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howie.stone
2011-06-27, 03:31
Hi everyone

Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

I. Is it a good idea?
2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
4. How do you do backup?
5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

Cheers for any help

Howie

garym
2011-06-27, 04:33
Hi everyone

Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

I. Is it a good idea?
2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
4. How do you do backup?
5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

Cheers for any help

Howie
1. maybe, if powerful enough and can easily run SbS
2. I love my vortexbox and I have a readynas duo that cost more and is basically useless for the purpose I bought it for.
3. Vortexbox is plug and play. from unpacking the box, I was up and running in less than 10 minutes. Took longer to then scan all my music files, but truly plug and play.
4. Vortexbox has a USB backup procedure. just plug in an external USB drive to vortexbox and hit "backup" on the web interface for the vortexbox. Or, since it shows up as a drive on my local network, I can plug a usb drive into my laptop and use windows file explorer to copy files from the vortexbox to the usb drive connected to my laptop.
5. yes.
6. connect NAS (vortexbox) to your router with ethernet cable. Then your router can talk to your SB players via WIFI (or ethernet if you want to wire the SB players).

First, keep in mind that a NAS is a computer, just one without a keyboard or monitor. Usually running some sort of linux OS. Use the search function on the third party forums and you'll find lots of info. There are lots of types of NAS units. The key is that many (most?) of them are very underpowered for running SbS. I have a ReadyNas DUO. It plays just fine, but was painful to use in terms of browsing artists, selecting songs, etc. (about a 60,000 track library). There are more powerful ReadyNas units. Key is you really need an x86 processor to be powerful enough.

A NAS plugs into your router with an ethernet cable and then becomes available on your local network. You can copy files there are stream from your NAS, etc.

In my case, I abandoned using the ReadyNas for my SB stuff and purchased a Vortexbox Appliance. It is plug and play, is fast, and goes for months and months without so much the need for a reboot. Stick it anywhere in your house (closet, basement) where you can connect it to your router with ethernet and you'll be up and running in minutes. And although not really advertised as such, it does everything a NAS does. I store other files (documents, folders) on my vortexbox and these files are available to all users on my local network.

firedog
2011-06-27, 05:15
yes, it is supposed to be, and for some (many) it may be.

But in the end, it is Linux, and a very specific version of Linux without the full GUI most distros of Linux have today. So if you have any issues you start needing to use Putty to login and write command line code.

I switched over my WHS system to Vortexbox OS about a week ago, intalling the VB OS on a brand new HD. Had several issues with SBS not working correctly, and the backup function not working. (obviously if you buy a VB appliance with everything pre-installed, you are unlikely to have these problems).

All the issues were resolved, with reinstalls/updates, help from the VB forum, and some logins and code writing with Putty. Definitely not for the true novice. If it works great for you, I'm happy. But just take a brief stroll through the VB forum and you'll see all the answers that say, "logon to your VB server (putty) and use the following code..."

And just as a side comment, Logitech support doesn't support installs of SBS on Linux boxes (even though SBS works fine on it). They politely told me so and refused to help when my VB had a problem with some of the functionality of the SBS not working.

BTW, now that I have everything working, I'm happy with VB and plan to keep using it.

The SBS web interface and my Touch work just as they did with SBS on Windows. No difference in performance or features.

garym
2011-06-27, 05:20
yes, it is supposed to be, and for some (many) it may be.


point taken. And I do read the vortexbox forums as well so I know what you're talking about. I suspect the Vortexbox appliance (purchased with Vortexbox installed, etc.) is a bit more plug and play than installing Vortexbox ISO on an existing machine, but I agree that if things go wrong, you're in linux world (which for windows users like me can be a mystery). But to be fair, about the only officially supported NAS for SbS is ReadyNas, and I've seen even more forum requests for help here (and at readynas forums) than I have for vortexbox.

I've had a lot of good luck with my various players and network setup. When this stuff works it is really nice. But when something in the system doesn't work (whether it be the network, the players, the software), it is a pain to be sure.

howie.stone
2011-06-27, 05:29
I'm starting to think that this is a bad idea. IT which is tricky when problems arise sounds like a no go area for me. Problems are inevitably going to come up.

Howie.

505
2011-06-27, 06:10
Or you could try something like a Synology NAS, for example the DS111 (http://www.synology.com/products/spec.php?product_name=DS111&lang=enu#p_submenu). If you look at the download page of the product, they have a package available for squeezebox. So it's not that difficult to set everything up. It has a graphical interface, so (normally) you don't need to do any terminal commands.

For the record, I do not have such a NAS. I have a SheevaPlug, which you need to custom install, do difficult things, etc., so I would not recommend that to user without any Linux knowledge. It has a slower processor than this NAS (1.2 vs. 1.6 GHz), but more RAM (512 vs. 256MB). I have a library of about 6000 tracks, and am quite content with the speed.

TerryS
2011-06-27, 08:35
I have a QNAP TS-110, which was about the cheapest NAS that I could locate that looked like it would host the SB server. There were instructions on the QNAP site on how to install the SSOTS software and the SB server. I wouldn't say it is for the novice, but then again, I know absolutely nothing about Linux and was able to muddle my way through without any major issues.
The NAS has been running about a year now with no issues. It does (very occasionaly) have a startup issue (it starts playing, then stops for a moment while "rebuffering" and then continues) but only rarely. And only when playing 24/96 high resolution FLAC. So it may be wise to go with a slightly more powerful NAS than the TS-110 if you intend to do hi-res.
The Vortexbox or any small (Atom) based computer might be an easier way to go, but I went with the NAS and it has been good.
As far as backup, I use my desktop computer for all ripping, and I keep a copy of all my music on the desktop. I then copy them over to the NAS for playing. So I have two copies (on two different systems) of all of my music.
I use a wireless connection to my Touch. The NAS connectes (wired) to a wireless router that connects to the Touch.

Terry

howie.stone
2011-06-27, 08:57
What are the advantages over an external hard drive?

Soulkeeper
2011-06-27, 09:15
What are the advantages over an external hard drive?

A NAS runs it own OS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system), so it isn't dependent on a computer. A typical NAS with 2 or more hard drives can also run the drives in a RAID (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID) configuration for increased reliability (and/or disk performance). A typical NAS also uses less power than a typical computer, but YMMV (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/your_mileage_may_vary).

Goodsounds
2011-06-27, 10:20
Hi everyone

Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS. But I have some basic questions.

I. Is it a good idea?
2. Which brand (I can see there's an old thread which recommends Vortexbox)
3. How easy is it to set up? (I'm not really a techie)
4. How do you do backup?
5. Will I still be able to use the advanced search feature in the S/B server?
6. How does it all wire up? Wired link to the computer and wirelessly to the S/B?

Cheers for any help

Howie

Unless you have a curiosity to learn something new, or have endless time to spend to fix broken things you don't understand or have experience with, I'm not sure why you would consider running SBS on anything besides a Win or Mac machine.

If you're looking to reduce power consumption, there are lots of cheap, low power Win PCs that are pretty hard to beat. Also, you can turn it off or put it to sleep when not in use. "Off" is a pretty low power drain.

A lot of the techies in the community have had fun spending hours/days to get the software to run on new hardware platforms (like NAS devices and plugs) but those approaches seem unsuitable for the general population who would rather spend that same time listening to music or doing something else.

rgro
2011-06-27, 10:35
Unless you have a curiosity to learn something new, or have endless time to spend to fix broken things you don't understand or have experience with, I'm not sure why you would consider running SBS on anything besides a Win or Mac machine.

If you're looking to reduce power consumption, there are lots of cheap, low power Win PCs that are pretty hard to beat. Also, you can turn it off or put it to sleep when not in use. "Off" is a pretty low power drain.

A lot of the techies in the community have had fun spending hours/days to get the software to run on new hardware platforms (like NAS devices and plugs) but those approaches seem unsuitable for the general population who would rather spend that same time listening to music or doing something else.

Good points, all. I'll point out that I got tired of dealing with those same sleep/wakeup issues that have all been well-chronicled here. If I wanted to have music when I (or Mrs. rgro) wanted it, I pretty much had to leave the host PC on all the time. Every time I allowed it to go to sleep or shut it off, it was a PITA to get everything going again just to listen to music.

I've been quite happy with my Vortexbox Appliance and I am a total tech numpty. Plus, the Vortexbox Appliance also comes with a built-in auto-ripper. So, ripping CD's to flac is as easy as putting the disc in and waiting 'till it's done (tagging and art is, however, always another story no matter what hardware/operating system combo one uses!)

Goodsounds
2011-06-27, 20:27
Good points, all. I'll point out that I got tired of dealing with those same sleep/wakeup issues that have all been well-chronicled here. If I wanted to have music when I (or Mrs. rgro) wanted it, I pretty much had to leave the host PC on all the time. Every time I allowed it to go to sleep or shut it off, it was a PITA to get everything going again just to listen to music.

I've been quite happy with my Vortexbox Appliance and I am a total tech numpty. Plus, the Vortexbox Appliance also comes with a built-in auto-ripper. So, ripping CD's to flac is as easy as putting the disc in and waiting 'till it's done (tagging and art is, however, always another story no matter what hardware/operating system combo one uses!)
The machine I use for SBS has other tasks and is used by others in the house. We are all tech numpties too (nice phrase). We collectively know the minimum required to deal with normal issues and know people to call who can help us with Win and Mac problems. Sounds like your choice works for you as well as ours does for us, that's what matters.

Happy listening!

pablolie
2011-06-27, 22:15
i own a Synology DS209. while i have installed the SBS software on it, as of now i merely use it as a backup server for al data including my music collection. the system that truly runs SBS though resides on an always-on low-power linux computer - the reason is responsiveness. while i could live with the performance of SBS on the DS209, i find the immediate response i get of the desktop machine more satisfying.
so for now the DS209 is a backup server that also has 1:1 RAID redundancy. i do not eliminate running SBS on the DS209 in the future though.

elvis
2011-06-29, 02:08
Thanks pablolie for honest confession about responsiveness, which also scares me ...

I am planning to buy QNAP TS-212 for SBS aplication (and also for raid 1 photo backup). Anyone has this device and can confirm that it works fine with squeezebox touch without annoying delays ?

Thanks, elvis

garym
2011-06-29, 04:29
Thanks pablolie for honest confession about responsiveness, which also scares me ...

I am planning to buy QNAP TS-212 for SBS aplication (and also for raid 1 photo backup). Anyone has this device and can confirm that it works fine with squeezebox touch without annoying delays ?

Thanks, elvis

On a side note, also understand that RAID is not really a backup. Yes, it is a redundancy and is very useful when data is needed immediately if a disc fails (i.e., a bank, a ticket agency, etc.). But this is not usually the case with personal music and photos. Even with the RAID setup, one needs at least one separate drive with files that is not part of your NAS (e.g., a USB drive). This drive should be stored elsewhere (preferably different location- work, parents, etc.).

If one relies only on the RAID, all data can be lost if there is an electrical problem (lightning) that takes out both drives, user error where incorrect changes (file deletion, overcopy etc.) made to disk 1 get mapped to disk 2, fire, theft, flood, etc.

Read the ReadyNas forums for many tales of lost data woe from users who somehow assumed that the RAID function was all that was needed for data backup. Most of the gurus over there even put things like "RAID is NOT a backup" in their signature lines!

TerryS
2011-06-29, 10:23
Thanks pablolie for honest confession about responsiveness, which also scares me ...

I am planning to buy QNAP TS-212 for SBS aplication (and also for raid 1 photo backup). Anyone has this device and can confirm that it works fine with squeezebox touch without annoying delays ?

Thanks, elvis

Like I mentioned earlier, I have the QNAP TS-110, and it is pretty good, although I would say it is "barely" powerful enough to do the job, so I would think the TS-212 is going to be fine.

The instructions to install the SSOTS and Squeezebox Server onto the NAS are on the QNAP site. I know nothing about Linux and was pretty scared about the whole process. I worked slowly and carefully, reading the instructions several times and trying to follow them verbatum. There was a couple of times when things did not go exactly as the instructions said they should, but it was close enough that I was able to muddle through.
Once it was installed, it has worked pretty much flawlessly. Even when I experience a power outage at the house, it restarts itself and never even know anything went wrong.
I did have one time when I could not access the SSOTS and SB server from my desktop, but rebooting the NAS fixed that. Pretty good stability all in all.
It seems pretty responsive. The only time I notice any delay, is when it has not been used in a long time. It must go to "sleep" or something. Then when I try to browse to a music file from the Touch, it takes two or three seconds to respond at first. After that, it seems plenty fast, although I do not have a huge music library.
I do not use the NAS as a RAID or automatic backup or anything, even though I'm sure I could. The problem with that approach is that if a file gets corrupted, and you automatically back it up, then you have a corrupted backup. So you need to make sure what you back up is good. Just doing a blind backup of all your files may just ensure that you've got two copies of crap.
But I do all my ripping on my desktop, and then copy the files over to the NAS. So that means I have two good copies of my music files.

Terry

Letten
2011-06-29, 11:43
Right now I'm using a S/B classic with all my music files stored on an external Samsung 1.5 TB Hard drive, with the S/B server running on my desktop computer. I'm thinking of changing to a NAS.

Why?

firedog
2011-06-30, 04:47
Check the SB forum, specific posts on this topic:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/forumdisplay.php?f=18

Grumpy Bob
2011-06-30, 11:50
I've been using a QNAP TS-239 for about 18 months - running Squeezebox server, plus backups using an rsnapshot system for several computers, pluse serving a lightweight web app.

It's been easy to set up (with advice from the QNAP forums), and pretty much faultless in operation.

It's a huge improvement on using a full desktop PC.

Robert

garym
2011-06-30, 12:13
I've been using a QNAP TS-239 for about 18 months - running Squeezebox server, plus backups using an rsnapshot system for several computers, pluse serving a lightweight web app.

It's been easy to set up (with advice from the QNAP forums), and pretty much faultless in operation.

It's a huge improvement on using a full desktop PC.

Robert

good to know. just as a benchmark, how many tracks do you have and are they mp3, FLAC, aac, etc. This can matter (my readynas duo is fine for a few thousand tracks, but with 60,000+ the browsing interface was too painfully slow). And mp3 and FLAC are native to all players but AAC, ALAC, etc. may not be (so server needs power for transcoding).

HeadBanger
2011-07-05, 05:54
If you are upto installing your own software I'd recommend that you take a look at the HP ProLiant N36 Microserver and use this as a NAS. There's a 100 cash back deal from HP in the UK at the moment meaning you can pick one up for around 135. It's got four HDD bays (further expandable with some tweaking) and comes with a 250Gb HDD to get you started. It's got an AMD Athlon II Neo Dual Core 1.3Ghz 64 bit processor and 1 Gb RAM (expandable to 8Gb if you really need to).

I've installed FreeNAS and SlimNAS (on USB), an old CD ROM and 2 x 2tb HDD's. For a total spend of 255 it's been great. Over my network the responsiveness (e.g. changing track) is pretty much instant with a wired Duet.

Pros of running a NAS? Main ones for me:

1. Lower running costs (unless you power a PC on/off or WOL - granted)
2. Gives all users in your home access to documents (or denies certain docs)24/7.
3. Expandability - with multi bay NAS's you can add additional storage as and when required. I also have many Tb's of stored films that we stream to a media player from the NAS (many of which are 40GB HD BluRay rips).
4. Local SBS works much better than MySBS and as my wife listens to radio on her SB Radio throughout the day the SBS on the NAS is more reliable (without having to turn a PC on).

Letten
2011-07-16, 01:29
We run SBS on one of our laptops.

We use WOL and it works fine. Most times the laptop is on anyway and if not we just need to push powerbutton on Booms to wake laptop/server. Duet controller is a little more tricky in the current firmware, it does wake server but doesn't pick up on it unless you return to main menu. But that's about it.

There are many advantages in using existing pc. Low cost, high performance, space saving, familiar OS.

The only disadvantage I can think of (apart from a 3 second wake-up time) is that windows update from time to time will restart pc. But you could just change settings so it will always ask first.