Onkyo MP3 Player - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-16-2003, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Was wondering if anyone here has one of the Onkyo devices. I know their equipment does not compare to some of the top of the line like denon and some others but I love thier products and have always purchased their stuff. I just purchased a new Home theater system and was thinking about adding a NC 500 to my equipment list was wondering if any of you have one or have recommendations.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-16-2003, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bsddaemon
I know their equipment does not compare to some of the top of the line like denon and some others but I love thier products and have always purchased their stuff.
I don't know, I think they're entire product line compares very favorably against most other large manufactures. By entire line, I'm including the Integra brand which has been spun off. I also like their stuff, because you know what you're getting when you buy Onkyo. I guess the same can be said of Sony, but Onkyo doesn't include that "name" tax that you get when purchasing a Sony.

I have the Onkyo TX-NR900 receiver. It's a very nice unit. The sound is extremely clean and it is designed well. The MP3 functionality is well done, but the software is, um, not well done. The unit has played everything I've thrown at it. Including (1) MP3's at all bitrates including VBR (2) WMA's all bit rates including the new VBR encodings. The only WMA's I think it won't play are the lossless compression format. Files encoded with LAME and the "--alt-preset standard" and those encoded with Windows Media Player at 192 VBR sound almost identical to the original source. Of course I'm referring to playback on the TX-NR900. Your mileage may vary.

I was interested in picking up one onkyo's database units (ie, their cd/hard drive combos) but those things are darn expensive. The list prices I've seen have been $2k. I'll stick with my PC and the awful software.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-16-2003, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Andrew

I was specifically speaking about the NC 500 device they now have that thing looks sweet. Thinking seriously about getting one.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-17-2003, 08:56 AM
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I know, but I think that the TX-NR900 is basically the same thing as far as the MP3/network functionality goes. All of their Net-Tune receivers connect to the same servers and when connecting to a PC will use the same server software. I like what I have, but it's not up the level of refinement of an AudioTron. I think a NR500 would be cool to have next to my bed, but the poor radio station selection is a huge drawback.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-18-2003, 01:25 PM
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I'm currently using the audiotron and I'm very happy with it. I'm looking at the Integra NAS 2.3 audio server, but its pricey at about $2k. i do like the ability to connect it to my display though. the audiotron still doesn't support that.

don't you need their audio server for the NC500 to work?

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post #6 of 20 Old 01-22-2003, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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The NC500 is like 400 bucks I am waiting on an answer from tech support now, but I think you can use any reciever with it.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-22-2003, 10:03 AM
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what are you using as your media server? your PC? are there other audio server type devices out there cheaper than $2k? i've heard about one from Yamaha and soon to be released audio server from Pioneer. i wonder if the NC500 will work w/ any streaming media server.

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post #8 of 20 Old 01-22-2003, 02:47 PM
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my mp3s come off of a linux box I built for about 450. Its also my file server, print server and general hack/script/fuss box. I use an audiotron.

prismiq uses a tv display. I know people are donw on them because UI quality issues but if they aggregate their fecal matter it could be a fine solution.

also turtle beach will be coming out with at least one AT model that has tv out. probably in 3rd quarter.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-22-2003, 03:24 PM
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cool. any idea what the model #/price of the audiotron product is?

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-26-2003, 07:58 AM
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I see there is an OSD socket on the back of the Onkyo NC500 anyone know anything about it ?

I too like this piece of h/w and the display looks better than the Audiotron which to me looks a bit small.

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post #11 of 20 Old 01-27-2003, 11:02 AM
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steakdaddy, there is no model number. its the only one. www.turtlebeach.com - click on the audiotron image. $299 list, typical 260-275 online. cheaper used off ebay.

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post #12 of 20 Old 01-27-2003, 05:02 PM
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love my Onkyo TX-NR900 which is a Onkyo Net-Tune product. But if Internet radio is important to you, do NOT buy any of the Onkyo products. You can only listen to radio stations that are carried by Xiva. At the moment they carry NO mp3 based stations. Zip, nada, zilch. The Windows Media stations they carry are poor and generally broadcast at 20kbps.
The Net-Tune receivers communicate with Xiva via an XML protocol that could be reverse engineered. With custom software, you could listen to whatever it is you want, but out of the box this thing is worthless as far as internet radio goes.

BTW, Sound and Vision Magazine has a review of the 500 in this month's issue. It raises many of my complaints about Net-Tune, but they liked the thing overall.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-28-2003, 12:11 PM
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I purchased the tx-nr900 about a month ago and am extremely disappointed with it. I was looking to add a piece to replace my yamaha rx-v1 and add the ability to access my substantial audio collection on my pc. The big problem with the piece is that the client GUI is very basic and does not have as much functionality as some of the more basic pc jukebox apps. More importantly, there is a limiting factor of 192kbps that prevents you from playing any of your stored audio that is of higher quality.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-29-2003, 04:00 PM
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wow, 192Kb or lower only!!! that's a total deal breaker. I find it breathtakingly short sighted on their part.

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post #15 of 20 Old 01-29-2003, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by philba
wow, 192Kb or lower only!!! that's a total deal breaker. I find it breathtakingly short sighted on their part.

phil
That's not entirely true. I believe WMA is limited to 192kb, but not MP3. I encode all my MP3's using Exact Audio Copy and LAME, while using the "--alt-preset standard" command line switch. This generates MP3's that are indistinguishable from the CD using a VBR. You can encode WMA's using VBR as well and those can also be above 192kb. Using WMA, you simply click one notch down from the right under the VBR menu. This also creates a WMA file that is identical to the source material as well as a similar MP3.

The Windows based software does suck, but Onkyo's focus is selling hardware not software.
They would prefer you to purchase one of their jukeboxes and forgo the PC software entirely.

NOTE...

I just encoded a file using LAME using "--alt-preset insane" which creates a 320kbps MP3 at a constant bit rate (CBR) and it works fine on the TX-NR900. My advice... if high bit rates and quality are important to you, skip WMA and use MP3. The format isn't going anywhere.
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post #16 of 20 Old 02-10-2003, 12:52 AM
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Can anyone post the help file for the Net-tune software here? I'd like to see some more info on the s/w before I spring for the box.

My questions are:

1) can you have the music stored on a file server, like a Snap server device?

2) do you have to have a PC running its s/w for the client devices to work? We have a snap server that's on all the time. I'm more than happy to run the s/w to set up whatever needs to be set up, but after that, I'd like for the client devices to go right to the snap server, and not have to worry about the pc having the s/w run in the bgnd.
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-10-2003, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mdryja
Can anyone post the help file for the Net-tune software here? I'd like to see some more info on the s/w before I spring for the box.

My questions are:

1) can you have the music stored on a file server, like a Snap server device?

2) do you have to have a PC running its s/w for the client devices to work? We have a snap server that's on all the time. I'm more than happy to run the s/w to set up whatever needs to be set up, but after that, I'd like for the client devices to go right to the snap server, and not have to worry about the pc having the s/w run in the bgnd.
(1) Yes you can, if you can have a drive mapped to that server from a Windows machine.

(2) The software must be running on a Windows PC in order to stream to a Net-Tune PC. You don't need to set anything up the Onkyo devices if you're using DHCP. The receiver will find your Net-Tune server automatically.

Send me an email address to aws6000@yahoo.com and I'll send you a copy of the software. It's basic stuff.

---------------------------

Before using the Net-TuneCentral software, please read the following information.

************************************************************ **********
Introduction.
************************************************************ **********
Net-TuneCentral is software that transforms your computer into a music server. It
enables you to transmit streaming music in WAV, MP3 and WMA formats from your computer's
hard drive to other Net-Tune devices on the local area network (LAN).

Net-TuneCentral will automatically search your hard drive for supported audio
formats. You may then edit the song information (such as artist, album, genre, etc.)
and create custom playlists on your PC for easy playback of your favorites
from remote rooms.

************************************************************ **********
Contents.
************************************************************ **********
A. System Hardware Requirements
B. Installing the Software
C. Uninstalling the Software
D. Acrobat(R) Reader
************************************************************ **********

A. System Hardware Requirements

OS - Windows(R)98SE/ME
- Windows(R)2000/XP**
CPU - Pentium(R)IV, 600MHz or faster
Memory - Windows(R)98SE/ME, 128MB minimum
- Windows(R)2000/XP, 256MB minimum
Display - High Color, 800x600 or higher resolution

** You must have adminstrative rights to install on Windows(R)2000/XP systems.

Hard Drive
20MB or more free space to install software
- For audio data in MP3 format, you will need an extimated 1MB for each
minute of music to be stored on the computer's hard drive.
- Exact hard drive requirements will depend on the music formats (MP3 or WMA)
and the bitrates used in the compression process.

B. Installing the Software

Please follow the instructions below to ensure proper installation of the
Net-TuneCentral software.

1. Create a folder to store the downloaded setup file.
ex: C\\My Documents\\Ntcsetup

2. Download the setup file from our company web site into this folder.

3. Simply double click the self-extracting setup file to install the
following files into this folder:
setup.exe, setup.ini, Net-Tune Central setup.msi,
InstMsiA.exe, InstMsiW.exe, readme.txt, NTC_Install.pdf

4. Double click to run the setup.exe

5. follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

C. Uninstalling the Software

Please follow the instructions below to completely remove the Net-TuneCentral
program from your computer.

1. Confirm that Net-Tune Central isn't currently running. Do this by looking
for the Net-Tune icon in the taskbar near the clock. On Windows(R) XP
systems, you may have to click the arrow to "un-hide" some of the icons.
If you do not see the icon, proceed to step two below. If it is running,
right-click the icon and select "Quit." The window that appears alerts
you that all clients will be disconnected if you exit the program. Select
"Yes" and proceed to step two below.

2. Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel to launch the Windows(R) Control
Panel. Choose "Add or Remove Programs" from the Control Panel.

3. Click on "Remove" then "Yes" in the window that appears to completely
uninstall the Net-TuneCentral application. Your music files will not be
deleted from your computer, only the server application will be removed.

D. Acrobat(R) Reader
NTC_Install.pdf is in PDF (Portable Document Format) and can be viewed and
printed using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html

-------------------------------------------------------------------
* Pentium is a trademark of Intel Corporation
* Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
* Acrobat(R) Reader copyright (c) 2001 Adobe Systems Incorporated.
@All rights reserved.
* Net-Tune and Net-TuneCentral are trademarks of ONKYO Corporation.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, and enjoy your new PC audio server, compliments of ONKYO's Net-Tune system.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-11-2003, 09:02 AM
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Andrew,

Understood that Onkyo's focus is on hardware but it is pretty pathetic when a company like Onkyo cannot come up with something a little more feature rich and usable than the GUI that works with the current hardware.

Having said that, they should have incorporated a third-party software in with the product if "software" is not their business.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-11-2003, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by misteralex
Having said that, they should have incorporated a third-party software in with the product if "software" is not their business.
They should at least publish the protocol so we could write our own software. Or maybe assign the software to a high school "introduction to programming" course. They could only improve on what Onkyo has done.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 10:07 AM
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They should take it a step further and put net tune out as open source. total jump start and they would wind up with at least a couple nice apps for minimal effort. But I'm sure they will never do this because they think they have some secret sauce or something. haha hoho...

Phil
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