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Old 30th July 2009, 17:39   #631
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Originally Posted by Invinsible View Post
I have noticed that MP3's encoded in low bit format doesn't sound that good as compared to playing an audio CD. For instance I recorded "Dire Straits - Money is for nothing" at different bit rates on to a CD with 128, 192, 320 along with some WMA formats. I played each one of them over and over again the closest was obviously Mp3 at 320 bit rate sounded close to CD. 192 is what sound good had a decent balance of highs and bass line not breaking up. but the 128 bit rate was bad, sounded as tough the gains were too high and as though the sound was distorting, there was no presence of high freq. felt here. All this was played at keeping the volume to 23. With 128 I had to lower the volume to 22-21. But where this head unit really shines is while playing the Audio CD, at the end of the exercise when I played the Audio CD, first of all I could take the volume all the way up to 25-26, that's where my system reaches its limit, and yet sounding clean the bass line was much higher the vocals were really shining, highs was crystal cleaning.

What also matter is what type of format we listen to, Clarion can really show what recording means, WAV files can be played extremely clean and low bit rate mp3 can sound bad.
i believe you.
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Old 31st July 2009, 15:46   #632
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Wow man, I don't think any other single head-unit has sparked so much emotions in the entire history of Team-BHP! Like it or hate it, Clarion 785 is quite a character!
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Old 31st July 2009, 16:00   #633
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Now that you mention it This is the first (non - living )thing that I own which has a Character
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Old 1st August 2009, 01:24   #634
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Now that you mention it This is the first (non - living )thing that I own which has a Character
True, who said music doesn't get our soul alive
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Old 6th August 2009, 09:01   #635
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I have probably asked this before, it also claims support for "USB digital media streaming". To me it seems like some protocol that possibly enables playing lossless files from a compatible portable player. Does anybody has a better idea?
I had to find the answer myself- Media Transfer Protocol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Key point is that a usual USB mass storage device gives absolute control of the whole memory to HU, which then manages entire file-system. Whereas in case of "digital streaming" or "MTP" mode, the player itself handles it's own file system and presents a single file at a time to HU for playing. I should forget about lossless here, because the manual says file formats in fact get restricted in MTP mode, AAC can not be played! Most well known portable players seems to support MTP as per the Wiki page.
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Old 6th August 2009, 09:50   #636
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This is a pretty old kludgy protocol which used to work over TCP/IP also, and a lot of home streaming devices (media players like D-Link Media Lounge Player) hook onto PCs/laptops via this protocol. Essentially client server (final player = client; storage side = server), the operation is pretty good as long as you are not rewinding, when all hell breaks lose. The protocol includes a directory query method also, which truncates long file names but handles nesting well.

Fundamentally, server side keeps track of whaterver has already been sent across, i.e. how much of the media has been streamed across. When the client asks the server to rewind, the server begins a laborious process of retracing its steps - jump back-send-jump back-send and so on and so forth a frame/segment at a time. This funny behaviour was supposed to emulate tape rewind, i.e. signal is read even if direction is reversed and speed increased or decreased. Multi-speed fast forward is a cinch, comparatively.

Lossless playback inability is HU limitation, not that of the protocol, isn't it? Will it play AAC off of CDs?
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Old 6th August 2009, 10:17   #637
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I am happy to report that m4a audio files play seamlessly on this HU. I 'accidentally' had a couple of files on my flash disk and discovered this functionality by chance!
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Old 6th August 2009, 11:51   #638
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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Lossless playback inability is HU limitation, not that of the protocol, isn't it?
Yes, if the file itself is transferred and decoded inside HU (which seems to be the case now). When I read "digital media streaming", I expected that it could be possibly a raw audio data stream after getting decoded by the portable player. BTW, I am always too optimistic (or else too pessimistic) when it comes to such imaginations. I still hope that it is the case with direct ipod route, i.e. one should be able to play lossless AAC or WAV using an ipod. Has anybody tried direct-ipod functionality? (I don't own any ipod, so far that is!)

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Will it play AAC off of CDs?
Yes, it is supposed to play it off CDs or USB (mass storage), though I have not tried any.
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Old 7th August 2009, 11:22   #639
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
When I read "digital media streaming", I expected that it could be possibly a raw audio data stream after getting decoded by the portable player. BTW, I am always too optimistic (or else too pessimistic) when it comes to such imaginations. I still hope that it is the case with direct ipod route, i.e. one should be able to play lossless AAC or WAV using an ipod. Has anybody tried direct-ipod functionality? (I don't own any ipod, so far that is!)
Santosh, why so serious? Wouldn't playing music as WAV files satiate you? In fact, I am planning of plonking a 160GB HDD into the glovebox- just so I can have hundreds of hours of WAV (of music I like the most), alongside MP3s and AACs. How does that sound to you?
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Old 7th August 2009, 11:31   #640
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Originally Posted by greenh0rn View Post
Santosh, why so serious? Wouldn't playing music as WAV files satiate you? In fact, I am planning of plonking a 160GB HDD into the glovebox- just so I can have hundreds of hours of WAV (of music I like the most), alongside MP3s and AACs. How does that sound to you?
I tried playing WAV files of my 32gb pendrive but unfortunately the head unit dint detect it. I am not too sure if it would be able read a WAV file via usb i.e. Through HDD or ipod and other media. One easy way it could work is through aux in but again the quality would matter.
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Old 7th August 2009, 13:11   #641
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@greenhorn, It would be fantastic to have loads of WAVs, or even better FLACs in a HDD, but this HU does not support WAV format (FLAC is not even expected in HUs at this point of time). Looks like you were not aware of that so far.

Practically, 256-320Kbps mp3s are enough to keep me satisfied. FLAC or WAV is more of psychological effect of the word "loss-less". Moreover, it would have avoided the business of converting loss-less collection at home into mp3s, just for the sake of car. However, I can catagorically say that 128kbps mp3s can not keep me happy. Recently I listened to a CD which I thought was all encoded at 128Kbps, but some songs sounded too good for that bitrate. When I had a closer look, those turned out to be either 160 or 192 Kbps ones! Though I must confess that the same 128Kbps used to seem like a boon, back in late 90's when disk space came at a premium. These days it is more like "Disk-space for nothing, and songs for free"!
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Old 7th August 2009, 15:37   #642
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
@greenhorn, It would be fantastic to have loads of WAVs.... FLAC or WAV is more of psychological effect of the word "loss-less".
Well if you find a HU that does support WAV you can still use WavPack to generate .wv files that can support tags.

Wavpack Hybrid as wav pre-processor ? - Hydrogenaudio Forums
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Old 8th August 2009, 11:15   #643
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
... possibly a raw audio data stream after getting decoded by the portable player. ... I still hope that it is the case with direct ipod route, i.e. one should be able to play lossless AAC or WAV using an ipod ...
Lack of declared information from HU manufacturers is the culprit, since there can be more than one technical solution possible.

Look at the iPod connector pinout - there are 3 possibilities:
1. Data over USB data +/- (pins 27, 25)
2. Data over Serial TxD/RxD (pins 12, 13)
3. Analog over iPod Line Out (pins 3, 4 and 2)
Which of these an HU implements as iPod interface is not declared - it is a matter of conjecture.

If the HU accepts iPod over USB, it is Case 1 above. If the HU has an interface box interposed between HU and iPod, it could be any of the 3.

If USB or Serial TxD, the stream is expected to be PCM. Wouldn't need a codec in the HU to decode - would go straight to HU DAC, since no further processing would be required before conversion. Mind you, even if the HU is controlling the iPod by the low bandwidth iPod Remote protocol, it is not asking iPod to return encoded bytes from a file. It is only commanding iPod to decode the file and send the results to the HU (PCM and analog on the connector).

Used as USB drive, files stored on external storage are read as files, and decoded by the HU. This is where the HU's codec capabilities come in - whether it can support lossless or not.

Short of opening up everything and checking, it is difficult to figure out which specific implementation is being used by the HU manufacturer.
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Old 8th August 2009, 13:47   #644
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
@greenhorn, It would be fantastic to have loads of WAVs, or even better FLACs in a HDD, but this HU does not support WAV format (FLAC is not even expected in HUs at this point of time). Looks like you were not aware of that so far.
Oh damn man! And I thought playing WAV was native to all HUs of some calibre! Now- we have no means of playing lossless except original audio CDs, right? :sniff
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Old 8th August 2009, 15:53   #645
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Well if you find a HU that does support WAV you can still use WavPack to generate .wv files that can support tags.

Wavpack Hybrid as wav pre-processor ? - Hydrogenaudio Forums
I am not sure if I got your point. Went through hydrogenaudio link as well, but it went all over the head! This HU does NOT support WAV, given that will WavPack be of any use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
1. Data over USB data +/- (pins 27, 25)
.....
If the HU accepts iPod over USB, it is Case 1 above.
Thank you DerAlte ji, for the detailed information. Since it is direct connection to ipod through USB, I suppose (or hope) that it is case 1 that you mentioned. In that case, I may think of getting an ipod instead of HDD.

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Originally Posted by greenh0rn View Post
Oh damn man! And I thought playing WAV was native to all HUs of some calibre! Now- we have no means of playing lossless except original audio CDs, right? :sniff
Hehe... I used to think so, but I stood corrected before you did and before buying the HU as well. You are right, ACD is a definite way of playing lossless, ipod could be 2nd option (call it a ray of hope if you are very desparate!).
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