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View Full Version : Why didn't they buy a SqueezeBox?



Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int)
2005-02-21, 02:50
Hi,

Firstly let me say that I am the proud owner of 2 Slimp3s both of which are
used on a regularly basis. I love the fact that the software is constantly
evolving and improving, but I am also desperately hoping for a video version
before the end of the year.

My TwoPennies worth.....

I work in IT and have recently been asked by two colleagues about the
Slimp3/Squeezeboxes - ofcourse I gave them the best review ever - they are
fab!. However both chaps bought different products:

Colleague #1
This chap is in IT and works with Linux and Unix a lot.
He bought the dredded Roku SoundBridge M1000 - because it looks nicer and is
still able to use the cool SlimDevices s/w, it was also a bit cheaper. His
main concern was about how the product looked in his lounge with the rest of
the Hi-Fi gear. He is intending to use the SlimDevices server software with
the Roku.

Colleague #2
This chap is a web developer for windows servers.
He has gone for multiple Netgear MP101 devices. He admitted that the 1st
one had a few problems and was considering a SqueezeBox when Netgear
released a firmware update that fixed all of his problems. His main reason
for the Netgear is that they are considerably cheaper and the no hassel
setup. For 110 he gets a 80211.g comptabile wireless device (unlike the
squeezebox) that works perfectly with his existing wi-fi network.

Both of these cases show me that SlimDevices product needs to be cheaper,
look better and be more "monkey proof". To be honest I think it is dead
easy to install anyway.

The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
a) WiFi at 80211.g
b) a lot cheaper
c) have a Unique Selling Point - the Open Source aspect is a good USP
but some people do not "get it" or even want it.
They see it as meaning that they to constantly download updates etc
d) to be ahead of the competition - currently the competition has caught
up and people like NetGear have a good network brand to sell their products
with.

I love my Slimp3s and hope there is something good in the pipeline for 2005
that convinces me to upgrade, but one way or another I need to buy an
equivalent system for DVDs by the end of this year.



Gavin



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Jeffrey Gordon
2005-02-21, 05:52
Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:

> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
> a) WiFi at 80211.g
> b) a lot cheaper
> c) have a Unique Selling Point - the Open Source aspect is a good
> USP but some people do not "get it" or even want it.
> They see it as meaning that they to constantly download updates etc
> d) to be ahead of the competition - currently the competition has
> caught up and people like NetGear have a good network brand to sell
> their products with.

a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
doesn't my SB support 802.11N.

Now that said, it would be nice if the SB had a PC Card slot and we just
install our own wifi card, however I can fully understand why they do
not do this and that being Driver Support would be a NIGHTMARE.

b) They probably would like to but because they are a small shop the
scale of econmics hurts them. Just like why you do not see any local
mom/pop hardware stores, they can't compete on price :( really a shame
too since the small biz usually listen to the customers more.

c) I thought the SB was unique, course that Roku device copied them

d) They have been ahead of the competition and I think with all the
integration they have done with Net stations and codec support they are
still there.

Also you should really ask your friends who bought Roku but are using
the Slimserver, if they are worried about being left behind.
Slimdevices is constantly updating the Slimserver and the SB firmware
and I can see the Roku not being able to take advantage of the changes
and basically being left behind. Personnally I see the Roku as a very
poor choice since it is a device with little to no support if you are
using it with Slimserver. And why do people think it looks nice? I like
the look of my SB and the matt black hides away quite nicely.

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Jason Temple
2005-02-21, 09:33
Greetings all,
I have been trying to add my music (mix of mp3/ogg/flac) to my
recently udpated v6.0 (2/6/05 nightly) installation and I am getting all
sorts of errors that either won't play some of the songs (selected,
creates a backtrace in the server logs - see below), or just kills the
server with DBI errors. This is on a linux server, running as user
slimserver with the entire music folder chowned/chgrped as slimserver.
The id3 tags for the files are a mix of v3.x, but do indeed exist. When
I try to play this song (below) I get the isFile errors (see last two
lines below), about once a second until I return to the `now playing'
menu. The song never ends up playing either. Any indication as to what
this could be? I've wiped out the .slimserversql.db to force a clean
rebuild of the music folder, but no go...other than permissions and id3
tags, what else should I pay attention to?

thanks,

jas


2005-02-21 11:23:24.3703 Request for MUSICMAGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:23:24.3833 songs: ARRAY(0xa81e158) - ARRAY(0xa7a50d8) -
ARRAY(0xa833eac) - ARRAY(0xa835afc)
2005-02-21 11:23:24.3847 Backtrace:

frame 0: Slim::Music::Info::songs
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Control/Command.pm line 501)
frame 1: Slim::Control::Command::execute
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Buttons/BrowseID3.pm line 315)
frame 2: Slim::Buttons::BrowseID3::__ANON__
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Hardware/IR.pm line 613)
frame 3: Slim::Hardware::IR::executeButton
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Control/Command.pm line 242)
frame 4: Slim::Control::Command::execute
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Hardware/IR.pm line 637)
frame 5: Slim::Hardware::IR::processCode
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Hardware/IR.pm line 496)
frame 6: Slim::Hardware::IR::releaseCode
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Hardware/IR.pm line 394)
frame 7: Slim::Hardware::IR::checkRelease
(/usr/local/slimserver//Slim/Utils/Timers.pm line 53)
frame 8: Slim::Utils::Timers::checkTimers (./slimserver.pl line 536)
frame 9: main::idle (./slimserver.pl line 506)
frame 10: main::main (./slimserver.pl line 1022)

Slim::Music::Info::songs() is deprecated - use the DataSource API instead.
2005-02-21 11:23:24.9213
isFile(/home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3) == 1
2005-02-21 11:23:24.9233 Request for MOODLOGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:23:24.9271 Request for MUSICMAGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:29:19.8385
isFile(/home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3) == 1
2005-02-21 11:29:19.8401 Request for MOODLOGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:29:19.8436 Request for MUSICMAGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:29:20.1183
isFile(/home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3) == 1
2005-02-21 11:29:20.1203 Request for MOODLOGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:29:20.1241 Request for MUSICMAGIC_SONG_MIXABLE on file
file:///home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3
2005-02-21 11:29:21.1184
isFile(/home/slimserver/music/Heptones/misc/Give_Me_Some.mp3) == 1

Daryle A. Tilroe
2005-02-21, 10:04
Jeffrey Gordon wrote:
> Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
>
>> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
>> a) WiFi at 80211.g
>
> a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
> really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
> even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
> FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
> is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
> 802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
> changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
> doesn't my SB support 802.11N.

This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
it unsuitable for most applications. Dropouts occur with every
telephone and microwave event. Now given that 802.11g is still
2.4GHz what would be the nicest is a a/b/g solution but that will
only happen if slimdevices goes to a 32bit card and that means new
hardware. Native FLAC would also really help but that's been on the
back burner so long that I've pretty much given up on ever seeing
it.

Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
applications with realworld interference and typical distances
from an access point. If it works for you then great, but I suspect
that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
antenna setup.


--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Dan Sully
2005-02-21, 10:23
* Jason Temple shaped the electrons to say...

>Greetings all,
> I have been trying to add my music (mix of mp3/ogg/flac) to my
>recently udpated v6.0 (2/6/05 nightly) installation and I am getting all
>sorts of errors that either won't play some of the songs (selected,
>creates a backtrace in the server logs - see below), or just kills the
>server with DBI errors. This is on a linux server, running as user
>slimserver with the entire music folder chowned/chgrped as slimserver.
>The id3 tags for the files are a mix of v3.x, but do indeed exist. When
>I try to play this song (below) I get the isFile errors (see last two
>lines below), about once a second until I return to the `now playing'
>menu. The song never ends up playing either. Any indication as to what
>this could be? I've wiped out the .slimserversql.db to force a clean
>rebuild of the music folder, but no go...other than permissions and id3
>tags, what else should I pay attention to?

Hi Jason - if you're following the 6.0 tree, it's best if you use the latest
nightly. Feb 6th is ancient history by now. :)

Also - for the time being, most 6.0 discussion is happening on the developers
list. We'd love to have you join us!

-D
--
<Nigel> Please refrain from fearing the reaper.

Yan Tran
2005-02-21, 10:42
I had debated for a long time between a Roku and an SB. I liked the
Roku because of its big display (supposedly you can telnet into the
device and hack the display too), but in the end the most important
thing was linux compatibility on the server side. That meant being
able to run slimserver. However, Roku's not always going to guarantee
compatibility with the latest slimserver. I may still get a Roku
later for another room or save up for a Sonos when they support Ogg.

Yan


On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 10:04:02 -0700, Daryle A. Tilroe
<daryle (AT) micralyne (DOT) com> wrote:
> Jeffrey Gordon wrote:
> > Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
> >
> >> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
> >> a) WiFi at 80211.g
> >
> > a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
> > really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
> > even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
> > FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
> > is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
> > 802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
> > changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
> > doesn't my SB support 802.11N.
>
> This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
> at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
> it unsuitable for most applications. Dropouts occur with every
> telephone and microwave event. Now given that 802.11g is still
> 2.4GHz what would be the nicest is a a/b/g solution but that will
> only happen if slimdevices goes to a 32bit card and that means new
> hardware. Native FLAC would also really help but that's been on the
> back burner so long that I've pretty much given up on ever seeing
> it.
>
> Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
> point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
> applications with realworld interference and typical distances
> from an access point. If it works for you then great, but I suspect
> that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
> point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
> have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
> antenna setup.
>
> --
> Daryle A. Tilroe
>

Robin Bowes
2005-02-21, 12:09
Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:
> Jeffrey Gordon wrote:
>
>> Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
>>
>>> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
>>> a) WiFi at 80211.g
>
> >
>
>> a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
>> really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
>> even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
>> FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
>> is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
>> 802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
>> changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
>> doesn't my SB support 802.11N.
>
>
> This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
> at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
> it unsuitable for most applications.

<sign> Just do the math...

802.11b bit rate: 11Mb/s

PCM bit rate: 44,100 x 16 x 2 = 1.41 Mb/s

Even allowing for other traffic, there is ample bandwidth to stream PCM
over 801.11b - I'm doing it here (flac files streamed as PCM) without
any network dropouts whatsoever.

> Dropouts occur with every
> telephone and microwave event.

That's a different issue. No wireless solution works well in a noisy
environment. 11g is better in this respect.

> Now given that 802.11g is still
> 2.4GHz what would be the nicest is a a/b/g solution but that will
> only happen if slimdevices goes to a 32bit card and that means new
> hardware. Native FLAC would also really help but that's been on the
> back burner so long that I've pretty much given up on ever seeing
> it.
>
> Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
> point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
> applications with realworld interference and typical distances
> from an access point.

Incidentally, the wired interface is only 10BaseT, i.e. 10Mb/s (that's
less than 11b). Of course, there's no inteference problem with wired.

> If it works for you then great, but I suspect
> that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
> point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
> have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
> antenna setup.

And if it doesn't work for you, I'm sorry to hear that but I suspect
some or all of the following are true:

You are too far from your access point
You're in a noisy environment
Your antenna is faulty/has a loose connection and/or is plugged into the
"wrong" port internally (search the lists for details of this issue and
how to fix it

Incidentally, what signal strength do you get with your wireless SB?

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

Yan Tran
2005-02-21, 12:48
Just how much interference does a microwave cause? How close to
wireless router or an SB does a microwave have to be in order for
their to be noticeable noise? I've operated 802.11b devices within a
10 foot radius of a microwave without noticing signal degradation.
(Now I'll have to put my SB next to a microwave to find out)

You can get signal loss with 10Base-T if for some reason you decide to
use a cable that's over 328 feet long, but that's a pretty extreme
case for most of us.

Yan

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:09:13 +0000, Robin Bowes
<robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com> wrote:
> Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:
> > Jeffrey Gordon wrote:
> >
> >> Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
> >>
> >>> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
> >>> a) WiFi at 80211.g
> >
> > >
> >
> >> a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
> >> really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
> >> even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
> >> FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
> >> is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
> >> 802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
> >> changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
> >> doesn't my SB support 802.11N.
> >
> >
> > This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
> > at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
> > it unsuitable for most applications.
>
> <sign> Just do the math...
>
> 802.11b bit rate: 11Mb/s
>
> PCM bit rate: 44,100 x 16 x 2 = 1.41 Mb/s
>
> Even allowing for other traffic, there is ample bandwidth to stream PCM
> over 801.11b - I'm doing it here (flac files streamed as PCM) without
> any network dropouts whatsoever.
>
> > Dropouts occur with every
> > telephone and microwave event.
>
> That's a different issue. No wireless solution works well in a noisy
> environment. 11g is better in this respect.
>
> > Now given that 802.11g is still
> > 2.4GHz what would be the nicest is a a/b/g solution but that will
> > only happen if slimdevices goes to a 32bit card and that means new
> > hardware. Native FLAC would also really help but that's been on the
> > back burner so long that I've pretty much given up on ever seeing
> > it.
> >
> > Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
> > point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
> > applications with realworld interference and typical distances
> > from an access point.
>
> Incidentally, the wired interface is only 10BaseT, i.e. 10Mb/s (that's
> less than 11b). Of course, there's no inteference problem with wired.
>
> > If it works for you then great, but I suspect
> > that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
> > point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
> > have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
> > antenna setup.
>
> And if it doesn't work for you, I'm sorry to hear that but I suspect
> some or all of the following are true:
>
> You are too far from your access point
> You're in a noisy environment
> Your antenna is faulty/has a loose connection and/or is plugged into the
> "wrong" port internally (search the lists for details of this issue and
> how to fix it
>
> Incidentally, what signal strength do you get with your wireless SB?
>
> R.
> --
> http://robinbowes.com
>
>

Daniel Cohen
2005-02-21, 13:29
On 21/2/05 at 2:48 pm -0500, Yan Tran wrote
>Just how much interference does a microwave cause? How close to
>wireless router or an SB does a microwave have to be in order for
>their to be noticeable noise? I've operated 802.11b devices within a
>10 foot radius of a microwave without noticing signal degradation.
>(Now I'll have to put my SB next to a microwave to find out)

My microwave certainly causes interference, with an acces point ten
feet or so away.
--
Daniel Cohen

Michael Peters
2005-02-21, 17:43
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 07:52:03 -0500, Jeffrey Gordon <jeff (AT) thetank (DOT) org> wrote:
> Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
>
> > The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
> > a) WiFi at 80211.g
> > b) a lot cheaper
> > c) have a Unique Selling Point - the Open Source aspect is a good
> > USP but some people do not "get it" or even want it.
> > They see it as meaning that they to constantly download updates etc
> > d) to be ahead of the competition - currently the competition has
> > caught up and people like NetGear have a good network brand to sell
> > their products with.
>
> a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
> really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
> even FLAC, B is more than enough.

There are two issues. 1st is that adding 802.11b devices to an 802.11g
network does slow down the wireless network, some routers are better
than other in this respect.

As far as an 802.11g wireless to ethernet bridge, it is yet another
component - and they aren't cheap.

>
> Now that said, it would be nice if the SB had a PC Card slot and we just
> install our own wifi card, however I can fully understand why they do
> not do this and that being Driver Support would be a NIGHTMARE.

Yes - driver support potentially would be a nightmare, though they
could possibly support one or two chipsets. Offering it in just
802.11g though is probably better, as it could behave as an 802.11b
device for 802.11b networks.

-=-

What I would like to see, from a Linux standpoint, is a slimserver
developer get sponsored by Fedora Extras to maintain the product in
the Fedora Extras repository. This would result in updates to the
software being pushed through whenever I yum update my system, rather
than me having to look for updates.


--
http://mpeters.us/

Simon Still
2005-02-22, 02:55
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 16:43:53 -0800, Michael Peters <funkyres (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote:
> As far as an 802.11g wireless to ethernet bridge, it is yet another
> component

True - another wall wart and bit of kit to hide

>- and they aren't cheap.

A very quick search shows that in the UK the difference between a
wired and wireless SB is 50 (and with the drop in the price of the
wired SB it will soon be more than that). Netgear, DLink and Linksys
G bridges are all available delivered for less than 55 so hardly
significant.

Larry Truesdale
2005-02-22, 09:41
Your math is too simplistic. Typically, most 802.11b environments can
sustain no more than 2-3 Mb/s. The peak bandwidth under ideal (and
unusual) circumstances is 4-5 Mbps. Also, your PCM estimate ignores
the overhead of packetization. Are you sure that your setup isn't
transcoding your FLAC files without you realizing it?

Larry


On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:09:13 +0000, Robin Bowes
<robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com> wrote:
> Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:
> > Jeffrey Gordon wrote:
> >
> >> Bennett, Gavin (LDN Int) wrote:
> >>
> >>> The bit for SlimDevices to read, please make it.....
> >>> a) WiFi at 80211.g
> >
> > >
> >
> >> a) I do not understand why this is so important to people. If you
> >> really want G then get the wired only and get a Bridge. For music and
> >> even FLAC, B is more than enough. My entire collection of music is in
> >> FLAC format and stream it to my SB via 802.11B without any problems. G
> >> is just not needed. And the problem with Slimdevices chasing the
> >> 802.11x standard is that it is currently in a stage of constantly
> >> changeing. soon people are going to be shouting from the roof tops why
> >> doesn't my SB support 802.11N.
> >
> >
> > This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
> > at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
> > it unsuitable for most applications.
>
> <sign> Just do the math...
>
> 802.11b bit rate: 11Mb/s
>
> PCM bit rate: 44,100 x 16 x 2 = 1.41 Mb/s
>
> Even allowing for other traffic, there is ample bandwidth to stream PCM
> over 801.11b - I'm doing it here (flac files streamed as PCM) without
> any network dropouts whatsoever.
>
> > Dropouts occur with every
> > telephone and microwave event.
>
> That's a different issue. No wireless solution works well in a noisy
> environment. 11g is better in this respect.
>
> > Now given that 802.11g is still
> > 2.4GHz what would be the nicest is a a/b/g solution but that will
> > only happen if slimdevices goes to a 32bit card and that means new
> > hardware. Native FLAC would also really help but that's been on the
> > back burner so long that I've pretty much given up on ever seeing
> > it.
> >
> > Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
> > point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
> > applications with realworld interference and typical distances
> > from an access point.
>
> Incidentally, the wired interface is only 10BaseT, i.e. 10Mb/s (that's
> less than 11b). Of course, there's no inteference problem with wired.
>
> > If it works for you then great, but I suspect
> > that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
> > point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
> > have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
> > antenna setup.
>
> And if it doesn't work for you, I'm sorry to hear that but I suspect
> some or all of the following are true:
>
> You are too far from your access point
> You're in a noisy environment
> Your antenna is faulty/has a loose connection and/or is plugged into the
> "wrong" port internally (search the lists for details of this issue and
> how to fix it
>
> Incidentally, what signal strength do you get with your wireless SB?
>
> R.
> --
> http://robinbowes.com
>
>

Robin Bowes
2005-02-22, 10:21
Larry Truesdale wrote:
> Your math is too simplistic.

Deliberately so.

> Typically, most 802.11b environments can
> sustain no more than 2-3 Mb/s.
> The peak bandwidth under ideal (and
> unusual) circumstances is 4-5 Mbps.

I know this. That's why I have my wireless Squeezebox on a dedicated
access point, i.e. no other traffic on the wireless lan.

Note that these figures also apply to the *wired* SB interface as it is
only 10BaseT (10Mb/s).

> Also, your PCM estimate ignores
> the overhead of packetization.

You mean to stream it over IP? I haven't looked at the detail of the
protocol used but I imagine the overhead will be small.

> Are you sure that your setup isn't
> transcoding your FLAC files without you realizing it?

Positive. I can also stream .wav files with no problems.

The bottom line is that there is plenty enough bandwidth with 11b or
10Base-T to stream raw PCM audio.

I can't comment on your particular experiences, or why you've had
problems. Perhaps you'd care to describe your setup and what sort of
problems you've had?

R.

--
http://robinbowes.com

Larry Truesdale
2005-02-22, 12:11
This is not my experience alone. There have been many threads on this
subject and you are the first person I can remember who claims perfect
performance using FLAC or WAV over the wireless interface.
Admittedly, there might be others I don't remember.

Using a dedicated access point certainly helps, but is somewhat
unrealistic for most people. A higher performance wireless technology
(like 802.11g) would make more sense for most people.

A wired SB has the advantage of full-duplex operation and dedicated
bandwidth (assuming a switched networked). Neither of which is true
for wireless 802.11b.

While I will agree that 10Base-T provides adequate bandwidth, I'll
maintain my disagreement that 802.11b also provides sufficient
bandwidth.

Larry

On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:21:51 +0000, Robin Bowes
<robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com> wrote:
> Larry Truesdale wrote:
> > Your math is too simplistic.
>
> Deliberately so.
>
> > Typically, most 802.11b environments can
> > sustain no more than 2-3 Mb/s.
> > The peak bandwidth under ideal (and
> > unusual) circumstances is 4-5 Mbps.
>
> I know this. That's why I have my wireless Squeezebox on a dedicated
> access point, i.e. no other traffic on the wireless lan.
>
> Note that these figures also apply to the *wired* SB interface as it is
> only 10BaseT (10Mb/s).
>
> > Also, your PCM estimate ignores
> > the overhead of packetization.
>
> You mean to stream it over IP? I haven't looked at the detail of the
> protocol used but I imagine the overhead will be small.
>
> > Are you sure that your setup isn't
> > transcoding your FLAC files without you realizing it?
>
> Positive. I can also stream .wav files with no problems.
>
> The bottom line is that there is plenty enough bandwidth with 11b or
> 10Base-T to stream raw PCM audio.
>
> I can't comment on your particular experiences, or why you've had
> problems. Perhaps you'd care to describe your setup and what sort of
> problems you've had?
>
> R.
>
> --
> http://robinbowes.com
>
>

Jason Holtzapple
2005-02-22, 12:20
Larry Truesdale wrote:
> This is not my experience alone. There have been many threads on this
> subject and you are the first person I can remember who claims perfect
> performance using FLAC or WAV over the wireless interface.
> Admittedly, there might be others I don't remember.

If you discount microwave oven interference, I had no problems with
FLAC and wireless (80% signal strength).

However, the microwave dropouts were enough of a nuisance that I
moved to powerline networking.

I'm not sure whether this counts as "perfect performance" or not!

Jack Coates
2005-02-22, 12:29
Larry Truesdale wrote:
> This is not my experience alone. There have been many threads on this
> subject and you are the first person I can remember who claims perfect
> performance using FLAC or WAV over the wireless interface.
> Admittedly, there might be others I don't remember.
>
> Using a dedicated access point certainly helps, but is somewhat
> unrealistic for most people. A higher performance wireless technology
> (like 802.11g) would make more sense for most people.
>
> A wired SB has the advantage of full-duplex operation and dedicated
> bandwidth (assuming a switched networked). Neither of which is true
> for wireless 802.11b.
>
> While I will agree that 10Base-T provides adequate bandwidth, I'll
> maintain my disagreement that 802.11b also provides sufficient
> bandwidth.
>
> Larry
>
> On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:21:51 +0000, Robin Bowes
> <robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com> wrote:
>
>>Larry Truesdale wrote:
>>
>>>Your math is too simplistic.
>>
>>Deliberately so.
>>
>>
>>> Typically, most 802.11b environments can
>>>sustain no more than 2-3 Mb/s.
>>>The peak bandwidth under ideal (and
>>>unusual) circumstances is 4-5 Mbps.
>>
>>I know this. That's why I have my wireless Squeezebox on a dedicated
>>access point, i.e. no other traffic on the wireless lan.
>>
>>Note that these figures also apply to the *wired* SB interface as it is
>>only 10BaseT (10Mb/s).
>>
>>
>>> Also, your PCM estimate ignores
>>>the overhead of packetization.
>>
>>You mean to stream it over IP? I haven't looked at the detail of the
>>protocol used but I imagine the overhead will be small.
>>
>>
>>>Are you sure that your setup isn't
>>>transcoding your FLAC files without you realizing it?
>>
>>Positive. I can also stream .wav files with no problems.
>>
>>The bottom line is that there is plenty enough bandwidth with 11b or
>>10Base-T to stream raw PCM audio.
>>
>>I can't comment on your particular experiences, or why you've had
>>problems. Perhaps you'd care to describe your setup and what sort of
>>problems you've had?
>>
>>R.

wireless doesn't work optimally all the time for everyone. In other
news, computers are actually not very good general purpose information
appliances, or "your electronic pal who's fun to be with".

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

Mark Bennett
2005-02-22, 14:56
On Tue, 2005-02-22 at 10:41 -0600, Larry Truesdale wrote:
> Your math is too simplistic. Typically, most 802.11b environments can
> sustain no more than 2-3 Mb/s. The peak bandwidth under ideal (and
> unusual) circumstances is 4-5 Mbps. Also, your PCM estimate ignores
> the overhead of packetization. Are you sure that your setup isn't
> transcoding your FLAC files without you realizing it?
>
> Larry

As a separate voice on this, I quite happily stream PCM (from
FLAC) from my G router (USR805430) to my SB. OK they're not too
far apart, with only one solid brick wall between them, but it's
pretty much flawless.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

--
"The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

Larry Truesdale
2005-02-22, 16:03
The original discussion was about the adequacy of 802.11b for
streaming PCM to the SB. At least that was the discussion I thought
we were having :) I would expect 802.11g (like yours) to work well
for most people, while I would expect 802.11b to work well for few
people. There are many variables which can reduce the performance of
an 802.11b nework below that which is neccessary to stream
uncompressed media. 802.11g is suseptible to many of the same
variables, but the impairment would have to be much greater to reduce
it enough to present the same problem.

The original poster suggested that 802.11g would be a useful
improvement for the SB and I would agree.

Larry


On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 21:56:30 +0000, Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk> wrote:

> As a separate voice on this, I quite happily stream PCM (from
> FLAC) from my G router (USR805430) to my SB. OK they're not too
> far apart, with only one solid brick wall between them, but it's
> pretty much flawless.
>
> I'm sure I'm not the only one.
>
> --
> "The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that
> was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the
> ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)
>
>

Russell Mulcahy
2005-02-22, 16:08
FWIW, My SB works fine on 11b, until the microwave goes on, when it
stops dead!

Dodgy microwave, I guess!

Russell.

Yan Tran wrote:

>Just how much interference does a microwave cause? How close to
>wireless router or an SB does a microwave have to be in order for
>their to be noticeable noise? I've operated 802.11b devices within a
>10 foot radius of a microwave without noticing signal degradation.
>(Now I'll have to put my SB next to a microwave to find out)
>
>You can get signal loss with 10Base-T if for some reason you decide to
>use a cable that's over 328 feet long, but that's a pretty extreme
>case for most of us.
>
>Yan
>
>
>

Daryle A. Tilroe
2005-02-22, 21:44
Robin Bowes wrote:

> Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:
>
>> This is simply not true. Streaming PCM audio over 802.11b is tenuous
>> at best. The bandwidth required and the shallow buffer on the SB make
>> it unsuitable for most applications.
>
> <sign> Just do the math...
>
> 802.11b bit rate: 11Mb/s
>
> PCM bit rate: 44,100 x 16 x 2 = 1.41 Mb/s
>
> Even allowing for other traffic, there is ample bandwidth to stream PCM
> over 801.11b - I'm doing it here (flac files streamed as PCM) without
> any network dropouts whatsoever.

<double sigh> I did the math over a year ago before I even bought
my first (wireless) squeezebox. While in theory your (our) numbers
are correct in practice 802.11b never supports that sustained data
rate. Sure, in a completely noise free environment and with very
high signal strength it may fly, but in real life it rarely does. As
I said if it works for you 100% of the time then great but that is
not the rule.

>> Dropouts occur with every
>> telephone and microwave event.
>
> That's a different issue. No wireless solution works well in a noisy
> environment. 11g is better in this respect.

No it's the same issue. No environment is noise free, particularly in
2.4 GHz these days.

>> Anyhow, I long ago went wired where I want FLAC and simply want to
>> point out that wireless (at least 802.11b) just sucks in most
>> applications with realworld interference and typical distances
>> from an access point.
>
> Incidentally, the wired interface is only 10BaseT, i.e. 10Mb/s (that's
> less than 11b). Of course, there's no inteference problem with wired.

If you think that the practical bandwidth and consistency of 802.11b
even approaches that of a 10Mb/s Cat5 switch port then you really need
more real world network exposure. There is no comparison.

>> If it works for you then great, but I suspect
>> that some or all of the following are true: you are close to you access
>> point and/or it has little to block the signal; you and your neighbours
>> have no microwaves or cordless phones; you have some directional
>> antenna setup.
>
> And if it doesn't work for you, I'm sorry to hear that but I suspect
> some or all of the following are true:
>
> You are too far from your access point
> You're in a noisy environment
> Your antenna is faulty/has a loose connection and/or is plugged into the
> "wrong" port internally (search the lists for details of this issue and
> how to fix it

I am far from alone, having followed the list, and the only reason
more don't have this problem is that few stream uncompressed audio.
As for your parody of my list well, where is a <rollyeyes> icon
when I really need it?

If you have to have access points 'near' all your 'wireless' devices
then it's not very wireless is it? Might as well run the Cat5 a few
extra feet and plug in directly.

As for noisy, it is an average home with a microwave and cordless
phone. 2.4GHz is a crowed band and noise and interference are a
rule not the exception.

As for the antenna: this 'solution' came up very recently and,
from the postings, I don't think it affected my wireless SB of
well over a year ago; in any event I have not checked because
that is my outside 'summer' system that is packed away in the
basement right now. My stereo systems have wired only models.

When I was fighting to get it reliable last year the signal
strength was usually adequate (~70% IIRC) but use the phone or
microwave and forget it (never mind your neighbours phones,
microwaves, and wireless devices). The high bandwidth required
coupled with the shallow buffer make uncompressed audio dropouts
almost inevitable.

--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Robin Bowes
2005-02-23, 01:54
Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:

> <double sigh> I did the math over a year ago before I even bought
> my first (wireless) squeezebox. While in theory your (our) numbers
> are correct in practice 802.11b never supports that sustained data
> rate. Sure, in a completely noise free environment and with very
> high signal strength it may fly, but in real life it rarely does. As
> I said if it works for you 100% of the time then great but that is
> not the rule.

Well, I'm just reporting my own experiences. Incidentally, I use a 3Com
OfficeConnect AP/Gateway.

>
> If you think that the practical bandwidth and consistency of 802.11b
> even approaches that of a 10Mb/s Cat5 switch port then you really need
> more real world network exposure. There is no comparison.

Sure there is. They're similar nominal speeds. But 11b degrades much
more easily (low signal stength, noisy environment).

> I am far from alone, having followed the list, and the only reason
> more don't have this problem is that few stream uncompressed audio.

Hmmm, I guess that depends on your perspective. I don't know many SB
users, but those I do know seem to use theirs to stream PCM (decoded
flac) to high-end audio systems.

> As for your parody of my list well, where is a <rollyeyes> icon
> when I really need it?

Glad you liked that :)

> If you have to have access points 'near' all your 'wireless' devices
> then it's not very wireless is it? Might as well run the Cat5 a few
> extra feet and plug in directly.

Erm, an 18"-thick wall says you're wrong :)

> As for noisy, it is an average home with a microwave and cordless
> phone.

Ditto.

> 2.4GHz is a crowed band and noise and interference are a
> rule not the exception.

Perhaps I've just been lucky? I think a lot of the issues may be down to
either the different chipstes used, or interoperability differences
between diffent chipsets / AP firmware. For example, I bought a LinkSys
WAG54G for my Mum (ADSL Modem, 4-port router, 11g AP). Seemed ideal.
However, I could never get it to work properly with my Tosh laptop -
intermittent dropouts at random intervals that needed the AP
power-cycling to resolve. I've since replaced it with a Netgear ADSL
Modem/router and a Linksys WRT54G AP/Router (running Sveasoft firmware).
I now have rock-solid wireless connections at about 20m through solid
walls (it's an old house) with a cordless phone next to the AP and a
microwave next to the laptop!

> As for the antenna: this 'solution' came up very recently and,
> from the postings, I don't think it affected my wireless SB of
> well over a year ago; in any event I have not checked because
> that is my outside 'summer' system that is packed away in the
> basement right now. My stereo systems have wired only models.

Might be worth a look...

> When I was fighting to get it reliable last year the signal
> strength was usually adequate (~70% IIRC) but use the phone or
> microwave and forget it (never mind your neighbours phones,
> microwaves, and wireless devices). The high bandwidth required
> coupled with the shallow buffer make uncompressed audio dropouts
> almost inevitable.

At home, my SS is 92% - I have no problem with phones or microwaves and
stream almost exclusively raw PCM (from flac files) with no dropouts
(well, not wireless-related, anyway).

R.

--
http://robinbowes.com

Michael Scott
2005-02-23, 11:46
Quoting Russell Mulcahy <Russell.News (AT) blueyonder (DOT) co.uk>:

> FWIW, My SB works fine on 11b, until the microwave goes on, when it
> stops dead!
>
> Dodgy microwave, I guess!
>
> Russell.

Actually the microwave was there first.
They have been using the 2.4GHz band since before there were even wired networks.
I'm not sure what possessed the cordless phone and network people to pick that
band in a residential setting where almost everyone has a microwave.
Guess it was available and had the distance they wanted.
It doesn't take much leakage from a 700-1000W microwave signal to step on 11b
network packets. Most 2.4G phones and such say to avoid placing the base near a
microwave.

----------------------
- Mike Scott
- mscott (AT) pyewacket (DOT) org