Practical experiences using Music Player 3.0 (RTD1295/1296 players)

Discussion in 'General - Guides and FAQ' started by Nice Monkey, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Active Member Beta test group

    I will keep this thread open as a guide and for experiences. Initially it will be mainly a mix of bug reports and features requests. These will be highlighted with various colors to reflect the relative importance signaled by me.

    The current observations are for Music Player 3.0 release 3.4.0 (indicated by APP manager).

    It is my sole deployment running it with an Onkyo TX-RZ720 AMP via HDMI-RAW output which has support up to 32-bit 386 kHz PCM and DSD128 source formats.

    A SABRE 9038PRO based external DAC with identical PCM/DSD high definition audio support is available via USB or SPDIF. Today it is only used with additional Music Player APP's installed on my Z9S:
    - Onkyo HF Player
    - USB Music Player Pro
    The DAC is connected via USB2 to my Z9S and supports native DSD and DoP playback that way. YES there is a noticeable sound improvement using that path.

    Operation Hints & Tips:
    1) All listening is done using my Onkyo TX-RZ720 AMP for playback via HDMI: Accordingly Audio settings using Quick Settings must be set for HDMI RAW to AUTO (not to ON), High Sample rate support ON and SACD 176.4 kHz output set to ON also.
    2) Don't forget pressing the Menu key: Will offer multiple options on different places.

    Findings (mix of bug reports and requests):
    - There is something weird with the exchange of audio settings between Quick Setup and Music Player. Had to toggle switches and reboot multiple times to get these active (HQ ON + SACD ON). Had exactly the same after the previous update. I can't imagine being the only one. In my view these settings should be part of Music Player directly by the way.
    - Setting AUDIO HDMI to ON will give unpredictable results leading to no sound being output at all for no obvious reason. AUTO seems to work without side effects it seems thus far.
    - Using mentioned settings music is output via HDMI with the source matching sample size (16 bit - 24 bit) and sample rate (44.1 kHz - 192 kHz). This includes playing MP3 correctly at 44.1 kHz. It would be nice if this could be shown on screen too (Menu key option?).
    - SACD support is still limited to real-time conversion to FLAC 24-bit at 176.4 kHz in Stereo format. No DSD and/or Multi-CHannel (MCH) is currently supported. The workaround is getting FLAC MCH equivalent converted sources someway. Tools for multi-channel SACD track conversions/extractions are difficult to get though.
    - SACD DFF support does not include DST decompression.
    DST-DFF files do in fact produce a distorted sound. The minimum change should be detecting DST compression and giving an unsupported format error.
    - SACD WavPack compressed DST (WV file-extensions) tracks are recognized and played. Also valid for SACD ISO's.
    - There is no support for true gapless playback. This is essential for multi track live recordings but nicer in general too.
    - FLAC and DTS-CD can play with MCH next to stereo. These may sound really well on a Home Theater setup. Audiophiles are currently discovering this it seems as they got really fixed about music installations being stereo only.
    - CUE sheets are supported, functional and found automatically. The additional files are essential with single track sources for entire albums (FLAC, WAVE and SACD ISO formats mostly). Cue sheets facilitate track information, switching tracks and various album art/info data elements.
    - Some DTS-CD tracks produce only noise. (I must check but these seem to be all 5.0 and not 5.1 as most are?).
    - Playback may suddenly stop producing sound for unknown reason. The player has then stopped (pop-up warning after a while).
    - The scraper has limited/weird search results and the library is in the current state unusable for me.
    - Lyrics has mixed results including regularly also Chinese lyrics .
    It should in my vision be possible to turn them off too. This also to exclude potential impact on sound quality as audio purists like to do.
    - The album art shown may be a left-over from a previous album played when not found.
    - There is a weird playback error shifting playback speed to fast play. No idea how it is exactly triggered but happens when using the remote for some actions.

    Archive and Covers
    My music is organized in a different way than archive is dealing with now:
    for Artist dedicated Albums Folder:
    Artist - Album Files: Nr - Song
    for Collection Albums Folder: Album Files: Nr - Artist(s) - Song
    I am pretty sure many do something similar. Collection Albums can get Folder: Various - Album as an alternative.

    Albums are now sorted using the Album label which is very difficult to find your way with. This as I don't remember/match all album titles. Artists are sorted including artists found in collection albums resulting in a true mess (thousands of artists). Maybe nice for some but for sure not for me (good for occasional artist searching only).

    Final verdict:

    Still in an early Beta state despite the impressive change list (compared with which FW release?). Not very sure about stability and sound quality yet . Will use it more to become sure. I have seen a few problems which were solved for sure
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    videobruce likes this.
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Active Member Beta test group

    Updated after getting my external DAC installed and doing more with SACD sources and formats as the consequence. Anxiously waiting for Zidoo to add support here. This either via supporting DSD via HDMI/SPDIF or via USB external DAC.

    Strange not getting any comments, but maybe most don't look under general. It belongs here in my view as it is common for almost all Zidoo players.

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