Software (Control) options for Bridge II - Tidal and ripped primarily


#1

Trying to figure out what are my software/control options for streaming to Bii. My main (and at this time, only) uses are Tidal and ripped/flac.

And Roon, for which I have ROCK>Ethernet so g2g for that I think. Aware that Roon does both Tidal and ripped. but many have said, Roon possibly is inferior in terms of SQ and interface, which got me wondering, what are the superior options, in terms of interface/usability and SQ.

Not too keen on adding anything expensive (like the Melco) or terribly complicated.


#2

I have compared the ultrarendu via USB and via Kitsune SU-1 into i2s, Aurender N-100h via USB and i2s as above, Roon via Bridge II, Audirvana via Bridge II, mconnect streaming to Bridge II. The Bridge is a very solid performer all around in the Directstream Sr. I don’t feel like I’m losing any sound quality with the Bridge- and it gets rid of a lot of equipment in my rack!


#3

Are there any alternatives to ROON to allow me to play Tidal or ripped music to the bridge ii that don’t require a server?

Probably a dumb question, but I see people talking about apps like MConnect (I’m not familiar, and there seem to be several different versions).


#4

Wonder if I could fire up my Logitech Media Server (on my NAS) for ripped music, and play Tidal using the desktop or iPhone app…

Are there better options??? I’ve got to believe there are, it seems people are discussing them, I’m just so long in the Logitech/SqueezeServer world, I haven’t kept up, so it’s all a bit confusing right now and have to re-learn.

I’ll give someone a cookie if they reply with a nice list of software to investigate.


#5

BubbleUPnP works with the bridge on any Android device, plays Tidal and can play your library. Price is right, too.
For a music server, AssetUPnP on a Mac works nicely with Bubble, or if your router supports it, just plug in a USB drive and play your flacs from there.


#6

That sounds good but I have no Android unfortunately. Guess I could always get one cheap to try it out tho and may just do that.

Looks like MConnect Control is an alternative, will try that later!


#7

The Bridge II electronics are provided by hardware manufacturer, ConversDigital. Additionally, they developed the Mconnect Control app that you have already been introduced to. It is the native app that goes along with the Bridge II. PS Audio provides the firmware for the Bridge II to allow it to function as designed in the DirectStream DAC’s.

It certainly has its pros and cons. The biggest “pro” is you get the Real McCoy MQA experience if you listen to Tidal as a steaming service. If that is the case, then the Control app is the way to go. And it’s Free!

There are other options, but they all have their shortcomings, just like the Control app. That however is a whole other discussion(s).


#8

Thanks @JeffofArabica! Great info; much appreciated.

Yes, have been playing around with MConnect Control and it’s decent. Will keep on messing with it as a Roon alternative. Said elsewhere, SQ seems about on par with me to Roon, although the native integration with bridge and simplicity of the interface are attractions.

Slowly learning what alternatives are out there… bubbleupnp, kazoo, jriver. Everything seems intimidating right now lol!


#9

I’m sure this is a noob question, but here goes…

I’ve installed minimserver on my NAS, but not sure how to “use” it. In other words, if I used MConnect as my “client”, how do I get it to see minimserver? I’ve poked around MConnect and can only find reference to the BridgeII, and nothing “finding” minimserver.

Also, since MConnect “sees” the BridgeII automatically, without any sort of server, I’m assuming the BridgeII is acting as both server and player. If that’s right, what value does minimserver add?


#10

This is where you want to start.

http://minimserver.com/started1.html

Once set up, using Minimserver is somewhat transparent. It will appear as a selection under “local server” in MConnect browser. If you choose Minimserver you will see your music files arranged via tagging priorities that you set up in Minimserver. You access those settings generally through your browsers NAS IP Address. As a somewhat trivial example, you can set up The Beatles to always show up as Beatles, The.

When I bought my Synology NAS five years ago, I had it preinstalled. I tweaked it a bit and never messed with it again. It has been rock solid and as a classical music lover, it recognizes such things as composer tags. You do need to manually update it when you add new music to your library.


#11

The Bridge II is a renderer and does not function as a server. Mconnect is a control point using the DLNA/UPnP network protocol to recognize and use all available renderers and servers in your home network using the DLNA network protocol. Using minimserver DLNA-enabled it should show up in mConnect like my Melco N1 and Bubble media server like this:


#12

Thanks all. Think I’m slowly getting this down.

I was a little confused at first at not finding the minimserver (I have now) but still being able to play music, because I was playing Tidal. It started coming together when I saw minim in the Mconnect Control browser tab; then I realized I need the server to play my stored/ripped music. I selected minim and was off and running.

Later, I figured out how to install minimwatch and am transcoding flac to wav. Everything sounds very good and I like the simplicity of mconnect control, altho I won’t say it’s the greatest interface. I’ll try HD on my ipad later.

So I’m now on to optimizing SQ and getting tag/library presentation looking a bit better.

With the DSD, anyone have recommendations for optimizing Minimserver settings? For instance, do I transcode flac>wav or to wav24? Should I set bitrate, samplerate, depth, etc in the transcode?

thanks! this is starting to be fun now that I’ve wrapped my head around it better.


#13

Why convert flac to wav?
(Wav files are larger than flac for the same content.)


#14

Can’t recall which forum, but someone recommended that setting. I recall from my LMS configs too I think, that converting flac to wav before sending to the renderer relieves the renderer of that process and results in some SQ improvement. In other words, better to convert at the server than downstream, I guess is the theory.


#15

Wondering… is Logitech Media Server an option? I guess if it supports UPnP it is, I’ll have to look.

In the squeezebox universe, SQ was always a priority. And it’s highly configurable and has a good UI. And the client s/w options - like SqueezePad are also solid, better imo than MControl.

Anyone doing this? Anyone see reasons not to?

UPDATE: Appears that as of v7.9 LMS supports UPnP. I will have to update my NAS and see how this works. I’ll be thrilled if SQ equals Minimserver and I can once again use a mature and familiar interface to play music. Not sure if Tidal integration has happened in LMS, but that’s more of a “nice-to-have” to me.

I should mention that one reason I’ve become increasingly interested in UPnP options is that my initial comparison of Minimserver to Roon has not been favorable to Roon SQ. I begin to see what others are talking about. Shame, considering the potential the Roon ecosystem has (not to mention $500 invested…)


#16

Wish I’d found this sooner, it helped reinforce some concepts I was originally unfamiliar with, having been protected from a lot of this spending most of my initial digital music life in the Slim Devices/LMS universe.

Finally tho, with all your help, I have this down better now and am on to experimentation mode.