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What software to use for playback? (Windows/PC) - Page 3

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post



Your argument is as baseless as it is defenseless. It does not persuade me.

 


It's the truth. iTunes on windows is a sloppy mess. It's a bloated pig, and it is not bit perfect. You can choose to accept that or not.

post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


It's the truth. iTunes on windows is a sloppy mess. It's a bloated pig, and it is not bit perfect. You can choose to accept that or not.



I'm sure you have a foundation or basis for your complaint which makes you believe what you believe. How about sharing. Perhaps,  you could explain why you are so perturbed about iTunes. My experience with the concept has been more satisfying than from other players for a multitude of reasons; but, the bottom line is  analog to digital rips of SACD  to wav, or ALAC played from iTunes sound indistinguishable from SACD direct.

 


Edited by sterling1 - 11/8/11 at 4:23pm
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post


It's the truth. iTunes on windows is a sloppy mess. It's a bloated pig, and it is not bit perfect. You can choose to accept that or not.


 

Dave,  you need to give proper reasons for whatever you are saying, seeing your last few posts, just saying that Itunes is a code junk(totally agree) isn't going to cut it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post



You certainly have a foundation or basis for your complaint which makes you believe what you believe don't you?. How about sharing. Perhaps, with a cause and effect analysis, you could explain why you are so perturbed about iTunes. My experience with the concept has been more satisfying than others for a multitude of reasons; but, the bottom line is  analog to digital rips of SACD  to wav, or ALAC files sound indistinguishable from SACD direct from my HT.

 


To be honest sterling, I have less than stellar results with iTunes though I have not done an blind comparisons so I will not comment on it sonically. In terms of bloat alone, iTunes is currently the most bloated software on my laptop(I'm a "mobile warrior") at somewhat 200mb of bloatware which I do not need. Also tbh, as far as media management goes, itunes is pretty darn ****ty compared to its competition. I love the management in Jriver and the ability to add VST's with the other players is what drawed me to the alternative players. To me,  buying Jriver Media Center and a couple of quality VSTs are some of the best purchases I made all round. 

 

I still feel that ASIO has greater clarity than directsound on Itunes though :3 just my opinion.

 

BTW just curious, is your listening room acoustically treated? 

 

post #34 of 69

My listening room is is carpeted and has heavy draperies, as well as upholstered seating. My speakers have been adjusted for their environment with my Sony TA-E9000ES A/V Control Amp's elaborate speaker set-up features.


Edited by sterling1 - 11/8/11 at 2:11pm
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post

Did you even read the directions? I just downloaded the trial, and its the easiest thing in the world to use. 1. Run as administrator. 2. Set it for WASAPI mode by pressing "a" on the keyboard. 3. Go to windows explorer, highlight what you want to play, and hit Ctrl C, or just right click and copy 4. Press space in JPlay. It loads the tracks into RAM, and starts playing. Even a non "geek" shouldn't have any problems with that. Now, loading a custom skin in Foobar that doesn't have an automatic setup routine, THAT takes an advanced computer science degree, and usually about an hour of googling and downloading obscure .dll files from Chinese websites.


What did you think about the JPlay trial?  It's weird.  It's like something that does every single aspect of a performance very well, but there is just something strange when you put all the pieces together.  Maybe I need to give it another listen, though I don't like how the trial may have wrote something into my registry.  It said it made some change to my system and I had to reboot before using it, so it could take over the memory.  There's no uninstall option, so now I need to contact the creator to find out what it did to my system.

 

JPlay is probably slightly tricky for someone who finds reading and Windows Explorer scary, but it's a bit silly to say it's difficult to use.  Open up Windows Explorer, left-click a file you want to listen to, hit Ctrl-C, then hit <space> in JPlay.  Very easy to A/B test.

 

iTunes makes Winamp and WMP sound good.

post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post


What did you think about the JPlay trial?  It's weird.  It's like something that does every single aspect of a performance very well, but there is just something strange when you put all the pieces together.  Maybe I need to give it another listen, though I don't like how the trial may have wrote something into my registry.  It said it made some change to my system and I had to reboot before using it, so it could take over the memory.  There's no uninstall option, so now I need to contact the creator to find out what it did to my system.

 

JPlay is probably slightly tricky for someone who finds reading and Windows Explorer scary, but it's a bit silly to say it's difficult to use.  Open up Windows Explorer, left-click a file you want to listen to, hit Ctrl-C, then hit <space> in JPlay.  Very easy to A/B test.

 

iTunes makes Winamp and WMP sound good.



Just incase you are unable to remove it, you can always use the recovery option and set your computer back to the day before you installed it

 

post #37 of 69

I heard back from the JPlay creator (very quick and polite response).  He said the only change JPlay makes is giving your logon ID the right to lock memory.

 

If you want to revert back, you can use Group Policy Editor.

1) On Start menu click Run and type gpedit.msc

2) Then under Computer Configuration-Windows settings-Security Policy-Local Policies-User Rights assignment double-click Lock pages in memory and remove
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post


What did you think about the JPlay trial?  It's weird.  It's like something that does every single aspect of a performance very well, but there is just something strange when you put all the pieces together.  Maybe I need to give it another listen, though I don't like how the trial may have wrote something into my registry.  It said it made some change to my system and I had to reboot before using it, so it could take over the memory.  There's no uninstall option, so now I need to contact the creator to find out what it did to my system.

 

JPlay is probably slightly tricky for someone who finds reading and Windows Explorer scary, but it's a bit silly to say it's difficult to use.  Open up Windows Explorer, left-click a file you want to listen to, hit Ctrl-C, then hit <space> in JPlay.  Very easy to A/B test.


I need to hear all of its capability before I can really make up my mind. This computer can't do kernel streaming, and doesn't have enough RAM either. Until I try hibernation mode with overdrive, I can't really make up my mind one way or the other.

 

post #39 of 69
Thread Starter 

Wow this thread grew since I last looked....

 

 

Biggest thanks to Dave and others who wrote more detailed explanations of Jplay - I hope to give the trial a big run this weekend now that I have my MK-II getting closer to burned in.   So far Foobar with Kernel Sound has been night and day against itunes or WMP.  Anyone who fights for itunes isn't worth arguing it's as simple as that.  It sounds noticeably worse, amongst the insanely awful bloatware.

 

Anyway, again, I appreciate the suggestions - Dave your contributions help a lot.   I'll post back when I have time to do some more serious listening and make up my mind.

 

 

post #40 of 69

The trial to my ears was noticeably better than Foobar, which I haven't heard from any other player on Windows. That's in WASAPI mode with buffer at 192, throttle and core exclusive turned on. I think I prefer Beach mode to River mode, but I'm not quite sure yet. I definitely want to hear it on a dedicated computer in KS mode.

post #41 of 69

I know that it's generally best to bypass everything you can, but how exactly does Windows Mixer color the sound? I know it did some ugly resampling and cut off two significant bits in XP, but what does it do in Vista and 7?

post #42 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post

Dave is referring to software which bypasses Windows mixer for bit-perfect playback.  If you like sound colored by Windows Mixer, that's your prerogative, but you'll have difficulty finding people on any serious audio community to back a non-bit-perfect player.

 

Not sure why you're taking this so personally, to the point of an ad hominem attack.  Foobar, cPlay, and Stealth are free, and JPlay and JRiver are a fraction of the price of Amarra.

 

It's a bit of hyperbole to say that you can't get enjoyable music out of WMP or iTunes, but you can do much better than those two pieces of software, particularly as the quality of your source and bridge increases.

 

Sonically, computer audio, using iTunes as a media player for files from 256k top 3100k are indistinguishable from SACD played through my HT's amplification/speakers. Foobar, Media Monkey and WMP produce  similar results. It's only in matters of  intuitiveness and  convenience where these programs appear to me to be divergent. Also, I don't buy your statement "you can do much better than those two pieces of software, particularly as the quality of your source and bridge increases", the cause and effect is not there. The foobar authors even alluded to that, stating in their own advertisment that foobar does not sound better than other media players.

 


Edited by sterling1 - 11/10/11 at 5:19pm
post #43 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


You're implying consumers are perfectly rational, which is far from the truth.

 

I mean, on one hand you're suggesting that Amarra must be better than iTunes because people buy it, and then on the other hand you're claiming that sales doesn't suggest quality.


I'm saying that Amarra would be a pretty poor value if it did absolutely nothing. I'm not saying that Budweiser is the best beer in the world, has to be because just look at those sales numbers.

post #44 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

I know that it's generally best to bypass everything you can, but how exactly does Windows Mixer color the sound? I know it did some ugly resampling and cut off two significant bits in XP, but what does it do in Vista and 7?


Bypassing Windows Mixer reduces/eliminates any sort of signal processing.  If you go through DirectSound, the PCM audio is pre-mixed before it reaches the driver.

 

Based on how I understand the technology (someone who understands audio engineering can probably speak better than I can; digital audio is an extremely technical subject, as any software developer who went through a competent compsci program will tell you), the advantage of DirectSound is real-time control over the audio through APIs, which is very useful for more dynamic applications like video games.

 

Conversely, if you just want a neutral reproduction of the sound, you want to cut out as much of that as you possibly can.  Based on both subjective and quantitative testing, everything from processes requiring CPU and memory usage, to process prioritization, to the quality of the clock, can make an effect on sound which some people are capable of picking up on.

 

The part that gets lost in the discussion is that some people enjoy that coloration.  Other people want as faithful a reproduction as possible, and they think it sounds better to their ears.  From my own perspective, I couldn't really tell the difference until I drastically improved my chain.  Whether it's 'better' is an exercise ultimately up to the listener.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/business/media/10audio.html

Quote:

In fact, among younger listeners, the lower-quality sound might actually be preferred. Jonathan Berger, a professor of music at Stanford, said he had conducted an informal study among his students and found that, over the roughly seven years of the study, an increasing number of them preferred the sound of files with less data over the high-fidelity recordings.

 

“I think our human ears are fickle. What’s considered good or bad sound changes over time,” Mr. Berger said. “Abnormality can become a feature.”

 

 

http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/03/11/153205/young-people-prefer-sizzle-sounds-of-mp3-format

http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/03/the-sizzling-sound-of-music.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASAPI#Audio_stack_architecture

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd316780%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

 

IC45726.jpg

post #45 of 69

Thanks for a thoughtful, as well as thought provoking post. Speaking of not hearing differences until you drastically improved your chain,  my HT, which I've only recently integrated to computer audio, seems to make everything sound great: compact cassettes, reel to reel, SACD, CD, LP, DAT, and even FM.  Thing is, computer audio not only sounds great but gives me convenience which older technology cannot muster. 

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