by Maarten van Druten
Audiophile audio streaming
is getting more popular, and also the audio streaming software is
This review is about a Linux based operating system called "AudioLinux",
which is especially tuned for bit-perfect real-time audiophile audio
What is so special about “AudioLinux” ?
First of all you have to understand how “open source” works.
“Audio Linux” is based on ArchLinux which is released under the GPL and
some other open source software licenses.
This gives the user more freedom to modify, copy, enhance the software
in any way the user wants it.
Because Linux is made by professionals and mostly volunteers all around
the world, the software is being improved non-stop.
Therefore Linux has become a very solid operating system that is even
better, faster, more safe and cheaper than Windows.
Because Linux is open, everybody can see what is going on in the
This is a big advantage because this way new features, improvements and
bugs are much faster solved.
For example during writing of this review a new kernel has being
released for AudioLinux that gives owners of an AmaneroCombo384 USB DAC
native support for DSD512!
That’s great news, and this in only one example of the benefits of an
open source Audiophile operating system.
What do you think of the power of shared knowledge?
For example when somebody wants to configure his AudioLinux computer so
that it can be used without a monitor, or someone has problems or wishes
with meta-data of his music collection.
Many of developers around the world will help you with this.
You can find support about "AudioLinux" on the forum section of the
All of this makes “AudioLinux” so great, it’s 100% user configurable,
but this is also "AudioLinux" Achilles heel….
Let me explain, to configure a Linux computer for audiophile playback is
not for everybody.
Not everybody has the knowledge to install a real-time Linux based
operating system on his computer, some do, but many people find this too
They prefers an out-of-the-box streaming solution like ROON.
So there is a threshold for using “AudioLinux” , I will be the last to
But I also would like to see that many audiophiles around the world,
would at least try this unique operating system.
Therefore I will share my experiences with you, by making “how-to”
manuals how to install
AudioLinux on your computer in the near future.
By sharing knowledge, information, tweaks, tips, etc. we all will
benefit, and this will result in a better musical listening experience.
- What makes “AudioLinux” so special is:
- Realtime kernel for very fast audio processing
- Open Source and 100% user configurable
- Optimized for Audiophile audio playback by using the best audio-player
“HQPlayer” (upsampling multichannel audio player)
“DeaDBeeF” audioplayer (DSD audio-playback: .DFF .DSF)
and there are many more programs...
But the most important thing is that the kernel works real-time and
therefore has a very little latency
resulting in a much cleaner sound.
With an Intel i7 processor you can reach an incredibly low processor
latency of 4-6 microseconds.
Configure your computer how you want it, edit your music files, convert
them, or modify the meta-data, with “AudioLinux” all is possible.
“AudioLinux” comes with many programs, one example is the program
“Audacity” is a free, open source, cross-platform audio software program
for multi-track recording and editing.
What I recently discovered is that you also can use it to rip your
“Blu-ray Disc Pure Audio Disc’s.
The problem of these disc's is that they are very big in size, and in
fact they just contain a high resolution WAV file.
Bluray Pure Audio’s sampling rate is between 96 KHz and 192 KHz at 24
The problem is not only that the disc's are very big in size
they also contain a very complex file infrastructure were the WAV files
are “encoded” into “.m2ts” files.
Normally you need a Bluray Disc player to playback your “Blu-ray Disc
Pure Audio Disc’s correctly.
But what if you want to make a backup? so that you can play the backup
with your streaming software?
With “Audacity” you can easily extract the original High-Resolution WAV
music file out of the “.m2ts” file.
First copy the contents of your “Blu-ray Disc Pure Audio Disc” to your
hard-disk of your computer.
Then start “Audacity” and import the biggest “.m2ts” file that’s located
in the STREAM directory.
"Audacity" asks you which track should be
imported, select the PCM one called: "codec[pcm_bluray]..."
Then you will see the waveform like in the picture above.
Then go to export, and select "Microsoft
WAV 32bit" and now you will have one long WAV file containing all your
songs in the best possible format.
This wav files will be only around 2 Gb (till 4Gb) in size, so it will
be much easier to storage on your NAS.
Compare this with the original size of the entire disk: 25 GB for
single-layer or 50 GB for a dual-layer Bluray Pure Audio disk!
All current audiostreamers can playback WAV files, so compatibility is
You also can use "Audacity" for ripping your analogue LP's
Of course "Audacity" is also open source and well documented:
This is one small example, there is so much
more to tell about "AudioLinux" ...
Therefore I will write more articles about "AudioLinux" soon!
Building your own "Audio Dandy
- AudioLinux" audio streamer:
The audio Dandy streamer transports the
music from your NAS to your DAC without altering the orignal music data.
The Audio Dandy streamer is an ATX based 100%
quiet passive cooled DIY PC
That you can build yourself.
I want to make one thing clear: I don't earn any money with this
project, I just share my knowledge so that everybody can make his/her
own "Audio Dandy - AudioLinux" audio streamer.
You will be in control, you will become the expert that can modify,
improve and repair his/her own streamer
It's all about freedom, sharing and control.
Welcome in the world of "open source"
If you want to build your
own "Audio Dandy - AudioLinux" audiostreamer
you need the following parts:
- Intel i7 motherboard that is compatible with the NOFAN "NOFAN CR-95C"
- 8 Gb of memory (16 Gb recommended)
- 128 Gb SSD (for "AudioLinux" OS)
- Passive videocard (more specific info soon)
- Quiet linear power supply (more specific info soon)
- Cooler Master "HAF XB EVO" LAN BOX computer case.
- NOFAN - "NOFAN CR-95C" cpu cooler (copper)
More info about specific parts will follow
The i7 CPU is cooled by an copper fanless cooler called "NOFAN CR-95C"
Also the videocard is 100% passive cooled.
this audiostreamer is 100% quiet while still
has the real full power of an desktop Intel i7 processor, for
"AudioLinux" and i7 processor is prefered.
Go to PART 2 ...
Maarten van Druten (Audio Dandy)
All Rights Reserved