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iTunes + Windows advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I had tried posting this on a couple of other forums, but was referred here. I would be grateful for any help, thank you!

 

1st post

Quote:
 I'm new to computer audio, and have spend the past few weeks reading through the forum. I'm hoping to buy a computer (perhaps CAPS) that will function as the server for my system ... but have run into a roadblock with software. It seems like the clear Computer Audiophile consensus is that iTunes on Windows is a sub-optimal playback system. But for the moment I'm stubbornly sticking with the iTunes/Windows concept. One potential solution I found was using Virtual Audio Cable to route sound from iTunes to the USB DAC -- thus bypassing the kmixer as a source of sound degredation. While the machine still might not be up to Mac/iTunes/Amarra/etc standards, it seems like at least a major issue would be solved (kmixer)

I just wanted to run this idea by the CA forum though, because most of the posts I found were from 2-3 years ago. And a few people even suggested that Virtual Audio Cable doesn't truly bypass the kmixer. Is there a definitive answer on this? Is iTunes -> VAC -> USB DAC indeed bit perfect? There were also a few comments referring to the stability/instability of the program -- does anyone know if the program would be reliable enough for a dedicated 24/7 music server.

 

2nd post

Quote:
 Following up ... after doing more reading ... my impression is that when iTunes/Quicktime is set to Windows Audio Session (i.e. Wasapi), as long as no other sounds are playing via Windows, the kmixer doesn't alter/resample the feed from iTunes? Thus what reaches the USB DAC would indeed be bit perfect?

If I were using a dedicated server, Windows sounds would be kept to a minimum/non-existent. Granted, the setup would still lack audiophile features such as memory playback, etc etc -- but at least iTunes/Windows wouldn't be degrading the sound before it reached the rest of my system. Would any of the experts here be able to weigh in on either post?? Thanks!
post #2 of 6

I'm pretty sure kmixer is only on windows 98 - windows xp.

 

Probably the easiest way to do this would be to enable the onboard sound and set that as the default output device. Set iTunes to WASAPI playback and choose the USB DAC as the output device. So only music will be played though your USB DAC and all other sounds are sent to the onboard sound.


Edited by A_Man_Eating_Duck - 1/8/14 at 10:49am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Man_Eating_Duck View Post
 

I'm pretty sure kmixer is only on windows 98 - windows xp.

 

Probably the easiest way to do this would be to enable the onboard sound and set that as the default output device. Set iTunes to WASAPI playback and choose the USB DAC as the output device. So only music will be played though your USB DAC and all other sounds are sent to the onboard sound.

 

I'm not sure it's possible to set a USB DAC as the output device via iTunes (or set any specific output via iTunes, for that matter) ... that's the big problem ...

 

unless I'm missing something???

post #4 of 6

Sorry, you are correct you can't set iTunes to a certain soundcard.

post #5 of 6

They say WASAPI shared mode isn't transparent - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1384228/wasapi-itunes-in-windows-7

 

To set DAC as an output device for iTunes has to be done through Windows Audio CP:

 

post #6 of 6

Until recently, I output iTunes via USB to Creative Sound Blaster X-FI HD for conversion to optical S/PDIF for input to Sony TA-E9000ES control amp. Signal selected was 24/96 since some of my music is stored at that rate. This means up sampling at the Sound Blaster. With this arrangement my music has sounded as good as I thought it could get. I was wrong. Just a few days ago I began using Airplay through Airport Express, letting the Airport Express convert from digital to analog. I am assuming that the DAC is down sampling to 16/44 but the music sounds better, more detailed. My wife is happy too since, with this wi-fi arrangement I no longer have a USB cable running from laptop to Creative Sound Blaster. I still need the Sound Blaster occasionally however to send LP's to my laptop but that's another story. My point here is the Airport Express unit gives me better sound than my ears have ever heard. Listening to tunes in my iTunes library is now a fresh experience even on music I've heard on hundreds of previous occasions.

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