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Thread: What way to go for UPnP?

  1. #1
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    Question What way to go for UPnP?

    I want to do something to improve my current lousy UPnP setup, and I'm looking for advice from those who have been down this route...

    It appears to me that both the server(s) and client are poorly designed.

    I have two NAS's. The first is a 1TB (mirrored raid) Linksys NMH410. It came with some kind of UPnP server of very limited capability... This has (in addition to my photo library, which is not there to share, just to store) my old AAC Itunes library, which will some day be phased out, when I get everything re-ripped, but which I want access to via UPnP for now. Ripping originally done by Winamp, many bad rips, pretty accurate metadata, OK for Ipod, not good enough for my main listening setup

    The second (newer) one is a QNAP TS669PRO, raid 6. I have currently installed Music Station, Plex Media Server and Twonkey Media UPnP servers, none of which are very satisfactory. In addition to other stuff, I have a directory which I am ripping FLAC to, for listening at home, and a second directory which I am simultaneously ripping AAC to, eventually to replace the Ipod directory on the Linksys when I get everything re-ripped. I am using the dBpoweramp CD ripper and (as appropriate) the Music Converter to populate these directories. For now, I want the UPnP to access the Linksys Itunes directory and the QNAP FLAC directory. After I re-rip everything, I'll access only the FLAC and probably a small directory of compressed material that I only have MP3 or AAC copies of. I also may want it to access one or more directories of .WAV files of material I am recording/editing for myself or others.

    Right now my main listening area is fed by a Yamaha RX-V475 receiver which has a built in UPnP client, which is miserable. It does not display album art on the TV, and as I recall, you can't select which directories you want to look at, and searching a large directory with the remote control is an exercise in frustration. I also have a Samsung 80-F7500 Blu-Ray player with a UPnP client. A little better than the Yamaha, it does display album art for a couple of minutes not very big and I think only the front cover? Searching is as miserable as the Yamaha. Also it takes a long time after you have turned it on before it has collected the directory information to display and allow you to make a selection. Both devices are connected by 100baseT Ethernet to my otherwise gigabit network. The TV is a non-Ethernet Samsung. The speakers are good, actually made for small professional studios.

    Eventually, I want to add a second listening area, with its own setup. I have an old stereo amplifier I intend to use for that.

    So first the UPnP server? I like the description of Asset, but should I wait for the QNAP release, try the QNAP beta, or get a Rasberry Pi?

    Now what about a client? I have loads of extra inputs on the Yamaha, so something stand-alone, plugged into either HTML or composite and analog audio would make sense. I assume there is no way to upgrade the clients in the receiver or BluRay. Then there is the issue of how to control it? I could use a wireless mouse and/or keyboard if the client could be controlled by that. A really neat client would be able to be controlled by a smart phone or tablet, in my case Android, by WiFi. Trying to use a TV style remote is an exercise in frustration if you have a decent size library. There has been some mention of an Asset client, but I don't see it anywhere on the website, certainly it isn't listed for purchase, unless it comes with the server, and then the question is what operating system does it use and how do you control it?

    Any suggestions on what flavor server to go with and what to use for a good client that would properly display album art, be stable and reasonably responsive to commands (and sound decent) and allow easy selection of items to play?

    Anyone?

  2. #2
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    Try the QNAP beta verson of Asset UPnP.

    Most upnp devices can be controlled by 'Control Points' some of these run on iPads etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    I installed the QNAP beta, all is well as far as I can determine, with one exception: Some of the files I want the server to see are on the other NAS, a Linksys NMH410. What do I put in the "watched media folders" field to get Asset to scan those directories. I have tried a lot of possibilities without success. It finds the folder on the QNAP just fine, but no luck getting it to see the Linksys. (Windows) sharing and the Linksys media server are on, I can see the files on other computers on the network, and they appear on my UPnP clients, but not in Asset. Even Twonky server, which is running on the QNAP is able to see the files and aggregates them with its listings.

    Now the clients/controllers:

    I tried Kinsky, a nicely laid out controller. Unfortunately, it does not work with the Yamaha receiver, there is apparently some incompatibility. When you select the receiver as the "room" and click on "play now" or "play next" on a song or album, nothing happens. Kinsky works fine using the Samsung blu-ray player, but I'm pretty sure what I am listening to is being compressed in the blu-ray, as it is connected to the receiver by HDMI, and while the HDMI standard allows for 8 full-bandwidth (PCM) channels, few if any manufacturers have provided it. Most only support two channels, so I'd guess that the blu-ray is compressing the stream to AC3 on the HDMI. Makes my FLAC files a waste... I did try Foobar with the UPnP plug in, and it works with the Yamaha, but the user interface is really obtuse. Not much better than using the remote control directly with the Yamaha. I also tried Winsows Media Player, which has a decent interface. The fist problem was it wouldn't play FLAC. That was fixed with a third party codec plug-in. The next issue is that the remote "play to" feature only works with files native to the laptop, it won't remotely play anything from either of the NAS servers. It will play them through the laptop speakers. Reading on-line, it appears the issue is that Windows 64 will not index any files on a non-windows device, like my NAS's, and WMP won't "play to" for any non-indexed files. There are several very long threads on this issue on some Internet boards. I haven't found any other DLNA/UPnP controllers on line. Are there any? This leaves me without a decent alternative controlling the Yamaha from the laptop (W7, 64).

    The other possible controller for me is through apps on the Android phone or a small android tablet I have. It turns out that Yamaha does, in fact have an app to remotely control the receiver, and it works. It even displays album art... But it is limited, in that there is no "play next" or queue feature. So if you want to stack even two albums to listen to, you have to create a playlist... I have so-far found nothing android to control the Blu-Ray but as I said before, that is not the way I want to go.

    There are a number of other android apps for playing music, I haven't had a chance to see if any of them are really DLNA-UPnP remotes yet.

    Any ideas?

    John Schmidt

  4. #4
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    If your other nas requires a user name and password I not think you can do this.

    Have a look at asset control, in the beta section of this forum.

  5. #5
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    Spoon,

    Thanks for your time. For the immediate time, I will move the additional directory that I want to see onto the same NAS that has Asset Control on it. From having read the threads for the Raspberry Pi, I suspect I could, using the shell, add a redirected directory on the QNAP to see the other NAS and the directory I want, as you instructed for raspberry Pi. However, My Linux has a ways to go before I'll play with that...

    Asset Control looks to be a great interface, it does play to the Yamaha. Initially I had a problem where the album artwork blotted out most of the screen in the lists. I went into the Asset UPNP configuration and changed the album art to 400X400 (I think) and that fixed that. I gather that there is no separate configuration page for Asset Control.

    Now the major issue: After playing a number of cuts, it freezes at the end of a cut, instead of progressing to the next cut. Seems to happen every time I play an album, after about five to seven tracks. If I click on anything I get the "application not responding" Windows overlay. I have to close Asset Control and reopen it.

    Here is what Windows reports:

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: AppHangB1
    Application Name: Asset Control.exe
    Application Version: 1.0.0.5
    Application Timestamp: 4f745936
    Hang Signature: 8d70
    Hang Type: 514
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
    Locale ID: 1033
    Additional Hang Signature 1: 8d70a2b590f5b0263ed872c3955b828c
    Additional Hang Signature 2: 5e22
    Additional Hang Signature 3: 5e22794f7315dadc403010f4c51ce496
    Additional Hang Signature 4: 8d70
    Additional Hang Signature 5: 8d70a2b590f5b0263ed872c3955b828c
    Additional Hang Signature 6: 5e22
    Additional Hang Signature 7: 5e22794f7315dadc403010f4c51ce496

    Read our privacy statement online:
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?link...8&clcid=0x0409

    If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:
    C:\Windows\system32\en-US\erofflps.txt

    I am running Windows 7, 64 bit on a Lenovo laptop, the server is Asset UPnP on the QNAP NAS, the listening device is a Yamaha RX-V475 receiver. It always happens when going from one cut to another. The cursor changes to the little revolving disc.

    Any ideas? Any hope? I know that Asset Control is not high on your priority list, but nothing else works well for me.

    BTW, Version 15 of the ripper is great, way faster encoding because each cut uses a different core (I'm running that on an 8 core processor with a solid state C drive) The only issue I had setting it up was my own stupidity: It hung the first CD I tried to rip, then I realized that you changed the codec for M4a that I had in the multi-encoder rip, and I never changed it, it was still looking for the old one... Works great now.

    Thanks for all your great software.

    John Schmidt

  6. #6
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    The previous post, which this refers to said something to the effect of "waiting for moderator"

    I spoke too soon on the artwork issue: When I reduced the artwork size (200X200) the artwork in the Albums select windows is good, but not so with artist, title, genre, etc. They still have giant artwork blocking all the entries. Also when you select genre, for instance, and click on a letter, it attempts to show all the albums with genre's starting with that letter, instead of giving you a list of genres beginning with that letter to let you select from. Same problem with artists, etc. This appears to be an issue with Asset UPnP, not Control, as the entries appear correctly sized and with proper menu items (not as good menu items, though) BUT, most of the other servers refuse to play, and one, Plex, plays about a minute of each cut and then goes to the next cut. That (the Plex issue) is an issue with the server, not Control, as it did exactly the same thing when played directly from the Yamaha.

    Thanks

    John

  7. #7
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    Yet another update: In Asset UPnP config, I unclicked the "upstream art" box. Now all the selection choices work correctly except "title" which still displays the oversized art blocking the selections. The artist, genre lists are now there also.

    John

  8. #8
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    Re: What way to go for UPnP?

    Asset Control has these known issues, I hope to look at it one day.

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