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  #1  
Old Dec 14th, 2005, 02:59 PM
aachrisg aachrisg is offline
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Default alternate handheld controller

So, especially since it looks like any ability for me to customize what I can do with the handheld controller isn't going to happen, I've been thinking about alternate controllers.

In particular, it looks like I can get a pocket PC supporting wireless networking, either dell axim, or HP ipaq, for a price that is between the same price as an additional sonos controller and $100 less than that.

Out of the box, I can use this controller to control my sonos, using the sonos web-based add-on, albeit with a less sexy UI.

So, I'd want to have a sexier UI than the current web hack provides. It seems like it should be possible to do a very nice UI, assuming their are no missing holes in terms of what we can do and query from the sonos over UpNP. It should be possible to show beautiful album
art, etc. It should be possible to surpass the interface in the sonos controller because of having lots of ram, ability to fetch data from my own pc server, and the ability to animate.


I can either extend the web interface to have the nice features, and use the embedded web browser on the pocket pc, which has the advantage of making it work on any device that can surf the web, or writing my own app to run on the pocket pc. I'm going to have to see how nice the web browser is on the axim that I ordered before deciding.

With the right software, it seems like the pocket pc has everything I wish the sonos controller had:

*I can program it.

Headphone jack lets you listen to music directly on it.

Can run all kinds of apps besides acting as a controller - surf the web or read email, games, etc.

Can play video.

Can send arbitrary network packets to control stuff besides the sonos, such as telling my server pc to dim the lights.

Bright hi res display and tons of ram.

can control other devices via IR

Can view image files

Can abritrarily extend music/playlist management features of sonos by writing software.

Can control other music devices I have like the squeezebox. So I can have my squeezebox also have a controller that show album art, etc.

Can control my home theater.

another very tempting device for this is the Nokia 770. Runs off the shelf linux including gnome, with a gorgeous large display.

Last edited by aachrisg; Dec 14th, 2005 at 03:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:01 PM
aachrisg aachrisg is offline
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Default wow

I picked up a nokia 770. Just controlling the sonos with a slightly modified version of the perl web controller at the moment. Its insanely awesome - the screen is so big and high resolution. I should be able to do a really awesome layout for it including showing art, grabbing artist info from the web, and more.
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  #3  
Old Dec 17th, 2005, 11:17 AM
anjrober anjrober is offline
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Default PocketPCs

Hi there,
I have used wireless PDAs for years. A few comments on their use as a remote.

1. You can also use them to control your IR remote gear so really have only 1 remote. Lots of good remote software out there.

2. You might consider checking out a BlueTooth access point and using that vs. 802. Depending on your physical layout you will get much longer battery life. I have used the ? and it was great. I was getting as much coverage as my 802 AP. Literally hundreds of feet. I have heard good things about the Belkin but haven't tried it.

3. The new version of the OS for PPCs is just now coming up so be sure to get a WM5 device. That said, a lot of apps aren't working with them so make sure to check on specific apps you are looking for.

4. To keep it on par with a sonos remote, I would sure encourage leaving it in the cradle and keeping an IP connection. They take about a minute on avg to boot, get an IP, and allow connectivity. Not to far off a sonos long sleep awaking. By the same terms I love my Sonos remote in a cradle and a huge cut in long sleeps on it.

Let me know if you have specific device ?s, I have access to most all PPC devices.

thanks...
--Andrew--
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  #4  
Old Dec 17th, 2005, 11:19 AM
anjrober anjrober is offline
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Default oops

Oops, the ? mark above was were I was going to remember the name of the AP, it was PicoBlue....sorry
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  #5  
Old Dec 27th, 2005, 10:11 AM
dlipetz dlipetz is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aachrisg
I picked up a nokia 770. Just controlling the sonos with a slightly modified version of the perl web controller at the moment. Its insanely awesome - the screen is so big and high resolution. I should be able to do a really awesome layout for it including showing art, grabbing artist info from the web, and more.
aachrisg,

I just picked up a Nokia 770 as well and find it a fascinating product. I'd like it to be able to browse the files on my NAS (MP3s and JPGs) and use the corresponding 770 applications with these files bu there does not seem to be any easy way to do this.

Also, if you develop anything for the SONOS and 770 let know, would love to try it out.
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  #6  
Old Dec 31st, 2005, 09:27 AM
aachrisg aachrisg is offline
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Default

It's possible to mount NFS volumes from the 770, but kind of a pain. I'm surprised they didn't include an SMB client - hopefully someone will port something.

All I've done so far with the 700+sonos is make a new template for the web controller software that makes good use of its screen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dlipetz
aachrisg,

I just picked up a Nokia 770 as well and find it a fascinating product. I'd like it to be able to browse the files on my NAS (MP3s and JPGs) and use the corresponding 770 applications with these files bu there does not seem to be any easy way to do this.

Also, if you develop anything for the SONOS and 770 let know, would love to try it out.
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  #7  
Old Apr 21st, 2006, 07:17 AM
rickp rickp is offline
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anjrober,

Will the Dell Axim x51v be able to serve as a Sonos desktop controller via wifi to my system?
If so, what is the best way to go about getting the pda set up for this?

What program do you recommend for this pda to get into IR remote control of home entertainment systems?

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 04:51 PM
anjrober anjrober is offline
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Default pocketpc controller

Rickp,
I haven't taken the time yet to setup a ppc to control sonos, but my understanding of the steps would be....
Install Andy Wicks web based controller - http://www.purple.org/sonos/ and choose an appropriate interface. This should setup the web portion.

Setup the 802 adaptor on the PPC for your internal network (WPA\WEP or whatever, I'll skip the religious war over wireless security...)

The 51v is a really nice device. Full VGA screen in your handheld.

As for IR software, here is a round-up from last year, still relevant though... http://pocketpcmag.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17874

After checking out the full discussion on the web controller I think I'll try and get on this sooner rather then later.....

Good luck. let me know if you have any questions.
--Andrew--
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  #9  
Old Apr 25th, 2006, 04:39 AM
anjrober anjrober is offline
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Default setup last night

Rickp,
So after reading the thread on Andy Wick's perl based web controller I set it up last night and must say how nice it was and how easy to setup. I set it up on OS X and it just worked, quickly and cleanly.

--Andrew--
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  #10  
Old May 4th, 2006, 07:20 PM
rickp rickp is offline
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Andrew,
Thanks so much for proving it out and letting me know. I am not real handy with this stuff but at least I know it can work. I will be reading up on the IR article also.

Have you used any particular IR programs to recommend ?

Thank You
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