Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR?

Posted by: tomtuttle

Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 04:55 PM

I know that - for several years - Denon, Onkyo and other receiver manufacturers have offered "Network Streaming" on some models. I'm primarily asking about accessing a FLAC and MP3 library stored on a shared, local drive, although I do also like Pandora.

I've had a hard time finding information about the stability of the connection to the network server and the overall usefulness of the interfaces. I mean, there is a difference between "it can be done" and "I like to do it this way".

If somebody made one that I could control with my iPad, that would be even better.

I'm currently using a Squeezebox. It's the right idea. But Logitech announced end-of-life for that whole platform, and it's not as stable as I'd like.

I'm considering Apple TV, but I'm really not an iTunes user.

So, I guess the question becomes, once you've got a big library of music, how do you listen to it at home if you're NOT using a PC?

Thanks for your help.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
So, I guess the question becomes, once you've got a big library of music, how do you listen to it at home if you're NOT using a PC?

I plug my iPhone into the front RCA jacks on my AVR.

I figured it'd be appropriate to remove the "Thanks for your help" part of the quote.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 05:51 PM

Hi Tom. I did not know that Squeezebox was EOL.
My SC-05 is older and does not do network streaming. I can stream from my PS3 using the built in UPnP server in my NAS where all of my music is stored, however this is a clunky interface and not very user friendly.
For me the best music solution is still the Sonos system. Not cheap for sure, but simply works and has a great interface through iPod, PC or whatever you choose to use. Squeezebox may do this too (I have no idea since I've never used it), but I love the way Sonos can seamlessly blend into one rolling playlist my local music and songs from the web such as Songza, Slacker, Pandora etc... Plus party mode through the whole house with multiple zones running in perfect sync is pretty cool and fun.

Medic8r's post just reminded that with the controller on your iPhone, you can wirelessly send the music on your iPhone to the zone you are controlling and distribute to any other zone. Pretty slick stuff.
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 05:59 PM

Tom, I gotta say that I use iTunes with an Airport Express (selected for both the AirPlay feature and an optical output). My good ol' Onkyo 706 unfortunately doesn't feature AirPlay like many of the current receivers do.

That along with the free "Remote" app for iPad is a fabulous combination. Full access to the entire iTunes library, practically any way imaginable.

A well organized iTunes library is a beautiful thing. grin
I suspect that Ken will agree.

That said, I've not used other streaming solutions, so I don't have a real basis for comparison.

As well, it bothers me to no end that Apple continue to elect to not support FLAC directly, so I end up jumping through some hoops to get my FLAC songs (which I keep) into a format that iTunes will import. Still, it's not difficult, just a bit of a PITA.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 06:17 PM

A few of my colleagues use Airport Express and it does work very well - and much cheaper than Sonos for sure.

Kruncher, instead of FLAC can you just use ALAC instead? Since you're tied to iTunes, why use FLAC if it causes you pains?
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 06:39 PM

FLAC is the file format that I usually receive.

I described my favorite conversion process in another thread some time ago.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 07:47 PM

Yeah, I may be studying that thread hard, later.

Is there any advantage to using an Airport Extreme (or whatever it is called now) rather than Apple TV? Let's assume I'm going to have iTunes running somewhere on the network and controlling the audio via the Remote app on my iPad.

I just don't see me implementing Sonos in this house due to the cost. "Maybe in our next house" is code in our family.

JP, I'm not above that kind of approach, but I'm looking to access the whole library in hi-fi. Having the storage capacity of a portable device be a limiting factor just seems like a fatal flaw to me.

Thanks, gentlemen. And JP.
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 08:04 PM

No, if you can take advantage of the AppleTV box features, and need/want them, then there's no reason not to choose it for marginal cost increase from the AirPort devices, AFAIK. In my situation, I initially wasn't going to use the device with a system with a TV, only audio. And the apps that I'd probably use on AppleTV were available on my Xbox anyway.

iTunes currenly tells me that I could listen to my library for 27 days straight and not hear the same song twice. It's like having your own radio station with nothing but your favourites. And better sound quality.
Posted by: real80sman

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 08:09 PM

I use the Airport Express/Remote App as well. Very stable except when the microwave is running. Interupts the stream every time. Other than that, I love it.

One of my favorite features: When friends come over with an iPod/Pad/Phone, I give them full access to my library to choose whatever they want to listen to. AND, they can push music from their device to my receiver.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 08:12 PM

I'm gonna need more storage...

Off to the FLAC conversion thread.

Oh, and where is iTunes for dummies?
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: real80sman
Very stable except when the microwave is running. Interupts the stream every time.


Hey, that isn't just my microwave then! Good to know as it happens to me too. Should've mentioned it.

iTunes for Dummies
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/15/13 09:30 PM

Our microwave disrupts the signal from the router downstairs to our laptop upstairs - kicks it offline immediately until it is finished. Then the laptop magically works online again...

TAM
Posted by: minorc

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 09:12 AM

My pioneer suppposedly has Airplay, I've never tried it yet.
I just plug my iphone directly into it via USB
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 10:45 AM

When you say end of live, does that mean all their streaming devices? I just got the Touch, and it's been working very well.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
But Logitech announced end-of-life for that whole platform,


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 11:12 AM

Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 11:54 AM


I AM YOUR FATHER!

Originally Posted By: Murph

Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 02:26 PM

Yes.

http://blog.logitech.com/2012/09/28/an-open-letter-to-squeezebox-fans/
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 06:39 PM

Explains why I got my 2 Squeezebox Radios for $100 @ Xmas. frown

I find them useful. Hopefully I can use them for the indefinite future with Spotify and Pandora.

Tom, for streaming, I tend not to use my AVR. I use my AppleTV, Roku or Tivo, since those have much better GUIs to navigate. I don't normally listen to my own content, I just stream so Pandora and Spotify are sufficient.

The Airport Express is a good option too. Airfoil works well with it.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 10:29 PM

I have been streaming FLAC through my 3808 since I purchased it. I initially used a Linksys NAS that worked great for a few years then the controller died on it. I was able to pull all the files off the hard drives at which time I had set up a DNS 323 as my server. I hacked it as per the many sites and ran Twonky server on it, as it turns out this was what the Linksys had used as its server program. I have just recently set up an old PC with WHS 2011 and am presently looking for an add-in to use to stream my FLAC files from it. Although I am not really needing it as my iTunes library is offered up to play with no problems, but the audio snob in me keeps me looking for a nice add-in, JRiver looks to be a good candidate so far although I haven't looked to see if it will run on WHS.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/16/13 11:06 PM

I also can stream using Plex on my Mac (works on Linux and Windows) as the server. Roku and iOS devices have Plex clients. Plex is a GREAT option.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/17/13 12:01 AM

Jason, how do you like the UI offered by the Denon?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/17/13 09:17 PM

Nothing special, it does the job. It just shows little file icons beside the file names. I have seen newer avr's that have much improved graphics, IIRC, there was one that used the cover picture as the background, but I can't remember which avr that was or if it was a new (at the time) media player.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/18/13 11:47 PM

Plex is looking very nice have to decide if it is worth the slight bit of effort on my part to get it to run on WHS. Serviio is next on the tryout list.
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/20/13 02:18 PM

I took a different approach. I have a dedicated computer strictly for music that has no internet access, but just network access. All of my files are on a NAS down in the basement. I then take over the computer using microsoft remote assistance with my laptop. There are no blips because I am not actually streaming anything; it works pretty good. I also have a Songigo Sirroco that I use sometimes, and it works well, only with the odd pop now and then. It supports any file because it is basically a virtual sound driver.

Cheers, Brendan
Posted by: Murph

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 01/21/13 10:00 AM

I do similar. As mentioned, I have a Squeezebox for music on my main floor and I love it, but I never purchased a second for the basement as my HTPC is connected directly to my AV gear there and it also acts as the Squeezebox server and player for the downstairs system using XBMC as an interface for movies, music, TV etc.

If not in front of the TV with my Blutooth keyboard, I use an app on my tablet, Splashtop Remote to control it via my WAN. It works well (as long as you don't try to contact them for thier useless support) and it's free if you don't want access from outside your LAN.

I also have not set up remote access through my firewall. I don't see the need for another hole when I'm always carrying some kind of portable player with me anyways, be it an iPod, tablet or my work laptop.
Posted by: mapatton

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/01/13 10:59 AM

I have been using a Squeezebox for quite a while. Works great.
Yep everything is in FLAC
Posted by: mrspeeed

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 11:51 AM

I have been streaming via (a) airplay on itunes to either my Denon 4520 in the main room or 1713 in my office. Combine this with the remote app (and a strong wireless signal when I am outside) and it works well.

I also have 4 apple tv's at various locations in the house. I could push out airplay to them or pull the music via the cloud. Again another great option especially with netflix. This saved my a lot of $$$$ versus a whole home contol system.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 12:12 PM

Again, many thanks to those of you that have contributed.

You've basically confirmed my assessment. It appears that - to get what I want - my best alternative may be Apple TV with iTunes continuously running on a networked machine. Which probably means converting 200 GB of FLAC files into something that iTunes likes better. Bother.
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 01:10 PM

My wife bought me an Apple TV for Christmas. It is definitely the way to go especially for movie rentals.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 02:01 PM

Why is Roku or Apple TV better than what comes bundled with most components now-a-days? My TV, BD player and my Receiver all have the ability to stream movies, etc. So, why pay money for one of these devices?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 03:32 PM

My goal is to control network music streaming with my iPad.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 03:57 PM

That's one step away from SkyNet.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/04/13 04:01 PM

Which, let's be honest, is one step away from a giant dude in your living room cutting his arm open in front of your kids.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/09/13 09:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Which, let's be honest, is one step away from a giant dude in your living room cutting his arm open in front of your kids.

We already have that thanks to the wonders of image projection.
Posted by: solarrdadd

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/22/13 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
My goal is to control network music streaming with my iPad.


tom, i currently stream music to all of my receivers/pre-amps. i have all onkyo devices, 2 receivers and 1 pre-amp and all of them are network ready. they are all connected to a cat6 gigabit network run throughout my house. i can operate any of them from either of my iOS devices via wi-fi and control them.

they are all connected to a 2tb NAS that is also connected via cat6 on the network. with modern receivers, it's very easy. i stream FLAC, MP3, WMALL & iTunes music throughout the house on any receiver or all at the same time. I can even connect to the NAS with my oppo 83&93 players and play music.

music resolution is from 44.1khz/16bit to 96khz/24bit and i have no trouble streaming any of it. the iOS app i use most is OREMOTE, but, i also, sometimes use Onkotron. Oremote is by far the best of the two.

most of the big name receivers offer network streaming and apps for iOS & Android devices to control their receivers. almost any DLNA or UpNp NAS (Network Attached Storage & Universal Plug and Play) device will work. i recommend hardwired networking simply because, no matter where you are or who you are, wireless can be interrrupted by the strangest things. the most sure thing is wired, if you can.

if your gonna go wired, use cat6 and a gigabit router & switches to keep gigabit speeds from end to end. best of luck.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/23/13 12:44 AM

Thank you very much!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/25/13 12:36 PM

Okay, NOW I remember what part of my problem is/was...

I really like to be able to play music in Zone 2, and to do that while playing a different source in Zone 1, I need the music source to be analog not just digital.

solarrdadd, do you know if the Onyko's suffer from this same limitation? i.e. if the receiver's D/A converter is busy with an HDMI source in the main room, can you still stream music using the receiver's native network capability to a second zone at the same time?

Quote:
throughout the house on any receiver or all at the same time


Well, that's intriguing. Do you mean that you can synchronize the stream between devices? I'm trying to NOT introduce another receiver for the second zone, but I suppose if I am completely seduced by some application, I could buy more hardware.

I will try to find more information about Oremote. Thank you!

I share your preference for copper. No problems there at the moment.

I'm looking at Apple TV, but it has only HDMI and optical outputs. Does anybody know the price/practicality of converting that TOSLINK to analog using something like this thing from Monoprice? (Assuming that - in zone 2 - I do not believe I will be able to hear the difference between this device and something that is more costly).

Do you have some kind of server software running on the NAS or is it just basically a Samba share? That is, do you have anything else managing the network streaming besides the Onkyos and a dumb storage disk? (yeah, I know only enough about networking to be dangerous).

Thanks, again, everyone.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/25/13 02:41 PM

It's just a DAC, innit?

Onkyos are still analog only.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 02/25/13 03:06 PM

Well, yeah, but "just a DAC" is fightin' words for some people.

Thanks for the Onkyo update.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 03/18/13 08:10 PM

party@dans radio.
Posted by: Hellcommute

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 05/26/13 05:42 PM

Sonos is the answer. Supports FLAC and is a standalone product without having a computer on. Can Work with NAS or other storage. Check it out.

Apple sucks. Once they got you, they got you........
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 06/01/13 03:34 AM

"InTheMixRadio" has a nice sound.
That is until the kids in the studio decide to chime in.
Fairly odd mix between what I believe to be french, english and dutch? tunes.
Very few songs are out on typical top 40 lists, played everywhere, etc.
Posted by: gnickers

Re: Is ANYBODY streaming music through their AVR? - 07/02/13 11:25 PM

Yes to just about any IP device that has a UPnP/DNLA client.

As you surmise receivers, pre/pro's, TV's, Blu-Ray players and media centers now all come with streaming clients. I find these proprietary clients lack the features and robustness of the open source alternatives.

All you need is a server that streams audio (or video). There are many such options from open source media server software like XBMC to proprietary solutions from Apple.

The benefit of the client/server approach is you probably have a computer that can act as a server. For example a windows box can run something like Tversity (tversity.com) or if you have XBMC running it can mount smb network shares or other file services and stream the contents to clients.

My current solution is a dedicated XBMC media center in the living room that connects to the media file server over a gigabit wired network and acts as a streaming server to devices and as an airplay service for devices. Any device that supports the protocol can connect to xbmc and thus access all the centralized media files. This was all done using off the shelf standard components.

gord