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This project started mainly because of 3 reasons:
Need for a small, energy efficient MPD Box.
For a long time I have been searchin for a nice small box that could run Music Player Daemon (http://www.musicpd.org link). The box needed to have the following minimum set of features:
- A display to show the current playing song.
- A touch screen or
- The possibility to add support for a remote control.
- Has (or allows for adding) good quality audio output. (15-16 true bits minimum.)
- Low power.
- Fast enough to run MPD with my full collection loaded.
- Network interface. (Preferable wired).
The Squeezebox Touch seemed to fit this perfectly.
Why not use squeezecenter? No alternative for MPD.
I bought a Squeezebox Classic, because it seemed to be a nice device. Good readable display, good output, remote control, etc. However it turned out to be a failure. The problem was not with the hardware but the crappy software squeezecenter (it is currently called). My home server, a 1.5 Ghz via esther with 1 gig of memory, is to slow to run it properly. An intel core 2 duo 1.8Ghz was doable, but far from snappy and fast. In my honest opinion a simple music 'server' should not require a full fledged desktop cpu with several gig's of ram. To give a short list:
- Adding my complete Database (+- 20.000 songs at the time) to the playlist was not possible. You could only add 500 songs at the time. Trying to add more, caused the system to hang for several minutes to half an hour.
- Searching is slow.
- The webinterface is unusable slow,again the playlist was the worst.
- The display would often lag behind with what you commanded.
Because it is something that has a high uptime, low energy is also important and having to add high-end desktop machine isn't. The sonos system is way to expensive. So something to run MPD on seemed to be the best solution.
It seemed I was not the only one looking for a good MPD box. Nick kindly donated me a Logitech Squeezebox Touch. (Thanks again). This allowed me to start developing this project.