HDCD Playback decoding

Hi there, I have added many HDCD folders to my music library. I love using my iPad to select my music through Roon from PC to Oppo.

If I want the excellent benefits of HDCD I must burn the folder to disc, to be played on Denon multiplayer.

Is there anyway you can incorporate an extractor into the software to receive the benefits of HDCD while streaming to endpoints?

Patrick Galvin

Use ffmpeg to convert them to FLAC and be done with esoteric formats that quickly fell by the wayside.

ffmpeg -i input16.flac -af hdcd output24.flac

The DB Poweramp software has the ability to do HDCD decoding on files and output 24 bit / 44.1KHz files in any format. I’ve done this when ripping HDCD encoded CDs with good results.


Great advice but where will dB Poweamp fit in between my PC & Roon software. Maybe you are saying to rip them using dB Poweramp. I apologize I’m not too sharp on the subject

Thank you, for your reply

Thank You for your reply.

Yes, you can rip directly from CD or if you already have the files on disk, you can just resample them with the HDCD decoder selected.

If I am streaming Library From hard drive on PC to Oppo with iOS app where do I select HDCD?

Newer Oppo Doesn’t even support HDCD on disk. No Oppo supports HDCD unless on disk

The problem is that not all HDCD releases use the “peak extend” feature of the standard. So you can’t just “decode” HDCDs assuming “peak extend” was used…

Hi Patrick,

If you ripped your HDCD discs with dBpoweramp CD Ripper, be sure that the HDCD code option is checked. Open the program -> Menu button -> CD Ripper Options -> Meta Data & ID Tag [options] -> Write ID Tags and check the HDCD option.

Once ripped, save the files to your Roon watched folder and it should detect and stream the album files at 48Hz 24bit vs 44.1Hz 16bit.

If I burn to disc I am sure it a duplicate as HDCD indicator lights up.

I have actually done that with Foobar 2000, with HDCD plugin. Sent new 44.1 24 files to a roon monitored folder. Listened to original, and file. Original CD sounded superior. I am told there is more to it than adding 4 bits. Perhaps dbPoweramp solves this.

Thank you.

I may not have explained this well. DB Poweramp will read your existing files, decode them for HDCD, and create new files with a greater bit depth. It is these new files that you will send to your opponent

ffmpg and dbpoweramp use some kind of “reverse-engineered” decoding of HDCD. So they effectively remove the original code from the file. Theoretical benefit: the files will be 20 Bit / 44.1 kHz. Downside: Players that natively decode HDCD will not detect the “decoded” files.

Link to previous thread on HDCD with technical information:

That’s the idea. There should be no need for an HDCD compatible DAC to decode the HDCD info, since all the information resides in the larger, decoded file that is compatible with any DAC.

At the last California Audio Show, I spoke with the folks from Reference Recordings, who are the experts on HDCD. Unfortunately, they claim that the software used by dBPoweramp is inherently faulty. So, in the absence of hardware HDCD decoding, it’s best to forget it and play the CD rip without decoding.


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