Looking for a new media streamer

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Joey_Corleone, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I am looking for a new streamer. I have my whole digital collection on my NAS. Currently, my rasberry pi running runeaudio is used as a streamer. It streams my lossless digital files over the network via it's onboard Ethernet, then goes USB into my DAC. My DAC is then hooked up to my pre-amp with XLR.

    I love the idea of it, and it works well MOST of the time, but I also am getting more dropouts than I care for from time to time. It's not my network. Everything is hard wired GigabitEthernet with professional grade network equipment. I attribute it to the fact that the rasberry pi is low powered, but more importantly, the USB and Ethernet operate on the same shared bus.

    So, I am looking. My basic requirements:

    - Needs to be able to easily stream from a windows based NAS file share
    - Needs to be able to handle lossless file formats, particularly Apple Lossless and FLAC
    - Needs to be able to handle DSD files
    - Should be fully controllable from an iPhone, iPad and/or computer
    - I do NOT need a DAC. I have one already...I just something to interface with the DAC that is more reliable
    - I don't really want to change the server NAS end if I don't have to
    - It just needs to stream from the NAS, thus it does not need onboard storage

    I would love your thoughts! Also, my gear is in my profile if that helps.

    Joey
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  2. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    The Auralic Aries fits your specs exactly. I’ve got one - works brilliantly. Auralic’s iOS app is excellent, intuitively usable and very versatile. I love making playlists that include tracks from my NAS, TIDAL and wherever. Full-tilt DSD compatibility and all other major file formats too. It connects to your existing DAC using a USB cable (which is one of the reasons that the Aries can push DSD files to your DAC). I’m connected to my network (and the Internet) via ethernet because I have a hate on for WiFi these days.

    Performance of the Aries is excellent - the hardware and software respond quickly and smoothly. It’s a great music listening experience.

    I think Auralic really nailed the design, the interface, usability and so on. Whatever comes through an ethernet or WiFi connecdtion, the Aries will stream perfectly to your DAC.
     
    SandAndGlass and Joey_Corleone like this.
  3. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Thank you! I will be looking into this product ASAP!
     
  4. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    FWIW... I'm currently looking at the i7 Sonictransporter by Small Green Computer. It's pricey, but comes with software loaded. I'll connect old NAS to it and then look for a new NAS. It has a bridged ethernet port I can plug my Squeezebox into. It's also fanless.
     
  5. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Thanks, but this seems to be a roon server. I really don’t want to have another server aside from my NAS and then have to also buy another client box to act as a roon endpoint
     
  6. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I use the Sonore MicroRendu to handle DSD duties, and it works very well. Nice and simple, even if expensive for what it is. While I use it as a Roonpoint, it can also do DLNA, Squeezebox, and probably a few other protocols I'm not recalling.

    They are having a big Black Friday sale where it's over $100 off though, as I think about it.
     
    BayouTiger and Joey_Corleone like this.
  7. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yes, built as a Roon server. Yet examination of the Sonicorbiter - "the operating system" used on their Linux boxes shows extended capabilities. See Sonicorbiter - "the operating system"

    "For your convenience the default music server is Roon Server and the default output protocol is RoonReady. Other combinations are Logitech Media Server / SqueezeLite, MinimServer / DLNA-MPD, etc."

    Small Green Computer has been around for a while building high-end music servers that run cool and quiet. Unfortunately, SGC may be doing themselves a disservice with the lack of technical information on their website--who knows, they are still selling machines. I found myself looking at replacing my current QNAP NAS with a new NAS. Initially, I wanted to run everything on the NAS. The more I looked, the more it seemed to make sense on separating NAS and music server. As a long term purchase I want the NAS and music server in the cabinet with the rest of my equipment. NAS servers are indeed being built with more processing power, however with the power comes heat, fans, and noise. The QNAP NAS 251 + runs cool and quiet and I can buy it with drives for less than a grand. Note that the Linux based Sonicorbiter operating system for the sonictransporter is optimized to run as a music server--it does not have the excessive bloat of windows and other NAS operating systems. So, certainly a worthy consideration for a long term purchase.

    I have not made a purchase yet, but will update thread if I do.
     
  8. mdelrossi

    mdelrossi Active Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn nyc
    I love my Bluesound Node2. It does have a DAC, but also coax and optical out. Works great with my Synology nas and is controllable from iphione android,. Also streams Tidal and other sources.

    Good luck
    mdr
     
  9. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Active Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    By the way (and off topic), I may indeed purchase Roon. There are options for 60 day trials. I've tagged a lot of albums and tracks, if Roon is as good as it appears to be (or they say), I may be done tagging. We'll see.
     
  10. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass

    I’m interested in the Node as well, but am holding out until reviews are in of its integration with airplay 2 HIG THAT ever gets released). This is critical to us as an Apple Music household.
     
  11. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    I have the Denon DNP730 network player (NOT the 720) hooked up to a very nice DAC and it sounds superb (even on its own) and reads everything I've shown it. Cost about £280 in the UK.
    DNP-730AE
     
  12. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    For whatever reason, Denon has decided us Yanks aren't allowed to have this - its predecessor wasn't available in the US either. Perhaps its a marketing issue where US customers were being pushed towards the HEOS products that Sonos sued out of existence.
     
  13. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Resident

    Location:
    1060 W.Addison
    Joey_Corleone likes this.
  14. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Looks nice, but no DSD is a deal breaker for me
     
  15. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    This looks like a winner. How do you control it?
     
  16. GUTB

    GUTB New Member

    Location:
    USA
    Form the microRendu, consider a good linear power supply for a nice sonic improvement -- an UltraCap power supply is reportedly a big improvement.

    Also consider isolating your NAS from the streamer. This can commonly done via fiber converters between the router and the streamer.
     
  17. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I have all my music stored on an old HP home media server which is on my LAN. It just has the Music shared via a Windows SMB share. I don't think it has the balls to properly run Roon server, nor do I really want to also buy a new server or NAS when this one works fine.

    I see that MPD is an option, but most seem to use Roon. My question with the microrendu is, if you don’t want to run Roon, what do you use? Can I just keep my simple SMB share and use some kind of MPD client to access the unit and tell it what I want to play? If so, what software? I am a little surprised there is not more information on the sonore web page.
     
  18. GUTB

    GUTB New Member

    Location:
    USA
    Have you considered not using a streamer at all?
     
  19. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    No. The media server is in a dedicated network closet. I prefer to have all the files on a dedicated NAS / file server, and stream them to something that then goes USB to a DAC
     
  20. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    This seems like a possible fit: Volumio - Mini86 · Volumio

    Basically it is an x86 pc specifically Ickes to run Volumio. Relatively inexpensive too
     
  21. GUTB

    GUTB New Member

    Location:
    USA
    If you chose to go the mini PC route, you’ll have pay some attention to cleaning up USB line noise.
     
  22. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    ^ specifically built.
     
  23. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    I might be wrong but my bet is that there a problem is somewhere up stream from the Pi. If
    I'm wrong the problem will follow you to the next renderer. The first thing I'd do is check all connections, then try a different OS on the Pi, Volumio perhaps. then go from there. Maybe you've done that and I'm barking up the wrong ethernet line. If so, respects.
     
  24. beowulf

    beowulf Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    Are you just using Roon as an interface or do you want other options like JRiver?

    A PC/Mac or purpose built Small Green Computer will work easily if you want the most flexibility. A microRendu would also work though less flexible.
     
  25. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    Well, I think I am back into Roon mode, at least for testing. I tried the free trial last year. I liked it, but at the time I didn’t have a computer that could really properly run the Roon core. Luckily I now have access to some wicked hardware at home thanks to my job. So, tonight’s project:

    - Spun up a new Ubuntu 16 server VM for Roon server (core)
    - 4 CPU cores
    - 8GB RAM
    - 120GB SSD hard disk
    - Installed Roon server
    - This server is a VM on my absolute beast of a VMware ESXi box, a Cisco UCS c240M4.The hypervisor has 768GB of RAM and about 12TB of SSD storage : )

    - Installed DietPi on my raspberry pi 2B
    - Installed Roon bridge on the pi
    - Installed Roon on my windows laptop for initial setup
    - Added my SMB share to Roon server and let it do its thing

    Wow, what a whole different experience with proper hardware! Even on my ancient windows 7 laptop from 2009, the UI is snappy. The system as a whole is pretty slick.

    I was initially concerned about dropouts because what has to happen now is Roon server has to pull the files from the NAS and then turn around and stream them back out to the pi. It’s still early on, but so far no dropouts at all. Others have reported Roon to work nicely with Rasberry pi so I am hopeful. I will gladly pay the $119 annually for this if all is good in 14 days

    I will definitely have my hands full with getting used to the software and metadata. I will have many hours of tedious work ahead to get my library in order, but I think it will be worth it. Worst case I still ditch the pi, and use Roon bridge on something like the sonor microrendu as suggested.
     
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