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Network stream vs Local stream


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Hello everyone

 

I havent posted much here but I often use this site for information about computer audio. I dont think I know as much as you guys though, so maybe you can help me out with this one.

 

I usually have all my msuic on a 2TB SATA hard drive, connected straight to the motherboard. Then I have the SSD with Windows and Jriver on.

 

Recently i connected an old 500GB USB drive to my router. When I played music back from it using Jriver, it sounded better!!

 

I was surprised. Everything is the same, just instead of being played locally, it is played from a router.

 

Is this normal? What is happening here? Am I just imagining it?

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Recently i connected an old 500GB USB drive to my router. When I played music back from it using Jriver, it sounded better!!

 

I was surprised. Everything is the same, just instead of being played locally, it is played from a router.

 

Is this normal? What is happening here? Am I just imagining it?

 

No difference sound transparency/quality playback from local HDD or from remote HDD via network. If appears network delivery troubles you will listen periodical pauses only.

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Some routers run UPnP media servers to allow access to media files located on a storage drive attached to them, as well the more usual option of access via network shared folders, eg SMB. Which method are you using with your router?

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I have tried both UPnP and SMB and both sound better.

 

Trying to define "better" is difficult, it is not as flat, better detail. I have compared a few more songs today and listening over the network is an improvement over the local HDD.

 

If it is noise, would it becoming from the local hard drives power?

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From the power supply, I'd say. Maybe your dac doesn't isolate the port.

 

If you hear differences in "depth", it could also be jitter. Or it could be a bad USB controller implementation in the DAC altogether.

 

As for solutions to play directly from the computer, if your computer has a TOSLINK port, you could try that, and see if the sound is also improved over USB. Or use an Airport Express.

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I dont know if this is a related issue but if I set "XHCI Mode" to Enabled Jriver freezes until I turn off my DAC. If I set it to Smart Auto then I get about 3 seconds of playback before freezing.

 

To get consistent sound I have to set "XHCI Mode" to manual and disable "USB 3.0 pins"

 

Could this be giving me the low quality sound through local playback?

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