PDA

View Full Version : Why I want a stand-alone, slim, Slim Server!



nicketynick
2007-06-25, 10:27
Because, once again, I am without my SB3's, because the machine I run SlimServer on is out for repair! I use this machine for too many other things, and somehow keep managing to break it! If I could get a $200 box that I plug into my network, plug in a USB drive with music, configure Slimserver via a browser interface, (basically a better spec'ed NSLU2 with Slimserver preloaded) and forget it, I'd be a happy man. At least then the only way I could break it was when I was trying to do something to Slimserver!
There's just too much complexity in an all-purpose PC....(and temptation to muck about with it......)

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 10:35
nicketynick wrote:
> If I could get a $200
> box that I plug into my network, plug in a USB drive with music,

A good friend of mine just built a suitable system for $120 and some old
parts.

> There's just too much complexity in an all-purpose PC....(and
> temptation to muck about with it......)

So doctor doctor, don't do that.

Just get a cheap PC and don't mess with it.

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

bklaas
2007-06-25, 10:47
seconding Pat.

buy a cheapo system like the one of the ones listed here
http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=SYS

Considering your stated needs, $200 actually sounds *high* for what you want.

put ubuntu on it, hook up external HDs via USB, install slimserver, run it headless in a closet, and be done with it.

The only thing that a NAS is going to give you over this is lower power consumption, but it's going to be frustratingly slow, esp. at the price point you are interested in.

good luck,
#!/ben

4mula1
2007-06-25, 10:48
I run SlimServer on an Athlon 800MHz box I made from spare parts. I think I shelled out $160 for a new hard drive, more ram, and a dvd drive for it. I installed Solaris 10 and don't worry about it.

SlimServer really doesn't take that much to run, so look in the classifieds or talk to friends and pick up a used box and put something reliable on it.

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 11:06
Tried that too! Bought myself a used Netvista, put Ubuntu on it, had it running for about a week, and then it also mysteriously died! I'm having a hard time justifying spending $$ to get it up and running again (good money after bad?). There has to be a better paradigm for a rock-solid slimserver for morons like me!
I wonder if I have a gaping security hole that's getting exploited? I don't think so, since both XP and Ubuntu have crashed on me.....

mswlogo
2007-06-25, 11:20
I use a retired laptop.

Cheap, compact, battery backup, low power, sleep behaves, Wake On Lan works, wifi or wired, 1gig network, external USB drive sleeps and includes monitor, keyboard and mouse. Plenty fast for transcoding and rescans.

On the used market my retired laptop probably sells for $300.00 (Thinkpad T40p).

The network drives work but their processors are usually slow and a few Windows specific features are not available.

JJZolx
2007-06-25, 11:26
Unless you like listening to low quality Internet streams, the Squeezebox is nothing more than an expensive paperweight without a reliable server. A new $200 machine, or $120 one from spare parts does NOT spell reliable. Now, such a machine _might_ run for months or even years without a hiccup, but I wouldn't count on it.

Consider the money for a reliable 24x7 server to be a hidden cost with the Slim Devices approach.

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 11:44
Unless you like listening to low quality Internet streams, the Squeezebox is nothing more than an expensive paperweight without a reliable server. A new $200 machine, or $120 one from spare parts does NOT spell reliable. Now, such a machine _might_ run for months or even years without a hiccup, but I wouldn't count on it.

Consider the money for a reliable 24x7 server to be a hidden cost with the Slim Devices approach.

Aaah, JJZolx somewhat agrees with me, in his inimitable, charming way! So JJ, what is the investment required for a reliable 24x7 server? Is there such a thing without becoming an IS tech?
I just don't understand why Slimserver has to be any more complicated to use than a wireless router. Heck, I don't even know what half the screens inside that user interface do!

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 11:58
nicketynick wrote:
> So JJ, what is the investment required for a reliable 24x7 server? Is
> there such a thing without becoming an IS tech?

How 24x7 do you need? My old, free, PCs have acted as Slimservers for
years. I got something like 500 days continuous uptime out of one, the
current one has been up only 40 days because I moved it.


> I just don't understand why Slimserver has to be any more complicated
> to use than a wireless router.

Because it does lots more.
Just having a disk drive and dymanic web server is orders of magnitude
more work than any router does.

Transcoding, sync between players, different skins, there is lots of
stuff there.

But no one in my house sees the 'comlications' other than me, they just
use the web interface and play music.

If you want a fat device, like a Media Server, there are lots, altho
probably not many from a company originally named Slim Devices.

There are lots of posting of folks using very modest computers, mini-ITX
with Via low power CPUs, search the forum.

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

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 12:20
> I just don't understand why Slimserver has to be any more complicated
> to use than a wireless router.

Because it does lots more.
Just having a disk drive and dymanic web server is orders of magnitude
more work than any router does.

Transcoding, sync between players, different skins, there is lots of
stuff there.


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


Sorry, what I meant was 'more complicated to use' than a router. Certainly the box needs more processing power, more memory, USB input. But only a dedicated (to slimserver) user interface, and no easy access to an OS for amateurs like me to screw up! I keep bricking my SBs because I can't keep an OS running! Maybe I've just had a run of bad luck?

msherman
2007-06-25, 12:26
nicketynick wrote:
>
> Sorry, what I meant was 'more complicated to use' than a router.
> Certainly the box needs more processing power, more memory, USB input.
> But only a dedicated (to slimserver) user interface, and no easy access
> to an OS for amateurs like me to screw up! I keep bricking my SBs
> because I can't keep an OS running! Maybe I've just had a run of bad
> luck?

You should take a look at SlimCD.

http://www.herger.net/slim/detail.php?nr=763

- Marc

snarlydwarf
2007-06-25, 12:28
Sorry, what I meant was 'more complicated to use' than a router. Certainly the box needs more processing power, more memory, USB input. But only a dedicated (to slimserver) user interface, and no easy access to an OS for amateurs like me to screw up! I keep bricking my SBs because I can't keep an OS running! Maybe I've just had a run of bad luck?

Or perhaps power problems?

What caused the Linux box to die? Unless you go in and muck with things it should be fine assuming power or heat doesn't get to it.

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 12:29
nicketynick wrote:
> Sorry, what I meant was 'more complicated to use' than a router.
> Certainly the box needs more processing power, more memory, USB input.

Mine have no use for a USB port.
Internal drives are dirt cheap these days, under $100 for 500 GB.

> But only a dedicated (to slimserver) user interface, and no easy access
> to an OS for amateurs like me to screw up! I keep bricking my SBs
> because I can't keep an OS running! Maybe I've just had a run of bad
> luck?

I think you might have bad mojo around computers.
Mine just run and run. Of course, I don't run Windoze, but even
they should run for a month or more. I run all of them on a cheap UPS
and ignore them.

I think what you really want is to buy a plug-n-go SlimServer.
Perhaps Logitech will enter that business, but for me, the ability to
run on any old PC laying around was a key attraction of the SqueezeBox.
(The other being the open source server code) I would have no problem
with LogiTech or anyone else selling a plug-and-forget solution, as long
as I'm not forced to buy it as I would with several competing products
who I dare not name.

Seriously, hire a geek to setup a box for you with no monitor, no
keyboard, auto-boot, put it on a $40 UPS and listen to the music.
Have them setup Samba, and you can rip on a computer you like, and just
drag and drop the music files.

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

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 12:38
Unfortunately, I agree 100% with JJZolx.

I was faced with this same frustration, and I finally went nuclear to take care of the problem.

I purchased a fanless nano-ITX machine (http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/store/Mini_ITX_Systems/Damn_Small_Machine) from the Damn Small Linux store. It is about the size of a Mac Mini. It came with a Gigabyte of IDE flash, so it has no moving parts at all. I installed Michael's SlimCD (http://www.herger.net/slim/detail.php?nr=763.) I then made considerable changes to SlimCD to get it in the form that I thought was necessary to make it a permanent fixture as a music server.

I purchased a refurbished Seagate Freeagent Pro 750 GByte USB 2.0 HDD to hold my music collection. It is extremely quiet, very small, and works nicely now that it is reformatted with an ext2 file system. I like this stand-alone drive very much and highly recommend it. I have a second 750 GByte drive that is used for backup, and that one is usually NOT online. I have about 300 Gbytes in my music collection at this point.

I don't believe in the NAS solution - too slow, too noisy, too expensive, not reliable, still requires a backup device, etc. I don't like the concept. It only makes sense to me if it is necessary to keep things going during a drive failure - without a glitch. I don't need that:) I think a single drive, that is kept backed up, is quite sufficient, cheaper, and requires less hardware. I looked long and hard at the ReadyNAS product before turning my back on the entire concept.

When I began this project, I knew next to nothing about Linux, and now I know just enough to be dangerous. Because of the embarassing lack of knowledge I had when I began, it took me a long time to arrive at the finish line.

My server running Slimserver is simple, very small, very responsive, silent enough to keep anywhere, headless, easily upgraded, and reliable (it is also plugged into a small dedicated UPS.) It is not terribly expensive - but I did not do it for anything close to $200.

It took a lot of work before I felt that I was done, and the average person is not going to be interested in doing any of this. At this point, I have installed three more SB3s for friends and family. For these installations, Slimserver was installed on different platforms, (one had to be put on a laptop,) that are all used very heavily for other purposes and family uses. This is problematic.

If a very small box running Slimserver, say the size of a Netgear wireless router, could be managed at $200 to $300 - it would be killer. Maybe something like the new Pico-ITX board could be a candidate for such a machine. I am going to procure one of these myself and try this at some point.

-Ron

bklaas
2007-06-25, 12:48
But only a dedicated (to slimserver) user interface, and no easy access to an OS for amateurs like me to screw up! I keep bricking my SBs because I can't keep an OS running! Maybe I've just had a run of bad luck?

I'm not one to put much stake in "bad luck". If your OS (or OSes) keeps dying, there is a cause for it. So, what's causing it? Insatiable need to screw around with the machine (stop that!), or something more insidious, like power spikes (possible), viruses (doubt it), demonic possession (hmm...50/50).

Keeping a stock Ubuntu OS running is not hard. Why is it impossible for you to not tinker with a dedicated slimserver machine, if a dedicated slimserver is what you want?

Nicketynick, I see what you're asking for, as well as the good spirit in which you are asking for it, but I just don't see how an appliance like this could be engineered and sold for cheap and still be able to do all the things that slimserver currently does. At least not today.

BTW--I totally disagree with the idea that you can't get a reliable PC for < $200. Maybe not a reliable *recent* system for that, but you don't need recent. Linux shines on old hardware.

cheers,
#!/ben

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 12:49
Ron F. wrote:
> I purchased a fanless nano-ITX machine
> from the Damn Small Linux store. It is about the size of a Mac Mini. It
> came with a Gigabyte of IDE flash, so it has no moving parts at all. I

So, if I may be so bold, what was the total cost (not counting hair
transplants, etc.)?

That looks to be a great solution, especially if you don't have a
basement to banish the box to (I don't care about noise, mine is next to
the furnace/A/C on another floor)

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

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 12:59
Seriously, hire a geek to setup a box for you with no monitor, no
keyboard, auto-boot, put it on a $40 UPS and listen to the music.
Have them setup Samba, and you can rip on a computer you like, and just drag and drop the music files.

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

Maybe Logitech will provide the geek. Seriously, I don't think this is a recommendation that Logitech will be making to their customers.

I think a plug-n-play option running Slimserver under some version of Linux is imperative.

I think the average citizen could not care less what a slim, thin, or thick client is - they just want it to work. Why install anything? That was what my sister asked, who is an EXTREMELY gifted engineer, but she was never going to get an SB3 unless I brought it over and got it running for her.

The SB3 presently requires a mindset, that most people in the world do not have. Apple understands this sort of thing perfectly well.

I love the product, but I am a geek.

-Ron

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 13:07
Ron F. wrote:
> I purchased a fanless nano-ITX machine
> from the Damn Small Linux store. It is about the size of a Mac Mini. It
> came with a Gigabyte of IDE flash, so it has no moving parts at all. I

So, if I may be so bold, what was the total cost (not counting hair
transplants, etc.)?

That looks to be a great solution, especially if you don't have a
basement to banish the box to (I don't care about noise, mine is next to
the furnace/A/C on another floor)

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

Dear Pat,

I was afraid you were going to ask this:) I know there are cheaper solutions than what I did.

I think I spent about $800 on the Nano-ITX box plus Seagate external drive. That includes shipping charges and a few cables.

It cost me an enormous amount of time to get it all the way I wanted it. I had to learn a great deal before I understood in the first place that these were the two boxes that I wanted to make it all happen!

I think as time goes on, this kind of solution will become more viable. Boards will continue to shrink, and it won't be long before we can drop a server board into the Transporter, (we can probably do that now,) or even a box the size of the SB3.

-Ron

JJZolx
2007-06-25, 13:19
I think as time goes on, this kind of solution will become more viable.

It will only become more viable once someone begins selling packaged systems - assembled, software installed, tuned and ready to go. And _supported_. The $800 won't be an obstacle for a lot of people. The enormous amount of time required to do it right, would.

An enterprising individual could offer several different solutions with different pricing - different sizes of enclosure, different capacities, expandability, different performance levels.

The two biggest pitfalls to doing this are: a) support and b) uncertainty over products to be released by Logitech. Supporting such a system could be very costly as you deal with things like ripping and tagging issues that have nothing to do with the server. The extremely uncertain future with whatever Logitech is going to do with their new 'streaming media division' is a potentially huge monkey wrench. It's immediately obvious that Squeezebox isn't the future.

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 13:21
but I just don't see how an appliance like this could be engineered and sold for cheap and still be able to do all the things that slimserver currently does. At least not today.


cheers,
#!/ben

Why not? Isn't it just a new and improved NSLU2? All the bits are available, they just need integrated into a single product....

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 13:23
Seriously, hire a geek to setup a box for you with no monitor, no
keyboard, auto-boot, put it on a $40 UPS and listen to the music.
Have them setup Samba, and you can rip on a computer you like, and just
drag and drop the music files.

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

Seriously, that is a good suggestion! I only say that because I've been trying..... :-)
But I seem to be in some sort of strange geek-free zone here... or at least I'm not looking under the right rocks! I even joined the mailing list of my local linux users group to try to shake out a geek or two, but no luck at all!

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 13:27
Ron F. wrote:
> I think I spent about $800 on the Nano-ITX box plus Seagate external
> drive. That includes shipping charges and a few cables.

Wow, I didn't know they were that steep.
My $120 junkers are looking better and better.
Not as small, quiet or low power as the Nano-ITX.

I think the pricing sweet spot is mini-ITX these days.
Cases are cheap, MB, etc.

Like an iPod, you pay for small and good looking.

> Boards will continue to shrink, and it won't be long before we can drop
> a server board into the Transporter, (we can probably do that now,) or
> even a box the size of the SB3.

Oh no! Not in the transporter.
I don't want a computer anywhere near my stereo.

But its just a matter of packaging.
I've got some Single Board Computers from Embeddedarm.com,
they are about $250 with case and wifi
http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/wifi-h.htm

They include linux and flash to boot.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

nicketynick
2007-06-25, 13:27
It will only become more viable once someone begins selling packaged systems - assembled, software installed, tuned and ready to go. And _supported_. The $800 won't be an obstacle for a lot of people. The enormous amount of time required to do it right, would.

An enterprising individual could offer several different solutions with different pricing - different sizes of enclosure, different capacities, expandability, different performance levels.

The two biggest pitfalls to doing this are: a) support and b) uncertainty over products to be released by Logitech. Supporting such a system could be very costly as you deal with things like ripping and tagging issues that have nothing to do with the server. The extremely uncertain future with whatever Logitech is going to do with their new 'streaming media division' is a potentially huge monkey wrench. It's immediately obvious that Squeezebox isn't the future.

How to avoid the pitfalls.......
Convince SD/Logitech that it's the profitable thing to do!

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 14:00
nicketynick wrote:
> But I seem to be in some sort of strange geek-free zone here...

So where are you?
There are linux geeks everywhere that I've looked, from small towns in
the US to Egypt and the Ukraine.


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

Apteryx
2007-06-25, 14:17
Linux - Really, It's not that hard to do - I knew/know zero about Linux but downloaded enough info to manage to fudge my way through building a headless Fedora server for SS - a then 3-4 year old HP small form factor, floppy drive removed in favour of a second hard disk, samba running so I can use a a windows-based script to update the music collection on to it from my working windows PC, small UPS, webmin and VNC for admin... (dual boot with windows, music on a separate partition so I could run it as a windows box if Linux defeated me - I've never ever needed it).

Three years later, apart from an upgrade to FC5, I don't touch it, it never fails and is comfortably responsive on a reasonable, but not huge db (7k). Total cost, about $200 of your money, best part of 3 years later.

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 14:32
Wow, I didn't know they were that steep.
My $120 junkers are looking better and better.
Not as small, quiet or low power as the Nano-ITX.

I think the pricing sweet spot is mini-ITX these days.
Cases are cheap, MB, etc.

Like an iPod, you pay for small and good looking.


Packaging drives the cost up faster than anything else today.

The box I am using can be had more cheaply here: http://www.wdlsystems.com/ebox/ebox.shtml. It might be possible to do the whole project for less than $600.

If doing it again, I would mount a 4 GByte IDE flash drive onto the nano-ITX board, and install Ubuntu on it.

-Ron

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 14:45
... The extremely uncertain future with whatever Logitech is going to do with their new 'streaming media division' is a potentially huge monkey wrench. It's immediately obvious that Squeezebox isn't the future.

Unfortunately, I agree with this also.

But whatever the future holds, a $200 box (small, silent, fast, headless, and very cute,) running Ubuntu/Slimserver would certainly have a market today.

I know it sounds silly - but it would have to be cute.

-Ron

JimC
2007-06-25, 14:48
...what is the investment required for a reliable 24x7 server? Is there such a thing without becoming an IS tech?

Unless you're using FLAC or Apple lossless, or heavily into plug-ins, you could use MP3Tunes and our 24/7 "SlimServer in the cloud (aka SqueezeNetwork)". Granted, it isn't free, but it is inexpensive relative to even a low-end PC and removes the whole issue of needing a dedicated box.


-=> Jim

bishopdonmiguel
2007-06-25, 14:53
But whatever the future holds, a $200 box (small, silent, fast, headless, and very cute,) running Ubuntu/Slimserver would certainly have a market today.

Any thoughts on this... http://www.koolu.com ?

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 15:01
Unless you're using FLAC or Apple lossless, or heavily into plug-ins, you could use MP3Tunes and our 24/7 "SlimServer in the cloud (aka SqueezeNetwork)". Granted, it isn't free, but it is inexpensive relative to even a low-end PC and removes the whole issue of needing a dedicated box.


-=> Jim

Hmmm. I thought about that for a while already, and the conclusion I came to is that if I am going to rip everything to AAC, and keep it all online, why not pay a bit more and subscribe to Rhapsody and have access to virtually everything?

I guess it really is ALL about price point.

When I started thinking about how to move all my CDs to a music server of some kind - nothing mattered to me more than quality. I am very serious about my music. However, as time goes on, and the online services get better, I find that I am streaming music from online sources more and more.

Whatever the final solution is - I know it won't be a standalone device separate from the SB3. The solution will be in one box, the size of what the SB3 is today.

-Ron

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 15:20
Any thoughts on this... http://www.koolu.com ?

That looks nice. I have not seen this before.

I guess you could boot it with Ubuntu on a 4 GByte Flash USB pendrive. Or, the more expensive version could be had with an internal IDE flash drive and lose the 40 Gbyte HDD.

I think it is running a 200 MHz cpu, definitely weaker than the eBox 3850 I am using. Even when driving three Squeezeboxes with three independent streams, my server does not rise above about 25% usage.

-Ron

Ian_F
2007-06-25, 15:24
Unless you're using FLAC or Apple lossless, or heavily into plug-ins, you could use MP3Tunes and our 24/7 "SlimServer in the cloud (aka SqueezeNetwork)". Granted, it isn't free, but it is inexpensive relative to even a low-end PC and removes the whole issue of needing a dedicated box.


-=> Jim


Jim,

Iíve always wondered this and since youíre here ;) .... given there are thousands of posts on these forums from people trying to build/buy the perfect slimserver server why hasnít such a solution been provided by yourselves? No one can deny there is a market for such a device.

JimC
2007-06-25, 15:25
...The extremely uncertain future with whatever Logitech is going to do with their new 'streaming media division' is a potentially huge monkey wrench. It's immediately obvious that Squeezebox isn't the future.

Huh?

Why is it "immediately obvious"?

Nothing that has been done would indicate that Squeezebox or SlimServer are being eliminated in the future. 6.5.2 came out, 6.5.3 looks like a go, and 7 is proceeding apace. We've staffed up QA for the group, added developers, and are moving the whole thing forward. The Squeezebox Jive software platform doesn't eliminate either Squeezebox or SlimServer. SqueezeNetwork is being improved with additional services and features.

In short, we're moving ahead pretty much with everything that Slim Devices had started, and adding resources to make it happen even better than they had hoped they could do it.

I get the idea that you don't like "big companies" -- OK, so be it. But so much of what you state with authority (as the phrase "immediately obvious" is intended to convey) is simply conjecture on your part and isn't based on any tangible thing we've done.

We did change branding, but that should've been expected as Logitech's history is to change the branding on acquired products. It happened with Connectix (who was #1 in their category when acquired); it happened with Labtec; it happened with Harmony. All of these companies could argue, on some level, that they had built excellent businesses *without* Logitech's brand and yet all grew substantially after acquisition under the new identity. You don't have to like it, or agree with it, but the reality is that Logitech believe it to be good business.

And that's pretty much the only big thing that's been done to date (aside from putting substantially more resources to work on the engineering and technical support sides of the business).



-=> Jim

JimC
2007-06-25, 15:33
Hmmm. I thought about that for a while already, and the conclusion I came to is that if I am going to rip everything to AAC, and keep it all online, why not pay a bit more and subscribe to Rhapsody and have access to virtually everything?

In my particular case, Rhapsody doesn't work because its library, while extensive, doesn't overlap mine very well so I'd have to give up a lot of my music.



Whatever the final solution is - I know it won't be a standalone device separate from the SB3. The solution will be in one box, the size of what the SB3 is today.

Well, whatever the final solution is, it's a ways off (and hopefully from us!).


-=> Jim

JimC
2007-06-25, 15:39
Jim,

Iíve always wondered this and since youíre here ;) .... given there are thousands of posts on these forums from people trying to build/buy the perfect slimserver server why hasnít such a solution been provided by yourselves? No one can deny there is a market for such a device.

That's pretty far from the core of what we are looking to do. I can see there being some demand for it, but like a NAS drive, everyone's idea of what's "perfect" is different.

Your perfect slimserver computer is the one that runs slimserver the way YOU want it run.


-=> Jim

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 15:40
Huh?

In short, we're moving ahead pretty much with everything that Slim Devices had started, and adding resources to make it happen even better than they had hoped they could do it.

-=> Jim

I am very glad to hear it. It is a fabulous product.

I am also spending more and more time on Squeezenetwork every day. I am also slowly converting my friends to it too. I feel like an evangelist somehow. These are all people who were 100% dependent on iTunes/iPod in the past.

What I would like to figure out now, is how to stream Sqeezenetwork to my Treo 700p, or put an SB3 into my car:)

-Ron

Ian_F
2007-06-25, 15:51
That's pretty far from the core of what we are looking to do. I can see there being some demand for it, but like a NAS drive, everyone's idea of what's "perfect" is different.

Your perfect slimserver computer is the one that runs slimserver the way YOU want it run.


-=> Jim

I agree with what you're saying Jim but so many people are asking the question and so "anything" which runs slimserver, _properly_, is perfect for them. Granted, it won't suit ALL squeezebox owners but I'd bet that many people are put off buying the squeezebox because it needs an always-on server to feed it and so a one-stop-shop solution would win them over.

I'm not suggesting Logitech have to build it from scratch themselves but surely working with a hardware manufacturer to build and tweak such a device would not be a waste of time?

EDIT: I bought my squeezebox a while back and soon got fed up having to have my pc switched on all the time. Then came the months/years of searching for ideal hardware to host slimserver. Had slimdevices/logitech sold one I'd have bought it without thinking twice :)

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 15:53
Ron F. wrote:
> Whatever the final solution is - I know it won't be a standalone device

Er, I don't know about you, but for me, I don't want a music server at
all. And I sure don't want to rip, compress, manage, fix tags, etc.

What I want is a music utility that provides the music I want when I
want it, at the quality I want. Sometimes, compressed is good enough,
other times I want 24/88.2 or better.

I'm willing to pay a small monthly fee for this, like I pay for cable TV.

With fiber to the home, and other video on demand services, the
bandwidth for audio is trivial.

The ultimate music server is a jack on the wall.

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

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 16:10
Er, I don't know about you, but for me, I don't want a music server at
all. And I sure don't want to rip, compress, manage, fix tags, etc.

What I want is a music utility that provides the music I want when I
want it, at the quality I want. Sometimes, compressed is good enough,
other times I want 24/88.2 or better.

I'm willing to pay a small monthly fee for this, like I pay for cable TV.

With fiber to the home, and other video on demand services, the
bandwidth for audio is trivial.

The ultimate music server is a jack on the wall.

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

It is certainly true that if the sound comes out of your speakers, you don't really care how it gets there. With that in mind, it will ultimately all come from the web - uncompressed, whenever you want it.

In a similar vein, you won't have prints up on your wall either, you will have flat light-sensative panels displaying your artwork - also streaming from the web.

You check into a hotel room across the world, and your artwork and music will follow you without you thinking about it.

It won't take that long for this to happen either. Meanwhile - I have the music server now that I always wanted..... until I get tired of it, and want something else.

I really want to run Ubuntu on the new Pico-ITX board. My girlfriend tells me that my constant fiddling is driving her crazy.

-Ron

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 16:24
Ron F. wrote:
> It is certainly true that if the sound comes out of your speakers, you
> don't really care how it gets there. With that in mind, it will
> ultimately all come from the web - uncompressed, whenever you want it.

I spent nearly two years trying to make that happen, it was long ago,
broadband was not there, so it was all compressed, but we kept
the music lossless as well. The RIAA killed us. Set your wayback machine
to OneBigCD.com

> In a similar vein, you won't have prints up on your wall either, you
> will have flat light-sensative panels displaying your artwork - also
> streaming from the web.

I'm not sure about prints. Screens are not the same as oil on canvas.

Of course, audiophiles argue forever on stereo

> It won't take that long for this to happen either. Meanwhile - I have
> the music server now that I always wanted..... until I get tired of it,
> and want something else.

I have the perfect slimserver as well. And as JimC wrote, what is
perfect for me is not likely to be perfect for you.


> I really want to run Ubuntu on the new Pico-ITX board. My girlfriend
> tells me that my constant fiddling is driving her crazy.

I would expect DSL to boot up easily.


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

Ron F.
2007-06-25, 16:34
Ah. I see Pat, that you are interesting.

I wonder what you are doing now, to attempt to change the world today? You must be working on something. I am probably off topic now:)

-Ron

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 18:13
I guess you could boot it with Ubuntu on a 4 GByte Flash USB pendrive. Or, the more expensive version could be had with an internal IDE flash drive and lose the 40 Gbyte HDD.



The EmbeddedArm that I posted about upthread boots linux from a 32MB flash. With HTTP server.

You don't need Ubuntu, you don't need any gui, X, etc.

DSL should do the job and it even includes X-windows.

Sure, a 4GB flash would work, but they are expensive and 99% of what is on it you don't need. a SlimServer does not need FireFox, Thunderbird and lots of desktop stuff.

pfarrell
2007-06-25, 18:17
I am probably off topic now


check for a PM

nicketynick
2007-06-26, 06:29
Unless you're using FLAC or Apple lossless, or heavily into plug-ins, you could use MP3Tunes and our 24/7 "SlimServer in the cloud (aka SqueezeNetwork)". Granted, it isn't free, but it is inexpensive relative to even a low-end PC and removes the whole issue of needing a dedicated box.


-=> Jim

As Pat pointed out, the perfect server is a jack in the wall! Unfortunately, my library is FLAC, and I'm in Canada (curses!), so I'm still a long way from that nirvana! Some day we'll get there (death to the RIAA! - if Hoffa can disappear......), but until then I'm going to need a server-box.
I do like the look of the Koolu - and Canadian to boot! I'll have to explore that avenue some more....

nicketynick
2007-06-26, 10:53
I just had a thought... (scary, I know)
Is there an 'HD installable' SlimCD out there? ie. minimal Linux OS with Slimserver included? That way I get myself a dedicated Slimserver machine (whatever that may be), I drop in the CD and run the install, drop in any plugins I might want to add beyond what may already be there, and then forget it. And then if something does go wrong, just start from scratch again.... no other lengthy installs and configuration required (the problem when the all-purpose machine crashes and needs rebuilt) Should be fairly idiot-proof, no?
See, the all-purpose machine I can do without when I'm stupid or unlucky enough to break it, but my SB's? No way!

Ron F.
2007-06-26, 11:27
Nicketynick,

You can do an HD install of SlimCD - that is what I did.

You need 1 GByte of IDE flash to be comfortable, and 256 MBytes of RAM.

-Ron

mherger
2007-06-26, 11:58
> Is there an 'HD installable' SlimCD out there? ie. minimal Linux OS
> with Slimserver included?

FreeNAS/SlimNAS might be another option. Probably more of an effort for
the first installation experience, but imho much easier to _install_ than
SlimCD.

Michael

aubuti
2007-06-26, 12:03
I'd think that if you really want to idiot-proof it, forget about the HD install and just run it off the CD. Especially given your self-described tendency to muck up the OS. It's hard to muck up a read-only CD....

There is a downside if SlimCD doesn't have a plugin you want, but what other downsides are there?

nicketynick
2007-06-26, 12:41
I'd think that if you really want to idiot-proof it, forget about the HD install and just run it off the CD. Especially given your self-described tendency to muck up the OS. It's hard to muck up a read-only CD....

There is a downside if SlimCD doesn't have a plugin you want, but what other downsides are there?

Yeah, its the plugins - I was using SlimCD for a while, but missed some of the plugins. Another problem is that the one machine (the one with the broken Ubuntu) still keeps trying to do stuff on the HD and grinds away continuously, even when running SlimCD with the internal HD unmounted! (music is on an external drive). I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but I can't let it run like that.
I think I will look into installing SlimCD direct to the HD. Why do I need the IDE flash if I'm installing to the HD?

mherger
2007-06-26, 12:45
> There is a downside if SlimCD doesn't have a plugin you want, but what
> other downsides are there?

You can still install it: once SlimCD has booted, define a place where to
backup your configuration. This can be HD or a USB stick. Install the
plugin you like and it will backed up to that place, and restored when
rebooting (given the correct boot parameter ;-)).

Michael

Ron F.
2007-06-26, 18:02
Yeah, its the plugins - I was using SlimCD for a while, but missed some of the plugins. Another problem is that the one machine (the one with the broken Ubuntu) still keeps trying to do stuff on the HD and grinds away continuously, even when running SlimCD with the internal HD unmounted! (music is on an external drive). I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but I can't let it run like that.
I think I will look into installing SlimCD direct to the HD. Why do I need the IDE flash if I'm installing to the HD?

Well, you don't need an IDE flash:) It is just that to make it all run, you only need 1 GByte of space. I find my HD install is working well, and it was not too hard to do. I would certainly not discourage you from trying it. I got mine running with AAC, AACPlus, ALAC, etc. I hope that Michael will release 1.87 with this functionality built-in.

After installing SlimCD 1.86, I downloaded the latest no-cpan-arch.tar.gz file, and installed that over SlimCD.

-Ron

SteveEast
2007-06-27, 08:26
Dear Pat,

I was afraid you were going to ask this:) I know there are cheaper solutions than what I did.

I think I spent about $800 on the Nano-ITX box plus Seagate external drive. That includes shipping charges and a few cables.

It cost me an enormous amount of time to get it all the way I wanted it. I had to learn a great deal before I understood in the first place that these were the two boxes that I wanted to make it all happen!

I think as time goes on, this kind of solution will become more viable. Boards will continue to shrink, and it won't be long before we can drop a server board into the Transporter, (we can probably do that now,) or even a box the size of the SB3.

-Ron

I paid $350 inc shipping for the same Damn Small Machine (E-Box 3850) as Ron but without the internal flash drive. I had a 1GB pen drive lying around so I used that. My music was already on a network drive. You can actually buy an E-Box 3800 for $238 exc shipping from http://www.wdlsystems.com/ebox/ebox.shtml - it's even smaller but has no room for an internal drive.

Steve.

Ron F.
2007-06-27, 13:31
I know that sometimes I have said it was difficult to put my music server together, and at other times I have said it wasn't so bad:)

In truth - it was difficult, but very rewarding and I am very glad that I did it.

If I were doing it over again, I would probably use the same piece of hardware, the eBox 3850.

-Ron