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Dan Goodinson
2005-01-04, 10:22
Personally speaking, I'm happy with the current features. Any new
features would, of course, be a plus. But one thing that takes the edge
off my squeezebox is the random reboots. In terms of features, I would
be pretty happy if the current feature set NEVER changed - it's great
already. But the most important thing for me is to enjoy the music -
which I sometimes find difficult when SB reboots every once in a while
(e.g. at least once per day when I use it, frequently more often). I
experienced pretty serious reboots from day 1. I find myself kind of
cautious about recommending it at the moment, since it's proven to be
pretty unstable (although certainly getting gradually better).

I don't want to rant (apologies if this is taken as such) but to me, the
most important feature of SB is the ability to stream music to my
stereo. This is the only real feature that matters to me. This is what
it's designed to do as far as I understand.

To me it's like having a car that you can drive most of the time but it
occasionally dies when you're going somewhere. And while several
customers experience this, the primary focus is not on fixing the
engine, but making the fuel economy better. Sure the MPG would be nice,
but not much use when you can't drive for more than a couple of hours
before having to restart the engine. I'd rather be able to drive the
thing reliably first, before I start getting concerned about how much
fuel I put in it. (I'm only using this as an analogy - please don't
flame me by throwing the analogy back at me with talk of the
environment, and the world oil resources or whatever ;-)

I guess it depends on how many users have actually reported a problem
with reboots. If it's only 1% of the customer base, then I can
understand that this is probably low priority :-(

My 2p.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Phillip
Kerman
Sent: 04 January 2005 17:05
To: 'Slim Devices Discussion'
Subject: [slim] quick summary of 6.0 changes?


I get short dropouts with the wired network (not talking about
wireless).

Is this really the list of priorities?

"The main goals of the SlimServer project in the near term, in rough
priority order, are:
* Stability and performance - No crashers, quick startup, no skips,
less memory usage.


If so, I think this list should be revisited. They need to be addressed
in order or you'll constantly be chasing random issues. I realize that
some people don't experience the dropouts, but I think they're worse in
more recent builds.

Incidentally, I don't see a ton of people chiming in with random pet
issues. Rather, the sense I'm hearing (and it's not like there's a
debate here--we're all on the same side) is that the core features are
important.

Thanks,
Phillip

Daniel Cohen
2005-01-04, 10:39
On 4/1/05 at 5:22 pm +0000, Dan Goodinson wrote
>Personally speaking, I'm happy with the current features. Any new
>features would, of course, be a plus. But one thing that takes the edge
>off my squeezebox is the random reboots. In terms of features, I would
>be pretty happy if the current feature set NEVER changed - it's great
>already. But the most important thing for me is to enjoy the music -
>which I sometimes find difficult when SB reboots every once in a while
>(e.g. at least once per day when I use it, frequently more often). I
>experienced pretty serious reboots from day 1. I find myself kind of
>cautious about recommending it at the moment, since it's proven to be
>pretty unstable (although certainly getting gradually better).
>
>
>I guess it depends on how many users have actually reported a problem
>with reboots. If it's only 1% of the customer base, then I can
>understand that this is probably low priority :-(

I think the difficulty is not the numbers of people who have
problems, but the fact that systems are so variable (machine, OS,
network quality, etc.) that it's hard to diagnose or even to debug.

Just as one example, with the way I currently use the Squeezebox
(primarily for mp3 s made from radio programmes) the only dropouts I
have come from use of the microwave. The Squeezebox usually loses
contact with the server when my computer has been asleep for a long
time, but only then. This was a hassle with one of the old versions
of the firmware as I often had to disconnect the power and reconnect
to get it working. Nowadays, though, when I have this problem I just
hold the power key down until the display says "Restarting ..." and
it then goes through a process at the end of which it has recovered.

Maybe I've just been lucky.
--
Daniel Cohen

Jack Coates
2005-01-04, 10:54
Dan Goodinson wrote:
> Personally speaking, I'm happy with the current features. Any new
> features would, of course, be a plus. But one thing that takes the edge
> off my squeezebox is the random reboots. In terms of features, I would
> be pretty happy if the current feature set NEVER changed - it's great
> already. But the most important thing for me is to enjoy the music -
> which I sometimes find difficult when SB reboots every once in a while
> (e.g. at least once per day when I use it, frequently more often). I
> experienced pretty serious reboots from day 1. I find myself kind of
> cautious about recommending it at the moment, since it's proven to be
> pretty unstable (although certainly getting gradually better).
>
> I don't want to rant (apologies if this is taken as such) but to me, the
> most important feature of SB is the ability to stream music to my
> stereo. This is the only real feature that matters to me. This is what
> it's designed to do as far as I understand.
>
> To me it's like having a car that you can drive most of the time but it
> occasionally dies when you're going somewhere. And while several
> customers experience this, the primary focus is not on fixing the
> engine, but making the fuel economy better. Sure the MPG would be nice,
> but not much use when you can't drive for more than a couple of hours
> before having to restart the engine. I'd rather be able to drive the
> thing reliably first, before I start getting concerned about how much
> fuel I put in it. (I'm only using this as an analogy - please don't
> flame me by throwing the analogy back at me with talk of the
> environment, and the world oil resources or whatever ;-)
>

To extend the analogy, what's making the car die? Maybe it's related to
the fuel economy issue that's being worked on.

SQL backend will reduce memory and CPU consumption, which will have
far-reaching effects. Plugins and new features able to use that SQL
backend will bring memory and CPU consumption back up, prompting the
next big revision (I'd expect 6.5 or 7.0 to use multiple processes or
threads, one way or the other).

I've just looked up your problem and it looks suspicious to me -- I'm
thinking that there's something evil about your USR access point. You
might be able to figure out what by watching it with Ethereal, but then
you've got to fight with 3Com about fixing it. I'd try picking up an el
cheapo 802.11b AP on ebay or a couple of powerline adapters, personally.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip since 1996!

Graham Ridgway at home
2005-01-04, 15:25
As a relatively low user of functionality (7,000 mp3s which I browse, search
and play), I have a very simple 'users' perspective on the whole development
thing. The slim system just has to work and work really well. When I first
started with my first 3 slimp3s some while ago, the whole setup was
brilliant. It came out the box and was fabulous. It was a fast and
reliable "sound system". I added 2 more slimp3's and then 2 SBs and I am
now on server 5.3.1.

Now it works mostly, is okish, but I regard it as a computer system, not a
sound system. It needs maintenance, stuff goes wrong, slimps need power
cycling, sometimes the server crashes and I have double entries that have to
be deleted, my kids call me at work as they need "slim support". A lot of
discussion here is about a piece of software, release priorities,
reliability versus new features, talk of software development, not of a home
appliance.

So it comes down to marketing, not software. Namely, who are the future
buyers? What are they buying...a software system that's a bit cranky like
the computer they use at home or work? Or is it a music system like the CD
player, TV etc at home. I don't know the answer to that question as it's
not mine to answer.

With 7 slims, I like my system (where I used to love it), some of the time
it's a real PITA to keep running. Am I anything like the target market?
Dunno. But I bought a telly with integrated DVD at xmas. That was pretty
hard to switch from TV to DVD and back. It was just like my slim system
sometimes is! I took it straight back to the shop.

I'm not saying that's what I want to do with my slim system as I still like
it and the functionality I use. But I go back to what I am looking for and
that's...it works brilliantly like my Hifi and my telly.

Just some (dumb) user feedback.

Graham

Daniel Cohen
2005-01-04, 16:20
On 4/1/05 at 10:25 pm +0000, Graham Ridgway at home wrote
>As a relatively low user of functionality (7,000 mp3s which I
>browse, search and play), I have a very simple 'users' perspective
>on the whole development thing. The slim system just has to work
>and work really well. When I first started with my first 3 slimp3s
>some while ago, the whole setup was brilliant. It came out the box
>and was fabulous. It was a fast and reliable "sound system". I
>added 2 more slimp3's and then 2 SBs and I am now on server 5.3.1.
>
>Now it works mostly, is okish, but I regard it as a computer system,
>not a sound system. It needs maintenance, stuff goes wrong, slimps
>need power cycling, sometimes the server crashes and I have double
>entries that have to be deleted, my kids call me at work as they
>need "slim support".

Are you really using all seven units at once? Or is it a matter of
just having a couple on at once, but different ones at different
times?

If the first, I'm not surprised you have problems. I don't believe a
wireless system can cope with that many units.

I reckon that a straightforward "sound system" would not run more
than two Squeezeboxes.

If one looks at audiophile multi-room systems, they are extremely
expensive and are wired units. Fitting more wiring is the main reason
I haven't bought such a system.
--
Daniel Cohen

mherger
2005-01-05, 01:53
[..]
> I reckon that a straightforward "sound system" would not run more than
> two Squeezeboxes.

Well, I do three at a time with no problem at all (2 SB wireless, 1 SliMP3
on a wireless bridge). But this is an old house with little ferroconcrete.
Only old journals as isolation - has its advantages, too ;-)

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
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Daniel Cohen
2005-01-05, 02:52
On 5/1/05 at 9:53 am +0100, Michael Herger wrote
>[..]
>>I reckon that a straightforward "sound system" would not run more
>>than two Squeezeboxes.
>
>Well, I do three at a time with no problem at all (2 SB wireless, 1
>SliMP3 on a wireless bridge). But this is an old house with little
>ferroconcrete.

Yes, I didn't mean that the hardware/software was limited to two.
Rather that if we are considering what an "average user" would want,
and would expect to work out of the box, then having two players is
all they would require.
--
Daniel Cohen

Anthony James
2005-01-05, 09:36
On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 09:52:57 +0000, Daniel Cohen <danco (AT) f2s (DOT) com> wrote:
> Yes, I didn't mean that the hardware/software was limited to two.
> Rather that if we are considering what an "average user" would want,
> and would expect to work out of the box, then having two players is
> all they would require.

I'm not sure about that at all. Whilst it might take some time to buy
I think there are a lot of users who would want Living Room, Kitchen,
Bedroom and at their PC (though the last might be a software player).
That's four players for a start.

Jules Taplin
2005-01-05, 12:20
Well... of the 5 SB's in my place... 3 of them are wireless.


-- Jules

Michael Herger wrote:

> [..]
>
>> I reckon that a straightforward "sound system" would not run more
>> than two Squeezeboxes.
>
>
> Well, I do three at a time with no problem at all (2 SB wireless, 1
> SliMP3 on a wireless bridge). But this is an old house with little
> ferroconcrete. Only old journals as isolation - has its advantages,
> too ;-)
>

Anthony James
2005-01-05, 14:51
On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 19:20:45 +0000, Jules Taplin
<slim-discuss (AT) ourhouse (DOT) org.uk> wrote:
> Well... of the 5 SB's in my place... 3 of them are wireless.

and this evening my Wireless Squeezebox gave the worst performance
ever. An album that played perfectly a few days ago, on the same
wireless player, was repeatedly pausing/going silent despite the
buffer never showing less than 99%.

Graham Ridgway at home
2005-01-07, 11:56
It's pretty rare that all 7 go at once, normally max at 3. It's wired not
wireless (well 1 slimp3 runs on a wireless bridge and only normally stops
when the microwave is going). I actually don't experience what I would call
concurrency probs. Just there's a lot of faffing. It has changed from a
music system to s computer system. Now I can't tell whether that has
changed over time because the number of units has or because the slim system
(hw and sw) has.

I actually have quite a lot of the core cabling and back-boxes for a Linn
multi-room system, but went slimp3 because of the simplicity, but mainly
cost.

Graham
----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Cohen" <danco (AT) f2s (DOT) com>
To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 11:20 PM
Subject: [slim] A user's perspective



> Are you really using all seven units at once? Or is it a matter of just
> having a couple on at once, but different ones at different times?
>
> If the first, I'm not surprised you have problems. I don't believe a
> wireless system can cope with that many units.
>
> I reckon that a straightforward "sound system" would not run more than two
> Squeezeboxes.
>
> If one looks at audiophile multi-room systems, they are extremely
> expensive and are wired units. Fitting more wiring is the main reason I
> haven't bought such a system.
> --
> Daniel Cohen
>