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Thread: Digital Music

  1. #1

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    Default Digital Music

    I currently have around 30,000 tracks on my IMAC in various file types mp3/acc. My Imac is in another room. Is there a device that I can use to stream music to my Pio SC-35 that will also inhance the quality of the play back? I currently burn cd's and play them through my BD player but it doesn't sound that great and it's inconvienent. I have tried my Ipod as a source through my avr and it sounds like S#$@. I also have a portable back up (Seagate) 250G HDD that I have the same music library on. Just looking for tips or suggestions.

    Thanks guys
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    The better sound quality CANNOT be obtained if your source files are low quality to begin with. There are some pieces of equipment that will "upconvert" the files, but honestly I am guessing even those might not help you out.

    I see you having 2 options

    Option 1: Easiest in your situation I believe

    Purchase a Apple TV (since your all apple already), will gain you streaming.

    Go through all your CD's you have and re-rip them at a higher quality (Apple lossless). Whatever you dont have the physical file for, just deal with the lower quality. Then you can manage everything via iTunes.

    Option 2: Highest quality possible sound for both computer use and streaming

    Purchase a Squeezebox Touch/Sonos player

    Go through all your CD's you have and re-rip them in FLAC format
    **If you go this route the best suggestion is to read up on dbpoweramp which you would use to re-rip all your CD's to FLAC ONLY
    **You would use MediaMonkey as your player on your computer to play the same FLAC files as the Squeezebox/Sonos
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 12-22-2011 at 05:09 PM.

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    MP3 and ACC are lossy formats so they will sound crappy compared to the original lossless (uncompressed) original, so the answer is no as far as improving the sound upon playback.

    As far as streaming the Apple TV is good suggestion or you could look into Logitech Sqeezebox or Sonos. But with those poor sounding lossy files neither will improve the sound beyond where they are at now.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    MP3 and ACC are lossy formats so they will sound crappy compared to the original lossless (uncompressed) original, so the answer is no as far as improving the sound upon playback.

    As far as streaming the Apple TV is good suggestion or you could look into Logitech Sqeezebox or Sonos. But with those poor sounding lossy files neither will improve the sound beyond where they are at now.

    H9
    I agree, but am thinking Apple TV would be his best bet with re-ripping all his CD's to Applelossless. Its not the "perfect" method, but it is the one scenario I think fits his needs the best. I am willing to be with 30,000 mp3's he doesnt have the physical discs for all of them anymore, but I could be wrong

    If he is willing to invest the time to go to FLAC and Squeezebox thats what I would do, but then he's managing multiple librarys for his iPhone/iPod as well as the Squeezebox.

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    OP said he had 30,000 tracks... I'm going to bet that those were purchased from iTunes and not ripped from CD. He's probably stuck with what he has as far as MP3 vs. FLAC. That would indeed be a terrible shame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    OP said he had 30,000 tracks... I'm going to bet that those were purchased from iTunes and not ripped from CD. He's probably stuck with what he has as far as MP3 vs. FLAC. That would indeed be a terrible shame.
    Yup, that was my thought, but I was hoping he might have some of the source CD's. Either way Apple TV is his best bet to at least stream them from a dedicated device. I didnt see him say if he was using a dock for the SC-35 (dont know if its got a USB port built in) or the headphone jack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    OP said he had 30,000 tracks... I'm going to bet that those were purchased from iTunes and not ripped from CD. He's probably stuck with what he has as far as MP3 vs. FLAC. That would indeed be a terrible shame.
    I would bet on it, but sometimes one needs to learn the hard way

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    I agree, but am thinking Apple TV would be his best bet with re-ripping all his CD's to Applelossless. Its not the "perfect" method, but it is the one scenario I think fits his needs the best. I am willing to be with 30,000 mp3's he doesnt have the physical discs for all of them anymore, but I could be wrong

    If he is willing to invest the time to go to FLAC and Squeezebox thats what I would do, but then he's managing multiple librarys for his iPhone/iPod as well as the Squeezebox.
    My 250G HDD has all the original files on it they are a copy off my brothers and Dads PC they used original disks. I think the majority are WAV I converted them when I put them in the MAC. does that make a difference or am I still looking at tracking down alot of disks..LOL.
    Another question is using a flac file via squeeze box will that sound better than the original disc in the BD player?

    I like the apple TV idea. I have airplay but cant seem to get it to work correctly. The apple tv may be my best solution.
    Last edited by tommyt21; 12-22-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I would bet on it, but sometimes one needs to learn the hard way
    Yup, I just did a massive purge of my older low bitrate MP3's. Thankfully lots of my stuff I did keep the CD's for, and my Dad had a bunch of stuff I needed on CD as well.

    Some of it I really did like but didnt have the source CD for I added to my Amazon wishlist to re-purchase the CD (considering the extra cost part of the learning process)

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    You can't get 30,000 original (uncompressed) files on a 250G HD, they have to be lossy copies. I think I understood you to say that in your post. Are you saying you made lossy copies from WAV files? Or are you saying you have some WAV files on the HD? It doesn't matter because you can fit 30,000 WAV files on a 250G HD and once lossy copies are made and the original is discarded the damage is done.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    You can't get 30,000 original files on a 250G HD, they have to be lossy copies. I think I understood you to say that in your post. Are you saying you made lossy copies from WAV files? Or are you saying you have some WAV files on the HD? It doesn't matter because you can fit 30,000 WAV files on a 250G HD and once lossy copies are made and the original is discarded the damage is done.

    H9
    It may be mixed then wav/mp3 and such on the wav files I do remember having to convert a big chunk because Mac's wont play wav without downloading the appropriate player. I wish I would have took the time when getting the music to make sure I had the best file type. However didn't really care about the quality as much as I do now after coming to Club Polk. But your right the math isn't their for the majority of my files to be lossless. I need to plug in the HDD and check it when I get home. I beleive I can get most of the orginal disks and have the reriped ( it will take a long, long time) but if you guys think its worth it I may give it a shot. I spent alot of money over the last year on my setup and now im trying to squeeze every last bit of quality i can out of everything.
    Thanks
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    It's absolutely worth it to re-rip everything into a lossless format. Yes, it's going to take some time and perserverance, but in the end if it;s the sound that's important then your current lossy files won't come close to getting it done.

    Good luck

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    It's absolutely worth it to re-rip everything into a lossless format. Yes, it's going to take some time and perserverance, but in the end if it;s the sound that's important then your current lossy files won't come close to getting it done.

    Good luck

    H9
    Do you guys have a recommended ripping program? also what about the sound difference between original disk via BD player VS Streaming a lossless file via something like Squeeze box. Sorry to bug but i'm taking these sggestions very seriously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt21 View Post
    Do you guys have a recommended ripping program? also what about the sound difference between original disk via BD player VS Streaming a lossless file via something like Squeeze box. Sorry to bug but i'm taking these sggestions very seriously.
    I use dB Poweramp for ripping and there should be no difference Streaming lossless vs the original disk in a BD player, if everything is done/set up properly. The streaming may even sound a little better. Of course, in your case there might be variables depending on the dac quality in each component (AVR, BDP, Squeezebox).
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Is it safe to assume that the dac in the Squeeze box is of better quality then my Panisonic bd 210? I had inquired a while back on ways to tone down the brightness of my a7's and one of the suggestions was better source material and a better dac.

    So I'm thinking I may start the reripping process and look more into this Squeeze box product and see how it progresses from there.

    Thanks for your help H9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt21 View Post
    Is it safe to assume that the dac in the Squeeze box is of better quality then my Panisonic bd 210
    Yes.

    The Squeezebox is a great player and its the route I am going to go as its the highest quality your going to get. The rub in this though is that if you want to enjoy those same quality songs via iTunes your going to have to re-convert those files to get them into iTunes and then manage two libraries.

    A good compromise that would allow you to keep everything in iTunes, but still get more quality from your music would be to re-rip the files using iTunes into Apple lossless and stream them via the Apple TV to your AVR. Its not the "ideal" scenario but sometimes you have to make compromises.

    You will give up a bit in sound quality, but you wont have to learn any new programs, and its still better than what you have now. In addition they will be smaller in file size so you can get more songs per gig than you would otherwise.

    With that said, only you can decide how far down the "Rabbit Hole" you want to go on this

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    If he's going to re-rip everything to lossless anyway I'd skip the Apple TV completely, rip it to FLAC, and just stick with the Squeezebox.

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    If using a MAC I suggest XLD to rip CDs.
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    Since you're a Mac guy i'm going to throw this out there.. if you don't mind spending the money I've seen a lot of suggestions on Computeraudiophile.com that use just a mac mini and hook it up to a DAC and then use an ipod/iphone/ipad to control it as a "headless" system.
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    I suggest the OP PM SolidSqual as I believe he is using a MAC as his source. Not sure what DAC he's using or how his music is formatted, but he might be a good resource here.

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    My recommendaitons:

    First, rip all your music to AIFF unless you need to preserve space, then use ALAC.

    Second, iTunes does a pretty good job of ripping so long as you have error correction turned on. Otherwise I also use MAX for ripping and conversion.

    Third, take advantage of the excellent DACs in your SC-35. Not too long ago, I owned an SC-27 and it was an amazing sounding AVR. To utilize these DACS, try something like a M2Tech HiFace(http://www.musicdirect.com/p-60917-m...interface.aspx) or Bel Canto Design USB Link (http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_USBlink.html). There are other similar solutions but this will get you started. Both of these units will help tame the digital signal and convert it to something your SC-35 can use. The solutions described above offer you some flexibility to benefit from what you already own while at the same time continuing to consider a standalone USB DAC or perhaps a high end non-USB DAC fed by the Bel Canto USB Link.

    Fourth, the iphone and ipad both can download an app called "Remote" which can control iTunes. This is great for ease of use and sofa control. Plus, their presence in the system does not affect audio playback as an Apple TV or Squeezebox would. I would avoid the Apple TV or Squeezebox, not because they are bad products, but because you would be introducing a link in the chain that you don't need. Both convert the music and control it. Neither excels at bit perfect conversion. The USB solutions above are bitperfect and made for high end systems.

    Fifth, buy Pure Vinyl or Pure Music as your playback software. It uses iTunes as a library and greatly improves digital playback, plus the new versions support FLAC.

    Sixth, use your playback computer as a music server only. Eliminate unneeded processes. This PDF should help you begin that process: http://web.me.com/casolutions/Comput...%20Leopard.pdf

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    Wow, you spent $30,000 on itunes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by m60cs2 View Post
    Wow, you spent $30,000 on itunes?
    Not at all, I have only bought and downloaded very few songs. These files come from my brothers pc and dads pc where they both have all the original disks and also a good chunk come from my own personal cd collection. They were copied to a seagate 250G HDD and then converted again and added to my Imac Itunes library. It's sad because the sound quality is not that good so I currently have been rarely using my Itunes library music. Also I think when I reripp the cds I'll stick to what I really want to listen to because mydad and brother just copied there whole collections and there's alot of duplicates and stuff i just don't like. I think I will start the process of reripping my Cd's first and then start borrowing my brothers and dads disks.
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    New question for the Smart dudes. I found out the reason I cannot stream through Airplay to my Pio SC-35. I thought it was wirless like everything else in my living room. They do kind of make it a lil misleading in their advertisements they keep talking about wireless streaming however they mean blue tooth.
    My question is I have a linkys wirless router that supplies all of my networking for the house in my computer room. I need to have a Hard LAN connection to the back of my reciever in the Living room to stream through Air play. How do I create some sort of access point to plug into in the living room with out running a LAN wire from the bedroom router to the living room? Can I get another wireless router and some how wirelessly connect them together and then use one of the ports on the second router to hardwire into the SC-35?
    I know my post may seem confusing but I would appreciate the help.
    Thanks
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    Dude, you are really over complicating this issue. Adding wireless routers would be a **** show of a solution. Just buy a product designed to do what you want and you will have better results. As an aside, blue tooth IMHO is a ****ty way to stream audio. The connection drops too easily and the frequency is too commonly used leading to interference. If you need wireless, get a Squeezebox or an Apple TV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt21 View Post
    New question for the Smart dudes. I found out the reason I cannot stream through Airplay to my Pio SC-35. I thought it was wirless like everything else in my living room. They do kind of make it a lil misleading in their advertisements they keep talking about wireless streaming however they mean blue tooth.
    My question is I have a linkys wirless router that supplies all of my networking for the house in my computer room. I need to have a Hard LAN connection to the back of my reciever in the Living room to stream through Air play. How do I create some sort of access point to plug into in the living room with out running a LAN wire from the bedroom router to the living room? Can I get another wireless router and some how wirelessly connect them together and then use one of the ports on the second router to hardwire into the SC-35?
    I know my post may seem confusing but I would appreciate the help.
    Thanks
    That's what the Squeezbox does. Allows for wireless streaming and MORE.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Dude, you are really over complicating this issue. Adding wireless routers would be a **** show of a solution. Just buy a product designed to do what you want and you will have better results. As an aside, blue tooth IMHO is a ****ty way to stream audio. The connection drops too easily and the frequency is too commonly used leading to interference. If you need wireless, get a Squeezebox or an Apple TV.
    I just looked at he price of Apple tv and its about the same as another router anyway. I think I'm leanning toward the Apple tv route, however the Squeeze box looks very interesting but would it be worth the price increase over the 99 dollar apple device? And as a beginer which Squeeze box model should I be checking out.
    Last edited by tommyt21; 12-23-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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    Well Apple gear works well with Apple gear, but are you going to want to have your TV on just to change a song via the Apple TV? I would be inclined to go with the Squeezebox because all the control happens in your hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Well Apple gear works well with Apple gear, but are you going to want to have your TV on just to change a song via the Apple TV? I would be inclined to go with the Squeezebox because all the control happens in your hand.
    I think squeezbox is now winning the battle in my head. I didn't know it had access to all of those internet radio services! Thats a bigger winner for me because I listen to internet radio all day at work. I just need to do more research before I bug you guys again.
    Thanks for your time guys
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    First, rip all your music to AIFF unless you need to preserve space, then use ALAC.
    Mike how does AIFF compare to FLAC, both in sound and also file size? Also does the squeezebox touch recognize it?


    **edit** verified the Squeezebox does play AIFF
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 12-23-2011 at 01:50 PM.

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