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flatmap
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High Resolution Music Downloads

I have been hoping for high resolution music downloads and it was gratifying to see the 2007 Editor's Choice go to Linn Records and Music Giants. See http://www.stereophile.com/features/1207poty/index7.html.

I've consequently perused both of these sites and I'm ready to start downloading. But before pushing the button, I began wondering; will my music player work with 24-bit/96kHz files? Will it work but down-convert the signal to 16-bit? And if my player does work will I need a DAC specifically capable accepting a 24-bit/96kHz signal?

I'm put in a further quandary after reading "Is your Media Player Broken?" http://www.stereophile.com/news/120307samplerateconversion/ which reports a problem with "16-bit truncation and/or operating system based sample-rate conversion" when using iTunes on a Mac. Well maybe this last point means that this is a problem only with CD-quality 16 bit files, but I admit to being confused. I gather there are some similar sticking points with Windows...but perhaps only if I'm using Window Media Player?

Has anyone been through this --either on Mac or PC -- and successfully gotten this to work? Would you be willing to detail out, for a novice, what steps you went through and what software you used? Thanks!

struts
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Re: High Resolution Music Downloads

flatmap,

There are lots of threads on this topic down under "Computer Audio" and also a few under "Digital Sources" (these are not mutually exclusive which leads to a bit of confusion). I would recommend this seminal thread as a good place to start. You will also find the Benchmark Media Wiki is an excellent resource. There are many other helpful references in the various threads.

The good news is that playing high resolution files is eminently possible on both PCs and Macs and sounds phenomenal. The bad news is that both are general purpose computing environments designed for ultimate flexibility rather than the single-minded pursuit of audio excellence. Extracting the very best sound from computers is still something of a black art, as you will appreciate if you read all the way through the thread linked above. Once you have achieved it the next challenge is to keep it through the torrent of upgrades and patches that characterize today's personal computing environment.

THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED (don't say I didn't warn you). If you are completely non-technical, a computer novice, or otherwise allergic to anything that doesn't work 'out of the box' I would turn back now and come back in a year or so. You are about to leave the cosy PhD world of consumer electronics and enter the twilight zone!

Good luck!

RGibran
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Re: High Resolution Music Downloads

Plug N' Pray

RG

JasonVSerinus
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Re: High Resolution Music Downloads

I am currently using the Benchmark USB DAC-1 on my iMac. It upsamples to 24/96,. Benchmark has recently revised its earlier statements about iTunes. It seems the volume control in iTunes 7.5 is excellent and does NOT need to be set at maximum; it's only earlier versions that were inferior. The great thing about the Benchmark is that, once you plug it in and open Mac's AudioMidi set-up, the computer immediately recognizes it and allows you to make appropriate settings. Very very easy. I'm astounded how good the combo of the Benchmark and AudioEngine 5 speakers sounds. Of course, I'm using excellent cabling to help things along. I can just imagine how much better it would sound if I had some power conditioning. Still, it's quite impressive.

jason victor serinus

Elk
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Re: High Resolution Music Downloads

Interestingly, the Benchmark DAC doesn't upsample to 24/96. It actually converts the sample rate of all signals to 110.633 kHz. Thus, some signals are upsampled, others are downsampled.

flatmap
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Re: High Resolution Music Downloads

Thanks all, for these helpful posts. I'm starting to read through some of these links. I must say the Benchmark DAC1 USB is looking good...and the information on their site is informative.

Mindtwister32
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Good day! BTW thank you for

Good day! BTW thank you for sharing this article, I've found lot of important stuff and valuable ideas from the provided article. I hope more informative article would be posted in your website. Thank you so much and keep sharing.

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