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tucson5
2007-07-28, 15:47
Have ripped all my cds to flac and mp3(for my portable mp3 players). I want to play the flac file if both the MP3 and flac exist. The problem is that I have some music that is only mp3 and is in the MP3 file with all the mp3s. Is there a way for Slim Server to only use the flac unless there is only a mp3? I would like to not have to physically separate the files further than flac and mp3.

thanks
steve

FTJoe
2007-07-29, 13:35
I'm curious about this as well. I use Itunes and have most of my music ripped to WAV, AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3 HQ and MP3 LQ. Some of the other stuff I have is MP3 only. My saving grace is nothing is flac so I'm thinking of ripping everything to flac and then I think I can just make sure only flac files are picked up. I'm assuming that going from a MP3 to flac is possible, just won't get a quality better than what was there before.

JJZolx
2007-07-29, 17:29
Is there a way for Slim Server to only use the flac unless there is only a mp3? I would like to not have to physically separate the files further than flac and mp3.
No, SlimServer can't do this.

adamslim
2007-07-30, 01:02
It would be a good feature - it could assume that where the filename is exactly the same, it is a duplicate, maybe? Hmm, might need tags too. May not be that easy to code...

erland
2007-07-30, 02:54
I'm just mentioning this since this question seems to come up once in a while. I personally doesn't feel the solution described below is good, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

It is possible to use the Multi Library plugin to define a virtual library that does something similar to this. You can define the library by using the "Download more libraries" link in the Multi Library plugin web interface and choose the "Best format library" type. The virtual library will detect a flac/mp3 track to be the same if they have the same: track title, album title and track number.

The disadvantages with this solution is at least the following:
1.
If there is an album that consist of some tracks in mp3 format, some tracks in flac format and some tracks in both format, the result will be that you get two albums in the SlimServer interface. One album with all the flac files and one album with all the mp3 files which don't have flac counterpart. If both the flac and mp3 files for a specific album is in the same directory I don't think you will have this problem.

2.
You will have to use Custom Browse for all the browse menus, the standard SlimServer browse menus will contain the mp3 files you don't want.

3.
Saved playlists will play the files they refer to, so if you have refered to a mp3 file it will be played even if there is a corresponding flac file. If you would rather skip these mp3's than play them, you can use the Custom Skip plugin to do this.

4.
Random playlists using the standard Random Mix plugin will play mp3 files even if you have a corresponding flac file. You can avoid this by using the SQL Playlist plugin instead. If you like to use the standard Random Mix and would like skip these mp3's instead of playing them, you can use the Custom Skip plugin to do this.


I don't think you should hope that this ever will be standard SlimServer functionality. There are just to many different things that can go wrong depending on how your files are arranged and tagged, so I think it would just cause a gigantic support headache. Due to this I suspect that Logitech would like to avoid going this route.

ashmore
2007-07-30, 05:13
..some music that is only mp3 and is in the MP3 file with all the mp3s. Is there a way for Slim Server to only use the flac unless there is only a mp3?

I’ve had the same issue (lots of MP3s and a growing number of FLAC) and have arrived at a satisfactory, non-technical solution that might also work for you.

I have two folders: one entitled ‘Best Quality’ and the other entitled ‘Smaller’. The Best Quality folder contains (you guessed it…) my entire collection in the best quality format that I own it in. Thus it has a mixture of MP3 and FLAC. Slimserver is pointed at the Best Quality folder, so you have all your music available to you.

As I gradually replace my MP3s with FLAC files they are relegated to the 'Smaller' folder for use only with my MP3 player.

Simon

PS having reread my message I realise I have become a total nerd. I have to redeem myself by going outside and chatting up some girls immediately.

FTJoe
2007-07-31, 03:40
Apologies if this appears as a hijack, but it's on subject I believe. I was thinking of converting my Itunes music to flac in a separate folder (first copy highest quality music to one folder, the convert to flac and delete the copied data). While a space waster, space is cheap and I'm on a 1.6tb RAID5 array. Now I would turn off the use Itunes switch in slimserver and just point to the flac folder. What do I lose by not using Itunes in slimserver?

davep
2007-07-31, 04:17
What do I lose by not using Itunes in slimserver?
Only complexity and occasional headaches. If you don't need iTunes for anything else then you really don't need it for SS.

davep

erland
2007-07-31, 04:41
Apologies if this appears as a hijack, but it's on subject I believe. I was thinking of converting my Itunes music to flac in a separate folder (first copy highest quality music to one folder, the convert to flac and delete the copied data). While a space waster, space is cheap and I'm on a 1.6tb RAID5 array. Now I would turn off the use Itunes switch in slimserver and just point to the flac folder.When you say "converting" I hope you don't actually mean to convert mp3's to flac's with some software. This will only result in that the files take more space, you won't get any better sound quality. To get better sound quality you will need to rip your music again from CD or some other lossless source.


What do I lose by not using Itunes in slimserver?The only reason to use the iTunes integration is that you need iTunes for something else, for example iPod synchronization, tagging, ripping, playlist making.

mflint
2007-07-31, 06:00
I have two folders: one entitled ‘Best Quality’ and the other entitled ‘Smaller’. The Best Quality folder contains (you guessed it…) my entire collection in the best quality format that I own it in. Thus it has a mixture of MP3 and FLAC. Slimserver is pointed at the Best Quality folder, so you have all your music available to you.
Ditto... except my folders are called "original" and "lossy".

-music
---- original
------- flac
------- mp3
---- lossy
------- mp3

I use Robin Bowes' "flac2mp3" script to keep the "lossy" part of the tree up to date.

Someday I'll hack the script to have it also copy mp3s to the target location... or I'll raise an enhancement request ;-)

Best of luck with those girls, Ashmore! ;-)

Matthew

ashmore
2007-07-31, 06:30
Ditto Matthew - the flac2mp3 is a godsend. I even managed to work out how to do a batchfile to make the whole process simpler (I am not that technical).

Simon

PS The girls didn't want to know. I think I was too exciting for them...

FTJoe
2007-07-31, 18:28
When you say "converting" I hope you don't actually mean to convert mp3's to flac's with some software. This will only result in that the files take more space, you won't get any better sound quality. To get better sound quality you will need to rip your music again from CD or some other lossless source.

Yes - that's exactly what I mean. I was suggesting it because the mix of WAV and MP3s I have are maintained in my Itunes library, I can copy them out to a single fodler and then just convert the whole thing to flac. Space is cheap on my array and I really don't want this copy to be another library I have to maintain. I guess I could convert just the WAV files and keep the MP3s intact in the separate folder but it seemed, messy. i need the Itunes folder because there are many Ipod devices about the house.

erland
2007-07-31, 20:52
Yes - that's exactly what I mean. I was suggesting it because the mix of WAV and MP3s I have are maintained in my Itunes library, I can copy them out to a single fodler and then just convert the whole thing to flac. Space is cheap on my array and I really don't want this copy to be another library I have to maintain. I guess I could convert just the WAV files and keep the MP3s intact in the separate folder but it seemed, messy. i need the Itunes folder because there are many Ipod devices about the house.
When you have ripped your music into MP3 you lost some information due to the lossy compression of the MP3 format. The lost information will not be possible to get back by converting the MP3 to some other format. The converted FLAC files will not sound any better than the original MP3 files. So you will not get any advantage with converting the MP3 files to FLAC, the FLAC files will just be larger but won't sound any better than the previous MP3 files. SlimServer will not work any better if the files are in FLAC format compared to MP3 format. It will just be confusing to have some FLAC files which isn't an original rip and sound poorer than other FLAC files that have been ripped directly from CD. Having some files as MP3's feels better to me because that would give you an indication if its sound quality is good or bad.

If you rip the CD's again and this time directly into FLAC, you would get back the lost sound information and would get some the advantages with the FLAC format.

The WAV files is worth converting to FLAC if you like to put tags in them, for example tag which artist, album, genre a track belongs to. The conversion could be done automatically, but you would have to tag each file manually. If you have the artist, album information as part of the directory structure, many tagging applications can generate tags based on the directory structure.

My suggestion would be that you convert the WAV files and put them in the FLAC directory. The MP3 files you like to use in SlimServer, you just copy to a suitable directory as they are. If this directory isn't below your FLAC directory, just create a shortcut somewhere inside the FLAC directory that points to the MP3 directory. This will get SlimServer to pickup both the FLAC files and the MP3 files.

FTJoe
2007-08-01, 03:55
Thanx - that's why I conceded it might be easier to just reference my MP3 library (not originally sourced from CD). My original thinking was I could just make all flac and it would be simple to operate against these files. I'm still trying to figure out the music folder and file type options in slimserver so I can just reference the files I need. My music is stored (organized) in Itunes so the directory structure is good, trying to now find something to convert them out all at once to flac and maintain the structure. I also was looking to keep tag info, album art etc., but the seemingly best program out there doesn't appear to process folders and sub-folders but only operate within a folder (MP3TOYS).

Thanx for the tip on the shortcut.

geoffb
2007-08-01, 05:36
On 8/1/07, FTJoe wrote:
>
> Thanx - that's why I conceded it might be easier to just reference my
> MP3 library (not originally sourced from CD). My original thinking was
> I could just make all flac and it would be simple to operate against
> these files. I'm still trying to figure out the music folder and file
> type options in slimserver so I can just reference the files I need.
> My music is stored (organized) in Itunes so the directory structure is
> good, trying to now find something to convert them out all at once to
> flac and maintain the structure. I also was looking to keep tag info,
> album art etc., but the seemingly best program out there doesn't appear
> to process folders and sub-folders but only operate within a folder
> (MP3TOYS).

Just FYI - you will put yourself at a disadvantage by converting from
MP3 to FLAC, as just carefully outlined by Erland.
Your files will be MUCH bigger (25-50 MB instead of 4-8MB),
Your files will sound EXACTLY the same. For much more storage space.
It won't be obvious which ones contain a full reproduction of what was
on the CD, and which ones are missing information.

When you rip to FLAC straight from the CD, FLAC stores ALL the
information in the file. When you rip to MP3, a significant amount of
the music information gets thrown away.
So, in the world of music files, FLAC files are 'better' than MP3
files (from a music information point of view). But ONLY if they come
directly from the CD.

If I was you, I'd keep my MP3s for the albums you don't have physical
CDs for. For the cases when you DO have the original CD, re-rip and
throw away the MP3 version.
You end up with a blend of some albums in FLAC, and some in MP3, and
SlimServer handles this very well.
This is the situation I have, and it works well.

Cheers,
Geoff

FTJoe
2007-08-01, 09:22
I guess I'm now struggling on how to convert my WAV files to flac. I don't want to re-rip all my CDs but without the tag info on a WAV file, and the track number as part of the file name, I'm stumped what to use to get my WAV files to flac with tag info. I guess plenty of utils will reach out to the CCDB to get the info but I need a util to take all my wav files, which are spread throughout an organized itunes library, create the flac files and create the tag info. I could copy them over to a single folder but I'm afraid dups would pop up.

geoffb
2007-08-01, 09:29
On 8/1/07, FTJoe wrote:
>
> I guess I'm now struggling on how to convert my WAV files to flac. I
> don't want to re-rip all my CDs but without the tag info on a WAV file,
> and the track number as part of the file name, I'm stumped what to use
> to get my WAV files to flac with tag info. I guess plenty of utils
> will reach out to the CCDB to get the info but I need a util to take
> all my wav files, which are spread throughout an organized itunes
> library, create the flac files and create the tag info. I could copy
> them over to a single folder but I'm afraid dups would pop up.

I see your problem - can you give an example of some of your filenames
and directory layouts? If I understand correctly, for one album you
have a bunch of WAV files in a directory, none of which have the track
number as part of the filename?

I'm not an iTunes expert, but could you get iTunes to rename the file
to include the track number as part of the filename? That would get a
significant way down the road to fixing the problem.

Cheers,
Geoff

FTJoe
2007-08-01, 09:42
Actually the track number is part of the name. I have the "Itunes" folder, under that 'Itunes Music", under that '10000 maniacs" folder, under that "in my tribe" folder which contains the following:

01 What's The Matter Here_.wav
02 Hey Jack Kerouac.wav

etc.

So it organized by artist/album, many folders all with WAV files along with AAC, MP3, etc. I'm complaining about the track number as part of the name because it seems to travel around with it and looks silly when displayed. I'd like to get the WAV files converted to flac as simply as possible in addition to getting good tag info. Worst case scenario is to convert to a real HQ MP3 but I'd rather go lossless.

erland
2007-08-01, 09:52
I guess I'm now struggling on how to convert my WAV files to flac. I don't want to re-rip all my CDs but without the tag info on a WAV file, and the track number as part of the file name, I'm stumped what to use to get my WAV files to flac with tag info. I guess plenty of utils will reach out to the CCDB to get the info but I need a util to take all my wav files, which are spread throughout an organized itunes library, create the flac files and create the tag info. I could copy them over to a single folder but I'm afraid dups would pop up.
I don't think CDDB will help you, since the software have no way of knowing from which CD a specific WAV is ripped. If I have understand it correctly CDDB is searched based on a key which is calculated from the position each track has on the physical CD. So this information can't be retrieved from a single WAV file.

What is the current situation, do you have WAV files without tags or have you managed to somehow store tags in the WAV files ?
Or is the tag information just stored in iTunes ?

If the tag information is stored in iTunes, maybe there is some way to make iTunes convert the WAV's to some lossless format that supports tags, for example Apple Lossless (ALAC) ?
When you have the information as ALAC it should then be possible to fine a tool that converts that that file to FLAC in case you don't like ALAC.

If it isn't possible to do with iTunes automatically another option might be to do some scripting. If the tag information is visible in iTunes, it is stored in the iTunes Library xml file. If you have some development skills or knows someone that has, it might be possible to do some script that extracts the information from the iTunes xml file and creates a script which calls metaflac.exe with the correct tag values for each FLAC file. (metaflac is delivered with the FLAC standard distribution)

FTJoe
2007-08-01, 10:12
I believe Itunes keeps the tag info separate. I already have every song stored as Apple lossless. I did a quick search before and didn't notice anything that might convert these, but it looks like maybe dbpoweramp might help. I did a quick sample run and I think it's going to work. Not sure about keeping the directory structure but there is a batch function, what the hey, I think I'll be okay now. Would definitely like the album art so maybe I'll get Itunes chugging through that first, then get MP3Toys to finish up the ones that weren't done after converting. Thanx for the help.

geoffb
2007-08-01, 10:35
On 8/1/07, FTJoe wrote:
>
> I believe Itunes keeps the tag info separate. I already have every song
> stored as Apple lossless. I did a quick search before and didn't
> notice anything that might convert these, but it looks like maybe
> dbpoweramp might help. I did a quick sample run and I think it's going
> to work. Not sure about keeping the directory structure but there is a
> batch function, what the hey, I think I'll be okay now. Would
> definitely like the album art so maybe I'll get Itunes chugging through
> that first, then get MP3Toys to finish up the ones that weren't done
> after converting. Thanx for the help.

Another solution, if that fails, is to use the FLAC frontend to
convert the files, which will change
02 Hey Jack Kerouac.wav
into
02 Hey Jack Kerouac.flac

You can then use MP3Tag to mass-guess all the tags from the filenames
and directory structure, and it should work pretty well. Let me know
if you go down this route and need help with MP3Tag.
Any missing tags can be filled in via a simple freedb lookup.

Cheers,
Geoff

FTJoe
2007-08-01, 10:53
I remember using MP3tag a while ago...While things are blurry right now, I think front end had an issue pulling from multiple dirs. I'll post back what I do, Itunes is busy chugging along right now...

Also, apologies to the original poster, but I think the discussion here is relevant to the topic.

FTJoe
2007-08-04, 12:26
Okay - just to close and ask one more question...why shouldn't I just use the Apple Lossless. It appears to be supported (at least in the software).

Not to drag out what I did but I installed Itunes on my server, loaded my library (without the option to copy it into another folder). Deleted all the non-lossless stuff, then did a copy and paste to a separate folder. In order to get them organized, I deleted the list and then checked the 'keep organized' and 'copy to my own library' options then added the music on from the folder. I then added the music from the mp3 folder and that's my library now.

geoffb
2007-08-06, 07:00
On 8/4/07, FTJoe wrote:
>
> Okay - just to close and ask one more question...why shouldn't I just
> use the Apple Lossless. It appears to be supported (at least in the
> software).

I've never used it, but isn't it transcoded before being sent to the
SB? So that either means lower quality (if transcoded to MP3) or more
bandwidth used (if decoded to WAV).
Or is it possible to have it transcoded to FLAC? Or does the SB3
support Apple Lossless in firmware?

Cheers,
Geoff

FTJoe
2007-08-06, 16:24
I see in the server settings that alac has conversions to flac, wav and mp3, I turned off all but flac. I think I saw you can't FF or rew through alac songs though.