all about pc and audio thoughts ...

i most share with you all here my little experince with combinations of pc and audio.
im love music and i have expensive hifi system devore fidelity nines speakers and leben cs600 amp and used cary cdp1 has asource.
i live in israel and im read alot of all pc audio things programm like amarra ,foobare j.river. asio for all drivers and waspi and more...
i talk with expert in pc and he say to me that it cant be any proggram that make the sound better ?
and i like to how is the best way to do rip for all my cds in home do i need specials proggram?
and any suggest for pc or if i used mini pc like zotac small and i used only the pc in usb port
any suggestions for proggram or pc or dac to win my old cd player cary cdp1 ??
I use Windows Media Player (standard with Windows) to lossless .wav. .wav is the format most like what is used for CDs. Results are top notch. Automatic metadata tagging (album, artist names, cover art, etc.) works well mostly though classical CDs are hit or miss and require some manual tagging say 50% of the time or so.

You will need a different program to rip FLAC files. WMP does not support FLAC. FLAC is more flexible for editing tags. I prefer to get tags right initially prior to rip to .wav using WMP and not have to revisit that later.
Jplay is a plugin for use in iTunes, Foobar and J.River that loads up the track in RAM, and plays back from there. The hard drive is never touched during playback. Jplay supports playback using Kernel streaming and WASAPI, has several settings to optimize memory management, like the size of the buffer, how much to commit your processor, etc. It's a little quirky in iTunes, but this little program took the sound quality of my PC audio to a new height using iTunes. Stock iTunes will not output sound using WASAPI or Kernel streaming, but Jplay enables this, so if you like the iTunes interface, this could be an answer for you.
To my knowledge, J.River and Foobar both support WASAPI, and maybe Kernel streaming, but I don't think either of these play back the music from RAM. Jplay does this. Improvements made by Jplay in iTunes were astounding, Jplay improvements to be made in J River or Foobar will be less so.
To rip CDs, lots of folks use EAC, which is free, but doesn't support AIFF or Apple Lossless. Also dBpoweramp is widely recommended here. Have not tried dBpoweramp, but EAC was frustrating because its integration with iTunes isn't there. Also had some problems with automatic tagging.
this article from Computer Audiophile has everything you need to get started
Hi Bolero32,

Here's some helpful info:
how does the JPlay plug-in interface w/compare w MediaMonkey.
The only reason jplay might prove beneficial is if you are doing a lot of processing on the audio prior to D->A on the computer that's under powered. Other than that there's nothing that reading the disk periodically will cause problems. In fact, I can see where jplay would have adverse affects on a system that's not properly configured or just has too much crap loaded in memory - like a lot of systems, out of ignorance to what's going on.
Jplay and Jriver is the best current combo for PC, however the right version of Amarra on Mac still beats it IMO.

One must be careful of using not only the best playback software, but the best CD ripping software as well, dbpoweramp/Accurate Rip with PC and XLD with Mac.

Here are some more tips (no advertising):

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Realremo - JRiver does have a memory playback option. It does it on a track by track basis. Loading up a track takes negligible time and is done at the very end of the last track and during the gap. This method means the amount of memory available on a system is not a limiting factor, except for very long tracks. It supports kernel streaming and WASABI and has WASABI Event Mode, which is a version optimized for aysync USB DACs.
One thing Jplay definitely does do in iTunes is utilize WASAPI and Kernel Streaming, which iTunes does not do, at least not in its most current version. The sound quality upgrade on my system is significant. Foobar: won't recognize AIFF files, cannot display album art...and J.River was hard to work with on my laptop, too many options, couldn't get sound out of it for some reason, but I was probably just impatient, and will try it out again someday. It's true that this is my work laptop and I am running programs that are memory intensive, like 3dsMAX and photoshop, while playing music, this is not a dedicated music laptop. Jplay makes a massive improvement in SQ in my situation.
Dtc - did not know that about JRiver, not sure if memory playback is as important on a PC as WASAPI and/or kernel streaming, as we must avoid the windows audio mixer. I do think JRiver would be an excellent product, but just not for me. I have owned an iPod for 8 years, use it extensively at work, and using JRiver for home audio while maintaining iTunes for iPod support was too much for me. Much simpler to just get Jplay so iTunes can utilize kernel streaming. I suppose it's possible for JRiver and iTunes to use the same library of lossless music, but did not investigate this option as it would needlessly complicate my life. I already have enough tech-based stress.

Jplay and Jriver is the best current combo for PC, however the right version of Amarra on Mac still beats it IMO.

One must be careful of using not only the best playback software, but the best CD ripping software as well, dbpoweramp/Accurate Rip with PC and XLD with Mac.

Here are some more tips (no advertising):

Which version of Amarra do you suggest? I currently run Pure Music and although it's good I suspect what you say is true that the Amarra is better.
Albert - I use version 2.3.3 4318/19. It is called 19, but comes up 18. The link is on my forum if you awant to download it. I have compared it to 2.3.3 4344 and 2.4 4347 and I prefer it. It is not too buggy if you avoid 192 and 176 tracks.

Make sure you use the two uninstall scripts in the extras folder if you already have an Amarra installed.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Realremo - J River does not believe memory playback really adds much to a properly functioning, well tuned system and I do not really hear a difference using it. I agree that using WASAPI or kernel streaming versus going through a mixer are more important than memory playback. Trying to run J River and iTunes in parallel should be doable, but also a potential nightmare for tagging, cover art, etc. IMO, the main strength of JPlay is minimizing the effect of other activity on the system, so I am not surprised it helps on your work environment laptop. On a well tuned, dedicated system, I am not convinced it provides much sound improvement.
Hi guys, just a couple thoughts and some of my experience that I think of when reading through this thread... I've been a budget audiophile for alot years, Okay, cheap.
When I switched to computer audio about 16 months ago, I downloaded the free version of JRiver (14?) and foobar 2000... at the time JRiver was ever so slightly better, but so close that on most recordings I couldn't tell the difference. Foobar did an update, with that I felt Foobar now had the edge. I realize that JRiver has also improved, but since that time Foobar 2000 has had maybe a dozen updates and on maybe half of those, I heard an improvement... the current version is a different world from what I downloaded 16 months ago... granted, I haven't compared with a current JRiver version and JRiver was more user friendly. Next, JPLAY, when I first tried it, I was smiling big, nice improvement, after some research, I upgraded my ram from 3 to 6gb, I turned off all or removed any programs not needed (dedicated music server, so most) what I found then was that JPlay no longer was the huge improvement, occasionally it sounded a bit leaner, but no longer added depth or detail and lastly, last night after months of undecisiveness, I finally downloaded windows 8... in my system, it is a clear improvement. ... I know the general consensus is that MAC is better, I don't know, it may be, but I can tell you that my system has improved very nicely over these past months using Foobar 2000, outputting wasapi into an anynchronous to spdif, to my dac. The differences in my system when properly optimizing my server was more than noticeable and Foobar 2000 has also dramatically improved, anyone using Foobar, go to the top, hit HELP, then update to current version. (its about 3 weeks old).. I'd love to hear from anyone that has compared very recent player versions... I hope this might help someone out, Tim
Agree that effectiveness of JPLAY to a large degree depends on if you are using your system as a dedicated Audio device or not. I do everything on my PC and am almost always multitasking. JPLAY helps reduce non-critical background operations. Other nice benefits of JPLAY is that it currently has 3 engine playback options (beach, river and extreme) that all sound different. Also, all future JPLAY upgrades are included in the original purchase. Worth a free trial download for those that are interested.
I think Decible is the best player for Mac.