Is there such a thing as "home audio" .MP3 player? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-08-2018, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there such a thing as "home audio" .MP3 player?

Here's the deal...I have an Onkyo 6 disc CD player which I have no problem with. But I over the last few weeks I have ripped audio from my CD collection and saved it in both .WAV and .MP3 formats. The idea was to save it all on one or two DVD's so I could play my music on shuffle/random without the annoying silence while the CD player randomizes the next tune and switches discs. Unfortunately, while the CD player recognized the .MP3 format, it doesn't recognize DVD's. I don't want to deal with a battery powered iPod or portable .MP3 player that I will have to charge up all the time, so what are my options? Are there CD players that either recognize DVD's or will accept a flash drive and randomize the music? Alternatively, are there any DVD players that have a shuffle/random feature for the purpose of playing music? I'm looking for something that I can plug into the wall like any other component and not mess with it other than turning it on and pressing the play button. The only other method I can think of would be to buy a boom box that accepts an SD card or flash drive and plug that in as an auxiliary input to the receive. Preferably, I would like to find something with a hard drive and built in player to do this, but I have had no luck at electronic stores and I don't want to have to use my laptop to wirelessly send music to my receiver or worse, plug my laptop into the receiver and be tethered to it.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-09-2018, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
Here's the deal...I have an Onkyo 6 disc CD player which I have no problem with. But I over the last few weeks I have ripped audio from my CD collection and saved it in both .WAV and .MP3 formats. The idea was to save it all on one or two DVD's so I could play my music on shuffle/random without the annoying silence while the CD player randomizes the next tune and switches discs. Unfortunately, while the CD player recognized the .MP3 format, it doesn't recognize DVD's. I don't want to deal with a battery powered iPod or portable .MP3 player that I will have to charge up all the time, so what are my options? Are there CD players that either recognize DVD's or will accept a flash drive and randomize the music? Alternatively, are there any DVD players that have a shuffle/random feature for the purpose of playing music? I'm looking for something that I can plug into the wall like any other component and not mess with it other than turning it on and pressing the play button. The only other method I can think of would be to buy a boom box that accepts an SD card or flash drive and plug that in as an auxiliary input to the receive. Preferably, I would like to find something with a hard drive and built in player to do this, but I have had no luck at electronic stores and I don't want to have to use my laptop to wirelessly send music to my receiver or worse, plug my laptop into the receiver and be tethered to it.
Most DVD or BD players will do what you want I believe, at least from USB. They typcially will play mp3 burned to dvd media, but whether or not they will shuffle is uncertain. Just look for a sub 100 dollar BD player and look for the specs. Depending on your setup and amp you are using, make sure you get one with 2 channel analog out as most of the current players are HDMI only.

EDIT: Sony has 3 BD players less than 100 bucks that play mp3 from usb or dvd media. No mention of a shuffle feature in the manual. No analog out, just hdmi and digital coaxial out. If you can except a coax input (or get a cheap dac) these would work. If shuffle is an absolute requirement check the threads for those players in the BD section of this forum. A couple of these players have DLNA capability so you could maybe stream to them and shuffle in your computer DLNA server. Again, check appropriate forum here on AVS. You won't find a cd player that will accept DVD format. Many will play from USB.

This CD player will play back mp3 from usb and do so in random order, but obviously it won't accept dvd format. You'll have to step up to DVD/BD player for that. It's the cheapest CD player on crutchfield I could find with that feature.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022CDS...a-CD-S300.html

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post #3 of 17 Old 08-09-2018, 07:48 AM
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If you can't find a DVD or Blu-ray option that fits your needs, I may have another solution for you.

Several years ago I was looking for the same thing, something where I could load up all my “oldies” for parties and play in “Random” mode for hours, and be able to change out the music for our annual extended-family Christmas party. And sit in my system as another audio component.

The only thing I could find then to fit the bill – and even now, it appears – is only available from the pro-audio market, a device called a “solid state recorder.”

As far as I can tell, only TASCAM and Denon Professional makes them, at least the full-frame, component type (Marantz Professional made some in the past, but currently sells only portable devices for site recording – e.g. journalists doing interviews). You obviously don’t need the recording feature (neither did I), but they record – and payback – on compact flash (CF) cards, SD cards or USB sticks.

I ended up with a TASCAM SS-R05. This particular unit will manage up to 1000 songs (limited by the capacity of the CF card). Once I loaded up the card, it operated just like you said: Just turn it on and push the “Play” button (there is no wireless remote). Subsequent TASCAM models have been the SS-R100, SS-R200, and the current SS-R250.

The bad news: These things aren’t cheap. I paid $350 for the SS-R05 at a discount retailer. The current-model SS-R250N costs $800.

The Denon models are a good bit cheaper for some reason, but still not dirt cheap like everyone wants their audio gear these days. The current DN-300R can be had at B&H for $200 (still no wireless remote). You’ll have to wade through the manual to see if it has the storage capacity and random playback feature you desire.

Seeing your post got me considering: Our living situation has changed and we won’t be hosting the family Christmas parties anymore, so I really don’t have a good reason to keep the SS-R05 anymore. PM me if you’re interested, maybe we can make a deal.

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-09-2018, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
This CD player will play back mp3 from usb and do so in random order, but obviously it won't accept dvd format. You'll have to step up to DVD/BD player for that. It's the cheapest CD player on crutchfield I could find with that feature.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022CDS...a-CD-S300.html
I checked out that link, and though I can't be positive, I'm pretty sure that the product highlights text that reads, "program, repeat, and random play" only applies to CD's. However, if it does apply to a USB drive that would be something that is perfectly acceptable for what I am looking for. The only reason I dumped my music onto a DVD is because of the capacity, and all my flash drives are currently in use for other things. Since I first posted this my ripped music collection has grown to exceed the capacity of a DVD, so a flash drive is the next logical storage solution. When you get right down to it, the only storage solution that would be better than a flash drive is a SATA HDD. And if the CD player would play in shuffle/random mode from a flash drive there is no reason to believe it wouldn't also do so from a USB HDD. I'll send an e-mail to Yamaha's support department and see what they say about it.

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Seeing your post got me considering: Our living situation has changed and we won’t be hosting the family Christmas parties anymore, so I really don’t have a good reason to keep the SS-R05 anymore. PM me if you’re interested, maybe we can make a deal.
Thanks for the offer, but if it comes to buying anything other than a CD player as described above I will probably just go with a boom box that accepts USB inputs and has a source out feature that I can connect to my receiver. I was at Best Buy this afternoon and found out that there are no DVD/BD players that have a shuffle/random mode.

One interesting side note to all this (at least to me): Because my Onkyo CD player is connected to an Onkyo receiver, the receiver remote is pretty much 100% compatible for operating the CD player. So if I buy a CD player that can play in shuffle/random mode from a USB input there is a good chance that it will be connected to a vintage Kenwood KR-4400 receiver, which in turn is connected to a pair of vintage (60 year old) Bozak E-300 speakers on the A channel, and a pair of vintage JBL Decade 16 speakers on the B channel. Right now the Kenwood receiver is used mainly for classical music off the radio because of the speakers. What I really need to do is get inside the receiver with some DeoxIT and clean the control knobs, and change a few of the burned out bulbs that are used to illuminate the front display. That might be tricky, because the bulbs are inside a plastic housing that the old school tuning cord is also strung on, and the controls are underneath that plastic housing. I will have to remove that plastic housing and temporarily take the already tightly strung cord off the pulley wheels without breaking it or getting it tangled, then reattach it without breaking it.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-10-2018, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
I checked out that link, and though I can't be positive, I'm pretty sure that the product highlights text that reads, "program, repeat, and random play" only applies to CD's. However, if it does apply to a USB drive that would be something that is perfectly acceptable for what I am looking for. The only reason I dumped my music onto a DVD is because of the capacity, and all my flash drives are currently in use for other things. Since I first posted this my ripped music collection has grown to exceed the capacity of a DVD, so a flash drive is the next logical storage solution. When you get right down to it, the only storage solution that would be better than a flash drive is a SATA HDD. And if the CD player would play in shuffle/random mode from a flash drive there is no reason to believe it wouldn't also do so from a USB HDD. I'll send an e-mail to Yamaha's support department and see what they say about it.
From crutchfields website

Quote:
Playback Modes: The CD-S300 offers the following playback modes.

Program: You can customize the playback order of up to 24 track store on an Audio CD. This operation is not available for MP3/WMA playback.
Random: You can play back tracks in random sequence from and Audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device.
Repeat: You can play back a single track or all tracks repeatedly from a Audio CD, CD-R/RW, or USB device.
Repeat A-B: You can repeat a specified section of a track on an audio CD. This operation is not available for MP3/WMA playback.
Ready Mode: Pauses playback after each track, allowing you to start the next rack at any desired time.
Note: This unit retains the current Repeat & Random playback mode after turning off the power.
This is what I read when I posted the link to the prodcut. It indicates random playback allowed from usb device. The not available for program or repeat applies to CDs not USB as I read it.

EDIT: Found this review in the reviews section of the link for the yamaha:

Quote:
I bought this largely because of the USB/MP3 capability although I will also use it for CD's. I did not want to update my receiver to get USB and my regular CD player just quit. It works nicely, sounds good, and the interface is reasonable. It would be very nice if the folder names where directly displayed but it only uses numbers (1-256). Given that numbers are used for the folders, it would be nice to directly type the folder number to go to one but you can only get to a folder by going up/down a single folder at a time. You can see the song, artist, and album name put only by cycling through with a button on the remote. Never the less, I do have about 33 GB of MP3 music on the one device and it works well. When "random/shuffle" is enabled, it does take a while to skip to the next song in case you don't want to listen to one. Also, it does have a "resume" mode that can remember which of the songs it was playing on the CD or USB key the last time it was powered off (like in your car). There were some peculiarities like you can not stop playing the song on USB, you must just turn off the device while the song is playing for it to be remember.

Pros: + Plays songs of USB key. + Can show song title, album, artist. + Clean/simple interface.

Cons: - Can not turn on/off with remote - For USB/MP3, the folders are accessed by their number (1-255) and you can not go directly to the desired folder but must go up or down to get to the one you want.
Here is a user who uses random with mp3 and usb. You can try it out, Crutchfield has a 60 day return policy if you don't like it. I took the comment that it takes a while to go to the next song in random to mean only when forwarding and skipping a song the player selects in random mode, not for every song in random mode.

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Last edited by glangford; 08-10-2018 at 05:16 AM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-12-2018, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a user who uses random with mp3 and usb. You can try it out, Crutchfield has a 60 day return policy if you don't like it. I took the comment that it takes a while to go to the next song in random to mean only when forwarding and skipping a song the player selects in random mode, not for every song in random mode.
LOL...I guess I should have read the reviews instead of just the company specs text. Their CD player definitely sound like what I am looking for. Since I first posted this thread someone also told me how to get around my not wanting to use a battery powered MP3 player. My original concern was having to use a battery powered device (shout out to Mojo Nixon! ) and dealing with recharging the battery all the time. I don't have a USB port on my Onkyo CD player and had originally rejected the idea of using a portable device to play music. They suggested using a USB wall plug adapter with a portable device, which is something I am now considering along with the Yamaha CD player. In the end, it is most likely going to come down to price and how much I want to spend. The CD player has the advantage of also being able to play CD's, while an iPod type MP3 player has the advantage of being able to hit the bike trail. One other note about random/shuffle mode...Several years ago I read an article that claimed there is no such thing as truly random ordering when it comes to computers. That applies to both shuffling music and more broadly, generating random strings of numbers. There will always be identifiable patterns in the randomness, and to a large extent I have noticed this with my Onkyo CD player and the cheap MP3 players I've had in the past. There are always songs that get played far more often than others--frequently even, and some songs that I have never heard. I don't know the mathematics behind why this is true, but maybe the players have their own favorite tunes as well.

Thanks for the help on this. There will have to be some serious thought put into the decision making, but at least I know it's not a lost cause.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-13-2018, 01:06 AM
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LOL...I guess I should have read the reviews instead of just the company specs text. Their CD player definitely sound like what I am looking for. Since I first posted this thread someone also told me how to get around my not wanting to use a battery powered MP3 player. My original concern was having to use a battery powered device (shout out to Mojo Nixon! ) and dealing with recharging the battery all the time. I don't have a USB port on my Onkyo CD player and had originally rejected the idea of using a portable device to play music. They suggested using a USB wall plug adapter with a portable device, which is something I am now considering along with the Yamaha CD player. In the end, it is most likely going to come down to price and how much I want to spend. The CD player has the advantage of also being able to play CD's, while an iPod type MP3 player has the advantage of being able to hit the bike trail. One other note about random/shuffle mode...Several years ago I read an article that claimed there is no such thing as truly random ordering when it comes to computers. That applies to both shuffling music and more broadly, generating random strings of numbers. There will always be identifiable patterns in the randomness, and to a large extent I have noticed this with my Onkyo CD player and the cheap MP3 players I've had in the past. There are always songs that get played far more often than others--frequently even, and some songs that I have never heard. I don't know the mathematics behind why this is true, but maybe the players have their own favorite tunes as well.

Thanks for the help on this. There will have to be some serious thought put into the decision making, but at least I know it's not a lost cause.
Not sure what you mean by wall plug adapter. The USB device I refer to is just a data storage flash drive. It doesn't need power from a wall plug adapter. MP3 players and wall plug adapters are not required for playback with a yamaha. You can get a 32 gb flash drive for almost nothing now days. At mp3 file sizes that's a whole lot of albums. I actually use a 256 gb flash drive for music storage and playback, no power required. Even some portable hard drives get enough power from a players usb port to be able to be used for music playback.

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I have my 3000 most favorite songs ripped to 128 mp3s. They take up about 10 gigs. I have it on a several flashdrives and on the hard disc to my computer along with having them uploaded to the Google Drive to play on my phone or my Chromebook. I can play these songs (randomly) on any device I have, through my TV, my 7.2 receiver, my car or any time, any place any where I want. Been listening to them for well over 10 years.

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Not sure what you mean by wall plug adapter. The USB device I refer to is just a data storage flash drive. It doesn't need power from a wall plug adapter. MP3 players and wall plug adapters are not required for playback with a yamaha. You can get a 32 gb flash drive for almost nothing now days. At mp3 file sizes that's a whole lot of albums. I actually use a 256 gb flash drive for music storage and playback, no power required. Even some portable hard drives get enough power from a players usb port to be able to be used for music playback.
A USB wall plug adapter is the USB version of a power supply. You plug it directly into a wall outlet, and the side facing out has a USB port for a cable. So between a CD player that will shuffle songs on a flash drive, and an iPod type MP3 player that can be plugged directly into the wall with a USB wall adapter I have gone from 0 to 2 good options from which to choose. Both are good options, with each having their own advantages and disadvantages. I have a friend who keeps music on a "thumbnail" drive. It's a USB storage device that, like the name implies, is literally about the size of a thumbnail. He uses it in his car radio. Not sure of the max size for one of those, however.

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I have my 3000 most favorite songs ripped to 128 mp3s. They take up about 10 gigs. I have it on a several flashdrives and on the hard disc to my computer along with having them uploaded to the Google Drive to play on my phone or my Chromebook. I can play these songs (randomly) on any device I have, through my TV, my 7.2 receiver, my car or any time, any place any where I want. Been listening to them for well over 10 years.
I've been listening to my music on my computer, as well. But I want to get away from that when I am at home and play it through my home audio system without having to connect my computer to the receiver. I know I can do that wirelessly, but I prefer a cabled connection when it comes to music.
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A USB wall plug adapter is the USB version of a power supply. You plug it directly into a wall outlet, and the side facing out has a USB port for a cable. So between a CD player that will shuffle songs on a flash drive, and an iPod type MP3 player that can be plugged directly into the wall with a USB wall adapter I have gone from 0 to 2 good options from which to choose. Both are good options, with each having their own advantages and disadvantages. I have a friend who keeps music on a "thumbnail" drive. It's a USB storage device that, like the name implies, is literally about the size of a thumbnail. He uses it in his car radio. Not sure of the max size for one of those, however.



]
Ok, I understand. IF you plug the MP3 player usb port to the wall outlet, you can't plug it into the CD player. But the cd player may provide enough power to keep it charged, particularly since there aren't mp3 players anymore with spinning hard drives. Thumb drives come in all sizes. I use a 256 GB 'thumb' drive for my player, an Oppo uhd-203. The information on the Yamaha is in reference to a thumbdrive. I believe on a mp3 player you do random on the player, not the yamaha.

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I've been listening to my music on my computer, as well. But I want to get away from that when I am at home and play it through my home audio system without having to connect my computer to the receiver. I know I can do that wirelessly, but I prefer a cabled connection when it comes to music.
I listen to my music on my home audio system with a thumb drive plugged into the USB port on the TV. I also have a thumb drive plugged into my receiver.

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Ok, I understand. IF you plug the MP3 player usb port to the wall outlet, you can't plug it into the CD player. But the cd player may provide enough power to keep it charged, particularly since there aren't mp3 players anymore with spinning hard drives. Thumb drives come in all sizes. I use a 256 GB 'thumb' drive for my player, an Oppo uhd-203. The information on the Yamaha is in reference to a thumbdrive. I believe on a mp3 player you do random on the player, not the yamaha.
If I go with the MP3 player I would use the USB port for power, and the headphone port to connect to my receiver using a Y converter cable: Mini-stereo plug > L/R RCA phono plugs. Quick and permanent connection is definitely an advantage for the CD player. The thumb drive would probably never even be removed from it.

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I listen to my music on my home audio system with a thumb drive plugged into the USB port on the TV. I also have a thumb drive plugged into my receiver.
I have a USB port on my TV, but it's several years old so I don't think it will have a shuffle/random function. If it played at all, it would probably play back in alphabetical order.
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I have a USB port on my TV, but it's several years old so I don't think it will have a shuffle/random function. If it played at all, it would probably play back in alphabetical order.
Oh I solved that problem a long time ago. My 3000 songs are in a sort of random order. First I have 20 random songs. Then I have an album in album order. Then 20 random songs, then another album. I have rules for my random songs. No two songs in the 20 can be from the same artist. I do not put songs from the same decade next to each other. I don't put two jazz songs, two country songs or two novelty songs in any group of 20. And a bunch of other rules I have long since forgotten. It was a lot of work to get the proper order but well worth the effort since I listen to songs from this collection for several hours every day. I have a link to the first 1000 songs if you would like to see what the list looks like:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_v...ew?usp=sharing

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Oh I solved that problem a long time ago. My 3000 songs are in a sort of random order. First I have 20 random songs. Then I have an album in album order. Then 20 random songs, then another album. I have rules for my random songs. No two songs in the 20 can be from the same artist.
Are you saying that you randomized the songs yourself, but your device plays them in the order that you randomized them in? That sounds like a lot of work, especially if there are thousands of songs on the storage device.
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Are you saying that you randomized the songs yourself, but your device plays them in the order that you randomized them in? That sounds like a lot of work, especially if there are thousands of songs on the storage device.
That is what I am saying. A whole lot of work but well worth the effort. The files are all labeled with the number first, like 0001 - Pink Floyd - Sorrow, so they get played in my random order. I am not suggesting that you do the same thing, I am just showing you how I solved the problem.

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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
If I go with the MP3 player I would use the USB port for power, and the headphone port to connect to my receiver using a Y converter cable: Mini-stereo plug > L/R RCA phono plugs. Quick and permanent connection is definitely an advantage for the CD player
Using the mp3 player option with the headphone cable is less than ideal, but workable. In that config you are using the mp3 player DAC which is usually worse than what a CD player has. With the thumbdrive you would be using the dac in the cd player. You also in that config have to deal with two volume controls, the one in the player and the one in the reciever, but you can set the one in the player at about 80% and leave it that way.

Unless you want to also be able to take the mp3 player with you for other things, the usb thurmbdrive would be simpliest.

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Headphone Rig: Oppo BDP-95, Burson Audio Soloist MKII Headphone amp/ Sennheiser HD800S, Sennheiser HD650
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-19-2018, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seilerbird View Post
That is what I am saying. A whole lot of work but well worth the effort. The files are all labeled with the number first, like 0001 - Pink Floyd - Sorrow, so they get played in my random order. I am not suggesting that you do the same thing, I am just showing you how I solved the problem.
Too much work for me. I prefer to just dump the music files into the root directory of a storage device and Let the technology do the rest.

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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
Using the mp3 player option with the headphone cable is less than ideal, but workable. In that config you are using the mp3 player DAC which is usually worse than what a CD player has. With the thumbdrive you would be using the dac in the cd player. You also in that config have to deal with two volume controls, the one in the player and the one in the reciever, but you can set the one in the player at about 80% and leave it that way.

Unless you want to also be able to take the mp3 player with you for other things, the usb thurmbdrive would be simpliest.
Big news on this front, as a third option presented itself and I jumped on it. I did some more research and was able to pick up an Onkyo AV receiver that had a USB port on the back. It functions as a music player, and the "Random" button works for both that and my Onkyo CD player. It's a few more button presses to get to it, but once there it works very well. I also spent a fair amount of time ripping CD's and now I am up to over 160 hours of music on a thumb drive, with more to add. The cost was a little more than I was wanting to spend, but the new AV receiver is totally compatible with my Onkyo CD player like the old one was, and my Auxiliary inputs are still available for something else if I need it. There is still a slight pause between songs, but nothing like the CD player randomizing the discs and the music files. Some of those pauses were well over 10 seconds, which is annoying when people are over and music is playing. It was almost like the awkward silence in an elevator at times. When hooked to a TV it also displays the song, artist and album information. It all worked out well in the end, and now I don't have to be picky about which songs to put on a disc. I'm ripping all the songs off a CD, and getting the titles from FreeDB.org, which only takes a few seconds and saves a lot of typing. Thanks for all the help on this!
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