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liffy99
2007-04-25, 15:33
I'm lost !
I've ripped my CD music library to FLAC and everything is absolutely fine.
Last week I started to record my vinyl using Audacity. Parameters have been set to either 32 bit floating or 24 bit resolution at 48KHz and output to a WAV file.
I then use Media Monkey to convert the WAV to FLAC.
Whichever recording option I use (24 or 32 bit), when I play back over my SB3 I just get white noise.
Playing the same files on my PC via Media Monkey though is just fine.
Any ideas anyone ?

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-25, 16:38
I remember reading something about Media Monkey not doing 24/48 WAV -> FLAC conversions properly. Try the FLAC frontend or command-line.

Rangdo
2007-04-25, 23:20
Are you streaming WAV or FLAC (i.e. is Slimserver or the Squeezebox doing the transcoding)?

I've got an outstanding bug where 24/48 FLACs play fine when transcoded by my SB2, but white noise when done by the server. I prefer to have decoding done server-side as IMO it sounds marginally better.

liffy99
2007-04-27, 00:53
Where do I check where I am doing the FLAC conversion ? I think it's all being done at the Slim Server end but I could not see a setting in the Slimserver software.

I've tried re-recording an LP and used FLAC Front End to do the WAV to FLAC conversio - same result.

It's not "white noise" though - the row was so bad I thought it was at first but I can just about make out some musical content - so it 's just really, really gross distortion.

I've checked signal strength and tried different locations - varied from 36% to 74%, not that it made any difference.

I thought SB3 was capable of 24/48 files - or is there just far more difficulty in getting it to stream the larger files ?

???

Rangdo
2007-04-27, 01:01
To check you need to go into server settings and file formats. See what's ticked for the FLAC format, for mine I have FLAC>WAV so the decoding is done server-side but for some reason the server streams pure white noise (no music I can hear) on 24/48.

But the SB can play 24/48 client-side with no trouble.

liffy99
2007-04-27, 02:32
Each setting seems to have three options. I have;

Monkeys Audio to Flac, Wav and MP3 - I cannot tick the boxes at all.

Flac to Wav, MP3 and Flac - all ticked

Wav to Flac, MP3 amd Wav - all ticked

Is this correct ? Should I just be ticking one of the three ? For example Flac to Flac ?

Thanks

Rangdo
2007-04-27, 03:28
Is this correct ? Should I just be ticking one of the three ? For example Flac to Flac ?

Thanks

I think it depends on how many players you have. If you only have the one player then you can just tick one box for each.

Assuming you want to stream WAV, then you can tick

Monkey>WAV, FLAC>WAV, MP3>WAV, etc - and untick the other options, the server will do all the hard work.

Otherwise, if you're happy for the SB to do the hard work with it's inbuilt support you can leave the formats native, so

FLAC>FLAC, MP3>MP3, and so on. Default is normally letting the SB do the work.


At the risk of adding confusion :) if you have more than one player, the format used depends on the bit-rate limiting you've applied to each player.

So for me all my music is in FLAC, I have FLAC>WAV and FLAC>MP3 set. My SB has no bit-rate limiting so it receives WAV, for when I use Winamp on my laptop as a player I have bitrate set to 320 so the server automatically feeds me MP3 @ 320.

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-27, 05:39
Flac to Wav, MP3 and Flac - all ticked

This means SlimServer should be passing FLAC to the player natively and letting the player do the decoding.

To be sure, uncheck the FLAC -> WAV and FLAC -> MP3, leaving the FLAC -> FLAC (built in) checked.

However this isn't your issue. The Squeezebox can play 24/48 FLAC and 24/48 WAV just fine. The issue is that there was a problem with Media Money's encoding. This isn't the first report of this.

If you still have the WAV, try using the FLAC frontend.

liffy99
2007-04-27, 06:00
I've tried FLAC Frontend (see post #4) - it made no difference.

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-27, 06:22
What are the WAV settings in Audacity? Note it has many different WAV settings. You can set them in Preferences.

The default is WAV (Microsoft 16 bit PCM) which should work. If you select WAV (Microsoft 32 bit float) that probably won't work. What works for me is to select "Other..." and select "Signed 24 bit PCM".

liffy99
2007-04-27, 09:02
Yep, tried the last two - 32 bit float and signed 24 bit - no difference.

Mark Lanctot
2007-04-27, 09:20
Yep, tried the last two - 32 bit float and signed 24 bit - no difference.

Are you sure the recording method is OK? Signed 24 bit always works for me.

liffy99
2007-05-30, 00:59
I've tried again, using Audacity to record 24 bit signed WAV files, then convert these to FLAC using FLAC front end.
When I play these on my PC using Media Monkey all is fine.

I've tried re-ticking some of the file type options in the Slimserver setup and now I get music via the SB3 ! However when I try to tick the Monkey Audio - FLAC option I get an error message;

Required binary not found [mac] $files$ --d [flac] -cs --totally-silent--compression-level-0-

and the check box remains unticked.

BUT the music runs slow, skips and stutters after the first few seconds - almost as if a buffer is emptying faster than it can be replenished. As far as I can see the only buffer setting in Slimserver relates to internet radio.

I've run the bandwidth check on the SB3 - all 100% up to 500KBS. Bit rates on the 24/48 FLAC files are about 2000.

Help . . .

Ron F.
2007-05-30, 08:18
Just to be clear - you have tried streaming the original 24-bit WAVE files to your SB3 - and they play correctly?

-Ron

Heuer
2007-05-30, 10:55
I have done a lot of needle drops at 24/48 (and lately 24/96) and they all play without problem. My process is to capture the sound with Spin It Again, let SIA do the track splitting and then use FLACfrontend for encoding. All the file types are checked in the server.

Can I suggest you download a copy of SIA (the first three rips are free to try) http://www.acoustica.com/spinitagain/ and do a ND. Use FLACfrontend to encode and see if it plays. You should be able to eliminate any problems with the tools you are using with a know working solution.

On a side note I have Audacity, Wavelab and Audition but I still think SIA is the easiest and quickest ways to do ND's.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-05-30, 11:33
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the FLAC compression level. The CPU in the SB may have trouble decoding heavily compressed FLACs in realtime. Try using a FLAC compression level of 0 or 1 instead of the higher compression settings.

Heuer
2007-05-30, 11:51
I run FLAC level 6 with no problems.

liffy99
2007-05-31, 00:57
Cracked it (I hope) !

I changed the buffer size in the Network options in Slimserver from 3 to 9 and all seems OK. I thought this was only supposed to relate to Internet radio.

When I played a recorded, 24 bit WAV file all was Ok beforehand too. So i assume that Slimserver gets unhappy with increasing bit rates (normal 16/44 FLAC = 750, 16/44 WAV = 1400, 24/48 FLAC = 2000 approx). Over 1500 or so it seems to suffer.

By the way, the files are streamed from a QNAP TS201. Is its 128mb memory a limitation here ?

Fingers crossed . . . .

Heuer
2007-05-31, 02:35
No - I am using a Readynas NV (upgraded to 1Gb memory admittedly) to stream 24/96 FLAC to a Transporter and an SB3 (which downgrades them to 24/48) without problem; I have made no changes to SS settings.

I also have a TS-101 with a mirror copy of the music folder - I will give it a try on some 24/48 and 24/96 files to see if memory is an issue.

Edit: SB3 handles bit rate of 2676 (24/96 FLAC file) without problem, wirelessly. TS-101 worked but browsing with the remote became difficult while the file was playing. Seems memory could be an issue.

liffy99
2007-06-01, 07:22
I spoke too soon !
I'm still getting stuttering on my FLAC encoded 24/48 files.
The only boxes I have ticked in the File Types section of SS are FLAC - FLAC and WAV - WAV.
The FLAC files play OK over Media Monkey on my PC.
I thought that changing the buffer size in the Network section had done some good but this doesn't actually have any effect (it was a problem with Audacity's noise removal on a few files that led me up the wrong path).
I'm using an encoding value of 5 in FLAC.
Anything I've ripped from 16/44 CD plays fine. Signal strength is approx 70%, bandwidth checks are all 100% and there's nothing else that is sharing the wireless network bandwidth.
Are there any setting in the wireless router that might be wrong ? Presumably if sthings were failing at its firewall tehn I would not be able to play any files.
Is there a known issue with QNAP's TS201 (128mb memory).
Help . . . .

liffy99
2007-06-03, 03:12
Still no joy.
I want to try and source music from my PC hard drive (drive M) rather than from the QNAP, to check whether that NAS is part of the problem.
But whatever I try and put in as a source directory in the Music Folder field of SS is rejected. At the moment is is set up as /ext/mnt/music to access the NAS. My music is also stored in M/music on my PC. What directory path do I need to put in - I seem to have tried all the combinations of : / \ etc I can think of.

That said music files (both WAV and FLAC) still play just fine from the NAS via Media Monkey on the PC, so I assumed this to mean that music was being read from the NAS OK.

I'm sure that the problem must lie with the actual streaming - either that I'm doing the conversion at the wrong end (presumably I should do this at the PC so as to send smaller bitrates) or that I just don't have enough bandwidth. How do I check the latter and what File Type options should I have ticked (or not) to transmit FLAC files on the PC or NAS to the SB3 ?
Aaggggh

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-03, 07:27
Is this a bandwidth problem? See http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?DiagnosingPerformanceIssues , the last section on player performance. Try a few 24/48 tracks and post the output of Player Statistics.

liffy99
2007-06-05, 00:34
I've tried the network test at both SB3 and server ends - both return 100% performance at all bandwidths !
Do you think Logitech / Slimserver themselves would help ?

Heuer
2007-06-05, 01:38
I was getting stuttering on some (but not all) 24/96 files on the SB3 although they played properly on the Transporter. I used Audition to convert them to 24/48 and they played fine. These particular files were unusual in that they were ripped off a DVD at 24/48 and whilst I was editing I mistakenly saved the files at 24/96 - hence the problem.

I suggest your trouble lies with the software you used to rip the tracks so go back to basics and try again. Playing them on the PC is no measure as the soundcard will probably be 24/96 capable and, like my Transporter, play files the SB3 was having problems with.

Like I said earlier do an ND using SIA (free to start with), convert the WAV using FLACfrontend and try it on the SB3. At least eliminate part of the chain with a known working solution.

mswlogo
2007-06-05, 07:06
Still no joy.
I want to try and source music from my PC hard drive (drive M) rather than from the QNAP, to check whether that NAS is part of the problem.
But whatever I try and put in as a source directory in the Music Folder field of SS is rejected. At the moment is is set up as /ext/mnt/music to access the NAS. My music is also stored in M/music on my PC. What directory path do I need to put in - I seem to have tried all the combinations of : / \ etc I can think of.

That said music files (both WAV and FLAC) still play just fine from the NAS via Media Monkey on the PC, so I assumed this to mean that music was being read from the NAS OK.

I'm sure that the problem must lie with the actual streaming - either that I'm doing the conversion at the wrong end (presumably I should do this at the PC so as to send smaller bitrates) or that I just don't have enough bandwidth. How do I check the latter and what File Type options should I have ticked (or not) to transmit FLAC files on the PC or NAS to the SB3 ?
Aaggggh

I really thought it was gonna be your recording method (personally I hate audacity). Any way you are probably running into the bug in the SqueezeBox decoding FLAC. Usually this occurs at 24/96 at high FLAC compression rate. But the symptom is stuttering.

Either try lowering the compression rate on what ever tool you used to convert to FLAC. Or enable transcoding from FLAC to WAV on SlimServer (do searches on how to do this, I'll get it wrong if I do it by memory). It's something like uncheck FLAC -> FLAC and FLAC -> MP3 and Leave FLAC -> WAV. This basically has the server decode from FLAC to WAV rather than the SqueezeBox. This also assumes you have a decent server machine (not something like a linksys slug).

If that doesn't fix it, you may still have network underflow issues. I assume you must be running wireless. Try to improve the signal (Better antenna on router, better router, or moving things etc.)

Note transcoding from FLAC to WAV might sound worse if it's network issue because it will put MORE demand on the network.

Heuer
2007-06-05, 08:03
You could try using 85mbs Homeplugs to give you 'wired' ethernet. I have to use one for my Transporter and it works flawlessly with 24/96 FLAC files.

liffy99
2007-06-05, 10:19
Thanks guys for all the comments.
WAV files are just as bad !

Anyway, I discovered the "second part" of the network health checks in SS and occasionally got a message reporting that buffer usage was less than optimal (but can you change buffer settings anywhere ?). Despite that all the bandwidth tests came out OK.

So in desperation I tried moving the SB3 and router around (again). Lo and behold, this time things seem to be working, even though the signal strength seems to have fallen 5-10%. I can only assume that beforehand I was getting a higher AVERAGE signal strength but with larger peaks and troughs. Perhaps now, although I'm getting slightly worse signal strength, the lows are less pronounced ???

Still seems very, very strange and suspect I'm working close to the limit at 24/48 FLAC. Perhaps when I've finished recording my vinyl, shifted the deck, amp, phono amp etc a bit more metalwork will be out of the way.

OR OR OR

Is it just because I've now moved the SB3 away from my Lyngdorf digital amp ? Could that have been throwing out RF nasties to interfere with wireless transmission ? But if so why do all the 16/44 files play without a hiccup ?

Ho hum