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View Full Version : Hardware store any 'Plugin' settings? (more Web control?)



sydsfloyd67
2010-01-29, 09:36
I'm not a programmer, nor do I really understand the 'box' hardware. Please bring me up to speed. :)

Wouldn't one want to retain various settings made via SqueezeServer Plugins through either on/off cycle or restarting, and then use them when connecting to new 'Music Sources'? For example this might allow custom displays and some other changes to the interface beging made through SqueezeServer Plugins to be retained while moving to mysqueezebox.com. Can the Squeezebox v3 (SB3) store anything other than firmware locally in RAM? (If so, can/do Squeezeserver Plugins ever write to this? Seems they do not.)

If not, would it be possible to implement plugins through a web connection rather than Squeezeserver, say beginning with mysqueezebox.com? If so, could someone make a Community web page(s) to which Squeezebox could connect, and thereby implement features and settings in the open source model?

(In my view, the potential hardware independence from the PC (and 'radio' model) is the uniqueness of the whole Squeeze platform. If one puts in dependence on a laptop and Squeezeserver (and local MP3s), then there are better PC-interface-centered approaches, for example an Airport Express with a Macbook and iPhone-remote.)

Thanks!
-SF

snarlydwarf
2010-01-29, 11:06
Wouldn't one want to retain various settings made via SqueezeServer Plugins through either on/off cycle or restarting, and then use them when connecting to new 'Music Sources'? For example this might allow custom displays and some other changes to the interface beging made through SqueezeServer Plugins to be retained while moving to mysqueezebox.com. Can the Squeezebox v3 (SB3) store anything other than firmware locally in RAM? (If so, can/do Squeezeserver Plugins ever write to this? Seems they do not.)


They do not.

There isn't enough RAM, CPU or flash in the SB2/3/Classic/Receiver/Boom type players to do that. They're "slim" devices, meaning almost all their functionality is at the server.

The Radio, Touch and SBController can run 'Applets', small programs written in Lua.



(In my view, the potential hardware independence from the PC (and 'radio' model) is the uniqueness of the whole Squeeze platform. If one puts in dependence on a laptop and Squeezeserver (and local MP3s), then there are better PC-interface-centered approaches, for example an Airport Express with a Macbook and iPhone-remote.)


Are there? The airport express does not have anything close to the sound quality of a SB.

The SB Touch has a USB port you can plug a USB hard drive into, so there is no dependence on another PC, and it can serve music to SB2/3/Boom/Radio/Receiver/Touch...

I don't know why you would want a laptop for your music server: your laptop has to then be on (and not sleeping!) to listen to music. A desktop or 'micro' type server (see Vortex Box or Sheeva Plug) works much better.

I have yet to see a PC-centric system that does anything at all like the SB does. I have several players around the house, one at work, all connected to the same library, sometimes playing in sync, sometimes not.

From any, I can use either builtin controls (like the Boom, Radio or Touch have) or an IR remote or a PC, or a SB Controller to choose music, adjust volume, etc.

sydsfloyd67
2010-01-29, 13:05
Hi Snarly. Thanks for your reply.

Well, isn't 'too small' (Slim) relative? For example, how much flash storage does it take to make the screensaver change settings every 5 minutes? To maintain a reasonable list of URLs?

Is it that there isn't the necessary (SB3) storage, or that it's not accessible by Plugin architecture? Are there any custom firmwares about?

______________

Unfortunately, I'm finding the SB to be a "PC-centric" system, given the Settings dependence on Squeezebox Server software Plugins, given the primitive level of the alternative at mysqueezebox.com.

I appreciate your point in terms of a Desktop vs Laptop Server option. However I'd favor the central concept of a customizable independent 'radio-like' device that interacts directly on the web (neither Desktop nor Laptop dependent). Why can't a S'box connect to a website other than mysqueezebox.com, or how would you enable that? (I imagine more than one alternative site, with different focus or resources --I'd think that might 'inspire' Logitech to get something more than bare bones up since September (e.g. no RSS config, no mobile interface Remote page, etc.). I can already manage and play MP3 and playlists more readily on a remote-controlled CPUs on which they reside if I'll need to configure and run any local SB Server. Having the current SN/MSB + Internet Radio may be enough, but it's nowhere near what it could be (e.g. "my"squeezebox.com).

(PS. The audio output (analog) of the Airport Express measures very by real criteria actually, including that by the snobs at Stereophile magazine. AE also outputs digital if you want to go beyond that for some reason.)

-SF

snarlydwarf
2010-01-29, 13:55
Well, isn't 'too small' (Slim) relative? For example, how much flash storage does it take to make the screensaver change settings every 5 minutes? To maintain a reasonable list of URLs?

More than it has free. The ip3k based players (SBR, SB2/3/Classic, Boom) have no free storage, they don't even know they are displaying a screensaver at all. They just display whatever the server tells them, they just know it is a bunch of lit pixels.

The formatting is done by the server.



Is it that there isn't the necessary (SB3) storage, or that it's not accessible by Plugin architecture? Are there any custom firmwares about?


There is no free storage. There is no custom firmware on the ip3k based players.

If you're talking about Radio/Touch that's another matter entirely.



Unfortunately, I'm finding the SB to be a "PC-centric" system, given the Settings dependence on Squeezebox Server software Plugins, given the primitive level of the alternative at mysqueezebox.com.


Define 'pc'. The Touch is NOT a PC, yet it can be a server. A sheeva plug is not a PC either, yet can be a server.



I appreciate your point in terms of a Desktop vs Laptop Server option. However I'd favor the central concept of a customizable independent 'radio-like' device that interacts directly on the web (neither Desktop nor Laptop dependent). Why can't a S'box connect to a website other than mysqueezebox.com, or how would you enable that? (I imagine more than one alternative site, with different focus or resources --I'd think that might 'inspire' Logitech to get something more than bare bones up since September (e.g. no RSS config, no mobile interface Remote page, etc.). I can already manage and play MP3 and playlists more readily on a remote-controlled CPUs on which they reside if I'll need to configure and run any local SB Server. Having the current SN/MSB + Internet Radio may be enough, but it's nowhere near what it could be (e.g. "my"squeezebox.com).


The Squeezebox can connect to servers other than 'mysb.com'. A local server (SBS) is one. A remote SBS is another. I am at work and playing music from my home server right now, so I -am- connected to a remote server.

Why is there no alternative to MySB: because no one has made one. MySB is really SBS with some proprietary extensions to handle multiple users and some proprietary plugins for some services that would rather not hand out their API to anyone who wants it.

You didn't ask for "I would like to be able to change display formats on MySB.com", you asked for plugins that could run on ip3k based players. That isn't going to happen.

You can have applets that run on the Radio/Boom/Controller, but that's another matter entirely.

If you have local music, you will need something to serve it, right?

So what's the big deal to have that 'something' also control what you asked for via formatting?

You original question:



Wouldn't one want to retain various settings made via SqueezeServer Plugins through either on/off cycle or restarting, and then use them when connecting to new 'Music Sources'? For example this might allow custom displays and some other changes to the interface beging made through SqueezeServer Plugins to be retained while moving to mysqueezebox.com. Can the Squeezebox v3 (SB3) store anything other than firmware locally in RAM? (If so, can/do Squeezeserver Plugins ever write to this? Seems they do not.)


The SB3 can NOT store anything other than firmware locally. Plugins for the SB3 run on the server, whether it is local or mysqueeezebox.com. They do NOT run on the SB3. They will not: the SB3 does not have sufficient flash memory to run them. It uses a strange processor (ip3k) that requires expensive tools and knowledge to program. It will not run Perl or Lua.

There is no reason for a plugin that runs on a server to store information on the SB3 anyway: the server would have far more storage available than what is available in the SB3 flash.

It sounds like what you actually want is "a way to customize the display of items served by MySB.com such as Napster/Last.fm/etc".

sydsfloyd67
2010-01-29, 15:04
The SB3 can NOT store anything other than firmware locally. ............... They will not: the SB3 does not have sufficient flash memory to run them. It uses a strange processor (ip3k) that requires expensive tools and knowledge to program. It will not run Perl or Lua..

S.,

OK, got it. It sounds like there's a proprietary/design issue as well. Thanks for the thorough explanation.



...........Why is there no alternative to MySB: because no one has made one....................It sounds like what you actually want is "a way to customize the display of items served by MySB.com such as Napster/Last.fm/etc".

Well, it's unfortunate that the SB3 cannot/will never be able to load (or even save) a custom configuration however small without connecting to a server. I'm not sure whether or not it would be feasible for a user community to establish some alternative web hosting sites that would allow at least some (or even a great deal of) user customization beyond the mysqueezebox.com's 'Favorites' menu and handful of app installations. If so, I'd think it would have happened already, given the problems reported here with the SN->MSB. Perhaps it wasn't previously clear that 'mysqueezebox.com' would not develop more quickly (for example in what has been done with Plugins with SS).

Does the Touch then perhaps have the hardware needed to first allow and then and save configurations between restarts (say a URL list of 12 favorites, and a display tweek or 2 beyond firmware)? Thereby eliminating the need for additional Server connections at every start after an initial setup? If so, too bad they somehow lost the supply of displays for a 'Classic II'.

-SF

snarlydwarf
2010-01-29, 15:14
Well, it's unfortunate that the SB3 cannot/will never be able to load (or even save) a custom configuration however small without connecting to a server. I'm not sure whether or not it would be feasible for a user community to establish some alternative web hosting sites that would allow at least some (or even a great deal of) user customization beyond the mysqueezebox.com's 'Favorites' menu and handful of app installations. If so, I'd think it would have happened already, given the problems reported here with the SN->MSB. Perhaps it wasn't previously clear that 'mysqueezebox.com' would not develop more quickly (for example in what has been done with Plugins with SS).

There is nothing stoping you from doing that.

Again, the only special thing about MySB is that it's in the menu.

I don't see a motivation for that, though. Those who have the experience to set up a multiuser SB Server have their own servers: why would they pay the costs of a server for other people? Then they would also have to sign content deals with Napster, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc..

That's a whole lot of work, and I don't really see an income stream there to make it worth the trouble. It's not a big deal for logitech who already have a toehold ("Hi, we have contracts with your competition, do you want to have us use you as a content provider, too?"), but would be very painful for a startup.



Does the Touch then perhaps have the hardware needed to first allow and then and save configurations between restarts (say a URL list of 12 favorites, and a display tweek or 2 beyond firmware)? Thereby eliminating the need for additional Server connections at every start after an initial setup? If so, too bad they somehow lost the supply of displays for a 'Classic II'.


The Touch runs a 'tiny' version of SBS if you add storage to it. (A USB thumb drive would suffice.)

So, yes, it can connect to net radio stations without an -additional- server. It would be wrong to say without a server: since it is running a server.

The SBS has a far faster CPU, more RAM and more flash, as well as a USB connection for external storage (ie, if you don't want to use a PC as a server, go get a huge USB hard drive and store your music on that, and plug it into the Touch).

A 'classic II' would, in order to accomplish what you want, need: more memory, faster CPU, more flash, USB connection...

Ie, it would be a touch with a VFD display. But I bet the touch-lcd display is -cheaper- than the VFD was (economies of scale: LCD displays are cheap, even as touch screens -- think of the millions of phones made every year). So, really, it would, well, be a Touch.

The touch -is- the next step in the SB1/2/3 line.

sydsfloyd67
2010-01-29, 15:26
S.,

I thought so (we're unlikely to see some community hosting.)

A Touch sounds like the solution to user-customization-without-CPU.

But so far I'd rather 'take the hit' with limited MSB.com configuration or booting a nearby PCR just to enjoy the VFD display and tactile response of the Classic. (I have plenty of LCD screens and corresponding interfaces.)

Thanks for the insights.
SF