A great (cheap) way to play computer music files?

kingnothing83

New member
Nov 16, 2007
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I came across something today that i thought might work as a great way to play mp3/flac etc

http://www.viglen.co.uk/viglen/Products_Services/Product_Range/Product_file.aspx?eCode=XUBUMPCL&Type_Info=Description&Type=Desktops&GUID=

Selling for £80 with an 80GB hard disk here http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/233848/80gb-viglen-mpc-l-79-inc-vat-delive

Surely you could hook up an external dac, and then have it plug into your existing hifi system as a great way to play music in the livingroom or wherever else without the need for a bulky (and possibly loud) pc, or a more expensive slimline pc? Obviously its pretty limited but i was impressed. I guess it depends if you can get any decent music players for ubuntu and if its little 500mhz processer and 512MB ram is enough to actually play large flac files for example
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It has no digital out.

But apart from that it's quite cute.ÿ
 

kingnothing83

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Nov 16, 2007
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yeah could definitely be used for lots of things dont you think? Not just music of course

no digital out isnt ideal, but you could still plug a usb dac / usb soundcard in to get good quality audio
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yeh you could use a USB DAC, it wouldn't have a problem playing back FLAC files either even with it's limited speed.

VLC link works on Ubuntu and plays almost any format.

Saying that for a second computer music set up I think it's quite interesting... provided all you want to do is surf internet/ email/ listen to music.
 

kingnothing83

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Nov 16, 2007
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yeah the ultra small/laptop pc market seems to be booming but this is the smallest thing ive seen, with a usb dac i dont see why it would be any worse for a music solution than a pc 10 times the price, its silent too!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Imo it's gimmick and nothing more. It may be silent but that's because it's underpowered and would struggle with anything other than limited web browsing. You certainly couldn't install xp so on it and there is no Linux version of iTunes. You could output to a USB dac if you get the right software and drivers to work on it.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yes but why would you need Windows, it has a perfectly good OP for it's capabilities. It's designed to do nothing more than simple operations hence it's cheap price. What do you expect for £80?

Edit: Reading your response again, why do you need itunes? Have you no imagination?ÿ
 

kingnothing83

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Nov 16, 2007
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itunes is awful in my opinion, the difference in quality between itunes and winamp/foobar with kernal streaming/ASIO is massive - and the fact that itunes still doesnt support flac is another annoyance

i agree no digi out is not ideal, but an external dac would bypass the problem (although at an expence of more than than system itself!)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Some PC World Stores have (the non WiFi) Freecom 320Gb music server (fanless) for £124 at the moment.

Basically load your music files onto it from PC (it'll handle lossy and lossless formats but support is limited). It presents as an external HDD to the PC.

Then plug device into your amp via phono leads and into your telly via component video.

You get a menu you can navigate on the TV (pretty basic) via a remote control and you can create playlists from the stored music or pick tracks to play etc.

There are WiFi versions and versions with bigger HDD's but they cost more. Note it's not in every P C World I think it's old stock most likely.
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
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It's a real shame the guys that produce these music servers don't bother with a digital-out port on the back of them. for the couple of quid it would cost them, and a cheap DAC, you could have a fantastic system for peanuts.

And before anyone mentions it, I know there is the apple TV, but that's £200 and only 40Gb...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Welshboy, I believe you are missing the point. This is a very simple little PC capable of a few simple tricks. All for £80. You could then install you're schmee-schmee World NAS and use it to support the small onboard storage.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
But it's made by Alan Sugar (remembers flakey old Amstrad amplifier kits and runs away sobbing)
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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welshboy:But it's made by Alan Sugar (remembers flakey old Amstrad amplifier kits and runs away sobbing)

I never thought to ever see Amstrad mentioned on these forums. Many years ago I took my system around to a friend's house to provide the music for a party. To make room for it we had to move his Amstrad 'tower' system upstairs. It could have been carried by a five year old. The stapled hardboard back was loose and you could see the entire 'system' was glued/stapled/blu tacked onto the back of a fake aluminium panel that had printed lines on the front to give the distant impression of individual units. The whole unit had to be propped up by other furniture to keep the wobbly chipboard 'rack' from leaning over. It made small explosions just being switched on or off.

Hideous nasty stuff and Alan Sugar's regular appearances on TV as some kind of paragon of British Business acumen is a gross insult to anyone who ever paid hard-earned cash to have his rubbish foisted on them! It only sold because of the little card Union Flag labels attached to them. People probably bought it on price and patriotism and got electrically unsafe tat in return.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Not all Amstrad kit was bad. He did get the country into PC's (well word processors anyway) and that was a big plus.

His amp kits (I'm going back 45 years now) were OK once you got them going and tossed some of the cheaper bits in favour of things that worked properly.

But I do agree his "HiFi" was lammentable stuff.
 

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