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Sike
2011-08-03, 02:01
Hi All

I really want to be talked out of this one, but I'm not sure if I can be...

I started of with the SLIMP3 way way back when Sean Adams shipped them out personally and still have my original SLIMP3 (Without backplate of course). I was and still am a Squeezebox 'fan' if you want to put it that way.

A couple of months ago I helped set up a system in a restaurant using a Squeezebox Boom and 2 Squeezebox Radios. I set up a server in the cellar and fed cables up to the restaurant with a PCEngines AP (Rock solid wireless) and bought them an iPad to select the music. This is where the problems start:

-Searching for music does not work that well. I spent days correcting Tags and cleaning artwork up. Depending on what Server Version is running it comes up with nothing if I search for ABBA of a certain song. (Yes I always clear the library when I make a change)

-Syncing has its problems: If you set up a playlist and play the first song, the sync is not that good. You have to jump to the next track. Explaining this to 15+ employees is not that easy. Having out of sync players in a restaurant really dampens the mood.

-iPeng is great. But has its moments. Somtimes it will just not connect to the server. Sometimes it can't connect to the server and needs to be shut down and restarted. For me that's not a big deal, for 'users' it gives them the feeling the whole thing does not work.

-I have had a bug where the players only played the first track on the playlist. Probably a bug in 7.5.x. I had 7.6 installed for a day and had to go to the nightly builds to get things running 'smoothly'.

Maybe it's all the features that are bringing the system down. All I want is a system that syncs properly and works.

Am I doing anything wrong or is this just the way Squeezebox works?

Sike

pippin
2011-08-03, 02:17
-Searching for music does not work that well. I spent days correcting Tags and cleaning artwork up. Depending on what Server Version is running it comes up with nothing if I search for ABBA of a certain song. (Yes I always clear the library when I make a change)

Don't hope to not have tagging problems with Sonos. Tagging problems are tagging problems. They are platform independent.


-Syncing has its problems: If you set up a playlist and play the first song, the sync is not that good. You have to jump to the next track. Explaining this to 15+ employees is not that easy. Having out of sync players in a restaurant really dampens the mood.

I assume you've got a fast server and you have tried to not mix wired and WiFi routes to the players?
I know it will still have issues...


-iPeng is great. But has its moments. Somtimes it will just not connect to the server. Sometimes it can't connect to the server and needs to be shut down and restarted. For me that's not a big deal, for 'users' it gives them the feeling the whole thing does not work.

"Not connect at all" ALWAYS is a network issue. If your iPad can't connect to WiFi it will not be fun with Sonos as well. Of course, the Sonos controller will.
One thing: How many devices do you have on WiFi and how many does your AP/router handle? A lot of them will only handle 16 devices at a time and in a restaurant you have to account for people accidentally or purposely trying to connect to the network, too. Try a hidden SSID.

The "needs to be shutdown and restarted" hopefully will get much better with the next release (currently waiting for App Store approval) in iPEng since I at least found a workaround. You may still have to wait 10-20s under certain conditions for it to reconnect but it will.


-I have had a bug where the players only played the first track on the playlist. Probably a bug in 7.5.x. I had 7.6 installed for a day and had to go to the nightly builds to get things running 'smoothly'.

You don't sync to any software players, don't you?

Sike
2011-08-03, 02:38
Don't hope to not have tagging problems with Sonos. Tagging problems are tagging problems. They are platform independent.

The thing is that depending on Squeezeserver build it can find things.


I assume you've got a fast server and you have tried to not mix wired and WiFi routes to the players?
I know it will still have issues...

The Server is dedicated to Squeezebox. It's a fast Shuttle PC with a quad core, etc.

All players are WiFi




"Not connect at all" ALWAYS is a network issue. If your iPad can't connect to WiFi it will not be fun with Sonos as well. Of course, the Sonos controller will.
One thing: How many devices do you have on WiFi and how many does your AP/router handle? A lot of them will only handle 16 devices at a time and in a restaurant you have to account for people accidentally or purposely trying to connect to the network, too. Try a hidden SSID.

The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.


The "needs to be shutdown and restarted" hopefully will get much better with the next release (currently waiting for App Store approval) in iPEng since I at least found a workaround. You may still have to wait 10-20s under certain conditions for it to reconnect but it will.

I must commend your software again! iPeng was a true revolution for Squeezebox! I love the software and use it at home every day. As someone who works in IT I have no issue with shuting down iPeng and restarting it.



You don't sync to any software players, don't you?

No.

pippin
2011-08-03, 03:06
The thing is that depending on Squeezeserver build it can find things.

Yes, but that kind of stuff is not unique to the Squeezebox.


The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.

Is it publicly visible? You never know who's trying to access it. How many Squeezeboxes are these? What's the name? It's not, by accident, the AP model?

andynormancx
2011-08-03, 03:21
"a Squeezebox Boom and 2 Squeezebox Radios"

Soulkeeper
2011-08-03, 04:15
You should probably run a stable 7.5 version, since it's a restaurant and not your private setting.

The sync problems sound like a network issue. Did you terminate the cables yourself? If so, how experienced are you with stretching Ethernet?

On the wireless side, have you scanned for hidden networks that use channel 11? Do the squeezeboxen have line of sight to the router? (walls and other obstacles are slightly less transparent for the signal when using the higher channels)

maggior
2011-08-03, 06:09
The AP is only for the Squeezeboxes running on channel 11 (No other networks near are using channel 11) I am using a PCEngines WRAP board running a stable DDWRT version.


What about channel 10? Adjacent channels can cause problems too. There are only 3 channels that are totally in the clear (in the US): 1, 6, and 11.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

Fahzz
2011-08-03, 12:22
This might be off topic,and might be inapplicable in your locale, but bear in mind that there are music ownership laws that come in to play when someone's music is played in public places(think jukeboxes), which may require royalty fees to be paid. In the States the laws are enforced by ASCAP, in Europe maybe BMI(???).

Don't want you to get an unpleasant surprise, and ignore this if you already know.

Muele
2011-08-04, 01:06
Regardless of all other (valid) advice, I would make a clean installation of version 7.5.3. In my opinion the most trouble-free and stable version since "forever". I have just returned to it myself.


Edit: Oh, actually, I think I would have gone for Sonos instead of SB, in the first place in such an environment.. Unfortunately.

Sike
2011-08-04, 01:59
The sync problems sound like a network issue. Did you terminate the cables yourself? If so, how experienced are you with stretching Ethernet?

On the wireless side, have you scanned for hidden networks that use channel 11? Do the squeezeboxen have line of sight to the router? (walls and other obstacles are slightly less transparent for the signal when using the higher channels)

I am a System and network engineer. Things like VOIP are running fine over the same cabling. There is no line of sight, but the floor between the devices and SB's is made out of wood with no (or at least not much) metal between them. Reception is great.




What about channel 10? Adjacent channels can cause problems too. There are only 3 channels that are totally in the clear (in the US): 1, 6, and 11.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

The network is in a residential part of the city in a semi detached house. Lots of old neighbours who don't have networks. All networks in the vicinity are on channel 6, which is probably the factory default. I have also tried channel 1.


This might be off topic,and might be inapplicable in your locale, but bear in mind that there are music ownership laws that come in to play when someone's music is played in public places(think jukeboxes), which may require royalty fees to be paid. In the States the laws are enforced by ASCAP, in Europe maybe BMI(???).

Don't want you to get an unpleasant surprise, and ignore this if you already know.

In Switzerland it's a company that collects the royalties. You need to pay a flat fee for playing music, recorded or radio. All music exists on CD, so there is no problem with copyright.

Trying to explain the concept of Wireless Streaming to the company that collects the money blew their mind ;)


Regardless of all other (valid) advice, I would make a clean installation of version 7.5.3. In my opinion the most trouble-free and stable version since "forever". I have just returned to it myself.


Edit: Oh, actually, I think I would have gone for Sonos instead of SB, in the first place in such an environment.. Unfortunately.

7.5.3 had the sync issue too. I was hoping on 7.6.x

I have ordered the Sonos and it should arrive today. I now have a couple of radios and a boom that I need to intergrate somewhere else ;)

All been said, I am otherwise a happy Squeezeboxer. At home where I hardy ever use sync all works fine. I browse by music folder mostly and never expected tags to work properly, but it is nice when they do ;)

For commercial use I think the Sonos will be better, but time will tell...

Nikhil
2011-08-04, 02:13
I have been using both Squeezebox and Sonos for about 5 years now, and even though I'm much more of a SqueezeBox fan myself for use in the home, for the usage scenario you describe, I think Sonos is the way to go. Setup is dead easy, it can be maintained by folks with little tech savvy, the networking is robust, and multi zone syncing is extremely robust.

Sike
2011-08-04, 02:43
I have been using both Squeezebox and Sonos for about 5 years now, and even though I'm much more of a SqueezeBox fan myself for use in the home, for the usage scenario you describe, I think Sonos is the way to go. Setup is dead easy, it can be maintained by folks with little tech savvy, the networking is robust, and multi zone syncing is extremely robust.

I also think the WD100 (Wireless dock for iPods) looks kind of cool. The kind of thing that a guest could use if it's a private party. Or if the servers want to use their music.

On the other hand I think the Squeezebox Radio is great! Best thing ever to come out from slimdevices! (Apart from the slimp3, Squeezebox 1, 2 and 3)

pippin
2011-08-04, 03:02
For commercial use I think the Sonos will be better, but time will tell...

For "real" commercial use (beyond your small scale) Sonos doesn't work at all because you can't automate it.

fuzzyT
2011-08-05, 11:23
Sike, have you thought about having just a single SB player device and
distributing either the line or speaker level audio signal? You could
still have control of the player, and nice UI, using iOS devices. And
it would have the major advantage of zero sync issues.

JJZolx
2011-08-05, 14:12
What kind of restaurant is this? Do you mean they have no sound system beyond two Radios and a Boom? Sounds a little cheesy.

I don't see why you would be using sync at all in a commercial setting, rather than running just one Squeezebox into a sound system with a multichannel amp and volume controls and then out to several sets of speakers. Most commonly in-ceiling speakers, but they could be any type - in-wall, wall mounted, sitting on shelves, etc.

Sike
2011-08-06, 05:44
What kind of restaurant is this? Do you mean they have no sound system beyond two Radios and a Boom? Sounds a little cheesy.

I don't see why you would be using sync at all in a commercial setting, rather than running just one Squeezebox into a sound system with a multichannel amp and volume controls and then out to several sets of speakers. Most commonly in-ceiling speakers, but they could be any type - in-wall, wall mounted, sitting on shelves, etc.

The problem is that it is a historical building. Not the usual US drywall and plywood building. We also have to make sure that the neighbours are happy so we need to be able to adjust the volume per zone.

It's a spacious 50 seat restaurant and the radios were a bit meager compared to the Sonos S5s. But also much much more expensive.

The sync is great on the Sonos.

Last night I had a party at my house and the whole Squeezebox system went bezerk again. Not possible to change a song in iPeng and it stopped playing after 1 song again... I may be changing completly.

ghostrider
2011-08-06, 06:56
What kind of restaurant is this? Do you mean they have no sound system beyond two Radios and a Boom? Sounds a little cheesy.

I don't see why you would be using sync at all in a commercial setting, rather than running just one Squeezebox into a sound system with a multichannel amp and volume controls and then out to several sets of speakers. Most commonly in-ceiling speakers, but they could be any type - in-wall, wall mounted, sitting on shelves, etc.

When I initially read this thread, I thought the exact same thing. A radio or a boom in this setting would probably not be satisfactory.

aubuti
2011-08-06, 12:14
The problem is that it is a historical building. Not the usual US drywall and plywood building. We also have to make sure that the neighbours are happy so we need to be able to adjust the volume per zone.
I don't see how that changes anything in JJZolx's post. Then put the speakers on shelves or wall brackets or something, with individual volume controls per zone. If you can't pull the speaker cable through the wall then use some of the nearly invisible speaker wire that is now available and run it along the baseboard. You could even find/make attractive boxes for the volume pots.

Sike
2011-08-07, 00:51
I don't see how that changes anything in JJZolx's post. Then put the speakers on shelves or wall brackets or something, with individual volume controls per zone. If you can't pull the speaker cable through the wall then use some of the nearly invisible speaker wire that is now available and run it along the baseboard. You could even find/make attractive boxes for the volume pots.

The S5s have more than enough oompf to fillthe rooms. Its now also possibe for all the servers to dock their ipod/iphones and listen to their music.

Everything is handled through an iPad and works. I think it changes everything.