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Computer Audio - Music Server (Read 4597 times)
maddog07
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Computer Audio - Music Server
08/28/12 at 23:26:33
 
I'm a bit new to the Decware family and this forum, but was surprised I did not find a thread on this topic - so let's start one!

anybody out there who would like to share their experience with setting up a Music server?  

The last few years out at RMAF, there were nary a few rooms where music was not served up via a laptop or some kind of computing device.  I gotta tell ya, sitting on my fat arse in a big easy chair, with touch screen access to all my music, without moving, is very appealing!  ;D

So I have been contemplating how best to accomlish this, both in terms of ease of use and sound quality.
 
I just bought a stand alone DAC that can serve as my hub for receiving all things digital (but I haven't completely retired my trusty ole CD player quite yet).  And I have an iPad 3, that with the simple installation of an app. can serve as my controller/interface wirelessly.  

Now I'm contemplating buying a new laptop with its main purpose to serve as a music server.  I have thought about going the Mac route, but I need to stay MS based due to apps I would need to run on this machine to provide office connectivity for support from time to time.  
I have also contemplated the stand alone server route, like Olive or Wyred4Sound, but a laptop is not only less expensive, but much more flexible in terms of overall functionality and usefulness I think.  Though I'm finding darn few laptops that have a spdif/coax digital out on them.

So.... Decwarian's... let's go - spill it - is anybody out there "serving" up their music collection and how are ya accomplishing it?  The good, the bad & the ugly....
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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sberger
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #1 - 08/28/12 at 23:35:50
 
I use a Squeezebox Touch and rip everything to FLAC. Have over 4200 albums and 40,000 tunes on it. Feed it through a Channel Islands DAC, a CSP2 pre, and my Torii. Can't imagine anything sounding better or easier to use or set up.
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maddog07
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #2 - 08/28/12 at 23:48:56
 
the squeezebox touch doesn't store the music does it?  forgive me, but I'm not familiar with the logitec products.  how does this work?  does the SB comm wirelessly to your PC, and the PC feeds digital to your CIA DAC?  give me details, details..!   Smiley
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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Lon
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #3 - 08/28/12 at 23:57:38
 
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maddog07
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #4 - 08/29/12 at 00:01:37
 
thanks Lon!!! digesting now.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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sberger
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #5 - 08/29/12 at 00:47:32
 
My music is stored on an external hard drive but others store on their computer, NAS, etc. The SBT uses your WiFI to stream it throughout the house. Plus it gives you access to Internet radio worldwide and tons of services like MOG, Spotify, etc. Couldn't be easier.
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Donnie
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #6 - 08/29/12 at 01:50:10
 
I think that people overthink computer audio. I store my files on a Dell desktop, use a JRiver 17 player outputting by way of USB to my Wyred 4 Sound DAC. Outputting into my Torii III. No NAS, no Squeeze box, nothing but the computer, a DAC and my amp. Simple, affordable, and sounds great.
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nubz69
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #7 - 08/29/12 at 03:11:07
 
I have a dedicated HTPC I built with a Xonar ST so I could have high end audio and still drive a surround setup as well.  I also just purchased an ODAC and love it, you can't beat it for 10Xs it's cost imo.  

You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want, having your tablet work as your interface is a great convenience.  If you really want to go cheap, consider something with a raspberry Pi.
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sberger
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #8 - 08/29/12 at 03:23:05
 
Using a Squeezebox is not over thinking. It's an. External device just like your J River. It has a fantastic DAC so there is no need for a DAC if you really want to keep it simple. As for my external HD I wouldn't want to clog up my computer with what amounts to almost a TB of music. And the SBT also gives me access to all kinds of radio and music services. A fantastic product.
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maddog07
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #9 - 08/29/12 at 19:53:17
 
let me elaborate a bit about my vision of how I think I want this to work.  
#1... my computer is not sitting next to my DAC or even in the same room and I don't intend to relocate it in proximity to my stereo system, nor run cat5 cable or something between the two.  
I also would like to maintain some degree of "separation" between the computer/internet side and the music server side if possible - thank you all the over achievers of the world living in your parents basements, wasting your talent on developing malware.

I went out to the Logitech site and tried to determine exactly how the SB works, but I'm still not 100% sure.  I think I could store my music on a NAS on my home network, or simply an external drive attached directly to my computer.  I think I could then sit the SB next to my DAC, the SB could then access the music wirelessly from my PC and spit out the digits to my DAC via spdif or USB - or even use the SB's dac and analog outputs.  And I could control the SB via its screen or it's remote.  But more ideally, control it wirelessly via an iPad app. which gets me my wireless GUI touchscreen interface that allows me to listen to any of my music at the touch of a finger without getting out of my chair!  Does anybody have this setup described above?  Am I all wet in my understanding of how to make this work?  Would it work?  How well does it work?
Well actually, I know it's possible.  I saw many setups like this in use, experienced it with me own eyes, and in some cases used their iPad app interface to select demo tracks in several rooms at RMAF last year.  But I failed to gather the details of any of their setups.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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sberger
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #10 - 08/29/12 at 20:50:44
 
What you described would work fine. That's pretty much how I do it.
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maddog07
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #11 - 08/29/12 at 23:21:16
 
well.. this sounds like one direction to investigate further that meets all my objectives possibly.  Anybody ever heard of a SB being impacted by malware?  Do Squeezeboxes get regular updates/downloads off the www?  
and... I just tried to find the Squeezebox on logitechs website... something is going on - it's not even there.  You get redirected to some "ue" site that does not show the squeezebox as a product under the Products hyperlink.  Surely they are not discontinuing this product..??
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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sberger
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #12 - 08/29/12 at 23:47:40
 
Rumor has it that they very well may be discontinuing the SBT but there is such a strong community that support for it should remain helpful. Again just a rumor for now.

There have been occasional software updates in the past but you are able to turn off automatic updating in the user settings.
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Donnie
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #13 - 08/30/12 at 00:23:46
 
I don't even have my stereo computer hooked up to the Internet. There is about 750 Gb on my hard drive, backed up by a 1 Tb external hard drive. I only use that computer for music. The computer - storage part is so cheap now I'm not going to worry too much about if everythig blows up, I'll just go down the street and buy another box and move on.
The worst part of the whole process was ripping all of the CD's into WAV files. But it did give me something to do for a couple of months.
And the best thing is that I still have the CD's as the ultimate backup.
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maddog07
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Re: Computer Audio - Music Server
Reply #14 - 08/30/12 at 16:00:02
 
Donnie.. agree w/you there on the PC being the inexpensive way to go, which is why I'm leaning that way.  And external usb and eSata drives are cheap too.  Now if I can just find a way to use my iPad wirelessly to control some software running on a laptop that has all my music ripped to FLAC on it, I'll be set.  I really do want the wireless, touch screen, GUI interface - that's what got me all stirred up and starting this quest in the first place.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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