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guildenstern

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  1. THANK YOU, yamamoto2002, for the detailed and helpful reply. Following your guidance, I now have mono digital output from Music Bee even with WASAPI Exclusive. Neither of my DACs has a software setting that allows for mono output, so with Qobuz I still have to use WASAPI Shared. Again, I appreciate the help!
  2. I am trying—so far, unsuccessfully—to get MONO digital output via USB using WASAPI Exclusive. Can you help? If you want to know why I want mono, see the postscript below. Otherwise, here are the technical details: My computer (Dell XPS 8700 running Windows 10) is set for mono audio output by turning on the Mono toggle in Settings>Ease of Access. USB output feeds either a Schiit Modi 3 or Topping E30 DAC. And the DAC feeds a modest headphone amp. Music sources include Music Bee (playing the music library on Synology NAS) and Qobuz. In Music Bee and Qobuz desktop apps, when I select WASAPI Shared output, the digital signal from USB to DAC is mono, and the DAC sends a mono analog signal to the amp (confirmed by using channel identification test tracks). That’s the desired result. But when I select WASAPI Exclusive, I get only one channel, either left or right. I can’t figure out how to get summed mono output from USB using WASAPI Exclusive. I’d prefer WASAPI Exclusive because (a) it seems to sound cleaner than Shared, and (b) with Exclusive the DAC automatically switches to the sample rate and bit depth of the music track being played. With WASAPI Shared, the DAC remains at the sample rate and bit depth selected in the Advanced tab of Device Properties, which I have set at 24/96, matching the high-res limits of my Qobuz subscription. (See image below.) By the way, I have also tried ASIO, but just as with WASAPI Exclusive, with ASIO I get only the left or right channel instead of the desired summed mono output. If anyone can help me figure out how to get mono digital output via USB using WASAPI Exclusive, I’d greatly appreciate it! Alternatively, if you know other ways to get high fidelity mono digital output from my PC to feed the DAC, please share what you know. POSTSCRIPT: Why, you ask, does this guy want a mono signal? Because I’m a one-eared audiophile. A couple of years ago, I lost hearing in my left ear due to “idiopathic SSHL”—which means, sudden sensorineural hearing loss, reason unknown. (Go to sleep hearing fine and wake up with wicked vertigo and the hearing gone in one ear, replaced by the devil’s own tinnitus.) Still, with my remaining good ear, I enjoy music and appreciate it when it’s reproduced well. I’m not searching for the absolute sound—you won’t hear me talking about imaging!—but I’d like to get the highest fidelity mono signal I can squeeze from my PC. A final thought: I have also considered using WASAPI Exclusive and feeding the DAC a stereo digital signal, and then converting the analog stereo output of the DAC into a mono signal. To do this, I tried a simple passive stereo-to-mono converter but the sound quality suffered. Note that, in a separate system away from the PC, I have managed to get good mono sound, using a Bluesound Node 2 streamer, with its audio output set to Mono. The coax digital output of the Node feeds a Modi 3 DAC, and the signal remains mono all the way. Now the goal is to get at least as good a mono signal from my PC…
  3. I second the requests already made for more ways to organize Favorites. For the near term, maybe you could consider the following request. (If this feature has already been requested, my apologies for the repetition.) In the desktop app, for Favorites, when you "Sort by added date" the albums are listed from newly saved to old favorites. I'd like to have two options: Sort by added date: newest first Sort by added date: oldest first I'd like to see the same feature added to Qobuz in BluOS and to the apps for IOS and Android. Currently, to find older favorites, I have to scroll down repeatedly, which can tax one's patience, especially as the albums slowly load one group, then (pause) another, then (pause) another... That said, thanks goodness for Qobuz, especially for the jazz and classical catalogs, and for the high-quality sound.
  4. On many classical albums on Tidal, especially recent releases, the tracks are out of order. Have others run into this same problem? Makes no difference whether I'm using Tidal app on Android or iPad, or the PC desktop app, or the web player, or through a Naim streamer -- in all cases the albums have tracks out of order. Here are just a few of the many classical albums with tracks out of order on Tidal: https://tidal.com/album/64435131 https://tidal.com/album/68901627 https://tidal.com/album/64473215 https://tidal.com/album/65799169 https://tidal.com/album/66307038 https://tidal.com/album/65908468 https://tidal.com/album/64540885 https://tidal.com/album/69374338
  5. Thanks austinpop and badlyread. You confirm what I thought from reading the online manual, but I thought/hoped that maybe I had misunderstood. Too bad -- would like to have both outputs live at once, but, as you say, there it is.
  6. Aries Mini owners, I hope you can answer a question for me. Can the Mini simultaneously output a signal from both the USB digital output and the analog outputs? Or is the user required to go into Lightning DS app and switch from USB to analog? (I've checked the online user manual, but I want to make sure.) Thank you.
  7. If you're using USB HDD, then I assume you're using Lightning server. That is a different situation. I'm using MinimServer on Synology NAS. I had no problems with cover art until the release of V2.2 of the Lightning DS app. Now, out of 2000-plus albums, dozens of album covers are showing incorrectly. There is no rhyme or reason to which covers will display incorrectly. If I clear the Music Library cache and then refresh, an entirely different set of covers will display incorrectly. I have tried the following steps: --Rescan and update the MinimServer library. After that: --In Lightning DS app settings, clear the Music Library cache. --Restore the cache. --Exit Lightning DS on iPad and then reopen the app. --Turn the iPad off and then back on again. Also, after all those steps did not fix the problem with album artwork, I uninstalled the Lightning DS app, and then re-installed it on my iPad, and then refreshed the Music Library. Still, many album covers are showing incorrectly. As I noted before, I also have a Naim streamer, and the Naim app shows ALL artwork correctly. The problem is not in the metadata, but in the Lightning DS app. I have exchanged a series of e-mails with Auralic Support. No solution yet. I think I am not alone in this problem. If others using MinimServer are also experiencing album art displaying incorrectly on the Lightning DS app, please post here and please let Auralic know. Thanks.
  8. And same for me as well. Still many incorrect album covers showing. So, V 2.2 has not solved the problem. Let's let Auralic know we're not pleased.
  9. A couple of days ago I emailed Auralic Support about cover art problems. Here's is what I wrote, preceded by their reply to me: [Auralic reply to me] We have noticed this bug. We are just worked out what the problem is and will try and introduce the fix here soon in another firmware update. [My email to Auralic Support] I own an Auralic Aries (serial number 31WK05KG, current firmware Version 2.8). I use MinimServer on a Synology NAS. I use the Lightning DS app (Version 2.1) on an iPad Air 2. Since the release of Version 2.1 of the Lightning DS app, I am having trouble with album artwork. Most albums show correct artwork, but out of more than 2000 albums, there are dozens showing incorrect artwork. There is no pattern -- the incorrect covers appear randomly. I have tried the following steps: --Rescan and update the MinimServer library. After that: --In Lightning app settings, clear the Music Library cache. --Restore the cache. --Exit Lightning DS on iPad and then reopen the app. --Turn the iPad off and then back on again. Every time I go through those steps, it corrects SOME of the album artwork, but not all. Every time, there are still some incorrect covers showing. I also have a Naim streamer, and the Naim app shows ALL artwork correctly. The problem is not in the metadata, but in the Lightning DS app. Any suggestions for how I can get correct artwork to show on ALL albums? ___________________________ So, it's a matter of waiting for yet another firmware release to fix the bugs....
  10. The "most problematic component in your 30 years of audio gear"? Very sorry to hear that, and I hope you get things straightened out. I've been in the audio game for 40 years, recall some very problematic turntables and cartridges, cassette tapes unspooling and jamming up the deck's mechanism, power tubes that arced and took a speaker driver with them... As for the Aries, it took some background reading for me to figure out how to set up MinimServer (I'm not especially computer savvy), and I still have a couple of complaints, such as the lag in reopening the new version of the app on iPad (surely the good folks at Auralic are working to solve this, since many users are commenting on it), and I'm not fond of the physical design of the back of the unit, which doesn't allow easy access for my normal-sized fingers to plug and unplug cables. Apart from that, the Aries has been a source of great joy because with it I'm listening to more music, enjoying it more, re-discovering my collection. Flip open the iPad, scroll through the covers, notice one I haven't seen for ages, tap, and the music starts...it's as easy as Sonos, but sounds much better. I sincerely do hope you get the bugs worked out, because many Aries owners, I think, would indeed give this little streamer a "ringing endorsement" -- I know I would.
  11. +1 I hope Auralic is working on fixing this lag in the app's startup. I have a Naim streamer in another system -- the Naim app opens almost instantly. As does Linn Kazoo. So, it can be done. Tried Lumin with my Aries. I like the Lumin interface but the app has a strange habit of refusing to load Track 1 of an album. I've cleared cache and re-scanned MinimServer, uninstalled and re-installed the app, etc., and still the same problem. Metadata looks clean, and the same albums load fine on Lightning DS and Naim app. Not sure what's up with the Lumin app, but the glitch has sent me back to Lightning DS, even with its slow startup.
  12. Well, that was a surprise. Opened the iPad Air 2 anticipating good old Lightning DS and instead I got the (apparently automatically) updated Version 2.0.1. I went through the setup process, and so far all seems to work as it should. But one new behavior of the app is a little annoying, and I wonder if others are experiencing this: When I switch to another app on the iPad, or close the iPad cover, and then later come back to Lightning DS, it takes a long time (20-seconds plus) for the app to refresh and activate. I get the "spinning circle" icon in the center of the screen, and can't use any DS controls until the icon has disappeared. The previous version of the app took a few seconds to re-activate. Why does the new app take so long? Also, if I close the new Lightning DS app, whenever I re-open it, I first get an "Auralic" screen, and again it takes a while before the app is ready -- why all this lag and delay? Any fixes, or do I just have to wait for an update to the app?
  13. If you want to come home and push play, then the Auralic Aries, much discussed in these pages, is an effective device. After a bit of setup (to install MinimServer), it cooperates nicely with the Synology NAS to which I've ripped about 1500 CDs, and also downloaded some albums from HD Tracks and similar sites. I think the Aries sounds great -- definitely better than the Sonos system I have used for years. To give credit to Sonos, it was the Sonos system that moved me into networked music. With Sonos, I found myself enjoying more music, and reaching into long unexplored parts of my collection. (Scanning album covers on the iPad is easier than craning one's neck to read the spines of CDs.) I used the S/PDIF digital output from a Sonos Connect into my Bryston DAC, but the Aries sounds even better feeding the Bryston DAC. The software that drives the Aries, the Lightning DS app on iPad, is a work in progress, not quite as slick as Sonos, but still, in my opinion, a user-friendly app, making one's music readily accessible. The smart folks at Auralic should soon deliver updates to improve the Lightning DS app, but as I said, it's pretty darned good even in its current state. In Post #9 of this thread, member "One and a half" says he has gone back to a CD system, and describes various delays and complexities in his experience of computer audio. I'm not questioning his experience, but it's strikingly in contrast to mine. I do experience the occasional computer or network-related frustration, but only rarely. Overall my experience with networked music, currently via the Aries and Synology NAS, has changed the way I enjoy music, and for the better. I still have three excellent working CD players in my home, but I can't recall the last time I used one to play a disc. Now that my music is on the networked drive, I enjoy more of it, and more often, with sound quality that's as good as or better than any CD-based system I've used over the years, and with the added advantage of being able to play high-res files (though I have only a few at this time). I'm happily networked, and for me there's no turning back.
  14. Quoting my own question because I've found the answer: When I want to play a new album, there's no need to clear the queue in the Aries, because the one-click "Tap to Play" command (just tap the album title) automatically clears the queue and loads the new album. Simple and convenient.
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