when did it all get so complicated?

it was about 8 or 10  years ago that i spent considerable brain power upgrading my system.....now i am doing it again in a smaller space - bought a croft integrated phono and lots of hand wringing there getting the damn TT to work.......then I was delighted to find that tidal now has a huge library of cd quality music (and beyond quality wise but i dont need more)


All I want to do is find a player (streamer?) that would allow me to sit at my desk and stream good new tunes through the croft and the pmc monitors.....i was hoping there would be a simple little box that did this....Wow 4 internet days later and i know nothing other than what the flying F is rpi doing in simple streaming threads.....i sort of think the allo boss2 is the answer but i have to say bibi to the nice tidal website interface.  moode.......what the hell is moode.


i want to noodle around tidal or qobuz website and hit play and thats it.....no NAS no multi room... if i like it i buy an album....jeez the industry looks like its actively trying to get in the way of listening to music to sell unnecessary software and hardware. bummer.

I guess ill just enjoy tidal on my bowers and wilkins mm1's (not bad) unless -  you dear reader, you .......unless you can help - 1 device - just one, plugged into the back of a croft integrated controlled by my desktop (ok or an old ipad)

in the end the laptop plugged into a dac route seems by far the best ive seen so far - sad.




If you have a headphone jack on your computer, you can just use a 2.5mm jack to RCA cable to the Croft.

Don’t know what you’re so worked up about. It’s pretty simple really. You said:

1 device - just one, plugged into the back of a croft integrated controlled by my desktop (ok or an old ipad)

Any streamer that has a built-in DAC will do that. The most common recommendation is BlueSound Node. Plug it into the Croft, use your desktop (or iPad) to control the Node. Stream your choice of music streaming services, such as Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, etc).

Personally, I use a simple streamer I built using a Raspberry Pi 3+ computer board, with a HiFi Berry Dac+ Pro DAC/Hat, running Volumio OS. Yes, it is more complicated than the dedicated BlueSound Node, but it’s also less expensive. The Allo Boss II is a similar, but pre-built Raspberry Pi based streamer, but they push the Moode OS instead of the Volumio OS I’m using. I previously used Moode and did not care for it.

Anyway, it’s not that complicated. If you want simple, just get the BlueSound Node and plug it into your Croft and control it with your desktop or iPad.


To run Tidal on a Volumio RPI you need to subscribe to the Volumio Service. Spotify you can use the free version. Tidal does sound slightly better but Spotify has more selection at a lower cost.

The other option is to purchase a dedicated pc to control your dac and then use Remote PC to control it.  That was the best solution for me.

Anyway, it’s not that complicated.

It may not be complicated to stream Qubuz, etc. They have all the software bugs worked out. However, trying to get music to play over the network to my streamer/player is among the biggest PITA I have ever encountered. I have been through most every change of media and none of them were anywhere near as complicated as trying to get my files over the network to the player and then manipulate their playback with software which is  lacking simplicity 

@artemus_5  - Are you referring to streaming your NAS based files on an PRI based system with Volumio, or a BlueSound Node? Or some other hardware and OS?

How much do you want to spend?  The Bluesound Node 2i is the cheapest easiest way to be streaming like a pro in no time, BUT the DAC is pretty average.  The list price is $600 but I'm sure you could get a discount, or they show up here used pretty regularly.

There are a ton of threads about this component here.  Just search for streamer DAC and find a thread that you like.  Don't get bogged down in details.  This really doesn't have to be complicated.  Just find some recommendations in your price range and get the one you think will work best for you.

The Allo is good but put poCore player on it. Better than Volumio (I have) and Moode (I tried)


Are you referring to streaming your NAS based files on an PRI based system with Volumio, or a BlueSound Node? Or some other hardware and OS

No. I have a Teac NT-505. It sounds very good when I can get it to work. The problem as I see it is too many handshakes have to be made by too many pieces over the network. Both hardware & software are involved. FWIW I'm trying to get the music from a HD on my  my computer in the office to the Teac in the LR

@artemus_5  - Thanks for the explanation. It seems that your use case is more complex than what the OP is seeking. He just wants a single device, connected to his integrated amp, that he can control from his desktop or iPad. If he's just streaming Qobuz or Tidal, seems a simple BlueSound Node would fill the bill and not be particularly complex. 

@rand24us - Here’s what you stated as your desired outcome:

i want to noodle around tidal or qobuz website and hit play and thats it.....no NAS no multi room... if i like it i buy an album....jeez the industry looks like its actively trying to get in the way of listening to music to sell unnecessary software and hardware.

There’s another simple solution for this. You could simply stream from your desktop to a BlueTooth receiver connected to your integrated amp. In addition to the RPI streamers that I use in a couple of locations in my home, I also have the very good Auris BluMe HD bluetooth receiver connected to both systems. From my laptop, I can simply connect to the Auris via bluetooth as stream any audio source that is running on my computer. For instance, I often stream music or music videos from YouTube and play it on my computer via the bluetooth connection. I’ve also streamed Spotify and Tidal to to Auris BluMe HD bluetooth receiver.

Folks will tell you that bluetooth is a lossy transmission technology, and that is true. However, it’s gotten pretty good and the Auris BluMe HD is the best sounding bluetooth receiver I’ve used (4 different ones at different price points).

Streaming to a bluetooth receiver is possibly the easiest method of getting streaming content from your desktop to your audio system. Wouldn’t even need an external controller (iPad). Just play like you already do on your desktop, but have it connect to the bluetooth receiver instead of playing on the desktop’s connected speakers.

I happily used the Auris BluMe HD for a couple of years before I built my PRI based music streamers. It worked like a champ and I discovered a ton of great music streaming Spotify, YouTube and Radio Paradise from my laptop via bluetooth.


Thanks for your question and response. FWIW, your question has spurred me on to compose a post to try which tries to describe my problems  and hopefully get  some help. I'll post it soon

thanks reubent - i got the blueme pro with the current 15% off deal was less than 150bucks.... comes with dac and new codecs ....the money saved was used to buy a allo shanti so that if I decide i love streaming and dont mind the fiddliness i can get a boss 2 and be in good shape (i hope).

I have college aged sons and the blueme won't go to waste. I suspect it'll be all i need for music discovery though - so many good soureces of info on youtube if you put in the time. thanks all.




@rand24us  - Excellent! Let us know how you like the Auris BluMe HD.I have one each of the previous 2 versions and they are fantastic. If your is even better still, I think you will enjoy it. 

NAD has a streaming amp for this, and I've grown quite fond of their Class D implementation.

looks like nothing gets complicated unless you complicate on purpose. many people do that and then asking questions when answer is already there.

Many ways to do this. Hopefully you’ll get the hint... it’s pretty easy, really.

(1,2) In our home offices, I got a couple of NuForce DDA-100 DAC/Amps. Windows 8 laptops via USB to DDA-100 USB input. PC plays Tidal HiFi and using FooBar to play music stored in our LAN. Amplifiers drives Acoustic Energy AE1s. That’s our two home offices: two sets.

(3,4) Main stereo. Old Android Tablet playing Tidal HiFi and FooBar, via USB OTG cable to NuForce HDP4, outputs to aux input of CJ preamp. PC running Windows 10 to UWB to RME ADI2 Pro RS AD/DAC as a tape monitor.

(5) HT, Windows 8 laptop drives USB to 7.1 Asus Xonar U7. From then, 7.1 to Emotiva pre/pro.  Play PLEX client for movies, Tidal, FooBar, etc..

(6) Bedroom.. Old Android Tablet into Nuforce uDAC3 via USB OTG cables. From there to Parasound preamp.  Foobar, Tidal.

(7) "Martini Room"... Old Android Tablets into Nuforce uDAC2 via USB OTG cables. From there to mini receiver in the mid century console.  Foobar, Tidal.

(8) Portable. My Android phone to Topping NX4 DSD DAC / headphone amp. Then I got full sized headphones and IEMs.   Foobar, Tidal.

Hopefully you get the hint? I’m not even discussing the home NASs with all the music in them nor using Bluetooth for the wireless speakers. But that’s pretty much the same, the PCs and Android devices all have access to the LAN, so they can play the music with FooBar. Nothing fancy needed... no fancy streamers need.

The fanciest part for playing your locally network music is to install FooBar which sounds the best to me.

Just take DAC, USB cable to PC, USB OTG cable to Android, install FooBar and TIdal (Qobuz... whatever you might us), plug headphones into DAC or audio interconnects to your stereo... and you are set. No need for those fancy ’servers’ and ’streamers’... IMHO, those are a scam.

I have three Raspberries too, but I’m using them for other nefarious purposes so far... I have not needed them yet for audio because Android tablets and USB OTG cables are dirt cheap nowadays.

I gotta tell you... the best part is having 512Gb of music downloaded into all of my Android devices.  I can grab my phone, hook it up to the battery powered DAC and walk around... or I can hook it up to my car's USB and play music forever.

 Wiim puck.  Kind of like CCA but better.  Check out John Darko you tube on it.

I bought  WIIM Mini based on the Darko review. Works great. Sound Quality is not quite on par with a Raspberry Pi 3 / HiFi Berry DAC Pro+ running Volumio, but it is easier to use, so there's that...

I bought my WIIM Mini when it was $89 on Amazon and it is a screaming good deal at that price. Up to $100, hard to beat for streaming. BTW, it has gotten better over time IMHO, or I've just gotten used to the sound. Regardless, enjoyable at less than <$100.

It does not need to be complicated!

What you need to do is take a look at the Grace Digital Link! At $179, it is a bargain for all that it does.



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I think if you have a stereo headphone jack on your computer, then you can only use a 2.9mm jack to the RCA data cable to the Croft.

Regards: Amazon Account on Hold