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#336063 - 01/28/11 03:08 PM Help me build a music server!
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
I think I'm finally ready to bring my anachronistic arse into the 21st century and start working on building a music server. smile

I prefer to use a Mac rather than a pc (although I cannot stand using iTunes) but I am open to using Win7 if it works well enough. I will make this a turnkey music only server.

I also like the Squeezebox (actually something higher end would be more desirable).

I will only be playing high bit rate "files" like .wav/flac etc. (no mp3s ever) and would like the ability to play albums (disc image?)as well as individual tracks.

What I would like to gather from my fellow Axiomites is advice on how to go about setting up the best music server that I can.

Any hardware/software recommendations?
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#336069 - 01/28/11 03:18 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: audiosavant]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Terry, if you abhor iTunes, I don't think you should use a Mac. Likewise, I don't think iTunes is all that friendly with FLAC.
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#336071 - 01/28/11 03:21 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: tomtuttle]
sam3274 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 37
I will be following this thread closely. I, too, am interested in building one.
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#336072 - 01/28/11 03:26 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: sam3274]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Just get a machine with as much storage space as you can afford, and put a DLNA server on it. CPU and RAM isn't a concern for serving static files (or even decompressing FLAC to PCM on the fly).

If you're building a video server that will need to be able to transcode from one video format to one compatible with your client, then CPU (or more likely these days GPU) becomes more of an issue.


Edited by ClubNeon (01/28/11 03:45 PM)
Edit Reason: Changed a your to you're before I was tarred.
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#336074 - 01/28/11 03:39 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: ClubNeon]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1166
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
+1 to what Chris said on music vs. video servers (he's the expert anyway).

Since you asked for suggestions - I love my Sonos system coupled with a NAS to serve up the files. For the NAS (Network Attached Storage) there are many options available depending on features and price point. Sonos is not cheap but IMO is worth it if you want multi-room audio. And it plays a very wide variety of file types including FLAC.
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#336087 - 01/28/11 04:21 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: cb919]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
For storage build (more cost effective) or buy a NAS especially one you can set up with it’s own IP address to access from the internet.

Find an interface you like, I love MediaMonkey and you can have audio not just all over your house but all over the world. I like Media Monkey because it plays about everything and has a huge number of features especially tagging files and creating playlists. And although you have to do a little research it’s playlists can be synced to Android phones.

I can’t personally see any reason to buy a stand alone media server when what is essentially a multi use HTPC can do it all in one.

JMO, YMMV MY $.02 and all that.
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#336089 - 01/28/11 04:31 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: cb919]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
The computer geeks will tell you a Media Server is stupid, but I'm stupid so it works well for me. I bought a HP Media Server a couple years ago, installed Squeeze Box on the server and use the Duet controller / player. All my music is ripped to Flac. The server / duet runs 24/7 and other than the random network / connection issues, it's been a joy. I can switch back and forth between my ripped music, Pandora, Rhapsody, Internet radio, etc. There is a Transporter model out for the folks who want audiophile level SQ. I have never had any desire to try it and find the Duet player sounds every bit as good as any other device I've heard.
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#336091 - 01/28/11 04:34 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: michael_d]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Quote:

All my music is ripped to Flac.

What type of machine do you use to rip you music to FLAC?

Quote:

I can switch back and forth between my ripped music, Pandora, Rhapsody, Internet radio, etc.

A computer can’t?

Not saying a dedicated media server isn’t simpler, just saying an HTPC and NAC combo is more functional.
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#336092 - 01/28/11 04:40 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: grunt]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
I use my computer and DB Poweramp.

I didn't say a computer couldn't.

I did not post to dispute or intend to argue with you. Not sure why you want argue with me. Each method has its pro's / con's. I chose the server because I did not want to screw with my PC to listen to music.
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#336095 - 01/28/11 04:50 PM Re: Help me build a music server! [Re: grunt]
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
Thanks all! smile

Keep 'em coming (I was hoping ClubNeon and grunt would chime in) since I have a lot of catching up to do.

So basically it comes down to software and network set up as far as the "brains" behind a music server go?

I will definitely check out the recs.

One thing I already have is plenty of 24bit DACS (usb and firewire) to use for the i/o into my system.

I'll also buy a dedicated drive just to rip my (way too) extensive cd collection since that will put a huge load on the drive itself.

Any good how-to articles that you guys would recommend that have all the steps for setting up a server that's for music only?

Like I said, I really don't care much for the iTunes software but I would rather stay in OSX if possible (but am willing to give Windows7 a chance if it behaves) so I might use a Mac Mini for the server duty, but I'm not locked into using only Mac (but for professional use, it's Mac only grin).

I just want a reliable and robust machine that will give me headache free operation and allow me to play music in the highest fidelity... smile
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