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R/J
2004-01-12, 07:39
I have an Airport network serving a desktop iMac, G4 iBook, both
running OS X 10.3.2, and my Squeezebox, installed about three weeks
ago. I've got the following questions and problems:

Signal strength: my Ibook registers about 65% reception from the base
station in the room where I keep the stereo (not a great distance in
my small and fairly open NY apartment, perhaps 35', but passing through
the kitchen). The Squeezebox reception ranges quite a bit, but is
typically no higher than 24%, and dips below 10% often enough to be an
ongoing problem. I purchased a cheapo Radio Shack antenna sold as a
booster for linksys routers, but it hasn't helped much, if at all. What
would be recommended to help with this?

Server issues: the server software seems to bog down the machine after
several hours running. I don't have many playlists, or any that are
self referential or pointing to unavailable disks. I'm not much of a
gearhead, so I don't know how to monitor memory usage or cpu cycles and
such, but the machine becomes very sluggish and recovers once the
server is shut down.

Sometimes when everything seems to be working, the music stops even
though the Squeezebox still reports that it's Playing. It's hard for
me to check the signal strength at those times because the box is
usually minimally responsive to the remote when this happens. Sometimes
it recovers, sometimes not. I don't know if that's a problem with the
transmission strength or something else.

Moving down the scale of importance, the interaction of the server on
the desktop is more sluggish than I would've expected given that all
the information is local, even after it has finished scanning the
library, and even if iTunes isn't running. It certainly lags in
comparison
with iTunes itself.

Any help, in layman's english, that anyone could give on the above
suite of difficulties would be greatly appreciated.

dean
2004-01-12, 09:30
Hi R/J,

Gosh, sorry to hear about all the woes...

On Jan 12, 2004, at 6:39 AM, R/J wrote:

> I have an Airport network serving a desktop iMac, G4 iBook, both
> running OS X 10.3.2, and my Squeezebox, installed about three weeks
> ago. I've got the following questions and problems:
>
> Signal strength: my Ibook registers about 65% reception from the base
> station in the room where I keep the stereo (not a great distance in
> my small and fairly open NY apartment, perhaps 35', but passing
> through the kitchen). The Squeezebox reception ranges quite a bit, but
> is typically no higher than 24%, and dips below 10% often enough to be
> an ongoing problem. I purchased a cheapo Radio Shack antenna sold as a
> booster for linksys routers, but it hasn't helped much, if at all.
> What would be recommended to help with this?
We haven't tried out the booster antennas, so I don't know how much
better they will work. Signal strengths in the range of 10%-24% are
probably too low for reliable streaming. The best you can do, without
adding additional hardware, is to try moving or reorienting the devices
and antennas. Beyond that, adding another access point to your network
may be the best solution.

> Server issues: the server software seems to bog down the machine after
> several hours running. I don't have many playlists, or any that are
> self referential or pointing to unavailable disks. I'm not much of a
> gearhead, so I don't know how to monitor memory usage or cpu cycles
> and such, but the machine becomes very sluggish and recovers once the
> server is shut down.
Can you check the Activity Monitor when you have this issue and see if
there's any obvious memory or CPU hogging going on? Also, have you
tried the latest pre-release version of SlimServer available here:

http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/latest

> Sometimes when everything seems to be working, the music stops even
> though the Squeezebox still reports that it's Playing. It's hard for
> me to check the signal strength at those times because the box is
> usually minimally responsive to the remote when this happens.
> Sometimes it recovers, sometimes not. I don't know if that's a problem
> with the transmission strength or something else.
That's probably your wireless network fading out.

> Moving down the scale of importance, the interaction of the server on
> the desktop is more sluggish than I would've expected given that all
> the information is local, even after it has finished scanning the
> library, and even if iTunes isn't running. It certainly lags in
> comparison
> with iTunes itself.
It shouldn't be that slow. How much memory does the server computer
have? How big is your music library? Some more details on your system
will help us figure out what's going on.

-dean