Recommendations welcome for audio playback and library apps for Mac OS

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  • ergo
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2005
    • 681

    Recommendations welcome for audio playback and library apps for Mac OS

    With house starting to get ready (and workshop being next in line) I do have the Minerva project with NAD C390DD back up and playing music. Both of these were idle for several years as my main system at other home is with Ardents and Purifi amp.

    Now I did buy an M1 based Mac Mini to act as the Media Center for music and movies. But it's been 10+ years since I did run Mac Mini in this position, so I have lost track of what are good apps to use. Especially for Curating and playing the Local Music Library.

    So, open for recommendations and also link if and weather there are tuning to be done on Mac to ensure the best sound (ie equivalent of ASIO drivers on Windows etc)

    ---
    PS. If anyone still has the C390DD and having problems with the thing not powering up from standby, the this fix does work. I did it to my unit few weeks ago and good going since.


    Attached Files
  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15330

    #2
    Funny, I've been helping a number of folks lately setting up Apple Silicon Mac Mini, and I mean, even going as far back as replacing a Power PC G5 iMac from nearly 20 years ago! In that case, I had to walk them through the whole thing one afternoon while I was in CA last month clearing out a storage unit (5 trips in all!)

    There are a lot of different Apps, depending on the degree of control and sophistication you're looking for. Doppler is a decent "casual track player" for me, with basic library management. I have that on my Mac Studio Max workstation for "local" entertainment in the computing room.

    Doppler is a powerful music player that makes owning music simpler


    And I had a more general purpose media player, JRiver Media Center, on my M1 14" MBP, but haven't used that in a long time- it was glitchy for some reason if driving a studio reclocker to stabilize the USB output.

    I currently have a dedicated M1 Mac mini setup for music, using Audirvana Origins. There are two versions of Audirvana, one setup to handle streaming as well as local libraries, and one just for local libraries- that's Origin.

    Discover Audirvāna Origin, our subscription-free solution dedicated solely to your local library. Start today your trial for free.


    Note, Origin is a one time pay, subscription free. partly because it doesn't have to be updated to work with changing streaming sources and standards.

    Audirvana has completely re-written the audio chain software at the lowest level to avoid other processes on the Mac from creating a stream glitches or interruptions. I have a dedicated setup with it, driving a Berkely Audio Alpha USB interface- still considered one of the finest available for EMI isolation and stability and low jitter in the AES/EBU digital output. That output feeds a Soekris 1541 R2R ladder DAC; the current version is the 2541, which still seems to have some stock available. Just for reference- I'm a fan of good R2R ladder DACs, and at 1250 Euro, it's about half the price of a Schit Yggdrasil (the less is more version; the more is better version is another $300 more).

    This is the version 2 of Alpha USB; I have the original.





    (notice, I'm not bringing up my love of TotalDAC or the Rubidium clocked Brainstorm DCD-8 I use with it). (Oops! sorry!)

    And for reference and comparison, the YGGDRASIL



    Hope this helps a bit!
    the AudioWorx
    Natalie P
    M8ta
    Modula Neo DCC
    Modula MT XE
    Modula Xtreme
    Isiris
    Wavecor Ardent

    SMJ
    Minerva Monitor
    Calliope
    Ardent D

    In Development...
    Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
    Obi-Wan
    Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
    Modula PWB
    Calliope CC Supreme
    Natalie P Ultra
    Natalie P Supreme
    Janus BP1 Sub


    Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
    Just ask Mr. Ohm....

    Comment

    • ergo
      Senior Member
      • Mar 2005
      • 681

      #3
      Thanks Jon. I'll give these two sw a try.

      DAC wise I'm on same page basically and have a Soekris dam1021 DIY module based DAC/ pre also but with this NAD being a "power dac" it's of no use. Need to find a new amp to pair with it.

      The old C390DD is quite an ok performer still... but after year and half of power tools and construction any good sound is a pleasure

      I am a big believer of hearing protection....so hearing seems fine still and ready for future audio builds.

      Comment

      • JonMarsh
        Mad Max Moderator
        • Aug 2000
        • 15330

        #4
        I am a big believer of hearing protection....so hearing seems fine still and ready for future audio builds.
        Absolutely mandatory! I have two different sets of 3M protectors, they have different names, but the shape and bulk is the same.

        Even my wife admits I have better hearing than her for quiet stuff, but then my night vision is very good, too- both possibly related to certain 15+ year nutrition habits.

        I remember you having that Soekris- I have one of the "baby" ones, too, and I think they're exceptionally natural sounding for anything at that price point.
        the AudioWorx
        Natalie P
        M8ta
        Modula Neo DCC
        Modula MT XE
        Modula Xtreme
        Isiris
        Wavecor Ardent

        SMJ
        Minerva Monitor
        Calliope
        Ardent D

        In Development...
        Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
        Obi-Wan
        Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
        Modula PWB
        Calliope CC Supreme
        Natalie P Ultra
        Natalie P Supreme
        Janus BP1 Sub


        Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
        Just ask Mr. Ohm....

        Comment

        • Scareurpasenger
          Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 85

          #5
          I don’t have the most sophisticated gear but I have experimented a bit and landed on running Roon on a dedicated Intel Mac mini. It had the best interface of the three main apps. JRiver, Audirvana and Roon. I am pretty sure they did the same and protect the entire audio path. The subscription service showed me that I wanted lifetime access.

          Comment

          • ergo
            Senior Member
            • Mar 2005
            • 681

            #6
            I did a short trial with Doppler and Audirvana yesterday. Doppler seemed fine UI wise but I could not get it to open audio device at sample rate of the source file. Audirvana did, so at moment I'm leaning towards that, but perhaps I need to dig deeper on Doppler too or it just does not have that function until one pays for license.

            Comment

            • JonMarsh
              Mad Max Moderator
              • Aug 2000
              • 15330

              #7
              Some programs are not very smart about managing sample rate issues- for example, the Audio Midi Setup panel will show what is happening and allow you to set/override the sample rate. But you know, I think there are good reasons Audirvana wrote a whole kernel replacement stack for audio output... the only other computer audio I have used is Roon setup specifically for a Small Green computer, which is a custom computer to work as a music server, and use it over a dedicated ethernet setup with a Signature Rendu to reconstitute the audio to go to DAC. Have one still tucked away, but planning to use the Mini+Audirvana setup for a while in the living room with some smaller speakers.

              Small Green Computer has a simple goal, to give you access to all of your musical content from one simple, easy to use, location. We love audio, just like you.


              the AudioWorx
              Natalie P
              M8ta
              Modula Neo DCC
              Modula MT XE
              Modula Xtreme
              Isiris
              Wavecor Ardent

              SMJ
              Minerva Monitor
              Calliope
              Ardent D

              In Development...
              Isiris Mk II updates- in final test stage!
              Obi-Wan
              Saint-Saëns Symphonique/AKA SMJ-40
              Modula PWB
              Calliope CC Supreme
              Natalie P Ultra
              Natalie P Supreme
              Janus BP1 Sub


              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

              Comment

              • theSven
                Master of None
                • Jan 2014
                • 1428

                #8
                I've used Audirvana in the past, but now that I have my storage system built with Unraid I use Roon religiously. I have been using Roon Arc a bunch now while I travel. I streamed a fantastic album from the US to my phone in Italy while driving between 2 cities in the north. I'm thinking to myself, try that 20 years ago and see how that works out 😂. Roon is great curating a playlists except for EDM music. I have been on an EDM kick and Roon is not great with that. I have built 2 Raspberry Pi's with a Pi2AES card, Moode OS, and Roon Bridge installed that I use for streaming to the theater (SMJ Ardent D's) and the Den where the SMJ Calliope reside and are the daily listener as my desk is right next to them. Thus I can spend hours during the day streaming and listening to music.
                Painter in training

                Comment

                • Scareurpasenger
                  Member
                  • Jan 2017
                  • 85

                  #9
                  What made you decide on the Pi2AES compared to the other hats? Same with the moose os. There seem to be many options out there worth considering.

                  Comment

                  • theSven
                    Master of None
                    • Jan 2014
                    • 1428

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Scareurpasenger
                    What made you decide on the Pi2AES compared to the other hats? Same with the moose os. There seem to be many options out there worth considering.
                    Cost was a big driver for the Pi2AES build. I was using USB to connect Roon Bridge to the Mutech reclocker and I was considering to buy the Berkley Alpha USB. The cost of the Berkley is considerable vs building a Pi2AES and moving completely away from USB and being able to use AES to connect to the Mutech. I went with Moode OS because it was extremely simple to install, SSH into the OS, and install Roon Bridge. I haven't taken any measurements to say if there was an improvement in the signal to compare USB vs Pi2AES, but I'm happy with the sound, even more so after I added room treatments.

                    The only issue I have had was the micro SD card died last month on the Pi2AES for the theater. I went to go listen to music and the Pi was unresponsive. After a little investigation I learned that cheap micro SD cards die. I ordered a new one, re-imaged the card, installed Moode, and then installed Roon Bridge. 10 minutes later I was up and running again.

                    I had learned about other cards after I built the Pi2AES, but I'm happy with the Pi2AES and didn't want to change at this time to try something else. It may be worth a new thread on the forum here to start discussing different hats and have members share their experiences and opinions.
                    Painter in training

                    Comment

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