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Old 29th October 2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Digital Music server without PC

Hello folks,

Newbie here so please be easy on me. I live in a chicken coop in NYC so space is a premium. Have been collecting tiny gadgets to get my entertainment needs addressed.

So I have a Roku 2 XS, laptop, TV, iPad (1st Gen), Android Phone (HTC One X) and a iPod dock from Logitech. My requirement at the moment is, to buy a music server solution that is cost-effective and energy efficient, using which I can stream music to my iPod dock through iPad or Android phone and do not have to run PC at that time.

There is a thread from 2010 talking about similar issue. I am just wondering if there is any update on this front. I do not have a lot of cash to spend so cost efficient idea is welcome. And although I am savvy with basic computing (like upgrading hardware and stuff) and I do not have any idea bout coding i.e. I can not convert RaspberryPi into a music server.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 29th October 2012, 01:14 PM   #2
i2k92 is offline i2k92  Indonesia
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I don't know if I answer your question or not but today's PC can be made to be small, cost & energy efficient. A simple PC music server can be build for around 200$ or less (minus the Windows OS license). Use fanless Atom based mobo, 2GB RAM & small 2.5" hdd for OS, USB wifi adapter, PicoPSU for silent power supply and a decent sound card. Even better if you can get Atom mobo (e.g: Intel DN2800MT which I use now, cost about 80$) with internal power supply so it can be powered by used laptop adaptor.

It's silent & will consume less than 20 watt. You're in the US, so it is easy to get those components.

For software use Foobar, it can be controlled from your HTC using FoobarCon app and it can stream music via UPNP to your iPad via wifi. Zero coding involved. To make it more cost effective, use specialized linux distros like mpdpup or vortex box.

Plus the joy of building the stuff yourself :-)
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Old 29th October 2012, 02:03 PM   #3
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@i2k92,
Thanks for the suggestions. As I said, I am looking for as cheap solution as possible. The reasons, yes, the money is tight. Plus, the technology is progressing so fast that this solution may not be useful for more than a year. or two

Good point though on small PCs. I wonder the kind of PC you mentioned, is that available prepackaged? For the OS, I may consider some flavor of Ubuntu.
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Old 29th October 2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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Default you have all you need

Your laptop will function as a media server. Maybe buy and external harddrive, your android phone will serve the audio. The only thing missing is software. I use plex and plex server it is cheap and highly functional. You might have to wait until jely bean enables usb audio output from your phone, and you might need a dac for 50 bucks or so. Either way, sounds like you are just about there.
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Old 29th October 2012, 11:34 PM   #5
i2k92 is offline i2k92  Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHudson View Post
@i2k92,
Thanks for the suggestions. As I said, I am looking for as cheap solution as possible. The reasons, yes, the money is tight. Plus, the technology is progressing so fast that this solution may not be useful for more than a year. or two

Good point though on small PCs. I wonder the kind of PC you mentioned, is that available prepackaged? For the OS, I may consider some flavor of Ubuntu.
here : Mini-Box.com - Mini-ITX | Motherboards | Power Supplies | Car PC
but it would be cheaper to build it yourself as you can use cheaper enclosure & used hard disk. I use old 2.5" disk from old laptop & CFI 6719 enclosure which costs only about 40$ and looks great.
another nice enclosure to consider here : Wesena chassis
with Intel DN2800MT, you can use old laptop power supply and save the cost for the power supply
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:36 AM   #6
Ben Mah is offline Ben Mah  Canada
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DocHudson,

I see you that you may consider a Linux operating system. A Pogoplug (version 2), Dockstar, or Goflex may be a great solution for a headless server. There is a lot of information on the internet on hacking these devices to load Linux and MPD to play your music. Add a usb wifi adapter for access (or connect to your router via ethernet cable), a usb harddrive for music storage, a usb dac (sound card) and you are set. Knowledge of Linux is necessary, however.

I have a v2 Pogoplug with Debian and MPD installed serving my music. It is a very small package and very energy efficient, and not very expensive.
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:52 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Raspberry Pi as a media server? Of course an iDevice can also work, depending on what your needs are.
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Old 27th November 2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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A Synology NAS and many other brands will act as a music server. DVBlogic can also transform a NAS into a PVR that interfaces with windows media center, Rasperry Pi, Android, XBMC and more
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Old 27th November 2013, 12:31 PM   #9
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You need something like this:

Amazon.com: Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Mobile Device Storage with Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming (STCK1000100): Computers & Accessories


Or just any external hdd with wifi.
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Old 27th November 2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Cool! A HDD with built-in wi-fi. You should be able to do the same with a laptop and big HDD functionally, of course may cost more.

Another idea: can he use an existing "streaming media player" just for audio? Yes he can, if his music library is accessible to the device: any or all of USB stick, USB HDD, or wi-fi network drive. I have (briefly) done this before. I am a laptop user for my audio and I have not found a good ("cheap") solution that is 100% free of fan noise. I feel kind of sheepish admitting this, often listening to loud music, but I also like quiet music at night especially when the woman is visiting. No Metallica at concert levels for her, no sir! (I live in a single family home so I can crank it.)

I am going to try a used streamer (Western Digital) bought for $55 on Ebay. I already have the other parts (a small HDTV) and audio gear. I wanted a SMP that had optical outs so that I can use it with existing DAC(s). I can still use the Win7 pc for other apps that I don't mind a small jet engine noise in the background with.

Last edited by Soldermizer; 27th November 2013 at 02:21 PM.
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