Streamers with best apps?

I tried this question on an Australian forum with no luck, so I'm hoping a more audio savvy community might do better. I currently have a Cambridge Audio CXN which as I discovered has 2 hopeless apps when you want to find classical albums saved on Tidal My Collection. So thinking of ditching the CXN and getting another streamer/server , preferably without a DAC as I will be running it through a Pure Audio Lotus DAC 5. Most reviews of streamers seem to focus entirely on sound quality but as I have discovered the apps used are of almost equal importance. I have considered an Elac Discovery DS-S101-G which is controlled by a Roon Essentials app. So first question. Does anyone know how the Essentials app lists classical albums in Tidal My Collection and does it have a search function for the albums saved? Second question what streamers can you recommend that at least are equal and preferably better than the Tidal app which does have a search function but very little logic as to how it lists classical albums. I have thought about the Bryston BDP Pi, Innous Zen mini or an Auralic streamer but know nothing about the usability of their respective apps. So anyone out there who can help.

Showing 6 responses by mazian

Thanks guys for your contributions- some useful, some not so much because as far as I know Tidal is the only hi res streaming service available in Australia. Amazon HD and Qobuz are not yet available and may not be in my lifetime as I am 79. In terms of hardware most of the usual suspects were mentioned with their attendant software. However, like many streamer reviews available there was little detail about how the apps handle classical music. I don't know what "integrates well with Tidal" actually means - does it mean you can actually use the Tidal app from an iPhone? As for Roon I know it's reputation but I don't want to pay another annual subscription if I can help it as I don't want much of what Roon provides. My needs are simple, so let me pose more straightforward questions about apps only

1) How do the apps mentioned list classical albums saved in Tidal My Collection? A-Z, artists, soloists, composers etc and are the lists based on last names, first names or as I have seen the first letter that appears on the album? Listing by artist is fine for pop, rock or jazz but it tends to be more complicated for classical albums, as you have composer, soloist, orchestra or conductor to consider.  

2) Is there a search function for Tidal My Collection - not just for the whole Tidal library offering?

I don't think most software engineers have any idea about cataloguing classical music and would benefit greatly from the assistance of professional library cataloguers. If my ideal app is out there I would like to know.

Back to the actual streamers most of those mentioned are on my possible list, although I don't think Bluesound Node 2i quite cuts it even if it is good value for money. Maybe it doesn't matter if it is plugged into a good external DAC. I don't know but I'm sure someone out there has a view.

At least mahler123 seems to understand the problem even if there is no solution as yet. I have never heard of Idagio but will investigate. Does anyone know at what bps rate it streams at or the size of its library? As for using Chromecast I would have thought it was a bit downmarket. I have a Chromecast attached to my TV and the sound is very average. Also re Lumin I have read elsewhere on Audiogon that it only lists albums saved by date added just like streammagic. How useful is that!??
Thanks classdstreamer I get the difference between Chromecast hardware and software so I will need to try and find out if Chromecast is on my CXN. However given that Chromecast is a Google product and Google and Apple don't get on will it work from an iPhone or only an android phone?
Well what can you make of all this? Basically all apps except possibly Roon are deficient in some way it seems. Bad as it is it seems the Tidal app is as good as it gets unless you want to pay for Roon.
No Mahler they are not. Cambridge Connect and Streammagic are way worse than Tidal. As I indicated Tidal is bad but at least you can search your saved albums. Incidentally I signed up for the Idagio free trial and while it seems quite good but it only has classical albums. I also play jazz and some rock.  Also there were some issues I encountered which I would hope are only prevalent for the free trial. For example I could only get standard SQ, there was no way to save albums as the heart icon just didn't appear and after each piece of music I get a sponsors message. Also communication is inadequate because when I sent a message to Idagio I got a standard message saying my queries would be addressed in 5 days
All I'm asking for is that classical albums in particular are listed with some degree of logic and that I am able to search for albums I have saved. I don't think I should have to spend $119 per annum to get that do you?