Digital Audio Streaming Guide

post questions / problems regarding Cyrus kit here, or any other queries of a tech nature.
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MisterMat » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:54 pm

If you don't want to then don't go there! No shame with sticking with CDs.

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MCRU » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:22 pm

Hi Matt,
is this NAS ok, has a good review on tech radar and is quite keenly priced?

http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=456473&CatId=2267

squeeze bix touch is around £160 now so it looks good for not much money!
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MisterMat » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:21 pm

Fantastic price on the SB Touch, only problem is finding a suitable NAS box so there is a hidden cost there.

I'd say no to that NAS as I can't find any specs for it and it looks cheap and cheerful. You want something with at least 256Mb of RAM (mine struggled and it had 128Mb - admittedly my music collection is quite large)

Let me check a few models for you and make a recommendation. You'll probably end up spending as much on the NAS as on the SB Touch. Perhaps make a separate post asking what other guys use?

I have to do some chores so bear with me.

Matthew.

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MCRU » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:03 pm

[quote="MisterMat"]
Fantastic price on the SB Touch, only problem is finding a suitable NAS box so there is a hidden cost there.

I'd say no to that NAS as I can't find any specs for it and it looks cheap and cheerful. You want something with at least 256Mb of RAM (mine struggled and it had 128Mb - admittedly my music collection is quite large)

Let me check a few models for you and make a recommendation. You'll probably end up spending as much on the NAS as on the SB Touch. Perhaps make a separate post asking what other guys use?

I have to do some chores so bear with me.

Matthew.
[/quote]

squeezbox arriving tomorrow mat, I am so excited now thanks to your un-bounding enthusiasm on the phone, I have just bought another TT and an arm so funds a bit low for a NAS unless you can find a suitable one for about a oner?
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MisterMat » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:45 pm

Hey David

I'm having trouble finding a suitable NAS for you for a reasonable price. I was hoping a Netgear ReadyNAS would do the business but there's reports about it being slow with larger music collections (which probably means larger than 200 albums to be fair)

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=85956

Something like the Synology DS109+ would definitely do well (1GHz processor and 512Mb RAM) but it's £250 without a disk!

I'd run Squeezebox Server on a spare PC for the moment, and would suggest posting on the slim devices forum and ask what NAS box they would recommend.

Matthew.

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby realoldfart » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:05 am

I've had no speed issues with my ReadyNAS Duo, and it currently has considerably more than 200 albums.

I've just upgraded it to two x 2tb, and once everything is transferred it will have in excess of 1.5tb.  I'll let you know if there are speed issues at that point.  I'm awaiting delivery of the Netgear Gig switcher that MM recommended so I'm trusting that things will be just tickety boo.
Now looka here...
I did not say I was a millionaire...
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I'd already spent,
I would've been a millionaire a looong time ago...
Lyrics taken from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/howlin_-wolf-lyrics/goin

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MisterMat » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:49 am

Many thanks for the recommendation Chris - That sounds like a most economical recommendation.

Do you know if it's had any upgrades, for example to increase the amount of memory?

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MCRU » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:46 am

If you have time guys can you explain why a £99 NAS is no good? Even a 1tb one? Is the on-board memory for speed of access to tracks?
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby MisterMat » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:30 am

Ok so Squeezebox Server is a piece of software that has to sit somewhere on your network in order for your Squeezebox Touch to find out where your music is stored. It's rather annoying because most other streamers including Sonos have their database on the device, but that's how it is.

It's most convenient to have it running on your NAS because then you don't need to switch on another PC in order to listen to music. So far so good.

The problem is that Squeezebox Server is also rather slow and when it's running on a device with very limited processor and memory resources, it can mean that simple operations such as navigating your music collection, pausing and restarting, because very slow, and you can even get audio dropouts.

By buying a cheap NAS (which typically don't even have the CPU/RAM in the specifications) you're buying a network device that has just enough power to serve up files. It's not designed to run lots of software in the background, and asking it to run Squeezebox Server is asking for trouble.

When I trialled the Squeezebox Touch, I ran SB Server on my Synology DS207+. This was run with only a few tracks, but with my entire collection it was incredibly slow and unresponsive. Running it on my (very powerful) main PC made it very quick. We're talking about around a thousand albums here. The DS207+ has 128Mb of RAM and a 400MHz ARM CPU. In this case, I believe that memory was the main issue.

So we have a memory and processor bottleneck with these cheaper units.

What's required to run Squeezebox Server? It depends on the size of your library. If you've got thousands of albums, really you need an Atom processor with at least a gigabyte of RAM. With a couple of hundred tracks like you've got, my Google searches indicate the ReadyNAS Duo should be fine (and it's great to hear that Chris is happy with the performance of his)

This is adding to the cost of the unit of course. The ReadyNAS Duo is £150 without any disks, though there's one here ("as new") for £130:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NETGEAR-READYNAS-DUO-RND2000-NAS-DRIVE-MEDIA-SERVER-/290549951546?pt=UK_Computing_Networking_SM&hash=item43a6206c3a

Then add £40 for a 1Tb Western Digital Green Caviar.

You can get a RAM upgrade for the Duo, but I believe that the stock 256Mb of RAM should be perfectly adequate for your collection.

Here's a Squeezebox remote control app for your Android phone which seems to get good reviews:

http://www.squeezecommander.com/

I hope this is still sounding ok and you're not regretting the whole enterprise!

Matthew.

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby realoldfart » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:36 pm

David/Matthew - I think I got my wires crossed, on re-reading you were referring to speed on a NAS when running SB, which is not something I have tried.

Sorry guys.
Now looka here...
I did not say I was a millionaire...
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I'd already spent,
I would've been a millionaire a looong time ago...
Lyrics taken from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/howlin_-wolf-lyrics/goin

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby jackdawclaw » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:21 pm

Great guide Matthew.

Been ripping a few cd's in flac format via EAC to give the whole streamer thing a test.  I have to say that tonight - EAC has really put me off.  I'm sure it's the best way to get the most accurate data but it took 47 minutes to rip a particular CD (10 tracks, not one exceeding 5 minutes) .  Admittedly other cd's were quicker although the average seems to be 20+ minutes. 

I had ripped some others recently using the program 'Express Rip' in flac format.  Half the time or lesss I'd say. 

I assume the data read and verification is far more accurate using EAC and accounts for the delay.  I'm not sure however I have the patience to rip 1000+ cd's if they take this long.  Or at least I need to understand the audio benefits.

Anyone have any views on the real world audio 'risks' of using something like Express Rip (no verification/correction presumably) vs EAC. Is the difference noticeable, negligible or is this merely a confidence provider that you have done all you can to best represent your CD. 
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby timbo » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:56 pm

[quote="jackdawclaw"]
Great guide Matthew.

Been ripping a few cd's in flac format via EAC to give the whole streamer thing a test.  I have to say that tonight - EAC has really put me off.  I'm sure it's the best way to get the most accurate data but it took 47 minutes to rip a particular CD (10 tracks, not one exceeding 5 minutes) .  Admittedly other cd's were quicker although the average seems to be 20+ minutes. 

I had ripped some others recently using the program 'Express Rip' in flac format.  Half the time or lesss I'd say. 

I assume the data read and verification is far more accurate using EAC and accounts for the delay.  I'm not sure however I have the patience to rip 1000+ cd's if they take this long.  Or at least I need to understand the audio benefits.

Anyone have any views on the real world audio 'risks' of using something like Express Rip (no verification/correction presumably) vs EAC. Is the difference noticeable, negligible or is this merely a confidence provider that you have done all you can to best represent your CD.
[/quote]

I expect there will be many who will say it is important to use EAC, but I've ripped all my albums with either Windows Media Player (WMP) or Media Monkey (FLAC) and not found any issues. Occasionally there will be a duff rip, mainly when I've been too impatient to stop other things running on the PC whilst ripping, but of course you can always redo it. Whilst there may be truth in the fact that EAC gives a more bit-perfect rip, it's not clear to me that it is noticeable.
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby realoldfart » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:10 pm

[quote="jackdawclaw"]
Great guide Matthew.

Been ripping a few cd's in flac format via EAC to give the whole streamer thing a test.  I have to say that tonight - EAC has really put me off.  I'm sure it's the best way to get the most accurate data but it took 47 minutes to rip a particular CD (10 tracks, not one exceeding 5 minutes) .  Admittedly other cd's were quicker although the average seems to be 20+ minutes. 

I had ripped some others recently using the program 'Express Rip' in flac format.  Half the time or lesss I'd say. 

I assume the data read and verification is far more accurate using EAC and accounts for the delay.  I'm not sure however I have the patience to rip 1000+ cd's if they take this long.  Or at least I need to understand the audio benefits.

Anyone have any views on the real world audio 'risks' of using something like Express Rip (no verification/correction presumably) vs EAC. Is the difference noticeable, negligible or is this merely a confidence provider that you have done all you can to best represent your CD.
[/quote]

Check to see if you are in "Paranoid Mode" which is very slow.
Now looka here...
I did not say I was a millionaire...
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I'd already spent,
I would've been a millionaire a looong time ago...
Lyrics taken from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/howlin_-wolf-lyrics/goin

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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby jackdawclaw » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:34 pm

Check to see if you are in "Paranoid Mode" which is very slow.
[/quote]

And here was me merely learning from those with more experience than I.  Silly me.  :-*

Flac is flac then.  Good. 
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Re: Digital Audio Streaming Guide

Postby realoldfart » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:38 pm

"Paranoid Mode"  is a setting on EAC, sorry that I didn't make that clear.  EAC rips to Wav, and if set up correctly then compresses to flac.
Now looka here...
I did not say I was a millionaire...
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I'd already spent,
I would've been a millionaire a looong time ago...
Lyrics taken from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/howlin_-wolf-lyrics/goin