Radio 3 lossless

I too have now installed the MinimStreamer beta and the FLAC stream from my QNAP NAS is SO much better than the current lossless stream available from vTuner that the thought of going back to it is unthinkable.

Here's hoping that the BBC and the likes of NAIM and many others manage to get this established as soon as possible.

I have also installed this on my QNAP NAS running MinimServer and am bowled over by the results.  So good are they that I would recommend anyone using MinimServer to follow Simon Nash's clear installation instructions and give it a try.  Indeed I think it would be worth anyone with a streaming system installing MinimServer just to be able to access this service.

Yesterday evening, I listened to the opening of the late night prom: the first performance of a chamber orchestra version of the Philip Glass/Ravi Shankar concept album 'Packages'.  I was intending to sample it for a few minutes to try out the sound and then wend my way to bed.  Well, an hour and a half later, as the applause died down, I finally switched it off.  The "being there" sensation was so strong and the music so enjoyable and appropriate for the time of day that I could not turn it off before the end.  The quality of the FLAC stream allowed me to hear the efforts of the BBC sound engineers who really are outstanding.  Fine details of instrumental attack and decay came though without losing the overall sense of a group of musicians playing together, making this one of the best listening experiences I have had recently.

Finally, a plea.  If it's feasible with your system, please try this service out.  If you enjoy it, and I'd be surprised if you didn't, please, please pester the Beeb to make it permanent.

Roger

Well said Roger! Oh how I agree! It is marginally better even if you convert the stream to WAV.

Have a look at this URL (you probably have) [http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2...gh-quality-flac-dash].  In reading through, I found this statement:

"Whilst we currently have no plans to launch any service using lossless compression, data from this pilot will inform future strategy."

How, in the name of fortune, can we get them to pull their fingers out?!

Tim (MusicRoom)

Just installed the latest Minimserver version that supports this and created a radio playlist per Simon's instructions. Works fine (well it did once I'd worked out how to create the playlist on my Synology - I'd never done that before). Will have a serious listen to compare it to the NAT01 later this evening.

The volume level is quite a bit down on the tuner, so will have to mess about a bit.

Gary Shaw posted:

Just installed the latest Minimserver version that supports this and created a radio playlist per Simon's instructions. Works fine (well it did once I'd worked out how to create the playlist on my Synology - I'd never done that before). Will have a serious listen to compare it to the NAT01 later this evening.

The volume level is quite a bit down on the tuner, so will have to mess about a bit.

@Gary Shaw

I think a lot of us here will be very interested in what you think. It seems very much better to me in every way than the SDR FM tuner in my Superuniti but no-one has yet given an opinion on the forum on how it sounds compared with a proper Naim FM tuner.

best

David

By tweaking the output volume on the Dave I've got the volume levels about equal (to the NAT01) and have listened to a bit of live music (some pretty skronky Maxwell-Davies) on In Tune. A-B is still a bit tricky as the FLAC stream is a couple of minutes behind FM and the tuner has a Hi-Line compared to the DAC's Sarum (but considering the other bits of wire involved...).

So far, so very very good. I'm pre-disposed to the NAT01 (probably my favourite bit of Naim kit ever), and I think maybe the FM feed is a little more rich? But I'll need to blind test this this evening if I can drag my wife away from Corrie et al. for a bit

Interestingly the stream shows as 16/48 (which may have been said before, but then again I'm old). 

Yes it's 16 bit 48kHz. The BBC uses 24 bit internally but I suspect that's mostly about having lots of headroom in their content handling system so it never clips however casual someone may be about levels when they add new content onto the system. So I guess they think that 16 bits should be enough for public consumption.....

Although the delay is annoying in one respect, if you play the FM first you get the last two mins all over again when you switch to FLAC, which is quite helpful I think.

best

David

Just to poison your objectivity (!), what I noticed in particular with the FLAC is the total lack of background noise, the sense of space and realness about the sound, very low distortion and a speed and lightness about the high notes. But my old ears don't hear high frequencies well at all so what suits me may not suit someone else.

As I said earlier in the thread I'm using a Dragonfly Red DAC plugged into my laptop and an analogue feed from that to my office Superuniti. This is an extremely simple and cheap way of trying out the FLAC feed.

best

David

Having swapped through Composer Of The Week Granados (and in the Bream piece I can compare to the CD) I could not tell the difference.

Enter Saint-Saens and the wife. Big changes in dynamics as the delay kicked in made it tricky, but neither I nor my wife could reliably tell the difference, though non-blind I thought the NAT01 had a bit more depth (but I deem myself an unreliable witness in that). Voice quality was an even match too.  

I switched over to the HLS stream and "bang" went the colour and dynamics. 

I'll see how the Egyptian goes (a favourite).

 

Yes - its very good, that piano almost sounds like its in the room - and against my more humble NAT05 there is alas no real comparison now - the FLAC stream wins... i never thought I would say that... just need to get superfast broadband to my village/parish - planned for Dec 2017 but just been advised by Suffolk County Council  that it might be being delayed 

Although the 48k FLAC stream appears to be coming in around 1.6Mbps

 

addicted to this - been listening all evening - the announcer just said this is the highest quality they have ever broadcast but still experimental ... no sh*t Sherlock... its superb - and not one drop out and the family are all using the web.... also agree that voices are coming across perfectly. 

Just checked the BBC feedback poll - it appears 96% of respondents have said this should be made permanent.. and a similar number have agreed the SQ is  improved. (compared to other forms of access)

NPR posted:

Tonight's performance of Saint Saens organ symphony No. 3 sounded amazing, very impressive !

Agreed, the clever old BBC engineers even managed to balance the organ with the orchestra in a realistic way.  They are so good at conveying an aural experience much closer to what I hear in the concert hall than the somewhat spotlit sound of most commercial recordings.  I do so hope they will continue these broadcasts; I'd love to hear one from Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, a venue I know well.

Roger

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
audio1946 posted:

ndx  or auralic mini  both through auralic dac thanks

Hi I use Minimserver running on a RaspberryPi then streaming to my NDX .. very simple to set up... follow the guide on Minimserver site.

 

Simon, is it possible to run a VPN on the raspberry? Living in Ireland means we cannot access this FLAC stuff. I use a VPN on an IPod (connected via a PURE docking station to the NDS digital input) to access the 320k streams, particularly for the Proms, but I would love to get closer to the erstwhile sound of my NAT01, for which I no longer have an adequate signal feed.

David O'Higgins posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
audio1946 posted:

ndx  or auralic mini  both through auralic dac thanks

Hi I use Minimserver running on a RaspberryPi then streaming to my NDX .. very simple to set up... follow the guide on Minimserver site.

 

Simon, is it possible to run a VPN on the raspberry? Living in Ireland means we cannot access this FLAC stuff. I use a VPN on an IPod (connected via a PURE docking station to the NDS digital input) to access the 320k streams, particularly for the Proms, but I would love to get closer to the erstwhile sound of my NAT01, for which I no longer have an adequate signal feed.

David, almost certainly it will be possible run a VPN client on the Pi... Google will be your friend... but I have not tried it.

David O'Higgins posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
audio1946 posted:

ndx  or auralic mini  both through auralic dac thanks

Hi I use Minimserver running on a RaspberryPi then streaming to my NDX .. very simple to set up... follow the guide on Minimserver site.

 

Simon, is it possible to run a VPN on the raspberry? Living in Ireland means we cannot access this FLAC stuff. I use a VPN on an IPod (connected via a PURE docking station to the NDS digital input) to access the 320k streams, particularly for the Proms, but I would love to get closer to the erstwhile sound of my NAT01, for which I no longer have an adequate signal feed.

David - it's really easy.

2 Ways:

Hardware: If you have a router that has a guest network facility you can configure your router to the VPN host and connect the PI to the guest network, takes 5 minutes.

Software: if you were wanting to go down the software route you need a PI2 or later and Raspian 32B.

There are lots of VPN companies Nord, Express VPN, I use Express all over the world and it's one orf the more expensive solutions, but it great. You can also use 3 connections simultaneously. They have software and guides pre-written into their connectivity platforms.

Good Luck.

Just use a regular text editor, copy the text from the Minimserver support thread for this feature into a text file, and then save  the file with the .m3u extension  in a new or existing directory such as 'Playlists' in  your music folder such that Minimserver can scan it.... 

When you then navigate with the Naim app into the top level Minimserver directory you will '1playlist' assuming you have only one playlust file, select it and you see 'r3' select that and there will be three BBC Radio 3 entries, select the R3. FLAC option.

For neatness create a folder called playlists where your music library is created. I.e. a location in the search path for Minimserver.

Then using a text editor, notepad for example on Windows create a new file and copy and paste the entry contained in the instructions that Simon has publised. 

Save the file to the Playlists folder you created. The file needs to have an extension of .m3u. E.g you could call the playlist "BBC R3.m3u". Notepad will expect the file to end in .txt so make sure you override this as if the extension is not correct Minim will not recognise the file as a playlist.

When you have done this make sure you rescan to allow Minim to oick up the new playlist.

Richard

David O'Higgins posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
audio1946 posted:

ndx  or auralic mini  both through auralic dac thanks

Hi I use Minimserver running on a RaspberryPi then streaming to my NDX .. very simple to set up... follow the guide on Minimserver site.

 

Simon, is it possible to run a VPN on the raspberry? Living in Ireland means we cannot access this FLAC stuff. I use a VPN on an IPod (connected via a PURE docking station to the NDS digital input) to access the 320k streams, particularly for the Proms, but I would love to get closer to the erstwhile sound of my NAT01, for which I no longer have an adequate signal feed.

Hi David,

i use SmartDNSProxy, change the DNS setting on the appropriate devices, and they 'think' they are in the UK & can access the BBC HLS streams, this DASH stream & BBC iPlayer too.

On all other devices, they are unaffected & can access and play the Virgin Media player with Irish content.

thanks, Simon

Now that I have had time to get the new lossless stream under my skin, I find that I am getting more and more apprehensive about its future.

Through my Naim NAC-N 272/250DR (using the MinimStreamer), the sound is so good that I find going back to the lossy stream distinctly disappointing.  We mustn’t forget that the stream is actually superior to a CD as it is running at 48kHz.

What a strange approach, asking if we prefer it.  Do we “prefer” the sharp knife to the blunt one; the rainy day to the sunny . . . .?

If something is better, it supersedes its predecessor.  The lossy stream should simply be replaced.  The difference in broadband is so minimal as not to be worth considering.  Don’t forget that most of us regularly use iPlayer to catch up on our TV programmes which need far more bandwidth.

The Beeb should never have let the cat out of the bag unless they were in a position simply to put this in place.  Why are they playing with us like this?

David O'Higgins posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
audio1946 posted:

ndx  or auralic mini  both through auralic dac thanks

Hi I use Minimserver running on a RaspberryPi then streaming to my NDX .. very simple to set up... follow the guide on Minimserver site.

 

Simon, is it possible to run a VPN on the raspberry? Living in Ireland means we cannot access this FLAC stuff. I use a VPN on an IPod (connected via a PURE docking station to the NDS digital input) to access the 320k streams, particularly for the Proms, but I would love to get closer to the erstwhile sound of my NAT01, for which I no longer have an adequate signal feed.

David

I'm listening to the FLAC trial outside the U.K. in the Czech Republic and it works fine without VPN trickery. So, I don't think the trial is territory-limited. For the normal 320k service, I do have to resort to similar tricks to you.

Chris

David Hendon posted:

But be quick. There are only a couple of weeks left in the trial.

The prom concerts are great but some of the live studio music is even better. I have heard some stunning sound in some of the In Tune programmes..

best

David

Did you hear the Elf Trio on Wednesday's In Tune? I was listening in my car, but even in that environment I found it very nice music making indeed. I would have liked to have heard it in quality sound.

Yup, it's all over!  Now all we have to do, is wait and see if dear old Auntie, in her wisdom, considers the high quality music broadcast on Radio 3 is important enough to be streamed as well as she is able.  We know it is possible; is it now viable for the Beeb to make it permanent.

If there's anyone out there with sufficient clout, for Pete's sake start jumping up and down!

I know what my opinion is . . . . . .

Tim

MusicRoom posted:

Yup, it's all over!  Now all we have to do, is wait and see if dear old Auntie, in her wisdom, considers the high quality music broadcast on Radio 3 is important enough to be streamed as well as she is able.  We know it is possible; is it now viable for the Beeb to make it permanent.

If there's anyone out there with sufficient clout, for Pete's sake start jumping up and down!

 

Worth leaving feedback via the various channels the BBC have for this, just in case they ever read them. Hopefully, they might see this as a good way to appease criticism of the FM shutdown - personally, I would take this any day, rather than have an FM tuner plus an aerial.

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