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HQPlayer + Roon vs. iTunes + Pure Music


lgoler
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You folks are all very serious about this hobby which is why this website is invaluable to someone like me who is casual about it. I use iTunes and Pure Music and find the combo to be sometimes great and sometimes quite frustrating. PM isn't as stable as I would like (something as simple as switching between tracks can be painful) and iTunes on its own has major flaws - the big ones for me: all the missing metadata, especially on FLAC files, the need to switch between multiple libraries to separate those that have mp3 vs. high-res and many other issues I won't care to name. That said, I'd be interested in the opinions of whomever will offer them as to the benefits of what seems like an entirely new configuration, Roon for control+ HQPlayer for upsampling vs. the one I'm using now, PM + iTunes.

 

Thanks!

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You folks are all very serious about this hobby which is why this website is invaluable to someone like me who is casual about it. I use iTunes and Pure Music and find the combo to be sometimes great and sometimes quite frustrating. PM isn't as stable as I would like (something as simple as switching between tracks can be painful) and iTunes on its own has major flaws - the big ones for me: all the missing metadata, especially on FLAC files, the need to switch between multiple libraries to separate those that have mp3 vs. high-res and many other issues I won't care to name. That said, I'd be interested in the opinions of whomever will offer them as to the benefits of what seems like an entirely new configuration, Roon for control+ HQPlayer for upsampling vs. the one I'm using now, PM + iTunes.

 

Thanks!

Comparing Roon to iTunes is like comparing a public library to your book collection at home. From that standpoint alone the magnitude of Roon functionality and more importantly Roon+TIDAL is far far far and away beyond iTunes.

 

From a music player standpoint, I don't think iTunes+PM is any better than Roon alone, or Roon+HQPlayer.

 

The only cons would be:

 

1- Cost of Roon - frankly this should not be a con

 

2- Setup complexity - per-se there's nothing particularly hard to set up but if you have lots of customization, likes, playlists, etc in your iTunes library, that I can imagine can be a bit more tricky. I am not an expert on this, I never used iTunes as my main player for my main system. I do use iTunes for my iPhone music, and it works fine for that.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

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I bought Purevinyl to use with my digital front end. Coming from LMS, I liked some of the new features but I never really go of the ground with PM, as Roon came around before I had spent too much time using PM as a player. It does sound good. Having used Roon/HQP for a couple months now, I can't see why anyone would choose PM/itunes unless you lack enough computing power. I still use itunes to organize my music files, and I transcode all my files to ALAC for that purpose. The Roon mobile ap is better than either iPeng or the Remote ap for itunes. The lone feature of PM that I am still using is "streamthrough" for the Pandora desktop ap so I can use room correction filters. If Roon can get Pandora to open its api, it's all over for PM and LMS as far as I am concerned. Purevinyl is obviously a different story for a different purpose and it is superb to that end. I use it for my FM tuner and my table with the same RC filters that I have in HQP.

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That said, I'd be interested in the opinions of whomever will offer them as to the benefits of what seems like an entirely new configuration, Roon for control+ HQPlayer for upsampling vs. the one I'm using now, PM + iTunes.

 

I used PM + iTunes as my primary playback software some time ago. PM sounds pretty good, but I always found it to be less than robust, and I always thought the UI was (1) convoluted and (2) pretty unsightly. These days, if I were looking for something on OS X that was inexpensive, easy to use, and relatively undemanding when it came to computing resources, I would go with Audirvana Plus, which I use and enjoy on my office system (and sometimes at home).

 

Like a number of others around here, I really, really enjoy using Roon as the front end and HQPlayer as the back end for my playback system. Roon's UI/UX is miles ahead of anything else I've seen (and I think for that reason, some people don't like it, so check out the website and the trial to see if it's for you). Some of the other great things about Roon include the opportunity to have multiple playback zones around the house, the best Tidal integration there is (IMO), the best iOS app (if you have an iPad that meets the minimum hardware requirements), and the great ways it offers to discover and rediscover music I like, both in my own collection and on Tidal.

 

Having tried just about all of the playback software available for OS X, to me, HQPlayer offers the best-sounding playback and the most opportunity for customization. What kept me away from HQP for a long time were that its UI is pretty spartan and "un-Mac-like" and that HQP does not support Apple Lossless, the format that the bulk of my music collection is in. However, now that the Roon team and HQP's developer, Jussi Laako, have gotten together and provided integration between Roon and HQP, this is very close to the ideal solution for me. I've never been happier with the software side of my system.

 

There are a few caveats (aren't there always?). As others have mentioned, Roon is pretty expensive, and both Roon and HQP require a quite a bit in the way of computing resources (although you can run each on a separate computer, if available). It's not too difficult to set up the integration, but if I were starting out, I think I'd start with Roon only, get comfortable with that, and then add HQP to the mix.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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Orgel,

 

Appreciate the thorough response. I completely agree that PM, while sounding good is a very clunky UI. In my personal situation, I'm doubtful that I will ever be a Tidal user. I, like I'm sure many others on here, have a massive collection of music that isn't going to be well represented by a streaming service like theirs any time soon. So I will take your advice and check out Audirvana Plus and will also trial Roon just for the fun of it. Pricing is pretty steep at this point but sure it will come down over time.

 

Thank you,

Lance

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There are a few caveats (aren't there always?). As others have mentioned, Roon is pretty expensive, and both Roon and HQP require a quite a bit in the way of computing resources (although you can run each on a separate computer, if available). It's not too difficult to set up the integration, but if I were starting out, I think I'd start with Roon only, get comfortable with that, and then add HQP to the mix.

 

--David

 

This is precisely what is keeping me from trying HQP. Not being able to easily access and play my music library from a tablet or phone is a deal breaker for me. I also dont want to spend the money on Roon. I could almost accept paying a one time fee but to pay the same amount every year doesnt make sense at least to me. I personally think HQP should add a DLNA service like Minimserver so someone can use a control point like BubbleUPnP to browse their library.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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I also dont want to spend the money on Roon. I could almost accept paying a one time fee but to pay the same amount every year doesnt make sense at least to me.

 

I realize that Roon + HQP is not for you, but for anyone else who might be toying with the idea, Roon offers a lifetime membership, which costs less than 5 years of annual subscriptions, so if you like Roon and you think you'll be around to play music for at least 5 years, then that's your "best value." :)

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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I realize that Roon + HQP is not for you, but for anyone else who might be toying with the idea, Roon offers a lifetime membership, which costs less than 5 years of annual subscriptions, so if you like Roon and you think you'll be around to play music for at least 5 years, then that's your "best value." :)

 

--David

 

you are right. For me $500 is a lot to pay esp when all I want is a way to browse my library so I can use HQP. Seems to me that HQP is limiting its customer base by requiring something like Roon, when a lot of people just want to be able to pick songs to play from their phone or tablet.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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you are right. For me $500 is a lot to pay esp when all I want is a way to browse my library so I can use HQP. Seems to me that HQP is limiting its customer base by requiring something like Roon, when a lot of people just want to be able to pick songs to play from their phone or tablet.

 

Well, the Luxman D-06 was around 7k€, so Roon is less than 1/10th of that price.

 

Let's speculate for a moment that I would write UPnP stack from scratch for HQPlayer. That would be roughly a man year of work - meaning about 216 k€. And every other feature and fix delayed for a year.

 

How much more would you be ready to pay for HQPlayer Desktop if it had UPnP support?

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Well, the Luxman D-06 was around 7k€, so Roon is less than 1/10th of that price.

 

Let's speculate for a moment that I would write UPnP stack from scratch for HQPlayer. That would be roughly a man year of work - meaning about 216 k€. And every other feature and fix delayed for a year.

 

How much more would you be ready to pay for HQPlayer Desktop if it had UPnP support?

 

I am not saying Roon is not worth it to people who use all the features it has. What I am saying is for me, I only need the ability to browse my library and select tracks to play and control the player from my mobile device. Therefore, for me $500 for the basic feature I need is not worth it.

 

As for implementing UPnP into HQP, lets look at some software that has this basic feature...Minimserver can be used for free. JRriver is $50 but includes a lot more features. Of course their pricing structure is based on what their estimate of their customer base. I understand the potential customer base for HQP is probably smaller so you would need to amortize the development cost over that you believe you can increase the user base by and decide for yourself if its worth it. Obviously, this is your product and you will do what you decide is best. All I am saying is that not having a basic library browsing and control feature from a mobile device is preventing me from using what I hear is a wonderful product.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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...so if you like Roon and you think you'll be around to play music for at least 5 years...

 

Actually, I'd rephrase that to say "if you think Roon will be around to play your music for at least 5 years..."

 

In my 30-plus years covering the tech sphere, I've seen way too many digital companies go belly up to fully trust any small company's survival.

 

Dave, who is not specifically talking about Roon here but just the nature of the beasts

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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I am not saying Roon is not worth it to people who use all the features it has. What I am saying is for me, I only need the ability to browse my library and select tracks to play and control the player from my mobile device. Therefore, for me $500 for the basic feature I need is not worth it.

 

My needs are much the same. That's one reason I've been pretty happy so far with the microRendu, where I can play my music with a combo of MinimServer (free) and the Lumin app (also free).

 

That Lumin app is relatively elegant - not as good as the proprietary Aurender Conductor app, for my use, but for free...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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you are right. For me $500 is a lot to pay esp when all I want is a way to browse my library so I can use HQP. Seems to me that HQP is limiting its customer base by requiring something like Roon, when a lot of people just want to be able to pick songs to play from their phone or tablet.

 

Use JRiver's GUI, Windows-on-top and remote desktop. I reported that it is what I use for multichannel (Roon doesn't yet do multichannel for public version) and I think I like it as well as Roon, frankly. And it's basically free as I already have a JRIver Windows license.

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My needs are much the same. That's one reason I've been pretty happy so far with the microRendu, where I can play my music with a combo of MinimServer (free) and the Lumin app (also free).

 

That Lumin app is relatively elegant - not as good as the proprietary Aurender Conductor app, for my use, but for free...

My set up is similar. I use Minimserver and Jplay, controlled by BubbleUPnP. I find this solution to be exactly what I need in terms of library access and playback control.

 

BTW, I really like the Lumin app too but it doesn't recognize Jplay as my renderer.

 

Use JRiver's GUI, Windows-on-top and remote desktop. I reported that it is what I use for multichannel (Roon doesn't yet do multichannel for public version) and I think I like it as well as Roon, frankly. And it's basically free as I already have a JRIver Windows license.

 

Can you please explain further how you use JRiver with HQP?

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Can you please explain further how you use JRiver with HQP?

Have you watched the video I included for you? It's pretty simple. It's drag and drop from the JRiver GUI, using Windows on Top app to keep the HQPlayer in the window.

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Sorry, I missed that video link. I'll watch it now. Thank you.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Jussi - I am on the same path - looking to leave MacMini Itunes/Amarra for mRendu + Roon + HQ...

Is the 30 mins limit of the demo version "per session", or "total trial time"?

You might want to make the message clearer - It startled me at first....

I see you software in my future....

Mac Mini Late 2014 (16G/SSD) w Uptone JS-2 w OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID (JS-2) / Roon

Aqua LinQ w EtherCon cable (Ghent) w Uptone EtherRegen w Uptone JS-2

Aqua Formula xHD w Ocellia RCA Interconnect & Shunyata Delta NR

Kora TB 200 Integrated Amplifier w Audio Art Power Cable

Magico V2 w Ocellia speaker cables w Shunyata Dark Field Elevator & JL Audio E-Sub e110 X 2

All equipment, including subwoofer on Modulum platforms (modulumaudio.com)

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All I am saying is that not having a basic library browsing and control feature from a mobile device is preventing me from using what I hear is a wonderful product.

 

There are at least three different ways to use it from a mobile device. Roon, Muso and Remote Desktop. The HQPlayer fullscreen-mode GUI is fairly usable with Microsoft's remote desktop client. In addition, Geoff's Kodi-plugin system adds one more approach.

 

And HQPlayer Embedded works fine with Bubble UPnP App. Which adds fourth/fifth way of doing this.

 

If none of these are good, I'm not convinced that I could make one more way that would be any better.

 

As I said, if someone has time and energy to build some other kind of remote control capability for HQPlayer - the control API is open and example source code for interfacing it is free.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Jussi - I am on the same path - looking to leave MacMini Itunes/Amarra for mRendu + Roon + HQ...

Is the 30 mins limit of the demo version "per session", or "total trial time"?

 

It's per session. So you need to restart the application every 30 mins.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 3 months later...
Have you watched the video I included for you? It's pretty simple. It's drag and drop from the JRiver GUI, using Windows on Top app to keep the HQPlayer in the window.

Hi,

If you want to use JRiver as library manager and play your music with HQPlayer, there is another way to keep HQPlayer on top of JRiver: LaunchOnTop. This is a little .exe (free, unlike WindowsOnTop utility). When you execute LaunchOnTop with HQPlayer as parameter, HQPlayer remains on top. Example: Create a .bat file with the following lines:

@Echo Off

PATH1\LaunchOnTop.exe PATH2\HQPlayer-desktop.exe

 

Replace PATH1\ with the path to LaunchOnTop.exe and PATH2\ with the path to HQPlayer

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  • 10 months later...
On 5/9/2016 at 5:36 PM, lgoler said:

 the need to switch between multiple libraries to separate those that have mp3 vs. high-res and many other issues

 

This could be a problem if it is something you, personally, want to do but I keep everything in iTunes.  I just identify the titles with a little add-on.  For example, "foo [DL]", "bar [Stereo LP]", "bar [7" 45]", etc.  The LP and 45 designations are for Pure Vinyl bookmarks.

 

The nice thing about PM is it just uses iTunes as an information source to find stuff it plays itself so you can customize iTunes as much as you wish, but multiple libraries would be a big problem.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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