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Thread: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by dr. simple View Post
    I believe HomerJAU (Garry) was trying to be helpful, not critical. He has been incredibly helpful to myself and many others here in this regard. And, frankly, I was thinking the same things that he posted.
    Agreed. If it weren't for Garry's contributions to this forum I doubt I would have gotten this far down the path. Many thanks.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by dr. simple View Post
    I believe HomerJAU (Garry) was trying to be helpful, not critical. He has been incredibly helpful to myself and many others here in this regard. And, frankly, I was thinking the same things that he posted.
    Yeah, I simply did not get that he offered me anything I didn't know already, no cost savings, or anything. Like this sentence, "HD video decoding is done on modern processors not in software" I never said otherwise, and if that was just a tip offered, it felt empty. I know that already. It would be like me telling him that speakers are one of the most important parts of getting great sound from your music server. Sure true, but why even comment.

    Perhaps a better explanation of how I am wasting money on a i7 might get me to consider an i5 instead. I have big plans for the i7 box, and did not write any of it in detail.

    Craig's List has a ton of used i7s in the $270.00 range. I plan on buying a used i7, and then do the upgrades with new stuff.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    OK, I better start asking questions even though I feel dumb. I know the #1 piece of equipment is the laptop ?, then people have software to play and sort there music files like Jriver ,? then the hard drive ? that would be external storage of files and also act as a player with an app ? like Sony's http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/94...s_Audio_Player ?

    Then I need software for ripping different discs in my collection, SACD, MCH, etc ?

    Am I getting close ? And yes, HomerJau, has the best info I can tell, but a lot to read and I get overwhelmed. I agree I just need to put my toe in the water. Maybe with a designated laptop for music only ? Back later, have to go to work.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    I'm thinking desktop computer with internal 2 X 5TB drives = 10TBs total. Any reason to not have the drives internally installed and be done with it, other than the USB backups I have elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    I built myself a HTPC with the specific intent of having a playback unit for multichannel high-res audio about 6 years ago, using foobar + HDMI (discussed here: http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/foru...l=1#post327943). It works pretty well, but I never ripped most of my collection and my Oppo 93 remains my primary playback unit. I recently added a Sony 6700 to my setup (got it used for $10), and it functions perfectly - backup disc spinner for blu-ray and SACD, flawless audio playback including DSD downloads over HDMI - even streaming the DSD straight to my AVR. I could even hook up an external hard drive to the unit (although I haven't bothered). The only thing is won't play is .iso files. At least for me it's difficult to imagine a Kodi player being as capable and low-cost (even at the player's new price).

  8. #31
    Senior Member quattroatl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by ubertrout View Post
    I built myself a HTPC with the specific intent of having a playback unit for multichannel high-res audio about 6 years ago, using foobar + HDMI (discussed here: http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/foru...l=1#post327943). It works pretty well, but I never ripped most of my collection and my Oppo 93 remains my primary playback unit. I recently added a Sony 6700 to my setup (got it used for $10), and it functions perfectly - backup disc spinner for blu-ray and SACD, flawless audio playback including DSD downloads over HDMI - even streaming the DSD straight to my AVR. I could even hook up an external hard drive to the unit (although I haven't bothered). The only thing is won't play is .iso files. At least for me it's difficult to imagine a Kodi player being as capable and low-cost (even at the player's new price).
    Your Sony can stream DSD files over network? That's impressive! I use my Oppo 93 for dvd-audio ISO's and bluray ISO's. I can only dream of sacd ISO capability in any player.

    The thing that I don't understand is why one would have DSD files on a server. The files are huge! I'm too lazy at this time to convert my sacd collection to flac. I'd rather just burn my sacd ISO's and play the backups on the Oppo 93 or my Sony BDP780.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksrt View Post
    I'm thinking desktop computer with internal 2 X 5TB drives = 10TBs total. Any reason to not have the drives internally installed and be done with it, other than the USB backups I have elsewhere.
    I think it all depends on where the PC is located.

    If the PC is located in your listening area, the noise can become a problem. The drives will make noise and you may hear them from time to time. How much this bothers you may depend on the actual drives used, the nature of the enclosure, and how close you are actually sitting to it. Also, the average desktop PC is not nearly as quiet as you might like for a HTPC due to the power supply fans used in most of them. But again this may not bother you in your setup. Some equipment is louder than others and most now have fan profiles you can set in the system bios to limit the fan speed. If the PC is way across a large room you may not be able to hear it at all anyway. The noise issue is one of the reasons dedicated HT boxes use lower performance devices (other than cost of course). An i7 desktop processor creates some significant heat that has to be dissipated somehow. An i7 mobile processor creates a lot less heat.

    If the PC is located at some other location you won't have the noise problem but you will need a more sophisticated way to control it. You can go with one of those remote IR pickups and a wireless keyboard or you can also control the PC with an android or apple phone, assuming your software has a remote function that allows it. I know both Kodi and JRiver do. Not sure about Foobar.

    Lastly to do it properly most would recommend that you put the two 5TB drives in a RAID configuration where one mirrors the other to address any fatal data loss. If a drive fails, its mirrored backup is ready to go. But RAID cuts the actual storage in half to 5TB. On top of that, the recommendation is to still have some type of external backup that is located off site.

    In my situation the media box does not have power supply fans. In fact the power supply is an external brick. Hence, my media player is in my equipment rack and its pretty silent (only a small processor fan). I use a mini bluetooth keyboard with touchpad. It allows full control of the PC with all video routed to the TV. I keep the drives in a NAS that can be located anywhere as long as it is network connected. I don't do anything with Wi-Fi in my main system. All components are connected via Ethernet to my home network. The only thing that gets streamed is low fi stereo going to Wi-Fi connected devices.

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  11. #33
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quattroatl View Post
    Your Sony can stream DSD files over network? That's impressive! I use my Oppo 93 for dvd-audio ISO's and bluray ISO's. I can only dream of sacd ISO capability in any player.

    The thing that I don't understand is why one would have DSD files on a server. The files are huge! I'm too lazy at this time to convert my sacd collection to flac. I'd rather just burn my sacd ISO's and play the backups on the Oppo 93 or my Sony BDP780.
    I picked up a 128GB USB Key for $20 or so and just use that, I haven't tried network streaming. It works on the Sony 6500 as well.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quattroatl View Post
    Your Sony can stream DSD files over network? That's impressive! I use my Oppo 93 for dvd-audio ISO's and bluray ISO's. I can only dream of sacd ISO capability in any player.

    The thing that I don't understand is why one would have DSD files on a server. The files are huge! I'm too lazy at this time to convert my sacd collection to flac. I'd rather just burn my sacd ISO's and play the backups on the Oppo 93 or my Sony BDP780.
    I believe both JRiver and Foobar can play SACD ISO files directly. Of course they will convert the DSD to LPCM. I suspect that is also what's happening when ubertrout says he is streaming DSD. Its being converted to LPCM first.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyQuad View Post
    I believe both JRiver and Foobar can play SACD ISO files directly. Of course they will convert the DSD to LPCM. I suspect that is also what's happening when ubertrout says he is streaming DSD. Its being converted to LPCM first.
    No, the Sony can take DSD downloads (NOT .iso files, I mean .dsf files) and send the DSD signal over HDMI.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by ubertrout View Post
    No, the Sony can take DSD downloads (NOT .iso files, I mean .dsf files) and send the DSD signal over HDMI.
    OK I see. I think some media players now can handle dsf files as well. Kodi can play .dff files (the Phillips version of DSD) but because you cant tag them they wont show up in the music library. I just convert them to FLAC and play those.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksrt View Post
    I'm thinking desktop computer with internal 2 X 5TB drives = 10TBs total. Any reason to not have the drives internally installed and be done with it, other than the USB backups I have elsewhere.
    I prefer a NAS as multiple drives can be noisy and better placed remotely.
    Kal Rubinson
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyQuad View Post
    I believe both JRiver and Foobar can play SACD ISO files directly. Of course they will convert the DSD to LPCM. I suspect that is also what's happening when ubertrout says he is streaming DSD. Its being converted to LPCM first.
    Both foobar and JRiver can play SACD ISO files directly with or without conversion to PCM.
    They and ROON can also play DSF and DFF files directly with or without conversion to PCM.
    They can do all this streaming from a remotely located NAS.
    ..............and in multichannel, too.
    Kal Rubinson
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyQuad View Post
    After looking for a reasonably priced but high quality HTPC to serve as my media player for a while now, I finally found and settled on one of these.

    For under $200 shipped, I have a 4th gen quad core i5, SSD with Windows 7 installed, 4 gig memory, WI-FI, HDMI out, and an HDMI capture card, all in a decent looking box. Its supposed to be new. I did some research and this looks like an OEM hardware box made for a WOW TV collaboration suite that has been re-purposed as a HTPC. The specs seem more than up to the task, and the price was very reasonable compared to a similarly outfitted NUC. I'm not sure how I might use the HDMI input yet, if at all.

    The seller is still listing them with 3rd gen processors and no HDMI capture starting at $100 if anyone is interested.
    UPDATE:

    After receiving the unit and spending a day with it, here is my update.

    The unit came with Windows 7 SP1 installed, but Kodi won't install on that OS due to missing framework

    I attempted a Windows update to get the needed framework, but each time I hit a roadblock forcing me to conclude (via the error codes returned) that it is probably a non authorized or non updatable version of Windows. Time to buy a new OS.

    I purchased Windows 10 and made a bootable USB drive. During install, I also ran into some minor difficulty in that the SS drive was partitioned using an MBR scheme instead of a GPT scheme, which Win10 requires. I had to wipe, re-partition, and reformat the drive. Im glad its a clean install anyway.

    I also had an issue with getting the OS activated, in spite of getting and using a valid activation key at purchase. To their credit, MS support took care of it very promptly via on line chat. I had to search for drivers for the video capture card, which I found and installed from the manufacturers support site.

    I finally got Kodi 17.1 to install without issue. It loaded the library and is playing as we speak. A few more tweaks and settings and ill install it in the main system and load up skins and add-ons and configure the audio settings.

    The unit itself is all I had hoped for. No run issues so far. Bootup is lightning fast. Very quiet, and an attractive box. Too bad I had to spend an extra $100 on the OS. But I feel it was still a great deal.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Recommending Kodi eh?

    What will it do for me that Songbird doesn't?

    I figure there sure should be something better available than this old app now but...
    Everything plays out the correct channels and I can mix and match formats in the same playlist. What else is there?


    PS. Always always format your new drives yourself! You'll know it's done right and if anyone tried to get away with some shenanigans pre-installing something, it will simply be erased.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    [QUOTE=quattroatl;332412]The thing that I don't understand is why one would have DSD files on a server. The files are huge!/QUOTE]

    It helps that my primary/backup pair is 8TB.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyQuad View Post
    I did try out JRiver for a while. I found a plethora of problems with it, not the least of it was not having a decent 10' interface, and even worse, it has little to nothing to offer with respect to lyrics presentation. Both of those items are very important to me. Kodi has a great 10' interface (especially with the skin treatment outlined by Garry elsewhere on this board) and a lyrics presentation that is decent (but could be improved). You would think that a paid product like JRiver would have an edge over a freeware product like Kodi, but I found it to be the complete opposite.
    Given that the free and open source Logitech Media Server is the greatest thing ever invented, I'm not surprised. I paid for JRiver and almost never use it. It's not awful, but it has some stupid quirks. They may well have been fixed by now but I don't feel any great compulsion to pay to update.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
    Given that the free and open source Logitech Media Server is the greatest thing ever invented, I'm not surprised. I paid for JRiver and almost never use it. It's not awful, but it has some stupid quirks. They may well have been fixed by now but I don't feel any great compulsion to pay to update.
    Logitech Media Server? I think I have a mouse that say Logitech on it??? Never heard of this. But you are saying iit is better than JRiver for your needs?

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    I got a promo email from DVDFab about this new unit:

    http://www.dvdfab.cn/movie-server.htm

    It seems pretty inexpensive. Anyone else see this? Any thoughts?
    :-jon

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksrt View Post
    Logitech Media Server? I think I have a mouse that say Logitech on it??? Never heard of this. But you are saying iit is better than JRiver for your needs?
    Yes, it's the same Logitech. They bought a company called Slim Devices that had created a nice networked music player known as the Squeezebox. They hung onto it for a few years and built some nice new hardware before abandoning it because while it was profitable it was apparently not profitable enough. But they still have a developer devoted to the software and there are quite a few options out there for use as players even though it's been years since Logitech sold dedicated hardware. The Raspberry Pi is probably the least expensive and best supported.

    It's a fantastic architecture with one serious flaw: It's 2-channel only (though that includes DTS and AC-3 in a FLAC container). It will play pretty much any file you throw at it, is gapless, easy to use, reliable, etc. My current library is 101,382 tracks and is a mix of CD quality, high-rez up to 192k, AC-3 and DTS and it all just works. But for multichannel FLAC you'll need something else. I have yet to see anything multichannel friendly that comes anywhere near the flexibility of LMS, sadly.

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  28. #46
    Senior Member quattroatl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
    Yes, it's the same Logitech. They bought a company called Slim Devices that had created a nice networked music player known as the Squeezebox. They hung onto it for a few years and built some nice new hardware before abandoning it because while it was profitable it was apparently not profitable enough. But they still have a developer devoted to the software and there are quite a few options out there for use as players even though it's been years since Logitech sold dedicated hardware. The Raspberry Pi is probably the least expensive and best supported.

    It's a fantastic architecture with one serious flaw: It's 2-channel only (though that includes DTS and AC-3 in a FLAC container). It will play pretty much any file you throw at it, is gapless, easy to use, reliable, etc. My current library is 101,382 tracks and is a mix of CD quality, high-rez up to 192k, AC-3 and DTS and it all just works. But for multichannel FLAC you'll need something else. I have yet to see anything multichannel friendly that comes anywhere near the flexibility of LMS, sadly.
    I use SPMC (a Kodi fork) through Amazon Fire TV to play all my movies and music. It even plays 5.1 flac files perfectly over network. SPMC does a much better job with DTS passthrough and multichannel files than Kodi on Fire TV.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    I got a promo email from DVDFab about this new unit:

    http://www.dvdfab.cn/movie-server.htm

    It seems pretty inexpensive. Anyone else see this? Any thoughts?
    I've used DVDFab quite a bit. Its quite a lot faster the MakeMKV when decrypting a BD to ISO or folder image (around twice as fast from tests I did a few years back)

    If you are planning on doing lots of BDs then I'd recommend it (save around 10 - 15 minutes per disc). I think DVDFab had a 30 day trial version so you could test it out.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by quattroatl View Post
    I use SPMC (a Kodi fork) through Amazon Fire TV to play all my movies and music. It even plays 5.1 flac files perfectly over network. SPMC does a much better job with DTS passthrough and multichannel files than Kodi on Fire TV.
    SPMC (a Kodi fork for Android) solves some MCH audio issues such as DTS passthrough on (mainly older) hardware running Android and is pretty much the recommended 'Kodi' for many Android devices from what I've read..

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
    Yes, it's the same Logitech. They bought a company called Slim Devices that had created a nice networked music player known as the Squeezebox. They hung onto it for a few years and built some nice new hardware before abandoning it because while it was profitable it was apparently not profitable enough. But they still have a developer devoted to the software and there are quite a few options out there for use as players even though it's been years since Logitech sold dedicated hardware. The Raspberry Pi is probably the least expensive and best supported.

    It's a fantastic architecture with one serious flaw: It's 2-channel only (though that includes DTS and AC-3 in a FLAC container). It will play pretty much any file you throw at it, is gapless, easy to use, reliable, etc. My current library is 101,382 tracks and is a mix of CD quality, high-rez up to 192k, AC-3 and DTS and it all just works. But for multichannel FLAC you'll need something else. I have yet to see anything multichannel friendly that comes anywhere near the flexibility of LMS, sadly.
    Using the DLNA bridge should give you the possibility to play multichannel flac to a DLNA player with iPeng for example. It worked with my Oppo 105. No gapless, but that is a limitation of the Oppo 105.

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    Default Re: Media Players for Multi-channel Audio and Music Video

    Quote Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
    Yes, it's the same Logitech. They bought a company called Slim Devices that had created a nice networked music player known as the Squeezebox. They hung onto it for a few years and built some nice new hardware before abandoning it because while it was profitable it was apparently not profitable enough. But they still have a developer devoted to the software and there are quite a few options out there for use as players even though it's been years since Logitech sold dedicated hardware. The Raspberry Pi is probably the least expensive and best supported.

    It's a fantastic architecture with one serious flaw: It's 2-channel only (though that includes DTS and AC-3 in a FLAC container). It will play pretty much any file you throw at it, is gapless, easy to use, reliable, etc. My current library is 101,382 tracks and is a mix of CD quality, high-rez up to 192k, AC-3 and DTS and it all just works. But for multichannel FLAC you'll need something else. I have yet to see anything multichannel friendly that comes anywhere near the flexibility of LMS, sadly.
    I use LMS as well and have for years! Love it! By installing 3rd party plugins, you can stream Spotify (and other similar services) through it. It can be controlled by your phone or tablet through one of many apps available in Google Play or the Apple store. I personally use either Squeeze Commander or Squeeze Ctrl in Google Play.

    What do you use to run the server? I use an old desktop PC that runs 24-7, and has for the last decade. I worry it is nearing EOL, and am looking for a new solution. Some NAS hardware used to run LMS, but most newer NASs do not. I read about raspberry-PI or Odroid hardware running LMS, but I worry that wouldn't handle a large collection like mine (and yours). Any suggestions? Thanks!

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