Setting up wifi went nice and smooth. Had to submit the password a couple of times.
I purchased the Edimax EW-7811Un 150M. However I can’t stream anything off the mounted NAS without it buffering every few seconds. The wifi adapter was first connected directly to the pi but I had read about power issues so i connected it to a powered usb hub which didn’t help. I can however stream airplay over wifi without a problem.
Audio Buffer Size - 2048
Buffer before play - 30%
resampling has been disabled
using onboard analog out until I receive the hifiberry
All the files are cd ripped aiff. The majority at cd quality and a few 24 bit albums which i didn’t even bother trying. I can however stream internet radio no problem. Do I just need a better wifi adapter to stream cd quality and above files? Any recommendations? I’d really like to avoid using a usb hub if at all possible.
If I connect power to the second usb port would that help me avoid needing a powered hub? I have powered the pi this way without a problem…just not sure if it would help the port the wifi adapter is connected to. Adding a hub, wifi adapter, and i2s dac and I’m pretty much at the price of a udoo.
Let’s start off with a bit of theory and some numbers relating to bandwidth.
Internet Radio 32 to 256 kbps (depending on station etc.)
16 bit 44.1 kHz 1411 kbps (CD Quality)
24 bit 48 kHz 2304 kbps
24 bit 96 kHz 4608 kbps (SACD Quality)
Now you EDImax wireless dongle will perform at 150,000 kbps (well that’s what’s written on the box).
The analogy I will draw on with wireless networks is it’s like the England Football Team at major championships… Keep you’re expectations VERY VERY low.
In MY House and with MY Wireless Router (both very important factors in wireless network performance) and with the EDImax adapter I can achieve a very reliable streaming performance with bit rates <= 16bit 44.1 kHz = 1411 kbps = 1.4 Mbps
Also my rule of thumb is if you have a permanent piece of audio equipment in the house equipped with a wired LAN card I would always use the wired connection. I have good success with using powerline networks.
I mainly a Windows man so the Apple world still remains a bit of a mystery to me. Note my comments below are first guessing stuff rather than anything based on any factual or technical knowledge between the differences between Airplay and DNLA Streaming Protocols !!
I have had many years of successful multi-room audio with Airport Express Devices (Music Content on a NAS server and playback control via an iPad). They really work faultlessly. I am let to believe that the Apple “Airplay” protocol was always an Apple thing and they keep their secrets very well. You should note that with the Airplay protocol they always upsample or downsample to 48kHz (not sure if it’s 16 bit or 24bit).
In the UPnP/DNLA world the stream will try to maintain the source bit rate unless otherwise instructed. The protocol is different and the great thing is it encompasses a wide range of equipment that Airplay never will. With that comes the problem of working with everything reliably. Maybe some compromises had to be made? Maybe the devices spend more time finding out about each other on the comms side (a more complicated handshaking process) making the bandwidth available for raw music smaller ?
I really like the new stuff that appears to do both well (e.g. Volumio and Raspberry Pi). I’ve been looking for something to rival the Airport Express (at the right price) for a long time. I think we all need to be patient and share our experiences. The DNLA world has a lot of catching up to do to overtake Apple; especially on the reliability stakes.
Try installing JRiver for mac on your mac mini. The Sync will definitely work on the Windows PC Version of JRiver but not sure about the Mac version. You get a 30 day free trial so should give you enough time to check it out. See link below for Zoning.
Thanks Kevin. I wasn’t a fan of Jriver when I tried it awhile back. I’ll give it another try. Don’t think my NAS can as I’m using an airport extreme which has basically turned the usb hard drive into a NAS.
Reinstalled Jriver and have it streaming to the pi. Not having much luck syncing. But at least it has the option to help with it. I’m liking jriver a lot more now. I think it even sounds better than the bit perfect program I’ve been using and has an awesome amount of features.
Kevin - did you have to adjust or did it work without any adjustments while on a windows machine?
It’s quite a long time ago when I did it and I’m also not so sure that I tried it with PI and one of the previous versions of Volumio !
It’s quick for me to test it though but I would suggest I try something quite similar to your Set Up so can you give me the information like this for your setup and I will give it a try with JRiver for PC.
Source = NAS Drive (airport express extreme)
Server = mac mini volumio or iTunes etc.
Renderer #1, mac mini + audio our or USB DAC + amp + speakers
Renderer #2, RPi + audio out or USB DAC + amp + speakers
Done some tests today, results below, hope you understand the tables. I played 16bit 44.1 kHz AIFF files all through.
So my conclusions are as follows:-
The key factor to an acceptable Zone Sync seems to use VERY similar hardware as a renderer. Then it it is more or less plug & play (touch wood).
I like the JRiver Zone and Link Feature but it seems that it only works well with similar Hardware as Renderers.
I tried the JRiver “Adjust Link Timing” feature but it seemed a bit pants to me - so I gave up after 30 mins.
I have previously tested Apple TV and I am sure that is not in sync with Airport Express Devices.
Options for you
reckon the cheapest way is to ditch JRiver (it’s pretty expensive for what it is !)
maybe invest in another RPi (I should have bought some shares in them !)
These are only my experiences so I hope that you are aware that I can’t guarantee success. Find a mate with a RPi, there’s plenty on this Forum lol.
Finally I noted that the Performance with the EDIMAX wireless adaptor was very very poor (as you stated earlier). Can’t really remember if I have have had better wireless performance with previous versions of Volumio but there is an issue there.
So I guess we are back to your original post in a roundabout way. Can anyone explain why the wireless performance of RPi + EDIMAX Wireless Dongle + Volumio 1.4 is not great? I couldn’t manage 16 bit, 44.1 kHz = 1400 kbps. This is rather surprising!
Wow. Thanks a bunch Kevin! The helps a lot and should help others too. I think you’re right on just getting another raspberry pi. I may play around with the sync a little more as I have found that you can delay the start which seems to help .
I ordered the TP-link AV500 kit on amazon. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes. Looks very promising and they are smaller than a credit card.
Let us know how you get on with the sync delay thing. It seems like a logical approach so definitely worth pursuing.
Reckon you have made a good selection and have a very good chance with the TP-link AV500 kit. I have always used TP-Link Powerlines at home and with my clients, only because that was the first one I bought and I haven’t had one fail me yet. A good tip is to make sure you put the device in Main Head Sockets and not on multi-adaptor blocks. You will be more peaceful this way !
Forgot to mention another big advantage of the Powerline approach is Security. As, it’s wired LAN the firewall is not relevant and you will surely spend less time with Wireless Router and port forwarding configuration (something we have already spent far too much time on in our lives !!)
Yesterday I rather intimated that there was a problem with EDIMax dongle + RPi + Volumio V1.4 on the wireless side. Well today I have had the same combination happily singing along to 24 bit 96 kHz. There is the occasional single pop on track transition but nothing major at this point.
The problem is I don’t know what I have done right. Just wanted to hold my hand up and say I was doubting maybe far too early in the testing process. Will be back in touch when I discover what I might have done