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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53514

  • notman
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Dear miniDSP @devteam,

Why aren't you guys more active on your own forums? What's with the lack of effort in communicating to your customers?

I get that you cannot comment on every thread or fix every problem, but you have to meet us half way. You have a bunch of people here willing to help one another, but you're not seeding us with enough information to even know what's going on. Your quarterly newsletter, which you don't even successfully produce each quarter, doesn't cut it. We need real-time info. You've posted four times in the past month and two of those were useless housekeeping announcements.

Just within my area of interest, the SHD that I own, you have people just grasping at straws.

I suggest you put some effort into this forum. Show some pride in your communication.

Good luck,
notman

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Examples:

Volumio Builds 1.073 and 1.076 - some customers have these builds, but the rest of us don't? Also, did you make a silent hardware revision relating to USB host at standby? When are you going to communicate any of this to customers? We're trying to understand what's going on.

www.minidsp.com/forum/shd-series/18475-h...io-to-1-073?start=15

Strange remote behavior by SHD - any input at all?

www.minidsp.com/forum/shd-series/18316-v...remote-changes-input

Tidal Connect - not even a public acknowledgement of it existing

www.minidsp.com/forum/shd-series/17974-t...unched-tidal-connect

Custom input names - zero updates

www.minidsp.com/forum/suggestion-box/15836-shd-input-names

Roon Ready Certification - zero updates

www.minidsp.com/forum/shd-series/17805-r...devices?limitstart=0

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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53611

  • devteam
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@notman

We already clarified all this in a long support ticket we answered to you already so you should have all the details to that answer.. :-) We'd be happy to be open and complete the comment here publicly.

We always welcome feedback to become better at what we're doing. Few facts in answer to your comment:
a) We've been very busy in the past few weeks as we've clarified in details on the roon post, we've therefore decided to dedicate all our efforts to answer all support ticket in the most time we can so everybody gets a solution to their question. This forum is indeed a Community forum. We're very explicit on each page that any technical request for support can easily be asked by creating a support ticket. We're always here to answer!

b) We don't do real time support I'm afraid, especially debugging what can be complex system. We use a support portal (most common in this day and age for all tech companies) as it's the most efficient way to be able to 1)Track an issue for a customer setup 2) Track bug 3)Involve engineers/QC to the mix 4)Have files easily saved 4) Control the flow of questions . i.e.on a forum, we had soo many times questions we want answered being sidetracked by others, it's just not easy...

Bottom line, for the past 10years we sell DSP, we just haven't found the way to get a forum to do that... The support ticket remains indeed a very successful way to keep our large customer base with hundreds of support tix daily happy and for that matter, the generic statement made that "We don't give a damn" is quite hurtful to all the dedicated employees doing our utmost best to answer all your questions daily, giving updates for free, keeping improving.. etc..

Surely we're always looking to see how we can improve and we can see what's possible to dedicate some support resources, which might slow down answers from support tickets? Is that what the whole community wants? 60% of the question we see on forum are duplicate... Would everybody be happy that we're slowing down our support just because we're answer on Forum + Facebook + Ticket in trio for the exact same question? :-) For that reason, it's not always as easy but once again, to repeat ourself, we'll indeed do see what we can do to improve communication!

As for the above request, please be reminded that 2 of them are custom request. Correct? i.e. Tidal connect, Custom name. We always log them in our engineering wish list. Does that mean we can implement them all in 5min on a monday morning? No, some of them are a lot more complex than envisioned by most.. Some of them just won't be possible, some of them is a specific case for a specific customer...

Hoping this clarifies,

DevTeam
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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53614

  • notman
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Thank you for the reply.

We all agree you can’t and shouldn’t spend all day on this forum. No one is asking you to do that. No one is asking you to do individual tech support via this forum either.

What I mean when I say “real time” is doing enough to keep up the conversation about major topics. This rewards your customer base and keeps us engaged and informed. The confusion and frustration on this forum and ASR shows to me that you’re not keeping up the conversation.

For example:

— It was your decision to start shipping an entirely new ARM board without a word of announcement. Existing customers were left to find out from new customers that this revision changes the standby mode behavior in a way that likely addresses one of the most discussed and requested features of the SHD, the possibility for a 12V trigger. This leaves us all to rightfully wonder if a firmware update for the Neo2 units is coming, or if all the people who have already paid you money are permanently out of luck on a 12V trigger solution. This question is still unanswered, along with any outlook on other features that will not come to the Neo2-equipped units.

— Similarly, it was your decision to start shipping an entirely new Volumio UI without a word of announcement. This left us all rightfully wondering if an update would come to existing customers, or if we’re left behind. You’ve answered that clearly now and I’m happy to hear of the1.076 update for Neo2.

— You’re being unfair about the “custom input names” example, as if I expected to snap my fingers and have new features immediately delivered to me. I didn’t even make that thread, and it was your decision to reply to it 1 year and 7 months ago with “sure, we can see that in the future” and then disappeared. It’s not my fault you ignored people asking for updates for the past year and a half.

— It was your decision to completely ignore the launch of Tidal Connect on the forum (which is a two page thread, not just a lone user). No one said you had to deliver overnight. Just a bit of acknowledgement that this would be an exciting feature for your customers and give us some sense of whether a plugin will be possible. On the Volumio forums, they have been extremely communicative and supportive.

I don’t want to feud with you folks. I take your point that you have a bunch of good people at the company who work hard to deliver a quality product and be helpful. Thank you to all.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t baseline expectations for a company that hosts and uses its own forum when it comes to major hardware/software revision announcements or keeping up some level of communication on other features. Don’t make us find these things out from new users and don’t leave us in the dark.

Thank you again, and hope to hear a bit more from @devteam in the future. Your posts here are by their nature always helpful to us.
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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53629

  • dreite
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Good golly man. You've been here for three months and you're already lecturing miniDSP on their product support practices and the weight of their efforts.
In case you're not aware, this is a small company with limited resources compared to the big cheeses.

I suggest to dial it down a bit and roll with the flow.

Dave.

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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53632

  • notman
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No apologies whatsoever. I paid my $1200 just like anyone else with an SHD which means I get to have a voice.

I’ve expressed it clearly, thoroughly, and politely. It’s tough but fair criticism, and given in the spirit of providing feedback that will better help them understand customer perception.

Unlike my criticism, which I understand might not be shared by everyone but is plenty valid, your criticism of me is simply that I have criticism. There’s zero value in that, so thanks for nothing.

When a company goes and starts shipping - shipping! - completely new hardware and new software (not a small update, a major UI change) without a word to its customer base, of course someone who just spent $1200 three months ago is going to rightfully wonder what the heck is going on what the support plan is.

It was miniDSP’s choice to do all that and not say a word to us to help us know what’s going on. It has nothing to do with their size as a company. No matter how small, a basic announcement on hardware/software releases and support and a changelog is as simple and easy as it gets. That’s a basic expectation of a $5 iOS app developer, so save the theatrics over how miniDSP is a little guy who we can’t expect too much from. We can expect that much, and asking for it has nothing to do with going with the flow.
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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53634

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That's it! Now you got Dave upset... ohhh brother... :-)

Joke aside, Dave is one of the oldest (not by age;-) and most knowledgeable member of the community. He's got an opposing opinion in this case but doesn't mean bad.. He's actually a very valuable fellow we can all learn from when it comes to DSP tuning and speaker building. You guys should bury hatchet and be friends!

Back to the topic of this thread so we don't get distracted, here is what we're down to agreeing:
- Handling all support request from forum isn't the right way and we agree to this. We want to make sure everybody hopefully understand that this forum is "not" the formal way to get support from our team if you have a question. Simply start a support request, our team is here to help and we indeed answer most of you guys very shortly. Thanks for your understanding.
- What you and others appear to be after is more about getting more feedback/communications on what we're doing by sharing info on this forum. That's a fair request and we can do our best to do that... Just to be sure we're on the same wavelength, that won't change our company policy with regards to talking of product roadmap, feature release time line and such. The sole fact we're having this chat of why Roon isn't here yet is because we made the mistake of straying away from our one rule, "never talk of release time when it's not under your control!" We much much prefer giving people surprises... it's always soo much better!

There are many things we can always do better... No matter the size of the company, there is always going to be something else a company can improve upon. Most of us like to focus on engineering more than PR to be very upfront, but that doesn't mean we're bad intentioned. We're very grateful to all customers and answer support tickets in exact same priority whether you bought an SHD or a UMIK-1.. :-)

DevTeam
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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53639

  • notman
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I appreciate you trying to see things from a different perspective and helping us understand yours. That’s what it’s all about, and I don’t have beef with you or anyone else here.

We’re clear on the tech support and you having certain lines you don’t want to cross, stuff like release dates. Totally understood and that’s a smart policy.

Here’s a good example to start with, though:

What is the most you can tell us about the new hardware and Volumio? I could ask a million questions, and I think it’s best for any answers along these lines to be somewhere more visible like your announcement area, but that’s beside the point. Here are a few:
  • What are the specs for the new hardware?
  • Are there features (specific or general) that this hardware will enable you to develop that you couldn’t before?
  • What’s going on with the new hardware’s standby mode in terms of what components are actually turned off in that state?
  • Is it true that you have determined that the Neo2 units cannot also do the same standby behavior via firmware update? As you know, many of us have been desperate for a 12V trigger solution.
  • Are the Neo2 SHDs EOL now? What can we expect as existing customers in terms of feature additions or support?
  • Is there a changelog for the new Volumio build? Some accounting of all the changes from 1.062 would be helpful.
  • Are there aspects of the new hardware that allow for features in Volumio that are not possible on the Neo2 SHD? As an example, specifically I wonder if you know at this time whether a Tidal Connect plugin will be possible on the new units but not the old units (once the functionality is delivered by Volumio HQ, they predict they can deliver Q2).
  • Will the feature set of the plugins diverge between the hardware versions?

You get where I’m going with this. The idea (which I don’t claim makes me a genius or marketing expert) is to put yourself in our shoes and say, “what would I like to know as an existing customer who wants to know what this means for them and what to expect.” That’s all I’ve been getting at from the start.

Ideally this is the sort of thing that would happen before you start boxing up and shipping these things out to new customers. What happens is then those customers surprise everyone on various forums by telling us they have brand new volumio and hardware that the rest of us haven’t even heard of before and then we wonder what that means for our 3 month old units.

Thanks again.

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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53666

  • Ultrasonic
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The use of a private support ticket system to address individual customer queries is obviously the right way to do so.

As I hope will be received as a constructive suggestion, I will though say that I think there is scope for better communication of information applicable to all users, both for the benefit of customers and to reduce the load on the support ticket system of multiple users having to individually ask the same question. The current Adobe Air situation is one such example, where as per the thread on this I am still left unclear on the situation and without an update there I will need to open a support ticket. The question will be whether continued use of my 2x4 HD (with the latest plugin and firmware) is still reliant on Adobe Air of if I can safely uninstall this. The question and answer are relevant to every owner of a 2x4 HD and so it is clearly vey inefficient if everyone has to ask, and be answered, individually. Owners of other miniDSP products will have the same question relevant to them, which is why I asked a general question about all devices in the thread.

An issue with reliance on a support ticket system for all information transfer is also that it requires users to realise that there is information they should be seeking.

Regarding the Roon situation, merely some form of periodic update to assure users that this is being worked on would I'm sure be appreciated. Silence for months will realistically I'm afraid lead to some having concerns this will ever happen, and certainly give the impression that this may be of minimal priority. (I have no personal interest in Roon support but appreciate that many do, including potential future customers.)

Please don't take these comments as any form of major criticism of the hard work of all in the miniDSP team. Best wishes to you all in these challenging times.

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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53690

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THanks to both for feedback, as mentioned above we got the gist and will work to communicate better... We've already hopefully stated our facts quite clearly and everybody understood here.. Shall we move on?

Technical answers on Adobe air (already answered in thread) and SHD can be clarified in a specific thread. We'll just start one so it doesn't get lots in a suggestion box for a completely unrelated issue. Sounds good?

and @notman, we understand that everybody has a million question about everything but let's please be mindful here .. :-) We understand that you're new to the community, just realize that we're not doing these upgrades to screw people off and put people with older versions at disadvantages.. Over the years, there are always hardware version changed being done behind the scenes. They are so transparent that nobody knows of them.... We do care of all customers as we've stated before. Let's hope you can please use this as a guideline.. :-)

Here are answers and comments related to your questions: www.minidsp.com/forum/shd-series/18512-n...sion-hardware-update
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Suggestion: miniDSP puts in an ounce of effort 1 year 5 months ago #53695

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This is all appreciated, and thank you for your answers in the SHD forum.

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