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Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
16-03-2018, 13:32 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 14:45 by eschreye.)
Post: #1
Question Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
Good Morning,

My new project is to implement MinimServer on Macintosh and stream music thru its USB + external DAC device to a HiFi amp.

Both Control Point / Renderer should preferably run on the Macintosh on which will be stored the music and on which will run MinimServer. I have iPad / iPhone, hence the Control Point can also run on IOS. My music collection is about 1.5 terabyte (growing) and it is composed of 16bit & hires 24bit WAV, FLAC, AIFF plus also some mp3.

Obviously I do not want to downgrade streaming (to 16bit or mp3) and I want to avoid processing my music files into new libraries / formats. My music collection has been painstakingly tagged for my needs. In particular, I use extensively Composer, multiple Artists, Conductor, Orchestra and Composition metadata (IDv3v2.4 and Vorbis) for selecting music and these browsing capabilities must be available on the new Macintosh implementation.

Currently the music is very satisfactorily managed by a MinimServer on NAS Synology configuration networked with a Cambridge Audio 851N streamer. I did implement the MinimServer on NAS Synology + Cambridge Audio 851N streamer without much problems but I have no experience for implementing on MacOS. Bear with me, I’m no IT geek.

The idea is to just copy the music files currently stored on the NAS (master), put the Macintosh in another place (not on the same network) and obtain a browsing and listening experience similar to the NAS + network streamer experience. I have been through some experimenting copying my music collection on iTunes and was not convinced. Clearly, I would prefer to stay away from solutions à la iTunes, foobar, MediaMonkey, JRiver Media Center which require (my understanding) processing of metadata into new libraries. The NAS should remain the master and the plan is to copy - without processing / transforming (meta)data - on a twice a year basis the music to the Macintosh. That is, if I manage to architect and make work MinimServer on a Macintosh + USB DAC configuration… I have identified a nice USB DAC - ifi micro iDSD - but before splashing out the money i need to know if this will fly.

Can this be implemented? If yes, I need, and herewith solicit, advice on how to architect, in particular:

- Which Control Point / Renderer software should I use?
- What network arrangements must I make?

All advice and help is very welcome!

Thanks in advance
Eric
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16-03-2018, 15:18 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 15:19 by timster.)
Post: #2
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
Running Minimserver on the Mac is straightforward enough, and all you need do is copy the configuration from the NAS version. If you have a copy of the library on the Mac then it will behave exactly the same as on the NAS.
For a renderer, you could try the free OpenHome player. Control point could then be Linn Kazoo. My only concern is outputting to the USB DAC and what limitations there are with that. I have a Creative XF-i HD external DAC but it is limited to 96/24.
Network arrangements - I'm not sure why you need that if the Mac is intended to be standalone?
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16-03-2018, 15:24 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 15:29 by DavidHB.)
Post: #3
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
It is possible to run server, renderer and control point software all on the same computer; I have done it. In those circumstances, the 'networking' was all internal within the computer and not visible to me, but (apart from one problem, which I shall describe), it all worked perfectly 'out of the box'. I was using a Windows 10 computer, but I know of no reason why the same concept could not be implemented on a Mac.

The computer in question was already running MinimServer with a local music library. I had also installed on it the two Linn Control points, Kinsky and Kazoo, which I use occasionally to control my main streaming setup in another room. I then also installed the OpenHome Player, which, like Kinsky and Kazoo is available for the Mac. The player is a background application which effectively turns the computer into a renderer that plays into the computer's own audio or into an attached device such as a USB DAC. For this system, I used an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC driving my headphones.

With the software installed, and both MinimServer and the OpenHome player running in the background, I opened Kinsky, used its normal features to select the server instance on the computer (as I had other server instances running on the network), and then had it find the 'room' (i.e the Player) which by default will have the same name as the computer. Kinsky will find players using the UPnP or OpenHome protocols; Kazoo is OpenHome only. This is not a problem in the present instance.

The issue with Kazoo is that it is now a store app., and the Windows Store version has a security 'feature' that prevents it from seeing a 'room'/player running on the same device. I don't know whether there is a similar issue with the Mac, though there has been no mention of such a problem on the Linn forum. If you can use Kazoo rather than Kinsky, I would do so in this case; Kazoo is the more modern app, and I find that its method of switching between players and servers is easier than the one in Kinsky. Incidentally, the Linn Konfig application (used primarily to set up and change settings on Linn streaming devices) does see the OpenHome player, and can be used to change its settings.

I am not for one moment suggesting that this approach is the only, or even the best, way of doing things, but it has worked for me, and I may be able to offer advice if you want to try it.

David

P.S. I have now seen timster's post. We seem to be pretty much of a mind on this, as we are on many things.
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16-03-2018, 15:57
Post: #4
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
Great minds...
However - I have just realised on my PC, the output of the OpenHome player doesn't go to the USB DAC, as I had expected when I had the set it as the playback device in sound manager. I don't why this should be or how to make it do so.
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16-03-2018, 16:50
Post: #5
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
HaHa! Fixed it. It does work, but you need to set the default playback audio device on the PC (or Mac) to the correct one BEFORE you start the OpenHome player. I assume on startup it grabs whatever device is default and never lets go...
Smile
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16-03-2018, 19:51
Post: #6
Big Grin RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
Just tried out MinimServer + OpenHome + eezUPnP control point on Dell Latitude Win10
A breeze to install and it all worked immediately without any problem...
Chapeau!
Tongue
On Sunday I will install on Macintosh and attempt with USB DAC (Furutech Stratos) connected to the hifi

Many thanks David and timster!
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16-03-2018, 20:00 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 20:16 by Cebolla.)
Post: #7
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
Boys & girls, all this talk about Windows is a bit irrelevant considering the OP wants the UPnP renderer running on a Mac - though I suppose the OP possibly added to the confusion by mentioning the Windows only foobar2000 & MediaMonkey players.

So, for example unlike the latest Windows version, the latest Mac version of Linn Kazoo should be able to run on the same computer as the OpenHome Player.
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16-03-2018, 20:07 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 20:25 by Cebolla.)
Post: #8
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
(16-03-2018 13:32)eschreye Wrote:  Clearly, I would prefer to stay away from solutions à la iTunes, foobar, MediaMonkey, JRiver Media Center which require (my understanding) processing of metadata into new libraries.
No that's not correct. There is no "processing of metadata into new libraries", if you are using them purely as UPnP renderers, so:
iTunes - irrelevant as it doesn't support UPnP;
MediaMonkey - can be used as a standard UPnP renderer, but is Windows only and doesn't support gapless playback as a UPnP renderer;
foobar2000 - can be used as a standard UPnP renderer (with the foo_upnp plugin), but is Windows only;
JRiver - can be used as a standard UPnP renderer and Mac version is available.
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16-03-2018, 20:13 (This post was last modified: 16-03-2018 20:31 by Cebolla.)
Post: #9
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
(16-03-2018 19:51)eschreye Wrote:  Just tried out MinimServer + OpenHome + eezUPnP control point on Dell Latitude Win10
A breeze to install and it all worked immediately without any problem...
Chapeau!
Tongue
On Sunday I will install on Macintosh and attempt with USB DAC (Furutech Stratos) connected to the hifi

Many thanks David and timster!
Luckily for you it so happens that the OpenHome Player (despite its name) doubles up as both a standard UPnP renderer as well as an OpenHome (aka UPnP with Linn extensions) renderer, otherwise you would not have been able to use it with the eezUPnP standard UPnP (only) control point.

BTW, the control points mentioned above:
Linn Kazoo is an OpenHome (only) control point.
Linn Kinsky is both an OpenHome & a standard UPnP control point - however it doesn't support all of the latest OpenHome functions.

Also, you can use the BubbleUPnP Server helper software to allow standard UPnP renderers (like JRiver's) to be controlled by OpenHome control points, via its Create an OpenHome Renderer function.
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16-03-2018, 20:19
Post: #10
RE: Help for architecting a MinimServer solution on MacOS
(16-03-2018 20:00)Cebolla Wrote:  Boys & girls, all this talk about Windows is a bit irrelevant considering the OP wants the UPnP renderer running on a Mac - though I suppose the OP possibly added to the confusion by mentioning the Windows only foobar2000 & MediaMonkey players.

The suggestion that timster and I made is by no means irrelevant. All the applications mentioned in my post have current Mac versions, and, because they all use standard protocols, there is no apparent reason why what worked on my PC should not work as well or better on a Mac. I grant you that Eric would need to test this proposition, but I don't think we are sending him off on a wild goose chase.

That said, eezUPnP (mentioned by eschreye) does not appear to have a Mac version.

David
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