dimanche 25 décembre 2011

le PC Audiophile Rev 2.4

La nouvelle révision du PC Audiophile de Noël est  prête, je vous remercie de votre patience et je prendrai en compte tous vos commentaires pour faire évoluer cette nouvelle mouture, comme à l'habitude.

Bonne lecture :
http://sites.google.com/site/musiqaudiophilefr/mon-pc-audiophile

mercredi 7 décembre 2011

Comment accéder aux stockage NAS réseau via JPlay

Pour permettre l'accès aux ressources en réseau au compte spécifique "Système Local" et notamment au stockage de fichier d'un NAS via une lettre de lecteur suivez les étapes ci-dessous :

En préambule, suivez les instructions de la note technique MS suivante : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937624

Au préalable téléchargez les outils PSTOOLS de Microsoft Systinternals, lancez ensuite l'installation dans un répertoire de votre choix, ici Téléchargement/PSTools.

Localisez PsExec :


Ouvez l'Explorateur Windows et Copiez/Collez PsExec dans le répertoire System32 de Windows :


Fermez l'Explorateur Windows.

Vérifiez que le service "JPlay Audio Service" est bien démarré en tant que "Système Local" :


Double cliquez sur le service, Dans l'onglet General, Sélectionnez dans le champ Type de démarrage  le mode Manuel et validez en cliquant sur OK


Sur votre session de démarrage utilisateur avec laquelle vous allez utiliser foobar, iTunes ou MiniPlayer, connectez un lecteur réseau au NAS et notez la lettre, dans notre exemple il s'agit de la lettre L :

Cliquez sur l'icône Windows Explorer, une fois celui-ci affiché, appuyez sur la touche ALT. Le menu des options apparaît et choisissez dans le menu Outils l'option Connecter un lecteur réseau ... :


Tapez ensuite le chemin d'accès à votre NAS en indiquant la lettre de votre choix (ici L:) . Dans la zone Lecteur sélectionnez la lettre de lecteur à utiliser, Dans la zone Dossier, entrez le chemin d'accès au partage du NAS où sont les fichiers musicaux, puis cliquez sur la case Se reconnecter à l'ouverture de session et enfin sur Terminer :


Une fois cette opération faite il faut créer un petit fichier de commande à l'aide du bloc note :


Copiez/collez le script suivant :


psexec -i -s cmd.exe /c net use L: \\NAS\Partage & exit
net start JPlayservice

Enregistrez le fichier dans le dossier Documents sous le nom : lecteur-jplay.cmd


Vous pouvez ensuite si vous utilisez startup delayer créer une tâche suivant l'exemple ci-après : 


ou ajouter le fichier de commande dans le groupe de démarrage du menu. 

Lancez l'Explorateur windows et pointez sur les Documents. Recherchez le fichier lecteur-jplay.cmd. Cliquez droit et sélectionnez Créer un raccourci.

Coupez le raccourci créé et ouvrez maintenant le groupe de démarrage :


Une fois l'explorateur ouvert, collez le raccourci dans le groupe de Démarrage.

Relancez enfin votre machine et tout doit être fonctionnel.

lundi 5 décembre 2011

Jplay Release 4 (english version)

As I have more and more international readers requesting for an English versions, I have decided to write in both languages.


Here is the new generation of JPlay! What kind of new exiting feature has Josef Piri cooked for us this time?


JPlay has changed a lot since the last 2 versions, with a careful work on both quality of sound and interfacing to other applications. The philosophy of the product remains the same compared to the previous versions, with a clear positioning at providing a state of the high end art audiophile player. 


Introducing innovative modes such as preloading full tracks with bit perfect preprocessing and hibernation mode was a clear different way of handling software “transport” related subjects in a very different way than the other software providers. Most of the system processes are frozen or lowered so that timing of exchange from the driver to the DAC is maximized in quality. The memory management methods introduced through Beach and River modes clearly demonstrate that every single thing at Operating System level has an influence on global tone color. 


A lot of settings for a more transparent system


What better can be offered than a service under Windows? Certainly not a foreground application such as the other players are offering. The threading and memory model management of a Windows service allows to have a better control on many operating system things, including controlling the startup sequence and dependencies. 


JPlay audiophile engine as a service


Having heard both state of the art Mac systems and Windows based computer, I always have found that the foobar+Windows system was a bit more analytic and let's say realistic; right now I have again the feeling that the listening experience is much more favor of the Windows based computer, even if the configuration is more complex and not completely within reach of any basic end user. I always have reserve regarding operating system tweaking which becomes sometimes complex depending on devices.


Who has ever dream about having foobar's interface with JPlay 3 sound quality? Josef did it:


fully transparent, where is JPlay? In the background!

I have also appreciated that the integration allows having full access to the library using Apple Remote on both iTunes with its native Remote support and also foobar 1.1, using Wintense DACP service over Bonjour. 


can you guess that my iPhone 4 is remote controlling JPlay?


The only drawback I have noticed is that when a track is on pause, the current time is displayed as zero and will resume to its right position after playback is restarted. Remote controlling the JPlay system offers a really good sensation and filling some kind of a hole due to the minimalist console application interface.

JPlay carefully hidden as an icon tray

Listening to the new version 4:

A careful listening shows more than slight differences with previous version (3.4). 

First of all, the forte have gained in natural, the dynamic of chords is expressed with truth, violin translate the play of performers with a better rhythm (Brothers Capuçon, Inventions, Two-Part Invention, for keyboard No. 8 in F major, BWV 779 (BC L49), 16/44.1KHz), riffs of guitar are more in the tempo (Cranberries, Zombie, Linger live, 16/44.1KHz), it also feels like especially voice performances are more natural (Queen, Live Killers, Love of my life, 16/44.1KHz). hands clapping is also really a step ahead from what they were with previous version, where a little bit marked with this 'digital rudeness' at times.

In second, the color has also lowered a little bit in normal mode (Amandine Beyer, The four seasons, la primavera allegro, 24/96KHz), but a lot especially with TurboCore and FullScale hibernation mode, translating a more analytic realistic performance with a lot of micro details (Amandine Beyer, The four seasons, la primavera Largo, 24/96KHz, Viktoria Mullova plays Bach, Partita no 3, Menuet, 16/44.1KHz) and delivering a raw message to our ears (Katie Melua Collection, Piece by Piece,  16/44.1KHz). It feel to me like it is a question of taste, listening to pure monitoring like experience can be disappointing for non audio professional from studios... In this mode hands clapping are very natural (Elton John, Made in England, The One live, 16/44.1KHz), feeling like at the recording session, quite strange experience in fact.

Another consequence of this work on clarity is also the feeling that there is a slight better separation of instruments (Julia fischer,  RSO, Souvenir d'un lieu cher Op 42, Scherzo, 24/96KHz), planes are more spread in the 3 dimensions and the music experience gains in natural this way as well. Piano performance is so close to the real instrument, which is a performance... especially on lower part of the keyboard where the notes are so difficult to reproduce with their overall power on small stereo systems (Franz Schubert by Murray Perahia, D960 in B minor, Scherzo, 16/44.1KHz).

The drawback of the clarity in hibernation is that sensation of projection and closeness is a bit behind what it is in normal mode, but the gain in natural is definitely worth it (Erwin Schrott sings Don Giovani, 16/44.1KHz). I observed this especially in Tubomode which offers a softer image and extended firm bass experience; In FullScale mode, the hibernation is nearly perfect, no hardness on high part of the audio specter can be heard even with a regular power supply. In the previous versions where color was more present, it was not evident to make the difference between modes. I will then from now on recommend experiencing the Full hibernation mode.

Aside from the musical aspect, one major improvement is about usability. Users are now able to have JPlay working in the background of foobar or iTunes. With foobar the interfacing is very good, the regular commands can be used transparently (play, pause, stop, fast forward, rewind).


All tracks which are not playable by JPlay are then sent back to regular foobar engine allowing having for example MP3 and APE files to be played as well.


Remote commands through Apple remote is also fully supported, which is a must.  A few minor limitations are present, for example, pause might not work all the time correctly in the case foobar is skinned with additional UI_panel component. As when JPlay starts playback it sets foobar engine on pause, some of additional components may not work and may not display file counters properly, especially when the file is really paused. This is somehow a minor drawback compared to the rest of the integration process.
On iTunes side, the playback is also possible, with local or remote control. The principle is exactly the same than with foobar.

Measurement:

Something can somehow be observed by using either iTunes or foobar. Measures of operating system variables show that the iTunes core consumes twice as much system resources than foobar.

When there are hardware interrupts generated for example by mouse move, the level of interrupts raise by a few decimals, but the application itself starts to consume a lot of CPU on iTunes where foobar stays at a normal level.

A careful listening of the playback offered by JPlay while in the background iTunes or foobar updates the screen gives a difference. Even if JPlay has exactly the same track, with the same options and memory management running, the fact that the application runs in the background generates some kind of “application jitter” which is clearly adding color to the sound. This is some kind of proof that application, whatever it is, impacts the sound quality as much as any other component from the sound reproduction chain.

On the test system, in Beach mode, with iTunes in the background, the sound is offered with a little bit more clarity, less warmth than with foobar. This last one offers a more generous and shaped register of tone colors. As a matter of taste, one will chose between the more analytic and the warmer.

When the hibernation mode is switched on, this difference is not heard anymore. As all the other processes than JPlay are lowered very much in term of priority, this is somehow logical.

Conclusion:

With the JPlay experience we can easily understand that a lot of parameters are influencing sound reproduction. Mastering the Operating System configuration gives a quite independent behavior of the software from the computer it is installed on. This is what is the target of settings I offer through the “Audiophile Computer” (see the article). Most of the systems I have tested with these settings do not show a very different behavior while playing with excellent players. On the other hand, Jplay also demonstrate that every player has its own transport tone colors signature, such as DACs or integrated audio players have. It also demonstrates that within single software you can have different listening experience depending on what you select at driver/memory management/thread priority level. I would rather say that whatever is the mode, I would like to hear the same tone balance, philosophy, but today this is not the case, there is not a “JPlay signature” such as there is in foobar or JRiver for example. Let’s wait for next version I would say, identity is the latest step to allow a clear identification beside any performance matter.

As a conclusion I would say that it a new and fantastic version that was delivered by Josef Piri again, as a matter of fact it has its real place in the small world of audiophile players.