What Data Infrastructure And Software Are You Using For HDTracks And Other Hi-Res Downloads?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Lemon Curry, Feb 9, 2019 at 11:27 AM.

  1. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Forum Resident

    I store my media library on a QNAP HS-251 + NAS and I use ACRONIS for backup. I have 2 backup schedule, a full backup is run every week to an external disk and a daily backup using full + 5 incremental is run daily to the ACRONIS cloud.

    The media library is managed by JRiver which run on one of my PCs at home and I'm also running a PLEX and a Roon core server on the NAS. I prefer to use JRiver but the PLEX server has clients for pretty much everything, which might be interesting for those looking to stream directly to smart TVs or such. Roon might be easier to use because of it simple UI and its ability to act as an aggregator for media found on the local network and internet service subscriptions.
     
    Kyhl likes this.
  2. plextor

    plextor Forum Resident

    8tb hard drive hooked up to a PC with asset upnp DLNA server installed. I have 2 backups of this data in different locations. Almost 6000 albums all lossless and above, 40% high res. On my main Audio system a Cambridge 851n network streamer.

    The DLNA server application serves up audio for any device on my network that I want to play it with. Works perfect I can stream even my High res audio to any device in my house.
     
  3. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    Unless you are using hi-rez, DSP and/or multichannel. ;)
     
  4. BrilliantBob

    BrilliantBob Use The VTF, Luke...

    Location:
    Romania
    Music Center for PC Version 2.0.2 is a good Hi-Res software player. Free download from Sony. You can use any ASIO or WASAPI Exclusive audio drivers the players found in your PC. The actual High Definition PC audio cards like Realtek have both drivers and can play music at 192000HZ 24-bit studio quality.
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  5. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    Thanks for the feedback, folks. I've started looking at NAS servers and backup options as my first step.

    I think the safe deposit box approach mentioned is very clever, but I will likely end up with a NAS-aware cloud solution. The main reason being that I could then access my library anywhere, not just home.

    I realize now this is about more than just music. I need to get my digital life in order. Many great thoughts expressed here - Thanks again!
     
  6. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    OP, you are now breaking into hi-res, while I am abandoning it. I began purchasing hi-res downloads about 2 years ago. These are, for the most part, 24/192 ALAC files, which I've placed in my iTunes Library. I send these files to my OPPO UDP-205's usb DAC, which delivers analog output to my hi-fi system. These files are indistinguishable from stereo SACDs of the same music. In other words, the hi-res downloads sound great. But, today my interest in hi-res is dwindling, since my discovery that Mastered for iTunes music 256k files downloaded from the iTunes Store, which are less than half the cost of hi-res downloads, also sound as good as the same music on stereo SACDs I have in my music library. This revelation has saved me some money and now the only SACDs I'm buying are those which have a multi-channel layer, which beats stereo for depth and breadth no matter its resolution. BTW, although some of my multi-channel music interests are downloadable, it's a hassle to do it; plus, having the physical medium, I have no worries about loosing the data and I can sell or trade the SACDs as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 8:09 AM
  7. Vignus

    Vignus Digital Vinylist

    Location:
    Italy
    WD, Twonky, FLAC, backing up to and external USB drive
     
  8. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known

    Location:
    Savage
    I'm too cheep for a safe deposit box for music. I suppose if you already have one you could throw a HD in there too. I keep a backup copy in a cabinet at work, next to my work headphones and amp.

    JRiver allows you to stream your collection anywhere you can receive data, which is almost everywhere today. That is how I listen at work. I stream music from my server, stored on a NAS, via JRiver (PC) to work, the car, the trailer at the lake, the boat, the wife's car, a fish shack miles out on a frozen lake, .... you get the idea. Your own cloud service without the monthly fee.
     
  9. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    Good point, one that I'm not used to yet since I'm still thinking old school - that the NAS has an IP address, hence it is private cloud.

    Still, for DR purposes, I would opt to pay a service to do an automatic cloud-based backup. I just cant be bothered with any manual steps at all - they will get forgotten. A tax on laziness. I can always change my mind later.
     
  10. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    My experience with 96/24 blu ray audio is that it clearly beats CD (and vinyl, which usually beats CD). At those rates, the dynamic range and frequency per nyquist is so good, I can't imagine the need for higher rates like 192. I'm not shooting for that. The goal is to stop buying physical CDs, and get at least the SQ equivalent, and hopefully better, online and for less money.

    My theory is physical media will continue to go extinct, and I need to tap into an HD online lifestyle that isnt based on mp3 files.
     
  11. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    One thing I haven't mentioned is that I'm an avid vinyl collector, so this future vision of mine will include hi-res needle drops
     
  12. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan music junkie

    Location:
    NJ, USA
    HDTracks was called out early on for illicitly upsampling redbook masters and charging a premium for their phony hi-res downloads. If you've been ripping to and listening primarily to MP3's, you are not getting the full potential of CD.
    You are not going to gain much by replacing lossless CD rips with "hi-res" downloads from the same masters. You'd be better off spending your money on used CD's from Discogs, eBay, or this site, and ripping those lossless, unless those hi-res downloads have been verified to indeed be different, better masters. And, if you listen primarily to new releases, you are screwed either way, thanks to the loudness wars. Your only recourse there is vinyl.

    Sounds to me like you should look into a lossless streaming service if you are not interested in the "hassle" of ripping CD's in a non-lossy format. I actually like doing it, and tagging my files with hiqh-quality cover art from sites like Albumartexchange.com. I've been curating my digital library for five years, and am always on the hunt for the best-sounding masterings of my favorite music. Which is why I joined this forum in the first place.
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  13. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    I hear you, and totally agree with you.

    The problem is in 5 years, no one will be selling CDs for new music. That's my belief, anyway. Vinyl may survive as an audiophile alternative, but I think we need to get ready for music being mostly downloaded. And we'll just have to hope that lossless material is available.
     
  14. vvcv

    vvcv Member

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    One thing you may also want to consider are multi channel recordings, and, if needed, what software/hardware can support playback.

    High resolution releases do not seem to be slowing down. I also see multi channel recordings becoming a process high quality studios doing. A few of my favorite studios: L2, TRPTK, Pentatone (for example) are all doing some fantastic multi channel recordings. L2 was nominated for the 2019 "Best immersive audio album."

    I don't have a multi channel setup (don't watch tv or movies) -but for kicks- I picked up the multi and stereo files of this nominated CD. Then I got Dolby Atmos for Windows 10. WOW! the Mutli recording is nutz...even on a 2 channel system. I was so impressed with my first 2 channel-multi channel(?huh?) listening that I quickly downloaded multi/stereo copies of Pentatones' recording of a Shostakovich 4th/10th symphony performance. Well, I listened to them both and the stereo copy made its way to my backup drives and the multi recording sits on my playback drive. Both are DSD 64. Impressive stuff!
     
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  15. vvcv

    vvcv Member

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    You may already be familiar with this software, but to help you quickly know what type of high resolution file you have I find this useful:
    Spek – Free Acoustic Spectrum Analyzer / Spectrogram Viewer "Spek – Acoustic Spectrum Analyser"

    You can also use Audacity, or my favorite -Cakewalk.

    I did find an error on gapless playback with an HDTracks download. They took the DSD files down and refunded promptly. I still prefer NativeDSD.
     
  16. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Here's a suggestion: Go to the Acoustics Sounds Store and download the Seattle Symphony's multi-channel "Firebird". This recording is AWESOME. I downloaded it in FLAC and copied it to a thumb drive. I insert the thumb drive into my OPPO's front usb port which supports Gapless music. My OPPO's multi-channel DAC converts to 5.1 analog; and, using the OPPO's bass management, the audio is delivered to my multi-channel analog preamp. At any rate, the sound is great, worth the hassle, for much more breadth and depth than can be delivered via stereo. BTW, I do enjoy movies, but my surround sound system is mostly in pursuit of multi-channel SACD pleasure.
     
    vvcv likes this.
  17. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Get ready to lease your music. That's what will happen if CDs become obsolete; yet, the trend right now is hybrid SACDs from Amazon played on Universal Players connected to surround sound systems.
     
    Kyhl likes this.
  18. I keep my FLACs on a 4-drive NAS, total of 8GB storage in RAID. I've got about 6TB worth of music on there, though some of it is video. I collect a lot of live recordings so I need a lot of space and I'm going to up to 16TB total storage at some point soonish, hopefully.

    Right now I just offload the files to my iBasso DAP or stream them to my laptop.

    I'm in the process of building a HifiBerry streamer to add to my little headphone listening station, which is only vinyl at the moment.
     
  19. vvcv

    vvcv Member

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Hey Sterling1,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm always ready to try out recommendations from other high quality audio fans.

    I'm am 100% new to the whole multi channel thing and have no idea about the hardware side of things. For now, however, I'm going to use Dolby Atmos via Windows 10 with some Atmos headphones. If I end up liking multi sound while using cans, I would probably want to move to an actual speaker setup with a nice multi processor. Do you think an Atmos (Win. 10) processed signal into my 2 channel DAC via USB is sufficient or would hardware be needed for better performance? Again, I know nothing about this technology, and I don't even know if my question makes sense :D.

    Lemon,

    Don't know if someone else has mentioned it, but keeping a backup at your home and another backup at a friends house or bank vault would be good. A lot of digital artists use banks to keep back up drives safe. You can pick up a simple device like this:
    A very simple device to do simple backups and or clones. A device like this matches well with Acronis backup software. Backup Software & Data Protection Solutions - Acronis
    I've been using Acronis for years and love it, can't do without it. With audio, for example, you can make an Acronis clone of your entire music drive. The thing is, is that it compresses the back up to 1 file. So now you only have one back up file to contend with...so many ways to back that up. Also, if your NAS or PC breaks down and you can't access your data, or even boot up, you can make a boot up disc with Acronis which will allow you to access that 1 compressed music backup on another PC if needed. Anyway, the more you work with Acronis the more creative ways you will find how to best backup your data. I don't trust RAID, and RAID should not be used as backup as you already probably know. Perhaps for quick backups, but not true safe backups. Acronis is just nice to have for non audio backup as well.

    What I enjoy doing, while traveling, or doing a lot of work at a cafe, is using Acronis to make backup files of my different genres and/or playlists and put those files on a thumb drive or a small SSD drive. Hook that up to my laptop and have a lot more music available to me do to the Acronis compression.
     
    Lemon Curry likes this.
  20. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Regarding hardware for multi-channel pleasure and Dolby Atmos, I'd suggest a Marantz SR-7012 AVR and Klipsch speakers for a 5.1 system which can be expanded to a 9.2 system with additional speakers as budget permits. I'd also suggest the Sony UBP-X800MII Universal Player for multi-channel SACD pleasure. The Marantz is a 2017 model, which can be purchased for about $1199.99. It has features like Airplay, which can wirelessly receive music from devices that contain your iTunes Library.
     
    vvcv likes this.
  21. vvcv

    vvcv Member

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Looks good, i'll compare them to the Marantz AV7705 11.2 channel unit which grabbed my attention.

    Thanks for the suggestions, i'll check 'em out!
     

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