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Hello Everyone,


Recently, I decided I wanted to be able to send (stream?) my music collection to each of my Marantz SR 6005s. Since the Marantz can't decode FLAC directly, my plan is to use Foobar on my Windows 7 PCs to play the FLAC files and send the audio to the Marantzs via HDMI. Last week I converted all my CDs to uncompressed FLAC via dBpoweramp and have ordered a NAS (Synology ds213j) which will be here on Wednesday. I currently only have one new hard drive for the NAS (I could only afford one after the cost of the NAS), but I do plan to add another hard drive within 6 months.


1. How do I go about setting up my NAS and configuring the audio settings on my laptop and desktop PC so that the Marantzs can properly decode the music at the right bitrate since I did purchase some, 88khz/24 bit, 176.4khz/24 bit, and 192khz/24 bit music downloads last week? I didn't see a setting that allowed me to select all the bitrates my receiver was capable of decoding in my PC or in Foobar, but to be honest I'm not really sure what I'm looking for.


2. Now that my files are stored on my laptop hard drive, how do I transfer them to the new hard drive? Can you just copy them like any ordinary file or is there a specific way to transfer them so that the files remain accurate, don't lose the ID tags assigned by dBpoweramp, etc.?


As you can see, I have zero experience with playing music files on a PC (I've always used CDs) so any help you could provide for this newbie would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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You mentioned using a PC to "Convert" the files for you. If that is the case then the Synology NAS is only going to be a storage device for your files unless they have an app that will convert them for you (which they might). Once you make the files you should be able to just copy them over to the Synology without doing anything special. The Synology will just "Stream" the data to your PC when it wants / needs it and then the PC will do the conversion. No settings need to be set on the Synology at all.

 

The settings you are looking for will be on the PC that is going the converting, since I am not familiar with the application you are going to be using I will let other take that part of the question.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyd5  /t/1522991/newbie-needs-help-settin...-music-to-av-receivers-via-hdmi#post_24494355


Recently, I decided I wanted to be able to send (stream?) my music collection to each of my Marantz SR 6005s. Since the Marantz can't decode FLAC directly, my plan is to use Foobar on my Windows 7 PCs to play the FLAC files and send the audio to the Marantzs via HDMI. Last week I converted all my CDs to uncompressed FLAC via dBpoweramp and have ordered a NAS (Synology ds213j) which will be here on Wednesday. I currently only have one new hard drive for the NAS (I could only afford one after the cost of the NAS), but I do plan to add another hard drive within 6 months.
If I've got this right, you intend using one PC to every AVR, using the AVR as an external DAC to the computer for music playback, connecting via HDMI. This should be ok, but assumes your computers have the necessary sound cards and audio drivers to be able to send LPCM at up to 192kHz/24-bit via HDMI and that your AVRs can handle the input.


Ok, since you are using Foobar2000 music player, you may as well turn the PC into a full blown UPnP/DLNA streamer, by installing the free foo_UPnP plugin component and use it as a UPnP/DLNA renderer. This will tie up nicely with the Synology NAS you've ordered, which will come with a built-in UPnP/DLNA server, ready to provide your setup with a music library automatically built from the indexes provided by the music file tags. Using a UPnP/DLNA controller, running on any networked device (ie includes iPads, phones, tablets, etc, as well as any networked computer), you control the music playback by selecting the desired file tracks from the UPnP/DLNA server, and 'pushing' them to the Fb2k UPnP/DLNA renderer for playback. If you are feeling confident, you've also got the bonus of being able to install and use the excellent free MinimServer music only UPnP/DLNA server on your Synology NAS. It will give you the ability to tailor the music library to your needs, which the default media server may not cater for (built-in NAS media servers are notorious for not being very user friendly, especially for music files, even buggy).


While you are waiting for your NAS to arrive, you can install MinimServer on the computer that is currently holding the music files, to test the system out. You could use the UPnP/DLNA server provided by the foo_UPnP plugin, but though it's quite decent, it's a bit klunky to use (can be switched off, if not required). Definitely avoid using the default Windows (media player) UPnP/DLNA server, which provides an unfriendly fixed/non-configurable media library.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyd5  /t/1522991/newbie-needs-help-settin...-music-to-av-receivers-via-hdmi#post_24494355


1. How do I go about setting up my NAS and configuring the audio settings on my laptop and desktop PC so that the Marantzs can properly decode the music at the right bitrate since I did purchase some, 88khz/24 bit, 176.4khz/24 bit, and 192khz/24 bit music downloads last week? I didn't see a setting that allowed me to select all the bitrates my receiver was capable of decoding in my PC or in Foobar, but to be honest I'm not really sure what I'm looking for.
Foobar2000 automatically sets the audio driver sample rates / bit depths for you, depending on the file resolution you are playing back, to avoid you having to manually set them yourself every time you change music file resolutions. Just make sure you've selected the WASAPI event (or older WASAPI push, if that doesn't work), for HDMI audio device the computer is using, in Fb2k's output settings. Having said that, you should have already tested the HDMI sound connection to the AVR, by going into Windows Sound Settings. This not only allows you to set the computer's default sound output to HDMI, to a specific resolution (which is overridden as required by Fb2k ), but also allows you to see & test which resolutions are actually supported by the connection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremyd5  /t/1522991/newbie-needs-help-settin...-music-to-av-receivers-via-hdmi#post_24494355


2. Now that my files are stored on my laptop hard drive, how do I transfer them to the new hard drive? Can you just copy them like any ordinary file or is there a specific way to transfer them so that the files remain accurate, don't lose the ID tags assigned by dBpoweramp, etc.?
Yes a normal copy to the required NASs shared folders is definitly ok. The tags are physically stored in the FLAC files, so you won't 'lose' them. However, make sure you configure the UPnP/DLNA server to get it to look at the appropriate folders containing the files on the NAS, so that it can build & index the media libary from the tag information contained in the music files it finds. Once the NAS is properly installed on the network, there should be no reason not to use dBpoweramp to rip directly to one of its network shared folders.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the information. Cebolla, you are correct in that I'm using a PC for each AVR. I have run the audio tone test on my PCs (sorry about not clarifying that I had run the audio test) and the AVRs were able to play each resolution. I did want to confirm a couple things just to make sure I understand you correctly.


1. So the setup would be NAS with MinimServer on it, each PC with the foo_UPnP plugin and using the WASAPI in Foobar?


2. I didn't realize that Foobar could automatically set the audio resolutions for you (I just set Windows audio to192/24). I didn't see a WASAPI option in Foobar's settings. However, I did see a separate download for WASAPI output support on Foobar's optional component tab when I went on their website this morning. I'm assuming that is what I'll need?
 

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1. Yes, that's right.


2. Indeed - WASAPI support is so basic, I forgot I'd originally installed it on Fb2k as an optional component, sorry about that!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cebolla I have installed the 2 components to Foobar with no problems. I also installed MinimServer on the NAS and followed the installation instructions. However, this last step on the installation instructions has me puzzled:


14. If the MinimServer status page is showing the media server status as Running (Note: mine does), you should be able to see your MinimServer library in a UPnP AV control point.


I'm not 100% sure what the bolded part is referring to, but I'm assuming that means MinimServer library should be visible in Foobar. However, I don't see MinimServer listed as an option. Do I need to point Foobar to the MinimServer folder in my Synology rather than the Music folder? Currently I have Foobar pointed directly to the songs folder on the NAS. Just in case you need this information, MinimServer status shows as running on my NAS. In Foobar, I see the new UPnP component and there are settings for UPnP. When I look at the Server Basic Settings, I see the Media Server is Foobar 2000 Media Server and the Media Renderer is Foobar 2000 Media Render. I did not install MinimServer on my PC or the optional MinimWatch.


One other minor thing. Is there a way to resize the UI elements in Foobar? I wanted to shrink the size of the playlist UI window and the album art UI window last night, but couldn't find a way to do it. Again thank you so much for your assistance.
 

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A UPnP AV control point, aka UPnP/DLNA controller aka Digital Media Controller (DMC) is the controller software used to select the tracks from a UPnP/DLNA media server in order to play to them to a UPnP/DLNA streamer on the same network. You can run them on most types of network devices, including Android & iOS phones/tablets/pads as well as computers.


You are right in thinking that Fb2k uses its control point (provided by the foo_UPnP plugin) to see the MinimServer's library, which you can then build a playlist from for playback locally on Foobar2000 itself or for any other streamer on the network. You can access MinimServer (or any other UPnP/DLNA server on the network) via the UPnP Browser (available from the View menu option), which presents the UPnP/DLNA server's media library in a tree like structure and the selected tracks are by default sent the special UPnP Browser Selection playlist. Note this is not the same as directly accessing the music files via the NAS's network shared songs folder, which doesn't actually use MinimServer and is just the same as building the playlist from files stored on a local drive.


TBH, I don't normally use the foo_UPnP controller, as its default setup is a bit klunky. It can be improved if you import a different user interface and are prepared to spend the time setting it up, such as the ColumnsUI, available here:
http://yuo.be/columns.php

I normally control my UPnP/DLNA streamers, including Foobar2000 ones, using my Android phone, via the excellent BubbleUPnP app. You can try the Kinsky application if you really have to control the playback from the Windows computer. I've tried the Bluestacks Android emulator with the BubbleUPnP app on a PC and that's worked well too. Remember you can use the same UPnP/DLNA controller to control any of the Foobar streamers, not just the one installed on the same machine.
 

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Ah, I do see MinimServer in the View menu option. Everything appears to be working so I'll look into the ColumnsUI and will definitely try out the BubbleUPnP app because it would be nice to be able to select a song/playlist on my Galaxy S4 and have Foobar on the PC play it rather than having to go over to my PC every time I wanted to listen to something else.


There's no way I would have figured this all out on my own. Thank you very much for all your help!
 

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No worries, glad you got it all going and first time too!

Good to see you've got a decent handheld device to control the playback. Certainly part of the fun of streaming is to be able to do it remotely.


BTW, I forgot to mention that MinimWatch is used to fully configure/control MinimServer when it's installed on a NAS (not required for the computer versions of MinimServer). You can only do some basic functions on MinimServer from the NAS's own user interface.
 

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Well I thought I was done, but I ran into one other issue with my laptop, although I suspect it can't be fixed without a hardware change. I went to play a song with a sampling rate of 176400/24 and received a compatibility error in Foobar. Confused because it ran fine before, I turned off WASAPI and was able to play the song, but I noticed the AVR had the sampling rate as 192000/24. A check of Windows audio settings shows that 176400/24 isn't an option (I don't know how I missed that before) so did Windows do something to the file to make it work at 192000/24 since that was what I selected in Windows audio? I checked my AVR manual again and it can definitely play a 176400/24 file (just not in FLAC), so unless I swap out the laptop video card (if I even can) I'm assuming that I'll always have to turn off WASAPI in order to play those songs?
 

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That's unfortunate. If you are certain the 176.4 kHz sample rate is supported by the AVR via HDMI, then the problem will be with the HDMI audio driver software which will of course be dependent on audio/video card installed, as you've mentioned. It may be worth checking to see if all associated drivers and even card firmware are up to date. It's possible that the card's own DAC doesn't support 176.4 kHz, so that it can't be played on the computer's own output. However, there may be a configuration to at least get the driver to pass through the audio with 176.4kHz sample rate via the HDMI output. You could try using the WASAPI Push output setting instead of the WASAPI Event one.


If none of the above is successful, then the only way to playback audio with the 176.4 kHz sample rate is to resample it to 192kHz with an unavoidable loss in quality (may not be noticeable, though). If you use the Windows audio settings it does this automatically for you, to the value selected, regardless of the audio driver supporting the audio's actual sample rate. What you really want is a way of just resampling the 176.4 kHz rate that isn't supported and leaving all the others that are supported untouched. That way you don't then have to manually change Foobar2000's output from WASAPI to the Windows default every time you playback a 176.4kHz file. There's a version of the SoX Resampler which you can use on Fb2k, that not only allows you to select which sample rate(s) require resampling and to what value, it also produces a better quality sound than the indescriminate Windows resampler does. Download the mod2 version, copy the dll to the components folder & restart Fb2k (the standard version doesn't descriminate so resamples all, mod1 resamples all except the ones specified & mod2 just resamples the ones specified - odd way of providing these facilities, but hey beggars can't be choosers!):
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=67373&st=0

Once restarted you'll need to select the SoX mod2 Resampler from the available list of DSPs into the active list, in the DSP Manager's settings - just above the Output settings, in the Playback section. Configure the resampler by selecting it in the active list and pressing the Configure selected button. Make sure you type in the 176400 sample rate in the Resample ONLY frequencies box, set the Target frequency to 192000 and the Quality to Best.


You should now be able to resample just the 176.4 kHz sample rate (to 192 kHz) and leave the rest as they are, by still using the WASAPI output.
 
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