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HDD Jukebox - What front end?

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by sounddog, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Hi ...

    A few times in the past I've considered building a HDD / PC based jukebox ... but each time fallen over at the first hurdle of finding a front end that I actually think I could get along with. I'm not interested in full HTPC setup ... just a music "jukebox" of the Linn type system ... also only needs to be a single zone system - though the ability to supply files to a 2nd/3rd zone with another PC or a AudioTron / SliMP3 type device would be a welcome bonus.

    I was considering building something initially with "spare" parts (maybe PIII 700 with lots of RAM and a SB card) but if it was a sucess it would probably end up in a Hush PC system - with a large HDD, and maybe a high quality sound card - or use SPDIF output to an external DAC (which is better?). Would also rip CDs in lossless format - probably just as .wav files unless anyone can suggest a lossless, high quality file format that is reliable.

    So the question is ... what front ends do you guys use?? The front end doesn't need to have facility to RIP directly, but must support importing tracks from other systems. Also it must be remote controlable and work without a keyboard / monitor. Using a Palm or similar device to control it MAY be possible though. Also I have no real preference for OS though of course LINUX would mean no licencing issues/costs.

    Not sure if I'm going to go ahead with this project ... but it's an alternative to buying a high quality CD player and continuing to keep the discs on book shelves.

    PS ... needs to be high capacity - I have several hundred CDs - and to make this a workable project I need to be able to store ALL of them on the Jukebox ... otherwise it becomes pointless like the Sony 200 Disc changer we had before.

    Vikki
     
  2. loonatic

    loonatic
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    Hi,

    I searched around for a while looking for a decent front-end for my HTPC/JukeBox and in the end I decided to write my own.

    It is currently still under development but is working.

    It has been designed to be run in full-screen mode on several popular resolutions. You can use either the keyboard/mouse, IR remote or the touchscreen TFT I have to control it. And the interface either uses a PC screen or a serial VFD display.

    All of the MP3's are stored on a server I have under the stairs on a pair of 160GB drives. The reason for this was to allow more than one access point.

    In the media room you can access it via the HTPC which has an optical out to my amp. On my PC I simply use a pair of PC speakers and in the living room I have built a very small EPIA based PC which outputs into my HIFI.

    It only handles MP3's and WAV files at present but supports playlists, seaching, shuffle etc.

    It has been written using Visual Basic.

    I can post some screen shots if your interested.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Have one of Phil Hales' UVEM HTPC's here...absolutely excellent.

    can give you the full spec,but from the CD etc point of view....Uses a DVD-rom drive as the disc spinner,Winamp with ASIO plugin to avoid windows kmixer and a 200Gb disc to avoid any storage problems,with an M-Audio Revolution 24/192 soundcard used only as a digital out
     
  4. gallus23

    gallus23
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    I use MyHTPC for videos and front end for all my MP3's and digital photo's.

    Its by far the best front end I've found...... and its free....


    http://www.myhtpc.net
     
  5. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    I use 4am music console from www.overnighttech.com. I think it's great, uses Winamp for the playback which I also have configured similar to alexs2 using the ASIO output plugin although I have mine using the analog outputs of the Maudio revolution as I like to use the Circle Surround II processing sometimes.
    Alexs2 - I didn't think the Maudio revolution was working with the ASIO plugin via SPDIF yet! How have you got that working?

    Andy.
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    zAndy1...just checked the spec of the machine....we specified a choice of 2 cards when discussing the internals of the HTPC....it's actually an AudioTrak Prodigy inside....so my mistake....does have the ASIO plugins though and sounds pretty good....not as good as the Perpetual Tech P1A/P3A combination,but very close when the P1A is used on the SPDIF output.
     
  7. SunnyUK

    SunnyUK
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    Hey loonatic, could you possibly elaborate a bit on that "touchscreen TFT"? That sounds VERY interesting!
     
  8. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I use 4am console on one machine and Sonic Foundry ScreenBlaster (formerly Siren) on another.

    4am is working with embedded player (WMP9) thru STAudio DSP24 sound card (no ASIO required as driver bypasses kmixer). ScreenBlaster player works thru RME DIGI96/8 PAD (also without the ASIO as driver bypasses kmixer).

    For ease of use and presentation I qulite like 4am Console. Try setting up a wireless tablet Pc or SmartDisplay and run Remote Desktop to control the HTPC. It would look very cool.
     
  9. sounddog

    sounddog
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    And also blow any consideration of a budget out of the sky ... I'm thinking of £100s not £1000s.

    Vikki
     
  10. Jimbob123

    Jimbob123
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    What case did you guys use?

    I'm thinking of a similar idea, where I recycle an old PC and put all my MP3s on and music videos. I want it to look and feel like any other peice of AV equipment, with a remote control, component/composite/SCART/S-video output and RCA audio output.

    Would any of you guys mind posting some pictures of your jukeboxes?
     
  11. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    I use winamp with ASIO and my Revo and SPdif out

    ASIO4ALL
    &
    out_asio.dll

    out_asio.dll you in your winamp directory
     

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