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Article: JRiver Media Center 17 In Detail

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I too think JRMC is an excellent audio solution and I use it in my own set up, however...<br />

<br />

Given the multiple threads that JRiver have initiated recently, and which are still active, around aspects of engineering the 'best' audio player perhaps it would have been better to have held this article over for a little while.<br />

<br />

It could easily be construed as an endorsement of JRiver's position in those threads?<br />

<br />

Just a thought.<br />

<br />

RP

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I think its obvious this article was not written in a rush to endorse JRiver. <br />

<br />

They may come across as overly protective of their software in recent threads, and it may be wiser for them to embrace all third party developers that itegrate their software into JRiver. But that does not take away from the fact that JRiver is one of the best media players on the PC platform.<br />

<br />

I find this article a great resource for JRiver users, and appreciate the time taken to write it.


CAPS > Berkeley USB+DAC > Sanders Magtech > Magnepan 3.7

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in depth article here on CA. I do not recall the same level of enthusiasm in detail reporting of:<br />

<br />

- Decibel<br />

- Amarra<br />

- Pure Music<br />

- Audirvana, +<br />

- Fidelia<br />

- Foobar 2000 (spreadsheet equivalent)<br />

- XXX High End<br />

- Signalyst HQ Player<br />

<br />

Detail reports of other players are Songbird (Dec 4, 2008)and Sonata Music Server (last month) being the exception.<br />

<br />

So the bias is in favour of JRiver, to put it on the table. There's also a review of JRMC 15, so really there are three reviews of this product. <br />

<br />

(http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Let-Music-Fly-J-River-Media-Center-15)


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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The problem I see, is that this is all not about "audiophile" stuff. Hence, it is not about sonic quality.<br />

<br />

While it should be ?


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XXHighEnd (developer)

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PeterSt,<br />

<br />

Yes, it would be great if Chris were to have taken the time to do a fully detailed comparison of the various players out there.<br />

<br />

On the other hand, for those of us who use JRMC, to get such a detailed analysis of the program . . . for free, is a gift as far as I'm concerned.<br />

<br />

I hope Chris will at some time give us his opinions as to the sound qualities, if any exist at all, of WAV vs. FLAC, etc. files. And I'd love to get his take on the sound qualities of JPlay, JRMC, Amarra, Pure Music, etc. But in the meantime, I'm grateful to have this site and Chris' expertise as a no-cost boon to my increasingly addictive audio hobby.<br />

<br />

And as to the implications of bias on Chris' part, the line separating bias and preference is pretty thin. If someone can demonstrate a reason why Chris' preference for JRiver is bias, then they should post it. Otherwise, that point should be dropped. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to enjoy the great work he does for our hobby.<br />

<br />

Joel<br />

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Look at all the hassle he got when he upset the Apple enthusiasts when he said a that the Windows setup he was using was better than the Auraliti but his Apple setup was not.<br />

<br />

Any comparative testing is not only entirely subjective (unless some really big setup mistake has been made) but it is bound to upset people who have bought what only one person thinks that for him, is the 'loser' in his his test.<br />

<br />

And what would happen when he finds, as he might, that the 50 dollar JRiver is better than the 500 dollar Amarra? The same response as he would get if he said the 500 dollar DAC was better than the 5000 dollar one. And of course, he would be accused of not setting up Amarra correctly.

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<cite>Yes, it would be great if Chris were to have taken the time to do a fully detailed comparison of the various players out there.</cite><br />

<br />

I think this can be fairly easy once you are into this kind of thing all day. But when not ? close to undoable.<br />

I could do it, and it would even be honest.<br />

<br />

Oh well.


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Mark commented: <em>Look at all the hassle he got when he upset the Apple enthusiasts when he said a that the Windows setup he was using was better than the Auraliti but his Apple setup was not.</em><br />

<br />

I think it's unfair to categorise the comments made (as I remember them) as hassle. People were genuinely interested as it seemed a sudden change from Chris' previous expressed preference.<br />

<br />

Eloise


Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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<br />

"he said a that the Windows setup he was using was better than the Auraliti but his Apple setup was not."<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

I'm not aware of anything Chris has published on the Auraliti.<br />

<br />

Please check your facts before posting.<br />

<br />

The Aurender and the Auraliti are quite different devices.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

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<i>Yes, it would be great if Chris were to have taken the time to do a fully detailed comparison of the various players out there.</i><br />

<br />

I am in the process of doing that right now. Here is my objective approach: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/Evaluating-Music-Players-proposal<br />

<br />

I have not written up the subjective approach yet. <br />

<br />

My plan is to provide a balanced review covering both objective and subjective aspects and the correlation between them. Just for fun you know :-)<br />

<br />

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Thanks for the review Chris. This player has made audio life so much easier for me. Zero complaints and a big thank you to J River!


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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Sorry, I meant Aurender. From memory, I am not infallible.<br />

<br />

Doesn't matter. Auraliti, Aurender, or WalMart. He preferred the Windows installation and said the Apple installation was not as good. Thus, in his view, The Windows installation was the better of the two. Where the 'middle' installation lay is irrelevant.<br />

<br />

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While I use Win7 and JRiver, I would like too to see shootouts between others players and their different settings. Jitter measurements are also welcomed.


1. Sonore ultraRendu - Uptone ISO Regen - Calyx Femto - Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE stage 2 - Apollon NC800 SL PRO - Thiel CS3.7
2. JRiver - Burson Conductor V2+ - Audeze LCD-XC - Calyx Femti - Monitor Audio PL100
3. JRiver - SMSL iDEA - 1More Triple Driver IEM

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as a result of Chris's Aurender review, which sent me experimenting with different players, I think it is not just a simple "which sounds better".<br />

<br />

On my DAC, which is an ARC DAC8, JRiver clearly was better than any Mac player I used via USB. However, others, with different DACs tend to experience different observations than mine. Also, people with my DAC have noticed improvements using a Wavelink or some other USB converter with a Mac, suggesting that ARC's Mac implementation may not be as good. So I think it is more than a simple comparison.

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About a possible player/computer/DAC synergy. Either ARC did nor bother with a good Mac driver or as a 'newbie' company as far as DACs are concerned, just didn't know how.<br />

<br />

A purely personal view - it is not exactly the lowest cost DAC on the market, though by no means the most expensive. At its price I would not be happy if I had to put another box in between to make up for its poor performance on what is, after all, a pretty popular range of computers.

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I agree with you and one of the reasons I am somewhat (preliminarily) disappointed with what they showed as their REF DAC, using the same DAC 8 technology. <br />

<br />

Had I known about the issue with Mac drivers and their DAC, I would have saved a lot of time and effort. <br />

<br />

However, on the other hand, the DAC sounds fantastic with CAPS 2.0 and JRiver.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

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I have used JRiver (MC 16, 17) for close to a year. It has been a good experience, no issues. I am happy with the SQ.<br />

<br />

For those trying MC out for the first time, don't forget to quickly check your Windows computer for any latency issues by running this easy to use tool: http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml<br />

<br />

In addition to Chris's review, here are a couple of specific reasons why I have enjoyed JRiver. <br />

<br />

I have a Windows Phone and I am grateful that there is a supported remote for JRiver: http://sinnema.ch/?p=98 Beautifully done and works great.<br />

<br />

I enjoy the JRiver community forum. I have participated in two community driven product features that were important to me and others. Line-in Playback ASIO or WASAPI: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=70087.0 and Native JRiver 64bit fp convolution engine for Room Correction: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=68828.0<br />

<br />

Thanks JRiver

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There was a thread earlier about a guy with a CAPS2, JRiver, and a DAC 8. Between about a dozen of us we contributed to 'tuning' the machine, Windows, and JRiver and he ended up very pleased, though he was doubtful when he started. He ended up saying it was better than his *very* expensive Esoteric CD player, which before the thread started, he was going to replace with an even more expensive one!<br />

<br />

That's what sometimes makes the site so good.<br />

<br />

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I have been using for over a year and was wondering about updating for the relatively small $23 fee. The blue button that you pointed out showing a direct audio path was the clincher. That feature alone was worth the upgrade to me.<br />

<br />

I am curious as to any other observations that you noticed regarding version comparisons. Obviously, I've already upgraded, but haven't had the chance to do any sonic comparisons with the old version, etc.<br />

<br />

Thanks for your review!

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This review is amazing. It will obviously be a fabulous resource for JRiver users. It must have taken hours..if not days to right...<br />

<br />

But if I was to swap to JRiver from itunes, would it take this long?..even longer...? to run thru the configuration to set the player up? Not to mention move /merge libraries...<br />

<br />

And there lies the problem. As a new user contemplating switching to JRiver, all this review is doing is turning me off and reinforcing my prejudice.<br />

<br />

Where is the 5 easy steps to move from itunes?<br />

<br />

I'm sorry, but if I couldn't get this thing up and running playing bit perfect in 5 minutes flat, I aint going there. Appols for my laziness...<br />


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Nice breakdown Chris.<br />

<br />

I, as much as anyone, would love to use JRiver 17 exclusively. I love its layout and simplicity.<br />

<br />

But as I am all about sound quality, even to the point of eschewing convenience, I can't ignore the fact that on my system, JPlay rules the Sound Quality roost.<br />

<br />

It is what it is...for me at least.<br />

<br />

Bob


Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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No one else's. And it you are happy with the crap sound quality of iTunes, and it's primitive interface why should anyone else care?<br />

<br />

We had another guy like that a few days ago. Lazy, impatient (he admitted that himself). We talked him through, now he is happy and wonders what all the 'difficulties' were.<br />

<br />

I was totally new to this four months ago. Had not owned a home computer ever. Read Chris's guide (the older one) and set up Windows (dead simple) and JRiver in half an hour.<br />

<br />

You can do that too, but obviously you don't want to. Fine, it is not for me or anyone to tell you what to do. Windows and JRiver are just 'there'. No one is compelled to use either.

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Yes I am.<br />

<br />

Bob


Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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