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Antony Brown's picture
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Computer audio playback software review

Any chance of a review of the above software?  Having recently bought a USB DAC (Geek Out 32-bit/384kHz) I have downloaded the trial versions of Pure Music and Audirvana to my MacBook (running OSX Mavericks.)  neither of them worked especially well, probably due to insufficient RAM, so I have settled upon BitPerfect as a player. It cannot play DSD or FLAC, but at only £6.99 I am prepared to live with these limitations. 

 

I have seen seen the recent reviews of music stores (iTunes etc.) and think that computer audio playback software would be a natural step, especially as WHF seems to I've Pure Music as it's playback software of choice. 

MacBook > Geek Out DAC/Headphone amp > Klipsch X10i/Bang & Olufsen Earset3/Shure E3/B&W C5

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Antony Brown wrote:
It cannot play DSD or FLAC

I don't know what version you've downloaded but certainly the most current version, V2.x, which has been out for a couple of months, can play DSD files. If you have bought an older version you can upgrade it for free.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Thanks, MajorFubar.  I only downloaded it a couple of days ago and was under the impression from their User Guide that I had to purchase their DSD Master programme.  If that is not the case then "Hurrah!" It is certainly easier to use than the other two programmes that I trialled.  

 

 

MacBook > Geek Out DAC/Headphone amp > Klipsch X10i/Bang & Olufsen Earset3/Shure E3/B&W C5

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

I've heard worse ideas! Will suggest it to the review team...

Editor, whathifi.com

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Antony Brown wrote:

Thanks, MajorFubar.  I only downloaded it a couple of days ago and was under the impression from their User Guide that I had to purchase their DSD Master programme.  If that is not the case then "Hurrah!" It is certainly easier to use than the other two programmes that I trialled.  

Hmm, I've been looking at their website and I guess you're sort of right. BitPerfect can play DSD files to a DSD-compatible DAC, but only if they've already been transcoded into a 'hybrid' PCM-DSD format so that iTunes will recognise them in its library. And to do that you have to fork-out another £21 for the DSD Master program. Bit cheeky imo. It's a bit like the manufacturer of my car telling me it is fully compatible with diesel, I only have to rip out the petrol engine and buy and fit a diesel one at extra cost.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Antony Brown wrote:

I have downloaded the trial versions of Pure Music and Audirvana to my MacBook (running OSX Mavericks.)  neither of them worked especially well, probably due to insufficient RAM, 

 

 

It's Apple, so nothing is ever compatible unless you pay through the nose!!!

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

That's strange, my exprience is the polar opposite. Anyhow, the real reason is that most 'hifi' software players rely on computers having a lot of memory to store and play the audio files direct from RAM. There is no conspiracy to cripple the software just because it's running on a low-spec Mac.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

JJBOMBER: I'll not have anything negative said about my Mac.  It suits my needs. I knew that the RAM was going to be an issue (it's an elderly Mac, 2009-vintage, running 2gb) and it is on the list of things to upgrade.  I am sure that Audirvana and Pure Music will run more smoothly when I have installed the 8gb RAM that my MacBook will take.  I like the Mac ecosystem: it largely suits my needs and is, for me, far more reliable than any Windows PC that I have ever used. 

 

Back to the software, though. BitPerfect just seems a lot simpler and, as a novice at this hi-res computer audio business, it suits me better than the other two pieces of software that I tried.  However, I expect that there are other options, which I would love to read about in WHF.  (MajorFubar, I love your analogy. That's exactly how I feel.)

 

Eventually I plan to buy an Olive ONE (2gb hard-drive version) or a LivZen server, but they will have to wait (sadly, essential household stuff needs to be done first.). So the Mac and DAC approach to hi-res audio is an affordable introduction for me. 

MacBook > Geek Out DAC/Headphone amp > Klipsch X10i/Bang & Olufsen Earset3/Shure E3/B&W C5

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Antony Brown wrote:

Eventually I plan to buy an Olive ONE (2gb hard-drive version) or a LivZen server, but they will have to wait (sadly, essential household stuff needs to be done first.). So the Mac and DAC approach to hi-res audio is an affordable introduction for me. 

I have just read this blog http://www.pooraudiophile.com/2013/10/olive-one-all-in-one-hd-music-player.html

Looks like an interesting concept for you - are they still waiting for "entry into service"?

I think that a 2 Gb hard drive will be far too small for most peoples music collections, so you would probably need to add a NAS/server to it.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Think that's probably 2Tb not 2Gb

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

MajorFubar wrote:

Think that's probably 2Tb not 2Gb

Yes. They quote 2Tb on this page.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/olive-one-all-in-one-home-music-player-designed-by-you

Interestingly they seem to have crowdfunded the money for the development work - however when you look at the numbers of units ordered, the production run won't be very long.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Whoops! Yes, 2Tb.  

MacBook > Geek Out DAC/Headphone amp > Klipsch X10i/Bang & Olufsen Earset3/Shure E3/B&W C5

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Mmmm, no idea whatsoever IF I am doing summit wrong here ?........

I have my computer  (a right good un) connected to an older Yamaha amp via an optical cable. I use J. River Media 19 and the sound that comes out of my  Eltax B6 Bipolar speakers.... and the sound is fab !    :rockout:

My amp contains the dac then ?

 

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Alantiggger wrote:

Mmmm, no idea whatsoever IF I am doing summit wrong here ?........

I have my computer  (a right good un) connected to an older Yamaha amp via an optical cable. I use J. River Media 19 and the sound that comes out of my  Eltax B6 Bipolar speakers.... and the sound is fab !    :rockout:

My amp contains the dac then ?

 

if connected via a digital cable of any description, then yes.

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Audio software like BitPerfect and Pure Audio definitely benefit from more RAM.  I would recommend 8GB regardless of Mac or PC.

 

In all honesty though I haven't noticed a difference in sound quality between those and iTunes.

Music: Naim ND5 XS | Naim SuperNait | Kef LS50

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RE: Computer audio playback software review

Have tried 'Bit Perfect' with iteunes and the improvement is subtle.

However, I'm running now running 'Audirvana Plus' in iTunes mode on a Mac Mini and the sound is fabulous!

Audirvana improves on what iTunes can do alone. Clearer, deeper bass, more focused and more 'musical'.

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