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  1. #1
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    best audio playback and burning software

    I know a lot of people on this site are using software to playback and burn disks or just for use on their music servers and I am wondering what the best program to download for this purpose. I have been using windows media but the best they have is Wav files and I am not sure WMP will handle 24 bit by 192 khz files. Just wondering what programs you guys are using and also what file formats are you guys using to get those kind of bit rates out of your pc. I realize that when burning from a cd the most information you can get is what was on the cd to begin with which is 16 by 44 but there are sites out there that offer better bit downloads for music and I am just wondering what is the best program and file format to use. I know this question has been asked before but I am getting more and more interested in this and am kind of new to computer music server stuff. Just need a little help getting the best program so when I get a good DAC I can get the best out of my computer for music purposes. Thanks

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
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    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
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  2. #2
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    IMO, it would be between VLC Media plyer or WINAmp. If you like playlists and shuffling, WINAmp is great. I haven;t used it in quite a while because of my Creative soundcard. I still occasionally fire up my VLC, and my wife uses it too. Also great for movies. VLC is a small program that doesn't require a ton of space or memory.

    As far as files go. Anything that sits on my comp is FLAC or 320 kbps MP3. I won't burn a CD with less than 256 kbps.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    what is wav files capable of? And how is flac and wav different?

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  4. #4
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I have been ripping everything in wav lossless format but with windows media player I can not control the bit rate or the kbps or khz that it rips to. I am wondering if I downloaded music in a super high resolution format what player I would need to play it and what file format is best for that.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  5. #5
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    WAV, being a lossless format, loses nothing and is like a CD. FLAC is compressed without losing quality. MP3 loses quality, depending on how low you go.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Is wav capable of doing 24 bit at higher hrz sampling?

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  7. #7
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    WAV can do it, but what are you planning to do with that? I've never recorded my LPs higher than 16-bit because I'm recording them to make 16-bit CDs, but I guess if they were never going to leave my computer I could see the logic.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Thats basically why. I plan to build a music server out of a desk top computer that I have as an extra computer with a 1.5 to 2 TB hard drive and with out having to burn to disk I was just Thinking the higher quality the better. Without the limitations of CD-R's being 700 Megs I basically could make a album or series or music as high bit and high quality as I wanted and I wanted to see the best format for doing that. I do know there are limitations with what you can hear the difference with when it comes to digital formats with the human hearing being limited like it is but I want the best format for as high definition as is needed for the best quality that can be heard from the human hearing.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  9. #9
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Even with a Tb, WAV files are huge and will eat all your space up. Consider FLAC harley, that's what most guys use for disk storage. You'd be hard pressed to hear a difference.

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Even with a Tb, WAV files are huge and will eat all your space up. Consider FLAC harley, that's what most guys use for disk storage. You'd be hard pressed to hear a difference.
    ... or no difference at all, depending not on your hearing ability, but on the computer playback chain you use.

    Basically, any audible benefit from WAV vs. FLAC will be less jitter in the case of the WAV. However it is far from necessarily true that WAV will produce less jitter than FLAC.

    Consider the following:
    • Less data (fewer bits) have to come from your HD (or other storage device) to your CPU in case of FLAC
    • To uncompress FLAC is a very trivial task for any modern CPU, and the uncompression routines are themselves virtually perfect
    • Once the data is uncompressed there is precisely no difference between WAV and FLAC to the downsteam processes & equipment.
    With FLAC (or other lossless format) you can (re)create bit-perfect WAV files and burn bit-perfect, and possibly lower jitter, CDs. Meanwhile you save about 50% disk storage.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I don't see flac files on windows media being supported, are they? or is there other pieces of software that is out there that supports flac. If there is no sonic differences but hard disk saving difference then I would be game for that kind of setup. If Windows Media does not cover it I guess then the programs your mentioned Poppa will work with it obviously because you use it. Any other program ideas out there?

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  12. #12
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    thanks guys I found the codec so flac will play on WMP but also I found a program called CDburnerXP which specializes in burning flac and other files to cd or just plays them if you want. Until I get my DAC I will be burning to cd so I will be only at 16 bit by 44 khz but I am wondering since my transport happens to be a dvd player I wonder if one of my dvd burning programs can burn flac at 24 bit by 96khz to dvd format to be played by my dvd player using my inboard DAC in my Yamaha. Just a thought that I might play with.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    thanks guys I found the codec so flac will play on WMP but also I found a program called CDburnerXP which specializes in burning flac and other files to cd or just plays them if you want. Until I get my DAC I will be burning to cd so I will be only at 16 bit by 44 khz but I am wondering since my transport happens to be a dvd player I wonder if one of my dvd burning programs can burn flac at 24 bit by 96khz to dvd format to be played by my dvd player using my inboard DAC in my Yamaha. Just a thought that I might play with.
    I'm glad you found the plugins to permit FLAC to playin WMP. However WMP is almost never recommended by audiophiles becasuse (as I believe is still the case) it cannot short circuit the standard Windows audio stack, and this prevents bit-perfect tramsmission to the DAC.

    If you are running Vista you'll want to look for a player that supports a Windows audio mode referred to as "WASAPI" which allows the player to by-pass much of the standard audio stack and deliver bit-perfect transmission. There are several players that do this with the right addin. The one I'm most familiar with is Foobar2000 which is an excellent, though slightly fussy to configure, freeware program. I use this all the time.

    I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about DVD burinng for audio, however I'd suggest it might be more trouble than it's worth to upsample CD resolution to DVD, (albeit it might be fun to try). Perhaps I've got it wrong, but I thought only DVD-A, not standard DVD, can provide 24/96 resolution.

  14. #14
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    d HC b

  15. #15
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    thanks for all this information guys, very helpful. The more I play around with computer audio the less I am liking WMP anyway. The other programs I have found and the ones you guys have told me about seem to be a better bet for good audio quality out of the computer or for burning cd's off of. Very good Info I appreciate it.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    I know a lot of people on this site are using software to playback and burn disks or just for use on their music servers and I am wondering what the best program to download for this purpose. I have been using windows media but the best they have is Wav files and I am not sure WMP will handle 24 bit by 192 khz files. Just wondering what programs you guys are using and also what file formats are you guys using to get those kind of bit rates out of your pc. I realize that when burning from a cd the most information you can get is what was on the cd to begin with which is 16 by 44 but there are sites out there that offer better bit downloads for music and I am just wondering what is the best program and file format to use. I know this question has been asked before but I am getting more and more interested in this and am kind of new to computer music server stuff. Just need a little help getting the best program so when I get a good DAC I can get the best out of my computer for music purposes. Thanks
    HG,

    While i don't have any content that is higher 16/44.1, I do use a player to realtime upsample to 192k. And of course such a player can handle content up to 32/192.

    Personally I use .wav with cue sheets. And if I had to record vinyl as you plan to, I would use .wav as well. YMMV.

    Anyhow, here is a link to one of the better players for windows for sound quality, realtime upsampling, vst support (for room correction or active crossovers, etc.) It sounds better on my system than winamp, album player, foobar, wavelab, xm player, etc. It is called cPlay and is free. It is predicated on CUE sheets, though it will play a single flac or .wav so you can test it out. It also needs ASIO, so if your hardware supports that great, but if not you can download ASIO4all and it will work with pretty much any soundcard or usb/ firewire dac. It has no pretty pictures (though you can do playlists) and arguably has a lame gui. THough that changes when you use it as a memory player with cMp. Long story, but you can check out the link yourself.

    http://cplay.sourceforge.net/

    Do note that you might need to download cpuid to figure out which version you can download. SSE4 is the best one, but I use SSE2 on my non audio rig and it works great.

    http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I'm glad you found the plugins to permit FLAC to playin WMP. However WMP is almost never recommended by audiophiles becasuse (as I believe is still the case) it cannot short circuit the standard Windows audio stack, and this prevents bit-perfect tramsmission to the DAC.

    .
    Yep, no one really uses WMP for sound quality. Though there IS an ASIO plugin you can get for it which should get you around the windows audio stack. It works OK, but I still wouldnt use WMP myself, though if you do it right, it can be bit perfect without asio. Though "bit perfect" seems to be a bit simplistic IMHO.

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnrazor
    HG,

    While i don't have any content that is higher 16/44.1, I do use a player to realtime upsample to 192k. And of course such a player can handle content up to 32/192.

    Personally I use .wav with cue sheets. And if I had to record vinyl as you plan to, I would use .wav as well. YMMV.

    Anyhow, here is a link to one of the better players for windows for sound quality, realtime upsampling, vst support (for room correction or active crossovers, etc.) It sounds better on my system than winamp, album player, foobar, wavelab, xm player, etc. It is called cPlay and is free. It is predicated on CUE sheets, though it will play a single flac or .wav so you can test it out. It also needs ASIO, so if your hardware supports that great, but if not you can download ASIO4all and it will work with pretty much any soundcard or usb/ firewire dac. It has no pretty pictures (though you can do playlists) and arguably has a lame gui. THough that changes when you use it as a memory player with cMp. Long story, but you can check out the link yourself.

    http://cplay.sourceforge.net/

    ...
    Shoot me now.

    IMO, cPlay is certainly the most "user antagonistic" player program I can think of. I recommend good ol' Foobar2000 with appropriate addins. Or consider J. River Media Jukebox or MediaMonkey Jukebox.

    For me, CUE sheets are useless in general because they don't accomodate sufficient metadata (tags) for me, a classical user, nor artwork.

    FLAC or ALAC work for me. First, I'm glad to save the disk space notwithstanding it's cheaper than ever. Secondly, WAV doesn't accomodate tags. Thirdly, I personally have never heard a difference between FLAC or ALAC, and WAV -- that's just me of course.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Shoot me now.

    IMO, cPlay is certainly the most "user antagonistic" player program I can think of. I recommend good ol' Foobar2000 with appropriate addins. Or consider J. River Media Jukebox or MediaMonkey Jukebox.

    For me, CUE sheets are useless in general because they don't accomodate sufficient metadata (tags) for me, a classical user, nor artwork.

    FLAC or ALAC work for me. First, I'm glad to save the disk space notwithstanding it's cheaper than ever. Secondly, WAV doesn't accomodate tags. Thirdly, I personally have never heard a difference between FLAC or ALAC, and WAV -- that's just me of course.

    Hey Feanor,

    Yep, the gui on cplay is as you describe it. THough with cmp acting as the gui, it is fantastic. Imagine being able to not use the mouse as a mouse and not needing a keyboard- with a wireless mouse it is more like a remote than a mouse as you mostly use the scroll wheel and there is no need to drag the mouse around. Imagine a list of artists you scroll through using the scroll wheel. When you find the one you want, you press the scroll wheel and it displays multiple albums for the artist and using the scroll wheel, you select the album you want to play. Then that screen disappears and cply takes its place. WIth cmp, the scrollwheel moves you up and down between tracks and when you get the track you want you press the scroll wheel and the song is selected. You can set it up to start playing automatically if you want an "album" experience. To get back to the artist screen, you hold down the scroll wheel and press the left click at the same time and you are back.

    You can also display by genre or all where all shows every cue sheet.

    I get what you are saying about classical, though there was a poster at AA who showed how to use cue sheets with classical. When AA is back up I'll try to find the post. So it is correct to say .wav doesn't support tags, it doesn't actually mean you cant organize a collection as you would with flac. Infact, for me there is zero difference between what I can do with .wav and what I would do with flac if I had it.

    WIth anything, one has to choose ones priorities. I found it was worthwhile soundwise to give up some pretty pictures and lyrics and other things to get a better sounding player. YMMV.

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnrazor
    Hey Feanor,

    Yep, the gui on cplay is as you describe it. THough with cmp acting as the gui, it is fantastic. Imagine being able to not use the mouse as a mouse and not needing a keyboard- with a wireless mouse it is more like a remote than a mouse as you mostly use the scroll wheel and there is no need to drag the mouse around. Imagine a list of artists you scroll through using the scroll wheel. When you find the one you want, you press the scroll wheel and it displays multiple albums for the artist and using the scroll wheel, you select the album you want to play. Then that screen disappears and cply takes its place. WIth cmp, the scrollwheel moves you up and down between tracks and when you get the track you want you press the scroll wheel and the song is selected. You can set it up to start playing automatically if you want an "album" experience. To get back to the artist screen, you hold down the scroll wheel and press the left click at the same time and you are back.

    ...
    Thanks, DR. I'm retiring at the end March and then I'll have a little more time on my hands to mess with the likes of cMP and cPlay.

  21. #21
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    Congrats Bill,

    I have 25 years till that glorious day, maybe more.

    Enjoy your time off. cMP2 is one of those love hate projects. You'll hate every frustrating minute of putting it together. But it will be worth the effort when you hear it. And I think you will smile at how worth it it all was.

    Overall, the biggest challenge will be finding the right parts, particularly a 256mb memory stick or even a 512mb one.

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