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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,


I am trying to find HDD based music system that will hold my about 300GB (and growing) mp3, wma and flac music collection.


My requirements are -

- Playing audio media from local HDD and CD audio.

- Audio media codec include mp3 and wma

- HDD is of decent size (about 500GB or 1TB)

- HDD replacement should be very easy, no fuss.

- Low power consumption.

- Has its own screen for directory navigation (I don't have a TV set).

- Good directory navigation

- Sleep timer

- Firmware upgradable

- Communication with PC (for copying audio tracks to HDD) should be seamless

- Ability to handle long directory and file names.

- If there is any restriction on number of tracks or number of albums, it should be reasonable.

(Some of these requirements are compromisable)


OPTIONAL features

- Plays FLAC (but given my budget is same as yours of USD 500, I wonder of such possibility and if all hardware will really make any difference playing mp3 and FLAC)

- Streaming capabilities (if at all, my music library grows more and I put up NAS)

- Internet radio

- Rips to 320kbps mp3 / FLAC

- If it has cassette deck and capability of ripping tape to mp3, I am willing to stretch the budget.


More details are available here .


To my knowledge, no such system exists that fits into my meagre USD 500 +/- 100 budget. As an alternative to find such system, another thought ran through my head, what if I use my old laptop (or new netbook) with USB soundcard and 5.1 desktop speaker set (both THX-certified). How does such system would sound? Being a student, I don't have much money to cough up but this setup could very well fit into my budget. Definitely, this will not be most elegant setup but all I care is, if such setup would be better than compromised Philips MCi-500H or Sony NAS-SC55PKE. I haven't thought of getting HTPC remote to this system but that could also be a possibility.


Any comments on this idea? How sensible / foolish is this idea? If there is any room for improvement?


Thanks in advance.
 

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Logitech Squeezebox Duet with a copy of some ripping software like Winamp should solve most of your needs. Will still need a receiver and speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by btscott /forum/post/17005669


Logitech Squeezebox Duet with a copy of some ripping software like Winamp should solve most of your needs. Will still need a receiver and speakers.

Thanks for the suggestion.

If I understood this system correctly, then I still need to have a PC running to stream the music as Squeezebox Duet doesn't have any hard disk to store the tracks locally, right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhammer /forum/post/16999086


Hello All,


I am trying to find HDD based music system that will hold my about 300GB (and growing) mp3, wma and flac music collection.


My requirements are -

- Playing audio media from local HDD and CD audio.

- Audio media codec include mp3 and wma

- HDD is of decent size (about 500GB or 1TB)

- HDD replacement should be very easy, no fuss.

- Low power consumption.

- Has its own screen for directory navigation (I don't have a TV set).

- Good directory navigation

- Sleep timer

- Firmware upgradable

- Communication with PC (for copying audio tracks to HDD) should be seamless

- Ability to handle long directory and file names.

- If there is any restriction on number of tracks or number of albums, it should be reasonable.

(Some of these requirements are compromisable)


OPTIONAL features

- Plays FLAC (but given my budget is same as yours of USD 500, I wonder of such possibility and if all hardware will really make any difference playing mp3 and FLAC)

- Streaming capabilities (if at all, my music library grows more and I put up NAS)

- Internet radio

- Rips to 320kbps mp3 / FLAC

- If it has cassette deck and capability of ripping tape to mp3, I am willing to stretch the budget.


More details are available here .


To my knowledge, no such system exists that fits into my meagre USD 500 +/- 100 budget.


That is quite a list.



Odds are that the Harmon Kardon DMC 1000, at a closeout of $399 (new with warranty from H/K), does most of what you want. It has a 250GB hard drive, is focused on 2 channel music (although it also plays DVD movies with a terrific memory (remembers many (all?) movies previously played and picks up from where you were the last time viewing) which although nice I never plan to use again, as it's main purpose is as a high quality 2 channel music server.


Offers lossy MP3 compression (4 quality levels, including highest level) as well as one lossless level (ID'd as wav in the manual).


Follow the thread " H/K DMC-1000 on clearance" in the DVD forum at: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168526


If you have any question(s), respond in that short thread.


According to dsmith901 (the OP) you have a 30 day return period (less shipping both ways), so given it's attractive closeout price and that once it's gone it's gone, don't twiddle your thumbs too long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhammer /forum/post/16999086


As an alternative to find such system, another thought ran through my head, what if I use my old laptop (or new netbook) with USB soundcard and 5.1 desktop speaker set (both THX-certified). How does such system would sound? Being a student, I don't have much money to cough up but this setup could very well fit into my budget. Definitely, this will not be most elegant setup but all I care is, if such setup would be better than compromised Philips MCi-500H or Sony NAS-SC55PKE. I haven't thought of getting HTPC remote to this system but that could also be a possibility.


Any comments on this idea? How sensible / foolish is this idea? If there is any room for improvement?


Thanks in advance.


I'd be very reluctant to use a computer (of any kind) as source for a "high end" music system.


I also noted btscott's post#2 about a "Logitech Squeezebox Duet with a copy of some ripping software like Winamp..."


I've looked at various Squeezebox (sp?) units, and I rather doubt you're going to save much (if anything) over the likely (?) more convenient H/K DMC 1000.


If any response/questions, see you in that thread.


If any response about the Logitek Squeezbox possibly being the "better deal" post away here, but don't be looking for my input here since I have zero experience with any of the Squeezbox units.


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/17016439


I'd be very reluctant to use a computer (of any kind) as source for a "high end" music system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/17016872


While a good suggestion, don't kid yourself. The DMC 1000 is just a basic computer.


As a long term computer person (software/mainframe/IBM/Unix/PC), "basic computer" is a very loose term.



Also, I suspect that you do NOT own a DMC 1000.


Do you???


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/17017131


As a long term computer person (software/mainframe/IBM/Unix/PC), "basic computer" is a very loose term.



Also, I suspect that you do NOT own a DMC 1000.


Do you???


Cheers

No I don't own one. Are you saying that it is not "a computer (of any kind)"? By basic, I meant that it has limited functionality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/17017189


No I don't own one.


I was fairly certain of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/17017189


Are you saying that it is not "a computer (of any kind)"?


Is a recent AVR "a computer (of any kind)?"


You take your pick, but I don't think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 /forum/post/17017189


By basic, I meant that it has limited functionality.

Even recent personal computers have "limited functionality"


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs /forum/post/17017613


I was fairly certain of that.

I was wondering about you as well, since you didn't even know whether it could store DVD's, or burn CD's.


You seem to think that those who don't own one know nothing about it, and have no right to talk about it, but you don't seem to know much yourself.
 

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CharmedQuark.com


CQC is a DIYers dream for home audio/video automation. It will do all the ripping, you will have cool cover art and touch screen choices.


Its not cheap but its speaker then K-scape or other high end servers that do this.


Im an expert in this
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First of all, thanks a lot to everybody who responded to my question. Answers, comments follow,


@OtherSongs,

Your suggestion of H/K DMC-1000 is good. I must say, its the best system that I can ever afford in my life. You suggested on another thread too and I was this close to buying it. The reasons, I decided not to go for it-

1. I live in Europe at the moment. Return day policy should be about 30 days or so. There is nobody in the US that I know would collect the system for me, give it a try (to make sure its functional) and ship it to me.

2. The lack of big screen was a major turn off. As I said, I don't own a TV set and I don't watch movies either, so I am looking for a system that have at least 5-7" screen of its own to navigate.

3. I am not in financial condition to get a decent set of receivers and speakers to do justice to this system. So nothing can be more foolish than buying DMC-1000 and playing it will some mediocre receiver and speaker set.

4. I don't know the reason behind clearance. I don't suspect any foul play from the reputed company, still I prefer to know such thing.

I do believe you that this piece of hardware is a gem and if I would be in sound financial condition, I would have certainly bought it.


I am certainly not looking for "high-end" music system. I would certainly love to have it in future but current budget or USD 500+100, won't get me high end system. I am just looking for best bang for buck.


Squeezebox suggestion is good but honestly, I am not quite clear on how it works. It needs streaming for sure, so do I maintain a NAS drive or keep PC running? If I have to keep PC running anyways, then I have difficulties in understanding, why a decent USB sound card and decent set of speakers should not make it a 'decent system'. As mentioned already, I am NOT looking for high-end system, something a step above than mediocre bundled systems. I am totally clueless about audio hardware and hence I thought THX-certification would be a yardstick, I could use. I would really appreciate your comments on this point as I strongly feel, I am missing something.


@penngray,

You sound like a prefect geek. I quickly brushed through the site you mentioned. I don't think its for me though. I can not even build my own PC so I can not see myself doing DIY software things to automate home audio. The pre-bundled hardware (Vidabox) comes at a steep price. Its certainly good if you have a know-how. Still, I have noted your point and will go through the site thoroughly for education purpose. If at all, in future, I earn a lot of money and have a big house, I could consider it. BTW, I really liked Vidabox Magnum, that would be an ideal what I am looking for.


Again thanks a lot to everyone for contribution.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhammer /forum/post/17024784


First of all, thanks a lot to everybody who responded to my question. Answers, comments follow,


@OtherSongs,

Your suggestion of H/K DMC-1000 is good. I must say, its the best system that I can ever afford in my life.


Me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhammer /forum/post/17024784


You suggested on another thread too and I was this close to buying it. The reasons, I decided not to go for it-

1. I live in Europe at the moment. Return day policy should be about 30 days or so. There is nobody in the US that I know would collect the system for me, give it a try (to make sure its functional) and ship it to me.

2. The lack of big screen was a major turn off. As I said, I don't own a TV set and I don't watch movies either, so I am looking for a system that have at least 5-7" screen of its own to navigate.


Buying a separate TV that will work with this unit is very cheap. I frankly do not understand why this is an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhammer /forum/post/17024784


3. I am not in financial condition to get a decent set of receivers and speakers to do justice to this system. So nothing can be more foolish than buying DMC-1000 and playing it will some mediocre receiver and speaker set.

4. I don't know the reason behind clearance. I don't suspect any foul play from the reputed company, still I prefer to know such thing.

I do believe you that this piece of hardware is a gem and if I would be in sound financial condition, I would have certainly bought it.


Companies are going where there is perceived profit, and that is presently the Blu-ray disc players. Hence the current serious dumping of older "universal" disc players and also this H/K DMC 1000 player.


My bet is that they are making a serious mistake, and I am happy to load up on the closeout deals of these "old" high-end players.


When Blu-ray players and discs get to the same price (and convenience) of DVD players and discs is when I will buy into Blu-ray.


It remains to be seen if it will ever happen.


Of course, this DMC 1000 unit is only secondarily a DVD player; primarily it is a very high end 2 channel 250GB hard disk player (with 4 level of MP3 compression as well as lossless (wav)).


Call up Harmon Kardon on the telephone and ask them if it will work in your country with your wall socket voltage. My experience with them (on the telephone) has been excellent.



Cheers
 

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Regarding the squeezebox, there are a few options. All require that you install the SqueezeCenter software on something if you want to play your own music library. However, the SqueezeCenter software can run on a lot of NAS heads as well as PC's (as well as Mac, Linux, Solaris, etc...). So, if you have a compatible NAS device you wouldn't need a PC to stream your FLAC files. There are situations with the squeezebox where you do not need a PC or NAS. When you wish to solely stream Pandora, Slacker, Last.FM, etc... then you can connect to something called the SqueezeNetwork and do not have to worry about SqueezeCenter. You can also stream Pandora, etc... through your connection to SqueezeCenter. Squeezebox's run wired or wireless (G). There is also a Squeezebox Boom that has its own speakers. Squeezebox Duet comes with wireless remote and black box for connection that have rca, toslink and coax outputs. The remote has a video screen that shows the album cover of to what you are listening.


I run a Squeezebox Duet system. I have a squeezebox for my outside system, a transporter (higher end audiophile squeezebox, plays 24/96 vs. 16/44 with squeezebox) on my two channel and another squeezebox connected to my home theater system. All three can be controlled with the Duet remote and can play music separately or synchronized to play the same music.


Hope this explains the Squeezebox.


Also, sounds like you might be able to get away with just a laptop/desktop. With a computer you can connect to all your files and play them and connect to online music sources. Just connect up a set of powered speakers to the computer and you should be all set.
 

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Quote:
I'd be very reluctant to use a computer (of any kind) as source for a "high end" music system.

Given that we are moving fast towards the point where all the music made is produced on a computer, it would be harder to make this argument I think. If it's good enough to make the music, it would kind of have to be good enough to play it back. There are very high quality pro and semi-pro audio cards out there used to produce the music, and they are all quite easily useable for playback as well. It's crazy to spend thousands on some CD player monstrosity that depends on accuracy by spinning a big heavy platter and shock isolation and so forth, when a high quality audio card, and a small PC can do the same without any of those issues since it can just read in the data and buffer it and let the audio card spit it out with very high accuracy.
 
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