Monthly Archives: October 2017

JPLAYStreamer: how to improve sound quality

by admin
October 13, 2017
0

5 steps to a better playback with JPLAYStreamer

1. Create a proxy server

bubbleproxy

Use 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.

kazooproxy

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 transcoding

JPLAYStreamer 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.exe in my case.

avconv

Please note that stream.transcode string must end with a semicolon. Otherwise MinimServer will perform transcoding on its own.

3. Specify subnet

Defining 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.

ipaddress

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 StreamerSubnet entry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JPLAY6 key as you can see below.

streamersubnet

And then we need to do the same for MinimServer. Open Properties, go to System tab and type your subnet under ohnet.subnet field.

minimsubnet

4. Use high–end network adapter

The 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.

_MG_9675_preview

5. Control point on most powerful device

Running 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.

Control Points

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 support@jplay.eu

About the author

abouttheauthor
Marcin 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.