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|30th September 2008, 14:15||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Computer as audiophile transport
This is an area which has interested me for some time. Not so long ago, the hifi paradigm was that computers and hifi were not happy bedfellows. Now we live in a time when usb dacs are proliferating and maybe the death knoll chimes for cd player as we know them - get a good digital signal away from that noisy computer environment fed by a hard disk, rather than a cd transport, and you can get good sound plus great flexibility. Now, I've recently come across software that may take this approach to another level: cMP memory player and cplay. They're freely available music players that do a variety of things over and above what the best Windows media players (foobar/vlc media player IMO)do - they read files to ram then play them back from there, upsample to 24bit/192mhz before sending to DAC, shut down extraneous software which only makes the environment more noise etc etc. In theory it sounds really interesting and, for anyone who hasn't seen the article, have a look at enjoythemusic's site:
Great articles on building a home theatre pc around cplay as the audio playback method. This is something I'm intent on doing, probably as my next distraction/project.
I've only just started to try out cplay and cMP memory player, so I'm not going to make any knee jerk judgements. I've got cplay set up on an ordinary Windows 2000 pc - not paired down or fine tuned for audio playback. I take a digital feed by a usb connection to a usb/spdif converter, which goes to an ART Dio dac, trends audio TA10 amp and some castle isis speakers. The sound with foobar, using ASIO drivers, was already very good and clean. First impressions with cplay are of a cleaner sound, but I'm going to experiment further to see how it goes.
Amazing to think that this software is completely free thanks to the work of the man involved - who wishes to remain anonymous, so it seems. Now, had one of the top hifi companies come up with it, I wonder how much they would have charged for the pleasure ?...........
I'd be interested to know what others make of it.