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About bluesman

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    Crusty Old Curmudgeon

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  1. Hi, everybody! Chris has asked me for an article on voice control for audiophiles. Per my usual approach, I'm including an historic overview of voice control / actuation / recognition software and hardware along with what's available now, what it can do, and how well it does what it does. I'm evaluating and reviewing the most popular voice-responsive "assistants" living in devices scattered throughout our homes, along with a few of the 10,000+ skills and apps found under the heading "music and audio". I'll introduce you to a "voice actuated music player" you can install as a Chr
  2. AIFF and wav files of the same material differ in size only by about 30 bytes (in the header). ALAC files are about 55% the size of wav files from which they’re converted. So ALACs are also about 55% the size of AIFFs from which they’re converted. FWIW, a FLAC will be about 5% smaller than the same material as an ALAC with the same resolution & word size.
  3. Charge the iFi from a computer or a proper PS. I also have a nano DSD, and the manual suggests (but does not clearly state) that you can connect it to a standard 5V USB charger. The LED should be blue while charging. Once it’s fully charged, turn it on before connecting it to the tablet. OTG was necessary on older models, but I don’t know if your tablet requires one. The iFi manual says yes, but I think it was written well before your tablet came to market.
  4. You may be making it harder to get MC than it needs to be for you by insisting on use of your current devices. I assume you have your reasons for having bought that setup, but you don’t need all that stuff to do what you want to do. If your PC has HDMI out, the easiest and cheapest alternative is probably to spend $300 on something like an Essence Evolve II HDMI DAC - you’ll have 8 analog RCA line outs to drive your amplifier directly. An ESI Gigaport will turn USB input into the same 8 analog outs, if you prefer USB to HDMI. And a UDIO8 will give you 8 AES channels out from USB.
  5. A tablet is a mini system. There’s internal memory or an SD card to store the files, a player app to transform them into an audio bitstream, a DAC and a headphone amp. Until you get to the DAC, it’s no different from NAS and a PC, as long as the player software will recognize and process hi res files. If you can bypass the internal DAC in favor of a good external unit, voilà! Hi res from a tablet.
  6. I don’t think that OTG will power the iFi adequately from the tablet. To use the internal battery in the iFi, you have to turn it on before connecting it. And if you haven’t used it in a while, the battery may be dead. Plug it into a computer and let it charge fully before doing anything else. Then be sure you turn it on before connecting it to the tablet. If that doesn’t work, I’m out of ideas.
  7. As I said in an earlier post, VLC is a great program. It works well, sounds great, and will play anything you can throw at it. It even converts video sound tracks to audio files in the formats we use. If you choose FLAC, it lets you choose the compression level (I use the default 5 anyway). The library management and display functions are no match for JRMC, Roon et al. But you won’t be admiring album art or reading liner notes on your phone. Overall, it’s excellent.
  8. You could probably download a barcode scan app like barcodetopc to your phone and use a code search like barcodelookup.com to populate your list. Then you could just look at your list on your phone to see if you already have whatever you’ve found before buying it.
  9. ...as it is for me. I'm running multiple instances: serious AMD Win10 PC (JRMC27), serious Intel Gateway media center PC / Ubuntu 20 Studio, multiple Raspberry Pis (3B+ and 4) on Raspberry Pi OS, and an Asus Chromebox on Ubuntu 18.04 with no difference in SQ whether JRMC volume is set at 100% or disabled. All but the Win10 machine are on JRMC 26 until I get around to updating them. There was a slight difference in clarity and definition of mids and highs with JR volume set very low on the 32 bit Raspberry Pi OS, when I once looked for an effect of the digital volume control. But
  10. If I read Apple’s business plan right, iTunes for Windows still exists solely to facilitate the purchase of music by people without Mac devices. All it takes is an Apple ID. They’ll almost certainly introduce better ways for non-Mac people to fill the coffers in the near future.
  11. I had a local BU HDD. But I’d just put hundreds of large (RAW and hi res JPEG) image files from a trip on the NAS that day - and I hadn’t added them to the BU drive yet. I thought I was just deleting the media partition from my travel drive using the directory tree in the photo editor.........but it took out the NAS partition as well. Lessons for us all: learn what each function does in each program you use make sure you know by testing first with disposable files when in doubt, go back and read the documentation again before clicking make sure your BU
  12. Foobar2000 uses DLNA for web streaming, but I don’t think JRiver does. It has a DLNA server so it can play to DLNA renderers. But I’m pretty sure that MCWS (Media Center Web Service), which plays to JRMC clients, is not DLNA. The failure was mine. Somehow, very late at night, I managed to delete an entire partition when I thought I was just clearing a media library of its content. I discovered my error the next day. And, of course, RAID had followed suit on the mirror - so it was all gone. I tried every data recovery trick and program I could find short of the very costly servi
  13. My NAS, gateways, and multiple computers run 24/7. Pre-Covid, we went abroad for 2+ weeks at a time at least 3 or 4 times a year without a problem. Every few years, a power failure shut everything down - but the worst that happened was my inability to listen to my music in JRiver on my phone or tablet while in Sydney. And I can always listen to my Livedrive backup if my home server goes down - I just can’t use my usual GUI to locate and open files. But the folders are easy to navigate by name, so this isn’t a big deal either.
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