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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 12:40 AM
Daywalker Daywalker is offline
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Default Brennan JB7 v NAS CD ripper

Currently the only music on my PC are iTunes 'purchases' i.e I can no longer access my personal collection and once again I need to go through the 'pain' of loading my music onto a 'storage' device'. I am of the opinion that I should not use my old and 'creaking' PC but rather look for alternatives; one which ideally would break the link between the PC and Sonos e.g a 'NAS type' device.

Looking at the available NAS' the main concern I have - aside from reliability - is my requirement that it should be able to 'rip' from CDs and currently the cost for this function is way too high to consider e.g XiVA MusicM8 retails at an 'eye watering' £700. Considering this my attention turned to other devices that would 'rip and store' music and I alighted on the Brennan JB7 which is a much cheaper option - coming in at - a still pricey - £400.
Cutting a very long story short is it a feasible option to 'configure' a loaded JB7 to work with the Sonos system?
Apologies for rambling but I am trying to come up with a flexible and forward thinking solution that doesn't cost the earth, reduces time and effort and removes PC dependency - any suggestions from the Forum would be most welcome.
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  #2  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 02:25 AM
Royal Berk Royal Berk is offline
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CD Rippers are indeed, extremely expensive, I have looked at this many times, and the Xiva seems to be the only real option out there.

I cant help but think, a 1TB NAS (Buffalo Linkstation Live for example) and a cheap laptop with CD drive is a far more cost effective and more useful option.

I guess it is a little more manual than using a dedicated ripper, but what value do you place on convenience?
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  #3  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 03:43 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daywalker View Post
Cutting a very long story short is it a feasible option to 'configure' a loaded JB7 to work with the Sonos system?
No. The Brennan box has no network connection.

Whilst some people might be happy with the simplicity of the Brennan it's a very closed and limited system. Compression can only be to MP3 at 3 specific bitrates; there's no lossless compression; the disk can't readily be expanded; the album track database has to be loaded from CD; and so on.

In spite of these limitations, if it had offered SMB network access it could have been used for Sonos - but at a price.

I'd suggest following Royal Berk's line and use a PC to rip, edit tags and artwork, then upload to a decent NAS.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 03:50 AM
MIBUK MIBUK is offline
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It's been a while since I have looked at this, but I bought a Tranquil PC http://www.tranquilpcshop.co.uk/ with Windows Home Server. I go the SQ-5H to allow for expandability. It came with AVA-Media software to RIP CDs and works vey well with Album Art and Track information. I wanted to RIP to FLAC and then have the ability to then convert to MP3 320kps for my media players that did not support FLAC.

They do have other servers, which might give you what you need at a better price.

I saw the Brennan when I was looking at this type of solution, but it seemed expensive for the money with no flexibility, but is a great product for those who just want a simple RIP solution. The only problem that I heard at the time (2 years ago) was that you had to wait for updates that you applied to the Brennan server manually to get the correct album art, tags etc. It didn't seem possible to get these automatically via the internet...but of course that may have changed in the last 2 years. I got the impression that it's a standalone product where you directly connect speakers to it....it didn't seem that it was designed to stream music or act as a NAS to other devices...but again that could have changed.

You could just buy some RIP software and RIP via your computer's CD/DVD drive and then transfer the files to a cheaper NAS like Buffalo or Lacie, Apple Extreme etc. Have a look at http://www.dbpoweramp.com/

Last edited by MIBUK; Jun 23rd, 2011 at 03:54 AM.
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  #5  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 04:05 AM
Daywalker Daywalker is offline
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Many thanks RB / Ratty for the sound advice.
In essence what it boils down to is this .....
Do I 'splash out' on a laptop, essentially for it's 'ripping' capability - even a budget model will I guess cost around £300 - and then add a robust NAS -around £150?
Total expenditure £450 minimum; or 'bite the bullet' and go for the 'dedicated' storage solution for £700?
It may seem illogical from a cost point of view but my determination to sever the PC / Sonos 'relationship' is so strong a driver that I will opt for the XiVa - but perhaps give the product some time and hope for a more reasonable price?

Once again, thanks for your help.
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  #6  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 04:11 AM
Daywalker Daywalker is offline
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Many thanks MIBUK - the 'links' you provided certainly offer more options of NAS ripper for consideration than I was able to locate.

Now which is the most stable, reliable, efficient etc etc

Thanks guys !
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  #7  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 04:28 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daywalker View Post
Do I 'splash out' on a laptop, essentially for it's 'ripping' capability - even a budget model will I guess cost around £300 - and then add a robust NAS -around £150?
Or you could even use an old desktop machine and load it up with VortexBox software.

Quote:
It may seem illogical from a cost point of view but my determination to sever the PC / Sonos 'relationship' is so strong a driver...
I don't understand this at all.

Sonos doesn't need a PC for normal operation. A PC controller is optional. Storage on the PC is optional.

But surely a PC is an acceptable solution for doing the rips, obtaining artwork, tweaking the tags and any other tasks such as computing ReplayGain tags. With a PC you have a huge range of choice when it comes to individual tools for each task -- or an integrated media management package -- much of which is entirely free of charge. Why constrain yourself to an expensive one-box solution?
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  #8  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:13 AM
BigN BigN is offline
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I already have been down the expensive one box solution, in my case an Imerge SoundServer. XiVA based BTW. And quickly recognised its serious limitations.

I now say dBpoweramp and FLAC for rips every time. Then you can do what you want with the files after that.

As ratty imples, it's no contest in my view!
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  #9  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 07:29 AM
buzz buzz is offline
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In my opinion, the one box solutions are very limiting. In terms of software and hardware they are always a generation or more behind and the user has very little control over the outcome. Further, software and hardware updates are late and difficult to apply.

I understand the lure of simply open the box, connect power, load a disc, and rip, is a strong sales pitch, but most people that I encounter can learn to use a ripping program in about 1/2 hour. After the 1/2 hour learning session, operation is about the same.

If a CD is not in a database somewhere, the one box solution will leave the user stranded and the user will need to learn to use some sort of program to add the titles anyway.
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