I currently run Jriver 27 on a Dell laptop and want to upgrade in the coming months. Jriver was used primarily as playback software for locally stored files but with the advent of streaming it performs these duties 90% of the time as well as DSP and volume control. Local playback is 10%.
The reasons to upgrade are to have a fanless source, more attractive form factor, and improved sound from better hardware and maybe software. I'm happy to change from Jriver but there are a few non-negotiables:
- The solution must support DSP and have an excellent digital volume control.
- The solution must be able to host and stream Spotify so my wife can control playback from her cellphone via the Group Session function. Roon doesn't stream Spotify so that is off the list as I don't want to have separate software for different streaming sources.
- The solution needs to seamlessly stream, in order of preference, one of Qobuz, Tidal or Amazon. Of these three only Amazon streams seamlessly with my current Jriver setup. Qobuz and Tidal have gaps at the beginning of every song / piece. I've searched forums, opened support tickets with all the vendors including Jriver, but haven't been able to fix this.
- Some support for remote management of the streaming service a la Roon / Tidal or Qobuz would be nice. If Spotify was also natively supported then good (not sure this is achievable), but happy to control song selection from the Spotify app as we do today.
- Some local storage for the ripped CDs. I could keep the Dell laptop as a server and plug it into the router, but this would need to be relatively straightforward as I have some tech skills but I'm no expert.
- Either USB of SPDIF output into an Aries Cerat Kassandra.
Options I've looked at include:
- If Roon and Spotify played nicely together that would be ideal but they don't.
- If Icould get Qobuz / Tidal to play nice with Jriver I would use one of these as my high res source and upgrade hardware only, but I've tried over the last 12x months with no progress
- If Qobuz / Tidal had the same Group Session capability as Spotify I would consider an alternative to Jriver that did volume and DSP (like Roon) but I don't believe they do.
I'm open to suggestions, including a dedicated streamer that meets the requirements, however based on the research it appears building a PC with Jriver 28 is probably the way to go, wait for Spotify Redbook and use Amazon for hi-rez.
Before I make that commitment I'm keen to understand what alternatives there might be, I m sure I've missed something 🤔.