PDA

View Full Version : SlimLite + NAS on board



your momo
2006-11-27, 14:07
As already told here http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=29897 my biggest concern with Transporter is the lack of a stand alone mode.
As music lover and audio enthusiastic I'm interested to find a solution to get free of all my CDs and enter in the music streaming age.
The fact SlimDevices products act like pure server clients, and need a running SlimServer to be able to navigate and play streamed music, is very frustrating.
It prevent them to be a CD player direct replacement, especially from an usability point of view.

Therefore I'm proposing to implement a minimal stand-alone mode on board.
I'm targeting especially on Transporter as it offer enough inner space for that, his higher price point also allows more freedom.

My proposal is following:
- Build a reduced SlimServer version which focus on the essential and permit to navigate and play music located on an external HDD.
To be efficient this SlimLite should be shrink to the maximum and like a SafeMode guarantee this device be able to play music at any time.
- To host this SlimLite a NAS Main board (custom or commercial) should be added in the Transporter.
Power supply can be external, it just need a separate NAS input plug, in order to not disturb Transporter's well designed supply.
- Data connecting should be made through Ethernet connector as like this NAS would be external.
HDD storage connector should be added, it can be Ethernet (Networkdrive) or USB2 ...or both if there is no limitation.

I know this proposal could sound strange for the one who find current SlimDevices products easy to install and had no concern on their usage.
On the other hand I really think this solution would be a serious improvement for users who simply want to listen streamed music...

pfarrell
2006-11-27, 14:29
your momo wrote:
> I'm targeting especially on Transporter as it offer enough inner space
> for that, his higher price point also allows more freedom.

I can see a niche product about the size of a transporter with some sort
of built in server. But I can't see who would buy it in volume.

I can't see the audiophiles that are the target market for the
Transporter wanting it. The audiophiles are hot on preamps that are two
boxes, one for the power supply, remote and all that digital stuff and
the other for the analog functions.

>From a practical sound quality standpoint, you don't want a computer
anywhere near high quality analog signals. You sure don't want spinning
disks, video drivers, and all those evil noise generators near any
serious analog components.

However, there may be a market for a SFF computer with SlimServer
pre-insalled and ready to go. Put it in a horizontal case, and it could
go with the look of the Transporter.

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

stinkingpig
2006-11-27, 14:41
On 11/27/06, your momo
....
> Therefore I'm proposing to implement a minimal stand-alone mode on
> board.
> I'm targeting especially on Transporter as it offer enough inner space
> for that, his higher price point also allows more freedom.
> ...

Have fun, and good luck. There've been about ten similar proposals
since I bought my first SliMP3. Most have been along the lines of "if
you won't rewrite in my favorite language, I'll take my toys and go
home!" A few have turned into realities like ReadyNAS and QNAP and
SlimCD. There's also a decent number of folks on here who are quietly
providing professional audio installation services with prebuilt
headless servers; as far as their clients are concerned, it's all
taken care of by the nice wood-panel box in the corner, not a homebrew
server with some Perl scripts.

Gotchas:
1) Defining "bare essentials" in a way that leaves you with a product
anyone wants to buy is going to be very difficult.
2) Integrating with someone else's hardware is not easy, unless you're
planning to buy the Transporters, mod them, and then resell them, and
that's a big old potential can of worms. SDI might have been cool with
that, though probably not. Logitech is unlikely to approve.
3) Even if those issues didn't apply, the audiophile target audience
would turn their noses up at the idea of putting extra boards in the
case to emit EMF all over their bits. You're better off designing your
own blackbox in a similar form factor to sit on top or underneath the
Transporter.
--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

JJZolx
2006-11-27, 15:00
I can see a niche product about the size of a transporter with some sort of built in server. But I can't see who would buy it in volume.
Same people who buy these:

http://www.olive.us/

and these:

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=39

and other similar products.

pfarrell
2006-11-27, 15:08
JJZolx wrote:
> Pat Farrell;157881 Wrote:
>> I can see a niche product about the size of a transporter with some sort
>> of built in server. But I can't see who would buy it in volume.
> Same people who buy these:
>
> http://www.olive.us/

yeah, right
Olive|OPUS 400GB ($2,999)

Not a lot of mass market at those levels.

I'm not saying it is never going to sell, but if I was SD, I sure
wouldn't aim to sell a zillion of them.

Besides, Microsoft Media Center is going to take over all of our living
rooms, so it will solve the problem.

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

your momo
2006-11-27, 15:41
I think I was not clear enough, the goal is to fit the NAS Board inside Transporter's body not to build a 2nd full box.
HDD must not be located close to Transporter it can be a network drive hooked behind several meter of LAN cable...

About customer unfilled attempt, Slim's claim on Transporter:
>>Transporter's sound quality surpasses even the most exotic compact disc players. Its no-compromise design minimizes jitter and distortion, so you can enjoy the best your digital music collection has to offer.<<

Before be able to beat most exotic CD players, Transporter first needs to be able to start playing music ...I mean always like a $30.- CD player.
I agree my above statement is not really fair but sometimes I'm loosing control >:-}....

jeffmeh
2006-11-27, 16:49
I think I was not clear enough, the goal is to fit the NAS Board inside Transporter's body not to build a 2nd full box..

Your goal may be to do that, but with all due respect I do not share it. I would find that to be an inferior solution to what SD already offers, I certainly would not pay more for it, and I do not see any significant opportunities for SD to enter that already-served market.

Will the Transporter also have a CD-drive to rip music to the attached hard disk and ripping/burning software? Will it have the ability to download files from the internet? If so, you are adding functionality, complexity, and cost to the Transporter. If not, how will you get music onto the hard disk? If the answer is "with a computer," then why not set up SlimServer and be done with it? It is not a big deal, and you can even use a crossover capable to connect the computer to the Transporter, with no other network devices required.

As others have pointed out, there are devices employing architectures that better fit your paradigm. I think you are trying to "fit a square peg into a round hole," but that is your prerogative.

MelonMonkey
2006-11-27, 18:31
The market for a server + client solution is obviously greater than that of a client-only solution. Slim devices already has the software and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Logitech puts together the box to run it.

Note, I think the idea propsed in the first message is way off base. Very silly in fact. Server plus client products yes, making some frankenstein transporter that uses external storage (only) isn't ideal to put it mildly. Transporter should stay the same as it is, as a client device.

As it stands, even though the Slim product line is very high quality, it's not a suitable one for a consumer crowd. Something more plug and play is needed.

Most people are using portables for digital audio (stuff like the iPod). Including plenty of audiophiles. People who want a two-box pre-amp aren't audiophiles, they're just folks with too much money and very little sense.

Installing your own software onto a machine to turn it into a server can be thought of as complicating one's life. Fine for you and me of course. The consumer market demands products to simplify life.

The Olive product line is decent. Quoting $2999 without mentioning the $899 product is a little unfair.

Anyone who thinks Logitech bought Slim only for its existing customer base is being very short sighted. Or for that matter for the Squeezebox hardware. I'm willing to bet they spent big bucks on the acquisition and you'd better believe they plan on making back far more than they spent in a relatively short time . I'll mention the Harmony example again. Logitech have already made back the purchase price (close to US$30 million) with that operation.

How much income do you think Logitech is going to make selling the current Squeezebox and Transporter?

JJZolx
2006-11-27, 18:40
People who want a two-box pre-amp aren't audiophiles, they're just folks with too much money and very little sense.

Plonk. Nutball alert.

richidoo
2006-11-27, 18:51
The home network is becoming ubiquitous and slim is playing on this, marketing to a growing market of dual personality nerdy computer geeks / ultracool music loving dudes. This demographic is becoming 'normal' in younger age groups and is growing very fast! So, they do not need to market to other groups, like portable, lo/mid fi, etc. iPod has mostly what you describe and it fits in your pocket, and plays video for less then a SB. Use nice earphones or take analog line out of the bottom and it is a 1/2way (1/4way?) decent source.

As for there being extra room in the TP for a hard drive and disk controller, disk bus, two more power supplies and noise shielding, nope! Space is an important ingredient in high end designs. Distance attenuates EMI and RF radiation and allows better wiring design. Some parts inside need to be separated by distance to achieve the very low S/N of the TP.

Keep up the futuristic thinking, you will invent the next iPod!

MelonMonkey
2006-11-27, 21:25
I suppose all the other audiophiles I know are also engineers. So while a $5-10K prepro is not out of the question, no one I know spends hours tracing their CDs with green markers nor worrying too much about the power cable they're using (as long as it's adequate for the current).

While my comment was broad, so too was saying audiophiles care about preamps with external power supplies. An audiophile cares about good sound and music they enjoy.

Creating a server product can cater as much to a high end community as to a low end one. Most high end equipment is installed by the CI (custom installer) community. Having a product they can easily sell/install for their clients would move a lot of units. Not as many as having a product anyone could buy and install themselves obviously.

Logitech is about mass-market. Having a high end product doesn't preclude catering to the mass market. I've got a meager collection of remote controls, but if I told any normal individual how much any one of them cost, they'd likely drop their jaw. Of course higher priced remotes are becoming more mainstream now.

Anyway, adding HD to Transporter = bad.
Creating and marketing Slim-branded server = good.

mherger
2006-11-27, 23:07
> The market for a server + client solution is obviously greater than that
> of a client-only solution.

I doubt it: I'm running five clients but only need one server.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

kyleki
2006-11-28, 01:27
Anyway, adding HD to Transporter = bad.
Creating and marketing Slim-branded server = good.
The original poster wasn't recommending adding a HD to the Transporter. He was simply suggesting *another* way of accessing his music by providing extra "logic" in the device itself so it can browse network accessible storage - independent of a server.

It would be nice if you could:
1) connect network attached storage to LAN
2) connect Transporter to LAN
3) browse and play music from NAS without ever needing to install slimserver on any PC.

Having this ability shouldn't need to preclude any existing functionality of the slim devices, it should be in addition to it. Just as I have the option when powering on my SB2 to connect to my slimserver or SqueezeNetwork, why not an additional option to browse a network attached hard drive for music? Would this be such a bad thing?

Squirrel
2006-11-28, 02:12
Ah yes... Turtle Beach did something like this a few years ago with the Audiotron. Plug it in, power it up and off it goes searching any publically available shares on your network for any compatible music files (MP3, WAV, WMA).

Problem is that Turtle Beach didn't realise they were onto a winner and dropped the product. Shame, because it's about the only network music player that will work without server software (just needs a NAS) or the remote (nice front panel controls). They never actually got around to adding FLAC support, and the character based LCD was a little basic. Squeezebox's dot-matrix VFD is far more readable from across the room.

What would be really nice (and there is a big market for it) is a standard Squeezebox (single display) in a slim 17" hi-fi component sized case with front panel controls. Nothing as elaborate as the Transporter, but something you can slot in your hi-fi rack. The kind of thing you can stick in the rack with your AV amp and hook up via SPDIF.

your momo
2006-11-28, 06:29
The original poster wasn't recommending adding a HD to the Transporter. He was simply suggesting *another* way of accessing his music by providing extra "logic" in the device itself so it can browse network accessible storage - independent of a server.

It would be nice if you could:
1) connect network attached storage to LAN
2) connect Transporter to LAN
3) browse and play music from NAS without ever needing to install slimserver on any PC.

Having this ability shouldn't need to preclude any existing functionality of the slim devices, it should be in addition to it. Just as I have the option when powering on my SB2 to connect to my slimserver or SqueezeNetwork, why not an additional option to browse a network attached hard drive for music? Would this be such a bad thing?
Thank you a lot be the first that understand the spirit of my proposal ;-)


To move forward, I think AudioTron is a good example of a good techy product that arrives to early on the market ...it dies if nobody take care on it.
When I look on what this product was able to do for $300.- it's a pity that it becomes discontinued.
http://www.turtle-beach.com/site/products/audiotron/indetail.asp

Now moving back on Transporter, please react to insure it will not follow the same path, the future is not yet written...

Mark Lanctot
2006-11-28, 07:18
The original poster wasn't recommending adding a HD to the Transporter. He was simply suggesting *another* way of accessing his music by providing extra "logic" in the device itself so it can browse network accessible storage - independent of a server.

It would be nice if you could:
1) connect network attached storage to LAN
2) connect Transporter to LAN
3) browse and play music from NAS without ever needing to install slimserver on any PC.

Having this ability shouldn't need to preclude any existing functionality of the slim devices, it should be in addition to it. Just as I have the option when powering on my SB2 to connect to my slimserver or SqueezeNetwork, why not an additional option to browse a network attached hard drive for music? Would this be such a bad thing?

I could see how this would be attractive for the new user that suddenly realizes they need a 24/7 server. However it does nothing for exising users that already met and accepted this requirement - it only increases the cost of a new unit for them.

This is not really all that simple, or cheap. You'll need a 500 MHz x86 processor, 128 MB RAM (256 or even 512 would be better) and its own OS. The Infrant NASes are the closest to this spec and they're in the $700 range.

I suppose as long as simple client devices were still available you wouldn't alienate existing users. And I suppose Logitech wants more new users - hopefully not at the expense of the existing user base that has been with Slim since the beginning.

Still, I guess I don't really understand this request. I would assume anyone posting in this thread has a PC at home. There's some debate on this, but the general consensus with a PC is to leave it on all the time. So if you already have a PC on 24/7, there's your server!

And if you have an older PC gathering dust in a closet that's useless for anything else, instead of sending it to a landfill, you can put it to good use by dedicating it for this purpose. Power consumption will be minimal for older hardware like this, especially because you can turn the monitor off most of the time (you don't even need a monitor with simple, free programs like VNC or a KVM switch).

I'm not saying the request is a dumb idea - it isn't. I just don't see the server requirement as terribly onerous as it leverages equipment you already have.

radish
2006-11-28, 07:42
The audiotron was not great - I had one. Firstly, to clarify, it did require server software (it needed an SMB server), it's just that said software is included in many OSs these days. Setting it up correctly, however, was no easier than setting up slimserver. Creating the correct shares & setting up permissions so the player could see them caused plenty of support issues. Navigation, searching and browsing were a pain IMHO, and to cap it off I think there was a max track limit which would probably sting a number of people here. Oh and of course no RSS, no weather or sports scores, no support for many useful formats, not even basics like gapless playback. Bear in mind you still have to have a box running with the discs, the ONLY difference is whether you have to spend 10 minutes installing slimserver. That seems like a small price to pay for such an improved user experience. Only someone who's never used an Audiotron could say it's more non-tech user friendly than a Squeezebox!


Just as I have the option when powering on my SB2 to connect to my slimserver or SqueezeNetwork, why not an additional option to browse a network attached hard drive for music? Would this be such a bad thing?
In isolation it wouldn't be a bad thing at all, more choice is (almost) always better. The problem is, it's not going to exist in isolation. Firstly there's support - we would now have Slimserver, Squeezenetwork _and_ this new thing. Each with their own set of functionality and support issues. Look at the forums, we have enough people getting confused about the difference between SN and SS as it is, the last thing we need is another server option. Secondly there's development. Resources are limited, only so much can be developed at one time - so if we do this what do we drop?

azinck3
2006-11-28, 08:15
Now moving back on Transporter, please react to insure it will not follow the same path, the future is not yet written...

I don't follow your logic here: you want Slim Devices to react to avoid extinction...by changing the design of a successful product (Transporter/SB) to that of a financially (if not technically) failed product (Audiotron)?

Regardless, I understand what you're asking for. It's not beyond my comprehension to understand why some would find it appealing but it wouldn't appeal to me. And the few devices that have followed that model have gone the way of the dodo (Audiotron, Omnifi DMS1). It's hard to say whether or not their failures were due to issues unique to their implementation, price point, marketing, or what, but whatever the case, it's obviously not trivial to make this work.

What you're looking for really does sound a lot like the Olive music server. A fine product, I'm sure, but more money than I want to spend and not as flexible. To me, that's why the SB is perfect: it's cheap, and almost infinitely flexible. There might be a market out there for what you want, but you're mostly talking to a self-selected group who appreciates Slim Devices' streaming device architecture. The prospect of a "dumb" mode doesn't excite me. I've said it before: A user isn't going to use a device in 3 different ways (slimserver, squeezenetwork, and some "dumb" network-HD mode). They're only going to use it in one way. Squeezenetwork was added without much change to the design of the SB, but a network-HD mode would require significant change.

Perhaps some of the resistance you're meeting from many in this community stems from the fact that the vast majority of us are excited by the flexible server architecture of the SB and want to continue to see more functionality and robustness added to that model rather than losing development time to adding a network-hd ability that we'll never use. It's somewhat akin to walking into a group of hikers and extolling to them the virtues of driving. Yes, driving's nice. Driving's great. it's useful. But we're hikers. Drivers and hikers can get along. They can buy products from the same companies. But they're not necessarily going to see the world the same way or agree on priorities.

your momo
2006-11-28, 14:53
>>I could see how this would be attractive for the new user that suddenly realizes they need a 24/7 server. However it does nothing for exising users that already met and accepted this requirement - it only increases the cost of a new unit for them.<<

- I agree my initial proposal basically doesn't add anything for the people who already are satisfied with SB3 & TP performances and requirements.
However I propose to focus on Transporter only as he could won the most from this proposal.


>>I'm not saying the request is a dumb idea - it isn't. I just don't see the server requirement as terribly onerous as it leverages equipment you already have.<<

- I'm not blocking on the price but on usability, I'm looking for a working fit and forget solution first, without excluding a move on a server solution in the future.
But server solution must first becomes reliable, stable and user friendly prior I'm ready to spend money for such HW.
Today I don't care on possibility to synch n devices together over network as long my single device is not able to play music every times I want it.


>>Bear in mind you still have to have a box running with the discs, the ONLY difference is whether you have to spend 10 minutes installing slimserver. That seems like a small price to pay for such an improved user experience.<<

- You win, I will do my part of the job and will install SlimServer on my PC providing a feedback of my "10 minutes" experience ...BTW I plane to install ver.6.5 (the only one that support Transporter) but after I see the "tones of problems reported on ver.6.5", should I better wait on next release (I run WindowsXP) ? or do you confirm ver.6.5 is ripe ?


>>I don't follow your logic here: you want Slim Devices to react to avoid extinction...by changing the design of a successful product (Transporter/SB) to that of a financially (if not technically) failed product (Audiotron)?<<

- I doesn't want to change anything in the SB design, his price point doesn't allows enough room to play ...and Logitech certainly already has a good idea for the future of this product. On the other end, Transporter existence is more questionable, who will buy it ?
-- Many people inside the community who already have an SB3 doubt that Transporter price premium is worth compare to SB3. They may have right, functionality is the same (except 2nd display and knob) and for the one where sound quality is a priority they already have hooked their SB3 on premium DACs.
-- It remains certainly people who are still waiting on their Transporter but those are a less and will not be enough to insure a future to this product. Seriously how many have or are really thinking to spend $1'999.- for a Transporter ...are those more than one thousand ?
-- Outside the community there is a lot of people who could buy such product even at this price tag. Unfortunately those who would be ready to pay the price premium for Transporter sound quality will never invest in a device not able to play music for sure in stand alone ...I'm here.


>>What you're looking for really does sound a lot like the Olive music server. A fine product, I'm sure, but more money than I want to spend and not as flexible.<<

- Olive or Hifidelio (in Europa) was also on my list but unfortunately suffer from an unstable FW, noisy HDD and consumer analog audio ...this prevent me too sing the bill.

>>A user isn't going to use a device in 3 different ways (slimserver, squeezenetwork, and some "dumb" network-HD mode). They're only going to use it in one way. Squeezenetwork was added without much change to the design of the SB, but a network-HD mode would require significant change.<<

- Not a all users will need all three ways, but adding a network HD mode will secure people who don't can/want dig into server configuration that they will be able to listen music with the product they buy. Sorry if my request is not "easy going" to implement, but I'm open to trade to find an acceptable outcome...


>>Perhaps some of the resistance you're meeting from many in this community stems from the fact that the vast majority of us are excited by the flexible server architecture of the SB and want to continue to see more functionality and robustness added to that model rather than losing development time to adding a network-hd ability that we'll never use. It's somewhat akin to walking into a group of hikers and extolling to them the virtues of driving. Yes, driving's nice. Driving's great. it's useful. But we're hikers. Drivers and hikers can get along. They can buy products from the same companies. But they're not necessarily going to see the world the same way or agree on priorities.<<

- I appreciate your metaphorical approach and better understand why it can be so hard...
Main reason I'm here is that I still have hope to convince the community on the benefit of having a stand alone mode implemented in Transporter ...otherwise you can convince me that current product is user friendly and will always play music when I want it.

azinck3
2006-11-28, 16:25
- I appreciate your metaphorical approach and better understand why it can be so hard...
Main reason I'm here is that I still have hope to convince the community on the benefit of having a stand alone mode implemented in Transporter ...otherwise you can convince me that current product is user friendly and will always play music when I want it.

I understand where you're coming from. The SB/Transporter is not for everyone. I would not buy one for my parents, for example. There are sometimes problems. But I'd venture most of the problems folks see are when they're trying to do many of the advanced things the slimdevices architecture allows them to do. And many (most?) of the problems encountered when doing those things can be put down to external factors like poor tags (though slimserver's tag handling has room for improvement), dodgy network hardware, outdated plugins, or similar. If you're looking to simply play back one of the device's native formats (what you're saying you want network HD functionality for) I'd suggest that you're very unlikely to run into any difficulty. Download the server and give it a try. That's one great thing about this company: you can try the product before you buy it to be sure that you don't have any trouble running the server.

stinkingpig
2006-11-28, 16:31
....
> - I appreciate your metaphorical approach and better understand why it
> can be so hard...
> Main reason I'm here is that I still have hope to convince the
> community on the benefit of having a stand alone mode implemented in
> Transporter ...otherwise you can convince me that current product is
> user friendly and will always play music when I want it.
>
....

It is user friendly, and it always plays music when I want it. It's in
fact 99% perfect. The remaining 1% produces a great deal of complaint.

1) You need to have your tags in good order, or be willing to put in
some effort to get them that way. If you don't, you will be sad.
2) You need to have a solid wireless network if you're going to use
wireless. "Solid" can not be inferred from "my laptop does IM and
email okay." Also be aware that wireless conditions change.
3) Plugins are a major source of instability, and their interface
breaks during most upgrades. Even good plugins can still cause
problems when the external services they rely on have problems.
Plugins bring in some really excellent functionality, but they're
doing it with minimal testing, and they may have issues.
4) Computers are complex; their natural state is broken. Enjoy that it
works when it does. If having it not work is going to cause you to pop
a blood vessel, you should really buy something that doesn't involve a
computer (not even the embedded NAS).

I'm reminded of the old joke, "unix is user friendly, it's just
selective about who its users are."

--
"I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional

MelonMonkey
2006-12-01, 12:42
Logitech WILL release more products and some of them will spin some of the existing community on its head because they don't understand it. That's what makes the difference between an enthusiast and someone who markets this stuff for a living. Logitech might not always be on the cusp of evolution, but they're good marketers none the less.

I'm sure the Slim community will grow by leaps and bounds and it won't be through the existing product line alone.

Hey, people (all people, everywhere) are afraid of change, regardless of what they say or even think to themselves. It's basic human nature.

If Logitech bought Slim to keep the product line exactly the way it is now and keep the development team the exact size it is now and keep the support the same way it is now (1 or 2 people?) then they may as well have put the money into a blender and shredded it.

To bring Slim to the decent double-digit millions of revenue per year, Logitech will have to innovate, release new products and market them.

Things may start off slow or look like they're not changing for a while. That's natural. But by this time next year I'm sure everyone will have a clearer picture. I don't know if I'd expect anything at CES (at least in public), but I'm confident the folks at Logitech and Slim aren't sitting on their collective asses pounding back beers and watching TV.

In terms of past/previous products, there were quite a few that predate Slim. Audiotron, Rio Receiver, Rio Jukebox and even Riocar to some degree did a lot of what's now part of the Slim offering. All past devices failed miserably in marketing, but the market itself also features a much different landscape. Everyone can thank Apple and the iPod for really opening thiings up for digital domain music (music without traditional physical media). And currently there are a few other companies doing respectably with their product lines (for now), including Sonos, Olive and Sooloos (among others). Apple's basic Airport streamer has probably sold more units than all products from every other company combined and they'll likely do very well with their new product with video in the new year.

Everyone has a slightly different take, but whoever still wants to be making real money from audio in the future has to stay alert and innovate. I have full confidence in Logitech to capture and hold significant market and mindshare. They took the Harmony from obscurity to number one in multiple categories - globally.

your momo
2006-12-08, 15:06
I'm back, I follow your hints and install SlimServer 6.5 on a 4 years old Laptop (PIII,1GHz, 512MB, XPproSP2) it went nice …ok it tooks me slightly more than 10min, but after one hour I was able to play music (MP3 192kB files) from the server Laptop on a 2nd Laptop using SoftSqueeze. I was proud of that, it works also while 2nd Laptop was connected by WiFi.

This motivate me for more, so I install and configure EAC + AccurateRip + FLAC.exe following the installation guide in the Wiki. I also manage this to work even it tooks me about 5 hours effort until I got my first ever .FLAC file. I was also able to stream those new files using SoftSqueeze, but obviously could not differentiate them from MP3 due to the bad Laptop embeded speakers sound quality.

I had the oportunity to borrow a SqueezBox3 for this w-e and bring it to work …user interface is straight forward.
This evening I was listening FLAC on my HiFi system since about 3 hours, audio quality was really good (SB3 -> optical out –> HT (preamp) ->Power amp). Now I could feel the power and superiority of FLAC against MP3 (same file back to back). I was very excited of all the tests and comparisons I plan to do this w-e until …the music suddenly stop.
The raison is the die of the server Laptop HDD, luckly I have a copy of all the music I've ripped, but this is the end of my SB3 test…

Now you maybe better understand why having a stand alone mode would have allow me to listen SB3 streamed music (direct out from my backup HDD) while I reinstall a new HDD + all the apps in my Laptop …instead of that, my CD player will do the job.

This first experience convince me on two things:
- FLAC quality is really good and can/will replace all my CD
- Slim products need a stand alone mode to become a real CD player alternative

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-08, 20:31
This motivate me for more, so I install and configure EAC + AccurateRip + FLAC.exe following the installation guide in the Wiki. I also manage this to work even it tooks me about 5 hours effort until I got my first ever .FLAC file.

But now that the first one is done, the rest require no extra setup.


The raison is the die of the server Laptop HDD, luckly I have a copy of all the music I've ripped, but this is the end of my SB3 test…

How is this Slim's fault and how would direct access be any better? A network-attached HDD could have died just as easily.

aubuti
2006-12-08, 21:09
Now you maybe better understand why having a stand alone mode would have allow me to listen SB3 streamed music (direct out from my backup HDD) while I reinstall a new HDD + all the apps in my Laptop …instead of that, my CD player will do the job.

This first experience convince me on two things:
- FLAC quality is really good and can/will replace all my CD
- Slim products need a stand alone mode to become a real CD player alternative
What happened to you is more or less equivalent to the motor of a CD player dying. You've got to replace it to get the bits to your amp. Besides, if this hypothetical standalone mode were so useful, why would anyone be running slimserver off a computer in the first place (especially after paying the considerable extra $$ to have a standalone mode)?

your momo
2006-12-09, 11:38
But now that the first one is done, the rest require no extra setup.

Unfortunatelly not, this all need to be redone as this setup was also on the HDD who die…
This laptop is now waiting for HDD change and whole system re-installation.



How is this Slim's fault and how would direct access be any better? A network-attached HDD could have died just as easily.
I never claim that's Slim's fault, as already told I have a full backup of all my data (inc. music files) that is stored on an external HDD, so it takes me less than one hours to restore all those data on a new HDD. For the system re-installation it's another story..
What I say is that having to setup a PC and let it runing to feed Slim product with music files from a mass storage is an overkill for me. I accept to use the PC for some maintenance (CD-FLAC rip, music files add/delete/move …etc) but while listening I would prefere having a stand alone mode that is able to access directly an external HDD.

your momo
2006-12-09, 11:40
What happened to you is more or less equivalent to the motor of a CD player dying. You've got to replace it to get the bits to your amp. Besides, if this hypothetical standalone mode were so useful, why would anyone be running slimserver off a computer in the first place (especially after paying the considerable extra $$ to have a standalone mode)?
This extra cost is not clear to me, current product request an extra "brain" that can be either your PC or a tweeked NAS, so you already pay (by putting your PC at disposal) some extra money to have Slim products be able to play your music. What I'm requesting is simply to get a product that is able to play my music in stand alone …and I'm ready to pay an extra for that.
This is particularly right when running only one Slim product, the wast of money, energy and time spend to setup and maintain a server is just the blocker.

Jim Adams
2006-12-09, 14:59
Hi, I just got my Squeezebox this week and have it installed. It works fine
with music I have stored on my workstation. Now I am trying to access
internet radio using SlimServer. When I connect to Squeeze Network and try
to access Live365, for example, I get the message that my Squeezebox was not
found. If I use the remote to access internet radio everything works fine.
If I want to use the SlimServer I have to use the remote and connect to the
SlimServer. Is there anyway to access internet radio using SlimServer? This
is important to me since I am blind and am using a screen reader to access
the Squeezebox so the remote is useless to me. Thanks for any assistance.

Mark Lanctot
2006-12-09, 15:22
Yes, Internet radio can be accessed by using a
link in SlimServer. SlimServer's home page menu is
structured BROWSE - SEARCH - INTERNET RADIO.

Under Internet Radio you'll find Tune In URL plus
any radio services you've enabled in Server
Settings - Internet Radio.

In order to access Live365 I believe you need to
sign up at Live365 and put your login information
in Server Settings - Internet Radio. In
SqueezeNetwork it's on the SqueezeNetwork web page
- Accounts and Music Services - Live365.

Your SqueezeNetwork issues may be caused by
something the Squeezebox is trying to do which you
may not realize - it's giving you a PIN number to
access SqueezeNetwork. Without specifying it, you
may be locked out of all or some functions.
Unfortunately it doesn't pass the PIN to
SlimServer, it displays it on the Squeezebox
screen which your screen reader obviously cannot
read. I'm sure Slim Devices technical support will
be able to help you out with this if you give them
your Squeezebox MAC address which SlimServer lists
at the bottom of Player Settings in Player
Information.

Also note that when you access SqueezeNetwork,
SlimServer loses control of the Squeezebox - the
same when you're connected to SlimServer,
SqueezeNetwork will indicate your player is not
found. There are links in both to go back and
forth between the two servers though.

Jim Adams wrote:
> Hi, I just got my Squeezebox this week and have it installed. It works
> fine with music I have stored on my workstation. Now I am trying to
> access internet radio using SlimServer. When I connect to Squeeze
> Network and try to access Live365, for example, I get the message that
> my Squeezebox was not found. If I use the remote to access internet
> radio everything works fine. If I want to use the SlimServer I have to
> use the remote and connect to the SlimServer. Is there anyway to access
> internet radio using SlimServer? This is important to me since I am
> blind and am using a screen reader to access the Squeezebox so the
> remote is useless to me. Thanks for any assistance.
>

aubuti
2006-12-10, 11:59
This extra cost is not clear to me, current product request an extra "brain" that can be either your PC or a tweeked NAS, so you already pay (by putting your PC at disposal) some extra money to have Slim products be able to play your music. What I'm requesting is simply to get a product that is able to play my music in stand alone …and I'm ready to pay an extra for that.
This is particularly right when running only one Slim product, the wast of money, energy and time spend to setup and maintain a server is just the blocker.
Huh? You say "This extra cost is not clear to me..." and then say "I'm ready to pay an extra for that". Good luck.