Author Topic: Squeezebox! Dunnit.. F**K YEAH!  (Read 17894 times)

Squeezebox! Dunnit.. F**K YEAH!
« on: August 28, 2009, 09:00:31 am »
Still thinking about a removing CDs from the equation in my HI-fi setup.  Don't want a squeezebox as don't want to have a pc/laptop running all the time.  Have come across THIS

320GB memory should mean I can fit all/most of my music collection on it, and just plug it straight into amp and speakers. What does the panel think?

nicknack

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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 12:44:38 pm »
From what I remember of looking at various reviews of the same thing a while ago, it doesn't come out spectacularly well in terms of sound quality. Everyone seems to prefer Cowon stuff. But, of course, there's a price penalty.

edit: Having had another look round - there's also a capacity problem. Cowon don't seem to do a high capacity one.

Having just bought a small 250 GB external hard drive I can't see why someone can't make a high capacity mp3 player of a similar size. I just want a player - I don't want to watch films on it.
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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 12:48:59 pm »
I thought about one of those too and had a play with an earlier model in an airport departure lounge for about an hour.. the user interface was very 'clunky'.  They might have improved it but it's worth having a play first.

what about waiting for the new Mac Tablet?  then it'd sync with your ipod and macbook?  :demon:

tiermat

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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 01:22:18 pm »
How about the new Popcorn Hour C-200 (crap name I know, but covers most bases), PH stuff gets some top class reviews for sound and video quality (although I know the latter is not on your list of requirements)

Buy a Popcorn Hour C 200 (EU, Networked Media Tank), #C-200 - eXpansys UK

Not out here, yet, but should be in the next day or so.

Incidentally something it doesn't tell you on that link is that it will take 1*3.5" drive and 1*2.5" drive to store all your media on!
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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 03:05:03 pm »
Still thinking about a removing CDs from the equation in my HI-fi setup.  Don't want a squeezebox as don't want to have a pc/laptop running all the time. 

I've got a squeezebox, but rather than having a it fed from a pc, it connects to a small NAS (in another part of the house). I used a QNAP TS-101. It's fanless, and set to power off the disk after 15 minutes of inactivity. I think that it's when the disk isn't running and it's just sitting there, power consumption is about 4W.

The cost of the NAS is offset by it being used for other things.
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 02:04:20 pm »
I'd say go with a Squeezebox and get a cheap arse PC for use as a server - you could possibly even use your old laptop with an external HD.   

The main advantage is sound quality- the Squeezebox uses a 24 bit Burr-Brown chipset for DA conversion, essentially the same as is used in  high-end media streamers costing many thousands.  I've got some Linn studio master 24 bit recordings here, and when played back through my Linn system they give incredible sound quality, blowing CD into the weeds.  In hi-fi terms, the Squeezebox is the bargain of the century. 

It's also a really good internet radio, giving access, in fantastic quality, to radio stations from around the world.  You can listen to Lagos local radio, for example, if you want to.

Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 09:21:04 am »
I'd say go with a Squeezebox

Ok, so now I'm thinking about a cheapish NAS and Squeezebox.

Am I right in thinking that the NAS could be connected to the squeezebox without the need for a pc to be on?

If so... which NAS?  I've been looking at...



THIS

THIS

THIS

Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 09:57:46 am »
Ok, so now I'm thinking about a cheapish NAS and Squeezebox.

Am I right in thinking that the NAS could be connected to the squeezebox without the need for a pc to be on?

If so... which NAS?  I've been looking at...

THIS

THIS

THIS

I doubt the WD drives have enough guts to run SlimServer.  The Squeezeboxen talk to a server called SlimServer, and it needs something to run on.  The WD drives will have some sort of microcontroller in them, so that they can talk over the Ethernet using a few common protocols.

SlimServer is fairly complex, it runs under Linux and Windows (and probably other OSes like OSX, but I haven't checked), and needs a reasonable level of performance to work.  It work on my QNAP TS209, but only just, anything with lower performance would probably have problems.  The TS209 has an ARM CPU which runs a cut down version of normal Linux, basically with various applications such as BusyBox which are designed for machines with slower CPUs and restricted memory (although the machine itself has 2TB of disc!).

You'll need either a proper small NAS, or an old PC.  A smart hard disc controller, which is what the WDs have, doesn't really cut it.

My next system will have a small RAID array hanging off of a cheap PC controller (planned to have 4TB of mirrored disc).
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

microphonie

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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2009, 10:13:22 am »
Ripcaster and Amp3 both have a good selection of NAS devices that would do the trick. The latter site has user reviews too.
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Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2009, 10:24:23 am »
Have a browse through here:

3rd Party Hardware - Squeezebox : Community : Forums

I can't decide, at the moment, whether to run squeezecentre form my main PC (which has a 1 TB HD which is plenty for me), to resurrect my old PC as a Linux powered NAS, or buy a purpose built one.  The latter is best for toy value, but I fancy the geeky option 2..


Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 04:37:16 pm »
Now I've discovered THIS  which claims (as do some of it's users) to work well with Squeezecenter.  I'm toying with getting one of these to use as a Raid array with 2 500GB disks. This looks to come with both the disks for £217 (one of them as a post purchase freebie)

Any thoughts?

Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2009, 05:22:35 pm »
I don't know the device, and can't find much in the way of the CPU spec (other than the machine has 64M of Flash for the OS, and 256M of RAM).

At a guess it'll be something like an ARM CPU running relatively slowly, a lot of NAS tend to use something like that, or with a similar performance spec.  The relatively cheap price suggests it'll be something like this.

It will work, but there are a few places where it can get a bit slow.  (i) If you rescan the library (which you tend to do a lot when first setting things up, but less so later) it will possibly be a bit slow, and may well be better left to chunter away to itself overnight when your library has got big.  (ii) The web interface (which is useful for controlling things from a PC or Laptop rather than using the Squeezebox devices own controls) will be a bit slow.  (iii) With transcoding of streams, it can be slow, and this can cause juddering.  I found that with some radio stations I had this problem, and I think it was caused by the relatively poor performance of the ARM CPU in my QNAP TS209Pro.

Having said that, for that price it's hard to go wrong.  It looks like a bargain.  The basic features will certainly work OK, and you can probably live with the above issues, which probably aren't the end of the world for most people.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Archos 7 mutimedia player
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2009, 05:32:50 pm »
Thanks Tim.

I'm in email conversation with my brother about this and he echoes your thoughts.  Mind you his CD collection is most likely in the thousands and he shuts his curtains and turns on his heating from work on his iPhone  ::-) 

Its not always easy to try and get him to see things from my perspective  ;D

By the way... I can't make sense of that CCL deal

This  looks like it comes with a 500gb hdd with space for another (that appears to come free if you apply post) purchase.  All for £217

THIS  looks to be the same NAS, but without a preinstalled drive (although you get the free one later)  Thus the drive in the first offer seems to effectively cost you £58.  Pricey for a 500GB drive, no?

Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah!
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2009, 07:18:59 pm »
Ok... after not nearly enough deliberation and informing, I've just spent a wodge on some new gadgets.   Ordered a squeezebox duet (about 18 months after rae first told me too)  and a Readynas. 

Curiously, it seemed to work out cheaper to buy a disk-free Readynas and buy the disks seperately.  I've gone for 2 1TB disks that I shall have in array.  (I'll also get a free 500GB disk from Netgear, which I have no use for)

What has prompted this last move is the discovery of about 150GB of photos on my harddrive. I have a feeling this will grow exponentially after the arrival of the Pumpette in Novemeber, and I a) don't want my laptop clogged  b) don't want to have to backup to several external drives, thus the large RAID set up that can be sat to back itself up everynight, and email me if it can't be arsed, seems a fair solution.

My brother reckons its not foolproof, in the event of fire or theft, and I guess he's right but I'm hoping HDD failure is more likely than both of those.

Right, now to the nitty gritty.

I'm going to re-rip my CDs, but into what?  FLAC? or just high bitrate mp3?  I don't need to get too anal about it all as my amp and speakers, and more importantly the room they are in are not ideal.

Any thoughts on what and how, please, ease of use being high up on the priorities?

Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah!
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2009, 07:21:23 pm »
My brother reckons its not foolproof, in the event of fire or theft ...

Easily solved, get a second one, and store it at his house (well he did point out the problem!) and then just rsync across to it every evening.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah!
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2009, 08:50:38 pm »

I'm going to re-rip my CDs, but into what?  FLAC? or just high bitrate mp3?  I don't need to get too anal about it all as my amp and speakers, and more importantly the room they are in are not ideal.


I ripped my CD's into FLAC using Exact Audio Copy. An average CD is probably about 300-400MB once ripped to FLAC so unless you've thousands of CD's you'll have plenty room.

A very comprehensive guide to ripping/ file formats can be found here
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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2009, 11:05:14 pm »
Will you lot stop frobbing my gadget buttons?
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

rae

Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2009, 11:30:05 pm »
FLAC all the way.  I regret ripping my CDs at 192 Kb, eventually I'll have to re-rip them.  FLAC is effectively a perfect copy that allows you to automatically convert into whatever format you like.

Biggsy

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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2009, 11:46:22 pm »
Congrats on the hardware and mini Pumpé.

Definitely rip to FLAC.  It's easy and free with Exact Audio Copy and as future-proof as you're going get, meaning you won't ever have to rip the CDs again.  FLAC can be converted to MP3 or whatever any time later with BonkEnc or whatever.

EDIT: Sorry for the repetition.  I hadn't noticed page 2 before posting.
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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 09:35:23 am »
Thanks guys! 

Will Exact copy do all the tags and artwork?  I'm a bit of a fanny with stuff like that.

hulver

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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 09:37:48 am »
Thanks guys! 

Will Exact copy do all the tags and artwork?  I'm a bit of a fanny with stuff like that.

EAC does the tags, as long as the data it fetches about the CD is good. It's got good tag and filename handling.

I don't know about artwork, I never use it myself (artwork that is, I use EAC all the time)

DaveJ

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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah!
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2009, 04:55:41 pm »
My brother reckons its not foolproof, in the event of fire or theft, and I guess he's right but I'm hoping HDD failure is more likely than both of those.

The ReadyNAS has an online backup facility.  For a fee, it backs itself up to an internet location, just like Carbonite/Spare/BT Digital vault do on a PC.

RAID array in the ReadyNAS and an online backup and you're pretty much coverered.

Dave

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Re: Squeezebox f**k yeah! FLAC help now please...
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2009, 06:45:04 pm »
Thanks guys! 

Will Exact copy do all the tags and artwork?  I'm a bit of a fanny with stuff like that.

EAC does the tags, as long as the data it fetches about the CD is good. It's got good tag and filename handling.

I don't know about artwork, I never use it myself (artwork that is, I use EAC all the time)

It will do the tags and if you find anything not right you can fix it with mp3tag  http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

I had another program that did all the covers, do a search on the slimdevices forum, I can't remember the name now.

Re: Squeezebox! Dunnit.. F**K YEAH!
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2009, 05:31:37 pm »
Wey hey its all up and running.  Did the ReadyNas a couple of evenings ago, and when I was sure I had it running properly with the latest firmware and a readynas specific squeezecentre installed, plugged in the Squeezebox Duet.  Not quite so straightforward for a self-taught and ham-fisted user like me as the SB was a bit idiosyncratic about updating itself, and I had to fanny about on the router frontpage making sure it was allowing the SB.  Got it working and I'm in love with it. 

It's simply a great great gadget above and beyond its capabilities.  I posted a thread about a year ago looking for  looking a way of modernising the way I store and play music.  Rae suggested exactly the system I now have, but I wasn't prepared to stump up for the NAS.  Now that I have gone desktop free the NAS solves the storage problem that this entailed so it seemed to make sense.

Tewdric, as ever, is absolutely right about the internet radio.  Its f-ing brilliant!  I never listen to the radio normally as terrestrial stations are shite, but this is wall to wall choons.  I'm listening to 'Lounging Sound'... some sort of US Chill channel and it's relaxing me right down.

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Seineseeker

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Re: Squeezebox! Dunnit.. F**K YEAH!
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2009, 05:36:20 pm »
Congrats Pumpé, it's cool eh? In fact it was someone on here who persuaded me to get a SB, cant remember who now tho!

Lounging Sound is great, but goes a bit too calm in the mornings here, presumably because its middle of the night across the pond.

I started out with 1 squeezebox, 3 years ago, now I have 3! It's only a matter of time you know......