Channel D Pure Music 3.0.3 review

Our Kurt Lassen explore the Pure Music 3.0.3 from Channel D...

There are several players (pun intended) now on the market for music software for the Mac. US based Channel D, founded by Rob Robinson, designs PureMusic and is the one who´s been longest amongst us. They started out in 1995 so they have celebrated 20+ years in the business of zeros and ones, which is quite a landmark in todays computer-audio.

Pure Music (PM) has always been one of the favourite applications for precise music rendering on my Macs. And why is that you might ask? There are tons of answers for that. Some are here:
The most obvious one is the SQ (also called Sound Quality). It´s just ways better then the pure (poor?) iTunes.

Next we find the SAH feature (Stable As H..), and not to forget! Furthermore it takes just seconds to load!

And as this update of the new version 3.0.3 is free for most licensed PM users, it really just is to hit the download button, and install this small wonder.

Small is not was it is beneath the hood though, the engine is capable of hard, quick work, working overtime with small calculations. The result is stunning, the sound quality is also fabulous and gets you so excited you actually forget you are listening to a computer based music system!

PM also has the very nice LiM (Less Is More) feature, which eliminates the use of iTunes. Just hit Command (the Apple logo) and “L”. A new window opens, and you now can drag and drop tracks from your cherished library to the LiM window. After this iTunes is disabled as written above, and only the absolute best sound is achieved. And the SQ is absolutely stunning. And for the analog guys (or girls) of you, this is so close to analogue transparency and neutrality that it will knock your socks of. 

“Hold On” by Sarah McLachlan is rendered with a beautiful open sound, and the artists voice stands perfectly in my listening room. Her piano is just wonderful. Compared to the “naked” iTunes version it´s just worlds apart.

And also “No Ordinary Love” performed by You+Me lets you easily hear and distinguish the two voices.

Bob Marley´s “Is This Love” lets the sun shine into your audio system while playing through the Less Is More application. More bass and more openness in the whole audio spectrum is the result of PM joint with LiM.

On Heather Nova´s emotional song “Everything Changes” the strings, the back ground vocals (by the artist herself, and do I hear maybe her brother in the far, far distance singing also?) and the crying guitar are way more dominant to my ears than I have ever heard, though I´ve heard this song maybe a hundred times before.

Bach Reflections track 4, Pizzicanto plays in 192 kHz, and sounds beautiful with an open soundstage and a wide stereo perspective. It really makes you close your eyes, and dream away. If music has this strength, then please describe me more of this drug dear Doctor Rob.

And as Rob Robinson from PureMusic writes in an email to me:

“In the interest of accuracy, and since you mentioned Less is More, we know of a regression issue in Pure Music 3.0.3. When using Less is More, Pure Music may on occasion pause at the end of each track. However we are working on a free update to take care of this (to be released as soon as we can). There is a work-around, which is to disable the option for Gapless playback in the Pure Music Preferences window to "Analyze Tracks On-The-Fly.”

“Incidentally, in Pure Music 3.0.3 there is an even smaller difference between iTunes mode and Less is More mode because we have further optimized and reduced the CPU footprint of iTunes mode.”

Is PureMusic worth the money. Yes!
Is it so much better then iTunes? You bet!
Is there a reason not to purchase Pure Music? Nope!
Do we love it? YES!

Conclusion: We give PureMusic 3.0 our absolutely best recommendations. The graphics could be a little prettier, otherwise it´s just go for PureMusic. We absolutely love it.

Try it for 15 days for free, thereafter it will set you back:

129 USD

©Kurt Lassen 2015

Simply and automatically docks with iTunes
Based on Channel D's acclaimed Pure Vinyl audio playback engine
Pure Music handles all music playback; iTunes used as database, playlist organizer, etc.
Automatically docks with iTunes window, including automatic UI resizing / tracking
Native FLAC and DSD playback; Tracks appear in iTunes 2
Supports Apple Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
Automatic sample rate switching, up to 384 kHz PCM sample rate or 2.8 or 5.6 MHz DSD
The first music server and audio player software (June 2011) to directly play DSD format (dsf / dff, 64Fs and 128Fs) audio files with any DAC (real-time conversion to PCM during playback), plus full native DSD Audio Support (on DACs supporting DoP)
Audio Streaming Support with Pure Music's "Streamthrough" feature (included in Pure Music since 2011) which permits conveniently playing and enhancing other computer audio sources (Spotify, Qobuz, YouTube, iTunes Radio Internet audio streams, 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., all without needing to quit Pure Music 6
Automatic 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
REAL-TIME Sample Rate Conversion
Selectable REAL-TIME 64-bit upsampling 4
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 (Room Correction, 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
Includes Mastering Quality File Converter / Downsampler for PCM, FLAC, DSD, DXD Files
Our own proven, optimized algorithms for sample rate and DSD to PCM conversion - not built from a patchwork of "open source" software
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 1
Customer Support: free email, telephone and Remote Support