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New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
06-08-2019, 03:22
Post: #1
New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
Hi,
I'm not especially familiar with this domain but I'm here because my reading lead me to Minimserver and I've just tried it on my Windows laptop, just to do a simple road test. It seems to do what I want. However, I know I am way out of my depth.

My existing system is a collection of MusicCast equipment, including an R-N602 and some other speakers. General use is great for me, multi-room and so on, playing from Spotify and some limited recorded music on a USB plugged into the R-N602. I control everything usually from one of several phones/tablets running the MusicCast controller app. I have also tried things like Bubble but then I lose the room linking feature.

I do miss being able to play my collection, especially different streams in different rooms. I did have another file server (Cocktail) and it was very flaky and went back to the shop. I haven't replaced it and am looking for a cleaner solution. I looked at off-the-shelf Vortexbox, and QuietPC - Sentinel Fanless, Smallgreen etc, but am preferring the idea of a NUC, perhaps in an Akasa case and loading Minimserver on that.

But, I can't tell from here (inexperience) if that will work, or if I need anything else. I'm happy with Windows setup and have tried a few servers on my laptop to explore a little. I haven't done any headless setups and want to know if that works with Minim.

I guess the other bit is ripping. I have tried to use Windows Media Player and it works but I'm always wrestling with it. Looks like dbPoweramp is a top recomendation?

I like the idea of a box with a ripper that sucks the CD in and does it's stuff then spits it out with the Db updated ready to use. But, that approach seems to reduce my options and increase the cost (sometimes dramatically if 'branded' ) So for now I'm expecting a basic server box, fanless, with Minimserver on it, Minimwatch on my PC, along with dbPoweramp on my PC and do the ripping there and move the finished folders to the Minimserver box - likely a NUC. Hopefully running windows because I haven't used anything else since about 1995 on Sun Solaris!

I would expect to be able to turn the power on the <NUC> wait a wee while, and then play music.

I hope I can get some good steers and a little light on the matter.

Hardware - Fanless NUC - has it been done, does it work with Minim?
Software - Minimserver + Minimwatch. Would I need anything else to make it work?
OS - Windows - any reason why not?
Playlists - one feature of MusicCast means it's quite nice to be able to play 'playlists' on/from the media server. i.e. custom albums essentially. I can see that I can do this in WMP but can I do it in Minim?
Ripping - do on main machine using dbPoweramp and move to box running Minimerver?

Thanks
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06-08-2019, 06:10
Post: #2
RE: New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
(06-08-2019 03:22)firefly Wrote:  Hardware - Fanless NUC - has it been done, does it work with Minim?
Software - Minimserver + Minimwatch. Would I need anything else to make it work?
OS - Windows - any reason why not?
Playlists - one feature of MusicCast means it's quite nice to be able to play 'playlists' on/from the media server. i.e. custom albums essentially. I can see that I can do this in WMP but can I do it in Minim?
Ripping - do on main machine using dbPoweramp and move to box running Minimerver?
I am using an Intel NUC with Minimserver, press the power button and it starts up, and press button to power off. It is running a Linux system called SnakeOil OS. SnakeOil OS is an easy to use music system OS which does not require you to learn Linux. While it is free, a token donation will make Minimserver selectable out of the box (otherwise have to install manually).

Windows 10 is big and ugly, can be made to play music better, but SnakeOil is almost free but requires a little bit of work to install. SnakeOil optimised for music and Agent Kith, the developer is responsive and helpful. Same for Simon here!.

Minimserver will pick up m3U8 playlist (m3u playlist, UTF8 encoded), a text file.

You will also need a controlling software, recommend BubbleUPnP on Android

For CD ripping, suggest EAC.
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06-08-2019, 09:56 (This post was last modified: 06-08-2019 09:56 by simoncn.)
Post: #3
RE: New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
Welcome to the MinimServer forum!

If you are familiar with Windows, it's fine to use this with MinimServer on the NUC. You will also need to install Java.

I used EAC for ripping when I first started but moved to dBpoweramp a few years ago. You can try both and see which you prefer.
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06-08-2019, 23:25
Post: #4
RE: New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
(06-08-2019 06:10)Snoopy08 Wrote:  Windows 10 is big and ugly, can be made to play music better, but SnakeOil is almost free but requires a little bit of work to install. SnakeOil optimised for music and Agent Kith, the developer is responsive and helpful. Same for Simon here!.

Minimserver will pick up m3U8 playlist (m3u playlist, UTF8 encoded), a text file.

Thanks for this. I will look at SnakeOil and weight it against Windows. If they both support headless operation on the NUC then I guess it's preference...?

Regarding the playlist - I see a very brief note now on Minim site. I was not aware of this file type/use.

I don't see any M3U files on my windows system. I see xml type files <playlistname>.wpl I assume this is 'proprietary' for Windows Media Player - but MusicCast Controller app does see them.

For Minimserver:
(1) Is there a WISYWIG editor available to select media files and put them into a playlist file, with the correct relative path for my MinimServer install?
(2) If not, could you clarify what I think I saw on the forum for locating the files - in your 'library'. Does this mean a new file or Folder and file below one of my minimserver.contentDir paths?
(3) Could you expand on the syntax, and or share a pseudo example file?

Thanks
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07-08-2019, 10:10 (This post was last modified: 07-08-2019 10:11 by simoncn.)
Post: #5
RE: New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
Yes, .wpl files are in a proprietary Microsoft format. You can do a web search for "wpl to m3u converter" to find programs that can convert this format to the industry standard m3u format.

To create new .m3u files using a graphical interface, you can use oddgravity Playlist Creator (see this page). For MinimServer, it is recommended that you select the options to use relative paths and forward slashes.

Here is an example .m3u playlist that was created using Playlist Creator.

Code:
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:235,Sol Power - 05 - Freeway
../74711/Freeway.flac
#EXTINF:548,Missa Pange lingua & Missa La sol fa re mi - 09 - Missa La sol fa re mi: Credo
../CDGIM009/Missa La sol fa re mi- Credo.flac
#EXTINF:129,Monteverdi, Claudio - Vespro Della Beata Vergine - CD 1 - 01 - Deus in adiutorium Domine ad adiuvandum
../429566/Deus in adiutorium Domine ad adiuvandum.flac
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08-08-2019, 00:26
Post: #6
RE: New user request advice Minim NUC MusicCast
(07-08-2019 10:10)simoncn Wrote:  Yes, .wpl files are in a proprietary Microsoft format. You can do a web search for "wpl to m3u converter" to find programs that can convert this format to the industry standard m3u format.

To create new .m3u files using a graphical interface, you can use oddgravity Playlist Creator (see this page). For MinimServer, it is recommended that you select the options to use relative paths and forward slashes.

Here is an example .m3u playlist that was created using Playlist Creator.

Code:
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:235,Sol Power - 05 - Freeway
../74711/Freeway.flac
#EXTINF:548,Missa Pange lingua & Missa La sol fa re mi - 09 - Missa La sol fa re mi: Credo
../CDGIM009/Missa La sol fa re mi- Credo.flac
#EXTINF:129,Monteverdi, Claudio - Vespro Della Beata Vergine - CD 1 - 01 - Deus in adiutorium Domine ad adiuvandum
../429566/Deus in adiutorium Domine ad adiuvandum.flac

Excellent, thanks. I see now WMP also has the option to save as M3U.

Managed to set up three favourites on a MusicCast controller for an alarm feature. The second favourite was the first track of a M3U playlist served by MinimServer.
When the alarm kicked in the MusicCast device played the full playlist :-)
Now I can play selected music collections on a timed basis.

Now I need to choose a device to run it on. Thanks for your help.
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