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Jplay - just another scam? YES IT IS!
testyou
post Jan 25 2012, 22:01
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He is not going to perform blind tests.
He knows that he is selling a placebo.

Edit: Josef! Hey buddy! Welcome back lol
Can you send it to me pls

This post has been edited by testyou: Jan 25 2012, 22:03
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db1989
post Jan 25 2012, 22:05
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He can publicly post for all to read the results of the test, his questions about or problems with its methodology, or his attempts to wriggle out of the entire thing—rather than confining whatever discussion there is to private messaging with one user—or face further unceasing and justified scepticism by said readers.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 25 2012, 22:08
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icstm
post Jan 26 2012, 21:58
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hi guys,
Just to let you know that I have found this thread very interesting. I have signed up just to let you know that I am glad that someone has taken the time to test the claims of JPlay and I look forward to the results.

I looks like you have a good forum here that concentrates on the technical concepts and the facts rather than just the tit for tat that you see on some other places.

Finally, just a shout out to jimH for pointing me in this direction from AVF, another good site smile.gif
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JimH
post Feb 9 2012, 16:44
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Cross posting a jplay thread on the computeraudiophile forum. I finally had to say something last night.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/...#comment-127258

I used the M word.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 9 2012, 17:01
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 25 2012, 16:05) *
He can publicly post for all to read the results of the test, his questions about or problems with its methodology, or his attempts to wriggle out of the entire thing—rather than confining whatever discussion there is to private messaging with one user—or face further unceasing and justified scepticism by said readers.


The kinds of alleged problems that this product purports to solve are in fact related to measurable quantities such as jitter, modulation distortion, phase and amplitude errors, etc. Making sensitive measurements of these properties is relatively simple in this day and age, all you need is a PC with a good audio interface, and some freeware such as the Audio Rightmark program.

While we can quibble over audible thresholds, the simple existence of improved or at least changed performance is relatively easy to discern. I don't see any evidence of anybody actually trying to do this.

Have I missed something?
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Wombat
post Feb 9 2012, 17:17
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No, you didnīt miss something. On diyaudio there is another jplay thread even linking to our one here. Seems like most prefer jplay over cplay, JRiver Media Center and foobar in standalone mode. They even better jplay with fidelizer.
None of cause comes to the idea to measure the difference that imho even can be done with a good soundcard and some free software like AudioDiffmaker. Hello Phil if you can read this wink.gif

Edit: Added link: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pc-based/20...ware-jplay.html

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 9 2012, 21:21
Reason for edit: removing unnecessary full quote
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andy o
post Feb 9 2012, 22:36
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I just got offered to sell a $2700 vacuum cleaner (after they give you back $1000 for your old vacuum, so "real" price is $3700!) in a rather ingenious pyramid scheme. There are lots of psychic businesses around here too, not to mention acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalists, etc. (I live in L.A.) Goes to show, there is no shortage of good business opportunity if you're just willing to put your scruples on the side. I think the greatest con these people pull is not selling the stuff itself, but making the conned people vouch for them and defend them so strongly.
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Kujibo
post Feb 10 2012, 00:04
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I just spent way too much time reading that thread on computeraudiophile and my head is close to exploding. I must commit to myself never to step outside of HA again on topics such as this.

I can understand non-technical audiophile people getting wrapped up in this stuff. What I find frustrating is that Josef is a software developer and his response to logical statements debunking his theories. He'll present all sorts of theories on why TLB thrashing or using non-cache memory, low latency, etc. from within a user land Windows app can affect the exact time a sample is delivered to a DAC and that this is very important as it will have a direct effect on the jitter. People will explain that the app has no control over this as it's the OS, drivers, and external hardware that control the final delivery rate. Then he'll counter with "of course that's how it works, and indeed it shouldn't matter when the app delivers the data, but... it just sounds better!". Any time he gets called on technical BS he'll just back peddle to the magical audiophile junk. I have to think he is either deluded or is trying to purposely pull a scam. It really bothers me to see the non-technical people sucked into this technical BS who don't know any better. It's one thing when it's about gold plated USB cables but this hits close to home as I've spent the last 20 years of my professional life doing nothing but developing code that produces and delivers digital audio out all sorts of devices.

Anyway, rant off, gotta get my blood pressure under control.
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Wombat
post Feb 10 2012, 00:16
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This all comes down to an all-time running gag:
"You canīt measure these things, you have to listen, it is that obvious you need no DBT, so many people that hear this canīt be wrong!"
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dhromed
post Feb 10 2012, 00:40
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QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 10 2012, 00:04) *
It really bothers me to see the non-technical people sucked into this technical BS who don't know any better.


If there are people out there that describe numbers as "visual" (I'm assuming by virtue of being printable and thus seen...) who can possibly help them?
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Porcus
post Feb 10 2012, 11:50
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QUOTE (andy o @ Feb 9 2012, 22:36) *
I just got offered to sell a $2700 vacuum cleaner (after they give you back $1000 for your old vacuum


*reading twice*

Ah, it was not a vacuum tube cleaner? Not interested then.


dry.gif


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One day in the Year of the Fox came a time remembered well
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 10 2012, 13:37
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QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 9 2012, 18:04) *
I just spent way too much time reading that thread on computeraudiophile and my head is close to exploding. I must commit to myself never to step outside of HA again on topics such as this.

I can understand non-technical audiophile people getting wrapped up in this stuff. What I find frustrating is that Josef is a software developer and his response to logical statements debunking his theories. He'll present all sorts of theories on why TLB thrashing or using non-cache memory, low latency, etc. from within a user land Windows app can affect the exact time a sample is delivered to a DAC and that this is very important as it will have a direct effect on the jitter. People will explain that the app has no control over this as it's the OS, drivers, and external hardware that control the final delivery rate. Then he'll counter with "of course that's how it works, and indeed it shouldn't matter when the app delivers the data, but... it just sounds better!". Any time he gets called on technical BS he'll just back peddle to the magical audiophile junk. I have to think he is either deluded or is trying to purposely pull a scam. It really bothers me to see the non-technical people sucked into this technical BS who don't know any better. It's one thing when it's about gold plated USB cables but this hits close to home as I've spent the last 20 years of my professional life doing nothing but developing code that produces and delivers digital audio out all sorts of devices.

Anyway, rant off, gotta get my blood pressure under control.


QUOTE (Wombat)
This all comes down to an all-time running gag:
"You canīt measure these things, you have to listen, it is that obvious you need no DBT, so many people that hear this canīt be wrong!"


Well guys you have your heads screwed on tight and I love it, but the question remains: "What are we going to do to try to help these poor souls with their pain, denial and false beliefs?"

You do of course realize that being locked into this non-productive use of their time and talents is hurting them and all of the poor souls that they influence. <sigh>
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icstm
post Feb 10 2012, 15:41
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QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 9 2012, 23:04) *
I just spent way too much time reading that thread on computeraudiophile and my head is close to exploding. I must commit to myself never to step outside of HA again on topics such as this.

I can understand non-technical audiophile people getting wrapped up in this stuff. What I find frustrating is that Josef is a software developer and his response to logical statements debunking his theories. He'll present all sorts of theories on why TLB thrashing or using non-cache memory, low latency, etc. from within a user land Windows app can affect the exact time a sample is delivered to a DAC and that this is very important as it will have a direct effect on the jitter. People will explain that the app has no control over this as it's the OS, drivers, and external hardware that control the final delivery rate. Then he'll counter with "of course that's how it works, and indeed it shouldn't matter when the app delivers the data, but... it just sounds better!". Any time he gets called on technical BS he'll just back peddle to the magical audiophile junk. I have to think he is either deluded or is trying to purposely pull a scam. It really bothers me to see the non-technical people sucked into this technical BS who don't know any better. It's one thing when it's about gold plated USB cables but this hits close to home as I've spent the last 20 years of my professional life doing nothing but developing code that produces and delivers digital audio out all sorts of devices.

Anyway, rant off, gotta get my blood pressure under control.

I signed up here after reading that thread at the start of the year. I had the same issue as you. Most of it makes my blood boil!
What proberly does not help is the standard windows mixer does not maintain bit-perfect streams, so you need to look at WASAPI and the like. In other words your PC can do damage to your audio stream which leaves room for these people to offer "fixes" whether they do fix anything is beside the point in most cases.
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icstm
post Feb 10 2012, 15:46
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Feb 9 2012, 23:40) *
QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 10 2012, 00:04) *
It really bothers me to see the non-technical people sucked into this technical BS who don't know any better.


If there are people out there that describe numbers as "visual" (I'm assuming by virtue of being printable and thus seen...) who can possibly help them?

That probably points more to his NLP and how he thinks.

What worries me more is that he is not clear on what elements of the processing sequence are time critical (ie syncronous) and what is not.
Coverting files into PCM is not time critical, providing that PCM stream to a PLL DAC is. He software seems to be working on the former, which is of no help.
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hugson
post Feb 10 2012, 16:19
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Wow! I've just spent quite some time reading this entire thread and I'm simply staggered! My summary is that most of the messages in this thread are composed by self-professed sound engineers who are mightily free with their gratuitous insults, and whose opinions are almost never supported by direct personal experience (i.e. actually going to the trouble of listening to jplay).

Let me define my position quite clearly. I am probably of around the same age as Josef, and have long been interested in so-called hi-fi. I currently own, among other things, a Krell KSA-50 amplifier, a pair of Stax Lambda ear-speakers, and a Linn-Sonndek turntable. My preferred speakers are Quad Electrostatics (I used to own stacked Quads, which literally gave me RSI when erecting them), though, sadly, I no longer have enough space to enjoy them.

When I first encountered jplay, I was just as sceptical as most of you. I even contributed to the jplay forum, asking what all the fuss was about as I was unable to discern any differences between Foobar and jplay. It is instructive to note that none of the responses I received in the jplay forum were rude, or offensive, or condescending (which is somewhat different to my experiences here).

For all sorts of reasons, it was then time to rebuild my Windows 7 OS, and, at the same time, invest in a powered USB hub because I was obviously running out of power in my then extant setup. I also enabled large page support, and I believe this has also had a considerable effect.

Once that unpleasant job was complete, I allocated myself some serious listening time and started comparing jplay to jriver and foobar.
That testing really didn't take long, as it was immediately obvious to me that jplay represented a quantum leap forward in anything I had ever heard on a computer. I enlisted the help of a friend, and we did some blind tests together. Nothing scientific, we weren't measuring dbs or noise levels or anything else - we were simply listening to the music (predominantly classical, flac format, 16-bit 44k and 24-bit 96k - which is the best quality output my USB DAC can handle). In 100% of the samples we tested, we always successfully identified the jplay sound, and always found it to be the most appealing.

It appears to me that most of the participants in this forum have not actually bothered to try jplay out for themselves, something that is relatively easy to do, especially with an earlier version of jplay since the current one now uses a Windows service). It also seems to me that most are writing about audio as something to be scientifically measured - I can hardly find a reference to someone enjoying the actual music they're listening to.

I've been a professional software developer since 1972. I can honestly say that the technical support I have received from both Josef (the author of jplay) and his partner Marcin has, for me, rarely been exceeded, both in terms of responsiveness and quality of response. I mention this simply to state that I am as certain as I possibly can be that neither Josef not Marcin is a fraudster, since fraudsters are not known for the provision of outstanding service after the money has been paid.

As someone said recently on a jplay forum:
"...but hell, I'd rather just listen to music than spend my time testing."
This comment speaks of an attitude to listening that is very different to what seems to prevail here.

Shame on you.

For your information, I have no relationship with either Josef or Marcin other than the customer-developer one. I expect, and gain, no advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, by speaking out here in this way.
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andy o
post Feb 10 2012, 17:20
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Paragraph 1, righteous indignation. Check.

Paragraph 2, Argument from having spent a lot of money. Check.

Paragraph 3, "I used to be like you", with a side of concern trolling. Check.

Paragraphs 4 and 5, personal anecdote with a TOS8 cherry on top. Check.

Paragraph 6, "don't criticize unless you have tried it yourself". Check.

Paragraph 7, argumentum ad verecundiam. Check.

Paragraph 8, straw man. Check.

Paragraph 9, "I look down on you." Check.

Paragraph 10, irrelevancy. Check.

Going for the record in fallacy density?
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andy o
post Feb 10 2012, 17:29
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One thing that I think deserves clarification.
QUOTE (hugson @ Feb 10 2012, 07:19) *
I am as certain as I possibly can be that neither Josef not Marcin is a fraudster, since fraudsters are not known for the provision of outstanding service after the money has been paid.

Not to the people they scam whom they want coming back and doing word-of-mouth. In fact, "service" is ALL some fraudsters offer. Examples, all kinds of "alt-med" kooks like homeopaths and chiropractors, psychics, etc. One of the most frequent complaints against MDs and in favor of alt-med practitioners is that the doctors are "cold" or "condescending", while alt-med guys are warm, friendly and "pay attention". Effectiveness against illness is secondary to these people I guess.
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hugson
post Feb 10 2012, 17:34
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I have realized that this forum lacks a good moderator who can take action against those who are abusive (words like fraudster spring to mind).
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Ouroboros
post Feb 10 2012, 18:28
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Hugson, I'm sorry, but I think you are mistaken. The attitude here is definitely "I'd rather just listen to music than spend my time testing", until someone makes unsubstantiated claims along the lines of "my listening method/equipment produces better sounds than yours". At that point there is a very reasonable expectation that the claimant provides some evidence to back up his/her claim. That evidence should very definitely not be measurements of dBs or noise levels, but should be double blind listening tests. The emphasis is absolutely on what you can hear, not what you can measure.

In passing, I would infer from some of your phrasing that you seem to believe that double blind tests aren't scientific, whereas measuring electrical signals is scientific. This is completely false.

I can't see where anyone has said that Jplay isn't well written or well supported, or that it doesn't work well, or is badly behaved. The criticisms are:
- that the problem it is designed to solve (which I believe you could reasonably summarise as changes in sound due to jitter in sample arrival time at the DAC due to task switching in the CPU) is one that you would expect the buffer in the DAC to handle. In extreme cases, if the buffer underflows or overflows you might expect this to manifest itself as drop-outs or spikes, which should show up very easily in a double blind test.
- that, regardless of the cause, its effect on the audible output of a PC hasn't been proven with any published double blind test results.

It's the second point that is the real problem. Just because I (or anyone else) can't see logically why sample jitter due to CPU utilisation might be a problem doesn't mean that it isn't. However, instead of trying to win the argument about why it might be, just show me via double blind ABX tests that you can hear the difference, and describe your test set-up so I can repeat the tests if I wish. The problem is that the Jplay team hasn't really addressed either point - they haven't demonstrated the existence of the underlying cause, and haven't presented evidence that you can hear a difference.

As to whether the Jplay team is setting out to mislead by selling something to fix a problem they know doesn't exist (which is probably fraud in most jurisdictions), or is selling something that solves a problem they believe exists but can't prove (which is the audio equivalent of believing in alien abductions, but probably isn't fraud), is something only they can answer. I do agree with you that we ought not to draw conclusions either way, until the test results have been analysed. Unfortunately, the longer this goes on without test results, the more people will believe that the former is true, even though logically the latter might be just as true, and they might simply be refusing to perform tests so as not to upset their beliefs.

Oh, and sorry to be pedantic, but it's "different from", not "different to".
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dhromed
post Feb 10 2012, 19:04
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QUOTE (hugson @ Feb 10 2012, 16:19) *
I enlisted the help of a friend, and we did some blind tests together. Nothing scientific, we weren't measuring dbs or noise levels or anything else - we were simply listening to the music (predominantly classical, flac format, 16-bit 44k and 24-bit 96k - which is the best quality output my USB DAC can handle). In 100% of the samples we tested, we always successfully identified the jplay sound, and always found it to be the most appealing.


Well, that is in fact fairly scientific.

What you must do now is provide the details of the experimental setup as exactly as you can, and then I'm sure people here will attempt to reproduce your results, or comment on the experiment itself.

QUOTE
As someone said recently on a jplay forum:
"...but hell, I'd rather just listen to music than spend my time testing."
This comment speaks of an attitude to listening that is very different to what seems to prevail here.


I'm sorry you feel that way. I, personally, would much rather listen to music than spend time incessantly tinkering with my audio stack; behaviour that is typical of those audiophiles who claim that every tiny insignificant change is "night and day" or "immediately obvious". Worst case, the fruitless tinkering becomes an expensive hobby, when a fraction of the money can deliver the exact same aural experience and the leftover money can be spent on good music and concerts tickets of your favourite artists.
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smok3
post Feb 10 2012, 20:27
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QUOTE (hugson @ Feb 10 2012, 16:19) *
I can honestly say that the technical support I have received from both Josef (the author of jplay) and his partner Marcin has, for me, rarely been exceeded, both in terms of responsiveness and quality of response.


What kind of technical issues did you have?

This post has been edited by smok3: Feb 10 2012, 20:27


--------------------
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung
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hlloyge
post Feb 10 2012, 23:18
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QUOTE (hugson @ Feb 10 2012, 16:19) *
It appears to me that most of the participants in this forum have not actually bothered to try jplay out for themselves, something that is relatively easy to do, especially with an earlier version of jplay since the current one now uses a Windows service). It also seems to me that most are writing about audio as something to be scientifically measured - I can hardly find a reference to someone enjoying the actual music they're listening to.


There is just one problem - and that is that most of the participants of this forum understands how computer audio works, or at least have a good idea about it. Let me clear things up a bit: every decoder, when decoding audio, runs from CPU cache. It has to, because CPU must execute it. I trust foobar's developers, who doesn't sell their software more than someone who sells their software not to touch the decoded stream in any way; the fact that you were able to recognize in blind test 100% decoded stream from jplay tells me that jplay does something to that stream, not outputting it as it should. And that is because I understand how computer audio works. You see, I am not programmer or something like that, I am computer tech, and my job involves knowing such things.

So, without any doubts I don't trust your results because I don't know how healthy is your hearing (or your friend's), is it limited to some lower frequency which makes you more sensitive to some possible artifacts, and of course, you haven't made double blind test. I have only your word for it, and frankly, that really isn't much.
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hugson
post Feb 11 2012, 03:16
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Thank you for one of the better posts in this forum.
QUOTE (Ouroboros @ Feb 11 2012, 03:28) *
In passing, I would infer from some of your phrasing that you seem to believe that double blind tests aren't scientific, whereas measuring electrical signals is scientific. This is completely false.

No, not at all; I don't know enough about audio technology to make such a claim. If you inferred that from my text, then that part of my text was badly written. Please tell me what the differences are between the tests I and my friend carried out informally and a double blind test, and how does one publish the results of such a test, given that no-one else in the world has my particular hardware and software configuration?
I infer from what you and others write about double blind tests that you believe any differences experienced while listening (subjective) can be determined by measurable results (objective) from a double blind test. I wonder if that is really true? Let me provide an example of something I have experienced on serveral occasions.
Suppose I listen to music sample A on day 1 using equipment X, and enjoy it very much. I can then listen again to music sample A on day 2 using equipment X, and not enjoy it at all. The only thing that has apparently changed from one listen to the next is me - my mood is different, perhaps I'm tired or stressed, etc. Now I'm sure this can't be measured in any double blind test. Yet I am integral to the success or otherwise of my lisening tests. As someone else has written in this forum,
So, without any doubts I don't trust your results because I don't know how healthy is your hearing (or your friend's), is it limited to some
lower frequency which makes you more sensitive to some possible artifacts, and of course, you haven't made double blind test. I have only
your word for it, and frankly, that really isn't much.

all of which is fair comment. Where does that leave us?
QUOTE
Just because I (or anyone else) can't see logically why sample jitter due to CPU utilisation might be a problem doesn't mean that it isn't.

I quite agree. Here's an example of what you might be talking about. Jplay decompresses all of the tracks it is to play before starting to play the 1st track. From that, you (probably) and I (definitely) would infer that since the decompression has happened before we hear a single note, then there cannot be a difference between playing a .flac file as compared to a .wav file of the same music. But there are many in the jplay forum, including the author, who believe that they experience a different and superior sound if they present .wav files instead of .flac files to jplay. I can't comment on this as I haven't tried it. But if they are right, how would that result ever be capable of being represented in any published results? I suppose Shakespeare expressed it beter "There are more things, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy".

QUOTE
Oh, and sorry to be pedantic, but it's "different from", not "different to".

You've picked the wrong person for this argument! biggrin.gif As it's off topic, I've sent you a private message.

This post has been edited by hugson: Feb 11 2012, 03:17
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hugson
post Feb 11 2012, 03:40
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Feb 11 2012, 04:04) *
What you must do now is provide the details of the experimental setup as exactly as you can, and then I'm sure people here will attempt to reproduce your results, or comment on the experiment itself.

But if my hardware is contributing to our subjective conclusions, what can I publish that is worthwhile? I am quite certain that my hardware is unique, and considerably more complex than over 99% of everyone else's hardware. BTW, what is the difference between the "methods" we used, and a double blind test? What does the word double signify?

QUOTE
As someone said recently on a jplay forum:
"...but hell, I'd rather just listen to music than spend my time testing."
This comment speaks of an attitude to listening that is very different to what seems to prevail here.


QUOTE
I'm sorry you feel that way. I, personally, would much rather listen to music than spend time incessantly tinkering with my audio stack; behaviour that is typical of those audiophiles who claim that every tiny insignificant change is "night and day" or "immediately obvious". Worst case, the fruitless tinkering becomes an expensive hobby, when a fraction of the money can deliver the exact same aural experience and the leftover money can be spent on good music and concerts tickets of your favourite artists.

I completely agree.
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hugson
post Feb 11 2012, 03:45
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QUOTE (smok3 @ Feb 11 2012, 05:27) *
What kind of technical issues did you have?

USB problems (insufficient power was causing the USB device to be not found when resuming from standby).
Settings not being remembered (caused by 2 jplay shortcuts invoked by the same hotkey).
Not starting the service and player in the right order.
Starting folder problems when invoking jplay using the Windows/Run keys and values in the registry.
Insufficient contiguous memory when starting or restarting jplay.

All of these problems have been resolved, most of them would no longer be encountered because of the different architecture jplay now uses.
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