Advice on Music Streaming

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by RWA1940, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    Wot I’ve got . . .
    ADSL wireless router (soon to be BT Fibre Modem and 4 port Wireless 10/100 Router)
    Desktop PC (XP Pro).
    Buffalo NAS (2x1Tb)
    Old AV amp, CD player, FM tuner in Conservatory.

    Wot I want . . .
    is to stream music off the internet (Spotify and VLC Media player, etc), transmit it
    (via Wi-Fi) to the conservatory, convert the data stream to audio (2xRCA Phonos)
    and hook it up the amp.

    Wot I think might do it . . .
    Found this on the Richer Sounds website – it seems to do exactly what I want,
    and for not-a-lot-of-money !

    http://www.richersounds.com/product...io-players/qed/uplay-stream/qed-u-play-stream

    I have tracked down and installed the PC program that will control it to start with – and
    perhaps eventually set up the app on my android phone to do the same.

    1) Am I barking up the right tree with this?
    2) Has anybody any experiences of it?
    3) Any comments?
    4) Is there anything else that I should be looking at?

    Richard

    Can anybody recommend a gigabit wireless router to hook up to the BT Modem ?
    The Buffalo NAS box and the RJ45 network connector in the back of the PC
    are both Gigabit capable so I’d like to speed things up a bit if poss.
     
  2. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    Mr Moderator? - thanks for moving my post - I realised it was in the wrong forum
    but didn't know how to move it! Ta

    I have done a bit more research on the QED unit and it seems it won't stream Spotify
    or internet radio - I sent a question to AV4Home - since they were quoting Spotify
    connectivity ...

    Question:
    Quote from the product Description . . . "From here you can stream your music library, plus thousands of internet radio stations and music services such as Spotify and last.fm"
    Can somebody confirm that this is the case? I want to be able to stream ?Spotify and
    other internet radio stations via VLC media player


    Answer:
    I have checked the manufacturers website and I cannot see that this unit is compatible with Spotify. Perhaps this functionality was removed at some point. I have now removed this line of text from the description.


    Thank you,
    AV4Home.co.uk


    So its back to the drawing board - current thinking is a cheapie tablet providing it has wi-fi connectivity and a stereo audio output - still looking !

    Richard
     
  3. Jamie

    Jamie
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  4. HeadBanger

    HeadBanger
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    I agree, Logitech's Squeezebox solution is still the best by far and is supported by the Squeezebox community. An example of this is the community solution to the BBC's change in streaming method.

    You can buy second hand, turn your iThingies or Android devices into players or build a player. You can also turn an AirPlay device into a Squeezebox using the iPeng app (with add on purchase for playback).

    The iPeng/AirPlay solution is very simple to set up. Search this sub forum if you're interested as I've posted a few times how to do it.
     
  5. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    Thanks for the posts, Jamie and HeadBanger – I am completely out of my depth on
    music streaming,so if I start talking b*ll*cks I apologise.

    I have had a look at the Logitech Media Server – downloaded and installed it
    I’ve also found the webpage and I can see the windows concerned with media,
    Favourites etc.

    I am not sure why you need to set up a squeezebox account but I have just in case.

    I am not keen on using a secondhand squeezebox – haven’t looked for any on sale
    but I suspect the cost will be outside my intended budget

    I have seen two or three cheapish hardware streamer boxes (cheap enough that if they don’t work I’ll not be too upset!), Digifunk (2 versions), Veetop and Neet (I think I saw
    that the two latter ones were very similar to each other)

    Digifunk
    DigiFunk® - WiFi Wireless Audio Music Receiver: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    Digifunk 2
    DigiFunk® - WiFi Wireless Audio Music Receiver 2: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    Veetop
    Veetop® HiFi AirMusic★Box-Support Multi-room: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    Neet
    Neet® - WiFi Wireless Music Receiver - AIRPLAY + DNLA: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    Will any of these work with the Logitech Media software? That is, when the software is looking for a player ?

    Is there a manual anywhere on-line for the Logitech Media Server software?

    Apologies once again if I'm talking through my xxxx !

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  6. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    TBH, a 2nd hand Touch would be £125-£150 or a Sonos CONNECT about £200. Either of these are well proven which as a newbie to streaming is worth considering. Buy cheap, buy twice...
     
  7. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    I have taken the plunge and ordered a Digifunk this morning
    DigiFunk® - WiFi Wireless Audio Music Receiver: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
    along with a 1000mA USB mains plug - I will let you know how I get on.

    amcluesent - I understand your keenness to suggest higher spec equipment but
    I would paraphrase your "Buy cheap, buy twice..." comment as follows - "Suggested equipment over-budget, don't buy anything..."

    Excuse my ignorance but "Touch" = Ipad Touch ? - how would that work to
    stream music off the internet (Spotify and VLC Media player, etc), transmit it
    (via Wi-Fi) to the conservatory, convert the data stream to audio (2xRCA Phonos)
    and hook it up the amp. ?

    Regards

    Richard
     
  8. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Think he's talking about Logitech Squeezebox Touch
     
  9. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    stephenbarnes . . . - er yes I understand, that makes more sense, but
    still too expensive....
     
  10. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    How about one of those android tv boxes/generic media streamers, Sumvision Cyclone Micro 4? Those will play music but you'll need a display.

    Also your squeezebox software needs to have UPNP plugin enabled, so other non logictech streamers can connect to the logictech service.
     
  11. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    stephenbarnes . . .yes thank you for that - just checked, the UPNP/DLNA plugin
    is already enabled !

    Had a quick look at the Sumvision unit on Amazon - seems OK - but, as usual, a
    very mixed bag of reviews - I don't know whether its just Amazon customers but
    the ratings were from one star up to five.

    Richard
     
  12. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    finalish report . . .

    First realisation - I needed to sort out some form of wireless network adaptor on my
    desktop PC - I had half an idea when I started that the wireless link would be through
    the router - Wrong!

    £6.99 USB Wireless dongle purchased, plugged in, found all the local wireless networks
    protected and unprotected, also the Digifunk music player - got it hooked up fairly easily
    (SSID : WifiPlayer_01B88E).

    I spent a lot of time trying various software programs to connect to the Digifunk without
    success - the best chance at streaming came with the Airfoil software (very old Win XP
    version - no longer supported etc.) it seemed to be hooking up to the Digifunk but failing
    at the last stage with a complaint . . .

    Airfoil was unable to connect to the remote speaker "WiFiPlayer".
    Please check the firewall on the computer where "WiFiPlayer" is
    running and try again.

    Contacted Danny at Digifunk - this baffled him for a little while but then he suggested taking
    the Wifi Dongle out of the setup - this solved the problem - used an old laptop with wireless connection built in - worked fine.

    After I spent a lot of time to-ing and fro-ing trying to get the Digifunk player working with the
    wireless dongle and win XP Pro, I decided that I really ought to catch up with the 21st century.

    So I'm now typing this on a new PC - Dell/Intel Core i5 / 8GB RAM / 1Tb HD / Nvidia Graphics
    Card / Win 8.1 64bit.

    I have still not finally sorted out the system - the new PC is fitted with a "Dell Wireless-N
    1705 card" - it worked ok hooking up to the Digufunk unit in the conservatory, while I was
    setting everything up in my living room , but when I moved the PC into my little computer
    'office' the wireless signal wasn't strong enough to connect to the Digifunk.

    I notice that the Dell card does not have an aerial fitted so am I going to need some sort of
    wireless repeater system to reach to the conservatory?

    Richard
     
  13. larkone

    larkone
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  14. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    Todays update . . .
    Swapped cordless mouse and keyboard for USB cabled ones yesterday.
    Airfoil and Digifunk worked 100% all day - signal strength seemed to drop a bar now and again.

    Problem this morning with Mcafee firewall, the music system is now working again after
    I kicked the firewall software into touch. The Mcafee antivirus and firewall software
    seemed to be doing a lot of fiddling about in the background - (it was a year's licence freebie with the win 8.1)

    I had already updated & installed my favourite AVG antivirus software.

    Richard
     
  15. Cebolla

    Cebolla
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    Richard,

    I've not bought a new Windows machine in quite a while, but from what I remember of the preinstalled 'free for a year' applications, like the Mcafee antivirus, is that they are nothing but bloatware at best with the potential to do all sorts behind your back.

    I'd certainly advise entirely removing the preinstalled Mcafee & reusing AVG. My personal preference is the combination of Avast for the antivirus & Comodo for the firewall.

    I've come to this late on as far as looking at the streaming aspect of your setup. I know it's only ~£20 for AirFoil, but you may have been able to stream for free if you'd gone the UPnP/DLNA route (which the DigiFunk also supports) instead of AirPlay with your sound capturing and streaming software for the computer, if you'd used Stream What You Hear (SWYH) instead:
    Features | Stream What You Hear

    John
     
  16. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    John/Cebolla
    Ta for the reply, I bought a licence for Airfoil simply because I'd got 'furthest' with it
    in streaming music and once Danny at Digifunk had sorted out the wireless dongle
    problem it fired up 100%.
    I had tried one or two other programs before I got to Airfoil - but I was completely
    out of my depth with organising the UPnP/DLNA settings - I did try Stream-What-
    You-Hear and MusicBee, but lack of knowledge and the nagging feeling that trying
    to set up any streaming system on an XP system was never going to work steered
    me towards Airfoil. I shall have a crack at setting up SWYH and let you know how
    I get on !!

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  17. Cebolla

    Cebolla
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    It's a moot point now, but SWYH requires Windows Vista and later, so wouldn't have worked with your old XP machine. This is because it uses WASAPI (Windows Audio Session Application Program Interface) functions to capture the sound, which was introduced by Microsoft after XP. It's probably the same reason why you could only use the older version of AirFoil with that machine.

    It would certainly be interesting to see if you can get it to work with the Digifunk and how it compares, especially sound qualitywise, with AirFoil.

    There are rumours out there that AirPlay drops 'bits' in order to maintain sync between sender and receiver. Having said that I believe the cheaper AirPlay supporting streamers, like the Digifunk, don't use Apple approved components. These devices rely on the reverse engineered AirPlay (aka 'open source' AirPlay) instead and don't support the more advanced functions the AirPlay such as the sync mechanism anyway, so ironically may have better SQ than approved AirPlay streamers.

    UPnP/DLNA streaming is certainly known for not to 'losing' any data while streaming, though the prequisite is a decent network connection to avoid dropouts, especially when using WiFi.

    Incidentally, what are you using VLC media player for in this setup, if you don't mind me asking?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  18. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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    John/Cebolla

    Interesting comments on non-standard Airplay kit possibly giving better sound
    quality, another reason not to buy Apple stuff.

    VLC - I'm streaming various internet radio stations through to my conservatory
    Classic FM, The Arrow, Folk Alley, Absolute 70s, Absolute 80s - eventually I will
    get a lot more of my CDs ripped and put together some decent playlists - but
    being retired I don't have quite enough hours in the day just yet!

    Report on today's streaming ... Airfoil and Digifunk worked 100% all morning
    and most of the afternoon, but around 3:30 to 4:00 started dropping out and
    eventually wouldn't connect to the Digifunk.

    I've used an optical cable to hook the Digifunk player up to my old Yamaha
    DSP-A5 amp (running just two channels not five!) - the sound quality of
    the Airfoil/VLC/Digifunk combo sounds very good.

    Now if I can just crack beefing up the WiFi connection through to the
    conservatory I would be a very happy bunny! Better output from the
    Dell Wi-Fi card in back of my desktop pc and/or better reception at
    the Digifunk end. distance is around 15 metres with one or two block
    walls between my little computer cubby hole and the conservatory.
    Am I perhaps expecting too much of WiFi transmission?

    Richard
     
  19. RWA1940

    RWA1940
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  20. del_86

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