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View Full Version : Is there a better way to play flac files than Softsqueeze?



Kyle
2007-02-23, 08:03
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

peter
2007-02-23, 08:22
Kyle wrote:
> I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the
> office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my
> laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey?
> Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?
>

VLC player does it on my system.

Regards,
Peter

azinck3
2007-02-23, 08:23
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

foobar2000

jeffmeh
2007-02-23, 08:27
Winamp will play them also.

autopilot
2007-02-23, 10:59
Foobar2000 is the best for FLAC IMO. Nice simple UI and low system footprint too.

JJZolx
2007-02-23, 11:07
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

Winamp works well. I beleive the latest version even comes with the Flac decoder already installed.

bonze
2007-02-23, 13:37
even Windows Media Player will play flac with the correct 'adjustment'

Kyle
2007-02-23, 14:51
even Windows Media Player will play flac with the correct 'adjustment'
What's that?

ceejay
2007-02-23, 15:47
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

foobar2000, of course, but out of the box its very unfriendly, I find - ok its very customisable but hard work. I do use it for a quick test of a FLAC file, though, if I suspect a bad rip.

For actually playing I suggest you try MusicIP (formerly MusicMagicMixer). It now natively plays FLAC and looks nice, though it may not pass your low-footprint test.

Ceejay

jeffmeh
2007-02-23, 15:50
I agree that Foobar is pretty unfriendly, although I did work through it to get it working. Winamp, on the other hand, is pretty easy to deal with. I have the free version.

Kyle
2007-02-23, 16:20
I tried MusicIP today, which I already have. It worked fine for playing, although I had trouble figuring out how to add songs to the playlist. If I double-clicked an album, it replaced the current one playing, rather than adding. It also is pretty memory-intensive. Winamp looks nicer than foobar. Does it use album art? Also, is it more of a memory hog than foobar?

bonze
2007-02-23, 16:50
What's that?
couple of add-ins to persuade WMP to play flac
see this page: http://www.losslessaudioblog.com/?p=40

bergek
2007-02-23, 17:04
What's that?

One example would be http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/

mkozlows
2007-02-23, 19:12
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

Windows Media Player can do it, but (in my experience, a few months ago), it'll be unreliable and terrible with metadata.

Foobar can do it, and extremely well, but you'll spend a LOT of time just trying to beat it into being a halfway workable player. You need to -- and I'm not kidding -- download extensions that completely replace the UI, and THEN start tweaking the configuration like mad. The results are solid, but the process of getting there is hell. (There must be a large market for a sensible default install of Foobar; someone get on that!)

WinAmp can do it, but does it look like 1995? No, it does not.

Kyle
2007-02-23, 19:30
Windows Media Player can do it, but (in my experience, a few months ago), it'll be unreliable and terrible with metadata.

Foobar can do it, and extremely well, but you'll spend a LOT of time just trying to beat it into being a halfway workable player. You need to -- and I'm not kidding -- download extensions that completely replace the UI, and THEN start tweaking the configuration like mad. The results are solid, but the process of getting there is hell. (There must be a large market for a sensible default install of Foobar; someone get on that!)

WinAmp can do it, but does it look like 1995? No, it does not.

Is there a recommendation in there?

Listener
2007-02-24, 16:55
Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

Almost any Windows based music player application would be simpler and offer a better UI than SlimServer/Softsqueeze. There are a lot of players that support the Flac format.

I use J. River Media Center 12 which costs $ 40. Integrated secure ripping, great tagging facilities, great support for classical music tagging.

A free player that does not need a lot of configuration: MusikCube at

http://www.musikcube.com/page/main

There is a plugin for Flac. I t has a small footprint and is quite responsive.

Bill

mkozlows
2007-02-24, 19:37
Is there a recommendation in there?

If you enjoy tweaking and fiddling, use Foobar. If you don't, use WMA Lossless or Apple Lossless (depending on whether you use an iPod/OS X or not).

Kyle
2007-02-24, 20:27
If you enjoy tweaking and fiddling, use Foobar. If you don't, use WMA Lossless or Apple Lossless (depending on whether you use an iPod/OS X or not).

My files are already all flac. I'm looking for a player compatible with that.

mkozlows
2007-02-25, 06:50
My files are already all flac. I'm looking for a player compatible with that.

If you enjoy tweaking and fiddling, use Foobar. If you don't, I don't think there's a good option on Windows.

Kyle
2007-02-25, 07:30
Think I'll give MusicCube a try. It has a flac plugin (also toast, which I like from Moose). We'll see how it goes.

Mark Lanctot
2007-02-25, 09:48
If you enjoy tweaking and fiddling, use Foobar.

I have to disagree - foobar works fine right after install.

It's plain though - if you want to make it pretty, that's when you have to do the fiddling.

Doesn't bother me much. After the bloated monstrosities that WMP and Winamp have become, foobar is a minimalist pleasure. Fast and light on resources.

bonze
2007-02-25, 11:08
I don't actually play music on my desktop that much and, as WMP was already installed, couldn't see the point in installing a second application just to play back music (besides SoftSqueeze).
Therefore the WMP extensions seemed to make sense to me :)

autopilot
2007-02-26, 08:07
Doesn't bother me much. After the bloated monstrosities that WMP and Winamp have become, foobar is a minimalist pleasure. Fast and light on resources.

I could not have put it better myself.

Yet under that minimalist exterior are some very powerful tag management tools etc.

dcolak
2007-02-26, 09:39
I've been using Softsqueeze and Slimserver to play my flac files in the office, but it seems like a pretty memory-intensive way to go for my laptop. Would I be better off with a simple player, like Media Monkey? Any other suggestions for a player that can handle flac?

Try PartyDJ, it plays FLAC "out of the box."

http://partydj.colaksoft.com

You can also play music through your Squeezebox/Transporter, using PartyDJ as a front-end.

Regards,
Damir

ModelCitizen
2007-03-08, 14:38
Foobar 2000, but only a programmer could love the interface. Otherwise Winamp.... but it's now joined the iTunes, MusicMatch, Windows Media Player stable of bloated, resource hungry and flaky applications.
MC

kewe65
2007-06-25, 18:11
Almost any Windows based music player application would be simpler and offer a better UI than SlimServer/Softsqueeze. There are a lot of players that support the Flac format.

I use J. River Media Center 12 which costs $ 40. Integrated secure ripping, great tagging facilities, great support for classical music tagging.

A free player that does not need a lot of configuration: MusikCube at

http://www.musikcube.com/page/main

There is a plugin for Flac. I t has a small footprint and is quite responsive.

Bill

Hi,

So, you are using MC 12 with the Squeezebox? If yes, does that mean if I'm using a pocketPC or a small tablet PC with MC12 client server, that I can control and play *any* audio file that is in the MC12 library, via my handheld device, to the stereo that the Squeezebox is connected?

thats terrific if true...

thanks

kewe65
2007-06-25, 18:42
Hi,

So, you are using MC 12 with the Squeezebox? If yes, does that mean if I'm using a pocketPC or a small tablet PC with MC12 client server, that I can control and play *any* audio file that is in the MC12 library, via my handheld device, to the stereo that the Squeezebox is connected?

thats terrific if true...

thanks

nevermind, looks like there's support for the above now - had to use google to do a search to find MC2Slim, which then led me back here..

Listener
2007-06-25, 19:26
> So, you are using MC 12 with the Squeezebox?

Off and ON. Right now, MC 12 is a single room solution for me. The rich, configurable GUI and support for the tags I need for classical music are essential to me.

I think that the Squeezebox is the best architecture for getting Audio from a PC. Very smart, Sean.

I'd like to use Squeezeboxes in rooms two and three. However, SS just doesn't have the GUI and tag features I need. The MC to Slim plugin and Erland's Custom Scan and Browse plugins are steps in the right direction. Just not there yet. A few weeks ago, I again tried some of the fancy skins and found them to be quite buggy in Firefox. Not there yet either. Moose and the Flash interface didn't provide the features I need for classical music either.

Maybe SS V.7 will provide a first rate GUI and the classical music tag features that Ceejay proposed. It's been almost 18 months and no action yet that I am aware of.

> If yes, does that mean if I'm using a pocketPC or a small
> tablet PC with MC12 client server, that I can control and
> play *any* audio file that is in the MC12 library, via my
> handheld device, to the stereo that the Squeezebox is
> connected?

A complicated question. MC has two server features: Library Server gives another copy of MC 12 running on a different PC read-only access to the database on the server PC. When you play a file in the server's database from a client PC, it plays on the client PC. If you had MC2Slim installed on the client PC and it had a connection to a SlimServer and Squeezeboxes, you could IN THEORY play the file through Slimserver. Try MC2Slim and see if you think it is ready for your use.

The other server feature in MC 12 is Remote Server. MC provides a web page interface to any web browser. The last time I used it, the interface was crude and had little functionality. However, the little functionality it had fit my needs far better than SS did. MC put up a series of lists corresponding to the browser panes of the currently selected view scheme. So I could define the a set of browse panes in MC with whatever tags I wanted and have them appear in the browser interface as a series of browse steps. Brilliant!

I don't know whether you can run MC on a Pocket PC but you certainly can on a laptop or tablet PC running Win XP. And you can run a browser on lots of small devices.

I use VPC s/w to control my music PC from three other PCs. That works. I can even have more than one VPC client controlling the music PC at the same time.

Bill

kewe65
2007-06-26, 11:04
> So, you are using MC 12 with the Squeezebox?

> Off and ON. Right now, MC 12 is a single room solution for me. > The rich, configurable GUI and support for the tags I need for > classical music are essential to me.

Me too, which is why Im trying to find the best hardware set-up for my configuration: three rooms, plus the room with the PC/media server.

>I think that the Squeezebox is the best architecture for getting >Audio from a PC. Very smart, Sean.

For audio only, that seems clear, but has to work seamlessly within my overall environment.

>I'd like to use Squeezeboxes in rooms two and three. However, SS >just doesn't have the GUI and tag features I need.

thats what doesnt make sense to me. my assumption is that the MC2Slim allows me to use the MC12 GUI, controlled on my pocketpc with NetRemote, to stream audio through the slimserver to the squeezebox.

the things in that sentence that do work quite well without SS and Squeezebox are:
- installing MC on both PC and PocketPC, using NetRemote on the handheld to control MC12.
- installing MC server on the PC and using a laptop to connect to the server PC.

so, how does MC2Slim and SS/Squeeze fit into this?

attached is a diagram of how i picture this. the central question is: how to add a Squeezebox into the mix, while continuing to use the handheld PC (an Ipaq) as the 'remote control' for all rooms, since NetRemote facilitates this quite nicely as currently configured without the squeezebox.

i don't see using the Ipaq's browser to the Slim GUI as an option that passes the WAF as you have to switch back and forth between interfaces to the audio store - Slim GUI in Room 3 and Netremote GUI everywhere else.

I'd also like to be able to play the same music simultaneously in all three locations, which is easy if diagrammed setup works, but how to play different music in all three locations is unclear right now.

Mostly, im trying to figure out if the SS/Squeezebox solution will fit into the arrangement and investment already existing.

Listener
2007-06-26, 13:06
Nice diagram.

> I'd also like to be able to play the same music simultaneously
> in all three locations, which is easy if diagrammed setup
> works, but how to play different music in all three
> locations is unclear right now.

I would not could on glitch free synchronization if there is a substantial amount of s/w execition and data buffering involved.

>>I'd like to use Squeezeboxes in rooms two and three. However,
?? SS just doesn't have the GUI and tag features I need.

> thats what doesnt make sense to me. my assumption is that the
> MC2Slim allows me to use the MC12 GUI, controlled on my
> pocketpc with NetRemote, to stream audio through the
> slimserver to the squeezebox.

As I said in the earlier post, MC2 Slim didn't seem to be ready for prime time when I tried it. My understanding is that MC2Slim (an MC plugin) doesn't stream audio from MC to SS. It keeps track of what MC is playing and tells SS to play that file. It tries to adjust MC's position in the file to be in sync with SS. The result was that MC playback was jerky. There were also real problems with installation and operation. Some things didn't work right and those problems weren't documented.

I'll wait until testing and documentation has been done to use MC2Slim again.

----
What I'd like to see is a driver interface that routes audio output to one or more squeezeboxes:

- "SB1" and "SB2" appear as (Windows) WaveOut/DirectSound
audio devices in MC 12.
- You select "SB1" as the output device in Zone 2.
- MC 12 outputs audio to the "SB1" device using
the WaveOut interface.
- The "SB1" driver sends the audio stream (raw PCM)
to SS or directly to an SB.

RogueAmoeba sells the Airfoil driver that routes audio output from any program to an Apple Airport Express. The analog audio output from AE isn't great but if you send the digital output into a hugh quality DAC that is insensitive to jitter, the result would be quite good.

Of course, the SB is a much better engineered product. It just needs something like the Airfoil driver. Perhaps Logitech could just contract with RogueAmoeba to have them implement the driver.

Bill

JJZolx
2007-06-26, 13:10
After the bloated monstrosities that WMP and Winamp have become, foobar is a minimalist pleasure. Fast and light on resources.

I've been using Winamp for years and I'm afraid I don't see the bloat that you're talking about. The footprint is certainly acceptable for a Windows app - under 12MB on my system.

There are many features that you don't have to install or use. I don't install any of the library features or any of the video support. You don't need to install any of the visualizations either (I love to play with MilkDrop myself). And if you don't poke around too much in the rather extensive preferences you'll never know they're there.