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.
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
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.
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 188.8.131.52 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 184.108.40.206 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.
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.”
*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.”
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.
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.
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:
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.
Cuk.ch : A+ Remote: la télécommande qui manquait à Audirvana Plus : “Il y a des fois des petites choses qui vous ravissent: cette télécommande iPhonesque en est une.”
Newsweek (Europe edition 5/15/15): “(…)this one plays every available high- resolution format. The Audirvana Plus 2 is excellent quality and for €59 it’s pretty good value.”
The modern library management features of Audirvana Plus bring strong convenience for sorting all your music tracks & albums. Helping to quickly find the piece you want to hear now, in this genre, from this artist. Or even easily perform A/B listening of the same classical piece by different performers.
The albums view to scan visually through the album cover images, or the tracks list view with its structured filter browser to quickly zero on The track in a hierarchical refining manner are very powerful tools.
But… all these need the audio files in the music library to have the proper metadata, and especially the album information ones. And this is not always the case, especially when coming from proprietary database librarian, or by just using the Finder hierarchy of file folders (and no library manager). Even more, some audio files formats like WAV, DSDIFF (.dff), are quite often missing any metadata.
The new Audirvana Plus 2.1 helps you in the on boarding to the full library management experience by:
- Understanding file folders missing album metadata as albums in the album view, enabling to see them as if they were already actual albums. Option is then proposed to convert them to albums, storing in the files the album metadata
- Retrieving all the iTunes album art information, even the one stored only in its database to have all albums with their cover image after just asking to synchronize the iTunes library. It is then proposed to save these hidden album images in the audio files metadata
- And for those not yet ready to fully benefit from the library, it is possible to temporary add files directly in the Play Queue. This can be done by either drag files, folders, .m3u playlists from the Finder, or tracks from iTunes and drop them directly in the Play Queue, or use the “Open with…” command of the Finder on audio files.
And the good news is that this new major release is free as will be all the upcoming 2.x ones for all Audirvana Plus 2 users.
Ever wondered of the sound quality improvement brought by the DSD256 native playback capability of Audirvana Plus through compatible DACs?
NativeDSD.com has made the recordings to provide this experiment and is proposing free downloads of the same recording done simultaneously in DSD64 and DSD256:
In the brave new world of High Resolution Music Downloads many music fans have asked a big question: Is there a difference in sound quality that comes from recordings made at different bit rates and different Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs)?
A Unique Opportunity
The experts at NativeDSD.com are giving you a unique opportunity to compare session files from a brand new performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the Budapest Festival Orchestra under the direction of Iván Fischer. The session was recorded at two different Direct Stream Digital (DSD) bit rates – Single Rate DSD (DSD 64fs) and Quad Rate DSD (DSD 256fs) with two of the industry’s best Analog to Digital Converters – the Grimm Audio AD1 (at DSD 64fs) and the Merging Technologies Horus (at DSD 256fs) Live in Budapest.
You can read more about The Engineers, The Recording and Comments from the Engineers in the complete version of the article, posted on Computer Audiophile: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/635-midsummer-night%92s-dream-compare-simultaneous-dsd64-and-dsd256-session-recordings/
Download and Compare!
We would like to invite you to download the files, free of charge, and hear the (potential) differences in sound quality for yourself. I look forward to reading your comments and results as a response to the article on Computer Audiophile. Make sure you tell us about your DAC, and the bit rates you listened to. And most of all, I hope you enjoy this fun exercise, and enjoy helping the folks at NativeDSD and Channel Classics make some DSD recording history!
* DSD 256 from the original Merging Horus AD converter
* DSD 128 downsampled from Horus 256
* DSD 64 downsampled from Horus 256
* DSD 64 from the original Grimm AD converter
Find the Free DSD track downloads of the session files from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream recording sessions in the Just Listen section at NativeDSD: https://justlisten.nativedsd.com/albums/mendelssohn-session
2015/05 edition of MacWelt : “Note 1.2: Sehr Gut”
L’Express (n°3306 du 12/11/2014): “Pour écouter de la musique depuis un ordinateur et ne rien perdre de la qualité des fichiers audio”
Audirvana Plus got the recognition by the Positive Feedback Writers of the best they’ve reviewed during the course of the year!