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#245022 - 03/01/2005 22:28 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5759
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:
Quote:

But of course you can't describe any of those as being mass market in the same way as a hardware MP3 player. In the grand scheme of things very few people ever buy a webserver, email server, name server or programming language. These could just as easily be considered niche market products.


You are kidding, right? There are an order of magnitude more servers running Apache than there are MP3 players.


I don't think you can define mass market is just being about how many "products" are "sold" though.

I would be willing to bet that well over 90% of the installations of Apache, Sendmail and BIND were not due to someone deciding on the particular server in question. They are in use because someone installed a Linux distibution or Unix/BSD product that used the server in question by default. These people no more chose to use Apache than 99% of Windows administrators chose to use IIS.

I my eyes for something to be mass market it has to be purchased in large numbers by consumers.
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#245023 - 03/01/2005 22:32 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5759
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:
Symbian (an OS used in mobile 'phones and PDAs)


Symbian isn't open source. It might be licenced to a whole bunch of people, but you or I can't go and download the source code.
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#245024 - 03/01/2005 23:17 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: hybrid8]
mdavey
enthusiast

Registered: 06/03/2003
Posts: 269
Loc: Wellingborough, UK
Quote:
Not Rio nor Creative will topple Apple's market lead, even if they sold their (comparable) players at HALF the cost of an iPod.


Not by playing by Apple's rules. Why did Apple get where it did? They weren't first to market. DNNA aren't gaining market share from Apple - in fact, the opposite continues to happen (in spite of Carbon). The way to get market share is to get the next big entrant to the market using your technology at the heart of their device. To get your technology into mobile 'phones and PDAs.

Quote:
As a developer I also don't see the incentive to develop something I will open source as a marketing strategy.


Never been asked in a job interview if any of your code is used in commercially available products? When I worked at NetProducts, I rewrote a piece of IR driver code (back when such things were rarely to be found outside TV firmware) and got management to agree to give the source to Acorn (easily done back then). To the best of my knowledge, that code is still used in every Pace set-top-box and E-Note mail client that is made. Unless the other candidate used to maintain the Linux IDE driver or made some other contribution to a large OpenSource project, that point will be mine!

Quote:
Now try duplicating the software.


How precisely does it need to be duplicated? There is nothing technical stopping a competitor duplicating the hardware, then putting the binaries on it. What stops them is the legal framework that Rio has put in place. A very similar framework could be put in place for the sourcecode. We have already said that Creative and Apple have products that approximately duplicate the software.

Quote:
That's where we are with the empeg (and Rio's other products). The software, not the hardware, is just about the most valuable asset.


Market share is more valuable. (not intended as a cheap shot, read on...)

Quote:
...a company with valuable IP built on whatever OS, deciding to open everything up. I don't see how that will have any meaningful effect on their market share.


Why is the IP valuable? Because competitors would like to get their hands on it and use it in their own products. But I think we are agreed that Apple wouldn't touch it, so that just leaves everyone else. If DNNA technology is being OEM'd to other parties and direct sales don't fall (or fall by less than the OEM segment rises), then overall the DNNA market share has gone up.

<scenario>
Let us just for agument's sake assume that DNNA has only one competitor (other than Apple, with 92.1%), called C and they have 4.7% of the market and DNNA has 3.2%. All three companies regularly introduce new products and their market shares remain stable. Then DNNA opens their player and a short time later, C dumps their player module in favour of the DNNA OpenPlayer.

Now, to save embarrassment (because both companies know that C's player module is rubbish and the license requires C to carry the RIO logo on C's products and TV advertising), C makes a big play of the fact that they have entered a strategic partnership with DNNA: using the RIOengine in new C products and licensing C's advanced battery technology to DNNA. This is good for DNNA - they got masses of publicity when they decided to open their player and now have a new round as the analysts try to predict how the market might change and whether this will threaten iPOD sales. Plus improved battery life in their next generation products.

DNNA get a revenue stream from providing an engineer to help them integrate the player into C's firmware - at top consultancy rates.

It takes C 3 months to do the work, but C used the stable branch which is 3 months behind the development branch and DNNA only commit their latest features to the public CVS when the product begins to ship. C will always be playing catch-up with DNNA if they rely upon DNNA to do the new product development, but will always find it more difficult than DNNA to implement any given feature. DNNA still has 3.2% direct market share, but analysts start counting the number of RIOengine powered units: 7.9%. Plus DNNA has that consultancy revenue stream.

Then the market begins to change. New entrants take advantage of the lower barrier to entry by choosing to use the RIOengine in their products. Individually, they are niche players but replace 0.2% of DNNAs market and 1.8% of the iPOD market share. DNNA are actually selling more players as the market has grown. Total market share: 9.9%

A large Japanese electronics manufacturer enters the market with a RIOengine powered player and a huge TV advertising campaign. Every advert ends with the RIOengine logo and a little jingle. They take 30% of the market almost overnight - mostly from iPOD. Forbes reports that the RIOengine brand is as strong among the average consumer as the Java brand. Unfortionately, also like the Java brand, only 25% of respondents could correctly identify the owner. Total market share: 39.9%

DNNA continue to sell their own players, but their main business is now the design and consultancy for digital audio products (home, car and portables) - their technology powers 91.2% of consumer digital audio devices.
</scenario>

Okay, a somewhat improbable and tounge-firmly-in-cheek scenario, but I hope it makes you think about the possible ways that an open-source player could lead to stronger market and brand share for DNNA without loss of revenue. I didn't even touch upon mobiles and PDAs.
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Ex-owner of stolen empeg #030102741

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#245025 - 03/01/2005 23:31 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
Since Rio have already successfully licensed their code to a number of (fairly major) companies I don't think their executives are likely to consider open source as an attractive option. Indeed, right or wrong, I believe they will see it as a way of handing their IP to anonymous Asian ODM's (who will *not* respect the open source license) while simultaneously cutting off their NRE and license revenue from larger customers (who will not be at all happy that something they paid for is now "free" to their competitors).

That said, I now work for one of those customers and I'd *love* to get my hands on an open source empeg codebase - I figure it would save me about 500,000

Rob

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#245026 - 04/01/2005 00:27 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: rob]
mcomb
pooh-bah

Registered: 31/08/1999
Posts: 1649
Loc: San Carlos, CA
Quote:
I figure it would save me about 500,000


And we have a solution. We get Rob's new company to bankroll an open source rio software clone
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#245027 - 04/01/2005 00:49 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: andy]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
I would be willing to bet that well over 90% of the installations of Apache, Sendmail and BIND were not due to someone deciding on the particular server in question. They are in use because someone installed a Linux distibution or Unix/BSD product that used the server in question by default. These people no more chose to use Apache than 99% of Windows administrators chose to use IIS.


Well, I'm sure those servers had a large factor in what OS was chosen for a Web/mail/DNS server. People know Apache runs well, Bind runs well, and well, something here about sendmail. For example, I initially had an NT server at home ages ago doing file sharing to my network. I wanted to start tinkering with web development, and looked into replacing the server as IIS and ASP wern't my first choice. So, I looked at Apache for Windows, and found it ran decently. Next, I wanted to do internet sharing from the server, and I began looking into Linux a bit. Over time, that look turned into deciding a mail server would be nice too.

Now I have a Linux box in the basement running Samba and ATalkd for file sharing, Apache 2 for web with PHP, Postfix for mail, Courier for tossing it to clients, and Bind for local DNS caching and resolution of DHCP clients. I hold no true attachment to Linux specificially, it just happens to be the one that comes with the most products I want to use. I could install Windows variants, and as long as Microsoft makes them do so at no cost currently. But I still choose to keep that server box Linux. Not because it is Linux, but because it is a good platform for Apache, Postfix and so on.

Any more, distributions are either moving to Postfix as a default, or asking what should be installed (Sendmail/postfix/qmail). Sendmail will probably hold the majority for a while longer until more servers out there are upgraded and migrations done away from it, like what I did in 2001.
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Tom

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#245028 - 04/01/2005 01:08 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: hybrid8]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
Funny that MS practically wiped NS off the face of the Earth with closed-source software just by giving it away.


Giving it away isn't accurate. Netscape was given away as well. The main reason was that IE was bundled as part of Windows. Why would the average user bother to download a browser if they already had one built into their OS? The whole bundling issue was part of the lawsuits against Microsoft where they claimed IE and WMP were integral parts and couldn't be removed.

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#245029 - 04/01/2005 01:18 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Moving back to some older strains of the topic:

mdavey:
Quote:
think about what strategy is best for DNNA rather than what strategy is best for the community.

Brilliant, as are Bruno's and others' counterpoints. The community doesn't have the money for the project, but if DNNA buys in, it may just work. But RobV reasonably justified why it wouldn't work. We can't help the Rio brand but we can help our car players. So, moving backward some more.

RobV:
Quote:
To make [3.0 functionality] a reality in an open source world it would be necessary to attract more developers with time on their hands than we're likely to find in the empeg community

I don't know the open-source scene, but *aren't* there developers with time on their hands... somewhere in the wilds of the Internet? Could we dig into the open-source community and find the handfull of developers who've never heard of the empeg but would love to work for it once they see it and own one? Yes, they are a rare breed, but they must be out there.

Ha, I'd launch my typical "all out recruitment assault" on the open-source community if I knew where to start. But isn't there an old military rule that "a devoted contributor will do the work of 50 recruits"? Can we recruit devoted contributors? (am I even spelling "recruit" correctly?) If DNNA won't make the killer open source MP3 app, maybe we can assemble an army to do it.
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#245030 - 04/01/2005 01:30 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: tman]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Quote:

Giving it away isn't accurate. Netscape was given away as well. The main reason was that IE was bundled as part of Windows. Why would the average user bother to download a browser if they already had one built into their OS? The whole bundling issue was part of the lawsuits against Microsoft where they claimed IE and WMP were integral parts and couldn't be removed.


I disagree with that. I was a netscape user then when IE4 came out I just thought it worked better. Now I'm back to using Firefox because that works better than IE6.
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Matt

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#245031 - 04/01/2005 02:19 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: tman]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Netscape was dead bbefore Windows came impregnated with IE. I did a complete switch when IE 3 came out. Though, on Mac OS I have switched to Firefox, based on Mozilla, which is as good as it is because of active (in this case open somewhat) development.

But these are still two different worlds. The guys working on Firefox aren't soon to get rich doing it. There's no insentive for DNNA or any other company with stock holders to be Santa Claus.

Also a big disparity is comparing a software company tgo a hardware company. DNNA, and Rio, are hardware companies. The software exists to sell the hardware (as important as it is - as I've stated, I believe it's the most important piece when it comes down to it). Same goes for the company I work at. We're a hardware company. We employ a bucket-load of software engineers, but when it comes down to it, it's all to sell hardware. To consumers and to OEMs. That's why we don't sell software upgrades. Why we don't bundle software as nice as some third-party solutions for PVR, etc. The reality (to the people that run the joint) is it's all about the hardware. There's obviously money to be made with software as well, but that's someone else's bag.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#245032 - 04/01/2005 02:40 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: hybrid8]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
I stuck with Netscape for a while actually. It was only IE4 when I switched over because Netscape 6 was so unbelievably bloated and slow. IMO Mozilla wasn't much better. It's only since Firefox came out did I switch away from IE.

Quote:
The software exists to sell the hardware


This is why it's still refreshing to see some companies actually support older products. A lot of users have complained about Apple not releasing updated firmware with all the new features for old generation iPods. Releasing firmware for all the old iPods with all the latest and greatest features will mean that people will be less inclined upgrade so it's pretty understandable that they do this.

Here's a question. Is Apple a hardware or a software company?

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#245033 - 04/01/2005 05:57 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: tman]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Here's a question. Is Apple a hardware or a software company?


Apple quite often openly admits to being a hardware company. They killed the clone market because of this, and it's rumored this is also why they never released OS X for Intel as well. (Though I think the more accurate theory is that OS X for intel only exists as an emergancy plan, and if done, would still require Apple hardware).
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Tom

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#245034 - 04/01/2005 08:20 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: rob]
mdavey
enthusiast

Registered: 06/03/2003
Posts: 269
Loc: Wellingborough, UK
Quote:
Since Rio have already successfully licensed their code to a number of (fairly major) companies I don't think their executives are likely to consider open source as an attractive option. Indeed, right or wrong, I believe they will see it as a way of handing their IP to anonymous Asian ODM's [...] while simultaneously cutting off their NRE and license revenue from larger customers (who will not be at all happy that something they paid for is now "free" to their competitors).


DNNA could use the open-source OEM model. This is what NetBeans, OpenOffice and Smoothwall does. You have a proprietary version with all the latest features and an open-source OEM version (under a different brand name) which is a bit older.

You pre-announce that you are working on an open-source version and let all your licensors know. You reassure them that the open-source version will be a cut-down version, based on code in (what will be) the two-year old product and that in the future they will be able to choose between the latest proprietary engine or the older open-source engine on a product by product basis. The vast majority will see the added value of the proprietary product as a differentiator and choose to continue along that path for their products.

Quote:
...anonymous Asian ODM's (who will *not* respect the open source license)...


This is always a risk, however if they don't account for a large market share you could choose to ignore them and if they do account for a large market share there is a good chance they won't be particularly anonymous.

The Free Software Foundation has had a lot of success in encouraging Asian manufacturers to comply with the GPL - partly because it doesn't actually cost much money to comply. Again, there is not much stopping Asian manufacturers from making clone RIO products and putting your binaries on them right now.
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Michael
Ex-owner of stolen empeg #030102741

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#245035 - 04/01/2005 17:15 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Your arguments are still destined to help US, the consumers, but not Rio, the corporation. Open Source = NO MONEY. NO MONEY = pissed off shareholders.

Licensing their software IP is a worthwhile pursuit to make money. Open Source is suicide. However, there's no way they could become market leader by licensing software alone. This is a HARDWARE game.

To bring back a previous example, TiVo are not market leaders for instance. They barely move any hardware. In fact, their licensors barely move any hardware.

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#245036 - 05/01/2005 06:24 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: hybrid8]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Quote:
Open Source = NO MONEY. NO MONEY = pissed off shareholders.

Licensing their software IP is a worthwhile pursuit to make money. Open Source is suicide. However, there's no way they could become market leader by licensing software alone. This is a HARDWARE game.

Unqualified "Open Source is suicide" is buying MS/SCO etc propaganda. Look at IBM: market share of their mainframes stopped plunging because of Linux running on them, not in spite of that.

I am not sure whether one of creative ways of using OS as a tool to improve visibility, then market share, then ultimately profitability outlined by people here would actually work for DNNA, but they should not be dismissed out of hand. I guess DNNA honchos are evaluating them (but, sadly, conclude that the net impact would be negative).
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#245037 - 05/01/2005 11:37 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: hybrid8]
mdavey
enthusiast

Registered: 06/03/2003
Posts: 269
Loc: Wellingborough, UK
Bruno (hybrid8):
Quote:
...if I'm planning to differentiate my product, the best way to do that is through software. And you don't give that away i[f] you plan to make money. ...most [hardware] designs can be replicated quite easily. Now try duplicating the software. That's where we are with the empeg (and Rio's other products). The software, not the hardware, is just about the most valuable asset.

Quote:
Licensing their software IP is a worthwhile pursuit to make money. Open Source is suicide. However, there's no way they could become market leader by licensing software alone. This is a HARDWARE game.


No, it is a systems game. Products like the Rio or the Empeg are solutions or systems. How many of DNNAs licensors took only the software or only the hardware reference design? I don't know, but I'd bet it isn't a significant number.

Just as 99% of customers wouldn't buy a modern car with the on-board computer missing and wouldn't buy just the on-board computer - so the same applies to the DNNA products. The systems are pretty much interchangable. One car works pretty much the same way as the next - just like with digital audio products. It should be that features (price, performance, automatic windows, gapless playback) would determine the winner, but it actually comes down to ubiquity, visibility and who has the bigger marketing budget.

You also seem to have the impression that opening the source means that DNNA no longer owns it. DNNA still own the copyright and it is still intellectual property (in a similar way, patents are an important IP for many companies). The license grants others certain rights to examine and use the source code (but only providing they adhere to the license).

There are plenty of people on this BBS (and in Asia) would would find it trivial to take the Rio or Empeg binary and replace all references to "Rio" with "ABC" (or whatever), then ship a clone player. Perhaps some anonymous Asian company is doing that right now? Making copies of binaries is just as inexpensive as making copies of source.

By carefully choosing which license to use or even creating one of their own and carefully controlling which features are present in the open source version (and after what timeframe) many, if not all of the IP and licensor concerns could be addressed.

Trevor (tman):
Quote:
Is Apple a hardware or a software company?


I'd say that the desktop division behaves like Apple is a systems company. Virtually every other non-x86 computer manufacturer has shifted its business model away from non-x86 hardware or disappeared: SGI, Digital, Tandem, IBM, Compaq, RM.

HP have their printer cartridges business model as well as being x86 box-shifters.

The only other one I can think of is Sun - they seem to have survived so far because of their mix of software and hardware product lines. They are struggling and are moving more towards a services (professional ~, proactive ~, support ~) focus, just like IBM.

Apple iPod is interesting. I wonder what generates more profit right now: iPod sales or iTunes sales. I'd say that iPod+iTunes is a clear indication of Apple starting to move to a services business model, too.

We seem to have moved away from my original question a little, so to recap:

Quote:
So, it really comes down to a simple choice over priorities: revenue from direct sales or improved visibility, ubiquity and the opportunities those might bring.

DNNA seem to be loosing the ubiquity game at the moment. It may be that creating a licensing programme and opening the source to the player would be a far more effective way to win market share from Apple than spending money on TV adverts.


Would trying to increase brand visibility and market ubiquity by moving to a professional services & licensing business model and by using a carefully crafted open-source license be good for DNNA? Edit: and if so, when should they make the move - how long should they wait?


Edited by mdavey (05/01/2005 14:09)
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Michael
Ex-owner of stolen empeg #030102741

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#245038 - 05/01/2005 15:47 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
Quote:
No, it is a systems game. Products like the Rio or the Empeg are solutions or systems. How many of DNNAs licensors took only the software or only the hardware reference design? I don't know, but I'd bet it isn't a significant number.

I can't reveal any details of Rio's licensing deals, however it is fairly obvious to anyone in the industry that most of the licensing value is in the software. The hardware for any of Rio's players could be designed from scratch at minimal cost.

Any given hardware design might cost in the region of a few tens of thousands of dollars to produce. The Rio software has cost many millions over the last several years - it would take a brave executive to hand over the source. I can't even begin to imagine what value Rio executives might perceive in doing so.

Rob

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#245039 - 05/01/2005 20:46 Re: Money vs Ubiquity [Re: mdavey]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Apple iPod is interesting. I wonder what generates more profit right now: iPod sales or iTunes sales. I'd say that iPod+iTunes is a clear indication of Apple starting to move to a services business model, too.


iPod sales do. In every financial release they do, the iTunes music store earns them very little noticible profit, as most of the money from the tracks goes to the RIAA or the publisher. The small Apple share is enough to cover server costs and other related costs to keep the store running. The store mostly exists to push iPod sales. And now with the popularity of iTunes player, AAC is also now helping to drive iPod sales, with not only Apple shipping it, but also the #1 PC maker, HP. Apple has the only hard drive player I am aware of that supports AAC (non encrypted).
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Tom

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#245040 - 06/01/2005 10:39 Re: Money [Re: peter]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
Quote:
If Rio succeed in giving you a car-player the size of a big pocket-watch -- and in 2005 Rio just might -- then all of a sudden you might not feel you need your bulky old marine chronometers.




I'd consider that a bulky wrist watch... how about you?
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Brad B.

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#245041 - 06/01/2005 11:37 Re: Money [Re: SE_Sport_Driver]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
I'd consider that a bulky wrist watch... how about you?

...Nah... That is tiny...
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Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#245042 - 06/01/2005 16:59 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
FWIW, if funding were the only issue for making progress with the empeg, I'd contribute something (or would be willing to give a smaller, monthly contribution toward ongoing development).

Personally, though, I'm happy with what I've got in 2.0. I haven't run the alphas for a while.

As for improvements, there are really only two concerns I have with the current product: one day it will really be difficult to replace in case it ever is stolen or broken, and the lack of drm suport. Neither of these issues can be addressed short of starting a new compnay to create a new car player, and that would take some signficant investment indeed (with perhaps the chance of a nice payoff if a marketable product were produced).
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Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#245043 - 07/01/2005 01:17 Re: Money [Re: SE_Sport_Driver]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
So, I'm here at CES... What's good to see? I haven't been by the Rio booth/area yet - probably try to do that tomorrow. The show is just bloody enormous.

I've seen about a million MP3 players from about three dozen (or more) companies I've never heard of. Some good industrial design, but far too many players using 128-256MB of memory. Yuck. But some just barely bigger than two thumbs.

Anyone know if there's anything interesting at the Visteon outdoor pavilion thing?

Bruno
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#245044 - 07/01/2005 04:54 Re: Money [Re: altman]
PaulWay
addict

Registered: 03/08/1999
Posts: 451
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Well, that was one of the most interesting half hours I've had reading one thread!

1) I'll put $100 USD or $100 AUD, whichever is greater at the time, in the tin towards having a stable 3.0 release. Don't forget us Mark 1 users!

2) I'm incredibly intrigued by Hugo's references to some new ultra-secret, ultra-small product that's going to be an advance on the Rio Car (although from the little I've read it could also be a LCD postage stamp.) If it's the former, then I'm all ears!

3) I think the Open Source / Closed Source debate has iterated all the interesting arguments here. Of course it would be better for the car player source to be made available, but since it's incredibly unlikely (from what Rob, Hugo and Roger have implied) I think we can let that idea rest in peace. I don't see any companies making other products that can run the Squeezebox source, but I do see a lot of other companies that are competing in the same market with thier own proprietary player. And if this new wonder product Hugo is hinting about didn't have as good an interface as the Rio Car (and therefore in all likelihood use their own source code to do same), then why would we buy it?

4) If, Hugo, a very small Melbourne empeg meet and a half decent curry means anything to you<*>, then heed the criteria of modularity and upgradeability. As you said, you can never have too much memory; that can also be said for hard disk space, display size, processor speed, connectivity, and whatever else.

Have fun,

Paul

<*> And hopefully they mean a lot to you, which is what they mean to me.
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#245045 - 07/01/2005 23:24 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
schofiel
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/06/1999
Posts: 2992
Loc: Wareham, Dorset, UK
After a fair amount of consideration of all the responses posted here, I have decided, with some regret, to withdraw this proposal. I will not as a result be taking this any further with Hugo to request permission to work on the V3 branch to produce a stable release at Beta quality.

My original goals were:

- to get a job
- pay my bills
- do something I would enjoy
- provide something of use to the community
- remove the load on Hugo and the team

All I really wanted to do was to put an end to the endless complaints about bugs, non-functional RDS and tuners that didn't work: to get this off Hugo's (and Peter's, John G's, Toby's, and everyone else's who has part involvement with the car player software) backs and just let them get on with their jobs, whilst giving us a final, stable release with which we could all be content. This was done purely 'cos of my current circumstances and my uniquely protected status regarding IP with the player. It was driven somewhat by seeing the succesful result of a similar effort by Poul Henning-Kamp on the BSD kernel and core distribution which finished recently. I thought: well, why not for empeg? Unforch - and to my great disappointment - it's not going to be possible. There is insufficient interest, motivation, or funding (even at the relatively economical levels I would have been prepared to accept - I did not see one single post asking for an overall expected cost for this proposal) to make this work. Instead of a "Yeah! let's do it!" spirit, there was a rapid sideways diversion into IP and open source. Completely missed the point, people. Waste of time.

To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. This thread has completely disintegrated and lost focus. There has been little real comprehension, or visionary understanding, of what I had intended. I suspect a lot of it came from me not being very clear and up-front about my intentions. I'll have to learn from this. However, it has become apparent from a few strategic postings what is likely to happen in the next few months, and that my proposal would (as like as not) cause problems with this. I would still like to be surprised, but I doubt that I will be. Hence, it's time to (dis)gracefully withdraw.

As pessimistic as this all sounds, I have been getting the feeling recently that this community is gradually disintegrating and slipping away. The long time owners and posters are disappearing: the torch is diminishing. The discussions becoming less focussed on the player and more on trivia. There is more and more repetition, and the FAQ is being read less and less. It's a repetition of what I have seen happen on the Dragon scene, the Atari scene, OS-9 (and I will leave you knowledgeable ones to work out which one I mean), Acorn and Archimedes, DOOM, and numerous other things I've been interested in over time that have - gradually - just faded away. Perhaps I always choose the wrong thing to be interested in, I dunno.

So what's going to happen to this wonderous beast that has affected all our lives? It will struggle on with perhaps one more (nearly) fixed release, and the number of active users will gradully diminish with more and more players being shelved over time. There will be a gradual loss of interest as the spares pool gets smaller, and catastrophic damage to players will be - just that, irreparable. It's going to die, and it's time we got realistic about it.

For myself, I have now started off with something new to keep me interested. I'm not bailing out - the empeg will always hold a place in my heart for the change it has brought to my life - but it is, nonetheless, time to move on.

You too....
_________________________
One of the few remaining Mk1 owners... #00015

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#245046 - 07/01/2005 23:56 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5320
Loc: Cambridge UK
Technology gets old - it's pretty amazing that there are still so many people talking about the car player more than three years after it was discontinued. I suspect that the majority of players will remain in use for years to come, at least until something better comes along (which may *never* happen if it's geek appeal you're looking for).

It can be depressing when enthusiast-driven products decline and the communities built around them start to disintegrate, but I hope we'll let the car player grow old with dignity as we await the "next great thing" from Hugo and the chaps. Personally, I have no intention of ever replacing my car player - it's a reminder of one of the most successful periods of my life. If necessary I'll keep a second car just to give it somewhere to live.

Rob

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#245047 - 07/01/2005 23:57 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
Quote:
I did not see one single post asking for an overall expected cost for this proposal) to make this work.

You missed petteri's post, then.

Quote:
Instead of a "Yeah! let's do it!" spirit, there was a rapid sideways diversion into IP and open source. Completely missed the point, people. Waste of time.

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed in this, as well. How many fricken times has that particular question been asked and answered in the past? Dead horse, meet stick; stick, meet dead horse.

I would have jumped in eanlier, but was off on Christmas vacation. I think your suggestion was an excellent suggestion, and thank you for making it, even if it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped.

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#245048 - 08/01/2005 01:49 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
bonzi
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/09/1999
Posts: 2401
Loc: Croatia
Rob,

it saddens me seeing you so disappointed. Once you said you would spend bout six months on the project, there was no need to ask for 'quote': anything less that 10k or so would not pay bills. I (and most of others who replied) were willing to part with up to 100 to make 3B happen - if it cannot be done, we will stick with 2. I didn't see 100 posts, so it would seem, the interest is not sufficient. However, many intereseted owners don't visit this board regularly, so perhaps the idea should have been given more time.

I don't see why rehashing of "commercial advantges of open sourcing" argument upset you so much? Likewise the "let's make one of our own" story.

As for the community disintegrating, it is inevitable, but it will take quite a few years yet, I think. Again, I understand it saddens you (you could safely be voted entusiast of the century, with all those fantastic meets you organize, despite everything that is happening to you personally), but imagine what slow demise of empeg means to, say, Hugo or Rob V...

I won't thank you for all your efforts now, because I believe there will be plenty of opportunity in comming years.

Please, cheer up!

(6809, BTW).
_________________________
Dragi "Bonzi" Raos Q#5196 MkII #080000376, 18GB green MkIIa #040103247, 60GB blue

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#245049 - 08/01/2005 02:30 Re: Money [Re: schofiel]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
Quote:
I did not see one single post asking for an overall expected cost for this proposal) to make this work.


I agree that the "open source" discussion was really annoying and a bit disrespectful IMO because it had absolutely nothing to do with what you had proposed. It also went against what everyone close to empeg said was possible. I kept reopening this thread to see what the latest thoughts were on your proposal, only to find people going on and on about stuff that had nothing to do with the subject. I was also bummed out to read people posting "I'll pay a sum that will maybe cover only a week of your groceries, but your work had better give me A, B and C features."

However, that being said, I figured if wanted to share what your "costs" would be, you would have. Either, you didn't feel like sharing what your bills are each month (none of our business) or you want to get a feel for everyone's opinion before crunching the numbers. Someone did actually ask what the rate would be, and I, along with a few others, suggested creating a pool of money we could donate to for paying up-front. The magic number of funds was never up to us.

Also, there were many of us (maybe not as many as you'd like, but considering the light traffic we get nowadays, I thought it was a pretty good ratio) who were very excited about this and wanted to be part of it. I was even emailing and talking to my empeg friends and family (albiet, there are only 4 of them) that have never been members of this BBS. I was even bragging to some of my non-empeg friends about how cool it would be to have you do this. "Remember that cool Alpha 3 I was telling you about? Now I'll finally be able to use it on my main player!"

So I don't blame you for being frustrated by some of the replies and distractions here, but please don't forget about the rest of us who were and still are geeked as hell about the idea.
_________________________
Brad B.

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#245050 - 08/01/2005 03:34 Re: Money [Re: bonzi]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5383
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
As for the community disintegrating, it is inevitable, but it will take quite a few years yet, I think

Agreed.

And not because discussion of the empeg player is going to go on forever. Has anybody beside myself been watching the tally of posts in the forums? The Off Topic forum is going to overtake the General forum in about another 30 days as being the forum with the greatest number of posts in it.

Face it, over the past five years of so we've pretty much said about all there is to say about the empeg. What keeps me coming back to this bbs, and will for the forseeaable future, is the opportunity to engage in intelligent conversation on an extraordinarily wide range of topics, with people who are smarter than I am.

We have an incredible community here, perhaps unique on the entire internet, filled with people who are able to discuss anything civilly, articulately, intelligently, and best of all driven by a willingness and desire to do so.

The empeg could become completely obsolete tomorrow (perhaps replaced by an implant in our brains containing every bit of audio ever recorded and controlled solely by thought) and this community would continue because the camaraderie, the intelligence, the spirited give-and-take and depth of knowledge are not to be found anyplace else.

Long live the empeg bbs!

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#245051 - 08/01/2005 03:54 Re: Money [Re: tanstaafl.]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Quote:
perhaps replaced by an implant in our brains containing every bit of audio ever recorded
Oh man, does that mean "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinade O'conner would be stuck in my brain? I think I'd stick with my empeg over that!

More on topic, I thought the deal was kind of killed by a few things that the empeg guys said. They seemed to feel that bringing Rob up to speed would be a prohibitively difficult task.

I agree whole heartedly with Doug, though. This is a great community, and it continues to be great. I rarely find much about the empeg worth writing about these days simply because the darn thing just works for me and does everything I need. I don't need to know much more about it, nor do I have any questions about what I can do with it, but I have friends here and that's what keeps me reading posts.
_________________________
-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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