Russound/Squeezebox Interface Program - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-26-2010, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

If anyone's interested, I've written a program named "SqzRuss" that integrates Logitech's Squeezebox music player platform with Russound's RNet audio system controllers and keypads.

Basically, the program does two things. First, it echoes, in near-real time, whatever is on a Squeezebox player display to the Russound keypad's display. Second, it allows the Russound keypad's buttons to control the Squeezebox player, much like a Squeezebox remote control. It can therefore be used to not only display the currently playing song title, artist, etc. on Russound keypad displays, but also to fully navigate the Squeezebox's menus to select and play music library items, internet radio items, favorites, etc., etc. Dedicated buttons are provided to go directly to your Squeezebox Playlists menu and Favorites menu. The program supports multiple Squeezebox players connected as Russound sources and (I think) multiple Russound controllers.

SqzRuss is not a polished, commercial program - but, it's free! SqzRuss was written in the Lua programming language and requires that Lua for Windows be installed. Additionally, a virtual serial port emulation program (VSPE) needs to be installed. See the ReadMe documentation file for complete details.

SqzRuss can be downloaded from http://drop.io/sqzruss . Login with the password "sqzrussguest". Download the sqzruss_v02.zip file and extract the two files to any directory. Please read the ReadMe pdf file very carefully.

I may soon be posting a sqzruss_v03 beta that provides a Windows interface for viewing and controlling any Russound zone directly. Insanity must have gripped me because I'm also well along in re-architecting the Russound interface code into a general purpose Russound TCP server.

Let me know of any questions or problems. I may or may not be able to help given the limitations of the equipment available to me.

Regards....
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post #2 of 34 Old 03-25-2010, 07:59 AM
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This is very cool. Thank you for all the hard work!

My HTPC Build.
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-21-2010, 10:32 AM
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very nice work.. I had an older Sony system CAV-M1000ES which uses RS232 to communicate with PC, I wonder can I tweak your code to make it work for it? (I'm a java/c programmer so I want to give this a shot). what are the kind of testing env/command line tool I can use to try this out? I think the VSPE prob is a good start.
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-22-2010, 10:28 AM
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Thanks! I will give it a try. My SqueezeCenter is running on Linux. Is that supported?

Bob
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post #5 of 34 Old 05-03-2010, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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bobharp,

The SqzRuss program itself needs to run on a Windows box, but it can talk to a Squeezebox Server running on any platform. The SqzRuss lua code should be pretty portable and I suspect that someone could very easily tweak it to run on Linux or a Mac (I have neither of these).

Regards...
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post #6 of 34 Old 05-03-2010, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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twinkiestar,

I found the manual for the Sony CAV-M1000ES, but it doesn't seem to have any documentation for the RS232 command strings used to control the device. You'll first need to find these in order to start working with it. I'm sure they'll be very different (and probably much simpler) than those used for the Russound CAV.

Regards...
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post #7 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for your work! I'm a longtime SB user that wants to purchase a multizone audio system and do just this. Your work definitely causes me to lean towards the Russound C-series.

I'm also a custom-installer and have done a couple CAV6.6s with the Russound Touchpoint product. Touchpoint is essentially a rebranded Asus router with a USB port and special firmware. A USB-RS-232 adapter connects the touchpoint router to the CAV/CAM/C-Series or/E-Series and serves up a RNET control interface via Safari to the iPhone or iPod Touch. Touchpoint is a little rough around the edges but works and allows full control of all zones and RNET sources on the iPhone. Unfortunately with only one RS-232 connection, the installer must choose between squeezeruss or touchpoint. It would be great to the capabilities of both, simultaneously. Is this where you are headed? Are you an iPeng user? With my SB2, I used the Nokia 770 interface for years then switched to iPeng. IPeng is night and day better, is much more convenient than booting a PC. In my mind the ideal solution would be:

1. SB control/metadata to/from RNET keypads (squeezeruss)
2. iPhone control of both SB and RNET
3. seamless interaction between the (2) apps on the iphone or better yet an iPhone RNET control interface built into iPeng or vice versa.

Interesting that Russound just unlocked the LAN port on the C-series and published the interface details...

Doug
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post #8 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Doug,

Actually, most of what you want to do can be done today!

There's a new iPhone/Touch app available to control Russound systems. The app is named Llamapanel Pro. You can see screen shots of it at llamasoftware.net. It's much better than Touchpoint and costs only $9.99.

Llamapanel communicates with the controller using either VSPE or a hardware IP/serial device like an Elk IP232 (SqzRuss can also use either of these). Both VSPE and the Elk support multiple client connections to the serial port. You can therefore use Llamapanel and SqzRuss at the same time (which I do frequently). Although they both work, you can't see the SqzRuss keypad display updates on the Llamapanel display because of the way the Russound buffers work. There's discusion of this on cocoontech.com. I think I posted there or on the slimdevices forum how to configure VSPE to support multiple connections/clients.

Fyi, I haven't tested SqzRuss on a C-Series controller and keypads. The controller stuff should work, but I don't know if the keypad display commands are the same. I saw the RIO IP interface specs. I'm thinking of maybe developing an RIO Tcp server interface for the CAV/CAM controllers, but it would be a good bit of work. Most of the guts are already in SqzRuss, but the Tcp server and command parsing pieces would need to be developed.

Also fyi, I'm currently working on a program similar to SqzRuss, but it would display/control iTunes or AppleTV sources on the Russound keypads. It's using the DACP protocol, similar to what the Apple Remote app uses.

Finally, of course I use iPeng! It's one of the best iPhone/Touch apps I've seen.

Regards...
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post #9 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Doug,

In addition to the Elk IP232, the Startech NETRS2321E should work with both Llamapanel and SqzRuss. You can find these for around $130 to $140 - much cheaper than a Touchpoint.

Regards...
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post #10 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for your quick response, didn't know about the Llamapanel Pro app, but I'm glad to see a better and much more reasonably priced solution. Hopefully these apps will one day support the C and E-series via LAN port, dropping the need for the IP to RS-232 bridge.

Have you or any other squeezerus user considered a port of squeezeruss to Linux for installation on a NAS, linux server or OpenWRT based router with USB (like touchpoint)? I'd step up but unfortunately am seriously lacking in sw development skills.

Doug
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post #11 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Doug,

SqzRuss is written in Lua, and thus should be readily portable to Linux, et al. It doesn't use any Windows-specific libraries.

However, I've been doing all subsequent development in Python for a couple of reasons. First, Python comes pre-installed on most Linux distributions and Max OSx (whereas you need to install Lua on any platform you want to use it on). Second, I wanted to compile it into a Windows executable (so you wouldn't need to install Lua), but after many hours of research this doesn't seem to be possible. This should be much easier to do with Python.

In rewriting it I'm trying to make it much more modular so other developers can re-use different components. There will be separate Russound Rnet, Squeezebox, and iTunes/AppleTV (and WinAmp, other?) class libraries that can be mixed and matched to develop other applications. However, I've had to add learning Python to my schedule.

Regards...

Regards...
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post #12 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for your response, and please don't think I'm asking you to do work. Just tossing out some ideas that perhaps you hadn't considered.

Two reasons the squeezebox platform has not taken hold in the Custom Installer community, 1. Logitech has almost completely pulled out of the channel, elimitating any monetary incentive for a CI to sell/install either Harmony or the Squeeze products. 2. Logitech/Slimdevices never embraced the channel in terms of promoting interoperability or "integration partner" agreements. If I installed an integrated SB/E-series system for a client based on largely unsupported 3rd party code, I could be thrown under the bus when after a software upgrade things don't work and for whatever reason, a key code project has been abandoned. As you know, Slimdevices/Logitech has never guaranteed backwards compatibility with legacy plugins and extensions!

That said, my interest lies in a potential multi-zone install in my home and I'm willing to deal with issues like this when I get a superior UI at a great price!

I'd love to accomplish it without any PC's. Perhaps with a SB Touch running tinySC indexing music off a usb HDD. Thus it would be ideal if any additional pieces of code could exist on network appliance-like devices, ala Llamapanel Pro on the iPhone/iPod Touch and Squeezeruss on something like a OpenWRT router with a USB to RS-232 dongle.

Doug
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post #13 of 34 Old 08-27-2010, 10:41 AM
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Hi,

I've found this topic while searching alternatives for Russound CAV and MC and I'm trying to check version 02 now, but anyway, are there any efforts to release the announced sqzruss_v03 beta (that provides a Windows interface)? Feedback would be nice. Thanks!

BR Jan
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post #14 of 34 Old 09-13-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Surficus,

Sorry for the delayed response, I haven't checked this thread in a while.

I pretty much stopped working on the program as it does everything I need it to do (and I use it regularly) and there didn't seem to be much interest from anyone else. As far as I know there are only one or two other people using it.

Regards...
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post #15 of 34 Old 09-14-2010, 11:22 PM
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What a pitty, I think this soft is that what I was looking for. At the moment I have some problems with the control, the stop button doesn't work like it's configured, the Pause button will do this, and after suspend to disk and wake up from lan I have also some problems. I have to check this. Did you had these problems too?

BR Jan
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post #16 of 34 Old 09-15-2010, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Surfikus,

I've not had any problems with the Stop button functionality. By default, if you're navigating the Squeezebox menus, then press the Stop button, it should return the screen to displaying what's currently playing. Pressing and holding the Stop button should take you directly to your Favorites menu. You can change this default behavior in the .ini file settings. If you can provide more detail about what it seems to be doing I'll look into it.

I don't use wake-on-lan, but I'm not surprised that it wouldn't work. The program maintains open network connections to the Russound controller and Squeezebox Server. I think I programmed it so that if it loses its connection to Squeezebox server (assuming it was turned off) it will automatically try to re-establish the connection every five seconds or so. However, if it loses its connection to the Russound controller (which is assumed to always be on) it does not try to re-establish the connection. I didn't anticipate the wake-on-lan scenario where the computer would be suspended and all connections lost.

Regards...
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post #17 of 34 Old 12-26-2010, 06:35 AM
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Hoping to find access to this program if possible and contribute if further development if needed. So if anyone knows where I can get a up to date version, please let me know. It looks as if V2 is the newest one out.

Thanks!
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post #18 of 34 Old 12-26-2010, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Sampson,

Unfortunately, the drop.io site went out of business so I've posted a copy of the program here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8411852/SqzRuss_v02.zip

Note that we've found that the program does not work with the Squeezebox Duet. Just let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards...
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-29-2010, 01:51 AM
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Thanks for the post john! Figures I'm using the duet... Luckily I have a classic around somewhere. Looks like I'll be setting that badboy back-up!!
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post #20 of 34 Old 01-12-2011, 04:13 PM
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John I finally had time today to get everything up and running. All I can say is, WOW, this is awesome and thank you. With this program you wrote and iPeng, I'm really happy with the way I can interface with my SB.

I have noticed that I must have the SB synced with my squeeze server instead of mysqueezebox.com. For whatever reason I cannot have both working simultaneously. The only downfall to this is when I go onto mysqueezebox.com I cannot control my SB classic. So my brother is SOL on remote control thru a web browser as he has done in the past.

I've used casatunes, mc11 plugin, etc in the past and am so happy to have pandora working through my keypad. Wish I would have seen this last year when you first posted!
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post #21 of 34 Old 01-13-2011, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Sampson,

I'm very glad that the program is working well for you.

I don't use MySqueezebox.com, but I'm not surprised that it doesn't work. The program sends CLI commands to Squeezebox Server to figure out what the player is doing, so if the player isn't connected to the server the program won't know what's going on.

Regards... John
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post #22 of 34 Old 01-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Also check out Myro:Bridge (http://www.myrocontrol.com/myrobridge) lets you control Sonos, iTunes and soon Autonomic Controls Mirage (hardware or WMC) and HDMI Matrix switcher from Russound RNET devices.


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post #23 of 34 Old 01-26-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavromatis View Post

Also check out Myro:Bridge (http://www.myrocontrol.com/myrobridge) lets you control Sonos, iTunes and soon Autonomic Controls Mirage (hardware or WMC) and HDMI Matrix switcher from Russound RNET devices.

This is a really nice device but for the price I would just rather use an ipad or an iphone to control sonos. About the same interface if not better for less from the IOS device. That is the beauty of sonos. I seriously considered buying your bridge but couldn't see spending that much - plus I have crappy keypads for my MCA-C5...

Neil
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post #24 of 34 Old 02-11-2011, 05:04 AM
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Hi John,
I am having some issues where the program is constantly reporting that my squeezebox is off. All commands, meta data, work fine, it's more annoying since my song info does not show up now unless interfacing with keypad. Is there a way I can disable this power on/off notification. I'd also like to turn off the auto-off function when all keypads are powered down. This would be helpful since I have the digital out of my SB going to my surround sound and do not use a keypad to interface (use ipeng).

I also have encountered some slowdown on my HTPC after running this program for days or weeks at a time. I wonder if there is a memory leak or maybe it's time for me to add some memory!

Thanks,
David

FYI to sonos users with android handsets, a really nice app just came out yesterday for them. Making IOS users like myself jealous, it only took a couple years
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post #25 of 34 Old 02-13-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Sampson,

Is it the "SB: Not Connected" message you're seeing on the displays? If so, this message is displayed when the program sends a CLI "display ? ?" message to the server but doesn't receive a reply. There's no way to turn this off. I've seen this sometimes when the server is too busy to respond. You might try increasing the pActiveHeartbeat setting in the .ini file to not send the display queries quite so frequently; perhaps that will give the server more time to respond.

You can prevent the program from turning off the Squeezebox players when not in use by setting the pPowerOffSqueezeBox setting in the .ini file to false.

There could very well be memory leaks, I'd suggest just restarting the program periodically.

Regards... John
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post #26 of 34 Old 02-23-2011, 11:47 AM
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SomeOneWho,

drop.io was sold off and taken down, are you planning to host sqzruss somewhere else? I'd really like to try it.
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post #27 of 34 Old 02-23-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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post #28 of 34 Old 08-15-2011, 10:32 PM
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Hi - Realize the thread is old but this is exactly what I was looking for. I can get my hands on a squeezebox receiver and would be willing to give it try if someone can confirm that metadata feedback shows up on the C-series keypads.

Given the lack of sources for the Rnet systems (except Ipod dock and their new media server) you would this this by far would think demand for a squeezebox interface would be high.
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post #29 of 34 Old 08-16-2011, 05:33 AM
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Russound has a new internet source Rnet compatible unit coming out this or next month. I don't remember the name but the unit will be about $1500 I believe. If you are an ios user I think the way to go is sonos but that is just my opinion.

Thanks!

Neil
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post #30 of 34 Old 08-16-2011, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genedoc View Post

Hi - Realize the thread is old but this is exactly what I was looking for. I can get my hands on a squeezebox receiver and would be willing to give it try if someone can confirm that metadata feedback shows up on the C-series keypads.

Given the lack of sources for the Rnet systems (except Ipod dock and their new media server) you would this this by far would think demand for a squeezebox interface would be high.

Looking at adding Squeezebox support to Myro:Bridge. However, Sonos seems to be the clear leader in features and implementation of new streaming services. Plus, the price of the ZP90 is pretty good when you consider the free iOS/android app (which is good enough for them to sell alone).


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