Originally Posted by sterling1
; but, since the folks at Foobar state that all players sound the same, I attribute the difference in sound to sound level from one player to another being different. It seems to me the reason someone would prefer one player over another would be all about user accommodations.
This is an old audio sales trick, tweak the volume on the more expensive speaker, customer responds better. Very simple and effective, but not an equal measure with the other speaker, and a prime example of snake oil.
If the bits are truly perfect, no line adjustments, no DSP effects (levels, crossfade, eq, etc), they sound the same. Bits are bits. Now if a certain player does an alteration that you think you like, by all means use it, but what you like is what the software is changing, which is no longer truly bit perfect.
If all things are set evenly, they will sound the same, no other possibility exists.
It's like an image file. So long as it's being displayed in the same color space, at the same magnification, on the same monitor, the color will always be the same. Now many image managers "do things" they should not, like temporarily convert to other color spaces without asking, so they do look different, but all things being equal, pixels are pixels and audio bits are audio bits.
So, so long as you don't alter the signal, choose the audio player that has the features you want, and is visually acceptable. Other than that, there is no difference to be had. If there is a signal alteration in your player that you enjoy, that is more than enough to justify "liking it" and paying for it, but know that you prefer it because it changes your audio files from that of the original source, not because it has some secret sauce inside.
Edited by obzilla - 5/9/12 at 9:08am