Audirvana Plus 2.0 launches…finally!


Into the wild this week goes the long awaited, long rumoured, won’t-be-much-longer-till-it’s-ready, absolutely-definitely-coming-soon, okay-here-it-is version 2.0 of Audirvana Plus.

Say it with me: orrrdearrrrvarrrrna.

Along for the ride comes a new logo and freshly decorated website home page that details developer Damien Plission’s ongoing commitment to memory play, bit-perfect playback, integer mode, SysOptimizer, and full DSD compatibility.

Audirvana Plus has long been championed as a more affordable competitor to Amarra and PureMusic, mainly because its users aren’t always shackled to an iTunes database that necessitates the transcoding of FLAC to Apple Lossless. It’s also less expensive than its rivals.

Although iTunes integration remains an option, Version 2.0 sees Audirvana Plus breaking ties with iTunes via its own library management system. Specify a ‘watch’ folder and anything added to that folder is automatically added to Audirvana’s very own database, which is apparently scalable to 100,000 songs. Rejoice, for your FLACs may now roam free!

Once inside the Audirvana Plus library files can be retagged and their artwork added. Support for the advanced tagging requirements of classical and jazz are also supported.


One neat feature is v2.0’s ability to list the DSD songs contained within a single SACD .iso file. No need to drop down to the command line and into the SACD Extract wilderness.

The downside of A+’s new self-contained library system = no remote control.

New customers are being asked to pony up US$74 for a version 2 license whilst those who bought into v1.x can expect to pay an upgrade fee of US$39. (Users who dropped their cash after 1st August get the 2.0 update for nothing).

I cheekily attempted to load my existing 1.x license file at startup – a move resolutely rejected by the start-up interface. I’m currently making use of a fresh 15-day trial before committing 100% to the new version.

Further information: Audirvana Plus | Audirvana Plus 2.0 User Manual

Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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Facebook: DAR


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  1. Believe it or not, this was a request I submitted on their tracker 2 years ago or so. I’m so happy they finally did this. I’m definitely switching from Pure Music which is still a bit buggy to Audirvana.

    • That’s right – an independent library that supports FLAC and DSD without ‘ghost’ files is long overdue.

  2. i hope i’m wrong, it seems like albums can’t be sorted by tag “artist”, but only by “album artist” (among others), which is quite frustrating if you have to retag all your library just to comply to that…
    i think the program was thought out just with classical/jazz music in mind, not for me

    • Yes, I’ve already seen a few comments to this effect. I wonder if MusicBrainz Picard can batch copy one field to the other.

  3. I realize that software like Audirvana probably offers that single biggest upgrade for someone new to the hobby looking to get good sound from his computer, even better if he adds something like a Dragonfly or Herus to the mix, but would someone with your hardware – Antipodes, PSA DirectStream, that trick kit that allows you to do DSD vinyl drops, etc – really benefit from Audirvana at all, John? Okay, even taking the dedicated music streamer out of the mix, wouldn’t something like Foobar or MPD (not gonna say iTunes because we all know it’s a pig) do the same job, since you’re essentially offloading all the voodoo to the DirectStream?

    • Some good observations there Gan. The key to a good sounding transport is to get jitter and electrical noise as low as possible out of the gate. That’s why the Antipodes is streets ahead of the Mac, even with USB reclocker appendage. My technical understanding gets fuzzy when trying to explain why USB inputs and their associated reclocking still can’t correct every input error. Some are more immune than others but nothing beats getting the digital audio stream ‘right’ before it hits the DAC.

      In reporting on Audirvana+ and the implication here that it allows for a better Mac sound (it does!) I’m addressing readers who can’t afford a fancy server or streamer.

      • Oh, I wasn’t questioning the benefits of Audirvana+ (and equivalent apps) in general. I know it’s your job running DAR to convey as much relevant news as possible.

        Was just wondering how the software would fit into your personal setup. I’d assumed that, with the DirectStream doing all the upsampling and applying it’s own filters, you wouldn’t really need Audirvana’s sample-rate-conversion and SRC any longer even if you used your Mac as a source instead of a dedicated streamer.

        • It’s not something I’ve tried…yet. Once the house move is done and I’m back from the USA I’ll investigate whether or not A+ makes a difference with the PSA DS.

  4. Perhaps a silly question but, you say no remote…does that just mean no Mac know, the little one? Can an IPOD still be used to controla Mac Mini?

    • It used to be that remote controlling iTunes fed music into audirvana. With iTunes out of the picture this no longer possible.

  5. Yes, I had the same problem of just using the Artist tag, and not the Album Artist tag.
    But there’s an easy solution, for those of us who have been using iTunes on the Mac for our music library.
    Start by downloading and buying (for only US$2) and installing the Doug’s Script “This Tag That Tag” which you can find here:
    Then, for all your compilation albums, select them all, and put “Various” into the Album Artist field.
    Then, in list view, sort by Album Artist. The ones with Various will be at the top, and all the ones with no Album Artist tag will be below. Select all those with no Album Artist tag and then run This Tag That Tag from the iTunes scripts menu. You’ll want to copy Artist to Album Artist, but DON’T check the “delete this tag” box.
    It might take a while — about 2-3 hours for my 25,000 track library — but it works.
    And the change takes nothing away from other ways, other than Audirvana Plus 2, of playing your music.
    Then, as you add albums or tracks in the future, whether ripping or downloading, just be sure to correctly populate the Album Artist field.
    Piece of cake. Or pie. Or perhaps it’s lasagna.

  6. Hi John and other readers,
    Is there any difference in sound performance quality from the plus to version2?
    Many thanks in advance.

  7. Couldn’t wait to get this…Love the current version. Unfortunately it’s pretty unusable for me, I’ve a 3TB library (the result of 4 years worth of backing my CD’s up!!) and it cannot handle it at all…just trying to search causes lockup, etc. Also you can no longer drag and drop files or folders onto the player, which means if I download a track to check it out or get one sent to me I have to add it into my library before being able to play it. I’ve had to revery to using the old version, pretty much wasted my upgrade fee. I’m sure it’s great for people with much smaller libraries but does not work for me….and still no remote (app) control…was also hoping for any improvements to the (already excellent) audio engine but that’s stayed the same…

  8. Usability was better. Sound quality is the sams as 1.x. IMHO 2.x is downgrade.

    Ability to use Remote app on the iphone/ipad was killer feature of previous versions. Now I have to wake macbook to pause or switch tracks – it’s way less convenient 🙁

    • Agreed, it does need some kind of remote control integration…but I guess it can’t all arrive at once. Software development of this magnitude are incremental.

  9. Not happy with the new version. Firstly, as a registered user who has downloaded every new version up to Version 1.5.12, and has exchanged e-mails with Damien, I would have expected to be alerted to the new release via the Check for Updates facility in 1.5.2 – I wasn’t: I found out by chance. Secondly, the new library is OK if you have a small collection of individually titled pieces; but for classical music lovers like me with hundreds of folders, each containing 2 – 555 files tagged by title and composer, the new system is a nightmare. Thirdly, I can detect no improvement in sound quality or staging on my system (NuForce DDA-100, Tannoy 609s, Dirac Live). I’m not intending to upgrade unless the ‘legacy’ library system is re-instated and there is a noticeable step up in sound quality.

  10. I retagged a DSD file using version 2.0 which was nice but then it wouldn’t play in anything BUT Audirvana 2.0

    So I prefer having proxy files and editing the tags on the proxy file and
    leaving my original files alone…

    Can anyone else confirm this?

  11. (This is not a) Dear John (letter),
    Finally my system has reached a state of grace. I use a Mac Mini (purchased only to get the use of Audivarna). I have turned off anything that allows iTunes options. I have installed Paragon that allows me to play PC files (including FLAC) from a USB HDD – NTFS formatted, onto the Mac.
    I now simply drag ‘n drop files and/or folders from HDD directly into Audivarna’s playlist. It has played faultlessly for a year.

    I have no need of V2 and what’s more, when I can be satisfied that a PC-based audio player sounds as good and is as easy to use as Audivarna, I will sell my Mac Mini.