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Music streamer/server source suggestions


jf4828
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Hi All,

 

I'm moving from an Oppo BDP-105 to Emotiva XMC-1 as the center of my main system for 50% movies 50% music. I'm going to sell the Oppo but have a Buffalo 3 SE DAC with Amanero USB input that I will connect to the XMC-1 direct input. Up until now, I've been using Tidal and a directly connected hard drive on the BDP-105 and have been happy with the sound quality and remote access applications.

 

I've been very happy with the Buffalo 3 SE DAC/Oppo HA-2 and Audirvana on my MacBook for headphone use but would like a setup that works well in the living room that doesn't involve my MacBook pro but can reach the same quality.

 

I'm trying to minimize cost by using an existing PC as the source for the Buffalo DAC. However, the following things are important to me and I'm not sure what will work best for me:

1. Sound quality

2. Access to streaming services (Tidal)

3. Remote control via smartphone/tablet app

 

As far as what I have to play with:

i3 laptop with 1TB storage

ePC with maybe 128GB drive and external USB 750GB drive

Squeeze Box Classic

 

The Buffalo 3 SE DAC I have supports SPDIF or USB. I do like my DSD so I'm leaning away from squeeze box... Any suggestions that are software based. Any additional thoughts on hardware streamers that will interface with Amanero via usb and provide excellent sound quality at low cost? Life has been busy and I feel like I haven't kept up with the latest and greatest.... Not totally against getting a Mac Mini but I'm not sure I want to spend the money without a justified improvement over something I have on hand with software. BTW, I'm a programmer and very well versed in Linux so I'm not against those suggestions. That said, I don't have much time to contribute to a half baked project, I'm looking for something that already works well.

 

Thanks for any help!

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You could try using Daphile on your old PC. You can boot from USB or install it to a partition. I believe it does DSD and overall it works very well. There are some very nice features, including Tidal and Ram Play, and it sounds pretty good. And it's free. You can easily control it from a pad using the web GUI or a Squeezlite client. Just a thought.

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...and if you're experienced with Linux there's Voyage Linux for audio. It's a bit beyond my skills at the moment. :-) Also Snakeoil-OS, which uses MPD and is very light and easy to configure (also bootable from USB or can be installed). It let's you switch between MPD and squeezlite, which is nice. I think MPD sounds a bit better than squeezelite, but these are all options for creating a lean music server from your old PC.

 

There's also a new version of Volumio for x86, very simple MPD, but it's still a bit buggy and requires some tweaking, probably not a porblem for you. I'm using it on a little Cherry Trail mini-PC because it supports UEFI boot. It sounds very good, but I don't think it does DSD yet.

 

In the long run you could replace the PC with a NUC or something similar, or even buy a SOtM SM-200. :-) The Atom-based mini-PCs are a bit limited in what they'll run unless you can get around the UEFI boot issue.

 

Is this the area you were looking for?

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Have you looked into the Raspberry Pi (or Odroid) as an option for your central system? You can let it run both the Squeezebox Server (which has plugins for TIDAL, AirPlay, DLNA, DSD & FLAC file support, Spotify, Google Music, etc.) and the Squeezelite player. Our images have one instance of Squeezelite preinstalled and a one-click installer for the Squeezebox Server. Here is some info on the audio capabilities if you are interested.

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Have you looked into the Raspberry Pi (or Odroid) as an option for your central system? You can let it run both the Squeezebox Server (which has plugins for TIDAL, AirPlay, DLNA, DSD & FLAC file support, Spotify, Google Music, etc.) and the Squeezelite player. Our images have one instance of Squeezelite preinstalled and a one-click installer for the Squeezebox Server. Here is some info on the audio capabilities if you are interested.

 

This is new one to me! Looks interesting, I'll try it on my Odroid.

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