It's becoming really common to use your PC, a PC based consumer product or a standalone solution for storing and playing you music. The possibilities in te meantime are endless and it's getting difficult to choose. With this article, I will try to shed some light on this situation.
Read all about WAV, mp3, FLAC and the various applications to make them with or play them back with. Winamp 2, Winamp 5, iTunes, Foobar, Media Jukebox, Media Monkey... Every application sounds different!
Analog recordings were made on 2 different Nakamichi cassettedecks, and digital 24/96 recordings on PC both via EMU 1212M soundcard and on Mac via Apogee Duet firewire interface, played back via DCS and Audiomeca dacs in the reference setup.
This is explained by means of two articles. The first link points to a review of the DCS Delius and Purcell dac and upsampler and describes exactly what upsampling does, bot in a technical manner as well as describing the audible differences. The second link points to an extensive review of the Behringer Ultramatch, basically an affordable upsampler.
Is there still life left in the DSD format? The SACD disk may not have been a commercial succes, but if we're really lucky, the format may live on as a high res music download option. (review also published under Audiophile Insights)
Mac versus PC, all current popular playback applications, including various add-ons and various (USB) interfaces compared
I've compared all this in what may well be my most elaborate review ever. A Macbook Pro is compared to a full size Windows computer, using many different playback applications, interfaces (USB, Toslink and coaxial digital), cables and add-ons like Virtual Cable, Amarra and Pure Music.
Followup to the article above. Mac compared to PC using all popular applications, two iTunes sound enhancements and a range of DA-converters and USB interfaces. In this article you can find the results of all my efforts to find the best PC audio playback solution.
Wav files may appear to have tags when they are accessed through applications such as iTunes and Media Monkey, but in fact the WAV format doesn't allow for any decent tagging functionality. At least not in that it benefits the regular user in the way that it works so well for FLAC and mp3.
Meridian Streaming Audio (formerly Sooloos) sidenotes
There's no doubt that this system is world-class. Operability and functionality are simply best in the industry. But, like all software, it isn't without flaws. This article lists bugs, bug fixes with version history and software improvement suggestions for Control;PC, Control:MAC and Core Control for iPad.
This is less of a no brainer than you might think. First: the thing is incredibly noisy so needs to be positioned away from the listening room. Second: the sound is greatly influenced by the powercable and (length of) UTP cable used and even more so by the amount of switches the signal runs through.