Home > USB AUDIO > New Musiland Driver. With HDCD Decoder?… YES!

New Musiland Driver. With HDCD Decoder?… YES!

Musiland just released a new BETA version of the device driver. You can download here. (Look for file name MlCyMon).

The control panel has HDCD indicator, and correctly detected one of my HDCD tracks. I ripped a CD with 9 HDCD tracks and 1 NON-HDCD track (as indicated by a Denon HDCD-capable CD player). The Musiland control panel correctly identified the HDCD tracks and the NON-HDCD track. (Detecting HDCD has been one of the ways to determine bit-perfectness. I had ripped these as Apple Lossless)

In order to enable the HDCD indicator, you must change the hdcd value from 0 to 1 in the Config.ini file found in C: \ Program Files \ MUSILAND \ Monitor Series (USB). After you change it, close the Musiland control panel and restart it. You will see the HDCD “light” appear in the control panel as shown below.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise…I asked the question whether the HDCD feature is just and indicator or decoder over at the Musiland forum and customer support responded that it is a DECODER. The HDCD decoder is in the driver and it decodes on the fly.

Indeed, the HDCD feature is a decoder. When playing HDCD tracks you can hear an overall reduction in volume to accommodate the increase in dynamic range. Also, the decoder is decoding on the fly: here are the (dual) processor activity charts with and without HDCD enabled on the same track:

UPDATE2: Musiland discourages the use of the feature because it has not (yet?) been approved by Microsoft: I copied this straight from a forum post:


Translates: “HDCD functionality has not passed Microsoft authorization, there may be copyright issues, use is strictly prohibited”. Because they are seeking/waiting Microsoft approval, there is hope that this implementation is official.

Tip for Driver installation:

  • Exit the Musiland control panel
  • Uninstall the old Musiland driver
  • Install the new Musiland driver
  • There is no need to reboot (at least in my Windows Vista installation) unless you get a re-start dialog after installing the drive

Recent list of HDCD recordings

Enjoying old tracks anew…

It seems that some of my favorite artists recorded in HDCD format at one time in their careers

  1. Rosendorfer
    May 6, 2010 at 13:34

    Dear GLT

    This is a nice neews….

    Anyway did You try to compare the Musiland -> Buffalo connection by SPIDF vs I2S…this is something I really would like to have Your comment..

    And could You share anything about AC2, will this allow to connect 3-4 SPIDF sources to Buffalo… Spidf and D1 and D2 on Buffalo connector ..??

    All the best

  2. Hifiduino
    May 6, 2010 at 15:10

    Hi Rosendorfer,

    I’m sorry, still have spdif… DAC sounds so good, I’m too lazy to tweak it now :-), but will do it and let you know. In any case, I need to get accustomed to the current sound if I hope to be able to tell the two implementations apart.

    Regarding AC2, I don’t get any more information than the rest of you guys. But I don’t think there is any hardware to switch inputs as part of AC2. It can definitely control devices (such as relays) that will do the switching. I don’t know what Russ has in mind for spdif/dsd selector, but you will need that “thing” hooked to AC2.

    BTW, thanks for sharing your transformer projects and measurements over at diyaudio. Are you going to try tubes?

  3. Rosendorfer
    May 6, 2010 at 17:16

    Dear GLT

    SPIDF vs I2S input to Buffalo is interesting because I read somewhere that there are some differences in “jitter reduction” and/or ASRC behaviour in Sabre chip when feed thought SPIDF or I2S. I thing it was in very first ES9008 Sabre thread, started by Dustin, before NDA.

    Thanks for AC2 info, I will have to find some “device” to switch the SPIDF signal.

    Regarding my “trasformers adventure” it is really interesting. I’ve learned something new,
    As I wrote I have more measurements but I did not decide to post them on diyaudio forum without some kind of verification, / You know that I could be wrong / and since there is no real feedback on this, I pass a little. I’m not trafo “expert” .
    But if You are interested in anything just let me know.

    All the best

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