(download is at the very bottom)
The following things have been changed :
- As the title says, 24 bit files can be upsampled now, as can 88.2, 96 and even 176.4 and 192 files.
Please notice that some care was taken to not let you choose impossible combinations for your situation, but that this will not be foolproof.
Also notice that what we "fix" is the upsample rate (like x4) and not the output rate. This may not be convenient in all situations. Also, while (in the latest versions) before a hires file was left alone despite upsampling was set to be active, now it can happen that during playback of 4x 44.1 we run into a 192 file, which obviously can't be upsampled 4x on your DAC. It should be left alone, but possibly it tries, followed by a message your DAC can't cope; Too many combinations, and a sheer too much to test, but in a next version this will be arranged for (possibly by defining an output rate instead of an upsample amount).
Try to understand what to use the upsampling of hires files for;
Even an e.g. 96KHz file most probably came from an original 192KHz or higher file. This may mean that it has been band limited within itself (read : the inaudible frequencies above 20KHz have been filtered out). In this case it is useless to upsample ("filter" !!) the file for this reason. It won't do a thing, with a chance of destroying.
When the file was not band limited, it means that theoretically spoken it still needs a filter to operate well. In that case upsampling it is a good idea.
Since you won't know whether the file is already band limited or not, it is better not to upsample for the "filtering" reason.
It is better to upsample the file for the resolution reason ...
This means the following "rules" have been applied (important to know) :
Anti Image filtering does *not* upsample hires files. Why ? because any sequence of from-to requires a specific filtering setup, and besides we won't know the filtering base in the hires file - thus chances are fair we apply the wrong filtering, there are too many combinations to reasonably setup in a good fashion. So, Anti Image upsampling only applies to 44.1 files (not even 48), and only to 88.2 or 176.4 *or* to 96 or 192 with the "96Khz / 192KHz only" DAC setting.
Linear Interpolation is not good to use to begin with, but it will allow upsampling from hires files. Why ? because it was more hard to leave it out than to have it in, and it destroys in the first place.
Arc Prediction does allow for all (even upsampling only) because 50% of its purpose is creating higher resolution (the other 50% is filtering). Since no explicit filtering is actually in there, it can't harm an already filtered file; It doesn't change it, but it does upgrade the resolution. If the file was not filtered, it will shift the "nasty" frequencies from half of the original rate to half of the output rate. So, always better alltogether (unless you don't like the sound of Arc Prediction).
- Obvious from the above : HDCD now allows Arc Prediction (and Linear) Upsampling as well.
Notice that the fact it did not in 0.9z(b) was a bug.
Also notice that the base for an HDCD file to upsample, is a 24 bit file. So, first the HDCD decoding makes the 16 bit file into a 24 bit file, and *that* is upsampled.
- HDCD can now be shut off by means of a parameter (Settings Area, in the DAC section).
- HDCD now can not be utilized (hence you are protected against that) with a 16bit DAC.
- Despite the above - no suitable DAC or shut off per the parameter - the HDCD logo will keep on appearing when an HDCD album is detected. However, when it is not utilized, a small yellow bar at the right of the logo will appear.
- It was found that maybe 50% of the possible input-output combinations (amongst which the normal 16/44.1 - 16/44.1) did not apply the Normalized Volume; If all is right this is applied now in all situations.
WATCH OUT : Those not using a preamp, and thus rely on the digital volume only, it can happen that you run into a situation which was not tested, and contains wrong math at the same time. The result of this can vary between a soft crackling, fairly loud noise, and window breaking static. Statistically the latter happens the least, but anyway be careful at first.
Keep in mind : lowering the digital volume doesn't help a bit for this. Only analogue volume can.
It certainly is adviced to disallow "Format Changes" (Settings Area) for the time you didn't play all formats explicitly for a first time (hence with preparation to press Stop asap when needed).
- The download now comes with a small install of (the) two OCX files;
Opposed to the previous version this install will direct them to where they belong (the equivalent of your System Folder, these days \Windows\System32\), so moving XXHighEnd after this to another folder (explicitly or because of a new version) should not be a problem anymore.
- The ToolTips now show as they should (this was already solved in 0.9zb).
- Engine#3 works again (also already solved in 0.9zb for the XXEngine3 zip).
- It appeared that the state (active/inactive) of the buttons for Linear and Arc Predection filtering were not remembered from session to session. This is solved now.
- In 0.9z(b) the TemporaryData folder was not created under the XX folder. This caused the operation of the GUI to be very (very) slow when the Logging was active. Even for XXEngine3.exe this will have caused some slow down at startup (of playback), because of logging in there always being on (X3PB). This is solved now.
- It never has been possible to play very short tracks as the first one (like 5 seconds). Now it is.
Notice though that with such a really short track, there will be not enough time to prepare a next (long) track for gapless playback.
- Since 0.9z "Dot-net" would produce an error when anything was started containing Explorer functionality (like Explorer itself);
It was found that this happened only when XXHighEnd was brought up after Unattended playback, or anyway when the Services had been shut down.
It was found that this happened because the Embedded Explorer -in such a situation- was in a state it couldn't be updated with actual information, derived from other Explorer (like) instances. This is solved now by means of shutting off this updating (of the Embedded Explorer) with actual information when XXHighEnd is brought up with the Services not running. Thus, this means that when you change something in another Explorer instance that should reflect the contents of the Embedded Explorer, this will NOT work/show. This also means that when this reflection is needed, XXHighEnd should be quit once playback is not going on, and then bring it up again. All will be normal then, and no errors will appear in the mean time.
- When the left pane was dragged so wide (and long) that the coverart picture there would grow sideways, a next startup of XXHighend would show the splitter bar right through the coverart picture (in the left pane). This is now solved.
- When XXHighEnd was minimized to the Taskbar and brought back again, the right pane would show an anomaly by continuing behind the panel at the bottom. Some dot-net bug by itself, but solved anyway.
- An error "Root element is missing", which could show up for various reasons, but with the main reason of something happening during the shutdown of XXHighEnd while in the mean time the OS crashes. In this case the !PLayed.PLXX file (in the XX Data folder, denoted in the Settings Area)) can get damaged, causing this error. This error could not be overcome other than deleting the file. When this is detected - or expected to be the case, a question now asks you to delete the file;
Answering yes will indeed delete it (and you will loose the "played" data -> not a real big deal), and the problem will be out of the way.
- For a long time now, the CoverArt in the right pane could show vague, wrong and strange. This didn't happen always, and it never could be found when exactly this happened. Since 0.9z however, it seemed to happen always, if only the coverart was asked for a second time in a row. This by itself leads to thinking something going wrong in the Thumbnail Cache, and indeed setting that to 0 avoids the problem. Still the real cause can not be found so far, so the weak solution for now is that the cache is not operative for the CoverArt (right) pane. So yes, this is more slow now.
When it really annoys (many (too) large CoverArt files) you may set the ShowData button Inactive (right pane at the bottom).
- The Normalized Volume didn't work anymore in 0.9z (maybe in 0.9zb it was solved already).
Current issue remaining : the Reference Album can not be a FLAC album. An attempt for this just hangs.
- Decoding HDCD from an AI(F)F file didn't work. This is solved but was *not* tested. This often means it was not solved.
For those having AIFF-HDCD files, please let know whether it now works.
Unimportant notice : The same bug was found for MP3 files. So, they wouldn't decode HDCD either (but 99,99% sure HDCD just can't be in MP3 files anyway ).
- The original 0.9z install did not want to execute helper programs which were not used before on the PC concerned. This was already solved in 0.9zb.
Important, especially for new users : It is 100% necessary to tick the box "don't show this again" for each of the programs coming by (there can be over 10 of them), because when they are needed throughout (beginning of) playback further down the line, you will NOT be able to let execute the program. Did you forget to tick that box anyway, then there is one solution only : move your XX install to a new folder so the system thinks it will be a new install/upgrade, so you are again able to tick those boxes.
You could also open a command window, go to your XX folder, and type the program manually followed by Enter. Never mind it will error out because it needs arguments you don't have / know, but you then *are* able to tick that box and to execute it.
- HDCD will now be decoded by AntiImaging filtering as well (in 0.9z(b) it didn't.
This should be pretty much all; If your "problem" (from 0.9zb) doesn't show solved, please ask because there could be more (solved).
At the crossing of things, one issue too late to dive into and just recalled : Changeing the digital volume while Engine#3 is playing Unattendedly - stops playback;
Please let know if you are bothered by this, so a patch can be made for this with some priority.
The usual repeat from earlier Release Notes :
Very important :
Only when AutoHotkey has been installed, and is at least working to the extend XXHighEnd can be startup with a hotkey (default is Alt-X), it is allowed to tick the checkbox "Stop Services" in the Settings Area, and use Unattended Playback mode (checkbox at the bottom of the main screen). For AutoHotkey See AutoHotkey Install
. When this is not done, hence XXHighEnd can not be brought up with a hotkey, at Unattended Payback - no desktop icons will be visible, no Taskbar will be there, no Startbutton will be around ... nothing. You might, however, may be able to use the "Windows" key which will bring up the Start Menu and find something in there to find your ways again. So, be careful, or maybe you will not be able to do anything, except for listening out the playlist concerned, and wait until that finishes and XXHighEnd will popup automatically, which by itself will bring back everything.
A reboot is a solution as well.
This all sounds more dangerously than it really is, and with the hotkeys available there is really nothing to fear.
And remember the objective : better Sound Quality.
** Denote the latest changes.
W7 - February 9, 2014 (1.186-a)
XXHighEnd PC -> i7 3930K Hyperthreading On (12 cores) @*500MHz*, 16GB, Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit on EMedia SATAIII 2.5" 7200RMP spinning disk, XXHE on 2GB RAMDisk (IMDisk), music on LAN (dynamically stopped/started) / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = *6*/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = *1* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 15ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *0.40* (max 320.00) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = *Core3-5* / Not Switch Processors during Playback / Playback Drive 2GB RAMDisk (IMDisk) / UnAttended (Just Start) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - *Persist* (this is for conveniency and sub 1.186a) / No WallPaper / No OSD / No Running Time / Minimize OS / XTweaks : *Use Settings* - *64, 1, 1, 0, 1* / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = On / Double Octo Arc Prediction Upsampling / -> USB3 (*Silverstone *both* sides isolated*) -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1 async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.3 (*16ms*) -> main amps -> Horn Speakers.
**Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere**
W8 - March 1, 2014 (1.186-a)
XXHighEnd PC -> i7 3930K Hyperthreading On (12 cores) @0.43GHz, 16GB, Windows 8 Pro 64bit on EMedia SATAIII 2.5" 7200RMP spinning disk, XXHE on 2GB RAMDisk (IMDisk), music on LAN (dynamically stopped/started) / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 6/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *0.5ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *0.32* (max 120) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = *Core3-5* / Not Switch Processors during Playback / Playback Drive 2GB RAMDisk (IMDisk) / UnAttended (Just Start) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / No WallPaper / No OSD / No Running Time / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = On / Double Octo Arc Prediction Upsampling / -> USB3 (Silverstone both sides isolated) -> 24/768 *modded* Phasure NOS1 async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.3 (2ms - this is not guaranteed for the NOS1) -> main amps -> Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere