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-   -   My poor man music server (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/193331-my-poor-man-music-server.html)

i2k92 27th July 2011 03:33 AM

My poor man music server
 
Hi all,
I always want to have a music server like Olive, PSA Perfect wave, etc but the price are just too expensive (and very difficult to find in my country). Having completed a hifimediy TK2050 amp, I decided to build a music server as my next DIY project. So I made following design goals :
  1. It should sound good but cheap, small & energy efficient.
  2. It should be headless (no monitor, keyboard, mouse).
  3. Control could be done from external devices (other PC/laptop, smartphone, etc).
  4. It should be able to share it's library to other consumer electronic devices (eg: TV, other PCs, etc).

After some research, trial & error and some headaches (although I'm not new at all to computer & networking). I came up with following config (except for the server, I already have the other devices):

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...usicServer.jpg

The result (the server is on the middle):

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...7-24084739.jpg


The server is a very basic Atom D410 single core PC with only 1GB RAM and 160GB hdd taken from old laptop plus USB wifi adapter. It runs Win 7 Home Starter edition. The case is a very nice CFI mini ITX case (looks like a high end audio device hahaha). To ensure efficiency, I disabled all un-necesary devices via the BIOS (serial, parallel ports, onboard LAN & audiodevice, etc). The case fan was also disabled.

I also removed un-necessary services and features from Windows to make it boot faster & resource efficient. There's a ton of info about this on the web.

Software side, I installed Foobar and it's uPNP component and configured it as uPNP server (to provide content library) and renderer (to play the contents). Foobar is launch as a service when the system startup. I have tested several other uPNP server (TVersity, TVmobily, Servioo, etc) but nothing come close to Foobar for the flexibility & portability.

To make it sounds good. I also install foobar Wasapi & ASIO component (requires installation of ASIO4all driver). I still can't decide which is better in term of SQ.

Being a headless PC, I need to find a way to control it from external devices. So I installed tightVNC (for remote desktop, in case I want to make some changes on the server) and PC Monitor (to remotely monitor the PC, restart, power off, etc). Both can be accessed remotely by another PC or smartphone.

To access & control the content of the server, I used an Android smartphone (Samsung Gio). I installed uPNPPlay as uPNP controller. It can browse the library and play the content into remote foobar renderer. This is an amazing piece of software as you can control the server just like using a portable music player. It can also be used to play the content from the server like a portable music player.

I also install tightVNC viewer and PC Monitor client on both my laptop and smartphone to control the system part of the server. This is necessary for example to : update patches, change system / software config, etc.

Except for the Win 7, all software all free. In total, the server costs me about 140$.

Overall, I'm very please with the result. The SQ is good and very easy to use. I can now browse my FLAC album library, create playlist and select the song without leave my couch. A CD player will look & feel like a stone age technology compare to this music server.

i2k92 27th July 2011 03:38 AM

To continue my post above, following are the screen capture of uPNPPlay android controller :

Select the library :
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-095948.png

Select the genre :
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-091641.png

Select the artist :
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-091855.png

Select the album :
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-091739.png

Make a playlist :
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-104338.png

Select a rendered (aka player):
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-092240.png

Play it !!!
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...724-092010.png

MagnumOpus 27th July 2011 07:57 AM

Extremely nicely done :) I like this alot. Wish I had the skills and knowledge to execute something like this myself.

jambul 27th July 2011 09:12 AM

it's very nice build my friend :-D (dukung sama orang sekampung :-p)

simon dart 27th July 2011 09:50 AM

Cool indeed!

gil1 27th July 2011 10:19 AM

Wow!

Very impressive, would you say this sounds equal to straight from the cd player quality?

zman01 27th July 2011 11:23 AM

Brilliant job i2K92!

Dumb question - with this setup, is it possible to remotely play video content/movies?

i2k92 27th July 2011 02:37 PM

thanks all for the kind words....:-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by jambul (Post 2651763)
it's very nice build my friend :-D (dukung sama orang sekampung :-p)

hehe...makasih gan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gil1 (Post 2651799)
Wow!

Very impressive, would you say this sounds equal to straight from the cd player quality?

Compared to my cheapo marantz 5400 analog out, the server + DAC combo significantly sounds better. Sometimes next week I plan to compare it to my friend's mega expensive system (Marantz SACD, DLS DAC + upsampler, etc).

Quote:

Originally Posted by zman01 (Post 2651858)
Brilliant job i2K92!

Dumb question - with this setup, is it possible to remotely play video content/movies?

no, bu it can be done if you use other uPNP server with video support (TVersity, Serviio, etc). But I think transcoding of video contents will need better CPU. I don't care about video as I have a HD media player for my video needs. But for music, it can stream music to Panasonic Viera plasma & Dune HD media player effortlessly.

Tyimo 28th July 2011 01:08 PM

Hi!
Quote:

So I installed tightVNC (for remote desktop, in case I want to make some changes on the server) and PC Monitor (to remotely monitor the PC, restart, power off, etc). Both can be accessed remotely by another PC or smartphone.
Could you tell me where can I find that "PC MONITOR" software?
How the tightVNC on your Phone communicate with the PC? On Bluetooth?

Greets:
Tyimo

i2k92 28th July 2011 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyimo (Post 2653123)
Hi!

Could you tell me where can I find that "PC MONITOR" software?
How the tightVNC on your Phone communicate with the PC? On Bluetooth?

Greets:
Tyimo

Hi Tyimo,
Here's PC monitor : PC Monitor - Monitor and manage your computers from iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Phone 7.
The PC & android communicate through Wifi provided by ADSL Wifi router. Using tightVNC on my phone is dreadful as the phone's screen is very small, it will be better with tablet.


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