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Linux Distro for Music server

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Looking to take one of my old computers and convert it into a music server. Was wondering if there are any linux distro's that are particularly good with the audio stuff, sound cards, usb dac support and that sort of thing. I have Ubuntu and I am not that impressed. Possibly it is just Linux in general that has problems but, for example, I have found very few usb dacs that will work without a whole lot of tinkering.

post #2 of 6
I hear a lot about Vortexbox for music server duties. I've used a few usb dacs with no issues on ubuntu, these being the fubar dac, fiio e10 & the aune.
post #3 of 6

There is a dedicated Audio-Video distro based on Debian, AV-Linux http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=avlinux

"it also includes a custom kernel with IRQ threading enabled for low-latency audio performance"
 

post #4 of 6

Look into Voyage Linux. http://linux.voyage.hk/ Its not a desktop OS but its well suited to quality audio playback. it also has a learning curve but many have overcome the issues. Most of the other distros are do-all or fairly top heavy with features that don't help playback.

post #5 of 6
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post

Looking to take one of my old computers and convert it into a music server. Was wondering if there are any linux distro's that are particularly good with the audio stuff, sound cards, usb dac support and that sort of thing. I have Ubuntu and I am not that impressed. Possibly it is just Linux in general that has problems but, for example, I have found very few usb dacs that will work without a whole lot of tinkering.

 

My votes are for Xubuntu or UbuntuStudio

 

http://xubuntu.org/

http://ubuntustudio.org/

 

UbuntuStudio is designed and intended for audio production and editing work, with most known audio tools, apps, utilities and drivers preinstalled, plus a kernel tuned for low latency.  For music serving/playback it is well understood that a realtime kernel is not necessary.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/561961/bit-perfect-audio-from-linux

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuStudio/RealTimeKernel

 

re: "I have Ubuntu and I am not that impressed. Possibly it is just Linux in general that has problems but, for example, I have found very few usb dacs that will work without a whole lot of tinkering."

 

False.

 

All recent vintage commonly used desktop Linux distros use standard USB Audio 1.x and 2.x drivers, which is the protocol used by any DAC worth having, i.e. nearly all audiophile DACs on the market.

 

Clicking (systrayspeaker icon) > Sound Settings to select the USB DAC you want to output to, and/or selecting Preferences/Settings in any of the recommended Linux audio player/managers (DeadBeef, MPD frontends, gmusicbrowser, many others) and clicking ALSA then the USB output you'd like, are trivial to achieve bit perfect USB audio output.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/561961/bit-perfect-audio-from-linux

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1476780/audiophile-sound-on-linux

 

absolutely no more clicks or harder than performing sound settings on Mac OSX.

 

http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/CA-Setup-Guide.pdf

 

To top it off, FOSS audio players like Audacious (perhaps all common music player/managers on linux) *automatically* change the bit depth/sampling rate on the fly on a track by track basis via the USB DAC output vs the need for special commercial plugins/add ons like "Bit Perfect" for iTunes on OSX to do the same, or WASAPI on Windows.

 

Fercrissakes, I just plugged in a vintage Yamaha DP-U50 USB DAC + headphone amp/analog preamp (one of the first ever made for consumers in 1999) and it *just works* in UbuntuStudio 13.04, like any other recent  DAC that adheres to the USB Audio spec.

 

http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/audio10.pdf

 

http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/

 

No issues on Xubuntu/UbuntuStudio 13.04+ with my HiFiMan 101, HRT MusicStreamer II, or Music Hall 25.3 DACs, either.

 

It is trivial to install Xubuntu/UbuntuStudio from a burned disc or USB stick, simple autoboot plus gui wizard.

 

Bottomline- PEBKAC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_error

 

and/or the DAC(s) that were tried on linux didn't adhere to the USB Audio 1/2 specs, which makes them non standard and questionable to own.


Edited by wolfson - 8/17/13 at 5:49pm
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