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Audiophile music player for Windows/Mac and your opinion...

What is the best audiophile music player for Windows and Mac in 2023?


  • Total voters
    225

Sal1950

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I would tell you about 1$ or so, since I already have the results before my eyes... :p
Yep, your losing by a 2-1 margin at best. LOL

Even though ALSA is a low-level audio API it needs to properly configure and that's very much complicated as ALSA means a "Jungle" to me... :rolleyes:
I'm not an expert on this but Jack has always appeared as a configuration nightmare to me.
During the time I was active on the PCLinuxOS dev team we simply let the guys trying to build HTPCs and such
deal with it. Most of what I was aware scared the hell out of me. LOL
With simply a couple of clicks I can get Strawberry and Cantata serving bit perfect music and Kodi serving Atmos mkv files
over my HDMI to my AVR.
Easy-peasy, That's the way I like it. ;)
 

sarumbear

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Is it me or I share nothing with people on this thread? I only stream, hence I only use the player each service supplies.

May I ask you to enter my poll?
 

Triplefun

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I've only just found this thread and haven't had time to view the full content. However, those using foobar I strongly recommend the Jam UI - see https://www.deviantart.com/ranggakat/art/JAM3-for-foobar2000-v3-4-894450237

Early on I reached the conclusion the source is key to good music and the future is digital. Jitter is a pain offset by linear power supplies, quality cables, and clean processing. Convenience and simplicity is also key.

For a long time I was a strong advocate of daphile on a dedicated music server. I respected the multi core operation and dsd upsampling. Then I discovered the stereo imaging is flawed - play a mono encoded track and the centre image almost disappears. A simple a/b comparison with an alternative player through the same equipment highlighted the issue!

I dabbled with hqplayer but didn't like the interface and felt I was listening to the technology and not the music.

I'm now using Roon Rock with qobuz. Key strengths are the UI, meta data, ability to support a whole house system, ARC, Muse, and Roon Radio. I've tried a number of servers including the nucleus+ but I'm now using amd CPUs. In particular the ryzen 5600g and more recently the 7600x. The single core high frequency processing (5ghz) surpasses Intel and the tight coupling of the USB makes a noticeable difference.
 

Sal1950

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The single core high frequency processing (5ghz) surpasses Intel and the tight coupling of the USB makes a noticeable difference.
In sound quality? I think your folding in a lot of expectation bias.
 

MAB

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I've only just found this thread and haven't had time to view the full content. However, those using foobar I strongly recommend the Jam UI - see https://www.deviantart.com/ranggakat/art/JAM3-for-foobar2000-v3-4-894450237

Early on I reached the conclusion the source is key to good music and the future is digital. Jitter is a pain offset by linear power supplies, quality cables, and clean processing. Convenience and simplicity is also key.

For a long time I was a strong advocate of daphile on a dedicated music server. I respected the multi core operation and dsd upsampling. Then I discovered the stereo imaging is flawed - play a mono encoded track and the centre image almost disappears. A simple a/b comparison with an alternative player through the same equipment highlighted the issue!

I dabbled with hqplayer but didn't like the interface and felt I was listening to the technology and not the music.

I'm now using Roon Rock with qobuz. Key strengths are the UI, meta data, ability to support a whole house system, ARC, Muse, and Roon Radio. I've tried a number of servers including the nucleus+ but I'm now using amd CPUs. In particular the ryzen 5600g and more recently the 7600x. The single core high frequency processing (5ghz) surpasses Intel and the tight coupling of the USB makes a noticeable difference.
Oh my.
You are attributing sonic differences to CPU manufacturer; they don't exist unless you can provide some very surprising measurements. What next, cryo-cooled CPU sound better? How about memory vendor differences? Maybe SSD vs. traditional platter hard-drives (perhaps closer to the sound of other spinning media). Does a green pen help?

Also, your comments about jitter don't make sense, perhaps they got mistranslated.

And, "the source is key to good music" is the oldest mentalist trick in the book, used by audio sales the world over to get you to buy expensive things that make zero difference. Your speakers matter orders of magnitude more, unless your source is broken.
 

Sal1950

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Oh my.
You are attributing sonic differences to CPU manufacturer; they don't exist unless you can provide some very surprising measurements. What next, cryo-cooled CPU sound better? How about memory vendor differences? Maybe SSD vs. traditional platter hard-drives (perhaps closer to the sound of other spinning media). Does a green pen help?
Oh that's nothing. I've seen posters over at Computer Audiophile/Style attribute sound differences to SATA cables. :facepalm:
 

TonyJZX

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a few weeks back a person here who wrote player software said there would be a difference with Intel vs. AMD cores AND if hyperthreading was enabled or too many cores were exposed to the software... as if it was chernobyl reactor 4

i'm running 14 cores 28 threads on foobar...
 

kemmler3D

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Oh that's nothing. I've seen posters over at Computer Audiophile/Style attribute sound differences to SATA cables. :facepalm:
Oof. Tell me you don't know how computers work without telling me you don't know how computers work, amirite?
 

Mantra

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Hi
I voted for foobar2000 but often I use musicbee and in the past audirvana under mac (lots of crashes but it does better for my ears)
 

SSS

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Hi
I voted for foobar2000 but often I use musicbee and in the past audirvana under mac (lots of crashes but it does better for my ears)
I use Audirvana since 2 years on a Win10 PC without problems. Sound is great. Only thing is that you need all tags in the music files thus Audirvane can build the selection menu. .wav files without tags are problematic. Other player software can find the files and display them according to the directories where they are in.
Therefore I buy .wav files as .flac where the tags are standardwise implemented.
 

Svensson

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I use MusicBee. The right balance of getting all my music out to my DAC without drama and a feature set in the Goldilocks zone. Have used FB2k for a long time, largely because of familiarity and nostalgia, but as other mentioned, it works fine, it's a little clunky. I've tried Hysolid, but we didn't get along. JRiver was better, but very much prefer MusicBee.
 

MrSoul4470

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Foobar2000 is clunky compared to MusicBee? Seriously? Foobar is extremely lightweight and easy to set up, very flexible. I've tried MusicBee before and found it very clunky. I could never get it to work as smooth as Foobar. MusicBee never showed my library the way I wanted it on my streaming clients.
 

Svensson

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Foobar2000 is clunky compared to MusicBee? Seriously? Foobar is extremely lightweight and easy to set up, very flexible. I've tried MusicBee before and found it very clunky. I could never get it to work as smooth as Foobar. MusicBee never showed my library the way I wanted it on my streaming clients.
Foobar most definitely lightweight compared to Musicbee. By clunky, I am thinking of the UI. This will be a preference thing. Similarly I have used different linux distro's, but now simply rolling with Debian for preference and ease.
 

vert

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I'm about to let go of Audirvana Studio when my subscription ends. There are number of things that do not work: 1) Chromecast connexion is lost after a while, requiring a restart of the PC, which isn't always possible in my workflow (UPnP doesn't replace Chromecast, as it doesn't play radios), 2) engaging my vst equalizer sometimes crashes the program (it used to be worse, an update fixed that in part), 3) EQ often can't be adjusted on the fly as the EQ plugin window disappears. Points 1) et 3) are advertised as features by Audirvana and IMO should be working. Point 1) is an issue I've contacted them about numerous times. I can't let that pass because I had already purchased the original Audirvana for $70 and had to get the extra Studio subscription in order to have radios, so in my view, the software should be flawless. JRiver doesn't have that limitation about radios and sounds just as good. I'm either going to move to that or take the time to set up foobar. .
 

Sal1950

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PCLinuxOS here.
I log into Windoz on occasion and find Foobar a nice versatile player after adding a bunch of plugins, then it can be made to do most anything.
I mostly prefer the lightweight dedicated Linux players like Strawberry that can be easily configured to bypass all the garbage and deliver the source stream directly and bit-perfectly to the desired connection.
This Is The Way.
 

Rottmannash

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PCLinuxOS here.
I log into Windoz on occasion and find Foobar a nice versatile player after adding a bunch of plugins, then it can be made to do most anything.
I mostly prefer the lightweight dedicated Linux players like Strawberry that can be easily configured to bypass all the garbage and deliver the source stream directly and bit-perfectly to the desired connection.
This Is The Way.
I tried Strawberry on my Windows PC (am also giving up my Audirvana Studio subscription when it expires) but was dismayed to find I couldn't bypass the mixer.
 

Sal1950

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I tried Strawberry on my Windows PC (am also giving up my Audirvana Studio subscription when it expires) but was dismayed to find I couldn't bypass the mixer.
Yea, I think those tools are more Linux specific.
Look in Tools - Settings - Backend to see what's available.
 

Sal1950

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I tried Strawberry on my Windows PC (am also giving up my Audirvana Studio subscription when it expires) but was dismayed to find I couldn't bypass the mixer.
Hey partner, I booted into Doz, here's what the setup looks like for me.
Capture2.PNG
 
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