The future for a current Squeezebox user


I've been contemplating this question for the past year and a half or so since Logitech has essentially discontinued its Squeezebox line (at least, the Squeezeboxes as I once knew them).

I've been using Squeezeboxes since the pre-Logitech Slim Devices era, about the past decade or so. I have a sophisticated home system using them. I have the Logitech Media Server running on a Linux box running an enterprise-grade Linux distribution, and this houses nearly a terabyte of FLAC files. I have a Transporter connected to my big rig. Four rooms are connected to a Squeezebox Classic, and the guest bedroom and garage have a Squeezebox Radio. All are connected via wired ethernet. And I control them through either a web browser (served by the LMS on the Linux machine) or the Squeezepad iPad application. It's a slick system and works great.

The question is, where do I go from here? I don't feel the need to move on to anything else in the immediate future, but I'm concerned that this may eventually leave me stuck with a dead product line. What other options are presently being developed that might provide a migration strategy? I want to continue using the Linux machine as the music repository, and continue using FLAC as my primary music file format.

Thanks in advance,

Michael
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I'm not sure there is a problem. Your system works now and is self-contained within your intranet. It should work just like it does now until something wears out. The fact that Logitech isn't supporting it anymore just means you won't get possible improvements or new features added. The only thing I can see going away is Logitech's 'my squeezebox' web site and if you strictly use the LMS on your local machine that wouldn't affect you.
I agree that there is no hurry to change. But I will continue to lose functionality in the Internet radio arena, as new things like Beats audio are unsupported and the company has said they are not working on a Squeezebox interface. It's viewed as a dead market from their concern.

I likely still have several years left before making a move, and who knows what will change in that time period, but I'm trying to gauge what options might be reasonable now.

Michael
I think your post is somewhat pointless.. and I don't mean that in a mean way :-)
Things are happening at such a rate of progress that whatever recommendations I would make today will most likely be useless in 2-3 years or whenever you decide to change things around.. and I hate to say this but your Squeezebox products are effectively dead, since Logitech no longer makes them or really supports them much either :-(

But if it was today that you were going to change things then there's a few items to consider:

Bluesound.. It's a new player and it's about where Sonos was 10 years ago.. a few teething pains but it looks very nice and the reviews have been excellent.

Sonos, is great, best interface but no support for HiRes, and there probably never will be..

Sonore, the Sonic Orbiter or Rendu, would be a replacement for the transporter. And best thing is they run off LMS so it wouldn't need much reconfiguring

Auralic, has the new ARIES units coming out in May.. these promise to be amazing..

Sim Audio has the Mind.. lot's of good feedback on that.

Linn.. but they don't have any simple units for multi- room applications

Lumin.. but same as Linn..
Erik,

Thanks for the response. Yes, you're right, things do change quickly and therefore I will need to continually reassess the market to see what might be best for eventually replacing my Squeeezebox-based system.

The Bluesound sounds really interesting. It's something to watch, anyway. And I'll have to look into the Auralic, as well, since you say that it can use the LMS.

Michael
There are alternatives. Having had Logitec replace my SBT once already, I feel like I am living on borrowed time. But there is the Pogo player/streamers, that you control with a laptop, tablet or smart phone that has music player software (like JRiver) installed on it. But for now, like you, I am keeping my fingers crossed that my SBT outlives me.
headsup: LMS runs on Mac Yosemite, but you need to get the latest "beta" version 7.9 at downloads.slimdevices.com

My two Logitech Touches sound great (one using internal DAC, one external) and are easy use for internal home purposes, driving a local iTunes database. I love that they can synchronize.

Bluesound is looking VERY interesting but no rush as long as the SB Touches hold up.
I sold my Touch and bought the Bryston BDP-2 player.
Here is another option, but I don't have it available yet because it is under development:

DLNA wired Ethernet renderer with AES, S/PDIF Coax and I2S outputs. This will allow you to stream hi-res up to 24/192 using wired Ethernet and will deliver low-jitter digital to the DAC of your choice.

Availability estimated at Q1 2015.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Audioengr--Good to know you're building an Ethernet renderer. I was planning to buy a renderer now, but I'll wait until yours is available and give it a shot.
Steve,

NEtwork streamers targeting audiophiles would seem to be ripe turf for some good new products these days. Its something that would get my attention.

What media servers will that be tested with and why no wireless network connection?

Thanks.
Mapman - I will test it with different Mac and PC computers and portable devices. The computer used should have no effect on SQ.

Wireless limits to 44.1. You can always add an Apple or other device and cable to make it wireless.

Steve N.
I believe internet radio sampling rate is limited to 44.1, but...
My Jriver Id Ethernet DLNA renderer ($295) can also operate wirelessly with PCM sample rates greater than 44.1 (i.e 96,192). This is confirmed when my DAC connected via usb to the Id shows the higher sampling rates.
I do plan on replacing the Id in the future it with a device with non-switching power supply and without a fan and not limited to USB output only.
As a follow-up to resurrect my thread from several years ago, I just recently built a Roon endpoint using an Intel NUC8i3BEK kit, added 8GB of memory and a small M.2 SSD to it, and installed Roon's ROCK system.

Very straightforward for around $300 total, and I'm getting high-resolution (up to 192K) transfer from Roon to my HT receiver via HDMI.  I can also now use multi-channel audio for the first time.

Roon works OK with my Squeezeboxes, as well, but it's forced to downsample some of the high-resolution audio files.  Not with the new unit that I built.

So at the moment the combination of Roon (hosted on my Linux server where Logitech Media Server used to be) and a home-built Roon endpoint using an Intel NUC purchased off Amazon is my current solution to streaming audio.

Michael
@audioengr -- I run LMS on my server and have several Raspberry Pi based players configured as Squeezeboxes. All of them connect wirelessly to the server and have no problem playing 192K/24 music, whether from Qobuz or my local collection.  

Also, LMS is continuing to be updated regularly. I'm running an October 2, 2020 release of version 8 and have a notice that a more recent version is now available. LMS continues to a very good, very flexible music server with tons of features.  Even though Logitech no longer sells the hardware players, there are many current alternatives available that work perfectly with LMS.
I really don’t see the issue here. There are many 3rd party software/hardware that support LMS, just run a quick Google search.
Not sure if this was mentioned, but Roon fully supports squeezeboxes as endpoints :) I haven't touched LMS in 2 years and very happy about that. :)

Hello Michael, I do not have a solution for your question, but a question myself. May I ask for your expertise and guidance?  ow can I connect my music collection on a FLAC USB to my pre-amp listed here?  My sound system is an early 80s ‘stack’ system. 

None of the components are digital: Bryston 2B solid state amp, Conrad-Johnson PV-11 pre-amp, MIT 330 interconnects, MusicWave phase-equalized speaker cables, California Audio Labs CD Alpha and Delta drive, Dual 1129 turntable. B&W 803 speakers. 

I would appreciate your suggestions and guidance on the matter.Thank you. 

Mark Saracino



Hi Mark,
I've had the CAL Alpha/Delta combination (actually, I think I still have them in a box somewhere).  That's a classic transport/DAC combination that is still well-regarded.
What you'll need is a way of getting the data from the FLAC files to the Alpha DAC.  With a CD, your Delta transport sends PCM data from the transport to the DAC over one of a few different cable options (optical, coaxial, AES/EBU, etc).  Now you need a device that basically does the same thing as the Delta but rather than reading from CD's it reads from your computer's FLAC files.
So you'll effectively need two things:
1)  A repository for FLAC files.  This is usually a computer that you have some software running as essentially a media server.  You can use Logitech Media Server (LMS), as detailed on this thread, or other software such as Roon.  Either way, you point the software to the directory on your computer that contains all of your music files in FLAC format.
2)  An "endpoint", or "player" that can interact with the server, receive and decode the FLAC data and then send the digital music data to the DAC.  I don't think the Alpha has a USB port, as it's from the 1990's, so you'll need a device that can connect to a network like ethernet to communicate with the server, and also have a coaxial or Toslink data connection that can then go to the Alpha.  
Just to provide one example, you could get a Raspberry Pi-based unit like a DigiOne from allo.com.  (https://www.allo.com/sparky-eu/digione.html

Having a digital media repository has dramatically enhanced my ability to appreciate and find music in my collection, so be persistent and don't get discouraged if it doesn't work the first time.
Michael