Air and Magic

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chebby

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Blunny89:chebby:This may also be a handy set-up guide for your iTunes/Quicktime on a Mac....

http://extra.benchmarkmedia.com/wiki/index.php/ITunes-QuickTime_for_Mac_-_Setup_Guide

Am I right in thinking the website is suggesting for me to change my sample rate from 44.100Khz to 96.000Khz even though the majority of my musics sample rates are 44.100Khz?

Tad confused! Itunes is latest version by the way..

Exactly what it says. Either the maximum sample rate the audio interface is capable of, or the exact sample rate of the media. Up to you.

(And this is set in Quicktime not iTunes, as iTunes is actually played through the Quicktime audio 'engine'.)

I have tried with both 44.1khz and 48khz settings and it makes no difference in sound quality. You may get different results given that your optical 'audio interface' is 192khz capable.

I have been playing with Radio Paradise - played at 192kbps - on WMP and iTunes (both in Windows XP) and the bass is better on iTunes despite a marginally higher level of (slight) background hiss in between tracks or during very quiet parts. iTunes also gives a slightly 'bigger' and airier presentation that I find more pleasing. (Yes I have switched off all WMP 'enhancements' as advised)
 
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Anonymous

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Ha ha, thanks chebby. Helpful page, I have changed a couple of things but decided to leave the sample rate at 44.100Khz because that's what 99.9% of my media is shown as. This guide (if interpreted correctly) seems to think that the sample rate should be set to the same as the media (as you also suggested ;)). Seems pretty obvious but I have now also corrected all my digital volume controls to 0.00dB. Can't wait for Christmas, finally get to play with a new DACMagic & AE!

I really need a girl...
 
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Anonymous

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chebby:
(And this is set in Quicktime not iTunes, as iTunes is actually played through the Quicktime audio 'engine'.)

I have been setting it in Audio MIDI Setup (on Mac), have I gone wrong?
 

chebby

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Quicktime settings apply specifically to your iTunes playback. (Regardless of platform.)

Audio-Midi setup is specific to settings for input (sources) plugged into your Mac.

SACD for instance - if you were ripping directly from an SACD machine (connected optically I presume) would need to be set to 24 bit and 96khz in the Audio-Midi setup utility settings otherwise it would get down-sampled to the default 44.1khz.

That is how I understand it.
 
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Anonymous

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Mmm... I did set it for the built in output like the website suggested but I think I'll leave it there, thanks for your help chebby I've changed a couple of settings and should be all sorted for the big day!

Damn technology
 

chebby

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John Duncan

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So basically, if I download some 24/96 music, I have to change my audio settings to 24/96. And if I then want to play some 16/44 music, I have to change it back or I get sample conversion distortion? Tuh.
 

chebby

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JohnDuncan:So basically, if I download some 24/96 music, I have to change my audio settings to 24/96. And if I then want to play some 16/44 music, I have to change it back or I get sample conversion distortion? Tuh.

This explains.....

"Mac OS X Test Results

The system sample rate must be set to match the sample rate of the files being played, and the system volume control must be set to 100%.

Like the Windows© XP and 2000 operating systems, OS X has very poor-quality sample- rate-conversion. The system sample rate is manually set and must be set to match the sample rate of the audio being played. This is not a problem if the system will always be used at a single sample rate such as CD.s at 44.1 kHz.

OS X also has a poor quality master volume control. It will degrade the quality of the audio if it is not set to 100%. Fortunately it is bit-transparent when set to 100%.

OS X is capable of bit-transparent audio playback when the system sample rate is set to match the audio, and the system volume control is set to 100%. "


So, if the bulk of your listening is CD derived (Apple Lossless rips from CD) then set everything on your Mac's Audio-Midi setup (and Quicktime) to 16 bits and 44.1khz and set the system's master volume to maximum.

If all your listening is from higher quality downloads (like FLAC in 24/96 for instance) then set accordingly.

If you listen to a lot of both then set up a desktop icon for the Audio-Midi setup controls so they can be altered as necessary more quickly and conveniently.

When you consider all the 'faffing' around that traditional hifi used to involve then this is no more complicated and - for most of us with 16bit/44.1khz material - only needs to be done once.

Alternatively leave everything on system defaults and accept the compromises.

On my Windows XP desktop I have put up a "Sounds & Audio Devices" icon so that when my DAC is switched on I can set the system to 'No Sounds' and switch back to default when the DAC is off. I have set Quicktime (for iTunes) preferences to 16 bit and 44.1khz and I leave all 'enhancements' (in iTunes and WMP) switched off. I leave the master volume set to maximum also.

Since 'tuning' I have noticed a small improvement overall.
 

John Duncan

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Yeah all my material's 16/44 at the moment, but I had hoped to get some 24/96 for testing purposes. I did have a quick look at Quicktime set up and couldn't see any sample rate settings - I'll have a look later, cheers for this.
 

chebby

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Quicktime preferences then 'Audio' and 'Sound Out'.

(Make sure you 'Apply' before hitting 'OK')

I guess the upshot of all this is that any 'upsampling' is left to your DacMagic which is better equipped to do so than your computer. (Higher grade components and better software/firmware)
 

John Duncan

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OK, seen it on this Windows machine, but not on my Mac, which is the prime player. Not going to worry about it overly just yet - I suppose I'll soon find out what's happening when I finally get some 24/96 files.
 

chebby

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Yeah. I just checked Quicktime preferences on our iMac. (I rarely use iTunes on it now.) Seems the whole set-up is different to iTunes/Quicktime on my laptop.

Guess you only need to make sure 'enhancements' are turned off in iTunes, set word length and sampling frequency in 'Audio-Midi setup' and ensure that the master volume is on max.
 

PJPro

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I must have missed this thread first time around.

It's good to see that the PC/DAC combo is really gaining acceptance as a high quality audio source on this forum. It wasn't long ago when this was not the case. Perhaps the release of the DACMagic has helped in this regard?

However, for me, the audio quality is only part of the equation, albeit an important part. The real killer blow for my CDP is the convenience of PC audio. All my music is immediately to hand (or mouse) and just sooooo accessible.

PC audio has allowed me to rediscover my music collection. I used to be big on playlists, especially based star ratings. But I quickly tired of this approach. Now, there is nothing I like more than setting playback to shuffle on the entire music library. Who knows what's gonna come on next. Sometimes, the mix is a little challenging but it's never boring.

I still use my CDP. When I get a new CD through the post, I slap it into the CDP downstairs to have a bit of a listen before ripping it to my library upstairs. Other than this, the CDP mostly gathers dust and really isn't required.

Oh. I don't use AE. For hardware, I use simple PC, a WASAPI compatible soundcard with optical out (Xfi Extreme Gamer), a Beresford DAC, a DIY headphone amp and Grado SR80s. Software? Vista, Foobar2000 and flac. For downstairs, I stream to a PS3 over a wired gigabit network using TVersity.

I'd like to try a Mac/iTunes combo but am struggling to justify the cost. For what they are, they seem overpriced. I am hoping that a new Mini Mac will be announced and I'll be able to score an old one for sensible money.
 

John Duncan

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Yeah where the hell were you?!?!?


Do you honestly worry that a Mac would give you any different results to your highly-tuned Windows machine? I'd very much doubt it...
 

Alec

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PJPro:I'd like to try a Mac/iTunes combo but am struggling to justify the cost. For what they are, they seem overpriced. I am hoping that a new Mini Mac will be announced and I'll be able to score an old one for sensible money.

I too think the cost is prohibitive (and i wouldnt want to learn a whole new OS etc for the sake of a server (in other words replacing my pc with a full desktop mac would mean doing things like...this on it too and i dont want to), so the mini seems a good idea. dissapointingly, after the rumours of it being discontinued, then the rumours of a new edition, the Apple expo seems to have passed without a majr announcement either way.
 

PJPro

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JohnDuncan:Yeah where the hell were you?!?!?


Do you honestly worry that a Mac would give you any different results to your highly-tuned Windows machine? I'd very much doubt it...
No, not necessarily. But I'd like to sort something better out for downstairs.....and I'm going off the streaming thingy. A nice little notebook, mini mac or similar with the files available locally. Would act as a further backup as well.
 

PJPro

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al7478:PJPro:I'd like to try a Mac/iTunes combo but am struggling to justify the cost. For what they are, they seem overpriced. I am hoping that a new Mini Mac will be announced and I'll be able to score an old one for sensible money.

I too think the cost is prohibitive (and i wouldnt want to learn a whole new OS etc for the sake of a server (in other words replacing my pc with a full desktop mac would mean doing things like...this on it too and i dont want to), so the mini seems a good idea. dissapointingly, after the rumours of it being discontinued, then the rumours of a new edition, the Apple expo seems to have passed without a majr announcement either way.
Seems I heard the same rumours you did.
 

John Duncan

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PJPro:JohnDuncan:Yeah where the hell were you?!?!?


Do you honestly worry that a Mac would give you any different results to your highly-tuned Windows machine? I'd very much doubt it...
No, not necessarily. But I'd like to sort something better out for downstairs.....and I'm going off the streaming thingy. A nice little notebook, mini mac or similar with the files available locally. Would act as a further backup as well.

Apple TV? Gorgeous interface, but only 160gig - if only they'd let you attach a USB drive...
 
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Anonymous

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JohnDuncan:Apple TV?

What when you can get a Mac Mini for the same price?ÿ
 

chebby

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JohnDuncan:Octopo:
JohnDuncan:Apple TV?

What when you can get a Mac Mini for the same price?ÿ

Can you?!!??! There you go then.

The cheapest Mac Mini is £391 and only has an 80GB hard drive. (Extra £59 for 160GB HD = £450 total.)

The 160GB Apple TV is £263

(All Apple UK store prices.)
 
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Anonymous

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chebby:JohnDuncan:Octopo:
JohnDuncan:Apple TV?

What when you can get a Mac Mini for the same price?ÿ

Can you?!!??! There you go then.The cheapest Mac Mini is £391 and only has an 80GB hard drive. (Extra £59 for 160GB HD = £450 total.)The 160GB Apple TV is £263(All Apple UK store prices.)

Er.... I suppose I could have been more clear but I thought everyone was buying second hand Mac Mini's these days hence the (Apple TV) prices on ebay. Much better buy if you ask me.ÿ
 

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