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(28-12-2016 14:32)DavidHB Wrote: [ -> ]
(28-12-2016 12:08)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]I understand that Minimserver does actually improve the sound quality of the music. This is because it uses way less CPU and is much more efficient than other systems such as Twonky.

I don't recall that Simon ever claimed this, and it is difficult to think of a mechanism by which a difference of this kind can have an effect on the analogue signal path via the renderer and the DAC.

What Simon has reported is that transcoding files (particularly to WAV24) using MinimStreamer can have a small but noticeable beneficial effect on sound quality. My own experience confirms this.

David
Fair enough. My knowledge of such things is too limited to argue.
I confirm what DavidHB has said. In particular, I have never claimed that MinimServer produces better sound quality than other servers.

Regarding FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding, many people including myself have heard an improvement, some people have heard no differerence and a few people have said they prefer the original FLAC. My advice to anyone asking this question is to try it yourself with your equipment and your ears.
(28-12-2016 16:03)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]Fair enough. My knowledge of such things is too limited to argue.

No, do argue. It's more fun that way, and I might learn something (if only because Simon gets fed up of my idiocy and steps in to wave a magisterial finger ... Smile).

More to the point perhaps, on a forum such as this there is really no such thing as a stupid question. Do feel free to ask away.

David
(28-12-2016 19:19)simoncn Wrote: [ -> ]I confirm what DavidHB has said. In particular, I have never claimed that MinimServer produces better sound quality than other servers.

Regarding FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding, many people including myself have heard an improvement, some people have heard no differerence and a few people have said they prefer the original FLAC. My advice to anyone asking this question is to try it yourself with your equipment and your ears.
What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...
(29-12-2016 00:00)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...

Transcoding is the process of converting a file (in our case a music file) from one format to another on the fly as it is streamed from the server to the player/renderer. So a file that is stored as, say, FLAC, is sent to (and seen by) the player as a WAV file. The file is not permanently converted, just sent to the player in the different format.

Go to the MinimServer Home Page (link at the bottom of this page), then link to MinimStreamer and then its user guide. You will find instructions for installing and using the MinimStreamer plugin. In the User Guide, you will find a section on transcoding. To set it up, you use properties in the MinimWatch or MinimServer properties dialog box in the usual way. Details are in the Guide.

I suggest that you start with simple transcoding from FLAC to WAV (or preferably, if your player can handle it, WAV24). Most other conversions require the installation of another piece of software called FFMPEG on the device on which MinimServer is running. Again, this is explained in the documentation, but it is best to start simple.

I hope that this is enough to get you started.

David
(29-12-2016 01:48)DavidHB Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 00:00)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...

Transcoding is the process of converting a file (in our case a music file) from one format to another on the fly as it is streamed from the server to the player/renderer. So a file that is stored as, say, FLAC, is sent to (and seen by) the player as a WAV file. The file is not permanently converted, just sent to the player in the different format.

Go to the MinimServer Home Page (link at the bottom of this page), then link to MinimStreamer and then its user guide. You will find instructions for installing and using the MinimStreamer plugin. In the User Guide, you will find a section on transcoding. To set it up, you use properties in the MinimWatch or MinimServer properties dialog box in the usual way. Details are in the Guide.

I suggest that you start with simple transcoding from FLAC to WAV (or preferably, if your player can handle it, WAV24). Most other conversions require the installation of another piece of software called FFMPEG on the device on which MinimServer is running. Again, this is explained in the documentation, but it is best to start simple.

I hope that this is enough to get you started.

David
Thanks David. I am now transcoding from flac:wav24 Pretty impressive. How does this work? If the file is stored as flac how can it be upgraded on the fly? Surely it can only be as good as the quality it has been stored at??
(29-12-2016 11:06)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 01:48)DavidHB Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 00:00)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...

Transcoding is the process of converting a file (in our case a music file) from one format to another on the fly as it is streamed from the server to the player/renderer. So a file that is stored as, say, FLAC, is sent to (and seen by) the player as a WAV file. The file is not permanently converted, just sent to the player in the different format.

Go to the MinimServer Home Page (link at the bottom of this page), then link to MinimStreamer and then its user guide. You will find instructions for installing and using the MinimStreamer plugin. In the User Guide, you will find a section on transcoding. To set it up, you use properties in the MinimWatch or MinimServer properties dialog box in the usual way. Details are in the Guide.

I suggest that you start with simple transcoding from FLAC to WAV (or preferably, if your player can handle it, WAV24). Most other conversions require the installation of another piece of software called FFMPEG on the device on which MinimServer is running. Again, this is explained in the documentation, but it is best to start simple.

I hope that this is enough to get you started.

David
Thanks David. I am now transcoding from flac:wav24 Pretty impressive. How does this work? If the file is stored as flac how can it be upgraded on the fly? Surely it can only be as good as the quality it has been stored at??
OK - next issue. I am struggling to install FFMPEG on my MacbookPro/Melco. I have downloaded FFMPEG and put the folder into Minimserver/opt/bin but I cannot install it for some reason...
(29-12-2016 11:06)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 01:48)DavidHB Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 00:00)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...

Transcoding is the process of converting a file (in our case a music file) from one format to another on the fly as it is streamed from the server to the player/renderer. So a file that is stored as, say, FLAC, is sent to (and seen by) the player as a WAV file. The file is not permanently converted, just sent to the player in the different format.

Go to the MinimServer Home Page (link at the bottom of this page), then link to MinimStreamer and then its user guide. You will find instructions for installing and using the MinimStreamer plugin. In the User Guide, you will find a section on transcoding. To set it up, you use properties in the MinimWatch or MinimServer properties dialog box in the usual way. Details are in the Guide.

I suggest that you start with simple transcoding from FLAC to WAV (or preferably, if your player can handle it, WAV24). Most other conversions require the installation of another piece of software called FFMPEG on the device on which MinimServer is running. Again, this is explained in the documentation, but it is best to start simple.

I hope that this is enough to get you started.

David
Thanks David. I am now transcoding from flac:wav24 Pretty impressive. How does this work? If the file is stored as flac how can it be upgraded on the fly? Surely it can only be as good as the quality it has been stored at??

The file does not get upgraded, it merely gets converted. The idea behind this is that 24 bit offers more "space" to work in (kind of analoguous to 8-bit Jpeg pictures versus 16-bit DNG files used in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop), so there is less change that anything is compressed or cut off. It also allows for extrapolation and upsampling.

But what you say does hold true in principle: the copy will only be as good as the original allows it to get.
(29-12-2016 11:17)Pepsican Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 11:06)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 01:48)DavidHB Wrote: [ -> ]
(29-12-2016 00:00)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]What do you mean by FLAC to WAV or WAV24 transcoding. The majority of my files are either AIFF, WAV or FLAC. How do I try out the transcoding? Sounds like a fun experiment...

Transcoding is the process of converting a file (in our case a music file) from one format to another on the fly as it is streamed from the server to the player/renderer. So a file that is stored as, say, FLAC, is sent to (and seen by) the player as a WAV file. The file is not permanently converted, just sent to the player in the different format.

Go to the MinimServer Home Page (link at the bottom of this page), then link to MinimStreamer and then its user guide. You will find instructions for installing and using the MinimStreamer plugin. In the User Guide, you will find a section on transcoding. To set it up, you use properties in the MinimWatch or MinimServer properties dialog box in the usual way. Details are in the Guide.

I suggest that you start with simple transcoding from FLAC to WAV (or preferably, if your player can handle it, WAV24). Most other conversions require the installation of another piece of software called FFMPEG on the device on which MinimServer is running. Again, this is explained in the documentation, but it is best to start simple.

I hope that this is enough to get you started.

David
Thanks David. I am now transcoding from flac:wav24 Pretty impressive. How does this work? If the file is stored as flac how can it be upgraded on the fly? Surely it can only be as good as the quality it has been stored at??

The file does not get upgraded, it merely gets converted. The idea behind this is that 24 bit offers more "space" to work in (kind of analoguous to 8-bit Jpeg pictures versus 16-bit DNG files used in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop), so there is less change that anything is compressed or cut off. It also allows for extrapolation and upsampling.

But what you say does hold true in principle: the copy will only be as good as the original allows it to get.
Thanks. I kind of get it. Just not sure I totally understand about the 'space'. My files are stored as uncompressed FLAC and are now being transcoded to WAV 24. The 24 bit FLAC to WAV 24 must surely make no difference? The 16 bit FLAC to 24 bit WAV I can't get my head around as surely the 16 bit will remain as 16 bit???
(29-12-2016 11:29)Melco Man Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks. I kind of get it. Just not sure I totally understand about the 'space'. My files are stored as uncompressed FLAC and are now being transcoded to WAV 24. The 24 bit FLAC to WAV 24 must surely make no difference? The 16 bit FLAC to 24 bit WAV I can't get my head around as surely the 16 bit will remain as 16 bit???

Actually, as far as the facts of the case are concerned, you are (I believe) pretty much correct. In particular, the 16 bit data is still 16 bit, albeit padded out with zeroes to fill up the 24 bits. I cannot recall seeing any explanations as to how this could affect perceived sound quality. But, apparently, that is what it does, at least sometimes.

I can offer a couple of fairly random thoughts, which may or may not be relevant. Firstly I remember someone writing on the forum several years ago (and I cannot find the post) that Naim had said that playing WAV rather than FLAC helped lower the noise floor in their players. As human hearing is apparently sensitive to even tiny amounts of noise and much of the technology of high end hi-fi is directed at reducing noise to hitherto unimaginably low levels, this, if correctly reported, is a significant and interesting statement.

Secondly, in 2015, Linn published a white paper on The Evolution of the Pre-amplifier, which provides the technical background to their decision to stop making separate (analogue) pre-amplifiers. It is interesting in the present context because it describes in some detail the signal path in their top of the range Klimax DSM (a combined streamer and pre-amplifier with digital and analogue inputs). You will see that the signal path involves quite a bit of upsampling and downsampling along the way, so it could be said that the upsampling to WAV24 is only the first of several such processes that the data will encounter. I doubt that Linn is the only manufacturer to design systems like this; indeed, some form of upsampling is needed for any digital volume control to work properly without truncating the data. Does starting with an upsampled 24 bit file improve matters in some way? I really don't know, but the thought is intriguing.

David
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