View Full Version : Windows Media & Surround sound

2005-04-23, 22:05
I just tried streaming via mms a surround sound wma file and got nothing but silence. I'm running 6.01 on Win 2k. Are 5.1 windows media files supported?

TIA! I searched like heck so I hope this isn't a repost.

Patrick Dixon
2005-04-24, 00:50
From Server Settings -> File Types it looks like WMAs require MPlayer to translate to WAV, FLAC or MP3 for streaming. You also need Lame for the MP3 translation.

You could look at the AlienBBC instructions for the bit that talks about installing MPlayer on Windows - or just install the whole AlienBBC package and get BBC Radio too!

Oops! Missed the surround sound bit first time round - I guess it depends if MPlayer supports it.

2005-04-24, 08:22
On Windows, we use a utility called wmadec to decode Windows Media
files. The utility attempts to decode WMA to 44.1KHz 16-bit stereo PCM.
I don't believe it's ever been tested with 5.1 audio and I can believe
that it doesn't work (I presume you are expecting it to be transcoded to
stereo, right?). Please file a bug at http://bugs.slimdevices.com and,
if possible, attach a sample file.


2005-04-24, 10:23
No, what I was crossing my fingers for was that the 5.1 wma file would play to my surround receiver via the digital out (in surround sound). I don't have a 5.1 system for my computer (I don't game).

I was using the sample MS surround files

The real reason I wanted to try it out was the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series is being streamed in 5.1 surround by the BBC. Apparently the wma version is true 5.1 Dolby Digital while the realaudio version is prologic. I'd be happy with either I suppose. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/

FWIW, VLC cannot play them -- crashes saying format "wma3" is unsupported.

2005-05-08, 08:19
I have mplayer and AlienBBC installed. I can play the Hitchhikers surround streams via my SB2 by entering the URLs into the server interface, but it is evidently simply transcoded into stereo. Both surround streams play at lower level than the stereo version from "Listen Again" (which does not decode well in PLII Movie mode) via AlienBBC.

Incidentally, the .wma surround version appears to retain no surround information when played through the SB2. However the .ram version seems to decode surround in PLII mode significantly better than the regular "Listen Again" one - rather well, in fact.

--Richard E