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Squeezebox Alternative or Chasing the Pegacorn


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So what I'm after isn't truly a squeezebox alternative but that's as close a description as I can find.  Probably a better comparison is to the Sony HAP1ZS but that's way out of my league.  In essence what I'm looking for is a music player with a HD inside that I can rip or transfer content to, has an intelligent and usable interface that doesn't require an external monitor, does not require a network connection to function, and doesn't cost $2k.  Perhaps even better put is what I really want is an iPod that's wall powered, with a larger display and larger HD.  A decent internal DAC would be a bonus. 

 

I don't want to just use a laptop.

I don't want to use an iPad.

I don't want to use an iPod.

 

Thoughts, suggestions and entertaining profanity are welcome.

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Olive one?

This strikes me as the right answer. Put it in a big box with a touch screen and use it directly, or use it as a server with a rpi or tablet as the player.

It's not really a laptop though.....it's a micro-size desktop that easily fits in my shelf.  My situation is such that - with the KVM - it's easy to control and work.  

 

That's actually the Sony that I was looking at yesterday.  Issue #1 is the puny HD (500GB) which can be overcome with an external, Issue #2 is the ~$1000 price tag, Issue #3 is I don't need or want the built-in speaker amps.  I know I'm after a product that evidently nobody else wants (hence no one making them) but jebus I'd hoped to find something for about half what I'm seeing...

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Nate, are you still into DIY?

 

Vortexbox gives you the software to host Squeezebox server, and handle ripping duties.

 

Then you can use jivelite /squeezelite to control it from a touch screen

 

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Wall-Mounted-SqueezePlayer-with-Raspberry-Pi/

 

(touch screen is ~$200)

 

Storage is cheap, cheap enough for an SSD - no moving parts.

 

Now put it all in one box :) 

 

That the sort of thing your were looking for ?

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I did something similar to the Vortexbox, but Windows.

 

I bought an inexpensive Lenovo ThinkCentre M53 Micro PC.  Because I'm using it near my regular computers, I just hooked it up via a 15' KVM cable to my existing KVM.  It has wireless capability, but I did run ethernet to it.

 

Loaded JRiver, and I can use the PC to access JRiver (which also supports some streaming services), PC again to go on web or do other services, and JRemote via the iPad.  USB to my Auralic Vega then to the KGSS-HV Mini.  I moved out my Auralic Aries, will probably sell it off.  EDIT: it can connect and run from my NAS, though I did also put a 2TB portable drive on it.

 

Even when i had my Sony HAP Z1ES in that same spot (easily accessible from my couch), I found myself using the iPad for navigation; just much better.  The Sony has easy to use front panel controls and a decent but small screen.

 

I guess more understanding of the situation in which you want to use it is needed.  Will there be access to a network (wired or wireless)?  How close will you be to it?  What outputs - digitial to DAC, analog to amp, etc?

 

I don't know of any great product that can do it all well.  As Tyll said, the Cocktail Audio is fugly to use; I've heard the Olives have some glitches as well, maybe more on their lower models; other models may just not sound as good.

Edited by skullguise
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Yeah, I really don't a laptop and unfortunately don't have the time to figure out how to custom build a box with a touch screen, etc.  

 

But I don't mind something that I have to control with a smartphone in order for it to be more useful.  A used Olive 04HD might suit the bill if I can find a decent one at a fair price.  

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I'm ignoring your criteria, but I recently got a Play1 Sonos speaker for the bedroom, and I'm really impressed with the Sonos software. My library, Google play music, tidal, and SiriusXM all right there in the Sonos app. Definitely getting a Sonos Connect for the big rig soon.

So yeah it streams from your computer but it's so freaking easy to use.

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I didn't say it couldn't have network connectivity just that it can't require it for day to day usage. There is no public network at my office and that's where I want to use this.

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^ I don't know about your base but at mine you'd be screwed with pretty a lot of the options above because of the new security rules they are putting in. I'm lucky they let me bring in my DAP. An obvious network port and PC equivalency would be non-starters.

Edited by Dreadhead
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^ I don't know about your base but at mine you'd be screwed with pretty a lot of the options above because of the new security rules they are putting in. I'm lucky they let me bring in my DAP. An obvious network port and PC equivalency would be non-starters.

 

At a bare minimum I'd have to get a dedicated permit for something like an iPad, not to mention a Laptop or PC looking thingy.  Hence me wanting to have it look as much like a CD player or home stereo component as possible.

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What, you don't want to bring tons of vinyl into work every day? ;D

 

I get it now....and I think indeed something like the Olive would be great.  There's a 04HD with 2TB on sale on Audiogon for $750

 

BTW, from what I've heard, steer clear of the Olive One.  Lots of firmware/software quirks originally, don't know if they've been resolved.

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You know, it doesn't even really need the ripping functionality.  That's just a nice to have. 

 

Part of the issue is that I've basically a) hated every iPod dock I've ever used and b ) don't want an iPod Touch for this duty with it's limited HD capacity.  If they still made the Classic I'd probably buy one.  If they basically took your average USB portable HD and just strapped a display on it it'd work too. 

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