- TOSLINK (optical audio)
- Coaxial digital audio
- Tin can and string
- Banana plugs
Besides, if you've got speakers that are so good you're wiring them up with banana plugged-cables, you probably already have a pretty nice receiver. What purpose was served by adding an amp and making this thing into a mini receiver on its own?
As it is, the Nexus Q embraces two sorta common connectors and one extremely high-end, therefore niche interface. The most common and obvious audio interface, the 3.5mm jack, is left in the cold.
(An expansion on my reply to:
Which includes an almost comical photo in support of this argument:
The question IMHO should be: why did they include an (expensive) amplifier in the Q? Most people will want to use it with amplified speakers, and if someone has high-end speakers he probably already has a decent amplifier. It makes even less sense if connected via HDMI to an home-theatre setup.
Maybe they have in mind a screen + Q + passive speakers setup, without any other amplifier/gaming console/dvd player/...?
> Besides, if you've got speakers that are so good you're wiring them up with banana plugged-cables, you probably already have a pretty nice receiver. What purpose was served by adding an amp and making this thing into a mini receiver on its own?
It's an odd decision the more you look at it. The sort of person who's happy to plunk down $300 on a home theater component is already going to have a much more capable device driving a surround sound system. It's not like this is positioned to do that, so it can't replace the home theater receiver.
Sure, mostly people that care about audio are going to have a primary system with a nice receiver and big speakers. But the same kind of person that cares about music enough to want that _also_ wants to be able to listen to the same music in any room in their house, with independent volume controls and freedom to select speakers suitable for the listening environment and context.
The hardcore might be using things like BitPerfect and using their own DAC/AMP combos or whatever.
If the Q was $100 and let you stream in a fashion similar to AirPlay (ie, any media on an android device), it would be unstoppable.
I have a complete Sonos setup in my home, with two of those, two "connect" and 3 "play5". It's not cheap but it works flawlessly, it's perfect. It only plays music (not movies) but can play your own music from a NAS or a computer on your network (but not from your Android or iPhone phone -- you'd have to copy the files on your NAS first).
This thing from Google seems to take inspiration from Sonos; if they really want to compete they should make it compatible with Sonos, and then why not; but why would Google want to be in the home entertainment sphere is what I'd like to know...
1. The device is meant to grow a whole house audio network. Your main A/V system can run the main room, but your Nexus Q devices in your bathroom, your den, and your kitchen ought not all need full AV setups as well.
2. One of the main use cases is to offer a digital welcoming mat at your site to anyone who comes by. I'm not sure what the system capabilities are for the Nexus Q, but plenty of tablets and mobile devices have pretty respectable displays: what they lack is speakers, because speakers by their nature are bulky and weighty devices. Nexus Q solves the most problematic part of nomadic computing, adequate sound: the only part of media consumption that is by it's nature required to be a part of the room infrastructure.
There's a freebie reason as well: it's cost is close enough to free. The audio chip, TAS5713, is listed as $2.15 in 1k units. They probably had to spend that again to upgrade the power supply, for which 25 of it's available 35 watts are dedicated to audio, and most of that cost gets sunk in larger passive components. The binding posts are probably nearly a dollar. There's a tiny bit more board real estate, a couple more passive components, but those are pennies. The overall cost is, I maintain, slight.
Adding more power would've been problematic: bigger power supply, perhaps bigger PCB traces, and the unvented passive-cooling-cum-metal-casing would have needed to be revamped to handle the significant heat-load. After 25 watts, audio goes from being a single chip IC to requiring discrete components, namely cooled and dedicated power switching transistors. 25 watts was as most as could be squeezed in easily.
You mention amplifier speakers in your post, ot, but M-Audio AV40's would be my goto compare, and at 20 watts/channel they're A) are not much of an upgrade and b) no slouch in their class, having more watts than many many AirPlay devices. Amplified speakers also create a much more complex wiring scenario: instead of being free to wire speakers wherever, one speaker now wants wall power, and the other speaker has to chain off the first. With an integrated amplifier, speakers are free to be moved into whatever satellite position is desired.
12.5 watts is quite a lot of power. It sounds meek compared to the hundred watts of an AV amplifier, and indeed, it won't get ragingly loud on most speaker sensitivities, but it will be loud (buy a Sonic Impact T-Amp and find out for yourself! $35 awesome-sauce battery-powerable mini amp, highly recommended!).
I for one think the ability to easily throw up cloud powered bookshelf speakers wherever is really cool.
For popularity of interfaces, powered speaker outputs are obviously for completely different use-cases than anything else you listed. You aren't going to connect a 3.5mm or TOSLINK output to a passive speaker, and you generally aren't going to connect speaker-level outputs to an RCA input. The only other competing connecter worth considering is plain old bare wire.
It has TOSLINK and HDMI outputs in addition; it's not an either/or choice.
As for the benefit of amplifier integration, I can think of a few:
- Space. The nice receivers you talk about are generally at least 17" wide and 14" deep, so if this is a bedroom or den setup for wireless music streaming you might not have space for one. Smaller ones obviously exist, but I haven't found one smaller than about 11" by 13" with remote volume control.
- Power consumption. Full receivers often have ridiculous idle power consumption, and the only standardized way to turn them off (HDMI-CEC) can still have significant standby power consumption. Also it uses a more efficient class D amp while most full receivers use class AB.
- Volume control. It should be between the DAC and amplifier, but with a two piece streaming + outboard receiver your options are either a separate remote to control it or digital volume control at the streamer, which really is suboptimal. And if you want a tiny amp then there is no remote; you have to get up and physically turn a knob.
The 3.5mm jack would be common sense for a line out, but certainly not for the speaker-out from an amplifier.
The logical connector would be binding post, which allows banana connectors, bare wire, or lugs. As you mentioned, I'm sure these weren't used because of aesthetics.
All that being said, $300 is a crazy, crazy price for this, but I really think banana plugs and an amplifier are one of the only good decisions made with the Q.
Besides, I don't see how comparing myriad interfaces that _can't connect an amplifier to speakers to make sound_ with banana plugs is helpful to the conversation.
Whether the Nexus Q needs to contain a dedicated amplifier that can get around an A/V receiver (which a lot of people who invested in their home theatre system might already have) is another matter.
There's a bug in some AppleTV where it has to be connected to a TV on boot or there's random noise from the digital audio out, but the easy solution is just keep it on (it only draws like 1 watt idle anyway). Hook up to a dedicated amplified speakers and you have wireless audio whenever.
Same for me, and most folks with low- to mid-range home theater setups, I'd wager – shoving bare wire into the terminal seems pretty common.
This cannot be a real product. It has to be like a concept car. Surely. Surely?
Just spend a extra .70 and have the cable screwed to a damn male plug.
Nothing worse than screwing the wires every time
Screw once, and then you're set for life!
What drives me crazy are those stupid spring-loaded things that many receivers and speakers have these days. The springs eventually get loose and then the connections get flakey.
This is probably not a mass consumer device supposed to replace the Roku. It's a premium product for a very specific use case (as google demoed). While at the same time a developer toy to explore what android can do in different devices.
No game console maker has ever made real money on the hardware. If Google is just breaking even on the Nexus Tablet, even when it's sold from their own webstore, they can't be making much on this more powerful hardware.
The Google Play media sales, including games, is where the money is.
Without marketing as a game console, games will be available soon enough. Here's the plan:
1) Existing Android game developers will adapt their games to work with the Nexus Q. Because it is EASY.
2) Friends will have fun at parties queuing up music and videos and playing games. Games that can (for the moment) only be played on the Nexus Q. Some of said friends will buy the Nexus Q. Google hopes it spreads virally.
3) Google cleans up selling the media. If you have a Nexus Q and Android phone, you are going go to Google Play first to buy all your media.
I'm not saying it's a genius business plan. But it's the only business case I've seen that makes sense of this strange device.
It only takes a small percentage of people weaned away from the existing Steam/Amazon/iTunes ecosystems and over to the nascent Google Play to make this a very profitable venture.
I only realized just how powerful iTunes is when I tried to convince my girlfriend over to switch to Linux many moons ago. I failed. Because she is wedded to Apple for life. All her content works seamlessly with Apple products. The price to move away from Apple has simply become too great, for her and countless other Apple users. You simply cannot compete for those users anymore. The big boys need to lockdown the remaining users to survive. And fast.
If anything, debacles like this and Google TV 1.0 lose Android credibility in the living room space as prospective buyers ask "Is this gonna be another Nexus Q?" while they're considering purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Console.
Alternatively Vizio now has a small $100 GoogleTV box. With one update it should be able to do what this does but a third of the price (and it comes with OnLive for gaming)
Meanwhile Apple Airplay is not getting remotely enough attention. It's social, it's rock solid, it's zero-configuration, it's invisible, it enables desirable real-world media sharing scenarios, and it's already on a billion devices. Google should get out their checkbook and license it before they're permanently shut out of the living room.
"If you or the friend then taps the name of a song in
your online Google account, it starts playing
immediately, rather than being added to the queue as
you’d expect. A Google rep explained to me that you’re
not supposed to tap a song to add it to the playlist;
you have to use a tiny pop-up menu to add it."
No, it's not OK to explain that you must use a popup menu to add it. It's plain fucked up. It means that someone, all too easily, can mess up the current playlist by tapping at a song. One little movement with your finger and you just ruined the mood by cutting the tune. You can't trust shit like this. People will be afraid to open up the playlist. This strikes me as just thrown together enough to work, but not designed to actually work well, in every sense of the word.
Speaking of Logitech, I wonder if Google collaborated with them for the Q. They did for Google TV.
I'm going to guess no.
Better than Airplay is DLNA.... a standard that is implemented by most modern net-connected TVs that I've seen. It still boggles my mind that I have to download an Android app to use DLNA on my Galaxy Nexus.
You'd think my home would be full of interconnected multimedia, but it just. never. works. Seriously, I would pay a big amount of money to someone who just made a series of DLNA products that implemented the standard in meaning not just lip service.
Either way -- if the Q had been DLNA, wouldn't that have been better than what it's trying to do now?
Edit: more better english
My bet is that Google will pull a betamax on the Google TV ecosystem
Anyway, not myself not other modder were able to use it effectively with any other device unless gutted.
There are a lot of AV components, listed at http://openhome.org/wiki/OhMedia . Multiroom and party-mode synchronized audio are there too.
Airplay works out of the box every time, with minimal training, no setup, and no discovery drama. One concept, one button, one set of expected results.
My mom still has trouble understanding the difference between playing music on Mac iTunes via Remote from her iPod touch, and playing the same music, through the same AirPlay speakers, from the same(ish) library, via iTunes Match, and in principle, she shouldn't have to (this is admittedly tricky to get right for corner cases, but in the common scenario where desktops running iTunes never vanish and all songs are assumed to be in iTunes Match, there should be some simple logic to optimize the mechanism given only "song" and "speakers", to avoid stuffing an iDevice with music from Match and draining its battery when all the music required is already available locally on a Mac running iTunes or even via iTunes Match from an AC-powered device like Apple TV).
Also, at 300 bucks, honestly it's going to be much cheaper to set up a raspberry pi or its equivalent with some hybrid franken-software setup. Add a few batch files on watch folders for video format conversion and I think you're good to go.
Also iirc, the Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet versions (i.e. identical to S2 but without the phone) cost around $200 bucks, and that can play any format you throw at it. Plus since it's DLNA capable you could directly stream content off your home server without breaking a sweat. The CPU/GPU are pretty capable being the Cortex A9/Mali 400 combo.
The tablet I got is a NatPC 009S. Also sold as Tabtronic and probably a bunch of other names. It's a nice little thing for it's price. As mentioned, where they've skimped the most is clearly the screen, which doesn't measure up favourably to mid/high end Android phones, and much less to the high end tablets.
Note that I've not tested 2160p output, though, as I don't have anything that can display it, and given the marketing copy on some of these sites who knows, but that's what they claim anyway.
The main reason I have no interest in Airplay is that it requires iTunes, and none of my media 'workflow' involves it, not to mention it being a horrible piece of software.
But it is basically a system service on iOS, which does not require iTunes. And with the next release of the Mac OS, display mirroring will be built in - how hard would it be to implement it in iTunes for windows and short-circuit Microsoft's Play-To and DNLA services?
Every platform vendor needs this device-spanning mortar now. And Google doesn't have it.
Can AirPlay from Android devices as well...
Can you clarify how you think needing a separate Android device to control a Q to stream to a TV is the same as needing an Apple TV to stream to a TV? An Apple TV comes with a basic remote, so you don't need anything other than what comes in the box to actually use the device.
That alone throws half the customer base into a frustrating situation, incurring a knock-on $30 expense.
Even Roku doesn't offer this courtesy, although they do upsell an inexpensive cable during checkout.
Everyone wins, except lazy or ignorant consumers, and they always lose so who cares.
It's just seamless and you don't need to know how it works to use it.
I don't know if you're right or not, but certainly YouTube and desktop iTunes is only a subset of AirPlay content. This doesn't really scale without providing a spec for content to follow.
All iOS apps must use HLS for videos longer than 10 minutes and Apple verifies compliance during the app store review process. As mentioned, with AirPlay all HLS media files are downloaded directly by the AppleTV, not piped through your device. I can tell you from experience it works very well.
1) Found a video on iPad YouTube. Longer than 10 minutes.
2) Played it to the TV with AirPlay.
3) Turned the iPad off.
Expected the video to continue to play but it stopped immediately.
Can you get a similar test to work?
"The Q presumably gets its name from “queue,” or playlist, and Google is especially proud of its multi-participant playlist feature. If you’re having friends over, and they, too, have Android phones, and they, too, have bought songs from Google’s music store, then they can add their own songs to your Q’s queue.
Sounds interesting in theory. In practice, there’s a lot of spontaneity-killing setup. You have to go into Settings to turn on the feature. Then you have to invite your friend to participate by — get this — sending an e-mail message. Then your friend has to download the Nexus Q app."
When I'm hanging out, music is a background thing while we talk or play games. Not something people are fiddling with on a song-by-song basis (at most: "Hey, could you change the Pandora station?").
Apple has something similar (iTunes remote? can't remember the name, it's been that long) and I'd love to know how often that feature gets used. There's also the unspoken social rule that whoever is hosting the party generally picks the music.
I own an Apple TV and hosted a party at home.
My Apple TV is not protected by password, so all my friends with iPhones (the last one to own an Android got tired of it and replaced it with iPhone) could see the special 'Air Play' icon (http://cms.whathifi.com/Images/189140462bli.jpg) on their iPhone as soon as they join my WiFi network. Now anyone can play media on my TV, be it music from their library/photos from their camera roll/any other App which supports AirPlay. No set up required.
When I bought Apple TV, I bought it only for Netflix but I have been using it a lot through AirPlay. It's a killer feature.
I hope that Google has tricks up its sleeve in time for Christmas. That's the only way I can imagine this product will do well. They can't wait a year and re-launch it, like what I think they tried with Google TV.
Apple routinely announces something at a conference and says it will ship in X months allowing them the time to polish. I see no reason why Google couldn't do the same.
The PM could have done this to beat up an intransigent subteam with market feedback.
Having a seamless user interface where everyone's phone can, with the click of a button, remotely play a song they own or start a Youtube clip sounds fun.
But like Pogue, it doesn't sound 300 bones fun to me. For that, I can unplug the speaker's 3.5mm cord from my phone and plug it into my friend's phone. And do a quick search on Youtube on some Wii, Xbox, PS3, Roku, etc. that I already own.
And for the tech geek, doesn't the fast-approaching sub-$100 full-on Linux or Android ARM HTPC make way more sense? Why would I choose a crippled device over one that lets me do whatever I want?
I don't see the need for the overwrought "Oh, let me surreptitiously insert this song onto a group playlist" scenario. Exactly, sharing is plugging in the 3.5mm jack into another device and pressing play. 3 seconds vs. minutes to download a new app, suffer through config, etc.
AirPlay too. At least two houses I've been in the past few weeks involved streaming music to a friend's speaker system after connecting to a friend's wifi point.
Lately I think AirPlay has become more common than remote.
(There is a mode where you can restrict sharing to invited users only. Again, this is not the default.)
Yes, you need to install the app. But assuming you have a NFC-enabled device, all this takes is tapping your phone on the top of the Q.
That's not really what I'd call "a lot" of setup.
My hope is that the Q will be able to connect devices with just NFC though. I don't mind the settings or app requirements, but it would be nice if I can skip the e-mail invite.
It can run Android apps, so it is, in fact, an Android device. It isn't tied to an individual. If this is well-implemented and secure, it's an interesting aspect of the Android OS that hasn't been exposed in other Android devices yet. If it is possible to build a similar system from the AOSP code-base, that would be very useful for people with a less-dogmatic idea of a feature set.
Most other aspects are, as Pogue points out, full of WTF.
You get problems in terms of where the data to drive it comes from, especially if it's the class of data you'd normally store on an SD card, which may be one slightly more reasonable explanation of the ludicrous cloud dependence of the Q.
At Apportable (YC11) we have been poking around with it and found it has the potential for being an amazing game platform.
You can read about our exploits where I demoed the results our hacks at AnDevCamp this last weekend after Google IO:
We figured out it's also possible to transfer APKs to the device with NFC but it fails at random points.
We also got a mouse working with one of the games we ported for Android:
My thoughts are that google wanted to ship it by Google IO but have more plans for it upcoming.
I predict that in the next year the Q will get software support for:
- iOS devices as a controller
- other computers on your network as a controller (web interface or chrome app or something)
- netflix/hulu/other stuff streaming support
- music/video streaming from local network devices
- streaming all audio output from a device (like my desktop computer) to the Q, so it can be used as a stereo device instead of just an output device
However, assuming all of those features were added, I'm still not sure I'd pay $300 for it.
I think these devices, especially at $300, need to be attractive at launch to become hits. Adding features 6-12 months down the line doesn't seem to ever turn a lagging product around - launch is the time when potential consumers are paying the most attention.
What turned the iPhone into a serious product, from my own point of view, was the regular stream of updates and bug fixes that Apple provided. I didn't like my iPhone very much at first, but it just kept getting better, through no effort or expense on my part. I wasn't accustomed to buying electronic devices that magically got better over time. They won at least one loyal customer with that approach, and influenced the way I do business today.
The only thing you get with this that doesn't ship standard with the GTV boxes announced so far is an amp, but the amp in the Q is pretty puny, and if you're hooking it up to an existing sound system, you won't use it anyway.
We have a "problem" at our hackerspace where lots of people want to control the stereo. Usually there are 5-10 people in there working, there is always music playing, and the person controlling the music (or the "wubs" as they are affectionately called now) changes pretty frequently.
We should be exactly the target market for the Q.
Except we already solved this problem. We bought a really long cable off of monoprice, and we bought a bluetooth audio receiver. They both plug into a mixing board, and they allow everybody to play music. Switching between who "has wubs" involves going "hey, you want wubs?".
It works really well, it almost never breaks down, it doesn't require anybody to install anything on their phones, computers, cassette players, arduino shields, theramins, contact microphones, or whatever else we decide we want to play over the PA.
Most importantly, it doesn't cost $300.
...and then one of us bought one and brought it into the lab.
Here is what happened: http://yfrog.com/z/oe42wqagj
Microsoft has done this many, many times as has Apple. With Microsoft you can see the ill fated Kin/Kin 2, Windows Media Center, Windows Tablet, Windows UMPC's, etc. that for various reasons just weren't good ideas, weren't priced right, etc. Apple had the G4 cube, iPod Hi-Fi, and the Motorolla ROKR (with iTunes).
When you have billions of dollars in profit, you tend to throw money around at ideas that might not be ready yet, or just might not be very good ideas yet. Google has a history of doing this in software, but now that they're moving into hardware the problems seem more glaring.
The Kin is only one I can say made no sense for the same reason the nexus Q doesn't make sense. It's really locked, not easy for the user put there own content on the device and relies too much on the cloud.
From the articles I read at the time, the Kin did make sense, initially. All MS had to do was make a decent HipTop successor and get it out on time, and they'd had a decently successful product. Instead, internal politics wound up producing a wholly reworked, incredibly late product that missed the market window and earned boatloads of carrier ill will.
The HipTop was very popular, and MS should've been able to capitalize on that; instead, they totally biff'd it and it cost them boatloads. To me, having watched large companies make massive screw-ups due to internal politics, the whole debacle was just too familiar and understandable.
Maybe someone here has better understanding of that market. Could the made in the US selling point of the Q actually be big enough to drive sales? Would americans actually pay more only because of that?
Listen to American Country music from the late 80's and early 90's, like Alabama, Brooks and Dunn, and Billy Ray Cyrus. It's all about a blue-collar factory worker who drives a Corvette and a pickup truck and owns a house with plenty of land. Now fast forward to the last 5-10 years in Country music, where you have Hank Williams Jr singing "Red. White. and Pink Slip Blues". (in the US, a "pink slip" refers to your termination notice when you lose your job)
Manufacturing in America is seen as something we've had stolen from us by the Japanese and Chinese. Anything made in America must be better than the Asians can make, because it was made in America. Many Americans insist on buying GM/Ford/Chrysler cars, for example, because they or their families probably worked in the American car factories. Even though these are not "American" cars anymore, the thought of buying a Japanese or Korean auto (even though they actually are made in the US) is distasteful. It's a legacy that some people are unwilling to forget, even at the expense of hurting American jobs more by not supporting foreign auto makers who do employ Americans.
Well, generally no. Which is why you don't see many products actually being made in the US and it's more the domain of obscure kickstarter projects. (And why the Nexus Q is such a confusing and odd exception that this makes the news.)
There is generally a notion that the US should be doing it's own manufacturing and an idea that we should be doing our own sweating for our own goods. It's seen as a fairly noble goal, but I think the market has generally shown people aren't usually willing to pay that much more for it. It's a marketing point in your favor if you can get it, but if it's going to effect the cost by a bunch... most people just don't care enough.
Also I think the motivations are mixed. It's not just about patriotism but about a political desire to see products made in a country where it's easier to ensure that the people who poured sweat into them were compensated fairly. The impression is US labor laws generally will ensure that and most of the countries US products get imported from, do not have those types of frameworks.
(Obviously there are other countries which do, but we don't tend to import cheap consumer goods from countries with labor costs as high as ours, for obvious reasons. :))
(Also, you don't understand patriotism? It's tribalism, something deeply encoded in our behavior from many thousands of years of tribal evolution.)
That's actually not true, as counter intuitive as it may seem. Local stuff uses more energy, not less.
Mainly because the large operations are so efficient, but the local ones are small.
Even if Chinese workers are making $0.80 an hour vs $16 for a US worker, the Q would have to soak up a ridiculous number of man hours in assembly to explain such a drastic price difference.
Either that amp is really expensive or Google is just plain overcharging for this thing.
Perhaps Google don't really trust the Chinese etc for hardware.
Trustworthiness is an important factor for something that is always on, in your living room.
(cue 1984 references here)
The Q is expensive, lives in a funky impractical case, and doesn't have a lot of useful IO. For $300 you could buy a few Arduinos, a beagle board/ARM SoC dev board, and even an FPGA dev board.
A cool looking sci-fi sphere that hooks up to my TV and lets me and my Android-enabled guests stream stuff from Google's cloud? I have almost no need for this.
A few cool looking sci-fi spheres around my home that wirelessly link all my speakers to the same content from Google's cloud? Eh. Interesting, but not worth $300.
A cool looking sci-fi sphere in my bedroom that knows I usually go to work around 9am and can wake me up and give me spoken alerts that traffic is rough and I should leave at 8:15am, and is still a hackable Android device? Take my money, take it all.
Seems like you are throwing out half the potential audience for this type of product by only supporting the Android OS.
Just to reiterate: The reason people make a big deal about the fact that you need an Android to control a Q, but don't make a big deal about needing an iPhone to control an Apple TV, is that you don't need to buy anything extra (or already own anything in the Apple ecosystem) to use the Apple TV from the couch. For people who don't already own devices in the Android ecosystem, the Q is a $500 device, but the Apple TV is only a $100 device for those who don't already have an iThingy.
The point I guess I was making was that it's not unusual for a company to not provide a client for their competitors platforms. It's crap, but it's not unusual.
They will show off a lot of potential but leave it to the imagination of the developers/users to figure out what they can do with it.
I think they have improved upon that to some degree with the Jelly Bean presentation, but I really think their products would be more appreciated if they highlighted good use cases for all their new features.
If you're plugging it into a TV, then the TV already has built in speakers (for normal folks, nerds probably have a 5.1 surround system) and its amp is useless, and its ability to be controlled via smartphone is lessened since you could have a TV-based UI. You also probably start thinking about streaming video, which it isn't particularly good at and which they already have a competing product for.
If you stick it in another room, one without a TV, then suddenly it makes sense. It's competing with a high-end iPod speaker dock. And like those, you're essentially paying for a bit of furniture, unlike an Apple TV or generic streaming box which hides in your media unit. For the iPod dock you have to put all your music into iTunes and copy to an iPod which then sits in the dock, for Google you put the music in the cloud.
From the looks of the marketing, google are trying to tap the "shiny and expensive" niche. It's almost like this is supposed to be more of an ornament that happens to also perform a function, after all it's going to be an awkward shape to stack under the TV with all the other set top boxes.
As far as the price point is concerned, $300 is a lot of money for a set-top box. However, if this can double up as a game console, it becomes competitive.
Google is still an early player in the hardware field and they are still trying to get things right. This is probably a test device for them before they push for a much more competitive product.
Also, "looking unique" can mean that you are the first in a new market, or that you are the first in a non-market.
Which is does very well. It is still a little pricey, but you get a lot of features, and the promise of more to come.
1) Release revolutionary device, locked down with software that limits its use
2) Sell lots
3) Finally succumb to demands that your device be the center of an app ecosystem.
If so, I suspect they will fail in all three.
Will play all of my movies and TV shows on my server, it works as a DLNA receiver so I can play content from my server or phone and use my phone as a remote and it will act as an Airplay client.
Why, oh why, would I pay $300 for a Google Play-only device?
"This is probably the only Android TV box that is shipped in such a small form factor and the only development platform in the market that is packaged in an elegant plastic box and not provided as a barebones system or in a bulky enclosure."
Edit: No official news or publicity posted by SolidRun in 6-month? http://www.solid-run.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=640
Well, sometimes they do and fail spectacularly. Does anyone remember the iPod HiFi? Similarly expensive, point- and useless.
If this is how they want to compete with Apple they haven’t understood Apple very well. (I do not think that’s their intention. Google is, in fact, pretty good at competing with Apple. Android does very well. They know what they are doing for the most part.) Apple is about making mass market products that differentiate themselves from the rest by their design – but they are not just design props. They are actual products people love to use, not put behind glass and stare at.
The Nexus Q is Google’s iPod HiFi. Utterly stupid, doomed for failure but of no consequence for Google in the long run. I wouldn’t read anything into it. Even the best companies do stupid stuff from time to time.
(Yes, this is a prediction. I recognize that I might be wrong and you can hold me to it.)
Tangent: Without any proof at all, I always thought the iPod hifi was some pet project of Steve's because he was into music. Anyone know the backstory there?
Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Google Nexus Q.
Caution: Google Nexus Q may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.
Google Nexus Q contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
Do not use Google Nexus Q on concrete.
Discontinue use of Google Nexus Q if any of the following occurs:
tingling in extremities
loss of balance or coordination
If Google Nexus Q begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.
Google Nexus Q may stick to certain types of skin.
When not in use, Google Nexus Q should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Google Nexus Q, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.
Ingredients of Google Nexus Q include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.
Google Nexus Q has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.
Do not taunt Google Nexus Q.
Google Nexus Q comes with a lifetime guarantee.