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JRiver Media Center 18

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by blackstonejd, Dec 23, 2012.
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  1. StudioSound
    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.
  2. Sherwood Contributor
    That was basically an entire post of you quoting and refuting everything you disagree with on the last page or two.  You sound like a fun guy.
  3. Tony1110

    Haha. I thought it was quite informative.
  4. Battlescarze
    All problems or shortcomings have been fixed with Ver.19
  5. Tony1110
    Is it common practice to turn JRiver's preamp up to max and then control the volume from your amp, or is it better just to leave it somewhere in the middle?
  6. Sherwood Contributor
    Fair question.  JRiver is very proud of its volume control, but I think the most commonly used method is to max everything out and then use analog volume on your amp.  Digital volume control is excellent when implemented well, and I think JRiver does that, but for many years you never wanted to touch a computer volume control, and I think that impression still lingers with us.
    For what it's worth, Mine is maxed out, and I control volume at the amp.
  7. Tony1110
    I have JRiver's volume set to max, plus I turned the computer's volume to max. I was aware that this is necessary to output a full signal to the DAC/amp. The preamp gives 4 volume controls in total and it all gets a little confusing lol.
  8. Sherwood Contributor
    Under windows xp, unless you were using ASIO you were using KMixer, and KMixer had bit loss on incremental volume levels (I.e. anything other than 50% or 100%). That meant that unless you were at 100%, you were demonstrably throwing away quality.

    Those days are gone, but lots of things in audio are vestiges of weird practices that were used to solve some problem years ago that does not exist now. In any case, 100% on everything but the amp is easy to set, and easy to adjust.
  9. StudioSound
    I would run at 3-6dB below 100% to avoid clipping. Media Center 19 can now analyze files and automatically adjusts the volume to avoid clipping.
  10. Sherwood Contributor
    If you want to avoid clipping I think you're better off analyzing files and using DSP options than lowering the volume arbitrarily. Unless you're using an analog out, you shouldn't be having issues with clipping.
  11. StudioSound
    I agree, it is better to analyze your library, but this requires the JRiver 19 beta, and it will take some time.
    3-6dB was not chosen arbitrarily though.
    It has to be analog at some time. Most DACs do not include digital headroom to avoid inter-sample clipping.
  12. Sherwood Contributor
    That's a fair point, and a good reason why a well implemented digital volume control is a good thing to have.  StudioSound, do you know if ReplayGain accomplishes this same task?  I've never used it, and I understood it to basically be a way to level the mean volume of a group of songs (rather than limit the volume of an individual song).  Is the "target" level one that would avoid clipping issues?
  13. StudioSound
    You cannot guarantee that the target level will avoid this clipping, without having measured the true peak level of the track.
    JRiver 19 can do this analysis, and uses it when leveling. They use a new "R128" system which supercedes ReplayGain.
  14. Schonen
    It just so happens I have a jRiver MP3 player and it came with their PC software to manage MP3s with, can't say I noticed SQ being better over foobar. Did you use wasapi in foobar? That is bit perfect playback and I can't see how you can imporve that unless you change soundcard or use DSPs to enhance the audio. But the software that came with it is old now and they want money to update it so haven't used newer version.
  15. jarrett
    Just use the volume knob on your amp and set everything before that to 100% or whatever its default is. You should only be adjusting one control at the end of the chain. In jriver I disable the volume control.
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