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Thread: Do you serve your music on a music server?

  1. #1

    Default Do you serve your music on a music server?

    Given the growing list of digital music servers that are out there and the increasing sales of digital file downloads, I wonder if MLC members are going this way. I would be interested in hearing about the following:
    1. Do you usea music server in your system?
    2. If so, which one(s) do you use?
    3. Is this your primary listening source?
    4. Do you use the server to archive CDs you already own or do you use it to store digital download files or both?
    5. In the future, do you see your buying habits shifting away from physical discs to downloads?

    To get the ball rolling, I currently have 4(!) servers in my system: Meridian Sooloos, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Olive 06HD, and Bryston BDP-1 player.

    Bring it on!

  2. #2
    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    There are quite a few of us that have been using servers for many years. I have a Squeezebox and it is my primary source, with both downloaded music and all physical CDs (that was a horrible job - make sure you have a good backup or 3).

    If buying new music, I will try to download in the highest quality I can find. Usually - that means buying the CD.

    I'm not really into downloading music that I've never heard of - just because it is available in 24/96!

    Do you mean you have four systems?

    Why in the world would you have more than a single server in a single system? The whole idea is that everything is available from the server - there is no need for more than one! And it would simplify things a lot (if you have multiple systems) to also have them all the same. That way you can synchronise and control all from the one point. Personally, I have two Squeezeboxes - one in the listening room and the other in the main kitchen/lounge area.
    Marantz 8300 SACD / Squeezebox Touch --> Audiolab M-DAC --> Copland CTA-305 --> Classé CA-101 --> MartinLogan Vista / Behringer DEQ2496 --> Whise Profunder sub

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  3. #3

    Default Four servers?!

    Quote Originally Posted by amey01 View Post
    There are quite a few of us that have been using servers for many years. I have a Squeezebox and it is my primary source, with both downloaded music and all physical CDs (that was a horrible job - make sure you have a good backup or 3).

    If buying new music, I will try to download in the highest quality I can find. Usually - that means buying the CD.

    I'm not really into downloading music that I've never heard of - just because it is available in 24/96!

    Do you mean you have four systems?

    Why in the world would you have more than a single server in a single system? The whole idea is that everything is available from the server - there is no need for more than one! And it would simplify things a lot (if you have multiple systems) to also have them all the same. That way you can synchronise and control all from the one point. Personally, I have two Squeezeboxes - one in the listening room and the other in the main kitchen/lounge area.
    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a hardware reviewer, so I need to have gear at differing levels and price points for evaluating equipment in the future, in the spirit of apples to apples. I have also found that server functionalities differ considerably. For example, the Sooloos has a remarkable user interface, the Squeezebox has a treasure trove of internet radio stations, the Bryston is independent of the internet and allows 4 USB devices to be connected, the Olive is a literal Swiss army knife being a CD player and burner as well as server. I expect that versatility will become a more common feature in future servers.

  4. #4
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    I have the Sonos 90 that is attached to an HP ML110 1.5TB raid 10.
    I have multiple folders with different attributes but the Sonos cannot play over certain sampling but all in all I find it very enjoyable and as long as I copied the cd as lossless to a folder, it sounds really good.
    ML Electromotion , LSA Statement Amp modded by Exemplar Audio, AMR CD-77.1 Modded by Avatar Acoustics, Sono's Server.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member zaphod's Avatar
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    windows XP home box running Itunes. i share that library with my wife's computer and we feed our personal ipods/phones from those. an airport express also streams from that iTumes server.

    the squeezebox s/w is also on that server, using the iTunes library as a source. everything is stored in Apple lossless format.

    as this server is also my desktop, i'm moving it soon with a dedicated machine and reimaging the desktop with linux.

    everything on the server is ripped CDs. streamed music is not the primary music source, we tend to listen to as much radio and real CDs as we do the squeezebox and the airport express is down in the dark unfinished basement so you can guess how much that gets used. in fact it might not even be down there anymore

    overall it all works well, save for the wireless connexions that aren't the fastest or most reliable. i'll be pulling wire throughout to get 1G throughout.
    CLS system here.

    walk gently. leave a good impression.

  6. #6
    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babydoc View Post
    In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a hardware reviewer,
    Ahh, that explains things then!
    Marantz 8300 SACD / Squeezebox Touch --> Audiolab M-DAC --> Copland CTA-305 --> Classé CA-101 --> MartinLogan Vista / Behringer DEQ2496 --> Whise Profunder sub

    Click here to see my system

  7. #7
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    It's pretty obvious that music servers are the wave of the future. My Squeezebox Touch is now my primary source, but I still think we need to get to (more inexpensive and widespread) 24/96 and 24/192 downloads, which includes complete album art/liner notes, along with a more user-friendly ripping/downloading/backup setup, before this playback medium achieves full high-end acceptance. I still fear that the Apple/iTunes model will continue to dominate the market, and high-res playback could eventually fade into oblivion. Time will tell.
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  8. #8
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    i have 2 apple tvs streaming from itunes on a mac pro. all audio in apple lossless format. i hardly buy downloadable music. i buy cds and rip them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member churchill's Avatar
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    I'm running a Squeezebox Classic running off a Windows XP machine using Apple lossless and running it through a W4S DAC2. I mainly buy CD's and rip them. I still like having a hard copy!

    I haven't found much of 24/96 that's in the genres that I like.

    My Squeezebox is my main listening source, CDP a distant 2nd.
    Last edited by churchill; 04-15-2011 at 02:22 PM.
    My ML CLS IIz/Pass Labs/JL Audio system here: http://www.martinloganowners.com/for...ead.php?t=9676

  10. #10
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    I completely moved to the dark side in using a Sony Viao laptop that is striped down as a dedicated sever. I use JRiver 16 in memory playback. The external dac is a Red Wine (NOS) Isabellina interface with a Halide bridge converter. Over 800 hundred cd ripped in FLAC. I think downloading music sound better than cd,s so I prefer downloads if I can find music that I like. (one of the benefits in downloading it has encourage to explore other kinds of music)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ron's Avatar
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    I use the new Wadia 171i ipod dock with the McIntosh MCD500 as the dac. My music is from cd's in the WAV format using itunes. I own two 160 gig ipods, and one ipod touch. One of the ipods is loaded in the lossless format. That one has about 9500 songs. I also listen to Pandora One on my ipod touch. Pandora sounds much better on the ipod, than using Pandora through one of my blu ray players connected to the processor. I still listen to cd's now and then.
    Click here to see my System http://www.flickr.com/photos/6496253...7627432472250/
    Martin Logan CLX/Stage/Motif/JL113 subwoofer/McIntosh MC601's/MC303 amps/MX150 processor/MCD500 SACD,MVP881BR player/Samsung 78 inch 4K Curved Screen/Panasonic DMP BDT 350/Wadia 171i transport/mac mini

  12. #12
    Senior Member tsv_1's Avatar
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    1. Do you use a music server in your system?
    > Yes I do, in my 2-channel system (not my HT or other systems)

    2. If so, which one(s) do you use?
    > Olive 04HD -> W4S DAC2

    3. Is this your primary listening source?
    > Yes

    4. Do you use the server to archive CDs you already own or do you use it to store digital download files or both?
    > Both

    5. In the future, do you see your buying habits shifting away from physical discs to downloads?
    > Eventually, yes, since that's where it's all headed

  13. #13

    Default 24/96 source genres

    Quote Originally Posted by churchill View Post
    I'm running a Squeezebox Classic running off a Windows XP machine using Apple lossless. I mainly buy CD's and rip them. I still like having a hard copy!

    I haven't found much of 24/96 that's in the genres that I like.

    My Squeezebox is my main listening source, CDP a distant 2nd.
    You might consider upgrading to a Squeezebox Touch. Logitech was having a trade-in sale this month that is still ongoing. The nice thing about the Touch is that it has a USB port that will allow memory sticks or powered drives. I had a Classic but it had some reliability problems so I traded it in. Never looked back. Regarding 96/24 sources, you probably have visited HDTracks which is the main site offering high res stuff. They have just about every music genre there is with some high res in each. Linn Records, AIX, and Gimell are some of the other sites, mostly classical and jazz. Just to pique your curiosity, there are recordings in 176.4 and 192/24-bit versions that have to be heard to be believed. I have downloaded a number of these higher res files but they cannot be played as such on a Squeezebox yet. You would have to download them to your computer and port them into a DAC capable of handling the higher sample rates. Believe me, it is worth the effort.

  14. #14
    Super User sleepysurf's Avatar
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    The new Oppo BDP-95 (as well as the BDP-93) are also capable of streaming 24/96 and 24/192 high-res music from a USB memory stick, USB Hard Drive, or DLNA networked server, so it's the ultimate Universal Player! Just now putting mine through it's paces, and I'm very impressed thus far!
    Squeezebox Touch/Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB + Oppo BDP-95 > Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamp and Premier 350 amp > ML Expressions 13A. Dual ML BalancedForce 210 subs. Audience Au24e I/C's, speaker cable.
    Click here to see my entire sytem. Member of the Suncoast Audiophile Society.

  15. #15
    Senior Member churchill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babydoc View Post
    You might consider upgrading to a Squeezebox Touch. Logitech was having a trade-in sale this month that is still ongoing. The nice thing about the Touch is that it has a USB port that will allow memory sticks or powered drives. I had a Classic but it had some reliability problems so I traded it in. Never looked back. Regarding 96/24 sources, you probably have visited HDTracks which is the main site offering high res stuff. They have just about every music genre there is with some high res in each. Linn Records, AIX, and Gimell are some of the other sites, mostly classical and jazz. Just to pique your curiosity, there are recordings in 176.4 and 192/24-bit versions that have to be heard to be believed. I have downloaded a number of these higher res files but they cannot be played as such on a Squeezebox yet. You would have to download them to your computer and port them into a DAC capable of handling the higher sample rates. Believe me, it is worth the effort.
    You must have read my mind as I've been considering upgrading to the Touch! Looks like a no brainer and should match well with my W4S DAC2!
    My ML CLS IIz/Pass Labs/JL Audio system here: http://www.martinloganowners.com/for...ead.php?t=9676

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