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What's the latest Windows based media player for a noob?


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I haven't been on this site in forever. Got a new Windows 10 based PC and need a good Windows based media player app. My rig is uber basic. Audioengine DAC via USB.. I have a decent collection of HD and FLAC files stored on a NAS. I'm a big fan of live music. I have a nice collection of "bootlegs", soundboards, etc.

 

My last PC had JRiver V19. It was OK, it worked. Should I stick with JRiver or look elsewhere? Remember my needs are pretty simple, no streaming, no fancy hardware, just my DAC and my headphones.

 

Thanks

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I've used both. IMHO foobar is so-so, but still not bad. JRiver always beat it on my system.

 

(I've actually gone to an Aurender now and miss the ability to fine tune and play with the software. Consider that, should you ever think about a device with its own music app.)

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21 hours ago, kilroy said:

I've used both. IMHO foobar is so-so, but still not bad. JRiver always beat it on my system.

 

(I've actually gone to an Aurender now and miss the ability to fine tune and play with the software. Consider that, should you ever think about a device with its own music app.)

I've been looking at the Aurender products. How do you like yours?

 

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1 hour ago, BigBoreFan said:

I've been looking at the Aurender products. How do you like yours?

 

Great sound. The app, in my opinion coming from JR on a server a year ago, not so much. But it's perfectly usable. There's a huge Aurender thread under Music Servers, check it out.

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I have been on JRiver for an eternity, but after a brief trial with Roon I completely changed, I now strictly listen to my music via Roon... Still use JRiver for library management (importing, fixing meta-data, etc.) but my playback is more fun with Roon....

 

Like you, I have a USB DAC, a NAS and a library of FLAC files...

 

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3 hours ago, thijazi said:

I have been on JRiver for an eternity, but after a brief trial with Roon I completely changed, I now strictly listen to my music via Roon... Still use JRiver for library management (importing, fixing meta-data, etc.) but my playback is more fun with Roon....

 

Like you, I have a USB DAC, a NAS and a library of FLAC files...

 

I've never understood why people pay for a Roon subscription to listen to their own music. I've never used Roon, and even ignored a free one-year subscription offer from SOtM.

 

I use Music Station as a controller on my Windows 10 laptops, which is QNAP software that came free with my NAS. It does everything I need and is easier to use than Foobar2000 and JRiver. I tried Kazoo which was fine but like the others it couldn't stream to my secondary Chromecast systems.

 

Music Station streams to all of my devices (exaSound, SOtM, Raspberry Pi, Chromecast Audio, laptop, tablet, phone). I use the free QNAP QMusic app on my phone which has similar capabilities to Music Station.

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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45 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

I've never understood why people pay for a Roon subscription to listen to their own music. I've never used Roon, and even ignored a free one-year subscription offer from SOtM.

 

I use Music Station as a controller on my Windows 10 laptops, which is QNAP software that came free with my NAS. It does everything I need and is easier to use than Foobar2000 and JRiver. I tried Kazoo which was fine but like the others it couldn't stream to my secondary Chromecast systems.

 

Music Station streams to all of my devices (exaSound, SOtM, Raspberry Pi, Chromecast Audio, laptop, tablet, phone). I use the free QNAP QMusic app on my phone which has similar capabilities to Music Station.

Probably some people don't know what to listen to and use the Roon's prompting to remind them of similarities? In this case, when people own more than they need, they are confused most of the time.

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If you want something free but completely customizable you go to Foobar2000. You can do everything with it regarding your local files. It also has plugins for video and youtube. For example you can have 3 tabs. The first will be a very simple player. The second a full featured library and the third something else.

 

A little more powerful is Jriver. It's a onetime purchase for each yearly version. It's not a subscription and you can use the older ones just fine. The music section is like Foobar's but it's also has a video library and you can turn it into a home theater solution. It sounds better than Foobar and has also a very powerful DSP. The major problem with it it's their developers. Too narrow minded. No music streaming at all. Only local files. But they added Netflix so maybe we can hope. Also the interface is too 90's in my opinion. At least Foobar uses the native Windows libraries so it's like the others. Jriver has very ugly skins.

 

Then it's the new Audirvana Studio. Subscription based but powerful. Excellent sound quality and good integration between local and streaming. The main problem right now is that the app is very new and the developer is alone. So it takes some time to solve things.

 

The last and way more powerful solution is Roon. My favorite of course. A seamless integration between local and streaming. Their music discovery is unique and through Roon Radio you can listen forever your favorite music without any distraction. Very important their partner support. You can build an entire home with High-Res music if you want.

 

A honorable mention is Plex Media Server. Although it's mainly for movies the latest upgrades have created a very powerful music system. Especially with the Tidal coop it reminds me the poor man's Roon. The main problem is the lack of bitperfect output.

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For me Roon gives me a treasure trove of meta data that allows me to discover a lot more that what I can do with JRiver alone, I also like how it integrates the Qobuz subscription with my library, all in one place.

 

The UI is pretty slick and touch friendly which makes browsing and discovering new things a breeze... just love it to be honest.. I've been paying JRiver for years and years, so it is not free either.

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