HDCD Decoding on playback

Outside Foobar and the appropriate add-on, there are no software players that decode embedded HDCD data.

I would sure like to have my 100s of ripped HDCDs decoded on the fly by roon.

And no I don’t want to rip them decoded with dbPowerAmp. :unamused:


just curious…why not ?

The dbPoweramp HDCD decoder implementation isn’t complete, and if I someday get a DAC capable of HDCD decoding I want the data still in my flac files.

One benefit here would be the ability to discriminate between those HDCD encoded discs with Peak Extension, and those without.

+1 for this

So I ripped my HDCDs today (Grateful Dead) with dBpoweramp with HDCD detection. Files were imported into Roon and show up as 24bit/44kHz.

How isn’t this complete? What should I be looking for? Thanks.

Nothing. Hardware HDCD decoders will do the transient/dynamic filter as well when upsampling. From my limited researching, I don’t think a software decoder has ever done it including WMP.

PS) It was found that the 6db boost option in dbPoweramps HDCD decoder caused distortion on certain samples, so you might want to leave that option off.

I think it’s good advice to keep both versions, HDCD decoded and non decoded in case you change your mind some day. I was hoping to only keep one version and have Roon decode on the fly.

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I still have the CD so I am good.

Thank you for your response, I will research and investigate this noise you speak of. I realized I know nothing about HDCDs! But they are so cool!

Sorry for bumping such an old thread. But just out of curiosity, is there any chance we can get HDCD decoding into Roon (e.g. is there any legal reasons for not enabling it?).

I think it would be a great feature to have, most of the time people (or at least I) are not even aware that old CD are HDCD encoded. (despite the fact that I sought out HDCD encoded CDs at the time I had forgotten about HDCDs …)

As background I was listening through old “favorites” amoung my ripped CDs and realized quite a few are HDCD encoded (from the cover-art :slight_smile: ). I guess I could reencode them as described above but only if there is no planes to introduce HDCD decoding in Roon.

You can use dbPoweramp’s HDCD decoder to produce 24bit/44.1KHz files that you then play normally. I have decoded most of my HDCDs this way - and on a mac no less, using Crossover to run Windows dbPoweramp. Works.

As far as I know, the HDCD binary is only available on Windows. Also, IIRC, the binary is provided by Microsoft, who owns HDCD now, so I am a bit disconcerted by the claim that the implementation is not complete. What do you mean?

The binary isn’t provided by Microsoft, it was reverse engineered to the best of his ability by a member of the hydrogen audio forum. And yes it isn’t a complete implementation in comparison to hardware. Details in my post above.

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Thanks Jeff and Miguel,

Yes using dbPoweramp to decode to 24/44.1 and encode to flac was my intention, but I didn’t realize that this would not be a “proper” decoded file. Previously I used some foobar2000 plugin to play the HDCD rips, but I guess that was also some “back-engineered” soltution.

So then basically to get proper decoding you would need to licence some Microsoft HDCD-software.

I own almost 10000 CDs and only one HDCD among them. I’m amazed you have so many. Maybe it’s a genre thing, or did you go out of your way to find them for audiophile reasons?

For me, it seems like unnecessary work for @brian and the team, for 1 HDCD, but that’s just me and my collection. :wink:

Which might not exists per-se really. I don’t the extent of “proper” HDCD decoding in WMP.

You might own more than you think… I recall someone mentioning HDCD processing is present in many more releases than is indicated in the box. When I was playing discs using an Oppo player with HDCD, I discovered a few that would light the HDCD indicator without any indications in the box. This was a long while back…

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Didn’t buy them specifically. I have 326 HDCDs that dbpoweramp identified as such. I add [HDCD] to the album name when I rip them to keep track of them, makes it easy to count.

Then you probably have around 100-200 I would guess, for me 2% of the CDs I have are HDCDs. But for me there is a quite a higher percentage in the “favorites” e.g. reference recordings, Lisa Ekdahl etc.

But I agree there might be other higher priority implementations, but is still would be very nice to have HDCD decoding. If you want to see how many you have just download foobar2000 add HDCD pluging and run the HDCD Discovery. Would not cost you anything. :slightly_smiling:

Edit: Bad memory

Years ago I used dbpa to find all the ripped CD’s that I had that were HDCD. Many were not labelled as such but were encoded.

Basically, set up a dummy/test flac to flac conversion of files using the HDCD plugin. The audit report showed all albums that would be decoded. I then just ran the conversion for real over those albums.

Worth doing and results maybe surprising.

I’ll try and dig out a list of those that I found.


You need to consider peak extension with HDCDs as well.