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Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat May 04, 2019 6:40 pm

Another thing to consider is drivers, or more accurately "output plugins", if you end up running on Windows. You mention you use JRiver Media Centre - does this have WASAPI output?

IME, just switching away from DirectShow (or Direct Sound, whatever) to WASAPI output improved audio quality considerably even just using the built-in soundcard. Most recent laptops have surprisingly decent DAs, at least for casual listening. It's not as if you'd need rock-solid clocking and phenomenal jitter specs etc. for media-player duties.

What you DO lose by using WASAPI output plugins is usually stuff like crossfades, fade-out on pause / stop. Not a huge loss compared to the jump in clarity or improved stereo image.

Then again, the RME stuff is excellent, I use it myself and won't seek to discourage you from going that route. Highly recommended.

As for alternative media-player soft (should JRiver not do WASAPI), FB2K while fiddly to set up at first is excellent. Hell, there's even a patched final version of Winamp 5 series floating about that does a great job . . . it's fugly, but again highly configurable library and filtering. Subject of course to the usual bit of work to set up.
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby anamusingalias » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:46 am

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:WASAPI

Proper equalization will improve sound quality much more than WASAPI, which makes using system-wide equalization like Equalizer APO impossible.
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:19 am

Baldo wrote:I just really need it as a display to show what is playing and to browse the music library. My main music Player is JRiver Media Centre and I will get a high end Sound card like an RME.
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I don't know what you intend to do with this music but if you want to play mp3 or mp4 files, I have an old laptop myself that I bough from eBay on the cheap with 2 or 3 USB ports that I use for playing mp3 and mp4 files on only!. I just use the 3.5mm jack as the output though so not great but would sound better with an external sound card. It had no operating system on when I got it so I bough a pirate version of xp for a couple of quid off eBay. And windows xp dose not have a pre installed video file player program on it so I downloaded and installed the very popular "VLC media player"

The only big issue I have with this laptop is it crashes/ freezes when you blast a lot of sound next to it. I noticed this when it was placed very close to one of my PA speakers
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:26 am

night ans day wrote:
Baldo wrote:I just really need it as a display to show what is playing and to browse the music library. My main music Player is JRiver Media Centre and I will get a high end Sound card like an RME.
.
I don't know what you intend to do with this music but if you want to play mp3 or mp4 files, I have an old laptop myself that I bough from eBay on the cheap with 2 or 3 USB ports that I use for playing mp3 and mp4 files on only!. I just use the 3.5mm jack as the output though so not great but would sound better with an external sound card. It had no operating system on when I got it so I bough a pirate version of xp for a couple of quid off eBay. And windows xp dose not have a pre installed video file player program on it so I downloaded and installed the very popular "VLC media player"

The only big issue I have with this laptop is it crashes/ freezes when you blast a lot of sound next to it. I noticed this when it was placed very close to one of my PA speakers

Drop a score on a Behringer UCA 202/222. They are generic USB so work on anything and the replay quality is far better than most inbuilt laptop sound cards.

Dave.
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:42 pm

ef37a wrote:[
Drop a score on a Behringer UCA 202/222. They are generic USB so work on anything and the replay quality is far better than most inbuilt laptop sound cards.

Dave.
As I recall those models require drivers for them to work on win xp but plug and play on win 10, but win 10 is prone to problems like needing rebooting for them to work

Given that these sound cards are less then $25, manufacture don't tend to bother to keep up with the latest driver and support for newer machine, infact when they blatantly publish in there manuals that you will receive a CD with all the drivers on to install on your machine and there simply is no disk supplied. Just don't expect a lot of help and support for an old sound card under $25!
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby ef37a » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:39 pm

night ans day wrote:
ef37a wrote:[
Drop a score on a Behringer UCA 202/222. They are generic USB so work on anything and the replay quality is far better than most inbuilt laptop sound cards.

Dave.
As I recall those models require drivers for them to work on win xp but plug and play on win 10, but win 10 is prone to problems like needing rebooting for them to work

Given that these sound cards are less then $25, manufacture don't tend to bother to keep up with the latest driver and support for newer machine, infact when they blatantly publish in there manuals that you will receive a CD with all the drivers on to install on your machine and there simply is no disk supplied. Just don't expect a lot of help and support for an old sound card under $25!

I don't have a W10 machine handy as yet to try mine on but I would be VERY surprised if the UCA did not work on ten now.

I found some folks having RECORDING problems with the wee things in 2018 but replay was fine. I would bet any wrinkles have been ironed out by now.

BTW...not "an old soundcard"! The converters are still very current. Ok, not a brilliant device but you should get a noise floor around -85dBfs and you would be hard put to find programme with that dynamic range! Anyhoos! How long would 25 bucks last down the Mucky Duck?

Dave.
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:37 am

ef37a wrote:As I recall those models require drivers for them to work on win xp but plug and play on win 10, but win 10 is prone to problems like needing rebooting for them to work
Like I said there is no software for it so expect it to run into problems
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:11 am

night ans day wrote:
ef37a wrote:As I recall those models require drivers for them to work on win xp but plug and play on win 10, but win 10 is prone to problems like needing rebooting for them to work
Like I said there is no software for it so expect it to run into problems

No, I did not say that. I said the device uses generic USB drivers like a USB memory stick and should work on any Windows or mac platform.

Or you can use this: http://www.asio4all.org/

Dave.
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Re: Looking for laptop on ebay to use as a Music player

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm

ef37a wrote:Or you can use this: http://www.asio4all.org/
Your rekindling some old memories I had when I had problems getting mine to work. I remember that link you provided as I remember downloading one of the files from that site to get the device to work.

Still very disappointing to see that it has to come from a 3rd party source as the manufactures do not supply this
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