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Moode 4.2. thoughts and feelings
#1
Sooooo I finally got around to setting up Moode 4.2. I haven't used Moode since images stopped being offered.

The Good: 

-The "building" process was really simple with a few caveats that I will get into later.

-The GUI seems to give the end user more control over every little detail of how the system works and offers explanations of what the different options do for things that are not super obvious. 

-Boot time is good

-The system seems very stable at least for the short time this I used it.

-This is by far the most stable Bluetooth I have ever seen on the Pi.


The Bad:

-The Bluetooth sound quality is abysmal. I wasn't expecting miracles because its Bluetooth which is more designed for convenience than getting the best possible sound quality, but the Bluetooth output from Moode sounded significantly worse than the audio output from my phone on Tracks Air headphones. Maybe the built it Bluetooth on the Pi is just junk or maybe the feature is not fully optimized. 

-While the instructions for the building process are good, they fail to mention that SSH has to be enabled in Stretch before you can SSH into the PI.

-The whole building process seems pointless. There is no reason that the contents of the SD card could not be read back into an image file and uploaded like in the past. There is nothing system specific about the image and waiting an hour to install Moode into Stretch feels like a huge waste of time. I'm not even sure what the end game could possibly be by doing it this way.

-The Moode interface, while very clean and minimalistic, feels awkward and needlessly complex. The default view for selecting music does not offer folder view. There is thankfully a folder view option, but no way to make this the default view. 

-The NAS setup process is super counter intuitive. I never did actually get it working. Just kept getting errors that the share that I was pointing it directly to was down. The same share that works flawlessly in Volumio. The testing I did do was with files that were copied to the SD card. 

-Sound quality. I could live with all of these pitfalls and more if the sound quality was superior to other MPDs. Using an Allo Digione Moode sounded very stiff and artificial with a coloration that I can only describe as "metallic". Switching back to Volumio returned that warm, lush, and natural sound that I'm used to hearing. I would put the issue down to Stretch, maybe even entertain the idea that maybe this why the Volumio team has not made made the jump to Stretch, but then I remember back to the way Moode used to sound and realize that Moode has always sounded this way. For me it really drew a red circle around just how far Volumio has come in the past couple of years.
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#2
(07-16-2018, 10:31 PM)gothard Wrote: Sooooo I finally got around to setting up Moode 4.2. I haven't used Moode since images stopped being offered.

The Good: 

-The "building" process was really simple with a few caveats that I will get into later.

-The GUI seems to give the end user more control over every little detail of how the system works and offers explanations of what the different options do for things that are not super obvious. 

-Boot time is good

-The system seems very stable at least for the short time this I used it.

-This is by far the most stable Bluetooth I have ever seen on the Pi.


The Bad:

-The Bluetooth sound quality is abysmal. I wasn't expecting miracles because its Bluetooth which is more designed for convenience than getting the best possible sound quality, but the Bluetooth output from Moode sounded significantly worse than the audio output from my phone on Tracks Air headphones. Maybe the built it Bluetooth on the Pi is just junk or maybe the feature is not fully optimized. 

-While the instructions for the building process are good, they fail to mention that SSH has to be enabled in Stretch before you can SSH into the PI.

-The whole building process seems pointless. There is no reason that the contents of the SD card could not be read back into an image file and uploaded like in the past. There is nothing system specific about the image and waiting an hour to install Moode into Stretch feels like a huge waste of time. I'm not even sure what the end game could possibly be by doing it this way.

-The Moode interface, while very clean and minimalistic, feels awkward and needlessly complex. The default view for selecting music does not offer folder view. There is thankfully a folder view option, but no way to make this the default view. 

-The NAS setup process is super counter intuitive. I never did actually get it working. Just kept getting errors that the share that I was pointing it directly to was down. The same share that works flawlessly in Volumio. The testing I did do was with files that were copied to the SD card. 

-Sound quality. I could live with all of these pitfalls and more if the sound quality was superior to other MPDs. Using an Allo Digione Moode sounded very stiff and artificial with a coloration that I can only describe as "metallic". Switching back to Volumio returned that warm, lush, and natural sound that I'm used to hearing. I would put the issue down to Stretch, maybe even entertain the idea that maybe this why the Volumio team has not made made the jump to Stretch, but then I remember back to the way Moode used to sound and realize that Moode has always sounded this way. For me it really drew a red circle around just how far Volumio has come in the past couple of years.

Seems to me this screed were better suited for the Volumio forum than here.

It's pointless for me to address your feelings. There is one point which is worth mentioning. Your impression of Bluetooth performance is the fault of neither the RPi nor moOde. 

Your Tracks Air headphones and your iPhone undoubtedly are using the AptX codec rather than the default codec. As was so elegantly stated in the Kodi forum several years ago, "Apt-X is a proprietary codec, protected by various patents, and it requires licensed libraries and a specific BT stack in order to work." 

I'll bet Volumio doesn't include it either.

Regards,
Kent
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#3
This probably isn’t the place but while I do think there is a difference between moode 3.x and 4.x, the difference seems to me to be that stretch + mpd, etc. are now more resolving. Whether you like that or not will depend on your audio chain and personal preferences. One person’s warm, lush and natural is another’s veiled and rolled off (and vice versa), and I say that as someone who loves HD650s, silk dome tweeters, and r2r dacs.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard volumio but when I initially got into the Pi scene and tried the various distros I chose moode strictly for the sound quality and used a front end app for a while until I decided to volunteer to help Tim with the interface a bit. I have checked out picoreplayer with real-time kernel relatively recently as I hadn’t before and had been wanting to check it out as it’s popular on another forum I’m on and thought the sound (which doesn’t use mpd or stretch) was virtually indistinguishable to moode. I think that’s a good thing. Wink
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#4
Well, I think he has a very good point about no mention that SSH has to be enabled in Stretch before you can SSH into the PI or how to enable it. It had me foxed for a couple of hours the first time I tried doing a build.
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#5
Read the very beginning of the Build Recipe. There are steps for prepping Raspbian using Linux, Windows or Mac, but who ever reads the manual, lol
Enjoy the Music!
http://moodeaudio.org | http://twitter.com/MoodeAudio | http://github.com/moodeaudio
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#6
(07-17-2018, 12:11 PM)Tim Curtis Wrote: Read the very beginning of the Build Recipe. There are steps for prepping Raspbian using Linux, Windows or Mac, but who ever reads the manual, lol

Are you sure? 

All I am reading is "The Builder requires a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian with SSH enabled" and "Connect to the Pi via SSH and then run the commands listed below" No info on creating the blank SSH file that is need to enable SSH.

Perhaps I am reading the wrong build recipe?
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#7
There is a manual Build Recipe that is the basis for the Automated Builder but this may be discontinued in the future since its redundant and takes time to maintain.
http://moodeaudio.org/downloads/prod/bui...e_v2.5.zip

The Automated Builder has a few info screens but its not meant to be a tutorial on Raspbian.

-Tim
Enjoy the Music!
http://moodeaudio.org | http://twitter.com/MoodeAudio | http://github.com/moodeaudio
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#8
(07-17-2018, 08:09 AM)swizzle Wrote: This probably isn’t the place but while I do think there is a difference between moode 3.x and 4.x, the difference seems to me to be that stretch + mpd, etc. are now more resolving. Whether you like that or not will depend on your audio chain and personal preferences. One person’s warm, lush and natural is another’s veiled and rolled off (and vice versa), and I say that as someone who loves HD650s, silk dome tweeters, and r2r dacs.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard volumio but when I initially got into the Pi scene and tried the various distros I chose moode strictly for the sound quality and used a front end app for a while until I decided to volunteer to help Tim with the interface a bit. I have checked out picoreplayer with real-time kernel relatively recently as I hadn’t before and had been wanting to check it out as it’s popular on another forum I’m on and thought the sound (which doesn’t use mpd or stretch) was virtually indistinguishable to moode. I think that’s a good thing. Wink

My experience with players is similar in that I've not been been able to distinguish any diffs in SQ even on my nice  Yamaha Studio rig but if some code comes along that can be proven to improve SQ I'll be happy to incorporate it into moOde.
Enjoy the Music!
http://moodeaudio.org | http://twitter.com/MoodeAudio | http://github.com/moodeaudio
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#9
So the thing that makes Bluetooth sound like anything other than carp, aptX, cannot be included in Moode or any other open source program. What is the point in including a feature in an audiophile player that can only provide utility grade sound? No idiot phones here BTW. 

The SSH thing was really minor. When my SSH client refused to connect I Googled something like "Moode ssh won't connect" and was given the answer. The build process is really simple overall. So simple that I cannot understand why the developers would force people to go through it .vs just uploading the image like they used to and everyone else still does. My only guesses would be that either they didn't get very many takers on the $10 donation(I actually paid it BTW) and rather than just say "okay it's free again" they were like "it's free again, but now you have to work for it" or maybe they think people would see more quality in something they had to "build"(install) themselves .vs something that was just handed to them. Neither theory really makes any sense or changes my experience or perception of the program.

So I guess my point here was that everyone should try every possible piece of software without any bias. I actually started from a place of assuming that Moode had gotten better since Volumio had. Wasn't the case for me.
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#10
Since you have Built moOde why don't you volunteer to host, distribute and support the images? If you choose to do this you just need to be aware that you become legally liable for the entire Linux distribution and are responsible for any associated ISP costs for a potentially large number of 1GB+ downloads.

-Tim
Enjoy the Music!
http://moodeaudio.org | http://twitter.com/MoodeAudio | http://github.com/moodeaudio
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