Monday, 22 September 2008

Squeezebox Duet is alive at last

Back in the middle of May I decided to set up my home stereo properly in our new house so I ordered a new stereo (an Onkyo CR-515) and decided to replace an old Thinkpad I used to store my digital music collection with a new device on the market from Slim Devices, the SqueezeBox Duet and a low-power PC as a media server.

Initially I wasn't able to set it up as I was experimenting with using a Linksys NSLU2 (or slug) as the media server. Unfortunately, this was vastly underpowered for the job so I had to re-think that part of my solution. In late June I had my new server so I looked out some pictures I took while unpacking and wrote my first post about the SqueezeBox Duet.

It's only now I'm able to write that I've successfully set up my complete solution as of the start of September. I've been having huge difficulties getting the box to stream audio properly with all sorts of symptoms. I'll spare the long description and cut to the solution, I changed my wireless router settings from its default channel 11 setting to channel 1 and everything sprung into life. During my 3 months of debugging to find this simple solution I contacted Slim Devices through various means, forums, chat channels, and official support. While the staff were extremely keen to help and reasonably responsive given the time difference between California and the UK, at no point did they give me any useful suggestions towards the successful solution. It was this that prompted me to think about the different types of open source. Now I can conclude that you're pretty much on your own with a SqueezeBox, but that's something I can live with quite easily, so now it's working I'm a happy bunny.

For future reference, next time I move house I'll do a scan of the local wireless networks much earlier and change my channel accordingly. I'm no wireless expert but then I'm no dummy either, so when I can communicate over my wireless network with several devices including more than one laptop, a Nintendo Wii and the SqueezeBox Duet Controller, I would suggest it's reasonable to expect the other half of the Duet (the Receiver) to work too. Not so apparently.

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