Building a Mini-ITX Server
My aim was to build a small, quiet network server to provide file storage for my desktop PC and act as a server to stream music to my pair of wireless SqueezeBoxes from Logitech Slim Devices (see the bottom of the page for details on my music players).
As a Linux novice I had a steep learning curve and I hope what I've provided here will form a beginners guide to anyone interested in conducting a similar project....
The unit is connected to my Netgear 54g ADSL wireless router which acts as a broadband internet gateway as well as a wired network hub (for my PC) and wireless access point (for my Squeezeboxes).
The unit must be very quiet in use and silent when idle.
Easily administered remotely from my PC (I want to run it 'headless')
Capable of running the latest version of the Squeezebox Server music server software.
Provide easy to access network file storage for my Windows PC.
My Music System
This server will stream music (via the router) to two Squeezeboxes in my house. The big benefit of this system is all the music can be streamed in a lossless format (I store all my music in FLAC format) and then passed though a good quality digital to analogue converter (DAC) within the Squeezebox to generate the signals for the amp. In theory this should be as good (and some argue better) than a midrange CD player. (It has been claimed that using a good quality external DAC can produce results equal to the very best CD players currently available).
My main system comprises of a Squeezebox, Arcam A65+ amplifier and a pair of Kef iQ5 speakers, (the other unit is a Denon TU-1800 DAB/FM/AM radio):
My second Squeezebox is used in the kitchen and is plugged into a set of Acoustic Energy Aego M powered speakers. This combination is very simple yet it produces a sound quality that I wouldn't believe possible from such small speakers if I hadn't heard it.