Software Based Streamers and Other Interesting Sources 
Apple Music on Your Home Computer
Methods to play on-line and stored content through your GoldenEar audio system
There are several alternatives to get streaming music to your GoldenEar speakers through your current system.  We've listed a selection of services and devices below with brief descriptions. Where we have experience with them and/or there've been reliable reviews, we're passing along some opinions. But we obviously don't have hands on experience with every device or service out there so we'd recommend you do at least some research with your GoldenEar dealer to see what's right for you.

Embedded Streaming Application -  DTS Play-Fi
This is a free technology that's embedded in several manufacturers' electronic devices with more coming to market all the time. According to DTS, "Play-Fi offers premium whole-home wireless audio available from the largest ecosystem of brands in the world. Stream your favorite content with astounding audio quality, from every device that you've got..."

Several Play-Fi enabled components are receivers or devices that feed into an audio amplifier's inputs, to send content through existing audio systems. Play-Fi features include:
  • Lossless audio transmission
  • Multi-room, multi-zone, multi-user options
  • Advanced Left/Right speaker configuration
  • Support for high-resolution audio (24bit/192kHz)
  • New features and services delivered wirelessly
  • Works over standard WiFi, Ethernet, and Powerline networks
  • For Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and Windows PCs
This Auralic Aries is an Example of a High-End Media Server

High-end Media Servers and Streamers
There are a number of high-end media servers that offer storage and streaming, many with analog and/or digital outputs designed to feed existing audio systems. Products like the Mark Levinson No 519 Audio Player, Auralic Aries and Aries Mini, Baetis servers and others are available. You should definitely talk to your GoldenEar dealer if you're looking at getting one of these units as they tend to be a substantial investment.
Software ...
 
If you want to stream directly from a computer to your audio system there are a number of software applications designed to do just that:
  • JRiver Media Center -  Click Here to download, generally considered the premier application.
  • Audirvana -  For MAC users there's Audirvana Plus 3 which claims to provide the finest sound quality available from a MAC computer. It includes an MQA decoder and is capable of optimizing your MAC for the best playback possible. For more information, click here
  • Apple Music - Basic is free and/or fee based, fee based offers more features, etc. Includes option of a family plan for up to six users. Over 30 million songs, playlists, upload and stream your own music wherever you want, live radio and more.
  • iHeartRadio - An Internet radio service (others include Pandora, Slacker Radio and TuneIn). Free, supported by ads. Tell the app what you like to listen to and it'll find radio stations it thinks you'll like. Lots of content including talk radio; more than 1500 live radio stations available. Pay upgrade version offers more flexibility and features.
Click Here  for a link to a Wikipedia comparison page of audio player software. Note that as always, Wikipedia can have some amount of mis-information in its articles.) 
Spotify, Tidal, Pandora (among others)
(Although we've covered some of the following before, there's so much going on with streaming services we're adding some updates).  Often available through smart TVs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, etc. If components in your system include Internet capability, services like these offer lots of content and flexibility.

Spotify
A streaming service that consistently lands at the top of ratings lists. Over 30 million songs. Free limited feature version with ads. Pre-created playlists, new releases. Listen through lots of devices like phones, computers, (Internet connected) cars, TVs, Web players, etc. so you can feed it to your audio system. Premium for $9.00 a month offers play on demand, listen offline, no ads, higher quality audio. The free version with ads utilizes a fair amount of compression which results in reduced sound quality.

Tidal
Offers streaming in MP3 and FLAC formats (for double the standard monthly rate) as well as 96kHz/24 bit MQA streaming in the desktop version. Of course you've got to have electronics that can decode and play MQA to enjoy its benefits. But if you do, Tidal is currently considered the sound quality champ of streaming services.

Pandora 
Offers a free ad supported version that creates personalized radio stations, Pandora Plus for $4.99 a month adds unlimited skips and replays, higher quality audio, and offline stations. Pandora Premium at $9.99 a month adds download anything you want, play all your favorite songs, listen without any advertising and when this is being written they're offering a free 60-day trial of Premium. Pandora is targeting its own users, with this promotion hoping they'll upgrade from the free ad-supported service or the $5 a month Plus service to Premium.  Targeting existing users makes sense for Pandora in trying to play catch-up as a latecomer to the on-demand streaming space. Pandora has more than 80 million active monthly users, though fewer than 5 million paying users. By contrast, Spotify has more than 50 million paying users, and Apple Music over 20 million.

All of the categories represent an expanding marketplace of streaming or music playing devices. There's no doubt the music business and how we access our favorite songs is changing. Take a little time and do some research. You may find a new world of musical enjoyment is just a mouse click away!

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