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View Full Version : Slimserver/Softsqueeze and FLAC files



pc4ever1
2006-05-02, 13:57
I'm trying to configure FLAC files to run on Slimserver. I'm using slimserver on my WinXP pc at home and then access it via softsqueeze and openssh at work.

The mp3 files run without any problems ( I had to change the Softsqueeze player at my work to a bitrate of 96Kbps to ensure a continous music stream ). However my library also contains FLAC files. When I play these they become interrupted/choppy. I don't believe there are settings to change the bitrate for the FLAC files so I did some checking in the Server / File Formats section to see if FLAC was enabled. It was for my SB3 but while at work I want to stream my FLAC files from the Softsqueeze player.

To enable this I believe I had to select FLAC / MP3.
When I did the above I get the following error in SlimServer.
"Required binary was not found: [flac] -dcs --skip=$START$ --until=$END$ -- $FILE$ | [lame] --resample 44100 --silent -q $QUALITY$ --abr $BITRATE$ - -"

So after getting this error I thought that my server didn't have the correct files to run the FLAC files from the server. I downloaded the latest LAME files and placed then in the Slim Server directory. But this error still happens.

Is there a posted file/FAQ somewhere as to how to configure the FLAC LAME files on a Softsqueeze player being driven from my Slim Server?

TIA

Mark Lanctot
2006-05-02, 14:40
Actually you can do this by going to Player Settings - Audio - Bitrate Limiting.

There are complete instructions where to install LAME in the Help - Frequently Asked Questions section of SlimServer:


Windows Users:

* Download LAME 3.96 from one of these mirror sites
* Extract two files LAME.EXE and LAME_ENC.DLL and copy them to C:\Program Files\SlimServer\server\bin\

The mirror site is here: http://mitiok.cjb.net/

tfish77
2006-05-16, 10:43
Mark,

Thanks for the info about Bitrate limiting. Fixed my "playing my FLAC at work" problem perfectly! :)

Mark Lanctot
2006-05-16, 10:47
Good to hear! You must have been limited by upload speed.

Note you can play around with the LAME Quality Level setting (right above Bitrate Limiting) at the expense of processor usage on the server.

tfish77
2006-05-16, 10:57
I don't quite understand the difference between LAME quality and bitrate - which one affects audio quality more? I'm trying to find the "sweet spot" between the 2 that allows for skip-free tunes that still sound good.

Thanks again for the advice.

Mark Lanctot
2006-05-16, 11:31
I don't quite understand the difference between LAME quality and bitrate - which one affects audio quality more? I'm trying to find the "sweet spot" between the 2 that allows for skip-free tunes that still sound good.

Thanks again for the advice.

Neither do I! I'm not sure why they're separate and I don't use this on a continual basis so I'm not sure. I can tell you that the quality setting does indeed hit the processor - my P4 2.8 GHz can't manage more than about 5 on the quality setting without the audio playback stuttering.

In the encoder command-line argument, the "quality" setting isn't even used for CBR, it's used for VBR:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=28124

For CBR you'd use "-b 320" to encode at 320 kbps. For VBR it's "-V X --vbr-new" where X is the quality setting from 0 to 9 - interestingly, matching SlimServer's quality setting range. The VBR quality setting determines the average bitrate for a VBR file.

I was certain that SlimServer used CBR encoding but the LAME Quality Level setting seems to indicate it may use VBR? Surely not, 9 would be awful at 45-85 kbps. Hopefully someone clarifies this.

Steve Bernard, Jr
2006-05-16, 12:04
On 5/16/06, Mark Lanctot
<Mark.Lanctot.27wy0b1147804501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

> I was certain that SlimServer used CBR encoding but the LAME Quality
> Level setting seems to indicate it may use VBR? Surely not, 9 would be
> awful at 45-85 kbps. Hopefully someone clarifies this.
>

My understanding is that Slimserver uses ABR (Average Bitrate)
encoding, which is a form of encoding that allows for variable
bitrates but with a targeted average bitrate.

-Steve

kdf
2006-05-16, 12:07
Quoting Mark Lanctot
> Hopefully someone clarifies this.
>
slimserver uses ABR (see convert.conf). The quality settings defaults
to 9 in order to have the least effect on CPU usage
-kdf

Mark Lanctot
2006-05-16, 12:22
Ah - interesting!

I can see why this is done. It makes for a smaller stream size than CBR because the bitrate can vary, yet a predictable average bitrate which VBR can't provide.

I just assumed it was CBR because that's what foobar reports on playback.