Advice on streaming setup

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by GodAtum, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    I have just invested in a pioneer LX-55 amp and MA RX6 speakers. I wish to listen to a mixture of MP3s, Spotify and HD lossless music which are located on a PC in another room. What is the easiest way to get music to stream to my amp?

    i dont think I can use a normal media streamer (eg from Niam) as it would not play my Spotify music. Also something like a Sonos would not support 24bit-192kHz audio.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  2. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    Squeezebox Touch supports Spotify subscription and will stream 24/96 natively, anything higher will be transcoded down to 24/96 in realtime by Squeezebox Server running on the PC. Chances are an AV Receiver's amps will not discriminate between the hi-rez streams.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  3. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    Thanks I never heard of that one before so I'll look into it. A Sonos bridge and connect does look quite tempting as well. if I did not have a PC, just a NAS drive, will either of those options work?

    Also, could I connect a pre amp to a Sonos make it sound better? Do i need a separate DAC or power amp?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  4. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg
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    Sonos won't do HD as you said in the first post.

    If you were willing to forgo HD the easiest way would be to download Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil programme and then use Airplay on the Receiver. Add in something to remote control the PC and you're done with no extra wires.
     
  5. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    Cool, thats a great bit of software :) It's a shame the iPhone app does not feature Spotify control, unlike the Mac version. And lossless audio over wifi is a bit laggy.

    is there an equivalent Ubuntu software?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  6. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    Another question, why would someone bother with Sonos when Airfoil will do the same job?
     
  7. wysinawyg

    wysinawyg
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    Sonos is a lot more flexible for multi-zone and multi-room type applications.

    Arguably issues over sound quality (although I'm far from sure that is relevant with Airplay enabled amps).

    And for Spotify control you can always just use the iPhone Spotify app and stream directly from that to your amp without the computer in the way (assuming you're on whatever the right subscription is).
     
  8. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    In the future I.m planning to put all my media on a NAS. How would this affect my setup? I guess I would have to move from Airfoil onto a uPNP software? What software would you recommend (I'm looking for one with a good iphone/ipad app to control it remotely).
     
  9. juggler

    juggler
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    It's probably my turn - as a recent convert - to enthuse about the Vortex Box system, if you are moderately PC literate. It's essentially a linux distribution which turns a cheap lower power PC into an auto-ripping NAS and digital audio player with knobs on. You can buy VB systems preconfigured from a number of places, but I even so I wouldn't recommend one to a technophobe.

    One component of it is Logitech Media Server (fka SqueezeBox Server) - which can be controlled from the iPhone by a variety of apps; Logitech's own is free, iPeng is shiny, Squeemote is simpler.

    LMS runs a variety of plugins for e.g. spotify, iPlayer, Last.fm

    What you could do is install LMS on your PC to see whether you like it, together with a software player - SqueezePlay - which runs locally on the PC too, and download the iPhone app. All are free.

    If you like that then you could either buy a squeezebox touch or a tiny PC to function as a vortex box player for around £130.

    The principal weakness of the VB software audio player is gapless hi res playback. VB can do it but I found the remote control apps for it a bit rough round the edges. However if you use a squeezebox this shouldn't be an issue for you.

    Then you could move to a VB or other stand-alone LMS server at a later date. You can also add a higher quality DAC for improved sound.
     
  10. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    That's an interesting option. Does the Logitech Media Server require a Logitech streamer setup or can I just use it to stream to my amp?

    Could I use LMS on its own on a NAS or pair it with Twonky?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  11. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    I've installed both but they cannot see any of my music files. They are located on a shared drive. I access this via the VirtualBox VM which is running Windows 7.
     
  12. HeadBanger

    HeadBanger
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    Possibly because both Twonky and LMS are trying to use the same port - normally 9000. If you can view the LMS web page go into the advanced settings and change the port # (under network settings I think).
     
  13. amcluesent

    amcluesent
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    Yep. Or the virtual machine hasn't been given access to the host drive?

    OP, you do seem to be making heavy weather of the whole streaming thing. Maybe take it one step at a time rather than jump straight to full-on audio and video streaming with bells and whistles?
     
  14. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    I've decided to go for a simple option and now am using Airfoil to stream to my amp which seems good so far. I am streaming both iTunes, VLC and Spotify. I can use the Airfoil iPhone app to control what's playing, unfortunately it cannot be used to view playlists.
     
  15. GodAtum

    GodAtum
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    A quick update: Streaming either wirelessly or wired is a bit laggy unfortunately :( My amp is connected via a switch > power over ethernet > router and back again.
     
  16. niall campbell

    niall campbell
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    change channels on router
     
  17. juggler

    juggler
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    Sorry, I'm a bit slow to reply; I'd failed to subscribe to the thread. I should also say that my previous reply may have lead you slightly in the wrong direction; I'd failed to realise that the amp supported AirPlay and (presumably) DLNA.

    Just for reference.. I spent a long time trying to get Airfoil and an Airport Express working well for me.. a summary is here. My AE will be sold tomorrow...

    The (free) iTunes remote iPhone app will display playlists if you are streaming from iTunes on the laptop to the AE, but not if using Airfoil. The various LMS remote control apps all work with playlists.

    The wireless lagginess might be improved by changing router channel - you can get a wifi scanner to show whether lots of channels are in use near you. Other things which may help are downgrading the security on your network from WPA2 to WPA or WES, and reducing the beacon interval on your router as low as it will go.

    The wired lagginess may be improved by getting rid of the 'power over ethernet' connection. I tried some Devolo type homeplugs. They worked but were way slower than their quoted speed. I believe that if you have extension leads or lots of devices with switched mode power supplies plugged in near the homeplug device then they really suffer. You could try temporarily using a long CAT5 cable to see whether matters improve. (My homeplugs were sold earlier this week...).

    It may even be that the networking firmware in the amp is a bit average; is there an update? Or is there something busy going on elsewhere on your network?

    To tackle your other Qs in the order you asked them:

    You've probably worked this out already..

    If you are only using LMS you need a player. This can be a hardware player - one of the Logitech devices, or a software player running on a PC - which may or may not be the same PC as the server.

    For completeness, the iPeng iPhone app has an optional plugin to function as a squeezebox player, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't an Android equivalent. The PC (including I believe Linux and MacOs) based equivalents are SqueezePlay - which has a UI - and SqueezeSlave, which doesn't. More options are listed here. Again, for completeness, if you are using a software player on a Vortex Box then there are two more options, the Vortex Box player and mpd. Detailed discussion of which is best for you can wait until another day.

    However - if I've understood your amp correctly - you should be able to control everything from your amp and use DLNA to play your music. Either install one of the LMS DLNA plugins, or use Twonky, or use the built-in Vortex Box DLNA server. As HeadBanger noted you'll have to configure either Twonky or LMS to use a different port if using both. I'd uninstall one and get that working before installing the other.

    It may be that your amp can connect direct to a shared iTunes library on your local network i.e. use a DAAP server (aka iTunes Server). Note that this is not the same thing as iTunes Home Sharing, which is to do with having multiple copies of your music.

    Some NAS devices have both DAAP and DLNA servers installed by default; VortexBox does. Any PC running iTunes can easily be made to function as a DAAP server by enabling library sharing, so you can easily test whether this will work for you.

    That said, I don't like DAAP. Album artwork doesn't work terribly well and iTunes itself doesn't do a great job when connected to a DAAP server. It may be right for you, though.

    Lastly, a couple of pointers to getting LMS running if you still think it may be the way forward - in the web admin page for LMS, i.e. VM IP address:9000. It may that you haven't pointed it at your music. There are two ways of doing this - on Basic settings you can set the folder where your music lives, or on the iTunes tab you can get LMS to expose your iTunes library. Since I'm using a VB I do this the first way and connect iTunes to the VB, though; I've never tried the other way round.

    Finally.. I think the route you choose will depend on how you want to control playback. If you only ever want to use the Amp (or the Amp's app or remote) to run the show then DLNA or DAAP should work fine without LMS.

    If you want to control things from a variety of sources (PC, more than one iPhone, Android device) or ever move to a multi-room system then LMS makes more sense. If the amp can't connect direct to Spotify then LMS will fill this gap for you, too.

    If it were me I'd use LMS with the DLNA and Spotify plugins and forget about Twonky for audio. I wouldn't use the iTunes integration features of LMS - it'll make moving to a separate NAS easier later. LMS can expose pictures and videos, too, but I've never tried either feature.

    HTH
     

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