PDA

View Full Version : Winamp remote streaming via FLAC



DougP
2006-08-18, 04:22
Hi all,

I am trying to remotely stream my music to my work PC. I am using Winamp on WinXP, with the FLAC plugin - MP3 streaming works fine, but FLAC does not - Winamp keeps showing the buffer filling then emptying.

Any ideas what I have not done? (99% of my collection in FLAC so this stops me dead in my tracks).

Thanks,
Doug

chris.mason
2006-08-18, 05:12
Can you describe your slimserver set up?
My guess is that you have SlimServer installed on a PC at home, running on a LAN behind a broadband router of some description...

If that is the case, unless you have stupendous amounts of upload bandwidth in your broadband connection to the 'net, and you don't suffer latency issues on the many hops between your SlimServer and your work PC, and your work's firewall/proxy doesn't cause any issues, then there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to stream FLAC files..;-)

Seriously though, its likely that there simply isn't enough bandwidth to stream files which require often 900 to 2000kbit/s capability. I'm in the same situation. My cable broadband provides 512kbit/s up (but 10mbit/s down!). That simply isn't enough to play FLAC files with no interuptions. Also, all the other bits I mentioned above will have an affect.

Your best option is to set your winamp connection in SlimServer to transcode to MP3, and limit the bitrate to something like 128k, and see if that works. To do this, you'll have to installed LAME (and tell you how to do this, if you need to know).

Another factor which affects me is that I use SSH to connect to my PC at home - its the only way I can get past our work proxy servers - and its done through SOCKS proxies. That adds further overhead.

Hope that helps,

Chris.

DougP
2006-08-18, 05:36
Chris,

Thanks for you reply.

I was guessing it was a bitrate issue - the basic connectivity is fine (the setup is as you describe, but without SSH) as mp3 works well.
I did try transporting FLAC via mp3 but as you said I need LAME installed - could you send me the details on how to do this?

One other question though - if I set this conversion up will that not apply to my home setup too (ie. converting FLAC to mp3 to my SB2)?

chris.mason
2006-08-18, 05:51
Installing lame is pretty straight forward; you basically download it, and drop it in the bin directory for slimserver and restart slim.

Here is one place you can download from:

http://www.free-codecs.com/Lame_Encoder_download.htm

(or here to go direct to the download for version 3.96.2:
http://www.free-codecs.com/download_soft.php?d=1663&s=22)

This will download a ZIP file. Simple open the zip file, extract lame.exe and drop that in the "SlimServer\server\Bin\MSWin32-x86-multi-thread" directory. You'll find this under "C:\Program Files" by default.
Then restart SlimServer.

WIth regards to your question concerning your SB2 at home, no it won't affect that. When multiple players connect to SlimServer, they each have their own configuration. When you connect to SlimServer using Winamp, that will appear as a second player. On the home page for your SlimServer, you'll see on the left pane, under "Settings", two players listed (assuming both your SB2 and winamp are connected). Also, on the right pane, you'll now have a drop-down box in the top right corner, allowing you to select which player you wish to manage music for (sorry if this is all old news to you!).
Anyway, if you click on your Winamp player connection under the "Settings" heading in the left pane (probably just listed as the IP address where you are connecting from), then select the "Audio" menu from the row of options along the top, you will see two options that are relevant:

o LAME Quality Level and
o Bitrate Limiting

(If Lame hasn't been installed correctly, it will tell you under LAME Quality Level...).

So, you simply set the quality level (9 is generally fine, unless you transcode to lower than 128k), then set the bitrate limit. Note that you'll have to stop and start any songs you are playing on this player for the change to take effect. Also, this change only affects this player - by default bitrate limited is not applied.

I think I may have made this sound more complicated that it really is - does it make sense? Hope so!

Chris.

DougP
2006-08-18, 06:11
Chris - Thanks - your help is much appreciated.

I understand the multi-player part - as I did not have LAME it was not clear where the config was. Just to be clear then, I should leave the server end alone? I was playing with "Server Settings->File Types" but I guess you leave the FLAC setting to "(built in)"? Must admit to being a bit confused by this config screen....

Doug

chris.mason
2006-08-18, 06:25
Hi Doug,

Yeah, you should probably leave the server config stuff alone, except that you should make sure that under Server Settings -> File Types that you have FLAC to MP3 selected (i.e under the File Format heading, "FLAC" is selected, and under the corresponding Stream Format heading, "MP3" is selected - the Decoder will be labelled "flac/lame")

Glad to be able to help!

Cheers,
Chris.

Mark Lanctot
2006-08-18, 07:21
Yes, Server Settings - File Types is a GLOBAL setting and will affect all players.

To enable bitrate limiting, use Player Settings for the desired player - Audio - LAME Quality Level and Bitrate Limiting sections near the bottom. Try the highest bitrate setting to start, then work your way down until you get reliable playback. 320 kbps might just work on a 512 kbps upload.

I don't think you have to alter any setting in Server Settings - File Types. I don't have FLAC -> MP3 set but I can use bitrate limiting.

chris.mason
2006-08-18, 07:39
Yes, Server Settings - File Types is a GLOBAL setting and will affect all players.

To enable bitrate limiting, use Player Settings for the desired player - Audio - LAME Quality Level and Bitrate Limiting sections near the bottom. Try the highest bitrate setting to start, then work your way down until you get reliable playback. 320 kbps might just work on a 512 kbps upload.

I don't think you have to alter any setting in Server Settings - File Types. I don't have FLAC -> MP3 set but I can use bitrate limiting.

Ah, yes, I think you are quite right Mark - Doug ignore what I said about File Types.

radish
2006-08-18, 08:46
Just to clarify - as I don't see this mentioned anywhere in this thread - you can't stream FLAC (or anything except mp3) from slimserver to a non-slim client (e.g. Winamp or iTunes). That doesn't mean you can't play FLAC files, just that you must have lame setup (as described above) so the files can be transcoded to mp3 for streaming. It's not a bandwidth limitation, it's how slimserver is designed. If you want to stream FLAC or whatever else, you can use softsqueeze at your remote location instead of Winamp.

Mark Lanctot
2006-08-18, 10:16
Just to clarify - as I don't see this mentioned anywhere in this thread - you can't stream FLAC (or anything except mp3) from slimserver to a non-slim client (e.g. Winamp or iTunes). That doesn't mean you can't play FLAC files, just that you must have lame setup (as described above) so the files can be transcoded to mp3 for streaming. It's not a bandwidth limitation, it's how slimserver is designed. If you want to stream FLAC or whatever else, you can use softsqueeze at your remote location instead of Winamp.

Oh yeah - I forgot about that since I don't do this very much. So it could very well be that bandwidth isn't the limitation. Therefore try the maximum bitrate setting, 320 kbps, and see if that works to start.

chris.mason
2006-08-18, 11:00
Just to clarify - as I don't see this mentioned anywhere in this thread - you can't stream FLAC (or anything except mp3) from slimserver to a non-slim client (e.g. Winamp or iTunes). That doesn't mean you can't play FLAC files, just that you must have lame setup (as described above) so the files can be transcoded to mp3 for streaming. It's not a bandwidth limitation, it's how slimserver is designed. If you want to stream FLAC or whatever else, you can use softsqueeze at your remote location instead of Winamp.

Its Friday, so i'm being extra-thick. Yeah, I missed that - kept thinking you were streaming to softsqueeze or something. However, I would be pretty amazed if you were able to stream FLAC files from your home PC to work with no problems.

DougP
2006-08-21, 04:56
Thanks for all you help on this guys - everything works a treat now.

Doug

Mark Lanctot
2006-08-21, 05:56
I'm curious - what bitrate can you manage?

JJZolx
2006-08-21, 08:30
I'm curious as well. Can you also tell us the speed, incoming and outgoing, of your home Internet connection?

I filed a bug/enhancement request that the default mp3 transcoding rate be lowered from 320kbps to something more likely to work with most home Internet connections. At home I have a 8Mpbs/768kbps connection and find that 256kbps sometimes works, but lowering it to 192kbps is necessary for a reliable connection most times of the day.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3695

DougP
2006-08-22, 13:42
Hi Guys,

Broadband is 2mb downstream, 3k upstream
LAME quality is 9
Bitrate is 192kbps reliably, but occasionally can hit 256kpbs (as you state)

Doug