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Looking for a "Dummy's Guide" to playing digital music files

psergy

New member
Olive products

Olive products

I'm using Logitech Squeezebox infrastructure right now. Running free software http://www.daphile.com/ on mini-itx PC. All files are stored on the NAS. There are remotes on iOS, Android and Web-based.
You can connect DAC via USB directly, on use USB to SPDIF converter.

As ready to use solution you can take a look on Olive products (http://www.olive.us/)
 

ssfas

Well-known member
Yet more complexity

Yet more complexity

I'm using Logitech Squeezebox infrastructure right now. Running free software http://www.daphile.com/ on mini-itx PC. All files are stored on the NAS. There are remotes on iOS, Android and Web-based.
You can connect DAC via USB directly, on use USB to SPDIF converter.

As ready to use solution you can take a look on Olive products (http://www.olive.us/)
That sounds fantastic.

I understood the first two words "I'm using", the rest of it might as well have been in Ukrainian.

Perhaps your post best explains the gulf between people who understand computer audio and those that don't.

The instructions to set up daphile are mind-boggling.
http://www.daphile.com/download/Instructions.pdf

One has to keep in mind that the point of the exercise is to listen to music. It should not be necessary to get a degree in computer science to do so.

Daphile is apparently for usb input to a DAC. That is my issue. I was sent a network to usb unit on trial and am sending it back. It doesn't work properly. I was only sent it because a device called an Auralic Aries Mini was not yet in stock. That is what I wanted. It is an Auralic Aries without the fancy casework, the same insides, costs £375 instead of £1,310 for the Aries. It even has a DAC inside and line outs so you can stick it straight on a pre or integrated amp. You can connect it to a NAS or, best still, just plug a £40 usb drive in the back.

The Mini can be controlled by several controllers, including Linn's Kinsky. I find Kinsky uniquely wonderful as the application background is black, not white, so when listening in a darkened room you don't have a computer or iPad screen shining brightly in your face. Kinsky has been around for years, is free and works faultlessly. The Mini also has Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify etc onboard.

Simples !!! (*)
 

SChat

New member
No computer

No computer

I recomended plex cause I don't know if synology has now an Apple TV app. So with plex you don't even need iPhone or iPad if you have a tv in the room. Maybe synology has or will have Apple TV app, I don't know about that. Plex is good software developed through lot of years. But yes , you could use the NAS software too, in Apple TV, if they have, or iPad and AirPlay to Apple TV.

If you have tv in the room and other iOS devices I would go to Apple TV. With a NAS you can do a lot of things , and with Apple TV too , like streaming concerts from medici classical music app, and a lot others, watching movies and more.

I don't see the point about the Hifi route like a network player is there are computer options than can do a lot of things and , very important , easy to use ( that's why I did not recommended blackberry pi, even knowing it is very cheap )
Thank you. I understand and appreciate your advice. I guesss it depends on personal preference.

If I can, I will prefer not to have to be a conputer expert to listen to music - that explains my bias towards hifi components that hide the "computer" behind old/fashioned controls. Besides, I also eant to avoid having to use a computer screen ir a TV to kisten to music.

(its of course possible that I have completely misunderstood your suggestion - apologies if thats the case)
 

Jeff_C

Member
Tidal Support?

Tidal Support?

I'm using Logitech Squeezebox infrastructure right now. Running free software http://www.daphile.com/ on mini-itx PC. All files are stored on the NAS. There are remotes on iOS, Android and Web-based.
You can connect DAC via USB directly, on use USB to SPDIF converter.
The OP did not want to have to use a computer, but I would agree that if you are prepared to put up with a few negative things (like updating for example), it provides a flexible way to solve most needs.


As ready to use solution you can take a look on Olive products (http://www.olive.us/)
As with many of these all-in-one, off-the-shelf solutions it is hard to see if specific services, like Tidal and Apple Music are supported.
 

kerouack

Member
Don't trust 'hi-fi' data products

Don't trust 'hi-fi' data products

I Completely understand, there are cheap computer products and expensive HIFI products. Problem is sometimes computer products are difficult o very difficult to use (only a computer geek could use them), and HIFI products can be too expensive for no aparent reason.

For me, a good balance is to buy good computer products, not so cheap but a lot cheaper than HIFI products, and easy to use. That's why i did not recomend you blackberry pi 2, that is very very cheap but difficult to configure, i recomended synology NAS, good brand, and google nexus, chromecast or apple tv, good brands and easy to use.

If you dont want to use TV, but have no problem about using ipad, a NAS with and old (cheaper but you could use the new too) apple tv could be fine, you connect to the NAS with the ipad, and send the music to the apple tv with airplay.

If you prefer to buy a Network streamer with airplay, buy it, no problem, i just tell you mi opinion, and old apple tv is 70 euros, a streamer may be 300 or 400 euros ? and they would be both doing same work, getting the airplay streaming from the ipad.

Other option is using the network player to access the NAS and trusting its software, and, using the network player software in the ipad to change the album, may be that's another options it is just that the network player is a lot more expensive and that i dont trust very much HIFI products software, i trust more google or apple, but of course you choose : ) .
 

SChat

New member
Thank you

Thank you

If you dont want to use TV, but have no problem about using ipad, a NAS with and old (cheaper but you could use the new too) apple tv could be fine, you connect to the NAS with the ipad, and send the music to the apple tv with airplay.

If you prefer to buy a Network streamer with airplay, buy it, no problem, i just tell you mi opinion, and old apple tv is 70 euros, a streamer may be 300 or 400 euros ? and they would be both doing same work, getting the airplay streaming from the ipad.

Other option is using the network player to access the NAS and trusting its software, and, using the network player software in the ipad to change the album, may be that's another options it is just that the network player is a lot more expensive and that i dont trust very much HIFI products software, i trust more google or apple, but of course you choose : ) .
Many thanks for your understanding and simple pragmatic suggestions.

In fact I do have an Apple TV that I use to stream video to my TV. If I want to use the Apple TV to strem to my hifi, what would be the vbest way to set things up?

1. Connect NAS using ethernet cable to Apple TV and take a digital output from Apple TV to tthe amplifier?
or

2. Connect NAS to wifi router using ethernet cable and then use Apple TV to stream wirelessly?

What is the best way of connecting Apple TV to Amplifier? My amplifier can take ethernet/USB/TOSLINK/RCA/Coaxial inputs.....thanks again in advance
 

willem

Well-known member
Wires are best

Wires are best

A wired connection is more stable for streaming. I would use the optical audio output from the Apple TV into the digital input of your amplifier.
 

kerouack

Member
NAS is much easier

NAS is much easier

1. you can not do it, both need to be connected to the router.
2. yes, you can connect the NAS with ethernet to the router, and connect apple tv with ethernet too, if you can.

And like Willen said, optical.

P.S.

Forgot to tell you, with some streamers may be you could connect wirerly the hard drive to the streamer with USB, so if thats what you want/need you can check that option, but please, check the software in your iPad before buying the HIFI streamer, and think carefully about what means.

To add a cd in the HD, you need to get the HD disconnect it from the streamer, disconnect it from power, go with it to the computer, connect it to the computer, then to power, transfer the cd, then go with it to the streamer, connect it to the streamer and finally connect it to power again. It is easier in a NAS, a lot easier.
 
Helpful Sonos

Helpful Sonos

That sounds fantastic.

I understood the first two words "I'm using", the rest of it might as well have been in Ukrainian.

(*)
zoals eerder voorgesteld, ik zou gewoon gaan voor de sonos connect: gemakkelijk (plug and Play) , perfecte service, goede integratie met allerlei programma's. geen omkijken naar.

translation

as previously suggested, I would just go for the sonos connect: easy ( plug and play) , perfect service, good integration with all kinds of programs. nothing to worry about.

if problems occur there was always something wrong with the computer or wifi but the Sonos helpdesk solved the problem anyway. I am able to compare sonos with Chromecast ( I still didn't succeed to play music stored on the pc or nas) and Sonos always delivers while CC sometimes fails ( with bridge).
 

Kumar Kane

New member
NAS advantages

NAS advantages

I started ripping my CDs via iTunes on a computer a lot before I went to a Sonos platform, because I wanted my music on an iPod. By the time I did make the move, over some years I had ripped them all, but doing that in one effort is daunting, I admit. Well worth it though, and I have used a USD 100 NAS for the last few years for just storing these and subsequent iTunes music purchases with no problems. I don't use the NAS for anything else, so the one I have suffices and it is ethernet cable wired to the WiFi router and placed next to it, out of sight. A NAS can be discreet, silent, reliable and cheap all at the same time. CD files are lossless rips and iTunes music is 256kbps AAC lossy - to my ears both sound just as good via the Sonos/NAS front end.

I held on to my SACD player for a while but after not using it for over a year, I sold it. The CDs are boxed and stored, but I now have a lot more music bought on iTunes, held in the NAS. All that the NAS has is also backed up on a separate HDD, kept in storage except when new music has to be backed up to it. Recommended practice is to keep this back up in a different location, but I think this industry standard practice is overkill and inconvenient for me.

It takes a surprisingly little time for the features of the NAS to overcome any residual legacy desire for the CD/CDP. Apart from the obvious footprint savings and cleaner looking room, the thing I like about this front end is the playlist/random shuffle feature that goes a long way in defeating the 20/80 syndrome - where one ends up listening to 20% of the CD collection 80% of the time. It may even be 10/90, for all I know.

Putting all CDs into playlists by genre and hitting random shuffle allows a lot more of owned music to be heard, compared to when CDs were the media and many languished unheard on the shelf. Or so I have found. This may not work well for western classical albums but for most other music, this is a very useful feature that I will find it hard to live without if I had to go back to a CDP. Setting up playlists for parties/occassions also has obvious advantages.

The other advantage that I have read about is one of which I am not very convinced; nevertheless here it is - CDs supposedly degrade after a decade or so and are prone to get corrupt. Moving their contents to a hard disc, appropriately backed up is a more reliable way to have assured access to their contents over the long term.

CD is now obsolete media and is winding down. Almost all the large CD stores I used to buy them from, have shut down CD sales because it isn't a viable business anymore. I expect vinyl sales to overtake CD sales in a very few years, because vinyl has other attractions.
 

SChat

New member
NAS for me

NAS for me

To add a cd in the HD, you need to get the HD disconnect it from the streamer, disconnect it from power, go with it to the computer, connect it to the computer, then to power, transfer the cd, then go with it to the streamer, connect it to the streamer and finally connect it to power again. It is easier in a NAS, a lot easier.
Thanks. NAS it will be. The remaining question is what connects the NAS to the Amp. And then how that piece of kit (SONOS/Apple TV/Bluesound/HiFi Streamer) is connected to the - is Ethernet a better connection than Optical/Coaxial?
 

kerouack

Member
CD metadata?

CD metadata?

Do you write every information about the cd when you rip it ? like in jazz, every player in the cd ? thats important for me but can not be done atomatically by itunes, other options is not write it there and just check in internet, places like Discogs or wikipedia.
 

SChat

New member
'CDs degrade' (really?)

'CDs degrade' (really?)

It takes a surprisingly little time for the features of the NAS to overcome any residual legacy desire for the CD/CDP. Apart from the obvious footprint savings and cleaner looking room, the thing I like about this front end is the playlist/random shuffle feature that goes a long way in defeating the 20/80 syndrome - where one ends up listening to 20% of the CD collection 80% of the time. It may even be 10/90, for all I know.

Putting all CDs into playlists by genre and hitting random shuffle allows a lot more of owned music to be heard, compared to when CDs were the media and many languished unheard on the shelf. Or so I have found. This may not work well for western classical albums but for most other music, this is a very useful feature that I will find it hard to live without if I had to go back to a CDP. Setting up playlists for parties/occassions also has obvious advantages.
Had not thought about this - its a huge plus!

The other advantage that I have read about is one of which I am not very convinced; nevertheless here it is - CDs supposedly degrade after a decade or so and are prone to get corrupt. Moving their contents to a hard disc, appropriately backed up is a more reliable way to have assured access to their contents over the long term.

CD is now obsolete media and is winding down. Almost all the large CD stores I used to buy them from, have shut down CD sales because it isn't a viable business anymore. I expect vinyl sales to overtake CD sales in a very few years, because vinyl has other attractions.
That sounds strange. A hard disk is supposed to have life expectancy of 3-5 years. I have 20+ year old CDs that have not "degraded". To my ears at least.
 

Jeff_C

Member
Connections needed

Connections needed

Thanks. NAS it will be. The remaining question is what connects the NAS to the Amp. And then how that piece of kit (SONOS/Apple TV/Bluesound/HiFi Streamer) is connected to the - is Ethernet a better connection than Optical/Coaxial?
The usual setup is

NAS > streamer/sonos/apple tv... > optional outboard DAC > amp

The NAS is wired to the network hub with ethernet cable as is the streaming device. The streamer connects to the amp with RCA connectors. If you introduce an optional outboard DAC then you would usually connect that to the streamer with optical S/PDIF cable.

The NAS is probably the way to go, but you can just use a hard drive with your music on and leave it attached to a small computer or laptop. You can even use the integrated hard drive in the computer or laptop to store your music. It just needs to be set up on the network such that other devices on the network can read/write to it. For me that is the whole point of having a private network. It is just a shame that tablets do not behave like my other network devices. I have a network printer but cannot print from an android tablet/smartphone or iPad. Neither can they share files easily like normal computers on a network.
 

ssfas

Well-known member
PerfectTunes

PerfectTunes

Do you write every information about the cd when you rip it ? like in jazz, every player in the cd ? thats important for me but can not be done atomatically by itunes, other options is not write it there and just check in internet, places like Discogs or wikipedia.
I've been using the PerfectTunes package as part of the dbpoweramp package. Works brilliantly and is easy to check and modify metadata and cover art. Also handles compilations very well.
 

SChat

New member
Router, ethernet connection?

Router, ethernet connection?

The usual setup is

NAS > streamer/sonos/apple tv... > optional outboard DAC > amp

NAS is wired to the network hub with ethernet cable as is the streaming device. The streamer connects to the amp with RCA connectors. If you introduce an optional outboard DAC then you would usually connect that to the streamer with optical S/PDIF cable.
Does the streamer/Sonos/apple tv have to connect to the router/network hub(same as router?) using ethernet? How about wifi? My router is in a different room on a dfferent floor from my hifi! How about wifi?
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Future-proofing data

Future-proofing data

That sounds strange. A hard disk is supposed to have life expectancy of 3-5 years. I have 20+ year old CDs that have not "degraded". To my ears at least.
For what it is worth:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3940669.stm

The HDD life expectancy you refer to is for the moving parts, one that is used as back up may live longer. But it is important to have two copies accessible for redundancy and immediately replace one if there is a failure in any of the original two. One of the two will be the NAS. Personally, I have no experience of degraded CDs either.

Long term, the story of ALL data archival and retrieval is a big and unresolved issue as more and more current information gets stored only on digital media. The problem even extends to having the necessary tools available in future to read the data that will probably be stored in a format that will be obsolete as little as 50 years from now.

How will the future of a 1000 years ahead understand what was happening today, if all the information relevant to today is stored in undecipherable formats on digital media? It could be like hieroglyphs that can't be understood are the barrier to understanding much of the ancient world. A fascinating and as yet unsolved problem.
 

A.S.

Administrator
Staff member
Knowledge.... erased

Knowledge.... erased

As far as I am aware, manufacturers of data media (CD, DVD etc) certify a life expectancy, as demanded by their customers who need to understand how to maximise life. For CDs, stored under decent conditions, I believe it to be of around 100 years. I see no truth at all in a statement that such media has only a ten year life.

I'd say that a much more catastrophic concern is that the north-south magnetic pole switch is overdue. If that has the energy to erase hard discs, we will be grateful for printed books and CDs and we'll be back to the 18th century.

As for ripping audio CDs, setting aside any issues about audio quality etc., I strongly recommend that CDs are ripped to their native standard Red Book 44k 16 bit format, as this format is sure to be one of the ones that is readable generations from now as will be .pdf, .jpg and .doc files.
 
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