For many years we have been looking for a music server that was truly worthy of being part of a high end audio system. And to that end we auditioned quite a number of different models from various manufacturers. But as of Fall 2014 we have finally found a company that makes servers that are sonically superior to all of the other ones that we tried as well as the ones that we designed ourselves.
The Baetis Audio music servers meet the three most important criteria. First they have the best sounding digital output we have heard on a music server. Second they offer an excellent support package. Third they utilize an excellent iPad app as a user interface which is the normal way to use it. As an added bonus these media servers can also play not just audio files but audio/video files as well. The Baetis music servers are what we now use in the store ourselves.
(Note: The following is old information on the approach that we used to take. Although we no longer recommend this approach as the sound quality is not as good as the Baetis. And in addition there isn't any good support.)
MediaMonkey Installation Tips
Go to: http://www.mediamonkey.com
Download either Standard or Gold version and follow installation instructions
Media Monkey setup:
1) Select "Tools" - "Options".
2) Select "General".
3) Uncheck "Pop-up track info in tray" to avoid alert tones.
4) Select "General-File Types"
5) Check "extensions to be associated with Media Monkey". Include at least FLAC and WAV (NOTE: We recommend using WAV files.)
6) Select "Player - Output Plugins".
7) Select "WaveOut".
8) Click on "Configure" button
9) In "Device" window select AES16.
10) Under "Buffering" set "Buffer-ahead on track change" slider to 0 ms. The 200 ms default causes noise problems with high-res material.
11) Check that "Prebuffer" slider is also set to 0 ms.
12) Leave "Buffer length" at 2000 ms default.
13) Under "Volume control" uncheck "Enable".
14) Click on "OK" in "waveOut"
15) Click on "OK" in "Options"
NOTE: Verifying data integrity from the hard drive to DAC is easy if you have any HDCD recordings and an Alpha DAC. When playing the file the HDCD light on the Alpha DAC should illuminate. If it doesn’t there is a problem caused by data alteration and you should investigate all of your settings.
NOTE: Do not use the ASIO driver for sound quality reasons.
NOTE: When driving the Berkeley DAC set everything up for "single wire" for playing high resolution recordings.
NOTE: When doing sonic listening tests be very careful at first and start off at very low volumes, as if any firmware or software settings are wrong, or if there is some conflict, you could get full scale white noise which at high volumes could damage your system or even blow up your speakers! We cannot be responsible for anything untoward that might happen. SO PLEASE USE CAUTION!!
SUGGESTION: If you want to be conservative use your computer only as a music server. If you follow this advice and do all other computer-based tasks on another computer you may experience more reliable music server operation, especially over the long term.