JPLAY, JCAT USB Isolator & JCAT USB Card FEMTO Net Audio's Recommended ProductsHajime Sakaki Net Audio Japan
The Final Piece of the PuzzleTom Gibbs Positive-Feedback
JPLAY ist meine persönliche Referenz bei der Musikwiedergabe über den ComputerRoland Dietl HIFISTATEMENT
My reference playerSteven Plaskin Audiostream
JPLAY brings digital almost neck to neck with vinylPaul Candy 6moons, Blue Moon Award
The most transparent, clearest and gentlest acting music softwareChristian Rechenbach Eins Null
Highest playback quality obtained by any software or sourceCharles Zeilig, Ph.D., Jay Clawson TAS 219
JPLAY is stereoplay's best known software player for Windows.Andreas Bock Stereoplay
The First Step to Heaven = JPLAYClive Meakins Enjoy the Music
The player software allows to extract all of the best from a PC computer and audio filesWojciech Pacula High-Fidelity, Red Fingerprint & Best Product 2011 awards
if you are looking to squeeze the absolute best from your computer playback systemNick Whetstone TNT-Audio
JPLAYStreamer: how to improve sound quality
5 steps to a better playback with JPLAYStreamer
1. Create a proxy serverUse Bubble UPnP Server on a PC running JPLAYStreamer to create a proxy media server for your MinimServer music library (or a different media server software). MinimServer doesn’t have to run on the same machine. It can be on a separate device in your home network. Once you install BubbleUPnP Server, open the configuration interface in your web browser (there are shortcuts available in Start Menu / Desktop), go to Media Servers tab, select your media server and tick the option Create a proxy Media Server on this LAN in the right column as shown on the screen above. Next choose the newly created proxy as your media server in a control point app instead of the ‘real’ media server that you’d normally select. It will not only sound better, but browsing through albums and cover art in a control point app should be smoother too. Another advantage is fixing potential media server discovery issues on the network, so if your control point app struggles with finding media server occasionally, this should help.
2. Switch to external libraries for transcodingJPLAYStreamer supports only WAV format natively. In order to play FLAC, DSF/DFF & other formats, one needs to enable transcoding functionality in MinimServer (or other media server) as described in our manual. By default, MinimServer will perform transcoding internally. However, there is an option to specify external converter for transcoding. I’ve found that using external avconv libraries produces much better sound compared to transcoding done by MinimServer alone. Avconv can be downloaded here. Scroll down to the Windows section, download 32bit (i686) or 64bit (x86_64) version depending on your CPU and operating system. Extract and copy the contents of
libav...\usr\bin\folder to the folder where MinimServer is installed and type the absolute path to avconv.exe in MinimServer’s properties, System tab, under stream.converter field as shown on the screen below. It's
C:\Program Files\MinimServer\avconv.exein my case. Please note that stream.transcode string must end with a semicolon. Otherwise MinimServer will perform transcoding on its own.
3. Specify subnetDefining subnet manually for JPLAYStreamer and MinimServer leads to a better sound. You can check you network interface’s subnet in Network and Sharing Center, adapter settings. Double click on the adapter that connects to your home network (router), then click on Details... What you’re looking for are the 3 first numbers of the IP address (IPv4 Address). This is your subnet. In my system, the subnet is:
192.168.2.0(last number should be 0) Now let’s assign it to JPLAYStreamer. It can be done in registry by editing
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JPLAY6key as you can see below. And then we need to do the same for MinimServer. Open Properties, go to System tab and type your subnet under
4. Use high–end network adapterThe better network interface you use in your PC, the better the sound you will get along with more reliable playback. Especially if your goal is the ultimate ultra-low latency DAC Link 700Hz/PC Buffer 0.01s value in JPLAYsettings panel. Avoid WIFI adapters at all cost. For your wired connection, set the highest possible link speed (usually 1Gbit/s), disable all power saving features for the adapter, use good quality ethernet cables if possible – the last section, closest to your PC media server/streamer is crucial.
5. Control point on most powerful deviceRunning control point app for JPLAYStreamer on a high-performance computer rather than on a smartphone sounds better. Yes, even this has an impact on sound quality. I run Kazoo on my Macbook most of the time. If you use JPLAY dual PC mode, you can use control point directly on a Control PC with good results too. But if you use JPLAY in a single-PC configuration, I’d recommend running control point app on a remote device, because any additional activity on the PC is not welcomed. Of course, the last suggestion is for those of you who are obsessed with sound quality. For more information please check our manual, visit our forum or simply send a mail at email@example.com
About the authorMarcin Ostapowicz is a recognized high-end audio consultant. Computer audio pioneer. Co-creator of the award-winning software, JPLAY. Manufacturer, curator and distributor of high quality audio products. Constantly strives for perfection of sound. Foundations for his breakthroughs finds in areas that others ignore.
JPLAY dual PC mode: how it works & why you need it
The ultimate mode for most demanding audiophilesThe dual PC mode is a configuration where JPLAY is running on 2 PCs in a home network. It offers superior sound quality compared to a setup with just a single PC. Think of a CD integrated player vs. a CD transport + DAC analogy – the latter usually sounds better.
Control PC + Audio PCOne PC can be for general use: web browsing, work, editing photos etc. You run any software player that is compatible with JPLAY and start/stop playback here. You’d usually have your media library (music) here as well. This would be your Control PC. From user’s perspective, it works exactly the same as a single PC setup except that the actual playback happens on a different PC – Audio PC. Audio PC is a PC that connects to your audio system – a USB DAC or any other audio interface compatible with JPLAY (USB-S/PDIF converter or PCI Express sound card). Audio PC can have nothing else installed apart from JPLAY and USB DAC drivers. It can be headless and you don’t have to touch it at all after initial setup, because all playback related parameters are adjusted from JPLAYSettings panel on Control PC (some advanced settings from regedit). Both PCs must be in the same network, but do not have to be located in the same room – you can have Control PC in an office and Audio PC close to your audio system in a living room. Control PC does most of playback related processing and streams music bytes over Ethernet to Audio PC which then outputs them directly to a USB DAC or any other supported device. Because Audio PC needs only a small capacity drive for the operating system, JPLAY and essential drivers, it’s easy to make it compact and noiseless. You just need to pay attention to a power supply and a USB output in case you use a USB DAC – the higher quality, the better sound you will get. The quality of network components and cabling on both PCs is important as well. OK, almost everything can have an effect on playback quality in a computer audio system, but this is a story for another article.
SetupInstall JPLAY on both Control PC & Audio PC and restart the PCs. Make sure DAC is connected to Audio PC, switched on and drivers for the DAC are installed. Open JPLAYSettings panel on Control PC and click on the button next to Audio PC until you see ‘Search my LAN for JPLAY’. Confirm by clicking OK to initiate search. Few seconds later ‘Found JPLAY on 1 computer’ message should be displayed. Click OK, reopen JPLAYSettings panel, select your Audio PC (IP address) and adjust output parameters. All compatible audio devices connected to your Audio PC will be listed as if they were connected directly to Control PC.
Tips & tricks for best sound
- Use JPLAY Hibernate mode. Shuts down almost all Windows processes during playback on Audio PC and ensures highest sound quality.
- Use Windows 8 or later on both PCs to access JPLAY’s best playback engine, UltraStream and JPLAYStreamer.
- Even better results can be achieved with Windows Server 2012 or 2016. If you have it at least on Audio PC, you can improve sound further by switching to Core mode (manually or via Audiophile Optimizer tool)
- Disable power saving features for network adapters and USB ports on both PCs to prevent dropouts.
- As ControlPC is doing most of the processing, it should be more powerful than Audio PC (same specification for both PCs is fine too).
- Dedicated Audio PC with only JPLAY and DAC drivers on it will sound better than Audio PC that has many applications installed.
- Disable JPLAYStreamer service on Audio PC from Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Services. You need it only on Control PC.
- Quality of hardware components and power supplies is important for both PCs – use audio grade components such as JCAT on both PCs and get better sound.
- Use wired Ethernet connection. It’s more reliable and will sound better, especially if you use a high quality LAN cable.
- Set network connection speed to 1Gbit/s if it’s supported.
- High quality network adapter such as JCAT NET Card on both PCs will greatly improve sound.
- Use direct LAN cable connection between Control PC & Audio PC (requires setting a static IP at least on Audio PC). If direct connection is not possible, use audio grade network switch between PCs.
- Network connection between Control PC and Audio PC should be on a dedicated subnet. E.g. if connection from Control PC to home network is on 192.168.1.x subnet, make sure to set IP addresses for network adapters that connect Control PC & Audio PC to 192.168.2.x. This way traffic for JPLAY dual PC mode is completely isolated from home network.