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Author Topic: Future Id's  (Read 1407 times)

JimH

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Future Id's
« on: April 11, 2022, 06:02:15 pm »

We're nearly at a standstill with the Id now.  Raspberry Pi boards are hard to get and expensive.  Intel NUC's of the latest generation are a lot more expensive.

We could go a couple of ways.

Inexpensive, but still very good for audio and passable for video.  These would be under $200, maybe under $150 and would be based on the RPi or another similar single board computer.

Expensive, but not terrible.  These would be latest Intel NUC, have lots of memory and disk storage (500GB), and be good for any audio and for 4K video.  Under $1000, probably not by much.  This would be the IdVR I posted about a few months ago.  Great quality, not a bad price.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts, and if you have an Id, how do you use it?  Is it mainly a renderer?  Do you use it as a standalone media computer?  Any video?  And so on.  Share your stories in as much or little detail as you want.

The Id software, thanks to Bob and the rest of the team, is extremely stable now.  You may think that MC on it is always behind the current version, but that's Bob keeping watch for any problems and waiting until he thinks it's completely safe to move on.  I never give mine much thought because it runs so well.

What do you like?  What do you hope for?

Thanks for your time.






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MikeyFresh

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2022, 08:18:01 pm »

We're nearly at a standstill with the Id now.  Raspberry Pi boards are hard to get and expensive.  Intel NUC's of the latest generation are a lot more expensive.

We could go a couple of ways.

Inexpensive, but still very good for audio and passable for video.  These would be under $200, maybe under $150 and would be based on the RPi or another similar single board computer.

Expensive, but not terrible.  These would be latest Intel NUC, have lots of memory and disk storage (500GB), and be good for any audio and for 4K video.  Under $1000, probably not by much.  This would be the IdVR I posted about a few months ago.  Great quality, not a bad price.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts, and if you have an Id, how do you use it?  Is it mainly a renderer?  Do you use it as a standalone media computer?  Any video?  And so on.  Share your stories in as much or little detail as you want.

The Id software, thanks to Bob and the rest of the team, is extremely stable now.  You may think that MC on it is always behind the current version, but that's Bob keeping watch for any problems and waiting until he thinks it's completely safe to move on.  I never give mine much thought because it runs so well.

What do you like?  What do you hope for?

Thanks for your time.

My Id Pi is an RPi 4B (4GB) music server delivering files (ALAC, FLAC, and DSF) to various different endpoints via DLNA/UPnP, including other RPi's running Moode, or Volumio, and also a Sonore microRendu running Sonicorbiter. No Video.

I'd be curious about a maxed out version of that running on the 8GB version of the 4B (assuming I can actually buy one anytime soon), and a newer MC based on the 64-bit RaspyOS Bullseye.

My curiosity there is if there would be any real additional performance improvements over the current unit I have, given the CPU is the same. Would a 64-bit version of the program with the 8GB board be a step up with regard to things like scrolling through lots of album covers, or thumbnail generation, or is that currently more bottlenecked by the CPU than anything else?

I would then relegate my current 4GB Id Pi version to renderer duty, to see if that is somehow better or more capable than the Moode or Volumio distros are as an endpoint/player.
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HS12

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2022, 04:47:46 am »

Difficult one but probably still great value for money compared to "commercial" products as an audio only user.

My Id NUC 6ACYH has been at the heart of my digital playback in my hi-fi and after auditioning other "high end" devices in my system the Id is yet to be bettered for audio quality. Perhaps requiring a bit more hair pulling to set up than other devices but worth it for the final results. The main advantage over other devices is how quiet it is on USB output to the DAC, not needing a DDC to sort out USB noise.

I hope you find a solution Jim as my Id is a hidden gem of the hi-fi world.
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syndromeofadown

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2022, 11:56:35 pm »

I have been using Id on Raspberry Pi's for a long time, but not consistently because of my ever changing media setup due to home moves, new construction, etc. I used a pi 3 as a music server for years, and still use a pi4 as an audio renderer.

The main benefit of the IdPi is price, and the fact that MC is on it instead of whatever the streaming devices come with. The Pi now has to compete with my FiiO DAP which has a 500 GB sdcard that I sync with my library and connect to a DAC. It also has to compete with a Surface Go2 which also has an sdcard synced to my library and I connect to a DAC. These two win out a lot due to convenience mainly because they have screens attached. The FiiO is comparable in price. It was less than 200 CAD for the DAP and sdcard.

Things that would make the IdPi more convenient are:
- A power switch add-on that triggers a proper shutdown and can start it without unplugging.
- A UPS add-on so any glitch in power doesn't shut it down.
- A version that runs off of an M.2 drive instead of sdcard (see Argon One case).
- The ability to hotspot and make its own network. (This would be very nice)
- More aggressive network connecting. (I regularity had to plug in screen to reconnect to network)
- Ability to flash a card and install without mailing things

I have tried some of the above stuff with rasbian installed without much luck. I do not have the time to mess with it. I would definitely buy a solution that just worked.

I do not know how well video is supported on the Pi4, I have not tried it. Other software can do it so hopefully by Pi5 time MC will be refined enough and the Pi will be powerful enough to be a decent option. This definitely interests me. Please share if it currently plays video.

Can the expensive NUC and the clunky Pi be replaced by something in the middle? Like the mini PCs on amazon (See minix brand). These would make up for all of the short coming of the Pi (power button, hard drive, etc.) without the price of the NUC. I would be interested in one of these if it could play 4k video at a low but glitch free quality. Maybe on odroid board could fill this gap as well. Both of these options likely have quality control issues though.

Even though I am not using my Id a lot at the moment, I do look forward to future updates and devices.
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Shasta Mike

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 10:18:46 am »

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts, and if you have an Id, how do you use it?  Is it mainly a renderer?  Do you use it as a standalone media computer?  Any video?
My Id (I bought your last one) sits on top of my Class D Preamp.  I use it to play FLAC quality music files at high quality.  I have the 1 TB HDD version and use it to keep a copy of all music files.  It plays from the main library on the PC where I rip. 
What do you like?  What do you hope for?
Now that the system is setup and I am understanding how libraries work and am taking advantage of other integral pieces like M0 4MEDIA, I am having a blast and feel like a part of the new millennium finally.  I even got music to play over my Android though there is something probably with Firewall settings that causes it stop once I leave the house. 

After going through the learning curve, already I am not caring about the masses of people who could enjoy this product but will not because while MC and Id's are great for the technical oriented consumer, most people I know are not willing to go through figuring it out.  More and more of my family and friends are turning into Spotify list people.  They want super-easy. Even my techy ME son who used to curate his own music playlists like I am doing has gone Spotify because "he doesn't have time". I have been curating music since the 60's starting with a Radio Shack integrated FM radio/tape deck recording things off the radio and making mixtapes back before they were called that. I then progressed through all kinds of iterations of 8-track, cassettes, CD's, radio, copying, ripping, etc to make custom mixtapes on the media du jour.  Now, the Id, MC (ratings, playlists) and easy access to digital music has given me capabilities beyond anything I previously imagined. 

I met a guy in his 30's down in LA who does custom multi-media installations for the rich and famous.  These people don't care what it costs - just make it look nice, sound great, and easy to use.  I asked him what he thought about JRiver and he never heard of it.  He is mostly using Sonos based systems for wireless installs in big homes.  I share this because while it seems Id and MC would be great for these applications here is a guy at the top of this game doing $50-100K+ installs and he hasn't heard of it.   

Since I am a JRiver fan, seeing this company succeed on a larger scale would be fun.  I have always enjoyed being a discriminating music consumer and love making my own playlists. Where I am going with this screed?  I don't really know.  My vision would be that if JRiver is going to produce an Id in the $1k range, think about going all in and fleshing out a complete turn-key system that potentially comes integrated with the other components.  Maybe that is not the vision for JRiver and you are happy with being a sub-assembly in the media universe, but once you get in the $1k range, I don't see a market there - personally, at that point I would have seen a NAS system as fitting more of the bill for me. Or, I would have just bought a multimedia focused PC system not really caring about the fact I am spending more on electricity vs the small Raspberry power draw.   

When you think about the main advantage of a Raspberry it is small form factor and low power usage.  Who cares about that, besides the few truly concerned about ecological issues, is those in an off-grid situation like an RV, van, Tiny Home, an off-grid house, etc.  I can imagine a little Id hooked up to the small TV screen and music system in my friend's all-wheel drive, fully outfitted, Winnebago Sprinter Van.  That would be cool.   
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This2ShallPass

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2022, 01:52:50 pm »

Hi, I'm a music-only user of JRiver, and I first bought an Id NUC years ago. It was a bear to setup! I considered myself somewhat technically inclined, but knew nothing about linux, and I needed all kinds of help to set it up. That's why I over-backup (automatic is nice, but I do it manually too), and am a touch paranoid about something going bad, or it just failing, which hardware does.

I don't store any files on it, it's connected via USB to my NAS, serving me my quarter million music tracks through my home hifi system, and to my iPhone when I'm away. It's just shocking to me that other solutions like Sonos and Bluesound lack key features like streaming to a device outside of the home wifi.

I've considered getting a newer model NUC Id, but I'd have to have my more tech-savvy friends ready and waiting. It's not that I expect better performance, or something new, it's just that I've been burned by hardware going south, and not being able to properly set things up myself.

But I love the heck out of my Id, and I use it all the time. I love not having to leave a PC on just to play music.
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Fred H

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2022, 08:29:06 am »

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eve

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2022, 02:02:54 pm »

https://fit-iot.com/web/products/fitlet3/
Very viable, fanless NUC replacement. Would be make a great audio endpoint, a viable non reference video endpoint and even a half decent server when connected to external storage or network storage (10GB SFP is an option). These fitlets are great. The default (and fastest) processor config supports QuickSync video encode too.

I'm a HUGE advocate for on the fly hardware transcoding of video. There's very few downsides to it. The situations where an endpoint would require transcode, typically mean that you're not in a critical playback scenario where fidelity is of the utmost importance. There is no reason to encode / shrink source files for compatibility IMO It should all happen in real time, retaining the original quality media. It's exactly the same as syncing MP3 320s or AAC to your phone instead of FLAC. You don't *need* to store all those encodes.


TL;DR - Relatively capable server, incredible audio endpoint (It literally can't be beat, if you don't need CUDA for oversampling), passable video endpoint.
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newsposter

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Re: Future Id's
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2022, 09:04:00 am »

With Intel announcing their final exit from the NUC and ComputeStick business, alternative platforms will be needed.

Focusing on Pi/Arduino?  For me, it's been a challenge to find a good DAC hat with long-term availability for any of my PI builds. There are plenty of audiophile-quality USB DACs (FiiO in particular) that are more than good enough to do the job, but the idea of building everything onto a tiny case is attractive to me.
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