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post #1 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I have just purchased an Apple TV unit for watching movies and streaming songs from my iPhone and Lenovo ThinkPad computer. I am very new to the audio streaming game. I am using a 1TB external drive for storage of the music files and streaming them via iTunes.

So far I am impressed with the audio quality of the CDs that I have uploaded. I can't tell the difference from the original CD. The Apple TV seems pretty solid thus far, very well made with a slick user interface and a very nicely made remote control. I guess I see why a lot of guys are going to music servers and the similar solutions available.

Do any of you have any suggestions or better solutions than the Apple TV unit to handle my music server need on a fairly modest budget?
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post #2 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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Do any of you have any suggestions or better solutions than the Apple TV unit to handle my music server need on a fairly modest budget?
Why do you need a better solution? You've solved the problem!

If you want a more expensive solution, I'm sure that wish can be accommodated. smile.gif

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by math-geek View Post

I have just purchased an Apple TV unit for watching movies and streaming songs from my iPhone and Lenovo ThinkPad computer. I am very new to the audio streaming game. I am using a 1TB external drive for storage of the music files and streaming them via iTunes.
So far I am impressed with the audio quality of the CDs that I have uploaded. I can't tell the difference from the original CD. The Apple TV seems pretty solid thus far, very well made with a slick user interface and a very nicely made remote control. I guess I see why a lot of guys are going to music servers and the similar solutions available.
Do any of you have any suggestions or better solutions than the Apple TV unit to handle my music server need on a fairly modest budget?

Appletv is a pretty good option for CD quality audio, especially if you're managing your library on itunes already. I would suggest ripping your CDs to apple lossless (ALAC) rather than 256kbps AAC (apple's default) if you're not already doing so. On the one hand, 256kbps sounds fine on most systems and many people can't tell the difference unless they're making a direct comparison (and sometimes not even then) - so if you're comparing the CD to an AAC file, you mentioned that you can't tell the difference yourself. On the other hand, your 1TB drive has plenty of space for lossless audio, and the Appletv doesn't downsample ALAC when streaming, so no reason not to preserve all the audio information if you can. [Caveat: the apple tv actually upsamples the original 44.1 kHz file to 48 kHz which technically changes the audio output, but I don't know anyone who can hear the difference]. Better to rip it all to lossless now than to have to go back and re-rip all your CDs if you change your mind.

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post #4 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel like I have been missing out on this! It is so elegant and simple, as well it is inexpensive!

I am sure that there are some nice systems out there that cost much more money! You are correct, in that, maybe I have answered my own question! Custom playlists and shuffling are now the order of the day!

The expensive piece of this "server" is the Lenovo ThinkPad laptop. It is a fantastic laptop, and definitely worth the money over some of the chintzy offerings available.

Have a good one Mcnarus!
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post #5 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I did change the settings for burning CDs to lossless. I wanted as near to original quality as possible from my CDs. Thank you for the reminder though, some users may not know that little tidbit of information. On the plus side at least the default is not 128kbs!!!eek.gif

1TB seems to be OK for now, but I may need to add more space to burn all of my CDs in an uncompressed format. I am enjoying the streaming music thus far, it is a fantastic experience! I nearly purchased a Western Digital unit but the reviews for it were rather mixed (on Amazon), and it was slightly more expensive.

I am having an absolute blast with this thing!!!
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post #6 of 59 Old 08-23-2012, 06:01 PM
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that'll depend on how many CDs you have.. I have well over 500 and it takes up less than 200 Gig using FLAC.
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post #7 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by math-geek View Post

Do any of you have any suggestions or better solutions than the Apple TV unit to handle my music server need on a fairly modest budget?

Apple TV is great, hard to beat. But if you only want audio and don't have a device with an HDMI or optical input, try out an AirportXpress. It works with iTunes as an AirTunes destination, and has an analog as well as optical out, so you can plug it into pretty much anything with a line level audio input, not true of ATV except the 1st gen. Otherwise, same specs. And it's a few bucks cheaper, doubles as a wireless printer hub, WIFI access point, or separate WiFi net. I have an ATV, and two AirportXpress's.

As to ripping lossless, that's of course the best, but frankly I seriously doubt anyone could reliably tell the difference between Apple Lossless and 256K AAC. Don't forget you can also do 320K AAC, saves a bit of space and sounds identical to Apple Lossless.

The one advantage to using AAC in some form is that you can sync more of your library to little Nano sized iPods. That's probably where the storage advantage shows itself the most.
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post #8 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JD NC View Post

[Caveat: the apple tv actually upsamples the original 44.1 kHz file to 48 kHz which technically changes the audio output, but I don't know anyone who can hear the difference].
Up-sampling to 48KHz doesn't change the audio waveform, though, only the sampling rate. To do that at least some samples must be added through interpolation to create the proper number of samples per second. Resampling at its worst would add 3dB of noise, but it would be a surprise if it's done that way. Typically sample-rate conversion with noise shaping and proper dithering shouldn't add any noticeable noise. Up-sampling never improves anything either, though.

So if it doesn't change the audio wave form, and doesn't add noise, then it doesn't change the audio output. That's why nobody can hear the difference. No caveat required.
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post #9 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 04:40 AM
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Can the Apple TV and/or Airport Express play high resolution downloaded music tracks such as 24/96 or 24/192 or higher? I thought that I remember reading that these will not work with the high resolution downloads.

Next question is can iTunes support high resolution downloads, such as 24/96 or 24/192 or higher? If not, and someone wanted to have a virtual high resolution playback library, how could this be achieved? Could you download the tracks from HDTracks.com and store them on your PC, then use Windows Media Player to play them back through something like a Logitech Squeezebox Touch or something similar?

It is my understanding that Apple Products are not capable of high resolution music playback, is this right or wrong? I honestly do not know.
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post #10 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

Up-sampling to 48KHz doesn't change the audio waveform, though, only the sampling rate. To do that at least some samples must be added through interpolation to create the proper number of samples per second.
It can therefore change the waveform. We can argue how little it is changed, but it is changed.
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Up-sampling never improves anything either, though.
It can. Witness the Meridian 808 CD player. It upsamples to 96 kHz and substitutes a more gentle anti-alias filter that reduces the effects of the original 44.1 kHz anti-alias filter. The results are audible, and more importantly, in the direction of improvement.
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So if it doesn't change the audio wave form, and doesn't add noise, then it doesn't change the audio output. That's why nobody can hear the difference. No caveat required.
Who is able to state with certainty that nobody can hear the difference?

For my CDs, I don't take any chances. All are ripped as aiff into iTunes, and stored on a Gen1 ATV. I'm not saying aiff/wav sounds any better than lossless, I do that for other reasons. But Gen1 supports 44.1 kHz.
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post #11 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

It can therefore change the waveform. We can argue how little it is changed, but it is changed.
It can. Witness the Meridian 808 CD player. It upsamples to 96 kHz and substitutes a more gentle anti-alias filter that reduces the effects of the original 44.1 kHz anti-alias filter. The results are audible, and more importantly, in the direction of improvement.
Who is able to state with certainty that nobody can hear the difference?
For my CDs, I don't take any chances. All are ripped as aiff into iTunes, and stored on a Gen1 ATV. I'm not saying aiff/wav sounds any better than lossless, I do that for other reasons. But Gen1 supports 44.1 kHz.

Didn't mean to start a big thing smile.gif But yes, the change in sampling rate from 44.1 to 48 is very slight and, more importantly, not downsampling so the chance that there will be any detectible destructive conversion during playback is very low.

AIFF is a fine option too, it just takes more space. You can still fit about 1500 CDs/TB with AIFF vs. about 3000/TB with ALAC, which are both not bad. I like ALAC/FLAC since it saves space without doing anything to the underlying audio content, but whichever you choose, the key is to make sure you only have to rip your CDs one time. I have a box of CDs I ripped to 128kbps mp3 back in the day, and had to go back and do it all over again for lossless. Huge pain.

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post #12 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Can the Apple TV and/or Airport Express play high resolution downloaded music tracks such as 24/96 or 24/192 or higher? I thought that I remember reading that these will not work with the high resolution downloads.
Next question is can iTunes support high resolution downloads, such as 24/96 or 24/192 or higher? If not, and someone wanted to have a virtual high resolution playback library, how could this be achieved? Could you download the tracks from HDTracks.com and store them on your PC, then use Windows Media Player to play them back through something like a Logitech Squeezebox Touch or something similar?
It is my understanding that Apple Products are not capable of high resolution music playback, is this right or wrong? I honestly do not know.

iTunes (the media player as opposed to the music store) supports hi-rez files. I know it does 24/96...not sure about 24/192.

I have taken hi-rez files from HD Tracks, and using MAX or other converters, converted from FLAC to WAV, or FLAC to Apple Lossless, and iTunes shows them as preserving the 24/96 resolution.

However, while you can stream those files to an Airport Express or ATV, they will be down rez'd.

Lastly, if it matters to you, those hi-rez files that iTunes supports can not be transferred to an iPod or iPhone.

Brian
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post #13 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 08:52 AM
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have a question/s to you Itune gurus, I have 1TB WD hard drive filled with some tunes I got from a buddy, so I didn't rip the music myself. I also down loaded them to my Ausu laptop and Itunes recognized them with cover art well a great majority. The only way I was able to stream/Airplay them or listen to them via lap top speaker I had to connect the Hard Drive to my laptop using Itunes . Life was good!

That was then, recently I updated the Itune software and now when I try to listen to a song on the hard drive, it say it can't find it's location, and if I would I like to locate it, with no real solution. I have these songs cover art right on Itunes, they just won't play unless I use Window media player. Which defeats the purpose of using Itunes and Airplay function...Very frustrating, so I'm about to delete the music in my laptop, because it's just there taking up space when I already have it in my 1 TB HD, would this create a new problem if I decide to clear out the music in my laptop hard drive even thought it's in my HD?

Thanks and sorry to be a little redundant, just try to be clear as possible.

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post #14 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

It can therefore change the waveform. We can argue how little it is changed, but it is changed.
It can. Witness the Meridian 808 CD player. It upsamples to 96 kHz and substitutes a more gentle anti-alias filter that reduces the effects of the original 44.1 kHz anti-alias filter. The results are audible, and more importantly, in the direction of improvement.
...but we're not talking about either a Meridian 808 or up-sampling to 96KHz. We're talking about an Apple TV where the entire unit costs less than the raw parts in any portion of a Meridian, and up-sampling from 44.1 to 48KHz. If the results in the Meridian are "audible" (what, no objective test data??? Didn't think so) and "in the direction of improvement", what in the world would make anyone think that a $100 mass produced streaming device doing something like an 8% upsample would be audible in the same way?
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Who is able to state with certainty that nobody can hear the difference?
Again, in the context of this thread, I'll say it. I know, I know, I'm not posting any more evidence to back up my statement than you are to back up yours, but again, in this context I feel safe.
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

For my CDs, I don't take any chances. All are ripped as aiff into iTunes, and stored on a Gen1 ATV. I'm not saying aiff/wav sounds any better than lossless, I do that for other reasons. But Gen1 supports 44.1 kHz.

That's great, and I did that to for a while, but I do put my library on an iPod, and I couldn't find any advantage storing stuff in AIFF over lossless, except for the ability to edit, which if you need to, you can convert. The idea is that all media become ripped and stored to be easily accessible. Audio is tiny relative to video, true, but some libraries are already over 100 gig and growing (talking about mine here). My library started over a decade ago, and many of those files are not even AAC. As they get updated, the library expands. As new material is added, the library expands. It's never going to get smaller. Insert all your storage size arguments, pro and con, here, but there is a point to lossless and high rate AAC, and the results can and are completely satisfying to the unwashed, and washed masses.

Just trying to keep it real.
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post #15 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

have a question/s to you Itune gurus, I have 1TB WD hard drive filled with some tunes I got from a buddy, so I didn't rip the music myself. I also down loaded them to my Ausu laptop and Itunes recognized them with cover art well a great majority. The only way I was able to stream/Airplay them or listen to them via lap top speaker I had to connect the Hard Drive to my laptop using Itunes . Life was good!
That was then, recently I updated the Itune software and now when I try to listen to a song on the hard drive, it say it can't find it's location.... DJoel

Kind of off topic for this thread. Go to the Apple web site, iTunes support, and dig around articles about moving your library to a new drive. That's not exactly what you did, but the same issues and fixes will apply.
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post #16 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 09:45 AM
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have a question/s to you Itune gurus, I have 1TB WD hard drive filled with some tunes I got from a buddy, so I didn't rip the music myself. I also down loaded them to my Ausu laptop and Itunes recognized them with cover art well a great majority. The only way I was able to stream/Airplay them or listen to them via lap top speaker I had to connect the Hard Drive to my laptop using Itunes . Life was good!

That was then, recently I updated the Itune software and now when I try to listen to a song on the hard drive, it say it can't find it's location, and if I would I like to locate it, with no real solution. I have these songs cover art right on Itunes, they just won't play unless I use Window media player. Which defeats the purpose of using Itunes and Airplay function...Very frustrating, so I'm about to delete the music in my laptop, because it's just there taking up space when I already have it in my 1 TB HD, would this create a new problem if I decide to clear out the music in my laptop hard drive even thought it's in my HD?
Go into iTunes preferences, and click Advanced. This should show you where iTunes is looking for your music. If that's not where your music is, you can change the location in Prefs. I can't guarantee this will solve your problem, but it's worth a try.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #17 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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The more I use the Apple TV the more I like it. It is a great music server solution for the budget minded. I have not had a single hiccup with the device as of yet. I don't think that it will replace my CD collection but I may be able to put them out of sight. I have to keep burning my collection but it looks as if my whole collection will easily fit on the 1TB HDD.

Thanks for all the opinions! I am really enjoying this!
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post #18 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Go into iTunes preferences, and click Advanced. This should show you where iTunes is looking for your music. If that's not where your music is, you can change the location in Prefs. I can't guarantee this will solve your problem, but it's worth a try.


Thanks I'll try that.

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post #19 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 04:52 PM
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1TB seems to be OK for now, but I may need to add more space to burn all of my CDs in an uncompressed format
I ripped 820 CDs in Apple Lossless and only used 300 GB of space. You can rip close to 2500 CDs in a 1TB drive.
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post #20 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 05:08 PM
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1TB seems to be OK for now, but I may need to add more space to burn all of my CDs in an uncompressed format
I ripped 820 CDs in Apple Lossless and only used 300 GB of space. You can rip close to 2500 CDs in a 1TB drive.

You better have another 1TB disk and do regular backups. Average hard disk life is 3 years, and I do not think you want to loose all your music at once.
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post #21 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

...but we're not talking about either a Meridian 808 or up-sampling to 96KHz. We're talking about an Apple TV where the entire unit costs less than the raw parts in any portion of a Meridian, and up-sampling from 44.1 to 48KHz.
Yes, agreed. But the original statement about upsampling never offering any value was not confined to 48 kHz.
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If the results in the Meridian are "audible" (what, no objective test data??? Didn't think so) and "in the direction of improvement", what in the world would make anyone think that a $100 mass produced streaming device doing something like an 8% upsample would be audible in the same way?
There is objective data, but that does not translate to subjective quality. And again, I was not implying that the Apple upsampling was to be seen as either an improvement or a degradation, but simply illustrating that we cannot assume it has zero audible side effect simply because most people don't hear it. Sample rate conversion is not trivial to do well, especially when the rates are not integrally related.
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I couldn't find any advantage storing stuff in AIFF over lossless, except for the ability to edit, which if you need to, you can convert.
Exactly. Sometimes I do a little "remastering" of poorly EQ'd source tracks, and can reach them easily with Adobe Audition without having to make any conversions. It's just a matter of convenience for me to leave them uncompressed.
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post #22 of 59 Old 08-24-2012, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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There can be no debate that the Apple TV is a bargain as a music server if you are willing to use iTunes and/or have an iPhone. I have never seen any device so simple and easy to use! I had the device up and running in less than 10 minutes. If every company made things so easy to use Apple would not be where they are today. I just recently switched phones from a Samsung Galaxy SII to the iPhone 4 and while the Galaxy was/is an awesome device, it is just not as user friendly for the average consumer. I did fine with my Galaxy but my girlfriend never figured it out. We switched phone carriers and bought iPhones and I quite honestly do not have a single regret. I am not a power user so I do not miss the Samsung's added features and power.

I love my ThinkPad,, it is fast as lightning, but have any of you seen the new MacBook Pro with the "Retina" display? It is absolutely stunning! Apple seems to produce easy to use, beautiful electronics disguised as works of art. The down side for Apple may be there own greed...They are in a lawsuit with Samsung. Samsung happens to make Apple's mobile processors and most of their screens, talk about the cub biting the lion! I think that Apple has really screwed the pooch on this one! Samsung is quite possibly the preeminent manufacturer of electronics on the planet, you bite a giant on the rear and you may get bitten back.

I am going to listen to some Steve Earle..."The Devil's Right Hand"...

Computers now play a big part in many AV systems, the administrators may want to suggest a new addition to AVS forums (hint)!!! We are all on computers while typing our responses, why not add a new section to this fantastic forum? This would be an easy way to add some serious traffic!
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post #23 of 59 Old 08-25-2012, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Yes, agreed. But the original statement about upsampling never offering any value was not confined to 48 kHz.
There is objective data, but that does not translate to subjective quality.

Ok, so it was my sweeping generality that you differ with. Fine, I can accept that.
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

And again, I was not implying that the Apple upsampling was to be seen as either an improvement or a degradation, but simply illustrating that we cannot assume it has zero audible side effect simply because most people don't hear it.
But if most people don't hear it, what are we going for here? I've listened to upsampling, I have to assume done right, and remain just a bit unconvinced that it does anything except take up more space in storage. I would not say the same of high rate originals, though. But somebody needs to explain why upsampling, even radically, would improve a 44.1KHz original. The filter argument only goes so far, especially if the original was done in the first decade of digital with analog filters. How can upsampling remove their signature, audible or not? Yes, it changes the final reconstruction filter requirements, but that's comparatively trivial in relation to what's already been recorded into the master.

I'm probably making an error in this comparison, but if you look at upsampling a digital image, you can add pixels that are interpolated between the originals, but you never add image detail. You effectively smooth the transitions between original pixels. However, if a visual reconstruction filter is applied (presenting the image to a viewer at a visual size where the pixels are not visible in the original) the up-sampled version at the same size looks identical to the original. It's only when we magnify the image to the point where original pixels become visible that the upsampled version may look smoother. No more detail, just less jagged edges and transitions. However, the problem with the picture analogy is two fold. First, scaling an image takes into account adjacent pixels in all directions, and in interpolating samples in sampled audio you only have two adjacents to work with (there is also a "sharpening" function that improves edge transition rates, but doesn't add missing detail). Second, we can magnify images, we can't do the same with audio. Turning it up louder isn't the same thing at all.

So in audio, we're left with an original where samples have been smoothed to inaudibility, and an upsampled version where the samples have been smoothed to inaudibility. In neither case do samples themselves ever come out of the reconstruction filter.

Then there's that darn AES paper: "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted Into High-Resolution Audio Playback" from 2008, which while not directly analyzing upsampling, does take some shots at the whole high-rate concept.

Please tell me what I'm missing, and where the significant improvement could possibly come from upsampling audio. I'd love upsample to make an improvement, I just can't see it happening. Convince me otherwise, please.
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post #24 of 59 Old 08-25-2012, 05:09 AM
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1TB seems to be OK for now, but I may need to add more space to burn all of my CDs in an uncompressed format
I ripped 820 CDs in Apple Lossless and only used 300 GB of space. You can rip close to 2500 CDs in a 1TB drive.

You better have another 1TB disk and do regular backups. Average hard disk life is 3 years, and I do not think you want to loose all your music at once.

this cannot be emphasized enough... a robust backup plan is a requirement... you do NOT want to have to re-rip 100's of cd's...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #25 of 59 Old 08-25-2012, 08:17 AM
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I actually keep another backup in a different location (@ work) in the rare event of fire, theft, etc. at home. If a $100 HDD keeps me from having to re-rip 2000+ discs then it's definitely money well spent.

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post #26 of 59 Old 08-25-2012, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

Ok, so it was my sweeping generality that you differ with. Fine, I can accept that.
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But if most people don't hear it, what are we going for here?
At a science-based forum, just a bit more accuracy than other forums.
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I've listened to upsampling, I have to assume done right, and remain just a bit unconvinced that it does anything except take up more space in storage.
Assumed based on what? Apple is not flawless. Just look at their iPod EQ and level normalizations that caused clipping. frown.gif Maybe they eventually fixed these warts -- I dunno -- but it was like that for a long time.

There's no more storage involved. The upsampling only happens on playout, which implies the algorithm cannot be the most sophisticated of the genre.
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I would not say the same of high rate originals, though. But somebody needs to explain why upsampling, even radically, would improve a 44.1KHz original.
I have not seen anyone make that claim as yet. The only reason Apple does it is to reduce the cost of the hardware product. The output must be 48 kHz to support video (lossy audio codecs cannot be resampled) and the ATV2+ platform wants everything to be a single sample rate, according to a buddy at Apple anyway, so the audio had to be conformed to that.
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The filter argument only goes so far, especially if the original was done in the first decade of digital with analog filters. How can upsampling remove their signature, audible or not? Yes, it changes the final reconstruction filter requirements, but that's comparatively trivial in relation to what's already been recorded into the master.
For that, there is a detailed AES paper by Peter Craven, et al. More digestible explanations appear in Stereophile and TAS.
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I'm probably making an error in this comparison, but if you look at upsampling a digital image, you can add pixels that are interpolated between the originals, but you never add image detail.
Correct. No detail is being added.
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post #27 of 59 Old 08-25-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

You better have another 1TB disk and do regular backups. Average hard disk life is 3 years, and I do not think you want to loose all your music at once.
Yes, I have a backup HD. No worries.
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post #28 of 59 Old 01-04-2013, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BGLeduc View Post

iTunes (the media player as opposed to the music store) supports hi-rez files. I know it does 24/96...not sure about 24/192.
I have taken hi-rez files from HD Tracks, and using MAX or other converters, converted from FLAC to WAV, or FLAC to Apple Lossless, and iTunes shows them as preserving the 24/96 resolution.
However, while you can stream those files to an Airport Express or ATV, they will be down rez'd.
Brian

Great discussion, I know this thread is a bit old, but I had some questions that I believe are related but don't think were addressed. I've recently switched all my computers over to Apple and would like to use an Apple solution. Right now I'm using iTunes and an Apple TV. However, I've also recently downloaded some hi-rez music from HD tracks, and would like to take full advantage of them. From what you say Brian, it sounds like I need to change my current setup. Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking that a Mac Mini would do the trick possibly, but I don't know enough about music servers to be sure. Right now I don't have a good quality DAC, but eventually that would be the goal. So, whatever I have coming out of the computer, I want it to be a digital signal. The Mac Mini has a USB output, so I think that would work. Or is Toslink a better connection?

Bottom line, I'm not even sure exactly what questions to ask. What do you guys suggest.

Also, just to give you some idea of the system that I'll be using, right now all I have are the speakers for my new system (of course I have an amp, but it's a not the quality that I eventually want), they are B&W 683s. I've been looking for an integrated amp. Something that my local hifi store suggested was something along the lines of a Bel Canto C5i. If I were to go that route, the C5i has what is claimed to be a good DAC and has USB as well as Toslink inputs.

Thanks,

-- Bill
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post #29 of 59 Old 01-05-2013, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliowb View Post

Great discussion, I know this thread is a bit old, but I had some questions that I believe are related but don't think were addressed. I've recently switched all my computers over to Apple and would like to use an Apple solution. Right now I'm using iTunes and an Apple TV. However, I've also recently downloaded some hi-rez music from HD tracks, and would like to take full advantage of them. From what you say Brian, it sounds like I need to change my current setup. Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking that a Mac Mini would do the trick possibly, but I don't know enough about music servers to be sure. Right now I don't have a good quality DAC, but eventually that would be the goal. So, whatever I have coming out of the computer, I want it to be a digital signal. The Mac Mini has a USB output, so I think that would work. Or is Toslink a better connection?
Bottom line, I'm not even sure exactly what questions to ask. What do you guys suggest.
Also, just to give you some idea of the system that I'll be using, right now all I have are the speakers for my new system (of course I have an amp, but it's a not the quality that I eventually want), they are B&W 683s. I've been looking for an integrated amp. Something that my local hifi store suggested was something along the lines of a Bel Canto C5i. If I were to go that route, the C5i has what is claimed to be a good DAC and has USB as well as Toslink inputs.
Thanks,
-- Bill

My simple answer to this was to buy an oppo bdp-95. It accepts inputs of 96/24 or 192/24 into its usb port. You can also set it up as a media server if you like. PS3 media server sw is free and works fine. To me the integrated amp you specify is bloated in price, lacking in useable features, and somewhat underpowered. Use an avr in a two channel mode. I use a denon 3311ci in two channel mode. Most of the time I listen to hd tracks downloads via usb thumb drive straight into the denon's usb port. The denon only accepts 96/24 files, not 192/24. You can also use small harddrives or use airplay and stream from itunes directly to a denon reciever. You can use small hard drives with the oppo as well. I have a 1tb drive which works fine with both. And last but not least you can download Burn for osx which will burn hd tracks flac files to dvd audio for use in a universal player. There are a multitude of solutions that don't require another computer to do the job.
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post #30 of 59 Old 01-05-2013, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by math-geek View Post

There can be no debate that the Apple TV is a bargain as a music server if you are willing to use iTunes and/or have an iPhone. I have never seen any device so simple and easy to use! I had the device up and running in less than 10 minutes. If every company made things so easy to use Apple would not be where they are today. I just recently switched phones from a Samsung Galaxy SII to the iPhone 4 and while the Galaxy was/is an awesome device, it is just not as user friendly for the average consumer. I did fine with my Galaxy but my girlfriend never figured it out. We switched phone carriers and bought iPhones and I quite honestly do not have a single regret. I am not a power user so I do not miss the Samsung's added features and power.
I love my ThinkPad,, it is fast as lightning, but have any of you seen the new MacBook Pro with the "Retina" display? It is absolutely stunning! Apple seems to produce easy to use, beautiful electronics disguised as works of art. The down side for Apple may be there own greed...They are in a lawsuit with Samsung. Samsung happens to make Apple's mobile processors and most of their screens, talk about the cub biting the lion! I think that Apple has really screwed the pooch on this one! Samsung is quite possibly the preeminent manufacturer of electronics on the planet, you bite a giant on the rear and you may get bitten back.
I am going to listen to some Steve Earle..."The Devil's Right Hand"...
Computers now play a big part in many AV systems, the administrators may want to suggest a new addition to AVS forums (hint)!!! We are all on computers while typing our responses, why not add a new section to this fantastic forum? This would be an easy way to add some serious traffic!
I have been using Apple products for years and so far I am very happy with the overall experience as for Samsung they have managed to tick off more than Apple lately and may pay some serious consequences as more and more vendors seem to be able to supply various parts that at one time were Samsung only.
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