We'd like some help with Octave


This frustrates me as well. If I search for Haydn I want Haydn alone, not what an algorithm thinks is somehow “like” Haydn. The “similar” albums appear random, although there may well be something behind the display of other albums. At a minimum I want a permanent switch which lets me turn off all of the similar or like results.


Well, sort of. It will be free for those who buy our hardware. It is hardware specific and unlike Roon which can run on any type of server, and operating system, Octave is tied to the hardware.


What you write is true though our track record’s a little more solid than theirs. But, even after 45 years of business anything can happen. Here’s the thing. Octave is built into our hardware products and does not rely upon paid services for metadata. So, even if PS were to slide under the water our hardware products running Roon would still keep working even after we were gone.

When we started this project we were originally going to partner with Roon because we loved their UI. But because their pricing model is so entrenched at a high price without room for manufacturers to incorporate it we were forced to take a different route, one that supplies Octave for free with a hardware purchase. For us it means that eventually as we get the cost of hardware down we’ll be able to offer complete Octave solutions for less than the price of Roon without any hardware at all.


I understand your approach.

In my case, I’m a visual guy. I preselect. my search preferences with cascaded views (like by label 1st, by genre 2nd, by album 3rd). Within those views I then usually display albums by covers with an underlining of artist/album.

When I expect large result lists that I want to scroll through fast, I use a pure search from the beginning, as its result list is a pure list by default.

But even with my ~ 5000 albums library I usually have no problem within the prestructured views, searches within them, and results by album cover. Scrolling through covers for me leads to a quicker find than scrolling through text.


Good,I like it.Keep up with the good work.
Music is the perfect type of art. Music can never reveal its ultimate secret. (Oscar Wilde)


Octave is built into our hardware products and does not rely upon paid services for metadata.

Paul where will you get your meta data from then? I’d find it hard to believe that PS Audio is going to build their own Meta Data. That in itself would be a major undertaking. If you’re not buying all that data then how will you get it, build it, etc?

Roon suffers because they get all their meta data eggs from one basket and as they’re learning no one basket is good enough. What they haven’t figured out is how to resolve conflicts from multiple meta data sources and at least up until now are keeping it easy and sticking with one basket.

What are the plans in this space for Octave?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Does that mean that for owners of current PSA Hardware (DirectStream in my case) that Octave would be available at no cost?


As far as I know, the Octave software runs on the Octave hardware and they are inseparable. So having a PS DAC or other PS Hardware has no bearing on that. They are hardly going to give existing PS customers a free $6000 Octave (or whatever they price it at). I could be wrong, but that’s my understanding.

Octave is not like eLyric that you could buy on the App Store for $10.


An encouragement:

Every time there has been any inkling beta testers of Octave hardware may be needed we see a bunch of enthusiastic volunteers.

Here is your chance to get involved. Dive in!


Ease of navigation good, pretty intuitive, theDiscover option is clever and useful, UI not as attractive as Roon though, e.g., like theRoon light/dark theme choices.


The octave software will be used in the Server which could be $6K, but additionally it will hopefully/probably be used in the replacement for Bridge II. So not “free” but reasonable cost given it will be included with a hardware upgrade for the DS/DS Jr.


We support several public databases with donations. MusicBrainz is the main one. We’ve been a supporter of them for quite some time now. They are the originators of Gracenote before Gracenote got greedy. Because MusicBrainz is a public service it’s not going away and even if it does we own copies of their entire database which we run on our own servers.

The reason more big companies don’t use MusicBrainz is it’s very difficult to properly mine data from them. It’s a lot easier with the paid services like Roon uses. Our programmers have spent the last year devising clever AI based algorithms that have gotten us a higher success rate with this metadata than any paid service we tried. But, that took a solid year’s worth of programming and we’re still at it. Lots more work this way, but it’ll allow big growth that scales without cost.


Exactly. Bridge III owners will enjoy Octave. Though the first version of Octave will be the $6K server, that model will be followed with increasingly lower priced versions with fewer features. One lower cost version will be less money because the user supplies the hard drive and does their own ripping. The good news of this approach is that the user experience for expensive models will be identical to lower cost models.




“Clever AI” … code named “Moose and Squirrel”


Rocky maybe, but never heard Bullwinkle called “clever” before. Loved that show. Cold war political satire masquerading as a kiddie show.


I spent a little time with it this evening. While I don’t have a lot of experience with music related software services, I do come from the tech industry and from a usability perspective, I do have a couple initial thoughts.

  1. I like the filter drop downs present in each category. However, it makes more sense IMO to simply have the search box as the means to find what you want. The check boxes are impractical and my guess is, will be ignored by 99.9999999% of users. Why spend minutes scrolling endlessly when one can simply type in what they need. Drop down menus work when lists are minimal. With thousands of options, drop down menus/checkboxes/etc. no longer have relevance. So, my suggestion is ditch the check boxes and require the user to use the search box within the drop down filters due to the exhorbitant amount of choices.

  2. Ensemble and Performer seem ambiguous and redundant. What not stick with “Artist” as it is more intuitive. When I click on each of these two drop downs they present the same exact list. Even if this list is a mere placeholder and not meant to be representative of what will eventually lay beneath each drop down, I am not sure why a single “Artist” category would not be sufficient. It seems to me that any musical product (album or track) will be associated with its creator, whether it is a single musician or a “group” of musicians, we are already accustomed to consider them both “Artists” so they should be listed together.

  3. I find it generally intuitive and it did not take much time at all to develop a sense of comfort with the UI. I really like the Sample Rate filter!
    From a perspective of wanting to search the database for a specific genre, artist, track, etc., I find it very simple and straightforward - which is great. From an initial framework perspective, I feel it is off to a great start. I would like to see integration with streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and others. Octave needs to appeal to music collectors and music renters alike.

Thanks for sharing Paul and your willingness to demonstrate the earlier workings of Octave with the intent to illicit opinions on an unfinished product with hopes of making it appealing to the majority of users. This is a rarity these days so I applaud this initiative.


Thanks, Jeff! Great feedback.


The ensemble, performer, artist categories are likely an attempt to deal with classical music.

As an example, I have over thirty performers of Mozart’s Requiem. The primary differences are the conductor, the performing ensemble (orchestra), the vocal soloists, and the edition (there are various versions of the work). There are other differences as well.

A single category of “Artist” would not only not get me very far to distinguish these, but is also ambiguous. Who is the “Artist?” Mozart? The conductor? The orchestra?

Ideally, there will at least be fields for composer, conductor, ensemble, soloists, date, perhaps a searchable notes field.

What is really tricky is accommodating both classical and pop music. The fields I just identified do not mean much for most rock and other pop music. There artist and album title provide most of what people need. But some will want more, especially jazz listeners. For example, with jazz one often wants to know/track the sidemen. Often there are also different editions of the same recording.

I think you are dead on with the drop down list issue.


Well, that makes perfect sense Elk. I am not a classical music listener so what you described has never been in my repertoire of experience with music services. But you are right. Things would get immediately muddled if only one creator-type search metric is available for classical music lovers.

My new suggestion, as a one who does not listen to classical music and one who loves the most direct and simplest UI, is to have an option in settings to turn off the extra classical music search options (Ensemble, Composer, etc.), or only have them present when “Classical” is chosen in the Genre drop-down box.

Have a powerful search engine algorithm - as close to Google level as possible - will make any search in a single search box (even with classical music) direct and simple. If implemented well, a user can free form enter an Ensemble, composer and conductor in the single search box and hit on results containing all three items. Most integrated search engines in music services software, forums, websites, etc. are very elementary and therefore borderline useless most of the time when complex searches are needed.