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Hi Blackmorec,

 

Thanks for the overview and first impressions. Would be great if you could provide some information around your library size and the perceived „speed“ of the software. I also remember someone mentioning that their may also be some changes as to how the files are cached prior to playback with Innuos 2.0. Are you aware of any specifics?

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2 hours ago, mrkoven said:

I wish 2.0 had some HQPlayer integration like Roon

 

Innuos uses low powered Intel Celeron CPU in their product line.  I don't think HQPlayer will work.

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Nice, clear write up, Mr Blackmore(c).

 

I have two questions, if I may:

 

1. Which Innuos model do you have?

2. Is this new software a move further away from (what I understand) was originally a development of Logitech's venerable Media Server?

 

I haven't any experience with the Innuos products, having preferred diy server building and experimentation with software in the past. But given the recent changes to Audirvana I might consider a change to my set up, especially if there are gains in music replay.

 

Thanks

Mark

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12 hours ago, baconbrain said:

Hi Blackmorec,

 

Thanks for the overview and first impressions. Would be great if you could provide some information around your library size and the perceived „speed“ of the software. I also remember someone mentioning that their may also be some changes as to how the files are cached prior to playback with Innuos 2.0. Are you aware of any specifics?

Hi there,

My comments about speed were in comparison to how long it takes to load all the meta data of my Qobuz library (favorites) or to load a selected album into RAM prior to play. In both cases a delay of around 10 seconds was the norm. I put it down to network speed, but with 2.0 there’s almost no perceptible delay. With Innuos 1.0, files selected for playback (tracks and albums) were cached and played back from RAM. I am really not sure if 2.0 does this any differently. I know that 2.0 has a different kernel and that it does not poll the server but rather idles until sent something. This ‘push’ vs. ‘pull’ cuts down markedly on network traffic

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7 hours ago, Anwar said:

 

Innuos uses low powered Intel Celeron CPU in their product line.  I don't think HQPlayer will work.

With Roon you can do HQP with other computer. Just make sure that your end point has NAA installed or if you use your Innuos as end point ask Nuno to have it installed. It works great! From what I understand Innous doesn’t exclude to have that functionality later on. What I will be missing is convolution filters. Let’s see if it will be ever implemented.

Jensen VRD-iFF>Router>Rj45>opticalModule>
SFP>Buffalo2016>SFP>opticalModule >Rj45>

IZen Mk3>Rj45> Delock62619>Rj45>
etherRegen (Master Clock+ Mini-Circuits BLP)>SFP>opticalRendu>USB>IsoRegen>

USB>Phoenix>USB>OPPO 205 (Modded)>HMS “the Perfect Match”>Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature.
 

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21 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Background

For the past 2 weeks I have been listening to my system using a beta version of Innuos’s new InnuOS 2.0 server operating system and music player SW. The purpose of my evaluation are three-fold:

to provide initial user feedback on sound quality and usability and report any defects or perceived shortcomings I may identify. This is a good place to mention that I have no ties,  financial or commercial to Innuos, other than as a paying customer and longterm user of their servers and associated SW.  During the installation of 2.0, I asked InnuOS director Nuno Vitorino if it would be OK to post my impressions on relevant Forums and he emphasised that I was free to share my findings, including any defects or perceived shortcomings I found.

This little report is divided into Functionality and Sound

 

InnuOS 2.0 Functionality

 

I can’t remember exactly when i started using computers but it was a very long time ago and they were all exclusively based on Microsoft’s operating systems. But 2 years ago I decided to switch entirely to Apple and since that time, despite reading the Apple Mojave manual, I’ve become a bit of a clutz in carrying out anything unfamiliar. So it was with a little trepidation that I thanked Nuno for completing the installation and run through of the new InnuOS 2.0

 

In order to install the new SW, the latest version of InnuOS 1.4.8 must be downloaded to bring everything up to date. The official release version of 2.0 will be via the usual automated download, but in my case Nuno downloaded the software and set up the IU on my iPad.

Highlighted areas in [Square Brackets] indicates a specific function key. I thought that may make it easier to visualise what I’m talking about. 

So, as this was a user-beta test, I really had to try everything, but first I just needed to settle down and familiarise myself with the software.  Essentially there are 4 main areas, [Home], [Music], [Server] and [Search]

 

[Home] essentially lets you start a new session by continuing whatever you were doing during your previous sessions. More on this in a minute

[Music] obviously has to do with all your music sources, including [Libraries], [Streaming Services] and [Internet Radio]

[Server] covers all those internal functions like [Server Overview], [Disc Ripper] set up and operation, music [Import] from wherever, [Back-up] and Server [Settings]

And [Search] lets you look for [Albums], [Artists], [Playlists] and [Tracks] in all sources.

 

To touch the above in Innuos 1.0, you’d have been in Qobuz, iPeng and MyInnuos.

 

So lets go into some detail…..firstly [Home].  I said [Home] allows you to start where you left off previously, so you find your [Radio Presets], any [New Music] you may have recently loaded or added to libraries, your [Favourite Playlists] and your [Last Played Tracks]. Each category has a [Show All] key so you can see either your most recently touched elements or everything in the category. You can scroll through all your recent rips or last played tracks. Here for example, lets say you had a listening session with a friend and you wanted to make the evenings program into a Playlist, this is where you’d do it.

 

[Music] is essentially a consolidation of all your local (server and local network connected) and remote (Tidal and Qobuz favorites) music sources under 6 headings; [Albums], [Artists], [Tracks], [New Music], [Playlists], and [Folders]

 

Each category has the ability to sort by [Source], [Quality] (resolution) and multiple [Tags] (eg Genre or indeed any tag you chose to apply to your music).

All your local library files include an [Edit] key to allow to manage and change any/all the meta data, more of which later.

Beneath every screen is a collapsed play screen, showing album artwork, track title and artist and keys that allow you to [Add to Library], [Add to Playlist] move [Forward/Backward/Play/Pause] and more. If you select for example [Add to Playlist] it will provide a list of [Playlists] to chose from, then let you [Edit] your selected list if you’d like to. At each point, the functions you need are always available, clearly illustrating that this SW layout was designed by an Audiophile.

 

If, instead of [Albums] you decide to look at your [Music] by [Artist], you get all [Artists] from all your sources, with portrait pictures and a source icon. Click on an [Artist] and you get their bio and the relevant contents of all your libraries, labelled by album art, title, file type, resolution and source.  You also get Qobuz and Tidal [Top Tracks] and [Albums], fully labelled as above, with the ability to add any to your [Libraries] or [Playlists].

 

Moving on to the [Server] set of capabilities, you get all the capabilities that you used to get with MyInnuos, plus a lot more ‘innovation’, especially in the area of [Disc Ripping] and meta data editing.

Disc Ripping has the usual [Slow/Fast] (noisy/quiet), [WAV or FLAC] plus 2 further options, [Automatic], which does everything without intervention and [Assisted] which allows you to completely edit the meta data component of the disc. You can change disc artwork, album and track titles, artist names, composers etc. The editing is ‘intelligent’, so if you change say the artist on a track, it asks if you want to change all the other tracks.  Artwork is also very easy to edit….you can obtain the artwork via either [Search the Internet], use the [Disc barcode] download a [Photograph] from your photo library or even [Take Photo]  (this is where you find out what the square photo format is for). This meta data editing is so fast and easy that you’ll happily correct your entire library.  This same capability is available for all locally stored Albums via a simple [Edit]  icon.  Any Albums with meta data or ripping issues are highlighted, either with blank artwork or with the name <Quarantine>, so cleaning up a library is a very simple matter, as follows:

[Search] <Quarantine> then click the [Edit] key for each album identified, make the changes and [Save]. It could not be easier!

 

Finally there’s the main [Search] function. Context related searches are available everywhere, with a free title field and an A-Z if you’re unsure how to spell a name.  This main [Search] provides a free field and organises results by [Library] and [Streaming Services] content. The content is organised by [Albums], [Playlists], [Tracks] and [Other Artists] (with partially similar spelling). Again each of the content fields has the ability to [Add to Library], [Add to Playlist] etc so if you hear about a new artist you simply enter their name in the free search field then add any resulting albums or tracks to your [Library] or [Playlist] of choice.

 

I started this piece by pointing out how I still struggle with new apps running on my Apple system, but if they were as easy, intuitive and context sensitive as Innuos 2.0 I would have absolutely no problem. What used to be done through Qobuz, Tidal, MyInnuos and iPeng is now all done within Innuos 2.0 and much, much more besides. Its fast, easy and extremely slick in the way it consolidates all your music sources and while I obviously haven’t covered all its capabilities, I would say that within a day of receiving the SW I was already doing stuff like editing meta data and building a variety of playlists with an ease and competence that I had not experienced before.  This is SW designed specifically to allow users to get the very most out of their digital music sources and streaming services, with the very least effort and a LOT of enjoyment. For me at least it puts me in full control of managing all my music. Considering this is a roll-out of an entirely new software it has a ‘mature’ feel to it in that you can do exactly what you want to do and there always seems to be a button to let you do it.  Its very neat to look at, easy, easy to use, even when performing what were but are no longer slightly complex manoeuvres, it responds quickly (at least on my network) with no real delays. According to Nuno Innuos will continue to develop 2.0 and have plenty of ideas, plus customer inputs of course, so we can expect this initial palette of capabilities to expand over time 

 

So now the $1,000,000 question. How does this new music player SW sound?

 

Well at this stage its difficult not to start gushing. My system was sounding pretty good prior to installing 2.0 but what this SW does is to take everything your system was doing previously and elevate it to an entirely new level. There is more of everything….Naturalness, beauty, tonal density, timbral detail, dynamics and micro-dynamics, ambience and acoustic information, an ability to present musicians in a fully developed, fully immersive, 3 dimensional venue. There is simply a lot more ‘information’. Bass has greater impact, slam, heft, weight, ease and spacial detail, sometimes being felt rather than heard. Midrange is richer, denser, spacially better resolved and super detailed and again there’s an element of feeling as well as hearing the music.  At the top treble is hugely energetic and scintillating without any trace of hard- or harshness. Cymbals crash, shimmer and bloom,  trumpets have that initial brassy blatt, then mellow as the notes bloom.  Piano comes across as powerful, venue energising and enormously complex….violins have that gutty resinous string sound with complex harmonics and the ability to communicate the soul of the music.

The biggest impact is on believability, aliveness and the music’s ability to obliterate thought and occupy your entire consciousness. Some albums sound ‘live’, many don’t. But that isn’t the most import aspect. What really matters is that the music itself sounds ‘alive’, real and entirely convincing….that its made by human beings playing real instruments, that the notes have body, presence, shape and that the music itself generates strong feelings and emotions. The sense of rhythm and rhythmic drive is greatly enhanced…..the way individual musicians contributions’ weave together to form the musical whole. The musics’ pace, rhythm and timing are beautifully portrayed. What becomes a lot clearer are the composers’ intentions and the musicians skills. The music’s ability to communicate with and involve the listener is dramatically enhanced, to generate strong feelings and emotions for example tears of joy at the utter beauty of the music, maybe of the composition itself or the gorgeous interpretation by world-class musicians.

So that’s my initial impression of InnuOS 2.0.  There are essentially 2 things I appreciate the most. Operationally its clearly going to help me get a LOT more out of my music collection and especially out of my streaming service subscriptions. And from a listening perspective this is really a fundamental upgrade in that it makes the music more believable, more enjoyable and more engaging, which uplifts the joy and satisfaction I get from every listening session, which I now look forward to immensely. It makes good recordings hugely enjoyable and it uplifts bad recordings by giving them a far higher entertainment value, allowing you to ignore the shortcomings and enjoy what they do well. And unlike cosmetic changes, whose improvements are soon assimilated, a fundamental upgrade such as this creates a permanent uplift in the level of joy and fulfilment I get from my music.   

 

And just for the record, I found a couple of defects related to a streaming service library and I requested that the default ordering of Albums be based on Artist name rather than Album name. And one important thing to remember when you install 2.0!  Innuos 2.0 is no longer a network polling ‘pull’ app like iPeng.  It ‘pushes’ data when it needs to and is otherwise inactive, so the level of network activity is substantially reduced, but if you leave iPeng on your system, you need to make sure its completely switched off, otherwise it’ll continue polling the server.

 

Finally I really like to thank Nuno Vitorino for including me in the initial user trial.  Thanks Nuno!

Thank so much for sharing! Have you tested Roon + Squeezelite in experimental mode? Interest to know if the SQ uplift is also felt.

Warmest regards,

Jorge

Jensen VRD-iFF>Router>Rj45>opticalModule>
SFP>Buffalo2016>SFP>opticalModule >Rj45>

IZen Mk3>Rj45> Delock62619>Rj45>
etherRegen (Master Clock+ Mini-Circuits BLP)>SFP>opticalRendu>USB>IsoRegen>

USB>Phoenix>USB>OPPO 205 (Modded)>HMS “the Perfect Match”>Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature.
 

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4 hours ago, soares said:

Thank so much for sharing! Have you tested Roon + Squeezelite in experimental mode? Interest to know if the SQ uplift is also felt.

Warmest regards,

Jorge

Hi Jorge,

You’re very welcome.

No afraid I never tested Roon + Squeezelite on InnuOS 1.x. My system was delivered by the dealer with Roon active, but after I tried and compared it to InnuOS I switched off Roon and haven’t been back, given that I’ve read nothing on the internet to encourage me. 

Let me share a typical listening session.   I walk into the room, sit down, hit the Power button on the remote and the amp switches out of standby and Swiss Radio Classics starts to play. I turn up the volume and listen to what’s playing for an hour or so, then I switch to iPeng, My apps, Qobuz, Favorites, Albums, then I’m lost to the World for another 3 or 4 hours plus a ️break. 

The price I paid for not using Roon was that my Music Collection wasn't well managed and didn’t expand a great deal. The upside was superb sound quality and absolutely uninterrupted listening sessions.

With InnuOS 2.0 I do most of my music management  sitting at the kitchen table or lying in 🛏.  I can easily go back and review my day’s plays, search other interesting albums, read bios, ID other similar music and update libraries and lists to my heart’s content. For me I find these sessions fun and my music collection is growing nicely.  And the SQ I enjoy is as described above   😀

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4 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Hi Jorge,

You’re very welcome.

No afraid I never tested Roon + Squeezelite on InnuOS 1.x. My system was delivered by the dealer with Roon active, but after I tried and compared it to InnuOS I switched off Roon and haven’t been back, given that I’ve read nothing on the internet to encourage me. 

Let me share a typical listening session.   I walk into the room, sit down, hit the Power button on the remote and the amp switches out of standby and Swiss Radio Classics starts to play. I turn up the volume and listen to what’s playing for an hour or so, then I switch to iPeng, My apps, Qobuz, Favorites, Albums, then I’m lost to the World for another 3 or 4 hours plus a ️break. 

The price I paid for not using Roon was that my Music Collection wasn't well managed and didn’t expand a great deal. The upside was superb sound quality and absolutely uninterrupted listening sessions.

With InnuOS 2.0 I do most of my music management  sitting at the kitchen table or lying in 🛏.  I can easily go back and review my day’s plays, search other interesting albums, read bios, ID other similar music and update libraries and lists to my heart’s content. For me I find these sessions fun and my music collection is growing nicely.  And the SQ I enjoy is as described above   😀

Tks for the exhaustive explanation. To be honest I never had a single problem with the experimental mode and SQ wise it was much better than Roon alone. IPeng for me was a no go due to its unfriendlyness. The only reason I think to keep Roon is convolution filters and HQPlayer, but support will probably came in the next months. Enjoy your statement and your Phoenix net! 🤗

Jensen VRD-iFF>Router>Rj45>opticalModule>
SFP>Buffalo2016>SFP>opticalModule >Rj45>

IZen Mk3>Rj45> Delock62619>Rj45>
etherRegen (Master Clock+ Mini-Circuits BLP)>SFP>opticalRendu>USB>IsoRegen>

USB>Phoenix>USB>OPPO 205 (Modded)>HMS “the Perfect Match”>Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature.
 

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Interesting review of InnuOS 2.0. I had more than 2 years ago several email/service exchanges with Nuno where he was talking about useable U.I. but nothing happened! I was ready to give up on Innuos but then I still like its sound quality especially with the recent upgrade to 1.4.8.. 

I use Innuos only for local files (no need for ripping anymore) and Qobuz. I am using Spotify connect direct with my Devialet.

Recently Apple and Amazon are getting into lossless which one can not use with Innuos. Spotify will follow!

So I am not so sure that Qobuz and Tidal will be relevant in the near future. I can imagine that it is difficult for small companies to adjust to fast changing paradigms of music distribution and develop appropriate OS and UI

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I am reading that Tidal integration will come some time after the initial 2.0 release.

My question might be stupid but here goes: Does this mean we won't be able to listen to Tidal at all upon the initial 2.0  release or is it just a limited functionality thing?

Currently, ipeng/LMS has a limit of 1000 albums in Tidal, sorted only by album name.

This is a severe limitation, which makes it awkward for people like me with over 4000 titles in their Tidal library.

Usually such libraries can only practically be accessed by artist name or better still by genre and assigning your own genre in albums -and hopefully artists too, so that all albums of a said artist can fall under the same category if one so wishes- is a big plus in 2.0.

Lastly, a few more things I'd like to point out to the Innuos team, Nuno Vitorino or anyone interested:

1. Compilations by various artists must be under V and not scattered around ones library by album title (a Roon feature)

2. We must be given the choice to drop the "the" prefix from a band's name, in order to organise things and not end up with a bunch of titles under T, eg Beatles under B and not the Beatles under T (a Roon feature).

3. It would be great if all albums by the same artist were grouped together, like cover over cover, which is especially handy for users that have most or all of an artists discography in their library (a JRiver feature).

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2 hours ago, tedwoods said:

I am reading that Tidal integration will come some time after the initial 2.0 release.

My question might be stupid but here goes: Does this mean we won't be able to listen to Tidal at all upon the initial 2.0  release or is it just a limited functionality thing?

Currently, ipeng/LMS has a limit of 1000 albums in Tidal, sorted only by album name.

This is a severe limitation, which makes it awkward for people like me with over 4000 titles in their Tidal library.

Usually such libraries can only practically be accessed by artist name or better still by genre and assigning your own genre in albums -and hopefully artists too, so that all albums of a said artist can fall under the same category if one so wishes- is a big plus in 2.0.

Lastly, a few more things I'd like to point out to the Innuos team, Nuno Vitorino or anyone interested:

1. Compilations by various artists must be under V and not scattered around ones library by album title (a Roon feature)

2. We must be given the choice to drop the "the" prefix from a band's name, in order to organise things and not end up with a bunch of titles under T, eg Beatles under B and not the Beatles under T (a Roon feature).

3. It would be great if all albums by the same artist were grouped together, like cover over cover, which is especially handy for users that have most or all of an artists discography in their library (a JRiver feature).

Not stupid at all. +1

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1 hour ago, Blackmorec said:

Tidal seems to have the same status as Qobuz in that there’s simple way to input your account password and log on. I don’t have a Tidal account, but on my beta version Tidal looks like its ready to roll. Check with Innuos if you want to be 100% certain. 

1. Compilations are filed under the album name AND the Artist name is Various or Various Artists, so there are several easy ways to access all those type of Albums as a group from pretty much anywhere. You can search for Various, you can hit ‘V’ in artist search, or you can click on any Artist appearing on the Album, then look under ‘Appearing on’ and you’ll find the album. Very straightforward

2. You can do what you want with Meta Data.  But instead of modifying the name, just click [Search], <The Beatles> and you’re done.   Or, just type <Beatles> In any search field and you’ll get what you want.  

3. Just type any artists name in a search field and you’ll get exactly that. I requested that the default listing of all albums is by Artist name rather than Album title, but that’s only important if you want to chose something to listen to by browsing i.e scrolling through your albums  

On the other hand, if you start in the [Artist} field you just need click on the Artist you want and you get all his/her/their albums in your library, all albums in Qobuz and Tidal and all albums on which the artist has appeared.     

Tidal seem to have a lot more "underground" or obscure bands in their catalogue that Qobuz seems to be missing, so despite the former's MQA leanings (not something I'm really comfortable with), I am stuck with them, if I want access to that particular material, which in my case is quite a lot.

As I see it, the problem with large libraries that are composed of different source material, like for example any combination of local and streamed over the net files, maybe even by multiple streaming services, is what I call "intuitive management":  one has to be able to wade through their collection by "intuition", when memory fails him/her.😁

For example it's easy to get to "The Who" by just searching, but what about that little known progressive band from the early 70"s that their name totally escapes you right now and you're sure  they had two albums released, but you can't really remember the titles but you would certainly recognise them from the cover art...sort of thing🤪

Now multiply that times ten...😂

Anyway, I am always up for spending some quality time tagging and re-naming...😊

 

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40 minutes ago, Blackmorec said:

Hi there Ted,

Bear in mind that no index works without a name. Nevertheless, lets see if we can develop a logical approach using 2.0 to find your lost albums. 

 

Do you remember the names of any band members? If so, just search for the [Artist] and you can then list all their album covers in a consolidated listing from across all your sources. 

Any idea of the band’s name?   May begin with ‘V’. Click [A-Z], type <V> and scroll through the resulting Album covers. 

Not there? The next step is to search all Album covers but if you have thousands, as you indicated, you need to cut down the number you need to look at. Here you can search by [Source] (if you know whether you own the albums or stream them). Sounds like Tidal is a likely source, so tick Tidal, so that cuts out all you Qobuz favourites and locally stored albums

 

You can also sort by resolution …..Hi-res or CD?  Let’s say CD, so click that

 

You can also search by multiple genre, so just click any genre it could be and leave the others blank. Now scroll through the album covers that remain. 

 

I just tried the above approach before making the suggestion. My target was to find Steeleye Span but all I knew was the name of the guy who played Didgeridoo on a couple of tracks. I input his name into Search. It came up with [Artist] and all his albums and tracks. And there was SteeleyeSpan. Click on the Steeleye Span album and there were all the other ‘Span albums from all sources. 

Thanks, that was quite comprehensive.

Please excuse the panic attack, but after having gone through a bunch of audio software over the course of my computer audiophile sojourn, each with its own library management techniques and each with its pros and cons or just plain old quirks at that, I feel I just need something to call "home"...🙂

 

 

 

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On 5/30/2021 at 3:39 PM, Claude said:

Not stupid at all. +1

The response from Innuos:  

Tidal will work exactly as it works today under innuOS v1.x and still use the same process through mysqueezebox.com. That will change soon (it’s one of our priorities) and it will become directly integrated on future innuOS 2.x updates (not requiring myqueezebox.com at that time).

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Innuos missed the promised rollout! Their insights on their webpage is pretty discouraging (especially for MkII owners) and they promised a new OS 1.4.9 for today which is not available. I don't get why after discussion with them for 3 years they are still not able to deliver!

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On 6/3/2021 at 9:40 PM, monteverdi said:

Innuos missed the promised rollout! Their insights on their webpage is pretty discouraging (especially for MkII owners) and they promised a new OS 1.4.9 for today which is not available. I don't get why after discussion with them for 3 years they are still not able to deliver!

 

1.49 finally updated for me today. hopefully 2.0 is coming soon. i'm building a hdplex server but im holding onto the zenith3 for now just to try out 2.0

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