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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm tired of using my laptop and external HD as a digital music player in my audio systems. All I listen to is 2 channel stereo. Does anyone manufacture a decent (near audiophile) unit that handles all file formats (VLC player is my favorite) and would ideally use an external HD (collection is > 500 GB). Prefer an internal DAC for portability even if less than ideal. I'm tempted to build another small computer but don't really need much of a display and don't know of any options other than small flatscreens. Thanks, I'm hoping I can buy something for $200-400.
 

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well if you can wait for it you might want to look at the Squeezebox Touch when it comes out.. i'm pretty interested in this myself as it will allow connection to external USB drives and has its own DAC.
 

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If you must have easy portability, you're pretty much now limited to MP3 players and netbooks with external DAC's for your stated price point.


If you only need portability within range of your home network, then you also have the option of media streamers too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks coolsax. The Touch seems like it will do the trick. Wish it had a higher sampling rate. Wonder when it will be available- at $300 I hope I could find a way to listen to it first.
 

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Assuming you already own an ipod you could try one of Wadia's products like the 170i. I personally have never heard one but they have recived some positive reviews. I myself am planning on purchasing the Squeezbox Touch, whenever they decide to release it, and combining it with the Cambridge DACMagic.


Also, there is the AppleTV that you coud use.


Nish
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No iPod- my collection quickly blew by 300 GB and there was no way I wanted to spend time transferring content. I built a quiet computer for the family room but find I now want something "portable" to play digital music in the listening room and at our farm. Laptop does ok but is a little precarious. The squeezebox and a portable HD seems the best bet so far. Guess I could get an external DAC for the listening room, but IMHO my albums are still the way to go when I want to listen to something really good. I'm being seduced by the ease and variety of digital which is ok. Anyone think the 96 KHz samkpling limitation is significant?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvbutch /forum/post/18257369


Thanks coolsax. The Touch seems like it will do the trick. Wish it had a higher sampling rate. Wonder when it will be available- at $300 I hope I could find a way to listen to it first.

what sample rate do you need? Touch does 24/96...Availability seems to be April-May (but it's been pushed back b/4).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not really sure about sample rate. I know my ears have declined dramatically in the last 5 years. My younger brother has gotten obsessed with converting his large album collection to digital format and believes there's an audilbe difference between the 24 bit/96 KHz and those upsampled to 192 KHz. I guess as long as you're willing to devote the storage space for the upsampled files you could always hope to utilize the higher quality with future hardware. For me, the $299 price of the Touch is something I can afford and I bet it will sound great to me.


Are we sure that it will play the advertised formats directly from a 1 TB external hard drive?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvbutch /forum/post/18265038


No iPod- my collection quickly blew by 300 GB and there was no way I wanted to spend time transferring content. I built a quiet computer for the family room but find I now want something "portable" to play digital music in the listening room and at our farm. Laptop does ok but is a little precarious. The squeezebox and a portable HD seems the best bet so far. Guess I could get an external DAC for the listening room, but IMHO my albums are still the way to go when I want to listen to something really good. I'm being seduced by the ease and variety of digital which is ok. Anyone think the 96 KHz samkpling limitation is significant?

Any AVRs that allow for USB hard drive connections? So you can just take a 1TB hard drive everywhere?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottfox /forum/post/18287045


check out the WDTV from western digital. Their website has all the info you need. It does much more than 2 channel audio, but you should be able to purchase it for under $100. Plays back MP3, WMA & flac.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=30


for a little more, the live version is network ready.

I do use an WDTV to play music files, works fine, however keep in mind that you will need one TV to browse the files.
 

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Any AVRs that allow for USB hard drive connections? So you can just take a 1TB hard drive everywhere?

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It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee



The newer Pioneer receivers have a USB port in the front. A guy in the Pioneer VSX 1019 AV forum said he connected his WD passport and was able to easily view pictures and play audio files.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 /forum/post/18295646


Any AVRs that allow for USB hard drive connections? So you can just take a 1TB hard drive everywhere?

__________________

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee



The newer Pioneer receivers have a USB port in the front. A guy in the Pioneer VSX 1019 AV forum said he connected his WD passport and was able to easily view pictures and play audio files.

I have the VSX-919. The USB port is a really nice feature, but it can get complicated. There are a few "gotchas." The Pioneer USB only reads FAT32 partitions and will not play lossless that I have found. I use WMA 192 rips primarily, and your music must be ripped in WMA Audio or VBR. WMA Pro or lossless will not work. People claim low-power USB drives will work but I haven't tested that yet. I have a Seagate FreeAgent that should work but it's NTFS and I can't reformat it to try. I haven't messed with MP3s either.
 

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Rodrigues

Agreed, unless U can remember which buttons on the remote to push in the right order to get U to the music choice & start playback.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottfox /forum/post/18316055


Rodrigues

Agreed, unless U can remember which buttons on the remote to push in the right order to get U to the music choice & start playback.

Too hard
better, create a playlist file (M3U) and let it roll.
 

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If you lost out on the H/K DMC1000 clearance windfall there is a nice used Olive Symphony server available at Audiogon for $675 OBO. It will even burn CDs.
 

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Has anyone tried using the new Dell Zino HD (mac-mini clone) as an audio file server? Its $299, but you would probably have to connect to a DAC to get good sound.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taperwood /forum/post/18295877


I have the VSX-919. The USB port is a really nice feature, but it can get complicated. There are a few "gotchas." The Pioneer USB only reads FAT32 partitions and will not play lossless that I have found. I use WMA 192 rips primarily, and your music must be ripped in WMA Audio or VBR. WMA Pro or lossless will not work. People claim low-power USB drives will work but I haven't tested that yet. I have a Seagate FreeAgent that should work but it's NTFS and I can't reformat it to try. I haven't messed with MP3s either.

In windows there is a very small size allowed for formating Fat 32 so I used another app to format a 500gig drive and don't think there is a limit to size. (PM me if interested I would have to find it in my back ups and don't recall what it was called). Used it with my denon 3808 which will play MP3 upto 320 WMA, Wav and Flacc with I used most. The Flac option was a deal breaker for me. I believe most AVRs will play wav though.


BTW don't use this method any more just play off the network with TVersity or use the HTPC i am setting up in the same room.
 
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