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View Full Version : Questions from newbie...SB vs. Sonos, NAS, etc.



sqwk77
2008-01-10, 14:04
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.

bklaas
2008-01-10, 14:20
The idea of a NAS is to allow for an always-on media server to reside in your home to stream out all of your digital entertainment needs. It's really no different than an extremely low-powered server though, so if you're not counting every Watt that your house consumes, you are better off having a PC with some power that's on 24/7 to accomplish the same task. I'll even let you call it a "NAS". :)


1) my guess is that the SBR DAC will be just fine for you. Regardless, there is a 30-day no risk guarantee on the product, so it can't hurt to give it a shot.

2) absolutely you can do that with a Squeezebox-based solution

3) absolutely you can do that with the Squeezebox controller. Or, for that matter, the browser in a Nokia tablet. Or an iPhone.

You will find the SBC to be the far superior solution though. Trust me on that (actually, you don't need to...30-day no risk guarantee)

SqueezeNetwork resides on the internet and allows you to use a free service to stream music (Pandora, Rhapsody, mp3tunes, Slacker, the list goes on (and will grow)...) out your Squeezebox without having a computer on.

SqueezeCenter is server software that you load on to a PC and will stream your local collection to your Squeezebox(es). It also allows you access to all those great services.

The solution you suggest will work, though I'd suggest that you might try having an always-on desktop machine that is wired rather than a laptop, which is typically wireless. Also note that when you turn your laptop off, so goes your SqueezeCenter.

hope that helped, and good luck,
#!/ben

sqwk77
2008-01-10, 20:54
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.

Ur[s]uS
2008-01-14, 14:53
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?
Yes. As you want to control the slimserver/squeezecentre (server) with another computer (Laptop A) and you want to have a second room on the music network, suggest: move Laptop B (and the music) to the room where your wireless router is. Then ethernet connect the server to the router. Leave the SBR/SB3 to connect wirelessly. Short of microwaves and neighbours with strong wireless you should be fine.


2) Would the "hardwire" part just be an ethernet cable from laptop "B" to the SBR?
Yes, for my suggestion. I think it's crossover for the LAN proposal you made.


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?
Yes.


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).

Yes. Assuming Laptop A is on the same local network, you simply use the internet browser on Laptop A and browse to [IP address of Laptop B]:9000 - this gives you access to the web interface of the squeezecentre/slimserver software running on Laptop A.


5) How is Pandora and Rhapsody played in this scenario? With laptop A or B?
I do not use, but they are available on the SBR/SB3 - using squeezenetwork (without either laptop). Or using squeezecentre, you can access (effectively using Laptop B).


6) Is there then an issue with Pandora and Rhapsody being played?
I do not think so.


My wireless router is unfortunately in another room entirely, nowhere near laptop "B" or my receiver.
You should limit the number of wireless links on the music network. Good to hardwire the computer/NAS running the server software to the network. See my suggestion.


7) Does this complicate anything? Do i need another SBR as I would with the Sonos setup?
No. One Duet (ie SBR and Controller) is enough. Or, old style, an SB3 is enough. Build up one room at a time.


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)?
Wireless transfer is fine. Wifi is both in theory and practice very effective in most domestic situations. It keeps my kitchen powered for music.


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?
I never run squeezenetwork - so yes. It does not make it easier. In fact, it eliminates issues to work the other way and just use squeezenetwork and rely on pandora/rhapsody and mp3tunes locker for music ... but i prefer fleixiblity of the local network server and FLAC files.