Streams and DACs and stuff

The hopefully temporary demise of the CDP has got me thinking of streaming. It’s a new thing to me so I’m fairly clueless.

I have a headless server that is used for movies and photos. I can easily rip CD to it but I have no means of getting it from there to my amp.
Also have a micro PC not being used.

Options I can see at the moment:

1 - Get the micro PC sorted as a network player, Plex Maybe?
It has an optical out but I have no DAC.

2 - Buy a streaming device that has an android app for control.

Budget is tight for either option.

What would be a good low cost solution?

What sort of SQ can I expect?

One of these:

  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm stereo minijack to 2x RCA phono cable
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Or second hand Squeezebox Touch. So easy.

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Any idea on SQ?
Info on the sale is a bit thin.

Same question really, what’s the SQ like?

Not a clue mate, but I use something similar from M2Tech, and it sounds pretty damn fine, albeit at 12 times the price. The linked item is likely to be a clone of it or something very similar. At £11 it’ll see you right till errrything’s chez-Penance is sorted out :+1:

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I should’ve also asked, what software is good for this?
Basically I need a client that can be controlled by phone or tablet.

You could install volumio on the mini pc and that can be controlled via a web browser

I probably have a spare Chromecast Audio you can have.

IMO the best way to play your music files is to use the Squeezebox system, with a plug-in called Chromecast. Run that on your server (assuming it’s powerful enough) and the Chromecast will show as a player.

The sound quality is OK, and it has digital out for when you get a DAC.

So I’d need a Chromecast dongle thing and a squeezebox thing?

If you have the Chromecast dongle, you just need to download the free Logitech Media Server software and the Chromecast plugin.

Ok that’s simple enough. I’m guessing control is via a webpage?
I’m not sure it has any advantage over a micro PC and DAC tho.

Control via web page or phone app.

The advantage over a mini PC is mainly size and convenience. Always on, forget it, just works.

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I have a spare Sonos box that you can have, gratis, but it is one of the ones with an onboard amp, so

  • it will be heavy and a pain to ship (AA taxi maybe?)
  • I don’t know whether it has a digital or pre out, you might be stuck with it standalone

I can find out the latter when I get home.

Anyway, it’s another option.

The Sonos android app is excellent IMO.


No DAC and a pre with no pass thru might be awkward. I’ll look in to it tho.

It’s tempting and cheap.

Lol it’s free!

Well that’s even better!

In terms of moving from a non streaming source to a streaming source I can say I managed to cope with it without too much fuss. Having a library of music to scan certainly beats searching thro CD’s

Currently I use spotify 100% and chrome cast and stream all my music. Internet dropouts are very rare - The largest problem I have have had using my mobile phone for volume
Quality wise the chromecast DAC is very reasonable

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I’d go for this.