Q&A - Can B2 do this...?



Vinyl Crackle Filter

Q: I have a large collection of vinyl, it would be good to transfer it to hard disk, especially if some of the crackle could be filtered out in the process. A firm (Goodmans?) produced a crack filter many years ago, unfortunately I never got one. Could a modern version be built into the B2?


Hi Ian. I've added the suggestion to the wish list. I think I'll be offering more support for transferring vinyl in the long term. One customer suggested allowing tracks to be split after the recording was made. Which I think is a great idea. Click filtering could prove to be difficult and you may be better off using free specialist software like Audacity 

 

ALAC

Hello Martin
Your instruction manual says the B2 will play M4A files, does that include the Apple Lossless (ALAC) file format? They use the file extension m4a but are more like a FLAC file than an AAC file. I believe Apple have made the ALAC licence universally available now.


Sorry just WAV,FLAC,MP3 and AAC right now. Your request has been noted.

 

Traditional Radio

Q: hi does the b2 have a radio built in if not would it be possible if you released a new jb unit?


B2 does not have a traditional radio receiver and I'm unlikely to add one. Part of the reason is that DAB reception is rubbish where I live and work. Internet Radio is great and if you need real radio you could feed the line out or headphone output of a traditional radio receiver into the B2 Aux In.

 

DAB & Bluetooth

Q: Does the B 2 have dab radio or bluetooth?


DAB no. Bluetooth yes - you need to buy the optional dongle. Bluetooth input only at the moment - play your phone or tablet through B2.

MP4

Q: Will the B2 eventually be compatible with MP4?


I've no plans to support video but this is something that could come from the Raspberry Pi community.

24 Bit

Q: Will it be able to store or play 24bit hi res files with the aid of an external DAC?


In theory yes - B2 could drive a 24bit USB DAC. The SPDIF output is restricted to 16 bits I think though. 24bit comes up from time to time but there has been no significant interest expressed in the thousands of comments received from customers. Maybe because there is no ready supply of 24 bit music.
 

Will multiroom with several b2s be possible albeit with tweaks to the raspberry pi is I've seen several implentations on the pi that do?


Its clearly possible from a technical perspective but I want to keep B2 simple. So this may be something that the Raspberry Pi community will get into...
 

Recording From Radio

...Having read about the ‘new improved’ B2 on the website (especially the inclusion on internet radio!) I ordered one sometime ago and hope to be able to use it during the Proms season starting 17 July 2015. I think the site mentions one of my queries (fast forward and rewind) but I would be very grateful if you could answer the following queries:

a) I am assuming that I can record directly from the internal internet radio without using a lot of other ‘gear’? Definitely the most attractive new feature to me!
b) Have you managed to incorporate some kind of ‘pause during recording’ facility?
c) ‘Fast forward & rewind’ if not already implemented, can I add this in the near future via a download?
d) I’m assuming from reading the website that I will not lose-out by buying the B2 on its launch (rather than waiting 6 months) as any new features can be added later. Is this correct?
As classical music (and the collecting of it!) has been a major part of my life from school to retirement, I can honestly say the JB7 has been great fun and I look forward to using the B2.


Hi - thanks for the feedback and the longest question so far.

a) recording from internet radio is on the wish list
b) pause during recording - not heard this request before I've added to wish list.
c) Fast foward and rewind - this is in the pipeline I've already coded some of the inner workings of this.
d) Quite right - you will be able to upgrade and early adopters will get more of a voice in shaping how B2 works - I've talked to quite a few new B2 owners about what they want out of B2.
 

DNLA

HI Martin,
Great product. Glad to see yet another innovative use for a PI.
Obviously with this at it's core is there any chance of adding DNLA client software.With over 1000 CDs stored on a NAS drive, a compact all in-one unit would be great.
Similarly allowing the B2 to act as a DNLA server would be great.


Hi I have added this to the wish list - and I will investigate further - although I have to say DNLA did not come up a lot in the thousands of comments I received. Interoperability is a potential problem. 

 

Audio Books

Hello Martin,
Is it possible to put multi disc audio books as well as music albums on the B2 in such a way that they aren't included in the random play function, and would play in order.


Not possible at the moment but another good idea. I seem to remember a B&O product that grouped music into different members of the household. I've put your question in the wish list. I think some of these ideas will be a lot more feasible with the new web UI that I'm working on.
 

DVD

Hi Martin,
It seems to me that the B2 would be capable of storing and playing DVDs as well as CDs with the correct programming - is that the case and if so, would it be on your list of future developments or would you leave it to hobbyists to create the program?


Its certainly possible to play DVDs on B2 - I did it with a Raspbmc SD card - but I will leave video to hobbyists.
 

Bass & Treble

Q: Does the B2 have base and treble adjustment?


Not yet - its on the wish list - JB7 had it - I just need to copy the code.

ID3 

Q: Does the B2 use ID3 Tag information?

I export music from my JB7 to a USB stick to play in my car but, without the track numbers, they are played in alphabetical order of the file names. Regards, Peter


Hi Peter. B2 does not use ID3 tag information at the moment but I'll be working on that area - so that B2 can make the most of downloaded music from Amazon and ITunes etc.

You can now edit the track order number on B2 - if you adhere to the convention 01 Trackname, 02 Trackname etc then alphabetical order corresponds to the correct play order so your car will play them in the right order. Martin

12V Car Battery 

Q: I spend a lot of time travelling in my Motor Home. Will the B2 work on a 12 volt system?


Yes - I just tested my B2 at 12V and it works ok. The display is not as bright and the power amplifier will not be able to deliver its full power but the core B2 electronics runs at 5V with a switcher so 12V is as good as 24V.

Album to USB

Q: Can I save a single B2 album or track to an external storage device rather than the whole collection?
Thanks,

Sorry not possible at the moment - its on the nice to have wish list.

Sonos & Ethernet

"Martin, there was an earlier question about Sonos specifically asking about the wifi link and you said they are not compatible.    I see the B2 has an Ethernet connection, so would it work as a music server connected by Ethernet to a Sonos amp? Lee"

Hi Lee. Sorry no. It would be theoretically possible to use the B2 hardware that way - it has all the right stuff - if I wrote the software - but all my experience of network attached storage devices and investigation into DNLA and UPNP has been very negative - they are complicated and unreliable so not my cup of tea. Martin

Automatic Music Recognition

A few years ago i asked if it would ever be possible to name albums and tracks uploaded from compilation cassette tapes wihout the laborious task of manual typing them in, i wanted to know if these tunes from the cassettes would be recognised by gracenotes, soundhound, shazam etc. at that time you replied 'unfortunately not at this time' now there is an internet connection to the B2 would it now be possible? thanks. 

Hi Its probably possible now that B2 has an internet connection but...its not something that has been requested before and I'm not sure how good the services are - I mean they may be adequate at recognizing today's top ten but have no coverage of older recordings. Its not something I foresee working on - sorry.
 

Home Automation

Can I use the Brennan with my Control 4 home automation system?


Hi Richard - if you mean can you control B2 from your system - sorry B2 has not been designed to work with Control 4. However if you operate the Control 4 system from a tablet then you could use its browser to control the B2 - ask your dealer.

SACD

Hi - I saw that the drive of the B2 is capable of playing DVD's and appreciate of course that the machine is for audio not video. However, is it likely that the drive would, via an update, play and record SACD's and DVD-Audios?


Sorry I'd have to say its unlikely in the near future - mainly because I have not had many requests. I'm posting this question in case there are other SACD and DVD Audio owners who want to register their interest. Martin.

 

Random within Artist

Hi Martin - I'm really enjoying the B2 now that I have loaded all 2,000 albums! I have tried but failed to play tracks randomly within an Artist - have I missed something or is this not possible? Thanks

Hi Peter - its not possible at the moment - its on the wish list so its coming. As a temporary measure you could copy the albums into a playlist and play that randomly - Martin

 

SSD?

I have a JB7 and would be interested in B2, I was wondering if you have plans to use SSD drive instead of traditional hard drive? Regards Ian

Hi Ian. The way I think of it is that the SD model is the SSD variant. SSD is really just a different kind of flash memory. It costs more than SD per G because it is different mechanically and has different capabilities. But SSD has been designed to replace Hard Disks in computers. Actually SD is closer to our needs so its a better deal. Martin
 

Export FLAC as MP3

Can you export the FLAC-compressed music files stored in the B2 to an external USB drive in mp3 format (e.g. so the USB stick can then be plugged into a music input slot in a car)?

Good Question. Sorry no - not at the moment. The main reason is that it would be sloooow. MP3 encoding on Raspberry Pi is slow. It a good idea and its on the wish list. The way around it would be to keep a second MP3 copy of everything. The MP3 would be generated in advance while the B2 was in standby. Martin