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Author Topic: Why is anyone still using a Squeezebox - Airfoil seems like the way to go (?)  (Read 11500 times)

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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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The bandwidth is easy - I use wires for high quality media.

New product - Get your NEUMANN active mounting bars
Active microphone mounting bars for Schoeps and AKG, and Naiant AKG, ready to ship

Offline fleish

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I just use 802.11n and let the bits fall where they may so to speak.
Mics: AT853, MC930, AK40/AK50 > LC3 > KM100, ADK TL51
Cables: Audio Magic XStream silver, Kind Kables, Zaolla M1.5
Decks: D8, Busman Hybrid R4

My LMA tapes: http://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Todd+Fleisher%22

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Awesome. David said you were like The Wolf in Pulp Fiction. Shows up just in time with tons of gear, does a pro job, and disappears into the night! :-)

Offline Gordon

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everything is hard wired here with cat 5e (squeezebox and my western digital live don't do cat 6) through a gigabit switch.  never an issue with bandwidth.  I stream hd content etc while running multiple torrents from the same server.
Neumann ak40 > Nick mod lc3 > Naiant PFA or km140 > Sound Devices MixPre-6

https://archive.org/details/fav-gordonlw

Offline noahbickart

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I use 75 ohm from the cable company run through the wall to connect my music server PC (Macbook> Firewire Audiophile) to the DAC in the living room. I find hard wired connections to be more secure than wireless. I do, however, stream over my wifi to a less critical Airport Express in the kitchen.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline acidjack

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That seems like an interesting solution for some situations.  Does it require itunes?  No linux support :(

It seems like I'll be using the squeezebox for many years to come.  It is an open platform, and that is important to me.

For mastering type work, whether on speakers or cans, I really feel I must have a volume knob I can turn.  PC based volume control is way too cumbersome.  When something is too loud, i want to be able to turn the knob down Now.  Nothing else works as quickly or as well for me.

No iTunes.  It can stream virtually *any* audio playing on your computer.

I had a Squeezebox for a month and hated it. One of the worst devices I have owned; terrible software integration, completely deficient menu structure.. it just sucked.

Plus Airfoil allows me to play my raw files wirelessly through my speakers, which for me is huge..

EDIT TO ADD: Wired would obviously be preferable.  But not really an option for me.  I rent, for one thing.

EDIT TO FURTHER ADD:  The way I stream, my Airports are connected optically to my amps.  So the DACs I am using are what are in the amps, not what is in the Airport (right?)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:27:09 PM by acidjack »
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline DigiGal

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:yikes: This squeezebox thread keeps running this song through my head. 

"Squeeze Box" by The Who

Mama's got a squeeze box
She wears on her chest
And when Daddy comes home
He never gets no rest

'Cause she's playing all night
And the music's all right
Mama's got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

Well the kids don't eat
And the dog can't sleep
There's no escape from the music
In the whole damn street

'Cause she's playing all night
And the music's all right
Mama's got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out

Cause' she's playing all night
And the music's all right
Mama's got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes, squeeze me, come on and squeeze me
Come on and tease me like you do
I'm so in love with you
Mama's got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out

'Cause she's playing all night
And the music's all right
Mama's got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night
Mics: AKG CK91/CK94/CK98/SE300 | Shure VP88 | Senn ME66/K6/K6RD Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 "StarQuad" w/Neutrik EMC | Gotham GAC-2pair w/AKG MK90/3 connectors | DigiGal AES>S/PDIF cable Preamp: SoundDevices MixPre-D Recorder: Marantz PMD 661 Edit: 27" 3.4GHz QuadCore i7 iMac | OS X High Sierra 10.13.6 | Wave Editor | xACT  | Transmission | Final Cut Pro X                                                            

Offline noahbickart

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EDIT TO FURTHER ADD: 
The way I stream, my Airports are connected optically to my amps.  So the DACs I am using are what are in the amps, not what is in the Airport (right?)

Still limited to 16/44.1 on that optical jack.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline Todd R

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EDIT TO FURTHER ADD: 
The way I stream, my Airports are connected optically to my amps.  So the DACs I am using are what are in the amps, not what is in the Airport (right?)

Still limited to 16/44.1 on that optical jack.

Is that accurate?

The digital output on my iMac and Macbook both support 24 bit up to 96k resolution.  From apple:

Quote
S/PDIF optical digital output

The S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) optical digital output is automatically selected when an S/PDIF optical digital output device is detected on the external combination audio port. The S/PDIF optical digital output supports pulse-code modulation (PCM) and Arc Consistency Algorithm #3 (AC-3) audio formats with the following stereo data stream characteristics:

    PCM: 16, 20, or 24 bits per sample at sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, or 96 kHz
    AC-3: 16 bits per sample at sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, or 192 kHz

The S/PDIF optical output channel status conforms to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60958-3 consumer mode digital audio.

Seems odd they would limit the airport to 16 bits.  I don't know why they'd want to develop 2 different designs, and purposely make the airport inferior. Can you point me to where you're finding this?

I guess I need to verify the 24 bit capability, but I'll definitely look into this.  I loved (and still do) my Squeezebox 2, but my Squeezebox Duet drives me pretty insane.  It pretty much never is ready to work when I want to listen to music -- can't even keep its battery charged while sitting in the charger, and if it is charged everytime I turn around it needs to update the firmware on the Duet remote or update the slimserver software on the computer.

Airfoil and an airport express seems like it would work good for me.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline Todd R

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Well, I had found nothing about it on the apple site, but the conventional wisdom seems to be that the airport express is limited to 16/44.

That said, most of the in-depths posts I read about it seemed to say the AE is limited to 16/44 since it is limited to receiving audio via iTunes, and iTunes apparently only allows a 16/44 format.

This of course makes me wonder a few things:

1) When I use iTunes to listen to music directly off my iMac (which has an optical out that supports 24 bits), do this mean iTunes is truncating my music to 16 bits?  Usually I listed using something like Cog, but sometimes I use iTunes.  Or is the 16/44 limitation only for wirelessly streamed iTunes?  (Or is that charge about 16/44 even accurate?)

2) Acidjack says Airfoil allows wireless streaming without iTunes.  So is the supposed 16/44 limitation to Airport Express accurate?  As in, does the hardware itself of the AE limit the optical out to 16/44, or is this 16/44 limitation everyone talks about a limitation of iTunes, which people are saying is the only way to stream to an AE.  Since that latter part seems to be wrong and Airfoil allows streaming, maybe that allows the AE to work at 24bits (as in the AE 16/24 limitation is a iTunes software limitation, not an AE hardware limitation).

Maybe I'm just being hopeful since I'd like a cheap alternative to replace my Squeezebox Duet, but I keep seeing people say the AE 16/44 is due to iTunes.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline noahbickart

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The Macs output 24/96 over spdif optical jacks. The Airport Express truncates everything to 16 and resamples everything to 44.1, and is not bit accurate for 16/44.1 files. It's fine for non critical background music in my kitchen.

But for the main rig I use wires.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Schoeps VMS 02iub, Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10

Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> McIntosh MC162> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-4XX / Beyerdynamic DT880

Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701 / Hifiman HE-400

Offline Todd R

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The claim of AE not being bit-accurate is false according to testing by Stereophile:

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalprocessors/505apple
Quote
Some audiophiles have dissed the AirPort Express on the grounds that its digital output is not bit-accurate. However, I found that this was not the case, that the data appearing on the AE's digital output were identical in the original file. ... The files were bit-for-bit identical, proving that the AirPort Express is transparent to the music data.

That article, along with a number of others I came across discussed the 16/44 limitations of the AE as being linked to the similar limitations of iTunes.  It looks like it probably is limited to 16bits, but if anyone has a Airfoil and AE setup and can actually test the AE using Airfoil and not iTunes to stream to the AE.

Acidjack -- you game for an experiment?  Airfoil streaming > AE > USBPre 2 toslink digital input > spdif RCA out > R44.  Record a 24bit file and see if it truly is 24 bits (I think there are several software programs and plugins that can do this).

Edit:

The Bitter AU and VST free plugin looks like one way to look into actual bit depth, if anyone is inclined to an old-fashioned experiment:

http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=33
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 05:16:50 PM by Todd R »
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline dmonkey

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I'm using my Squeezebox right now. Beer in hand, Lauderdale on the stereo (mp3). Used it this morning to check some mixdowns I did (wav) -- no more putting them on my iRiver and running back and forth. Used it the other day to stream some 24/96 Dead show.

I love the thing.

Cold, dead hands...and all that stuff.
MK4's, KM140's or MC930's >  Tinybox or Aerco MP-2 > R-09, M-10 or R-44 (Oade CM)

Offline lastubbe

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I had a Squeezebox for a month and hated it. One of the worst devices I have owned; terrible software integration, completely deficient menu structure.. it just sucked.

Agreed on above points.

But I still love my Squeezebox touch.  It does exactly what I need, works well, is really convenient, and didn't cost a lot.  I'm always open to other ideas so thanks for this suggestion.
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etree seeds:  Live Music Archive -- Bit Torrent 
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Offline cakoala

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Tested it out today - I can now master from Audacity on my living room speakers without having to physically plug in my computer. 

I built a similar setup today.  MAC, Airport Express, Airfoil 4.5, Audacity.  The first problem I noted was a distinct delay between starting the transport (playback) and the sound coming out of the speakers.  About 2 seconds.  I checked the Rogue Amoeba - Airport knowledge base.  There is an inherent 2 second delay in the apple protocol.  They had to build a special video player to sync up with the audio.  So, I tried a couple times to edit and just was going nuts.  I was trying to identify the start of a song (live recording) to cut the tracks.  The two second delay totally befuddled my sensibilities in where to set the cursor.  Darn!!  Guess it is back to the 50 foot headphone extension to plug it into the home stereo (nothing fancy here, record with a Tascam USB-800 off an old board and mix down on my couch with audacity.)

Offline dnsacks

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This looks quite promising -- http://www.whitebear.ch/mediaserver -- basically, a upnp/dnla interface that allows one to push content to a squeezebox player without using the squeezebox software on a pc.  For me, it should allow me to treat my squeezebox as another output/playback zone from my jriver media center.


 

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