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iainshaw
2007-05-15, 12:23
I'd like a view from community members on the suitability of this platform for professional installations. I'm really intesrested in the Transporter for use in installations where nobody in the house has loyalty / patience / alliegance to the SB / Slimserver / Transporter platform

I'm a long term member of this list / forum. I stopped posting when I just got too hacked off with some of the overly evangelical postings and feedback you can get here.

I've always loved the promise of what the combination of firmware and software can do. I've bought 3 x SliMP3s and 2 x SB2s in the past and I continue to run a SB2.

What I've recoiled from is the instability of the platform. I experienced it myself over a two year period of running it as a happy hacker and I was OK with it but my family thought it crap. I've now lapsed. My question is "Is this hardware / software platform ready for use in anything other than a hacker / hobbyist arena"

NONE of the above is flamebait. I'd like some proper feedback.

amcluesent
2007-05-15, 12:31
I think the jury will be out until slimserver 7.x appears. 6.5.x wasn't properly tested IMHO and has left that ragged edge of bugs and flaky plug-ins which only informed users find acceptable. But that said, I reckon a pro install of 6.5.2 with a locked-down NAS box and stable wi-fi would run fine.

tomjtx
2007-05-15, 12:41
I'm not a techie and there was a bit of learning curve.

But I've not had any trouble (knock on wood) :-)

My 14 year old uses it w/o trouble as well

iainshaw
2007-05-15, 12:47
I'm not a techie and there was a bit of learning curve.

But I've not had any trouble (knock on wood) :-)

My 14 year old uses it w/o trouble as well

I am a techie and that was the issue. I could forgive it far too much, but in my market you just can't. if it's flakey, then it's flakey and that means it doesn't get specced in

Kyle
2007-05-15, 13:00
Wired only, SB always on and server always on, maybe. At least you should avoid any login or network issues. That setup should be stable enough.

Russell
2007-05-15, 13:05
Hard wired, no other apps, and always on, and there are still times I would
trade the SQ for a multi-CD player.

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kyle" <Kyle.2qn4ub1179259501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
To: <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: [slim] Suitability for use in professional installations


>
> Wired only, SB always on and server always on, maybe. At least you
> should avoid any login or network issues. That setup should be stable
> enough.
>
>
> --
> Kyle
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Kyle's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=2541
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=35307
>
>

iainshaw
2007-05-15, 14:00
Hard wired, no other apps, and always on, and there are still times I would
trade the SQ for a multi-CD player.


Yes, that's the issue. You just don't get that kind of feedback generally from Sonos users and we sell n Sonos (where n is a large number)

I'd really appreciate the views of some of the stalwarts of this list / forum.

badbob
2007-05-15, 14:12
I think it's stable when the SB and SS are already on, and left on. ie it was working for yonks, I then took my PC round to demo and it crashed twice when switching it back on. Didn't change any settings, using exact same hardware.

mherger
2007-05-15, 14:13
> I'd really appreciate the views of some of the stalwarts of this list /
> forum.

Ok, I could tell you the story about my SlimServer driving half a dozen
players wired and wirelessly (from SliMP3 to Transporter) for months
without failing. We're relying on it as our alarm clock every day. Or tell
you about a handicapped relative who can't control a device but with his
headtracking system. I've installed a SB3 (wireless) for him half a year
ago and didn't get but raving feedback (He's using the Touch skin on his
laptop).

I'm sorry, but it really just works for me, my family and friends. It must
be my karma :-)

Michael

Pale Blue Ego
2007-05-15, 14:27
I've had excellent stability and no functionality issues running the latest official releases. Dedicated server running headless Linux, serving to 1 Slimp3, 1 SB1, and 3 SB3s.

Previously, I would stay 6 months or more behind the current release, just to be safe. But since 5.4.1 and later, I've had excellent results installing each official release.

I'm also running 7 or 8 plugins, including some fairly invasive ones like TrackStat and Dynamic PLaylist.

fred7
2007-05-15, 14:32
This is an absolutely great product for me. That being said, I am a computer programmer. I have run into issues that I had to spend a lot of time on but didn't mind too much because I enjoy the SB3 so much. I think that the current version of SS is rather stable but does have some issues. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless they have some computer experience beyond surfing the Internet. I bought a SB3 for my brother and he loves his but he is not a computer guy. I've had to fix a few things with SS/SB for him. I will say that some of the problems that are run into are beyond the control of Slimdevices such as all of the different types of wireless problems that can occur (I haven't counted those problems in my judgement of SS's slight lack of ease of maintenance). I think that for SS/SB to be completely mainstream a custom packaged SS music server would have to be offered. The Infrant ReadyNAS, while a great unit for what it is, is very poor at running SS. It also cannot be used for ripping music. (I own a 2TB ReadyNAS). On the other hand the market for the current setup is fairly large because there are a lot of people with just enough computer knowledge to use it.

iainshaw
2007-05-15, 14:33
don't be sorry Michael, it's useful feedback. I'm not looking to provoke a scrap, I'm trying to get a feel if this product can be used in professional installs with any confidence. My experience to date says it can't, but the appeal is still there.

There has to be some appeal. Here is a product sold to the general public, requiring installation of a 3rd party server, with an active community who regularly bitch about it... I don't know many Consumer Electronics products that could survice with that CV but this one does. And is it a piece of CE? Sure it is, that's why it's sold in shops...and online...and without a custom installer to make it work....Jack

adamslim
2007-05-15, 14:47
I have good stability running two SBs wirelessly. Now it is set up well, they just work. If you are doing the setup, and can also set up a PC to run stably for months, I would see no problem.

All problems are in the setup. Updates can be a hassle too, as it seems to forget some important settings (e.g. running as a service, autostarting with Windows).

Also, check out the problems with the firmware updating with Squeezenetwork. You may wish to disable Squeezenetwork as support of this may be an issue. I would have thought that AlienBBC plus the main files would be good for most.

Adam

bklaas
2007-05-15, 15:17
It is my belief that the really big issues that people encounter tend to be when they're trying to extend Slimserver to do this or that. Extending Slimserver through plugins, hacks, etc. is one of the coolest parts of Slimserver, but it's also where instability can make easy inroads.

Slimserver does a ton of stuff. If you just want it to play (reasonably tagged) mp3s reliably, it will absolutely do that, in a very stable manner. Use Linux as your server platform and your stability goes that much higher (there could be a whole separate thread as to whether Microsoft Windows is suitable for use in professional installations; I'm just sayin). When using Slimserver in this fashion, which is most of the time, my slimserver never ever crashes.

That said, I screw with my slimserver installation frequently. I install plugins, I hack the code, I bounce back and forth between 6.5 and 7.x, I try playing weird files, etc. As such, I have crashed it many times. And I thank slimdevices for allowing for me to cause these problems (not kidding).

#!/ben

shake-the-disease
2007-05-15, 15:31
I've run an SB1 for 3 years. The only instability problems I've had have been related to wireless reception issues and bedding in SS on a new NAS.

IMHO once a SB is wired and the server isn't tinkered with it is a very stable platform.

desertrat58
2007-05-15, 16:23
I use SoftSqueeze with SS on my office/server PC to play tunes on my office stereo. I stream the signal wirelessly to a Transporter in the living room.

The wireless connection has had no problem at all. Sometimes SS can't get its act together with SoftSqueeze, however, and doesen't show me both players properly until I mess around awhile. I power my PC down nightly, and settings seem to be forgotten upon restart. When I have left things on for several days, however, things seem pretty stable.

I almost didn't buy a Transporter because of SlimServer. I had previously demoed a SB3 and returned it, wanting the better SQ of the Transporter. When I reread the Stereophile review again, however, I simply had to pull the trigger. Hopefully version 7 will change things immensely.

I'm no programmer (anymore or ever again). For crissakes, how hard can it be to make a skin look nice and professional? It's almost like SlimDevices doesen't care.

JJZolx
2007-05-15, 16:53
I'd like a view from community members on the suitability of this platform for professional installations. I'm really intesrested in the Transporter for use in installations where nobody in the house has loyalty / patience / alliegance to the SB / Slimserver / Transporter platform

Excellent question. I think your observations, though, are sound. When the system works, it works quite well. When it doesn't, it can get ugly.

I'd be very hesitant to install one professionally. If you could control EVERY aspect of the installation and much of it's _use_ then it would be easy. You install the boxes, the wireless access points, even the Ethernet cabling. You buy and install the server computer, and you install the SlimServer software on that computer. You configure it all, and (maybe most importantly) you control every damned file that goes into the music library and make sure that every one is tagged perfectly. How practical is that?

With even a mildly problematic installation the support costs would eat you up.

peterw
2007-05-15, 17:05
I'm no programmer (anymore or ever again). For crissakes, how hard can it be to make a skin look nice and professional? It's almost like SlimDevices doesen't care.

Could you post some URLs of web sites that demonstrate what you think are "nice and professional" skins/layouts/etc.? I keep seeing complaints like this, but not suggestions about what the web UI ought to look like, nor even much detail on what's wrong with the current web skins...

-Peter (just a customer)

Wirrunna
2007-05-15, 17:24
Iainshaw, if you are not in Australia and therefore not competing in the small market down here, have a talk to Len Wallis Audio, as they are selling the Transporter professionally. http://www.lenwallisaudio.com/products/details.php?pid=1312 .

amcluesent
2007-05-15, 22:49
>Could you post some URLs of web sites that demonstrate what you think are "nice and professional" <

Because they've gone all out to get classical music handled properly, Fortuna Classical http://www.fortunaclassical.com/5-3-06/maestro/interface.cfm?movie=search

And OrangeCD http://www.firetongue.com/screens.html. OK it's a client app. but nothing that couldn't be done with Web 2.0 (AJAX etc.)

iainshaw
2007-05-15, 23:55
Iainshaw, if you are not in Australia and therefore not competing in the small market down here, have a talk to Len Wallis Audio, as they are selling the Transporter professionally. http://www.lenwallisaudio.com/products/details.php?pid=1312 .

thanks I will.

Is anyone aware of anyone doing it in the UK? I know there is a rebadged SB3 that features in the MediaMax range of products and I'd be interested in any experience people have had.

cliveb
2007-05-16, 01:07
I'm trying to get a feel if this product can be used in professional installs with any confidence.
By "professional installs", you're referring to setting it up for a paying customer and then expecting it to work for them when they're on their own, right? A number of things strike me:

1. Don't install Slimserver on a general-purpose computer the customer owns. One day he will install some software or hardware on it and destabilise the thing. You'll need to supply a dedicated server.

2. Even if you get a wireless installation going rock-steady, the minute your back's turned someone next door will fire up some device that will kill it. Use wired unless it's absolutely impossible.

3. The biggest barrier to the man in the street being able to cope with a system like this is getting his CDs ripped and tagged. The average joe doesn't understand that audio CDs don't have the necessary data on them. They'll be bemused why they need an internet connection to get the tags, and even more irritated that the tags are often wrong or misspelled. You say you do a lot of Sonos installs: how do you cope with this issue in those cases?

4. Expect to get lots of after-sales support calls. And of course, the majority of them come from the most clueless customers who simply cannot grasp simple things you try and explain to them. Perhaps you should make potential customers take a test before agreeing to install a system like this for them :-)

Conclusion: perhaps it's not worth the trouble.

FWIW, my Slimserver setup has always worked like a charm, even though it's running on a low-end (533MHx mini-ITX) Windows 2000 box that is also the general household server running Apache, Oracle, VPOP3, a number of bespoke services, and a couple of printers. I don't run the latest release (currently on 6.5.1).

Patrick Dixon
2007-05-16, 01:09
thanks I will.

Is anyone aware of anyone doing it in the UK? I know there is a rebadged SB3 that features in the MediaMax range of products and I'd be interested in any experience people have had.

Yes, we've done some and we also make the SB+.

I think the biggest issues are:-

a) networking - issues with routers, wireless, PC updates etc. Most ordinary people struggle with just keeping their PC and broadband connection working.

b) ripping and tagging new music

c) iPod integration

steve4586
2007-05-16, 01:26
Although SlimServer is interesting to install (under linux) it presented very few difficulties in actual fact. Any limitations or problems were more related to my level of linux experience. I have not had any significant problems running the system since installation.

My Slimserver is not on all the time (I feel too guilty about the power consumption of my old NAS), so it is only fired up when needed. My SBs are wireless and I have hardly every had a problem that was not caused by my own stupidity! Having said this I am having major problems with Internet radio both on the SlimServer and Squeeze Network, although is more of an ISP problem.

upstatemike
2007-05-16, 05:09
I run 14 players with very few problems. Main issue is synced players sometimes get stuck and have to be restarted. Never any problems if not synced.

Players are all wired (never saw the point of a wireless product that is tethered to power and audio connections anyway). I run my server 24/7. My players display the weather/time plugin when idle which is VERY nice and I imagine would look good to a prospective customer.

Looked at Sonos but did not like the "display on the remote" paradigm. The remote is never left where you can easily reach it the next time, display is only visible if you stop what you are doing and pick it up, etc.

Squeezebox: Visible to anyone in the romm from anywhere in the room, can have (afford) as many remotes as convenience requires, displays useful information when idle, (weather/time or other options) and is more attractive than Sonos (which is styled like an oversized iPod).

sfraser
2007-05-16, 11:12
You mentioned using the transporter VS SB3's for pro installs? I have not heard any comments regarding the Trans being any more reliable than the SB3? I would think the price point would make SB3's more attractive for multiple pro installs? In my opinion most problems have been on the back end (Slim Server). From what I understand it is the same for both units , after 6.50 or so? I have had a enough issues, usually a stop/start of SS or a reboot of either the Server platform or the SB will fix it . I agree with the earlier poster, who mentioned the use of a dedicated platform, otherwise it would b a "bear" to support, and you may even get dragged in regarding problems with other applications running on a non dedicated platform.

xio
2007-05-16, 12:19
I run a mix of slimp3 through to SB3's and the only one that *ever* gives issues is the wireless one, so I'd agree there. I also run a dedicated linux box that just works. I never touch it. I also have a ups on the server and would definitely recommend it - short power cuts it rides through and longer ones you're guaranteed a clean shutdown. Given that it's running headless I think a clean shutdown is very important. With the setup I have, if anything goes wrong you always have the option of power cycling the server, and that is just about the only acceptable level of user involvement I'd like anyone else to have.

I think the one thing that kills the pro-install is the ripping process - it's never not ugly. While I wouldn't condone Apple's 'own the whole process' ideology much, you can't deny that's a huge factor in their success. How you'd make it that simple though I don't know.

peter
2007-05-17, 00:15
shake-the-disease wrote:
> I've run an SB1 for 3 years. The only instability problems I've had have
> been related to wireless reception issues and bedding in SS on a new
> NAS.
>
> IMHO once a SB is wired and the server isn't tinkered with it is a very
> stable platform.
>

Problem is that the end user will need a way to rip his CD's to the
thing. I'd use a small headless Linux server preferable booting from CD
that just stores its configuration and music on the hard disk. For
ripping you could:
- Use an external USB disk that's plugged into a PC whenever the library
needs maintenance.
- Use an attached CD drive and setup some automatic ripping (needs
Internet for cddb access)
- Connect to the customer's LAN and allow him to rip to a network share.

I guess you can't do much without connecting to the Internet. I think
using two separate LAN interfaces, one to connect to the SB's and one to
connect to the Internet could be a good thing. That way you won't run
into too many networking issues. Use non-public network numbers on the
SB-LAN to a void IP conclicts (yeah, that sounds strange, but if you use
192.168.*.* or 10.*.*.* you're sure to run into problems a lot. If you
use 1.1.1.* you'll be alright). The Internet interface use DHCP to
configure and gives access to a (SMB) disk share and the slimserver web
interface.

Just some thoughts...

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-05-17, 07:42
peterw wrote:
> desertrat58;202252 Wrote:
>
>> I'm no programmer (anymore or ever again). For crissakes, how hard can
>> it be to make a skin look nice and professional? It's almost like
>> SlimDevices doesen't care.
>>
>
> Could you post some URLs of web sites that demonstrate what you think
> are "nice and professional" skins/layouts/etc.? I keep seeing
> complaints like this, but not suggestions about what the web UI ought
> to look like, nor even much detail on what's wrong with the current web
> skins...
>

I figure a 'real' client, like a better Moose would be the way to go.
Web pages are still lacking in speed and interactivity.

Regards,
Peter

Pale Blue Ego
2007-05-17, 09:09
A dedicated headless Linux server would be the most stable and maint-free hardware setup.

You could either use Samba to allow the music drive to appear in Windows Network Neighborhood, or avoid Samba altogether and let the user transfer new music to the server using WinSCP.

As for control and maint from a Windows computer, you can set up puTTY to connect to a Linux user account, and set up various .bashrc aliases to do the basic stuff. A few aliases could let the clients do what they need with slimserver without having to know anything about Linux:

lockmusic
unlockmusic
slimstart
slimstop
slimrestart

Setting up a remote login for each server would let you administer all the client systems without leaving your office. You could install plugins, upgrade to new versions of slimserver, troubleshoot by examining logs, even do stuff like applying ReplayGain tags to the entire library or creating an mp3 mirror library from FLACs for use in portable players.

You could set up a cron job to sync the library to a client's backup drive every night. Even better might be a service where you mirror the client's library to an external drive when you first set the server up, then keep the mirrored drive at your office and sync it over the internet every night. A complete, bit-perfect, off-site backup would protect the client not only against the eventual drive failure, but also against theft, fire, and other disasters.

peter
2007-05-17, 10:34
upstatemike wrote:
> Players are all wired (never saw the point of a wireless product that
> is tethered to power and audio connections anyway). I run my server
>

Yes, unfortunately, fullly wired houses are rare. I post-wired my house
for cat5, but with concrete wall not all spots can be easily reached.
I'm glad I can use wireless to avoid an unsightly 12m run of ethernet
cable through my living room.

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-05-17, 11:10
Pale Blue Ego wrote:
> A dedicated headless Linux server would be the most stable and
> maint-free hardware setup.
>
> You could either use Samba to allow the music drive to appear in
> Windows Network Neighborhood, or avoid Samba altogether and let the
> user transfer new music to the server using WinSCP.
>
> As for control and maint from a Windows computer, you can set up puTTY
> to connect to a Linux user account, and set up various .bashrc aliases
> to do the basic stuff. A few aliases could let the clients do what
> they need with slimserver without having to know anything about Linux:
>
> lockmusic
> unlockmusic
> slimstart
> slimstop
> slimrestart
>
> Setting up a remote login for each server would let you administer all
> the client systems without leaving your office. You could install
> plugins, upgrade to new versions of slimserver, troubleshoot by
> examining logs, even do stuff like applying ReplayGain tags to the
> entire library or creating an mp3 mirror library from FLACs for use in
> portable players.
>
> You could set up a cron job to sync the library to a client's backup
> drive every night. Even better might be a service where you mirror the
> client's library to an external drive when you first set the server up,
> then keep the mirrored drive at your office and sync it over the
> internet every night. A complete, bit-perfect, off-site backup would
> protect the client not only against the eventual drive failure, but
> also against theft, fire, and other disasters.
>
>

You could do it the other way around and rip the client's CD's for him
on your server. Than let the client automatically sync to the server.
That way when two clients own the same CD (something that will happen a
lot) you only have to rip it once. I believe SD had a
rip-your-collection service once, but this would be a networked one.

Regards,
Peter

amcluesent
2007-05-17, 11:24
Wi-fi could be the killer. In my flat, there are 7-12 SSIDs in the air at any one time and the wi-fi performance varies by the hour of day. Imagine getting a call for stuttering/connection problems and trying to "debug" in such a variable situation.

Maybe Sonos had a good reason for using a proprietary 'mesh' for their wireless?

Plus messing about with storage. At least in the UK, I've yet so see a developer offer a new built apartment block with a shared multi-Tb NAS in the basement, will full management and remote backup. Soon...

mecouc
2007-05-17, 11:28
Homeplug is the way to go - it's generally much more reliable than wireless.

simbo
2007-05-17, 11:45
Homeplug is the way to go - it's generally much more reliable than wireless.
Agree that Homeplugs are more reliable, however a "rogue" device, such as an ill-tempered washing machine or cantankerous TV, can cause enough disruption to the signal to render it useless*. In a professional installation you can't really tell your client to replace their domestic appliances so they can listen to music. Not ruling it out, just advising a test before committing.

* in fact I've noticed I get a significant drop in performance if my SB3 is too close to a Homeplug!

Pale Blue Ego
2007-05-18, 19:20
You could do it the other way around and rip the client's CD's for him on your server. Than let the client automatically sync to the server. That way when two clients own the same CD (something that will happen a lot) you only have to rip it once. I believe SD had a
rip-your-collection service once, but this would be a networked one.

Regards,
Peter

I was thinking about that. If you had complete mirrors of a dozen large music collections, you could offer a ripping service and rarely have to actually rip!

peterw
2007-05-18, 20:59
Agree that Homeplugs are more reliable, however a "rogue" device, such as an ill-tempered washing machine or cantankerous TV, can cause enough disruption to the signal to render it useless*.
...

* in fact I've noticed I get a significant drop in performance if my SB3 is too close to a Homeplug!

I've only tried one vendor's "85 Mbps" gear, but in a house with new (< 5 years old) wiring, I'd only get about 11 Mbps between the two Homeplug devices, and therefore about 1500 kbps or less on the Network Test. That's half what I get with 802.11g in the same location. It bugged me that the Homeplug devices had to go straight into the wall outlet -- I worried that a surge might not only fry the HomePlug gear, but also traverse the cat5 cable and harm the much more expensive Squeezebox. I found the gear to be darn picky, too. I planned to use a grounded extension cord, plug the HomePlug adapter straight into the extension cord and then use separate cheap surge protectors for the SB2 and amp -- but plugging the cheap surge protector in next to the HomePlug device on that cord wiped out the HomePlug network. I had to put the HomePlug adapter halfway across the room and run ethernet cable back to the Squeezebox.

The only thing HomePlug offered me was immunity to RF leakage from my microwave oven (which does wipe out wifi for the nearest Squeezebox) and the ability to remove the antenna from my SB2, but that wasn't enough to justify the cost & ugliness of the HomePlug gear, not for me, anyhow.

-Peter

Mark Lanctot
2007-05-19, 07:50
I've only tried one vendor's "85 Mbps" gear, but in a house with new (< 5 years old) wiring, I'd only get about 11 Mbps between the two Homeplug devices, and therefore about 1500 kbps or less on the Network Test. That's half what I get with 802.11g in the same location. It bugged me that the Homeplug devices had to go straight into the wall outlet -- I worried that a surge might not only fry the HomePlug gear, but also traverse the cat5 cable and harm the much more expensive Squeezebox. I found the gear to be darn picky, too. I planned to use a grounded extension cord, plug the HomePlug adapter straight into the extension cord and then use separate cheap surge protectors for the SB2 and amp -- but plugging the cheap surge protector in next to the HomePlug device on that cord wiped out the HomePlug network. I had to put the HomePlug adapter halfway across the room and run ethernet cable back to the Squeezebox.

The only thing HomePlug offered me was immunity to RF leakage from my microwave oven (which does wipe out wifi for the nearest Squeezebox) and the ability to remove the antenna from my SB2, but that wasn't enough to justify the cost & ugliness of the HomePlug gear, not for me, anyhow.

-Peter

Are you in North America? There's a reason it's hard to find and not very popular here, it doesn't perform well using North American wiring designs and standards.

Almost all of the HomePlug success stories come from the UK and Europe.

peterw
2007-05-19, 09:34
Are you in North America? There's a reason it's hard to find and not very popular here, it doesn't perform well using North American wiring designs and standards.

Almost all of the HomePlug success stories come from the UK and Europe.

Yes, I'm in the United States.

iainshaw
2007-05-19, 15:04
thanks to everyone participating in this thread. I'm ordering a Transporter for us and will reserve judgement for wider use. I still think there is a question mark over SS itself but that didn't come through. That's good, I will run and evaluate it

bolfings
2007-05-19, 17:00
I'm not a pro or a programmer, but I had SS running on a kurobox at home without a single hiccup/problem/error for maybe a year, just following threads on the web to assemble it and set it up. It automatically restarted anytime there was a power issue, it always connected (except for the time my router died), it was easy to use, and I had no real problems with the server software or the SB3s connected to it. It was a little slow with 16,000 songs in it, and I also discovered that I had no skills at Linux server management, could never get the date and time set right, nor could I hook up a USB drive to the Kuro to back it up or to rip CDs without another PC. These issues are what drove me to buy a Mac mini a couple weeks ago. Anyone need a Kurobox?

The set-up on the mini was so fast and straightforward, so plain easy that I really thought I had not done everything - except it worked flawlessly. Then I realized I'd set the whole thing up wirelessly, and actually wanted to have it run wired. SO, I redid it and had it working almost perfectly - I've discovered I need to learn more about the Macs firewall before I turn it on again. Thats the scary thing about Macs - I had all this stuff working before I even had time to think about it. And I hadn't used a Mac since OSX came out -

The issues with Slimserver and Squeezeboxes are mostly customer driven I believe. It does what it does extremely well - unfortunately the users don't live up to the same standard. My problems cannot be blamed on the server software, or the SB's - My problems stem from playing with ripping software and tagging issues and cover art and add-ins and from trying to do a little more with the music than just listen to it. Maybe Slim could make it less flexible and remove alot of the openings that allow it to be ported to so many different pieces of hardware and work with so many file types - but I'm kinda glad they haven't.

Can it be used professionally? Depends on what you mean - I have another server and SB2 running in my hardware store 10 hrs /day, 360 days / year, for a few years now, and customers ask about it almost every day - I have a couple dozen employees making up all kinds of playlists, tuning in all kinds of odd stuff off the Slimnetwork, and I could even say that most of my employees learn how to use the Slimserver faster and easier than they do my PointOfSale system, and that they get specific training on. I can even go so far as to say that my Slimserver has had fewer issues or problems with all these people playing with it, than my locked-down POS / SBS2003 server has had with only "professionals" working on it -

I can't imagine getting anything better for less from anyone else - but I'd love to hear what you end up deciding is "better" for your uses. I am always willing to learn a little more -