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Best Free Audio Playback Software Best FREE audio playback software

#1 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 03:53 PM

I'm an avid listener of music and have imported all my CD's into itunes which is adequate for playback. I just wanted to know what FREE software is out there
that makes playback of these files better. I've been using Foobar recently to playback my files saved in the default file type in itunes. Is there a better FREE
software program that makes computerized, digitized music sound better??
Thanks
Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#2 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:47 PM

View Posteclein, on 14 December 2009 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'm an avid listener of music and have imported all my CD's into itunes which is adequate for playback. I just wanted to know what FREE software is out there
that makes playback of these files better. I've been using Foobar recently to playback my files saved in the default file type in itunes. Is there a better FREE
software program that makes computerized, digitized music sound better??
Thanks



Hey Eclein !!

Welcome to PCWorld Community !

OK, before I answer your question , I will bore you with my Short story LOL !

I have just (on Oct. 22nd) updated to Windows 7. I had Vista which I found to be as good as any other OS
I have worked with. I know , others will say different but, this was My experience with it. I just happen to be
an avid music fan also and was Really fond of Windows Media Player 11. In W7 , you get the updated WMP 12
which I HATE . If I could find a way to delete this horrendous update I would in a heart beat but, don't want to
go through all of the trouble.

So, I went off to find something to My liking. I downloaded and tried many among them were :
MEDIAMONKEY:
http://www.mediamonk...formation/free/

It's a pretty good music player with LOTS of features but, wasn't what I was looking for. Next
I tried :
dbPowerAmp by Spoon : This is the New version and a Beta
http://forum.dbpower...19806dbPowerAmp by Spoon :
This is the one I have installed and still play when I want to listen to Rock.
http://forum.dbpower...read.php?t=2045
This is a Very good one IF you only want to mostly listen to music. It will blow your speakers out but, not quite
what I had in mind.

This is what I have settled on to replace WMP 12.
Media Jukebox 12 by J River :
http://www.mediajukebox.com/

It has ALL of the features I was looking for PLUS an incredible DSP. It will widen the sound field to an almost infinite
width. This is what I was really looking for, a DSP that would compare to the one in WMP 11 and 12 from SRS Labs.

BTW, if this is what you are also looking for then , I would suggest you take a look at SRS Labs' Audio Sandbox :
http://www.srslabs.c...asp?idProduct=6 .
It will enhance ALL the sounds on your PC and not just from your player. There is a trial and then you either buy
or uninstall.

Well, that's it for my boring story. Hope I have helped in some way.


FLASHORN.



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Patience is Life.
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#3 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:09 AM

THANKS!!!More stuff for me to play with...I love it!!





View PostFlashorn, on 14 December 2009 - 04:47 PM, said:

View Posteclein, on 14 December 2009 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'm an avid listener of music and have imported all my CD's into itunes which is adequate for playback. I just wanted to know what FREE software is out there
that makes playback of these files better. I've been using Foobar recently to playback my files saved in the default file type in itunes. Is there a better FREE
software program that makes computerized, digitized music sound better??
Thanks



Hey Eclein !!

Welcome to PCWorld Community !

OK, before I answer your question , I will bore you with my Short story LOL !

I have just (on Oct. 22nd) updated to Windows 7. I had Vista which I found to be as good as any other OS
I have worked with. I know , others will say different but, this was My experience with it. I just happen to be
an avid music fan also and was Really fond of Windows Media Player 11. In W7 , you get the updated WMP 12
which I HATE . If I could find a way to delete this horrendous update I would in a heart beat but, don't want to
go through all of the trouble.

So, I went off to find something to My liking. I downloaded and tried many among them were :
MEDIAMONKEY:
http://www.mediamonk...formation/free/

It's a pretty good music player with LOTS of features but, wasn't what I was looking for. Next
I tried :
dbPowerAmp by Spoon : This is the New version and a Beta
http://forum.dbpower...19806dbPowerAmp by Spoon :
This is the one I have installed and still play when I want to listen to Rock.
http://forum.dbpower...read.php?t=2045
This is a Very good one IF you only want to mostly listen to music. It will blow your speakers out but, not quite
what I had in mind.

This is what I have settled on to replace WMP 12.
Media Jukebox 12 by J River :
http://www.mediajukebox.com/

It has ALL of the features I was looking for PLUS an incredible DSP. It will widen the sound field to an almost infinite
width. This is what I was really looking for, a DSP that would compare to the one in WMP 11 and 12 from SRS Labs.

BTW, if this is what you are also looking for then , I would suggest you take a look at SRS Labs' Audio Sandbox :
http://www.srslabs.c...asp?idProduct=6 .
It will enhance ALL the sounds on your PC and not just from your player. There is a trial and then you either buy
or uninstall.

Well, that's it for my boring story. Hope I have helped in some way.


FLASHORN.




Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#4 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:46 AM

HEY Flash!! I tried out J.River..but it won't playback my itunes tracks. It plays mp3 files fine, but the default itunes format is a no go. The files are labelled as" m4a "and I get
error message about Direct Show filters not being installed. The file association is set up correctly with in the program so I must be missing a plugin somewhere. Where do I find direct show filters??
Ed

View Posteclein, on 15 December 2009 - 02:09 AM, said:

THANKS!!!More stuff for me to play with...I love it!!




View PostFlashorn, on 14 December 2009 - 04:47 PM, said:

View Posteclein, on 14 December 2009 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'm an avid listener of music and have imported all my CD's into itunes which is adequate for playback. I just wanted to know what FREE software is out there
that makes playback of these files better. I've been using Foobar recently to playback my files saved in the default file type in itunes. Is there a better FREE
software program that makes computerized, digitized music sound better??
Thanks



Hey Eclein !!

Welcome to PCWorld Community !

OK, before I answer your question , I will bore you with my Short story LOL !

I have just (on Oct. 22nd) updated to Windows 7. I had Vista which I found to be as good as any other OS
I have worked with. I know , others will say different but, this was My experience with it. I just happen to be
an avid music fan also and was Really fond of Windows Media Player 11. In W7 , you get the updated WMP 12
which I HATE . If I could find a way to delete this horrendous update I would in a heart beat but, don't want to
go through all of the trouble.

So, I went off to find something to My liking. I downloaded and tried many among them were :
MEDIAMONKEY:
http://www.mediamonk...formation/free/

It's a pretty good music player with LOTS of features but, wasn't what I was looking for. Next
I tried :
dbPowerAmp by Spoon : This is the New version and a Beta
http://forum.dbpower...19806dbPowerAmp by Spoon :
This is the one I have installed and still play when I want to listen to Rock.
http://forum.dbpower...read.php?t=2045
This is a Very good one IF you only want to mostly listen to music. It will blow your speakers out but, not quite
what I had in mind.

This is what I have settled on to replace WMP 12.
Media Jukebox 12 by J River :
http://www.mediajukebox.com/

It has ALL of the features I was looking for PLUS an incredible DSP. It will widen the sound field to an almost infinite
width. This is what I was really looking for, a DSP that would compare to the one in WMP 11 and 12 from SRS Labs.

BTW, if this is what you are also looking for then , I would suggest you take a look at SRS Labs' Audio Sandbox :
http://www.srslabs.c...asp?idProduct=6 .
It will enhance ALL the sounds on your PC and not just from your player. There is a trial and then you either buy
or uninstall.

Well, that's it for my boring story. Hope I have helped in some way.


FLASHORN.





This post has been edited by smax013: 16 December 2009 - 10:51 PM
Reason for edit: Fixed quote

Ed Leinheiser
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#5 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:56 AM

Hey Eclein !!

OK, I've been playing with this all night to try and find a way to help but, I can't seem to get MJ to play m4a. My files are all MP3 so, when I encounter
a m4a file ,I just convert it to MP3. I have tried to convert to MP3 using the converter in Media Jukebox but, with the free version, you have to Buy the
MP3 converter plugin. Not !!

A question I should of asked from the start, what Operating System are you using ? I ask because IF you have the Windows Media Player 10, 11 or even
12 , you can play m4a files using VistaCodecPack : http://shark007.net/ which will also play ALL other file extensions, be it Video or Audio and you will get
exceptional sound from the DSP from SRS Labs incorporated in Windows Media Player 10, 11 and 12 but, like I said, WMP 11 is the better one of the bunch.
It's called VistaCodecPack but, you can install in XP as well as Vista. For W7 there is another Pack especially for it. It supports all 64bit OS'.

OK, this still doesn't resolve the question of your files playing in MJ. The resource I have found BUT, have not tried because I would have to install QuickTime
and Won't , is this page from their Wiki : http://wiki.jrmediac...4A_File_Support . Other than this info. and this is for the full
Media Center from JRiver : http://www.jrmediace....com/index.html which you would have to buy, I don't know what or where else to look. You could ask
in their forum (the Media Jukebox forum) to see if you could get a better answer. I'm sure someone had the same issues at one time.
http://yabb.jriver.c...x.php?board=2.0

The other media player which I suggested,"MediaMonkey", Will play your m4a files with out conversion so, that might be a better solution unless you are set
on keeping the MediaJukebox. I know I will stay with this one but, my files are All MP3.

If you have other questions , I will try harder to answer.

FLASHORN.
Posted Image Posted Image

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Eurocom Scorpius: 3840QM-2.8 GHz-Ivy Bridge ; ATI 7970M Crossfire ; Intel SSD 520 series 480GB ; Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB,7200RPM ; 16 GB Corsair Vengeance 9 9 9 24 ; Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 ; THX True Studio Pro.

Patience is Life.
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#6 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:56 AM

Flash, I'm running WIN7 Home Prem. 64 bit....remember when it used to be easy to find out what version of a software app you were running? I can't find what version of Media Player I have but lets
assume its the default version that comes with Win7. I'll try that codecpack...thank you so very much for your help and suggestions. Have a great Holiday!!!!!
Ed




View PostFlashorn, on 15 December 2009 - 05:56 AM, said:

Hey Eclein !!

OK, I've been playing with this all night to try and find a way to help but, I can't seem to get MJ to play m4a. My files are all MP3 so, when I encounter
a m4a file ,I just convert it to MP3. I have tried to convert to MP3 using the converter in Media Jukebox but, with the free version, you have to Buy the
MP3 converter plugin. Not !!

A question I should of asked from the start, what Operating System are you using ? I ask because IF you have the Windows Media Player 10, 11 or even
12 , you can play m4a files using VistaCodecPack : http://shark007.net/ which will also play ALL other file extensions, be it Video or Audio and you will get
exceptional sound from the DSP from SRS Labs incorporated in Windows Media Player 10, 11 and 12 but, like I said, WMP 11 is the better one of the bunch.
It's called VistaCodecPack but, you can install in XP as well as Vista. For W7 there is another Pack especially for it. It supports all 64bit OS'.

OK, this still doesn't resolve the question of your files playing in MJ. The resource I have found BUT, have not tried because I would have to install QuickTime
and Won't , is this page from their Wiki : http://wiki.jrmediac...4A_File_Support . Other than this info. and this is for the full
Media Center from JRiver : http://www.jrmediace....com/index.html which you would have to buy, I don't know what or where else to look. You could ask
in their forum (the Media Jukebox forum) to see if you could get a better answer. I'm sure someone had the same issues at one time.
http://yabb.jriver.c...x.php?board=2.0

The other media player which I suggested,"MediaMonkey", Will play your m4a files with out conversion so, that might be a better solution unless you are set
on keeping the MediaJukebox. I know I will stay with this one but, my files are All MP3.

If you have other questions , I will try harder to answer.

FLASHORN.

Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#7 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:14 AM

Hey Ed !!

Thanks for the good wishes and I would hope you get to enjoy yours as much as I will mine.

I'm sorry i can't be of anymore help. Not use to this though. I usually end up finding a solution.

Yes, you do have the WMP 12. The VistaCodecPack for your OS is this one :
http://shark007.net/win7codecs.html

And the download is from MajorGeeks, which is an absolute good place for All kinds of apps.
So , here is the page for the download of the codecpack :
http://www.majorgeek...decs_d5959.html .

Again , sorry I couldn't be of more help.


FLASHORN.
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Eurocom Scorpius: 3840QM-2.8 GHz-Ivy Bridge ; ATI 7970M Crossfire ; Intel SSD 520 series 480GB ; Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB,7200RPM ; 16 GB Corsair Vengeance 9 9 9 24 ; Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 ; THX True Studio Pro.

Patience is Life.
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:03 AM

View Posteclein, on 15 December 2009 - 02:46 AM, said:

HEY Flash!! I tried out J.River..but it won't playback my itunes tracks. It plays mp3 files fine, but the default itunes format is a no go. The files are labelled as" m4a "and I get
error message about Direct Show filters not being installed. The file association is set up correctly with in the program so I must be missing a plugin somewhere. Where do I find direct show filters??
Ed




iTunes default format (unless you change it) is AAC (which uses a M4a for unprotected AAC files and M4p for protected/DRM'd AAC files...FYI, AAC is an MPEG-4 audio format). As long as it is an unprotected AAC format, you can use iTunes to convert it to MP3 format to use with another program that doees not support AAC. To do so, just go into the Preferences and change the file format that iTunes will rip music to (in your case, you will want MP3...likely at least 128 kbps or greater). Once you have done that, then go into you main library and select any song(s) that you want to convert and then use the "Convert XXX Version" under the Advanced menu, where XXX will be whatever file format you have iTunes set to use.

If it is a protected AAC format (i.e. something your purchased from the iTunes Store), then this will not work.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#9 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 01:52 PM

Hey guys just one more question...what file format should I convert my itunes library to that gives me the best quality...flac? All my music like I wrote earlier was just put into itunes
in its default mpeg4 format and I want to-if possible-convert all to the best sounding digital format. I realize that each tune is probably compressed way too much by itunes and I want to
try and bring the quality of the sound up if possible. I have plenty of space to work with so give me your suggestions, I love using Media Monkey by the way as it just works with my VAIO's
media buttons and the sound quality seems to be good but I'm always looking for better. Thanks in advance!! Ed




View Postsmax013, on 17 December 2009 - 01:03 AM, said:

View Posteclein, on 15 December 2009 - 02:46 AM, said:

HEY Flash!! I tried out J.River..but it won't playback my itunes tracks. It plays mp3 files fine, but the default itunes format is a no go. The files are labelled as" m4a "and I get
error message about Direct Show filters not being installed. The file association is set up correctly with in the program so I must be missing a plugin somewhere. Where do I find direct show filters??
Ed




iTunes default format (unless you change it) is AAC (which uses a M4a for unprotected AAC files and M4p for protected/DRM'd AAC files...FYI, AAC is an MPEG-4 audio format). As long as it is an unprotected AAC format, you can use iTunes to convert it to MP3 format to use with another program that doees not support AAC. To do so, just go into the Preferences and change the file format that iTunes will rip music to (in your case, you will want MP3...likely at least 128 kbps or greater). Once you have done that, then go into you main library and select any song(s) that you want to convert and then use the "Convert XXX Version" under the Advanced menu, where XXX will be whatever file format you have iTunes set to use.

If it is a protected AAC format (i.e. something your purchased from the iTunes Store), then this will not work.

Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#10 User is offline   KStrawn 

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:40 PM

Okay, Ed, you may want to try Audacity and record your songs over, converting them on the fly into WAV Lossless. Then, you can listen to them on various devices. I have to warn you, though: iPods don't play any media files except for MP3 and AAC ones. If you have an iPod, you're stuck with these two formats. (I have one myself, so I know.)

View Posteclein, on 20 December 2009 - 01:52 PM, said:

Hey guys just one more question...what file format should I convert my itunes library to that gives me the best quality...flac? All my music like I wrote earlier was just put into itunes
in its default mpeg4 format and I want to-if possible-convert all to the best sounding digital format. I realize that each tune is probably compressed way too much by itunes and I want to
try and bring the quality of the sound up if possible. I have plenty of space to work with so give me your suggestions, I love using Media Monkey by the way as it just works with my VAIO's
media buttons and the sound quality seems to be good but I'm always looking for better. Thanks in advance!! Ed




View Postsmax013, on 17 December 2009 - 01:03 AM, said:

View Posteclein, on 15 December 2009 - 02:46 AM, said:

HEY Flash!! I tried out J.River..but it won't playback my itunes tracks. It plays mp3 files fine, but the default itunes format is a no go. The files are labelled as" m4a "and I get
error message about Direct Show filters not being installed. The file association is set up correctly with in the program so I must be missing a plugin somewhere. Where do I find direct show filters??
Ed




iTunes default format (unless you change it) is AAC (which uses a M4a for unprotected AAC files and M4p for protected/DRM'd AAC files...FYI, AAC is an MPEG-4 audio format). As long as it is an unprotected AAC format, you can use iTunes to convert it to MP3 format to use with another program that doees not support AAC. To do so, just go into the Preferences and change the file format that iTunes will rip music to (in your case, you will want MP3...likely at least 128 kbps or greater). Once you have done that, then go into you main library and select any song(s) that you want to convert and then use the "Convert XXX Version" under the Advanced menu, where XXX will be whatever file format you have iTunes set to use.

If it is a protected AAC format (i.e. something your purchased from the iTunes Store), then this will not work.


Best regards,

-Kenny Strawn
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#11 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:21 PM

Hey Ed !!

All of my MP3's are converted to 192 kbps. This is the CD quality. Whenever you Rip a CD to your PC, it will, usually default
to the 192 audio quality unless you specify which quality you want. It translates a 4 minute song into roughly 5 mb or so.
A 320kbps quality, which I think is a waste of space, is about 9mb of space used and Unless you have a REALLY good setup,
you won't hear the difference.

I'm glad you liked the MediaMonkey player (hope you didn't buy yet because the free version should satisfy you). I have
recommended this player for quite some time to members looking to manage Large (20,000 songs or more) libraries.

One question though, have you tried to install the CodePack from Shark and use the Windows Media Player to play your
AAC files?? It will play All mpeg4 music and video. It does so in my W7 . I also find that , the Wow from SRS Labs in WMP,
(If activated and free BTW) plays Very well. You can also choose from other enhancements in WMP that are not found in
MediaMonkey. This is why I ended up using Media Jukebox instead. I also have a Very large library and WMP did in fact,
manage all of it well.

I'm not trying to change your mind on what you settled on , we all have different tastes and likes, just trying to point out
other options that are available and FREE.

To activate the WoW in WMP , here is how to do it :
You HAVE to be in the NOW PLAYING mode. IF you are in the Library then , at the bottom right hand of the screen, you will
see a little Block separated into four blocks. Click on that button to get to the NOW PLAYING screen :
Posted Image

Once you are in the NOW PLAYING mode , Right Click anywhere on the screen. This is what you should see :
Posted Image

From the menu, mouse over to the ENHANCEMENT entry. From this menu , Click on the SRS WoW effects. This is what comes up:
Posted Image

Now, make sure you Click on the TURN ON at the Upper left hand corner of the pop-up. You should now see TURN OFF instead.
That means it's turned on. You can adjust for the Width of the listening field to your liking OR just do it the way I have it set up.

You can do the same for the other ENHANCEMENTS provided by WMP. Here are my settings. Just make sure to TURN ON the option
in the top of the screen :

GRAPHIC EQUALIZER :
Posted Image

CROSS FADING and VOLUME LEVELING :
Posted Image


OK Ed, install that CodecPack and adjust those enhancements. Let me know How it turns out. I'm pretty sure you won't be
disapointed. IF you don't like the VistaCodecPack and want to uninstall (it will not harm or intefere with the Windows Codecs
if left on your PC) you HAVE to uninstall by going into the Codec Pack Settings Application and use the UNINSTALL that comes
with it. This will prevent from uninstalling other codecs that might be present OR that other programs are using. I do it all the
time to Update the CodecPack.:
Posted Image

To get to the CodecPack : Start > Programs > Shark007 Codecs. And the screen above will come up on your PC.

OK, that's it for me , let me know how it goes or if you didn't like it. Either way, I'd like to hear from your experience.


FLASHORN.
Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image

Eurocom Scorpius: 3840QM-2.8 GHz-Ivy Bridge ; ATI 7970M Crossfire ; Intel SSD 520 series 480GB ; Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB,7200RPM ; 16 GB Corsair Vengeance 9 9 9 24 ; Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 ; THX True Studio Pro.

Patience is Life.
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#12 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:56 AM

Flash-

I got the codec pack and set up WMP as you suggested with WOW and other enhancements activated and it sounds great!! I'm playing my files from a SONY VAIO FW series laptop
through EVENT TR5 Bi-amped near field monitors and man does it ever sound clean. These little speakers are 2 way 5" tuned reference monitors I had in a project studio, I'm a retired
drummer, and I gotta say they sound great in this little setup. I'll keep fiddlin with all the great options you set me up with Flash and I really appreciate you taking the time
to point me in the right direction. Now I can sit back, listen and enjoy my music knowing I have it setup pretty darn good now. :) Ed


View PostFlashorn, on 20 December 2009 - 08:21 PM, said:

Hey Ed !!

All of my MP3's are converted to 192 kbps. This is the CD quality. Whenever you Rip a CD to your PC, it will, usually default
to the 192 audio quality unless you specify which quality you want. It translates a 4 minute song into roughly 5 mb or so.
A 320kbps quality, which I think is a waste of space, is about 9mb of space used and Unless you have a REALLY good setup,
you won't hear the difference.

I'm glad you liked the MediaMonkey player (hope you didn't buy yet because the free version should satisfy you). I have
recommended this player for quite some time to members looking to manage Large (20,000 songs or more) libraries.

One question though, have you tried to install the CodePack from Shark and use the Windows Media Player to play your
AAC files?? It will play All mpeg4 music and video. It does so in my W7 . I also find that , the Wow from SRS Labs in WMP,
(If activated and free BTW) plays Very well. You can also choose from other enhancements in WMP that are not found in
MediaMonkey. This is why I ended up using Media Jukebox instead. I also have a Very large library and WMP did in fact,
manage all of it well.

I'm not trying to change your mind on what you settled on , we all have different tastes and likes, just trying to point out
other options that are available and FREE.

To activate the WoW in WMP , here is how to do it :
You HAVE to be in the NOW PLAYING mode. IF you are in the Library then , at the bottom right hand of the screen, you will
see a little Block separated into four blocks. Click on that button to get to the NOW PLAYING screen :
Posted Image

Once you are in the NOW PLAYING mode , Right Click anywhere on the screen. This is what you should see :
Posted Image

From the menu, mouse over to the ENHANCEMENT entry. From this menu , Click on the SRS WoW effects. This is what comes up:
Posted Image

Now, make sure you Click on the TURN ON at the Upper left hand corner of the pop-up. You should now see TURN OFF instead.
That means it's turned on. You can adjust for the Width of the listening field to your liking OR just do it the way I have it set up.

You can do the same for the other ENHANCEMENTS provided by WMP. Here are my settings. Just make sure to TURN ON the option
in the top of the screen :

GRAPHIC EQUALIZER :
Posted Image

CROSS FADING and VOLUME LEVELING :
Posted Image


OK Ed, install that CodecPack and adjust those enhancements. Let me know How it turns out. I'm pretty sure you won't be
disapointed. IF you don't like the VistaCodecPack and want to uninstall (it will not harm or intefere with the Windows Codecs
if left on your PC) you HAVE to uninstall by going into the Codec Pack Settings Application and use the UNINSTALL that comes
with it. This will prevent from uninstalling other codecs that might be present OR that other programs are using. I do it all the
time to Update the CodecPack.:
Posted Image

To get to the CodecPack : Start > Programs > Shark007 Codecs. And the screen above will come up on your PC.

OK, that's it for me , let me know how it goes or if you didn't like it. Either way, I'd like to hear from your experience.


FLASHORN.

Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#13 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 06:52 AM

Hey Ed !!

ED , Thanks for sharing your experience with me ! I know the EVENT TR5 and they do sound
good, especially if you are not too far and can listen to the Widened sound field that is
generated by the WoW plug in. I'm sure you will enjoy your music.

Well, I'm glad I didn't disappoint this time. I usually find some kind of acceptable compromise.
When I don't , it eats away at me and I can't sleep.

Take last night, I was updating the drivers for my notebook with 7 on it and on one of the
reboots, I get this message "Your Windows 7 Installation is not validated" . I tried to
validate with the Key I have but, they wouldn't accept the license SO, I got mad and
and went into the Recovery Manager and am now on Vista again. That's what I mean
by finding a compromise for all things Windows. If it doesn't work one way, it WILL
the other. They also wanted me to Call them. Yeah Right, as IF I have the time to sit
and wait for Mr. Windows to answer. I really didn't like WMP 12 so, I'm not too sad to
see WMP 12 gone.

Anyways, I Might consider re-installing W7 some day but, for now I'll be satisfied with a
working desktop.

Sorry to keep you on here and reading my sad story. If you have some Violin music, it
may make reading more palatable LOL !

Just enjoy your music and it made me feel good knowing that I could help.


FLASHORN.
Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image

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Patience is Life.
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#14 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:42 AM

Flash...I got these babies(TR5's) set up just right, and all your suggestions were excellent, its great to HEAR my music again. Here's another project I'm starting on-This VAIO has a Blu-Ray drive and uses InterVideo WinDVD for Blu-Ray playback and its fine but I want to fiddle with it of course. Got any suggestions on Blu-Ray playback software?? Is there any decent freeware solutions? Whats the
best software to use in general even if it costs me?
Ed

View PostFlashorn, on 21 December 2009 - 06:52 AM, said:

Hey Ed !!

ED , Thanks for sharing your experience with me ! I know the EVENT TR5 and they do sound
good, especially if you are not too far and can listen to the Widened sound field that is
generated by the WoW plug in. I'm sure you will enjoy your music.

Well, I'm glad I didn't disappoint this time. I usually find some kind of acceptable compromise.
When I don't , it eats away at me and I can't sleep.

Take last night, I was updating the drivers for my notebook with 7 on it and on one of the
reboots, I get this message "Your Windows 7 Installation is not validated" . I tried to
validate with the Key I have but, they wouldn't accept the license SO, I got mad and
and went into the Recovery Manager and am now on Vista again. That's what I mean
by finding a compromise for all things Windows. If it doesn't work one way, it WILL
the other. They also wanted me to Call them. Yeah Right, as IF I have the time to sit
and wait for Mr. Windows to answer. I really didn't like WMP 12 so, I'm not too sad to
see WMP 12 gone.

Anyways, I Might consider re-installing W7 some day but, for now I'll be satisfied with a
working desktop.

Sorry to keep you on here and reading my sad story. If you have some Violin music, it
may make reading more palatable LOL !

Just enjoy your music and it made me feel good knowing that I could help.


FLASHORN.

Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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#15 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:54 AM

What a lot of quantative load of info here. I do seem to have a discerning ear and won't listen to compressed music, I rather listen to FM stereo than one of 300 selection cuts. I've never done a comparison codec types, file size and the variables of the files sizes with a certain file type. The myth of loss-less compression schemes maybe less of a myth when you listen to your favorites with an ambient noise level such as in your car or a pair of ear appliances that barely can handle speach let alone a full spectrum ripe with harmonics and beat notes that are beyond our hearing and are more felt than heard. Unless the music is in a .WAV file type, which takes almost ten megabytes per one minute of playback is the commerical method of distriputing CD quality media, up to 80 minutes on a 700 megabyte disk. Once a content is compressed, you are placing limits on spectrum sampling rates and that lost or discarded content cannot be replaced. There are many different bit schemes but that is dependant upon the hardware characteristics involving the analog to digital converter and its full range specifications. Many higher bit rates can only be read and played back on compatible machine but unless you use 16 bit .WAV files, you can't play it everywhere. These higher bit hardware specs allow for more media content but again, take up more space. With the advent of DVD-R, I can load 500 minutes of music on a disk and that's a full, uncompressed file, just as it was released by the studios. Equalizing, enhancing or channel seperation expansions should be done, if you have to, at the output device or amplifier, never on a file.

This post has been edited by mjd420nova: 21 December 2009 - 07:58 AM

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#16 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 08:33 AM

View Postmjd420nova, on 21 December 2009 - 07:54 AM, said:

What a lot of quantative load of info here. I do seem to have a discerning ear and won't listen to compressed music, I rather listen to FM stereo than one of 300 selection cuts. I've never done a comparison codec types, file size and the variables of the files sizes with a certain file type. The myth of loss-less compression schemes maybe less of a myth when you listen to your favorites with an ambient noise level such as in your car or a pair of ear appliances that barely can handle speach let alone a full spectrum ripe with harmonics and beat notes that are beyond our hearing and are more felt than heard. Unless the music is in a .WAV file type, which takes almost ten megabytes per one minute of playback is the commerical method of distriputing CD quality media, up to 80 minutes on a 700 megabyte disk. Once a content is compressed, you are placing limits on spectrum sampling rates and that lost or discarded content cannot be replaced. There are many different bit schemes but that is dependant upon the hardware characteristics involving the analog to digital converter and its full range specifications. Many higher bit rates can only be read and played back on compatible machine but unless you use 16 bit .WAV files, you can't play it everywhere. These higher bit hardware specs allow for more media content but again, take up more space. With the advent of DVD-R, I can load 500 minutes of music on a disk and that's a full, uncompressed file, just as it was released by the studios. Equalizing, enhancing or channel seperation expansions should be done, if you have to, at the output device or amplifier, never on a file.




Hey mdj !!

Well, we're talking about a notebook here and not a 7.2 installation.

My preferred set up for this notebook is the Realtek HD set to Studio Quality :
Posted Image

Listening to music from the WMP 11 through a set of Klipsch THX 2.1 . Pro Media :
Posted Image .

With WMP set up the way I have it explained in the post above, you just Feel the music.
And I'm not just talking about loudness or the bass that, this set up produces,
I'm talking about the Quality of sound you get . You know right away if, your
music is encoded or compressed. But, if you listen to a CD then, that's were this set up really shines.

Take a look at the short video from Klipsch :
http://www.klipsch.c...a-2-1-overview/ .

They might not compare to the Klipsch Heresy that I have in the basement but, they sure do the job
when I'm at my PC .
Posted Image .


FLASHORN.
Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image

Eurocom Scorpius: 3840QM-2.8 GHz-Ivy Bridge ; ATI 7970M Crossfire ; Intel SSD 520 series 480GB ; Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB,7200RPM ; 16 GB Corsair Vengeance 9 9 9 24 ; Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 ; THX True Studio Pro.

Patience is Life.
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#17 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 06:39 PM

op: your question about audio quality is an easy one. When you compress you loose quality, with the exception of FLAC, or WMA Lossless. MP3 @160 is fair quality, any system that sounds remotely decent, or even fair headphones will sounds like junk though. Even at 320 MP3 shows its weakness. Ogg/Vorbis tends to sound a little better than MP3, but not a lot.

mjd - the flac codec is 100% mathematically lossless. Just like a zip file, all the information from the original audio is intact. If you took a CD, ripped it, flac'd it, and burned it back to a CD they would then DIFF out identically. (for those not familiar, I am referring to a command to check for differences in a file)

As far as media players, I tend to use songbird a LOT. It plays everything I have, and seems to do it well... It is not light on resources, but these days, what is?

For Blu-ray, I suggest trying out Total Media Theater HD. There is no free software that can play movies yet, as they have one heck of an encryption scheme on those discs. The closest you will get is using Slysoft AnyDVD to bypass the encryption, then use VLC as the media player... but I don't care for that one much.

TMT HD also integrates very nicely into Windows Media Center.
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#18 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:36 AM

View PostKStrawn, on 20 December 2009 - 02:40 PM, said:

I have to warn you, though: iPods don't play any media files except for MP3 and AAC ones. If you have an iPod, you're stuck with these two formats. (I have one myself, so I know.)




Not true. Current iPods (and many/most older ones) will also play Apple Loseless, AIFF, and WAV files in addition to AAC (and protected AAC) and MP3 (and MP3 VBR).
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#19 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:52 AM

View PostFlashorn, on 20 December 2009 - 08:21 PM, said:

Hey Ed !!

All of my MP3's are converted to 192 kbps. This is the CD quality.


Actually, technically it is "near CD quality", which some people then consider to be CD quality. But, it is really in the "ear of the beholder". For some, they can do 128 kbps and feel that it is "CD quality". For other, ANY compression at all and they do not consider it "CD quality".

And then there is the issue of compression format (i.e. AAC (a lossy MP4 compression) vs. MP3 vs. Flac vs. Vorbis vs. WMA vs. Apple Loseless (a loseless MP4 compression) vs. etc). In general, at higher bit rates (i.e. higher than 128 kbps), most people cannot tell the differences between the various compression types. But, some people (typically "trained" listeners") can often hear significant differences.

Then there is the issue of constant bitrate compression formats (such as "regular" MP3) and variable bitrate compression formats (such as AAC and MP3 VBR).

My point is more that in the end, it is HIGHLY dependent on the individual user...and also the equipment being used. If you are listening to ANY music format on a cheap set of headphones through a cheap media player, then it will not likely matter one bit (no pun intended) which compression format or bitrate (as long as it is greater than 128 kbps) you use. If you are using premium audio equipment with top of the line speakers, then for some people you will be able to tell the difference between a 192 kbps MP3 and an AAC (which is 256 kbps VBR typically)...but many will not.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#20 User is offline   eclein 

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 06:09 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!!! I downloaded Total Media Theatre trial and love it, instant quality improvement
over Win DVD, will definitely buy it. You guys really helped me out and made my VAIO laptop a true multimedia machine and alone the way taught me a lot about digital audio. Thank you all again and have a great Holiday!!
Ed
Ed Leinheiser
Sony VAIO VGN-FW490JEB
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