I think big ticket streamers are a rip off, although it doesn't suprise me at all that some of them cost what they do. That's the hifi market for you. Bit perfect streams are easy to achieve, jitter can be reduced way below audible levels by any decent dac.
Which ones have you heard?
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
As far as I can tell, it is not clear whether any streamers use Linux, or Windows or Unix blah blah blah - it's meaningless if they do or don't. And Linn's streamers are decidedly different from all others in that it commands the media server to push the data towards it, whereas the others pull the data from the media servers.
Can you expand on what you mean by Pushing data towards instead of pulling? You might say blah blah as to what it's running, but thae fact that it is running linux/windows inherently means it's a pc as it has to deal with networking protocols etc. These are usually embedded versions of the software stripped down and tailored to whatever people want them to do.
no, it's just a fact...
erm no, my amplifier is an electronic device but isn't a pc. Methinks you are trying to make everything absolute.
What has alienware got to do with naim? What do you think studois use to record albums on? Are you saying they should all be using hifi equipment?
That's just not true. You can load up windows, load say fubar and tell it to select your dac your output device and you're golden. Foobar is free.
yes it is as it has to deal with networks, codecs etc...
quite frankly, I don't listen to anything what hi fi have to say in the digital area as they like to apply outdated analogue stereo thinking in to the digital word.
It's not a pain anymore if you can use the tied in apps for some bits of software. But yes, if people want a standalone box and a dedicated remote then a standalone streamer is the way to go. However you can't have it both ways and have a go at people who dismiss streamers, then go and dismiss pc's as source, it;s just makes you a hypocrite.
Yes, but how will we cope with a global audio industry with a total output of five pairs of speakers knocked together every now and then when the manufacturer isn't too playing with old cars and chuntering on like a retired colonel about how things were better when we had an empire?
'And so on February 22nd 1966, at Luton airport...'
you nailed it bro!
And Linn's streamers are decidedly different from all others in that it commands the media server to push the data towards it, whereas the others pull the data from the media servers.
This sentence alone shows how much you are letting the PR gibberish pull wool over your eyes. As anyone with any knowledge of networking protocols knows, that sentence is utter and total gibberish.
To simply equate streamers as PCs without external interfaces is patently rubbish - because this would be true of any electronic device.
No. Streamers have CPUs in them (usually as part of a "System on a Chip" or SoC design). This makes them computers, unlike many other electronic devices such as a traditional analogue amp. This is a fact, and not in any way detracting from what streamers are. The value of streamers is in that they are specialized SoCs. As a result they are lot more energy efficient (dissipating less heat!) than a full-fledged generic PC. Consequently, you can build them in them a smallish box with only passive cooling, which can be safely put in to a cabinet with the rest of the hifi kit.
I think streamers offer lots of value over playback through a PC, most in terms of convenience. I love sitting on my couch browsing with my laptop while my streamer (which I can control from said laptop, or from my phone) plays music on my hifi set.
However, if you are going to connect the streamer through an external DAC, there is no reason for it to cost thousands of GBP. The essential components cost a fraction of that. (A fully functional SoC streamer can be bought for 200 quid max.) Add a well engineered case and well-designed remote user interface, and I don't see ANY reason for a price tag over 1000 quid. (And I just love the people on here regurgitating the PR smoke that was blown up their ass, and violent defence of the ones that do.)
hm, i'm doing it just like that with mine pc and ipad...you have a choice of almost countless music players on pc and dedicated remote control apps on both ios and android. and since i'm using foobar and foobar remotes i can choose whether i play music from library or directly from mine music folders on nas/external hard drive...and it plays every music format unlike dedicated streamers...
Yes I agree you can do all that without a streamer.
I wouldn't be able to do this with a PC, because I have no space near my HiFi kit to house a full-fledged PC, and that is sort of the point os streamers. There very compactly built and energy efficient PCs. This can come at some cost of versatility (as you say). Although that is debatable my streamer is essentially a smallbox running linux with an MPD server running. It currently plays most (of not all) file formats, and getting it to run new ones is as simple as updating MPD.(The only possible exception is proprietary file formats which require a licensing fee to playback, but that problem als exists for other free PC music players.)
In other words, sure you can build a dedicated streamer from normal PC components. The difference with a prebuild dedicated streamer becomes very small though. (The PC option will give you slightly more control over what software is running, while the prebuild option is likely to use less energy, produce less heat and boot faster.)
well you can build a streamer out of a raspberry pi, so that kind of thows the size argument out of the window ;) Plus the new intel NUC units are tiny as well.
But in general, yes, a dedicated streamer out of the box will probably consume a lot less power etc...
i'm using netbook as mine pc streamer, and as far as space is considered, you cant get much smaller and you have 10" screen just in case...just look at the prices of dedicated streamers with such screen real estate...i still dont get it why netbooks met with such hatred...at least for audio purposes...and it can works on battery, which is a big thing for many audio freaks on paper, it looks like almost ideal solution for pc audio...
p.s. and it can run linux too...
You still have to build it and configure it all yourself. For less than the cost of most netbooks I have a three inch square streamer that I forget is even there and plays all the formats I want (it doesn't play drm-apple formats but I don't have any apple format music anyway). It doesn't need a screen because that's in my hand, I just press play and that's it, I don't need to worry about configuring drivers or using a particular piece of software to get bit-perfect output and all that jazz. It couldn't get any easier.
No signature worth mentioning...
Surely this is about choices, some people like to DIY with a PC software etc People with the knowledge and interest.
Others want a simple solution that they don’t need to research out loads of software etc.
Strange thing is we don’t use our PC with an external DAC as a CD player do we?
What about all the people who have not grown up with PC’s? All the streamer options and marketing “bull” must be a nightmare
Sonos ZP80 - Leema Pulse MKII - PMC DB1i
ZP100 - Mordaunt Short MS 3.10
Play 5 Audioengine A2 Pioneer PDP436SXE
You still have to build it and configure it all yourself.
cmon...i dont have to build anything, it comes with operating system, and all i should do is to choose usb dac in sound properties...and asio in foobar...5 minutes tops...if someone has a problem with such a simple operation chances are they belong in the group 'how to set up mine vcr for recording', and they will certainly have problems with anything, be it microwave or dedicated network player...
Yes that is a valid option. It is nearly twice as expensive as it needs to be though. (The cheapest streamer boxes retail for about 150 euro, cheapest netbooks around 300.)
Without substantial tweaking the netbook also will not work perfectly running 24/7. Wake-on LAN is probably not properly configured, so the thing will have to keep awake all the time. It will still use more power than the dedicated box. Windows update will require periodic reboots etc. Since this is a PC you can work around these things. (For example installing some light weight linux distribution with suitable software.) But this requires some work.
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