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Setup For Streaming Music

Wharfedale EVO4.1 Bookshelf Speakers

afj

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Hi

im planning to get finally get rid of my cdp and go for a media streaming setup. my requirements are

1. would like it to interface with android (phone / tablet) or computer (windows) to view files and play a song / album playlist off it. playing it through the computer shouldnt be mandatory, only optional

2. want my music / video files to be stored on an external hard drive.

3. should be able to play youtube / radio channels etc

was thinking of going with the smart router with a usd port that the hard drive will plug into. android / windows will interface with the router and access files on the hard drive and select a file to play. the router will send it wirelessly to google chromecast which will be connected to a dac and in turn to my hifi setup

questions

1. will this set up work
2. is there an alternative setup that will meet my requirements but will be better than this
3. what is a good app to use to interface with this. i was suggested allcast
4. what is a good dac to buy. was thinking of the cambridge dacmagic 100. available in uk for 130 pounds or 13000 rupees

thanks
 

musicbee

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For starters a smart router will be slow via USB. Its fine (in fact excellent) for FLAC streaming and even movie streaming, but its considerably slower when trying to access contents on it, adding new albums/movies to it, copying content from it, changing/renaming files, etc. Ordinarily this might not seem like much of an issue, but it will be because all of us have a growing music collection where we add new albums, tag existing albums, etc. For this a smart router + external HDD will be slow especially if its on USB. If you can connect the external HDD to the router via the LAN port then its a better option. The better option is to have a HTPC or a media server on a PC connected to the router via ethernet.

Chromecast is an unnecessary additional step. Most media servers (and even media players) have their own apps that let you stream from the PC. The main question is how will you stream the audio from the smartphone, will it be Bluetooth (simple, easy, practically all devices have it, but also limited in range) or will it be wireless (need either wireless/wifi powered speakers, or the amp needs to be wireless). Wireless is a better option over Bluetooth, but if you can plug Chromecast into a DAC (are DACs with HDMI mainstream?) then that's taken care of.

The 3rd part of the equation is the actual s/w, way too many choices but few that work very well and do everything you want. JRiver is the easiest, though its paid, it comes with its own app Gizmo that lets you stream both online (over the internet) and locally via DLNA. I've found JRiver to be the easiest in this regard. Plex is another option, but it didn't do it for me as it did not do Netflix and also would not scrobble to Last.fm. After a lot of trial and error I finally choose Subsonic because it lets me stream my music anywhere over the internet and also lets me control the quality of the music on the fly, MP3 conversion and streaming when I'm on low b/w or FLAC with no conversion when I'm on wifi. That said its paid, $1 per month or $99 lifetime. Foobar has a workaround, basically use a Foobar remote and then output to Bluetooth speakers, but does not work very well and has limited range. If your music collection is less than 20,000 tracks then Google Music Play is an option, you simply upload your music to Google and play it anywhere.

Of course if you don't need social integration like Last.fm and don't need to play your music out of the house and over the internet then any local media server will do, simply use any free s/w that will convert your PC into a DLNA server... options are Kodi, Plex, PS3 Media Server, etc. Even BubbleUPnP Server will do that and works excellent with Chromecast. If you plan to use Chromecast then BubbleUPnP Server is probably what you should start with and then move onto others for further testing.

Radio and YouTube will depend on the media server software, though you will find many it will lock you down to a PC that needs to be on. Otherwise you will need to invest in something like Roku. I'm not aware of any smart router + external HDD combo that will do this.

1. will this set up work

Yes, I stream all of my content at home and out of home (though you will need wifi or 3G).

2. is there an alternative setup that will meet my requirements but will be better than this

I've listed the options above, but my highest recommendation is for a PC with a media server software. External HDD + smart router will be extremely limited, but if streaming is all you are looking for and don't want to access the external HDD to add or copy content then its a good option.

3. what is a good app to use to interface with this. i was suggested allcast

BubbleUPnP, but as I've stated all media servers and media players come with their own apps. Plex app is not free, though the software is free, JRiver app is free, but the software is paid.

4. what is a good dac to buy. was thinking of the cambridge dacmagic 100. available in uk for 130 pounds or 13000 rupees

I use a PC so the Xonar ST is what I use and the best dedicated DAC I've gotten to. I have both a Marantz and an Onkyo and use both for streaming depending on which part of the house I'm at... so will wait for other FMs with better DACs to chip in here.
 

afj

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thanks musicbee. the other thing that crossed my mind is that i would like to stream video as well with an output into my tv. not sure if that can be done using the cambridge dac. using a PC will be my last resort since i dont want to have a laptop sitting in my living room and also starting it up everytime i want to listen etc. anyway will do a bit of research and see where it takes me
 

srisaikat

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Pioneer BDP-170 will fit your need. Pair it with a dac of your choice and budget.
 
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dheerajjotwani

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For the streaming bit, I'd suggest a raspberry pi wit hifiberrry/wolfson audio Dac chip and squeezeplug/volumio/raspyfy as the driving software. Ur music can then reside on an external disk and u can easily interface and control this with a smartphone or a browser for playback.
 
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afj

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Pioneer BDP-170 will fit your need. Pair it with a dac of your choice and budget.

what will the interface be. i want to be able to run it off my phone, including playing youtube videos etc
 

afj

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For the streaming bit, I'd suggest a raspberry pi wit hifiberrry/wolfson audio Dac chip and squeezeplug/volumio/raspyfy as the driving software. Ur music can then reside on an external disk and u can easily interface and control this with a smartphone or a browser for playback.

sounds interesting. does this come as a diy kit. what will the cost be (approx). will the hard drive connect into the raspberry pi? can we get a video out as well from the dac
 

dheerajjotwani

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Rpi with class 10 card and power adapter, approx 3500. Dac would be another 4000 odd. Yes its available as a diy. Hard disk wise its better to use a externally powered usb hard drive or use a powered usb hub with portable drives. Incase u want wifi option then add a usb wifi dongle.
 

musicbee

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what will the interface be. i want to be able to run it off my phone, including playing youtube videos etc

Trust me... been there, done that!

For uninterrupted streaming, proper transcoding, zero transcoding, on the fly transcoding, out of home access to your library, viewing albums, album art, or even speed scrolling, playlist management, and tons more options and functionality... a HTPC/media PC with a local media server is the only best option.

On the other hand enjoy the journey... I spent nearly 6 months trying everything and ditching most of it and even setting up an AC wireless network that works exactly the way I want it, both at home and outside of home... so I know part of the fun is in the journey itself.
 
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koushik

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I would suggest a Beaglebone Black+Debian Linux with MPD setup to a quality USB DAC. Storage is on a PC in LAN and controlled from mobile using MPDroid (on android platform).
 
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ajeshkumarts

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Trust me... been there, done that!

For uninterrupted streaming, proper transcoding, zero transcoding, on the fly transcoding, out of home access to your library, viewing albums, album art, or even speed scrolling, playlist management, and tons more options and functionality... a HTPC/media PC with a local media server is the only best option.

On the other hand enjoy the journey... I spent nearly 6 months trying everything and ditching most of it and even setting up an AC wireless network that works exactly the way I want it, both at home and outside of home... so I know part of the fun is in the journey itself.

+1 to that. Having gone through the journey, I can vouch it is fun. in Summary you can use any of the SoC ( System on Chip) boards like RPi, Cubie Board, Beaglebone Black, Udo Board, cubietruck etc with MPD or LMS+ Squeezelite player combo. As another FM mentioned, you can go for a customized linux distribution like Volumio or Rune Audio or Pi Music box.

If you need Video and tons of functionalities, HTPC is the way forward
 
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haisaikat

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+1 to that. Having gone through the journey, I can vouch it is fun. in Summary you can use any of the SoC ( System on Chip) boards like RPi, Cubie Board, Beaglebone Black, Udo Board, cubietruck etc with MPD or LMS+ Squeezelite player combo. As another FM mentioned, you can go for a customized linux distribution like Volumio or Rune Audio or Pi Music box.

If you need Video and tons of functionalities, HTPC is the way forward

I agree, for audio only RPi is enough provided storage is on networked NAS. I prefer not to clutter the USB with wifi or HDD connections. Also ideal power supply can be a DC power bank. Rpi model B+ consumes lesser current than model B and can be more suited for power bank based setups. For video, definitely an HTPC and suggest not to go for UPnP based playback.
 
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gobble

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AFJ,
Requirement 1 & 2 can be met by a dedicated PC running Linux and MPD. I use the cubox i4pro. Better performing than a raspi or BB or even a desktop mobo. The android app is DroidMPD or MPDControl. Its basically a cellphone mobo wrapped in a cube chassis 2x2 inches to accommodate Ethernet USB and HDMI which a flat cellphone chassis cannot hold. Added advantage is that no DIY is involved in hardware only the Linux customization needs a slight bit of work. I run it off a 12000mah battery for power conditioning improvement that cost only 2.5k!! Beat that!

I ordered a separate box for Internet video - the NEO X8-H 4K Ultra-HD Android TV Box. I don't know about the SQ from xbmc being audiophile grade though. Even with a very stripped down Linux OS running MPD I found SQ could suffer without the right buffer size and interrupts/sec settings. Therefore I am skeptical about an all-in-one audio+video device.

PS: 3 (internet radio) is possible via MPD but I've been too lazy to hack it.

HTH
Gobble
 
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dheerajjotwani

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@afj
Choices are plenty and at all levels. And believe me the same result can be achieved in so many different ways.
 

srijith

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Hey Hi,

Let me make it very simple to you. I dont have any technical knowledge, in clear simple terms i have a PC and want to stream music from my PC to my Denon 1312 receiver.

The explanation given below is amply clear but how do i stream from PC wirelessly and what component should i connect to receiver to receive the streaming.

can you guide me.


For starters a smart router will be slow via USB. Its fine (in fact excellent) for FLAC streaming and even movie streaming, but its considerably slower when trying to access contents on it, adding new albums/movies to it, copying content from it, changing/renaming files, etc. Ordinarily this might not seem like much of an issue, but it will be because all of us have a growing music collection where we add new albums, tag existing albums, etc. For this a smart router + external HDD will be slow especially if its on USB. If you can connect the external HDD to the router via the LAN port then its a better option. The better option is to have a HTPC or a media server on a PC connected to the router via ethernet.

Chromecast is an unnecessary additional step. Most media servers (and even media players) have their own apps that let you stream from the PC. The main question is how will you stream the audio from the smartphone, will it be Bluetooth (simple, easy, practically all devices have it, but also limited in range) or will it be wireless (need either wireless/wifi powered speakers, or the amp needs to be wireless). Wireless is a better option over Bluetooth, but if you can plug Chromecast into a DAC (are DACs with HDMI mainstream?) then that's taken care of.

The 3rd part of the equation is the actual s/w, way too many choices but few that work very well and do everything you want. JRiver is the easiest, though its paid, it comes with its own app Gizmo that lets you stream both online (over the internet) and locally via DLNA. I've found JRiver to be the easiest in this regard. Plex is another option, but it didn't do it for me as it did not do Netflix and also would not scrobble to Last.fm. After a lot of trial and error I finally choose Subsonic because it lets me stream my music anywhere over the internet and also lets me control the quality of the music on the fly, MP3 conversion and streaming when I'm on low b/w or FLAC with no conversion when I'm on wifi. That said its paid, $1 per month or $99 lifetime. Foobar has a workaround, basically use a Foobar remote and then output to Bluetooth speakers, but does not work very well and has limited range. If your music collection is less than 20,000 tracks then Google Music Play is an option, you simply upload your music to Google and play it anywhere.

Of course if you don't need social integration like Last.fm and don't need to play your music out of the house and over the internet then any local media server will do, simply use any free s/w that will convert your PC into a DLNA server... options are Kodi, Plex, PS3 Media Server, etc. Even BubbleUPnP Server will do that and works excellent with Chromecast. If you plan to use Chromecast then BubbleUPnP Server is probably what you should start with and then move onto others for further testing.

Radio and YouTube will depend on the media server software, though you will find many it will lock you down to a PC that needs to be on. Otherwise you will need to invest in something like Roku. I'm not aware of any smart router + external HDD combo that will do this.



Yes, I stream all of my content at home and out of home (though you will need wifi or 3G).



I've listed the options above, but my highest recommendation is for a PC with a media server software. External HDD + smart router will be extremely limited, but if streaming is all you are looking for and don't want to access the external HDD to add or copy content then its a good option.



BubbleUPnP, but as I've stated all media servers and media players come with their own apps. Plex app is not free, though the software is free, JRiver app is free, but the software is paid.



I use a PC so the Xonar ST is what I use and the best dedicated DAC I've gotten to. I have both a Marantz and an Onkyo and use both for streaming depending on which part of the house I'm at... so will wait for other FMs with better DACs to chip in here.
 

musicbee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Messages
1,623
Points
113
Location
Hyderabad
Hey Hi,

Let me make it very simple to you. I dont have any technical knowledge, in clear simple terms i have a PC and want to stream music from my PC to my Denon 1312 receiver.

The explanation given below is amply clear but how do i stream from PC wirelessly and what component should i connect to receiver to receive the streaming.

can you guide me.

Does your Denon have wireless/wifi connectivity, could not find the details?

If it does, simply share folder/files/drive on your PC and output to the Denon. Ditto for smartphone or tablet.

Otherwise install a media server on your PC (Plex, Subsonic, etc.) and install BubbleUPnP on your smartphone/tablet (Android device) and output to any Bluetooth enabled speakers or AVR.

If your AVR has ethernet connectivity then connect a laptop or PC and use Foobar remote (foobar2000 controller) or JRiver remote (Gizmo) to control playback.

If your AVR does not have wireless connectivity like wifi or Bluetooth, but has HDMI inputs then you can invest in something like a Chromecast to make it a smart AVR and then output to the AVR via Chromecast from a PC or media server.

Start with your AVR and list the features it has. Only then can more specific directions be given. Or simply Google or search on YouTube, you will find lots of videos showing how to setup wireless streaming.
 

musicbee

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