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Letters to the editor: Squeezebox, Dutch & Dutch & more

  • What follows is a selection of reader emails from the past few weeks that choose to pay it forward. Thank you to all readers who share their own intel and insights with me (and you).


    Michael H. writes…

    Hi Darko,

    What a surprise to see an article about SB & LMS all these years after the official end :-D.

    Disclosure: I’m the Logitech employee left to take care of all things Squeezebox. And I’m probably the most active contributor to LMS.

    I know that there’s a lot of confusion around the “Don’t Stop The Music” plugin. Mostly about the fact that DSTM itself does NOT mix anything. It only provides the infrastructure to trigger mixers. The mixers built into LMS are rather basic (eg. play a favorite, or random tracks etc.). Third party plugins, on the other hand, can do whatever they want – as long as they provide information about some playable item. Therefore it’s very well possible to have LMS continue a playlist with music from streaming services. Spotty uses Spotify’s recommendation API to create mixes. And LastMix would use Last.fm’s API to create playlists, playing content from TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotty, or Napster.

    There’s a lot more that can be done using 3rd party plugins. One other pain point you mentioned (the web UI – probably my first “serious” web development, done in my first year at Logitech :-)) is being addressed in eg. the “Material” skin (https://github.com/CDrummond/lms-material). It offers a much more modern UI.

    Jim D. writes…

    You criticise the LMS web GUI as being ancient — which it is. See the Material skin plugin which is a fully HTML5 compliant skin for desktop and mobile devices (iOS & Android). It breathes a whole new lease of life into the ecosystem.

    Danny H. writes…

    Pre-assembled RPi “Squeezebox Touch”:

    https://volumio.org/product/sos-solution-volumio-touch-player/

    It’s exactly what you wrote about pre-assembled, and looks okay. It comes loaded with Volumio OS, all you have to do to turn it into a “Touch” is to burn piCorePlayer OS to an SD card and activate the Jivelite plugin. You get an almost perfect “Touch” with a screen twice the size of the original. This doesn’t cost a lot more than buying the various bits and assembling them DIY.

    John D. writes…

    Hey John — I’ve watched your Rasberry Pi Youtube vids and I thank you for them. Very interesting. Perhaps better audio quality from an ASUS Tinkerboard?. Not much more money, however power on USB not reliable. A wall-wart is better. Not sure which to use to stream Qobuz or PBS radio to a Sony TA-ZH1ES to Sennheiser ie800s setup.
    Thanks again.

    Lon T. writes…

    Hi. I enjoy your videos. Knowing your musical taste (somewhat) I think you would enjoy a CD I just discovered. Police song remixes in a dub style. The musical/performance choices and the production quality are both outstanding. Its called “DubXanne – Police In Dub” on the Echo Beach label. There is also a later remix of this remix album (funny, right?) called “ReSynchronized by Rob Smith aka RAD” on the same label, which is also quite good, but I like the first one better. I found both on Amazon. Hope u enjoy. Cheers.

    Martin V. writes…

    Hi John,

    I went to a demo of the Kii vs the D&D 8c that a friend arranged with a dealer. The three of us have very different systems, but I think they are good and enjoyable: Linn Klimax > EAR Amps > Focal speakers; Home Built Roon Server > dCS NB > Modwright Pre > Pass Power > WB Speakers; and, NAS > Auralic Streamer > Audionote Pre > Pass Power > Audionote speakers.

    We all enjoyed both speakers and felt that the bass was good and well controlled, and the three of us preferred the D&D. Ultimately we all felt that these speakers would be a sideways move for us …..but, that in terms of the audio quality being presented that they were EXCELLENT VFM.

    Thanks for retaining written as well as video content.

    Paul W. writes…

    I’ve just read your latest review on the Dutch & Dutch 8c, and the positive note you strike is almost enough to send me off to order a pair (my listening room is awful, but it’s the only one I’ve got).

    Two things stop me however, first, they are not cheap, but second and more importantly I think, they are full of technology, and technology dates.

    Things break, things stop being supported. I have a pile of old laptops, desktops, mobile phones, amplifiers, etc that fit this pattern. I think unless you are prepared to treat a high tech speaker like this as a disposable item, then discrete components are a better long term spend.

    My Harbeths were almost born dated and may break at some point, but I’m sure there will always be someone around who can mend them. I’m sure the Dutch & Dutch 8c sound excellent, but in 5 years, might they just be the old iPod?

    Benjamin C. writes…

    Dear John

    I thought to give a hint on bookshelf-sized, affordable loudspeaker from France: the Elipson planet L. Once tested and award-winning on fairaudio.de. I have a pair in red and I believe they are a great coaxial speaker from an interesting company.

    Thank you for your inspiring work. Kind regards from Berlin Steglitz.

    Steve M. writes…

    Thank you very much indeed in helping me decide upon a music server with cd ripper. After much searching, I came across your YouTube video on the Innuos products. Since then I have contacted Innuos to discuss with them my current hifi and how it fits with an Innuos ZENmini MK3.

    I am delighted with their very prompt response and so I will be visiting a retailer shortly to collect an Innuos ZENmini MK3 and then I can enjoy my 900 plus CDs via digital music server. Thanks for your wonderfully produced videos and professional approach to hi-fi.

    Very best wishes.

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile. John used to live in Sydney. Now he lives in Berlin.

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