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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
just had a few questions about streaming FLAC audio.

I just recently upgraded my speakers, and will be hooking them up soon/eventually once the basement is finished.
I listen to most music with CD's but also have quite a few FLAC files I would like to listen to.
I am wondering what are the best options to stream the FLAC files from a share on my pc.

here is a list of the equipment that I have:
receiver: Pioneer SC-25, Emotica XPA-3, dvd player: oppo dv-980h, ps3, xbox 360, ps4, aptv with xbmc.

I looked at the pioneer manual, looks like i can stream directly from my pc, however, it looks like it caps off at 44Khz so files at 96 or 192 would not work I'm assuming (or used to its full potential)

any input would be appreciated, very new to 2 channel audio. also noticed people using DAC's? would this be recommended? or not needed?
 

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The SC-25 doesn't play FLAC directly, so you have to convert to PCM or analog first.

If playing from the PC, I'd get a USB to optical or coaxial converter, for $30 or so, if your PC does not already have a coaxial or optical output.

Play the files on the PC in foobar or other software, send the PCM digits out the USB to coaxial or optical inputs on the SC-25 for decoding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The SC-25 doesn't play FLAC directly, so you have to convert to PCM or analog first.

If playing from the PC, I'd get a USB to optical or coaxial converter, for $30 or so, if your PC does not already have a coaxial or optical output.

Play the files on the PC in foobar or other software, send the PCM digits out the USB to coaxial or optical inputs on the SC-25 for decoding.
I should have mentioned, the pc is not in the same room, same floor , but pretty far away. So I would like to stream it by network.

doing some research online, would I need a streaming player? they are a bit pricey

Is there anyway to use xbmc or Plex on the ps3?
 

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I should have mentioned, the pc is not in the same room, same floor , but pretty far away. So I would like to stream it by network.

doing some research online, would I need a streaming player? they are a bit pricey

Is there anyway to use xbmc or Plex on the ps3?
Sorry, I don't play games.

Use the DLNA function on the AVR, then. Page 73 and more in the SC-25 manual, which seems to be what you are referring to now.

The SC-25 doesn't seem to understand FLAC, so your DLNA server would need to transcode to a format it likes, or you can un-flac your files manually.

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edit: Now I see FLAC as an appropriate file type under the 'Home Media Gallery' section.

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Set up a DLNA server on the PC or whatever other device you have that the AVR can see on the network, and give the server access to your files.

PLEX should work, as well as many others. No need to buy anything yet.
 

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You can run Serviio or PS3 Media Server on your PC and stream to the PS3, I did for years before I bought a Chromebox + Kodi. :)

I prefer Serviio over PS3 MS.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for info guys, just a few more questions
Does it make a difference (audio quality wise) if I listen to a cd using my oppo in stereo or streaming the same cd ripped, let's say 16/44 flac using my receiver or PS3?
 

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Thanks for info guys, just a few more questions
Does it make a difference (audio quality wise) if I listen to a cd using my oppo in stereo or streaming the same cd ripped, let's say 16/44 flac using my receiver or PS3?

Not likely. 16/44 was chosen as the CD standard because it was enough to handle the audible noise and fidelity requirements. Recording engineers use greater bit depth and higher resolution in order to have headroom for mixing and mastering but the final product is 16/44. Adding bits or resolution doesn't affect things audibly because 16/44 is enough to do the job - in fact more than enough.


To answer your question, look at the specs of any hardware streamer (there are many of them) and be sure it can decode FLAC before you buy it. Even my ancient Squeezeboxes handle FLAC files. It is a common codec.
 

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thanks , Im going to compare the 2 once everything is setup.
now im curious to compare 24 bit to 16 bit, but thats a whole other topic. doesnt seem like its worth it.

The arguments are pretty silly because they involve specsmanship. 16 bits provides an inaudible noise floor. Having a lower inaudible noise floor may appeal to some but it doesn't affect anything audible so it is trivial for most people.
 

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FWIW, I play FLAC files from an iPod Touch using a FLAC Player app. I can load Hi-Res Flac files from my PC (which I purchased and downloaded from sites like HDTracks) via iTunes while the iPod is connected and synced. I dock the iPod to a digital dock, in this case a Cambridge Audio id100. This bypasses the iPod's internal DAC and sends the digital bitstream thru a TosLink cable to my AVR which then decodes the flac data and plays beautiful, hi-res music.
 

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Thanks for info guys, just a few more questions
Does it make a difference (audio quality wise) if I listen to a cd using my oppo in stereo or streaming the same cd ripped, let's say 16/44 flac using my receiver or PS3?
Which Oppo you have? If it's the 103 I would just buy a small portable HD and attach it directly to the Oppo and transfer all of your files there.The 103 decodes all the lossless encodings I tried for PCM .
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Small update and question on this topic:

I find that music streamed directly to my receiver by network sounds very very good.
However, when using my ps3 and plex to stream any flacs, the audio doesnt sound as great.

Since I am not ready yet to upgrade my receiver, is there any 24 bit flac streamers you guys recommend that wont degrade audio quality at all and sound just as good as the way I stream directly to the receiver?

So far the Squeezebox Duet has been suggested, I see a few on ebay, wanted to know any other alternatives or options.
Just to add: How does the Squeezebox Duet or similar products in the price range compare to a marantz na6005 type product?

thanks
 

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Small update and question on this topic:

I find that music streamed directly to my receiver by network sounds very very good.
However, when using my ps3 and plex to stream any flacs, the audio doesnt sound as great.

Since I am not ready yet to upgrade my receiver, is there any 24 bit flac streamers you guys recommend that wont degrade audio quality at all and sound just as good as the way I stream directly to the receiver?

So far the Squeezebox Duet has been suggested, I see a few on ebay, wanted to know any other alternatives or options.
Just to add: How does the Squeezebox Duet or similar products in the price range compare to a marantz na6005 type product?

thanks

Why not do this experiment? Temporarily move the PC to near the receiver, and wire the PC to whatever input on the receiver will do 24-bit files. Play them and compare to streaming, which I believe from reading your earlier posts only goes to 16-bit? Then if you hear a difference investigate a 24-bit streamer, if you don't just go back to the way things were.
 

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You can rig up a squeezebox player using any idevice into a dock that you connect to your receiver. You run ipeng with play enabled on the player (low cost app) and put Logitech Media Player on the server (free online). You can control it using the idevice or another idevice running ipeng. It will play almost every format and the control software is great, you can see cover art, lyrics, create playlists, etc. I've been running mine using a Squeezebox touch, but they are fairly expensive since they were discontinued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Why not do this experiment? Temporarily move the PC to near the receiver, and wire the PC to whatever input on the receiver will do 24-bit files. Play them and compare to streaming, which I believe from reading your earlier posts only goes to 16-bit? Then if you hear a difference investigate a 24-bit streamer, if you don't just go back to the way things were.
I think that is a good idea, my question for this method is: do you think plugging my pc or laptop via 1/4" audio plug to the receiver will give me good results ? same as a streaming device?


You can rig up a squeezebox player using any idevice into a dock that you connect to your receiver. You run ipeng with play enabled on the player (low cost app) and put Logitech Media Player on the server (free online). You can control it using the idevice or another idevice running ipeng. It will play almost every format and the control software is great, you can see cover art, lyrics, create playlists, etc. I've been running mine using a Squeezebox touch, but they are fairly expensive since they were discontinued.
thanks, yeah ive been looking around, they are a little pricey. thats why I am now trying to compare to some other used network streaming devices.
 

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I think that is a good idea, my question for this method is: do you think plugging my pc or laptop via 1/4" audio plug to the receiver will give me good results ? same as a streaming device?




thanks, yeah ive been looking around, they are a little pricey. thats why I am now trying to compare to some other used network streaming devices.

I think you'd be better off using whatever method can go digital from the PC to a DAC input in the receiver. I assume that if you can hard wire them together you can get 24-bit, vs. the 16-bit your current streamer is limiting you to. If you use a 1/4" audio plug you'll be taking the analog feed from the soundcard. I'd rather let the receiver handle the conversion, as you'll then be comparing like with like. That is, the streamer is sending digital to your receiver, but is limited at the streamer side to 16-bit, hard wiring will allow you to take advantage of the 24-bit capabilities of the receiver's DAC. Same DAC means you'll get a direct comparison between the two bit depths, and see for yourself whether you're losing anything by having your streamer downsample. My suspicion is you are not, BTW, but I'd be interested to hear your impressions, should you try this.
 
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