J River Vs. Media Monkey Do they sound different

So I invested in a Wyred 4 Sound Dac 2. Initially gad it hooked up to my Oppo 83 as transport and now have taken the plunge and hooked my PC up to the dac via USB. Very simple. Downloaded Media Moonkey and found it to be unnecessarily difficult to navigate. I downloaded J River and found the interface to be great.

I have Vista and am using Kernel Streaming. Sounds great! Even downloaded some hi res albums from HD Tracks. Does anyone have an opinion if there is a sound difference between the most popular packages and if so, who's software sounds the best? Are there software tricks that improve sound (besides kernel streaming and Wasapi?

Thanks in advance.
I do not run PC audio, but with Mac almost every player sounds different. I cannot see why that would not be the case for PCs as well. Do some reading and experimenting...
4est-every player is going to have different ASIO choices
as well, atleast for Windows 7. Do the math on the different possible combinations available, it is way up there. With a new Player, and new Formats coming out every
week! If I was a rock, I might have enough time to
experiment. Gotta work, Gotta make a living, Gotta eat. Is this Hobby just for Rich guys with so much money, that they have all of the time in the World to experiment till
Rocks grow old? "We have all...the time...in the World...",
only in the Movies 4est Gump/007! Most of us aren't part of "Her Majesty's Secret Service", and not privy to "For Your Eyes Only" secrets of PC Audio. Maybe "Goldfinger", doesn't want any information, and "Only wants you to die",
we DO want info. Do we really have to tie you down to a slab, and aim an Indusrial Laser between your legs to get you to talk? Count me in, it sounds like fun to watch!
Talk someone into PC Audio, then leave them stranded-NICE!
Makes you feel like an honorary member of the "Spectre"
PC Audio Fan Club. "Which insane asylum did they dig you out of"? "You do know the price of failure, don't you"?
Welcome to the Seventh Level of PC Audio Hell, watch your
step to the next Level. Remind me again who talked me into
believing that this was a good idea? Oh, yeah, it is
supposed to be CONVENIENT being able to move from one Level
of PC Audio Hell, deeper to the next. "Don't buy it if you don't like it", yeah, except the guy that I sold my Soul to
doesn't seem to be in a renegotiating mood! So, please
remind this "Private Benjamin", novice of PC Audio, exactly
where are the promised CONVENIENT Penthouses of PC Audio? I think that there has been some huge mistake, you see. I must have been sent to the wrong P-L-A-C-E for PC Audio! I'm supposed to be in the place with CONVENIENT Penthouses,
with CONVENIENT Swimming Pools, with the CONVENIENT absence
of CD Disk clutter. Well, if you are a sucker for, Perfect
Sound Forever, you must be a natural for Convenient PC
Audio Forever! Don't forget your Coins for the Tillerman!
Abandon All Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here! Better To Be Ruled
In PC Audio Hell, Than To Serve In Heaven. Wait a minute,
that didn't work out, how was that supposed to go again?
That is not what I was promised! Why am I not suprised? Actually I am surprised with PC Audio, out of my wits-as in scared out of- Captain Sir! "Thanks for the Ride, Lady"!
Isn't that interesting!
Yes, actually I made this comparison in the last week and I'm convinced the J. River is audibly superior to Media Monkey. I've deleted Media Monkey and I'm now using J. River Jukebox 14 (the free one).

For me the J. River was a bit more difficult to navigate than the Media Monkey but I can't argue with the sonic performance of the former. It's quite satisfying.

I also use the W4S DAC-2 and J. River was recommended to me by EJ Sarmento of Wyred 4 Sound when I told him I was having some trouble getting the DAC-2 to recognize the sampling frequency with Media Monkey. He said he had the same issue with Media Monkey. To my delight the J. River also sounds better.

Thanks to everyone. Plato, setup was pretty simple. i read a lot before I set up J River. The only real issue was making sure Kernel Streaming or Wasapi was selected.

Are there tweaks or hidden issues that you found made a difference in using JRiver? Is there any advantage to using up sampling in the menu?
I have the same setup as above (W4S Dac2 and JRiver 15).
Initially I was using K.Streaming which sounded good. Later J.River released a mode called "wasapi event style", which is what I use now with Win7 64 running on a solid state disc.

KS sounds a bit more polite but Wasapi engine is a bit more analytical and transparent. Make sure to select 24 bit in Jriver's audio setup if you play with Wasapi event style.

I tried Jriver's upsampling with regular 16/44.1k FLAC files but I didn't notice any great improvements. I leave the native resolution of whatever file I play.

Digilog5 - why do you suggest using 24 bit in JRiver for Event Style? Do you hear a difference on 16/44 material by expanding to 24?
Based on the reading I have done, with Wasapi-event-style you need to have the wordlength pre-set to 24 bit, which is what the dac expects.

Initially I did not know about this and the Jriver would play for a few seconds and then cause my pc to crash and then needed to reboot DAC and Windows. Setting the wordlength to 24 bits is just a requirement of the certain pc-dac communication (wasapi) and works perfectly. It is described in the JR Media Center setup guide for Win Vista/7 from the computer audiophile forum or the guidelines posted by Ayre or DCS. This is not required however for Kernel Streaming which allows you to set anything you want.

I've not heard M.Monkey though. I'd like to listen to Pure Music or AyreWave too in Mac OS and compare.

Digilog5, I did run both KS and Wasapi event for hourrs this weekend and would agree that Wasapii event is a tad more revealing.

As a beginner with a PC-based source, I would say that the sofftware is at least quirky. The ripping software is tempermental and the album art features work about half the time.

I'm still having a ball acccessing my music and am astounded by the sound quality. Whether its the W4S Dac, which has gotten spectacular reviews, or the PC-based source, IMHO it sounds better than my Oppo 83 as a transport into the Dac. Can't see ever going back.
In an attempt to hijack my own thread, I was wondering if anyone has had good results with a particular USB cable. I'm using a cheap Radio Shack 3 mete ( to reach my sofa0 right now and am looking to make an investment in a quality ($250-$500)USB cable. Looking at Cardas Clear, Audioquest carbon and a host of others.

Has anyone had good experience with a mid tier USB cable?
I installed J River on my computer recently and could never get it to run. It would open and just hang the program. Running Windows Vista and the stock cheapie sound card (Realtek HD I think). Would love to compare it to Media Monkey, which I did get to run fine (although I could not get the ASIO output plug-in to work so I am running wav out). Media Monkey sounds pretty darn good, but since I can't get ASIO to work properly, I don't know if the WAV out is outputting bit perfect data to my DAC or not.

I am new to the computer audio stuff, so I don't know where to start to troubleshoot J River. Searching through endless forum pages to find troubleshooting solutions that may or may not apply to my computer/situation is daunting...
I have just downloaded the free Jukebox 14 version and although it sounds very good it no longer supports ASIO or WASAPI output. I am using it with Directsound. After reading their forum, it turns out that "audiophile features" are now only available in the paid Media Center software. Like I said earlier it still sounds very good but not quite as good as my Potplayer+Reclock combo which are free as well.
I found that out too and went back to V12 - I think that's the previous version. Secure Rip and ASIO support are missing in the new free version. I don't mind paying for Media Center but it is big time overkill for me. I just want to send PCM to a USB port. I may take a look again at Foobar. Now that I have a way to play my music I can take some time to learn how to setup things in Foobar to my liking. When I first was looking at it, and JRiver, I wanted a painless way to play my music files as quickly as possible.
This is precisely why I have heretofore avoided computer audio (other than an iPod into a Wadia iTransport to DAC). There seems to be no end of headaches and nothing causes more teeth-gnashing for me than computer issues. And I have not had to deal with USB cables, WiFi issues (if streaming music), backup drives, new software and a controller like an iPhone or Touch. This is all in addition to a normal music rig.

Seems many spend more time one these sites trying to sort it all out than slipping a shiny disc on a CDP and pressing play!

Perhaps in 2 or 3 years it will not all be such a headache. For example, 2 years ago one had to use a USB/SPDIF adapter because few DAC's could play well directly from a USB connection. Now we have asynchronous USB, etc., which appears to accommodate USB connections. Perhaps in another year or two there will be players like JRiver or MediaMonkey that are not such a bear to figure out and use. Fundamental problem seems to me that one is trying to convert a machine made with music as an afterthought to one where music is the main thought. In addition, there appears to be the prevalent fantasy tha some day there will be a ,ass of popular music available in Hi-Res. Unless Apple decides to do it, will never happen, and I do not think Apple sees the demand.

I am no Luddite and admire the people who have all this running and seem to enjoy it. But until it is a simpler process, I will stick with my old ways: transport to DAC.

01-13-11: Nieuwen
Isn't that interesting!

I am with Nglazer. PC Audio is nothing more than a Racket.
It preys upon those who are simple Novices, whose only
crime is ignorance! Is it possible to come up with a Medium
to replace PC Audio? One that is further bankrupt in Customer Support, and further inadequate in Software/Driver/Accurate Installation Instructions? One that further maximizes Manufacturing Profits by complete
elimination of Customer Support with misdirections for Installation? One that maximizes Profit by utilizing
Customers to provide Customer Support to other Customers?
Sounds crazy once you put it into words-doesn't it!
This is definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel. I don't think that it is possible to go any lower than this.
Build your own Music Server from scrap-for Christ Sakes! You are practically doing it yourself anyways. What do you need the PC Manufacturers for-Customer Support? They can't
even support holding up their own pants. Fifty Percent
failure rate-what a Joke of Convenience!
I do not know what nglazer and Pettyofficer are reffering too. I am not a computer wiz yet I have very few and at the moment no issues with my computer based system. It is so simple my wife uses it. My anolog tt is another story I just broke my cantilever. Talk about agrivation. You may stick with your old ways but you will never know what you are missing. And it is fantastic!
What I am reffering to-Koegz-is that alot of issues with
Computers bleeds over to PC Audio. Hard Drive Crashes,
Malware, Spyware, Viruses, Registry Errors-the list is
endless. Every single Microsoft Update to my Windows 7
comes with loads of Registery Errors. I have had to run
two Registry Error Correction Programs just to keep up.
Your Computer will slow down if these errors are not
corrected, as well as the performance of your Music Server.
Give it time. If you are smart, you will hold on to those
CD's that you have already Ripped. You might find that you are slowly losing access to those Music Files down the road. You have about one chance out of three of your Hard Drive Crashing. This is what the Industry calls, "acceptable losses". Of course its your loss if you didn't save those CD's. Customers make the worst providers
of Customer Support, and the Industry knows it! It's cheap!
God help you if you ever need any assistance! My fingers
are crossed that your good fortune lasts! I keep hearing of some poor slob whose Hard Drive crashes, erasing Tens
of Thousands of Music Files. Back-ups are no more reliable
than the original Hard Drives. Count your blessings, no-one else will in PC Audio! All of these things are what
PC Audio Lunatic Fringe calls C-O-N-V-E-N-I-E-N-C-E! I call it a joke!
As a follow up-Koegz-basically the PC Audio Lunatic Fringe has surrendered all negotiating Customer leverage to the
PC Audio Manufacturers. You have no authority to demand better quality product or better Customer Service. If you do demand, you are quickly ostrasized, and dismissed! It is how the PC Audio Lunatic Fringe thinks they are protecting their Format/Product. This pretty much leaves
Novices of PC Audio Customers wide open and defenseless
against unscrupeless PC Audio Manufacturers. Wouldn't even matter, after all, if you don't like it don't buy it.
Problem is that the PC Audio Lunatic Fringe plan on replacing all Music Formats with PC Audio-Customer be damned! Someones twisted idea of throwing out the Baby with
the Bathwater. This Lunatic Fringe won't be happy untill
they manage to sell everyones soul to an unholy alliance!
They gave away the entire Store from underneath everyones feet, while we weren't looking. Trying to negotiate a better deal now-ain't gonna happen-too late! You are stuck
with whatever sound quality garbage the PC Audio Manufacturers are willing to feed you-High Rez. right now just being a hook. You will end up eating dirt from the PC
Audio Manufacturers, and the Lunatic Fringe will make sure that you are eternally grateful for that dirt! Bon Apetite!
Pettyofficer - your complaints are getting old. I, for one, have heard enought about your problems. There are a lot of us who are very happy with PC audio, despite the occasion issues. Why not just write one complete rant and link to it if you have to.
Amen, Dtc, Everything I have ever seen that Pettyofficer has posted is a rant and is negative in nature. When I see he has posted to a thread I move on because I know he is about to derail the thread and the next 10, 15 or 20 comments are going to go nowhere.

Check out the threads he has destroyed...

He is the AudiogoN version of "Debbie Downer".
Pettyofficer - your complaints are getting old. I, for one, have heard enought about your problems. There are a lot of us who are very happy with PC audio, despite the occasion issues. Why not just write one complete rant and link to it if you have to.
My apologies - not sure where the duplicate post came from.
Fair enough-Dtc! My Rants are getting old. The "Occasional
Issues", are getting older. Especially since they are not being addressed and certainly will not be addressed in the near future. These "Occasional Issues", are not getting any younger. It would have been nice to forwarn Novices of
these "Occasional Issues", instead of selling them the
Snake Oil of so-called PC Audio Convenience. If you don't
understand how some of us feel like we have been lied to,
and decieved, then nothing that anyone will say can convince you. We expect this behavior from Snake Oil
Salesmen (PC Audio Manufacturers), NOT being stabbed in the back by other Customers. Other Customers busy stroking
their own Ego's thinking they can provide better Customer
Service than the actual Manufacturers. Blind leading the
Blind while your PC Audio Masters are grinning as they count their Profits. We have long memories, and we will remember these, "Occasional Issues", for a very long time.
We will remember who it was who sold us down river. That
will be something that will never be derailed! There is
absolutely nothing convenient about PC Audio, unless you think Hard Drive Crashes, Registry Errors, Viruses, Malware, inadequate installation Software instructions, Spyware, Fragmenting are convenient. These words are alien to anyone who just pops a CD into a CD Player, and for good reason! You had a chance to make PC Audio a worthwhile
Format, and you blew it! If it isn't a worthy Format by now, it never will be! If it can't stand on its own two feet in the Marketplace, and provide the needed Customer
Support, then it just isn't economically sound! It's
unreliable, who wants to buy something that is completely
unreliable? People will eventually figure it out for themselves. It is only a matter of time.
I come to this forum for education and enjoyment, not angry rants.

However, the past two weeks I've been trying to improve my PC music source experience and I downloaded J River. Pettyofficer speaks the truth. Absolute truth.
Not Angry-Paul_graham! More likely extremely disappointed.
PC Audio Fanatics have done nothing, but discourage Novices
from getting involved with PC Audio. You don't know how to fix your Music Server on your own, and suddenly you are an idiot! You are too stupid and not worthy of using PC Audio.
The fact is that anyone should be able to use PC Audio, the
only thing they lack is the adequate instructions. PC
Manufacturers, and PC Fanatics make this like pulling teeth. Can't teach, can't convert, you remain stagnate in the Market. Only place from there is down. It was a nice Format while it lasted! What a waste! Just needed a little more instructions from the Manufacturer-but no! That would drastically cut into someones Profits. Best to get
misinformation from another Customer, maybe you can get your PC to crash. Spend more money buying another one,
whoppie! More Profits! Do this enough times-inevitable
Customer gets discouraged and fed up with PC Audio. It is
only a matter of time! The unreliability of PC Audio will eventually sink in. Still time to change-Naahhhh! Forget it!
Pettyofficer; I do not know what your real issue is? But first I back up everything to an external hard drive, it is easy. Second the issue you mention of brake down are the same issues in a every format. They all have their quirks. Anolog(vinyl) quirks quite often are very expensive. As far as computer issues go you do not upgrade the software as far as windows 7 goes on a music server. You do not surf the internet either. Infact when you download you can do it on another computer to an external hard drive an then up load. It is easy. I purchase a tower computer design purly for the use of a music server. I love it. I think you need to really give the computer based system another look but this time with an open mind! If not, your loss not mine.

To lower the temperature here, I respect those who can assemble and operate a high end computer audio system. All I am saying is that it is far from simple to assemble and operate a true high end computer audio system that is reliable (free from viruses, crashes, and the myriad malfunctions that afflict computers and streaming devices but do not affect conventional rigs and comparable in audio quality to a conventional rig. And to suggest that computer audio has reached that state of reliability and simplicity is simply not so for the majority of audiophiles.

BTW, if I ever told my girl friend my computer audio system was so simple even she could operate it (as you describe for your wife), I would be short one girl friend and two other more valuable treasures!

Temperature is just fine, I am just extremely disappointed in PC Audio. It is like stepping off of a cliff from other
Formats in order to reach the level of Customer Support for PC Audio. Customers providing their own Customer Support, Customers guessing how to install with wrong or inadequate instructions, Customers providing their own Troubleshooting. Still in freefall, and temperature continues to drop. This is certainly a real sweet deal for
someones Profits, especially when PC Audio Customer hits bottom! Is it too late to renegotiate this deal? The ground is getting closer. I see PC Audio Manufacturers
drifting by with their golden parachutes, must be nice!
They are reaching out to pick my pocket on the way down,
Now that's cold!

I share your frustrations and skepticism. I simply choose to abode by Elvis Costello's famous oobservation:

"Well I used to be disgusted,
But now I try to be amused."
Does JRiver provide an easy way to deal with these needs:

1)easy sync to FLAC-only portable device (Cowon J3)
2)easy sync to ipods (for car input and girlfriend's portable)
3)plays nice with Squeezebox for home system

Currently I keep two libraries, one AIFF/mp3 and another all FLAC. It's a PITA! Will JRIver help me get away from the computer and get back to listening to music?

I have have a hammer, nails, saw, a level, and some other things at home, but I couldn't build a house tomorrow or next month. Same goes for a PC. It's basically a tool chest that allow you to build/make/do things once you figure out how to apply the tools.

If you have a problem, please state it as concisely as possible and leave out the "extras". Then, maybe, somebody will be able to help you. However, some things, like serving music, extend beyond just one machine and involve other hardware and networks. None of this stuff can be mostly understood by a noobie in a few days, weeks, or even months. You need to take one piece at a time and build up.
I'm not gonna spend too much time or get technical here but here is what i just discovered re:...

j river vs media monkey for ripping cd to flac...

Result... the files ripped by mediamonkey sound better.
The files ripped by jriver sounded ridiculously bass heavy and the mids were flat and distant.

It sounded like i was listening to a mid grade stereo system with the bass cranked and everything else dialed way down.

Which program is easier to use/ better features/ faster?
i dont know or care.
Did i expect this result?
I expected j river to do a better job based on my reading in 'absolute sound' mag. (they glowed over j river and poo-pood mediamonkey) (i still trust them on opinions, but i trust my own ears much more)
Yes, all the variables for ripping were identical, I'm not going to go on and on with the details to prove how smart I am. Just wanted to share the results that i found surprising.


What encoder were you using. I have a PC and have tried most programs for PC. I find foobar the best player followed by J River. I use DB Poweramp to rip my discs to WAV format. I feel it is the best to my ears in my rig. I could not get Media Monkey to output bitperfect.
Same as Chuck, i've tried all 3 and prefer Foobar 2000. The latest version sounds very good.
I switched over to PC audio last year. Windows vista, ripped all cd's with Jriver as flac files and saved on an external hard drive. Using Modwright/Logitech transporter. Sending over my wireless network from laptop to transporter. After initial set up which had its ups and downs but no major problems. I am very happy not only with the sound, but the ease of use and the ability to listen to any music genre from all over the world.