Skip to main content

Notice

Please note that most of the software linked on this forum is likely to be safe to use. If you are unsure, feel free to ask in the relevant topics, or send a private message to an administrator or moderator. To help curb the problems of false positives, or in the event that you do find actual malware, you can contribute through the article linked here.
Topic: Different sound between Software Audio Players (Read 618 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Different sound between Software Audio Players

Couldn't find much discussion on this subject; assuming lossless CD rips as the source, what are peoples preferred software players?
I assume foobar is a preferred option here, hence the subforum...
Outside of the features that different players offer, what concerns me is the differences in sound quality; assuming same PC and everything else in the playback chain is the same.
Are some players 'secretly' tinkering with the bitstream before it is output or is there more to it?

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #1
The reports about audible differences between media players have one thing in common, they are based on sighted listening test. Hence the reported differences exist in the mind of the listeners, not to be mistaken for a property of the media player.
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #2
  the reported differences exist in the mind of the listeners

 :D I must admit; this response wasn't entirely surprising!
Well I can't supply objective evidence of iTunes sounding different from Quicktime so therefore there must be no difference? I guess that explains why no one talks about it...

 

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #3
There may be difference in players, and various way to configure them.

In example, default foobar2000 applies ReplayGain which make it non-neutral if you are actually trying to set the loudness of sound files you are editing. (I sometime us it for quick comparison.) But you can disable that in Preferences > Playback.

Another example but in video, some people complained that VLC's image is not perfectly accurate to color space and such, it may seem like contrast is increased, losing some details..., I was suggestes that if I wanted a treuly neutral video player, I could use MediaPlayerClassic Black + some specific neutral filters.

So it's possible that media players apply some transformations, but ideally they can be changed in settings (I don't about sound specific sound players).

Just saying, keep an eye on default settings, I hope I'm not getting too far from your question though.


Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #5
So it's possible that media players apply some transformations,

Thanks. This is exactly the conclusion I'm coming to. However, I feel that certainly in the case of iTunes there may well be some transformations taking place that we (the users) aren't necessarily privvy to!

Quote from: A_Man_Eating_Duck
Archimago does some pretty good comparisons of popular audio players.

Fantastic! This is just what I was looking for; really useful.

So, as I alluded to up top, the problem I'm having personally is that iTunes (mac) sounds obviously poor compared to other players. I'm not talking Audiophool 'pseudo-scientific' poorer; I mean obviously night and day difference to anyone with even a slightly analytical ear.
The problem is, I actually quite like the iTunes interface. I guess it's time to move on.

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #6
It was time to move on long ago. iTunes is just unethical corporate bloatware.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #7
What is your definition of a 'software player'? Do you mean installable applications on a desktop or laptop only? Or f..e. also the numerous DYI solutions for Raspberry Pi's which you can use as a music player? Those solutions can be labelled as 'software players' as well.

Indeed, to be able to compare you should at first check whether any extra processing is done during playback (DSP, loudness, replaygain etc.)

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #8
Cloud platforms want all their tracks to sound similar in terms of loudness, so I think that they indeed apply some trasfomations/"normalisation" when making a sound available. I don't know much about it though, to be checked.

Re: Different sound between Software Audio Players

Reply #9
Quote
Cloud platforms want all their tracks to sound similar in terms of loudness, so I think that they indeed apply some trasfomations/"normalisation" when making a sound available. I don't know much about it though, to be checked.
Loudness matching and other linear volume adjustments (within reason) don't affect sound quality.    But volume can affect the perception of sound quality and that's one of the reasons that listening comparisons should be volume-matched.      And if the volume isn't matched the listening test can't be truly blind because it's obvious which is which.

Most streaming services use lossy compression which does affect quality but that's doesn't necessarily mean it's audibly altered.