Audirvana Plus 3.1 public beta is available!

With Audirvana Plus 3.1 your audio files can be sent to a network player to benefit from the sound quality of Audirvana Plus even when you Mac is not hooked to your audio system.

Audirvana Plus 3.1 prepares the working process of the network player:

  • Any PCM format audio file is sent to a non-compressed WAV format thus, avoiding the network reader from performing decompression calculations potentially harmful to the sound quality,
  • Any DSD format audio file can be transmitted directly decompressed (or transcript to PCM if the network drive does not support the DSD)
  • The MQA decoding is performed before being sent to the network drive, thus enabling the network reader to read the Hi-Res content of the MQA file.
  • All audio filters (such as “Upsampling to PCM and DSD”, “AudioUnits effects” (e.g. for equalization and digital room correction)) are available.
  • Please note “realtime setting of AudioUnits” is not available when playing to a network player.

The public beta can be downloaded from Audirvana “beta 3.1” forum. And you can also report your test findings there.

Audirvana Plus 3.0.2 released with opt-in MQA device detection

Please note: The MQA devices automatic detection is now optional.
If you have a MQA DAC, you need to enable it in the Audio System page of the preferences as shown in the screenshot below:


This is needed as the “are you MQA able?” request send to some DACs make their USB interface crash.
This option will be removed and the automatic detection always active when this incompatibility issue is fixed.

This release also brings other bug fixes:

  • Fix MQA decoding not done when playing to Mytek Stereo 192-DSD
  • Fix legacy iTunes integrated mode not playing correct track
  • Remove TIDAL deprecated Discovery category
  • Fix SysOptimizer reinstallation on Sierra

Audirvana Plus 3 integrates MQA decoding

Audirvana Plus 3, announced at CES 2017, is the first audiophile player that integrates the MQA Core Decoder, enabling:

  • MQA capable audio devices to benefit from the complete MQA audio quality. In this case Audirvana Plus continues to bring the strongly audible Sound Quality improvement of its optimized audio engine.
  • Non MQA capable audio devices to benefit from the high resolution (doubled sample rate compared to the encoded file one) thanks to the MQA decoder integrated in Audirvana Plus 3. In this case, Audirvana Plus brings, in addition to the general Sound Quality improvement, the decoding of the MQA file that would be played only at little above CD quality otherwise, losing all its high resolution benefits.

Any MQA file (in FLAC, or other container) will benefit from Audirvana Plus 3 decoder, whether it is in the local library, or read from a streaming service such as TIDAL master.

What is MQA?

MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that delivers master quality audio in a file that’s small enough to stream or download. What’s more, it’s backwards compatible, so will play on any device. And because it’s fully authenticated, you can be sure you’re hearing exactly what the artist approved in the studio.

Upgrade will be free for customers who have purchased Audirvana Plus 2 since Christmas 2016.

The price in euro may be increased to follow the EUR/USD exchange rate variation.

For those who are attending CES, pay attention to the Macs demoing MQA, you will see the pre-release of Audirvana Plus 3 in action:

2016 in review

2016 has been a great year for Audirvana Plus, with major new features:

  • TIDAL and HIGHRESAUDIO VirtualVault complete integration
  • Rewritten database engine bringing strong improvements in the library manager performance and reliability. And this makes navigation a breeze even with huge database as it has been proven with a 270k+ tracks library
  • Multiple Artists per tracks, albums, names for sort, Full Text Search, Hyperlink Navigation within the whole library as in streaming services catalogs
  • PCM to DSD upsampling, in stereo and multichannel
  • Automatic volume leveling between tracks or whole albums (ReplayGain)
  • Loudness Dynamic Range analysis using the EBU R128 standard, and the DR rating

Stay tuned for great new features and innovation in Audirvana Plus in 2017!

Audirvana Plus 2.6: major update

The new release 2.6 is now available. That is a free update for any user of Audirvana Plus version 2.

This update includes:

  • Improvements in the library manager performance (proven with a 270k tracks library) and reliability, thanks to the rewritten database engine
  • ReplayGain and Loudness Dynamic Range analysis
  • Management of multiple artists per track or album
  • Sort names for artists names, tracks and albums titles
  • Full Text Search and Hyperlink Navigation within the whole library

You’ll find the details on this update in Audirvana Plus 2.6 Update.

 

The winner of HighResMac great test of TIDAL players

“Audirvana Plus 2 is an excellent choice for access to Tidal (…) the audio quality is beyond any doubt. Crisp heights, warm mids, full basses, all transparent and authentic, as well as other recordings and listening opportunities – anyone who is thinking about a Tidal subscription can rely on Audirvana.”

Read more on HighResMac

macOS 10.12 Sierra

Apple has just released macOS 10.12 Sierra that has a regression that breaks Direct Mode.

  • Until they fix it, or I find a user friendly workaround, you have to disable Direct Mode (option in Audio System page of preferences) to get playback to start. In Audirvana Plus 2.5.4, it is disabled by default.
  • If you are Terminal-savvy, there is a way to get it back: you can replace the faulty kernel extension of 10.12, IOAudioFamily.kext, located in /System/Library/Extensions, by the one from El Capitan 10.11.6, if you have a backup. You may need to disable SIP during this replacement operation.

Other than this Apple regression that breaks Direct Mode, Audirvana Plus 2.5.4 is fully compatible with macOS 10.12 Sierra.

Music Browsing & Discovery in TIDAL

Enjoy this video that shows the new features for Browsing and Discovering Music in TIDAL.

It shows the navigation features in the just released Audirvana Plus 2.5.3:

  • All albums titles, artists names are hyperlinks to show the whole album, artist albums
  • Albums descriptions with embedded hyperlinks
  • Artists biographies with embedded hyperlinks
  • All people involved in albums, with hyperlinks for most
  • Artists related to the displayed one (influencers, followers, similar)
  • Top tracks of the displayed artist

Strong increase in Sound Quality with PCM to DSD upsampling

Starting with Audirvana Plus release 2.5.1

This is the ultimate step in upsampling to send to the DAC the closest signal to the one used internally in its DAC chip immediately before the conversion to analog. This enables, with native DSD compatible DACs, to bypass all digital filters and processing done in the DAC chip by those done by Audirvana Plus.

The Mac computer CPU is much more powerful than the DAC chip and thus enables to use much more sophisticated upsampling algorithms to give strongly increased sound quality.

Please note that some very loud tracks have hard clipping. This can create trouble with the sigma-delta modulator that leads to one second of silence on one channel. If this happens, can you first try to set a lower value for the « Safe volume reduction before DSD upsampling » like -3dB? This should help as this rare issue is more likely to happen with very loud tracks.

Enjoy the new great improvement in sound quality!

 

With a DSD compatible DAC, there a new Forced upsampling option in the Audio Filters page of the preferences.

You can tune the output both the iZotope advanced filter settings, and the type of DSD filter.

Capture d’écran 2016-06-06 à 11.03.29

On OS X 10.11.5 and iTunes 12.4 updates

Apple has just released two updates that break compatibility:

  • iTunes 12.4 breaks compatibility with some commands of the scripting interface used to control it, causing crash for applications that use them. Audirvana Plus has been updated in its version 2.5.1.1 to be compatible with both iTunes 12.4 and earlier versions, in its legacy iTunes integrated mode.
  • OS X El Capitan 10.11.5: May 21st update: Audirvana Plus has been updated in its version 2.5.1.4 to have Direct Mode compatible with 10.11.5. No more need to replace the kernel extension.
    Apple has unfortunately introduced a regression with 10.11.5 update that breaks Direct Mode.
    Until they fix it, you have to disable Direct Mode (option in Audio System page of preferences) to get playback to start.
    If you are Terminal-savvy, there is a way to get it back: you can replace the faulty kernel extension of 10.11.5, IOAudioFamily.kext, located in /System/Library/Extensions, by one from a former El Capitan version, if you have a backup. You may need to disable SIP to make this operation.

Great review from IT Inquirer for Audirvana Plus 2.3

IT-enquirerLogo

IT Inquirer, December 31st, 2015: Like good wine, Audirvana Plus becomes better with each version

“To round up, Audirvana Plus 2.3.x is the best audiophile music player available for the Mac. No matter whether you’re playing DSD files, an SACD ISO file or plain CD files, it will auto-switch sounding near-perfect.”

Audirvana Plus 2 awarded AUDIO Excellence Award 2016 from AUDIO ACCESSORY Magazine

AEx2016_logo-ExtraPrize

*About Audio Excellence Award promoted by Japanese magazine AUDIO ACCESSORY
“These awards were established 1978’s with the aim of contributing to the evolution of audio culture and market vitalization. The purpose of these awards is to select prospective best-selling or long-selling genuine preeminent devices featuring superior performance, innovation and audio spirit, from a host of pure audio components brought into the world each year. The distinguished characteristic of these prizes is impartial evaluation by a panel of judges consisting of audio critics having a profound technological knowledge and judges from distributors well versed in the competitiveness of products in the market.”

Qobuz integration now available in public beta!

You can find the beta version of Audirvana Plus with Qobuz integration here.

System requirements are now OS X Mavericks minimum. Yosemite or El Capitan is recommended.

Just enter your Qobuz credentials in the Library page of Audirvana Plus preferences, and you get access to the Qobuz streaming library.

QobuzLogin

Please note that this beta version may have some issues playing MP3 streamed tracks. If you have a Qobuz HiFi or Sublime subscription you will listen to FLAC files, so no issue.

And I’ll be at the Paris Festival Son & Image this week-end to present Audirvana Plus with Qobuz integration at the Qobuz booth.

For those who don’t have yet a Qobuz streaming account, you can subscribe here.

L’intégration Qobuz est en approche…

Audirvana Plus 2.3 aves l’intégration Qobuz arrive très bientôt!

Elle est maintenant en phase de beta test, avec une sortie officielle prévue dans les prochaines semaines.

Voici une copie d’écran de la version beta actuelle en action:
Capture d’écran 2015-10-10 à 13.10.53

 

Qobuz is the leading HiFi online music service that provides access to all labels (independent and major) and all artists across all genres.

Qobuz offers very unique and attractive innovations such as :

  • Unlimited music subscriptions in 16-bit/ 44.1 kHz “True CD Quality” 
  • Downloading of 16-bit/ 44.1 kHz for the entire catalogue (more than 30 million titles)
  • Downloading of up to 24-bit/192 kHz on more than 40,000 “Qobuz Hi-Res” albums
  • Last but not least, Hi-Res streaming of your purchases in worldwide first with Qobuz Sublime subscription

    Qobuz also provides extensive information on catalogue releases, including thousands of digital booklets and exclusive high quality editorial content.

    Qobuz aims to provide the world’s best music service, and there are currently a large number of releases and services offered exclusively by us. Access to the service is available in specific countries.

    Find Qobuz on : http://www.qobuz.com // https://facebook.com/qobuz // @qobuz // Press contact: pr@qobuz.com