Mini-PC setup?
Jun 23, 2020 at 9:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

acs236

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Does anyone have a setup where they use a mini PC or other computer essentially as a transport to an extermal dac, and then use either an iPad/iPhone or Android phone to control the PC (select songs, etc.)? Is such a thing possible?
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 10:06 AM Post #2 of 40

ScornDefeat

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Does anyone have a setup where they use a mini PC or other computer essentially as a transport to an extermal dac, and then use either an iPad/iPhone or Android phone to control the PC (select songs, etc.)? Is such a thing possible?

Yes, this is essentially what a streamer (like Sonore or Lumin, etc. that charge high prices) is; a regular PC in a HTPC/micro-itx case, controlled via a remote app.

I built my own PC in an HTPC Case (Streacom is the brand), connected it to my DAC, run it on Linux headless, and control it via Roon Remote on an iPad (also have No Machine, an app which lets me access a desktop environment on the HTPC, remotely, when needed).

Works flawlessly.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 10:26 AM Post #3 of 40

wantan

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You can use a Raspberry Pi with Volumio or Moode Audio etc. It's easy to build and set up and is controlled via a webbrowser. You can even add a spdif output card like the Hifiberry Digi to the Raspberry.There are endless options and you get high quality for little money. And it' easy to do.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 11:18 AM Post #4 of 40

acs236

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Very interesting. Is there a reason you're running it on Linux as opposed to Windows? I have a fair amount of experience with Linux, but never used it for audio applications.

Yes, this is essentially what a streamer (like Sonore or Lumin, etc. that charge high prices) is; a regular PC in a HTPC/micro-itx case, controlled via a remote app.

I built my own PC in an HTPC Case (Streacom is the brand), connected it to my DAC, run it on Linux headless, and control it via Roon Remote on an iPad (also have No Machine, an app which lets me access a desktop environment on the HTPC, remotely, when needed).

Works flawlessly.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 11:34 AM Post #5 of 40

ScornDefeat

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Very interesting. Is there a reason you're running it on Linux as opposed to Windows? I have a fair amount of experience with Linux, but never used it for audio applications.

I find Linux to be rock-solid as far as reliability, stability and compatibility. I've had issues with Windows on all 3 fronts when using it in audio applications. That being said, I think Windows 10 could get the job done; it's just a lot of wasted PC resources. It takes much more computing power to just get Windows 10 running than Linux, power I'd rather have towards processing audio. I use my HTPC as a Core/Server and Streamer in the same box. For straight streaming, the most barebones PC or RaspPi build will suffice.

There is a dedicated home audio Linux distro called Audio-Linux (aptly named lol). It cost money (50 euros, I believe), and its really just Arch Linux with everything you need to optimally serve and stream music pre-loaded, but it makes the process incredibly simple for those who aren't as Linux saavy. I use Ubuntu on my workstation, but I did splurge for Audio-Linux on my headless HTPC and it really made it simple and effective.
 
Jun 23, 2020 at 1:12 PM Post #6 of 40

Roseval

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Jun 25, 2020 at 11:25 AM Post #7 of 40

gimmeheadroom

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Does anyone have a setup where they use a mini PC or other computer essentially as a transport to an extermal dac, and then use either an iPad/iPhone or Android phone to control the PC (select songs, etc.)? Is such a thing possible?

I have a minipc which is used for Tidal hifi and playing music files off my server using CIFS/SAMBA from foobar2000. I guess there must be a portable client UI to foobar but I didn't look into it. In another room I have a node 2i that is a streamer. I think you will end up paying for a music player that can play from streaming services and also from a LAN and I don't need the remote control for the minipc. I just run Tidal desktop etc.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 1:47 AM Post #8 of 40

474194

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Does anyone have a setup where they use a mini PC or other computer essentially as a transport to an extermal dac, and then use either an iPad/iPhone or Android phone to control the PC (select songs, etc.)? Is such a thing possible?

I wrapping up my guide by the end of the month if you want to get an idea of this process:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yet...reaming-alternative-to-2go-poly.905925/page-3

Please don't post on linked thread as the guide is not complete yet.

Maybe here is a better start as it shows the front-end:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yet...-alternative-to-2go-poly.905925/post-15024828
 
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Jun 27, 2020 at 12:46 PM Post #10 of 40

acs236

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I got it working with RPi 4. It's not recognizing a some of my music files, so I'll have to look into that.

One question... is it a bad idea to keep music files on a separate partition of the microSD as opposed to a separate USB flashdrive?

I wrapping up my guide by the end of the month if you want to get an idea of this process:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yet...reaming-alternative-to-2go-poly.905925/page-3

Please don't post on linked thread as the guide is not complete yet.

Maybe here is a better start as it shows the front-end:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yet...-alternative-to-2go-poly.905925/post-15024828
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 5:38 PM Post #11 of 40

474194

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I got it working with RPi 4. It's not recognizing a some of my music files, so I'll have to look into that.

One question... is it a bad idea to keep music files on a separate partition of the microSD as opposed to a separate USB flashdrive?

Wow, that's amazing you are up and running. Must of made a MicroCentre or Fry's run for hardware.

Try going into Advanced | File Types setting like photo below:

111.png


222.png


333.png


Try fiddling with the settings. The official site is here if you want to troubleshoot:

https://forums.slimdevices.com/forumdisplay.php?3-Linux-Unix&s=1e9f7f02b451cf005ee8ef5afa61354b

Do you mean a separate microSD or another partition on the boot microSD?
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 5:58 PM Post #12 of 40

vmiguel

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I’m running MyVolumio on Raspberry Pi 4, sources being TIDAL, hi-res files on a “NAS” (another Raspberry with a HDD), Rádio Paradise, countless other webradios, controled via IOS App and web browser on PC. Data is sent to an external dac and from there to powered speakers and headphone amo.
Great combo!
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 1:14 PM Post #13 of 40

acs236

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Microcenter. I had thought I could use space on the boot microsd in another partition to store files since the operating system is so small. Not a big deal though. This way I just put everything on a separate device.

I had a couple of whole album flac/cue combos. It wasn't reading those so I just split them into separate flac files.

I may experiment a bit with different android squeeze controllers. But it's so much more convenient than my other setup.

I also need to figure out the best way to shut it down when I'm done listening.
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 1:48 PM Post #14 of 40

big45-70

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You can use a Raspberry Pi with Volumio or Moode Audio etc. It's easy to build and set up and is controlled via a webbrowser. You can even add a spdif output card like the Hifiberry Digi to the Raspberry.There are endless options and you get high quality for little money. And it' easy to do.

This is pretty well exactly what you are looking for, I use a setup just like this.
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 7:01 PM Post #15 of 40

474194

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Microcenter. I had thought I could use space on the boot microsd in another partition to store files since the operating system is so small. Not a big deal though. This way I just put everything on a separate device.

I had a couple of whole album flac/cue combos. It wasn't reading those so I just split them into separate flac files.

I may experiment a bit with different android squeeze controllers. But it's so much more convenient than my other setup.

I also need to figure out the best way to shut it down when I'm done listening.

Yes, you can. Previous versions say PcP <5.0 it was not recommended by the developer, but I think it's perfectly fine with >5.5. The whole OS loads in RAM, so I don't see it as an issue. Many in the slim devices forums implement with no issues. I tried it and it has no issues. It maybe something is past versions, but modern versions I believe it's fine.

This was planned in the Advanced section of my guide because for most, it maybe foreign territory. But for you it should be quite simple and straightforward. Just boot with a USB linux drive or use a linux VM. Allocate the rest of your microSD card to store your music. I use EXT4 sometimes, but exFAT maybe more convenient. With EXT4, you will likely have to deal with permissions issues. Simple to resolve, but can be a pain in the long run.

After this step, you can allocate the rest of your microSD. I believe you are past this since you were able to install LMS, but just cautionary before you allocate the rest of the drive.

Click "Resize FS":


resize1gb.png



Select 1000 MB, the click "Resize".

It will need to reboot a few times to resize the partition. Please be patient.

If you past this step, just go ahead and allocate the rest of your microSD card.

I have not tried whole FLACs yet since I'm always tinkering. If I run into a solution I will post.

Yes, very flexible modern solution with great SQ. The $10k streamers use the exact same software:

http://antipodes.audio/squeezebox/

Squeezelite is the highest quality playback software available today. There's a reason $10k streamers use this software.

Since the whole OS loads in RAM and I use for portable. I just plug and unplug power. Maybe you can use a power switch. I've used for a year this way with no issues.

I'm mainly a battery-only type for ultimate SQ purity. So my sound philosophy is LiFePO4 batteries, i2s output and optical. I use no mains or USB audio in the chain. LiFePO4 batteries have the dynamic power and low impedance of a car battery. This works great for dynamic complex music with dynamic swings.

So now I'm using this setup with a physical power button:

4life.png


bottomview.png
 
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