I see that the newer Squeeze Center, which is actually Slim Server v7, is available as a FreeNAS module. This means that it might be a good time to upgrade my T5700 based music server.
I haven’t actually been using this server for a few months. A while back I decided to try a “room correction” plugin from Inguz for Slim Server. This does some DSP transformations on the music stream on-the-fly, basically effecting some equalization. This plugin required more CPU power than a lowly T5700 could provide, so I’ve been using and old P4-2.8 as my music server these past months.
When I tried to get the Inuz plug-in working I ran into some trouble. It basically worked but I could never get through the pink noise tests successfully. The Slim Server software would lock-up. In the end I decided that my system sounded pretty good to my ears, and the plug-in wasn’t likely worth the effort.
Now that the temperature is again reaching upward not running the old P4 in my office seems like a good idea. This time I think I’ll add a 2.5″ IDE drive to the T5700 and use local storage rather than an external USB enclosure. These style hard drives have reached 320 GB for around $120 USD, and the fit inside the T5700.
Tracking back from some of the readers of this blog I see that there is a group in Denmark who have already done this sort of thing, so I’m not breaking any new ground. It might be a little fiddly getting the drive hooked up to the IDE header, but I’m sure the correct cable is available somewhere. It’s not the same pin count as used for 3.5″ drives as power is included on the ribbon connector. Surely it’s a standard cable and I just have to find one.
I can still backup the 2.5″ drive to an external USB drive just to make a safety copy of all the music. If I get the drive ordered this week perhaps I can undertake the project next weekend.
Since all things related to the T5700s have generated a lot of traffic around here I’ll be certain to document the upgrade when it happens.
Update: This afternoon I placed the order for a 250 GB, 2.5″, 5400 RPM, PATA/IDE hard drive. It was $99 plus $10 for 2 day shipping. I would have preferred a 320 GB drive but they were considerably more expensive.