It depends on the ASIO driver - ASIO can be exclusive, but may not be. My DAC's driver is not exclusive either.
If you use WASAPI, you can force it to be exclusive.
My solution was to change Windows' default sound device to my sound card, which then feeds Toslink into my DAC.
That way JRiver has exclusive access to the DAC via ASIO (USB) and all other audio gets sent to the Toslink input via my sound card.
This has the benefit of always allowing "background" sounds to play, and being able to switch between the two via my remote. With WASAPI exclusive mode, Windows actually stops sounds playing in the other applications, which can cause conflicts. Some games will crash for example.
What you can also do is set Windows' sound output to a different sample rate than the ASIO driver is set to. So if JRiver is outputting 192kHz and Windows is set to 44.1, Windows sounds cannot play at the same time.
Quite a lot of products have separate licenses for each platform; perhaps it's not so common in the realm of audiophile music players though. But so is having a multiplatform player at all.
I would certainly prefer that the license was multiplatform, possibly with a reduced number of activations, but it seems like developing a Mac version took quite a lot of time and resources.
Perhaps a couple of versions down the line, the licensing model will change.
WASAPI uses Event Mode by default in Media Center 18, and there is an option to disable it if your hardware does not like it.
I use a VST Plugin for HRTF rather than crossfeed. I don't like how the JRiver plugin sounds.
This is because people have a misunderstanding that they should match the output bit-depth to the source bit-depth. You should always output the maximum your hardware supports, and the change was made when JRiver's auto-detection was improved.
If you're hearing a difference, it's the drivers, or having one improperly configured. Not anything like "timing of the signal".
A software player has no control over that; it's a function of your hardware.
Edited by StudioSound - 8/27/13 at 12:59pm