HDCD audio CD can be decoded in linux?

I'm a collector of audio CD's and I listen to music from my CD's because I like it (clarified the point to avoid going off topics in terms of formats and styles) I want to ask you if linux can decode HDCD audio which is 24 bis unlike CDs standard that are recorded in 16 bits. ? I mean if linux has the ability to interpret those bits of difference, and play them from the CD making them audible?

I don't have audio equipment that plays this format. I have studied that in the components there should be a specific chip that decodes or interprets the 24 bits.

I have investigated but I have come across very advanced explanations about compilation and things that are really out of my understanding... here is one of the links where it says that it is possible to listen to HDCD in linux.

*UPDATE: Sorry, I just realized the link inside this one is dead.

i wonder if there is another explanation for mere mortals or GUI users :wink: thank you very much in advanced.

Can you ensure you have codecs installed?

sudo apt update && sudo apt install ffmpeg

You will also need the appropriate hardware?:

post by davide256

Hi there ! thank you for your reply I don't know if i those codecs install. Anyway I don't think it would damage my system to install them again. Thanks

I though so... i only have my laptop to play them , this is my sound card: Audio: Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.0-110-generic

Yes, if you could try it. The documentation shows that the ffmpeg package should include HDCD in it.

ffmpeg is already at its latest version (7:3.4.11-0ubuntu0.1). :grinning:

I could be wrong... :wink:

Interesting thread here:

1 Like

I must be honest. I did try to install windows media player through wine but wasn't able, there is a version compatibility issue. Now I got ffmpeg ready , got VLC and also a cd player called "goobox".. what is the next step for me?. .. self anwers. find out if this players are compatible... :wink:
I don't know if my ears will notice the difference..I just want an active logo
saying "HDCD",,, maybe I should paint one and place it near the speakers :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

You can install foobar2000 from the Software repo and then add the plug-ins for HDCD, SACD, DVD-A etc and this will give you full playback including multi-channel if you have the right speaker setup. Not all HDCD discs are encoded the same way but peak extension is the key factor. Playback is not 24/44.1 but 20/44.1 (actually 17/44.1 but let's not split hairs). To get a fully detailed display in the taskbar, add the following to preferences/default user interface/Status bar:

%codec% | $if(%__bitspersample%,%__bitspersample% bits,’N/A’) | %samplerate% Hz | %channels% | DR – %DYNAMIC RANGE% | %playback_time%[ / %length%] | $if($info(hdcd),’HDCD’,)$if(%__hdcd%, Peak Extension: %__hdcd_peak_extend% HDCD Gain: %__hdcd_gain% HDCD Transient Filter: %__hdcd_transient_filter%’) )’)


I just searched foobar2000 in the Software Store and it returned Zero Results.
I remove Flatpak and Snapd both; so the first logical conclusion I can reach is that Foobar2000 must be restricted to only Snap or Flatpak packages.

1 Like

It is in the Pro Software Store and is via snapcraft but I take it you're still sticking with Lite? If so, foobar2000 can be installed manually through Wine. Of course, full multichannel sound can also be obtained via headphones if a set of speakers is not available.

1 Like

That is the ticket: I held my nose and installed Snapd and the gnome-software plugin for it and it showed up, then.:wink:
Hopefully this extended information is helpful to readers.

Hello everybody!! thank you so much for your replies.
I am not found of installing Flatpak or Snapd, specialy because one of thouse (don't remember well which one) takes a lot of space with its "infrastracture". I am on Lite , shall I tried Footbar2000 through Wine?


Yes, install foobar through Wine. That way you retain some control over it although this is one instance where Snap is not potentially malicious. The Snap version is new anyhow and it was only possible to use foobar2000 via Wine until very recently.

1 Like

Thank you, as soon as I can I'll do it and return with news.

hi there!! how are you tambler?. Today I am working over this topic I have successfuly installed foobar2000 with wine, though it looks like and old program with small letters it seems to run. I wonder , how do I install the pluggins for HDCD? Is it incorporated or do I have to install from here ? foobar2000: Components Repository I set show all found this foobar2000: Components Repository - HDCD decoder (though I am not sure if this is only for files not for actual physical CD's)
Anyway File - Open Audio CD says No CD drives found. I know this must be because of the Windows Units (C: D: E:) thing. So I am trying to locate where my CD drive is mounted, but I cannot succed . Acording to this my CD drive is cdda://sr0/ and also /dev/sr0 ( i think is mounted here but i am not sure) I cannot see it the file manager under /media/"username"

A midtime solution I found is to drag and drop the cd files over the foobar2000 windows... now the path to the CD drive is
the way

and status bar says
staus bar

UPDATE: i had buffering issues , solved here

Glad you got foobar2000 up and running! It always looks a bit old-fashioned but there are lots of skins and tweaks available if you want to change things.

This is the normal Linux name for a CD player. You can select CD, file or folder depending on where your music is located. I see also that your file in the snapshot is listed as HDCD but has no extra data. This is unfortunately true of many discs which were nevertheless produced by Pacific Microsonics and there are even proper HDCD discs which have no mention of that fact on either the CD or the cover. Neil Young has released almost all of his recent material on HDCD and the same goes for the Grateful Dead so it remains a niche for audiophiles.

I am very happy and grateful that you respond to my comment, on the one hand because β€œfoobar” is the only option for linux. (I do it through wine, even though the desktop shortcut doesn't work and I have to go into "explore wine" and get the launcher from the x86 program folders – this is my first question to you today (1) ). It is also an interesting topic to deal with, and little known, also because of what you said at the end of your post.

I'll tell you something I did: I have ripped my HDCDs to FLAC with the "DBpoweramp" application (also from wine) but I have read that to preserve the HDCD characteristics I must activate the DSP plugin (HDCD) and check the box that says +6 DB. *Is this ok ?(I am not sure about this step) – this is my second question today (2) -

I did so, however I'm not sure if I kept the HDCD features.

(I do it this way because I am not having good results when playing the CD with foobar, and I have not yet overcome what we have been talking about the route to the reader, I also want to do it this way so as not to use CDs so much and have a backup ) .

*How can I be sure that I kept the 20/24 bits in these Flac files?. – this is my 3rd question (3)-

Likewise, I already had another ripping of these CDs in FLAC, which I had done with the "(CD player) goobox" application.

.So I compared one of the files created with "DBPoweramp" and the same file created with "goobox" , by placing them into Foobar. Noted this: the first file (made with dbpoweramp) says it is 24 bits and had other lines without much info , the other file (goobox) says it is 24 bits with no extra info , I don't feel the difference in my ears anyway.

Something else I would like to add is this: when I play the CDs through the windows media player in windows in the virtual machine, I hear the difference in the sound, it is noticeable as an amplification (it is not only more volume but as something cleaner and clearer) , in contrast to when I play with goobox.

At this point, I'm still wondering if even though linux (goobox) doesn't decode HDCD (proprietary to the company you name), when I rip Flac with the same program, the characteristics are preserved. I attache pics for you to see what I mean.

Excuse me for filling you with questions, there are many doubts related to the same topic, and I can't find a better way to consult them. I also know that the topic out there is opening up to other issues related that are not part of its title, but this Zorin community is always cool and they never get angry :wink: -this is what I love from here, you are never pointing fingers.

please do not take into account de differences in album dates..that is an error / mistake from the data base Which of this two kept the HDCD properties?