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Simple/ good value media player- does the kit exist?

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Just trying to update my hi-fi from the 19th century to the 21st - at least thats what it feels like!

I don't want an IPod - I never listen to music "on the move". What I do want to do is to rip all my cd's to hard disc/ usb or whatever and play the ripped tracks back through my (analogue) amp - so that next time the discs are misplaced or in the car or nicked by the wife or kids, or worse still scratched - it wont matter. And I want the same cd quality - which means no mp3 as I understand it. AAC, AIFF or Apple lossless I believe are the formats I want.

So surely there must be a piece of kit (that is ONE piece) that can store (or at least read a memory stick) and play back an anaolgue output?

All I can find are great expensive items (e.g. the Naim Uniti),or complex wifi options using NAS drives/ pc's/ servers/ clients that are cheaper, but require all sorts of separate boxes to be turned on, wifi'ed up, controlled.

Please tell me I haves missed a trick and there is something (that probably looks like a cd player) out there (around £300) that will do the trick. There are a number of decent budget cd players at this price - why not a standalone media player?

(PS I can play mp3 tracks through my dvd player into the home cinema, but that sounds a lot worse than playing the cd on the dvd player even with the best quality mp3 settings, and anyway my hifi is actually in another room!
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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Depends how much storage you need. brennan JB7 has a built in amp and a line out if you don't want to use it, but only 80gig storage in its in-budget configuration. Apple TV has twice as much storage, can have more if you hack it, but a) requires you to use your computer to get music onto it, but can be left alone after that; and b) has no interface unless you plug it into a telly or use iPod Touch or iPhone to control it.

You might, however, consider one of the increasing number of CD players which will take a USB stick as an input. Marantz CD6003 is the first that comes to mind, but I know there are others.
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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Additionally - the file formats you mention are not an exhaustive list, though they're a good place to start. Also look for things that will play FLAC, WMA lossless and WAV as alternatives (though WAV takes up loads of disk space).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks guys - this looks just like it! Now I know why the local retailers didn't mention it - with them selling direct!

Just been reading the site: I presume their MP3 format does give the quality they suggest? i.e. YOu probably can't tell the difference?
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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StoneAgeMan:Just been reading the site: I presume their MP3 format does give the quality they suggest? i.e. YOu probably can't tell the difference?

Well, no one can say whether YOU'D be able to tell the difference, only you can determine that, however many people will say that even 320kbps MP3 isn't sufficient quality. Looks like the JB7 can store CDs in uncompressed format but that compromises the number of CDs that can be stored of course, it's a shame they don't support any lossless compression formats.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just reloaded a cd from at 320kbps (was at 160) - and played it back on the dvd player. On that machine I could definately tell a difference - but can't say which was worse! The mp3 track was"less noisy", the instruments were more separate - possibly a bit bright, but not harsh. The cd was definately "rounder" - but I decided I couldn't complain. The cd on my hifi is best, but I reckon 320kbps on the hifi through the Brennan will do it for me - never get to "listen" in the same way in the living room - too much intereference from the kids!

Thanks again - may even not use my stoneage amp when the Brennan comes!
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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StoneAgeMan: I reckon 320kbps on the hifi through the Brennan will do it for me

I find that quite a depressing thought to be honest, just for the lack of lossless compatibility you have to compromise your listening.

How many CDs have you got? If you get the 500Gb version you could get 630 cds on there. Might not sound that many but how many CDs do you currently listen to?

There ARE other options, I'd really urge you to seek them out.
 

8009514

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Jan 7, 2008
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StoneAgeMan:

So surely there must be a piece of kit (that is ONE piece) that can store (or at least read a memory stick) and play back an anaolgue output?

Please tell me I haves missed a trick and there is something (that probably looks like a cd player) out there (around £300) that will do the trick. There are a number of decent budget cd players at this price - why not a standalone media player?

You'll have to go considerably upmarket to find something which will recognise anything other than mp3 or wma on a memory stick.

Numerous All-in-Ones on the market in the £300 range, but I think I'm right in saying they will only recognise mp3 and wma files on the USB port.

Now the NaimUniti, well thats a bit differant!!!! Also costs a tad more.
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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8009514:You'll have to go considerably upmarket to find something which will recognise anything other than mp3 or wma on a memory stick.

Well this is £230 and will play MP3, WMA, AAC or FLAC from a stream or stick, and has analogue and digital outputs to connect to an amp.

 

8009514

Well-known member
Jan 7, 2008
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Andrew Everard:

8009514:You'll have to go considerably upmarket to find something which will recognise anything other than mp3 or wma on a memory stick.

Well this is £230 and will play MP3, WMA, AAC or FLAC from a stream or stick, and has analogue and digital outputs to connect to an amp.



Ha, always glad to be proved wrong, 'my missus does it to me all the time'. Didn't know about that unit.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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If you want one box then what about connecting your PC to a DAC and that to the amp? I accept if you count the computer it is two boxes. Or do you want the computer away from the hifi?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
the_lhc - I suppose it is a bit downheartening, but I always work on the principle do I want to spend another £200 on kit or buy a load more music - when my kit ges to a certain standard, the music always wins.

idc: I had thought about doing that. I really want my music kit for music, and not have to worry about booting up etc. However, my laptop always ends up getting replaced every few years - I could get a dacmagic and use the laptop, which could then get stripped down to become a dedicated music server next time it gets replaced. Would that work? I would end up compromising the simplicity for a bit of quality. Could later expand the source end of things.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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StoneAgeMan:the_lhc - I suppose it is a bit downheartening, but I always work on the principle do I want to spend another £200 on kit or buy a load more music - when my kit ges to a certain standard, the music always wins.

I understand that but in this case you seem to be admitting that you'll be lowering the standard of sound quality, just seems a shame to me. However if you can work with the Brennan using the uncompressed format (allowing for the reduced capacity that brings) the trade-off might not be too bad.
 

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