JPLAY - It aint subtle

Tried it awhile back and just couldn't get it to work consistently. When it did work, I could hear that it was doing some good things. Recently however, I was browsing ComputerAudiophile and saw that quite a few their members were using it so I decided to give it another go. It seems that they have done some improvements up to the current 5.1 version. It only took me 5 minutes from download of the trial version through set up.

I am not one for audiophile jargon so let's just say that what I heard would be comparable to what I would expect to hear if I had thrown some serious money at upgrading a major component. Needless to say I went ahead and spent the $130 to purchase the software.

My setup has been using two computers. One simply acts as a fileserver streaming files to the other pc. I had figured that reducing load on the pc doing the processing couldn't hurt the sound. Jplay also recommends a dual-pc setup, so I went ahead and tried their configuration and what I heard was yet another step above what I got with the single pc.

Now, I know that there is major controversy brewing over what exactly Jplay does and how to explain it. Jriver actually generates a warning page specifically citing tests that shows that Jplay has no benefit whatsoever. However, I am one of those audiophiles that follow what my ears tell me and not what some measurements show. Having said that I'd like to limit this thread to generating some feedback and discussion from others who have tried the software and want to share with others.
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I have been using JPLAY for a couple of years & I continue to be amazed by how good it is. I also listen with my ears and JRiver is good but JPLAY is simply much better for music playback.I recently had an audiophile client over for a listen and he was very surprised how good my computer playback was. After about 45 minutes I told him that everything up to that point had been an MP3 file. He could not believe it.I had to show him the bit count to prove it. Besides simply sounding better JPLAY once you purchase their license gives you all updates for free.It is the best 100 Euros I ever spent.
About 6 mo ago, after the trial, I paid the 100 euros for 5.1. I use the "mini" version with a kernel streaming driver. It seems to peel back another layer. I haven't been able to get the hibernate mode to work yet though, perhaps there's another layer there

As for arguments, Pfffst! Let them argue, I'll just enjoy...
I agree, JPlay is great and that 5.1 solves all problems with previous versions.

Hew, try connecting the computers directly with an Ethernet crossover cable.
I own Musica Pristina server which has its own proprietary software environment. Kevina and Simon, practically, challanged me to compare their software with JPlay and any other software I want. I already had JPlay and I (along with a few other Musica Pristina oowners) found clearly "pure" Musica Pristina to be superier.

Its too bad that Musica Pristina sells theit software only along with their hardware only
When you think about it what is J Rivers problem? You have to purchase their software to use JPLAY so it's not like they are losing money.
The more I read about JPlay, the more interested I get. My digital front end is now a SB Touch, followed by a Metrum Octave. In a few weeks I'll get a USB converter, probably an Audiophilleo, and will get rid of the SBT and use a laptop as server, probably with JRiver. What are the minimum laptop requirements to give JPlay a fair shot?
Uh, Jplay works with Foobar2000 which is free and it works as a stand alone player too.

Any modern computer with 4GB or more of memory and at least a dual-core processor is OK for JPlay, but more power and more memory are better. Windows 8 helps too because some of the latest JPlay features can only be used with it. The less you do other things with the computer while it's playing music the better, to avoid clicks and pops and slooow browsing. All of that because JPlay heavily tweaks Windows to give priority to sound. I have found that using Fidelizer before starting JPlay helps even more, but then you can barely use the computer for anything else but music until you reboot. A dual-PC arrangement is even better.
Will JPLAY work with my Squeezebox Touch using ITunes?
As Billbartuska says, JPlay is a stand-alone player, though a minimalist one, but it also works as ASIO driver for Foobar and for this player I recently discovered, perfect for my simple, folder-based, mostly classical, music collection: AlbumPlayer 2.97
I had JPlay issues also (I use JRiver 17), but with the new JPlay 5.1, it is stable and runs fine and is an audio improvement. The big problem with its being 'unstable' may actually be a setting thing where the samples are usually set too high. Once I low 5.1 works like a charm.ered mine (with the prior versions) I ran much better.
Jplay also supports a dual PC option where the control PC feeds music from the player to a second dedicated audio PC via wired Ethernet for DAC feed. I'm running that option and its very good in extracting more nuance, tone color solidity and eliminating digital irritants
Agreed with everything said here.

I run it off a Mac mini with bootcamp in Windows 7, and it really blows away every other playback engine I have encountered, on Mac or Windows.

Jplay was probably the equal of upgrading my DAC. I actually discovered it through John Kenny, the maker of my DAC, and installed it, and had it ready and waiting for my JKDAC32. Kind of funny that they promote each other, because Marcin and John are two of the nicest guys I've ever dealt with.

The new 5.1 with my DAC offers the best music playback I have ever heard...ever.

Glad you're enjoying your purchase. You're not alone :)
If you guys haven't updated to the newest version 5.2 you need to do so asap. Massively improvement over the old version.
I don't know about "massive," but I agree v5.2 improves on 5.1. I haven't yet tried the alternate version, but some at the JPlay forum say sounds even better.
Hew and others who have tried JPLAY and like it, what OS are you using? I am using Server 2012 with Audiophile Optimizer. When I tried JPLAY I didnt hear any difference. I wonder if its because the Optimizer already does a very good job tweaking the PC for audio playback.

I will give the latest version a try.
I actually got it working and chucked it. I think JR19 sounds better w/o.

I'm interested in your experience, as I'm getting ready to build a server and I'm wondering about this. Are you using Windows Server 2012 plus AudioPhil's Optimizer, plus JRiver19?

I'm following AudioPhil's recipe for the server and plan tu run WS2012 with the Optimizer and JRiver19 initially, and then try JPlay. So I will likely make my own experience, but having yours as a reference would be great.

I am using JRiver 19 on a custom gateway PC running windows 7. I am using a Juli@ ESI PCI sound card. The soundcard, via apogee spdif cable, goes into an esoteric upsampler (to 192) and reclocked, into an Esoteric K03. I am not using audiophils optomizer. I was using Jplay but find the music sounds more natural w/o it. I am absolutely thrilled with the sound. totally resolving and detailed and very transparent, musical and totally non-fatiguing.
The upsampling/reclocking and not using USB is key.
I tried the alternate version but still prefer the official one. My system has never sounded better than with JPlay 5.2, both as JPlayMini or as ASIO driver for Album Player 2.99.

Thanks for the reply. I recalled from prior exchanges, a good while ago, you had the Juli@>Esoteric reclocker>DAC, but didn't know if this was still your current setup. I wonder if the reclocker isn't the key difference here. Nevertheless I will use your input and try WS2012 + Optimizer + JRiver and then compare that to same + JPlay. In fact if I find the time to do so I want to try comparing what I have today (old laptop with Win XP with JRiver into Audiophilleo into Metrum Octave) to same hardware running WS2012 + Optimizer + JRiver, and eventually compare this to the purpose built server running the same software. Should be interesting, although it will be nowhere near A/B testing considering the time between trying alternatives.

Turning off all processes and services that are not required for music playback makes sense to me - at the gut level, no technical knowledge to support that. Have you considered WS2012 + Optimizer?

Thanks, Lew. I actually haven't. The PC is sounding pretty awesome and I think the next step for me in the digital world is to go with something like a Baetis. But thats a bit away, as I would like to upgrade my vinyl rig.
Lewinskih01, I pretty much run the PC- DAC setup you plan to evaluate except I have abandoned Jplay in favor of DLNA because of better mid range fidelity and vocal nuance sophistication. I often A/B with musicals where as much is said in tone and pacing of voice as is sung in actual words. If you have a newer Oppo or better device you could borrow to trial as a hardwired Ethernet Digital Media Renderer you may be pleasantly surprised and being able to run your PC at any point in the room is nice vs being tethered with short, expensive USB and coax cables.
Thanks for the input.

Upon further investigation I realized Windows Server 2012 requires a 64-bit computer, while my old laptop is I won't be able to try out what I intended. Will need to wait for the server motherboard to arrive and will only be able to test software options on the same hardware.