Best Way to Play Flac Files


Hi, I am using flac files and playing them with foobar. I would love to setup a sonus system but my understanding is that it doesn't support the higher bit rate. I like the idea of using an ipad or andoid device with the album covers from my armchair. Right now I am scrolling through the songs on foobar which isn't the greatest. Any suggestions for a better arrangement are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
kaijorg
You can use Win or Mac and the new JRivers software plus iPad App.

JRivers for Mac is still in beta but ready soon and is reasonable. About $50.00 and (Beta testers) friends in the audio business say JRivers is superior sound too.

I currently use Channel D and Amarra, both are good but with Mac Mini I use, FLAC is not native to iTunes and requires some extra action. With JRivers the same tunes will play on both computer systems.

You can probably tell I'm excited about this. I hate all the work around stuff required for computer and this may be the magic fix.
There are many free skins for foobar that improve it's appearence and function. most of them show album covers, I personally use this and coldn't be happier. http://techsplurge.com/3316/15-foobar2000-skins-themes/ http://customize.org/foobar
I am also using foobar and control it via monkeymote app from my iPhone. Very pleased with the results.
This app also streams from the computer into the phone, for casual ear-bud listening, when I'm running on my treadmill in the basement.
Thus if all you're looking for is to control everything from your armchair, a $2 purchase of monkeymote app is all you need.
A wireless router in your home is also needed, not sure whether you have one or not.
Just to shed some light on options, I'll say that the best way to play flac files is with either a Sonos or Squeezebox Touch, if you have an NAS. Either can be controlled from an iPad, iPod, iPhone, Android device, etc.; and with the NAS, you don't have to leave a computer on, nor do you have to tweak hardware or software to get it to sound right.

The Sonos, although is limited to 16/48 files does have its advantages. The first is that the software and hardware are bullet and idiot proof. I've never had a crash or any sort of problem. As far as its being limited to "low res" files, that's never bothered me, since I got over the whole "hi res" thing. I don't know how much hi res music it is that you have, but I've spent a good deal of money on HDTracks only to find, in the end, that most of their stuff doesn't sound any better than ripped CDs.

The Squeezebox does play files up to 24/192, but it's a bit quirky. Sometimes the unit locks up and needs to be rebooted. Sometimes the controller software freaks out on me, but it is still a good unit. I've found myself using the Squeezebox more often lately, because it's capable of being controlled with an IR remote. Since I have a Harmony 900 rf system, I can go through my play list and control the volume with the convenient remote. It is, however, my understanding that the Touch has been discontinued; although you may be able to find one used.
The biggest problem is the jitter from the Sonos. Reclocker will solve this. Very popular even though it only supports 44.1.

The best way to listen to FLAC is to convert it to .wav and hit play. Combining Jplay with Foobar or Jriver is probably the best PC software.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Thank you for your suggestions, I will look into all of them. If anyone else has any additional thoughts please post, I will continue to check back and will let you know what I decide to do.
Actually, the stock Squeezebox Touch only plays up to 96/24, although there are mods out there that get you to 192/24, IIRC. Of course, if you don't already own a SBT, you're SOL.
Bondmanp, you're right. Sorry. I had completely forgotten that I did that, although it is done with a 3rd party app that you can install right from the SBT menu.

He is also right about not owning a SBT already. If you don't, good luck finding one for a reasonable price; although they can still be had.

In any case, that still leaves the Sonos. Like Steve N. says, the Sonos apparently still suffers pretty badly from jitter. On the other hand, I enjoy mine immensely. I guess my mid fi system just isn't resolving enough for me to be affected by the jitter or 20 years of competitive shooting has really damaged my hearing. I think it sounds just fine.

What it all boiled down to for me was that I got tired of having another computer to deal with. I just spent $300 on a Synology 2TB NAS and have a directory on the NAS setup as the target location for dbPowerAmp. I rip CDs, they go on the NAS, and done. When I want to listen to music, it's a matter of selecting the Sonos activity on my Harmony 900 and pulling my phone out of my back pocket.

As far as the Hi Res files go, I do have the SBT for those; but to tell the truth, I've found very few recordings that are worth the trouble.
I'm going to throw another vote in for JRiver. In my case, the interface is JRemote on an iPad, with ripping/conversion accomplished by dBpoweramp. These, combined with my server (Music Vault Diamond) and DAC (Antelope Gold) have provided me with the best digital reproduction I've ever heard.
My problem, should my SBT die, is how to get the wifi signal being broadcast by my router, which is hard-wired to my music server, into my (non-USB) DAC. So far, I have seen no appealing SBT alternatives. Sonos is too pricey, I don't (yet) own a smart phone or Android device, and the Olive One is vaporware. My laptop is too noisy to keep powered up for serious listening. I guess I will take another look in the future or when I have to.
My problem, should my SBT die, is how to get the wifi signal being broadcast by my router, which is hard-wired to my music server, into my (non-USB) DAC.
Get a wireless hub.

I've been comparing SB, eLyric and JRiver Media Centers. For some reason, some tracks are breaking up with JRiver. I tried installing on 2 different laptops and same problem. Anyone experiencing this problem?
The olive one is not vapor ware.its shipping first week of november......I ordered one but my Olive 03HD is the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned. I screwed up it does not have digital out. The analogue out is so bad, I run it thru my MarantzNA7004 which is terrific. By way if Airplay. On its own the Olive isn't worth more than $200. By the way mine is mint and ill trade my mint olive03hd. For a phono preamp

Mike S
Mike,

Do post back once you receive your Olive One. I am very interested in it too. Meanwhile, my Touch, Duet, Boombox, Radio are all going strong and I love them.

Huy
Mike,

Do post back once you receive your Olive One. I am very interested in it too. Meanwhile, my Touch, Duet, Boombox, Radio are all going strong and I love them.

Huy
Fidelia/MacBook Pro USB into Wyred For Sound DAC
For a couple years I used a MacMini for my digital music source. Converting Flac through the use of other programs and trying to work my way through an endless stream of work around programs to make my optimized mini listenable. It was just okay, I then had an opportunity to experience PC audio. No work arounds, whatever you download is there right now whether it's Flac or whatever. JRiver, dBpoweramp, JRemote to use my ipad and to my ears in my system it sounds much better than my mini. Ease of use is so much better

Markus1299
For a couple years I used a MacMini for my digital music source. Converting Flac through the use of other programs and trying to work my way through an endless stream of work around programs to make my optimized mini listenable. It was just okay, I then had an opportunity to experience PC audio. No work arounds, whatever you download is there right now whether it's Flac or whatever.

I nearly gave up on Mac too. The AIFF files my Mac ripped did not sound as good as FLAC but FLAC required the work around you mention.

Sure, you can drag FLAC into Channel D and tag them so iTunes accepts them but what a PITA. Then two programs must shake hands and work together and iTunes sounds bad compared to JRiver.

Now that JRiver for Mac is out. Friends in high end audio that are Beta Testers for JRiver told me absolutely no difference in sound with Mac or PC, provided both have proper chipset, memory and cables.

JRiver 19 for Mac is wonderful and JRemote works just as you are currently experiencing with Windows.

Since you have PC working there is no gain to move back to Mac but for those reading this thread you can have great sound either way.

Go with what you already own, or purchase which ever operating system you are comfortable with.