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HQPlayer kick start guide & feature requests


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HQPlayer is fast becoming recognised as indeed the Highest Quality player which is now truly multi-platform.

 

The Mac standalone beta version was released last week and is downloadable from:

http://www2.signalyst.com/bins/HQPlayerDesktop3-mac-340beta1.zip

 

Note: The standalone Mac version is currently limited to support for CoreAudio. The name of your DAC will not show up in the Mac version under HQPlayer's settings/prefs under "Device". Instead you will simply choose CoreAudio here. This means your Dac will have to be selected as the default device for sound output on your Mac.

 

Since people who are new to HQPlayer often find it a challenge to get started, I've written a short "kick start" article, which you can find here:

HQPlayer | soundgalleries

 

The screen shots in the guide are based on the Windows version.

 

There are already a number of threads on HQPlayer. Due to its growing popularity though, I thought I'd start this one to serve as a place where we can request any new features and changes we'd like to see in future versions of the program.

 

So let me start off with a couple:

 

  1. ASIO support on Mac OSX for DACs that have their own ASIO drivers such as the exasound
  2. Support for the Qobuz lossless (flac streaming service)
  3. Change between standalone mode and NAA mode within a single interface on all platforms

 

Finally, I'll try to clear up any mis-conceptions about using a HQPlayer as either a stand alone software player or using it via a Network Audio Adapter. I now have some experience of using an NAA with HQPlayer. I'll briefly mention those experiences here:

 

When HQPlayer is used as a "standalone" software player your DAC is connected directly to your computer, commonly by USB cable. You then select your DAC from within HQPlayer as described in the above guide.

 

In HQPlayer's settings/prefs you select your DAC under "Device" and your DAC's name then appears there. (except in the new Mac version as noted above).

 

If you have an NAA that is supported by HQPlayer, such as SOtM SMS-100 reviewed right here Computer Audiophile - SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server Review on the front of CA, the NAA is connected to the same LAN as your computer by ethernet cable and the NAA is then connected via USB cable to your DAC.

 

In this case under HQPlayer's settings/prefs your DAC's name will be preceded by "default: "

 

This will only work with a DAC that can be recognised automatically by the NAA because it is a USB class 1 or 2 DAC which doesn't need proprietary drivers to work with Linux. This currently excludes the use of the exasound DACs

 

The main advantage of using an NAA is immunity from RFI and other impurities, which could be transmitted across your USB cable when the DAC is directly connected to your computer. This may particularly cause problems when the CPU is pushed hard, such as when using the more demanding filters in HQPlayer. Using an NAA you might be able to use the more demanding filters without damaging sound quality.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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Thank you so much for posting your Kick-Start guide. I couldn't get the player working last night. I'm eager to give it another go following the advice you've provided. Thanks!

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Thank you for your support of this very fine audio player. Enjoy.........

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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Note: The standalone Mac version is currently limited to support for CoreAudio. The name of your DAC will not show up in the Mac version under HQPlayer's settings/prefs under "Device". Instead you will simply choose CoreAudio here. This means your Dac will have to be selected as the default device for sound output on your Mac.

o use the more demanding filters without damaging sound quality.

 

 

In the beta i just downloaded, is possible to select the device for sound output, it doesn't have to be the same as the defaul system device.

Hackintosh I7 16GB Ram, Roon, HQPlayer, Drobo 8 TB NAS, Raspberry Pi 3 NAA, Gustard X20 ES 9018 Xmos, Audio GD C39 Preamp, The First ONE DIY Amp, Monitor Audio GS20 Speakers, Monitor Audio RSW12 Subwoofer, PI Audio MagikBuss filter.

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It is worth it!

 

If I may suggest, start off getting it running on lower bit rates. Some of the higher rates take a lot of processing power and may take 30+ seconds to load the file @ DSD256. The program may also appear as if it is stalling as it (I assume) loads the filters and such upon a change in File/Settings/. It is also can be picky about AIFF meta data (maybe all file types?) being proper- mine are a mess. You will notice it as the tracks not loading into the transport pane even though you see them in the tree. I have had no issues on my FLAC files.

You're welcome and I hope it gets you up and running. Believe me it's worth it :)

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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For us, Mac users, i guess the most asked request, will be support for Apple Lossless, HQPlayer is really great and imho is better sounding than Audirvana+ and in fact, anything else in OSX.

Hackintosh I7 16GB Ram, Roon, HQPlayer, Drobo 8 TB NAS, Raspberry Pi 3 NAA, Gustard X20 ES 9018 Xmos, Audio GD C39 Preamp, The First ONE DIY Amp, Monitor Audio GS20 Speakers, Monitor Audio RSW12 Subwoofer, PI Audio MagikBuss filter.

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HQPlayer is fast becoming recognised as indeed the Highest Quality player which is now truly multi-platform.

 

Thanks for doing this Geoffrey. I've been using HQPlayer for coming up to 4 years now and it's great to see it finally becoming more widely recognized as the fantastic player it is.

 

Mani.

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horns + 2x Rotel RB-1590 amps -> 4 subs

Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers

Vinyl: Technics SP10 / London (Decca) Reference -> Trafomatic Luna -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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Question: Is it possible to circumvent the File Manager GUI by the steps of:

1. Select multiple files in the OS X Finder.

2. Load them into a playlist using only keystrokes or menu commands, without mouse dragging or clicking.

3. Start and pause playback using only keystrokes or menu commands, without mouse clicks.

 

If this is not possible, this would be my number one feature request so as to enable scripting/automation of HQP.

 

@ Geoff Armstrong: Did Jussi indicate he would monitor this thread for feature requests? Would it be better for me to email him privately?

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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In the beta i just downloaded, is possible to select the device for sound output, it doesn't have to be the same as the defaul system device.

Juliocat, Thanks for putting me right on that. It was my experience with an exasound dac connected yesterday.

 

it's good to know the DAC selected under MacOSX doesn't have to be the default output device.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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@ Geoff Armstrong: Did Jussi indicate he would monitor this thread for feature requests? Would it be better for me to email him privately?
Those sound like good ideas to me Bob. I haven't checked with Miska/Jussi if he is monitoring this thread yet. I think there's a good chance that he is though, since he's always been a prolific contributor to CA

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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Thanks for doing this Geoffrey. I've been using HQPlayer for coming up to 4 years now and it's great to see it finally becoming more widely recognized as the fantastic player it is.
It's a pleasure Mani. I know you've been a long time user and early adopter, since I've been following your posts. Now more of us are joining the fray and HQPlayer's time seems to be coming.

 

It's got the sound quality, no questions there. Just a little more polish and a few more features and it will be a real "player", I believe.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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If I may suggest, start off getting it running on lower bit rates. Some of the higher rates take a lot of processing power and may take 30+ seconds to load the file @ DSD256. The program may also appear as if it is stalling as it (I assume) loads the filters and such upon a change in File/Settings/. It is also can be picky about AIFF meta data (maybe all file types?) being proper- mine are a mess. You will notice it as the tracks not loading into the transport pane even though you see them in the tree. I have had no issues on my FLAC files.

4est

In my experience the slow start up time of the first track in the transport is related more to the filter you've selected for up-sampling/conversion.

 

Could you share with us what that is? Poly-since, for example takes a long time before the first track will play, if you are up-sampling and converting PCM to DSD.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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For us, Mac users, i guess the most asked request, will be support for Apple Lossless, HQPlayer is really great and imho is better sounding than Audirvana+ and in fact, anything else in OSX.

 

Agreed! When your entire library is in this format, it's a big deal to convert it all, even if HQPlayer might be the best sounding player out there.

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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1. Select multiple files in the OS X Finder.

2. Load them into a playlist using only keystrokes or menu commands, without mouse dragging or clicking.

 

Passing multiple files/folders/playlists through as command line parameters should work. This of course works only if the player is not already running.

 

3. Start and pause playback using only keystrokes or menu commands, without mouse clicks.

 

All standard media keys (including IR remote) should work, but iTunes (rcd) seems to be stealing those keys by default.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Passing multiple files/folders/playlists through as command line parameters should work. This of course works only if the player is not already running.

 

Thanks. That's a start!

 

Are there any command line parameters other than file paths?

 

(FYI: If HQP already is running, calling it from the command line launches a 2nd instance of the application. The only way to add or remove tracks to the playlist via command line is to quit and relaunch HQP.)

 

 

All standard media keys (including IR remote) should work, but iTunes (rcd) seems to be stealing those keys by default.

 

Media keys are not a good control method in OS X because they are difficult or impossible to emulate in scripting software.

 

Unfortunately, you did not enable play/pause using the spacebar, which would have been easy to emulate via scripting.

 

OS X has another scripting method called UI Scripting that allows the user to emulate button presses, popup menu selections, etc, but that does not work either because you seem to have ported it to OS X using a tool that produces obsolete Carbon apps rather than Cocoa apps. I realize this isn't a priority now, but at some point it might be helpful if you could recreate the GUI in Cocoa even if the underlying app is Carbon.

 

As the most practical short term solution, I hope it will not be too difficult for you to add menu command equivalents of all the buttons and popup menus in the GUI. Perhaps you could add a menu called Control to signify that all commands in that menu are duplicates of GUI interface controls.

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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I am still only getting sound from the left channel from PCM. Not sure why.

 

Also upsampling to DSD128 forces me to restart the Mytek as it display No Lock on the front panel. No sound from upsampling to DSD64.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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I am still only getting sound from the left channel from PCM. Not sure why.

 

Also upsampling to DSD128 forces me to restart the Mytek as it display No Lock on the front panel. No sound from upsampling to DSD64.

 

Mytek is working fine for me. Are you using USB or Firewire? I'm using Firewire through Apple's Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapter.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Are there any command line parameters other than file paths?

 

"--coreaudio" starts with CoreAudio backend, "--net" starts with NAA backend and "--fullscreen" launches straight to the touch/fullscreen mode. There is also option to force OpenGL rendering, but I didn't test it yet.

 

Unfortunately, you did not enable play/pause using the spacebar, which would have been easy to emulate via scripting.

 

Space is not good because it overlaps with the text input fields depending on keyboard focus.

 

because you seem to have ported it to OS X using a tool that produces obsolete Carbon apps rather than Cocoa apps. I realize this isn't a priority now, but at some point it might be helpful if you could recreate the GUI in Cocoa even if the underlying app is Carbon.

 

No it definitely should be Cocoa, and since it is 64-bit I don't know how it even could be Carbon...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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No it definitely should be Cocoa, and since it is 64-bit I don't know how it even could be Carbon...

 

Sorry. A program called "UI Browser" — which is supposed to tell me what interface elements of an app can be scripted using AppleScript GUI scripting commands — erroneously reported it as a Carbon app.

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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In the beta i just downloaded, [it] is possible to select the device for sound output, it doesn't have to be the same as the default system device.

 

On my system (Mountain Lion), in the Settings > Device popup, the first menu item is Default, and there are 3 to 5 entries below that, but all of them are blank.

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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On my system (Mountain Lion), in the Settings > Device popup, the first menu item is Default, and there are 3 to 5 entries below that, but all of them are blank.

 

I just tested on my Mac Mini (still on 10.8) and this seems to be a side effect on 10.8, those empty entries are supposed to have the same names that are shown in the Audio/MIDI Settings. On 10.9 the names appear correctly.

 

I have to check if I'll find some easy work-around for the issue...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Mytek is working fine for me. Are you using USB or Firewire? I'm using Firewire through Apple's Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapter.

 

USB. Any chance you could post the settings you are using with your Mytek?

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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USB. Any chance you could post the settings you are using with your Mytek?

 

Users... please post your settings as you favor them ... Thank you, enjoy.

HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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