BitPerfect 3.0 MAC OSX
Soft / Audio Soft 26-11-2015
BitPerfect 3.0 MAC OSX
BitPerfect is an App that runs alongside iTunes and provides capabilities to improve its playback of high quality audio files. When you use BitPerfect, iTunes is still your main interface to your music collection. You still use iTunes to create, store, and manage your music collection, to build playlists, and to decide what you want to play and when you want to play it. BitPerfect just sits in the background, doing nothing, until you ask iTunes to play a track; then BitPerfect steps in and takes over the playback. However, you won’t see anything to visually indicate that anything is different, because iTunes still thinks it is playing the music – the track position indicator moves along as normal, and the volume control slider ramps the volume up and down. But all of your instructions to iTunes are intercepted by BitPerfect, which implements any playback actions you have just initiated.

So why use BitPerfect? There are three primary reasons. First, and foremost, BitPerfect is designed to squeeze the best possible audio quality from your sound system using your Mac as a music server. Second, BitPerfect supports playback in the native file format, even if that format changes from track to track. Third, from version 2.0 onwards, BitPerfect can seamlessly play back DSD files, through the use of Hybrid-DSD files which you can import into your iTunes Library. You will need to purchase DSD Master from the App Store to create Hybrid-DSD files.

Audiophile Sound Quality

The driving force behind BitPerfect, and the core attribute of the BitPerfect philosophy, is a desire to extract the best possible sound quality from your Mac when used as a music server for an audiophile-grade sound system. 

We began by examining how a computer manages audio playback, and focused on the concept of ‘bit perfect’ playback. This term refers to the idea that all a computer has to do is deliver the exact data contained in the audio file to the DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter), a device which turns the data into actual music. Many Audio Player applications exist which ensure that ‘bit perfect’ data is indeed delivered to the DAC, but it was a surprise to us to find that despite this, they all sounded different. Our research showed us that there are two contributors to these audible differences – the server software and the operating system. And we found that Mac’s OS X operating system consistently provided superior results when compared to Windows – even when we ran both OS X and Windows on the same piece of Mac hardware (dual-booting into one or other operating system). 

We then chose to focus on the server software’s contribution to sound quality, and established, by trial and error, a number of basic principles. How and why these principles can affect what is always ‘bit perfect’ audio playback remains a matter of speculation and, in some quarters, outright skepticism. Be that as it may, we created BitPerfect as a vehicle that encapsulates nearly everything we know about optimizing the sound quality of audio playback on the Mac platform. Of course, iTunes itself is also capable of delivering ‘bit perfect’ audio playback. But it is our contention that BitPerfect provides a significant improvement in sound quality over native iTunes. So, cue up your favorite tracks, get comfortable in your favorite listening chair, and find out for yourself.

Back in 2012, we put our money where our mouth is. We paid out over $3,000 in order to exhibit at Montreal’s SSI, a high-end audio show. We prevailed upon our friends in the industry to lend us the most sophisticated, cutting-edge, audiophile-grade playback gear we could get hold of, in order to demonstrate as convincingly as possible the capabilities of BitPerfect. Our DAC was the Da Vinci, by Light Harmonic, an incredible device which alone retails for $20,000! Our amplifiers were the CP-800 and CA-2300 models from Classe Audio, which together retail for $12,000. The loudspeakers were Wilson Audio Sophia 3, which, although they retail for $16,900, are the "entry level” model in the Wilson range. Speaker cables were Cardas Golden Cross, which alone retail for $5,800. Quite an impressive collection! Read what Michael Lavorgna of AudioStream had to say about it:

Seamless playback of different audio formats

Not to be confused with different file formats, which are merely different ways of storing the same digital music data, the music itself can be represented digitally in fundamentally different ways. Here we shall concern ourselves only with so-called ‘PCM’ formats.

The music signal we want to store and subsequently re-create is an electrical waveform whose oscillations represent the actual sound waves. In PCM (Pulse Code Modulation), the analog music signal is sampled at a regular fixed rate, which is called the Sample Rate. Each time the music signal is sampled, the magnitude of the signal at that particular instant is stored as a digital value. The precision with which this digital value is stored is called the Bit Depth. The first wide-spread digital music format, the Compact Disc, adopted a PCM format which has become a standard to this day, and is often referred to as ‘Red Book’. The CD format uses a Sample Rate of 44.1kHz and a bit depth of 16 bits.

However, many experts in both the recording and playback fields acknowledge that superior sound quality can be obtained by increasing the bit depth, and also by increasing the sampling rate. 24-bit bit depth is now an acknowledged standard for ‘high-resolution’ files, as well as various sample rates based on multiples of either CD’s 44.1kHz or DVD’s 48kHz. These different formats include ‘24/96’ (which means 24-bit 96kHz), and include sample rates up to 384kHz and even beyond. Many music sources now offer downloads of "Studio Master” quality music in one or other of the high resolution formats, and equipment for amateur recording enthusiasts is cheaply available which can produce high-resolution recordings (your everyday Mac laptop can do this). As a result, many music collectors now include tracks in various high-resolution formats in their music collections.

Under Apple's OS/X operating system, when iTunes plays back a music track, it looks at the format of the track itself, and then looks at the settings of the output device. If the settings do not match, iTunes will automatically convert the file from its own ‘native’ format to the format which the output device has been set to. Most audio experts agree that this process inevitably results in some degradation of the sound quality. Your only recourse, if your music collection contains tracks with different music formats, is to go into the Audio Midi utility and manually change the output settings each time the format of the music file changes. Most users find this to be an annoyance.

When BitPerfect handles the playback, it automatically re-configures the output device to the format of the music track being played. It does this instantly, so that tracks of different formats can be played seamlessly, one after the other. You no longer need to keep track of what the music format is, BitPerfect handles all of that in the background. For the modern computer-based music collector, this is a critical advantage.

BitPerfect can Play DSD files

DSD is the name of the music format used by SACDs. DSD represents music in a radically different way to PCM, and many audiophiles have come to the opinion that DSD sounds more "musical" - more like analog - than does PCM. Although SACD as a format never caught on, the DSD format itself is making a dramatic comeback, and downloadable DSD files can now be purchased from several sources.

Starting with version 2.0, BitPerfect can play back DSD files. However, you cannot import DSD files directly into iTunes. BitPerfect has developed a solution for this, which we call the "Hybrid-DSD" file. A Hybrid-DSD file looks and behaves like an ordinary Apple Lossless file, but also contains the original DSD content which BitPerfect can play back, provided your audio output device supports DSD. At the time of writing, only a limited number of highly specialized devices support DSD playback, but new products are appearing on the market at an accelerating pace, and at ever lower price points. It is necessary to purchase DSD Master from the App Store in order to convert ordinary DSD files into Hybrid-DSD files.

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Audirvana Plus 2.2.5 Mac OS X Audirvana Plus 2.2.5 Mac OS X
Soft / Audio Soft 24-11-2015
After a sensational version Audirvana Plus, especially one including a direct mode and Integer Mode, Audirvana Plus now offers a full-featured library manager that can scale to more than 100,000 tracks. Catalog your entire music library and easy to get your albums and tracks with the optimized user interface. Edit with advanced metadata tags to jazz and classical music. With the ultimate sound quality with 64-bit internal processing, direct mode, integer mode, iZotope algorithms own streaming DSD, SysOptimizer and support audio plug-ins.


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beaTunes 4.5.6 for MacOSX beaTunes 4.5.6 for MacOSX
Soft / Audio Soft 15-11-2015
beaTunes analyzes musical compositions, determining their pace and style. With it you can automatically create new playlists, based on the information received. Download with this program and make cataloging your music collection. Unfortunately, the program can not handle the music tracks that are protected by means of protection of digital copyright (DRM).

With all the other files (for example, copied from CD-ROM) beaTunes allows for such action: automatically determine the tempo of the song and store information about it in iTunes; Sort existing playlists, seeking the most euphonious transitions between tracks; create playlists based on one or more of the compositions; browse your music library and search for files that are compatible with the selected composition; automatically determine the start and end of the composition, based on volume.

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Automatically determine BPM (beats per minute) and store the result in iTunes
Manually determine BPM and store the result in iTunes
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Sort existing playlists so that matching songs succeed each other
Create matchlists, i.e. playlists based on one or more sample songs
Browse songs from your music collection that match the currently selected song
Discover albums that are not in your music collection, but would complement it
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Automatically set start and end times of songs based on their volume
Categorize songs by their sound color
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Look up track metadata using acoustic fingerprints
Detect the language of lyrics already stored in iTunes

What's new in Version 4.5.6:
Fixed wrong song selection in inspection when sorted.
Fixed partial artwork display in some sorted tables.
Fixed UI freeze after many Get Info edits.
Improved cross-platform playlist import.
Updated to Jipes 0.9.11.
Updated to JRuby
Updated to Groovy 2.4.5.
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Soft / Audio Soft 28-10-2015
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To emphasize the musical direction of the program, the developers have made it styled front panel of some of the amplifier or CD-deck. In addition to the playback control buttons and repeat / shuffle, there are volume controls, display the peak levels of the signal on both channels and display the waveform of the track. In addition, the player displays the file format, the size and frequency. Right at the bottom there are two buttons that allow you to mute the sound (20 dB) and completely turn it off for a while. The size of this unit, you can choose from four possible for different resolutions, there is also a small and compact mini mode, when the program is displayed as a rectangle with a screen and buttons.

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Volume is decorated in a classic style, and the ability to mute the sound, or completely remove the volume in a single click.
For information about each track, the levels and stereo audio signals that appear pleasing to the eye, without the unnecessary circumcisions.

Supports iZotope
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Fine listeners can choose dithering MBIT + by iZotope, who works in real time.

Maximum format
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It supports sampling frequencies up to 192 kHz and bit depth to 32-bit floating point.

Audio plugins Audio Units.
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Hog Mode - exclusive access to the audio device in which Fidelia disconnects DAC whole system and works with them directly, bypassing the mixer OS X.
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Tweaking resampling and dithering by iZotope, allows to achieve the desired sound.

Direct access to the library iTunes.
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Lovely Remote Control Fidelia is available in the app store iOS.

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* Fidelia is now fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Capitan

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Soft / Audio Soft 16-09-2015
Audirvana Plus is an user friendly audio player that is capable to import your iTunes music library, but can also scan specific folders and automatically integrate any new tracks. The player offers support for editing the track’s metadata, helps you create smart playlists, is processing the audio with 64bit precision to provide the best quality possible, and much more.

Audirvana has no equalizer, no trendy special effects, just the best sounding music

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Includes: Pre-K'ed

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Smooth burning and converting of iTunes songs
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Split up audio books or live concert recordings with smart splitting technology
Create playlists for any device
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More tracks, more options
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Find and remove pauses automatically
Splitting lengthy recordings into separate parts has never been easier. Ashampoo Music Studio 6 automatically detects pauses and creates distinct clips from your recordings. The adjustable tolerance settings work, even when there are virtually no pauses. 

iTunes users welcome
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Rip to perfection
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Always the right format
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