Spotify from ipad into hi-fi?

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by Neo-Luddite, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Thanks. Wow, that is very interesting. I that should have occurred to me but it was my 1st attempt at digital music. Doh!
    I am not surprised that the mini jack is ok since I have some PSB headphones that use it and they are good. So for now, just doing Tidal is the first question. I posted another long assed query about the whole streaming gear for a new offline digital playback system.
     
  2. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I think you are doing this backwards... the hard way.

    You can have the best gear in the world but if your source sucks, of course what comes out of your speakers will suck.

    Try it through what you have. Tidal is good enough for many of us. The Airport Express is decent enough too. Then make changes after that.
     
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  3. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'll go one step further and say that Tidal is pretty much the best there is as far as source goes. If you have the Hi-Fi subscription ($20 a month) you're getting full, uncompressed, unfiltered Redbook CD quality PLUS over 1,300 albums in MQA with many more to come. And yes, MQA sounds better than CD.

    So all you need is a streamer with a good DAC onboard. Plug that into your choice of amp and speakers and you're done. The Airport Express is a nice streamer with a good DAC. So if you already have that, you're good to go. No computer is needed.

    Another option, as you mentioned, is the Bluesound devices. The Bluesound Node is their basic streamer device. The new version (Node 2) has built in bluetooth, and a number of additional connectivity options, but both the first and 2nd generations operate pretty much the same. And they both have really nice DACs onboard. They sound very similar to the Airport. The nice thing about the Bluesound devices is that they are fully MQA compatible. So they'll stream hi-res content directly off of Tidal. No computer needed. And as you mentioned, you could take that one step further and get a Bluesound Vault, which is just a Node with a built in CD ripper and 2TB hard drive. It cannot get any easier than that. Toss your CDs in one at a time, it will automatically rip them, file them away, and sort them. Then you control everything with the excellent BlueOS app. You choose if you want to access your music off the hard drive, off of Tidal, Sportify, TuneIn radio, or dozens of other online sources. All get accessed off the one app. That could be your only source. No need to bring your CDs with you. Just plug that into your amp with the aux cord and you're set.
     
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  4. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Actually, you DO need a computer with Airport Express. I believe the same for the Bluesound products. (The Iphone and Ipad are computers.)

    I had been looking at the Auralic Aries Mini. I stopped looking once I started reading about the Bluesound Node 2. I need to sell some gear to raise the funds for the Bluesound Node 2. Both of these devices look like decent products for a similar entry fee. (In the US and A, we can get a year of Tidal included in the cost of the Auralic Aries Mini.

    From what I read, the Auralic has a pretty good but not great internal DAC. Also, from what I read, it seems like the internal DAC in the Bluesound is a very good one.
     
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  5. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I suppose this is up for interpretation. You don't need a computer in the traditional sense, as in a laptop or a desktop that's plugged in, with hard drive, CD drive, full operating systems, etc. That's generally what people consider computers. Using an Airport Express or a Bluesound, you ONLY need a smartphone or a tablet. You need SOMETHING to control the device with and see what file you want to choose. But the logistics are far simpler and cheaper than integrating with a traditional computer.

    I have the 1st generation Bluesound Node and I couldn't be happier. This, with the Hi-Fi subscription to Tidal, is all I need. I got rid of my turntable, CDP, CDs, and vinyl. No worries, no storage, no backups, no computer. Just the highest level of sound quality (now including hi-res from MQA) controlled by the phone in my pocket.
     
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  6. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    One would think and hope so.

    I wholeheartedly admire and greatly appreciate Tidal's lossless and MQA Hi-Res shtick.

    But the reality is that the rampantly paced (20,30,40+ million track/bitrate war) streaming biz remains a very fickle & happenstance whore. It's a beg, borrow, and steal rat's race on the provider's front.

    I've claimed before and still assert that a goodly gob of 'mud' (less than Redbook) can, did, and does flow under the bridge. Sorry if that combs or wets some warm and fuzzy audiophile Tidal fans neck hair the wrong way...just slicing through the industry transition fog with the knife of streaming service reality. /debbiedowner

    MQA? Please, please continue to accolade and/or criticize the shit out of this venture all day long. At least the Tidal/Meridian MQA Studio endeavor lends some form of (on paper) semblance that one is actually getting what they're being told they are listening to. Just more body language? Maybe so.

    At any rate, MQA Studio is an acknowledgment of the ever-present gaping holes in digital file provenance. A virgin first-step--- away from the omnipresent re-sellers' outright bit-bucket hoodwankery.


    #aforeffort
    #tidalrulz
     
  7. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    You all have been so helpful that I was inspired to refresh my membership which fell off.

    I have been trying to learn about this also from Computer Audiophile forum. There are helpful people but many don't realize how elementary some of us old people's understanding is. I bought my first Receiver/Turntable and speaker system in 1968! I got the inspiration to subscribe to Tidal and go for the plus from that forum.

    Really while I love a good sounding system, I would sacrifice some fidelity for simplicity. I do have some problem navigating Tidal and have asked for help on Computeraudiophile which they were kind enough to offer, but it didn't solve my problems. I may also try another but will keep playing with Tital for now.

    Good point about computer based or not. From my point of view, I mean online or not because now I am in interior Alaska with wifi from a cell phone tower is not always dependable. I am moving to northern Thailand near Laos and we have occational wifi here, but not always reliable.
    I assume that using an iPad, or iPod touch as a remote works offline.

    Really I have multiple questions, now mostly solved.
    1- For now, stream to my home system via The Airport Express. And for the price as Chicks and others suggested to the OP, the Chromchast. For the price why not add one to another room.
    2- copy cds to a NAS of some type, ie add digital to my current system. Stream and/or play from the NAS, so for now the Bluesound. I have read about the Aurelic and the Coctail was recommended to my by a dealer but I am 99% for the Node now.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For the life of me I can't figure out if you're for or against Tidal, MQA, or the entirety of my post for that matter. LOL

    It's ok either way. I just wanted Kevin to know my personal opinion is that Tidal is an ideal source, and in my mind, represents no compromise whatsoever in quality. Could there possibly be a few tracks that aren't Redbook? Sure, it's possible. But I haven't seen any proof of that. And this really isn't the thread to go into discussion on that minor detail anyway. This is more about helping people with simple streaming solutions.
     
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  9. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep, this is a good solution. You can also use the Chromecast Audio, but the DAC inside it isn't quite as good as the one in the Airport. But it's not bad by any means. The Chromecast is better than the Airport in other ways. It uses less battery life on your phone and it takes up half the wifi bandwidth.

    You have a couple options here:
    1. You can buy a Bluesound Node and plug a separate NAS drive into the USB. This will allow access to any of your online subscriptions (Tidal, Pandora, etc) and any file on the drive, all through the same Bluesound app (called BlueOS).
    2. You can buy a Bluesound Vault, which is basically the same as the Node, but includes the CD ripper and hard drive as well. Just toss your CDs in one at a time and it will do the rest. All your files will be cataloged and available through the app, like above.

    I hate to throw a wrench in the machine at this point, but it's important to know that NONE of these solutions will work without wifi. You need a wifi signal so that your phone or tablet can send a control signal to the devices. So even the CDs stored on the Bluesound Vault or the NAS are not accessible because there's no way to choose which track to play. This isn't a big deal for most people, but it sounds like it would be a big deal for you. If you have intermittent wifi, you'll want some way to access the files on the hard drive, and as much as I hate to say it, that means using a computer. I don't think you can go all in on streaming unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
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  10. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Thanks again Rex, another idea I was unaware of for the Bluesound.
     
  11. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No problem Kevin. Did you see the bottom of my post? I edited it after your reply to throw in some bad news...
     
  12. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Well, I will have wifi most of the time except storms etc.
    You saying a computer, laptop or iPad will control the Bluesound/Nas only when the internet is on? We (wife) have an iMac and iPad. The in house signal from the computer to the Bluesound needs the internet? I could hard wire a laptop to the stereo and not need wifi then?
     
  13. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    I plan to keep my cds anyway for use in a portable yard/deck player, the car and security and ease in case the digital goes out, breaks down. I have 5 home cdp so I may as well keep 1 and a DVD universal too so no worries.
     
  14. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, the Bluesound (and any other wireless streaming device like the Airport and Chromecast) need a wireless connection from a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone to tell the streaming device what to play. The streaming device itself needs to connect to the internet. With the Bluesound or the Airport, you can choose whether you connect it to the internet with an ethernet cable from your router (most reliable) or wirelessly. The Chromecast can only connect wirelessly. Then your control device (computer, laptop, tablet, or phone) needs to connect to the streaming device wirelessly. Without internet or wifi, nothing with work.

    Yes, if I were you, I would have some sort of backup in place to play music when you can't get internet. This could be as simple as the 1/8" mini jack to RCA cable that we talked about earlier. The mini end plugged into your laptop's headphone jack and the RCAs into your stereo. This would allow you to play CDs (assuming you have a CD drive in your laptop) or any file that's on your computer's hard drive. Just keep in mind, the onboard DAC in your computer is probably not as good as the one on the Bluesound or the Airport. But it shouldn't be a huge difference.

    Or, as you say, just have a CD player hooked up and switch over to that.
     
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  15. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Great. I am shopping now for the Bluesound.
     
  16. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    It is possible with Tidal to download and store music on to a hard drive to listen to when there is no internet access. If crappy internet access is an issue, one could possibly go to a cafe or library and download music from Tidal.

    I THINK, with the Airport Express, one can set up WIFI but this does not need to have access to the internet. I BELEIVE, in this scenario, a Bluesound device would still work with music stored from Tidal. As I have not tried this, this is purely hypothetical on my part. I could be wrong.
     
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  17. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Yes, I have used the Tidal "offline" mode for when I don't have wifi on the iPad w/DAC and headphones. I got a little HERUS DAC for the iPad into the photo adaptor with headphones, instead of the headphone jack. I still have trouble navagating Tidal but I managed to get a few albums and misc songs on "offline".
     
  18. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    This forum thread was the bump I needed to get with it. I was so confused by streaming and the million options.
    Now iPad or iMac with Tidal to an Apple Airport express hard wired to a Bluesound Vault 2.
    I am having fun and the sound is very good.
    I still find Tidal to be awkward to navigate and especially with the BluOS, ie the Bluesound App. That is the one criticism in What HiFi review of Bluesound. I completely agree with the review. https://www.whathifi.com/bluesound/generation-2/review

    Finally, the question: Maybe the solution is a music manager software such as Roon, IRiver, etc? Do you think?
     
  19. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This might be complicating things, but if you prefer the native Tidal app to the BlueOS app (as I do), you can just send audio from Tidal from your iPad or iMac wirelessly with Airplay into the Airport Express. The AE has a really nice DAC onboard (as good as the Node), so you can run a 1/8" to RCA cable out of it into another input on your preamp with very good results. This would bypass the Node and therefore not require you to use the BlueOS app.
     
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  20. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr Super Member

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    Good idea Rex. I will do this in the other rooms not having the Vault. Since the Vault has the advantage of the built in cd ripper and storage it is a dream for that. Other areas just streaming Tidal I will try your suggestion.
    I am still leaning toward Roon because I have a lot of albums to store.
     

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