Community Squeeze Logo

FAQ


FAQ (0.96-CM)

State of play in the Squeezebox replacement world 6/13?
  1. SqueezePlug
  2. SqueezeLite
  3. Community Squeeze
  4. VAMP
  5. Wandboard
  6. Raspberry Pi
  7. Vortexbox
  8. ickStream Music Platform
  9. Final Thoughts

General
  1. What is Community Squeeze?
  2. Who are the main contributors?
  3. What hardware will be produced?
  4. What software does it run?
  5. What do you need to get started with the Community Squeeze OS (CSOS) ahead of a finished product?
  6. Where can you buy a Wandboard?
  7. Can I use an external DAC with the Wandboard?
  8. Which external DAC's have been tested with the Wandboard?
  9. If you get a Wandboard now, can you re-use its CPU card for later releases?
  10. Will Wi-Fi be supported?
  11. How well will this player synchronise with existing Squeezeboxes?
  12. How easy is it to setup?

Hardware
  1. What does the Community Squeeze hardware consist of
  2. What's SWAMP0.5?
  3. What audio interfaces are going to be supported?
  4. What is the on board DAC on the custom audio carrier board?
  5. What's CSP1?
  6. How many CSP1's will be made?
  7. How can I be a beta tester for CSP1?
  8. What's after CSP1?
  9. Can you re-order the jacks on CSP1/2?
  10. Is there going to be a status LED on CSP1/2?
  11. Will there be balanced outputs on CSP1/2?
  12. Are there any hooks for experimenters on CSP1/2?
  13. Will there be a user interface on CSP1/2?
  14. How can you control CSP1/2 if it doesn't have a display?
  15. Is CSP1/CSP2 going to include IR receivers/blasters?
  16. Is it possible to have audio on SPDIF and analog at the same time?
  17. Will CSP1/2 come with trigger outputs?
  18. What is the PSU for CSP1/2?
  19. TOSLINK isn't working for me on the default Wandboard carrier board. What can be done?
  20. Why use a BNC connector for co-axial SPDIF output?
  21. How do you use a SPDIF cable terminated with RCA connectors with the BNC connector?

Software
  1. Do you need to be familiar with Linux to get this all to work?
  2. How do you update CSOS on the Wandboard when new software is released?
  3. Does the Wandboard have enough performance to reliably run LMS?
  4. Will the CSOS be embedded on the board in Gen2?
  5. Is there a bug list?
  6. Sample rate test files


State of play in the Squeezebox replacement world 6/13?

SqueezePlug

SqueezePlug for Raspberry Pi version 6 ready for download

SqueezePlug Media-Server 4.0 (final Release)

Software distribution for SheevaPlug based hardware which also works on the Raspberry Pi hardware. Initially designed to be a LMS server but these days SqueezeLite can be installed to make it a player also. Typically it requires a an external DAC to get audio quality close to a Squeezebox Touch.

Back to top

SqueezeLite

Announce: Squeezelite - a small headless squeezeplay emulator for linux (alsa only)

Announce: Local Player plugin and Squeezelite for Linux/Windows/OSX

Software player distributed as a plugin which makes it possible to use your computer and the soundcard in it as a player. Can be used on ARM based platforms such as Raspberry Pi, SheevaPlug or Wandboard or on Intel based platforms like your normal computer. Typically it requires a an external DAC to get audio quality close to a Squeezebox Touch, the exception is the Community Squeeze project which will have a really good built-in DAC.

Back to top

Community Squeeze

Announce: Community Squeeze

Community Squeeze OS R3

Consists of both software and hardware designed by community members with the intention to be able to be an alternative for Logitech based Squeezebox hardware. Currently only the software distribution is available but they are working hard on the hardware part. It uses the CPU card from the Wandboard as a base but will provide an add-on hardware card which provides what we need to get excellent audio quality out of it. It uses SqueezeLite as a player.

Back to top

VAMP

Logitech SqueezeBox replacement for under $30

Cheap DIY hardware project which base its player hardware on SqueezeLite with the intention to make a cheap replacement for a Touch for people with an external DAC.

Back to top

Wandboard

Wandboard - Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 Opensource Community Development Board - BLOG

The hardware which contains the CPU card which is the base for the Community Squeezebox project. Can be used as a player already today, but to get decent audio quality you need an external DAC.

Back to top

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

The hardware which is used in VAMP. Can be used as a player already today, but to get decent audio quality you need an external DAC. Can also be used together with the SheevaPlug distribution.

Back to top

Vortexbox

Vortexbox

Software and hardware platform, initially designed to be a media server hosting LMS, but these days it also bundles a player so you can use it both as a server and player. The software can be used either on a dedicated Vortexbox Appliance hardware or on your own computer.

Back to top

ickStream Music Platform

Pre-Announcement: ickStream Music Platform

ickStream music platform blog

Software project with the intention to create the next generation music streaming platform based on the experience from Squeezebox. It's currently in a closed beta phase and the intention is that any hardware vendor that wants to use it should be able license it to use it on their hardware platform. Will focus on providing a solution for people who are interested in having access both to local music and online music, will integrate with LMS and other music servers for local music and provide its own cloud server for integration with online streaming services.

Back to top

Final Thoughts

From a hardware perspective, my feeling is that the Community Squeeze is most promising for people who like excellent audio quality, especially if you want a device with an excellent built-in DAC. It will hopefully also be possible to combine with ickStream Music Platform so we also can get great support for online services. For people who want a cheaper solution than the current Touch and have an external DAC, it might be worth to look into VAMP or SqueezePlug based on a Raspberry Pi, just make sure the DAC is compatible with the Raspberry Pi, I know some asynchronous USB DAC's have issues on the Raspberry Pi. If you aren't in a hurry, I would wait and see how all these projects develops during the next 6 months.

Back to top


General

What is Community Squeeze?

It's a project to produce an audiophile quality Squeezebox compatible music player by various community members, running open source software.

Back to top

Who are the main contributors?

Several other members of the community have contributed language translations and documentation.

Back to top

What hardware will be produced?

A headless audiophile quality player consisting of a Wandboard Dual Lite CPU card attached to a custom audio carrier board designed by John Swenson.

Back to top

What software does it run?

A Linux software distribution, (based on Fedora ARM), featuring Squeezelite (software player) and JiveLite (software controller).

Logitech Media Server (LMS) 7.8 is installed, so the device can be configured as a server as well as a client.

This operating system is called Community Squeeze Operating System (CSOS). The current CSOS software image can be downloaded from the Community Squeeze web site.

Back to top

What do you need to get started with the Community Squeeze OS (CSOS) ahead of a finished product?

Required:

Optional:

NB. You will also require a USB hub if you wish to use more than one USB peripheral at a time. eg. to connect a FLIRC USB dongle and an external USB DAC.

Back to top

Where can you buy a Wandboard?

How to get a Wandboard

Back to top

Can I use an external DAC with the Wandboard?

Yes.

Back to top

Which external DAC's have been tested with the Wandboard?

USB DAC list:

Back to top

Will Wi-Fi be supported?

Yes, it will. The Wandboard Dual CPU module contains built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth via a Broadcom chipset.

Back to top

If you get a Wandboard now, can you re-use its CPU card for later releases?

Yes, the CPU module will be compatible with CSP1 and CSP2

Back to top

How well will this player synchronise with existing Squeezeboxes?

Well, hopefully. It is Squeezelite based on a Linux OS and the discussions on the Squeezelite thread regarding sync on the Linux forum are relevant. It is not as good as a Squeezebox Touch at present, but there's scope for tuning the OS further to improve this. Fundamentally it's doing very similar things to the Touch, and with tuning of the software we hope this can be improved.

Back to top

How easy is it to setup?

It's pretty easy. It will use the existing LMS server software and should behave like most Squeezeboxes. To configure wireless settings, such as entering a Wi-Fi password, you'll plug it into your wired network. It will use DHCP to configure itself on the network, and then it will have a built-in web interface for configuring Wi-Fi.

Back to top


Hardware

What does the Community Squeeze hardware consist of?

There are going to be (at least) 3 versions of the audio carrier card that brings out audio specific functionality: SWAMP0.5, CSP1 and CSP2

Back to top

What's SWAMP0.5?

SWAMP0.5 is the first prototype board to test the concept. It is not available to buy. It measures 4.3" x 3.6" and is populated with a DAC chip, TOSLINK, 2 USB jacks (one for host only and one for OTG), ethernet, and a serial port. SWAMP0.5 PCB layout

Back to top

What audio interfaces are going to be supported?

Back to top

What is the on board DAC used on the custom ausio carrier board (CSP1/2)?

TI PCM5142

Back to top

What's CSP1?

CSP1 will be a beta version of the hardware carrier card. The user will be required to provide a Wandboard module, unscrew 4 screws and install it on the carrier board.

The specification (subject to change) for CSP1 is:

Connections (starting from the right side, working left are):

Back to top

How many CSP1's will be made?

An estimated 25 units will be fabricated.

Back to top

How can I be a beta tester for CSP1?

There is no official beta group yet, no official "list". When CSP1 is getting closer to being available we will do that. So don't start trying to jockey for position in the list just yet, any such requests are going to be ignored at this point.

Back to top

What's after CSP1?

CSP2 will be the general release version. It is expected that there will be at least 2 distributors, one in Europe and the other in the USA. It is hoped that there will be the option of purchasing the bare DAC carrier board, or a ready to go, pre-built player, assembled, tested and comprising the DAC carrier board, Wandboard Dual CPU board, Hammond extruded aluminium chassis, front/rear panels, (glass fibre PCB material), a power supply, and a pre-imaged SD card.

Back to top

Can you re-order the jacks on CSP1/2?

John can't really re-arrange the order of the jacks; it's determined by the pin order on that giant connector. If he changed the order he would have high speed differential signals crossing each other, and he doesn't want to do that.

Back to top

Is there going to be a status LED on CSP1/2?

There will be nothing on the front panel, just a green power LED on the back (directly across the incoming power feed)

Back to top

Will there be balanced outputs on CSP1/2?

Yes, but the balanced outputs will take some software work to get running. Most likely this will not be ready when the CSP1 board is first released, so don't expect to hook up the balanced outputs at first. (Well you can hook them up, you will just get silence!)

Back to top

Are there any hooks for experimenters on CSP1/2?

Most likely there will be some headers on the board with an SPI and I2C and a couple of GPIO's for people who really want to experiment, but these will not be guaranteed to be exactly the same on subsequent boards. They will not have external connectors. Use at your own risk.

Back to top

Will there be a user interface on CSP1/2?

Whilst there isn't a built in display, Jivelite can be used to control the player using an external TV or monitor via the HDMI port.

Back to top

How can you control CSP1/2 if it doesn't have a display?

The traditional SB control options will all work (server web UI, external programs on smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, the Duet controller, a SB Touch, etc.) There will also be some form of HDMI output and IR input which can be used for control. There will be a built-in web server for configuration purposes.

Back to top

Is CSP1/CSP2 going to include IR receivers/blasters?

No, IR devices will be supported by third-party modules. eg. FLIRC.

Back to top

Is it possible to have audio on SPDIF and analog at the same time on CSP1/2?

All outputs can physically be on at the same time, whether they can in actuality is a matter of software. Currently Squeezelite doesn't support more than one output, but it can certainly be done using the ALSA duplication technique used in the Touch.

Back to top

Will CSP1/2 come with trigger outputs?

The CSP1 board will not have dedicated control outputs. They can easily be added using USB. By using USB you can get exactly what you want with drivers that already exist. There are literally hundreds of USB to control boxes out there at very inexpensive price points that can cover just about anything anybody may want.The complement of IO's on CSP2 has not been decided. John's personal preference is to not put dedicated connectors on the player for things that can easily be done with USB. This will keep down the connector count on the back panel

Back to top

What is the PSU for CSP1/2?

The power supply used for a Wandboard will be usable for CSP1/2. The Carrier card will also include a micro USB port as an (optional) power port. You can use either the barrel connector or the USB port for power (just not both at the same time). The barrel connector is 5.5mm x 2.1mm. Both 5.5mm x 2.1mm and 5.5mm x 2.5mm connectors can be used.

Back to top

TOSLINK isn't working for me on the default Wandboard carrier board. What can be done?

Slimdevices forum TOSLINK post by Terry.

Back to top

Why use a BNC connector for co-axial SPDIF output?

The SPDIF spec says the connections should be 75R, yet RCA connectors are in the 25R range, a huge mismatch. BNC connectors come in 75R which is correct for the spec. RCA to BNC adapters and cables are readily available so there is a 75R connector on the board so those that want to keep a true 75R match can do so. Unfortunately, BNC connectors also come in both 50R and 75R, so when buying a cable make sure it is using 75R BNC connectors.

Blue Jeans Cable sells reasonably priced 75R Belden digital audio cables, (by the foot), which can be ordered with various connectors fitted, including "true" 75R BNC connectors. (Note: Whilst we have read several positive owner reports, we do not have first hand experience with this supplier or their cables.)

Back to top

How do you use a SPDIF cable terminated with RCA connectors with the BNC connector?

You can buy BNC to RCA adapters.

As far as the impedance specification of these adapters is concerned, they will most likely be 50R BNC to RCA, but since the impedance of the RCA connector on your cable is likely to be much lower than 50R in any case.... The point being, that if you wish to follow the specification, you need to use a good quality 75R cable, fitted with 75R BNC male connectors, with 75R BNC female connectors being used on the receving/transmitting equipment.

Back to top


Software

Do you need to be familiar with Linux to get this all to work?

No, you just need to load the CSOS image to an SD card. If you are an early adopter and wish to help bug test CSOS then some knowledge is useful (but not obligitory)

Back to top

How do you update CSOS on the Wandboard when new software is released?

New or updated software releases are announced in the CSOS thread. At the present time, to apply these updates, you must do so from a shell command prompt after having logged into the Wandboard. The actual command for updating the software is included at the end of the software announcement post. To login to the Wandboard, use PuTTY or another SSH Client. Access is via the IP Address of the device, (which can be found by accessing your router and looking for attached devices), using user=fedora password=fedora. When you have the a shell prompt displayed, type the update command posted in the CSOS thread. Be careful to type the command correctly. Correct case, (upper/lower), and spaces are important on a Linux system!

Back to top

Does the Wandboard have enough performance to reliably run LMS?

Yes, it does.

To run LMS on the Wandboard, you will need to mount your music from either a USB drive, CIFS (Windows share) or NFS share. The Squeeze Server (LMS) system service needs to be enabled and started, using the Web-UI. (Once the service has been enabled, it will be started by default, every time the Wandboard is re-started. ie. after a subsequent reboot.)

Although the stated goal of the Community Squeeze project is primarily a hardware player, LMS running on the Wandboard works well, even with large music libraries.

Back to top

Will the CSOS be embedded on the board in Gen2?

No, it will still require that a OS software image is installed on a SD card.

Back to top

Is there a bug list?

Initial feedback is via the Community Squeeze OS R3 thread in the SlimDevices Linux forum. We can probably start using a github issues list, though some of the code (Squeezelite / Jivelite) is hosted on googlecode and already has issue management via that.

Back to top

Sample rate test files

SampleRateTest.tgz is a tar/gzip archive containing a flac file from the Bink Audio Test CD, (this is the right channel, this is the left channel, this is both channels), re-sampled at 32k, 44k1, 48k, 88k2, 96k, 176k4, 192k, 352k8, and 384k.

Back to top


Author

This FAQ was contributed by Chunkywizard.



GPLv3