KORG AudioGate Music Player
Free to all audiophiles
The good people at KORG have decided to release the latest version of their music player/converter AudioGate free of charge. You can download here.
Now you can play DSD files with the KORG AudioGate player/converter. Audiogate can also play other formats such as WAV, AIFF and many others, and can convert DSD to/from PCM files. Converting a DSD file into a 24bit/192KHz file resulted in almost double the size of the original DSD file.
When playing DSD tracks, AudioGate converts DSD into PCM on the fly and outputs at the highest resolution possible. In my setup, I used the maximum resolution of the Musiland MINI interface which is 24bit/192KHz. So even though you cannot output DSD straight to the DAC (you will probably need megabuck equipment to do so), the player makes DSD compatible with PCM-based consumer hardware.
Activation and use with twitter
There is only one requirement for using this free player: you must link a twitter account to the player. The player requires that you send a twitt when you first use the player and every time you convert a file. Normal playing does not require twitting. I suppose this could be a good market indicator of DSD track usage for KORG and partners.
Playing my first DSD file in the computer
I downloaded my first DSD track from 2L. At 24/192K output through the Musiland Interface and into the Buffalo II DAC, the quality is astonishing, with unmatched clarity and dynamics. Even at this high sample rate, I was able to set the DPLL setting in the DAC to “lowest”.
A free player, a $60 USB-SPDIF interface and a $250 state-of-the-art DAC… Ultra HIGH END has never been so affordable.
Setting Sample Rate
AudioGate supports DirecSound and ASIO. (I did not see support for WASAPI). When using ASIO, one sets the sample rate of the hardware and all tracks are played at that sample rate regardless of the source file native sample rate. This is OK when playing DSD files, but the lack of automatic sample rate change, makes it inconvenient to use as a general purpose music player. In this department, XMplay in WASAPI exclusive mode has the advantage because it can automatically use the sample rate of the source file. One solution is to convert DSD to 24/192K and then use XMPlay as the hires player.