B3 Basics

Getting Started

  • Plug the Wifi dongle into USB B - the Wifi dongle is marked 802.11N
  • Plug in the loudspeaker cables
  • Plug in the AC adaptor then plug in at the mains.
  • Turn on the switch at the back of the B3

 

Important - before you turn off or remove the power - press and hold the stop button on the front panel. That will close any open files and prevent disk corruption.

The Controls

Back This button plays the previous track when playing music. It is used to go back when using the menu and to delete the last character when entering text. Holding this button can be used to exit the menu system.
Play
Stop
Start or stop playing music. Hold this button to stop any lengthy operations - like ripping or USB import. Press and hold prior to turning off the B3.
Next Plays the next track or video when playing. This button is used in some menus to progress to the next step. If you press next when the brennan is idle it will play all your music at random.
Knob The knob adjusts the volume and you can push it to get into the menus and select items.

 

The Menu System

The brennan has a menu system to let you find and play music and videos. The menu is also used for things like setting up Wifi and loading music from USB.

Get into the menu by pushing the volume knob. Turn to select an item. Push again to choose that item.

Explore the menu system to see how it works. Remember the back button will take you back and holding the back button will exit the menu system

You can find a summary of the menus here.

Setting Up Wifi

You don’t need to connect to Wifi to play music and videos but you need Wifi for some functions like internet radio, the web UI, getting the time and transferring music from a computer.

To set up Wifi you will need to know the name of the network you want to attach to - this is called the SSID. You also need the password. This is a string of letters and/or numbers that is often found on a label on your wireless router.


You only have to do this once.

  1. Push the knob to get into the menu
  2. Select Settings and push knob
  3. Select Setup Wifi and push - the brennan will briefly scan for available networks
  4. Select your SSID and push
  5. Enter the password letter by letter. Capitals are available lower down. Push the knob to add a letter. Press back to delete the last letter. Press next when done. You can abandon the procedure without making any changes by holding back.
  6. the brennan will attempt to connect to the network


After the brennan connects it displays what is known as an IP address on the idle screen.

You can also connect the Brennan to your local network using Ethernet. You will need an inexpensive USB to Ethernet adaptor. You can plug that into USB B instead of the Wifi dongle. No password is needed for Ethernet. The Brennan will display the IP address as before.  

How to Rip a CD

  • Press Eject. Put a CD in the drawer. Press Eject again.
  • The Brennan reads the CD table of contents and tries to find album details online at Musicbrainz.

  • Pick the best match and press Next. Then check that the tracks look OK and press Next to start ripping.
  • The display will show the progress - press and hold the stop button to quit.
  • If you press Play instead of Next the Brennan will play the CD or track

Apps

There is a Brennan app for iPhone and Android.

The app turns your mobile phone into a powerful remote control for the Brennan

  • See whats playing
  • Select speakers or Sonos Zone
  • Browse and search for music
  • Find internet radio stations
  • Rip and play CDs
  • Build playlists
  • Get Album Art
  • and more

The phone should be on the same local (Wifi) network as the Brennan and you can control several Brennans with the app.

You can find the app by searching for "brennan" on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Sonos

The Brennan can play through Sonos speakers on the same local network.

The Brennan will automatically find Sonos speakers and you can pick the Speaker (or Zone) from the front panel, the app or the web UI.

You can play different music to different speakers.

The Web UI

The Brennan can be controlled from a web browser on the same local network. The browser can be on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. This is called the Web UI.

You don’t need the web UI for basic playing - but you will need it for several functions like finding radio stations, setting presets, creating Playlists, ripping CDs - you can think of the web UI as a super remote control.

To start the web UI type the IP Address into the address bar of the browser.

Here I typed the IP address of my Brennan "192.168.0.21" into Firefox

You can find a full description of the Web UI here
 

Setting Up a Radio Preset

There are two ways to find an internet radio station on the Web UI - Search by name and
Browse geographically.

Find the vTuner (or internet radio) tab on the Web UI
Type part of the name into the Search panel then click on the search icon.
Or click on a region and drill down until you find a station - back takes you back up.
Station names have a play icon on the left and a menu icon (three dots) on the right
Check its the station you want by playing it then click on the menu icon to assign that station to a preset.


Loading Music from USB from the front Panel

 

  • Insert USB memory or USB hard disk into USB port
  • Select USB Functions -> Browse USB on the main menu
  • Navigate to the folder or file you want to load and press Next
  • Abort loading by holding the play stop button.

NB It is also possible to load from USB using the Web UI.
 

Bluetooth

The Brennan will play music sent from your mobile phone via Bluetooth.

You will need to plug the Bluetooth dongle into a USB port to use Bluetooth. The Bluetooth dongle is usually marked V5.0.

The connection and playback is controlled from the phone. Phone’s vary but the sequence is typically like this.

  1. Open the Bluetooth dialog on the phone and enable Bluetooth
  2. Search for Brennan B3 in available devices
  3. Pair and connect to the Brennan
  4. Play music on your phone

You can reset the Brennan Bluetooth with Settings->Maintenance->Reset Bluetooth.
 

Software Update

Once your Brennan is attached to Wifi you can upgrade to the latest software with Settings->Maintenance->Web Upgrade. The website will give details of any bug fixes or new features in the latest software section
 

Headphones and USB DAC

You can use the Brennan USB port to drive headphones or your amplifier by using a USB DAC.

These range in price from around £5 for a generic dongles - through tens of pounds for higher quality dedicated headphone amps. (Through to thousands of pounds for high end DACs).

Brennan Capacity

The number of tracks that a Brennan can hold depends on the size of disk but also on the kind of compression - mp3, flac, aac or wav (no compression). For mp3 (and aac) it also depends on something called the bitrate. Track lengths vary so manufacturers often assume a three minute average for sake of comparisons.
 

Brennan Capacity in tracks
240G 75,000 37,500 13,500 7500
480G 150,000 75,000 26,000 15,000
2T 170,000 170,000 100,000 62,000

 


USB

The USB ports can be used  for USB devices like USB memory sticks and hard disks, USB keyboards, USB hubs, Wifi and Bluetooth dongles, USB Ethernet adaptors, USB DACs