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coryknx
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High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Has anyone heard about this one?

www.olive.us

Monty
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

That is a good use of the ipod technology. I'm not going to line up to buy one, but after a few years of playing with this type of component, somebody is going to make a hell of a nice digital jukebox for the home. That's when they'll probably get some of my money.

I think they need to ensure the software can't be lost through a machine blow-up.

MUDSHARK
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I have been considering these music servers, myself. The reviews of the Musica( by invidual enthusiasts, not professionals)have been mixed with many negative reviews pointing out static electricity problems and other software bugs. Do a search on Olive Musica to read for yourself. Cambridge also makes one for about 1400US with a bigger HD(information available at www.audioadvisor.com) as well as a reported more reliable unit by Escience for about 1K (information available at crutchfield).Macintosh also makes one with a 300 HD for 5,100 but don't know anything about it as for me, the point is moot.

smejias
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I am very interested in these products.

A review of the Olive Symphony appears in our April issue. And JA is planning a review of the Opus.

MUDSHARK
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Just purchased a Yamaha MCX-1000 off e-bay. It has an 80 HDD but can be upgraded to a larger hdd. Has anyone ever swapped he Hdd in one of these units? Is it any different than replacing a pc harddrive? I'm thinking of buying a 200-300 Hdd (The 80 will hold about 100 cd's at cd quality). The unit can save space by deleting the cds and just storing the albums at 320 mp-3. How is the quality of a 320 mp-3 ( I don't download or even have an i-pod). I'd like to store about 300 albums.

setter
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

You are correct, although Yamaha specifies only quiet high-end drives, most any would work. However, after performing multiple copies without success, the only way to create a hard disk for use in the MusicCAST or backup\move data to a new hard drive is with Yamaha's tools. I'm happy to perfrom the task for you. I've sold a few of these upgrades though eBay if you want to search for them. dsetter@netzero.net

setter
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I forgot to add: A 500GB drive in the MusicCAST will have space for 1.2 million hours of MP3 music. Crazy!

arogister
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs


Quote:
I forgot to add: A 500GB drive in the MusicCAST will have space for 1.2 million hours of MP3 music. Crazy!


That sounds great until you realize that if you live until 80, that's only about 700,000 hours!

ohfourohnine
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Good to hear JA is planning a review of the Opus. The DAC has to be the critical element, or at least it would seem so.

MUDSHARK
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I don't tnink anyone that cares enough about sound quality to buy a $2200 music server would store at less than the 320bps mp3 rate. A 500 gb drive would probably hold 3000 cds (still a huge number). For myself, with a drive that large I would go 100% PCM and store 600 albums (if I had that many). Wonder what the larger HDD would cost (If I could stand to be without the unit, the server is very addictive). Unless one has a Ht receiver with digital input, an out board dac is essential (Monarchy-33, in my case).

AudioStuff
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Has anyone with an Olive Musica had problems like I've been having for the last three weeks?

* Poor to no WiFi connectivity?
* Relatively high rejection rate of CDs (that work fine elsewhere)?
* Intermittently stops or skips playing audio while importing CDs?
* Very audible humming sound while hard disk is on?
* General instability, daily hangs, crashes, reboots?

Olive is "offering" me the option of returning the unit for a new one, or paying their 20% "restocking" fee if I just give it back to them. I'd like to know more about the probability of getting real satisfaction with the Musica before I make my decision.

Thanks,
TJ

parnlyp
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Run a laptop with two external 500 GB drives($279 each on sale). The second drives mirrors the first providing DR. I can store 850 uncompress CD's, AIFF files. I take the sound off of the PC through a USB port into a XITEL Pro Link. This converts from a USB cable to L/R RCA cables which are then fed into a Theta DAC. Tremendous convenience and very good sound. I still keep a highend CD player around, the CJ/McCormack UPD-1 will arrive later this year.

uofmtiger
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I have a Sony VAIO VGX-XL1 Digital Living System which comes with a 200 disc DVD/CD changer burner. It will batch burn 200 CDs at a time into WMA Lossless format. I was able to burn my 1200+ CDs in less than two weeks by running it at night.

I have to admit, I rarely listen to my CDs anymore. It is just too easy to pull up my music in the living room on my TV via remote and play them back that way. I bought a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Roadie and run the optical out to my receiver. It works for me.

I have a 300GB NAS (from IO Data) and a couple 250 hard drives attached to it. The music takes up about 370GB of space on two hard drives. I am not worried about backing them up because it was fairly easy to get them to my computer.

I have a fairly lengthy review of the setup here.

The great part about having them on the server is that I can now access them from anywhere in the house using my laptop. Also, I will probably get a squeezebox down the road, too.

Monty
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Have you noticed a change in your listening habits as a result of the more convenient access to your music? I ask this because I am curious about whether or not the convenience of the digital medium tends to decrease critical listening for the sake of convenience or if people continue to demand performance on par with the traditional means of playback.

Some people claim that the ritual of changing records, for example, has the effect of increasing their attention to the quality of the playback material. I guess it could be a matter of involvement by the listener in the process of enteracting with the means of achieving the sound.

The analogy could be drawn between vinyl and the acceptance of CD, though, I think an analogy between CD and multi-disc players would work equally as well.

I can remember when I bought a multi-disc player back before I became entirely inflicted with the audio disease. I would load up the 5 disc player and program it to play a few tracks from each disc. The downside, other than the obvious sonic compromises of multi players back then, was that I rarely explored entire discs and failed to appreciate songs other than my standard favorites.

It was some years later that I was completely blown away by a high end system and immediately ditched all my low fi stuff for better sound. I found that by replacing the convenience of the mult player with a single disc player, I not only enjoyed the songs I was familiar with, but also the songs that I rarely if ever listened to when the more convenient multi player was my source. When spinning vinyl, this was never an issue. You put on a record and played the entire side and thus became far more involved with both the music and the talents of the artist. It took me a good while to realize that the convenience of the digital medium altered what had been my way of listening to music through vinyl.

I'm not trying to suggest or preach to anyone that there is one true path to enjoying audio, I'm simply curious about the effects of the ipod and the rapidly increasing convenience this sort of technology is having on the way people relate to music.

uofmtiger
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

First, let me say that I have a TT, universal (SACD/DVDA) player along with digital music.

There are several ways to look at it. With vinyl, I am definitely more involved, but not in a good way. If I am listening to a concert or an album that sets a specific mood, getting up to start, flip and turn off or change out the music is not necessarily a good thing. I love vinyl sound quality when there is little to no surface noise, but I really have to be in the mood to make the trip back and forth from the couch to the machine. That being said, I still listen to vinyl a couple times a week.

I have had single CD players and now I have a 5 disc universal changer (Yamaha C-750). I never shuffle music. I listen to complete albums, but if I am in the mood for a couple albums, I do not have to get up to change them out. I personally feel more involved with the music and less involved in the process of switching out discs.

For digital music, I am fairly critical right now because I am still messing with the audio setup. The Sony computers are supposed to have DSD playback of files, but I am just now getting around to figuring it out. I do not always listen to music critically. Sometimes, I like to have it on when reading magazines like Stereophile. I like the conveniece of having 1200 albums at my fingertips without hunting for the CD. I like the fact that I have more room now that I have moved my CDs to a closet. I like seeing the cover art on my TV. I think it beats the small fold outs that come with the CD. I will admit that I will skip a song (Revolution 9 comes to mind) if I don't like it. But I make that decision only after hearing it many times.

Also, if I have my laptop (with Echo Indigo card, pocket amp2, and Grado SR60s), I can listen to my music anywhere in the house or access it on the road. I am a music freak and anything that gives me easy access to it is a blessing in my world.

MUDSHARK
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Since adding the Yamaha music server and a good Monarchy out-board Dac, I find that I rarely use my NAD single play unit except for the occasional dvd-audio. The quality is decent (by my standards) since the music is not compressed and I find myself listening to music that I haven't pulled out in years. Kind of like a personal radio station that will play songs at random from over two thousand songs (by genre, artist, all songs, etc...). It is extraordinarily addictive. What is the sense of great equipment and speakers if it is too inconvenient to listen to regularly. For me, at least, the server has made it habit to listen while working at my desk, reading, or attentive listening. I'm sending the harddrive out to be upgraded tomorrow and I cannot wait for the server to be up and running again, badder than ever.

ehart
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs


Quote:
Has anyone with an Olive Musica had problems like I've been having for the last three weeks?

* Poor to no WiFi connectivity?
* Relatively high rejection rate of CDs (that work fine elsewhere)?
* Intermittently stops or skips playing audio while importing CDs?
* Very audible humming sound while hard disk is on?
* General instability, daily hangs, crashes, reboots?

Olive is "offering" me the option of returning the unit for a new one, or paying their 20% "restocking" fee if I just give it back to them. I'd like to know more about the probability of getting real satisfaction with the Musica before I make my decision.

Thanks,
TJ

I have had a Musica for a few days, and have ripped 30+ CDs so far. I am very happy with the unit.

Of the problems you describe, I have had only one: "Intermittently stops or skips playing audio while importing CDs?". This is hinted at in the owners manual, which says that encoding is processor-intensive and will affect other things being done at the same time (like listening). I get this every 10 minutes or so if I am importing/encoding (FLAC) and listening at the same time. It's an annoyance, but I figure that once I get this initial bunch of ripping done, I will mostly just listen -- I won't normally rip and listen at the same time.

I have had trouble reading/ripping only one CD, and when I examined it, it was very substantially and visibly scratched on the silver side. I think any unit would have had trouble with it.

The only "hang" I have experienced was with that scratched CD -- I was able to import most tracks from it, but had to reboot several times during the process. Otherwise the unit has been very stable.

Unlike your experience, Wifi connectivity has been better than expected. All reviews of streamed music say that you should use wired rather than wireless (this is not at all unique to the Olive units), which I plan to do. But the wireless has been good so far.

At my listening position (6-8 feet away from the Olive unit) and volumes, I don't hear the hard disk at all. I would note that the HD is more active when importing and playing at the same time.

Not sure if my unit is working better than yours, or if my expectations are simply different.

My unit, btw, has software version 2.2.2 Pro and is the newer 250gb model.

Let me know if I can check anything for you.

Cordially,

Eric

AudioStuff
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs


Quote:

Not sure if my unit is working better than yours, or if my expectations are simply different.

My unit, btw, has software version 2.2.2 Pro and is the newer 250gb model.

Let me know if I can check anything for you.

Cordially,

Eric

Thanks for the feedback. I ended up sending the unit back to Olive for a replacement, but after a few days (with only a few minor glitches) the WiFi on the new unit started going intermittent too. Even when the WiFi did work the response time when using a browser was so poor (18 secs to save a change!) as to make the frequent need to correct album metadata a career occupation (Olive explained that was something they hope to fix in a future release). So I finally gave up and sent it back to them. Pity. Good concept, poor execution. And a $200+ lesson for me - they insist on charging the restocking fee.

prudentman
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

I shared a plane ride with a digital audio engineer back form the LA Audio show. He's been around a while and was no slouch to vinyl. This is what I THINK I learned about music servers. (I don't think we should be calling them CD players.) Anyway, here goes:

1)While sampling ratios have dramatically increaded since the early CD's, CD player optical mechanisms do not capture all the layered data, but they are getting better. As they do so, the need for alternate formats like SACD/DVD audio will diminish. (Can they get anymore marginal?)

2)If you use a computer style CD reader like Plexor to transfer your CD data to your computer hard drive, you don't miss any data, i.e. you capture all of it. Presumably, the quality of the hard drive plays a role, but the real key after you get it on the hard drive (server) is the quality of the digital-analog-converter (DAC) you use. After that, it's the usual suspects of your amp/preamp,speakers/etc.

3)The key point I THINK is that the digital shortfall has been to a great extent about missing information. First it was sampling ratios. But even though the sampling ratios went way up, the CD players and even the SACD/DVD Audio players could not capture all the info. So, according to my understanding, CD readers of the computer variety like Plextor, and the music servers that you transfer the data to, capture all the information. Using certain kinds of software that facilitate TOTAL data transfer and "lossless compression" allows huge storage of your music and deliver if done right, top notch fidelity surpassing optical disks like CD's and approaching vinyl.

4)A very high end vinyl audiophile friend of mine thinks all CD's, SACDs, etc are much inferior to vinyl. At the Las Vegas audio show last January, he heard a room with a high end music server and thought it was one of the best sounds at the show! For him to say that is a testiment to it's promise.

Here is a link to a high end music server:
http://www.vrsaudiosystems.com/

Can someone corroborate my understandings here? What are some of the best "value for the money" music server/DAC systems out there.

Can they really sound as good as top end vinyl?

Many Thanks

MUDSHARK
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Re: High-end CD Player that stores 1100 CDs

Thanks for your help, Setter. I received the 300 hdd back from you and had it installed. I have about 190 albums stored with over half the drive free. Having my entire music library at the touch of the remote is bliss. I can not think of one thing my den system is now missing.

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