squeezelite or mpdPup - which one?

I am looking try running either one of the above on an old netbook, looking for the highest quality sound out via the usb port of the netbook into my usb DAC.

mpdPup looks more purist in the sense that the whole thing runs from memory meaning that music files will also run from memory which helps from a SQ perspective and you can configure it to connect to a usb DAC.

However - Squeezelite looks promising in that I can still use the excellent iPeng remote control app which links to the LMS server I currently use for my Squeezebox Duet. What appeals to me about Squeezelite is effectively replacing the Duet with the netbook opening up the opportunity for usb connectivity to my async usb DAC (which obviously the Duet cannot do).

Am I thinking along the right lines here?

Previously I was considering using a Windows 8 laptop with i5 processor running JPlay 5.0a - however I cannot see JPlay sounding better than a much lighter footprint Linux OS like the two I have mentioned above. I am also fully aware that JPlay can now stream over the air.

Thanks for your help.
 
mpdPup looks more purist in the sense that the whole thing runs from memory meaning that music files will also run from memory which helps from a SQ perspective and you can configure it to connect to a usb DAC.

The point is not how it looks from the technical POW (highly debatable, btw), but how it sounds :) If your ears like the sound, that is what counts.


However - Squeezelite looks promising in that I can still use the excellent iPeng remote control app which links to the LMS server I currently use for my Squeezebox Duet. What appeals to me about Squeezelite is effectively replacing the Duet with the netbook opening up the opportunity for usb connectivity to my async usb DAC (which obviously the Duet cannot do).

IMO using the setup with joy is just as important as the sound. If you can tell the difference in use joy and can tell hardly any difference in sound, I think you have found a winner :)

And the technical POW. Yes puppy linux runs from RAM. However, once your player is loaded, the system will access the root partition very scarcely. Plus you can put your system on USB stick, SD card, SSD drive, etc. making root filesystem access a light operation too.

Both systems will access the audio files on your hard drive storage, not difference there. mpdpup will not copy everything to the ramdisk first, that would require too much of RAM.
 

Eudyptes

Member
2012-12-05 10:29 am
bitsandbobs,

What USB DAC will you be using?

If it were me I'd probably try both. The squeezelite route will allow you to make a direct comparison between your Squeezebox Duet and your netbook + USB DAC, keeping the audio software much the same. But what is squeezelite going to run on, as it's not a complete distro, just a piece of audio software?

As a further comparison I'd then use mpdPup (which is a whole system)whose main attraction if the wizards to help people configure MPD, which can otherwise be a bit fiddly for those not overly conversant with Linux. MPD is the audio server which you will connect to via a client, and you can use "mpad" for this which is the equivalent of ipeng.

https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/mpad/id423097706?mt=8

The only thing I'd say about mpdPUP is I believe it runs everything as "root", which does avoid some pitfalls of MPD configuration, but is not something which is generally recommended in Linux.

Another alternative is to install a ligthweigth Linux distro like Lubuntu and a basic music player like deadbeef. This is simpler to set up, and to configure for bit-perfect playback. It will still allow you to make a cf with say Windows+ foobar/jPlay etc. This could be done using a LiveCD, so you can check SQ without installing anything on your netbook.
 
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Eudyptes - sorry I'm late getting back to you - I really like the idea of running a lightweight distro such as Lubuntu! Can I, however, run BOTH Lubunto and Squeezelite together on a LiveCD (more likely in fact a bootable USB stick after converting the LiveCD using UNetbootin because my Atom netbook does not have a CD drive)?

Or, perhaps better still, run both mpdPup and Squeezelite together - after all - mpdPup is 100% focused on music playback and I am after the best SQ. But I hope the idea of running mpdPup and Squeezelite together does not contradict each other - its the optimised OS I am interested in - and I enjoy running my library from LMS (plus I use Spotify).

However - I may need a helping hand being Linux newbie on putting both the Linux OS and SL on the same bootable device. Yes it would allow me to make a great comparison between SL/optimised Linux and SL/Windows/JPlay (JPlay currently on evaluation until I make my choice).

The USB DAC I am using by they way is a Goldenote DAC-7, sounds excellent after listening and evaluating other more pricier DACs (and even comparing with the much hyped Bushmaster which, for the price by the way, is spectacular - but the latter is not a USB DAC as you may well know).
 

Eudyptes

Member
2012-12-05 10:29 am
Just to make sure I have this correct. Your notebook is to replace your squeezebox duet. It will be connected to your DAC via asynch USB playing audio files (stored where?). And you want to control playback from a mobile device using, if possible, iPeng.

Squeezelite is only a LMS client. (squeezelite - lightweight headless squeezebox emulator - Google Project Hosting)

So whatever Linux you run on your notebook, you need a Logitech Media Server to be running on your notebook first which you'd then connect to either by having something like squeezelite on the notebook too, or via ipeng on your mobile.

If you want to run MPD, which also uses a server/client model, you install the server part first on the notebook, and then connect to it by using a client program running on the notebook, or something like the "Mpad" program from a mobile.

The linux distro mpdPUP is designed to run from a USB stick, whether you can install squeezebox server/client on mpdPUP I haven't checked. Have a look on the Puppy Linux forum.

Otherwise it would mean installing Lubuntu to a bootable USB stick and then installing first the squeezebox server and client software you need, and then if you wanted to make the comparison install and configure MPD and then suitable MPD clients.
 
Thanks for helping, I will be clearer with my objectives.

I have moved on a little by installing Lubuntu onto my netbook as you suggested - I formatted the disk and started again - I did not need to keep anything on the netbook so no bother. Right now I am using Lubuntu Chromium browser as I type this - so I am this far at least!

I run LMS from a Windows PC that's left on permanently upstairs - so I have no plans to install LMS on this Lubuntu netbook directly (I suppose I could though) - instead stream over wireless from LMS to Squeezelite on this here netbook.

The advantage over the Duet (I am hoping) is the ability to use the USB DAC via the USB from the netbook - thus in a sense replacing the Duet with an equivalent SB (by way of Squeezelite) allowing me to use the full potential of async USB connectivity (which is supposed to be superior to spdif by allowing the DAC to be the master clock).

So - as a complete linux newbie - this is my first attempt of using an Atom based netbook as a (hopefully) better digital transport than most good CD spinners.
 
OK getting used to Linux here... I firstly tried to run squeezelite-i386 from the Linux Desktop = no go. So looking on the net I needed to copy it to /usr/bin before it would execute. But this is all a learning curve for me, for example I did not know that copying a file would mean cd into the Desktop directory then 'sudo cp squeezelite-i386 /usr/bin'.

After which I decided to rename it to just squeezelite - hence 'sudo mv squeezelite-i386 squeezelite'.

What I would like to know now is, where do I create a shortcut from the Desktop to run squeezelite - plus I would have to run it as 'squeezelite -o device-name' or whatever parameters are necessary. Perhaps you can batch command that up somehow (but I don't know how).
 

Eudyptes

Member
2012-12-05 10:29 am
It sounds like you're making good progress. Is squeezelite connecting to your LMS OK, and is your async USB DAC recognised?

In Lubuntu to can create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing "Create Shortcut". Give the shortcut a name, and on the next panel it's the "command" entry which is important. Enter squeezelite plus any parameters you are using. Double-click on your shortcut icon to start squeezelite.
 
'sudo cp squeezelite-i386 /usr/bin'.

After which I decided to rename it to just squeezelite - hence 'sudo mv squeezelite-i386 squeezelite'.

IMO the easiest way would be to run from the directory where you compiled your squeezelite. Unless you are installing the whole package I would not copy anything to /usr/bin.

In linux (unix) the current directory is denoted as . (dot). Unless you specify path, binaries are searched for in directories specified in the PATH environment variable (echo $PATH). Typically it contains /bin, /usr/bin, and /usr/local/bin directories. Since you want to run your binary from your own directory, just type path to the binary.

I.e. ./squeezelite (where . means current directory). Or /home/youruser/yourcomplilationpath/squeezelite which is what you would put into your desktop shortcut.
 

Eudyptes

Member
2012-12-05 10:29 am
I'm not a coder, but here's one of my very rare efforts. It's to make a desktop shortcut run a simple script to turn squeezelite on or off.

The desktop file should be in /home/user/Desktop ( replace user with your name)

Code:
[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Type=Application
Name=Squeezelite
Name[en_GB]=Squeezelite
Icon=xfce-sound
# repalce user with your name
Exec=/home/user/squeezelite_ctl
Comment[en_GB]=Squeezelite

Double-clicking on the desktop icon will execute the script squeezelite_ctl in directory /home/user ( replace user with your name)

This is the simple script:

Code:
#! /bin/bash
####################################################################
#  squeezelite_ctl :   Simple script to execute from a desktop shortcut
#  to  Start/Stop Squeezelite LMS client
#  v1 16/02/2012  Eudyptes
#  Tested on Lubuntu 12.10 64bit
#
#  If you need to start squeezelite with parameters edit line: squeezelite &
#  e.g. squeezelite -o  iec958:CARD=I82801AAICH,DEV=0  192.168.0.25 &
#
#  Depends on squeezelite and zenity binaries
#  Install squeezelite from :  http://code.google.com/p/squeezelite/downloads/list
#  Install  zenity package using synaptic package manager
####################################################################
PROGNAME=squeezelite


command_exists () {
    type "$1" &> /dev/null ;
}

program_running () {
    pidof $PROGNAME &> /dev/null;
}

if ! ( command_exists zenity ) ; then
    	zenity --error  --text="Zenity  binary not installed.  Aborting."; exit 1;
fi

if ! ( command_exists $PROGNAME ) ; then
       zenity --error  --text="squeezelite  binary not installed.  Aborting."; exit 1;
fi

if program_running ; then
  if zenity --question --text="Stop Squeezelite?"; then
        killall squeezelite
   fi 
else
   if zenity --question --text="Start Squeezelite?"; then
        squeezelite  &
   fi
fi

Hackers will no doubt do a better job, but it's start. Copy & paste to /home/user/squeezelite_ctl and make sure it's executable.
 
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It sounds like you're making good progress. Is squeezelite connecting to your LMS OK, and is your async USB DAC recognised?

In Lubuntu to can create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing "Create Shortcut". Give the shortcut a name, and on the next panel it's the "command" entry which is important. Enter squeezelite plus any parameters you are using. Double-click on your shortcut icon to start squeezelite.

Yes now getting along fine - and thanks for the desktop shortcut tip!

No problem with the DAC - it recognises without the need for drivers - this Italian Goldenote DAC-7 (now re-branded as Gold Note I believe, what are they up to, ah well at least their engineering is good) really shines - I know I have hit upon a winner here - especially as you can upgrade this DAC further with a dedicated power supply from the same company! As I said earlier - I tried various DACs - and for my ears this was clearly more incisive and engaging in every sense (not much to look at though). Anyway - we are not talking DACs here - I am slightly off subject - I guess I was just pleased with my choice - now I want to feed it the best transport.

Computer geekiness is fun (sadly enough) but at the price the Marantz NA7004 is selling for right now - I am considering this as the better more dedicated digital transport for my DAC.

Thus my three contenders now are Windows 8 > SL > JPlay, Lubuntu > SL, Marantz NA7004 (when I get hold of one to try)...
 
I ended up trying the Marantz NA7004 as a digital transport, and as a transport it sounded excellent... but as a player - not having gapless playback was very annoying - more annoying than I first thought (the pauses between tracks are so long). Obviously there is no option to connect the Marantz via USB into my USB DAC, but I thought I would give the SPDIF feed the best quality transport I could and it worked in terms of sound quality, but again, I stress that not having gapless was no fun - so I took the Marantz back. I now see that the Pioneer N50 has recently updated their hardware to support gapless - but perhaps I should get on with making the most of my netbook in order to make the most of USB connectivity.

I think having high quality power supplies from the digital source help SQ considerably - but you would have thought running a netbook from battery would be better. However an audiophile power supply company (not naming names) said that running a netbook from battery is even worse! Because the power management intelligence from the OS causes more jitter than the main power connection! So my question to you is - can you completely disable power management in Linux?