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Nick Dangerous

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The old PC is now sitting on the floor next to my stack of stereo equipment.

It's amazing what an old PC, a 50' length of LAN cable, and a wireless keyboard can do. I can't tell you how much fun it is to load up the Rhapsody player, dial up any tune I want from the sofa, and have it instantly come roaring out of the Oris Project.

Where am I sitting right now? On the sofa!

Viva le convergence!

Next step: Use the TV as the PC monitor (gotta find a cheap PCI video card w/TV out). Also, as mentioned in another thread, I still need to upgrade the sound card. The M-Audio Delta 410 looks interesting at $175. It's the least expensive offering that provides SP/DIF coax output.
 
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Calanctus

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Due to the failure of my almost brand-new Sony XA777ES (can't read ToC on half of my CDs!
), last night I hooked up my computer to my Musical Fidelity A324 via SPDIF. This was just a hack to allow me to use the CD drive in the computer as a transport...but then it dawned on me, like it did for you Nick, that any music out there is now almost instantly playable through my big rig instead of my tiny PC speakers.

I don't have a wireless keyboard (no good for twitch gaming) so you are still ahead of me in that department, but the sound through the MF is actually pretty darn good.

It was pretty cool to hear the music Windows plays when shutting down through my main stereo!
 
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Sol_Zhen

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"big rig instead of my tiny PC speakers"

Heh. I hate computer speakers, so I just run the digital out from my PC Card into my receiver.
 
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shivohum

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Very nice, Nick! You could probably stick a DVD player in that PC with an appropriate sound card and make it a home theater system. Just add another pair of horns for surround
 
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Nick Dangerous

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I'm enjoying listening to Rhapsody via my stereo and controlling it over the TV with a wireless keyboard. It is the epitome of convenience and is, in my opinion, the future of music for the masses.

After installing the M-Audio Delta Dio 2496, I expected the sound quality to improve, particularly since it is being piped directly into a Bolder tweaked Art DI/O. No dice. Compared to CD's, the quality is definitely below par... ranking with 128-196 MP3's.

I compared Rhapsody's sound quality with a CD playing the exact same track on my Xbox. Both were routed into my A/B preamp. Switching between them in real time revealed obvious differences. Despite the advantage of the Delta Dio 2496 and tweaked Art DI/O, the Rhapsody stream was not as engaging. High frequencies sounded blurred, and the overall presentation somewhat murky by comparison.

During the A/B tests, Rhapsody had another evil surprise waiting in store. Because of the way it streams music, the DI/O has to re-establish its SP/DIF lock between *each song*. Those of you who have a DI/O know how finicky it can be, right? I'd occasionally get nothing but static between songs.

This sucks, and I intend to fix it if at all possible.

With these disadvantages, is a Rhapsody-stereo something to consider? YES!! The sheer variety of its music list is unbeatable, as is the convenience and affordability. I want, er... need better sound quality, but with all this music at my fingertips I can wait...

...for now.
 
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grinch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Nick Dangerous
I want, er... need better sound quality, but with all this music at my fingertips I can wait...

...for now.


you can buy a $2000 sound card for your computer and it isn't going to make any difference. no matter how much you throw at the hardware, those windows media encoded crap files aren't going to sound great. if you want better sound, i'd suggest saving your $5/month for a couple of months and buying cds with the money.


i would think that service is made for listening on crappy altec lansing computer speaker setups, not high-powered horn-speaker setups.
 
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bootman

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This is one of those situations where you have to give up some sound quality for the sake of convenience.

The problem is with the data not the source (sound card).
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Right-o. I know the source stream is to blame. I'm not going to raise a stink with Rhapsody because right now there is no other alternative.
 
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