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Playing MP3s through stereo ampilifier?

by Ni_Ro / January 18, 2006 11:39 PM PST


I have an external USB2.0 HDD attached to my laptop, on to which I downloaded my entire CD-library. Now, I'd like to play this music through my amplifier, but would like to bypass my computer from the loop. Is there a device, which could able me to hook up the external HDD (in)directly to my amp without having to use the computer inbetween?

My only current idea is buying a separate MP3 player with enough capacity and a convenient docking station, which could be hooked up to my amp.

Any ideas and comments welcome.


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Good Idea
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 19, 2006 2:43 AM PST

The 60Gb iPod will do exactly what your current idea calls for.
Not sure that there is a device that will attach to your USB HD and play the MP3's through the amp


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Re: Playing MP3's through a stereo amplifier
by fredster66 / January 19, 2006 5:49 AM PST

Playing MP3's through your stereo amp is a great way to get around fumbling though all those CD's, plus it's much easier to create different mixes, groups, etc. Perfect for parties or entertaining.

A couple of caveats to watch for, though. First, the sound quality may not be quite as good as you're used to hearing through your stereo. A lot of that depends on which bit rate your MP3 was created.

A bigger issue, I've found, at least with my little Sony Walkman, is that the stereo line out voltage isn't high enough for your ampifier. These little players get super-long battery life from lowering the line output voltage and using super-sensitve earbuds. So, what you'll end up with is something that is either not loud enough, or is way distorted.

Even with my high-end Adcom pre-amp, I couldn't get enough juice from the player to make it work well. I ended up using my old tape deck as a ''pre-preamp'' to boost the signal enough for the preamp. That made the signal good enough to work well in a noisy party-type atmosphere, but not good enough for serious listening.

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maybe you could try this
by tom_2727 / January 19, 2006 12:22 PM PST
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re: maybe you could try this
by Ni_Ro / January 19, 2006 10:59 PM PST

thanks for the comment!

The wireless CD3o is similar to the Pinnacle PCTV and Philips SL400i.

They all seem great, but do not let me get rid of the PC in between. My "problem" is that i don't want to boot my computer every time I want to listen to music, so the separate mp3-player+amp is probably the best solution after all...?

Again, thanks for the post.


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MP3 hi-fi solutions
by pjn / January 19, 2006 9:59 PM PST

Funny, I had the exact same considerations regarding the use of my external HDD a month ago...

Here is what I?ve found out:

I use iTunes on my laptop when playing my MP3s. Having almost 5000 tunes, it really necessary that they are easy accesible through some sort of search function. The point is, that I want/need this feature on a certain hi-fi device, if it shall replace my laptop.

A lot of receivers, racks and dvd-recorders have a USB port these days. Just be aware of that most of them (if not all!) only support FAT32 file system on your HDD. I am using NTFS, so I might have to convert it somehow....
Besides that as noted above, these devices seldom offer any good search or playlist features.

The best solution I have seen so fare is from Philips. It?s called SL400i. It works as a wire less multimedia hi-fi device that provides you with an easy acces to your pc. It has a a small screen/visual interface on the front, and it comes with a remote controller. I have?nt tried it, but you can download the manual on Philips.com....Guess the price is approx. US$ 200.

Otherwise go buy an iPod with a big HDD, and plug it directly to your amplifier....That?s the solution I might choose....

Best regards

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Re: MP3 hi-fi solutions
by Ni_Ro / January 19, 2006 10:56 PM PST
In reply to: MP3 hi-fi solutions

Good idea, thanks!
This, however, dooes not drop the computer from the loop, something I'd really prefer. Somehow I don't want to have my PC running (or having to boot it up) just to listen to music.

I guess the Ipod (or something alike) is the best solution.

Thanks again for the comment!


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