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Control4 with another Music Server


chemo

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Some of my customers have been asking why the music server of control4 has

so little capacity, how come it only support mp3.

they would like to use an alternative music server like the Fireball of

Escient or the Music Server of McIntosh.

But my question is how can I do to search the information of the music

stored in those music servers? aint there a way to do it like you do it

with the Sony 777Es DVDchanger?

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Welcome chemo! Always good to see an international dealer participate.

In terms of capacity, do you mean GB? You can always add extra GB by attaching a external USB drive. The benefit is that you pay market price for this extra GB, not an artificial cost imposed my the manufacturer.

As to the limit of only MP3 playback, I can agree with you there. It would be nice to play back other formats. Particulary, Apple AACs. I personally think other formats are unimportant and would be done for marketing purposes only*. To me it seems that these formats have no where near the market share as MP3 (save for Apple's AACs!).

You could integrate other music servers if you were able to develop a 2-way RS232 or IP driver because you want to recieve the track listings from them. The hack method is to use their interface for navigation and use Control4 as an IR remote for these systems. This will probably get you out of trouble for stand-alone rooms. It isn't really an option with multi-room setups.

* Please note this is my opinion only and may not reflect opinions held by others in Control4.

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As to the limit of only MP3 playback, I can agree with you there. It would be nice to play back other formats. Particulary, Apple AACs. I personally think other formats are unimportant and would be done for marketing purposes only*. To me it seems that these formats have no where near the market share as MP3 (save for Apple's AACs!).

Apple's AAC is locked down to ONLY Apple... they will NEVER share it with anyone (at least not to allow them to make money with it - thus rolls in Motorola who is rumored to be getting out of the iTunes market already).

Windows Media Audio (WMA) is the biggest thing on the market second to MP3 (yes, believe it or not, even over AAC)... this is because it has the DRM (Digital Rights Management) licensing with it. C4 promised WMA support last summer (never came) and said DRM would come a few months after that... as you can see, we're still waiting. WMA / DRM will offer new services, things like Yahoo Music, MusicMatch, Rhapsody (which is rumored to be coming to Control4 right after WMA / DRM is introduced)... these services will allow you to play back your purchased music, or better yet, stream music on demand.

Apple controls marketshare as #1 for iPod and iTunes, but when you combine all the WMA vendors selling music out there, the WMA marketshare is almost 2-1 over Apple (not to mention, quality of WMA blows AAC and MP3 out of the water - and that's not opinion, that's facts... do some google searches on the compression schemes etc... and you can see the hard numbers).

FYI! :)

Shawn

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Just so we keep things straight, AAC is essentially audio mp4 and not owned/locked down by apple. Apple has a DRMed version of AAC, this is what they keep all locked up. Only worth noting since an ipod could have unprotected AAC files on it as the default format that would work fine if they supported AAC.

With that said, just give me wav files and call it a day. We work so hard to compress music when storage costs so little...

Curt

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  • 2 weeks later...

What about having a dedicated hard drive with wav files that are streamed with a Roku (www.rokulabs.com)?

This should work. Just hookup the Roku to your amp and you are good to go.

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What about having a dedicated hard drive with wav files that are streamed with a Roku (www.rokulabs.com)?

This should work. Just hookup the Roku to your amp and you are good to go.

The only problem I see with this method is that wav files are 10x's the size of an mp3 (50MB .wav vs 5MB .mp3)... :(

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  • 1 month later...

For some, the music quality between mp3 & wav isn't substantial enough to warrant 10x's space usage (like myself).

Take for example a 200GB drive with wav vs. mp3. One can store 4,000 wav files OR 40,000 mp3's. That's a significant difference.

It's not really a "problem" until the customer runs out of Hard Drive space because uncompressed wav files were used in place of mp3s and you have to configure another drive. That's all I mean...

Andy

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just because some clients can afford "anything" is no reason to sell them useless technology they can't comfortably use.

most people want their digital audio PORTABLE. they don't want to wait 20 minutes re-encoding it to a lesser quality to fit on a portable device. and for the most part, at home they will be driving this digital audio into a pair of in-wall spekers thru a 15 or 20 watt digital amplifier. you are not doing anyone a favor ripping to wav except Maxtor.

you have to be pratical and consistent. that's what makes it simple to use for everyone - everywhere. personally, i think 320-385 kbs audio is sufficient and a good balance. i agree that the 192kbs recording limit on the MC is not adequate.

if they want CD quality ... get the CD.

if they want convenient and pratical ... rip it to something useable.

and if you are going to rip to wav ... make sure you buy 2 hard drives for every one you need. you'll want good backups. if i were a client and paid someone to rip all my CD's and they did not implement a good recovery system .... i wouldn't pay them a cent to redo it again if the HD failed.

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We don't want to sell a client something "just because they can afford it". But the larger the budget the more you can make the system do AND the more reliable it can be. Higher level products, better solutions, better backup, etc.

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I guess my over-engineering takes over when it comes to ripping. Everything I rip (for clients and myself), I rip into .wav and then convert to .mp3. I just think that sooner (rather than later), more advancements will come that will make even .wav files feasible to all. ...and I have definitely heard a difference between the two on a very "low" end system.

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I tell you what, I heard about Linksys' NSLU2 device on these forums and LOVE it. I wasn't aware of it because I am a Linksys-HATER (even with Cisco buying them out).

It allows me to hook up an external USB drive onto the network and use that to aggregate audio to share digitally. We map a drive letter on everyone's PC in the house, install Composer Media Edition on one main PC, show them how to use it and away they go.

Very nice, and it can support TWO drives (either for backup purposes--quasa mirror, or double the space). IOMEGA's 250GB drive is $160 at a retailer here. By the time that get's filled up 500GB's will be that price and it can be added as the second drive on there.

...now if they'd hurry up and add the capability to display photos and even MPEGs that would be perfect!

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  • 7 months later...

Sorry to dig up an old thread, but is there an update on this? Has anyone developed a module to talk to get C4 talking to another media server?

uPNP is looking pretty good. A lot of devices are starting to use it as the standard to accessing digital media on the network (Sonos and Xbox 360 both use a variation of it). Also music subscription services such as Rhapsody can use it to stream their content. Hopefully C4 will not try to reinvent the music system, and just use the standards.

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