Liedson-Volumio-OEM

Introducing the ORATORIO by LIEDSON: Volumio new OEM partner

Some of you might have noticed a link in Volumio's header called "Custom Solutions". Some of you might have wondered what it is and why we decided to make it so prominent. Well, here's your chance to have a behind the curtains overview of what it means and why we're so proud of this.

Essentially, Volumio is not only your favorite Audiophile Music Player, but it's a technology that we do license to many Hi-Fi companies around the world. The idea is simple: Volumio is the result of the development efforts of our beloved community and of the developers working for the Volumio company. As we are great fan of efficiency, we understood that to create a top-notch music player, we had to involve (both financially and on a co-design basis) the more stakeholders possible: the more ideas we put in it, the more development resources we put it it, the better.

So, what you, in fact, use every day has been funded thanks to all the Hi-Fi companies (there are more than 30, worldwide) that embraced Volumio technology and used them in their product. On the other hand, such companies receive a tailor-made, state of the art streaming software, enabling them to bring new products to the market. And the Volumio company not only provides the software per-se, but a range of services (consultancy on software and hardware, support, branding, fine-tuning of audio performances etc), effectively removing all the complications that software inherently brings.

This is essentially why Volumio OEM has become the choice of many audio manufacturers for their streamers solution, ensuring them a stable, feature-rich and proven platform. And why the OEM program allowed Volumio to grow as it is today.

Enough talking about Volumio, now let's see a case where we can safely assume that the Volumio OEM tailored software, together with exquisite audio and design expertise produced a remarkable result.

oratorio-liedson-streamer

The ORATORIO. Created by France-based brand LIEDSON is an integrated high-end streamer with CD playback and ripping ability built-in. It captivated us not only for its sonic performances, but as well its elegant design. With Volumio OEM Solution, we provided to the ORATORIO a customizable platform where users can manage the device, inheriting proven stability and performance of the Volumio OS, and customizing the looks and feel to provide a coherent package.

Desktop Version

Gilles Aguilera, designer and founder at LIEDSON, created the Oratorio's OS when he first developed the product. Decided to go on a different path, he later on tested Volumio on the device, resulting in a new decision to incorporate instead a customized Volumio version for the Oratorio's main OS. As Gilles explained to us, he chose Volumio because the system is "fluid, responsive with very good ergonomics". 

Mobile Version

 The ORATORIO, more than high-end streamer, a philosophy

Gilles carefully designed and developed the ORATORIO based on its passion for art and audio. Being an awarded painter/sculptor since the age of 18, he was fond by Italian art and the artists surrounding it. In addition, audio was another passion recollected since he was young, creating his first audio server worked under Linux in 2005.

After all, a great product comes with great design. Two years ago, with the help of an Italian designer friend, Gilles developed the first visuals of the Oratorio. Gilles' wife contributed as well with the first model, developing a modernized device with noble materials while keeping it user friendly with its plug and play convenience. 

design-liedson
All products from LIEDSON are assemble by hand

 

The ORATORIO is built around an aluminum chassis machined in the mass for a weight of 16 kg, the sides and the bottom have a thickness of 10mm, and the front face is 150 mm x 30 mm it serves as housing for the reader CD which is totally trapped, reducing mechanical vibrations to naught. 

The wooden part "the hood" is machined from a noble wood, from 30 years old drowned burl. It is machined to tenths of a millimeter on digital control, to receive the imprints of the internal components (transformers, PCB, capacitor) which are fixed on the bottom of the ORATORIO.

Our products are intended for a demanding clientele seeking custom-built equipment, free from all noise, and unparalleled reliability. - Gilles Aguilera

We can surely agree the ORATORIO provides the complete package. Elegancy, timeless design and universality.

liedson-oratorio

 

Powerful integrated technology

With an extended expertise on high-end audio equipment, Gilles carefully chose these four main parameters the audio server needed to follow:

  • No heating,
  • Gold-plated printed circuits,
  • High quality components such as resistors, capacitors and diodes and,
  • Rigorous pairing of each component.

Two years of research was done before choosing what is now the core of the ORATORIO system, an integrated circuit from Texas Instrument, built on the specifications for LIEDSON. According to Gilles, "the advantage of this DAC is that it requires very little electronics to operate, and its biggest advantage is that it happens operational amplifier output, the signal is directly transmitted to matched and non-magnetic resistors from TAKMAN."

Oratorio-DAC-Streamer

We are extremely pleased with the result of such great collaboration with LIEDSON. Working with their team to build and develop an optimized platform for the ORATORIO, the outcome is a truly first-class product.


Sound-Systems-Technology-Audiophile

Sound Systems: What New Technology Await Audiophiles

Music makes everyone’s life better. You can bet we’re listening to your favorite songs while writing this article. So how can you make your favorite song sound even better? Technology can answer this.

Innovations keep changing the world of sound with every minute. It improves the way songs are recorded, the experience of listening to them, and even how to play an instrument.

Technology has made music widely available and smartphones play a big role in this. From music streaming apps, to sound mixers and even learning how to play musical instruments, our mobile phones are a big part of our audio experience. There are a ton of apps that can help you curate the perfect playlist. If you want to know more about this, you can check it out in joyofandroid.com.

So what should we expect next? If anything, to be amazed. What if we go completely wireless? Or there could be more nature-friendly devices. The future is here to surprise you.

Let’s delve into some possibilities!

1. Ferroelectric Nanogenerator (FENG)

Ferroelectric-Nanogenerator

This is a very thin, foldable material. It can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice-versa. This kind of technology is only experimental at the moment, mostly used for research. It was used for LCD touchscreens, LED lighting, and even flexible keyboards. All these devices operated without the need for an external power source.

One day, this material could be used to make full-sized speakers. This material was already used in a Michigan State Spartan Flag. With the help of FENG, the Michigan State fight song was played, with only an iPad as a source.

(Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211285518303318)

2. Going Completely Wireless

wireless-headphones

Wireless devices aren’t something innovative anymore. With the apparition of earbuds, the popularity of all kinds of wireless headphones has been on the rise. Yet, there’s still a lot of room for improvement until we achieve the maximum potential.

Wireless audio has been greatly improved by the aptX HD and LDAC codexes. Additionally, battery life—a major place of improvement, is increasing. There are now devices that can go as long as 38 hours on a charge. With these improvements in mind, we wouldn’t gasp if wired headphones would become obsolete anytime soon.

The popularity of wireless headphones will skyrocket after the launch of the Apple AirPods 2. It is said that the second generation of AirPods will focus more on health and fitness, in addition to sound.

3. 360 Degree Audio

360-degree-audio

In 2019, Sony announced its 360 Reality Auto. This is a new music format made to be streamed over mobile platforms through compatible headphones. However, there is a long way to go before this becomes a reality. This is mainly because it changes the way music has to be recorded for 360 degree audio.

There’s work in progress for this, though. The Nokia OZO technology records spatial audio for your video—using your smartphone. Sounds from certain places will be artificially enhanced. And others, from outside the frame of the video, will be suppressed.

In 2018, a new holography system appeared, called Super XFi. The platform duplicates the soundstage of a full-surround sound system in a pair of headphones. This kind of technology uses a specific amp, as well as certain calibration software. These were available only to the creators of the platform, Creative.

This kind of sound can help create a more immersive “sound sphere”. When you’ll listen to a 360 degree audio, you will hear the sounds in the direction that they came from. This will make a big difference while gaming, for example. The 360 degree audio has been compared to the difference between an HD TV and a standard one.

4. Eco-Friendly Gadgets

Eco-Friendly-Gadgets

Since protecting the planet is on everyone’s minds at the moment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more gadgets made out of eco-friendly materials. Big companies, like Apple, said they will use more recycled materials in their production process.

There’s already the Tri-Art Audio S-Series TA-0.5 turntable. It's completely made out of hemp and beeswax soaked bamboo. Those materials aren’t just eco-friendly.  Bamboo is perfect for audio due to its rigidity and vibration dampening properties.

(Source: https://www.vinyloftheday.com/tri-art-audio-bamboo-turntable/)

5. Synthstrom Deluge

Synthstrom-Deluge

This synthesizer is made in New Zealand and there are a few reasons why it’s special. First of all, it’s an uncommon all-in-one synthesizer, sampler, and sequencer. It has 128 pads for sequencing, a dual-engine subtractive, FM synth, and 64 MB of RAM. Additionally, there are built-in effects, CV outputs, and many more features.

What’s so revolutionary? It doesn’t need an additional computer to create music. This kind of device is a big innovation for portability. It broke the norm. With this one, you could make music anytime, anywhere the inspiration strikes.

(Source: https://synthstrom.com/product/deluge/)

6. Damson Cisor

Damson-Cisor

At first glance, one would be tempted to say that this is just a portable speaker. Well, yes, it is, but it is also ahead of its time. What is revolutionary about it is that it makes use of its surrounding environment. It will turn your windows, floor, or tables into a speaker. How? It uses the surface’s vibrations to amplify sounds.

This wireless speaker has changed the way portable speakers should work. And, even though it’s pretty small and lightweight—it provides great sound quality. We’re going to be frank—we kind of like looking at it too.

7. Smart Headphones

Smart-Headphones

These headphones are called Mindset—don’t mistake them for your usual wireless headphones. If you’re having trouble with your concentration, then you should definitely consider buying these. Mindset will track your focus and give you alerts when it drops.

There are EEG electrodes that sit on your head, in a  comfortable manner. They measure electrical activity. Using these kinds of headphones will train you to deal with being distracted. They also come with voice cancellation, to help you stay focused.

(Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mindset/headphones)

Take Away

As you can see, innovations in sound systems can be made in a plethora of directions. The quality of sound is continuously improving. There’s a clear focus on portability and convenience. Gone are the times where you needed expensive and massive devices to properly experience your favorite song.

From self-powering gadgets to eco-friendly materials and more portable devices, anything is possible. Or maybe all of the above combined? Just like in any domain, there are endless possibilities for improvement.

What are the next technologies in HiFi you think will be the most interesting to see?


MyVolumio music player features

Discover Your Music With MyVolumio Latest Credits Feature!

Ever wondered when you are listen to your favorite music, what's the story behind each song or album? Who are the people being acknowledged behind each record?  Many other questions come to our mind when we play music, especially when we play the music we enjoy the most. We want to know who were the people behind each masterpiece we listen. Today, after a great deal of work, a new feature is added to MyVolumio users.

The Music and Artists Credit Discovery feature will allow you to answer all the questions above and more by exploring the behind the scenes of the music you listen on MyVolumio.

 

You can see on the video above a quick overview of how this new feature works.

The new released is available to all MyVolumio Superstar subscribers. We believe is an important addition for the audiophile, letting you find out detailed information about songs, artists or albums.

MyVolumio Music Player Discovery Feature
You can read the biography of your favorite artists.

 

From the biography of an artist to the story of the studio where an album was recorded, all this information will be easily accessed on the User Interface. You can access to all this data on the browse menu, or in the playback page.

MyVolumio UI Music Details
Want to know who play what? Now you can!

 

The Music and Artists Credit Discovery feature gives you the opportunity to learn the story of each album, the credits list, or even the instruments that were used to record from all the music on your local files. And not only for your local files, but also for MyVolumio compatible services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and more.

The feature comes in different languages (French Version)

 

Adding to all these capabilities, the data can be available in the current language you use on the software, but if that's not the case, the will appear in English.

MyVolumio feature on mobile version
You can also enjoy it on the mobile version.

 

And this is where we say thank you to all the contributors that made this release possible. This new addition to MyVolumio would not have been possible without the help of Jo, his creative mind came up with the idea, worked on the cloud side of it and the design, making this vision a reality.

Another important contribution we must acknowledge is to Agnes & Bence of Ollala Design Studio. For all Volumio users, this great team worked on the usability of the Volumio UI, releasing a refreshed web user interface, with many fixes. The Ollalla Design Studio team explained "In this release we designed and implemented the newest iteration of the music browser. The main goal was to provide a flatter and more content rich music experience for the users while maintaining consistency with the existing UI. This project was definitely a good start to get to know Volumio and the team. Stay tuned for the leap of developments that are coming! Volumio has a bright future and we'll make sure to polish the UI this pearl."

A big thanks goes as well to Chris for his great insights, code contributions and suggestions, Gkkpch, Balbuze, Ash, Giacomo, Monica, Stefano, Massimiliano and all Volumio team members which do awesome things for this project.

Last but not least, we have to thank Wikipedia and Music Brainz (to which we are proud to be Supporters) for their amazing collective work over the years. The contribution of those 2 projects to mankind wisdom and access to information is invaluable. Without them, the work we've done on this feature would not simply be possible. If you appreciate freedom of information, think about the fact that those 2 projects have huge operational costs to be run, so consider making a donation to keep them making the world a better place ( Wikimedia foundation Donation Link, Metabrainz Foundation Donation Link).

MyVolumio music player software Features
Learn all the credits in the Credit Section

Now that we've shown you what the Music and Artists Credit Discovery features does, the facts you can read and learn about your favorite music, and the refreshed Volumio web UI; we want to invite you to see it for yourself and try it out!

The feature is available to MyVolumio Superstar users, just update Volumio to the latest version and enjoy the feature, in the event you still cannot see it, simply refresh your browser page.

This new release brings also many improvements for the free Volumio system (as you know, the financial boost coming out from MyVolumio is reinvested in the whole platform, no just the freemium part). All users are getting a reworked Album and Artist overview pages (with a more informative readout of the item, such as genre and file type), and a whole bunch of minor fixes. Next on our roadmap is to further improve the "customizability" of the browse page to allow you to "PIN" your favorite items for faster access and extra convenience.

Last but not least, we want your feedback! What do you think about this new addition to MyVolumio? Do you find it useful and interesting? Are there other credits information about your music you would like see? Give us your opinion or write down any questions you may have in the comment section!

Enjoy!


audiophile woman

A Woman in a Man's World? Hi-Fi Edition

Not too long ago I was someone completely unaware of the Hi-Fi term and industry. Music has been a main important thing in my life but my knowledge only consisted on putting on my earphones and playing my favorite music on my iPhone or computer, which sounded relatively good for me.

Yet, I didn't know that there could be something more, something that will improve my experience of listening to my favorite music in the best quality possible.

I met Michelangelo a few months ago and right away he talked to me about Volumio. I would be lying if I said I understood about Hi-Fi and Volumio after the first conversation with Michelangelo. Oh no... it was a new world for me and took some time to understand what this audiophile world was about.

Before I go deeper into this matter, let me introduce myself. My name is Monica, I am currently part of the Volumio team and I am a woman.

When I joined Volumio, a whole new experience began. I was very intrigued so I've learned about the Hi-Fi industry, who is an audiophile and what an audiophile seeks. The importance of high-quality sound reproduction and how this enhances somebody's daily life.

But... how have I never found out about this before? If music is something I am passionate about and I listen to it everyday, why shouldn't I enjoy it to the maximum as well?

Are we getting enough room in the hi-fi community?

After doing some research while working in Volumio, I noticed something peculiar: only 10% of Volumio's users are women. Even when I go online and search something related to the hi-fi industry, I see that mostly men are the ones part of this community. The million dollar question is: Why?

Today, we can say there are many fields, such as audio and technology, that are elements and needs for both male and female, and whatever comprises this field it should be targeted to all of us. Also, being fair enough, women of all ages have better hearing frequencies than men, isn't that say something?

Women enjoy to listen to music as much as any men. And as a woman, being part of this community but also working in it, made me wonder what we should do about it. I'm glad I decided to join Volumio because it showed me a bunch of interesting and powerful ideas in this industry that keeps growing. Also it demonstrated how I can enjoy what I like to do the most in an advantageously way, and what better time to share it now and encourage more women to join the community and let the women already interested in it, to be part of it. 

We must expand the hi-fi image and communication

I know out there we will find many women interested as soon as they learn about the Hi-Fi community. Believe me, the past 10 years I studied and worked in the fashion industry and now, this new world opened to me with so many new experiences that fortunately keep my enthusiasm high everyday. We are just missing a little communication pointed towards the female audience, to bring out the curiosity and the chance to explore the countless attributes that the audio industry can offer.

Today, I can see most of the communication goes towards the middle-aged men who has the most expensive hi-fi, resulting of an useless stereotyping that does not help the community grow. Should we start changing the face of Hi-Fi?

Based on my personal experience, if it wasn't for Michelangelo I would probably still be unfamiliar about Hi-Fi and everything that consists of. Therefore, my goal is for you and I to invite and encourage the women in our lives to experiment the feeling of listening to any audio in a bit-perfect quality.

At the end of the day we all love music, and we all deserve to enjoy it to the max. 

So, what do you think we can do to change the image of the Hi-Fi industry and give more room to women? Write me in the comments, I would love to hear your opinion!

Let's make this community more diverse! :)


Volumio Audiophile Music Player 1.5 for Cubox-i, Cubietruck, UDOO and Beaglebone

Volumio 1.5 is finally available for Cubox-i, Cubietruck,UDOO, BeagleBone and all other supported platforms.
Read more