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Looking for some suggestions here. I have looked a little into J-river, but not sure if it is for me or not yet (Upconverts audio files?). Right now I use the apple remote app and my Itunes library is on my network so it streams directly to the Marantz. I love this as I can search tracks and make changes with my phone just sitting on the couch, or anywhere else in the house for that matter. What my main concern is: Am I losing audio fidelity by streaming through Itunes and the network? If so, what is the best way to get my files from my laptop to my Marantz for dedicated listening sessions? I have no issue connecting my laptop directly to the marantz if need be, as it sits right next to the rack 90% of the time. Unless I am really sitting down to listen critically, I think the airplay and Itunes thing works wonderfully, but for when I crack a nice cold one and want to close my eyes and get immersed...Is there a better way?


If I am not losing any quality then I guess all this is a wasted thread, but I can't imagine I'm not losing something (possibly even the ULF rolls off faster? I am flat to the single digit hz btw)...Also for lower quality mp3's, is there any good way to improve their sound quality. I guess this is kind of like making something out of nothing but figured I would at least ask!
 

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My understanding is that Airplay is limited to 44.1kHz/16bit. If your original files are at that quality or less, then you shouldn't lose any quality. So, Airplay will pass Apple Lossless rips of your CDs with no loss in quality. Files which are higher quality than that (i.e. 96kHz/24bit) are downmixed to 44.1kHz/16bit, somewhere in the chain, on-the-fly. I can't speak for exactly how it works with your AVR but that is how it works with my digitally connected Airport Express.


But iTunes CAN play higher quality files than 44.1kHz/16bit; it's just that Airplay, itself, can't pass higher quality than that. So, provided your computer is capable, you CAN listen to higher resolution files than 44.1kHz/16bit with iTunes on the computer, through its speakers. And, depending upon your computer's and AVR's capabilities, you can pass them directly to your receiver at the higher quality either digitally or via an analog (provided your computer's soundcard is capable of the higher quality) connection.


I have used iTunes to make Apple Lossless files of 96kHz/24bit source material and that is the quality of the resulting Apple Lossless files. I have never tried higher (i.e. 192kHz/24bit) than that. I assume it'd be possible, though. But if I pass these higher resolution files via Airplay to my Airport Express, they are downmixed to 44.1kHz/16bit, either at the computer by iTunes or at the Airport Express (not sure where this happens).


You may want to try the forums HERE as well as the Apple forums for more info.
 

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Crappy mp3's sound best on crappy speakers.



There might be a mixture of EQ settings that could help the sound of a poor quality mp3 track, but on the whole you can't do too much with them (that I've found anyway). Dynamic Volume might help but it would depend on a track-by-track basis, I'd think.


Can you hear a loss of fidelity? If you have a track that you know is higher than 44/16; put it on a USB stick (or burn a CD) and see if you hear a difference between direct-play and air-play. Also try a DLNA connection, maybe, and compare that to AirPlay.


In my completely subjective testing in my system, I "think" that I hear a better sound from DLNA than from AirPlay (Twonky vs ITunes). However I've not done a true "DBT" yet; or any kind of critical comparison even. Just in casual listening, it seems that I get a clearer, crisper, sound from my DLNA connection.
 

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