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Looking for a device which I'm not sure exists

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a device to replace my laptop as the device that reads my music files.

 

I would like to be able to plug in an USB external hard drive on one end, then navigate through the files using a screen on the device, and play the music sending the digital signal to my DAC.

 

Portability would be a plus, but is not necessary.

 

Does something like that exist? Usually, I guess people use their computers for such things, but since my laptop is pretty mediocre and has  freezing/buffering issues, I would like to find an alternative.

 

Basically, I'm looking for a CD transport that, instead of reading CD's, reads USB hard drives, and possibly SD cards.

 

Does a device like that exist?


Edited by Benjamin6264 - 8/5/12 at 3:30pm
post #2 of 21

so you basically want a DAP with a screen that read files from a portable drive and send the output trough a line out. basically a laptop with only the hability to reproduce music from a external drive.

 

Maybe a very small and light pad with USB/netbook input and audio out? 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

That's partially correct, except a DAP has a built-in DAC, while I would want the device just to send the digital data, a bit like an iPod when it's connected to an Algorithm Solo.

post #4 of 21

Cheap computer or laptop + an E10?

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin6264 View Post

That's partially correct, except a DAP has a built-in DAC, while I would want the device just to send the digital data, a bit like an iPod when it's connected to an Algorithm Solo.

 

I'd be shocked if suck thing exist, it is too specific, and the market tends to the other way, fancy touch screen, wifi, and other stuff that kills the battery. your best bet could be a slim netbook with great battery life. 

post #6 of 21

What you're asking for is too simple a device that needs to deal with complex requirements. From a commercial standpoint, it's not viable to make a device that supports 20 audio formats, USB audio out, and then, does just that.

The closest I can think are media streaming devices like Apple TV, WD TV Live etc.

post #7 of 21

One other significant technical challenge is the power required to handle a USB hard drive (assuming you're looking at a USB-powered 2.5" model and not a 3.5" model with its own power brick, which I think would defeat the point).  Those things use a couple watts.

 

Having networked media storage would be more feasible.

post #8 of 21
Western Digital has hardware like that, but you have to provide a TV or display.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/homeentertainment/mediaplayers/

ViewSonic, Asus, and a few others have competitive hardware.

Apple's Airport Express will stream digital from the network, if you have an Apple network, and iTunes; you can control it via iPod/iPad/etc. Or from your PC.

There's also hardware that will dock your iPod/etc and act as a source. But that can get expensive. Like this:
http://www.wadia.com/products/transports/170i/

For the price of some of this hardware, I'd probably get a new computer that works right though...
post #9 of 21

A WDTV will power a 500G 2.5 usb HD. It's OK but it has it's limitations. I prefer the Netgear NeoTV550 (which will also power a 500G 2.5 usb HD). Both the WDTV and 550 are not 100% bug free though, but overall I find them quite capable.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

A WDTV will power a 500G 2.5 usb HD. It's OK but it has it's limitations. I prefer the Netgear NeoTV550 (which will also power a 500G 2.5 usb HD). Both the WDTV and 550 are not 100% bug free though, but overall I find them quite capable.

If the USB ports on the device meet spec, they will power any device that also meets spec. This much is assured by logo compliance. When mfgrs start inventing their own arbitrary standards and ignoring specs, all bets are off.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


If the USB ports on the device meet spec, they will power any device that also meets spec. This much is assured by logo compliance. When mfgrs start inventing their own arbitrary standards and ignoring specs, all bets are off.

 

I agree. The 500G 2.5 drives I have require 1A to spin. My NAS cannot power them because it can only support 500mA per USB 2.0 spec. Just pointing out that this is something to watch out and that the WDTV and the NeoTV550 can handle the 1A monsters.

post #12 of 21

All these devices are ok for using by themselves, but they don't offer USB Audio do they? I doubt they support the USB Audio Class, so cannot be used with a DAC.

post #13 of 21

Cowon's D3 has S/PDIF output and MicroSDHC slot ..

http://anythingbutipod.com/2011/10/cowon-d3-plenue-review/

 

Basically, you need a device that has digital audio-output and supports

USB-Host mode .

Most devices capable of running Android 3.1 or later support USB-host mode,

if you have the right cables ..

https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/usb/host.html


Edited by AKG240mkII - 8/6/12 at 5:28am
post #14 of 21

Aune S1 : http://en.auneaudio.com/html/en_products/NewDesign/s-series/S1-Series/

 

Cocktail Audio X10 : http://www.cocktailaudio.com/home.html

Listened to the X10 powering Duevel Planets speakers (yes, it even has its own 30wpc speaker amp) and I have to say I almost walked out of there with it, but common sense kicked in considering I was initially there to listen to the fantastic Shanling SCD-T200. I'm gonna finish my single fullrange standmounts first and try them with it. It's small enough to transport between the computer set-up in the library which will get the speakers (will either stream audio signal via WiFi from my computer for web content/video, or use the 1TB stored audio for pure music) and ,y reference headphone system in my bedroom.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin6264 View Post

I am looking for a device to replace my laptop as the device that reads my music files.

 

I would like to be able to plug in an USB external hard drive on one end, then navigate through the files using a screen on the device, and play the music sending the digital signal to my DAC.

 

Portability would be a plus, but is not necessary.

 

Does something like that exist? Usually, I guess people use their computers for such things, but since my laptop is pretty mediocre and has  freezing/buffering issues, I would like to find an alternative.

 

Basically, I'm looking for a CD transport that, instead of reading CD's, reads USB hard drives, and possibly SD cards.

 

Does a device like that exist?

 

I think Bryston and Cambridge make what you are looking for,   Bryston calls it the BDP-1.  The cost will blow your mind.

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