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  1. #1

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    Default Sound quality when streaming music

    I was just curious what you think about streaming music via iTunes? I stream from my MacBook via Airport Extreme I personally think it sounds good but was wondering if there is anything I could do to make it sound better.
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    I've never streamed via I-Tunes, but streaming lossless files to my DAC/CDP via my Squeezebox Duet sounds just as good as CD quality.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    What's squeezebox duet?
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    Cool I'll check out the link
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    I use Pandora radio through my Samsung Blueray player and was extremely surprised in the quality compared to playing it through my laptop. It isn't exactly CD quality but MUCH better than other choices I have tried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I've never streamed via I-Tunes, but streaming lossless files to my DAC/CDP via my Squeezebox Duet sounds just as good as CD quality.

    This looks great, I will have to check it out as well:)

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    I'm quite fond of i-tunes streaming radio service, particularly the jazz and ambient selections. As far as quality goes however, 192kbps or it simply doesn't happen. I still prefer a CD-like quality 256-320 kbps but finding something like that is like trapping lightning in a bottle. Still, for what it is, a free service, I'm enamored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I've never streamed via I-Tunes, but streaming lossless files to my DAC/CDP via my Squeezebox Duet sounds just as good as CD quality.
    What software do you use to convert to lossless? I use LAME

    http://lame.sourceforge.net/
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    WMP and ripped to Windows lossless. I chose WMP out of convienence and also because my Zune HD won't read any other lossless formats.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    WMP and ripped to Windows lossless. I chose WMP out of convenience and also because my Zune HD won't read any other lossless formats.
    Thanks for reply, I'm currently exploring this MAX (http://sbooth.org/Max/) and waiting to hear back from an audiophile friend on the Apple forum to see if this is good or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I've never streamed via I-Tunes, but streaming lossless files to my DAC/CDP via my Squeezebox Duet sounds just as good as CD quality.
    Hey, Face, are there any special settings you need to make sure the signal is lossless when it hits your receiver or processor? For some reason, I thought squeezecenter converted it on the fly to mp3 streaming. I've always been confused about this. I love my duet too!
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    As far as I know, the signal is not re-encoded.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    I'm quite fond of i-tunes streaming radio service, particularly the jazz and ambient selections. As far as quality goes however, 192kbps or it simply doesn't happen. I still prefer a CD-like quality 256-320 kbps but finding something like that is like trapping lightning in a bottle. Still, for what it is, a free service, I'm enamored.
    I love the way iTunes works also, but have even had great results with the some of the low bit rate stations. I listen a lot to the 64kbps Classic Rock "4 Ever Floyd" station and can't figure out how that small datastream can throw out such a wide and focused SDA soundstage, but it certainly does.

    I do run my laptop's soundcard output through a tube buffer before it hits the Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre which I'm sure helps a great deal. I do wish they would up the bit rate on some of the low bitrate stations so I could see if it gets even better,
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post
    Hey, Face, are there any special settings you need to make sure the signal is lossless when it hits your receiver or processor? For some reason, I thought squeezecenter converted it on the fly to mp3 streaming. I've always been confused about this. I love my duet too!
    In the Squeezebox Server software, you can set how various file types will stream. Look at Server Settings - File Types (see attached screen shot).

    I personally set the Squeezebox Server software to decode/unpack flac back into 1411.2 kbps PCM, rather than having the Squeezebox receiver do it. I'm using Cat5/6, so don't have any bandwidth or wireless issues, so figure I'd remove the flac decoding duties from the Squeezebox receiver.

    You can also set the Squeezebox Server to transcode flac to mp3, but I don't see why anyone would want to do that, unless they have serious network bandwidth issues.

    You can tell the bitrate being streamed in the web control interface (see upper right hand corner of attached screen shot).
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  16. #16

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    If you are looking for good quality sound to play back on your main audio system, you need to go lossless. Not an apple fan, but I believe you can download lossless music from I-tunes, but it is more than 99 cents per song. From what I heard, it doubles the bit rate of standard downloads, but in my opinion, that is still not truly lossless. The best thing to do is rip your own discs to flac(free lossless audio format). I recently re-ripped all the songs I wanted from my discs in flac. I store them on an external hard drive. It is hooked up to a WD TV. From there it goes to my Onkyo 606 receiver via HDMI. What's nice about the WDTV, is that it also does photos & movies. It is a complete Media server for $100!!!

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