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wildgoose
2010-08-10, 13:16
So I had the squeezebox for a few days. While the touch screen and larger display is very cool and a nice step up from the classic squeezebox that I also own, the device does not seem to be quite at the same level in terms of feature robustness as the classic squeezebox. The device feels a bit sluggish in many places. It feels more like a computer rather than a dedicated audio device.

My SB network is fully wired, no wireless, running off of a gigabit HP switch. My SC is running on a ReadyNas with 1G of memory. Here are my thoughts and findings in no particular order.

1) In synchronized mode (Touch plus the Classic), volume adjustment can responds very slowly. This is the case despite the volume setting being non-synchronized between the two devices.

When I first tested synchronized mode, one of the room's volume is too loud (SB Classic), so used the volume button on the remote to lower it. For the first 5 seconds or so, the volume adjustment on the Classic responded very very slowly (this never happens in standalone mode). After maybe 10 second, the respond time is normal again.

2) The next song starts to play when the count down timer is at -2 or -1. This happens with both Pandora or my own music library. On the classic this is dead accurate. How did this get past QA? ;)

3) The device responds very slowly in some situations.

Switching from Pandora to a song on my SC occasionally is VERY VERY slow. Sometimes it seems to be in the order of 10 seconds or so before the song will actually start to play (not every time..)

After I navigate to my song (.flac), and press play, the display switch back to the current song display, still showing the Pandora information (why not clear it since this is confusing), and then silent. After what seems like an eternity, the song will eventually start to play.

Similar delay is observed when I press repeat. Sometimes the display will update showing the repeat info only after 4-5 seconds!

4) Again related to switching from Pandora to my music library. When I go to browse music folder, sometimes the device would just fail to connect to my SC and ask me to try again.

I never experienced this type of delay and sluggishness when I am using the SB Classic. Not sure if this is due to the use of synchronized mode (the other SB is OFF).

5) I really think there ought to be a 'reboot/restart' option in the menu (or perhaps just a shutdown). Maybe it will clear out some of the sluggishness (like my smartphone).

6) I really like the new screen and be able to see the album art of whatever song Pandora is playing. The touch feature is useful, but I would've preferred a LARGER screen over a smaller one with touch capability. In this day and age with the ipad and what have you, the touch's screen just feels small, especially if you are at any distance from it.

The default play info screen also doesn't make good use of the screen real estate. Why are there static title bar at the top/bottom of the screen taking up precious screen space? How about one where the album art enlarges to take up the entire left side, and the rest of the stuff (info, timer, etc) stays on the right? The controls such as stop, next, etc, can pop up on demand when the user touches the device. There's no point for these things to clutter up the screen.

7) In case anyone is curious, the capacitive touch screen is not the same kind as the one used on iphone/ipad. It actually bends slightly when pressed, like my garmin gps. The response is fine, but just isn't as glass like as the ipad/iphone's touch screen.

8) The Touch is more angeled upward compare to the SB Classic. I wish it was the same. I had to put some business cards behind the touch to have the screen be more vertical. This is more of a personal preference I guess, as I have the Touch on top of my speaker, rather than the stand where the TV sits at a lower position.

Anyone know what OS the Classic SB uses? I know the Touch uses Linux as I've logged in and replaced the default fonts with Android fonts to support Chinese. The sluggishness feels like a slow computer or inadequate memory, like running Windows on an underpowered PC. Not the kind of response you get from a dedicated audio device. My WDTV Live never responds this slowly.

Ok, to be fair, most of the time, the interaction is fine and feels snappy. But for a few operations that does matter a lot, like play music, it can be extremely slow and annoying. (With a crying baby wanting to hear her favorite music, I really don't have the patience to explain to her or my wife why the SB is not playing the music 10 seconds after I pressed play. ;)

iPhone
2010-08-10, 14:44
My SB network is fully wired, no wireless, running off of a gigabit HP switch. My SC is running on a ReadyNas with 1G of memory. Here are my thoughts and findings in no particular order.

3) The device responds very slowly in some situations.

It could be your NAS. What SBS are your running?


5) I really think there ought to be a 'reboot/restart' option in the menu (or perhaps just a shutdown). Maybe it will clear out some of the sluggishness (like my smartphone).

Try pressing the reset button on the back of the Touch


6) I really like the new screen and be able to see the album art of whatever song Pandora is playing. The touch feature is useful, but I would've preferred a LARGER screen over a smaller one with touch capability. In this day and age with the ipad and what have you, the touch's screen just feels small, especially if you are at any distance from it.

The default play info screen also doesn't make good use of the screen real estate. Why are there static title bar at the top/bottom of the screen taking up precious screen space? How about one where the album art enlarges to take up the entire left side, and the rest of the stuff (info, timer, etc) stays on the right? The controls such as stop, next, etc, can pop up on demand when the user touches the device. There's no point for these things to clutter up the screen.

The iPad was not out when the Touch was designed or even in Beta. Also, costs have only come down recently on larger size screens because of the volume associated with the iPad. Have you tried using the different views available from the drop down context menus? I like the analog VU meters.


7) In case anyone is curious, the capacitive touch screen is not the same kind as the one used on iphone/ipad. It actually bends slightly when pressed, like my garmin gps. The response is fine, but just isn't as glass like as the ipad/iphone's touch screen.

It is EXACTLY like the iPad/iPhone, all are capacitive. Apple uses glass, other companies use other material as a factor of cost.

808htfan
2010-08-10, 18:00
5) I really think there ought to be a 'reboot/restart' option in the menu

I agree. I guess my reason is unique, though. I'm disabled an am not able to get up to the Touch or press the reset button.
I see a factory reset in the menu, I'd like just a normal reset too.

;)

iPhone
2010-08-10, 18:42
I agree. I guess my reason is unique, though. I'm disabled an am not able to get up to the Touch or press the reset button.
I see a factory reset in the menu, I'd like just a normal reset too.

;)

If I am not mistaken, you could SSH in and reboot the Touch. Has it been that long? I have not SSH'd into my Touch since April.

808htfan
2010-08-10, 19:13
If I am not mistaken, you could SSH in and reboot the Touch. Has it been that long? I have not SSH'd into my Touch since April.
Forgot to mention that I was having network trouble when I needed to reboot (Touch wouldn't connect, or even see my network until it was rebooted...don't know why). Also not always able to use a computer. Being able to reboot via remote control would be very helpful for me.
My post about it: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=80872

BTW, sorry for hijacking this thread...

strindl
2010-08-10, 21:04
I've had Duets for almost two years, and added in a pair of Touches recently to replace two of the Duet receivers, but continue to use my Duet remotes with them.

I run the SBS on my main computer which is a pretty powerful Xeon quad core, and the response of the touches has always been pretty darn fast. Certainly as fast as the Duet receivers have been. I have everything ethernet wired and only use the wireless for the Duet controllers.

Last weekend I tried running the Touch with it's own internal server in conjunction with a separately powered USB drive. Under that configuration I most certainly noticed the slow response you are talking about. Far slower than I was used to running the server on my computer.

iPhone
2010-08-10, 21:49
I've had Duets for almost two years, and added in a pair of Touches recently to replace two of the Duet receivers, but continue to use my Duet remotes with them.

I run the SBS on my main computer which is a pretty powerful Xeon quad core, and the response of the touches has always been pretty darn fast. Certainly as fast as the Duet receivers have been. I have everything ethernet wired and only use the wireless for the Duet controllers.

Last weekend I tried running the Touch with it's own internal server in conjunction with a separately powered USB drive. Under that configuration I most certainly noticed the slow response you are talking about. Far slower than I was used to running the server on my computer.

This is correct behavior. The small CPU and minimal amount of RAM in the Touch can never compare to a Xeon Quad Core running SBS. The OP was not talking about using TinySC, but using an NAS with SBS running local. But again, I would compare that to just being barely better then actually running TinySC on the Touch. YMMV.

Again my opinion, but its time for the OP to have a dedicated Music Server that is NOT an NAS.

Phil Leigh
2010-08-10, 22:03
If I am not mistaken, you could SSH in and reboot the Touch. Has it been that long? I have not SSH'd into my Touch since April.

Yep - just SSH in as root and "reboot" (SSH must be previously enabled on the Touch - it is off by default)

mdm
2010-08-10, 22:26
Again my opinion, but its time for the OP to have a dedicated Music Server that is NOT an NAS.

I wonder why Logitech doesn't bother to produce "a dedicated music server"? A Shiva like squeez-something just to complete their family.

strindl
2010-08-11, 05:33
I wonder why Logitech doesn't bother to produce "a dedicated music server"? A Shiva like squeez-something just to complete their family.

I'm not sure how big the market would be for something like that. The SBS runs very well on a normal PC and doesn't interfere with using the computer for other purposes at the same time. You don't need to dedicate a computer to just running SBS. The server software just starts automatically each time the computer reboots and runs in the background.

That's a pretty elegant and cost effective way for most people to manage their music distribution in their homes.

iPhone
2010-08-11, 09:11
I wonder why Logitech doesn't bother to produce "a dedicated music server"? A Shiva like squeez-something just to complete their family.

Because the third-party people are doing a great job. Check the SheevaPlug, SlimNAS, and Vortexbox posts. And with all the micro, pico, and nano PCs around using less then 30 Watts, just about anybody can buy one and have it run SBS being a dedicated Music Server for less the $25 a year in power (in most places and even where it isn't, its way cheaper then running a desktop). In three, four years tops, the dedicated under 30 watt Music Server will pay for itself over running a main PC 24/7 and one gets all the advantages of having a dedicated Music Server running 24/7/365!

But that's just my opinion and probably a little more then my two cents worth. YMMV.

mdm
2010-08-11, 09:51
Because the third-party people are doing a great job. Check the SheevaPlug, SlimNAS, and Vortexbox posts. And with all the micro, pico, and nano PCs around using less then 30 Watts, just about anybody can buy one and have it run SBS being a dedicated Music Server for less the $25 a year in power (in most places and even where it isn't, its way cheaper then running a desktop). In three, four years tops, the dedicated under 30 watt Music Server will pay for itself over running a main PC 24/7 and one gets all the advantages of having a dedicated Music Server running 24/7/365!

But that's just my opinion and probably a little more then my two cents worth. YMMV.

Well, the problem is that all this micro-pico boxes are not selling in my place and online shops don't deliver it here either. The only place I found where I can buy Sheeva is eBay... no warranty of cause that it would be delivered neither return options, service support, etc. :( Though I've already ordered it.

Thanks,
Mike

wildgoose
2010-08-11, 18:18
Thanks everyone for the input. It could be the NAS. I am using a ReadyNas Duo. I will try it with a server running on my computer this weekend and report back my findings.

garym
2010-08-11, 18:49
Thanks everyone for the input. It could be the NAS. I am using a ReadyNas Duo. I will try it with a server running on my computer this weekend and report back my findings.

My readynas duo streamed just fine but it was so slow and sluggish when navigating the web control or ipeng I gave up using it for SbS.

mdm
2010-08-11, 23:16
My readynas duo streamed just fine but it was so slow and sluggish when navigating the web control or ipeng I gave up using it for SbS.

Does it mean that using NAS is not recomended or their behaviour may vary from model to model and you can find it out just empirically?

elektronaut
2010-08-12, 03:28
Does it mean that using NAS is not recomended or their behaviour may vary from model to model and you can find it out just empirically?

Yes, it depends on the model you are using. I was using a QNAP TS-209 (some Marvell-Arm processor) before. The players reacted quite well most of the time, but the web interface was very sluggish. Also transcoding was merely not possible.

I changed to a Qnap TS-439 II recently, mainly for performance reasons and because i want to use MusicIP. This device has an Intel Atom N270 Processor and 1Gb of RAM which is enough to run SBS without any flaws.

Volker

mdm
2010-08-12, 04:14
Yes, it depends on the model you are using. I was using a QNAP TS-209 (some Marvell-Arm processor) before. The players reacted quite well most of the time, but the web interface was very sluggish. Also transcoding was merely not possible.

I changed to a Qnap TS-439 II recently, mainly for performance reasons and because i want to use MusicIP. This device has an Intel Atom N270 Processor and 1Gb of RAM which is enough to run SBS without any flaws.

Volker

Thank you Volker but that's not exactly what I've meant. Providing I run SBS on some diskless PC should I use USB HDD or may play from NAS? Will it be a problem for SBS to manage NAS located library?

Mike.

garym
2010-08-12, 04:52
Thank you Volker but that's not exactly what I've meant. Providing I run SBS on some diskless PC should I use USB HDD or may play from NAS? Will it be a problem for SBS to manage NAS located library?

Mike.

You should have no problem with running SbS on a computer and having your data stored on the NAS. As long as your computer can talk to the NAS to see the file locations, SbS doesn't really care and will use those files just as easy as if they were on an attached USB drive, etc. I'm assuming that both the NAS and the computer are connected to your local network via eithernet. If WIFI, this might add too many WIFI hops....

mdm
2010-08-12, 05:08
You should have no problem with running SbS on a computer and having your data stored on the NAS. As long as your computer can talk to the NAS to see the file locations, SbS doesn't really care and will use those files just as easy as if they were on an attached USB drive, etc. I'm assuming that both the NAS and the computer are connected to your local network via eithernet. If WIFI, this might add too many WIFI hops....

That's good, but does SBS scan the whole disk as TinySBS or may work with specified folder(s)? My NAS has quite a lot of non music stuff.

Mike.

Phil Leigh
2010-08-12, 05:14
That's good, but does SBS scan the whole disk as TinySBS or may work with specified folder(s)? My NAS has quite a lot of non music stuff.

Mike.

One specified folder...

garym
2010-08-12, 05:15
That's good, but does SBS scan the whole disk as TinySBS or may work with specified folder(s)? My NAS has quite a lot of non music stuff.

Mike.

you can tell SbS the exact folder you want to scan and it will do that only. So you can have G:\mymusic\artist\album, and set g:\mymusic as your sbS music library location and it will only scan there and any folders under that directory. it is only tinySbS on the touch that scans the entire drive.

mdm
2010-08-12, 05:46
you can tell SbS the exact folder you want to scan and it will do that only. So you can have G:\mymusic\artist\album, and set g:\mymusic as your sbS music library location and it will only scan there and any folders under that directory. it is only tinySbS on the touch that scans the entire drive.

Thanks a lot.
Mike.

wildgoose
2010-08-19, 12:15
I installed SC on my computer, and the Touch did respond much faster and I experienced no slow down.

I do think that some of the slowness I experienced with the SB when running off a SC from a slow system can be improved significantly.

For example, when I press 'shuffle', 'repeat', or do volume adjustment, the reason it feels very sluggish is because the UI is not asynchronous. The UI only seems to get updated after the SB gets a response back from SC. This is probably not the best design. If it takes a long time to get an ACK from SC, then the UI would freeze.

This can be improved significantly by having the UI in the SB reflect immediately the user selection, and in the background communicate the request to the server. This leaves room for optimization such as command queuing as well. For example, if the user presses shuffles a few times (to make sure he picks the one he really wants since it's just an icon representation), the SB only needs to send the end state, not every state change. In practical terms, the box has until the end of the current song to communicate this with the server, this could be minutes so should be plenty of time for this.

When the SB is originally designed, I guess it's very expensive to put a lot of computing power on the box, so the server end up doing everything and the box only have very primitive capabilities. Now that the SB Touch runs Linux with the SC in it, why not implement a standalone mode where the SB Touch simply interfaces with a storage by reading the file directly (local or in a NAS)? Only a small subset of the SC capabilities needs to be implemented. This would free up the need to run a PC with SC 24x7 for many people. (sort of like the WDTV media player but with slightly more capability for music, playlist, shuffle, repeat, etc..)

Incorporating SC into the device is a better business decision. IMHO implement a good standalone mode is a better technical option. It can basically eliminate some of the advantage of the Sonos system if reasonable amount of thoughts and works went into it. I think the current hardware is fully capable of doing this, probably a lot faster than running the SC within the Touch. Heck why not add DLNA support as well?

Basically if you want the original/real SB experience, run a computer with SC on it. On the other hand if you just want basic music playback capability, run it in standalone mode. It can read music from either a NAS location, or the SD card.

How is the performance with the build-in SC in the Touch? I didn't test it because the device seems to have no memory left even without starting the SC service (128mb ram).

Mnyb
2010-08-19, 12:25
Shuffle is sadly a very demanding task for the server when you have a Touch.

it just not a list of files it's probably caching all kind of artwork and doing some real dB operations in the background.

Shuffling a 200 song playlist, especially press shuffle multiple times ! would freeze an 1,2gHz machine .

while shuffling a 4000 song playlist for my SB3 goes very well.

Unless i have my controller select the SB3.

So for unknown reasons these new players with more cpu than the old ones is actually demanding more of the server ?

wildgoose
2010-08-19, 17:41
Shuffle is sadly a very demanding task for the server when you have a Touch.

it just not a list of files it's probably caching all kind of artwork and doing some real dB operations in the background.

Shuffling a 200 song playlist, especially press shuffle multiple times ! would freeze an 1,2gHz machine .


Very interesting. I also noticed it's responding slower than my SBC at times.

When I press 'play' in shuffle mode from a folder containing list of CD folders, it is very fast on my 8 year old P4 system, the song would start to play with a 1 or 2 second delay. But it is really slow (like takes a minute) on the NAS. This is annoying but a one time delay and I can live with that.

When I press 'repeat', or 'shuffle' when a song is playing, the UI should immediately reflect the new status, regardless of the actual server communication state. With SC on the NAS, sometimes it takes what seems to be like 10 seconds before the UI will update the repeat/shuffle icon. I feel like this can be improved even with a slow SC.

Mnyb
2010-08-19, 17:54
Very interesting. I also noticed it's responding slower than my SBC at times.

When I press 'play' in shuffle mode from a folder containing list of CD folders, it is very fast on my 8 year old P4 system, the song would start to play with a 1 or 2 second delay. But it is really slow (like takes a minute) on the NAS. This is annoying but a one time delay and I can live with that.

When I press 'repeat', or 'shuffle' when a song is playing, the UI should immediately reflect the new status, regardless of the actual server communication state. With SC on the NAS, sometimes it takes what seems to be like 10 seconds before the UI will update the repeat/shuffle icon. I feel like this can be improved even with a slow SC.

Have a look at the cpu use while pressing multipple shuffle's shuffle with >200 songs especially at slow machine it will be pegged at 100% for minutes, and the squeezeboxes will even drop the communication with the server, so it's not in shape of doing anything at all.

My workaround the playlist issues is to use Erlands dynamic playlist plugin, it can randomize from a playlist so I can load my 1000 song pl with dynamic playlist and choose "random from this playlist" and the plugin esentially loads up 10 songs at the from that playlist.
But his plugins are also a bit demanding on the server, but it works much better than shuffle.

There is a basic design error somewhere a playlists handling is just a list of files, shuffle that list should just take fractions of second, in most music applikations for desktop PC it would be trivial to load up the whole collection as a playlist and shuffle.

Gadgety1
2010-08-30, 10:37
I installed SC on my computer, and the Touch did respond much faster and I experienced no slow down.

I do think that some of the slowness I experienced with the SB when running off a SC from a slow system can be improved significantly.

For example, when I press 'shuffle', 'repeat', or do volume adjustment, the reason it feels very sluggish is because the UI is not asynchronous. The UI only seems to get updated after the SB gets a response back from SC. This is probably not the best design. If it takes a long time to get an ACK from SC, then the UI would freeze.

This can be improved significantly by having the UI in the SB reflect immediately the user selection, and in the background communicate the request to the server. This leaves room for optimization such as command queuing as well. For example, if the user presses shuffles a few times (to make sure he picks the one he really wants since it's just an icon representation), the SB only needs to send the end state, not every state change. In practical terms, the box has until the end of the current song to communicate this with the server, this could be minutes so should be plenty of time for this.

When the SB is originally designed, I guess it's very expensive to put a lot of computing power on the box, so the server end up doing everything and the box only have very primitive capabilities. Now that the SB Touch runs Linux with the SC in it, why not implement a standalone mode where the SB Touch simply interfaces with a storage by reading the file directly (local or in a NAS)? Only a small subset of the SC capabilities needs to be implemented. This would free up the need to run a PC with SC 24x7 for many people. (sort of like the WDTV media player but with slightly more capability for music, playlist, shuffle, repeat, etc..)

Incorporating SC into the device is a better business decision. IMHO implement a good standalone mode is a better technical option. It can basically eliminate some of the advantage of the Sonos system if reasonable amount of thoughts and works went into it. I think the current hardware is fully capable of doing this, probably a lot faster than running the SC within the Touch. Heck why not add DLNA support as well?

Basically if you want the original/real SB experience, run a computer with SC on it. On the other hand if you just want basic music playback capability, run it in standalone mode. It can read music from either a NAS location, or the SD card.

How is the performance with the build-in SC in the Touch? I didn't test it because the device seems to have no memory left even without starting the SC service (128mb ram).

Thank you Wildgoose (Ed?) for sharing your experience/reviews. Excellent stuff.

innovstar
2010-08-30, 11:50
I installed SC on my computer, and the Touch did respond much faster and I experienced no slow down.

I do think that some of the slowness I experienced with the SB when running off a SC from a slow system can be improved significantly.

For example, when I press 'shuffle', 'repeat', or do volume adjustment, the reason it feels very sluggish is because the UI is not asynchronous. The UI only seems to get updated after the SB gets a response back from SC. This is probably not the best design. If it takes a long time to get an ACK from SC, then the UI would freeze.

This can be improved significantly by having the UI in the SB reflect immediately the user selection, and in the background communicate the request to the server. This leaves room for optimization such as command queuing as well. For example, if the user presses shuffles a few times (to make sure he picks the one he really wants since it's just an icon representation), the SB only needs to send the end state, not every state change. In practical terms, the box has until the end of the current song to communicate this with the server, this could be minutes so should be plenty of time for this.

When the SB is originally designed, I guess it's very expensive to put a lot of computing power on the box, so the server end up doing everything and the box only have very primitive capabilities. Now that the SB Touch runs Linux with the SC in it, why not implement a standalone mode where the SB Touch simply interfaces with a storage by reading the file directly (local or in a NAS)? Only a small subset of the SC capabilities needs to be implemented. This would free up the need to run a PC with SC 24x7 for many people. (sort of like the WDTV media player but with slightly more capability for music, playlist, shuffle, repeat, etc..)

Incorporating SC into the device is a better business decision. IMHO implement a good standalone mode is a better technical option. It can basically eliminate some of the advantage of the Sonos system if reasonable amount of thoughts and works went into it. I think the current hardware is fully capable of doing this, probably a lot faster than running the SC within the Touch. Heck why not add DLNA support as well?

Basically if you want the original/real SB experience, run a computer with SC on it. On the other hand if you just want basic music playback capability, run it in standalone mode. It can read music from either a NAS location, or the SD card.

How is the performance with the build-in SC in the Touch? I didn't test it because the device seems to have no memory left even without starting the SC service (128mb ram).

Yes, I agree with your suggestion it would be interesting to understand the design pattern implemented as my wired touch does suffer with long unresponsive periods... which can spoil the experience.