Once the disk share is available you can download & install Michael Herger’s SlimNAS software. You’ll need several items:
- Michael Herger’s SlimNAS install script
- The SlimNAS release
- The Slim Devices Squeeze Center release for Linux
- It’s important to use the “noCPAN” version
In the root of the CIFS share create a folder called “slimnas” and copy all three files into that folder.
Then click on [Execute]
When the shell command has completed the FreeNAS menu should return a status display as follows:
You have just successfully installed the SqueezeCenter software to the disk, but it’s not yet tied into FreeNAS or set to run as a service on boot.
You’ll note that a new “Extensions” menu option has been added to the FreeNAS menus, and SqueezeCenter is listed as the only extension.
Select SqueezeCenter and you should see the following result:
Check the tick box to [Enable] the SlimNAS software. Then in the install section select the SqueezeCenter release and click on [Save] to perform the installation.
The install process can take a a couple of minutes during which time the system may appear to be stopped. This is normal. While the installer runs you can navigate to the [Process] menu and see if the installation is proceeding. If it is running successfully you’ll see a reference to Perl on the list of running processes.
Once the installation is completed successfully the extensions menu will include a link to the SqueezeCentre web GUI. That address is always the name or IP address of the FreeNAS device, but with port 9000 specified in the URL. In my case
It’s worth noting that when the T5700 is rebooted it will take some time for the SqueezeCenter and associated services to restart. First the OS boots, then the file sharing mechanisms and finally the streaming server. It’s not uncommon for it to take 2-3 minutes before the music can resume playing after a reboot.
Configuring Squeeze Center
Now that you have the NAS and the SqueezeCenter software running you can define where SqueezeCenter should look for music and playlists. I created a folder on the share called “music”, then inside that I created additional folders for MP3s, FLACs, and playlists. These paths get loaded into the SqueezeCenter settings.
Next I copied some files to the NAS. In my case I copied about 180 GB to the drive, in a mix of flac and high-bitrate MP3 formats. As you might imagine this process takes some time. Once the files are on the system you can use the web interface to invoke a scan of the library. Once that task completed you can start the music playing.
There is an optional SqueezeCenter setting that forces the server to on-the-fly transcode the streams to MP3 at a user-defined bit rate. This is intended for use when streaming over a bandwidth limited wireless network. It’s not appropriate for most situations and so by default is disabled. This is optimal for the T5700 since transcoding presents increased CPU load.
Finally, Slim Devices periodically updates the SqueezeCenter software. When you run the software within FreeNAS you cannot simply install the update as you would on a normal PC. You must check Michael Herger’s web site to see if he has released a revision of SlimNAS supporting the upgrade you wish to load.
At the time of this writing I am running SqueezeCenter v7.01 on SlimNAS v1.01. SqueezeCenter v7.1 has been released but requires SlimNAS v1.1.