AUDIO over IP - REDNET 3 & 16 Review. AES67 Sets A New Standard for Computer Audio
May 2, 2016 at 3:19 PM Post #16 of 3,693
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I wonder whatever became of that Uptone Audio over IP project?  I certainly agree with everything @Superdad has said in these last CA posts:
More interesting quotes from that CA thread (I added the bolding):
06-04-2015, 01:21 AM
#219

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While Ravenna (AES 67) is more open license than Cobranet, Dante,
Ethersound, AVB, and other "real time", low latency audio over IP
protocols before it, it appears to still have very stringent requirements
with regards to the network switches it will work with. Even the
Merging/Ravenna guidebook that Tranz linked to above says that they
require a very specific model of Dell Ethernet switch (though that paper
was written several years ago).
My point is, it remains to be seen how tolerant and robust it is in home
network environments.

But I really like that we are finally going to have an open standard
audio IP protocol, free of heavy license fees. And best of all, it is not
DLNA! (Cue the wrath of that Cebolla onion fellow now.
wink.png
)





 
May 2, 2016 at 3:53 PM Post #17 of 3,693
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Mike, what audio player are you using?
 
It appears Foobar works fine with DANTE DVS.
 
More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
 
 
Quote:
06-06-2015, 12:59 AM
#13

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Originally Posted by jabbr
I don't think Audirvana is playing in the streaming space. HQPlayer with NAA already has this nailed. Nothing for Ravenna to add (IMHO). Can't comment

on XXHighEnd ... but would be willing to if a NOS1a happened to show up on

my doorstep
wink.png







What I meant is that I wonder about the compatibility between the
Merging's Ravenna software (the stuff that makes their NADAC look to
the OS and apps like another sound output "card") and player apps like
those mentioned which have their own OS-workarounds to allow them
to shine. In other words, will an HQ Player or A+ user be able to output
to a Ravenna network DAC? If not, then while it is a different topology,
it is no more interesting to me than DLNA/UPnP solution.





 
May 2, 2016 at 4:04 PM Post #18 of 3,693

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  Mike, what audio player are you using?
 
It appears Foobar works fine with DANTE DVS.
 
More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300

 
I've been using JRiver, but any application that can use an ASIO driver should work fine with the virtual sound card.
 
May 2, 2016 at 4:06 PM Post #19 of 3,693
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More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
So a bit of clarification on the post below - as I understand it (from the Postive-Feedback review of the the RAVENNA based NADAC) a QoS network switch allows the prioritiaztion of devices on a LAN - in other words a 'smart' switch.  This is only needed on very high traffic 1GB LANs (10GB should be no problem), or if you are running 16+ channels of 192k mix at once -in a studio setting.  In a home with a 1GB LAN - 2 channel QoS is not needed for DANTE or RAVENNA.
 
PS second note- The upcoming AVB IEEE std does require special switches as it's only layer 2.
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
Quote:
06-06-2015, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Cebolla
What I was attempting to point out in my first post is that the Ravenna model

uses the network between the audio file player and DAC, whereas

the

majority of current music file streaming devices use the network between a

udio file storage device and audio file player (ie the streaming

devices are

the audio file players).

Ravenna uses the network to carry the (realtime) digital audio

signal, so the

DAC is subject to any network timing issues and Ravenna needs

to account for this. On the other hand the streaming devices

(network audio players/renderers/streamers) I mentioned use the network to carry audio

file data (ie, non-realtime and yet to be decoded to a digital audio signal),

so any DAC further down the chain is not subject to network timing issues.






That's better; Glad we are on the same page John.
wink.png

That's also what I was alluding to (barely because I was really tired) in
post #13 above when I mentioned topology. I was trying to find the
words you did with regards to the push versus pull model differences
between DLNA renderers (pulling files) and something like Ravenna,
AirPlay, or Signalyst NAA where the device gets packetized audio "pushed" to it.

A potential advantage to the latter is that the Ethernet input of the DAC '
does not have to be an "intelligent," programmed processor. Perhaps
more importantly, an Ethernet-input DAC that does not have to be a full
"renderer" depends only on the s/w and drivers at the end (the computer),
and does not burden the DAC maker quite as much with ongoing
support for the hardware. I know that is a generalization,
and indeed some of the standardization and market penetration of
DLNA has made the above a little easier. But still, look at the struggle
a lot of companies have in implementing trouble-free DLNA/UPnP.
I think you know this more than most.
smile.png


All that said, I think Ravenna/AES67 has to make it out into the real
world and in a number of products before it can be judged one way or
another. If it indeed has stringent network switch and wiring
requirements, those might become a deal-breaker for wide acceptance
Not everyone has a QoS configurable switch--and if they do, do
they know how to configure it? If Ravenna proves more challenging
than DLNA (i.e. is not a totally easy, plug-and-play solution), then I
don't expect it to gainsignificant market-share.

Sort of brings me back to my now-old rant on just how much Apple
screwed up by keeping Airplay so closed, expensive, and data-format
constrained. Because the user side of it is the easiest thing imaginable.

Have a great weekend,
--Alex C.





 
May 2, 2016 at 4:32 PM Post #21 of 3,693
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So this is interesting - putting aside the studio scheme - of having to run many DACs, ADCs, etc simulateously on a LAN.  Let's just consider the home one stereo situation - but one were you are just looking to get rid of USB as your DDC connection.  It would seem to me that you would just set your DAC - like the BURL B2 - to internal clock and the ethernet would provide the music data stream in packets.  Now TCP/IP packets not USB packets - a superior protocol?  At least easy, built in galvanic isolation.  And no power + data creating issues like USB.   But say, in a two system home environment use the better clocked DAC as the master.

 
 
It seems there is inherent to this AES67 protocol the ability to assign slave and master to each DAC on the LAN.
 
Maybe add a nice OXCO as a Word clock in to say the BURL then let that be the LAN's master clock.
 
Maybe as a system(s) upgrade add one of these - OXCO
Tascam​
CG-1000 - Master Clock Generators.​
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1076422&gclid=CIyTzPedvMwCFZNgfgodZ30D2g&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C92051678282%2C&is=REG&A=details
 
 
More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
 
 
Quote:
06-06-2015, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Cebolla
Ravenna uses the network to carry the (realtime) digital audio signal, so the DAC is subject to any network timing issues and Ravenna needs to account for this.






John, do you mean to say that Ravenna encodes clock with audio signal similar to AES/EBU? Thanks





 
May 2, 2016 at 4:47 PM Post #22 of 3,693
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More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
 
 
 
Quote:
 
09-15-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tranz
But if all the user wants to do is serve audio files unaltered, unprocessed, without upsampling to the DAC, why would DLNA not suffice?






That's quite limited use case...

I didn't even get to dealing with digital room correction and multichannel setups yet.
  Are there packets or bits getting lost without the user knowing?




For getting unaltered data to DAC, DLNA is not good either. First, to get anything started it requires very delicate dancing between three devices. And it requires processing from the renderer (decoding source content). It is not very good for unprocessed either, because you don't know if and how the server is messing with your data.

At the end, It is practically same as telling your web browser to play content from a web server, like YouTube. Control Point is telling which content Renderer (you web browser) should load from the Media Server (web server). If you need to seek backwards, Renderer needs to disconnect from the server and issue a new HTTP GET request, because you cannot go backwards in the stream. Since the GET request is made with byte offset it is only whereabouts with any compressed stream (like FLAC), because exact position cannot be calculated on a variable bitrate.

I didn't like UPnP before, and after implementing UPnP/AV support to HQPlayer I like it even less. It is also very prone to all kinds of network issues which are hard to track down. For example I had two dumb gigabit switches (non-managed) that didn't pass UPnP for some strange reason, but for example NAA was working fine through those. I spent lot of time chasing down why it didn't work and at the end, using Wireshark I discovered that the mDNS packets sent to the switch didn't appear on any other port. It's a tech support nightmare.





 
May 2, 2016 at 4:54 PM Post #23 of 3,693
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Sorry for posting so many of these Ca posts here - but it's a facintatiing discussion between Superdad from Uptone, Miska creator of HQPlayer and vortecjr from Sonore (Rendu fame) - on UpNP and DNLA as the audio over IP solution.  Many interesting issue brought up - besides the lack of audio player compatibility with UpNP.
 
More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
 
 
Quote:
 
09-15-2014, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by vortecjr
I'm sorry your having problems with your UPNP implementation, but they are your problems not mine.






Again, I'm not talking of any particular implementation, I'm talking about the standard.

UPnP standard is built on top of HTTP standard and limitations and stupidities of HTTP standard have nothing to do with my implementation. You can also read yourself what UPnP/AV standard says about server side transcoding and what DLNAstandard says about mandatory and optional codecs.

It is not my implementation problem either if BubbleUPnP nor PlugPlayer can find MinimServer (or Sony TV, game consoles, Windows or anything else) over UPnPbecause switch doesn't let the necessary ethernet packet through. I've also heard of similar problems for certain internet routers between their built-in WiFi and ethernet too. And I've read reviews of UPnP gear on magazines too.

None of this has nothing to do with my implementation.


By the way, I cannot find Rendu from the DLNA product search:
Product Search





 
May 2, 2016 at 5:02 PM Post #24 of 3,693
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Oh - like the ICRON/Startech 1GB USB extender!  Way to go sandab!
 
http://usbip.sourceforge.net
 

USB/IP PROJECT -​

 
More interesting quotes from this CA thread (I added the bolding):
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/ravenna-streamer-24708/#post433300
 
Quote:
09-27-2014, 06:37 PM
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Take a small controller board, like an Olimex LPC one with ethernet (I like the LPC2400 series) and host USB ports, then create custom firmware to run it as aUSB-over-TCP tunnel endpoint. At the other end create a tunnel USB host controller (driver) that can discover network-tunneled USB devices. (Zeroconf is excellent for this.) Then just use the regular old OS async USB audio drivers with the tunnel. Stick the board inside something like a Gustard U12, add a separate attenuated 12V DC power supply. Hook it up to whatever quality DAC you wish. Looks like there's a similar project already - USB/IP Project, so there's at least Linux/OSX code to start with, but the uC end needs a bit of effort (but could be prototyped with a Beagleboard or something running Linux for simplicity).





 
May 2, 2016 at 5:07 PM Post #25 of 3,693
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10-24-2014, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Cebolla
Certainly it doesn't matter about the music player software's actual music file playing functionality, because that's built into the UPnP renderer and no reason why it can't be designed to be every bit as good.






My best laugh of the day so far. You ought to look closer at what it takes to implement a DLNA renderer. The processor and processing it goes through is immense. And from the s/w side, the architecture sucks as well (for just one developer's screed see: Why do I hate DLNA protocol so much ? | Ben's Lost World - Diary of a GeeXboX developer). Sorry, but to me, DLNA and purist audio are like oil and water.





 
May 2, 2016 at 5:08 PM Post #26 of 3,693
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Last one!
 
 
10-24-2014, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cebolla
Does that mean that you don't believe UPnP devices like the any of the ones mentioned in the above posts, can be considered purist audio ones?






No, I did not mean that. But I also don't want people to think that the Ethernet input/renderer hardware to offer UPnP/DLNA is a walk in the park or all the same. There is just as much affecting the SQ of such inputs as there was/is with USB. And remember all the crappy USB inputs that were/are added to DACs or players in the rush to include USB?
By no means am I saying that MSB's Ethernet/DLNA input module is crap, but I am certain if you asked Dustin what it took to do it right he would tell you a long and tortured story.
There are a VERY few properly done Ethernet/DLNA audio input modules available for OEMs to use in their products. Here is one example: Network Audio Renderer | ABC PCB 100 piece OEM wholesale price for it was almost $400 in 2012.

As for the s/w side of things: Yes, some of the player people seem to manage, but ask them if they like the architecture. DLNA is by no means an elegant or universally compatible solution.





 
May 2, 2016 at 9:33 PM Post #27 of 3,693
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Sorry this is just too good!  How did I miss this thread last yr?  I wasn't looking for it. 
 
Yes! This is Thunderbolt  - now to merge connector (for lower cost connector and cable liscencing and production costs) with USB 3.1 called USB-C.  This will be Thunderbolt 3 (including a doubling of throughput over TB 2).  Basically Thunderbolt is PCIe external.  See more on my other Thunderbolt thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/806121/thunderbolt-3-for-audio-is-this-the-next-computer-audio-standard
 
10-26-2014, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Miska
In good case, that's called a PC with PCIexpress sound card.
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Miska: Along those lines, what might be clever would be do a nice DAC (perhaps a variant of your DSC1) on a PCIe card, but plug it into the far end of an Adnaco fiber PCIe extender (Adnaco-S1B: 5Gb/s Over Fiber Optic Expansion System – 4 PCIe Slots) to provide galvanic and EMI/RFI isolation from the computer. At the computer end (with the PCIe fiber extender card installed), the OS would see the DAC as a sound card (hopefully just using ASIO or WASAPI drivers). So one gets to skip USB, Ethernet, and S/PDIF altogether, and should still have broad compatibility with player s/w.




 

 
May 2, 2016 at 9:36 PM Post #28 of 3,693
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Audinate's Dante - $29 licensing cost for the DVS - seems reasonable.
 
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/lan-input-dacs-21722/index4.html
 
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10-26-2014, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Habanero Monk
Not sure what you guys are doing that Dante isn't or Crown or Meridian.






We researched all the audio over Ethernet APIs and systems: Audinate's Dante, Cirrus Logic's Cobranet, Digigram's Ethersound, etc. Some were interesting in that they use data link layer packets instead of TCP/IP packets. But they all had more layers and complexity than what we are after--even if they do manage the very low latency and multicasting required for broadcast and alive sound reinforcement us. Not to mention rather steep licensing costs and the same player software limitations as with DLNA.
 
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Originally Posted by Habanero Monk
Curious as to how you are going to supersede I2S (if I'm reading your post correctly). That would require custom sand I believe.






What I meant was that the Ethernet (and optionally USB) input module at the DACside may not output I2S directly; rather the board would run a high-speed, raw signal (in a format with chip types we are keeping secret for now) over to ether:
a) the DAC board where the licensee would receive it with isolators and flops and feed their own clock, etc.;
or for the DIY version
b) a small board with isolators, flops, and good clocks (which could even be skipped if the user wanted to feed his own clock back), and which would output I2S.




 

 
May 2, 2016 at 9:41 PM Post #29 of 3,693
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Yes Thunderbolt 3!  See Focusrite's very reasonably price Clarett Pre4 - Thunderbolt 2 to SPDIF
https://us.focusrite.com/thunderbolt-audio-interfaces/clarett-4pre
 
 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/lan-input-dacs-21722/index4.html
 
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10-27-2014, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Superdad
Miska: Along those lines, what might be clever would be do a nice DAC (perhaps a variant of your DSC1) on a PCIe card, but plug it into the far end of an Adnaco fiber PCIe extender (Adnaco-S1B: 5Gb/s Over Fiber Optic Expansion System – 4 PCIe Slots) to provide galvanic and EMI/RFI isolation from the computer.






It wouldn't be a single-box solution anymore. Thunderbolt could be used to make it external too (Thunderbolt is just 1x PCIexpress on a cable).

Nice thing is that it would allow busmaster-DMA and could easily do something like DSD1024 at 8 channels...




 

 
May 2, 2016 at 9:47 PM Post #30 of 3,693
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This really is a remarkable couple of CA threads - and is a great primer to bring to where we are now!
 
Right now the Focusrite Clarett Pre 4 has Thunderbolt 2 (PCIe - external) to SPDIF solution for $699
 
and The DANTE AES67 Ethernet REDNET 3 - Ethernet to SPDIF for $799.
 
What we need is for a XMOS type FPGA solution for a low cost TB2 or 3 to SPDIF/i2s, and/or AES67 RJ45 DANTE (or RAVENNA) to SPDIF/i2s device.
 
Something like the U8 or XU208 for USB.
 
Time is ripe!
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