or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming › *Official* Pioneer N-50 Network Audio Player Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

*Official* Pioneer N-50 Network Audio Player Thread - Page 8

post #211 of 301
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.
post #212 of 301
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

 

I too have never been able to see the artwork from any file formats (FLAC, MP3, WMA) using a USB drive input on my N-30 but copies of those same files show the artwork without problem when read through the network. 

 

Not a big deal as I always use the Music Server input but it's always struck me as strange why the cover art isn't shown when using USB.

post #213 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by mseve1 View Post

I too have never been able to see the artwork from any file formats (FLAC, MP3, WMA) using a USB drive input on my N-30 but copies of those same files show the artwork without problem when read through the network. 

Not a big deal as I always use the Music Server input but it's always struck me as strange why the cover art isn't shown when using USB.

I played around with it shortly after my original post. I tested with purchase MP3, AAC, and FLAC, as well as files I ripped myself. The only file that displayed artwork was an MP3 purchased from Amazon. I checked the resolution of the jpegs to see if that would give me a clue, but IIRC, the one that worked was 800 x 600, and one that did not work was also 800 x 600. At that point I said the heck with it...I can't see the artwork from my couch anyway. :-)
post #214 of 301
I've ripped my CD's to an external 1TB hard drive that is connected to a DNLA ready NETGEAR N900 router. I copied them as WAV files since it is lossless (plus artwork!) and had no issues getting everything up and running via wireless...and I swear it sounds MUCH better than CD. Very happy!
post #215 of 301
Hi do you have an Idea how to change list of tracks of each Albums listed on N-50 from alphabetical order to real order stored on NAS?
post #216 of 301
Well, I have realized the order of a tracks is related to Server application running either on laptop or directly on NAS. MinimServer application running on laptop is ok, just Twonky Media server running on NAS Zyxel 310 has wrong track order. Does anybody know if it is possible to change Twonky for differen ervert application on NAS Zyxel?
post #217 of 301
Hi again, Micmic. Yes, it's got nothing to do with the N-50, as it just displays what its is given by the particular UPnP/DLNA server. You didn't mention you were thinking of using a NAS in your previous posts, otherwise I would have advised using one that you can run Minimserver on, such as Synology, QNAP & Netgear ReadyNAS. I'm afraid I don't know how to configure Twonky and can only suggest researching a solution on a Twonky forum. Installing the latest version of Twonky might help, if you haven't already and are able to do so.

Also, as a last resort,you could try changing the track file names by prefixing them with '01 ' for the first track, '02 ' for the second one and so on this should get Twonky to order them according to track number if it's using the file name for ordering. If its using the track name tag to do the ordering, you can do something similar to edit these, with a file music data tag editor, such as the free Mp3tag software for Windows.
post #218 of 301
Hi Cebolla
yes, my fault, but the price of Zyxel NAS was very low smile.gif; thanks for suggestion and answer. Twonky support in not working so I am gonna rename the tracks.Regards
post #219 of 301
Just curious if anyone paired their n50 with a vortexbox and did it work?
post #220 of 301
No sorry, I haven't tried. By 'pairing', do you mean network streaming to the N-50 from the Vortexbox being used a UPnP/DLNA server or using the N-50 as a DAC for the Vortexbox being used as a player?
post #221 of 301
I've been investigating buying a DAC/Networked Audio Player for a little while. The professional reviews of the N-50 are largely positive. But of course I come to AVS and get bigger down in several pages of gapless playback and other stuff.

I've come to the realization after a long time of investigation that DLNA is a useful, but ultimately crappy standard. I'm amazed that some of the media player vendors ever get these things to work properly. I've never seen one on any of my servers I really wanted to live with. Yes, some of the programmers trying to support the standard really need to be in a different line of work. But I'm not convinced that I could get one working enough to unleash it to my wife and kids.

Yes, I use iTunes...so sue me. Right now, my main iTunes server is a Windows 2008 R2 box in my house and it's pretty stable. Not that it doesn't have challenges...a Mac would be better in this application for video but for audio the Win box (an elderly Dell server) works pretty reliably. What I'm understanding about months of chatter about the N-50 is that it's probably a better iTunes or PC/MAC USB playback machine than it is a DLNA streamer. Since I could care less about DLNA right now, I'm not as put off for some of those limitations.

I also don't have high resolution downloaded music yet (I still have some SACDs and DVD-Audios I pull out from time to time). I'm curious about buying high res music but I haven't had much time to investigate. And does this player still have an issue playing back stuff at 176.2 kHz (DLNA or USB)?

If I took the plunge on this, I think the logical next step for me would be to just transfer my iTunes library (music, not video) to a Mac Mini whose sole job is music server duty. The Mac could play music directly to the N-50's USB, bypassing Airplay streaming which would allow me to buy/rip high res music. There are mods you can buy for iTunes to store/play high res music.

The N-50 may not be perfect. But I still don't see anything else that does what it does within spitting distance of its price. And for that, I may be able to put up with a few flaws.

Am I off-base?
post #222 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

I've come to the realization after a long time of investigation that DLNA is a useful, but ultimately crappy standard. I'm amazed that some of the media player vendors ever get these things to work properly. I've never seen one on any of my servers I really wanted to live with. Yes, some of the programmers trying to support the standard really need to be in a different line of work. But I'm not convinced that I could get one working enough to unleash it to my wife and kids..
I believe the DLNA spec, if implemented fully, is actually quite sound as a technology. It's main problem is that it allows the manufacturers and their developers the freedom to pick and choose the parts of it they can (cheaply) support and still allow them to claim seemingly full implementation of the standard. Marketing then takes over, which together with a rushed unfinished product in terms of its software/firmware and the usual poor software design pratices that comes with 'computer' devices, results in the justified user gripes when expectations aren't fulfilled. It's about time these so called hi-fi manufacturers concentrated on software as much as they do on hardware, before their products hit the streets. Leaving it to countless firmware & software updates to sort out the shortfall is just not good enough.

If you really want to see how UPnP/DLNA should be implemented, have a look at the stuff the independent software developers are producing, mostly available for free. For example, try out turning a Windows machine (even that ancient Dell server of yours) into a full blown gapless supporting UPnP/DLNA renderer by installing the free excellent Foobar2000 music player and adding the free foo_UPnP plugin component. Certainly none of the usual purpose built streamer problems controlling its music playback when using a decent gapless supporting UPnP/DLNA control point, eg, the BubbleUPnP controller app for Android.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

What I'm understanding about months of chatter about the N-50 is that it's probably a better iTunes or PC/MAC USB playback machine than it is a DLNA streamer. Since I could care less about DLNA right now, I'm not as put off for some of those limitations.
No, the N-50's (& N-30's) only problem with DLNA network streaming is that you have to use its own rather basic, but completely functional, control app (or remote control / buttions on the box) for gapless playback to work. It certainly has no other 'non-cosmetic' issues when being used as a UPnP/DLNA renderer by a good UPnP/DLNA controller. Personally, I use the Pioneer controlapp for straight foward album playback (as well as non DLNA streaming functions, eg, internet radio) and the BubbleUPnP control point app for all other mixed playlist DLNA steaming, both apps accessing the same DLNA server and run from my Android phone.

The important thing is to use a decent UPnP/DLNA server, which for someone using a Windows server box for their media libraries is very easy to do, as you can install media server software such as the free MinimServer, Asset UPnP or even Foobar2000 with the foo_UPnP plugin (comes with UPnP/DLNA server & control point, as well a renderer). Whatever DLNA sever you end up using, make sure it's one that's music friendly, eg, not the Windows built in WMC/WMP DLNA server.

Also, if by 'better', you are actually talking about sound quality, there are some who are saying that the N-50 actually sounds better as a network streamer than it does when used a USB DAC. Personally, I can't tell the difference and suspect that if someone does, it's probably due to a difference in the quality of the source components or more likely an actual technical problem with them, rather than the N-50 itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

I also don't have high resolution downloaded music yet (I still have some SACDs and DVD-Audios I pull out from time to time). I'm curious about buying high res music but I haven't had much time to investigate. And does this player still have an issue playing back stuff at 176.2 kHz (DLNA or USB)?

If I took the plunge on this, I think the logical next step for me would be to just transfer my iTunes library (music, not video) to a Mac Mini whose sole job is music server duty. The Mac could play music directly to the N-50's USB, bypassing Airplay streaming which would allow me to buy/rip high res music. There are mods you can buy for iTunes to store/play high res music.

The N-50 may not be perfect. But I still don't see anything else that does what it does within spitting distance of its price. And for that, I may be able to put up with a few flaws.

Am I off-base?
The only input with a sampling rate problem, and specifically with 176.4 kHz, is the N-50's async USB DAC input. None of the other inputs have this problem, ie, including DLNA network streaming of FLAC & WAV files. Since you are already using a Windows PC as a media server, it may be worth trying one of those UPnP/DLNA servers first, before getting yourself that Mac Mini and tethering the N-50 as DAC to it.

Certainly agree with you about the N-50's value for money, unbelievable bargain especially at ~$450 or less for you guys in the US!
Edited by Cebolla - 12/6/13 at 4:31am
post #223 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

I believe the DLNA spec, if implemented fully, is actually quite sound as a technology. It's main problem is that it allows the manufacturers and their developers the freedom to pick and choose the parts of it they can (cheaply) support and still allow them to claim seemingly full implementation of the standard. Marketing then takes over, which together with a rushed unfinished product in terms of its software/firmware and the usual poor software design pratices that comes with 'computer' devices, results in the justified user gripes when expectations aren't fulfilled. It's about time these so called hi-fi manufacturers concentrated on software as much as they do on hardware, before their products hit the streets. Leaving it to countless firmware & software updates to sort out the shortfall is just not good enough.

And that's the problem...a standard is supposed to be a common group of rules that everyone does. And every time I've tried DLNA, the fact that it never seems to "just work" without some amount of grief is frustrating to be sure. I've grown too old and too busy with my time to get caught in the weeds of extensive home tech support. And yes, Apple spoils you rotten. There was some grumbling among the audiophile community when it took a special custom licensed chip from Apple in order to provide Airplay audio streaming to a third party product. The advantage is that "it just works". The Denon X-2000 receiver that I bought this year has never given me a problem streaming music of any sort when I ask iTunes to play through it and I use Apple's Remote player for that.
Quote:
If you really want to see how UPnP/DLNA should be implemented, have a look at the stuff the independent software developers are producing, mostly available for free. For example, try out turning a Windows machine (even that ancient Dell server of yours) into a full blown gapless supporting UPnP/DLNA renderer by installing the free excellent Foobar2000 music player and adding the free foo_UPnP plugin component. Certainly none of the usual purpose built streamer problems controlling its music playback when using a decent gapless supporting UPnP/DLNA control point, eg, the BubbleUPnP controller app for Android.
No, the N-50's (& N-30's) only problem with DLNA network streaming is that you have to use its own rather basic, but completely functional, control app (or remote control / buttions on the box) for gapless playback to work. It certainly has no other 'non-cosmetic' issues when being used as a UPnP/DLNA renderer by a good UPnP/DLNA controller. Personally, I use the Pioneer controlapp for straight foward album playback (as well as non DLNA streaming functions, eg, internet radio) and the BubbleUPnP control point app for all other mixed playlist DLNA steaming, both apps accessing the same DLNA server and run from my Android phone.

Third party app controllers in general vary widely in quality. Denon's receiver controller isn't great either but it's functional and now works in general after several bug fixes. As for DLNA, I've dabbled in PS3 Media Player, using Plex for this purpose and a few others. None of these have had the stability, quality or ease of use that matches iTunes and the Remote app. And although Foobar2000 looks interesting, the biggest problem I see is that there doesn't seem to be ALAC support (not sure why, the standard was freely published by Apple a while ago) and 95% of my music in my iTunes library was ripped to ALAC....I'm not doing this all over again for FLAC.
Quote:
The important thing is to use a decent UPnP/DLNA server, which for someone using a Windows server box for their media libraries is very easy to do, as you can install media server software such as the free MinimServer, Asset UPnP or even Foobar2000 with the foo_UPnP plugin (comes with UPnP/DLNA server & control point, as well a renderer). Whatever DLNA sever you end up using, make sure it's one that's music friendly, eg, not the Windows built in WMC/WMP DLNA server.

Also, if by 'better', you are actually talking about sound quality, there are some who are saying that the N-50 actually sounds better as a network streamer than it does when used a USB DAC. Personally, I can't tell the difference and suspect that if someone does, it's probably due to a difference in the quality of the source components or more likely an actual technical problem with them, rather than the N-50 itself.
The only input with a sampling rate problem, and specifically with 176.4 kHz, is the N-50's async USB DAC input. None of the other inputs do, ie, including DLNA network streaming. Since you are already using a Windows PC as a media server, it may be worth trying one of those UPnP/DLNA servers first, before getting yourself that Mac Mini and tethering the N-50 as DAC to it.

Certainly agree with you about the N-50's value for money, unbelievable bargain especially at ~$450 or less for you guys in the US!

I'm interested in the comments about using it as a network streamer versus a USB DAC. I don't want to discount the person who commented on it. But there are many reasons why that may have happened. And nobody around here has tried it on a Mac (easy for me to test).

Again, about $500-$600 on the street is very attractive for this price point. Of course, I could spend the same money on a new Oppo BDC-103 for my main home theater (instead of my two channel room which is the topic of this discussion). For the sake of this discussion, I might not care about getting the N-50 if I had a better transport device for my music...here's the setup.

Soundwave (Vero Research) Grand Soliloquy tower speakers
Audible Illusions Modulus 3 tube pre-amp
McCormack DNA 0.5 solid-state amp
Oppo Digital 970H Universal player (not Blu-Ray)
Apple Airport Express (third generation)

Most of my audio rig is old school goodness from nearly 20 years ago. But I don't sling CDs anymore (they are in a box) and I only use the Oppo for SACDs and DVD-Audio. That leaves the Airport as the primary music source and the Modulus pre-amp is analog only, forcing me to depend on the Airport as a DAC. It's serviceable but I'm pretty sure I can do better. If I had a modern transport with Airplay built in (like the Oppo BDP-105, I might not even care about a separate DAC right now but I don't. The alternative is to buy a dedicated DAC from someone else and have the Airport feed it through Toslink. That would work nicely too but nobody seems to offer a DAC that supports anything over 24bit/96khz at this price point, and I'd like to have some future-proofing built into this solution.
post #224 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

Third party app controllers in general vary widely in quality. Denon's receiver controller isn't great either but it's functional and now works in general after several bug fixes. As for DLNA, I've dabbled in PS3 Media Player, using Plex for this purpose and a few others. None of these have had the stability, quality or ease of use that matches iTunes and the Remote app. And although Foobar2000 looks interesting, the biggest problem I see is that there doesn't seem to be ALAC support (not sure why, the standard was freely published by Apple a while ago) and 95% of my music in my iTunes library was ripped to ALAC....I'm not doing this all over again for FLAC.
Like I say, have a go at the BubbleUPnP app with one of those UPnP/DLNA servers I've mentioned. Things have certainly improved wrt to DLNA support and remember proprietary control apps are not necessarily using any form of UPnP/DLNA. For example, I know that the Pioneer control app is just a substitute for its remote control, sending navigational & N-50 function selection commands & receiving UI feedback only to/from the N-50, via telnet - not a hint of UPnP protocol usage to directly access the DLNA server nor anything else!

Fb2k does support ALAC. I don't use ALAC, but I did try Fb2k once with a hires192kHz ALAC sample file among others to test foo_UPnP's transcoding abilities to WAV. The confusion might be that its documentation refers to its support of the .m4a container file, which of course can contain either ALAC files or AAC files created by iTunes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

That leaves the Airport as the primary music source and the Modulus pre-amp is analog only, forcing me to depend on the Airport as a DAC. It's serviceable but I'm pretty sure I can do better. If I had a modern transport with Airplay built in (like the Oppo BDP-105, I might not even care about a separate DAC right now but I don't. The alternative is to buy a dedicated DAC from someone else and have the Airport feed it through Toslink. That would work nicely too but nobody seems to offer a DAC that supports anything over 24bit/96khz at this price point, and I'd like to have some future-proofing built into this solution.
Don't forget the N-50 supports AirPlay too, so it should certainly be an improvement over the AE and most likely give the Oppo 105 a decent challenge. Also, unlike the Oppo 105, it doesn't require special beta firmware and the TV switched on for gapless playback over DLNA.
Edited by Cebolla - 12/6/13 at 8:36am
post #225 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

Like I say, have a go at the BubbleUPnP app with one of those UPnP/DLNA servers I've mentioned. Things have certainly improved wrt to DLNA support and remember proprietary control apps are not necessarily using any form of UPnP/DLNA. For example, I know that the Pioneer control app is just a substitute for its remote control, sending navigational & N-50 function selection commands & receiving UI feedback only to/from the N-50, via telnet - not a hint of UPnP protocol usage to directly access the DLNA server nor anything else!

I'll look into it.
Quote:
Fb2k does support ALAC. I don't use ALAC, but I did try Fb2k once with a hires192kHz ALAC sample file among others to test foo_UPnP's transcoding abilities to WAV. The confusion might be that its documentation refers to its support of the .m4a container file, which of course can contain either ALAC files or AAC files created by iTunes.
Don't forget the N-50 supports AirPlay too, so it should certainly be an improvement over the AE and most likely give the Oppo 105 a decent challenge. Also, unlike the Oppo 105, it doesn't require special beta firmware and the TV switched on for gapless playback over DLNA.

Ah, yes I was expecting to see "ALAC" in the list of formats. I'll take you word for it. Where did you acquire the hi-res ALAC sample? [EDIT: Duh, from Linn's website]

And yes, I know that the Pioneer needs to have the Apple chip to say it supports Airplay (or else Apple will have a big problem). This makes things easier ... using the N-50 would be no different than using my Denon X-2000 in my other home theater room. The Oppo BDP-105 is very nice (not an upsampling DAC though) but unless I get Blu-Ray music anytime soon, I don't need it in my two channel living room that doesn't have a TV monitor (heck the Audible Illusions pre-amp doesn't have a remote...you have to get up off your @ss to change the volume! Old skool...
post #226 of 301
Tell me about it, Rick. I'm old enough to remember having to get up to switch channels on the TV and my poor old uncle's use of a 'remote control' that doubled up as 6 foot garden cane!
post #227 of 301
BTW, did someone earlier say you couldn't stream hires files via Airplay? There's nothing preventing it, unless you are outputting to a Toslink connection. If the connection is analog or HDMI, it streams just fine.
post #228 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

No sorry, I haven't tried. By 'pairing', do you mean network streaming to the N-50 from the Vortexbox being used a UPnP/DLNA server or using the N-50 as a DAC for the Vortexbox being used as a player?

I believe the answer is yes. Currently I use a squeezebox touch to control the vortexbox. For a second system I was considering the n50 but wasn't sure if that too could be used in the same way I'm using the touch today.
post #229 of 301
Ok in which case you'll be using the N-50 as UPnP/DLNA streamer with the Vortexbox as its UPnP/DLNA server. The operation should be similar to using the SBT, so you use a controller app on Android or iOS device to select the tracks from the music library maintained by the Vortexbox, to then stream to the N-50. However unlike the SBT there's no touch screen to use as alternative to the control app, but you can use the supplied remote control & the N-50's built in screen. Also, connection to the network by WiFi requires a seperate Pioneer wireless adapter, so most connect either by ethernet cable or using powerline homeplug network adapters (cheaper than the wireless adapter and usually more realiable than using WiFi)

I've yet to find any prblems with the N-50 playing back music files supplied to it by a media server, so long as it supports UPnP/DLNA. If there's any issue when using an unfamiliar UPnP/DLNA supporting media server, it's usually not liking the way it organises the music library. However, since you've already been using it with the SBT, you should already know what to expect.
Edited by Cebolla - 12/6/13 at 6:54pm
post #230 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifimacbook View Post



Here is the schematic of my setup. The Freebox does not route but only modem.
So, anybody have an idea for my malfunction?

I think your have two DHCP servers providing IP addresses. In that case, the Airport BaseStation should be configured in "Bridge" Mode (i.e. only a wifi access point)
post #231 of 301
Hi All,

I see you are talking about the DNLA part of the N-50. I would like to chime in with a technical question.

I have a Synology NAS which has been functioning as a Music Server for a while. Suddenly, it stopped showing up on the N-50 .. initially, the message on the N-50 screen was "not authorized" (or something like that), now the message is "searching" (or something like that)

I have reinitialized the N-50. Put the latest firmware on it (1.020 and 1.021), used fixed and variable IP addresses and checked that no firewall is blocking the traffic from the N-50 to the NAS. But still, the NAS is not seen by the N-50.

All other services network based services (Ariplay, Internet Radio) work fine.

Any indicators greatly appreciated.

Cheers All

Rupert
post #232 of 301
OhhhK.. I have found the problem ! On Synology NAS's there is "Media Server" app which has to be running... mine was turned off... whewww.tongue.gif:p:p
post #233 of 301
I don't what my free box doing routage...
post #234 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by rupert1020 View Post

I think your have two DHCP servers providing IP addresses. In that case, the Airport BaseStation should be configured in "Bridge" Mode (i.e. only a wifi access point)
I believe Fifimacbook has DHCP (& NAT) switched off on the free box, so in theory the current configuration should be ok. However, as I mentioned in my original post about this, it's quite possible there's a fault in the free box in that it doesn't allow this to work properly (for example, may be NAT doesn't actually get switched off). Certainly using the AE in bridge mode would be the fall back position, if Fifimacbook can't get the current config to work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fifimacbook View Post

I don't what my free box doing routage...
Presumably, you still can't get to vTuner from the N-50?
If not, did you do those piecewise tests I mentioned, to work out were the problem might be, ie, did you eliminate your ISP, free box firewall & Airport Extreme firewall (with free box's NAT & DHCP on & placing main AE's IP in the free box's DMZ with the main AE's NAT & DHCP also on)?
Edited by Cebolla - 12/9/13 at 8:18am
post #235 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

BTW, did someone earlier say you couldn't stream hires files via Airplay? There's nothing preventing it, unless you are outputting to a Toslink connection. If the connection is analog or HDMI, it streams just fine.

After more research, it looks like I may be wrong on this one.

It's not that it's impossible to stream hi rez music over Aairplay...some people have done some experiments to show that it's technically possible as a proof of concept. The problems are:

1. Down sampling of any hi res music (down to 16 bit/24 khz) happens in iTunes before the destination device (in this case, an Airport Express) ever sees it. It's worse for Apple TVs since all audio is re-sampled to 16/48 on the Apple TV itself, which means your music may be getting double transformed.
2. If you use a special program to send a high res audio stream to an Airport Express, the AE doesn't know what to do with it. This seems to be a firmware limitation since the AE's chip set can handle it. (up to 24/192)
3. No idea if hi res audio makes it to non-Apple AirPlay devices but I'd be skeptical.

Has anyone tried it on their N-50 and see what the reported bit rate is? I don't think my AirPlay enabled Denon X2000 receiver reports iTunes sample rates (it does report properly from USB or DLNA sources. I can play 24/96 ALAC files in this manner (and they sound awesome).

Nevertheless, I'm beginning to understand why FLAC and DLNA is so popular. What a pain!
post #236 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

After more research, it looks like I may be wrong on this one.

It's not that it's impossible to stream hi rez music over Aairplay...some people have done some experiments to show that it's technically possible as a proof of concept. The problems are:

1. Down sampling of any hi res music (down to 16 bit/24 khz) happens in iTunes before the destination device (in this case, an Airport Express) ever sees it. It's worse for Apple TVs since all audio is re-sampled to 16/48 on the Apple TV itself, which means your music may be getting double transformed.
2. If you use a special program to send a high res audio stream to an Airport Express, the AE doesn't know what to do with it. This seems to be a firmware limitation since the AE's chip set can handle it. (up to 24/192)
3. No idea if hi res audio makes it to non-Apple AirPlay devices but I'd be skeptical.
Unfortunately, how ever good the potential of a closed technology like AirPlay is, it's only ever going to be as good as Apple dictate it to be. It is part of their proprietary system after all. So if they decide that it can only stream an encrypted ALAC file, fixed at a resolution of 16 bit depth/44.1kHz sample rate, upsampling or downsampling the source as required, that only their supplied streaming hardware can decipher, then you've got no 'official' choice but to use it as intended or go for something else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

Nevertheless, I'm beginning to understand why FLAC and DLNA is so popular. What a pain!
It could explain the possible begrudging popularity of FLAC & DLNA to those that are introduced to them after being used to easy to use, usually without problems, but set in stone, closed system technology as supplied/developed by Apple and the like. However, to those who are already operating in the 'open world', who expect (and approve) of the double edged sword of open, innovative, usually free if not inexpensive, but 'risky' technology (to the unaware), its use is always first choice.


'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

Has anyone tried it on their N-50 and see what the reported bit rate is?
The Pioneer N-50 doesn't display the bit depth/sample rate when streaming by AirPlay, presumably because it doesn't need to as that's fixed at 16/44.1kHz, set by the official Apple approved AirPlay chips it's using.


BTW, one of UPnP/DLNA's streaming methods is this 'internet radio' or 'live' type of streaming of a media file of undefined length, akin to AirPlay. However, unlike AirPlay, it is not restricted to a fixed resolution and file type. For example, it's the reason why bit-perfectly captured sound on a computer can be successfully streamed to the N-50 when it's used as a DLNA renderer, in any of the music file formats & resolutions supported by it.
Edited by Cebolla - 12/13/13 at 2:42am
post #237 of 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebolla View Post

Unfortunately, how ever good the potential of a closed technology like AirPlay is, it's only ever going to be as good as Apple dictate it to be. It is part of their proprietary system after all. So if they decide that it can only stream an encrypted ALAC file, fixed at a resolution of 16 bit depth/44.1kHz sample rate, upsampling or downsampling the source as required, that only their supplied streaming hardware can decipher, then you've got no 'official' choice but to use it as intended or go for something else.
It could explain the possible begrudging popularity of FLAC & DLNA to those that are introduced to them after being used to easy to use, usually without problems, but set in stone, closed system technology as supplied/developed by Apple and the like. However, to those who are already operating in the 'open world', who expect (and approve) of the double edged sword of open, innovative, usually free if not inexpensive, but 'risky' technology (to the unaware), its use is always first choice.

Airplay isn't that proprietary...it's a RTSP variant that's not hard to reverse engineer (and people have done it). And it's certainly not encrypted. And the standard does allow the definition of in excess of 16/44.1. The real issue is why Apple Lossless in any form is limited to 16/44.1 under Airplay when it doesn't have to be. Apple Lossless (ALAC) is free and open for anyone to use it these days and easily defines music up to 32/384. There's a fair amount of audiophile gear and receivers that can play ALAC regardless if it has the Airplay chip from Apple or not. You can buy 24/192 music in ALAC from HDTracks.com right now and iTunes has no problem storing them and telling you about them, or playing them locally through USB at full fidelity to whatever DAC you have.

The whole idea of DLNA is a great one, mainly mirroring what Apple had already done but kept proprietary. The problem is that successful implementation of the feature set, either client or server is a crap shoot. If I don't want to expose my wife to it, then I'm probably not going to bother. And yes, it's a lot better now. But it's still not butter smooth.

'
Quote:
The Pioneer N-50 doesn't display the bit depth/sample rate when streaming by AirPlay, presumably because it doesn't need to as that's fixed at 16/44.1kHz, set by the official Apple approved AirPlay chips it's using.

That figures. Thanks for the information.

Quote:
BTW, one of UPnP/DLNA's streaming methods is this 'internet radio' or 'live' type of streaming of a media file of undefined length, akin to AirPlay. However, unlike AirPlay, it is not restricted to a fixed resolution and file type. For example, it's the reason why bit-perfectly captured sound on a computer can be successfully streamed to the N-50 when it's used as a DLNA renderer, in any of the music file formats & resolutions supported by it.

A little trivia history...AIFF is one of the old uncompressed standards and is supported by iTunes. What most people don't know is that it dates back to the earliest ability to rip music, predating even WAV. The file format was what you got if you used Apple's original CD-ROM drive (the industry first one back in 1989). In those days, you could drag copy a music disk track to the finder window (with a filetype of "AIFF"). Unfortunately it wasn't much good since there was nothing to play the file with and the file was huge...40-80 MB in size typically. This was back in the day when the hard drive on my high end Mac II computer had a 80 MB hard drive in it. Fun times...
post #238 of 301

Hello

 

This is my first post here and I would like to thank to all the contributors of this forum for the wealth of information I have gained over the years from here.  

 

I bought a Pioneer N-50 black unit a few weeks ago and I have connected it to my Synology NAS, running the standard Synology DLNA server. I am very very impressed with the sound quality and features of this streamer, but the biggest compromise I had to make when I chose this device is the poor Controll App offered by Pioneer.

 

As a bit of a background, before acquiring this streamer I used a small mini-ITX chip based PC and an external DAC, controlled by a state of the art foobar2000 control app on Android. Is there any 3rd party Android app available that I could use to remotely control my streamer? My biggest gripe with the Control App is that it is painfully slow, inefficient and with the size of my library, browsing for any artist or album is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

 

Is there anything I could do at the DLNA server level? Apart from the smart playlists feature that might come in handy, nothing seems to suggest that I could improve my user experience in any way.

post #239 of 301
Hi Burson,

Welcome to the forum.

The N-50, in common with most DLNA streamers, has no hand in how the music files are presented to it. That task is performed entirely by the UPnP/DLNA Server. I'm not familiar with Synology NASs, so I cannot be certain about its default DLNA server. However, I suspect that if you're having problems finding what you require whilst navigating its music library, then it may be time to start looking at using a different UPnP/DLNA server. The NAS provided media server is normally geared towards video, rather than music and usually doesn't allow the category structure of the media library to be altered much by the user, if at all.

Fortunately, there are a few decent DLNA servers that should be installable on your Synology NAS, such as the free MinimServer, Logitech Media Server (with the UPnP plugin) and Serviio. It might be best to try out these UPnP/DLNA servers on a computer first and see how you get on with them before actually installing one on your NAS. They can all be configured to look after the music files on the NAS, whilst running on the computer, by accessing its network shared folders. The better DLNA servers allow the user many options to configure the music library to suit your tastes and making it easier to search.

Certainly the Pioneer ControlApp is quite basic in function and user interface. Given that, it should definitely be usable, since most of its technical problems have been corrected and wouldn't expect it to be 'painfully slow' and 'inefficient', due to it being unresponsive or other similar technical issue. There is one case reported on this forum of the ControlApp 'doing double clicks' when single 'clicking', when it was installed on an anonymous Android device, suggesting some sort of technical problem, though it wasn't followed up. 'Double clicking', certainly isn't normal behaviour for the ControlApp, so will definitely be worth investigating (for example by testing different devices with the app, testing with different network settings, etc), if you are having similar problems.

An excellent Android app to use as a DLNA controller is BubbleUPnP. It is by the same developer who produced the also excellent foo_UPnP plugin component for the Foobar2000 software you're familiar with. You certainly get better features than with the Pioneer ControlApp such as playlist building & saving, cloud services and album art. Bare in mind that the N-50 doesn't support gapless playback when used as a UPnP/DLNA renderer (in keeping with most other <$1000 DLNA streamers). So for live albums, etc, it might be best to stick with the Pioneer ControlApp. I tend to use both, as and when. Good thing is you can pick up BubbleUPnP's saved playlists from the N-50 and therefore its ControlApp, since BubbleUPnP makes its playlists accessible via its own UPnP/DLNA server (runs in the background on the Android device).
Edited by Cebolla - 12/18/13 at 3:52am
post #240 of 301

 

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.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming › *Official* Pioneer N-50 Network Audio Player Thread