HAL's thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server

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pansixt

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #20 on: 29 Nov 2012, 10:46 pm »
I have recommended an extra 1TB USB hard drive as backup to all the folks that own a MS-1.  This way they always have two copied incase something happens to one.  To much work to loose!

I recently picked up a 1TB portable drive from Oyen Digital in Minnesota. http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/EN3-54-1000-M.html. They are reasonably priced and they have 2TB and SS models also.

James

pansixt

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #21 on: 29 Nov 2012, 11:32 pm »
What does the simplest setup look like?




This is the MS-1 (second shelf down, next to SBox Touch) installed in my system. Sorry about pic quality.
Bottom shelf is M2Tech Evo Hiface interface (necessary only because my DAC has no USB input)
and 1TB external drive. The external drive contains all of your music, so the server doesn't have to.

As this server is a mini PC of sorts, I used a wireless mouse and keyboard and connected the MS-1 to my 40 inch
LCD for the monitor (unfortunately I can't find that picture).

In this simple config, the external drive feeds music files to the server via eSata (fast), out of the server with USB to
the USB interface, and from the interface to my DAC thru Digital coax cable.

I used the installed music player as I would any other player as I mentioned with wireless keyboard and mouse.
Mostly to keep it simple and it is what I had on hand.

Did I forget anything HAL? :)

James



Early B.

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #22 on: 29 Nov 2012, 11:59 pm »
This is the MS-1 (second shelf down, next to SBox Touch) installed in my system. Sorry about pic quality.
Bottom shelf is M2Tech Evo Hiface interface (necessary only because my DAC has no USB input)
and 1TB external drive. The external drive contains all of your music, so the server doesn't have to.

As this server is a mini PC of sorts, I used a wireless mouse and keyboard and connected the MS-1 to my 40 inch
LCD for the monitor (unfortunately I can't find that picture).

In this simple config, the external drive feeds music files to the server via eSata (fast), out of the server with USB to
the USB interface, and from the interface to my DAC thru Digital coax cable.

I used the installed music player as I would any other player as I mentioned with wireless keyboard and mouse.
Mostly to keep it simple and it is what I had on hand.

Did I forget anything HAL? :)

James

This is helpful, and it brings up another question. Is there a way to simplify your simple setup? Specifically, instead of using a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, can you use a phone or tablet to wirelessly connect to the MS-1 to access and select music files?  I could be wrong, but I'm thinking there's gotta be an app that can communicate with the MS-1 since a phone or tablet can theoretically function as a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.  .....Just thought about it -- my question assumes that the MS-1 has wireless connectivity, but it may not.

pansixt

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #23 on: 30 Nov 2012, 12:17 am »
The server has wireless to enable it to do anything any other PC will do. And you do want any windows based machine to update promptly.

I agree there has gotta be an app to connect to the server. Maybe something as simple as remote PC access.
I just haven't tried it. Hopefully someone will chime in with other possibles.

James

Phil A

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #24 on: 30 Nov 2012, 12:24 am »
I recently picked up a 1TB portable drive from Oyen Digital in Minnesota. http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/EN3-54-1000-M.html. They are reasonably priced and they have 2TB and SS models also.

James

James - let me know how you like it.  I've been looking at the powered 2TB drives as I may need 3 or more when I'm done.

saisunil

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #25 on: 30 Nov 2012, 01:34 am »
Good talking with you Rich ...
Count me in  :thumb:

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #26 on: 30 Nov 2012, 02:06 am »
James,
Nice setup!

You have everything correct.

Windows machines in general need a minumum of a display and mouse connected to run them.   There are steps to setup the MS-2 that need entering of characters.   Once this is done, a wireless setup can be used.

If you want remote access, another Windows device that runs IE9 or IE10 is optimal.  I am looking at the new HTC-8X Windows Phone 8 since it has IE10.  This would give random access to the entire library remotely.  I have tried Google Chrome, but the scrolling features are not compatible.   I do not have an Apple iPad or other Apple device to try Safari to see if the remote web page will work.

Sunil,
Good to talk to you today as well. 

Early B,
The MS-2 prototype has both gigabit Ethernet and WiFi built in.  This allows just about any type of access.

Cool thing about memory players is that the external drive has little effect on music playback.  Foobar2000 just loads it into main memory and always plays from it.  Once it is loaded the external HD goes idle. 

The internal DVD drive is also idle until it is needed for CD ripping. 

How does that sound?

JLM

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #27 on: 2 Dec 2012, 12:41 am »
JLM, Phil's response if pretty close.

It needs a keyboard and mouse for setup.  You can use a WiFi device for remote control.  The one with the most flexibility so far as far as random file access has been PC's running IE9 or IE10.

If you loose power the system will need to be rebooted.  I have not run the latest ideas in units for weeks on end since one is not selected.  The MS-1 was running Windows 7 and very stable.  I never had to reboot it when playing music, or between. 

Does that answer your questions?

By WiFi device I suppose you mean like a smartphone.

If house losses power can something as simple as hitting the power button fully restore it (or does it need a screen/keyboard/mouse hookup, reboot, and try to reconnect to local network, etc.)?

Can it accept internet audio streaming?

How does it compare to a Dune (which is already produced, cheaper, and able to handle Blu-Ray)?

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #28 on: 2 Dec 2012, 01:04 am »
JLM,
Yes, smartphone, PC Netbook, tablet with WiFi.  Each has different capabilities as the remote.  The system also has gigabit Ethernet for remote in if needed from other devices on the network.

The MS-2 will boot with just a display and mouse.  If power goes off, it can be configured to reboot automatically.  I set it to stay off, so that the user can tell that AC power is stable before rebooting.   Single button on the front panel.

The MS-2 will stream media via IE10 or other player.  It is a full fledge PC setup.  I have not tried it with Logitech Squeezebox Media Server at this time.  I have played video's from YouTube and a few other sites.  The audio quality was very good, but limited by the formats provided.  This worked well with the external USB DAC.

I eliminted the HD video capability to minimize power requirements.  Only had two requests for that with the MS-1.  Helps minimize noise levels in the chassis.

I prefer to have the DAC external to the noisy PC environment, hence the USB connectivity.  There is a pretty simple way to solve the USB power noise going to the external audio devices. 

The Dune HD Max looks interesting.  It has the DAC's internal just like standard Blu-Ray players.   Supports HiRez.    Not familiar with the Sigma Designs media processors.

My preference is still for a PC environment for flexibility with new formats that might emerge. 

saisunil

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #29 on: 2 Dec 2012, 05:00 am »
Would be interesting to know how it compares to say a mac-mini or another PC

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #30 on: 2 Dec 2012, 12:06 pm »
woodsyi had the MS-1 and has built a CAPS2.  Maybe he can comment on the sound quality.

At RMAF this year the MS-1 was in the ACA room with a MAC Mini.  Some folks in there heard both side-by-side.   Maybe they can comment.

My personal reference transports, the Audio Alchemy DDS Pro and Integra DSP-8.3 were bettered by the MS-1.  The MS-2 prototype is as good as the MS-1.

Best I can offer.



HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #31 on: 6 Dec 2012, 03:26 am »
Have asked for a beta tester update to see if there are any issues with the first units.  If not, will let everyone know that orders for MS-2's can begin. 

It has been tested with JRiver MC18 without issues by one of the beta testers.  That is a customer decision, just as with the MS-1.  I do not install JRiver here since it requires the user to enter their activation code.

Hope to make an update soon.

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #32 on: 10 Dec 2012, 04:31 pm »
The last issue with EAC is now corrected with Windows 8 and working in the two setups. 

The parts for the first production MS-2 are on order.  This one is going to the UK.  A bit tricky, but we managed to get the correct export version of Windows 8.  This takes purchasing by the customer to get the correct Windows 8 OS version and ship it to HAL for installation and then system configuration.   

The price for the MS-2 is $799.00 + s/h/i.  This can be used with USB2 external drives for music data storage via the high power USB ports.   The system now has a large memory buffer for playback to preload the files from the drive.  Drive access stops after the loading of the files.

Not every USB DAC's drivers are supported by Windows 8.  I will investigate on an individual basis.  As an example the new Oppo BDP-105 player's USB DAC is not supported by Windows 8.   

PM me if you are interested in a MS-2.


saisunil

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #33 on: 10 Dec 2012, 05:04 pm »
Waiting for my MS-2 :)

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #34 on: 10 Dec 2012, 05:23 pm »
Waiting for my MS-2 :)
Sunil,
PM me your shipping information. 

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #35 on: 14 Dec 2012, 02:48 am »
Sunil's MS-2 is shipping tomorrow.  This is the first one to a customer.

The second one will be to the UK.  I was asked to hold that one until after the Holiday's. 

Will be interested in his comments on the MS-2 system with his DAC.

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #36 on: 18 Dec 2012, 01:52 am »
saisunil now has the first production MS-2.

Hope he will post listening impressions once he gets his DAC.

saisunil

Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #37 on: 18 Dec 2012, 02:54 am »
saisunil now has the first production MS-2.

Hope he will post listening impressions once he gets his DAC.
HAL I got the package ...
Sorry Can't post the impressions as my DAC has shipping damage - so I will be dealing with UPS and then I have some travelling to do.

Will be happy to post impressions - once I get to it - sorry

HAL

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #38 on: 7 Jan 2013, 12:20 am »
Well hope Sunil's new DAC finally made it in one piece so he could try the MS-2!

The second MS-2 is ready and being packed to ship to the UK.  The customer asked me to preinstall JRiver MC18 and they will register it.  Will be looking forward to his comments.

sfox7076

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Re: HAL's ideas thread for the MS-2 PC Music Server
« Reply #39 on: 7 Jan 2013, 10:17 pm »
Any way for the MS-2 to recognize an HFS+ (a/ka Mac) formatted drive?

Shawn