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[#] Wed Feb 05 2020 12:48:35 EST from LoanShark

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I was just at a friend's place last night, she uses a Sonos. Damn thing was being quite a bit wonky streaming audio from her phone. It kept skipping.

In the past it's always worked, but not last night.

[#] Tue Mar 10 2020 17:13:50 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I've got an interesting problem to solve. And I can solve it using any combination of hardware and software that will do the job (as in, I will be spending someone else's money).

I've been invited to participate in a "project" that will involve a retro band plus lots of visuals to create an "experience". The visuals will include both still images and video from the time period the band covers. They want it to be immersive.

Right now I'm thinking that the easiest way to do an immersive display would be a 5760x1080 image stretched across three 1920x1080 projectors. I am envisioning what they used to do with multiple slide projectors in high-end shows, with a central controller to do fades and dissolves across multiple screens, but of course with computers it should be easier.

When we first started talking about it, I just figured I could use PowerPoint (or any equivalent) and show all of the stills and videos I wanted to with any transitions I wanted, and we could show things on one screen just by displaying them on one third of the image, or on two or three screens the same way.

But then they threw me a curve ball. They also want to include *live* video feeds into the experience.

Does anyone know of the ideal software to do such a thing? Ideally I'd like to just click on each cue as the program moves along, and have certain cues be prepared to display live video which will be set up at each show.

[#] Tue Mar 17 2020 17:43:27 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Ok, since no one wants to help me with my project, let's try another topic.

You know how lots of people are cutting the cord -- ditching their cable TV subscriptions and just going with streaming services delivered over the Internet?

Well, because of that, fewer set top boxes are being sold. As a result, Broadcom has its panties in a bunch because they sell components that go into set top boxes.


Seriously ... you can't make this stuff up. "Upon information and belief, as a direct result of the on-demand streaming services provided by Netflix, the market for traditional cable services that require set top boxes has declined, and continues to decline, thereby substantially reducing Broadcombs set top box business."

Oh, they're claiming patent infringement, of course, but the case is ridiculous on its face. The filing is at if you care to read it. It's hard to have sympathy towards anyone in the cable television industry, which no one would miss if it disappeared tomorrow.
It's even harder to have sympathy towards Broadcom for this, when they have other zillion-dollar revenue streams that continue to be cash cows in the digital age.

[#] Thu Jul 30 2020 14:31:20 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Hey all. I'm in the market for a midrange pair of Bluetooth headphones.
They must be comfortable for long-ish sessions and they have to have a microphone.
Noise cancellation would be a plus but I'd sacrifice that for build quality.

My budget is $150. Any recommendations?

[#] Mon Aug 03 2020 10:19:33 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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I use a Jabra Evolve2 65, but it seems to be out of your price range.....

[#] Wed Aug 05 2020 09:48:37 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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My broken set is a Plantronics Savi 720, which have a DECT radio and the base attaches to the computer via USB, to a mobile using bluetooth, and to a desk phone using whatever that plug is. I've enjoyed it for years but it's busted at this point. I decided to have our IT department replace it, because they'll probably send me something worth far more than the $150 I was offered to replace it myself.

I would still like a good set of cans for other uses, though. I've heard good things about the Bose QC35, which sell for US $280.

[#] Wed Aug 05 2020 10:11:17 EDT from nonservator

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What's the cheapest and easiest thing that can plug into an existing stereo setup and play digital music from over the network? You'd think it would be a commodity by now.

[#] Wed Aug 05 2020 14:30:56 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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A Playstation 3? 

[#] Wed Aug 05 2020 14:31:10 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Oh, there are all sorts of devices like that. The most well-known is the Squeezebox (now owned by Logitech). The cheapest would be something like the audio version of the Chromecast ... although I now see that's been discontinued.
CheapChinese(tm) vendors like MPOW and TP-Link also make bluetooth adapters that can attach to your system, so you can play it like a bluetooth speaker.

Of course, if you truly want cheap, you can always just attach an old smartphone.

[#] Mon Aug 10 2020 12:54:41 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Heh. IT sent me a Sennheiser SD Pro 1, which sells for $150. It's basically a wireless (DECT) headset with USB and desk phone ports. I don't even have it connected to my desk phone because I don't have the right cable, so I'll just stick with the softphone because that's what I use anyway.

So now I still want to buy a good set of noise canceling headphones for personal use, to listen to audio from my phone, to mute out the sound of airplane engines while traveling, to mute out the sound of the lawnmower while doing yard work, to mute out the sound of Karens while in the grocery store, etc. I still have my eye on the Bose QC35 (US$280) unless there's something more attractive.

[#] Mon Aug 10 2020 15:46:19 EDT from darknetuser

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2020-08-05 10:11 from nonservator
What's the cheapest and easiest thing that can plug into an existing

stereo setup and play digital music from over the network? You'd
think it would be a commodity by now.

I'd just buy a second hand computer. Some computers in my workplace were purchased for 70 bucks or so and would do the trick. A pawnshop smartphone or table would do too. I don't think it makes sense to spend a lot of money in a new device for this sort of thing.

[#] Tue Aug 11 2020 07:52:54 EDT from nonservator

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I can still do that, but I'm mostly past the homebrew tinkering phase and just want something to work, and I'm a little surprised it hasn't reached the point of say e-juice vapes where you can get a nice simple model for 25 bucks.

[#] Tue Aug 11 2020 13:45:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Agreed -- I've never liked the idea of having a computer in an audio rack.

How about this? [ ] On eBay there is a Turtle Beach "AudioTron" selling for $60.

[#] Fri Sep 11 2020 01:56:42 EDT from somestuff

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A Chromecast audio!  They aren't sold anymore, I had to buy mine from from Fleabay.  100% worth it, works well plugged into my gear.

[#] Fri Sep 11 2020 11:56:28 EDT from nonservator

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Unfortunately I'm past the point where I'd use anything connected to Google, regardless of how used, disconnected or rooted it claims to be.

[#] Fri Sep 11 2020 18:20:10 EDT from somestuff

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100% would do again, with bells on.  It's (a) cheap - or it was, (b) integrates with your phone and Spotify, (c) attaches to WiFi, (d) digital output over spdif is solid.  The experience to play something is - open Spotify on phone, push the device selector on the lower left and select, turn on my amp, rock out to whatever.  Then, know everything streamed is the highest quality Spotify stuff, no replay gain/digital compression, no stupid digital volume stuff going on, I can just turn off the details and listen.

It would be hard for me to consider something else.  When I was considering a cheap something to connect to my amp, Squeezebox came to mind.  Turns out, Spotify has disabled the services they use, so I guess they don't work now or ever will again. 

If I wanted to upgrade to something better for a Networked player, it would be something like the Cambridge Audio CXN. And that might still be in my future, how nice the CA stuff I have is, but not in the next few months or year or two.  Or a whole computer with a solid SPDIF output, which is surprisingly hard to score.  Either of those things are far more expensive and more complicated than the Chromecast.

[#] Fri Sep 11 2020 20:40:51 EDT from nonservator

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Guess I just use an old computer again.

[#] Sun Sep 13 2020 16:56:15 EDT from darknetuser

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2020-08-11 07:52 from nonservator
I can still do that, but I'm mostly past the homebrew tinkering phase

and just want something to work, and I'm a little surprised it hasn't

reached the point of say e-juice vapes where you can get a nice
simple model for 25 bucks.

Hahaha, yeah.

Fun fact, this month's Linux Magazine comes with precise instructions for building your own wifi-capable speakers in their Maker section. Basically, they take a chinesse speaker, disassemble it, mutilate it, put an sbc in it and then load some Tiny Core Linux derivate in it.

I know it is not what you were looking for, but that article reminded me of that thread.

[#] Sun Sep 20 2020 12:06:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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It's funny that this discussion is happening right now, because I had an old monitor lying around, and I was puttering around in my garage/workshop and decided to mount it on the wall. Now I need some sort of networked media player to attach to it.

I have an old Roku lying around, so I tossed that on, only to find that it refused to play much of anything because the monitor doesn't support HDCP.
I have to assume that a Chromecast would do the same thing.

[#] Fri Oct 23 2020 19:13:03 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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So this was fun.

I just picked up some new equipment for recording audio to the computer.
I got an MXL 990 condenser microphone, along with an arm and a shock mount, and a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 DAC/ADC for connection to the computer. Really pleased with both pieces so far. The UM2 is particularly nice, because it can output audio from the computer at the same time it is capturing audio from the mic (and/or an instrument) ... so with a good mic and headphones it's a perfect setup for laying down tracks in Audacity or another multitrack editor. The MXL 990 has a big microphone element and has a rich sound. I prefer to roll off a bit of its high end in EQ, because it mellows out the sound a bit. A lot of mics are built that way now because a lot of listeners mistake a hot high end for "clarity".

I'm running through some online classes tonight, and while I do the labs I've got the mic pointed out the window and listening to the soothing sounds of the outdoors in my earphones using the "direct monitor" option on the UM2.
Very clear, no perceptible noise or distortion even at maximum amplification.

And then...


Two cars collided right in front of my house. Very loud, even from 200 feet (about 60 meters) away. That was a bit of a sonic shock that I wasn't expecting.

Now it's some time later and as I write this I'm listening to every detail, every nuance, of the wrecks being loaded onto tow trucks.

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