PDA

View Full Version : Wife wants to get rid of squeezeboxes...



simondp
2007-12-22, 02:49
Hi,
We have 2x sb3's connected to slimserver running on a ts-109pro which also stores the music. All connected wirelessly. We were looking to add a third SB3...

When it works, it's great. But it's high-maintenance. The radio stations (classif fm, radio 2, etc) just seem to stop for no reason and at random after a couple of hours.

The music always stops whenever i turn on my laptop which is on the same network. Laptop runs zonealarm. Once music is restarted it's fine again.

Why is this? As my wife says, we just want a music system that works. It all seems a bit 'random' and unreliable.

Any obvious things? Any suggestions before I'm forced to get something else?

Thanks,
simon

erland
2007-12-22, 02:57
This sounds like network problems to me

Are you using a wireless network to connect the SqueezeBox'es to the SlimServer computer ?

Is the SlimServer computer connect to internet using wireless network or is it connected by wire ?

Paul_B
2007-12-22, 05:01
Yepp definately sounds like a wireless network issue. I'd definately recommend hardwiring for any streaming device, as it overcomes all the shortcomings of wireless which are not obvious when just browsing.

tamanaco
2007-12-22, 06:01
If you must remain wireless try using a different channel as some other wireless networks or wireless devices might be causing interference. Manually, test each channel and find the one with the least interference. Turn off your router's "auto" channel selection function as some routers cause problems with this feature. Also, any other fancy "vendor-specific" feature like "Turbo" to enhance speed should be turned off as these features only work with the vendor's wireless cards. Router's by default slow down to the speed of the slowest wireless adapter. If you have a mixture of wireless adapters 802.11 a/b/g in your computers and the router is not fast enough to switch to the "slowest" connected adapter, it can cause performance problem.

I concur with the other folks here. To stream media a "wired" network is the way to go, specially if you live in a city or around many wireless devices contending for bandwidth.

Paul_B
2007-12-22, 08:03
Just re-read your intial post and you say problems are worst when you turn on your laptop? Can you dsecribe your network? Do you have a single router for your cable modem / ADSL which has its own inbuilt wireless access point?

Do you have any other computers apart from your own laptop? Is the laptop a work laptop or personal? How do you obtain an IP address for your SB3 and laptop?

simondp
2007-12-22, 10:25
Guys, thanks for the responses.

Yes, I forgot to mention that I have Sky broadband and use the router they sent me - a standard Netgear wireless adsl router. It all works pretty well, to be honest. I'm on the latest 'production' version of slimserver - 6.5.4 and have the latest ts-109 firmware. It's just frustrating having to press play again to get the music going, or restart the internet radio stream.

The thing with the laptop is strange. I put it into hibernate as standard. When it 'comes alive' again, the squeezeboxes stop. If it's music, they'll restart eventually. If it's radio, they'll stop until told to restart. Then everything is fine until the next hiccup sometime later. MP3's normally play just fine for hours on end, it's the radio that's the hang-up. Maybe that suggests the router could be the problem, as everything goes through that...

I don't think I've got anything fancy turned on in the router settings. It's a basic wireless 54mb/s network. I've changed the channel on the laptop card and the router a couple of times due to neighbouring competitors! Is there a way to select the channel for the squeezebox??

Wired is a no-no, I'm afraid. It just has to be wireless.

Personally, I'm kinda ok with the setup. It's just not reliable enough for the good lady, as she can't be doing with the technical maintenance that it currently requires. If I can just get it sorted and bedded-in.. (until SC7 gets released!)..

erland
2007-12-22, 10:50
So, let's see if I understand your setup correctly:

- You have a Netgear wireless router that handles the connections to internet
- SlimServer is running on a QNAP TS-109 which is connected wireless to the Netgear router
- You have two SB's which are also connected wireless to the Netgear router
- You have a laptop which is connected wireless to the Netgear router, but the laptop isn't involved when playing music in any way.

Is this correct ?

If this is the configuration you are having there is a lot of wireless traffic going on. If it is possible to connect the TS-109 by wire to the Netgear router, this might improve the situation a bit.

I personally had some problem with a laptop and my wireless connected SB some time ago. The cause of the problem was that there was some indexing services running on the laptop that also indexed network drives, the result was that the indexing bottlenecked the wireless network and caused hickups in the music.

Do the laptop mount any network drives at boot ? Maybe that could cause the problems ?

simondp
2007-12-22, 12:14
now erland may have a point - although the ts-109 is connected directly to the router (it has no in-built wireless). The 109 runs slimserver but I also mount it to my laptop so I can put music/photo's/etc on it easily (even though it takes ages compared to a direct connect. I sometimes wire my laptop to the router to get 100mbps which speeds things up). The traffic is 99.999% music (either mp3's or internet radio).

I do wonder if the laptop firing up is re-establishing the network hard drive mount and buggering things up. I would have hoped the ts-109 and network could have handled that rather simple process in addition to continuing to stream whatever to the sb3's.

However, the sb3's still stall when doing internet music and the laptop isn't on.

By the way, i have reserved ip addresses for the ts-109 and laptop as the router is a dhcp server. I've also increased buffering to the sb3 to no avail. I do think it's the router, if i'm honest... or a neighbouring n/w. I've installed stumbler or whatever it's called and changed the channel so i'm the only one on mine now.

Is internet radio (bbc2 via alien plug-in) notably erroneous? Funnily enough, classicFM and TheJazz don't seem to cause as many problems...

Thanks again for your ideas, guys. I so don't want to get rid of these little gems!

thomsens
2007-12-22, 12:25
Guys, thanks for the responses.

Yes, I forgot to mention that I have Sky broadband and use the router they sent me - a standard Netgear wireless adsl router. It all works pretty well, to be honest. I'm on the latest 'production' version of slimserver - 6.5.4 and have the latest ts-109 firmware. It's just frustrating having to press play again to get the music going, or restart the internet radio stream.

The thing with the laptop is strange. I put it into hibernate as standard. When it 'comes alive' again, the squeezeboxes stop. If it's music, they'll restart eventually. If it's radio, they'll stop until told to restart. Then everything is fine until the next hiccup sometime later. MP3's normally play just fine for hours on end, it's the radio that's the hang-up. Maybe that suggests the router could be the problem, as everything goes through that...

I don't think I've got anything fancy turned on in the router settings. It's a basic wireless 54mb/s network. I've changed the channel on the laptop card and the router a couple of times due to neighbouring competitors! Is there a way to select the channel for the squeezebox??

Wired is a no-no, I'm afraid. It just has to be wireless.

Personally, I'm kinda ok with the setup. It's just not reliable enough for the good lady, as she can't be doing with the technical maintenance that it currently requires. If I can just get it sorted and bedded-in.. (until SC7 gets released!)..

I maintain 2 wireless networks in my house to separate my bursty PC traffic from the music stuff. I figured it was just easier, and I've never had any issues with my SB2 for either FLAC or MP3. Don't know if that would help you or not. Obviously if your PC is 802.11b vs. G, that could cause some issues since it limits bandwidth of the wireless system (even for the G nodes).

USAudio
2007-12-22, 12:37
To be honest, the latest SqueezeCenter 7.0 betas have been more reliable FOR ME with MY network than 6.5.4.

Others here may have had different experiences and may strongly disagree, but maybe you should try the new SqueezeCenter 7.0 betas, see how that works for you?

Also, give a MIMO router a go, the new antenna technology worked wonders in my house.

adamslim
2007-12-22, 12:43
It does sound like a network congestion thing. In terms of what is possible, I have 2 SB3s connected wirelessly, together with JHB, Nokia 770, iTouch and laptop; there are other radio sources (DECT phone, baby monitor) also, and at least ten other wifi hotspots in range (that's what the Nokia picks up - not the most sensitive machine at all!). It all just works, no dropouts ever.

Are your laptop and SB3 fighting for IP addresses? Try manually allocating them.

alstein
2007-12-22, 14:14
Wired is a no-no, I'm afraid. It just has to be wireless.

Hi

I've had my SB3 for around 3 months. I also was of the opinion that there was no way for me to go anyway but wireless, since my media room is located 135 feet and several rooms away from my PC and router. After several weeks of frustration trying to get a reliable signal to the SB3 which included trying out two new routers and returning them since there was no improvement, as well as channel fiddling and other tweaks, I decided that I had to go wired. I purchased 150 feet of ethenet cable and a linksys switch. It took less than 45 minutes to run the cable through my apartment and get it connected to the squeezebox. What a pleasure it was to finally have uninterupted music playing through the SB3! Several days later I purchased plastic "wiremold" cabling and began fulfilling the promise I had made to my wife - make that hideous looking yellow cable disappear! It took me around 6 hours spread over a weekend, but I finally had my CD collection accessible from my SB3 working flawlessly. So, my advice is that if there is any way that you could possible go wired, it will be well worth it.

peter
2007-12-22, 14:33
Oh yes, wired is best wherever possible. Fortunately the previous owner
of my house wired the phone outlets in all the rooms with cat5 so it's
not so hard to build on that.

I have a place in my bookmarks that sells 'flat' cat5 cables that you
can easily hide under the carpet or paint over. I've never used it but
it could be interesting. They also sell similarly flat speaker wire. If
anyone has experience with that product I'd be interested to hear.

Regards,
Peter

On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 13:14:19 -0800, "alstein"
<alstein.320hez1198358101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
>
> Wired is a no-no, I'm afraid. It just has to be wireless.
>
> Hi
>
> I've had my SB3 for around 3 months. I also was of the opinion that
> there was no way for me to go anyway but wireless, since my media room
> is located 135 feet and several rooms away from my PC and router. After
> several weeks of frustration trying to get a reliable signal to the SB3
> which included trying out two new routers and returning them since
> there was no improvement, as well as channel fiddling and other tweaks,
> I decided that I had to go wired. I purchased 150 feet of ethenet cable
> and a linksys switch. It took less than 45 minutes to run the cable
> through my apartment and get it connected to the squeezebox. What a
> pleasure it was to finally have uninterupted music playing through the
> SB3! Several days later I purchased plastic "wiremold" cabling and
> began fulfilling the promise I had made to my wife - make that hideous
> looking yellow cable disappear! It took me around 6 hours spread over a
> weekend, but I finally had my CD collection accessible from my SB3
> working flawlessly. So, my advice is that if there is any way that you
> could possible go wired, it will be well worth it.
>
>
> --
> alstein
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> alstein's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=13093
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=41275
>
>

peter
2007-12-22, 14:37
I guess I should have included the URL:
http://www.taperwire.com/datawire.htm

Regards,
Peter

On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 22:33:09 +0100, "Peter" <landen-slimp (AT) frg (DOT) eur.nl>
said:
> Oh yes, wired is best wherever possible. Fortunately the previous owner
> of my house wired the phone outlets in all the rooms with cat5 so it's
> not so hard to build on that.
>
> I have a place in my bookmarks that sells 'flat' cat5 cables that you
> can easily hide under the carpet or paint over. I've never used it but
> it could be interesting. They also sell similarly flat speaker wire. If
> anyone has experience with that product I'd be interested to hear.
>
> Regards,
> Peter
>
> On Sat, 22 Dec 2007 13:14:19 -0800, "alstein"
> <alstein.320hez1198358101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
> >
> > Wired is a no-no, I'm afraid. It just has to be wireless.
> >
> > Hi
> >
> > I've had my SB3 for around 3 months. I also was of the opinion that
> > there was no way for me to go anyway but wireless, since my media room
> > is located 135 feet and several rooms away from my PC and router. After
> > several weeks of frustration trying to get a reliable signal to the SB3
> > which included trying out two new routers and returning them since
> > there was no improvement, as well as channel fiddling and other tweaks,
> > I decided that I had to go wired. I purchased 150 feet of ethenet cable
> > and a linksys switch. It took less than 45 minutes to run the cable
> > through my apartment and get it connected to the squeezebox. What a
> > pleasure it was to finally have uninterupted music playing through the
> > SB3! Several days later I purchased plastic "wiremold" cabling and
> > began fulfilling the promise I had made to my wife - make that hideous
> > looking yellow cable disappear! It took me around 6 hours spread over a
> > weekend, but I finally had my CD collection accessible from my SB3
> > working flawlessly. So, my advice is that if there is any way that you
> > could possible go wired, it will be well worth it.
> >
> >
> > --
> > alstein
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > alstein's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=13093
> > View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=41275
> >
> >

bonze
2007-12-22, 15:46
I do wonder if the laptop firing up is re-establishing the network hard drive mount and buggering things up. I would have hoped the ts-109 and network could have handled that rather simple process in addition to continuing to stream whatever to the sb3's.I had a similar problem which I never quite got to the bottom of.....
QNAP TS101 plugged into the back of the Netgear wireless router serving 2xSB3.
I also use a laptop (wireless) to which I had various shared folders defined - desktop PC & QNAP.
Whenever I powered off the laptop, or it went into standby, the router would stop all wireless connections.
I messed up my shares one day and the problem also 'disappeared'

The BBC streams can be temperamental.

What model router are you using?

Paul_B
2007-12-23, 02:43
If you can't go wired how about ethernet over power lines in your home? This technology has been around for years and in the last few been adopted by many of the common network vendors:

Netgear: http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters.aspx

Linksys:
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1166859566539&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=6653922279B60

egd
2007-12-23, 04:52
Any suggestions before I'm forced to get something else? A new wife perhaps...? ;)

I second Paul's suggestion of Ethernet over Power as an alternative to wireless. It's far more reliable 200Mbps versions are common these days (I believe 400mbps has recently been finalised also). In any event, try a wired solution first to see whether wireless is actually what is causing you the trouble.

MrStan
2007-12-23, 05:38
Your radio problems might be improved by increasing the RADIO STATION BUFFER SETTINGS and RADIO STATION TIMEOUT in Server Settings - Network.

I have found that 10 secs buffer and 15 secs timeout are needed if you are using the 128K stream of ClassicFM.

ds2021
2007-12-23, 08:34
I, myself, have had very poor luck with Netgear wireless routers. The solution to constant dropouts, etc. has been to switch. I have had the best luck with a Linksys Wireless (pre)N router. Although the SB3 is not an N device, the stronger wireless signal put out by this type of router has solved problems of dropouts in cold-spots around the house.

In this situation, I might find a store with a liberal return policy, buy the pre-N router (D-link's also gets good reviews) and see if you can solve these problems. I have had the best luck leaving the N router on automatic settings which seems to send a wider band signal than a G router.

hdb
2007-12-23, 08:49
Guys, thanks for the responses.
The thing with the laptop is strange. I put it into hibernate as standard. When it 'comes alive' again, the squeezeboxes stop. If it's music, they'll restart eventually. If it's radio, they'll stop until told to restart. Then everything is fine until the next hiccup sometime later. MP3's normally play just fine for hours on end, it's the radio that's the hang-up. Maybe that suggests the router could be the problem, as everything goes through that...


One thought - If you operate like I do, your laptop probably has the Slimserver interface open in your browser all the time. It could be that when your machine comes back on-line, in attempting to update the page, it is pausing the player. Can you try closing the web UI before you put the laptop to sleep? I recall experiencing something like this with 6.5.x - I now run 7.0.0 nightlies so I can't test it out.

Kevin Lepard
2007-12-23, 09:18
You might also try scattering around some Ruckus Wireless products
around the house to get a strong wireless mesh network.

Kevin


--
Kevin O. Lepard, MD, PhD, FACEP, FAAEM

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message and any attachments to it are
intended for use only by the addressee(s), and may contain privileged
or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient,
you are not authorized to read, print, copy or disseminate this
message or any attachments to it, or to take any action based on
them. If you have received this message in error, please permanently
delete or destroy the original and any copy of this message.

pablolie
2007-12-23, 10:29
The radio stations hardly draw bandwidth in a wireless setup, all things told, and the fact that the problem arises when the laptop come son could mean that...

- There is an IP address conflict? But if that was the case I assume the MP3 streams would stop playing to - which they don't.

- I never use the radio feature on the SB all that much. I just nostive that then SS loses all visibility of the SB, which I have always found interesting. The SB obviously connects to a different host, and it goes through your router. I would not think that does any changes tro the IP address, though, and thus should not create an IP address conflict...

- Security issue? Not sure why the firewall rules would change when you turn on the laptop. the only thing I could possibloy imagine is that SN uses a TCP port, and when the laptop comes on for some reason the router address conversion gets momentarily screwed up? But that seems a long shot, not sure why the router would interrupt a flow or drop a packet when adding a new entry to the address conversion table...

Just musing aloud, sorry to not be able to offer more help. For what it is worth, I tested in in my setup (work computer woken up from hibernation on my wireless network) and the SN runs like nothing happened.

Zaragon
2007-12-23, 16:08
Although I like the Netgear boxes, they are fairly simple to use I did find that the two different ones that I have had were both rather poor in terms of wireless coverage. I did notice that if I fixed the channel rather than let it auto decide it was better.

I now have the Thompson hub branded as BT which they give out and this has a much greater range (and some quite useful features).

If range is really a problem you could try replacing the antenna with a higher gain item. I noticed that Maplin (UK) have some alternatives. It will make the signal more directional though.

I don't know the NAS but I did wonder if they are going through a browser election when you activate the laptop. I've heard of such causing network interruptions before with full servers rather than a NAS. How you'd stop that though I don't know.

You can also run a network performance test I recall with SB3s which might also give you some more information.

simondp
2007-12-27, 17:32
Hello,
Just before Christmas I bought a Homeplug netgear bridge and wireless access point which both plug into power mains sockets. Tbe bridge will be hard-wired into the router. I'm hoping this will sort out the SB3 upstairs which only got about 0-40% wireless strength previously. I haven't had a chance to sort it out properly but will let you know how I get on. BBC Radio 2 is the one which is giving the most problems, as I may have said before. I'm wondering if the AlienBBC plug-in has something to do with this... transcoding perhaps?

I've started allocating ip addresses too, to see if that helps. It's going to stay wireless, I'm afraid. Any idea if the Homeplug wireless power mains things will cause problems with syncing or general operation?

Cheers and Happy New Year!
Simon

gautscho
2007-12-28, 01:37
Install Slimserver 6.5.0 with firmware 64.
as explained in this thread:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=35054

I had the same problem with reboots and with firmware 64 it works without any problems!

Cheers