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BitPerfect (was: Audirvana Alternatives) - Page 5

post #61 of 774

Is the volume control dithered?  With my HRT Streamer II for example, Audirvana automatically removes the volume slider.  Seems removal of the volume control and leaving it either to iTunes or the external DAC/AMP maybe the better option and in line with the minimalist UI approach.

 

Support for sound other than music would be great.  What about support for non-iTunes streaming (browser, Pandora, etc.) audio?  No one has figured that yet - PM has a plug-in but it is a real pain to use and doesn't seem to affect/improve SQ.

post #62 of 774
Thread Starter 

The volume control is provided by the hardware device, so I don't think I have any control over whether it is dithered or not. A quick check of Audirvana's code confirms that I'm doing essentially the same thing, neither of us are doing any dithering. Since I haven't tried this on a great many devices, I haven't come across the scenario of having no hardware volume control, but I like the idea of simply removing, or disabling, the control.

 

As for leaving volume control to iTunes, this isn't inline with having a high fidelity player. When you adjust volume in iTunes, it is a software adjustment. This works by changing the bits of the audio stream, compromising bit-perfect output. While it will probably still sound pretty good, it is always preferable to use hardware controls.

 

Due to the way BetterSound works, I don't think support for other sources of sound is feasible. BetterSound is really just a music file player which happens to be told which file to play by iTunes. Making this work for movies would be near impossible, unless I code a movie player too! Almost all movies have low bit-rate compressed sound, so it isn't really worth while. In principle it would be possible via browsers and such, in practice it isn't since the browser is generally not playing a file (it is streaming music) and it is not sending system wide notifications of what it is doing (sort of what I'm relying on with iTunes.)

 

The way PM does this is (I think - haven't really looked into it yet) is with a virtual sound device, kind of like Soundflower. This would allow the PM engine to get sound from any program and play it through PM, but there is a major problem with this. A great part of the improvement in sound quality comes from having one program, playing one audio stream having complete access to the output device - hog mode. As soon as you have to mix streams of sound from different programs the sound quality is affected, that might explain why SQ through PM's plug-ins is not great.

post #63 of 774

Hello, agentsim.

 

I'm using Mac mini Core Duo 1.83GHz and Snow Leopard.

And I could not run BetterSound...

The Finder shows circle and slash over the BetterSound icon.

BetterSound does not support Core Duo Macs?

 

post #64 of 774
Thread Starter 

BetterSound requires Snow Leopoard and a 64-bit CPU. Is your machine 64-bit?

post #65 of 774

Oh, it's very sad...

 

My Mac mini does not support 64bit Kernel...

post #66 of 774

@agentsim

 

Re: movies - in that case, just making sure the app doesn't hang iTunes should be sufficient, i.e. other than when playing a music file, the app should be "off" along with hog mode, i.e. the app should only hog the audio only when playback through iTunes is actually "on".

 

iTunes volume should always be at max.  But for external devices without their own volume control, i.e. HRT Streamer II, what options are there for volume control through the system other than iTunes?  I've resorted to using an analog volume control plugged at the HRT Streamer II output to exclude iTunes volume from affecting SQ.  Thus, volume control for such devices is completely unnecessary.  Likewise, for devices with built-in volume control, i.e. Leckerton UHA-4 for example, volume control through the computer is also unnecessary.  Seems like the only time, volume control outside of iTunes and through the computer hardware is for listening through headphones (or the built in speakers or headphone out to speakers (most likely such speakers would still have their own volume control) plugged in the headphone out of the mac.  Perhaps, the app can check for what device is being used and only provide volume control access in such instances.

 

This may be too complicated but couldn't the streaming source be buffered at certain intervals and each buffered "piece" be treated as a separate file for playback through the app?

 

post #67 of 774

Not have any luck with this. Don't get any sound output.  See the icon on top and the sound icon on the track in iTunes, but no sound. Not until I quit BetterSound do I hear anything.  Think I got it to work for a second.

 

I'm using Toslink to a DAC, so not sure what my settings should be.  Any help would be great.

post #68 of 774
Thread Starter 

That's exactly what I was thinking for the movies problem also.

 

If the HRT streamer has no hardware volume control then you are stuck with either software volume through iTunes or some kind of attenuator plugged into the HRT. I agree that volume control for such devices is superfluous, so I'll disable volume control when such a device is plugged in. When the device has built-in volume control, like via a volume knob on the device (like Leckerton case), it is quite possible that the computer has no access to that volume control, in which case, the volume within BetterSound would be disabled also.

 

So yes, the idea is volume control in BetterSound should only work if the device provides volume control to the computer. This should already be how it works and the new slider widget will just be an alternative to the keyboard shortcuts.

 

A streaming source can be buffered for sure, but the real issue is that the browser doesn't tell you what it is doing, so it isn't possible to use the BetterSound technique. Even if you could, you will find that most video players don't work when they don't have access to the sound device, which means streaming audio on the browser might work, but streaming video would be broken. So BetterSound will be limited to enhancing iTunes for the foreseeable future.

post #69 of 774

How about an iPhone app?

post #70 of 774

I don't get the music position updating in iTunes with the latest of both pieces of software. Any suggestions? It does cause a problem as I can't pause and resume in the middle of a track.

post #71 of 774
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I don't get the music position updating in iTunes with the latest of both pieces of software. Any suggestions? It does cause a problem as I can't pause and resume in the middle of a track.



When you have only 1 output device, iTunes doesn't update its position since it isn't playing anything. The latest version has the option to update the track position in iTunes, is that option selected?

post #72 of 774
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmanxxi View Post

How about an iPhone app?


Dunno, I haven't checked to see if equivalent APIs are available for iPhone.

post #73 of 774

For the iPhone you'd need to create an entirely new music app. As far as I know there's no plugin scheme and iOS doesn't have real multitasking.

post #74 of 774

Wouldn't the regular Remote app work with this?  Since it's just feeding off what iTunes is playing anyway.  I can't really try it out since I'm still having problems just getting sound but at least found somewhat of a workaround and very happy with the sound.  Think it might be better than Audirvana.   Agentsim is working with me, so hopefully he finds a fix.  

post #75 of 774

iamoneagain, have you tried adjusting the volume in iTunes? It may seem silly but sometimes when BetterSound doesn't work immediately I'll quickly adjust the sound in iTunes and it'll work. Though, I know to do that when playback is happening but I'm not hearing anything.

 

As for Remote App, if I understand it right, it's basically just a controller for you iTunes on your Mac. It doesn't actually handle any of the playback, just access a sort of control API. My guess is BetterSound wouldn't be effected either way.

 

I'm noticing that BetterSound still doesn't respect the Sound Check setting in iTunes. I have the option checked to respect volume adjustments but is that only for the manual adjustments when you view Get Info or are we talking about the system iTunes uses to know to drop or raise the volume on individual songs?


Edited by DougofTheAbaci - 6/19/11 at 2:02pm
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