Don't know where you heard that from, but maybe a big truck was going by or an airplane was overhead.
I've never heard nor seen anything like that before.
I have an XP box... 3 of them actually. 2 Pro's and one Home.
Using either Fubar 2K or JR MC 12 or higher, all my high Res files, downloaded or ripped to the hard drive play at their native resolutions.
I own files ranging from 16/44K to 24/176.4K.... none are reconfigured during playback.
Windows 7 however allows for WASAPI output. ASIO, Kernel Streaming, and WASAPI, all bypass the windows sound mixer.
BTW... i RECENTLY ASKED A LIKEWISE q HERE:
Blindjim, read it from an Article in a National Magazine.
Some Professor who is supposed to be an expert in utilizing
and upgrading PC's for Music Storage. It just goes to show the Misinformation Mine Field that Novices like me have to navigate. For me it is the biggest objection to utilizing
PC's for Music Storage. In other words, its a real drag
that is so wrong on so many levels. I only wish that
proponents would atleast acknowledge this instead of just bragging about the advantages. It is a SERIOUS PROBLEM, and the lack of addressing it turns most people off. Your
average Geek Squad is extremely knowledgable in ALL
applications of PC; but, knows next to nothing about Music
Storage and could care less. It is not how they get their Music. Is there ANY reliable source out there that can
answer ALL questions accurately? How about a step by step
process or proceedure so that even a Novice with a PC can
upgrade for Music Storage. Don't tell me that it depends
on what you want, that is the lazy mans excuse. There
should be a Reliable and Accurate source of Info that
covers many options. The fact that there is a vacuum is
telling. No-one is really serious about utilizing
downloading to replace the optical disk. Prove me wrong!
Ahh Pettyofficer...try here:
Easy tiger.. Âcause it is easy, once you get some more info.
A friend of mine, now retired, was a district super for IBM. With limited time on the job at IBM, and responsible for improving their training department, he noted quite readily , the reason they had so many bad managers was that the bad managers were doing the training. They were ill equipped to train or lead, for that matter.
ThatÂs the lot we have daily now in our own existence. ItÂs everywhere. Lack of product knowledge and technical expertise, as well as apporpriate sales people is rampant. Half truths and facts unsaid are the soup du jour. I feel your pain.
But take it easy. ItÂs all going to work out . If you want it to.
The problem is/are the amount of choices the PC based music devotee has in front of them now. Wired. Wireless. File types. Lossless or lossey. Bit perfect or bit true same thing actually. Which media Player? Want to use a sound card output via SPDIF/BNC/AES ? Want to go USB OR FIREWIRE? Want to make the music available any where locally or just anywhere? What about file storage and archiving? Got a thousand CDs? More? Less? All of these factors play into making a very good or very inadequate decision initially.
and just how far into the rabbit hole do you want to go fidelity wise with your audio playback? This part alone indicates the budget primarily.
YouÂve got a pc already,. Got a DAC? If so youÂre half way there.
ThereÂs tons of info here if you search the archives. This querry comes along a few times a month and IÂm tired of laying it all out over and over again, truth be told. ItÂs all over the web too if you use the links supplied just so far in this thread.
The obvious Q IÂd ask is just how serious are you about going fully PC based with your music? If youÂre serious indeed, youÂll do some researching and then ask more pointed questions to which youÂll get cleaner answers.
The biggest dilemmas for me were which DAC to go with, and which way to feed it from the PC. I had no DAC to begin with and went along the hard way trial and error on my own. The DAC and how itÂs fed are the two main keys for PC playback. Sound waulity depends on those and the systems abilities working in concert. Your media player and file type selection add in significantly, though not as much as the aforementioned..
My current XP box delivers for me in my main system, sound quality on par with CDPs which range in the $5K to $7K retail arenas..IMHO
Consequently, I feel a hard drive based music playback rig is worth some effort . And with a $5-6K CDP .. itÂs one album at a time. With a PC affair, itÂs whatever whenever, and as quick as you can type or click . Or you can revert and simply play the whole album just like it was a CDP.
Concentrate on the themes you see recurring and bypass the unique & one off aspects. ItÂs really not that tuff to figure this out. The more tedius aspect will be the ripping everything to your drive (s) with error checking applications and thatÂs not rocket science either..
The bit on Win 7 or XP gets simpler each month as support will soon be non existant for XP and then it becomes entirely a DIY project. ItÂll be a while for Win 7Âs support to pass by. For music? Both work very well. Until itÂs necessary then, like getting a new box IÂll stick with XP.
Thanks for the response Blindjim. As far as getting reams of info off of the Internet, ahhh thats pretty much where I got the Article from the prementioned Professor. The guy who claims that Windows XP downsamples everything to 16Bit/44.1kHz. He claims that Windows XP should be avoided at all costs when converting a PC for Music Storage. That is only one of a whole litany of his suggestions. His Article was Archived on the Website of a Major National Stereo Magazine. It was backdated only 8 Months ago.
The truth is that I have gotten damn little acurate and reliable info off of the Internet, Archived or not! It is mostly misinformation based on opinion, ego, bragging rights, and damn little science or reason. Can't get a straight answer out of no-one, and the Internet only increases the flotsam of choices in misinformation. Computeraudiophile please! Not another blogging Superbowl of opinion based Debate Showdown! I am here to try and learn, not pick sides. I have already recieved one Major Gross Conceptual Error, a fatal one, from THAT RELIABLE SOURCE! Look, if I can atleast find three sources that agree on one thing, that might be reasonably reliable albeit without any guarantee. NO JOY so far! The Vacuum of concensus is mind numbing, and the Manufacturers/Experts
/Technocrats don't know or could care less! It would seem that the whole concept of PC based Music Storage is one based on confusion, misinformation, obfuscation, and misdirection. Is there even one PC or Laptop Manufacturer that has designed even one device that is optimized for Music Storage? Before I get thousands of replies, is there one that utilizes a linear Power Supply instead of a Switching Mode Power Supply that creates EMI/RFI on the output to your DAC? Any takers? It is really simple, a SMPS costs 1/10th of a Linear Power Supply to Manufacture. A linear Power Supply is what you will find in some of the best sounding Stereo Equipment due to the lack of switching noise in the Power Supply. In Computer Equipment, not so much, how about even just one. You wondered why your Music first sounded like crap when you connected your Computer to your Stereo System. Hey, the Manufacturers aren't exactly beating down the doors to get the first Laptop/PC optimized with a linear Power Supply for Music Storage on the market, now are they? It is just going to be another decade of one expensive bandaid after another of tiny incremental improvement with SMPS. The Manufacturers said it best when they said, "the PC was never really designed for Music Storage"! What they failed to mention was that they would be damned if they would ever design a PC for Music Storage. Do Music Servers utilize Switching Mode Power Supplies? Has anyone even bothered to find out? I will continue to try and crack the Enigma that is PC based Music Storage. I am NOT very encouraged! Shoot, I could practically pay a Technician to build a Linear Power Supply and replace that piece of crap on my Computer right now. I will keep digging into the Technical aspects of this Application.
Just click on the review link on Blindjim and follow the directions on his M2Tech review. You will have to google for instructions on setting up the defaults on the Exact Audio Copy and Foobar software. BTW I recomend Win7 for the advantages of Kernel streaming.
Think about what youÂve just said . Personal confuser makers donÂt make confusers dedicated to music . Nor will they . Maybe so. Maybe no.
Per se? youÂre right on. Can there be one made? Absolutely. ThatÂs what all the DIYÂing stuff online is all about. Some 3rd party sources ARE indeed making music server systems. Some even load your music into them.
The thing is audio nuts rate near nothing on the vast horizon of future PC buyers. Why then should the PC makers devote any time at all to our preferences, desires or needs? They shouldnÂt and they wonÂt. itÂs just good business sense.
Even if they were to offer some semblance of upper end audio machines, itÂs doubtful one size would fit all anyhow! Some audio nut is going to want an extra this or one less that in the mix somewhere! Consequently we have to roll our own and get exactly what we want or very darn well close to it!
IÂll not support nor deny the claims of a windows os altering or downsampling native resolutions of music files. I will say for certain there are ways to avoid or prevent this from occuring . if indeed it does. i alluded to this in my earlier posts too.
I also said you can delve into the rabbit hole as deeply as you wish. Tricked out power sups, 64 bit system w/water or gas cooling shrouds, internal or externally damped cases, etc. The skyÂs the limit, or your resources and imagination is your limit.
If at the Comp Audiophile website you simply read thru the FAQ section much info can be gained there. It is illuminated primarily by the sites host who is on the ball about comp audio on quite high levels. You could also refer to Gordon Rankins Wavelength Audio website. Lavry EngineeringÂs site too holds much wisdom. Those are where I began. OtherÂs of note are Weiss Engineering & Bel Canto. All of which are major players and have been doing this digital to analog conversion business for years and years. Rankin and Weiss philosophies take their bent on direct from pc audio streams via USB & Firewire, respectively.
BC & Lavry have long standing exp in just the conversion of digital audio streams taken from ANY such producing appliances. Lavry more so for the pro audio market until recently.
The media player you choose is important too. It must be able to accept particular input engines and as well outputs, in order to preserve pure audio streams from being affected by ANY OS . NOT just Windows.
The good news is that there are several which accommodate just these items. Fubar 2K, JR Media Center, Winamp, and some other one with Monkey in the title thereÂs more I believe.some are free some are not. An iTunes plugin called Amarra that handles high res file sampling rates and bit depths goes for hundreds of dollars and itÂs aimed directly at the Mac owners.
IÂve concerned myself with what matters first. Added in what I wanted to accomplish and how much of all that I could afford and just jumped into the fray.
In many HE Audio devices I emphatically agree power sups are of key interest during this trek. IÂve even upgraded my own PCÂs PS. I FOUND HOWEVER that is of such minimal benefit as to be no more than an afterthought of overkill. Especially IF all the processing is taking place outside of the PC itself . My setup does exactly that.
IÂve treated my PC sound system like any other source device. Better power cord. Galvonic isolation. Electrical isolation. Power line artifacts have been sufficiently addressed too. My box rests on a high mass well damped upper end audio rack. All the files are contained outboard of it and so is the digital to analog converter. Each portion of the signal path has received likewise treatment (s).
I currently use a broadband USB to BNC converter which passes unadulterated signals from 16/44 to 24/176.4 into a stand alone DAC thru an oyiade silver BNC cable.
I got the DAC for about $1700. The Hiface converter for $180. The oyaide BNC wire for $220. IÂll admit too my dual core PC was free, compliments of the V.A.. Otherwise that box runs about $400 - $500. A 1TB NAS server @ $250. A USB/eSATA enclosure for $25 and $110 for the 1.5 TB drive within it for 1:1 backups.
Power & interconnect cables are whatever one wishes to or not to spend. So to is the system all of this will ultimately feed.
So at about $3K (not including racks, cables, or power conds) IÂve surpassed many twice the price disc spinners in sound quality, versatility, and functionality. Other multi media functions are surely available too should I desire to pursue them . And I can use all the ancillary and mundane functions Bill Gates intended.
Another debatable step up here could be adding a Lynx AES 16 PCIe card and a reclocker. Another $1000 or so. But IÂve seen no concrete evidence nor subjective evidence that such a step would be a prudent or even worthwhile one to endure.
The better move is to upgrade my DAC or replace it. As the DAC is the keystone in the PC music based arrangement.
You could just reroute your Ethernet cable to a $300 Airport express and be done too.
ItÂs all up to you. IÂd not be to despondent or aggravated about the often perceived confusion surrounding the PC based array. IÂm sure you are smart enough to figure out whatÂs best for your needs along the way.
Any more pointed questions you have which I can answer for you feel free to E me privately.
Thanks Blindjim! You have certainly helped enlighten a blind Pettyofficer. V.A., are you ex-military? I am 20yr.
Retiree myself. Yeah sure, that explains a great many things. Who would have thunk it, huh? There really is no other way to learn this except getting feet wet/trial and error. Hopefully it will not cost too much. Atleast this is the third time that I have heard of Fubar. What is the story on USB 3.0? USB/eSATA, is that a solid state storage device? I can see that I don't have the Hard Drive Storage or the Ram for High Resolution Music Storage application. This is going to take allot of time and upgrading of my current System. I am going to have to take it real slow one step at a time. I am going to have to keep reading and learning what I can. Thanks for the help.
Six years. USN. Two bird farms and one frigate. Honorably separated. They donÂt agree my vision loss occurred during my hitch though so thereÂs that still .. and finding leagal representation aginst the VA/Govt is about impossible or so IÂve seen so far. Vets and their claims truly get the shaft hard.
Fubar 2K is just one of many media players. ItÂs attraction is several fold itÂs free for one, itÂs capable of playing about every file format when configured properly it allows for bit perfect or bit true playback as it has plugins which support aSIO, Kernel Streaming, and WASAPI. It works on Windows OS thru Win 7. It allows bypassing of the Windows sound mixer yet enables volume control too. Normally, that doesnÂt happen.
USB 3.0? Beats me. There is sufficient trhu put on USB 2.0 for HD audio palyback.
Ripping CDs to Lossless files will consume some disc space. You can put around 2500+ albums onto a 1TB drive if all were ripped in lossless formats, such as WAV, AIF, FLAC etc. IÂd say stay away from WAV though. It wonÂt store track and id or other info like AIF, FLAC & Apple lossless ALAC.
Even if your files are compressed adding some of the things I pointed to earlier will sure improve the sound. ThereÂs one newish ÂbridgeÂ gizmo that sells for 450.00 called the halide Bridge which requires no DAC. Plugs into your USB port and has a pr of analog RCA output connections on the other end of itÂs 6ft or so length. It only will handle up to 24/96 resolutions though. Which might be just fine for you for now.
Media players donÂt all sound alike or even good on Windows or some do sound way beterr. Fubar & J River are my top choices for music playback.
Another tact would be to use the hiface unit with a longer USB cable by affixing it directly onto your DAC either BNC or as RCA/SPDIF . Thereby eliminating the need for a digital cable. IÂve heard or sen at the Hiface website this works. So thereÂs you an out for under $200 if you have a DAC or receiver for that matter.
Thanks for the info. I am a 20 yr retiree from Navy. My last Command was a Bird Farm, The U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln
based at Everett WA.
Do you know how many so called High End external
Computer DAC's claim that USB 2.0 can only handle Music
Files from 33kHz to 48kHz? They build the reciever chips
for USB 2.0 Input to only handle CD 44.1kHz for this
reason, or so they claim. It is just like I was told that
DVD ROM couldn't rip Multi-channel High Resolution Disks.
They can and Media Players DO exist for storing these type
of recordings. Still couldn't even get verification for this from DVD ROM Manufacturer, they were clueless or even didn't care!
You can understand why trying to learn about PC Music
Storage for the first time is such an uphill battle. Oh, but don't use Windows XP for Music Storage, so says some
so called Expert in PC Music Storage of a Major Nat'l
Stereo Magazine. One Gross Conceptual Error on top of
another. Contact PC Manufacturer to get the straight scoop.
High Definition? Multi-Channel? 24/96,24/192? What the hell is all of that! Hey Pal, it's just what ya see! Nice
vacuum, and convenient at that! You need the patience of an
Owl, and the dogged determination of a Pit Bull to wade
through this mountain of misinformation. Are these people
just purposely trying to deter anyone from using their PC
for Music Storage? It makes you wonder.
Thanks again, Blindjim. You are probably the first and
only reliable source of info I have found so far. I will keep working on this thing.
IÂm surely not the ONLY source and definitely not the LAST word on PC audio affairs. There are several right here on Agon which exceed easily my knowledge base. Consequently, I try to stay within my own experiences not postulating on exacts, and onlyÂs.
I was on the Saratoga & Franklin D. both as ships company in the Engineering Division.
This isnÂt too different than what goes on about the flight deck. You got your Green, red, purple, White, brown, and blue shirts. All are a part of a singular enterprise, yet each has varied jobs to promote that particular end. You got your CAT people, Weapons crew, fuelers, traffic and parkers group, medics, and command. Although they do an exemplary job IÂve seen some horrific events take place on the flat top. Absolutely stomach turning events.
You might be better served to remember too, that different sects of PC users abound. PC makers . PC users . PC operating system makers Recording sorts which go all out digitally to capture their sessions or the ÂProÂ sect then comes the Audio nut that sees how flexible a PC ÂcanÂ be utilized for home entertainment.
The PC hard and soft ware makers sphere is quite myopic. The recording industry alone has enabled ÂusÂ the PC for audio nuts, a much greater insight into the ÂhowÂsÂ & ÂwhyÂsÂ for our own uses..so with that in mind, IÂd pretty much refrain from areas of info other than those expressly dedicated to the actual end you seek.
Vista, Win 7, or XP, can all be made to sound great! Just as so can a Mac or Lenox based box. Each one has itÂs own pluses and minuses. Each brings something to the table and each has itÂs quirks. The thing to know here is actual improvements in computer performance often translate to better audio & video reproduction. Fill up the RAM. Get a hot shot CPU. SS hard drives are getting more press and getting cheaper . And are faster. Speed is key. Make your pc as fast as is reasonably possible. ThatÂs just sound thinking.
No one has quantified sound quality gains from a 64 bit to 32 bit rig thus far to my knowledge . And hardware always runs in front of the software. 64 bit rigs are reputedly faster workers, yet seldom are there enough software applications suitable to 64 bit rigs from the jump! So thereÂs some lag for software to catch up to them. Just like hyper threading was, and Dual CPUs once were . You could buy them but some very popular apps werentÂ written to take full advantage of the hardware tech driving them.
HP now has advertised a laptop dedicated to music uses and home entertainment . Reportedly. I saw an ad on TV about it just the other day. IÂve not wasted anytime checking it out however. I doubt seriously HP made an all out attempt to formulate an ÂaudiophileÂ pc in truth. ThereÂs still that windows OS TO WORK AROUND, remember? It may have added interfaces, and sharing capabilities and perhaps it has some greater horsepower too all of that does add up, but there is more to it.
Again, the numbers game in both thru put and sampling rates gets over played and over hyped. Routinely. The big deal is jitter. Period and paragraph. ThereÂs DACs out there which handle ONLY 16/44.1K and do a damn fine job, costing tons of bucks.
Just as with high end, or even ultra high end audio equipment, numbers matter some, but the parts being used and the tech, often matter far more. An optimized truly very high end 16/44 DAC very well can outperform one which handles far higher rates like 24/192. That arenÂt built or arenÂt appointed quite so well. Of course not everyone can afford a 15K DAC either. Or even one costing half that much. ItÂs the same thing everywhere else.
We have our own little budgetary constrainsts and we try to optimize what we have within those confines. The main notion IÂve found out for myself is this . Once you get to a certain point, the improvements you gain are dramatically more costly and become immensely disproportionate to the actual gains you will or can perceive. IOW the diffs from a 3K DAC to that of a 6K DAC ArenÂt always a night and day experience. It likely will only be marginally better. Noticeably perhaps, but most often, not spectacular . With all else being the same of course. That said, results will vary to the ears of some more so than to others.
All of this is as involved as you want it to be, or not to be. it should always be fun, and ultimately satisfying for you.
When or if it becomes all comsuming or an obsession, quit. Quit and seek professional help. for in those accounts, it's not the hobby doing it to you, it's the hobbyist themselves.
Blindjim, good advice. I do have a preference when listening to my Stereo via an optical Universal Player. I still listen mostly to CD. Can't stand 2 Channel SACD or 2 Channel High Resolution DVD Audio. IMHO..both lack dynamics
when compared to CD, even though they might have better resolution. There is also some kind of serious electronic haze with some of these SACD/High Res. DVD Audio Disks. I was completely blown away by Multi-Channel SACD, Multi-Channel High Res. DVD Audio (what the hell!) especially when downmixed to 2 Channels. I hear 1/3 larger and deeper
Soundstage with a complete absence of digititus in the upper frequencies when compared to CD. It sounds about as close to Analog Record as I have ever heard off of an Optical Disk. These Disks are no longer being manufactured I suppose due to Downloading (sad!). These type of Recordings are certainly my personal preference. I am also familiar with the improvement in sound quality when listening to Music Files via PC hard drive as opposed to CD version via Optical Drive. Alright, my only option for my preference will be Downloading , and Ripping the few Multi-Channel Disks that I currently have. Tried to play catch-up with PC and Multi-Channel High Resolution Recordings. Ended up finding myself stuck between misinformation Rock and Gross Conceptual Error Hard Place. Been spending weeks trying to study up on the subject, but more than half of what I have read is....well....you've seen it! It seems that we are all being driven like cattle towards Downloading by the Market, but no technical leadership with Music Storage on PC. Sound Quality becomes arbituary, lost in the 100,000 other applications for PC. Audiophiles put stock in Sound Quality, arbituary concern by PC Manufacturers for Sound Quality is confusing. Atleast when our CD's sounded God Awful, you knew who to blame! I will keep trying despite the apathy of PC Manufacturers towards Sound Quality, and the Market collapse of other alternatives. It is not like we have much choice!
The bulk of oneÂs digital array has to be pointed towards red book CD 16/44.1K. it ÂSHOULDÂ have a greater range, if possible up to 24/192, but 24/96 IS QUITE NICE.
Your comment on SACD vs CD seems a bit odd to me. Well done SACD vs the same well done CD? The CD normally is found lacking in every aspect in the context of my own system. Such as Alison KraussÂ Live hybrid SACD/CD. The SACD side is noticeably better in every way. Same thing with Pink FloydÂs ÂDSOMÂ hybrid.
The quantity and diversity of downloadable soft media is pitiful now. It begs you alter your musical preffs and just ÂtryÂ something new or different or merely revised or rerecorded..
IF however you have the full range flexibility of 16/44 Â 24/192 avialable to you going in, your choices become more widespread . Such as they are now. Again, the bulk of your music is flat out going to be Red book 16/44.1K . and for a long time to come.
SACDÂs and DVDA are out there naturally, youÂll now or soon, have the opportunity to go rebuy your favs in Blue ray format very soon. Decrypting those, and placing them onto a hard drive is definitely involved but it can be done!
High res downloads currently do not offer much selection. Especially for the more pop & rock enthusiasts. As far as IÂve seen, perusing the high res file sites, the selection is pretty poor in fact. ThatÂs why I tehnd to see HD music as more a treat than my focus.