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View Full Version : Can the Touch be a stand alone player?



kidstypike
2009-10-03, 12:52
Can the Touch's TinySC scan an SD card and compile a music library from this?
If yes, can the Touch then be used without being connected to a network, say if I took it to a friends house and simply attached the Touch's line out to his audio system?

SteveEast
2009-10-03, 13:05
Yes and yes.

That's how I intend to use it at our cabin.

Steve.

kidstypike
2009-10-03, 13:19
Yes and yes.

That's how I intend to use it at our cabin.

Steve.

This is exactly what the world has been waiting for .... why isn't there a battery operated Boom or Radio that can do this .... think about it !!!

How many SD cards can the Touch scan, can I simply swap out SD cards?
The mind boggles !!!

SteveEast
2009-10-03, 14:13
This is exactly what the world has been waiting for .... why isn't there a battery operated Boom or Radio that can do this .... think about it !!!

How many SD cards can the Touch scan, can I simply swap out SD cards?
The mind boggles !!!

I assume you can swap SD cards but I don't know the mechanism. Each SD card would probably replace the previous one in terms of database content. SDHC cards go up to 32GB at the moment I believe, so you can get a decent amount of high-quality MP3 on one. Or you could use a 1TB Passport USB portable disk if you want to get serious!

Dunno about a battery Touch. Spotting market opportunities has never been my strength. Isn't that a bit like an oversized iPod?

Steve.

kidstypike
2009-10-03, 14:28
I assume you can swap SD cards but I don't know the mechanism. Each SD card would probably replace the previous one in terms of database content. SDHC cards go up to 32GB at the moment I believe, so you can get a decent amount of high-quality MP3 on one. Or you could use a 1TB Passport USB portable disk if you want to get serious!

Dunno about a battery Touch. Spotting market opportunities has never been my strength. Isn't that a bit like an oversized iPod?

Steve.

No. I didn't mention a battery-powered Touch, a battery powered Boom with TinySC and an SD card slot, take it anywhere, cabin, beach, work, holiday home. All your music collection traveling with you, in a single stand-alone unit!

funkstar
2009-10-03, 14:31
This is exactly what the world has been waiting for .... why isn't there a battery operated Boom or Radio that can do this .... think about it !!!

How many SD cards can the Touch scan, can I simply swap out SD cards?
The mind boggles !!!
Perhaps in time. The Boom was out before the new hardware platform was fully developed, so is baed round the SB3. Completely different hardware to the Touch and Radio. The Radio was built to a price point, so screen, memory, processor and expansion opportunities were all restricted to meat this price point.

I can imagine a Boom 2 with would combine a Boom with a Touch and perhaps a battery or two from the Radio. I have no idea if this would appeal to enough people at the right price to be marketable. We shall see.

funkstar
2009-10-03, 14:35
I meant to continue that post :)

When you insert an SD card it gets mounted and scanned. A database is created at this point. If you attach a USB drive, that also gets scanned and the two are both available to play from. If you remove the SD card, that data is then removed and the music on it becomes unavailable. Inserting a second SD card will trigger the scan again, making music on that card available.

SteveEast
2009-10-03, 15:40
I meant to continue that post :)

When you insert an SD card it gets mounted and scanned. A database is created at this point. If you attach a USB drive, that also gets scanned and the two are both available to play from. If you remove the SD card, that data is then removed and the music on it becomes unavailable. Inserting a second SD card will trigger the scan again, making music on that card available.

Neat!

Steve.

SteveEast
2009-10-03, 15:52
No. I didn't mention a battery-powered Touch, a battery powered Boom with TinySC and an SD card slot, take it anywhere, cabin, beach, work, holiday home. All your music collection traveling with you, in a single stand-alone unit!

Ahh, I get you now. Yes, that would certainly appeal to me. Though I assume there are a zillion battery powered devices that let you slip in an iPod?

Steve.

funkstar
2009-10-04, 01:03
Ahh, I get you now. Yes, that would certainly appeal to me. Though I assume there are a zillion battery powered devices that let you slip in an iPod?

Steve.

Probably, but the advantage of what kidstypike is after is that when the unit is at home it can be serving its music to several other players around the home, just like the Touch. It could also be used with the Controller or a wall mounted Touch.

Personally I would be torn between a battery operated all in one unit, and onen with mains power only but a 2.5" SATA hard drive slot.

:)

0xdeadbeef
2009-10-04, 10:15
I wonder how this is handled internally. Does the Touch run a (stripped down?) server internally or is playing from the SD-Card handled by a completely different software that has nothing to do with Slimserver/Squeezecenter/SqueezeboxServer?

Is there any detailed description available which features work without an external slimserver and which don't?

Phil Leigh
2009-10-04, 10:29
I wonder how this is handled internally. Does the Touch run a (stripped down?) server internally or is playing from the SD-Card handled by a completely different software that has nothing to do with Slimserver/Squeezecenter/SqueezeboxServer?

Is there any detailed description available which features work without an external slimserver and which don't?

It's running SBS internally

funkstar
2009-10-04, 12:05
I wonder how this is handled internally. Does the Touch run a (stripped down?) server internally or is playing from the SD-Card handled by a completely different software that has nothing to do with Slimserver/Squeezecenter/SqueezeboxServer?

Is there any detailed description available which features work without an external slimserver and which don't?
It runs the same code as SBS on the desktop. However, it does have some flags set on startup which limits its functionality. For example, it does not support transcoding, so will only serve files that can be played back natively by that player. It also has no web interface as that would create too much of a resources spike and could interrupt normal playback on Touch. Support for the SliMP3 and SB1 has also been disabled because the protocol they used was much more CPU intensive. Oh, and no server plugins by default. That's all I think.

0xdeadbeef
2009-10-04, 15:17
Ok, thanks. I somehow hoped it would be a full server, but already guessed this can't be true.
BTW: Would controlling the Touch (standalone mode) via Moose work?

funkstar
2009-10-05, 12:12
Ok, thanks. I somehow hoped it would be a full server, but already guessed this can't be true.
BTW: Would controlling the Touch (standalone mode) via Moose work?
The Touch is primarily a player, these extra features have been dropped out because the developers wanted to reduce the likely hood of events interrupting playback.

Moose should still work with Touch I believe, I certainally haven't heard otherwise.

kidstypike
2009-10-05, 12:28
Ok, thanks. I somehow hoped it would be a full server, but already guessed this can't be true.
BTW: Would controlling the Touch (standalone mode) via Moose work?

Hoping not to confuse things here, but ... when I say standalone player, I mean NOT connected to a network. Obviously in this mode moose cannot control the Touch.

If by standalone mode you mean the Touch is being used as a player, connected to a network, then moose should be able to control the Touch.

Apologies if this is obvious.

aubuti
2009-10-05, 12:45
Hoping not to confuse things here, but ... when I say standalone player, I mean NOT connected to a network.
Yes, the SB Touch can be a player even if not connected to a network. It can play from a library on a USB hard drive or memory stick or on a SD memory card. Obviously in that arrangement it wouldn't have internet radio, Napster, Rhapsody, etc. Also control would have to be via IR remote or the touch screen itself (ie, no SB Controller or iPeng, and certainly no web ui).

0xdeadbeef
2009-10-06, 16:25
Hm, a standalone player could be connected to the LAN or internet as well. "Standalone" only means that it doesn't need a server, not necessarily that it doesn't have a network connection.

Indeed, if the Touch can play files from an USB drive, it should be also possible to play internet radio streams from a technical point of view.

I get the impression though that the internal server is only started if no network connection is found.

aubuti
2009-10-06, 20:28
Hm, a standalone player could be connected to the LAN or internet as well. "Standalone" only means that it doesn't need a server, not necessarily that it doesn't have a network connection.

Indeed, if the Touch can play files from an USB drive, it should be also possible to play internet radio streams from a technical point of view.

I get the impression though that the internal server is only started if no network connection is found.
No, the internal server is started if the user starts it. It's activated by commands from the touchscreen interface or IR remote. You can definitely start it even if there is a network connection -- otherwise it couldn't stream to other SBs, and the built-in Samba server wouldn't be any good either.

And yes, if it is connected to the internet, it can play internet radio streams. Re 'standalone', obviously if it is connected to a network it can do anything that it can when it *isn't* connected to a network (kidstypike's def'n of 'standalone'), and it can also do more.

0xdeadbeef
2009-10-11, 15:56
Ok, one (?) last question:
If the Touch is playing from an USB drive with let's say 20GB of music, where does it store the database then? I would suppose it can only store it in RAM, but this would also mean that the database is lost when switching off. Thus the whole drive would need to be scanned again after switching on. Besides this would limit the number of titles since the RAM is probably pretty much limited...
Is this assumption true or is there maybe a way to store the database on the USB drive?

funkstar
2009-10-11, 16:12
I'm not sure what the final intention is, but right now the db is stored on the touch. I think it is in flash memory rather than RAM.

There was talk of the DB and cache stored on the appropriate source. So you would have the DB and cache for a particular USB disk on that device. Same for SD cards. Connect the disk and you have a DB with the scanner checking it in the background.

How it works on release may not be how it ends up working long term, this will be an area where I think we will see a lot of development work over the course of next year.

rotho
2009-10-12, 02:14
Yes, the SB Touch can be a player even if not connected to a network. It can play from a library on a USB hard drive or memory stick or on a SD memory card. Obviously in that arrangement it wouldn't have internet radio, Napster, Rhapsody, etc. Also control would have to be via IR remote or the touch screen itself (ie, no SB Controller or iPeng, and certainly no web ui).

Can you confirm that it is impossible to use the Controller when the SB Touch is not connected to a network ? Doesn't the SB Touch itself has WiFi capability ?

rotho
2009-10-12, 02:28
I'm not sure what the final intention is, but right now the db is stored on the touch. I think it is in flash memory rather than RAM.

There was talk of the DB and cache stored on the appropriate source. So you would have the DB and cache for a particular USB disk on that device. Same for SD cards. Connect the disk and you have a DB with the scanner checking it in the background.

How it works on release may not be how it ends up working long term, this will be an area where I think we will see a lot of development work over the course of next year.

For the moment I have no SB Device, and I was contemplating the Transporter, but I am now considering the Touch because I absolutely HATE the idea of having my computer (which is located near my Hi-Fi system, and which is sometimes quity noisy) ON when listening to music.

So, I am currently in the process of ripping all my CD collection (around 2000 albums) in FLAC format. I plan to purchase an external hard drive of 1.5 Tb (two hard drives, actually, for backup purpose) and then eventually use it with the SB Touch in "standalone" mode. I understand that such a storage capacity is not necessary for my collection (around 600 Gb should be enough), but my collection will certainly continue to grow, and with the Touch 24/96 capability, I will certainly download high resolution files which are bigger than CD quality files.

Now, I have a question about the db generated by the Touch : if it is stored in the Touch memory, is there a size limit ? I suppose there is, of course, but will it be too small for my collection of 2000 CDs ? Or can the db be written on the external hard drive itself ?

And has the Touch been tested in "standalone" mode connected to a large capacity hard drive, with a huge collection of music ? Are there performance issues to be concerned with ?

funkstar
2009-10-12, 02:35
Can you confirm that it is impossible to use the Controller when the SB Touch is not connected to a network ? Doesn't the SB Touch itself has WiFi capability ?
YEs the Touch has wireless, yes the Controller will work with it. The Touch will need to be connected to a network (either wired or wireless) for setup as it will download the latest firmware (the version on shipping units will be very old by that point) and register with MySqueezebox.com.

The Touch can act as a Controller but can also be used with a Controller. Very flexible software. :)

funkstar
2009-10-12, 02:40
So, I am currently in the process of ripping all my CD collection (around 2000 albums) in FLAC format. I plan to purchase an external hard drive of 1.5 Tb (two hard drives, actually, for backup purpose) and then eventually use it with the SB Touch in "standalone" mode. I understand that such a storage capacity is not necessary for my collection (around 600 Gb should be enough), but my collection will certainly continue to grow, and with the Touch 24/96 capability, I will certainly download high resolution files which are bigger than CD quality files.
I think you'll need more than 600GB, my 1,573 albums reaches about 680GB. There are quite a lot of multi disk sets in there though. Not that is matters if you are getting a 1.5TB disk though.


Now, I have a question about the db generated by the Touch : if it is stored in the Touch memory, is there a size limit ? I suppose there is, of course, but will it be too small for my collection of 2000 CDs ? Or can the db be written on the external hard drive itself ?

And has the Touch been tested in "standalone" mode connected to a large capacity hard drive, with a huge collection of music ? Are there performance issues to be concerned with ?
As I said before, the current implementation is still in Beta, so things will change over time. Large libraries will be handled, that is something the developers have always made a point of. How exactly this is done, I have no idea. There is still a couple of months of heavy development before the unit is actually released, and even then that will just be the first release. Things will change as the software matures.

Phil Leigh
2009-10-12, 03:09
For the moment I have no SB Device, and I was contemplating the Transporter, but I am now considering the Touch because I absolutely HATE the idea of having my computer (which is located near my Hi-Fi system, and which is sometimes quity noisy) ON when listening to music.

So, I am currently in the process of ripping all my CD collection (around 2000 albums) in FLAC format. I plan to purchase an external hard drive of 1.5 Tb (two hard drives, actually, for backup purpose) and then eventually use it with the SB Touch in "standalone" mode. I understand that such a storage capacity is not necessary for my collection (around 600 Gb should be enough), but my collection will certainly continue to grow, and with the Touch 24/96 capability, I will certainly download high resolution files which are bigger than CD quality files.

Now, I have a question about the db generated by the Touch : if it is stored in the Touch memory, is there a size limit ? I suppose there is, of course, but will it be too small for my collection of 2000 CDs ? Or can the db be written on the external hard drive itself ?

And has the Touch been tested in "standalone" mode connected to a large capacity hard drive, with a huge collection of music ? Are there performance issues to be concerned with ?

I have 30k tracks on 2200 albums and the database is 265Mb. Memory shouldn't be an issue.

rotho
2009-10-12, 03:45
I have 30k tracks on 2200 albums and the database is 265Mb. Memory shouldn't be an issue.

What is the size of the Touch internal memory ? Is it flash or RAM, by the way ? I don't remember seeing this information in the technical specs of the Touch.

rotho
2009-10-12, 04:01
Another question about connecting a large external hard drive to a standalone Touch : I understand that I will have to format my future 1.5 Tb external hard drive in FAT32, in order to be connected to the Touch in standalone mode.

Since my computer is a Mac, I don't think I will have any problem to format this large disk in FAT32, but are there any limitations or disadvantages to expect, when using this rather old and inefficient format (as I understand, HFS+ is not currently supported) for such a large drive ? Or course I ask this question in the context of the use with the SB Touch, to access to a large music library, not in a general context.

Phil Leigh
2009-10-12, 04:10
Another question about connecting a large external hard drive to a standalone Touch : I understand that I will have to format my future 1.5 Tb external hard drive in FAT32, in order to be connected to the Touch in standalone mode.

Since my computer is a Mac, I don't think I will have any problem to format this large disk in FAT32, but are there any limitations or disadvantages to expect, when using this rather old and inefficient format (as I understand, HFS+ is not currently supported) for such a large drive ? Or course I ask this question in the context of the use with the SB Touch, to access to a large music library, not in a general context.

It's fat32 at the moment, but that might change to add NTFS later.
I have a 1Tb fat32 drive at the moment for testing purposes. No issues so far.

aubuti
2009-10-12, 04:45
Can you confirm that it is impossible to use the Controller when the SB Touch is not connected to a network ? Doesn't the SB Touch itself has WiFi capability ?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question. The Touch and SBC both communicate via TCP/IP. You need a network for them to communicate. That network may be no more than the SB Touch, SBC, and a wifi router -- it doesn't have to include a computer.

Strictly speaking I suppose one could use the IR Emitter feature of the SBC to communicate with the SBT over IR, but if you're going to do that you would be better off using the IR remote that is included with the SBT.

rotho
2009-10-12, 05:16
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question. The Touch and SBC both communicate via TCP/IP. You need a network for them to communicate. That network may be no more than the SB Touch, SBC, and a wifi router -- it doesn't have to include a computer.

Strictly speaking I suppose one could use the IR Emitter feature of the SBC to communicate with the SBT over IR, but if you're going to do that you would be better off using the IR remote that is included with the SBT.

To put it another way : the less devices I connect to my HiFi system, the better I feel !

So my initial question was : I understand that I will have to connect the Touch to the Internet and to a computer for the initial setup, but after that, can I use the Touch in standalone mode (i.e. only connected to an external hard drive, without any computer) and control it with the Controller (I prefer this solution than having to reach the screen of the Touch) ? And do I need to purchase a wifi router for that purpose or does the Touch itself has such Wifi capability ? I thought so when reading funkstar's answer, but now, I have a doubt.

aubuti
2009-10-12, 05:47
To put it another way : the less devices I connect to my HiFi system, the better I feel !

So my initial question was : I understand that I will have to connect the Touch to the Internet and to a computer for the initial setup, but after that, can I use the Touch in standalone mode (i.e. only connected to an external hard drive, without any computer) and control it with the Controller (I prefer this solution than having to reach the screen of the Touch) ? And do I need to purchase a wifi router for that purpose or does the Touch itself has such Wifi capability ? I thought so when reading funkstar's answer, but now, I have a doubt.
Yes, the SB Touch has wifi capability. But wifi implies a network of some sort. I do not know if the SBT supports 'bridged' mode like the Duet that would enable the SBC to communicate directly with the SBT. I haven't tried that with my beta SBT. If it does support bridged mode then you're all set. If it doesn't, then you need a wifi router to hand out IP addresses to the SBC and SBT, and otherwise intermediate the communication between the SBC and SBT.

funkstar or any others out there: do you know the situation re SBT doing 'bridged' mode a la Duet?

Also, if you don't want to reach across to touch the touchscreen, you don't *need* an SBC -- you can just use the included IR remote.

rotho
2009-10-12, 06:52
Also, if you don't want to reach across to touch the touchscreen, you don't *need* an SBC -- you can just use the included IR remote.

Yes, but, having tried the Controller (with the SB3) at a friend's house, it will be hard for me to do without ! Anyway, you're right : I can first use the IR remote provided with the Touch, and then see if the Controller is a real plus in my setup.

andyg
2009-10-12, 07:15
> rotho;470972 Wrote:
>> Now, I have a question about the db generated by the Touch : if it is
>> stored in the Touch memory, is there a size limit ? I suppose there
>> is,
>> of course, but will it be too small for my collection of 2000 CDs ?
>> Or
>> can the db be written on the external hard drive itself ?

The database will be stored on your hard drive in a '.Squeezebox'
directory. There is no size limit but a large library such as this
will require a long time to scan for example. And obviously if you
connect a drive with very little free space you will have issues.

rotho
2009-10-12, 09:07
> rotho;470972 Wrote:
>> Now, I have a question about the db generated by the Touch : if it is
>> stored in the Touch memory, is there a size limit ? I suppose there
>> is,
>> of course, but will it be too small for my collection of 2000 CDs ?
>> Or
>> can the db be written on the external hard drive itself ?

The database will be stored on your hard drive in a '.Squeezebox'
directory. There is no size limit but a large library such as this
will require a long time to scan for example. And obviously if you
connect a drive with very little free space you will have issues.

It will require a long time to scan, but only the first time that I connect the hard drive to the Touch, right ? Of course, I suppose that when I switch OFF the touch and the drive, and then switch them back ON, there will be no need to rescan the entire drive, right ? It will just be the time to re-read the local db on the drive ?

And I also suppose that if I add new titles on the drive afterwards, the SBT won't have to rescan the entire drive, but only those new titles. Am I right ?

funkstar
2009-10-12, 11:20
It will require a long time to scan, but only the first time that I connect the hard drive to the Touch, right ? Of course, I suppose that when I switch OFF the touch and the drive, and then switch them back ON, there will be no need to rescan the entire drive, right ? It will just be the time to re-read the local db on the drive ?

And I also suppose that if I add new titles on the drive afterwards, the SBT won't have to rescan the entire drive, but only those new titles. Am I right ?
Correct and correct :)