I have used and built quite a few personal music servers over the years and have never been totally happy with the results. While they worked, they were certainly never anything I would put in an audio rack or recommend to any friend not already a computer geek.
I am asked quite often about what I would recommend for music or video servers. Based on my own experience, I certainly did not want to recommend the "roll your own" approach I've used in the past. For example, my neighbor has 700 DVD's he wants on a server. But his eyes glaze over when I mention ripping software. Clearly this type of server would not work for him - too technical.
So last summer I started to think about building a music/video server to my specifications. This meant using a fan-less case that looked like it belonged in a rack with other equipment. I needed it to rip CD's and DVD's, get artwork, etc., with no user intervention and with no monitor or keyboard attached. It needed to be 24/192 capable with extremely high quality audio performance. It would need to work with Sonos, Squeezebox or it's own interface. It would need to have DNLA capabilities, work as an ITunes server, etc., etc. etc.
While at RMAF last fall, I shared my wish list with Andrew from Vortexbox and while we are not quite finished, we now have a prototype up and running.
Here is a shot of the front faceplate...
The next step is to eliminate the drive door and go to a simple slot drive.
Here is a picture of the web interface...
So far, the unit works with no hitches. Just for fun, I inserted a few DVD's the other night and they were automatically ripped with no problem. I then fired up my Oppo BDP 93. It found the server right off the bat and played the videos flawlessly. Nice.
Now, I'm waiting for Apple to introduce their next generation IPad (my new remote).
Sometimes you just need a diversion...