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 Post subject: Music server options
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
So it appears as if my desktop PC has gone to a better place. I do have my data backed up.

For many years I have been sending my (iTunes) music to my stereo via a squeezebox duet.

I am looking for options. Get a cheap laptop, and either keep with the Duet, or plug directly into my pre-amp/DAC - a Wyred4Sound mPre with usb, coax and toslink inputs.

My wife has a MacBook pro that has been 'offered' up, but it won't be dedicated I'm sure.

What are my options? I suppose there are various digital players where I can just plug in an external drive, or.....

Let's say a budget of $500, but willing to spend more.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Location: victoria, BC, CA
The free option is to use the Macbook Pro and install the X86 version of Volumio https://volumio.org/get-started/

Volumio X86 is a complete O/S dedicated to music playback, so you can't use it for anything else. I'd probably pick up a small SSD to use as a boot drive, and swap out the one in the Macbook Pro (assuming that's possible). Then you have the original OSX boot drive to swap back in if you decide to go with another option.

Then connect to your Dac via USB, and an external USB drive that contains your music.

This will get you up and running today, and you can save your $500 budget for music. If you like Volumio, but need the Macbook Pro for other stuff, then use the $500 to buy a Mac Mini and run Volumio headless from it (Volumio can be controlled via a web browser on a tablet or phone), or another old Macbook if you like having a display.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:33 am 
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Location: Rockwood, ON, CA
Pick up a raspberry Pi, plug in a usb dac and load up Volumio or max2play. You’ll have Squeezelite, Spotify, NAS streaming and Airplay, with which you can play Tidal off an iPad. $60 or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:46 am 
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Thanks for the responses.

I like the price of the raspberry Pi option.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:51 am 
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Leency wrote:
Thanks for the responses.

I like the price of the raspberry Pi option.


Further advantage of the Pi is you can stick A Hifiberry Amp2 on top and have a complete streamer/dac/60watt amp for just over $100. I mounted mine in a case for convenience. Sound is remarkably good.

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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:43 am 
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This looks sweet: $114 from China.
http://www.suptronics.com/miniPCkits/x5000k.html

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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:23 pm 
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I think the raspberry Pi will be my direction. Cheap and dedicated.

There is no way my wife would surrender her Mac Book for the sole purpose of my music.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:50 pm 
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Leency wrote:
I think the raspberry Pi will be my direction. Cheap and dedicated.

There is no way my wife would surrender her Mac Book for the sole purpose of my music.


If you need a hand with setup drop me a message.

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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:01 pm 
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Location: East York, ON, CA
I've been fiddling with android boxes for the past month and although they aren't super high end hardware they can get the job done by adding apps such as Squeezer and Squeezeplayer. Foobar is available as well, but I couldn't figure out how to access network drives and gave up.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:39 am
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
If you already have a DAC?

I just started experimenting with the Pi Solutions.

RP 3 + Allo DigiOne card (Dedicated SPDIF) or USB Bridge (if want USB).
Add Volumio and wow..... as Milesian says...they are great. These dedicated daughter boards that people are making for the RP's are great.

In my case I have a Plex Media Server/with BubblePNP running off my NAS. This with with the DigiOne/Volumio combo allows be AirPlay, DNLA and uses BubblePNP to hook into my NAS stored FLAC's and Tidal/Spotify in a bit-perfect fashion ...gives me an excellent streamer into my Schiit Gumby (which is still breaking in but is a nice pairing for this solution via BNC). The interfaces aren't as slick as Roon, but it works well enough, and I believe if you wanted to keep the laptop/mini that there is support for Roon endpoints in all this.

Milesian's pointer to HiFI Berry is also valid. From current reading pick the card you want for the functional solution you want and away you go...HiFi Berry and Allo seem to be the reference cards for this stuff at this point.

So far I'm a convert of PI's for these point/dedicated solutions.

Have fun.

Leency wrote:
I think the raspberry Pi will be my direction. Cheap and dedicated.

There is no way my wife would surrender her Mac Book for the sole purpose of my music.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:13 pm 
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milesian wrote:
Leency wrote:
I think the raspberry Pi will be my direction. Cheap and dedicated.

There is no way my wife would surrender her Mac Book for the sole purpose of my music.


If you need a hand with setup drop me a message.


Thank you for the offer Milesian. I definitely will contact you.

Deepreel, yes I have a W4S pre/DAC that has the usual, plus usb for inputs.


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:56 am 
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
Leency wrote:


Deepreel, yes I have a W4S pre/DAC that has the usual, plus usb for inputs.



If that's the case the just get a PI with whatever output board you want (i.e Allo USB Bridge or DigiOne). In Canada buyapi.ca is a good starting point.

The only real questions left then is exactly what your sources are? You mentioned files/FLAC's, do you want to use Tidal or Spotify, or Airplay etc?

If you want truly a standalone solution then for files you would put them on an USB disk pack and plug into the PI. Spotify is built into Volumio, Tidal as for my research so far isn't quite natively supported in Volumio and needs BubblePNP running somewhere on the network to be a hook into Tidal and leave the PI simply being an DNLA renderer. Tho there might be some other music only system distributions that hook into Tidal directly.

In my case I have a NAS that is running mirrored harddrives (always a good idea) with my files and also allows me to put on any other network service components (i.e. BubblePNP, etc) that are needed to make things go and the PI becomes truly just a streamer/renderer.

Cheers

Deep


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 Post subject: Re: Music server options
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:24 am 
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Tidal via Airplay from an iOS device is one option which sounds very good. Second would be to load up Max2Play software on the Pi and activate the squeezelite option. You can then use the iPeng app on your ios device which integrates Tidal and any network files you might have (plus a bunch of built in internet radio staions.)

I'm currently listening to the latter on my 3B+ and Hifiberry Amp2. Unbeatable combination in that price range.

Incidentally, before I got the Pi, I plugged a Dragonfly Red into my ipad with the powered camera attachment and played Tidal to my Audisector amp. Excellent sound. A good way to use an old ipad.
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