*Official* Pioneer N-50 Network Audio Player Thread - Page 9 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #241 of 365 Old 12-21-2013, 03:56 PM
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Hi All,

My first post...

 

I've searched this forum but can't find... a recommended router for the N-50.  My present router doesn't support the N-50.  I want to get the "Digital in USB" option working.

 

Please can someone recommend a good router that supports the N-50.  I'm UK based.

 

Thanks, in anticipation.

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post #242 of 365 Old 12-22-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burson View Post

Thanks a lot for the reply.

I have tried the ControlApp on a couple of smartphones, Galaxy Note 2 and receptively Galaxy Note 3 and I have the double clicking issue every time I try to browse through either the folder lists or tag based library. By any means, especially when considering the Note3, I can't imagine how anyone would not consider these devices hardware worthy of running the ControlApp. 
Let me describe a bit why I consider the app to be 'painfully slow'. Whenever I try to scroll through the library, after let's say about 3-4 pages of items (albums/artists/folders etc) the app freezes and stops populating the list, while the animation of grabbing fresh content keeps playing. As a workaround, I hit the back button of the app and I quickly click again on the item category I wish to browse for and it takes me where I had left. All in all, the size of my library is about 3.7 TB of data, so I have never managed to scroll through the library past the 'C' letter. 
The default Synology server has some means of altering the DLNA menu, but as I wrote before, it's nothing of the magnitude that could completely shift the situation. 

I would have virtually no problems in giving up the ControlApp and I might as well give the BubbleUPnP app a try since my unit is able to offer gapless playback without the use of the ControllApp.

I'll have a look at what I could install on my NAS and maybe I could also come back to the PC and try my luck with some proper DLNA servers.
Burson, thanks to your description I believe I now know what the 'double click' issue is. I think it's not actually the Pioneer ControlApp that's doing the double tapping on its own volition, but your own taps being backed up because the app is running so slowly. They then all come at once, resulting in the double click effect. Question is, why is the app running so slowly in the first place?

I've got a feeling it's got nothing to do with the actual UPnP/DLNA server connection as such, but the amount of data the ControlApp is receiving from the N-50 to display. Just in case you don't already know, the ControlApp is just a remote control substitute and thus only communicates with and receives data from the N-50 (wirelessly, via theTelnet network protocol). It's the N-50 that's doing the actual communicating with UPnP/DLNA servers, internet radio, etc.

As an experiment, could you try to see if you get the same problem accessing a function other than network streaming that's also got a large amount of data? If you go to the internet radio and select all the stations from one country, such as the US, that should return a long enough list of data to test with. I'll not be surprised if the ControlApp starts slowing down with this too.

Also, it'll be worth seeing if the problem is with the N-50 itself. So just use it's remote control and built-in screen to access the UPnP/DLNA server's data and seeing if that causes the N-50 to slow down. If not, then I think we can eliminate the N-50 to UPnP/DLNA server link as a possible cause.

I believe we need to find out why are similar amounts of data ok for the ControlApp on some Android devices, but not on others? Has it something to do with the amount of memory available on the Android device and/or the way the ControlApp is using it? Does the method it's communicating with the N-50, ie Telnet, have anything to do with it? Could something on the Android device, or even another device on the network (eg router) be slowing down Telnet and thus the ControlApp?
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post #243 of 365 Old 12-22-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

Hi All,
My first post...

I've searched this forum but can't find... a recommended router for the N-50.  My present router doesn't support the N-50.  I want to get the "Digital in USB" option working.

Please can someone recommend a good router that supports the N-50.  I'm UK based.

Thanks, in anticipation.
Hi Terrabits

What's your current router and what problem are you experiencing with it such that it doesn't support the N-50?

What problem are you having with the N-50's Digital in USB function? It'll also be useful to know what type of computer (eg version of Windows, if it's a PC, etc) you're trying to connect to it.
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post #244 of 365 Old 12-24-2013, 04:54 AM
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Hi Cebolla,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

 

My current router is a BT Home Hub 3 - apparently not great, based on what I've read.  Some people change it the day after they get it! 

 

When I try to connect I get the message from HH saying, "Device type not supported".  I've searched BT forums and some folks say that the HH 3 doesn't support any USB devices and that its USB port is for "future use" only!

 

I'm using a 2012, Apple iMac, OSX 10.8.5

 

Airplay works with the N-50, but drops out occasionally for reasons I've not yet discovered - but not when actually playing music.

 

The N-50 "Music Server" function also works, but, as others have mentioned, is very clunky, and very time consuming to find tracks.

 

I was hoping a USB connection to the N-50, via "Dig in USB", might solve some of the above.  (I was planning to get a new router/modem so I thought I'd get one that supported the N-50.)

 

Hope this answers your question.   Incidentally I really like the excellent sound quality from the N-50 so I'm keen to persevere with it. 

 

Appreciate any help you can give.

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post #245 of 365 Old 12-24-2013, 11:10 AM
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Ok quite a bit to get through here, I'll try my best to be brief (especially on busy Christmas Eve)!

I've heard all about some models of BT Home Hub problems with network media streaming (I'm UK based too). Quite shameful for such a large and popular ISP. It's mainly due to those BT routers' poor support for multicast packet forwarding, which is required for both streaming using UPnP/DLNA (eg N-50's "Music Server" function) and AirPlay as well as other network communications protocols.

I'm currently on O2 with their supplied Wireless Box 5 router, which has no such problems. Hence I haven't been looking at other routers, so can't really recommend any from personal experience. However, I've found this reasonably up to date list of Multicast supporting routers, ironically from the BTCare Community forums:
https://community.bt.com/t5/YouView-box/Known-Routers-to-Work-with-Multicast-IGMP/td-p/994338

You'll notice that your BT HH3 is on the list, so you should at least be ok for UPnP/DLNA network streaming! However, I'm not sure how accurate the list is because some are saying that it's the HH3 type B that's ok for DLNA, but not the HH3 type A:
https://community.bt.com/t5/Other-BB-Queries/DLNA-UPNP-with-Home-Hub-3-Type-A-Supported-or-Not/m-p/836834#M49681
Not sure why your N-50 (& may be other AirPlay 'speakers') doesn't occasionally appear as an AirPlay device to stream to. It might be because your network devices IP addresses may occasionally change each time they connect to the network, since they are not set to keep the same IP address they are originally given.

The best way to do this is by setting up the DHCP server on your HH3 to reserve IP addresses for all the network devices the router has to deal with. You could instead do this by manually entering the IP address, gateway & DNS static settings yourself for every device, but you're more likely to make a mistake that way. Make sure that all of the network devices are using the DHCP server to obtain their IP address, rather than by static settings. BTW, I've found these klunky instructions that are for HH2/HH3, so it may not be that straight forward to do:
https://community.bt.com/t5/Other-BB-Queries/Home-Hub-IP-address-reservation/m-p/605434#M28563
https://community.bt.com/t5/Other-BB-Queries/DHCP-Reservations-with-Homehub-2/td-p/167351

Is your current difficulty network streaming by using a Music library from a DLNA server entirely due to a slow 'double clicking' Pioneer ControlApp? This is quite a specific problem with the ControlApp being used on certain Android devices. Otherwise, in what way are you finding UPnP/DLNA streaming clunky and time consuming finding the tracks? For example, It might be being caused by the UPnP/DLNA server your using, rather than the something to do with the N-50.

It's unlikely you'll find any router that'll be able to use the N-50 Dig in USB / async USB DAC input. It is designed for computer music playing software to use the N-50 as an external DAC, by USB audio. So you could run music playing software on your Mac and be able to use the N-50 to output the music to, by connecting to it with an appropriate USB cable. I think OS X 10.8.5 supports USB audio 2.0, so you won't need any extra drivers. If you were to use a Windows machine, you'd need to install the USB audio 2.0 drivers provided by Pioneer, because Windows only supports USB audio 1.0
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post #246 of 365 Old 12-26-2013, 03:43 PM
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Hi Cebolla

Many thanks for the significant time and trouble you taken.  I hope I can do it justice!

 

I should point out that "digital music from a computer" is very new to me.  I'm still learning the "language" and the technology so I'm afraid I need beginner's guides, especially for any out-of-the-ordinary changes.

 

The Asus RT-N66U was on my list of routers and I will look at all the others on the list of "Multicast supporting routers".  Essentially I'll be looking to find the one that is the most simple to "install", but I note your point in your last para -  "It's unlikely you'll find any router that'll be able to use the N-50 Dig in USB / async USB DAC input."

 

Mine is the HH 3 Type A.  So I appear to be at a disadvantage.  I could try to get the Type B, or the new HH 4 or even newer HH 5.  My inclination is to go for a completely different brand, but I could get an other HH, as an upgrade and see it works.

 

As I said in my last post, Airplay works with my N-50 and I don't use the Pioneer App.  I thought that was only for a PC/Android(?).  As you know, I've got a Mac.  When I talk about "clunky/slow" I guess I'm comparing it to using iTunes (with Airplay).  For this use, iTunes is slick and fast and of course uses a full size screen for track selection - and you don't have to get up from the computer to make music selections!

 

I've spent a fair bit of time investigating setting up the DHCP server as indicated in your post, but unfortunately I don't feel confident enough to start altering settings as I don't understand what I would be doing.

 

Please could you say some more about - "So you could run music playing software on your Mac and be able to use the N-50 to output the music to, by connecting to it with an appropriate USB cable."

 

Thanks again for all the work you've done for me - and on Xmas eve!

 

Jim

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post #247 of 365 Old 12-27-2013, 01:13 PM
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Not at all, Jim. I was actually concerned about you having to wade through that rather large post of mine during a busy Xmas Eve smile.gif

Playing music stored on a computer on your existing HiFi system is actually quite a straight forward in principle. There are actually two main ways of achieving it: either by direct connection or by use of a computer network. Arguably, the sound quality you can achieve from both methods is about the same, so what it really comes down to is convenience. Both methods require the use of a digital to analogue converter (DAC), which effectively converts the digital music signal produced by playing the digital files, into the analogue one that can be passed to one of the standard line level inputs of a traditional stereo amplifier.

With a direct connection, the computer is connected to the rest of the music system by a relatively short cable. In effect it becomes another component of the traditional HiFi stack. Music playing software is run on the computer and it allows you to select and playback the music files stored on the computer. The computer's own internal DAC could be used to convert the digital music signal being produced by the player software, to an analogue one and then sent via a direct connection to the stereo amplifier's line input. However, it is not usually considered to be of high enough quality, so an external DAC is normally used instead. The computer can be connected to the external DAC by various output sockets: standard USB, optical and/or coaxial digtal audio outputs from its soundcard. The external DAC device's analogue output is then connected to the amplifier's line-in. The Pioneer N-50 can be used for this purpose, as part of its function is to be an external DAC.

The actual music files themselves are usually managed by music library software also running on the computer. It makes the selection of the music files very straight forward, as it presents the files in different music categories with various ways of filtering and searching the tracks for ease of access. Quite often the music player and the music library are combined into the one application, as is the case with iTunes.


With the network connection, the computer does not need to located anywhere near the rest of the music system and if a WiFi network is used, it doesn't even have to be physically connected to it by (network) cable. The music playing software is not run on the computer, but instead on a specialised computer type device - the network audio player aka streamer aka renderer. It is the network audio player that is used as another component of the traditional HiFi stack, not the computer containing the music files. The streamer's analogue output is then normally directly connected to the amplifier's line input, as its own internal DAC is of decent enough quality so no external DAC device is usually required. The Pioneer N-50 can be used as a streamer as it's second main function is that of a network audio player. Note that the software running on specialised computer type boxes is normally given the name firmware, as it's usually more permanent ('firm') than a more 'normal' computer's software which a user can more easily install, remove, update, etc.

In a UPnP/DLNA supporting network music player, the required music files are streamed to it over the network from the computer containing the music files and running the music library software, known as the UPnP/DLNA server. Notice that unlike the direct connection method, the music library and music player are seperate applications and are in fact running on completely different devices on the network.


I could go on, but that's likely to be more than enough for anyone relatively new to this sort of thing to take in one hit!

Hopefully, you can now see why the N-50's Dig in USB can only really be used with a computer, and why "It's unlikely you'll find any router that'll be able to use the N-50 Dig in USB / async USB DAC input". It's only designed for the direct connection method to a computer I outlined above, with the N-50 being used as its tethered external DAC which in turn is connected to the rest of the music system. You can try it with any music playing software on your Mac, including iTunes. Unfortunately I'm only familiar with Windows computers and know very little about Macs. However, I'd guess, once you've connected the N-50 to the Mac with a USB cable (A to B type, aka USB printer cable), you'll be able to select the N-50 as the device to use for sound output in the Mac's system settings (ie instead of the Mac's own soundcard).

As far as using the N-50 as a network audio player / streamer / renderer is concerned, so that the N-50 (and not the computer) is connected to the HiFi, you are quite right to be wary about your router's support of UPnP/DLNA streaming, especially with regards to its ability to handle multicast data. However I would at least test it out first, if that's going to be your main reason for getting a different one. You've already said that you are able to network stream via AirPlay from your Mac to the N-50, which also requires multicast support from the router. Having said that, a worrying sign would be the N-50 occasionaly not being seen as an AirPlay device.

I understand now what you mean by klunky in that you are referring to using the Pioneer's remote control/buttons on the box and the N-50's rather small display. I thought you were talking about about using the Pioneer ControlApp for iOS & Android mobile devices, which admittedly is just another remote control for the N-50, so would be just as klunky to use in terms of navigating the various menu options. However, at least you don't have to be near the N-50 to use it, since you're using the mobile device's screen, rather than the N-50's. Do you have access to an Android or Apple iOS mobile device?

To be able to network stream the music files stored on your Mac, you need to have a UPnP/DLNA server running on it to take care of the music library. Unlike the current versions of Windows, I don't think the Mac OS X comes with one built-in (the Window's one isn't very good for music, BTW), so you have to install one. Also, iTunes doesn't support UPnP/DLNA, so its music library cannot be seen by the N-50. However, the music files stored by iTunes on the Mac will be accessable by a UPnP/DLNA server running on the Mac. Hence, it will be able to build and maintain it's own music library with the same music files and make them available to the N-50.

You did mention that the "Music Server" function was working on the N-50. Does that mean you've actually got a UPnP/DLNA server running on the Mac and are able to access its music library to play some files? If so, which UPnP/DLNA server is it? If not, a really decent free UPnP/DLNA server to try would be MinimServer, available here for download to Mac OS X (as well as other computers & network devices):
http://minimserver.com/downloads/index.html


I hope this has clarified a few things and not confused you too much!

John
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post #248 of 365 Old 12-28-2013, 07:27 AM
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Hi

Been scanning the forum but thought I would ask my specific question - apologies if already answered

I have a new N50 that I wish to use in conjunction with my Synology NAS (connected to a Mac if that matters). The N50 is connected via ethernet

Ideally I would like a server/control app combo that I can use with iPad or iPhone as the DS Audio app or Pioneer apps are too basic - I've seen minim, foobar, mezzmo but don't know which is best? Happy to pay for a licence if needs be

It would be awesome if there was some way of sync with my main iTunes library on the iMac but that is probably asking for too much. I was thinking of switching to ripping to the NAS and then syncing iTunes with the NAS - but anyone who has experience with that would be appreciated

Cheers
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post #249 of 365 Old 12-28-2013, 10:41 AM
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 John, Many thanks for your info. and help.  Where I have queries/comments I have put your text in italics followed by my response.  I hope this is clear…

 

The computer can be connected to the external DAC by various output sockets: standard USB, optical and/or coaxial digtal audio outputs from its soundcard.”

Direct connection to the Mac sounds a very good idea, but so far, I’m not sure how to do this.  The only audio output I can see on the Mac is the Headphone socket, which apparently doubles as a digital audio output.  It looks as though I can use a TOS-Link Cable to connect directly to the N-50.   Have I got this right?


I'd guess, once you've connected the N-50 to the Mac with a USB cable (A to B type, aka USB printer cable), ….

Not so far but if using the Headphone socket makes sense, as I indicated above, I will try this.

 

“Having said that, a worrying sign would be the N-50 occasionaly not being seen as an AirPlay device.”

I do lose AirPlay if I switch away from it, e.g., to “Music Server”, and to get Airplay back I have to reboot the N-50.   Can you suggest a solution?

 

“Do you have access to an Android or Apple iOS mobile device?”
No, I only currently use my iMac.


“….If so, which UPnP/DLNA server is it?”

Yes, “Music Server” works, but how I don’t know!  I have not downloaded any UpnP/DLNA software/server, so this is a mystery – at least to me!  The N-50 clearly has access to my iTunes music library because it uses my iTunes playlists.

 

Jim

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post #250 of 365 Old 12-29-2013, 05:18 AM
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Hi guys

I do have a N30 streaming from a synology, connected to a SC-LX83 receiver, quad B&W 601-S2 and rega vulcan 8" sub. Really happy with the sound quality, cd quality streams shine to their best but the most amazing sound comes from 96khz or 192khz streams in stereo.

I use both pio controlapp and bubblepnp which is miles away from the first. Shame it does not allow for gapless playback, pio is using a proprietary command from either the remote control or from the app and until the bubblepnp programmers figure it out nothing can be done

Unfortunately I also suffer from the double tap bug with controlapp running from either a samsung galaxy s3 or from an asus memopad hd7. I don´t think it has anything to do with the app slow response, tested it many times leaving the app time enough between taps. It usually happens from the first folder level down or up and it´s totally random.

It´s really annoying!
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post #251 of 365 Old 12-29-2013, 01:14 PM
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Hi Ninogui

Looks like this double tap problem is more common than I first thought. Thanks for testing to see if any slowness might have something to do with it or not, especially as I don't have the problem & not able to investigate myself. So it appears taps aren't being buffered by any slowness and so are not the cause of the double taps, especially as the double tap effect is occouring at random. However, it looks like you are also experiencing a slow response from the app in common with others that are having double tap issues. I don't have a slow response from the app nor do I get double taps!

I think we need to make sure we are using the same sort of setup, as far as we are able, to see if we can see if there's a common reason for the slow response plus double taps in the ControlApp:
Check the N-50/N-30 has the latest firmware installed (v 1.021) and that you also have the latest version of the Pioneer ControlApp on the Android or iOS device.
Use network IP addresses that don't change, for all the network devices, including Android tablets, phones, etc. You are more likely to set this up error free if you configure the network's DHCP server to do this by IP address reservation. If for some reason you cannot use DHCP server IP address reservation, then manually set the static settings for each of the devices on the network.
Test to see if the Pioneer ControlApp double taps problem is present in a simple all ethernet cable wired network configuration (eg, no use of network bridges, powerline homeplug adapters, etc) - with wireless for the device running the Pioneer ControlApp.

If you have use of a networked computer, it might be worth installing the Bluestacks Android emulator on it. You can then run the Pioneer ControlApp from there and test. I've actually done this myself and the Pioneer ControlApp works just as well on BlueStacks running on my Windows 7 laptop as it does on my Android Sony Xperia S phone.

BTW, I wouldn't expect BubbleUPnP app developers or programmers of any other third party UPnP/DLNA control apps to be able to help, since the PioneerApp is not using UPnP/DLNA and is only commanding and responding to the N-50/N-30 exactly as its remote control plus built-in screen is!
It is really down to Pioneer to fix the streamer & get it to support gapless playback when it's used with a gapless playback supporting UPnP/DLNA controller, like the excellent BubbleUPnP app.
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post #252 of 365 Old 12-29-2013, 02:25 PM
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Hi Jim,
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

The computer can be connected to the external DAC by various output sockets: standard USB, optical and/or coaxial digtal audio outputs from its soundcard.”
Direct connection to the Mac sounds a very good idea, but so far, I’m not sure how to do this. The only audio output I can see on the Mac is the Headphone socket, which apparently doubles as a digital audio output. It looks as though I can use a TOS-Link Cable to connect directly to the N-50. Have I got this right?
Yes. It looks like Apple are using a similar dual purpose socket to the one used on the Airport Express.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

I'd guess, once you've connected the N-50 to the Mac with a USB cable (A to B type, aka USB printer cable), ….
Not so far but if using the Headphone socket makes sense, as I indicated above, I will try this.
Might be best to try this first if you have the USB cable, rather than trying to get hold of a specialised optical TOS-link cable that plugs into the dual purpose analogue/digital audio out socket.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

“Having said that, a worrying sign would be the N-50 occasionaly not being seen as an AirPlay device.”
I do lose AirPlay if I switch away from it, e.g., to “Music Server”, and to get Airplay back I have to reboot the N-50. Can you suggest a solution?
I was actually referring to occasionally not seeing the N-50 from iTunes as an AirPlay device to play to as being an indication of having network problems with Multicast data support. I didn't realise your problem is actually trying to get AirPlay going again, if the N-50's AirPlay function has been switched to another. This is actually normal behaviour, with the N-50 taking control of itself again, cancelling AirPlay streaming, having been under the control of AirPlay (from iTunes). You shouldn't need to reboot the N-50 to get it to stream via AirPlay from iTunes again. Simply re-selecting it from within iTunes should get AirPlay streaming to it again (tempory click on another first, if the N-50 is still appears to be 'selected'). Or are you saying that you can no longer select it, beacuse the N-50 is no longer on the list of AirPlay 'speakers' to stream to?


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

“Do you have access to an Android or Apple iOS mobile device?”

No, I only currently use my iMac.

“….If so, which UPnP/DLNA server is it?”
Yes, “Music Server” works, but how I don’t know! I have not downloaded any UpnP/DLNA software/server, so this is a mystery – at least to me! The N-50 clearly has access to my iTunes music library because it uses my iTunes playlists.
This is intriguing, since certainly on a Windows computer and on an iPad, I've never seen iTunes being able to present its music library over UPnP/DLNA by itself! I can only conclude that you have a UPnP/DLNA supporting media server installed and running on the Mac, that can at the same time read your iTunes playlists and thus make them available to a UPnP/DLNA supporting streamer, like the N-50.
Have you not installed any type of media server software (it might not be clear that it also supports UPnP/DLNA)?
Also, you might get a clue as to which one it is when you select it from the N-50, ie, what's the name of the menu item displayed on the N-50 when you select 'Music Server' on the remote (the one you next have to select to get to your actual music playlists)?

BTW, since you don't have a mobile device available and are currently running things from the computer, you could always install an Android emulator application and run the Pioneer ControlApp from there. It'll also save you the inconvenience of having to get near to the N-50 to see what's going on its built-in the screen. The BlueStacks Android emulator definitely works well with the Pioneer ControlApp on my Windows computer and there's a version of it available for the Mac, if you're interested:
http://www.bluestacks.com/


Hope this helps

John
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post #253 of 365 Old 12-30-2013, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

Hi Ninogui

Looks like this double tap problem is more common than I first thought. Thanks for testing to see if any slowness might have something to do with it or not, especially as I don't have the problem & not able to investigate myself. So it appears taps aren't being buffered by any slowness and so are not the cause of the double taps, especially as the double tap effect is occouring at random. However, it looks like you are also experiencing a slow response from the app in common with others that are having double tap issues. I don't have a slow response from the app nor do I get double taps!

I think we need to make sure we are using the same sort of setup, as far as we are able, to see if we can see if there's a common reason for the slow response plus double taps in the ControlApp:
Check the N-50/N-30 has the latest firmware installed (v 1.021) and that you also have the latest version of the Pioneer ControlApp on the Android or iOS device.
Use network IP addresses that don't change, for all the network devices, including Android tablets, phones, etc. You are more likely to set this up error free if you configure the network's DHCP server to do this by IP address reservation. If for some reason you cannot use DHCP server IP address reservation, then manually set the static settings for each of the devices on the network.
Test to see if the Pioneer ControlApp double taps problem is present in a simple all ethernet cable wired network configuration (eg, no use of network bridges, powerline homeplug adapters, etc) - with wireless for the device running the Pioneer ControlApp.

If you have use of a networked computer, it might be worth installing the Bluestacks Android emulator on it. You can then run the Pioneer ControlApp from there and test. I've actually done this myself and the Pioneer ControlApp works just as well on BlueStacks running on my Windows 7 laptop as it does on my Android Sony Xperia S phone.

BTW, I wouldn't expect BubbleUPnP app developers or programmers of any other third party UPnP/DLNA control apps to be able to help, since the PioneerApp is not using UPnP/DLNA and is only commanding and responding to the N-50/N-30 exactly as its remote control plus built-in screen is!
It is really down to Pioneer to fix the streamer & get it to support gapless playback when it's used with a gapless playback supporting UPnP/DLNA controller, like the excellent BubbleUPnP app.

thks for the feedback

in fact the latest firmware is 1.022 but only released in japan pioneer support

you can try to read a translation of
http://pioneer.jp/support/download/home/n-50_n-30/firmware_download.html

I wonder if the revision log "Improvement of the connection compatible with the NAS in Music Server" will have anything to do with solving the double tap thing ? has anyone tried to update to this firmware ? it is not released for any other country other than japan and that is a bit weird. I am not the one to risk turning this into a brick by experimenting if no one else has done it, are you willing to burn that new japan firmware ?

Other than that I don´t use it connected to the pc, streaming only from the synology. I do have the 1.021 firmware, and use static ip on all my appliances connected including the N30, I sincerely doubt this problem has anything to do with network at least that´s my feeling. I feel it´s a poor controlapp implementation and the problem is local to the android device/app. The app is generic and when it connects the very first time it downloads the templates and options for a particular pioneer device.
I have asked around the forum for the great bubbleupnp app but of course the developer answer is what I´d expect, meaning no way of controlling with pioneer specific commands, full thread is at
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1118891&page=476

post n.4759
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Hi John,

Many thanks for your help – and patience!

 

As there is no USB Digital Out on the Mac the Mac USB to N-50 USB wouldn’t work.  However I’ve remembered my iTunes Music is on a WD Studio Ext Hard Drive.  There is a mini-USB connection on this.  I might try connecting this to the N-50.  I’d appreciate your thoughts.

 

“ ….Or are you saying that you can no longer select it (Airplay), because the N-50 is no longer on the list of AirPlay 'speakers' to stream to?”

Yes, this is what happens.  I’ve tried quitting/opening iTunes, but still no Airplay.  Rebooting the N-50 is the only way to get Airplay back.

 

“Have you not installed any type of media server software (it might not be clear that it also supports UPnP/DLNA)?”
I took your suggestion about looking at the Music Server before selecting for Playlists, and much to my surprise I have “EyeConnect”!  My apologies, as I was not aware of this.  This is a UPnP/DLNA app that was downloaded as part of my installation of EyeTV from Elgato.  See latest on this…

http://www.elgato.com/uk/video/eyeconnect/support

…and access “Read Me File”.  Could my AirPlay problem have anything to do with this app?

Note that the support for this app stops tomorrow.

 

I like the idea of the Pioneer ControlApp so I installed Bluestacks but unfortunately it wouldn’t install the Pioneer app.  Bluestacks locates it but doesn’t complete the search.  I’ve re-installed Bluestacks twice and re-booted the Mac, but no success with the search/installation of the Pioneer app.

 

Jim

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninogui View Post

thks for the feedback

in fact the latest firmware is 1.022 but only released in japan pioneer support

you can try to read a translation of
http://pioneer.jp/support/download/home/n-50_n-30/firmware_download.html

I wonder if the revision log "Improvement of the connection compatible with the NAS in Music Server" will have anything to do with solving the double tap thing ? has anyone tried to update to this firmware ? it is not released for any other country other than japan and that is a bit weird. I am not the one to risk turning this into a brick by experimenting if no one else has done it, are you willing to burn that new japan firmware ?

Other than that I don´t use it connected to the pc, streaming only from the synology. I do have the 1.021 firmware, and use static ip on all my appliances connected including the N30, I sincerely doubt this problem has anything to do with network at least that´s my feeling. I feel it´s a poor controlapp implementation and the problem is local to the android device/app. The app is generic and when it connects the very first time it downloads the templates and options for a particular pioneer device.
I have asked around the forum for the great bubbleupnp app but of course the developer answer is what I´d expect, meaning no way of controlling with pioneer specific commands, full thread is at
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1118891&page=476

post n.4759
Thanks for the news of the latest firmware update. Odd that the European site one hasn't been updated yet, as I certainly remember that the1.20 version that introduced gapless support was available there first, even before the Japanese site! The previous version files from the various regions had the same name & size, so by appearance they seemed the same. However, I didn't do a proper file comparison, etc, so can't be sure and certainly wouldn't recommend risk installing the latest one from Japan on any other region's machine.

It's hard to say what "Improvement of the connection compatible with the NAS in Music Server" actually means, it may have cured the double tap problem. Are you getting double taps only with Music Server streaming, or does it occour in other functions with several levels of folder access with the potential of many items, such as Internet Radio? Does it make any difference if you are streaming from a UPnP/DLNA server installed on a computer rather than from a NAS?

As I say, I don't have the problem, so am trying to eliminate as many of the differences as possible between our various systems. Which is why I suggested testing with the latest version of the firmware & app installed, with the 'simplest' network configuration that would be less likely to cause problems, such as wired eternet (without adapters, etc) and static settings. I agree the most likely reason is poor implementation of the app and it certainly seems to be dependent on which Android device it's installed on. If, for example, you tried the Pioneer App with the BlueStacks Android emulator and the double tap issue disappears, then this is strong evidence for it being Android device dependent (since the ControApp works ok with BlueStacks for me). However, if the issue remains, then the suspicion of other factors, such as influence from network device(s) and/or setup remains.

Yes, I didn't expect Bubbleguuum to be able to provide a gapless support work around on the BubbleUPnP app for the Pioneer streamers. The Pioneer ControlApp uses a totally different mechanism (Telnet) to a UPnP/DLNA control point app, like the BubbleUPnP app. The ControlApp also only talks to the N-50/N-30 as a remote control, actually getting the Pioneer streamer to do the UPnP/DLNA controlling. Hence the Pioneer ControlApp does not itself support UPnP/DLNA protocols and the proprietary gapless support mechanism is being done entirely by the N-30/N-50's music player firmware, which also takes care of requesting music file data from the DLNA server via UPnP/DLNA protocols, etc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

As there is no USB Digital Out on the Mac the Mac USB to N-50 USB wouldn’t work.  However I’ve remembered my iTunes Music is on a WD Studio Ext Hard Drive.  There is a mini-USB connection on this.  I might try connecting this to the N-50.  I’d appreciate your thoughts.
Most Macs should support USB audio out via any of its standard USB ports and the process should be automatic (eg simply connect the cable, with no installation of driver software, etc) with the Mac running OS X 10.6 or later, I believe. Presumably you did try connecting one of the Mac's USB sockets to the N-50's rear DIGITAL IN USB socket, with an appropriate USB A to B (printer type) cable? It's possible that it might help placing the N-50 in standby mode first, before connecting the cable and then switching the N-50 back on. Hopefully the N-50 will then appear as another option to select for sound output, in the Mac's sound system settings, which you'll have to select (and therefore presumably deselect the current sound option of the Mac's own soundcard/speakers).

There's a couple of things to bear in mind when using the N-50's front USB storage device input. Firstly, the USB storage device has to have been formatted for the FAT file system, otherwise the N-50 is unable to read it. This is normal for USB memory sticks, but unusual for USB HDDs, where the NTFS system is more popular. Secondly, it can be a klunky way of accessing the data, as the N-50 uses the storage device's own file system folder structure to navigate with, so no niceities of categorised music file folders, etc, via a music library. It'll mean you manually having to maintain the storage devices file structure, to allow you to navigate and hopefully find the music you require to play.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

“ ….Or are you saying that you can no longer select it (Airplay), because the N-50 is no longer on the list of AirPlay 'speakers' to stream to?”
Yes, this is what happens. I’ve tried quitting/opening iTunes, but still no Airplay. Rebooting the N-50 is the only way to get Airplay back.
Oh dear. I think this might be your router's dodgy support of multicast packet forwarding manifesting itself. It might help if you stop playing via AirPlay from iTunes first, before selecting another function on the N-50 and thus avoid getting it to resume control by cancelling AirPlay 'in mid flow'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

“Have you not installed any type of media server software (it might not be clear that it also supports UPnP/DLNA)?”

I took your suggestion about looking at the Music Server before selecting for Playlists, and much to my surprise I have “EyeConnect”! My apologies, as I was not aware of this. This is a UPnP/DLNA app that was downloaded as part of my installation of EyeTV from Elgato. See latest on this…
http://www.elgato.com/uk/video/eyeconnect/support
…and access “Read Me File”. Could my AirPlay problem have anything to do with this app?
Note that the support for this app stops tomorrow.
Ah, that makes more sense! I don't really use iTunes that much, so haven't really investigated any UPnP/DLNA servers that can also read its media library structure, including its playlists. May be something like the free Songbox media server will be ok to use on the Mac with the N-50 for now:
http://www.linn.co.uk/software#songbox
It is a UPnP server, but includes OpenHome Media (ohMedia) extensions as used by Linn devices, so it's possible that using it with a standard UPnP/DLNA streamer like the N-50 might cause control issues (such as the pause button not working).

Certainly also try a decent 'straight' UPnP/DLNA server on your Mac, like the excellent free MinimServer:
http://minimserver.com/downloads/index.html
Unfortunately, it cannot pick up the iTunes folder structure/playlists, but at least it makes a decent attempt of that with its own version, with the same music files. There's no reason why you can't run several UPnP/DLNA servers at once, you just need to make sure you select the correct one to use from the Music Server option.

I think it's unlikely the EyeTV application is causing the loss of N-50 as an AirPlay speaker problem, BTW.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

I like the idea of the Pioneer ControlApp so I installed Bluestacks but unfortunately it wouldn’t install the Pioneer app. Bluestacks locates it but doesn’t complete the search. I’ve re-installed Bluestacks twice and re-booted the Mac, but no success with the search/installation of the Pioneer app.
That's unfortunate. It's possible that you don't have direct access to the Google Play app store (I think I had to set that up separately on my Windows version of BlueStacks). There should be an older version of the Pioneer ControlApp on one of the 'provided' app stores (I think it's on the 1Mobile store), which you should be able to download and should work for now.
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Hi John,

Thanks for your reply.

 

I’ve connected the correct USB cable, etc., as you described and the “Digital in USB” screen shows, either “48khZ” or “192khZ” and nothing else.  (I can’t work out why two different values appear.)  The N-50 doesn’t appear as an option for sound output in the Mac Audio Preferences.

Also, the N-50 Operating Instruction state – “This unit cannot be used to play audio files from a computer unless Media Player is installed on the connected computer.”  So, I’ve downloaded Flip4Mac and FlipPlayer to no avail.  I can’t get them to work.  Perhaps I’ve chosen the wrong software.  I assumed “Media Player” refers to “Windows Media Player”, but I may be wrong, as there are others.

Incidentally, the cable I need to use is 5M long.  I understand this is (too?) long for USB.

You wrote…

“It might help if you stop playing via AirPlay from iTunes first, before selecting another function on the N-50 and thus avoid getting it to resume control by cancelling AirPlay 'in mid flow'.”

I tried this but unfortunately no joy.

 

1Mobile does have the Pioneer ControlApp.  Will it work on a Mac, or do I need other software?

 

Jim

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Jim,

I've found some instructions connecting a USB DAC to a Mac mini - it may help with connecting the N-50 to your Mac (scroll down to the USB section):
http://www.hifizine.com/2012/06/computer-audio-on-the-mac-getting-started/#dac
You'll notice on the image of the 'Audio MIDI Setup' application, that the instructions refer to, there are a set of audio 'Format' options, of which the sample rate of 44,100.0 Hz is being displayed. Setting this value should then be matched by what is being picked up by the N-50 and displayed on the Audio in USB' screen. Presumably a random value is being picked up by the N-50 when you first plug in the cable, because it's yet to be set up properly in the Mac. Note that the N-50 for some reason has unfortunately not been 'programmed' to pick up and display the bit depth (which would have been 24 bits, in the case of the example shown, ie, from '2ch-24bit Integer'').
I'm also guessing that the Mac would behave in the same way as a Windows machine, in that these audio ouput settings for the sample rate & bit depth are actually default values and can be overriden by decent dedicated music playing software, to match the music file resolution that's being played at the time. However I don't think iTunes has this ability and will be relying on the default values set in the computer's audio settings.

I think the 'media player' software the Pioneer instructions were referring to is any software that can read media files and play them. So iTunes would count as such software as it can play music files (as would Windows Media Player). Also I think a 5m USB cable is just within the 'approved' spec for USB audio.

So long as you are able to download & install the Pioneer ControlApp (via an app store like 1Mobile) within the BlueStacks application, it should work on it. Are you having problems with it running on BlueStacks for the Mac?

John
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Hi John,

Tried the details several times in the link you sent, but no joy.  The N-50 did not appear in the list in “Sound” or “Audio Devices”.  “The Dig In USB” screen did show “192Khz”

 

A bit of a mystery this.

 

Incidentally, “iPod” in works fine, as does “USB” via thumb drive.

 

Do you think it’s worth getting the Bluetooth device?

 

Had problems with Linn Songbox.  The N-50 picked it up but Songbox showed many empty folders from iTunes, and errors trying to play files.  Also several tracks appeared as FLAC.  I’ve none on iTunes!  To these, the N-50 said – not supported.

 

Still working on Minim Server.

 

“So long as you are able to downlaod & install the Pioneer Control app (via 1Mobile) within the BlueStacks application, it should work on it. Are you having problems with it running on BlueStacks for the Mac?”

 

I found it on 1Mobile and went through to the point of trying to download on Google Apps but it was “not possible, as I did not have an IOS device”.

 

Jim

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorepinky View Post

No doubt this will be a little diversion from the course of the thread, but we have this weekend made subjective comparisons of the sonic performance of the N-50 when used as a network streamer (Cat 5e cable) c.f. using its USB input and the spdif coaxial input. These comparisons were made on a high-end tri-amplified system.

Played was 24/96 FLAC.

The USB input is lo-fi. Very poor sound quality indeed. Mush.
The digital input (when using a Halide Bridge from the laptop to the coaxial input of the N-50) was slightly better than the USB but still generally low to mid-fi. The "Bridge" is market-hyped junk IMO.
When used as a network audio player the sound quality sky rockets to hi-fi.

The tests were done as an exercise in determining the feasibility of using the N-50 as just a DAC to overcome its serious control flaws when using the Android ControlApp which is the only reasonable method of achieving gapless playback. As a DAC only, of course you could use JRiver and BubbleUPnP which is a wonderful combination.

The conclusion was that perhaps short of using a very high-end USB-to-spdif converter such as a Berkeley Alpha USB between the PC and the N-50, using it as a DAC only is not a hi-fi option.

Pioneer. Double the price and fix the gapless so people can use the thing as a network player under the control of decent third party software.

Is there a consensus that the N-50 performs poorly as a DAC on it's digital inputs and via USB? I am a little surprised by the above assessment.
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I too am a bit surprised and don't think there is a consensus. I can't actually tell any difference in sound quality between using the N-50's USB DAC input using my Windows 7 laptop (running the Foobar2000 music player software) and playback by network streaming the same music files over DLNA. Mind you, it's a bit of hastle setting up a computer to do the music playback with a tethered external USB DAC (don't know why anyone would bother, given the choice) and there's still the N-50's lack of support for the 176.4 kHz sample rate via the USB DAC input (other sample rates are ok and the coax & optical inputs support all, BTW).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

Hi John,
Tried the details several times in the link you sent, but no joy.  The N-50 did not appear in the list in “Sound” or “Audio Devices”.  “The Dig In USB” screen did show “192Khz”
 
A bit of a mystery this.
 
Incidentally, “iPod” in works fine, as does “USB” via thumb drive.
 
Do you think it’s worth getting the Bluetooth device?
 
Had problems with Linn Songbox.  The N-50 picked it up but Songbox showed many empty folders from iTunes, and errors trying to play files.  Also several tracks appeared as FLAC.  I’ve none on iTunes!  To these, the N-50 said – not supported.
 
Still working on Minim Server.
 
“So long as you are able to downlaod & install the Pioneer Control app (via 1Mobile) within the BlueStacks application, it should work on it. Are you having problems with it running on BlueStacks for the Mac?”
 
I found it on 1Mobile and went through to the point of trying to download on Google Apps but it was “not possible, as I did not have an IOS device”.

Jim
Hi Jim,

Certainly is rather odd. There are some troubleshooting instructions for Mac OS X in the N-50's user manual, on page 14:
http://www.pioneer.eu/files/support/N50/ARB7465A_En.01_16.pdf

Presumably you've got the latest installed firmware the N-50, version 1.021 (for Euopean models), available here (with update installation instructions) if not:
http://www.pioneer.eu/eur/support/software/N-50-K/page.html
Notice there's a USB audio driver available only for Windows and not for Mac OS X as it's not required!


The Pioneer's Bluetooth receiver costs extra and Bluetooth audio is a lossy form of transmitting music so sound quality will be an issue. It is only worth getting if Bluetooth is the only non-wired music output format the device playing the music supports and a non-wired connection to the N-50 is required.


Unfortunately, it looks like the Linn Songbox server is not allowing true playback of .m4a files (both ALAC & AAC) and .aiff files, making them appear as a FLAC files. Also, the FLAC file isn't playable to the N-50 (and I suspect to any other standard UPnP/DLNA player) and is most likely a side effect of the Songbox's support for Linn devices.

I have since tested several other free UPnP/DLNA servers that are supposed to be able to import the iTunes library, but have not found any to work properly. Only the trial version of the Allegro Media Server seems to be ok, available here:
http://www.allegrosoft.com/allegro-media-server

However, I'm not sure if it's worth purcharsing the full version of Allegro at $39.95! For example, if you are happy enough with the music library structure of MinimServer, you can also import your iTunes playlists into it, if you can export them to the standard playlist .m3u file format. The iTunes Export utility allows you to do that, available here:
http://www.ericdaugherty.com/dev/itunesexport/
You will need to run the utility and rescan MinimServer's music library every time you change the playlists in iTunes, though.


Stranger still is the 1Mobile app store wanting to download the iOS version of the Pioneer ControlApp, within the BlueStacks Android device emulator! Are you sure you've gone to the 1Mobile store inside BlueStacks and not via a web browser on the Mac itself? That download attempt on 'Google Apps' doesn't sound right. If you are still having problems downloading the Pioneer ControlApp in Bluestacks, I can PM you a copy of it, if you like.
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Hi Jim,

Certainly is rather odd. There are some troubleshooting instructions for Mac OS X in the N-50's user manual, on page 14:
http://www.pioneer.eu/files/support/N50/ARB7465A_En.01_16.pdf
Thanks. Checked through this.

Presumably you've got the latest installed firmware the N-50, version 1.021 (for Euopean models), available here (with update installation instructions) if not:
http://www.pioneer.eu/eur/support/software/N-50-K/page.html
Notice there's a USB audio driver available only for Windows and not for Mac OS X as it's not required!
Yup.  Done.  I'm wondering if I should give up on USB. Would I be missing a lot if I did?   On the N-50, "Music Server" and Airplay work OK.  See also "USB" below. 
 
The Pioneer's Bluetooth receiver costs extra and Bluetooth audio is a lossy form of transmitting music so sound quality will be an issue. It is only worth getting if Bluetooth is the only non-wired music output format the device playing the music supports and a non-wired connection to the N-50 is required.
Makes sense so no further action.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Linn Songbox server is not allowing true playback of .m4a files (both ALAC & AAC) and .aiff files, making them appear as a FLAC files. Also, the FLAC file isn't playable to the N-50 (and I suspect to any other standard UPnP/DLNA player) and is most likely a side effect of the Songbox's support for Linn devices.

I have since tested several other free UPnP/DLNA servers that are supposed to be able to import the iTunes library, but have not found any to work properly. Only the trial version of the Allegro Media Server seems to be ok, available here:
http://www.allegrosoft.com/allegro-media-server

However, I'm not sure if it's worth purcharsing the full version of Allegro at $39.95! For example, if you are happy enough with the music library structure of MinimServer, you can also import your iTunes playlists into it, if you can export them to the standard playlist .m3u file format. The iTunes Export utility allows you to do that, available here:
http://www.ericdaugherty.com/dev/itunesexport/

You will need to run the utility and rescan MinimServer's music library every time you change the playlists in iTunes, though.

I'm finding Minim now works well - so far - so I'll stick with this but will investigate allegro further.  Incidentally, Minim shows all the data from I really need but I will try importing playlists.

Stranger still is the 1Mobile app store wanting to download the iOS version of the Pioneer ControlApp, within the BlueStacks Android device emulator! Are you sure you've gone to the 1Mobile store inside BlueStacks and not via a web browser on the Mac itself? That download attempt on 'Google Apps' doesn't sound right. If you are still having problems downloading the Pioneer ControlApp in Bluestacks, I can PM you a copy of it, if you like.
I'm going to have another go at this ControlApp.  Excuse my (gross?) ignorance, but what does "PM" mean?  I suspect this would be a (much) better route for me to get a copy given my "literacy" in this area.
Incidentally, I've downloaded a FLAC file from Linn Music as a trial.  I can play it via "USB" on the N-50.  Will this route give me true FLAC reproduction?  I can't seem to get it on the N-50 through "Music Server".  Can Minim help here?
Jim
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John,

Got it - "PM" - Private message.

Sorry

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No worries, I'll send you the app then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrabits View Post

Incidentally, I've downloaded a FLAC file from Linn Music as a trial. I can play it via "USB" on the N-50. Will this route give me true FLAC reproduction? I can't seem to get it on the N-50 through "Music Server". Can Minim help here?
The N-50 is normally capable of playing FLAC files via DLNA. The problem was specific to those pseudo FLAC files presented to it by the SongBox media server. You should certainly be able to use MinimServer to stream standard FLAC files, such as the ones from Linn Music, to the N-50. Just make sure the correct folder storage location has been set in MinimServer for them, before rescanning its media library.
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post #266 of 365 Old 01-20-2014, 03:09 PM
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This is a very strange result given all the praise the N-50 gets.

If this is really true the N-50 should not be getting unanimous 5 star ratings from virtually every magazine out there.

I have been testing a Pro-ject Stream Box DS Net for a few days, this was slammed in most of the reviews I have read but seems perfectly fine to me.

I am hoping to test it side by side with an N-50 tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes.

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post #267 of 365 Old 01-20-2014, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1212 View Post


Is there a consensus that the N-50 performs poorly as a DAC on it's digital inputs and via USB? I am a little surprised by the above assessment.

~~This is a very strange result given all the praise the N-50 gets. If this is really true the N-50 should not be getting unanimous 5 star ratings from virtually every magazine out there. I have been testing a Pro-ject Stream Box DS Net for a few days, this was slammed in most of the reviews I have read but seems perfectly fine to me. I am hoping to test it side by side with an N-50 tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes.

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post #268 of 365 Old 01-20-2014, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGLeduc View Post


I don't know if it is normal, but on my just purchased N30 using a thumb drive, I do not get any art work on commercially purchased FLAC or with Apple Lossess files converted from commercially purchased hi-rez files.

I am new to FLAC, and when Googling the issue of artwork and FLAC it looks to be a big bag of hurt. I know the artwork on my Apple Lossless files is properly embedded, but the N30 shows no artwork.

Not a show stopper but I would like to know if it should work, and if so, why it does not.

Brian


If you use something like exact audio copy to rip the cd and convert to flac you have to manually add the cover art prior to starting the rip.

Download the cover art from google images and drag it into the box on the eac rip page.

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post #269 of 365 Old 01-20-2014, 06:59 PM
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I'm just now considering acquiring a media streamer and was interested in the Pioneer N-50. My puzzlement is trying to find a place to possibly buy it! Pioneer's site shows it as current, with a price. I cannot find a single retailer in the USA that has it even listed for sale and Amazon has it for an elevated price and coming from Japan. What's going on?

I called Pioneer's ORDER BY PHONE line, the woman I talked to was somewhat puzzled about the N-50, but finally came back and said they had it in stock, did I want to order it?

Anyone know what's going on, otherwise I'll probably go with the Cambridge Magic Stream.
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post #270 of 365 Old 01-21-2014, 03:32 AM
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Hi all, I am still very much considering the N-50 but I am wondering if there are any alternatives I should look at? I am interested in streaming FLAC files from a NAS drive or PC and internet radio. I have seen the Marantz MCR610 but I am not sure that will provide the same audio quality as the N50 - it does however offer Spotify/Last.FM which I don't think is possible with the N50.

So, are there any other pieces of kit worth considering along with the N50/MCR610?
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