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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking into MP3 receivers capable of accessing my PC-based mp3 collection. So far, I've been hearing great things about the AudioTron. However, I'm curious as to whether or not alternative products such as the Rio receiver and Onkyo/Integra NetTune receivers are viable alternatives.


Are these receivers supposed to communicate exclusively with HT-based MP3 servers, or can they be setup like the AudioTron to access a PC-based MP3 collection?


Thanks,

Tarek
 

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rio receiver (discontinued) works this way, sort of. It requires a program to be run on the server. This limits it to windows boxes for the server. there was a project to do a perl based script to support linux servers but I dont think it got that far. the rio receiver sometimes comes up on ebay.


audiotron, on the other hand just uses SMB shares (i.e. windows networking). Linux SAMBA supports this quite handily (I'm listening to my AT playing off my linux server as I type!). much simpler solution.


dont know much about the onkyo net tune thing - I thought it was just for receiving internet radio broadcasts.


There are slew of new boxes out or coming out soon. I'm gonna hit CES next month to take a look.


Phil
 

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Audiotron is fantastic. A great interface on the unit itself allows you to dial up your music incredibly quickly.


I just got the onkyo nr900 and played with the net tunes stuff over the weekend. Not ready for prime time -- the interface is quite clunky and slow. I don't know how much better the standalone onkyo box might be in this regard.
 

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Allan did you use the Netcentral software from the Onkyo site???

How do you like the internet radio feature?? and can you review the 900 as how you like it....Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, so the NetTune devices don't require NetTune servers.. I was actually looking at the Integra NAC-2.3 NetTune receiver (looks exactly like its Onkyo counterpart) as an alternative to the AudioTron. The thing is, both my receiver and dvd player are Integras, and I really prefer the look of the NAC-2.3 over the AudioTron. If performance between the two units is somewhat comparable, I'd gladly shell out the extra ~$100 for the Integra.


I'd greatly be interested in a review or more opinions from people who've tried these NetTune receivers.


-Tarek
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cardguy
Allan did you use the Netcentral software from the Onkyo site???

How do you like the internet radio feature?? and can you review the 900 as how you like it....Thanks
Yes, I used the software from the Onkyo site. One of the reasons I got the nr900 rather than the substantially identical integra 7.3 was that the specs made clear you could use the NR900 with pc software while they seemed to indicate that you could only run the integra net tunes with teh external integra server box. Since I strongly suspect that the two units are truly identical except for labeling (as indicated in various places in this forum), I'm guessing that either unit can use the pc software. However, they limit software downloads to people who register and provide their serial number, so it is possible that if you buy an Integra you will not be able to download the software from their site.


I haven't played with the radio yet, only the mp3 stuff. I'll post back here once I have a chance to try the radio feature (alhtough here agian, the audiotron radio feature is so convenient that I can't imagine the Onkyo version being competitive with it).


As far as the receiver itself goes, it seems pretty identical to the itnegra 7.2 that it replaced (my 7.2 developed the famous 'ticking' sound that has been broadly reported on in this and other forums and is in the shop for repairs). Great sound, plenty of power, lots of room to fiddle with things, etc. But I can't really give you an audiophile refview since the room this is in (our bedroom) is small (big time overkill) and the speakers I've got are pretty small and cheap (WAF issues). When I get my integra back, I'll throw that into my living room and that should allow me to better appreciate the quality of these receivers.
 

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I recently purchased the Onkyo TX-NR900. As was previously (under)stated, the Net-Tune software is not ready for prime time. I would even go so far to describe it as 'awful'. Getting the software to archive my collection was a nightmare. I plan on writing my own utility to manage files and playlists and use Onkyo's server software to deliver music to the receiver. On an even more disappointing note... The net radio features are even worse. The list of radio stations you can listen to is managed by a company called Xiva. They do not have a large selection and most use WMA to broadcast at a less than stellar bit rate. I tried sending emails to Xiva to ask how to get a station listed, and every email address I tried would bounce my email back to me. I was so looking forward to using Shoutcast and Icecast servers as well as running my own private radio station.


The receiver is nice, but it seems short on power. It gets plenty loud, don't get me wrong, but I have to turn the thing up quite a bit to get it to an audible level.. I've read that it uses a logarithmic volume control and that may account for things, but my old Onkyo stereo recevier (AVR401 or something like that) seems to pack more punch and has more presence.. My listening level on the NR900 starts at 36 (out of 100). Is this as it should be?


All in all, I'm satisfied with the receiver. Movies and videogames really come alive in Dolby Digital. The net side of things leaves much to be desired and that was the biggest selliing point of the receiver. I hope Onkyo get's things straightened out. I hope they can somehow ditch Xiva and let us use Shoutcast stations.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew67
...The net radio features are even worse. The list of radio stations you can listen to is managed by a company called Xiva. They do not have a large selection and most use WMA to broadcast at a less than stellar bit rate....
Well at least you got the net radio up and running. I consider myself fairly handy at networking and the like, but I haven't been able to get the damn thing to stream in net radio. I can get it to find the mp3s on my harddrive (clunky and inelegant, as I said before, but it does work), so I obviously have it tied into my LAN OK. But when I try to tie into the radio I get nowhere -- all it tells me is that it's 'not connected'. I've instructed my router to forward the ports it says it uses to the IP address I assigned it, but that doesn't help. What rabbit did you pull out of your hat to get this working?


As for volume, you are right that you've got to crank the knob a fair bit before you start to get sound -- that was true of hte integra 7.2 as well -- but there seems to be plenty of power once you do; I haven't heard any clipping as I turn it up to load volumes. But as I said in my earlier post, this is not a setup with great speakers so it's hard for me to tell how great this is or is not. I do agree with you that the dolby and surround sound stuff sounds great.
 

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OK, when I throw the IP address for my onkyo nr900 into my router's DMZ, I can get the internet radio feature to work just fine (well, fine is relative -- still quite clunky and user unfriendly -- nothing like the audiotron!). I still haven't experimented much with the radio feature, but I was surprised that a classical station I pulled up streamed at only 20 kbps. I'll see if other stations have a higher bitrate, but obviously that one was not, as they said in a more gentle time, 'high fidelity'.


As for why I needed to use a DMZ, I have no idea. I had first tried port forwarding 60096 through port 60099 (the onkyo NR900 default ports) to the IP for my onkyo nr900, but that didn't work. Anyone know how I should have set up port forwarding so that I don't need to use a DMZ??
 

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asinshesq,


Glad to see you were able to get the internet radio working. I didn't have to do anything special to get it to work, my router magically forwarded the ports. I'm using a Linksys BEFSX41. The receiver is not plugged into the DMZ port.


I've found radio stations broadcasting as low as 8kbs with WMA. 8kbs! Why would they even bother to list a station broadcasting below 32kbs? The worst part is that you're not allowed to search by bitrate or encoding format. I would like to see a searchable web interface that I could use to find quality stations. Searching through the receiver is not fun. It would be nice if Xiva would post a few valid email addresses on their site for comments and suggestions (although my suggestions at the moment would be quite vulgar).
 

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so whats the SNR of the onkyo? one of my beefs about the AT is that they did some pretty cheesy engineering. Routing the analog signal to the front and back under the powersupply springs to mind but I recall some criticism of some of the audio stage parts. have you opened it up and taken a look at its construction?


inquiring minds...


phil
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by philba
...one of my beefs about the AT is that they did some pretty cheesy engineering. Routing the analog signal to the front and back under the powersupply springs to mind but I recall some criticism of some of the audio stage parts. have you opened it up and taken a look at its construction?


inquiring minds...


phil
I think there's a consensus that the analog output of the audiotron is not 'audiophile' and that its DAC is pretty, errr, consumer quality.


But most people who use the audiotron are feeding their receivers via digital optical cable, and for that the audiotron is just as high quality as the mp3 or .wav files it is streaming.
 

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Taret:

I use the RIO Receiver. It's no longer in production. RIO want's to sell more expensive stuff. I love it. Just picked up a second box for the bedroom on Ebay for about $125.00. Small, compact, works great, super interface, and fast. ( no onscreen display on tv, but has easy to read lcd). The sound is also quality through home stereo. Only has analog outputs (no optical or coax). No big deal. This baby is over a $100.00 less expensive than Audiotron, and NEVER gives me any problems.


Just set up play lists with Musicmatch and tag files, etc. I don't see being Windows only as a drawback. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
 

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yeah, I know a couple people that love their RRs. Its not a bad solution if you are ok with the drawbacks.


My problems with the RR are the lack of toslink and the fact that its basically tied to using windows as the server (you need a server app to deliver the files to the RR). I know some guy has perl scripts that sort of work on linux but last time I looked there were features that it didn;t support. Windows has the reliability of tonya harding - the last thing I want to do is reboot windows to listen to music.


It is cheap these days.


Phil
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stuatwork
The sound is also quality through home stereo. Only has analog outputs (no optical or coax). No big deal.
I have seen posts that say the Audiotron's analog outputs aren't that great. Does anyone know if the RIO's are any better?. If the RIO's analog outputs are decent I might consider one. The Windows only drawback in no big deal with me. WinXP is plenty stable enough. I'm not launching a rocket, just listening to music. Thanks.


Jay
 

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jerndl:


I have my RR hooked up to my home lan and into a Denon 3802 receiver

with 4 Def Tef 06's + center. Sounds fabulous to me. Then again what do I know. MP3's are limited sounding to begin with.


I see so many issues people have with Audiotrons. Never have any problemswith RR. Go for it. Even my wife loves it. She's usually totally helpless with electronics. Currently have about 800 songs available 24/7.

You manage the music with Musicmatch which is extemely easy to use.


It's a beautiful thing.
 

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Actually, someone's got a server for the RR written in Java that works fine on Linux (we use it for the office RR), as well as other platforms. Of course, since the RR depends on DHCP, NFS and HTTP (among others) using anything but the supplied server on Windows can lead to a difficult configuration task.


I have my home RR hooked up to a Denon AVR-5803. Sounds good enough (w/192Kbps MP3s) that I don't often go back to the CD jukeboxes. Probably not the best sounding thing on the block, but someone from empeg (who developed the RR) told me once that it has Burr-Brown DACs in it, which ain't bad at all.


My only issue is the RR's file count limitation. Annoying with the supplied server software if you just want to put your entire collection on random play. Even more annoying using JReceiver (the Java based server) for reasons I won't go into here.


Well, the other issue is that the supplied Windows based server is just plain stupid, but at least it gets the job done.


I have not had any reliability/usability issues with either RR. The one in the office runs for as long as we let it run, until the Java based server needs restarting (about once every two weeks).


The one at home runs off its XP server, and I've never had to restart the server for it. It's up to the reader to decide whether that's because I have to reboot the XP machine for other reasons, or because the server's so reliable (hint: it's some of both, but a couple of weeks uptime on the server is certainly a reasonable expectation).
 

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Has there been firmware updates for the RR? How about the Windows server software? If you buy one of these things used do you need to worry about having the right firmware/software? Are they hosted somewhere for download? I could not find anything at the SonicBlue site. Also, what is the file count limitation referenced above? Thanks.


Jay
 

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Both RRs I bought came with a CD-ROM with the server software on it (as well as some Linux sources - the thing runs Linux you know). As far as I know, there's only one version, and no immediate plans for an update.


The file count limitation is largely a function of the number of file IDs the thing can keep in memory at once, most often of importance when dealing with playlists. I think there's also an absolute limit of something on the order of 10,000-16,000 files.


Check the forums on rioreceiver.comms.net for more details.
 

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The RR was discontinued a long time ago - I dont think Rio (or who ever they are now) has been doing anything for at least a year.


So toots, you got a URL for the JReceiver stuff? I think rio has some of these puppies new (er, unused) in a warehouse. I might be able to get one for about 120. worth monkeying with


Are there any remote/web control interfaces?
 
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