If you have no or little experience with JPLAY, the Manual sounds a bit too technical or you simply want to know which features are most suited for your needs – this article is for you.
How do you want to play your music?
A) Control playback directly at the PC and use mouse + keyboard for browsing music files
(difficulty level: Easy)
B) Control playback remotely from any smart device in your home network
(difficulty level: Advanced)
JPLAY is not only an extremely optimized sound engine. It’s also quite powerful playback software package that can be used at least in 3 different ways. The answer to this question will help you choose the right way.
JPLAYmini – tiny app, big sound
If your answer was A) and your highest priority is sound quality, then JPLAYmini may be all you need. The interface is basic and playback is controlled by pressing keys on a keyboard. It’s simple and easy to use – for some people even easier than GUI as they can play music without even looking at screen or keyboard. Check it out!
Improve sound quality of any player with JPLAY Driver
If JPLAYmini is too minimalist and you’d like a proper graphical user interface (GUI), you can benefit from JPLAY’s supreme sound engine by using it on top of other playback software: just select JPLAY Driver as an output in preferences. That’s it! Audio is routed to JPLAY. The integration is completely transparent – you can use the player of your choice as usual.
JPLAY with foobar2000, but you can use it with all players supporting ASIO output. Our manual shows step-by-step instructions how to combine JPLAY with most popular players.
Enter Network Audio with JPLAYStreamer
If your answer was B) things get a bit more complicated as one needs to understand the concept of network audio, but the sound quality is best and your PC essentially becomes an audiophile network streamer, JPLAYStreamer.
It means that after initial setup you no longer have to go near your PC every time you want to play an album. In fact, you don’t have to touch or even look at your PC/laptop at all, because you can use your smartphone or tablet as a remote.
You can even disconnect mouse, keyboard and display and make your PC ‘headless’. Of course, if you wish, you can control playback directly at the PC/laptop with JPLAY (JPLAYStreamer) installed. It’s up to you which device in your home network is used as a remote – you can have as many as you want.
Control, serve, stream
JPLAYStreamer is based on OpenHome Media standard (an extension of UPnP). Once you install JPLAY on a PC with Windows 8 or later, it automatically becomes a network streamer – a player that uses your home network for transferring music data. JPLAYStreamer is the sound engine. It acts as a renderer for any compatible audio data that it gets over network – either from music services such as TIDAL or Qobuz or from a Media Server.
Media Server, as the name suggest, is a piece of software that serves media (in our case it is a music server as we need only audio data). Media Server reads your media library and then sends music bytes over network to a renderer (sometimes called endpoint), JPLAYStreamer.
Media Server can run virtually on any PC/laptop/Mac in your home network. It often comes preinstalled with NAS drives, so if your music library is on a NAS drive, you may not need to install any media server as it’s very likely you already have one. In any case, for JPLAYStreamer we recommend using MinimServer software which supports transcoding feature required by JPLAYStreamer (MinimServer converts any audio format to WAV on the fly, please check our Manual how to configure MinimServer for JPLAYStreamer)
Lastly, we need a remote app – so called Control Point which acts as a bridge between Media Server and Renderer (JPLAYStreamer). We recommend free Linn Kinsky / Kazoo (available for Windows/MacOS/iOS/Android) or BubbleDS (Android) which additionally supports TIDAL & Qobuz streaming.
JPLAYStreamer, Media Server & Control Point can run on separate devices in a home network, but a configuration where all components are on a single Windows PC is also possible – in this case your PC acts as a Media Server, a Renderer and a Control Point at the same time.
About the author
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.