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kalash
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Getting the most out of iTunes on my PC

Basically, I'm looking to get the best sound out of iTunes on my PC within a reasonable budget. I just picked up a pair of Audioengine A5+ powered bookshelf speakers that I hope to connect wirelessly either via Audioengine's W3 wireless sender / receiver pair sold here

http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-W3

or an AppleTV.

But now I'm thinking of integrating a DAC to improve sound quality. So it would go something like this: PC --> Apple TV --> DAC --> powered speakers.

The thing is, I've been reading that even with a DAC, you may not be getting good sound due to the fact that Window's k-mixer is still involved. There's an article on all this here:

http://www.hifi-advice.com/optimising-itunes-windows-info.html

The author used a program called Virtual Cable to bypass Windows and ouput sound directly to the sound card (in my own case, the DAC?).

Anyway, I'm hoping you can help advise me on this. The bottom line is that I want the best sound out of iTunes playing lossless files.

Demondog
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Good sound with iTunes

Glad to hear you are using lossless files (AIFF?), otherwise it would be hopeless, haha.  What OS are you using on your PC, Windows 7?

Unfortunately, I gave up on iTunes long ago, so not my expertise, but the article you linked to looks to be on the right path.

btw- I consider iTunes much better suited to MAC's. JRiver is highly recommended by a lot of PC audio users, though I've found Foobar2000 does everything I need, and can be used in basic form, or it can be more involved. The price is right also. It's only my preference though. I guess the advantages of iTunes for a PC user are lost to me.

jazzfan
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What advantages?!?!?!
Demondog wrote:

I guess the advantages of iTunes for a PC user are lost to me.

The advantages of iTunes can not possibly be lost since there are no advantages to iTunes in the first place.

struts
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Hi kalash, kmixer can be

Hi kalash,

kmixer can be bypassed quite easily in Windows Vista and 7 by using ASIO or WASAPI output modes, no 3rd party programs required.  Most of the things you may read on the web about nightmares with kmixer, kernel streaming and programs like ASIO4ALL date back to the bad old days of Windows XP.

iTunes is a nice program in many respects but it (still) has some idiosyncrasies that can drive you crazy.  Search the site and you will find plenty of rants on the subject, including a couple of my own.

Hi there jf,

Back after a brief 2-year monsatic retreat from cyberspace, nice to see a familiar face.

Did I miss anything?  cheeky

PS Anyone know why most of the old posts (i.e. from the old site) seem to be truncated??

jazzfan
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Welcome back!
struts wrote:

Hi there jf,

Back after a brief 2-year monsatic retreat from cyberspace, nice to see a familiar face.

Did I miss anything?  cheeky

PS Anyone know why most of the old posts (i.e. from the old site) seem to be truncated??

Welcome back, struts! It seems that your head is still buried in the sandsurprise

As for missing anything, I would say not too much since this forum has become quite quiet (read: DEAD) with most of the old timers have long since moved on. The general discussion area became a political minefield with the hard right Tea Party crazies pretty much scaring off just about everyone else.

On the computer audio front infatuation with all things jitter, Mac and USB have also taken over to the exclusion of everything and anything else. And I always thought that the good old SPDIF connection was perfectly functional. On the other hand, JA still goes out of his way to try and debunk some of the wilder digital audio myths and nonsense that pop up, such as the wav>flac>wav>flac>wav..... conversion causing audible losses myth that was published in The Absolute Sound awhile back. Nonetheless magical thinking and voodoo still reign supreme in most equipment discussions.

As I said, if you bring up ANYTHING other Macs and USB here in the Computer Audio section it will be pretty much ignored and as a result my beloved Squeezeboxen have been dismissed except for listening to bit rate compromised internet radio streams, or at least that's how it seems. But then again why did I ever really expect the $300 plastic Squeezebox Touch to be taken seriously on a high end audio forum.

struts
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Struts checking in
jazzfan wrote:

But then again why did I ever really expect the $300 plastic Squeezebox Touch to be taken seriously on a high end audio forum.

Still using my Touch as the main digital source for the bigrig and still enjoying the same love/hate relationship (love the sound quality hate the UI) with it.  However that may change soon as I am going througfh a massive de-cluttering (could this be my 50-year crisis coming early) and my mind is set on downsizing, simplification and minimalism.

My trusty Dell finally gave up the ghost (after changing memory, disks, operating system (twice) and power supply the mobo finally expired and I replaced it with (you're gonna love this!) a Mac Mini with a beautiful 27" thunderbolt display, loadsa memory and a whippet fast SSD.  Right now a Calyx 24/192 DAC is driving my headphone rigs via USB (Audioquest Coffee) but I have a date with a Weiss DAC202 soon and if it sounds better than the Calyx (that will be a tall order!) I might succumb.

In the bigrig I am having serious wet dreams about replacing the whole shebang with a couple of Devialet D-Premiers.  We'll see.

Glad to see you're still flying the flag.  All the best.

Bill B
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iTunes love

got to say that first and foremost iTunes is FREE and gives millions of people a good music program.  OK if you don't care for it but it sure works for me.  Never had a glitch or a problem with it, and the metadata/artist name stuff works great, no probs there.  A while ago I did get Amarra to go with it, which is a nice and quite audible improvement.  It works (so far) very well w/ iTunes with no muss or fuss.  Plenty of folks may not know or need or want Amarra (or other such programs) and if they don't then iTunes more than suffices.

jazzfan
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Fences
Bill B wrote:

got to say that first and foremost iTunes is FREE and gives millions of people a good music program.  OK if you don't care for it but it sure works for me.  Never had a glitch or a problem with it, and the metadata/artist name stuff works great, no probs there.  A while ago I did get Amarra to go with it, which is a nice and quite audible improvement.  It works (so far) very well w/ iTunes with no muss or fuss.  Plenty of folks may not know or need or want Amarra (or other such programs) and if they don't then iTunes more than suffices.

iTunes does not support FLAC files in any way, on any platform and on any operating system. This is completely inexcusable. Yes I know that one can convert FLAC to ALAC but that's just an extra step one needs to go through because of Apple's fenced in system. As the song says "Don't fence me in!"

Bill B
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Gate

My Amarra converts FLAC for iTunes so it's ok by me.  

struts
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The war's over jf!
jazzfan wrote:

iTunes does not support FLAC files in any way, on any platform and on any operating system. This is completely inexcusable. Yes I know that one can convert FLAC to ALAC but that's just an extra step one needs to go through because of Apple's fenced in system. As the song says "Don't fence me in!"

The code for the ALAC encoder and decoder has been in the public domain and available to all comers under the Apache 2.0 license for over a year now.   You could say it was a case of "if you can't beat them join them".  FLAC only had one advantage over ALAC and that was that it was open source, neutralizing that advantage was the only way Apple could make FLAC irrelevant. 

Apple won the battle but open source won the war..

jazzfan
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In a cave
struts wrote:

The code for the ALAC encoder and decoder has been in the public domain and available to all comers under the Apache 2.0 license for over a year now.   You could say it was a case of "if you can't beat them join them".  FLAC only had one advantage over ALAC and that was that it was open source, neutralizing that advantage was the only way Apple could make FLAC irrelevant. 

Apple won the battle but open source won the war..

Then consider me one of those Japanese soldiers who hid in the caves and fought on long after WWII was over.

struts
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You said it...

...not me! wink

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