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the "lean back" (or walk around) music listening experience at home
Posted by: deckeda
Date: January 25, 2018 10:21PM
Unboxed my old Squeezebox Touch this week.

I have the server software running on a low-end NAS that does double duty holding my iTunes library. I maintain that in order to easily transfer songs to iPhone, but it remains a darn good music database application IMO.

Logitech Music Server (LMS), since Logitech long ago abandoned it, is maintained by a staffer doing it on his own. Viva la open source! I make a change or addition to iTunes, LMS runs a scan to see the changes, and it's good.

LMS or a clone of it can be run on almost any platform, which makes all those old Squeezebox players usable.

I control song selection using iPeng on iPhone or iPad, or from a web browser using the normal LMS interface. And of course the Touch has controls, too. I have no intention of opening up the NAS to make the music library accessible outside the home, but it's possible.

I tried this setup years ago, but with LMS running on a Mac mini 1.83GHz C2D and iPeng on an iPhone 4. All of that was slower, despite the faster server machine back then (my NAS has only an 800MHz Marvell with 256 RAM).

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I turn off most services on both the NAS and from within LMS to run it lean. The Touch uses a plugin called "EDO," which permits it to natively deliver files up to 24/192 and output them via coax OR USB ... USB DACs are very popular. Can't recall if it'll output 192 files through the TOSLink. The other day I was talking here about the trials of setting up the Touch for Ethernet ... in most cases (anytime not playing 24/192 files) WiFi works fine.

Two treats I'm auditioning are a Bandcamp plugin, and one for Radio Paradise. Over the years I've found several interesting things to buy from Bandcamp, and if you're not familiar with them, offer full album previews and lossless files (for sale, not for streaming). RP is rock/soft rock mostly, been around for years, no ads, and the stream through the Touch is lossless! Works great. (Also lossless via iPhone/Android). Donations, not subscriptions.

So the Touch is the endpoint/player/renderer.

My "DAC" in this case is the one in my Marantz receiver. Turning off all the EQ and video circuitry helps the sound. One button does all that. Output from the Touch is fixed at 100% because digital volume control hurts sound ... and, I always have the receiver's volume control.

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Anyway, it sounds good, is easy to use and (so far) is totally non-flaky to use.
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Re: the "lean back" (or walk around) music listening experience at home
Posted by: Bixby
Date: January 26, 2018 06:45AM
I've got five squeezebox products (1 classic, 1 touch, 1 radio and 2 booms) still running in my house. Runs off an old Vostro 200 running Win10 sitting in my basement. Still (in my opinion) a superior product for my needs compared to Sonos or any of the other similar products. When/if the hardware fails, I will likely build a Raspberry Pi-based replacement. Even set up Alexa-based control via IFTT, but there are security issues with that so I turned it off for the moment.
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Re: the "lean back" (or walk around) music listening experience at home
Posted by: deckeda
Date: January 26, 2018 10:40AM
Yeah there are so many pieces to the Squeezebox and Sonos worlds that made them unique. The initial vision, to turn both Internet audio and home audio into regular stereo components was the first hurdle.

Slim's, and then Logitech's decisions to open source meant it could not just live on, but improve. Without a viable remote like iPeng, most of that would not be worthwhile for me, because going to a computer for control is a kludge, as is using the interfaces of the Squeezeboxen hardware.

I still remember the early versions of hardware control offered by Sonos (and Logitech's Duet). Album artwork, and control, in a dedicated handheld? Wow. Those early Sonos remote controls were pretty neat.

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