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Stereo with Hard Drive, file navigation, mp3 support?

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by sam_little, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. sam_little

    sam_little Monkey

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    Hey all,
    Is there a stereo receiver out there that can have an external hard drive plugged directly into it, navigate the file structure, and support MP3s, WMA, etc.? I know I can send music in a variety of ways to my current receiver, but I would rather have one, integrated system.

    Any ideas?
     
    #1 -   Nov 4, 2005

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  2. sam_little

    sam_little Monkey

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    Oh yeah... home component... not car
     
    #2 -   Nov 4, 2005
  3. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    find a cheap laptop, and use the soundcard to receive/transmit sound to the receiver.
     
    #3 -   Nov 6, 2005
  4. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    :D



    http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=351419&rl=1

    They exist. The technology has yet to mature, though, and I think you're going to pay a significant premium while getting something that will be difficult to navigate and not very flexible.

    I was just poking fun at narlus, I do agree with him that a cheap laptop is by far the best solution. With a laptop, you're going to get a flexible, easy to navigate solution - when you have thousands of files to poke through, doing it with a remote and a small LCD isn't a particularly easy way to do it. The laptop will allow you to do searches, categorize your music, etc.
     
    #4 -   Nov 7, 2005
  5. ohio

    ohio The Fresno Kid

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    What's your budget?

    My Onkyo (TX-NR900) can be networked, and can navigate any music folder on the network, as well as play internet radio. It takes a little work to do it wirelessly, but if your stereo is anywhere near your router, you just plug the ethernet cable right in.

    Last I looked the TX-NR801 and up had this capability.

    Lots of mid-level recievers now have firewire connections as well... but I'm not sure which ones can be used top connect to music servers.
     
  6. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    You can buy external hard drives that are set up to be network devices. The receiver with a music drive set up next to it and connected via a crossover cable would be pretty tight and integrated, and you'd have the option to easily grab the hard drive off your receiver and plug it into your desktop or existing network to move music around.

    Just a thought.

    (my impression is that he's trying to avoid connecting it to the computer or a network, since he's looking for an integrated package)
     
  7. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Go big! Make a HTPC w/ a couple of 400gb HDDs, get a 5, 6 or 7.1 decoder and the appropriate power amp and pipe everything thru your soundcard. Hell, my onboard card on a MSI Neo4 Platinum is capable of SACD and 7.1. If you have a receiver capable of decoding right now, than this idea is HUGELY less expensive.
    BV, weren't you thinking about doing something like this? Hook 'er up to a 37" LCD that's capable of 1080P and you've got a kickin' jukebox, your PC, and a DVD player that can put out resolution that'll best the $4000 Denon 1080P player.
    My $0.02 fer ya :D
     
  8. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    That's what my next TV will be. A good sized LCD capable of 1080p and I'm just going to build a small computer to act as a media center. Figure I can rip DVD movies to the hard drives, maybe put in a few 300gb drives and run a RAID setup so I can keep a real movie/tv show library without worrying about losing it. Good TV tuner card and you're good to go :D

    I don't know how far I'll go with the stereo aspect. Might just get a couple nice, self powered studio monitors and hook those up.

    I think this guy is looking for a clean, no hassle solution though.
     
  9. ohio

    ohio The Fresno Kid

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    The other fairly clean options are the new JVC receivers (~$800)
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-LXMOs2nTpVn/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=275950&I=257RXD702B
    or a squeezebox (~$300) and any receiver you may already have
    http://www.slimdevices.com/
    The JVCs fit between a home theatre PC and an HD TV cleaner than anything else I've seen, if you want something that integrates video well.
    Squeezebox will give you just about the best possible sound you could hope for out of a compressed format at any price, if you don't care about video and are just looking for a great music server.
     
  10. sam_little

    sam_little Monkey

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    Yup... I had considered the squeeze box, but was hoping to just plug-n-play, like BV said. I could care less about video, and don't need all of the high-quality decoding (they are MP3s, after all). Just a receiver that can directly navigate any hard drive(s) that I plug in.
     
  11. sam_little

    sam_little Monkey

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    Uh, HTPC?
     
  12. ohio

    ohio The Fresno Kid

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    "Home Theatre Personal Computer," see also "Media Center PC"
     
  13. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    i am totally digging my squeezebox. it's also got the capability to bridge to another device, so i am thinking that you can get video capability down the road.
     
  14. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Is the squeezebox just a wireless link between your PC and your stereo? Do you need 2 of them or just a wireless router/access point (my Uselss West DSL router has WiFi capabilites)? Can it be set w/ a static IP or does it use DHCP?
     
  15. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    it's basically an audio streamer, can be wired or wireless. there's digital and analog outputs which can be plugged into a receiver or pre-amp, and there's also the 'squeeze network' which has a live music archive, web radio, and more.

    i think you can configure it for static, but not 100% sure. i've got my mine set up for DHCP, adn the router assigns it an IP address.

    go on the forum and ask anything; the developers and CTO are on the board all the time.
     
  16. SLAYER2003

    SLAYER2003 Monkey

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    Denon S-301 is what I am getting.
     
  17. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    ...and I assume the stream server software to make the sucker play is on the PC end, where you link your music files to the serve software?
    $250.00... hum... is it me or does it seem a bit spendy? Your next option, like a X10 (2.4ghz) link, is about 1/5 the cost, altho it does sound a lot crappier and doesn't go thru walls very well.

    But I guess it is cheaper than building a HTPC.
     
  18. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    yeah, they have their own software (slimserver), which you can download and play around w/ . the quality is top-notch; you can stream FLAC files and they have burr-brown DACs on board. it's definitely aimed @ the hi-fi crowd who has their library digitized.

    i am tempted to watch ebay and buy a 2nd unit for my other stereo (currently have an old IBM thinkpad which can do the trick, but the soundcard's crappy).
     
  19. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    oh yeah, you can also put the slimserver app on an NAS device, so you don't need yr PC on all the time. a friend of mine is gonna do this w/ a buffalo tech drive.