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Mac music server for whole house over Nuvo


jimim
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I thought I would start a tread re: some stuff I have been playing around with.

 

I have a Nuvo Grand Concerto installed in my home for whole house audio. It is a very user friendly system to use. My good friend has been in the audio business for about 20 years. He was originally and still is a high end 2 channel guy, but over the years people are converging and home audio, video has been the only way to survive. Anyway, long story short this is the unit we decided on due to price ease of use and especially service cause these guys are in the US and are the BEST. . .. hands down. So we have 6 zones with 2 wired ipod docks right now along with one of my cable boxes being fed from another room for music channels. I control the box with use of an eye that travels over a CAT5 from the box to the Nuvo which in in our mud room closet. I'm going to add XM down the road. With the iPod docks you get full metadata on the keypad, so that is very nice. With the cable box I get full control, but no data but I made macros for channels so that is no problem.

 

So this is what I did yesterday and am still in the process. I went out got an airport express stuck it in the closet with a minijack to RCA into a zone on the Nuvo. On the Nuvo I setup some control to the keypads but these are not up working totally yet. I have my laptop in my kitchen most of the time so iTunes is up and I have real nice control all over the house. The keypad selects the airport express and with the keypads I can hit play, pause, stop, FW, and BW and Vol of course. That's it for now. When I'm not in the kitchen I am going to use signal to control iTunes since I always have my phone with me cause I can't hear the blasted thing if it's not in the same room rwith me.

 

So here's where I am cause it took 2 hours to get the airport express to work with being on the phone with apple yesterday, they actually thought it was broke and wanted me to take it back, but last night I sat down with it and got it working. They were totally off with their setup.

 

I have the express joining the network and that's it. I did have it hard wired cause I have Cat5 drops in the closet, but I don't think I need it hooked up like that. I used that for the initial setup. That was the only way I was able to get it to setup.

 

So this is my question with anyone using one. What does the wired aspect of the express actually do? My mac is wireless to send airtunes so do I even need the wire anymore. Also when I run the airport utility my extreme basestation always comes up but the express only comes up after a reboot of the computer even though in iTunes you can still stream.

 

These are my 2 problems right now that I need to work out. Any input would be great and hopefully I can help with others who want to use the express. Right now I 'm not doing the whole DAC thing cause it's room mucis, but if I like it for this use I'm going to buy another and put it in the media room.

 

Jim

 

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Hey Jim - The wired aspect of the AE is one of those things that probably doesn't get much use, but is required for people with only the AE. They would connect it to their cable/DSL modem just like the Airport Extreme. Sure there are other times to use it, but if the connection is wireless anywhere in the chain it really makes no sense to connect via cat5e downstream.

 

I'm not sure why the AE doesn't show up in the Airport utility unless you reboot. Maybe Apple was half right when they said something must be wrong with it. Not sure though. I think I will go pick one up this afternoon if I can find the AE that supports 802.11n.

 

I looked into the Nuvo Grand Concerto a little bit. That is quite the device(s). It looks like there is a lot to the setup and configuration. I like the iPod dock though.

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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Chris,

 

The only other use for the wired aspect of the AE is if you only have a wired network so you can still stream airtunes from the wired computer to the wired AE if you have structured wiring in the house. I do know that if it's wired then it will not show up in the airport utility. and now the airport utility replaces the admin airport utility FYI for you. The only reason I can think it doesn't show up until a reboot is because it's a client on the network not a server?

 

Re: the GC by Nuvo. It's not that bad to install. We have been doing them since they came out and love them. Everything is home runs and the setup is very straight forward. The iPod docks have really come around also. Nuvo is always up to date with them to support the newest iPods and the new FW actually puts calls through your room speakers and you can then talk via speaker phone. This FW I have been having a little trouble with it right now. Other than that for 2 years now we have had no complaints or call backs except for people wanting to add to the system. I thought with the AX this would be a nice service to start adding for those who want it and don't want to buy the Nuvo server.

 

 

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I have an AE network here, & my PC is full of music and storage related PCI cards, so it is connected to the network via wire. All of the stuff available, client and server, to my wireless Mac is also available to my PC. Maybe Apple and Chris are right: maybe your AE IS faulty. Alternatively: Have you checked for AE firmware upgrades? Apple has done that twice in the last few weeks. My notification for the last upgrade came up when I opened the 'Airport Utility' from the Utilities folder and not from 'Software Update' at the 'Apple' drop down menu.

 

markr.

 

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I know there is a new update I have to do it tonight still. I have been busy with the holiday and stuff also. That is my only problem right now. It's there and not there. I am going to call Apple one last time tomorrow and then decide whether to go get a new one. It's an hour away and didn't really feel like doing the drive.

 

 

 

 

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Chris,

 

I finally added signal to my setup and I am loving it. If nothing I'm going to get a new AE this Th and hopefully it will work better and I think it's going to stay in the Nuvo setup for a while. I'm really liking walking throughout the house and being able to change stuff via the iPhone. Also awesome that you can pull up movies also. I have a few concerts on my iphone so this is deff a cool feature.

 

Jimi

 

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Well I got a new AE today and still am having problems. I am on hold with Apple right now. I got it online and then did the FW upgrade and it couldn't find it again after it. It won't even find itself if I have it hardwired. This is getting a little crazy at this point!

 

But that's where I am. . . nowhere. . . .

 

jimi

 

Ok just got off the phone with Apple. The problem was. . .I needed to be in bridge mode on the Extreme! I knew this too cause I have structured wiring through the house and the router in the basement at source is where the IP needs to originate and the extreme has to pretty much be a client. . .I knew this cause that is how I get my printer on the network also and it has been down. I should have known this. Also, I was using WEP 128 for security. The expresses don't like this security I had to go to WPA/WPA2 personal. This was the other catch. Now perfect. . . .

 

So here is the network mapping for those who care re: quality and t he chain of command. The AE is "joining the network" right now so it only recieves streams from the extreme which gets it's info from the computer. So my music is going wireless out of computer to the extreme to the AE. The only way to get it to go direct to the AE from the computer is to make a new network. Right now the AE is in a closet with the door closed and the extreme is on the opposite side of the house and the computer is at the farthest point in my house from the extreme base and no problems. If things become a problem I'm going to use ethernet on the AE cause I have drops in that closet then the Extreme will get wireless info from my Mac pro and send it wired to the AE.

 

Oh and I'm using signal to control iTunes and I am loving it.

 

Here's what I want in Signal to get added. . . So Mat you need to be listening . . . .Or Chris if you are tell Mat. . . .I want control of my radio stations over signal so I can change channels or select them without going to the computer if I am in another room!

 

Ok. . . cool. Anyone that has questions I will try to help. This is my first setup and maybe tonight I'll move it over to my media room and see what quality is like over TOS to my Marantz for DAC. . . .

 

Jimi

 

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Hey Jimi great news! Navigating your library with the iPod Touch / iPhone is so cool.

 

Thanks for posting the details of your network setup for everyone to see. This will really help some people who are stuck.

 

I too wish Signal could control the internet radio stations in iTunes. You may want to try Remote Buddy to see if any of the extra features help you out. Ii think they have a free trial download.

 

Give us the scoop when you listen to it connected to the Marantz.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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That's today's project. I have to go check out a job with my buddy this AM and then when I get home I'm going to hook everything up. The designer who designed our house is coming by tomorrow too so I want him to see this setup cause I think alot of his customers would really like it due to the cost factor and ease of use once setup.

 

jim

 

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Hey Jim - Not sure if you know this, but you can control the iTunes radio stations to a certain extent. When you listen to a station, all the other stations in the category will show up in your signal playlist on your iPod Touch / iPhone. I know, it's not the best but it is some control :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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...I knew that. Didn't know that you didn't. MUST remember that particular black hole for future reference. It is in the setup chain set forth. I guess that everyone doesn't see it the first time through setup. You must be human (heheheh).

 

cool. Thanks for getting it figured out and getting that 'question mark' removed from my consciousness!

 

markr

 

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Chris,

 

Very cool I never bothered to notice. Well I'm satisfied. That's all I need. When I listen to one station category I would only want to change cause I don't like the song that's on. So being able to find the same type of music say 80's, would be fine with me! I'm easy to please if you haven't noticed. I don't need everything to be how i want it just easy enough to work around it.

 

jim

 

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  • 3 months later...

I am always trying to improve my Audio and Video distribution, but one of the things which really bother me is the fact that there is no proper interfacing between Nuvo and a Mac running Itunes. I have been playing around with keyspan remotes etc.. and i must say that i am pretty dissapointed with that. Managing my library through an ipod touch is cool and efficient, but what i do miss, is seeing the artist and title in the NUVO controlpads, like with the ipod docks (i also have). Anybody out there having a cool idea? I also would be interested in understanding the airport express setup a little further, so any input is highly welcome. As said this is about my Apples. On pc's there is plenty of software available (cinemar, casatunes - which i think is still great -), but nothing for the mac with itunes and i do not like to have an windows media center environment.

 

My ultimate idea would be to have something like a web interface, which could run on a touch screen device, NOT ONLY managing my NUVO but also my Itunes environment (on MAc).

 

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Nuvo has an interface supposedly shipping next month called a Music Port. It shares alot of the features of the Nuvo M3 server but without the storage. (BTW Angel, the M3 may be a good choice for you if you want to be able to see metadata from your digital music collection on the Nuvo keypads, control your music ciollection, etc.)It is a device designed to be on your network, connected to your computer and has the potential to deliver up to 3 audio streams from your computer (depending on your audio card) and metadata that will show on the Nuvo keypads. The only downside for Mac users is that you would have to run it in a Windows environment. That being said, you would be able to access cover art, playlists, now playing thru any web enabled device (like a third party touchscreen) on the network. A very cool piece for Nuvo Grand Concerto or new Essentia owners.

 

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i fell the m3 is pretty much 3 ipod docks without the ipods. we have 2 ipod docks in our setup one for my wife and one for me. i don't like the m3 cause it doesn't support aac also. yes you will get data but so do the ipod docks for way less money. forget about coverart with the gc keypads due to the type of display.

 

the only thing i have come up with for now is hooking up an AE to a source on the GC and controlling it with signal or remote. you have to still control the vol from the keypad, but you get your readout from the touch or iphone. i have talked with nuvo about a wireless keypad. that would be really cool.

 

right now this is all i have come up with. AE has worked perfectly. pretty much you made the AE an airtunes ad you stream to it and play over the GC. My AE is in a closet with the rest of my equipment and it works perfectly.

 

jimi

 

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any other info re: this. i haven't heard about this from our rep. i program and install for a friend's business. i recently brought the nuvo gc into his choices for customers due to it's keypads and ease of use. but i haven't heard the music port yet and i just talked with them the other day. . .huh. . .

 

Oh ya i did hear about this a while back but they were still coding it at the time and it was all PC based. . . . now I remember.

 

jimi

 

 

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The downside with the M3 is the fact that it does not take care of my purchased itunes songs and my library is about 20K songs. The music port seems cool and i already informed at Autonomichome whether they intend to release mac based software (the first release is only windows (whereby i believe it is a web app, so it should not be that difficult to port), and they said i have to keep my eyes open. Anyhow, it is already a great step forward having something like the music port.

 

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Thanks for the welcome! In essence i want to run a piece of software, preferably on a touch screen device, which manages my NUVO GC as well as all its sources. Kinda what Remote does with Itunes on a Touch or Iphone, or what CasaTunes does on Windows. There is plenty apps out there but they all cover part of it and seldomly the whole range of sources. Like casatunes does not support itunes but only windows mediaplayer.

 

Someday though i believe there will be something which will satusfy my gadgets desire!

 

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Music Port will do what you are asking for when it becomes available soon, but it is PC based. You would have to run it in Windows on a Mac. It will allow GC control, cover art, touch panel access, and multiple audio streams.

 

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got more info on music port today.

 

it will be on display at Cedia to play with. . .very cool.

 

then it will be released with any software changes.

 

also i thought we would have control of this through the iphone due to the web based acess to the CG and nuvonet, but that is not the case. the touch screen that is used needs to be able to have the host program installed on it for network. so this means you need to have a full fuctioning version of windows on the touchscreen.

 

i personally think this stinks cause i only use macs and I am not going to bring a windows based computer into my house. the only pc I use of for programming and that's as far as I go with windows. i really don't want to put windows on my mac either cause that defeats the purpose of having a mac anyway. . . but in a business aspect it's good cause most our customers are still pc based, but this is slowly changing.

 

jimi

 

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