Streaming Audio is Trying My Newbie Patience. Help


PC rookie here, trying to learn.

I purchased Amarra HiFi and cannot get it to work when streaming Internet radio. I also downloaded the trial of Amarra 3.0 which theoretically does play streaming files,, but still no luck. I've also tried a few of the other players, Decibel, JR River, etc and still am baffled.

All players will work with my iTunes playlists. But improving streaming radio is also a priority.

My main computer is a MacPro 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xenon. 10 gigs RAM. OS 10.8.5.

My laptop is running OS 10.6 , Intel, 2 gigs RAM.

I've uninstalled all programs and reinstalled. I've deleted every plist I can find relative to those programs. I've started and restarted both computers. I am very keen on making this work. :)

Thanks for any suggestions.

Ps
ps
When streaming radio, I cannot toggle Amarra back and forth by clicking on the button so that audio is running through Amarra, not iTunes. The button always remains yellow no matter how many times I click on it. It does not matter in what sequence I launch either app. I have set Amarra preferences to dock with iTunes.

When the source is from iTunes playlist files, I can engage Amarra and the button turns blue.
I think you may need to buy an add on, or some type of upgrade to use Amarra for streaming.
I'm awaiting a response from an Amarra tech person and will report results. I am quite pleased with the improvement Amarra makes to the files I can play through it, but streaming is a priority, and the main reason I purchased the program.
Ps: I do not understand your situation so I am going to make some guesses and assumptions to help you. I am streaming music from the Internet using the Apple MAC Book Pro Computer, the Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC, the Luxman L-590ax integrated amplifier and the Sonus Faber Olympica II Speakers. I am using Amarra sQ 2.0 and it works fine.

1. Sonic Studio makes two products. Amarra is used with iTunes and Amarra sQ is used for streaming music from the Internet. Amarra sQ is part of the Amarra 3.0 upgrade but is a separate application that is installed as part of the process.

2. Can you start Safari and play music from Pandora (or what ever) and NOT use any Amarra products? I cannot tell from your post above what DAC you are using. If you cannot play music from the Internet, most likely, it means your setup is incorrect. The link below is from Ayre so please ignore the Ayre DAC reference and use your own DAC. This is the required setup required to ensure your MAC computer, DAC and Audio MIDI settings are correct. This should enable you to stream music from Pandora (for example) thru your DAC to your amplifier and speakers (without using Amarra sQ).

http://www.ayre.com/usb-dac-apple.htm

Two excellent links for computer setup are below:

http://www.audioquest.com/pdfs/CA-Setup-Guide.pdf

http://www.ayre.com/usb-dac.htm

3. You should be able to stream music after completing the above instructions. Can you? If you cannot, your settings need to be reviewed. This might take several attempts.

4. The next step is to start Safari and THEN start Amarra sQ. Safari must be started first to correctly establish the link between the two products. Please select a song from Pandora (or another product) and the music should start playing. Please see the Amarra sQ screen and you should see the volume columns moving. When Amarra sQ is being used, the Pandora signal is being processed through Amarra sQ and then out the back door to your DAC.

5. Amarra recommends you set the volume control on the amplifier to the maximum and control the volume using the controls on Amarra sQ. I do NOT feel comfortable doing so I set my amplifier volume where I want it and make minor volume adjustments, if needed, on Amarra sQ.

For example:

Amarra recommend having your device volume set to full and then use the Amarra sQ Gain slider to adjust overall volume.

Amarra sQ initially launches at about -20dB to help protect against any damage, as you will have your device system volume at full.

Adjust the Amarra sQ Gain slider until you are seeing the meters just going into the yellow, or adjust to a volume that is comfortable for your listening pleasure.

I do NOT follow the above advice and ALWAYS control the volume on my amplifier. I do not want to blow out my speakers from a wrong volume setting.

6. Amarra 3.0 is used for playing music from your hard drive. During setup, you set Amarra 3.0 to link to iTunes. You start Amarra 3.0 and it also starts iTunes.

I hope the above helps. .Please let me know.

I like listening to streaming music because it is easy and I love the variety. I can change my mind every two minutes and quickly find different music to listen to. Of course, listening to music stored on my hard drive offers the very best quality.
Maybe THIS will help.
Thanks so much, you guys for the very helpful info. I now have a much better understanding of the differences between the Amarra products. I also understand streaming music as well.

I am still awaiting an answer from Amarra on how to get sQ to open on either of my Macs.

My DAC is an azur Cambridge Audio DacMagic, which I've selected in "sound" preferences. If I change the setting to "sonic stream" I get no sound at all.
Ps: I found more info that might help you. When I first installed Amarra sQ 3.0, it did not work. I was told by Sonic Studio that I had to FIRST uninstall the previous version (I never knew this). Their instructions were:

Permanently Uninstalling Amarra:

1) Navigate to your Applications->Amarra 3.0->Extras->Installers folder in Finder
2) Double click on the Uninstall Amarra.app.

This removes the Amarra application, Preferences and FLAC components. You can quit Terminal
after running.

When the uninstall is finished, do the following:

Download the current Amarra 3.0 Installer Here:

[Check their web site, or the email link you received}

- Choose Easy Setup when prompted

- Select ‘Yes’ when asked to launch Amarra

- Click Activate to access the activation window

- Enter your code (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx), email address (yyyyyyyyyy), and current pw (zzzzzzzzzz0) in the spaces provided

- Click Activate again and when asked for a new pw, create your own new, unused password up to 16 characters long and enter in the space provided

- Click ‘OK’ and you should be all set.

I also found the Amarra sQ Activation Guide below that might help you. See:

http://downloads.sonicstudio.com/Amarra/30/Amarra_30_Activation_Guide.pdf

My Amarra sQ setup is:

Output Device is your DAC (azur Cambridge Audio DacMagic). My screen shows Ayre QB-9 DAC)
Channels are left and right
Sample rate is 44,100

Input Device is Sonic Stream.
Channels are left and right.
Sample rate is 44,100.

When Amarra sQ is being used, Pandora signal (for example) is being processed through Amarra sQ and then out the back door to your DAC.

I hope this helps. If not, please call Sonic Studio again for help. Please keep us posted.

Is the problem that Amarra sQ will NOT open on your MAC Computer or is the problem Amarra sQ opens but does not play music thru Amarra sQ?
Hi HGeifman:
You asked:
"Is the problem that Amarra sQ will NOT open on your MAC Computer or is the problem Amarra sQ opens but does not play music thru Amarra sQ?"

I simply cannot even open Amarra sQ, no matter what sequence I use, iTunes first or second. I've tried uninstalling everything Amarra sQ file on my computer and then reinstalling. No success. On my MacPro, when I try to open sQ, I get a form which asks me to verify all my info. When I do that, and click "send" nothing happens except I get a message that I'm using unauthorized soft ware. HUH?

Except I'm NOT using Amarra sQ because I can't even open it! When I try to open sQ on my laptop, the window flickers for a split second, but never opens so I don't see any forms to fill out.

At this point, I want my money back. Amarra customer service,, in my experience so far, has been mediocre at best. The security measures they've taken on their download products is understandable, but also baffling for someone like myself who is not computer/code wise.
I asked my contact at Sonic Studio (amarra) to review and advise. I sent him a copy of this Audiogon link.
HG:
Thanks for forwarding this thread to your Amarra person.

Just to be clear, I really would like to have Amarra sQ but only if I can get it to work without a lot of hassle. I did request a refund and am awaiting action on that.
My sense, as a computer music novice/newbie, is that Amarra's security system is quite vigorous, and not entirely "bug free", which translates into user-unfriendliness. I may or may not be correct about this, but all I know is that trying to get sQ to simply open and work on either of my computers has been impossible for me, even after purchasing the program.
I am sorry you are having problems with Amarra sQ. I agree their install process is complex and have previously made several suggestions to Amarra for improvements. I wish you were local so I could better help you. The only thing I can think of is that Amarra installs a file on your Mac in the download section. You have to wait until it is 100% finished before you start your install. You go to the Download section and click on the file to start the process. You could delete all files in this section and try the download again. I also had a similar problem the first time I tried to install sQ.
"- Click Activate to access the activation window

- Enter your code (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx), email address (yyyyyyyyyy), and current pw (zzzzzzzzzz0) in the spaces provided

- Click Activate again and when asked for a new pw, create your own new, unused password up to 16 characters long and enter in the space provided

- Click ‘OK’ and you should be all set."

Do you have to de-activate Amarra before you activate a reinstall? Sometimes software companies make you do it this way in an attempt to keep apps installed on only 1 computer at a time.

Also, I would post your problem on computeraudiophile.com. Its not my favorite place to go because its more computer than audiophile with them. But for a technical problem like this, they're very good. I'd be very surprised if someone over there couldn't help you.
Zd542: You have to uninstall the old version of Amarda sQ before you install the new version. I have suggested to Sonic Studio that their install software should perform this step.
My Sonic Studio contact reports that one of their experts have been in contact with you and that a remote support session is scheduled for next week with you. You should be operating okay after that. This is outstanding customer service from Sonic Studio
HG wrote:
"My Sonic Studio contact reports that one of their experts have been in contact with you and that a remote support session is scheduled for next week with you. You should be operating okay after that. This is outstanding customer service from Sonic Studio"
YES! We are scheduled for Wednesday Jan 27 PM and I am excited. I'm also impressed with their customer service because one of the primary personnel took the time to call me personally.

Thanks again, HG.
Update:
First of all, I'd like to publicly thank Mr. HGeifman for all his support on my behalf.

I now have Amarra sQ running on my desktop computer, which is a Mac Pro with Mountain Lion. It's working fine. The next step is to find a pair of good desktop speakers.

But, the Mac laptop I've been using for streaming in my primary audio system may be too old to load Amarra sQ, although Amarra HiFi runs fine on that machine.

I'm awaiting a response from Sonic Studio to determine if I need a newer Mac laptop.

Hope this helps a few other folks out there who may be experiencing similar difficulties.