Laptop vs RPI as player (Acoustic Portrait)

aurobindosaha

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Hi
I have a basic question. Is there any harm in using a computer as a player instead of RPI?

My setup chain today is
I want to change the first component of this chain. Instead of Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer I am considering using an Asus X200MA laptop

Why?
  1. The Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer is a streamer with a Volumio player that has Spotify Plugin. The communication is all through air and often disconnects while playing. While connecting the USB from the computer to DAC is a direct connection and will hopefully not have the problem of frequent disconnection.

  2. The control of Spotify for Volumio is via phone>Wifi>Streamer. If I use the computer the control is directly on the Spotify application on the laptop. More reliable

  3. I am not using the DAC component within Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer. The DAC and RPI hats inside the Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer and I today do not use its DAC within Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer because I have a better external DAC (Acoustic Portrait Thyaga DAC). So the point of using Swara Streamer is only as player, then why not directly from a computer?
Help/Opinion requested:
  1. Is there anything wrong with running a laptop as a player instead of an RPI streamer? The sound quality vs connection stability view will be appreciated
  2. What should be the right operating system to get the best output from the laptop?
PS:
  • I know Spotify's sound quality is not so good, but I prefer its recommendation engine. So I want to stick to it, instead of going to CDs or offline files
  • Some people will say, the quality of the power supply is very important. All my components run from direct power filtered by APC SRC1KI-IN UPS. If I use a computer then the player will be battery-powered. In comparison, Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer has a very good linear power supply within the box

Kind regards
Aurobindo
 

Sanjay13leo

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Hi
I have a basic question. Is there any harm in using a computer as a player instead of RPI?

My setup chain today is
I want to change the first component of this chain. Instead of Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer I am considering using an Asus X200MA laptop

Why?
  1. The Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer is a streamer with a Volumio player that has Spotify Plugin. The communication is all through air and often disconnects while playing. While connecting the USB from the computer to DAC is a direct connection and will hopefully not have the problem of frequent disconnection.

  2. The control of Spotify for Volumio is via phone>Wifi>Streamer. If I use the computer the control is directly on the Spotify application on the laptop. More reliable

  3. I am not using the DAC component within Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer. The DAC and RPI hats inside the Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer and I today do not use its DAC within Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer because I have a better external DAC (Acoustic Portrait Thyaga DAC). So the point of using Swara Streamer is only as player, then why not directly from a computer?
Help/Opinion requested:
  1. Is there anything wrong with running a laptop as a player instead of an RPI streamer? The sound quality vs connection stability view will be appreciated
  2. What should be the right operating system to get the best output from the laptop?
PS:
  • I know Spotify's sound quality is not so good, but I prefer its recommendation engine. So I want to stick to it, instead of going to CDs or offline files
  • Some people will say, the quality of the power supply is very important. All my components run from direct power filtered by APC SRC1KI-IN UPS. If I use a computer then the player will be battery-powered. In comparison, Acoustic Portrait Swara Streamer has a very good linear power supply within the box

Kind regards
Aurobindo
Unless you are not looking to be critical laptop is good, i use both RPI and laptop for listening. Tidal RPI seems to be better reproduction than via laptop for comparasion
 

premoddev

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Is the streamer currently connected through Wifi? If you suspect frequent disconnection is due to wifi, please change it to wired ethernet connection. Spotify works directly from the streamer, the role of the phone here is just control. You can even control Spotify from laptop also, provided laptop also connected to the same network.

What's the rpi version using on streamer? If it's rpi4, the usb out is better than the older versions. With the linear power supply present in the streamer, SQ should be better than a laptop usb out. But nothing stopping you to try it out, have a try and see how it compares.
 

ssf

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Is there any harm in using a computer as a player instead of RPI?
I am using my son's gaming PC to play music via Tidal -> Roon -> USB out to iFi Zen Dac. I use Spotifi this way too. I don't know how it compares to RPI but the sound quality is quite good. I have had dedicated streamers in my setup and did not find much of a difference over playing music on a PC.

The OS is Win 10.
 

himadri

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I have a RPi4 with volumio (free spotify connect plugin) USB with ifi power supply which i use for casual listening.
I have a laptop (battery powered)which i use with audirvana+ tidal+music 1tb stored in C drive.
Both can be used alternatively through the usb input of metrum octave.
The laptop sounds definitely better but audirvana or tidal may have a big role to play in that.
 

Subbu68

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Not RPi but using a NAS (Synology)>> Pixel 6 >>iFi USB DAC >> amp - the music stops after sometime. The same when I used a MiBox or Nokia 8.3 instead of Pixel 6. Even with YouTube Music through phone it just stops. The track plays on!!!

Plugged in my old Mac Mini, TV as monitor and same DAC no drops, no stops.
 

mbhangui

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The RPI streamer is inside a metal box. The wifi reception will suffer. As other FMs have indicated, use a wired ethernet connection.

Laptops have a noisy SMPS and even when running on battery, it has plenty of DC to DC convertors. The output of the lithium battery also goes through a noisy DC to DC convertor. The USB interface is noisy. Your RPI is running on a LPS which will give much lower digital noise. Having said that, most of us will not find a difference between a computer running on LPS and a SMPS.

Using laptop is cumbersome. Also spotify playback on any device can be controlled from spotify app running on any other device, bet it a PC/laptop/raspberrypi/ipad/macbook. That's the beauty of the spotify app vs something like apple music.
 

[email protected]

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Also spotify playback on any device can be controlled from spotify app running on any other device, bet it a PC/laptop/raspberrypi/ipad/macbook. That's the beauty of the spotify app vs something like apple music.
can you elaborate on this ?
If for instance my iPad is playing Spotify and directly connected to my DAC via lightning adapter and usb cable , can I control the playback from my phone ?
 

MaSh

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RPI any day. The ease of being able to stream from any device wirelessly to the Pi is pure bliss. I use mine to stream Spotify and apple music. Spotify connect plugin on Volumio is absolutely amazing.

MaSh
 

mbhangui

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can you elaborate on this ?
If for instance my iPad is playing Spotify and directly connected to my DAC via lightning adapter and usb cable , can I control the playback from my phone ?

@[email protected] AARGH. I stand corrected. The mobile device don't run spotify service. If you are running spotify on phone or tablet, it cannot be controlled from any device other than the mobile device itself.
 

bobbyprajan

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@[email protected] AARGH. I stand corrected. The mobile device don't run spotify service. If you are running spotify on phone or tablet, it cannot be controlled from any device other than the mobile device itself.
When spotify is playing from my phone, i can control it from my browser on my desktop. I can start / stop playback, change tracks etc
 

aurobindosaha

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Not RPi but using a NAS (Synology)>> Pixel 6 >>iFi USB DAC >> amp - the music stops after sometime. The same when I used a MiBox or Nokia 8.3 instead of Pixel 6. Even with YouTube Music through phone it just stops. The track plays on!!!

Plugged in my old Mac Mini, TV as monitor and same DAC no drops, no stops.
Exactly I experience similar problem of music stop in my RPI streamer set up. It may have to do with, Volumio, or the Spotify plugin there or the way RPI communicates between Spotify. Its way beyond my skill to troubleshoot. I once thought that changing Volumio to other player like Moode will solve the issue, but for some reason I couldn't run Moode in my Swara streamer. I feel laptop has far stable connection. I am ready to compromise a bit on quality, than my favourite song stopping suddenly (and frequently)
 

mbhangui

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When spotify is playing from my phone, i can control it from my browser on my desktop. I can start / stop playback, change tracks etc
He is asking the other way around. If the iphone/ipad/android mobile is connected to the DAC, it cannot be controlled from any other device
 

aurobindosaha

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The RPI streamer is inside a metal box. The wifi reception will suffer. As other FMs have indicated, use a wired ethernet connection.

Laptops have a noisy SMPS and even when running on battery, it has plenty of DC to DC convertors. The output of the lithium battery also goes through a noisy DC to DC convertor. The USB interface is noisy. Your RPI is running on a LPS which will give much lower digital noise. Having said that, most of us will not find a difference between a computer running on LPS and a SMPS.

Using laptop is cumbersome. Also spotify playback on any device can be controlled from spotify app running on any other device, bet it a PC/laptop/raspberrypi/ipad/macbook. That's the beauty of the spotify app vs something like apple music.
In my case, from day one Swara streamer was unable to connect to wifi even though it's version 3. I had to buy a wifi dongle. Though that dongle is outside the box, it still gives problem of frequent drops. Hence I assume the problem may be in Volumio or its Spotify plug in. Anyway, thanks for your suggestion on wired connection, in my case however since the router is located far, I can not do ethernet.

Point noted about the noise due to power supply and conversions. Again I need to check if I can really find the difference
Spotify player can be operated independently from the device where it's playing is indeed a big advantage as you said.
 
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