• Network Audio

    by Published on 08-13-2013 01:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio
    Article Preview

    Theoretically wireless networks should have been capable of streaming high resolution audio since consumers started adopting 802.11g 54 Mbit/s WiFi back in 2003. Streaming 8 channels (7.1) at 24 bit / 192 kHz requires roughly 37 Mbit/s of bandwidth. Thus, high resolution two channel audio should have been a breeze to sling around one's house ten years ago. Unfortunately real life stood in the way. The actual throughput of wireless network devices has never been close to the theoretical maximum. Issues such as latency, dramatic signal losses due to distance and home construction variables, and the lack of technology to harness the power of wireless signals has made wired Ethernet the only game in town. Some computer audiophiles are fortunate to have wired ethernet networks connecting their music servers to their Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) anywhere in their houses. Others are stuck placing components in less than stellar locations because they can't stretch an unsightly Ethernet cable across the living room. With the release of 802.11ac wireless routers, access points, and adapters many audiophiles previously constrained by the lack of wiring may finally have a solution for smooth streaming. ...
    by Published on 05-10-2013 02:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio
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    Intro
    The following guide was designed for audiophiles. The guide describes UPnP based home audio reproduction, provides use pro and cons of UPnP, examples, and recommendations for successful UPnP audio implementations.

    Overview

    Network based audio can be delivered using several different protocols and technologies such as UPnP, DAAP (Apple), and Ravenna among others. UPnP is the most common network audio protocol in use today. It's used in both two channel single room systems and whole house network audio distribution. Ironically UPnP is extremely simple for end users and a bear for product producers. The more one digs into the UPnP protocols the more divergent information with common frustration one finds. This guide will not turn a novice into an expert. I hope it will provide all the information computer audiophiles need to understand and enjoy UPnP based audio playback. ...
    by Published on 03-17-2009 03:01 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    In the second part of this series I discussed pushing music from a music server to another location in a residence using Apple Airport Express units. These work wonderful for playing the same music in every location as the Airport Express only follows the lead of the main music server. Playing different music in each location of a residence is a little different story, but it can be accomplished in much the same fashion. Substituting AppleTVs for the Airport Express units allows a listener to either push music from the main music server, the exact same way as an Airport Express, or pull music from the main music server independently of what's playing on the server. Plus, using an iPod Touch or iPhone this can all be controlled from a single location. ...
    by Published on 03-11-2009 01:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    In part two of the wireless music distribution series we get into the actual configuration of an Airport Express and iTunes to distribute music from the music server to another zone / room with AirTunes. Unfortunately the word configuration has a bad connotation when it comes to computers. Much of the time when people read the word configuration they immediately tune out and look for a canned solution that's plug n' play. Fortunately when working with most Apple components and applications the word configuration really means putting a check mark in a box and clicking OK. I'm happy to report that this is the case when enabling AirTunes. Here are some instructions and a video showing exactly how to complete this simple configuration. ...
    by Published on 03-08-2009 10:09 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    Music distribution throughout a residence has been around as long as I can remember. This may say more about my age than the longevity of whole house music, but nonetheless we are not talking about a new concept. Traditional music distribution used a couple amplifiers and long analog cable runs that frequently suffered signal degradation. While this old-school method worked virtually every time it produced less than stellar sound at a less than stellar price. Today music distribution can be accomplished via ubiquitous wireless home networks and a couple Apple Airport Express units. The cost is greatly reduced and the sound quality is greatly improved when compared to the traditional music distribution systems. The convenience of having a complete music library accessible at the tap of an iPod Touch icon is an improvement over many systems available in the past. Plus it's even possible to turn the music on and off in individual zones from a single iPod Touch. This is the first part in a series of articles about distributing music throughout a residence. Part one provides a diagram and basic explanation of music distribution with a computer based music server. Subsequent articles in this series will show exactly how to configure iTunes and Airport Express units for music distribution as well as Apple TVs for selecting different music in each zone of the residence. ...
    by Published on 02-08-2009 10:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. iTunes,
    3. Network Audio,
    4. OS X,
    5. Software

    There are quite a few options to control music servers today. Apple's Remote application for the iPod Touch and iPhone is one of the most popular. However, this application doesn't do it all. Those of us using Mac OS X without Sonic Studio's Amarra application still need to close iTunes to adjust the sample rate in Audio Midi Setup. While it is possible to use a VNC application on the iPod Touch to control a Mac music server it's quite impractical. Thus, I highly recommend using a MacBook to control a Mac music server. Complete remote control over a music server allows removal of the keyboard, mouse and monitor. Nothing screams tedium, monotony, and spreadsheets like a keyboard, mouse and monitor in the music room. To this end, here two videos showing how easy it is to remote control a Mac music server. ...
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