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Frustrated Vortexbox User

slavedata

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Hi,
I'm new here and looking for advice on where to go with my music server. I'm hoping you guys can help.
I am a long term user of Vortexbox but find the process of upgrading it a total nightmare. I am currently running version 2.4 on an HP Microserver. It does its job well in two roles. For me as a music server but constrained to using LMS version 7.9. For the family as the house server where all files are stored for backup.
The two features that drew me to Vortexbox were the auto ripping capability and the backup facility. I love the way it detects a USB drive connected and asks if I want to backup and then does the required incremental backup. I have succesfully restored from backup.
It's clear the original developer of Vortexbox has lost interest in the product and I'm struggling to do a test upgrade to 2.5 on a spare PC before touching the house server. I want to move to 2.5 so I can move LMS on to something more current like version 8.1 2.4 Vortexbox is based on Fedora version 23

Long winded but here's my question. Daphile looks interesting but apparently uses an old version of SMB for file serving. How good and secure is its backup facility? Does it's ripping and cd lookup facilities work well? Or would you suggest anything else I haven't come across?
My key features are:
Easy to use house server for non technical users to store files on.
Secure backup and restore
Easy, automatic preferably, ripping facilities.
Support for LMS 8.1

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.
 

somebodyelse

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The squeezebox forum thread may be a better place to ask about daphile. I've tried a few things on it rather than being a regular user - my usual LMS runs on a small server that does a bunch of other stuff. Your comments about VortexBox are pretty much what put me off trying it - it looked like a promising project that seemed to have been abandoned. I'm not aware of a direct alternative - you're more or less stuck between daphile and perhaps volumio which do the audio side well but the NAS part as a side effect, and NAS type distros that can install LMS as a package or in a container, but can't handle the ripping easily. Maybe one of them could run daphile in a VM?

It's not really intended as a general purpose NAS so the file store capabilities are more a side effect of making it relatively easy to transfer and store music. I'm not an SMB user.
Backup is fairly basic and not encrypted - not sure if that's what you meant by secure. I've not tried a restore. I haven't seen an option to trigger it when a drive is plugged in, so you'd have to kick off a manual backup via the web interface. It might be possible to bind this to a key I suppose, but it probably wouldn't gain you much as you'd still need to use the web interface to check backup status.
Last time I tried ripping it was easy and accurate, and tagging was much as I'd expect from open data sources - mostly good with occasional things it couldn't find or tagged strangely. This was a long time back though - I've not tried it recently, but I wouldn't expect it to have regressed.
LMS is currently 8.1.1

If you want ssh access you can use the beta version and check out the internals.
 

SMc

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Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.
No help, but plenty of sympathy. I'm still on 2.2 on an old Small Green Computer appliance. The updating process is way beyond my technical skills so I try to be happy with what I've got: reliable ripping, network accessibility, and easy manual backups.
 
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slavedata

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Well good use for a cold lockdown Bank Holiday I have managed to update to Vortexbox 2.5 with LMS 8.2. For completeness I have pasted below my technique detailed in the vortexbox forum.

After a lot of struggling I have managed to reach Version 2.5 which joy of joy runs LMS 8.2.
I couldn't get the 2.5 zip file to create a booting MBR. on a memory stick. That wasted hours.

I did this all on a spare test PC if you are doing it on a real server backup all your precious files first.

What I did was install the image for 2.4 using the downloadable image file disk following the instructions with the image file link.
https://wiki.vortexbox.org/vortexbox...n_instructions

Then I followed the upgrade route detailed in this very useful article.
https://fedoramagazine.org/upgrading-fedora-24-fedora-25/
Worked a treat
Good Luck


So now I will be sticking with Vortexbox meeting all my needs for house server and up to date LMS to support media server functions.
 

somebodyelse

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I just realised how old (as in not receiving security updates) that Fedora version is! It looks like you could get most if not all the functionality using OpenMediaVault (or another NAS type distro that can host Docker images) plus https://github.com/48clyde/VBR for the LMS, squeezelite, Ripper and media mirroring images.
 

stoyania

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I just realised how old (as in not receiving security updates) that Fedora version is! It looks like you could get most if not all the functionality using OpenMediaVault (or another NAS type distro that can host Docker images) plus https://github.com/48clyde/VBR for the LMS, squeezelite, Ripper and media mirroring images.

i am not an expert in that area and looking for alternatives myself.
by any chance have you looked into snakeoil-os.net?
 
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slavedata

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I am a very happy user of Vortexbox and see no need to change. Sure the software version is not the latest. But now the main application LMS is on the latest version (8.2) I have no need to change. One of the attractions of a Linux server is it just continues to work without unwanted updates rebooting your server when you don't expect it. Previously I ran Vortexbox in a VM hosted by Windows server. Whenever it went down it was due to something M$ had done. Vbox has proved its worth in a backup system that works that I have recovered from the backup drive. LMS does everything for a house music system server. Finally the "open the drive stick in a CD, it goes ahead finds details off the web then rips and when it has finished ejects the disc" is a brilliant feature. It means you can rip as a background task whilst doing other jobs. The web page for server admin works well and insulates the naive user from too much heavy Linux knowledge. Great system highly recommended.
 

somebodyelse

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i am not an expert in that area and looking for alternatives myself.
by any chance have you looked into snakeoil-os.net?
I happened upon the web site a bit back and it looked like it might be a viable option, but I haven't tried it. They have at least moved to a base OS version that's receiving updates.
 
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slavedata

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Doesn't appear to have a CD ripping utility. That's a big minus. Reminds me a bit of the max player implementation of a Pi player in that it is cripple ware with subscription for any but very simple features. I soon gave up with max player and went back to PiCoreplayer. Picoreplayer incidentally will run both server and or client on a Pi so very good as a low energy usage server. However I will download and try the ISO and see what it is like.
 

rcstevensonaz

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Doesn't appear to have a CD ripping utility. That's a big minus. ...
Personally, I prefer using a separate tool for ripping where I have complete control over all of the parameters. (vs. a media player with everything built in).

In my case, have been quite happy with dBpoweramp (https://www.dbpoweramp.com/) for ripping CDs on my local PC, and saving the audio files and screen art to a local file server (NS4Free/XigmaNAS); and Vortexbox as a headless LMS media server running on VMware ESXi.
 
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slavedata

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Loaded snakeoil this morning. I get the impression this is aimed more at people with a silent PC next to the audio system. Vortexbox by contrast works for me as a dedicated server for all my server needs not just a music server. I like the ripping and backup functions in Vbox not present in Snakeoil. The Snakeoil version I installed was on LMS 7.9 compared to Version 8.2 on Vbox. So so far nothing to encourage me to move, I'll keep looking and see about updates to LMS on Snakeoil
 

freedomgli

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I abandoned VortexBox 10 years ago for the same reasons. Why anyone still uses it today boggles the mind. Roon is the default in this space. You’d need to be really cheap or really into the esoteric end of the hobby to choose something else nowadays.
 

rcstevensonaz

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I abandoned VortexBox 10 years ago for the same reasons. Why anyone still uses it today boggles the mind.
For myself, it has been pretty crazy over the last 10 years.

I installed VortexBox about 8 to 10 years ago as a Fedora instance on my VMware server; and that VM instance is still reading audio files from my ripped audio collection (ZFS fileserver on NAS4Free, nka XigmaNAS) and streaming the audio out to my SqueezeBox Classic v3 (purchased circa 2007).

Vortexbox is still chugging away — only rebooted as often as I need to cycle my ESXi instance. That said, I will eventually replace it sometime in the next decade (once things slow down enough).
 
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slavedata

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You really don't need to replace it. Once it went to Vortexbox 2.5 it supports LMS 8.2. That supports all manner of streaming services Internet radio etc. What extra facility do you need that it doesn't offer? Roon is just puff on top of a streaming service. Having a laptop next to you whilst listening to music will give you all that Roon offers.
 

rcstevensonaz

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You really don't need to replace it. Once it went to Vortexbox 2.5 it supports LMS 8.2.
Good point — I should upgrade and check out LMS 8.2. I am still at 2.3 (maybe 2.4); the new releases were so slow in coming, I had stopped checking a while back.

In terms of what I'd want:
  • to be an Apple Play 2 target -- stream at VortexBox (which then sends to my SB3)
  • to be able to send stream to KEF LS50 Wireless II as a client (vs. just as it drives Sqeezebox)
 
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