Just got a PWD, need help to set up Bridge, have no player and want remote control


#1

Hello,

First post as I just got a PWD with Bridge and need help. I have not streamed before so I have no JRiver or anything like that. Can use either wifi or cat6 wire to unit. Need advise on a “player” that can do connection to my android or a tablet with remote control for volume, song selection, the usual things we all want.

Let me know what is good as this is for a audio listening system.

Thanks


#2

Hi zapper,

You have two choices.

  1. Store your music on a computer, connected to the PWD via USB. Control the music from software on the computer. If you prefer not to have the computer next to your listening chair, you can control it from a tablet with Windows remote desktop, VNC, or similar. To get the best sound out of this setup, you will need to devote some energy to tweaking your computer: make sure it’s physically quiet, and reduce the electrical noise (RFI etc) and the number of processes active on the computer via software like fidelizer or audio optimizer.

  2. (My preferred method) Store your music on a NAS, which can be in the music room or elsewhere on the network. (The fan on my Synology NAS is very quiet so for me that’s not an issue.) Connect via ethernet to the Bridge and use a control point like BubbleUPnP (Android only), mconnect, etc. I don’t like having a computer in the music room – too much like work – and have been very happy with my NAS running MinimServer.

MinimServer is available from several brands of NAS as well as Mac and Windows, and it’s donationware so you can try before investing anything. Many people here like JRiver, while others find it overly complex. If you’re using a Windows computer, foobar2000 is an excellent player, and it’s free–but if you’re not a computer geek it can be tricky to set up.

Either a computer/USB setup or a NAS feeding the Bridge can sound excellent. But you need to tweak the computer in the former setup. The Bridge works well for many people out of the box, but some find that they need to deal with network issues to get a reliable connection. Help is available with all these issues here. Welcome to the world of streaming audio!


#3

Magister,

Thanks for the info.

So what makes 1 NAS better than the other, we don’t have much to put on it so nothing larger than 2TB seems to be necessary for me.

I then connect the ethernet port of the NAS to our router and another cat6 cable to the Bridge, right? That way we can use the NAS for music and any other files like it is designed for, right? Would something like this be OK…

http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-WDBCTL0020HWT-2TB-Personal-Storage/dp/B00EVVGAFI/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1423414587&sr=1-2

I have windows so how do I get the player to interact with the NAS and also be controlled remotely? Say I use the foobar2000 do I download that on my tablet or phone, whichever I will be using as a remote, and how does it connect to the music files on the NAS?


#4

zapper,

Yes, 2TB is plenty for someone starting out with digital music. Your understanding of the connection setup is correct. And you can indeed use a NAS for things other than music. My main computer is upstairs but I also like to work downstairs with a laptop. I originally got my NAS for music but ended up centralizing my data files on it – very convenient to work from whichever spot I want.

In the past, there has been confusion about what constitutes a NAS. WD and other companies make external hard drives and carry on about “personal cloud” and such, but these are not NAS units. The one you linked to may be a real NAS (I see it has an ethernet connection) but I cannot really be sure because the amazon site gives much hype and few technical details. I suspect, however, that it is not. They give no information about processor and memory, for instance.

A real NAS is independent of any other computer, unlike an external storage drive. That’s one of the things I like about it; in my setup there is no Win or Mac machine running. A NAS is actually a computer, albeit a low-powered, slow (by comparison with desktop or laptop units) one. Because it’s a computer, you install a server on the NAS. I like Synology units because they are reliable and their Disk Station Manager (the operating system) is both capable and easy to use. Synology also includes a server, called Audio Station. This is a decent program, but I prefer MinimServer because it is much more powerful in letting you display your tagging information the way you want. This is important for those of us who listen to classical music, but less so for other genres. You certainly could start out with Audio Station or the equivalent provided by other brands of NAS. QNAP is another brand that many people use, although I have no experience with it.

Among other things, a NAS is designed to run reliably 24/7, although you can set it to go to sleep after a certain period. The disk drive(s) that you install in the NAS should be designed for this kind of use; I have had good experiences with WD Red drives in my Synology. You can purchase a one-bay NAS, which is what I did when I started out. After I decided I really like streaming to the Bridge, I upgraded to a two-bay unit. In this setup the second drive is an automatic mirror of the first; if either drive fails, the other should still be OK. But in any such setup you need external backups too. Yes you do. Don’t neglect that if you value your music collection.

You cannot use foobar with a NAS, only if you are streaming from a Windows computer. If using a NAS, you install your server on the NAS and then install a control point on your tablet. The control point will locate the server and the Bridge automatically (you need wifi for this, of course). I recommend mconnect and BubbleUPnP control points; latter is android-only. There are others to try also.


#5

monkeymote4foobar is a good control app for iPads.


#6
stevem2 said monkeymote4foobar is a good control app for iPads.
Will any of them work with my Synology Media Server do you know ?

#7
stevem2 said monkeymote4foobar is a good control app for iPads.
Yes, it's great for controlling foobar; in some ways easier to use than a remote-control app like Windows remote desktop. But it only works if one is using foobar as the server. Monkeymote (non-foobar version) is a different app, a controller that supports only WinAMP, IIRC; but it's been a while since I checked.