This section gives you an overview of Snakeoil, and the philosophy behind it.
Snakeoil Operating System (Snakeoil OS) is based on the popular Ubuntu Linux Distribution - one of the most popular Linux distributions available today.
Snakeoil builds on Ubuntu by implementing optimisations designed specifically for audio, and the user controls the operating system via the Snakeoil Web Application (Web-App) and RESTful server.
It is important to leave how this manual is written organised. Knowing this makes it easy to find the bits and information you want quickly.
My name is Ng Theng Kiat - software engineer, audiophile, music lover. In the Snakeoil forums I'm known as Agent Kith. This is a re-arrangement (anagram) of my first name.
Anagram(Theng Kiat) => Agent Kith
This is a little background about myself.
Snakeoil OS is currently based on Ubuntu Server (16.04 LTS) with custom built audiophile quality software. Designed to run as a headless machines (i.e. no connected monitor and keyboard), the machine can be remotely controlled from any networked computer, wireless tablet or mobile phone. The main hilights are:
- Built with Angular (Google), cpprestsdk (Microsoft), and Ubuntu (Canonical). Giving you the best combination of low latency, high stability, robust security and ultimate freedom to do whatever you want.
- Remote configuration via the point and click WebApp (no need to learn complicated shell commands, or login passwords)
- Support multiple software players, easily select-able and configurable (Squeezelite, MPD, XMMS, and more)
- Headless operation (Access most configuration options from the web browser)
- Real Time kernel (If it's good enough to control a industrial welding laser, it's good enough for audio!)
- Remote software upgrade via web interface
- Multi-lingual support
- Multiple Snakeoil OS machines can be hooked up for room distribution (Requires activation)
- A lot of free music players for you to try. If what you want is not in the list, send me a feedback and I will try and add it.
Snakeoil OS comes in two editions
- Activated Edition: This edition gives an extra tweaking menu, plus you get to use more than one DAC and more than one mount point
- Free Edition - Otherwise known as the standard edition. This gives you one DAC and one mount point. The GUI is restricted to one DAC, one mount point and there are is tweaking menu.
For some the free edition may look crippled. However, remember the Snakeoil OS is not locked down and you have supervisor rights to do anything you want. Using the free edition, you can SSH into your Snakeoil OS computer and do everything in the activated edition. Please refer to the forums and this manual for some of the SSH tips and tricks.
Here is the Snakeoil philosophy:
Music, your way!
We want you to keep this in mind from the moment you power up your Snakeoil computer to listen to music.
Hifi and music are both journeys of discovery - you will find your music tastes change over time. Songs you listen to when you were younger often takes on a different flavour/meaning now. The coming of age can also introduce a sense of nostalgia. These and many other factors means music will never feel the same for everybody - there are small intrinsic values that can only be quantifiable by the unique you.
Snakeoil OS provides you almost everything you need when listening to your music. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of choice - you choose the kernel version, you choose the music player, and you decide what tweaks works for you. Everything is entirely up to you. This is simply music your way.
When you look at traditional hi-fi, there are very few examples that offers this level of flexibility.
Often you are 'buying into' the maker/designer sound. The component makers decide what sound best, and they put it out into the market. You are buying these equipment based on your perceived understanding of their knowledge. In other words - you are buying into their sound, not yours. All is well if you share the same ideas, but that is not always the case. When your preference change, you have to purchase new gear to suit.
Snakeoil OS is a completely different beast - you get to call the shots.
The way Snakeoil OS works is we give you everything we can so that you can find your own sound. Allowing you to discover that elusive x-factor that will make you feel relaxed, raise hairs on the back of your neck. The key to enjoy music, your way.
If you put your mind to it - it is likely you'd never have a need to purchase a new source again. You can change various options/features in Snakeoil OS and tune the sound to your preference.
Snakeoil OS provides the foundation, everything else is up to you.
What music player should you use (XMMS, LMS, MPD, or others)? What kernel should you use? If you think these decisions don't matter download Snakeoil OS yourself and give it a go.
Snakeoil OS is powered by a modern HTML5 Web App that allows you to make these decisions easily. Gone are the days when you have to spend hours on end trying to figure out how to get something to work on your computer. Snakeoil OS does all that for you in a few clicks. It will lead you down a snake winding path - you can make your Snakeoil PC sing to your heart delights, or you turn it into the worst sounding piece of crap ever.
For the first time ever - you and you alone hold the power and responsibility. The better the audiophile you are, the better your Snakeoil OS will be.
In time you will find Snakeoil OS is a reflection of your inner self. The way of your music is also a way to self discovery, and it is a journey of endless rewards.
Yes, with Snakeoil OS, it's all about you.