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Confused and frustrated by PC options


harrypt
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OK, I'm about to purchase a computer for a dedicated music server.

 

While I'm not completely against spending the extra money for a Mac, I'm not against saving money either. Plus I've read there are a lot more tweaking options on PC.

 

However I'm baffled by all the options and geek speak.

 

Questions I have:

Which Windows version works best

ASIO?

WASAPI?

Windows settings?

Can MediaMonkey do bit perfect output?

 

Could you guys point me to any good tutorials for learning about this stuff? I'd rather be listening to music than reading about computers.

 

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Ho harrypt - There are so many answers to each of these questions. It's almost like saying I want lunch, but I don't want to prepare the food. What should I get and what tastes best :~)

 

The version of Windows is very subjective. I recommend Windows XP as the easiest and Windows 7 as the newest that will have longer support and has potential for 24/192 via USB once it supports Class 2 Audio.

 

ASIO with Windows XP and a Lynx audio card is bit perfect and I use it often. WASAPI as well, it's bit perfect in a couple different modes (shared and exclusive) although exclusive is better in my opinion.

 

Windows settings can be tweaked as much as you want. Stopping services and tweaking other settings should have a positive result. MediaMonkey with ASIO can be bit perfect. Lately JRiver has come on strong as the app of choice for a lot of people and its been verified as bit perfect with a Audio Precision system by a readers here.

 

The Computer Audiophile Academy has a growing number of basic articles http://computeraudiophile.com/category/Computer-Audiophile-Academy/Computer-Audiophile-Academy

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Thanks Chris,

 

My problem is not that I don't want to prepare the food, but that I can't find a good recipe. Or more specifically, some recipes say that sugar tastes sweet and others say it is sour.

 

For example, some say you don't need ASIO with Windows Vista/XP, others say that while not using kmixer, it uses another app ending in the same problem. OK it works with Lynx, but what about USB output. Seems there is no good definitive documentation?

 

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Hi Harrypt - I totally understand where you are coming from and your desire to have a definitive solution. Think of computer based audio the same as a CD player. There are many different ways to implement a CD player such as separate transport and DAC, oversampling, memory buffering, etc... To use your words, "ome say you don't need **** with ****, others say that while not using ****, it uses another *** ending in the same problem." It fits whether were are talking about a CD player or computer.

 

That said, how to get you to where you want to be is probably the better question to concentrate on by us offering opinions here :~)

 

Looking back at all your original questions. They relate to Windows configuration. I think you should seriously consider a MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro. This eliminates the need to answer those questions to which there are no definitive answers. A Lynx works well in both systems as does USB. Macs already support Class 2 Audio which is required for 24/192 via USB.

 

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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