HTPC - Music & Blue Ray

Tank1980

Standard Member
Evening all, this is my first post on AVForums, great forum by the way!

I am currently in the process of putting together a HTPC, i have the following already: -

Q6600 CPU (Thanks DAD)
Gigabyte P35C-DS3R Mobo
2 x 750GB Spinpoint
2 x 1024 Corsair DDR2 RAM
Corsair HX520 modular power supply
Ninja Mini CPU Cooler (that aint mini!!)
Silverstone LC17 Case

Still to get

Blue ray unit (any recommendations?)
Graphics card (no idea what to get??:confused:)

My main question is, Music is my first love and i was wondering would a Graphics card with HDMI, say a 3450 or 2600XT etc be any good to play my music or would i need a dedicated sound card to hear it in all its glory?

I will be using MA Bronze BR5's to listen to the msuic if it helps?

(The HTPC will only be used for Music, have over 5,000 CD's to put on it, play blue ray discs and surf the web. Will use the 360 for all my gaming).

Many thanks

Tank1980
 

velvitjester

Active Member
Evening all, this is my first post on AVForums, great forum by the way!

I am currently in the process of putting together a HTPC, i have the following already: -

Q6600 CPU (Thanks DAD)
Gigabyte P35C-DS3R Mobo
2 x 750GB Spinpoint
2 x 1024 Corsair DDR2 RAM
Corsair HX520 modular power supply
Ninja Mini CPU Cooler (that aint mini!!)
Silverstone LC17 Case

Still to get

Blue ray unit (any recommendations?)
Graphics card (no idea what to get??:confused:)

My main question is, Music is my first love and i was wondering would a Graphics card with HDMI, say a 3450 or 2600XT etc be any good to play my music or would i need a dedicated sound card to hear it in all its glory?

I will be using MA Bronze BR5's to listen to the msuic if it helps?

(The HTPC will only be used for Music, have over 5,000 CD's to put on it, play blue ray discs and surf the web. Will use the 360 for all my gaming).

Many thanks

Tank1980
Why would you use a graphics card to play music?

are you putting it through an amp or what?can the amp accept HDMI

any cheap graphics card will do,get one with hdmi.They cost about 40 quid.
 

badbob

Banned
You need to send audio to your amp, that's the easy bit.
But how to play music is another, for navigation you need to have a HTPC front end, and a display.

Or you could get a Squeezebox as you don't need HTPC front end software, and is indepandant of the HTPC software, also you can have multi-room with the SB, unlike the HTPC alone. If you've got other people using music playback with the SB at the same time you use the HTPC for movies, then can also do this.

With 5000 albums you're probably looking at 1 or perhaps 2 1TB drives (lossless)
 

Tank1980

Standard Member
Thanks for your reply, i have a onkyo 605 amp that i will run the htpc through.

Looked at the squeeze box, they look good but was trying to avoid spending the extra money if i could use my HTPC as a music library and control album selection form it? just thought a sound card might help the music sound better.

Once again thanks
 

badbob

Banned
Yes you can use the HTPC for music playback, either with XP MCE or Media Portal. But you need to have the TV on, which seems stupid. Or need a LCD on your coffee table, plus the cabling required from your HTPC to the coffee table. Which is similar in cost to a SB. And you still have the limitations with HTPC front end- cannot use computer at the same time as music playback.

I have a HTPC and gone through all this myself, have used HTPC for music playback so learnt about it's limitations and problems. XP MCE has problems with database with unsupported files (flac & ogg) It also arranges database totally unlike Winamp, it's all screwy. Tags are 100% correct. And with the SB can create custom filters, which XP MCE lacks.
 

Tank1980

Standard Member
Thanks badbob, so what you’re saying is its best to use the SB and the software that comes with it and use the HTPC purely as a storage device?

Just wanted some king of system where by i could select music using the album front cover, don’t mind if the TV is on to do that, thought my HTPC would be the solution. Ah well.

I will look at the SB more closely

Cheers:)
 

badbob

Banned
HTPC purely as a storage device?
Depends how you're doing it, and what your budget is. But yeah I would recommend that your HTPC is used for video playback only. You have the choice of mass storage in the HTPC, or perhaps a NAS or file server elseware in your house to reduce noise where the HTPC is situated- if you need several TB. Or want a slimline HTPC, with server elseware.

Then for music playback use a external streamer. You can use a PC for music playback, like sitting at your desk with Winamp open, but modifying this to a easy to use (from a distance with a remote integrated into front end) system involves quite a bit of work, and it never works as smooth as the SB. IF a VFD with a windows service integrated into Winamp (service not application) that would be ideal, then if you can use an external controller to communicate and control the VFD and in turn the music player service.

If you have a PC already try installing Media Portal to get a idea, it works better than XP / Vista MCE. If you want a posher install I'd probably fit a flush mount touch screen 17" into a coffee table, although you said leaving the TV for music is OK I think a bit silly- also if you have a plasma risk of screen burn, and extra power consumption. You could infact have the coffee system fitted with the Media Portal systm, then later on get a SB 3 - connect to the slim devices web page (Nokia Skin) and have benefit of SB service, plus better control. It looks like this.

http://benklaas.com/slimserver/nokiaskin_screenshots/new/album_view.png

I'm thinking about using a wireless UMPC PC (asus eee) as a remote.

The Squeezebox software is actually just a service, so once it's loaded apart from a system tray icon (which can be removed, you never know that other people are using the HTPC as a controller, it's great as I can play music on the SB in the other room, plus the SB in the HT plus play a video with Media Portal all at the same time :thumbsup: You cannot do this with a HTPC, you'd need several soundcards, with software somehow routing the sound to each soundcard (zone) with ability to remotely (or from the controller ) navigate music.

Cost of a SB is £150, a VFD for a HTPC is £50, and those only display track/PC info, you still have to work out how to get music software to communicate with it.

I've set My Music in Media Portal, so can use it for playback if the TV is on but rather use the SB.

Since you want to navigate with album art perhaps consider Logitech Duet? You get a receiver which can be hidden away, and you control the system with a bi-directional touchscreen remote.
 

dazm41

Well-known Member
i have to agree with badbob sb is the way to go with music plus you will have a lot better dacs in the squeeze box:hiya:
 

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