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View Full Version : A couple of questions from a prospective buyer



Nostromo
2006-07-06, 23:10
I'm thinking of buying one of these babies. At first glance, its exactly what I want. But I want to make sure of a couple of things before I buy it.

- I presently use iTunes and love Smart playlists. I presently have about 30 GB worth of music in AAC, @ 224kbps. But everyone here seems to recommend FLAC instead. No biggie. But I'd like to know if there's something like smart playlists in Slimserver. As I understand it, some plugins allow it. If so, I'd like to know what kind of "smart playlists" you can set up in Slim server.

Patrick Dixon
2006-07-07, 03:06
I think there are a couple of posts in this thread that will give you the answers you're looking for.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=25248

You can still use iTunes/AAC if you want, but there alternatives you might like to consider.

Nostromo
2006-07-07, 07:22
Thanks!


You can still use iTunes/AAC if you want, but there alternatives you might like to consider.

But its not recommended, right? For example, you can't fast forward. Not to mention that FLAC will probably sound better than what I have now.

mikerob
2006-07-07, 08:11
Thanks!



But its not recommended, right? For example, you can't fast forward. Not to mention that FLAC will probably sound better than what I have now.

.. theoretically yes, but whether you can hear the difference will depend on your hifi system, your ears and the type of music. You can always rip a few tracks to FLAC and do a back-to-back listening comparison with the AAC tracks (ideally "blind" - without knowing what track is what) to see if you can spot the difference.

You might want to think about just getting the Squeezebox working with your current setup, get used to how things work and how you use Slimserver and at the same time do some investigation into the various tools available for ripping and organising FLAC files. If you conclude that you really prefer using iTunes, then Apple Lossless could be an alternative to FLAC.

ajmitchell
2006-07-07, 09:07
I agree with mikerob, AAC lossless is a simple way to go for you to preserve itunes playlists and use slimserver/SBs. But one question, why did you rip to AAC 224kbs if you wanted lossless?? Or have you only decided that now? BTw, I have done the same myself so this is not a criticism I am just curious.

alex

Nostromo
2006-07-07, 10:49
.. theoretically yes, but whether you can hear the difference will depend on your hifi system, your ears and the type of music. You can always rip a few tracks to FLAC and do a back-to-back listening comparison with the AAC tracks (ideally "blind" - without knowing what track is what) to see if you can spot the difference.

You might want to think about just getting the Squeezebox working with your current setup, get used to how things work and how you use Slimserver and at the same time do some investigation into the various tools available for ripping and organising FLAC files. If you conclude that you really prefer using iTunes, then Apple Lossless could be an alternative to FLAC.

Good advice. I'll do just that if I buy the Squeezebox. But first, I want to make sure that Slimserver supports smart playlists, or something like smart playlists. Based on the iTunes thread, it seems it does. Thanks!

Btw, I did some blind tests a while back, using Foobar with a blind test tool. I couldn't tell apart a AAC track @ 224kbps and the same track in AAC lossless. However, I did the test on my PC (cheap integrated soundcard)and an OK pair of headphones (Sennheiser PX-100). The setup was probably too crappy to tell them apart.

Nostromo
2006-07-07, 11:11
I agree with mikerob, AAC lossless is a simple way to go for you to preserve itunes playlists and use slimserver/SBs.

But Squeezebox/Slimserver doesn't fully support iTunes. So it has to convert AAC tracks in FLAC on the fly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this conversion process may cause: some lag, a loss in sound quality (well, maybe not AAC lossless). Not to mention loss of functionality (can't fast-forward).


But one question, why did you rip to AAC 224kbs if you wanted lossless?? Or have you only decided that now? BTw, I have done the same myself so this is not a criticism I am just curious.

alex

The tracks I ripped to AAC 224kbps are for my iPod. But now that I want to play the tracks on my PC on my soundsystem, I figured that I'd need something better.

kdf
2006-07-07, 11:18
Quoting Nostromo <Nostromo.2al7r01152296102 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> But Squeezebox/Slimserver doesn't fully support iTunes. So it has to
> convert AAC tracks in FLAC on the fly.

AAC is a container format, iTunes is an application. They may be tied
together, but they are not the same thing.

-k

ajmitchell
2006-07-07, 13:14
But Squeezebox/Slimserver doesn't fully support iTunes. So it has to convert AAC tracks in FLAC on the fly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this conversion process may cause: some lag, a loss in sound quality (well, maybe not AAC lossless). Not to mention loss of functionality (can't fast-forward).

I use apple lossless as source files and the only problem I get is I cannot stream the apple files from a NAS but if they reside on my HD all is well. You may be right aout fast forward but this simply isnt an issue for me - I either play or skip.

radish
2006-07-07, 13:37
But Squeezebox/Slimserver doesn't fully support iTunes. So it has to convert AAC tracks in FLAC on the fly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this conversion process may cause: some lag, a loss in sound quality (well, maybe not AAC lossless). Not to mention loss of functionality (can't fast-forward).

iTunes != AAC. Slimserver does fully support iTunes & AAC, but Squeezebox does not support AAC. Thus, as you correctly state, AAC is transcoded to something else before being sent to the Squeezebox. The value of "something else" is configurable (PCM/WAV, MP3, FLAC). To answer your points:

Lag - Not noticable (in the order of ms maybe)
SQ Loss - Not unless you transcode to something lossy like mp3. Transcode to PCM or FLAC and SQ will be preserved.
No FF/REW - True.