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View Full Version : Rip > Store > Serve - Why so complicated!?



Timbo
2008-03-12, 04:04
Hi folks - just wondered if anybody here feels like me - if Logitech (not to mention Sonos etc.) want this whole idea of streaming music from your computer to your hi-fi to catch-on mainstream - then it's time for some radical simplification!

Ok, I am a long time streamer, I played with Roku and various devices until the "digital out" of the Squeezebox completely blew me away - so yes, I am a convert. I know about this stuff now (what I didn't know I found out here on the Slim Devices forums!) but a recent change in my hardware and delivery system is making me think about just how 'very' hard this would be for the average person who has heard about this stuff and just wants to - Rip, Store and Serve!

My PC went pop last week (very old and dying for a long time!) so I have a brand new little mini-PC with minimal expansion and smallish HD. It is however very quiet and very cute! My idea was to sit this on my desk and get a Windows Home Server for the all media and stick it out of the way somewhere. At last I could come home and listen to music - without kicking my old PC into life - always on, always available and near silent, low power delivery. Great also for my next house when I set up multi-room as well - my present apartment is not big - I just open all doors to get multi-room experience :-)

So I now have to get SqueezeCenter onto the WHS box - I think Ripcaster have pre-installed SlimServer 6.5 but not sure as no mention in the minimal documentation - nor any clues as to how I go about installing SC, but hey, I can Google!

Then I need to get EAC downloaded and installed on my new PC- that means about 20 pages (OK slight exaggeration!) of settings to perform and what if it doesn't like my new DVD drive...won't even go there yet!

I also hear iTunesEncode is no longer supported (?) but that's what I use to get EAC WAVs into iTunes so better start researching that next. Oh! and of course my existing library - iTunes will need serious 'fiddling' to switch it's allegiance to my new server without a total re-import (bet I can fool it though!) and then where on the new server do I put my music? I suppose in the Music folder - yeah will try that. And then there is my trusty SqueezeBox 3 - hope that will see my new server OK and doesn't get messed up by my Internet clock radio nicking it's IP again - really!

So - anyone now think Logitech's all new singing and dancing Duet is gonna break into the main stream consumer electronics market...I think not...custom home installers will love it, but your average Jo or Joe - buying a duet is just the start, the rest is 'hard' man, just hard!

Sooo - whos for a new product - it looks like a Duet but the receiver has an optical drive (so not quite such a 'slim' client but that is not the Holy Grail surely) and when you stick an audio CD in it just rips it down to your server, wherever that is (who cares, but it will know as SqueezeCenter will be running somewhere). Files are stored in a choice of formats if you like, but probably defaulting to the one you guys love the most, probably flac. This crazy little easy to use thing just asks 'Play, Rip and Play, or just Rip' and jobs done. When SqueezCenter get it, it downloads album art, sorts out tags and Bob is your Proverbial Uncle! Obviously power users could load browser interface and fiddle with formats, tagging options, edit tags, change system settings - but by default, straight out of the box, it just did Rips, Stores and Serves! No bloody re-scanning either - if SqueezCenter is ripping then it can update it's database dynamically surely.

Isn't this all possible now, using open source software that already talks to SquueezeCenter and some that surely could be made to?

And Logitech - when you do this, just make sure I get first one free OK...Oh! and everybody else here should get one - after all without these forums I don't reckon a single one of your customers would be up and running without problems - what you say guys!

mherger
2008-03-12, 04:21
http://www.ripfactory.com/ripserver.html is currently trying to do what you want (less the music playing).

--

Michael

bernt
2008-03-12, 04:23
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=43979

maggior
2008-03-12, 07:23
Somebody is working on a ripping and encoding plugin for squeezecenter. Check out this thread here:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=42564

Here is an interesting discussion on making the squeezebox ready for the "average joe":
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=43491

It all makes for interesting reading.

pfarrell
2008-03-12, 09:53
it's time for some radical simplification!

The choice, and the ball, belongs to the Record Labels and their fronts such as the RIAA.

Nearly everyone agrees with you that this is far harder than it needs to be.

But until the record companies realize that folks aren't going to buy their shiney plastic disks, there's not much we can do.

Steve Jobs can, because he owns Apple and parts of Disney. The rest of the world has to just wait until the pointy haired bosses at the record labels retire or die off.

haunyack
2008-03-12, 09:55
wait until the pointy haired bosses at the record labels retire or die off.

Oh Happy Day!
Grim I suppose but..

.

JJZolx
2008-03-12, 12:52
Rip > Store > Serve - What's so complicated???

Bizarroterl
2008-03-12, 13:36
Rip > Store > Serve - What's so complicated???


I know many that wouldn't make it past "rip":

"rip"? What is that? I have an old shirt that is ripped. Is that what you're talking about?

amcluesent
2008-03-12, 13:56
Rip-Store-Serve

It's no more complex than being able to read the wiki and use a mouse is it? The "average Joe" must be a horse's ass.

snarlydwarf
2008-03-12, 14:07
Rip-Store-Serve

It's no more complex than being able to read the wiki and use a mouse is it? The "average Joe" must be a horse's ass.

Not really: I often use my parents as indicators of average people with technology. They have discovered (all by themselves) Firefox, they hate Windows but endure it, they hate Microsoft breaking compatibility between Word versions every time either of them gets a new computer and a new version of Office and find they can't trade files...

I grew up with music: all the kids were encouraged to have music lessons, and my parents had a reasonably sized record collection with everything from classical to Tom Lehrer.

But I don't think they have the patience for a real music library. I think they would love to have all their music online properly indexed... but I don't think they want to do the work that it takes. And to do it correctly, it does take work. Forget the difficulty of installing a handful of applications.. that wouldn't scare them, they did, after all, find and install Firefox without any of my help... but the never-ending process of making tags -correct-... that would scare them.

They can handle the concepts of databases and correct input: they do a lot of work with Genealogy and my father is on the board of a major genealogical society.. but music is supposed to be relaxing, it shouldn't take work to make it correct.. but anyone who has every tried to use Freedb or even Gracenote as being authoritative in any sense knows that data normalization is just not there yet with automatic tagging.

So, Rip>Store>Serve is fine.. unless you want decent tags.

Siduhe
2008-03-12, 14:19
Not really: I often use my parents as indicators of average people with technology...They can handle the concepts of databases and correct input: they do a lot of work with Genealogy and my father is on the board of a major genealogical society.. but music is supposed to be relaxing, it shouldn't take work to make it correct.. but anyone who has every tried to use Freedb or even Gracenote as being authoritative in any sense knows that data normalization is just not there yet with automatic tagging.


Snarly, I think you and might actually be married. You've just described my inlaws to the letter...

My equivalent is my best friend. Loves her music in a major way, vinyl junkie and ipod addict, but if it's not one touch ripping and tagging, ala itunes, she just won't bother. Of course, she thinks I'm an a**l retentive control freak who can't even bear the sight of inconsistent cases within my tags...

snarlydwarf
2008-03-12, 14:29
Snarly, I think you and might actually be married. You've just described my inlaws to the letter...

My fiance won't like to hear that...



My equivalent is my best friend. Loves her music in a major way, vinyl junkie and ipod addict, but if it's not one touch ripping and tagging, ala itunes, she just won't bother. Of course, she thinks I'm an a**l retentive control freak who can't even bear the sight of inconsistent cases within my tags...

heh, my fiance is the same way.. she rips an album into itunes, then shoves it onto her ipod, then deletes it from itunes.

I think thats what my parents do as well...

Tags just don't mean anything to them, and oddly when they do that, they don't even get the benefits of the 'Smart Playlists' stuff that plays songs they supposedly like more...

It is odd, since it really isn't that different from their Genealogy stuff... it is music history, linking artists and albums, and release dates, and genres to coalesce them all together in relationships... but the motivation to do that right for normal people really isn't there, and the databases for tagging mostly suck.

Timbo
2008-03-13, 03:24
Well, some interesting comments - although not many - I suppose we are all familiar with the process here and it's not really an issue is it?. I found the Ripfactory stuff interesting, but only half the solution really, although perhaps the market will continue to be split into separate server and client sides. Ripfactory Micro software looks interesting though.

Anyway, my Windows Home Server experience hasn't been great so far - no long term issues I am sure, just I fell foul of a batch of dodgy RAM from Tranquil, awaiting the postman before I can continue! So far though the server just booted up and after a minute getting my head around consoles (to check the error log for John at Ripcaster - thanks John for support!) the rest is easy peasy. Install connector software and a nice little WHS icon appears on the tray of my desktop PC and a couple of clicks and you are on the server - well it would have been a couple of clicks if the packing guys had put the 'getting started' A4 sheet in the box! They didn't so had to phone for the password...doh! Hope John kicks ass (unless it's the missus of course then better not!) as if they get busier he won't be able to answer silly calls like that all day long.

Getting music across is a simple as opening Windows Explorer and browsing to the network to see //server sat there sharing its music/pics/videos and whatever folders - just drag and drop. Providing of course you are setup on the controlling PC with the same user name and password you set for the user you added to WHS - else lots of password dialogues to navigate.

And of course presuming you don't fall foul of dodgy RAM as this tends to stop the process swiftly with the blue screen of death (well when you put a monitor on the server to see what has happened anyway)...as you can tell, busy but frustrating day yesterday :-/

Next - having spoken to Ripfactory the Micro software needs user account control turned off in Vista so probably won't be going down that route, but he did mention that both EAC and their software need to rip to the local HD and not to the WHS remote and then you must move the files over manually! Error checking apparently? So probably still use EAC then, as it can create a local error checked wav, which iTunesEncode can then send to iTunes for transcoding and iTunes cam move it onto the server...thats if iTunes doesn't corrupt the file as has been reported lately - but I'm not using a WHS data pool with multiple drives so should be ok...who's idea was all this anyway?

End to end out of the box solution still some way off methinks?

Timbo :-)
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