Volumio Dev Team Weekly Diary

I think I’ve seen the pictures. Ticket sail start on the 4th of April. the distance (800km) is a bit pain full. Need to see if I can arrange something.
And make all kind of promises not to get home with new equipment… :thinking:

Well, still no update…

“It … fixes … utf-8 characters …”

Good. Whenever I had to flash, I had to go in and fix utf-8 to read diacriticals properly. Since I’m not a Linux junky, it always meant Googling until I’d remember bookmarking a site with instructions. :slight_smile:

Hello,

how can i test the Beta App?

„ Our plan is to release a beta test of the new app next week.“

Thanks

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What happened to the weekly reports? I really enjoyed reading them

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June 10, 2022

Yeah, it’s been a long time since I don’t write here. The reason is simple: we went through some really hectic months. Mainly because our focus has been on getting our new line of products ready.

You might have heard about our 3 new products: Rivo, Primo v2 and Integro. We are not releasing many pieces of information yet since we are planning the official launch in September, but as community members, you deserve to know a little bit more…

Those 3 products are the result of more than 2 years of work, challenges, mistakes, tuning but most importantly: passion. What we want to achieve with those new toys is: sensible products that maximize music enjoyment, for a larger group of people rather than “Classic Audiophiles”.
Don’t get me wrong: they are audiophile products, but we wanted to imagine how Hi-Fi shall evolve in the next 10 years, to attract newcomers, to have a bigger purpose than just playing bit-perfect Audio. In one sentence, devices that FIT into the daily lives of music lovers.

That’s why a big accent has been put on 3 key areas:

  • Industrial design. Those are objects that should enrich the visual aesthetics of the house they are put in. We could not have found a better partner do this (Tomas Ortiz Ferrer and Design Narratives, which BTW just won a Red Dot Award…).
    Also, nice shall not mean necessarily expensive to produce (both in monetary, time and environmental costs) so a big effort has been devoted to using less material as possible and optimizing mechanical fitting. And actually, getting those parts manufactured with the level of precision we needed, was something that really took a lot of time and a painful process of mistakes and refinement. But now, we are proud to say that Volumio Team has made up this expertise in-house, and looking back it has been a really fun and creative process to get here.

  • Electronics Engineering with purpose and constraints. All 3 products shall have excellent sonic performances without requiring expensive components (which in times of semiconductor shortage might be also catastrophic).
    It’s very easy to do good-sounding hardware using exotic components and overengineered circuitry. We choose instead to do great-sounding devices using just what was needed and nothing more (the hardest way).
    We wanted to offer our customers the certainty that they are getting the best for their buck. On top of that, I’ve always be a fan of the philosophy that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophisticacy”. The downside of it is that developing something such refined takes way more time: it’s a process where you have to experiment a lot (and not just follow the datasheet).
    In this regard, all 3 products went through multiple design iterations until we (and our partners) were satisfied with the result. Rest assured, we were really really picky… But now, we have 3 products which we can really be proud of.

  • Purpose. What our products are meant to do is not simply “play music with the highest quality”. They are meant to be “Joy delivering apparatus”.
    So a big accent has been put into choosing carefully what they should do (example: number of I\O, which inputs\outputs, what to leave out, how to interact etc).
    While this seems trivial (just do a box, put a button and call it a day) in fact this was probably the area where most thought went. Again, we want to have something which fits both the audiophile public but also newcomers. This requires an in-depth study of the “accessibility” of the device and to define precisely what is the goal of such an item, and leaving out all the things which are not functional to its ultimate goal. I hope that you will understand what I mean when you’ll have them in your hands.

There are other things that make me particularly proud of the point we are at:

  • The engineering of Integro has been carried out by Dario, which is a Volumio community member (you might know him for his BassFly and BassOwl designs). I saw his projects and was amazed by how brilliant they were.
    This is why we started working together on Integro, and now Dario is Volumio’s lead engineer and oversees both design and production. The fact that such a bright person comes from this community, and the fact that now he works full time with us makes me incredibly proud. This community is more than a place to rant to each other, and Volumio as a company is willing to invest in talents that come out of it.

BTW, if you think you can make a difference and contribute to Volumio’s growth, check out our work with us page . We always look for hungry talents!

  • Some of the products will be made in the heart of Florence. In the 15th century building where our HQ is located.

  • Based on your feedback, we redesigned also the packaging of our products. We wanted them to be as small as possible and made up with 100% recyclable material (paper). Protecting the environment, by all means possible, is a duty we have towards us and next generations.And BTW, they are also super nice!

Last but not least, a lot of development time has been devoted to the first 5 minutes of user’s approach with the device. We wanted to offer customers (and all Volumio users, since you’ll also get that) the most straightforward and fool-proof out of the box experience. This is resulting of the new Android and iOS app (which you already know of) and a completely redesigned first configuration wizard.
The goal for the 2 elements combined is to allow anyone (and I mean everyone, monkeys included) to get started with Volumio in 5 minutes without possibility of confusion and error.

Then, a bunch of other stuff happened in the meantime:

  • Spotify deprecated an old library. Yeah, we should have known but we did not. So due to popular demand, we’ve rewritten the plugin in a record 8-day sprint.
  • Accelerated on plugin validation and started working on a better moderation panel, to have some moderators being able to approve plugins.
  • Completed the new Help Center, which has all the information, and tutorials about Volumio in one place. Plus, it has the most well-educated and nice-looking bot you’ve ever seen (yeah, it’s called Monica).
    Check it out at: https://help.volumio.com/
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Are there any plans afoot to find anyone to maintain the Odroid images.
Or are they now abandonware.
Cheers.

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+++ on the plug-in validation. Awaiting the serial control to be accepted.

I’m afraid this is currently the case, I have no intentions to support any of it unless someone offers to maintain my work. I’m willing to help that person getting up to speed.
I don’t believe the Volumio team is responsible for finding a replacement for a community portings OS developer.

What skill sets are required. I’m very familiar with Linux in general, but probably not with some of the packages used.

Would it be possible to just maintain certain parts of the product, like keeping the UI up to date.

Cheers.