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What Do I Need?

Discussion in 'Source Components' started by Zing, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Zing

    Zing Retired Admin Famous

    If I were to put my CD collection on a hard drive, what all do I need? I'm guessing it would be an external hard drive ( I'm thinking a WD My Book) and some sort of controller like a Squeezebox. Is there anything else?

    Further, can I use those items by themselves? What I mean is, I realize I'll need a PC to rip my collection the hard drive but, once I'm done, do I need a PC constantly connected? Or can I simply connect just the Squeezebox to my stereo and have it find, read and play the music on the HD?
     
  2. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Squeezebox's main server software runs on the PC, so yeah, the PC would always have to be on+connected. There may be other devices that can use just the HD, I'm not sure...
     
  3. Doghart

    Doghart Well-Known Member

  4. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Famous

    If your PC has to be on any way... and if the PC has digital audio output... couldn't you just connect that to your pre/pro and use WMP or WMC? Why does he need a controller?
     
  5. yromj

    yromj Well-Known Member

    Does your receiver/pre-pro support DLNA or other media capabilities? If so, then DLNA capable NAS (Network Area Storage) device would work well. That way the processor can access the media w/o needing a PC.

    John
     
  6. Rope

    Rope Well-Known Member Famous

    Zing -

    I haven't attempted this, so bear with me.

    If I remember correctly my Squeezebox Touch has a resident server I can load when I want to listen to miusic that resides on my external hard drive, x computer. My desk top is constantly running so I haven't had cause to use this feature. Between tonight and tomorrow, I will give it a go, see what happens

    Rope

    *EDIT*

    In setting, under advanced, the Touch has an option to "Start Squeezebox Server", and another option to scan USB connected hardware for media.

    Here's a link to a Home Theater Magazine review of the Squeezebox Touch.
    :text-link:
     
  7. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous

    As far as the SB Classics go (what a lot of us have) you need:

    1) The Squeezebox of course.

    2) PC that is always on and has:
    a) Slimserver software installed that manages your music collection
    b) ripping software. You can use Windows Media Player or purchase one like dB Poweramp (what I prefer). Media Monkey is a free alternative if you don't want to pay for dBP or WMP

    3) Hard drive. I would think a separate internal hard drive would be the best choice. You could use a external drive if you want to take it with you, or (if you have the space) the 'stock' drive in your PC. Whichever route you go, I think a separate (either internal or external) drive for just your music is the best choice.

    On my PC, I have two folders on a 500GB drive. One is called 'Music Collection' that the Slimserver manages and has all my albums ripped as Flac files. The second one is a MP3 version of that folder for the system in my Jeep. The Kenwood headunit I have can not read Flac files, so that is the reason why I have it that way.
     
  8. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous


    That could work, but you would still have to have some sort of managing program to sort and keep track of what your collection is and where everything is located within the master folder. I think that's why the SBs have to have the Slimserver software installed on the PC. I imagine the same would go for a NAS setup.


    That's my guess anyways. My gear is becoming a bit dated since some a/v receivers are now becoming 'network ready'. The beauty of the controller is you can have 1 or 10 of them in your home either wired or wireless that can stream the music from one single PC source. If you wanted to stream your music to more than one zone, then "straight feeding" direct from the PC would mean having to move the PC to each desired zone, unless the a/v receiver had WiFi built in.
     
  9. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous


    Pretty much 5 stars in every category except ergonomics (4.5). My guess is in larger rooms, the screen might become too small for an older pair of eyes.

    What I like about the Touch, is the USB port. I wonder if you could just straight feed (as Towen mentioned earlier) an external hard drive to it with all your music if the Slimserver software is also on there. :think:
     
  10. Kazaam

    Kazaam Well-Known Member

    Hey Zing... you'll really like having all your music available on a hard drive server, whichever route you go---squeezebox, or direct from PC to stereo, etc etc.

    fwiw, My setup is pretty basic. I have a laptop and I keep all the (lossless) music files on its internal drive. Then I have an Airport Express (which runs about $100) to wirelessly send the audio to my stereo. It only works with the iTunes program, but it works well enough for me. (So, in a nutshell, I need to select the songs I want to play via iTunes.)
     
  11. Rope

    Rope Well-Known Member Famous

    Scratch everything I've said above. You will have to have a computer running to start the Squeezebox server and access media files.

    Rope
     
  12. Rope

    Rope Well-Known Member Famous

    Thinking out loud, what would happen if the Squeezebox server software were loaded on the external drive containing music media, then start the server software with the Squeezebox Touch?

    Rope
     
  13. Zing

    Zing Retired Admin Famous

    Having to have a PC running isn't a deal-breaker, I just would've preferred to keep things separate.

    My HT is on the 1st floor. I have an office on the 2nd floor and my PC in the office is on more than it's off. I suppose I could just connect this external HDD to my office computer, setup the Squeezebox downstairs in the HT and let WiFi do its thing.

    I have a laptop that I keep downstairs. Truthfully, I wouldn't even mind using that as a controller (it's extremely small and light - think small Netbook). I'm sure I'd be quite content to fire that up, connect a USB cable to the external HDD and browse and play my music that way. But the Sqeezebox Duet system - with its wireless handheld wand - is not without appeal.

    This SlimServer software - is it something I have to buy separately?
     
  14. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous



    That's what I was wondering since the Touch has a USB port. I'm thinking you still have to have some sort of OS (aka: Windows) to orchestrate everything so that means the PC is still going to have to stay in the signal chain.


    Zing,

    To give you an idea of how cool this stuff is, last night I plugged in a pair of headphones into my Duet controller and just kicked back and listened to a few albums from my ripped collection. I have a SB Classic in the HT, a second one will be in the living room (as soon as I find some "kid proof" speakers), and the Duet contoller can act like a third player if I wanted to use the headphone out. I can see myself using it outside plugged to a little boombox for parties or just using it around the house as a digital audio player.
     
  15. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Nope, comes with it. Actually you can download the software on their site for free... not that it'd do much good w/o any controllers.
     
  16. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous


    No, you download it for free from the Logitech website. I think its actually called "Squeezebox server now". I'm just used to the old name whenever I would upgrade the software. Sorry about that.


    I'm pretty sure if you get the Touch and other players now, the software is also on an included CD, but it's still a good idea to go to the website and download the latest version.
     
  17. Yesfan70

    Yesfan70 I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv Famous



    I don't know if Logictech still has it or not, but at one time you could download a software version of the controller called "Soft Squeeze". He could install that on his lap top and turn it into a virtual controller if he wanted to get a feel for how the SB controllers work. If it's still available, I think it is also free to download.
     
  18. CMonster

    CMonster Well-Known Member

    If you have an old PC laying around that you don't use and there's an out-of-the-way location with network access, you can turn it into a NAS box using FreeNAS and install SlimNAS on it.
     
  19. Huey

    Huey Well-Known Member Famous

    I think there is an option to use a nas storage device(at least I think is what is called) that can run the squeeze software, although I don't think they are cheap. Whatever you do, make sure to back up your ripped music. Hard drives go out all the time, and imagine having to rerip your entire collection. My hardrive has all of the ripped music, and then I have an external Maxtor that auto backups every night my music folder only.
    Rob
     
  20. Zing

    Zing Retired Admin Famous

    To address some comments that haven't been addressed...Yromj, my pre/pro does not do DNLA. It's the first gen Integra DTC-9.8. Monster, I do have a surplus PC but I don't think I want to use it. It's old, big and would require a few upgrades to make it useable in a WiFi capacity. Honestly, I've been considering destroying its HDDs and just pitching it.

    Re: Squeezebox - Amazon is selling the Duet for $299. That's all the SB I need, correct? There isn't some other Logitech/Squeezebox item/component I would also need, is there?

    Re: External HDD - I mostly liked the 2TB WD MyBook because of its size, appearance and its USB 3.0. I suppose I'd rather not have a wall wart so I can go with just about anything. The ioSafe models interest me and seem to come with a truckload of safety, security and backup options, albeit at a price. WD has something called Elements that seems to be highly regarded. Is there a particular brand or model that people in our hobby use as a go-to external drive?
     

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