Recently on Twitter, we got a great question about HDCD formats. So, today we thought we would post some helpful links for using and enjoying our HDCDs.
This was the question: “regarding hdcd-is there a reccomended software solution for decoding hdcd content on a pc?”
Here is a short answer:
It seems that WMP does a partial job of decoding HDCD. WMP will work (only while playing a physical CD), it will not decode from ripped files. It also looks like there is a shareware program be called hdcd.exe but it will decode only the amplitude-processing functions of HDCD from ripped files; hdcd.exe does not perform the dynamic filter switching which provides key sonic benefits of HDCD. Of course the obvious solution is to use an external DAC that does decode HDCD, such as the Berkeley Audio Designs AlphaDac.
A word of caution: as MS has been marginalizing HDCD for audio purposes, it is not clear (no source seems to have confirmed from any published info) if WMP latest version still performs full HDCD decoding (ie the reconstruction filter switching), or only the amplitude-related decdode functions.
Here are some forum links on Headfi.com that should be helpful as well:
We hope this helps!