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View Full Version : Best NAS Network Attached Storage for SqueezeBox 3?



ness_andrew
2005-11-25, 17:52
Hey there everyone. I am about to purchase a SqueezeBox 3 soonish and i'm wondering whats the best external network attached storage device to get for it? I live in Australia.
I don't wish to have my computer turned on at all and i'm looking for something small, quiet, and not too expensive.
I am not thinking of buying a cheap computer.
I have heard that the Gigabit Buffalo Linkstation is the best?
I would probably have to buy this from Amazon as i've had a look on the net and these seem to buy hard to buy in Australia.
I don't know much about these drives. Are these drives fast enough to play music? Do they ever lag? Are they a pain in ass, or are they the perfect thing to buy?
I have heard the linksys NSLU2 device is very slow, so this may be out of the question.
Are there any other alternatives?
What will be the best way to attach this? Can you attach it straight to the squeezebox, or is better to attach it to a router so I can copy new songs onto it better?

ness_andrew
2005-11-25, 23:39
I also heard that the Qnap TS-101 is good also. Anyone used this?

bossanova808
2005-11-26, 19:43
I'm in Australia (Melbourne) and got myself an infrant readyNAS shipped from the states. It handles slimserver very well - a tad slower than a dedicated server but nothing to worry about.

ness_andrew
2005-11-27, 00:13
How much did that set you back? What shop did you get it from?

bossanova808
2005-11-27, 16:03
From eagis - about a grand as I recall, including shipping.

Works very well so far, only minor niggle is a slightly noisy fan...should take about two minutes to fix.

gharris999
2005-11-27, 20:32
If you have a large library (i.e. > 15k tracks) you might find that the slimserver's interface on the ReadyNAS is too slow. That's what I found, anyway. I now use my ReadyNas for video storage. I gave up on it as a platform for Slimserver. I've yet to try Slimserver 6.2.1 on it, though. The database cache size tuning in the Server Settings might make a difference if you've purchased a ram upgrade.

The ReadyNAS without any discs is about $600 US.

kolepard
2005-11-27, 21:06
>If you have a large library (i.e. > 15k tracks) you might find that the
>slimserver's interface on the ReadyNAS is too slow.

Is this if it is the slimserver is running on the ReadyNAS, or if
SlimServer is accessing files stored there (and itself is running on
another machine)?

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard
kolepard (AT) charter (DOT) net

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

bossanova808
2005-11-28, 16:38
I have a similar sized library and am running 6.2.1 on the readyNAS itself - I don't find it too slow (no RAM upgrade either). There are certainly pauses when you do certain things but they are generally < 2 seconds and I can't say they really bother me.

I guess it depends how you listen to music - I either just random play songs, or I tend to listen to all music by a particular artist. Works well enoiugh for me. Oh, I also use the New Music thing a lot and that also works well.

If I were zipping around looking for lots of different tracks it might well bother me (but I would jsut do that on a PC or using moose). It would be easy enough to run slimserver on a connected PC and then I'm pretyy sure there would be no slowness at all. But I like having the NAS, means I can listen to music without going down to the office in the morning and booting a PC, and it uses WAY less power than my PCs as well.

An ideal situation would be the squeezebox preferentially selecting from a list of available slimservers so it would choose the PC if that was running, otherwise go to the NAS slimserver if not.

Hmmm, might start a thread about that.

gharris999
2005-11-28, 18:20
Is this if it is the slimserver is running on the ReadyNAS, or if
SlimServer is accessing files stored there (and itself is running on
another machine)?
Slimserver running on the ReadyNAS. I tried this back in August with the ReadyNAS "firmware" and their version of Slimserver available at that time. Even with 1 gig of ram in the ReadyNAS, the interface (web, SqueezeBox+Remote) was so slow as to be unusable. And library scanning took forever (again, with >15k tracks.) That said, Infrant's distribution of 6.2.1 now available might do better.

For me, the real drawbacks of trying to run Slimserver on Infrant's hardware are:

1). It's not really open source any more. You can't make a mod to Slimserver and install it on a ReadyNAS. You have to use their version.
2). You can't use any non-stock plug-ins.
3). You can't use any audio formats that require transcoding.

bossanova808
2005-11-28, 19:26
See I guess it depends on what you think is unbearable...I find it thoroughly bearable. Basically, as you right arrow into each section involving some list being loaded from the server (eg Browse Artists ->) there is a pause of betweeen 0.2 and 2 seconds (at the absolute most). This I don't find too bad really!

I've used 6.1.1 and 6.2.1 so I don't know about other versions. I have also told slimserver to use more RAM than the default. I don't know about other versions.

I think I'm up to about 12000 tracks. I turned OFF the statistics in the slimserver prefs as this made a BIG difference in resposnsiveness (both with the NAS and a dedicated PC).

gharris999
2005-11-28, 22:40
Well, I'm glad that your experience with the ReadyNAS was better than mine. If I ever dump my video collection, I'll copy my music library to the ReadyNAS and give it a try again.

bossanova808
2005-11-29, 16:11
I was having a play last night - the difference between having 'Library Statistics' on and off is enourmous. With it off there is barely any pause at all, like < 0.5 second at any time. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with it!

Seems like the implementation of library statistics is quite dumb and invloves significant work for every page. Why they don't jsut store the data in the db afetr every re-scan and then just read it out for each page I don't know.

Speeds up both the web browser and squeezebox. To be honest, it is barely distinguishable from a dedicated server now, even when doing demanding things like serving album artwork.

Dan Sully
2005-11-29, 18:01
* bossanova808 shaped the electrons to say...

>I was having a play last night - the difference between having 'Library
>Statistics' on and off is enourmous. With it off there is barely any
>pause at all, like < 0.5 second at any time. I can't imagine anyone
>having a problem with it!
>
>Seems like the implementation of library statistics is quite dumb and
>invloves significant work for every page. Why they don't jsut store
>the data in the db afetr every re-scan and then just read it out for
>each page I don't know.

Which setting are you changing?

There's a 'Library Stats', but it's only run if you go into information.

Is this a setting from a plugin, perhaps?

Thanks.

-D
--
They're techno trousers, ex-NASA, fantastic for walkies!

mbonsack
2005-11-29, 18:10
I was having a play last night - the difference between having 'Library Statistics' on and off is enourmous.
Where do you turn this off? Couldn't find this anywhere in the browser interface.

ness_andrew
2005-11-29, 19:06
Would the linkstation handle 15k amount of mp3's? Or would it die?

Paul Webster
2005-11-30, 06:50
If someone could explain how to disable the stats collection (in 6.2.x), I'd like ot try it to see if (as reported by someone else) it speeds up the interface.
I am running Slimserver on a slow Linksys NSLU2 - it is usable but sometimes uncomfortably slow.
I am close to opening up the box and cutting off the slowdown resistor .. but if disabling stats really does make Slimserver a lot faster then I would rather go that route.

I can't find it in the web interface or plug-ins via the Squeezebox.

bossanova808
2005-11-30, 17:03
Server Settings -> Performance -> Disable Library Statistics is the one I am talking about. On the ReadyNAS, I also have the RAM thingy
Database Cache Size Tuning (SQLite)
set to 20000

It's way more zippy like that!

bossanova808
2005-11-30, 17:06
Sorry, Dan, are you sayng that is only run if you go into 'information'? Which information? I find now I no longer get the message about 'your library contains x tracks by y artists from z albums' but really I don't care anyway, and that the whole web browsing and squeezbox experience, on the NAS in any case, is MUCH faster. I did also change the SQLite thingy to 20000 at the same time, so one of those two things has substantially improved the server performace, at least on the readyNAS.

I didn't mean to criticise, I was just surprised at how speedy it all became.

Dan Sully
2005-11-30, 20:40
* bossanova808 shaped the electrons to say...

>Server Settings -> Performance -> Disable Library Statistics is the one
>I am talking about. On the ReadyNAS, I also have the RAM thingy
>Database Cache Size Tuning (SQLite)
>set to 20000

SlimServer has no setting for that.. could Infrant have installed a plugin
that provides that setting?

Any chance of a screen shot?

Thanks.

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

bossanova808
2005-11-30, 21:55
Sure.

I don't think they've installed anything but I no longer run slimserver on any pc so I can't check (although I'd love to have the option of having multiple slimservers, with a ranking, and have the squeezbox automatically choose the best as and when they are available).

Dan Sully
2005-11-30, 22:15
* bossanova808 shaped the electrons to say...

>I don't think they've installed anything but I no longer run slimserver
>on any pc so I can't check (although I'd love to have the option of
>having multiple slimservers, with a ranking, and have the squeezbox
>automatically choose the best as and when they are available).

Right - Cache Size is part of SlimServer. I was speaking of the Library Stats.

-D
--
"You can usually recover from production flaws...but you can never recover from a bad design".

bossanova808
2005-11-30, 22:53
There's two screenshots there - the first one is the library stats thing - is that what you wanted?

Dan Sully
2005-11-30, 23:03
* bossanova808 shaped the electrons to say...

>There's two screenshots there - the first one is the library stats thing
>- is that what you wanted?

Ah - sorry, the forum <-> mail list gateway only showed one of the attachments.

So, that Pref is not part of SlimServer by default. It seems that Infrant
added it. I'd love to know what they are doing.

-D
--
<Djall> and I also learned that a meat vortex takes meat away from you.

edwin2005
2005-11-30, 23:22
[QUOTE=bossanova808]Server Settings -> Performance -> Disable Library Statistics is the one I am talking about.
QUOTE]

That settings is not available on the normal linux version (SlimServer Versie: 6.2.0 - 4753 - Linux - NL - utf8) neather on the windows version (SlimServer Versie: 6.2.0 - 4753 - Windows 2000 - NL - cp1252)

bossanova808
2005-12-01, 00:09
I vaguely remember there was something about it on their forums but I can't find it now. Really does make a big differnce and anyone with a readyNAS should give it a whirl.

I'm sure they'd tell you if you asked them - they seem pretty helpful!

achtbit
2005-12-01, 03:14
Hi,

I was using an NSLU2 as Slimserver. Yes it works ... but not more :-( My collection is about 100 CDs (.flac). When I use the webinterface while playing music I get quite often dropouts.
Even with 266 MHz. All you need is memory, memory and more memory. In the embedded world there is no "cheap" NAS ....

Yesterday I installed Fedora C4 on an Epia M10k. And it realy rocks the world ;-) Now I can synchronize my two SB3 an play around with the webgui. No more dropouts!

Sorry for that, consumer NAS is not realy an option.

Reinhold

bossanova808
2005-12-01, 03:42
I have no problems playing music and using the webgui at the same time on the readyNAS.

bossanova808
2005-12-06, 19:10
Just wanted to re-visit this issue.

As I said somewhere, the experience from the squeezebox is very zippy with 'disable statistics' turned on.

The web gui can be used (at the same time even) and is quite acceptable in its performance, if not great, however if you've got a Windows PC the way to go is to use Moose - this means you have very fast desktop control AND very fast control on the squeezebox.

It's all working so well now I find it pretty much perfect for my needs, I'm very very impressed.

(moose can be found at http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove/)

psm0110
2006-01-07, 22:54
Just wanted to re-visit this issue.

Likewise, I realize it's been a month, but: my library is 20k tracks (used to work in radio :-) and I'm frustrated with the performance of SS6 on my old win2k machine, and have throughly tapped its HDD. I'm looking at NAS as an alternative, and readyNAS is nice, but $600 is a might expensive when I can build a Linux or BSD box with RAID myself... am I missing the point somehow?

pfarrell
2006-01-08, 08:51
On Sat, 2006-01-07 at 21:54 -0800, psm0110 wrote:
> looking at NAS as an alternative, and readyNAS is nice, but $600 is a
> might expensive when I can build a Linux or BSD box with RAID myself...
> am I missing the point somehow?

The NAS is targeted at folks who can't handle the work
of administering a Linux/*BSD box. It is a nice prepacked
solution. Of course, the smart, talented and good looking folks
can make something better for the same price, or cheaper.
Maybe both.

I've had two boxes running SlimServer over the past three years.
I've never spent any money on either. Both were machines left over
from some other project.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

funkstar
2006-01-08, 09:56
Added benefits of the ReadyNas are that you can get up to 2TB in something the size of a SFF PC (not something you could do with a standard SFF PC) and it uses less power than a regular PC as it doesn't have things running that are not needed, and doesn't use a power hungry PC processor

psm0110
2006-01-09, 19:21
Added benefits of the ReadyNas are that you can get up to 2TB in something the size of a SFF PC (not something you could do with a standard SFF PC) and it uses less power than a regular PC as it doesn't have things running that are not needed, and doesn't use a power hungry PC processor

Hmmm... okay, but will that light processor handle MySQL with version 6.5? Or will the readyNAS version branch?

Rob A.
2006-01-09, 21:41
Hmmm... okay, but will that light processor handle MySQL with version 6.5? Or will the readyNAS version branch?

I guess you could just use the NAS as storage, and get a cheapo-PC (linux or windows) to run the slimserver software, and mount the NAS as a drive/directory.. Not sure what the network latency would be in scanning files, but it may be an option.

- Rob

funkstar
2006-01-11, 05:42
I guess you could just use the NAS as storage, and get a cheapo-PC (linux or windows) to run the slimserver software, and mount the NAS as a drive/directory.. Not sure what the network latency would be in scanning files, but it may be an option.

- Rob
That is the original use for a NAS until someone realised the processors in these are reasonably powerful, enough to run other services (like slimserver).

mherger
2006-02-02, 08:41
So, that Pref is not part of SlimServer by default. It seems that Infrant
added it. I'd love to know what they are doing.

They manually added a pref and the following code in Pages.pm (I think someone posted this in the forums):



#JM * The user now has the option to turn off statistics, as this is quite expensive.
if (Slim::Utils::Prefs::get('enableStatistics')) {
$params->{'song_count'} = _lcPlural($ds->count('track', $find), 'SONG', 'SONGS');
$params->{'album_count'} = _lcPlural($ds->count('album', $find), 'ALBUM', 'ALBUMS');
$params->{'artist_count'} = _lcPlural($ds->count('contributor', $find), 'ARTIST', 'ARTISTS');
} else {
$params->{'song_count'} = 0;
$params->{'album_count'} = 0;
$params->{'artist_count'} = 0;
}
#JM * End


Their modified slimserver is available for download:
http://infrant.com/gpl.htm

Dan Sully
2006-02-02, 09:57
* mherger shaped the electrons to say...

>They manually added a pref and the following code in Pages.pm (I think
>someone posted this in the forums):

Yep - I grabbed that the other day and made a diff. Unfortunately I've not
had time to apply a version of that to our source.


-D
--
They're techno trousers, ex-NASA, fantastic for walkies!

mherger
2006-02-02, 10:43
> Yep - I grabbed that the other day and made a diff. Unfortunately I've
> not had time to apply a version of that to our source.

I turned the logic around to call it "disable" (enable by default). This
is a diff against the trunk.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
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edwin2005
2006-02-02, 10:43
would be nice

Dan Sully
2006-02-02, 10:53
* Michael Herger shaped the electrons to say...

>>Yep - I grabbed that the other day and made a diff. Unfortunately I've
>>not had time to apply a version of that to our source.
>
>I turned the logic around to call it "disable" (enable by default). This
>is a diff against the trunk.

Looks good - go ahead and commit.

Thanks

-D
--
Do not panic, do not panic! We are trained professionals!
Now, stay calm. We are going around the leaf.

mherger
2006-02-02, 15:07
> Looks good - go ahead and commit.

Done, thanks. What about 6.2.x?

--

Michael

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mherger
2006-02-02, 15:07
> would be nice

I've committed that patch to the trunk. Should be in tomorrow's
(tonight's?) nightly build.

--

Michael

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mherger
2006-02-02, 15:27
> Done, thanks. What about 6.2.x?

As always... forgot the patch.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Dan Sully
2006-02-02, 15:44
* Michael Herger shaped the electrons to say...

>>Done, thanks. What about 6.2.x?
>
>As always... forgot the patch.

Go for it.

-D
--
<weezyl> $6.66: The Value Meal of the Beast.