Don't download J River, if You Do, You'll Buy It! J River Media Center Review
Need a good media player? JRiver Media Center review was one of the easiest reviews I've had the pleasure of conducting...
J River turned out to be the right player for our media playback uses because it does about anything you could possibly need to get high quality audio from the PC. Its easy to use too.
So what's the problem with the old Windows Media Center and why did we switch to J River?
Why we don't like Windows Media Center
Reviewing JRiver Media Center was necessary because...
1. Any audio processed (by Windows) gets reprocessed by the Windows Kernel streaming mixer. This unnecessarily reconverts the digital signal depending on what you are playing back. If playing a 44.1Khz signal, that signal will be digitized into a 48Khz signal.
If you use a PC or Windows based computer you may have found the Windows Media player doesn’t quite deliver what you were hoping for.
Some of the problems with Windows media player are issues that any audiophile would consider ‘unacceptable’ for high performance playback.
2. There are no provisions on Windows Media Player for using ASIO which is the best way to get clean audio out of your computer.
These two reasons alone would be enough to justify looking at a software solution that should take care of these problems. There are a lot of possible programs on the net.
Learn how to use a Droid phone for a remote with JRiver Media Center.
Media Monkey and other players compared to J River Media Center
Media Monkey is one that I had tried earlier this year. But they don’t seem to have a stable system for 64 bit operating systems.
My installation of Media Monkey crashed enough times within 2 months of using it that I just decided to look for something else.
I am sure Media Monkey will figure out their issues and get them resolved. But I didn’t have time or the patience to wait for it. I needed a music and movie playback program now.
I found the JRiver Media Center review was recommended on some of the forums I frequent. I downloaded the free ware trial and started working with it.
Dual Interface on JRiver
One thing I loved was that it could play back not just movies but music as well. I realize that Windows can do this, but not the same way...
The J River-Media-center can output the signal to two or more different outputs. And it can output in different ways too.
Let me explain...
I wanted to use ASIO to output of music. Plus, I wanted to be able to use up-sampling which the J River media center also included.
So, I can output music from 44.1 up sampled to 88.2 or 176.4Khz instead.
But if watching a movie, I need it to output the standard signal at 48Khz.
JRiver allows you to output the signal differently for movie playback or music playback. I sent the signal to the soundcard which worked the best for my system. In my case, music was output by digital coax cable. Movies were output by way of fiber optic cable (toslink) through SPDIF. Find the best CPU for your PC.
The Sound card interface
The digital signal sent from the JRiver Media Center to the ESI Julia Soundcard (ESI Juli@) which I had recently picked up. I love the ESI Juli@ sound card by the way.
For movies, I had to do things a little bit different. I used the digital output (toslink) on the motherboard because for some reason, the player liked this setting better.
I can use either but I’m still working on figuring out why my PC liked to output movie (DVD) audio in this way.
This JRiver Media center review showed me that the 'player' has many other functions that make it better (in my opinion) than iTunes or other well-known media players too...
You can use CTRL+ and function keys to get from one player interface to the next. I like to use ctrl+1 for the main music playing interface and ctrl+4 to get into the Media player interface.
When I’m playing music during a party or when guests are at the house the ‘Media Player’ tab will play a continuous loop of pictures that it finds on the web about your current album that is playing. This is a really nice feature.
I’m not sure if other players do this or not but in my experience the J River makes it so easy to use, turn on and find that I something has to be said for the user experience.
Ease of use with JRiver Media Center
J River makes all of this bit perfect playback effortless. And there are almost limitless tweaking options available for the enthusiasts such as you and myself. I really like it.
So, long story short...
I bought the player before my trial ever got close to running out. Which is how these things are intended to work I think. You download J River Media center, use it for a bit, and if the software is excellent, you buy it.
I doubt JRiver has many customers that don’t buy the software. I think it’s a bargain. I can’t believe how long I lived without it. Here's the link to J River's site so you can try it out for free. Enter the J-River Media Center site.
Computer Speakers and Computer Audio
Other articles from J River media Center review:
To receive Monthly updates and our Newsletter -including exclusive information to the Audio or Video Enthusiast, join our newsletter club by filling out the form below.
Our Monthly newsletter provides additional information not already provided on this site.
This newsletter will also let you know of any upcoming product sales.
"Peter, I just wanted to drop you a quick note and say how impressed I am with these speakers. They are EXACTLY what I was looking for..very very small with big sound.
My wife loves them as well. They look great, and you hardly notice them at all sitting on the shelf. They integrate perfectly as surrounds. I have them crossed over at 150 as you recommended...simply fantastic. I only have about 15 hours on them so far, so I know they will only get better. You really have something here. Kelly ~ Montana USA
"I found these speakers by accident and after reading all the available info and after several emails back and forth with the company owner I decided I had nothing to lose, so I ordered a set of 5 mini cube speakers.
Peter was very helpful and patient and always responded to my emails within hours.
I have had the speakers set up for a couple of days and they sound great; they are everything described on the web site.
The sound from these small speakers truly is awesome.
I replaced a set of very high quality but also very large speakers and have not been disappointed... and the wife loves not having four large speakers in the living room.
The sound from these speakers really does fill the entire house, I was concerned about the small size of the speakers due to the fact I like to listen to music and movies at volumes most would consider loud.
These speakers are more than capable of playing at volume levels louder than I ever need while also maintaining very high quality sound. ~by; William (Corinth,TX)
"I ordered these speakers in the hope of bringing some life to my entertainment system... I didn’t think it would bring room filling sound to my entire house. These speakers not only fill my den with crystal clear sound, but radiate great sound throughout the house. Thanks for such a great product!" Celia ~Malasia IP#220.127.116.11
"these speakers breathed new life back into my music, I had no idea such small surround sound speakers could perform so well." John from US IP# 18.104.22.168
"how you got so much performance out of these speakers I have no idea -Great product!" Andrew from Denmark IP# 22.214.171.124
"nice speakers, nice finish, blended in with my room well and the wife is happy too. Great sound presentation! Now I just wish you guys made a subwoofer." Kyle from US IP# 126.96.36.199
"These surround sound speakers are amazing! After running them in for a couple days, I decided to play some tunes, and they never once sounded distorted or strained...
While I know they should be paired with a good sub-woofer bass system, I think they sound good enough that I can wait until I have the money to buy a really nice sub." Fred US IP#188.8.131.52
"Wow, what a great set of speakers. I really understand what you mean by a large sound-stage." Sandy from US IP# 184.108.40.206
"Recently I came to realize that my HDTV was better than my sound system... So, I decided to piece together a better sound system. Running across your site (and these speakers) was the best thing that has happened to my home theater.
My current system is; an older receiver, a home theater PC with a blue-ray player drive, and one pair of your Mini-Cubes. (for now; I plan to buy 3 more speakers soon)" Kevin US IP#220.127.116.11
"Purchasing a new set of surround sound speakers was a must for me. My old system looked awful and sounded even worse. The quality and look of your Mini-Cube speaker were a perfect fit.
Once I reviewed the ratings and tests I knew they would be perfect. I will be sure to look for more information and products from you. I can't believe the performance of these surround sound speakers for the modest price. I would recommend these speakers to anyone!" Mike US IP#172.16.2.142
"The overall quality and dynamic capacity of these speakers really took me by surprise. Their imaging is distinct, tonality is crystal clear, and oh yeah... they pump out some serious volume!
I feel like I have stolen speakers that I can't afford. People that spend more are Suckers!!" Micah US #Ohio