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1000GB flac on-the-go successfully, streaming to iPhone/iPad/Android portables

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
Edit: This is an old post / old approach, which is mainly used in home setting. See 2nd post for truly portable streaming.

Please share you user experiences herein, if you have use a NAS as a flac server to stream to portable devices. Experiences from any similar devices (any NAS, any portables) are welcome.

 

My further plan is:

 

1) For portable use:

Synology DS212j (with Tb's of flac music on hdd's) --> DS Audio or PlugPlayer --> iPhone 3GS --> headphones

 

2) For stationary use:

Synology DS212j (with Tb's of flac music on hdd's) --> DS Audio or PlugPlayer --> iPhone 3GS --> Pure i20 optical or coaxial digital output --> external DAC / amp --> headphones

 

Please comment and include specifics (device model name, software used, ect). Comparison between different NAS' would be particularly nice. Thanks.



Edit January 2014:

This thread may become obsolete soon, in view of the availability of 1TB USB flash drive.

With a portable DAP with USB OTG functio, you may be able to add 256GB-1TB of USB flash storage now.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 USB flash drive offers up to 1TB of USB flash storage:
http://www.kingston.com/us/usb/personal_business#DTHXP30
http://www.kingston.com/us/company/press/article/6487

1TB USB flash drive is available now for $1260:
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/12138170325661239202?q=kingston%20Traveler%20HyperX%20Predator&es_sm=93&biw=1366&bih=666&dpr=1&sa=X&ei=d2bVUrbUHbDKsQTchYLQAg&ved=0CPwDEJwVKAAwAA&prds=scoring:tp

512GB for $530:
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/12889624063367181784?q=kingston%20Traveler%20HyperX%20Predator&es_sm=93&biw=1366&bih=666&dpr=1&ei=d2bVUrbUHbDKsQTchYLQAg&ved=0CIIEEKYrMAA&prds=scoring:tp

256GB for $300:
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/15155313190113380396?q=kingston+Traveler+HyperX+Predator&prds=hsec:specs&ved=0CA4Q4Ss&ei=P2fVUof-LMHa2AWp74HgDA

I said "you may be able to ...." as I haven't tried them myself. Kingston's web pages indicate that those USB flash drives are exFAT-formatted, backward compatible with USB 2.0 and will work for Windows, Mac and Linux. Assuming that no special driver is needed (as Kingston does not indicate such), I am speculating that those drives may be reformatted as FAT32 and work with any portable DAP with USB OTG function.
Edited by zzffnn - 1/14/14 at 9:40am
post #2 of 117
Thread Starter 

For truly portable (i.e., all on battery) use, I have used:

Patriot Gauntlet Node (portable battery-powered NAS) -> SAMBA streaming -> AcePlayer Pro app -> iPhone 3GS w/ IOS 5.

Edit: "Remote File Browser Pro" app works better (less crash, faster and better UI) than AcePlayer on ios5.

 

This is the portable NAS Patriot Gauntlet Node (PGN), whose size is a little bigger than Objective2 amp or HM801:

 

 

The above setting can (pros):

1) store and play up to 2TB of flac

2) output digital (via Pure i20 coax/optical) to an external DAC

3) stream 24 bit / 96 kHz flac songs (the largest flac I tried was 172mb in size and 3058 kbps). But I am not sure if down-sampling occurs during playback.

4) perform reasonably like an iTouch minus album art (can do auto next, next/previous song, fast forward/rewind, background play with screen off).

5) display all album structures correctly (including sub folders).

 

The cons/bad:

1) no album art

2) no gapleess playback. Gap is 1.5 - 3 seconds long depending on the size/bitrate of flac. Gap is longer than Rockboxed Clip during playback.

3) start-up time is 2 minutes in total. The NAS takes about 40 sec to boot to NAS mode, then you may need to set up bridge mode using the Gauntlet Connect app (if you want streaming music and internet at the same time on your iPhone). Without setting up bridge mode, PGN still works as a music/file server (for this mode, only 1.5 min is needed from powering on to playing a song).

4) when screen is off, iPhone 3GS (IOS 5) will stop playing, so screen has to stay on. Although the app can run in the background w/o problem.
5) There is slight/discrete noise produced during screen activities (e.g., scrolling down a long page). High resolution playback seems to be affected more.

 

Additional notes:

1) I have tried GoodPlayer and OPlayer as well. GoodPlayer did not work. OPlayer is tooooo slow (gap is longer, although it shows album arts).

2) You can format the hard drive in Patriot Gauntlet Node (PGN) as Fat32 to allow compatibility between Mac and PC.

3) The hard drive you use for PGN has to be a laptop type 2.5'' that is no ticker than 9mm.

4) Use "10.10.10.254" as the address for PGN and set up account name and password in PGN's Gauntlet Connect app.

5) The PGN works as a files server as well. The Gauntlet Connect app works with all my doc, pdf, xls, ppt or jpg files.

6) iPhone 3GS with IOS 4.0.1 also works with AcePlayer. But non-music file sharing is not available though the Gauntlet Connect app (which requires >= IOS 4.3).

 

Edit: I have loaded 300 GB to the PGN. So far so good. One of my 24/192 album did not play (not sure if it is software or hardware limitation). 24/88 plays fine, as well as one huge flac file (67 min / 500MB).


Edited by zzffnn - 10/29/13 at 8:55am
post #3 of 117

I can recommend this setup: DS212 -> PS Audio PW DAC MkII/Bridge via Elyric or Plugplayer s/ware.

 

My Iphone (4s) & Android TF201 - works perfect via DS Audio or Plugplayer.

 

For faster browsing I recommend disabling album art while searching with Elyric or PP.

post #4 of 117

Forgot to add - I use an old Ipad1 & Elyric for my everyday remote to the PW Dac/Bridge - works great!

post #5 of 117
Thread Starter 

^ Thanks a lot johangrb for the info!

 

For those who like DIY, some very smart gentlemen are making DIY NAS' here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582370/streaming-audio-devices-review-and-information-thread-updated-4-23-with-jf-digital-review/75


Edited by zzffnn - 7/27/12 at 10:49am
post #6 of 117
Thread Starter 

Edit: the following gear in this post would not work.

 

I saw this tiny CloudFTP device. It is only $99, truely portable (powered by battery), can work as USB host and power an external hard drive and stream music/movie via FTP to IOS or Android portables.

 

700

700

700

 

 

The only cons is that a 3rd party app is needed to play flac (GoodPlayer should work). I will look into this further. 

 

Edit: This may not work for lossless music streaming as it has a streaming speed cap of 400 kbps. I do not think it can convert flac to mp3 on-the-go either.


Edited by zzffnn - 9/7/12 at 10:41am
post #7 of 117
Seems like a nice device. Will it work with PP?

For stationary I use something like a DIY Nas. Well, in fact, it is just an old pc with windows installed and the foobar configured to run at startup. I also use two routers, one is an old device that I converted into a repeater which possible with the DD-WRT firmware

EDIT: According to the website: "Built-in HTML5 web app Works with any FTP/SMB/UPNP client". So, it works with PlugPlayer smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by johnnyjazz - 7/28/12 at 5:26pm
post #8 of 117
Thread Starter 
^ Sorry I am not very computer savvy. What is PP? PlugPlayer? I am not sure. It should play flac using the GoodPlayer app. Another "O Player" app has also been recommended for general media streaming.
If you google that device, you will see their web site, faq's and forum, which provide lots of details.
post #9 of 117

Yes, it means PlugPlayer. And it should work, they say that it works with UPNP clients. Another thing is, I'm using an Ipod Touch, and the battery life with wireless setups is short, like 10 hours. Is there any solution to that? I thought about getting an external battery but I'm using a fiio E11 with a LOD,  and the external battery requires the dock connector


Edited by johnnyjazz - 7/28/12 at 5:42pm
post #10 of 117
Thread Starter 
^ 10 hrs battery life using wireless streaming is quite good already. That CloudFTP can charge IOS devices but will probably disable streaming while it is charging you iTouch.
Fiio has a new LOD (IIRC called L11) that allows Charging from USB (regular USB power to micro USB) at the same time with line level output.
post #11 of 117
Thread Starter 

Regarding that CloudFTP, I would like to know its speed in reading hard drives. It has a ARM9 CPU chip and can read 2TB hdd (not sure how long), that is all I know re performance. Anyone with experience or can predict based on spec, please kindly comment.

 

I have a 1TB SeaGate GoFlex hdd that is FULLY loaded with music. I wonder know long will the CloudFTP take for its first read (when used with iPhone 3GS)? Will 2nd or 3rd read be a lot faster?
I heard that a Western Digital WD TV LIve, with its Sigma Designs SMP8655 SoC chip, would need about 10 min to scan 500GB for the first time (2nd time will be a lot faster). Granted, WDTV is a different product and not portable at all.

post #12 of 117

Just found this DIY plug computer here:

 

http://wiki.daviddarts.com/PirateBox_DIY_Plug_Computer

 

I wonder if there were anyone who could do something similar to Objective2 project while stuffing everything inside a single box.

 

Each part from USB storage to Linux box to wireless access point to DAC to amp will be integrated in order to create that headless system.

 

Finally the smartphone/tablet will simply become the remote control while the decoding will be handled by that separate box.

 

IMHO there are many different ways to implement this wireless streaming storage solution. Recently I saw this affordable and compact device with 3.7V 1800mah battery plus USB port:

 

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/586873938-English-version-Hame-A1-3G-Mobile-Power-Router-MPR-01-3-in-1-Power-Bank-3G-wholesalers.html
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/hame-mpr-a1-wifi-802-11b-g-n-wireless-3g-router-w-1800mah-battery-charger-dongle-122121
http://openrouter.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1678&start=0
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=155006
http://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=37002

 

Already running Linux by default so that could possibly support USB disks. That means 512GB SSDs or 1TB+ HDDs should work as long as enough power is provided. Pretty good deal for $22.7 shipped.

post #13 of 117

Hey guys, I wanted to chime in with my $0.02.  I plan on examining the above solutions in more detail later, but allow me to describe my method of streaming that I am rather fond of.

I have a few Android devices, all of which are streaming content from my computer over WiFi.

Please Note:  Each Android is rooted with a CIFS-supported kernel with CIFS Manager installed.  The methods below should be possible on iOS, but I have not tried it.  Jailbreak may be a requirement.

The beauty of CIFS is that it mounts a network share folder to your phone or tablet's sdcard.  This tricks the phone or tablet into thinking that all the content is actually stored on the device. 

Examples of why this is awesome:

1.  Bypass the limitations of streaming applications; no DLNA server required; no browsing with a network file explorer for every song or video; PLAY CONTENT AS THOUGH IT'S STORED ON YOUR SDCARD.

2.  Mount terabytes of content right to the phone/tablet

3.  The ability to either mount any of your network shares, from any or many computers, into any or as many folders as you want.

 

MOUNTING CIFS SHARES FROM A NETWORKED COMPUTER TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE OVER WIFI:

1.  Root your Android

2.  Install CIFS-supported kernel

3.  Install CIFS Manager from Google Play

4.  On your computer, create a network share folder (Example:  C:\Share)

5.  Add a new share to CIFS Manager (Example:  192.168.1.1/Share ; /sdcard/Media ; username ; password)  You may need to find the path to the CIFS.ko and other modules (depending on Android version).  Username and password are the username and password of the sharing computer.

6.  Mount share in CIFS Manager

7.  Open your favorite media player and play content from the "Media" folder on your sdcard (from Example in Step 5.)

8.  Enjoy!

 

 

Okay, you wonder how this is portable without a computer network, batteries, and a wireless router in your backpack all the time, right?  Well, on nearly all laptops/netbooks with Windows 7 installed, you can create a virtual access point using the laptop/netbook's built in WiFi card.  The laptop/netbook can be connected to WiFi (public, private, whatever) and still broadcast a private WiFi network SSID with WPA encryption that your mobile device can connect to.  If you are getting internet from the public/private WiFi, then internet traffic can pass through right to the virtual and private network you just created!  In a normal routing setup, traffic would have to pass from the computer into the router, and then out of the router and into your mobile device.  With a virtual adapter, you can broadcast traffic straight from your computer to your mobile device (and still get internet access on both the laptop and mobile device).

Examples of why creating an infrastructure access point on your laptop is awesome when combined with CIFS:

1.  Hotels (especially hotels with poor WiFi-- now I just broadcast straight to my mobile device from my laptop (particularly useful with HD movie streams)).

2.  Car audio, if your mobile device is your source, now share all your content from your laptop.

3.  Walking down the street, keep your netbook or laptop in your backpack and stream all your content to your phone.

4.  Use your mobile as an audio source across the house or in the yard over WiFi, even if you don't have home internet or a wireless router.

 

CREATING AN INFRASTRUCTURE ACCESS POINT WITH LAPTOP'S BUILT-IN WIFI:

1.  Follow the simple directions found here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klHzMyYFGeQ

2.  Create a batch file and add in the following:  netsh wlan start hostednetwork

3.  Each time you restart the computer, the above command must be run in order to start the WiFi AP.  Just run the batch file created in the step above.

 

 

Lastly, the icing on the cake-- VPN!

Mounting CIFS shares on your mobile is possible over VPN.  Now you can stream all your content on the go with your computer at home.  The built-in VPN client in Android ICS and JB work fine (I've had trouble with GB and Froyo)

 

CONNECTING TO VPN NETWORK AND MOUNTING CIFS SHARE:

1.  Install VPN client-- I use VPNRoot, an excellent app that supports MPPE encryption and can connect a VPN connection without the need for PIN, pattern, or face unlock.  I have the donate version (free version limitations may be a problem.)

2.  Connect to your home/office VPN via the VPN client.  I use DD-WRT supported routers with PPTP VPN Server enabled.  DynDNS will give you a free dynamic DNS host if you don't have a static IP.

3.  Use CIFS Manager to connect to network share.  Please note that all your internet traffic will be ported through the VPN, so beware of increased latency.

4.  Profit!

 

TIPS:

1.  On some Androids, I disable Media Scanning (with Rescan Media Root) so its not scanning terabytes of stuff over WiFi at bootup. 

2.  With apps like Poweramp, I disable the auto-scan feature (I add the share folder in Poweramp's settings and wait for it find the content.)

3.  A traffic monitor either on the sharing computer or on the phone is helpful (long wait times while scanning for content can occur in some apps.)  CIFS-mounted folders are quick to browse, but can take a long time to add content into a media player.

4.  If your Android throttles the WiFi network with the screen off, the WiFi High Performance Widget can override the throttling.


Edited by headfinoob - 7/30/12 at 5:10am
post #14 of 117
Thread Starter 
^ Wow, Great job, headfinoob. That sonds amazing. I am not computer savvy enough to understand all of it, but I am sure someone else will!
The screen display of your laptop / netbook has to be on all the time, correct? Can you have everything running with laptop's screen folded?
Edited by zzffnn - 7/30/12 at 5:30am
post #15 of 117
Thread Starter 
@ seeteeyou,
You proposal sounds interesting. You may want to keep an eye on the bulk and weight of that "single box" solution (it may be more of a transportable rig rather than truely portable-something that can fit into someone's pocket or hand like a cell phone). Please kindly show us a prototype if you going that route!
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