Mac vs PC Encoding/Playback

Many claim that iTunes on a Mac is better than iTunes on a PC. Is this really true?

A CD track that is ripped and encoded (into an Apple Lossless file) on a Mac is the same size bit for bit as the same file encoded on a PC. Is this true?

That same file is the same size and can be played cross-platform no matter which platform on which it was originally encoded. The reason is because the algorithm is exactly the same on both platforms. So the data created is exactly the same on both platforms. Is this true?

So, if the Mac sounds better then it has to be in the playback, not in the encoding.

Take that same Apple Lossless file played on a MAC or a PC, the iTunes player decodes the file and streams the data thru your USB or S/PDIF to your DAC.

So if a Mac sound better than a PC in playback then :

1. a Mac decodes that same Apple Lossless file more accurately than a PC with fewer errors?

2. Or that the Mac streams more accurately thru the USB or S/PDIF ports?

I'm not an expert so am I missing something?
 

kevinkr

Administrator
Paid Member
I use asio on my media server exclusively for high quality audio, my hardware and most of my media software support asio directly. It does not appear that iTunes for Windows supports ASIO at all. I know from my own experience that playing compatible files in J River Media center which is asio compatible as opposed to iTunes which isn't results in better performance than iTunes.

I'd use almost anything other than iTunes for high quality playback on a pc. The problem is probably windows itself, but the fact that Apple does not allow you to choose to use an alternative to the kmixer is the real problem as far as I can tell.

Foobar, QCD and WinAmp all outperform iTunes where it counts. J River will play just about any file format incidentally. My choice and highly recommended - I'm using it as I write this in fact. My lossless format of choice is FLAC which is opensource.

EAC, FLAC, ASIO, FOOBAR, are your opensource friends
 
kevinkr said:
J River will play just about any file format incidentally. My choice and highly recommended - I'm using it as I write this in fact. My lossless format of choice is FLAC which is opensource.

EAC, FLAC, ASIO, FOOBAR, are your opensource friends

I've got my entire library in Apple Lossless which J River doesn't support. The easiest thing for me to do is switch to a mac.
 
JimOfOakCreek said:
A CD track that is ripped and encoded (into an Apple Lossless file) on a Mac is the same size bit for bit as the same file encoded on a PC. Is this true?

That same file is the same size and can be played cross-platform no matter which platform on which it was originally encoded. The reason is because the algorithm is exactly the same on both platforms. So the data created is exactly the same on both platforms. Is this true?

I believe that is completely true. I have transferred the .m4a files between mac, pc, and back again without a hitch. Worked equally in both platforms.

JimOfOakCreek said:
The easiest thing for me to do is switch to a mac.

Done that - won't go back. Run Parallels or Fusion if you need windows - runs faster than a pc (go figure).

Cheers.
 
sek said:
Neither EAC nor ASIO are open source.

It's about the drivers! Apple doesn't feel like reinventing the wheel for windows - or rather mixing up microsoft's driver model. Sadly...

I should have been a little more careful when I posted that.. :D

I am not sure what the big deal is to provide an option for direct kernel streaming or Asio in iTunes, as most other media players do. (Except probably WMP. Does it provide any driver options - I don't use it at all..) Can you elaborate?
 

sek

Member
2003-05-21 2:51 pm
Berlin
Hi Kevin,


kevinkr said:
I am not sure what the big deal is to provide an option for direct kernel streaming or Asio in iTunes, as most other media players do.

Apple have no technical difficulties in digging into the windows driver model - they have proven this point with their Boot Camp drivers and tools.

But they have a plan: switching every unhappy Windows user to the Mac. :)
So it's perfectly understandable that they don't intend to do Microsoft's job. And iTunes for MacOS doesn't require any additional care regarding sound - ASIO is built into the operating system. ;)

You might have recognized that iTunes uses Quicktime. Quicktime is Apple's framework for multimedia output. So improving iTunes audio means improving Quicktime audio.

Quicktime has an "Audio" tab in the properties window. Two things are of interest: the device settings (make shure you don't accidentally use a wrong way out) with the "Safe mode [waveOut only]" checkbox (which should be your last resort), and the sample rate setting (which has to match the hardware property of the sound card in order to prevent unwanted resampling).

iTunes requires a restart after changing these settings.
 
Well now adays pc's and mac are basically the same computers. So it is just the os.

I like the power pc much better then the intel chips.

Truth be told I own both pc and mac.
But you have to admit mac are designed better the case and which that is.
There isn't a big company pc out there that has a case that well designed. And there servers are great to.
Nick
 
nhuwar said:
Well now adays pc's and mac are basically the same computers. So it is just the os.

Close. Apple are Intel's darlings right now because they are actually using some of the chip features that Windows PCs aren't. Not sure how much of that is in hardware & how much in software.

IBut you have to admit mac are designed better the case and which that is.
There isn't a big company pc out there that has a case that well designed. And there servers are great to.

And at competitive pricing.

Technically i prefer the PowerPC, but IBM had a choice of building for Apple or for xBox/playstation, and there was much more profit in the latter.

As far as marketing and market share goes the switch to Intel has been a godsend. That Macs are also the best Windows boxes makes converting windows users much much easier.

dave
 
planet10 said:


Close. Apple are Intel's darlings right now because they are actually using some of the chip features that Windows PCs aren't. Not sure how much of that is in hardware & how much in software.



And at competitive pricing.

Technically i prefer the PowerPC, but IBM had a choice of building for Apple or for xBox/playstation, and there was much more profit in the latter.

As far as marketing and market share goes the switch to Intel has been a godsend. That Macs are also the best Windows boxes makes converting windows users much much easier.

dave

I do enjoy my mini but it isn't upgraded to the core 2 duo, it's just the core duo.

The funny things is my computer for music, I mean to make it, is a pc. My recording card and the software I use only run on pc. And I don't want to put this stuff on my mac because of the slow laptop hard drive in the mini.

The pc could be a good hackintosh because of the duel xeon's under the hood and it's capable of 16gb of ecc ddr ram. So I guess it's basically a mac pro :D.

And it's in a rack mount case to boot.

Nick