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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not really sure what I want to ask I'm at an intersection and not real sure which way to go. I'll try to explain where am at and what I'd like, sorta.


I have a two channel rig in my home's great room. There is no TV, and never will be. This area of the house is for entertaining guests and those rare moments in a hectic life when I just want to plop my but down in front of my speakers and relax with stiff drink. I listen to two things - CD music and cable music channels that is ran via coax R/L cables from a different room of the house where a cable box is located. I have a separate HT for movies and TV.


For CD, I use an Integra universal six disk changer and two 400 disk Sony mega changers (455's). I use the Integra for convenience when I don't feel like screwing with the changers and / or get a new box of shiny disks from Amazon and want to listen to them for a while before loading them into the mega changers. The Cable music is just for background music when I don't care much about SQ.


I use a Rotel RB 1070 / 1080 combination. The 1070 pre amp does not have any digital inputs.


Here's my frustration and reason for posting.


Both mega changers are full and I either need to buy a third mega changer, or go with a media server and copy all the CD's to a hard drive. It took me ten years to fill up the first two changers, so I think three will serve me well for another few years, maybe. I absolutely hate the user interface of the changers. I either hit all play random, or pick one of the categories I have programmed and walk away. I'd love to control these things with a library interface like Window Media Player or similar. That desire lead me to the use of a laptop and two different private software programs. Neither program worked out very well and I gave up on them with a few more grey hairs. Plus, the laptop wasn't very convenient either. Waiting for it to boot up whenever I wanted to use it sucked.


I then heard about the Olive Opus and thought that was the perfect solution. I could put all my CD's onto its hard drive uncompressed or FLAC and it uses some great DACs, and looks good too. Then I found out how much it cost. Four grand is just more than I can bring myself to spend. Plus, I'm not sure I want to take the time to load 800 + CD's onto a hard drive to begin with, and then what happens if it crashes. I think I'd rather give up one of my toes then have to go through all that twice.


A couple days ago, Google lead me to the Escient web sight and at first glance, the DVDM-100 looks as if it just might be the answer for my situation. I'm not real sure what its street price is, but I did find one on-line dealer sells refurbished units for about half of MSRP, or roughly one grand. This is much more palatable than four grand. It looks as if all I'd need is a small monitor and I could use the remote to control the DVDM-100. Or, I could spring for their touch screen monitor for a way cool' factor.


Before I buy the DVDM-100 and a third mega changer, I figured I'd ask around and see what else may be available to accomplish what I'm looking to do.


I am not interested in wireless gadgets like the Squeeze Box or Sonos. I hate the sound of compressed audio too, so that's not an option (I realize that both can rip to FLAC).


I do have a hard wired home network throughout the house and can plug whatever I want into the network as needed.


Thanks for reading my ramblings and providing any insight / ideas you wish to share.


..mike
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrew /forum/post/14244454


I am not interested in wireless gadgets like the Squeeze Box or Sonos. I hate the sound of compressed audio too, so that’s not an option (I realize that both can rip to FLAC).

They are hardly gadgets, and both systems can be wired.


There's a severe case of Apples, Oranges, and Plums going on here.


Many of the devices you are describing are media servers - they are a big hard disk with built-in ripping software and audio output. These can be handy if you struggle to turn a PC on, but they ain't that flexible. Squeezbox and Sonos ain't media servers, they are media players.


Squeezebox is a network media player. It normally needs a special server to stream from. I'm pretty certain it won't stream from things like the Escient.


Sonos is a next-gen multi-room system. The difference is it's designed to do all the clever multi-room stuff like perfect sync between any and all rooms. You can stream music from your PC or from a NAS (networked hard drive). The nice thing is you can get one or two rooms and expand it as much as you want in the future, one room at a time for up to 32 rooms.


Neither Sonos or the squeezebox can rip or store your music for you. Both of them will stream from a PC, or a dedicated server. With the Sonos you can also stream from a pure NAS like the Buffalo Linkstation or WD Worldbook. Using a NAS with the squeezebox is possible, but it's not an officially supported option, and there are some gotchas.


A cheap NAS and a Sonos ZP80 plus controller will give you far more capability and music storage for less money than a typical dedicated music server setup, and will give you more flexibility and future-proofing than a CD jukebox. If you ain't that interested in having music around the rest of your home in the future, and you don't mind getting a bit more technical, Squeezebox might be worth a look.


The downside compared to a CD jukebox like the DVDM is you'll need to rip your music, but do it to FLAC or Apple Lossless and your audio quality should be at least as good as a CD jukebox player (probably better), and you'll only need to do it once.


On the other hand, you can also uses services like Rhapsody and Napster to give you instant access to millions of songs.
 

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I use Rhapsody for convienence purposes. I realize, there must be some give and take, but, it is very easy to use with a upnp media server or computer with a decent soundcard.


What's the "official" verdict on the sound quality?

How does the sound quality compare to cd or flac? I think they stream/download at 160 or 192kbs(wma).


I also stream yahoo launchcast plus, which I like because it "knows" what I want to hear. How does yahoo compare to rhapsody, flac, etc.


I guess you could give these a try.


If the drink is stiff enough, I think you'll enjoy it.
 

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Mdrew, IMO, devices like the Olive Opus...which you acknowledge is an expensive boondoggle...and the Escient, to a lesser extent (and expense), are poorly designed products that try to keep one foot in the past and one in the future. The Olive is just ridiculously expensive and aimed at audiophiles with more money than sense and who are scared to death of computers, and the Escient is nothing but a $1,000 management system for your big, clunky, slow CD changers.


Mdrew, if you truly want nearly unlimited music at your fingertips, organized in a clear and easily retrievable way, you gotta go with a streamer. Squeeze or Sonos (or other), it doesn't matter, but these products you're considering are like straddling the fence and they'll be in a museum or trash-heap soon enough. Don't want to rip your 800 CDs? Get a Rhapsody subscription and for $12.95 a month you'll probably find 750-799 of your CDs available, plus like 8,000,000 you don't have. Want background music? How about Jazz from Paris, House from London, Techno from LA? All available by streaming (free) Internet Radio.


Don't wanna pay $12.95 a month and only want to listen to the CDs you already own? You say you have a wired network...learn to rip; it's really easy once you get the hang of it and your FLAC files will sound a touch better than the same thing streamed through Rhapsody.


C'mon on...join us. The music is GREAT out here,


CD
 

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I'm in Mdrew's shoes as well. I'd like to digitize all my music from my current CD player set-up. But what to do?


CD, I see your point that $12.95 for a subscription sounds cheap and is very flexible, but how to get quality sound to my stereo w/o spending a ton of cash?


Wouldn't a SONOS or Squeeze solution still require around $1k since you need place to store and stream your music? Also, I've never heard a SONOS in action. Can a SONUS stream music that would compare to FLAC files played with a solid DAC or a single CD player? I don't know. I've heard the Sqeeze and stayed with my CD player (just my opinion).


I was really looking to set up my own server, which would require an external DAC, apple mini type device, and external HD, but the prices still hit around $1.5K etc.


Additionally, as CDLehner touched upon, other Olive type devices are not cheap. I believe the decent HD size (>250mb) on a Escient would run about $2k, which is in-line with other server type solutions, such as the Yammy.....now that is an overpriced example. The Olive at $1.5k is suddenly looking more attractive.


However, after having said all that and not willing to part with a bundle of cash to get great sound, I'm leaning toward a Yammy CDHD1500.....simple and primitive, but lossless quality and enough size to store my CDs.....but maybe I'll change my mind tomorrow as the thought of individually typing my cd track names sounds dreadful.


Good posts guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonpoint /forum/post/14264855


Also, I've never heard a SONOS in action. Can a SONUS stream music that would compare to FLAC files played with a solid DAC or a single CD player? I don't know. I've heard the Sqeeze and stayed with my CD player (just my opinion).

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, although this seems to come up a lot; Squeeze and Sonos can stream FLAC. In fact, it is really the preferred method, for those seeking the best sq (or other lossless codec).


Listen, I'm an audiophile and a computer guy. These music servers, honestly...I mean it's just my opinion, but about all they really do, in the end, is look like a traditional piece of audio equipment in your rack. They charge way too much in order to be an all-in-one solution for audiophiles who are scared to death of anything pc.


Hard drives are cheap; ripping software is free. If you're not planning on using the thing as a transport after you rip your files, it becomes useless. So what are you paying all that money for? I haven't looked in a while, but it used to be that the internal hard drives on these things were woefully undersized; imo 250 or 500 gb isn't going to get it done for very long. And unlike your good 'ole PC, these units are so proprietary, that it's probably downright impossible to swap out the hard drive should you decide you want (or need) to down the road.


CD
 

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Discussion Starter #7
CD,


I understand where you are coming from and agree with your opinion. The Mega changers are painful to use and I find that there are many, many songs and CD’s that I never hear because the stupid things just don’t get around to playing them on random, and, I can’t swear to this, but I believe they start at the beginning order each time I hit random play.


I have two problems though. I can’t use wireless in my home. I have trouble with wireless phones, let alone streaming music. I’ve tried wireless for my laptop and no dice. I need to keep this hard wired. It may be that this house is a rather large log home with many levels….I dunno. Wireless just isn’t reliable. Secondly, I live in rural AK in a mountainous area. I can not get reception for any satellite based music servers or stations such as XM or Sirius. I can’t even get HD channels from Dish without putting up a second, 48” dish.


I do not want to integrate my home office PC with this system, if I go the route of ripping CD’s. I want a simple to use, stand alone system with the ability to back up everything I rip onto separate external hard drives. My budget is about $1500. What would you suggest?
 

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I think it can be done for around $1500.


1) A PC $1000

2) A Router $50

3) An external hard drive $200

4) A squeezebox duet $300


1) Use the PC to rip your music to the internal drive. Most people use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) with the FLAC plugin. It's and easy one step operation. Ripping takes about 15min per CD, so its going to take a while to rip your 800 CDs. When you rip the music they will be tagged automatically, but get a copy of mp3tag to clean up the tags.


You need to get a very quiet PC, since it needs to be running while you are playing music.


2) Back up your music collection to the exernal drive. Most come with backup software.


3) Hook your PC to the Squeezebox Duet through the router.


Search Squeezebox on YouTube you will find some video demos. Its a two part system. The player has a ethernet connection, and hooks to your stereo with the standard RCA jacks or an optical connection. The controller looks like a big iPod, you access your music in the same way with a scroll wheel. Your music is cataloged by artist and album title.


If you can hook the PC up to you internet cannection you can access internet radio stations, and music services such as Rhapsody and Sirius.


Another option is to use a squeezebox without a PC. If you can wire it up to an internet connection, you can store your music on the internet. There is a service called mp3tunes that stores your music on the internet so you can access from the Sqeezebox I think it cost around $50 per year.
 

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Mdrew, if I were you...that is I had a wired network in place, wanted to stream and possibly rip my extensive CD collection, but not store it on my personal PC, and had a budget of like $1500...I would definitely consider a dedicated media server. I have this http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/d...h0!1254605333; for $550 you get 500GB to start, 3 more internal bays (4x500=2T, 4x750=3T, 4x1000=4T...you get the idea) and the possibility of expanding to 9T. You also get Windows Home Server, which is user friendly and incorporates a kind of "smart" backup, similar to RAID but easier to use, and certain other nice features that I wouldn't buy the box outright for, but are nice (maybe especially for your family) nonetheless. If you don't like this particular flavor, go with another server or even NAS (network attached storage); think of it as off-premises storage for all your media files (music for now, maybe video and pictures later).


Then you get yourself a front-end player, like the Squeeze or Sonos, sit yourself in the most comfortable chair you can find and you'll have access to all the music your heart desires. We can help ya with any technical issues.


I would think you'd be a perfect candidate for a 30-day trial. Before you drop money on a server, NAS, PC, etc., do some research and see which player might suit you best (Squeeze or Sonos). Try it out, along with a Rhapsody trial, and see what you think. The reason I emphasize the Rhapsody trial is, as some of us have mentioned previously, you may very well find that it kind of replaces your CDs, and if that's the case you won't even really have to worry about going through the trouble of ripping them (or buying a device to store them).


CD
 

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Remember again... time.. evolution..


Records > Tapes > DATs > CDs > mp3s > FLAC...


The hardware changes. You think your CDs will last forever and not get scratched by some odd malfunction in the mega changers?


I'd say you can do a reliability analysis using markov models if you want
.


If you want reliability I'd go with some kind of RAID. What the hell... Have 2 RAIDs. One backs up to the other...and add some more backup equipment. It would still be smaller and easier to MANAGE... than Physical CDs. The future is VIRTUAL. Whether its CDs, Documents or Receipts.

I've hated paper management and receipt management.


750GB SATA HDDs are really cheap (90-100$) these days. Set up a RAID based NAS - Off the shelf or with BYOD. If you have more time.. build a DIY NAS or ask a Techie friend / nephew / college kid to do it for you.


Rip using FLAC using a PC or a laptop (You dont necessarily have to buy a separate one - If you want.. thats your choice).


I bet there would be some way to write batch / scripts to AUTOMATE the RIPPING of your CDs into FLAC and organizing them with minimal interaction from your side.


Again, this is ONE TIME EFFORT.


You may not be as computer savvy but mind you .. you live you learn. Its a once in a BLUE MOON thing to do.


For listening to your MUSIC. Pick the streamer you find most appropriate. Maybe you wont like whats out there NOW! But eventually by next year... THIS IS THE WAY TO GO.. THIS IS THE FUTURE. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE...


Dont be so attached to your little silver discs like those Gramaphone and Record addicts.


PS: I have not yet gotten that addicted to FLAC yet, but I'd want

- RELIABLE CENTRAL STORAGE

- EASY ANYWHERE ACCESS - MY CHOICE OF WHERE I WANT MY MEDIA COULD CHANGE.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I realize that digital storage and management is the way to go. I would just like a better way to do it than interfacing with a computer that is tied to the internet, needs time to boot up, has all this F-ing hacker proof software on it…ect. I want to be able to simply pick up a remote and push a button or two and start hearing music. I don’t want to ‘wait’ for the PC to ‘allow’ me to do that. If there is a way to avoid that, whether it’s software or hardware related, please educate me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrew /forum/post/14275083


I realize that digital storage and management is the way to go. I would just like a better way to do it than interfacing with a computer that is tied to the internet, needs time to boot up, has all this F-ing hacker proof software on itect. I want to be able to simply pick up a remote and push a button or two and start hearing music. I don't want to wait' for the PC to allow' me to do that. If there is a way to avoid that, whether it's software or hardware related, please educate me.

Yeah, Mdrew...it doesn't sound like you're that familiar with these kinds of systems, but that's exactly how it can, and should, work. A Server or NAS, as opposed to a PC, is designed to always be on (so you don't need to boot up), it's not really tied to the Internet (it's connected by your wired, home network), and that's exactly what you would do...grab your remote, push a button and play any song or CD you like. The Server or NAS does not need to be in the same room as the front-end player, and really I wouldn't suggest it.


Have you done any research on the Squeeze or Sonos yet? From what I remember, they have like interactive demos that can demonstrate entirely what is possible. Go here for Squeeze http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_duet.html and click on the 'product tour' (or check out the older, but still good, less-expensive Classic while you're there) and here for Sonos http://www.sonos.com/products/system...components.htm and click on 'Sonos demo'.


Check 'em out and then come back here with questions. But please, no "which is better, Squeeze v. Sonos" type debates; we've already got 2 too many threads dedicated to that.


CD
 

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I agree with CDLehner, if it was me, I would go with the NAS, however, you will need a way to control the NAS, which means you are going to have to access it with your Office PC. That was the reason I suggested a PC rather then a server. If you decide to get a squeezebox system, you can buy a NAS with the "squeezecenter" audio streaming software already installed. However a NAS does mean you will have to control it with your office PC. I still think a seperate PC connected to a router may be best for your requirements.
 

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Mdrew (and any others who may be looking to do something similar), my sense is you still may not be exactly sure what is involved in the process we're describing. I've got some time...got the AC on and some Elvis Costello (King of America) on the Squeeze...so let me try and break it down for you in simple terms.


First thing you'll need is digital files to play. You can approach this 2 ways: you can either rip (extracting the files) your own CDs and store them for playback somewhere (more on that in a minute) or you can use a service that already supplies millions of files like Rhapsody or Pandora. The upside of services like Rhapsody and Pandora are simple; as I've said before, you'll probably find 750-799 (if not all 800) of the CDs you have already available for you. So, no need to rip them yourself, and if you go with a service like that exclusively, no need to spend the money for a storage and/or backup device (the Server, NAS, or PC in this equation). The downside? Well, they cost money (I couldn't live without Rhapsody, which is $12.95/month), do require the Internet (I know you have something against that), and, IMO, the streaming quality of their files is not quite as good as my own FLACs (although it should be said that my equipment and standards are very high, and Rhapsody streaming is fine sounding...just not quite as good as my own FLACs, but the convenience really does outweigh what little you trade-off in sq).


Now, that is not to say that ripping your own CDs and services like Rhapsody are mutually exclusively. You can, as I and probably most of us do, have a mix of both. This really gives you the best of both worlds. I, for example, have ripped the CDs Rhapsody does not have (or does not have in their entirety), but it is probably more of an issue for me than most because I have nearly 5000 discs. As has been stated elsewhere, most "average" users will be hard pressed not to find everything they own, and everything they've ever wanted to own, on Rhapsody.


Now, getting back to ripping your own CDs...if you decide you'd want to do this, here's what's involved: you mentioned you didn't want to have to use your personal PC to store any digital music, but would you be OK with ripping from there? Here's what I mean: if you were to go with a Server or NAS, you'd think of them as a big hard-drive, that doesn't interact (or interfere) with your main computer. But they don't have CD drives on them, so...you would install a piece of ripping software on your personal PC (it used to be that EAC...Exact Audio Copy...was the gold standard, but I use dbPowerAmp; I think it's every bit as accurate and much easier to set up), put one of your CDs in the drive, click a button, and the software would extract the file to the off-premise NAS or Server for storage and playback. Now, if you really don't want the ripping software on your PC, or to use its CD drive for ripping, for some reason, then you will have to think about a whole separate PC as malaugh suggests.


OK, so now you've decided to subscribe to Rhapsody and/or rip some of your own CDs to perfect, lossless FLAC. How do you play them? That's where the front-end Squeeze or Sonos comes in. (pause-really, check out Declan's I'll Wear It Proudly...beautiful). Either the Squeeze Duet or Classic, or Sonos ZP80 or ZP100 will stream these files anywhere you have a network connection (I mean, they all absolutely work wirelessly, but you've already said you're not interested in that...and frankly, if you already have the wired network in place, I don't think there's any question it's better for dropouts and transmission anyway). So, you can keep your choice of Server, NAS, or dedicated PC in the office, attic...hell, keep it hidden in a closet if you like...and you put the Squeeze or Sonos unit where you want to listen. You then access the files by remote, but the file structure is not all computery looking; look at those demos I mentioned in my last post, and you'll see the file management and access is quite slick. One of the biggest selling points of units like this is in the way they catalog and access a large number of files.


I hope I haven't dumbed this down too much. Sometimes the guys who have been on the front lines for a while forget what it's like to be starting out. Once you feel like you have an idea what'll work best for you, you can narrow your questions a little and we can then help offer some more specific detail on how to do this, or how to do that.


CD


P.S. Poisoned Rose, great!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for the great post CD. Yes, I am new to Sonos and Slim Devices, so this is very helpful. I am not new to ripping CD's though. I have about two or three hundred ripped, but I didn't know better at the time and ripped them as WMA. They sound like crap. I am quite picky when it comes to SQ. I'd have to rip everything FLAC or completely lossless. The reason I went with the changers years ago was because I couldn’t tolerate the sound of ripped music, but wanted all my CD’s available to play instead of in binders.


I like your media serer idea. I think that is probably the way to go for me. And if it’s on and ready to go as easily as you say, then I’m sold on the idea. I have looked a bit at both the Sonos and Slim Device web sights, but not in great detail. I’ll spend some more time on both.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrew /forum/post/14276763


Thank you for the great post CD. Yes, I am new to Sonos and Slim Devices, so this is very helpful. I am not new to ripping CD's though. I have about two or three hundred ripped, but I didn't know better at the time and ripped them as WMA. They sound like crap. I am quite picky when it comes to SQ. I'd have to rip everything FLAC or completely lossless. The reason I went with the changers years ago was because I couldn't tolerate the sound of ripped music, but wanted all my CD's available to play instead of in binders.


I like your media serer idea. I think that is probably the way to go for me. And if it's on and ready to go as easily as you say, then I'm sold on the idea. I have looked a bit at both the Sonos and Slim Device web sights, but not in great detail. I'll spend some more time on both.

mdrew,


Yes, CD's advice is terrific, and he obviously loves music and is very pleased with his set up. I've been following his posts in this forum for months, and mostly on his enthusiasm for the SB3 and/or Duet from Slim Devices, I've decided to get one myself next month.


Anyway, I have ripped most of my hundreds of CDs to FLAC, and I wanted to comment on a throwaway remark you made (and which I bolded). Pardon me if you already know this and my comment seems too pedantic, but FLAC is completely lossless. The only effective difference between it and the WAV files on your CD is that the file itself is compressed (so that it occupies about 58-60% of the storage space on your hard drive that a WAV file of the same song would). There is no dynamic compression or any kind of alteration of the sound quality in FLAC. There are no worries there. In fact, you can easily convert a FLAC file back to WAV with absolutely no loss of sound quality. The sound information in the file will remain completely intact and unchanged from one to the other, and back again if you like. The same is true of other lossless file formats, like Apple's lossless ALAC, for instance.


Sorry to be pedantic, but there is some possibility of confusion and misinformation in reading your post, and I wanted to make that clearer for you and anyone else who might read it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 /forum/post/14279383


mdrew,


Yes, CD's advice is terrific, and he obviously loves music and is very pleased with his set up. I've been following his posts in this forum for months, and mostly on his enthusiasm for the SB3 and/or Duet from Slim Devices, I've decided to get one myself next month.


Anyway, I have ripped most of my hundreds of CDs to FLAC, and I wanted to comment on a throwaway remark you made (and which I bolded). Pardon me if you already know this and my comment seems too pedantic, but FLAC is completely lossless. The only effective difference between it and the WAV files on your CD is that the file itself is compressed (so that it occupies about 58-60% of the storage space on your hard drive that a WAV file of the same song would). There is no dynamic compression or any kind of alteration of the sound quality in FLAC. There are no worries there. In fact, you can easily convert a FLAC file back to WAV with absolutely no loss of sound quality. The sound information in the file will remain completely intact and unchanged from one to the other, and back again if you like. The same is true of other lossless file formats, like Apple's lossless ALAC, for instance.


Sorry to be pedantic, but there is some possibility of confusion and misinformation in reading your post, and I wanted to make that clearer for you and anyone else who might read it.

Will, that's a good point and I'm glad you brought it up. I saw it, and thought about commenting, but if you've been following my posts as you say, you know I am sometimes criticized for being arrogant, so I was hesitant to nitpick. Plus I thought maybe Mdrew just made a slip of the keyboard, but you are absolutely right...and with the kind of misinformation out there, regarding digital media and streaming, deliberate or otherwise, it was worth clearing up. Of course FLAC is lossless, in fact it's built right into the name (Free Lossless Audio Codec)


CD
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No worries about offending me guys..... I am not bashful in saying I'm not up to speed on all the different means to compress music files. I THOUGHT FLAC was some lossless form, but not positive. So thanks for clarifying that point. I’ve simply been too pre-occupied with HD/BR formats and the whole high def viewing my HT for the past year or so. Now I need to get my music only rig up to speed.


I’ve been salivating over the SD Transporter. It sure sounds like quite the machine, and I love the way it looks. Have either of you actually heard what it can do? Two grand for that sucker….
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrew /forum/post/14280022


No worries about offending me guys..... I am not bashful in saying I'm not up to speed on all the different means to compress music files. I THOUGHT FLAC was some lossless form, but not positive. So thanks for clarifying that point. I’ve simply been too pre-occupied with HD/BR formats and the whole high def viewing my HT for the past year or so. Now I need to get my music only rig up to speed.


I’ve been salivating over the SD Transporter. It sure sounds like quite the machine, and I love the way it looks. Have either of you actually heard what it can do? Two grand for that sucker….

Mdrew, I admit I haven't heard it...and I agree, it's a looker. But I actually put it in the "boondoggle" category of machines like the Olive, Escient, etc. For 2 grand you get an upgraded DAC, cool displays, and maybe better parts in the signal path.


Don't get me wrong; I'm an audiophile, so I sometimes subscribe to the fact that better parts make for better sound, and yes, that comes at a price. However, I say maybe, in the case of the Transporter, because SlimDevices is not really in the business of making hi-end audio gear; so I'm not really sure what I'm getting for all that extra money.


Plus, as of now, the Transporter doesn't work with the Duet (LCD) remote, and having been an SB3 user, I can attest to, that for my money, the difference between its IR remote and the Duet's is well worth the price of admission.


If I was really picky about sq (and I am), and had decent dollars invested in my audio rig (which I do)...and had 2 Gs to spend on a digital front-end, I'd buy a Duet, SB Classic, or Sonos ZP80 and run it through an external DAC. I have my Duet running through the excellent PS Audio DLIII, on my top rig, and the SB3 (Classic) running through an MSB Link DAC III (Full Nelson) on my smaller system. I've argued elsewhere about the benefits, IMO, of an external DAC with these units; helps smooth out the digital edge, and firm up the bottom end, especially with the compressed files. The PS Audio unit runs around $900-1k, which, when matched up with any of the 3 streaming players, comes in under the Transporter.


Of course, it does look pretty cool!
I've seen them for sale, used, for around $1100-1200. If I had that just laying around, it might be worth a try.


CD
 

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I've been reading all of these posts very carefully, as I am in the same situation. I'm looking for a device that will play FLAC files from an external HD, I'm very fussy about sound quality (my main rig is includes Conrad-Johnson pre & power/big B&W speakers, Linn.....) and I have no interest in streaming music to any other part of my house. It appears that the Dvico, TVIX, MVIX boxes are toys and that my best option is to go for a PC back-end with a Squeeze or Sonos as my controller.


Incidentally I have a Sony M555ES 400 CD changer (I think that's the model #) that I can control using my PC & related software. It has been a godsend, however now that /I have a few thousand CDs in my collection, I'd need a 4,000 CD changer in order to keep pace or alternately a couple of cheap TB hard drives.


Roberta
 
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