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rrweather
2009-10-21, 08:00
Hi,
I am new to the community and just beginning to research SB and Sonos.

Basically we are looking to set up two music zones in our house. One in the master bedroom and one in the living room. Our wireless router sits at the landing at the top of our stairs.

Currently we have a Roku Soundbridge hooked up in the living room. For the most part, it plays with little issues. Occasionally, it has to rebuffer and the music cuts out while it does so.

Our house appears to be a WiFi nightmare. In our old house, we used an Apple Time Capsule for both backup and the wireless router function. The time capsule was a good 60 feet away from the computers downstairs (going through floors and walls). We never had any issues whatsoever. The Soundbridge worked perfectly in the old house as well. We moved here and I was having a hell of a time getting the network up and running. My fiance went out and bought a new router for us to try. She fell for some creative advertising that said it produced a stronger signal. We tried with that and it was worse than the time capsule. In fact, I moved the router downstairs and placed it 25 feet, line of sight, from my laptop. The signal was garbage from 25 feet. The Soundbridge that was also 25 feet away and line of sight couldn't play more than 5 seconds of music before it had to rebuffer.

We concluded the router was garbage. I ordered the Linksys WRT54GL router from amazon. I purchased it mainly because of the option of installing different software on it and being able to tweak the signal output if necessary. Luckily, I hooked the router up, put it back at the top of the stairs, and everything worked with no other adjustments. The signal strength in the house is not perfect. It is still weak considering how close the computers and soundbridge are to the router. At least they work with little issues besides the soundbridge needing to rebuffer occasionally (as I mentioned above).

So now we want to add a means of listening to pandora and sirius on both the home stereo and the bedroom stereo. The soundbridge is cool and was great when we first got it two years ago. It is obviously dated in the sense that it only plays mp3s and internet radio stations. It will be replaced by whatever we decide to buy.

We are looking at the SB and the Sonos. When I read about the SB duet, I was excited as it seemed like a less expensive alternative to the Sonos. Then I read some problems people were having with it working on their wireless network. I realize some of these problems could have been with their network settings or configuration.

The appeal of the Sonos system is that it creates its own network with each zone player extending the network. The drawback is that the system isn't cheap and requires a remote to be purchased separately (unless I want to use my laptop to control everything, which I don't).

The SB touch looks promising. I don't know much about the antennas or its ability to operate wireless without problems.

We are renting our current house so running Cat 5 cable through the walls is not an option for us. We need to get something that will operate wireless.

I am not against getting a system that benefits from a little tweaking. That being said, I do not want to buy something that makes me want to pull my hair out before I ever hear a sound come out of the system. I am not a network guru that can tweak the hell out of my router either. I understand the basics and can navigate well with a little help.

I am not trying to turn this into a SB vs. Sonos debate. That is the last thing I want. I realize that by being on the SB forum, I am likely to get strong support for the SB over the Sonos. I am just looking for some honest feedback and some opinions on what others have experienced. From every critique I have read on the SB, most responders simply slam the person using the SB saying the user or the user's network is to blame for the problems with the SB. I don't doubt that in some situations the user and/or their network is to blame. I am also not naive enough to thing that the SB is the perfect product (nor is the Sonos for that matter).

Thank you in advance for the help. Hopefully I have included enough information about our current setup for people to make recommendations. Thanks,

Randy

Phil Leigh
2009-10-21, 08:13
Don't restrict yourself to wi-fi... Powerline adaptors such as Devolo will let you connect SB devices to the router without extra cabling. The key issue is going to be how well the SB Controller can talk to the router, since that has to be wi-fi.
Other alternatives include using an iPod Touch as a wi-fi controller instead of the Duet Controller...

Squeezed_Rotel
2009-10-21, 08:25
I told you Phil would help!
John M

Phil Leigh
2009-10-21, 08:27
I told you Phil would help!
John M

???? - is this a private joke?

pfarrell
2009-10-21, 08:28
rrweather wrote:
> Our house appears to be a WiFi nightmare.

This happens more than people think, streaming media is intolerant of
problems that just using WiFi to your notebook never sees.

> The SB touch looks promising. I don't know much about the antennas or
> its ability to operate wireless without problems.

Well, its still in beta, but the hardware design is finished.

My beta unit works great wirelessly.

> I am not trying to turn this into a SB vs. Sonos debate. That is the
> last thing I want.

I don't have a Sonos, and have lots of squeezeboxen, so I can't even
enter such a debate.

I can say that for my serious stereo, which cost low five figures, I ran
CAT5 to my Transporter, because when I'm seriously listening, I don't
want to be distracted. In my house, the microwave oven destroys all WiFi
when ever it is on.

I've got a Duet, and I really like the Controller. I don't consider the
Touch to be a competitor to the Duet, because you have to go over and
touch the Touch to directly control it (I also use my laptop to control
everything), so for me, the spacial separation of the Receiver and
Controller is a winner. I keep the Controller next to my favorite
listening chair, within easy hand reach. There is no stereo next to my
favorite chair, its over on the other side of the room.

A major question is what file formats do you use. I use FLAC nearly
exclusively, and they are big and stress the network. All modern
Squeezebox have buffers and can tolerate small outages, but the buffers
are not infinite. If you play a lot of highly compressed MP3s, the
buffers can hold a long period of music, and that lets the network be a
lot less important.

In any discussion on streaming media and wireless networking, the state
of the wireless network is important. Folk have posted in the forums
that when neighbors get WiFi, their networks can stomp all over a
previously nicely working WiFi setup, where nothing has changed inside
your house. Sometimes you can just change WiFi channels and it gets
better. But if you live, say, in an apartment of college kids, each of
which has their own WiFi setup, you may find that there is just too much
usage of the limited bandwidth in the 500 meters around you, and it just
isn't going to work.



--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

rrweather
2009-10-21, 08:59
Wow,

Thanks for all of the quick replies. As for file types, 99% of our music is mp3s. We realize the sound quality tradeoff. I just purchased a DAC to try out. I know the DAC can not make magic happen with poor mp3 quality. Ideally, the DAC will help the streaming media sound better (pandora and sirius) as well as give me something to toy around with.

We have CD player that has a pretty good DAC built in that is hooked up to our bedroom stereo. If we want the best quality audio, we have the ability to use the CD in the bedroom. We also have a turntable installed in the bedroom for listening to our vinyl, which I am in the middle of "playing with" to improve the sound quality.

Whatever system we choose, we are getting it for the ability to listen to our digital music collection (mp3) and for listening to pandora and sirius. One the scale of bandwidth hogs, I would think the two of these would be pretty low. The soundbridge allows us to play out itunes music but not sirius or pandora (or any others for that matter).

I would imagine our router could be tweaked to give a stronger signal. I have changed the channels when I was struggling with our old router and it did not help. Since getting this router, we haven't had much of a reason to tweak it since it just works.

I appreciate the feedback and help. I am going to continue my search and research. Thanks,

Randy

Squeezed_Rotel
2009-10-21, 09:41
???? - is this a private joke?
Not a joke Phil, I was emailing Randy about some AudiogoN stuff. I told him to come here to ask questions and mentioned you and a few others as being helpful to first timers.

maggior
2009-10-21, 09:43
I think the duet would work well for you. The duet comes with a player and a controller. Another player can be purchased seperately for ~$140, so you can expand for a pretty small cost. You can also purchase another controller charger stand if you wish to have one in both of your listening locations. This is < $50 with a power supply.

You are already steaming music with your soundbridge, so you have an idea of how a squeezebox will perform. You can expect the same, if not better, performance from a squeezebox.

I use Pandora too and it works well with the squeezebox. I don't know about Sirius - you should search the forums to see how well that is working for people.

People in this forum use the router that you have purchased, so that should not be an issue. Since you are running custom firmware on it, you will have the ability to specify IP addresses for your squeezeboxes via static DHCP, which has been reported to alleviate a number of issues. I have a WRT54GS running DD-WRT and have assigned addresses for my SBs. I configured it that way just because I perfer to have static addresses.

As somebody else mentioned, powerline ethernet adaptors can be used to eliminate the wireless issues. I use one in my kitchen to alleviate issues with interference from the microwave.

Keep in mind that you can purchase squeezeboxes from Logitech with a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy. I'm not sure what Amazon or other retailers' policies are.

I don't know much about Sonos. I'm sure it would work for you too. But, I think the squeezeboxes would work for you at a smaller cost.

Best of luck with whatever you choose.

Phil Leigh
2009-10-21, 10:00
Not a joke Phil, I was emailing Randy about some AudiogoN stuff. I told him to come here to ask questions and mentioned you and a few others as being helpful to first timers.

:-) - happy to help, always.

snarlydwarf
2009-10-21, 10:34
The appeal of the Sonos system is that it creates its own network with each zone player extending the network.

Be careful with that logic...

If you already have problems in the 2.4Ghz spectrum... adding another network (which is what Sonos does) is not going to make things magically better.... You'll have the same problems with signal strength making it through walls and such, as well as Yet Another Network creating what other networks will see as simply noise.

Placing a Sonos box every 20 feet to extend a network is a pricey solution.

I'm not even sure it would work or just make a noisy network noisier.

If your problem is you're in a high-density population area with lots of other networks, baby monitors, cordless phones, alarm systems and other 2.4G noise, adding more in that range won't help.... and if it's brick walls (with nice rebar for strength!) then, well, you're sorta screwed on wireless with anything.



I am not trying to turn this into a SB vs. Sonos debate. That is the last thing I want. I realize that by being on the SB forum, I am likely to get strong support for the SB over the Sonos. I am just looking for some honest feedback and some opinions on what others have experienced. From every critique I have read on the SB, most responders simply slam the person using the SB saying the user or the user's network is to blame for the problems with the SB. I don't doubt that in some situations the user and/or their network is to blame. I am also not naive enough to thing that the SB is the perfect product (nor is the Sonos for that matter).


Rationality online? For shame!

rrweather
2009-10-21, 11:15
One additional question (for now)...

How does it work having two duets hooked up with two remotes? I would prefer to have a remote for each receiver since they would be located on two different floors within our house. The appeal of going upstairs to get the remote to listen to music downstairs is no appeal at all.

Hopefully I understand this properly (correct me if I am wrong) If I were to use two powerline adapters, one where each duet would be located, that would hopefully take the bad WiFi in my house out of the equation. With this setup, only the remotes would be using the WiFi to control the receivers? So as long as each remote had a good WiFi signal, I should theoretically have fewer problems...It sounds too good to be true.

With the powerline adapters, do these eat up bandwidth within your network or simply eat up the connection of your entire network to the internet. In other words, with two duets playing via powerline adapters, would the speed with which our laptops connect to the router take a hit or simply the speed that our router connects to the internet? I am sure I am not wording this properly and I am probably confusing myself more than helping!

The other benefit of using powerline adapters (I believe) is I could move the time capsule downstairs and as long as it plugs directly into the powerline adapter, it could be used to expand our wifi network. That would help the downstairs duet controller and our laptops stay connected.

Lastly, good point snarlydwarf. I never thought about the implications of adding another network within the area of our current network. I can see this being a problem, especially if our problem is caused by traffic.

One more question (sorry for so many), how well do NAS work with the duet? Another goal of mine is to not have to leave all our music on our laptops and not having to leave the laptops on to listen to the MP3s. Is it difficult hooking up the NAS and the duet?

Wow, I like how one more question from me has become another long post. I really do appreciate all the help and information. Thanks again. I am off to research powerline adapters!

Randy

pfarrell
2009-10-21, 11:25
rrweather wrote:
> One additional question (for now)...
>
> How does it work having two duets hooked up with two remotes?

Each "Controller" has a way to set which device it is controlling. So
you can have a Controller that sometimes controlls the Receiver in the
Library, sometimes the Transporter in the living room, and sometimes the
Radio upstairs.


> Hopefully I understand this properly (correct me if I am wrong) If I
> were to use two powerline adapters, one where each duet would be
> located, that would hopefully take the bad WiFi in my house out of the
> equation. With this setup, only the remotes would be using the WiFi to
> control the receivers? So as long as each remote had a good WiFi signal,
> I should theoretically have fewer problems...It sounds too good to be
> true.

Yes, here we usually use the parts names, a Duet consists of one
Controller and one Receiver. You can buy them separately if you want,
they were just bundled to make it easy to start.

The Receiver can use WiFi, hardwired Ethernet or anything that looks
like hardwired Ethernet, which is how Powerline Ethernet is presented --
the Powerline Ethernet uses powerlines, but presents itself with normal
wire and RJ45 connections



> With the powerline adapters, do these eat up bandwidth within your
> network or simply eat up the connection of your entire network to the
> internet.

Powerline is its own network, no interference with WiFi.
Its usually too slow to impact a modern switch which these days are
nearly all 100baseT, and some are 1000 base T


> One more question (sorry for so many), how well do NAS work with the
> duet? Another goal of mine is to not have to leave all our music on our
> laptops and not having to leave the laptops on to listen to the MP3s. Is
> it difficult hooking up the NAS and the duet?

Some NAS work well, but some are too underpowered.

The usual recommendation is to get an old PC that someone thinks is too
slow to be useful, and use that as your music server. Anything will
work, you should be able to get a suitable system for well under $100
on craigslist, and with a little time, you can usually pick them up for
free.

In my years of using SqueezeBoxen, I've always just used an old PC that
was too slow to use as a desktop.



--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

rrweather
2009-10-21, 12:14
Thanks for all the information Pat. Looking at everything, I could get two duets and the powerline adapters allowing me to "hard wire" both receivers for much less than the Sonos system. That would allow each receiver to have its own controller, which is obviously preferred over sharing a controller with two receivers.

Just to be sure, the controllers use wifi to control the receiver (as opposed to IR)? So with this setup, basically my two controllers would be the only thing using wifi in the house? Just want to make sure I get this.

If I could score a computer to act as a media center for cheap, that would still price the whole thing below what the Sonos system would cost.

Thanks again!

Randy

rrweather
2009-10-21, 12:22
Another question on using a PC as a media center...would a Mac Mini work? I have access to one that is sitting in someone's closet unused. Am I basically just using the hard drive and LAN connection on the computer? Thanks.

Goodsounds
2009-10-21, 12:49
I'd suggest buying the powerline adaptors from someplace that accepts returns with no hassles. Just as you describe your house as Wifi hostile, some houses are powerline ethernet unfriendly for a variety of reasons. Good luck

pfarrell
2009-10-21, 12:50
rrweather wrote:
> Another question on using a PC as a media center...would a Mac Mini
> work? I have access to one that is sitting in someone's closet unused.

Yes, it works fine.
Or any old crock computer with Windows, OS-X or Linux.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

bluegaspode
2009-10-21, 12:52
Just to be sure, the controllers use wifi to control the receiver (as opposed to IR)? So with this setup, basically my two controllers would be the only thing using wifi in the house? Just want to make sure I get this.
Yes. The controllers use Wifi to get the commands to your next access-point/router, which gets them to the server, which starts streaming music that will go through the wires of your powerline to the receiver.

If you have this running and some more spare time, you can make the IR-emitter of the controllers work (there is an applet someone wrote for this) and then you can turn on/off your amplifier with the controller like me.
If you start with Squeezeboxes, the fun never ends :)

pfarrell
2009-10-21, 12:53
rrweather wrote:
> Just to be sure, the controllers use wifi to control the receiver (as
> opposed to IR)? So with this setup, basically my two controllers would
> be the only thing using wifi in the house? Just want to make sure I get
> this.

Technically, the Controller uses WiFi to talk to the server, and the
server sends music out to the player. The player can be any Squeezebox,
Boom, Radio, Transorter, etc.

The Controller is radio, not IR.

The usual remotes for SqueezeBox, Transporter, Boom, etc.
are normal IR

I simply have forgotten if the Touch came with a remote, I have a big
basket full of SqueezeBox remotes that I've collected over the years.



--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

rrweather
2009-10-21, 13:56
Last question for today, I promise!

The main difference between the touch and the Duet are the touch has upsampling, the display is all part of the receiver, and the remote is ir as opposed to wifi?

I thought I read somewhere (maybe on these forums) that the touch is using faster processors and more memory than in the receiver that comes with the duet. Is there any truth to this that anyone knows of?

If it is true, I guess the question becomes is it better to get the latest and greatest receiver as opposed to what comes with the duet. The obvious sacrifice would be in the controllers.

On a side note, I have a mac mini being shipped to me tomorrow that will be waiting for me when I get home in a month. Now I just need to figure out what will play the music off the mac mini!

My brain hurts from thinking about this stuff! Thanks again for the help.

Randy

pfarrell
2009-10-21, 14:08
rrweather wrote:
> The main difference between the touch and the Duet are the touch has
> upsampling, the display is all part of the receiver, and the remote is
> ir as opposed to wifi?

No, the Touch has a screen and its touch sensitive.

The Duet is really a Controller and a Receiver.

The Receiver has no UI, no display, no buttons. It has one LED that glows.

The Controller is a computer that fits in your hand. It has a display
and some buttons and a wheel.

Since you have MP3 files, discussions of upsampling and all that is
kinda silly.



> I thought I read somewhere (maybe on these forums) that the touch is
> using faster processors and more memory than in the receiver that comes
> with the duet. Is there any truth to this that anyone knows of?

The Touch is really a computer. Not a super powerful one, but a computer
with memory, an OS, display, place to plug in a USB keyboard.

Actually, the Controller is a computer, just less capable. Its got more
memory than the first three or four computers that I bought.

> If it is true, I guess the question becomes is it better to get the
> latest and greatest receiver as opposed to what comes with the duet. The
> obvious sacrifice would be in the controllers.

Really, you need to be careful about using product names as generic
things. the Receiver is a product. It is sold either separately, or
bundled with a Controller and called a "Duet"

I've not heard of any "latest" versions of either the Duet or the Receiver.

The Touch is in Beta, so there is not technically a "latest" yet, since
there is no "there" yet.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

tcutting
2009-10-21, 14:29
You should also consider other parts of the Squeezebox line.
You seem to indicate that your master bedroom configuration includes CD player and turntable... what type of amplifier and speaker setup do you have there? The Boom (or Radio) are nice bedroom options since they have integral amplifiers and speakers, as well as being able to serve as typical "alarm clocks" (similar to clock radio). Don't know your listening preferences vs. size constraints - having a single box which eliminates separate Player, Amplifier, CD Player (, Turntable), Speakers may be very attractive. It depends on your real needs/desires. If you setup a dedicated file server, and rip your CDs, your use of a CD player will drop considerably (likely to 0). The Boom provides very nice sound for a medium or small size room. Also consider the Classic as an alternative to the Receiver (the Receiver is the player part of the Duet package). The Classic provides a display, and will work with IR remote (included), and seems to have more robust wireless networking. The Classic appears to be in the process of being "phased out" with the replacement being the Touch - but remember, the Touch is not yet released - estimate is for December release, which means you won't likely be able to get your hands on one until early 2010.

rrweather
2009-10-21, 14:42
I guess my reservations with ordering two duets are the issues some have. I realize that any review must be taken with a grain of salt. I worry about the issues some people have had where they have to reset the controller and/or receiver every few days to get it to work. Obviously, there could be some setup issues that cause a lot of these problems. There are definitely people that have had issues with their duets, whether it was with the controller, the receiver, or their network setup.

Many of the reviews on the duet I've read are from people that have other SB products (aka the boom) and say most others work more reliably than the controller/receiver that is included with the duet. Obviously this is their opinion and may or may not be due to the product.

So I guess the question is whether the touch would be more reliable since it is newer technology and uses a more powerful and/or faster processor and more memory than what is in the controller and receiver that comes with the duet. Hopefully I am not making things more confusing by using the incorrect names of the components. I apologize if I confused the names again.

Basically, I want reliable music. I am willing to try the powerline adapter to help improve the reliability. The hand held controller that is included with the duet is not as important to me as reliability. If the touch would more reliably play music than the controller/receiver that comes with the duet, I would definitely choose the touch. On the other hand, if the consensus is that the controller/receiver included with the duet package are no more or less reliable than the touch, then the duet controller would be more appealing. Hopefully I worded that correctly!

Sorry for the ongoing confusion on my end. Pat, thanks again for your help.

Ikabob
2009-10-21, 14:51
I am a staunch supporter of the Squeezebox system. I am a newbie to Squeezeboxes but even so, in a matter of a month I have become the proud owner of the SB Boom, then the SB3 and most recently the SB Radio. I literally have been consumed with listening to sooo much great music with fidelity that is close to or even better than CD quality. I enjoy listening to my Boom at night and can listen to many talk stations that are not broadcast locally. It has allowed me to watch less TV and be able to fall asleep listening to the Boom. In the morning I eagerly awake just to listen to my Radio in the kitchen while I make my coffee and I sync it to my SB3 so that when I go to different rooms the music follows. But, I am sure you are familiar with the advantages of internet radio stations and playing MP3s. I am more into the stations but sometimes I will go into my MP3-locker and play from my collection of CDs/itunes music. It also plays very nicely.

I am not familiar with Sonos, but I am extremely please with the Logitech products and I have found that with a new release (ie; the Radio) they have picked up on the bugs that occur with any new release and begin correcting and fine-tuning things very quickly. The forums are a good place to vent some frustrations. I believe that the techies that work for Logitech and monitor the forums really want to remedy problems asap...and they do so day by day. The functionality of the Boxes is fairly complex but at the same time very diversified so that it can be customized to many people's tastes and individual preferences. I really love Squeezeboxes and I recommend them. But, be prepared for the initial and perhaps frustrating learning process that,no doubt, will need to take place for this complex instrument. Luckily, Logitech has this GREAT forum and it is loaded with people who will help and guide you through the process. In addition, as I mentioned, there are actual skilled and talented techs who may even be employees of Logitech that will sometimes provide one-on-one assistance. Yes, you will see an occasional dissatisfied forum participant who may unfortunately rant about a certain problem that they are having. But, for each one unfortunate person , there are hundred and hundreds who are very happy and content with their Squeezes.

One piece of advice that someone gave to me when I was considering the SB3 vs. the Duet. Someone on the forum offered the advice to get the SP3 and use the itouch/ipeng app to control all my products. I did this and I am thankful for that. The SB3 functions great and the ipeng will control all my Squeezes. And, I now have an itouch that allows me to do many internet and wireless applications. I do not think I would purchase a Duet.

I recommend Logitech. I would get the SB Boom 1st in order to learn the functions, etc. and then expand to the SB Touch or SB3 for your stereo and then the Radio. IMHO Good luck and let us know! I am confident you will like it once you learn it.

tcutting
2009-10-21, 14:51
It sounds to me like you should REALLY consider the Classic (AKA SB3).
It is, in fact, LESS powerful in terms as processor than the Duet (especially when you consider the "handheld" Controller is actually a small linux computer), but is generally MORE reliable. If your setup turns out to have wifi issues, but you can solve connectivity to the player (say the Classic) by using Powerline adapters, the Classic would also give you the option of using the IR Remote to control, so you don't need to depend on the wifi at all. You can always add a Duet as a second Squeezebox, thereby getting a second player (without display or IR control capabality) and the Controller handheld remote (with display, and which can control ANY/All of your Squeezebox players). An iPhone or iPod Touch paired with the iPeng application can also be used as a handheld wifi remote for all Squeezebox players.

rrweather
2009-10-21, 14:55
Thanks for the recommendation. I guess my confusion was partially because I didn't realize that the controller and the receiver included with the duet worked both independently and together. More specifically, I didn't realize that the controller that comes with the duet was its own mini-computer. It makes more sense now when I read the reviews of people having issues with their controllers. I will research the classic. Thanks again and sorry for the mass questions!

Randy

JohnSwenson
2009-10-21, 17:08
Hi Randy, sometimes all the different permutations can get a little confusing. I'll try and put some order to it.

A squeezebox "system" logically consists of three parts:
player, controller and server.

Various pieces of hardware implement various parts of this.

The players are:
classic (SB3), transporter, receiver, radio, boom and touch.

The controllers are:
controller, radio, touch

Notice the overlap. Some boxes contain both a controller and a player in the same box.
All the players can be controlled by any controller. The controllers talk over the network to the server and from the server control the players.

Most of the players (except the receiver) contain a display which can show what they are playing. (again except for the receiver) they come with an IR remote which can be used to control the player you are pointing it at, but they only work for what you point them at. (not quite true, the touch can control another player using its IR remote over the network, but thats a little esoteric)

The controler, radio and touch all have a similar controller functionality (with different user interface). This control function can control any of the players. The radio and touch have both a controller and player in the same box. Normally they are connected together, but they don't have to be. You can control the touch player from a radio or a controller if you wish. The touch controller can control a receiver.

On top of this there are other control options which can control any of the players:

The server software has a "web interface" which is a web page that you can access from any browser on any computer that can access your network. Desktop computer, laptop, cell phone, just about anything that has a web browser.

There are dedicated programs that run on many different computers that can control a player as well. These all talk to the server which talks to the players. A very popular one is iPeng which runs on an iPhone or iPod Touch (control a touch from a touch!) This means you can control a squeezebox from an iPhone using either the web browser or iPeng. (iPeng is much better)

Server:

The server is a program that runs on a computer of your choice. Just about anything can run the server software. Your collection of music resides on the computer's disk. Many people use a NAS box which contains a small linux computer and run the server on the onboard computer. The server computer DOES have to be on for a squeezebox to get at your own music, but it does not have to be on to access some internet feeds such as Pandora.

The computer on the touch is powerful enough that it can run a slimmed down version of the server on its own. It has a USB port so you can plug in a USB drive with your music. That server in the touch can serve the music to any of the other players so you don't even need another computer.

There is also a "virtual squeezebox" which is a program that runs on your computer and sends music to the computer speakers. So if you are out on the patio with your laptop (in range of the router!) you can still listen to the music over the laptop speakers or headphones.

So there you have the "squeezebox system", there are lots of different parts that can be configured in MANY MANY different ways, all that flexibility can be a little daunting!

One of the best ways to deal with this is to first think about where you want music to be in your house and how you would like to control it, don't think about any specific device yet, just think about "if I could do it anyway I want, what would I like?" Then see if there is a set of hardware options from the above list that lets me do it. Given all this flexibility also comes expandability. You can start small with one box and grow as you desire. Most of us started with one squeezebox and then grew the system as we realized how much we like it.

I hope that helps!

John S.

rrweather
2009-10-21, 20:01
John,

Thank you very much for the break down. It does indeed help. Today has been a day of learning. I went from knowing very little to knowing more than I thought existed!

I have all but decided to order a touch for the bedroom and one for the living room. The controller that comes with the duet is cool but seems to be the most like piece of equipment that gives people problems. On top of it, I have no reason to control the sound from a room other than the one I am in. Basically, if I am sitting on the couch, I can easily use the remote that comes with the touch to control it from the couch. The same is true in our bedroom. I am also hopeful that the touch will operate more smoothly since it is the newest developed product. That may be wishful thinking but it doesn't hurt to hope! I can't help but notice a lot people having issues complain about problems with the controller they got from their duet. As I mentioned before, reviews must be taken for what they are: someone's opinion. That being said, the reviews on almost every other SB product seem higher than the reviews on the controller that comes with the duet. Could be a coincidence.

The Sonos seems like a great system. The biggest drawback is the price and the fact that it is really designed to operate wireless. With our house the way it is, wireless just doesn't seem like the best possibility for success. If I stream anything other larger than mp3, the odds of wireless working in this house are even slimmer. The Sonos lineup frustrates the hell out of me in that their bundles are not designed for my setup. I realize that each person has different needs but offering only two bundles, each containing almost the same equipment, doesn't really cover all the customers' needs. On top of it, every page you go on advertises how you can save 17% by ordering a bundle; yet, there are only two bundles. If you can't use one of the bundles, there goes your 17% savings.

I am going to be out of town for the next month. I figure if I order two touches before I leave, it gives me a month before I would even be home to use them. Once I get home, I can get the powerline attachments up and running (hopefully). By then, hopefully the touches will start shipping. If not, I can wait. I also have a turntable I am going to be tinkering with when I get home so it will keep me busy while I wait on the touches.

I really appreciate all the information you guys have provided. I look forward to reading more in the forums while I wait for the touch to be released. If you feel I missed anything or you have anything else to add, please do so! Thanks again,

Randy

One other thing...is there any truth to the rumors that the duet is also going to be updated soon? While popping around the internet today, I found multiple statements saying that along with the touch, the duet was going to get an update. Just wondering if this was true.

rrweather
2009-10-21, 20:35
I really should have shut my computer down for the night. I started reading more reviews and now I have more questions! The first one that comes to mind is...is it necessary to have the controller that comes with the duet in order to set up the receiver that comes with the duet? It seems like when the receiver first came out, programming it without the controller required a fairly in-depth knowledge that I KNOW I do not have. Is this still the case? With the possibility of an updated controller in the semi-near future, simply purchasing two receivers for now and waiting for updated controllers wouldn't be bad if I could get the receivers set up without the controller. I like the idea of the controller that comes with the duet; however, it seems to be the topic of most people's problems. The more I read, the more every other SB product seems to get great reviews. Many reviewers seem to have a love-hate relationship with the controller itself. There are an abundance of complaints regarding having to remove the batteries, reboots, etc. Those are the headaches I could live without. On the other hand, if these problems are few and far between or are likely to be solved with an update to the controller, picking up two receivers now may be an option. Thanks for the help.

Randy

toby10
2009-10-22, 03:05
To setup a Receiver absent the Controller:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=57861&highlight=udap

It's essentially a hack supported by a very nice, very knowledgeable and very active SB user, Robin Bowes.
Never used it myself and "officially" Logitech does not support the SBR in use without the SBC.

Phil Leigh
2009-10-22, 04:06
Just a note on Powerlines - they MUST go into the wall sockets directly, not via extension leads or multiway adaptors. Also, there can be issues with older wiring circuits and with other appliances that are generating excessive interference on the mains. Items with AC motors can be problematic if their suppression capacitors are on their way out.

Phil Leigh
2009-10-22, 04:36
On the subject of Touch stability - I've been running one all year in beta and in the last 3 months it has been rock solid. I haven't had to reset it or even unplug it. However, bear in mind that I run wired ethernet and I'm not using TinySC yet - will start again with that soon. Also, I live by my "25 rules"...

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=69732

rrweather
2009-10-22, 06:52
I am going to go ahead and pull the trigger on two touches. I got to thinking last night that it would be cool to have the controller just for the sake of having it. That being said, I don't want to buy it now if there is even a chance of an updated model in the semi-near future. The other thing is my fiance and I are used to the Soundbridge in our living room. Using its two-line display is challenging but we make it work. The larger display on the touch will be like watching a tv for us after the soundbridge! The reality is we like listening to music, not browsing through it for the hell of it. Once we have music playing, we typically just let it go. Either way, we don't need the display on the controller.

The fact that it is not shipping yet is actually a plus. That gives me time to get home and hopefully get the powerlines hooked up and running. Hopefully any headaches with them will be worked out before I get the touches. It will also give me a chance to try getting the mac mini I have coming up and running. It was my little brother's old computer so I am anticipating having to delete a few gb of porn and computer games!

On the topic of ordering the touch, is there a site that I would be better off ordering from? Amazon is the first place that comes to mind because I can order them before I go out of the country and I'll get them whenever they get two in with my name on them. If something happens, amazon is typically good about returns.

Thanks again for all the help. I am sure I will be asking many more questions in some of the other forums as I hook up the powerlines, try to get the mac up and running, etc.

Randy

Squeezed_Rotel
2009-10-22, 08:16
I am going to go ahead and pull the trigger on two touches. I got to thinking last night that it would be cool to have the controller just for the sake of having it. That being said, I don't want to buy it now if there is even a chance of an updated model in the semi-near future. The other thing is my fiance and I are used to the Soundbridge in our living room. Using its two-line display is challenging but we make it work. The larger display on the touch will be like watching a tv for us after the soundbridge! The reality is we like listening to music, not browsing through it for the hell of it. Once we have music playing, we typically just let it go. Either way, we don't need the display on the controller.

The fact that it is not shipping yet is actually a plus. That gives me time to get home and hopefully get the powerlines hooked up and running. Hopefully any headaches with them will be worked out before I get the touches. It will also give me a chance to try getting the mac mini I have coming up and running. It was my little brother's old computer so I am anticipating having to delete a few gb of porn and computer games!

On the topic of ordering the touch, is there a site that I would be better off ordering from? Amazon is the first place that comes to mind because I can order them before I go out of the country and I'll get them whenever they get two in with my name on them. If something happens, amazon is typically good about returns.

Thanks again for all the help. I am sure I will be asking many more questions in some of the other forums as I hook up the powerlines, try to get the mac up and running, etc.

Randy

Randy, no matter what you purchase, check out the link that Phil indicated in his post. It should be a Wiki or at least a Sticky.

rrweather
2009-10-22, 08:21
I just read through it. I can't say I understand all of the terms or abbreviations but most of it makes sense. I am going to re-read it and try to adhere to as much of it as possible when setting up my system. Thanks for directing me to it.

Randy

tcutting
2009-10-22, 08:30
Since you will have some time before you actually get a player, you can setup a "virtual" system to start to try things out. As part of getting the Mac Mini up and running, you can go ahead and download the Squeezebox Server software and get that setup. The is an application called "SoftSqueeze" which is a software emulator of the Squeezebox players. It used to be accessible right from the Squeezebox Server (formerly known as SqueezeCenter), but now it's a separate item being supported by the community. Before I got any Squeezebox Players, I had Squeezecenter up and running, with SoftSqueeze running on my Desktop PC which was hosting Squeezecenter, and also on a laptop which I would drag to my living room when I wanted to stream music. The software players are not perfect (also, in addition to SoftSqueeze, there is also SqueezePlay which is basically the controller software which also includes a player feature, but that function still seems to be very hit-and-miss, and also squeezeslave, which is a GUI-less software player - I still run squeezeslave on my desktop PC as a virtual Squeezebox player). The software players seem to be much less robust then the hardware players in terms of buffering, playing all types of streams, but they allow you to try out the whole experience before your hardware players arrive, and give you a chance to get the server up and running, play with getting your music files setup and properly tagged, etc.

rrweather
2009-10-22, 10:57
Since you will have some time before you actually get a player, you can setup a "virtual" system to start to try things out. As part of getting the Mac Mini up and running, you can go ahead and download the Squeezebox Server software and get that setup. The is an application called "SoftSqueeze" which is a software emulator of the Squeezebox players. It used to be accessible right from the Squeezebox Server (formerly known as SqueezeCenter), but now it's a separate item being supported by the community. Before I got any Squeezebox Players, I had Squeezecenter up and running, with SoftSqueeze running on my Desktop PC which was hosting Squeezecenter, and also on a laptop which I would drag to my living room when I wanted to stream music. The software players are not perfect (also, in addition to SoftSqueeze, there is also SqueezePlay which is basically the controller software which also includes a player feature, but that function still seems to be very hit-and-miss, and also squeezeslave, which is a GUI-less software player - I still run squeezeslave on my desktop PC as a virtual Squeezebox player). The software players seem to be much less robust then the hardware players in terms of buffering, playing all types of streams, but they allow you to try out the whole experience before your hardware players arrive, and give you a chance to get the server up and running, play with getting your music files setup and properly tagged, etc.

This was exactly my plan. I figure if I get everything else set up before adding the SB, I will be better off dealing with any issues that arise if I know things were solid before adding the SB. I am also interested in ripping our CDs into FLAC. I imagine this is a tedious process, especially trying to use the mac mini. Until I get the computer up here, I have no idea what it has for a HD, memory, and what OS version it has on it. I have a feeling it is not 10.4 so I think I will have to install that to run the server software. I don't know a ton about FLAC other than what I have read on various sites. I downloaded "Max" to try ripping a CD to FLAC. It appears to have worked. I also came across vortexbox mentioned in multiple posts. That seems like a great way to go. The problem is getting something to run it on. I saw that you can buy the box designed specifically to run vortexbox. That seems like a good option. Since I know little about vortexbox, I don't know if it is a good value. Thanks for the info!

tcutting
2009-10-22, 11:02
Are all your PC's mac? I use EAC on windows to rip CDs to FLAC. There is also highly recommended dbpoweramp (EAC is free, dbpoweramp is not). The advantage with these rippers is they do accurate rips. Ripping can be a tedious process, but once you get the process down, it becomes pretty mindless, so just do it bit-by-bit. Once everything is networked, it shouldn't matter what machine you use to rip, just transfer the files onto the server when your done.

rrweather
2009-10-22, 12:00
Two of the three computers in our house are Macs. The lone PC is my fiance's laptop and it is on its last leg. She is lucky to surf the internet with it before it overheats and shuts itself down. It will eventually be replaced by a macbook. I don't know what kind of shape the mac mini is in. I don't even know what kind of processor is in it. It will need a little cleaning up for sure. I also doubt the cd drive in it is the best quality. If nothing else, it is 4 or 5 years old. I don't want to dump a bunch of money into it. As it is, I don't have a keyboard, mouse, or monitor for it. I am watching craisglist trying to find something extremely cheap so I don't have to spend much on it. If I end up buying a monitor, keyboard, and mouse new, I can go ahead and use it to get a media server set up aka, the vortexbox.

I primarily use my macbook pro for everything. I am reluctant to use it to rip a couple hundred cds into flac. That would be the other advantage of getting the vortexbox to do it all--less wear and tear on my laptop.

rrweather
2009-10-24, 06:19
I just ordered two SB Touches through Amazon. Who knows when I'll ever see them. Amazon is supposed to e-mail me when they have a date. The nice thing with Amazon is I can cancel the order with them at any point if I see them somewhere else.

Now that I think I have my WiFi issues a little more under control, I can get the mac mini set up (hopefully) and ready to act as a server. The one hangup I may have with the mac mini is I am not sure what version of OSX it has on it. If it is not 10.4, I don't think the server software will run on it. Unless I can find a cheap source for 10.4 (tiger), I might be in a jam. Tiger is still available for sale but the prices are stupid. For what I would pay for software for an old computer, I could put towards the price of something else.

I am still eying up the vortexbox appliance. I am thinking that will be on Randy's wishlist for Santa. If this mini mac won't run the server software, it makes the vortexbox appliance even more appealing. Thanks for all the help. I am going to go through and read Phil's 25 rules again as I continue to plan out the install.

socistep
2009-10-28, 11:16
I just ordered two SB Touches through Amazon. Who knows when I'll ever see them. Amazon is supposed to e-mail me when they have a date. The nice thing with Amazon is I can cancel the order with them at any point if I see them somewhere else.

Now that I think I have my WiFi issues a little more under control, I can get the mac mini set up (hopefully) and ready to act as a server. The one hangup I may have with the mac mini is I am not sure what version of OSX it has on it. If it is not 10.4, I don't think the server software will run on it. Unless I can find a cheap source for 10.4 (tiger), I might be in a jam. Tiger is still available for sale but the prices are stupid. For what I would pay for software for an old computer, I could put towards the price of something else.

I am still eying up the vortexbox appliance. I am thinking that will be on Randy's wishlist for Santa. If this mini mac won't run the server software, it makes the vortexbox appliance even more appealing. Thanks for all the help. I am going to go through and read Phil's 25 rules again as I continue to plan out the install.

Just a quick message on the vortexbox, I use the operating system on a Mini ITX server and it works really well, its a godsend not just for music but as a general media server and Andrew puts a lot of work in - IMO a much better choice then a NAS

DigitalMitch
2009-10-29, 07:12
Just a note on Powerlines - they MUST go into the wall sockets directly, not via extension leads or multiway adaptors. out.

Agreed that this is the recommendation.

But for me, the master Powerline (into router) is direct. All 4 others were on extension leads with the SB, and powered speakers (or PS3 and TV) so that I could switch the whole lot on or off together (and have enough sockets). So far no issues and better than wireless.