Vortexbox Appliance is a great machine for ripping, storing and playing flac file music files and so much more.....

Julian_b

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Jun 14, 2008
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Vortexbox 2 TB Appliance arrived and is now up and running
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Have partnered it with a Boxee Box in addition to my Yamaha RX V3067. This now covers MKV movies via the Boxee Box as well flac audio files directly from the Vortexbox to the amp using DNLA wired network connection.

On the audio flac file side the Vortexbox sounds really great through the Yamaha amps dac's. A really good expansive full sound with tight bass and open controlled treble. I can still control the music through the amp using the Yamaha AV controller App on my ipad too. So now rather than streaming wirelessly MP3 music from my ipad to the amp it is managing the streaming of flac files through wired connection through my network to the amp (also hard wired).

Using the Boxee Box it is incredibly easy to view the ripped movies (MKV files) and the surround sound was excellent (though I had to use higher amp volume than normal - will have to spend some time to understand if there is volume level that i can tweak rather than having the amp work harder).The 1080 picture is also great.

I tried playing the flac files through the Boxee Box then to the amp via hdmi but the sound was not anywhere near as good as direct from the Vortexbox stated above. So interesting that the movie MKV files are played really well quality - wise and not flac.

The was a fair bit of fiddling around that I had to do to get things working as intended and the instructions that arrived with the unit were very limited. You definitely need to access the Vortexbox player via the web to see it's GUI where you need to update the software (e.g. the installed MKV software was the old version and you need to purchase a registration key and enter that before you can rip a DVD). Similarly, if using DNLA you need to tell it to look for flac (where MP3 for music is the default - took me a while to understand why I couldn't find any music files which were all stored as flac)

So I'm looking forward to getting my CD collection and DVD collection ripped to the 2TB hard drive so I can store them away and access great quality sound and vision on demand.

Thanks again Big Boss for the tip on the Vortevbox appliance and thankyou to Vortexbox forum for the tip on how well the Boxee Box work together for movies
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Julian_b

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Jun 14, 2008
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It is described as a 'headless computer' that is loaded with server software (among other stuff) for both Vortexbox and logitech squeezebox that makes it a lot easier to manage your music (and video) files. It also has a decent sound card - a lot of owners use it's direct player performance and rave about it (though admit something like a Dacmagic is better) - I chose to play it through my Yamaha RX V3067 DAC's which I like the sound of already from CD - particularly in multichannel.

Basically I decided I wanted to separate the Macpro from the whole process so that I have a standalone high quality music and video system that can be used anytime (especially when my wife is busy on the Macpro doing her stuff or decides to take it traveling). Also, given my AVR is DNLA and the laptop a MAC, that wasn't helpful either for direct connectivity and quality lossless playback.

For 300 quid this piece of kit with 2TB storage I see this as a bargain (as Big Boss stated) whether you call it a computer, a music server, a NAS device, a high quality file (music and video) storage, high res audio player, CD and DVD ripper (can do Blu ray if you choose that hardware build option) as well as great functionality - actually all of the aforementioned and great support via the Vortexbox forum that focuses on music (and some video) aspects - both hardware and software.

It's not the only way to do it but this is pretty great out of the box - some other options cost more than twice this.
 

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