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post #1 of 17 Old 09-03-2016, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Plea to Yamaha - Add Search to Musiccast

This thread has one purpose only - to get Yamaha to overcome a massive drawback to their Musiccast streaming music system by adding a search function to the app (the app is the only way to use the system). Please join in if you want to support that purpose, have an opinion about it, or work for Yamaha and want to respond.

Musiccast is a potentially very appealing alternative to Sonos or other home audio streaming systems. In theory it does everything Sonos does and Yamaha offers a sweet line-up of hardware which, pre-bundled with Musiccast, can stream files in a multi-room setting.

Even better -- and this is what caused me to buy the Yamaha R-N602 stereo receiver with Musiccast -- the higher end receivers play high-resolution audio files, including flac up to 24/192 and native DSD files. Effectively, this makes the receivers and pre-pros with Musiccast a killer app, combining high-res playback (via Sabre 32 bit DACs) with whole-house streaming and sonically solid construction. Sonos is way behind on all of these fronts. Their hardware is fine but never close to audiophile. And they've belligerently refused to try and handle high-resolution files. That was fine 5 or 6 years ago, but it' a major PITA today for many of us who have growing collections of high-resolution files. We can't play them on Sonos, and Sonos is leaving us out in the cold, even as the market for downloading hi-res files takes off.

So you'd think Musiccast would be a big hit with customers like me -- early adopters of streaming technology who are really into digitial music streaming and have home servers.

But here's the massive, and unthinkably thoughtless, part of the Musiccast implementation: The only way to access your files is by browsing. You can not search them. That's so hard to believe in 2016, I feel compelled to repeat: You can't search for your files using Musiccast.

That means for someone like me, with 3,000 digital albums and 45,000 files, I have to go through folders or the artist/album index. I can't pop in the name of a song and find it right away.

This is such a horrible deficit, it never occurred to me when purchasing a Musiccast system to even explore if it had search. I mean, who builds anything without search? My Sonos system, in use since 2006, has always had search, and it is the number one way we (and all friends who drop by and use it) access music.

For that matter, even clunky UPNP servers have search.

What on earth was Yamaha thinking - and how quickly can they fix this?

I was really excited to do a comparison of my new Musiccast receiver to my Sonos set-up. Just to explore this, I bought the R-N602 receiver and was willing to buy a second Musiccast device. The prospect of a unified system for all my files, including hi-resolution, had me hoping for a winner from Yamaha.

I'm still hoping, but without a search function, there's no way I can even put Yamaha up against Sonos. It's falling down right out of the gate.

"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-03-2016, 01:51 PM
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Hi

Please bear with my ignorance, as I don't own a MusicCast supporting device, but aren't they all able to access music files from bog standard UPnP/DLNA media servers (so including those that support UPnP Search)?

The UPnP Search mechanism is an interaction between the UPnP/DLNA controller (aka control point) app and the UPnP/DLNA media server and nothing to do with the UPnP/DLNA music file streamer/renderer/player device. So, presumably what you're are asking for is the MusicCast (control point) app itself to support UPnP Search, is that correct?

Of course all of this implies you are using a UPnP/DLNA media server that supports UPnP Search in the first place, eg the excellent music dedicated MinimServer:
http://minimserver.com/ug-other.html#UPnP%20Search

What UPnP/DLNA media server application are you using to stream music files from with the Yamaha and its controller app?

Do the MusicCast devices also support being controlled by UPnP/DLNA control point apps?
This would allow you control them with one that supports UPnP Search (eg the highly rated BubbleUPnP Android app), while you are waiting for Yamaha to implement UPnP Search in the MusicCast app.

Last edited by Cebolla; 09-03-2016 at 01:56 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-03-2016, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
Hi

Please bear with my ignorance, as I don't own a MusicCast supporting device, but aren't they all able to access music files from bog standard UPnP/DLNA media servers (so including those that support UPnP Search)?

The UPnP Search mechanism is an interaction between the UPnP/DLNA controller (aka control point) app and the UPnP/DLNA media server and nothing to do with the UPnP/DLNA music file streamer/renderer/player device. So, presumably what you're are asking for is the MusicCast (control point) app itself to support UPnP Search, is that correct?

Of course all of this implies you are using a UPnP/DLNA media server that supports UPnP Search in the first place, eg the excellent music dedicated MinimServer:
http://minimserver.com/ug-other.html#UPnP%20Search

What UPnP/DLNA media server application are you using to stream music files from with the Yamaha and its controller app?

Do the MusicCast devices also support being controlled by UPnP/DLNA control point apps?
This would allow you control them with one that supports UPnP Search (eg the highly rated BubbleUPnP Android app), while you are waiting for Yamaha to implement UPnP Search in the MusicCast app.
I don't know the technical answer to your question but Musiccast is different from a standard controller app for a home theater receiver. My Marantz controller app -- and previous Onkyo app -- offered access to any UPnP/DLNA servers on my network, and I have tried several. I have one running now on my MyCloudMirror which I can access from the Marantz App on my iPhone, for example, and I can also access the UPnP server from the MediaMonkey app on my Android tablet.

But I don't get any UPnP/DNLA stated options with the Musiccast app -- it just gives an option to access my "Media Servers."

Now, for all I know, it's accessing them via or as UPnP/DNLA. But regardless of what it's doing, there ain't no search on the Musiccast app, and that's the problem. It's designed to compete with Sonos. Sonos has a great search, built from an index it creates on a set schedule.

"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-05-2016, 12:18 PM
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What I don't understand is why you can't make do at least for now (until Yamaha fixes the lack of search in the MusicCast app) by using a decent (third party) UPnP/DLNA controller which does support UPnP Search, such as the excellent BubbleUPnP Android controller app I mentioned earlier, with the R-N602?

I've had a look on the DLNA device search site to see if the R-N602 has been certified as a DLNA device and it certainly has:
http://certification.dlna.org/certs/REG35348277.pdf

The R-N602 is classified as a Digital Media Player (DMP) device, which means it can access & play music files from UPnP/DLNA media servers, using its own controls - so this would include when its being controlled with its own Yamaha provided MusicCast app.
However, more importantly perhaps, it is also classified as a Digital Media Renderer (DMR) device, which means it can be controlled with any (ie a third party) UPnP/DLNA controller app to access and play music files from UPnP/DLNA media servers.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-05-2016, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
What I don't understand is why you can't make do at least for now (until Yamaha fixes the lack of search in the MusicCast app) by using a decent (third party) UPnP/DLNA controller which does support UPnP Search, such as the excellent BubbleUPnP Android controller app I mentioned earlier, with the R-N602?

I've had a look on the DLNA device search site to see if the R-N602 has been certified as a DLNA device and it certainly has:
http://certification.dlna.org/certs/REG35348277.pdf

The R-N602 is classified as a Digital Media Player (DMP) device, which means it can access & play music files from UPnP/DLNA media servers, using its own controls - so this would include when its being controlled with its own Yamaha provided MusicCast app.
However, more importantly perhaps, it is also classified as a Digital Media Renderer (DMR) device, which means it can be controlled with any (ie a third party) UPnP/DLNA controller app to access and play music files from UPnP/DLNA media servers.
All good info (and I use a number of third-party solutions - the MediaMonkey app for instance works great on my Android tablet, and it pulls all my MM data).

But Musiccast is a whole-house audio system like Sonos. That's the appeal. If you've never used a seamlessly integrated, whole-house digital system, this all might seem a mystery.

If you've used one, you will agree - what on God's green earth was Yamaha thinking, trying to market this system without an internal search function?

I want to at least consider Musiccast as a whole house solution, so again, please, Yamaha, add the usability 101 feature.

"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-05-2016, 04:26 PM
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Can't the playback output of one of the MusicCast devices be directed to any of the other MusicCast devices, regardless of the input? So, for example couldn't you use the third party app to get the R-N602 to play (ie via its UPnP/DLNA DMR input) your searched music and use the MusicCast feature to redirect its output to the multiroom selected MusicCast devices?

Or can't MusicCast be used that way?

Last edited by Cebolla; 09-05-2016 at 04:36 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-19-2016, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
Can't the playback output of one of the MusicCast devices be directed to any of the other MusicCast devices, regardless of the input? So, for example couldn't you use the third party app to get the R-N602 to play (ie via its UPnP/DLNA DMR input) your searched music and use the MusicCast feature to redirect its output to the multiroom selected MusicCast devices?

Or can't MusicCast be used that way?
Yes, it can be used that way - but there's no searched output, since the Multicast app has no search.

"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-19-2016, 02:25 PM
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From your reply I don't think you understood.

What I was saying is you first use another app, a UPnP/DLNA controller app, (such as the BubbleUPnP app I mentioned - so not the MultiCast app), that does support music track searching of your music file library (from a UPnP/DLNA media server), to do your playlist building and control the R-N602 (since it is a DLNA Digital Media Renderer) for playback of that playlist.

Once you've got the R-N602, as a DLNA DMR, playing the music (you've already searched for) with the UPnP/DLNA controller app, you then use the MultiCast app to redirect R-N602's output to whatever other MultiCast supporting Yamaha devices you want to share its output with to get in-sync multiroom. Of course, only if that's possible.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-21-2016, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post
From your reply I don't think you understood.

What I was saying is you first use another app, a UPnP/DLNA controller app, (such as the BubbleUPnP app I mentioned - so not the MultiCast app), that does support music track searching of your music file library (from a UPnP/DLNA media server), to do your playlist building and control the R-N602 (since it is a DLNA Digital Media Renderer) for playback of that playlist.

Once you've got the R-N602, as a DLNA DMR, playing the music (you've already searched for) with the UPnP/DLNA controller app, you then use the MultiCast app to redirect R-N602's output to whatever other MultiCast supporting Yamaha devices you want to share its output with to get in-sync multiroom. Of course, only if that's possible.
Makes sense and that would be a viable if somewhat clunky solution for one Yamaha player. But Multicast is sold as a multi-room system that allows you to use one controller/app to play music on multiple players (or speakers) in the system, as Sonos does. This can only be done through the Musiccast app. A standalone UPnP/DLNA controller app is not going to play Musiccast across multiple Yamaha components.

For that matter, it's pretty damning if the only good way to use the Musiccast media server app, even for just one player, is to use another media server app.

Anyway, my sincere interest with this thread is not to trash Yamaha but to encourage them to improve the Musiccast app by giving it search capability. I assume this could be done with some kind of perodically scheduled indexing function -- that's how Sonos does it, creating a regularly scheduled index of all of the music in a digital collection. This way the controller app can search quickly and work more or less on the fly.

Dear Yamaha: As you continue to roll out new Musiccast hardware, please please please spend some time on the software, so we can use your hardware.

"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-23-2016, 11:28 AM
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I too can't believe there's no search function available using MusicCast. I tried MusicCast but I think it's really bad. The server function is so clunky, it is not even workable. Browsing your music library hosted on a dlna server using the MusicCast app is unbelievable slow. There are no shortcuts to letters in the alphabet.
I don't think I ever saw an app worse than this one...

Best regards,
Dennis.

Last edited by verypsb; 10-23-2016 at 12:23 PM.
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-07-2017, 11:12 AM
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MusicCast also needs a search facility for podcasts. I've not discovered a way of finding my favourites.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-17-2017, 08:24 AM
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Yamaha claim they will release new firmware containing Amazon Alexa support and a new Skill for Musiccast this fall. For the Alexa voice interaction to be at all usable the new Musiccast would IMO have to include search capability. While I suppose Yamaha could provide search for Alexa users and not for their iOS and Android apps, I should think they would take a major version change such as this as an opportunity to provide it. However, since corporate stupidity knows no bounds sometimes, I'm waiting to see the new release before taking the plunge and buying the WXA-50 I've been eyeing.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-11-2017, 12:30 AM
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Search is still missing. I'm using Illustrate's Assest DLNA server for my library running on a Windows Home Server 2011 which nice and fast to use with Musiccast. I typically listen to whole albums rather than generate a queue of random tracks so I don't find it too bad to navigate to the album I'm looking for. Asset does support search because I can use search from Windows media player & Foobar on my Android device so just need Yamaha to implement it.

Apart from search the other missing feature is desktop MusicCast apps for Windows and Mac. I work from home so typically use MusicCast with my WXAD-10 to my powered desktop monitors and at present have an old iPad mini dedicated to the job but it would be nice to use a desktop app from my PC.

I went with Musiccast as I have a RX-A3060 in my home theatre and liked it from there and it was much cheaper than a Sonos solution. I bought the WXAD-10 to play with multi room as it was quite cheap and I really like it. I'm thinking of getting a WXC-50 for the lounge room to hook up to the Denon 3312 & Epos 303's there and a YAS-306 for the bedroom to upgrade the TV speakers & add Musiccast.

Lets hope the upcoming October update that adds Alexa support, RTI and URC IP-based home-control systems and new remote monitoring & management capabilities for MusicCast devices adds a search function.
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-15-2017, 05:28 PM
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Hi, I have a Yamaha MusicCast WXC-50, and I would like to know where to get the latest news from Yamaha concerning future firmware updates.
I don't know if I'm doing something wrong but I'm not about to seek through tracks with it. Does any one know how to do that?
There also seems to be a bug with the Bluetooth. When the Bluetooth transmission is turned off or when the unit is placed in Standby, it seems the WCX-50 is still sending off some kinda corrupt bluetooth signal and the previously connect headphone goes into a loop connecting and disconnecting until the MusicCast bluetooth is completely disabled or the MusicCast is completely powered off.
And yes a search feature would be very helpful However the work around for this is to use BubbleUpnP instead of the MusicCast app.
Other issues that need to be addressed
Can't sort albums by Album Artist.
When the MusicCast is set to Preamp mode , everything is resampled to 48khz.
The Bluetooth doesn't support AptX
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-18-2017, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy Bad View Post
Hi, I have a Yamaha MusicCast WXC-50, and I would like to know where to get the latest news from Yamaha concerning future firmware updates.
I don't know if I'm doing something wrong but I'm not about to seek through tracks with it. Does any one know how to do that?
There also seems to be a bug with the Bluetooth. When the Bluetooth transmission is turned off or when the unit is placed in Standby, it seems the WCX-50 is still sending off some kinda corrupt bluetooth signal and the previously connect headphone goes into a loop connecting and disconnecting until the MusicCast bluetooth is completely disabled or the MusicCast is completely powered off.
And yes a search feature would be very helpful However the work around for this is to use BubbleUpnP instead of the MusicCast app.
Other issues that need to be addressed
Can't sort albums by Album Artist.
When the MusicCast is set to Preamp mode , everything is resampled to 48khz.
The Bluetooth doesn't support AptX
Thank you very much for the tip about BubbleUPnP. I have now managed to stream a podcast file from its location downloaded to by AntennaPod to my WX-010s and it appears that I can use the MusicCast app to link to a device in another room. The quality is so much better than BlueTooth streaming.

We still really need a proper podcast search function in MusicCast to stream direct.
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post #16 of 17 Old Today, 06:48 AM
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I too was absolutely floored to see there is still no search. This truly does make a server-based music collection of any size so unwieldy as to be unworkable.

So, I'd like to put a finer point on it: I'd not only like to see a search function-I'd like it to function as iTunes search does: if the user types a string of characters, it isn't necessary to specify if you're searching for an artist, an album, a track, etc. Search will find ALL examples of that string, and present the results in those categories.

This, along with the ability to easily add results to a playlist, would make this an extremely powerful feature. Come on, Yamaha, you have the resources to make this happen!
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post #17 of 17 Old Today, 05:02 PM
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I've recently tested a few different DLNA servers. And it really makes a big difference to which server you use. The server dictates which view you get to navigate the server. Originally I tried using Plex, navigation was OK but media playback support was terrible and I switched to Asset. Asset is a audio only DLNA server, simple to install and has an excellent default navigation view. For example if I browse artists I get a "All Artists" first then tiles for each letter of the alphabet so it's quick to drill down to the artist I want to find. Same with Albums. I also tested JRiver Media Center which is very powerful and also lets you customise the server views to your liking. I liked JRiver but I don't need video and photo support so it was a bit heavy and I preferred Asset's default views. Asset is by the same guys as dB
poweramp.

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/asset-upnp-dlna.htm
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