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whitman
2010-02-10, 10:22
I was looking at this thread here ...

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=75064

... and began to wonder if I'm missing out with the settings for the Apple Lossless files that I stream from iTunes on my desktop Mac to my SB3.

At present in SC 7.3.3 I have these settings in Advanced/File Types for Apple Lossless:

FLAC: alac/flac
MP3: alac/lame
WAV: alac

To be honest, that lot doesn't mean much to me, but I noticed in the thread that some posters seemed to be saying that the settings could affect quality.

Can anyone advise me? I'd be grateful.

DaveWr
2010-02-10, 10:31
Those settings are fine. Apple Lossless will be transcoded to FLAC and then sent to SB. No loss, just a lot of software work.

Just make sure you don't have bit rate limiting turned on in the Web Interface: Settings->Player->Audio menu.

Dave

whitman
2010-02-10, 11:07
Thanks Dave, that's reassuring. I wouldn't like me quality to dip.

I have Bitrate Limiting in Settings/Player/Audio set to 'No Limit', which I presume is OK.

While I was there I noticed the three settings below that one are:

Lame Quality Level '6'
Volume Adjustment/Replay Gain 'Track Gain'
MP3 Streaming Method 'Direct Streaming'

Are they significant?

DaveWr
2010-02-10, 11:24
Volume adjustment can be - it will try and alter all tracks to similar levels, based on Replay Gain, or iTunesNorm tags. For max quality I would turn it off.

If you are having a party put smart gain on.

Dave

whitman
2010-02-10, 15:07
What does 'smart gain' do?

garym
2010-02-10, 15:17
What does 'smart gain' do?

uses track gain value if playing tracks from different albums and uses album gain value if playing an entire album. Neither of these matters unless you have added replaygain tags to your files.

p.s. I really like smartgain because of the above....

DaveWr
2010-02-10, 15:21
Smart gain, uses the album replay gain tag, rather than the track gain tag, if the playlist has tracks from the same album. On a mixed album playlist it uses track gain tag.

The idea is that the relative volume levels of tracks from an album is maintained.

Dave

Apology for repeated answer.

ModelCitizen
2010-02-10, 15:35
Replay Gain is also quite handy if you play your music loudly (for whole house listening perhaps). Massive Attack's Angel (from the album Mezzanine) blew my speakers when it came on (my Squeezebox was set to random play and I was rummaging around on a different storey at the time).

Cost me 500 to get the woofers replaced.

Smart Gain is always on now. :-(

MC

whitman
2010-02-11, 01:38
I must admit that when I tried DaveWr's advice and moved from Track Gain to No Volume Adjustment, the different levels really irritated me. The Kinks I had to manually turn up; then Eleftheria Arvanitaki blasted out and I needed to calm the girl down.

So what is the quality issue here? Do the auto gain settings really affect quality?

Aside from the jumping levels, I thought No Volume Adjustment sounded better, but as has often been said on these forums, that can be subjective, and you can more or less hear anything you tell yourself you want to hear.

DaveWr
2010-02-11, 01:48
I actually think the effect of the gain change is minor. But it will have some effect.

If you have it turned off then it is the same as playing the respective CDs. I think it depends on what/how you listen to you music collection. If you listen to playlists that are selected from lots of different albums, smart gain is sensible.

Dave

ModelCitizen
2010-02-11, 04:40
ReplayGain is supposed to be just like turning the volume down (or up... but most often down)... so if you use ReplayGain and it reduces the volume of the track and you then turn the volume knob on the amp up you should be back to square one.

Saying that... I am with you... I am suspicious that it does not sound the same! :-)

MC

Phil Leigh
2010-02-11, 11:40
I must admit that when I tried DaveWr's advice and moved from Track Gain to No Volume Adjustment, the different levels really irritated me. The Kinks I had to manually turn up; then Eleftheria Arvanitaki blasted out and I needed to calm the girl down.

So what is the quality issue here? Do the auto gain settings really affect quality?

Aside from the jumping levels, I thought No Volume Adjustment sounded better, but as has often been said on these forums, that can be subjective, and you can more or less hear anything you tell yourself you want to hear.

The max shift down I've seen was -12dB (an Oasis CD - hardly the greatest audio quality). Assuming you have the vol level on the SB up high anyway, you really, really won't notice any quality issues.