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Music Media Server

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by JohnS, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Having just bought an RME card and added a Highpoint Raid 5 contoller and a bunch of drives to my server I'm ready to start ripping some CD's.

    EAC is the recognised ripper but what should I encode them at. APE seems to be the lossless format of choice but I'd really like to hook in some Slim MP3 as terminals where theres not a PC but these only seem to accept MP3 formats. Are the higher bitrate MP3 formats comparable to the APE ones?

    Whats the ID tag bit on MP3's all about?

    What other options are there for whole house audio from my media server using multiple soundcards?

    Cheers
     
  2. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    John

    does the card sound better?

    rgds
     
  3. m@rk

    m@rk
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    Windows Media?
     
  4. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    John,

    I've gone for J River Media Center and the Media Lobby suite (Music Lobby DVDLobby MLServer) encoding using the .ape plugin to give me a common look and feel from anywhere in the house. MC9 also has multi zone capability. Early days yet but the option is to have either multiple PC's/Tablets/PDA's for viewing/listening/controlling with the option of having the expansion board off the RME feeding sperate poweramps for discrete speakers in comunal areas, dining room lounge kitchen etc.

    Steve
     
  5. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Nathan,

    Havent tried it much to be honest but initial impression with Music over my old cd player is a massive jump but then it should be because my cd player was about £350 about 10 years ago. I'm waiting for some bits to rehash my HTPC and should be up and running next week some time if you fancy a listen.

    Network Guy

    Can you elaborate please.

    Steve

    I have read a bit about the software you mention and for the office and the lounge where there are computers it seems like a reasonable option, but for rooms like the bathroom a webpad type device seems far too extravagant compared to the slimp3 type of thing.

    Anyone compared the compression formats? Is ape noticably better? Could I just chuck another drive in the server and bulk convert the ape files used in the lounge to mps for the other rooms where quality doesn't matter so much?
     
  6. MikeTV

    MikeTV
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    I quite like MP3 at 192 Kbps. But it is probably a function of your equipment and audiophile-ness. It is lossy, of course, but widely compatible.
     
  7. Epithet

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    Hi John

    I have a Shuttle based media pc in my lounge. The SPDIF feeds a Denon 3802 and Keff Eggs. I initially ripped my CD collection using MP3 at 320 and was quite happy when listening using WMP9. However, after upgrading to Media Center 9 I realised that WMP9 cannot differentiate between a CD and MP3 source. Media Center 9 revealed that even at 320 the MP3 rip is significantly inferior to the original CD. However, when I ripped the CD using APE the difference in quality was only very marginal. I have therefore re-ripped all my collection in APE.

    Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself. The full version of MC9 is available for a free 30 day trial. Just add the free APE plug-in and start comparative trials.

    Regards

    Epithet
     
  8. xio

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    Don't know of you've seen it, but there's an updated slimp3 avaliable now (as of last week I think) which plays 'raw' format music and has digital outs. Try www.slimp3.com
     
  9. m@rk

    m@rk
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    I was thinking more from a music anywhere point of view using Windows Media server (although you could do it with player) although in the last few days, I have been playing with the WM9 lossless encoding and am impressed. The only downside is large files (25MB per track in some cases).
     
  10. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Any news John?

    I'm heading your way next week on business, so could pop in for a natter

    I'm trying to get a music server together, aswell as one for DVD.

    Have you got Grider going with myHTPC?

    Rgds
     
  11. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Tp bring this back upto date I now have the RME up and running properly and think its everything its reported to be.:cool:

    Nathan

    If your down my way give us a shout and/or pop in. I'm working fro home a bit this week.

    Xio

    I had seen the new slimp3 and as you say it at least now plays .wavs. I am tempted to just rip my entire cd collection that way as it certainly seems the most universal way and as I was intending to rip as .ape it is only going to double the space needed.

    Ephiat and Steve

    I think its about time I tried MC9. Does the license allow for installation on more than 1 machine?
     
  12. Steve Bate

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    John,

    MC9 allows for installation on as many PC's as you have in your house, they appreciate that you'll be looking at "whole house" so give you the tools to do it. It has a Media Server mode built in so on your server you run the server and all of the clients attach to it and download the database inc coverart so you only have one location for the "music directory" saves on mapped drives :D

    It also supports multiple zones, you can download the full copy and test it out for 28 days here

    Steve
     
  13. Epithet

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    Hi John

    I do believe that MC9 desrves an audition. The 30 day trial is for the full featured system so you get plenty of time to explore its capabilities. I recommend that you spend some time comparing the quality of mp3 and ape plugins before you decide. I was amazed at the difference in quality between 320kps mp3 and ape when played back on MC9.

    Regarding the license - yes you can load the software onto more than one machine. But don't let you registration no. get out onto the web because they will blacklist you.

    Good listening

    TonyM
     
  14. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Thanks guys, downloading now.
     
  15. JohnS

    JohnS
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    OK chaps, been playing with media centre for a couple of days ad its raised some queries.

    My setup is with a server in my garaged which I access using terminal services. A couple of machines in my office upstairs, 1 in my lads bedroom and the HTPC in the lounge. The server has a raid array for storage.

    The way I've set up media centre is to install it on the server and import my rips into it. Make that the server and then the other machines connect to its library.

    Ist thing I've noticed is that I dont have enough tag information to make use of media centres better features. Update the tags form a local machine but they dont update the library on the server...apprantly its a known issue which may or may not be sorted out at a latter date. I cant rip on the server as I dont want to sit in the garage and it has no cdrom. If I rip from my local machine it stores on the server but doesn't update the library of the server:confused:

    What approach do you use as the best way round it?
     
  16. mephistopheles

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    Obviously you'd have to stick a CD-ROM in the server at least temporarily for either possibility to work. Is there room for one? If so:-

    How far's the garage? Could you use a KVM switch?

    What OS do you have on the server? Could you use PC Anywhere?
     
  17. VintageMark

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    Hi John... not up to speed with your overall aims...

    But Terminal Services has the ability to map local resources... there is a tick box to map local disk drives...

    Havnt tried it personally but it might be worth a shot as this might map your local CDROM to the server...

    If not, sorry it didnt help! :)

    Regards,

    Mark.
     
  18. JohnS

    JohnS
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    mephistopheles & VintageMark

    CDrom in the server is not an option really, need the space for hard drives, I just plug one in loose when I need to refresh the OS which is currently XPpro but is likly to become W2K3server but I need to try it out first. PCanywhere is not really necessary with terminal services/remote desktop but i didn't know about the mapping a local drive option cheers.:smashin:

    I take it that with MediaCentre that the extra tags and playlists etc are all held in the library? Would the ripping be more robust for changing front ends by using EAC with the ape plug in and then importing the whole thing to Media Centre as opposed to doing it "in house"? Any disadvantage with doing it that way?

    Media Centre seems to offer most of what I want but not quite all so I'm a bit concerned with "putting all my eggs in one basket", this with regard to the amount of time needed to rip my cd collection then to decide a different package might better suit my needs.
     
  19. Steve Bate

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    Been there and done that, I ripped my whole collection using Sonic Foundry Perfect clarity Audio then realised my options were limited, reripped using ape.

    Steve
     
  20. JohnS

    JohnS
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    So how have you ripped them now Steve, from within Media Centre or using EAC and the ape plugin?
     
  21. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    I ripped them from MC9 as this is core to my setup, MC9 runs in the background with MainLobby, MusicLobby and DVDLobby as the front end, they have a plugin to interface directly with MC9, very slick!

    I was actually in the same boat re location as well, my AVServer is also in the garage! It does have a DVD burner in it as well tho' so I didn't have to map another drive to rip.

    All in all I've now ripped a couple of hundred CD's and about 90 DVD's, I need another firewire drive now, haven't made the leap to an array just yet.

    Steve
     

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