Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.

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nyc_paramedic

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #80 on: 9 Sep 2010, 08:51 pm »
question(s?)

For the music server machine, does that HAVE to run linux to work with the alix machine?

(I am very new to this subject, so please be gentle) But poking around, seemed like there was a Samba program, that might work between a windows to linux machine, for transferring files over the network. I have an "extra" mac mini and a quiet little asus atom windows pc, either of which I could use for the music player side.  But I could reformat/partition one for linux if necessary...

Just for the sake of getting the terminology correct, the machine that will store your music (FLAC, AAC, mp3) is the "file server". The Alix feeding your DAC is the "music server".

The headless Alix has to run Linux. The file server can be any OS that supports a file sharing protocol that Linux can handle, e.g. CIFS, Samba, or NFS. Doesn't matter if it's Windows, Solaris, IBM AIX, or one of those plug 'n play NAS (network attached storage) boxes that you configure via a web browser.

Also, there is the free program FreeNAS that will make juts about any old, used PC into a file server box. Handles most, if not all, the file sharing protocols. *And* it's all web browser configurable. 

Features:

    * Protocols: CIFS (via Samba), TFTP, FTP, NFS, SSH, rsync, AFP, UPnP, BitTorrent (protocol) and iTunes.
    * Extensions (plug-ins) for: SlimServer, Xbox Media Stream Protocol.
    * rsync server, client and local sync.
    * Unison support.
    * iSCSI targets feature to create virtual disks.
    * iSCSI initiator.
    * Dynamic DNS client for: DynDNS, ZoneEdit, No-Ip, and freedns.afraid.org.
    * File systems: ZFS, UFS and ext2/ext3 are fully supported, NTFS read/write and FAT32 read/write supported.
    * Hard drive: P-ATA/S-ATA, SCSI, iSCSI, USB and FireWire.
    * GPT/EFI partitioning for hard drives larger than 2 Terabytes.
    * Network cards: All wired and wireless cards supported by FreeBSD 7.2.
    * Boot from HDD, USB key, CompactFlash, CD-ROM + floppy disk, or USB flash.
    * Hardware RAID cards: All those supported by FreeBSD 7.2.
    * Software RAID levels: 0, 1, 5, JBOD, 5+0, 5+1, 0+1, 1+0, etc. (using GEOM and g_raid5). Also RAID-Z and RAID-Z2 (as part of ZFS).
    * ZFS , the "Zettabyte File System"
    * Disk encryption with geli.
    * Management of groups and users (Local User authentication or Microsoft Domains).
    * S.M.A.R.T. support.
    * Remote syslogd forwarding.
    * SNMP monitoring (Netgraph and MibII).
    * Email log and reporting notification.
    * VLAN support
    * Link aggregation and link failover interface
    * UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) support
    * Apple Time Machine support


FreeNAS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeNAS

There's also OpenMediaVault: http://blog.openmediavault.org/

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #81 on: 9 Sep 2010, 09:12 pm »
Great stuff. Thanks

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #82 on: 13 Sep 2010, 03:02 pm »
Traderxfan,
Any notes on issues you run into putting this together would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Ed

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #83 on: 13 Sep 2010, 03:44 pm »
Well, given my experience with this stuff, it will only be notable if there isn't some issue with me getting this together.

For example, I am now under the impression the 12v power supply isn't correct for this... I saw one listed on the order page, but now I see that there was an 18v supply listed, underneath that one, for use with this (2d) board.
So any idea whether this is a bad thing? I am reading the 18v is less wattage than the other 12v. Given that this is not going to be a heavy demand device, would the 12v 2amp linear supply be "ok" for this application?


-Tony

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #84 on: 13 Sep 2010, 03:47 pm »
Nevermind... I think I am ok!
Power: DC jack or passive POE, min. 7V to max. 20V

adydula

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #85 on: 13 Sep 2010, 03:53 pm »
Neat Ideas...

A totally silent server is something I wanted for a long time.

I have built many pc's and systems...so this is not really a hard project at all for me.

But when i saw the Squeezebox Touch with FLAC and NTFS to an external USB drive this was a very simple no noise solution for me.

I have a Solid State Hard Drive 256mb connected to it in a self powered enclosure, so no current draw from the Squeezebox, it has my entire FLAC CD riped library, works well, sounds great, and is SILENT. Its a standalone soltion that can be networked if I wanted to etc.

I dont mean t hi-jack this thread, but some may find this solution a bit too techie for them etc..

All the best
Alex
 :D

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #86 on: 13 Sep 2010, 04:54 pm »
The big difference here, to me, is the choice of DAC...

-Tony

nyc_paramedic

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #87 on: 13 Sep 2010, 09:48 pm »

For example, I am now under the impression the 12v power supply isn't correct for this...

You are correct. 7v to 20v DC. I run mine on 12v linear. Have also run it on 8AA lithium cells for hours on end. 3 watts load playing FLAC with only the USB DAC (i.e., no USB hard disc) connected.

nyc_paramedic

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #88 on: 13 Sep 2010, 10:02 pm »
Neat Ideas...
I dont mean t hi-jack this thread, but some may find this solution a bit too techie for them etc..

No worries, Alex. 'Tis a very laid back thread here.

When I first started using this 3 (or 4?) years ago there was no Squeezbox Touch. Also, this is a unique solution for an external *USB* DAC. And for this specific application I think it performs exceptionally well.

I've heard good things about the SB/T's internal 24/96 DAC (Stereophile wasn't too impressed, though) and for the money this will bring 24/96 to the masses. Good things for *all* of us as this increases the amount of hi-res material available and drives the prices down eventually. So, in no way do I see the SB/T as "competition" to my little ALIX mutt. Quite the opposite...

*But* you can't officially (yes, there is an unofficial mod --I think) drive an external USB DAC with a SB/T. And if you did/could, you're paying for a DAC you'll never use. In addition, most SB/T users that I've read about find the little LCD screen useless and use some sort of iPod/iPad remote from the listening seat, so more hardware and electrical noise.

The Alix lacks all these superfluous hardware components, is cheaper, and runs a more streamlined (I've read things about Squeezeserver being buggy or slow, but don't take my word for it) software stack. Even with a late kernel (2.6.32) and running mpd-0.16~alpha it has been rock solid stable.


Cheers,

Nick
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2010, 09:13 pm by nyc_paramedic »

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #89 on: 17 Sep 2010, 07:37 pm »
You are correct. 7v to 20v DC. I run mine on 12v linear. Have also run it on 8AA lithium cells for hours on end. 3 watts load playing FLAC with only the USB DAC (i.e., no USB hard disc) connected.
Nick,
Did you choose to go with the linear as opposed to the batts because of convenience or did you not hear a difference?  I ask because I am considering a battery power supply.

Best,
Ed

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #90 on: 17 Sep 2010, 07:39 pm »
Tony,
Any progress to report?  Not trying to be pushy, simply interested in your findings vs the Mac Mini.

Best,
Ed

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #91 on: 17 Sep 2010, 08:10 pm »
Nope, still waiting on CF card... free shipping on amazon is nice, but can take a bit.
 :thumb:

nyc_paramedic

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #92 on: 17 Sep 2010, 09:02 pm »
Nick,
Did you choose to go with the linear as opposed to the batts because of convenience or did you not hear a difference?  I ask because I am considering a battery power supply.

At the time it was just a simple experiment to see how long 8 AA lithium cells would play FLAC files. It was still playing after 5 hours, if I remember correctly. I didn't do any critical listening. From what I've read, not all batteries are created equal, with some having higher internal resistance than others. When I last did the math, the Alix was drawing ~200ma when actually playing FLAC files.

A long while back I thought I did hear slight differences between my Thinkpad (Debian, ALSA, dmix bypassed) and my Alix. The Thinkpad sounded a tad grainier, and the noise floor on the Alix sounded a tad quieter.  But, this was with a Trends UD-10 and/or a Wavelength Audio Brick. My current Ayre QB-9 employs opto-isolators so it might not make much difference.

Someday, I hope to engage in some simple tests with some ham radio equipment and see what is noisier EMI/RFI wise: The Alix with a linear; the Alix with batteries, the Thinkpad with it OEM power supply; or the Thinkpad running off its own battery. Someday.

As always, trust your own ears...

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #93 on: 17 Sep 2010, 09:05 pm »
Nick/Tony,
Thanks for the replies.

Best,
Ed

TRADERXFAN

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #94 on: 20 Sep 2010, 10:17 pm »
Well, turns out that the stuff was already in the office since the 14th and no one notified me. So I am going to start putting things together tonight.

The biggest debate I have had is what to use for the debian based computer. I have decided to install it, as command line only, on a 2nd harddrive for a dell laptop. This will run the debian and be used to get the alix computer's compact flash card formatted and configured for use with Voyage. Then I will use a asus eee windows computer as the file server.  I will just go back to the windows setup I have on the laptop to run mozilla with the music player minion add on as a controller to the alix.

If that seems like a bad idea to anyone, please speak up soon...  :o

-Tony

nyc_paramedic

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #95 on: 20 Sep 2010, 10:50 pm »
Well, turns out that the stuff was already in the office since the 14th and no one notified me. So I am going to start putting things together tonight.

The biggest debate I have had is what to use for the debian based computer. I have decided to install it, as command line only, on a 2nd harddrive for a dell laptop. This will run the debian and be used to get the alix computer's compact flash card formatted and configured for use with Voyage. Then I will use a asus eee windows computer as the file server.  I will just go back to the windows setup I have on the laptop to run mozilla with the music player minion add on as a controller to the alix.

If that seems like a bad idea to anyone, please speak up soon...  :o

I would only go the Debian/command line route if your really comfortable  working in command line mode. Ubunutu (Debian based) will make things much easier e.g., finding and mounting your CF card.

Also, I sent you a PM.

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #96 on: 24 Sep 2010, 12:08 am »
I had a spare PC lying around so I decided to load Ubuntu on it and see if I could in use the NMT as a NFS file server.  After bouncing around on various forums and Linux websites I finally figured out how to get the Ubuntu PC to see the NMT folder with my FLAC files.  I messed around with MPD to get it configured and was able to link the NFS supplied music files to it...yay!

Now if I could get the Ubuntu PC to ouput through USB to my Havana DAC I would be happy, unfortunately so far I have only been able to output the music from the onboard sound card output.

The good news is that I was able to prove that an NMT can be used as a file server for MPD on another PC!  Once I build my Alix PC I will have two very low power machines serving up the tunes!

Best,
Ed

jrebman

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Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #97 on: 24 Sep 2010, 01:08 am »
Ed,

Nice going!  I think my buddy here is going to be happy to learn of this development.  As you know, I'm somewhatimmersed in another project at the moment, and most of that hardware is either here or enroute, and once that's doing it's thing, it will be back to the Alix box and power supply.

Thanks for the update,

Jim

ebag4

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #98 on: 24 Sep 2010, 01:16 pm »
Thanks Jim, I thought you might be interested in that bit of info.

Best of luck with you current project, way out of my league.

Best,
Ed

rjbond3rd

Re: Dead silent dedicated Linux music server for USB DAC's.
« Reply #99 on: 24 Sep 2010, 03:18 pm »
Hi ebag4,

Does Ubuntu see your USB DAC in the sound configuration applet?