View Full Version : Can use Blackberry as remote, now how about streaming to the Blackberry?

2010-04-28, 11:39
I know I asked a similar question about 2 years ago, and things have changed a bit since then. I am able to use my Blackberry Bold 9000 to open the squeezebox server webpage and use it as a remote, that works fine. I am also able to finally stream mp3's to the blackberry using the stream.mp3 option, however it's clunky, and I can only play my mp3's, not FLAC files, and I have to keep switching back and forth between the web page and the media player. Doing so will often change the IP address and the player in the drop down list, making it hard to pick the right one.

Now I don't really use the Blackberry at home much as a remote, I use my remote that came with the squeezebox. I'm thinking of when I am on the road, especially on those long family summer vacations, it would be nice to be able to have access to my music library remotely. I'd like to be able to use something on the Blackberry to play my music from my squeezebox. I know Softsqueeze works for PC's, but is there anything similar to this for mobile phones, specifically the Blackberry?

If not, is there someone out there smart enough to develop one? I would but I am not a programmer in any sense of the word, and would never be able to do this. I'd be willing to be a beta tester for it if anyone ever wanted to put one together.


2010-04-28, 13:55
I can't help you with your main question, but with your current setup you should be able to play your FLAC files as well. All you need to do is install LAME on your server and it will transcode FLAC files to MP3.

Actually, on your main question, even though it may be tempting to stream to your BB on vacation (what else are unlimited data plans for, right?), wouldn't it be a lot easier to use a regular portable player?

2010-04-28, 14:41
wouldn't it be a lot easier to use a regular portable player?

Not when one's music collection is over 67 gb. Can't fit that onto my Blackberry, they don't make cards larger than 16 gb yet. Also, why carry ANOTHER device when one will do just fine? Another device is more expensive. Besides, streaming it from the Squeezebox server more than one device would be able to access it, so not only my own BB could play from it, but my wife's also. Heck, I'd probably even be willing to pay Logitech a small fee for a BB app that could do this. Kind of like Pandora, and other streaming music apps, they work so well. Why not? The technology is there, it's just a matter of writing the right app to take advantage of it. Besides, that could work on any number of other mobile devices, iPods, iPhones, Androids, Palms, etc, etc, etc. As I said before, if I had the expertise to write the app, I would, but I don't.


2010-04-28, 18:35
You say that "it's just a matter of writing the right app" but also say that you don't have any real idea about programming. Consider the very popular iPeng app for iPhone's and iPod Touch: getting a _local_ SBS to stream music to it is still a work-in-progress, so I wouldn't underestimate the effort involved. What you're asking -- streaming over the internet, which you probably want to do securely -- is a step further than that. And let's just say that the iThing community for app development is a lot more active than the BB app community.

Is that >67gb library FLAC or a lossy codec? For playing through something like a BB lossless is overkill -- the audio hardware is more of a constraint than lossless vs lossy. Besides, you'd have to settle for lossy for remote streaming because of bandwidth. What a lot of people do, myself included, is keep a parallel MP3 library for portable use. There are various software tools to make creating and maintaining a parallel MP3 library easy. You could shrink a FLAC library of over 100gb down to reasonable-quality (192kbps or better) MP3s that would fit on a single 16gb SD card. If that 67gb is already lossy then that's another story.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the app you're asking for. But I ain't holding my breath.

2010-04-28, 20:52
You may want to look at a service offered by Didiom. I believe it's $1 per month and allows you to access your music library over your phone. My library is hosted on a Mac Mini and Didiom doesn't offer a Mac solution yet.


2010-04-29, 08:45
Hmm, interesting, never heard of iPeng before. Not an iPod or iPhone person, so I'd not heard of it. Looked up the website and read about it, looks like a really interesting app, though it does only look like it's for controlling not for playing remotely.

I guess my expectations are high, as Softsqueeze 3.8 is able to stream all my music, mp3 and FLAC alike very easily over the internet, so if they can do it with an app, why wouldn't it be possible with another app specifically made for a different platform. Sure, you are right about FLAC being overkill for a BB, but BBOS 5 DOES play FLAC, it isn't advertised, but I've played them, and it works, so why not? Cloud computing, having your data available anywhere at any time, not always having to keep copies locally is the way of the future. That's where things are going, lets use the technology. 3G on a BB is plenty fast for this too. I don't mind so much if it has to transcode it to a lossy codec on the fly for streaming to the BB, in a noisy car, who's going to know the difference right?

I tested that Didiom using the free version, and sure enough, it works. Sounds just fine. I believe that this proves that my theory is sound. It is possible to stream from the Squeezebox remotely, especially since they already have the stream.mp3 option. I would think that at the most basic, one could wrap that URL into a simple app where you would put in the hostname, the username and password, and just let it listen on the right port in the background, while one uses the browser to control the music being played through it. In a little more advanced version, set up something like softsqueeze that can do both playing and controlling. It would really be neat to see that done.


2010-04-29, 11:50
The biggest issue with iPeng and streaming is a licensing one, all easy solutions are forbidden one way or the other (although not everybody cares, I do):
- SqueezePlay, which I'm porting makes extensive use of LUA, which is forbidden on iPhones plus some libraries that have licenses that conflict with the AppStore agreement.
- SoftSqueeze uses Java which, again, is forbidden on iPhone
- SqueezeSlave us under GPL which conflicts with the AppStore agreement as well as some other licenses in iPeng.
Other platforms may or may not have the same restrictions. With hindsight I would have developed the whole thing from s ranch and then it would probably already be done.