How To Build A UPnP / DLNA / OpenHome Renderer For Less Than $100


#1

Fascinating post and discussion about a DIY OpenHome Renderer over at Computer Audiophile. I’m thinking of putting one of these together to pair with my Sprout and Synology NAS.

Geek Speak: How To Build A UPnP / DLNA / OpenHome Renderer For Less Than $100

Link

[edited to remove giant bold text and to provide a direct link.]


#2

Very interesting. Thanks for posting. Who here will be the first to build one?


#3

“Gapless playback at all sample rates is also supported.”


#4

Of course. Gapless is easy. :)

A fun project.


#5

Yet another proof that you do not need a powerful device to run Linux + MPD… And all compatibility problems are easily solved.


#6

One wonders if they can get it to do DSD128…


#7

I’ve got a kit on order - I’m curious about the limits too.


#8

The BeagleBone Black has a micro-HDMI port. On the CA thread one person mentioned that, with a change to a configuration file, it should be possible to send the audio out through this port. Could one feed the DS i2s connection using a micro-HDMI to standard HDMI cable? Or is this cabling not compatible with the DS?


#9

Micro HDMI still has the connections needed - as far as the connectors and cables it should work.


#10

I bought a Beagleboard starter kit (including case and power adaptor) for $60 from Amazon and put this together last night. Today I added a HomePlug and am listening to Ella on my Sprout from a Synology NAS using minimserver and Songbook as a CP on an iPhone.

The sound is an improvement over my 2009 Mac Mini using JRiver.

The UPnP control point on iPhone is the weakest link in this system. Kazoo and others are iPad only. Synology’s DS Audio also works, but I can’t verify the resolution being streamed as this seems to bypass minimserver and even Synology’s own Media Server by logging directly into Audio Station and I don’t know its inner workings enough to verify it isn’t downsampling. Documentation I’ve seen says 24-96 over USB, but not sure about over wifi/ethernet.

At any rate, a fun project.


#11
Ted Smith said I've got a kit on order - I'm curious about the limits too.

Looking forward to hearing your impressions, Ted.

BTW, I misspoke earlier, it sounds better than my 2007-era Mac Mini. It’s older than I remembered, as are most things days. ;-)


#12

[post asking about a problem with JRiver moved to JRiver forum]


#13

I’ve only played a few songs so far but I had no trouble up to and including 192/24 and DSD64. The one DSD128 track I tried played stopped halfway through and then skipped to the next track (same thing happened twice). I had to reboot the DS to get it to work but in general putting this together was a snap. I haven’t done any serious listening comparisons yet.


#14

So it sounds like this one may or may not be able to do DSD128 (perhaps with some additional development it can). The guys on diyaudio have apparently been building a similar device that had been targeted to support through DSD128. I haven’t read through it all (128 pages!) but it also looks interesting

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/twisted-pear/250583-building-open-embedded-audio-applicance.html


#15

Tony, it looks like it’s a function of more than the BeagleBone. I tried playing a DSD128 album through my usual server, a 2011 Mac Mini with a WD USB3 drive (relatively slow but quiet), AIFF files and JRMC 20 Mac with JRemote. Every song got part way through and then skipped to the next. Then I tried the same album on a Win 7/64 desktop PC with a 3rd gen Core i7 where the files are in FLAC an a 7200 RPM internal drive, JRMC20 PC with JRemote. It played the whole album through, no problem. This despite the PC being farther away and having to go through a second gigabit switch. My Mini only has native USB2 inputs, which is what I usually use. I connected a Thunderbolt dock that adds USB3 ports but again the tracks only played part way before skipping to the next. My Aries using the same Mini server (with the USB2 port for the drive) plays this same album fine but I previously had to replace a switch to get this album to play at all on the Aries. It seems that the data rate for DSD128 is pushing the limits.


#16

Btw, the Beaglebone sounds good and is a great device for the money. But I think Bridge II easily beats it on sound quality. The BeagleBone seems somewhat veiled by comparison, with a flattened sound stage. At least that’s my initial impression. Still, for those looking to do gapless streaming on a budget, it’s definitely worth considering. Probably a great match for the Sprout (I know at least one Sprout user has built one).


#17
stevem2 said Btw, the Beaglebone sounds good and is a great device for the money. But I think Bridge II easily beats it on sound quality. The BeagleBone seems somewhat veiled by comparison, with a flattened sound stage. At least that's my initial impression. Still, for those looking to do gapless streaming on a budget, it's definitely worth considering. Probably a great match for the Sprout (I know at least one Sprout user has built one).
How does your 2011 Mac Mini compare re SQ with the Beaglebone? I'm comparing mine with a 2007 Mini.

#18

I haven’t compared the two directly. I may at some point but it’s not really relevant to me as my Aries easily beats the 2009 Mini I previously had plugged into the DS. I doubt the 2011 sounds significantly different than the 2009 but it’s possible. A 2007 Mini is getting pretty long in the tooth but that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t sound as good. I put SSD’s into both Minis, which seemed to help. They certainly boot up a lot faster. I’m mostly interested in the BeagleBone for use in a secondary system.


#19
stevem2 said I haven't compared the two directly. I may at some point but it's not really relevant to me as my Aries easily beats the 2009 Mini I previously had plugged into the DS. I doubt the 2011 sounds significantly different than the 2009 but it's possible. A 2007 Mini is getting pretty long in the tooth but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't sound as good. I put SSD's into both Minis, which seemed to help. They certainly boot up a lot faster. I'm mostly interested in the BeagleBone for use in a secondary system.
You have an Aries, too, huh. Nice. The 2007 maxes out at OS 10.6, only has 1 GB of RAM, and I think has 802.11g, maybe 802.11n. I'm looking for a replacement when it dies, which I expect may be soon, the CD/DVD gave up the ghost last year.

#20

Until a couple weeks ago I was using a first generation Intel MacBook Pro (2006) as the server for my secondary systems, which use SqueezeBox Touches to feed a Sprout (in my wife’s system) and an ancient but still excellent sounding Wadia DAC in the other. The MBP maxed out at Snow Leopard too but it still worked fine running Logitech Media Server. I’m now using the 2009 Mac Mini for that purpose (running Yosemite). Macs may cost a bit more (although they are more competitive feature for feature than many think) but they last a long time. It’s hard to imagine using a lower-end PC for 8 years (and my 6-yeal old 2009 Mini still runs the latest system software).