Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Logitech Squeezebox Touch on the way

- Squeezebox with touch screen expected by October 2009
First time I came across this was a posting back in May on, of all places, the Sonos forum. Someone (using the fourm name "walera") reported that he had been to a consumer focus event and the device was revealed as a new Squeezebox. I would have expected some form of NDA to have been in place - anyway - word was out.
Then over the last week-end some more info leaked out - including a picture.
Squeezebox Touch
It looks like a Squeezebox Classic with the VFD replaced by a 4.3" touchscreen.
But there may well be more - with reports of it also having a USB port and SD slot.
Various implications here - for example - this could allow for local storage of music and photos (show cover art when playing - and photos when idle).
There is also reported to be an infra-red presence detector that makes the screen spring back into life as you walk up to it - always fun when giving a demo.
Smaller updates also likely for the Boom and perhaps Receiver (the player half of the Duet).

Update 28/Jul/2009:
I found more details ... and have highlighted some new findings
Squeezebox Touch, model X-RC4 is countertop or wall-mounted (with included back-plate) music streaming system featuring:
• 4.3” LCD panel with capacitive touch screen
• High quality analog and headphone outputs (24bit/96k)
• Optical and coax S/PDIF outputs
• 802.11g wireless
• 64MB SDRAM & 64MB NAND flash
• SD card slot & USB host connector
• Internal speech-grade microphone and speaker – sound effects and preview
• IR sensor for remote control
• Ambient light sensor for dimming screen at night
• IR proximity sensor for detecting user approaching
Digital temperature sensor for home automation

Interesting - perhaps there are some mistakes there ... but a microphone, small speaker and thermometer? Maybe for future expansion. Slimdevices have in the past included hardware that is not necessarily used when first released - for example infrared and headphone connector on the Squeezebox Controller.
It may well be running SqueezeOS - the same as in the Squeezebox Controller - since it gets a mention in the FCC report.

Also - an odd part number - "X-RC4". RC usually implies a Remote Control - and is nothing like the part numbers that Logitech Slimdevices folks use
(spotted so far ...
930-000074 - USA
930-000089 - Europe
930-000090 - USA/Canada
930-000091 - Aus/NZ
)

FCC test report
The implication from another document is that this is due for release by the end of September 2009 - my guess ... IFA Berlin is the launch.

Update 15-Aug-2009
It looks like Logitech web site folks made a premature release of information onto the main corporate site. It was spotted first in New Zealand and pulled soon after it was reported. However, that gave time for the details above to be confirmed.
Some more pictures as well ...

SBT in situ
SBT Memory Card
SBT Rear
SBT Front
SBT with remote

Prices:
No official word yet ... however, 3rd-party resellers are listing it around 300 USD, 400 Canadian, 450 New Zealand - implying approximately 220 - 250 Euro.
Plus there are tiny snippets visible on the Logitech site for replacement parts.
For example - a replacement power supply is 19.99 USD (same as Boom but more than Receiver) - which is the same price as a remote control (the smaller Boom remote is 9.99 USD and the bigger backlit one that ships with the Transporter is 29.99). It is not clear yet if a remote is shipped with the device although there are publicity pictures showing them together.

Update: 28/08/2009
First reported home use through a purchase rather than Logitech beta programme.
Nils' Picasa page
Forum post
Looks like a mistaken premature shipment because without a working SqueezeCenter 7.4 (being renamed SqueezeboxServer) it looks like it cannot do much.

3 comments:

Emery said...

I've been holding out for this new touch system for too long! Is it reasonable to assume I could buy the receivers separately, and control them with an iPhone, then add this latest Touch remote at a later date? Or should I just keep waiting... :/

Paul Webster said...

The Squeezebox Receiver does not have any infrared - so there are some challenges (hence the first one is usually sold with the special Controller to make the Duet bundle).

However, if you do not go for the Controller then you can set it up using http://projects.robinbowes.com/Net-UDAP/trac - then subsequentely control it through SqueezeCenter via web or iPhone (etc).

Assuming Squeezebox Touch does come with the remote control (as in the pictures) it won't be able to directly control the Receiver because of the lack of infrared. But you should still be able to perform remote management of it via another Squeezebox (e.g. Touch) by installing this plug-in
http://thespicers.net/otherPlayers.html

Emery said...

Thanks for the input and for keeping us up to date with the latest on SB! I hope I can hold out till October...... Gotcha bookmarked and will check back later.