Setup has three options and all of them work very well:
• Completely automatic - The Squeezebox will obtain its IP address using DHCP and will locate the server automatically using Slim Discovery Protocol.
• Specify server manually - DHCP will be used, but the server's IP address will be entered manually. Use this if your server is not on the same LAN as the player.
• Enter everything manually - Static IPs will be used for everything. Choose this option if your network does not support DHCP.
There is plenty of help on Slim Devices' website about how to fix things if automatic discovery doesn't work for you, typically due to the interference of desktop firewalls. Note that Windows XP Service Pack 2 users will need to allow the Squeezebox to communicate with the desktop SlimServer software.
The SlimServer software itself is not shipped with the Squeezebox, but the first page of the manual provides the URL, advising users to download the latest version of the SlimServer. The installation of the SlimServer was typical of a Windows install, but once installed users are free to use practically any browser they wish to control the server. And, if you are anti-GUI, Slim Devices provide - you guessed it - a scriptable command line interface (CLI).
Figure 7: SlimServer's Music Player playlist
Once the SlimServer and the Squeezebox are communicating, the Squeezebox can look in an assigned directory for music and can make use of .m3u and .pls files or simply use your iTunes play lists. SlimServer then scans MP3 files for ID3 tag versions 1.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4. The tags it pays attention to include title, artist, album, comment, year, track number, disc set numbers, band/orchestra, composer and genre.
Figure 8: Plenty of song information
For some reason, this was the only place I got a little hung up. I kept thinking the SlimServer wasn't reading my rather large music directory. Eventually I realized that the SlimServer was chewing up the CPU cycles on my PC reading all this information. But when the CPU usage dropped off, I didn't see a change in the play list shown in SlimServer's browser window.
Finally it dawned on me that I needed to click "browse music folder" to see the music files and then click another button to migrate the music it had found over to the SlimServer' "playlist" pane. Voila! I now had hundreds of songs at my finger tips. This may be one of the few things that I could not figure out how to do with the remote. Prior to my little revelation, the unit's luminescent display just kept telling me that it had no files in the playlist to play.