Very basic question on FLAC file format

I am a newbie in the area of music streaming and storing music in files.

I recently bought a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital to serve as the DAC for my CD player and TV / Blue Ray player. Big improvement over what I had!

The new unit has a USB input, and is capable of DSD up to DSD512, and PCM up to 24 bit 192k. I am now curious about high resolution audio, and I found an album I would like to try... for $16 I can download a jazz album in 24 bit 96kHz FLAC format. I would like to try this, but I am not sure how to proceed.

What is the best app or software for my Windows 10 laptop to convert the FLAC format into a PCM bit stream to feed to my new DAC? Is it as simple as plugging a USB cable into the laptop and the DAC?

Jim
 

Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
Most software players can now handle FLAC files with no problem. The player will pass the data on to your DAC.

My favorite player is JRiver. It can play most formats and bitrates. I can up-convert if you like. It worth a try for it's 30 day period.
 

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
HifiJim,


With your USB inputt you can go as high as 256 or 512 DSD. The real question and we talk about that here and there at Diyaudio is if your whole system (including your ears and room) can handle it.
Anyway, at the outputt of your laptop or tower pc, any today streaming softwares will automaticly convert your flac files on the fly then send it through the USB port or spidf. Of course assuming you downloaded the flac codec if not natively embeded in the software. (flac 1.3 version today).
Second thing you should care and I'm off topic there (you can find many thread about that here) is the way you stream cause computers are electrically noisy and media have some limits.
USB cable : should be often below 5 meters (sorry for the inchs), the shorter the better.
Async USB inputt of dacs often give the best result at ears.
Spidf format with Toslink (fiber) cable is also a good bet because it sorta isolates the noisy gnd from the dac. but the limits is 24/98 or 24/192 iirc with Toslink. And 24/192 with coax copper spidf.
No preference for software,all aboves are good and well known and W10 now manage dacs pretty well (though you better load the pilot from Pro-Ject with such ESS dac chips). The venerable Window Media Manager if you load the flac codec can handle your flac library.
cheers
 
Thanks for all the advice. I purchased two music files, both of them 24-bit 96kHz files. “Antidote” by Chick Corea and The Spanish Heart Band… and “Handful of Keys” by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Foobar2000 manages the digital data in the laptop.

I must be doing it right, because my system has never sounded so good. The improvement of 24 bit 96kHz over standard CD 16 bit 44.1kHz is subtle, but after listening for an hour I can tell that I was more engaged and "wrapped up" in the music.

jim
 
No, i did not make a direct comparison of the 16 bit 44.1k to the 24 bit 9k.

However, it would be an astonishing and remarkable coincidence if the two best sounding and emotionally engaging recordings I own, out of over 700, just happen to be the two high-res audio files.

As I said, it is a subtle difference. Most of the time the 24 bit 96k sounds like a well recorded CD... but then I hear something that catches my attention, something which I have never heard before on a CD. This extra "something" mostly relates to the 3 dimensional quality of the recording, and the illusion of space around a performer.

Jim