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Audiophile player - HQPlayer


murrayp

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I thought previously if you bought HQPlayer you had a license for both the Desktop and Embedded versions. Now it seems that each version is a separate purchase and if that's the case the potential buyer may want to choose one over the other. So why the change and is there any guidance on which version to buy?

 

Yes, that was the case with the old Embedded version, now called Standalone. The same layout still holds for the same components, so for Desktop license you can still use Standalone. With the introduction of the new Embedded version with separated headless engine and customizable touch-GUI these two are now licensed separately. One reason being that the headless engine is hardware locked.

 

Due to this change at Apr 23rd 2011, customers who purchased license before that date can get a free license code for the new Embedded version upon request.

 

I don't have any specific guidance, it largely depends on what kind of GUI and system configuration is preferred. Even though the new embedded GUI works with mouse too, it has been really designed for touch use. It also allows running the engine and GUI on different devices. OS X version of the GUI is also coming, but since OS X has poor support for touch displays, it may not be that nice...

 

I'm personally having a 23" full-HD multi-touch display on top of my equipment rack, tilted 45 degrees for controlling the player.

 

Also with the reported soon release of DSD DACs, do you have any plans to update the HQPlayer software to allow pure DSD playback?

 

Already supported! :) Since mid-February actually. This feature is still tagged beta, until it has been tested with couple of generally available ready-made devices. (requires appropriate ASIO driver)

 

Feature is automagic; starting playback of DSD content on a DSD-capable DAC will result in pure playback chain.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I guess it all may come down to the DSD DAC. With both Juli@ and Lynx AES16 digital interfaces, I assume I am good to go.

 

That is unless the DSD DACs that come to market are all limited to USB inputs. One possible solution might be USB ASIO. Or perhaps the USB DSD DACs will have proprietary USB drivers. I doubt that ASIO4ALL would work for native DSD playback.

 

Hopefully there will be excellent sounding and affordable solutions for native DSD playback from computer music servers.

 

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Or perhaps the USB DSD DACs will have proprietary USB drivers. I doubt that ASIO4ALL would work for native DSD playback.

 

Proprietary ASIO drivers are the way to go. ASIO4ALL is just ASIO emulation on top of KS/WASAPI and not a true ASIO driver.

 

Kind of unfortunately, only pro-audio vendors seem to be providing true ASIO drivers. Also because they pretty much have to, if one wants to get proper low latency AD -> DA path on Windows...

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 months later...

Any chance to have a Mac version?

 

Only problem is that it really demands "integer + hog mode".

 

Until that works for majority of hardware and Apple promises to support it and not break it in subsequent OS releases it is unlikely to happen.

 

Current Core Audio / driver architecture and work split keeps me from working on OS X.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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what can users expect with respect to the sonics of HQPlayer running under openSUSE versus Win7

 

Probably no surprise to anyone, but I assume both to sound the same... :) (with a disclaimer that it may still depend on the particular piece of hardware ;) )

 

Linux is possible to make less load sensitive and some interfaces have better drivers[1] (and some worse). Biggest difference is that Linux is more robust and gives more flexibility on the overall system configuration, be it hardware of software.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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How tightly wedded is HQPlayer to openSUSE, i.e., should it be possible with the correct versions of libraries and other dependencies to get it to run properly on other Linuxen or FreeBSD? What would those dependencies and any other requirements be, if you're prepared to list them?

 

Would be interested in running it on Ubuntu and FreeBSD (-STABLE, possibly -CURRENT if the latter corresponded better to requirements).

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical Ethernet to Fitlet3 -> Fibbr Alpha Optical USB -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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How tightly wedded is HQPlayer to openSUSE, i.e., should it be possible with the correct versions of libraries and other dependencies to get it to run properly on other Linuxen or FreeBSD?

 

It is not particularly tied, it is just packaged in an RPM package built on openSUSE and it has openSUSE compatible package repository. I personally prefer openSUSE since it has nicely configured kernel for the purpose (kernel-desktop) and is fairly easy to tune further.

 

Since FreeBSD has completely different audio API, it is not currently supported, even though it is otherwise nice system.

 

Would be interested in running it on Ubuntu and FreeBSD (-STABLE, possibly -CURRENT if the latter corresponded better to requirements).

 

I'm currently looking into packaging it for Ubuntu 11.04 (deb/apt), but cannot promise any specific time line.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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^^^^^ subject

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical Ethernet to Fitlet3 -> Fibbr Alpha Optical USB -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Dear Murray,

 

I see you mentioned me anonymously in Jplay's forum, so I am writing this post here. I hope you nor Miska will mind.

 

I've been playing with Audiolense XO for about half a year now, still in the process of tweaking the target curves to my likings, I think I am almost there.

 

I currently use a self-built pretty quiet PC, running Win7, all connectors and speakers are from Puresilversound, Prism Orpheus as DAC and Pre-amp, and then into a "capacitor replaced" Krell KSA200, then into a pair of ProAc D100.

 

I've tried the Macmini route, including purchasing Puremusic, with convolver plugin, I'd say the sound is descent, but since I have tons of Flacs, and I don't want to keep on adding the Flacs to into Itunes, so I am coming back to the PC world.

 

I am currently running CMP + Cplay, through Flacs on my ReadyNAS NV+ server. What I did was strip down the OS according to Blackviper's recommendation, and run Fidelizer in audiophile mode, then launch CMP, then run Cplay. I am getting pretty good results (I prefer this sound to my MacMini with Pure Music setup, also prefer the sound to JRiver.)

 

I know you've compared HQPlayer with CMP/CPlay. When you have a chance to try the Fidelizer route, could you do another comparison? I greately appreciate that. (I cannot try HQPlayer as my test run has expired before I knew how to separate Audiolense' filter into two mono channels.)

 

Also, have you found a way to run convolver with minimalist players such as StealthAudioPlayer or Jplay? Thanks!

 

Peter

 

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I cannot try HQPlayer as my test run has expired before I knew how to separate Audiolense' filter into two mono channels.

 

I'm planning to put trial period reset into the upcoming next release, so you may be able to try it again.

 

 

Jud, last night I got .deb package built for Ubuntu 11.04, a bit of tuning and testing still pending... Hopefully done by end of the week.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Hi Peter,

 

your questions are straying off topic a bit far so will reply to most off line.

 

I did try Fidelizer with HQPlayer but didn't really find much difference. Keep in mind I'm just using a basic laptop as a server - nothing special. I have found different laptops affect the sound for better or worse. Best so far for me is a cheap HP Pavilion dm1. It gives much better sound (USB to dCS Paganini) than a flash Sony Vaio. Maybe with a dedicated server things would be different again.

 

best

 

Murray

 

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Do you think the fit-pc2i has enough horsepower for using HQPlayer to play 24/192 or DSD64/128 music files? I'm not sure if the Intel Atom Z550 2GHz is suitable.

 

http://www.fit-pc.com/web/fit-pc2/fit-pc2i-specifications/

 

Though the fit-pc2i runs both Win7 and Linux, do you think that Linux might be a better choice since it is less load sensitive?

 

I assume that one could either use the built-in SPDIF coaxial output from the fit-pc2i or one of the several USB/SPDIF converters supported under Windows or Linux.

 

If not a fit-pc2i, the next smallest computer with ample horsepower may be the Mac Mini that can run Win7 using Boot Camp. Are there any diminished sonics with using a Mac Mini using Boot Camp compared to a Windows PC with similar processor and memory?

 

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Do you think the fit-pc2i has enough horsepower for using HQPlayer to play 24/192 or DSD64/128 music files? I'm not sure if the Intel Atom Z550 2GHz is suitable.

 

It is hard to say exactly without trying. DSD128 is heaviest case, on my 3.2 GHz Core i5-650 it takes 22% CPU time. 192/24 is 2% and RedBook upsampled to 192/24 with noise shaping is 4%.

 

Z550 is still a single core, something like D525 could be closer...

 

Though the fit-pc2i runs both Win7 and Linux, do you think that Linux might be a better choice since it is less load sensitive?

 

At least Linux allows higher CPU load percentage without problems.

 

If not a fit-pc2i, the next smallest computer with ample horsepower may be the Mac Mini that can run Win7 using Boot Camp. Are there any diminished sonics with using a Mac Mini using Boot Camp compared to a Windows PC with similar processor and memory?

 

There are also bunch of mini-ITX main boards that carry processors from Intel Atom CPUs like D525 (for example) to heavier CPUs like Core i3/i5/i7 (for example).

 

At the moment one of my machines is Mac Mini with Boot Camp and Win7, connected to 23" multi-touch monitor and using hiFace (Evo), running HQPlayer Embedded. Mac Mini has dirtier power on USB than good PCs, but otherwise it is exactly equivalent. It IS a tiny PC...

 

If standard hifi-width casing is OK, microATX board can fit with a standard PC PSU of at least 650W (>[email protected]/5V and >50A@12V).

 

P.S. The Embedded control GUI is supposed to run on Win8 tablets too...

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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It would seem that the SOtM tX-USB audiophile PCI to USB audio card is what Chris and Auraliti are recommending to avoid many of the USB problems, but unfortunately is not possible with the Mac Mini.

 

And I believe I have seen some recommendations for installing the SOtm tX-USB to use with any of the USB/SPDIF converters but I'm not sure how that combo is better than just using an audiophile PCI to SPDIF audio card.

 

Could you use the Mac Mini with a FW DAC to avoid the dirty USB power?

 

I'm not sure if FW has the same problems as USB in the Mac Mini or what are the differences between FW and USB with respect to superior audio sound?

 

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Could you use the Mac Mini with a FW DAC to avoid the dirty USB power? I'm not sure if FW has the same problems as USB in the Mac Mini or what are the differences between FW and USB with respect to superior audio sound?

 

I'd say it's not so much about the interface type than about implementation of the device. Devices could be categorized in three categories:

1) Powered from USB or FW

2) Powered separately

3) Galvanically isolated from D/A and clock domains

 

(1) is most sensitive to USB or FW power and grounding issues, many USB->S/PDIF adapters fall into this category. (2) is less sensitive, but can be still sensitive to ground current issues and such. (3) is naturally the preferred way and should be fine in all kinds of environments.

 

For Mac Mini I'd recommend options (2) and especially (3). Using a powered hub with a linear PSU can make (1) also viable. Some devices still power digital domain from USB, even if the device is seemingly of type (2).

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your making the Ubuntu version available. I'm waiting until my Schiit Bifrost arrives (next couple of weeks, hopefully) before installing so I'll be able to hear what is possible with the upsampling capabilities.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical Ethernet to Fitlet3 -> Fibbr Alpha Optical USB -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm planning to put trial period reset into the upcoming next release

 

OK, new version is out and it allows a new trial period...

 

This is sort of collective reply to many earlier posts.

 

It is a collection of most asked features, like:

- Playlist support, supports m3u/m3u8/pls playlists, adding tracks and directory trees on a playlist

- Filters for artist/performer/album

- Support for mixed rates on playlist and directory (resampler allowing)

- Drag-and-drop (except in WASAPI mode, due to annoying technical limitation in Windows)

 

Heavily reworked GUI... I figured out a nice way to keep the old style of album playback and the new playlist style both together.

 

And also four ways of direct/native playback of DSDIFF and DSF files (so three new ones). And it works on Linux too.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 1 month later...

I cannot figure out how to switch from transport moe to playlist mode to save a playlist.

 

Whenever tracks are inserted to the lower part of the screen by drag-and-drop from outside of the application or by double-clicking individual songs in the middle part of the screen, player is using playlist transport and the listing shown in the lower part of the screen can be saved as a playlist.

 

When entire album is selected for playback by double-clicking an album in the middle part of the screen, player is using transport specific to the file format of the album. This list cannot be saved (and there wouldn't be much point in doing so).

 

2.7.3 (out probably within 24 hours) will contain better indication for the used transport in a statusbar area.

 

Normal cases of non-playlist transport, where sampling rate for all the tracks is same, are gapless. Re-intialization of processing functions between playlist tracks may cause pauses of few seconds.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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