I've recently bought an Arcam rPAC USB DAC. Generally I'm pleased with it, it does exactly what I want and sounds pretty good IMHO.
However, the rPAC crashes when playing Spotify. No problems with Foobar either using WASAPI or Direct Sound, even left for days playing. With Spotify it randomly (but frequently) produces a second (ish) of static then no sound until unplugged, then spotify closes and needs restarting. Since the behaviour is different between software sources it suggests a software issue to me.
I've read about this and looked it up on plenty of forums but found no solutions posted. I am determined to find a solution.
This only happens on my netbook, not my main laptop.
I have seen there are some reports and offers of solutions such as using powered hubs, this solution is not adequately portable and I doubt it's a power issue if it works OK with Foobar. I have tried changing the settings on the usb root hubs, updating drivers, different cables, disabling other USB devices, changing settings for power saving including the one for each USB hub. I've taken the measures suggested in teh FAQ on the Arcam website.
No joy though.
The netbook is an ASUS eee PC 1025C (it's not high spec but has a very good battery life) with Realtek HD audio installed, could there be a clash here? Or with the Nvidia display audio that works via the HDMI port? (I have tried disabling both of these without success) Perhaps there's an issue with the way windows (7 starter) is decoding the stream then upsampling for the DAC? Would different codecs help or does Spotify use it's own?
I would consider removing the Realtek stuff. Are there alternative generic drivers that may work?
If I solve this I'll post the answer.
(For reference I am using the rPAC with Grado SR80i headphones)