Squeezebox/Transporter Display Improvements [Done in 1.3]

Hey. I own a Transporter and several Squeezeboxes. As a result, I was very excited to hear that Roon now has a SB integration.

Among the many things I love about the SB product, one of my favorite is the screen that shows what music is being played. however, it is my understanding that the screen only shows a Roon logo when using Roon.

I have read a couple of posts about this issue and understand that Roon would have to develop a new firmware download to make the screen fully functional. Not sure how hard that would be to do, but that would make me very happy. This issue is why I have not taken the plunge and purchased Roon. If such firmware was made available, I would unquestionably purchase it. I know from other posts and my friends, that others would to.

Thanks for your consideration.

Have you even given Roon a trial run? If not, then I think you should. The screen on my 3 squeezeboxes read Roon and sound great. I do not miss nor need the song playing displayed, and I bet if you gave it a shot you might not either.

I can’t say for sure if this will happen or not, or when. As much as it’s something I’d like to do, it is difficult for a small self-funded team like ours to justify this kind of effort for a discontinued product line.

Addressing Squeezebox endpoints in the way we have hasn’t been easy–they were never designed to communicate with anything but LMS, and it has taken quite a bit of reverse-engineering effort to get them to recognize us as legitimate at all. In this sense, Squeezebox is very different than the other streaming technologies that we support (AirPlay, Cast, Meridian, …) which were designed for interoperability from the start. We’ve made a considerable investment in getting this far with those products.

If it were easy, it would have been done already. We didn’t leave this functionality out out of laziness or complacency. It was a difficult choice. We do support metadata displays on the Squeezebox devices that allow us to do it in a straightforward fashion (Touch, Radio, Duet).

The way that SlimDevices architected the older devices asks a lot of the media server: these devices expect the server to paint the screen one pixel at a time, instead of exposing a structured protocol for displaying information. This means we would need to build a menu-driven user interface toolkit and a unicode font renderer solely for use on these devices. Not a small effort by any means.

While LMS has a vibrant community, there seems to be no significant evolution on the horizon. We strive to be a successor product to LMS–in the sense of being a great whole-home audio solution for music lovers that has a long, healthy future. In order to get there, we need to spend our effort wisely. I hope that despite the value of this feature to you personally, you can see this in context.

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Over the last couple of years, i have replace my SB3s with Touches and have not looked back. They are easier to use and, with EDO, will output 24/196. With Roon, i get the necessary metadata on the Touches, except if i have missing album art, but this is a bug Roon has acknowledged and indicated as fixed in bulid 1.2.

Thanks all.

Squeezebox integration is one of the reasons I gave Roon a look. So you definitely didn’t waste your time. I have several transporters as well, and would love to see both screens used with useful data. I think the more SB features you support, the more LMS people will migrate over.

That being said, the lack of these features will not make me go back to LMS. You have a customer for life, your product is absolutely amazing. I plan to sell many Roon Cores to my clients to better their liives :slight_smile:

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I too own a Transporter and several Squeezeboxes. I tried Roon for a bit and really enjoyed using it. I decided not to purchase it for the same reason as the original poster… No song text on the VFD’s…

Strikes me sending out a bitmap to the unit’s the tricky bit, and you’ve already proved the protocol for that with the roon logo… You just need a custom bitmap constructing with some text in.

I’m a C# guy by trade and I’ve done a lot of code that talks to squeezeboxes in the past… Written front-ends and all sorts…I don’t mind contributing something if that would help ?

Thanks…

Hi

I’m new here, and I’ve been tempted into the Rooniverse :wink: by the support for Squeezebox and the stated intention of developing a Linux version for use on a NAS. I’m a longtime QNAP NAS/LMS user, and have kept a decent number of SBs in my system, from a pimped Classic (SB+) through a Duet and Touch to a Radio. For now, I’m running Roon on my Windows PC which has a local copy of my music collection on it.

I love the interface and discovery side of the Roon proposition, and I’m only hours into my trial, so forgive what may perhaps be an obvious question, which is as follows:

In the Squeezebox FAQs, it says “Note that Roon is unable to render fonts on VFD devices, but we do
support display of a Roon logo + any visualizers supported by your device.”

I really would like to be able to display the time on my SBs. Is that a font rendering issue? Is it insurmountable? We’ve come to rely on the one in the living room as our clock, and so having it blank or displaying a big roon logo feels a little worrying and/or incongruous.

Thanks in advance for any steers you can give me.

LK

Yes, font rendering is the thing that makes this feature expensive to build. It’s not insurmountable, but it is a lot of work that only benefits a shrinking population of devices.

Displaying the time seems like a small thing–and in isolation it is a small thing–but it wouldn’t be totally fair for us to support the clock without addressing the other dozen or so equally valid LMS features that people have asked us about. Taken together, it’s a project that has been difficult to schedule.

Trust me, a few more hours using Roon and you’ll just go out and buy a clock.

SJB

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Thanks for your responses - both fair points; @SJB, you’re quite right, sometimes the simplest solution is staring you in the face!

LK

Hi - a small follow-up point. Having sat with it in the living room for a couple of evenings now, and looking at my watch until I can get a clock past the IDC (Interior Design Committee), I am wondering why there is no option for a blank screen and spectrum analyzer/VU - i.e. when playing, there is something happening on the SB screen, and in standby it’s blank.

I have no problem with the roon logo at all :relaxed:, but I’d like the option of not having it on all the time.

The “Now Playing” button on the remote cycles through various options, including a blank screen. And the “Brightness” button also works.

Hi

Thanks for getting back to me. I don’t use the Squeezebox OEM remote at all, except for when I have had to reboot the things (sadly you have to use the remote to set up networking otherwise it’s redundant to anyone with a smartphone and iPeng or similar).

Certainly using the remote as part of my ‘workflow’ to set screen brightness dependent on activity (i.e. turning down brightness to zero in standby, then dialing it up again to listen to music with the benefit of a spectrum analyzer) feels a bit clunky to me compared to having an option to have no screensaver in standby and a spectrum analyzer in play mode.

I don’t want to make development work for the sake of it, but it seems to me that both these options are independently available as options now, it’s just this particular combination that isn’t.

Anyway, I’m sorry if I’m missing something. And I am about to buy a licence, so please take this input in that context!

All the best
LK

New to Roon and love that I can control my Squeezeboxes (several radios and a Touch). A few questions:

Does using Roon instead of LMS render the hard preset button on my radios useless?
Does using Roon with the Touch mean that it can only be controlled from Roon remote and not the Touch itself?

Thanks

yes to both questions.

Thanks. Anybody know of any work arounds to either question?

My system consists of a Duet, a Touch and two Radio’s. I want full control for my Radio’s as they are used by my children. The Touch and Duet are used in the living room / kitchen and use Roon controlling these. The Radio’s use the LMS, so have full control on hardware buttons. I’m afraid this is the only way to do this.

If you want to use both LMS and Roon in one network, please make sure to run them on separate machines.

PS. my Touch can still use the drive buttons (play, stop,…) on the display, but I cannot browse the music.

Thanks Gabriel - exactly the info I need. My set-up and family use is very similar to yours. Have you found a sleep timer function in the Roon app? We fall asleep to music playing on a Touch. Thanks again.

That’s still missing and is requested a lot on this forum, wait for the next update I guess…

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