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mgerbasio
2005-08-03, 08:10
Hi,
I've been using the squeezebox (I & II) without a problem, the server (v6.1) running on Linux and I use the Linux machine to run the server and store the music files. Absolutely one of the best toys I've ever bought.

After a lot of thought and delay between XM and an ipod I decided the ipod would be better for me. I know nothing about itunes and don't plan to buy music online, but I do want to use the podcasts. My entire music collection is in flac.

I've done a lot of reading on this forum but I'm still lost. What type of integration is possible between the slimserver software, itunes and flac encoded files? It looks like I need to transcode to mp3, I'm in the process of doing it now, and point itunes to the mp3 files and keep the slimserver pointed to the flac files. Basically I'd be looking at keeping two separate music folders, one mp3 and one flac without sharing anything between the two. Is that correct?

What about podcasts, how can I listen to those on my squeezebox? Is there anything that I'm missing about integrating slimserver and itunes? Would I have gained anything if I went with Apple Loosless over flac; doubt I would since I wanted a open codec.

Thanks.
Regards-Michael G.

m1abrams
2005-08-03, 08:16
Actually the latest versions of slimserver has a PodCast plugin, I have not used it much but it may work for you.

I personally like iPods, however hate iTunes. This may be an option for you,if you are using windows..
http://www.redchairsoftware.com/anapod/


Since you are using FLAC, then you probably do not want to integrate iTunes with Slimserver. I have never used iTunes integration so am not sure what it provides.

Also on Podcasts, I hate the name they gave them because it implies you need an iPod to use them (not true). Their are many apps out there for getting podcasts beyond iTunes, iTunes just integrates nicely with your iPod.

kdf
2005-08-03, 09:16
Quoting mgerbasio <mgerbasio.1t722z (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> What type
> of integration is possible between the slimserver software, itunes and
> flac encoded files? It looks like I need to transcode to mp3, I'm in

> What about podcasts, how can I listen to those on my squeezebox? Is


Itunes does not understand flac, Squeezebox 2 and slimserver does. Squeezebox
will transcode to wav for playback, but SB2 will play flac natively.
Slimserver also includes a podcast browser, which you can point to your
favourite broadcasts. iTunes integration allows you to load metadata about
your tracks into slimserver. Since you have entirely FLAC files, this part is
useless to you. As is the loading of playlists, which you will not be able to
create in iTunes, since it doesn't (and probably will never, thanks to their
'open' minds) understand flac. ITunes podcasts are presented as a special
playlist in slimserver, directly accessible via the web interface and through
'browse music' in the player interface.

-kdf

fuzzyT
2005-08-03, 09:24
mgerbasio wrote:
> After a lot of thought and delay between XM and an ipod I decided the
> ipod would be better for me. I know nothing about itunes and don't plan
> to buy music online, but I do want to use the podcasts. My entire music
> collection is in flac.
>
> I've done a lot of reading on this forum but I'm still lost. What type
> of integration is possible between the slimserver software, itunes and
> flac encoded files? It looks like I need to transcode to mp3, I'm in
> the process of doing it now, and point itunes to the mp3 files and keep
> the slimserver pointed to the flac files. Basically I'd be looking at
> keeping two separate music folders, one mp3 and one flac without
> sharing anything between the two. Is that correct?
>
> What about podcasts, how can I listen to those on my squeezebox? Is
> there anything that I'm missing about integrating slimserver and
> itunes? Would I have gained anything if I went with Apple Loosless over
> flac; doubt I would since I wanted a open codec.

OK. One thing at a time.

FLAC: As you note, FLAC won't play back directly on the iPod. You'll
need to transcode to something that will, most likely MP3. You can do
this in a bulk process ahead of time, or on-the-fly as you transfer
files to the iPod (using something like Anapod + plugin). On-the-fly
will require new software, and _much_ more time to load files. On the
other hand, it will save storage space.

iPod Software: You'll need software to manage the contents of your iPod.
Options here include iTunes, ephPod and Anapod, and perhaps others.

iTunes is free and highly featured. It does the iTunesMusicStore thing,
which you may or may not like (requires conversion to use iTMS content
w/SB). It does the podCasting thing, but there are other options for
this as well. It's kind of bulky and wants to do everything for you,
most of it not directly iPod related: console music player, ripper,
encoder, library management, etc. There is an iTunes-to-Slimserver
integration, but if you are splitting your library for MP3 and FLAC I
don't think you'll want to use it. You would have to load up both FLAC
and MP3 in iTunes and then deal with the mixed format library in both
interfaces.

EphPod: Free. Basic iPod management. Does the two-way copy thing.
Does everything I need.

Anapod: Windows integrated interfaces. On-the-fly transcoding support.
$25. Probably worth it if you like these features.

Podcasts: Plenty of third party software, some quite good that allows
you to browse and pick podcasts, schedule and manage downloads, and
mangage the resulting nest of files.

For SS/SB integration, just put the podcast files themselves in the
music path that SB sees. You'll pick them up on scanning. Library
entries are as good as the tags on the files.

For iPod integration, upload/sync to iPod as usual. The only real rough
spot is tagging. Metadata for podcasts is generally in the XML of the
feed, with audio file tagging optional and spotty. You may need to
insert a manual step here to tag the downloads. I use iPodder, and it
seems to work OK for most feeds. It may be tagging on the fly for me
from the XML metadata, probably not, haven't checked. Some feeds are
showing up in my New Music lists, with correct metadata. Not sure what
iTunes does. Hopefully a standard tagging scheme will emerge.

It might be cool if SS recognized a podcast directory distinctly from
the music directory. This would allow a few good usability points.
Scanning could occur more often for just this directory as it should be
smaller and new stuff is expected more often. Scans could add a little
metadata flag to the SS database indicating that these are podcasts.
Which would in turn make it possible for the SB and web UI to allow for
independent browsing of just these files.

If you don't mind the roughness in the Podcasting area, my
recommendation for you would be to maintain a library with a format
split, point SS to the FLAC and your iPod s/w to the MP3. Use some
other podcasting software to manage those feeds and pull in content to
the SS and iPod.

If you like iTunes and it works smoothly for your podcasting needs then
you might want to use that for the iPod side of the house and just don't
turn on the SS/iTunes integration.

--rt

radish
2005-08-03, 09:43
Of course you could always go for a portable player which isn't as restricted as the ipod and plays open formats like FLAC out of the box.

Jacob Potter
2005-08-03, 09:53
On 8/3/05, radish <radish.1t768z (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> Of course you could always go for a portable player which isn't as
> restricted as the ipod and plays open formats like FLAC out of the box.

To be fair, almost none of the current players do play FLAC. The iPod
isn't exactly "restricted".


- Jacob

fuzzyT
2005-08-03, 09:57
radish wrote:
> Of course you could always go for a portable player which isn't as
> restricted as the ipod and plays open formats like FLAC out of the box.

yep. and for my next h/w rev i'll be looking at exactly that.

of course other features (in-car integration, photo pod, etc.) might
prove to be worth dealing with this issue.

and then there's the fact that FLAC might not be a great portable
format. files are large. and probably larger than they need to be
given how portables are used: sub-audiophile earphones, noisy
environments, etc. and large files affect battery life as they involve
more disk spinning. so that's a trade-off.

we'll see.

--rt

mgerbasio
2005-08-04, 18:20
Thanks for all the help, clears it up for me.

Regards-Michael G.

radish
2005-08-04, 19:58
To be fair, almost none of the current players do play FLAC. The iPod
isn't exactly "restricted".

- Jacob

You'd be surprised (Rio, iRiver, iAudio, others), and yes it is, in that order :)