BRIO by OraStream: Native Hi-Res Streaming

image credit: OraStream

From the press release:

Singapore (Newswire) April 12th, 2017 – OraStream Private Limited launches BRIO by OraStream ("BRIO"), a next-generation consumer music streaming server.

BRIO is a novel personal music server for consumers to stream music at native resolution. It lets users stream 16 bit/44kHz up to 24 bit/192kHz resolution audio, which delivers all the digital information to bring true musical reproduction.

Did I hear someone ask for hi-res without the "special sauce" (see: Neil Young back in his Pono days)?

We first met OraStream and their patented quality-adaptive streaming technology way back in 2011 (Streaming 24/96 over the Internet. Interested?). Quality-adaptive means that Brio will throttle the streaming bit rate to 'fit' your current pipe and device in use.

Here are the current plan offerings which should help to explain Brio better:

  1. Standard plan is free of charge. It turns desktop PCs into personal music servers which allow consumers to access music stored in their PCs remotely at native resolution, using a web browser on another PC. It also gives consumers access to connected streaming services.
  2. Mobile plan costs $15 per year. It allows consumers to use an iOS and Android app to access the PC server and connected streaming services using Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE cellular networks.
  3. Cloud plan costs $150 per year. It allows consumers to upload up to 1,000 GB of music files to cloud storage and stream the music from a cloud-server (rather than relying on your PC server). It also includes all the Standard and Mobile Plan features.
image credit: OraStream

Just in case you missed our first tip of the hat to the Neil Young/OraStram connection, here's one more pull quote from the Brio press release:

Celebrated singer-songwriter Neil Young, who has passionately pursued the goal of musical fidelity for many years, says: "OraStream’s technology delivers the best fidelity one would ever hear with digital music streaming today. As bandwidth increases, the music will increase in quality to the highest level possible, subject only to the quality of the original music source."
Shots fired across the starboard bow, Captain MQA!

For more information, visit www.orastream.com/brio

COMMENTS
AllanMarcus's picture

This doesn't appear to compete is any way with MQA, unless I missed something. This looks to compete with Roon, Plex (and Plex Cloud), and JRiver.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
If you read the linked article, Neil Young/Pono has been talking about offering a hi-res streaming service and there are 'hints' he's been talking to OraStream. If we keep in mind the fact that Pono was originally working with Meridian on the Pono Player, before going with Ayre, there's history to suggest that Young's comment quoted in this Brio press release is a slight aimed at MQA.
orastream's picture

Hi Michael

Thanks for the post.

I would like to share this link to a product brief kindly contributed by a BRIO beta-user: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30922-brio-by-orastream/...

As stated in the newswire release, OraStream will also power Xstream, Neil Young's streaming music service.

Doug Adams's picture

Glad to see Neil Young still fighting for hi res sound.

I haven't streamed. The OraStream diagram is confusing. It seems to show us streaming back to them? Thought streaming was a 1 way street?

Any way, good luck to OraStream, Brio, Neil Young, Xstream, and Pono.

bobflood's picture

If the market for this product is those with a large digital library who want to stream it to themselves, I don't think that is a large enough group to make this a profitable enterprise.

germay0653's picture

Competition. It's a good thing to have!

mav52's picture

Well not keeping my fingers crossed for this one. Its takes lots of money to build a catalog and PONO didn't shake up the world it kind of slowly went away.

Brown Sound's picture

I use mobile streaming everyday for the drive to and from work. Other than my home internet connection and my phone service, it is a free venture. Currently, I'm using Bubble Server and foobar2000 on the home media server with a free NO IP account for a static IP. Then I use Bubble again on my phone. It works great and I have access to my entire library.
I did experiment with in home streaming and I found it a bit clumsy, so I just map to the share on the media server from my mini PC in the audio rack next to the DAC. Works awesome for me.
I agree with the above, I don't see this being very profitable enterprise, unless of course you find a lot rich and lazy folks...mmmm, hold on... ;-)

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I do not think you have to be either rich, or lazy, to afford to pay $15 a year for this service.

You may be someone who does not enjoy setting up "Bubble Server and foobar2000 on the home media server with a free NO IP account for a static IP. Then I use Bubble again on my phone" or someone with better things to do ;-)

Brown Sound's picture

Sorry for the drama there, lol. I do see your point, some folks just do not want to mess with all of the nuts and bolts of servers and networks. For those people, this would be an awesome product. As for myself, I still cringe when my $20 Tidal bill rolls around (which I love by the way, thank you.) I keep forgetting that computer audio is morphing into dedicated network players / streamers. When the motherboard goes on my server and I shift RAID1 array into a NAS, I'll be another step closer, I guess. Sorry, old IT guys love to tinker. Have a great weekend!

orastream's picture

No arguing about being a profitable enterprise but I guess BRIO isn't as much about enabling mobile access to a personal music library - google cloud does that for free. BRIO is more about ensuring good (improved) QoS when streaming personal music files that are 16/44 up to 24/192 resolution. I'm curious to know if you have any QoS issues streaming your 16-bit or 24-bit FLAC files to your phone or a PC at another location. Thank you.

bobflood's picture

I hope this is just the first step to a full on "best of all the rest" streaming service with a huge and broad library of music and Neil's philosophy of bring the best there is available to the customer.

Good luck and keep pressing on.

Bob

orastream's picture

Thank you, Bob.

BRIO is our way to make quality-adaptive streaming accessible to music lovers directly. It isn't so important that it needs to be something that everyone wants - it's out there for the ones who need.

Building BRIO to operate as a personal integrated audio hub (with its associated music library/player for local files and connected music services) is just how we see the use-case for the latter (music lovers).

Kind regards
Frankie

bobflood's picture

Sent you a PM.

Brown Sound's picture

Okay, now that I'm not at work and have had some decent sleep, I'll try to answer your questions. Firstly, I'd like to apologize for jumping to conclusions about your product. As stated earlier, I was almost at the end of my third shift job (shiny silver disc plant, btw).
After I finally researched the product, it sounds like a very cool process for maintaining higher resolution content in it's native form. I definitely plan on trying the free plan for PC to PC (off network) streaming. As for local streaming, I don't think so. I have tried in network streaming several times and the results could be a bit spotty, sometimes there were connectivity issues other times buffering issues, plus gapless was a problem. So for local playing, I will stick to just linking to the music directory share on the server, it is clean and simple, and as far as foobar2000 is concerned it is just another HDD.
Now for the mobile aspect, really $15 per year is not a lot to ask, so sorry for the rich comment. As stated, I currently use Bubble Server on my Android phone to stream from my at home media server, it is not perfect but works fine for me. I have it setup to transcode everything above MP3 192kHz to that level. That seems like a good balance for sound quality and cell usage. I have tried hi-res in the car, with the Onkyo app and my iFi iDSD Nano DAC. While I thought this very cool and sounded awesome, it seems like a bit of overkill for my crosstown daily commute. If I was just sitting in my car and listening, sure thing! But if I'm actually focusing on driving plus have all of the associated sounds, hi-res is a waste. It is kind of like listening to hi-res through a pair $4 Gummi earbuds, just my opinion, of course. Now, if you have the ability and place for dedicated mobile listening with really good buds or cans (i.e. bus, subway, coffee shop or the library), go for it, pay the man. I just do not have that need, it is either home or the car for me. Oh, I almost forgot, for this hi-res mobile streaming, an outboard DAC will required to interface with your mobile app/player, correct?
As I as said earlier, sorry for busting your chops about this, but I get a little sensitive about the rising costs of computer audio. I got into this subset of the audiophilia hobby some twenty years for the tweaking and the cost. But now it is starting to slowly get pricier and pricier. Have a great weekend and I hope these answers help.

orastream's picture

All computer audio users will already have a music library/player either in software, such as JRiver Media Centre, Foobar or ROON, or in hardware.

BRIO don't add more in terms of those functionality (other than it being free-to-use). Hence, for users that find little utility in access or remote control of the music library at full native resolution (from another location and audio device), there is less of a use case for BRIO.

BRIO does not stream locally; it playbacks locally as FooBar, JRiver audio players do.

Doug Adams's picture

There were 4 Neil Young albums on Brio last night. Free listening. I didn't get a chance to listen. Others did and said the OraStream/Brio sounded nice. Interesting that Neil's new service is named Xstream, but the Pono name was used last night.

Hope this makes money. The more hi res choices customers have, the better for everyone.

orastream's picture

Thanks for the note, Doug.

We're sorry we had to take down the web app for a mobile streaming app that demonstrates how Xstream provides the highest quality audio vis-a-vis current streaming systems under the same conditions.

http://www.orastream.com/pono/demo.html

For any question on Xstream, please check in with Phil Baker (PonoMusic).

R1200CL's picture

Search Snowman Gwiazdozbior it streams 24/96. Not MQA.

(Probably a glitch from Tidal).

R1200CL's picture

I think it's only a matter of time before Roon will offer you to stream your library from the cloud, as an option to your local server.

Actually I think there is nothing technically stopping us from having the whole Roon service in the cloud.

orastream's picture

While BRIO do offer a cloud-service, it's main benefit is its ability to stream and listen to one's own files while on the go/away from home -- with OraStream/BRIO adaptive streaming server delivering the same native bit rates as the PCM music files without transcoding nor downsampling (except for DSD files).

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