BitPerfect Sound Inc is pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of its music player for Mac, BitPerfect. The new version introduces DSD playback support, but also incorporates a new and improved 3rd-Generation 64-bit audio engine, and has support for future plug-in features.
The biggest new feature of BitPerfect v2.0 is its ability to support DSD playback. BitPerfect supports DSD playback in a new and unique way.
BitPerfect uses the iTunes App as both
its music database manager and command/control interface. Many users
appreciate this paradigm, either because they like iTunes, or because
they have grown comfortable with it and prefer not to change. Either
way, it has been a popular approach for BitPerfect, with over 20,000 active users worldwide. When it comes to DSD, though, this does present a problem, since iTunes does not recognize DSD files and will not import them.
The preferred solution adopted by others to date has been the use of
proxy files. Proxy files are typically Apple Lossless files which
contain highly-compressed digital silence of the exact same duration as
the desired DSD file, plus a link to the location of the related DSD
file. If iTunes tries to play the file, all it plays is silence. But
if instead the proxy file’s related player plays the file, it is able to
follow the link to the original DSD
file and play that instead. Proxy files work fine, but they have
limitations. Many installations use the same music database to serve
multiple playback systems within the same home network. Only playback
systems that support DSD
will be able to play music from proxy files; everyone else will hear
only silence. The solution to this is to use a converter App to make a PCM version of the DSD original. This PCM version can be loaded into the iTunes database, and playback systems which do not support DSD
can play this version instead. Again, this works fine, but has
limitations. In this case your music database will contain duplicate
versions of all of your DSD tracks - the DSD originals represented by proxy files, and the PCM
conversions. These each have to be carefully labelled so as to enable
every user to identify which is which. And then all these users need an
element of “training” so as to know which version is to be played on
which system. At BitPerfect, we have never liked the path down which proxy files lead us.
Our solution involves the introduction of a new file format we term “Hybrid-DSD”. This is an extension of the Apple Lossless file format. A Hybrid-DSD
file is an Apple Lossless file. It can be imported into iTunes (and
any other software that supports ALAC) and will play normally like any
other Apple Lossless file, with or without BitPerfect. However, it also contains a hidden copy of the native DSD file, and when BitPerfect is controlling playback it can read this DSD content and, if the audio output device supports DSD, will play it back in its native DSD format. So if the audio output device supports DSD, BitPerfect will play it natively. If it does not, it will play the PCM
content (as in fact will any other playback software that supports
Apple Lossless). None of this need ever concern the user. No special
instruction is required. For installations where the same music library
is shared among multiple playback stations this is the most elegant and
user-friendly approach we can think of.
The creation of Hybrid-DSD files requires BitPerfect’s new companion App “DSD Master”, also available from the Mac App Store. Not only does DSD Master produce Hybrid-DSD files, it also produces conventional PCM files in Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, and FLAC formats. As an added bonus, DSD Master’s conversion algorithm is the best in the industry and we invite you to compare for yourself.
Aside from DSD support, BitPerfect
v2.0 introduces a new and improved audio engine which enables us to
provide a plug-in based structure. We will be able to use this
structure to offer a range of future plug-ins which will provide various
specialist functionalities which would not justify being included in
the baseline package. After all, BitPerfect’s paradigm is to keep
things simple and stay out of the user’s way as much as possible, even
while doing highly sophisticated and uncompromised state-of-the-art
With BitPerfect v2.0 we drop our support for the very oldest 32-bit Intel CPUs which were able to run OSX 10.6. Henceforth, BitPerfect will require a 64-bit CPU. BitPerfect v2.0 is available at the same low price as before, and the upgrade from previous versions of BitPerfect remains free of charge.