JPlay appears to be an excellent piece of software that does exactly what its developers claim. I’m not aware of anyone else who has delved so deeply into the inner workings of a PC and Windows in terms of audio as Marcin and Josef have. Clearly there is more to it than just bits are bits and we’ve only begun to understand how computers, software, drivers etc can affect sound quality. My sense is this is all about timing. Computers are designed to perform a multitude of tasks simultaneously - or at least appear to be doing so to the user. Since music playback is a real-time task, it stands to reason that removing any process from a computer that might negatively impact, even at a tiny level, the flow of music data should improve playback fidelity.
Today it is well understood that jitter in traditional disc players and DACs negatively impacts overall musical flow and nuance which is why many audiophiles prefer vinyl to digital. It’s a timing thing. I suspect that computers are prone to their own unique type of jitter, one resulting from the multitude of internal processes, threads, power supply fluctuations and such. I suggest that a program like JPlay and others like it address this which is probably why I hear distinct differences between playback programs just as I do with CD transports. In these terms JPlay brings digital almost neck to neck with vinyl. I never thought I’d say this but perhaps we are rapidly approaching the day when digital might actually surpass vinyl in every way.
€99 may seem a little steep at first for such a small piece of software but in my opinion JPlay offers excellent value and unlike a CD player/transport or DAC it won’t become outdated anytime soon (or break) as the price includes all future upgrades.