Anythign comparable to a squeezebox? - AVS Forum
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted this in the audio transports section and got nothing, so maybe this board is better suited for it.

I was just wondering if there is anything comparable to a squeezebox for less money? It actually doesn't seem too bad for the specs, but I don't really know what else is out there.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:40 AM
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Look at the Roku product line ... Been using them for quite a while and been more than happy with them.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:31 PM
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A little more money but much cooler and easier to setup and keep up - Sonos.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:25 AM
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But Sonos defies what the person is looking for to start with, a cheaper alternative to a Squeezebox ...

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Old 11-09-2007, 08:14 AM
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I thought he should at least know about it before making his buying decision.

He may not be poor. It may be that he just doesn't see the value for dollar in what the Squeezebox gives.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:02 AM
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Hell, why not go with this ... http://www.kaleidescape.com/
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drocpsu View Post

I don't really know what else is out there.

You should take a look at the twonky page here:

http://www.twonkyvision.de/Products/...a/devices.html

This should give you an idea of what's available and then you can start your searching. I picked-up a couple of SMC's EZ-Stream SMCWAA-G players for $35 not too long ago. Then you find the original free twonkyvision server and you're in business.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:56 AM
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Sonos is a wonderful product worth every penny... in my opinion the best Whole-Home Audio solution on the market.

Having said that ... Look at the Apple Airport Express. It's $99 (cheaper on Ebay) and will wirelessly stream your music from iTunes on your Mac or PC to your stereo system. Simple and easy to use. Limiting in the fact that you need to use iTunes (there are some hacks to use other applications but iTunes definitely works best) and need to be at your PC/notebook in order to control what's playing but it works as advertised. I used it before implementing Sonos and was happy with the results.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:24 PM
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Good call laserfan,
The Twonky device page is a good start to find a good range of media players that have 'decent' UPnP functionality.

I have nothing against Sonos, IT IS a good product (a tad too expensive for my taste), it's like the Apple of audio media players. But what it does can be done with other media players with the help of community provided software. The bells and whittle can be had, they just sound a bit differently
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:52 PM
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If you have a few hundred CDs or more with a few thousand songs or more, no UPNP player will give you the speed or flexibility of selection or usability you should be able to expect in the 21st century.

I've heard good things about the Airport but haven't tried it. I try to avoid solutions that invite me to use DRM or visit an on line store. At least it doesn't force you to stream files with DRM.

I mentioned Sonos because I didn't want to say what I probably should have said from the start. I'm a happy SqueezeBox owner. So are two of my friends. Each of us has a technical background. Each of us has recommended SBs to non-technical friends who have been unhappy dealing the network issues. Anybody can keep a Sonos network running.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilo Hairy View Post

If you have a few hundred CDs or more with a few thousand songs or more, no UPNP player will give you the speed or flexibility of selection or usability you should be able to expect in the 21st century.

I don't know on what basis you say that ... It's all dependent on the hardware you use to stream and the one your using for the server. A NAS will never be as fast as a PC or dedicated server. As for browsing, there is plenty control point software for pocketpc, browsers, mobile phones and so on. It's the same for the Squeezebox, except that it's less spread around and easier to find since the core is proprietary.

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Old 11-09-2007, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilo Hairy View Post

I mentioned Sonos...

The OP said "anything comparable to a squeezebox for less money". Does the Sonos cost less than a Squeezebox?
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansp00 View Post

I don't know on what basis you say that ... It's all dependent on the hardware you use to stream and the one your using for the server. A NAS will never be as fast as a PC or dedicated server. As for browsing, there is plenty control point software for pocketpc, browsers, mobile phones and so on. It's the same for the Squeezebox, except that it's less spread around and easier to find since the core is proprietary.

Patrick S.


I've tried a number of UPNP server programs including Twonky streaming from a pretty fast dedicated XP machine as of about a year and a half ago with a couple gigs of ram into a few Sigma based clients that are still on the Twonky recommended client page. It always felt like too much work.

Patrick, if you've assembled a UPNP system where you can find and play music this way easily, where your wife isn't afraid to use it, where it doesn't feel like you're still at work, please sketch out what hardware and software you use. I would sincerely like to not be married to one company even if that company's software is open source.

Regarding price; Too many times I've regreted a purchase either because I bought a few months too early or because I cheaped out and should have spent a little more. When I've felt guilty about spending more than I thought I should, I never felt bad about it later unless the product didn't live up to expectation.

If everybody here works at Walmart or Mc Donalds and is stretched so tight they can't possibly spend a few more bucks if they find something that really meets their needs, then hey, I'll slink back over to the "over $20K" ghetto and appologize for pointing at an option drocpsu may not have known about.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:38 AM
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Well, my wife may not be able to set it up or understand the complexity of the setup itself, but is able to enjoy the results (ie listening to music) ...
My setup is quite simple (not the fastest out there, but it works !)
NSLU2 with HDD
Firefly DAAP server & Twonky (this is more for the video part)
Roku's all around the house
Since Roku's has a complete UPnP implementation, you can control them (no the server) remotely from either PC (like Cidero or many others), remote, pocketpc.
The Roku's are dirt cheap, so is the NSLU2 and all software aside Twonky (which I can live without if only music) is open source and free.
I run a 12500 song collection and browse time are way acceptable.
Mostly, I am not the only one to have this kind of setup, which I know is not perfect, but does the job for me and my wife.

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Old 11-10-2007, 12:42 PM
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Hadn't been aware of Firefly. Wow, Roku's sure come down in price. Used, on Ebay, they're essentially free!

I had lost personal interest in Roku when they dropped Flac support but I see Firefly will transcode it (I assume to Wav?). Would be nice if you could push (control) from the server but looks like it gives enough other options. OK, you've given me a fun rainy weekend project. Thank you.

Unless the setup goes smoother then I think it will, I would hesitate though to recommend it friends unless they did their own computer maintenance. I've seen hardware savings go away real quick when someone needs to call in their IT guy at $85/hr. to untangle the mess they made of their network.
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:03 PM
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I've used both the Roku Soundbridge and now, the Sonos ZP-80. I have also used the ZP-80 wirelessly at my father-in-law's house.

I use a NAS to store all my FLAC files (Infrant). My wife is happy to use the Sonos remote...she was impressed with the Sonos system (running wired 10/100 Mb cat5e).

I found SlimServer easy to use on my laptop but the Sonos handheld controller is much easier to use than the Roku remote. Roku is a "budget" choice, for IT people it will work very well. The RadioRoku implementation is pretty good, too.

The Roku never supported FLAC format, the firefly media server (nee MT-DAAP) will transcode to WAV format. SlimServer will also transcode flac to WAV. This was just a minor annoyance because my wired network has no trouble keeping up with the WAV streaming, but once I choice FLAC i would prefer my media streaming vendor to support the codec natively with no transcoding.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:07 PM
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I have two Rockford OmniFi's streaming from TVersity on XP. I got them cheap from eBay and they work perfectly. I like the built-in display, plus the video out for an extended display (with artwork). The only disadvantage of them (to me) is that they only support 802.11b wireless with WEP, but I got around that using extra WRT-54G routers running DD-WRT as bridges.

With an easy firmware mod the OmniFi's also play MP3s from a FAT32 drive full of MP3s plugged into one of the USB ports!
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilo Hairy View Post

...if you've assembled a UPNP system where you can find and play music this way easily, where your wife isn't afraid to use it, where it doesn't feel like you're still at work, please sketch out what hardware and software you use.

The SMC EZ-Stream I mentioned earlier works with Twonky's original freeware uPnP Music Server v2.9.1, running on a 450MHz P3 24/7, and my wife loves it. Total cost $35 shipped.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:32 PM
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for the money, the soundbridge products do the trick for me. I usually listen to Internet radio. There are periodic problems with ITunes but Roku support is pretty good about posting upgrades.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:01 PM
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Have a look at Freecom MusicPal. At about $150, doesn't seem too bad.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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If you have a networked PC and $10 to spend you could always give AIVMS a try.
It provides secure on-demand streaming of audio files like mp3's and flac's to any other computer on your home network or the Internet. It does the same for mobile devices like Pocket PC's and Smart Phones.

Here is a kind of low res screen shot of what the client looks like on a networked PC attached to the serving PC running AIVMS:

[IMG]http://home.comcast.net/**********/images/request.jpg[/IMG]

Not a real fancy interface, but its pretty dam fast.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:06 PM
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Yes I am deaf, but I just had a recollection of my great uncle Theodore playing the squeezebox in Greenwich Conn when I was just 2 years old and my uncle passed away sometime that year when we were overseas in Ireland with the American consulate in Dublin Unfortunately I dont know what happened to the squeezebox (Blake, Trimble anf Murray Conn NH Maine)
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