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Old 8th November 2011, 12:31   #1
calind
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Is all audio converted to 24 bit when "Enable 24bit" option is on?

Hi everyone,

I guess this one goes to Winamp tech staff: if I check the "Enable 24bit" option in General Preferences -> Playback, is all audio converted to 24 bit or only effect is that 24 bit material is not "downgraded" to 16-bit?

Reason I'm asking is that I'm using a 24 bit capable USB D/A converter and neither it or my amplifier have a remote, therefore I'm forced to use my PC remote to control volume. But as everyone knows, kmixer main volume is poorly implemented in Win XP (no dithering) thus resulting in significant quality degrading if set to less than 100%. My audio chain is rather audiophile and I want to make sure that every component is set to perform at its best. Thanks a lot.
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Old 9th November 2011, 09:30   #2
calind
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since no one seemed to hurry to reply, I did my own investigations. looks like output is not converted to 24 bits. I checked USB transfer rate with an USB monitoring tool and it's still exactly 176400 bytes/s (44100x2x2) even when "Enable 24bit" is on.
for what it's worth...
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Old 9th November 2011, 09:38   #3
DrO
 
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replies can (if they do come) take a while to happen and if people don't know then they're not generally going to reply.

from what i remember when the feature was added, it completely depends on the output device / drivers which Winamp passes the processed audio onto and even with it being enabled, it can still come out as 16-bit if things aren't configured correctly in everything being used. hence the note when the option is enabled.

-daz
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Old 9th November 2011, 09:49   #4
SilverBird775
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To the topic: NO

What you said,

Being set on it just let the higher resolution material to play as it is. Perhaps the winamp authors is overcautious and made sure the winamp will work with 16 bit downsampled to meet the requirements for any medieval equipment right of the box. The 16 bit will path through unchanged.

The warning dialog which is popping up when enabling the option expains it all.

In newer OS's like WinXP the 24 bit material will be scaled down if necessary so from the OS point the winamp's option is irrelevant. But as the warning say, not every third party plugin is 24 bit compatible.

Edit:
Yes, keep it enabled.
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Old 9th November 2011, 10:59   #5
calind
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seems like my own conclusion is correct.
any idea of a way to convert 16 bit audio to 24 bit with Winamp so I can confidently use the Windows volume control without any sound degradation?
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Old 9th November 2011, 13:22   #6
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The best way to do this is letting winamp to output any encoding (24 bit option enabled) and spicing up the winamp with upsample capable output plugin.

There is some, should be. I've tried QO Labs AudioBurst FX before and it seemed to work okay. Could not provide any more details because WinXP is a past to me. This recommendation is for WinXP only. But for Vista\Win7 nothing DirectSound based could be recommended.

For WinXP you may consider to use the Kernel Streaming plugin to avoid any windows mixer interference completely. It does not upsample, but instead stream everything as is and bypass any windows processing. 24 bit is supported as well.
When supported the Native ASIO is also very good.
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