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Using Oppo 105 to play ALAC and FLAC files (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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Hi guys,

I thought I'd post about the set-up I'm playing around with and perhaps gain some insight from you.

About 2 years ago I added the Oppo 105 to my HT system. It's primarily the blu ray player, but also plays CDs and SACDs. I knew it could play audio files and one attraction was the asynchronous USB DAC.

I'm an Apple guy, so I have CDs that I ripped in iTunes with Apple Lossless. I was using the Asynchronous USB DAC connection from my MacBook Pro to play iTunes through the Oppo. Works great! I send the audio from the Oppo to my Rotel Pre-Pro 1572. I use the Multi input by-pass. So it's not processing the audio as I'm letting the Oppo's Sabre DAC do that. I like its sound better then the Rotel. But they both sound great.

Last year I learned that Oppo now supports Apple Lossless files, that's great, glad they finally did that! I got the firmware update then. So I've been experimenting with a thumb drive and loaded some ALAC files and FLAC files. Some CDs I have allow FLAC downloads so that's great. I used the front panel USB port to connect the drive and it plays great through there. Very convenient.

One of the reasons I bought the Oppo was because it can accept so many audio formats and processes them well with the on board DAC. Also the asynchronous USB was something I liked. However, now that I've learned that you can play ALAC files and I have FLAC which won't play on a Mac, I'm looking at setting up a large hard drive and using that with the Oppo and leaving out the laptop and desktop Mac altogether. Makes sense. I also have an Apple TV.

So the question is, if the asynchronous USB port mostly is for the benefit of files being played out from a computer, then if I use a hard drive, the asynchronous connection isn't something needed? The Oppo doesn't have to synchronize the files from a computer anymore if they are coming from a hard drive. IIRC, there's a second USB port in the back of the Oppo so I imagine connecting to that will be the way to go from a hard drive. I'm also thinking it's not necessary to pass the audio connection from the Apple TV should I want to stream from my Mac desktop. I would think if the hard drive has my audio library, it's best to go direct to the Oppo. I want the Oppo to process the audio and not be altered by anything in the path.

Then the other thing is it would be nice if the display doesn't have to be on to view what files are playing. I thought Oppo had an app. But the last time I tried it, last year, it didn't do what I wanted. Maybe the app is improved. I'll check it out again, I just thought it would allow the user to see what's playing from the hard drive Into the Oppo and allow you to control what songs to play from an iPad.

So any thoughts and experiences from the members here would be appreciated and interesting! Thanks.

Oh yeah, one of the really annoying things about the Rotel is it's on board HDMI sensor that detects what kind of audio is coming in has a delay before it can decide what kind of processing to do. So it mutes the audio for the first second or two so you miss the intro to a song or the start of a program on DVD/Blu Ray, not sure anyone here experiences that. I understand smaller builders like Rotel don't have the budgets to build up the HDMI of the processor. Classe has the same problem. So I find using the by-pass and allowing the Oppo to process the audio gets around that. Just a shame because I paid for the processor that I won't use. I do use the Rotel's processor for movies.

Edit: I realized that maybe I posted this in the possibly wrong section? Maybe it should be in the Blu Ray players section? Or even the HTPC section?
 

Phil A

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I have a couple of 103Ds and use an attached hard drive for one of them (with FLAC, DSD, Multi-Channel DSD, etc. and I use this system for HT or TV more than anything as it is not my main system) and the Oppo Media App works great. Have it on my iPhone 6. It works and looks just like what is on the screen. The interface is just simple (have the App for Android for an old BDP-93 as they don't have an IOS App) but fine for a HT systems.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Phil for your reply!

That's great you have a hard drive connected to your 103 and playing the audio files. I'll look at the app again.

I'll be experimenting more then with a larger hard drive.
 

Phil A

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I believe they recommend a powered hard drive but I just use a 1TB portable one. In rare instances on something like multi-channel DSD, I have noticed a mild hiccup for a split second here or there as the files are huge. Not sure if a powered drive would do better. However in the main system, I just put the iFi USB power supply (along with their dual headed USB cable that separates the power from the signal) between my music server and Meitner MA-1 DAC and while I did not have hiccups before, the sound quality improved noticeably. Eventually in the one spare system I have now, I'll probably get a new Oppo when they come out and move the 103D to the bedroom, which also feeds the outdoor speakers. I still have to try streaming files and if that works I may go that way and if not I'll likely put a powered hard drive on it. The 103D in the main system is just used for video as I have about 40,000 files (including DSD) on the music server. Probably be a bit before I replace the Epson 5030 in the main system so the 103D is fine. When I get a new player, I'll just rotate the BDP-93 I have in the bedroom system somewhere. The Oppo Media App interface is basic just like what appears on the TV so I probably won't do drives as large as I have on the music server.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Phil, wanted to try an experiment before posting. I did try an old Western Digital USB powered drive with a few music files on it. It worked great! Though one song seemed to have a momentary pause.

My 105 is a pre D model. So my firmware updates may not cover the app for the iPhone and iPad. I'll have to check with Oppo on this. Their site doesn't show a firmware update yet beyond what I currently have, I'll check on that too. Gapless playback on Dark Side of the Moon was still an issue.
 

JohnRice

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I have the Oppo 103 and the app works well. It does hiccup occasionally. I think you're misunderstanding asynchronous USB. That means the DAC is re-clocking the signal rather than using the internal clock signal, and doesn't have anything to do with using a computer for playback. Try both and see if one sounds better. BTW, last time I checked, my 103 wouldn't play back ALAC files gapless, which it can with FLAC, so I use FLAC.
 

Jungelackn

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hi sir, sorry for disturbing, you seem to know a lot about audio codecs, I have a problem with my audio codec. Cupertino has been open from its lossless audio codec (ALAC), ALAC can reduce the amount of memory required for audio files by up to 50% without losing the originally recorded fidelity, which is not as lossy as MP3 and AAC, but when I converted my FLAC to ALAC, I failed for known reason, I downloaded a program (http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/tips/flac-to-alac.html) from a giveaway site, but it called me to set some parameters, such as framerate, I don't know about these parameters, anyone can help me? please
 

Nelson Au

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I'm not sure I can help you much. I have a friend who uses an app called X Lossless to convert files. I haven't used it yet, it sounded like it works great without the fussing around. It's a Mac OS app, so if you're a Windows user, I don't have another option. Maybe someone else will chime in.

http://tmkk.undo.jp/xld/index_e.html
 

David Willow

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hi sir, sorry for disturbing, you seem to know a lot about audio codecs, I have a problem with my audio codec. Cupertino has been open from its lossless audio codec (ALAC), ALAC can reduce the amount of memory required for audio files by up to 50% without losing the originally recorded fidelity, which is not as lossy as MP3 and AAC, but when I converted my FLAC to ALAC, I failed for known reason, I downloaded a program (http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/tips/flac-to-alac.html) from a giveaway site, but it called me to set some parameters, such as framerate, I don't know about these parameters, anyone can help me? please

Don't use a VIDEO converter for AUDIO files. There's no framerate in audio. I'm not at all familiar with Apple so I can't make any suggestions other than this. Just keep in mind as you convert from FLAC that player support is very important. Today FLAC is somewhat mainstream and most modern players support it. Not sure about ALAC - that sounds like an Apple only solution. Also, the more compressed it is the more resources it takes to play it.

FWIW - I convert all my CDs to FLAC and only FLAC (and I don't compress them at all). I'm more about the quality than saving a few megabytes.
 

Nelson Au

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ALAC is Apples lossless file format. I've been converting my CDs with it. I'm about quality too and keeping it sounding as good as the CD source. From what I've read, there is no audio difference of a file converted to ALAC or FLAC. That's what they say. I may try that experiment myself at some time. :). It comes down to which flavor you prefer. So it works for me as I'm in the Apple ecosystem of iPods and iPhones. Oppo is supporting ALAC with the exception of gapless playback. But maybe they've fixed that, hope so.
 

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