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Decibel's trial mode is apparently simply subtracting the time between launch and quit in deciding when 40 hours is up. If so, then if you launch Decibel and then sleep the computer for 40 hours, that's your 40 hours gone, even though you never used Decibel. This seems unfair. Actual uptime would be fairer, but total *playing* time would be most reasonable.
For me there hasn't been any difference between time since install/actual uptime/total playing time... I haven't been able to stop listening since I downloaded Decibel about 10 hours ago, and it's now 2:30AM!
FWIW I did eventually stop listening that night, and the clock most certainly did stop when I closed the application. Anyway, I've since bought the app as it makes iTunes sound broken in comparison. I thoroughly tested this about four years ago and found iTunes to provide bit-perfect output, but that's clearly no longer the case. My DAC decodes HDCD signals, so when fed a lossless file bit-perfectly, the HDCD LED should go on. iTunes can on longer do this, while Decibel can... I didn't notice for so long as I have an external upsampler which breaks HDCD anyway... but had been feeling like the sound was broken for some time.