SoftSqueeze on an Xbox

I’ve been working on archiving all of my CDs in FLAC format and making them available on the network at the house via Slimserver. Since I have an Xbox hooked up to the stereo system in the living room, it would be nice to use that to stream music, rather than dropping $250 on a squeezebox. I found SoftSqueeze, a software implementation of the squeezebox (it even emulates the nifty VFD), written in Java. Here’s how I got it running on the Xbox:


1. Install Ed’s Xebian.

I followed the instructions found here. At the end of the instructions, where it tells you to change the passwords on the root and live accounts, and disable autologin, I left the live account password alone and left autologin enabled. This allows you to boot up to linux and launch softsqueeze without any input to the xbox.

2. Install Java

Follow the instructions given here.

3. One of my goals was to have SoftSqueeze start automatically after the X server started up. I used Java Web Start to launch the app off of the SlimServer.

Add this line to fluxstartup.sh in the live user’s home directory:

/usr/bin/javaws http://slimserver:9000/html/softsqueeze/softsqueeze.jnlp

(replace slimserver with the IP address or hostname of your slimserver)
4. Set up lirc

If you have an Xbox DVD dongle, you can use the Xbox remote control (or, with a little more configuration work, any other IR remote) to control SoftSqueeze.

Lirc is installed on xebian out of the box, but some of the tools it needs to function with SoftSqueeze are not. Install the lirc-x package:

aptitude install lirc-x

This gives you the irxevent tool that we use to send keypresses to SoftSqueeze.
Replace /home/live/.lircrc with this:

# menu navigate right
begin
button = RIGHT
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key Right SoftSqueeze
end

# menu navigateLeft
begin
button = LEFT
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key Left SoftSqueeze
end
# menu navigate up
begin
button = UP
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key Up SoftSqueeze
end
# menu navigate down
begin
button = DOWN
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key Down SoftSqueeze
end

begin
button = SELECT
prog = irxevent
config = Key x SoftSqueeze
end

begin
button = PLAY
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key x CurrentWindow
end

begin
button = PAUSE
prog = irxevent
repeat = 0
config = Key c SoftSqueeze
end

begin
button = SKIP+
prog = irxevent
config = Key b SoftSqueeze
end

begin
button = SKIP-
prog = irxevent
config = Key z SoftSqueeze
end

begin
button = MENU
prog = irxevent
config = Key ctrl-w SoftSqueeze
end

5 thoughts on “SoftSqueeze on an Xbox

  1. Thanks for the post — I was excited to find it…

    I went through a similar install as you — I have softsqueeze installed on xebian, with alsa configured in softsqueeze as well as the java mp3 library… However I am unable to maintain sync between my machines for a full song when I try to sync it with another player.

    Have you been able to do this successfully? I found some posts online re: java garbage collection and assume this is the issue here as well — but it looks like setting heap size and other settings don’t fix it on xebian. I’m curious if you played with this at all?

  2. I have not tried synchronizing the xbox with another player, actually. Maybe I’ll give it a shot sometime and see if I have the same problems. I have had issues with the xbox switching to the next track in the middle of the song, so I’m not optimistic, although I think that this could also be because of the format of my library (each CD as a single flac file, with internal cue sheets. Slimserver doesn’t seem to like that format much.)

  3. @joe:

    You should be able to, so long as you turn off your modchip before trying to connect. If you connect while your modchip is active, your console will be banned from Xbox Live.

  4. Hello,
    Just a little help if someone uses this tutorial.
    To install Java just use the command line “apt-get install sun-java5-jre”.
    And in fluxstartup.sh use javaws instead of “usr/bin/javaws

    But be carefool since this is an old linux version and it is not secure using it.

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