Pure Music - High Resolution Music Server Software for Apple Macintosh Computers

Pure Music®

High Resolution Music Server Software for Apple Macintosh Computers

2011 Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award
2011 Positive Feedback Brutus Award
2010 Stereophile Computer Audio Product of the Year Runner-up (after Channel D Pure Vinyl™)

Simply and automatically docks with iTunes
  • Based on Channel D's acclaimed Pure Vinyl audio playback engine
  • Pure Music handles all music playback
  • iTunes acts as database, playlist organizer, etc. but doesn't play the music (or depend on iTunes "Ghost Play" 1)
  • Automatically docks with iTunes window
  • Up to 384 kHz sample rate
  • DSD (2.8 and 5.6 MHz) file playback on any DAC (real time PCM conversion)
  • Native DSD Streaming (with DAC that supports DoP)
  • Supports Apple Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
  • Automatic sample rate switching
  • Gapless track playback and Memory Play
  • Adjustable Dithered Volume Control
  • Fast-Responding Firefly Metering, Monitor Input (Native) or Output (Post - Volume Control)
  • Real-Time Dynamic Range Meter
  • Supports CoreAudio Compatible Sound Cards / DACs / Audio Interfaces.
  • Supports all iTunes Compatible Audio File Formats (including WAVE, MP3, AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless)
  • Plays music stored on networked volumes
  • Selectable REAL-TIME 64-bit upsampling 2
  • Mix to Mono, Exchange Left and Right Channels, Invert Polarity / Phase, Channel Balance Trim
  • Per-Track Polarity and Volume Tagging
  • CoreAudio Device HOG Mode Exclusive Access support
  • Internal Audio Device Selection and Setup (or use Apple Audio MIDI Setup)
  • Supports AudioUnit Audio processing plug-ins (parametric EQs, etc.)
  • Uncompressed audio streaming support (up to 384 kHz and up to four separate connections)
  • 64-bit Adjustable 2/3/4-way Crossover with time alignment and adjustable minimum phase filters
  • Native FLAC playback
  • Optional FLAC file conversion and downsampling
  • Pure Vinyl's High Quality File Sample Rate Converter (downsample high-resolution audio to 96, 88.2, 48 or 44.1 kHz / 16, 24, or 32 bit files)
  • Our own proven, optimized algorithms for sample rate and DSD to PCM conversion - not built from a patchwork of "open source" software
  • The first Mac OS music server / audio player software (May 2011) to directly play DSD format (dsf / dff, 64Fs and 128Fs) audio files with any DAC (real-time conversion to PCM during playback)
  • Support for Direct DSD streaming without PCM conversion
  • "Playthrough," which permits conveniently playing other computer audio sources (Internet radio, movies, etc.) through Pure Music, with full access to Pure Music's dithered volume control, 64 bit crossover, audio EQ plug-ins, NetSend streaming, metering, etc.
  • Native device nonmixable integer mode (with OS version support)
  • Supports both PowerPC (G4, G5) and Intel Mac Computers running Mac OS X 10.5 or later
  • Can install on more than one computer, per purchased license 4
  • Customer Support: free email, telephone and Remote Support

Comments from Pure Music users    |

"The sound is excellent, and the memory play with gapless files is doing well... Thanks for all your work on this... great product." "I love the product, it destroys the competition and I'm trying to figure out the best way to diplomatically express that opinion [on an audiophile forum] without igniting a flame war." "Historically I'm a pure vinyl user but I always wanted only the player part of this software without the overhead..." "It has an outstanding low end, the imaging is excellent." "Congrats on having a winner ... substantially improved the performance of my computer audio server setup compared to iTunes." "pure bliss" "I continure to be very very impressed with Pure Music and was further impressed with the telephone tech support. I don't recall who I spoke with, but he was terrific and the problem was quickly resolved. The ability to access my computer was great and not only was a more efficient way to figure out the problem, but I could also see & learn how the problem was fixed and preferences was navigated. Your service should be a model for tech support." "Never better sound... amazing clarity and soundstage." "I have just purchased your Pure Music player and was delighted with the quality of reproduction vs. iTunes. Tonight downloaded the update that allows you to upsample - wow - best digital replay I have ever heard from my system. Keep up the good work - what's next?" "I gave your Pure Music program a try and I have to say I'm impressed - playback sounded noticeably better using Pure Music than with iTunes alone, for files from 44.1 all the way to 192 kHz sample rates. Interestingly, setting my FireWire/S/PDIF converter to 24/192 and allowing Pure Music to up-sample files rather than having the DAC do the up-sampling also bumped the sonic performance up another notch." "Pure Music is by far superior to the famous player A... High range and dimensional image are nearly perfect." "Your software is a great achievement for computer-based music users. It sounds definitively very nicely, with a full and rich medium, detailed high and clean bass... the dimensional image is wonderful, wide, deep and opened. Globally, it's well balanced, very musical!" "I'm currently testing Pure Music 1.2 and my first listening conclusions could lead me to replace [a competing product] I currently use. [That product] is already a great improvement over iTunes, but I found that Pure Music is going quite a step further: more tri-dimensional image, much more definition, presence and "matire" (sorry, I don't know how to translate the exact word in audiophile language) on voices and instruments." "I hope you have a lot of success with this new player. It might be exactly what the 'pure digital' guys need (at least the ones who can rise above the snobbish attitude that it has to be expensive to be good)." "I have been using the Pure Music player for over a month and prefer it to [the much more expensive competing product]." "[Pure Music] 1.2 is great! Thank you for your continuous support, it's been outstanding." "Pure Music sounds splendid - you must be very pleased with it." "I love the product." "The sonics of Pure Music... are a revelation." "Today, I uploaded Pure Music 1.11 demo and WOW! That sounds freaking fantastic." "the program is really sweet." "I've been a very happy user after moving from [a competitor]." "Very impressed with your product." "...congratulations on such a wonderful piece of work."



Try Pure Music FREE for 15 Days!

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later (including OS X 10.9 / Mavericks); G4, G5 or Intel CPU. Minimum 1 GB RAM, 2 GB for Memory Play. 4 GB or more preferred for high resolution memory play (88.2 kHz or higher sample rate).

NOTICE: In preliminary testing, Pure Music has proven compatible with Apple's new Mavericks OS (10.9). However, DO NOT upgrade a working system to Mavericks unless you are certain that your audio interface / DAC is compatible (obtain confirmation from the audio interface / DAC manufacturer). Please see our Support page for additional Mavericks (OS X 10.9) Compatibility Information.

Demo: without an activation code, Pure Music will function for 15 days with all features enabled.

Buy Pure Music Now!

An activation code automatically will be generated and emailed to you within minutes of approving your order.

Pure Vinyl Upgrade

Upgrade Pure Music to Channel D Pure Vinyl for recording, editing, analog source switching, vinyl RIAA curve support (and more) for the current price difference. A Pure Vinyl activation code also will work with Pure Music.

Excerpts from Reviews

"once you experience what it offers, there's no going back!" - Pete Davey, Positive Feedback Online - Issue 50

"[For $129], Pure Music is a bargain."
- John Atkinson, Stereophile August 2010

"Wenn Sie also die optimale Software fur USB-Wiedergabe aus dem Mac suchen: Pure Music mit Memory Play! ("If you're looking for the optimal software to play music from your Mac via USB: Pure Music with memory play on!")" - Ulrich Wienforth, STEREO / HiFi DIGITAL Issue 3 (June 2013)

"...like having iTunes as chassis but with a V6 Biturbo engine. A marvel." - Eliseo Vega Huitron, Home:Tech Magazine October 1, 2010

"...a Must Have" - Wicked Digital December 12, 2010

"Recommended - 5 out of 5 stars overall" - Jason Kennedy, Hi-Fi Choice (U.K.) May 2011 (Issue 345)

"...bug-free and musically delicious on ALL levels." - Dave Clark, Positive Feedback Online Brutus Awards, Issue 58 / December, 2011

"What more could one ask for?" - Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com December, 2010

"I concluded my review of the Amarra software program with, "If you want to hear how good a quality Mac-based system can really sound, you have to use Amarra..." Time and the latest version of Channel D's Pure Music software may make me eat those words. If you want to hear how good a quality Mac-based system can really sound, you have to use Pure Music..." - Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound January 2011 Online review

"At $129, Pure Music is a no-brainer purchase... undeniably improves sound quality, with increased clarity and reduction of digital glare." - Chris Groppi, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity September 27, 2011

"...the upsampling-derived improvements were for the most part so marked that I found myself in possession of a whole new jukebox... I call this free money." - Michele Surdi, 6moons.com October, 2010

"Pure music is an incredibly smart program that is recommended to anyone who seriously wants to get into the computer high-end." - Christian Rechenbach, Einsnull (Germany) July / August, 2011

"Most used playback software @ Newport? Channel D Pure Music... Pure Music not only plays back all your iTunes files in better fidelity, it also plays back native DSD (!) files. Wow, that's truly something, since DSD playback was typically the domain of Sonoma or other fancy DAWs costing tens of thousands of dollars." - Danny Kaey, Sonic Flare June, 2011

"At this point, given the lack of difference between the performance of the two players, I really see no reason why anyone would choose the far more expensive Amarra (or Amarra Mini) over Pure Music. I know where I'd be spending my money if I hadn't already purchased Amarra." - Confessions Of A Part-Time Audiophile December 8, 2010

"I can safely say that Pure Music makes listening with headphones less fatiguing to my ears. I listened for several hours at one sitting, and when I got up, there wasn't the relief I hadn't realized I enjoyed when the cans came off..." - John Hendron, Biberfan January 16, 2011

"With its ability to extract the best from high resolution music files, Pure Music - especially paired with a decent digital audio convertor and decent speakers - can make your Mac sound as good or better than a high-end CD player costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. That alone makes Pure Music a bargain." - Bill Henderson, the Gadgeteer, August 22, 2011

"[Pure Music] is definitely a plug and play application and in the classic Mac tradition comes preconfigured to get optimal results for the average user with little or no downside and a very polished look and feel; plus, it's extremely stable. Pure Music has a gentler, more melodious quality to it, making it a little easier to hum, tap one's toe and follow along with the music. [Pure Music is] a lot less expensive than the full version of Amarra ... It's like choosing between a VPI and an SME turntable; the latter is more expensive so you want it to be better but mostly it's just different... I feel more drawn to play music through Pure Music." - Andy Schaub, Positive Feedback Online, Issue 56 July / August, 2011

"I found Pure Music a step forward compared to everything else I have used in the digital domain during my experience as hifi enthusiast and journalist." - Dott. Arch. Giulio Salvioni, Fedelta del Suono, Issue 178, October, 2010

"...the revelation of the day... My buddy had installed the Pure Music audio playback engine on his iMac...and what a difference. Not a slight difference, but a night-and-day, lifting-a-veil difference. Wow." - John Darko, Digital Audio Review, October 12, 2010

"When playing 16/44 sources, Pure Music sounds as good to me as the best CD transport anyone can dig up - as long as I'm using a high-quality jitter-immune D/A converter. But I can play my 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz and 192 kHz/24 bit masters and then Pure Music beats any CD source. I love being able to play a collection of my masters using the friendly Itunes interface, but with Pure Music bypassing any sound processing that iTunes performs. Throw in a calibrated, dithered volume control marked in decibels, and I'm in heaven. Mechanically, the Mac Mini is quieter than some CD players!"
- Bob Katz, Mastering Engineer, Digital Domain, Orlando, FL; Formerly Recording Engineer and Technical Director of audiophile label Chesky Records

"I just wanted to tell you how much I'm enjoying your product. I spent a week or so deciding on what settings I wanted to use and then I've just left it alone and have been enjoying music ever since. This is a wonderful product for music lovers and I genuinely appreciate your effort on this. Thanks!" - Steve Woods

Feature Pure Music "Amarra Symphony" (formerly Amarra) Amarra Amarra HiFi
License Price $129 ("a bargain," said Stereophile's John Atkinson) $495 (originally was $1495); $789 with IRC $189 $49
Number of Computers per License UNLIMITED see footnote 4 2 1 1
Internet connection required for activation NO YES YES YES
Customer Support Free (email and telephone), Unlimited Free (email and telephone), for first 30 days only Free (email and telephone), for first 30 days only Free (email and telephone), for first 30 days only
Customer Support Cost ALWAYS FREE After 30 days, $85 per incident After 30 days, $85 per incident After 30 days, $85 per incident
Remote Session Customer Support FREE $85 per incident / session $85 per incident / session $85 per incident / session
Uses iTunes for Playlists, Database yes yes yes yes
Automatic Sample Rate Switching yes yes yes yes
Maximum Sample Rate 384 kHz (since Pure Music 1.0)

DSD: 2.8 MHz / 5.6 MHz
384 kHz (version 2.2) 384 kHz 192 kHz
Apple Lossless (or other iTunes-compatible compressed) File Format Support yes Intel CPU Only Intel CPU Only Intel CPU Only
EQ 31 band graphic and up to 14 band parametric included; also via flexible and powerful third party plug-ins 4 band parametric or linked to iTunes 3 band parametric or linked to iTunes Linked to iTunes
Native FLAC File Format Support yes Tracks Appear in iTunes (a) Must use "Playlist Mode," or (b) convert to AIFF, WAV or Apple Lossless, or (c) to use in iTunes, requires Fluke, a third party open-source application (a) Must use "Playlist Mode," or (b) convert to AIFF, WAV or Apple Lossless, or (c) to use in iTunes, requires Fluke, a third party open-source application  
Signal Level Metering yes yes      
Impulse Response Correction (IRC) With Dirac Live add-on (same as used by Amarra); also via other third party plug-ins. Note: Dirac Live IRC can be used with all audio sources, not just Pure Music Includes OEM version of Dirac Live; restricted to use with only Amarra      
AudioUnit Plug-In Support yes      
Native DSD (DFF, DSF) File Format Playback Support yes Tracks Appear in iTunes      
DSD File Playback (2.8 MHz 64Fs / 5.6 MHz 128Fs) on any DAC (real-time PCM conversion, doesn't waste disk space) yes      
Native DSD Streaming (with DAC that supports DoP) yes      
Supports Audio Device Driver "Hog Mode" yes      
Playthrough (Play audio from other software through application) yes      
High Quality, Real-Time Upsampling 2 yes
(64 Bit Internal Resolution; Defeatable; up to 384 kHz or maximum supported DAC sample rate). Real-time upsampling technical info.
Biamping / Adjustable Subwoofer Crossover yes
With 64 Bit Resolution, Adjustable Frequency and Slope (2, 3 or 4 - way); Includes Adjustable per-Stereo Pair Gain Trim, Time Alignment and Bus-Assignable Plug-Ins
Time Alignment yes (0 - 100 msec)      
NetSend Feature for High Resolution (up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, uncompressed) Streaming and Distributed Audio yes
Low Latency, with Adjustable Sound Propagation Delay Compensation (up to 4 simultaneous 384 kHz 24 bit stereo streams)
Queue Selected Track for Play Next yes      
Mix to Mono, Exchange Left and Right Channels, Invert Polarity / Phase, Channel Balance Trim yes      
Per-Track Polarity Tagging (Automatic Polarity Inversion) yes      
Animated, optional "Times Square" Style Scrolling Track Information Display yes      
Fast-Responding Firefly Metering, Monitor Input (Native) or Output (Post - Volume Control / DSP / Plug-Ins) yes      
Real-Time Dynamic Range Meter yes      
"Playlist Mode" 1 NO
(unnecessary because of the way iTunes interaction works in Pure Music)
yes yes  
Relies on iTunes "Ghost Play"? 1 NO yes yes yes
Application File Size 3 Less than 7 MB Greater than 77 MB Greater than 75 MB Greater than 32 MB
Demo 15 Day 15 Day 15 Day 15 Day

1. Ghost Play: both the Player software and iTunes are playing the track at the same time, and the computer is doing twice as much work!

It doesn't matter that the iTunes volume is turned down or muted, iTunes is still playing the file in tandem with the other player, placing extra burden on disk or network I/O and the CPU.

"Playlist Mode" circumvents this problem, but direct iTunes control and playlist interaction is not possible in this mode, which also requires performing additional steps (selecting a playlist or a group of songs, then activating Playlist Mode), unnecessary with Pure Music's design. Playlist Mode becomes quite inconvenient compared to direct iTunes navigation and playlist management for music libraries containing thousands of tracks, and precludes the use of the Apple Remote App.

Ghost Play also creates a significant problem for "true" memory play: when iTunes is playing the file, the hard disk is accessed throughout playback. One of the primary reasons for using memory play is to avoid hard disk / media access during music playback. The benefits of memory play cannot be realized if iTunes also is playing the track at the same time.

2. Real-Time upsampling doesn't require wasting time or disk space for creating duplicate versions of audio files, and allows immediately making A/B comparisons between native and upsampled playback.

3. For reference, Adobe Photoshop CS 7 is 45 MB; and Adobe Photoshop is a very complex application! Pure Music is built with tight, optimized code. Not bloatware!

4. The license to Pure Music permits installing the software on more than one computer, provided:
(a) All computers are used for personal, not business or company use;
(b) The person who purchased the software license owns all of the computers;
(c) Only one copy of the software is running at any time, per purchased license.
Note: The NetSend feature does not require Pure Music to be installed or running on the receiving computer. See the Pure Music User's Guide for more information.

Which player sounds better? A published assessment of "playback and sound quality" can only be subjective. If sound quality, performance, and usability may be determined easily by auditioning a downloadable demo, why rely on someone else's opinion? A published review can provide valuable guidance. But when the final decision on purchasing the product can be made in the comfort of one's listening chair, without first making a financial commitment: that's the beauty of software!

-- Note: our products may only be used for the reproduction of materials that the user is legally permitted to reproduce.