Best way to play Amazon Music from PC to audio-video receiver?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mtrot, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    So, I signed up for Amazon Music Unlimited on the $0.99/3 months deal today. I figured, for 99 cents, I couldn't go wrong trying it out. The highs actually sound pretty decent sitting here at my laptop PC, but highs are all there really are. Not much mids and certainly no bass. Hence my interest in playing the Amazon Music through my AVR.

    My PC is a new HP Envy and my receiver is a Denon AVR-X5200W. A while back, I did try to connect the PC to the Denon via Bluetooth, but they would not seem to pair. Also, I was able to connect my Galaxy S4 to the receiver via Bluetooth and play something, but the sound wasn't so great. In the past, with an Onkyo receiver, I was able to play flac files from my PC via DNLA. But I assume that is different from playing something like Amazon Music, in which case the data is coming from Amazon.

    I would prefer some sort of wireless method of playing Amazon Music from my PC to the receiver, but if a cable of some sort is going to be the best way, can anybody suggest what type of cable connection will offer superior sound? Thanks for any and all tips!
     
  2. pdxway

    pdxway Forum Resident

    Your HP Envy has hdmi connection? If so, try that first.
     
    LivingForever likes this.
  3. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks. I was hoping for some method that did not involve a cable running across the family room floor.
     
  4. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    TX
    I airport express via optical in, it's only 44.1 though, idk if amazon goes above that.
     
  5. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks. I don't do iTunes or Mac. Does Airport Express work with PC?
     
  6. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    The PC app is pretty limited. Outside of Bluetooth, you really don't have other cordless options. If you want wireless, you'll need another device to use an app.
    Wouldn't a firestick or alexa be better if you are adding a device?
     
  7. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    TX
    I don't believe streaming to a port is specific to mac. Your either going to have to use a cable, or send it wirelessly there and then cable it in to your input.
     
  8. M.R.Collins

    M.R.Collins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Sonos supports Amazon music, if that's an option for you.
     
  9. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    How about an Amazon Echo Dot? They're cheap, and you could voice-command the music, or pick stuff from an iPhone, iPad or similar Android device...
     
    sirmikael and Shawn like this.
  10. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The Bluetooth output on the Echo Dot sucks in my experience, by the way, at least for music (the range is good, tho - it's just the audio quality I've found substandard). I'd recommend a wired connection, which sounds OK, although occasionally makes incredibly loud popping noises whenever the Dot reboots itself (typically after the occasional software update).

    The Dot will function as a Bluetooth receiver as well, tho.
     
  11. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    Your AVR has WiFi so why not connect it to your home network and use DLNA to access media from your PC or stream to it?

    Another option if you are only interested in streaming from Amazon would be to plug a Chromecast into one of the free HDMI ports of the AVR, you will then be able to cast from the Galaxy S4 or a PC to the AVR through the Chromecast.

    If a cable is the only option you have then there are two possibilities if you want to avoid using the PC headphone jack. One is to connect the PC to free HDMI port and the other is to try the USB port.
     
    500Homeruns likes this.
  12. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    There's also wireless HDMI, tho it's still pretty spendy and I'm not sure how reliable it is.
     
  13. Joseph.McClure

    Joseph.McClure Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
  14. rfs

    rfs Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    I use a Sonos Connect to get Amazon Prime music to my stereo system, along with many other things. The Cool Jazz station sounds great. It is limited to 16/48 maximum resolution, but that is good enough for me.
     
  15. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks!

    I downloaded Media Monkey to the PC and my Denon AVR "sees" Media Monkey when I select Online Music>Media Server. I ripped a CD, Glen Campbell All the Best, to flac in Media Monkey.

    For the last 20 minutes, I've been comparing the sound quality via the Online Music Media Server app vs. the sound of the CD played in my Oppo UDP-203, which is connected to the AVR via HDMI cable. They do not sound the same. I was not expecting there to be any audible difference. Overall, I think I prefer the sound of the CD. When listening to the Media Server version, it seems that the sound is a tad "harder", as in the sound of the guitar solo on the right channel. I have no idea which one is more "accurate" as to how the CD should optimally sound.

    Now, when ripping a CD in Media Monkey, there are some options that you can select:

    1. Compression rate(scale of 1 to 8) -- I selected 6
    2. Sample rate(Default, 11025Hz, 22050Hz, 44100Hz, or 48000Hz) -- I selected 44100Hz
    3. Bits per sample(Default, 8, 16, or 24) -- I selected 24

    Rip type:

    1. Standard read
    2. Jitter corrected read -- I selected this one
    3. Secure read(takes extra time)

    What choices should I make in these selections? I just want to make sure I am doing this right, before doing any further comparisons, or spending any more time ripping CDs. Thanks!
     
  16. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    CD's are 16-bit. You should select 16-bit when ripping them. Your player is likely outputting 16-bit audio from the CD when it's playing it over HDMI. The DAC in your receiver might not treat 16-bit and 24-bit audio quite the same, hence the difference you think you're hearing.

    I wouldn't recommend MediaMonkey as a ripping tool either, although it's an exceptional library manager. I rip with Exact Audio Copy, although dBpoweramp's ripper is also well regarded.
     
  17. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    OK, so I looked at the EAC site. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like with EAC, you don't rip a CD to flac files, but to wav files. Is that correct? How do wav files compare to flac in audio quality?

    Also, the more I try to read and comprehend about EAC, the more concerned I become that it is way too far over my head to use. Media Monkey seems much easier.
     
  18. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    EAC can rip to FLAC. Well, technically it rips to WAV and then immediately converts it to a FLAC file using an outboard converter you also have to download and unpack onto your computer. I think there are instructions with EAC, or a guide somewhere online regarding how to set it all up.

    dBpoweramp might be easier to use in this regard - I think it comes with the ability to create FLAC files on the fly.

    But I managed to get EAC setup and always rip to FLAC, so it can't be that difficult. It'll also lookup the album info automatically from online sources, tho I had to fiddle with that config a bit too.
     
  19. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    A possible reason for the difference in sound is where and at what stage of the audio chain the sound is converted to analog. Different DACs don't sound the same, mostly due to different filters used during the conversion. It's something you can experience when connecting a player to a receiver and switching between a digital and an analog connection or when you use different sources.

    I'm not familiar with Media Monkey, since my setup at home is strictly based on JRiver media center and I rip CDs with EAC. I can only say that with my setup I can't hear any difference between a CD and the ripped FLAC files.
     
    Mike from NYC likes this.
  20. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    It sounds like he's using the same D/A converters for both sources, tho. Or at least presumably the receiver would.

    It's important to note MediaMonkey is only serving as a DLNA server in this setup. There are other dedicated DLNA servers as well as other DLNA software packages, but they all do pretty much the same thing - serve audio to a playback device such as a receiver.
     
  21. rfs

    rfs Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    Mediamonkey is good for ripping the average CD, as it has Accurate Rip built in. When I have errors I switch to EAC, which isn't very often. I usually rip to FLAC, compression level 6, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, which sounds exactly like the CD.
     
  22. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    The easiest ripper to use for me is dBpoweramp. Before I bought a NAS I setup a home network that allowed all my devices to access my tower and its hard drives and used my laptop to send the music to my Oppo using bluetooth and Media Monkey.

    Use your Oppo NOT your receiver for wireless. I never had an issue and probably the Oppo has a better DAC.

    I now use an Android tablet and use that as my controller and it works exceedingly well.

    No need to buy anything else, just use your Oppo.
     
  23. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Nice! Glad to hear. Thanks for the specific settings recommendations. Do you use Media Monkey's "jitter correction" option?
     
  24. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I use dBpoweramp as I found MM to be exasperating to use for burning CDs. Since you have a new laptop you can always use the music program that comes with Windows as that now burns in FLAC and is far far easier or use what I use although it's not free - dBpoweramp - worth the $$$ for us novices :)

    Enjoy
     
  25. I just stream from my iPad to my Apple TV into my stereo.

    When I’m not playing Records or using my own digital collection.
     
    LivingForever likes this.

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