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PC Vs MacBook and FLAC/APE files


bridger

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Hi

 

This is my first post – so sorry if I have made any protocol errors.

 

I have recently just started playing around with computer audio. I have a DAC that I have been using with my PC laptop via USB, and while I finally got it sounding very good using J River, I found my USB port was unstable and harsh static would appear now and again.

 

Anyhoo, my sister recently gave me her old MacBook (late 2007 Macbook 3,1) so I’ve been trying to see if I can get a better result with a Mac. So far the results have been mixed. I have connected through the USB as I believe the specs on this MacBook only do 16/44 through the Optical out, and my DAC supports 24/92 through the USB. I have (I haven’t used a Mac in 10 years) changed the Audio settings to output to my DAC and I’ve been using iTunes – however I have a couple of questions.

 

1) The sound doesn’t impress me anywhere near my PC, is there other things I need to do to configure the Mac?

 

2) I downloaded the Fluke plug-in to play FLAC files. While this worked when I first installed it, it hasn’t worked since and seems rather flaky. I have almost 1,000 FLAC albums (many of which are APE) and really do not want to convert them into another format to support a Mac. Is there other iTunes plug-ins to support Mac, or alternates to iTunes worth considering?

 

3) Perhaps, I should go back to PC where I have found a good software driver mix. Any suggestions of how I can fix the USB static problem ie would going to a desktop provide more power to the USB ports – if that’s the issue?

 

Thanks for your help, and sorry if I have asked some naïve questions.

 

Cheers

 

 

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You could try to use AyreWave or Audivarna software as alternative to iTunes. Both are free.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks Eloise, I appreciate such ideas.

 

To confess, I was under the opinion that one of the only reasons people preferred Macs over PCs was bit perfect streaming via iTunes?

 

I should explore these other programs, however I'm a little (ignorantly) confused as to why these programs should sound any different than iTunes if it's supposed to pass the digital stream unadulterated through to my DAC. I repeat that I'm not well versed in hi-tec so if software does indeed manipulate the source file, I'm sorry about my judgements.

 

Thanks again Eloise.

 

Cheers

 

 

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To be honest, I don't understand why / how (beyond various quite wild theories) software can affect the SQ while still being bit-perfect; but the results of listening tests say they can.

 

Most software can be trialled free so all you spend is time trying them.

 

You could also try converting Your FLAC files to AIFF and using iTunes.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks Audio_ELF, you're not alone with the sonic differences of bit perfect audio - because in my experience they do sound different??

 

I am probably in denial about having to convert my FLAC and APE files to a different format, I was hoping someone in this forum would provide me a silver plugin bullet :)

 

 

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