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1st post - Windows Vista 64-bit


Melvin

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Hi everybody ... great forum. I found my way here a few weeks ago and have read just about everything. Very informative and friendly. This is my first post and thought I would give you an idea of my Windows based system since most here are Mac people.

 

First let me say that my goal was to wirelessly stream music from my HP TouchSmart pc (Windows Vista 64-bit, 4 gigs RAM) to my Marantz SR8000 receiver. Although the receiver does double duty for music (90%) and ht (10%) and doesn't qualify as "audiophile", it sounds very good to me. I think many here would agree that is ultimately the point.

 

Options for wireless streaming seemed dismal because I use a cellular broadband connection to the internet and have no need (except music) for a networked home. Fortunately, I found and took a chance on the Audioengine AW1 wireless gizmo. Although I had read many reviews before buying, I was still very surprised by the quality of sound. Very nice indeed. Is it the end all? No. I have no doubt if I spent a lot more money and wired my pc to a higher end tubed dac (I like a little tube in my system) it would take it to another level. Right now this is a great solution for me as most of my listening is casual. For more critical listening I use my cd player (Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000). By the way, my loudspeakers are Ohm MicroWalsh talls.

 

Ripping ... with all the software compatability problems that plague Vista 64 I decided to simply use WMP for ripping to WMlossless (with error correction). I have to say I'm very pleased with the results. Absolutely no problems so far.

 

Playing ... Either Windows Media Center or HP's own front end for touchscreen is fantastic. Very nice way to navigate a library of music. Couldn't be happier.

 

Although Vista has been on seemingly everyone's short list of what not to use, I think it is very much underrated and underappreciated for audio.

 

 

 

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Hi Melvin - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. What perfect timing! I am researching the HP Touch Smart right now! I am going to configure a system that competes with the Sooloos music server for tens of thousands of dollars less. My plan is to use the Touch Smart. That's all I'll say now as i don't want to steal my own thunder before the article is published :-)

 

I love your attitude about the sound of your system and the enjoyment you get from it. Yes, that is what it's all about. Around here is it sounds good to you then it's good!

 

I am very interested in hearing more about the HP frontend for playing music. It certainly looks great, but in my limited time using it I really couldn't tell if it can walk-the-walk. Any info you can share is much appreciated.

 

Thanks melvin

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Thanks for the welcome Chris.

 

After reading your reply I remembered the post you wrote referencing the TouchSmart and checked it out again. I'm really excited about this and am looking forward to reading about your experience. I'm sure it will be very informative for alot of Windows users who are looking for the best hardware and software to use with Vista. As for my own inevitable upgrade path, I can't wait.

 

As a front end for playing music I think the TouchSmart software is visually stunning. It's a simple player with just basic controls ... almost too simple ... but it sounds good. Of couse the real fun is navigating the library and creating playlists. You can navigate by artist, album, song, genre, or playlist. All with the touch or flick of your finger. Playlists are drag and drop ... for example, touch finger to song(s) or album(s) and drag to the playlist window, press 1st song in the list to play all the songs in the playlist. It couldn't be easier. An alternate flip view (ala iTunes) is also an option. There is no search capability which may bother some. You can use WMP library or iTunes library, it's your choice as long as iTunes is installed. Very slick I must say.

 

Chris, don't forget about Windows Media Center which isn't too shabby either. I go back and forth between the two depending on my mood. WMC isn't quite as simple (in a good way). Has a seach function. Navigate with more options. Very nice as well.

 

I'll be looking forward to your upcoming article.

 

 

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