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Media player advice?

Chippy99

Prominent Member
I need a media player / streamer that can do two very basic things:

1. Play 24/96 audio files, and output them at 24/96 without resampling or downsampling them.

2. Can be controlled via an app on an iPhone or Android phone. So I can select albums and tracks without having turn my plasma TV on.

Yet these seemingly basic capabilities are so difficult to find. I originally used an AppleTV version 1, which is great but doesn't handle 96khz (or 88.2) KHz content.

The Mac Mini does everything I need, but at £600 is an expensive solution.

Can anyone suggest any device (hopefully an inexpensive one) that can do what I want?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I couldn't say as I'm not sure what players support that but if your used to XBMC from ATV1, you might want to ask over on the Pivos forums if their Xios linux/xbmc firmware can output 24/96 (I presume Flac files).

However the Xios only has a HDMI output so your sound system would need a HDMI pass-through.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
This section of the forum is for discussing video streamers, so you are more likely to get the adivce you are after in the music streamers section of the forum - Streamers & Network Music Players | AVForums.com - UK Online
I suggest you click on the 'report post' button and ask a moderator to move this thread to the correct area rather than cross posting.

Mark.
 

Chippy99

Prominent Member
I couldn't say as I'm not sure what players support that but if your used to XBMC from ATV1, you might want to ask over on the Pivos forums if their Xios linux/xbmc firmware can output 24/96 (I presume Flac files).

However the Xios only has a HDMI output so your sound system would need a HDMI pass-through.

Thanks for you help.

I don't use XBMC. I did try it on my ATV1, but at the time the audio path in XBMC was significantly broken and did not allow any bit-perfect output at all, at any resolution. Whether they have fixed that or not by now, I am not sure. But it didn't run very well on an ATV1 either, so was not particularly appealing.

The Xios having HDMI only is a bit of a pain as well. I should have said in my original post, my ideal player should output audio via spdif (optical or electrical) or USB.

I can't believe how hard it is to find a device to do what I want. I bought an Xtreamer at one point, believing this would do it... but it doesn't.
 

juggler

Established Member
I need a media player / streamer that can do two very basic things:

1. Play 24/96 audio files, and output them at 24/96 without resampling or downsampling them.

2. Can be controlled via an app on an iPhone or Android phone. So I can select albums and tracks without having turn my plasma TV on.

...

Can anyone suggest any device (hopefully an inexpensive one) that can do what I want?

Do you already have a NAS or server?
If so, what is it?
If not, are you looking for an integrated device to serve as NAS and player, or separate devices?
Have you already got a DAC?
What's your budget?
Are you willing and able to do a little DIY configuration or do you want to have your hand held all the way?

A diy VortexBox, with or without a fancy DAC, perhaps with an optional SqueezeBox Touch or O2 Joggler running SqueezeOS, all controlled via a variety of smartphone apps, would do the job for very little money at all - if you have an old PC knocking around.
 

Chippy99

Prominent Member
Thanks Juggler.

I have a NAS, but to be honest I'd rather have the media directly attached to the media player since I am only interested in audio, and storage is so cheap. A few hundred gigabytes is all I would need and we are getting to the point where even 256GB SSD's are becoming affordable (as well as being silent, which is great for a hifi media player).

And I have a DAC - A Benchmark DAC1-HDR, which I am very happy with, at least for the timebeing.

I used to use my Mac Mini for this stuff, but now I have moved it to the office and I do work on it so cannot use it in the lounge as my media player. So I am looking for a replacement, that doesn't cost me another £500 or so for another Mac Mini. The cheaper the better really, provided it can output bit perfect 24/96 or better and has a nice remote UI. I have yet to find such a device, other than a PC or a Mac.

I am sure a cheapy PC would work - maybe a net top even - and running linux should be less hassle than Windows with it's endless updates and other nonsense. But it's still a fiddle, and probably £300 or so minimum. If Apple or WD or Asus or Netgear or Sony or whoeever else made a media player that did what I want, I would buy one in a heartbeat, but I just can't find one.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Maybe a Cambridge Audio NP30? Now for 299

Cambridge Audio SONATA NP30 - £299

It plays from the nas via a network, able to work with hi rez files and gapless too. It has a Stream Magic mobile app which is decent but i don't mind saying it needs a bit more work as it can be a bit temperamental sometimes and missing functions that i'm use to having on a Squeezebox



Or if you don't mind second hand and probably more ideal, Squeezebox Touch.
 
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juggler

Established Member
Or if you don't mind second hand and probably more ideal, Squeezebox Touch.

SBT prices seem to be creeping up at the moment. They're discontinued but are still pretty much the dogs bits, and the software is likely to be supported for a long time to come.

Seriously, assuming your files are Flac and that you're happy to install Logitech Media Server on your server, SBT or a clone is probably your best bet. I keep banging on about this but it's fairly straightforward to buy and convert an O2 joggler into a SBT clone with 24/96 async usb output for less than £40, and then you'd get access to a range of superb remote control apps - some free, some not. Note that not all DACs work with SqueezePlay OS on the joggler, though: 24/96 Squeezeplay and External USB DAC

If you didn't already have a nice DAC then I could have suggested a sender like the Arcam rWave, but that's a non-starter unless Benchmark do something similar. There might be a Bluetooth sender with 24/96 capability but I question the reliability of Bluetooth for hifi use.
 

Chippy99

Prominent Member
Thanks guys - some really helpful input there.

I didn't know about the Cambridge device and although slightly on the expensive side - for what I want - it does look appealling. It's a bit of overkill however, to only use it for locally attached files and also only use its digital outputs. £300's worth of kit of which half of the electronics would be of no value. But nevertheless, maybe. It does look like a nice bit of kit.

I had no clue what an o2 joggler was until yesterday and only this minute do I realise you can turn it into a SBT. That sounds fascinating.

I'll let you know how I get on!

Cheers
 

juggler

Established Member
I had no clue what an o2 joggler was until yesterday and only this minute do I realise you can turn it into a SBT. That sounds fascinating.

I'll let you know how I get on!

Cheers

I use mine daily with no issues. I found the SqueezePlay app running on the joggler slightly less stable than installing SqueezePlay OS to internal memory. I haven't yet installed the 24/96 update but plenty of folk have it working well.

However.. for £30-£40 it's hardly a major risk.
 

Chippy99

Prominent Member
Well, got my Joggler this morning and I have to say its a very nice little device. After a bit of fiddling about, I have Squeezeplay up and running and can stream all of my iTunes library over to the device no problem.

Next step is to try and get USB output working. Given my zero linux skills, that might be a bit more difficult! Also, I am not going to be able to test whether it's working properly, i.e. outputting the correct sample rate and bit depth because my DAC doesn't show such info. I am going to have to trust me ears - what a frightening thought!

EDIT: Well that was ridiculously easy. Plugged it into my Benchmark dac, selected "External" device for audio output and hey presto, it plays via USB through my Benchmark.

The next bit will be getting 24/96 working. At the moment everything plays fine (16/44, 24/48, 24/96) but I have no idea what is being output.
 
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juggler

Established Member
Well, got my Joggler this morning and I have to say its a very nice little device. After a bit of fiddling about, I have Squeezeplay up and running and can stream all of my iTunes library over to the device no problem.

Next step is to try and get USB output working. Given my zero linux skills, that might be a bit more difficult! Also, I am not going to be able to test whether it's working properly, i.e. outputting the correct sample rate and bit depth because my DAC doesn't show such info. I am going to have to trust me ears - what a frightening thought!

Excellent! I can't remember how the app works on when installed in the OpenPeak firmware but if you use Squeezeplay OS rather than the app and OpenPeak then there's a menu item to use external audio - i.e. USB - and another to disable the volume limiter so you can run at 100% volume to get bit-perfect output. Note that you can run SP OS from a USB stick rather than flashing to internal memory but then you'd either need to unplug the stick from the usb port to attach a DAC, and SPOS may not recognise the hot-swap without relaunching it - or use a USB hub, possibly attached to the internal USB port.
 

Chippy99

Prominent Member
Thanks mate. As per my edit above, it's all working via USB now as well. That part was incredible easy - just plugged it in and it works.

I would rather not have to install SqueezePlay OS to the device, but I don't have a (spare) hub, so I think I am going to have to. Unless I can get bit perfect working on the Joggler OS. For all I know, it may be already.
 

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