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  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Is discussion of real world experience with different output modes forbidden?

Not everything can be reduced to ABX blind tests.  Which woman is more beautiful, for example.

Not all ears are created equal.  Nor is all music.

We don't elect our political leaders with blind tests.

Opinion matters.

[Garf: TOS7 violation removed]
  • Last Edit: 11 December, 2011, 04:26:37 AM by Garf

  • Garf
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #1
Is discussion of real world experience with different output modes forbidden?


Discussion is allowed, if compliant with TOS8, which means it stands basic scientific rigor such as falsifiability and reproducibility, and in the context of audio, almost invariably blind testing.

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Not everything can be reduced to ABX blind tests.  Which woman is more beautiful, for example.
Not all ears are created equal.  Nor is all music.
We don't elect our political leaders with blind tests.
Opinion matters.


Contrary to what you seem to imply, the concept of beauty is something that can be measured scientifically, by taking large numbers of opinions and averaging. Individual results might differ, but overall you will observe trends and scientific research can be done on that. Through such research, we now understand for example that the perception of beauty is correlated with facial symmetry.

Subjective perception differences in individuals do not prevent objective conclusions over large numbers of subjects.

I have no idea why you bring political elections into this, as it's clearly a process that has little or nothing to do with science nor does it reach the optimal results.

Let me be very clear on this: on HA your opinion does not matter, only what you can demonstrate. TOS8 is clear about this, and the moderator who warned you pointed you clearly to it. Discussing only with opinions is pointless and never leads to advancement of the argument. There are many forums on the internet where you can try such a thing ad infinitum, but HA is not one of them. Being able to demonstrate that your opinion is right through facts that others can verify can and does lead to advancement and is what should be done here on HA.


  • Case
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #2
No ABX is necessary when comparing different outputs. The output can be objectively recorded bit-perfectly and ASIO and WASAPI can be scientifically verified to be absolutely identical.

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #3
No ABX is necessary when comparing different outputs. The output can be objectively recorded bit-perfectly and ASIO and WASAPI can be scientifically verified to be absolutely identical.

I agree with you if the ASIO driver is error free.  Not all ASIO drivers are identical.

DirectSound is another matter.

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #4
To quote Matt Ashland, author of Monkeys Audio and JRiver's CTO:

Audio output modes matter.

Some examples:

If you don't bypass the Windows mixer because you use DirectSound, the audio path is often not bit-perfect.

WASAPI (push-style, as used by f2k or 'WASAPI' mode in Media Center) is not reliable with many high-end USB DACs.  It's not clear who to blame for this, but event-style WASAPI works reliably ('WASAPI - Event Style' in Media Center).

Creative and ASUS hardware require ASIO for what they call 'bit-matched' playback (which means the audio doesn't get hardware resampled).

To bitstream DSD requires ASIO 2.2 (and a DAC that supports it).

A little more here:
http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Audio_Output_Modes
  • Last Edit: 12 December, 2011, 12:28:52 PM by JimH

  • ExUser
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #5
Bit-perfect vs. non-bit-perfect is not audible; there is not one iota of scientific evidence to back the hypothesis that the two are necessarily audibly different. Arguing that DirectSound is inferior to ASIO/WASAPI because it is not bit-perfect is a broach of Terms of Service 8 unless proper listening tests proving this point are provided.

This has nothing to do with subjective opinion. This has to do with verifiable, scientific, objective proof.
  • Last Edit: 12 December, 2011, 04:23:49 PM by Canar

  • Roseval
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #6
Bit-perfect vs. non-bit-perfect is not audible; there is not one iota of scientific evidence to back the hypothesis that the two are necessarily audibly different. Arguing that DirectSound is inferior to ASIO/WASAPI because it is not bit-perfect is a broach of Terms of Service 8 unless proper listening tests proving this point are provided.

You mean that the guys who designed the Win audio stack and decided to dither all output of the Win mixer did something completely senseless?
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #7
Canar,
You have me at a disadvantage.  Arguing with a moderator doesn't often have a good outcome.

I will just say that basing a decision solely on a listening test is not scientific.

You wouldn't be able to detect parts per billion of lead in drinking water by tasting it, but it is measurable and it does matter.

I understand science.  I believe in it.  I am a scientist.  I am an engineer.

Our discussion above was primarily about the two different methods of implementing WASAPI.  I assume that's not against any Terms of Service.





  • monkey
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #8
Bit-perfect vs non-bit-perfect is objective.  It's measurable and repeatable.  And in the case of DTS or AC3, is the difference between music and white noise.

The reliability or stability of different audio outputs is also objective.  It can be measured and repeated.


Arguing that DirectSound is inferior to ASIO/WASAPI...


I don't believe I'm arguing.  I'm trying to share some of the things I have learned through the years.

  • ExUser
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #9
And in the case of DTS or AC3, is the difference between music and white noise.
This is not a listening use-case. The AC3/DTS case is an unusual edge case where an audio output is being used as a digital signal carrier.

For the case of listening to music (ie. not the AC3/DTS case), there is no evidence that DirectSound sounds different (to humans) than ASIO/WASAPI. Measurable differences are beyond the scope of what I'm discussing. I'm discussing human-perceptible changes in audio output. Barring extreme edge cases, this still holds true. Counselling people to use ASIO/WASAPI because it "sounds better" without evidence is in contradiction of the Terms of Service and is generally pointless.

If you comply with the Terms of Service, there's no risk involved, JimH. I have taken no action regarding you other than moving one questionable thread out of the Recycle Bin. Personally, I tend to deal with matters through discussion, not through moderator action.
  • Last Edit: 12 December, 2011, 05:29:56 PM by Canar

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #10
Thank you.

  • greynol
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #11
Threads often get binned because they are useless waste of time, posts often get binned from otherwise useful threads because they often cause them to spiral out of control.

Our terms are crystal clear: any expressed differences in sound quality must be accompanied with double-blind test results.

It's fine to talk about whether something is bit-perfect or not bit-perfect but it is not fine to use that as evidence of differences in sound quality.  Furthermore, justifying and/or qualifying such arguments based on whether you have adequate hardware is also unwelcome if it is not accompanied by objective, non-anecdotal evidence.

You can throw food or argue religious (read: non-falsifiable) beliefs elsewhere.
  • Last Edit: 12 December, 2011, 06:13:33 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #12
Threads often get binned because they are useless waste of time, posts often get binned from otherwise useful threads because they often cause them to spiral out of control.

I know that problem well and you have my sympathy.
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Our terms are crystal clear: any expressed differences in sound quality must be accompanied with double-blind test results.

That's a very high bar, but it can also be flawed.  The odds of flipping a coin and getting heads 100 times in a row aren't zero.
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It's fine to talk about whether something is bit-perfect or not bit-perfect but it is not fine to use that as evidence of differences in sound quality.

I agree that it should not be viewed as "evidence" or fact, but it is sometimes relevant.  I can hear differences.  You might not believe that and I accept that you don't, but I do hear differences.
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Furthermore, justifying and/or qualifying such arguments based on whether you have adequate hardware is also unwelcome ...


While you would like scientific evidence for such beliefs, I think it is often more subjective.  Keep in mind that I'm not a big spender on audio equipment like other people can be (Monkey/Matt Ashland above, for example .  I buy $300 receivers and $150 speakers.  Chump change by the standards of some.  But have you ever switched from one speaker set to another and been pleased with the results?  That's what I mean by equipment differences.

So, I'll let you go on keeping guard over the HA flock.  I respect your right and need to do so.

Is it too soon to say "Happy Holidays"?

  • greynol
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #13
...and you might simply be imagining that you're hearing differences, which does not in any way preclude it from being a very real experience for you.  I'd almost say it's funny how humans will assign all sorts of qualities to something being presented to them if they know ahead of time what it is, except that it isn't funny when it causes real problems in getting to the truth.

Until you can demonstrate otherwise, please refrain from telling us that you hear differences.  It really is that simple and there is no wiggle room.  These are the rules, they apply in this discussion as they do any other.  Their validity is not open for debate.

Getting "business" out of the way, happy holidays to you as well!
  • Last Edit: 12 December, 2011, 07:57:26 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • andy o
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #14
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Our terms are crystal clear: any expressed differences in sound quality must be accompanied with double-blind test results.

That's a very high bar, but it can also be flawed.  The odds of flipping a coin and getting heads 100 times in a row aren't zero.

Well then let's just say that it's flawed by one part in 1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376.

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I agree that it should not be viewed as "evidence" or fact, but it is sometimes relevant.  I can hear differences.  You might not believe that and I accept that you don't, but I do hear differences.

You do know, especially as a scientist, that there are ways to objectively test if you yourself hear a difference?

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While you would like scientific evidence for such beliefs, I think it is often more subjective. [...] But have you ever switched from one speaker set to another and been pleased with the results?  That's what I mean by equipment differences.

Two completely different claims! "I can hear difference in speakers", "I can hear difference with DirectSound and bit-perfect", "I can hear a difference with speaker cables", etc. are all different claims that can be tested separately.

  • Notat
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #15
The advantage of a bit-perfect system is that it shortcuts past perceptibility discussions. If you can demonstrate that a processing system does not alter the information that flows through it, you don't need to discuss how accurate it needs to be.

  • db1989
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #16
I split the threadjack about foobar2000’s WASAPI output component, and then I split a threadjack-within-a-threadjack. Voilà:
WASAPI output: glitch just before album ends, after prolonged playback
WASAPI output does not support push/event/low-latency mode; why not?

  • greynol
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #17
Getting "business" out of the way, happy holidays to you as well!

...and for today, Happy Birthday too!


 
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • JimH
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[TOS #8 and #7] WASAPI vs ASIO vs DirectSound
Reply #18
Getting "business" out of the way, happy holidays to you as well!

...and for today, Happy Birthday too!




Thank you.  Embarassing, but true.