Can I play B2 through my Sonos speakers?
Strictly speaking you don't play the B2 through the Sonos speakers. Instead the Sonos system plays music it finds on the B2 hard disk.
Its an important difference - it means you don't control it from the B2 but from the Sonos app.
But it does mean you can play different pieces of music on different speakers if you wanted.
What's the MP3 Bitrate?
You can choose between 128k and 256k
Load CD that is already compressed.
When you rip a CD (or import from USB) it replaces any existing tracks with the same name - whether they are compressed or not.
However if the name is not not exactly the same as the CDDB entry - then B2 will create a new copy of the music with the different name- so you will have to manually delete the old compressed music.
Why does ripping speed vary from CD to CD?
Some CDs will start ripping at about 12x and get faster and faster up to about 24x (actually thats because the disk is spinning at the same number of revolutions per second but as the laser works its way out from the middle the circumference increases so the data rate increases). Other CDs start at 4x. The speed is down to the CD mechanism and we have seen this behaviour in both JB7 and B2 using CD mechanisms from a variety of manufacturers. My hunch is that CD mech measures the quality of the signal coming back from the CD and slows down if its not a good signal. Sometimes a CD will slow down mid rip - but then get faster again. But I tend to find that if it starts slow - it stays slow. I have found in the past that cleaning a CD has helped.
Rename unrecognised CD?
You can rename the artist, album and tracks any time. An unrecognised CD will be filed under artist "Unknown" initially.
Can you rip single tracks?
Sorry you have to load the entire CD and delete what you don't want.
Can I turn compression off?
Is the CD Database Included?
The B2 has the latest album database installed at the factory. Though you won't need it if you connect the B2 to the internet.
The B2 does not update its "offline" database with a CD like the JB7. You need to download this file. Copy it to a USB memory stick and plug it into B2 USB C. Then Select USB Functions -> Load Database.
What does Rip Incomplete mean?
This usually means there is a video track on the CD - sometimes not mentioned on the CD cover. In this case it is the last track that fails to load. Can also happen if the CD is damaged. Try washing gently with Fairy liquid, rinse and dab dry. Then retry. Sometimes you will find that a larger desktop CD mechanism will read a difficult CD - so try ripping on a PC as a last resort. Then transfer the music using a USB memory stick.
B2 only compresses wav files - the original uncompressed files created when you ripped your CDs. It displays compressing xyz just before it goes into standby as it checks the disk to see if there is anything to do. B2 will not compress flac or mp3s again.
Compression Slow - 21 hours 450 tracks.
Mp3 encoding is slower than JB7 for instance because JB7 used my own handwritten assembly language MP3 encoder. B2 uses the Raspberry Pi running Linux so I use an MP3 library which is not tuned in the same way. MP3 encoders on PCs have the triple advantage that they have hand coded software on a faster processor with dedicated (accelerated) instructions for this sort of job.
It encodes MP3 in about real time - which is a nuisance but you only do it once and its typically done overnight. Flac is faster to compress.
Multi CD Set - second overwrites the first.
You need to be careful with multi CD sets. Sometimes the album names in the database are the same for several CDs - although the tracks are different.
The way to deal with multi CD sets is to load the first CD then rename the album so it is likely to be unique "Aida - CD1" would be a good choice. Then load the second and repeat the process.
The web interface makes finding and renaming clearer - but you can always find the last album loaded on the front panel by using Browse Albums and turning the knob anticlockwise - it wraps from the first to the last if you see what I mean.
If you do get a mixed up album like that you can just delete it and start again.
Can B2 load MP3 CDs?
The short answer is no. You need to use a PC or Mac to transfer the music from CD to USB and then import.
Can B2 load FLAC files on DVD?
Sorry no. Again you need to use a PC or Mac to transfer the music from CD to USB and then import.
Slow Internet - 150kb
Should be OK for looking up album & track data and it won't affect the Web User Interface - because thats down to your Wifi speed - probably many megabits. You might have problems with internet radio though.
B2 will play continuous pieces of music - EXACTLY as the original CD will play - so no gaps - just turn off segue.
Export FLAC as MP3?
We introduced the MP3 Mirror function in 2020. This creates an MP3 copy of all FLAC files for export to MP3 players.
24 Bit external USB DAC
B2 will not drive an external USB DAC. If your DAC has optical you can use B2s optical output - you will get the benefit of your DAC's signal to noise ratio - though to be clear the B2 optical output only sends 16 bit samples.
How noisy is the CD?
That's hard to answer - when playing its like a quiet computer fan - not whisper quiet but you wouldn't hear it above the music unless you went in close. Noisier when ripping but not loud.
Does B2 support DNLA?
Yes DLNA was added in 2019.
Get the driver with with Settings->Maintenance->Advanced->Get DLNA
Turn on/off with Settings->Maintenance->DLNA
Is B2 loud enough for a small hall 20m x 10m?
Possibly - I listened to my B2 from three rooms away - about 12 meters - and it is pleasantly loud. I think if you were doing an aerobic class I'd say not loud enough. Test the B2 first and check that it is happy playing at your desired loudness for as long as you need it. B2 has a thermal cutout so I dont want it cutting out mid waltz. If it ever does cut out just press stop and play again after it has had a chance to cool down - usually ten seconds would be enough.
Vinyl FLAC size
Music is roughly 10M bytes per minute uncompressed or 6M bytes per minute as FLAC.
If a vinyl album is say 25 minutes on a side that comes to 158M byte per side.
Active speakers - does B2 Volume control work?
Yes - connect B2 Line Out to your active speakers and the B2 volume control will adjust the volume.
2TB Album Capacity
A 2TB B2 can store 4400 albums losslessly (FLAC).
You can store more if compressed to MP3 - there is currently a software limit of 10,000 albums and 160,000 tracks.
Artists & Composer on Classical CDs
The simple organisation of music into Artist and Album breaks down for Classical music where Composer, Orchestra, Conductor, Soloist etc are all important. However the database has been created by CD owners like yourself so you will tend to find that all the most relevant information gets recorded - though it may not be consistent. In my music collection Dvorak appears as an ARTIST for the album Requiem and Mass in D. But he also appears in the ALBUM name Dvorak Requiem Op89 - for which the ARTIST includes the Soloists the LSO and Istvan Kertesz (the conductor I imagine).
You can search for any name - it doesn't matter if its in the Artist or Album or Track. You can also rename - so if I wanted to add Dvorak at the start or the Artist name I could.
Total Harmonic Distortion - DAC
B2 uses a Texas Instruments TPA3110 power amp and a Burr Brown PCM2902C DAC - you can go to the TI website for real detail on the specifications of these devices. Its been a while since I measured the distortion on the B2. The power amp has a THD around 0.1% until it starts to clip at high volume - around about 12 watts per channel.
Does B2 have a Vinyl Crackle Filter
Sorry no - you may be better off using free specialist software like Audacity
Does B2 play ALAC
Sorry just WAV,FLAC,MP3 and AAC right now. Suggest you convert to FLAC on your PC.
Does B2 have a traditional AM/FM/DAB Radio?
B2 does not have a traditional radio receiver in part because I live in a part of the country with a poor signal so Internet radio fixes that. If you need real radio you could feed the line out or headphone output of a traditional radio receiver into the B2 Aux In.
Any plans for MP4?
No plans to support video but this is something that could come from the Raspberry Pi community.
Does B2 play 24 Bit?
Yes I played 192/24 HiRes FLAC files from Linn and from hdtracks.co.uk on the B2.
Can I record from Internet Radio?
No but its on the wishlist.
Audio Books - how does B2 handle them?
The main problem with books is that you don't really want them coming up in random play. If you own multi CD audio books - I suggest you create a playlist containing "books" and then create another "music" initially containing all recordings. Then subtract the books playlist from the music playlist. If you then switch to Guest mode with the music playlist selected - the audio books will then be hidden until you exit Guest mode.
Can B2 store and play DVDs?
Its certainly possible - I played DVDs on B2 but I had to use a different (Raspbmc) SD card. Its not something that I will add to B2 - but check the forum.
Does B2 have Bass & Treble
Does B2 use ID3 Tag information?
B2 doesn't use tags but does create them - mainly so that Sonos will display track information. Support for tags is likely to increase throughout 2018.
Will B2 work on 12V Car Battery?
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.
Can I save a single Album or Track to USB
Yes just put what you want to transfer into a playlist and then select
Automatic Music Recognition - like Shazam?
Sorry not available - post your idea on the forum. If enough owners want something we will look into it.
Control 4 Home Automation?
Sorry no support for this - though you can control B2 from the same tablet that you control your home automation - so its on the same device.
Sorry no - it doesn't come up often enough.
Random within Artist?
Not directly supported - but put the Artist in a playlist and play that with random enabled.