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View Full Version : Transition to Vortexbox - hoping to do it 'right' from the start



donmacn
2013-12-15, 11:23
hi all,
Having thought about it, I've decided to move my LMS from the family PC, and rescan the CDs to FLAC. I'm going to use a vortexbox. This was one of my options, and the final choice was driven by getting one at a reasonable price on ebay recently.

So, I'll probably have to update the VB software for a start, and I can see that there are other decisions to be made such as how to rip (using the VB appliance's or the PC and dbpoweramp?); which FLAC quality; how to get the tags right from the outset; how best to keep the mp3s for the ipods; etc. Any views on all of these will certainly be appreciated.

For the moment though, the first question I have - and maybe not even the most important - is how to manage the transition? I have x hundred CDs to re-rip, and that's not going to happen in a great hurry. Should I disable LMS on the VB until I have the ripping finished (continuing to use the PC and my current LMS setup) or do it differently somehow? If I was doing it 'piecemeal' or incrementally, presumably I'd have to go along deleting mp3 versions of CDs as and when I managed to get them into FLAC format?

I'm probably also going to have to add a network or LAN switch to facilitate this, so lots more new stuff to learn.

Any thougts or comments from anyone who's been through this or something similar would be appreciated.

many thanks

Donald

w3wilkes
2013-12-15, 12:35
A comment on ripping to FLAC. All FLAC is the same quality - LOSSLESS. The difference is the amount of compression. I believe the default is 5. The higher the compression the more processor will be required to compress it. On the decoding side I'm under the impression that this is fairly CPU efficient regardless of the compression level specified when ripping. So as far as "quality" goes compression level 0 and compression level 8 will both render the same "quality" which is lossless.

On the transition. You mention that you'll keep the MP3's for your iPods, etc. so based on that you should be keeping a MP3 copy AND a FLAC copy. If you use DBPowerAmp on a PC to do your ripping (DBPowerAmp is probably the BEST ripper out there) you can create both the FLAC and MP3's on the same rip of the CD (more later on why you may want to also create new MP3 of your current library). You can do a phased transition with a approach something like this. On the VB do a directory structure like;

SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>
SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>

MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>

On LMS you would set your music folder to "SQ/". Initially you would copy your full library to SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> and then SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> would be empty. As you do your rips you would place the new FLAC rips in the SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> directory and move the corresponding SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> to MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> and then do the scan. This way you won't have duplicate albums showing up in LMS. If you're really using iThings you'll probable do the MP3's on either a MAC or a Win box where you can have iTunes to manage the content of the iDevice.

Don't know what quality your current MP3's are so that may be a consideration as you're re-ripping your CD's. Unlike FLAC, the bitrate selected for your MP3's DOES affect quality. The highest bitrate MP3's are generally the best quality. My personal preference is VBR (Variable Bit Rate) using -v0 which is the highest quality. The thing I like about VBR is that things like silence / simple will be compressed to almost nothing as far as required bits to contain the music goes where the most complex parts of the music will use the highest bit rate to store the music. So you get the quality of a CBR 320 using less space where it is appropriate.

Have fun over the next few months as you go through the transition and make sure you pay close attention to your tagging! The tags are the most important things in having a well organized library.

Apesbrain
2013-12-15, 13:49
If I were taking on this task, while re-ripping CDs to the Vortexbox I'd leave my existing configuration alone so I (and my family) could continue to enjoy it. (The last thing I'd want to be doing is a lot of tech support during this process!) Vortexbox as a ripper will automatically fetch tags and can be configured to mirror your FLACs to MP3 as you create them. All your Vortexbox needs is access to power and your network. It doesn't really matter if you have LMS running on the Vortexbox; your Squeezeboxes will stay connected to your old server until such time as you force that change. When you've completed your re-rips, terminate/uninstall the old server, shut everything down (1. Squeezeboxes, 2. servers, 3. router, 4. cable modem), wire the Vortexbox to your router, and bring everything back up in the reverse order.

One minor quibble with suggestion above regarding VBR -V0 for MP3: presumably you are maintaining MP3 copies so that you can copy them to your portable devices. These devices typically have limited storage space and are used in listening situations where ultimate fidelity is less of a concern. Using VBR -V2 (~190kbps) or even -V4 (~165kbps) will allow more content to be stored on your portables with little if any perceptual quality loss.

More information:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME

donmacn
2013-12-15, 15:15
A comment on ripping to FLAC. All FLAC is the same quality - LOSSLESS. The difference is the amount of compression. I believe the default is 5. The higher the compression the more processor will be required to compress it. On the decoding side I'm under the impression that this is fairly CPU efficient regardless of the compression level specified when ripping. So as far as "quality" goes compression level 0 and compression level 8 will both render the same "quality" which is lossless.

I haven't looked at this in any detail yet, but the issue must be the storage memory used and the bandwidth needed to play larger 'uncompressed' files? Less compression = more memory and more network traffic?


On the transition. You mention that you'll keep the MP3's for your iPods, etc. so based on that you should be keeping a MP3 copy AND a FLAC copy. If you use DBPowerAmp on a PC to do your ripping (DBPowerAmp is probably the BEST ripper out there) you can create both the FLAC and MP3's on the same rip of the CD (more later on why you may want to also create new MP3 of your current library).

There are three reasons why I was thinking about this: 1) (discussed elsewhere here) is to have a 'standalone' platform for LMS and the SB players, independent of family PC and it different users and tasks 2) to have a lossless version of the music and 3) because the tags are a bit of a mess. LMS doesn't seem very forgiving of tag discrepancies in the way that other programmes are. (but then I assume that, at heart, it's a 'server' rather than 'database' programme? I think this means I'll probably do as you suggest, and re-rip the MP3s.


You can do a phased transition with a approach something like this. On the VB do a directory structure like;

SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>
SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>

MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks>

On LMS you would set your music folder to "SQ/". Initially you would copy your full library to SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> and then SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> would be empty. As you do your rips you would place the new FLAC rips in the SQ/FLAC/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> directory and move the corresponding SQ/MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> to MP3/<artist>/<album>/<tracks> and then do the scan. This way you won't have duplicate albums showing up in LMS.

I think I'm being a bit dense - not sure I follow that completely. Would 'SQ' = the Vortexbox appliance?


If you're really using iThings you'll probable do the MP3's on either a MAC or a Win box where you can have iTunes to manage the content of the iDevice.

Don't know what quality your current MP3's are so that may be a consideration as you're re-ripping your CD's. Unlike FLAC, the bitrate selected for your MP3's DOES affect quality. The highest bitrate MP3's are generally the best quality. My personal preference is VBR (Variable Bit Rate) using -v0 which is the highest quality. The thing I like about VBR is that things like silence / simple will be compressed to almost nothing as far as required bits to contain the music goes where the most complex parts of the music will use the highest bit rate to store the music. So you get the quality of a CBR 320 using less space where it is appropriate.

I do use iThings! One in the car permanently, and hard-wired into the radio via the co-ax cable (It's a very 'old tech' car - in fact it's a 'no tech' car!) and a couple of others between myself and the kids. I use Mediamonkey to manage these as I just couldn't get along with iTunes at all. For the initial rips, I used EAC and LAME, and I think I set it to VBR, but it looks like it either didn't 'stick' over time, or the required bitrate for some of my music didn't need that level?? Maybe a misunderstanding on my part of how that works. It seems a few of them are 220kbps.


Have fun over the next few months as you go through the transition and make sure you pay close attention to your tagging! The tags are the most important things in having a well organized library.

Yup. It's the tags alright. LMS seems picky on caps vs non-caps, and does things with album art I don't understand - the wrong picture showing up for a dozen or more different artists for example. This way, I feel like I'm addressing several issues with one workstream.

Thanks for the reply!

donmacn
2013-12-15, 15:24
If I were taking on this task, while re-ripping CDs to the Vortexbox I'd leave my existing configuration alone so I (and my family) could continue to enjoy it. (The last thing I'd want to be doing is a lot of tech support during this process!)

that is what I was initially thinking. To be honest, no-one really engages with LMS and the SBs apart from me, but as the kids get older, that's likely to change - but if I do anything drastic, I'm as likely to be looking for tech support via this forum as anyone!


Vortexbox as a ripper will automatically fetch tags and can be configured to mirror your FLACs to MP3 as you create them. All your Vortexbox needs is access to power and your network. It doesn't really matter if you have LMS running on the Vortexbox; your Squeezeboxes will stay connected to your old server until such time as you force that change. When you've completed your re-rips, terminate/uninstall the old server, shut everything down (1. Squeezeboxes, 2. servers, 3. router, 4. cable modem), wire the Vortexbox to your router, and bring everything back up in the reverse order.

Just a little confused by this: if the VB needs power and network access (presumably to the internet for database/album art etc) then wouldn't it have to be connected to the router the whole time? Probably I'm reading what you've written too literally..? But apart from that, it makes sense to me.



One minor quibble with suggestion above regarding VBR -V0 for MP3: presumably you are maintaining MP3 copies so that you can copy them to your portable devices. These devices typically have limited storage space and are used in listening situations where ultimate fidelity is less of a concern. Using VBR -V2 (~190kbps) or even -V4 (~165kbps) will allow more content to be stored on your portables with little if any perceptual quality loss.

More information:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME

As I mentioned above, I think I'm already using VBR. The portable devices are all ipods, 8Gb, 30Gb I think. I have had to be a little selective in what goes on and what stays off, but it hasn't really been a big issue. However, I had been using VBR on the basis that these were my only copies of the music, and were being streamed to the SBs - now that 'restriction' will be lifted, I realise that I would be able to keep lesser bitrate MP3s and get more onto the devices.

Thanks

D

Apesbrain
2013-12-15, 15:34
Just a little confused by this: if the VB needs power and network access (presumably to the internet for database/album art etc) then wouldn't it have to be connected to the router the whole time?
While you're ripping the Vortexbox needs internet access but it can be wireless if that is more convenient for you. When you make it your "production" server, however, it needs to be wired to your router.

donmacn
2013-12-15, 16:00
While you're ripping the Vortexbox needs internet access but it can be wireless if that is more convenient for you. When you make it your "production" server, however, it needs to be wired to your router.

Of course! Homer Simpson moment there....Doh!

Thanks

D

garym
2013-12-15, 17:21
once using the vortexbox, and ripping to FLAC (I use compression = 5), you can also create an mp3 mirror of your flac files automatically on the vortexbox with a couple of mouse clicks on the VB GUI. I use mp3 for my portables and use lame -V2 (~192kbs) for my mp3 files. The VB is best connected via ethernet cable (either to the router or a switch that is connected to the router with ethernet. But your SB players can all be WIFI.

w3wilkes
2013-12-15, 22:20
I haven't looked at this in any detail yet, but the issue must be the storage memory used and the bandwidth needed to play larger 'uncompressed' files? Less compression = more memory and more network traffic?

That's it.


There are three reasons why I was thinking about this: 1) (discussed elsewhere here) is to have a 'standalone' platform for LMS and the SB players, independent of family PC and it different users and tasks 2) to have a lossless version of the music and 3) because the tags are a bit of a mess. LMS doesn't seem very forgiving of tag discrepancies in the way that other programmes are. (but then I assume that, at heart, it's a 'server' rather than 'database' programme? I think this means I'll probably do as you suggest, and re-rip the MP3s.

1. I also prefer an independent platform for the LMS server that is separate from the day to day use PC's. In my case I use a Windows Home Server box that also does backups of mine and my wife's daily use PC's (both are Win7 x64 laptops). However I also keep a full copy of the music library on both mine and my wife's PC along with workable LMS servers in the event my WHS fails and requires downtime for repairs. I also never want to have to rip my 1,300+ albums again!

2. I intentionally chose MP3 VBR -v0 rather than FLAC. This was after much ringing of hands. In my own informal testing with friends and family no one I know has been able to tell the difference between FLAC and the highest bitrate MP3 ripped from the same source CD's. I also use MixMeister to maintain the BPM tag in all my files, I'm not aware of a program that does BPM analysis on non-MP3 files. I then have some "action" things in MP3Tag to round the BPM to whole integers so that LMS will scan this tag to the LMS database. I can then build SQL Playlists using the Erland pluggin to create playlists that also will filter on BPM. I have not found a platform that does not support playing MP3 where that is not the case with FLAC. This part is kind of like discussing religion and/or politics so I'll just leave it at that.

3. Regardless of the format you use or the server software you use, the better the tags are the better your library is to use and manage.


I think I'm being a bit dense - not sure I follow that completely. Would 'SQ' = the Vortexbox appliance?

SQ is just the high level directory you would point LMS at for your library, it's short for Squeeze in my example. The separate MP3/<artist>... without the SQ/ prefix would be the final resting place for your MP3's after you've created the corresponding FLAC's. This directory would be unknown to LMS.


I do use iThings! One in the car permanently, and hard-wired into the radio via the co-ax cable (It's a very 'old tech' car - in fact it's a 'no tech' car!) and a couple of others between myself and the kids. I use Mediamonkey to manage these as I just couldn't get along with iTunes at all. For the initial rips, I used EAC and LAME, and I think I set it to VBR, but it looks like it either didn't 'stick' over time, or the required bitrate for some of my music didn't need that level?? Maybe a misunderstanding on my part of how that works. It seems a few of them are 220kbps.

It sounds like your VBR MP3 are ripped at a pretty high bitrate, probably -v2 or -v3. 220kbps is pretty high bit rate for VBR. For instance at -v0 for Led Zeppelin 1 I have bitrates between 250 and 280kbps. I was not aware that you could manage a iThing with anything other than iTunes, my wife has a CL Zen (which I think is Linux based), we both have Android phones and one Android tablet. Never had a iThing. EAC is probably the 2nd best ripper out there. Both EAC and DBP support Accurate rip so you know right off if your rip is good.


Yup. It's the tags alright. LMS seems picky on caps vs non-caps, and does things with album art I don't understand - the wrong picture showing up for a dozen or more different artists for example. This way, I feel like I'm addressing several issues with one workstream.

Yes it is! If you get the tags right for LMS, it should take you to any future server with no trouble!

reinholdk
2013-12-16, 03:58
Guess I'd prefer to use LMS on the vortexbox as soon as possible instead of doing the switch after all CDs have been re-ripped. So I'd use the folder structure as suggested above and copy the old mp3 files into it. You could turn off the old LMS (but not uninstalling yet) and get used to the vortexbox.

Each time you have done the re-ripping of a few CDs to flac & mp3 AND have manually fixed/updated tags & cover art, you can delete the old mp3s and use the new flacs and copy the new mp3s to the folder not known to LMS. I would use new mp3 files to have the same (main) tag data on flac and mp3.

If you do the re-ripping on the vortexbox you should have a look to the /etc/ripit/config file, because you might want to adapt a few settings to your liking, e.g. 'dirtemplate' for the folder structure and 'tracktemplate' and 'underscore' for the file names.

For the important manual 'post-process' step you need to decide, for example, whether you want to browse for artist by 'lastname, firstname' (needs additional ARTISTSORT tag) or simply use the artist name as it is. And if you want to make use of multiple artist names, you should check out the related threads here in the forum.

garym
2013-12-16, 05:26
I'll throw in another thought. I really like my Vortexboxes (I have 3). But the one thing I don't use them for is ripping CDs. The ripper in the VB does NOT use ACCURATERIP. It uses a secure type ripper that pre-Accuraterip would have been very, very good. And it still works well. But it doesn't compare your rip to the dozens (or hundreds) of other rips of that CD that people around the world have made. I use dbpoweramp to rip. It and EAC and CUETOOLS among others use ACCURATERIP. My basic work flow is to rip to FLAC with dbpa, then I tinker with the tags/artwork to the extent I need to in order to make things exactly like I want. Once done, I created mp3 (-V2) versions of the FLAC files (in a batch way, using dbpa converter). Then I copy (over my network) the new FLAC files to my VB file directory and the mp3 files to the HDD connected to the computer running iTunes (where I load up my iThings, etc.).

Another option would be to rip everything with VB ripper but then after the fact use the dbpa PERFECTTUNES program to do an ACCURATERIP check after the fact.

aubuti
2013-12-16, 06:47
I haven't looked at this in any detail yet, but the issue must be the storage memory used and the bandwidth needed to play larger 'uncompressed' files? Less compression = more memory and more network traffic?
That is correct, but for FLAC the difference in file sizes between minimum compression (level 0) and maximum compression (level 8) is relatively small. Certainly nothing like the differences in lossy codecs such as MP3, precisely because FLAC is lossless. Using lower compression may slightly speed up the ripping process, but depending on your computer the limiting factor may be reading of the CD, not the processing of the encoding to FLAC. Even though I usually rip at compression level 5, I am tempted to switch to level 0.


As I mentioned above, I think I'm already using VBR. The portable devices are all ipods, 8Gb, 30Gb I think. I have had to be a little selective in what goes on and what stays off, but it hasn't really been a big issue. However, I had been using VBR on the basis that these were my only copies of the music, and were being streamed to the SBs - now that 'restriction' will be lifted, I realise that I would be able to keep lesser bitrate MP3s and get more onto the devices.
VBR means Variable Bit Rate. It means that the bitrate will vary depending on the complexity of the music. However, within VBR there are several options for quality of the output files. So VBR with the -v0 option gives you maximum sound quality for MP3, and larger file sizes. It is usually close to 320kbps. Similarly, VBR -v2 is around 256kbps, VBR -v4 is around 192kbps, VBR -v6 is around 128kbps, etc. These bitrates are approximate because the actual bitrate will depend on the complexity of the music.

Unlike FLAC, these options in MP3 encoding make a big difference in sound quality and file size, because the encoding is lossy, and with -v6 you lose more data/music than you do with -v2. Whether or not you can hear that loss depends on the quality of the initial recording, your audio equipment, your listening environment, and your own ears. I lived with -v6 on my MP3 copies for portable use for a long time, because my equipment was cheap (iPod and $100 headphones) and my listening environment was usually terrible (car or airplane). Now that I have better in-ear monitors and sometimes manage to use them in quiet places I'm planning to make a new MP3 copy of my FLAC library using -v4 or -v2.

You could look to see what quality of VBR you have been using to see if they worth keeping, but you may as well make new MP3 copies when you re-rip to make FLAC versions, because either VB or dBpoweramp will easily let you make a parallel MP3 copy of your library, and if you do it when doing your FLAC then that will take care of your MP3 tags as well. All with zero incremental effort by you. But even then, you will have to choose what level of lossy compression you want under VBR. I recommend experimenting a bit to see what your threshold is for hearing a difference, and for how much that difference matters versus being able to hold more tracks on a given portable device.

As for the overall transition, I agree with the others who said you should keep using your current LMS as is, and treat the re-ripping as a separate project. Then when it's done, switch over to the new library. You could certainly take the alternative approach of add-the-new-and-delete-the-old incrementally, but that can get a bit annoying. And disc space shouldn't be an issue because presumably the VB appliance has all the disc space you need for both FLAC and MP3 copies of your library.

donmacn
2013-12-16, 09:01
Guys, thanks all - a lot of useful stuff in these replies.

as it happens I stayed home today to try and shake off a bug, and not inflict it on the rest of the office. So, I downloaded dbpa to try playing / learning that, as I'd got the suggestion earlier about using a separate ripper from the VB one (and the VB hasn't arrived yet).

I've ripped about 8 CDs just to get a hang of how it goes, and it seems quite user-friendly:

First off, I missed the 'secure' ripping option and started in 'burst' mode. I was surprised at how quick things were going by comparison to my previous process of EAC and Lame. Then I got a couple of tracks with inaccurate rips, looked a bit deeper, and found the 'secure' option. That's a bit slower! Doing a Bruce Springsteen greatest hits now, and the last track is tacking a looong time. But used to that from EAC.

I've set up D: test>dpba>flac and ....>mp3 directories. Sending the MP3s across at about the 220kbps mark. As you say aubuti, this will get them done at minimal process time/cost, and get the tags sorted at the same time.

Tags though.... At the moment, I've just let dbpa follow its default settings. I'm getting the metadata and reviewing/changing that as necessary, then just letting it rip! I don't think I need anything too tricky. For me, Bruce Springsteen is just that, and not Springsteen, Bruce. I also tried a classical and compilation album, and they seem to have gone mainly OK. Presumably as long as I'm careful with reviewing the suggested metadata, then the generated tags can't be that bad...?

Some small issues though. As I am a bagpiper, I have some bagpipe music! Some piping CDs will list a tune set by the time signature, then the names of the tunes. i.e. "6/8 marches: Lt Colonel So and So's farewell to someplace/tune 2/tune 3/ tune 4 / tune 5" It can make for some long titles! Would the forward slash in the time signature 6/8s or 2/4s or 9/8s or whatever, be interpreted by the tag naming convention as something else?

Piping also has its fair share of Gaelic language tune names. The language isn't an issue for me, but it can be for others, and typos are really common. In my test rip today, even though I'd corrected the spelling of the tunes, dpba kept the wrong spelling as part of its file 'title'. I can see this when I go into the file directory. But if I open them in MP3tag, they look fine. Even if I look at the selected columns, I can't see where this 'poor' naming is? (Sorry - I suspect that last bit's going to be too obscure and difficult to follow).

For an efficient workflow, sticking with the dbpa tag writing would be very easy. Is it too much to hope for that it'll do a good job?

And.... in the spirit of the orginal question "doing it right", is there anything else I should be considering at this stage? I'm thinking here of the digital sound processing options that dbpa has - Gain or Normalisation for example? Worth it, or more hassle than it's worth?

Thanks again for the info and replies so far.

D

garym
2013-12-16, 10:47
regarding bagpipe, rip a couple of CDs and see how it handles the names. Not sure without trying. also try converting the ripped FLAC files to mp3 with these names and see if that works.

For ripping, the only DSP I use when creating FLACs (or converting FLACs to mp3) is the ReplayGain DSP. I add track and album RG values to everything (well dbpa does this automatically). This doesn't change the audio. it simply adds a tag that some players can use. I like to use RG tags in my players to automatically adjust volume when playing tracks from different albums (which can have very different loudness).

In the lower center section of the ripper screen, click on DSP tab, then click Add DSP/Action. Then add RG (replayGain). In the RG settings, I tick 3 items

write track gain
write album gain (album identified by album ID tag)
EBU R128 Calculated Gain

aubuti
2013-12-16, 11:13
First off, I missed the 'secure' ripping option and started in 'burst' mode. I was surprised at how quick things were going by comparison to my previous process of EAC and Lame. Then I got a couple of tracks with inaccurate rips, looked a bit deeper, and found the 'secure' option. That's a bit slower! Doing a Bruce Springsteen greatest hits now, and the last track is tacking a looong time. But used to that from EAC.
This shouldn't happen as often in dBpa as in EAC, at least not if you have dBpa set up correctly. I'm on the other side of the pond from my dBpa right now, but you want a setting that will do a burst rip, and then compare the rip (actually the checksums) to the AccurateRip database. If your checksums match those of other users, then the rip is considered good and dBpa moves along. That's how 99% of my rips with dBpa go. If the checksums don't match, then that means (a) it's an obscure disc (or pressing of a disc) for which no one has uploaded the checksums to AccurateRip, or (b) the disc is damaged, or (c) drive didn't read the disc well. Those should be the only cases in which dBpa would need to go back and re-read until it is happy with the rip.

If you're getting very long rips on most of your CDs, then I would guess you either (a) have your dBpa settings wrong, (b) the drive isn't calibrated correctly, or (c) a lot of your discs are damaged. What does the "ripping report" popup say when it completes a rip? That is, confidence levels, number of passes, etc.


Tags though.... At the moment, I've just let dbpa follow its default settings. I'm getting the metadata and reviewing/changing that as necessary, then just letting it rip! I don't think I need anything too tricky. For me, Bruce Springsteen is just that, and not Springsteen, Bruce. I also tried a classical and compilation album, and they seem to have gone mainly OK. Presumably as long as I'm careful with reviewing the suggested metadata, then the generated tags can't be that bad...?
For popular music, the metadata sources that dBpa uses are very good. A good tip is the "review metadata" button, which lets you see what different metadata sources offer for tags, so that you can pick what you like best tag by tag, with little or no hand typing involved.


Some small issues though. As I am a bagpiper, I have some bagpipe music! Some piping CDs will list a tune set by the time signature, then the names of the tunes. i.e. "6/8 marches: Lt Colonel So and So's farewell to someplace/tune 2/tune 3/ tune 4 / tune 5" It can make for some long titles! Would the forward slash in the time signature 6/8s or 2/4s or 9/8s or whatever, be interpreted by the tag naming convention as something else?
One great thing about tags is that characters that are "special characters" for many operating systems (such as \ / : and the very important question mark ?) are fine in tags, even though you could never use them in a file name.


Piping also has its fair share of Gaelic language tune names. The language isn't an issue for me, but it can be for others, and typos are really common. In my test rip today, even though I'd corrected the spelling of the tunes, dpba kept the wrong spelling as part of its file 'title'. I can see this when I go into the file directory. But if I open them in MP3tag, they look fine. Even if I look at the selected columns, I can't see where this 'poor' naming is? (Sorry - I suspect that last bit's going to be too obscure and difficult to follow).

For an efficient workflow, sticking with the dbpa tag writing would be very easy. Is it too much to hope for that it'll do a good job?

Are you possibly confusing the file name with the tag contents? They don't have to be the same, and in fact, in many cases you don't want them to be the same because some characters that are okay for tags are not okay for file names (see previous point). This can be especially important if the names of your tracks, albums or artists use characters other than bog-standard non-accented Latin characters.

Although I rip with dBpa, I do most of my post-rip tag cleanup with mp3tag. It has a better interface than dBpa for making mass changes to tags.

And I agree with garym about using ReplayGain tags in DSP.

Btw, for things like "Springsteen, Bruce", take a closer look at the tags using mp3tag or dBpa. I know that my dBpa is automatically set to create an ARTISTSORT tag that is "Lastname, Firstname" because that is how I like LMS and my Squeezeboxes to _sort_ my artists. Note that LMS is perfectly capable of putting Bruce under "S" and still displaying the name "Bruce Springsteen". Just like in a music shop.

garym
2013-12-16, 11:28
This shouldn't happen as often in dBpa as in EAC, at least not if you have dBpa set up correctly. I'm on the other side of the pond from my dBpa right now, but you want a setting that will do a burst rip, and then compare the rip (actually the checksums) to the AccurateRip database. If your checksums match those of other users, then the rip is considered good and dBpa moves along. That's how 99% of my rips with dBpa go. If the checksums don't match, then that means (a) it's an obscure disc (or pressing of a disc) for which no one has uploaded the checksums to AccurateRip, or (b) the disc is damaged, or (c) drive didn't read the disc well. Those should be the only cases in which dBpa would need to go back and re-read until it is happy with the rip.

correct. The setting is in the ripper OPTIONS, choose SECURE, then click on SECURE SETTINGS button. Once there, tick "Ultra Secure". I use minimum ultra passes of 1, maximum of 2, and end after clean passes of 1. I do not tick "vary drive speed each pass". This does what aubuti notes above. It automatically does a fast burst rip, compares to accuraterip, and if a match, you're done. Otherwise it goes into the ultra secure process.

donmacn
2013-12-16, 12:12
Brilliant! Thanks again to all.

Gary - I'll go and play with those ripper settings (Gain and 'ultra secure') and see how I go.

Aubuti - I think I WAS confusing the filename and tag contents. And I'm happy that I can use 6/8s as intended!

On the question of 'Springsteen Bruce' - though I happily accept that LMS can interpret or display this sensibly, what's the benefit of having the additional ARTISTSORT element in the tag that might not get used? Is it simply to add it in because it's automatic and doesn't need any extra work? It does occur to me actually that in filing my CDs I have them under 'last name, first name' so Bruce is down with the 'S's; Mark Knopfler with the 'K's....

Thanks again though. Your help is certainly appreciated. It would be a much longer learning curve otherwise.

Cheers

D

garym
2013-12-16, 12:45
Brilliant! Thanks again to all.

Gary - I'll go and play with those ripper settings (Gain and 'ultra secure') and see how I go.

Aubuti - I think I WAS confusing the filename and tag contents. And I'm happy that I can use 6/8s as intended!

On the question of 'Springsteen Bruce' - though I happily accept that LMS can interpret or display this sensibly, what's the benefit of having the additional ARTISTSORT element in the tag that might not get used? Is it simply to add it in because it's automatic and doesn't need any extra work? It does occur to me actually that in filing my CDs I have them under 'last name, first name' so Bruce is down with the 'S's; Mark Knopfler with the 'K's....

Thanks again though. Your help is certainly appreciated. It would be a much longer learning curve otherwise.

Cheers

D

artistsort is simply useful if you're browsing through a listing of your artists in a music library (like LMS) and want to see Bruce Springsteen in the "S" area instead of the "B" area. When playing, LMS or SB player will still show "Bruce Springsteen" but it will be sorted under Springsteen, Bruce. And yes, one can add ARTISTSORT automatically as part of ripping. (although there are some odd artist names that might take manual fixing... Tagging is a never ending job. I'll be improving, changing, editing my tags until they put my in my grave!

donmacn
2013-12-16, 12:45
probably wandering a bit off-topic here, but I re-ripped the Springsteen CD using those settings, and it was still a long process. All down to the last track. Probably about 18-20mins to do that alone. First time round it had to re-rip something like 160 frames, this time it was 300+. I left it running while taking my son to his Xmas dance.... otherwise I'd probably have skipped the track.

Is it my imagination or do I remember from the first rips using EAC that the last track in a CD was often where the trouble lay?

I'm sure it's an issue of the pressing, rather than the ripper, but here's what dbpa had to say about this track. Is there anything in there that means more to you guys than it does to me?

""Information ripping to [Multi Encoder], 'Track 18' to 'C:\Users\Donald\Music\Bruce Springsteen\Greatest Hits\18 Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land.IGNORE'
Track 18: Ripped LBA 323567 to 345450 (4:51) in 19:37. Filename: C:\Users\Donald\Music\Bruce Springsteen\Greatest Hits\18 Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land.IGNORE
Insecure [Pass 1 & 2, Ultra 1 to 2, Re-Rip 315 Frames]
CRC32: 3FDE0025 AccurateRip CRC: 5FA712AA (CRCv2) [DiscID: 018-00322c41-029a29f7-e611fe12-18]"

Cheers

D

garym
2013-12-16, 12:46
probably wandering a bit off-topic here, but I re-ripped the Springsteen CD using those settings, and it was still a long process. All down to the last track. Probably about 18-20mins to do that alone. First time round it had to re-rip something like 160 frames, this time it was 300+. I left it running while taking my son to his Xmas dance.... otherwise I'd probably have skipped the track.

Is it my imagination or do I remember from the first rips using EAC that the last track in a CD was often where the trouble lay?

I'm sure it's an issue of the pressing, rather than the ripper, but here's what dbpa had to say about this track. Is there anything in there that means more to you guys than it does to me?

""Information ripping to [Multi Encoder], 'Track 18' to 'C:\Users\Donald\Music\Bruce Springsteen\Greatest Hits\18 Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land.IGNORE'
Track 18: Ripped LBA 323567 to 345450 (4:51) in 19:37. Filename: C:\Users\Donald\Music\Bruce Springsteen\Greatest Hits\18 Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land.IGNORE
Insecure [Pass 1 & 2, Ultra 1 to 2, Re-Rip 315 Frames]
CRC32: 3FDE0025 AccurateRip CRC: 5FA712AA (CRCv2) [DiscID: 018-00322c41-029a29f7-e611fe12-18]"

Cheers

D

for whatever reason, if I do have trouble with ripping tracks, they tend to be the last track or two on a CD. And it seems to be particularly true if the CD has lots of tracks.

aubuti
2013-12-16, 15:12
On the question of 'Springsteen Bruce' - though I happily accept that LMS can interpret or display this sensibly, what's the benefit of having the additional ARTISTSORT element in the tag that might not get used? Is it simply to add it in because it's automatic and doesn't need any extra work? It does occur to me actually that in filing my CDs I have them under 'last name, first name' so Bruce is down with the 'S's; Mark Knopfler with the 'K's....
Well, if it doesn't get used then it doesn't have any benefit at all. But if it does get used (and lots of software does use ARTISTSORT or Artist Sort) then it's very beneficial if that's the way you want to sort/view things. If I _had_ to view by Firstname Lastname I am sure I would get used to it, but fortunately I don't have to. And if you know you'll never use it, then you should omit that tag either at rip time or afterward. Because if you want to see Bruce under "B" then you definitely do not want an "ARTISTSORT=Springsteen, Bruce" tag in the file.

Not to go too far into the deep end, but there are other good things that "extra" tags can do. If you have a large collection of Springsteen albums, are some listed under the Artist "Bruce Springsteen" and others under "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band"? Or "Neil Young" and "Neil Young and Crazy Horse" or "Patti Smith" and "Patti Smith Group" etc? This is one example where the ALBUMARTIST tag can be useful. I tag each of those examples using the artist's name only in the ALBUMARTIST tag, and the name of the configuration (as listed on the album cover itself) in the ARTIST tag. LMS then groups them together (eg, all Bruce together, all Neil together, all Patti together) when browsing by artist.

audiomuze
2013-12-16, 18:39
Slightly OT, but has anyone managed to install Vortexbox from a USB stick?

garym
2013-12-17, 05:12
Slightly OT, but has anyone managed to install Vortexbox from a USB stick?

not that I know of. frequently requested. Andrew says the next major update to Vortexbox software will allow installation from USB stick.

alfista
2013-12-17, 06:26
not that I know of. frequently requested. Andrew says the next major update to Vortexbox software will allow installation from USB stick.
There are instructions somewhere on how to install from USB, but they were so convoluted that I gave in and burned a CD. Usually I burn to CDRW if I think I'm only going to use it once, but unfortunately the ISO is too large to fit on CDRW.
If USB install is coming, it's not a day too soon.

reinholdk
2013-12-17, 11:35
Regarding the time it takes to rip a single CD:
among other factors like quality of your CD drive and your CD, it also depends on whether it's a real Audio CD or not: it feels like decades ago but in fact it is not so long ago that parts of the music industry tried hard to prevent copying a CD. For such CDs (sometimes there is a remark on the back cover) the ripping process might take really long to succeed.

donmacn
2013-12-17, 12:01
Regarding the time it takes to rip a single CD:
among other factors like quality of your CD drive and your CD, it also depends on whether it's a real Audio CD or not: it feels like decades ago but in fact it is not so long ago that parts of the music industry tried hard to prevent copying a CD. For such CDs (sometimes there is a remark on the back cover) the ripping process might take really long to succeed.

........or not succeed at all. I remember this from first time around with the MP3 rips. Wasn't it the case that some CDs wouldn't play on a computer? Maybe particularly ones on the Sony label?? Struggling to remember with any accuracy I'm afraid. I think though that I only ended up with a small handful of really difficult to rip CDs, most did go through OK, even if they did take a while.

Going back to the tagging thing, as this is one of the key reasons I'm starting over, I think I'm going to have to do a bit more research on the file tags somewhere. Can anyone recommend a good 'executive summary' of the issue? Something that covers the topic without too much 'tech-speak'?

Ta.

D

w3wilkes
2013-12-17, 12:24
Sony was putting out CD's that would install a rootkit on a windows PC IF autoplay was enabled (this was the default, but can be turned off). DBPowerAmp has a setting for reading these discs as long as your drive supports it. Check in the DBPA Options for the Defective By Design setting.

garym
2013-12-17, 14:00
........or not succeed at all. I remember this from first time around with the MP3 rips. Wasn't it the case that some CDs wouldn't play on a computer? Maybe particularly ones on the Sony label?? Struggling to remember with any accuracy I'm afraid. I think though that I only ended up with a small handful of really difficult to rip CDs, most did go through OK, even if they did take a while.

Going back to the tagging thing, as this is one of the key reasons I'm starting over, I think I'm going to have to do a bit more research on the file tags somewhere. Can anyone recommend a good 'executive summary' of the issue? Something that covers the topic without too much 'tech-speak'?

Ta.

D

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Beginners_Guide_To_Tagging