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  1. #1
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    Thinking about switching to Sonos (for a Restaurant)

    Hi All

    I really want to be talked out of this one, but I'm not sure if I can be...

    I started of with the SLIMP3 way way back when Sean Adams shipped them out personally and still have my original SLIMP3 (Without backplate of course). I was and still am a Squeezebox 'fan' if you want to put it that way.

    A couple of months ago I helped set up a system in a restaurant using a Squeezebox Boom and 2 Squeezebox Radios. I set up a server in the cellar and fed cables up to the restaurant with a PCEngines AP (Rock solid wireless) and bought them an iPad to select the music. This is where the problems start:

    -Searching for music does not work that well. I spent days correcting Tags and cleaning artwork up. Depending on what Server Version is running it comes up with nothing if I search for ABBA of a certain song. (Yes I always clear the library when I make a change)

    -Syncing has its problems: If you set up a playlist and play the first song, the sync is not that good. You have to jump to the next track. Explaining this to 15+ employees is not that easy. Having out of sync players in a restaurant really dampens the mood.

    -iPeng is great. But has its moments. Somtimes it will just not connect to the server. Sometimes it can't connect to the server and needs to be shut down and restarted. For me that's not a big deal, for 'users' it gives them the feeling the whole thing does not work.

    -I have had a bug where the players only played the first track on the playlist. Probably a bug in 7.5.x. I had 7.6 installed for a day and had to go to the nightly builds to get things running 'smoothly'.

    Maybe it's all the features that are bringing the system down. All I want is a system that syncs properly and works.

    Am I doing anything wrong or is this just the way Squeezebox works?

    Sike

  2. #2
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sike View Post
    -Searching for music does not work that well. I spent days correcting Tags and cleaning artwork up. Depending on what Server Version is running it comes up with nothing if I search for ABBA of a certain song. (Yes I always clear the library when I make a change)
    Don't hope to not have tagging problems with Sonos. Tagging problems are tagging problems. They are platform independent.
    -Syncing has its problems: If you set up a playlist and play the first song, the sync is not that good. You have to jump to the next track. Explaining this to 15+ employees is not that easy. Having out of sync players in a restaurant really dampens the mood.
    I assume you've got a fast server and you have tried to not mix wired and WiFi routes to the players?
    I know it will still have issues...
    -iPeng is great. But has its moments. Somtimes it will just not connect to the server. Sometimes it can't connect to the server and needs to be shut down and restarted. For me that's not a big deal, for 'users' it gives them the feeling the whole thing does not work.
    "Not connect at all" ALWAYS is a network issue. If your iPad can't connect to WiFi it will not be fun with Sonos as well. Of course, the Sonos controller will.
    One thing: How many devices do you have on WiFi and how many does your AP/router handle? A lot of them will only handle 16 devices at a time and in a restaurant you have to account for people accidentally or purposely trying to connect to the network, too. Try a hidden SSID.

    The "needs to be shutdown and restarted" hopefully will get much better with the next release (currently waiting for App Store approval) in iPEng since I at least found a workaround. You may still have to wait 10-20s under certain conditions for it to reconnect but it will.
    -I have had a bug where the players only played the first track on the playlist. Probably a bug in 7.5.x. I had 7.6 installed for a day and had to go to the nightly builds to get things running 'smoothly'.
    You don't sync to any software players, don't you?
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    Don't hope to not have tagging problems with Sonos. Tagging problems are tagging problems. They are platform independent.
    The thing is that depending on Squeezeserver build it can find things.

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    I assume you've got a fast server and you have tried to not mix wired and WiFi routes to the players?
    I know it will still have issues...
    The Server is dedicated to Squeezebox. It's a fast Shuttle PC with a quad core, etc.

    All players are WiFi



    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    "Not connect at all" ALWAYS is a network issue. If your iPad can't connect to WiFi it will not be fun with Sonos as well. Of course, the Sonos controller will.
    One thing: How many devices do you have on WiFi and how many does your AP/router handle? A lot of them will only handle 16 devices at a time and in a restaurant you have to account for people accidentally or purposely trying to connect to the network, too. Try a hidden SSID.
    The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    The "needs to be shutdown and restarted" hopefully will get much better with the next release (currently waiting for App Store approval) in iPEng since I at least found a workaround. You may still have to wait 10-20s under certain conditions for it to reconnect but it will.
    I must commend your software again! iPeng was a true revolution for Squeezebox! I love the software and use it at home every day. As someone who works in IT I have no issue with shuting down iPeng and restarting it.


    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    You don't sync to any software players, don't you?
    No.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sike View Post
    The thing is that depending on Squeezeserver build it can find things.
    Yes, but that kind of stuff is not unique to the Squeezebox.
    The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.
    Is it publicly visible? You never know who's trying to access it. How many Squeezeboxes are these? What's the name? It's not, by accident, the AP model?
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  5. #5
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    "a Squeezebox Boom and 2 Squeezebox Radios"
    Yes, it will. Yes, all of them. Yes, SoftSqueeze as well. What ?
    I SAID ALL OF THEM !

  6. #6
    Senior Member Soulkeeper's Avatar
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    You should probably run a stable 7.5 version, since it's a restaurant and not your private setting.

    The sync problems sound like a network issue. Did you terminate the cables yourself? If so, how experienced are you with stretching Ethernet?

    On the wireless side, have you scanned for hidden networks that use channel 11? Do the squeezeboxen have line of sight to the router? (walls and other obstacles are slightly less transparent for the signal when using the higher channels)

  7. #7
    Senior Member maggior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sike View Post
    The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.
    What about channel 10? Adjacent channels can cause problems too. There are only 3 channels that are totally in the clear (in the US): 1, 6, and 11.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels
    Rich
    ---------
    Setup: 2 SB3s, 4 Booms, 1 Duet, 1 Receiver, 1 Touch, iPeng on iPod Touch, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze, and SqueezePlayer on Xoom and Galaxy Player 4.2. CentOS 6.3 Server running LogitechMediaServer 7.7.2 and SqueezeSlave.
    Current library stats: 40,810 songs, 3,153 albums, 582 artists.
    http://www.last.fm/user/maggior

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    This might be off topic,and might be inapplicable in your locale, but bear in mind that there are music ownership laws that come in to play when someone's music is played in public places(think jukeboxes), which may require royalty fees to be paid. In the States the laws are enforced by ASCAP, in Europe maybe BMI(???).

    Don't want you to get an unpleasant surprise, and ignore this if you already know.
    Living Room: Squeezebox v3 (Wired), Pioneer Elite VSX 80, KEF LS50, Paradigm SE center, SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer, Paradigm Atom Monitor v.5 surrounds
    w/ Harmony 650 Smart Remote
    Dining Room: KEF Q100
    Anywhere Else As Needed: Boom
    Router: Asus RT-N56U
    Server: LMS Version 7.9, Dell Laptop, Windows 10 Home

  9. #9
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    Regardless of all other (valid) advice, I would make a clean installation of version 7.5.3. In my opinion the most trouble-free and stable version since "forever". I have just returned to it myself.


    Edit: Oh, actually, I think I would have gone for Sonos instead of SB, in the first place in such an environment.. Unfortunately.
    Last edited by Muele; 2011-08-04 at 01:08.
    BR Mogens

    2 Radios (1 battery), 2 Controllers, 2 Receivers, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze and SqueezePlayer on Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulkeeper View Post
    The sync problems sound like a network issue. Did you terminate the cables yourself? If so, how experienced are you with stretching Ethernet?

    On the wireless side, have you scanned for hidden networks that use channel 11? Do the squeezeboxen have line of sight to the router? (walls and other obstacles are slightly less transparent for the signal when using the higher channels)
    I am a System and network engineer. Things like VOIP are running fine over the same cabling. There is no line of sight, but the floor between the devices and SB's is made out of wood with no (or at least not much) metal between them. Reception is great.



    Quote Originally Posted by maggior View Post
    What about channel 10? Adjacent channels can cause problems too. There are only 3 channels that are totally in the clear (in the US): 1, 6, and 11.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels
    The network is in a residential part of the city in a semi detached house. Lots of old neighbours who don't have networks. All networks in the vicinity are on channel 6, which is probably the factory default. I have also tried channel 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fahzz View Post
    This might be off topic,and might be inapplicable in your locale, but bear in mind that there are music ownership laws that come in to play when someone's music is played in public places(think jukeboxes), which may require royalty fees to be paid. In the States the laws are enforced by ASCAP, in Europe maybe BMI(???).

    Don't want you to get an unpleasant surprise, and ignore this if you already know.
    In Switzerland it's a company that collects the royalties. You need to pay a flat fee for playing music, recorded or radio. All music exists on CD, so there is no problem with copyright.

    Trying to explain the concept of Wireless Streaming to the company that collects the money blew their mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Muele View Post
    Regardless of all other (valid) advice, I would make a clean installation of version 7.5.3. In my opinion the most trouble-free and stable version since "forever". I have just returned to it myself.


    Edit: Oh, actually, I think I would have gone for Sonos instead of SB, in the first place in such an environment.. Unfortunately.
    7.5.3 had the sync issue too. I was hoping on 7.6.x

    I have ordered the Sonos and it should arrive today. I now have a couple of radios and a boom that I need to intergrate somewhere else

    All been said, I am otherwise a happy Squeezeboxer. At home where I hardy ever use sync all works fine. I browse by music folder mostly and never expected tags to work properly, but it is nice when they do

    For commercial use I think the Sonos will be better, but time will tell...

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