Questions on making server for FLAC playback

Discussion in 'PCs & Music Servers' started by Moon_Man, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    TB, GB...its all the same, right? :)

    Yeah, I meant 4 TB.
     

     

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  2. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Sure there is - the Router is a PC, just an Embedded one - it has memory and a CPU in it. That is why you have to 'update' them as there were holes, bugs, etc found in the embedded OS.

    Even the new Blu Ray players, streamers, etc. all have CPU's - they are all embedded devices. I know Mr. Pig will hate this (forgive me) but you can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig.
     
  3. KrisM

    KrisM Lunatic Member

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    Obviously, but I don't think that was what he was getting at when he said PC.
     
  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    I know what he meant but they work exactly the same, it is just hidden from view is all.
     
  5. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

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    What router will take 2 X 4 TB drives? The Synology router I want will only take one, as far as I know. I'm very interested to hear your response.
     
  6. whell

    whell AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Its this one: https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RTAC68P/

    It was a bit more than I thought I wanted to pay for a router when I bought it, but I also work from home, have 3 kids and a wife and they all have their own devices. So not only did I really want something bulletproof, it needed to handle the traffic well. Its a couple years old now, so you might be able to find one for a good price. I'd still stack it up against just about anything you can buy new today. Also, if you want to play around with 3rd party firmware, this router will do that too.

    It has one USB 3 port and one USB 2 port. However, while I have one 4 TB and one 6 TB drive hooked up to it, the 6 TB is actually as NAS, so it plugs into the network port. So, via USB, i have one 4 TB and one 2 TB (for movies and pics) hooked up to it (3 external drives total).

    Easy to set up, easy to use web - based interface, and it still gets regular firmware updates from Asus.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017

     

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  7. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Those are all computers - People get into this hate of PC's but everything has computers in them now, even fancy Refrigerators, etc.
     
  8. KrisM

    KrisM Lunatic Member

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    I thought we went through this already last week?

    My comment(s) were more in the spirit about the question about there being a way of doing this without a laptop or PC. I took the use of the term PC as I assumed the author meant it; an actual personal computer, or a desktop. There are many here who are not to hip to this stuff. To them, a device with a computer in it isn't what they consider a PC.
    I get it, computers are everywhere. I also get it that when I playback files I'm using a couple of them; the router and then the idevice/tablet.
    I'm guessing the iPhones being used around here are probably more powerful than the last desktop I had. No way am I calling my router, or my printer, or my bluray player, or my fridge, a PC though.
     
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  9. DangerBoy

    DangerBoy Active Member

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    Here's what I'm doing. You can find it discussed in this thread: Can you recommend a high quality DAC less music streamer?.

    First of all, I already have a QNAP 2 TB NAS Drive. It actually has two 2 TB hard drives in it but one backs up the other so my storage space is 2TB. I may upgrade this to a bigger one one day when I need more storage space. The house has wifi and ethernet in some rooms so I can access the content on the NAS drive (mainly movies and music) from anywhere in the house.

    Next I am replacing my PS Audio GCC 500 amp with a Peachtree Nova 300 or 150. It's an ice (gain cell) amplifier like the GCC but much newer and with many more capabilities and features. The awesome thing about this amp (besides all its great features and quality) is that for the month of September Peachtree will give you 25% off on the amp with the trade-in of ANY working amplifier. That means I can go on Kijiji and purchase a $40 10 watt POS amp and so long as it's working, Peachtree or it's dealers will give me literally HUNDREDS of dollars off on the price of the amp. :rockon:This offer is valid in Canada and the USA (I'm not sure about other places) but only until the end of this month. I think that if you look at everything these amps have to offer you'll see they're underpriced in the marketplace and with the 25% off deal that's on right now, they're a real bargoon. (Note: that I'm not in anyway associated or afilitated with Peachtree or any of its dealers - I just think they're good.)

    One of the best features of the Peachtree is that it's got a high-end ESS Reference 9018K2M Sabre DAC built in. To take advantage of this I've come up with a solution that allows me to stream FLAC files off the NAS and feed the digital output directly into the DAC on the Peachtree. To accomplish this, I went looking for a high quality network streamer that DOES NOT contain a DAC or an audio output stage because I will not ever use those parts so I don't want to pay for them. I wanted all of the money in the parts I will use and none in parts I won't. I also wanted something that came with a really nice full-featured Android App so I could run everything from my tablet and smartphone. I couldn't care less about iOS/Apple.

    It took a LOT of research and homework but I finally found the perfect device to meet my needs; the Simaudio Moon 180 Mind network streamer. This is a link to an informative review on the device. It has no DAC or analog output stage. No money wasted on components/capabilities I won't ever use.

    So like the Rasberry Pi/Digi Board solution, the 180 Mind will do the streaming via WiFi and convert the FLAC files to a digital stream which I will input into the Peachtree's ESS Reference 9018K2M Sabre DAC via coax or optical. Not sure which is better to use here. I'll probably try both and see if there's any difference. I'll run it all from my tablet and smartphone using the very full featured Android App that they give you (they have an iOS version too).

    The trickiest part of this whole endeavor was finding a 180 Mind still for sale. The manufacturer discontinued them a while ago and replaced them with something more than twice as expensive. At the end of it's run, the 180 Mind list price was $990 CAD (not sure what the US price was) but before that it was around $1300 - $1400 in both countries. The new models are $2300 CAD.

    If you read that other thread you'll see that after an exhaustive search across almost all of Canada I did manage to find one dealer that had two left in stock. I bought one of them. Anyone who wants the other can PM me and I'll tell you who the dealer is so you snap that one up. It may be the last one left in Canada. Not sure if any of the US dealers have any left but my guess is it'll be hard to just as hard to find one in the US as it was to find one in Canada. There was a used one listed on Audiogon today, not sure if it's still there. I don't expect it to stay available very long.

    Anyways, that's how I'm solving the problem. Time will tell if I did right spending the extra money on the 180 Mind streamer vs going the Raspberry Pi/Digi Card route.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  10. woofmytweets

    woofmytweets Super Member

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    i'm not sure it's necessary to switch routers just to do a backup - you should be able to accomplish that from one of the laptops or other computers, you don't need the backup attached all the time, that kind defeats the purpose of it - you want it safe, unplugged somewhere in case of lightning or theft or whatever.

    i know with some NAS devices, like my synology, you can accomplish the backup by means of having multiple disks installed, so that if one fails, you can simply replace the failed one...but that won't save you if there's a fire or if the unit breaks, or is stolen. an off-site backup is prudent for any critical data. I also know that the synology usb ports can be connected to a DAC of some type, although i've never tried it.

    fwiw, and i know i'm very late to the party, i have a windows PC connected to the home theatre & 2 channel systems. i control it on the tv via wireless kb & mouse and it drives a usb Teac 503 dac, which plays SACD DSD files, as well as the typical PCM. the dac is connected direct to my preamp, etc, etc.

    i should also note that if i don't want to sit on the couch, that computer can be controlled by windows remote desktop, which allows me to control it from any of my other devices (work pc, phone, tablet, etc.) by configuring foobar to output sound direct to the dac (necessary anyway for DSD playback, bypassing the windows audio management) when i remote in, the sound stays local (from foobar), and does not get routed to the computer (or device) i am remote controlling the media pc from.
     
  11. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

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    Well I finally pulled the trigger on a Synology RT1900ac router. Gonna hook my 4 TB Western Digital MyBook to it via USB 3.0, and a 32 GB SD Card for what small amount of local files, etc., I need to have network storage for. I have something like 1.8 TB of music on the MyBook now and will eventually get it up to around 3+. I wanted the Synology because I acquire music files now via FTP server and want to have the ability to operate like a pseudo NAS server by letting people access a directory to download from me. The Synology will do this, and lots more. Plus, I will wirelessly stream from the HD on the router to my netbooks and DAC (Maverick D1+ w/ tube and BB OpAmp upgrades) as well as to my desk with a Bluetooth speaker. I love new toys.

    Oh, and if your a fan of live FLAC music like me, I suggest you use Audacious as a music player. It's tiny, it only does music, it can be organized by folder/file structure, it automatically updates on the fly, etc, etc. I looked at a lot of players, this is exactly what I needed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018

     

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  12. hammr7

    hammr7 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Love this thread. Has anyone figured how best to rip from analog sources (LPs)? And what incremental resources should be a part of a music server?
     
  13. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Need a good ADC and software and HD space.
     
  14. hammr7

    hammr7 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I'm looking at a new desktop, and want to make sure it can be my primary music organizer / server / and can allow me to rip FLAC files from LPs. The rest of the specs are overkill (7th generation I-7, Nvidia 1070 graphics, 5TB storage, lots of USB 3.0, etc) and my house is hard wired. I realize discrete ADC is critical, but was wondering what interfaces work with the best ADCs. New Windows computers doon't carry firewire any more, and haven't gotten around to Thunderbolt. USB 3 would be easy, and PCIe is also possible, but when I checked a few years ago the best ADC devices and interfaces gave you huge track capabilities but very high prices. I really only need 2 tracks for most of what I am doing, and they don't need to be mics or powered.
     
  15. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Most still use USB 2.0 - it still has the bandwidth for ADC conversion.
     
  16. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

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    Checking in. I've now acquired two 4 TB Western Digital My Books, and a Synology RT1900ac router. One of the drives I've had for a while and has 2 TB of music, the other one (used, an Amazon Warehouse return at half the price of new), is going to be my back up. I tried setting up the Synology once when I didn't have enough time without success so I'm waiting until this weekend to try again.

    The plan is to set up the Synology, hook up the existing 4 TB drive to the USB 3 port on the router and use the card drive in the router for small local storage. The other 4 TB drive will be hooked up to my Netbook at my desk for periodic, manual backup. I'll be able to online download to the main drive through the router and use the NAS software to allow others to get to my files when necessary. And of course, I'll wirelessly stream to my Netbook/Maverick/vintage system when I want music. I'll report back when I have it set up.
     

     

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  17. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

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    Well, after much confusion with the new router, (my stupidity, really), I've got my home system setup the way I want (for now). The great thing about this site is that I started this threat about a year and a half ago, pursued this part time, took your advice and help, and now am very happy with what I have. Here it is:
    • Synology RT19001AC router. One SD card reader, and one 3.0 USB port. FTP hosting capabilities.
    • Two 4 TB Western Digital external hard drives. One formatted to XFAT and one to NTFS.
    • A Tube Magic DAC with upgrades.
    One ex drive on the router as the main drive, one on my laptop as backup. Now I can connect my laptop to my DAC and wirelessly access the music on the drive connected to my router and it works perfectly. It's a major improvement. The same network drive is my target for downloading music from friends via FTP and will soon be able to allow them access to my stuff.

    A couple of days, but I have to say the Synology router is amazing. Capabilities way beyond others.

    I'll report more I can.
     
  18. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

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    An update. Having one external hard drive formatted to XFAT and one to NTFS bothered me, so I make sure that they were mirror copies and then I reformatted the XFAT to NTFS so that I had true twins. The NTFS file format seems to run faster and with less hassle than the old FAT format, so while I had to recopy everything from one drive to another, I'm pretty happy with what I've got.

    And as the kids book says, "I was happy for one day".

    The problem with any project that you enjoy is that you don't want it to end. What I don't like is moving my laptop to my audio system when I want to play tunes. So....I'm thinking Raspberry Pi. I've gotten comfortable with trying something I know nothing about, so here goes. A couple of questions:
    • I assume a "kit" will give me all I need to hook it up to my DAC and have it connect to my network???
    • I assume an it will accommodate an SD card that I can load the Audacious media player that I'm using and run it from other wireless connected devices. but
    • Does it have an operating system? Will it work with Windows and iOS?
    Thanks folks.
     

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