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Article: The Value Proposition In Computer Audio: Front End Software

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2 hours ago, frorqf13 said:

Unbelievable...where is and what about the largest and most powerful (plug-in) and free musical system : LMS+Squeezelite (or Daphile) !!!


Daphile’s included. The full chart is in alphabetical order - it’s between Cantata & DeaDBeeF.

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8 hours ago, Musicophile said:

So why would one NOT want to spend the rather modest amounts for Audirvana, JRiver, or even Roon for that matter (assuming there is an added value in SQ and or usability)?


Many of us think that the SQ of some free or low cost players is as good as some widely used commercial players. As for usability, wants & needs vary greatly. I love being able to slow down a complex tune without changing the pitch, so I can study a solo. I stream to my mobile devices wherever I am. We were in London last week, and I played some new tunes for our friends there. Etc etc.

 

I love Roon & use it for serious listening in my main systems. I love the wealth of relevant art & info it displays. But it won’t stream over WAN (yet - I believe it’s in dev now) and it won’t alter pitch or tempo. Foobar2000 will.

 

The highlights for users chart offers more such info.

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4 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Thanks again for all this effort.

 

I hope you will test iTunes against some other software, free, open, or not.


The simple truth is that I forgot iT/Apple Music because I haven’t used it in years. My wife & I have versions on all of our phones, tablets, and computers, and  I converted a few hundred FLAC albums to ALAC a few years ago to find out how they sounded. But we have thousands of albums in FLAC so iTunes made little sense for us.

 

With Bitperfect & DSD Master, I could have listened happily to iTunes, and Apple Music will probably be excellent on a good playback platform. It’s just been below my radar for a long time (although I still have my iPod Touch and NuForce iDo DAC/amp).  I apologize to all of you Apple polishers for ignoring a major player (pun intended) :) 

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1 hour ago, tmtomh said:

Very interesting article - thanks!

 

So am I correct in assuming that none of these budget options can do bit-perfect playback or on the fly resolution switching on the Mac?

 

I can't answer that fully because (as stated in the body of the article) I don't have any Mac hardware right now.  But if you look at the line item detail in the big chart, you'll find 4 that made the cut on my Linux-based Frankenmac.  I installed those I evaluated on a virtual machine running on Ubuntu Studio (19.04), and none worked completely or perfectly under that constraint.  But there are a few that worked well and sounded great even on my jury-rigged platform.  On real Mac hardware (or even a more robust VM - I used freeware only), I suspect they're everything you and most of the rest of us want from a player.

 

Colibri is a simple, bit perfect Mac-only player that should be excellent for audiophiles - I just couldn't get the demo to work well in VMWare, VitrualBox or Boxes.  The full package costs a modest $5, if I understand the website correctly.  As soon as I get a fresh Mac box, I'm going to try it out.  I suspect it's pretty fine from the reviews and specs.

 

Pine was pretty solid even on the virtual machines and deserves a thorough evaluation by anyone looking for a fine budget player for MacOS.  The difficulty downloading, installing, and configuring it was almost certainly from virtualization rather than the program.

 

Vox is another great Mac-only player that performed OK in virtualization and sounded great.  I suspect that installation on a Mac box would result in excellent all around  audiophile performance.

 

Kodi's pretty good on Mac too, although I haven't wrung it out very hard & can't confirm that it'll do everything.

 

I do want to get a Mini to play with, and I'm nuts enough to wring out 31 players on multiple platforms.  But I don't need one and I'm not so far gone that I'd buy a Mac just for this review :) 

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On 10/6/2019 at 2:54 PM, Ralf11 said:

related question - what is the history of the Blues in Philly?

 

The Delaware Valley (as the greater Philly area is known) has produced some world class blues people, but it's never been a center of blues culture.  We've produced some fabulous blues singers, songwriters, & players - but at least as many of the Philly blues elite are behind the big names a among them.  Philadelphians like Steve Guyger, Randy Lippincott, Jimmy Pritchard, (seen together in this video), Billy Baltera (Sonny Rhodes' guitar player for many years), Georgie Bonds, and many others have put out some fabulous music backing others and forging a local reputation.  But we've never had a strong regional blues club and concert scene to bring our own to the national forefront.

 

We had about half a dozen blues clubs from about 1990 to about 2010 - but they're sadly gone now (and most were demolished for coffee shops or condos).  Most were trashy bars like South Street Blues, where the band got $100 and free beer (regardless of the number of players in it).  In about 1993 or 4, an upscale club called Warmdaddy's opened and brought national blues talent through on a regular basis.  The club was nice and the  crowd was huge, truly eclectic, and delightful.  I loved playing there and was called as a sideman for many touring artists who picked up local pros for gigs.  We had Kenny Neal, Sista Monica, Chris Cain, Larry Garner, Luther Allison, etc.  

 

Because of Warmdaddy's success at the time, non-blues clubs started booking blues (e.g. Larry McCray played the Middle East Restaurant!).  But the scene dried up for a number of reasons.  Local club owners didn't go the extra mile to attract world class talent, they didn't increase the pay scale as worldwide demand for the performers grew, and it only took a few years for the big guys to stop coming here.  Crowds thinned as the shows shifted back to locals (who were not presented with the support and enthusiasm they needed to build their own crowds), and it became a downward spiral for most of those places.  WD's is still open, but it moved down to South Philly and simply doesn't have the variety and quality of blues that made it what it used to be.  By about 2010, I was driving up to Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford and Road's End Cafe in Hazelton (PA) for blues gigs and playing very few here.

 

We're experiencing a bit of a resurgence now, with 3 regular blues jams (Twisted Tail, Ashburner Inn, and Jamey's House of Music) supported by the Philly Blues Society.  More local bars are booking us again, so you can find live blues somewhere in the greater Philly area at least a few nights a week again.

 

Philly is and has always been a jazz town.  From the dawn of the jazz age, we've produced greats you know and love.  The Phildaelphia composer and bandleader Frank Johnson (1792-1844) was probably the first serious jazz maker of modern times, and by the early 1900s Philly was a center of jazz. Our own Eddie Lang was by most accounts the father of the jazz guitar (yeah, yeah, I know about Charlie Christian - but Lang was first and, in my opinion, better). Many moved here to hone their chops and become great: Dizzy, 'trane, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner, Louis Jordan, Benny Golson, Clifford Brown, Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Smith, Buddy Defranco etc etc etc.  And we're still producing world class jazz today that's heard and loved around the world.

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4 hours ago, LarryMagoo said:

I find Roon allows me to listen to my collection way more than my vinyl days.  I believe Roon is the finest music you can use to explore and listen to your collection, read liner notes like the vinyl days and get reviews of the performers recordings.


I too use Roon for pure listening enjoyment plus associated art & information far more than I do vinyl. But the vinyl experience has always been as much an enjoyable process (OK, maybe it’s a ritual) as it is a way to hear my music. I liken it to the fine art of tea, in which every step from selecting to prep to brewing to serving is an equal part of the pleasure. The ceremony is an integral part of the joy.

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On 10/9/2019 at 5:06 PM, LarryMagoo said:

bluesman,

 

You are right...it's a ritual...mine started with finding the album you want, pull out the special liner I bought from Mobile Fidelity, ....putting the album on my record cleaner, wash it with alcohol/water solution...then closing the lid to vacuum off the solution....then put it on the table, cue it up to cut(s) I wanted to hear, lower the tonearm...race back to MLP....because of this ritual, I did not listen to music as often as I'd like.

 

With Roon, it's so easy to listen to anything I want in a split second!!...Mick Jagger one second and the Rippingtons the next....plus no tic and pops, no stylus to wear out or wear out the record, no possible feedback from the tonearm when you really crank it up...

 

I love the 21st century!!!

 

PS: You forgot a critical part of the ritual: checking the jacket and sleeve for damage and trying to heal any with glue, tape, and/or prayer.

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