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Sneaky DS Usability Issues
2008-04-29, 13:35
Post: #1
Sneaky DS Usability Issues
I have just got hold of a Sneaky DS and have to say that I am impressed- it is very clearly a significant step up in sound quality from my Unidisk SC when playing FLACs ripped from CD. I would happily have foregone the internal pre and power amps for a front panel display and better case, but at least the amp can be disabled.

I have a query though about operation via a Linn remote control once a play list has been loaded- unfortunately it appears to use the same commands as my Unidisk SC, as both respond at the same time to play, pause, stop and track skip. Is there any way to differentiate between the remote commands? I've tried switching between CD and DVD modes on my Unidisk SC remote, but this seems to make no difference.

I also have a couple of supplementary questions about the Linn Gui:
1) Is there a roadmap for bringing out a version which will run on Windows Mobile 6?
2) I lose part of the text of longer track titles is the field seems to display at fixed width- is there any way round this?

Thanks,

Jeremy Patrick
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2008-04-29, 14:38 (This post was last modified: 2008-04-29 14:40 by Paco.)
Post: #2
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
jpatrick Wrote:I have a query though about operation via a Linn remote control once a play list has been loaded- unfortunately it appears to use the same commands as my Unidisk SC, as both respond at the same time to play, pause, stop and track skip. Is there any way to differentiate between the remote commands? I've tried switching between CD and DVD modes on my Unidisk SC remote, but this seems to make no difference...

Jeremy Patrick

Hi Jeremy
You can enter into user options on the Unidisk SC- see owners manual page 33 and there are two things to change.
1 Auto Select CD- change to Disabled: this will stop the UD/SC changing to it's internal Disc Player when you select a CD "type" button on the remote and
2. Change CD commands to Ignored: CD commands will then control the Sneaky DS and you can use DVD commands to cointrol the UD/SC Disc Player
Sneaky eh!
Enjoy!
Paco
PS you should try some Studio Masters!
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2008-04-29, 14:47
Post: #3
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Hi Jeremy,

Glad to hear you are enjoying your Sneaky DS.

Unfortunately there is no way of differentiating between the remote commands for your Sneaky DS and your Unidisk SC. I would suggest disabling the IR on your Sneaky DS and using the LinnGUI/n800 to control the Sneaky and your IR remote to control your Unidisk SC.

To answer your supplementary questions,

1) The LinnGUI is open source, written in C#, and leverages cross platform support of the .NET 2.0 framework.
2) There is no way around having track titles reduced to fit in the area designated for the track title.

David
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2008-04-29, 15:37
Post: #4
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Paco, Thanks for your quick and very helpful reply. I've listened to a track from the Studio Master Bach Matthew Passion download and I have to say it's stunning. My only regret is that the DS range doesn't support multichannel audio, as found on the equivalent Linn SACDs.

David, Do you know if Linn have any plans to port the LinnGUI to Windows Mobile? If not I guess I'll have to hope that someone in the community will do so.

Jeremy
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2008-04-29, 23:18
Post: #5
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Hello hello hello - all the Sneaky DS pages on Linn's site have gone a bit blank...

Source 1:- LP12-Radikal-Keel-Ekos II-Akiva-Urika
Source 2:- KDS/1-iPad Air-Kinsky-Asset
System:- KK/1/D-KCT/D-Espeks
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2008-04-30, 02:14
Post: #6
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Yes, the unique content for the Sneaky Music DS page on the main Linn consumer website is still not showing at all.
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2008-04-30, 06:40
Post: #7
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
jpatrick Wrote:Do you know if Linn have any plans to port the LinnGUI to Windows Mobile?

My view here is that Linn should dramatically improve the whole user interface experience, before spending precious resources broadening the family of platforms which support it. In other words the roadmap should improve the core interface before porting a bad interface to more places.

What do I mean by "bad"?

Well, it does function, and better than some uPnP control points because it remembers what is being played (seems obvious but it seems uPnP is not designed that way).

But put 1000 CDs on your system, then spend 1/2 hour playing with the SlimServer user interface (especially the latest version), either on the remote boxes or on a PC, and you will see how dramatically different the whole user experience is. The user can really explore a music collection. Browse through album covers. Find things with just a few characters entered into a rapid search box, or a more in-depth search box which filters on a dozen other data elements. Click on links to get other music from the same artist, or to see the full track data. Set up "favourites" to get tracks, albums, even radio programmes with the touch of a button. Edit playlists. Listen to Rhapsody channels. See what CDs have been newly loaded. Enjoy exploring.

(You can try this for yourself by the way - SlimServer coexists nicely with Twonky and shares the same library of FLAC files - and it took me less than 10 minutes to install and configure, plus additional time to scan all my files of course.)

Linn sells the most expensive player in the world, and its sound is fabulous... but what I've learned from living with it (and watching my family use it) is that the best sound in the world is significantly less valuable without the ability to browse a music collection in a smooth, engaging way.

At this point I'd probably put Squeezeboxes in, rather than the Sneaky DS, purely because of the better user experience. (The equation is a bit different at the Klimax DS end, of course, where the sound wins out so strongly.)

I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Despite really enthusiastic early steps (including the creation of this forum), I still think Linn does not have the user experience at its heart - as a company they are content with fabulous sound obtained through a steam-and-string interface. I say this after struggling for years with the Kivor, where the user interface was a joke - and Linn just stopped investing in it. And frankly also after living with the Intersekt and its clunky little control panels too.

I also know that some of this is a consequence of choosing open standards. Open standards are a very good thing - and some may say "It's all very well for Squeezebox to be so easy to use, but it gets there with a closed architecture". Fair point. But I still want to have fun exploring my music, with my painfully-expensive Klimax DS.
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2008-05-02, 02:01 (This post was last modified: 2008-05-02 02:02 by NeoLinn.)
Post: #8
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Very well put above AnonyMouse.

Linn Scotland, this is your golden opportunity to show the world that enjoying the best quality Linn audio equipment (in particular the new DS range) does not have to mean compromising with the user interface.

Not only will your existing army of loyal Linn customers love you even more, but you will be able to greatly expand your market and enjoy increased commercial success and market penetration.

Linn, please take full advantage of this great start that you have made (with your open source DS software development project, and this forum) and follow it all the way through ASAP to the development of world standard DS user interfaces to complement their groundbreaking audio capabilities.
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2008-05-02, 05:43
Post: #9
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
Developing a world standard UI for UPnP control is very non-trivial - I should know. There are certain key advantages to rolling-your-own non standard interface to the music library and Linn should be applauded for avoiding this short term win for a longer term victory.

Rik

http://www.rikwatson.com
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2008-05-02, 17:20
Post: #10
RE: Sneaky DS Usability Issues
I think that if linn want to be succesful with there DS range the really needs to figure out putting together a MAC like easy to use moderat easy to install platform.

For many many people having somthing that just works as easy as possible by far overshadows the improvment in preformans.

I saw somone that wanted to trade his slimdevices DUET system for a sb3 because he couldet figure the duet out.

Havever IF linn finds away of making it work somhave as good as the slim platform i think the will get more succes then the ever dreamed of.
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