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Mozart vs. Network Link Platform

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Audio
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Audio posted on Sun, Aug 29 2021 8:47 PM

What are the main differences between Mozart and Network Link (NL) platform. Or what features does NL or Mozart or both platforms offer, today?

I have several NL based Beosounds. What will I miss / get additional, when I purchase a new Mozart based Beosound?

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Carolpa
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Carolpa replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 10:28 AM

this is what the B&o app says about it: "not enabled".

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 10:55 AM

No doubt their communication is poor and very unclear.

It must come from a lack of internal clarity about the forward path of platform development.

When the Mozart speakers started being released, why not make a proper announcement with a roadmap for future features, both those certain and those where customers would be consulted on (i.e potential).

When the Balance was released, even my dealer was not perfectly informed about the absence of NL. 

All that being said, I would look at the track record - which is of slow delivery. Within a month of so of the Balance release, the announcement to dealers (of NL and Touch to Join) suggested those features would be added soon (er rather than later). Its going to be closer to 2 years from that date that NL etc gets added to the Balance.  No one expects super agile delivery from B&O, but close to 2 years is stretching credibility somewhat.

All this matters when it comes to making purchase decisions of course - personally, i woudltn buy anything on the expectations or promise of future features.   

 

The fact that they have been surveying customers on NL and Touch to Join strongly suggests that delivery of both is still some way off, despite the Q3 / Q4 date that has been bandied around.

Csaba:

I find it very odd that B&O is still not saying anything. Maybe hinting and leaking and calling the platform names (one name anyway), but after all this talk it’s like a project in limbo. Everybody knows about it but officially it doesn’t exist? I know B&O could improve their communications in general (ref. the Beolab 28 leaks) but this is way too strange that has been ongoing for too long. I understand they might need a minimum set of features before they can actually announce it, and that they might burn themselves if they say «hey, we have a new platform coming soon with these planned capabilities», if they were to announce it too soon, but at the same time so much is already anticipated or known that it stops making sense not to announce it or send out some sort of an acknowledgement? No marketing expert here though, I’m just slightly annoyed :). But I have no other choice than be a bit more patient and hope that there actually will be a dedicated launch, not just for hardware.

Hiort:

Csaba:

Has B&O ever actually announced it? Not that I’ve seen so far. There is certainly a lot of talk about it and features to come are being discussed, but I have yet to see an official introduction of it.

Not to my knowledge. Nothing more than that NL will come Q3/Q4...

 

 

Csaba
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Csaba replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 12:19 PM

All very good points!

I am struggling to understand if somebody has just made a decision on a high level and left an engagement team with dealing with it, or if they have spent most of the time recruiting and onboarding team members. It can be extremely difficult to find people with the right competence and then get to a state of clarity, good coordination, etc. But indeed a roadmap would have been something more tangible to us customers. I am not sure if it is missing because they have no idea of the identity of the platform (is it the same with Halo?), or because of something not working between hardware engineers and software developers, or because they want to play it safe, or for other reasons.

I am one of those that have been putting a purchase on hold ever since the Balance came out. I’d be all set with an additional Beosound 2 currently for my needs but I fear I might bet on the wrong horse due to the older tech. Or would I? If I got the modern platform-based Balance instead, which might not be getting NL for another year or two… I mean, it could work on its own, but it’s be a missed opportunity not to include NL. I am currently in talks with Denmark through my dealer to get a bespoke-version of the Balance, exactly because I’m anticipating the arrival of NL to it. Which cannot possibly take longer than a year now, given that it’s been in the making for so long. But I’m a bit like you, perhaps I shouldn’t get into it. I’m just tired of postponing it.

When it comes to the timing of their survey regarding NL, I do share your concerns about how long it might still take. Were they only just starting the work at that time? Or had they been working for a while but needed a better use case? Did the new programmers/architects need info the old fox that has left the company used to have without a knowledge transfer? Questions are many. For now these new speakers appeal more to those insta-influencers that have no clue or any particular expectation.

Sandyb:

No doubt their communication is poor and very unclear.

It must come from a lack of internal clarity about the forward path of platform development.

When the Mozart speakers started being released, why not make a proper announcement with a roadmap for future features, both those certain and those where customers would be consulted on (i.e potential).

When the Balance was released, even my dealer was not perfectly informed about the absence of NL. 

All that being said, I would look at the track record - which is of slow delivery. Within a month of so of the Balance release, the announcement to dealers (of NL and Touch to Join) suggested those features would be added soon (er rather than later). Its going to be closer to 2 years from that date that NL etc gets added to the Balance.  No one expects super agile delivery from B&O, but close to 2 years is stretching credibility somewhat.

All this matters when it comes to making purchase decisions of course - personally, i woudltn buy anything on the expectations or promise of future features.   

 

The fact that they have been surveying customers on NL and Touch to Join strongly suggests that delivery of both is still some way off, despite the Q3 / Q4 date that has been bandied around.

Csaba:

I find it very odd that B&O is still not saying anything. Maybe hinting and leaking and calling the platform names (one name anyway), but after all this talk it’s like a project in limbo. Everybody knows about it but officially it doesn’t exist? I know B&O could improve their communications in general (ref. the Beolab 28 leaks) but this is way too strange that has been ongoing for too long. I understand they might need a minimum set of features before they can actually announce it, and that they might burn themselves if they say «hey, we have a new platform coming soon with these planned capabilities», if they were to announce it too soon, but at the same time so much is already anticipated or known that it stops making sense not to announce it or send out some sort of an acknowledgement? No marketing expert here though, I’m just slightly annoyed :). But I have no other choice than be a bit more patient and hope that there actually will be a dedicated launch, not just for hardware.

Hiort:

Csaba:

Has B&O ever actually announced it? Not that I’ve seen so far. There is certainly a lot of talk about it and features to come are being discussed, but I have yet to see an official introduction of it.

Not to my knowledge. Nothing more than that NL will come Q3/Q4...

 

 

 

Mikael
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Mikael replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 1:16 PM

No doubt it's better for B&O not to announce any of these features before they are ready. Especially as they clearly have troubles with their time tables. 

You will have a lot less disappointed customers if you only sell the products based on what they can do now, and not what they might do later. 

If you had bought a Balance or any other Mozart based speaker with the impression that NL was just around the corner, or that it will be able to be used as a surround speaker for your TV, and that feature never dropped or dropped late, then it will piss off existing customers.

I have no doubt that B&O would have liked to release the Mozart platform with more functionality. But they clearly needed to move forward even tough it wasn't ready to integrate with existing products. The most critical feature is the NL, and this is also the only coming feature they have publicly commented on.

 

 

Beovision Eclipse gen2 (GX) w/ floorstand, Beolab 14.2, 4 speaker Shape and ATV4/Chromecast.

Beoplay A9mk4 GVA, Beosound 1 GVA, H2, H3, H8, E6, Beoplay EQ

Millemissen
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When B&O lauches something that is not ‘ripe’ (according to the expectations of some people), it is described as not right.

If they wait too long - in order to have all things sorted out - that is also not right.

I do not expect a public roadmap from B&O…..that was never the case and I don’t see that changing.

Maybe the conclusion that Csaba made on the previous page is the best thing to cling to:

But I have no other choice than be a bit more patient and hope that there actually will be a dedicated launch, not just for hardware.

One should not forget, that a thing like the Balance was conceived in the era of Petros Beli, where the B&O devices best should be reduced to supporting AirPlay and Chromeplay and the apps of the big players.

Luckily this is no more so - but it takes time for a small team (yes, the for these things responsible guys at B&O are but a ‘small team’) to turn the ship around……also concidering that they in general are rather picky with doing things right.

(Also do not forget that a lot has been on hold or delayed in the past year or so - due to….you know what).

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 1:27 PM

Well, while the above may have some truth, in the end its much more simple.

The company made the decision a few years ago that the primary control paradigms would be Airplay, Chromecast and voice where possible. The decision would have affected and informed product development going forwards, and while it took a bit of time to be reflected in new products, that eventually started with the Balance, and since then all subsequent speakers.

I made this point years ago, and have reiterated it since then.

It illustrates two things to me - one, the decision regarding control paradigms, and to me it was obvious years ago that NL would be at risk of disappearing. Secondly, the journey described above underlines the long lags from decision to observance real world outcomes.

Bear in mind that my dealer was told of the decision years ago now, although the reliance on AP / CC was not clearly linked to the removal of NL. So at the Balance launch time, in a dealer presentation, when many asked "what about NL", it was rather dismissively explained that dealers should educate users into using AP / CC.  

One can dwell on the perceived arrogance of that approach, but more saliently it shows that having moved (in their minds) away from NL, the announcement that many of the NL features would return, was in response to the outcry, but required quite a shift in mindset from one extreme (dismissing NL) all the way back to reintroducing it again. 

So it is of no surprise to me that its taking so very long, and that only recently they have been surveying customers of really how important NL is to them.

Are there resource / staffing issues related to all this? Most likely, but thats a separate issue.

These surveys should have been done years ago, when they were thinking of removing NL. That would have enabled a clearer communication if they so desired. 

Instead we are here - a mix of products, some with NL, some without. And while I still believe, just about, that it will be added to newer Mozart products, its not clear whether older portfolio products (A9, BS1, BS2, etc etc) will be supported and gain some of the features that Mozart ones will have in the future. If Mozart speakers will be usable as surround units, will a BS2 gain that? Or will there be a new generation of BS2? Or will be discontinued? Questions such as this hang over existing, and not that old, parts of the current portfolio?

So the lack of clarity does not derive from some series of failed execution steps, but more the overarching big picture decision making, which has been poorly explained and probably ill advised.

 

Csaba:

All very good points!

I am struggling to understand if somebody has just made a decision on a high level and left an engagement team with dealing with it, or if they have spent most of the time recruiting and onboarding team members. It can be extremely difficult to find people with the right competence and then get to a state of clarity, good coordination, etc. But indeed a roadmap would have been something more tangible to us customers. I am not sure if it is missing because they have no idea of the identity of the platform (is it the same with Halo?), or because of something not working between hardware engineers and software developers, or because they want to play it safe, or for other reasons.

I am one of those that have been putting a purchase on hold ever since the Balance came out. I’d be all set with an additional Beosound 2 currently for my needs but I fear I might bet on the wrong horse due to the older tech. Or would I? If I got the modern platform-based Balance instead, which might not be getting NL for another year or two… I mean, it could work on its own, but it’s be a missed opportunity not to include NL. I am currently in talks with Denmark through my dealer to get a bespoke-version of the Balance, exactly because I’m anticipating the arrival of NL to it. Which cannot possibly take longer than a year now, given that it’s been in the making for so long. But I’m a bit like you, perhaps I shouldn’t get into it. I’m just tired of postponing it.

When it comes to the timing of their survey regarding NL, I do share your concerns about how long it might still take. Were they only just starting the work at that time? Or had they been working for a while but needed a better use case? Did the new programmers/architects need info the old fox that has left the company used to have without a knowledge transfer? Questions are many. For now these new speakers appeal more to those insta-influencers that have no clue or any particular expectation.

Sandyb:

No doubt their communication is poor and very unclear.

It must come from a lack of internal clarity about the forward path of platform development.

When the Mozart speakers started being released, why not make a proper announcement with a roadmap for future features, both those certain and those where customers would be consulted on (i.e potential).

When the Balance was released, even my dealer was not perfectly informed about the absence of NL. 

All that being said, I would look at the track record - which is of slow delivery. Within a month of so of the Balance release, the announcement to dealers (of NL and Touch to Join) suggested those features would be added soon (er rather than later). Its going to be closer to 2 years from that date that NL etc gets added to the Balance.  No one expects super agile delivery from B&O, but close to 2 years is stretching credibility somewhat.

All this matters when it comes to making purchase decisions of course - personally, i woudltn buy anything on the expectations or promise of future features.   

 

The fact that they have been surveying customers on NL and Touch to Join strongly suggests that delivery of both is still some way off, despite the Q3 / Q4 date that has been bandied around.

Csaba:

I find it very odd that B&O is still not saying anything. Maybe hinting and leaking and calling the platform names (one name anyway), but after all this talk it’s like a project in limbo. Everybody knows about it but officially it doesn’t exist? I know B&O could improve their communications in general (ref. the Beolab 28 leaks) but this is way too strange that has been ongoing for too long. I understand they might need a minimum set of features before they can actually announce it, and that they might burn themselves if they say «hey, we have a new platform coming soon with these planned capabilities», if they were to announce it too soon, but at the same time so much is already anticipated or known that it stops making sense not to announce it or send out some sort of an acknowledgement? No marketing expert here though, I’m just slightly annoyed :). But I have no other choice than be a bit more patient and hope that there actually will be a dedicated launch, not just for hardware.

Hiort:

Csaba:

Has B&O ever actually announced it? Not that I’ve seen so far. There is certainly a lot of talk about it and features to come are being discussed, but I have yet to see an official introduction of it.

Not to my knowledge. Nothing more than that NL will come Q3/Q4...

 

 

 

 

Hiort
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Hiort replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 3:13 PM

Carolpa:

this is what the B&o app says about it: "not enabled".

Interesting! 

I do not have that view in the app for my Beosound Emerge (that also is Mozart platform).

 

 

 

 

Livingroom: BL3, BL11, BV11-46 Kitchen: Beosound 1 GVA, Beocom 2 Bathroom: M3 Homeoffice: M3, Beocom 2  Library: Beosound Emerge, Beocom 6000 Bedroom: M5, Essence remote  Travel: Beoplay E8 2.0, Beoplay P2, Beoplay Earset

Carolpa
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Hiort:
Interesting! 

I do not have that view in the app for my Beosound Emerge (that also is Mozart platform).

The BL28 and the Balance show these info's both in the "setup view" of the settings of the app. So I expected the Emerge would show something simular.

 

Hiort
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Hiort replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 6:24 PM
Carolpa:

The BL28 and the Balance show these info's both in the "setup view" of the settings of the app. So I expected the Emerge would show something simular.

Thanks, found it.

Encouraging that the Beolink feature is present like that.

(A bit strange it cannot show SSID)

 

 

 

 

Livingroom: BL3, BL11, BV11-46 Kitchen: Beosound 1 GVA, Beocom 2 Bathroom: M3 Homeoffice: M3, Beocom 2  Library: Beosound Emerge, Beocom 6000 Bedroom: M5, Essence remote  Travel: Beoplay E8 2.0, Beoplay P2, Beoplay Earset

Audio
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Audio replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 7:51 PM

                                               Netlink(NL)   Mozart
BeoLink Multiroom                        x                  -
Touch to join Beolink Multiroom    x                  -
Touch to join Apple Airplay            x                 -
Apple Airplay 2                              x                 x
Chromecast                                   x                 x
Google Assistant                           x                 x
Deezer                                           x                 -
Spotify connect                              -                 x
TuneIn Radio                                 x                 -
B&O Radio                                     -                 x
Timer / Alarm                                 x                 -
Stereo pairing                                -                 x
Audio Quality                       44kHz/16bit         ?

I listed everything I could find. Anything to correct or to add?

Millemissen
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@Audio 

Spotify Connect is an integrated part of many - but not all - NL devices.

As for ‘Audio Quality’ it should be 44kHz/16bit uncompressed/PCM.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Csaba
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Csaba replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 8:22 PM

Mikael and Millemissen thanks for your input! All very good points, I absolutely understand all those angles to the story. I do have faith in B&O, and I’m still optimistic, even if I may have sounded a bit annoyed that I’m confused about what’s going on. We’ll just need to wait some more and see what will happen. Let’s hope we’ll get some highly anticipated software updates for Christmas instead of a new collection. Or both, if B&O is feeling generous :).

beolion
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I do also have a good feeling with the Mozart platform, but I also think that we (soon) have to see some feature improvements in order for customers to believe in the product.

I think B&O has taken the corect direction here - just hoping they did not pick a cul-de-sac ..... like they did with Windows XP on BS5. But knowing (what they say) that the capacity by far exceeds the current requirements AND that you can replace it at a later point in time, makes be believe they picked right.

trackbeo
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trackbeo replied on Tue, Aug 31 2021 10:35 PM

Audio:
I listed everything I could find. Anything to correct or to add?

DLNA (from app, touch-to-pause&play)                               x                 -

Also, there really isn't any "Netlink(NL)" category of devices, per se.  E.g. BS1 is, in B&O-speak, "AES2" platform.

chucky
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Where is RAAT. If we are so high end… i just borrowed an Emerge to see what Mozart is. I have bought a Bluesound Node latest I think 3. I have cores and a BS1 and a BS Edge.

The Edge goes nuts playing anything above 16 bit wired through Bluesound optical on a Core through Netlink. Living on a BS4 through OPPO 203 as RAAT endpoint it is ok. A hassle to start though.

As I am experimenting with Roon and Qobuz I have setup Roon on a Mac Mini. The most annoying Airplay 2 will not sink, everything is wirded except my BS1 and the Emerge. it is a joke.Yes I can delay them but I do not want to, they are standing next to each other in the same network. Premium feeling.

On comparison if I had to choose and we lose Netlink all my cores would be gone, Bluesound sounds way better. For the record I do not want to fiddle with Qobuz in the App, I hate spotify, the interface is brilliant but to start a stream pfff. I have Deezer with the B&O app.

I have the terrible labs 9 in the living with a BS4. I cannot imagine anyone uses the top speakers, eg BL5 BL28 BL50 or BL90 with a Core.

More and more getting disappointed, I killed Masterlink on 9 rooms and use Netlink, did I make the right decision or should I have killed it all together. The BLI made it a bit ok however on the Mozart platform does not really shows what it shoudl like albumcovers etc. So even that is well…..

Bang & Olufsen stood at least for simple fully integrated but with all the connect stuff I am failing to see where this is going, on the roon app I can use anything by a click, so even if airplay between NL and Mozart would sink I have the same hassle to start a stream.

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