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  1. #1
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    Question New Touch But So Confused. Any Advice Appreciated

    Hi Y'all. I'm new to this forum. I read some other threads and its helped me understand some things but, well, its also raised some questions as to how I should set this up.

    Also, to be totally honest, I'm rather confused about a few aspects of servers and such so let me briefly explain what I have going on and hopefully some of you guys can offer some suggestions and clear a few things up for me. I'll warn you though, some of my questions may be kind of stupid, so please go easy on me.

    OK, here's what I have:
    I have quite a few flac files on my PC that's connected like this:
    PC > DAC > integrated amp > speakers.
    I use Foobar2000 to play the flac files and it sounds really sweet.

    I also have a nice stereo system upstairs that I'd like to play the flac files on, hence the Touch purchase.

    But rather than have to turn on my PC to play the music files on my stereo upstairs, I thought a better way to go would be a dedicated file server. So I built a box that I was going to install WHS on. But I haven't done this yet because there are some things I'm unsure about:

    1.) It's now my understanding that despite having a WHS machine, I'll still need to have Squeezebox Server installed for my Touch to work. This has me confused because why do I need server software installed on top of server software? I mean do I even need WHS, i.e., why not just install SBS only?

    2.) As I stated, my flac files are on my PC. Obviously these files need to be copied over to the dedicated server box that has WHS and SBS installed.
    But do I just copy them over randomly or should I put them all in a separate folder and if so, should that folder be in the WHS section or the SBS section? (this really has me confused).

    3.) If I copy all my flac files to my server will I be able to access the files from the server machine to play on my PC via Foobar, or will I also need to keep the flac files on my PC?

    Yes, I know, stupid questions and maybe I shouldn't even be trying this with my limited knowledge. I guess I don't totally understand networks and servers. I have three PCs through out the house and although I have a router and a switch, I don't have any of them "talking" to each other. This was why I originally thought it was time for WHS box.

    At first it sounded simple but the more I read some of the other threads the more questions I have and it just ads to my confusion. I'd really appreciate any advice and suggestions y'all can offer.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member toby10's Avatar
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    1. You need a server running somewhere. To run a server program you need an OS, that OS can be Windows (7, XP, Vista, etc..) or WHS or Mac or Unix or others. WHS is basically an OS with server capabilities. My advise is to stick with whatever OS you are most familiar with and run SB Server (SBS) on that OS.

    2. Just point SBS to wherever your music files reside. On your C drive, external drive, networked drive, where ever...

    3. If you mean music files in your bedroom SBS being accessed by Foobar running on your main computer you must check with Foobar to see if it can access such files over your network. I presume it can like any other music server program.

    People do use Foobar with their SB players. If you like Foobar and are familiar with it this may help you manage your music. Search these forums for how this is accomplished.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    1.) It's now my understanding that despite having a WHS machine, I'll still need to have Squeezebox Server installed for my Touch to work. This has me confused because why do I need server software installed on top of server software? I mean do I even need WHS, i.e., why not just install SBS only?
    Don't think about SqueezeboxServer (SbS) as a "server". Think about this as a PROGRAM that is running on your computer. I have it running on my Win7 machine. It can run on a Mac, it can run on linux, etc. So you'd install the WHS version of SbS on your server machine. And SbS would be running on this machine, just like any other program. See the SbS files here (just download and install). I'd recommend 7.6.2 (most stable even though beta). 7.7 will be released in the next week or so, but typically the .0 versions have some issues. So for me, I'd stay with 7.6.2 until the dust settles and they have 7.7.1. link for download here (WHS second one in the list). Download and install on your WHS:

    http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.6

    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    2.) As I stated, my flac files are on my PC. Obviously these files need to be copied over to the dedicated server box that has WHS and SBS installed.
    But do I just copy them over randomly or should I put them all in a separate folder and if so, should that folder be in the WHS section or the SBS section? (this really has me confused).
    In SbS, you tell it in SETTINGS where your music library is located. So I'd copy the files to WHS and put them in a directory like /music/artist/album (yes, I'd organize the files in some useful way....aren't they already organized like that or something similar????? My files are all /Artist/Album/Tracks, except for compilations that are /Compilations/Album/Tracks. Something like mp3tag (yes it does FLAC) can automatically move your files to a useful directory structure based on tags, assuming your tags are correct (artist, album, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    3.) If I copy all my flac files to my server will I be able to access the files from the server machine to play on my PC via Foobar, or will I also need to keep the flac files on my PC?
    The files on WHS will be accessible to any computer on your local network, including your PC. I use foobar2000 as well. You simply tell foobar that the location of my music library is the directory location on the WHS.

    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    Yes, I know, stupid questions and maybe I shouldn't even be trying this with my limited knowledge. I guess I don't totally understand networks and servers. I have three PCs through out the house and although I have a router and a switch, I don't have any of them "talking" to each other. This was why I originally thought it was time for WHS box.

    At first it sounded simple but the more I read some of the other threads the more questions I have and it just ads to my confusion. I'd really appreciate any advice and suggestions y'all can offer.

    Thanks
    Actually, this is all much simpler than you are probably thinking. Most problems people have are (1) network problems or wifi problems and (2) music files with bad or sloppy tags, or (3) firewall blocking issues. If network is robust and music files are tagged well, SbS usually just "works"....

    To summarize:

    0. Step 1, go to mysqueezebox.com and create an account.
    1. get your WHS up and running and make sure it is stable.
    2. Install SbS 7.6.2 on WHS
    3. Make sure the machine with WHS is wired with ethernet back to your router
    4. Copy all your files to the WHS machine in some directory structure that makes sense
    5. Tell SbS in SETTINGS that location for your music library
    6. Tell Foobar2000 that location for your music files
    7. In SbS > Settings > mysqueezebox.com tab, enter your mysb.com credentials
    8. When you setup the TOUCH, it will ask you for the mysb.com credentials
    9. Once SbS is up and running, on the TOUCH select "my music" and it should offer you to connect to SbS. By the way, in SbS > Settings, give your Music Library a unique name (e.g., Gary's Music Library).
    10. The Touch works just fine with WIFI, but if you can wire it with ethernet, that's even better (avoid any wifi interference, strength, etc. issues)
    11. To reach SbS running on your WHS, FROM ANY COMPUTER ON YOUR LOCAL NETWORK, simply open a web browser and go to this location:

    http://192.168.1.18:9000/

    except the "192.168.1.18" will be the IP address of your WHS computer instead.
    One last thing: Your Touch (or any SB player) needs to talk to SbS to work. There are several options.

    1. SbS running on your local computer (your WHS, etc. as discussed above)
    2. SbS in the cloud (this is referred to as mysqueezebox.com). If you want to listen to internet radio, pandora, spotify, etc. while your WHS is OFF, you'd need to switch to mysqueezebox.com on the TOUCH as the source. This said, if you leave the WHS machine running 24/7 (which is what I recommend), you NEVER have to switch to mysqueezebox.com and would always be working through your SbS running on the WHS. In my experience, this is typically the most stable way to use SB players.
    3. There is a "tinySbS" built into the touch, but I'd avoid using this.

    Enjoy! And there are lots of helpful folks around here to answer questions to help you get going.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5)>LMS 7.9.2>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4)>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.2>Squeezelite
    The Wild (no internet): PiCorePlayer 4.0 on rPi 3B+, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone6 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64) laptop
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  4. #4
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    Another possible approach, is to take the server machine you are building and install VORTEXBOX on it. Just download the ISO from here, copy it to a disk, put the disk in the drive of the server computer and install.
    http://vortexbox.org/downloads/

    Note that Vortexbox will then wipe out everything on the server computer and take it over as an Linux OS that is already running SbS and a bunch of other useful server programs.

    Vortexbox can serve music to squeezeboxes, sonos players, video to TVs, etc. and you can also use it as a place to keep regular files that you want to be accessible to all computers on your local network.

    You reach SbS on the vortexbox the same way I noted above (with the IP address being the IP address of the computer running vortexbox).

    You reach Vortexbox system itself via a web browser from any machine on your network, with this address:
    http://192.168.1.18/

    (except 192.168.1.18 should be replaced with the IP address of the computer running vortexbox).

    From the web browser you see all the settings etc. for the vortexbox. Once installed, the vortexbox is very stable and easily updated, etc. from a few buttons in the web interface.

    p.s. I use vortexbox as my main server, but I know NOTHING about LINUX.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5)>LMS 7.9.2>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4)>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.2>Squeezelite
    The Wild (no internet): PiCorePlayer 4.0 on rPi 3B+, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone6 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64) laptop
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  5. #5
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    Well first of all I have one thing to say... THANK YOU!

    That is very helpful, extremely well written and very easy to comprehend. You answered my questions and gave me a much better understanding of what I'm doing. The "Don't think about Squeezebox Server (SbS) as a "server". Think about this as a PROGRAM that is running on your computer" really helped clear things up for me and the way you explained everything has given me much confidence in going forward. Again, thank you. Much appreciated.

    I'm sure I'll have some other questions after I begin but I'll certainly do my best to search the forum and Google around. But its really nice to get answers from experienced users.

    A couple of things have come to mind after reading the replies from you guys.

    1.) I have WHS v.1 and its unopened. But I see there's WHS 2011 out. I'm unsure if I should just go for the new version and throw the older version for sale on eBay (I seen people do actually want and buy the first version). I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

    2.) Regarding tagging; I have been messing around with mp3tag and I know how to automatically move my files to a useful directory structure based on tags. I even edited some tags to correct them. But do I need to do this with all my files? I mean can't I just copy and paste or copy a whole folder over to the WHS directory I created or is this asking for trouble?

    3.) Regarding "useful directory structure" I was thinking of this: /genre/artist/album/tracks. Would that be acceptable?

    4.) Vortexbox sounds interesting. Obviously though I can't install Voretexbox on WHS though, correct? You said it wipes the HDD clean and takes it over as a server so I'm assuming the only way then to install it along with WHS is to install it in a virtual machine. So I reckon I need to decide between WHS with SBS, or Vortexbox, or WHS and Vortexbox in a VM (which I have no experience with VMs).

  6. #6
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    Re tagging. You can certainly copy and paste a folder. What you will then have is a duplicate of what you had in the origonal folder be it correct or not. It has not been discussed much of late, but you will find that many here are fanatics about tagging. If the tags are good music searching, scanning etc are relatively easy/problem free. If the tags are faulty then you have issues. I often use Squeezeplay to look for issues with tags I have and find it very helpful.

    If you are confident your tags are good just move your files to where your library will be and enjoy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Soulkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    4.) Vortexbox sounds interesting. Obviously though I can't install Voretexbox on WHS though, correct?
    Correct. Vortexbox is an operating system, like WHS. If you install Vortexbox, you can sell WHS on ebay.

    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    You said it wipes the HDD clean and takes it over as a server so I'm assuming the only way then to install it along with WHS is to install it in a virtual machine.
    Maybe you can install it on a separate disk, and run dual-boot. But I can't see how that would be a good setup for a server. Running it on a VM might be an option if your server box has got enough memory and general oomph. VMs are great for experimenting with new systems, but not so great when it comes to speed. Might be good enough, though, depending on the hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    So I reckon I need to decide between WHS with SBS, or Vortexbox, or WHS and Vortexbox in a VM (which I have no experience with VMs).
    If you're not in a hurry, try Vortexbox first, as it's free and has got excellent performance (so I've heard). If you like it, and it shows itself capable of doing everything you need it to do, you can sell WHS. If not, replace Vortexbox with WHS. At least that's what I would have been doing if I hadn't set up my server long before I got my first Squeezebox

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulkeeper View Post
    If you're not in a hurry, try Vortexbox first, as it's free and has got excellent performance (so I've heard). If you like it, and it shows itself capable of doing everything you need it to do, you can sell WHS. If not, replace Vortexbox with WHS. At least that's what I would have been doing if I hadn't set up my server long before I got my first Squeezebox
    Good advice. Give it a try, as it doesn't cost you anything. And re tagging, as noted, good tags make life easier. And although not necessary, having a good file/directory organization can't hurt either. Maybe it is just my OCD, but seeing a bunch of files from hundreds of different albums/artists dumped into a single directory violates my senses. ;-) But if the tags are really correct, the file location is relevant (well, I say this, but I've read that sometimes SbS has a few odd issues with album tracks spread across different directories under certain circumstances).

    Re WHS. I've never used WHS so can't speak to this at all. I am a happy Vortexbox user.
    Home: VBA 4TB (2.5)>LMS 7.9.2>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: VBA 3TB (2.4)>LMS 7.9.1>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet, Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>LMS 7.9.2>Squeezelite
    The Wild (no internet): PiCorePlayer 4.0 on rPi 3B+, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone6 & iPadAir2 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64) laptop
    Files: ripping: dbpa > FLAC; post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  9. #9
    Senior Member agillis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetRoe View Post
    Well first of all I have one thing to say... THANK YOU!

    That is very helpful, extremely well written and very easy to comprehend. You answered my questions and gave me a much better understanding of what I'm doing. The "Don't think about Squeezebox Server (SbS) as a "server". Think about this as a PROGRAM that is running on your computer" really helped clear things up for me and the way you explained everything has given me much confidence in going forward. Again, thank you. Much appreciated.

    I'm sure I'll have some other questions after I begin but I'll certainly do my best to search the forum and Google around. But its really nice to get answers from experienced users.

    A couple of things have come to mind after reading the replies from you guys.

    1.) I have WHS v.1 and its unopened. But I see there's WHS 2011 out. I'm unsure if I should just go for the new version and throw the older version for sale on eBay (I seen people do actually want and buy the first version). I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

    2.) Regarding tagging; I have been messing around with mp3tag and I know how to automatically move my files to a useful directory structure based on tags. I even edited some tags to correct them. But do I need to do this with all my files? I mean can't I just copy and paste or copy a whole folder over to the WHS directory I created or is this asking for trouble?

    3.) Regarding "useful directory structure" I was thinking of this: /genre/artist/album/tracks. Would that be acceptable?

    4.) Vortexbox sounds interesting. Obviously though I can't install Voretexbox on WHS though, correct? You said it wipes the HDD clean and takes it over as a server so I'm assuming the only way then to install it along with WHS is to install it in a virtual machine. So I reckon I need to decide between WHS with SBS, or Vortexbox, or WHS and Vortexbox in a VM (which I have no experience with VMs).

    1. The old version should be just about as good as the new one for what your doing.

    2. You can just copy them over SBS doesn't care about the folder structure.

    3. yes, but just remember all albums doesn't have a genere. Also different people put the same album under different genere so this can be confusing.

    4. If you want a simple solution you could just buy a VortexBox Appliance. It's totally plug-and-play.
    rip, tag, get cover artů All you do is insert the CD!
    http://vortexbox.org

    agillis
    Lead Developer VortexBox

  10. #10
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    Lots of excellent suggestions guys, thank you again for all the help.

    Re: Tags, I'm getting the hint on tags being correct but help me understand something. Y'all have indicated the importance of the tags being "correct." It seems quite elementary to me. I mean it sounds like it would be rather strange for them not to be correct. When I download flac files, don't they already have tags embedded and if so, why would they be wrong?

    I guess what I'm saying is I don't quite comprehend the concept of the "incorrect tag." So could you perhaps give me an example or two of how tags could be in the wrong?

    When I use mp3tag a lot of the fields are blank and if I want to I can edit the name of the album, etc. But what I'm saying is I've never come across a tag that was just so blatantly wrong that it was obvious. So I'm assuming there's something I'm missing as to the correctness of tags. So yeah I'd appreciate an example of what to watch out for in regard to tagging correctly.

    Thanks.

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