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
    Thanks. Which Windows program is that, and if I use it, where would I store the ripped files? Could I use the Windows program and store the flac files in Media Monkey so that my receiver would know where to find them?
     
  2. rfs

    rfs Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    Usually I don't use the jitter correction, which is slower, just depend on Accurate Rip. BTW, Accurate Rip comes with the paid version of Media Monkey.
     
  3. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    iPad to HRT iStreamer (DAC) to receiver aux inputs (rca jacks).
     
  4. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    So, I figured out how to rip a CD in Windows Media Player. I ripped a CD and selected flac as the codec. After ripping, the CD cover graphic appeared and there was an option in Windows Media Player to "cast" to a device. Two devices appeared, one being my Denon AVR-5200W and the other being my Oppo UDP-203 universal disc player.

    Interestingly, when I selected the Denon AVR, the AVR powered up to the Media Server input and started playing the music. What I do not understand is that the Denon display information indicates, "PCM", not flac. How can that be the case when I ripped the CD to flac?

    It sounds pretty good, but I thought I was going to be playing flac files on the receiver. The only thing about this scenario is that I have to be at the computer to control the music, i.e., play/pause, skip/select tracks, etc., but I cannot use the Denon AVR remote to do any of that. But when using Media Monkey I can control those functions from the Denon remote.

    Would you expect audio quality to be better when "casting" (apparently PCM) from Windows Media Player to the Denon, OR ripping CDs to flac files in Media Monkey and playing them through the Denon AVR?
     
  5. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Why not use an Amazon Fire Stick? Cheap + wireless.
     
  6. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    The media player software decompress and decode FLAC back to PCM.
     
    mtrot likes this.
  7. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Windows is casting the audio as a PCM stream over wireless, I'd imagine. The receiver isn't playing the FLAC file - the computer is.

    MediaMonkey is running an actual DLNA server, which the Denon can see and access the files from. So in that case, the receiver is pulling down the actual FLAC files and playing them itself.

    Offhand, I'd expect the audio quality to be the same, but who knows what settings Microsoft uses when casting PCM, or where to dig in Windows to find those settings. Likewise, the Denon could have buried settings for playing audio files off of a DLNA server. If there are settings you could control, you could get very different results, even if it's just something simple like volume leveling.
     
    mtrot likes this.
  8. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks, that is info that I need to know. Doesn't sound like the best solution.

    Hmm... I think I'd be more comfortable with the Denon accessing the actual flac files and playing them. Although this HP Envy is supposed to have some super duper high definition audio driver. Who knows which option should sound better.

    But I want to be able to sit in front of the receiver and control the playback via the Denon remote control and the on screen display that appears on my TV screen. That way, I can navigate to whichever Media Monkey files and/or albums I want, without having to bring the laptop over to the listening position.
     
  9. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    Why do you think it's not a good solution? This is perfectly normal when a music file is played on a computer and sent to an amplifier through a digital connection.

    As for using a remote, well I do that all the time but I think that in the case of Windows Media Player it expect to be controlled with an MCE compatible remote, but that might not be the best solution in your case. What I think, and please feel free to disregard anything I write, is that you are looking for a Media Center software. Something that runs "somewhere" and enables you to use your TV to browse audio and video stuff residing on your PC and send your selections to the AVR for playing. Such solutions do exist but require the investment of more time and resources than you may want to spend right now.
     
  10. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Chromecast-cheap and very easy.
     
  11. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Didn't MediaMonkey produce an Android version of their software? I wonder if it allows you to control MM remotely? There might also be some sort of plugin that allows for wireless streaming of PCM audio from the PC version of MediaMonkey to a receiver, the way Windows Media Player or whatever is streaming the PCM.
     
  12. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Well, with my Denon, I can "see" everything that is on Media Monkey on my laptop. I just ripped again the CD I mentioned above, but this time I correctly selected 16 bit. The Denon just plays the flac files from the laptop, with Media Monkey acting as a server. And I can use the Denon remote to "browse" Media Monkey, as it shows up on the TV screen.

    I just did some more comparing, listening to the ripped flac files using the Denon's Media Server feature versus just listening to the CD played in my Oppo 203, which is connected to the Denon via HDMI. I have to say, they still do not sound the same. In some ways, I think the CD might sound better, but then again in some ways listening to the ripped flac files sound better.
     
  13. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ

    BTW, if you are going to be burning many CDs I highly recommend getting a portable USB storage device to store the files and another one to backup the files. I have 3 B/Us for all my music. It would suck to lose all your music because of a disc failure.
     
    mtrot likes this.
  14. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    You probably want to check if the Denon is doing volume leveling with the FLAC files. It's a good thing generally, but it would cause the FLACs to sound different from the CD, because it would be tweaking the volume each file is played at to provide a more consistent experience.
     
  15. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks for that info. That would be important to know. I just looked around the setup menu in the Denon, and I don't see anything about volume leveling.
     
  16. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
  17. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but your receiver has Airplay built in. You can use a program called Airfoil to send any audio source from your computer to the Denon via Airplay.
     
  18. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    "Note that any of these defaults can be overridden simply by adding a new conversion rule."

    THIS is the important part. In MediaMonkey go to Tools>Options>Media Sharing (UPnP/DLNA)>Options>Auto-Conversion. Uncheck "Any audio, Above 192 kbps" and ""Level volume when converting audio file." Then hit the "Set formats..." button and make sure FLAC is enabled in the audio file formats. Save your settings and you should be able to play your FLAC files exactly as they were saved, without MM mucking with them.

    And like others have already suggested, I would use dBpoweramp to rip to FLAC, although I'm not sure MediaMonkey isn't also up to the task if properly configured.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  19. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks, but apparently you have to have the paid version of MM to do that. A dialog box pops up indicating so, and offers the upgrade. That said, MM is ripping and saving the files as flac, and my Denon on-screen display indicates "flac" as the file type. So, I think I'm good; sounds good anyway.

    I'm now listening to the ripped FLAC version of this on my Denon AVR. Gorgeous music!

    [​IMG]
     
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  20. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Well even better! MM Gold gives you options to convert DLNA formats, lower the bitrate and level track volume -- exactly what you DON'T want to do! Sorry I brought up the whole thing!! :)

    Auto-Conversion and Leveling [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Auto-conversion allows you to automatically sync, share (over DLNA) or burn tracks, converting tracks on-the-fly to a format that is supported by your iPod/iPhone or other portable device or CD/DVD/DLNA player, while retaining all metadata.

    Auto-conversion can also convert tracks to lower bitrates to make more effective use of the limited storage capacity on a portable device. This is especially useful for lossless music collections, which can't fit on a portable device.

    In addition, Auto-leveling levels track volume on-the-fly so that tracks play at a steady volume on CDs/DVDs and on devices that don't support volume leveling (i.e. most devices besides iPods).
     
  21. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Played various Aaron Copland compositions many moons ago when I was in drum & bugle corps and in school bands and orchestras. Great music although I don't know that any of those pieces can accurately be described as "hits"!
     
  22. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Auto conversion for DLNA was more useful a few years back, when many devices might not have supported FLAC or some other formats in a particular library (like say AAC). You could auto-convert the files to something your playback device did support on the fly, which was really handy. It was also useful if you had a sluggish wireless network - you could convert everything that was at a bitrate beyond, say, 256kbps down to 256kbps MP3 and then stream that. Not perfect fidelity, but good enough for casual listening even if you're an audiophile.

    It's a less-useful feature now, since most playback devices support most formats you're likely to have your tracks stored in, and wifi bandwidth even in a large home is typically more than adequate for streaming FLAC - indeed, it'll stream 4K video in most homes.
     
  23. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Yes, I have 200mbps Internet service, so flac is fine.
     
  24. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tyler, TX
    Getting back to playing Amazon Music to my Denon AVR, I got tired of trying to figure out a way to listen to it wirelessly, so I ordered and just received from Amazon this cable:

    https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics...68867&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=rca+to+3.5mm&th=1

    After connecting the cable to the AUX input on the front of my Denon, I've been listening to Amazon Music(Quigley Down Under soundtrack, which is gorgeous, btw. Also, Eva Cassidy's Fields of Gold, Live-check it out!). It sounds pretty darn good to me, but I will do more listening before making a general conclusion.
     
  25. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Why didn't you use the Firestick, per my suggestion?
     

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