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XBOX ONE S as FLAC music source - good news story

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First off, I am not a gamer, the XBOX is unknown territory to me. I wanted to put together a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player / FLAC music source for our coast house. And I wanted to do it on the cheap 🙂. I read heaps of web posts, and realised that an XBOX ONE S console might do what I was after, so I hunted down a secondhand-but-new condition 1 terabyte unit, complete with a 4K rated HDMI cable, and brand-new game controller for well under $150.


I powered it up, added myself and then deleted the former owner's credentials and games. It then decided to undertake a nearly 4 Gb slow wifi download of a system update, it took about 5 or so hours, most annoying when itching to start, but it means it is basically free of any old software rubbish from its original life. I had to do the update away from the coast as we don't yet have NBN connected.


With the system upgrade download sorted, I downloaded Kodi and VLC as FLAC capable music players (or so I had read), downloaded the MS CD player and 4K UDH blu-ray apps too, and for good measure added Spotify just in case. Kodi so far seems easier to use and quicker to index files than VLC.


The music lives on a 2 Tb Seagate (or maybe WD) 2.5 inch USB powered drive which is plugged into the console's USB. I haven't yet been able to find out if the XBOX can play music from its internal HDD, let alone how one would go about copying files to the internal drive.

The digital to analog decoding is handled by a Cambridge DACMAGIC unit I bought here several years ago that was spare, connected by a (you guessed it) spare Toslink cable.


Initially it is pushing sound out to a pair of (spare) small self-powered studio monitors. I am now thinking of buying a reasonable amp and a set of speakers and maybe a sub to do the analog duty instead of the small speakers.


And guess what - it is bl**dy brilliant, at least to my old ears. The 4K UHD HDR video playback is also brilliant and definitely the lowest cost blu-ray unit going, and watching videos on my new low end Samsung Series 7 4K  HDR 65 inch TV, I can't now understand why I have waited so long to try this tech kit out. I don't believe there is any transcoding going on from FLAC to MP3 or anything similarly horrid, there's no jitter, the console is extremely quiet (maybe I'm just lucky but I suspect that some clever engineering is inside the unit). My FLAC sources were carefully ripped using EAC. Maybe I now need to somehow digitise my 800+ vinyls (if I get time and motivation) as these are not going to live at the coast, they are staying home.


Does anyone here have any experience to share using such gear as music sources? Any software / setup / DAB radio / internet music knowledge or other clues will be marveled at and most appreciated.

I would also love information about using the XBOX as a music streaming source if that is possible.


Oh, as I am not of the gamer generation, I have ordered a $28 remote control to use instead of the game controller to make it easier and less susceptible to clumsy button use.


Also, if anyone reading this lives near Merimbula and wants to offload a nice but low cost amp and / or speakers or sub, let me know!


Many thanks, Norm


Edited by norman
added some more detail

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