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Any Inexpensive Products to Compare with Amarra at this time


Wayne C

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Firstly dont get me wrong id love to have access to Amarra as id love to be able to get the same results that all of the folks whom use this and for that matter Pure Vinyl seem to be getting.

But I have to be realistic and cannot afford in any way to pay for these products at the current time, are there any products available for the Mac or Pending which do similar things?, akin to Foobar.

It seems unfortunate that the programs are so expensive and in the current climate maybe there are alternatives available , any advice appreciated.

 

id love Amarra but I cannt afford it but would love to come across something which does the same thing at a far lesser price

 

Wayne

 

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http://sbooth.org/Play/

 

It's from the same folks who offer Max - for ripping and file conversion.

 

I've just started listening to it since my post above, but I have it on good authority that it sounds great.

 

The 'abstract' of my 'initial experience' with Play is that I was able to listen to music within 2 minutes of goggling sbooth and Play.

 

OTOH, I can't yet see any meta data for AIFF files, although ALAC are fine.

 

Perhaps our resident Play aficionado will come out of lurker mode for brief bit of support.

 

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

 

 

 

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I note you have this program, I haven't tried it or infact downloaded the demo of it, I think they should allow you to play around a weeks worth of music then it cuts out rather than the intermittent silence. I know its a funny question but would you say the Play software is not far away sonically or maybe a great distance. ive read alot of the stuff on their site and it doesnt really go into any depth about what you can expect to achieive, but ill be downloading it for sure, all my music is in AIFF forrmat though I dont want my Itunes to get mixed up, I presume this program works independently, hopefully it wont go altering all my hard work of artwork etc.

 

Wayne

 

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I've just started to listen to Play in my own system, since I downloaded it.

 

Hard to make useful reviews of software with such limited experience, but...i'll try.

 

I'll give a one word description that I think best describes Play, Pure Vinyl and even Amarra

 

For Pure Vinyl, I'd use the word 'bold'

 

For Play, I'd use the word 'clear'

 

For Amarra, I'd use the word 'deep' or 'rich', I can't decide.

 

... I'll try to think of a better single word for Amarra as those don't ring as true for me as the other two, perhaps becuase I've listened to it for much longer and my thoughts can't be so readily synopsized into a single word.

 

Hope this helps. They all sound different than iTunes, and one from another.

 

cheers,

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple of other OSX players that are worth looking at are:

 

COG - http://cogx.org/

As with Play you really need to go straight for the development version - http://cogx.org/development.php

 

Features: Gapless playback, Seeking, Automatic updating, Feedback form, File drawer, Preferences, Last.fm support, Growl support, Global hotkeys, Apple Remote support

 

Formats: Ogg Vorbis, Mp3, Flac, Musepack, Monkeys Audio, Shorten, Wavpack, AAC, Apple Lossless, Wave/AIFF, Video Game (nsf, gbs, gym, spc, vgm, hes, and more!), Tracker (it, s3m, xm, mod), m3u and pls playlists, Cue sheets

 

Neutrino - http://machinecodex.com/neutrino/

Commercial but possibly worth a look. I've installed the demo and it seems a bit overloaded with extraneous features. I was looking for a player which would host AU's so I could experiment with using Sonalksis' Free G plugin http://www.sonalksis.com/index.php?section_id=99 as a high quality attenuator.

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

 

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"I was looking for a player which would host AU's"

 

you're probably aware of this, but on the off chance that you're not - I only discovered that Play supports AU plugins a couple of days ago.

 

good tip on the attenuator, for those going 'hot rod' mode (i.e. direct to amp).

 

clay

 

 

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AFAIK Twilight hasn't reached public beta and is currently only available to very selected testers. The indications I've seen were that Twilight would be in the $200-400 range so if that pricing holds it's not exactly going to be inexpensive.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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"Doesn't Play use the Soundflower engine though for AU plugin support, which AFAIK does not support 88 or 176 sample rates?"

 

YOu might be right, I've not tried this feature in Play yet, I simply noticed it in the feature list when I downloaded it.

 

In any event, Play is free, therefore still a useful, easy, inexpensive way to play music with plugins, IMO.

 

thanks for the clarification,

clay

 

 

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I use VOX, Play, and Pure Vinyl.

I prefer the simplicity and look of VOX.

Most of my listening is done through Apple TV however.

Hope this helps.

 

Michael J. Howell[br]Macbook Pro, Airport Extreme Base Station, AppleTV, Majik, Numerik, Katans. Linn Silver and Audioquest 3 Toslink, AQ - Indigo (bi-wire), Mapleshade Bedrocks (yes these actually work).

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Hi Clay,

 

Let's say I've been spending far too much time reading CoreAudio docs of late :) I'm trying to rectify my lack of programming skillz - current bedtime reading is Kochan's "Programming in C" and "The Objective-C Programming Language".

 

Play does appear to be written in Obj-C.

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

 

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@ Nyal

 

I've had a bit of a look in the code and there is definitely support for the remote in the App. However Play doesn't seem to do anything useful with the input from the apple remote, at least under 10.6 anyway. YMMV.

 

cheers

Paul

 

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Can any of you obviously very knowledgable folks explain to me why Play is a free program and amarra costs more than my G5 cost me?, obviously play and the company who developed it have to be congratulated for providing something of qulaity for free.

Is Amarra really that good that it justifies spending so much on it, I see they recommend my Beresford DAC, their program which id love to own costs 3 times as much as my DAC cost me something doesnt add up really, how can such a cost be justified as it basically prevents a mere mortal with an interest from Pursuing the dream of a product that realises and exploits a computers ability to provide high end auio playback. I realise that alot of folk may be in the recording and audio fields professionally possibly by being musicians and engineers for example, but I feel its such a shame that someone like me is prevented from owning a product they would love to by it costing so much.

 

although I anticipate it probably may be worth it

 

Ive tried to find Vox but all I get is Vox who made gutiar amps etc, anyone have a direct link, and is Play significantly better than Itunes? and if so what would you consider its benefits apart from being free!!!

 

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@Wayne. The main benefit, to me, apart from it being free is that the latest version changes sample rates on the fly => no more arseing around with audio midi. Since that's absolutely the only feature of Amarra that interests me I'm a happy camper. Itunes for library management & Play for playback is a great combo.

 

- John.

 

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Sure. I rip and tag in itunes, then grab the itunes music folder and drop it onto the Play library window. A couple of minutes later; up and running. After a new itunes ripping session I just delete the Play library and drag the folder in again. No music files are copied of course; Play just very quickly creates it's own index.

 

- John.

 

 

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Play, Cog and the other freeware players tend to focus on broad file format support as their key objective. Play and Cog are relatively old both as contain code dating back to 2005 - and there is a small amount of common code between the two apps. The updates have been reasonably infrequent over the past couple of years and the cobwebs are starting to show, especially when it comes to 10.6 compatibility in the codebase.

 

Amarra and PV both are developed by companies which have an strong professional audio focus - Sonic Studios develops hi-end Mastering and audio processing software, while Channel-D has been around since the late 90's and is probably best know amongst Mac audio geeks as developers of OS9/OSX audio analysis software "Mac the Scope" and "WaveBox".

 

So what you are paying for in the "big ticket" players is the application of years of professional DSP experience to creating a audio players which have a focus on sound quality.

 

One other thing you get with the freeware player is really bad UI design. The library and playlist "management" in both COG and Play are truly atrocious and this is generally the achilles heel of the freeware players. Neutrino is going in the right direction with it's read/write integration with iTunes libraries and playlists.

 

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

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My CD-rips are not perfectly tagged, so in my current Squeezebox setup, I use folder browsing to access my music. I'm a little worried that I won't be able to browse my music in workable fashion in iTunes, which AFAIK doesn't offer folder browsing, so if Play offers folder browsing, I may just go for that. I haven't decided yet whether to get a netbook and hook up a NAS, or whether I should go for a MacBook with a Firewire drive attached. The problem is that I don't really have a place to put the NAS if it makes to much noise to reside in the listening room.

 

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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You should have a look at COG. It's file management is far, far, better in this respect than Play.

To get this set up you need to go to the view menu and "Show File Tree".

Then go to "View > Toggle File Tree Orientation" which moves the folder list to the side bar.

You can then ctrl-click or right click on iTunes Music folder (or where ever you file your music) and select "Set as Root"

To play a folder you click on the folder and ctrl-click/right click and select "Set as Playlist" or "Add to playlist"

 

 

cheers

Paul

 

 

 

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