High res music streaming

vkalia

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Hi guys - need some advice.

Presently, I have a Sonos Connect that I use to stream music from a folder on my laptop. It works fairly efficiently, and the Sonos app lets me play either the music on my hard drive or from Spotify.

However- there is a catch. This music in this folder is actually a bunch of 320 MP3s - which i had downressed to keep on my laptop for casual listening. I have the originals - about 700-800GB worth - of lossless CD rips and high-res downloads (ranging from 24/96 to 32/384) on a separate hard drive and on a NAS drive (an old basic Synology).

I want to overcome the following issues:

1). I’d like to be able to stream the original, high-res files. The Sonos doesn’t handle files larger than 24/96 - which in principle is fine, as i dont really think there is a discernable difference beyond that (is ok if others feel differently - let’s not get into that here). However, for me to play this would require me to convert all the high-res files into lower-res: which i dont want to do, unless there is absolutely no other option.

2). I find the NAS drive very clunky to use. It takes minutes to boot up, it is slow as hell to access, etc. I’d like to find a solution which is quicker to be “ready to use”. In an ideal world, this would be a single audio-specific device into which i could insert a HDD with my music loaded, hit a power button to turn it on and it would let me either access the music from the HD or from Spotify.

Most streamers i see basically rely on an externaL NAS drive for serving up the music - is there a relatively inexpensive, ready-to-use, plug-and-play device that is both a music server AND a streamer, and which can play the higher-res files i had mentioned above? App played music control from my phone or iPad is a must.

I assume if i spend around 30-40k on a nicer/faster NAS drive, it would accomplish the task of acting as a music server. And a simple streamer - eg, the Audiolab 6000N - is around 40k. So i’d like to keep my outlay to around 1L or less for this.

As an aside: I am aware of Roon. I am done with paying annual subscription fees for stuff. Nor am i willing to pay $500 for a lifetime subscription. I am, however, ok to pay a more reasonable one-time purchase fee for an alternative which accomplishes the above. But the main thing is i dont want to faff around with building a Raspberry Pi or doing complex installation of softwares/uPnP servers/blah-blah-blah. I just want to plug the damn thing in, access my original high-res folders or Spotify from my phone/iPad and listen to music. And all for 1L or so, preferably.

Is that possible? TIA,
 

argho

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OM_2K19

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Why not set up a UPnP server and stream the music from there? Most UPnP servers can perform transcoding to match the DAC's capability on the fly.
 

amitakkihal

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Not sure if this is what you are asking for, but I stream using a raspberry pi running Moode audio + DAC. I have a 2 TB hard drive plugged into the USB, and its fairly seamless an dwell under your budget
 

IndianEars

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I am hardly an expert on this, but I wonder if the Blue Sound Node (available with or without a built in HDD) will provide you the solution you are looking for ?
 
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argho

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I am hardly an expert on this, but I wonder if the Blue Sound Node (available with or without a built in HDD) will provide you the solution you are looking for ?
Excellent suggestion.

Its called the Bluesound vault.

Do not know if its available in India.
 

muralimmreddy

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main thing is i dont want to faff around with building a Raspberry Pi or doing complex installation of softwares/uPnP servers/blah-blah-blah. I just want to plug the damn thing in, access my original high-res folders or Spotify from my phone/iPad and listen to music.

Ifi zen stream can be one of the option
 

amrutmhatre90

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I have connected 2 of my hard disks to Nvidia Shield Pro, and using them over my network over multiple devices, including Laptop, Rpi and Phone or Plex.

A good budget option is the Ifi Zen Stream.
 

IndianEars

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Excellent suggestion.

Its called the Bluesound vault.

Do not know if its available in India.
Yes Blue Sound is officially distributed & sold in India.
 

vkalia

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Thanks for the advice, guys.

So i want to avoid the whole “build a device” route - dont want to have something that needs to be booted, have software installed, etc. etc. I find such things invariably crash, need software updates, etc. and while my music files are on a ”compting device”, I really like the “switch on and listen” approach when It comes to music.

From what i gather about plugging a HDD into a regular streamer - it may play the music, but indexing takes a while and you dont really get to see album covers on the app. This may not matter for rock, but i may have, for example 11-12 versions of a given symphony - seeing the cover lets me readily identify which one i want to listen to. This is a must-have feature for me. So if i go the Bluesound route, i will need to get both the Node 2 and the Vault. The Vault is well over 1L - at that price, I’d rather suck it up and do a NAS: I would imagine a more modern NAS than my old Synology would boot up fairly quickly (ie, not take 4-5 minutes).

Would something like a Synology DS220+ work?

And re the iFi Zen Stream - how good is this Volumio app to use? Stable, intuitive ergonomics, etc? A lot of Chi-fi stuff have HORRENDOUS UIs (looking at you, Fiio). If the interface is good, this would be something to consider for sure. The Cambridge Audio 6000A is about the same price (40k), has a DAC and uses DTS Play-Fi - would that be a better option?
 
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argho

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So if i go the Bluesound route, i will need to get both the Node 2 and the Vault. The Vault is well over 1L - at that price, I’d rather suck it up and do a NAS: I would imagine a more modern NAS than my old Synology would boot up fairly quickly (ie, not take 4-5 minutes).

Would something like a Synology DS220+ work?

The Bluesound vault is a streamer with a disk. You dont need to additionally buy a Node 2.

Yes a good NAS would work. I use a NAS.

The simplest solution is an USB drive plugged into a streamer of your choice. I believe BluOS show album covers. Not sure - I dont have personal experience.

Displaying album art is a feature of the streamer and its software / app. Not dependent on whether you are storing on USB or NAS.
 

IndianEars

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I just checked, argho.

I stand corrected.

KEI was the previous disty. I'm told They no longer offer Blue Sound.

A new India Disty has not yet been appointed
 

IndianEars

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Thanks for the advice, guys.

So i want to avoid the whole “build a device” route - dont want to have something that needs to be booted, have software installed, etc. etc. I find such things invariably crash, need software updates, etc. and while my music files are on a ”compting device”, I really like the “switch on and listen” approach when It comes to music.

From what i gather about plugging a HDD into a regular streamer - it may play the music, but indexing takes a while and you dont really get to see album covers on the app. This may not matter for rock, but i may have, for example 11-12 versions of a given symphony - seeing the cover lets me readily identify which one i want to listen to. This is a must-have feature for me. So if i go the Bluesound route, i will need to get both the Node 2 and the Vault. The Vault is well over 1L - at that price, I’d rather suck it up and do a NAS: I would imagine a more modern NAS than my old Synology would boot up fairly quickly (ie, not take 4-5 minutes).
The Bluesound Nodes offer a very nice visual interface.... Certainly, with cover art (which is VERY important for me too)



BS-1.jpg


BS-2.jpg


Incidentally, I do not use Bluesound... I use JRiver via a Win 10 PC....
 

vkalia

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The Bluesound vault is a streamer with a disk. You dont need to additionally buy a Node 2.

Yes a good NAS would work. I use a NAS.

The simplest solution is an USB drive plugged into a streamer of your choice. I believe BluOS show album covers. Not sure - I dont have personal experience.

Displaying album art is a feature of the streamer and its software / app. Not dependent on whether you are storing on USB or NAS.

Good to know about the Vault.

Re the album art: i read it in the context of one of the streamers (either the Node or the Lindeman), where the company said that while the streamer will play music from a HD attached via USB, the image art may not appear (and it would also need to index the HD every time it was turned on). I reckon this may be a function of how each streamer is designed, though.
 

MIOM

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Hi, if you use a NAS it should be on 24/7/365 so startup shouldn't be much of an issue. Anyway, I just ripped my entire CD collection to my Western Digital NAS, which also supports Plex. I use Plex to stream and use JRiver Media Center to play files locally from the NAS.

There is an initial delay when the NAS first wakes from standby, but after that there is no delays and music and cover art suffer no issues. Also with Plex, I can even stream to my android phone which also connects to my car system so I can listen to my collection in my car :)
 

insane79

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I just checked, argho.

I stand corrected.

KEI was the previous disty. I'm told They no longer offer Blue Sound.

A new India Disty has not yet been appointed
Yeah, they lost distribution for NAD & Blusound more then 4-5 months back. I doubt there will be a new distributor now.
 
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