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Old 23rd January 2016, 01:25 AM   #11
Chris Daly is offline Chris Daly  Australia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by jplesset View Post
Do you have an old laptop or desktop PC lying around? That's where I started.

Install Ubuntu Linux.
Install MPD (That's Music Player Daemon)
we can help with the setup.
control it from a phone, tablet or ...

I've been using this for years. Just bought an Orange Pi Plus to replace it. Total cost around $80 for the Orange Pi, power supply, case, cables. Add a 1 Tb laptop drive, and it's all I need.
Exactly what you need, maybe Linux Mint instead, and use Decibel as a player
and K3b as ripping software. You will need all available Flac files in software manager
for k3b to update that flac is available. otherwise Ogg is a nice alternative if space
is important vs Flac that is slightly higher in sound quality.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 01:55 AM   #12
Odal3 is offline Odal3  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
One good option is to have a two box solution with a server holding the music and using something like a raspberry pi with moode as the client. The server can be an old computer or dedicated server grade box that you can load the free and excellent openmediavault on. Openmwdiavault acts as a diy network attached storage solution. The good thing is you can hide it away in another room and therefore don't have to invest anything to make it silent.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 02:22 PM   #13
Herb S is offline Herb S  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cumming, Ga
Thanks guys, maybe the laptop is the way to start and then improve from there. What about all the work randtsuch did? What level improvement do you get for all that work?
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Old 23rd January 2016, 03:40 PM   #14
jplesset is offline jplesset  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
I was perfectly happy with the laptop until the network card died.... No mods at all. It was a really old laptop, too. Pentium III old.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 06:44 PM   #15
phofman is online now phofman  Czech Republic
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pilsen
Another alternative (the one I prefer) is staying in x86 world due to ease of kernel upgrades (i.e. new drivers) and pick a refurbished x86 thin client with internal USB headers and PCI slot with room for full size internal sound card. E.g. FS Futro S400 fs futro s400 | eBay for approx. 20EUR

Storage - 2.5" SATA drive hooked to the internal USB header using e.g. slightly modified Hard Disk Drive SATA 7 15 Pin 22 to USB 2 0 Adapter Cable for 2 5 HDD Laptop EY | eBay .

Sound device - either external USB DAC, or internal PCI (e.g. ESI Juli) with a simple linear +12V/-12V PSU hooked to the PCI riser.

I like the Futros for their price and internal PCI slots but any other thin client from HP/FS/Igel/etc will do the job.

SW - in my case voyage MPD + external control device (phone, tablet), or a small monitor hooked to the VGA/DVI output of the thin client and any MPD console/framebuffer client.

There are even commercial businesses customizing/installing the refurbished x86 thin clients for audio use.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 07:23 PM   #16
Jerms is offline Jerms  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: High Wycombe, Bucks, UK.
Originally Posted by Herb S View Post
Jerms, I did not know about Cubietruck, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the input
This is what I have...

CubieTruck Allwinner A20 Board Kit with Rugged Metal Case, 128 GB SSD and Battery

There is a Cubieboard community... It's no where near as large as for RasPi or BBB though.

This is the Dist I used... Cubietruck | armbian

Currently running the 3.4 Kernel version of Ubuntu Trusty. Though I have tried the uplevel dist on uSD card.

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Old 24th January 2016, 10:09 AM   #17
den_hr is offline den_hr  Croatia
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Croatia
Originally Posted by Herb S View Post
There is a lot on this forum lately about Rasp Pi but what about the Intel NUC. Is it worth the added expense? Do you get a "more professional solution" that is a completed unit with less fidgeting in addition to better sound? Feedback and advice deeply appeciated so I can begin a project.
I've set up a few of those (Intel NUCs)...
The easiest solution for you would most likely be to download "Daphile", burn it to a USB stick, and run from there. It's a full-fledged audio server solution, ready to run and easy to setup.
Runs really nice with an Intel NUC. You can make the Daphile installation "permanent" by later installing it to NUC hard disk...
OTOH, if you want something completely silent, with an external USB hard disk with music, I'd go with a "thin client" option - fanless, relatively cheap second-hand, and also works with Daphile - so, not too much fiddling with installation and tweaks.
You can also test Daphile on your existing desktop computer, just install it on a USB stick, and boot your desktop PC from this USB stick with Daphile.
No installation necessary, and no changes to your desktop PC... It's a nice and easy option to "test drive" Daphile without any changes to your existing PC.
There are other hi-fi distributions, but those usually require more fiddling.
Oh, and BTW - I'd steer away from Windows for this purpose (audio server)... There are several ready-made Linux distributions (Daphile being one of them) which are already "hot-rodded" for the best sound possible - saves you grief and expense with Windows tweaking and "optimizing"...
Hana-Lab Custom Audio Solutions
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Old 24th January 2016, 08:24 PM   #18
Herb S is offline Herb S  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cumming, Ga
den_hr, thanks for the input. I like your approach getting familiar with Daphile on a PC and then moving on to the NUC. I think a fanless NUC is the way to go. I assume I can use a Android phone as a GUI. Would that be a function of the NUC or Daphile?
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Old 24th January 2016, 09:16 PM   #19
den_hr is offline den_hr  Croatia
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Croatia
Originally Posted by Herb S View Post
I assume I can use a Android phone as a GUI. Would that be a function of the NUC or Daphile?
NUC has nothing to do with interface - it's just hardware that runs whatever software you choose to install. Remote access (from Android phone, tablet or iOS device, or from another computer/device on the network) is entirely dependent on the software you are running on the hardware (fanless NUC in your case, as you said).

And yes, Daphile supports remote access/control from another device on the network. It's running Logitech Media Server (think Squeezebox!), so the usual (and rather luxurious) UI is available. Plus you have other options if you want another UI - there are several mobile clients available for download (Orange Squeeze, Squeezebox, etc...).
So, you will have a very flexible system as regards (remote) control...

Also, the Logitech Media Server can be extended by a variety of plug-ins...
Hana-Lab Custom Audio Solutions
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Old 24th January 2016, 11:16 PM   #20
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
The OP should try to boot Daphile from its Windows laptop as a first experiment : it's the less dificult way, totally free hassle way to go ! Free, an USB key needed, no need to erase the laptop or install the Daphile distro other than on the USB Key !

To go further, instead of an expensive dedicated branded trap audio PC you can make yourself, Linux could be a good bet as said already !

If you want just a player (with all the server stuffs multimedia) : Synology NAS are simple and Stream audio via USB output: plug your USB DAC and voilą (it works on an Embeded ArchLinux distro iirc: that's what I have to save time on the computing with my hobby as an IT which repulse to do it at home !). It's green about power and silent ! You Just need a tablett or a laptop to open the GUI !

To go further as far the sound quality is a concern : Odroid C1+ + a distro plug and play : moode by Tim, Volumio or Rune Audio ! Feed it with a cellular external battery : they are less than 30 USD : you will be free of noise on your front end ! (with a Pi e.g. you need 800 mA/H / 5V)

A Rasberry Pi or a BananaPi will avoid you also trouble as there are forums everywhere ! With the BanaPi you may link a sata HDD for a compact server ! You may attach an USB disk to the Pi but for some reason if you output by the USB you will have less audio quality due to the layout of the Pi ! Choose your poison : Odroid is better, Pi has more support !

I have to invest in this last way as now I want to jump for a little card and use BruteFIR to make light room corretion and use active phase filter with FIR and the RePhase soft of pos member to time align my passive filter on my main speakers.

I tried here to summarize the best I can the different way you have with the less hassle possible and best sounding result as it's important too, keeping the low price and low time Investment as a priority !

Hope this helps.

PS : of course CHarlieLaub convolver can allow you to go further after, active filter, etc ! It's a trade off you must choose yourself with the time, your ability with IT, etc...

Last edited by Eldam; 24th January 2016 at 11:18 PM.
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