using laptop as music storage and wifi server

Dwightay

Member
2011-11-01 12:55 am
Can I get some advice on how to put my digital music on a dedicated laptop, notebook with a 1 TB hard drive and then stream it through wifi, or even connect it by USB to a WIFI AV Receiver so I can play music on my speakers and/or listen to movies on a good speaker system. And the essential issue is what and where do I get a stand alone music player to organise, shuffle and make playlists of my music when I am not connected to the internet. Please don't say Apple, iTunes, or internet streaming as these are vampires who want your blood.

I love the internet. I can shop, investigate, ask for advice. But the internet really screws you over when you want to play your own music.

Absolutely fed up with Apple monetising iTunes, actually destroying it and selling streaming music. I had my CD collection in my iTunes library, now it is Mac Music and really nothing works. First I had to get back to my 4,000 song collection which meant deleting down from the 16,000 songs Apple bloated it to with duplications. Up to 5x for many songs. Apple of course says it is user error, but it is really Apple using Catalina to force users to accept the destruction of iTunes so you will get fed up and pay them to listen to their streaming. I tried to work within the Apple system only to discover that even though they say we can use MacMusic for free and play out own collection, nothing works, they cannot find the file for the song, even after you delete the old song from the library and then reload it from your CD to the library. Apple messing' wit you!

I don't want to be "playing" with Apple's idea of what I am to listen to.

I want to listen to all my old CDs now stored on my own internal hard drive, and not have to go to iCloud to do something else. Is that asking too much? Apple thinks it is, because how can they make more money if I don't play with them?

Can you help me out with a stand alone digital music player that can give me control over my personal music collection?
 
I have Daphile on a lame, zero value Intel Atom laptop, which has a copy of my entire music collection on it (500 GB HDD). I can stream internet radio or listen to my music through a USB connected amplifier without issue.

I believe it will also stream to other squeezelite compatible endpoints on your network as well. This can be a rPi, or another x86 hardware instance running the right client software. I think that can be simply another Daphile build (on x86 hardware...), with a different network ID assigned.
 
I tried using Plex premium service for 1 month, i find that hdd usage is almost 100% all the time eventhough no device accessing my database. because i use WD blue which is not for server, i was worry for my hdd health

for your laptop, you can try it but always check continously for your hardware health
 

Puffin

Member
2006-02-19 8:15 am
U.K
I used to stream from a laptop using one of the USB sockets and a USB - Digital converter that I made myself from an article in Elektor mag. Very simple and good enough for me. There used to be commercially made converters if you don't want to DIY one.
 

Dwightay

Member
2011-11-01 12:55 am
You Guys are amazing! I'm a Ludite bye comparison. You are into electronics while I am just a consumer looking for an easy lift out of my Apple music difficulties. I gave up when the world stopped using DOS commands and went to Windows, so this is really beyond me.

The software plugins, Daphile, Apache all sound good but that is too much of a learning curve. I just want to download a music player software and then connect it to an av receiver and power my speakers as simply as possible.

I live on the ocean which rusts out electronic equipment over a couple of years. All my hifi amps have only lasted 2-3 years and then corrosion kills them. Strangely, flat screen smart TVs last many times longer, no one seems to know why, especially the hifi manufacturers, could it be planned obsolescence?

I thought of buying a 500 GB notebook, downloading Swinsian onto it as a music player app, and transferring my 200GB music file to its internal hard drive. That much I can do, I hope! But what inexpensive AVR to power my speakers?

For $349 CDN I got a Yamaha AVR 385 advertised having USB for stick music files (would not read normal formats), Bluetooth (unstable and turns off), its arcHDMI cannot be turned on so no 5.1 -- all could not be adjusted by their tech people. Returned it prepared to spend a little more for 5.1, USB, Bluetooth and arc HDMI--nothing available! Most AVRs don't have USB or WIFI, so my MacBook can't connect. I really can't justify spending $400+ US yearly for rust issues to listen to my music collection. So I am in a bind.

Love the quietness of living on the ocean, sounds of the surf. Music is ear buds from internet radio off my iPhone--they have a better music library too. Now how can I let my guests listen to that! For Christmas without carols, sad!
 

bucks bunny

Member
2020-01-19 12:40 pm
Sea sealt is the enemy of all electronics. I learned this the hard way on a walk around Bere Island during misty wheather conditions. Afterwards my phone and the digicam were ready for the dumpster.
Although any old Notebook/Laptop will be fine as a starting point, its internal WiFi will not work as a WiFi server. You will need some additional hardware like a wireless router etc. I have installed a raspberry Pi 3 Minicomputer as a music server with squeezebox software running on it. Could use it for music on external USB-storage, but I simply use it as an internet Radio. You control it through the web browser on the laptop - wireless or wired. Installation should be doable for you as instructions are found on the net.
 

StevenCrook

Member
Paid Member
2019-12-18 6:01 pm
UK
Look at as a justification for learning new skills that'll be useful elsewhere in your life rather than a chore that must be worked around. Break it down into a series of smaller tasks and decisions. First, and most important, if you're not certain about the technology and really don't want to learn more than you have to, why not go for a bespoke complete system and treat it as an appliance. Like a TV. There are plenty of streamers out there that have an output that'll connect to an audio amplifier and can be controlled from the WEB or phone app, just plug in a USB drive with music, and off you go.
 
I am just a consumer looking for an easy lift out of my Apple music difficulties.
Daphile is a pretty easy lift. Why not download the instructions and see for yourself? A 500 GB external SSD is about $50, which would probably hold your 4000 and Daphile as a bootable, albeit external drive. You can set Daphile to put up a UI on the machine it's running on, so to play something is just point and click with the mouse pad.

This little amp many seem to like - at a throwaway price too. https://www.amazon.com/S-M-S-L-Infi...ef=sr_1_3?keywords=smsl&qid=1642200791&sr=8-3

It would connect to a laptop via USB...
 
With the possible exception of Linux, any computer will face eventual OS un-support, or failure. I recommend an external drive that you can plug into a new computer. And a back-up drive. My main music folder is about 40G and fits on a thumb drive, but I have ~200G more that I occasionally go looking for some forgotten tune. Note that an external SSD or thumb drives are not as vulnerable to shock as a mechanical drive. For that matter, 40G fits in my phone uSD card, a thumb drive in the car, and a folder on every computer. So there is no need for a server and makes for lots of back-up. The only issue is updating multiple devices. For that, I recommend "Total commander" or similar to sync copies of your library. I think it is "Dolphin" in Linux that also does this.
 

bucks bunny

Member
2020-01-19 12:40 pm
With the possible exception of Linux, any computer will face eventual OS un-support, or failure. I recommend an external drive that you can plug into a new computer. And a back-up drive. My main music folder is about 40G and fits on a thumb drive, but I have ~200G more that I occasionally go looking for some forgotten tune. Note that an external SSD or thumb drives are not as vulnerable to shock as a mechanical drive. For that matter, 40G fits in my phone uSD card, a thumb drive in the car, and a folder on every computer. So there is no need for a server and makes for lots of back-up. The only issue is updating multiple devices. For that, I recommend "Total commander" or similar to sync copies of your library. I think it is "Dolphin" in Linux that also does this.
I prefer krusader, a linux clone of the well respected total commander
 

phase

Member
2004-10-04 11:59 pm
A used Motion F5 rugged tablet for $100, and set it up as a stand alone device, only use usb stick memory for an input. Many came with win 7, which works great with foobar, a free hi-res playback program. Is probably about what is possible without being a techie. I tried a Linux based approach earlier, but it wouldn’t even load, so I gave up.

As for the salt air, all I can recommend for amps and such is to use a conformal coating on everything inside before letting it spend any time there, and maybe look for equipment that uses a digital volume control.