With the news that a certain other manufacturer of streaming gear plans to end support for some of it’s kit im just wondering how long i can expect my orginal Muso QB to be supported for, given that it’s now been superseded by a newer model?
Also related to this, does anyone know what CPU/DSP (same thing?) is in my Muso in comparison to the new one?
And also, does anyone know what CPU/DSP was in the original unitiy? I seem to remember it being some kind of ARM chip, was just curious to know as this couldn’t be updated for airplay i seem to recall, without an upgrade, hence i sold it and bought a QB.
I guess it depends what you mean by support. If you want the latest streaming services to be added you will need a current generation streamer. If you mean software support to keep existing functions working, I’m sure Naim will continue to do this where possible within the limits of the hardware that runs it.
if the hardware is capable then i will be disappointed if they are dropped as we are then in the realms of planned obsolescence. Not really sure people are up for upgrading thier audio kit every few years like they upgrade their phone or laptop?
The old streaming platform is nearly as old as the very first iPhone. It was developed for streaming from local NAS storage, and Tidal, Spotify, Chromecast, Roon etc. did not exist. Complaining that they won’t support new features as they emerge would be like complaining to Apple that the apps you run on an iPhone X won’t run on a 1st gen model. At least Naim will still service an original NDX or Uniti and keep it running.
Hi Steve, thanks for your response. That’s exactly the answer i was hoping to hear, in that you’ll at least try and support hardware until it reaches it’s natural limit, rather then just make things obsolete every X years just because $.
I think this kind of attitude will really help Naim stand out from the crowd and encourage loyalty to your brand.
I wasn’t aware the muso qb used the same platform as the old green screen stuff - i had an orginal uniti before the muso qb, and the muso seems far more reliable when streaming stuff, so i had assumed it was using more beefy cpu/ram etc.
With computers (and streamers are computers), obsolescence is not planned, but a simple fact of continuing development progress: that has been the case so far as long as they have existed, and I guess likely to continue For the forseeable future.
When you buy a turntable, arm, cartridge, CD player - any other hifi kit (ignoring whether Muso & Qb are caught by that term) it is fixed for life. Why should a streamer be any different, adding new things? 10 years later, maybe a lot more, it will still do the same as when you bought it. Upgrades for a while adding new services or improvements are a bonus. Bug fixes are different: there should be none, and if any are found the manufacturer should fix ASAP - and one would expect that all bugs (as opposed to refinements) are likely to have been found, reported and fixed within a few months, or not a lot longer.
There has to be stage in any devices life where it’s no longer viable for the manufacturer to keep supporting it for new features. The other manufacturer you mentioned is still supporting the products just not any new develpments for it. One of those products is nearly 13 years old , one is just 4. You can’t move your products and eco system forward if your still heavily invested in older tech that can no longer keep up with demands. Non of its going to stop working, just stop growing. Software is the same it’s supported upto a certain level of backwards compatibility then it’s not tenable to do it so a new version comes out.
The Musos and Qbs first gen have reached that stage They will continue to work as they always have but it’s fruitless for Naim to invest in adding new things to to them as they are not capable and they have the more capable version 2 version to move the product through the next year’s of change. Streaming has changed massively since their introduction and Naim like many have been playing catch-up.
You buy a product for what it does at that time, not what it might do later. That’s how I look at anyhow if you get additional things then great, if not then it’s stick with it or move on. That’s why in this fast moving hobby I dont spend silly money so I can sell on and upgrade more often.
I think the slight difference is that CD’s and LP’s will not change, where (software based) services might.
As annoying as it is for me to have bought two Qb’s shortly before the new version came out I would understand if new features weren’t added to them. I wouldn’t understand if Naim wouldn’t keep them up to date with the services they were supposed to “support” for the foreseeable future. It’s Tidal/vTuner/Spotify that changed it’s API’s, not Naim wouldn’t cut it for me.
With computers (and streamers are computers), obsolescence is not planned, but a simple fact of continuing development progress: that has been the case so far as long as they have existed, and I guess likely to continue For the foreseeable future.
Not the case i’m affraid, planned obsolescence is very much real!
As to your second point, why should a streamer be different - If the hardware is capable and the cost to naim to add the feature is viable, why not keep the updates going? This is what Naim have said they are doing, and it’s a good thing.
Aside from the specifics of the Naim product line, there’s a few general rules I observe or try to follow around “IT” equipment - and the streamer part of Uniti* and Muso* products is essentially “IT stuff”:
Things, which work in themselves, continue to work until broken or intentionally made obsolete.
They will do, what the did when released first.
This does not mean, you can always continue using them - if you need new SW (OS, applications, …) to run on them, the new SW might require more powerful hardware - so eventually, HW might be “outdated”. (Though it would still run with it’s original SW and use cases. Maybe just the use case is obsolete…)
A deviation from this rule is equipment, which is used for security purposes or connected to “open networks” (like: internet). Due to evolving IT Security attack scenarios, a non-maintained product should not be used in such circumstances.
If your equipment is depending on “external resources” (=read: “Cloud” in many cases today), it’s NOT usable on it’s own and you are totally in the hands of the vendor / service provider. E.g. older Apple TVs stopped supporting their YouTube App. Why? Because Google switched off old API versions, and neither Apple nor Goggle were willing to update “out of support” boxes. (And Google is very fast in switching off things, they consider a burden to maintain for themselves.) Still, other functions of the same devices still work fine. Also Cloud service offerings can just cease to exist - company gone, or business does not run as expected.
And cloud players (driven by Google, Amazon, and other “start-ups”; Apple and especially Microsoft are “conservative” in comparison) are driving a near insane speed for innovation cycles. This produces new great stuff all the time - but at that speed it’s hard for other companies to keep up. And to use the new stuff effectively and efficiently in connected/networked/cloud scenarios, you want to get rid of old/legacy stuff fast.
What can keep your use-cases running, is when you manage to use open-standards SW/protocols/data formats. Or find the right proprietary thingy to be really long-lived.
E.g. any audio streaming devices I bought support ideally UPnP and AirPlay. And/or have an analoge, so at least the amplifier/speaker part can be reused, if the electronics would get incompatible.
Actually a reason, I ended up with an Atom; because all the “basics” were nicely there.
Proprietary multi-room, service integration, … those are benefits. But with playback from USB, UPnP, and Airplay I will be able to use them, even when Naim, Spotify, … all cease to exist. (Until the HW breaks, that is…)
Similar to saving data in PDF, JPEG, … - all readable after 20 years. Also USB, Ethernet, and WiFi are “industry standard” enough, to keep compatibility across decades. SPDIF seems a rather save bet as well. Though they all have a short history, compared to analogue interconnects.