Archive for the ‘sound’ Category

About fixing Bluesound playlists after CIFS migration

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

I recently wiped TomatoUSB and installed OpenWRT Barrier Breaker on my Linksys E3000 based router. In that process I also migrated our FLAC collection from my x86 based server edison  to the OpenWRT router. Life was good….. until my wife complained that the her Bluesound playlists had stopped working.

Luckily I have root access to my Bluesound and can fix stuff like this. Heres the issue and the fix.

After the switch to OpenWRT the world look like this as seen from the Bluesound:

root@Stue /tmp/var/data$ df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root               903080    342168    515040  40% /
tmpfs                   127488        48    127440   0% /tmp
tmpfs                   127488        36    127452   0% /dev
/dev/mmcblk0p3         2778768     86668   2550944   3% /tmp/var/data
shm                     127488         0    127488   0% /dev/shm
//192.168.1.254/flac 153703308  74379356  79323952  48% /tmp/var/mnt/OPENWRT-flac

But a peek inside the playlist.db on the Bluesound shows the following

‘StoredPlaylist::files’ => ‘/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/01-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violine und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/02-Fur Alina (fur Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/03-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violoncello und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/04-Fur Alina (fur Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/05-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violine und Klavier).flac
/var/mnt/EDISON-flac/Arvo Part – Alina/03-Spiegel im Spiegel (Version fur Violoncello und Klavier).flac’

Notice how the name of the CIFS server is part of the playlist entry. After figuring out the format of the playlist.db, it was trivially easy to write a little perl program to convert them. I did have to take care of some latin1 to utf8 as well, but that was also easy. For anyone who cares:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
#
# convert_playlist.pl – version 1.0 gamma. Project hours: 1
#
# —————————————————————————-
# “THE WISHLIST LICENSE” (Revision 42):
# <zensonic@zensonic.dk> wrote this file.  As long as you retain this notice you
# can do whatever you want with this stuff.
#
# If you feel it saved your world a gift from http://amzn.com/w/2Y27QA7V5FUGU
# is highly appriciated
# —————————————————————————-
#
# Copyright 2014.11.01 by Thomas S. Iversen (zensonic@zensonic.dk)

use strict;
use Storable qw(nstore retrieve);

die “$0 <path_to_playlist> <regexp_match> <regexp_replace>” if(!($#ARGV+1 == 3));
my $filename = $ARGV[0];
my $regexp_match = $ARGV[1];
my $regexp_replace = $ARGV[2];
my $storable;

die “$filename does not exist\n” if(! -f $filename);
$storable = retrieve($filename);
foreach my $playlist (@$storable) {
my $name=$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::name’};
print “Converting playlist ‘$name’\n”;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/$regexp_match/$regexp_replace/g;

# capital danish
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xc5/\xc3\x85/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xc6/\xc3\x86/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xd8/\xc3\x98/g;

# lower danish
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xe5/\xc3\xA5/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xe6/\xc3\xA6/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xf8/\xc3\xB8/g;

# lower swedish
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xe4/\xc3\xA4/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xf6/\xc3\xB6/g;

# capital swedish
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xc4/\xc3\x84/g;
$playlist->{‘StoredPlaylist::files’}=~s/\xd6/\xc3\x96/g;
}

my $filename_new=$filename . “.new”;
print “Saving playlist as $filename_new\n”;
nstore($storable, $filename_new);

Which I then ran as

root@Stue /tmp/var/data$ ./convert_playlist.pl stored_playlists.db EDISON OPENWRT
Converting playlist ‘Svensk jul’
Converting playlist ‘Hvid januar’
Converting playlist ‘Lektier’
Converting playlist ‘Moderne salmer’
Converting playlist ‘Total afslapning’
Converting playlist ‘P�ske’
Saving playlist as stored_playlists.db.new

And then the last part

mv playlist as stored_playlists.db.new playlist as stored_playlists.db
reboot

And restart the Bluesound app on the phone (it caches). Happy wife 🙂

The old king is dead (NAD 3020i) ….

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

….. long live the new king (NAD C356BEE)!

Our old NAD 3020i died. Or rather it could still amplify our music, but it started to smell when it was on and the smell of burnt electronics inside the house is neither normal, nor healthy. So we went looking for a replacement…. Rotel ra-11 looked nice. So did the pioneer A-70. And the NAD C326BEE … We also had a very very serious look at NAD D 3020. The latter was discared due to

  • us being in doubt about the D 3020’s ability to deliver the same power as the NAD 3020i, even though its specs was 50% better.
  • reviews stating that the sound was actually better when feeding it an analog source as opposed to a digital one. Then it did not make much sense to feed it with the output of the Bluesound N100 we own.

My wife, who brought the NAD 3020i into our relationship preferred NAD over the competition and in the end we had to choose between the C326BEE and the C356BEE. Being marginally more expensive, we went with the bigbrother and are happy about it.NAD_C356BEEI will have to play around with the serial port of the 356BEE and maybee put a usb2serial in the back of the Bluesound and do some magic there. But that will have to wait until later.

Geek review of Bluesound Node

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I recently reviewed the Bluesound Node from a end user perspective. It rocks the house, so to speak.

The geek in me would not and could not let that be the end of it. How is it built? What makes it tick? Stuff like that.

A quick nmap of the box yields

edison% nmap 192.168.1.119

Starting Nmap 5.00 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2013-12-30 19:37 CET
Interesting ports on 192.168.1.119:
Not shown: 998 closed ports
PORT   STATE SERVICE
22/tcp open  ssh
80/tcp open  http

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 2.71 seconds

The webserver serves some very minimal pages. Most interessting are the diagnostics pages. The advanced tab, actually serves the output of dmesg and /var/log/messages, so obviously linux inside.

A lot could be deduced from the output of dmesg alone, but being a geek I wanted to know everything.  A quick test with root/root and whats not yielded nothing using ssh. Actually the user/user combo works wrt. authorization, but fails due to the fact that /home/user does not exists.

On the back of the node there are a mini usb for support. Obviously that is a console port. I tried to play around with that a bit, but no obvious way in, except knowing the root password.

I then used a couple of hours of my life and figured out how to gain access without knowing the root password. The details will be kept off the net. You have to figure it out yourself.

But in the end

root@Stue ~$ uname -a
Linux Stue 2.6.35.3-998-ga1cd8a7 #117 PREEMPT Tue Dec 3 16:51:52 EST 2013 armv7l GNU/Linux
root@Stue ~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor       : ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l)
BogoMIPS        : 799.53
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant     : 0x2
CPU part        : 0xc08
CPU revision    : 5

Hardware        : NAD SOVI Board
Revision        : 51030
Serial          : 0000000000000000
root@Stue ~$ cat /proc/meminfo  | head -10
MemTotal:         254980 kB
MemFree:           83216 kB
Buffers:            7856 kB
Cached:            76932 kB
SwapCached:            0 kB
Active:            99812 kB
Inactive:          60908 kB
Active(anon):      75948 kB
Inactive(anon):      312 kB
Active(file):      23864 kB

[    0.000000] Linux version 2.6.35.3-998-ga1cd8a7 (kg@ubuntu) (gcc version 4.4.4 (4.4.4_09.06.2010) ) #117 PREEMPT Tue Dec 3 16:51:52 EST 2013
[    0.000000] CPU: ARMv7 Processor [412fc085] revision 5 (ARMv7), cr=10c53c7f
[    0.000000] CPU: VIPT nonaliasing data cache, VIPT nonaliasing instruction cache
[    0.000000] Machine: NAD SOVI Board
[    0.000000] Memory policy: ECC disabled, Data cache writeback
[    0.000000] On node 0 totalpages: 65536
[    0.000000] free_area_init_node: node 0, pgdat 804c0634, node_mem_map 804eb000
[    0.000000]   DMA zone: 192 pages used for memmap
[    0.000000]   DMA zone: 0 pages reserved
[    0.000000]   DMA zone: 24384 pages, LIFO batch:3
[    0.000000]   Normal zone: 320 pages used for memmap
[    0.000000]   Normal zone: 40640 pages, LIFO batch:7
[    0.000000] Built 1 zonelists in Zone order, mobility grouping on.  Total pages: 65024
[    0.000000] Kernel command line: console=ttymxc0,115200 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootwait ro rootfstype=ext4
[    0.000000] PID hash table entries: 1024 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
[    0.000000] Dentry cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
[    0.000000] Inode-cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
[    0.000000] Memory: 256MB = 256MB total
[    0.000000] Memory: 254868k/254868k available, 7276k reserved, 0K highmem
[    0.000000] Virtual kernel memory layout:
[    0.000000]     vector  : 0xffff0000 – 0xffff1000   (   4 kB)
[    0.000000]     fixmap  : 0xfff00000 – 0xfffe0000   ( 896 kB)
[    0.000000]     DMA     : 0xf9e00000 – 0xffe00000   (  96 MB)
[    0.000000]     vmalloc : 0x90800000 – 0xf4000000   (1592 MB)
[    0.000000]     lowmem  : 0x80000000 – 0x90000000   ( 256 MB)
[    0.000000]     modules : 0x7f000000 – 0x80000000   (  16 MB)
[    0.000000]       .init : 0x80008000 – 0x80024000   ( 112 kB)
[    0.000000]       .text : 0x80024000 – 0x8046a000   (4376 kB)
[    0.000000]       .data : 0x80484000 – 0x804c1040   ( 245 kB)
[    0.000000] SLUB: Genslabs=11, HWalign=32, Order=0-3, MinObjects=0, CPUs=1, Nodes=1
[    0.000000] Hierarchical RCU implementation.
[    0.000000]  RCU-based detection of stalled CPUs is disabled.
[    0.000000]  Verbose stalled-CPUs detection is disabled.
[    0.000000] NR_IRQS:272
[    0.000000] MXC GPIO hardware
[    0.000000] MXC IRQ initialized
[    0.000000] MXC_Early serial console at MMIO 0x73fbc000 (options ‘115200’)
[    0.000000] bootconsole [ttymxc0] enabled
[    0.000000] Console: colour dummy device 80×30
[    0.475328] Calibrating delay loop… 799.53 BogoMIPS (lpj=3997696)
[    0.703896] pid_max: default: 32768 minimum: 301
[    0.707706] Security Framework initialized
[    0.711075] Mount-cache hash table entries: 512
[    0.715116] CPU: Testing write buffer coherency: ok
[    0.722633] regulator: core version 0.5
[    0.726039] NET: Registered protocol family 16
[    0.729770] i.MX IRAM pool: 128 KB@0x90840000
[    0.733448] IRAM READY
[    0.737156] CPU is i.MX51 Revision 3.0
[    0.780569] Using SDMA I.API
[    0.783084] MXC DMA API initialized
[    0.786395] IMX usb wakeup probe
[    0.789124] the wakeup pdata is 0x80490eb8
[    0.789147] IMX usb wakeup probe
[    0.791858] the wakeup pdata is 0x80490f6c
[    0.801784] bio: create slab <bio-0> at 0
[    0.806432] SCSI subsystem initialized
[    0.810273] CSPI: mxc_spi-0 probed
[    0.813554] Freescale USB OTG Driver loaded, $Revision: 1.55 $
[    0.928925] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
[    0.933645] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
[    0.938140] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
[    0.944076] Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.23.
[    0.949939] mc13892 Rev 2.4 FinVer 2 detected
[    0.953900] Initializing regulators for NAD SOVI.
[    0.958842] regulator: SW1: 600 <–> 1375 mV at 1050 mV
[    0.963928] regulator: SW2: 900 <–> 1850 mV at 1225 mV
[    0.968760] regulator: SW3: 1100 <–> 1850 mV at 1200 mV
[    0.973686] regulator: SW4: 1100 <–> 1850 mV at 1800 mV
[    0.978440] regulator: SWBST:
[    0.981374] regulator: VIOHI:
[    0.984427] regulator: VPLL: 1050 <–> 1800 mV at 1800 mV
[    0.989364] regulator: VDIG: 1650 mV
[    0.992759] regulator: VSD: 1800 <–> 3150 mV at 3150 mV
[    0.997744] regulator: VUSB2: 2400 <–> 2775 mV at 2600 mV
[    1.002851] regulator: VVIDEO: 2775 mV
[    1.006396] regulator: VAUDIO: 2300 <–> 3000 mV at 3000 mV
[    1.011495] regulator: VCAM: 2500 <–> 3000 mV at 2600 mV fast normal
[    1.017172] regulator: VGEN1: 1200 mV
[    1.020756] regulator: VGEN2: 1200 <–> 3150 mV at 3150 mV
[    1.025887] regulator: VGEN3: 1800 <–> 2900 mV at 1800 mV
[    1.030904] regulator: VUSB:
[    1.033666] regulator: GPO1:
[    1.036497] regulator: GPO2:
[    1.039256] regulator: GPO3:
[    1.042029] regulator: GPO4:
[    1.045666] Device spi1.0 probed
[    1.048528] Switching to clocksource mxc_timer1
[    1.053749] NET: Registered protocol family 2
[    1.057403] IP route cache hash table entries: 2048 (order: 1, 8192 bytes)
[    1.063405] TCP established hash table entries: 8192 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
[    1.069284] TCP bind hash table entries: 8192 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
[    1.074643] TCP: Hash tables configured (established 8192 bind 8192)
[    1.079822] TCP reno registered
[    1.082401] UDP hash table entries: 256 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
[    1.087167] UDP-Lite hash table entries: 256 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
[    1.092389] NET: Registered protocol family 1
[    1.096156] RPC: Registered udp transport module.
[    1.099992] RPC: Registered tcp transport module.
[    1.103922] RPC: Registered tcp NFSv4.1 backchannel transport module.
[    1.109898] LPMode driver module loaded
[    1.113096] Static Power Management for Freescale i.MX5
[    1.117591] PM driver module loaded
[    1.120606] sdram autogating driver module loaded
[    1.124745] Bus freq driver module loaded
[    1.128048] mxc_dvfs_core_probe
[    1.130828] DVFS driver module loaded
[    1.133869] i.MXC CPU frequency driver
[    1.137356] DVFS PER driver module loaded
[    1.155861] Installing knfsd (copyright (C) 1996 okir@monad.swb.de).
[    1.162207] Slow work thread pool: Starting up
[    1.166497] Slow work thread pool: Ready
[    1.169698] NTFS driver 2.1.29 [Flags: R/O].
[    1.173852] fuse init (API version 7.14)
[    1.177767] msgmni has been set to 497
[    1.183015] alg: No test for stdrng (krng)
[    1.186600] cryptodev: driver loaded.
[    1.189620] io scheduler noop registered
[    1.192902] io scheduler deadline registered
[    1.196489] io scheduler cfq registered (default)
[    1.439983] Serial: MXC Internal UART driver
[    1.443824] mxcintuart.0: ttymxc0 at MMIO 0x73fbc000 (irq = 31) is a Freescale i.MX
[    1.450099] console [ttymxc0] enabled, bootconsole disabled
[    1.462182] mxcintuart.1: ttymxc1 at MMIO 0x73fc0000 (irq = 32) is a Freescale i.MX
[    1.470812] mxcintuart.2: ttymxc2 at MMIO 0x7000c000 (irq = 33) is a Freescale i.MX
[    1.483203] loop: module loaded
[    1.486775] FEC Ethernet Driver
[    1.493082] fec_enet_mii_bus: probed
[    1.497306] ehci_hcd: USB 2.0 ‘Enhanced’ Host Controller (EHCI) Driver
[    1.504066] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.0: Freescale On-Chip EHCI Host Controller
[    1.510711] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
[    1.542280] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.0: irq 18, io base 0x73f80000
[    1.562251] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.0: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00
[    1.568937] hub 1-0:1.0: USB hub found
[    1.572760] hub 1-0:1.0: 1 port detected
[    1.792258] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.1: Freescale On-Chip EHCI Host Controller
[    1.798907] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.1: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
[    1.832279] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.1: irq 14, io base 0x73f80200
[    1.852257] fsl-ehci fsl-ehci.1: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00
[    1.858786] hub 2-0:1.0: USB hub found
[    1.862596] hub 2-0:1.0: 1 port detected
[    1.867015] Initializing USB Mass Storage driver…
[    1.872131] usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
[    1.878187] USB Mass Storage support registered.
[    1.882826] ARC USBOTG Device Controller driver (1 August 2005)
[    1.889550] input: gpio-keys as /devices/platform/gpio-keys/input/input0
[    1.897518] pmic rtc probe start
[    1.901432] pmic_rtc mc13892_rtc.1: rtc core: registered mc13892_rtc as rtc0
[    1.908562] pmic rtc probe succeed
[    1.912319] IR NEC protocol handler initialized
[    1.916856] IR RC5(x) protocol handler initialized
[    1.921650] IR RC6 protocol handler initialized
[    1.926214] IR JVC protocol handler initialized
[    1.930748] IR Sony protocol handler initialized
[    1.935382] MXC WatchDog Driver 2.0
[    1.939394] MXC Watchdog # 0 Timer: initial timeout 60 sec
[    1.946510] mxsdhci: MXC Secure Digital Host Controller Interface driver
[    1.953319] mxsdhci: MXC SDHCI Controller Driver.
[    1.958952] mmc0: SDHCI detect irq 128 irq 1 INTERNAL DMA
[    1.964444] mxsdhci: MXC SDHCI Controller Driver.
[    1.969706] mmc1: SDHCI detect irq 0 irq 2 INTERNAL DMA
[    1.975389] Registered led device: status_blue_a
[    1.975565] Registered led device: status_blue_b
[    1.975737] Registered led device: status_green
[    1.975909] Registered led device: status_red
[    1.977248] Cirrus Logic CS4350 ALSA SoC DAC Driver
[    2.013004] cs4350_spi spi1.2: found a CS4350 at REV C2
[    2.028561] No device for DAI imx-ssi-1-0
[    2.032611] No device for DAI imx-ssi-1-1
[    2.036660] No device for DAI imx-ssi-2-0
[    2.040675] No device for DAI imx-ssi-2-1
[    2.044735] No device for DAI imx-ssi-3-0
[    2.048751] No device for DAI imx-ssi-3-1
[    2.053946] in imx_sovi_asoc_init
[    2.057321] in imx_sovi_cs4350_probe
[    2.072494] capture=0 ext_ram=0 UseIram=0
[    2.077896] DMA Sound Buffers Allocated:UseIram=0 buf->addr=9f300000 buf->area=f9e0a000 size=524288
[    2.086991] asoc: cs4350 <-> imx-ssi-2-0 mapping ok
[    2.091916] Failed to add route AOUT1L->Line Out Jack
[    2.101133] ALSA device list:
[    2.104163]   #0: imx-sovi (CS4350)
[    2.108207] TCP cubic registered
[    2.111463] NET: Registered protocol family 17
[    2.116030] VFP support v0.3: implementor 41 architecture 3 part 30 variant c rev 2
[    2.157905] regulator_init_complete: disabling VCAM
[    2.163022] regulator_init_complete: disabling VAUDIO
[    2.169251] regulator_init_complete: disabling VSD
[    2.174254] regulator_init_complete: disabling VDIG
[    2.179556] pmic_rtc mc13892_rtc.1: setting system clock to 2013-12-30 18:50:38 UTC (1388429438)
[    2.188605] Waiting for root device /dev/mmcblk0p2…
[    2.291639] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address aaaa
[    2.297558] mmcblk0: mmc0:aaaa SU04G 3.69 GiB
[    2.302174]  mmcblk0: p1 p2 p3
[    2.427492] mmc1: new SDIO card at address 0001
[    2.437448] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p2): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[    2.445667] VFS: Mounted root (ext4 filesystem) readonly on device 179:2.
[    2.452531] Freeing init memory: 112K
[    2.572303] USB Host suspend begins
[    2.572327] will suspend roothub and its children
[    2.572361] ehci_fsl_bus_suspend, DR
[    2.572777] host suspend ends
[    2.868618] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): warning: maximal mount count reached, running e2fsck is recommended
[    2.880309] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): recovery complete
[    2.886462] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: commit=30
[    4.542400] ehci_fsl_bus_suspend, Host 1
[    6.560837] mxc_spdif mxc_spdif.0: MXC SPDIF Audio Transmitter
[    6.569232] No device for codec mxc spdif
[    6.573331] No device for DAI mxc spdif
[    6.584224] No device for DAI imx-spdif-dai
[    6.600331] capture=0 ext_ram=0 UseIram=0
[    6.617000] DMA Sound Buffers Allocated:UseIram=0 buf->addr=9f500000 buf->area=f9e8f000 size=524288
[    6.626175] asoc: mxc spdif <-> imx-spdif-dai mapping ok
[    6.770533] eth0: Freescale FEC PHY driver [Generic PHY] (mii_bus:phy_addr=0:00, irq=-1)
[    6.961939] Compat-drivers backport release: compat-drivers-v3.8-1

So it is a NAD SOVI board using an i.mx51 freescale arm processor. With 256MB memory. The sound are produced by an Cirrus Logic CS4350 chip. The system runs a 2.6.35 kernel off a NAND flash chip in a very trimmed down setup based around busybox and the selected custom applications needed to make a media player. The system utilizes the very well known and awsome u-boot boot loader.

Without voiding guarantee by opening up the box, I can not get more specific information than that.

What amazes me the most about this setup, is that the system outputs very good sound quality, is very very stable, has fast boot times and yet does not consume very much memory. This is a lean, mean, music machine. It has one purpose in life and are trimmed down to fulfill that purpose and only that purpose.

That being said, I can see that the platform is built to support more extensive media streamers. Mine is just the low cost one. I also speculate that the NAD SOVI board has GPIO pins needed to fit into products with way more features.

Gaining access to the OS will allow me to tweak the setup a bit more to my need being both a programmer and a Linux sysadm. I have no desire to alter the OS and/or hardware, but I can envision the need for using the USB port to control an amplifier or integrate the NODE with other equipment over IP. Small tweaks. But again. Out of the box this is a wonderful product that I will recommend to friends and family.

 

End user review of Bluesound Node

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

My wife and I have for years listened to music from CDs on our DALI 400 loudspeakers through an NAD 3020i amplifier and our NAD T514 DVD player.

This setup has served us well. CD’s are however an outdated technology and we found

  • that we stashed most of our CDs away. They might have looked cool on the wall in the 90′, but in 2013, in Denmark, they should be out of sight
  • that due to the point above, we only listened to a selected few
  • that many of our CDs was started to wear out
  • that our T514, which have served us well, was started to show the first sign of old age

So what to do? We looked for a way to be able to enjoy CD quality without hazzle, while taking the leap into streaming music.

We took a look at Sonos, but rejected it due to their sound quality. We considered an all streaming solution (skipping our CDs for good), but also rejected that, due to posession of a lot of non-mainstream CDs.

After investigating the market in 2013, we decided to try out a product from a canadian firm called bluesound. Bluesound and NAD electronics are owned by the same holding company, Lenbrook Industries, so many of the engineers producing NAD equipment are also involved in producing Bluesound equipment. That bodes well for the quality of Bluesound. And then bluesound have recieved good reviews audiowise from a couple of sites around the world. Given that the equipment is fairly fresh of the assembly line that is also a plus.

Bluesound produces a couple of variants of their streaming media players. We already have an amplifier, so we passed on the powernode. The vault seems cool, but a bit pricy. So due to the fact that I, as a nerd, already have a server running 24×7, we choose the cheap(ish) Bluesound Node.

Bluesound Node

We bought the node through the danish reseller hifiklubben.dk. It arrived in a couple of days. The package contains the node itself, a quickstart manual, and cables needed for connecting the node to power, network and amplifier.

The node does not have a remote, but relies on the user having a smartphone (android or ios), which will be used for controlling the node through the Bluesound App.

The initial setup was a breeze. When first powered on, it comes up in AP/hotspot mode. You connect your smartphone to the AP, and start the Bluesound App. A wizard will guide you through the setup, which takes 1-3 minutes. After that, the node reboots and is ready for use. I setup a CIFS share.

I then ripped all our CDs using fre:ac. It went fairly quickly. A couple of notes:

  • The more CD drives, the more you can process at a time
  • Use CDDB
  • Rip to FLAC, it will save cpu cycles and you basically rip as fast as the CD drive will allow you to. Some of our CDs took around 60 seconds to rip to FLAC!
  • Each time you rip a CD, browse for the cover art meanwhile and store the coverart inside the folder with the music and name the cover art folder.jpg

After 5-10 cds it was apparent to us, that the Bluesound Node produces sound of the same or better quality than our CD player. So bluesound node is without a good streaming player. Factoring in how little money you have to pay for it, it is a really good bargin. It has just worked since day one and we have been listening to a lot more music than we did just 14 days ago!

The app on the smartphone works well. It has some minor issues, but the real beef with the app is the fact that we lack some features. Those will hopefully be added later.

So all in all 9 out of 10 stars from an enduser of bluesound node. It is highly recommended for replacement of CDs.