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iTunes Audio Glitches With BitPerfect & Audirvana


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I have a Mac Mini (mid 2010 model) with 8GB of RAM, running OSX 10.9.2 and the latest iTunes 11.1.5. I send audio out to a Wyred4Sound DAC-2 via USB; it then goes through my amp and into my headphones.

 

I also use either BitPerfect or Audirvana Plus (in iTunes integrated mode).

 

No problems at all, until installing Mavericks (1o.9.1 and 10.9.2) and the newest versions of iTunes. (probably the last two updates). What I'm hearing is right at the beginning of each new track as it starts to play. There are crackling, popping noises; not loud, but certainly audible. It sounds a bit like dropping the needle between tracks on a noisy vinyl record. Sometimes, the first couple of seconds of the tracks will stutter and repeat, as well. Once the track gets going, it's usually fine. Occasionally, I'll hear a glitch somewhere in the middle of the track as well.

 

I've been through the manuals for both BitPerfect and Audirvana, and tried all of the different pref settings that are suggested to stop this sort of thing (i.e. stopping gapless playback,integer mode on/off, iTunes interaction, etc.) No combination of settings that I've found will eliminate these crackling noises completely.

 

BitPerfect support has been excellent; they've even sent me an experimental version to try, which seemed to help somewhat, but the noises still appear now and then.

 

The only way I can eliminate the glitches completely is to run iTunes directly without using either BitPerfect or Audirvana Plus. I don't hear a huge difference in audio quality with either program, but I enjoy the automatic sample rate switching. To get around that, I've just set my W4S DAC-2 to upsample everything to 192kHz, since iTunes alone can't do it.

 

I would love to get either or both of these players back in the chain again, but right now the only noise-free listening I can get is when I am bypassing them. I know that a lot of people had many diverse audio problems with iTunes and other software when Mavericks first came out, but most people reported them solved with 10.9.2, or with the newest iTunes.

 

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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I have a very similar setup, but have not encountered any problems, even if I am maxing out all the processors with other stuff during playback. I realize that isn't terribly helpful, but it is a "positive control" in the sense that it means that there is no inherent problem in any of the software or OS that you mention.

 

Do you have a sense for whether a high demand is placed on the processors? Are you upsampling with Audirvana or BitPerfect? Have you tried running Audirvana in stand-alone mode, and if so, does the problem persist?

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I use the Mac Mini only for music playback; I have disabled just about everything else, so no high processor demand. When I use either player, I do not upsample; I set them to use the sample rate of the track, whatever it might be. And no, I have not tried the standalone mode with Audirvana; I usually run things with the Apple Remote app, from my iPhone or iPad.

 

I should probably try standalone mode--I'll report back if I have any success. Thanks for the reply and the info.

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Stand-alone might work better, but both ways should work fine. Open up "Activity Monitor" and make sure you don't have a stuck process or something...

 

Also, itunes by default uses the notification center now. That junk is probably best turned off, but it sounds like you probably did. I've killed it completely on all my computers. It was driving me to distraction (and I was almost there to begin with).

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Yes, I've turned off the notifications. And activity monitor shows nothing unusual; CPU use is a tiny bit for iTunes, and some for screen sharing; 93-94% idle. Nothing else of any consequence going on. It's odd that the glitches are identical with two players that are designed somewhat differently (although they both do basically the same things, I guess).

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Yes, I've turned off the notifications. And activity monitor shows nothing unusual; CPU use is a tiny bit for iTunes, and some for screen sharing; 93-94% idle. Nothing else of any consequence going on. It's odd that the glitches are identical with two players that are designed somewhat differently (although they both do basically the same things, I guess).

 

Have you updated the W4S Dac2 drivers? W4S has released a couple of beta drivers the past week. The latest on 3/7/14. Just a thought.

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This is kind of a stupid question, but are you able to use it without the driver (just generic OS X USB)? Even if you don't normally want it to play that way, it would be worth finding out if it plays back smoothly if you bypass the third-party driver. (I use a Halide Bridge that doesn't use a driver, so I have no experience with this).

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My system is also similar--Mini>Audiophilleo>DAC and I have no such issues with either Audirvana or BitPerfect. No up sampling (my DAC doesn't like it) or any other processing.

So your issue is likely something else. Good luck with the experiments.

 

Greg

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I have not tried bypassing the W4S DAC2 driver; I may try that today, if I can find where the driver is located and temporarily remove it.

 

I did get a reply on another forum from someone who had similar gear and a similar problem to mine; they had installed the W4S mavericks driver last November, and experienced the static at the beginning of tracks. They said that installing the new driver released a few days ago solved the issue.

 

I have downloaded the new driver, but I'm hesitant to install it; W4S at one time said not to install a new driver without removing the old one first (I think that was for the Lion/Mountain Lion driver) and then for a different driver installation, they recommended installing the new one over the old.

 

I've sent them an email inquiring about which procedure would be correct for this update. Thanks again for the replies and suggestions. I'm anxious to get this solved.

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I have not tried bypassing the W4S DAC2 driver; I may try that today, if I can find where the driver is located and temporarily remove it.

 

I did get a reply on another forum from someone who had similar gear and a similar problem to mine; they had installed the W4S mavericks driver last November, and experienced the static at the beginning of tracks. They said that installing the new driver released a few days ago solved the issue.

 

I have downloaded the new driver, but I'm hesitant to install it; W4S at one time said not to install a new driver without removing the old one first (I think that was for the Lion/Mountain Lion driver) and then for a different driver installation, they recommended installing the new one over the old.

 

I've sent them an email inquiring about which procedure would be correct for this update. Thanks again for the replies and suggestions. I'm anxious to get this solved.

 

Hello Mike,

 

Go to W4S's website, look in the download tab section, there are instructions for where the driver is located and how to delete it. If not the download tab, then the FAQ section. One of them has the very information you are seeking.

 

Best,

Richard

 

PS

 

I found the information in a different tab at their website:

 

In order to uninstall your existing drivers you must follow this directory:

 

-Go to FINDER --> HD --> SYSTEM --> LIBRARY --> EXTENSIONS.

 

-You will then want to scroll to the bottom of the list to locate the driver which begins with "W4S...". Simply drag and drop this file to the trash and then proceed with installation of the new driver.

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact us by phone or email.

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Hello Mike,

 

Go to W4S's website, look in the download tab section, there are instructions for where the driver is located and how to delete it. If not the download tab, then the FAQ section. One of them has the very information you are seeking.

 

I found the information in a different tab at their website:

 

In order to uninstall your existing drivers you must follow this directory:

 

-Go to FINDER --> HD --> SYSTEM --> LIBRARY --> EXTENSIONS.

 

-You will then want to scroll to the bottom of the list to locate the driver which begins with "W4S...". Simply drag and drop this file to the trash and then proceed with installation of the new driver.

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact us by phone or email.

 

 

Hello-

Thanks for the reply and the information. But I'm still not sure if I need to delete the old driver first, or just install over the new one. Here's a quote from Wyred4Sound's FaceBook page when the first Mavericks driver was made available last November:

 

"IMPORTANT: The new driver should be installed with the DAC-2 USB disconnected and with the old driver still in place. If you have already removed the old driver and have an error during installation, please re-install the 10.7-10.8 driver and then install the BETA driver."

 

But I also remember installing the Lion/Mountain Lion driver, and reading that I should locate and delete the previous driver first--I'm not sure that it would make a difference, but I'd like to know for sure which is the preferred method.

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Hello-

Thanks for the reply and the information. But I'm still not sure if I need to delete the old driver first, or just install over the new one. Here's a quote from Wyred4Sound's FaceBook page when the first Mavericks driver was made available last November:

 

"IMPORTANT: The new driver should be installed with the DAC-2 USB disconnected and with the old driver still in place. If you have already removed the old driver and have an error during installation, please re-install the 10.7-10.8 driver and then install the BETA driver."

 

But I also remember installing the Lion/Mountain Lion driver, and reading that I should locate and delete the previous driver first--I'm not sure that it would make a difference, but I'd like to know for sure which is the preferred method.

 

Mike,

 

May I suggest that you either contact Clint Hartman by email, fax or telephone. He will be able to help you sort this out so that you can proceed and get back to enjoying the music☺️

 

You can email Clint at [email protected]. The telephone numbers are listed at their website. I am merely attempting to help you not meddle. And getting reliable/accurate advice is better than time doubting how to proceed.

 

Offered in support.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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Thanks again for the help--I did call, and talked with Clint in person. He said the newest update should fix my issues, and that it downloads with an uninstaller for the old driver, which should be removed first.

 

I accomplished this during my lunch break (I work at home), and I'm happy to report perfect glitch free audio now, either with BitPerfect or Audirvana. Crackling and static are completely gone.

 

The W4S DAC 2 was the last thing I suspected as the culprit--I did troubleshooting with my Samsung monitor, BitPerfect and Audirvana, Mavericks, iTunes, etc.; and a simple DAC 2 driver upgrade solved everything.

 

Clint did mention that these ongoing updates are beta releases, and that there still are a few glitches when using Amarra with the DAC 2; eventually when those are solved there will be a formal, official update.

 

Also, thanks to ckpiv for the heads up on this updated driver--I didn't see a mention of this anywhere else, and would not have known about it.

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Thanks again for the help--I did call, and talked with Clint in person. He said the newest update should fix my issues, and that it downloads with an uninstaller for the old driver, which should be removed first.

 

I accomplished this during my lunch break (I work at home), and I'm happy to report perfect glitch free audio now, either with BitPerfect or Audirvana. Crackling and static are completely gone.

 

The W4S DAC 2 was the last thing I suspected as the culprit--I did troubleshooting with my Samsung monitor, BitPerfect and Audirvana, Mavericks, iTunes, etc.; and a simple DAC 2 driver upgrade solved everything.

 

Clint did mention that these ongoing updates are beta releases, and that there still are a few glitches when using Amarra with the DAC 2; eventually when those are solved there will be a formal, official update.

 

Also, thanks to ckpiv for the heads up on this updated driver--I didn't see a mention of this anywhere else, and would not have known about it.

 

Hello Mike,

 

I am happy for you and to read of your win-win. Yes, I agree ckpiv often provides useful hints and suggestions. That you are reporting to us a problem solved is very satisfying to all members who know how uncomfortable it can be when enjoying the music is impeded by technical difficulties.

 

Well done! And I do not mean that as patronizing.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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Thanks again for the help--I did call, and talked with Clint in person. He said the newest update should fix my issues, and that it downloads with an uninstaller for the old driver, which should be removed first.

 

I accomplished this during my lunch break (I work at home), and I'm happy to report perfect glitch free audio now, either with BitPerfect or Audirvana. Crackling and static are completely gone.

 

The W4S DAC 2 was the last thing I suspected as the culprit--I did troubleshooting with my Samsung monitor, BitPerfect and Audirvana, Mavericks, iTunes, etc.; and a simple DAC 2 driver upgrade solved everything.

 

Clint did mention that these ongoing updates are beta releases, and that there still are a few glitches when using Amarra with the DAC 2; eventually when those are solved there will be a formal, official update.

 

Also, thanks to ckpiv for the heads up on this updated driver--I didn't see a mention of this anywhere else, and would not have known about it.

 

Glad to hear you got your problem resolved :)

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