View Full Version : If you re-rip a track, remember to tell SlimServer!

Brian Ritchie
2006-01-23, 17:45
I did it all the wrong way round.

I bought a Zen Touch, and (eventually) settled on ripping in WMA at 96kbps, which felt like a reasonable size/quality tradeoff to me. All the same, I soon filled up those 20GB!

Then I bought an SB3. (Well, actually, I bought a DSM-320 first, but that's another sad story :-).) In my haste to get things going, I simply put the Zen's contents into the music folder (well, OK, they were there already, as backup).

Now some (but surprisingly not all) of those 96kbps rips sounded pretty poor through the hifi. So of late, I've started re-ripping them. I'm still too mean to want to rip losslessly (yes, I might regret this later, I know!) and chose to re-rip still as WMA, but now at 160kbps.

I completed a batch of Strangelove re-rips last night (for some reason, the original wma-96 rips sounded particularly bad even on the Zen). Then I settled down to listen to some of them. Imagine my shock when the first track played OK for a few minutes, then suddenly the SB3 skipped to the next track! I re-played the track; it skipped at exactly the same point.

I played another track; same thing happened.

Damn, I thought: something's wrong with my new ripping process. I'll have to do them all again.

I tried another (new) album that I'd ripped using the same process. Sounded fine. Eh?

It was only after quite some time that I realised that the "new" bit above might be significant, and wondered whether I ought to do a re-scan after replacing wma-96 files with wma-160 versions... and sure enough, that fixed it. Before the rescan, I could see that in the file info for each track, SS still believed them to be 96kbps. I've yet to check whether the SB3 was always skipping to the next track 96/160ths of the way through, but maybe it's not that simple.

So the moral is: be kind to your SlimServer! If you change things under its feet without telling it, don't be surprised if it trips up now and again!

Meanwhile, new stuff was getting ripped, still in WMA but now at 160kbps, and was transcoded (by Notmad) to 96kbps on transfer to the Zen. Bzzt! I soon discovered that transcoding was too lossy. (Sometimes I didn't realise this until I was stuck in the middle of nowhere (usually Oxford :-)) with an awful-sounding version of a track I loved. Argh.) So I've now hit on the idea of ripping to flac, adjusting the tags to my satisfaction, then converting to wma-96 (for the Zen) and wma-160 (for the SB3). Then I throw the flac away. Doh! Maybe it would be better to not bother with wma-160 and just leave the flacs around until (== if!) space starts to become a problem... Then again, changing formats means changing lots of playlists...

-- Brian