How To: DIY Music Server Using FreeNAS, SlimNAS and an H-P T5700

Originally published July 21, 2008 at www.smallnetbuilder.com

By: Michael Graves

Date: July 21, 2008

From my first exposure to Slim Device’s original SliMP3 back in 2003 I was taken with the idea of streaming music throughout my house. The designers approach to this task I found very interesting. They literally give away an open source media streaming software intended for use on a file server. Then run their business by selling a dedicated hardware device to interface the music stream to a traditional stereo system.

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T5700 SlimNAS Server: Now With 512 MB Memory

Well it took a couple of tries but I finally got my little SlimNAS server running with 512 MB of memory. I first tried a 1 GB stick of DDR-333 (PC2700), but the T5700 BIOS doesn’t deal with memory greater than 512 MB.

I next tried a 512 MB stick of DDR DDR-333 (PC2700) but that didn’t work either. The little T5700 simply didn’t boot. It never got past the BIOS splash screen.

Then Fedex delivered a 512 MB stick of DDR-266 (PC-2100) that I had mail ordered from www.zipzoomfly.com. That finally worked. So here’s the proof.

How To: DIY Music Server Using FreeNAS & A T5700 Thin Client

I’ve written up this most recent project of mine for the folks at www.smallnetbuilder.com. It’s a complete How-To that describes running FreeNAS, SlimNAS & SqueezeCenter on a recycled HP T5700 thin client. I also modify the T5700 by adding a 250 GB 2.5″ IDE drive installed internally. The result is a music server supporting my Squeezeboxes that consumes only 14 watts.

Update -the article went live this morning at http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30522/77/

SlimNAS Is In Service

My rebuilt SlimNAS device is now operational. The little 2.5″ HD is installed inside the T5700 case. I used the expansion chassis just to ensure that there’s enough air flow now that there is a IDE ribbon cable blocking airflow at least a little. Since there is no PCI card in the expansion slot so I fit a blank to fill the back panel opening.

The HD is paritioned into two volumes. FreeNAS is on the small volume, with the SlimServer and music library on the other. The drive is 250 GB, with 232 GB available for music. As I write this the flac portion of my library is being copied from the old P4-2.8 server. That’ll take a couple of hours for sure.

I’ll post more details on it’s actual performance once I’ve had a chance to us it a bit.

Alesis M1 Active Audio Monitors: Sounds Good To Me

This past Christmas my wife gave me a pair of Alesis M1 520 powered monitors. She knows that I really like good powered monitors to mate to my Slim Devices Squeezeboxes. Now that I’ve had a couple of months to listen to these little boxes I must admit that I’m pretty happy with them.

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