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Thread: Mac sound system query

  1. #1
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    Default Mac sound system query

    I'm not a techie or audiophile, but have recently started to gratefully receive the lovely high res 24/96 files here and wish to get the best out of them on my sound system.
    Is a DAC for the mac a no brainer, and should I be using an app to play flac files directly?
    I'm currently converting to ALAC then importing into "itunes"/music and listening out of the headphones to the amp.
    Any preferred brands/app recommendations would be appreciated.

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    I used to use Cog (an open source music player) app to play FLAC files on the Mac, but as far as I can tell the original author no longer maintains it and while there are a couple of more recent forks to follow I kind of lost track / couldn't decide which was the better one.

    I've tried Quod Libet, but didn't really take to it. For starters, as a port of a Linux app its UI is very non-macOS-like. Very, very flexible though, but may take a lot of work to set it up the way you want. Yes, it will index whatever large media library you point it to, which was quite problematic for me because my collection is large enough and Quod Libet's indexing is so comprehensive, it includes too much information and so even tags for collaborators end up being included in a vast index that's near impossible to scroll though. So you can only navigate via search. IMO. YMMV.

    The app I'm currently using is called DeaDBeef. Yes, seriously. It's another Linux port, but at least has the decency to offer a native macOS UI rather than some cobbled together GTK compatibility thing. It's a bit undercooked in some departments. For example, the author figures (correctly in my opinion) that it's difficult to implement a decent media library UI, so you may as well use your favourite file manager. Which is what I do. One thing I like about the DeaDBeeF app is that it features a genuine Stop button, not just that stupid combined Play/Pause thing that somehow iTunes turned into a standard.

    If anyone tries to suggest VLC, I'll disagree with them. Sure, it can play FLAC files. But it's really geared more towards video playback than music. I can't remember the details, but there was something really frustrating about the way it did audio. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I primarily listen directly on headphones these days. But in the past, I was very happy with a Peachtree Nova amp. These are good if you are on a decent budget but not ridiculously audiophile. It plugs in to the Mac via USB, and presents itself as a class-compliant USB audio output. The DACs in the Peachtree are going to be better than what's onboard on the Mac.

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    I use Vox and it works well. Avoid VLC because it inserts gaps between songs

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    Thanks guys, I have a traditional style Rotel A11 amp, so I bought a Cambridge Audio DAC for the mac and it sounds great.
    Will try the VOX free trial next and hopefully then I'll never have to convert files again
    Is the VOX app going to add anything itself to improve sound quality, or it is simply a handy means to play FLAC?
    Still coming to grips with the requirements of good quality digital audio, tape players & LP's are more natural to me but I'm learning!
    Last edited by axefeld; 2021-05-23 at 03:39 AM. Reason: punctuation

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    Vox is simply an easy way to play FLAC files. Another advantage to it is that it handles multichannel well if you would like to branch off in that direction and listen to some of jimfisheye’s work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neonknight View Post
    Vox is simply an easy way to play FLAC files. Another advantage to it is that it handles multichannel well if you would like to branch off in that direction and listen to some of jimfisheye’s work.
    Thanks for that neon, coping with 2 channels keeps me busy enough, but nice idea......
    Wonder what jimfisheye is up to, haven't seen much from him lately?
    I feel very blessed to have started visiting Y! in a golden age of you two releasing some stunning projects such as Paris 1970 & Sheffield 1970!

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