MAC OR PC..Which is good for music ?

brejeshvarma

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Dear friends,

I have a doubt.

1.My friend argued that a MAC is superior to PC (Windows OS) regarding sound reproduction/recording.Is it true ?Can you share your experiences ?

2.Can we run a MAC operating system on a pc ?
 

thevortex

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As far as I know, the Mac does not hold an advantage over the PC in terms of sound reproduction. I am not so sure about recording as that is not something I dabble in too much, but the same should theoretically apply.

Windows is far more flexible and offers far greater options than a Mac in this area.

However I have heard that Linux with ALSA drivers for soundcards such as the Xonar Essence beats Windows hollow in terms of audio reproduction.

And yes, MAC OS can be run within Windows and vice versa. Even Linux can be run within Windows in a virtual environment.
 

shaizada

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I use a 17" Macbook Pro and have multiple Apple computers in my home.

I switched over to the Mac platform almost 5 years ago and never looked back since. Now, the audio support in Windows is through a driver called the kmixer. This driver is especially troublesome to work with and as a result there is a lot of tweaking that must be done to get excellent sound out of the PC.

Mac's were built from the ground up for Video, graphics and multimedia applications in general. The digital output in OSX is actually bit perfect. Further, the "Core Audio" drivers used in Macs are outstanding in quality and much attention was paid to the sound quality when being developed.

Your friend had a good point ;)

However, you can get excellent quality output from windows as well, but you really have to work at it, and the stability of the drivers is always an issue. It always feels like you are fighting against the hardware most of the time instead of getting important stuff done....like actually getting the work done or more importantly...listening to the music. :p

Finally, you can find hacks online and explore how people have managed to run Mac OSX on the PC platform....hec, my macbook pro is running on intel chips/ motherboards etc. So yes....it can be done...but it is a hack.

Hope that helps clear some things up.
 
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Asit

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Hi folks,

I use a Macbook Pro 15" (Intel duo) for the last 3 years and a 1/2. It has been a tremendous performer, with a bit of abuse as well. No bugs, no mismatch of anything, the user interface is beautifully integrated. The Mac OS is basically Berkley Unix based and if you want to do some low level work using that, you can do that as well. No worries about viruses either (at least so far).

I have a collection 24 bit / 96 KHz music on my macbook. So far I have played using analogue cables from iTunes and Audacity. The sound is okay, but I am not completely satisfied.

Based on Cranky's and Shaizada's observations on bit-perfect digital outputs from Macs, should I then use an optical cable out (unfortunately it does not support coaxial) to connect to the digital in ports of my CA 740c CDP/DAC. Should I expect significantly better results? Should it then really matter if I play from iTunes or Audacity?

Regards.
 

brejeshvarma

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Your friend had a good point ;)

Dear Shaizada'

Thanks for your valuable input.In fact we were arguing over the few points you told me earlier.Most of the discussions round about PC.s.So your words gave me a different direction

Thanks
Regards
Brejesh
 

shaizada

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Hi folks,

I use a Macbook Pro 15" (Intel duo) for the last 3 years and a 1/2. It has been a tremendous performer, with a bit of abuse as well. No bugs, no mismatch of anything, the user interface is beautifully integrated. The Mac OS is basically Berkley Unix based and if you want to do some low level work using that, you can do that as well. No worries about viruses either (at least so far).

I have a collection 24 bit / 96 KHz music on my macbook. So far I have played using analogue cables from iTunes and Audacity. The sound is okay, but I am not completely satisfied.

Based on Cranky's and Shaizada's observations on bit-perfect digital outputs from Macs, should I then use an optical cable out (unfortunately it does not support coaxial) to connect to the digital in ports of my CA 740c CDP/DAC. Should I expect significantly better results? Should it then really matter if I play from iTunes or Audacity?

Regards.

I just read your Cambridge Audio 740c specs. It will take in 24bit-96Khz. I would suggest you look into getting a quality glass based TOSLINK / Fiber Optic cable to go from your macbook pro output into the DAC. You can pass through the full 24bit-96Khz resolution files that way.

I personally use iTunes myself and all my lossless files are in AIFF format on an 8 Terabyte external drive that houses my iTunes library. It's actually a DROBO unit that uses a special RIAD 5 configuration. I get to use 4 Terabytes and those 4 TB are backed up by the other 4 TB. Basically, I can't afford to lose ANY music at this library size of mine.

Stick to AIFF (I've done listening tests between the different formats, and I like AIFF better) as it also allows for you to properly tag all the files for an efficient database.

Some Fiber Optic cables I would suggest are:

1) Van Den Hul OPTOCOUPLER Mk II
Van den Hul: The OPTOCOUPLER Mk II

2) Nordost Whitelight Glass
Whitelight Glass Fiber Optic Cable from Nordost

You should be good to go that way.
 

anm

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I think you may end up loosing everything even with a RAID 5. RAID would auto copy the corruption in main data without knowing that the data has corrupted. It would only safegurard you against disc failures.

regards
 

thevortex

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Hmm...I am curious - does the native bit perfect support of the Apple result in all round better sound quality than Windows? Yes, Windows in this case, as in many others does not offer a plug and play experience. But with ASIO it was my understanding that it was as good as MAC. Is that not so?

Also I have heard from more than enthusiast that Linux with ALSA drivers (for sound cards which are supported) sounds divine. Can somebody confirm?
 

shaizada

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Hmm...I am curious - does the native bit perfect support of the Apple result in all round better sound quality than Windows? Yes, Windows in this case, as in many others does not offer a plug and play experience. But with ASIO it was my understanding that it was as good as MAC. Is that not so?

Also I have heard from more than enthusiast that Linux with ALSA drivers (for sound cards which are supported) sounds divine. Can somebody confirm?

On my Mac, I have boot camp installed and you can easily switch between the two operating systems. I maintain that the OSX sound implementation is superior to the Windows sound implementation.

Haven't heard a Linux based audio source. However, OSX is just a kernel built upon a UNIX base. Linux is also an extension of UNIX.
 
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