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View Full Version : Whole house audio but I need a controller



shawkie
2008-01-12, 04:23
I had a single SB3 and a QNAP running Slimserver 6.4. I also have an Axim PDA and wrote a (mostly unfinished) AJAX-based web skin for it.

I've always been interested in whole house audio but for me its more about being able to listen to one thing in any room I choose or in every room at the same time (e.g. for parties) than listening to two different things in two different rooms. That's why I haven't bought any more SB3s. I don't think the current implementation of synchronisation on SB3s is remotely up to scratch (primarily because it introduces gaps between tracks).

To solve this problem I have purchased an analog video sender which I will use to send coax digital audio to a second room.

This approach means a WiFi remote is essential. My Axim does basically work in this capacity but its a bit sluggish (at least with the QNAP), is only 802.11b and has battery life issues.

The new controller looks like it might be an improvement but I have some concerns:

a) It requires SqueezeCentre 7.0. I'm not sure if its possible to get this on the QNAP at all or how slow it would be.

b) I don't think it caches much/anything on the Controller so it might even be slower than the PDA.

My other idea is to write an application for the PDA rather than using a web interface. The idea would be to maintain a complete copy of the track information and artwork locally (I can easily have 4GB of compactflash to store it on). I'm wondering if anyone has any good ideas on how to keep this local copy up-to-date efficiently.

shawkie
2008-01-16, 05:51
I have decided that my current QNAP TS101 is nowhere near powerful enough for SC7 (I reckon it needs at least 256MB RAM).

I looked at upgrading it but I can't find anything that ticks all the boxes. Most cheap NAS boxes are too limited in CPU and RAM. Mini-ITX based systems are too big and power hungry (IMHO). That only really leaves Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX. My main problem here is price and finding one with Gigabit ethernet.

Then there is the cost and limited functionality of the Squeezebox Controller.

So I think I'm going to seriously look at writing a native remote control application (much like Moose) for the Axim PDA. This should give me much more control over the user interface than a web-based solution and it will use a local copy of the database so it should be very fast.

mflint
2008-01-16, 07:27
I have decided that my current QNAP TS101 is nowhere near powerful enough for SC7 (I reckon it needs at least 256MB RAM).

I looked at upgrading it but I can't find anything that ticks all the boxes. Most cheap NAS boxes are too limited in CPU and RAM. Mini-ITX based systems are too big and power hungry (IMHO). That only really leaves Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX. My main problem here is price and finding one with Gigabit ethernet.

Then there is the cost and limited functionality of the Squeezebox Controller.

So I think I'm going to seriously look at writing a native remote control application (much like Moose) for the Axim PDA. This should give me much more control over the user interface than a web-based solution and it will use a local copy of the database so it should be very fast.

I happily use a Kurobox HG/WR for SqueezeCenter 7 with a Squeezebox Controller. It has just 128Mb, but seems to perform well with my collection of approximately 4000 tracks.

It also has gigabit ethernet (but probably not enough processor grunt to make use of it!)

Matthew

Robin Bowes
2008-01-16, 12:40
mflint wrote:
>
> I happily use a Kurobox HG/WR for SqueezeCenter 7 with a Squeezebox
> Controller. It has just 128Mb, but seems to perform well with my
> collection of approximately 4000 tracks.
>
> It also has gigabit ethernet (but probably not enough processor grunt
> to make use of it!)

Matthew,

What HDD do you have in your Kurobox?

I've been trying to use a Seagate ST3500630A (500GB) but it just runs
too damn hot.

R.

mflint
2008-01-17, 02:29
mflint wrote:
>
> I happily use a Kurobox HG/WR for SqueezeCenter 7 with a Squeezebox
> Controller. It has just 128Mb, but seems to perform well with my
> collection of approximately 4000 tracks.
>
> It also has gigabit ethernet (but probably not enough processor grunt
> to make use of it!)

Matthew,

What HDD do you have in your Kurobox?

I've been trying to use a Seagate ST3500630A (500GB) but it just runs
too damn hot.

R.

Mine's a Seagate too, 320GB. Model ST3320620A.

Is the cooling fan running in your Kuro?

Robin Bowes
2008-01-17, 04:01
mflint wrote:
>
> Mine's a Seagate too, 320GB. Model ST3320620A.
>
> Is the cooling fan running in your Kuro?

Yes, it is.

I've got it up and running at the moment and seem to be holding steady
at 45C, but I suspect the acid test will be when I rsync my mp3 folder
to it.

I'm planning to get one of the new WD AV drives when I can find some stock.

R.

shawkie
2008-01-20, 14:17
So I think I'm going to seriously look at writing a native remote control application (much like Moose) for the Axim PDA. This should give me much more control over the user interface than a web-based solution and it will use a local copy of the database so it should be very fast.

I'm making progress with my PocketSqueeze application but I have an important choice to make now. For things like playlists (and especially the current playlist) I will still need to query the server but I will only need the track ids. Am I better off using the CLI (which is meant to be fast but will give me loads of extra stuff I don't need) or a custom skin which could be tailored to provide only the track ids? The main priority is speed (particularly when the server is running on low spec hardware) but also minimal bandwidth usage (because the Axim is only 802.11b).

At the moment I'm working with Slimserver 6.3.1 because thats what works on my NAS. Are there any new developments in 6.5 or 7.0 that I should be looking at before I go any further?

shawkie
2008-01-27, 12:48
I'm making quite good progress. I'm using Sqlite for my database engine which is convenient at the moment as I can just pull it straight of the NAS box. Moving and renaming the artwork is more of a problem. I guess that I could write a database export plug-in for SqueezeCenter at some point that takes care of it all?

At the moment I've only written a simple album browser although it already has 8 different views and can easily have about 4 different sort orders. And its pretty fast. The menu at the bottom will be kind of dynamic. The space at the top is for the main toolbar ("Now Playing", "Music Library", "Internet Radio", etc.). The space at the bottom is for play controls ("Play", "Pause", etc.). Clickable items are at least 80x50 pixels so you can just about use a finger instead of a sylus. Its also designed to be easily navigated using just the direction pad.