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Absolute noobie looking for a music server solution

shzmm

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Hello, new forum member here. I have read a number of the reviews and finally I have a reason to actually join the community.

My question is, as the title describes, that I am looking for a music server. (Please excuse my lack of understanding if I use the incorrect terms). Basically, what I would like to is have a hard drive that is connected to a DAC to play music. This should then be able to be controlled by an external computer remotely without physical cabling. Of the many commercial offerings out there that I have found, most have exorbitant prices and only offer a solution whereby the music from an external device can played through a DAC via bluetooth or wifi.
The way my system is set up doesn't allow for a long cable from the computer to the sound system. I have a cheap bluetooth receiver at the moment hooked up to it, but would like to upgrade. Being someone who is uncomfortable at best with computers, is there a commercial solution out there that avoids wireless connections and is somewhat in line with an ordinary person's budget? Or should I just accept the fact that a wifi connection is more than adequate for audio?

Thank you for your help!
 

Madeintooting

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Basically you're looking for a streamer with the facility to attach storage, you could do this for a few pounds with a Raspberry pi zero w with a dac slip or buy a ready made solution such as the Allo Boss2 player or go up to the level of audiophile streamers from the likes of Benchmark, Linn or Naim.

Here's a selection-

They all work well enough over wifi, though if near your router you could hardwire the receiver to that.

https://thepihut.com/products/raspb...MIosfShKD08QIVUAWiAx0pywEFEAQYASABEgJ6zfD_BwE

https://thepihut.com/products/hifib...MIosfShKD08QIVUAWiAx0pywEFEAQYBSABEgIQzfD_BwE

https://thepihut.com/products/allo-boss2-player-including-raspberry-pi-4-2gb

https://premiumsound.co.uk/product/hifi-separates/streamers/naim-nd5-xs-2/?dTribesID=22a27fce1fa82719e4d5dfae65ca69cd|adtribes|11900&utm_source=Google Shopping&utm_campaign=Premium Sound&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=11900&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyOj0u6D08QIVGZfICh23Eg41EAQYASABEgKi4_D_BwE
 

UniPolar

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Hi there. I'll just address the server aspect. I use a cheap laptop and store flac files there using wifi as the connection to my internal LAN.

Wifi is capable of streaming hi rez audio without issue.

For the music server, I use Mezzmo running on Windows 10. Not free but reasonably priced and runs fine on this low end laptop.

For the rest of the audio chain, there are many products to consider, so you'll likely get plenty of suggestions... GL
 

aedagnino

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Raspberry Pi 4 with any of the software builds you can find for free online. Control with a tablet, your phone or even a touchscreen attached to the raspberry pi. Any usb dac worth its salt will perform beyond your wildest dreams.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't read the part where you're uncomfortable with computers... probably the Allo option is best in that case. However, if you have 'access' to someone who isn't uncomfortable with computers my first option still rules. It really is something that is easily built by anyone who feels even slightly comfortable with computers.
 

iMickey503

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Kodi.
Its Free.

Windows Media Center
it's free and you can probably get the PC with Windows 7 on it for free as well.
you can also use an Xbox or an Xbox 360 or any other device as well at sports Windows you can also use Windows Media Center to do all of this remotely as well and all of it is built into Windows and is free.

the original Xbox even has capability for an optical out so does the Xbox 360. both these items can be had for just about nothing. especially if the CD ROM is not working.

Winamp is also free and also has the same capabilities.

Amazon music HD.
it allows you to import all your music and of course play exactly like it was intended and of course you get access to the Amazon music stuff as well and you can control it through Alexa. you can even attach a hard drive to a cheap phone and use that as well I've heard that the LG phones do a pretty good job. you want to know OTG cable but that's about it. you can pick up a cheap LG phone at Walmart for around $10. just don't activate it and you'll be fine.

iTunes.
yes it works with a PC also you can get an older Mac and they even have digital outputs even firewire outputs so you can use some of the high-end Dacs made for the professional space that have tested quite well.
apple has a old router call than Airport Express that people basically give away for free that can play music and it can play directly from a hard drive.

VLC media Player.
basically you can do anything with this software and it can run on literally anything and everything and it does everything that you asked it to and it does it an inequality you ask if basically it's everything and it does everything.

With VLC, you can also use Optical Wi-Fi called IRDA. as long as it has line-of-sight you should be able to have a perfect transmission medium that way you don't have to worry about noisy Wi-Fi or have to worry about cables or interference from routers or from any Wireless Radio transmission if that has been a problem. some older laptops have this built-in but newer devices also support the newer data rates.

Spotify even on the free version allows you to play local media files off of a hard drive and control it remotely in your living room and offer free hand if you have the paid version then you also can listen to those files on your phone remotely supposedly according to this article from Business Insider.

you can control it with your phone if it's a SmartPhone and if it's not a smartphone you can basically tell the computer to go ahead and play stuff for you either through Google Alexa or if your phone supports it you can even tell Spotify to play your tracks for you by voice.

there is also Fubar, MediaMonkey, and a few others but that requires a computer to set up. But I do have options that are plug and play bellow depending on your location. Many work great for audio, but video support for 4k output was the factor they were retired. All still work as Music Media Servers/ players.

PS3 Media Server
it also works with other devices and you can actually use external devices such as a tablet a Palm Pilot or anything to control the media that's on your PS3 and play it back. it also works with the PlayStation Portable and you can use that to control the media directly on the actual PS3 and it will play back the media there.

PS2 FreeMcboot
you can also do this on a PS2 and those are pretty much free as well especially if the CD ROM doesn't work and you will be able to actually control it through Windows 10 you can even tell that annoying person on Windows to play files for you from the PS2 if you install a script. you also have to install Xlink Kai. which is also free.

Also These all do what you ask. ALL are free. Some like PLEX came pre built on Linksys Box, that has Optical/SPDIF as well as Analog outputs using a Burr Brown or ESS Dac. Some had offical hardware that was as simple as plug and play on a home network. Plex also offered Apple kits a while back. So you may still be able to find them on EBay, Kiji or elsewhere.


  1. Plex First choice. Plug and play.
  2. Emby Server
  3. Subsonic Offered some prebuilt plug and play boxes from what I heard.
  4. Ampache – Music Streaming Server
  5. Madsonic
  6. Airsonic
  7. Serviio
  8. Daphile- Dedicated Headless Music Server
  9. VortexBox music server distro
  10. Icecast
  11. Mopidy
  12. Sockso
  13. Jinzora
  14. Music Player Daemon


Hardware:

FireSticks can either be used natively or modified and will give you full HD output.

ChromeBox are really Dirt Cheap because the older models are basically out of support from Google but they were perfectly fine to put any of these programs on and control them remotely and stream to them if you wish. most require no setup and they are available for less than $5. they are small they are compact they take hardly any power and if you know how to run an Android phone or an Apple phone that's basically all the technical expertise you need.

Smart TVs have the availability of being everywhere and a lot of people are not interested in 720p Smart TVs and also as soon as the LCD cracks, they basically become useless to people or develop a small dot or line in the display .
They are able to be controlled remotely and play local media files they also have Optical and coaxial output so you can use that to go to a DAC.and they also have USB inputs that handle multi terabyte drives.
these can be free. there are several of them just in my area with a bad stuck pixel.

Samsung, LG. , Sharp and others have their own Software and app ecosystem. Just install the app on your phone and you will be able to control whatever media is on the TV that's connected to it. it also works with PC Mac Android and iOS. it can even be controlled via voice. Some have custom tablet remotes with their own media interface you can use on any tablet. Nokia even offered one in some markets, so just look around. They are made to be easy and require no computer.


Samsung has an entire tutorial on how to do this

LG Also has an ecosystem that does this.

SLIGHTLY MORE TECHNICAL BUT MORE AVAILABILITY.

Kollins Media Players having used at all Best Buys & basically all electronic stores to demo electronics and media and especially sound.
they have Optical outputs on almost all these devices and they are basically an industry-standard.
Old units get retired because they cannot do 4K. You are able to be purchased for less than $5 with the remote and it also has infrared as well.
if you have a receiver you can always hook that up as well and it will pipe through HDMI audio and optical at the same time. It offers the best chipsets as many of these units were also used in High quality audio distribution.

Nintendo Wii can also play back almost any Music file that is aac, ac3, aif, aiff, amr, ape, apl, asf, au, flac, m4a, m4b, m4p, mka, mp2, mp3, mpc, ogg, ra, ram, raw, rm, shn, tta, wav, wma, wv, pcm, most have an optical output and it can also playback analog out of its own DA converter.
you can usually find using better garbage cans and sometimes you can find them on the side of the road preferably they're usually in people's closets and if you ask him nicely they'll give it to you for free. just connect your hard drive to one of the USB ports in your ready to go.

Older pre 4k Yamaha receivers that have a network Port have something called musiccast and they also have an older app that allows you to control your receiver via a remote and Playback media files from a hard drive or USB stick.
these can be had for free sometimes on your local Craigslist or for a very low price since everyone else is upgrading to 4K and some of these only supported 1080p.

any home AV receiver that supports DLNA will be able to basically do exactly what you are asking for accept some of these devices may not accept hard drives but some of them actually do. With over 4,000,000.000 devices, you might be able to find a device that will work for you and your budget that is as good as anything on sale now.

you can also use a TiVo, or a older Dish Satellite Network receiver and a lot of other devices that will playback media files from a hard drive directly and give you an optical and coaxial output that you can hook up any good digital audio converter to.
with the new software updates these devices still work as media players but usually no longer function very well as a satellite receiver and therefore they are basically abandonware however all the software still works.
you can still use older iOS applications to control many of these


Here is a list of manufacturers of some of these devices you can keep an eye out for
Those in Bold are the ones to look for that have HDD/USB devices that work with a simple app or with DLNA or with a computer or simple APP of any kind to control it remotely. many of them offer simple plug-and-play devices where you simply set it up plug it in download an app and you're good to go. again many have been retired simply due to the fact that they cannot carry 1080P or 4K video.

some even offer X10 home automation controls so they'll work with Alexa and other home automation devices such as Google as well as other competing in open source home automation platforms. many of these devices have industry Standard Optical and spdif outputs that work perfectly well for audio even HDMI outputs on some devices.

Manufacturers
A
ACCESS Co., Ltd

Acer Inc.

Actions Microelectronics Co., Ltd.

Advanced Digital Broadcast

AirTies Wireless Networks

Alcatel-Lucent

Alco Digital Devices Ltd.

Allegro Software

Allied Telesis K.K.

Alpha Networks, Inc.

ARCELIK A.S.

ArcSoft, Inc.

Archos

Arkuda Digital LLC

ARRIS Group

ASKEY Computer Corporation

Astoria Networks

ASUSTek Computer Inc.

Awox

B
B&W Group Ltd.


Bang & Olufsen

BBK AV Electronics Corp., Ltd

Beijing Linglong Co., LtdBGH S.A

BlackBerry Limited

BridgeCo AG

Broadcom Corporation

Buffalo, Inc.

C
Cabasse SA


Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

Cabot

Canon, Inc.

Cisco Systems

Compal Electronics, Inc

Corel Corp.

CyberLink Corp.

CyberTAN Technology, Inc.

D
D&M Holdings Inc.

Dell, Inc.

DigiOn, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc.

D-Link Systems, Inc.

Dongguan

Digital AV Technology Corp., Ltd.

E
E-lead Electronic Co., Ltd.

Elsag Datamat s.p.a.

F
Freecom Technologies Limited

Frontier Silicon Ltd.

Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited

Funai Electric Co., Ltd.

G
GoerTek Dynaudio Co., Ltd.


GP Electronics (HK) Limited

Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.

H
Haier


Harman International Industries, Inc.

Hewlett-Packard

Hisense Electric Co.,Ltd

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitron Technologies

Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.

Honeywld Technology Corp.

HONG KONG KONKA LIMITED

HTC Corporation

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Humax

I
INKEL Corporation

Intel

inXtron, Inc.

I-O DATA DEVICE, INC.

Iomega

J
Jungo Ltd

JVC

JVC KENWOOD Corporation

K
Kenwood


KT Tech Inc.

Kyocera Corporation

L
LaCie


LG Electronics, Inc

Libratone A/S

Linksys LLC

Loewe Opta GmbH

Lynx Technology

M
Macrovision

Marvell Semiconductor

MediaTek

Microsoft

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

MITSUMI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.

Motorola, Inc

MStar Semiconductor, Inc.

Myriad Group AG

N
NEC Corporation


NEC Audio Video, Ltd.

Nero AG

NETGEAR Corporation

Nokia

Nokia

Novatel Wireless Inc.

O
ON CORPORATION

ONKYO Corporation

Oregan Networks Ltd

P
Panasonic Corporation


Pantech Co., Ltd.

Parrot SA

Patriot Memory, LLC.

Philips

Pioneer Corporation

Pirelli Broadband Solutions S.p.A

Promise Technology, Inc.

Q
QNAP System, Inc.

Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

R
Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Russound FMP, Inc.

S
S&O ELECTRONICS (MALAYSIA) SDN. BHD
.

Sagemcom

SAS

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.

Seagate

Seiko Epson Corporation

Semp Amazonas

SerComm Corporation

Sharp

Shenzhen Chuangwei-RGB Electronics Co. Ltd.

Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd

Silicondust USA Inc.

Sitecom Europe BVSK Telecom

SK Telesys

Skyviia Corporation

SMC Networks

sMedio, Inc.

Sony

Sony Mobile Communications Inc.

Sphairon Technologies GmbH

Sumitomo Electric Industries,Ltd.

Synology Incorporated


T
TCL


Teac Corporation Great Networked CD and Media Players.

Technicolor

Telechips

Top Victory Investments Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Korea Corporation

TP Vision

TP-Link Technologies Co., Ltd.

Transcend Information, Inc.

TRENDnetTrident Microsystems, Inc.

TTE Corporation

U
Uniden Corporation

Universal Media Corporation, Slovakia, s.r.o.

V
VESTEL Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.


ViewSonic

ViXS Systems, Inc.

W
Western Digital


Wireless Ventures USA, Inc.

Wistron Corporation

Y
YAMAHA CORPORATION


Z
Zhong Shan City Litai Electronic Industrial Co. Ltd

Zinwell

ZTE Corporation

ZyXEL Communication Corporation


=====================================================



This is not a complete list of devices manufacturers that offer devices that meet your requirements but you should be able to get something in the used market or purchase a newer device that meets your needs.



I hope this helps you find what you're looking for as I have included manufacturers from all around the globe so anyone in any Market can get a device that will work for SIMPLE, CHEAP, HIGH PERFORMANCE remote playback of media at a high definition standard in their systems without too much hassle.


=======================================================

Tips for Old Equipment.


1. look at the bottom of the device and either get a first-generation or a last-generation device. the first generation usually has the best quality hardware and the last generation is usually the one they worked out all the bugs.

2. it's best to purchase your electronics from colder climates as the capacitors usually fare better after years of use or storage

3. AVS is usually your best bet for looking for information for the sort of devices as many people have experienced either fixing upgrading or modifying them for home audio use and some still maintain these devices.

4, many of the older generation devices for basically just until machines with basic PC Hardware that was suited ideally for the home theater environment. many are still upgradeable to current software builds and it's as simple as inserting a USB stick and probably pressing a button on a remote.

5. beware of purchasing many of the eBay and other sites like Alibaba and the like media players and Hardware as in my experience, many have inferior chipsets. most cannot be upgraded without an actual tsop Flash/ chip programmer.
Many do not have cooling for the chips on board and fail rapidly, or have constant reboots in an environment that's over ambient temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. even something as simple as playing back music some of these devices run over a hundred and ninety degrees Fahrenheit from one sample I received.

6. TiVo devices are usually your best bet has there has been a strong Enthusiast Community for over 20 years.
TiVo units were usually made to be used in high-end homes and systems.
there is also lots of testing data on the quality of the audio and video but essentially the audio is going to be at a industry-standard. it's also usually includes a high-quality power supply so most of these units are a best bet for the budget audiophile. many parts can be upgraded by the end-user if you choose to go down that route.
since there are so many units everywhere you can usually get these for free or for a few dollars at your local thrift store in quite honestly pristine condition. the fact that there are still three thousand of them that are still actively in use and we're just recently taken offline by TiVo tells you the longevity of some of these devices. Yup, there is a work around.

7. devices like the PS3 were made from the ground up for the era of TRUE HD audio which is super audio CD etc. many reviewers had these in their playback systems for blu-ray playback and also in their audio chains. they are designed to be used in your home theater and audio video setup and are often the best bet for a true low cost high quality set up. game consoles also have a thriving support community so if there are any upgrades you'd like to do later on or wish to do some kind of repair to your unit or preventive maintenance you'll be able to do so for a relatively low cost. Parts availability is also quite good on many of the Sony consoles.

8. some of your yesteryears appliances for extremely high-end audio now go for a tenth of the price they went for when they were new.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of these devices with extremely good audio playback via analog outputs. just because it isn't able to play a new video format doesn't mean that the audio portion of the unit is at all bad or out of date.

9. if you are installing older non supported Hardware on your network, you should have it behind a firewall in your network and only open ports on your network that are needed more than likely this is already taken care of for you by your router. but I thought I would alert you to the security vulnerability. those with modem / router combinations from the major isps already by default take care of this but not always so please check.

10. before installing any of these devices be sure to give it a quick and thorough rundown before plugging in your expensive equipment to ANY device YOU VALUE ! Checking things like ethernet ports for bent pins May save your p o e enabled router that is more common today for home installations unlike before. 48Volts can ruin your day and your NEW DAC!

11. any devices requiring you to register a password or your credit card information or any financial information should be avoided as most of them have all had major security vulnerabilities and or open security breaches so web-based registration should be avoided at all costs. Do your research. (I.E. , DIVX , real Player /Media devices. )

12. 2000 - 2010 devices suffered from counterfeit capacitors. AVOID IF POSSIBLE.


13. ensure that the device is at least USB 2.0 compliant or has the ability for a built-in hard drive or wired network.
Wireless networking standards of early devices for as little as 11 megabits per second and should be avoided.

14. devices that need a certain operating system of Windows XP, 7 or even Vista May pose problems so check before you buy if the device has software requirements for playback of your media.

15. those of you that choose to use a Windows PC and a FireWire DAC may need to update your driver in order to use the device as there is a security update that limited the speed of firewire 400 & 800 ports and caused drops outs in the audio and may cause Stuttering problems. Windows Firewire patch is here:

16. If using an older desktop PC of more the 10 years? Replace the power supply. and check all fans for operation as this has been a problem for many PCs that the power supply ends up burning out the motherboard. this is especially problematic in Brands like HP and some of their media PCS designed to be used for home theater.

17. if your device came with a wall wart power supply ensure that it is in a good operation. if it's a linear power Supply (Big WART) you probably don't have any problems. however the modern switch mode power supplies can be an issue. Replace them if you have any doubts.

18. Electrical contact cleaner on the electrical contacts should be used as corrosion can set in and then of course ruin your listening experience or create problems with connections of hard drives and spdif RCA outputs. this is especially of concern in humid climates.

19. before purchasing any device be sure to do your research and look on the internet and of course asked people on forums for advice about using such a device before purchasing or spending any time or money.

20. I understand that this may seem rudimentary but check the power cord. more often than not you will usually find that there is a break or tear in the insulation in the cord due to storage or mishandling or age.






I apologize for all the spelling & Grammar errors. Voice to Text was used.





 
Last edited:

Tom C

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You have some choices to make, if you don’t want to just accept what is thrust at you from internet sellers.
As far as remote control goes, you can run a processor of some type at the remote location and send a WiFi signal to the DAC. This can work well, and causes no degradation of the audio quality at all. Except that if you don’t have a robust home network, you may get signal dropout during playback, which you will hear, and can be very annoying.
If you don’t like to fiddle with the system, then you may be happier with having a laptop or mini computer right next to the DAC, and connecting the two by hardwire. I use USB for the connection, but optical fiber and coaxial wire are other options. The hard drive with the music files can be external and connected to the computer, or you can use the internal hard drive of the computer. It is possible to run a system like this without a monitor or keyboard connected directly to the computer. This is often referred to as running the system headless. In that case, you need software running on the remote computer and on the music computer to allow for this type of remote control.
One of the main choices to be made, then, is which software you want to use. You’ll need an operating system, Windows vs. Linux vs. Apple. And player software, which can be free. Maybe drivers. You’ll need storage for the music files. And the DAC.
You can get most of that in a single plug and play package, but as you have found out, that can be pricey. Matrix Audio has offerings in the $1,000 to $1,200 range where you can plug in a hard drive and a power amp, and control with a phone app. Boom! You’re done! But that’s about as cheap as that gets, because you’re really getting quite a bit all done for you in a neat, tidy little package with relatively simple execution.
If you want to spend less than that, you can to some extent use components you already own, or use super affordable options like Raspberry Pi for the processor, freeware for the software, and a budget DAC. To help you more, we would need to know your budget (how much do you want to spend), and which operating system you want to use (maybe you’re a Mac or a Windows user, and you don’t want to change and learn a new system).
 

Tom C

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Kodi.
Its Free.

Windows Media Center
it's free and you can probably get the PC with Windows 7 on it for free as well.
you can also use an Xbox or an Xbox 360 or any other device as well at sports Windows you can also use Windows Media Center to do all of this remotely as well and all of it is built into Windows and is free.

the original Xbox even has capability for an optical out so does the Xbox 360. both these items can be had for just about nothing. especially if the CD ROM is not working.

Winamp is also free and also has the same capabilities.

Amazon music HD.
it allows you to import all your music and of course play exactly like it was intended and of course you get access to the Amazon music stuff as well and you can control it through Alexa. you can even attach a hard drive to a cheap phone and use that as well I've heard that the LG phones do a pretty good job. you want to know OTG cable but that's about it. you can pick up a cheap LG phone at Walmart for around $10. just don't activate it and you'll be fine.

iTunes.
yes it works with a PC also you can get an older Mac and they even have digital outputs even firewire outputs so you can use some of the high-end Dacs made for the professional space that have tested quite well.
apple has a old router call than Airport Express that people basically give away for free that can play music and it can play directly from a hard drive.

VLC media Player.
basically you can do anything with this software and it can run on literally anything and everything and it does everything that you asked it to and it does it an inequality you ask if basically it's everything and it does everything.

With VLC, you can also use Optical Wi-Fi called IRDA. as long as it has line-of-sight you should be able to have a perfect transmission medium that way you don't have to worry about noisy Wi-Fi or have to worry about cables or interference from routers or from any Wireless Radio transmission if that has been a problem. some older laptops have this built-in but newer devices also support the newer data rates.

Spotify even on the free version allows you to play local media files off of a hard drive and control it remotely in your living room and offer free hand if you have the paid version then you also can listen to those files on your phone remotely supposedly according to this article from Business Insider.

you can control it with your phone if it's a SmartPhone and if it's not a smartphone you can basically tell the computer to go ahead and play stuff for you either through Google Alexa or if your phone supports it you can even tell Spotify to play your tracks for you by voice.

there is also Fubar, MediaMonkey, and a few others but that requires a computer to set up. But I do have options that are plug and play bellow depending on your location. Many work great for audio, but video support for 4k output was the factor they were retired. All still work as Music Media Servers/ players.

PS3 Media Server
it also works with other devices and you can actually use external devices such as a tablet a Palm Pilot or anything to control the media that's on your PS3 and play it back. it also works with the PlayStation Portable and you can use that to control the media directly on the actual PS3 and it will play back the media there.

PS2 FreeMcboot
you can also do this on a PS2 and those are pretty much free as well especially if the CD ROM doesn't work and you will be able to actually control it through Windows 10 you can even tell that annoying person on Windows to play files for you from the PS2 if you install a script. you also have to install Xlink Kai. which is also free.

Also These all do what you ask. ALL are free. Some like PLEX came pre built on Linksys Box, that has Optical/SPDIF as well as Analog outputs using a Burr Brown or ESS Dac. Some had offical hardware that was as simple as plug and play on a home network. Plex also offered Apple kits a while back. So you may still be able to find them on EBay, Kiji or elsewhere.


  1. Plex First choice. Plug and play.
  2. Emby Server
  3. Subsonic Offered some prebuilt plug and play boxes from what I heard.
  4. Ampache – Music Streaming Server
  5. Madsonic
  6. Airsonic
  7. Serviio
  8. Daphile- Dedicated Headless Music Server
  9. VortexBox music server distro
  10. Icecast
  11. Mopidy
  12. Sockso
  13. Jinzora
  14. Music Player Daemon


Hardware:

FireSticks can either be used natively or modified and will give you full HD output.

ChromeBox are really Dirt Cheap because the older models are basically out of support from Google but they were perfectly fine to put any of these programs on and control them remotely and stream to them if you wish. most require no setup and they are available for less than $5. they are small they are compact they take hardly any power and if you know how to run an Android phone or an Apple phone that's basically all the technical expertise you need.

Smart TVs have the availability of being everywhere and a lot of people are not interested in 720p Smart TVs and also as soon as the LCD cracks, they basically become useless to people or develop a small dot or line in the display .
They are able to be controlled remotely and play local media files they also have Optical and coaxial output so you can use that to go to a DAC.and they also have USB inputs that handle multi terabyte drives.
these can be free. there are several of them just in my area with a bad stuck pixel.

Samsung, LG. , Sharp and others have their own Software and app ecosystem. Just install the app on your phone and you will be able to control whatever media is on the TV that's connected to it. it also works with PC Mac Android and iOS. it can even be controlled via voice. Some have custom tablet remotes with their own media interface you can use on any tablet. Nokia even offered one in some markets, so just look around. They are made to be easy and require no computer.


Samsung has an entire tutorial on how to do this

LG Also has an ecosystem that does this.

SLIGHTLY MORE TECHNICAL BUT MORE AVAILABILITY.

Kollins Media Players having used at all Best Buys & basically all electronic stores to demo electronics and media and especially sound.
they have Optical outputs on almost all these devices and they are basically an industry-standard.
Old units get retired because they cannot do 4K. You are able to be purchased for less than $5 with the remote and it also has infrared as well.
if you have a receiver you can always hook that up as well and it will pipe through HDMI audio and optical at the same time. It offers the best chipsets as many of these units were also used in High quality audio distribution.

Nintendo Wii can also play back almost any Music file that is aac, ac3, aif, aiff, amr, ape, apl, asf, au, flac, m4a, m4b, m4p, mka, mp2, mp3, mpc, ogg, ra, ram, raw, rm, shn, tta, wav, wma, wv, pcm, most have an optical output and it can also playback analog out of its own DA converter.
you can usually find using better garbage cans and sometimes you can find them on the side of the road preferably they're usually in people's closets and if you ask him nicely they'll give it to you for free. just connect your hard drive to one of the USB ports in your ready to go.

Older pre 4k Yamaha receivers that have a network Port have something called musiccast and they also have an older app that allows you to control your receiver via a remote and Playback media files from a hard drive or USB stick.
these can be had for free sometimes on your local Craigslist or for a very low price since everyone else is upgrading to 4K and some of these only supported 1080p.

any home AV receiver that supports DLNA will be able to basically do exactly what you are asking for accept some of these devices may not accept hard drives but some of them actually do. With over 4,000,000.000 devices, you might be able to find a device that will work for you and your budget that is as good as anything on sale now.

you can also use a TiVo, or a older Dish Satellite Network receiver and a lot of other devices that will playback media files from a hard drive directly and give you an optical and coaxial output that you can hook up any good digital audio converter to.
with the new software updates these devices still work as media players but usually no longer function very well as a satellite receiver and therefore they are basically abandonware however all the software still works.
you can still use older iOS applications to control many of these


Here is a list of manufacturers of some of these devices you can keep an eye out for
Those in Bold are the ones to look for that have HDD/USB devices that work with a simple app or with DLNA or with a computer or simple APP of any kind to control it remotely. many of them offer simple plug-and-play devices where you simply set it up plug it in download an app and you're good to go. again many have been retired simply due to the fact that they cannot carry 1080P or 4K video.

some even offer X10 home automation controls so they'll work with Alexa and other home automation devices such as Google as well as other competing in open source home automation platforms. many of these devices have industry Standard Optical and spdif outputs that work perfectly well for audio even HDMI outputs on some devices.

Manufacturers
A
ACCESS Co., Ltd

Acer Inc.

Actions Microelectronics Co., Ltd.

Advanced Digital Broadcast

AirTies Wireless Networks

Alcatel-Lucent

Alco Digital Devices Ltd.

Allegro Software

Allied Telesis K.K.

Alpha Networks, Inc.

ARCELIK A.S.

ArcSoft, Inc.

Archos

Arkuda Digital LLC

ARRIS Group

ASKEY Computer Corporation

Astoria Networks

ASUSTek Computer Inc.

Awox

B
B&W Group Ltd.


Bang & Olufsen

BBK AV Electronics Corp., Ltd

Beijing Linglong Co., LtdBGH S.A

BlackBerry Limited

BridgeCo AG

Broadcom Corporation

Buffalo, Inc.

C
Cabasse SA


Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

Cabot

Canon, Inc.

Cisco Systems

Compal Electronics, Inc

Corel Corp.

CyberLink Corp.

CyberTAN Technology, Inc.

D
D&M Holdings Inc.

Dell, Inc.

DigiOn, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc.

D-Link Systems, Inc.

Dongguan

Digital AV Technology Corp., Ltd.

E
E-lead Electronic Co., Ltd.

Elsag Datamat s.p.a.

F
Freecom Technologies Limited

Frontier Silicon Ltd.

Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited

Funai Electric Co., Ltd.

G
GoerTek Dynaudio Co., Ltd.


GP Electronics (HK) Limited

Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.

H
Haier


Harman International Industries, Inc.

Hewlett-Packard

Hisense Electric Co.,Ltd

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitron Technologies

Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.

Honeywld Technology Corp.

HONG KONG KONKA LIMITED

HTC Corporation

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Humax

I
INKEL Corporation

Intel

inXtron, Inc.

I-O DATA DEVICE, INC.

Iomega

J
Jungo Ltd

JVC

JVC KENWOOD Corporation

K
Kenwood


KT Tech Inc.

Kyocera Corporation

L
LaCie


LG Electronics, Inc

Libratone A/S

Linksys LLC

Loewe Opta GmbH

Lynx Technology

M
Macrovision

Marvell Semiconductor

MediaTek

Microsoft

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

MITSUMI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.

Motorola, Inc

MStar Semiconductor, Inc.

Myriad Group AG

N
NEC Corporation


NEC Audio Video, Ltd.

Nero AG

NETGEAR Corporation

Nokia

Nokia

Novatel Wireless Inc.

O
ON CORPORATION

ONKYO Corporation

Oregan Networks Ltd

P
Panasonic Corporation


Pantech Co., Ltd.

Parrot SA

Patriot Memory, LLC.

Philips

Pioneer Corporation

Pirelli Broadband Solutions S.p.A

Promise Technology, Inc.

Q
QNAP System, Inc.

Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

R
Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Russound FMP, Inc.

S
S&O ELECTRONICS (MALAYSIA) SDN. BHD
.

Sagemcom

SAS

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.

Seagate

Seiko Epson Corporation

Semp Amazonas

SerComm Corporation

Sharp

Shenzhen Chuangwei-RGB Electronics Co. Ltd.

Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd

Silicondust USA Inc.

Sitecom Europe BVSK Telecom

SK Telesys

Skyviia Corporation

SMC Networks

sMedio, Inc.

Sony

Sony Mobile Communications Inc.

Sphairon Technologies GmbH

Sumitomo Electric Industries,Ltd.

Synology Incorporated


T
TCL


Teac Corporation Great Networked CD and Media Players.

Technicolor

Telechips

Top Victory Investments Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Korea Corporation

TP Vision

TP-Link Technologies Co., Ltd.

Transcend Information, Inc.

TRENDnetTrident Microsystems, Inc.

TTE Corporation

U
Uniden Corporation

Universal Media Corporation, Slovakia, s.r.o.

V
VESTEL Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.


ViewSonic

ViXS Systems, Inc.

W
Western Digital


Wireless Ventures USA, Inc.

Wistron Corporation

Y
YAMAHA CORPORATION


Z
Zhong Shan City Litai Electronic Industrial Co. Ltd

Zinwell

ZTE Corporation

ZyXEL Communication Corporation



This is not a complete list of devices manufacturers that offer devices that meet your requirements but you should be able to get something in the use Market or purchase a newer device that meets your needs.

I hope this helps you find what you're looking for as I have included manufacturers from all around the globe so anyone in any Market can get a device that will work for remote playback of media at a high definition standard.






A stunning effort! You must be young, because that took a lot of energy.
 
OP
S

shzmm

New Member
Joined
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Thanks first off for all the great replies...

I see that many people use streaming audio and that is what most of the market is geared to.
Being a bit old school, I assume that having all of the elements in one box would be best. Something like the Naim Uniti but without the ridiculous price tag.

I am wondering if it might not be better to go the route someone suggested here and simply buy a computer like an older mac mini (I am stuck in Apple world for better or for worse). That could easily be accessed via wifi and have a large enough internal hard drive. Then, adding a DAC of decent quality isn't so difficult. Budget wise, I would like to keep things below €1000 if at all possible which somehow still seems absurdly high to me!

I am also in Europe which limits some of the options presented here-- often those cheap disposable items from the US don't get thrown away so quickly here!
 

Marc v E

Active Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
153
Likes
195
Hello, new forum member here. I have read a number of the reviews and finally I have a reason to actually join the community.

My question is, as the title describes, that I am looking for a music server. (Please excuse my lack of understanding if I use the incorrect terms). Basically, what I would like to is have a hard drive that is connected to a DAC to play music. This should then be able to be controlled by an external computer remotely without physical cabling. Of the many commercial offerings out there that I have found, most have exorbitant prices and only offer a solution whereby the music from an external device can played through a DAC via bluetooth or wifi.
The way my system is set up doesn't allow for a long cable from the computer to the sound system. I have a cheap bluetooth receiver at the moment hooked up to it, but would like to upgrade. Being someone who is uncomfortable at best with computers, is there a commercial solution out there that avoids wireless connections and is somewhat in line with an ordinary person's budget? Or should I just accept the fact that a wifi connection is more than adequate for audio?

Thank you for your help!

You just need a NAS - Network attached Storage. Synology is good. I have the ds418. Just add some harddrives like the wd red and you're done for the server/storage part.

And you need a client/musicstreamer. A raspberry pi 4 with 2gb will do everything you need. I use as software Mo0de, which I can really recommend. You can also use Volumio.

Set it up and you're done.
 
Last edited:

Marc v E

Active Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
153
Likes
195
Thanks first off for all the great replies...

I see that many people use streaming audio and that is what most of the market is geared to.
Being a bit old school, I assume that having all of the elements in one box would be best. Something like the Naim Uniti but without the ridiculous price tag.

I am wondering if it might not be better to go the route someone suggested here and simply buy a computer like an older mac mini (I am stuck in Apple world for better or for worse). That could easily be accessed via wifi and have a large enough internal hard drive. Then, adding a DAC of decent quality isn't so difficult. Budget wise, I would like to keep things below €1000 if at all possible which somehow still seems absurdly high to me!

I am also in Europe which limits some of the options presented here-- often those cheap disposable items from the US don't get thrown away so quickly here!

I can understand where you're coming from as this was my original concept too, with a mac mini connected to hifi. However, I would really advice against going this route. Here is why:

a NAS is a computer but one that is specialised for the task of saving data and distributing it over a network in your house. It also takes less wattage.
A mac mini is designed to process lots of information very quickly (more watts) with a screen, mouse and keyboard as way of using it. That's not very useful in this case.

A raspberry pi is used only to stream the music from your nas and outputting it to your dac. Best is to connect the NAS with an ethernet cable to the raspberri pi. You can control it via your phone or computer.

The Synology + raspberry pi will be in the 750 euro ballpark.
 
Last edited:

Madeintooting

Member
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May 12, 2021
Messages
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I am wondering if it might not be better to go the route someone suggested here and simply buy a computer like an older mac mini (I am stuck in Apple world for better or for worse). That could easily be accessed via wifi and have a large enough internal hard drive. Then, adding a DAC of decent quality isn't so difficult. Budget wise, I would like to keep things below €1000 if at all possible which somehow still seems absurdly high to me!

Pi + DAC + USB Hard drive, running Volumio, less than 100

If you don't want to build it just get the Boss2 and plug a USB portable drive into it, less than 200

Audiophonics in France can supply everything you will need.

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/
 

AdamG247

I “Double Dog” dare ya!
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2,888
Kodi.
Its Free.

Windows Media Center
it's free and you can probably get the PC with Windows 7 on it for free as well.
you can also use an Xbox or an Xbox 360 or any other device as well at sports Windows you can also use Windows Media Center to do all of this remotely as well and all of it is built into Windows and is free.

the original Xbox even has capability for an optical out so does the Xbox 360. both these items can be had for just about nothing. especially if the CD ROM is not working.

Winamp is also free and also has the same capabilities.

Amazon music HD.
it allows you to import all your music and of course play exactly like it was intended and of course you get access to the Amazon music stuff as well and you can control it through Alexa. you can even attach a hard drive to a cheap phone and use that as well I've heard that the LG phones do a pretty good job. you want to know OTG cable but that's about it. you can pick up a cheap LG phone at Walmart for around $10. just don't activate it and you'll be fine.

iTunes.
yes it works with a PC also you can get an older Mac and they even have digital outputs even firewire outputs so you can use some of the high-end Dacs made for the professional space that have tested quite well.
apple has a old router call than Airport Express that people basically give away for free that can play music and it can play directly from a hard drive.

VLC media Player.
basically you can do anything with this software and it can run on literally anything and everything and it does everything that you asked it to and it does it an inequality you ask if basically it's everything and it does everything.

With VLC, you can also use Optical Wi-Fi called IRDA. as long as it has line-of-sight you should be able to have a perfect transmission medium that way you don't have to worry about noisy Wi-Fi or have to worry about cables or interference from routers or from any Wireless Radio transmission if that has been a problem. some older laptops have this built-in but newer devices also support the newer data rates.

Spotify even on the free version allows you to play local media files off of a hard drive and control it remotely in your living room and offer free hand if you have the paid version then you also can listen to those files on your phone remotely supposedly according to this article from Business Insider.

you can control it with your phone if it's a SmartPhone and if it's not a smartphone you can basically tell the computer to go ahead and play stuff for you either through Google Alexa or if your phone supports it you can even tell Spotify to play your tracks for you by voice.

there is also Fubar, MediaMonkey, and a few others but that requires a computer to set up. But I do have options that are plug and play bellow depending on your location. Many work great for audio, but video support for 4k output was the factor they were retired. All still work as Music Media Servers/ players.

PS3 Media Server
it also works with other devices and you can actually use external devices such as a tablet a Palm Pilot or anything to control the media that's on your PS3 and play it back. it also works with the PlayStation Portable and you can use that to control the media directly on the actual PS3 and it will play back the media there.

PS2 FreeMcboot
you can also do this on a PS2 and those are pretty much free as well especially if the CD ROM doesn't work and you will be able to actually control it through Windows 10 you can even tell that annoying person on Windows to play files for you from the PS2 if you install a script. you also have to install Xlink Kai. which is also free.

Also These all do what you ask. ALL are free. Some like PLEX came pre built on Linksys Box, that has Optical/SPDIF as well as Analog outputs using a Burr Brown or ESS Dac. Some had offical hardware that was as simple as plug and play on a home network. Plex also offered Apple kits a while back. So you may still be able to find them on EBay, Kiji or elsewhere.


  1. Plex First choice. Plug and play.
  2. Emby Server
  3. Subsonic Offered some prebuilt plug and play boxes from what I heard.
  4. Ampache – Music Streaming Server
  5. Madsonic
  6. Airsonic
  7. Serviio
  8. Daphile- Dedicated Headless Music Server
  9. VortexBox music server distro
  10. Icecast
  11. Mopidy
  12. Sockso
  13. Jinzora
  14. Music Player Daemon


Hardware:

FireSticks can either be used natively or modified and will give you full HD output.

ChromeBox are really Dirt Cheap because the older models are basically out of support from Google but they were perfectly fine to put any of these programs on and control them remotely and stream to them if you wish. most require no setup and they are available for less than $5. they are small they are compact they take hardly any power and if you know how to run an Android phone or an Apple phone that's basically all the technical expertise you need.

Smart TVs have the availability of being everywhere and a lot of people are not interested in 720p Smart TVs and also as soon as the LCD cracks, they basically become useless to people or develop a small dot or line in the display .
They are able to be controlled remotely and play local media files they also have Optical and coaxial output so you can use that to go to a DAC.and they also have USB inputs that handle multi terabyte drives.
these can be free. there are several of them just in my area with a bad stuck pixel.

Samsung, LG. , Sharp and others have their own Software and app ecosystem. Just install the app on your phone and you will be able to control whatever media is on the TV that's connected to it. it also works with PC Mac Android and iOS. it can even be controlled via voice. Some have custom tablet remotes with their own media interface you can use on any tablet. Nokia even offered one in some markets, so just look around. They are made to be easy and require no computer.


Samsung has an entire tutorial on how to do this

LG Also has an ecosystem that does this.

SLIGHTLY MORE TECHNICAL BUT MORE AVAILABILITY.

Kollins Media Players having used at all Best Buys & basically all electronic stores to demo electronics and media and especially sound.
they have Optical outputs on almost all these devices and they are basically an industry-standard.
Old units get retired because they cannot do 4K. You are able to be purchased for less than $5 with the remote and it also has infrared as well.
if you have a receiver you can always hook that up as well and it will pipe through HDMI audio and optical at the same time. It offers the best chipsets as many of these units were also used in High quality audio distribution.

Nintendo Wii can also play back almost any Music file that is aac, ac3, aif, aiff, amr, ape, apl, asf, au, flac, m4a, m4b, m4p, mka, mp2, mp3, mpc, ogg, ra, ram, raw, rm, shn, tta, wav, wma, wv, pcm, most have an optical output and it can also playback analog out of its own DA converter.
you can usually find using better garbage cans and sometimes you can find them on the side of the road preferably they're usually in people's closets and if you ask him nicely they'll give it to you for free. just connect your hard drive to one of the USB ports in your ready to go.

Older pre 4k Yamaha receivers that have a network Port have something called musiccast and they also have an older app that allows you to control your receiver via a remote and Playback media files from a hard drive or USB stick.
these can be had for free sometimes on your local Craigslist or for a very low price since everyone else is upgrading to 4K and some of these only supported 1080p.

any home AV receiver that supports DLNA will be able to basically do exactly what you are asking for accept some of these devices may not accept hard drives but some of them actually do. With over 4,000,000.000 devices, you might be able to find a device that will work for you and your budget that is as good as anything on sale now.

you can also use a TiVo, or a older Dish Satellite Network receiver and a lot of other devices that will playback media files from a hard drive directly and give you an optical and coaxial output that you can hook up any good digital audio converter to.
with the new software updates these devices still work as media players but usually no longer function very well as a satellite receiver and therefore they are basically abandonware however all the software still works.
you can still use older iOS applications to control many of these


Here is a list of manufacturers of some of these devices you can keep an eye out for
Those in Bold are the ones to look for that have HDD/USB devices that work with a simple app or with DLNA or with a computer or simple APP of any kind to control it remotely. many of them offer simple plug-and-play devices where you simply set it up plug it in download an app and you're good to go. again many have been retired simply due to the fact that they cannot carry 1080P or 4K video.

some even offer X10 home automation controls so they'll work with Alexa and other home automation devices such as Google as well as other competing in open source home automation platforms. many of these devices have industry Standard Optical and spdif outputs that work perfectly well for audio even HDMI outputs on some devices.

Manufacturers
A
ACCESS Co., Ltd

Acer Inc.

Actions Microelectronics Co., Ltd.

Advanced Digital Broadcast

AirTies Wireless Networks

Alcatel-Lucent

Alco Digital Devices Ltd.

Allegro Software

Allied Telesis K.K.

Alpha Networks, Inc.

ARCELIK A.S.

ArcSoft, Inc.

Archos

Arkuda Digital LLC

ARRIS Group

ASKEY Computer Corporation

Astoria Networks

ASUSTek Computer Inc.

Awox

B
B&W Group Ltd.


Bang & Olufsen

BBK AV Electronics Corp., Ltd

Beijing Linglong Co., LtdBGH S.A

BlackBerry Limited

BridgeCo AG

Broadcom Corporation

Buffalo, Inc.

C
Cabasse SA


Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

Cabot

Canon, Inc.

Cisco Systems

Compal Electronics, Inc

Corel Corp.

CyberLink Corp.

CyberTAN Technology, Inc.

D
D&M Holdings Inc.

Dell, Inc.

DigiOn, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc.

D-Link Systems, Inc.

Dongguan

Digital AV Technology Corp., Ltd.

E
E-lead Electronic Co., Ltd.

Elsag Datamat s.p.a.

F
Freecom Technologies Limited

Frontier Silicon Ltd.

Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited

Funai Electric Co., Ltd.

G
GoerTek Dynaudio Co., Ltd.


GP Electronics (HK) Limited

Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.

H
Haier


Harman International Industries, Inc.

Hewlett-Packard

Hisense Electric Co.,Ltd

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitron Technologies

Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.

Honeywld Technology Corp.

HONG KONG KONKA LIMITED

HTC Corporation

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Humax

I
INKEL Corporation

Intel

inXtron, Inc.

I-O DATA DEVICE, INC.

Iomega

J
Jungo Ltd

JVC

JVC KENWOOD Corporation

K
Kenwood


KT Tech Inc.

Kyocera Corporation

L
LaCie


LG Electronics, Inc

Libratone A/S

Linksys LLC

Loewe Opta GmbH

Lynx Technology

M
Macrovision

Marvell Semiconductor

MediaTek

Microsoft

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

MITSUMI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.

Motorola, Inc

MStar Semiconductor, Inc.

Myriad Group AG

N
NEC Corporation


NEC Audio Video, Ltd.

Nero AG

NETGEAR Corporation

Nokia

Nokia

Novatel Wireless Inc.

O
ON CORPORATION

ONKYO Corporation

Oregan Networks Ltd

P
Panasonic Corporation


Pantech Co., Ltd.

Parrot SA

Patriot Memory, LLC.

Philips

Pioneer Corporation

Pirelli Broadband Solutions S.p.A

Promise Technology, Inc.

Q
QNAP System, Inc.

Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

R
Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Russound FMP, Inc.

S
S&O ELECTRONICS (MALAYSIA) SDN. BHD
.

Sagemcom

SAS

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.

Seagate

Seiko Epson Corporation

Semp Amazonas

SerComm Corporation

Sharp

Shenzhen Chuangwei-RGB Electronics Co. Ltd.

Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd

Silicondust USA Inc.

Sitecom Europe BVSK Telecom

SK Telesys

Skyviia Corporation

SMC Networks

sMedio, Inc.

Sony

Sony Mobile Communications Inc.

Sphairon Technologies GmbH

Sumitomo Electric Industries,Ltd.

Synology Incorporated


T
TCL


Teac Corporation Great Networked CD and Media Players.

Technicolor

Telechips

Top Victory Investments Ltd.

Toshiba Corporation

Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Korea Corporation

TP Vision

TP-Link Technologies Co., Ltd.

Transcend Information, Inc.

TRENDnetTrident Microsystems, Inc.

TTE Corporation

U
Uniden Corporation

Universal Media Corporation, Slovakia, s.r.o.

V
VESTEL Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.


ViewSonic

ViXS Systems, Inc.

W
Western Digital


Wireless Ventures USA, Inc.

Wistron Corporation

Y
YAMAHA CORPORATION


Z
Zhong Shan City Litai Electronic Industrial Co. Ltd

Zinwell

ZTE Corporation

ZyXEL Communication Corporation


=====================================================



This is not a complete list of devices manufacturers that offer devices that meet your requirements but you should be able to get something in the used market or purchase a newer device that meets your needs.



I hope this helps you find what you're looking for as I have included manufacturers from all around the globe so anyone in any Market can get a device that will work for SIMPLE, CHEAP, HIGH PERFORMANCE remote playback of media at a high definition standard in their systems without too much hassle.


=======================================================

Tips for Old Equipment.


1. look at the bottom of the device and either get a first-generation or a last-generation device. the first generation usually has the best quality hardware and the last generation is usually the one they worked out all the bugs.

2. it's best to purchase your electronics from colder climates as the capacitors usually fare better after years of use or storage

3. AVS is usually your best bet for looking for information for the sort of devices as many people have experienced either fixing upgrading or modifying them for home audio use and some still maintain these devices.

4, many of the older generation devices for basically just until machines with basic PC Hardware that was suited ideally for the home theater environment. many are still upgradeable to current software builds and it's as simple as inserting a USB stick and probably pressing a button on a remote.

5. beware of purchasing many of the eBay and other sites like Alibaba and the like media players and Hardware as in my experience, many have inferior chipsets. most cannot be upgraded without an actual tsop Flash/ chip programmer.
Many do not have cooling for the chips on board and fail rapidly, or have constant reboots in an environment that's over ambient temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. even something as simple as playing back music some of these devices run over a hundred and ninety degrees Fahrenheit from one sample I received.

6. TiVo devices are usually your best bet has there has been a strong Enthusiast Community for over 20 years.
TiVo units were usually made to be used in high-end homes and systems.
there is also lots of testing data on the quality of the audio and video but essentially the audio is going to be at a industry-standard. it's also usually includes a high-quality power supply so most of these units are a best bet for the budget audiophile. many parts can be upgraded by the end-user if you choose to go down that route.
since there are so many units everywhere you can usually get these for free or for a few dollars at your local thrift store in quite honestly pristine condition. the fact that there are still three thousand of them that are still actively in use and we're just recently taken offline by TiVo tells you the longevity of some of these devices. Yup, there is a work around.

7. devices like the PS3 were made from the ground up for the era of TRUE HD audio which is super audio CD etc. many reviewers had these in their playback systems for blu-ray playback and also in their audio chains. they are designed to be used in your home theater and audio video setup and are often the best bet for a true low cost high quality set up. game consoles also have a thriving support community so if there are any upgrades you'd like to do later on or wish to do some kind of repair to your unit or preventive maintenance you'll be able to do so for a relatively low cost. Parts availability is also quite good on many of the Sony consoles.

8. some of your yesteryears appliances for extremely high-end audio now go for a tenth of the price they went for when they were new.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of these devices with extremely good audio playback via analog outputs. just because it isn't able to play a new video format doesn't mean that the audio portion of the unit is at all bad or out of date.

9. if you are installing older non supported Hardware on your network, you should have it behind a firewall in your network and only open ports on your network that are needed more than likely this is already taken care of for you by your router. but I thought I would alert you to the security vulnerability. those with modem / router combinations from the major isps already by default take care of this but not always so please check.

10. before installing any of these devices be sure to give it a quick and thorough rundown before plugging in your expensive equipment to ANY device YOU VALUE ! Checking things like ethernet ports for bent pins May save your p o e enabled router that is more common today for home installations unlike before. 48Volts can ruin your day and your NEW DAC!

11. any devices requiring you to register a password or your credit card information or any financial information should be avoided as most of them have all had major security vulnerabilities and or open security breaches so web-based registration should be avoided at all costs. Do your research. (I.E. , DIVX , real Player /Media devices. )

12. 2000 - 2010 devices suffered from counterfeit capacitors. AVOID IF POSSIBLE.


13. ensure that the device is at least USB 2.0 compliant or has the ability for a built-in hard drive or wired network.
Wireless networking standards of early devices for as little as 11 megabits per second and should be avoided.

14. devices that need a certain operating system of Windows XP, 7 or even Vista May pose problems so check before you buy if the device has software requirements for playback of your media.

15. those of you that choose to use a Windows PC and a FireWire DAC may need to update your driver in order to use the device as there is a security update that limited the speed of firewire 400 & 800 ports and caused drops outs in the audio and may cause Stuttering problems. Windows Firewire patch is here:

16. If using an older desktop PC of more the 10 years? Replace the power supply. and check all fans for operation as this has been a problem for many PCs that the power supply ends up burning out the motherboard. this is especially problematic in Brands like HP and some of their media PCS designed to be used for home theater.

17. if your device came with a wall wart power supply ensure that it is in a good operation. if it's a linear power Supply (Big WART) you probably don't have any problems. however the modern switch mode power supplies can be an issue. Replace them if you have any doubts.

18. Electrical contact cleaner on the electrical contacts should be used as corrosion can set in and then of course ruin your listening experience or create problems with connections of hard drives and spdif RCA outputs. this is especially of concern in humid climates.

19. before purchasing any device be sure to do your research and look on the internet and of course asked people on forums for advice about using such a device before purchasing or spending any time or money.

20. I understand that this may seem rudimentary but check the power cord. more often than not you will usually find that there is a break or tear in the insulation in the cord due to storage or mishandling or age.






I apologize for all the spelling & Grammar errors. Voice to Text was used.




Holy shit Dude! You win the “Best and most complete” Answer Contest. :cool:
 

Apesbrain

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I am also in Europe...
This company is in your backyard and these two products are well under your budget:
https://polyvection.com/en/product/core32/ (Server: connect to router and external HD)
https://polyvection.com/en/product/dac32/ (Player: connect to receiver/amp, no separate DAC needed)

Control from PC, tablet, or phone. Mobile interface looks like this:

t9qkknQ.jpg
 

iMickey503

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(I am stuck in Apple world for better or for worse).


Your Apple System sir .






1626889114649.png


This takes care of wiring your unit directly to your computer. But not having to run any wires.


1626889324712.png

This is your new Streaming device that works with itunes. Or all by itself with any...

1626889682219.png

Time Capsule so you don't have to have your computer on to play back music. Saves power. All music stored here. Connect this to network and to main ethernet adaptor

to these cables.
1626890093466.png


Or these....
But... I caution you.
These cables may throw off the token ring in the switch, and might get you to OSI layer 9.
1626889934251.png


Get this to connect to your apple tv 3rd gen.
1626891435402.png


Comes with cable but why not upgrade to Audio grade Monster cable.
1626891565312.png



And that's it. Your done.
You have did all this for under One Bremallo...A little over 25o pounds.
Or without the DAC? Less than one Scandinavian Model. All shipped to your door.

Here is a guide to set the software on the MAC all up.
https://www.imore.com/how-move-your-itunes-library-external-hard-drive

hooking up the Apple TV to your unbalanced, Single ended amplifier to speakers guide by Mac world.
https://www.macworld.com/article/223622/how-to-connect-an-apple-tv-to-analog-speakers.html


How to set up your time capsule on your home network.


Starving Marvin DAC. Only 10 Pounds.
1626892841848.png





Gen II Apple TV is still supported for audio use and that is even cheaper.
All hard-wired. No WiFi or BlueTooth.
Works great for the U.K as the whole house is on a single electrical bus.

this is the easiest route for someone who is in the Apple ecosystem for a wired connection and is the most inexpensive route to get there.

this is the simplest easiest and most cost-effective solution
current UK prices as of today 2021 August.

if you have more than two terabytes of music you can always add a hard drive at any time and connected to the time machine or the time capsule.


current UK prices for a 8 to 12 terabyte hard drive is around $150 or less.
 

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AdamG247

I “Double Dog” dare ya!
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I think this thread deserves a sticky tag.
If @iMickey503 wishes to start a new thread with proper title I will be happy to make that a Sticky. I don’t want to use this thread as is. Better if he starts a fresh Thread. But great suggestion LT.
 
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