Forum home Mountain biking forum The hub

tell me about audio streaming

jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
edited February 2013 in The hub
So I've decided to crawl out of the dark ages thinking of getting some sort of media streamer and network storage to play my music from. As much as I love to own a shiney CD and its artwork. It all just takes up too much space and is less practical in general.

I think a few of you guys already do this kinda thing so was looking for a few pointers from you guys. I've had very little dealing with computerised music. The early days of MP3 encoded in low bit and sampling rates put me off. But things seem much better these days with people like hdtracks.com offering much higher quality than CD for download.

What websites do you buy your music from?

Is there much difference in sound quality between the lossless file formats. Or is the format irrelevant as long as they are encoded with the same sample and bit rate?

Am I correct in thinking by a cheapish media streamer with the functions I want and connect it to a good DAC?

I'm thinking the data within the media streamer is all 1's and 0's so can't go far wrong but the conversion to analogue is the tricky part and where my money should be spent?

I'd like to spend around £600-800 on either one good unit or separate streamer and DAC.

thanks in advance,
Jai

Posts

  • Is there much difference in sound quality between the lossless file formats

    not if they are lossless, that's kind of the definition of what lossless means.

    but the conversion to analogue is the tricky part and where my money should be spent?

    nailed it.

    don't forget, far more important is the conversion from electrical to physical.


    Personally, and obviously this will depend on how many sources you have (lets imagine its just the one):

    80% of system cost on speakers
    15% of system cost on D-A
    5% of system cost on the digital source

    ie £100 CD player, a £300 D-A converter/amp, and £2k on speakers.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Is there much difference in sound quality between the lossless file formats

    not if they are lossless, that's kind of the definition of what lossless means.

    but the conversion to analogue is the tricky part and where my money should be spent?

    nailed it.

    don't forget, far more important is the conversion from electrical to physical.


    Personally, and obviously this will depend on how many sources you have (lets imagine its just the one):

    80% of system cost on speakers
    15% of system cost on D-A
    5% of system cost on the digital source

    ie £100 CD player, a £300 D-A converter/amp, and £2k on speakers.
    point 2 Apple lossless is the worst of the lossless so i hear.

    Personally I rip to FLAC with EAC which will tag/get art work/get lyrics if required.
    these are stored on a RedyNAS Duo running raidX with 2 X 2TB discs giving 2TB of storage
    play back is via 3 Squeezebox products. Radio for the bed room. Classic for the kitchen and some Powered speakers and a Touch via about 1K of amps and 2K of speakers and No DAC. the DACS in the Touch were as good as the DacMagic I did own. I feel i would need to spend 500plus on a DAC to get an improvment and at the moment it is not available.

    I also have ripped the CDs to ACC 256 in iTunes for the iPod/Phone/Pad playback.

    when looking at the device to play the music back things to consider are things like will it do gapless playback? many still do not which can be a pain when listening to an album or some clasical music.

    before starting to rip get your device of choise and then rip to suit. Also have a back up copy if you are not running a Raid set up. back up copy is a good idea anyway.

    and Qs ask away and i will give my thoughts on it.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    Thanks for pointers so far its given me a bit of direction on what to read and get more info about.

    I already have a decent amp and speakers just looking to get the storage and media streaming side of things as an add on to the current system.

    Is there some sort of standard or protocol that I should make sure the NAS supports? I want to allow for future proofing and add clients in different rooms at some point. Want to make sure they can all talk to each other.

    Also seems as if there are not many people selling lossless files for mainstream(ish) music. You can find pretty much anything on itunes, Google Music and Amazon buts its all mp3 or ACC.

    Looking on HDtracks.com in detail it seems as if their catalogue is not so big and even smaller for the HD audio too. Most that stuff seems to be hippy, jazzy, acoustical stuff from independent labels. Nothing wrong with it just that its not really my thing.

    I thought Apple would at least be doing lossless audio downloads but seems not yet. What's the sound quality like from itunes? Is there any difference to CD quality?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    i would sugest signing up here http://www.whathifi.com/forum
    and have a read through
    http://www.whathifi.com/forum/computer-based-music
    and then use your ears.

    and do not be blinded by high prices and big names.

    and I still buy CDs for music. Also be aware when "buying" on iTunes you are not buying the music you are only buying the right to listen to it.

    ie you die the music goes. the kids can not have it. (even if they wanted it).
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    oh nice link, lots of reading fun.

    thanks
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Just pick through the fighting and there is some good info on just about every means of creating and playing and listening to digital music.

    The only part no really covered is building up a Rasberry Pi for play back.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • johnny25johnny25 Posts: 344
    There is no difference in the quality between Apple Lossless and FLAC - Both are lossless, therefore both are identical quality.

    This link is taken from a highly regarded audio forum - http://www.rdhworld.myzen.co.uk/smfcu/i ... ic=12182.0
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    johnny25 wrote:
    There is no difference in the quality between Apple Lossless and FLAC - Both are lossless, therefore both are identical quality.

    This link is taken from a highly regarded audio forum - http://www.rdhworld.myzen.co.uk/smfcu/i ... ic=12182.0
    and you talk to people on other forums and they will tell you that it has problems.

    i just dont use it, as Flac is more versatile and there is no possible playback issues that there could be with Apple.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • johnny25johnny25 Posts: 344
    What problems? - It's lossless. I'm assuming the copying is bit prefect. Your copying data using either format, not sound. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away, hence lossless.
Sign In or Register to comment.