XXHighEnd - The Ultra HighEnd Audio Player
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586  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Version 0.9d does not work for me - w/Vista (64bit) on: July 21, 2007, 12:20:56 pm
Hi Edward,

I can't be sure, but this looks similar to having the program sit on one PC and run it from the other.

Why would someone do this?  It doesn't sound like a very audiophool thing to do.  I'm hoping you keep your niche here as strictly SQ and not try to make things work that are a foolish setup anyway?  If people are going to causally listen from another room and not their main setup (where XXHE should be) then maybe they should use foobar for those applications?  Don't get me wrong.  If you can make things work "all over" in various applications without affecting SQ then fine... but is this a detail you want to spend time working on?  pls don't take the wrong way.  I'm comparing your player to a fine turntable ... you don't just pop it in your shirt pocket and carry it around to workout like an ipod... ie you may need to make sacrifices in convenience to keep the level of SQ up... bah i'm babbling, it's late, and I'm just so happy with the SQ of your player, I just don't want to see it loaded down with "code" to make it work in all applications.  ?? I mean it really does work now... super well... maybe people just need to consider what they are running on their machines and dedicate a computer as their front end.
587  Ultimate Audio Playback / Interesting Music / Testmaterial / Re: For the Love of Ella on: July 21, 2007, 11:58:49 am
Wow just wow.  It's approaching 3:00 am here in California (built the music room so that I don't disturb anyone; can play as loud as I'd like yea) and I have to crawl into bed, but I am so very happy with my system right now I had to post something.  From top to bottom (and side to side heh) everything is better.  I will be judging all your later efforts against this d version I'm running.  I don't care how many conveniences or other machines you make it run on or file formats OR (dare i say it) whether you make it compatible with cue files... if the SQ doesn't measure up, at least I'll have this d version forever... ahahha it's mine now!!!  I'll just pretend it's like the vinyl days where we didn't jump around from track to track... just put on my single WAVs and let her "spin".

I can't believe that it was as simple as a fresh install of Vista Home Premium, unzipping your XXHE player to the C: drive, and creating a shortcut to my desktop!  Sure I've cut out some processes I didn't need and all the silly protection stuff Vista does (if ms was protecting my dick I'd never get laid); but that probably wasn't necessary to get this great sound!  Thank you Peter.  This is exactly what I felt computer audio should be able to do.

When I think of all the COUNTLESS hours I spent tweaking winxp for foobar getting around kmixer, trying various asio methods... sigh, what a waste.  ok, wellz, I'll be hanging around your boards now and keeping an eye on things... but everything is running smooth as silk over here.

588  Ultimate Audio Playback / Interesting Music / Testmaterial / For the Love of Ella on: July 21, 2007, 09:24:13 am
Well, I just undemoed my copy of XXHE tonight and I knew I'd have to pick something special to listen to now that I can hear a whole album through.  If someone asks me who's my favorite singer there is no hesitation, it's Ella Fitzgerald.  Her phrasing is always spot on and her voice is beautiful.  I picked out the "album" Take Love Easy.  I ripped it from the JVC XRCD cd and it sounds just amazing.  It features just Ella with Joe Pass on guitar.  The XXHE player is amazing at pulling out all the nuances and setting the air to vibrate more realistically/fuller than I've heard before.  Well time to go back for more before going to bed.  Think I'll pull up Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie album by Ella (remastered by dcc; another great sounding disc... opps, wav)... it's a quiet evening time.

here's a video of ella/pass... doesn't sound too good off the net, but you get an idea
589  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / added info on: July 21, 2007, 12:09:31 am
Just to be clear.  Since doing a full install of Vista on a formatted HD in the laptop, I've only used engine 3.  No need for the others.  Perhaps, since I didn't install any sound drivers for the onboard sound "card" in the laptop when installing Vista, once I did install my usb-dac, Vista recognized it as my Primary Sound Device (whew).  I was worried it wouldn't and then I wouldn't have been able to use engine 3.  My Stello USB-DAC only accepts 16bit/44 input, so I haven't been able to upsample/double.  The Stello has an option to upsample to 192khz... but I've always felt the straight 44khz to sound better anyway, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on the doubling/upsampling stuff.

590  Ultimate Audio Playback / Music Storage and convenient playback / Re: Recommend external hard drives on: July 20, 2007, 10:43:24 pm
Since I'm using a laptop I bought 5 (well 6 now) of these 320 GB external HDs.  They're connected via firewire so that my usb is only used by the Stello 100 USB-DAC I use.
E5 Series Drives with firewire. (They are daisy chained with firewire)

I have an equal number of backup 320 gig drives that are pulled out of another computer and stored (i use a cartridge type backup called ezswap2; when i rip I send one copy to the Acomdata main Hds, shut it off, and then send another copy to ezswap2 sata type backup.  I then pull the backup drive out and store in the closet.... doesn't take much time)
591  Ultimate Audio Playback / Music Storage and convenient playback / Re: Support for single WAV file and its CUE file pls on: July 20, 2007, 10:37:46 pm
[Moving to here to continue about cue/wav files]

Copy/Pasted PeterSt from above link
".....So on to the hot item : the cue files;
In another thread I already promised you it wouldn't be a problem. And it is not. Including track names, as long as you can see them in the withgoing cue file that EAC creates (it's just plain text). You will be able to select and play the individual tracks, and have the cover art visible (assuming you or have it somewhere, or have it stored in the cue data)."

Great News!  Looking forward to being able to use Cue files, so I can select individual songs and see titles from the single wav files of the whole CDs I rip.  I haven't started collecting Album Cover Art, and I didn't know if that info can be stored in cue files?? I started collecting Album pictures today of some of my favs and when I rip new music I'll get the pictures from now on.  If I can add this album cover picture info to Cue files then perhaps I won't have to rearrange my folder directories? (I think I read something here at these forums about folder directories not being buried under the artist name like I do to be able to display Album cover jpegs...I don't know...)

"The only problem for now is the priorities I must deal with."

What!!!??!!! I haven't become your number one priority??  Happy

"According to the latter : I just finished the base for decent gapless playback (which doesn't bother you currently) (btw, Engine#3 only), which most probably will be uploaded this weekend. "

Hmm, seems like a good argument for a single WAV/CUE file of the CD again; all gap info being stored in the cue file ... yes?

"Right after that I'll implement FLAC as a first supported lossless codec, but I really can't tell currently how long that will take. I mean, it will be "forbidden" that the process of decoding influences the sound (which it ussually just does, no matter those who say this is not so -> just listen better ) and I really don't know how difficult that is going to be."

Exactly the reason why I didn't go FLAC or anything else "lossless".  Hard Drive space is cheap and is only getting cheaper.  Of all the audio toys I've bought into, this "computer as transport" is now not only the best sounding, but the least expensive of all of my gear.  Anyway, Flac does have to go through a decoding process that even though it makes it lossless does take system resources and could influence SQ ... ok I'm guessing cause I've just never seen a reason to go FLAC.  I do know that using system resource under foobar made a difference in SQ on my system... that was when i only had 512k mem so... idk, but why take a chance.  My main concern again is that with each new version of XXHE you don't compromise the SQ to appease the masses.  I'd make em stay with wav files; I'm that mean hehe.  People should stick with wav files... oh ya and cue hehe.  (I noticed when playing single song wav files that my hd is accessed for each song while the music is playing :/ heh; with a single wav file of the album it's done once at the beginning.... sound quality (SQ) issue? idk.  Sound Quality first always.

"If no other things come up in the mean time, I'd say that the support for cue files is next.
(in fact there are many other things already, but these have a lower priority).
Btw, the extraction of the individual tracks from the large WAV will not "be able" to influence SQ.


I hope you try the single wav/cue file yourself against multi wav track... see what you think.  When I suggested in my post above that it was "a tidy storage idea" I meant that in a CDs artist-album folder there would only be 2 files, a single wav and a cue (ok 3 files with album art), but with multi song wavs of the album you have several song wav files to keep track of... you may accidentally move a song wav and not notice because there are many other wavs in that folder? (With my laptop, when you move the cursor with the touch pad sometimes I've dragged and dropped files to ??? accidentally because it's sensitive).  Any way, the last few CDs I've ripped I switched over to EAC making a CUE file separately, and then ripping multi-track WAVs, (just because I was still using winxp and was hooked on your XXHE player, and wasn't sure if you were going to implement CUE file support.  Thanks for letting me know you're going to work on it).

Best Regards, Dave


592  Ultimate Audio Playback / Chatter and forum related stuff / Allow Me To Introduce Myself on: July 20, 2007, 09:26:26 am
and my journey toward XXHighEnd.  ok... where to start... how about ass backward.
My Speakers (two channels)
Quintessence Audio Stealths: I'm sure you haven't heard of these.  They are made in San Diego, CA, USA (where i live) by Tom Campagna.  They are pretty much a few of a kind as he constantly changes the design.  I sold a pair of Genesis 2s for about $20,000. to trade into these and I've never looked back.  I"ll try to get pictures up later. They are a tall speaker in piano black; two 12", two 6", two tweeters, one super tweeter; per side.
Amplifiers for top end of Stealth are Convergent Audio Technology JL3 monoblocks Signatures.  Here's a link to Audio Asylum describing the rest of my system and room. http://cgi.audioasylum.com/scripts/system.pl  Search for severed.
My front end is an Acer Aspire 9500 laptop; 5 external 320 GB hard drives connected to laptop via firewire; Stello 100 USB-DAC nonoversampling (it's a start and sounds good, but I'll change that out as things in computer audio get nailed down; that may happen soon)
After hearing what XXHighEnd (XXHE) can do on WinXP with engine 1, I knew I had to get into Win Vista.  So upped my ram to 2 gigs and bought Vista 32 bit.  Two days ago I did a fresh install of Vista.  My laptop is only used as a transport so I also shut off as many things as possible (no firewall;I'm behind a hardware firewall, defender, in Sound Devices muted speaker and disable enhancement feature....who knows) and so far the only program I've installed is XXHighEnd-09d; the version I was using on XP.
I have used EAC and Plextools to rip over 1500 cds.  Each cd is ripped into a single .WAV plus a .CUE file (more about this later... but 1500 cds peter! yikes)  This summer soon I'll be ripping my classical cds; I'm guessing around 300 of them.  I set up my folders like so (I'll use Yello as an example since you like them); Yello (folder) under which is > Yello - Stella (folder contains single wav/cue file) & Yello - You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess (folder contains single wav/cue file)... all I can say is at least I was wise enough to use wav files and not some other format so I can use XXHE.

Before XXHE I thought I was getting very good playback using foobar 8.3 with foo_output_asio(dll)_047a.7z > asio2k (kernal streaming didn't work for me... Stello usb-dac?) > bypassing kmixer (my xp had no sound card listed; I had things shut off well).  All I can say is from the get go XXHE blew my foobar setup away (foobar had beat all other players I tried to date; winamp, J Rivers...).  I posted about it at www.audioasylum.com (where I heard about XXHE) in their pc forum and I'll be mentioning it again soon.  I've heard a lot of music systems and I'm very happy with what I've put together; Music Quality is utmost for me, not convenience or features.  I've heard some great sounding transports/dacs in my system (mine and friends; best was an Oracle transport with an Altis DAC... I think altis was the name, i'll check that again), but I just kept thinking that computer audio was the way to go.  With foobar I felt I'd matched the quality of some of the most expensive players I've gotten to listen to in my system (mine and friends), but with XXHE I can say I've finally surpassed all optical playback front ends.  I'm that happy and sure.  The Stello dac has really surprised me, but now that I've reached this level on the transport side I'll probably shoot for a better usb-dac (Wavelength Crimson or Empirical Audio or....)

Now about ripping my cds to a single wav/cue file... ugh.  On Exact Audio Copy (EAC) you'll notice that there is a button on the left side labled IMG.  You push that and it rips your cd into a single .wav plus a .cue file, and I'm sure this is how a lot of people have their music stored. [the cue file contains all the album title info, the wav file is the music.]
Now that I have Vista and two gigs of ram, I can play these ~ 600 MB files.  [It takes XXHE about 10 seconds to start playing a 400 MB file and 20 seconds to start playing an 800 MB file.  The time is not a concern for me; I have a Sony SCD-1 player that takes that long to spin up and start playing my cds hehe.  I have not listened to see if there is a quality of music difference between smaller multi song wav playback and these huge full album single wav playbacks.  I'll listen.]  anyway...the problem is with these single wav files playing through XXHE I can't skip tracks (it's the whole album or nothing) and I don't get to see song titles.
EAC does have a tool called a cue splitter that works pretty fast in breaking the single wav into individual songs (faster than reripping my whole #$@$ing collection anyway), but it doesn't title the songs!!!  For example Miracle Fortress - Five Roses ( http://www.myspace.com/miraclefortress ; give this guy a listen) splits up as; Miracle Fortress - 2007 - Five Roses - 01 , Miracle Fortress - 2007 - Five Roses - 02 ,Miracle Fortress - 2007 - Five Roses - 03 ,.... but doesn't give me the individual song titles :/ bummer.
I'll be sending my $100 US in soon so I can hear an entire album... I mean I usually put on an album and listen the whole way through anyhoo, BUT please please please please please,
Could you please work on being able to read a CUE file.  I'm hoping it doesn't rape the music quality to do so, but I really don't want to rerip 1500 cds Happy Thanks
593  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: How to change the Primary Device on: July 02, 2007, 12:13:01 am
K figured out how to make my usb dac the Primary Device

I had to reverse what I did for foobar to get around kmixer:
1. Open the Windows Control Panel
2. Open Sounds And Audio Devices
3. Select the Hardware Tab
4. Select your sound card in the list
5. Click Properties Button
6. Select Properties Tab on the Sound Card Properties Panel
7. Click on the Mixer + sign
8. Select your sound card on the list
9. Click Properties button
10. Click option box 'Do Not Use Mixer Features On This Device'
11. Click Apply, and then OK.
12. Re-boot
13. Windows Mixer will no longer use the device.

But... now that I'm not getting around kmixer this way, how do I get kmixer out of the "mix" while running Eng 2. (" Needs proper tweaking OS of settings, in order for KMIxer does not interfere (resamples)"). Anyway... until I get more memory I'll have to rerip what I want to hear into smaller song wav files to play... so I'll prolly go back to eng 1 cause I generally find 16/44 straight through sounding the best... no upsampling or the like needed.  For foobar I use asio2k which only passes 16/44 data.  My Stello 100 USBDAC has upconverting ... but i've never liked it, so i stay on normal.  I'll try the eng 2 "doubling" for fun and see anyway.
594  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Message "XXHighEnd Demo" - then nothing ! on: July 01, 2007, 09:37:10 pm
K I found reasons why I was having difficulty. These aspects of my Front End computer held me up: my OS is WinXP; I'm running a USB DAC; and my USB DAC is not my primary sound card.
There are 3 "engines" to choose from in XXHE.

From the XXHE help file about the first engine it says "Over USB drivers, allows a maximum of 64MB tracks only" So, I can only run engine #1 if my wav files are 64MB or less. That's why my whole album single wav/cue files won't work with engine #1, but splitting them up into individual song wav files does... as long as the song isn't over 64MB.
This is the only engine I've been able to listen to.

Engine #2 also works with XP and gets around the 64MB limit, but only works with Primary Sound Driver. My USB DAC is not my Primary Sound Driver and so I can't use Engine #2. (Anyone know how I can change my sound card priorities to make my USB DAC the Primary Sound Driver?) Even if I could make this engine #2 work, I may not have enough ram to play my whole album single wav files... idk [i have 512k of ram... i can have up to 2 gigs of ram]

Engine #3 still uses Primary Sound Driver only and only works with Vista. My laptop is running WinXP... but I'd still run into my USB DAC not being the PRimary Sound Driver even if I picked up Vista.

From all I've read, this Player is a work in progress... so all these "constraints" might change... i hope so.

595  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Message "XXHighEnd Demo" - then nothing ! on: July 01, 2007, 11:35:02 am
Just make a screen copy, or when that inconvenient, start with typing the first two lines only (that usually is enough).

Even if you have it going by means of smaller files, I'd still like to know the error so it can be solved.
Do note that your RAM is too few for the requirements (to stay out of all trouble you'll need 2GB for Engine#1 and #2 and then you'd be able to run tracks as long as one CD).

Hi again
I got XXHE to work after reriping a wav/cue file to multi-wav songs of album.  sorry too tired even to cut/paste here... here is a link to AA forum where i posted comments. 
I'll pick up more ram soon.


be back tomorrow to show you what it says with large wav file... you could rip a single wav whole album file with EAC too and try it?  or do you think it would just work for you because you have enough ram?  thanks

edit... i just read your edit
I think I can only run eng 1 because my usb dac is not a primary sound card  (can i make it the primary?)  eng 2 message pops saying it can only be used with the primary sound device
596  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Message "XXHighEnd Demo" - then nothing ! on: July 01, 2007, 06:47:21 am
WinXP here
Ok this gets me past the demo window and the player loads up on my front end computer for the audio sys.  But when I try to play a wav file I get an error message (long win message that makes no since to me, but i'd have to retype it here... maybe later).  Maybe has something to do that I use a single wav and cue for an entire cd and player having trouble with that?... i'll try to make/find a small wav file heh.
597  Ultimate Audio Playback / Music Storage and convenient playback / Support for single WAV file and its CUE file pls on: July 01, 2007, 06:04:32 am
I use both PlextoolsXL and EAC to rip my cds to single wav/cue file combos.  It's a one button push to start a wav/cue rip on EAC and a chk mark in a box to do so on Plextools, so I'm pretty sure there are others out there like me.  Your player will play this single huge wav file of the cd I'm sure, but I won't be able to select individual songs.  Every player I've ran into plays wav/cue files and I thought it was a tidy storage idea.

I am really only interested in the best sounding player I can find.  I'd like album art but have resisted not wanting to mess with the sound quality I've achieved with Foobar 8.3 ... and not wanting to a/b to see if I've lost anything by adding album art and other frills... but, I don't care, like to have it, but ... sound quality is paramount.
598  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Message "XXHighEnd Demo" - then nothing ! on: July 01, 2007, 05:49:04 am
I looked in both of my WinXP computers and did not see a folder named  DirectX for Managed Code or even a folder that began with the name DirectX in the Windows folder.  Thanks, hoping to be able to listen to it soon.

Ill make another thread about the cue/wav file combo because it is important to me.  I can still listen to the single wav at least, but not see or choose the individual songs within the record. 
599  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Message "XXHighEnd Demo" - then nothing ! on: July 01, 2007, 04:56:00 am
Hi  I'm running Winxp
Well I installed XXHighend Demo on my test comp (winxp). It worked after installing Netframework 1.1 from MS update site. On the small speakers (definitely non-tweaked non audiophile computer) it sounded promising.

Now on to another computer... my true front end for my audio room.  I checked that my dedicated and tweaked for foobar Front End
(Acer Aspire 9500 512 of ram winxp laptop bypassing kmixer by removing hardware in SoundAudioDevice and many processes shut off > Foobar/asio2k > Stello 100 usb Dac)
had Netframework 1.1 already on it and installed by unzipping XXHighEnd-09b into it's own folder on the C: drive. I created a shortcut to XXHighEnd.exe on my desktop (just like my test computer) AND when I start it up
I see the XXHighend Demo window, click ok, it disappears
Nothing. no player
I would really like to try it on my main audio system.

Does this player only play WAV files? Or will it read my .cue files? I ripped my cds to a single wav file and let a cue file handle all the info... will this not work for your player?
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