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WBW
2008-12-03, 18:01
So I recently made the leap to jettison CDs and go all digital with music from my 400+CD library. Have downloaded about half of them in WAV (for highest fidelity) format to a 160GB external disk on my computer, but now pick up from these threads that there may be a better/more efficient format for me to use. Have purchased Squeezebox Duet, and want to buy dedicated NAS or computer (750GB or 1TB) to store music on. Will be played through received connected to 5 channel home theater. Will route through our wireless router. Can anybody out there give me a bullet pointed guide to how to do this most effectively? Sorry to ask questions that are probably answered separately in various forums/threads, but I can't find it all in one place. I really appreciate your help!

maggior
2008-12-03, 18:31
Congrats on the beginning of your journey into the realm of digital audio.

The best format to move to in your situation would be FLAC. The easiest program to do the conversion is something called dbPowerAmp. If you are familiar with foobar2000, that will do it too.

The advantages of FLAC are that they take up almost 1/2 the space as WAV but are still lossless (as opposed to mp3, which is lossy). FLAC files can also be tagged to include information regarding artist, title, year, track number, etc.

Regarding your storage - a NAS would work. Are you running your server on a PC or do you plan to run the server on the NAS. For performance reasons, you are probably better off running the server on a PC and using the NAS just as a file server.

Here is a link to some really good guides:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Main_Page

Here is a link to the beginner's guide:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/BeginnersGuide
This guide provides some links to really good articles about ripping your CDs, installing SC, etc.

It may make more sense reading it now that you have some more terminology under your belt.

Have fun!

Patrick Dixon
2008-12-04, 02:50
Some more reasons to use flac:

- Duet supports flac natively, so you get efficient streaming and ffwd & rwwd within songs
- You can embed tags in flac files (but not in wav), so you with be better able to track, search and group your music.

Reckon on 3CDs per GB of storage using flac.

IMO, you should aim to rip/tag on your desktop/laptop computer, and drop the files directly on a NAS or musicserver elsewhere on the network. If possible, you should connect the NAS/musicserver directly to the wireless router using a cable, and then use cable or wireless networking to the other devices as appropriate.

If you go for a NAS, make sure it's one that you can install SqueezeCenter on, or go for a WHS machine and install the Windows SC version yourself. You can also build servers using Linux and there are a number of threads a guides in these forums to help you.

There are a number of ways to rip and tag - in addition to the suggestions above, you could also use MediaMonkey, or for a more hardcore approach, EAC. You may also need a tag editor, and there several choices. I use Tag&Rename which is not free, but doesn't cost much.

WBW
2008-12-04, 10:34
You guys are too cool for school; many thanks. I'll check out the links that you posted. One clarification - is it possible to just put the music on a NAS with squeezbox on it, or does the NAS have to be attached to a server? Everyone in our household uses laptops which may or may not be running at any point in time. My preference would be to buy a 1T NAS device and put it near the receiver and use Duet to select music. Does that make sense? If so, it seems like there are conflicting threads on whether NAS devices really work in this application, and in particular the Apple Time Capsule/Airport is very slow.

maggior
2008-12-04, 10:46
Glad to help out.

Your question regarding a NAS is probably best asked in the 3rd party hardware forum.

2 issues I'm aware of with NAS devices running squeezecenter are 1)not enough horsepower, so SC runs slowly, and 2)ease of use regarding installing/upgrading squeezecenter on it.

Patrick Dixon
2008-12-05, 12:47
I'm not 100% sure that I've got what you're asking, but the above is certainly good advice.

You have to run SqueezeCenter somewhere, and you can run it on some NASes, or you can run it on one of your other PCs. You could also use a dedicated computer as a server to do the job of a NAS, and it would also run SC.

The computer with the music storage*, and the one running SC (if they're different), must all be connected via the network to the Duet Receiver. They can be connected via wired ethernet or wireless, but if you can wire the storage/SC computer to the WAP (wireless Access Point) - which is usually your router - so much the better. The Controller handset connects to the network via wireless of course.

(*) A NAS is really a low powered, dedicated, computer.