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Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
#354191 09/07/11 04:25 PM
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I bought a Squeezebox Touch and plan to implement it - controlled primarily with iPads - as my primary music source.

I need help with various approaches to where the data lives and how the 1's and 0's fly about.

I'm trying to read through some of the SB forum posts (Thanks, Rick!) but a lot of them are very specific or problem related. And you guys have always been so kind and gracious, I figured I'd start a thread here, too.

Is there ANY advantage to having all the music stored on an external USB drive attached directly to the SB?

If I install SB Server on a network PC, does it have to be on the same machine where the music is located? Is it "better"?

For SB server to run, does a user have to be logged in to that machine, or is it enough for it to be "on"?

Do you have advice about tools, methods or procedures to make sure the SB Library is tidy and robust?

Are there indispensable third-party apps for this environment?

Thanks, guys. I've been through a LOT of ways to access music over the years; I sure hope this is "the one".


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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
tomtuttle #354193 09/07/11 04:54 PM
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One advantage to having the music directly connected to the SB would be that you wouldn't need the PC on to play music. Saves energy. I suspect you will not need the PC logged in in order to access the music, although I have no direct experience with SB.


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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
tomtuttle #354199 09/07/11 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Is there ANY advantage to having all the music stored on an external USB drive attached directly to the SB?
The main advantage already pointed out is that it is independent of a separate server.

You didn't ask, but here are some disadvantages:
- If you add another Squeezebox (Radio, Boom, etc.) then you find yourself wanting to switch to a central Squeeze Server.
- Every time you get new music (download or CD rip) you have to manually copy it to the drive.
- Library operations (browsing, indexing, etc) are slower and can get pretty slow if your collection is huge.

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
If I install SB Server on a network PC, does it have to be on the same machine where the music is located? Is it "better"?
The music just needs to be accessible as a directory from the PC running the server. This means a network-mounted "drive" is fine.

Locally stored music is "better" in that it does not depend on yet another machine being on and accessible. If the network drive is slow to access then the speed of library operations can become a factor, especially for huge music collections.

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
For SB server to run, does a user have to be logged in to that machine, or is it enough for it to be "on"?
It enough for it to be "on" if you install the SB server as a service. This is the way I run mine. I also have my PC set to Wake On Lan (WOL) which means the PC powers itself up when I turn on my SB Touch and access music.

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Do you have advice about tools, methods or procedures to make sure the SB Library is tidy and robust?
I use MediaMonkey, but this is a personal thing. I have configured MediaMonkey to auto-rename and organize files by artist, album, title, etc. I also use it to play music when I am at my PC (which is not where my Touch + Axioms are).

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Are there indispensable third-party apps for this environment?
I use Mp3tag (free) to tweak mp3 and flac tags. I use dbPowerAmp to rip CDs.


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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
Henry66 #354200 09/07/11 08:37 PM
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Tom I don't know if you took peek at the Vortexbox link in my other post or not but that's the storage (1TB) system I use and absolutely love it, for a non-techy type like myself it's exactly what the doctor ordered. You can either use the free open source software and build your own Vortexbox out of an old PC or buy the appliance as I did and have a complete plug and play system, it completely rips, grabs the cover art as well as all of the music information for each disc that is ripped.

It is compact, designed to stay powered on 24/7 with very little energy usage, is completely independent of our PC and I can do any upgrades, monitor ripping status or do any VB maintenance from the iPad.

Matter of fact, Henry is the gentleman who turned me on to the VB appliance to begin with ... Thanks Henry. smile

I've been using the VB with a SB Touch and a Classic for about four months and can't be more pleased with the results of the entire system, absolutely worth every penny I've invested.




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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
RickF #354225 09/07/11 11:40 PM
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Good lord, Rick, does that Vortex Box make double-sided copies, too? wink

Thank you both VERY much. I'm plowing through the wiki now, too, and that helps a bit. But there is no substitute for counsel from experienced friends.

I don't know that I need/want a dedicated box for this. I may have to ponder the available resources in the context of this new demand. I can't seem to get my kids or my wife to shut their machines off anyway, so maybe if I reconfigure the overall storage/server/backup scenario, I can get it down to ONE machine on all the time. I will definitely look at the Vortexbox software stuff, Rick. Thanks for the additional info and patient prodding. Do you know if the Vortexbox can ALSO be used as a general file server (documents, pictures, etc.)?


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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
RickF #354253 09/08/11 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: RickF
Henry is the gentleman who turned me on to the VB appliance to begin with ... Thanks Henry. smile
I am glad you like it. I was on the verge of buying one when I recommended it to you. Then stuff happened and I had to spend money and time elsewhere for a while. Yet every time I have a new CD to rip I am reminded that even a techie like me could do with a Vortexbox for sheer convenience.


Axiom M80s + QS8s + VP180 <-- Pioneer VSX-1120-K <-- Squeezebox Touch / XBox360 / Oppo BDP-93
Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
tomtuttle #354254 09/08/11 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Do you know if the Vortexbox can ALSO be used as a general file server (documents, pictures, etc.)?
Absolutely, yes: http://vortexbox.org/about/

Vortexbox is actually just (free) software. They make money by selling read-made appliances with Vortexbox pre-installed and optimized. One of the reasons I still dilly-dally on going with Vortexbox is because I can't decide if I want to buy their appliance or put together my own.


Axiom M80s + QS8s + VP180 <-- Pioneer VSX-1120-K <-- Squeezebox Touch / XBox360 / Oppo BDP-93
Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
Henry66 #354257 09/08/11 04:02 AM
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Oh. So, now I'm going to really have to think about all this. Harumph.


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Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
Henry66 #354261 09/08/11 04:18 AM
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Great thread. I still haven't arrived at my perfect media streaming solution, so it's nice to read about what others are doing. Tom, I'm absolutely jealous of the price you got on the Squeezebox Touch.

I'm still trying to clean up my digital music library. There are always inconsistencies when I let the ripping software name stuff on its own, so if I don't catch it, I go back in and edit the stuff on my own. I'm also still trying to get pretty album artwork for all of my stuff. I think I'm going to tweak the organization of my files with subdirectories for bootleg-type live material to keep it separate from the files I'll play more often. It's all a work in progress.

One of these days I'll outline how I've done everything, but I imagine it's never going to be as elegant as what some of you have done. I look forward to seeing where you end up with your own setup, Tom. I have a Synology NAS (DS210+)that should be able to run Squeezebox Server software on its own if I end up going with that route, but I haven't done any reading about how effective it is.

Ideally, the next pre-pro or receiver I get will have a great interface for streaming music from my NAS. It's only a matter of time, right?

Re: Squeezebox - Network topology and data scrubbing
CV #354288 09/08/11 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the comments, CV.

I'm still trying to clean up my library, too. It's pretty frustrating, because I am - by nature - a pretty organized person. My job duties are primarily in database management. I considered an MS in Library Science. Yet, I can't seem to get everything tagged just right and acquire all the images I need. It's supposed to be "fun" not "work", right?

I've considered getting an NAS, but just using USB drives or old desktops has always seemed both cheaper and more powerful to me. My son is currently using the oldest desktop in the house (socket 939, baby!), which is in a beautiful case and actually started life in the living room many years ago. It would be PERFECT for a vortexbox solution. So, my quandary becomes when to spend the money and whether to buy him a new desktop or a laptop, I guess.

At least initially, I'm just going to load squeezeserver on the Vista Core2 Duo that serves as my daughter's desktop and our fileserver.

I suspect most of my short-term work will be in cleaning things up rather than system architecture.

I'm not as optimistic as you are about the great interface on the receiver. I think it's a lifestyle thing. For some reason, I just really don't want to HAVE to have the TV on when I'm listening to music. Now, if the receiver had a built-in SB or other streaming client that you could control from an iPad... I guess that's "the thing" for me - controlling the music from an iPad. It's kind of like our previous discussions about Android Tablets, except I finally drank the kool-aid.

If all these technology chips keep falling at my house, I will also have a "surplus" Zotac ZBox which is currently running Ubuntu. It would also make a fine candidate for Vortexbox, but all the stuff that makes that configuration sing would need to be external via USB (the optical drive, the big storage). I'm not sure how that would work. I understand you can solve these kinds of problems with time and money.

I'll keep learning and I will report back.


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