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  1. #1
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    is SqueezeAMP geeky?

    I was having a side discussion with forum members and the comment that SqueezeAMP is "geeky" (at least much more than a Pi) surfaced again. It's not the first time and I think it could be good for me to address that comment and maybe have a debate here about why and what can be improved.

    Although a Pi and SqueezeAMP require of course much more "personal involvement" than buying a Boom or a consumer device, I do feel that the SqueezeAMP is less geeky than a Pi for the following reasons. Please note that this is NOT AT ALL a charge against the Pi and it's great main software companion PiCorePlayer.

    • SqueezeAMP can be used out of the box : connect any power 5-20V supply using a 2.1mm jack, connect speakers and you're good to go. SW is built-in, including OTA updates, you don't need to use a USB-to-serial programming kit to load or update it. No coding, no compiling, nothing, just power and speaker connection. When using a Pi, you need to assemble it with another board, either a codec or an amplifier. It's a board-to-board assembly. It's not complicated, but there is more to do (of course with Pi you can chose what AMP/DAC you use). With Pi, you also need to flash a SDCard
    • If you want a box, then you need to do the assembly yourself for Pi and SqueezeAMP, there is no difference. The Pi has a larger choice of cases of course.
    • If you want to add displays, buttons, rotary encoders, IR receivers ... then you need to tinker wires and so on in both cases, I think projects are equally "geeky". Pi offers you JiveLite and touchscreen, so a more complete UI, but that's not a "geekiness" problem.

    Now, the perception of "SqueezeAMP is geeky" might come from the confusion between the HW and the SW. The SW that runs SqueezeAMP is SqueezeliteESP32 that we are developing with @sle118. That software is built-in inside the SqueezeAMP but can be used in many different environments as well, from raw WROVER modules to A1S modules and various boards based on these. Here you can select you DAC and play with a lot of options, including and up to re-compiling the software to your taste and have a lot of flying wires to do the assembly of your choice. That is definitively geeky, but that's not, IMHO forced on you by the project, especially not by SqueezeAMP where all that is hidden, it's the tinkerer's choice . Still, using SqueezeAMP, you can go geeky as well if you choose to but again, it's an option, it's your choice

    Again, let me repeat for clarity that this is not a charge against Pi and/or PiCore. You can do much more with a Pi and I think both Pi/PiCorePlayer-SqueezeAMP/SqueezeliteESP32 serve different purposes with some overlap. I'm not saying for a second that SqueezeAMP/SqueezeliteESP32 is better than Pi//PiCorePlayer. I would just like to correct the perception that SqueezeAMP is geeky, especially much more geeky than a Pi

    Let me know your thoughts
    Last edited by philippe_44; 2020-09-27 at 13:03.
    LMS 7.9 on Pi 3B+ & Odroid-C2 - SqueezeAMP!, 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5, Riva 1 & 3

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fahzz's Avatar
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    Maybe you could start by explaining exactly what a SqueezeAMP is and what it does.

    Does it contain an amplifier? What are the batteries for? Maybe these are dumb questions, but I've always wondered how it differs from the Pi based players.
    Living Room: Pi3 w/Allo Digione Player (Wired), Max2Play w/LMS Server 8.0 and SqueezeLite
    Pioneer Elite VSX 80, Parasound 2125 v2
    KEF LS50's, Paradigm SE Center, SVS SB12-NSD Subwoofer, Paradigm Atom v.5 Surrounds
    Harmony Smart Control w/Hub and iPeng
    Dining Room: KEF Q100's
    Bedroom: Logitech Boom
    Porch: Boston Acoustics Voyager Metro II
    Router: Netgear R700P
    File Storage: Samsung T5 SSD
    Music Service: Qobuz

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff07971's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fahzz View Post
    Maybe you could start by explaining exactly what a SqueezeAMP is and what it does.

    Does it contain an amplifier? What are the batteries for? Maybe these are dumb questions, but I've always wondered how it differs from the Pi based players.
    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post957451

    Want a webapp ? Get SqueezeLite-X ! https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post903953

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fahzz View Post
    Maybe you could start by explaining exactly what a SqueezeAMP is and what it does.

    Does it contain an amplifier? What are the batteries for? Maybe these are dumb questions, but I've always wondered how it differs from the Pi based players.
    I was hoping that post https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...ifier-receiver was doing the job
    LMS 7.9 on Pi 3B+ & Odroid-C2 - SqueezeAMP!, 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5, Riva 1 & 3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by philippe_44 View Post
    I was hoping that post https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...ifier-receiver was doing the job
    The thread does indeed the job. You have a lot of information there.

    A Pi set up is definitely also very geeky. At first glance, it's not necessarily easy to understand what to do with a Pi. But there are lot's of step by step tutorials online. Picoreplayer and Max2Play are straightforward as soon as you deep dive and start playing with them. Also, with the Pi, you can buy kits that would already include the board, the power supply, the SD and the case.

    What I am looking in the future seems to be something like SqueezeAmp, it seems a great opportunity to have an out of the box player that could potentially replace the Radio with additional feature e.g BT/Aiplay... But it still looks in a sort of alpha pilot phase. A guy like me would be reluctant to go that route because I am not sure I will be able to cope with it or where to buy components. And also the problem is that I don't have time to go through the 74 pages of the AMP threads.

    If the projects continues, it would be great to make this more accessible (outside of the forum maybe?) e.g. by creating packs/options or with links to stores where to buy components, have some tutorials or video demos. and have a roadmap (e.g. new features/controls/screens/Google Assistant integration), info about power consumption (idle/standby) - heath that the board can get in full action... In fact I am describing a commercial website :-)

    Anyway - now that I have discovered SqueezeAMP - I am definitely in for the next batch. Will also be reading the 74 pages...
    Sending you an email right now! It seems to be a good hardware to support my future in ceiling bathroom speakers ;-)

    Cheers,
    Last edited by didjean; 2020-09-27 at 14:37.
    Transporter, Touch, SB3, SB2, Duet, Booms, Radios --- Ipeng & Material --- LMS 8.0.0 - 1588799628 on Pi4 4GB - Max2Play --- Qobuz

  6. #6
    Senior Member Greg Erskine's Avatar
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    How do you measure "geekiness" and does it matter?

    I just think its great people have so many choices.

    A project controlling both the hardware and software does have a lot of advantages. The main one is you are not dictated too by external sources!

  7. #7
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    The basic module is no more geeky than a Pi. Plug it in, follow the fairly well described steps and you have a headless player for your squeezebox environment.
    Anything more than that requires a desire to read beyond the documentation on github and/or have knowledge of the ESP32.
    The UI is getting better for configuring the device ( just in the last couple of weeks ), but some of the descriptions in the documentation and the silkscreen of the board do not match so yes , geekyness intensifies a little.
    Determining the purpose of all of the additional headers, and whether they would improve function without too much effort.
    I'm not afraid to try stuff, just not as familiar with the ESP32.
    Mostly with the addition of a display or other input modifiers. If you know, you know. If not, prepare to learn.

    I think it works very well in it's base form as an adjunct to existing squeeze devices.
    No question.
    I need to buy a display and find a suitable enclosure, as I am not into 3d printing. One more hobby I can put off for a while.
    Last edited by mark wollschlager; 2020-09-27 at 17:22.
    2 Duets controllers, 1 X Boom, 1 X Radio
    1 X Receiver + Edifier S1000DB
    1 X Receiver + Yamaha RX-A2000, Polk M70
    1 X Receiver + Boston MicroSystem CD
    Raspberry Pi 3 B+ HiFi Berry Amp2 7" touchscreen PiCorePlayer 6.0 Audioengine A5 ( passive mode )
    Raspberry Pi 2 B, HiFiBerry Dac+ & Max2play
    SqueezeAmp 3 Monsoon MM-700 flat panels + Infinity sub
    HTC 10 w/ Squeeze Ctrl
    ReadyNAS 516 LMS 7.9.3

  8. #8
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    äEs gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen.ô Adorno

    I already found my SB3+SlimServer(PC) combo geeky.

  9. #9
    I suspect I'm one of those who have suggested SqueezeAMP is a little complex (for which I apologise), and I think I have conflated the hardware and software discussions! I probably don't find Raspberry Pi terribly geeky because I've been using them since pCP version 1...

    Philippe - are you planning another run of SqueezeAMP? I'd be in for one.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/pCP6.1.0/LMS8.0.0/Material with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), spare Pi2/piCorePlayer
    Office: LMS8.0.0 running on Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi 3 player with touchscreen/piCorePlayer/IQaudIO DAC and Amp
    Portable: Raspberry Pi Zero/pCP6.1.0/LMS8.0.0/Material, files on Seagate portable drive, powered via power brick

  10. #10
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    is SqueezeAMP geeky?

    Hi Philippe

    I believe it's a question of maturity, and a bit of a chicken and egg
    problem: many of us who had early versions probably were faced with geek
    issues. Serial adapters (that one bit me!), installing firmware on the
    command line using super long arguments etc. A lot of this is documented
    - and when somebody is looking for information about the project he
    might first of all find those now mostly obsolete discussions. Or they
    do find discussions about how to go further, how to add this option or
    that, use the software on other hardware etc. Some of the features
    advertised in the introduction document probably require the same level
    of tinkering to be acomplished on a Pi (battery, rotary encoder) as no
    SqueezeAMP. But they're not presented on paragraph one of the first hit
    I clicked on Google.

    And here lies the chicken and egg problem. Most content you find today
    about SqueezeAMP is around geeky stuff. Early adopters struggling with
    basics, and discussions about more advanced features and possibilities
    the project provides. What Google doesn't find yet is the simple
    introduction. A two or three paragraphs blog report which shows the
    simple setup with three screenshots.

    And TBH: I personally believe it's easier to get a Pi (original) Touch
    display up and running with pCP, than the player UI with IR or some
    encoder on a SqueezeAMP (is there some acronym for it? SAMP? SqAMP?
    :-)). And let's face it: a small text oriented B/W display comes with a
    bit more geekiness than a large, colorful touch display...

    --

    Michael

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