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High quality media player for Android

rozel

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Hah! The update for TIDAL, version 2.73, has just been released this morning by Google Play Store here in the UK. Been checking daily.

Ok guys, what I am looking to do is maximise the audio quality in my car - bit rate and bit depth - as I understand Android Auto can mess with the sound.

Basically I have been using my Samsung S21 Ultra phone to play Offline (Downloaded) TIDAL Music via the TIDAL app through a small Hidizs S3 Pro DAC plugged into it and then taking an Auxiliary lead from it to an Auxiliary socket in my car. This feeds my 2017 Audi's Bose Head Unit and I do experience good quality music this way. However I do not have any Art Work or Navigational Controls on the car's display or via the steering wheel buttons and don't think connecting up this way could be made to work through Android Auto.

The other week I learned a bit about Android Auto and much to my amazement I found that it was available in my car. So I connected up using a USB cable from my phone to a USB socket in my car and it works via TIDAL! But I feel the music quality is not as good as before. So I then wondered about using UAPP a program I use extensively in the home, so I am very familiar with it. I soon learned that UAPP could not use its TIDAL interface for playing back Offline (Downloaded) music - it doesn't have this function - it can only play using a WiFi or a Cellular Data connection. I tried but had to get hold of AnyAutoAudio via the XDA form first so UAPP can be made available through Android Auto. I get reasonable results when the car is parked up at home (where I do most of my testing) as it connects somehow but not sure what connection it is using. Sometimes I experience drop outs. But on the road it's hopeless completely, never mind drop outs but going quiet for minutes at a time and coming back on.

I don't know if these issues are down to the multitude of connections I make available, UAPP or Android Auto, but when it works sound quality seems ok but I cannot be sure what bit rate and bit depth it's pushing out. I'm going to experiment using a small hub so I can connect the phone and UAPP as before via USB but playing back locally some of my Hi-Res music stored on a Micro SD Card.

What do you guys think? - and then there's Bluetooth lol! I have absolutely no idea if my Head Unit supports LDAC or not, but I tend to leave it on, along with WiFi and Cellular Data.

But essentially I'd like to play my TIDAL music via UAPP through Android Auto if at all possible with Android Auto not messing with the bit rate or bit depth. To compare with using my Hidizs S3 Pro DAC, mentioned in the different setup earlier.

Any help and advice would be extremely useful. Thank you

 

Mordor

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Got my first DAC today.
Try my android to connect it through USB, with some flacs files.

Not big quality.

Install Hiby, remove restrictions and voilá, the Flac on all his Glory. For free!
 

Berwhale

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Got my first DAC today.
Try my android to connect it through USB, with some flacs files.

Not big quality.

Install Hiby, remove restrictions and voilá, the Flac on all his Glory. For free!

FYI - Native lossless USB audio is coming in Android 14...

Lossless USB audio
Android 14 gains support for lossless audio formats for audiophile-level experiences over USB wired headsets. You can query a USB device for its preferred mixer attributes, register a listener for changes in preferred mixer attributes, and configure mixer attributes using a new AudioMixerAttributes class. It represents the format, such as channel mask, sample rate, and behavior of the audio mixer. The class allows for audio to be sent directly, without mixing, volume adjustment, or processing effects. We are working with our OEM partners to enable this feature in devices later this year.

Source: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2023/05/android-14-beta-2.html

At present, i'm using PowerAmp which also bypasses the Android audio stack (I prefer the UI over UAPP which I also own).
 

Mordor

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Thanks.
My phone is from 2018, so im still on PIE (Android 9) very heavily modded.

I also use Poweramp, but i uninstall it a few months ago...have to try it again. I have a lot of FLACS and CD`s, so just want provide DAC with the best possibly food!
 

Berwhale

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Thanks.
My phone is from 2018, so im still on PIE (Android 9) very heavily modded.

I also use Poweramp, but i uninstall it a few months ago...have to try it again. I have a lot of FLACS and CD`s, so just want provide DAC with the best possibly food!

I used to run a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with 512GB on-board and another 512GB microSD. At that time, my FLAC collection was under 1TB so I could take it all with me, then the AMOLED screen died in the Note 9 and I wasn't prepared to pay £300 for a replacement for a phone that was no longer receiving security updates. I have to be a bit more selective with what I carry these days as my Poco F3 has only 256GB and no expansion capability :(
 

Mordor

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That sucks. I main use Spotify...but quality...mehhh....
Sometimes i get one or two favourite albums and copy past to phone, so yie i totally understand you.

And how about using "Plex"? Not sure here, but suposly you can access a HD from phone, where you can deposit all your files....
 

Berwhale

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That sucks. I main use Spotify...but quality...mehhh....
Sometimes i get one or two favourite albums and copy past to phone, so yie i totally understand you.

And how about using "Plex"? Not sure here, but suposly you can access a HD from phone, where you can deposit all your files....

Yeah, I run Plex at home - I bought a lifetime Plexpass in 2014 and I have used PlexAmp on my PC and phone. What i'd really like is the ability for Plex to pre-transcode music to a high quality lossy format for my phone (like what Plex already does for video with Optimized versions).
 
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FYI - Native lossless USB audio is coming in Android 14...



Source: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2023/05/android-14-beta-2.html

At present, i'm using PowerAmp which also bypasses the Android audio stack (I prefer the UI over UAPP which I also own).
Had been a while since I mess around with poweramp installed in my car android headunit playing to my car processor via usb especially for hires dsd music files.

Nevertheless, my understanding and experience is that poweramp still uses android audio but with added high quality resampling unlike uapp that truly bypass android audio.

However, I stopped using uapp as audio handshaking with other android apps e.g. important google map etc. do not work and will render these other apps muted ... you need to reboot for audio to resume.

I worked with the nice developer of Neutron player who attempt on resolution of this handshaking issue with several engrg releases but ends up with the same issue ... neutron can release audio control but android just does not "sense" to take back control to have audio playback for other android apps and hence muted.

A good read on how to optimise poweramp can be found here:


I am glad that Poweramp works at all and enjoying dsd playback in my car albeit resampled which is fine via the rather expensive Brax dsp. Sound quality is still great as I can easily compare playing the same source with Allo digital Signature connected via coaxial into the Brax dsp via flick of the selector between usb and coaxial.

Cheers.
 
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Glitch

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The HiBy Music Player plays noticeably better audio than all other Android apps even over bluetooth and is free. They must do some internal resampling. I hate the interface but I manage.
 

Peterinvan

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The HiBy Music Player plays noticeably better audio than all other Android apps even over bluetooth and is free. They must do some internal resampling. I hate the interface but I manage.
Plus you can stream your Tidal playlists with the HiBy EQ functionality :)
 
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Hiby also like uapp or Neutron player uses their better audio driver that cannot play outside its app and no go if you need audio from other android app as in my case due to issue of switching with android audio driver ? Cheers.
 

JLGF1

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The HiBy Music Player plays noticeably better audio than all other Android apps

Better than UAPP or Neutron? I think you mean better than some other android apps.
 

ZolaIII

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The HiBy Music Player plays noticeably better audio than all other Android apps even over bluetooth and is free. They must do some internal resampling. I hate the interface but I manage.
It doesn't do any resampling (plays bit perfect) if you don't instruct it to do it. For example of app that does do (64 bit FP) internal resampling (again when told to do it) there is Neutron or JRiver. This is useful for DSP manipulation and volume controls (among other things). It's basically transparent with rounding back to integer (16, 24 or 32 bit). Hiby Music does have inbuilt UAT & LHDC BT codec suport but I doubt that's what you had in your mind writing. Now with basic PEQ filters Hiby Music is indeed among better offering disreging of price on mobile platforms (and DAP's as that's for what it whose primary written for). There is still lot of things that can be improved and I hope in time they will be improved. Most limiting part of Hiby is it's nature that it needs to stay scalable and usable with simple devices which don't have keyboard or precise and large enough screen so it's interface will stay limited in that regard.
Best regards and have a nice time.
 
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Glitch

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HiBy player outputs noticeably cleaner music than other free Android music apps in regular mode playback, and even through Bluetooth as well. It can also do Exclusive mode if you plug a USB DAC. You don't have to believe me, you can try it for yourself, it's free. I haven't compared it to UAPP and Neutron because I don't feel like paying for them.




It doesn't do any resampling (plays bit perfect) if you don't instruct it to do it. For example of app that does do (64 bit FP) internal resampling (again when told to do it) there is Neutron or JRiver. This is useful for DSP manipulation and volume controls (among other things). It's basically transparent with rounding back to integer (16, 24 or 32 bit). Hiby Music does have inbuilt UAT & LHDC BT codec suport but I doubt that's what you had in your mind writing. Now with basic PEQ filters Hiby Music is indeed among better offering disreging of price on mobile platforms (and DAP's as that's for what it whose primary written for). There is still lot of things that can be improved and I hope in time they will be improved. Most limiting part of Hiby is it's nature that it needs to stay scalable and usable with simple devices which don't have keyboard or precise and large enough screen so it's interface will stay limited in that regard.
Best regards and have a nice time.



I don't know how they acheive it exactly but I know it's some kind of extra processing because when my phone alarm goes off it breaks the audio quality and I have to restart the phone to get it back. Here's how I suspect they do it. The reason why Android OS doesn't play bit perfect is because the OS mixer resamples audio files, typically 41kHz->48kHz and for some reason they use very bad resampling algorithms. However if the OS sees a 48kHz file it doesn't have to resample it. I think what HiBy does is it resamples to 48kHz using high quality algorithms before handing over the file to the OS mixer.
 

JLGF1

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I haven't compared it to UAPP and Neutron because I don't feel like paying for them.

Neutron has a demo app. And neither is exactly a budget buster: $8.

UAPP/Neutron bypass the Android audio drivers completely (no phone restarts necessary) and thus removes the 48kHZ OS limit (for Android versions less than v14). ie full HiRes support.

The HiBy Music Player plays noticeably better audio than all other Android apps

Not all Android apps are free and even the ones that aren't don't cost much in order to support the developer's time & effort.

Both UAPP/NMP support standard UPnP/DNLA which HiBy seems to support something else? (doesn't want to connect to my music server).
 
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