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AVForums Squeezebox Duet discussion thread

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by mswarren, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    The tranquils come with Squeezecenter pre-installed - http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Music_Servers.html. They are using atoms now. As for dual core atoms, it think it would be overkill for most Squeezecenter users, but would provide an extra level of future proofing i guess. I'm seriously thinking of getting one now.

    There is a way of doing that already with Squeezeserver.
  2. ro53ben

    ro53ben Member

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    No I'm not.

    Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_power_dissipation and see how much the power consumption has increased over the years, from P2 to P3 to P4 etc. If you're not interested in all the text, just take a quick glance at the tables.

    The higher the speed, the more work it does. More work requires more power. Modern CPUs also run massively hotter. You used to be able to touch CPUs with your bare hand. Then they needed heat sinks. Then fans. Then additional case fans etc. This heat is also supplied from the electrical socket.

    The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be converted from one form to another. In this case, our only input is electricity. All the heat, noise and electrical signals come from this.

    Ultimately, if you want to keep power consumption low, your only option is not to transcode. By playing in a format native to your player, you completely remove the need to transcode each stream as you play it. This would require either permanently converting your music to a more suitable codec or chaning to alternative player. The Squeezebox would happily play FLAC encoded files from a low power machine. Alternatively some music players would be more than happy to play ALAC files without transcoding directly from a 17W Linkstation.
  3. rentagas

    rentagas Member

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    Not sure if the article supports your argument.
    Yes for the SAME architecture increasing power in terms of flops means increasing power in terms of watts
    BUT intel gave up on the speed race with pentium 4 and now are using different architctures and dynamic FSB etc. to reduce power usage according to processor load and reducing die size so less volts and needed to power the chip itself. For these newer chips more flops can be had for less watts than previous architectures.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt in terms of your misrepresentation of the content of the article to support your argument-we all tell fibs and distort the truth in order to support what we say

    The fact of the matter is intel and AMD are producing ever more efficient chips that for much less power can outperform a pentium 4 for much less energy (and they probably did this because of competition from AMD, VIA and ARM).


    A tranquil pc can be left on 24/7 and produce instant access to music for not much more power usage than a linux running NAS (29W vs 19W). I'm not sure why streaming music from my qnap using my squeezecentre/duet system is so rubbish all I do know is that I can stream HD movies to my PS3's, Xbox 360 and computers with no trouble but despite a good wireless signal my duet controller when it's working struggles to control the qnap/receiver and that is playing just straight boring mp3's

    I appreciate this argument is about WHS vs NAS but I'm afraid intels new chips knock spots of the older chips in NAS's
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  4. HugoFJH

    HugoFJH Member

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    I realise that (I was talking in general about transcoding :)) - maybe Im wrong but as Squeezecentre was designed in this config to run on QNAP -which cant be upgraded - why offer transcoding abilities that are actually going to be as good as useless (as surely any track encoded to the same quality will take just as long to transcode, as transcoding has to be done every time that track is played its going to take that long every time - which makes it pointless imo)

    Sorry I know about WHS, I just hadnt considered it relevant to this convo (as its only just sorting out its major issues from release and also the whole point of having a NAS is to get away from a windows box being on all day and night) :)

    I deal with PC's amd servers all day at work - the last thing I want to do is trial test a brand new OS for MS just to play music, but I appreciate some people like that flexibility
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  5. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    Those tranquil PCs are relatively bulky, about twice as expensive and still use almost twice the power of my qnap TS-109. (Rated at 15W active, 8W with disk spun down).

    I was pretty apprehensive about having to run a second media server on my TS-109 (as well as the Twonkyvision uPnP server) but it has performed pretty well so far. The only time I experienced stuttering or jerky operation was when I was indexing my music collection whilst playing an album simultaneously.

    I've tested it out by having it play music through the SB whilst streaming an SD xvid film to my PS3 and with a mate downloading some stuff via sftp over the internet at the same time, no problems. That's good enough for me.

    It is however slow to browse the web interface on the box and I suspect that I would quickly run into problems transcoding between formats. Luckily, that's not something I need to do.


    Those Atom chips seem to be a very good competitor for the RISC devices currently used in NAS devices though. Hopefully someone will come up with a low-power chipset for the Atom so that you could bung one into a small box like a typical NAS. Currently they are hobbled by having to use standard-power laptop chipsets which really add to the overall power consumption.

    Definitely, they will make the next generation of NAS boxes very interesting as they should offer more computing power for the same power consumption as well as binary compatibility with x86 applications.
  6. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Active Member

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    The T7 HSAi is anything but bulky!!

    And whilst a WHS box might be over the top for just Squeeze Centre, you can run any windows compatible app on a WHS so it can be used for a far wider range of applications.

    I really don't think WHS boxes and NAS boxes can be compared for their computing power and their flexibility.
  7. gavan

    gavan Active Member

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    It is, compared to a Qnap TS-109. Which is why I said relatively bulky.

    Which is great if you want to run general Windows apps on your box.

    I don't - I just want something to serve my connected media devices and provide it as a drive on my network to my PCs. Other stuff like being able to do p2p/Usenet downloads 'in the background' on the box or share my files over the internet via SFTP is a nice bonus too.


    In general terms - of course not. But when it comes to doing my specific subset of tasks - which I think is a pretty common subset - I'm certainly going to compare a NAS and a full-blown PC and the NAS wins hands down. Half the price of the equivalent capacity Tranquil PC, half the power consumption and much smaller.


    I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of stuff the NAS makers do with the Atom chips. Lots of possibilities for more powerful NAS units there.
  8. zarekr

    zarekr New Member

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    I have not used a Squeezebox before but the look and simplicity of the Duet appeals to me and I am thinking of getting one. However there is one thing I am unclear about and would be grateful if someone had any clues about.

    I currently have an HTPC in my living room on which all my mp3s are stored and this HTPC is connected to an amp. I would be installing Squeezecentre on this machine. If I were to purchase the Squeezebox Duet (comprising one remote and one receiver), I understand that I could put the receiver in my bedroom and use the remote to play music from the HTPC's hard drive.

    My question is whether I could also use the remote to control music in the living room without purchasing an additional receiver but rather by playing music through the HTPC/amp combination. Unlikely I'm sure but it would be handy to save £99 on a reciever this way!

    cheers
  9. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    Yeah, there is an app called softsqueeze which you can download and try now. Works great with the controller. Its a squeezebox emulator and you can get it for free now from wwwslimdevices.com and try it. Its very good, but has a could of minor limitations the hardware squeezeboxs dont have. Its going to be replaced soon by a new improved app called squeezeplay which will also work with the controller.
  10. fuel2000

    fuel2000 Member

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    Right having managed to bag a Squeezebox duet for the bargain price of £164, I need now to prepare my music for its arrival. I have a 1TB hardrive coming next week so I can rip my cd's via flac. What’s the best way to rip my cd's with EAC or something else. I know EAC doesn't do album art which I want, but I also want bit perfect rips, is there another program I can use. Also file structure should I rip cd's into one big folder or place each album in its own folder, or does it not matter? Any other tips? I wonder how long it’s going to take to rip 500+cd's!!!:thumbsup:
  11. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    DBpowerAMP. Just as good at ripping (uses accuraterip) as EAC really and will do you album art for you (reference version will, not the free version).

    500 CD's are going to take a long time, so you are right to use FLAC and get it right first time. See this thread - http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788647
  12. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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  13. JD20

    JD20 Member

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    Where did you bag the Duet from for that price?
  14. fuel2000

    fuel2000 Member

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    It was off Amazon, its a customer return, but comes with full warrenty, 30 day return etc, total bargain!!!




    Ermmmm Amazon have just sent me an email saying they no longer have it in stock, and they've refunded my card.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  15. kingbal

    kingbal Member

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    Hi Fuel... I went through the gruelling task not long ago.

    I used EAC to rip my tracks straight to FLAC.

    I then tagged the files using Mp3tag which is a great prog - it can fetch tag data from amazon and you can embed album art to the files which will ensure they show on your duet!(you do this using the extended tag option)

    I placed each album in its own folder together with the cover (named cover.jpg) and the playlist for that album just to keep it all neat. All works nicely.

    I only did about 100cds and it took me about 4 weeks to do it - getting through around 5 cds per night. 500cds:eek: you've got some work to do!
    It took me about 15 minutes to rip a cd to FLAC on my laptop, then a couple of mins to tag and embed the art. Good Luck!


    EDIT: Just noticed your order got cancelled - I got mine off ebay and paid £210 delivered from the states - thats a £60 saving and all you need to buy are two uk clips that slide into the power supplies from Watt-power solutions.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  16. nellyllen

    nellyllen Member

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    This is kinda what i'm after. I have an Archos 605 wifi media player. Can I use this to control the system?

    Will I need some specific software on the Archos? and if so is there anywhere to get it?

    One last question, would I be able to use the Archos' built in hard drive to store my music files? That would kinda be the ideal situation.

    Unless anyone has any ideas how I can have a multi room system that can incorporate my Archos.

    Thanks in advance
    Nelly
  17. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Active Member

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    You just point the Archos web browser (it does have one I assume) at the Squeezecenter address and add "/handheld". See this post: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7478926&postcount=10
  18. nellyllen

    nellyllen Member

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    Thanks Mr Orange,

    It does have a web browser on it.

    Does anyone know if i would be able to access my music on my archos so I don't have to keep my computer on or buy a NAS?

    Cheers
  19. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    no, the squeezebox needs to be connected to a pc or nas running squeezecenter or the squeezenetwork.
  20. hitz

    hitz Member

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    Looking at squeezebox duet as a multi room audio system.
    Can someone advise if anyone has successfully done this.
    The basic idea i have is to store all music (ripped cds etc) on my pc.
    Then have the receivers stored under the stairs connected to a 4/6zone amp (any suggestions please). All this connected on the network via cat5e.
    Amp connects to the each ceiling speakers in each of the rooms where a local controller sits to control that rooms audio only.
    Does this sound feasible.
    How do you configure the controller in one room to only control its respective receiver and not any of ther other receivers assigned to different rooms?
    Also - how do you control each rooms volume on the amp independently? (can this be done via the squeezebox controller?)

    If i have looked at the capability correctly - the seems to be the cheapest solution for multiroom audio @ £250 per zone + amp +speakers.
    Any ideas of cost for amp and decent ceiling speakers.
    Speakers or amp do not have to be very powerful - up 35w-50w per channel would be suffice i think for each of the rooms.

    Thanks in advance.
  21. Aahz

    Aahz Member

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    I can answer one small part of that...

    Each Squeezebox Controller can be told to control a particular Squeezebox (be it receiver or Classic or Boom), once it's tied to that one it will stay until you reassign it (if the box is disconnected, i.e. not just in standby, it will offer a "Choose player" menu and list all active players it could see).

    So that would be no problem at all. Boxes can be given names so I guess the simplest thing would be to name each box after the room it will control, then set the controller for the room to point to that.

    As far as I know there is no way to restrict/prohibit swapping controllers to different boxes, but there might be a plugin out there to do it, I'm sure I've seen some that add parental controls etc.

    Afraid I can't help with the multi-zone amp side of things
  22. Digger

    Digger Active Member

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    Hi Guys! New to this so bear with me. Probably should be in another thread/new thread but will ask here initially.

    Will probably get a Duet soon. I dont fancy leaving (relying on) my PC/laptop on all day, so would require a fairly cheap and dumb NAS/SAN box to rip all my audio to, and leave powered up. That way I can just switch on my AV Receiver and play flac/wavs via ethernet from the SAN/NAS without faffing with the PC.

    Is the Duet intelligent enough to grab audio when pointed at a bunch of drives sitting on an network (SAN/NAS), or does it need a PC switched on with some appropriate apps running.

    MODS If there is a more appropriate topic dont be scared to move this :D.


    EDIT Ok another question! If I purchased a SB3 (Classic?) and later purchased the Duet's Controller would I have identical sound quality, functionality, and file support compared with the Duet?
    .
    .
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  23. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    You need SqueezeCenter software running somewhere to stream. This can be on a low power/SFF PC or with a bit more dicking around, installed on a NAS. I favour the SFF PC.
    Yes.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  24. Digger

    Digger Active Member

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    Thanks Crocodile. Presumably a NAS would work out cheaper and simpler, which would be the main attraction for me. Is it really not worth the hassle of configuring one? Any further info on this or is there another more applicable thread around here :smashin:.
  25. The Moog

    The Moog Member

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    Digger,

    If you get hold of one of the ReadyNAS line of products from Netgear, it should already have SqueezeCenter installed on it, and gets regular updates from SlimDevices. This is what I am using as a source for a SB3 and a Boom; it requires no 'dicking about', is small quiet and uses little power (can be set to spin the drives down after a set idle period) and has run flawlessly. It is also a very good NAS as well!


    The Moog
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  26. Crocodile

    Crocodile Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, the main problem with NAS is that firmware needs to be hacked to allow installation of SC. However, I believe Qnap are now starting to supply firmware with SC built in. NAS' are also rather low powered so as SC becomes more [-]bloated[/-] feature rich, the web interface can struggle.

    A decent NAS isn't cheap whereas old PCs with much higher specs are. I currently run an old HP eVectra/XP Pro/PIII 800MHz 256MB with a 500GB disk. It runs headless & has an external PSU so very quiet. Also supports WOL. I'll be listing one in the classifieds soon. ;)

    This is probably THE resource for SC/NAS.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  27. Digger

    Digger Active Member

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    Anyone disagree? Not cheap though!

    Edit, Aah that'll be because Ebuyer bizarrely only sell the more expensive range (from £500)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  28. The Moog

    The Moog Member

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    I got the cheapest one,
    Picked up a ReadyNAS Duo with a 500GB HD for just under £200 a few months ago (can't remember where off the top of my head). Doesn't need to be hacked or diddled with.

    I guess that while a higher specced PC made from old bits is cheaper (i.e. free!) and may be a faster, it would make little difference to me and I prefer the smaller form-factor and lower running costs (as it is always on). The only thing that is slow on the ReadyNAS is the web interface and scanning files. I only used the interface when setting the thing up so that was not really a hardship, and a rescan of all my files takes a couple of hours so I just set it off when I am going out or overnight and only do this once every few weeks anway. As for playing music over, I have noticed no difference in performance between the ReadyNAS and the rather high specced PC that used to have to be on all the time to run SqueezeCenter!


    The Moog
  29. Autopilot

    Autopilot Active Member

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    In the mean time, cant you wire your pc to your router and use WOL?
  30. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Active Member

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    I've ordered a TranquilPC T7-HSG, which is a Windows Home Server, in a tiny case, no fans and low power usage. As well as having a 500GB hard drive in it (although my music is already on a NAS), it has the bonus of being able to run any windows based application just like any desktop pc. Compared to the cost of some NAS boxes, it's not expensive.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008

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