• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Simple and cheap home music server (not streamer) setup

Brian Hall

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
480
Likes
888
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
Emphasis on simple. I just wanted a reliable home server that all of my devices could access to get to my ripped CDs with all of the devices using the same software.

Devices I use to stream music:

DMP-A6
Wiim Pro Plus
XBox Series X
Galaxy Tab S8+
Galaxy S23 Ultra
Asus Chromebox

I added a cheap mini PC purchased from Amazon for ~$160. I was going to do a Linux setup, but it came with Windows 11 already installed (the listing on Amazon said it came with Ubuntu).

Amazon link to the mini PC (not an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CKVRRN7K?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

The new PC shares a monitor, keyboard and mouse with my Chromebox using a kvm switch ($17.49).

Amazon link to the kvm (not an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CB3FTZL2?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

Copied the ripped CD files to the Music library directory on the new PC and enabled the DLNA server/share.

Uninstalled all the unnecessary Windows apps.

I found an android app that can access the DLNA server - Hifi Cast ~$8.50 for the no ads version. It works on my phone, tablet and Chromebox for native play, but can also play to the DMP-A6 and the Wiim Pro Plus. It was not able to play to the Xbox. The Xbox media player came up, but would not play. It gave an error for incompatible format. Not a big deal. The DMP-A6 is in the same system.

I wanted a common app to play locally or on the streamers. The DMP-A6 UPnP app kind of sucks (no track order, songs were in alphabetical order). The Wiim Home app is a little better.

Total cost for the new stuff $186.

Currently running Hifi Cast on my Chromebox streaming from the mini pc to the Wiim Pro Plus. Stats on the mini PC are:

CPU 6%
Memory 3.6/15.7GB
Disk 0%

I have about 100GB of flac files on it. Have 365GB free space.

The remote controls still work to go forward, back, etc. on the DMP-A6 and Wiim Pro Plus when Hifi Cast is streaming to them.

I am satisfied with this setup. I could improve the UI on the app, but it is fairly well done.
 
OP
Brian Hall

Brian Hall

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
480
Likes
888
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
Only software player I'm aware of that runs on Android & MS-Windows (and can access UPnP) is Neutron music player.

I don't use Windows much since I retired last year. Only thing I have used it for lately is to run dbPowerAmp to rip CDs.

Edited to add: But I will compare how it does on Android.
 
OP
Brian Hall

Brian Hall

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
480
Likes
888
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
Only software player I'm aware of that runs on Android & MS-Windows (and can access UPnP) is Neutron music player.

I tried the Android Neutron app. Works ok on my phone and tablet. Does not work at all on the Chromebox. The phone and tablet versions will stream to the Wiim. On the Chromebox, it would not stream to the Wiim or even play locally.

It seems like Hifi Cast is a little faster at everything with less features. Neutron definitely takes longer switching between song and albums. I'll spend some more time with it.

After messing around with both apps and some others, I'm tempted to develop a better Android app myself. Might be a fun project as a retired software engineer.

Edited to add: I got the Neutron app playing locally on the Chromebox. It will not play to the Wiim Pro Plus. The version on my phone reports 44.1khz as does the dac. The chromebook version shows 44.1khz but the dac is reporting 768khz. Some kind of upsampling I guess. Some setting needs changed. Might be why it isn't playing to the Wiim.
 
Last edited:
OP
Brian Hall

Brian Hall

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
480
Likes
888
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
The Wiim Pro Plus remote does not work with the Neutron app playing to the Wiim with the app running on the phone or tablet.
 

Chr1

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
823
Likes
626
I use Hifi Cast and Minimserver. Free and a very good combination, I reckon.
 

LTig

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
5,799
Likes
9,504
Location
Europe
I use Hifi-Cast to stream audio to a Classé Sigma SSP (AVP) and BubbleUPnP to stream video to a Sony X800mk2 (BD player), both on Android with a tablet.
 

Dunring

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
1,244
Likes
1,326
Location
Florida
I'd simplify it and get a WIFI hard drive or an external SSD and plug it into the USB port on your router if it supports that. One drive letter shared to every device.
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
3,945
Likes
4,948
Location
UK
...with all of the devices using the same software

This makes it hard. Is there are reason for this constraint?

I have a lot of different devices and ways to play music at home and on the move. I don't think it's possible to get to one player UI without making some serious compromises in functionality or replacing some of the devices (which would be wasteful). Plex server and the Plex/PlexAmp clients almost fit the bill, apart from Plex's inability to play internet radio (it used to support a Shoutcast plug-in, but plug-in support was dropped a few years ago :()
 

ZolaIII

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
4,145
Likes
2,443
Streaming to what and from where? WiiM Pro + or to the other devices as well? As much as I know WiiM suports DLNA and simplest solution is rooter with USB DLNA support. Windows has DLNA capabilities as well, you configure and enable server.
The most comprehensive solution is still JRiver (with full DSP support other than loudness). JRemote 2 enables you to control local reproduction from phone on it and other devices. It's not simple to say at least but works good with good library capabilities. You can try JRiver for a month for free.
For example my two PC servers and other DLNA devices.
Screenshot_20240203-132354.pngScreenshot_20240203-132409.png
Too bad you went for mini enclosure, motherboard suports 1x PCI-E audio cards.
 

Apesbrain

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
592
Likes
751
Location
East Coast, USA
enabled the DLNA server/share
Logitech Media Server natively supports the WiiM Pro Plus. With its "UPnP/DLNA bridge" plugin, it can play to any such device. Not saying it's "better" than what you've done, just an alternative. If you have any issues with "gapless" via UPnP over the WiiM, the native support should solve that.
 
OP
Brian Hall

Brian Hall

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 25, 2023
Messages
480
Likes
888
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
This makes it hard. Is there are reason for this constraint?

A challenge. And why not have one app that can stream to multiple devices easily with a decent UI? Wouldn't that be an ideal situation?

The decent UI part seems to be the hardest to find.
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
2,188
Likes
1,959
Location
Canada
Try Plex.
 

Bob from Florida

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
1,284
Likes
1,179
Volumio on Raspberry pii. Can access local USB drive or NAS. I have used it both ways. Works great. If that is what you are asking for.
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
3,945
Likes
4,948
Location
UK
A challenge. And why not have one app that can stream to multiple devices easily with a decent UI? Wouldn't that be an ideal situation?

The decent UI part seems to be the hardest to find.

Fair enough. I think the challenge is getting something that is 'decent' on a PC screen, TV, phone, tablet, etc. This can be somewhat simplified with systems that allow you to control one endpoint from another such as LMS/Squeezebox, Plex and Roon.

As I mentioned earlier, Plex and PlexAmp is almost gets there for me, apart from Internet Radio. I run LMS for this and access it via squeezelite-x on my PC and a RaspberryPi based PiCorePlayer in the garage (with an 8" touchscreen).
 
Top Bottom