Tuesday, September 21, 2010

6 Great Computer Audio Resources


Computer audio does not have to be scary. The benefits of storing all of your music a computer are, ease of access, portability, and yes in some cases better sound. The number of high resolution recordings is growing every day. The sheer amount of data on these recordings is greater than what can be stored on a CD, making the potential for better sound quality a reality. Even if the quality is "only" CD or (gulp) even less, storing music on your PC for the sheer portability of doing so allows the possibility of transporting your music to every room of your house without carrying stacks of CDs with you. Imagine, your entire music collection available to you on the patio, at the pool, in your bedroom, home office or garage. The benefits are huge, and the opportunities to enjoy your music outside of your listening room are here. Heck it might even provide an opportunity for you to share your passion in ways you never thought. We love our music, and the good it does for our soul, why not explore PC audio? You might find yourself enjoying music a lot more often....Now, on to my top resources.

  1. Benchmark Media Audio Wiki - You will find tons of information on how to set up a PC or Mac for computer audio. If you are new to PC audio, this is a great place to start.
  2. HD Tracks - HD tracks is at the forefront of providing a downloadable, high resolution music. If you like classical, blues and jazz, you will be very happy. Rock? you might find a few gems like the Pixies or Interpol.
  3. Pandora Streaming Radio - Let me warn you, Pandora is NOT about hi rez sound quality, its about discovery. You simply tell Pandora who your favorite artists are, and it will create a "radio station" around that (or those) artists, sprinkling in some new and/or similar artists that you may never have heard of. Prepare to listen for hours and discover some great music. One of the best things to happen on the internet besides TweekGeek ;) .
  4. DBPowerAmp - It has a strange name, but this software application allows you to rip your CD collection to a hard disk, complete with artwork, all bit-perfect thanks to AccurateRip.
  5. iTunes - You can actually download lossless music from iTunes as well. Explore better sound quality, and they have a pretty kick-ass software application for playback too. Not that it is the best sounding, but it probably has the best user interface.\
  6. Foobar2000.org - for the more adventurous Windows user, Foobar 2000 offers some sonic advantages over many other playback applications. Playback of ultra high rez files being one
  7. What are some of your favorite Computer audio resources? Tell us and you automatically enter for a chance to win an M2Tech hiFace USB to digital audio interface.

4 comments:

  1. From my perspective a high quality DAC is extremely important to realize the benefits of hi res music. I own a Wadia 521 DAC and the sound produced by it is far better than anything I have heard from my system before. ( Mac Mini, Squeezebox Touch, Quicksilver Silver 88 Mono amps, Harbeth Compact 7's )

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  2. A lot of people recommend Media Monkey as well, just an alternative player to Foobar ( I use Foobar myself)

    Since I am the only commenter do I win the HiFace?

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  3. HQ USB-DAC`s are all-in-all fine, but not without a proper player and protocol... foobar and xmplay with WASAPI, is the only bit-perfect solution available for PC...(don`t know bout` OSX. google - " osx wasapi ") so... when your installing foobar or xmplay(my fav.), you`ll have to download a separate component called wasapi output, or atleast do options - audio output - shift to wasapi...

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  4. I currently have:
    dbpoweramp as CD ripper to 2 TB Hard Drive using FLAC and AIFF (yes 2 files)
    HDtracks downloads: The Rolling Stones 24/196
    Foobar or Media Monkey or Itunes as player
    Sony PC laptop connected to M2tech Hiface
    Cambridge Audio DAC
    NAD C272 as Pre-amp
    Emotiva XPA-2 power amp
    Revel Concerta F12

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