Author Topic: The ASIO Music Player thread  (Read 7730 times)

Offline nateman831

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The ASIO Music Player thread
« on: November 02, 2022, 09:16:23 AM »
I wanted to start a thread to discuss what “music players” have ASIO support

Why ASIO?

Well, for some (usually high end) interfaces, ASIO is the only option - there is no Sound Manager support. Also, I just think it sounds better…

After taking a look around, it's not looking good.  I don't see anything like SoundJam, or Audion, etc. In fact, I tried many, MANY more players, and none of them supported ASIO - until you get to actual music production apps.

Which is where I'm looking at the moment - which of course is using an app for a purpose it wasn't really designed for

Top Criteria:
(1) ASIO support
(2) "Playlists"
(3) MP3 support


APPS TESTED SO FAR:

** Spark XL 2.80 **

This is - so far - the best I've found... It's stable. Supports "playlists". Supports AIFF, WAV, and probably a few other formats, BUT NOT mp3.

Problems:

(1) won’t let me import MOST of my library - even though they’re supported formats - It doesn’t even “see” them
(2) doesn't progress to the next song in the playlist after finishing the previous one. Maybe there is a way to do it, but I just haven't figured it out yet.
(3) makes a mess of my hard disk, creating .OVW files (800 kb a piece) next to all the original audio files


** PlayerPro 5.8 or later **

On the upside, this supports MP3, besides WAV, AIFF, and many other formats. It also has a playlist. Technically, it should support ASIO, but this turns out to be where the problems begin

Problems:

(1) Doesn’t actually seem to support ASIO - or maybe just not in OS 9.  The selection for ASIO is there, but when you select it, it says the driver is not working
*The freeware version lets you go a step further, and select the appropriate ASIO driver, but then it just ends up routing through whatever’s chosen in Sound Manager
(2) PlayerPro is less stable than Spark XL - especially once you choose ASIO


That's all I have for now... Not a promising start.

If anyone is aware of any fixes for the above mentioned problems, please feel free to chime in.
Or, if anyone can recommend any other apps to check out, just let me know.

Thanks!
MDD, FW400, 1.25 DP, 2 GB RAM
MDD, FW 800 1.42 DP, 2 GB RAM
Mac Mini G4 1.5 Ghz, 1 GB RAM

Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2022, 07:53:15 PM »
the first thing i ever made with max was a video player with asio - because there were none.

for music, spark was my choice in OSX for a while... because it at least had a rudimentary file brower / playlist.

in OS9 it is looking bad. i prefer apps like quicktime player which can pla bothy compressed audio and 32 bit, but none of them has asio support.
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Offline Philgood

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2022, 05:08:25 AM »
I wonder the ASIO part not working because you didn’t put the driver inside the folder?
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline nateman831

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2022, 09:18:55 AM »
in OS9 it is looking bad. i prefer apps like quicktime player which can pla bothy compressed audio and 32 bit, but none of them has asio support.

Thanks for the input - that's kinda what I was afraid of...


for music, spark was my choice in OSX for a while... because it at least had a rudimentary file brower / playlist.

In Spark XL, were you able to progress in the "playlist" from one song to the next? For me, it either stops playing, or repeats the same song
MDD, FW400, 1.25 DP, 2 GB RAM
MDD, FW 800 1.42 DP, 2 GB RAM
Mac Mini G4 1.5 Ghz, 1 GB RAM

Offline nateman831

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2022, 09:20:09 AM »
I wonder the ASIO part not working because you didn’t put the driver inside the folder?

Def always a good thing to check... Unfortunately, the driver was in the folder. For Spark, it worked, for PlayerPro, it did not...
MDD, FW400, 1.25 DP, 2 GB RAM
MDD, FW 800 1.42 DP, 2 GB RAM
Mac Mini G4 1.5 Ghz, 1 GB RAM

Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2022, 09:36:36 AM »
In Spark XL, were you able to progress in the "playlist" from one song to the next? For me, it either stops playing, or repeats the same song

can´t remember. i used it to play my own songs, not as a radio. (i am not a big fan of playlists and catalogs, mildly put, i am an everything-via-finder person)

for example i used it as 32 bit float to mp3 encoder, for it has better quality than QT6/media cleaner in OS9.

to be honest, the autocreation of these seperate waveform files is a PITA.

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Offline DieHard

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2022, 11:02:15 AM »
Can't remember if you can do lists... but will it can definitely go ASIO or non-ASIO, also you have real time effects like multi-band compression & EQ while playing, maybe you could "script" or macro a palylist

SonicWORX Power Bundle

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,856.0.html

Also, check here:

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2071.0

lastly, there is "MoreAmp"
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,480.0[/url.html

Remember, many Pro sound cards can "route" mac system sound to your sound card, so if you find an awesome program that does not offer ASIO support, you should invest in a card/interface that can route "system sound" to your audio system
« Last Edit: November 03, 2022, 11:15:45 AM by DieHard »

Offline nateman831

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2023, 09:23:47 AM »
A little over a year later and I finally have some positive updates to report...

Spark is now working for me as an ASIO music player with a proper, working playlist.

This is actually an exciting breakthrough for me on a personal project I've had for awhile now. I'll get into those reasons at the bottom of this post.

Here's how it's done:

1. Create a new "project"
2. Expand the playlist window so it fills as much of your screen as is comfortable.
3. Drop your music files into the left-side pane.
4. From there, drag the music files from the left-side pane to the right side pane.
5. That's it! The right-side pane is now your playlist. You can now select songs there and press play. The music will advance from track to track just as a playlist should.

Remember, this is still a music production application that we're repurposing as a music player. So there's some things to bear in mind.

1. When closing a project or quitting the application, beware when it asks you if you'd like to save the music file - click no to all. I'm sure you don't want it making any changes to your music files.
2. I recommend going into preferences and getting rid of the pause - on Playlist tab set Pause Length to 0 seconds
3. Change the Crossfade type to Hard Cut unless you just prefer something different.
4. On "Editor" tab, set drawing options to 2D. Its faster.
5. On "General" tab, set Overview Creation to "Within temp folder" so OVW files aren't littered over your hard drive next to the music files.

To address the import problem I wrote about before; it turns out the name of my music drive was the problem. The name was "Classic Storage". As soon as I renamed to just "Storage", all the import problems went away. Not sure whether this is app-specific or a symptom of OS 9, but apparently the longer name or the space was messing up file references.

If you can bear to deal with it being a little rough around the edges, Spark XL 2.8 actually works really well as a music player. I've been really enjoying listening to music this way.

Spark, unfortunately, has no MP3 support, even though I'd read in places that it does. This is okay for me since most of my music is AIFF anyways.

Given enough time, I'd still like to figure out a way to get PlayerPro 5.8+ to be operational with ASIO - just so there's choices.  Even though the feature is there - it just isn't working for me for some reason, and it's not for lack of trying either.

I've tried on both a MDD and a FW800, both on OS 9.2.2. Neither worked. I've tried 5 different sound cards. No dice. I also tried every single version of PlayerPro I could get my hands on, including the ones at SourceForge.

The only thing I can think of trying next is to get a G3 and try it with OS 9.1 or OS 8.6. That probably won't happen soon though.

Anyways, hope this all helps somebody else out.

Again, this article is written for two types of people in mind:

1. If your audio interface ONLY supports ASIO and you'd like to use it for listening to music

2. The computer audiophile community. I've noticed a trend where much of the longtime community acknowledges the value of having the most dedicated source possible with CD transports rising in popularity. Then there's projects like Wtfplay, PI2AES, Volumio, Fidelizer, and music players like Jplay or XXHE. All of these projects attempt to extract "audiophile level" music quality from Windows or Linux and they start by stripping the OS as far as they can get it. But its still never anywhere as lean as Mac OS 9 (except perhaps Wtfplay, which unfortunately is less flexible on the supported audio interfaces)

Meanwhile, Mac OS 9.2.2 uses just 35 MB of RAM, and you can now send your entire playlist via ASIO to AES (or SPDIF, or optical) and out to your DAC.

This is about as dedicated (read unbloated) as computer audio gets, but no one in the "computer audiophile" community is even mentioning Mac OS 9.

Anyways, my ears are totally loving the new setup.

It might even be the best computer source I've ever set up - only time will tell. But it's definitely very, VERY good.

I definitely prefer it to anything on Windows 7 or later, no matter which player, no matter how many cores - or what scheme is used for core assignments, regardless of how stripped the OS is, and regardless of whether the OS is RAM booted or not.

I think for any "computer audiophiles" out there wanting their computer to get as close as possible to a dedicated CD transport, Mac OS 9 certainly deserves a mention.

*forgot to mention my chain:

PowerMac G4 (MDD) > MacOS 9.2.2 > Spark XL 2.8 > ASIO > RME DIGI96/8 PAD > Breakout Cable BO968 > AES > Neutrik AES to BNC Transformer (part no. NADITBNC-FX) > Kopul BNC Male to RCA Male cable > Coaxial Input > Schiit DACs (Modi 3 and/or Bifrost 4490) > Schiit headamps (Magni 3+, Piety, and/or Valhalla 2) > Sennheiser HD 569 or HD 6xx
« Last Edit: December 16, 2023, 09:46:56 AM by nateman831 »
MDD, FW400, 1.25 DP, 2 GB RAM
MDD, FW 800 1.42 DP, 2 GB RAM
Mac Mini G4 1.5 Ghz, 1 GB RAM

Offline ssp3

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2023, 12:54:52 PM »
WaveBurner Pro will do all of the above, plus

* It will convert mp3 files to AIFF when you drop them into Regions window and then they will be playable.
* It can use POW-r dithering at the output, if needed. That's one of the finest algorithms in the industry.
* It will save a Playlist, not an audio file.


OT. If you're seriously concerned about high quality playback, i.e. the real audiophile playback, you should consider doing it in OSX and, preferably, on Intel Mac.
Also, 'mp3' has nothing to do with 'audiophile'.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2023, 02:28:49 PM by ssp3 »
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Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2023, 12:31:14 PM »
waveburner does not not fit into your workflow as soon as you work with 32 bit audio files. (that is basically the same issue that itunes 1 also has)
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Offline ssp3

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2023, 01:31:21 PM »
Working with 32 bit files in OS9 requires very thought out workflow. There aren't that many apps that can do it. HDD throughput in multitrack apps could also be a problem.
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Offline teroyk

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2023, 03:09:15 PM »
Well, for some (usually high end) interfaces, ASIO is the only option - there is no Sound Manager support. Also, I just think it sounds better…

Have you tried route Sound Manager to ASIO with Cycling74 Spig?

Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2023, 05:16:32 PM »
Working with 32 bit files in OS9 requires very thought out workflow. There aren't that many apps that can do it. HDD throughput in multitrack apps could also be a problem.

then why you want dither. ;)

but it is true, it can be annoying when not every program supports a certain format. i keep running into the trap with some editors, because after some years you tend to forget things. last but not least because in later OX and windows versions thigns might be different. then you go back to OS9 and oops.

maybe a compatibilty graph for all audio apps would be a nice idea.
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Offline ssp3

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2023, 07:12:00 PM »
then why you want dither. ;)

I always want dither, except when I'm not touching any knob or fader anywhere.
Quote
- WaveBurner Pro has internally operated at 32-bit floating point resolution from version 2.0 onwards. This means that every crossfade, every volume change and every plug-in operation is calculated with 32-bit precision – even if the source material was originally recorded at 16-bit or 24-bit depth.

Quote
maybe a compatibilty graph for all audio apps would be a nice idea.

I don't know. There are probably 2-3 people here, for whom that might be important, but they know it already.
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Offline teroyk

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2023, 05:48:05 AM »
then why you want dither. ;)
I always want dither, except when I'm not touching any knob or fader anywhere.
Quote
- WaveBurner Pro has internally operated at 32-bit floating point resolution from version 2.0 onwards. This means that every crossfade, every volume change and every plug-in operation is calculated with 32-bit precision – even if the source material was originally recorded at 16-bit or 24-bit depth.
Quote
maybe a compatibilty graph for all audio apps would be a nice idea.
I don't know. There are probably 2-3 people here, for whom that might be important, but they know it already.

There is not dithering algorithm that is perfect for every material (compare graphics dithering and then it more easy to understand problems).

I actually looking for older Waveburner that doesn't use floating point. 32-bit floating point calculation doesn't mean automatically 32-bit integer precision not even 24-bit, reason is how floating points are in bits. But that doesn't mean floating points are bad they are good for very small and very big numbers, but they lost precision easily, especially when you have to convert it to back to integer (for play with all audio interfaces). Integer calculation algorithm precision is different, you easily lost 1-bit, but only 1-bit, if you know what you do.

Compatibility graph sounds good..because there is ASIO1.0 and ASIO2.0 compatible apps and drivers..also it would be nice are they 16-bit or 24-bit compatible and are they 44.1-48khz or 88.2-96khz compatible. And it would be nice if graph has also OMS, Freemidi, Apple Midi Manager, direct serial MIDI-compability info.

But most nice would be if somebody can program ASIO Music player/(recorder)-skeleton as open source, that every programmer can improve.

Offline ssp3

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2023, 06:17:02 AM »
I actually looking for older Waveburner that doesn't use floating point.

What does it use then?
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Offline robespierre

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2023, 06:48:35 AM »
especially when you have to convert it to back to integer (for play with all audio interfaces).

Sigma-Delta DACs can be designed to operate directly on floating point numbers. I think the Burr-Brown DAC in the TiBook can do it.

Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2023, 09:41:10 AM »
Quote
I always want dither, except when I'm not touching any knob or fader anywhere.

dithering is a process which only makes sense when changing the resolution
and after that you never again do anything to the file or stream.

so it only makes sense when he plays 32 bit files in a player, as anything else can be
played as is.

Quote
Compatibility graph sounds good

while i know by heart that i need to go to 16 if i want to continue in metasynth
or 24 if i want to continue in sonicworx, i have that habit to use soundhack
once every 3 years - and everytime i use it, i forgot again that its 32 bit output
option is 32 bit integer, which can be used in no other program in MacOS9.
and then i am like "huh? why cant the file be imported here?" and need 25
minutes to find out what the issue is. :)

the only useful resolution for interchange file types should be float, but of course in OS9 times it was kinda newish.

maybe i should actually do such a graphics, but as ssp says, normally those who could need it should know their numbers by heart.

not sure how midi options should be relevant here, but adding stereo/split stereo/mono and eventually filetypes could be interesting.

first max project i ever made as a noob was a videoplayer with ASIO. simply because there was none. of course the video part sucks CPU wise, when you play uncompressed formats. :)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2023, 10:12:09 AM by IIO »
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Offline IIO

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2023, 09:50:51 AM »
Quote
What does it use then?

for a volume slider in a pure player app the use of float sounds like an error by design.

but of course waveburner uses float it because you can create fades with it. that is a speciality of burning apps which should not be required anywhere else.

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Offline ssp3

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Re: The ASIO Music Player thread
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2023, 10:35:16 AM »
for a volume slider in a pure player app the use of float sounds like an error by design.

And what is the correct way of doing it?
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