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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 5

post #61 of 2583

I have Amarra Jr., Pure Music, Decibel, Audirvana and Fidelia demo.  Out of all these, currently, Pure Music does the best job and it is the most stable although not the prettiest.  It is reasonable cost given that it can be installed on a number of machines without issues.  Amarra Jr. sounds good but does not have a smooth transition from track to track.  It also does not support upsampling.  It's worst aspect is that it is a single license.  Decibel sounds very good and it is pretty simple (a good thing) but does not seem to support upsampling.  While I am not sure there is a benefit to upsampling CD quality music, it is nice to have the option to do that and Pure Music and Audirvana allow for that.  Both Decibel and Audirvana are free for now but are also work in progress.  Fidelia sounds nice but it is buggy and do not seem to sound better than Pure Music.  Final version and mostly price will be critical.  I think below $100 is the right price for it but we will l see.  Strangely enough, they are already selling their iPhone remote app while Fidelia itself is not available.  I would not buy the remote until I know whether I'd buy the main app itself.  It is also worth pointing out the Pure Music works with Apple's iTunes Remote - FREE!  The UI is quite cheesy but who cares, it's about the sound and it sounds great.

post #62 of 2583

aside from the fact that COG should be mentioned here as well, I would like to report that I use PureMusic as well as the SqueezeServer, and unfortunately every time I play FLAC files in PureMusic, it later pops up as a ghost folder in the SqueezeServer list of items. 

 

meaning that when you use PureMusic to play a hi-rez or other format through iTunes/PureMusic, a dummy folder for that album is created, and that dummy folder (which in iTunes just points to the FLAC files) then becomes a separate folder, which won't stream anything.

post #63 of 2583
Thread Starter 

Cog hasn't been updated for years and is seriously buggy, so I didn't include it.

 

What would be helpful is if people included the DAC and connection (USB, optical or coax) they are using with the results.

 

There are three types of software available it seems: Those that are designed to provide a feature-rich alternative to iTunes, such as Songbird.  Those that are designed to be simpler and use less memory, such as Vox, and those that are designed to provider better-sounding playback for audiophiles, such as Amarra, Pure Music, Fidelia and Decibel.

 

Other than preventing re-sampling (having bit-perfect output) and caching in memory, I can only imagine that the audiophile players claim to have better software for playing music.  I do recall that early Amarra builds required the user to manually set the output to be clocked by the computer's audio input clock (which might be more accurate, I don't know) so, without knowing the details, they may interact with the hardware better.

post #64 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Cog hasn't been updated for years and is seriously buggy, so I didn't include it.

 

What would be helpful is if people included the DAC and connection (USB, optical or coax) they are using with the results.

 

There are three types of software available it seems: Those that are designed to provide a feature-rich alternative to iTunes, such as Songbird.  Those that are designed to be simpler and use less memory, such as Vox, and those that are designed to provider better-sounding playback for audiophiles, such as Amarra, Pure Music, Fidelia and Decibel.

 

Other than preventing re-sampling (having bit-perfect output) and caching in memory, I can only imagine that the audiophile players claim to have better software for playing music.  I do recall that early Amarra builds required the user to manually set the output to be clocked by the computer's audio input clock (which might be more accurate, I don't know) so, without knowing the details, they may interact with the hardware better.

Amos, do you not perceive any sonic merit to using VOX?  Why would it be classified as a non audiophile product?
 

post #65 of 2583

I have used the following external USB Dacs - Centrance Dacport (24/96), uDac-2 (24/96) and Apogee One (24/48).  Music is 100% Apple Losless 16/44.1 CD rips through iTunes.  Amarra, does not play nice with all DACs, so much so that they have a list of tested/approved DACs.  The others don't have this limitation.

post #66 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richiyaado View Post

One of the advantages of using Fidelia is that it allows you to use up to three VST or AU plug-ins. As I have slight hearing loss in my left ear, I'm using Canz3D in the default mode, with the balance shifted slightly left. I'm also using Canz3D in Pure Music, but I can't seem to access or change its settings, whereas I can using Fidelia. Apart from adjusting for balance, I like the way Canz3D creates a more realistic sound stage, particularly with recordings that have extreme stereo separation (like many of the recently released Beatles stereo remasters).



Same for me... Im testing it because of the AU and VST with Canz3d and StereoTool and also the iPhone app is very cool as Remote control.  I haven't got bugs or anything on more less 24 hr of use... but we'll see what will be the final price for it...

post #67 of 2583

I'm playing with Neutrino.  It runs fine on my older Mac (G5, Leopard).  Nice interface.  More full featured than iTunes.  Pulls up the iTunes library and play lists.  Can also add non iTunes folders of music files into a "Watched Folders" list.   Can insert plug-ins, multiple parametric and graphic (10 & 31 band) plus lots of others.  It grabs album art from iTunes.  It plays high-def files that I had Max stuff as ALAC into iTunes.  It will open and play FLAC files,  but it won't play high-def FLAC files.  Wouldn't play a web radio station from the iTunes library.  I don't hear a difference between iTunes and Neutrino.  The price is quite reasonable at $30.  It has a 30 day free trial.  No signs of the ability to change the output rate to match the native resolution like Pure Music.  Verdict: nice alternative player with more features than iTunes and no store, but no audiophile control.  Next!

 

edit: using CI Audio, VDA-2 DAC via optical cable

post #68 of 2583

Can anyone test if Fidelia works with an Apple remote? 

post #69 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Can anyone test if Fidelia works with an Apple remote? 



Nope - not on my iMac.  Bummer...

post #70 of 2583

I have a MacBook Pro, and use a Nuforce HDP DAC/Amp connected via USB. I've been switching between Pure Music and Fidelia the last week or so. I know PM upsamples to 96K when necessary (as it says so in the interface)... not sure about Fidelia, but I assume it does as well. Currently, I'd give Fidelia a slight edge in terms of SQ, and it seems to be less prone to problems with gapless playback (and other occasional hiccups).

post #71 of 2583

Pure music works with the iPhone and iPad remote.  I like this, as my Mac Mini is connected to a home-theatre projector, and I can use my phone rig with Pure Music without turning on the surround processor and projector.

post #72 of 2583

I have downloaded the trial version of pure music and while the SQ is definitely good, it kinda irritates me that it pops up my itune everytime the next track in my itune library was played. I was typing some documents and that definitely got me so fed up that I went straight to uninstall it.

 

The latest version of Amarra supports lossy file formats but tend to hang and stop playing music on my macbook pro after a short while. It work flawlessly with lossless though. Not so user friendly to someone like me who have a mixed of lossy and lossless files in my iTunes library.

 

Tried Fidelia too and the auto-import function doesn't import ALAC files from my iTunes library even though Fidelia could play them. It looks decent enough but I am going to lose access to it soon after the 15 days of trial since they have yet to sell it officially.

 

I will stick to Decibel/Audirvana for now as they are free, simple, clean, and reproduces the sound files with great quality.

post #73 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

Amos, do you not perceive any sonic merit to using VOX?  Why would it be classified as a non audiophile product?


I think he means it's not targeted at "audiophiles" as it doesn't have any specific "audiophile" features besides tapping into the EQ. I love Vox, but I find myself booting up Decibel now. All I need is for it to work with the media keys and apple remote and include a better option for artwork and I'm set.

post #74 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero Kid View Post


I think he means it's not targeted at "audiophiles" as it doesn't have any specific "audiophile" features besides tapping into the EQ. I love Vox, but I find myself booting up Decibel now. All I need is for it to work with the media keys and apple remote and include a better option for artwork and I'm set.

Have you tried any of the crossfeed settings in VOX?
 

post #75 of 2583

hey guys,

 

how long did it take Fidelia to load the Itunes Library in your experience? For me it just disappears and never comes back in the process of loading it... Seems to be very buggy...blink.gif

 

I like Vox for the implementation of AU plug-ins. Would like that feature for Decibel too

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