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View Full Version : What is my Squeezebox doing now?



arjang
2006-04-25, 07:51
Whenever I browse through my music collection, add playlists, scan music folder or do some other network task, It takes some time to complete the action, obviously. In the meantime, my Squeezebox or Slimserver software does not respond to commands. I can understand this.

What bugs me is that you never can telle when the action is completen, so I keep hitting buttons on my remote, until the Squeezebox becomes available again, executing all my remote commands at once. At this point, it looks like it gets a mind of its own. Only after all the silly commands have been completed, it responds normally again.

It all makes sense, but wouldnt it be nice if there was some sort of indicator to make me aware of the fact that there is a process running (i.e. scanning the library). It would be even nicer if there was a progress bar so I can assess how long it will take.

Does anyone else have these concerns?

Further, it doesn't make sense that every command given at a time the player is busy, is executed after it's ready.
It should forget this and take orders only after orders can be taken.

I am very happy with my Squeezebox, however! Great product.

dborn
2006-04-25, 09:08
The easiest probably would be for a visual indication (blink or '*' character displayed for a 1/2 second or for as long as there are pending commands to process?) that the command was recognized and queued until the server has time to respond further.

Yes this also bugs me and I also have a hard time explaining to the other (non-techie) members of the family to leave the button alone because it's been registered...

Daniel

Triode
2006-04-25, 11:13
There are some limitations of the current slimserver architecture which make it difficult to quess whether a commands is likely to take a long time and put up a waiting message (without puting it on the display for all key presses just in case)

What has been added to the 6.5 beta branch is something which drops key presses which have been held for more than a timeout. At present the timeout is set to 5 seconds, but this could potentially be tuned down. The aim of this is to avoid the case you mention of key presses getting stored up and then acted on many seconds later after some long action has completed. I'd be interested on any feedback people have on this feature of 6.5.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-25, 12:11
What kind of hardware do you have?

IMHO the only items that are intensive enough to cause a slowdown are Browse Music Folder and Rescan. Avoiding doing anything on the Squeezebox while rescanning is simple enough provided your rescans don't take hours (they shouldn't). Browse Music Folder should only be a slight pause, maybe 1/2 a second or so.

Otherwise I'd look at your server hardware. A server with sufficient resources on a network with enough bandwidth should eliminate most delays.

arjang
2006-04-26, 06:23
The hardware could very well be the problem. I'm using a Linksys WRT54G, wired to a Linksys NSLU2 Network storage device, which in turn is connected to my home backup disk, a Maxtor USB box.

Slimserver is running on my PC, which is in my home office.

All connections are over the air. (exept between Router, Network Adapter and USB Disk, obviously)

Browsing through my Music folder takes about 30 seconds for each page, and rescanning the collection doesn't even work, because Slimserver automatically shutsdown after about half an hour, when it is about halfway done.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-26, 06:41
All connections are over the air. (exept between Router, Network Adapter and USB Disk, obviously)


Whoa yeah, you're asking for trouble!

This is a *four wireless hop* situation. Transmission/retransmission latency will be considerable.

Consider what SlimServer has to do to get audio data from the USB disk:

- transmit a request over the wireless network to find the network-attached disk (1 wireless hop)

- the router redirects the request to the NSLU2 (adding a little latency)

- the NSLU2 finds and transfers the data off the disk (a little more latency)

- the router receives and re-transmits the audio data back to the SlimServer PC (a second wireless hop)

- the SlimServer PC directs the data to the SB, retransmitting the data back to the router (a 3rd wireless hop)

- the router retransmits the data to the SB (a 4th wireless hop)

Ouch!

Any reason you couldn't use the USB disk on your SlimServer PC? I suppose it's because it contains other data that you'd like the entire network to access, but moving it to the SlimServer PC would considerably improve the situation, reducing it to 2 wireless hops. This still isn't ideal but it would be a vast improvement, and you could share the disk to allow it to be network-accessible.

Installing SlimServer on the NSLU2 isn't easy and usually results in fairly slow operation but it might also be an improvement in your case - and I believe the NSLU2 could still be used as a general-purpose NAS.

arjang
2006-04-26, 07:36
Thank you for this advice. I am kind of a novice who just hooks stuff up together if it fits.
First thing I will do is move my music collection to an internal disk in my Slimserver PC.

Installing Slimserver on the NSLU2 is too ambitious for me, I'm afraid.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-26, 08:00
Thank you for this advice. I am kind of a novice who just hooks stuff up together if it fits.
First thing I will do is move my music collection to an internal disk in my Slimserver PC.

That should speed things up quite a bit. The final fix is to link the SlimServer PC to the router by Ethernet cable. The "two hop" wireless arrangement works for some users though, and it will definitely be an improvement over what you have now.

You can reuse the external USB enclosure for a backup drive. If that hard drive should fail, poof, all your ripping and tagging work is gone along with all the music. If you keep the drive connected to the NSLU2, backing the music up via the drive connected to the NSLU2 would work as well but might be a bit slower and with the other data on the drive you may not have enough space.



Installing Slimserver on the NSLU2 is too ambitious for me, I'm afraid.

Yes, it's a little advanced and you'll void your warranty.

arjang
2006-04-27, 01:19
I already have this disk mirrored with a second USB disk I carry along to the company office. No worries there.
I chose to get out and buy a wireless router, so that I wouldn't have to install wires and cables throughout my house. I don't mind a littele bit of lag.
Most important thing is SB to play the music without hickups or delays. And that's just what it does.

After having read your concerns I am even more impressed with the actual performance of the Squeezebox ;-) Given the circumstances.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-27, 05:29
I already have this disk mirrored with a second USB disk I carry along to the company office. No worries there.
I chose to get out and buy a wireless router, so that I wouldn't have to install wires and cables throughout my house. I don't mind a littele bit of lag.
Most important thing is SB to play the music without hickups or delays. And that's just what it does.

After having read your concerns I am even more impressed with the actual performance of the Squeezebox ;-) Given the circumstances.

Sounds like you've got things under control.

Yeah, given that some people have problems with just one wireless hop, you must have a pretty good wireless network. :-)