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I’m not sure if this is even possible and may be a stupid question. But given many DAC’s require the use of a Windows driver in order to achieve their maximum sampling rate, especially DSD, is there a streamer that’s Windows based that would allow the installation of a driver? It appears that all the streamers I see are using some derivative of Linux. 


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1 hour ago, dmormerod said:

I’m not sure if this is even possible and may be a stupid question. But given many DAC’s require the use of a Windows driver in order to achieve their maximum sampling rate, especially DSD, is there a streamer that’s Windows based that would allow the installation of a driver? It appears that all the streamers I see are using some derivative of Linux. 

You've got it a bit mixed up. 

Generally those DACs need Windows drivers installed on the PC for direct connection via USB, as Windows isn't setup natively to output  high sample rates. The DAC doesn't need the driver, Windows does. 

If you are using a streamer, that generally means an ethernet-in based small computer with a USB out. They almost all are Linux based for cost reasons and for simplicity and the ability to custom write the OS. Most modern DACs work driverless with Linux based streamers. No driver installation needed for high sample rates. The limitation is the rates the  DAC can accept, not the steamer. 

Another way of putting it is that the driver is built into the Linux code, unlike Windows,  and no "installation" of a driver is needed to work with the DAC. 

 

If for whatever reason you want a Windows steamer, you just buy a small fanless/quiet Windows computer and install the proper drivers. 


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Also, some Windows streamer/player applications don't provide the user with the ability to select the audio output device in the first place, never mind configure the audio output settings, so can only use the Windows default shared audio device via the Windows audio mixer.

 

What & how do you intend to 'stream' using a Windows 'streamer', exactly (audio source device & location including any online streaming services, audio file types, network streaming protocols, controller device if not the Windows computer itself, etc)?

 

It'll help determine what streamer/player software you can use.


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On 2/2/2020 at 11:24 AM, firedog said:

You've got it a bit mixed up. 

Generally those DACs need Windows drivers installed on the PC for direct connection via USB, as Windows isn't setup natively to output  high sample rates. The DAC doesn't need the driver, Windows does. 

If you are using a streamer, that generally means an ethernet-in based small computer with a USB out. They almost all are Linux based for cost reasons and for simplicity and the ability to custom write the OS. Most modern DACs work driverless with Linux based streamers. No driver installation needed for high sample rates. The limitation is the rates the  DAC can accept, not the steamer. 

Another way of putting it is that the driver is built into the Linux code, unlike Windows,  and no "installation" of a driver is needed to work with the DAC. 

 

If for whatever reason you want a Windows steamer, you just buy a small fanless/quiet Windows computer and install the proper drivers. 

 

The DAC needs to be UAC2 compliant (check with vendor).  Even still, there may be issues playing DSD files. The DAC may not support DoP (DSD over PCM) or linux may not support native DSD for the specific DAC.  Also, without support for native DSD, one cannot play DSD at the maximun sampling rate.

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