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  1. #1
    Junior Member Lugie's Avatar
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    24/96 ALAC on ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus w/SB Touch

    I've had a ReadyNAS Duo for some time and it handles regular AAC/MP3 just fine, although the web browser is a little slow. I've recently discovered hi-res music and prefer ALAC instead of FLAC for iTunes compatibility. Well, the Duo just can't handle it. I am miffed that although the Touch is advertised as having native ALAC playback, the server insists on converting to PCM instead. I see in another thread this is due to 'buginess' in the playback code on the Touch. When I playback from the server on my Mac, it all works smoothly, so it's not the Touch or my network that's the problem. Running 'top' on the NAS shows that FAAD is chomping up the crappy CPU.

    Anyhow, since I've committed to the ReadyNAS platform, I'm considering a switch to the Ultra 2 Plus with a dual-core Atom CPU. It's advertised by Netgear as being well suited to video transcoding and media use. Does anyone have any experience with this setup? Specifically 24/96 ALAC on the Ultra 2? Does it get transcoded to PCM smoothly?

    Thanks.
    SB Touch -> Pioneer VSX-919AH-K -> Bowers & Wilkins 684s
    Rspi Model B w/piCorePlayer -> HiFimeDIY Sabre DAC -> Audioengine A2s
    Rspi Model B w/Squeeze on Arch -> HiFimeDIY Sabre DAC -> Logitech Test Speakers
    Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus serving 200GB+ of AACs, ALACs, & MP3s
    Managed with X Lossless Decoder, iTunes, PowerTunes, & iVolume

  2. #2
    Senior Member audiomuze's Avatar
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    Have a look at the HP Proliant Microserver. I'm playing back 24/192 and it's easily handling the transcoding on that. The CPU also performs better than the intel atom and it costs a fraction of what you'd pay for the nas.
    puddletag - now packaged in most Linux distributions.

  3. #3
    Hi Lugie

    I'm in the opposite position of having an Ultra but considering adding a Touch to my SB setup, so I've been doing similar research

    I can confirm that SBS streams 24/96 ALAC from my Ultra-4 to Squeezeplay without any issue at all and so I see no issue why it should not do so with the Touch also. I actually have the Ultra-4 which is also Atom based but single core, not the dual-core used in the Ultra-2+ you are considering, but even so the transcoding doesn't even max out the processor. For Example:

    Code:
      PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                                                                       
    28026 root      20   0  5096 1584  980 S   18  0.0   0:32.33 sox                                                                                                            
    28025 root      20   0  2236  736  492 S   10  0.0   0:17.15 faad

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lugie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses, guys.

    audiomuze: The HP Proliant Microserver is a really interesting product. I had no idea you could get that level of hardware at such a low price, let alone from a company like HP. But it seems to be more of a full server product than a turn-key media streamer. Once I add in the cost of commercial calibre software, including a Windows AFP server, the price gets out of reach. On the other hand if I had the time/patience of my younger years, this would make a formidable Linux/BSD server. Manually building permissions, AFP, Transmission, SABnzbd, etc. just seems a bit daunting. Maybe one day down the road.

    snottmonster: Thank you for posting the CPU stats. This is exactly what I was hoping for. For the extra $50 or so I figure I'd go with the dual-core version. Anyhow, I've been happy with the Touch otherwise, it's really a product in a class of its own. I just hope the hardware and especially the software will get faster and more polished. I'm looking forward to future Touches with some newer ARM hardware, after all, it has much in common with iPod Touches and we're several generations along with that.

    Regards.
    SB Touch -> Pioneer VSX-919AH-K -> Bowers & Wilkins 684s
    Rspi Model B w/piCorePlayer -> HiFimeDIY Sabre DAC -> Audioengine A2s
    Rspi Model B w/Squeeze on Arch -> HiFimeDIY Sabre DAC -> Logitech Test Speakers
    Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Plus serving 200GB+ of AACs, ALACs, & MP3s
    Managed with X Lossless Decoder, iTunes, PowerTunes, & iVolume

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