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Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: Yesterday at 12:01:09 PM »

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: November 26, 2015, 02:28:45 PM »
I forgot to mention that the touchscreen can also be used to control any of my other players:

Computers, Internet and Technology / Windows 10
« on: November 25, 2015, 01:01:44 PM »
Although my main PC is still Win 7, I have upgraded several PCs to Windows 10, all free of charge.


1.  Installation went well on all except one PC had a hard drive or hard drive partition that was not compatible.  That one stayed at Win 7.
2.  Upgrading with applications in place was wonky in at least one case.  I just reset the Win 10 installation and reinstalled my apps.
3.  The OS itself seems to be a hybrid of Win 7 and Win 8.  Much less of the unintuitive stuff that makes Win 8 hard at first.
4.  Windows 10 recently did a complete reinstall with a new version with a few new features.
5.  I have only found a couple of apps to be incompatible: WinAmp is one.
6.  Updates are loaded via a torrent-like process
7.  There is a voice-assistant which I don't use
8.  There are now virtual desktops built in
9.  The new Edge browser is super fast but doesn't support addons or extensions which makes it much less useful to me than Chrome or Firefox
10. Win 10 will run on almost any hardware going back 5-7 years or more.

I built a Nuc computer with an i7 processor, 16 gb of RAM and a M.2 boot drive.  That thing boots in 10 seconds to Windows 10.

I have been learning more about the "loudness war" in mastering music.

This seems much more of a degradation to music than MP3 vs CD vs high resolution.

Check this video:

and at least part of this one:

Anyone know why producers are ruining recorded music?

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: November 25, 2015, 12:44:49 PM »
^^^ That looks pretty slick!

I bought a new place, and was having trouble with my Airplay dropping out; turns out it was conflicting with my other router.  So, I got one of these:

The sound is awesome, and it's on its own frequency, so networks are irrelevant.  The transmitter dongle acts as a sound card; I control itunes from my phone or ipad, just like with Airplay (but without drop-outs), and send the signal to a receiver dongle hooked to audio ins on my amp.  It even lets you transmit to multiple receivers, so you can stream music all over the house without the annoying lag of Bluetooth.  Highly recommend, especially for folks like me who can't solder like  ;-)

Looks good.  It's essentially a DAC that transmits by wireless to a receiver that connects to an amp or speakers.

1.  The cost is about the same as one of my touchscreen players
2.  No soldering is required for the player.  Just connect a few cables and ribbons, screw a few screws, and load some software from the internet onto a microSD card.  A 6 year old could do it easily.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: November 24, 2015, 05:00:00 AM »
I got all the parts for a touchscreen version of the player.  The wiring on the back (particularly the USB stuff) is a bit messy but I'll clean that up.

A child could easily build one of these.  When I was young, I build a ham radio from a kit by Heathkit.

Here's a few of the specs:

1.  Built with Raspberry Pi B+: a real computer available for less than 40 USD
2.  Bit-perfect reproduction of digital files which is fed to the digital analog converter (DAC) of your choice and price range
3.  Can handle high-res files
4.  Controlled by phone app, PC, tablet, or directly via the touchscreen
5.  Can easily be transformed into a portable device if you have one of those phone powerbank devices with a microUSB connector
6.  Handles all type of music files except possibly lossless Windows file
7.  Accesses and streams thousands of internet radio stations free of charge
8.  Can play Spotify, Tidal, and Pandora if you have a pay subscription
9.  A very robust forum where you can get and share info
10. This or another Raspberry Pi can be your server with the Squeezebox server software installed connected to a USB hard drive or thumb drive with your music on it.  If you use the same Raspberry Pi as a server and player, its a touchscreen boombox sort of thingie

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: November 21, 2015, 06:01:30 AM »

Total Tracks: 293,748
Total Albums: 29,846
Total Artists: 46,794

NP: Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer - Twine

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Home Music Server
« on: November 20, 2015, 05:48:36 PM »
Like others, I'm just using an enormous iTunes library assembled over many years.

I still listen to lots of CDs, but it's very convenient to have my big, organized library and many playlists available all over the house.

Squeezebox by Logitech is no longer made but many used pieces can be found on Ebay that work perfectly well.

A pretty good alternative is to make DIY Squeezebox players from a Raspberry Pi board, Wifi dongle, microSD card, micro-USB power supply and (most importantly) the DAC of your choice and price range.  Squeezebox software was donated to the community by Logitech when it closed down making units and it's still being improved.  Each unit without DAC will cost about $100 bucks but you add the DAC of your choice and either amplified speakers or plug it into your amplifier.

Squeezebox server software is c/w Mac, PC, and Linux and runs well with iTunes.

It is compatible with hi-res music files.

There is now Raspberry Pi LCD touch screen so my next player will have one of those.

Here's 3 of the 6 or so players I built:

Computers, Internet and Technology / Home Music Server
« on: September 05, 2015, 05:19:15 PM »
When I first posted about my Squeezebox music server, many folks expressed ongoing attachment to physical media such as CDs, cassettes, and vinyl.  Here we are several years later as music distribution has moved more and more toward files.  Even if you like CDs and buy them (like I do) they can be fodder for your server very easily in about 5 minutes/disc.

I guess I am wondering if forum folks have gotten onboard with one of the many file based systems available such as Sonos, Yamaha MusicCast, Cambridge, Samsung, Denon Heos, and if so, which one and what do you like and dislike about them.?

I'm in heaven with my now obselete Squeezebox system because I can listen to any song I want in almost every room in the house via an app on my phone or a tablet.  I can even play them through the phone or tablet or any computer in the house.  Of course the best place is in the living room with my best hi-fi amp and speakers.

Every song I play "scrobbles" to so that I or anyone else can see what I have played and how many times.

What's up for forum folks in 2015?

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: August 14, 2015, 09:46:52 AM »

Total Tracks: 280,917
Total Albums: 28,356
Total Artists: 45,768

NP: Peter Challoner - Beneath The Ice Flow

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: July 04, 2015, 01:14:11 AM »

Total Tracks: 277,464
Total Albums: 27,936
Total Artists: 45,450

NP: Herbert - Stop

Thanks for your reply.  I would have thought this would have generated more responses from all the musicians and music lovers here.

Here's an interesting bit that supports what you said:

And one of the Squeezebox forum members has his own "audiofool" blog:

Just to emphasize, I'm not advocating hi-res.  I just wanted to hear from folks that are involved with the production and consumption of music.

Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I'm wondering what the consensus is on high resolution music files?

CDs were designed to match the hearing range of humans (that's my understanding).

Files above that resolution have no additional value because most humans can't hear it.

Although my system was designed to play such files, and I have a few, I really don't think they are worth the expense and storage space.

HDTracks is one purveyor of such

There are more listed at and at

Here's a nice guide to it:

Neil Young is really hyping his Pono player and high resolution music and surely his ears are incapable of hearing almost anything at this point ;)

To really play this stuff and be able to appreciate it, I would imagine one would have to sink thousands and thousands of dollars into a system which has no weak links from the DAC to the speakers, and the listener would have to have the ears of a teenager.

Tidal is now steaming CD quality as is QOBuz.


Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Chromecast Fun
« on: June 14, 2015, 11:51:01 AM »
No, I guess what I was saying is that neither Chromecast nor Roku would seem to be much use if you don't want to watch streaming video, since that's pretty much all they do.

Chromecast from what I understand slings it to your TV from a PC - not what I am interested in. Roku though has a bunch of stuff on it (I am looking for free worthwhile stuff on it) to put out to my TV since it isn't *smart*. Cheap enough investment and I already have Prime from Amazon via my PS3 so I can watch whatever I feel like when bored with TV or just for something different. I know Roku has a bunch of channels (some not for kiddies). Anyone check out I think a horror movie streaming channel on it? Be interested to see if there's anything cult or worth while in that respect (and/or sci-fi/anime/fantasy channels).


Chromecast slings and controls.  You can sling stuff from your phone or slate, like doodles on the screen with a stylus or finger.

But mainly Chromecast just serves as a remote control for apps like NetFlix, HBO Go, or Vevo.  Instead of selecting a movie with your remote control on NetFlix, you use your finger on your tablet or phone; however, the movies gets to the TV in the same way a Roku works.

So Roku and ChromeCast are very similar.

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: June 14, 2015, 03:57:35 AM »

Total Tracks: 275,730
Total Albums: 27,746
Total Artists: 45,304

NP: Psychic Reality: Index of First Lines

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: February 27, 2015, 04:57:21 AM »

Total Tracks: 271,010
Total Albums: 27,164
Total Artists: 44,760

NP: Loveliescrushing - Qlinglo on

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: December 21, 2014, 02:14:54 AM »

Total Tracks: 263,266
Total Albums: 26,753
Total Artists: 19,686

NP: Zammuto - Good Graces from Anchor
Zammuto website w/Anchor preview

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: November 30, 2014, 11:10:46 AM »

Total Tracks: 265,935
Total Albums: 26,668
Total Artists: 44,386

NP: Sawako - White Sky Winter Chicada

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: October 27, 2014, 02:14:19 AM »

Total Tracks: 260,580
Total Albums: 26,450
Total Artists: 19,569

Here's a couple more players (that's real wood inlay in the top one):

All you need for a full Squeezebox music server setup:

1.  Server computer with the media server software cataloging and serving up your music files (Mac, Win, Linux)
2.  One or more players consisting of the following: player unit, micro USB power brick, amplified speakers or connection to your hi-fi system.  Also any computer can be a player with the Squeezeplay app installed
3.  A DAC which can be obtained from many difference sources ranging in price from $30 to $10,000 depending on how good you think your ears are and whether or not you believe in ionized selenium covered audio cables.
4.  Cell phone or tablet with the iOS or Android Squeezebox app of your choice to control your system.  Also any computer in your house can control all the players.

Or, of course, you can pay 5-10 times more for a Sonos system that has less flexibility.

NP: BBC World Service on NPR

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: September 28, 2014, 04:45:05 PM »

Total Tracks: 258,643
Total Albums: 26,221
Total Artists: 19,457

Logitech has stopped making players for the Squeezebox system so a group of tech-savvy users have released the plans for the piCoplayer made from Raspberry Pi boards, a flash storage card, a wi-fi dongle, USB DAC, case (acrylic, wood, lucite) and amplified speakers or hi-fi.  I just put together 3 players:

You can pay top dollar for Sonos and get a system with a lot less flexibility than the Squeezebox open-source system.  Notably the Sonos file system is limited to 65,000 music files.

Or you can put together or buy some piCoplayers for the cost of a few parts and your labor.

If anyone is interested in this system or players, let me know at ambientmusic(at)

NP: Yuki Aida & Tomotsugu Nakamura: Mono

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