I saw this app mentioned in a thread or two around the 'net and decided it's high past time for Head-Fi to be represented in the form of a thread. I've been experimenting with it for a couple of days and I absolutely love it.
From their website:
Fidelia is an elegant and powerful music player created exclusively for Mac OS X.
Anyone with a passion for music knows the value of high-quality hardware, whether it's a perfectly calibrated power amp or world-class pair of speakers. If you use a Mac to build, organize and enjoy your music library, shouldn't your software live up to the same high standards? Fidelia lets discerning OS X users truly optimize their home listening experience, preserving maximum sonic fidelity across multiple file formats and delivering uncluttered utility with a timelessly elegant user interface. Powered by Audiofile Engineering's unique Fidelia Audio System, it gives you the tools and the freedom to savor the sounds that you love, all the way from your hard drive to your eardrums.
It's Not a Store, It's a Library
You know what you like to listen to. You're not looking for computer-generated recommendations, randomized shuffles, proprietary ads or social networks to validate your taste. Fidelia keeps it simple: Organize and enjoy your music library at superior levels of sonic quality.
Fidelia's distinctive user interface offers the kind of sleek, intuitive controls that contemporary Mac users demand while paying tribute to the premium stereo amplifiers of decades past. A classically styled volume dial is buffered by single-click Mute and Dim functions.
Individual track details, stereo levels and audio waveforms are displayed in crisp, eye-pleasing fashion with no superfluous trimmings. Four discreet sizing options allow you to lovingly ogle Fidelia in a full-screen format or tuck it snugly into the corner of your desktop and leave the fun to your ears.
Multiple Formats, Maximum Control Heavily compressed audio files aren't for everybody. That's why Fidelia gives discriminating listeners robust control over how their songs are captured and stored. Tracks can be imported in AIFF, WAV, CAF, AAC, Apple Lossless, Ogg Vorbis or FLAC formats. You can also convert existing files to any of the above.
Customize your listening experience by adding up to three audio effects at playback. Convenient drop-down menus allow you to choose from available Audio Unit and VST effects, including native Apple AU-based equalizers, compressors, filters, reverb and more.
Sync with iTunes Library
Enjoy seamless and continuously updated access to your iTunes library, including user-generated playlists. If and whenever you like, decide for yourself which portions of your iTunes collection to reformat or reorganize in Fidelia.
Craft your own personalized playlists in seconds. Simple click-and-drag controls allow you to draw from your complete Fidelia library to build lists of any size or style, mixing and matching file formats at will.
Powered by iZotope™
No need to reinvent the wheel here. Rather than spend a lot of time and money developing our own sample rate conversion and wordlength reduction technologies and passing those costs on to you, we decided to source the best DSP available — iZotope. No matter what type of sounds are in play, Fidelia incorporates iZotope's industry-best sample rate conversion to achieve optimum sonic fidelity. Discerning listeners can also select real-time audio dithering via iZotope's MBIT+™ technology.
iZotope 64-bit SRC™
The iZotope 64-bit SRC utilizes a hyrbrid algorithm providing the highest quality and most customizable resampling available on the market today. iZotope 64-bit SRC features a hybrid ringing control enabling a compromise between the standard pre-ringing of a linear phase filter and the post-ringing of a minimum phase filter. A continuous control morphs the algorithm from a linear phase filter to a minimum phase filter. The key step of sample rate conversion is the quality of the low-pass filter design. The crucial aspects include a flat pass-band, steep transition-band, high suppression in the stop-band, and minimal ringing. The careful attention of iZotope's SRC protects against the loss of data, aliasing, noise, and unwanted ringing artifacts that plague other implementations. Key features include the world's first continuous control over pre-ringing and post-ringing, alias-free operation for minimal harmonic distortion, Control filter cutoff steepness versus ringing, 64-bit double precision internal processing for minimal noise, highly efficiency for realtime operation, variable cutoff scaling, upsampling and downsampling at arbitrary sample precision and bit depth, and unlimited sample rate support (including 44.1kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz, and higher).
iZotope MBIT+™ Dither
iZotope's MBIT+ dithering algorithm features psychoacoustic noise shaping based on research with actual musical material, making it the best sounding dither on the market. As our perception of the end result is the most important metric of quality, iZotope has built all of their models using real music — not test tones, hisses, hums, bleeps, and buzzes. The result is the most musical and sonically pleasing dither available. Key features include control of noise shaping amount, autoblanking to disable dither during digital silence, control overall amount of dither introduced, specific models for 44.1kHz/96kHz/192kHz, psychoacoustic models based on extensive musical listening, and low-latency/processor-efficient operation designed for high performance, realtime environments. Learn more by downloading their excellent dithering guide.
Technical Specs - http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/fidelia/techspecs.php
They also have an iPhone App. I haven't bought it yet but I probably will.
My quick impressions:
1.) It definitely sounds better than iTunes. Richer, fuller, cleaner.
2.) Dither - The MBIT+ Dither technology built in is excellent.
3.) Device Sample Rate - It has the ability to match the sample rate of the song you're listening to. A feature I appreciated out of Amarra (an app which I got tired of; too many bugs and crashes). I did confirm it in the Audio Midi Setup menu.
4.) Support for up to 3 plug-ins. This allows you to utilize any VST plugins you may have. For me, it means superior EQ control and the ability to use any of the effects I have from ProTools and similar apps.
5.) Simple and effective library control that also utilizes your iTunes playlists.
6.) Minimal crashing. It hasn't crashed on me yet. Probably my favorite feature after wrestling with Amarra.
So yea, those are my thoughts in brief. It's pretty to look at, comes with great features and has plug-in support that will allow you to do your thing. Whether it's better than the competition is a matter of taste, I'd think...but for darn near its stability alone I don't expect to boot Amarra up ever again now. lol. It's solid.