Music Playback Software

I'm curious what software everyone else is using for music playback. I have 3 simple requirements, you'd think this would be easy enough but I'm not finding many options that do all 3.

1 - I want bit perfect playback, I don't need fancy upsampling or anything like that, I just need perfect bits passed to my DAC and I'll let the DAC do the work.
2 - I want to be able to browse by genre > artist > album. I have just shy of 10TB of music spread across thousands of artists, I don't want to scroll for days before I get to Rush I want to hit the Prog Rock genre and then scroll through a much smaller list of artists to get there; There are also lots of times where I know the type of music I want but not a specific artist, so having the genre in the navigation is critical.
3 - I want the functionality of #2 above in a desktop solution AND a mobile app that runs on the phone and tablet.

I've tried every single piece of software that I've come across on the Mac. Amarra, Audirvana+, Pure Music, Decibel, Fidelia, BitPerfect, VOX, VLC and of course iTunes all fail to meet a combination of requirements 2 and 3. I've tried some of those more recently than others so if I'm missing an option there let me know.

The only two options I've found that meet all my requirements are JRiver and Roon, both of which piss me off for different reasons.

I like the look of the interface with Roon, but overall I find it somewhat obnoxious to use. I don't like the horizontal scrolling and I don't like the fact that generally not all things are shown by default. I'll pull up the Prog Rock genre and get a list of a few artists, but to view a full listing of the artists I have to first tap a button that says "All Artists". There are other examples of a similar design approach spread across the app and I'm not a fan. If they would just give me a list view option without all the ancillary info and pictures that would be awesome, and when I finally land on an artist and album THEN show me all the cool info you pull from the internet and lyrics and stuff. And why can't I sort the order of the genres that are displayed in the iPhone app? The interface sure is pretty but not very efficient.

That being said, the sound quality and connectivity are superb. It never crashes, it can see all the devices on my network with zero issues, and works flawlessly with AirPlay.

Which brings me to JRiver, which is pretty much the polar opposite of Roon. The interface is not fancy and looks outdated, and certainly does not have the data rich functionality that Roon has...no lyrics, no neat info from the internet, no interaction with Tidal, no analyzing my music to make recommendations or showing me an album that I haven't listened to in a while...none of that stuff. But what it does do is allow me to get to the music I want to listen to quickly and easily...and it does that on every platform I've tried it on. Take a look at the attached screenshot, see how I can quickly drill through to my music? The JRemote app for iPhone and iPad are more or less the same. I have my music tagged according to how I want to browse it, JRiver a) is much quicker and more efficient in managing tags for a large library and b) plays better with my created tags.

The problem with JRiver is it crashes from time to time. It's MUCH less frequent than in the past, but still happens a couple times a week. JRiver sounds the same as Roon using the bit perfect playback option. I've heard people say they prefer one over the other but I think those comments are derived from using the DSP or upsampling settings in one or both of the programs. I've got all that crap turned off and using the bit perfect options I don't hear a difference.

What I'd ultimately like is a combination of the two programs, use JRiver to tag and navigate my library and use Roon to pull in all the content from the internet once I've picked something to listen to.

So what do you guys use and why? My overall preference between the two is JRiver, here's a screen grab of my UI.
ucfdh9x8n30e.png

Comments

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,663
    I personally haven't found one I dislike though I find the HEOS platform to be a bit weird in layout. I'm not as picky as you are though. I still remember you jumping my a$$ at LSAF a few years ago about how I set up jriver.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,101
    DSkip wrote: »
    I personally haven't found one I dislike though I find the HEOS platform to be a bit weird in layout. I'm not as picky as you are though. I still remember you jumping my a$$ at LSAF a few years ago about how I set up jriver.

    don't tell him i'm using free media monkey :D
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,303
    Yes, I love roon, but I really like how it “discovers” albums and artists I forgot I had.

    I will say that if I wanted listen to something specific I just do a search. But this does mean that I can go awhile without listening to something that I forgot about. I can see how the genre list option would be useful, but it’s nowhere near a deal breaker for me...

    Sorry I don’t have any suggestions except that you are going to have to develop what you want :p >:)
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Parasound HCA-1205A; Arcam rDac; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine Mini, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,481
    I started deleting genres from all my tags years ago. To me, Rush is rock. I couldn't figure out where to draw the lines for many artists, so I just quit drawing lines altogether.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,481
    My pet peeve is artist names - The or no The, last name first or last, contributing artists, etc...
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,686
    I hear you on the genre breakdown, took me a while to get it right. With the size of my collection having one large Rock genre wasn't really workable. Initially I went too far and had so many genres that I couldn't easily establish where stuff belonged which made my music difficult to find. It took me a solid couple years of tweaking to get the right balance of genres being specific enough but not so granular that I can't remember where I put things.

    As an example, progressive rock has a very different feel for me than straightforward rock and roll and I have a TON of prog rock so it made sense to get it's own category. I have several genres for rock and jazz with each getting 4 or 5 genres, pretty much all other major categories just have 1 genre.

    I don't stress with the artist names, I leave the "A" and "The" and whatever other prefixes in front, JRiver can ignore those in the sorting but still display them. Take a look at the screenshot in my first post, The Mars Volta is sorted right there where it belongs in front of Muse. I personally display and sort first name last name since that's how I say the artist names.
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,031
    The Mars Volta. There's one I haven't played in awhile, will have to pull some out (up) tonight. Carry on.
  • billbillwbillbillw Posts: 5,770
    edited March 27
    I wish I could help with an easy suggestion, but it sounds like you have pretty high expectations. For #1 and #2, Daphile fits the bill, but that totally doesn't fit with #3.

    Perhaps you could look into doing something with Logitech Media server/Squeezebox and find a Mac compatible app that can playback along with a matching IOS app? There is somebody here who knows all about that ecosystem...maybe @msg ?
    Main 2-ch:
    Sony SS-M9; LSA Statement Amplifier; VPI HW-19 Mk3/Sumiko Premier FT-4/Audio Technica AT15SA; Pass Labs DIY Pearl Phono; Sony SCD-C333ES SACD Changer; TEAC UD-301 DAC; Dell/WYSE 5010 (running Daphile); Sony ST-SA5ES Tuner; Nanotec Golden Strada speaker cables (SR+#79 Shotgun); Audioquest Coral interconnects
  • zuulzuul Posts: 241
    i started running jriver back in december on my mac and it's not perfect but it pretty much does what you describe you want a program to do.

    not sure why it would be crashing.... i haven't had a problem with that on my mac mini running el capitan and media center 23. the only time it's crashed is when i use the eos android remote...

    i posted in this forum about how i arrived at the decision to use jriver...
    speakers:
    bowers & wilkins 685 S2
    polk psw-10
    components:
    sonic frontiers line 1 preamp
    sonic frontiers anthem amp 1
    mac mini w/ audioquest jitterbug
    teac ud-501 digital to analog converter
    oppo dv-980h dvd/cd
    interconnects:
    guzi rca
    monoprice onix series digital coaxial
    transparent performance USB
    transparent perfect image HDMI
    speaker wire
    audioquest type 4
    power:
    rhino-tek 1000w 15amp voltage regulator
    vansevers 211 power cord
    pangea ac-14 power cord
    tubes:
    amplifier: (2) NOS 1960 philco/lansdale 12AU7 (super rare!), (1) NOS 1967 mullard 12AX7, (4) 2016 svetlana hard blue EL-34
    pre-amp: (6) E88CC/6922 ??? (haven't cracked the case yet to see what previous owner was running...) so for now they are mystery tubes.
    misc:
    JRiver Media Center 24
    sanus 24" speaker stands
    auralex acoustics subdude II
    DeMoude Audio cylindrical bass traps
    rf/emi/noise reduction caps for empty rca inputs.
    Hall of Fame: [retired/sold]
    polk monitor series 5jr+ w/ RDO194-1 upgraded tweeters
    polk monitor series RTA 8T
    kenwood kd-550 w/ SME 3009 Series III tonearm grado gold cartridge
    adcom gfp-555II
    marantz 2238b
    luxman M-120A
    technics sl-b10
  • cdfoakleycdfoakley Posts: 5
    I'm using JRiver 22 on a mac mini. My system runs 24 hours a day through W4S mono amps and DACDSD2e. Yes once in a while it freezes but usually once a month or less.

    I have tried pure music in the past but honestly did not hear much of a difference. JRiver handles my 1.3 terabyte collection nicely. Hope this helps.
    2-Channel; (2) Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000 amps, Adcom GFP-750 preamp, Wyred 4 Sound DAC2-DSDse, Polk SDS SRS 1.2tl by vr3, 2012 mac mini w/ JRivers-19, NAS via ethernet cat 5
  • zuulzuul Posts: 241
    i started using JRiver in January... during which time the next version was in beta and subsequently about to be released... I got some emails about upgrading for a low fee etc. which is expected.

    A few days ago I went to the JRiver forums and asked if I would have to pay for the upgrade despite having only gotten my license 90 days earlier. i didn't get a direct reply in the forum, but within an hour of me posting that the registration code for the newest version was sent to me via email.

    I was already enjoying their product, but it's things like that that endear me to a company... and so I would certainly recommend Media Center if you haven't tried it yet.
    speakers:
    bowers & wilkins 685 S2
    polk psw-10
    components:
    sonic frontiers line 1 preamp
    sonic frontiers anthem amp 1
    mac mini w/ audioquest jitterbug
    teac ud-501 digital to analog converter
    oppo dv-980h dvd/cd
    interconnects:
    guzi rca
    monoprice onix series digital coaxial
    transparent performance USB
    transparent perfect image HDMI
    speaker wire
    audioquest type 4
    power:
    rhino-tek 1000w 15amp voltage regulator
    vansevers 211 power cord
    pangea ac-14 power cord
    tubes:
    amplifier: (2) NOS 1960 philco/lansdale 12AU7 (super rare!), (1) NOS 1967 mullard 12AX7, (4) 2016 svetlana hard blue EL-34
    pre-amp: (6) E88CC/6922 ??? (haven't cracked the case yet to see what previous owner was running...) so for now they are mystery tubes.
    misc:
    JRiver Media Center 24
    sanus 24" speaker stands
    auralex acoustics subdude II
    DeMoude Audio cylindrical bass traps
    rf/emi/noise reduction caps for empty rca inputs.
    Hall of Fame: [retired/sold]
    polk monitor series 5jr+ w/ RDO194-1 upgraded tweeters
    polk monitor series RTA 8T
    kenwood kd-550 w/ SME 3009 Series III tonearm grado gold cartridge
    adcom gfp-555II
    marantz 2238b
    luxman M-120A
    technics sl-b10
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