Jplay vs Amarra, PC vs. Mac

So...I find myself with a dying a laptop that bluescreens when playing Jplay in hibernate mode. Now that I've heard this degree of clarity from digital audio, I can't really go back. I'm interested in hearing if anyone has been able to compare Jplay to Amarra or the other Mac audiophile proggies.

My big issue with Mac is that I have PC desktop, on which most of my music is stored. I am not a huge fan of iTunes either, particularly as it doesn't support FLAC and most of my music is in FLAC. I could get a server, but this seems like overkill, or alternately an external USB drive.
The problem you are having with your pc is probably software related. If you reinstall the OS that will probably fix the problem. Also, I tried jriver and found it wasn't the most stable program. I think Amarra now has a PC version, as well. If you use good hardware and set it up right, SQ should be comparable to a Mac.
Actually, I'm not sure it is. I have my old Vista installation still on the laptop, and it doesn't bluescreen but I get a message after 20 minutes of using Jplay in hibernate that "Windows has encountered an error and has to shut down"!

I used to use this laptop for band practice, powering soft synths (it's still pretty adequate, Core2Duo 2.4ghz, 6 gigs ram). It seems to have developed a slightly flaky USB connection. USB and mobos are a bit sensitive - once I had a flaky mouse cord I had to jiggle to connect right (think a bad headphone cord) and I shorted out the front ports on my old desktop.

A PC audio build would be more powerful, but be about the same price as a Mac Mini, which is trendy and might have better audio, which is why I'm asking.
If you want another relevant resource, you can try I normally don't like to recommend the site because it can be VERY negative, but you can find a ton of info on what you are trying to do. They just did a comparison of Amarra for Windows and Mac and the reviewer found the SQ to be exactly the same. Keep in mind, though, that the reviewer seems to be a member of the "objective" community and doesn't believe that you can't hear any differences if you can't measure them. Given that you are on this website, you probably find that idea silly, as do I. Some things you just can't measure. If you read the review, you'll see what I'm talking about, null testing and all. Even though I disagree with some of the points, there's still a lot of good info. Its a very thorough comparison.

As far as checking out your PC, I can give you a resource that you will probably enjoy very much, and will be well worth the time spent. That is download a live Linux distro, burn the iso to a cd or dvd, and reboot the system and run everything from your CD/DVD drive. It doesn't make any changes to your PC whatsoever. Its very easy. Follow these steps.

1. Go to the website

2. Once there, scroll down until you see a list on the right side of the screen. (1-100)

3. Click on Mint; it should be number 1 or 2.

4. Scroll down and click on download mirrors.

5. Once there click on the KDE 32bit download link.

6. Once downloaded, burn the iso file to a DVD and reboot.

I know it seems like a strange recommendation, but you'll just have to trust me on this. You should be able to run your whole computer of the disc. It will allow you to control all of your hardware. If things still don't work, like your USB port, you probably have a hardware issue. If not, its probably a software problem. Beyond that, you'll probably find a lot of other uses for it, as well. It makes Windows 8 look 20 years old. The only risk is loosing a blank DVD. If you want to go back to Windows, just remove the disc and reboot.
Compute Audiophile is a good source of information. Check out their FAQ and the CA Academy along with there CAPS which provide detailed instructions of building your own PC Based music server. I use a Mac Mini as I am not inclined or capable of messing with such things. And, I totally disagree with the characterization of the site as "negative" as I have found the people there the most helpful and informative. Is there an occasional deep dive on a discussion topic,yes, but much less confrontational than I find on many sites.
You can buy CAPS preassembled from
A free, simple alternative would be to change your Windows music player. Foobar2000 is completely free and works pretty well...

I think your problem may be OS related. Jplay does not recommend Vista (I'm actually surprised it even worked !) - only Win 7 or Win 8.
What the heck?? Vista was one of the buggier operating systems put out by MS. Run, do not walk to get an upgrade copy of Win7 (or Win8 if you can put up with its interface). Either will be better behaved with Jplay and other programs.

BSOD are generally driver linked, Win7 is remarkably stable.
"BSOD are generally driver linked, Win7 is remarkably stable."

Win7 is remarkably stable, as long as you don't boot the system up by accident.
I've been surprised how some devices are getting BSODS when running Jplay.