Is JRiver still the best software?

Finally got around to curing a nagging problem with my MacBook Pro (13", mid-2012) that had stalled my converting it into a music server.  Looked back into the advice I got here several years ago on the matter, and JRiver was the top recommendation.  Is that still the case today?  I'm running OS X Catalina on a fresh install and will be feeding a McIntosh C50 that accepts up to 32 bit, 192 kHz PCM input.

Thanks in advance for the benefit of your wisdom!


@effischer ,

Glad that you're making progress and have experienced more of the capabilities of your excellent Mac C50!   Just a couple of questions/ suggestions:

Have you by chance downloaded and installed the software drivers and setup instructions from

Use a good USB cable (e.g. Belkin Gold) to connect  your computer to the USB port on C50. 

Then, look up
"USB Audio Windows Driver A Version 2.0 Installation and Operation Guide"

The driver install file is located right below the Guide.

Once this is installed, restart JRiver which will recognize and list it as a McIntosh-specific Asio driver option, that you should select.(Tools/Options/Audio Device).

This Centrance (third party) software is great stuff, btw. 

Then look up and follow

-- "McIntosh 32/192 PCM DAC, Preferred Settings to Play all File Types with JRiver Media Engine 20 using a Windows 7 or 8 Computer" --

This file is for the C52 but it steps you through what you also need for your C50.  

You should now have direct control over all the flexibility that the C50 DAC will allow.  Try selecting AUTO when given that option.


As for metadata mgmt,  

Go to first principles...Try just ripping a single Flac file, store it locally on your computer, and use JRiver's Library management tools ( well documented on JRiver website) to define the file path to your file as a Library, then set that as your active library.  Save. Then it will persist when you log off.  You can then load as many other files into this path (Now a Library) as you wish. Or create and load other libraries. A Next step is to then use DLNA protocol to define any file set on your network and activate that as your Library for JRiver to manage.

Apologies if you are already beyond this level of detail.  Just let me add that Using  ASIO protocol and the USB asynchronous port is the recommended connection for your DAC, as it is with many other higher end DACs.

Hope this helps, good luck.


The better question is why anyone is still streaming from a computer when there are so many dedicated streamers available today? Seems ridiculous.



"Turns out that while JRiver is now presenting the native frequency (44.1, 192, whatever), the bit depth is fixed at 32."

You might be able change the bit depth with this sequence within JRiver:

Tools -->Options-->Device Settings-->Bitdepth

I'm running Windows 11, JRiver 28 and drivers which are specific for my DAC, but this sequence may get you to where you want to go.

For some, the better question is why anyone would pay $1-2 K for another overpriced black box, when with a basic understanding of how to optimize a computer for audio,  along with some very good software and and components, folks can and often do get the same or better results for a lot less treasure.  

But I get it.  Some would rather just spend the bucks and let somebody else do it for them.  YMMV.

I may have misread, but thought the OP asked us qn's concerning a specific task related to connecting two already owned components. - Not for advice on what new equipment to buy.