Everything you ever wanted to know about streaming but were afraid to ask

I was reading a post earlier today (thanks @bluesfan) where it was mentioned that he had read up on streaming to try understand its jargon and technology. Now that is just what I want to do: demystify the whole thing. In the past I have read stuff on the Linn forum, but I think it’s time to place it a Naim context. Please could you wise chaps point me in the right direction?

And the question is?


Quite. I’m not going to write everything I know if it’s not relevant. It’s best to do the research and ask from a position of at least some knowledge.

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The question is: please demystify streaming? I reiterate can you point me in the right direction so that I can suss out / understand the jargon and technology?

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Huw - the Linn website (see support / linn docs) covers all this really well, starting right from the basics - network players, ripping, storage, networks, streaming services.

Certainly worth a read to get you started.

If you’ve got plenty of time then this thread takes you on one man’s journey, both pleasure and pain, into a brave new world…

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What needs to be demystified? Which notions would you like to have explained? There is actually nothing difficult or arcane about streaming: a stream of data has to be sent from a source to a target. There are a number of protocols that support such a data transmission and different protocols have different pros and contras. What would you like to know precisely?

The problem with such an open question is that you will, I expect, recieve a huge variety of answers based on different people’s perspectives, opinions and experiences. Keeping track of all that on a single thread would be like trying to jump down several rabbit holes at the same time.

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The best is to begin with something easy, that even a 4 years child can understand :star_struck::partying_face::exploding_head:

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Can you describe what you find mysterious? I am not trying to be funny, but for many now streaming is the natural and obvious way of accessing music… and other forms of physical media seem quirky and awkward.
Is it simply a case of a lack of familiarity?
I guess on this forum there is much talk of tweaks and different pieces of abstract equipment connected together like ‘bridges’, media converters, specific network components, and the like to allow legacy or older more restrictive equipment to access streaming services or to tweak how it sounds …and half the time it is mysterious to me what some people are trying to achieve… but this isn’t essential for streaming. You can stream simply with your iPhone or current Naim streamer or a myriad of other products…

If you want to tweak to adjust and modify SQ to taste, then the Pandora’s box of complexity, subjectivity and abstraction comes in… just like tweaking a turn table, arm and cartridge but that isn’t necessary.
If you have internet connected Wifi in your house… turn on and play… it’s a bit like using the internet and web, you don’t need to understand how web servers or data protocols work… but if you do there are plenty of technical books out here to describe it and streaming methods.

A beginners guide

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Out in the real world open questions are seen as the best way to obtain detail, truth and nuance. Only on the web would a closed question be preferred. All he needs are a few links to read for goodness sake.


Couldnt have said it better myself.

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Thanks - I thought the Linn information had been removed. So thanks for the reminder. It’s a good read.

Thanks too for the link to the thread. I had not read it before. What strikes me is how much patience is shown by readers, and how helpful people are. It’s a shame it’s difficult to distill all this good advice, but then perhaps it’s the journey that makes it so rewarding.

Yes I take your point, and having read again the guidance on the Computer Audiophile site (2013, text saved locally) I am surprised that I had forgotten so much. I must check that site again to see how things have changed over the years.

Of course let’s get back to specifics. The mystery for me revolved around trying to get Roon on my NDS. I’m not the sort of person who buys a solution and forgets about it, I want to know a little about how it does what it does. I see now that part of the issue for me was not bothering to understand the role of the Dac (of course at the simplest level it is self explanatory). It’s the role of the such things as, Allo, Raspberry Pi, Small Green Computer, Sonore etc. that confuses me.

I see from your profile that you already have an NDS, so clearly you have operational streaming already. This makes me more curious what you feel needs to be demystified.

Indeed - being familiar with home computer networks adding a NDS to my system was simple enough. But it’s been the process of Roonifying it that “Confusion” set in!

Exactly - hence my need for trying to simply understand what’s going on with streaming today. The links that have been suggested have been useful in refreshing and building up my knowledge.

Thanks - another piece in jigsaw.

Thanks for your response - and a good link too. You are quite right, I am just not familiar with the jargon and technical terms.
Your first piece of jargon / term, a bridge, seems a good place to start. Especially as I think my Audiostore black box has a Sonic Orbiter and bridge capabilities.
Tweaking is intriguing, and something I need to get my head around to deal with an excessive brightness in the sound from my system since installing the black box. But let’s leave that for another thread.

In summary, I was content to make the move from physical media to locally stored material; my system helped me to do that. But as I am dipping my foot in streaming and curated services like Tidal and Roon, I seem to have missed out on understanding the changes in technology: but I want to catchup!

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i hope you understood it was humor. But i feel you had :smile:

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I stumbled upon this today …
It answers some things I wanted to know.