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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I got a Rio Receiver for my home (as opposed to the one at work). Got it at Tiger Direct for $99.


Anyway, I get the box, look around the living room, and come to the conclusion that I now need a 10/100 switch for the living room. Why? So the 10Mbit link on the Rio Receiver doesn't throttle the 100Mbit link on the RTV. That, and that I needed some sort of multi-jack thingie for the living room, 'cause all I had so far was just a drop wire from the switch in the bedroom.


So, I got the cable modem, the router, the switch in the "den," the WAP, the two print servers, the compubarge in the "den," a 100 MBit trunk to the switch in the bedroom where there's a computer and a 4040, jumpered to the switch in the living room with the 4080 and Rio Receiver.


And I gotta think that I never anticipated that an ethernet switch would ever be part of my HT system, nor did I consider the notion that the compubarge would be running full time, serving MP3s to the stereo...


This is just farging crazy.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by toots
...This is just farging crazy.
Ahh... I see it as quite the norm. :cool:


(of course never said who's norm)
 

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In the FUTURE, we'll have ETHERNET SWITCHES built into our HANDS!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jtl
In the FUTURE, we'll have ETHERNET SWITCHES built into our HANDS!
Ok... now that's a bit much!


(well... just don't want to see a network outage when jtl has to use his hands for something else??) ;)
 

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How does this unit compare to the Turtlebeach Audiotron? I know this unit has a hardrive and the Audiotron does not, but that doesn't seem to me to be a terribly interesting feature given that you can stream mp3s off of another pc on the network so that there is no real need to have them stored locally where your stereo is. So I'm more focussed on the user interface, which is pretty limited on the audiotron. (Note that the Audiotron -- unlike the Rio Central -- has an ethernet connection, so you don't have to buy a usb to ethernet bridge for it.)
 

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Toots...I know that a few of us see you as quite stable, and think nothing of the hardware you've managed to accumulate.


I've got a netgear internet router/switch downstairs, and a 100mBit backbone to the switch upstairs. My servers include a dual P3-233 Proliant 2500 with 1 Gig of RAM as a webserver, a P4-1.4GHz machine with a 320Gig IDE RAID-5 array running SwapDV, and another machine that flips between Win2K and Linux "just because."


I find your hardware choices reasonable - I'd go so far as to call it 'de rigeur'.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wireless? I got wireless for the laptop, but it ain't fast enough for streaming from replay to replay. Thus, the drop wire.


Re: asinshesq:


No, it doesn't have a hard drive. That's the Rio Central, for about a zillion bux. This is more like direct competition for the Audiotron. I'd actually prefer the Audiotron for a couple of reasons, but since I could get the RioReceiver for about 1/3 of the price of the Audiotron, it seemed to look pretty good.


When you think Rio Receiver, think "Audiotron, brain damaged."


Rio Receiver:


Little Linux box (therefore has significant hack potential). Boots via nfs connection to its server - a TAR file containing its runtime gets downloaded. Then, it requests music from the server via HTTP.


Pre-cooked server software is completely brain dead. Basically, it satisfies the requirements of booting and supplying music, and does absolutely nothing else. Right now, I have nearly 6000 MP3s, and that volume tends to blow the Rio Receiver's mind under certain circumstances.


Audiotron:


Goes looking for SMB serves on the house 'net, therefore no need for custom server software, since it finds the files using protocols that are already on your PC. Another big plus is that the Audiotron has an optical digital output, whereas the Rio Receiver doesn't (although the empeg guys assure us that the Rio Receiver has Burr Brown DACs which ain't bad).


Worst for the Rio Receiver is that it's discontinued, which probably has a lot to do with why I was able to get one for $99 from Tiger Direct.


You can always check eBay for Rio Receivers for fairly cheap. I mean, for around a C-Note, it's not a bad music solution, as long as you don't mind leaving a server PC booted all the time.


I have two Rio Receivers - one at home, one at work. The one at work is used whenever someone's in the office. Unpause when we come in, pause when the last one leaves. The one at home just runs continuously like an in-house radio station. Whenever I want to listen to it, I just hit the "Tape 2" button on the receiver (the last unused input I had).
 

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I picked up an Audiotron after it was discussed here a while back, and it seems a decent enough box -- but I ended up replacing it with a SliMP3 from Slim Devices ( http://www.slimdevices.com/ ).


Comparing to the others: teeny tiny; no harddrive -- gets fed music over ethernet from a server process; the protocol is nonstandard but completely documented, the server is all in perl; even the firmware source code is available.


It's certainly not for everyone -- but for people who want to tinker some, it's wonderful.


I have about 9000 unique mp3s in a fairly complicated cross-symlinked tree structure (about 17000 mp3 filenames). I was never able to get the audiotron to use the full tree; even with a simplified version of it with just the 9000 unique mp3s, it took about half an hour to boot up each time it lost power, and it only found about 7500 of the files (and I never found a pattern to which 1500 it didn't see). And it sorted strictly alphabetically with no way to fix it.


The slimp3 server can handle the full tree, starts up in about 90 seconds, and it was a 2 hour hack to get it to use the 'collate' files already there to do proper sorting ("The Beatles" comes between "Beastie Boys" and "Berlin", dammit. And "Edie Brickell" comes next.)
 

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D-Link 713p.


WAP

4-Port 10/100 Switch

NAT/PAT/Router (for one subnet only, 10Mbps up)

Printer port/server


All in one little package.


:)


Mman
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yah, I was on the leading edge of the widget thing.


NAT/Routers come out... I gotta have one. Also gotta have a switch, so I get one of those, too. Then, they introduce Router/Switch combos.


Then WAP comes out. GOtta have one of those. Get one. Then, they come out with Router/Switch/WAP combos.


I think I could prolly replace half my network equipment with one box that'd probably be cheaper than any of the half dozen or so it replaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by jtl
...and it was a 2 hour hack to get it to use the 'collate' files already there to do proper sorting ("The Beatles" comes between "Beastie Boys" and "Berlin", dammit. And "Edie Brickell" comes next.)
One of the unforseen costs of ripping my collection. I figured that ripping all those CDs would be the most time consuming process. Well, maybe it was, but editing ID3 tags has to come in a close second. Shoulda paid more attention while I was ripping. "Frank Zappa" vs "F. Zappa" vs "Zappa" vs "Zappa, Frank"


Advantage of CDDB and FreeDB: Anyone can contribute

Disadvantage of CDDB and FreeDB: Anyone can contribute


Oh, my, such a source of spelling errors...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jtl
...I have about 9000 unique mp3s in a fairly complicated cross-symlinked tree structure (about 17000 mp3 filenames). I was never able to get the audiotron to use the full tree...The slimp3 server can handle the full tree, starts up in about 90 seconds, and it was a 2 hour hack to get it to use the 'collate' files already there to do proper sorting ("The Beatles" comes between "Beastie Boys" and "Berlin", dammit. And "Edie Brickell" comes next.)
Yup, I've got two audiotron's and I've had the same problem about mystery mp3 files that don't show up. I gather audiotron is very picky about the id tags -- tags that work perfectly well in musicmatch, mediaplayer, etc. may not work in audiotron. I'm told that what I need to do is to use software to convert all id tagsof one type to the other type on a batch basis. I'll try that sometime soon when I get a chance.


What do you think of the interface of the slimp3 versus the audiotron? Is the pc interface as good as that of a normal player (like musicmatch or mediaplayer)? And what about the interface on the unit's own screen? (the audiotron screen interface is pretty limited)


Oh and one more question: does the slimp3 have a digital out (optical or coax) like the audiotron does, or does it just have rca phono analog outputs?
 

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First thing to know is that *all* the interface is handled by the server -- the doohickie tells the server what IR codes it received, the server tells it how to update its screen. And that protocol's all documented. So, if you really don't like it, and are willing to put the work in, you can make it work exactly like you want it to.


That said, I've been pretty happy with the server as-is. The LCD/remote interface is pretty nice -- artist, album, song title sections, built from ID3 tags, as well as the "music library" tree which mirrors the directory structure exactly, which is what I actually use. The only change I've made is in how items in the music library tree are sorted. It's easy to build playlists with the remote.


The server also provides a web-based interface that's fully functional, but not as pretty as, say, Andromeda. It doesn't provide a more traditional WinAmp-style interface; I've not used MusicMatch or MediaPlayer so can't do a fair comparison there.


(updated to answer the optical question I missed): just phono out. Schematics are available, and at least one enterprising person has added an optical out to it...but I don't do hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Geez. Now I'm not feeling so bad about the brain-dead server for the Rio Receiver. I mean, the Rio blows its mind if you try to search by track name when you have too many tunes, but otherwise, it's fairly stable. And, there's always JReceiver...


Like I said: the Rio Receiver's pretty good if you can get one for $100. And, unlike the RioCentral, it does have built-in ethernet, so no need to buy an adapter...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by toots
And I gotta think that I never anticipated that an ethernet switch would ever be part of my HT system, nor did I consider the notion that the compubarge would be running full time, serving MP3s to the stereo...

This is just farging crazy.
Yea, that was what I was thinking as I walked out of Home Depot with a box of 1000' of cat 5 cable, switch plates and 50 RJ-45 plugs.


In the early '90s I worked as an on-site PC technician for a company that would send me around to do lan support at doctors offices. The network I have in my house for the (future) Replay 4000/4500 my two PCs and my laptop is far fast and far more technical than anything I worked on back then. I figured that switches and hubs didn't really belong in one's home.


My wife thought I was crazy for about a week while I was planning and installing everything. That soon changed when she needed to use the laptop and I told her to go to bed and I'd bring it in to her. Sitting there in the bed surfing the Internet, she looked up and me and gave me that smile that said, "Ok, your not crazy."
 
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