View Full Version : Stream CD Audio from CD-drive without ripping?

2006-03-04, 19:10
Is it possible to play a CD "live" through SB? >> I envision putting an Audio CD into the CD-ROM drive of the slimserver host PC, or other network shared CD-ROM drive, then stream it through SlimServer so that I can listen to it on my main system where Squeezebox is installed.

As it is now, I have to rip every new CD I buy before I can listen to them (I am very lazy). I also have to store the ripped music on my harddrive, which for CDs I rarely play is not efficient. When friends come over to listen to music, I have to rip their CDs before I can play them, and that is inconvenient, and I always wonder if they think I am stealing their music which, of course, I am when I rip it to my hard drive. I want them to fall in love with the sound, convenience and cool factor of Squeezebox too. Making them wait half hour while I rip 10 CDs to 5GB of drive is not a good first impression.

Since Windows Media Player, iTunes, MusicMatch, and probably a million other free software players can all stream PCM audio directly from the CD-ROM drive to PC's audio driver without ripping, and since Slimserver can already stream PCM to Squeezebox, it seems to me that all the pieces are in place to be able to stream CDs 'live' to SB from a CD-ROM drive through slimserver.

Maybe there is some legal impediment to this scheme, because it seems like this is not a very original idea on my part...

I think all you would have to do is add a section in the server setup dialog to declare CD-ROM drive letter or URL sharename, then add a menu selection on SB like "Browse CD-ROM".

I think such a feature would really enhance the enjoyment of the Squeezebox for many people. It is really the only major negative aspect of switching to Squeezebox as my main player, I can't play CDs directly on it.

OK now comes 40 responses containing links to existing plug-ins, pages in the manual and workarounds that allow me to play CD's. This is the best audio forum on the net!

2006-03-04, 19:43
Media players don't really stream the PCM from the CD.

What they do is tell the CD Drive, "Please Play", and adjust the sound card's CD input for audio. (There is a little 3-pin wire that runs from your CD drive directly to your sound card.)

The OS never actually sees that audio so has no way of passing it back to slimserver. It doesn't even really go through a 'sound driver', just that little 3-wire cable straight to the sound card.

2006-03-04, 19:52
Actually, these days, most media players (on Windows anyway) do stream the PCM - at least as an option. I know I don't have any of the CD audio cables hooked up in my machine and it works just fine.

2006-03-05, 01:37
I'm not trying to be flip, but why not just use a CD player when you want to play a CD? Seems much easier, cheaper, less frustrating, etc.

Paul Webster
2006-03-05, 03:09
I'm not trying to be flip, but why not just use a CD player when you want to play a CD? Seems much easier, cheaper, less frustrating, etc.
My guess is that there are 2 reasons:
1) CD-player not attached to the same system that is close to where the friends congregate - but is close to a Squeezebox
2) Desire to impress friends with funky device

Solving 1) doesn't necessarily help with 2)
However, walking to and from the PC to switch CDs every 40 minutes doesn't sound like much fun ... so I would solve 1) or login to Pandora and choose friends CD as starting point and see what comes up ;)

2006-03-05, 06:55
I remember that the Plextor drives used to come with a utility that mounted your CD drive as a drive of WAV files. If you had something similar and could mount the drive so slimserver could find it while browsing your music folder it should work.

I don't know if anything still exists for Windows. Plextools seems to work on Plextor drives only. You can get this functionality under linux at http://www.elis.rug.ac.be/~ronsse/cdfs/

2006-03-08, 14:42
for some good idears. I guess I was thinking along the lines of Tass's idea where wavs on CD are on shared drive for slim to serve. I will pursue that avenue for now.

I like having only one source and one amp. It looks better than a stack of hifi boxes and the SQB sounds much better than my mid fi universal disc player.

2006-03-08, 21:44
Since a squeezebox can tune into a Shoutcast stream, you could always do something like the following:

CD --> WinAmp --> Shoutcast Server --> Squeezebox

I've done something similar when I experimented with using amaroK to be my interface for selecting music to play on the Squeezebox. The onlything different would be to have WinAmp play the CD.


2006-03-11, 05:29
I've used Winamp/shoutcast to stream CD's and FM radio stations to SB3. Works pretty well. I have had problem leaving Shoutcast up all the time....memory leak maybe....crashed my PC a few times.