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Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim Unitiserve-SSD
21-08-2017, 09:20
Post: #1
Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim Unitiserve-SSD
> Hi Simon
>
>
> I have just downloaded Minimserver to my Windows 10 laptop.
>
>
> I have a desktop icon and have double clicked on this. I believe it is
> running in the background, but I can't see anything. I cannot see any
> About tab, referred to in the instructions.
>
>
> What I wanted to do was just try to transcode a .FLAC file to .WAV "on
> the fly", which requires Minimstreamer. This latter I cannot see any way
> to add? I want to play the .FLAC file on a USB currently from my laptop,
> and ideally via my Naim Unitiserve to see how close it sounds to native
> .WAV. Without transcoding, thee is a significant audible difference
> between .WAV and .FLAC, even on my laptop, but staying with .WAV creates
> complexity with tagging.
>
>
> Is there an automated lookup of album art etc with Minimserver please
> and if so, what databases does it use? I've a lot of Elvis titles on a
> label called Follow That Dream (part of BMG) and few are in MusicBrainz.
> Some are in AMG, which is the best database for higher-quality album art
> and mainly what the Unitiserve uses. I don't want to overwrite my
> Unitiserve metadata-just fill in anything empty or incorrect like Genre
> or artwork and have the option to reject or accept at individual album
> level. If Minimserver won't help much with this, is there any other
> software that will?
>
>
> Also, is there any free software to embed the .XML file that the
> Unitiserve creates in .WAV files, but retain a separate .jpg cover art
> file called folder.jpg?
>
>
> Thanks for your kind assistance.
>
>
> Stephen
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21-08-2017, 10:30
Post: #2
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
Hi Stephen,

(21-08-2017 09:20)Stannas Wrote:  > Hi Simon
>
>
> I have just downloaded Minimserver to my Windows 10 laptop.
>
>
> I have a desktop icon and have double clicked on this. I believe it is
> running in the background, but I can't see anything. I cannot see any
> About tab, referred to in the instructions.

You should be able to see a green minim icon in the system tray at the lower right of the screen. The icon might be in the overflow area (click the upward-pointing triangle).

Quote:
> What I wanted to do was just try to transcode a .FLAC file to .WAV "on
> the fly", which requires Minimstreamer. This latter I cannot see any way
> to add? I want to play the .FLAC file on a USB currently from my laptop,
> and ideally via my Naim Unitiserve to see how close it sounds to native
> .WAV. Without transcoding, thee is a significant audible difference
> between .WAV and .FLAC, even on my laptop, but staying with .WAV creates
> complexity with tagging.

See this page and this section. To install MinimStreamer, you need to right-click the minim icon, then select Properties from the menu, then select the Packages tab.

Quote:> Is there an automated lookup of album art etc with Minimserver please
> and if so, what databases does it use? I've a lot of Elvis titles on a
> label called Follow That Dream (part of BMG) and few are in MusicBrainz.
> Some are in AMG, which is the best database for higher-quality album art
> and mainly what the Unitiserve uses. I don't want to overwrite my
> Unitiserve metadata-just fill in anything empty or incorrect like Genre
> or artwork and have the option to reject or accept at individual album
> level. If Minimserver won't help much with this, is there any other
> software that will?

MinimServer doesn't provide this capability. I suggest you investigate SongKong (see this thread).

Quote:> Also, is there any free software to embed the .XML file that the
> Unitiserve creates in .WAV files, but retain a separate .jpg cover art
> file called folder.jpg?

I am not familiar with this .xml file. Perhaps another user can advise on this.

Quote:> Thanks for your kind assistance.
>
>
> Stephen

You are most welcome.
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24-08-2017, 19:51
Post: #3
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim Unitiserve-SSD
Hi Simon
Further to last post, I have installed minimserver, but cannot see it?

Then how do I transcode the Naim Unitiserve SSD .FLAC rip currently on a USB stick to hear it back as .WAV please? If there is any way of doing this via my hi-fi with the Unitiserve or Naim dAC ideally, rather than hearing playback through my Windows 10 laptop. I can then assess the difference between playback on the fly?

Thanks

Stephen
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24-08-2017, 20:08
Post: #4
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
(24-08-2017 19:51)Stannas Wrote:  Hi Simon
Further to last post, I have installed minimserver, but cannot see it?

Have you also installed Java? Did you check the system tray overflow area?

You can check whether MinimServer is running by visiting the status web page. In a browser window, type http://x.x.x.x:9790 where x.x.x.x is the IP address of your Windows laptop. If MinimServer is running, the status page will be displayed.

Quote:Then how do I transcode the Naim Unitiserve SSD .FLAC rip currently on a USB stick to hear it back as .WAV please? If there is any way of doing this via my hi-fi with the Unitiserve or Naim dAC ideally, rather than hearing playback through my Windows 10 laptop. I can then assess the difference between playback on the fly?

Thanks

Stephen

As a first step, you should set up MinimServer as described in this section. It would be best to copy the .flac file from your USB stick to a local folder on your laptop and set this folder as the MinimServer content directory. You can then use the Naim app (running on iOS or Android) to find MinimServer as a UPnP server, browse to the .flac file and play it on your Naim streamer.

When you have this working, please post back and I will describe how to enable WAV transcoding for this file.
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28-08-2017, 02:36
Post: #5
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim Unitiserve-SSD
Hi Simon

Does Minimserver only work using certain browsers? My understanding is that neither Edge, nor Chrome uses Java (and that they cannot use such plug-ins).

However, I can now see the status page in Edge.

I don't have any streamer. All I want to do please is hear the two files I have in .FLAC currently played back when transcoded to .WAV "on the fly". These are currently on a USB stick in the port of my laptop. Ideally, if this is possible without a streamer, I wanted to hear them from my Unitiserve ( a server, not a streamer) that accesses my QNAP NAS for rips and downloads. Is this possible or not? I have Minimserver on my laptop, not the NAS. If easier for now, I would just listen through my laptop-a content folder of my NAS Recordings produces an error in Minimserver?

I thought I'd need Minimstreamer for transcoding at point of playback, but also cannot work out how to use this from the page. Can you please provide fuller instructions as the set-up is not intuitive with my equipment?

The Naim app only runs on iOS and I don't have any Apple devices.

Hope what I want to achieve is clearer now?

Kind regards

Stephen
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28-08-2017, 12:51
Post: #6
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
(28-08-2017 02:36)Stannas Wrote:  Hi Simon

Does Minimserver only work using certain browsers? My understanding is that neither Edge, nor Chrome uses Java (and that they cannot use such plug-ins).

However, I can now see the status page in Edge.

The status page doesn't use Java and should work in any browser. As you can see it in Edge, MinimServer is running on your laptop.

Quote:I don't have any streamer. All I want to do please is hear the two files I have in .FLAC currently played back when transcoded to .WAV "on the fly". These are currently on a USB stick in the port of my laptop. Ideally, if this is possible without a streamer, I wanted to hear them from my Unitiserve ( a server, not a streamer) that accesses my QNAP NAS for rips and downloads. Is this possible or not? I have Minimserver on my laptop, not the NAS. If easier for now, I would just listen through my laptop-a content folder of my NAS Recordings produces an error in Minimserver?

MinimServer is a server, like the UnitiServe. It can't play music itself. To play music, you need a UPnP renderer (often referred to as a "streamer" or a "network music player"). As you have a UnitiServe, I presume you have some other box (perhaps made by Naim) that is able to play music stored on the UnitiServe, controlled by the Naim app. This other device is the "streamer". Do you have such a device? If not, how do you listen to music stored on the UnitiServe?

Quote:I thought I'd need Minimstreamer for transcoding at point of playback, but also cannot work out how to use this from the page. Can you please provide fuller instructions as the set-up is not intuitive with my equipment?

The Naim app only runs on iOS and I don't have any Apple devices.

Hope what I want to achieve is clearer now?

Kind regards

Stephen

The first step is to get to the point where you can play a file from MinimServer without transcoding. When you have this working, we can take the next step of setting up MinimStreamer to do transcoding.
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29-08-2017, 11:58
Post: #7
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
(28-08-2017 12:51)simoncn Wrote:  
(28-08-2017 02:36)Stannas Wrote:  Hi Simon

Does Minimserver only work using certain browsers? My understanding is that neither Edge, nor Chrome uses Java (and that they cannot use such plug-ins).

However, I can now see the status page in Edge.

The status page doesn't use Java and should work in any browser. As you can see it in Edge, MinimServer is running on your laptop.

Quote:I don't have any streamer. All I want to do please is hear the two files I have in .FLAC currently played back when transcoded to .WAV "on the fly". These are currently on a USB stick in the port of my laptop. Ideally, if this is possible without a streamer, I wanted to hear them from my Unitiserve ( a server, not a streamer) that accesses my QNAP NAS for rips and downloads. Is this possible or not? I have Minimserver on my laptop, not the NAS. If easier for now, I would just listen through my laptop-a content folder of my NAS Recordings produces an error in Minimserver?

MinimServer is a server, like the UnitiServe. It can't play music itself. To play music, you need a UPnP renderer (often referred to as a "streamer" or a "network music player"). As you have a UnitiServe, I presume you have some other box (perhaps made by Naim) that is able to play music stored on the UnitiServe, controlled by the Naim app. This other device is the "streamer". Do you have such a device? If not, how do you listen to music stored on the UnitiServe?

Quote:I thought I'd need Minimstreamer for transcoding at point of playback, but also cannot work out how to use this from the page. Can you please provide fuller instructions as the set-up is not intuitive with my equipment?

The Naim app only runs on iOS and I don't have any Apple devices.

Hope what I want to achieve is clearer now?

Kind regards

Stephen

The first step is to get to the point where you can play a file from MinimServer without transcoding. When you have this working, we can take the next step of setting up MinimStreamer to do transcoding.

Hi Simon

The Unitiserve is a network music player too-I play back rips etc and other files on my QNAP NAS from it into my conventional hi-fi system. So to hear these .FLAC files transcoded to .WAV I ideally want to do this via the Unitiserve set-up. If not then via my laptop speakers.

The purpose is that .WAV sounds superior to .FLAC and all my rips are in .WAV. However metadata is a big problem and the Naim software for lookups is not good.
I believe that transcoding at point of playback will narrow the audible "gap" in sound quality, but before I take a drastic step to convert all my rips to .FLAC due to the tagging, need to hear the difference. Obviously through my hi-fi system is better than via my laptop speakers where I can use say Windows Media player or anything as a renderer that you suggest to work with your products for my trial?

Hope you can now help me to hear music transcoded to .WAV by some means, given this additional background please?

Streaming introduces all sorts of sound quality compromises in my limited experience eg a Naim streamer sounded far superior to a £1500-£2000 Cyrus one and I don't have this sort of money to throw at this now.

Kind regardds

Stephen
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29-08-2017, 12:21 (This post was last modified: 29-08-2017 12:21 by simoncn.)
Post: #8
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
I hadn't realised that the UnitiServe is a player as well as a server. I have looked at the online user manual and it appears that the UnitiServe can only play music from disc files and cannot act as a UPnP renderer to play music from a UPnP renderer such as MinimServer. The UnitiServe is able to act as a UPnP server, but this doesn't help in your situation. I found this information on page 18 (Operation - Playback).

This means that you would need to use a different UPnP renderer for your FLAC/WAV comparison experiment. You suggested doing this on a laptop and this might be possible by installing suitable software on the laptop, but the quality of the laptop sound card would be so poor that any difference between WAV and FLAC would probably be masked by the sound card deficiencies, even if the output from the laptop sound card is routed to a hi-fi system.

You could perhaps borrow a high-quality UPnP renderer from a friend to do the experiment. However, even if the experiment produced satisfactory results with MinimStreamer WAV transcoding, you would still have the problem of needing to spend money to purchase a UPnP renderer with similar sound quality to the UnitiServe.
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30-08-2017, 06:05
Post: #9
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
(29-08-2017 12:21)simoncn Wrote:  I hadn't realised that the UnitiServe is a player as well as a server. I have looked at the online user manual and it appears that the UnitiServe can only play music from disc files and cannot act as a UPnP renderer to play music from a UPnP renderer such as MinimServer. The UnitiServe is able to act as a UPnP server, but this doesn't help in your situation. I found this information on page 18 (Operation - Playback).

This means that you would need to use a different UPnP renderer for your FLAC/WAV comparison experiment. You suggested doing this on a laptop and this might be possible by installing suitable software on the laptop, but the quality of the laptop sound card would be so poor that any difference between WAV and FLAC would probably be masked by the sound card deficiencies, even if the output from the laptop sound card is routed to a hi-fi system.

You could perhaps borrow a high-quality UPnP renderer from a friend to do the experiment. However, even if the experiment produced satisfactory results with MinimStreamer WAV transcoding, you would still have the problem of needing to spend money to purchase a UPnP renderer with similar sound quality to the UnitiServe.


Hi Simon

Thanks for clarifying this.

I'd like to try the experiment via my laptop, as it was easily deduced using even these speakers that .FLAC files do not sound the same as .WAV. I only have an acoustic guitar track to judge, ripped for me by Naim in .FLAC and .WAV, as my Unitiserve cannot rip just a track in .FLAC without converting all my files! Do you have any rips of the same track-say an orchestral band track with larger dynamic range, or know of any other source? this would make the experiment easier?

Meantime, can you please set out the remaining steps for me to carry out the experiment on my laptop? First I need to copy the files somewhere for your products to access them, so I don't understand why Minimserver cannot seem to access folders on my NAS? CAn you please set out an example format as they are named with an IP address in, if they ought to be able to find on a network-otherwise perhaps I have t copy to my laptop?

then I need to know please how to get Minimstreamer to work on my laptop if it will output sound too, and then transcode to .WAV? so far it does not seem to work, having read your page on this?

I could perhaps connect my laptop to my hi-fi DAC if I had a suitable cable-not sure if USB connection to the laptop is always superior to the S/PDIF output? My DAC has digital coaxial in-not sure, but it may have some USB functionality-in too.

If possible, can y please give me all the remaining steps in ne go, so I can actually hear some sound from my laptop?

Have you ever found free software that can embed the metadata within the Unitiserve .XML file, but also leave the separate .jpg cover art?

Can Minimserver or dBpoweramp read the XML file and separate .jpg-presumably this issue has arisen with Unitiserve users before?

With my Unitiserve rips, can I use Minimserver for any useful purpose, to tidy up missing or incorrect metadata?

Kind regards

Stephen
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30-08-2017, 09:25
Post: #10
RE: Minimserver not visible and transcoding/playback "on the fly" for Naim U...
(30-08-2017 06:05)Stannas Wrote:  Hi Simon

Thanks for clarifying this.

I'd like to try the experiment via my laptop, as it was easily deduced using even these speakers that .FLAC files do not sound the same as .WAV. I only have an acoustic guitar track to judge, ripped for me by Naim in .FLAC and .WAV, as my Unitiserve cannot rip just a track in .FLAC without converting all my files! Do you have any rips of the same track-say an orchestral band track with larger dynamic range, or know of any other source? this would make the experiment easier?

The 2L website has free downloads in various resolutions. All these are FLAC but you can easily convert them to WAV using the free FLAC tools available from this site.

Quote:Meantime, can you please set out the remaining steps for me to carry out the experiment on my laptop? First I need to copy the files somewhere for your products to access them, so I don't understand why Minimserver cannot seem to access folders on my NAS? CAn you please set out an example format as they are named with an IP address in, if they ought to be able to find on a network-otherwise perhaps I have t copy to my laptop?
[\quote]

If the NAS shared folder that you want to access is visible as a shared folder in the Network section of Windows Explorer, you can use the syntax \\shared-folder-name\subfolder-name in the MinimServer contentDir property. If not, you can mount the NAS shared folder as a Windows drive letter using the command 'net use x: \\ip-address\shared-folder-name'.

[quote]
then I need to know please how to get Minimstreamer to work on my laptop if it will output sound too, and then transcode to .WAV? so far it does not seem to work, having read your page on this?

MinimStreamer does not output sound. For this, you will need a UPnP renderer program running on your PC. You can use foobar2000 with the foo_upnp plugin or you can download the Windows version of the ohPlayer renderer from this page.

Quote:I could perhaps connect my laptop to my hi-fi DAC if I had a suitable cable-not sure if USB connection to the laptop is always superior to the S/PDIF output? My DAC has digital coaxial in-not sure, but it may have some USB functionality-in too.

I can't advise on this because I don't use this kind of setup.

Quote:If possible, can y please give me all the remaining steps in ne go, so I can actually hear some sound from my laptop?

1) Download the test files to a location on your NAS or your laptop
2) Put this location into the contentDir property of MinimServer
3) Download and install a software UPnP renderer for your PC
4) Download and install a software UPnP control point for your PC or an iOS or Android device. For example, you could use Linn Kinsky.
5) Use the UPnP control point to select your server (MinimServer) and renderer, then browse to and play your physical test files in FLAC and WAV format, comparing the sound
6) Install MinimStreamer and set flac:wav24 transcoding
7) Repeat step 5), this time comparing transcoded FLAC->WAV to physical WAV

Quote:Have you ever found free software that can embed the metadata within the Unitiserve .XML file, but also leave the separate .jpg cover art?

No

Quote:Can Minimserver or dBpoweramp read the XML file and separate .jpg-presumably this issue has arisen with Unitiserve users before?

MinimServer cannot do this and I don't have any plans to add support for this proprietary Naim format. I don't know whether dBpoweramp can do it. There is a program called SongKong for Melco that can convert the Naim XML format into standard metadata.

Quote:With my Unitiserve rips, can I use Minimserver for any useful purpose, to tidy up missing or incorrect metadata?

Kind regards

Stephen

You can play the files with no metadata but this is probably not "useful". MinimServer does not have any capability to edit metadata.
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