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View Full Version : Can I have a real UI, please?



Beaker
2006-02-10, 13:50
So here's the deal:

I want to play stuff on my computer using something resembling a real user interface -- basically, something that acts like WinAmp or iTunes, but connecting to my Slimserver remotely.

I can use the combination of the Slimserver webpage console (to set up playlists, etc) and WinAmp (to play the mp3 stream), but this is (1) clunky and (2) forces mp3 downsampling (rather than FLAC streaming directly).

Alternately, I can use Softsqueeze -- which is a very cool app, but has a crazy UI. (Emulating a Squeezebox exactly is a neat trick, but why on earth would I want to use an onscreen remote with a tiny display when I actually have a keyboard, mouse, and large screen?)

Is there any way to have "real" integration between Slimserver and a modern app?

Faiing that, could Slimserver maybe at least include a Flash applet in the web page to play the mp3 stream, rather than forcing me to use an external app? (I think Jinzora provides this option, but it is a major pain to set up and administer, IMHO)

funkstar
2006-02-10, 13:53
why not use SoftSqueeze as the player and the web frontent to control it?

ceejay
2006-02-10, 14:06
Or a combination of Squeezeslave (very new, probably a bit buggy still, but will probably be exacly what you need quite soon) and Moose (got past the buggy stage now) as the UI.

Search the forums for threads on both.

Ceejay.

JJZolx
2006-02-10, 14:27
I want to play stuff on my computer using something resembling a real user interface -- basically, something that acts like WinAmp or iTunes, but connecting to my Slimserver remotely.
Let me see if I have this right... You want someone to develop a slick application for you that interacts remotely with SlimServer so that you can play music on your computer? Not so you can play music on a Squeezebox.

Why on earth would you expect anyone to invest the time (and/or money) to develop such an application when it's not in support of the Squeezebox player, which is Slim Device's actual product?

SoftSqueeze serves several purposes, for which its design is well suited. I and many others run it in its 'headless' mode, which proves that such an application doesn't even need a user interface.

One other thing - what you want may not even be doable across a relatively slow remote link to SlimServer on a home network. Until recently my cable connection only gave me about 350kbps of outbound bandwidth. Connecting to my home network by VPN and trying to do something like browsing folders in Windows Explorer proved to be too much for the connection. It worked, but was so slow that it was unusable. The protocols involved just require too much bandwidth. I suspect the same thing would be true for iTunes and WinAmp when they're trying to get directory and file information from a remote host. The best you could do with SlimServer is create an application that would use the CLI to retrieve library data. It too, would require moving very large amounts of data across the link to provide the type of experience as an iTunes type application.

mherger
2006-02-10, 14:40
> The
> best you could do with SlimServer is create an application that would
> use the CLI to retrieve library data. It too, would require moving
> very large amounts of data across the link to provide the type of
> experience as an iTunes type application.

As long as it is only for listings, the CLI is quite lean. I did some
tests with an application which uses the CLI over SSH to my home server
(400kb outbound). When only requesting the information I needed to draw
the screen (scrolling list) wasn't noticably slower than on the LAN.
Browsing artwork might be an all different story...

--

Michael

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

Beaker
2006-02-10, 15:34
Let me see if I have this right... You want someone to develop a slick application for you that interacts remotely with SlimServer so that you can play music on your computer? Not so you can play music on a Squeezebox.

Yep.


Why on earth would you expect anyone to invest the time (and/or money) to develop such an application when it's not in support of the Squeezebox player, which is Slim Device's actual product?

Why on earth would anyone develop any software and give it away? :-)

But seriously... yep, I fully understand that it's not really in Slim's interest to write such a thing. But it might be in someone else's to provide such a front end, and as Slimserver is open sourced, there's no real technical or legal barrier to it. (And in fact, I was hoping someone might have already done such a thing :-)


SoftSqueeze serves several purposes, for which its design is well suited. I and many others run it in its 'headless' mode, which proves that such an application doesn't even need a user interface.

No argument there. I'm just saying I want something better suited for my purposes :-)


One other thing - what you want may not even be doable across a relatively slow remote link to SlimServer on a home network.

In my particular situation the bandwidth shouldn't be an issue. But a very good point!

Beaker
2006-02-10, 15:34
Or a combination of Squeezeslave (very new, probably a bit buggy still, but will probably be exacly what you need quite soon) and Moose (got past the buggy stage now) as the UI.

Search the forums for threads on both.

Ceejay.

I haven't heard of Moose. I'll look it up, thanks.

EnochLight
2006-02-11, 13:08
So here's the deal:

I want to play stuff on my computer using something resembling a real user interface -- basically, something that acts like WinAmp or iTunes, but connecting to my Slimserver remotely.

You're complicating things for no reason - just use WinAmp and add the same library to it that Slim Server uses.

Voila`!

You'll actually have WinAmp. If it's accessing the same library, playlists, etc... what's the difference? Of course you might need some plugins (I use the WinAmp FLAC plugin to access mine). But that's a lot easier than hoping someone would invest the kind of time and money needed for what you propose.

ceejay
2006-02-11, 14:27
You're complicating things for no reason - just use WinAmp and add the same library to it that Slim Server uses.




Well... that's fine if WinAmp is running on the same machine - or on a trusted high speed local network so you can just mount the drive. But OP did say he wants to work remotely - and Slimserver is a good way of doing that, if he can get the UI he wants...

Ceejay

EnochLight
2006-02-11, 14:43
But OP did say he wants to work remotely - and Slimserver is a good way of doing that, if he can get the UI he wants...
Ceejay

Ahhh - that I didn't catch. Woops!

bernt
2006-02-11, 15:42
Moose and SoftsqueezeHeadless can do what you want. Only problem is that it use a lot of memory and it would be nice if Moose could launch SoftsqueezeHeadless then it starts and close it then it close.

mherger
2006-02-11, 15:52
> would be nice if Moose could launch
> SoftsqueezeHeadless then it starts and close it then it close.

....or squeezeslave, which is a small command line executable (search the
forums for details).

--

Michael

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

Beaker
2006-02-13, 16:46
It turns out that getting the Flash-based XSPF player (http://musicplayer.sourceforge.net/) to play the existing stream is pretty trivial. In fact, you can try it out like so:

http://musicplayer.sourceforge.net/xspf_player.swf?song_url=http://foobar.com/stream.mp3

(where "foobar.com" is the address of your slimserver)

This doesn't solve my problem directly (as I still have one webpage to drive the server, and another to host the flash app)... but it shows it would be very doable to combine them into a single webpage.

Perhaps I'll give that a try if I get some spare time...