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#222380 - 18/11/2002 19:40 AudioTron
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Not a troll. Honest!

Why is the Rio Receiver better than the AudioTron? Or, hell, vice versa? (I figured that this would have been brought up before, but I did a search on ``audiotron'' and got no matches.)
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Bitt Faulk

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#222381 - 18/11/2002 19:58 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
Jerz
addict

Registered: 13/07/2002
Posts: 634
Loc: Jesusland
I don't know much about the adiotron but I believe it costs more than the $149.00 I've gotten a few of the rio receivers for. Also the rioreceiver has a built in amplifier so you can connect speakers directly to the unit (I don't believe you can do that with the auditron) or you can connect it directly to a receiver or amplifier.

Anyone else?

Jerz

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#222382 - 19/11/2002 08:33 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Let me ask a few more specific questions.

  1. I gather that there is software to deliver mp3s to the RioRecevier that runs on Linux. Will it work on OpenBSD? (My empeg experience with non-Linux Unices is pretty bad.) And is it Java? I don't really want to run Java on my file server.
  2. Does the Rio Receiver produce additional gappage between tracks? That is, if my music is encoded so that it doesn't gap on, say, my empeg, will it gap on the Receiver?
  3. The AudioTron seems to have a 30,000 song limit (which is pretty silly). Does the Receiver have any such limitation? Or any other bizarre unexpectable limit?
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Bitt Faulk

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#222383 - 19/11/2002 09:33 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5746
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I gather that there is software to deliver mp3s to the RioRecevier that runs on Linux. Will it work on OpenBSD? (My empeg experience with non-Linux Unices is pretty bad.) And is it Java? I don't really want to run Java on my file server.

There are two third party servers, one simple one writen in Perl and one complex one in Java.

Perl: http://www.mock.com/receiver/server/
Java: http://jreceiver.sourceforge.net/

The Perl code should work fine on OpenBSD and as should the Java one (after all people have made jreceiver work on Win2k).

Does the Rio Receiver produce additional gappage between tracks? That is, if my music is encoded so that it doesn't gap on, say, my empeg, will it gap on the Receiver?

I have not noticed it adding any more gaps than the empeg, but to be honest I haven't been looking for them. I bet Tony knows the answer to this though...

The AudioTron seems to have a 30,000 song limit (which is pretty silly). Does the Receiver have any such limitation? Or any other bizarre unexpectable limit?

The Receiver's current code does have an upper limit, I believe it is in the range of 10,000 songs. I think the limitation is in the player code rather than the server.
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#222384 - 19/11/2002 09:49 Re: AudioTron [Re: andy]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5569
Loc: London, UK
I think the limitation is in the player code

The server has a limit of about 40,000 tracks. However, because the player's limit is about 10,000 tracks, you'll never see it.
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-- roger

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#222385 - 19/11/2002 11:29 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
I have an AudioTron. Actually, I got two of the first ones off the line. Then I sold them since the internal software was a bit primative at the time. A while after that I bought a couple Rio Receivers. Since the official server software sorts alphabetically I dumped them in favor of AudioTron again.

Rio Receiver Pros (the way I see it):
  • Built-in amp
  • Cheap ($100-$150)
  • 3rd Party support

AudioTron Pros:
  • Optical audio output
  • Component width
  • Easy to read display
  • Official software updated often
  • Official web server built in
  • Official support for streaming Internet radio (I never use it though)
  • No server software to load on a PC

That said, I am not trolling either. I still check this board a few times a week and will probably be buying some more Receivers soon. It's just that for use in a stereo rack, AudioTron is the winner thanks to digital out, component width, and readable display. The Receivers I plan to buy would be used in bedrooms, bathrooms, and stuff like that where you can just hook up speakers and be done with it.
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-Rob Riccardelli
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#222386 - 19/11/2002 11:35 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Does the Rio Receiver produce additional gappage between tracks? That is, if my music is encoded so that it doesn't gap on, say, my empeg, will it gap on the Receiver?

I want to add that with the AudioTron, the digital out isn't always sending a valid SPDIF signal to the receiver. So, if for some reason there is a large gap between the end of one track and the beginning of another, your stereo may not respond well. My Sony STR-DB1070 is quite good at handling this issue. Once it gets a valid signal it almost immediately starts making sound.

Be aware that this situation does not always occur. AudioTron many times seemlessly goes from one track to the next.
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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#222387 - 19/11/2002 13:56 Re: AudioTron [Re: robricc]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1627
Loc: Louisiana, USA
We are working on adapting the Empeg digital out card to work with the Rio Receiver. The only thing holding up our first test is the +5v low noise power supply we are designing to go with it. We just need to get the PCB etched and assemble it. Hopefully by the weekend it will be finished and tested.

Anyway that would eliminate the lack off optical out in the Rio Receiver.

Stu
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#222388 - 19/11/2002 20:35 Re: AudioTron [Re: maczrool]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31150
Loc: Seattle, WA
Anyway that would eliminate the lack off optical out in the Rio Receiver.

...while nullifying the aforementioned price advantage.

(Not a troll, just pointing out the obvious. I applaud your efforts on adding digital out to the empeg team's products.)
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Tony Fabris

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#222389 - 19/11/2002 21:36 Re: AudioTron [Re: Roger]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Can someone define exactly what the 10,000 track limitation is?
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Bitt Faulk

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#222390 - 20/11/2002 03:30 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5569
Loc: London, UK
Yeah, the player runs out of memory. It has a glaring problem -- it attempts to realise menus and playlists completely, rather than leaving them on the server.

Which is why it's not a hard 10,000 limit, just approximately.
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-- roger

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#222391 - 20/11/2002 08:44 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
badkins
stranger

Registered: 20/11/2002
Posts: 1
I am a happy owner of one Audiotron, with the digital out attached to my home stereo, and multiple Rios spread throughout my house. I like the Audiotron in concept for the same reasons listed here (stereo component width and feel, larger display, optical out), but there are some glaring issues with the AT, maybe based on their choice of a WinCE OS. If you use HPNA, forget about the Audiotron. Turtle Beach sponsers a great user forum, and this has been a topic of frustration and debate for 18+ months. I use HPNA with the Rio no problem, but had to convert my living room to Ethernet just to make the AT work. Discovering songs can be a laborous process with the AT, as it goes through a search of all hosts and the songs on each of those hosts prior to being available (this only happens upon a hard power-down, blackout, or crash of the unit)

The Turtle Radio feature is something I didn't use in the first few months of the AT, but now I'm addicted. There are about 100 pre-programmed stations from all over the world, and any WMA streaming radiostation can be uploaded and served by the device. Only downside is with most stereo receivers you need an analog connection for the lower bitrates of streaming media, but it's still better sounding than my antenna reception. My receiver defaults to the digital connection for the MP3's and any 44khz radio streams, and steps down to analog only if it doesn't get a digital signal, so once set up, this was no problem for me.

The AT also allows you to set up playlists on the fly, selecting and adding albums, tracks, artists, songs, genre's to a custom playlist. And many of the users over there use the open API to really soup-up the player with IPAQ's, home automation, etc...

Bottom line - the Rio is elegant in its simplicity, set it and forget it. I've run it for weeks over HPNA without failure. The AT has a couple of nice bells and whistles but it is more expensive, is more prone to crashing, and is victim of its increased complexity

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#222392 - 20/11/2002 11:41 Re: AudioTron [Re: Roger]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
How does one avoid this problem, assuming one has more than 10,000 (or so) tracks?
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Bitt Faulk

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#222393 - 20/11/2002 17:35 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31150
Loc: Seattle, WA
How does one avoid this problem, assuming one has more than 10,000 (or so) tracks?

I love it, I get to FAQ Bitt very shortly after he hops on this BBS.

I wonder if I will get Bitted soon?



(And I say those things with the highest of regard for you, Mr. Faulk...)
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Tony Fabris

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#222394 - 20/11/2002 21:05 Re: AudioTron [Re: tfabris]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Dammit! My eyes didn't scan past ``Error 22'', methinks. (Or some other lame excuse. )

So it's not that the player can't handle that \more than 10,000 tracks exist to be played, it's just that it can't play that many in one playlist. Is that right? So if I had more than 10,000 tracks, I couldn't play all of them (down-down-down in empeg-speak), but I could still play subsets of that, assuming that they were comprised of fewer than 10,000 tracks.

Is the server bug the same way -- that it can't deal with a list of over 40,000? Or is it a total number of tracks thing, instead? What's the bug there? It's not memory, as that's not a static resource on the player side.

Edited for clarification.


Edited by wfaulk (20/11/2002 21:10)
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#222395 - 20/11/2002 22:06 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31150
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yes, your interpretations are correct.
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Tony Fabris

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#222396 - 21/11/2002 01:52 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5569
Loc: London, UK
The stock server has an absolute limit of approximately 40,000 tracks, but it depends (highly) on what your music is.

Essentially, the database engine in the stock server has -ahem- limitations.
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-- roger

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#222397 - 21/11/2002 13:44 Re: AudioTron [Re: Roger]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Is there a receiver emulator so that I can test the various servers to get an idea of how well the servers will work on my systems?
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Bitt Faulk

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#222398 - 22/11/2002 04:59 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5569
Loc: London, UK
Depends what you're planning to measure.

If it's performance, then the stock server is pretty damn quick. Quick enough that you won't have to worry about it.

I can't comment for the others.

If it's just general stuff, you can always use a web browser:

http://www.differentpla.net/~roger/empeg/receiver/
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-- roger

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#222399 - 22/11/2002 12:09 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
nightingales
newbie

Registered: 25/04/2002
Posts: 34
Loc: GA/USA
Well, not JUST that from what I've seen. If you have more than 10000 songs (like I do), the selection of a song by its title becomes impossible - the Rio tries to list all songs in alphabetical order and just gives up.... Of course you can still play the songs by artist, genre, etc.

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#222400 - 22/11/2002 14:47 Re: AudioTron [Re: Roger]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I'm planning to see how well they run on the fairly slow OpenBSD machine that is my file server. It needs to run on OpenBSD and it needs to not be very heavyweight. Those are my major concerns.
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Bitt Faulk

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#222401 - 22/11/2002 17:10 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3452
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
We've run 64 receivers from a single P3-700 PC (or maybe it was a 700MHz athlon?) and it barely registered as load.

Searching/browsing is a heavy database operation, but playing is light.

Hugo

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#222402 - 22/11/2002 19:07 Re: AudioTron [Re: altman]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Okay. Let me define ``fairly slow''. It's a Pentium 166 with 48MB of RAM. Still, 70064 is significantly less than 1661.

BTW, ``'' == ``divided by'' if that doesn't come out right on your browsers. I hate not being able to just type ``÷''.
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Bitt Faulk

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#222403 - 28/11/2002 00:48 Re: AudioTron [Re: robricc]
silicon
stranger

Registered: 09/06/2002
Posts: 11
robricc, very nice to hear that you are pleased with the AT; I just ordered one as a matter of fact. The RIO was nice, but after I settled in my new house and really hooked it up to seriously use it...the display on it (RIO) was absolutely unbearable. Where I had it before in my bedroom it was no more than 6 feet away...now..in my living room I decided I needed a more readable display as the RIO is about 12 feet from the couch.

Now...to get back on topic :-)

I have never used the RIO with the server software it comes with. My Linux server has all of my MP3's so I just used JReceiver on it. I struggled for a while to get the Broadcom HPNA drivers to work (thanks everyone here for the help and links) but was unsuccessful. They are not fully open source (stub binary with source to hook it to your kernel). New house is now wired with ethernet :-) With JReceiver you can have a catalog of MP3's of basically any size...it uses a MySQL database for holding your MP3 info. As far as resources used, JReceiver uses quite a lot of RAM via it's JAVA interfaces with Jetty, but it really takes almost no CPU resources on my P2 450 to serve the MP3's. JReceiver seems to be pretty polished for an alpha release and works very well with my large MP3 catalog. As for gaps between songs....well...you do get slight gaps.

Rio pro's in my opinion:
Extremely inexpensive.
Heavy 3rd party support (some nice full client software replacement packages available).
Easy to fit in just about any small area.
Built in amp is real nice for when you place the RIO in a bedroom and don't want to use a whole stereo system....sounds good and is quite loud to boot :-)
Fairly clean DAC as opposed to what I have heard about the AT.
Direct shoutcast streams using RioPlay without having to depend on, for example, Turtle Radio....which could at some point in time become no longer supported.

Rio Cons:
Default client software sounds terrible compared to RioPlay with Libmad. Replace this immediately :-)
Unreadable front display, almost makes you wonder what the remote control is needed for.
Doesn't blend in with rack sized stereo equipment.
Future updates from Sonic Blue just ain't gonna' happen.

Also, the AT is starting to see 3rd party support as in: http://www.deepskytech.com/prod_appls/alternatron/
It is also unofficially condoned by the Turtle Beach as is somewhat apparent in their support forums for the AT.

All in all the RIO is a nice little unit that does what it claims to do. It basically comes down to how/where you are going to be using it. In a bedroom or dorm room where it is close by and you don't want a stereo system....I would go for the RIO. If it is going to be intergrated into your home stereo/theater system...I would go for the AT with a digital out to your stereo to avoid the rumored bad DAC. As far as PC requirements...at least for me...indexing the MP3's to the database takes CPU and RAM....but streaming them to the RIO takes almost nothing in resources. Won't even notice it's there.

Oh jeez...did I ramble on enough yet?? What was the topic again?........*sigh*

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#222404 - 03/12/2002 04:39 Re: AudioTron [Re: wfaulk]
davidgu
new poster

Registered: 18/12/2001
Posts: 6
Loc: Herts, UK
I'm running the JReceiver server on Linux on exactly the same spec hardware as you're proposing - 166MHz and 48MB RAM.

The web-based user interface for the server isn't exactly snappy, but it's perfectly usable. I've had absolutely no problems driving my single Rio with this spec.

The server is also acting as my local fileserver, and a NAT gateway/router/firewall for my local network out over my cable modem connection.

I've not experienecd any dropouts under normal usage.

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