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jsunandmax
2007-03-07, 23:02
Just thought i would post my experience here and share with everyone....

I purchased my Squeezebox about a month ago and hooked it up to my single, older (5 years) PC wireless to a bedroom system. I immediatly had two problems:

1. years of .mp3 collecting was worthless when amplified over a mid-quality (Naim) amplifier and speakers.

2. as many here have reported, i would get hitching, studdering, poor remote response and lost connections. It worked fine for the first week, then these problems occured.

I realized a single purchase would solve both these issues as well as provide an expandable/flexible storage option. I knew i wanted NAS device so after much research and a recommendation from an IT professional buddy, i went with the Infrant ReadyNAS+ http://www.infrant.com/wiki/index.php/Home and a single 750gb drive. It comes with slimserver installed.

Dream to setup, i just slapped a drive in, pluged it to my PC (Cat 6 gigabit ethernet of course). I began re-ripping all my CDs to .flac (with Audio Converter Studio http://www.maniactools.com/soft/converter/index.shtml?Ref=5.4&b=5400 ) and BAM! It has been working SOLID, like a dream for 2 weeks straight! No resets or dropped connections, no hitching etc. The .flac sounds like heaven even compared to high bitrate .mp3 (as has been discussed on these forums also).

Last weekend i picked up another 750gb, so now i have full redundancy. So nice to feel my data (music only) is backed up!

The system seems pretty expandable. Future plans:

- outboard DAC for even better sound (still researching)
- additional 750s, of course. That ReadyNAS maxes out at ~3T but you can chain them, or eventually they will probably have firmware update for 4x 1T drives.
- more squeezeboxes around the house! (it will be interesting to see if i run into 8011.g bandwidth issues piping those fat .flacs to more than 1 squeezebox simultanious). I realy can't run ethernet cable everywhere, so i'm looking into the 'ethernet-over-power' solution if this becomes necesssary.

Anyway, enough ramblings. I'm still a newbie, but figured those even newer might appreciate hearing about my path and current EXTREME happiness with the product and it's deployment environment.

ohyeah, Bit Torrent is the greatest thing since .html :)

cheers!

-jason

agentsmith
2007-03-08, 00:13
I am interested in a similar solution. Just wondering if you could share your experience a bit more:

1. Speed - How do you find the performance, in terms of responding to your remote control and to the web interface?

2. Ease of use and install. Do you need to well versed in Linux to install Slimserver upgrades or to install addons?

3. Noise level - how quiet is this unit? Does it have a fan?

BTW, I am also a long time Naim user (Still own a Nait 2)

alextegg
2007-03-08, 02:25
What were you ripping to?

I experimented extensively with options before ripping my collection, which I play back through my Naim solution.

I have found that 320k bit rate with VBR gives insignificant difference to Lossless formats, but with a significant space saving. Now that discs are so much cheaper if I were starting again I would probably go lossless to future proof myself, but not because I could really tell the diff.

It's just too much effort to go back over my (huge) collection to re-rip it now that disc costs are largely irrelevant.

There is also the separate issue that I use my collection extensively for remote streaming and for playing on an iPod, both of which wouldn't work well with higher bit rates or lossless.

Skunk
2007-03-08, 09:29
BAM! It has been working SOLID, like a dream for 2 weeks straight! No resets or dropped connections, no hitching etc.


I had a similar experience when I upgraded my PC. Going from a 1.33GHz AMD to a 1.87GHz Intel with the same amt of RAM (512), shouldn't have made much of a difference- so I attribute it mostly to the fresh copy of the same OS (win2k).

A variable that made the comparison impossible for me was an upgrade from 6.3 to 6.5 around the same time, which seemed to give performance improvements as well.

At any rate, it's good to hear from happy campers. Enjoy!

jsunandmax
2007-03-08, 09:44
I feel your pain on the 're-ripping' thing. Thankfully(?) my ex wife stole about 1000 CD's in my divorce so I only have maybe 80 left, so it wasn't TOO bad but still took forever. LOL!

As mentioned, i ripped to .flac format. For playing on portable devices, i'm going to setup that Perl script flac2mp3 to run at night and auto-convert & mirror to .mp3. I'm sure others have done this but I haven't read a post here about it explicitely.

Here's some details/numbers:

- running average of 65% signal strength
- browse exclusively with remote Music Folder feature (haven't messed with tags and genre and all that). The response time is not PERFECT i should say. I can wait ~3-4 seconds sometimes after pushing Play for a song to start. This is acceptable to me.

- noise on the Infrant is low. i have it about 2 feet from my PC and the PC fan dwarfs it, so i cannot hear the ReadyNAS at all. Not sure how offensive it would be alone in a 'listening room'. (it is a lot smaller than it looks online, its only as long as a size 9 shoe). search 'noise' on the Infrant wiki for more...


-install for ReadyNAS was a dream. You literally run their software and there is a checkbox for Slimserver. You check it, it runs, i have never looked back. It has been running SOLID now for about 8 days. I dont know bupkis about linux, and haven't had to (yet). They auto-map directories Music, Video and Photo at the root level and you can just access that from Windows/Mac. One strange thing is it looks like you HAVE to use their /c/media/Music folder or Slimserver wont find your tunes. I have another post on this forum where that one tripped me up pretty good...

-web interface response is what i would call OK. I dont like the web interface and dont use it much (except for the ever-popular 'refresh library'). ReadyNAS is SATA 1, so its not the most blindingly fast solution, but its also pretty cost effective (although guys like Netgear now offer cheaper but less expansive solutions). I'm not a NAS expert.

Anyway, hope this helps!

jsunandmax
2007-03-08, 12:17
agentsmith, how do you like this? what kind of actual bandwidth are you getting? did you try wireless first then arrive at the PoE solution?

azinck3
2007-03-08, 12:33
agentsmith, how do you like this? what kind of actual bandwidth are you getting? did you try wireless first then arrive at the PoE solution?

FYI - power over ethernet is entirely different from powerline networking (which is what agentsmith seems to be using). Power over ethernet transmits power via ethernet cables while powerline networking transmits data via your house's power outlets.

jsunandmax
2007-03-08, 17:20
thanks, i meant powerline networkin not PoE....

lyteroptes
2007-03-09, 02:37
I've just installed powerline networking to get around a wireless performance problem I was having - took 5 mins to install and works well. The specifications say that they can't be plugged into surge protected extension blocks though.

agentsmith
2007-03-09, 06:03
agentsmith, how do you like this? what kind of actual bandwidth are you getting? did you try wireless first then arrive at the PoE solution?

I tried another brand of Homeplug (Aztec) and the connection kept dropping off when I tried at home so I ended up returning it.

The Panasonic works like a charm, it is twice the price of the other products, but it boasts 180Mbps thruput, and it looks sexier:) I did have problem initially when plugged it into an APC power bar with surge protection. After plugging it into the wall they worked perfectly. I did not test thruput but I can post results once I get around experimenting with it. I do know that when tested with the SB3 LAN test plugin, I get 500,000 MegaBytes per seconds with 100% success rate most of the time. On a bad day it does sometimes drop to 70% with 500,000 MBps though.

Installation is mainly plug and play if you buy a pair since they are "paired" from the factory. But adding new ones requires a plugging them in side by side and push a few button. Reason for that is they have built in security to avoid someone having access to your powerline to eavesdrop. Very good idea, dont think the other brands have it.

I am using a mixture of wireless LAN and powerline. Wireless LAN mainly for the living room which is where my broadband originates. Wifi keeps dropping off in the bedroom which is 2 concrete walls away. So I was dying to get Powerline networking working at all cost. The main objective is to put my NAS storage and laptop server in the bedroom, away from the stereo so I can have peace and quiet. Now it is working like a charm.

I can now stream 24bit/96Khz WAV files with no problem whatsoever. Touch wood because I just got it working yesterday. Hope it lasts.

ceejay
2007-03-09, 06:52
I do know that when tested with the SB3 LAN test plugin, I get 500,000 MegaBytes per seconds with 100% success rate most of the time. On a bad day it does sometimes drop to 70% with 500,000 MBps though.



I'm thinking there are some misplaced zeroes here ... the ethernet interface on the SB has a max of 100 Mbits/sec, or around 12 Mbyte/sec.

50 Mbits/sec, or 50,000 kbits/sec, is a more likely result...

Ceejay

Mark Lanctot
2007-03-09, 13:00
Good to hear you're pleased and having fun, and I don't mean to burst your bubble, just to help...


Last weekend i picked up another 750gb, so now i have full redundancy. So nice to feel my data (music only) is backed up!

What would happen if:

- the Infrant's power supply dies, sending out a power surge as it does? (It has happened.) Both drives could be damaged.

- you get a virus? The array would happily copy it onto the redundant drive as well.

- you accidentally delete something you didn't want to? Both drives in the array would reflect the change, you couldn't go back.

- you have a house fire? All gone.

RAID isn't really a backup. It's for server availability, so that you can keep a server up if one of the drives fail.

A good, practical solution is the use of an external drive in a USB enclosure with periodic manual backups. The further away you store the drive, the better protected you'll be. You could back up over your network as well, and you can automate the process, although that doesn't address several of the failure modes proposed above.

This gets tricky once the drives get full though, but hopefully by then there will be 1 TB drives.

peter
2007-03-09, 14:39
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> A good, practical solution is the use of an external drive in a USB
> enclosure with periodic manual backups. The further away you store
> the drive, the better protected you'll be. You could back up over your
> network as well, and you can automate the process, although that doesn't
> address several of the failure modes proposed above.
>

It does if you use snapshots: http://www.rsnapshot.org/

Regards,
Peter

Pale Blue Ego
2007-03-09, 21:48
I have found that 320k bit rate with VBR gives insignificant difference to Lossless formats, but with a significant space saving. Now that discs are so much cheaper if I were starting again I would probably go lossless to future proof myself, but not because I could really tell the diff.

Just a side note - there's no such thing as 320kb VBR. If you're at 320, that is the highest bitrate supported by mp3. Since each sample is at 320kb, it's technically CBR.

I agree that 320kb mp3 is very difficult to distinguish from the original WAV, and is a nice compromise as far as saving drive space and using with portable players. You aren't missing much, if anything, by using 320kb mp3.

I use powerline networking on 2 of my SB3s and it works perfectly. Netgear XE-102 only has 14 mbps speed, but that's plenty even for 24/96 audio. The XE-102s include a little Windows application which lets you test the throughput speed and also encrypts the network with a password.

agentsmith
2007-03-10, 09:19
I'm thinking there are some misplaced zeroes here ... the ethernet interface on the SB has a max of 100 Mbits/sec, or around 12 Mbyte/sec.

50 Mbits/sec, or 50,000 kbits/sec, is a more likely result...

Ceejay

I meant 500 KBytes/sec. Which was the maximum shown in the LAN test plug in.