How much does the media player matter?
May 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Ra97oR

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I am currently using iTunes, I wonder if sound will improve will foobar 2000 and does it worth the hassle.

Using Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card, Hush customed case, Silent CPU and GPU cooler, Creative T40 Series II speakers, Denon AH 1001 Headphones.
 
May 4, 2009 at 2:01 PM Post #2 of 22

Morb

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Don't know how you even like to work with ITunes
smily_headphones1.gif


Haven't heard from foobar 2000 up untill last year... haven't touched anything else since..
foobar 2000 ftw
smily_headphones1.gif


Don't know if the sound will improve, but the custom layout and plugins that you can use are awesome. + dont forget about the performance!
 
May 4, 2009 at 2:54 PM Post #4 of 22

Ra97oR

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iriverdude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I notice improement in sound with kernal/asio. But you may need higher quality speakers/phones. I'd strongly recommend you disable CMSS, Crystaliser, EQ,


Already did.
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May 4, 2009 at 9:54 PM Post #7 of 22

hadouken

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From what I understand, what audio player you use will make very little difference to how your music sounds, unless that program is doing some kind of DSP/equalizing. Audio players should be decoding audio and sending it to your OS's audio stack/sound card drivers, not changing that data in any way.

I think at the end of the day it comes down to presentation and features, how you like your music to be laid out to you and whether you use extra stuff like cover art, artist/album views etc.

I use foobar2000+ASIO because I like my music in a big list that I can quickly scroll down and search, I also like foobars ability to read CUE files, and some other minor tweaks. I use ASIO because I don't want Windows messing with my audio, also cuts out some of the unnecessary layers in the audio stack, which can only be good.

But as always, you can only know until you try for yourself, try everything and see what sticks.
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May 4, 2009 at 10:10 PM Post #8 of 22

Roseval

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The sound of media players is a pretty complicated issue.
If you talk about an interface, there are no reasons to assume that one GUI or another do make a difference sound wise.
Sounds plausible but even this aspect is questioned. Some advocate a headless player as even the screen activity is supposed to have an influence on sound quality.
Then there are drivers, how does the player communicate with the sound device, ASIO, DS, KS, WASAPI, there are many claims about worlds of differences between these drivers.

Fortunately we are using a computer so we can download a lot of freeware.
Download a player like Foobar, try different drivers like DS or WASAPI, etc.
Do a listening test and judge for yourself.
 
May 4, 2009 at 10:45 PM Post #9 of 22

Chri5peed

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Well bit-perfect.

Also fb2k has 101 sound altering plugins too. I know this makes it not bit-perfect, but I use WASAPI because it is exclusive to music, no browsing noises until stopping playback.
 
May 6, 2009 at 4:25 PM Post #10 of 22

krmathis

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The player definitely make a different.
Especially on MS Windows (which you seem to run) if you bypass KMixer using ASIO or kernel streaming.
 
May 6, 2009 at 7:22 PM Post #11 of 22

Chri5peed

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Not strictly true as Windows Vista has no KMixer.

Thats why DS is a lot better option w/Vista.
 
May 9, 2009 at 8:40 AM Post #12 of 22

matanoosh

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I really don't know why Foobar gained such popularity around the forums here. It's a good player: Very flexible, supports many output methods and plays most formats known to man. So what? There are a dozen others like it.

When i first entered into pc audio about 5 months ago, i compared every possible player I could find, including : Foobar, cPlay, Jriver, Media Player, Media Monkey and others.

ON MY SYSTEM (PC -> Isabellina -> Plinius 9200 -> Proac D25) I heard noticeable differences between players. Who won? Jriver, by far. Cplay came second, SQ-wise only.

Re Jriver, aside from its user interface which offered the Theater mode that I so desperately needed for far-away viewing, it also had superior sound quality to Foobar. This does NOT mean it will always sound better. It ONLY means it sounded better on MY setup.

Conclusions? Test for yourself. If you can't hear the differences, they all sound the same. It can be because your system lacks resolution, because your DAC does a better job than others in signal processes and is therefore less affected by jitter or other issues affecting playback. Hell, I'm sure that if I were to change the DAC on my system to a fancy hi-tec MSB for example, the whole rating table for players would be reshuffled.
 
May 9, 2009 at 11:29 PM Post #13 of 22

Chri5peed

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Quote:

Originally Posted by matanoosh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I really don't know why Foobar gained such popularity around the forums here. It's a good player: Very flexible, supports many output methods and plays most formats known to man.


You just answered your own question.

Tiny CPU footprint too, my tricked-out fb2k uses 40K. Also its 'Chri5's foobar' too, not just iTunes/Winamp w/X354 skin.
 
May 10, 2009 at 7:32 AM Post #14 of 22

matanoosh

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yeah, but there a dozen players which support many output methods, play most formats and have customizable skins. People rave foobar for its sound quality. On my setup, I did not see a justification for that.
 
May 10, 2009 at 7:59 AM Post #15 of 22

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by matanoosh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I really don't know why Foobar gained such popularity around the forums here. It's a good player: Very flexible, supports many output methods and plays most formats known to man. So what? There are a dozen others like it.


Isn't that answer enough?
Its flexible, have good codec support, and are extensible to perform almost any audio-related task you want.

There really are not many players as versatile and extensible as Foobar2000. Sadly!
 

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