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Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:17 am

Hello all -

My c. 1999 CD player finally stopped working. I used it to play CDs of my ongoing mixes in the "home speaker" environment. The other place I play the CDs for this purpose is in my car.

I guess I need to replace the CD player so as to continue to be able to listen to my commercial CDs, but I think I will also look for a device that has a USB port so I can just pop that in from my Cubase project, skipping the CD-burning phase. Looking for as inexpensive as possible.

If anyone has any suggestions, either of options to buy or avoid, or a different approach to take, please put them here -

Thanks!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:48 am

My solution is a Sony Playstation 3. It plays all my discs (including Blu-Ray), and streams audio (and video/photos) from my home network - wired or wireless.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:43 pm

alexis wrote:Hello all -

My c. 1999 CD player finally stopped working. I used it to play CDs of my ongoing mixes in the "home speaker" environment. The other place I play the CDs for this purpose is in my car.

I guess I need to replace the CD player so as to continue to be able to listen to my commercial CDs, but I think I will also look for a device that has a USB port so I can just pop that in from my Cubase project, skipping the CD-burning phase. Looking for as inexpensive as possible.

If anyone has any suggestions, either of options to buy or avoid, or a different approach to take, please put them here -

Thanks!
Thank you The Elf. Being as it is a game playing device as well, I would probably be spending for something I wouldn't use, but I'll take a look. Can it play .wav files from a USB stick?
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby Goddard » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:04 pm

You can find a variety of "digital media player," "streaming media player" and "networked media player" boxes equipped with USB ports which will play wav and other audio (and video) file formats from connected USB storage media as well as over a wired and/or wireles network. These players do typically require connection to a TV (for displaying the user interface) and are typically controlled with a provided remote controller. Been using a Western Digital player as well as a Popcorn Hour player, which replaced a couple of HTPCs. Very versatile and convenient.

Make sure to check the specs for whether the outputs are compatible with your "living room" audio/video setup and for which formats the unit can decode/play.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:24 pm

alexis wrote:Thank you The Elf. Being as it is a game playing device as well, I would probably be spending for something I wouldn't use, but I'll take a look. Can it play .wav files from a USB stick?

When I got my PS3 a number of years ago I also didn't need it to play games, but it was a very cheap Blu-Ray player in comparison to what was then available. To be honest, I still don't much use it for games, but a bit of Resident Evil or Silent Hill is welcome every once in a while!

I just tried copying a 44.1 16-bit wav file to a USB stick, and plugged it into the PS3. At first the PS3 said it couldn't find anything, but a press of the triangle button and 'Display All' seemed to find it and the wav file played back fine. TBH I just play audio directly from my studio PC's mixes folder over the network, so it's not something I have any need for.

FWIW the PS3 can also be a TV receiver and recorder too - just in case this makes any difference to you. I also supplemented mine with a standard TV-like remote control. I'd miss my PS3 greatly if it went - it handles all my media content for living room playback.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:16 pm

Thank you The Elf again, and Goddard. As it turns out, my DVD player gave up the ghost not long ago, so a PS3 functioning as a combo DVD/CD/"USB stick" player might be very economical (I looked up the PS3 cost on line, $250-300 ,US).

The Elf, your last post about networking made me think about wireless alternatives.

I wonder if I can purchase some kind of product that takes the audio (or S/PDIF) out from my mixer and sends it wirelessly to a receiver sitting on top of my home stereo amplifier ... then connect the two via RCA cables (or connect the "wireless receiving device" to the PS3 instead, if I go in that direction)? [I have an old, but STABLE and functional XP DAW, and don't want to upset it by loading any new programs, even ones that might make it transmit wirelessly. I am just so hopeless and slow in troubleshooting computer problems, it's embarassing, but I know my limitations].

That way I can a) be wireless, b) not risk the wrath of my XP computer for messing with its copacetic but possibly fragile state, and c) still play my CDs if I don't go the route of getting something like the PS3 (although from my DAW computer).

Does anyone know if there is such a product?

Thanks -
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:39 pm


Maybe something like this? -

http://www.bing.com/shopping/gogroove-bluegate-wireless-a2dp-bluetooth-audio-adapter-receiver/specs/02F52600BD58F2485005?q=wireless+music+transmitter&lpf=0&lppc=16&lpq=wireless%2bmusic%2btransmitter&FORM=CMSMSP

Although it is hard to figure out the connectivity specifics from the first few listings I looked at, I guess there are good options.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:43 pm

alexis wrote:I wonder if I can purchase some kind of product that takes the audio (or S/PDIF) out from my mixer and sends it wirelessly to a receiver sitting on top of my home stereo amplifier ...

There's no need for all that complicated malarky. If your PC's Media Player can see a piece of audio, then the networked PS3 will see it too - it uses your PC as a Media Server (assuming you have sharing switched on). Render your mix; put the mix file somewhere that your PC's Media Player can see it; play it from the PS3 - job done!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:54 pm

The Elf wrote:
alexis wrote:I wonder if I can purchase some kind of product that takes the audio (or S/PDIF) out from my mixer and sends it wirelessly to a receiver sitting on top of my home stereo amplifier ...

There's no need for all that complicated malarky. If your PC's Media Player can see a piece of audio, then the networked PS3 will see it too - it uses your PC as a Media Server (assuming you have sharing switched on). Render your mix; put the mix file somewhere that your PC's Media Player can see it; play it from the PS3 - job done!

Thanks, The Elf, but my computer is intentionally not networked or connected to anything, so I will have to get the connectivity from my mixer, I think.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:04 pm

alexis wrote:Thanks, The Elf, but my computer is intentionally not networked or connected to anything, so I will have to get the connectivity from my mixer, I think.
Well it's your choice. Not once has networking caused me a problem with my audio PCs.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:17 pm

alexis wrote:
I wonder if I can purchase some kind of product that takes the audio (or S/PDIF) out from my mixer and sends it wirelessly to a receiver sitting on top of my home stereo amplifier ...

Low power FM transmitter perhaps? If you already have a tuner for your stereo then it is probably about the cheapest way to do it. I must admit that having had the luxury of a decent sounding DVD player in the living room (a Pioneer DV575), I would be hesistant about going for something multimedia based to listen to music on critically. The Pioneer just sounds so much better than anything else I plug in to the stereo.

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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:02 pm

James Perrett wrote:
alexis wrote:
I wonder if I can purchase some kind of product that takes the audio (or S/PDIF) out from my mixer and sends it wirelessly to a receiver sitting on top of my home stereo amplifier ...


Low power FM transmitter perhaps? If you already have a tuner for your stereo then it is probably about the cheapest way to do it. I must admit that having had the luxury of a decent sounding DVD player in the living room (a Pioneer DV575), I would be hesistant about going for something multimedia based to listen to music on critically. The Pioneer just sounds so much better than anything else I plug in to the stereo.

James
thank you for that, James. Is it the hardware aspect of multimedia you have concerns about? Or that wireless technology like Bluetooth might affect the quality?
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:25 pm

The Pioneer cost me under 100 quid a few years ago and plays DVD's CD's, SACD's, DVD-A and various computer formats - I'd be surprised if you can pick up a similarly priced media player that sounds as good although I'm sure that you might find something good but more expensive in the hifi world though I don't have much knowledge of what is available at the moment.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:50 pm

James Perrett wrote:The Pioneer cost me under 100 quid a few years ago and plays DVD's CD's, SACD's, DVD-A and various computer formats - I'd be surprised if you can pick up a similarly priced media player that sounds as good although I'm sure that you might find something good but more expensive in the hifi world though I don't have much knowledge of what is available at the moment.

Thank you for that, James, and I'm sorry for the high level of ignorance here, but I'd like to follow up with another question or two for you or anyone else:

1) How are you distinguishing the Pioneer, which plays CD/DVD/SACD etc., from a "media player"?
2) When you say it might not sound as good ... why would that be in a technical/audio engineering sense? I know about data compression problems with .mp3s, etc., is that the kind of thing that might be important here?

BTW - I am also looking at an LG Blu Ray, which seems to be similar in functionality to the Pioneer, and at a nice price too.

Thanks again!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:27 pm

I've done some reading on Blu Tooth technology. I'm a little concerned that it might not be the best thing for critical listening as it seems it is subject to tempo changes (mainly slowing down), skipping and other glitches when near EM sources or metal objects - maybe not the best option to use in proximity to a mixer/DAW.

A low-power FM transmitter was mentioned above - does anyone here have experience with that? Would anyone know if the specs at the bottom of this page:

http://wholehousefmtransmitter.com/details/

are important for critical listening/mixing?

Thanks!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:32 pm

No one uses an FM transmitter to their home stereo amplifier/tuner for critical listening of mixes?

I guess that answers the question - if it were a good idea, someone of the esteemed SOSsers would have come across it!

I thought maybe it would be a problem of collapsing to mono if the signal got weak, but there's a 150 yard range of these transmitters apparently, shouldn't be a problem from that point of view for home use. Is FM just not capable of transmitting good quality data for critical listening?

Thanks -

:-)
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:14 pm

alexis wrote:
Thank you for that, James, and I'm sorry for the high level of ignorance here, but I'd like to follow up with another question or two for you or anyone else:

1) How are you distinguishing the Pioneer, which plays CD/DVD/SACD etc., from a "media player"?
2) When you say it might not sound as good ... why would that be in a technical/audio engineering sense? I know about data compression problems with .mp3s, etc., is that the kind of thing that might be important here?

BTW - I am also looking at an LG Blu Ray, which seems to be similar in functionality to the Pioneer, and at a nice price too.

Hi Alexis - I'm trundling around the Black Sea on a ship at the moment so I may not see your replies very quickly...

OK - I must admit that most of the units I've compared the Pioneer to have been things like laptops, digital TV boxes and mobile phones which don't come close to the quality and depth of sound from the Pioneer. I'm mainly talking about uncompressed files here although even mp3 files seem to have a greater depth through the Pioneer. I would certainly compare the Pioneer's sound quality to that of my Focusrite or Sonifex convertors. I've not done any particularly scientific tests but I just have more 'that sounds good' moments when listening on the Pioneer.

James.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:37 pm

James Perrett wrote:
alexis wrote:
Thank you for that, James, and I'm sorry for the high level of ignorance here, but I'd like to follow up with another question or two for you or anyone else:

1) How are you distinguishing the Pioneer, which plays CD/DVD/SACD etc., from a "media player"?
2) When you say it might not sound as good ... why would that be in a technical/audio engineering sense? I know about data compression problems with .mp3s, etc., is that the kind of thing that might be important here?

BTW - I am also looking at an LG Blu Ray, which seems to be similar in functionality to the Pioneer, and at a nice price too.

Hi Alexis - I'm trundling around the Black Sea on a ship at the moment so I may not see your replies very quickly...

OK - I must admit that most of the units I've compared the Pioneer to have been things like laptops, digital TV boxes and mobile phones which don't come close to the quality and depth of sound from the Pioneer. I'm mainly talking about uncompressed files here although even mp3 files seem to have a greater depth through the Pioneer. I would certainly compare the Pioneer's sound quality to that of my Focusrite or Sonifex convertors. I've not done any particularly scientific tests but I just have more 'that sounds good' moments when listening on the Pioneer.

James.

Wow, stay safe out there, James!

Thanks for the word - very impressive recommendation coming from you.

Cheers!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:06 am

Just to report back: I received the home FM transmitter today. So far it seems to work just fine, 89.5 FM is now "Alexis Radio". I've played some of my stuff and some commercial stuff, and it sounds fine. Haven't yet A/B'd it with a CD run through the same home amplifier, but so far, so good.

Also went out to the garage and tuned the car radio to the same station, sounds fine there too. I also played the same song through an .mp3 there, and it sounded pretty close if not identical for the few moments I A/B'd it.

Look Mom, no wires!
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby Jeraldo » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:19 pm

I'd be interested in knowing which FM transmitter you're using as I've had trouble finding any that work well. Are you using a "serious" one meant to cover a small island?

Another solution is the "Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter," which is a US$30 Bluetooth device with line outputs that sounds very, very good, but it is a receiver and it seems you need a transmitter.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby Gone To Lunch » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:09 am

I just installed a line from my studio to my 'home' listening room, in which the hi-fi amp had an available source. Not only can I listen to my mixes in the home environment, I can also compare them to what is on the radio, as my hi-fi set up includes a tuner. Very useful for checking and comparing.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby alexis » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:44 am

Hi Jeraldo - It's the one I linked to in my post on 6-29.

I thought of BlueTooth also, but kept reading about drop outs and other such stuff.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:04 am

Possible he ment Wi-Fi and not bluetooth however which is fine for the purpose.
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Re: Need a new "living room" .wav player - please help bring me into the 21st century

Postby Jeraldo » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:34 pm

alexis wrote:Hi Jeraldo - It's the one I linked to in my post on 6-29.


I read over that little detail. Thanks for mentioning that, I'd not seen that one before.



alexis wrote:I thought of BlueTooth also, but kept reading about drop outs and other such stuff.

BlueTooth functionality depends on both the transmitter and the receiver, of course, but the inexpensive Bluetooth Logitch device (receiver) I mentioned has great "reach" with my laptop and iPod Touch. It functions without noise through several walls in a very challenging environment.

There is also a proprietary Wi-Fi solution by a company called audioengine.

But you've already found your solution, and it looks like a good one. And the transmitter you mention may work well for me in some other applications.
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