Teleporting music

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by m17xr2b, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    A niche requirement, I needed a way to stream music from my main PC to my music one in an easy non headache inducing way while loosing as little quality as possible. In addition I wanted to stream from chrome or other desktop applications such as VLC etc.

    Hardware:
    Main PC with many gigs of music
    Music PC with Lynx AES16 and LPS,takes ages to boot, slow as hell and can barely do anything other than play music but it beats my main pc with the same lynx card easily.
    Network switch both on LAN

    First atempt: UPnP

    Setup:
    Pretty easy to setup, foobar is my player of choice and it also has client server components for UPnP. Worked from the first try, no services to manage and it's discoverable as soon as the receiving foobar is opened.

    Pros:
    -free
    -robust, never had a loss in connection
    -can stream to other UPnP devices such as my TV
    Cons:
    -converts everything to 320kbs MP3 and there's nothing you can do about it. Comparing UPnP with playing directly from the music pc there is a noticeable loss in quality. The music has a greyish background, slight loss in dynamics, spacial cues are not as present.
    -no ASIO support but no point really
    -my plan to use a virtual sound card app to capture other applications and record in foobar to send via UPnP failed due to lag, about 1sec of it.

    Second attempt: Dante Via
    Not sure how I stumbled into the Audinate web page but this caught my eye. In theory it transforms any PC into Dante endpoints and you can use it with Dante hardware such as RedNet3.

    Let's start with cons:
    - expensive, you need two licenses for each pc, 50$ each.
    - moderate effort to install and get going, checking firewalls, ports
    - due to fucking lack of vision it converts everything at 48kHz and there's no way to change the sample rate unless you have physical dante hardware. I spoke with their support team and they are considering adding 44.1kHz as an option...eventually.
    - when streaming from Chrome there can be a delay between video and sound but usually fixed by refreshing the webpage.
    - occasional needs remapping of channels at startup
    - requires occasional internet connectivity to check license, a pain as I don't want to keep my music pc connected to internet, just LAN.
    - did I mention expensive

    Pros:
    - easy to use interface
    - ASIO support*
    - can stream any desktop app over the network and combine multiple sources
    - can stream one source to multiple endpoints
    - bypasses windows mixer

    Overview:
    [​IMG]

    You get a list of all sources and destinations available and you can choose what to enable. In the source PC there's a list of all the apps from the client that are outputting sound. You can ever start an application while Via is running and it will pop up in the list. Linking sources and destinations is done by drag and drop or by using the Controller application, my preferred way.
    [​IMG]

    Sound quality:
    95% of playing directly from my music PC when using ASIO, in theory it sends data from my main PC directly to the Lynx card. I have to really squint my ears to hear any differences even with the Stellaris, a subtle lack of blackness between instruments, a shade less dynamics but I'm really nitpicking but only when playing 48kHz files. 44.1 is not supported period and most of my library is 44.1
    Without ASIO everything get's re-sampled and you can hear its effects. No where near as bad as the windows mixer and better than UPnP but ultimately it's not fit for purpose. On the Teton and Peak it's less noticeable than the Stellaris.
    If they eventually include different sample rates as an option this could be a godsend for the maybe 10 people in the word who need to stream to a different pc.

    Streaming desktop apps.
    Fuck yes, I knew the windows mixer is bad but using this software is a welcomed improvement for youtube movies etc.
    Even if I don't feel like pow from my MB bypassing the crap mixer. I cannot unhear what it can do, mainly I feel it reduced greyness by a lot, lifting ering up the my second pc I can use Via to capture chrome/VLC etc. and send sound via coax/optical to the Pavaneveils and such from well recorded videos. They have a free trial if you want to check it out.

    P.S
    No, I haven't been payed, no affiliation I just thought it's a somewhat cool software with its main purpose of bypassing the windows mixer and streaming via network for the 44kHz endowed. Works on OX X as well but my religion doesn't allow apple.
     
  2. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    Foobar forced conversion to MP3, that doesn't sound right. I'll have to try it myself now!

    Try SWYH it's free. Supports lossless. You will go through Windows mixer though. Set sound card to 44.1/24 & enhancements disabled on the main PC.

    Illustrate also has a good UPnP server (much better than W10 built in one), but for that to work you might need to control from the secondary PC (eg with Remote Desktop).
     
  3. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Danta VIA is a cool idea. Man, it is expensive though. Not just the software, but any hardware that has it is almost twice as much as the USB counterparts. It tells me they are charging a premium for their licencing.
     
  4. StageOne

    StageOne Acquaintance

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    I've used Airfoil by Rogue Amoeba for sending audio to lots of different types of devices including other computers and phones. It's not too expensive and there is a trial for evaluation. Supports both windows and macs.
    https://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

    I don't know the details of how it sends the audio, but I think it's loosely based on Apple's Airplay which converts music to 44.1.
     
  5. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Try Minimserver. Bit-perfect (as UPnP streaming should be) and can be controlled by whatever control point you like (in my case, an Android app to stream to Volumio on a Raspberry Pi).

    Or Plex, but that's bigger and more intrusive.
     
  6. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    I use Plex to stream music to my nvidia shield, which sends pcm to my receiver. Works with FLAC just fine as long as the endpoint supports FLAC, otherwise it will transcode it.
     
    Elnrik likes this.
  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Oh. So it isn't about muzak for the molecular state, then? That's a shame!

    But seriously. If the media resides on the "main" PC, I'd abandon the audiophile box and just use networking. So much useful stuff, been around since the stone age...

    Just mount disks (or share drives, or whatever Windows calls it) on the music PC from the main PC. The data then looks like local files. Play them using the local software. No need for wheel re-invention.
     
  8. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    I know, and I do have a shared folder accessible in the network with all my music but I really wanted to try this out and see how it works out. Sometimes re-inventing the wheel can lead to new insights even if the result is the same.
     

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