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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A number of the latest AVRs promote their USB port, iPod compatibility, etc. - heck, some even send album art to your TV, although I'm not sure if the software for this is on your i-device or the receiver. Here's what I would like to do - copy my CD collection at FULL Rez onto a portable USB hard drive and play it back through the receiver. I assume this would require an AVR w/software built-in. I'm wondering if such a critter exists.


My iPhone is fine for what it is, but I have no interest in listening to my jazz collection at 128k, if you catch my drift. And while I could hook my computer up directly to my AVR, I'm wondering if I can avoid this.


TIA
 

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So are they FLAC or WAV files?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've never used FLAC. As a matter of fact, I've never heard of it until you mentioned it.
From what wiki says, it's a lossless format that achieves a 30-50% compression.


That's fine, but not a requirement. The little portable hard drives are 75 bones for the paperback book sized ones, and the larger ones (1-1.5 TB) are just over a bill. So price/storage space won't affect codec choice.


Which one will work, and what receivers work with what codec?


Just so you know WHY I want to "portable-ize" everything, I lost the heart and soul of my CD collection (older acoustic jazz, 70s fusion, lotta stuff from overseas - I'm a former jazz musician who spent 20 years touring internationally) via Katrina. I'm finally able to start replacing big chunks of it, and I never want this to happen again. additionally, I'm not sure I want to integrate the soon-to-arrive new desktop computer into the HT - my wife works out of our home, uses it a lot, and that may create a separate set of issues, iffin ya know what I mean.
 

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This may not be of help but My Pioneer VSX-01 plays USB Flash drives well from a front USB port. I know 16gb is available but I don't know if the Pio has a size limit. I've used 2gb. Plays fine w' .mp3. I haven't tried a portable HD but it's not inconceivable that it would work. One caveat is that the screen interface is very primitive and it is not easy to navigate. Perhaps this years Elite's newer graphic screens may be an improvement.


Here's a cut and paste from the manual on file compatability:


"Compressed audio compatibility

Note that although most standard bit/sampling rate

combinations for compressed audio are compatible,

some irregularly encoded files may not play back. The list

below shows compatible formats for compressed audio

files:

• MP3 (MPEG-1/2/2.5 Audio Layer 3) – Sampling rates:

8 kHz to 48 kHz; Bit rates: 8 kbps to 320 kbps (128

kbps or higher recommended); File extension: .mp3

• WMA (Windows Media Audio) – Sampling rates: 32

kHz / 44.1 kHz; Bit rates: 32 kbps to 192 kbps (128

kbps or higher recommended); File extension: .wma;

WMA9 Pro and WMA lossless encoding: No

• AAC (MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding) – Sampling

rates: 11.025 kHz to 48 kHz; Bit rates: 16 kbps to 320

kbps (128 kbps or higher recommended); File

extension: .m4a; Apple lossless encoding: No


Other compatibility information

• VBR (variable bit rate) MP3/WMA/MPEG-4 AAC

playback: Yes1

• DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection

compatible: Yes (DRM-protected audio files will not

play in this receiver)."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumsky /forum/post/16979963


I've never used FLAC. As a matter of fact, I've never heard of it until you mentioned it.
From what wiki says, it's a lossless format that achieves a 30-50% compression.


That's fine, but not a requirement. The little portable hard drives are 75 bones for the paperback book sized ones, and the larger ones (1-1.5 TB) are just over a bill. So price/storage space won't affect codec choice.


Which one will work, and what receivers work with what codec?


Just so you know WHY I want to "portable-ize" everything, I lost the heart and soul of my CD collection (older acoustic jazz, 70s fusion, lotta stuff from overseas - I'm a former jazz musician who spent 20 years touring internationally) via Katrina. I'm finally able to start replacing big chunks of it, and I never want this to happen again. additionally, I'm not sure I want to integrate the soon-to-arrive new desktop computer into the HT - my wife works out of our home, uses it a lot, and that may create a separate set of issues, iffin ya know what I mean.

I have about 50Gig of music (kids stuff, stuff I do not ever listen too but I have it all). I use a DIY full home audio distribution solution for playback. I think everyone should have been ripping their music years ago and protecting it. It just takes one event and Im sorry to read that you suffered through Katrina.


Have you considered a little box like the WD HD media player? its very cool for movie and music playback in any single room. I have setup friends on a couple of them, just plug in your portable HD over USB to it and there is a nice screen on the TV to scroll through your collection (remote included).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay /forum/post/16981116


You'd be much better off connecting a real digital media player device to your receiver than trying to use a receiver as a digital media player.

Any good ones handle FLAC or WAV? I think that is what he is after.
 

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My Pioneer Elite SC-05 does, as long as your usb-connected drive is formatted correctly. It will also play anything via ethernet that you have on your PC, through Windows Media Gallery. I haven't tried connecting network storage to it, though I suppose you could?


It also has an extensive library of internet radio stations.


FWIW, I found playing through WMG on the SC-05 to have much better quality than streaming from the PC (which is also connected). Oh, and yes, it will play .flac files.
 

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I'm doing this with my Pioneer VSX-1019. I have a 320 GB usb WD Passport drive that is formatted for FAT32. It is loaded with my entire CD collection which is only about 110 CD's and my Photos. The receiver does an excellent job of playing from the USB drive and has a slideshow feature so you can run through photos with background music.


I'm sure the higher end Elites could handle this also but the VSX-919 might work also. The manual is not the greatest but with just a little trial and error it only took minutes to get this working. The hardest part was getting the drive formatted as FAT32.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/16981128


Any good ones handle FLAC or WAV? I think that is what he is after.

Probably, but I don't know enough about current models to recommend anything. There is a "Digital Media Servers & Streamers" forum that would be a good place to look for more info, though...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39
 

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I believe Denons with USB (e.g. 3310CI, 3808CI, and higher models) will play music off a USB hard drive... but again, clunky interface, and from what I've seen, slow navigation especially with large amounts of files.


I agree with RoboRay however that it's easier to simply use an external digital media server device rather than depending on the AVR. Then you can get the receiver you want and not worry about that feature; especially for a large music collection, a dedicated digital media solution will have vastly superior navigation and user interface, ability to construct playlists, etc.
 

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exactly the ticket? I know that he asked about receivers, but imho, the PH would be a better solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies! I've seen that USB is starting to be implemented on AVRs, but was unsure how far it has come in terms of ease of use. Looks like I should start snooping around the server forum before I make a decision.


I was leaning toward a Marantz SR6003 before this issue arose, for purely musical reasons. I may just stick with that choice and get a server.
 

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I use my macbook and Airport express. It's been the simplest solution. If I had some bucks, I would get an Apple TV which is supposed to sync with iTunes on an Apple. I assume it has a decent interface.
 

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The Yamaha RX-V1056 indicates .wav files, but it only specifies flash drives, so not sure if an HD will work.

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/p...ETYP=ATTRIBUTE


USB

This unit is equipped with a USB port that allows you to enjoy WAV (PCM format only), MP3 and WMA audio files from a USB memory device (USB flash drive).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/16984700


I use my macbook and Airport express. It's been the simplest solution. If I had some bucks, I would get an Apple TV which is supposed to sync with iTunes on an Apple. I assume it has a decent interface.

AppleTV is very user friendly and streams from any computer. Very nice GUI, easy to navigate and works with Harmony remotes. We have two in the house with no complaints. Sometimes you can get a refurb unit at the Apple refurb store for a pretty good savings, that is where I bought mine.


Mike
 

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I will keep that in mind if I get a job
It would be nice to not have to turn the laptop on just to listen to music. Admittedly, I am chained to my laptop for much of my waking/home hours, so it's not inconvenient to use my macbook/Airport.


I had tried using Twonky/RX-V3900, but the 3900 music interface sucks, to be frank. I am diasspointed Yamaha can't do better in the $1700+ piece of gear (depending on what kind of deal you got
. I don't expect a Tivo, but I feel they owe their customers more.
 

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Quote:
It would be nice to not have to turn the laptop on just to listen to music.

this is the #1 advantage of media units with built-in HDD like AppleTV or Popcorn Hour.


It really depends on (1) how you want to control the music and (2) where your media is stored.


If you have a desktop somewhere in your house that is always on, you can just get a streaming device like airport express. But for those of us who are in laptop-only households, it's a real pain to have the laptop on all the time just to listen to some music.


Quote:
I had tried using Twonky/RX-V3900, but the 3900 music interface sucks, to be frank. I am diasspointed Yamaha can't do better in the $1700+ piece of gear

you see the same general complaints in the owner's threads for networked Denon models (e.g. 3808CI, 4310CI, etc). A lot of the extras like internet radio, HD radio, media streaming, etc. have clunky interfaces and plenty of bugs.... the problem with AVR's becoming all-in-one boxes is it dilutes their competency in these ancillary functions. I would much rather have a 3rd-party device for media streaming, you will get a more dependable solution with a slick interface and then you can just buy the AVR you want without worrying about some of those features.... you might end up spending less net and getting more functionality.
 
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