold.

Or I can use random play; the wife is very keen on this. Choose a genre (or subgenres etc), and it can play random artists, albums, whatever you like.

Also, I have a number of different systems now for browsing my music - laptop, internet tablet, SB3 remote and their forthcoming Sonos-like remote. It makes it far easier to see what I have in my collection. Plug-ins also allow instant links to artist web pages on last.fm and wikipedia, for extra info.

It's actually quite a pain to do as you say, and sit on your arse playing a track at a time (although you can). The standard remote and screen are both very good, but I rarely browse that way.

You can (although I don't) apply ratings to your music, and use that to browse. That means you can flag stuff to follow up, or browse unrated, whatever you fancy.

Finally it's very easy to check out your latest purchases - a built-in menu shows you the last 100 albums you've bought, and you can do this by genre as well.

So overall, yes, you can use it to play MP3s by Britney or whatever, but it's also a very good way to manage a large collection (1,364 albums in mine, many here will have much larger!) much better than is possible with hard media. This takes a *lot* of time, ripping, tagging and generally configuring stuff, far from the 'instant ipod' system :)

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What AmDismal said and if you have your Squeezebox connected to the Internet, then you have access to thousands of Internet radio stations (so what Kaldison said as well). So you can gorge yourself on whatever obscure music genre takes your interest. This will obviously not be high fidelity but I've found it to be acceptable.

I've had mine for a month now and have probably spent a couple of months ripping CDs which has been a real labour, but there are ways of speeding the process. Tagging can be a real nightmare and it is well worth thinking in advance as to how you want to organise your music collection.

Best of all you don't even need to buy a Squeezebox to see if it is right for you. Download the SlimServer software and install on a computer. Then download the Softsqueeze software Squezebox simulator and install that on the same computer. You can then rip some CDs and try out the system (or connect the computer to the Internet and try out the radio).

All the effort has been very worthwile. I've re-discovered lots of music in my collection that I had forgotten about. I think that it is definitely the future. The only real problem is that if you are techonphobic then your head will probably explode with all the technology involved. If you have a rough computer appreciation then you will be able to cope.

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i just rip on itunes and let that do it

definately the future, i confess i just use SB3 and external DAC - and CD's ripped on iTunes .

Liam

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I think I will end up with one of these new fangled things at some point.

Currently I have a large collection of CDs with shelving top to bottom on one whole wall.... CDs are not especially aesthetically pleasing and my music lives in the living room, so I can see a Squeezebox would mean the CD collection could go up into my games room. But for me, this would be reinforcement that vinyl is my primary source for quality and digital is for convenience.

However I do have another concern ignoring quality ....... many years ago I had a video games machine (Atari 2600) and games were expensive. Consequently every game got a lot of play. Years later I had an Amiga 500 with hundreds of games - I ended up almost being a 'collector' with many of the games getting played just once or twice.

I prefer quality to quantity and some of my fave albums have been growers .... if there is unlimited access to new music at little cost, will I ultimately find less enjoyment from it (as was the case with the plentiful software)?

I know that sounds a strange perspective, but I think a valid concern.

Besides .... I still like a physical item in my hand, being able to read sleeve notes or the booklet ..... etc. Luddites Anonymous :P

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Samantha wrote:

However I do have another concern ignoring quality ....... many years ago I had a video games machine (Atari 2600) and games were expensive. Consequently every game got a lot of play. Years later I had an Amiga 500 with hundreds of games - I ended up almost being a 'collector' with many of the games getting played just once or twice.

I prefer quality to quantity and some of my fave albums have been growers .... if there is unlimited access to new music at little cost, will I ultimately find less enjoyment from it (as was the case with the plentiful software)?

Absolutely... people's attention span are so short these days. Everything must come in bite-size, super-instant size. Stream this, download that... This is my worry too - that the type of music that takes a while to appreciate will start to dwindle and fade away.

JJ

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I agree with the potential problem, but I'm not sure that streaming is the problem. When I used vinyl (I think that's the right verb), I only ever listened to one side of an album at a time, then put another one on - never turned it over. 20 minute attention span.

Moving to CD, I'd play the whole thing, but I'm not sure I listened as carefully. My listening reduced at this time, but there are many factors that could explain why - less time, poorer quality, whatever.

Moving to a streamed solution, I have split everything up into pieces - rather than albums (this is very classical-specific, btw). This allows me to listen to a piece without whatever cr*p the record company want to accompany it with. I could (although I don't) set it up so that every album had a playlist that was "Side 1" and "Side 2".

So the streaming system can allow me much more focus on the music, I don't think it's to blame for the short attention span of 'kids today'.

I think the problem is more that things are cheaper for us. My old computer games used to be expensive, so I'd make sure I got good play from them. Now I have a job, so I have more money and less time, so my time to play a game through is lower. Similarly CDs - today I bought Mahler's symphonies by Rattle for £25; I may well not listen to some of them for several months - it's 14 CDs. This would be the same whether it was on vinyl, CD or streamed.

When I was a student, I couldn't afford much, but had loads of friends to talk to about music and stuff, and loads of time to listen. That's what has changed, don't blame the media!

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