DSD files can be played by a Squeezebox Touch (SBT)! For those (like me) who love their SBT but left it behind to get into DSD playback, this is awesome news.
The key to making this work is to reformat DSD files (DSF or DFF) as DoP (D
CM) FLAC files. Once this is done, Logitech Media Server (LMS) thinks the DSD file is a 24/176 PCM file and sends it to the DAC like usual. The DSD DAC recognizes it as a DoP formatted file and decodes it as native DSD. Pretty cool! This method is not limited to the SBT/LMS platform. It will work with any media platform that will stream 24/176 FLAC files to a USB or SPDIF digital interface.Important Note (9/9/13):
In order for DoP files to play back properly with a compatible DAC, the files must be streamed as bit-perfect PCM. This is true for SBT/LMS or PC via USB playback. This means that the software volume control (SBT or otherwise) must be at 100% and there should be no DSP plug-ins in the PCM streaming path.
The hardware setup is pretty easy. The downside is this requires creating a duplicate set of DSD files that are formatted as DoP encoded 24/176 FLAC files. BTW, always
keep your original DSF and DFF files, even if you create DoP encoded copies of them. This means you will need additional disk space for the new reformatted DSD files. The DoP encoded FLAC files are the same size as the original DSF or DFF files. It’s up to the SBT user to determine if the time, effort, and cost to reformat files and add more storage capacity is worth it to play back DSD from the SBT.
I have verified that this process works with my SBT and Benchmark DAC2 using both USB and SPDIF connections. Though I haven’t tried it, I’m pretty sure this process will not
work for double DSD due to the sample rate limitations of the SBT. What I’ve done here is piece together information from various audio bulletin board sources to document the steps to make this work. 1. DAC Compatibility
First determine if your DSD DAC will play DSD files using the DoP protocol. The DSD Database maintained by Jesus R and Ted B is the go-to resource for this. Check the DoP Input
column for your DAC to find out what inputs are DoP compatible. For most DACs it will be the USB input. Some DACs (like my Benchmark) also have DoP compatible SPDIF inputs. Link to the DSD Database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgVhKcl_3lHfdFVyenBBNjNpQ2lieG81WGpqQTNfVUE#gid=0
2. Enhanced Digital Output for the Squeezebox Touch
- Russtafarian's Benchmark DAC2 works with both USB and SPDIF inputs (8/27/13)
- bprice2 reports SBT EDO works with the DoP USB input of Teac UD-501 when used with a USB 2.0 hub. (9/9/13)
The stock SBT is limited to streaming sample rates up to 24/96. DoP requires 24/176 streaming capability to work. EDO to the rescue!
The "Enhanced Digital Output" (EDO) app allows the Squeezebox Touch to stream sample rates up to 24/192 to a compatible DAC. EDO is found in the main 3rd party apps list and can be installed with the following steps:
1) Ensure your Squeezebox Touch is running 7.7.x or later firmware
2) Go to Apps Gallery -> 3rd Party Apps on the touch screen
3) Deselect the "recommended applets only" option, so that you see a longer list of apps
4) Select "Enhanced Digital Output" and select it for installation
5) Your touch should download the app, reboot, then download a new custom linux kernel and reboot again
6) You should now get a list of possible output devices - this should include "Digital Output" and your USB Dac if it is plugged in, select the appropriate output
7) Touch should reboot again and then be ready to start playing with the selected output
If you want to change the output go to Setting > Audio Settings > Digital Output; if you want to change some of the advanced options go to Settings > Advanced > Digital Output.Update 9/13/13:
AC member holzohr has provided us with a link to the EDO compatibility list. Thank you! This is a great resource for determining if a DAC will work with EDO.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqiK6WHnz5FHdEtlalVRb29pX3N2WXhfMlAzNmFMZnc#gid=0
Please note that if you perform a firmware update, then the app and kernel will need to be reinstalled, this should be automated just requiring you to install the app again or to have the "reinstall after update" option selected from the 3rd party apps list.3. Use Foobar As A DSF to DoP File Converter
For this step, Foobar is used as a file converter, not a media player. These instructions are for a Windows PC since that’s what I use. You may already have Foobar and FLAC installed on your PC.
1. Install Foobar2000: http://www.foobar2000.org/
2. Install FLAC Frontend: http://download.cnet.com/windows/seek-s-encoder-frontends/3260-20_4-10055779.html?tag=rb_content;contentBody
3. Download the "foo_input_packeddsd.dll" file and place it in the C:\Program Files\foobar2000\components
4. Start Foobar and go to "File->Preferences ->Components" to make sure "foo_input_packeddsd.dll" shows up in the installed components box.
5. Go to "File->Preferences ->Tools->SACD" and set the following configuration:
- ASIO Driver Mode: DSD
- PCM Sample Rate: 176400
- DSD2PCM mode: DSD over PCM
- Click on "Enable Tags"
Note: Foobar may need to be restarted for these setting to load for conversion.
6. Use "File->Open” to load DSF or DFF files for conversion into a Foobar playlist. Highlight all the files in the playlist, right click and select "Convert". Choose the “…“ option and set FLAC as the output format. Set other conversion options (output folder, file name pattern, etc.) here. My preference is to set the sub-folder name to “artist - album” and file name to “nn. title”.
7. Hit the “Convert” button to begin the batch conversion process. The first time you run conversion you will be prompted for the location of FLAC.exe. Most likely it’s in C:\Program Files\FLAC Frontend\tools
8. Some DSF metadata will carry over to the DoP encoded FLAC file but cover art will need to be reattached. Cover art and metadata in the DoP FLAC file can be edited just like any other FLAC file. I add “(DSD DoP)” to the end each folder name and album title to differentiate it from the same album in other formats.
9. Before batch converting a bunch of files, convert a few test files, index them in LMS, and play them to make sure they decode as native DSD.
10. If the files don’t play back correctly, Check the following:
- Verify that all four parameters on the "File->Preferences ->Tools->SACD" Foobar screen are configured as documented above.
- Verify that the EDO app is installed and configured correctly on the SBT. Every time the SBT’s firmware is updated, EDO must be reinstalled and configured.
- Verify that the PCM stream from the playback software to the DAC is PCM bit-perfect.
That’s it. Once the files are converted by Foobar and indexed in LMS, you’re ready to enjoy your DSD music through the Squeezebox Touch.