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Emmerik's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: Jan 3 2014 - 1:17pm
Advice on streaming both itunes & spotify


I would like to be able to stream music from spotify premium & itunes library & in the future perhaps NAS drive or other digital sources. It sounds easier than it looks, but I am stuck and have yet to find a hifi dealer capable of helping me out! 

I currently turn on my (old) iMac sitting nexto my amplifier, attach it via USB cable to HRT II DAC and then plug that into my amplifier. It sounds fine then, but I would like to be able to sit on the coach or at the dinner table and be able to stream music from my iTunes library and spotify using my iPad as a remote

Is this possible? There are no contraints on the money side, as long as it sounds better than sonos/airport express...

The options I though of so far:

(1) streamer such as cambridge audio stream magic attached to NAS or even a dedicated HTPC/mac mini--yet again not compatible with spotify. 

(2) streamers integrated within the amp such as Naim's (I am open minded about integrated streamer/amp since my CM5s sound tame at low volumes with my marantz 6003)--yet again the Naim iPad app still wont let me "talk" to my spotify account and perhaps not even iTunes library. 

Hope you can help me out! Thanks in advance,



bierfeldt's picture
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
not sure about spotify, but for iTunes

Airplay works pretty well.  The quality is good and it is stable, especially in 2nd and 3rd gen equipment or higher end equipment like Marantz.  I use AirPlay through my Marantz NA7004 Network Player and it enables you to use your iPad/iPhone as a remote.  You can truly function wirelessly.  I regularly control Airplay via my network while I am sitting in my back yard. 

If you stream ALAC files, it will sound exceptional.  My wife and I could not tell the difference between a streamed ALAC file and a CD.  The issue is, it supports Rhapsody and Pandora, not Spotify. 

There is a Pioneer Elite Device, as best i can tell doesn't support Spotify.  It looks like the Cambridge has a lot of flexibility in its connection method.  You can link an Apple TV to it which supports AirPlay and streaming of ALAC files.  Not sure about an interface with Spotify but there are multiple connection methods so with the correct app you may be able to stream to it.  Could be worth a call to AudioAdvisor or Needledoctor as they both carry that unit. 

One other thing to take note of, in the case of the Marantz, you can't connect to your network wirelessly.  You must connect via an ethernet cable.  I got around this by plugging an ethernet connector into a range extender, but the point is, it gets a bit more complex if you don't have a hardwire connection near where the device is.  Not sure how that works on the Cambridge, but if that is an issue, you should ask that question. 

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
Spotify yes

You can stream Spotify from an iPad or iPhone wirelessly.  I use Airport Express.  That has a competent DAC built in so you can run regular interconnect from the AEx into your stereo.  Even better is use the same output jack on the AEx which is ALSO an optical output.  So connect your optical/Toslink from it to your HRT DAC.  The AEx handles resolutions up to 16/44, so it will more than handle the stream from Spotify, which is 320kbps, if you have Spotify Premium and specify its setting to use their highest quality ("Extreme") stream.

Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: Feb 10 2014 - 5:16am

I too use Airport Express to stream iTunes to HT; and, like an earlier poster, I output digital from AE to HT processor. In all sorts of experiments with my music collection I cannot discern any loss of SQ with what I got using a  USB to optical interface from laptop to  HT.

gkdhaka's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: Feb 24 2014 - 1:58am

streaming has become a major part of everyone’s lifestyle. Providing information while it happens or being able to see a concert in action has made it easy for people to keep up with events in the world today.

audiophile2000's picture
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Oct 10 2012 - 9:51pm

This is how i run my setup and have been very happy with it.

1. Dedicated NAS in another room for all my music files.

2. PC setup in the listening room running Jrivers (computer also acts as the server for my music library

3. All my wireless devises (android, IPad, IPhone, other laptops, connect into the server with a very nicely setup app (J Remote for Apple, Gizmo for Andriod) that allows me to play the file on the HiFi setup or on any of the connected devices (so i can select if i file is played on the stereo or on my iPhone for instance) - should also note that all track, control, playlist zones are updated in real time across all devises (similar to what you would expect from sonus)

4. Marantz AVR setup in the system to play Spotify via Airplay. (I got luck on this, the AVR i have has a digital optical out so it acts as a transport and then my external DAC does the audio conversion - feature removed on newer models). There are a number of realtime streaming options out there, but i think Airplay the most universal standard out there. Hard to really AB the quality with it vs wires, but i think when you use it for internet streams it is pretty good (I think apple mentioned that is is a lossless audio stream - i.e. there is no degradation from airplay in itself, but its also hard to get a perfect answer on this but i haven't noticed any issues)

Should also note, that with most NAS, as well as jrivers, you can play files on networked audio products that support UPnP DLNA devises so thats another option, but always found having a direct hookup to a computer via USB and extrnal DAC was easier and more seamless. (have the option for both but rarely try to use DLNA or a network audio player. (i have a sim audio front end and their new "Mind" streaming system is integrated in their DAC and i think i have literally used it once just to see how it works. It wasn't that the interface was bad it just wasn't as seamless as what i found with Jrivers). 

-Also unless you are Mac based, I would switch from ITunes. It can be relatively limited compared to some of the other options out there.

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