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View Full Version : Tweaking SlimServer weak WLANs, slow CPUs, OGG library



John Ellis
2004-01-14, 19:54
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Just thought I'd offer advice on how to setup a Squeezebox with really,
really minimum requirements. Here's my original setup:

o Ogg Vorbis files - 288 albums and 3812 tracks
o VIA Eden 5000 MiniITX server, 40 GB HD, 64 MB RAM
o 802.11b WLAN (WAP at the other side of the house)

Tracks skipped like mad this way. CPU usage was pegged at 100%, my
wireless signal was down to about 40% (less with the microwave heatin' a
burrito). Bear in mind a VIA Eden 5000 is pretty much a Cyrix x586.
Remember those things?

So I did the following things:

o Upgraded by 256 MB RAM to 320 MB (helped a lil, mainly with the number
of processes running at the same time)
o Got a directional antenna for the Squeezebox. This helped bring my
wireless signal up to 70-80% (big difference). The one I picked up was a
Trendware 6dBi Directional Antenna.
o Got the latest version of vorbis tools (1.0.1) and compiled them
specifically for my x586 platform. Helped a little big - oggdec only
takes 10-12% of my processor time.
o Got the latest version of lame (3.95) and uber-compiled it for my
platform. I used the optimizations in lame.spec (included in the package
for RPM building) and did some major GCC optimization. Made a bit of a
difference.
o Added the flags '-m s' and '-f' to lame. The big difference was with
'-f' - it takes away some extra acoustic algorithms used for encoding
that I really don't miss all that much. Using '-m s' forced stereo mode
instead of joint stereo mode, which gave me some additional speed. This
brought lame down from 95% processor utilization to 50% utilization. Big
difference.

Hope it might help others...

- --
John T. Ellis
Information Systems Experts, LLC
http://www.ise-indy.com
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