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mpdPup - Simplified MPD Music Server/Jukebox - v0.9.3
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Mark van de Pas

Joined: 14 Feb 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jun 2013, 07:01    Post subject: sound quality mpd + Puppy <-> mpd + Tiny Core
Subject description: sound quality mpd + Puppy <-> mpd + Tiny Core
 

Hi Idolse,

Through your mpdPup-project I learned how good puppy-linux can sound compared too regular mainstream Linux distro’s like Ubuntu Studio etc.
Info on my setup: mpdPup -> ESI-juli@ digital part (separately linear powered) -> Van den Hull optocoupler -> Lavry Black DA10 -> Vovox Direct S -> Klein & Hummel O300.

The very good sound quality coming from mpdPup made me curious what sound quality other puppy’s would deliver.
So I tried various other puppy’s, finally stumbling upon Tiny Core Linux.

Quite too my surprise: Tiny Core Linux + cifs- utils + alsa-dev + DeadBeef (with GAIN + re-& alsa up-sampling disabled) is another significant step-up in sound quality from mpdPup.
Audacity2 sounds equally superb on Tiny Core.
So may be better sound quality might be there because Tiny Core is used.

I know I should compare: mpdPup <-> Tiny Core + mpd.
But being a linux newbie I cant’t manage too setup a working mpd in Tiny Core.
There is a mpd.tcz, but configuring mpd in Tiny core is way too complicated for me.

So here’s my question:
* Have you (or any other inmates) ever tried mpd on Tiny Core?
Just too compare sound quality coming from: mpd + tiny core <-> mpd + puppy ?

Mark

NB I used the words “significant step-up in sound quality”.
I don’t use it for effect purpose.
Tiny Core can be run very easy from a live CD.
So I also tried it on a friends Macbook Pro (i7).
We compared:
Macbook Pro -> Tiny Core + Deadbeef -> Van den Hull optocoupler -> Lavry Black DA10 -> ect. <-> Macbook Pro -> Logic Pro 9 -> Van den Hull optocoupler -> Lavry Black DA10 -> ect.
Also using a Macbook Pro as hardware source, there was a significant step up in sound quality.
My friend was equally surprised.

Too check if my friends complete setup also will give a significant sound quality improvement: we are now trying too get this working on his setup:
Macbook Pro -> Tiny Core + DeadBeef -> firewire -> Steinberg MR816X -> Vovox Direct S -> Event Opal.
More on this later.
But being both linux newbie’s this might take a while Sad
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Supersurfer

Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun 2013, 12:56    Post subject: empty folders in mpad  

Dear Idolse,

in Mpad I have a lot of empty albums showing in album mode. I can not get rid of them in Mpad, they seem to be in the mpdpup database.
These empty albums were left after I had moved music files to other folders (there are no empty folders on the NAS)

Is there an elegant way of deleting/removing the database or removing these empty folders one by one?


Kind regards,
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Douwe01nl

Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jun 2013, 17:18    Post subject: Tiny Core  

Hi Mark,
Great post!!
unfortunately , the coming period will be very busy and i doubt if i can find the time to try your suggestions and to fiddle with Tiny Core and mpd.
If i get somewhere i will let you know.
If possible, coud you post a small manual of how to create your setup?
Many thanks!
Douwe

ps since i use mpdpup (in stead of cmp2) i spend a lot more time listening to music (in stead of tweaking and repairing the very unstable cmp2)
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Dynobot

Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun 2013, 17:10    Post subject:  

Well I spent some time playing with TinyCore Linux. Got Deadbeef to work, sounds great, did not do any critical listening/comparison between mpdpup though.

Also MPD does not work with TInyCore at the moment with the current rev and mpd. The packages are out of sync. Furthermore I can not compile mpd on TinyCore from scratch.

I also tried to install the Real-time Kernel on TinyCore per instructions dated 2011. That too is out of date with the current rev.

I went back to mpdpup and poked around looking at various process and discovered that about 10 processes not audio related are 'reniced' to the highest priority. These processes like kpsmoused might be great for a standard install because it speeds things up like responsiveness of the mouse etc. but for mpdpup having the highest priority is a waist. So I promptly reduced the processes of everything to 0 except audio related processes.

I really really REALLY do hope that mpdpup will not become your standard abandoned Linux project.

On another note, for anyone interested and has a Nexus 7 or 10 or probably anything with the Android OS that can run JB 4.2.x. There is a new ROM out that enables USB audio and it works with just about every Dac I have tried and have on hand which includes XMOS, VIA [Audiogd], Tenor and a few iBrasso headphone usb-dac-amps. This means that any of the above can be turned into a Squeezebox Touch. I currently have my Nexus 7 assigned to such duties right now. This means for about $140 bucks anyone can go to their nearest Walmart and buy any tablet that runs Android, install the ROM and instantly have a Squeezebox Touch.

Enjoy!
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ldolse

Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jun 2013, 23:57    Post subject:  

Dynobot wrote:
I went back to mpdpup and poked around looking at various process and discovered that about 10 processes not audio related are 'reniced' to the highest priority. These processes like kpsmoused might be great for a standard install because it speeds things up like responsiveness of the mouse etc. but for mpdpup having the highest priority is a waist. So I promptly reduced the processes of everything to 0 except audio related processes.

I really really REALLY do hope that mpdpup will not become your standard abandoned Linux project.
It's not abandoned, no worries, but it's on hiatus for a while, too much real life in the way. But I maintain it for my own usage too, and don't have any plans to continue using anything but this. I had loftier goals of trying to rebuild the kernel but maybe another release with bug fixes and some of these audio priority tweaks would be sufficient.

@RoxGsm - no idea why you can't play hi-rez audio files. Everything up to 96Khz works out of the box for all sound devices. On some sound devices (my own included) you need to unplug/replug the USB device after the system has fully booted to get 176/192Khz working. Other users report no problems with any bitrates from the start.

@DenisP, I'm not really sure why you needed to put empcd in rc.local - the starting with '&' is a bit weird as to being required. Unfortunately I'm a bit loathe to use this as a fix because I used to start some other process with an ampersand and I seem to recall it caused some users problems. Anyway you should be able to tweak the empcd init script to use the ampersand, and it already has the logic to sleep until mpd is alive. /etc/init.d/30.empcd.

I will follow up on email as requested.

@Supersurfer - I have that same problem for a few albums on mPad, no idea what causes it - guessing it's either a subtle flaw in the MPD database that it displays, or purely a bug in mPad - either way it's something to take up with the mPad author - he seems to be fairly responsive to well described problems.

Last edited by ldolse on Sat 22 Jun 2013, 10:55; edited 1 time in total
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Supersurfer

Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jun 2013, 06:38    Post subject:  

Hi Idolse,

I adressed this problem to the mpad developer first but he directed me to you.
It does not seem to be a problem with mpad.
Is there a way I can rebuild the database, maybe that helps?

Regards,
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ldolse

Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jun 2013, 10:54    Post subject:  

If the mPad author pushed it back to me that would mean he views it as a bug in mpd. The MPD devs are a bit more stringent about bug descriptions though, so unless you can figure out the exact cause and effect deleting the database is probably your best bet.

To delete your database and rebuild it you just need to stop mpd and then delete the database file - it's located at /mnt/home/mpd/database. When you re-start mpd it will build a new one. I'm not convinced this will fix the problem - I seem to recall that I still see it for an album here or there with a fresh database, but it may be related to folder renaming - I never dug into it too much.
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Mark van de Pas

Joined: 14 Feb 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jun 2013, 12:03    Post subject:  

Hi Douwe,

Same here. Since I use mpdpup (instead of cmp2) I spent more time listening too music. Mpdpup not only sounds very good but the remote control through smartphone apps also makes it really comfortable.

Although I must give Cics cmp2 project much credits for guidance and introduction into ‘computer music’. Also the XP OS-slimming operations introduced by dedicated followers of the cmp-project were an eye opener for me.

Having learned from the cmp2 project, I immediately recognized the potential of Idols’ mpdpup project. Using a slimmed OS (puppy Linux), no video usage, ect. So the same core ingredients resulting in superb sound quality come from mpdpup but still with a very user friendly GUI (through use of a client for remote control).

I don’t think we should discus installing Tiny Core Linux on Idols mpdpup project pages. I did not post it for that reason.
I brought the Tiny Core distribution too Idols attention, so he could have a look at it and see if Tiny Core contains any idea’s and improvements Idolse could use for his mpdpup project.

Idolse already showed to be open for suggestions. See Idols implementation of: ‘wisdom of the crowd optimazations’. So looking at Tiny Core might inspire Idolse for other optimizations, IF THERE ARE ANY IN TINY CORE. But I don’t know that. May be it is just deadbeef sounding appealing to me. Or that there is mistakenly running some upsampling in the background which I happen to like.

So that’s why I asked if Idolse ever heard mpd on tiny core. May be Idolse and/or other users with linux skills are not impressed at all with mpd on Tiny Core. So there would be no reason for having a closer look at Tiny Core and too check if there are any optimizations in Tiny Core which also could be implemented in mpdpup.

Since Idolse is kept bussy in real life, Dynobot already tried. Which resulted in discovering 10 not-audio-related processes running in high priority mode. (Thank you Dynobot !) So see, it’s always good too have a look around and see if there are new ideas which could improve the sound quality coming from mpdpup.


Mark

NB. I could email you a short description on how I installed tiny core on the cmp-hardware too test drive Tiny Core + Deadbeef. That is real easy on cmp-hardware because the esi-juli@ card is supported by ALSA.
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Dynobot

Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jun 2013, 13:23    Post subject:  

Hi Idolse

I understand about being too busy in real life....I was extremely busy until recently hence by absence.

Now I am looking at about 6 months down time and will spend more time here to discuss MPDPUP. I forgot to post that I also increased the priority of MPD via the file in init.d. Just uncomment the line that has nice 15 and change it to nice -1. This gave the sound a nice low end lushness to balance out the very good detail gained by decreasing the other priorities to 0.

In the coming weeks I will be trying to figure out how to work with the devx file. I would really appreciate if you could help me get off the ground with it. I could do some testing and experimenting while you are busy.

I see there is one other person willing to contribute to writing manuals etc. Idolse please feel free to email / PM me to discuss how I can contribute. Having tried just about everything available I really do think MpdPup is the best thing since sliced bread. The concept is perfect and the OS is nearly dialed in to perfection too.
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wlowes

Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun 23 Jun 2013, 23:03    Post subject:  mpd nice -1
Subject description: Very NICE
 

Dynobot wrote:
Hi Idolse

I understand about being too busy in real life....I was extremely busy until recently hence by absence.

Now I am looking at about 6 months down time and will spend more time here to discuss MPDPUP. I forgot to post that I also increased the priority of MPD via the file in init.d. Just uncomment the line that has nice 15 and change it to nice -1. This gave the sound a nice low end lushness to balance out the very good detail gained by decreasing the other priorities to 0.





Dynobot
Great tip! Can you either repost directions to decrease the other priorities to or point me to a post? I have put in a bunch of your tweaks. all good, thanks

Want to make sure I have not missed these

the Nice -1 on MPD removed a nagging concern I had with the sound of an ALIX board running MPDPUP. While very good detail, it had a slightly mechanical sound compared to a well tuned CICS2 machine on slim XP. This added the lush almost magical fulness of sound that had hitherto been missing. Strongly recommended for all with a well resolved sound system.
Walter
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Douwe01nl

Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jun 2013, 18:11    Post subject: renice  

hi all, i found out a way to renice some processes, but for one time use only (see edit 2)

command:
ps axl

and look for the PID nr of the process you want to renice, for example kpsmoused has PID 36 and you want to renice to 19 (very low priority)

then type
renice 19 36

done!
check with
ps axl

you could put it in a script like jrling did
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=81984&start=120
although i could not figure out how

Thanks Dynobot and jrling!

@Mark: you are right, i asked about TinyCore for learning purposes, and i know Idolse is open for suggestions (i proudly contributed to the crowd sourced settings). Since Dynobot confirmed mpd does not match with TinyCore i decided not tot try it.
In stead i tried the priority settings, with very good results!
i LOVE this puppy!

Douwe

edit: Dynobot's comman d to find out the PID of audio-related processes:
ps -eLo pid,cls,rtprio,pri,nice,cmd | grep -i "irq"

edit 2:
I found out that at each startup PID nrs change, so the renice commands change. hmm, not a real solution...
startup sequence is for me rather complicated, could not find where priorities are set. Any suggestions?
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bonalux

Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jun 2013, 06:41    Post subject: Re: mpd nice -1
Subject description: Very NICE
 

wlowes wrote:


Dynobot
Great tip! Can you either repost directions to decrease the other priorities to or point me to a post? I have put in a bunch of your tweaks. all good, thanks

Want to make sure I have not missed these

the Nice -1 on MPD removed a nagging concern I had with the sound of an ALIX board running MPDPUP. While very good detail, it had a slightly mechanical sound compared to a well tuned CICS2 machine on slim XP. This added the lush almost magical fulness of sound that had hitherto been missing. Strongly recommended for all with a well resolved sound system.
Walter


Forgive my ignorance, but, I cannot find the init.d file you were talking, in the init.d directory can't find the file to define the priorities, can you please give me the path?

Thank you.
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Dynobot

Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jun 2013, 16:19    Post subject: Re: mpd nice -1
Subject description: Very NICE
 

bonalux wrote:
wlowes wrote:


Dynobot
Great tip! Can you either repost directions to decrease the other priorities to or point me to a post? I have put in a bunch of your tweaks. all good, thanks

Want to make sure I have not missed these

the Nice -1 on MPD removed a nagging concern I had with the sound of an ALIX board running MPDPUP. While very good detail, it had a slightly mechanical sound compared to a well tuned CICS2 machine on slim XP. This added the lush almost magical fulness of sound that had hitherto been missing. Strongly recommended for all with a well resolved sound system.
Walter


Forgive my ignorance, but, I cannot find the init.d file you were talking, in the init.d directory can't find the file to define the priorities, can you please give me the path?

Thank you.


look in the /etc directory you will see another directory called init.d, within it you will se a file with mpd in the name, open it and on line 30 uncomment the line for nice
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wlowes

Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jun 2013, 21:35    Post subject: What's running in an optimized system
Subject description: What's the priority
 

Dynobot
could you show the results of
ps axl
for your system?

Might give me some ideas for what to kill and where priorities should be
thx
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wlowes

Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jun 2013, 22:07    Post subject:  

Mark van de Pas wrote:
Hi Douwe,

Same here. Since I use mpdpup (instead of cmp2) I spent more time listening too music. Mpdpup not only sounds very good but the remote control through smartphone apps also makes it really comfortable.



Hi Mark
I took similar CMP2 route and concur. Spend a lot more time listening now and love the smart phone client. XP slimming led me to the ALIX board with MPDPUP. I had not done the full Julie linear PS deal on CICS so ALIX was kind of a natural.
Walter
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