Using Apple Products

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Having recently had problems with my HRT Music Streamer II and my Samsung netbook combo I have taken a the new step of ditching the PC and all the associated problems that come with it.

From now on I wll only be using my ipod, loaded with all my lossless files, and my ipad for Spotify premium and Tunein radio, e.t.c.

I think the sound quality form the HRT has been exceptional,such a shame about the interaction with the PC. I like the HRT so much that I have chosen the HRT istreamer as my new DAC.

I tried to add a picture but failed.

Once I have received the new HRT istreamer I will try and do a comparison with the HRTmusicstreamer II.

The istreamer is limited to CD quality but to be honest I dipped my toe in HD music and am fine with lossless files and 320mps

its also very portble, so I can take it with me and connect to my active speakers when away. It will be interesting to see how much an improvement the DAC is on the already superb headphone jack of the ipad. It will certainly improve the ipod.

I guess I am also pre empting a decent ipad user interface (app) by spotify, but I guess its just around the corner.

sorry mods if this is in the wrong section, but I do think its relevant to the direction HI FI is moving in.

I am sure you can move it if you think anothr section more suitable.

cheers
 

MajorFubar

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I'm a PC user (Vista) and while I have dipped my toes into streaming, ripping and replaying from HDD, I have to say I have found more problems than its worth.

Simple things like it'll happily play an album, but then sometimes quite randomly you need to reboot before WMP will fire-up again.

Then there's the three days it takes Windows to load and give me a properly-working desktop, despite the fact I have very little on the system except Open Office, Audacity and AVG 11. It's ten billion times quicker to pop a CD into my Marantz.

Perhaps the grass isn't any rosier on the other side (Mac), and perhaps Windows devotees are already keying-in defensive replies, but I for one won't ever try any of this streaming/ripping/HDD-playing stuff again until I can buy a Mac.
 

The_Lhc

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There are a billion* other options for streaming rather than directly from a PC or Mac, I can play my entire collection and my PC does not need to be on at all.

*this may be a slight exaggeration.
 
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The_Lhc said:
There are a billion* other options for streaming rather than directly from a PC or Mac, I can play my entire collection and my PC does not need to be on at all.

*this may be a slight exaggeration.

Agreed, Sonos and squeezebox are great alternatives.
 

MajorFubar

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al7478 said:
Blimey. Booting a PC doesnt take an age and once its on, its on.
...til it freezes, crashes, randomly starts stuttering and jumping because some auto-update is downloading something, needs rebooting because it's finished downloading something, WMP suddenly decides it's no longer working for no obvious reason without me rebooting the computer, Audio Devices defaults itself to the internal soundcard yet again even though I'm sure I disabled the damn thing, or it stops mid-track because it's dropped off the wireless network for the fifth time in an hour and lost contact with my NAS drive upstairs.

Nah no thanks. Perhaps I've just been particularly unlucky but streaming music from a PC has been about as successful for me as trying to clone a Rembrandt with the brush-handle shoved up a cat's ar$e. I just pop the CD in a proper player and have done with it lol :)

But if it works for you, that's great.
 

Alec

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MajorFubar said:
al7478 said:
Blimey. Booting a PC doesnt take an age and once its on, its on.
...til it freezes, crashes, randomly starts stuttering and jumping because some auto-update is downloading something, needs rebooting because it's finished downloading something, WMP suddenly decides it's no longer working for no obvious reason without me rebooting the computer, Audio Devices defaults itself to the internal soundcard yet again even though I'm sure I disabled the damn thing, or it stops mid-track because it's dropped off the wireless network for the fifth time in an hour and lost contact with my NAS drive upstairs. Nah no thanks. Perhaps I've just been particularly unlucky but streaming music from a PC has been about as successful for me as trying to clone a Rembrandt with the brush-handle shoved up a cat's ar$e. I just pop the CD in a proper player and have done with it lol :) But if it works for you, that's great.

All that reboot stuff can be ignored, Microsoft will not sue if you do not reboot when asked.

I do, however, see why peopel sometimes see PC audio as a bit of a hassle. I spend lots of time ripping, tagging, organizing...but I#d never go the CDP woute i dont think as thats not the way i mean to listen.
 
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well it turned up at the crack of dawn today............... and doesn't work. DAC magic on trial now, see how it likes my PC
 

MajorFubar

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I guess we're all different which is cool that's what makes the world go round but having to boot a computer when ever I want to play some music couldn't possibly be further removed from what it's all about for me.

But I'm glad we can all agree to be different yet the same.
 

The_Lhc

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MajorFubar said:
I guess we're all different which is cool that's what makes the world go round but having to boot a computer when ever I want to play some music couldn't possibly be further removed from what it's all about for me.

I couldn't agree more and I'm glad I don't need a PC on to listen to my music. #yourenotlisteningtomeareyou?
 

steve_1979

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MajorFubar said:
it freezes, crashes, randomly starts stuttering and jumping because some auto-update is downloading something, needs rebooting because it's finished downloading something, WMP suddenly decides it's no longer working for no obvious reason without me rebooting the computer, Audio Devices defaults itself to the internal soundcard yet again even though I'm sure I disabled the damn thing, or it stops mid-track because it's dropped off the wireless network for the fifth time in an hour and lost contact with my NAS drive upstairs.

It seems like you have some sort of problem with your PC. Do you ever do any kind of maintainance or check your drivers are upto date? Maybe a fresh install of Windows would fix it?

I use 3 different computers to listen to music. An old XP laptop, a newish Windows 7 desktop and a cheap Dell desktop at work running Vista. They all take between 30-60 seconds to boot up and play music flawlessley using Media Player and Spotify without ever having any of the problems that you mention.
 

Craig M.

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1st gen apple tv with upto 1Tb hdd. if you have an ipod touch/iphone or ipad (i assume), you can use it to control a 1st gen apple tv with your itunes library synced to it. no need to connect it to a tv or have a pc/mac running. just wirelessly resync when you have added a few new albums to the itunes on your pc/mac. i don't think you can beat the itunes/ipod remote app, as a control method.

^^^ that doesn't read very well, hopefully you can make sense of it.
 
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Craig, thanks for the reply,

Does your post mean you can connect a 1 st gen apple tv to a hard drive, or does it mean a first gen apple tv with 1 tb of storage?

Could I stream wirelessly to the first gen apple tv. I.e. Spotify.you tube.
 

Craig M.

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atv1 with 1tb internal storage, although i think 500gb will be more than adequate for me. i'm not sure of everything you can do with the atv1, it's a change i'm about to make myself.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the info Dave, however as my new thread will explain, its not been a great week in HIFI.
 

Messiah

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I can understand the frustration about using a PC and the various things it does.

I use a netbook which is dedicated for music. It is always on so no delay in it firing it up although Windows 7 is pretty quick.

All the tasks that you list can be scheduled to occur overnight when you are tucked up in bed.
 

MajorFubar

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steve_1979 said:
It seems like you have some sort of problem with your PC. Do you ever do any kind of maintainance or check your drivers are upto date? Maybe a fresh install of Windows would fix it?
Yes its got the most uptodate drivers, I frequently defrag it and use cc cleaner, virus checkers etc.

You're right that it would probably benefit from a rebuild, but I have no inclination to do it. By 2011, it's not something you should *have* to do to keep a computer working optimally.

In the context of other music sources, when I put my turntable in a new place I take time to set it up properly just once, then I never have to touch it again. I owned my last CD player for nearly 20 years and in that time I took the lid off once to clean the laser. Having to keep rebuilding and 'maintaining' a three year old computer in order for it just simply work properly is totally unacceptable if I'm to ever take it seriously as a viable music source.

Which is why I won't ever treat it seriously until I can afford a Mac. They seem much less prone to clogging-up with crap and don't seem to need a degree in computer science just to keep them working optimally. After all these years, PCs are still burdened by their history of being the defacto format of choice for red-haired bespectacled geeks in paisley sweaters who get off on motherboards, processor-speeds, RAM, ROM, caches and other boring stuff.

But that is of course just imo. Other opinions are available and are no doubt just as valid. :)
 

steve_1979

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MajorFubar said:
it would probably benefit from a rebuild, but I have no inclination to do it. By 2011, it's not something you should *have* to do to keep a computer working optimally.

Having to keep rebuilding and 'maintaining' a three year old computer in order for it just simply work properly is totally unacceptable if I'm to ever take it seriously as a viable music source. Which is why I won't ever treat it seriously until I can afford a Mac. They seem much less prone to clogging-up with crap and don't seem to need a degree in computer science just to keep them working optimally.

Yes you have a very good point there. As much as I like PC's and all of their 'geeky' aspects there's alot to be said for the simplicity of owning a Mac. As a dedicated mucic source in a hifi setup I would choose a Mac over a PC any day.
 

steve_1979

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MajorFubar said:
cc cleaner

This might be the cause of your problems. I've been informed by a reliable source that registry cleaners are best avoided because they are likely to cause more problems than they fix (at least where Windows 7 and Vista are concerned).
 

chebby

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MajorFubar said:
After all these years, PCs are still burdened by their history of being the defacto format of choice for red-haired bespectacled geeks in paisley sweaters who get off on motherboards, processor-speeds, RAM, ROM, caches and other boring stuff.

Three machines here. One Dell laptop based system (XP Pro for work), one Dell Tower PC (XP Pro and Win 7 for home use and backup system for work in case Laptop ever needs repair.) One Apple iMac and Airport Extreme 802.11n (AEx is home network hub).

I don't "get off on motherboards". The last time an old laptop needed a replacement motherboard I called Dell and the replacement + engineer were arranged for the next morning. I don't mess around with that nonsense myself. I have always paid for 3 or 4 year, onsite, next-day, support on our machines.

All undergo weekly housekeeping + backups. (I get time intensive 'housekeeping' - the backups - running when I am going out somewhere, so it takes up none of my time.)

Absolutely no similar problems - with any Windows machine - to those you described here...

MajorFubar said:
...til it freezes, crashes, randomly starts stuttering and jumping because some auto-update is downloading something, needs rebooting because it's finished downloading something, WMP suddenly decides it's no longer working for no obvious reason without me rebooting the computer, Audio Devices defaults itself to the internal soundcard yet again even though I'm sure I disabled the damn thing, or it stops mid-track because it's dropped off the wireless network for the fifth time in an hour and lost contact with my NAS drive upstairs. Nah no thanks. Perhaps I've just been particularly unlucky but streaming music from a PC has been about as successful for me as trying to clone a Rembrandt with the brush-handle shoved up a cat's ar$e. I just pop the CD in a proper player and have done with it lol :)

Those are the symptoms of an ill system. I suggest you get these problems fixed. I was streaming music from my Win XP Pro laptop (via a Beresford DAC) for three years with none of that happening!

If I were a bit richer I would buy another iMac but the cheapest one is about £1150 (with 3 year Apple Care) so it's not going to happen for a while. They look great, they are quiet (compared to a 'tower') and have good screens for photography. That's about it really.

If there was a PC that looked as good, and the iMac was the same price, I would throw a dice to decide which one to get. (Actually, I would buy the one with onsite next day, renewable, support. Apple don't do that.)
 

MajorFubar

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chebby said:
I don't "get off on motherboards".
...as don't most current PC owners. I just said that IMO the format is burdened by its history of being the defacto format of choice of those people who did. The fridge 'just works': I've no idea how beyond the basic physics of refrigeration. As does the cooker, the telly, the microwave and the vacuum cleaner. But the stuff I've had to learn about my computer just keep it working is unreal. On top of that are all the constant upgrades, fixes, patches and Service Packs. Then when suddenly some piece of software or hardware no longer works as it did I have to join an IT forum to find out why and start looking for driver and port conflicts etc etc. And on it goes.
 

chebby

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MajorFubar said:
On top of that are all the constant upgrades, fixes, patches and Service Packs.

Upgrades download in the background and are installed the next time you restart or shutdown the computer. (Unless you choose to click on the icon and tell it start.)

Worth mentioning that an Apple gets regular security and OS updates many of which require a re-boot to take effect.
 
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Anonymous

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I have considered many options for changing my system to not have to include my laptop but can't go through with it. In the 2 years or so I have used my laptop+DAC as a source it is only recently I encountered problems and they have promptly been sorted. As Messiah mentioned if you had a dedicated netbook for music I would imagine most problems would disappear, I would like one myself but my laptop gives me so little trouble I haven't bothered. I hibernate it on a night and set it to wake up automatically before my alarm goes off so it is ready to go when I wake up.
 

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