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 Post subject: SlimServer - Will Smith
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:06 pm 
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Will, I posted on 10/1 about this, but am still having problems with SlimServer. You said you'd not had probs with the app. OK, well I've been struggling with it for over 3 weeks now...so HOW did you manage to have no problems?
The MaxPC article DID say "It's so easy, anyone can do it!"

I have got the program up & running smoothly here, on my home PC, the "virtual server". However, the whole purpose of the thing is to stream to someone else/to enable my friends & relatives in other locations to stream my music. That's where the problem lies. Your Streamees have had no prob hearing your music when you tell them "Just put this URL in your Media Player or WinAmp, and this URL in your Browser" - Right?

In fact I have had 3 people get my stream (& HEAR it), but for the average person it's proven FAR too complicated. And those few people who hung in there to get my stream reported that some songs played at the wrong speed, either extremely fast or slow. In your tests did people listen to several songs so that they might have noticed that streaming error? Did they use "Players" like Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes?

SlimServer is supposed to stream to those common Players, and is NOT supposed to require the use of Squeezebox, SoftSqueeze or installing Java. Right?

Will, sorry to bother you with this, but I have gotten no-where with the Slimdevices Forum, even with 2 of the "officials" or developers there. Help.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:37 pm 
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All you have to do to make it work is point your MP3 player at your IP address:appropriate port. Of course, this assumes that your router is configured properly to pass incoming traffic on that port on to your PC...

I don't remember what port the streaming uses right now, but it's in the docs. I think it's 9000, but I could be wrong. So basically, you type the URL like this:

http:192.168.0.1:9000/stream.mp3

Of course, you swap your IP address for 192.168.0.1

Unless you have a particularly fat Internet connectioon, you're probably not going to be able to stream to more than one or two other people, especially if you have high bit-rate MP3s. The other potential problem is that you have the Slimserver configured to automatically transcode your music to lower bitrates, which your CPU can't cope with.

Let me know if this helps...

///Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:25 pm 
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Location: San Diego
Thanks, Will.
Well, I think I have the first part of that wired. I, The Streamer (with SlimServer) simply open SlimServer. The Streamees, people outside my home wishing to "tune in" to my stream, enter http //68.8.39.79:9000/stream.mp3, into their Player, but then they must also enter http //68.8.39.79:9000 into their Browser. Each Streamee (are they called "Clients"?) controls his own playback & playlist strictly from his browser; their Players are just to sit there, untouched, & play.
That's the routine, as far as I know it.
The remaining problems are: occasional wrong-speed playback of some streamed songs, and the extreme difficulties people have trying to get & HEAR my stream (after I harass them into trying :). Normal, average PC users usually give up after a couple hours of trying for my sake.

Fortunately I do have a good cable connection (5-600kbps DLs, uploads of course slower). My hardware is also pretty good: dual P4 Xeon, 2GB RDRAM-ecc, fairly fast HDDs. I HAVE been wondering how many can stream from me at once. So far, the most has been 2 or 3, & while I was deliberately heavily multitasking...I couldn't detect the slightest strain.
That last point you mentioned may be a key to the wrong-speed problem. Streamees/Clients all can adjust the max bitrate they want from 64-320kbps CBR. If I stream to myself I can do the same thing with my browser-player...BUT how do I make any such adjustment in SlimServer itself if that's what I need to do?? I'll start huntin'; please let me know what you know about that, and thanks much!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:33 am 
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If your cable connection is 600kbits per second max, and your upload is slower, you're probably only going to be able to connect one or two people.

Look at it this way: If you upload 1 mp3 that's encoded at 192kbits/sec, that's going to eat 192kb/s of your bandwidth + some for overhead.

I would guess that the MP3s that sound too fast or too slow are broken somehow. I've never had that problem, but I also ripped all of my MP3s myself with EAC.

There's a text file someplace that you can use to configure how it handles different formats. I don't remember the details, but it was very well documented on the slimdevices site.

On an unrelated topic, I've spent a fair amount of time working on different stuff for the slimserver, and I've not had any problem with the developers. Generally, the only time they get upset is when people come in and ask for help with stuff that's well documented.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:57 am 
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Location: San Diego
T'anks again Will for the info. Your math on the # of successful streamees makes sense to me. Not "good" news, but I hadn't envisioned having a large # anyway. In the Slim interface, at ServerSettings> Network I see the default "TCP Connections to Accept" is 30. Optimistic default.
I'm pretty sure my MP3s, WAVs & AIFFS aren't broken or corrupted; they are, however, in a large variety of different qualities (stereo, mono, 22kHz, 44kHz, 32-475kbps, VBR & CBR, etc.). They all play perfectly in any player, but some of them won't stream at the right speed, and I find no discernible pattern to the errors (the "bad" ones aren't ALL VBR, or ALL mono, etc.).
Yes, yes, if the Player used to listen to the stream is SoftSqueeze (or probably Squeezebox, too) then the speed problem vanishes. But you can't tell Aunt Zelda that she has to DL SoftSqueeze, which requires a DL of Java just so she can listen to your stream; she's supposed to be able to hear it with her Media Player or WinAmp.
And yes, the stream-speed-playback problem could be obviated if I took all the songs in my Library & made them all the same, say 128kb, 44kHz, Stereo, CBR. But Will! That would be one hell of a lot of time & effort, when there's nothing in the documentation that says such is necessary.
RE Formats: I simply dropped LAME into Slim & that makes nearly all formats usable to Slim (MP3, WAV, AIFF, OGG, WMA, etc.). No prob.
Last, no I haven't had a problem with Slim's developers, & no I don't think I've gotten them upset. I think their prog is fab & has great potential, but I haven't found it easily, fully usable for a non-expert (okay, a dummy) like myself. They don't seem to understand my questions & I have trouble with their answers. Of course I've pored over their documentation; the whole reason I've written you, Slim & even the Audacity audio Forums is to try to understand.
I don't think SlimServer is as easy as your article said.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:05 pm 
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First, you're not going to be able to stream uncompressed audio (wavs and aiffs) over most broadband connections. My guess would be that all of your problems occur when one of the uncompressed files hits.

Second, the file you're looking for is convert.conf. It controls how media is handled in different circumstances. This will let you use LAME to transcode your uncompressed and high-bitrate music to a lower bitrate format for easier streaming. Of course, this will eat some of your CPU. I think there was documentation for that file inside the file, but if not, you should be able to find it by searching google for "convert.conf" slimserver

For the record, I never said that this app was easy to use, just that it was cool. Josh was the one that said it was easy to use, since it was his article.

///Will


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