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Alex_UK
27-10-2009, 23:18
OK, so "conventional wisdom" is that to bypass the DAC on an Ipod, you need to buy a Wadia 170i "Transport" - Apparently, Apple have licensed bypassing their own DAC, and manufacturers have to pay if they want to do it? Reading the press this month, Onyko are the latest company to come up with a dock that bypasses the ipod DAC, at a lot less money, but still 150. (The Wadia is 350 ish)

My theory though, is that I am already achieving this, without spending a penny more on any kit that I don't already have, and given that we are talking Apple, the most unlikely contributor to this is Microsoft!

My Xbox 360 has the ability (with a free Microsoft download) to play Apple ipod files (AAC) as well as MP3 - when the ipod is connected via a USB port to the the 360. As the 360 is only connected to my amp via the Toslink connection to my Beresford Caiman, then how can this arrangement be anything other than a "Digital Media Transport ipod Doc" (to quote Onyko) - I defy you to prove me wrong! There's no logical way it can be anything else, is there????

Stratmangler
27-10-2009, 23:33
What you have is an iPod as a storage device on your playback system, not a direct digital feed from your iPod to the DAC and so on ....

The device playing the tunes is the PS3, not the iPod.

If you can control which track you play from the iPod directly (to DAC) then that is a different matter.

Do you have the ability to play ALAC files ? Personally I wouldn't bother with AAC or MP3 unless I had to.

If this response seems to be nit-picky I apologise, but in this case the devil really is in the detail.

Chris:)

Alex_UK
27-10-2009, 23:46
Chris, no need to "apologise" - I was just throwing this "out there" to see what response there is, so thanks for replying!

I've not ripped to ALAC or FLAC, preferring the "quantity over quality" approach with my ipod (all I really ever use it for is train journeys, offline work (rare) and the odd hotel stay) - so from my point of view this is academic anyway!

But - I am struggling to understand the difference - if "The device playing the tunes is the PS3" (xbox, but PS3 will probably work too) and I am then taking an optical feed to the Caiman, surely I am bypassing both DACS and using the Caiman - haven't I achieved the same thing as a Wadia/Onyko "transport"? (Not being difficult, just trying to understand if my logic is skew whiff!)

The Vinyl Adventure
28-10-2009, 00:31
i dont see the point in these docks at all! there was one in a hifi mag recently some stupid amount of money like 750 or something. to get the best out it youhave to install rockbox on the ipod and then put flac on the ipod (something that drains the ipod battery so much that it makes it barely portable!) you are then limited by thesize of the hdd on the ipod ... even the largest 120 gb units being used up very quickly with flacs... its like no one has actually thought these things through at all! maybe its just me??

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 00:39
maybe its just me??

Nah, that's kind of my point above - the whole purpose of a portable is that you use it when you can't access your normal system, surely? You will be happy with lower quality at the bus stop/in the car/in the office, and then play the "proper" version at home - CD, Vinyl, Tape or lossless digi file?

Peter Stockwell
28-10-2009, 07:37
What you have is an iPod as a storage device on your playback system, not a direct digital feed from your iPod to the DAC and so on ....

The device playing the tunes is the PS3, not the iPod.

That strikes me as the more likely method of operation. The PS3/Xbox is accessing the files and creating the digital output to the Dac, and as we all know (don't we?) bits it's bits.

The Onkyo solution looks like a good option for a secondary, part-time system somewhere.

Gazjam
28-10-2009, 09:16
Nah, that's kind of my point above - the whole purpose of a portable is that you use it when you can't access your normal system, surely? You will be happy with lower quality at the bus stop/in the car/in the office, and then play the "proper" version at home - CD, Vinyl, Tape or lossless digi file?

Alex,
check Simplify Media, its an app you install both on your Ipod and your Music Server.

You can access your music library on the move (and the music library of up to 30 "friends" too!

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 09:37
Sadly Gaz I am distinctly low tech on the ipod front - I've only got the Classic, so no wifi. My Missus has got the latest iphone for work, but is not interested in using it for music (I bought her a pink Nano last Christmas anyway, because she said she wanted one, even a pink leather case, better headphones and loaded it up with all her favourite tunes - she's never even used it! But I digress, and I'm not bitter, honest...!)

I may look at a Touch, but the only issue is that we don't usually put wifi into our offices, so I tend now to use Spotify premium via LAN (320kbps) into a portable headphone amp (awesome little thing,off ebay) then Sennheiser PX100's - a pretty good sounding portable system. (Although a Caiman would be nicer, of course...)

Themis
28-10-2009, 09:50
The dac inside the iPod is perfect for everyday use. I don't see the benefits of an external dac use for 320 MP3 CBR, really !
For portable use, a nice amp (I have an iBasso) and nice headphones are much more important than bypassing the iPod's dac, imho.

Now, if I need to stream to my home hifi setup some lossless files... why would I use an iPod for that ? :confused:

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 10:35
Indeed Dimitri - I don't see a point for me in buying an "ipod transport" but I was interested if the XBox is actually achieving the same thing in theory. I guess people must be using them though, for convenience I suspect.

Stratmangler
28-10-2009, 12:30
Indeed Dimitri - I don't see a point for me in buying an "ipod transport" but I was interested if the XBox is actually achieving the same thing in theory. I guess people must be using them though, for convenience I suspect.

Hi Alex

You're pulling the files off the iPod via the Xbox interface, which is then feeding the DAC, so yes, you are achieving the same thing as you would if you were using the Onkyo or Wadia dock.

The point I tried to raise (poorly) is that the dock means that you can use the iPod interface directly - I'm assuming that you access the Xbox either remotely or by a propriatory controller interface.

There is an added level of complication that you wouldn't have with the iPod dock.

It just goes to show that there are two ways to skin this particular cat, and neither one is wrong.

Confused yet ? I think I am !

Chris:lolsign:

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 12:39
The point I tried to raise (poorly) is that the dock means that you can use the iPod interface directly - I'm assuming that you access the Xbox either remotely or by a propriatory controller interface.


There is an added level of complication that you wouldn't have with the iPod dock.

I think it's an added level of simplification, if I'm honest! ;) - much easier to see on a 19" monitor, and accessible easily with the controller/remote - plus pretty visualisations, if you want them!

http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/images/guides/connect_ipod_xbox360/ss2.jpg

But at least my theory was right - not sure if it would cope with lossless, though, I'll experiment...

Stratmangler
28-10-2009, 12:59
I think it's an added level of simplification, if I'm honest! ;) - much easier to see on a 19" monitor, and accessible easily with the controller/remote - plus pretty visualisations, if you want them!

http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/images/guides/connect_ipod_xbox360/ss2.jpg

But at least my theory was right - not sure if it would cope with lossless, though, I'll experiment...

I agree with you with respect to the better visual interface. However I am ignorant as to the workings of the Xbox - my son has a PS2 and a Wii.

Does the monitor plug directly in to the Xbox ?
Is the remote a highlight and select type ?

A quick google tells me that FLAC files work on Xbox, ALAC looks to be more complicated, but may not be impossible.

Chris:)

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 13:21
Does the monitor plug directly in to the Xbox ?

As I'm using a computer monitor you need to buy a separate VGA Cable, but you need this anyway to get the digital out. Most people plug them in to a TV, presumably - some have HDMI now, too I think



Is the remote a highlight and select type ?

Yes, that's the sort - (optional) or you can use the game controller to do the same thing.

Mind you, probably academic anyway, because you can stream to it over the network, which would be easier and less messy.

The only application I could think of where it would be useful is if a friend came round with their ipod, and you wanted to play best quality or ease of control.

webby
28-10-2009, 23:16
AFAIK, my monitor audio ideck uses it's own, superior DAC, when an ipod is connected via the docking point. Very nice bit of kit, often overlooked by people going for the 'looks' of the Bose Sounddock or whatever it's called instead.

Alex_UK
28-10-2009, 23:45
AFAIK, my monitor audio ideck uses it's own, superior DAC, when an ipod is connected via the docking point. Very nice bit of kit, often overlooked by people going for the 'looks' of the Bose Sounddock or whatever it's called instead.

I don't think it does, but agree it is a nice bit of it.

webby
29-10-2009, 11:04
It does too!

Alex_UK
29-10-2009, 21:42
Well we'll have to agree to disagree then, it doesn't! :ner:

;)

EDIT: Assuming it did, then it was an absolute steal at 250 (I saw them A LOT cheaper than that, like 150 on Amazon, just before they were discontinued - what a bargain that would have been!) hmmm...

Alex_UK
29-10-2009, 22:18
Discussion on this link - http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ddgtl&1159921090&openfrom&2&4 - but looks like there was a lot of misinformation going about re. the i-deck at launch, prompted by a now defunct article on Audio Adviser, but this seems to clarify it:

I just got this response from Monitor Audio:

"The i-deck uses the analogue line output from the iPod. The digital/ audio over USB protocol has only just been released to us by Apple in September, which will mean that products in the future may use the digital data stream with local D/A conversion. At this moment there are no products on the market that currently use digital audio conversion for iPod."

webby
29-10-2009, 23:36
Ok, alex, you win. I think where I got confused was that as the ideck took the output from the dock connection directly it bypassed the ipod's internals and was therefore a more direct signal than say, using the headphone jack.


....or something like that :)

webby
29-10-2009, 23:40
It's still a great bit of kit though. I have 2. The 2nd one I bought for 60 on ebay!!

Alex_UK
29-10-2009, 23:58
I ended up with a different (more portable) Logitech dock, but was might tempted by the i-deck - there's oned on ebay at the moment - though as I also have an i-home clock radio in the bedroom, Pure dock on the main system, logic3 dock on study system, a Myryad RS in the kitchen with ipod kit and the aforementioned Logitech in the dining room, I may well be all docked out!

Stratmangler
30-10-2009, 00:37
B&W's Zeppelin interfaces digitally with the iPod, which is what got me following my particular train of thought.....

Chris:)