Retrofitting my Music server

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RCHeliGuy

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I've been thinking about ways to make my music server SILENT.

http://www.streacom.com/products/db4-fanless-chassis/

So I'm thinking about betting one of these fully passive chassis.
The case is just a large heat sink and there would be no fans anywhere.

I already have a mini-ITX MB that works beautifully, but I've been using it for VR downstairs and my speakers have been silent except when I stream Pandora from my OPPO 105D. I'm getting ready to upgrade my VR computer and I think this would both be very nice to look at, quiet and a great use of that old motherboard.

db4b-000-090.jpg

db4-000-180-open.jpg
 

amey01

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If you need that for a music server, something is wrong. I'm using a Raspberry Pi for my music server - silent and only uses a few watts - runs off a mobile phone charger.
 

RCHeliGuy

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If you need that for a music server, something is wrong. I'm using a Raspberry Pi for my music server - silent and only uses a few watts - runs off a mobile phone charger.
I'd be curious to know more about your solution before I do anything.
 

amey01

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I'd be curious to know more about your solution before I do anything.
Firstly, are we talking about a purist music server, or the playing client? Or do you make one box perform both functions?

Regardless, it doesn't matter. The Raspberry Pi can do it all.

If you search for Raspberry Pi music server you'll find about 62 different varieties. Some are extraordinarily good (Volumio, Rune, Max2Play, et al).

I use a Pi3 running Raspbian (headless) to run Logitech Media Server, as I use Squeezeboxes. LMS does, however, have DLNA server, so you can connect any client you like (and I also use it as the video server and family general file server). This sits in the comms cupboard at the back of the house, as I refuse to have a whirring and vibrating hard disk in the listening room. Raspbian is the "official" Pi OS, however you can run any ARM distro you like on it.

You should be able to run your JRiver on a Pi.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...opic=95578.0&usg=AOvVaw25s_sFUYFAqjOW8G9YVqfJ

Another really easy way to get up and running is to use PiCorePlayer - it is a combined Logitech Media Server and Squeezebox client. The guy who develops it is great. It's based on TinyCore linux (one gotcha - if you want to run it as a server, don't download the audio optimised version - that's for players only).

I also use PiCorePlayer as Squeeebox clients, also on Pi3 boards. All have Digi+ I2S digital output boards connected via the GPIO and digital out to decent DACS. They're capable of up to 192k and DSD. They sound great. Playing the same file, I can discern NO DIFFERENCE between this and the real Squeezeboxes (except the real Squeezeboxes aren't capable of 192k!).

The benefit of TinyCore (and hence PiCore) is that it is extraordinarily small, and runs completely from RAM. The OS / SD card is then run read-only, so that you can just power them off whenever you feel like it without any chance of corruption.

They're as cheap as chips.

Much to the disdain of some here, I have even siphoned some of the digital stream to a file and checksumed the results. Funnily enough, the resulting MD5 was identical, proving there is no difference.

DM me if you want to know more. I'll post some pics.

Disclaimer: I've only been running the server for less than a year (since October/November last year), so no comment on long term reliability.
 
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amey01

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Here is a pic of one of the Pi clients running PiCorePlayer, emulating a Squeezebox. The HiFi+ I2S board is clearly visible on the top of the main Pi board. Seen here connected via coax to my main Listening Room system.
 

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RCHeliGuy

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Currently what I'm using does the following:

Runs JRiver Server.
Plays music from an SSD drive.
Sends the music to my OPPO 105D by Async USB
Displays JRiver on my TV by HDMI to allow me to navigate.
Controlled by a keyboard and mouse by a wireless adapter.
or by JRiver Client by WiFi.
It also has an optical drive for ripping music.

I agree that isn't a heck of a lot for a computer to do.
 

amey01

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Currently what I'm using does the following:

Runs JRiver Server.
Plays music from an SSD drive.
Sends the music to my OPPO 105D by Async USB
Displays JRiver on my TV by HDMI to allow me to navigate.
Controlled by a keyboard and mouse by a wireless adapter.
or by JRiver Client by WiFi.
It also has an optical drive for ripping music.

I agree that isn't a heck of a lot for a computer to do.
The Pi can do most of that, including display to the TV (it has a HDMI output). However to do that you'll need to be running the full version of Raspbian (GUI). Alternatively, you could just do away wit the TV and control by an iPad / tablet.

The only bit I'm not sure about is the ripping (can you still buy CDs to rip anyway?) - I'm sure you could connect a USB / external CD reader, however I can't vouch for that.

The other way would be to simply rip on any other computer and copy (FTP or SMB) the files across.

Anyway - you can buy these things for $30. Get one, muck around, and if you can't get it doing what you want then chuck it in the bin.
 
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RCHeliGuy

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I have too many friends who are having a lot of fun with Raspberry Pi's. I should check it out.

I was thinking I should set one up as a dedicated MAME box too.

I just need to set aside some time to play.
 

RCHeliGuy

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Come on Mark, It can't matter any more than equipment or wire can.
As long as they are adequate to the task, that's true.

In this case, the hardware just needs to be able to read data from a source, do some minor decompression and send it down a wire reliably enough that any error correction or retransmission happens with a bit of room to spare, so there is really not that much going on that could impact sound quality unless the hardware is not adequate to the task.

Assuming the hardware is adequate, then the question is whether the OS and software running are reliable and reasonably bug free which is a whole different matter. Currently I have a file server solution that works as well as a solution can work, but it isn't completely silent which typically is not an issue.
 

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