Hi all from Switzerland This is my first post I tried to read through most of the threads but I’m not sure if this topic was already treated. So, sorry if this turns out to be a double post My problem is, that eLyric crashes after playing one song. It’s virtually impossible to have a sequence of songs played through the Bridge. Since I never really got to work the Bridge properly when I bought my PWD Mk.II some months ago, I switched to USB connection and play my Lossless songs now from a MacBook Pro. Quite embarassing when you have all your music on a big iMac and need to transfer to a Laptop.
And I’m pretty sure that the Bridge would provied better quality than USB connection So my question is: Has there been any fix for this in the last few months? What do the Mac users currently recommend? Thank you for your help! Welcome to the forum Arcus7. There are still some folks who are successfully using eLyric but they are an increasingly small minority as eLyric is no longer being developed or supported. I have an early 2009 Mac Mini sitting in my rack.
I primarily use JRiver 19 Mac connected by USB but it also works with the Bridge (you set up separate players for USB and the Bridge and can switch back and forth). You will not get gapless play with the Bridge using JRiver (the Bridge 2, due out in the next few months, I hope, should address the gapless issue). You can also use iTunes with BitPerect, Audirvana Plus, Pure Music, etc. I couldn’t say which of those programs work with the Bridge.
OS X Audio Players: Amarra, Audirvana, Pure Music, Fidelia, Decibel, and BitPerfect. Sometime in 2011 I began thinking about the possibility of doing a review on high quality audio players for the Mac OS X operating system. INTERACT FORUM > More > Old Versions > JRiver Media Center 21 for Mac > MC 21 vs Audirvana 2.2. I have A+ 2.2.5 and just bought JRiver 21 for mac. There is a difference in sound for sure. I bought JRiver because A+ always skip or cannot connect correctly with my DAC.
Minimserver is another option and it is free (and multi-platform). It does work with the Bridge as I recall. When I want to use the Bridge I generally use a PC running foobar2000, which does gapless with the right plug-ins. I know that doesn’t help a Mac user. Hopefully others will chime in with what works for them on a Mac with the Bridge. Maybe even an eLyric user or two.
Thank you guys, for your replies. I’m especially wondering, what Player Software anyone uses to administer and play the songs from Mac - Bridge. When I’m playing the songs via USB from my laptop, I use iTunes & Puremusic. But I had the impression that the connection via LAN-Cable & Bridge hat the better sound quality, though I’m using a pretty decent Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB cable. Just embarassing, that the connection iMac - Bridge was never well established and almost always crashed I mean it can’t be that you spent several hundred bucks for network card, that never properly works! Looking forward to get more inputs from other Mac users. I’m using a dedicated Mac mini with only JRiver MC19 running.
My audio files are stored locally on the Mac mini (SSD) and a Synology NAS. The mac mini shuts down every night at 2.00 AM and boots up at 9.00 AM. At boot up it auto-connects with the NAS. I’m only using the Bridge and this setup (hardwired and fixed ip-addresses) has proven to be a very stable system.
The only 2 issues I have are: 1. No gapless and 2. Ticks and pops when changing samplerate. When I come home from work, I just select the music via JRemote on the iPad and the music plays. Arcus7 said Okay, since rogerdn and Wybe seem to achieve good results with JRiver, I might give it a try.
Thanks for your suggestions! But the matter hasn’t been successfully addressed/resolved so far by PS Audio, am I right? Before buying a Bridge 2 or something like that, I’ll PSA have confirme me in written, that it will work flawlessly with Mac, this time To make sure you understand, what I said was these players will run on the Bridge but, like me and many others, there probably will be disconnects with the Bridge. In my experience these are not player related (except for JRiver which crashed a lot but could be incompatibility with my 10.6.8 OS) because they connect well via USB. The Bridge disconnects often for me when playing thru my Synology with eLyric and other iPad controllers and must be reset, which usually works for awhile.
The Bridge is a frustrating beast; it works perfectly for some, not at all for a few, imperfectly for many. The usual explanation from PSA is that the variations are due to network issues in your house. This is probably true but not always a lot of help; it’s also probably true that the Bridge was under-engineered in regard to maintaining a stable connection. If you want to spend time working on your network, it’s entirely possible that you can get the Bridge to work. I’ve had success but I know some have tried and haven’t.
It’s your call. There’s a lot of advice here if you want to work on it.
I would say the Bridge works OK for me 95-97% of the time. I can go several days without problems, then it will decide to disconnect for some reason, sometimes a couple of times in a row.
One very useful trick I learned from someone here: if you are using a tablet to control your music, you can open a browser window and log in to the Bridge web page and click “reset UPNP server.” This almost always restores the Bridge for me; I basically never have to reboot from the back panel. But some people do. Bridge II will certainly fix the gapless issue. Those who, like me, prefer the Bridge to USB are hoping it will offer more robust connectivity, but we’ll have to see. Do note that PSA usually gives generous trade-in allowances, so if Bridge II works out well you can probably recoup some of your investment in Bridge I.
I’m one who has had great success with the bridge. It did take some monkeying around with my network. Yes, it was my network.
At this point, the bridge and Jriver is rock solid stable. Once in a while I have to reset the UPnP server but it’s simple from the bridge web page. I look at the bridge, Jriver, and my PWD MKII as the greatest thing I have ever bought in HiFi. I love the freedom to categorize music the way I want.
And the set up sounds fantastic. Upgrading to the DS soon and hope things get even better. Will definitely upgrade to the new bridge when it comes out (easy gapless is still a dream I have).
Jriver Vs Audirvana Vs Amarra
I use the windows based Jriver (sorry if my post was misleading). However, I use an AirPort Extreme (includes three Gigabit Ethernet LAN Ports) to connect everything. In my case, the AirPort Extreme made the network just work. In my case, it’s a little more complex, but in essence, my computer (older and not very powerful Dell laptop) and Bridge are hardwired to the LAN ports of the Airport Extreme. It is a very easy set up assuming you can run the Category 5e or 6 wires to each of the devices (airport extreme, computer, and bridge). I use JRemote as the controller: iPhone and iPad. Setting up JRiver is somewhat complicated but I’m pretty sure there are some good posts on this site to guide you.
Good luck to you. In my case, the effort was well worth it.
Arcus7 said Do I have to connect it directly to the iMac where I have my songs stored or through the Router, which requires two LAN cables, if I'm not wrong. Need to get a USB USB cable first to directly connect my laptop to the brigde.
I only have Micro USB USB cables at home The Bridge is ethernet (what you are calling LAN) only, not USB. It is possible to connect a computer directly to the Bridge, but this requires a special kind of cable (called a crossover cable) and is not the usual setup. What amsco15 described is more typical and easier to manage (usually).
Just to give you one more example: a cable runs from the router in my cellar to the music room. There it connects to an Apple Airport Extreme that links my Synology NAS, where my music is stored, the Bridge, and a PC.
Sometime in 2011 I began thinking about the possibility of doing a review on high quality audio players for the Mac OS X operating system. Even though Windows users still represent a big part of Headfonia readers, I choose to focus on OS X for now because it’s easier to do as I use Mac myself, but also because for most developers, OS X seems to be the platform of choice when it comes to high quality audio playback. The last few months, I’ve tried and tested the majority of available audio players for OS X. In total, I’ve tested a total of nine players: three from Sonic Studio (Amarra, MINI, and Junior), Audirvana and Audirvana+, Pure Music, Fidelia, Decibel, and BitPerfect.
Comparative reviews are always difficult to do, especially when you have more than five different products in one article. After I started working on this article, I realized that it’s quite a crazy project to take on, but I realize that if I only did a comparative of three different products then it’s only a matter of time before someone come and ask “how does this compare to that?”. Many of these players offer such a rich level of control and customization, and it is beyond the scope of this review to try to cover every single function offered by each player. I realize that despite clocking in over 7,000 words, the article is far from perfect, but it’s been a crazy few months keep so finally I decide to publish this article and get on with working on more normal reviews. Anyway I hope you guys will find this to be helpful. There are a lot of things I missed in terms of covering each player in detail, but if you’d post it on the comments section I will try to fill them in. I’ll start with the table of contents for those of you who want to skip a section or two.
Table of Contents. General Facts About Audio Players –. The Sonic Studio Players –. Audirvana Free and Audirvana Plus –. Pure Music –. BitPerfect –. Decibel –.
Fidelia –. Common Settings Parameters –.
Classification, Final Thoughts –. Appendix: The Concept Of Neutrality – General Facts About Audio Players I have had the chance to use these players with some very high end equipment and indeed the improvements I get from these players are good enough to warrant the purchase.
True to the “garbage-in garbage-out” principle, the app you choose for music playback represents an important part of the “source”. Any distortion created at this level is going to be passed on to the subsequent components on the system, and so it’s very important to get things right. Of course the whole “Is it worth the money?” question is going to be the first thing people ask. One thing I need to state before going to the reviews is that the sonic improvements that you’ll get from these audio players are very subtle. Undoubtedly the hardware quality is more important than the software, so a $300 DAC is still going to be better than a typical $100 DAC despite the player used on the computer.
This is why the pricing of the players is going to be a big part of the decision. For me, whenever I listen to a high end system, either for personal listening or for a review, I simply can’t go back to using standard Itunes. It’s like having used bad quality gasoline for your.
However, when I am playing music on my Fiio E17 desktop system, reviewing some $100 headphone, I probably won’t be so critical of what player I’m using, though again I still like to use BitPerfect for those occasions. Another aspect that you need to realize is that the quality of the recording is always the most important aspect of any Hi-Fi system. Therefore a good recording stored as an MP3 and played in Itunes would still sound better than a 500 Megabytes, 24/384 WAV file of a crappy recording played in any of these audiophile players. The reality is that in every genre you’re bound to find more bad recordings than good ones, so it’s a good idea to know where in the quality scale most of your music stands. In fact, until you’ve learned to distinguish a good recording quality from a bad, I would advise against spending big money for a high quality audio player. Some of the functions provided by these players yield bigger improvements (iZotope over Apple CoreAudio upsampling, device hog mode), but some others like dither settings are less so (to be frank I didn’t spend too much time experimenting with dither settings as I find their effects to be extremely subtle to my ears). Please also note that the same function may be worded differently on different players, but in essence they do the same thing (i.e device hog mode, exclusive access mode are essentially the same thing).
With some of the players, the additional functions you get are so good that they justify having the application for those functions alone, apart from the sound quality aspect (though you still need to consider if it’s worth to pay the price just to have those functions). For instance, if money were no object, I would get Fidelia with the FHX add-on just so I can have its crossfeed controls, or the Amarra player just for the brilliantly executed EQ controls.
Itunes Integration Some people don’t like using Itunes at all, while others have all of their music organized on Itunes. While most of the players can work either as a stand-alone or paired with Itunes, the way the interface is designed makes some players more naturally inclined to be used with Itunes, or vica versa. Take a guess? Take 6 guys and ask them to draw a simple mountain.
How’ll the drawings look? What I’m saying is, I don’t know how each of the designers optimized the data transfer path.
I know that they’re all trying to minimize jitter. But clearly they all wrote their own line of software, and the different approaches would be one possible explanation for the different sound. Again, I never thought that an audio player could have a sound signature.
I’ve always been an iTunes user and I thought that was fine. Until I start comparing these different players. I think what he is trying to say is that he doesn’t see how a player that is bit-perfect can deviate from neutral, as timing only becomes an issue once the signal is clocked, the data whooshing around the PC’s innards being constantly buffered until it reaches the audio interface. The arguments I’ve seen to explain this inconsistency mainly make reference to effects on the power supply, which don’t really make much sense with reference to the design of PC power distribution and the ATX12V spec.
I’m not trying to stamp on any parades, but I really don’t see how these can work. Surely when the mechanisms involved are so exotic some of the companies making large sums out of this (look at the price of Amarra!) can actually produce some measurements to show the jitter reduction capabilities of their software with a modern PC? From my point of view, I think we’re all looking at this from a simplistic point of view. For instance, when you say “timing only becomes an issue once the signal is clocked, the data whooshing around the PC’s innards being constantly buffered until it reaches the audio interface.” I mean, we don’t make a living designing Operating Systems, and we have no idea what’s happening behind the pretty GUI.
I find that from my point of view, the easiest thing is to do is to just listen to them, and that’s what I shared on this article. From my perspective, we really.should. be asking “How?” and other sorts of questions: when everything is accepted at face value you end up like The Absolute Sound, which recently insisted that two completely identical files, played under identical conditions, sound different Here is the slightly more technical searching question-y bit: Suggested mechanism of audibility: Direct effect of software on jitter (ie, not the power supply). My previous statement was perhaps overly simplified, so here’s a longer example.
Consider some uncompressed audio data, which your hard drive has just read into its internal buffer (assuming it’s uncompressed simply for the simplicity of the example rather than because it’s meaningful in terms of SQ). There isn’t any timing information as such: it’s just sequential data. I’ve oversimplified the data composition: it’s put into frames with control information, which have data removed from them, encoded and combined with control characters for transmission over the SATA interface, but the bottom line is that it’s ultimately just sequential data, one sample following another. Now, we could trace the passage of this data all over the computer, round the Northbridge and Southbridge, but luckily it isn’t important. When the data comes to the point where it has to leave the computer, whether it’s the audio interface or the USB interface, you’ll never guess what you’ll find it inyup, a buffer.
In this buffer, you will find, in some form or another, the audio samples. Again, there’s no timing information as such (other than embedded information about the sample rate): the data is just in order. If that data is the same, it doesn’t matter how it’s got there, it’s just sitting in memory, being the same. The audio interface or USB interface sees exactly the same data, assuming a bit-perfect player: a direct effect upon jitter via this mechanism is not merely unlikely, but completely impossible. Suggested Mechanism 2: Effects on the PSU. As far as I’m aware, this is the only other suggested mechanism whereby audible effects are produced.
The problem I have with it is one of plausibility. Playing music doesn’t exactly make onerous demands on either cheap computers, and it stretches credulity to breaking point to suggest that upon doing so all the power rails droop and become significantly more noisy: these things are built to reasonably standardized and relatively tough specs. If this was the case, it would be relatively easy to measure ripple and the like on the power supply rails for some of the companies selling these. Even if there is an effect on the power supply rails, this completely ignores the local regulators employed on the interfaces themselves. It would surely be the intrinsic noise and ripple of those regulators that would dominate any measurements of the power reaching the more critical components? As I said, I’m not trying to rain on any parades, but a culture of “who cares?” when it comes to how this all works is not and cannot be a good thing. Except that the reason for “who cares?” is that we may not know the actual reason for many years.
In the past, there have been plenty of things that had noticeable effects, but the reason was not yet known. But it is senseless to suggest that we should all wait years to find out “why” before making our next purchase decision. BTW, your jitter discussion avoids the inconvenient fact that those buffers get full. Aside from that, this is similar to the 1980’s “bits are bits” discussion, and in both cases, mistakenly assuming that consumer equipment perfectly achieve their specs, rather than merely coming “close enough to work most of the time”.
My jitter discussion does not “ignore” that: buffers getting full has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on jitter. I’m not “assuming” anything either: bit perfection is not something that is difficult to achieve.
My point is that bit-perfect players (and if you’re suggesting something like Foobar is not bit-perfect the developers would like a chat) must, by neccessity, deliver the same data to the soundcard’s hardware buffer. If this was not the case computers would be unable to function in even a vaguely reliable and predictable way: they wouldn’t really function at all. This leaves the only mechanism whereby differences can be caused as one of the power supply, which seems very unlikely. I think it is reasonable that companies selling things utilising unlikely mechanisms provide some modicum of proof that their stuff actually does what it says on the tin. I also take issue with the idea that audiophiles heard issues in the past before science caught up. I can’t think of any recent examplesfrom jitter to feedback, the idea that audiophiles heard it before it was understood is more a myth than reality.
I tried the demo of Amarra 2.4 and found it a little buggy indeed. Adding a song in the playlist make the listening song to lag half a second, the control of the windows is odd, Amarra doesn’t respond for few seconds when clicking on it to move the main window, exiting the program clear the playlist, etc Tried Audirvana + also and instantly understood what you said about Amarra black background.
The sound of Audirvana is different, more aerial and still a bit more crisp, but a little less detailed. Yet the program works like a charm.
So it’s Audirvana for me. Well still looking for one with playlist management and I would be in paradise. Tested with Audinst HUD-mx1 and (bad) Koss UR-40 (I really want to change those). Hmmm, I’ll get the only free one (Audirvana free) and give it a shot.
Now just being a curious soul, I do wonder how audio players can possibly have different sound sigs. I’m not saying they don’t as obviously Mike’s able to tell them apart.
But does having different sigs imply that they all essentially apply different EQs to the music? In a perfect world, (yeah, I know) all the different players do should be opening up the same audio file and sending the same bit-coded music digitally to the same DAC/amp/headphones. Honestly though, I tend to believe that a good player should be truthful (neutral) to the music file that it opens and only offer the options of EQing your music as you like, instead of imposing some sort of EQ on you without asking whether you’d want it or not. If one player is grainy and the other is smooth, that is not part of an EQ since an EQ alters the frequency response and grain is not part of a frequency response. Or if one player has a deeper soundstage, or a blacker background, that is also not a part of an EQ process.
Audirvana Plus For Mac
I think we all can imagine “neutrality” as a relatively easy concept in the realm of ideas. However, when we move to the real world, it’s very hard to determine what true neutrality is. But the confusion here, as with most people who’ve asked the same question over and over again, is simply the fact that having a character implies (wrongly) that they have applied some sort of an EQ. I hope that makes sense. Mike – Before you do a Windows test, please contact me – I have been down this path on the Windows side, and can suggest a few things. For example, the best sounding Windows player (in my estimation, and in the estimation of a majority of people who have auditioned them all) is “cPlay”, a free player written by a wealthy audiophile (hence the “free” aspect) who is known only as “cics” because his actual identity is political (and thus would distract from discussion of music and audio). Unfortunately, he was not interested in User Interface aspects, so using the player requires deliberate manual action (in the same way as playing a CD does, as opposed to listening to radio).
So it is missing some of the features even found in relatively spartan software like foobar, which is one reason that cPlay is rather obscure. Another reason is that cPlay is directly associated with cics’ Dedicated Audio PC project, which has lots of audiophile vs skeptic controversy associated with it. Despite all of that, cPlay’s minimalist software coding makes for better sound quality, and it has inspired most of the recent audiophile music player software for Windows (of which “jPlay” is possibly the best non-free player, although I have not heard all the non-free players). Some people have written free accessory software programs for cPlay (I myself wrote a Batch file that makes it simpler to use).
Lastly, it is worth noting that many of us agree that the original 0.8.3 version of foobar sounds better than the subsequent ones based on the major 0.9 rewrite. However, since the foobar author is a skeptic (a “sound quality denier”), then there is zero support or changes possible for that 0.8.3 version. By the way, Show Biz people use Macs for two reasons – 1) It includes a lot of creative people whose technical expertise does not extend beyond their profession, and thus does not include any computer tech, and 2) Back in the 1980s, Apple made a point of focusing on “creative” tasks, including writing, art and music, and so those are the three areas where Macs always had good software ahead of Windows.
Audirvana For Windows
So, creative people flocked to Apple years ago. You are missing the point. A “rebuttal” is not the same word as “proof”. The point is that it is a waste of time to start over on a 10,000 post discussion that has already occurred (with very dedicated people on both sides of the argument). It’s also a waste of time – on any Forum – to start a NEW “creation vs evolution” thread, or a NEW “warming vs denier” thread or a NEW “conservative vs liberal” thread. As someone has already said, Headfonia is entirely based on the method of listening and then changing only one thing, and listening again, and then reporting on what you heard.
A “sound quality denier” would have no interest in any such report, so it is pointless to read this site. You may have noticed that I have been reasonably careful in not attacking everything as wrong, merely stating that I am skeptical. As I said earlier, I believe the method of simply listening for differences can co-exist with some degree of skepticism when it comes to the causes of these differences.
Accepting everything you hear “as-is” with no real thought as to what you are hearing cannot be a healthy attitude, IMHO. If you are saying that.that. is the avowed attitude of the site, then perhaps I am wasting my time.
First, I cannot speak for the “avowed attitude of the site”, just for my perception of what Mike and L have said. The site does have a statement on this issue at: From my own perspective, I am a professional software engineer and my diploma is in audio engineering. My years of experience in those things make me more skeptical of “measurements” and “software” than the average person who only gets a “wow” feeling about technology from using their smartphone. “Measurements” and “software” have just as much a human “bias” as listening tests.
Actually, it is somewhat a non sequitar – it is assuming that your reason for Skepticism is the same as the legion of O2 fans who berated Mike for daring to have a subjective opinion that varied from the measurements, so I was more talking to them, without wanting them to come back and cause more noise again, lol. But I thought of an easy answer for your actual question. Your claim that there is something wrong with an observation for which there is no scientific explanation YET means that: When several hundred years ago, someone looked at a tree and said “The leaves are green”, you would have suddenly appeared in your time machine and said “Sir, you are mistaken and full of bias!
Because when you spoke just now, no one knew about chlorophyll and the mechanisms that make a leaf green. Therefore, it is invalid for you to say that the leaf is green – since no one at the time knew any mechanism that made it green.” So there is your example of a sense perception that later was explained by science.
Anything that Mike and L hear while wearing a headphone is a sense perception. It doesn’t have to have a scientific explanation to be an accurate sense perception. Having used computers from the HP-65 through the iPad and most everything in between, I do understand bit perfect, and the ability of modern computers to copy terabytes of data without any resulting error in the target files is very gratifying. But of course, errors happen behind the scenes and the inner algorithms reread automatically to correct the errors. Now in the case of playing CD’s -vs- digital tracks on the computer, I’ll take the computer any day because the CD errors that happen in real time can be heard, whereas the ripped tracks have been error corrected, and real-time errors don’t matter unless they can’t be corrected (rarely a problem). But while data read errors probably don’t happen often enough to worry about with software players, I find it very difficult to believe that modern PC CPU’s and their I/O processors are unaffected in playing a music track perfectly with perfect timing. I’m not talking about jitter (I don’t think so anyway) – just normal playback.
I can watch a cursor having irregular movements on the screen when I’m not touching anything and when the computer is idle. I am certain the things that affect that cursor are affecting music playback, despite the best efforts to buffer out the interruptions. One thing you could do to improve playback on a PC is shut off all network connections, then get into the O/S and shut off all administrative processes etc. And eliminate any other background processes. Or use DOS on a standalone PC without Windows or any Windows stub running, and no network connected.
Thanks for the great article! I am using K550s with the E17 and BitPerfect with my iTunes library (the best setup under 500$, IMHO), but I have one small problem. The E17 doesn’t appear to have 88.2 support (at least according to BitPerfect’s analysis), so it forces me to upsample my redbook files to 96 instead of the more natural power of two upsampling. Is this a problem with BitPerfect, or is it true that the E17 is incapable of 88.2 playback? Is it really that big of deal with my modest equipment to simply use the 96 upsampling setting? It sounds fine to my ears, still a marked improvement over leaving the files at their native 44.1.
Would it be worth my money to upgrade to Sonic Studio’s 49$ option? Would that be the best option if I want full iTunes integration? There are a lot of inconsistencies in this article though. For example, you say BitPerfect is more spacious than Decibel in one section, then say the complete opposite in the following section. Thanks for you help! Hi @headfonia:disqus Phones: Senn HD650 DAC/Amp: Audinst HUD-MX1 Source: MP3 @ 320kpbs Great article as always. I’ve been playing with Fidelia on a Trial, along with Audivarna Plus (also the trial version).
Overall I think Fidelia sounds “better” with the FHX Crossfader enabled. Without this though there really isn’t much difference to my ears (perhaps not surprising given they both use 64-bit iZotope. What I would say is that I slightly disagree with your view on the usability of the Fidelia iTunes integration. I found this to be really clunky when trying to browse my over-bloated library (20,000+ tracks). It feels like going back to iTunes 10 years ago. I found the Audivarna integration MUCH better as you basically carry on and use iTunes to pick the music (even going as far as switching the Audivarna display off which gives you a well known library function but with the grunt of Audivarna to handle playback) I do have a question for you re Fidelia’s Crossfeed function.
I can definitely hear a change in the music as the degrees and intensity are notched up. I’m finding it difficult to describe this change. Sort of like moving the sound forward (physically). It does seem to come at the sacrifice of volume (actually I’d imagine gain).
Is there a recommended setting for these controllable values? I know the easy answer is to play until I find something that sounds “right” but I’m quite naive when it comes to the technicalities of what Crossfeed is doing. If you have any simple explanations of this function to help me better make the right judgement call (that being what my ears say is right plus what technically is a good starting point) that’d be great One final note. I have BitPerfect too. To be honest I really didn’t hear an improvement vs standard iTunes and certainly no where near Fidelia and Audivarna’s improvements. I was disappointed by the available music players for Mac.
On Linux, I have used Amarok 1.4 earlier. When I switched to Mac, I have mostly used iTunes and Songbird but I had my problems with both. What I wanted was basically a player which is simple, can handle an infinitely large music directory and has a PartyShuffle/DJ-mode function. It should also support all most important sound formats (flac, ogg, mp3, m4a, wma, ) and maybe some other things.
Because I didn’t found that, I started my own Open Source project: It is simple and is all centered around a main queue (looks a bit like the old Winamp, XMMS or other simple players). The main queue is always in PartyShuffle-mode, though. It shows some of the recently played songs, the current songs and the upcoming songs. It plays always the songs from the top of the queue and then removes it from there. Once the queue becomes too empty, it intelligently adds new songs to it (based on context and ratings). It is also powerful, e.g.
It has its own volume loudness normalization algorithm. And is has Last.fm scrobbling support. And some other basic things. It supports basically all existing sound formats. Because it is Open Source, everyone can contribute and make it better. The code is simple and mostly Python, so it is easy to work on it. Hi A very useful comparative review that I am finding a valuable guide to auditioning alternative players for streaming on my Mac Laptop, however I think you, and (as far as I can tell) all other reviewers, have missed one important point: If one of these players is installed to provide better local playback via USB or Firewire audio interfaces does it inhibit the serving capabilities of the computer doing the streaming?
At the moment my music serving via ethernet is confined to using Airplay with iTunes to play remotely 16/48 (i.e. 16/44.1 converted by iTunes to Quicktime) but I intend to move on from this to hi-res in the near future. Testing Decibel I discovered that if I use this for streaming it prevents Airplay output so I cannot listen remotely.
Could you please summarise the capabilities in this area of the players you tested? Thanks David. Hi A very useful comparative review that I am finding a valuable guide to auditioning alternative players for streaming on my Mac Laptop, however I think you, and (as far as I can tell) all other reviewers, have missed one important point: If one of these players is installed to provide better local playback via USB or Firewire audio interfaces does it inhibit the serving capabilities of the computer doing the streaming? At the moment my music serving via ethernet is confined to using Airplay with iTunes to play remotely 16/48 (i.e. 16/44.1 converted by iTunes to Quicktime) but I intend to move on from this to hi-res in the near future. Testing Decibel I discovered that if I use this for streaming it prevents Airplay output so I cannot listen remotely. Could you please summarise the capabilities in this area of the players you tested?
Thanks David. Mike, I wasn’t clear on the configuration you used in your sound quality (SQ) testing. Were you using the Mac merely as a music server, feeding a digital signal to an outboard DAC, or were you comparing SQ based on the Mac’s analog output? Assuming it’s the former, how could these programs control the D/A conversion parameters of an outboard DAC? Also, you mentioned these programs have the capability to handle very high sampling rates (96 kHz). But the Mac’s optical output (via the 3.5 mm mini-jack) is limited to 96 kHz, so how were you able to output higher sampling rates — did you use the Firewire or Thunderbolt ports? Mike, I a bit confused (because I don’t know this stuff).
You talk about better than Core Audio up sampling but don’t most USB DAC’s require the output to go via Core Audio? Also all those advanced features confuses me, I thought it was really a matter of the decoder of the audio file (FLAC, MP3, ) decoding the format correctly and simply sending this information bit perfectly/correct to the USB and let the DAC do the magic? So my question here, should any player that will decode the files correctly not be as good as any player when it comes to sound quality as it it is the DAC that does the stuff?