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Jez
2006-06-06, 15:55
As some of you may have noticed, today we issued a joint press release with Infrant discussing their pre-installation of SlimServer on ReadyNAS boxes.

As part of this we have posted some information online at
http://www.slimdevices.com/readynas

We have also put together a promotional bundle of 2 x Black Wireless Squeezeboxes with a 1 Terabyte (4 x 250GB) ReadyNAS NV unit at a special price of $1499 ($300 off the total MSRP). This bundle is available through our online store only.

Before everyone starts asking for different capacities and configurations, we will only be offering this one bundle for the time being. It's just designed to highlight the partnership and if you want other configurations of Infrant system they are available from various sources including Amazon.com.

Infrant
2006-06-06, 16:01
And if anyone has any questions about our product, I would be more than happy to try and answer them. We are very excited to be working with SlimDevices and hope to make this a beneficial partnership for all of our customers.

-Sam
Infrant Technologies

CouchPotatoe
2006-06-06, 16:14
Jez wrote:
> We have also put together a promotional bundle of 2 x Black Wireless
> Squeezeboxes with a 1 Terabyte (4 x 250GB) ReadyNAS NV unit at a
> special price of $1499 ($300 off the total MSRP). This bundle is
> available through our online store only.
>
>
Just my luck - bought one just last month - but I have to say it's been
a truly great investment anyway... love it.

K

Yannzola
2006-06-06, 16:23
How silent is it? Under or over 20db? Louder than a new Tivo?
How "plug and play" is it? Can a novice comsumer get it running without too much hassle? How does one update Slimserver? Is there enough headroom to accomodate additional plugins? Is it wireless?

Jez
2006-06-06, 16:32
How silent is it? Under or over 20db? Louder than a new Tivo?
How "plug and play" is it? Can a novice comsumer get it running without too much hassle? How does one update Slimserver? Is there enough headroom to accomodate additional plugins?

I just wandered over and listened to one we have in the office. It's not silent but it's not far from it. It's more the sound of a gentle breeze than a whining fan.

As for useability, I'll leave that to others as I've not personally played with our unit much more that mounting it on my mac to drop off or retrieve files. Mac who has played with it more extensively, says it's pretty straightforward when you learn where things are within the web interface.

I'm not sure how much memory and performance is left for additional plugins.

Infrant
2006-06-06, 16:41
How silent is it? Under or over 20db? Louder than a new Tivo?
How "plug and play" is it? Can a novice comsumer get it running without too much hassle? How does one update Slimserver? Is there enough headroom to accomodate additional plugins?

Yannzola,

We are in the midst of getting some hard db numbers, the original measurement equipment that we had only measured down to 40db. Its not saying much, but during idle and while the device was doing a read, it was below this threshold. One of the companies in the area has a soundproof room and some very precise instruments so stay tuned...

As for ease-of-use, its fairly easy. The NV's that we sell in the bundle, already have SlimServer 6.2.2.0 pre-installed. If you want, we already have additional plug-ins for SlimServer available on our platform: SuperDateTime, LazySearch2, LastFM, and SlimScrobbler.

I would say loading the plug-in pack is no more diffcult than "attaching a file to an email message". The ReadyNAS handles the rest once you have told it where to find the plug-in.

SuperQ
2006-06-06, 16:44
As some of you may have noticed, today we issued a joint press release with Infrant discussing their pre-installation of SlimServer on ReadyNAS boxes.

As part of this we have posted some information online at
http://www.slimdevices.com/readynas

We have also put together a promotional bundle of 2 x Black Wireless Squeezeboxes with a 1 Terabyte (4 x 250GB) ReadyNAS NV unit at a special price of $1499 ($300 off the total MSRP). This bundle is available through our online store only.

Before everyone starts asking for different capacities and configurations, we will only be offering this one bundle for the time being. It's just designed to highlight the partnership and if you want other configurations of Infrant system they are available from various sources including Amazon.com.

This thing is neat, but missing the most important part to make a computer-free SqueezeBox.. the ability to rip CD's.

I built up a simple PC for my parrents.
P2-400, 120G drive, 52x CD-ROM.

I built a small shell script to use abcde to rip/encode their CDs to FLAC and then poke the slimserver into re-scanning the database.

I've been working on version2 of my script which will use a web based interface to allow easy selection of CDDB data, or entering if none is found. I'm hoping I can get abcde riped apart enough to begin the riping before the tags are known, and save encoding/taging until after the user has commited their track names.

I also have a new version of the hardware built that has 4x DVD-RW drives and a 300G drive to do 4 at a time, and mabye do DVD rips.

CouchPotatoe
2006-06-06, 16:49
Yannzola wrote:
> How silent is it? Under or over 20db? Louder than a new Tivo?
>
Definitely louder but it varies its fan speed based on the drive
temperature and number of drives installed. I would suggest it's not
for having in your listening room whilst listening to quiet music
though... but as a NAS it can go anywhere on your network of course -
so lots of possibilities to locate in another room somewhere if it is
too audible - Not mentioned before but its a true RAID solution with
hot swap of drives so your music is all safe against a single drive
failure too.... having lost my music once this is a great comforter.

K

bossanova808
2006-06-07, 01:32
Just wanted to say I have this combination (actually the older X6) and it's a superb solution. I think both products are excellent.

mikerob
2006-06-07, 02:02
And if anyone has any questions about our product, I would be more than happy to try and answer them. We are very excited to be working with SlimDevices and hope to make this a beneficial partnership for all of our customers.

-Sam
Infrant Technologies

A few questions...

- I've been put off NAS devices for Slimserver by the perception they tend to be a bit "underpowered" when it comes to things like rescanning the database and browser response. Any comments on this? How long would it take to do a rescan for, say, 10k MP3 tracks?

(On this point... a question for Slim... with the 6.5 "split scanner" release, would it be possible to divide these tasks between processors? That is, using an ordinary PC to do rescans creating the database file when needed, but the NAS for everyday music playing)

- support of Apple Lossless?

- plans for support of Alien BBC?

- possibility to support Music IP Mixer from predixis.com? (and if the NAS can't run Music IP, does anyone know if it is possible to query a different computer that is running Music IP?)

DerekDenyer
2006-06-07, 13:35
How silent is it? Under or over 20db? Louder than a new Tivo?
How "plug and play" is it? Can a novice comsumer get it running without too much hassle? How does one update Slimserver? Is there enough headroom to accomodate additional plugins? Is it wireless?

I've had my Infrant NV box a month or so, and am very happy with it.

It's too noisy to keep in the living room, but I hadn't planned to do that anyway. It's in the office along with all my computers.

Setup was pretty easy, though I did need to contact Infrant for help with setting it up with my static-ip addressing. Probably would have been a breeze with DHCP.

I believe that the infrant box runs a flavor of linux, and can be upgraded with more RAM, so I guess it would be possible add more stuff, It's not like there's just a limited 8MB ROM for everything.

Derek

Infrant
2006-06-07, 15:34
A few questions...

- I've been put off NAS devices for Slimserver by the perception they tend to be a bit "underpowered" when it comes to things like rescanning the database and browser response. Any comments on this? How long would it take to do a rescan for, say, 10k MP3 tracks?

(On this point... a question for Slim... with the 6.5 "split scanner" release, would it be possible to divide these tasks between processors? That is, using an ordinary PC to do rescans creating the database file when needed, but the NAS for everyday music playing)

- support of Apple Lossless?

- plans for support of Alien BBC?

- possibility to support Music IP Mixer from predixis.com? (and if the NAS can't run Music IP, does anyone know if it is possible to query a different computer that is running Music IP?)

Mikerob,

The re-scan performance is definitely slower, but if your music collection doesn't change a lot then the biggest hit will be the first time you set things up. For 10K tracks, we estimate it will take 2-3 hours (this is assuming pretty detailed ID3 tags). We are looking into ways to modify the re-scan procedure so that it only scans what has been changed; thereby significantly reducing the re-scan time when you add/delete music from your collection moving forward. Right now, I don't know when this will be implemented.

We should support Apple Lossless today, please let me know if you have found otherwise?

Alien BBC is on the "To Do List", but I don't have an ETA at this time.

Hadn't heard of Music IP Mixer, but I will have someone look into it.

mikerob
2006-06-07, 16:04
Mikerob,

The re-scan performance is definitely slower, but if your music collection doesn't change a lot then the biggest hit will be the first time you set things up. For 10K tracks, we estimate it will take 2-3 hours (this is assuming pretty detailed ID3 tags). We are looking into ways to modify the re-scan procedure so that it only scans what has been changed; thereby significantly reducing the re-scan time when you add/delete music from your collection moving forward. Right now, I don't know when this will be implemented.

We should support Apple Lossless today, please let me know if you have found otherwise?

Alien BBC is on the "To Do List", but I don't have an ETA at this time.

Hadn't heard of Music IP Mixer, but I will have someone look into it.

Thanks for that... I don't have an Infrant NAS at the moment but was thinking about one purely for storage so was interested about Slimserver support.

On music scanning, I don't tend to find the "Look for new and changed music" option on Slimserver very reliable so I usually do a "Clear and re-scan" every time I add new music which is just about every week, and it takes 20-30 minutes for about 10k tracks using my Mac Mini. This is one of the more annoying things I find about Slimserver...

I'd be interested if it was possible to do the re-scanning on a separate machine to generate the database file for those who may find 2-3 hours too painful...

I've no experience with the Infrant products so didn't know if Apple Lossless was supported or not.

Music IP Mixer (previously called Music Magic Mixer) seems to be pretty popular among the Slim community and I'd recommend you take a look at it to understand what it does. I use it all the time as with a large-ish collection, there is loads of music that I have forgotten about or haven't really listened to and Music IP is a great way of automatically generating playlists to reveal music that I may have passed over. Music IP exists as a standalone application but you can access this from Slimserver via an API and generate Music IP playlists using the Slim browser interface or remote control.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Music IP analysis function is far too heavy duty for a NAS but similar to the re-scan question, maybe there is a way of using a Music IP database file that has been generated using another PC.

fuzzyT
2006-06-07, 18:18
mikerob wrote:

> I'd be interested if it was possible to do the re-scanning on a
> separate machine to generate the database file for those who may find
> 2-3 hours too painful...

This makes an awful lot of sense. Should be close to reality once the
scanner process is split off.

Do you know if there is an existing enhancement request for this?

--rt

JJZolx
2006-06-07, 18:51
mikerob wrote:

> I'd be interested if it was possible to do the re-scanning on a
> separate machine to generate the database file for those who may find
> 2-3 hours too painful...

This makes an awful lot of sense. Should be close to reality once the
scanner process is split off.

Do you know if there is an existing enhancement request for this?
Dan has said this will be doable in SlimServer 6.5, where the scanner is a program separate from SlimServer itself. If given access to the music files, the database, and the SlimServer preferences, it can run on another machine.

Keep in mind, though, that the music files will have to be pulled across the network by the scanner. A scan running locally on a slower machine in which the music drives are mounted may end up being quicker due to faster file access.

mikerob
2006-06-08, 02:25
Dan has said this will be doable in SlimServer 6.5, where the scanner is a program separate from SlimServer itself. If given access to the music files, the database, and the SlimServer preferences, it can run on another machine.

Keep in mind, though, that the music files will have to be pulled across the network by the scanner. A scan running locally on a slower machine in which the music drives are mounted may end up being quicker due to faster file access.

..but I noticed that the Infrant supports Gigabit Ethernet, so if the PC also has GigE and you have a GigE switch, how would the network transfer times compare with an external USB or Firewire drive? (which is what I've got at the moment)

Would GigE not be at least comparable? (I'm not an expert on this and I'm sure there are lots of factors that would affect performance)

mherger
2006-06-08, 02:43
> ..but I noticed that the Infrant supports Gigabit Ethernet, so if the
> PC also has GigE and you have a GigE switch, how would the network
> transfer times compare with an external USB or Firewire drive? (which
> is what I've got at the moment)

I've read tests where the Infrant X6 deliverd around 25MB/s. Not bad for
this category of devices, but not up with the latest harddisks.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Heuer
2006-06-08, 03:21
Just taken some sound level readings using a digital SLM.

Dell PC - 40db
Self contained Air-con unit on Full - 52db
Maytag Fridge/Freezer - 53db
ReadyNAS NV - 58db

Not strictly empirical as the NV is in a different room but should give you some idea of scale.

A weighting, measured at 1 metre from source, max hold.

The SB3/NV combo works very well although it struggles if you have 'play random songs' set and manually skip forwards to the next track in the list. The music stops for a few seconds and then restarts. According to Infrant:

"So you're using the Random play plugin? If so, SlimServer only keeps a short list of random songs, and then adds a new one once it moves to the next song. Usually, SlimServer picks a time to do that random selection when the server isn't too busy and there is plenty of music saved up in the buffer, so you won't get skipping. When you force it to the next track, it has to do a burst of processing all at once, and the new song isn't in the buffer yet, so you can get a short pause while it does its work."

"What I'm thinking, though, is that everything you do in SlimServer needs CPU. A lot of things need a lot of CPU. On a (relatively) fast PC, it's not a problem, but on the ReadyNAS it can be. So, the SB can hold a lot less data in it's buffer, which would require constant data transmission. When you do things like changing volume, that kicks off another task for SlimServer to take care of, which could interrupt the data transfer for a short period of time."

fuzzyT
2006-06-08, 07:53
JJZolx wrote:

> Keep in mind, though, that the music files will have to be pulled
> across the network by the scanner. A scan running locally on a
> slower machine in which the music drives are mounted may end up being
> quicker due to faster file access.

I am running GigE w/ Jumbo packets to a ReadyNAS NV. And, no, the disc
accesses and transfers are not as fast as against a local drive. But
they are pretty good. And better for reads than writes, which is what
the scanner would be doing. And it remains to be seen whether the
combination of slower disc plus faster PC yields a faster or slower scan.

And despite the potential speed issue, I think running the scanner on
the PC rather than the NAS might still be a good approach. It's nice if
the scan finishes quickly, but it may be more important that the NAS is
not starved for cycles that might cause slowness in the SS user interface.

--rt

mherger
2006-06-08, 08:36
> I am running GigE w/ Jumbo packets to a ReadyNAS NV. And, no, the disc
> accesses and transfers are not as fast as against a local drive. But
> they are pretty good. And better for reads than writes,

R:25MB/s, W:11MB/s (read in an article in German magazine c't)

> And despite the potential speed issue, I think running the scanner on
> the PC rather than the NAS might still be a good approach.

....and use MySQL hosted on a cheap web server ;-).

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

JJZolx
2006-06-08, 08:55
I am running GigE w/ Jumbo packets to a ReadyNAS NV. And, no, the disc
accesses and transfers are not as fast as against a local drive. But
they are pretty good. And better for reads than writes, which is what
the scanner would be doing. And it remains to be seen whether the
combination of slower disc plus faster PC yields a faster or slower scan.

And despite the potential speed issue, I think running the scanner on
the PC rather than the NAS might still be a good approach. It's nice if
the scan finishes quickly, but it may be more important that the NAS is
not starved for cycles that might cause slowness in the SS user interface.
Absolutely. I'm just saying there's a tradeoff that will be a factor of scanning PC speed, network speed, and the speed of the computer/device with the music files. Given the low CPU power of the Infrants, it will probably be faster if you scan from a moderately powered PC.

One thing to realize in the scenario where you're running SlimServer on the NAS, is that the NAS also has to feed those files to the network at the same time. The Infrant doesn't have a separate CPU and a dedicated hardware RAID controller. Instead, they've taken their specialized storage processor and decided to run a general purpose operating system on it. That processor has to perform all of the disk and RAID I/O while doing whatever else you ask of it.

Here's my setup:

SlimServer: P4 3.0GHz, 2GB RAM
Music Store: Infrant ReadyNAS 600 w/4 x 320GB drives
Desktop: Athlon 64 X2 4400+, 2GB RAM
Switch: SMC DGS-108 GigE, jumbo frames

The P4 server pulls files from the NAS when scanning or streaming. Scanning is definitely slower than if the files were local, but still reasonable - about 25 minutes to scan 10,000 Flac files. I'm guessing I may be able to cut that down somewhat by moving the scanning process to the Athlon X2 desktop machine.

As far as the benefits of Gigabit Ethernet. It's faster that 100 Mb Ethernet, but in the real world maybe not as much faster as you'd think. There a lot of other factors that go into how fast a machine can send or receive data across a network, particularly when reading or writing that data to disk. Any of the throughput numbers published by Infrant for their NASs are idealized, best possible test numbers obtained by transferring a single 1 gigabyte file using GigE with jumbo frames. A real world test of transferring, say, fifteen 25 MByte files (an album in Flac) will give much lower throughput numbers.

benjaminfry
2006-10-07, 08:16
I have slimserver running now on Infrant NAS NV. It has been rather dissapointing with a 350GB mp3 database but at least now my data is safe.

I have updated to the latest beta firmware to get the latest slim server. this helps a bit. i have also ordered a 1GB memory module to speed it up to hopefully a usable speed. (I do think this should be made more clear when promoting the system.)

My last problem is that i used to use the automatic link of MoodLogic playlists when the server ran on my pc (with MoodLogic installed). On the NAS the MoodLogic option does not come up sinc it is not running the programme. Can i get the server to recognise my MoodLogic database and import the automatic playlists? Or can i export them permenantly from ML? Has anyone successfully crossed this bridge?

Thanks.

Benjamin

Infrant
2006-10-09, 09:37
Benjamin,

We are unfamiliar with the MoodLogic stuff... Can you provide a link so I can do some research and get the engineers to look into it?

Thanks,
Sam

benjaminfry
2006-11-19, 02:59
http://www.moodlogic.com/

kdf
2006-11-19, 03:09
not likely possible, as the ML plugin for slimserver accesses the DB via a COM object installed by Moodlogic on a Windows PC. This type of object is windows only. The format of the ML database is simply MS Access with a very easily obtained password (it's plain text in the slimserver code). However, I've not seen any modules for perl that have any ability to get data from an MS Access DB without relying on Windows specific libraries.

It may be possible to connect the DB as an ODBC source, then create a hook form slimserver to get that data from there, but I'd put that one in the far-more-effort-than-what-is-gained category.
-kdf