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Wireless Music

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by garyjd, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. garyjd

    garyjd
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    Hi all,

    Im looking for some advice about wireless music systems. I have looked at the Netgear MP101 and the Dlink DSM320 and also the Roku (which looks great if not a bit more costly). Has anybosy any experience of these devices or would they recommend any other product? Obviously Im going to hook it up to my amp for use through my stero downstairs.

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  2. surfermc

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    Hi Gary,

    The only one I can comment on is the Roku Soundbridge. It work really well and integrates into the stereo really easily. With the Roku you need some form of system to serve the music files. This could be you PC or could be a dedicated NAS server like the NSLU2.

    Hope this helps.
    Martin
     
  3. Alex Simon

    Alex Simon
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    Hi Gary
    Assuming that the Sonos Controller isn't enough to justify the extra money, the Sqeezebox2 from Slimdevices is worth a look.
    AFAIK the Roku is the only one to support DRM though - you will need to look it up if you require DRM (i.e. a lot of your music is bought from online services like iTunes, etc).
    Hope that helps
    Alex
     
  4. jon stallard

    jon stallard
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    I have a philips streamium. I'm not going to say it's better or worse than any of the others because I've no experience of the others apart from a simple spec comparison vs price.

    What the streamium gives you is a no nonsense wireless connection from your PC's (it searches for any compatable wireless device - which means anything that you can download the philips software on - AKA a PC or two ) You plug the scart into your TV and the two stereo phono's into your Hi Fi. You use the TV to select your music (plus display the ubiquitas (sp?) visualisation - or as i prefer, the wierd graphics they used to show on the old grey whistle test to simulate a drugs experience).

    You can build up favourites and the like etc etc. However, it wont play Apple format files (although forum sources say there is a patch coming soon but who takes any notice of forums :) ).

    I bought mine for £136 or there abouts plus they do one that has a small built in display for connection only to your hi fi.

    As I said, it's simple and it works. Apart from the apple thing. As for allowing licensed downloads, I wouldn't know, I prefer to buy mine built into the circular silver disc thing called a CD. Luddite? Me? :smashin:

    Jon.
     
  5. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I sell these players and there are a number of options (in price order):

    1) Netgear MP101 - bigger than the others but the cheapest, bundled software is terrible, use TwonkyVision instead. internet radio is a pay-for service. Sometimes takes a while to boot up (fails to get IP). only supports MP3's

    2) Terratec Noxon - Small, large backlit screen and free internet radio without even needing the PC switched on. Only supports MP3's and only has a 3.5mm out so will need a 3.5mm to RCA cable or an adaptor (its not suitable for headphones). Mine has booted up first time every time and have had no problems yet. Again use twonkyvision. Only wifi, no network port

    3) Philips Streamium SL50i (as post above) - roughly the same price as the terratec but has RCA outs and network port. Free internet radio (requires PC to be on) but again only supports MP3's. Very small unit, but I found the screen too small and the lack of a backlight was a problem from anything over a couple of meters away. Again, supplied software is poor, uses loads of system resources, but works with Twonkyvision

    4) Creative Soundblaster Wireless - not tested this one yet, but screen is only on the remote which could be awkward

    5) Roku Soundbridge M1000 - I sold these before, but dropped them from the range, the screen is prone to failing and it lacks the features of the Squeezebox2 which is only £20 more!! Also, unable to search which is a problem with 000's of tracks

    6) Slimdevices Squeezebox2 - Best of the lot by miles, absolutely stunning product. Very reliable, supports all formats, internet radio, computer control if wanted (over a webpage so works on any pc on the network), visualisations on screen and a digital out for improved quality (people have chosen this over very expensive CD players!!)
    Also doubles up as a wireless bridge if needed (e.g. plug the PS2 or X-box into it to add wifi!)
    Software is excellent and reliable and can display album covers etc. on the PC

    As you can tell, I prefer the Squeezebox and I like to feel I am unbiased as I sell them all anyway!! I actually have a squeezebox for myself, but also have a demo model of all of the others

    If you have any questions, drop me an email at andrew @ audiofi.co.uk , I can also look into prices etc. if you want

    Pictures of them all are on my website www.audiofi.co.uk

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  6. Northern Monkey

    Northern Monkey
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    Hi Andrew (or anyone else)

    Do you have specific experience of problems with the Netgear bundled server software- after weeks of trouble free use mine packed in and despite uninstalling and reinstalling from CD-Rom it just will not run (I now get a Win32 something another error message which may or may not be connected) and I have no idea why? Have since seen quite a few reviews etc noting its instability although noone seems to have had this specific problem. Tried to install the free Twonkyvision server last night but could not work out how to get to the congiguration stage (albeit was tired and didnt spend long mucking about). Does anyone have an idiot's guide???
     
  7. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    My netgear software did exactly the same thing a while ago and I couldn't fix it, does it crash on startup as well?

    Easiest way to use Twonkyvision is the have itunes installed and let that organise your music collection for you.

    If you install itunes and set the library to work from my documents\my music\itunes I'll either send you some instructions, or it might be easier if I just send the .ini file already configured for you.

    Twonky is actually just one .exe and one .ini file so if I send the .ini file it will set everything up for you (and save you hassle)

    If you drop me an email at andrew @ audiofi.co.uk once you have itunes setup I'll sort the ini out for you

    Andrew
     
  8. Northern Monkey

    Northern Monkey
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    Cheers mate you have mail.

    For the record the netgear software does crash on start-up. Did more research on it last night and find it shocking that they actually released this product.

    Have now installed Twonky- the MP101 can find dodgy internet radio stations but it cannot find any of my music- guess this is where the itunes/ configuration of the ini file comes in.
     
  9. tigermad

    tigermad
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    The Roku Soundbridge can search. Where did you get this information from?
     
  10. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I owned one and all it let me do was scroll through each letter, I couldn't see how you can search on a remote without letters!
     
  11. garyjd

    garyjd
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    Thanks all for the info, Anybody any experience with the Dlink?

    I guess in time there will be more products coming on the market and hopefully some will be more reliable.

    Thanks again

    Gary
     
  12. Timbo99

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    Can't agree with this I am afraid - the Roku can search (but I agree who would want to with having to scroll through the letters of the alphabet :). Roku can also show graphic visualizers in time to the music if that lights your fire. Roku does Internet radio without having to connect to PC as well as playing iTunes Internet radio via playlists, plus it has digital out of course. Apart from that it gets loads of prizes in shootouts and is virtually a clone of the Squeezbox anyway. Doesn't Slimserver convert all files before streaming anyway - which is how it gets over apple lossless problems that the Roku has. Support for 802.11g is a good inclusion (Roku is 802b) but I don't wireless stream anyway - I deemed this too RF noisy for the rest of my poor delicate esoteric Hi-fi equipment to put up with ;-).

    Would be very interested if anyone can hear the difference in audiophile quality between the two though (or indeed any streamers), as although the Roku is very good through it’s own DAC (only a about 25% or so off my £2k Meridian player in my reckoning!), but I can’t get it to sound any better via an outboard DAC costing huge amounts of money!!

    Have a look at my posts on Roku forum if you like :)

    http://www.rokulabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=21878#21878
     
  13. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    I think Roku vs Squeezebox is more a matter of personal choice, the Roku looks best but the Squeezebox has better features (web interface and ability to play BBC radio via a plugin)

    I haven't really noticed a difference in quality between the two, but I use an external DAC. The Squeezebox2 has a better internal DAC than the Roku and probably comparable to my external one, but I had it anyway!

    Not sure about wired use, but my Roku had to stream each individual track on wireless which the Squeezebox doesn't seem to need to do.
     
  14. Timbo99

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    Well I am seriously thinking of buying a Squeezebox II just to see, but I don't really want to fork out another £200 if it sounds the same as the Roku on outboard DAC - like I said I can't make the Roku sound any different at all with a Chord DAC 64 upsampling and all - the results are identical within a whisker via analogue out or vastly more expensive DAC via coax digital out - very confused :-/

    Perhaps that's as good as the Roku gets, but why - digital data is digital data - if it's all there (and it is because network traffic has to be accurate) then why does the Roku plus Chord not sound as good as any transport with the Chord?
     
  15. ancientgeek

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    There's also the Apple Airport Express; very small and neat 802/11 b/g. It has digital audio out and is a good choice if you are an itunes user and happy to control it from itunes (no display or remote). It also offers printer sharing/network bridging. Ethernet, audio and USB connections; all built in to the mains plugtop.

    It's also very handy to take around with a laptop to create your own wireless network wherever you go.

    About ninety quid inc delivery.
     
  16. shuggy

    shuggy
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    What is twonky vision and why do only some players support i tunes
    thanks
     
  17. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    TwonkyVision is a freee music server program which is seen as most as the better alternative to the often poor software supplied (Netgear and Philips
    http://www.twonkyvision.de/

    As far as I'm aware, the Roku and Apple are the only ones with direct support for itunes, however, twonkyvision can access the itunes database directly so no need to rescan/move files and Slimserver also has direct support for itunes.

    I personally use itunes for storing my music to keep it organised, yet none of my players support it directly and it hasn't been a problem as both Twonky and Slimserver seem to use less memory and load on start-up and just sit in the background.

    Andrew
     
  18. shuggy

    shuggy
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    Thank you andrew
    Shuggy
     
  19. dapex

    dapex
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    Andrew. I have a Netgear MP101 and love it, I was using an old version of twonky and all was good, I used Itunes to store and organinse my muisc and create playlists etc and they were all availabe on my MP101, I had a few pc problems and lost twonky, U have now downloaded the latest version that hasd the 30 days free trial and it just aint as good, My biggets gripe is that my netgear no longer sees my playlists from Itunes....

    Can you offer any advice as the best thing about my previous set-up was that I had a playlist for my daughter so if were were having breakfast or anyhting it just had nice songs she loved and its just not the same now..

    Cheers
     
  20. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Do you know which version of twonky you used to have?
    I have a few old copies on my pc so I might have the same one I could send to you
     

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