SalkStream first pass prototype

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jsalk

SalkStream first pass prototype
« on: 28 Jan 2011, 09:35 pm »
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...

- Jim

srb

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jan 2011, 09:47 pm »
Here is a shot of the front baffle...

Jim, with components, we call it a front panel, but since you're a speaker builder ..... I understand !  Keep us posted.
 
Steve

jsalk

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jan 2011, 09:58 pm »

Jim, with components, we call it a front panel, but since you're a speaker builder ..... I understand !  Keep us posted.
 
Steve

Steve -

Thanks.  Old habits die hard. I edited it.

- Jim

davidrs

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #3 on: 28 Jan 2011, 09:59 pm »

Here is a shot of the front baffle...


Color me baffled!

BTW: Baffle: Noun - A flat plate that controls or directs the flow of fluid or energy.

Sounds much sexier than a 'panel.'



MaxCast

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #4 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:01 pm »
Way to go, Jim.  Can't wait for more info to come out.  Until then I'm a little baffled.  :P

nyc_paramedic

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #5 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:31 pm »
Jim,

What's the output? S/PDIF or USB?

Saturn94

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #6 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:33 pm »
Very nice.

Personally I would prefer a drawer rather than a slot.  Perhaps it's just me, but I'm always afraid those slot drives are going to damage/scratch my precious discs. :oops:

HerculePirate

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #7 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:37 pm »
I have loved this idea and have researched this issue earlier as well....
Though the 'iPAD' is the best remote I have to say that the price of this system including the iPAD blows it through the sky....
Yes it can be accessed through a computer
But I would love it there is an iPhone / iPod application ...... this would be best solution....
or also a RF remote that screens the playlist and browse the data through a device like the SONOS. To me the Slim Devices systems are VFM and the DUET is the best product out there....
Regards

HP

strat95

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #8 on: 28 Jan 2011, 11:06 pm »
Hi Jim,

Great to see you're expanding.  Best of luck.

Just a couple of questions about the unit.  Does it rip DVDs in ISO format?  Also, does it rip audio CDs in secure mode with error correction, much like Exact Audio Copy and dBpoweramp does?

If the unit could also rip Blu-ray audio (Blu-ray drive necessary of course) in high rez, like from Tom Petty's Blu-ray audio disc Damn The Torpedoes, or maybe even ripping audio from Blu-ray Concerts, that would be a real treat!

Cheers,

Ted



jsalk

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jan 2011, 12:48 am »
HP -

I have loved this idea and have researched this issue earlier as well....
Though the 'iPAD' is the best remote I have to say that the price of this system including the iPAD blows it through the sky....
Yes it can be accessed through a computer
But I would love it there is an iPhone / iPod application ...... this would be best solution....

There is.  An Ipod or IPhone would work just fine.

Quote
or also a RF remote that screens the playlist and browse the data through a device like the SONOS.

No problem there. 

Quote
To me the Slim Devices systems are VFM and the DUET is the best product out there....


These would work just fine as well.  Take your pick.

- Jim

ratso

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #10 on: 29 Jan 2011, 01:26 am »
i have a setup very similar to this - it is my only source i use. it consists of a vortexbox appliance (ripping box) upstairs by my computer that wirelessly streams music downstairs to my system through a squeezebox touch. the touch also acts as a digital display for cd artwork. when i saw jim at RMAF i saw him (and a lot of others) using an ipad as basically a remote - very nice. the main drawback to my setup (which isn't a huge loss) is the touch's cap of 96/24 files. i'm thinking hard about pitching the whole setup on agon and switching to this and an ipad.

jtwrace

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #11 on: 29 Jan 2011, 01:31 am »
This is why the Alix has become so popular. 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=62364.0

Don_S

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jan 2011, 01:40 am »
Me too.  Jim, is there a particular reason you want to ditch the drawer?


Very nice.

Personally I would prefer a drawer rather than a slot.  Perhaps it's just me, but I'm always afraid those slot drives are going to damage/scratch my precious discs. :oops:

Barry_NJ

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #13 on: 29 Jan 2011, 01:59 am »
Very nice.

Personally I would prefer a drawer rather than a slot.  Perhaps it's just me, but I'm always afraid those slot drives are going to damage/scratch my precious discs. :oops:
Me too.  Jim, is there a particular reason you want to ditch the drawer?



Add another Drawer > Slot vote!

catastrofe

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #14 on: 29 Jan 2011, 02:10 am »
I can vouch for the usability of this product, as I received a Vortexbox demo unit from Andrew last October.  It's a great product and it's Linux based so it's easily upgraded.

mca

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #15 on: 29 Jan 2011, 04:50 am »
I've been looking for something like this for DVD storage. Any idea on cost?

jimndre

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Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #16 on: 29 Jan 2011, 05:14 am »
This looks really interesting.  When you rip a DVD, is the indexing intact or is it just one track?

martyo

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #17 on: 29 Jan 2011, 01:43 pm »
Jim, you have my attention! 8)

jsalk

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #18 on: 29 Jan 2011, 05:19 pm »
Ted -

Hi Jim,

Great to see you're expanding.  Best of luck.

Well, I have no idea if this will be a product we offer.  We are just playing at this point.  We will make that decision down the line.  We have more work to do and have to judge whether or not the market would justify putting it out as a product.  But we're having fun.

Quote
Just a couple of questions about the unit.  Does it rip DVDs in ISO format? 

Currently it rips them in an .mkv (Matroska Vido) container.  When ripping, it looks at the length of the tracks and eliminates shorter ones.  So it skips all the previews, etc. and gets right to the movie.  But, since it is a server, you could obviously use any ripper you want and simply move .iso files to it if you wanted ISO.  We willl continue to explore this.


Quote
Also, does it rip audio CDs in secure mode with error correction, much like Exact Audio Copy and dBpoweramp does?

I have used those programs and happen to love dBpoweramp.  Curently the unit does do extensive error correction and will attempt to correct for any errors caused by scratches in th media.  But if you prefer something like dBpoweramp, there is nothing to prevent you from ripping with it and moving the resulting files to the server.

Quote
If the unit could also rip Blu-ray audio (Blu-ray drive necessary of course) in high rez, like from Tom Petty's Blu-ray audio disc Damn The Torpedoes, or maybe even ripping audio from Blu-ray Concerts, that would be a real treat!

Currently it does not.  But there is nothing that prevents you from using something like BDDecryptor to handle the ripping and then move files to the server.  I need to do some more investigating, but I think there are legal issues here.

- Jim

Mudslide

Re: SalkStream first pass prototype
« Reply #19 on: 29 Jan 2011, 08:11 pm »
This is not only a desirable device, but that's a pretty cool looking prototype, IMHO.  Go for it, Jim.

And oh yeah...another vote for the drawer.  Slot not.   :)