Computer audio: real, myths...or else? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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hello,

I decided to use a computer (mac mini or an imac) as a music player/server. So, I have been reading a lot of people's opinions regarding whether there are reasons that would benefit me using a Mac mini as opposed to an iMac, as personally I don't know much this field.

But I am a overwhelmed by reading things I would have never thought. Lots of people claim:
- differences between two different computers...
- or different sound from SSD as opposed to conventional spinning drive...
-different sound from different cable ( USB as opposed to Ethernet or spdif)...
-Different/better sound when they upgrade power supply...
-Better sound when they load extra memory...
-and much better sound when they strip down the operating system on the Mac mini (ex: mach2music)...
-Some say it's better to store the music files on external drive...
- According to some it's better if the computer doesn't have the screen (like Mac mini)...

Making and analogy with photography, all of these arguments wouldn't stand a chance in my opinion. Bits are bits right?

Again, I don't know much about it, and my goal is to learn. Are these claims myths, real is else?

Thank you
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:47 AM
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While bits-is-bits, and most of the differences you mention are, shall we say, unlikely, not all software and hardware can deliver the same bits. For example, SPDIF cannot deliver lossless multichannel audio. It can only provide lossless stereo LPCM or lossy multichannel DD or DTS. HDMI with HDCP is required in order for a system to be allowed to deliver lossless multichannel LPCM, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA.

One of the argued issues is how much jitter must be present in a digital signal for it to cause audible distortion. HDMI has been measured to have significantly higher jitter than SPDIF in most cases. Apparently there is just enough jitter in HDMI from some devices for it to be able to cause effects which might be just barely audible in extremely favorable circumstances.

In the vast majority of listening environments, however, jitter is completely inaudible, and the differences that most people hear are primarily caused by "expectation bias". Also, whenever you listen to anything extremely carefully you'll hear things you never noticed before.

Edited to add: Another major cause of an audible quality difference is the volume level. Even a very small fraction of a db difference will cause the louder source to sound better. Exactly matching volume levels is extremely difficult.

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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From what you're saying, it sounds to me that in your opinion an iMac can perfectly work as a music server for a two channel music system, With all the music in its the hard drive: iTunes> dirac live> FireWire to external sound card> coax spdif out. Correct?


Thanks for your reply.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:56 PM
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Yes, that is correct.

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Old 05-26-2012, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Yes, that is correct.

Thank you
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:24 PM
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You are very welcome.

Enjoy the music!

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Old 05-26-2012, 07:53 PM
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In my opinion I think what you want to do is pretty simple. I currently use an HP desktop as my server running iTunes. From the pc I use digital coax to my 2 channel receiver. The pc is on a different floor from my audio system so I use the apple remote app via my iPad and iPod touch as a controler. There is also a remote app for android devices that will do the same. Depending on the format of the media you plan to play, iTunes works just fine for mp3, aac, and apple lossless. hope this helps you.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdr1979 View Post

In my opinion I think what you want to do is pretty simple. I currently use an HP desktop as my server running iTunes. From the pc I use digital coax to my 2 channel receiver. The pc is on a different floor from my audio system so I use the apple remote app via my iPad and iPod touch as a controler. There is also a remote app for android devices that will do the same. Depending on the format of the media you plan to play, iTunes works just fine for mp3, aac, and apple lossless. hope this helps you.

Yes, thank you for your input.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orologio View Post

Lots of people claim:

Good lord, I don't know whether LOL or cry Where are you getting all these stuff.

U probly would like one of those alien brain dump to Data, sending him a lifetime of experiences in just seconds... but that's not going to happen. The only way to learn is read - read - read.

Take one item at a time, google, use the search button here, read.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post


Good lord, I don't know whether LOL or cry Where are you getting all these stuff.

U probly would like one of those alien brain dump to Data, sending him a lifetime of experiences in just seconds... but that's not going to happen. The only way to learn is read - read - read.

Take one item at a time, google, use the search button here, read.

I was wondering why it took two long days to get a troll over here...

Please re-read my post and maybe you'll understand it ...or maybe not.
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