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Old 02-12-2008   #19
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

I have a Yamaha Musiccast 1000 and it is excellent for the price. It has a hard drive that can be upgraded and I currently have a 1TB drive in it. Suffice to say it has a rather large storage capacity.
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Old 02-12-2008   #20
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

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I have a Yamaha Musiccast 1000 and it is excellent for the price. It has a hard drive that can be upgraded and I currently have a 1TB drive in it. Suffice to say it has a rather large storage capacity.
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Can you tell us more about it?

I know the Yamaha brand but I don't think of them in this space. How did you buy the Yamaha over others? How do you like it? How long did it take you get it running the way you wanted? More?

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Old 02-16-2008   #21
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

I have been looking online for several years, checking out machines that either had too small a capacity, never came to be (Wurlitzer Jukebox), or were just too high-priced for what I was looking for. I have about 2000 CDs and around the same amount of LPs, and was looking for as much storage capacity as possible without breaking the bank, and with as little complication as possible for storing it all.

Olive's Musica/Opus and the Yamaha MusicCast seemed to be the best values for the money, but what ultimately made me decide on the Yamaha was the ability to upgrade the hard drive. Many of the other units I researched had fixed, limited storage, such as the Qsonix, Elan, Russound, Escient and Integra, which all had their pros and cons. Many did not allow direct recording of analog (LPs) sources which would complicate my storage process by adding a step before loading. I also set a price limit, since most of these were basically high-end computers acting as stereo components, there seemed to be no sense in paying over $2000 for a glorified hard drive.

The Yamaha allows direct recording of my LPs, has a quick download time for CDs and has all the other features of many of the others I mentioned. The main feature of the others that stands out was the touch-screen selection of the Qsonix, but at $5000 I could do without it. The difference between the Yamaha and the Olive was the fact I could put any size hard drive I could find in the Yamaha. So with a 1TB drive, while Olive currently has a maximum 750GB for nearly $4000, the Yamaha gives me all the features of the others with larger and stilll expandable storage options, for less money. The only drawback I find is that it only allows storage in 2 sizes, lossless or MP3, while some of the others offer various different storage size options.

Still, if I store all in MP3 size, I can fit several thousand CDs on this drive eventually. Or any combination of lossless/MP3 I want, so I definitely got the most bang for the buck. And the Yamaha name may not be the most upper-echelon status in audio, but I don't think they are going away anytime soon, and since they have been around for as long as I can remember, they must have been doing something right all these years. So far, so good for me with the MusicCast.
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Old 02-18-2008   #22
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

I have been very happy with my musiccast 1000 as well. I have a 750 gb hardrive in it, with just over 11,000 songs uncompressed, and still have 30% left. I am interested in the newer mcx 2000, but have been having a hard time getting any info other than yamaha's site. I understand it can stream internet radio stations, has an am/fm tuner, and xm tuner. The part I am interested in is if it can access itunes from my network. It says it uses DLNA to access music from a computer, but I'm not sure what that means.

Anyone have any additional info?
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Old 02-18-2008   #23
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

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It says it uses DLNA to access music from a computer, but I'm not sure what that means.
DLNA is an acronym for Digital Living Network Alliance and defines a standard for communication and control between consumer electronics devices. The overview page for the MCX2000 has the line "PC content playback with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)**". The asterisks refer to the line "Requires PC running Windows XP®". Windows Media Player 11 includes a DLNA-compliant server. There are many compliant servers available (e.g. TwonkyVision), and I would assume that the MCX2000 can stream content from any of them. I'm really hoping that DLNA really takes off and we consumers are able to pick and choose from a whole ecosystem of components that can easily share data. You should be able, for example, to connect your cell phone browser to the MCX2000 over WiFi and stream an MP3 song to your cell phone.
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Old 02-18-2008   #24
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Default Re: I am thinking of getting an Audiophile only server

I know that most of you do not want a full blown computer controlling your system, but the fact that you're members of this forum tells me that you do have computers. The next time you get the bug for a faster computer, use your old one for a music server. Laptops are the best for this application (IMO). You don't need a screamer computer to have a very nice music server. You don't even need a badass sound card. You just need one that can output a digital bit stream.

For storage get a lacie USB hard drive. You can get a terabyte drive for less than $500.00. A 500 GB Lacie drive is less than $200.00.

For play back, download the latest version of Foobar2000. This is a great player that has the ability to bypass the Windows kernal mixer and just streams the digital data out to your DAC or receiver/pre-pro. The user interface, though text based, is flexible to a fault. The following is excerpted from their web site. (foobar2000.org)

# Audio formats supported natively: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC / Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, CDDA, WMA.
# More audio formats supported through optional components, official or third-party.

As you can see, nearly every audio format is supported. I lean toward FLAC because its a lossless format, although with the availability of cheap storage I don't know why anyone would use compression at all. Foobar2000 can handle any bit rate your sound card can.

You also need a CD ripper. EAC is the one to have. If you install FLAC it automatically integrates itself with EAC for seamless compression.

So, you start with a $200.00 used laptop. Add a $200.00 disk drive. Get a DAC if you're into audiophilia. The rest is free. There you have it. An audiophile quality music server for less than a grand.
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