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Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:22 pm
by nbpf
I'm trying to assess the suitability of the Intense PC architecture as an audio server.

The idea is to setup a minimal DLNA + MPD server for wired ethernet + USB streaming to a Network Player + DAC.

The system should also provide a wireless Bridge to a router (which I cannot connect to the Network Player with an ethernet cable ) and run on a minimal Linux (Debian, Mint, or Ubuntu) system.

There seem to be or have been a number of issues with the Intense PC audio. Could you share your experiences in deploying an Intense PC as audio server ? Can you suggest alternatives solutions (beside the obvious Mini Mac) ?

Thanks for your attention / feedbacks,

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:16 am
by mbirger
Not so clear what is an audio server.
And what audio problems have you encountered with the Intense PC?

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:31 am
by nbpf
mbirger wrote:Not so clear what is an audio server.
It is a computer running at least a DLNA / UPnP server (for instance minidlna), a music player server (for instance MPD) and its client. As a (music player) server it should support 24/192 through USB 2.0 which is the case for modern linux kernels.
mbirger wrote:And what audio problems have you encountered with the Intense PC?
I am not a fit-PC owner and I have therefore encountered no problems. I'm considering buying an Intense PC i5 (or, alternatively, a Low Power fit-PC3) to use as headless audio server.

This could be a meaningful alternative to the mostly used Mini Mac solution but I am a little bit worried by reports like This is the reason I'm trying to collect experiences from users who have bought fit-PC computers to use them as audio servers.

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:08 pm
by mbirger
We don not have experience with such applications. Nevertheless in terms of IO it provides more than any other available PC on the market.
As for audio capabilities please refer to Realtek ALC888-VC2 HD audio codec documentation.

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:47 pm
by csimon
For what it's worth, I am using an i7 Intense PC for use as a Windows media server, using both DLNA and USB, and I have encountered no problems. I'm not using wireless in any way though. I don't know about 192khz over USB as I'm using an external Soundblaster X-Fi HD which only goes to 96khz, but there are USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports so I'm sure if the driver and specification allows it there should be no problem with it. The audio components (the internal DAC) are irrelevant if you're streaming via DLNA or outputting via USB.

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:47 am
by nbpf
This is probably more pertinent to the Fit-PC3 thread but since I have raised the question here, here we go:

I have finally bought a barebone Fit-PC3 low power ( FITPC3-2x2Gb-T40E-WB-FM4U) a Samsung SSD 840 256GB drive and I have installed a minimal Debian system booting from an external CD-DVD reader attached to one of the Fit-PC3 front USB ports and using debian-7.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso.

What I can say so fas is that net installation over wireless works fine if you provide the non-free drivers rtl8192cfw.bin and rtl8168d-1.fw as required by the Debian installer.

There are, however, two major issues to be solved:

1) The wireless connection is not working if my USB asynchronous DAC (M2TECH Hiface DAC) is connected to one of the 4 back USB ports ! If the DAC is connected to one of the front USB ports, wireless works perfectly. In both cases the DAC itself works fine: it is recognized as card 2 (ls /proc/asound/card*) no matter if it is connected to a front or to a back USB port.

2) Wireless goes down after a few hours

I'm looking into both issues and I hope I'll be able to solve at least issue #2. At the moment this issue makes the Fit-PC3 effectively unusable as a dedicated headless audio server which is a pity because the computer works otherwise fine.

Re: Intense PC as audio server ?

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:24 pm
by nbpf