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BitPerfect V.3 has been released


REShaman

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Dear All:

 

BitPerfect V.3 has been released. And is sounding quite good. Sound Check is back. BitPerfect helped Apples develope it and then dropped out. But recently, BitPerfect has returned with Sound Check Support. It's a free upgrade to BitPerfect users. Or it can be purchased at the App Store ($9.99)

 

Re: Sound Check, visit the BitPerfect website for the full story.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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I love BP but am an unhappy camper after updating to v3 under 10.11 El Capitan - gapless playback no longer works!

 

I have triple-checked that I do NOT have the "disable gapless playback" setting enabled (and I have toggled it on and off just to make sure). I have not changed anything else in my system. And I have confirmed that this is not an issue with trying to go from a track of one bit-depth/resolution to a different bit-depth/resolution.

 

This is garden-variety gapless playback: Going from one track to another within the same album, all files the exact same file type, bit-depth, and sample rate.

 

Has anyone experienced this issue? I'm happy to post my equipment setup, but aside from the change to BP v3 (and the update to OS X 10.11 from 10.10.5) absolutely nothing has changed in my hardware or software setup.

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I love BP but am an unhappy camper after updating to v3 under 10.11 El Capitan - gapless playback no longer works!

 

I have triple-checked that I do NOT have the "disable gapless playback" setting enabled (and I have toggled it on and off just to make sure). I have not changed anything else in my system. And I have confirmed that this is not an issue with trying to go from a track of one bit-depth/resolution to a different bit-depth/resolution.

 

This is garden-variety gapless playback: Going from one track to another within the same album, all files the exact same file type, bit-depth, and sample rate.

 

Has anyone experienced this issue? I'm happy to post my equipment setup, but aside from the change to BP v3 (and the update to OS X 10.11 from 10.10.5) absolutely nothing has changed in my hardware or software setup.

 

Hello tmtomh,

 

That's curious. Haven't tested a gapless album as I selected other than. Might you email Richard at BP, he's interested in what users are experiencing, and he will certainly be interested in your experiences.

 

Just a suggestion (smile).

 

Best,

Richard

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Thanks Richard! (Apologies in advance it I am being totally stupid, but are you the same Richard? I had just emailed BP before I posted here, but thought I'd check in here too to see if others were experiencing something similar.)

 

Since I posted my initial post above, I tried booting from my headless Mac mini's 2nd internal hard drive, which still has an installation of Yosemite 10.10.5 (cloned from my primary drive right before I updated the primary drive to El Capitan). Surprisingly, the combination of Yosemite and BP v.3 also has broken gapless playback on my setup.

 

So my feeling is that it's either an issue with BP v3, or an issue with BP and iTunes 12.3.

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One more update: I enabled the "Default to Fixed Indexing" option in BP's preferences, and based on limited testing so far, it seems to restore gapless playback.

 

What I don't know is why the update from BP2 to BP3 required the shift to fixed indexing in order for gapless playback to keep working properly, but I'm hoping a conversation with Richard at BP might shed some light on that.

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Thanks Richard! (Apologies in advance it I am being totally stupid, but are you the same Richard? I had just emailed BP before I posted here, but thought I'd check in here too to see if others were experiencing something similar.)

 

Since I posted my initial post above, I tried booting from my headless Mac mini's 2nd internal hard drive, which still has an installation of Yosemite 10.10.5 (cloned from my primary drive right before I updated the primary drive to El Capitan). Surprisingly, the combination of Yosemite and BP v.3 also has broken gapless playback on my setup.

 

So my feeling is that it's either an issue with BP v3, or an issue with BP and iTunes 12.3.

 

Hello tmtomh,

 

Sorry for creating confusion. NO! I am REShaman, Richard, at ComputerAudiophile. I just took it for granted you knew who I was. I emailed Richard as I am a beta tester for BitPerfect that you were encountering issues. I would not have suggested you email me at BitPerfect and ignore you at CA. I am only saying. Nothing intended by that. Apparently, you have sorted some of this out. I imagine the other Richard at BitPerfect vs the Richard/REShaman at CA will respond and sort this out with you further. BTW: Thank you for calling this to my attention. I have not yet played a gapless album yet as I had other responsibilities. But I will post here when I do.

 

Thank you for asking for the clarification. And sorry for creating a possible ambiguity in who's who (smile). Next time you see my Avatar, you will know it's not the Richard from BitPerfect.

 

Best,

Richard

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Hello again, tmtomh,

 

Yes, you are correct about gapless play. I launched V.3, selected my go-to-loved album Bill Evans The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, AIFF, 44.1/16 which is a live performance, and gapless play was kaput!

 

But, as you discovered, I used your solution and gapless play is no longer kaput. Thank you tmtomh! It woiked! Why? Haven't a clue. But I am grateful.

 

Best,

Richard

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Thanks so much for your reply, Richard - I assumed you were NOT Richard from BP, but just wanted to make sure (because sometimes in online communication, one can miss very dry humor).

 

The fact that turning on Fixed Indexing apparently solved the problem is (A) a major relief, and (B) probably a major clue to figuring out what the issue is. Based on Richard's explanation of Fixed Indexing in the BP online manual, it seems like maybe some change in iTunes 12.3 might be making iTunes next-track reporting to BP less reliable than it was before.

 

Or, I guess there could be something in BP3 that make it less reliable in pulling that info from iTunes. Richard might know what the issue is - but it might be that the only way to tell for sure where the problem lies would be to test iTunes 12.3 with BitPerfect 2 and see if the gapless problem is there or not. I haven't done that because I don't see any easy way for an end-user like me to revert to a previous version with an App Store app.

 

At any rate, I'll update this thread after I hear back from Richard at BP.

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Hello again, tmtomh,

 

Yes, you are correct about gapless play. I launched V.3, selected my go-to-loved album Bill Evans The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, AIFF, 44.1/16 which is a live performance, and gapless play was kaput!

 

But, as you discovered, I used your solution and gapless play is no longer kaput. Thank you tmtomh! It woiked! Why? Haven't a clue. But I am grateful.

 

Best,

Richard

I'm sorry you had the issue too - but at least that means it's a reproducible issue, which in turn means it'll be easier for Richard to diagnose and hopefully fix.

 

And I'm also glad the Fixed Indexing method worked for you too. I think in the long run it will be best if the normal method for gapless playback can get restored (probably more robust), but for now it's good to have a workaround!

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Thanks so much for your reply, Richard - I assumed you were NOT Richard from BP, but just wanted to make sure (because sometimes in online communication, one can miss very dry humor).

 

The fact that turning on Fixed Indexing apparently solved the problem is (A) a major relief, and (B) probably a major clue to figuring out what the issue is. Based on Richard's explanation of Fixed Indexing in the BP online manual, it seems like maybe some change in iTunes 12.3 might be making iTunes next-track reporting to BP less reliable than it was before.

 

Or, I guess there could be something in BP3 that make it less reliable in pulling that info from iTunes. Richard might know what the issue is - but it might be that the only way to tell for sure where the problem lies would be to test iTunes 12.3 with BitPerfect 2 and see if the gapless problem is there or not. I haven't done that because I don't see any easy way for an end-user like me to revert to a previous version with an App Store app.

 

At any rate, I'll update this thread after I hear back from Richard at BP.

 

Thank you for the possible cause and explanation. I am sure Richard will let us know what's at play or not at play and the reason therefore.

 

Best,

Richard

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Will the real Richard please stand up! :)

 

This one is the Richard from BitPerfect. We have had to deal with a few issues with the release of BitPerfect v3. Between us submitting it to the App Store, and Apple finally approving it for release, Apple released El Capitan. All of our testing on v3 has been done using beta releases of El Cap, as have the majority of our Beta Testers. One of the problems in working within Apple's (or anybody else's, I guess) beta programs is that when dealing with a beta you don't know whether something that isn't working the way you expected (or wanted) it to is the result of a bug that is slated to be corrected, or a designed new behaviour. We are quite low down on the Apple Developer totem pole and it is not possible to have any meaningful dialog with Apple on matters like these. All this means that pre-release testing is never as straightforward as a lot of people would like to imagine, and to test every possibility comprehensively is beyond the resources of a small enterprise like BitPerfect.

 

Having said all that, it surprises me that issues with Gapless Playback should surface between v2.0.2 and v3 of BitPerfect, since those parts of the source code have remained unchanged. The biggest recent change to Gapless Playback behaviour has been with the introduction of iTunes' 'up next' feature. In order for BitPerfect to be able to guarantee Gapless Playback we need to know what track is due to play next, otherwise we have to wait for it to start playing in iTunes before we can load it and play it ourselves (with a resulting gap). Therefore, we need to know what is next in the 'up next' playlist.

 

The problem is that iTunes does not provide any method for a third-party App such as BitPerfect to access the 'up next' playlist. I discussed this with Doug Adams (he of the dougscripts.com reknown) and he concurs that the 'up next' list is not scriptable. Instead, when we ask iTunes what the next track is in the playlist, I have established that the playlist iTunes uses to tell Apps like BitPerfect which track is due up next corresponds to the All Songs playlist, listed in reverse "Date Added" order (i.e. most recent first). For tracks which have the same "Date Added" property, the interior sort order used is the "Artist" field (not the "Album Artist"). As regards Fixed Indexing, Doug Adams provided me with a vague description of what that meant, from which I deduced that neither of us have a clue what it does. Personally, I seem to get best results with Fixed Indexing checked, but, clearly, YMMV.

 

If you use the iTunes "File|Add to Library..." dialog to add albums to your library one album at a time, then I find that album will play gaplessly with Fixed Indexing checked. However, this only applies if all the tracks in the album have the same thing in their "Artist" metadata. If they don't, then your only solution seems to be to add the album to the library one track at a time in track order. I do this by drag-and-dropping from Finder rather than using the File...Add dialog.

 

By doing all this, and by playing with the Fixed Indexing property checked, I get good gapless playback performance.

 

Generally, when Gapless Playback bahaviour is found to be changing, it is almost certainly due to an update of iTunes rather than an update of either BitPerfect or OS X. As you can imagine from the above, testing for this sort of thing is fraught with difficulties, since it depends heavily on the relatively fine details of how the iTunes Library is configured. I can only beg your indulgence, and hope that Apple one day decides to expose the 'up next' playlist as a scriptable property.

This is the official BitPerfect support line.

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Thanks for the detailed explanation, Richard (the real Richard :) ) - much appreciated!

 

If I read your message correctly, iTunes is reports the "next track" based on when it was added to the library, rather than which track actually is up next in the current playback order. So it makes sense that this would break gapless playback because it causes BP to pre-cache the wrong upcoming track.

 

The mystery is why Richard (other Richard :) ) and I would both find that this was not a problem with BP 2.02, but suddenly is a problem with BP3. As you note, it could be something to do with iTunes 12.3 since that update came out very recently: maybe the new version of iTunes caused the problem but Richard and I didn't happen to play any live or other truly gapless albums in the very brief period when both iTunes 12.3 and BP 2.02 coexisted on our systems. Richard, is there any way for you to determine if iTunes 12.3 is behaving differently than prior versions of iTunes in terms of how it reports the "next track" when queried?

 

Finally, in addition to the issue of how albums were added to iTunes, is there any chance this issue might be impacted by what view or sorting method one plays songs from? In other words, album view vs. song view vs. artist view, and so on? And for that matter, would this problem be impacted by deleting the iTunes library file and forcing iTunes to rebuild it?

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If I read your message correctly, iTunes is reports the "next track" based on when it was added to the library, rather than which track actually is up next in the current playback order....

Yes, but with the added complication that tracks with the same Date Added are sorted first by Artist and then by Track Number. So different Artist fields will screw up the track ordering.

 

The mystery is why Richard (other Richard :) ) and I would both find that this was not a problem with BP 2.02, but suddenly is a problem with BP3. As you note, it could be something to do with iTunes 12.3 since that update came out very recently ... Richard, is there any way for you to determine if iTunes 12.3 is behaving differently than prior versions of iTunes in terms of how it reports the "next track" when queried?

I really think that must be an iTunes update issue as there really is no opportunity for BitPerfect to be responsible. BitPerfect invokes a certain Scripting Bridge call, and that simply hasn't been changed in any way between version 2.0.2 and version 3.

 

The idea of determining changes from version to version of iTunes is really a lot more complicated than it might appear at first glance. A necessary precondition is to understand the behaviour sufficiently at one point in time so that when you see a change you can make sense of it. Right now, I only have a tenuous grasp of the current behaviour so that, for example, I can make sense of it in the light of my own Library and the various machinations I have gone through to get it to behave the way I want it to, and that's as I described it in my previous post. I didn't actually notice any change in Gapless Playback over the recent iTunes updates, which, since I play mostly classical music I am as a rule quite sensitive to. But clearly, if others like yourself and t'other Richard are seeing deviations from that then I must conclude that I can't have the whole picture.

 

Finally, in addition to the issue of how albums were added to iTunes, is there any chance this issue might be impacted by what view or sorting method one plays songs from? In other words, album view vs. song view vs. artist view, and so on? And for that matter, would this problem be impacted by deleting the iTunes library file and forcing iTunes to rebuild it?

Way back in the early days, I had a version of BitPerfect that would spit out detailed entries in the Console Log telling me what track was currently playing and what track was currently being queued. I used that to compile great lists of what was happening under what circumstances. I would change views, playlists, sorting options and what-have-you. It only served to confuse the hell out of me. The current scenario, post 'up next', actually seems to me to have simplified things somewhat.

 

I actually did try building a new parallel iTunes Library, importing all 35,000-odd tracks in one swell foop. The result was calamitous and almost nothing would play Gaplessly under any circumstances. So, as a result, I don't recommend doing that!

 

..............

 

Finally, with all this talk about queueing files for Gapless Playback, it is an amusing diversion to note that queueing is the only word in common use in the English language which has five consecutive vowels! A great pickup line in bars, I feel ....

This is the official BitPerfect support line.

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Thanks again for this helpful info, Richard. Fortunately, like "other Richard," I seem to be able to restore gapless playback by checking the Fixed Indexing option as you prescribe. (The weird thing is that I never had to check it before the recent iTunes update apparently broke the normal method.)

 

FWIW, I tend to add new music to iTunes by dragging individual albums from the Finder into the iTunes window.

 

From what you say, the one big question mark, even with Fixed Indexing, is what will happen if one tries to play a truly gapless album with a single album artist but different artists for each track (like maybe a live album where some tracks have a guest artist or something). Based on your posts above, it seems like the chances of BP playing such an album gaplessly are 50-50 at best, depending upon how one first imported that album's tracks into iTunes.

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... what will happen if one tries to play a truly gapless album with a single album artist but different artists for each track.... Based on your posts above, it seems like the chances of BP playing such an album gaplessly are 50-50 at best, depending upon how one first imported that album's tracks into iTunes.

In those cases you can raise that to closer to 100% by importing the album by dragging in individual tracks from Finder in track order. At least that's how it works out for me.

This is the official BitPerfect support line.

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I am also having trouble with version 3 with OS 10.9 and unfortunately I can't find my backup copy of the previous version.

 

I am getting dropouts when I use upsampling and gapless isn't working.

 

I requested a copy of the previous version from support but they are unable to provide one.

They say that my hardware is resource limited but have not explained why version 2 worked fine...

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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In those cases you can raise that to closer to 100% by importing the album by dragging in individual tracks from Finder in track order. At least that's how it works out for me.

 

I am feeling slightly schizophrenic, i.e., roses are red, violets are blue, I am schizophrenic and so am I. But off-color humor aside, the Richard of BP knows the "ins and outs" of gapless play consistent with BP. Hence, one only needs to follow Richard's breadcrumbs to gapless play as he recommends.

 

Best,

Richard

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I am also having trouble with version 3 with OS 10.9 and unfortunately I can't find my backup copy of the previous version.

 

I am getting dropouts when I use upsampling and gapless isn't working.

 

I requested a copy of the previous version from support but they are unable to provide one.

They say that my hardware is resource limited but have not explained why version 2 worked fine...

 

R

 

Doesn't Richard of BP's post cover this issue? At least re gapless play. And the work-around employing default fixed indexing to cure gapless play problems works for me. Upsampling? I don't do that.

 

Best,

Richard

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I prefer the sound of the online-upsampling to that of my D/AC's ASRC (all sample rates are up'ed to 192KHz internally).

 

But I have just remembered that I moved my libraries to a NAS, and that one of them was too big and I ended up importing it to a new iTunes Lib.

I will try to read from my backup USB HDD and see if the problem persists.

 

“Default to Fixed Indexing” does nothing for me.

 

Ric

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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... They say that my hardware is resource limited but have not explained why version 2 worked fine...

I understand why you would be puzzled by this.

 

BitPerfect relies heavily on good communication with iTunes. We have been using Apple Scripting Bridge to do this. However, what seems to be happening is that the internal process within iTunes that services this Scripting Bridge interface runs with a seriously low system priority. It doesn't take much for OS X to decide that it doesn't have enough spare whatever (we'll call it resources, but hard to know what exactly) to allocate some of it to this process. What we do know is that quitting other Apps etc can be of considerable help.

 

With v3 we have switched some of this dialog to AppleScript which, if nothing else, permits a more focused communication, but with some headaches of its own. On balance, in testing, this has proved to be the more reliable method. Unfortunately, though, we can't test for every possible scenario.

 

At the end of the day, though, the root cause may be neither AppleScript nor Scripting Bridge, but rather the internal iTunes process that both of these communications protocols invoke to retrieve the requested information from iTunes. In which case the difference in performance between the two may end up being minimal.

 

All that notwithstanding, it is possible that updates to iTunes itself, rather than the updates to BitPerfect which were rolled out in the same approximate time frame, may also be responsible for changes in performance. But if so, we didn't observe anything significant during testing.

This is the official BitPerfect support line.

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As an aside, I, for one, am grateful for Richard of BP's appearance at this threat and the replies he provides us. I wish other developers were as thoughtful and committed. Admittedly, roon is too, and Jussi Lasso of HQPlayer, and to a degree Damian of Audirvana Plus. But other developers much much much less and infrequent.

 

Thank you Richard of BP. We are all the better for your presence at this thread so that member users can have a sense of what and where, how and when BP works and what to do when it doesn't, i.e. what triggers the impediment, a bug? another contributor, etc.

 

With appreciation,

Richard/REShaman

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As an aside, I, for one, am grateful for Richard of BP's appearance at this threat and the replies he provides us. I wish other developers were as thoughtful and committed. Admittedly, roon is too, and Jussi Lasso of HQPlayer, and to a degree Damian of Audirvana Plus. But other developers much much much less and infrequent.

 

Thank you Richard of BP. We are all the better for your presence at this thread so that member users can have a sense of what and where, how and when BP works and what to do when it doesn't, i.e. what triggers the impediment, a bug? another contributor, etc.

 

With appreciation,

Richard/REShaman

 

Cheers to that!

BitPerfect is a great little piece of software that works seamlessly and unobtrusively with iTunes which is my preferred program for music browsing and library management.

And it's nice to have a support that is available and helps.

 

Best regards,

Ricardo

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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I understand why you would be puzzled by this...
The more I learn, the less I understand.

 

Thanks for the input, The Real Richard.

 

I'm waiting for the usual crap to settle down before upgrading to El Capitan, no hurry.

 

Should I wait with V3 as well? My 2.0.2 works fine in every way (except for basic convenient Start Play functions, which you helped me with a while back; I don't mind the mild workaround, for now).

 

I do eventually want to install DSD Master as well, but won't do it until everything else is flawless.

 

Also (unrelated to BP), is it possible, or desirable, to disable Up Next in iTunes? Would that help BP performance? The only time I make a playlist is to burn party mixes on CD for friends, like next to never.

 

Am a big fan of BP, after trying a few others. The only other option I'd consider is an outboard hardware player, and that has more to do with iTunes flaking out than any BP issues.

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The more I learn, the less I understand.

 

Thanks for the input, The Real Richard.

 

I'm waiting for the usual crap to settle down before upgrading to El Capitan, no hurry.

 

Should I wait with V3 as well? My 2.0.2 works fine in every way (except for basic convenient Start Play functions, which you helped me with a while back; I don't mind the mild workaround, for now).

 

I do eventually want to install DSD Master as well, but won't do it until everything else is flawless.

 

Also (unrelated to BP), is it possible, or desirable, to disable Up Next in iTunes? Would that help BP performance? The only time I make a playlist is to burn party mixes on CD for friends, like next to never.

 

Am a big fan of BP, after trying a few others. The only other option I'd consider is an outboard hardware player, and that has more to do with iTunes flaking out than any BP issues.

 

If you are using 10.9 I recommend that you stick with V2.

 

Ric

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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