What’s New with innuOS 2.6
Hello again to everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great start to 2024!
I’m pleased to add another InnSights blog post, this time detailing our new innuOS 2.6.0 update which is available for your system now.
What was originally planned as a 2.5.5 update has expanded in scope and feature set to the point we felt it deserved a greater incremental step up to 2.6.0. This update is a considerable step forward in accessibility and has some much-requested features, of which we will explore in more detail within this InnSights update.
The full changelog can be found here, but the main features we will cover here are:
- Deezer support
- Access to Tidal Max service
- USB drive playback
- Multiple NAS shared folders
- A-Z Index navigation and customisable Music page
- UI adjustments to Now Playing page and volume control
Users will now be able to login with their Deezer Premium account and browse their library and available content.
As illustrated, this includes access to Deezers Flow function, along with the current Charts, New Releases, Mixes, Genres and also your own collection of saved favourites under My Library;
Here you will find everything that you have added to favourites through Deezer. This integration of Deezer updates immediately in real time and does not need synchronizing; whilst using Sense to browse through Deezer content, any music that is saved or added as a favourite will automatically synchronise with your account and also appear in the native Deezer app, and vice versa. This also includes adding tracks to Deezer-based playlists.
Do note that this current version of Deezer implementation does not fully integrate into the overall unifying Sense library in the way that Qobuz and Tidal currently does. This also prohibits mixing playlists together with these services or other sources.
Our service with Tidal is now updated to offer their new Max service, offering HiRes in standard FLAC format. Where the format is usually listed on Sense above the artwork, these albums will have ‘MAX’ listed.
Support for MQA is still present where some albums are only available through that encoder for higher resolution, otherwise the default behaviour will always defer to Max for HiRes when available and additionally be signified with an HD logo as show above.
As shown below, the resolution of your Tidal Max stream will be shown during playback as normal:
USB Drive playback
An often requested feature, we have now introduced the option to connect a USB drive and play music directly from that drive, without a need to import the files first. This feature is available for both ZEN/STATEMENT series and PULSE series.
When connecting a USB drive to your Innuos device, it will now be listed as a source under the main Music page:
The connection of multiple drives is possible, and each drive can be identified by the name/label you may have given to it through your computer (or simply has the factory default name).
Interaction through the USB drive will be on a similar basis to the current Folder browsing view. You will be able to navigate through the various folders and play the entire folders or individual tracks as you wish.
These drives will not, however, fully integrate into the library like files stored within the internal storage of a server or a NAS drive. This means playlists cannot be constructed from these files, nor will they appear in the overall Artists or Albums browsing modes, nor will artist biographies be obtained and so on. This feature is largely aimed for temporary playback, so for example if a friend brings some music with them to try through your system, or if you happen to have a small collection of files for very occasional listening because the vast majority of your time is spent with streaming services. Using an external USB drive as a permanent and primary library solution comes with many comprises, risks and drawbacks and in that scenario would still strongly advise a dedicated music server or alternatively keeping those files on a NAS drive.
Multiple Shared NAS Folders
The NAS share feature has been reworked for 2.6.0, and has received a significant optimisation in terms of scanning speed meaning that the system will be dramatically more rapid when scanning or updating the contents of a new or existing NAS drive. It also means playback from these sources will be more responsive.
Further to this, we have now expanded the capacity of how many shared folders can be added and can now accept multiple additions (previously limited to one). This can of course be several different NAS drives completely, but this is also useful for those who have divided their music into different categorised folders within a single NAS drive based on their own criteria, such as by resolution or format. It also allows for more localised rescanning which may be more efficient if adding more music to just one select folder, rather than doing a complete rescan of the entire library.
A-Z Navigation Index & Customisable Music Page
There has also been a range of usability changes brought in with 2.6.0. One of these is an A-Z slider that you will now find on the right-hand side of your screen for much more rapid navigation through your list of Albums and Artists – here’s a little clip of that in action.
As the list of supported streaming services grows, and now with the addition of the USB drives also being listed, the Music page can potentially become quite long. Therefore, we have updated it so that it can be configurable similar to the widgets are on the Home page. This means Streaming Service shortcuts can be brought to the top of the page, or hidden altogether! Similarly, the main library categories can now be trimmed down to only show the modes you want. These changes allow you to make a more personalised and leaner Music page that can be re-prioritised to your tastes.
Here a very quick video showing the process of trimming down the Music page a little more to my taste:
Now Playing UI Update
The Now Playing page has now been slightly restructured, with some new options added to the bottom bar to make things easier on smartphones. An expandable button will now given access to some of the shortcuts used such as skipping track, adding to playlist, favourite etc which would otherwise greatly clutter the minimised Now Playing bar, or previously would require you to expand Now Playing to full screen.
Here you will also find that the volume control slider is now complemented with + and – minus buttons for those needing a more precise adjustment. Again, here is a short clip showing this new layout on smartphone:
Meanwhile, iPad users will also find a reworked layout on the Now Playing page:
And everything else…
We’re also very pleased to share that we have begun to include more language options, so we can now offer the interface in French, German, Simplified and Traditional Chinese languages.
Another modification to the player engine means floating point 32bit WAV files are fully supported, along with support for WAV and AIFF above 384khz. A simplification of the signal path should yield an improvement in sound quality to these files.
For those of you with an active Qobuz account connected, do note that during the update process a Resync of your account will occur, so some new music might appear in your library after the update.
There are more items covered in the changelog, but work now continues on the next software update which should again promise to have some great features included.
In the meantime, we aim to have a Community Site up and running soon where all Innuos-related can be discussed, along with a useful public arena for troubleshooting and tips & tricks. We will also soon be returning to numerous audioshows around the world, so make sure to come and say hello!