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Foobar as front-end to receiver?


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Hi Guys,

 

Just found this forum, so much reading to do! Anyway, over the years I've used the following methods to listen to my lossless FLAC/HiRes digital library which is located on a Synology NAS:

 

1) Logitech Media Server and Logitech Duet

2) Logitech Media Server and LMS iPhone app

3) Foobar on my home computer

 

I'm selling the Logitech duet and have just purchased some networked receivers which support FLAC up to 192Kh and DSD file playback. As well, I really love how easy it is to select songs to play using Foobar, especially given that I have over 2TB of audio files (my view of choice is the folder view). Given this, is it possible to use Foobar as the front-end to a Denon/Marantz networked receiver? What I mean by this is these receivers provide an app for selecting music to play on the receiver, but I find them slow when navigating across a large library. Ideally, I'd love for the receiver to be connected to my files on the NAS via Ethernet/DLNA, but use Foobar on a Laptop/Tablet to control which files will be played by the receiver. Just to be clear, I'm not looking to play files on the laptop/computer and send them from the laptop/computer to the receiver, instead, I'm wondering if I can use Foobar the same way their app is used to control which files the receiver connects to and plays.

 

If this is possible, I'm assuming SACD ISO playback is out as although it's supported in Foobar, the receivers don't support playback of this type of file.

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Ideally, I'd love for the receiver to be connected to my files on the NAS via Ethernet/DLNA, but use Foobar on a Laptop/Tablet to control which files will be played by the receiver. Just to be clear, I'm not looking to play files on the laptop/computer and send them from the laptop/computer to the receiver, instead, I'm wondering if I can use Foobar the same way their app is used to control which files the receiver connects to and plays.

 

Depending on which type of DLNA functions the receiver supports, content can be sent to it from the PC. It means that when you have a movie or music file on the PC (or network storage that the PC has access to), you can select the "Play to ..." command in the Windows context menue of that file and the receiver will play the file.

 

That is only possible if the Receiver works as a "Digital Media Renderer (DMR)". Many DLNA clients just support "Digital Media Player" functions, which means you must command the playback function on the device itself.

 

Digital Living Network Alliance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Of course, you could also just use the receiver as a DAC receiving digital streams from the PC (which plays the files), but then you need a USB (better, if available) or S/PDIF cable connection between the PC and the receiver.

Claude

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Computer Audiophile - The Complete Guide To HiFi UPnP / DLNA Network Audio might be of assistance. Mostly it talks about using JRiver rather than Foobar but the components are also available for FooBar.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I really love how easy it is to select songs to play using Foobar, especially given that I have over 2TB of audio files (my view of choice is the folder view). Given this, is it possible to use Foobar as the front-end to a Denon/Marantz networked receiver? What I mean by this is these receivers provide an app for selecting music to play on the receiver, but I find them slow when navigating across a large library. Ideally, I'd love for the receiver to be connected to my files on the NAS via Ethernet/DLNA, but use Foobar on a Laptop/Tablet to control which files will be played by the receiver. Just to be clear, I'm not looking to play files on the laptop/computer and send them from the laptop/computer to the receiver, instead, I'm wondering if I can use Foobar the same way their app is used to control which files the receiver connects to and plays.

 

If this is possible, I'm assuming SACD ISO playback is out as although it's supported in Foobar, the receivers don't support playback of this type of file.

Hi Cipher and welcome to the forum.

 

Since it's not clear that you're yet familiar with UPnP/DLNA network media file streaming, Claude's & Audio_Elf's comments on the subject & links would certainly be beneficial. Another useful source of information on UPnP/DLNA & its software & hardware devices is the Well Tempered Computer site, eg its Networking->Streaming->UPnP/DLNA pages:

The Well-Tempered Computer

 

Incidentally, using a music player application like Foobar2000 in its normal function of music file playback, doesn't actually 'send them' (the files) to anything. The music player's playback function is to decode the music files, using an appropriate codec, into a realtime digital audio signal, which then gets passed to the DAC. Just to be clear, if the computer is connected to an AVR used as an external DAC, the receiver is being sent a digital audio signal (decoded from the music file), when Foobar is being used normally as a music file player, not the music file (data) itself.

 

The reason why I'm pointing this out is to contrast it with UPnP/DLNA network file streaming, in which the receiver is actually being sent music file data (and not realtime digital audio signal data). The receiver then uses its built-in music file player to decode the network streamed music file into the digital audio signal for the DAC. A UPnP/DLNA supporting AVR being used this way is known as a UPnP/DLNA streamer (aka player, aka renderer).

 

To answer your actual query, if you install the foo_upnp plugin component, you certainly can use Foobar2000 as a UPnP/DLNA controller (aka control point) to control which files will be played by the receiver, assuming it can be used as a UPnP/DLNA streamer. There's already a thread on the subject:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/foobar2000-interface-streaming-question-help-please-22092/

The only issue is the clunky nature of the Fb2k user interface, as you are probably well aware. For example, the foo_upnp plugin when first installed provides a popup window for the UPnP controller, instead of being integrated into Fb2k's main screen, so isn't ideal. However, as you seem very familiar with Foobar, it should be relatively easy for you to create a better skin for it.

 

One good reason for using Foobar2000 with foo_upnp as the UPnP controller is that DSD streaming is actually possible. This includes streaming the pseudo dsf 'file' tracks loaded into a playlist from the SACD ISO and even transcoding those same pseudo dsf files to PCM, which your receiver should then be able to play as wav files!

 

All the DSD/SACD ISO decoding provided by the excellent foo_input_sacd plugin component still works with foo_upnp.

 

John

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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+1 to Cebolla's remarks

 

If your files reside on a NAS, and you are using the AVR as a network renderer, Foobar2000 is out of the picture. The component you have to settle on is your remote control software. Synology comes bundled with its own app called audio station or Minimserver for media server software. You may be forced to use whatever controller app is provided by the AVR manufacturer and the media server software that works best with it; if not Kinsky or Bubble UPNP are good choices for tablet remote control apps for your audio media playback.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Dave,

 

Foobar2000 with the foo_upnp plugin can still be used for the files stored on the NAS. Like I mentioned foo_upnp provides the user with a UPnP control point, exactly like those third party UPnP controller apps you mentined. In fact the same guy that designed the excellent BubbleUPnP Android app, Michael Pujos (aka Bubbleguuum) came up with foo_upnp.

 

John

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Thank you all for the great responses! After reading those links, I see now that what I was asking was if I can use Foobar as the Control Point for my receiver. Here are the current pieces I'm testing with in my office:

 

Media Server: Synology 1812+

Media Renderer: Denon S900W

Control Point: Foobar on a Surface Pro 3 and a Asus Laptop

 

It looks like I had started down the right path as I had already installed the foo_upnp plugin, but didn't realize I had to launch the Controller window and use the related UPnP Controller Playback Queue tab to play the files. Once I read the links from above, I was able to quickly set this up and play music through the receiver while being controlled by Foobar. That's the good news. Unfortunately, I see some issues with using Foobar in this situation:

 

1) Not being able to use the Library Viewer Selection tab to play files (this is how I've always used Foobar as I can quickly navigate through thousands of folders/files and quickly play what I feel like hearing next). Also, not being able to use the main navigation/play buttons is unfortunate.

 

2) The conversion to WAV rather than having the receiver do the conversion itself

 

3) I'm currently unable to play SACD ISO files

 

I've only spent 30 minutes on this tonight so I'm going to see if I have some time this weekend to play with this some more. I'm also going to take a look at J.River to see if it offers a better or similar navigation tree UI for selecting songs with a mouse.

 

Also, when I went to select the Renderer from the drop-down in Foobar I noticed that my Oppo 103D was listed. I'm thinking this might even be a better option to use the DAC in the Oppo and then HDMI out to the Denon receiver.

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Also, when I went to select the Renderer from the drop-down in Foobar I noticed that my Oppo 103D was listed. I'm thinking this might even be a better option to use the DAC in the Oppo and then HDMI out to the Denon receiver.

If you are using HDMI from your Oppo to the Denon then you are not actually using the Oppo's DAC but those in the Denon (HDMI transmits digital audio). It is possible that the Oppo to Denon via HDMI may sound better than direct to Denon and support for DSD is likely better with the Oppo (I'm not entirely sure the current state of DSD via UPnP to the Oppo 103D) as well as multichannel support.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
1) Not being able to use the Library Viewer Selection tab to play files (this is how I've always used Foobar as I can quickly navigate through thousands of folders/files and quickly play what I feel like hearing next). Also, not being able to use the main navigation/play buttons is unfortunate.

 

2) The conversion to WAV rather than having the receiver do the conversion itself

 

3) I'm currently unable to play SACD ISO files

1) You'll need to drag & drop the tracks from the Library Viewer Selection tab to the UPnP Controller Playback Queue tab in order to play the tracks using the Controller window. If you are familiar with creating your own skins in Foobar2000, you should be able to remove the normal playback buttons and put in its place the components contained in the Controller window, including its playback buttons.

 

2) I didn't mention in my last post that the foo_UPnP plugin also has the option of allowing Foobar's Library to be accessable via a UPnP media server. So by dropping the Library Viewer's tracks onto the Controller Playback Queue, you are effectively getting Fb2k's UPnP control point to access its own UPnP media server. Therefore strictly speaking you aren't using a media server on the Synology 810+, but you are using the UPnP media server provided by the foo_UPnP plugin, which in turn uses Foobar2000's Library configured to access the music files over the network from the Synology's shared folders.

I believe the reason that the your music files are being converted to WAV while being streamed is because the UPnP Server's streaming profiles have not been set correctly. The UPnP configuration is in the Tools tree section of Fb2k's Prefences window. Make sure that the Renderer Capabilities sample rate range is correct for the resolution of FLAC files you intend to stream with the receiver. If you stream a FLAC file with a sample rate out of that range then it will force transcoding of it to WAV. Also make sure that the Decoding to PCM setting is set to Decode never.

 

3) I'm assuming that you have installed and configured the foo_input_sacd plugin appropriately, especially with regards to getting it to decode to PCM, since your Denon AVR can't stream DSD files. Certainly make sure the PCM samplerate you use in the SACD configuration is one that your receiver supports when streaming WAV files.

Currently Fb2k's UPnP media server only supports streaming single rate DSD, which should be ok for SACD rips. Also, in common with much of Foobar, there's a quirky way of engaging it. You need to set the UPnP Server's Renderer Capabilities upper sample rate limit to 2822400 in its Streaming Profiles. You also need to get the media server to transcode DSD files to WAV, by setting Decoding to PCM to: Decode never to wav except dff,dsf

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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If you are using HDMI from your Oppo to the Denon then you are not actually using the Oppo's DAC but those in the Denon (HDMI transmits digital audio). It is possible that the Oppo to Denon via HDMI may sound better than direct to Denon and support for DSD is likely better with the Oppo (I'm not entirely sure the current state of DSD via UPnP to the Oppo 103D) as well as multichannel support.

Eloise

Thanks for this info, Audio_elf. It sounds like I was describing the situation where one has the Oppo 105 and uses the Analog outs to send the data that's been processed by its DAC. I will compare the Oppo->Denon vs just straight to Denon in case, as you described, it sounds better.

 

1) You'll need to drag & drop the tracks from the Library Viewer Selection tab to the UPnP Controller Playback Queue tab in order to play the tracks using the Controller window. If you are familiar with creating your own skins in Foobar2000, you should be able to remove the normal playback buttons and put in its place the components contained in the Controller window, including its playback buttons.

Thanks Cebolla, unfortunately, this won't work for me. I really need the TreeView control to navigate my library as I listen to various Tracks or Albums while working from my office and the music I want to listen to is constantly changing. Dropping a list of songs into this single scrolling window will be too slow for me. However, I did get a chance to look at JRiver and I am very impressed, especially since the DLNA support allows you to use the native TreeView like navigation control on the left side of the application rather than a something that has been bolted onto the app with Foobar and the 3rd party component. It even has a "Folder" view via Audio-Files which matches what I've always used with Foobar. However, while I was able to get DLNA working in Foobar, JRiver is not currently able to control my Denon or Oppo. I'm getting error messages ("There was a problem controlling the selected DLNA device....." and "Something went wrong with playback") using the trial version of JRiver so I'll need to look into this some more. If I can solve this issue, then I'd switch over to Jriver as it definitely offers a more elegant UI for this functionality.

 

1) 3) I'm assuming that you have installed and configured the foo_input_sacd plugin appropriately, especially with regards to getting it to decode to PCM, since your Denon AVR can't stream DSD files. Certainly make sure the PCM samplerate you use in the SACD configuration is one that your receiver supports when streaming WAV files.

Currently Fb2k's UPnP media server only supports streaming single rate DSD, which should be ok for SACD rips. Also, in common with much of Foobar, there's a quirky way of engaging it. You need to set the UPnP Server's Renderer Capabilities upper sample rate limit to 2822400 in its Streaming Profiles. You also need to get the media server to transcode DSD files to WAV, by setting Decoding to PCM to: Decode never to wav except dff,dsf

The Denon actually does support DSD from both USB and network (computer, DLNA) sources. However, they do specify .dsf and .dff extensions in the manual. Once I get JRiver controlling my music library over DLNA, I'm going to see how it's handling SACD music playback. I might need to convert my ISO's to dsf/dff or forget DLNA and use a CAPS like server running JRiver with HDMI out and play the ISOs that way.

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Thanks Cebolla, unfortunately, this won't work for me. I really need the TreeView control to navigate my library as I listen to various Tracks or Albums while working from my office and the music I want to listen to is constantly changing. Dropping a list of songs into this single scrolling window will be too slow for me. However, I did get a chance to look at JRiver and I am very impressed, especially since the DLNA support allows you to use the native TreeView like navigation control on the left side of the application rather than a something that has been bolted onto the app with Foobar and the 3rd party component. It even has a "Folder" view via Audio-Files which matches what I've always used with Foobar. However, while I was able to get DLNA working in Foobar, JRiver is not currently able to control my Denon or Oppo. I'm getting error messages ("There was a problem controlling the selected DLNA device....." and "Something went wrong with playback") using the trial version of JRiver so I'll need to look into this some more. If I can solve this issue, then I'd switch over to Jriver as it definitely offers a more elegant UI for this functionality.
Like I said, if you are willing to experiment with Foobar's skins and related plugin components, you can achieve a very reasonable user interface for the UPnP control point, including a tree view which shows the actual music file storage "Folder" as well as music category ones. For example, here's one I configured for Foobar2000 using the Columns UI skin (foo_ui_columns) and some plugins for it, including the Library Tree component (foo_uie_library_tree):

 

Foobar UPnP control point skin.JPG

 

Notice how the UPnP control point's display components that were originally on a popup window are now part of the main display and have replaced the standard playback components, making it much friendlier to use. It's also very easy to drag and drop a music file selection from the Library Selection tab to the UPnP Controller Playback Queue tab. I could have opted for the Library tree to directly manipulate the UPnP Controller Queue tab instead, but this would of course potentially annoyingly wipe out a current 'live' playlist, so the two step process is much neater and safer.

 

 

 

The Denon actually does support DSD from both USB and network (computer, DLNA) sources. However, they do specify .dsf and .dff extensions in the manual. Once I get JRiver controlling my music library over DLNA, I'm going to see how it's handling SACD music playback. I might need to convert my ISO's to dsf/dff or forget DLNA and use a CAPS like server running JRiver with HDMI out and play the ISOs that way.
Ok, (typically) I misread your original post and assumed that your receivers not supporting SACD ISOs meant them also not being able to network stream DSD files, sorry about that. All this means is that you still follow my original instructions, but just ignore setting the Decoding to PCM for dff & dsf, ie:

 

Foobar UPnP server basic settings1.JPG

 

So long as you have the foo_input_sacd plugin component installed, the SACD ISOs can be selected for network streaming by the UPnP control point. The SACD ISO's tracks will be loaded into the playlist tabs and will appear as individual 'dsf files'.

 

Also, I forgot to mention last time to make sure you've got these settings in the UPnP server's basic settings section, using your own network names:

 

Foobar UPnP server basic settings2.JPG

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Hi Guys,

 

Just found this forum, so much reading to do! Anyway, over the years I've used the following methods to listen to my lossless FLAC/HiRes digital library which is located on a Synology NAS:

 

1) Logitech Media Server and Logitech Duet

2) Logitech Media Server and LMS iPhone app

3) Foobar on my home computer

 

I'm selling the Logitech duet and have just purchased some networked receivers which support FLAC up to 192Kh and DSD file playback. As well, I really love how easy it is to select songs to play using Foobar, especially given that I have over 2TB of audio files (my view of choice is the folder view). Given this, is it possible to use Foobar as the front-end to a Denon/Marantz networked receiver? What I mean by this is these receivers provide an app for selecting music to play on the receiver, but I find them slow when navigating across a large library. Ideally, I'd love for the receiver to be connected to my files on the NAS via Ethernet/DLNA, but use Foobar on a Laptop/Tablet to control which files will be played by the receiver. Just to be clear, I'm not looking to play files on the laptop/computer and send them from the laptop/computer to the receiver, instead, I'm wondering if I can use Foobar the same way their app is used to control which files the receiver connects to and plays.

 

If this is possible, I'm assuming SACD ISO playback is out as although it's supported in Foobar, the receivers don't support playback of this type of file.

 

For better sound better use bit-perfect playback (non changed digital stream from file coming to receiver).

 

1. For PCM (WAV/FLAC/AIFF) playback no problem with it with using ASIO or WASAPI.

 

2. For DSD foobar_sacd plugin convert DSD to PCM (here bit-perfect impossible, as I understand, for your apparatus).

 

In case 2 you have 2 extra options:

2.1 Use "on fly" DSD-PCM conversion built in audio player

Adv: no need convert library

 

2.2 Use offline pre-conversion via audio converter.

Adv: Minimal CPU loading during playback

Heavy precise conversion algorithm.

 

Sound quality for all options you can check on hearing.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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Yuri,

 

I think you may have misread the original post. It mentions wanting to network stream the files, via "Ethernet/DLNA" and therefore playback of them by receivers themselves, not Foobar2000. The OP does not want to use the receiver(s) as an external DAC to the computer running Foobar2000 in its usual function of music playback, so the use of ASIO, WASAPI, or any other Foobar playback output device does not apply. Foobar is just required to be used as a UPnP control point for the receivers.

 

Also, the OP mentions the receivers actually supporting DSD files when network streaming via UPnP/DLNA, but not SACD ISOs. Therefore the Foobar SACD plugin is still required to load the OPs SACD ISO files, but not to decode DSD files to PCM.

 

John

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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