Software How-To

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 11, 2013 9 comments
This article originally appeared in the October issue of our sister publication Sound & Vision

If you haven’t taken the dive into computer audio, you may be asking yourself a very simple question—Why should I? The very simple answer is accessibility and sound quality. Computer-based audio allows you to store all of your music in one central location on a computer network, making it accessible from virtually any network-attached device. And when your network is connected to the Internet, you have access to the largest source of free (and legal) and paid music on the planet. Unlike disc-based music, computer-based audio is not restricted to any particular format. You can have CD quality, DVD-Audio quality, SACD quality, and even music in greater resolutions than disc-based formats allow. With computer-based audio, you can have your cakes and eat them, too, in as many rooms as you’d like.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 05, 2013 1 comments
In order to play back DSD files, you'll also need media player software that can handle it. No, iTunes and Windows Media Player don't (on their own). Here's a list of DSD compatible media players.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 15, 2013 14 comments
In our Getting Started With Computer Audio Part 1 we discussed Hardware. Now its time to turn our attention inward to the software that makes the hardware do its thing. In Part 1, we defined a few basic hardware categories and each of these have their own related software requirements. So people interested in using their computer as a music server will have different software requirements from those who choose to go with a network player or streamer. This guide will cover the basics of using your computer as a music server.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 01, 2013 8 comments
Ideally, when working with a NAS device, you won't have to worry about software since most popular NAS devices come with everything you need preinstalled. If you decide to go with a network player or streamer, the specific configuration and software requirements will be based on the specific device you buy. But one thing to look out for is whether or not your streamer and NAS are UPnP/DLNA complaint (see definition) which ideally they are.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 27, 2013 7 comments
One argument I've heard on more than one occasion against buying lossless downloads like CD-quality FLAC or AIFF files is you can't fit as many onto your portable device as compared to the lossy version. So some people buy the lossy version (say it ain't so!) and make due with its less than optimum sound quality even when listening on the hi-fi at home. After all, who wants to make and store two separate copies of every single song, one lossy version for the iPhone and one lossless version for the hi-fi? Wouldn't it be great if iTunes took care of this automatically? Well, it does.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 09, 2012 24 comments
Metadata. /ˈmetəˌdatə/
Noun:
A set of data that describes and gives information about other data.

For our interests, metadata is data about music, specifically about the music we own and play. Album Title, Artist, Album Artist, Composer, Track Title, Track Number, Year, Comments, Album Cover Art, and so on. Ideally when we rip or download, all of this data about our music's data comes along with it. But the odds are this is not always the case. Especially if you've ever moved your library or converted from a Mac to a PC or vice versa, and even more likely if you ever ripped albums as WAV files.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 10, 2011 34 comments
In the coming weeks and months (and years), we'll be looking at various aspects of the How To's of computer audio. Today, if you look at any computer setup and optimization guide whose focus is music playback, the word you're likely to see as much if not more than any other is "disable". My point brings us back to something Charles Hanson of Ayre Acoustics said in our The Future of Computer Audio article, "The biggest problem with computer audio is the computer."

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