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Squeezebox...........where do i start?
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I have an audio system consisting of ROKSAN KANDY amp/per amp and CD with deck running through a creek phono stage which is pumped through Monitor audio RS8 Silver speakers. I love the system but fancy having a go at streaming my music from the computer thru the hifi. Question is How? i am ok with the audio side of things but computers well thats a different matter. The computer is relatively modern and is connected to a SKY wireless router by cable. This all in a seperate room to the hifi.

I am wanting to RIP the cd's to an external harddrive about 400 of them. Waht size hard drive will i need. I have looked at the SONOS and Squeezbox systems and think i will plump for the sueezbox. I understand there are numerous upgrades for the squeezbox, external power supply, seperate DAC's etc. Are these needed if so what is reccomend. Is there that much sound difference to the stock item. I have read a review on the HRT dac. Is this the sort of thing that will be required. And just to sound really thick does this squeezbox really pick everything up from my computer via the router wirelessly. With regards the ripping. At present i am ripping using windows media player in losslas format, is this the reccomended format and is the windows media player OK to use or is there a better one out there. I have been led to believe that with the squeezebox you have to use there downloaded server software.

I really appreaciate any advice.........please in a language that el thicko can understand.

Cheers guys

Anonymous
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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

Hi

Welcome to the forum.

I use Squeezebox Duet & have ripped my CDs in FLAC format - roughly each CD is 300/350 MB (so approx 1GB for 3 CDs).

See this article for advice on file formats supported by Squeezebox:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/HowtoBestAudioQuality

I wouldn't worry about any hardware upgrades just yet - start with the basic Squeezebox Duet (currently £230 on Amazon) and see how it sounds to you. I use a Dacmagic DAC with mine, it does improve the sound but it is not essential for starters.

Although I have ripped around 500 CDs I tend not to use my home music but stream Napster through Squeezebox. This costs me £5 a month to access millions of tracks. The sound quality is pretty good. Again I would recommend doing this first rather than spending time ripping all your CDs - you can do this later.

You can download the Squeezebox server software from here:

http://www.mysqueezebox.com/download

If you do decide to rip your CDs to hard drive make sure you buy a second hard drive so you have a backup copy. Ripping a large number of CDs is not fun.

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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

Just to add to what heystak wrote.  The recommended file format for Squeezebox is FLAC, it's supported natively by their players. There are many FLAC conversion softwares out there I use EAC as the ripping software http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/  you can install a 3rd party plugin in EAC for the FLAC conversion http://www.legroom.net/software/autoflac.


Any supported music files stored on your pc whch you have told the Squeezebox Server their location can be streamed wirelessly or for reliability wired to the Squeezebox which in turn is wired to your hi-fi. All taken care of by your home network i.e your Router. With regards to adding various improvements to the Squeezebox I'd suggest you get the basics set up first.


There is an option of just buying the Squeezebox Receiver (£70) and using an iPhone/Touch to control things (with the iPeng app) and whilst it's more snazzy than the actual Squeezebox remote it's a pain to set up, but worthwile if you are prepared to spend the time.  Let me know if you are keen on this option and I can point you in the right direction.


Hope this helps.


Matt

Anonymous
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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

I think if you just want the convenience of having all your cds available at once. You could go down the Squeezebox Touch and usb hard drive route. You just rip the cds to a external hard drive, connect your Touch to your hifi and then disconnect the hdd from the computer and connect it straight to the touch. You can then access the music without the pc being on. To add more music just temporarily connect the hdd to the computer.


Well that's how I understand it from the web site.

Anonymous
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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

Thanks for the advice. I do like the look of the Duet. Regarding the wireless aspect, is it un reliable as it will be a pain in the a..e to hard wire to the router. As for the windows medi software i am using. Is this no good for the Squeezbox.


One day i will have straight in the old grey matter.


Cheers Carl

Anonymous
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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?
38carl15:

Thanks for the advice. I do like the look of the Duet. Regarding the wireless aspect, is it un reliable as it will be a pain in the a..e to hard wire to the router. As for the windows medi software i am using. Is this no good for the Squeezbox.


One day i will have straight in the old grey matter.


Cheers Carl



You need to download the Squeezebox Server software. The duet will not be able to "see" your stored music without it. Also (and the biggest benefit in my view) the squeezebox software allows you to access internet radio, Napster, lastfm, etc without having to switch your computer on.

When I first got the Duet the wireless was a bit unreliable but the latest version of Squeezebox software has made it more stable. I do not get any problems now.

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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

dont bother with the Duet.


 


the Touch is a much better player. the DACs are as good as the DAC magic.


 


I use a Netgear Duo which has Squeezebox server pre installed, but will need an upgrade. I run it in raid with 2 500Gb discs and over 500 Flac rips.


 


I run one Touch  and a Classic off the Netgear and supliment the remotes with iPend on my iPhone, Or if i cant find my phone I use the remotes.

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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

Another vote for the Squeezebox Touch here. I have my music ripped to a 1TB usb hard drive which is attached directly to the Touch and means I don't have to have a PC on all the time to use it. I don't think you can do that with the Duet. This does mean ripping CDs to flac or pcm as I think the sqeezebox needs to have any other formats converted 'on the fly' which means having a PC on again. Squeezebox Server is the software that will do that 'on the fly' conversion and you only need to install that on your PC if you wish the PC to act as the music server or want to access certain hidden settings. I have it installed but don't use it. The wifi connection has never been a problem on my Touch and it has been able to keep up with streaming full fat PCM/WAV music files without any problems. I think that the stability of your wifi connection will probably have more to with things like how far away your router is, whether neighbours are sharing your wifi frequency, the density of your walls and so forth. As a general guide I would say that if you have a laptop and it can stream bbc iplayer without difficulty from the same location as your squeezebox then you won't have any difficulties. The Touch is supposed to have a significantly better onboard DAC than the Duet and is very listenable but I did find an improvement from using an Arcam Rdac, vocals were smoother and clear, for instance, and more detail was noticable. When you start talking about upgrading power supplies and so on you're losing me a bit. I suppose its nice to have an upgrade path if you really want to spend all your money on hifi for an eternity but if you've got wads of cash sitting around buy better to start with, thats my philosophy. Hope that helps!

Anonymous
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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

The one reason i prefer the duet is the fact the display is on the hand set and i can have it with me to sort music. The touch looks great but with my eyes will be sat too far away from he on the hifi. Its an age thing i guess. Probably best i look at both in the flesh and take it from there. Good pointers on the upgrades DAC's etc. I will get the basics right first.

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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?

+1 for giving the Duet a miss - at least the Receiver part; the Touch beats it in every way.

 The Controller part of the Duet works with all players, so you could get a Touch, try it for readability and picked up a Used Controller off Amazon if needed. 

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Re: Squeezebox...........where do i start?
nads:

dont bother with the Duet.


 


the Touch is a much better player. the DACs are as good as the DAC magic.


 


I use a Netgear Duo which has Squeezebox server pre installed, but will need an upgrade. I run it in raid with 2 500Gb discs and over 500 Flac rips.


 


I run one Touch  and a Classic off the Netgear and supliment the remotes with iPend on my iPhone, Or if i cant find my phone I use the remotes.



 


I upgraded my Netgear the other day, I've noticed zero difference but I suppose it can't do any harm. Good instructions to follow on SqueezeboxWiki.

Anonymous
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RE: Just to add to what

Just to add to what heystak wrote.  The recommended file format for Squeezebox is FLAC, it's supported natively by their players. There are many FLAC conversion softwares out there I use EAC as the ripping software http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/  you can install a 3rd party plugin in EAC for the FLAC conversion http://www.legroom.net/software/autoflac.Any supported music files stored on your pc whch you have told the Squeezebox Server their location can be streamed wirelessly or for reliability wired to the Squeezebox which in turn is wired to your hi-fi. All taken care of by your home network i.e your Router. With regards to adding various improvements to the Squeezebox I'd suggest you get the basics set up first. There is an option of just buying the Squeezebox Receiver (£70) and using an iPhone/Touch to control things (with the iPeng app) and whilst it's more snazzy than the actual Squeezebox remote it's a pain to set up, but worthwile if you are prepared to spend the time.  Let me know if you are keen on this option and I can point you in the right direction.Hope this helps.Matt

Anonymous
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user interface counter intuitive

The duet controller probably has a better user interface but...

I personally own and have used only the Squeezebox Boom radio. It's a simple "bedroom streaming radio" that can do everything the other Squeezeboxes do, except that it's meant to be a standalone radio.

Only, the point is that I find the user interface very counter intuitive. That is to say, you can't get used to the way it works. That is because selecting a station or album, and actually playing it, is done using separate buttons. You can't use the big "press me" button on the radio to play an item, but you do use it to select it. If you press that big "press me" button, it will instead open the options menu for the item. Same on the remote. The remote just has a tiny play button that you always have to use to play the item. I just can't get used to it.

The duet controller seems to work in the same way. You have this play button and this add button. The "ok" button in the middle of the scroll wheel doesn't play or queue the item, it opens up an option menu for the item.

Maybe if you're a Mac user, you are used to this. In OS X Finder, when you press "enter", it doesn't run or open the item, instead it renames the item. That's so very very weird if you're coming from Windows or Linux. It doesn't make sense at all.

So I hope the interface makes sense to you. The most central button doesn't perform the most central task.

I can tell you though that digital music is only "fun" if you can see the album covers along with the album information. So I would definitely get a duet controller if you are not sitting next to the Touch.

Also, you need software that automatically downloads album covers for your albums. I know that the Exact Audio Copy ripper software doesn't do this. I'm also pretty sure other rippers/players can do this, but I would need advise on that. I don't think you're going to want to manually download 500 cd covers and add them to the folder.

Anyone got advise on that?

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