Looking for more user friendly tablet navigation (for wife)

We've got an Oppo 203 with a usb external hard drive containing .flac and .dsd files. About 6K songs and use the oppo for playback. Problem is the apps that oppo have for the iphone and ipad are awful. I don't mind the setup but it is pretty hard to find anything if you don't know where or how to look. I put all the files on the drive so I know where everything is. She gets pretty flustered and refers to the entire system as that thing over there. If I changed up to something else, that would help out. Both on usability for her and not fretting how much I spend on the hobby. Any suggestions?
Main System

Marantz AV8802A PrePro
Marantz MM7025 Amp rear surrounds
McIntosh MC7205 Amp center, ceiling and mid surrounds
McIntosh MC300 Amp front mains
Oppo 203 Bluray
Polk SDA-SRS with VR3 monastery crossovers
Polk FX1000 Mid surrounds
Klipsch RP-440C Center channel
Klipsch RP-15M Rear surrounds
Bose 151 ceiling surrounds
Polk PSW 650 sub
Samsung 8500 curved screen 65" LED 4K
Mac Mini Server

Office System
Musical Fidelity M6s dac/preamp
Oppo 103D Bluray
Polk SDA-SRS 2
Parasound HCA-1500A
Microrendu
Roku Ultra
Mac Mini Server

Comments

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,216
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,511
    If streaming over Wifi from a computer or NAS device is an option, the AV8802A will also work with no extra outlay.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • GospelTruthGospelTruth Posts: 381
    Like you, I had a similar issue with my family being able to access not only music, but also movies that we had ripped to the hard drive.

    There are a few things to consider when finding a solution that will appeal to your significant other.

    Get a NAS
    Getting a NAS affords some flexibility over what you currently have. Here are some benefits of having a NAS.
    • First a NAS will allow most any network playback device to access files you have stored there. That includes your Oppo as well as any other device (receiver, roku, nvidia shield).
    • Depending on the NAS, you can use this for other storage as well like photos and movies.
    • You can set up a NAS to access your files remotely if so desired.
    I suggest you get a NAS that is easy to setup and that you can set up applications on. I would suggest either a Synology (this is what I use), or a QNAP.

    Suggestions:
    $300 Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218+ (Diskless)
    What this affords you is the ability to transcode movies if you want to use this to store ripped movies as well. It has a more robust processor (faster at doing tasks) and more memory.

    $170 Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218j (Diskless)
    This is a basic NAS that will hold two hard drives. Good for audio files and photos. Not as robust a processor, so it will be slower than the other suggestion.

    Both suggestions above are two bay NAS. If you want to hold more, then look for those that are 4 bay drives. You will still need to buy hard drives to put in them. I suggest Western Digital Red drives for these applications. Pretty much plug and play to put these into either of the NAS machines above.

    Set up Plex Server
    www.plex.tv
    Cost: $100 for lifetime membership
    You can set up a Plex Server on a PC or on one of the NAS suggestions above. With Synology, it's as simple as installing an App on your phone. Synology lists those Apps you can install and Plex is one. Press the install and it is taken care of.

    You could also install this on a computer and hook your existing external drive to your computer and run Plex there. You would need to keep your computer on though in order to access your files - which some people do, but a NAS uses less power.

    Once you install Plex Server, you can configure Plex to see your files and organize them. Fairly straight forward and Plex goes and gets album artwork and organizes all your media.

    You can then install the Plex app on your phone (for free if you get the lifetime membership). This way, your wife can look at the app and see all your music (or movies and photos). You can search by name and Plex brings back a list of media that meets the criteria.

    You can cast your media form Plex on your phone (or tablet) to a machine that can receive this. This may be your Oppo, TV, Receiver or Roku type device.

    My wife loves Plex and how it has organized our media in a way that it makes sense to her.

    Get a User Friendly Device
    www.roku.com ($100)
    This is what it's all about. This is where my wife either liked the solutions I presented or didn't. I used to have a Western Digital media player. However, it was just a player and accessed files similar to the Oppo. You couldn't search and needed to know exactly what directories to access to find what you wanted to play. Needless to say, I used it, but my wife wouldn't touch it. "Too hard to figure out".

    So I switched it up, and after a lot of research went with a Roku. This allowed for access to my Plex Server and had an intuitive interface my wife preferred and would actually use. If you have a Roku or similar device, you can install the Plex App there as well and use that to navigate your music collection. From what I gather there are some limitations to Roku/Plex.
    • Plex supports Flac and DSD from what I've read.
    • Roku supports Flac only. However, it appears it will pass through the stream. So if you hooked up the Roku to your Oppo HDMI input, you might be able to play back DSD. If not, then the Roku solution will not allow you to play your DSD, but it will allow for Flac files.
    • You can still hook up your Oppo to the NAS and navigate your collection to play DSD files for yourself.
    There may be other more audiophile players out there that others would suggest, but I don't know what their user interface looks like and whether they meet the WAF for usability. All depends on what your spouse prefers I guess and their technical abilities.

    That's a summary of my suggestions and our story. Hope that provides somewhat of a starting point for you.

    Other
    I looked at what Dskip suggested as well. That looks like an awesome device if what you want to stream your music and it supports all the formats you have. Pretty cool. Again, just depends what your end goal is. If it's just music, this looks like a pretty good alternative to what I mentioned above.
    https://www.audiostream.com/content/auralic-aries-mini

    For my wife, she wants everything in ONE place. That is where the Roku comes in and it having Plex. She can go to Plex, Amazon Video, Netflix and on and on from one device. That keeps it simple for her. More than one device and she says it's too complicated. :)
    Speakers
    Energy RC-70 Mains, Energy RC-LRC Center, Energy RC-R (x4) Rear Channels, Energy RC-R (x2) Front Effects
    Polk 5jr+
    Polk SDA 2B
    Polk SDS 3.1TL

    Equipment
    Panamax 5510 Re-generator Power Conditioner
    Yamaha RX-V3800 Receiver
    Digital Sources: Sony CDP-X339ES CD Player, HHB CDR830 BurnIt Professional CD Recorder, Sony PS3, Oppo DV-983H DVD Player
    Analog Sources: Sony TC-K890ES Cassette, Nakamichi DR-1 Cassette, Technics SL-7 Turntable
  • sbb2112sbb2112 Posts: 116
    I will check out the free thing first but I don't think the Marantz app is all that either. Seems a little temperamental. Good info for other options. I know something here will be better. Hoping to get where she's not afraid to turn it on. Some of the music on the drive is hers and I put all of the music she has collected on the HDD and told her this will be much better. She even asked where I put the storage crates with the CD's so she could listen to something.
    Main System

    Marantz AV8802A PrePro
    Marantz MM7025 Amp rear surrounds
    McIntosh MC7205 Amp center, ceiling and mid surrounds
    McIntosh MC300 Amp front mains
    Oppo 203 Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS with VR3 monastery crossovers
    Polk FX1000 Mid surrounds
    Klipsch RP-440C Center channel
    Klipsch RP-15M Rear surrounds
    Bose 151 ceiling surrounds
    Polk PSW 650 sub
    Samsung 8500 curved screen 65" LED 4K
    Mac Mini Server

    Office System
    Musical Fidelity M6s dac/preamp
    Oppo 103D Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS 2
    Parasound HCA-1500A
    Microrendu
    Roku Ultra
    Mac Mini Server
  • sbb2112sbb2112 Posts: 116
    I've been investigating everything here in this thread and I thank everyone that took the time to put in their suggestions. A roon core setup on a MAC mini I already have which I installed the Universal media server for the movie side of things per Oppo's suggestion (free). The Marantz works directly via the roon remote app on an iPad or iPhone. The oppo sees the .mkv files on the drive fine too. I have only used roon for a couple days and haven't decided how far to commit yet (1yr or lifetime). That takes care of the home system for the moment. As far as the office system, the AURAliC looks to be the answer with roon as I have a MAC mini server in the office network that I could put the core on.
    Main System

    Marantz AV8802A PrePro
    Marantz MM7025 Amp rear surrounds
    McIntosh MC7205 Amp center, ceiling and mid surrounds
    McIntosh MC300 Amp front mains
    Oppo 203 Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS with VR3 monastery crossovers
    Polk FX1000 Mid surrounds
    Klipsch RP-440C Center channel
    Klipsch RP-15M Rear surrounds
    Bose 151 ceiling surrounds
    Polk PSW 650 sub
    Samsung 8500 curved screen 65" LED 4K
    Mac Mini Server

    Office System
    Musical Fidelity M6s dac/preamp
    Oppo 103D Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS 2
    Parasound HCA-1500A
    Microrendu
    Roku Ultra
    Mac Mini Server
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,975
    roon is awesome and is what I currently use, but plex is half the price and did everything I needed except TiDAL. So if you are not using tidal, I might give plex a try before committing to roon.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • sbb2112sbb2112 Posts: 116
    I haven't totally decided yet. I have 10 more days before the trial ends on roon.
    Main System

    Marantz AV8802A PrePro
    Marantz MM7025 Amp rear surrounds
    McIntosh MC7205 Amp center, ceiling and mid surrounds
    McIntosh MC300 Amp front mains
    Oppo 203 Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS with VR3 monastery crossovers
    Polk FX1000 Mid surrounds
    Klipsch RP-440C Center channel
    Klipsch RP-15M Rear surrounds
    Bose 151 ceiling surrounds
    Polk PSW 650 sub
    Samsung 8500 curved screen 65" LED 4K
    Mac Mini Server

    Office System
    Musical Fidelity M6s dac/preamp
    Oppo 103D Bluray
    Polk SDA-SRS 2
    Parasound HCA-1500A
    Microrendu
    Roku Ultra
    Mac Mini Server
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