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If you stick to easy network audio a little, you can have a high-quality and enjoyable listening experience.
Audio that has changed its shape and evolved with the times.Tangible media such as records, cassette tapes, CDs and MDs ... → Continue reading
It is a site "PHILE WEB" (file web) that delivers daily news, reviews, bargain information, etc. on AV / audio / gadgets. First published in 1999.
Wikipedia related words
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It is one of the methods of connecting devices to play digital audio data, and is constructed by connecting a sound source and players to a network.Small LAN such as in the home, and in some casesインターネットIt is built by connecting to a network via.
Personal computer (PC),Tablet-SmartphoneIn the latter half of the 2000s, as a digital audio data playback method that does not use the default storage such as CDs and SACDs, along with the spread of devices premised on network use and the establishment of guidelines for connecting network devices.It has spread since then.
PC or NAS (Network attached storage) And other PC-related devices DLNAIt is generally built in-house using compatible audio equipment,file server,Cloud computingUsingVPN,SSHWWW (インターネット) Can also be built.Not only for stationary equipment, but also for portability無線 LANAnd 4G / LTE etc.Mobile communicationIt can be connected by wireless network via.
The two-way remote control unit released by Sony can display not only the operation of the main body but also the playback status of the main body on the touch panel of the remote control unit.Around this time, high-quality sound was already established by "independence of the controller".
In the 2000s, the advent of the iPod made music file playback the de facto standard.In the audio industry at that time, file playback was not common, and disc playback and record playback were the mainstream.
However, with the advent of the iPod, audio makers who had a sense of crisis began to release audio equipment equipped with a network function by wired LAN connection and USB-DAC that connects to a PC via USB, and appeared at about the same time. UPnP has become widely used in network connections.
In addition, manufacturers have agreed to launch DLNA as a UPnP-based network standard. In 2006, DLNA announced version 1.0, which added the concept of a controller to version 1.5, proposing the prototype of network audio.
Establishing network audio
In 2007, LINN released the KLIMAX DS.With the release of the iPhone at about the same time, it became possible to operate the main unit using the controller app installed on the iPhone.As a result, the term "network audio" is established by establishing a love triangle between a server, a player, and a controller.
In Japan, the network audio player was released after 2008 because the iPhone was released in 2010 and it was necessary to obtain approval for wireless LAN.
In 2010, NTT DoCoMo acquired PacketVideo, which develops Twonky.Twonky is now pre-installed as standard on DoCoMo smartphones and tablets from the following year.
In the mid-2010s, with the high performance of network audio players and the spread of music distribution services, it became possible to download DVD-Audio or SACD-quality music data from the conventional CD quality, and network audio players also became high resolution. Now supports DSD.
However, as a result of audio makers giving priority to high resolution and DSD support, the introduction threshold and playlist management that were originally required for network audio were disregarded.In particular, DLNA compatible devices have exposed problems, and although Twonky pre-installed on NTT DoCoMo models was initially seen as a countermeasure for the iPhone, Twonky itself is flatteringly complete as an app. There wasn't.As a result, DoCoMo, which could not withstand the backlash from the company and users, was forced to change its sales strategy, and decided to launch a two-top strategy and iPhone sales in 2013.These network audio problems will spread as a negative image.
Introducing on-device playlists
To solve the problem of playlist management, LINN announces OpenHome that supports "on-device playlists" that store playlists in a network audio player and send and receive playlists in both directions between the player and controller. ..
With this, the advantage of DLNA, which does not have the concept of playlists, is virtually eliminated, and when Sony releases two models that do not support DLNA, HAP-Z1ES and HAP-S1, it will enter the network audio market in earnest. The DLNA camp is getting out of step with the supporting manufacturers.
Then, audio makers became dissatisfied with DLNA's network audio, which has not been upgraded, and began to search for its own network audio standard apart from DLNA.
Dissolution of DLNA, to the era of standards
Roon Ready, which has a completely different communication protocol from the conventional UPnP, has appeared, and audio makers will announce music casts for Yamaha, HEOS for Denon and Marantz, and Flair Connect and their own network audio standards one after another for Onkyo & Pioneer.
In 2016, the release of Twonky Beam, which is pre-installed on DoCoMo models, will end.
Due to these series of events, the DLNA camp is virtually dysfunctional, and DLNA will be disbanded in 2.0 without being able to announce version 2017.
The network audio standards of audio manufacturers are equipped with functions that were not available in conventional network audio, such as a multi-zone function that allows simultaneous playback on multiple devices and a streaming function that allows analog sound sources to be played back in real time. , It became possible to make the player itself a server, and the introduction of the server, which had been difficult to install, has been simplified.
In addition, manufacturers have released wireless speakers that support the smart speaker function, and smart speakers and wireless speakers have come to play the role of renderers or controllers.
With network audio
- server (In DLNADigital media server, DMS)
- player (In DLNADigital media player, DMP) orRenderer (Digital Media Renderer, DMR)
- controller (In DLNADigital media controller, DMC)
Consists of 3 elementsThese are connected by a network.This is a major difference from PC audio, which has a high degree of freedom in construction, and has the disadvantage of high hurdles for introduction.However, if you keep the main points in mind, there are many choices for the equipment to be used, so it is possible to freely set DMS, DMP (DMR), and DMC.
Network connection is mainlyWired LAN(LAN cable androuter,Switching hubUse) and無線 LAN(Wireless LAN router / access pointAnd wireless LAN slave unit) Is used, but it may be connected by optical fiber or the like (via a converter).
For USB cable connections, it is used complementarily in network audio.When connecting an external HDD or USB memory to a PC or NAS for DMS, when connecting a LAN converter or wireless LAN slave unit to a PC without a LAN terminal or wireless LAN, connect the player and DAC via USB. For example.
Network audio consists of three basic elements connected by a network.A form in which a server and a player are used to save, store, and play sound sources, and they are operated from independent terminals (controllers).Can be defined as.
The server, player, and controller may include any one, but the following conditions must be met.[Source required].
- The player may have a built-in server, but in this case the server must be built into the player and the controller must be independent.In this case, the serverPlayer slaveSince it is considered that the player side also serves as DMS and DMR, network audio is established.
- As for the controller, a server or player may be included only in a mobile terminal such as a smartphone or tablet, but a device that is connected to a network and has a rendering function is required.In this case, the mobile terminal is established as network audio because the DMC includes the DMS and the renderer receives the data.
- Most of the network audio players on the market come with a remote control, but if you operate the player with the attached remote control, it is not included in the definition of network audio.The same is true if the player (DMP) is a personal computer (in this case defined as PC audio).
Sound source data is saved in a file sharing function of a PC or an external storage device connected to a network such as NAS.Especially large data sizeHigh resolution sound sourceSuitable as a storage place for.
Connect an external HDD or USB memory to a PC or NAS to make it a DMSYou can also install a server app to turn your smartphone or tablet into a DMS.
In addition, music information management and playlist management are also performed on the server side (excluding DLNA), and all of these including sound source data are collectively managed by the server application.Upon receiving the information commanded from the controller (DMC) described later, music information and playlists are distributed to the controller via the network, and audio data is distributed to the player or renderer described later via the network.
The external storage devices used in the server are mainly 3.5-inch HDDs, 2.5-inch HDDs, and SSDs.In particular, products for network audio (DLNA) applications are designed for audio such as ensuring quietness by making it fanless and eliminating noise..
The network audio player released in the late 2010s adopts the manufacturer's own network audio standard, and it is also possible to connect an external HDD or USB memory to make the network audio player itself a server with these models. It has become.
- Player, renderer
Called a network audio player, it receives information commanded by a controller (DMC), which will be described later, and processes music data distributed from a server via a network.Many players also have the ability to render.Lossy compressed sound sources and lossless compressed sound sources are processed after being decoded.Some players have internal upsampling.
The Ethernet method, which is overwhelmingly more resistant to long-distance transmission than the USB method, is used to connect to the server, increasing the degree of freedom in installation layout.Generally, you will connect to the server via a HUB, but you can also connect the server and player directly using a crossover cable.
Since the downstream side after the player will be connected to the audio equipment, when outputting from the player itself, it is converted to an analog signal by a D / A converter (Digital to Analogue Converter) and output.Players that can connect USB-DACs that support high-resolution and DSD sound sources have also appeared.HDMIModels that also support output have also appeared.
In addition, an amplifier with a built-in network audio player function, or a network audio player with a built-in server or optical drive mentioned above that also has a CD ripping function.SACDMany players and receivers are also on sale.OtherPlayStation 3Network support such asgame machineMay be available as a player.
Smart speakers and wireless speakers have been released by various companies since the latter half of the 2010s, and these speakers also play a role as renderers.
It corresponds to the remote control in conventional audio.
In network audio, since the controller is independent of the player body, sound quality can be expected to be improved by reducing the internal processing load of the audio device body.
By installing an arbitrary control application on a mobile terminal such as a smartphone or tablet, the controller not only sends commands from the controller to the server and player, but also music information and playlists distributed from the server via the network. And the processing status of music data on the player can be received and displayed via the network.The spread of network audioSmartphone,TabletSince it overlapped with the spread of, it became possible to design a controller with a high degree of freedom by application development, and various control applications appeared.
Since the operation is performed via a wireless network, a wireless LAN router (wireless LAN access point) is required separately.
In addition, some commercially available network audio players can be operated with the operation buttons of the player body or the attached remote controller.
Networking portable audio
Early network audio was proposed mainly for home audio and was developed from stationary equipment.SmartphoneThe spread ofDigital audio playerAs portable devices become more sophisticated and network compatible, users have more choices.
In network audio in, it is mainly classified into the following patterns.
- Operate on a wearable device to play music on your smartphone.
- Wirelessly send music from portable players, including smartphones, to other devices.
Basically, in network audio in portable audio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are mainly used as communication means because it is necessary to pair devices with each other.
In addition, smartphones and tablet terminals in this section are considered to be players that double as controllers and servers, but since streaming music distribution services such as TIDAL are currently appearing, if the distribution service side is DMS, For smartphones, the former will be DMR and the latter will be DMC, and both will establish a three-free network audio system similar to home audio.
The standard in the former is UPnP or DLNA, and the standard in the latter is AirPlay, Miracast, Cromecast, AllPlay, etc.
About the sound source
How to get the sound sourcePC audioIt becomes the same method as.A PC etc. is basically required to store the sound source on the server..In network audio, the sound source stored in the server is the starting point, so the means for storing the sound source in the server may be via the network or USB.
Network audio supports various audio data formats similar to PC audio. It also supports lossy compression formats (MP3, WMA, AAC, etc.), but lossy compression formats (FLAC, ALAC, etc.) including high resolution, lossy compression formats (WAV, AIFF, etc.), and DSD formats are the mainstream. ing.
In addition, with the advent of streaming music distribution services, it has become possible to enjoy music without a storage medium for sound sources.In this case, the distribution service side is regarded as DMS.
About playlist management
In most standards, playlists are managed by the server app on the server (DMS).Playlist information is distributed to the controller (DMC) via the network.This makes it possible to share playlists with multiple controllers.In addition, playlists can be edited with the application on the controller side, and the edited playlists are updated on the server side via the network.
In DLNA 1.5 (Ver. 1.5), playlist management is not defined in the DLNA guidelines, so playlists are basically managed by the app on the controller side.Of course, the edited playlist is updated by the application on the controller side, so the playlist cannot be shared by multiple controllers (DMC), and in order to play the songs registered in the playlist, use the network. It is necessary to collate with the server side via.In addition, symptoms such as the music being played stop when the app is closed occur.This is considered to be one of the harmful effects of network audio.
To solve these problems, playlists are now stored on the player side and distributed to the app via the network.On-device playlistThe function of "is becoming mainstream.
Main standards / protocols, etc.
The network audio standards as of 2018, including those derived from PC audio, are listed below.
- It is a network protocol established by the UPnP Forum, and has been mainstream since the launch of network audio players. DLNA is based on UPnP and is characterized by high compatibility.Regarding DLNA, 1.5 or later corresponds to network audio, and the initial 1.0, which is not independent of DMC, is not classified as network audio.
- AirPlay(Old AirTunes)
- It is a standard from the early days of network audio, and is a function installed in AirPort Express released by Apple in 2004.Audio data is transmitted using wireless LAN, but it is also possible to connect with a wired LAN using a Mac device set. The name was changed to AirPlay on the 2010nd generation Apple TV released in 2, and it now supports images and videos.Later, AirPlay 2 with expanded functions appeared.
- iTunes Home Sharing
- One of the functions installed in iTunes 9.0 or later. The iPhone and iPad have a Remote app that operates iTunes and Apple TV, and there are various ways to use it, such as listening to songs registered in iTunes on the iPhone or iPad with the Music app, or using the Apple TV as a receiver.It can also be combined with the aforementioned AirPlay.
- Audirvana Plus 2
- A music playback app for Mac that features a function that works with iTunes.There is an A + Remote app as a control app for smartphones.
- JRiver Media Center
- There are versions of Windows, Mac and Linux.There is JRemote as a control app for smartphones.
- Abbreviation for Music Player Demon, which is an integrated music playback application and server application.Install this on your PC and use the MPD client software installed on your smartphone or tablet to instruct the server to play music.A typical example is Voyage MPD.
- The specifications are based on UPnP, and are highly compatible with UPnP.The main apps are Linn's Kazoo, etc.
- ROON Ready
- It is composed of ROON Server and ROON Core, and adopts its own protocol, so compatibility with other standards is low.The player must be ROON Ready compatible to play, and the server must be PC class to install.However, since it has high performance as network audio, it is expected to spread in the future.
- DTS Play-Fi
- A network audio standard advocated by DTS.Equipped with a multi-room function, it is possible to incorporate an analog sound source into the system by streaming function.These functions are standard equipment in the following standards.In addition, AirPlay is available as an option.
- Music cast
- Yamaha's original network audio standard.There are stereo and surround.
- Denon, Marantz original network audio standard.
- Flair Connect
- Onkyo and Pioneer's original network audio standard.Since it is not compatible with smart speakers and wireless speakers, it will be used in combination with the above-mentioned DTS Play-Fi.
- ^ In 2006DLNAExtended guidelines (Ver.1.5) have been established
- ^ a b c ""Net Audio" Complete Guide for Music Fans [11th] "Enjoying with Network Audio (1) Basic Knowledge" --PHILE WEB "”. Ongen Publishing (April 2015, 4). 2017/10/8Browse.
- ^ Often built into devices such as PCs, tablets and smartphones
- ^ External HDD and USB memory do not have CPU and OS functions by themselves, so they do not become DMS.When connecting an external HDD or USB memory to a network audio player via USB, the server side and player side are not connected via Ethernet, and the server itself is considered not to be independent. Is not included.
- ^ Net audio with affordable audio-only NAS! Easy start with AV amplifier or component (3/4) --PHILE WEB(December 2015, 12 Ongen Publishing）
- ^ There is also a CD drive that can be connected to a smartphone or DAP for ripping.
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