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View Full Version : Stupid question : Why isn't there a Squeezebox with SlimServer and HD *onboard* ?



bernaci
2008-01-19, 05:18
Since the announcement of the SB Duet I am looking into setting-up a music streaming solution based on a Squeezebox and I was wondering why SlimDevices does not release a small form factor SB Receiver which has the SlimServer and a small 2.5" hard disk readily ON BOARD ? This does not neccessarily increase size and cost of the box and the existing receiver and server Slim SW could easily be ported onto it.

The benefits would be so obvious that it triggered me posting this thread here :

- No need to run a PC with SlimServer, making noise and dissipating 300 Watts, just to listen to his music !
- No need to wait that PC and SlimServer have booted.
- No need to install a NAS, neither. Lots of threads here deal with pain and problems setting up SlimServer on external Linux machines or NASs.
- Most NASs are way too expensive and oversized for the purpose.
- I guess the majority of people still runs a single Squeezebox and not several and would be happy to have a single-box solution.
- Music collections are hardly bigger than 320 GB, which is currently the maximum size of 2.5" IDE drives. Most collections would even easily fit on a disk of 80 GB which you get for less than 40$.

However, my strongest argument for the deciders/designers at Slim is to point at a "reference box" which has exactly the right footprint : the Dreambox 600 PVR, a fully networked, Linux based Set-top box for satellite or cable TV reception. I am pretty sure that most readers here are familiar with the the very successful Dreambox concept.

http://www.dream-multimedia-tv.de/english/products_dm600.php

This appliance has all ingredients, which the suggested Squeezebox Receiver/Server would need, analogue and digital audio outputs and like Slim it is open source ! The cost is 240 $/Euros + 50$ for a 120 GB drive, for example. Like the SBs it has the size of a pocket book, no display, and the low-power design makes it fanless, noiseless and it runs 24h in standby, with the kernel and web server GUI always on. A click on the Remote (equiv. to the Squeezebox Controller) wakes it up, and it streams within 1 second ! Another important feature is that the HD is accessible via Windows Networking from the PC, which - in the suggested design - would run the Media Organizer SW, MP3tag etc. All music and playlists, however, would be stored on the Squeezebox HD.

I am using a Dreambox 600 now for half a year, and it is such a clever and stable solution that you are benchmarking your music/Internet Radio Streaming solution in-consciously with this concept.

Maybe this suggestion finds some supporters here in the forum and we can convince the Slim folks to go this way - in addition of course to the existing server-less SB clients.

My 20 cents

aubuti
2008-01-19, 06:02
Since the announcement of the SB Duet I am looking into setting-up a music streaming solution based on a Squeezebox and I was wondering why SlimDevices does not release a small form factor SB Receiver which has the SlimServer and a small 2.5" hard disk readily ON BOARD ? This does not neccessarily increase size and cost of the box and the existing receiver and server Slim SW could easily be ported onto it.
This comes up periodically on these forums, so clearly there is some demand for it. But I would argue that your two initial premises (above) are false. First, the SB's processor and RAM are not up to the task of running the server software. So stuffing a hard drive, CPU, and memory (i.e., a small computer) into the the SB will invariably increase both the size and the cost of the SB. Second, on what basis do you conclude that it can be done "easily"? It's a fundamental redesign of the product, as if Harley Davidson decided to produce a car.

Like I said, I can see that there's some demand there, but I can see why Slim / Logitech prefers to specialize in what they do well, and leave these all-in-one solutions to products like the Olive line (www.olive.us) and the Sooloo system. And a look at their prices and pictures will support my point about an all-in-one being bigger and pricier. It might be good value for some people, but let's not pretend it won't cost.

bernaci
2008-01-19, 06:52
This comes up periodically on these forums, so clearly there is some demand for it. But I would argue that your two initial premises (above) are false. First, the SB's processor and RAM are not up to the task of running the server software. So stuffing a hard drive, CPU, and memory (i.e., a small computer) into the the SB will invariably increase both the size and the cost of the SB. Second, on what basis do you IKt conclude that it can be done "easily"? It's a fundamental redesign of the product, as if Harley Davidson decided to produce a car.


I did not say that the existing SB HW should be used, and I did not expect it to happen in the next couple of months, maybe never. It would clearly require a NEW appliance, but with most components standard and readily available on the mass-market for linux based STB designs which a company like Slim / Logitech could probably assemble and release within a year. What would this have of a "fundamental re-design" ? The comparison with the small Dreambox was only targetted to raise that a 300 $ device can have ALL we need.

It is a matter of fact that, if today I want to run the Squeezebox Duet solution, three systems (w/o the Remote Control) *reasonnably* need to be operated :

- The PC which runs the SW to rip, tag and organise the music
- A NAS with SlimServer (because it is in-appropriate to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc).
- The SB itself as the Streaming client

I love the Squeezebox Duet solution, concept and ergonomy, but the three-tiered design is clearly not state-of-the-art anymore for home entertainment, ie. just for listening to music !

mudlark
2008-01-19, 07:51
It just shows how views can be so different. My system is nonsense by your measure.

My music is on a NAS because I want it available to more than one person. I use a living room PC for the server and display. It seems crazy, but it works for me....

The last thing I want is the squeezebox to get any bigger or include a HDD with what would be a crippled computer operating it.

funkstar
2008-01-19, 07:54
It is a matter of fact that, if today I want to run the Squeezebox Duet solution, three systems (w/o the Remote Control) *reasonnably* need to be operated :

- The PC which runs the SW to rip, tag and organise the music
- A NAS with SlimServer (because it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc).
- The SB itself as the Streaming client

I love the Squeezebox Duet solution, concept and ergonomy, but the three-tiered design is clearly not state-of-the-art anymore for home entertainment, ie. just for listening to music !
So what you would end up with is a PC sitting on a shelf that has fans and a noisy hard disk that you have no way of seperating from your listening.

with a PC being used as a server yoiu can put that anywhere in your house/appartment/whatever, away from where youa re actually listening. You can also use any comodity PC that you have lying around, or an existing system that you use for other tasks. You don't need a NAS, you don't *need* a new PC. It doesn't have to be powerful, after all NAS boxes are often under 500MHz.

And as for power consumption: a PC witha 300watt power supply does not use 300watts when in operation. They are switching power supplies so only draw the amount of power being used (with a little on top because they are about 85-90% efficient). SlimServer doesn't need a whopping great graphics card, doesn't need a massive proessor. You could power a respectable SS PC with a 120watt supply easily. Or even a laptop, they can dra as little as 60watts, especailly with the lid scosed and the screen off.

slimkid
2008-01-19, 11:20
It is a matter of fact that, if today I want to run the Squeezebox Duet solution, three systems (w/o the Remote Control) *reasonnably* need to be operated :

- The PC which runs the SW to rip, tag and organise the music
- A NAS with SlimServer (because it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc).
- The SB itself as the Streaming client



English is my second language, but my 'down to bare bones' take on the word 'nonsense' is pretty much - 'stupid'. So, what you just did is called vast majoriy of SS users 'stupid'.

The only nonsense here is that somebody with total of 8 posts and clearly demonstrated ignorance about the concept and the technology behind SS would do that in the public forum :)


K

Phil Leigh
2008-01-19, 11:41
I did not say that the existing SB HW should be used, and I did not expect it to happen in the next couple of months, maybe never. It would clearly require a NEW appliance, but with most components standard and readily available on the mass-market for linux based STB designs which a company like Slim / Logitech could probably assemble and release within a year. What would this have of a "fundamental re-design" ? The comparison with the small Dreambox was only targetted to raise that a 300 $ device can have ALL we need.

It is a matter of fact that, if today I want to run the Squeezebox Duet solution, three systems (w/o the Remote Control) *reasonnably* need to be operated :

- The PC which runs the SW to rip, tag and organise the music
- A NAS with SlimServer (because it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc).
- The SB itself as the Streaming client

I love the Squeezebox Duet solution, concept and ergonomy, but the three-tiered design is clearly not state-of-the-art anymore for home entertainment, ie. just for listening to music !

ahem...a NAS is just a PC with some bits missing - what part of that don't you get?

autopilot
2008-01-19, 12:03
I love the Squeezebox Duet solution, concept and ergonomy, but the three-tiered design is clearly not state-of-the-art anymore for home entertainment, ie. just for listening to music !

But what you are proposing is a step backwardwards. So i have to rip my music to my PC then copy it over to every player in each room? No thanks, i only want one music library to worry about. I dont want to mess around and keep copying files around all the time every time i make a change to my music collection.

And "just for listening to music"? Whats that supposed to mean? I have no interest in movies with my SB3 if thats what you mean. The Squeezebox is currently the best way to play back digital music around the home - i dont want a watered down jack of all trades multimedia mish-mash that will required a TV to operate. SD concentrate on music players, other companies can can do video, and they make better products for it. Why do people think that Video and Music need to be so intrinsically linked? I only want movies in one room, but music in almost every room (cost permitting).

I mean this is the nicest possible way, i dont mean this personally, but you sound like someone who has not used one or has fully got their head around the concepts yet :) If you are still having trouble, then buy an iPod(s) and a dock it to your HiFi(s). But you will be missing out on a lot ;)



(because it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc)


Why? most servers are basically PC's (a NAS is just a headless linux PC). Thats a daft statement, it really is. Everyone has a PC already in thier house stitting idle, put it to use as a server without having to fork out extra for a NAS. Just put it to sleep when not needed (here is a clue... look in your PC's BIOS for Wake On LAN).

Fifer
2008-01-19, 12:05
So, what you just did is called vast majoriy of SS users 'stupid'.
In fairness, by the choice of thread title, the OP has included himself too.

Pale Blue Ego
2008-01-19, 13:13
There are any number of companies making 1-box music server appliances. They are essentially overpriced PCs which introduce mechanical noise and moving parts into the listening room.

Believe me, the first things people would demand if Slim did offer such a system as you propose would be:

* How can I replace the hard drive with a bigger one?

* loading long playlists takes forever. Can I put a faster CPU and more RAM in my Slim player?

* How can I make the fan quieter?

* I want to use all kinds of custom plugins, but I know nothing about Linux, SSH, or the command line. How do I hack the OS on the Slim box to make it do what I want?

matthijskoopmans
2008-01-19, 14:45
So, what if Logitech/Slim Devices launch a new product, called the SqueezeNAS or the like. You don't need to buy it as you can run SqueezeCenter on your computer. But if you want an elegant solution away from your machine it might be an option...

erland
2008-01-19, 21:15
So, what if Logitech/Slim Devices launch a new product, called the SqueezeNAS or the like. You don't need to buy it as you can run SqueezeCenter on your computer. But if you want an elegant solution away from your machine it might be an option...

This is it, but it shouldn't be called SqueezeNAS because I really think it should be a small computer with better specs than all the current NAS boxes. Something like "SqueezeBox Server" would be prefereable.

I think that what we want is basically a Mac Mini, but from a small third party vendor instead of Apple so the price can be reduced a bit. Logitech probably doesn't want to focus on the server hardware, their focus has been and should be on the parts closest to the user, the remote and playback device. IMO the best solution would be if they partner up with a resonable sized third party vendor that manufactured a small computer which had SqueezeCenter preinstalled and could be announced on the Logitech web site.

This way we would get rid of all these NAS discussions, people that like to run SqueezeCenter on their own computer would still be able to do it. People that just want a harddisk would put the new "SqueezeBox Server" directly beside their SqueezeBox. It would be a bit more expensive than a simple NAS box but we would have a solution which is fast enough for SqueezeCenter and we could recommend it to users which don't want their standard "computer" on all the time.

I think one reason that this has't already been done is that it would create a feeling that the SqueezeBox system is more expensive. Currently most people buying a SqueezeBox probably doesn't calculate the price of the PC into the costs. The result is that a SqueezeBox system today feels cheaper than similar systems from other vendors which include the server hardware in the price.

pfarrell
2008-01-19, 21:50
three systems (w/o the Remote Control) *reasonnably* need to be operated :

- The PC which runs the SW to rip, tag and organise the music
- A NAS with SlimServer (because it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc).
- The SB itself as the Streaming client


No, two. The SB is one, and a silent PC is another. All a NAS is behind the covers is a PC with disks. There is no need for two PCs.

The beauty of the Slim design is that the PC can be anywhere, mine is in the basement, I never see it, let alone hear its fans and disks.

A stereo listening room should not have a PC in it. All IMHO, YMMV, etc.

bernaci
2008-01-20, 04:53
There are any number of companies making 1-box music server appliances. They are essentially overpriced PCs which introduce mechanical noise and moving parts into the listening room.

This is exactly NOT what we want SlimDevices to do : another of these over-priced "1-box music server appliances" on a bulky PC platform, and that is not what I had said.


Here again :

Look at the size of the Dreambox 600, just as an example. It has the size of a pocket-book, external power supply, no display, no fan, no noise. It is based on a PowerPC chip, specially designed for low-power appliances, like set-top boxes. It doesn't even get hand-warm.

When you buy it, it comes *without* the disk, boots without the disk etc. It is fully operational without, except for the server part. So if you don't need that, you operate it like any of today's Squeezeboxes.

If you want to run the (Slim)server, you decide on the disk size you need, you go to the next IT retailer and buy a tiny standard 2.5" hard disk of your choice (as there are in any laptop), plug it in, format it from the SlimServer Settings menue and use it. An affair of 15 minutes. Oh, I have forgotten to add that you still need 2 minutes to map it as a network drive on your PC.
These disks are ABSOLUTELY noiseless !


Believe me, the first things people would demand if Slim did offer such a system as you propose would be:

* How can I replace the hard drive with a bigger one?

Well, as the user had put-in in the first disk, he may also be able to replace it ;-)




* loading long playlists takes forever. Can I put a faster CPU and more RAM in my Slim player ?
* How can I make the fan quieter?

You cannot change anything except the disk. There is no fan. As a reminder, it is not a PC, but an appliance.


* I want to use all kinds of custom plugins, but I know nothing about Linux, SSH, or the command line. How do I hack the OS on the Slim box to make it do what I want?

It would be the decision of SlimDevices to open the box more or less to external Plug-ins. 99 % of the Audiophiles will never telnet into the box because they get full access to the functionality over the GUI anyway. In any case, I would from a user perspective certainly not qualify command line access as a disadvantage !


So, what is wrong with this concept ?

Btw, Dream Multimedia has sold thousands of their 600 appliances since it came on the market in April 2007. Also because it has the right price tag : 250 Euros.

autopilot
2008-01-20, 05:57
So, what is wrong with this concept ?

You have been told numerous times, but dont seem to grasp it; it may suit some people in some applications, but its not a concept that most people want or would work best for them. You seem to be completely forgetting/not understanding what a major ball ache this would be if you have multiple SB's in different rooms. Its also very inefficient and not as flexible. You also fail see that a NAS+Slimserver severing an SB is practically the same just having a HDD+Slimserver in the SB, it just that you dont have duplicate HDD's - just one to manage and server all your SB's. It's just that the NAS's HDD is not physically inside the SB's box.

Streaming to thin clients and centralised home servers are the way forward, Apple, Sony, Microsoft all seem to think so - thus they are all investing in and moving more and more towards the streaming model, just look at all the products they are developing. People are moving AWAY from the model you describe.

Products like you describe already exist - so why is it that the top in-home digital home products (Squeezebox, Sono's, Roku, Apple Airport) are all server-> HDD-less thin clients? Why are they becoming more and more popular? And why is it that more and more companies are joining the bandwagon and companies like SD get bought up by the like of Logitech? Everyone wrong and you right?

Like i said, buy an iPod and dock - but you are missing a trick, what you propose most people dont want, and for good reasons.

bernaci
2008-01-20, 10:57
You have been told numerous times, but dont seem to grasp it; it may suit some people in some applications, but its not a concept that most people want or would work best for them. You seem to be completely forgetting/not understanding what a major ball ache this would be if you have multiple SB's in different rooms. Its also very inefficient and not as flexible. You also fail see that a NAS+Slimserver severing an SB is practically the same just having a HDD+Slimserver in the SB, it just that you dont have duplicate HDD's - just one to manage and server all your SB's. It's just that the NAS's HDD is not physically inside the SB's box.

Streaming to thin clients and centralised home servers are the way forward, Apple, Sony, Microsoft all seem to think so - thus they are all investing in and moving more and more towards the streaming model, just look at all the products they are developing. People are moving AWAY from the model you describe.

Products like you describe already exist - so why is it that the top in-home digital home products (Squeezebox, Sono's, Roku, Apple Airport) are all server-> HDD-less thin clients? Why are they becoming more and more popular? And why is it that more and more companies are joining the bandwagon and companies like SD get bought up by the like of Logitech? Everyone wrong and you right?

Like i said, buy an iPod and dock - but you are missing a trick, what you propose most people dont want, and for good reasons.

I fully subsribe to the model to use a central media server with Thin Clients for individual media types and to distribute the media throughout the house. That is, btw, exactly what I have been using over the past 5 years in day-to-day usage : a Shuttle PC with a 2 TB disk farm, thin clients for Internet Radio (a Roku M1001), a Dreambox for satellite radio, and for music playing I use three Sound Blaster Wireless Appliances (same concept as the Squeezebox Duet, but a dis-continued product from Creative). - All diskless Thin Clients ! (except the Dreambox)

... but

Music is different. It needs comparatively little disk space, bandwidth and CPU compared to Video or TV, and most people listen much more to music than watch videos. Adding a small HDD in the audio thin client does not make it necessarily a server (or an iPod :-)). Hard disks are a commodity today ! It remains a thin client with a local cache of your music library, which you can use independently of your central server. For music the central server concept can easily be, and should be relaxed.

I simply do not want my Shuttle running 24 hours a day, ie. not when I am listening to music, it uses minimum 200 W, it has a noisy fan, you cannot switch-off the Graphics Card, and I do not have a basement to hide another PC (What do you suggest to people who live in small appartments ?) And finally, I would really like to avoid investing again 300 $ in an QNAP or Buffalo NAS ... only to host the SlimServer. A no-brainer if your entire music collection fits on a small 30 $ harddisk.

Finally, how can you suggest an iPod as an alternative ? What does it have in common with the Squeezebox Duet ? Is it a stationary device ? Does it run in a network ? Does it have an SPDIF port ? Can you control it over a 802.11 bi-directional remote control ? The Apple concept is a completely closed solution - Nothing fits here.

After all, if SD adds the possibility of a small disk on the SB Receiver and to run a SlimServer daemon, sales of this product would go through the roof, at least it would be a very, very nice-to-have option.

Phil Leigh
2008-01-20, 11:18
Sounds to me like you need to sort out your power-saving options on the shuttle.
Most people would set the PC (or whatever) to sleep after a period of inactivity...at which point it draws almost no power at all...and to auto-wake when someone needs it to.
By the way, just coz you have a 200w PSU in there, doesn't mean it draws 200W...far from it.

I just don't buy this "local cache" thing...it doesn't make ANY sense to me. I want access from everywhere to a single master source of music data. I absolutely don't want my music scattered over multiple devices.

bernaci
2008-01-20, 12:08
This is it, but it shouldn't be called SqueezeNAS because I really think it should be a small computer with better specs than all the current NAS boxes. Something like "SqueezeBox Server" would be prefereable.

I think that what we want is basically a Mac Mini, but from a small third party vendor instead of Apple so the price can be reduced a bit. Logitech probably doesn't want to focus on the server hardware, their focus has been and should be on the parts closest to the user, the remote and playback device. IMO the best solution would be if they partner up with a resonable sized third party vendor that manufactured a small computer which had SqueezeCenter preinstalled and could be announced on the Logitech web site.

This way we would get rid of all these NAS discussions, people that like to run SqueezeCenter on their own computer would still be able to do it. People that just want a harddisk would put the new "SqueezeBox Server" directly beside their SqueezeBox. It would be a bit more expensive than a simple NAS box but we would have a solution which is fast enough for SqueezeCenter and we could recommend it to users which don't want their standard "computer" on all the time.

I think one reason that this has't already been done is that it would create a feeling that the SqueezeBox system is more expensive. Currently most people buying a SqueezeBox probably doesn't calculate the price of the PC into the costs. The result is that a SqueezeBox system today feels cheaper than similar systems from other vendors which include the server hardware in the price.

Erland,

What you suggest is probably the best trade-off for a short term solution. I did not expect so much reluctance in the Squeezebox community against the idea to run a SqueezeCenter daemon on the Squeezebox itself. So I fully subscribe to all your arguments, ie. that it should be a low cost third-party (Linux) platform with SqueezeCenter pre-installed and fully tested and qualified by SD/Logitech. Alternatively, SD could recommend one or two of the existing NASs or better, a small-form factor, general purpose Linux computer and develop an installation package for it.

Take me as a future user of the Duet : I want to avoid using my PC, and I am facing a huge choice of NAS vendors and models. Basically, I don't need a NAS, I don't know the market, I have no other use of the NAS than running SqueezeCenter, but I still must spend time on it and take a decision. Till know I am searching through this forum looking for the least worst solution. If SD would step-in here and recommend people what to buy and how to set it up, I could focus on the music and the library organisation instead, which is more fun, than reading through all the headaches which people have with this or that NAS.

autopilot
2008-01-20, 12:21
I did not expect so much reluctance in the Squeezebox community against the idea to run a SqueezeCenter demon on the Squeezebox itself.

Why? Think about - People are here because they chose this system over other systems like you describe. 95% people are very happy and it works well for them, thats why they are here in the first place. If people liked the idea of having a local storage HDD they would be on another manufactures forums. There is reluctance because it sounds like you are saying all these people are wrong, which they are not. It's blindingly obvious why people are reluctant to switch to the streaming solution they chose to a fundamentally different model, they are not stupid.

Answer me this - you have 5 players around the house and one night you are playing your music and you notice some of the tags are all wrong. What do you do in a) your proposed solution and what do you do for the existing server/client solution?

Also answer the other questions you have ingnored above, such as why Microsoft, Apple and Sony etc are moving more and more into streaming over Local storage.

Also, i really dont understand why its such a trouble using a PC or NAS box - you are using all that PC power to write a simple forums message, put thet power to good use doing other stuff like serving up files - then put it to sleep when it not required.

bernaci
2008-01-20, 12:22
The only nonsense here is that somebody with total of 8 posts and clearly demonstrated ignorance about the concept and the technology behind SS would do that in the public forum :)

K

This is the Beginner's corner of the Forum.

Now 12 posts.

gbruzzo
2008-01-20, 13:46
The only nonsense here is that somebody with total of 8 posts and clearly demonstrated ignorance about the concept and the technology behind SS would do that in the public forum :)

K

Some people on the forum should really take a vacation. The question asked is pertinent. I also would like to see a Logitech/Slimdevices branded nas-type solution. Cultism is quite detestable. If you do not like the question then go to some other thread.

Regards to all

Giacomo

pfarrell
2008-01-20, 14:22
The question asked is pertinent. I also would like to see a Logitech/Slimdevices branded nas-type solution.

Then it would no longer be a Slim Device.

You can desire one, and perhaps someone will offer it. But the reason 'why' has been answered.

robroe
2008-01-20, 14:40
Some people on the forum should really take a vacation. The question asked is pertinent. I also would like to see a Logitech/Slimdevices branded nas-type solution. Cultism is quite detestable. If you do not like the question then go to some other thread.

Regards to all

Giacomo
I would agree with Giacomo, the guy asked asked a reasonable question in the beginners section of the forum. At the beginning of the thread he had 8 posts so how could he be expected to know "about the concept and the technology behind SS".

Whilst I appreciate some people have been in this community far longer than others and they rightfully have some seniority it occasionally feels like other peoples ideas are dismissed out of hand just because they differ from the way things have always been done.

Some people clearly have an interest and a need for a low power music storage solution and do not want to leave a pc/server on all day. I dont think you should just say "well this isnt the product for you" if they want that. I love the open nature of this product and that I can run SS on my PC or Mac or Linux or a NAS if I so choose, but it would be nice to have some recommended solutions maybe along the lines of "Certified for SlimServer"?

Also whilst I agree that the market is going towards centralised storage, Apple for one have a form of local caching in operation on their AppleTV and for me that was one of the features that is of great interest.

I feel like I am slightly rehashing some of the points made far more eloquently earlier but I thought I would put in my 2 cents and just ask if we can all get along ;)

autopilot
2008-01-20, 15:04
Whilst I appreciate some people have been in this community far longer than others and they rightfully have some seniority it occasionally feels like other peoples ideas are dismissed out of hand just because they differ from the way things have always been done.

That clearly is not the case, read though the thread, people have taken time and effort to go into detail and several paragraphs and write long replies explaining why etc.

However, conversely, the OP could be accused of the same thing - and he has clearly demonstrated a lack of grasping the concepts and why people choose such as system.

Nothing personal, all just forum banter. People often take things personally though, understandably too. But its all good :)



Some people clearly have an interest and a need for a low power music storage solution and do not want to leave a pc/server on all day.

At the risk of sounding personal again - HEAD - WALL - HIT.

For what feels like the 1,000th time - Who is forcing you to leave your PC/server/NAS on all day?

And why is using a 1 NAS and several low power thin clients significantly more inefficient (or indeed at all) than several higher power CPU's, mechanical hard drives, etc?

Futhermore, why does this question go ignored?



Answer me this - you have 5 players around the house and one night you are playing your music and you notice some of the tags are all wrong. What do you do in a) your proposed solution and what do you do for the existing server/client solution?

Zaragon
2008-01-20, 15:24
Personally I don't see the relevance of how many posts someone has made especially in respect to what they may or may not know. I haven't had my SB3s for too long but I did spend quite some time researching before I decided on them. You may notice I don't have too many posts (at least when I posted this).

The bit that bugs me about this whole discussion is that the guy doesn't want a computer on, running an operating system and spinning disks, he wants a NAS (Which is a computer running an operating system and spinning disks.)

Whether this is a stand alone device or one built into the SB it is still a computing device.

I don't particularly think that the discussion of it being a local cache is relevant because it isn't really a cache. It is a replicated store and being such one then has to consider that it would both be necessary to store everything or have some mechanism to chose what to store. You also need to have sufficient computing power to run a full SqueezeCentre server. Not having both means having to decide what you store and what functions you leave out. Do you leave out plugins, do you leave out searches, what about browse by author? The cache only makes sense when you have the main server to refer to if the cache is deficient and here the cache is serving to reduce instantaneous bandwidth requirements which even in a wireless environment is usually not an insurmountable problem.

Once you have an in-built device running a full SqueezeCentre not only are you going against the original design philosphy but you have just built the very device that you didn't want, a computing device with an inbuilt Squeezebox. (Effectively softsqueeze on a general purpose computer.)

Now you have a lot of associated problems of synchronisation of the cache, command hierachies of what controls what and when.

Now if you are appealing to people that don't want a local disk store then you have the SqueezeNetwork. If you want your own tunes then I believe there is at least one service out there on which you can store your music and have it accessible from the SqueezeNetwork.

Personally I don't want to see Slim making general purpose PCs for a SqueezeCentre (even if you call it an appliance) because this isn't what they do best. There are a lot of other companies out there that can do it a lot better.

I also think that if you actually consider the market then there isn't likely to be a significant demand for such a device. Those that fully understand the concept are likely to be fully capable of putting together a cheap, quite device as a server. Those less sure are just as likely to buy a prebuilt NAS with it already installed. The general public who don't want to know about computers but want a sound system are likely to go to a professional outlet that does know.

Zaragon
2008-01-20, 15:40
Oh I also meant to add in respect of Apple TV being mentioned as an example of a cache.

Firstly I'll say that I don't have one and haven't looked at one (but since when did that stop anyone commenting :) )

I believe that the cacheing is precisely that a local cache for material which is stored elsewhere on the Internet where the cache is used to overcome the problems associated with streaming high bandwidth content over an unreliable link. You could consider it doing a similar job to your browser cache.

If you purchase video content it is downloaded to your local device but this is done to solve not only the unreliable link problems but also the server loads that would occur for full live steaming from iTunes.

Within the UK BT have an Internet TV streaming service which live streams standard definition pictures. Whilst it uses a smallish local buffer not a true cache it does employ a form of Quality of Service on the DSL service whilst streaming effectively segmenting it into a 512Kbps for surfing etc and the rest 2Mbps-8Mbps reserved for the TV stream.

I guess I'm not clear what problem you are trying to solve where the Apple TV device (a computer running an operating system with a disk) is an example solution.

slimkid
2008-01-20, 16:19
Some people on the forum should really take a vacation. The question asked is pertinent. I also would like to see a Logitech/Slimdevices branded nas-type solution. Cultism is quite detestable. If you do not like the question then go to some other thread.

Regards to all

Giacomo

With vacation part I wholeheartedly agree. You are more than welcome to talk to my employer :)

The question asked is pertinent. However, the bold statement that "running a PC in order to listen SB in a nonsense" is what I objected to.

And, for the part : "If you do not like the question then go to some other thread." should I remind you that this is a public forum, where somebody starts a subject and others are invited comment on it. So, in the same manner, if you don't like to be contradicted then start a blog.

K

Pale Blue Ego
2008-01-20, 16:58
If there was a big demand for such a thing, there would be 3rd parties filling the demand. It's certainly no trick to build a small, quiet computer. But profit margins are slim in the hardware industry. Are you willing to pay a premium price for a dedicated slimserver box?

gbruzzo
2008-01-20, 19:59
And, for the part : "If you do not like the question then go to some other thread." should I remind you that this is a public forum, where somebody starts a subject and others are invited comment on it. So, in the same manner, if you don't like to be contradicted then start a blog.

K

My objection is to the tone of your answer, not its content.
I have no issue with being contradicted, I welcome it. I am just irritated by what I perceive as lack of politeness, to me or to anyone else.

Regards,

Giacomo

robbin
2008-01-20, 21:19
I was wondering why SlimDevices does not release a small form factor SB Receiver which has the SlimServer and a small 2.5" hard disk readily ON BOARD ?Take the idea one step further and add rechargeable batteries and powered speakers and you have a Squeezebox Boombox. Reading past threads there does seem to be interest in that type of device.

matthijskoopmans
2008-01-20, 23:52
At the risk of adding more fuel to the fire... :)

Any business that wants to be/remain relevant needs to re-invent itself from time to time. So if something is not in the current concept does not mean it should never be. This forum is a great place for Logitech to see what is on the wishlist of their customers, and what not. I think it is fantastic that poeple bring forth ideas, and a constructive discussion as a result of that (not always equally constructive, but that is how discussions go).

I hope the original poster, or anyone else, is not discouraged to put ideas forward, or to ask questions. It is still the Internet's friendliest forum, right?

Cheers

Matt

autopilot
2008-01-21, 02:50
^ Absolutely.

gbruzzo
2008-01-21, 03:11
This forum is a great place for Logitech to see what is on the wishlist of their customers, and what not. I think it is fantastic that poeple bring forth ideas, and a constructive discussion as a result of that (not always equally constructive, but that is how discussions go).

I hope the original poster, or anyone else, is not discouraged to put ideas forward, or to ask questions. It is still the Internet's friendliest forum, right?

Cheers

Matt

I second that

Fifer
2008-01-21, 06:16
It is still the Internet's friendliest forum, right?

That's Slashdot surely?

bigfool1956
2008-01-22, 09:56
OK, I think there is some misunderstanding about the AppleTV on this thread, so I thought I would clarify what it does, and how it operates.

Firstly, in construction it is very much like a cut down Mac-mini, with a reduced version of OS, which is specifically designed to run the AppleTV application.

It has an internal HDD (40 or 120GB) which is not user changeable. Although it has a USB port on the back, this is not for user functionality, like adding a bigger USB HDD. (Hacks are available - but hacking is not what we are discussing here.)

It does not have any drives for replaceable media, e.g. CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, card readers etc.

It has HDMI, Component Video, TOSlink, and analogue outs.

Video out is optimised for widescreen TVs only, and the display on a 4:3 TV is squashed. A display is required for operation, you would have no idea what you were doing without one.

The analogue audio out is truly horrible, but using the optical digital into a receiver is really quite good. I have yet to evaluate the HDMI output for audio. It can play pretty much anything that itunes can play. I have tested it successfully with 24/96 - but of course I have no way of knowing if it downsamples. I doubt it, as the DAC is 24/96 capable.

iTunes refuses to copy 24/192 files to the AppleTV, as they incompatible.

On the video side, it is highly restricted to the type of file that can be played, although we have yet to see if the new update will change that.

In terms of behaviour, it operates like an iPod, with the addition of the ability to stream audio and video from iTunes. In fact you can locally cache from a single iTunes library, and in addition stream from up to 5 other libraries.

It runs very hot but quiet, and of course as it is an real computer, it can in theory have a negative effect on nearby components.

On the whole it is not a bad solution for those who use an AV system, but for a music only system it is not really suitable - particularly as it requires an attached display device.

Phil Leigh
2008-01-22, 10:36
This Apple TV thingie sounds like a crippled version of things like PopcornHour.
By the way, there is no evidence that putting a computer in the same room as your hi-fi has a deleterious effect. Obviously it MIGHT but that's not the same as saying it WILL ALWAYS.

Also this thread has thrown up a lot of misunderstandings about "computers". I would argue that any device with an embedded microcontroller that executes a stored instructon set is a "computer"... so that encompasses almost everything these days!
By my definition, even a standard hard drive is a "computer" since it has an onboard microcontroller.

...erm, and so is the Squeezebox...also my pre-amp, my TACT, my Satellite receiver, my TV, my DVD player and my Router...

Fifer
2008-01-22, 11:54
Aren't most people who say "I don't want a computer in my listening room" really saying "I don't want a noisy device with fans and HDDs in my listening room"?

bernaci
2008-01-22, 14:36
Aren't most people who say "I don't want a computer in my listening room" really saying "I don't want a noisy device with fans and HDDs in my listening room"?

... and 15 Watts or less (5 Watts in standby), and as stable as Linux and as Windows will never be.

In the meantime, I have read through most of the threads dealing with Hardware for the SlimServer. One of the best platforms (just for hosting headless SS) seems to be the Koolu Net Appliance which satisfies all criteria above and has the right price tag :

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=38640

There is certainly equivalent small HW from other vendors but why continue searching when a handful of users here are very happy with it.
I am just waiting for some reports on how SC 7 is performing on it and I would buy it along with the Duet, as soon as released.

aubuti
2008-01-22, 14:57
... and 15 Watts or less (5 Watts in standby), and as stable as Linux and as Windows will never be.

In the meantime, I have read through most of the threads dealing with Hardware for the SlimServer. One of the best platforms (just for hosting headless SS) seems to be the Koolu Net Appliance which satisfies all criteria above and has the right price tag :

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=38640

There is certainly equivalent small HW from other vendors but why continue searching when a handful of users here are very happy with it.
I am just waiting for some reports on how SC 7 is running on it and would buy it along with the Duet, as soon as released.
Good choice, although I don't see how this squares with your earlier comments about "it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc". And you'll still need another PC (or at least a keyboard, monitor, and external CD drive) to do your ripping and tagging. But hey, it makes more sense to me than a Dreambox does ..... ;o)

bernaci
2008-01-22, 22:20
Good choice, although I don't see how this squares with your earlier comments about "it is a nonsense to use a PC for the server part. Don't tell me of fan-less PCs etc". And you'll still need another PC (or at least a keyboard, monitor, and external CD drive) to do your ripping and tagging.

The Koolu is definitely not a PC in the common sense. I think we all agree on that. The "fanless PC" to which I referred in the beginning of this thread is more a Hush type of device, which would simply be oversized and -priced for the purpose to be an audio streamer.

I never contested btw that you need a PC to organize and tag your music. But once this is done you switch it off (at least it is not the streaming server) !


But hey, it makes more sense to me than a Dreambox does ..... ;o)

On the contrary, the physical footprint of the Koolu is exactly that of the Dreambox : Same kernel, same size, very low power consumption, always-on, 2.5" disk, fanless, same price tag.

And now that the choice seems to be taken, what will I get in the end ? The SB Receiver sitting right next to the Koolu Server. Both have their external power supplies, both have their Ethernet cables to the router. But both will work simultaneously, the SB needs the server, the server serves the SB(s) exclusively. The Server must go standby when the SB goes standby and vice versa. - This is where I had put the idea forward to possibly integrate both devices into one, and where we meet the initial argument of this thread.

PS:
Just as an footnote, the Koolu has a complete 2-channel Audio output (Realtek AC97), which remains un-used for our purpose. Too bad. - Imagine for a moment that being replaced by the Squeezebox audio circuitry ;-)

aubuti
2008-01-23, 06:03
The Koolu is definitely not a PC in the common sense. I think we all agree on that. The "fanless PC" to which I referred in the beginning of this thread is more a Hush type of device, which would simply be oversized and -priced for the purpose to be an audio streamer.
Actually I wouldn't agree with your assumptions that PC==standard desktop form factor or fanless==Hush. They are both far broader categories than that. A Koolu is most definitely a pc, and a fanless one at that. But you can rationalize it however you want. The important thing is that in the end you made a good choice. And I wouldn't be surprised if, in time, you decide to put the Koolu somewhere more out of the way than next to your SB and audio system, or even use it to feed multiple SBs. Enjoy.

jeffmeh
2008-01-23, 06:04
The Koolu is definitely not a PC in the common sense. I think we all agree on that.

You are arguing semantics. The device has a CPU, solid state memory, and magnetic storage, so it is a computer. It has a relatively small form factor, does not require a data center, and is marketed to the consumer, so from my perspective it is a PC.

That being said, if it suits your purpose, that is great.

dbear
2009-12-27, 18:21
The D-link DNS-323-1TB network harddisk has built in support for several media players. It can stream directly from the disk to a compatible network player without the PC running (unfortunately it does not support any Logitech players). This is the solution I would like to have for my Transporter. The disk would be connected to the wireless router and will always be on - and away from the very player so there would be no noise. It must surely be a fairly easy thing to get the Squeezebox server running on a similar disk...

aubuti
2009-12-27, 18:59
The D-link DNS-323-1TB network harddisk has built in support for several media players. It can stream directly from the disk to a compatible network player without the PC running (unfortunately it does not support any Logitech players). This is the solution I would like to have for my Transporter. The disk would be connected to the wireless router and will always be on - and away from the very player so there would be no noise. It must surely be a fairly easy thing to get the Squeezebox server running on a similar disk...
Welcome to the forums. Check out the posts in the 3rd Party Hardware forum, where you will find most discussion of running Squeezebox Server on Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Many users run SBS on such devices from various manufacturers, I think that D-Link may even be among them. It doesn't do SBS out of the box, but it is possible. Note that many NASs do not have sufficient RAM or CPU power to run the software, but quite a few do.

bpa
2009-12-28, 01:48
The D-link DNS-323-1TB network harddisk has built in support for several media players.


Did you try search ?
A quick search throws this up -
https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=52664


It must surely be a fairly easy thing to get the Squeezebox server running on a similar disk...

What info did you use to conclude the port is "surely be a fairly easy thing" ?
I suspect 7.4 is too big for DND323 but the 7.5 (possibly the embedded version) might be more suitable - but I reckong they will take work.

hphp67
2009-12-30, 10:11
i'm very happy with the sheeva plug.
needs only bout 6w and you find very good installation hints on the web.
i'd definitely recommend it, as it's even cheaper than most NAS-solutions I found.

apn
2009-12-30, 18:52
If he's not locked into SB, the OP could also consider the Patriot Box Office.

It's similar to the Asus, WD, PCH and other "generic" media players except that it contains an internal bay for a 2.5" HDD

http://www.patriotmem.com/products/detailp.jsp?prodline=6&catid=69&prodgroupid=159&id=895&type=20