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Just curious as I have used a computer as my source since 1997 exclusively. Have not had any other source since 1997. Up until a couple years ago I would try the latest and greatest CD player or Universal player but none have come close.
My DACs are upgraded regularly.
I never saw a point in having a PC based system like I don't see a point
of having automatized house but I was just recently presented with an old fansless PC with Jriver audio platform and a 10 TB drive filled with hi-res music formated for Mac ...Now , what I'm going to do with all that junk..:)
My bad I know... usually one dislikes the things which are unknown and require some mental effort ;)
But , I guess I'm up to a good start.
And you'll do fine..... And then discover how great it is.
I agree with the two previous posters. It's very easy to get started, especially if one already has a Mac. (I've never gone down the PC road, as it looks too complicated for novices).
is to use it for file server duty only.
I prefer using application specific end points optimized for playback in the audio system proper.
A PC is as easy and you can go fanless. My little i7 6700T/32G is fast even with video in all aspects of operation without any special setting up.
Are you sure it's a 10TB drive ?
a 12 TB drive.
"For up to 50% more petabytes per rack" :)
But I'd like to know who includes 10TB drives as part of their junk give away. For obvious reasons I would stand clear of those helium drives in audio applications. ;-)
well , as I posted 10 TB won't be free (unfortunately:) and it will cost $300 which is close for what you can buy empty drive on e-pay. What I like about the collection (half of it crap as usual) is that it is retrospective , organized and convenient to use. The situation when one runs out of space in 10 TB drive and doesn't want to have a few drives attached to the cute Mac toy is imaginable I guess. I think I will buy it, find somebody with storage capacity move the files , re-format the drive for PC and move the files back. The PC system was not used for anything but music in conjunction with high end pro dac. It doesn't have any other software not even a wireless internet and I will keep it as is. First step, I will just buy AES/SPIDF transformer adapter so I can hook it up to an RA Opus 21 CD player's digital input. That player is using a CD room as a transport and guess what. The dac of that player hooked up to a half decent transport (Sony ES from 98') sounds quite a bit better than the player as a whole.
To expand further that $5k pro Dac was easily bettered on Red book CD's by cheap Audio Note kit dac using spectral SDR-3000 as a transport.
Cheers . W
So you'll be buying a 10TB disk with music preloaded on it? Do you know if the music collection is in a lossless format like FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, or in some lossy format like AAC or MP3?
And is it even legal to buy this disk with preloaded music?
Not sure what I do but what do you want me to do? Ask the owner for a receipt that he downloaded the music legally and paid for it?
And if he did? Do I have to investigate if he didn't make copies?
If you buy a record collection do you ask for receipts?
This is another aspect of the PC audio . Your music library isn't even worth the cost of the storage device...
As far as the format goes most of the files are FLAC.
No, I totally understand the concern and I'm having my doubts too, but it is offered from a legit source, not some shady character and I'm not getting it for free.(If I decide to buy it). Most of the stuff on the disc as far as I could see I would never pay to have , nor would even want to have a free physical copy of it. Since I value PC audio as much as a jukebox (for good or wrong reasons) and the device will have a function of a Jukebox than it is good enough for who it is for, and that's all there is to it.
Hey, it was a just a thought. How you acquire your music collection is your business.
Yes it is a 10T but it looks like I will have to pay for that drive ~$300 it's the music which is free 16 /24/DSD flac files , full disc. It collides with my recent policy that "I don't buy anything unless
it's free" ha ha
The PC was configured in 2011 as a quiet fanless Music server for $3k. Not sure why so expensive. It has:
Intell i3 3.06Ghz
2GB Kingston Ram
windows 7 premium 64 bit
Asus P7h55-M pro atx motherboard
fanless radeon HD 5450 1GB
Zalman TNN-300 noiseless comp base
LG 22x sata DVD
80GB intel silent ssd drive
lynx AES16 sound card with custom AES XRL (single) digital output
I will have to educate myself about PC audio a little...
Memory gets hazy, but I probably put my first computer source together around XMAS 1998 for the office, babysitting batch processing jobs etc. over the Holidays while everyone else was away on Holiday.
At home my main source was still Vinyl, but in the office I was using a PC with a Soundblaster AWE64 (with a Philips Multibit DAC Chip) and some cheap, used active studio monitors, slightly better than a Yamaha NS-10, forgot who made them.
Software was Winamp for playback (and yes, it did whip the llama's a..).
I used Exact Audio Copy as ripper with one of the fabled NEC external cartridge See-Dee ROM Drives as ripper, first to wav files and later Monkeys Audio as lossless compressor.
It was definitely already up and running for a while in summer 1999 with all of my Seedees (and a fair few borrowed from co-workers) ripped to Waves and stored on the "spare" HDD capacity of our backup server (that is what admin passwords are for)...
I started with a Computer Source at home in 2002 with Windows XP Media Centre for TV (again a job done during XMAS Holidays) and naturally using SPDIF Out from Sound card to DAC.
So Adding Winamp and bringing a few tapes full of the backups of my rips from works had this doing music too, with Winamp, not Media Centre. I used some Winamp remote control software running on touchscreen windows phones from HTC (I got the latest whenever they came out) or less convenient using the Media Centre Remote.
But that was for digital only, Vinyl remained the main source for years to come.
At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?
I waited until 250 GB hard drives were available at a price I was willing to pay. (late 2005.) I expected to use four 250GB drives to hold all the music files that I expected to have in lossless compression form.
I spent several months experimenting and started ripping my CD collection in April 2006. Ripping ~ 1000 CDs took about four months. I continued buying CDs and ripping them until about a year ago.
Haven't used a CD player in years. Don't own one now.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/
"Computer as source" is a term open to broad interpretation. I've used PCs in my workplace for more than 30 years and have been a Mac user at home since the mid-80s. I was on board with iTunes when it first came out in 2001, but the breakthrough for me was when I bought a 1st Gen Airport Express in 2004 and was able to play iTunes through my main listening system using a mini-Toslink to RCA splitter. That's how I would define the beginning of computer as source - the point at which the computer was integrated into my listening system as a source component, like a tuner or a tape deck. Not when I began listening to music using headphones or speakers connected directly through the sound card.
Soon after that point, I added a couple more AEs for a multi-room system - even my wife was impressed, and that don't come easy. Nowadays I'm running Roon Server on a headless MacMini i7 through a USB DAC, streaming Tidal or my own library from a NAS - and loving it. I still use an Airport Express wirelessly as a Roon endpoint in my detached garage with a pair of AudioEngine powered monitors and it sounds pretty damn good. In the (brief) history of computer audio, the Airport Express has been generally underrated (by everyone except Stereophile's John Atkinson, another early adopter) and deserves wider credit. Without the AE, there never would have been a Squeezebox or microRendu. Admittedly it is limited to 16/44100 quality, but when you're working with power tools in your garage that's good enough, and a whole lot better than .mp3.
. . . in theory, practice and theory are the same; in practice, they are different . . .
It IS a tricky question.
My initial response that I've been at it for 10 years is based on using main stream consumer PC/Mac sources. However, if I were to include the high-end Silicon Graphics Indigo series workstations from 1991 - 2000, I suppose I could include those along with the outstanding SGI Magic desktop interface and AV tools.
I used the 1991/1992 era Indigo Workstation to rip music from CD to disk, capture video clips, and create 3D graphics. We used those systems to demo at trade-shows and to recruit software partners and dealers. This was at a time when PC/Macs were completely incapable of the level of AV & graphics performance seen in these workstations.
Cosecant v1 prototype fired up 23rd of July 15 years ago. I was using a MacBook with an 80G Firewire powered spinning hard drive. My library is still named IT80? Has I think around 4T of music, though I have a backup Promise Thunderbolt that is almost full with 12T.
I have a friend who is a CTO of a large company was doing this before me on a custom built PC with Windows and a PCI audio card. I think Bret said he started in 1998.
The real funny thing was in 1995 I was asked to start a company to do Windows Audio. I really must have lacked vision. There were a couple investors an engineer (big wig at VMware) and me. They wanted me to hire a bunch of people, create a PC based board for playback and work with a software group to create a complete product that would rip, store and playback.
I had just received Product of the Year from TAS and two Class A rated products from Stereophile and thought my direction in SET Amps was set.
I guess the moral of the story is that you should always change your model to fit what the customer base is looking for.
J. Gordon Rankin
Can't remember what year it was but during college I first hooked my pc's Pro Audio Spectrum 16 output to my girlfreinds crummy all in one to get more bass for the Doom explosions. My pc's have been attached to "steteo's" ever since.
I started with Windows 2000 and an early version of JRiver Media Center (est. early-mid 2000's). I gave up for a while when I ran into Windows 2000 limited partition sizes.
I returned later when both partition limits were raised and ripping was more reliable. Early ripping required all other tasks to be shut down to get a clean rip and then came dBPowerAmp Pro with CRC rip verification.
I began in 2006 but still kept disc players for another year.
I started with CDs ripped to my home office PC in 2007 and then the PC + Squeezebox also in 2007. The Squeezebox was located in the kitchen.
Prior to that when not running my main Cary or Accuphase CDP, I would run a couple Sony CD changers on random play. The CDs are now stored in the basement.
Switched to Mac in 2008. I run a dedicated Mac Mini music server (2012 model) that runs reliably 24/7. The Mac Mini is in my home office setup driving a USB-to-SPDIF converter via coax to DAC while I have the microRendu network streamer in the basement driving another USB DAC. Music files all reside on the Mac Mini but I also stream Tidal via Roon interface.
I still own a couple CD players but rarely ever use them. Same for the vinyl rig. They're all boxed up down in the basement.
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