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View Full Version : What is teh advantage of SB over just using the computer?



Jack_
2008-09-10, 07:06
I am going to set me old laptop, ThinkPad T23 with win2K next to my stereo. If I understand all this correctly I can run the SqueezeCenter on the laptop and stream to a receiver hooked to the stereo and do all my controlling from the SC on the laptop, so I think I will have no need for the (expensive) remote.

what is the advantage of doing that instead of just getting an external sound card like Turtle Beach Audio Advantage SRM which has line out, or some other comparable sound card. How much better will the DAC and drivers on the SB receiver be?

My stereo system is nothing special, a Yamaha Receiver with Klipch bookshelf speakers in one room and a second set of Polk speakers in another room

Thanks
Jack

bernt
2008-09-10, 07:14
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_acceptance_factor

Jack_
2008-09-10, 07:28
since my wife already uses windows media player to play stuff on her PC she would not have to learn something new if I just get a good sound card for the laptop

exile
2008-09-10, 07:56
there's a pile of advantages to the SB but perhaps in your situation one of the key factors is aesthetics. Connecting a laptop to your main stereo is just plain ugly and bulky.

snarlydwarf
2008-09-10, 08:02
not to mention that Squeezeboxes are like potato chips.

After you get one for the living room, you will want another for the bedroom, one for the study, etc.

This is possible (but spendy) by deploying laptops everywhere... but then you cant synchronize the audio, the playlists, the music files themselves, etc, easily.

CatBus
2008-09-10, 08:13
The T23 has fans and a mechanical hard drive, correct? If so, then no matter what quality sound output you manage to get from that thing, the T23 will always produce much more ambient noise than a dead-silent Squeezebox. You would, of course, have to make sure the T23 isn't in the same room as the Squeezebox to see this advantage.

Goodsounds
2008-09-10, 09:06
To summarize and supplement:

1. Appearance/aesthetics/space utilization
2. Functionality
3. Sound minimization in listening area
4. Ease of use
5. Remote control
6. Simplicity for advanced capabilities
7. Image/impression - cool vs geeky/cheap

Pick the approach best suited to your situation.

iPhone
2008-09-10, 09:37
I am going to set me old laptop, ThinkPad T23 with win2K next to my stereo. If I understand all this correctly I can run the SqueezeCenter on the laptop and stream to a receiver hooked to the stereo and do all my controlling from the SC on the laptop, so I think I will have no need for the (expensive) remote.

what is the advantage of doing that instead of just getting an external sound card like Turtle Beach Audio Advantage SRM which has line out, or some other comparable sound card. How much better will the DAC and drivers on the SB receiver be?

My stereo system is nothing special, a Yamaha Receiver with Klipch bookshelf speakers in one room and a second set of Polk speakers in another room

Thanks
Jack

Nobody has mentioned Internet Radio without a PC being on.

JJZolx
2008-09-10, 09:39
what is the advantage of doing that instead of just getting an external sound card like Turtle Beach Audio Advantage SRM which has line out, or some other comparable sound card. How much better will the DAC and drivers on the SB receiver be?

If you're happy dedicating a PC or laptop to use as a music playback system, then there may be very little advantage to you. Most of the people I know who play computer-based audio play it straight from the computer. Or else they use an iPod. There are advantages in the simplicity of your approach, not the least of which is being able to use any playback software that runs on the computer you choose.

The main advantage to me when I first discovered Squeezebox was the "separation" factor. I can have my computer with all my music files in another room and play music on my stereo system. The Squeezebox solved a very simple problem - that of getting music from the PC _to_ the stereo. I have a friend who was facing the same issue a little before I found Squeezebox. He had his Mac in his home office, and stereo in his living room, separated by about 30 feet. His solution was to craft some very long interconnects and run them through the attic from the office to the living room. Needless to say, the Squeezebox is a much simpler and more elegant solution.

maggior
2008-09-10, 09:39
I am going to set me old laptop, ThinkPad T23 with win2K next to my stereo. If I understand all this correctly I can run the SqueezeCenter on the laptop and stream to a receiver hooked to the stereo and do all my controlling from the SC on the laptop, so I think I will have no need for the (expensive) remote.

what is the advantage of doing that instead of just getting an external sound card like Turtle Beach Audio Advantage SRM which has line out, or some other comparable sound card. How much better will the DAC and drivers on the SB receiver be?

My stereo system is nothing special, a Yamaha Receiver with Klipch bookshelf speakers in one room and a second set of Polk speakers in another room

Thanks
Jack

If you set it up this way, you are right - there really isn't much advantage to using a SB. The point of the SB is that the server can be hidden anywhere where you have network connectivity. If you are worried about spending $$$ on the SB controller, then get an SB3 from Amazon for ~$220. Or, if you are adventerous, get an SB Receiver and use the tool that somebody here wrote to set it up. The advantage of the SB3 would be you could use the RF remote.

SqueezeCenter has a web interface that can be accessed outside the server, so you could sit on the couch with your laptop (one other than the T23 you are using as the server) and control the player. Or you can use the RF remote that comes with the SB3.

Hope that makes some sense.

Jack_
2008-09-10, 15:29
I live in a small 1 bedroom apt in New York City
I have 1 stereo in my living room and will probably put remote speakers in the bedroom

There really isn't much place else other than next to the stereo for the Laptop but as this is in New York City there is going to be ambient noise regardless, though it is pretty dead quiet at 4 AM but I don't do much listening then.

I understand that I can get a remote or control the SC from a browser but I'd really have to see how these things work. The browser on my Palm Pilot is pretty small and I only use it when I absolutely must. If I were to use the SB Classic then I doubt that I will be able to see the 2 line display So I think I might be happier controlling everything from the big screen on the laptop.


No one has said the DAC and drivers on the Receiver are supporter to something that I coud buy for under $100. Are the 2 solutions sonically the same playing the same file?

CatBus
2008-09-10, 16:55
Laptop+$100 of audio gear vs. SB3 or similar, generally speaking the SB3 will sound better. However, combined with a non-ideal listening environment (computer/other noises), and the lower-end stereo components, I'm thinking that brings them closer together, perhaps close enough that you wouldn't hear the advantages of the SB3, or wouldn't care that much about the difference you could hear.

One other consideration is that an SB3 will likely outlast your laptop. Who knows, it may outlast your apartment. If you want to see advantages, it may be easier to look three to five years into the future.

4mula1
2008-09-10, 17:47
Squeezebox has a remote. No need to get up off the couch to change tracks, build a playlist, etc. If my eyes were better I could read the display on my living room SB3 from my computer room, about 30 feet. If I really concentrate I can do it, but then I get a headache...

The $230 Squeezebox Classic from Amazon is a no brainer. It freed my music from the constraints of my PC, makes a great RSS news ticker (it's the only way my wife keeps up with Formula 1) when it's "off" and it looks pretty slick. Everybody who comes to my house asks what it is, and then I turn it on...

Download SqueezeCenter and install it on your laptop and play with Softsqueeze a bit. Softsqueeze is a Squeezebox emulator written in Java that works pretty much like a hardware Squeezebox. There will be a performance penalty from running Softsqueeze + SqueezeCenter on the same PC, one that goes away with a hardware player. You've nothing to lose except some time.

G-dude
2008-09-11, 00:46
Comment about WAF (woman acceptance factor) is right on..

Also, there is no comparison between nerding out on your laptop with your back to everyone or having all your music and hundreds of internet stations in your hand with the SqueezeBox Remote..

You can even hand it around at a party and ANYONE (girlfriends, kids, old people) can add songs to the playlist..its really does free your music


The one downside is that it is true that you will want to buy more Squeezeboxes for all the other parts of your house (and they can all be controlled with one controller..cool..!!)

The only thing that may be nearly as cool is using your iPhone and Airport to control and send your iTunes music around the house (you can read about that on another post)...I have tried both but love the squeezebox...!

aubuti
2008-09-11, 06:07
If I were to use the SB Classic then I doubt that I will be able to see the 2 line display So I think I might be happier controlling everything from the big screen on the laptop.
If it's a small NYC apt and your eyesight is anywhere near normal (with glasses if needed), you shouldn't have any problem reading the SB Classic display.

Also, if you're listening to the remote speakers in the BR, I imagine it would get pretty inconvenient to go back to the laptop in the main room to change tracks, adjust volume, etc. But that's personal taste - try it that way for a while and decide if you really like it better than having the control while lying in your bed.