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ik632
2007-11-02, 10:33
I'm getting ready to redo a good portion of our equipment and in the process upgrade to one or two SB's for the house. The question I have is about libraries with mixed format media. Currently my wife uses iTunes with all of our CD's ripped to that so she can sync her phone and have media on it. We also have a NAS with media on it in MP3 format. Some of the mp3's are in very low bit rate and I re-ripped them about 2 years back. I'm in the process now of getting rid of the old lower quality MP3's.

I understand that the preferred method of audio storage is in FLAC format. I'm willing to re-rip the collection but ultimately I want one collection on the network that I can access from the SB (living room) a future SB in the bedroom, sync to my wife's iPhone, and be able to manage without too many headaches.

I'm open to whatever format the data will be in as I'm going to build a new box so hardware isn't an issue. Any suggestions on what format to go with?

Skittler
2007-11-02, 10:45
You can freely mix any of the formats that SlimServer can play (as far as I understand).
I use a mix of four formats, I think.
Chuckle - you see what I mean: I'm not even sure. I don't need to know!

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-02, 10:52
Unfortunately iTunes is going to limit you here. You can't use FLAC, which is the natural choice for the SB, since iTunes won't recognize it.

You'll have to go with Apple Lossless, which iTunes will be able to see, the SB will be able to play losslessly, and which can be transcoded to AAC or MP3.

Skittler
2007-11-02, 11:07
Ah yes, good point Mark. I've managed to stay Apple-free so far, so I don't have anything from iTunes.

ik632
2007-11-02, 11:17
We were Apple free for years but my wife wanted to be trendy and get the phone. It's nice and iTunes is pretty easy to use. I guess the best thing to do is to build a test environment in vmware and then just test things to see how it all goes.

If all else fails, I could just keep the iTunes collection on the desktop and rip CD's twice when we get them (once for iTunes and once to make flac copies).

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-02, 11:25
If all else fails, I could just keep the iTunes collection on the desktop and rip CD's twice when we get them (once for iTunes and once to make flac copies).

A lot of rippers other than iTunes can encode in multiple formats, so if you want you can encode in FLAC and MP3 - put the FLACs in the SB library and the MP3s in the iTunes library.

You can even put them in the same library and tell SlimServer to ignore the MP3s.

Siduhe
2007-11-02, 11:27
Why not use a program or a script that will rip into Flac but produce a lower-bitrate mp3 for your wife's use. I appreciate you say you only want one library, but if you don't need to do anything extra, would you consider it? Storage may be an issue I guess, but it's getting cheaper all the time.

Flac2mp3 is a script developed by someone on this forum which does exactly this, but for one click - Mareo gets good reviews (also on this forum) and you should be able to search for either.

Pros and cons of both are discussed briefly here (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=39267&highlight=mareo).

ik632
2007-11-02, 11:37
Why not use a program or a script that will rip into Flac but produce a lower-bitrate mp3 for your wife's use. I appreciate you say you only want one library, but if you don't need to do anything extra, would you consider it? Storage may be an issue I guess, but it's getting cheaper all the time.

Pros and cons of both are discussed briefly here (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=39267&highlight=mareo).

I don't have any trouble with keeping the two libraries separate other than she creates playlists for her music and will probably want the same lists available over the SB (disk space is not worry at this point). I guess my main thoughts were to keep them as one so when she makes play lists I can just play those over the SB. I could technically just create new lists whenever we get new music and let her do whatever she wants with iTunes. We don't use it to buy music (only keep current music) as we find value in actually buying the plastic disks that have music on them.

It sounds like my best bet it just to maintain two libraries and two sets of play lists. This should keep things simpler and then not muddy up the waters with mp3-this or aac-that.

Siduhe
2007-11-02, 11:44
The playlists will be pretty easy to convert from one library to another (assuming you use the same organisational convention for both libraries).

You can either do a "find and replace" text search, or I have a small script that will do it for you (but only one at a time, it won't batch convert). Let me know if you'd like to give it a try.

ik632
2007-11-02, 11:52
Thanks for all the advice. I guess my next step is just to test it all out.

dcote
2007-11-14, 01:42
hi there - here is another caveat:

when you rip some songs of an album in FLAC and the others in MP3/vorbis, the album shows up twice in slimserver. i do this (thought it was a smart idea at the time) to ensure some songs get the MAX. possible quality and others are compressed more for space.

apparently this is not a bug, but a feature.

maybe this will aplly to you too...

Pale Blue Ego
2007-11-14, 11:05
You might want to consider simply encoding everything as high-bitrate mp3s. Using the highest-quality encoding preset of the LAME encoder, the results are very listenable and difficult to tell from fully uncompressed files. And of course, mp3 is supported by iTunes and Slimserver - you would only need one central library to serve all your needs.

ik632
2007-11-14, 14:23
After much deliberation (and the lack of desire to re-rip the entire collection of 200 albums) I opted to go with the high quality MP3s. The latest rip (from last year when I re-ripped the collection) is 256 kbit/s at 44.1 kHz. I've been listening with SoftSqueeze and the quality is pretty good.

The biggest things is that for this to have staying power in the house, the WAF (Wife Approval Factor) must be way up there. Using iTunes to manage the library which is stored on the NAS will keep her happy and make my life simpler.

The next step is to migrate the storage of iTunes content (ripped as AAC files, which should play on the SB3 or SoftSqueeze) from the desktop they reside on to my SlimNAS box. I've read up on this so it should be pretty straight forward. Thanks for all the suggestions folks.

roll - gybe
2007-11-28, 07:52
you may want to check out the hymn-project for a way to make your itunes drm music compatible with your slimserver.