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Windows vs OSX


Beowulf
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I know a lot has been said about the advantages of different operating systems and I get the drift this website has a distinct OSX preference. But, I was speaking with the local computer shop guru recently and was told: If you are using the computer as just a file server then you should get "bit perfect" output whether you are using XP, Vista or any given flavor of OSX.

 

while I don't know he's right it did make me think that perhaps I had misunderstood what I had read here on the website. Perhaps the superiority of OSX is limited to those installations where the computer is acting as a true music server playing through an on board DAC and analog output as opposed to simply using the computer as a file server to send signals to a free standing audiophile DAC.

 

If you think my local computer guy is nuts, please tell me as precisely as possible why you think so, so I can get a better understanding.

 

Lee

 

 

 

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Hi Lee - Ok I'll say it, your local "guru" is nuts. The key word in his statement is the word "should." The real story can be told by people who can actually test for bit perfect output. I've used several operating systems and OS X is by far the easiest to get bit perfect. XP is pretty easy if you use the right apps. Vista is another story. I've setup Vista several times and bit perfect output can be a crapshoot.

 

The comment about using the computer as a file server is a little confusing. A music server is a music server whether it uses an internal or external DAC. If you use an internal DAC it's extremely difficult to test for bit perfection. External DACs like the Berkeley Alpha DAC make it pretty easy.

 

Maybe I'm a little slow this evening (new years eve) but the "guru's" comments don't really make any sense.

 

Given a discussion with the person I'm sure it would be easier to understand his point of view. But so far it's pretty tough.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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Use Windows XP with ASIO USB or ASIO4all to bypass the Kernal Mixer. I suggest you use the Ridge Street Audio USB cable!

 

Powerbook G4 15 inch Aluminum, \"Fidela,\" M2tech EVO (BNC)with RF attenuator,dedicated PSU, Stereovox XV Ultra (BNC) Audio Note Dac Kit 2.1 Level B Signature Upgraded to 12AU7 tubes, ARC SP-16L Tube preamp , VAC PA100/100 Tube Amp), Vintage Tubes, Furutech ETP-80, (Alon 2 Mk2, (upgraded tweeters, Usher Woofers), Pangea Power cords, Omega Micro Active Planar PC. Signal Cable Silver Resolution ICs.

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I stream FLAC from my study PC which runs XP to a Squeezebox attached to the HiFi in the lounge.

 

As I understand it the data stream goes nowhere near the Audio Engine on the PC, so its operating system is irrelevant - it is indeed only a file server.

 

The server software "Squeezecenter", installed on the host PC, sends the FLAC file directly to the Squeezebox. In my case I am using and external DAC so the Squeezebox passes the files bitperfectly to the DAC.

 

If you are indeed using a computer as a file server and only a file server, the operating system is irrelevant; if some audio processing takes place in the computer then rather more complex questions have to be addressed.

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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We've been amazed that, considering how small Apple's share of the computer market is, that people looking for Music and Media in the home all seem to prefer them. I've assumed it's looks and ease of use for the whole family without risks of virus's and crashes.

 

We do have Windows customers, but they all seem to be IT types who understand how to use it and configure it.

 

Microsoft have been getting dreadful publicity for some time and this must be a factor. I noticed yesterday that their Zunes are all locking up and that they are likely to lay off 15, 000 of their workers. It's sad and Windows 7 may redress the balance, but until then we recommend Apple if we're asked.

 

Ash

 

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