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greedy_grendel
2005-09-19, 22:48
Hi,

I have just installed the 9/19 Nightly/Firmware 22, but I seem to be having a problem with streaming WMA files directly to the SB2 for decoding, rather than relying on server-side transcoding.

A debugging of the source for the SB2 shows that it is still being fed flac files by the server. Is there a setting I have missed, or is the inbuilt WMA file decoding broken in this build?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Marc

dean
2005-09-19, 23:27
On Sep 19, 2005, at 10:48 PM, greedy_grendel wrote:
> I have just installed the 9/19 Nightly/Firmware 22, but I seem to be
> having a problem with streaming WMA files directly to the SB2 for
> decoding, rather than relying on server-side transcoding.
>
> A debugging of the source for the SB2 shows that it is still being fed
> flac files by the server. Is there a setting I have missed, or is the
> inbuilt WMA file decoding broken in this build?
Are you streaming WMA Lossless files, by any chance? The SB2's WMA
decoder doesn't include lossless support, and in that case it
converts them to flac before streaming.

-dean

greedy_grendel
2005-09-20, 02:27
On Sep 19, 2005, at 10:48 PM, greedy_grendel wrote:
> I have just installed the 9/19 Nightly/Firmware 22, but I seem to be
> having a problem with streaming WMA files directly to the SB2 for
> decoding, rather than relying on server-side transcoding.
>
> A debugging of the source for the SB2 shows that it is still being fed
> flac files by the server. Is there a setting I have missed, or is the
> inbuilt WMA file decoding broken in this build?
Are you streaming WMA Lossless files, by any chance? The SB2's WMA
decoder doesn't include lossless support, and in that case it
converts them to flac before streaming.

-dean

Okay, yeah I'm streaming WMA Lossless. It's a shame there's no support, I was really looking forward to seeing what differences there may have been.

Cheers,
Marc

oreillymj
2005-09-20, 03:56
Here's a useful site which provides a list of links to UK/Irish Radio stations.

http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/

Plenty of scope for testing.

dean
2005-09-20, 07:53
On Sep 20, 2005, at 2:27 AM, greedy_grendel wrote:
> Okay, yeah I'm streaming WMA Lossless. It's a shame there's no
> support,
> I was really looking forward to seeing what differences there may have
> been.
There would only be two differences:

1. You'd use a little less CPU power to play back, since you'd be
dropping the WMA decode and FLAC encode.
2. Fast forward and reverse scanning would work.

Overall network usage would be about the same.

Unfortunately, our WMA license doesn't include Lossless, it's a lot
more money per player shipped and the benefit is modest.

-dean

vidurapparao
2005-09-20, 08:02
dean blackketter wrote:

>
> ...
> 2. Fast forward and reverse scanning would work.

Actually, ffwd/rev scanning hasn't yet been implemented for standard WMA
either. So that isn't yet a difference. :-) But, I agree - for an
existing Windows user, especially one using WMA Lossless, there
shouldn't be a substantial change. Client side decoding of WMA does,
however, allow us to:

1) Support WMA on non-Windows platforms
2) Include WMA radio stations on the SqueezeNetwork
3) Open the door to future DRM support.

--Vidur

abdomen
2005-09-20, 12:34
I am a couple of months into SB2 ownership, and am an extremely happy customer. However, I want to explain why I think Slim Devices might be underestimating the value of supporting native WMA lossless.

Because I wanted my ripped music to be lossless and be FF/RW-able by the SB2, I chose FLAC, and identified and configured EAC and Mp3tag. Having established this very good configuration, I will stick with it even if native WMA lossless support is added to SB2 some day.

However, before buying the SB2 and during the week or two afterward, I wished for native support of either WMA lossless or Apple lossless. That is because these formats would have met my goals of losslessness and FF/RW-ability, and allowed me to use ITunes or Windows Media Player. Why would I have wanted to do such a thing? Well, EAC and Mp3Tag are very high quality pieces of software, and much more flexible and transparent than ITunes and WMP. And the openness of the FLAC specification is a real advantage. However, researching and configuring EAC and Mp3tag felt like an uncalled-for chore. Additionally, they will never be as easy for my wife to use as WMP or ITunes, which are all-in-one and, IMO, provide a "just works" type of user experience.

My initial experience with SB2 would have been even more pleasant if I could have simply put it on the network and ripped/tagged/organized my music by telling WMP or ITunes "go".

I realize many people may be less concerned about having FF/RW, more concerned with tagging flexibility, or more averse to ITunes, WMP, or the proprietary lossless formats. This is just my own take, for whatever it's worth.

kdf
2005-09-20, 12:57
Quoting abdomen <abdomen.1voa4c (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> I am a couple of months into SB2 ownership, and am an extremely happy
> customer. However, I want to explain why I think Slim Devices might be
> underestimating the value of supporting native WMA lossless.

I think you may be tending toward the assumption that 'not supported yet'
relates to 'underestimating the value'. WMA is a proprietary format; one
cannot just implement it without all legalities in place. With MP3, that
licensing was part of the purchase of the mp3 decoding hardware (back when it
was strictly a hardware codex for squeezebox/slimp3). FLAC is open source, so
you can go ahead right away.

Equally possible is that Slim Devices is, in fact, calling the MSFT offices
daily trying to finalise the details. MSFT's particular stance on open source
projects is fairly well reported. I'd suggest that it would be very difficult
to speculate on the status.

-kdf

abdomen
2005-09-20, 14:37
Equally possible is that Slim Devices is, in fact, calling the MSFT offices
daily trying to finalise the details. MSFT's particular stance on open source
projects is fairly well reported. I'd suggest that it would be very difficult
to speculate on the status.
-kdf

My perception that the value _might_ be underestimated was based this comment from Dean earlier in the thread: "Unfortunately, our WMA license doesn't include Lossless, it's a lot more money per player shipped and the benefit is modest."

kdf
2005-09-20, 14:52
Quoting abdomen <abdomen.1vofwn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> My perception that the value _might_ be underestimated was based this
> comment from Dean earlier in the thread: "Unfortunately, our WMA
> license doesn't include Lossless, it's a lot more money per player
> shipped and the benefit is modest."

righty-ho. well, hard to put dallar value into it without knowing all of the
costs, I guess :)

still, as long as the software roadmap says "whatever it takes", then the future
is always open to change.

-k

oreillymj
2005-09-20, 15:41
Personally I can't figure out why people are queuing up to encode their audio in a closed propriatry format like WMA.

The only reason I'm interested in it is for streaming Internet radio.

If you really want WMA, you can always download the Windows media encoder from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/encoder/default.aspx and convert WAV files to WMA VBR at a very high quality setting like 440kbs/44khz/24bit.

Okay it's not lossless but it should be very high quality.

greedy_grendel
2005-09-20, 15:48
I must admit that the major issue for me with the implementation of native SB2 WMA Lossless decode isn't the overall server performance benefits it offers (I have a fairly powerful dedicated P4 for the job anyway) but the possibility of ff/rw and DRM support in the future.

Cheers,
Marc