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jimzak
2014-05-23, 10:53
I'm pleased that the SB Community is working on an opensource player for the future; naturally I'm impatient for the arrival of this new hardware (for no good reason, I have plenty of functional players).

I'm just wondering with the availability of cheap computers why a small, low cost computer with output to a DAC couldn't serve as a player eliminating the necessity to design and build a new player.

Is it that SqueezePlay and similar software solutions do NOT support hi-res files?

Or is it that software players cannot be synced with other players?

Are there other reasons? You would think I would know this by my 561th post.

Thanks.

Jim

Apesbrain
2014-05-23, 11:21
I'm just wondering with the availability of cheap computers why a small, low cost computer with output to a DAC couldn't serve as a player...
It can:
1. Android mini-PC + Squeeze Player, or
2. Raspberry Pi + piCorePlayer.

Having both, I prefer the second as it offers a fine-sounding analog output as well as digital via USB, S/PDIF and HDMI. It plays 24/96 files just fine.

bpa
2014-05-23, 18:03
Are there other reasons? You would think I would know this by my 561th post.

If DAC is connected using USB then there are often playback performance issues (especially if the computer system has been built to a costs imperative) which means finding solutions such as using extra hubs or rewriting drivers. System supplied SPDIF drivers often only run at 48kHz max and so special driver mods are need for higher rates. I2S DACS can also have issues with drivers. In practical terms, the required support can only be provided for a small number of defined systems.

JJZolx
2014-05-23, 19:10
If DAC is connected using USB then there are often playback performance issues (especially if the computer system has been built to a costs imperative)

Meaning what, exactly? Limits to speed, dropouts, poor sound quality, or something else?

GeeJay
2014-05-23, 20:25
Isn't sync problematic? Even a slight delay would be a deal-killer for me, since I have several within earshot of one another.

bpa
2014-05-24, 03:58
Meaning what, exactly? Limits to speed, dropouts, poor sound quality, or something else?

The OP asked about why ordinary low cost computers not used for hires playaback using an attached DAC and wondered whether it was the software. My answer was to indicate that more important was the hardware and supplied s/w (not the player s/w) on playback.

Example how playback through a DAC can be affected by
- not enough current through a USB connection
- many ARM (and possibly x86) based system which implement USB in a SoC (or in a similar cost reduced manner) have problem with some USB DACS and so hubs may be necessary.
- some supplied s/w/ (such as USB driver) USB can result in clicks and dropouts.
- for i2s DAC - it may be hard to get the siga;l from the syustem and also to build a driver for a I2S DAC
- for spdif optical interfaces - hires usually means more than 48k and often supplied driver only support up to 48k. Sometimes the spdif hardware may also be a lower spec and not handle hires well.

The advice to a non technical person would be to choose hardware which has a community of user with already working audio in a similar manner/setup rather than picking a low costs computer from a website based on h/w specification and price and expecting that everything will work OK just by plugging in a DAC

Pascal Hibon
2014-05-24, 04:13
It can:
1. Android mini-PC + Squeeze Player, or
2. Raspberry Pi + piCorePlayer.

Having both, I prefer the second as it offers a fine-sounding analog output as well as digital via USB, S/PDIF and HDMI. It plays 24/96 files just fine.

I'd like to add the Wandboard (Dual / Quad) with CSOS to the above list.
The WB is a bit more expensive but it has enough horsepower to run LMS for your home Squeezebox ecosystem. Even sync'in with other players works fine.
By default, the WB provides analog, SPDIF Toslink, USB and HDMI audio outputs.

slate
2014-05-24, 05:06
I'd like to add the Wandboard (Dual / Quad) with CSOS to the above list.
The WB is a bit more expensive but it has enough horsepower to run LMS for your home Squeezebox ecosystem. Even sync'in with other players works fine.
By default, the WB provides analog, SPDIF Toslink, USB and HDMI audio outputs.

Was there not a problem with Toslink not working on Wandboard?

Pascal Hibon
2014-05-24, 06:51
Was there not a problem with Toslink not working on Wandboard?

There was with the old A0 revision board. Newer boards don't have that problem anymore. And if you want to be really sure then buy a Quad; that one never had the old A0 revision.