PDA

View Full Version : A little help with NAS and SB vs. sonos etc.



sqwk77
2008-01-10, 14:03
Was minutes away from buying a Sonos system yesterday when I found out about the upcoming Duet.

Ive been reading these forums for hours now and have figured a lot out from them, but am a little perplexed by "NAS's." I know what they are, but I don't understand why I would need one. Or for that matter a Linux one.

Im a windows user, and know little about Linux. And Im ok with that.

Here's my current setup:

I have about 160gb of music stored on my laptop. I have a home theater setup. I want to listen to my mp3s, pandora, and rhapsody over my stereo. Currently I just plug my laptop into the stereo via the headset jack. Wince, I know...not great sound.

But to what I want in the end:

1) I want improved sound. So hopefully the SBR DAC is good enough or perhaps later i will get another DAC.

2) I want to be able to control my mp3s, pandora, and rhapsody from my laptop while I am sitting on the couch with it playing on the internet.

3) I want a remote to be used from the bedroom, den etc. that shows whats being played, and that can control the mp3s, pandora, and rhapsody easily.

So as far as #2, do I understand that this is possible with the SquuezeCenter software? Is there really any need for a NAS in my situation? And what am I reading about the really slow lag times? Slow to what...Play? Search?

As far as #3, do we know if the new SC will do all of that?

Is a Nokia n800 or 810 or even an iphone with a skin a better option than the SC?

As I imagine the setup, I would use my laptop loaded with SqueezeCenter to control all my music options through the SBR connected to my receiver. Then when in other rooms I would use the SController to do the same. No need for a NAS. This should work yes? And will there be anything slow about it?

And finally, where exactly is the "library" of music actually stored?

And what the heck is the difference between SqueezeCenter and SqueezeNetwork.

Hope your head doesn't hurt as bad as mine.

funkstar
2008-01-10, 14:13
Basically, the idea of using a NAS to run SqueezeCenter is so you don't have to have your main computer on all the time. The issue of slow responses from NAS boxes is because they generally ahve very low powered processors and little memory.

You don't *need* a NAS, but it is a popular way of doing things.

As for using your laptop for SqueezeCenter, there shouldn't be any problem with that. The only issue you might come across is with wirless networking. Depending on how noisy the 2.4GHz frequency around you it, you could run into bandwidth issues with the extra hop from laptop to router to SqueezeBox/Duet

Your library of music can be stored anywhere, as long as the "computer" (this can be a Mac, PC, Laptop, NAS, etc) that is running SqueezeCenter has access to it. So all your MP3s can be in any folder on your laptop and you just point SqueezeCenter to that folder. It doesn't dictate where your msuic should be.

Hope this helps :)

amcluesent
2008-01-10, 14:14
>Is there really any need for a NAS in my situation?<

I can think of two reasons -

1) laptop hard drives aren't the most reliable items, 160Gb of lost music would be a bummer. With a NAS (or a lo-spec Windows PC), you can have a backup drive or use RAID.

2) (assuming you use wi-fi on the laptop) having a wi-fi link from the PC running Squeezecentre to the router is known to cause problems. A better soln is a wired link from the server to the router then wi-fi/wired to the Squeezebox.

sqwk77
2008-01-10, 20:57
Thanks for the replies! (I messed up and have this message in both the beginner and general discussion forums...oops).

I actually have 2 laptops. Lets call them A and B. My primary "A" I use for the usual computer junk. "B" I currently have connected to an external hard drive with my mp3s and then connected to my receiver via its headphone jack. Poor sound quality. And I have to walk over to it to control it, or see whats playing, etc. Not acceptable.


So based on a couple replies, the way I understand it is that if I am just wirelessly streaming music from my laptop "A" to the SBR then I may have some issues. But if I now hardwire the laptop "B" to the SBR and the SBR to my receiver, then I should not have those same issues. (ie this is the NAS setup people describe).

1) Is that correct?
2) Would the "hardwire" part just be an ethernet cable from laptop "B" to the SBR?
3) And if so do I understand correctly that I am now bypassing my soundcard and therefore am experiencing less "loss" similar to using a USB-DAC?

4)Now with that setup and using SqueezeCenter, can I control laptop "B" with laptop "A?" (I was trying to figure out a way to do this without any additional hardware but no one I know is advanced enough to figure out using "B" as a remote computer, "A" having Vista, and B having Windows XP).

5) How is Pandora and Rhapsody played in this scenario? With laptop A or B?
6) Is there then an issue with Pandora and Rhapsody being played?

My wireless router is unfortunately in another room entirely, nowhere near laptop "B" or my receiver.

7) Does this complicate anything? Do i need another SBR as I would with the Sonos setup?
8) I then would plan on puting another SBR hooked to a receiver thats already in my bedroom. But why wouldn't this have the "issues" described as it is receiving the info wirelessly vs. hardwired to the NAS (laptop B)?

9) So using a NAS (laptop B), is there then no reason to ever run SqueezeNetwork? Just use the Center? Does this eliminate some of the issues?
Thanks so much for your patience guys.

Skunk
2008-01-10, 21:28
Generally laptopB/NAS/server would be hard wired to the router. SBR units then connect via wireless (or ethernet) to the router and the server laptop. The SBR is connected via RCA or SPDIF to the AV receiver, and as you guessed bypasses the sound card of the laptop. Laptop A can control either SBR from anywhere in the house.

Skunk
2008-01-10, 21:34
(I was trying to figure out a way to do this without any additional hardware but no one I know is advanced enough to figure out using "B" as a remote computer, "A" having Vista, and B having Windows XP)

Forgot to mention that you are controlling laptop_B through a web interface, so it's platform independent. Basically anything with a web browser can control the server.

Mark Lanctot
2008-01-14, 10:15
2) Would the "hardwire" part just be an ethernet cable from laptop "B" to the SBR?

Sure, you could do that. It would be better to hardwire your SC server to your router though - if you get a second SBR it will be straightforward.


5) How is Pandora and Rhapsody played in this scenario? With laptop A or B?

If you're using SqueezeCenter software and not the SqueezeNetwork service, through whichever laptop is running SC. The other laptop merely controls the SC software, the laptop the server is installed on actually runs it.


6) Is there then an issue with Pandora and Rhapsody being played?

Should work unless you live outside the US.


My wireless router is unfortunately in another room entirely, nowhere near laptop "B" or my receiver.

7) Does this complicate anything? Do i need another SBR as I would with the Sonos setup?

Yes and no. No, you don't need another receiver. But yes, you should wire the server directly to the router.

Having a wireless server works for some people but if it does work you'll start to push it with a second SBR, see below.


8) I then would plan on puting another SBR hooked to a receiver thats already in my bedroom. But why wouldn't this have the "issues" described as it is receiving the info wirelessly vs. hardwired to the NAS (laptop B)?

Yes, if you try this wirelessly you'll definitely be pushing things. It may work though, but it sure isn't optimal.


9) So using a NAS (laptop B), is there then no reason to ever run SqueezeNetwork? Just use the Center? Does this eliminate some of the issues?

Pandora and Rhapsody are now available through SC7, which actually gets the data through SqueezeNetwork. So in fact it's the other way around - if you can't wire your server, it may be better to use SN as it bypasses the wireless SC server and gets the data directly from SN.