Did Logitech Just Kill the Squeezebox Touch?

Maybe it's not dead but it sure looks like Logitech turned it into a "smart radio" with no outputs of any kind. Once I recover from slapping my forehead I'll post more info (sigh).

Logitech has revamped the entire Squeezebox lineup and right now there is no replacement for the Squeezebox Touch. And there's no indication from Logitech on when/if a redesigned Touch will appear.

So to answer our question, Did Logitech Just Kill the Squeezebox Touch?, the answer is Yes. The good news is you can still buy the now discontinued Touch on Amazon and it appears as if Logitech plans to continue to support mysqueezebox.com for some time (at least according to unofficial reports).

You can read Logitech's Press Release here.

COMMENTS
firedog55's picture

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?96190-Squeezebox-Line-Comes-to-an-End-%28quasi-official-confirmation%29

Basically unofficial confirmation that SB as we know it is dead. guess I'd better get another touch before they're extinct. 

The new units will behave similarly, but won't work with existing SB units. The server software is going into the cloud, and so features that are local server dependent, like the random play function, are being eliminated. Likewise no synching between old SB units and new onespueue

Regor Ladan's picture

Good thing I bought two of them last year.

Bone heads.

deckeda's picture

... when I posted in the forums here about it being discontnued the other day. Mine's en route. But now I see logitech.com is a new website and there's NO "Audio" link under Products. Quite telling.

And don't forget this means the Transporter is gone, too.

I suppose the most any of us can expect from computer-based peripherals is a few years' service, but this could be a real dependency for some people, like waking up one day to find that your CD or record player became obsolete. Wait, nevermind.

So what's the main concern here, support for the server software to continue to run on new versions of OS X, Windows, Linux et al, for at least a while longer?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

...is related to some peripheral services like streaming from MOG which requires server-side software. The hope is Logitech will continue to support this functionality for the Touch.

CraigS's picture

I use a couple of these things around the house (to V-DACS to stereos for a simple, wife and kids proof set-up) and the've always worked great, especially with the iPeng iphone app controlling them. I guess I should pick up a few just in case.

johndarko's picture

The Squeezebox Touch was (is!) more than just a hardware player.  The LMS that feeds it is just superb (nightly scans, 'new music' etc.) and only Sonos' server software (probably) comes close.  The Squeezepad / iPeng iOS controllers completed the user experience.  All three together make for a wonderful digital audio playaback system WITHOUT compromise.  I don't see any other player ecosystem on the market that has a touch screen, plays all formats gaplessly (a MUST for me), handles up to 24/192 and - thanks to the EDO app - can push digital audio out of a USB port so that the likes of the Hiface and the Audiophilleo get a run.  The Squeezebox Touch was (is!) a digital audio God among men.

But all is not lost:

1)  Squeezeslave is a great headless player emulator for the desktop. It's hamstrung to 16/44, but no mind, most of my collection is Redbook anyway.  

2)  I shall also be moving to the iPeng player on the iPad (an in-app purchase) as apparently it now parses up to 24/96 and does gapless.  Gonna hook in a KingRex U-powered Hiface via the camera connection kit for a fully battery-powered digital transport.  

Michael Lavorgna's picture

was (is!)

I like that and agree! You can still buy a Touch online and everyone's Touch will still work after the last one is sold. This kinda reminds me of the Y2K scare ;-)

Frank Guerrero's picture

I didn't quite get the same perception when I read the press. My take was that they'd changed the branding from Squeezebox (which was a legacy from Slim Devices and had little brand awareness or, respectfully, value) to UE, which (being another acquisition) has lots more brand awareness.

After reading this post, you've now got me gravely concerned. Having been a Squeezebox fan, owner and evangelist since the Slim Devices day, I can't imagine losing continued development of this pioneering device - especially since the Touch was aimed at us computer audio fanatics. I'm still mourning the EOL of the Squeezebox Boom (which had a helluva white paper on its development written about by its developers).

This all said, the exec responsible for the audio products at Logitech products is a former colleague and I've asked him for a comment.

Hang tight!

--Frank

Michael Lavorgna's picture

This all said, the exec responsible for the audio products at Logitech products is a former colleague and I've asked him for a comment.

Hanging...tight!

deckeda's picture

I don't care what they call it, but I'd never heard of UE before this new line of products and even now don't remember what UE means without another visit to the site.

firedog55's picture

I figured that depending on existing supplies, they will either become very expensive or very cheap, but I didn't want to wait and be in a positon where they were either much more expenive and/or unavailable.

With regards to Frank's comment above: if you follow the link in my previous post over to the SB forum, it is pretty obvious from reading it that the HW has been killed. The software will continue to be supported for some unknown amount of time. But as noted previously, the new devices and ecosystem are not compatible with the present SB setup: e.g., no synching of old and new devices.  

So for someone like me who's main use of the Touch is for the Random Play feature and for multi-room synching, the new system won't be worth using. 

For someone who wants to stream music to their smartphone or tablet, or use either of them as the controller for a multiroom setup with the new UE based hardware, the new system will probably be fine.

earwaxxer's picture

I have had the Transporter for over 5 years, and I'm just getting a good feel for all the 'stuff' I can do with this machine! I will move on to another DAC, but I plan on using the Transporter as a 'transport' for quite some time. I love it!

DanS56's picture

My device of choice?!?  UNUSABLE????  (in the future, that is....)...

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I was contacted by a Logitech representative who shared:

"I want to clarify with you that Logitech certainly values its loyal Squeezebox customers, and all the current Squeezebox products on the market will continue to work exactly as they always have. Logitech has no plans to cut off service to existing devices.
 
You’re correct that the current mysqueezebox.com website will continue to work with existing Squeezebox devices, and the new uesmartradio.com website is strictly designed for Logitech UE Smart Radios, including those upgraded from a Squeezebox Radio (which all Squeezebox Radio owners will have the option to do in the coming months)."

With this news, it seems like a good time to buy a Touch if you've been waiting on the sidelines.

Regor Ladan's picture

Michael:

Are you familiar with the Bryston BDP-1 file player?

A new firmware update allows for it to act as a streamer via Ethernet too. Game changer. iOS and Android controllable.

Have you considered a reivew?

 

 

 

 

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I have not considered it for review but I will. Thanks for the suggestion.

ednaz's picture

I've had a Logitech Transporter for a long, long time - probably from shortly after they came out.  It's a lovely sounding piece of equipment.  We live too far away from the radio tower of our local jazz station (WBGO in Newark) and the Transporter has been pretty much glued to their stream since we got it - with a few ventures into other broadcast streams that then convinced us to return to our local.

The sound is wonderful. Musical is the best way I can characterize it. It makes the audio stream of our favorite jazz station sound almost as good as our CDs.  Good enough that I thought I'd take a bigger leap into more sophisticated digital audio with a dedicated DAC and USB connectivity for music streaming, since streaming 24/96 is an iffy proposition at best... and other than a couple of very expensive DACs I've auditioned, the Transporter sounds better.  Not more this or that on any one aspect, but the overall package of how it sounds is more musically alive, and that's with some fairly exotic amplification (krell) and speakers (gradient revolution).

I'd emailed Logitech several times and did a review on their site asking for a Transporter II, just add USB at 24/96 (or maybe better, but that's good enough), support higher bit depths coaxial, and I'd buy it the minute I heard it was available, as long as they kept the character of the sound. 

Now with this announcement, I feel like I have two options.  Cough up some hefty dollars (and an absurd amount of research and listening time if I can get it) for a DAC that's hopefully as musical sounding as the Transporter, or delve into the world of USB to coax conversions at another hefty wallet hit, and with no guarantee I'll love the results.

I've also got two of the early Squeezebox Duet setups, one in my studio, one in my home office, and the difference between them and the Transporter is like night and day, or transistor radio and hifi. I never tried the Touch; I may grab one now just in case.

Very seldom does a mass market oriented company get something so right as Logitech did on streaming. I've worked in big companies for a long time and I know the pressures that build up around "we need a breakaway product", but sometimes that breakaway product is one or two evolutionary steps (not revolutionary steps) away.  Sadness.

Regor Ladan's picture

That is SOMEWHAT of a relief. I don't think there is any danger in buying a Touch at this point. The user base is pretty established.

Maybe a well known company, say, D&M Holdings will buy up the techology.

I still would like someone to explain why I would spend 4 or 5 grand on a streamer with no onboard DAC and a fancy faceplate instead of a Touch. '

Yes, you could make an arguement for an expensive streamer with a built in DAC, and multiple digital inputs.

Thanks for this update.  Long live the Touch.

ednaz's picture

Just got an email about back to school promotions from Logitech, and saw that the Transporter SE is on sale for $999. Until today, it was on sale for $1299.  Limit of 2 per customer. 

So yes, it does look like a sell off.  No Touch units listed.

deckeda's picture

Just curious, because it's not on their site for $999. Some Googling revealed some old forum posts around the Web that suggested they've had $995 sales in the past.

I can't disagree that it's a likely sell-off under the circumstances.

I always preferred the look of the original model from Slim Devices: silver face + big silver knob. :)

ednaz's picture

I guess that's another sign of them leaving it behind...  It had been listed $1299 generally, and in the closeouts, for most of the last year, so when it dropped to $999, it was mine.

buy.logitech.com is the main address. I'm a Logitech VIP (whoopie! just happened to buy a couple gifts from them and guess i crossed some promotional dollar trigger) but it's NOT on any page limited to that.  Second page of the audio gear.

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