• 05-17-2008, 08:56 PM
    zggame
    Best way to play lossless file (ape/flac) with digital receiver?
    I recently got a old Dell 4600c and decide to set it as my media PC. It has a digital audio output(optical fible, SPDIF) w/ soundmax as well as the normal 5.1 analog 3.5mm miniport. I also has a receiver Onkyo SR304 can decode DTS/DD/Dolby Logic/PCM. And I have some music files in lossless format ape/flac. I usually play them back by foobar2000. There is also the video files ripped from DVD w/ 5.1 AC3 audio. I usually play them back by media player classic.

    I know when you play DVD disk, one can set the audio as by-pass in both the playback software and sound-card setting and send the DD/DTS signal directly into the receiver. And I figure the best sound-quality should be only decode the lossless file into the original PCM/WAV and send them to receiver by the digital (optical) cable. Is that right? How to set everything to do it? Similarly, in the video file playback, I should decode this AC3 and put them through the digital cable. (Can you send 5.1 channel raw data through SPDIF cable?) I cannot figure out how to do this. Can anyone share some light on this? Thanks.

    BTW: I put it into the windows xp pro.
  • 05-18-2008, 03:13 AM
    Feanor
    Just wondering
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zggame
    I recently got a old Dell 4600c and decide to set it as my media PC. It has a digital audio output(optical fible, SPDIF) w/ soundmax as well as the normal 5.1 analog 3.5mm miniport. I also has a receiver Onkyo SR304 can decode DTS/DD/Dolby Logic/PCM. And I have some music files in lossless format ape/flac. I usually play them back by foobar2000. There is also the video files ripped from DVD w/ 5.1 AC3 audio. I usually play them back by media player classic.

    I know when you play DVD disk, one can set the audio as by-pass in both the playback software and sound-card setting and send the DD/DTS signal directly into the receiver. And I figure the best sound-quality should be only decode the lossless file into the original PCM/WAV and send them to receiver by the digital (optical) cable. Is that right? How to set everything to do it? Similarly, in the video file playback, I should decode this AC3 and put them through the digital cable. (Can you send 5.1 channel raw data through SPDIF cable?) I cannot figure out how to do this. Can anyone share some light on this? Thanks.

    BTW: I put it into the windows xp pro.

    I presume your Dell doesn't have a S/PDIF output connector and that your Onkyo doesn't have a USB input connector? In that case the way to go for audio would be:
    • An internal sound with S/PDIF output; an example is this M-Audio Audiophile 2496
    • An external, USB sound card with S/PDIF output, or
    • A USB DAC with S/PDIF output.
    Yes, S/PDIF will carry a 5.1 PCM, DD, or DTS signal, although a given soundcard or DAC might not handle it.

    In the case of a USB DAC, it will output analog stereo via RCA connectors; many models also have a S/PDIF output jack, in which case you'd have the choice of analog or digital input to your receiver.
  • 05-18-2008, 03:52 AM
    zggame
    The MB of the 4600c does have an optical SPDIF output. But I am not sure how to set them up for pass through.

    I assume output pcm via spdif would be the best sound. How to set up the foobar2000 for this purpose? (playback the ape/flac)

    The place I want the sound quality most is playback of those lossless music.

    I only have a low budget, in the case the onboard spdif does not work. What I need is only pass the PCM raw data to receiver, presuming that foobar can convert the file into this format, any recommendation for a usb card that handle this?
  • 05-18-2008, 04:18 AM
    Feanor
    You could be good to go
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zggame
    The MB of the 4600c does have an optical SPDIF output. But I am not sure how to set them up for pass through.

    I assume output pcm via spdif would be the best sound. How to set up the foobar2000 for this purpose? (playback the ape/flac)

    The place I want the sound quality most is playback of those lossless music.

    I only have a low budget, in the case the onboard spdif does not work. What I need is only pass the PCM raw data to receiver, presuming that foobar can convert the file into this format, any recommendation for a usb card that handle this?

    If you M/B has S/PDIF output -- optical is fine -- you likely have nothing to buy, (assuming the Onkyo has optical input). You will have to have your M/B's audio drivers install to ensure that the optical out works.

    To use the motherboard's S/PDIF output, go Windows Control Panel > Sound and Audio Devices > the Audio tab, Sound devices and select the S/PDIF driver; this will make that driver the Windows default. Also, (or alternatively) you will go to Foobar2000 > File > Preferences > Playback: Output; there select the S/PDIF output. You should be good to go. (Note that your Foobar selection will override the Windows default driver when you're playing back via Foobar.)

    Foobar2000 supports almost every audio format; in some cases you'll have to separately download an additional component, that is, a DLL file, and put it in Foobar's Component subdirectory. I'm not sure whether this is the case for APE or FLAC. (I had to download separately for Apple Lossless which I use myself.)

    If you want to get a carried away with Foobar, you might also want to download the "Kernal Streaming" component which many say improves the sound with WinXP. If you install Kernal Streaming, under Output, select your S/PDIF driver that's prefixed with "KS:"
  • 05-18-2008, 12:50 PM
    zggame
    Thank you very much. I will try it.