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Nick F Ryman-Tubb at MindsI
2004-04-18, 04:52
Hello

I am sure this has been covered, but there is a radio station that I listen
to all the time that is in WMA format...

The latest server (5.1.3) notes say "Added built-in support for WMA audio on
Windows". I am Windows XP server and have three SqueezeBox. But the help
states that WMA is not supported - so I am a little lost now?

I am not able to get the following stream to play on SQ (it is fine in
Windows Media player etc):

http://80.1.65.13/tuner.asp?station=classic

It is 32Kbps stream, and the CODEC in media player shows "Windows Media
Audio 9
32 kbps, 32 kHz, stereo 1-pass CBR".

Can any of you guru's help out a poor lad?


Nick

dean
2004-04-18, 08:11
Sorry for the confusion, Nick. Unencrypted WMA files should work just
fine on Windows, but WMA streaming is still in the works.

-dean

On Apr 18, 2004, at 4:52 AM, Nick F Ryman-Tubb at MindsI wrote:

> Hello
>
> I am sure this has been covered, but there is a radio station that I
> listen
> to all the time that is in WMA format...
>
> The latest server (5.1.3) notes say "Added built-in support for WMA
> audio on
> Windows". I am Windows XP server and have three SqueezeBox. But the
> help
> states that WMA is not supported - so I am a little lost now?
>
> I am not able to get the following stream to play on SQ (it is fine in
> Windows Media player etc):
>
> http://80.1.65.13/tuner.asp?station=classic
>
> It is 32Kbps stream, and the CODEC in media player shows "Windows Media
> Audio 9
> 32 kbps, 32 kHz, stereo 1-pass CBR".
>
> Can any of you guru's help out a poor lad?
>
>
> Nick
>
>
>

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 11:46
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 08:11:44 -0700, dean blackketter wrote:

> Sorry for the confusion, Nick. Unencrypted WMA files should work just
> fine on Windows, but WMA streaming is still in the works.

One thing I've wondered about WMA (and Real, etc.) is what the downsides
are to having source files/streams in such formats, particularly on Linux
(Redhat). Will there be a slight degradation in quality vs. MP3? Will there
be a significant increase in processor usage? Anything else?

And is built-in/preconfigured support for WMA on Linux going to happen ever
or will we always have to set up ffmpeg manually?

I'm thinking of re-ripping my CD's at higher quality and would prefer to
switch to WMA all things being equal in terms of the slim.

Dan Sully
2004-04-18, 11:54
* Jeff Shanholtz <jeffsubs (AT) shanholtz (DOT) com> shaped the electrons to say...

>And is built-in/preconfigured support for WMA on Linux going to happen ever
>or will we always have to set up ffmpeg manually?

You will always have to set it up manually until such time as Microsoft and
Real release their codecs for free/no royalties.

>I'm thinking of re-ripping my CD's at higher quality and would prefer to
>switch to WMA all things being equal in terms of the slim.

If you have a squeezebox (or even if you don't), why not FLAC? It's free,
lossless, and you won't ever have to re-encode again, because you can always
get back the original PCM.

Quite honestly, I'm not sure why anyone would *want* to encode in WMA.
Especially on a Linux box where you have so many better, and free choices
available to you.

http://flac.sf.net/

-D
--
It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 13:44
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:54:23 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:

>>I'm thinking of re-ripping my CD's at higher quality and would prefer to
>>switch to WMA all things being equal in terms of the slim.
>
> If you have a squeezebox (or even if you don't), why not FLAC? It's free,
> lossless, and you won't ever have to re-encode again, because you can always
> get back the original PCM.

Maybe I need to research FLAC a little - I know nothing about it. I'm not
sure if I want to go lossless due to higher storage requirements. Also,
whatever format I use must be supported by WMP as well because that's my
best option for squeezing as much quality in as little memory as possible
for my portable media players.

> Quite honestly, I'm not sure why anyone would *want* to encode in WMA.
> Especially on a Linux box where you have so many better, and free choices
> available to you.

Because Linux is just a server for me, not a desktop. I use Windows with
RealPlayer and WMP. WMA is better than MP3 in terms of quality per unit
memory so that is why I'd choose WMA over MP3 if it were a reasonable
option for me in terms of my slimp3.

I will at least look into FLAC though, just in case it will meet the needs
I mentioned. Thank you for the suggestion.

And I'd still like to know what the downsides to WMA are in terms of
playback on the slim if anyone can describe them.

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 13:58
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:54:23 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:

> If you have a squeezebox (or even if you don't), why not FLAC? It's free,
> lossless, and you won't ever have to re-encode again, because you can always
> get back the original PCM.

Looking at the flac homepage (and doing a google), it appears there's no
way to use flac files in WMP, rendering that a non-option for me. Thanks
for the suggestion though.

Pat Farrell
2004-04-18, 14:00
At 04:44 PM 4/18/2004, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:
>On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:54:23 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:
> > If you have a squeezebox (or even if you don't), why not FLAC? It's free,
> > lossless, and you won't ever have to re-encode again, because you can
> always
> > get back the original PCM.
>
>Maybe I need to research FLAC a little - I know nothing about it. I'm not
>sure if I want to go lossless due to higher storage requirements. Also,
>whatever format I use must be supported by WMP as well because that's my
>best option for squeezing as much quality in as little memory as possible
>for my portable media players.

Flac files are about half the size of the original wav file.
It is free, great, able to leap tall buildings, and what I use.

If you care about file size, another alternative is OggVorbis.
Also free, open source, high quality, better than MP3, etc.
but makes small files like WMA or MP3. see
http://www.vorbis.com/

I used to use WMA for my audio, because four years ago,
the codecs in WMA were much better than those in MP3,
so the sound quality was a little better. Now, they
both have evolved, and so has Real and Ogg, so sound
quality is not nearly as much of a deciding factor.

For me, freedom from ill conceived DRM systems trying to
prevent me from using my music has driven me to only
open source and open licensed formats.
YMMV, etc.

Pat

Dan Sully
2004-04-18, 14:08
* Jeff Shanholtz <jeffsubs (AT) shanholtz (DOT) com> shaped the electrons to say...

>On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:54:23 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:
>
>> If you have a squeezebox (or even if you don't), why not FLAC? It's free,
>> lossless, and you won't ever have to re-encode again, because you can always
>> get back the original PCM.
>
>Looking at the flac homepage (and doing a google), it appears there's no
>way to use flac files in WMP, rendering that a non-option for me. Thanks
>for the suggestion though.

It may be just my opinion, but you'd take a closed, platform specific
interface over clearer and open audio?

Does Winamp, or any of the other players not do it for you?

http://corecodec.org/projects/coreflac has FLAC DirectShow plugins.

This page also has some: http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/

SlimDevices can't support closed audio formats on non-licensed platforms. So
that means only Windows gets WMA decoding unless you use a "legally grey"
program like ffmpeg.

-D
--
<iNoah> I think someone should create a magazine for computer peripherals, called Card & Driver

Roy M. Silvernail
2004-04-18, 14:42
On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 16:44, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:

> whatever format I use must be supported by WMP as well because that's my
> best option for squeezing as much quality in as little memory as possible
> for my portable media players.

Depending on the portable, Ogg *may* be an option. I know that iRiver
recently released firmware updates for many of their flash-based players
that add Ogg support.

> And I'd still like to know what the downsides to WMA are in terms of
> playback on the slim if anyone can describe them.

WMA isn't and never will be free and unencumbered, which prevents native
support in the Slim line. But so long as you don't mind installing some
extra support software (ffmpeg), WMA file playback works. I have a
couple hundred WMA files a friend passed on to me, and they sound fine.
--
Roy M. Silvernail is roy (AT) rant-central (DOT) com, and you're not
Never Forget: It's Only 1's and 0's!
SpamAssassin->procmail->/dev/null->bliss
http://www.rant-central.com

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 15:21
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 17:42:26 -0400, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:

> On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 16:44, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:
>
>> whatever format I use must be supported by WMP as well because that's my
>> best option for squeezing as much quality in as little memory as possible
>> for my portable media players.
>
> Depending on the portable, Ogg *may* be an option. I know that iRiver
> recently released firmware updates for many of their flash-based players
> that add Ogg support.

Nope. However, I currently convert them from MP3 to lower quality, smaller
WMA files when I transfer to my players because WMA gives me the best bang
for the buck on my players. Therefore I don't care too much about the
original format I use as long as WMP could convert them to smaller WMA
files.

>> And I'd still like to know what the downsides to WMA are in terms of
>> playback on the slim if anyone can describe them.
>
> WMA isn't and never will be free and unencumbered, which prevents native
> support in the Slim line. But so long as you don't mind installing some
> extra support software (ffmpeg), WMA file playback works. I have a
> couple hundred WMA files a friend passed on to me, and they sound fine.

It's too bad that having preconfigured WMA support is only possible on the
Windows platform because some people can't or won't go to the trouble to
manually configure it (I'm capable, but the last thing I need is one more
thing to maintain, so I haven't talked myself into biting the bullet yet).

But as I asked originally, I wonder what kind of degradation of quality
there would be due to converting from WMA (I would guess it's small, but
still something to consider)? And also how much extra processing power it
would use to play them back? My linux server is not top of the line so I do
need to be concerned about that.

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 15:31
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 14:08:27 -0700, Dan Sully wrote:

> It may be just my opinion, but you'd take a closed, platform specific
> interface over clearer and open audio?

I'm more interested in best bang for the buck than I am about religious
arguments over which OS is best or open vs. closed (I happily use both
platforms myself and have no particular hatred or dislike for Microsoft).

> Does Winamp, or any of the other players not do it for you?

Tried it, but frankly I like RealPlayer and WMP more (they're a little more
polished, at least when I tried WinAmp).

> http://corecodec.org/projects/coreflac has FLAC DirectShow plugins.
>
> This page also has some: http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/

These both look like options I may not be able to depend on at present or
in the future (not mature, not widely used).

> SlimDevices can't support closed audio formats on non-licensed platforms. So
> that means only Windows gets WMA decoding unless you use a "legally grey"
> program like ffmpeg.

Too bad that can't happen. I think Microsoft has the right to do with their
technology whatever they want, but it is unfortunate that I would have to
go to such lengths to use it under Linux.

Roy M. Silvernail
2004-04-18, 16:53
On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 18:21, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 17:42:26 -0400, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:

> > WMA isn't and never will be free and unencumbered, which prevents native
> > support in the Slim line. But so long as you don't mind installing some
> > extra support software (ffmpeg), WMA file playback works. I have a
> > couple hundred WMA files a friend passed on to me, and they sound fine.
>
> It's too bad that having preconfigured WMA support is only possible on the
> Windows platform because some people can't or won't go to the trouble to
> manually configure it (I'm capable, but the last thing I need is one more
> thing to maintain, so I haven't talked myself into biting the bullet yet).

I think you misunderstand. The lack of direct WMA support on Linux is
because Microsoft wants lots of money and unreasonable restrictions on
the end product to permit it, not due to any laziness on the part of the
Slim Devices team. The technology is simply not available under a
compatible license. That's Microsoft's doing, not Slim's. (remember,
there is no officially sanctioned Linux WMA decoder... ffmpeg is
gray-market)

> But as I asked originally, I wonder what kind of degradation of quality
> there would be due to converting from WMA (I would guess it's small, but
> still something to consider)?

As I mentioned, I have some WMAs, but without the original to compare, I
couldn't say. They're listenable, certainly.

> And also how much extra processing power it
> would use to play them back? My linux server is not top of the line so I do
> need to be concerned about that.

Got a WMA file playing right now. ffmpeg is taking up about 2.5 meg of
RAM and around 1% of my CPU. Both figures are substantially less than
what slimserver consumes.
--
Roy M. Silvernail is roy (AT) rant-central (DOT) com, and you're not
Never Forget: It's Only 1's and 0's!
SpamAssassin->procmail->/dev/null->bliss
http://www.rant-central.com

Jack Coates
2004-04-18, 17:48
On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 15:31, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:
....
> Too bad that can't happen. I think Microsoft has the right to do with their
> technology whatever they want, but it is unfortunate that I would have to
> go to such lengths to use it under Linux.

Well, that's what they want to do with their technology. Like it or lump
it, because you can't have it both ways.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle Dot Org: It's A Scientific Venture...
************************************************** ********************
* "One death is a tragedy, ten deaths is a disaster, ten thousand *
* deaths is merely a statistic." -- Josef Stalin *
************************************************** ********************

Jeff Shanholtz
2004-04-18, 18:14
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 19:53:21 -0400, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:

> On Sun, 2004-04-18 at 18:21, Jeff Shanholtz wrote:
>> On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 17:42:26 -0400, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:
>
>>> WMA isn't and never will be free and unencumbered, which prevents native
>>> support in the Slim line. But so long as you don't mind installing some
>>> extra support software (ffmpeg), WMA file playback works. I have a
>>> couple hundred WMA files a friend passed on to me, and they sound fine.
>>
>> It's too bad that having preconfigured WMA support is only possible on the
>> Windows platform because some people can't or won't go to the trouble to
>> manually configure it (I'm capable, but the last thing I need is one more
>> thing to maintain, so I haven't talked myself into biting the bullet yet).
>
> I think you misunderstand. The lack of direct WMA support on Linux is
> because Microsoft wants lots of money and unreasonable restrictions on
> the end product to permit it, not due to any laziness on the part of the
> Slim Devices team. The technology is simply not available under a
> compatible license. That's Microsoft's doing, not Slim's. (remember,
> there is no officially sanctioned Linux WMA decoder... ffmpeg is
> gray-market)

I don't misunderstand at all. It's too bad *regardless* of where the
"blame" lies.