PWD Help needed


#1

I have had it!!! Can someone help please?



Maybe I’m asking for too much but all I want to do is to play music. Well I would like gapless and would like album/song info to display.



I’m using a Mac and Bridge.



Looking for a solution that works. I have plenty of configurations that don’t.



Apparently wave stream or virtual sound card has been put on the shelf. Really want gapless.



Thanks


#2

If you want gapless now, for free and without too much efforts - just concatenate all tracks of a gapless album in one audio file.


#3

@don – We hear your frustration. People can probably help better if you give some more info; can you actually not play any music, or is the main problem gapless? What player software are you using? What’s your network setup (wired/wireless, static ip addresses?, etc.).


#4

Two good answers and one (partial) solution.



Alekz’s answer does get you gapless with any media server, but it does require a little initial effort. The idea to concatenate a group of ‘gapless’ tracks from one album into a single track came up a while back and works every time. This assumes that you have the tools, ability and inclination to do so. I suggest that if you do that you keep copies of the album both as separate tracks and as concatenated gapless tracks.



We would like to know more about your setup and all probems and successes you are having. This would help us get your system working better as well as share your joy in listening to it.



WaveStream is not on the shelf or even on hold. It was recently turned over to another developer that we all hope can get it working properly in a few months. I believe that they have cleared previous projects and have started assessing the current code to see what can be used and what needs to be done to get it working. Nobody is happy with the delays and most of us are trying to be patient in our waiting for it to be released.



J.P.


#5

Welcome, don dac!



Please do let us know a bit more about your problems/ concerns and we will try to help.



(Excellent reply, J.P.)


#6

Well maybe I’m expecting too much and perhaps I jumped into computer audio too soon. I definitely should have have read up on this forum before my purchase.



Here goes:



I bought my PWD and was using it with USB temporarily while I got my network updated so everything seemed ok but was really looking forward to using the bridge. I bought a Synology NAS

Cat 7 cables, netgear gigabit switch and the latest Trendnet router. I switched to a Mac about 2 years ago when I got tired of rebuilding my Windows machines.



The Synology install was painful but I got it up and running and installed DS Audio on my iPhone. I tried PlugPlayer which presented even more difficulties. This scenario was unacceptable to me as

far as gaps in changing tracks and volume changes. I think it took about 7 seconds for me to change a track. Things would hang etc. It was not robust and the SQ was just OK.



I tried eLyric and things seemed better but now I need to dedicate my laptop as my music server or get a another mac. I could accept that. Gapless actually worked well. Unfortunately, I had issues with things hanging up an many problems with album art / titles etc. SQ was better than with the NAS. I did not play around with any remote apps. When talking to PS Audio I was told that eLyric was not the recommended way to go but now JRiver was the recommended solution. eLyric would not be improved and that there were cases were music files got renamed/corrupted. The interface IMO needed work.



So now on to JRiver with a Mac. SQ better yet for the most part. This is my typical jRiver scenario….Start playing an Album and hooray I have Album art and title and song name……by the 2nd song song the album art is gone……by the 3rd song everything is gone and I have the record graphic. Moving on to the 4th or 5th song the PWD hangs up as I have no audio. A hard power cycle fixes things just to start the above scenario all over. Also, no gapless.



Then I read about the wave stream (or whatever…virtual sound card…silent server…) so I asked customer service about that and I was told that it was not on the books for 2014. That took the wind out of my sails as I thought at least one of my issues would be resolved. I asked about

SetNextAVTransportURI and no luck there.



I tried JRiver with USB and and did get some pops/ticks but not as nearly as bad win I upgraded my PWD firmware. I had to go back to an older version to get things quiet. I do get tuning noises when different rez files are selected. No gapless!!! Still need to try a remote app.



So now I’m to the point that I’m using iTunes with USB. Not what I wanted but it just works without delays and noises. No I need to get PureMusic Audirvanna or Amarra etc to play hi Rez.



Unless there is a Bridge solution out there to get gapless without hang ups disappearing file info I think I’ll have to give up some SQ IMO and go with USB. If I knew this I could have saved some $$$ on the Bridge or could have gone with the Classe CP-800.



BTW- I’m using Dynamic addressing and all wired connections with Audioquest Cat 7



thanks!!





#7

@don, Welcome to the computer audio universe. It’s not always easy, as you’ve learned. That said, consider the fact that last night I listened to the San Francisco Symphony playing hi-res Beethoven, streamed from my NAS to the Bridge/PWD and the sound quality was utterly spectacular. Demonstration class, world class, whatever you want to call it. So it can be done!



Let’s deal with the one real problem now. Gapless is an issue. The upcoming Bridge II and/or WaveStream will probably offer a solution. Personally, at the moment, I have made peace with not having gapless. The SQ of the PWD/Bridge is so great that I’ll live with it. You may not want to do this–your choice, of course. But I would try to get things working and experience the SQ that the PWD can achieve before you make a final decision.



You should also know that the computer audio universe is split between those who use a computer as a server, connected via USB, and those who run a NAS over ethernet. In the US the former is more common, while the latter is popular in Europe. But there are several of us here, including me, who like the NAS setup. I do not use JRiver, partly because the setup is very complicated and partly because I don’t trust some company’s database to handle my music. But there are many JRiver fans and maybe they can help you. The Mac version of JRiver is a couple of generations behind the Windows version and has more issues.



I use MinimServer on my NAS and really like it, so I haven’t spent much time with Synology’s Audio Station and can’t speak to its sound quality.



Here’s my suggestion: pick one route, either NAS or computer/USB, and try to get that working well. Going back and forth will probably make you crazy. You should be able to get good SQ either way, with reliable operation (although with gaps). If you’ve got a decent network already set up, the NAS route should be doable. I do suggest setting static IP addresses since the Bridge is more stable that way. Once that’s achieved, you can evaluate the SQ of the PWD and decide whether gapless is a deal-breaker for you. There are great people here who will try to help you.



Addendum: I thought it might be useful to spell out how my system is set up, to show one example of a system that works well. You will of course modify it to work with what you have.

–cat6 cable from main router to music room, feeding an Apple Airport Express in bridged mode

–Synology DS213 and Bridge connect to the Airport

–static IP addresses for everything

–MinimServer installed on Synology, with MinimWatch on a networked laptop (MinimWatch is needed to make system changes, but not needed for everyday operation of MinimServer)

–control via iPad, with the Airport Expresses’s wi-fi function, using one of several UPnP compatible control points–eLyric controller, Kinsky, others


#8

Magister reminded me of an important point. Set your Bridge to static IP. Full instructions to do so are in the first post in the thread http://www.psaudio.com/forum/#/discussion/4124/how-to-assign-a-static-ip-address-to-your-pwdbridge/p1 and there is plenty of good info in the discussion following. As I remember it everyone who has done so has experienced improved stability. A few have had various problems when changing to static IP but I beleive that they had other network issues exacerbating the problem. I would also set your NAS to a static IP as some improvement has been seen with that too. I set my iPod (2nd. gen) touch and iPad (1st. gen) to static as well and they wake up more quickly and the connection also seems a touch more stable. The priority for setting static IP is as listed above, Bridge, NAS, iThing then computer. About the only things on my network that are not set to static IP are several Android devices. I have not had any issues with them that I might attribute to dynamic IP assignment, but I suppose that it would do no harm to assign them static IPs as well.



J.P.



#9

@magister thanks for your system info. i found the remote apps such as plug player and DS Audio on my iPhone to extremely sluggish. So just as an experiment i connecting the the Synology 213J USB to the PWD instead of the ethernet. With that setup the remote response was pretty good. what is your experience with MinimServer. Am I competing for resources when I’m trying to control and play music via the ethernet port?? Also, do you think that the 213J has adequate horsepower? Its dedicated just to music. Minimserver was and is my next step.



I’m still concerned that I was told no wavestream even though I believe there are beta versions out there. I found some threads that are 2 years old saying that it should be available shortly.


#10

WaveStream was to be released before Christmas 2012, but somehow delays kept creeping into the project. Initially the WaveStream project was contracted out to two individual freelance developers: one for the Windoze version and one for the Mac version. Initial progress was slow but then the Windoze developer got a working version that was good enough to send to the Beta test team for evaluation… still far from a releasable product, but a good teaser. Several versions were released to the Beta test team with various improvements but still containing major flaws. Both Windoze and Mac developers seemed to come to a standstill, perhaps for a lack of skill and failing interest in the projects. The project was taken from those freelance contractors and both Windoze and Mac projects were presented to a well known and reputable audio software development company for evaluation and possible completion. As I remember from the last word heard several weeks ago they are now on the project, in the initial evaluation phase. I have faith that they will complete the project and we should see it this year. When this year is anybody’s guess but mine runs about June-July. Don’t take my word as anything though, it is just a Wild Assed Guess! :smiley: Hopefully the Beta team will hear something in the next month or so and with luck a Release Candidiate will be presented to the general PS Audio forum denizens shortly thereafter. As with all things, we will know the results only after it happens. :slight_smile:



J.P.


#11

OK, let’s summarize:



o- use static addressing for the Bridge and the NAS

o- Install MinimServer on the NAS

o- If it’s possible use wired network instead of wireless

o- 7 seconds delay is normal, and it’s related to buffering for jitterless playback (so called Digital Lens)



That should make everything but gapless work.



How many gapless albums have you got? As I said above, you can try to join the tracks together. For example, one album in time before playing them back.


#12

Alekz is correct; concatenating tracks into one file per album is the easiest way to achieve gapless playback. Foobar makes this very easy.



If gapless is truly important - and the way you actually listen - it will not matter a whit that you have lost the ability to pick out individual tracks for playback.



I echo wingsounds13’s recommendation that you keep each album as both individual tracks and one concatenated track however.


#13
don dac said: what is your experience with MinimServer. Am I competing for resources when I'm trying to control and play music via the ethernet port?? Also, do you think that the 213J has adequate horsepower? Its dedicated just to music.

A little delay when starting a new track is normal, at least in my system. It's something to do with the PWD not your controller (unless your network is very slow). I think Alekz's last bullet is correct, although my delays are more often 3-5 rather than 7 seconds. This may also depend on the kind of files you play. I have mostly FLAC files, some uncompressed, so they are large. If you're playing MP3s or something the loading might be faster. You may be competing for resources if you have three teenagers all streaming videos while you want to listen to music . . . otherwise I don't think that's an issue.

I'm going to reveal my ignorance here, since I've never used an iPhone. Does an iPhone connect to a wifi network like an iPad does (at home, anyway), or does everything go through the phone company's network? If the latter case I'm not surprised things seem sluggish.

The 213j should be fine for just playing music. Which brings up another topic: MinimServer (and some other programs) let you transcode music on the fly, that is, convert a FLAC file to WAV in the server rather than having the renderer (the Bridge, in our case) perform the conversion. Many MinimServer users, including me, find that this sounds noticeably better. It's not clear why this happens--somehow reducing the processing load on the renderer results in better sound in many cases. But doing so puts greater demands on the server and on the network (bigger files to send). Your 213j may not be up to the task of transcoding; I began with a 112j and it was not. You will know if you set MinimServer to transcode and you start getting more skips or dropouts as you stream.

One last item: once you get things working better, give the PWD a decent break-in period, which it needs, before making any final evaluation of SQ. Please don't ask me how many hours, because I'm not sure, just be generous. And keep the power on. When you hit the power switch on the front (the little PSA logo button) most of the DAC shuts down but power is supplied to some pieces that PSA says should always remain powered for best SQ. If you have some kind of a master switch for your system that you turn off, this might sabotage the SQ.

Let us know how things work out!

#14
magister said: Does an iPhone connect to a wifi network

Yes

#15

@magister Is wireless or wired (from the modem to the DAC) from the desktop computer a third option? Or, is that set up considered “NAS over ethernet”? My set up is iMac, to router (wireless), router to PWD (ethernet cable from router) running eLyric and JRiver media center as library software.



I am still not settled on library software or controller applications yet so I appreciate any insight you and others are providing.



Best regards,


#16

@magister as Alekz mentioned the iphone is through WIFI. I was using the Synology app on my I phone and this is when I would experience a 7 second delay when changing tracks. Trying to adjust the volume was a joke with the iphone app. Using The DS on my Mac with a wired connection cut that at least in half. All my connections are wired and the NAS/Network is dedicated to music only. I talked to folks at Synology and never really got a clear recommendation on what unit would be sufficient so I picked the 213J Right now all my files are AIFF. I should get to MinimServer sometime this week and will follow your recommendations. I’m pretty close to putting all this stuff on A’gon but will stick it out a little longer. Thanks!


#17

@wingsounds13 thanks for the link. hoping to try a few new things this week.


#18

@alekz maybe my definition of gapless is incorrect. I guess I was expecting to get similar performance (meaning lack of silence) when compared to using USB. After 30 years of CD listening the silence seems like an eternity. Hopefully wavestream is the answer!!! Thanks for your input.


#19
don dac said: I was using the Synology app on my I phone and this is when I would experience a 7 second delay when changing tracks. Trying to adjust the volume was a joke with the iphone app. Using The DS on my Mac with a wired connection cut that at least in half.

OK, too many unknown variables here. Do I understand correctly that you're trying to adjust volume on the PWD using the Synology app on your iPhone?

Do you have a preamp? If yes, set the PWD volume to 100% and forget about it.

I would recommend to start with MinimServer on your NAS and Kinsky (or what is the other one frequently used app) on the iPhone.

don dac said: I guess I was expecting to get similar performance (meaning lack of silence) when compared to using USB.


I'm not familiar with Synology music server, so I can't comment. Please try Minim.

Again, the pause will be longer because of added buffers. There is no pre-buffering/pre-loading for the next track, VLC player used in the bridge does not support pre-loading, hence no gapless and increased delays.

#20
don dac said: I was using the Synology app on my I phone and this is when I would experience a 7 second delay when changing tracks. Trying to adjust the volume was a joke with the iphone app. Using The DS on my Mac with a wired connection cut that at least in half.

I just spent a few minutes playing with DS Audio on my iPad. It seems about as fast as the other control points I've used, and the volume adjustment works fine. (But, as Alekz said, if you have a preamp it's better to use it to control the volume.) It is very limited, though -- I couldn't find a way to delete a song from the queue.

At this point I can see two possibilities.
1. Something is causing a problem inside your network. I'm not enough of a network expert to help much with this, I'm afraid.
2. There is some setting in the Synology software that is slowing things down. Remember that DS Audio is a front end for Synology's Audio Station, and there are undoubtedly various settings there that may need to be configured.

I agree with Alekz that trying MinimServer is a good idea, since we know that it can work well with the PDW and there are a number of folks here who use it regularly.

One other thought: when I installed my Airport Express in the music room, things got noticeably zippier, compared to using the wifi from upstairs coming through the lathe and plaster walls in my old house. Where is your wifi coming from?