Media Player Q&A: Q3 What features of your product are underutilized, under appreciated, or just plain misunderstood?
Jonathan Reichbach, President, Sonic Studio (Amarra)
Amarra also has convenience features that are quite useful for our users. These include using Amarra's built-in FLAC conversion that integrates with iTunes to convert and add your music to your library, as well as using our double precision EQ for addressing common anomalies found in listening room environments. For example the Sonic EQ Bass Node filters can improve the acoustics of your listening environment. Likewise, advanced gain processing and dither algorithms can surpass the best analog based solutions. We encourage our users to try using our digital volume, dither and Sonic EQ to improve their sound.Damien Plisson, Founder, Audirvana, (Audirvana Plus)
Not a lot. To pick one, I'd say dithered volume control is not that often used because most people think an analog volume control in a preamp is better because "no bits are loss". But a preamp adds an element in the audio signal path, and a volume potentiometer may not be that perfect in the whole frequency range…Tim Murison, Co-Founder & CTO, BitPerfect Sound Inc., (BitPerfect)
BitPerfect aims to be the most get-out-of-your-way player possible. As such there aren't very many special features. Perhaps the minimalist approach is the most misunderstood feature, some users just expect more bells and whistles.Stephen F. Booth, Founder and Developer, sbooth.org, (Decibel)
One common misconception about Decibel is that it is a library manager like iTunes. Decibel doesn't use a database to store track information, and as such is sluggish to launch if too many tracks are saved in the playlist. Many aficionados have music collections several terabytes in size, and attempting to add this much music to the current version of Decibel is not recommended. However, this is something I plan to address in a future update. I think one underutilized feature of Decibel is multichannel support—it supports multichannel files perfectly for an immersive listening experience.Jussi Laako, Owner, Signalyst, (HQ Player)
Convolution engine for digital room correction. Most people have less than acoustically perfect listening rooms and loudspeaker placements. Applying corrections in the bass region can make huge improvement without practically any negative effects. It also offers lot of possibilities for fine-tuning.Josef Piri & Marcin Ostapowicz, JPlay (JPlay)
Another is digital volume control. Background noise of good quality DAC is so low that using digital volume control for adjusting volume within normal listening volume range is completely feasible. With DSD there are not even "bits to lose", DSD even works better when it's not pushed to the max.
Apart from Buffer all other settings are best left at default values for most users. We recommend users experiment with lowest Buffer setting that works with their DAC & material (HiRez usually requires larger Buffer than CD).Jim Hillegass, Founder and CEO, JRiver (JRiver Media Center)
Hibernate mode is one unique feature of JPLAY which is not guaranteed to work with all PC/drivers/DACs - we wrote at length about it here.
Users are sometimes confused by the extensive options available. JRiver's 10 foot mode, Theater View, is often missed.Dr. Rob Robinson, Director of Engineering, Channel D, (Pure Music)
Well, I would say that misunderstood would describe Pure Music’s liberal product licensing policy, which allows installing on unlimited computers owned by the same user, with a few minor restrictions, by purchasing only one activation code. This is probably the top question that our tech support is asked, despite being the first-listed topic (“Can I use Pure Music on more than one computer, with one activation code?“) on the product support FAQ page. I would say number two would be the product registration process. About 1 percent of new users have trouble typing in a code exactly as listed. What’s funny about this is usually they seem to have already successfully installed Pure Music on a first computer, but then have trouble on a second computer. The code is not machine locked, so it is just due to a simple typing error. I wonder if a behavioral psychologist could shed some light on this…?
Underutilized? It’s not in the product, per se, but our free telephone, email and Remote tech support. On the rare occasions when I’m able to browse Internet audiophile forums, I see technical questions asked that would best be answered directly here. Perhaps because of negative experiences with tech support from other companies, someone will not bother to contact us, and post a question in a forum instead.