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MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
09-05-2019, 05:35
Post: #1
Question MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
This is a "can it be done" inquiry. I've spent some time searching for info and found enough to realize I probably should ask instead of spending a lot more time trying to make something work that may not be possible.

HQPlayer Desktop is an extraordinary music player that processes a variety of lossless audio formats. No lossy MP3, AAC, etc. In spite of the thought that high bitrate lossy codecs would benefit from HQP's processes. The maker states he chooses (in part) to exclude lossy support due to the licensing costs involved with including them. One feature that is necessary AFAIC is the ability to accept internet radio playlist links which HQP does as long as the content is in a format it processes (usually FLAC is what's available). I've tried that much and confirmed it works as I need it.

I recently discovered MinimServer and MinimStreamer and was immediately intrigued with the ability to transcode formats in streaming audio links. Hoping it can take the MP3 sources and transcode to a lossless format that HQPlayer will recognize.

Is it possible to configure MinimServer and MinimStreamer to work with HQPlayer Desktop inside of a single Windows 10 PC without the extra business of setting up a UPnP AV system? I want to use MinimServer/Streamer to intercept streaming links from MP3 internet radio sources and transcode MP3 to FLAC or WAV then send it to HQPlayer in the same PC and then out to a non-NAA/UPnP/DLNA connected USB DAC.

Additionally I want MinimServer/Streamer to intercept MP3 files in local storage, transcode them and pass them to HQPlayer in the same system described above.

In other words I need MinumServer/Streamer's abilities to intercept and transcode as it's designed and pass to an internal music player instead of handling it like a UPnP/DLNA system.

Please forgive me for sounding like a noob. I have no experience with network AV. I've never needed it to need to learn how to make it work so I'm not fluent with the specifics. Confused

Thanks!
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09-05-2019, 21:08
Post: #2
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
(09-05-2019 05:35)Newk Yuler Wrote:  I want to use MinimServer/Streamer to intercept streaming links from MP3 internet radio sources and transcode MP3 to FLAC or WAV then send it to HQPlayer in the same PC and then out to a non-NAA/UPnP/DLNA connected USB DAC.

Why? mp3 is lossy. Converting it to lossless format will not improve on it.
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10-05-2019, 18:46 (This post was last modified: 10-05-2019 18:49 by simoncn.)
Post: #3
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
To answer your question, MinimServer and MinimStreamer stream music to a UPnP/DLNA renderer using the HTTP protocol. It would be possible to write software that runs on the same machine as MinimServer/MinimStreamer and consumes a transcoded HTTP stream from the same URL that is used by a UPnP/DLNA renderer. This would use HTTP as the streaming protocol but the stream would be routed to the local host instead of going across the network. Does HQPlayer have the capability to consume an HTTP stream?

Although this is theoretically possible, I share rompolompo's opinion about the value of doing it.
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11-05-2019, 07:25
Post: #4
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
(10-05-2019 18:46)simoncn Wrote:  To answer your question, MinimServer and MinimStreamer stream music to a UPnP/DLNA renderer using the HTTP protocol. It would be possible to write software that runs on the same machine as MinimServer/MinimStreamer and consumes a transcoded HTTP stream from the same URL that is used by a UPnP/DLNA renderer. This would use HTTP as the streaming protocol but the stream would be routed to the local host instead of going across the network. Does HQPlayer have the capability to consume an HTTP stream?

Although this is theoretically possible, I share rompolompo's opinion about the value of doing it.

That looks like what I'm asking it to do. I need to connect locally (in the same computer) instead of routing through a network. It would be awesome if it had a feature that simply connects locally.

HQPlayer will play HTTP internet streams by playlist links as long as the stream is a format it processes (like FLAC as is common with internet radio sources that offer support for streams better than high bitrate MP3 or AAC). So if I understand all this correctly it will see what MinimServer routes to it by HTTP as long as it's in a format it processes.

It's understood that converting MP3 to FLAC does nothing for improving audio quality. The value of transcoding HTTP streaming MP3 to FLAC is to get it into HQPlayer in a format it recognizes (it doesn't do lossy codecs).

HQPlayer has very well designed resampling filters that bypass possibly limited or inferior hardware resampling filters inside the DACs. The point being HQPlayer's excellent processes create extraordinarily improved potential in sound quality in DACs. The player is capable of transcoding between PCM and DSD in high end resolutions. It will send intensive processing to CUDA processors in Nvidia video cards. An extensive set of extraordinary features is why HQPlayer Desktop in a brand new version 4 costs $250 USD and there are many audiophiles using it. There is a huge support thread at Audiophile Style (what use to be Computer Audiophile).

https://www.signalyst.com/consumer.html

Resampling filters:

14 linear phase
7 minimum phase
3 impulse optimal
3 closed form

Dithers and noise-shapers:

4 dithers
4 noise shapers

Delta-Sigma conversion:

8 modulators
24 oversampling filters (64x - 1024x)
Direct rate conversions
Digital volume control
Convolution engine
Routing and mixing

---------------------

I just want to get high bitrate MP3 internet radio streams into HQPlayer and I have to find a roundabout way to do it because it doesn't natively support lossy codecs. Because I listen to ambient MP3 streaming internet radio a lot of the time that isn't available in FLAC. (DI.FM Premium, SomaFM)

I take it that I can do it with MinimServer/Streamer but I have to route it through Ethernet UPnP-DLNA to a rendering point that consists of a second computer running HQPlayer. Instead of simply routing MinimServer straight into HQPlayer running in the same computer. Because MinimServer is strictly a UPnP-DLNA routing tool. Right? Tongue I'm probably not going to all the extra trouble and expense to get it working but I do appreciate that MinimStreamer's HTTP intercept and transcoding almost does what I need it to do. Big Grin
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11-05-2019, 09:49
Post: #5
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
You don't need another computer. You can run MinimServer/MinimStreamer on the same computer as HQPlayer and tell HQPlayer to play the HTTP transcoded stream (WAV, not FLAC) by giving it a URL that routes to the local host.

The URL would look something like this:

http://127.0.0.1:9790/minimserver/*/some/folder/path/somefile.aac/$!transcode-24.wav

The IP address 127.0.0.1 represents the local host. The string some/folder/path/somefile.aac is a relative path to the file (relative to a content directory scanned by MinimServer). For example, if D:\MyMusic is a content directory scanned by MinimServer and the file is D:\MyMusic\some\folder\path\somefile.aac, the URL would be as shown above.
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11-05-2019, 20:16 (This post was last modified: 11-05-2019 20:21 by Cebolla.)
Post: #6
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
Getting MinimServer/MinimStreamer to transcode to a raw LPCM L16 or L24 stream may work better than WAV, as according to its developer Jussi Laako (aka Miska), HQPlayer is particularly picky about WAV file streams - see this post on the Audiophile Style forums:
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic...ent=808470

Also, given that support for internet radio streams are handled by MinimServer/MinimStreamer via .m3u playlist files using the special format mentioned in the user guide, wouldn't a more appropriate example of what a URL would look like be one for a transcoded stream produced specifically from an (internet radio stream) entry from one such formatted .m3u playlist file?
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11-05-2019, 21:21 (This post was last modified: 11-05-2019 21:39 by simoncn.)
Post: #7
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
(11-05-2019 20:16)Cebolla Wrote:  Getting MinimServer/MinimStreamer to transcode to a raw LPCM L16 or L24 stream may work better than WAV, as according to its developer Jussi Laako (aka Miska), HQPlayer is particularly picky about WAV file streams - see this post on the Audiophile Style forums:
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic...ent=808470

MinimServer calculates WAV header sizes correctly and precisely when transcoding a local file from disk. This is the OP's use case.

When transcoding AAC streams, I have found that wav24 sounds better than wav16. Unllike flac:wav24 where the low-order 8 bits are always zero if the FLAC file has 16-bit samples, aac:wav24 does a floating-point calculation that produces a result with 24-bit precision.

A 24-bit result would also be produced when transcoding to L24 but many players don't support L24—I'm not sure about HQPlayer. Another factor that could be significant is that L24 has a strange sample format which requires more processing overhead by MinimStramer and probably also by the player. For best sound quality, such overheads are best avoided.

I have updated the section of the MinimStreamer user guide that you referenced in the other thread to make it clear that a WAV stream length of zero is not part of the WAV specification but a nonstandard extension supported by some players.

Quote:Also, given that support for internet radio streams are handled by MinimServer/MinimStreamer via .m3u playlist files using the special format mentioned in the user guide, wouldn't a more appropriate example of what a URL would look like be one for a transcoded stream produced specifically from an (internet radio stream) entry from one such formatted .m3u playlist file?

The URL a transcode a local file must be of the format that I posted. The URL for a player to access a transcoded internet radio stream has a different format.
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11-05-2019, 22:00 (This post was last modified: 11-05-2019 22:09 by Cebolla.)
Post: #8
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
Indeed, sorry Simon.

I only read and therefore commented on what appeared to me to be the OP's main requirement for the handling of lossy audio format encoded internet radio/'endless' streams and missed the OP's additional requirement for the handling of stored/fixed length MP3 files (which the transcoded WAV file stream & your example URL are of course appropriate).

Also noted about L24 (and the reason for wav24) - only mentioned it because of the wav24 in your example, otherwise I would have just stuck to L16!
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12-05-2019, 02:01
Post: #9
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
Thanks gentlemen! I'll get into it and let you know how it goes.

Have you had to worry about possible gray-area legalities concerning the use of FFmpeg? Just curious. I'm going to suggest the use of it to Miska to fill the HQPlayer Desktop feature hole. Mentioning MinimServer/Streamer and the clever way it operates. I really have to hand it to you. I know virtually nothing about programming but I know enough to recognize brilliance in something like MinimStreamer. Kinda makes me want to take a look at Java. Smile
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12-05-2019, 08:06
Post: #10
RE: MinimServer, MinimStreamer, and HQPlayer Desktop
(11-05-2019 22:00)Cebolla Wrote:  I only read and therefore commented on what appeared to me to be the OP's main requirement for the handling of lossy audio format encoded internet radio/'endless' streams and missed the OP's additional requirement for the handling of stored/fixed length MP3 files (which the transcoded WAV file stream & your example URL are of course appropriate).

My apologies also for not picking up on the OP's internet stream requirement. For this, L16 or L24 would be appropriate, as you said.

A URL like this would be needed:

http://127.0.0.1:9790/minimstreamer/*/myStreamID/$!transcode.L16
http://127.0.0.1:9790/minimstreamer/*/myStreamID/$!transcode.L24

where myStreamID is the stream ID from the .m3u file.
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