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Topic # 160140 25-Dec-2014 18:28
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Hi

 

This is a request for advice and assistance, but I hope it will be of interest to others who may have a similar problem.  My basic problem is that I want to play digital files through an older stereo system, but here are some details.  Also, I have checked the forum to see if there is a similar answer elsewhere but I could not find one. 

 

First, my current environment.  I have about 120 CDs all of which I have ripped to FLAC format (thank you dbpoweramp).   From that format I can easily rip it into any other format I want to.  I also have a Pioneer VSX – 817 amplifier.  This was the last high-end Pioneer amplifier they made before they went into HDMI inputs, and it provides pretty good sound.  Currently I have to play all my music through a Sony Playstation unit which has an optical connection to the amplifier, so if I want to play a CD I must turn the TV on, turn the Playstation on, navigate through the Playstation controls and then listen to the music.  I also need to have two large drawers full of music below the TV, and to keep it all tidy otherwise there is adverse commentary from the better half.  It's too much work, to be frank, and I would win kudos from the better half if I could retire the CDs to the basement.

 

The other item of background is that I also have a wifi N network.

 

What I would like to do is have a really simple way to play all the music that I have digitized into the Pioneer receiver and control the content through my Smartphone.  Please note I do not mean sending the music by Bluetooth or over the wifi: neither will play acceptable quality music.  I tried setting up a DNLA server off my PC but over the wireless N this did not work well and after a day of mucking around I gave up.

 

Now I have looked online at the Media Streaming devices: particularly at the new Western Digital TV.  For it I would copy my music onto a 16GB USB stick, hook up an optical cable to the receiver and then use an Android remote to manage the music, which remains on the USB stick.  Ideally I would keep the music in FLAC for simplicity, but if push came to shove I would convert the music to 320k MP3.

 

From what I could read, the WD TV will do this. This is the model WDBPUF0000NBK.  Noel Leeming have it on special at $150. 

 

I’ve also looked online at the Roku 3 but it seems more fiddly and the FLAC support is not native to it – it is a recent add-on through firmware update.  Also you have to supply it with you credit card during setup, though this can be disabled later on.  I do not really want to do this. The Fire TV doesn’t do USB unless you root it which looks way too hard.  I haven’t looked at the other options.

 

The WD TV looks pretty good and the Android app looks excellent on paper.  My question is whether anybody has done this and what were the results?  Also, if anyone has a better approach to my problem, please tell me.

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  Reply # 1203721 25-Dec-2014 18:57
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Some formatting would have made this much easier to read!!

My first thought is... Is your network that bad that you can't stream these files?
Can't you fix that? Would be much easier.

If your network was OK I would suggest WiFi media device and stream from the (presumably) PC to a connection on the stereo.

The fire TV can have xbmc/kodi installed without rooting. Its very simple and safe to install.
Not sure how good remote control app would work though.
I think there is now one for the fire TV itself and I think you can remote control xbmc but it could be two diff apps. So that would be a pain.

Looks like WDTV might be better in respect of remote control.
Can you install some WiFi boosters or a power line ethernet adapters and use your own network?




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1203748 25-Dec-2014 20:01
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Hi

Thank you for the reply.  As a matter of interest I wrote the item in Word, then cut and pasted it in.  It looked fine on the screen but when I pressed "Submit" it compacted the item into the format that you see.  I agree it is not very nice but I could work out how to edit it following the submission - this does not seem to be possible.

To fix the network for this level of music quality would require I think Ethernet being run into the lounge which would be difficult or a brand new wireless router or purchase of some very expensive Sonos kit.  Further it is not clear to me how we would then get the remote capability on the Android.  If I can fix the problem for $150, that works quite well for me.

One alternative that my wife has just suggested is to replace the aging PS3 which we use with Playstation TV with a new Panasonic Recorder; specifically the DMP-BDT460GN-K.  This comes with an Android Remote called Diga Player although I must say this has quite poor reviews.

I do appreciate the response






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  Reply # 1203753 25-Dec-2014 20:06
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Hi - in response to the valid critique above I have tried to reformat the initial question to make it more readable by cutting and pasting it into plain text  

This is a request for advice and assistance, but I hope it will be of interest to others who may have a similar problem.  My basic problem is that I want to play digital files through an older stereo system, but here are some details.  Also, I have checked the forum to see if there is a similar answer elsewhere but I could not find one.    First, my current environment.  I have about 120 CDs all of which I have ripped to FLAC format (thank you dbpoweramp).   From that format I can easily rip it into any other format I want to.  I also have a Pioneer VSX – 817 amplifier.  This was the last high-end Pioneer amplifier they made before they went into HDMI inputs, and it provides pretty good sound. 

Currently I have to play all my music through a Sony Playstation unit which has an optical connection to the amplifier, so if I want to play a CD I must turn the TV on, turn the Playstation on, navigate through the Playstation controls and then listen to the music.  I also need to have two large drawers full of music below the TV, and to keep it all tidy otherwise there is adverse commentary from the better half.  It's too much work, to be frank, and I would win kudos from the better half if I could retire the CDs to the basement.   The other item of background is that I also have a wifi N network. What I would like to do is have a really simple way to play all the music that I have digitized into the Pioneer receiver and control the content through my Smartphone. 

Please note I do not mean sending the music by Bluetooth or over the wifi: neither will play acceptable quality music.  I tried setting up a DNLA server off my PC but over the wireless N this did not work well and after a day of mucking around I gave up. Now I have looked online at the Media Streaming devices: particularly at the new Western Digital TV.  For it I would copy my music onto a 16GB USB stick, hook up an optical cable to the receiver and then use an Android remote to manage the music, which remains on the USB stick.  Ideally I would keep the music in FLAC for simplicity, but if push came to shove I would convert the music to 320k MP3.


From what I could read, the WD TV will do this. This is the model WDBPUF0000NBK.  Noel Leeming have it on special at $150.  I’ve also looked online at the Roku 3 but it seems more fiddly and the FLAC support is not native to it – it is a recent add-on through firmware update.  Also you have to supply it with you credit card during setup, though this can be disabled later on.  I do not really want to do this. The Fire TV doesn’t do USB unless you root it which looks way too hard.  I haven’t looked at the other options. The WD TV looks pretty good and the Android app looks excellent on paper.  My question is whether anybody has done this and what were the results?  Also, if anyone has a better approach to my problem, please tell me.

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  Reply # 1204039 26-Dec-2014 14:01
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Another option, raspberry pi and run pi music box.
Also look at WiFi blu Ray players to see if phone remotes exist

As above poster mentioned you have a very poor WiFi setup if you can't stream audio as the requirements are quite low.

I ran a raspberry pi with rasplex as plex client using WiFi to watch movies from plex server and many here watch Netflix movies over WiFi.

A.




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  Reply # 1204051 26-Dec-2014 14:27
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I can’t help with your question but I can offer a tip for future cutting and pasting since I went through this as well.

Word and other word processing software uses different text encoding than Geekzone so when you cut and paste, paragraph markers and some other special characters don’t come through correctly. The easy solution is to type your text in Word, as I do, then do a quick find/replace from the Edit menu and replace paragraph markers with this character ‘<’ followed by ‘br’ followed by ‘>’. Ignore the quotation marks when typing the characters and type them with no spaces between them.

After you click on Replace click on ‘Special’ at the bottom of the window and choose ‘paragraph mark’ as the thing to search for. Replace with the characters above. Then just copy and paste. This will yield the correct formatting.







I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1204249 26-Dec-2014 21:40
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How old is your home wiring?

Are you familiar with  homeplug/powerline at all - They seem the same system.
You can see what its all about here http://www.homeplug.org/
For aprox <$100 (http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?p=search&sf=powerline ) you get a couple of boxes that have an RJ45 socket in them.
You plug one into a power point near your router and plug a network cable into it.
The other plugs into a powerpoint somewhere else near where you need the network connection and you hook an RJ45 cable to that homeplug unit and into your device.
Depending on the quality of your wiring its usually good enough to run video (certainly audio).

Its an alternative to cabling your house.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1204352 27-Dec-2014 08:38
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Thank to everyone who has responded

- robjg63 - what you said looks really interesting - it seems to be a variant on what I am suggesting which is get a media player but instead of using a USB  stick for the media source it from my PC.  However, I cannot quite see the advantage of doing this when I can I think simply have all the FLAC files on a USB stick directly attached to the media player.  Also, that means I have to keep my big PC which is a bit of a power hog running all the time.  I do not have a small file serving type of device.

- afe66 - that looked really interesting, the Rasberry PI is really cool. However configuring a Linux box looks way to a hard! (for a former VBA programmer).  

I have also looked at the Panasonic Bu-Ray Recorder app which is called Diga Player.  However it has only 588 downloads and a 2.5 rating on the Android board, it appears it is very new.  Also I was a bit taken aback to realise that Panasonic has effectively got a monopoly on Freeview Recorders at the moment and that both models being sold in this country are the older ones.  Maybe I should just wait until there is a next generation of Panasonic Blu-Ray devices with a decent Android interface?

Rikkitic - Yes I have thought about Powerline and it is a very real option.  I guess I would need to plug the Powerline into my existing router. This would put me however in the situation where again I would need to source the music from my power hog PC or alternatively put the USB stick with the FLAC files onto the router.  However when I tried this last time I got a series of error messages from the PS/3. SO I am not sure if my router was the issue or the PS3 or whatever.

Basically I think I need a media server that is not my big power hog PC.  I am just curious to see if anyone else was using the Western Digital TV Play unit in the way that I described.

Once again thanks everyone.  All really good ideas

TLD

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  Reply # 1204358 27-Dec-2014 09:24
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The formatting problem is true of lots of boards and forums IME.  I generally go via Notepad when all else fails, which is guaranteed to strip any weird formatting out. Ctrl Space in Word removes a lot of formatting, but not carriage returns, indents, numbering etc.   It might be useful to have a 'Test' area to save embarrassment in the main forums. It took me a few tries to get the GZ BB codes right for instance, and I still have to refer to the help page at times.




Trevor Dennis
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  Reply # 1204361 27-Dec-2014 09:31
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Raspberry pi running "pimusicbox"

This does all your requirements.

You can control playback via any wifi connected device. Eg. Phone tablet iphone pc etc..

It supports networked files, local usb files and also spotify, Google play etc...

I think much better option that plex and will run a lot faster too. I wouldn't want plex on a pi.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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  Reply # 1204365 27-Dec-2014 09:35
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Addit. If you don't want to configure pi then maybe look at a Logitech squeezebox (or similar) second hand. I think they support flac. It's a dedicated music server




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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  Reply # 1204403 27-Dec-2014 10:12
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Sorry - assumed you had a really big collection that wouldn't fit on a USB stick.
In that case a raspberry pi or wdtv is probably the thing for you.
I expect the wdtv would be easiest to remote control.

Its really easy to set up a pi though the costs sneak up by the time you buy one, then a USB power supply, SD card, maybe a wifi dongle (or not). The software install is usually a doddle though and the devices are extremely versatile. You can install xbmc/modi and have it boot straight into that if you need.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 1204410 27-Dec-2014 10:20
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The WDTV Live drops to around $80.00 on occasion, if you still want to go this route. Set yourself an email alert on PriceMe / PriceSpy.
Picked up one myself a few months ago this way.




My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government




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  Reply # 1204667 27-Dec-2014 22:23
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Sceptic  Sceptic -

Thanks for mentioning that you have a WDTV unit.  Is it the TV Play?  Can you please advise whether your WDTV Android Remote will let you see and play the lists of music that are on the USB stick attached to the device?  I.e. can you play music without having the TV on? I've looked at various YouTube videos today but could not work out if it let you do this.  

Another option is to get the Samsung Homesynch unit which is currently being specialled at a very reasonable price indeed by PB Tech which I can use with my Galaxy S4 but for my wfe who has a Galaxy S - we would need to upgrade her phone.

A real nuisance because at 150 I thought I had all the answers to my problems!

The PI looks cool but way hard

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  Reply # 1204720 28-Dec-2014 06:57
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Take a look at this http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K79EHNU/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item  very cheap currently I have just ordered a couple to play with. You can get them via YouShop delivery for on shipping to NZ, plus they currently have 15% off the shipping rates.

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  Reply # 1205501 29-Dec-2014 14:21
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Pete99999: Sceptic  Sceptic -

Thanks for mentioning that you have a WDTV unit.  Is it the TV Play?  Can you please advise whether your WDTV Android Remote will let you see and play the lists of music that are on the USB stick attached to the device?  I.e. can you play music without having the TV on? I've looked at various YouTube videos today but could not work out if it let you do this.  


It's the WDTV Streaming Media Player / WDTV Live.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1270

Not too sure of your question as regards playing music? Are you expecting to use the WDTV AV Out - utilising the L/R RCA plugs, or the Optical out, and either plugged into your amp ? Front USB, or back USB ?





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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