Invariably, whenever I meet fellow computer audiophiles at audio shows or dealer events we always ask each other what the other is using.
Depending on the context and location, asking someone what they are using might have illegal undertones or lead to a nice conversation about audio systems. I enjoy hearing what everyone is using for both hardware and software.
For the most part people seem to have a good grasp of the hardware options available. When the conversation turns to software I am usually a little surprised by how many people have never heard of some very popular applications. It’s like some people selected iTunes or MediaMonkey back in 2007 and have never wondered or cared about anything else available.
There’s nothing wrong with that approach and it’s an approach I often suggest for hardware. If one is happy with his system, there is no need to make a change.
Software just seems different though. Maybe it’s the comparatively low price or rate of change and feature enhancements that leads me to think people should frequently snoop around for ways to enhance their listening experience through software.
On the other hand, I run into many computer audiophiles who either own or have tried more applications than I knew were available. That’s the fun part for me, learning what people are doing and picking up a link to a new application.
What follows is my attempt to introduce you to a new application or two or three, as well as introduce the unlearned to some of the applications many of us have been using for a while.
The focus of this list is media playback applications. I’ve left out many of the great utility apps, CD ripping apps, UPnP apps, mobile apps, and operating system optimization apps because each of these are a topic in and of themselves.
I’ve left out many of the great utility apps, CD ripping apps, UPnP apps, mobile apps, and operating system optimization apps because each of these are a topic in and of themselves.
There is no way to rank these players because in a way they are works of art.