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Audiophile player - HQPlayer


murrayp

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Is there a manual available?

 

Yes, manual is included in the installation package as a PDF file. Shortcut to the manual can be found from the application's start menu group.

 

Regarding updates, 2.4.1 was released today and is hopefully "final" for a bit longer while. Possibly until Linux version release.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just tried the DSD sampler from Blue Coast records ($15) with HQplayer - I can highly recommend both. Very detailed, yet smooth as ..(vinyl?).

 

This is the best sound I've gotten from my headphone system so far (previous best was Foobar, Sox, HDtracks 24/96).

 

(Senn HD800, Audio-gd Phoenix/Ref1...).

 

PS Audio DirectStream DSD Bridge -> Classe CA-2200 - >B&W 803-D2, Nordost Tyr cabled. Synology NAS, MinimServer, BubbleDS.

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I thought cMP requires cue files and neither HQ nor HE do. And what is the sonic character of HQ or HE alone versus running with cMP?

 

Also I had no luck in playing the dsf files from Blue Coast Records, though these files play fine on my Korg. The dff files from 2L play fine. I also had no luck in playing a 24/192 WAV file from Soundkeeper Recordings, though this WAV plays fine with other players.

 

HQPlayer seems to play everything else I have tried so far. Tomorrow I will try some DSD128 files recordings. So far my initial impression is that the HQPlayer is very easy to listen to.

 

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Also I had no luck in playing the dsf files from Blue Coast Records, though these files play fine on my Korg. The dff files from 2L play fine.

 

Only DFF files are supported at the moment (Blue Coast Records seems to provide both formats at least for some recordings). DSF support is currently under construction...

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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After a rocky start – pretty good so far.

 

Successes:

1. Plays all my DSD64 files in the .dff format from 2L

2. Plays the 24/352.8 DXD file downloaded from the 2L test site

3. Plays all my LPs, DVD-As, and SACDs digitized into DSD128

4. Plays all my 16/44.1, 24/88.2, 24/96 and 24/176.4 WAV and FLAC PCM files

5. Plays some of my 24/192 WAV PCM files

 

Failures:

1. Does not play my DSD files in the .dsf format from Blue Coast Records

2. Does not play AIFF files

3. Does not play the following 24/192 WAV PCM files:

a. Mahler Symphonic Nr 6 - Acousence Records (originally 24/192 FLAC)

b. Jazz 3 – Kent Poon (originally 24/192 AIFF)

c. Equinox – Soundkeeper Recording (delivered as 24/192 WAV but probably 24/192 AIFF in origin)

 

I listed the original format of the troubled 24/192 files, since the problem may be in the conversion and not due to HQPlayer. However every other media player I have tried has no problems with any of my 24/192 files, so I still think the problem is something for HQPlayer to fix. When I say HQPlayer cannot play any of the above files it may be more correct to say that HQPlayer does not see these music files in the directories.

 

Likes:

1. It reads my entire music library with ease. All that’s required is to add a path or a tree. If you wish, the tree can be the root directory of any drive.

2. Cool digital volume control

 

Dislikes:

1. Does not pull in the artist or album data from the file structure like many other media players. HQPlayer should have an option to pull in data that uses the often recommended directory hierarchy structure of Artist/Albums/music files. Presently for WAV files the song titles are correct, but the artist and album titles are incorrect.

2. Display for time data (Time, Remain, Total Remain) is too large. I believe most folks would rather see Song Track Title, Album Title and Artist Name in large fonts and not have their screen dominated by time data.

 

Wish list:

1. Ability to continuously play the library of songs listed in the path directories (i.e., repeat all) as long as they all have the same bit rate

2. Ability to play a playlist of selected albums. I believe you may have said HQPlayer probably would not support a playlist of selected tracks but, as an example, I am not sure why I have to manually select album #50 to play, wait for it to finish, then manually select album #161 to play, wait for it to finish, and then manually select album #352 to play. A computer program should be able to take my order of albums #50, #161, and #352 and play them without any further involvement from me.

 

HQPlayer seems to have a lot of features that I look forward to trying. I am particularly interested in trying out some of the different filters you recommend for specific genres of music.

 

The Sound:

1. I like what I hear so far but I have only used HQPlayer on my secondary music system consisting of a Windows Vista 64 music server, Juli@ digital interface card, Benchmark USB DAC1 and Audioengine 2 speakers. My other music servers connected to my reference stereo system all use XP that your program does not support. So hopefully before my 30 day trial period is up I will have a chance to move either a Win 7 or Vista box to my reference system. Is there any preference for using Win 7 or Vista? I recently read on the XXHighEnd website that folks are confirming that Vista provides better sonics than Win 7. I believe one other user mentioned that he runs HQPlayer under the cMP shell, but I don’t know how. My only experience is running cPlay under cMP.

 

 

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I agree with your wish list & dislikes.

 

I had no problem playing the DSDdiff files from Blue Coast. They need to be in a separate directory though (as mentioned in my previous post).

 

PS Audio DirectStream DSD Bridge -> Classe CA-2200 - >B&W 803-D2, Nordost Tyr cabled. Synology NAS, MinimServer, BubbleDS.

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When I say HQPlayer cannot play any of the above files it may be more correct to say that HQPlayer does not see these music files in the directories.

 

If the files are not seen at all, one possible reason may be that there are audio files in multiple formats in the same directory. All files within the same directory are assumed to be of same type. Search order is FLAC -> DSDIFF -> WAV, the first type of these with match wins. Other types of files don't matter.

 

If this is not the case, sending a header dump of the file would help getting the bug fixed. First 4 kilobytes from the beginning of file should be enough.

 

2. Ability to play a playlist of selected albums

 

I think this can be done in a reasonable way.. The way I'm thinking would also largely address (1).

 

Is there any preference for using Win 7 or Vista?

 

Both should work equally well. Mostly depends on driver situation, for example E-MU's audio interfaces don't yet have final Win7 drivers. I have Mac Mini with Win7 in living room and Vista in the work machine, both work equally well. Vista requires service pack and updates, however.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I'm no expert but I've run various players within cMP by altering the a line that calls the player program from within cMP.

 

Under the cics memory player folder, you will find a text file CicsMemoryPlayer.pth

 

If you double click on this from within windows explorer you will open it in Notepad. It contains the line

 

CUE_PLAYER #N "c:program filescics PlaycicsPlay.exe" %C

 

You can change this to call up any player path you wish, so e.g.

 

CUE_PLAYER #N "C:Program FilesHQPlayerHQPlayer.exe" %C

 

or

 

CUE_PLAYER #N "C:Program FilesJ RiverMedia Center 15Media Center 15.exe" %C

 

Whether it is an advantage or not I'm not sure - once I thought so - not so sure now. Probably just my normal self delusion.....;-) What do you think? AFAIK btw HQ uses a quite different approach to cMP to achieve what it does, so mixing them may not be the best idea. Mainly I gather cMP shuts down a lot of extraneous computer activity so may create a quieter environment for HQ or any other player to run.

 

Murray

 

 

 

 

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@MurrayP – thanks for the info on running other players under the cMP shell. I obviously use the cMP shell with cPlay on my dedicated XP music servers. However my Vista and Win 7 are not dedicated solely to audio so I doubt that I would use the cMP shell. Nonetheless it nice to know the how, just in case I ever upgrade the OS on my dedicated music servers and run something besides cPlay.

 

@xsajohn – I have no luck with the dsf files from Blue Coast Records. The music files are in separate directories and I have even create a separate directory with just one dsf file and still no luck. It may be that we created our dsf files from the Blue Coast Records ISO image using different software. This is one reason why I hate any process that involves creating new files from some other file, conversions, ripping, or extractions (just send the native file please). I believe I used Roxio because the method suggested by Blue Coast Records did not work on my computer. My Korg unit plays these dsf files with no problems.

 

@Miska – I will forward one of the dsf and 24/192 tracks by PM for you to investigate. My guess is that there is something different in the headers of these files. I am flexible in using either Win 7 or Vista but I am somewhat disturbed by quite a few posts on the XXHighEnd website that indicate less than stellar sonics using Win 7 vs. Vista, especially since this is a serious reversal from what PeterSt previously recommended. I believe that device drivers do make an important difference but so should the OS. When I say I like what I hear so far, what I hear sounds organic and natural, but again this is just my initial impression after spending only a few hours of listening on my secondary audio system. I need to download a few more DXD files from 2L to see if the ability of HQPlayer to play 24/352.8 resolution files is for real and problem free. If so I can foresee DSD128 and DXD being the ultimate choice assuming that is the original digital format and we can get those files without further destructive editing or conversion.

 

 

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I have no luck with the dsf files from Blue Coast Records

 

Blue Coast offers both dsf and dff format files which are different. At the moment only dff is supported, but I'm working on dsf support too. For example at http://www.bluecoastrecords.com/blue-coast-collection look at the left hand pane and there's "DSD DFF" = DSDIFF = .dff and "DSD Disc" = .dsf format.

 

I will forward one of the dsf and 24/192 tracks by PM for you to investigate. My guess is that there is something different in the headers of these files.

 

dsf is different format and no need for that. For WAV's which have problem playing back first 4kb should be enough to include all headers, for example on OS X or Linux box "dd if=some.wav of=header.dump bs=4k count=1" would do the trick.

 

less than stellar sonics using Win 7 vs. Vista

 

In my humble opinion, there shouldn't be any difference between the two when using HQPlayer. I personally prefer Win 7 since it's usually quite a lot faster and otherwise sleeker than Vista. For some hardware vendors, driver support lags behind by quite a long time. WHQL Vista and Win7 certified drivers should be safe.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I believe when I ordered the Blue Coast DSD Sampler the only option was the DSD ISO Disc Image. I do not think the Blue Coast Collection was available when I ordered.

 

Now I see that the Blue Coast Collection that gives you the choice of formats and individual tracks or the entire album. Perhaps if they give me a $15 credit for the sampler I will purchase and download the entire album for $50. Not really my taste in music but the Looking For a Home track is well done and very enjoyable.

 

I will try the "dd if=some.wav of=header.dump bs=4k count=1" on my Macbook Pro since I no longer have a Linux box. Speaking of which, I see you just released a version of HQPlayer for Linux. What are the sonic differences between running HQPlayer on Windows versus Linux? Would HQPlayer run under Linux on one of netbooks or the Fit2-PCi? And since you've done Linux, is HQPlayer for the Mac OS(X) far behind?

 

 

 

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What are the sonic differences between running HQPlayer on Windows versus Linux?

 

Since I don't have equivalent hardware on Windows and Linux machines it is hard to say if there are sonic differences. For adaptive mode USB interfaces I would expect suitably tuned Linux to be significantly better. For async or PCI(e) interfaces there shouldn't be any difference.

 

Would HQPlayer run under Linux on one of netbooks or the Fit2-PCi?

 

For stereo use cases and with 'poly-sinc*', most likely yes. Recent Atoms with dual core and SSE3 (D5xx/N5xx) should do fine. However, these may not be powerful enough for playing back .dff or .dsf files. At least not without some really hardcore optimizations.

 

I'm trying to find some nice board to test with. Something like this http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=iIZKMXSj0jZKiebE looks optimal.

 

And since you've done Linux, is HQPlayer for the Mac OS(X) far behind?

 

I've considered it, but so far have not found properly documented way to access native audio hardware formats. Last time I checked Apple's documentation it stated that drivers would be doing format conversions.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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For playing DXD files does HQPlayer convert the 24/352.8 DXD files to 24/192 or something else?

 

Website states HQPlayer runs on Apple MacMini with Windows 7 using Boot Camp (including Apple IR remote). Does this include all the functions of the Apple IR remote? Is it possible to use an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad for remote control functions and remote screen display?

 

What distribution of Linux do you suggest for the Linux version of HQPlayer?

 

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For playing DXD files does HQPlayer convert the 24/352.8 DXD files to 24/192 or something else?

 

For any content it depends on resampler and target samplerate selected from the GUI. With poly-sinc* resamplers target rate can be any of the standard rates supported by the hardware. Bit depth is always the maximum one supported by the hardware and can be anything between 16 and 32 bits. Dither/noise-shaper selected from the GUI defines how the sample values are converted.

 

If the hardware supports 352.8 rate, it is also possible to play back without conversion.

 

Does this include all the functions of the Apple IR remote?

 

All others, except the 'Menu'-button. ie. Play/pause, prev/next and volume up/down.

 

Is it possible to use an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad for remote control functions and remote screen display?

 

Most likely only with some remote desktop client application.

 

What distribution of Linux do you suggest for the Linux version of HQPlayer?

 

I'm using openSUSE, with 'desktop'-kernel it is quite good. And with 'rt'-kernel even better.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...

Version 2.5.0 released yesterday! Fixed a startup issue on some Windows 7 systems, support for metadata parsing from file path, changes in the desktop GUI, support for multiselect in transport/paths list, support for DSF file format, improved sound quality for DSDIFF/DSF file playback, fixes in RIFF (WAV) handling, preliminary support for (non-compressed) multichannel DSDIFF/DSF files, plus set of minor fixes and improvements.

 

I look forward to downloading the new version this week to try out on my Vista and Win7 computers. Since I have a few dedicated XP music servers I was wondering if you plan to release a version for XP? If not, I thought maybe I could easily install Ubuntu (I have been told that Ubuntu is very easy to install, understand and use) on one of my XP servers to evaluate without too much of a hassle unless you feel that openSUSE is better for some reason.

 

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Since I have a few dedicated XP music servers I was wondering if you plan to release a version for XP?

 

There are no plans to support XP, since it's missing various needed features, not least WASAPI. Since XP is old and being phased out by Microsoft, it is not worth the extra effort. I believe time is better spent in improving the software in other ways.

 

I could easily install Ubuntu (I have been told that Ubuntu is very easy to install, understand and use) on one of my XP servers to evaluate without too much of a hassle unless you feel that openSUSE is better for some reason.

 

Reason for openSUSE is the packaging system (RPM). Other RPM-based distros such as Fedora may also work, but are not tested.

 

Unfortunately there's no currently evaluation version or generic availability for Linux, mostly because the SRM tool has not been decided yet and is investment in itself. If there is enough demand for the Linux version, it can be made available.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I need to do some critical listening this weekend since I have some doubts as to the sonic qualities of players under Win7. It may have all started with the long thread on the XXHighEnd website – “We all fell in the W7 pitfall”

 

http://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=1398.0

 

This past weekend is the first time I ever used a Win7 computer for computer audio and my very early impressions are not favorable. I use my Vista computer for XXHighEnd and now HQPlayer and there seems to be no comparison to HQPlayer under Win7. HQPlayer under Vista sounds fantastic, while under Win7 it sounds so-so. Unfortunately this is not an apples-to-apples comparison since in addition to using two different Dell computers, I am using the M2Tech Hiface with my Win7 computer and the ESI Juli@ with my older Vista computer so the difference may due to the digital interfaces and drivers and not be strictly due to the OS. Regardless of my brief experience, the impressions from several other folks (who spend a whole lot more time on computer audio than me) at the XXHighEnd website regarding Win7 are not encouraging. Perhaps in the near future there will be a strong demand for Linux solution as astute audiophiles realize that all the bloat and complexities of the OS only serves to diminish the sound quality.

 

 

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Vista sounds fantastic, while under Win7 it sounds so-so

 

I use primarily variety of PCI(e) interfaces, which may be the reason that I have not noticed anything alarming. I have also E-MU 0404 USB, but since E-MU only recently released beta of Win7 drivers, I have not tested it under Win7. For external interfaces I tend to favor Firewire connected ones.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I agree with the conclusions reached on the XXHighEnd website that Win7 is lackluster in providing excellent sonics compared to XP or Vista. Whether it is the OS or the device drivers, I don't care, it sucks. Maybe a future OS service pack or device drivers might improve things, but I will be advising folks using Windows computers to use XP or Vista depending on the media player. If not, I strongly recommend switching to Mac OS(X) or Linux. I also urge anyone who has read a mediocre review of hardware or software run under Win7 to lay a good part of the blame on the Win7 OS.

 

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After being pleased with my evaluation of HQPlayer on a Vista64 computer, I was looking forward to a permanent install of HQPlayer on a dedicated computer running Vista32. Unfortunately it did not take long for frustration to set in on setting up my dedicated Vista32 computer.

 

The HQPlayer Embedded (32-bit) works fine. The HQPlayer Embedded ASIO (32-bit) program just terminates dues to an access violation. And the HQPlayer Desktop fails to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect (HQPlayer-desktop.exe dependent assembly on Microsoft.VC90.CRT).

 

I am using a Juli@ digital interface in both Vista computers. I believe all versions of HQPlayer work on my Vista64 computer, but as luck would have it, my 30-day evaluation expired sometime after the stroke of midnight. So unless purchasing a license would enable me to use HQPlayer on any of my computers I am at dead end if I can't get the desktop version of HQPlayer and one of the embedded versions to work on my Vista32 dedicated computer.

 

I still have another install of HQPlayer on a Win7 computer that did not sound as good as the Vista64 installation, but neither of these computers are dedicated to music playback.

 

 

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The HQPlayer Embedded ASIO (32-bit) program just terminates dues to an access violation.

 

If this happens when starting playback, then it is most likely one of those sensitive ASIO drivers that go mysteriously ballistic when everything is not as the driver assumes. These are pretty much impossible to debug, since the driver just crash internally without any prior error or warning. Fixing these would require help from the driver's developer, and at least one of those vendors has been unwilling to help.

 

And the HQPlayer Desktop fails to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect (HQPlayer-desktop.exe dependent assembly on Microsoft.VC90.CRT).

 

If, for some reason the Microsoft's runtime is somehow broken, it can be found from:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=A5C84275-3B97-4AB7-A40D-3802B2AF5FC2&displaylang=en

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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AudioZorro, I just like to share my sympathy with you on the W7 vs Vista thing, me probably to be blamed for this all - so to speak.

 

So, I do follow what you all write about this, and since you seem to be alone ... you sure are not.

No need to add anything, but indeed a pitty that we all spend so much wasted time on W7, me ahead.

 

Peter

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2.5      Ethernet^3     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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