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More on the echo Dot and Vintage gear

98.23.85.69

Posted on December 31, 2016 at 05:51:30
DavidLD
Audiophile

Posts: 4881
Joined: May 29, 2002
OK I have by Echo Dot wired into an AUX input on a vintage receiver and connected to some of my project loudspeakers. I have tunin and free accounts that I registered for on Pandora and iheart radio. These three give me access to literally what must be thousands of radio stations that are streaming digitally in the us and around the world.

the voice control on Alexa likes me to say play XXXX where XXXX is the call letters ofthe station I want to listen to. I can adjust the volume by simply telling Alexa to raise or lower the volume of the signal going to the amp.

BUT, sometimes I dont even know the call letters and am too lazy to look it up.I want to just look through the stations and see if there is anything I would like to listen to. say i want to hear what the kids are listening to on the Greek Islands.

I am sitting at my laptop. I bring up the Alexa app at alexa.amazon.com I see a long list written out of the stuff I have been asking for with my voice. i see there is a logo that pops up whenever I listened to a station streamed from Pandora, iheart or tunin. each of those has a different logo. I click on one of these and up comes ways to search the library in each. The laptop asks me if I would like to sort through the stations by location. I click on that and pick a continent. I find Europe then Greece then Greek Island stations. I click on one of those. suddenly my stereo across the room starts to play the station I clicked on that is on the Greek Islands. Some of the music sounds very "Greek" with influences from the music of the Middle East

I feel like an old-school shortwave radio operator controlling my vintage stereo gear but with the ability to instantly and precisely go to anywhere in the world I want to go...

All you need is a power amp with an extra set of RCA type inputs, as the Alexa Echo dot is your preamp. I control sound volume with my voice or with the slider right there on the laptop screen. I'm sure if I was operating from my tablet or a smart phone, this would work equally well.

Some of you may complain that the signal is digitally streamed and not "real" FM. I hate to burst your bubble but the "real" FM from a tuner is all now just digital stuff that has been converted back to analog. i am listening to AM stations now with the clarity of FM. And FM stations always come in. This has got to be worth SOMETHING. my old receiver is doing a fine job.

BUT I also have a Bluetooth speaker next to my chair. If I am too lazy to get out of the chair and walk across the room to push the power button on the receiver, I can always turn the tiny Bluetooth switch on. The Echo immediately senses the Bluetooth speaker is active and the music starts to play out of that. I COULD go out and BUY an amp with a remote, but then I would get no exercise getting up from my easy chair at all. Gotta get some exercise!

 

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I've enjoyed unlimited streaming of radio content, posted on December 31, 2016 at 12:00:26
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 24530
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
Via my Squeezebox Touch player for years - along with instant access to any part of my digital library stored on the music server. I really enjoy having a central library that feeds all my systems. The CDs lay dormant on the shelf once ripped.

I'm in the process of digitizing the unique parts of my vinyl collection via an HRT Line Streamer using Audacity to complete the collection.

Edit: While the Touch is no longer available, you might consider adding a Raspberry Pi player which can be found very inexpensively. It can run the same LMS software to access internet radio, premium services and a central digital library. Look over at PC Audio.

 

Thanks for sharing David, posted on December 31, 2016 at 12:03:59
Mossback
Audiophile

Posts: 1646
Location: Washington, the State
Joined: November 17, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
December 0, 0000
This is very cool thanks for sharing David.

 

My Bluesound Node offers the same features and, posted on January 1, 2017 at 08:48:34
Ross
Audiophile

Posts: 1333
Joined: January 24, 2000
it connects to my NAS drive. The node includes a 24/192 capable DAC for streaming of hirez files from my NAS. No voice control, but I do have smartphone and tablet apps. It is connected to my main system right now, and was connected to a restored Fisher 400 receiver over the past summer.

Regardless, I love internet radio. Reminds me of growing up in the NY metro area when it had among the highest density of radio stations in the country. Always something new to listen to, and something for everyone. Internet radio brings that feeling back.

Higher bitrate internet radio sounds very good, and is essentially the equivalent of commercial broadcast radio. Low bit rate (128mb) sounds like average car radio quality. There are several stations that stream at 320mbs and sound remarkably good, just a few steps behind CD quality, and several steps ahead of commercial broadcast quality.

 

RE: I've enjoyed unlimited streaming of radio content, posted on January 2, 2017 at 19:30:02
Michael Samra
Dealer

Posts: 35874
Location: saginaw michigan
Joined: January 30, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
June 24, 2005
I just use a Mac Mini.Heck,even my I-Pad sounds great for streaming.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: I've enjoyed unlimited streaming of radio content, posted on January 2, 2017 at 20:09:52
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 24530
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
even my I-Pad sounds great for streaming

Yep. I use mine (along with iPhone) as either a source for either radio or music server based content or remote for the Touch, microRendu or the main computer.

 

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