Hey, this is Drew Baird from Moon Audio and I'm here with Gary Dayton from Bryston and we're gonna go through the ins and outs of the BDP-3 software, how to add music from hard drives, how to connect to Tidal. We're gonna try and cover as much as possible in a cohesive manner without getting too complicated, so I'll turn it over to Gary and enjoy.
All right. I'm Gary Dayton with Bryston. The software that we use for all of our BDP digital players, including the legacy BDP-1 and BDP-2, which is no longer produced, it's called Manic Moose. So this Manic Moose software included our user interface design and the back end audio system and the audio playback software that we use to get music going.
Once you get your new BDP-3 or BDP-pi unpacked and set up on the network, the first thing that you need to do is go out and locate it. So using the BDP is as simple as using any web-enabled device, so that can be a computer -- a Windows computer like we're using here, a Mac, iPad, Android, iOS -- you pick.
The way you find your BDP on the network is to go to my.bryston.com, a specialized webpage that we use to look on your network and find any Bryston device. Here we see that we found the BDP-3 on the Moon Audio network, so we can click that link and pull up the dashboard for the BDP-3.
Let's first take a look around the dashboard and get familiar with what's what. Up at the top, there's a persistent transport area, so wherever you are on the BDP you always have the ability to stop, start, skip tracks, and scrub through tracks. If you're in settings, regardless if a nasty track comes on that you don't like, press stop, and if you need to get some music going right away you know press play.
On the top left we've got a few control links: update, clear, consume, eject. Update is your magic button to add new music to your BDP. Whenever you add new music on your external hard drive, your NAS, or however you've got music connected to your BDP, simply click update. It'll rescan any recognized drives and add that new music to your library.
Clear will clear a playlist. Consume is a special function we'll go over once we get into media player, and if you have a Bryston BOT-1 optical drive connected to your BDP you've got an eject, but that will let you spit a disk out. Top right corner you've got media player, and then at the bottom, you've got a group of settings that you can use to to access specific functions.
B radio is a nice feature that lets you access internet radio and playback method lets you choose between MPD, which is the stock music player. Roon Ready -- all BDPs are Roon Ready devices -- share port sync is a way to bounce audio over from an iOS device so the BDP will show up as an Airplay target, and there are a few more settings as well.
Why don't we start with media player and get familiar with how to play music. So this is the media player section of Manic Moose. The media player is how you play music. This is divided up into, again, four sections. You've got the transport controls at the top, you've got a Now Playing list down the left-hand side, this is where your cue shows up. On the right-hand side you have access to your library, and in the middle, this is where you get album art and this tells you what's going on with your currently playing track.
So how are we gonna get some music going? Let's take a look at the library here. You see we've got a drive plugged in via USB called 'Untitled,' so I can click on 'Untitled.' I've got a directory that contains some music. I will play George Benson, so if I want to add the entire George Benson folder I can simply click the plus by it. If I want to clear that, I can clear. If I want to look inside George Benson and see, you know, what tracks we have what albums we have. We can individually add tracks if we like simply by pressing the plus button beside.
Now remember that this interface looks just the same on a Windows computer as it does on iOS or Android. Now, once we've got a playlist stacked up to get it going just simply press play. We'll have album art pop up, you've got information about the track down here at the bottom. This tells you what your bitrate is so this is a flat file.
It's track one of four in our playlist and the sample rate is 96k. It's a 24-bit file, two channels. What if we want to rearrange the playlist? Well, this is easy. We can simply grab a track and move it into another position on the playlist. If I'm not a fan of a track and I want to get rid of it but continue with the rest of the playlist, I can just grab that track number drag it off to the middle section and that goes away.
If I want to save a playlist -- maybe I've stacked up quite a few tracks in a playlist I want to use for a party -- I can simply hit save, give it a title, and it shows up in my playlists. So there's a lot of different ways you can manipulate the queue. The biggest takeaway here is that with the BDP you're not directly playing music out of the library, you're always building playlists. It's only a permanent playlist if you save it, it's temporary if you just stack things up in the queue.
Now there's a function in the BDP that limits the number of songs that you can put here in the queue at any given time and this is to prevent you from thinking the BDP's locked up if you accidentally try and add your entire Drive to a playlist.
That function is down here in BDP settings, music player, daemon settings. Currently, the limit is 300. If I want to add more tracks at a time I can simply change that to 3,000 or something else. Hit save and be good to go. You probably want to keep this, on a BDP3, to under about 10,000 tracks total. On a BDP-pi or an older generation unit I think 5,000 is about as much as it can tolerate at any one given time. But you know, once you've got 5,000 tracks in there, that's a days-long playlist, so you can run a random playlist out of 5,000 tracks and not hear the same thing twice for [a couple months] for a couple of months, yeah.
Okay, so back to Media Player. Let's get a little more familiar with what's going on. So I'm going to stop this track, I'm going to clear the playlist and add something else. So in addition to browsing by file structure, this is how music is arranged on your drive. You can browse by genre, artist, album, album artist, et cetera.
So you've got a lot of different ways to sort. If I want to browse by album you see I get a different entry for every album we've got on the drive, and naturally here we're using a small drive just to make demonstrations nice and quick. But again, just like our first demonstration, we simply have to hit the play button beside any one of these to add music to the queue.
Now a special entry here is playlists you saw that I made a party playlist a few moments ago. If I want to add a playlist I simply go into playlists, add that. Now there's a special case playlist called Audio CD.
Whenever you have a BOT-1, a Bryston BOT-1 connected, you can do three things with it. One: you can play CDs. Two: you can rip CDs. The BOT-1 makes it very easy to rip your CD collection to a hard drive. And three: you can build a playlist from your local library and burn that off to the blank CD.
So let's start with just playing a CD. Clear my current playlist, add audio CD. So this brings up Space Oddity, David Bowie disc we've got inserted. Once the disc is recognized, you'll have an entry right here at the top of the page that lets you listen to that disc. So once the disc is inserted in the BOT-1 it treats it just like any other track. It'll search the internet for album artwork and meta data and will spin right up and play. Once I'm done with the CD, I simply hit clear. Clears the playlist and we're ready to add more music.
So default view is a great way of browsing your music library if you are a text-based thinker, if you've got a well-organized hard drive that has music sorted by album artist and then album. If you like to browse through a list of genres, artists, albums, et cetera, Default View is great.
If you prefer a more graphical view of your music library, use Artist View. So up here in the top right corner we click the icon for Artist View and it takes us to a unique and graphical view for the library. Here down the left-hand side we have a list of all of the artists that are recognized. Click any one artist and it pulls up albums that are on your drive by that artist.
In this case we've clicked George Benson. The BDP will search the MusicBrainz database online to pull down information about George Benson. So you can click on a description, it will give you some details about the artist, you can even link to the artist's homepage or a Wikipedia entry if you want more information about that artist. Close the windows when you're done.
There are different tabs that appear under Artist View. Any time you click on an artist it will search the internet for that information. So albums is the default tab. Here you see we've got Breezin'. Similar artists gives you a list of other artists that you might enjoy if you also enjoy George Benson. You can automatically build radio stations based on that artist. And then as information is pulled down from Tidal we will see any missing releases by that artist and at least the Tidal albums will be generated automatically. So back to the albums tab. If we want to listen to Breezin' we simply have to click the play button by that album. It's automatically added to our playlist and it starts playing back right away.
If we want to listen to an individual track, simply click the track. You know, it's automatically added to the playlist and starts playing. Now you can also click and hold a track to get a few different options on how to manipulate it. If you want to play it now, play now, add it next in your current queue, you can do that, add it to the end of your current queue or if you simply want to play the album from that track on, you can do that. If you want to play the album at random you can shuffle all songs. So as you can see you've got lots of different options from Artist View.
Once you have a playlist or a queue built and you simply want to, you know, play within that queue you can use Song View. Song View just generates a nice table of all of the tracks queued up. The currently playing track has a play symbol beside it, the next track has a letter 'N' with a circle around it, and at any point you can click one of these tracks to get it playing.
Now let's take an opportunity to look at the different settings available on the Bryston BDP. Again, all of these settings are available on all generations of BDP.
The primary difference between BDPs is how fast they are and, in some cases, sound quality. The BDP-3 is our current flagship player. It's not only the fastest but also the best-sounding Bryston digital player that we've created. Going through the settings one by one from left to right at the bottom, we'll start with System. If at any point you need to take a look at your BDP and determine the number of songs in your library or any firmware version information, System is where you get it.
So here you see that with the one hard drive connected we have 114 songs recognized. You know that's approximately nine hours, 10 minutes worth of music. The BDP has been powered on for 16 minutes here, and we've been playing it for about 4 minutes.
So this is nice diagnostic information if you've got any trouble with your BDP and you need to call Moon Audio or call Bryston for technical support you might be asked for some information from the System menu.
Disc Information tells you information about the discs that are currently connected to the BDP. BDP-3s ship with an internal 32-gig solid-state drive that contains the operating system and the music playback software divided into two partitions.
There's a system partition which is read-only it's not corruptible, and there's a user partition where we store settings that you have elected to save and the settings menu of the BDP. Then you see an entry for the disc that's connected. We currently have connected a two-terabyte Western Digital Drive and there's one partition on that disc called Untitled. This has a capacity of 1.9 terabytes, you see at the bottom and we've barely used 1 terabyte on this disk. Here you can do a variety of operations on the disk.
If you install a new disk and you need to format it you can erase. There's a rescue function if you think you have a corrupted disk. You can also verify the integrity in the disc, you know, run a variety of repair functions. If you need to update your library, you have an especially large library, you don't want to rescan many, many terabytes of music, you can update discs individually.
There's also a function to enable a scratch drive so while the BDP scans the internet for album artwork and other information about artists used an artist view at some point if you've got an especially large library we might run out of space on the built-in SSD so you can set any Drive connected by USB as a scratch disk, as an overflow disk for those things. Audio Devices is another setting that's worth getting familiar with.
The BDP can not only output digital audio through its built-in Bryston designed integrated audio device, but if you have a USB DAC connected that will show up in this list as well. The Bryston BDP can output to any one of these devices at a time. If you are having trouble with a USB DAC for instance, you want to go down to audio devices and check and see if that's been properly recognized by the BDP. Now the BDP is designed to be a bit-perfect device whether you like it or not. We don't think it's our place to upsample, oversample, resample, you know, change formats, etc. That also includes not having any kind of volume control built in.
There is an option for a software volume control that you can enable on the BDP which will give you a volume slider that's accessible through media player. If you are compelled to use the software volume control built into the BDP, just know that everything runs at 24-bit and a fixed sample rate, if you decide to use the software volume control. Audiophiles and purists will most likely keep volume control turned off.
You can restart the audio software in an attempt to recognize any newly connected DACs. Any kind of settings can be saved by clicking apply.
Network Interfaces is another good setting to get familiar with. The BDP is originally designed to be connected directly to a network via ethernet cable. If you don't have ethernet available nearby your audio rack or if you don't want to use an ethernet extender, there are some Wi-Fi options available. As of now, the Bryston BDP-3 is available with or without internal Wi-Fi. The BDP-pi, the smaller player, can be used with our external Wi-Fi adapter.
Any network adapters in the BDP are recognized in the Network Interfaces section. This particular sample only has built-in Ethernet so if I want to see settings relative to that Ethernet interface I simply click on the device I can see the IP address assigned, the netmask, if I need to fix a static IP address I can make settings to the IP address netmask and gateway and simply click Save. By default, the BDP uses DHCP to automatically have an IP address signed by your router.
Update firmware is a favorite setting. Bryston has a wonderful reputation of releasing many firmware updates per year on all of our BDP devices. Many brands will advertise the fact that firmware updates are available for their digital players but after a few years the brand will make a device obsolete and no one will support that device with new firmware updates.
Bryston still supports our original BDP-1 that came out in 2009 with firmware updates that are issued today. If you want to update your firmware above what is currently installed, you'll see a notification on the dashboard that says firmware update available. Click update firmware at the bottom and you're greeted with a changelog of all the features that have been added since your last update.
Once you're satisfied that these features or bug fixes are important to you, simply click update and the firmware will be updated. Depending on your internet speed it may take anywhere between a couple of minutes and you know, 30 to 45 minutes to download firmware.
Once the firmware is downloaded the BDP runs some internal checks to verify the integrity of the update package, and then automatically applies that update and reboots the player. MPD - music player daemon - is the built-in audio software in the BDP. This has a variety of options that you can peruse. Most people leave these options alone. By default the BDP-3 uses MPD version 0.19.21
The maximum playlist length affects how many tracks you can currently have in your queue. By default this is 300 to keep you from accidentally adding an entire Drive to the playlist at once and therefore locking up the player. The BDP-3 can support up to around 10,000 tracks in the playlist at any given time. Older players or slower players like the BEP-pi should probably be limited to less than 5,000.
Update at startup is a function that scans hard drives for new content every time the device is rebooted. This is not commonly used. It's much easier to simply click update without having to enable update at startup if you need to add new tracks. MPD Watch is not something that you need to turn on unless asked to do so by Bryston Support. Enable tracking of MPD stats, again this is really only useful for support.
And then Remember MPD Stats - this will remember tracks that are in the playlist even through BDP reboots. If you use Last.fm to keep track of tracks played you can enter your username and password here and BDP will scrub all tracks to Last.fm and keep up with your music listening habits. Once you're satisfied with any changes made to Music Player Daemon, simply click Save.
The BDP is basically a purpose-built computer for dedicated high-resolution audio playback. We have developed an operating system and software suite that is highly stable and usually does not present problems to the user. However, if you have trouble it might be useful for you to look in the system log for any kind of hints of what might be causing that trouble. There are a few different sections to the log the MPD System, Web Server, Samba, and Bryston Front Panel. Primarily, users would be concerned with Web Server, which runs the GUI - the graphical user interface - and MPD which is a log of the the goings-on for the audio software.
So let's have a quick look again. Looking at the MPD log you can see a list of tracks that have been added to the database. At the bottom you can see that we've played some tracks and we don't have any kind of trouble spots to look for. We see the BDP also recognized our Bryston BOT-1 so there's some indications of proper use there.
If you are having trouble with the BDP updating your entire Drive, if it appears to be hanging during update, you can look at MPD log to see if maybe there is a corrupted track or some other sign of trouble in your library that's preventing the BDP from updating it. If you're having problems with the user interface operating correctly you might look in web server and see if there's any kind of errors that are presenting themselves based on activities that you're trying to complete in the BDP. By and large the system log function is not something you're gonna have to use unless you have to contact Bryston Support.
Power users might enjoy a startup script. For those of you that are familiar with Linux, if you need any special functions to happen at boot up, you can enter those startup scripts. So for BDP users that have a NAS in the house - a network attached storage device - you need to know NAS Setup. Any NAS that are already configured will appear in this section. You can click on any of those and update the music database, you can edit the settings for the NAS, you can remove it. Most importantly, you want to add a share.
So once you click Add a Share, the BDP is going to scan your network for any shares, any shared file systems on the network. Those will show up under devices. So here, DCO1. We click on it. SMB, it automatically recognizes that as a as a Windows share. You can enter your username and password your credentials for accessing the NAS. Once you have your credentials entered, simply hit next.
The NAS is now logged in and we can see any available shares. Services is another menu to get familiar with. Here you can access a variety of optional services in the BDP. MPD is the bill ten audio playback software. Unless you're using Roon or UPnP or some other music playback MPD should remain turned on.
Samba server allows any drive that is connected to the BDP via USB to be published on the network so that any other device can access it. That makes it especially useful to move new music from your computer that you've purchased -- maybe from HD tracks, Seven Digital, Acoustic Sounds, or other places -- to the drive connected to your BDP without having to physically move the drive.
USB Mount is a service that monitors any devices that are connected to USB, such as thumb drives, portable hard drives, etc.
Service Mode is a good one. BDP includes this feature called service mode which allows myself or Bryston Technical Support to log directly into your BDP and troubleshoot issues that you might be having. If you call Bryston Service and describe an issue to us we may ask you to turn service mode on and and give us the service ID so that we can log directly into your BDP. So in order to do that, simply click service mode, press the start/stop button. The BDP reaches out to our server online and is assigned a service ID. So when we ask you to turn on service mode we'll ask you for this service ID. Give us that number so we know which BDP to log into. Once you are done, or we are done, simply click start/stop to turn the service off.
Roon is an increasingly popular playback method that allows you to use the same software and plenty of multiple devices around your house. Your Roon Ready, again is a is a bit-perfect software that utilizes individual capabilities of each device on your network. If you want to enable Roon Ready you can either do that from the dashboard with the drop down menu as illustrated before, or simply click Roon Ready here and start/stop.
Roon Ready will start on its own as indicated by On up in the Roon Ready mode. If you need to make any advanced changes to Roon you can click on the advanced button. Roon can only output to a single audio device at a time. That can either be the built-in digital audio card, so the AES/EBU or S/PDIF output, or if you have a USB DAC connected you would want to select that USB DAC instead. If you want to use the volume control within Roon to control the output level you can enable software volume.
If you want to play DSD over PCM you can enable DOP as well. Simply go save your changes and simply go back when you're done. SharePort Sync is a method of sending audio from OS x device or iOS device to your BDP. With SharePort Sync turned on the BDP will show up as an Airplay enabled device on your network. This makes it convenient for you or your friends to play music through Spotify or some other iOS app through your BDP and on downstream to your DAC.
SharePlay is another version of that. Squeeze Slave and Squeeze Lite are Logitech Squeezebox emulators. If you started your digital audio playback journey with a Squeezebox device like many of us did, and you're familiar with that user interface and you want to stick with it, simply enable one of these and the BDP will show up as an output in Logitech media server. The BDP also has some support for UPnP and DLNA. DLNA comes in three functions. You've got a renderer server and a client.
If you have the UPnP server and a client set up somewhere on your network and you want to route audio over that DLNA network to the BDP, simply turn the renderer on. If you want the BDP to publish its library as a DLNA server, you can turn the server on. If you want the BDP to find you PNP or DLNA libraries that exists on your network you can turn on client.
One of the great features about Bryston's Artist View and the BDP is how it gets your local music collection with your Tidal collection. If you have a Tidal account for lossless internet streaming, you can enter your Tidal credentials in Media Player settings.
So that's the sprocket, you know, up in the top right corner. You click that sprocket, go down to Tidal, enter in your username and password. You can set sound quality either as high, which is a 320 kilobit per second mp3, or if you own a BDP-3, chances are you want lossless, so you'll select lossless. Click the Save button once your credentials are entered and your BDP will have access to Tidal.
At that point you can play music directly out of Tidal or you can use artist view to find missing releases in Tidal. So here you see I've clicked on Pink Floyd. We have a copy of Dark Side of the Moon here on the drive. If I want to see what else we're missing by Pink Floyd, I'll hit Missing Releases, the BDP will query MusicBrainz online and then find a large number of albums that we don't have on our local drive.
Now we can tell the difference between albums that are stored on our drive or are being streamed from Tidal by the Tidal logo in the lower right corner of each. To play one of these you can simply click a track to just play a track or press the play button to play the album. The tracks will go into your playlist and it will be indistinguishable from a from a local music playback on your device.
You can even build playlists that include both Tidal tracks as well as local music tracks from your from your own hard drive. Tidal can also be accessed through the Default View on the BDP. Once you open Media Player, click on Default View. You see the list of drives and metadata sorts down the right-hand side. Close to the bottom you'll find Tidal.
If you click on Tidal you have a variety of playlists. What's New, Rising, Moods - it's all familiar to you if you've used Tidal's own interface. Any music that is stored as a favorite will show up under my music and if you want to query Tidal for a specific artist or album or track, simply click search up in the top and enter in your query. So if I want to listen to Cass McCombs, I start typing Cass McCombs at the top. Instantly I see hits under artists.
If I type in an album or if I'm searching for an album I can find any albums that match my query under that category, playlists and tracks as well. So if I want to expand any one of these, just simply click the down arrow. I can pick my chosen search result and add to the playlist to get things going from there.
Bryston offers a product called the BOT-1. The BOT-1 lets you connect our optical drive to any generation BDP and rip CDs, playback CDs, or even burn a playlist to a CD-R. The most common application for BOT-1 is ripping your discs.
If you've got a large CD collection and BDP-3 with connected storage either on a NAS or a local drive, you can use the BOT-1 to rip and organize that music.
To access the ripping application for the BOT-1 from the dashboard, simply click Applications and CD Backup. Once you click CD Backup you're presented with a user interface that gives you all the information that you need to know about the disk that's currently inserted into the BOT-1.
Now, before we get to actually ripping this disc, let's do a quick setup of the BOT-1. By default the BOT-t1 is configured to rip your music in FLAC. The destination is the first disc it finds, so here we've got a disc called Untitled here plugged in by USB. If you want to change that destination we'll use a sub folder. Simply click on the window. You can click on a disc, find the folder that you want to to use as your home base for music, and click done when you're satisfied with the results.
You can build a naming structure, how you want your files named on the disk. This is a typical structure, you can use our default here. We use the album artist slash name of the album slash track number dot track name. This is a very common nomenclature. Unless you already have a specific format that you want to use, using our default is probably the best bet. There's also a separate naming structure for various artists albums, like original motion picture soundtracks, compilations, etc.
We also store a separate image file in each album folder. This field is where you title that album image. By default we use folders so that would generate a folder dot jpg file. You can also use cover.jpg or front.jpg - Whatever you choose be sure it's consistent with Media Player settings so that your album art is properly detected by the BDP. Below that are some advanced options. You can use the built-in RAM in the BDP as a temporary location to hold the raw wav files before they're encoded into your chosen file type. If you want to create an mp3 copy, perhaps to put on a separate drive and plug into your car, you can do that.
If you are anxious and want to speed up the ripping process you can disable the verification process and advanced tagging. If for some reason you have trouble ripping certain discs you might try re-running them again with advanced tagging also disabled. Once you insert a disc into the BOT-1 the BDP recognizes that disc and searches the internet for metadata that matches that disc.
Most of the time this information is pretty accurate, especially with major releases by major artists. If you have discs that are produced by lesser-known artists or are in small quantities you might not always get the right hit. In that case, you can click on the meta window and find other options that match your disc to some degree and click on that disc to have meta data repopulated.
Any of these fields can be edited by hand if you notice a misspelling, for instance in an artist name, you can simply click on the field, rename the artist, any of these options at the top will apply to every track on the disk. The options below for individual tracks can also be edited but each one of these edits is going to apply individually to each track. Last but not least, we want to capture the correct album art for each disc.
You can click on the album art selector. At the top you see the currently recognized album art. Unless you make changes this is the art that will be used once the music is tagged. If it's not quite right or the color is not quite what you're looking for you can pick one of the other images found on the Internet, or you can even enter a custom URL from the internet and enter any URL that ends with jpg or PNG, maybe from a Google image search or some other image source online, and that art will apply to your ripped tracks. Close the panel when you're done.
Once you're satisfied with the way the metadata appears you can simply click back up to execute the backup process. You'll hear your BOT-1 spin up, get an alert in the lower right corner saying initiating CD backup, and then you can follow the progress of your rip on a track per track level by taking note of the percentage read from disc as the BOT-1 rips a CD.
You'll see the status indicated beside each track. Once the track is read from the disk a temporary wav file is generated. The wav file is then encoded into FLAC or your chosen music forma. Once the encoding process is done on that track you'll see a message that says completed. Once the the track is completed it's available to playback or to add to a playlist. Once the disc is done ripping it will automatically be ejected from the BOT-1 and the system will be ready to accept the next disc.