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View Full Version : does anyone still use squeezelite anymore instead of chromecast audio and if so why?



ashleyw
2016-09-11, 16:31
hey guys, for several years I was running RPI2s with hifiberry cards in them for syncd multi room using squeezelite primarily with Triodes Spotify plugin - the sync was never that great.
Fro the last 4 months I've been running 9 x Chromecast audio - they work brilliantly and the integration into android is slick (along with the setup) and audio quality is brilliant. The sync over wifi is 100%, and it's trivial to group/re group audio zones etc, there are no audio drop outs at all. I must say I haven't looked back at all and even my family can operate the Chromecast audios so WAF is good (and CCs are cheap).

With things like Plex (for local music libraries) supporting audio cast, what is the use case for the squeezebox ecosystem any more (just checking before I sell all my RPIs in case I've missed something).

any thoughts?

cdmackay
2016-09-11, 16:53
There's a Squeeze–CC plugin isn't there? I see the thread, although I've yet to try it.

Given that, I would rather use my CCs that way, with server software with which I am familiar, rather than start again with e.g. Plex.

All depends on how good the Squeeze–CC hookup is.

d6jg
2016-09-12, 04:53
hey guys, for several years I was running RPI2s with hifiberry cards in them for syncd multi room using squeezelite primarily with Triodes Spotify plugin - the sync was never that great.
Fro the last 4 months I've been running 9 x Chromecast audio - they work brilliantly and the integration into android is slick (along with the setup) and audio quality is brilliant. The sync over wifi is 100%, and it's trivial to group/re group audio zones etc, there are no audio drop outs at all. I must say I haven't looked back at all and even my family can operate the Chromecast audios so WAF is good (and CCs are cheap).

With things like Plex (for local music libraries) supporting audio cast, what is the use case for the squeezebox ecosystem any more (just checking before I sell all my RPIs in case I've missed something).

any thoughts?

Chromecast can't play 24/192 can it ? Whereas a Pi & HiFiberry DAC can. I agree about the sync though.

Giza2020
2016-09-12, 06:20
I've never had the sync issues you've reported so the pi hifiberry and existing squeeze hardware I have all work well together...I have a cc in the set up but it's pretty much standalone in a room rarely used but I've got the cast bridge set.up on it so using it as a mixture of a chromecast and squeezlite player.

I also use hifiberry amp+ so no need for the extra amp that a cc needs...so can be hidden in ceiling :-)

If I had no squeeze hardware and was starting afresh I might have looked cc with active speakers in ceilings but as is I find the pi set.up.to be the one that integrates into the squeeze eco system the best...the cc doesn't and one reason is it cannot be synchronised with non cc players.


If I had no hardware

d6jg
2016-09-12, 06:28
I've never had the sync issues you've reported so the pi hifiberry and existing squeeze hardware I have all work well together...I have a cc in the set up but it's pretty much standalone in a room rarely used but I've got the cast bridge set.up on it so using it as a mixture of a chromecast and squeezlite player.

I also use hifiberry amp+ so no need for the extra amp that a cc needs...so can be hidden in ceiling :-)

If I had no squeeze hardware and was starting afresh I might have looked cc with active speakers in ceilings but as is I find the pi set.up.to be the one that integrates into the squeeze eco system the best...the cc doesn't and one reason is it cannot be synchronised with non cc players.


If I had no hardware

Another consideration is that the CC is wireless only whereas a Pi can be wired or wireless. I have all my players wired with the exception of iPeng

bpa
2016-09-12, 06:49
Another consideration is that the CC is wireless only
If you really want a CC can be wired with a USB ethernet adapter and Y cable or use Google own https://store.google.com/product/ethernet_adapter_for_chromecast

d6jg
2016-09-12, 08:27
If you really want a CC can be wired with a USB ethernet adapter and Y cable or use Google own https://store.google.com/product/ethernet_adapter_for_chromecast

Didn't know that !
The Google ethernet adpater looks interesting. Would be even better if it was a homeplug though!

I do have a CCA but I don't use it in preference to a wired (homeplug) Pi + DAC

ashleyw
2016-09-12, 15:34
it appears that the dac in the choromecast audio is 24/192 but the chromecast audio can only go up to 24/96 in its current form;.
For its price though nothing touches it (including the pi) - this seems quite interesting;
http://archimago.blogspot.co.nz/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio.html

My two main listening areas have Onkyo amps in now with chromecast audios in, there are another 7 zones so I can utilise various old kids powered speakers for kids bedrooms. Our outside zones have chromecast audios feeding cheap and cheerful amps driving outside speakers under the eaves of the house
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Breeze-Audio-TPA3116-HiFi-2-0-Audio-Stereo-Digital-Power-Amplifier-Advanced-50W-50W-Sound-good/32664243769.html

I use Plex for all my bluray rips already so it makes sense for me to use this for music as well (to supplement the streaming services).

The big plus point for the CC audio is that its a simple device that just works - there is no trickery required - and the sync is absolutely perfect. all 9 zones are in earshot of each other and there is no drift whatsoever - something i was never able to achieve on Squeezelite/LMS despite spending hours and hours of trying. The family really love it.

What is missing is someone to hack a squeezebox style portable radio together using a chromecast audio inside and an old 4 inch touch screen device and package it up to look like nice.

philippe_44
2016-09-12, 18:24
There's a Squeeze–CC plugin isn't there? I see the thread, although I've yet to try it.

Given that, I would rather use my CCs that way, with server software with which I am familiar, rather than start again with e.g. Plex.

All depends on how good the Squeeze–CC hookup is.

One thing that my bridge cannot do is synchronization between CC and SB devices (I could only do that between AirPlay and SB devices). So that's a big limitation and it seems that Google is not willing to disclose their sync protocol, so I cannot implement it.

callesoroe
2016-09-13, 09:13
hey guys, for several years I was running RPI2s with hifiberry cards in them for syncd multi room using squeezelite primarily with Triodes Spotify plugin - the sync was never that great.
Fro the last 4 months I've been running 9 x Chromecast audio - they work brilliantly and the integration into android is slick (along with the setup) and audio quality is brilliant. The sync over wifi is 100%, and it's trivial to group/re group audio zones etc, there are no audio drop outs at all. I must say I haven't looked back at all and even my family can operate the Chromecast audios so WAF is good (and CCs are cheap).

With things like Plex (for local music libraries) supporting audio cast, what is the use case for the squeezebox ecosystem any more (just checking before I sell all my RPIs in case I've missed something).

any thoughts?

Have two Transporters. Sounds much better than CC. Dynamic playlists, rating, replay gain, lastmix plugin combined with local music and Tidal , iPeng, Squeezepad..... A few good reasons...

cdmackay
2016-09-13, 18:04
One thing that my bridge cannot do is synchronization between CC and SB devices (I could only do that between AirPlay and SB devices). So that's a big limitation and it seems that Google is not willing to disclose their sync protocol, so I cannot implement it.

important point, thanks much Philippe.

malaugh
2016-09-13, 19:53
I have heard that CC-audio does not support gapless playback. Is this true?

That would be the deal killer for me. I do not care about high bit rate (mainly play mp3) but play a lot of live albums.

philippe_44
2016-09-13, 20:36
I have heard that CC-audio does not support gapless playback. Is this true?

That would be the deal killer for me. I do not care about high bit rate (mainly play mp3) but play a lot of live albums.

This is correct

ModelCitizen
2016-09-13, 23:06
Lack of ReplayGain is a complete deal breaker for me and I am surprised it is not the same for most here. Do people not use playlists or random/smart play?

verypsb
2016-09-14, 09:53
I have heard that CC-audio does not support gapless playback. Is this true?

That would be the deal killer for me.

No gapless playback? How can this be true? No gapless playback = no go.

Dennis.

bpa
2016-09-14, 11:48
No gapless playback? How can this be true? No gapless playback = no go.

CC uses Web Audio and gapless is not possible with webaudio as each "file" will be separate http request.

ashleyw
2016-09-14, 20:01
it looks like there is an interesting thread about this and according to google the device itself is actually capable of gapless playback but the app needs to support it - I can't confirm myself which apps have been modified (at one stage it was google music and Spotify, but the last comment said this feature was broken with a release of CCA firmware) - it's hard to read the truth in that forum posting;
https://code.google.com/p/google-cast-sdk/issues/detail?id=745

In terms of volume equalisation, right now all my listening comes from Spotify streaming and tunein (as I haven't had the time to re-rip my old CDs into FLAC), Spotify themselves have an option to equalise the volumes of their tracks, meaning this is a non issue for me - so taking everything into account, the chormecast audio still wins the day for me - it's a far simpler, modern and cheaper solution that really does work well (at-least for me). All my playlists currently refer to Spotify tracks.

thanks for your comments - i guess i was always a lightweight squeezelite user and the two features that i really wanted (multi room audio sync and native Spotify app integration), either weren't available or didn't work consistently (especially the sync on wired and/or wireless).

I'm going to pull out the hifiberry daughter board on one of the rpis and re-purpose it as a Home Assistant server; https://home-assistant.io/

philippe_44
2016-09-14, 21:37
it looks like there is an interesting thread about this and according to google the device itself is actually capable of gapless playback but the app needs to support it - I can't confirm myself which apps have been modified (at one stage it was google music and Spotify, but the last comment said this feature was broken with a release of CCA firmware) - it's hard to read the truth in that forum posting;
https://code.google.com/p/google-cast-sdk/issues/detail?id=745

In terms of volume equalisation, right now all my listening comes from Spotify streaming and tunein (as I haven't had the time to re-rip my old CDs into FLAC), Spotify themselves have an option to equalise the volumes of their tracks, meaning this is a non issue for me - so taking everything into account, the chormecast audio still wins the day for me - it's a far simpler, modern and cheaper solution that really does work well (at-least for me). All my playlists currently refer to Spotify tracks.

thanks for your comments - i guess i was always a lightweight squeezelite user and the two features that i really wanted (multi room audio sync and native Spotify app integration), either weren't available or didn't work consistently (especially the sync on wired and/or wireless).

I'm going to pull out the hifiberry daughter board on one of the rpis and re-purpose it as a Home Assistant server; https://home-assistant.io/

I think the confusion with gapless is that you can actually "fake" gapless with a CCA and the default receiver application by aggregating tracks "on the fly" while sending them to the device. Typically, in my ChromeCast bridge, I could uncompress all to PCM and then send the result as a very long stream - that would give gapless, replaygain, fade in/out etc ... this is what I do with the AirPlay bridge. But in CCA that would prevent proper metadata update and make the display synchronization with LMS (what track is being played and at what position) very complicated.

Some uPnP players can do gapless because the controler can send data for two tracks at the same time: the current one and the next one and the player automatically switches. It might also be possible to write a custom receiver that does the same, that I don't know, but the built-in receiver does not allow that (or at least there is nothing documented).

RSJ
2016-09-14, 21:41
For several reasons, First one app controls all my music sources and all my players easily, my preference is Squeezcommander. I have music on a NAS and several music subscription that I switch between regularly. Second you just can't touch the coolness of a Raspberry Pi, a touchscreen and a Hifiberry amp mounted in the wall feeding ceiling or bookshelf speakers. Thirdly the DIY element and the versatility. When you run SB on a Raspberry pi with the Hifiberry amp the possibility is only limited by your imagination. Using it with an amp board and a speaker kit from Parts Express is beyond cool. As far as synchronization goes I found the problem to be with the shortcomings of wi-fi and interference rather than SB and the hardware. My experience was that when a particular wireless player had network interference or the signal strength dropped for whatever reason all the players had to re-synchronize causing the music to cut out. I solved this problem by making all my players wired. I can happily stream Spotify through my whole using 5 Logitech Receivers, 1 Logitech Boom, 1 Logitech Radio and 3 Raspberry Pi/Hifiberry amp s. I can play the same thing flawlessly on all them or go in the garage and play my favorite album.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

dangerusty
2016-09-15, 13:22
My primary reason for not switching is that I want an AirPlay option, and Squeezelite + Shairtunes plugin works for that.

Secondary reason is cost. Even though they are only $30-ish, I have 8 zones running that only cost $7/each for USB soundcards. That's $56 I won't get back, plus the $240 for chromecast audios.

I must say, sync is awful with squeezelite, so I don't even use it. I have two zones that are next to each other, so I just won't use them both at once.

On the other hand, my setup is irritatingly unstable. Dedicated hardware that people say works perfectly sounds pretty nice for $240 (compared to Sonos). For the airplay requirement, I could always get the $20 airplay receivers on amazon and use a splitter with the chromecast audio.

bpa
2016-09-15, 13:31
It might also be possible to write a custom receiver that does the same, that I don't know, but the built-in receiver does not allow that (or at least there is nothing documented).

Possible but only by using MSE which was created to support chunked http such as HLS & DASH - lots of small http 6 secs audio files which have to be played gapless. However MSE does not support any lossless codecs and IIRC only a select few lossy ones such as AAC.

philippe_44
2016-09-15, 20:43
Possible but only by using MSE which was created to support chunked http such as HLS & DASH - lots of small http 6 secs audio files which have to be played gapless. However MSE does not support any lossless codecs and IIRC only a select few lossy ones such as AAC.

Understood - personally, my main objective would be synchronization and I got the semi-official answer from a Google person that they will not release their protocol, so no CCA synchro, no Sonos synchro :(

bpa
2016-09-16, 01:03
Understood - personally, my main objective would be synchronization and I got the semi-official answer from a Google person that they will not release their protocol, so no CCA synchro, no Sonos synchro :(
I've lookedinto creating a custom receiver and have coded up a slimproto in Javascript but I tried many diferent receiver based methods to get gapless and couldn't do it but it is a generic web audio/mse//html5 issue. However since it is a generic html5 type issue there is a wider javascript base of users who want gapless audio and so it may appear but it is normally the browser developers (e.g. MS, Google, Apple, OPera) who take the initiative.

As an aside - a recent update to my chromecast Sony wireless portable speaker has enabled sync with CCAs. Perhaps Google is being serious with CC to rival Airplay.

philippe_44
2016-09-18, 00:10
If ultimately a slimproto receiver could be build, that would be a much cleaner solution that my bridge. Or if not, I hope they will release their sync proto one day!


Envoyé de mon iPad en utilisant Tapatalk

Candlemass
2016-09-18, 03:23
No gapless playback and no ReplayGain support is a no go for me.

freelsjd
2016-09-19, 18:45
I have tried plex media server, and decided to just use it for photos, movies, home movies, TV shows, but not the audio collection. For the audio collection, I am retaining my LMS. It seems that plex is very slow for larger collections by comparison to LMS. Also, the LMS is much more configurable to play at different rates and also adapt to remote players direct to my server instead of through the plex server in the cloud. If plex could get a more efficient DB manager going, it could probably beat out the LMS.

You can still cast by using a squeeze player on the android phone and cast it to the chrome cast. I have both a roku and CC. roku and it's remote seem to have more apps than the CC, but most of it is junk. There are some very unique apps on the roku that are very interesting for the individual taste (for example, old TV shows, movies, etc.).

Logitech missed the boat when they did not expand the LMS to include movies, photos, TV shows, etc. The LMS is still hands down the best audio server I have seen; and combined with the squeezebox, it was one heck of a system. Too bad.

Plex is pretty awesome with the Roku. I have pitched in for the lifetime membership and I am 61.