hifi streaming question

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  • hifi streaming question
  • Premier Icon ransos

    I have a Cambridge Audio Minx XI which I think does what you want. I use the app but you can select tracks directly on the unit. Connect either by USB or by plugging your hard drive into your router and configuring it as a NAS.


    I have all my CDs ripped onto a hardrive, stored as FLAC files (350-odd CDs).

    I need a ‘unit’ into which I can plug this hardrive (via USB) which will allow me to play them.

    I’ve tried it into a Denon D-M40 system and it’ll play the tracks okay but the Denon’s screen isn’t big/good enough to enable you to choose/scroll through all the albums/bands/tracks etc., so it’s limited.

    I need something which is essentially a ‘interface’ that allow me to choose tracks etc. It can either be a standalone system with its own amplification, or something that plugs into an amp, via phono plugs.

    I DON’T want a computer-based solution. I’ve had that in the past (with a squeezebox) and its not what I want this time.
    I DON’T want a smartphone app approach either.

    Not sure on budget but hopefully there’s a neat device that’ll do it.

    Any ideas?

    Do you still have the Squeezebox? If so get a NAS unit and install Logitech media server on it and control with the Squeezebox. lMS is unsupported now but lots of info on the slimdevices forums.
    Can be a bit flaky but generally works ok.

    Premier Icon deadkenny

    I still use my Squeezebox. Unsure between the DAC in the Squeezebox and the DAC in the amp. Nice though and the server sits on my Synology NAS.

    However it’s the old ‘classic’ (pre Logitech) and UI is fairly basic (though nice old school Hi-Fi look). Can browse with a remote but it’s not that intuitive and bit slow.

    Can also use the cloud Squeezebox service without the server. Not sure about playing your own store of music though. Also not sure if the cloud service is still running or how long it will last.

    Would be interesting to see if there’s some plug in for either OneDrive streaming or Plex. Both can do cloud store of the music, and Plex also can sit on a NAS (but then I’ve got the Logitech server anyway as well as Plex server. Latter I use for video mainly).

    As for a device for the hard drive, mainly that’s going to be a NAS anyway. Not sure there’s a dedicated music streamer with nice UI that just takes a hard drive, but maybe there is.

    Or you could make a Pi project out of this. Pi with an LCD panel and pick relevant nice streaming software to boot into, USB drive attached to Pi. etc



    I don’t really know what a NAS is.

    What plugs into what? [and I do still have the squeezebox]

    Does the Marantz have a decent screen to select the tracks teetosugars?

    Premier Icon NZCol

    What you have is a load of files. You need them delivered via uPNP. You can buy things like Western Digital NAS drives that have a uPNP player as well – advantage is any uPNP capable device on the same network can play that media (audio, video etc) and they are also RAID so you get some redundancy if a disk fails.

    Premier Icon andyg1966

    Logitech Squeezebox Server on your NAS and raspberry Pi with picore player as the squeezebox player and Squeezer on your phone to control.

    Works perfectly with true gapless playback.

    edit – Ah doesn’t know what a NAS is. Stand-down

    The NAS is a hard drive that has it’s own on-board computer which will run software. It can have a second drive in the same casing to provide a backup to the original drive if it falls over to save ripping all your discs again.the downside is that if data is corrupted then the second disc cops it as well so always keep a proper backup on a separate hard drive.Squeeze box connects to this NAS via Ethernet or Wi-Fi so no separate pc needed



    so NAS gets all the FLAC files loaded onto it (from my harddrive)

    squeezebox then plugs into NAS (ethernet)

    squeezebox plugs into hifi (phonos)

    My squeezebox is the older version, like this. Does that matter?

    What software does the NAS need on it, and how do I install it?

    How much is a NAS?


    tbh the squeezebox/network thing has always been a bit of a b@llache. Sometimes it’s fine, then sometimes it just shuts down and won’t see anything, so I’m keener on a hifi unit that just works all the time.

    Premier Icon ransos

    What software does the NAS need on it, and how do I install it?

    How much is a NAS?

    You might not need one. Some routers will act as a NAS if you plug your hard drive into them.

    Sometimes it’s fine, then sometimes it just shuts down and won’t see anything, so I’m keener on a hifi unit that just works all the time.


    Premier Icon Akers

    Use your Squeezebox. Get a Raspberry Pi, connect HDD, load up SqueezeServer package and configure accordingly.

    Google is your friend…….

    Premier Icon deadkenny

    Yeah, that’s the Squeezebox I’ve got. Phono direct into amp. As I say, undecided on how I should hook it up as it has supposedly nice DAC in it, but then my current amp supposedly has as well, so could do optical into amp. Also the SB classic only goes to 24bit/48, though not much of an issue as vast majority of my stuff are CD rips. Not sure if the optical will pass through 24/96 and higher anyway.

    NAS – you’ll need one that will run the Logitech server to work with the Squeezebox. Don’t think it will pull from DNLA devices (modern NAS like devices will expose their music folder via DNLA and any compatible DNLA device can stream from it. Though it’s basic and doesn’t have nice indexing, artwork etc).

    My amp does streaming also, but interface is quite naff.

    Premier Icon jairaj

    What you want to search for is a media streaming device or media player.

    These tend to connect to either a wired or wireless network and play music on any Network Attached Storage (NAS) connected to the same network.

    These can also come with a USB socket and they will play the music on the connected USB device too. If you don’t want to buy any extra equipment you will need this feature to connect your USB hard drive. This is a little less common and you may have to pay a bit more but you will certainly find one with USB connection without too much trouble.

    They also come with and without amplification built in.

    The problem you may have is finding one with a large display to make it easy to navigate and select the music you want to listen to but they do exist. Most players these days opt to go for a smartphone app which is used and a remote control and display unit for the media player, the music or data steam does not flow through the phone its just a remote control. Again there are a few models available with large displays but you may end up paying more money.

    Its a long while since I’ve kept up with the industry so won’t recommending players but have a look through the following sections to see if there is anything that takes your fancy.



    You’ll end up paying more than a Raspberry Pi system etc … but it should be plug play unlike a Pi system.

    If you’ve got all your music on the USB hard disk with no other copies I’d recommend buying a NAS system and copying your music onto that and keeping the USB hard disk as a back up.


    Quick answer:
    Buy one of these that fits your budget, has the right capacity and plays FLAC files, and plug it in via 3.5 jack:


    Longer answer:

    I think the issue you’re having is that you want a good way of navigating digital music, that doesn’t include a smartphone/device. IMO those two things are mutually exclusive.

    If I was you, I would use a cheap android tablet as the interface – just think of it as a display for navigating your albums. That would open-up a huge number of hardware/software options of how to do this.

    The other alternative I can think of is using your TV as the display interface, buy buying a media player that you can plug a USB drive into, plays FLAC files and has the right kind of output for your existing hi-fi. This seems like overkill for just playing music, and have largely been superseded by chromecasts/ airplay etc.


    cheers all.

    I’m moving to a new, bigger house soon so I’ll adjust the needs based on how we want to configure the music, and where the actual units might go. It may go multi-room and streamed, or go old-school and headphones! Who knows.


    batfink, interesting link…

    in fact I have a Fiio X3 as my portable player (on the bike) which a great bit of kit – good sound, plays FLACs, decent HD space.

    All I want is something like that but with a bigger HD and a bigger screen, and I can plug in to the mains, tidily.

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