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