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Author Topic: Back to Our Audio Roots!  (Read 4951 times)
Neuros Audio Team
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« on: July 31, 2007, 12:42:44 pm »

I wanted to get a catchy headline to attract some interest.  While it's not the N3 that so many are seeking, we are making real progress with audio on the OSD, and your enthusiasm can only help.

The OSD does a good job of accessing a comprehensive selection of free music videos for one thing

We've started to implement a variety of new audio streaming features, including uPNP

I started another forum post here on the subject of Audio on the OSD

If you got involved with Neuros for portable audio, I hope you'll take a look at us for home audio too with the OSD.  Your feedback is greatly desired, as always.


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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 11:56:33 am »

Having UPnP server/client support is definitely a core application. I was pondering how Neuros can take the OSD "mainstream" or to the masses, and this is part of it. Solid, bulletproof "core applications". Applications that leverage the power of Windows like the metadata. Hell, let M$ do the grunt work while we reap the bennies. Looks like the "Wow" really does start now with the OSD. Hahaha.
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 12:20:04 am »

Oh, Joe, you are such a kidder Wink.  Something like two years have gone by since the N3 thread raged, and everything I wrote in my post of August 2006 ( is still true.  My predictions have come to pass, hard drive players are near-obsolete now that you can get a 32GB SDHC card for $130 from newegg, or 16gb cards for under $40.

I've personally continued to use my Sansa M260 almost every day til just this week.  I finally broke down and bought a Cowon D2 this week, a big favorite of the head-fi crowd.  It is almost exactly what I want, except for the damn lithium battery and the video-oriented display. The firmware is awful but a Rockbox port is in progress.  It plays Ogg and Flac and it uses a standard USB cable and has an SDHC slot, so I have 16gb of internal memory and a 16gb card, 32gb total, enough for my portable collection for now, and I can always add more or bigger SDHC cards.

Will Neuros ever get interested in making a portable player again?  There is still a real need for one.  Meanwhile people get by with D2-like players and external headphone amps, computer DAC's, etc.  It's just ridiculous. 

Here is my current recipe for making the DAP that I think would rule head-fi:

1. Treat the DAP as what it really is: a combination DAC (digital to analog converter) and headphone amp, whose digital input source is internal storage rather than USB or SPDIF.  Build it as a DAP per se, i.e. a single media (audio) player rather than as a so-called PMP (personal multimedia player, i.e. audio/video).

2. Keep it simple, build an audiophile quality DAC (USB and SPDIF input) plus a basic UI with good quality hardware buttons (not touch-screen) and control it with Rockbox.  There should also be SPDIF output for those insisting on using external DAC's.  The player should be usable as a computer audio device (USB/SPDIF in) or playing back from an SDHC card.  There should also be some internal storage but that can be a second SDHC card tucked away inside the unit.

3. As before, AA battery power.  3 decades of cassette walkmans using this power source must be doing something right.

4. Although this is an audiophile device, it is best if the price is kept reasonable, like $500 or less.  Yes you read that right, $500 is reasonable; as long as you do all the technical stuff right and don't expect to sell in high volumes, don't feel constrained by the limitations of $100 players. Consider that the Headroom DAC/amplifier stack is $600 and doesn't even play music (it's just a computer peripheral).  If your player is $750 that is probably acceptable.

I hope Neuros will make something like this, and I'm tossing the idea here in the hope that SOMEBODY makes it.
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 09:00:45 pm »

phr, I think you need to read the original post.  This is not a discussion on what to do about an N3, but how to improve the OSD's audio features.

Although, I do agree that Neuros would do well to get the N3 back on track...  Even if just a smaller version of the NII is released as-is and put back into active development, it is still the nicest player I've worked with.
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