Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

You have all of these devices?

If so, I'm curious - how are you streaming network audio from your PC to your iPod or iPhone?

Many of those systems require special software on your PC to do the streaming - TiVO, for instance.  Many of those are not cross-platform.

In your opinion, should Chumby get into the business of providing desktop applications to provide services to the device?

27 (edited by limbo 2008-01-08 12:41:31)

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I don't have all of these devices (however I do have many - why do you think I could get you a list so quick?) and not all of them do everything that has been mentioned here.   However I tried to keep most items linux based for you.  The Divx thing is a perfect example also being all linux.  Hell even the crappy Linksys Share thing I bought for dirt cheap can be seen by all my other devices (which means it has shares opened up).

I don't think you need to make desktop software to mount network shares, however if you think that your company is not funded enough to be secure in using something like Samba or whatever these other guys are using, then I think you should write one for the PC and one for linux (if it's even needed there).

Given the option of having no way to play my media from all my other devices (of which many are linux based like the Linksys stuff I think and HP Printer), or having to load a small "driver" on my PC to allow sharing.  I would choose to load the driver.  So long as you can load a list of the items in a shared directory and pick to either play, or show (slideshow) the items in the list I think it would be fine.  Basically Chumby needs a Media Player.

This seems like such an obvious thing these days.  Media devices have access to things on your network, period.  What good are they if they don't?  It seems you are trying to make the Chumby part of my digital life at home, so this is just an obvious thing IMHO.

Why can my Picture Frame do it, but my Chumby (which I paid more for) not?

Once again - this is your company - if you don't see this as something as a must and obvious should-have, then you should really get out from under your desk and look at the CES landscape a bit.  You want to sell units, your mass market will expect this stuff.  As merely a customer, take it for what it's worth.  Also, answer to me a question I ask myself all the time: "Why can I pick files off my Linksys USB hub and play or view stuff which cost like $30 and is viewable by everything, yet I can't do that with my Chumby which I paid $175?"

Being as small as you make out to be, I think that "going to higher-ups" should be like a little meeting in a small room so it's not like going to the board of IBM or something here!  I could be wrong, but if I was, I think we would not even be having this discussion.

I gave you a list - work with it!  Why is it that I knew even when I took my time (very expensive time at that - I would have rather taken my kid for a ride in my Ferrari than type that message - yes I've done startups myself <g>) I would get a response like yours.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I don't know about streaming my music collection to my chumby (sounds kind of cool and I suspect someone is working it out),

but I would rather ride my chihuahua to work than listen to my tunes on Chumby's speakers.  They're servicable, but I have better equipment to really enjoy my music (I call it a 'stereo')

Want to see a cool project? check out my projects on Gadget Gangster

29 (edited by limbo 2008-01-08 14:16:42)

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

OMG - THAT SPIDER in you pic list is crazy!!!!  I HATE those things!!!

Cute dog though.

Ouch - dude, I wished you would have warned me about that page 17 on your photo feed!!!

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I don't think it's all that uncommon for commercial, Linux-based devices to employ Samba. One example I'm particularly familiar with is the Linksys Network Storage Link ( … torWrapper ). There are several set-top media players on the market now, like the Netgear EVA8000, that run Linux and access SMB shares. You can bet they're using Samba to do so.

Here's a list of some other vendors using Samba in their commercial products:

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Also, I don't understand this -

> Another *huge* issue, of course, is that Samba is moving to GPL3, which makes it license-incompatible with the Linux kernel, which is released under the GPL2-only.

The kernel, being GPL2, cannot be *linked* with Samba because Samba is GPL3. But Samba doesn't need to be linked to the kernel - it runs in userspace. As such, the license is irrelevant, is it not?

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Ah yes, you're right, I stand corrected - it's not linked into the kernel so the license should not be a problem.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

So does this mean you (Chumby Industries) can now make Chumby local network aware and be able to go out and get local media?

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

That's entirely up to the Product Management folks.  I'll make sure they get the request.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Duane wrote:

I'd *love* to support iTunes sharing - unfortunately Apple has locked that system down, so it simply can't be done.  To my knowledge, the necessary authentication scheme has yet to be broken - and even if it were, the DMCA would probably prevent us from implementing it in the chumby.

I was going to write that I've got a Fantom G-force somethingorother that has an iTunes server built in, so it must not be impossible... then I realized that I still interface with it using iTunes, and i'll bet iTunes doesn't fit on a Chumby worth a crap.

I haven't fired up SlimServer yet to play with the Chumby but I had it running a few years back to talk to a Squeezebox.  SlimServer is a really, really handy way to get at media files.  I don't mind it in the least.  I'm a gonna give it a shot here even though it means not updating that particular box to Leopard just yet. 

One thing I've experienced firsthand about media and networking: it's all about the GUI.  If a Chumby browsing a Slimserver can find files half as quick as you can find them in iTunes (excluding, of course, search), then it's a total winner.  I mean, really - the current generation of Squeezebox is a hundred bucks more than a Chumby, and all it's got is a frickin' two-line display!

I didn't get this thing because I expected it to be ready to roll over the iPod out of the box.  I got it because it seemed to support a whole lot of cool ideas and the developers were actively interested in stretching the boundaries of the device.  I view it as a participatory project and one that I'm willing to invest time and money in.  I'm running beta software and having been a part of half a dozen closed betas, I understand that "beta" means "doesn't do all that you want and might, in fact, cause your computer to irrevocably climb a tree."  The upside of that, of course, is you have much more influence over the finished project.  And if it's a program/device that you use every day, what's not to like?

My Chumby has been spooling SomaFM for about nine hours straight.  Just for the music alone it's a hell of a deal; I can't wait to see what happens next.


Slave to the Light, Inc.
Los Angeles & Seattle USA

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Creating an iTunes server is pretty easy, assuming you have something to serve, since Apple's iTunes still understands the older version of the protocol, and there are several Open implementation.  However, creating an iTunes *client* that will play music shared by iTunes 7 cannot currently be done.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Supporting local media over the home network is indeed on the to-do list -- not at the absolute top, but on the list.  So many features, so little time -- as Duane knows all too well.  Trust me, this is getting discussed internally and thanks to this Forum discussion (that's what the Forum is for), we'll focus on it even more seriously and try even harder to understand our options -- sometimes they are more nuanced than may be obvious -- that was Duane's point, I believe.  We'll try to figure out the best way to do it -- just can't promise a timeline yet (nor do we typically announce timelines for anything -- okay, sometimes *I* blurt something out, but too easy to get burned by making false promises given shifting needs and priorities).  I want this feature too.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Thanks to both Duane and Steve! I very much look forward to this feature.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I did not see ROKU Soundbridge mentioned as a device that receives iTunes 7 streams. It will not play protected ACC files. That is easily solved by burning those files to a CD and then ripping the CD as MP3 (using other software or iTunes on another PC).

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Gee.. I see Apple and Microsoft products, and almost ALL the devices (save the Tivo/Mvix/Neuros and Pertillian) have an Apple or Microsoft patent attached or Microsoft License Agr4eement