After a few snarky messages from Mac owners, I thought I had better post a follow-up. I experimented a little at the weekend and found the following:
If I leave my soundcard (Audiophile Firewire) permanently on 96kHz, then:
iTunes will resample to 96kHz internally, with quality that sounds just fine.
VLC will output at whatever the sample rate of the media is, and get resampled to 96k by AUHAL on its default quality setting, which sounds a bit sketchy.
But, VLC can be set to always output at a particular rate, resampling internally. There’s an option called “Frequency” in the advanced audio preferences. According to VLC’s debug stream, it uses a module called “bandlimited_resampler”, and that’s encouraging, because it suggests that the guy who coded it knows the word “bandlimited”. It uses about 6% CPU time, and again, sounds fine. Thanks to the wonders of open source, we can see bandlimited.h here! Ooo, a 1536 point sinc kernel with linear interpolation and single-precision floating point arithmetic.
I got VLC’s “Media Library” to work too, so it can store a playlist, remembering what FLAC stuff I have and the track order of it.
I’ve not tried to play DVDs yet, but hopefully the computer won’t catch fire.
So in conclusion, I’m upgrading this from “:(” to “:)”