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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 227

post #3391 of 3402
2 Audirvana questions:

(1)-Does Audirvana support MIDI Multi-Output Device (MOD) use on a Mac?

I have a MOD set up that consists of an Audioquest Dragonfly, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, and Dante Virtual Sound Card.

iTunes, Roon, and Pure Music output to all 3 devices of the MOD, but Audirvana won't recognize the MOD. I have to manual choose which individual device I want Audirvana to use, and then it plays fine. The problem is that the Dragonfly and Yggdrasil feed separate systems, and I can't get them to play simultaneously with Audirvana but I can with the 3 other players.

This limits Audirvana's value to me in spite of it sounding slightly better and having some desirable features that the others lack.

(2)- Is Integer Mode supported on a Dante Virtual Sound Card ?

Audirvana does not run in Integer Mode as it feeds my Mac Mini's Dante Virtual Sound Card which outputs via Ethernet to an Atterotech unDaes-O which then outputs over AES/EBU to my Yggdrasil DAC. Audio Over Internet Protocol sounds better than USB in my system using iTunes, Roon, Pure Music.

It will run in Integer Mode if Audirvana outputs to the Dragonfly and Yggdrasil over USB.

Both USB and AOIP sound great and similar, but I wonder if AOIP would be even better if Integer Mode was active using the Dante.

Thanks for the input.

DSNORD
post #3392 of 3402

Anyone here using Amarra SQ+ along with the Dirac Live IRC?

post #3393 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by omasciarotte View Post
 

 

I have to agree with Naim.F.C on this. I’m not sure what “science” you’re referring to, but audio software engineers will tell you that:

 

a) there are many ways to implement any particular function, and each has its advantages and disadvantages from a processor/hardware efficiency and audible impact perspective.

 

Anecdote: A kid fresh out of college thinks that Matlab has all the answers. After all, it “knows” how to form a parametric filter, so that should work just fine…until the newbie finds that their code sounds like ass.

 

b) by running DSP or, for that matter, changing the bitstream in any way, you alter the sound. Sure, you can make it subjectively “better,“ but the bitstream is no longer what the artist/producer/label created. We each have opinions, but just because you or I cannot discern a particular aspect of audio, it doesn’t mean it’s invalid. It just means you can’t hear it!

 

 

I’m glad you mention that as it implies either:

 

a) your auditory mechanism is not able to convey the information (no insult intended, just stating fact)

b) your system & room is not resolving enough (again, no insult intended, just stating fact)

c) you have not yet trained your hearing to discern the differences

 

Can’t do much about item (a) (a gross generalization) but, for (b); you can throw money at the problem. Item (c) is the real goodie in that you can train your ear/brain to be more perceptive!

 

Want to learn more about the sciences of software engineering, psychoacoustics, audio engineering and physics? This ain’t the place! That said, there’s plenty of certified, objective information available on the interwebs if you’re careful about validating the source…Wanna visit your local libraries?

 

One last thing: until you’ve actually sat down at a (unfortunately very costly) collection of highly resolving systems and performed listening tests along with other trained listeners, individually changing one variable while keeping everything else the same, can you unequivocally state your opinion and expect no push back. A first step might be to hit some audiophile shows with your reference audio in hand and hear what some of those hi rez systems sound like.


​At least one software engineer, the developer of Foobar says all players sound the same; and, hey, as long as we have multiple choice, how about D) the reason I cannot hear a difference is because there is no difference when players are sans DSP .


Edited by sterling1 - 1/27/17 at 9:23am
post #3394 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post


​At least one software engineer, the developer of Foobar says all players sound the same; and, hey, as long as we have multiple choice, how about D) the reason I cannot hear a difference is because there is no difference when players are sans DSP .

 

Hey sterling1,

 

That would be a convenient though myopic response in that it ignores the majority opinion of mastering engineers, veteran audio software engineers and audio–centric consumers. For folks who say they hear no difference in identical data being delivered via different methods, all you have to do is inject various jitter spectra into their “identical” information and hear how it changes the subjective character of the converted music. Though the data does not change, most everyone can hear the effects of jitter.

 

Another test that makes one question old school received wisdom is try the bypass button in Amarra. It routes the music either through iTunes when in bypass or through Amarra and, again, most though not all listeners can hear a difference. That mostly depends on the quality of the DAC and what the DAC is feeding downstream.

 

Speakin’ of tests, I’m guessing you use Windows…have you tried listening to playback of the same file through MediaMonkey, VLC, Windows Media Player and Foobar playing the same file with all effects disabled? Since none of them are dedicated audio players plus they’re running on Windows, it’s a little bit of a PITA to get bit perfect operation but, it’s worth the effort.

post #3395 of 3402

I guess DIRECT MODE just isn't coming back due to Apple locking the latest OS in whatever way they did.

 

Wish my audio chain remained the same when Direct Mode got disabled - so the brain burn-in with old gear would have detected any lesser SQ with it off.

Just like the idea of A+ being totally decoupled from the Apple audio code anyway.

post #3396 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by omasciarotte View Post
 

 

 

Speakin’ of tests, I’m guessing you use Windows…have you tried listening to playback of the same file through MediaMonkey, VLC, Windows Media Player and Foobar playing the same file with all effects disabled? Since none of them are dedicated audio players plus they’re running on Windows, it’s a little bit of a PITA to get bit perfect operation but, it’s worth the effort.

Yes, I have indeed experimented with all of the above; and, I rejected all as iTunes seems over all to be more convenient, intuitive, and useful.  Now, I've moved on to spending my leisure time, which is a luxury, on activities I believe to be more meaningful to the quality of my life in general than obsessing over media players. 


Edited by sterling1 - 2/9/17 at 3:31am
post #3397 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post
 

…iTunes seems over all to be more convenient, intuitive, and useful.  Now, I've moved on to spending my leisure time, which is a luxury, on activities I believe to be more meaningful to the quality of my life in general than obsessing over media players. 

 

Agreed, iTunes is a generally well designed product from a UX perspective. Also, I applaud you for knowing what’s meaningful in life!

post #3398 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by omasciarotte View Post
 

 

Agreed, iTunes is a generally well designed product from a UX perspective. Also, I applaud you for knowing what’s meaningful in life!

My problem with iTunes is that its UI has gotten much worse over the years and updates.  It's typical of the kind of self-serving bloat-ware that Apple (and Microsoft) pump out, loaded with commercial product, and inhibiting the user on some very simple and basic functions.  I don't agree it's well designed (anymore), and it doesn't contribute to my particular quality of life with its annoyances. 

 

iTunes used to be simpler, and less congested with "extras" like "For You", "New", "Radio" and "Connect".  The My Music pane is cobbled up with 3 sub-panes.  It used to be just a list with column-head sort choices and playlists, devices, and shared libraries always viewable in static pane to the left.  The UI now demands the user to toggle between different "views" of the same library, none of which is always what you want.  The pushed Radio and iTunes Store content is quite annoying.  I have a much older version running on my media server that works better, easier, and is actually more stable.  In fact, the current iTunes version has pushed me to search for something else that is simpler, and has no retail "push" to it.  I find the ever-tightening integration with the iTunes Store to be problematic, and just in the way.   View customization is now nearly gone.  And the constant stream of bugs with each update is just irresponsible.  Things like the vanishing AirPlay icon (restored by turning on the mini player, then restarting iTunes...really???).  Each update has, IMO, taken steps forward for Apple marketing, tightened Apple's connection with the user, and moved functionality backward.   It's added "features" are Apple-serving only, and yet as a music player, it's only gotten worse.  It's just a manifestation of the real goals behind Apple now.  The "User Experience" was the driving force behind the success of the Mac.  Now the User Experience is secondary or tertiary, and that's across all products.  

 

Mandatory OS and Applications that are distributed with them should NOT be commandeered for promotion and advertising.  iTunes is just a step or two behind pushing the kind of junk Win 10 pushes on the unsuspecting user, who then must effectively "hack" his brand new system to remove the junk-ware. 

 

iTunes on IOS is a horrible mess now, with iCloud integration, you're often presented with selections you can't actually play.  Resetting and eliminating that isn't straight-forward, and doesn't stay anyway.  I spent 40 minutes on the phone with AppleCare trying to fix that, it stayed fixed for about three days then reverted.  

 

The search for something better than iTunes continues.  And, for perspective, I've been a Mac user since the Mac Plus.  I'm not saying it was better then, but in the last six years Apple has completely lost its direction.  It's like they globally replaced "fun to use" with "incomprehensible complexity".  

 

(Stepping of the soap box now...thanks). 

post #3399 of 3402


​I am an Apple Music subscriber, and, I've gotta tell ya, the "for you"and "browse" features make iTunes even more spectacular now. Each day I have an opportunity to listen to genres of music which iTunes has gathered I might like, music both old and new. It's simply fabulous and well worth the $9.99 a month fee. The music I hear which I really like can be downloaded and/or placed in my iTunes library for playback from iCloud  without charge; and, I can purchase it if I wish. Purchasing it allows the music to be burnt to a CD for listening to on  my car's radio. I also buy iTunes "match" annually. This great feature stores my entire iTunes library in the iCloud. This feature has helped me get iTunes back up and running after a computer crash a few years ago. The iCloud also allows me to bypass my laptop all together and just listen to music from the iCloud via my iPhone streaming to Home Theatre wirelessly using Airport Express for Airplay function. It's all great- I am able with a few clicks on my phone to listen to most everything ever recorded in high fidelity. WOW! 

post #3400 of 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post
 


​I am an Apple Music subscriber, and, I've gotta tell ya, the "for you"and "browse" features make iTunes even more spectacular now. Each day I have an opportunity to listen to genres of music which iTunes has gathered I might like, music both old and new. It's simply fabulous and well worth the $9.99 a month fee. The music I hear which I really like can be downloaded and/or placed in my iTunes library for playback from iCloud  without charge; and, I can purchase it if I wish. Purchasing it allows the music to be burnt to a CD for listening to on  my car's radio. I also buy iTunes "match" annually. This great feature stores my entire iTunes library in the iCloud. This feature has helped me get iTunes back up and running after a computer crash a few years ago. The iCloud also allows me to bypass my laptop all together and just listen to music from the iCloud via my iPhone streaming to Home Theatre wirelessly using Airport Express for Airplay function. It's all great- I am able with a few clicks on my phone to listen to most everything ever recorded in high fidelity. WOW! 


Doesn't iTunes match store a different copy of the songs you have? For example, does it store ALAC or AIFF?

post #3401 of 3402


​iTunes "match" will up or downsample users uploads to 256k @ 44.1. In  my experience the service has not stored a different copy. In fact, I sometimes wish the service did. Much of my music was originally ripped from LP's; and, some of those have the snap, crackle, and pop associated with LP's.  Listening to those from the iCloud I still get the snap, crackle, and pop. I have not however uploaded any MP3 music. The service may indeed look for higher bits and bites on those. I believe they may do that. I'd need to find something I have in my library that's stored there in MP3 and send to iCloud to test that out.

post #3402 of 3402
Zoom25 said:
 Anyone here using Amarra SQ+ along with the Dirac Live IRC?

 

Yup, got a inexpensive (but not Behringer) mic, a Dayton UMM-6 calibrated by Cross-Spectrum Acoustics LLC, to do the profiles. SQ+ is a very nice tool (the EQ is essential) and Dirac, IMO, is currently the best software–only correction available.

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