Originally Posted by eljr
I am looking to buy the New McIntosh MB50 but I read this.
" forget about using JRiver and the MB50 together. Streaming to the MB50 will ONLY work with DTS Play-Fi's own software, ... it's all explained on the DTS Play-Fi website."
Originally Posted by fitbrit
If it adheres to DLNA standards, MC should be able to stream to it. They (McIntosh) state that "DLNA is supported". Whether they fully support it or not is another matter.
Ok - so I did bit of googling around and here is what I get from all this. In the abstract, the architecture of DTS:Play-Fi is very simple. It is really just an attempt to move the responsibility for dealing with multiple streaming protocols, file types, and services to the mobile device so that the true playback device (the MB50) does not have to deal with all that crap. My guess is that, if we looked under the hood at what the data going from the DTS:Play-Fi app to the MB50 (or whatever) looks like, it would be as simple as some metadata about the stream (sampling depth, sampling rate, channel count?) and then PCM or more-likely, compressed-PCM (compressed using a very small set of possible DTS-based algorithms).
Think about what this does for the equipment makers for a moment. It frees them from having to know ANYTHING about how to connect to and play Spotify, or Pandora, or DLNA, or Tidal, or the new "streaming service of the week" that comes out next week. They don't have to have any logic that deals with your account login. They don't have to code in the proprietary streaming protocol used. They don't have to learn how to browse and search 20 different library formats. They don't have to have any "apps" on their device, and don't have to provide a way to add them when a new service comes along. They don't have to provide ANY user interface at all. They don't have know %^&*. All they have to know is how to listen to and respond to ONE app that does things ONE way. It pushes all of the responsibility of all that other stuff to the DTS:Play-Fi player, whose job it is to deal with all of that other crap.
If you want a simple analogy - the MB50 with speakers or any other system that support DTS:Play-Fi is really just being used like a hi-rez version of a Bluetooth speaker system. That's it. Think of how you would use jRiver and a phone/tablet to play via Bluetooth. Now change the protocol and the sound quality and - presto: exact same usage model ... better sound.
So what does this mean to the current discussion?
It means that the MB50, technically, can't play any of that other stuff (DLNA, Spotify, Tidal, ...) - by itself
. The MB50 only knows how to play DTS:Play-Fi media, which can only come from the DTS:Play-Fi app.
But - the DTS:Play-Fi app can and does support using a DLNA server as a music source. This is pretty clearly stated at the DTS:Play-Fi site. So in the end, yes, you can use jRiver (which is an outstandingly-compliant DLNA server) with any DTS:Play-Fi-based system including the MB50, via the DTS:Play-Fi app. In this regard, the reply you received was idiotic at best.
A caveat: your phone/tablet will need to be on and will need to have a very good wireless connection to your network, because ALL of the music will be passing through that phone/tablet and if it turns off or disconnects from the WiFi...