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Old 9th June 2014, 10:12 PM   #1
surfstu is offline surfstu  United Kingdom
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Default Media center suggestions

OK, been out of the home server game for a while, and now google just bombards me with too many apps!

I need some direction... I want to use an old PC and set up some hard disks in Raid to store all my digital music and videos. Most of my music is FLAC format. I think I know which DAC I want having built one before, but I will require the music player to serve up Bit perfect digital to the DAC. And almost as importantly, I want a pretty and easy to use way of browsing my music stored on the server and then when I choose something I want it streamed from the server to the DAC to my HIFI.

This should be simple enough so I also want all the digital media to be served to different TV's around the house, so a basic NAS style DLNA or whatever its called will do this.

I am not concerned with the TV end, just the server,can anyone let me know their thoughts?

I liked the look of Daphile but this is a stand alone OS and it can't be run smoothly in a Virtual environment on the server..

stu
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Old 9th June 2014, 11:12 PM   #2
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What's the connection between your server and your DAC?

Does the DAC have it's own PC, or will your server also generate the audio data to the DAC?

I haven't used Daphile yet, but I plan to. I think its just Linux running squeezeserver. Found this on their webpage: "Daphile is based on the open source Squeezebox Server, SqueezePlay and Linux."

Randy
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Old 10th June 2014, 06:08 AM   #3
cmiu007 is online now cmiu007  Romania
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It depends how old is the "old pc".
Maybe it is better to convert it to a NAS ( freenas is a good start as it has the posibility to run virtual machines for a dlna server) and buy a small Mini PC (for example Intel® NUC Kit ) or an arm (cubox , cubietruck) or a raspberry v2 and a asynchronous USB DAC.

If you don't go audio extreme you can go with xbmc
You can find a good how to hardware and software here http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=187548

or daphile, linux mpd voyage for headless.

Personally I will not go for all in one machine for the best sound.
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Old 10th June 2014, 09:09 AM   #4
surfstu is offline surfstu  United Kingdom
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Jeese! I was really hoping to only build one pc, so yes, I originally thought the server would generate audio data either via usb or spdif, not sure which is better, probably usb.

Although the pc is "old" it was cutting edge at the time , not sure of the specs yet but I think it's quad core with very good Asus motherboard. This is why I thought it could manage a software raid as I have a mix of drives, network sharing to tv,s and a simple music player that I can control from phone. Been looking at mpod, does this only work with mpd? If I go for all in one box, apart from dac, then I can't use daphile as it is a standalone boot image based on Linux, stu
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Old 10th June 2014, 10:10 AM   #5
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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IMO nothing prevents you from installing daphile on your drive and installing/configuring the remaining functionalities as needed. You do not need MPD if you prefer squeezebox.

I think daphile is debian/ubuntu based, you will have all the software just one command/click away.
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Old 10th June 2014, 10:49 AM   #6
surfstu is offline surfstu  United Kingdom
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Thanks people! Just been informed that I've inherited a quad core q8400 and an asus striker extreme ii motherboard. That's what you get when your younger brother is obsessed with gaming. Thanks phofman, I installed daphile last week in a VM but then I couldn't reach it from my browser! If I had I may have realised that I had a Linux environemt right there! However, Linux is going to be a learning curve for me and I hoped to install the OS and then any packages that I needed to share movies, play music and software raid some old hard drives. Has anyone used software raid to put disk of different sizes together with redundancy? Don't want to start a RAID debate war, just a 'yes, it works well enough' and 'yes, its simple'!!

Squeezebox? Is this a good solution and does it have a pretty app to control it from my phone?

stu
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Old 10th June 2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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I "rescued" some old boxes and drives from the tip and have installed FreeNAS, using it both as a NAS and also installed the Plex plug-in. I haven't Plex yte but i am pleasantly surprised by FreeNAS.

I have a Daphile installation and plan to point it (and everyting else, for that matter) to the NAS.

Abs
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Old 11th June 2014, 01:23 AM   #8
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I've been using Ubuntu and MPD on my old Pentium 4 laptop to service my media needs. Plenty of capability. Ubuntu recognized my USB DAC on install. You can use either NFS and/or Windows file sharing. RAID or simple disk spanning works fine.

Last edited by jplesset; 11th June 2014 at 01:23 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 15th June 2014, 11:35 PM   #9
surfstu is offline surfstu  United Kingdom
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Can I run squeezebox alongside a DLNA server? A friend recently bought a sinology NAS drive and I set it up on his network and now every tv connected via Ethernet can watch movies from it.

Am I right in thinking that this will be the same as running a DLNA server on my Linux installation? Is this what Samba is?

Still confused... I basically want this Linux install to behave live a NAS drive but also to run a good pit perfect audio application at the same time to feed my DAC.
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Old 16th June 2014, 07:30 AM   #10
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfstu View Post
Still confused... I basically want this Linux install to behave live a NAS drive but also to run a good pit perfect audio application at the same time to feed my DAC.
IMO it would be easier to use a regular linux distribution than tweaking a specialized linux install. Since you use standard x86 architecture, I would start with debian stable netinstall, add only the required packages.

If you have no linux experience, perhaps full blown ubuntu server 14.04 long term support edition would be a better choice.
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