View Full Version : Squeezeplay can't play hi-res files from NAS?

the nightfly
2012-08-26, 17:32
For some time, I've been using Squeezeplay as a player on my PCs, using SBS and later LMS running on my desktop PC with an Ethernet connection to our router. While it worked in most cases, I had a major problem with stuttering and rebuffering when playing back 24/88 or 24/96 files, even when my actual Squeezebox Touch could play them back just fine over a WiFi connection. I attributed this, possibly, to bandwidth problems when running both the server and Squeezeplay on the same machine.

To work around this and other problems, I recently installed a LinkStation Pro NAS to my network, running the pre-installed version of SBS on that device. Now, when I try to play hi-res files, I don't get stuttering like before; instead, Squeezeplay simply refuses to load the file. I get a "Problem: Can't open file for:" and then the address of the file on the Squeezeplay display. This happens on every single file 24/96 or 24/88 file, even though these files play just fine from the NAS to the SBT attached to our audio system. Any ideas what might be going wrong?

2012-08-26, 19:57
The problem is probably that the NAS for some reason can't downsample from 96kHz to lower sample rates. The older server might not do it at all and for the newer one the NAS might not be powerful enough.
The Squeezebox Touch (and iPeng, that's why it worked for you there, too) can use 96kHz material directly, the Squeezebox does also play it natively; with iPeng it depends on what hardware it runs on and whether or not you use a USB dock; iPhones can only do 44.1/16 so iOS downsamples but still the server doesn't have to do it..

SqueezePlay, however, is limited to 48kHz, probably to make it compatible with more platforms. Although I haven't tried it, I believe the software itself should be able to do more than 48kHz so maybe it would be worth a try to patch SqueezePlay to accept 96kHz streams but I have NO idea what a PC/Linux audio driver would make out of that.

2012-08-26, 19:59
The NAS probably doesn't have SOX installed in the supplied package, which is the application used for bitrate conversion.

the nightfly
2012-08-26, 22:22
Now I'm confused. Does SBS/LMS determine whether to downsample based on the player being used, or does it handle all streams the same regardless of the player? According to the Advanced Settings in the File Types section, FLAC to FLAC is supposed to be handled natively, and, when played on the SBT, a 24/96 file will indeed come out the digital output at 96 (my receiver displays the sample rate for a few seconds), so I know it isn't being set to downsample FLAC automatically. Does SBS look at the player and its capabilities, and decide whether FLAC files should be played at native resolution or downsampled based on what it knows about the player?

2012-08-26, 22:34
Yes, it looks at the capabilities of the player and downsamples to the least common denominator. So, for example, if you had a Touch synchronised to an SB3 then a 96/24 file would be downsampled to 48/24 since this is the highest bitrate both players can handle, but the same file sent only to the Touch would be sent at 96/24. Squeezeplay out of the box doesn't handle HD files (caveat being there has been some work done here to make it work), so it would need to downsample for that particular player.

SOX is the application that is used for bitrate conversion and probably isn't included in the default package because it's processor-intensive and could put a strain on your NAS. You can probably just install it if your NAS is powerful enough though.

the nightfly
2012-08-26, 23:19
Well, that makes a lot more sense. I'll have to check with Buffalo Tech Support (yet again) to see about Sox. FWIW, the File Types screen I mentioned earlier does invoke Sox for some of the options (such as handling Ogg Vorbis files), but that doesn't necessarily mean the program is there. I do know that Buffalo have set up this version of the LinkStation to run only in safe mode (unless, I suppose, you throw out the default software installation and roll your own), so I don't know if that would cause a problem for Sox in the first place.

On a follow-up note, I suppose that explains why I was able to "play" 24/96 files with SqueezePlay when SBS was running on my desktop, but had it stutter and rebuffer all the time -- while my desktop installation would have had Sox, probably the downsampling slowed my PC to a crawl.

2012-08-27, 04:06
That surprises me a bit. A desktop PC should definitely be up to it. I've got a ViaC7 based server which is pretty slow for a PC based system and still handles downsampling and even mp3 transcoding without any issues.

the nightfly
2012-08-27, 09:35
Well, it was that, or else running both LMS and Squeezeplay on the same machine was a problem. I'll grant that this computer is far from new (I think I built it around five years ago) and is only running an AMD 5600+, so it doesn't compare with modern builds.

2012-08-27, 09:37
running both LMS and Squeezeplay on the same machine was a problem.

I believe I've heard that before WRT resampling.

I'll grant that this computer is far from new (I think I built it around five years ago) and is only running an AMD 5600+, so it doesn't compare with modern builds.
It's more than good enough for LMS and SP.