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JJK
2010-10-07, 10:54
I am running Itunes/Pure Music player on my Mac Mini. I would like to run Pure Music thru Touch, but so far only Itunes plays. Anyone who knows Pure Music (and Amarra) player knows that they override Itunes which only acts as an interface.
Any ideas?

NineOneOne
2010-11-16, 08:14
I have the same question. Sounds like Pure Music would be a very worthwhile sound upgrade if it will work with the Touch.

Nikhil
2010-11-16, 09:36
Sorry for the naive questions, but what do Pure Music and/or Amarra actually do? I tried to read the web pages but what they actually do is not clear to me nor is how they could improve sound quality. And how do you envision them integrated with your Touch?

andynormancx
2010-11-16, 09:50
I don't know either, but at $695 Amarra must produce very high quality audio, right ? Pure Music clearly doesn't produce as pure music as Amarra as that is only $129.

JohnSwenson
2010-11-16, 12:14
Both Amarra and Pure Music are alternative "engines" for sending music to a soundcard/digital out of a Mac. They have nothing to do with a Touch (or any other SB product).

The SB devices use their own server (SBS) which can run on a MAC, which sends data in its own proprietary format over a network to the SB device. The actual bits of the music do NOT come from iTunes, Amarra, or Pure Music. SBS reads the music files and sends the data to the player.

iTunes etc are programs that run on the Mac that read the music files and send the bits to devices attached directly to the Mac (builtin soundcard, S/PDIF out, USB port to a USB DAC etc) The Touch does not show up on the Mac as a soundcard so these programs cannot do anything with it.

iTunes, Amarra and Pure Music and the SB system are two separate "SYSTEMS" for getting music files into your stereo system.

There is SOME contact between them in that SBS can read the music files that iTunes creates, but thats about it.

So don't buy either of these if the primary goal is to improve the sound from the Touch, they have nothing to do with it.

If you listen to a USB or firewire DAC plugged into a Mac, or take the S/PDIF out directly into an external DAC they may be useful, but not for the Touch.

John S.

Nikhil
2010-11-16, 12:31
Both Amarra and Pure Music are alternative "engines" for sending music to a soundcard/digital out of a Mac. They have nothing to do with a Touch (or any other SB product).

If you listen to a USB or firewire DAC plugged into a Mac, or take the S/PDIF out directly into an external DAC they may be useful, but not for the Touch.

John S.

Thanks, this is what I had initially assumed, but after reading the first two posts, I thought I might have got it wrong.

What do these engines actually do to improve the sound? If you are using the Mac's own DACs, I can't imagine that any parts of the analogue chain can be improved by making changes in the digital domain, and if you are using the digital outputs, shouldn't the Mac be sending out a bit perfect stream? So how can it be made better?

andyg
2010-11-16, 12:38
Maybe the same way you can improve sound with $10000 cables or rocks on your speakers. :)

JohnSwenson
2010-11-16, 14:19
First off let me say I don't have Macs so this is all second hand information so I'm bound to get some details wrong.

There IS a bit perfectness issue. My understanding is that with iTunes you set a sample rate, itunes then outputs everything at this rate. If the file is the same rate as what you set it passes it through, but if the rate in the file is different it resamples to the set rate. Both Amarra and Pure Music do not do this, they send the music out at whatever rate is in the file.

Even if you get the sample rate correct there does seem to be a difference in sound quality. Nobody really knows for sure what the mechanism is. Checks do seem to indicate that its not a bit perfectness issue, iTunes playing a file at the set sample rate and Amarra/PM send out the same bits. There are a lot of hypothesis but most center around the Amarra/PM "path" through the code being much simpler than iTunes causing less memory accesses, processor use etc which will cause lower noise on the internal power supply rails etc.

I don't have a Mac so I can't actually test any of that. But I have done testing on PCs with different bit perfect software and HAVE measured different noise profiles on the internal PS rails. Whether this noise difference is actually responsible for sound differences has not been proven, but it is at least theoretically possible.

As to listening I have actually heard the difference with Amarra on someone else's system, I've never heard PM though. On the two systems I've heard Amarra on it definitely sounds better than iTunes on its own. Its not HUGE but its definitely there.

Again if you are listening to a Touch its not going to make any difference. If you have a very good stereo system fed by a really good DAC connected directly to a Mac, you may hear a difference with one of these programs. I think they both have a free trial period, make sure you avail yourself of that before putting down any cash.

John S.

Nikhil
2010-11-16, 16:19
There IS a bit perfectness issue. My understanding is that with iTunes you set a sample rate, itunes then outputs everything at this rate. If the file is the same rate as what you set it passes it through, but if the rate in the file is different it resamples to the set rate. Both Amarra and Pure Music do not do this, they send the music out at whatever rate is in the file.


Maybe these will do the same thing for free:
http://sbooth.org/AyreWave/
It's made by the author of Play, Max, Tag and Rip - all of which are excellent little programs.

Also the next version of Vox, my default low footprint audio player on my laptop, will have no change to sample rate of the source file.
http://www.voxapp.uni.cc/
http://voxapp.didgeroo.com/forums/thread-26.html

Mnyb
2010-11-16, 22:02
But was not this why you used fobbar2000 with kernel streaming or asio drivers for free but then finally got a squeezebox (on windows).

windoze had (has) it shares of OS related sound issues .

As John pointed out the squeezebox does not use the computers sound system (drivers or hardware or operative system) at all that's the whole idea.
So you are free :) from all this computer sound rituals finally.

The server just moves the files to the player .

A squeezebox is not a "soundcard with a long wire" .

Think the other way around you are using your squeezebox with the ir remote or display or controller or any other means and it picks files from your hard-drive to play for you , the machine that runs the server software can be dumped in the basement or similar (no noisy computer at the listening spot).
The web interface can be reached by any computer on the local network, so this can also be used as remote control .