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What software to use for playback? (Windows/PC)

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 

So... the Mac world is pretty set that if you want to spend the money, the best you can get is Amarra (more or less).   

 

What does the PC world have to offer that is similar?  I currently just use foobar, but I wonder if I am missing out on something....

 

Any way, let me know what's out there, or if stock foobar is the way to go!

 

 

Thanks

 

 

 

post #2 of 69

How about JRiver Media Center?

post #3 of 69
Thread Starter 
Never tried it, will have to give it a go!
post #4 of 69

For PC it's Foobar (which you already said you're using) and JRiver.  I wouldn't recommend any of the other current PC offerings.

 

I prefer Foobar but it's best suited for people comfortable with learning the ins and outs of the software, and spending time reading up on Hydrogen Audio.

post #5 of 69

itunes

post #6 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanhornmp View Post

itunes


Er. No. iTunes on Windows is junk. Horribly coded, junk. Foobar is solid. If you want all of the media management features JRiver is fine, but it adds nothing sonically. The new kid that I haven't yet tried is JPlay. I believe it costs $99, but there is a free trial. JPlay does a lot of stuff that Foobar can't match, but I think it's better suited for dedicated Windows based music servers rather than regular use PCs, as in order to get the maximum performance out of it, you can't actually use the computer for anything other than playback.

post #7 of 69

Wow. Even by the standards of "magical" playback software, the JPlay site has incredibly flimsy justifications for it's features. Apparently, my PC will "lose the rhythm" with lesser playback software.

 

It's a healthy combination of what appears to be veiled references to jitter, which are just plain wrong, and claiming that I need to avoid all hard drive activity and minimise latency, which makes equally little sense. 

post #8 of 69

I suggest a media player allowing you to bypass the Win mixer as it dithers the signal.

Players like Foobar, JRiver or MusicBee allows you to try drivers like WASAPI or ASIO (if your hardware supports it) or KS.

 

JRiver also have memory playback.

My suggestion would be to download the trial version of JRiver and fool around with the ‘audiophile’ options. Check if it does something in your system.

 

http://www.jriver.com/audiophile.html

 

post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roseval View Post

I suggest a media player allowing you to bypass the Win mixer as it dithers the signal.

Players like Foobar, JRiver or MusicBee allows you to try drivers like WASAPI or ASIO (if your hardware supports it) or KS.

 

JRiver also have memory playback.

My suggestion would be to download the trial version of JRiver and fool around with the ‘audiophile’ options. Check if it does something in your system.

 

http://www.jriver.com/audiophile.html

 


All of the things listed Foobar does for free, other than maybe DSD streaming, I'm not sure about that one. To my ears, JRiver sounds audibly worse than Foobar, unless memory playback is enabled than it sounds roughly equal. The XXHighend player did not appear to live up to any of its claims. JPlay I don't know about, I haven't tried it yet, but there are good reasons for using RAM for playback rather than streaming from the hdd, and JPlay also claims to shut off many of Window's unneeded services which is also beneficial for sound quality.

post #10 of 69

Off topic, but thought I might add a Linux suggestion to the media playback discussion: DeaDBeeF under OSS4 (w/ vmix disabled), or 'ossplay -R' for raw PCM, Microsoft RIFF (.wav), Sun ULaw (.au) and Mac AIFF (.aif) files. 


Edited by adamlau - 10/24/11 at 10:11am
post #11 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post (..) JPlay also claims to shut off many of Window's unneeded services which is also beneficial for sound quality.


Can anyone explain this? If I have a PC with powerful enough CPU and enough RAM, how can some Windows' processes negatively affect the playback of music?

 

post #12 of 69

Some people believe that using up CPU processes negatively degrades audio playback.  They also believe any unnecessary access of the HDD or physical memory also negatively impacts SQ.

 

I've experienced skips on my PC (high-end specs), but aside from that, I don't notice any degradation of SQ.  While WASAPI playback, doing anything more than opening small applications and lightweight activities can cause skipping (I have run about 300ms as my buffer.  The skips are generally more frequent with closer to 1000ms buffer for my system).  DirectSound doesn't have this issue for me.

post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl View Post

Can anyone explain this? If I have a PC with powerful enough CPU and enough RAM, how can some Windows' processes negatively affect the playback of music?

 


An ideal PC based music server would run just barely enough to control its playback software, which is what JPlay tries to do in its highest performance mode. The more things you ask it to do at the same time, like run hundreds of unnecessary Windows services, the more you degrade the performance. Chris from Computer Audiophile posted a list of what he shut off and left running for what he felt was the best performance/stability compromise.

 

http://files.computeraudiophile.com/2011/0623/C.A.P.S.v2-Services.pdf

post #14 of 69

Wait, so why exactly do running programs inexplicably degrade performance?


Edited by Willakan - 10/24/11 at 11:07am
post #15 of 69
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave - looks like the link you posted there is dead...   was hoping to read

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