Author Topic: Home Music Server  (Read 7663 times)

zzzone.net

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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 Last.fm so that I or anyone else can see what I have played and how many times.

What's up for forum folks in 2015?

jkn

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 07:18:37 AM »
I haven't tried anything - right now I just use itunes... and it can be played in my living room through an Apple TV.    I use an ipod at work and I stream more and more from mixcloud and bandcamp these days. 

I stopped buying CD's a few years back.
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LNerell

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 09:02:14 AM »
I use the same as John, I rip everything to iTunes in ALAC format (Apples verson of FLAC). Then I can play them off of my Apple TV in my living room, or off my iphone or ipod. I don't think its a good a system as what you have, but it was more convient for me since I already had so much stuff in my iTunes folder for my ipod.
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SunDummy

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 01:34:15 PM »
I have a dedicated PC running iTunes.  It streams through an Airport Express to my main living room receiver; I control the library using the Remote app on my iphone or ipad, since the PC is in my office, not the main room.  Works pretty well.

For outside speakers, I have a Bluetooth transmitter on my receiver's outputs, which streams to a TDK Bluetooth speaker.  I'm planning to hard-wire some outdoor speakers to get better sound, and avoid the annoying time-lag of Bluetooth.

I've seen some newer receivers that have Airplay built in, which has me curious about upgrading...
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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 04:48:34 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.
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zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #5 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:


zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #6 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








« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 08:00:10 AM by zzzone.net »

SunDummy

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 12:55:37 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:



http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Wireless/W3-Wireless-Audio-Adapter#overview

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 zzzone.net.  ;-)
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zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #8 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:



http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Wireless/W3-Wireless-Audio-Adapter#overview

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 zzzone.net.  ;-)

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.

zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #9 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:


zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2015, 12:01:09 PM »

zzzone.net

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2016, 12:13:31 PM »
The software continues to evolve.

The latest version of the player software allows one to use it as a music server.

Put your music in FLAC or MP3 form on an external hard drive or thumb drive and plug it into any one of the players to serve that music to any other of the players in the system.

The user then doesn't have to worry about leaving a "real" computer on all day to serve the music.  Since the Pi board uses only a few watts of energy, this saves quite a bit of energy.

There's also plugins in to serve the Apple and Google Cast crowd.

All this is freeware allowing anyone to basically set up a streaming wi-fi touchscreen music system for the cost of the components ($150 per player or more if you get a high end DAC).

Free yourself from proprietary solutions that may be dead ends or expensive.

Castleview

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Re: Home Music Server
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 11:06:36 AM »
That's pretty awesome. I almost want to make my own portable jukebox now.
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