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my initial experience with Pure Vinyl


cfmsp

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Just thought I'd share my initial experience with Pure Vinyl.

 

EDIT: unless you enjoy watching train wrecks, there's probably no point in reading (m)any of my posts in the first half of this thread, which are related to my initial experience with version 2.3 of Pure Vinyl used standalone (i.e. without version 3).

 

If you use Leopard or Snow Leopard, download this pre release of Version 3 instead:

 

http://www.channld.com/pv30pr4n4.zip

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

First off, let me say that the user interface is NOT intuitive.

 

I clicked on the iTUnes icon on the Pure Vinyl player, and nothing seemed to be happening. note: instructions were to select a song in iTunes, and then play it for a bit to 'verify' it (as if iTunes might have an incorrect song label?), and then press pause. after this nothing, nada, I didn't see any indication that activity was happening other than the fact that I couldn't bring any other application to the forefront.

 

Eventually a song started playing, but NOT the one I had selected in iTunes (per the instructions above).

 

Now there appears to be no way to change the song. I go to the iTunes window and click on other songs - nothing - just continues to play the song I didn't even select.

 

now it's stopped after playing a single song. ??? Appears to say it's getting songs from Itunes, but I didn't ask it to do that. I especially didn't ask it to take over my computer such that I can't even read the instructions while it's doing this. Why would it assume that I wanted to import my entire collection based on my selecting a single song?

 

I do NOT need to import my entire collection to demo the app and see if it's worth listening to.

 

not much I can do know but share my thoughts here until it's done - oh wait, now it's playing the same song again, WTF?

 

I still can't select another song in the iTunes window, as I expect.

 

I can't even pause with the iTunes window. It appears that the only way I can change the song is to press previous track on the Pure Vinyl Window.

 

the only other apparent action I can take on the PV screen is to Disconnect the Loading into PV. Even after doing this, I still can't change the damn song, other than by selecting previous track. The iTunes Window is inoperable.

 

I quit iTunes, it's still playing this song.

 

hmmm...

 

still can't figure out where the list of songs are.

 

Looking around, clicking on preferences and other windows, trying to find the playlist, I hear the song 'skip' just like vinyl.

 

Looking around in the all the preferences, nothing seems to suggest how to see the playlist of possible songs. Songs are playing but I can't see what others are available!

 

The Album menu items are completely grayed out. The Window menu items say Pure Vinyl Player and Editor. The Edit menu is completely grayed out.

 

Well, we're not off to a great start here.

 

As I said, not a very intuitive application.

 

so far, I've only been able to play several songs from single disk - the apparent selection criteria for which was the first alphabetical disk (in my library) which contained Lossless files.

 

More after I read the manual.

 

EDIT:

after a brief intermission, and a quick skimming of ~34 page get started guide, and ~125 page user manual, I'm no wiser.

 

let's start over from the top:

 

click on the little iTunes icon in the lower right of the PV window, which says:

 

Obtain and Render "Singles" from iTunes, just like the first time we saw it.

 

note to self, when instructions say Pure Vinyl 'can' do something, it apparently means the user MUST do that.

 

E.g. Pure Vinyl 'can' create and play singles created from music files in your iTunes music collection. Also - you 'can' control the playback, track position and step through the playlist using Pure Vinyl to control iTunes - never mind that I don't want to use another interface to 'control' iTunes, I just want the music coming out of iTunes to sound better.

 

more instructions:

1) Launch or Activate iTunes [ed. why two words for the same thing?] (click the Launch / Activate iTunes button below)

 

done.

 

2) in iTunes, select the playlist and a valid [ed. what's an invalid song?] song you wish to begin with, Play a bit of the track to 'verify' [ed. there's that word again] it, and then Pause iTunes playback.

 

done. Selected small playlist of AIFF files.

 

3) Bring Pure Vinyl back to the front and click Play below.

 

done. nothing, nada, zip.

 

Nothing is playing, it won't let me go back to iTunes and try again, the PV window keeps jumping to the forefront, but not doing anything.

 

I try to Launch / Activate iTunes again (i.e. start over), it briefly shows me the iTunes window, and then covers it with PV window again.

 

Let's try restart the apps.

 

TAKE THREE - pure vinyl experience

 

restart the G5, with OS X 10.4.11

 

trash the old version of PV, re-install it.

 

re start it and now it won't let me click on anything on the PV window.

finally I see a small 'cancel vinyl image rendering' (something like that) at the top of the window, press that and voila, I get a completely different color pattern to my PV window.

 

Now I can click the iTunes icon in the lower right. Did I mention that fonts and button sizes are all very small relative to the available space?

 

Follow the steps as above, select the same AIFF Angela Correa song as last time (yes, I know what Einstein said about trying the same things over and over again and expecting different results).

 

Again, I got nothing playing back, expect for the brief bit of iTunes before pressing pause.

 

ooohhhh, now I see why I got new graphics, the default seems to be 'record', only now it won't let me press play.

 

Try again with a different song. maybe Einstein was right. select a song by my friend Amy Fairchild, and voila, it worked! great.

 

wanna know why it worked? 'cause I selected another Lossless file.

 

I can't play AIFF files apparently.

 

But we're up and running. Click on the label area of the window to select the next song [ed. Did I mention that application is NOT intuitive]

 

Clicking on the iTunes window to switch to another song (as with Amarra, or iTunes for that matter) and PV continues playing the same song. although Itunes does start playing the selected one simultaneously.

 

Unless I'm missing something (I sure hope I am), there is no indication within the PV window to tell what songs are in the list to be played. Apparently, one needs to look at iTunes to see what's up next, but then you can't select the song there. This has to be user error, becuase if it's the way the user interface is supposed to work (or rather, not work), this app is a non-starter. More reading to do.

 

Pause to listen to Amy's song Tuesday, written from the other side of the Hudson (from the WTC towers).

 

 

 

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just downloaded this (PV3 only, not the PV2.3 application suite), and had it running in a few seconds. It doesnt need to import the entire library and you dont need to pause after play. No application focus problems either. Which is better than my first experience wherein in order to get it to play, had to increase volume, hit mute, unmute, increase volume again - and repeat until you get sound.....which seems like a mild inconvenience compared to what is going on with you.

 

[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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I had no problems running Pure vinyl. It docks to iTunes like Amarra. I will post a review of the program tomorrow.

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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Chris,

 

this might look especially painful as I'm performing bit of user experience testing on 'my first experience' - in other words, I'm recording the thought process my brain is going through as I attempt to use it for the first time - ASSUMING that it will work like I think it should, which is like iTunes apparently (who knew?).

 

Normally someone else would be recording the initial experience for the subject, in this case, me.

 

I looked through the site earlier and I believe this should work on Tiger, but if someone knows that it does not, please put me out of my misery now!

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Lars,

 

can't wait to read your listening comparison review. At this rate, I won't get to really check it out before the special price expires. I expect that I'll purchase it, since it's only twice the NYC tax on the price of full version of Amarra. :)

 

I was expecting to spend 5 or 10 minutes downloading it and cranking it up.

 

not so, for me.

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I did not have much trouble trying out PV once I waded through their crazy website. The simplest version to download seems to be http://www.channld.com/pv30pr4n4.zip

 

I agree their are some confusing issues in their interface. It's easy to get it to not do what you expect, especially if you play with the Itunes player controls and try to jump around in a play list by just clicking on a new track in Itunes. I also got some pretty consistent twitches in the sound as if it were having to reset or resync its play position from time to time.

 

I noticed PV's claim that Amarra plays your tracks both in Itunes and Amarra at the same time and how this does not make sense. That point which I assume is true, certainly caught my attention, but my MAC activity monitor showed less CPU usage with sum of Amarra and Itunes than with the sum of PV and Itunes. I decided not to worry about that particular claim.

 

Both PV and Amarra have their share of bugs to work out I am afraid.

 

 

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Thanks.

 

I can't seem to play AIFF files - which is the format all my favorite (read demo) music is stored in.

 

I keep some lossless files around to drive Jon Reichbach crazy (when I test Amarra), but not the ones I'd want to use to check it out quickly before I go away for the holiday weekend.

 

Guess I'll have to buy it based on Lars' recommendation (or not), unless there really isn't a way to just skip through the itunes library playing a song here, a song there, etc.

 

I don't use playlists, I select songs one at a time like a DJ.

 

Can anyone confirm that PV haven't taken this 'vinyl' analogy too far, and made it difficult to jump around in one's library? If so, they're running completely against the grain of easy access via computer to the full library.

 

How do I select individual songs without going track by track through the 'LP'?

 

How do I see the songs that have been 'rendered' by PV?

 

 

clay

 

 

 

 

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I have no issues jumping around in Itunes with PV - with memory play there is a time lag of a second or few. I usually use the remote app on my Ipod Touch and works fine.

 

I dont see anywhere songs being rendered - except the one currently playing at the bar above itunes which is being done on the fly.

 

[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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I also play around with upsample and it does a nice job. I set Audio Midi for say 24/96 and then it will play anything 24/96 or below at that sample rate/bit depth. Anything above it then PV changes the Weiss to the new correct higher rate. I'm still not sure how to get memory playback working without glitches, but not really focused on that. Sound wise, it's good...better than iTunes and different than (but not better than ) Amarra. Seems to be more crisp and clean, but the "breath of life" for many recordings are rendered better, in my system, with Amarra. This is nitpicking though...both are very good.

 

Yes, I use my iTouch (all apps leave my house if they don't work with iTouch) for my PV playing.

 

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Hi Clay,

 

When PV opens go to PV Recorder > preferences

 

Untick "Always confirm Audio Configuration"

 

Then click on the "iTunes Music Server Mode" Tab.

 

Tick "Activate iTunes Server Mode After Launch"

Untick "Animate With 'Vinyl 45'"

 

Quit and restart PV.

 

When PV launches it will automagically drop into iTunes Server mode.

 

At this point click on the Advanced button:

 

Click on the Upsample button to disable

Click on "Memory Play" to enable and adjust memory buffer as required

 

I'm not a fan of the "metering" so I turn that off

I also turn off "song info".

You definitely don't want "Animate" enabled.

 

In this setup I get PV running at around 3.8% CPU and iTunes mainly idle with short bursts of about 2.3% CPU every 20-30 seconds on a 1.5Ghz Core Solo Mini with 2Gb RAM.

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

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@Clay

 

It reads like you jumped in using an unfamiliar piece of software without reading the manual or contacting the developer for support.

 

I would expect an impartial "reviewer" to show a little rigor - even the most skeptical user would do that before going public.

 

I initially bought Pure Vinyl for doing needle drops. The email support was fast, patient and effective in helping me get a new interface up and running with Pure Vinyl.

 

The "read me" file included with the download is quite explicit about the consequence of memory play causing a delay in response when starting/pausing. Once you get a feel for using the program it's not an issue - it's like the adjustment you make when driving a car from a different manufacturer.

 

I find that reviews often reveal as much about their writer than they do about the subject.

 

For a more rigorous review of Pure Vinyl, Michael Fremer's in Stereophile March '09 is a good place to start.

 

Ralph

 

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I consider myself far from expert, but got PV working from the off with no issues.

 

I subsequently had a few problems (my fault with a Microphone input setting causing feedback) but Rob sorted that out for me and the support has been impressive and fast.

 

Until Amarra released the latest version, I found PV quite a bit better sonically, and it managed gapless playback with no problem. Now I find them much closer sonically but still prefer PV. The integration with iTunes on my MacBook is seamless and the sample rate changing is automatic (not available on my Amarra Mini). Memory play seems more logical and the CPU overhead is lower.

 

Finally, it's much cheaper. Good product.

 

Steve

 

Audirvana Plus/Dirac Live - Weiss 202 - Lavardin IT-15 - Art Emotion Signatures.  DragonFly Red - Sennheiser HD600s & IE800s.

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Ralph,

 

you're questioning my objectivity, on what basis?

 

Because I reported that the software was not intuitive, and presented the details of my interactions as the evidence that it's not intuitive?

 

"It reads like you jumped in using an unfamiliar piece of software without reading the manual or contacting the developer for support."

 

The very definition on intuitive is that study of a manual is NOT required in advance of use! :)

 

AFAIC, I shouldn't have to talk to developer in order to use a program, as you suggest.

 

 

"I would expect an impartial "reviewer" to show a little rigor - even the most skeptical user would do that before going public."

 

I stated precisely what I was reporting on - "my initial experience" with the software - sharing my thought process as I tried to sort it out - not a review.

 

 

"I find that reviews often reveal as much about their writer than they do about the subject."

 

Right back atcha! :) That applies to your response here as well.

 

And I'll repeat, I was not offering a 'review' here, impartial or otherwise.

 

"The "read me" file included with the download is quite explicit about the consequence of memory play causing a delay in response when starting/pausing."

 

Actually, I didn't find this to be true. I read the 'Installing Pure Vinyl' "read me", and the 34 page, 7.6 Mb 'Getting Started Guide', and saw no reference to this. I even searched on the word "memory" to see if I'd missed it. Nothing, nada, zilch.

 

Perhaps it's 'explicit' in the 128 Page, 15.7 Mb User Guide?

 

 

"Once you get a feel for using the program it's not an issue - it's like the adjustment you make when driving a car from a different manufacturer."

 

That would seem to depend on the individual user. :)

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

 

 

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There must be something not quite right with the process you are running Clay. For my version of PV, you just launch it and then click on the itunes logo in it to launch itunes/ connect to itunes. Then, all the controls in itunes work except it plays through PV. You can select whatever song as per itunes and control the volume, skip, pause...

 

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Clay,

 

I've had no problems with Pure Vinyl. It seems stable and works like Amarra. I turned off the recorder volume in MIDI to prevent feedback. The program has been stable moving from one sampling rate to another. Memory works great. The only real problem is that it can't play gapless.

 

A listening suggestion:

 

Instead of switching back and forth from Amarra, just listen for a day or two and then go back. I look forward to your comments.

 

Steve

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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@Clay

 

I'm happy for you to dig yourself in deeper if you choose.

 

"The very definition on intuitive is that study of a manual is NOT required in advance of use! :)"

 

Whose definition is that?

 

"AFAIC, I shouldn't have to talk to developer in order to use a program, as you suggest."

 

I did not suggest that. My suggestion is that an objective report, and a typical user, would follow their intuition to the point where it was necessary to check the documentation and if still uncertain might then call on support. Obviously developers provide documentation for a reason.

 

"|I stated precisely what I was reporting on - "my initial experience" with the software - sharing my thought process as I tried to sort it out - not a review."

 

In other words a real-time, uninformed stream of consciousness then?

 

So what was your purpose in posting the account of your experience?

 

Ralph

 

 

 

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Thanks, Lars and Mr C.

 

What you describe is exactly what I was expecting to be able to do.

 

I certainly hope that my experience is atypical.

 

I downloaded version 2.3, and re-installed it last night. Presumably you're using normal PV and not PV Recorder?

 

 

I can get Lossless files to play, I think the biggest issue is that AIFF files aren't playing for me, and thus PV doesn't do anything (no error message, nor playing the song via iTunes, a la Amarra) when I select an AIFF file I want to play.

 

No doubt, my "initial experience" would have been COMPLETELY different if the first song I selected had actually played within a short period of time (as it sounds like it does for most people) instead of playing a file which I hadn't selected, and then not responding to additional selections I made (due to also being AIFF) to try to figure out why nothing was happening according to my intent.

 

Can PV actually play any song I select in iTunes, or do I need to 'step through' (PV's words, not mine) a playlist via the forward and back arrows?

 

thanks

clay

 

 

 

 

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Just make sure you are using "Memory Play" mode and that the albums in iTunes are ticked Gapless.

 

Clay,

 

I really can't see why you have had such a nightmare, it's been one of the simpler programs that I've ever played with. Open PV, then iTunes and away you go just like you are using iTunes alone. That includes using the iTouch as the remote.

 

Steve

 

Audirvana Plus/Dirac Live - Weiss 202 - Lavardin IT-15 - Art Emotion Signatures.  DragonFly Red - Sennheiser HD600s & IE800s.

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Not sure yet, but as I said above, I do hope my experience is atypical.

Thanks for sharing yet another post to insure that it was!

 

I think the issue of PV not playing my selected (AIFF) files, and instead playing a different file, got things off to a very bad start, and things went downhill from there.

 

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

 

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Clay,

 

Only load PV3 n4n. The gapless problem is with 88.2/24 and 96/24 files. I just spoke to PV and will try the fix suggested.

 

Wavelength Silver Crimson/Denominator USB DAC, Levinson 32/33H, Synergistic Research Cables and AC cables, Shunyata Hydra V-Ray II with King Cobra CX cable, Wilson Sasha WP speakers with Wilson Watch Dog Sub. Basis Debut V Vacuum turntable/ Grahm Phantom/Koetsu Jade Platinum. MacBook Pro 17\" 2.3GHz Quad Core i7, 8GB RAM, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, AudioQuest Diamond USB Cable.

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Ted, thanks, I'll try this tonight.

 

Ironically, I was hoping to avoid issues by NOT downloading the pre-release version.

 

EDIT: It appears that this version does have release notes that mention memory play etc. And also mentions iTunes Music Server, which I hadn't seen in any of the other documentation.

 

After a quick perusal, I already I see that this will allow me to set preferences as Paul mentioned above.

 

 

Mystery solved, I think, although as I check the download page again I see that I can't use this - it's not supported by OS X 10.4.11. :(

 

 

 

clay

 

 

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