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cepheid
2006-05-15, 15:24
Hi all,

I tried searching the forums but came up empty so I thought I'd ask... is there any way for SlimServer to stream AAC rather than mp3? I'm specifically talking about streaming to internet clients, i.e. pointing xmms, iTunes, or some other player to http://<SlimServer URL>:9000/stream.mp3 ... that URL is clearly only for mp3. Is there a similar URL for streaming AAC (stream.m4a perhaps)? I couldn't find mention of this in the docs either, so I'm thinking that this is not supported.

If this functionality does not exist, would it be possible to include it? If my library is encoded as AAC then I would not want to transcode it to MP3 prior to streaming... since iTunes can handle streaming AAC just fine, I'd like to be able to point it to my SlimServer and listen to my AAC files "as is."

I understand that SlimServer would not be able to transcode non-AAC files into AAC, as it currently does for MP3 (since it can convert all other formats into MP3)... basically what I'm looking for is simply a way to bypass the MP3 transcoding and just stream the AAC files directly.

Any thoughts?

cepheid
2006-05-22, 13:27
Just bumping this in case anyone has any ideas...

DrNic
2006-05-22, 13:50
Hi all,

I tried searching the forums but came up empty so I thought I'd ask... is there any way for SlimServer to stream AAC rather than mp3? I'm specifically talking about streaming to internet clients, i.e. pointing xmms, iTunes, or some other player to http://<SlimServer URL>:9000/stream.mp3 ... that URL is clearly only for mp3. Is there a similar URL for streaming AAC (stream.m4a perhaps)? I couldn't find mention of this in the docs either, so I'm thinking that this is not supported.

If this functionality does not exist, would it be possible to include it? If my library is encoded as AAC then I would not want to transcode it to MP3 prior to streaming... since iTunes can handle streaming AAC just fine, I'd like to be able to point it to my SlimServer and listen to my AAC files "as is."

I understand that SlimServer would not be able to transcode non-AAC files into AAC, as it currently does for MP3 (since it can convert all other formats into MP3)... basically what I'm looking for is simply a way to bypass the MP3 transcoding and just stream the AAC files directly.

Any thoughts?

AFAIK, slimserver can't do this.
It can stream in MP3, WAV (PCM), FLAC and (I think) WMA but other formats have to be transcoded on the server.
It sounds like you are only using the software, and don't have a hardware squeezebox, otherwise you wouldn't be so fussed about using iTunes to "listen" to your stream. Another thought though, can't iTunes share its music library across the network? I know this would negate the need for Slimserver, but I can't see why you would be so tied to iTunes. If using a real Squeezebox the AAC files can be made to stream uncompressed (WAV) or into FLAC so you don't take the double hit of transcoding to another lossy format.
I hope this helps..?

Nic

radish
2006-05-22, 14:18
There's currently no way of streaming AAC from Slimserver. You can stream to a slimproto client as MP3, FLAC, WMA or PCM (WAV) and to a non-slimproto (e.g. iTunes, Winamp) client as MP3 only.

mherger
2006-05-22, 23:08
> Just bumping this in case anyone has any ideas...

Please remember that there are quite a few of us following these
discussions by mailing list. If instead of only bumping a thread you would
actually add some information to the message, we would know what it's all
about.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

cepheid
2006-05-23, 12:26
It sounds like you are only using the software, and don't have a hardware squeezebox, otherwise you wouldn't be so fussed about using iTunes to "listen" to your stream.
No, I do have a hardware Squeezebox. The reason I'd like to use iTunes is so I can listen to my music when I'm at school. I don't have an iPod and I can't fit my entire collection on my laptop drive, so it'd be nice if I could listen to my collection (which is on a 250GB drive at home) even when I'm not at home.

I guess I should have made that idea more explicit in my original post.

I keep a shadow library in AAC format so my wife can update her iPod, hence why I asked whether SlimServer could simply stream those AAC files rather than transcoding them to MP3.


Another thought though, can't iTunes share its music library across the network?
Yes, but only on a local network because iTunes Sharing uses Bonjour (nee Rendezvous). If I'm not at home then this wouldn't work, unless someone knows of a way to do iTunes sharing across the internet. There is software out there that allows two widely-separated LANs to behave as part of the same LAN, but it is not a transparent solution.


If using a real Squeezebox the AAC files can be made to stream uncompressed (WAV) or into FLAC so you don't take the double hit of transcoding to another lossy format.
Of course. My main library is in Apple Lossless so it's transcoded to FLAC for use with the hardware Squeezebox. But when I'm away from home and want to stream to my laptop, I was hoping to stream my shadow AAC library rather than transcoding the ALAC to mp3.

cepheid
2006-05-23, 12:29
There's currently no way of streaming AAC from Slimserver. You can stream to a slimproto client as MP3, FLAC, WMA or PCM (WAV) and to a non-slimproto (e.g. iTunes, Winamp) client as MP3 only.
That's what I figured and hoped was not true. It's too bad that there's no easy way for SS to stream the "original" format to a non-slimproto (e.g. iTunes) client without transcoding to mp3. Is there any reason why this is difficult to do, or is it simply that nobody's yet coded up that functionality? The way I envision it, there would be a checkbox that basically enables or disables mp3 transcoding for non-slimproto clients; if transcoding is disabled then the original format (e.g. AAC) is streamed as-is.

cepheid
2006-05-23, 12:30
If instead of only bumping a thread you would
actually add some information to the message, we would know what it's all about.
Sorry Michael, I should have though I didn't actually have any information to add. I'm not used to accessing forums via mailing list so it wasn't in my head... I'll be more considerate next time. Thanks for the heads-up.

radish
2006-05-23, 12:46
Is there any reason why this is difficult to do, or is it simply that nobody's yet coded up that functionality? The way I envision it, there would be a checkbox that basically enables or disables mp3 transcoding for non-slimproto clients; if transcoding is disabled then the original format (e.g. AAC) is streamed as-is.

I don't there's any particular reason this couldn't be done, it's probably just that no one thought to do it (or has had the time to do it). I can think of only two issues: (1) the mechanics of streaming vary from format to format and player to player - basic mp3 streaming is about the most universal mechanism which I'm sure is why it was chosen and (2) if your playlist contained multiple file formats you'd have to keep switching streams between tracks which would be basically unusable.

Because of (2) I think an implementation of this would really have to have you select a single stream format (AAC, WMA, MP3, whatever) and use that for all tracks, skipping the transcoding where source format == stream format.

EDIT: and of course if you'd like to see something like this raise a feature request at bugs.slimdevices.com.