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Phone Music Server, USB DAC, Web Interface ?????
Phone Music Server, USB DAC, Web Interface ?????
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:01 PM   #1
nkemp is offline nkemp  United States
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Default Phone Music Server, USB DAC, Web Interface ?????

I'm looking to setup:
- Unused Android phone as a music server (phone music storage, playback control)
- Output: phone USB to DAC to my audio system (not output using phones DAC via headphone jack)
- Preferably with volume control (connected to old equipment so remote volume control would be nice)
- Local interface/control via phone interface
- Remote interface/control via web interface (tablet WiFi to networked phone audio server)

I've searched the web but I'm not finding solutions that address the above. There are solutions for various parts of the above but not a comprehensive solution. I doubt I'm the first to want such a solution. That said, I may not be seeing it if right in front of me.

I've seen that you can do all the above with a R-PI but I have some old phones that are much more capable and unused.

Thoughts? Solutions?

Thanks in advance
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:17 PM   #2
von Ah is offline von Ah  United States
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You can use piCore Player as the server and player. The old phone can be the pretty interface to the system, with apps (Orangesqueeze, etc.) that control the server.

Last edited by von Ah; 19th November 2020 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:17 PM   #3
jjasniew is offline jjasniew  United States
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Phone Music Server, USB DAC, Web Interface ?????
Sell the old phone and with the $40, get a pi? Use the new phone for remote control - along with any other PC system in the house?

With phone apps more and more insisting that you "enable notifications" in order to use them (tie user more tightly to phone) it's a poisonous ecosystem IMHO. Not that such isnt coming everywhere else, but imagine an audio player that's just a player - and doesnt ask for an apron string in exchange for its "service"...
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Old 19th November 2020, 08:50 PM   #4
nkemp is offline nkemp  United States
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There are a number of ways to accomplish said requirements including the R-Pi. In the end I may go the R-Pi route but the phone is a nice option if there is a solution available. The two things I can't find answers to are:
- Can the software/apps route the music digital data stream out the USB
- Can it be controlled via a web page from other devices (mostly home-side of the router)

The phone (Android) is a very portable, very powerful, single board computer, with onboard WiFi & BT, battery backed, often with the ability to take lots of gigabytes of additional memory with a great graphical UI and OS to support those components. Substantially smaller than the R-Pi or any other solution.

UPDATE: This app appears to be able to solve the question about routing the data stream to an external DAC via USB: "USB Audio Player PRO"
Note that I know virtually nothing about this app and am posting here FYI

Last edited by nkemp; 19th November 2020 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 19th November 2020, 09:34 PM   #5
nkemp is offline nkemp  United States
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And there may be others with similar functionality that I've not found yet.
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Old 19th November 2020, 09:48 PM   #6
ianrt is offline ianrt  Australia
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You might want to look at kodi. There is an android app for your old phone to act as a media server/player, and remotes for your new phone to act as controller.

Ian
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Old 20th November 2020, 05:58 AM   #7
linuxfan is offline linuxfan  Australia
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For the desired configuration outlined by nkemp, a Raspberry Pi is certainly the go-to device, but using an old Android phone instead is not such a bad idea - the CPU, physical size, and current draw are about the same. Connectivity options to data storage are limited, but if you're happy to just use an internal microSD card, the concept is workable.
The significant difference relates to the operating system - with a rPi the choice of Linux installations and server applications is mind boggling, but with Android you're restricted to what's available from Google Play, and music server applications are few and far between.
The 3 major music server software families are LMS/Squeezelite, Music Player Daemon, and DLNA. Popular offshoots are Volumio, Moode, and Rune.
Of all of these, I believe only MPD and DLNA are available for Android. Of these two options I recommend MPD, simply because I've been unhappy with all of the DLNA controller apps that I have tried.
So on your old phone, install the MPD server app -
Music Player Daemon - Apps on Google Play
Then configure MPD to access music from the (old) phone's internal microSD card, and make sure that the (old) phone is correctly configured to output audio to your USB DAC. Then you should have a working music server.
Now install an MPD client app on your new phone to connect to the server and control playback - MPDroid is a good choice -
MPDroid – Apps on Google Play

And one final point; Music Player Daemon usually requires a "helper" application in the form of a separate web server app in order to support cover art, so for the Android version of Music Player Daemon I suspect that cover art will not work.
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Old 21st November 2020, 04:11 AM   #8
nkemp is offline nkemp  United States
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Linuxfan, thanks. I'm building my Christmas list and this looks promising.
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Old 21st November 2020, 06:15 AM   #9
linuxfan is offline linuxfan  Australia
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I suggest the first thing you do is check that your old phone works OK with your USB DAC. There are a few particular handsets which have been reported as not playing well in this regard, even though they should work in theory.
First put your old phone into "developer mode" -
Settings > About > Build number (or ZUI Version) - tap several times. A prompt will appear "You are now a developer!"
Now for older versions of Android -
Settings > Advanced Settings > Developer options > Select USB Configuration > select "Audio Source".
Or for Android 7 and higher -
Settings > Advanced Settings > Developer options > ensure "Disable USB audio routing" is not enabled.

Now connect your USB DAC, and use any app on the phone to play some audio - streaming audio via a web browser would be fine. Hopefully you will get audio output from the DAC.
If you cannot get to this point, there's no point proceeding further.
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Old 21st November 2020, 06:46 AM   #10
Samuel Jayaraj is offline Samuel Jayaraj  India
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As far as DACs go, price dictates performance, generally speaking. Specifications don't tell us how they sound.

Having said that, I bought myself a Topping D50s, earlier this month. I have used Blue Tooth (in AAC & AptxHD modes) and Digital SPDIF. Yet to try Optical and USB.

Filter Mode 3 sounds the warmest. Filter Mode 5 is close but cleaner. It would better suit equipment which add H2 somewhere else in the chain.

I couldn't be happier, with how it sounds. Its PRAT is spot on.

I use my Redmi Note 7Pro in Bluetooth mode, as the primary Source. I installed USB Audio Player PRO but it failed to enable USB audio.

I briefly has Onkyo Player free USB player which allows a single day's sample testing. It did enable USB on Redmi Note 7Pro, but that was a few days before getting the Topping DAC and I was playing with a cheap Chinese DAC.

Check in developer mode, what your phone is capable of. It you are interested only in USB, other cheaper but good choices would be Earman Donald DAC (with MQA rendering), ifi Audio Hip DAC, Topping D10S, Topping E30 and so on.

linuxfan, thanks for your inputs. I will try them out too.
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