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ipod linked to computer versus ipod linked to Wadia

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Folks, I have a rather strange and perhas naive question RE: listening to music stored on an ipod via a Wadia iTransport - DAC versus if you have the ipod connected to a MacBook Pro and then DAC. I know with the Wadia, the digital signal from the ipod is exported to the Wadia without being routed through the ipod's internal DAC, such that you get bit perfect S/PDIF output to an external DAC.


I am wondering if you connect an ipod to a MacBook via its USB 2.0 cable (the same cable that allows you to transfer music files from iTunes on your hard drive to the ipod), then have the MacBook connected to a external DAC. , is the digital stream from the ipod routed through the ipod's internal DAC, or like with the Wadia, do you bypass the ipod's DAC and transfer bit perfect data to the computer?




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.. Welcome to Computer Audiophile. I don't think this question is strange at all. While I cannot say for sure - cannot seem to find the exact answer to your question anywhere - I do know that when I connect my iPod to my Macbook Pro via the USB charging/data transfer cable and then play the files from the iPod through iTunes on the computer, it sounds great!


I've always assumed that when doing this, the iPod DAC is not being utilized, but the iPod is just appearing to iTunes on my computer as an external hard drive - just streaming the file data to iTunes and then out to my DAC. If that assumption is correct, then the data supplied would be bit perfect. I'm pretty sure that is what is going on, but I don't see a direct answer to that anywhere on the web. Once again, it sounds great though so why not just do it?


Hopefully someone who knows the truth will be along here to help officially answer your question. Meanwhile, enjoy the music!





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The kicker is that it does sound great, I was listening the other day to some music on my ipod in lossless format, had the ipod hooked up to my MacBooK Pro then ran the signals out to a Bryston BDA-1 DAC (via Toslink) to my system. It sounded great and got me thinking whether or not the bit stream was bypasing the internal ipod DAC.




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... I think that the iPod is unfairly maligned sometimes. My gen 5 iPod Classic sounds pretty dang good with Audioengine 2 speakers hooked up to the headphone jacks. Not the best in the world, but pretty good. The data sync jack output, as we are both witnessing to here, does deliver an even better sound. I've got to think that the DAC is bypassed when using it that way, and am finding a lot of info on the web alluding to the conclusion that that IS a digital out (bypassing the internal iPod DAC). No real 'direct' info though.


- markr


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When an iPod is linked to the computer, the computer is the music server and the iPod is just an external hard drive.


When an iPod is linked to the Wadia iTransport – DAC, the iPod is the music server.


The internal DAC of the iPod does not come into play in either case.




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