Does high-res streaming audio sound as good as its download?
BRIO is a personal audio player/music server. When installed on a PC or MAC, the BRIO software turns the PC/MAC into an online music library that streams your own music collection to other PCs and mobile devices.
BRIO is different from other desktop music services, such as , Plex, Subsonic, Serviio, others in that your music is streamed at native resolution. This means that BRIO streams 16-bit/44.1kHz and higher resolutions up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD files. Using patented, quality-adaptive streaming technologies, streaming on any device is seamless, at the best musical fidelity possible at any moment in time.
The audio player features in BRIO are similar to what you'd find in JRiver or FooBar audio players. You can play your music library locally - it works with WIN (WDMKS, WASAPI, ASIO)/MAC audio drivers and external DACs, as well as, external (networked) speakers; Sonos, Chromecast and uPnP-audio systems.
1. Login to download/install OraStream BRIO Desktop (MAC and WIN).
External interfaces supported are UPnP, Chromecast Audio and SONOS. These interfaces allow external devices to interact with BRIO as a player, server or remote control.
To select the interface, if available, go to USER > SETTINGS > Networked Speakers.
The following audio drivers are supported on BRIO desktop audio player on Windows systems:
a) DS (Direct Sound) - Windows 95 through Windows XP audio API that supports sample rate conversion and sound mixing from multiple audio sources. DS does not operate in exclusive-mode.
b) WDMKS (Windows Driver Model Kernel Streaming) - WDMKS was introduced in Windows 98 to bypass the Windows mixer (KMixer). It enables efficient real-time streaming, providing access to the audio hardware device; minimising latency and CPU time. WDMKS operates in exclusive mode and does not allow device sharing of audio.
c) WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API) - WASAPI was introduced in Windows Vista as part of the revamped audio mixing system, developed to keep latency to a bare minimum for professional audio applications. On OraStream player, WASAPI operates in exclusive mode.
d) ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) - ASIO works by directly accessing and communicating with the audio hardware device. This leads to lowered CPU processing, lower latency and memory usage. ASIO operates in exclusive mode.
DS audio API works well for general users. Audiophiles with 24-bit/192 kHz capable hardware should select the exclusive-mode audio API supported by the audio device hardware.
On MAC systems, output audio settings will automatically provide the audio software interfaces to the built-in and external audio outputs available.
On BRIO web (browser), the audio player only supports PC/MAC internal audio output. On WIN PC, the selection of WIN audio drivers is managed in Control Panel > Sound > Speaker > Properties > Advanced: Exclusive Mode. On MAC systems, output audio settings will automatically provide the audio software interfaces to the built-in and external audio outputs available.
New listening situations
The ability to conveniently stream your online music library at native audio resolution offers the freedom to enjoy high-fidelity music experience at any time and place. New listening situations include:
a) Listening “In-Home”
With your music libraries online, you can remotely control local playback using a web-browser or mobile app from anywhere. You can also choose to stream your music library anywhere in your home using a browser (music player) or mobile device player. With native audio resolution, you are no longer restricted to high-fidelity music listening only in your music room.
b) Listening “on-the-go” or “in-car”
With your music library online, you can also choose to stream your music library to another PC in the office or on your iPhone (with BRIO Mobile) in- car and on-the-go. Most new, higher-end Android phones support up to 24-bit/96/kHz192kHz audio playback. With the iPhone or iPad, you would need to purchase a Lightning-USB converter and attached an external DAC device (to take advantage of high resolution audio source files in your music library).
c) Listening to connected music services
d) Remote control (of music library and Naxos service)
BRIO Mobile app allows mobile phone (or tablet) devices to work as a music streaming player when on the go, and as a remote control for the music library while at home. The remote controls the user’s music library and Naxos music service for local playback.
Port Forwarding for Remote Access
You need to set-up port-forwarding to enable that you can get remote access to your online music library.
Newer routers are UPnP-enabled by default which means that port-forwarding is automatically selected. In some cases, you would need to manually enable UPnP in the router. If so, please read this guide: here
You will also need your PC (or MAC) to be running BRIO desktop appn (no sleep mode) when you want to access your music library. Please read this guide: here
Your online music library
BRIO sets up your online music library as follows:
1. BRIO Desktop
BRIO desktop app scans/watches audio (only) files in your PC and attached storage devices.
(Note: Standard Plan supports FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, DSD and MP3. Due to licensing considerations, AAC is supported only in Mobile/Cloud Plans).
All supported-audio files are found under Library - by Albums, Tracks, Artists, Genres. User-created playlists are also under Library. Access to all supported-audio files are also found under Locations - by Local Drives, FTP and UPnP Media Servers (if available).
BRIO desktop app scans speakers that are attached to your PC. Available output devices are found under Settings. If there are networked-connected devices, they are also found under Settings. [BRIO audio player connects to SONOS, Chromecast and uPnP-networked systems]
2. BRIO on Browser
With BRIO desktop app running your online music library, you can now login your account and connect to your BRIO online library using web browsers (log in at http://www.orastream.com/brio). You can use the browser as a music player by streaming from your music library or as a remote controller to control your music library (in BRIO desktop app) for local playback.
3. BRIO on Mobile
With BRIO desktop app runnng your online music library, you can now login to your account and connect to your BRIO online library using a BRIO Mobile app (available for iOS/Android devices). You can use BRIO Mobile as a music player by streaming from your music library or as a remote controller to control your music library (in BRIO desktop app) for local playback.
Note: The remote controller controls your music library and connected music services in BRIO desktop app.
To get BRIO Mobile, you would need to pay S$40 for an annual license (subscription).
Does high-res streaming audio sound as good as its download?
You can try this to find out:
1. start a BRIO desktop server - make sure BRIO scans your 24-bit audio files and have them available in BRIO
2. use a web-browser to login to your BRIO account (at http://www.orastream.com/brio)
3. connect your web-browser (PC/MAC) to an external DAC capable of handling your 24-bit audio and plug in your headphones or hi-fi system
4. use your BRIO-web PC/MAC to select and play your 24-bit audio albums (on the web-audio player) to decide whether high-res audio streaming sounds as good as its download.