Thank you for your donation!


New to moode and having fun, but...
#1
Hi there fellow members,

I just adhered to the streaming server thing over the last weekend, but I've been planning it for a long time, with rather expensive options on view, until I found out about Raspberry Pi and its ability to work as a high quality audio server. So I went to buy a Raspberry Pi 3b with original box and 2.5A power source and configured it with the following specs and equipment, which I believe was the best option to work with what I have around: 

1) The RasPi is running latest Moode version and is connected via WiFi;
2) One of the USB ports is connected to a USB hard drive with autonomous power bus, where I have all my music collection;
3) Other USB port is connected to a USB DAC (SMSL M500), volume control disabled (0 dB), no upsampling.

The DAC has line outputs connected to my main system (PrimaLuna PrologueOne integrated amp -> ProAc Studio 100 monitors), and headphone amp section on which I usually plug my AudioTechnica ATH-M50 or my Grado sr60e. 

I have been having a lot of fun with this setup, and the SMSL DAC works fine with the RasPi, converting high-res files with ease (FLAC, DSD, MQA). Moode management of files on the hard disk, and playlists, works really well and it's easy to learn.

But being new to this digital world, I cannot help but to feel a little bit suspicious that perhaps I've made something wrong... 

Soundwise, everything seems fine. The M500 is a hellova DAC, very clean and authoritative (a little bit hot on the highs on some kinds of music). 

But... 

There are occasional glitches, mainly on the first seconds of very large files like DSDs. Sometimes it also happens in other lower resolution files... It is not a very common aspect, but when it happens, I get that weird feeling I have something configured the wrong way. Usually it glitches on the 2nd or 3rd second of some tracks... Is this normal?

The Bluetooth (BT) on the Pi has very bad connectivity. At 2 or 3 meters it is always glitching. Fortunately I don't use it often, but yesterday evening I was listening to some music on my headphones and had to watch a YT video, so instead of stopping the Moode stream, I connected the smartphone to the Moode BT, and it was arguably one of the worst BT experience I had so far. Is this normal? 

The Moode Spotify connect works well for the most part, but I cannot listen to Spotify podcasts, they wont play. Also I had some difficulties listening to my downloaded libraries on Spotify. Does someone have the same problems?

As an old audiophile that comes from the record era, I am always trying to perfect a system by looking at the details... Maybe the cables, maybe a USB filter, maybe a bigger power brick... 

But I'll keep having fun with Moode!
Raspberry Pi 3b -> SMSL M500 -> PrimaLuna Prologue One -> ProAc Studio 100
Reply
#2
The symptoms "audio glitches" and "very bad Bluetooth connectivity" are not normal and suggest something external to moOde software.
Reply
#3
@Mellowship

I'm in basic agreement with Tim (of course Smile). Just wanted to add a few comments about your hardware environment.

1. Regarding the glitchy playback. It sounds like you might be suffering underruns. Have you looked at the logs for underrun messages?

While the RPi3B is a decent SBC, its USB/Ethernet subsystem is a known chokepoint. It's possible that reading data in from the USB HD and simultaneously writing high bit-rate data out to the USB DAC is challenging the throughput limit of the shared controller. One test of this hypothesis would be to try playing tracks from an external NAS and/or other computer via the WiFi interface and see if you still experience glitches. 

If this is the problem then you could move your music library to an external NAS or even try replacing the RPi3B with an RPi4B which has a superior interface subsystem. (Yeah, I know, the RPi4B is yet another SBC and also is more expensive. I prefer it but you could instead just buy another RPi3B to dedicate as your moOde player and repurpose the existing RPi3B and USB HD as your NAS.)

2. Regarding the Bluetooth performance. Since you are using a USB DAC I assume you don't have a HAT on your RPi3B, but what about a case? If the RPi3B is near or surrounded in metal, you may get poor or even no BT performance (WiFi too, but more so the BT). Same if the RPi3B is buried in the typical rat's nest of cables in a media center. 

Also, do you have lots of other 2.4GHz gear in the vicinity? Microwave oven, cordless phones, WiFi and/or Bluetooth devices? Any strong transmitter nearby can contribute to poor performance.

3. I haven't used Spotify in ways which would cast light on your podcast and downloaded libraries issue, so can't comment.

Regards,
Kent

PS - there are old audiophiles and then there are *old* audiophiles. 

<reminiscencing>
My first experience with recordings was playing my parents' 78s as a pre-teen in the early 1950s. These discs simply shattered if you dropped them so I had first to earn my folks' trust. Since the recording time per side was so short, you had to stack the record changer with a set of discs when you wanted to play a symphony and needed to reverse the stack halfway through. Over time you got so you could ignore the constant interruption and clatter of the disc changes. 

Fortunately they bought a new console with a built-in three-speed changer soon after I started listening and we could begin amassing 45rpm and 33rpm records. Then I built my own primitive stereo system with a "high-fidelity" Garand changer. This led first to my discovery of record shops and later of audio stores. What a life! 
</reminiscencing>
Reply
#4
(12-11-2019, 07:53 PM)TheOldPresbyope Wrote: @Mellowship

I'm in basic agreement with Tim (of course Smile). Just wanted to add a few comments about your hardware environment.

1. Regarding the glitchy playback. It sounds like you might be suffering underruns. Have you looked at the logs for underrun messages?

While the RPi3B is a decent SBC, its USB/Ethernet subsystem is a known chokepoint. It's possible that reading data in from the USB HD and simultaneously writing high bit-rate data out to the USB DAC is challenging the throughput limit of the shared controller. One test of this hypothesis would be to try playing tracks from an external NAS and/or other computer via the WiFi interface and see if you still experience glitches. 

If this is the problem then you could move your music library to an external NAS or even try replacing the RPi3B with an RPi4B which has a superior interface subsystem. (Yeah, I know, the RPi4B is yet another SBC and also is more expensive. I prefer it but you could instead just buy another RPi3B to dedicate as your moOde player and repurpose the existing RPi3B and USB HD as your NAS.)

2. Regarding the Bluetooth performance. Since you are using a USB DAC I assume you don't have a HAT on your RPi3B, but what about a case? If the RPi3B is near or surrounded in metal, you may get poor or even no BT performance (WiFi too, but more so the BT). Same if the RPi3B is buried in the typical rat's nest of cables in a media center. 

Also, do you have lots of other 2.4GHz gear in the vicinity? Microwave oven, cordless phones, WiFi and/or Bluetooth devices? Any strong transmitter nearby can contribute to poor performance.

3. I haven't used Spotify in ways which would cast light on your podcast and downloaded libraries issue, so can't comment.

Regards,
Kent

PS - there are old audiophiles and then there are *old* audiophiles. 

<reminiscencing>
My first experience with recordings was playing my parents' 78s as a pre-teen in the early 1950s. These discs simply shattered if you dropped them so I had first to earn my folks' trust. Since the recording time per side was so short, you had to stack the record changer with a set of discs when you wanted to play a symphony and needed to reverse the stack halfway through. Over time you got so you could ignore the constant interruption and clatter of the disc changes. 

Fortunately they bought a new console with a built-in three-speed changer soon after I started listening and we could begin amassing 45rpm and 33rpm records. Then I built my own primitive stereo system with a "high-fidelity" Garand changer. This led first to my discovery of record shops and later of audio stores. What a life! 
</reminiscencing>

Thanks for your reply.

78 rpm shellac records... That's old indeed! ? I also had some trouble being granted the trust to play my older brother's 33s on the Pioneer turntable, so I had to use cassette tapes. When the Walkman fever came, I was already a master in compilations... 

Regarding the vicinity of the raspberry pi, it is on a shelf just above the WiFi router. So it could be it. The case is an official white and pink plastic one. 

Haven't been experiencing glitches lately and everything seems fine. But that's a good idea to get another pi to use as NAS. If I get a good deal on a used one (like I had with my current, 40€ for a complete kit of pi, case and power + 500gb hd) that's what I'll do. It would allow me to keep only one music collection and stream it to any device.
Raspberry Pi 3b -> SMSL M500 -> PrimaLuna Prologue One -> ProAc Studio 100
Reply


Forum Jump: