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Author Topic: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!  (Read 6148 times)

Kimota

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In this time of the Pandemic, it's nice to FINALLY be able to sit back and enjoy my multi-channel 5.1 DSD music on MediaCenter. It took a couple months, and it was worth it.

The good: I'm using a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB) with Linux, playing back multi-channel DSD files I ripped from the SACD source disks, sending the audio over HDMI to a Marantz SR6013. The playback in Dolby Surround 5.1 sounds FANTASTIC. No pops or stutters like I was having a few months ago. Plus, the sound levels seemed to now be on par with the source disk. Prior to the latest version, the playback seemed to be 3db or more lower than the original source material. Now that seems to be fixed. My favorite disks so far (and I'm just starting my collection) are "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagen and "Hotel California" by the Eagles. "Madman Across The Water" by Elton John is also nice, although the surround mix are better on some cuts. Examples: "Levon" and "Razor Face" are excellent! But I was not as impressed with "Tiny Dancer," although it's still good.

The bad: It's not playing in native DSD due to limitations of the hardware and drivers. The playback is converted to multi-channel PCM on-the-fly. I haven't done an A/B comparison against the original SACD tracks. However, the sound quality on my mid-range set-up is good enough for my ears that I'm not going to complain.

Big KUDOS to JRiver for getting MediaCenter to this point! I'm happy, and now I'm going full-speed ahead with collecting more multi-channel SACD disks. Suggestions, anyone? And does someone want to sell me the SACD multi-channel disk of "Romantic Warrior" by Return to Forever?  ;D
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 08:42:25 pm »

If you are into classical, BIS has a lot of multichannel classical SACD discs.
They are currently in the middle of a Mahler cycle by the Minnesota Orchestra. Also their Sibelius Symphonies 1 & 4 won a Grammy a few years ago.
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 02:43:13 pm »

If you are into classical, BIS has a lot of multichannel classical SACD discs.
They are currently in the middle of a Mahler cycle by the Minnesota Orchestra. Also their Sibelius Symphonies 1 & 4 won a Grammy a few years ago.
Thanks for the recommendation, Bob!
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2020, 05:03:00 pm »

I also have a Marantz 6013, a Raspi 4 (4GB) and a boatload of ripped SACD's

Currently I'm using an iMac desktop --> Oppo DAC --> receiver (I have all music on a 6TB external hard drive)

But I'm about to rearrange the room and the Mac will be quite a distance from the Marantz.

SO I'm thinking of either using the iMac and a DLNA connection to the Marantz
or
plugging the hard drive into the Raspi and then using either the Oppo DAC with the Raspi or HDMI
or
Using the Raspi as a client of the iMac.   I don't know what I gain by doing that....maybe faster conversions?

If I go the DLNA route, I won't be able to play ISO files (unless I convert---I haven't tried that yet).

Not sure if the DAC option works......

If I go multi-channel, I'd have to get my surround and center channels out of storage.   Not sure I have room for them.  Anyway, I listen mostly to stereo classical.

Or, I suppose, I can buy a very long USB cable
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2020, 05:15:07 pm »

I also have a Marantz 6013, a Raspi 4 (4GB) and a boatload of ripped SACD's

Currently I'm using an iMac desktop --> Oppo DAC --> receiver (I have all music on a 6TB external hard drive)

But I'm about to rearrange the room and the Mac will be quite a distance from the Marantz.

SO I'm thinking of either using the iMac and a DLNA connection to the Marantz
or
plugging the hard drive into the Raspi and then using either the Oppo DAC with the Raspi or HDMI
or
Using the Raspi as a client of the iMac.   I don't know what I gain by doing that....maybe faster conversions?

If I go the DLNA route, I won't be able to play ISO files (unless I convert---I haven't tried that yet).

Not sure if the DAC option works......

If I go multi-channel, I'd have to get my surround and center channels out of storage.   Not sure I have room for them.  Anyway, I listen mostly to stereo classical.

Or, I suppose, I can buy a very long USB cable
Lots of options.
If your Marantz can do gapless playback as a DLNA renderer using it that way with your Mac is probably the easiest option.
I have a somewhat different setup with a IdNUC with a 2tb internal drive which so far handles all of my music. It's directly connected to my amp both via HDMI and optical, both work. Optical can't do over 2 channels without dolby encoding.
I play from the IdNUC to multiple IdPi's in various rooms as renderers.
For the SACD iso material I set the conversion options in MC's DLNA server to only convert sacd's to 24 bit headerless PCM which the MC on the Id's can handle. Other DLNA renderers usually can't handle that format. You may need to use 24 bit wave or if they can't handle that 16 bit headerless PCM

Of course you should always have a backup of your music! I pull one from my IdNUC using samba whenever I add something.
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2020, 05:19:25 pm »

I also have a Marantz 6013, a Raspi 4 (4GB) and a boatload of ripped SACD's

Currently I'm using an iMac desktop --> Oppo DAC --> receiver (I have all music on a 6TB external hard drive)

But I'm about to rearrange the room and the Mac will be quite a distance from the Marantz.

SO I'm thinking of either using the iMac and a DLNA connection to the Marantz
or
plugging the hard drive into the Raspi and then using either the Oppo DAC with the Raspi or HDMI
or
Using the Raspi as a client of the iMac.   I don't know what I gain by doing that....maybe faster conversions?

If I go the DLNA route, I won't be able to play ISO files (unless I convert---I haven't tried that yet).

Not sure if the DAC option works......

If I go multi-channel, I'd have to get my surround and center channels out of storage.   Not sure I have room for them.  Anyway, I listen mostly to stereo classical.

Or, I suppose, I can buy a very long USB cable

Wow! You've got quite a few options with your set-up, it seems. A couple thoughts:

  • Have you tried streaming to the Oppo DAC over ethernet? Then the Mac can be "remote."
  • If you can't stream from ISO, I've successfully ripped individual tracks from SACD to DSF via the SACDExtractGUI.jar app and a cheap Sony Blu-ray player.
  • The RPi4 running MC26 could become your endpoint player connected to the Oppo DAC (I've not tried this, so it's all theoretical from my experience).

I hope these ideas will spark some creative ways of setting up your room!
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2020, 05:24:40 pm »

Wow! You've got quite a few options with your set-up, it seems. A couple thoughts:

  • Have you tried streaming to the Oppo DAC over ethernet? Then the Mac can be "remote."
  • If you can't stream from ISO, I've successfully ripped individual tracks from SACD to DSF via the SACDExtractGUI.jar app and a cheap Sony Blu-ray player.
  • The RPi4 running MC26 could become your endpoint player connected to the Oppo DAC (I've not tried this, so it's all theoretical from my experience).

I hope these ideas will spark some creative ways of setting up your room!
I assume he had ripped the SACD to a disk based ISO or purchased unprotected ISO's but perhaps not.
If so MC can convert the ISO to individual DSF tracks. Otherwise as you say he can always retrieve them via your method.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 06:35:10 am »

Wow! You've got quite a few options with your set-up, it seems. A couple thoughts:

  • Have you tried streaming to the Oppo DAC over ethernet? Then the Mac can be "remote."
  • If you can't stream from ISO, I've successfully ripped individual tracks from SACD to DSF via the SACDExtractGUI.jar app and a cheap Sony Blu-ray player.
  • The RPi4 running MC26 could become your endpoint player connected to the Oppo DAC (I've not tried this, so it's all theoretical from my experience).

No clue how to port the Oppo HA-2 DAC over ethernet.  You may be thinking of a component Oppo DAC???

I have SACD_Extract.  I own a Sony HAP player and it can't play ISO.  So I have extracted ISO files for it in the past.   It is gathering dust now as I use JRiver exclusively.   However, I recently discovered my Marantz can access the Sony and play the HiRes files on it.   

I think I will try the DAC on the Raspi later today.   I have to figure out how to copy the MC26 library from my Mac to the Raspi. 

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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 06:53:00 am »

Lots of options.
If your Marantz can do gapless playback as a DLNA renderer using it that way with your Mac is probably the easiest option.


For the SACD iso material I set the conversion options in MC's DLNA server to only convert sacd's to 24 bit headerless PCM which the MC on the Id's can handle. Other DLNA renderers usually can't handle that format. You may need to use 24 bit wave or if they can't handle that 16 bit headerless PCM

Is that PCM 24 bit when necessary?   Does MC know my Marantz can't play iso?  I don't think I'm doing this right...my ISO files don't play on the Marantz as a DLNA -- I probably don't have MC options set up correctly
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 09:26:38 am »

Is that PCM 24 bit when necessary?   Does MC know my Marantz can't play iso?  I don't think I'm doing this right...my ISO files don't play on the Marantz as a DLNA -- I probably don't have MC options set up correctly
MC doesn't know, it only make the assumption that if the format isn't mp3 or L16 (the one format required to be supported by the protocol) it would convert.
Now when you choose the PCM 24 bit when necessary, under that section, Audio->Advanced, you can select the specific formats to convert. So you you know your device supports all of your flac files, unselect it for conversion.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2020, 08:06:02 am »

In this time of the Pandemic, it's nice to FINALLY be able to sit back and enjoy my multi-channel 5.1 DSD music on MediaCenter. It took a couple months, and it was worth it.

The good: I'm using a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB) with Linux, playing back multi-channel DSD files I ripped from the SACD source disks, sending the audio over HDMI to a Marantz SR6013. The playback in Dolby Surround 5.1 sounds FANTASTIC. No pops or stutters like I was having a few months ago. Plus, the sound levels seemed to now be on par with the source disk. Prior to the latest version, the playback seemed to be 3db or more lower than the original source material. Now that seems to be fixed. My favorite disks so far (and I'm just starting my collection) are "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagen and "Hotel California" by the Eagles. "Madman Across The Water" by Elton John is also nice, although the surround mix are better on some cuts. Examples: "Levon" and "Razor Face" are excellent! But I was not as impressed with "Tiny Dancer," although it's still good.


How do you have your Raspi sound out configured.   Mine used to work and I must have changed something.   There's a dropdown menu with about a dozen choices and I think I tried them all and get video but no audio from the HDMI into my Marantz.   
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2020, 11:22:21 am »

How do you have your Raspi sound out configured.   Mine used to work and I must have changed something.   There's a dropdown menu with about a dozen choices and I think I tried them all and get video but no audio from the HDMI into my Marantz.

I have the RPi4 connected via HDMI to the Media Player HDMI input on the Marantz SR6013 (I don't think it really matters which HDMI input you use - although I would stay clear of the ARC-enabled one in case you need it for your TV).

Here's a more detailed description I posted with all the settings:

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,126547.msg877471.html#msg877471

Let me know if you have questions. Right now, I'm very happy with the sound I'm getting using the Marantz SR6013, but I'm not a true high-fidelity guy, so take that with a grain of salt. Although, confession here - I did build a Hi-Fi stereo amp from Akitika (the GT-102 kit) that I think sounds outstanding.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2020, 09:10:36 am »

Well, I turned off the MC OUTPUT FORMAT set for Dolby 5.1 and everything worked again.  I guess the Raspi doesn't like something.
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 11:50:32 am »

Well, I turned off the MC OUTPUT FORMAT set for Dolby 5.1 and everything worked again.  I guess the Raspi doesn't like something.
Hmmm. Really interesting. Would you mind checking the Marantz to see what it reports as the incoming signal? I'm curious to know what audio format is being sent from the RPi4 to the Marantz.

(In case you haven't done this before, you can hit the "Status" button located under the panel cover on the Marantz a few times to show the type of signal being received: "Format 3/2/.1" for 5.1 Surround and "DD 48khz" for Dolby Digital 48khz sampling rate, for example.)

Also, what version of MC are you running? My RPi4/MC started playing back multi-channel files properly at MC version 26.0.103.

YMMV, but I had to update my RPi4/MC multiple times before it started playing back multi-channel files properly.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2020, 03:38:16 pm »

format 2.0.0 and pcm 44.1khz (i have tried every option on the MC Output for Raspi audio........ default HDMI1 etc)

When I change output format to dolby 5.1 I get white noise out of the right front.

I have the Marantz App and it indicates INPUT as 2 channel PCM and output to all my 5.1 speakers. 

I think it is the RASPI or maybe wrong mc settings
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2020, 04:07:46 pm »

format 2.0.0 and pcm 44.1khz (i have tried every option on the MC Output for Raspi audio........ default HDMI1 etc)

When I change output format to dolby 5.1 I get white noise out of the right front.

I have the Marantz App and it indicates INPUT as 2 channel PCM and output to all my 5.1 speakers. 

I think it is the RASPI or maybe wrong mc settings
Thanks for checking!

The RPi4 is sending stereo 44.1 khz audio over the HDMI to the Marantz. So if you're playing multi-channel files, it looks like the MC/RPi4 is not decoding/encoding it properly.

What version of MC are you running? I seem to recall that I had problems with the Dolby Digital setting outputting white noise on an older version of the MC software. Are you at MC 26.0.103 or higher?

I also found that I had to select the "plughw CARD=b1, DEV=0 [ALSA]" driver (it's under the "Audio Device" setting in MC), and then the Surround Sound started working when I selected "Dolby Digital" in the output format.
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2020, 05:21:33 pm »

Thanks for checking!

The RPi4 is sending stereo 44.1 khz audio over the HDMI to the Marantz. So if you're playing multi-channel files, it looks like the MC/RPi4 is not decoding/encoding it properly.

What version of MC are you running? I seem to recall that I had problems with the Dolby Digital setting outputting white noise on an older version of the MC software. Are you at MC 26.0.103 or higher?

I also found that I had to select the "plughw CARD=b1, DEV=0 [ALSA]" driver (it's under the "Audio Device" setting in MC), and then the Surround Sound started working when I selected "Dolby Digital" in the output format.
That's interesting.
I think it should be sending 48k not 44.1k. I'll check with mine.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2020, 05:31:44 pm »

Thanks for checking!

The RPi4 is sending stereo 44.1 khz audio over the HDMI to the Marantz. So if you're playing multi-channel files, it looks like the MC/RPi4 is not decoding/encoding it properly.

What version of MC are you running? I seem to recall that I had problems with the Dolby Digital setting outputting white noise on an older version of the MC software. Are you at MC 26.0.103 or higher?

I also found that I had to select the "plughw CARD=b1, DEV=0 [ALSA]" driver (it's under the "Audio Device" setting in MC), and then the Surround Sound started working when I selected "Dolby Digital" in the output format.

Version 107 and I'm using "plughw CARD=b1, DEV=0 [ALSA]" driver"    also.

I'm going directly from 5 channel SACD ISO files......to get multi-channel.  I have a filter for "CHANNELS>4 and I'm playing those......

I had taken all my iso files and extracted the two channel flac and dsd but not muti-channel.  I can repeat the process and do the same extraction with a multi channel extraction and see what happens.....in case it is an ISO playing anomaly.   I can also try my multi-channel CD's I've ripped.

What is the format of the files you use for 5.1 playback?   


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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2020, 07:21:54 pm »

Version 107 and I'm using "plughw CARD=b1, DEV=0 [ALSA]" driver"    also.

I'm going directly from 5 channel SACD ISO files......to get multi-channel.  I have a filter for "CHANNELS>4 and I'm playing those......

I had taken all my iso files and extracted the two channel flac and dsd but not muti-channel.  I can repeat the process and do the same extraction with a multi channel extraction and see what happens.....in case it is an ISO playing anomaly.   I can also try my multi-channel CD's I've ripped.

What is the format of the files you use for 5.1 playback?

Ok, we're all on the same page!

My multi-channel audio files are in DSF (ripped from DSD) and FLAC (ripped from DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Audio discs) formats. These play back in 5.1 DD Surround with all the channels in the correct speakers, and the Marantz will report back as "DD 48kh" and "Format 3/2/.1".
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2020, 05:34:23 am »

Ok, we're all on the same page!

My multi-channel audio files are in DSF (ripped from DSD) and FLAC (ripped from DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Audio discs) formats. These play back in 5.1 DD Surround with all the channels in the correct speakers, and the Marantz will report back as "DD 48kh" and "Format 3/2/.1".

I just tried a DFF ripped from an SACD Multichannel and if I have Output Format turned off it plays but still in 44.1 and 2/0/0 ... if I turn on Output format at Dolby 5.1 I get ugly white noise and static but it is now 48 and 2/0/.0

Doesn't seem to be affected by anything but output format.

Are you using version MC 107 in your Raspberry?  I'm curious that you had white noise.....maybe it was a setting somewhere.     

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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2020, 07:01:52 pm »

I just tried a DFF ripped from an SACD Multichannel and if I have Output Format turned off it plays but still in 44.1 and 2/0/0 ... if I turn on Output format at Dolby 5.1 I get ugly white noise and static but it is now 48 and 2/0/.0

Doesn't seem to be affected by anything but output format.

Are you using version MC 107 in your Raspberry?  I'm curious that you had white noise.....maybe it was a setting somewhere.   

My RPi4 is also on MC26 107. Are there any settings in particular you want to compare? I'd be glad to share my settings on the forum with you.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2020, 05:54:07 am »

My RPi4 is also on MC26 107. Are there any settings in particular you want to compare? I'd be glad to share my settings on the forum with you.

Sure.   I think we are different setups.   Are you using just a Raspi?   I have the Raspi set up as a client.   My desktop Mac is the Media Center Server and the music is on an external hard drive.

If you have the Raspi as the main server, that might be the difference.   I could try that setup fairly easily --- 
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2020, 09:18:39 am »

Sure.   I think we are different setups.   Are you using just a Raspi?   I have the Raspi set up as a client.   My desktop Mac is the Media Center Server and the music is on an external hard drive.

If you have the Raspi as the main server, that might be the difference.   I could try that setup fairly easily ---

Yes on both questions: We have a different set-up, and I am using just the RPi4 as MC server and player.

IMHO it's definitely worth trying out the RPi4 as the server and player to see if it fixes the issue, especially if it's fairly easy to set up. Then our setups would be very close to being identical. FYI: I have my music files on a USB disk connected directly to the RPi4.
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Dennis in FL

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2020, 04:36:01 am »

I too have all music on a USB hard drive. 

My worry in the past was ----  I read somewhere that a power failure easily corrupts the Raspi SD card.   And my mind said -- maybe it can also wipe a hard drive.    But that's silly, isn't it?   But just in case, I have backups of the hard drive and the SD card.   So maybe I'll give it a shot today.  I have to figure out how to transfer the library from the iMac to the Raspi

I can also run an optical from my Mac to my Marantz.   I was thinking of trying that as well.

One of the best multi channel tunes I have is from an audio tuning CD.  When you get finished setting up your speakers, they had a Jazz band playing "Struttin' with some BBQ" in 5.1 and I can't get the darn thing out of 2.1 no matter what I do.   

But...one question....have you had any audio dropouts with the Raspi playing hi res music?   Maybe two questions....do you leave it on 24/7?


Update:  Just found out that Apple removed Toslink from newer desktops.   You have to buy a $70 adapter which I'm not doing.   
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bob

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2020, 09:11:05 am »

If you are doing this over DLNA to a raspi renderer you could choose to do the dolby encoding on either side I think.
On which side are you doing the encoding?
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Kimota

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Re: MC 26.0.103 (32-bit) FINALLY playing DSD multichannel files properly!
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2020, 10:24:35 am »

I too have all music on a USB hard drive. 

My worry in the past was ----  I read somewhere that a power failure easily corrupts the Raspi SD card.   And my mind said -- maybe it can also wipe a hard drive.    But that's silly, isn't it?   But just in case, I have backups of the hard drive and the SD card.   So maybe I'll give it a shot today.  I have to figure out how to transfer the library from the iMac to the Raspi

I can also run an optical from my Mac to my Marantz.   I was thinking of trying that as well.

One of the best multi channel tunes I have is from an audio tuning CD.  When you get finished setting up your speakers, they had a Jazz band playing "Struttin' with some BBQ" in 5.1 and I can't get the darn thing out of 2.1 no matter what I do.   

But...one question....have you had any audio dropouts with the Raspi playing hi res music?   Maybe two questions....do you leave it on 24/7?


Update:  Just found out that Apple removed Toslink from newer desktops.   You have to buy a $70 adapter which I'm not doing.

Wow. That audio tuning CD sounds pretty awesome. Where can I get a copy? I'd love to hear that Jazz band!

About dropouts: I have not had any dropouts, pops, or other anomalies with the latest release of MC. Earlier version of MC26 did have issues with multi-channel audio (dropouts, in particular), but those have been cleared up since at least 103.

I leave the RPi4 on 24/7. I back up the USB NAS music drive regularly using Chronosync to a HD attached to my Mac. The HD attached to my Mac is then backed up to the cloud using Carbonite so all my music files are safe. (This really works: I recently had to restore my external HD by getting a disk sent from Carbonite to my home - and thankfully all my critical files were there!) I also make an image copy of the RPi4 SD card using a known-good version of MC. Once I've been using a version of MC for a while without any problems (about 2 or 3 weeks), I'll then make an image copy of the RPi4 SD card. I can then replace a corrupted SD card with the backed up SD image and be up and running again in minutes.
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