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  1. #1
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    Seeking advice on multi-room systems for non-techies

    The title sums up this post. I'm trying to assist some friends who have been without any form of music player at home, other than over-the-air radio and playing YouTube on a laptop (using built-in speakers).

    These are very intelligent, highly educated people. Both have advanced degrees in the sciences. They are now retired, but one is still actively involved in biological research. They are capable users of computers and smart phones, but not drawn to tinkering. They're a bit younger than me, but we're all in our late 60s.

    They are mainly interested in being able to play music in two locations in their house. LMS would be a great way to achieve what they want. But I can't see them happily running software updates at least every week, as I do. What they would like is a music system that requires no more regular maintenance than their old component system (Yamaha receiver, Advent speakers), which served them well for thirty years or so.

    None of us are audiophiles. If we ever thought we had Golden Ears, it was just gold plate, which wore off long ago. If money were not an issue, I would recommend they just go with Sonus and be done with it. But they are also proud owners of an older house, and a beautiful one at that. But it has developed a few issues that require immediate attention, not leaving much in the budget for extra pleasures at the moment.

    I'll be interested in any thoughts anyone wishes to share. I'm going to give them the URL of this thread, so they can read what you have to say directly, instead of getting it second-hand from me.

    In the mean time, I'm encouraging them to acquire a decent bluetooth speaker and try out some streaming services, so they will better understand how such things work. Back when they got their component system, they had plenty of experience playing LPs on portable phonographs, but at present they don't have that sort of background for current technology.
    LMS 8 nightly; 3 Squeezelite players connected by powerline ethernet; 5 wireless players connected via Airplay Bridge; 1 SqueezeAmp player
    no high-end or esoteric audio gear
    1 Squeezebox Radio (upgraded UE Smart Radio) now mostly retired

  2. #2
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    May 2017
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    Saint-SimÚon, France
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbH View Post
    LMS would be a great way to achieve what they want. But I can't see them happily running software updates at least every week, as I do.
    There is no need to do this. A good, solid installation on good, solid reliable hardware will run for years w/o input. Why do you update every week? There are plenty of users running LMS 7.X and PCP <5 without a problem, just enjoying the music...

  3. #3
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    Jun 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yatsushiro View Post
    There is no need to do this. A good, solid installation on good, solid reliable hardware will run for years w/o input. Why do you update every week? There are plenty of users running LMS 7.X and PCP <5 without a problem, just enjoying the music...
    This is what I was hoping to hear. Still interested in hearing others' thoughts on this.

    Why do I update every week? Because I can!
    LMS 8 nightly; 3 Squeezelite players connected by powerline ethernet; 5 wireless players connected via Airplay Bridge; 1 SqueezeAmp player
    no high-end or esoteric audio gear
    1 Squeezebox Radio (upgraded UE Smart Radio) now mostly retired

  4. #4
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    Apr 2005
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    2,630
    Do they have music / audio files stored locally on networked computer(s)?
    Is their main intention to listen to internet radio?
    Do they want to pay for an internet music service without adverts? (If yes - any preferences for which one?)
    Are they OK to control things using mobile phone/tablet/computer screen - or do they expect to navigate menus on the devices themselves?

    Does their HiFi have a spare Aux In socket?

    Easy way forward ... Raspberry Pi (without without a case) hiding behind the HiFi and plugged in via the Pi 3.5mm socket (not the best quality but a lot better than it was when they first launched).
    Ideally Ethernet from that to their broadband router - but WiFi will work.
    Best to have Ethernet to LMS if there will be multiple zones connecting to it.

    Use that first to get familiar with it ... and if OK then other RPi (even RPi Zero W) for other zones - but will need active (powered) speakers or HiFi or an add-on amplifier board on the RPi to drive passive speakers (or get a SqueezeAMP from Philippe as it has a built-in amp).


    Alternative route if not playing local music ... get Amazon Alexa devices (if they do not care about a listening device being in the room) ... they can be sync'd and can be plugged into HiFi for better sound.
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author of "Now Playing" plugins covering Radio France (FIP etc), KCRW, Supla Finland, ABC Australia, CBC/Radio-Canada and RTE Ireland

  5. #5
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    18,864
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbH View Post
    This is what I was hoping to hear. Still interested in hearing others' thoughts on this.

    Why do I update every week? Because I can!
    The main reason for updates is use of external services such as playing streaming services or internet radio - these external systems change with time.

  6. #6
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    United States
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    11,820
    Quote Originally Posted by Yatsushiro View Post
    There is no need to do this. A good, solid installation on good, solid reliable hardware will run for years w/o input. Why do you update every week? There are plenty of users running LMS 7.X and PCP <5 without a problem, just enjoying the music...
    agree, I setup an rPi3B+ and attached USB drive for my brother. Running piCoreplayer 4.0 (not the current 6.0) and whatever LMS I originally setup. It's on 24/7 sitting next to their router. They haven't touched it in over a year. All they know is that if something ever quits working, just unplug and plugin the rPi itself, wait 3 minutes, and it should all be back. They haven't even had to do that. (I was just worried about power outage type events that might require that). I've had older vortexbox servers running where LMS and the VB OS has been up and running for over 8 months without even a reboot.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5) or rPi4B/pCP6.0/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4) or rPi4B/pCP6.0/4TB>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.3>Squeezelite
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP4.0, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  7. #7
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    Jun 2017
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    Thanks for all responses so far.

    Paul, what you are describing is very close to what I have in mind, but my friends don't yet have enough experience with current music technology to know what their preferences are. They are certain they don't want always-listening smart speakers. Other than that, I'm trying to get them to play around with streaming services, so they can find out what they like and whether they need to have a local library.

    bpa, thanks for your clarification about when updates are needed. That's something I'll need to keep in mind for my friends.

    Gary, I notice your brother's instructions are to pull the plug if there's a problem with pcp. I understand that can cause problems when LMS is running on pcp. Do you do anything to deal with issues that might arise? Is it enough to be sure there's a backup SD card ready to swap out, in case the one in use becomes corrupted?
    LMS 8 nightly; 3 Squeezelite players connected by powerline ethernet; 5 wireless players connected via Airplay Bridge; 1 SqueezeAmp player
    no high-end or esoteric audio gear
    1 Squeezebox Radio (upgraded UE Smart Radio) now mostly retired

  8. #8
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    May 2008
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    United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbH View Post
    Gary, I notice your brother's instructions are to pull the plug if there's a problem with pcp. I understand that can cause problems when LMS is running on pcp. Do you do anything to deal with issues that might arise? Is it enough to be sure there's a backup SD card ready to swap out, in case the one in use becomes corrupted?
    exactly. I over simplified. But you're correct, it is best to use piCorePlayer to properly shutdown the rPi if the rPi is running LMS. Not doing so (just pulling the plug), won't necessarily corrupt the SD card, but it might. I *think* (not sure) that if one has LMS running but has the setting to transfer the LMS cache, etc. to the attached USB drive rather than having it on the SD card, the odds of corruption are less. But in my brother's case, I had him get a UPS to plug his rPi and router/modem into (so a power blip wouldn't cause the rPi to lose power). And I left him with a 2nd SD card already setup, so if the worst happens, I can walk him through removing the old SD card and replacing the SD card and then rebooting.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5) or rPi4B/pCP6.0/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4) or rPi4B/pCP6.0/4TB>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.3>Squeezelite
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP4.0, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  9. #9
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    Jun 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    exactly. I over simplified. But you're correct, it is best to use piCorePlayer to properly shutdown the rPi if the rPi is running LMS. Not doing so (just pulling the plug), won't necessarily corrupt the SD card, but it might. I *think* (not sure) that if one has LMS running but has the setting to transfer the LMS cache, etc. to the attached USB drive rather than having it on the SD card, the odds of corruption are less. But in my brother's case, I had him get a UPS to plug his rPi and router/modem into (so a power blip wouldn't cause the rPi to lose power). And I left him with a 2nd SD card already setup, so if the worst happens, I can walk him through removing the old SD card and replacing the SD card and then rebooting.
    Thanks!
    LMS 8 nightly; 3 Squeezelite players connected by powerline ethernet; 5 wireless players connected via Airplay Bridge; 1 SqueezeAmp player
    no high-end or esoteric audio gear
    1 Squeezebox Radio (upgraded UE Smart Radio) now mostly retired

  10. #10
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Watford, UK
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    1,905
    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    exactly. I over simplified. But you're correct, it is best to use piCorePlayer to properly shutdown the rPi if the rPi is running LMS. Not doing so (just pulling the plug), won't necessarily corrupt the SD card, but it might. I *think* (not sure) that if one has LMS running but has the setting to transfer the LMS cache, etc. to the attached USB drive rather than having it on the SD card, the odds of corruption are less.
    This is just one anecdotal data point...
    I have piCorePlayer v4.1.0 running 24/7 on a RPi3B. The LMS cache is on the external USB drive.
    Over the last year or so, for various reasons (a faulty oven and a faulty outdoor light) an RCD on the fusebox has tripped - I'd guess a total of about 5 times.
    On every occasion, when power was restored the RPi automatically rebooted and piCorePlayer came back up without any drama and no corruption.
    Transporter -> ATC SCM100A

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