the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: slimserver

piCorePlayer

Screenshot from 2014-03-23 18:59:18

piCorePlayer

Another Raspberry Pi distro today, this one is piCorePlayer, a “dedicated Squeezebox player .. for your Raspberry pi board.. that runs a Microcore and Squeezelite.” Small it is, I used an ancient Palm 64MB SD card to write the image on, and it runs in RAM so no need to worry about the image ever getting corrupt; you can simply unplug the RPi to stop it. Everything worked effortlessly, I even got the USB wireless going, along with the USB DAC from Xitel. The RPi shows up in Logitech Media Server just as any other Squeezebox player. The benefit here is that I don’t have another interface to get used to; I am already using ol’ Slimserver. piCorePlayer supports a lot of outputs from the RPi, including analog audio, hdmi, usb audio (though the tweak for fixing crackles didn’t really work for me), and the I2S interface, which means I’ll be able to try it when I receive my HifiBerry!

update: upgraded to piCoreplayer 1.14d crackles still remain via usb output.

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squeezeslave and the raspberry pi

Ever want to listen to your digital music collection at home while you were at work? Specifically, the idea here is to connect to my Logitech Media Server (aka Slimserver or Squeezebox Server, and LMS for short) that's at home, with my Raspberry Pi (RPi for short) at work. (I'm going to assume that you know the drill about opening ports on computers and routers, your work's tech security policies, and all that jazz). Technically, it's relatively simple – make an ssh connection to the LMS, forward a few ports to the RPi, and then launch the player! Of course, this could all be done using just about any media player on just about any computer, and a web interface – that's the beauty of the LMS. But this is about the RPi, and I'd like to keep this as basic as possible – without even using a gui for playlists.

Squeezeslave is a great little program that emulates a Squeezebox player, providing both a SLIMP3 type interface and the capability to stream music. It's truly turns the RPi into a virtual machine. The program is an already compiled binary for ARM6 (the chip that the Rasberry Pi uses), which saves a lot of work. But be sure to get the "hard float" version for Raspbian Wheezy.

Installation is simple, this taken from Paul Webster's more than informative blog:

wget http://squeezeslave.googlecode.com/files/squeezeslave-1.2-367-armhf-lnx31.tar.gz
tar -xvf squeezeslave-1.2-367-armhf-lnx31.tar.gz
mv squeezeslave-1.2-367 squeezeslave

Before we run Squeezeslave, we have to connect to the LMS server at home. This is done via ssh and port-forwarding. I've configured my home router (and LMS computer) to accept connections on ports 22, 3483, and 9000, the latter two which Squeezeslave uses to connect to the LMS. I've also setup keys (using ssh-keygen) between the LMS and RPi so that a password isn't required to login. Finally, I also know the LMS's WAN and LAN addresses (using DynDNS for the former).

First, we connect to the LMS using the ssh command. The -L switch can be repeated, which is great because we need both ports 3483 and 9000 forwarded for Squeezeslave to work. The -N switch prevents remote commands, since we are just using ssh for port forwarding. Finally, by ending with &, we stay in the local terminal, and can immediately issue our next command. Note that all addresses are for your LMS computer.

ssh -L <3483>:<lan address>:<3483> -L <9000>:<lan address>:<9000> -N <username>@<wan address> &

Running Squeezeslave is simple: all we do is enter the IP of the localhost for the LMS, and give it the -D switch to open its display.

./squeezeslave 127.0.0.1 -D -R

What a cool interface!

Here are the key options for the display:

Now, if I point a browser to my home computer and bring up the LMS web interface, I'll find a player called "Squeezeslave". One performance note, I did need to edit Server Settings in LMS for the Squeezeslave to change Bitrate Limiting to something from "unlimited" to get smooth playback over the internet. That said, sound was excellent, making the Raspberry Pi one inexpensive SqueezeBox player!

Extending this little exercise, both commands could be scripted to run automatically at boot, making this a completely auto-on operation. And because of Squeezeslave's simple interface, I'm sure the RPi could be hooked up to a cool little LCD display instead of a monitor, add a remote…

Isn't computing fun?!

On the web:
Squeezeslave
Sourceforge
Installing Squeezeslave

logitech’s squeezebox, rip

Logitech leaves Squeezebox fans wondering what's next

Sad news indeed, but Logitech has put the death squeeze on the entire Squeezebox line. Good news is that the software (Logitech Media Server formerly SlimServer, SqueezeCenter and Squeezebox Server) will live on in some form or another (as it is licensed under the GNU General Public License), but bad news is they own the patents? for the devices and their firmware. Will someone come along and buy the line? Will the old SlimDevices team buy it back? Will someone integrate SqueezeBox functionality into, say a universal player like Oppo, or setup box like Roku? We can only hope…

Editorial: I am reminded of all the pro-Logitech zealots at this time, and all I can say is I told you so. No armchair quarterbacking either, theirs was nothing but vitriol and contempt to my protestations towards the big giant. The big corporate purchase may have been good for SlimDevices, but what analyst wouldn't have figured that this was a niche device?

In the meantime, off to eBay to find an old v3?

Here are a few Squeezebox alternatives:
For Android SqueezePlayer
Java player SoftSqueeze
Software player Squeezeslave
Slimserver Community Page

raspberry pi and the squeezebox server

Here's something that's really easy to setup – streaming music from your Slimserver/Squeezebox Server/Logitech Media Server to your Raspberry Pi. Not a lot of assumptions here; my Squeezebox Server is at home, and I'm at work; I've opened the necessary ports at on my home computer and router (22 tcp, 9000 tcp, 3483 tcp/udp), and I know it's WAN and LAN addresses. I'm also going to assume that you know the drill about opening ports on computers, your work's security policies and all that jazz.

Please note that all this can be done using your remote computer's host name; just open a stream to yourhomecomputer.com:9000/stream.mp3 in just about any media player, play it, then open a browser to yourhomecomputer.com:9000, select the remote player, queue up some music and press play! All this assumes that your Squeezebox Server is set to use port 9000.

But for security's sake, I'm going to use ssh port forwarding to send all the traffic through a tunnel. This not only secures the stream by using ssh, but allows you to load the stream and view the web interface using the localhost interface on your RPi.

Okay, first setup a port forward from your Squeezebox Server at home on your RPi using the terminal. Note that all addresses are for your Squeezebox Server computer.

ssh -L <local port>:<lan address>:<lan port> <username>@<wan address>

Next, just add the music stream to mpc and play it:

mpc add http://localhost:9000/stream.mp3
mpc play

Now, point your browser to http://localhost:9000 (or whatever local port you are forwarding to), select the appropriate player (mpd on your RPi), queue up some music, and viola, you can enjoy all the music from your Slimserver/Squeezebox Server/Logitech Media Server wherever your Raspberry Pi is connected!

the future of squeeze


Ever since Logitech purchased Slimdevices, the inventors of the Squeezebox streaming music device and Slimserver software, things have slide in a very predictable pattern: downhill. There's been some new products, but contrary to marketing hype and the fanboys that infest the Squeezebox forums, none have surpassed the performance of the original Squeezebox "Classic". The original founders of the company have finally left, management has now changed a few times, and as of this writing Logitech's latest incarnation of the Squeeze, the Squeezebox Touch, is still unavailable for sale – some six months after its initial announcement!

What holds the future for Slim/Squeeze? Only time will tell, but I've not a good feeling good about this.

On the web:
Squeezebox Software