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Using Cheap Laptop as Music Server

audioJon

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I'd like to buy a laptop to use only as a music server running Qobuz/Tidal and Equalizer APO/Peace. It would be connected to a DAC/Headphone amp. Will something like this Gateway be sufficient:
  • Windows 10 Home (S mode)
  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-1115G4 Processor (3.0 GHz, Up to 4.10 GHz, 6M Cache)
  • 14.1” LCD IPS Display, (1920 x 1080)
  • Precision Touchpad
  • Tuned by THX™ Audio
  • 128 GB Solid State Drive
  • 4 GB Memory (RAM)
  • Built-in Fingerprint Scanner (Windows Hello)
  • 1.0 MP Front-Facing Camera
  • Up to 8.5 hours of battery life
  • Micro SD Slot x 1 (Up to 512 GB)
  • HDMI Output x 1
  • USB Type-C (Data transfer only) x 1
  • USB 3.0 x 2
Thanks,
Jon
 
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Chromatischism

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Make sure it has a quiet fan or is kept some distance away.
 

somebodyelse

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If you use daphile you can get away with something a lot more basic. It uses Logitech Media Server which has plugins for Qobuz and Tidal, and BruteFIR which provides EQ. I've used it with a 2003 vintage Pentium M laptop underclocked to ~500MHz to stop the fan spinning up, so almost anything more modern should be able to cope.
 

Robin L

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I'm using an Acer Aspire 5, 4gb of RAM, 128gb of internal SSD. Got it from Amazon, $350. I've got a 512gb perma-flash drive [a tiny thing] with the music in one of the USB slots. I'm thinking of upgrading the memory to at least 1tb and the RAM to at least 8gb. For playing back my I-Tunes, it works perfectly right now. Streaming seems to require more RAM, and I would like to have more room for music files. But right now, I'm happy. The sound quality [Topping E/L30 combo, hooked up to a Yamaha AVR in a 2.1 configuration] is as good as I've ever had. This is a desktop stereo in a small room, but within those parameters, it works quite well.
 
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audioJon

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If you use daphile you can get away with something a lot more basic. It uses which has plugins for Qobuz and Tidal, and BruteFIR which provides EQ. I've used it with a 2003 vintage Pentium M laptop underclocked to ~500MHz to stop the fan spinning up, so almost anything more modern should be able to cope.

I use Logitech Media Server with the Squeezer App. I would still need a computer with wifi to install Daphile. I don't necessary need/want a laptop but need Windows and the Gateway laptop is $279. I'd like a small tablet but can't find one for that price.
 

somebodyelse

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I use Logitech Media Server with the Squeezer App. I would still need a computer with wifi to install Daphile. I don't necessary need/want a laptop but need Windows and the Gateway laptop is $279. I'd like a small tablet but can't find one for that price.
Now I'm confused - why do you need Windows?
 

somebodyelse

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Isn't most EQ software available on Windows?
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ows-linux-macos-ios-ipados-and-android.18450/
There are options for most operating systems. One of them is BruteFIR which is included in daphile.
To run Logitech Media Server.
I don't know where you got that idea. LMS runs on Windows, MacOS and linux, and probably more. It's included in daphile and an option in piCorePlayer among others.
 

ZolaIII

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Well if you want do anything else with it the lo power Pentium Y (6~12W) should be sufficient (without lot's of DSP-ing and use of lot of effects) but those are quite old now (won't be compatible with Win 11). Most of laptops with those have a silent mode (not using the fan), would go with 8 GB RAM and a 1 GB SATA SSD (Crucial MX 500 or Samsung one).
Have an old Dell laptop like that.
Unfortunately i3's or more powerful one's won't cut it where it comes to silent operating. You could go and with similar AiO (and probably get a better display for approximately same price) if you don't intend to cary it around.
 

linuxfan

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I'd like to buy a laptop to use only as a music server running Qobuz/Tidal and Equalizer APO/Peace.
...
Will something like this Gateway be sufficient:
Easily sufficient.

I use Logitech Media Server with the Squeezer App.
If you are accessing Qobuz and Tidal on Squeezer > MyMusic, then this creates the possibility of using a headless computer to run LMS -
and yes, Daphile is an option in this regard, maybe running on a thin client PC, or Intel NUC.
One niggle with this setup, though, I don't think there's an easy way to shut down the PC.

Another, possibly better, headless option is piCorePlayer running on a Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi 4 - $45
https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/
power supply - $8
https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/type-c-power-supply/
metal case with integrated heatsink - $16
https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-4-case
 

Lambda

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Why not get a thin client?!
Some Fan less devices like Futro s500 cost like 15€
 

Gorgonzola

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I use a mini PC like this Beelink pictured -- Amazon.ca link HERE. It is a low-power but fully functional Windows 10 computer that is quite adequate to run music players and virtually any basic Windows application programs. It as fan, I recall, but if it ever runs it is too quite to be heard at about 1 meter from my chair.

Why Windows? For me personally it's to be able to use the Foobar2000 music player. BTW, I user MathAudio Room EQ, a free add-on for Foobar; it has some limitations but is very easy too use. Also of course, all streaming services provide Internet browser interfaces; (I use Chrome myself).

I don't use LMS with the mini PC but, instead, connect directly to my Synology NAS. I have a Raspberry Pi-based, (Linux-based), device that uses LMS to connect to my NAS, but I personally prefer the mini PC.

61TNFKa94ML._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 
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Jmudrick

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I'd go fanless if you want always on. I've used old ThinkPads for servers which were great until the fans died in both. Obviously could be repaired but I opted just to go with a fanless mini.
 

somebodyelse

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Why not get a thin client?!
Some Fan less devices like Futro s500 cost like 15€
They can be a great option if you know your way around PCs enough to find one with the features you want, and to work around any of the oddities they often have. I'm assuming someone asking about laptop specs isn't at that level, but I could be wrong. https://www.parkytowers.me.uk/thin/ has some good information on a lot of models if you want to go that route. I posted a bit more detail about one such setup in another thread.
 

Lambda

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To run Logitech Media Server.
Logitech Media Server is written in Perl. It runs on pretty much any platform that Perl runs on, including Linux, Mac OSX, Solaris and Windows.

I'm assuming someone asking about laptop specs isn't at that level, but I could be wrong
In this case use a "Raspberry Pi" there are like a million Pi streamer/server projects and systems with good documentation that you can just copy
 

JayGilb

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I running an all-in-one touchscreen Sony Vaio (i5 quad core, 8 gbytes, ssd boot drive) with Plex as my music server. Never any glitches or buffering when others are serving videos/music files.
 

JWAmerica

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I'd go fanless if you want always on. I've used old ThinkPads for servers which were great until the fans died in both. Obviously could be repaired but I opted just to go with a fanless mini.
I have a ThinkPad from 2007 that is still chugging along. Replace those fans. You shouldn't let a well made machine like that die just because a fan, disk drive or stick of RAM went out.

Also OP should fall back to Win7. 10 provides no advantages.
 

Chromatischism

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Also OP should fall back to Win7. 10 provides no advantages.
Regular updates aren't an advantage?

Support for Windows 7 has ended. After 10 years, support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020

 

JWAmerica

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Imagine thinking Microsoft patching their gaping holes will keep you safe. Get good AV and don't use Microsoft applications. Or Google apps for that matter.
 
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