iTunes and playing CD's

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Dave Koch, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi:

    I like to play music a lot, and I hate changing CD's. I have a Sony ES carrosel, and that seems to suit me just fine- I love just putting a program on random and letting it go.

    Then yesterday I d/led this iTunes thing from Apple, just to play. I REALLY like it. And it made me think about my carosel player, and why I don't like it- it is pretty bulky, and there is 4-10 seconds between each random song. I also like the more "in depth" info you can have with an iTunes sort of set up.

    So, thinking of this, and PVR like Tivo, I got to wondering if anyone had done something like make an iTunes sort of box. Something you could put 400 CD's onto a hard drive for, and have a cool interface you could bring up on your monitor, something you could program play lists with a remote, somehting with faster access times, and (obviously) a lot less bulk.

    Seems (to me) like a good idea, but something I have never seen or heard of. Is there anything like this out there? Figured someone here might know...

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    There are products on the market that do what you describe. The Escient Fireball comes to mind. There are also ways to play your MP3 collection on your PC from your home stereo.
     
  3. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron:

    Thanks- Escient Fireball looks like a good place to start.

    My stereo is downstairs, the computer up, so that won't wotk for me...
     
  4. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmm... maybe not... 2K for 40 Gigs? 3K for 120? Seems a BIT more than what I was thinking.

    Something like this should just be a glorified x-Box- simple OS, simple software, a CD player (possibly burner, but I do not care), firewire, optical out and a big HD... I wuld think 3 bills or so!
     
  5. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    For what you want you either have to go the laptop route with a usb-audio to PCM converter (xitel pro hifi link) or the wireless router and music server route (SLIMP3 Network
    Music Player) FYI, USB 1.1 doesn't have enough bandwith to handle multichannel audio but USB 2.0 does.
     
  6. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Matt:

    Thanks- will look into it!
     
  7. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    I'm using a Dell Dimension with a 160GB drive, Hoontech Soundtrack Audio DSP24 Value soundcard with optional digital I/O bracket, SPDIF output to my receiver via Toslink connection, Windows Media Player 9 and Windows Media Audio Lossless compression. iTunes is good but there is no lossless compression available.
     
  8. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    StephenL:

    That is cool- how do you set up your playlists? It would be cool to have the interface appear on your TV, and use a remote to scroll through the options and such....
     
  9. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    Actaully, through TiVO's HMO option, you can remote access your mp3s on your hard drive and play them through your stereo. It works pretty well.
     
  10. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    I'm using a regular keyboard and mouse for now. I may get an infra red keyboard and teach my learning remote the Ctrl codes for Windows Media Player. I use an LCD monitor so I don't have to turn on my projector.
     
  11. Michael Cucka

    Michael Cucka Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently use an iPod itself connected to my stereo for this use. Almost every CD in my collection has been downloaded to my Mac at 192 bitrate AAC - about 4000 songs taking up 25GB HD space.

    I have a 40G iPod so I can transfer everything to it and use it with my stereo. Although I don't have one, there is a remote control add-on for the iPod.

    Software is free - Mac and PC compatable - and a 40GB iPod can be had for about $400-$450.
     
  12. Michael Cucka

    Michael Cucka Stunt Coordinator

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    Location:
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    Just came across this:

    Slim Devices Squeezebox

    Basically, a wireless device that interfaces between your computer (Mac/Win) and your stereo - music is streamed wirelessly (or
    thru ethernet) to the Squeezebox, which is connected to your stereo thru either analog RCA jacks, or coax and optical digital inputs. Plus, also has a headphone mini-jack.

    Supports iTunes, plus additional (incl. propriety) software - all bitrates of MP3 (inc. VBR), uncompressed AIFF and WAV. AAC support appearantly requires a LAME MP3 encoder (which is free), but does not yet support Apple Store protected AAC files (.m4p - which can be burned on a CD and re-ripped to allow use with Squeezebox).

    Lists for $299 from their website -
     
  13. Aristides

    Aristides Agent

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    This forum has just earned my praises!

    Since buying an iBook and a 20GB iPod in December, I've been dreaming of the day my entire music collection is stored (uncompressed) on a hard drive that connects to my A/V set up.

    I read about the slimp3 a few months ago and realized that an external hard drive would be needed to house a large collection (GF-uses the CPU too- so laptop HD is shared).

    So your quest is shared.

    In my initial searches I came up with a stand alone item from Lansonic that is 10 times as expensive as a Slimp3/ext. HD option and has a puny HD.

    I'm now at the point of trying to figure out how to house the external Hard drive and the Slimp3 player in an audiophile case (to fit aesthetically with the rest of my A/V system.)

    This seems to be the most cost effective method of building what you and I are trying to build.

    There are other threads on this site comparing similar devices (AudioTron) to the Slimp3 device. If you have a PC then either seems to be a good choice, however, if you are running iTunes on a Mac the Slimp3 device has MAC support.

    Keep us updated on your quest. I'm still researching as well.

    Peace,
    Aristides
     
  14. Chris_HA

    Chris_HA Agent

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    Check out the Roku SoundBridge.
    http://www.rokulabs.com/products/soundbridge/index.php

    It would work well if you don't have Protected AACs (aka downloads from iTunes Music Store). It will allow you to stream your music from your computer upstairs.

    I also have a friend that uses the Linksys Wireless Media adapter and he loves it. It hooks up to the TV and stereo and has it's own remote to control to control playback. It can also give slide shows from pictures store on your PC.

    Personally, I have a HTPC sitting next to my stereo running the latest iTunes. It streams all it music by network from our upstairs Mac via it's built-in Rendezvous (ZeroConf) protocol. I can control the PC from the screen down there, or I use RealVNC (http://www.realvnc.com) to remotely control my HTPCs screen from any computer in the house. The added benefit to this solution is that I can also stream my music to my other computers in the house, including my wireless laptop.
     

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