View Full Version : A5 problems and frustrations

12-03-2012, 06:27 AM
A5 and AirStudio App problems and frustrations
I am one of the lucky ones that were allowed to test the Philips Fidelio A5 trough The Insiders and I was invited to a demonstration in Eindhoven. During this special night we had a very excited manager who showed us all the ins and outs. He told us to tell Philips if we found errors and/or problems with the software and App. Hence, we would like to open a new post on this forum, in which we’ll let you know the rather annoying cons of this otherwise wonderful product.

We are happy with the general sound and the sleek design of the A5. Granted, the sound is not surround, but that is expected when you only have one speaker. The sound that emerges from that one speaker however, is very good.
The issues that we have concern the Airtstudio App. We thought it might be easier to make a list of the “problems”.

Air Studio App and it's bugs and frustrations:
• App is so slow it’s frustrating.
• Next song button seems to crash our system constantly.
• Battery smartphone is flat within 2 hours of using the App.
• Adjusting loudness is not user-friendly, Due to the slow app a + and – button would be preferred.
• When using the “play all” option, you always get the same songs, so when the A5 loses connection (which is annoyingly often) you start the directory again and start off with the same songs.
• Large directories with loads of songs seem to be too much for the App, the App crashes and you lose connection.
• When using Spotify, the next song button works but display keeps showing the first song.
• When wanting to stop Spotify music, there is no stop button, the only way to stop the music is to use the pause button and stop the whole application.

In general;
we are Philips fans, and we were thrilled to be invited to a special Philips night before we were allowed to test this product. We like the actual sound a lot and we love the design and the idea of this way of playing music. However, we are getting increasingly frustrated with the issues that this product has. It seems to me like a great idea on paper, 1 we would love to own. However, we feel that the product is not ready yet to be sold and tested. Hopefully one of the Philips moderators or software engineers will address these issues and work with all the testers of the insiders to make this product what it can be…A great new and working system that we are proud to own!

12-03-2012, 06:41 AM
Just for info, using AirStudio (on Nexus 7 tablet) with AW1000, I don't face the following issue:
"When using Spotify, the next song button works but display keeps showing the first song."
With the Nexus7/AW1000, the display moves from one to the other correctly.

The loudness button also works fine for Spotify, Radios or Music streaming.

The music streaming (UPNP) is indeed very slow compared to what I experience with Radios and SpotifyAirStudio control.
I also found it less stable (crashed couple of times). All the concepts are there, but unstable and slow. I have the AirStudio running on my Nexus 7 tablet, Twonky server running on a PC and the AW1000 as client. For what regards the music streaming, Bubble UPNP or Skifta are miles away (faster and very stable). We are kind of hostage of AirStudio as it is the only way to play Radios and Spotify on the AW' otherwise I would have already switched.

I would give a 7 / 10 for the Radios and Spotify controls although there are bugs and stability issues and a 4/10 for the Music streaming.

12-03-2012, 02:55 PM
As far as the Music Streaming is concerned (from a local server to a renderer such as an AWx000), I would suggest Philips Software Engineers to try 'Bubble UPNP' or Skifta (both available in Google Play). They are both much faster and much more stable UPNP control points. They can drive my AW1000 perfectly.
The only important 'thing' these control points cannot offer is a access to the Music Services including radios hence we really need a working and performing AirStudio.

12-05-2012, 09:57 AM
Hi k1200rs, thanks for your reply.
After the first update that Philips issued last week, we feel the system is a bit more stable. However we still feel the App is very slow and still not totally stable in the wifi network.
We keep testing and the errors seem to be random. Sometimes it works fine for a bit, and then all of a sudden the system crashes. We also found that when we want to turn the music off, (we stop the app by first stopping the music and then closing the app) the music plays on. (htc sensation with android 4.0.3.) So the music was stopped, the app closed and the music plays on…really strange!
I have noticed that the system works best when you don’t ask to much of your wifi network with other appliances. So if we have all our appliances using the network (2 desktops, 2 laptops, 2 tablets, 2 smartphones and a Wii game console ) the systems fails on the Fidelio app, almost every time.
So, we know that the app is slow and still needs to be tweaked but maybe our network needs to be tweaked too? We are hoping that a new update will be put online soon, as we are only testing this system and if it stays like this, we will send it back to Philips.
We want to love it,…as the idea is great and the sound is pretty terrific, but paying a lot of money for a system that annoys us no end…sadly we will need to say..NO

12-24-2012, 07:57 PM
So,as we are getting closer to the new year, we feel that we need to re-address the problems we have with the Fidelio AW5000.
We hope that someone at Philips will reply to these test results and of course we would be very happy if Philips will work at the problems that almost every tester has detected. I really think that almost all testers of this system want to love this product. It’s a great concept, brilliant sound, very reasonable price and all in all it would look good in every room in every house.
Still the software problems are huge enough for people to loath this product.
What needs to be sorted in my eyes;
1) AirStudio App needs to be made faster, it’s far too slow and it gets to be frustrating to work with it.
2) The phone battery seems to be flat within 1-2 hours. Not very practical indeed. I understand the fact that the phone needs to search for a connection with the A5 constantly, but maybe the software can be changed so the connection is made every time you try and contact the A5.
3) Adjusting the loudness is pretty annoying, it’s either too loud or not loud enough. A + and a – button would be far more practical.
4) When trying to play a full directory of mp3’s, the sequence is the same every time. And so, when you decide to want to hear the next number, you press next song. Great, that works. But then, you still want to hear the whole directory, so you expect the music to play on. No go…most of the time it will then stop playing all together.
SO, please Philips, could you put us out of our misery, reply and at least tell us when we will get a new update and also please tell us if the problems can be fixed???
As mentioned before, we would love to love the AW5000 and we would love to keep the AW5000 and not send it back..but we need the updates!!! Please???

12-27-2012, 12:49 PM
Hi Melbeemster, a new firmware has been released. Please check here for the changes http://www.supportforum.philips.com/en/showthread.php?9825-New-Firmware-Release-V4-87S-!&p=48517#post48517

Good luck!

12-28-2012, 12:49 AM
We were already using and commenting the latest firmware release, see above posts.

12-28-2012, 01:33 AM
Hi MelBeemster,

I just tried with Philips MyRemote App (I am using old iPhone 3GS), it is working much faster than AirStudio, so amazing :)

Now I will treat AirStudio is the setup App only, and using MyRemote to play music and internet radio. It is funny to have trial and error with different Apps on my AW9000 which doesn't look like a universal DLNA device :confused:

12-28-2012, 07:29 AM
Dear Volume,
I don't know you but i could kiss you right now!!! Thanks....this is brilliant...why does Philips make a new App which has loads of teething problems when this one is BRILLIANT!!!
Told all the testers of the insiders right away!!!
I am soooo happy!!!!! THANKS

12-28-2012, 07:39 AM
Welcome, I just don't want to waste a good hardware with good sound quality :)

Twonky mobile App is also a good solution which can make a play list too. Let's explore more App if you just need to stream music.

Philips, you may just need to develop a App for setup connection only when you want to take out the display as cost down :p Let other guys do the App for you

12-29-2012, 04:09 AM
My experience of the 'MyRemote' on Android is pretty poor. Many bugs. Now I have to admit I have not been using it for a while and I have even desinstalled it.

In terms of DLNA control point on Android, in my view, Bubble UPNP and Skifta are the best and much faster than Twonky.

I am more and more using Radios and Music services (spotify and deezer) and for these I believe AirStudio is doing a decent job. I am using it for 8 Hrs a day for the last 4 weeks and I consider AirStudio pretty stable. The AW needs to be rebooted time to time, but again nothing major.

No other app can control the AW for radios and music services than AirStudio, there are no alternatives on the market.

Although I have been an early adopter of the UPNP streaming from home servers (more than 10 years ago with the very first twonkyvision releases), I believe than streaming from the cloud or from music service providers is much easier, simpler and gives access anywhere to huge music catalogues. You don't need to worry about technology (server, backup, ripping, cover art uploading, bugs, etc) and you can discover new musics.

I have had the dis-pleasure to install and reinstall my music on several lan servers (NAS, linux, mini PC). I also had to rip all my CD' several times, spent a lot of time debugging multiple issues and couple of weeks ago my one year new server just died (eeePC). Enough is enough, I don't want to do this anymore, I spent huge time on these LAN servers. I now prefer to go with fully dematerialized music: music services, clouds and radios. Much simpler and cheaper (all considered). I will even get rid off all my CD' (donation).

All this to say that even if AirStudio is really behind for what regards home music streaming (home music library streaming) compared to Bubble, I don't really care as I am only using it to listen to music services and radios.

12-29-2012, 08:33 AM
Hi k1200rs, thanks for your reply. I agree with a lot of your comments:-)
As you said, yes...Airstudio works pretty well with Spotify, Deezer and internet radio. And yes, we need to reboot the system often too. However I feel like I’ve been let down with AirStudio when the specially made AW series App, is not doing what Philips intended for this product. I now use Airstudio for Spotify and internet Radio…and I use MyRemote App for music on my hard disk. I am still testing the AW5000 and I have a free Spotify account trough my internet provider, so that’s great….but if you need to pay to get a Spotify account that then means that you need to pay to listen to your own music. Also, I think Philips intended to get the App working, and I was hoping Philips might be interested in my issue’s with the App.
The AW5000 is a brilliant product. Still for people to be happy with this brilliant product they need to improve the App. I am one of the 250 testers in Belgium and The Netherlands that were privileged to get the chance to test the AW5000 or the AW3000 and the general “test-results” after 4 weeks of testing is the same with all 250 testers. Stability, loudness button issues, App far to slow, etc.
All in all, I can only tell you what I noticed and know, and that is that I love the sound, the design and the general concept, but I think that Philips need to sort out the designated App before they can expect totally positive reviews from customers.

12-30-2012, 11:21 AM

Difficult to understand how come Philips who has been a UPNP / DLNA pioneer company, who has been driving the UPNP standards, has developped many ranges of UPNP products (more than any other brands) over the last 10 years has got so much difficulties to come with reliable and well designed UPNP control point applications or software (as opposed to the HW & sound which have always been high class). Seems this is developed from scratch all the time.
Funny to note that the rest works fine (radios / music services). Anyway, I trust these issues are just sicknesses of youth (or even new born) and that AirStudio will quickly improve.

Anyway, as said earlier, I am a happy customer, I use my AW1000 every day for long hours and I just like the capability to control my music / AW through my tablet. It is just a great concept.


12-31-2012, 09:15 AM
I have been testing some other player software on ipad to see what is possible. In any case the other apps all work faster, are more stable and offer more possibilities. Sadly none of them worked 100% as intended with fidelio aw speakers. Nevertheless they are worth trying out.

Sony audioremote: the app i definitively want from philips. Give it a try to see if you like. Super fast response, excellent search facilities,playlists,... (You can even stream video/sound to other multimedia apparatus (Lacie cinema HD). But some buttons like start, stop,... Do not work well.

8player: works ok, after choosing your AW as dlna renderer you can stream music to it, create playlists etc., app is stable and offers almost everything you want (search, playlists,....)

Sitecom media controller: basic functions, fast, works, no playlists

Javelin: promising but did not find servers, only ipad appeared

Mediaconnect: works but not so easy to set up

My conclusion: i do not understand why Philips gave us such frustrating app with a top of the line speakerset. Is is proven that doing better is not to difficult having seen what other companies have done.
Philips get your sh.t together and give us the app we deserve (keeping in mind the price tag of your product), if not i cannot recommend your product as actually, i truly consider getting me a SONOS setup...