2.4.4 was born.
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Jie Extreme Player 2.7.2 released - Page 4
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Jie Extreme Player 2.4.5 was waiting for download in my inbox when I arrived home from New Year's Eve celebrations in the wee hours of this morning, and what a wonderful start to 2013 it has proved to be!
This time last year I was sitting on the fence overlooking the fast growing field of computer audio, having been spoilt with high end disc spinners and the very best turntables over many years. But with a burgeoning library of WAV files I took the plunge and built a dedicated, fanless PC based on Intel's i3 2120 CPU and featuring a solid state drive, 8GB of Kingston 'HyperX' RAM, in-line SATA noise filter by SOtM and a high grade power cord. This I housed in one of Silverstone's HT cases. After several upgrades I settled on a mid-priced DAC from Taiwan-based Audio-gd.
Several months of sifting through a myriad of audio players followed, with XXHighEnd, Stealth, Cplay and Europe's JPLAY leading the pack. All make different use of RAM and algorithms, and sound quality varies considerably as a result; regardless, new technology has clearly lifted digital playback to a very high level across the board.
Yet I wasn't content. There were imbalances across an admittedly impressive sound stage. Instruments would leap out from unnatural angles. Bass reproduction wasn't quite right: certain notes would boom a little, or deliver a poke between the eyes at other moments. In simple terms, sound quality was inorganic and unpredictable.
Then I tried the public release of JEP 2.4.1. What great dynamics, tonal colour and timing, I thought! It wasn't perfect - a rather full, fat bass and slightly vague definition made the sonic picture a little murky. But I couldn't stop my feet tapping, something none of the previous audio players could induce! This was potentially something quite special, I thought.
And JEP 2.4.5, the 64 bit AVX version for second generation Intel chips, has realised this potential. Finally I can load an album, sit back on my couch and just listen to the music. The latest JEP throws up a very solid soundstage out of which voices and instruments appear naturally and in full colour. The frequency band is balanced, underpinned by solid, defined low notes and a very organic midrange. In the high registers there's no hint of splashiness. Gone is that 'brittle' reproduction that annoys me so with other audio players. JEP renders the digital signal in a way that only the best traditional transports can: it is convincing in its playback.
Yes, there are caveats: the author believes that the less components in an audio player, the better, and this minimalist approach comes at the expense of compatibility (multiple audio tags, FLAC files anyone?). But for users who don't mind dragging and dropping a few WAV files, this really isn't a big drawback.
The first time I heard Miles Davis' Kind of Blue in a trully high end system I was delighted by the sense of depth of the studio space. In 'So What' Coltrane and Adderley's saxophones were nicely back in the room, rather than sprouting out of left and right speakers respectively. And the raspy, round sound of Miles' trumpet was wonderfully real. Playing back the Mastersound SBM edition last night via JEP was just as enjoyable, down to Paul Chambers' double bass, recorded in that vaguely miked way of the period, now rumbling around my room. On to the Endellion Quartet's rendition of Beethoven's 'Razumovsky' quartet, and what a pleasing sound. Violins and viola tuneful and realistic - no mean feat for digital - and cello clearly seated back from the other musicians.
One of my main disappointments in the digital era has come with the reproduction of rock music. Rock requires cohesive playback that makes sense of all the distortion and compression and ultimately excites the listener. The opening track of Kings of Leon's Because of the Times, 'Knocked Up', is a real test in this regard and JEP does a fine job of it. This simple tune alternates between sparse verses and busy choruses (or bridges, really), and with JEP the bass guitar holds everything together nicely in the midst of all the ruckus.
In short, I'd describe JEP 2.4.5 as very transparent with a solid soundstage, excellent dynamics and PRAT. It brings computer audio to within a hair's breath of a quality analog rig, and that really is a compliment in my book.
Edited by goldiver - 1/1/13 at 10:10am
FLAC? No way.
What's the difference? bit it bit identical with Wav, only compressed.
Many people have large collections, so converting everything to Wav, is just crazy.
What an awful waste of space!
Seems like the #1 complaint through this thread.
You said, it will make the player sound worse?
Add it as a plugin option, people can use it if they need it, or remove it if they don't.
This way you cover all your bases.
Edited by ROBSCIX - 1/1/13 at 8:19am
Sounds like BS to me....
1. You are obviously a coder, so if code quality is not good, why don't you improve it for the player?
2. You don't understand FLAC?
3. I like simple things to but WAV is a big waste of space and generally avoided based on that fact alone.
Don't get me wrong here, it is your player do with it what you will. I just thought if you added support for Flac you would have many more people
interested in this player. I think many others in the thread have also said that too...
However, I am not here to bother you about it, it is just a suggestion.
I am off to test your player right now.
Edited by ROBSCIX - 1/1/13 at 9:08am
I didn't mean to give the impression I was arguing with you. As I said it is your player do with it what you will.
I was just offering an opinion.
I like the fact that you are trying to offer the community a new player meant for great sound quality, that is amazing.
Just you are severely limiting your intended audience. However, you have heard this from many people now, take the advice or not.
Thanx for your contributions.
I have to agree with ROBSCIX. I have nearly three terabytes of FLAC files; I'm simply not converting them into WAV in order to use this player. I suspect my sentiments are shared by a lot of other members of this forum.
- Jie Extreme Player 2.7.2 released
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