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View Full Version : Confusion about squeezebox and formats



Mike Olson
2004-09-07, 12:08
I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum stating
that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?

Jeffrey Gordon
2004-09-07, 12:22
Not true, it CAN and if you are using wireless it defaults to the
behaviour but can be changed in the player setup easily.

Slimp3 (the older device) did require other formats to be transcoded to
mp3, however the SB can handle mp3 or uncompressed pcm currently. So
with formats like FLAC they are decoded to uncompressed pcm (wav).

Mike Olson wrote:

> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum stating
> that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
> If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?
>
>

Mike Kozlowski
2004-09-07, 12:28
On Tue, 7 Sep 2004, Mike Olson wrote:

> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum
> stating that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback.
> Is this true?

It's true that it _can_ do that, but it's also capable of streaming
uncompressed PCM.

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/

kdf
2004-09-07, 12:31
Quoting Mike Olson <mjolson5 (AT) comcast (DOT) net>:

> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum
> stating
> that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
> If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?

untrue.

SliMP3 has to have mp3 input, so the server converts all formats to 320kbps MP3
by default. In order to make the best of any wireless network, the Squeezebox
wireless will default to 320kbps as well, but can easily be changed in player
settings to 'no limit' if you so choose.

In all cases where 'no limit' is enabled (default for squeezeboxen connected
with a wire, selectable for wireless) MP# is played back native as MP3. All
others are decompressed and played to the SB as PCM. The advantage of using
lossless formats in this case is just that, they are lossless. Depending on how
your ears pick up sound, compressed formats, even when decompressed can sound
thin and lifeless. Lossless means you lose 'nothing' of the source data.

A rather large special interest group has been recently campaigning for native
FLAC decoding in the SB firmware. This would also give you the advantage of
lossless playback, but also with the added benefit of needing half the
bandwidth of raw PCM. This, however, I have never seen Sean promise it as a
feature, but rather, that it is under investigation. It is not confirmed, yet,
that the SqueezeBox hardware can handle the processing required.

cheers,
kdf

-kdf

Daryle A. Tilroe
2004-09-07, 12:35
Mike Olson wrote:

> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum stating
> that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
> If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?

Completely false. Currently the SB natively supports MP3
and uncompressed audio streams. This means that with server
side decoding (or transcoding) many formats such as FLAC
or WAV are playable with no loss in quality (or your chosen
loss of quality to stream via MP3).

--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Jason Holtzapple
2004-09-07, 12:36
Mike Olson wrote:
> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum stating
> that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
> If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?

Not true - they are probably thinking of the earlier SLIMP3 model, not the Squeezebox.

Steve Baumgarten
2004-09-07, 12:36
> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum
> stating that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback.
> Is this true?

That's not true. It's an option; if you have poor wireless connectivity or
you want to stream from your home PC to your work PC you may find you need
it (to limit bandwidth used), but it's only an option.

The ability to listen to uncompressed streams was one of the SB's main
selling points for me. I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't have that
feature.

(People may be thinking of the Squeezebox's predecessor, the Slimp3. That
model did in fact have the limitation that it could only play MP3
streams.)

SBB

Mark Bennett
2004-09-07, 12:58
No this is not true for the Squeezebox.

Currently the Squeezebox hardware can accept two different streaming
formats, MP3 and full PCM (WAV). Music encoded in MP3 will be
streamed to the SB in MP3 format. Music encoded in any other format
can be transcoded server side to *either* MP3 or WAV depending on
configuration.

There is ongoing hope that one day Sean will get round to porting
a Flac decoder onto the SB itself, which would allow compressed
lossless streaming (ideal for the audiophiles amongst us). It
looks likely that this is feasible, and is in the queue for being
done. (I'm sure it's probably just behind getting the graphical
display working cleanly :-) ).

The statement is true for the older SLIMP3 device, which could
only handle MP3 streams.

Mike Olson wrote:
> I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum stating
> that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this true?
> If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?
>
>

Mike Olson
2004-09-07, 13:04
Jason Holtzapple <jasonholtzapple@...> writes:

>
> Mike Olson wrote:
> > I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum
stating
> > that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this
true?
> > If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?
>
> Not true - they are probably thinking of the earlier SLIMP3 model, not the
Squeezebox.
>



Thanks everyone for the info. It looks like someone has already corrected the
mis-information on AudioAsylum. Since my CD collection is already ripped to
WAV, I can breath a sigh of relief and anxiously await the SB arrival.

Jeffrey Gordon
2004-09-07, 13:32
Your collection is in WAV format? How do you tag your files? WAV does
not support any type of tagging? Any reason why you choose WAV over say
a lossless encoder?

Mike Olson wrote:

> Jason Holtzapple <jasonholtzapple@...> writes:
>
>
>>Mike Olson wrote:
>>
>>>I'm a new user (SB on it's way). There's a thread over at audio asylum
>
> stating
>
>>>that the squeezebox compress ALL formats to MP3 for playback. Is this
>
> true?
>
>>>If so, what is the advantage of using uncompressed or lossless formats?
>>
>>Not true - they are probably thinking of the earlier SLIMP3 model, not the
>
> Squeezebox.
>
>
>
>
> Thanks everyone for the info. It looks like someone has already corrected the
> mis-information on AudioAsylum. Since my CD collection is already ripped to
> WAV, I can breath a sigh of relief and anxiously await the SB arrival.
>
>
>

Mike Olson
2004-09-07, 14:10
Jeffrey Gordon <jeff@...> writes:

>
> Your collection is in WAV format? How do you tag your files? WAV does
> not support any type of tagging? Any reason why you choose WAV over say
> a lossless encoder?
>

I wasn't sure what format I ultimately wanted, so I chose uncompressed. I'll
probably end up going to FLAC - seems to be the popular choice around here.

Daryle A. Tilroe
2004-09-07, 16:37
Mike Olson wrote:

> Jeffrey Gordon <jeff@...> writes:
>
>
>>Your collection is in WAV format? How do you tag your files? WAV does
>>not support any type of tagging? Any reason why you choose WAV over say
>>a lossless encoder?
>
> I wasn't sure what format I ultimately wanted, so I chose uncompressed. I'll
> probably end up going to FLAC - seems to be the popular choice around here.

That's going to be a big PITA unless you have a good way to
automatically query cddb; you may want to rerip if not. I know
it's to late but FLAC would have been the best even if you want
to transcode later because you can do so without loss. Going
with FLAC gets you about 3CDs/gig on average, it's a tagged format,
and tagging at rip time with EAC is a breeze. BTW don't discount
that 40 +/-5% savings. My 200GB HDD would have been full long ago
without it. Also don't forget that unless you want to rerip (you
do own all the original CDs ;-) when your HDD packs it in (and it
eventually will) you will need 2x the storage for backup. For me
that's a second 200GB HDD.

--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Pat Farrell
2004-09-07, 19:21
At 07:46 PM 9/7/2004, Phillip Kerman wrote:
>What tools to you all use to re-tag your FLACs?

I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
Windows distribution of FlacFrontEnd.

It reads the directory file names and infers
tags from that. Which is how I had EAC/CDex
rip the files.

Pat

Daryle A. Tilroe
2004-09-07, 19:46
Pat Farrell wrote:

> At 07:46 PM 9/7/2004, Phillip Kerman wrote:
>
>> What tools to you all use to re-tag your FLACs?
>
>
> I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
> Windows distribution of FlacFrontEnd.
>
> It reads the directory file names and infers
> tags from that. Which is how I had EAC/CDex
> rip the files.

How does this handle genres and dates? Unfortunately,
I also suspect there is no good way to preserve
multiple artist albums. Probably a lot better
then typing them in by hand though. :)


--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Pat Farrell
2004-09-07, 20:00
At 10:46 PM 9/7/2004, Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:
>Pat Farrell wrote:
>>I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
>>Windows distribution of FlacFrontEnd.
>
>How does this handle genres and dates? Unfortunately,
>I also suspect there is no good way to preserve
>multiple artist albums. Probably a lot better
>then typing them in by hand though. :)

I tell EAC/CDex to include the genre in the file path.
So a file goes in /songs/jazz/Wes Montgomery/A Day In The Life/....

Dates it doesn't do. Most of the time, I ignore dates.
Sometimes, I set them, as tag.exe has a date setter
parameter. Not that I can tell if the date is
the recording date, mastering date, release date,
date that the phonorecord was registered (with the (p)), etc.

Of course, genres are pretty lame in much of the cddb/freedb
date records anyway.

Pat

Pat Farrell
2004-09-08, 05:02
At 04:28 AM 9/8/2004, robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com wrote:
> > Pat Farrell wrote:
> > I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
> > I tell EAC/CDex to include the genre in the file path.
> > So a file goes in /songs/jazz/Wes Montgomery/A Day In The Life/....
>You do realise that flac can be configured to use flac compression as an
>external compressor, don't you? All the tags get written automatically.

Yes, but I don't like to do that.
Compression takes a long time, at least on my PC.
So I extract a bunch of CDs, and then compress them all
overnight. That way I don't have to wait for the compression.

Its just the way I optimize my time.

Pat

David Brittain
2004-09-08, 05:15
Have you tried using "Compression Queue Control" in EAC? Use the
shortcut Ctrl-Q or Select Tools | Compression Queue Control and check
the box "Make all compression tasks sleep". That way all compression is
queued until you uncheck the box. So, do your ripping during the day,
then uncheck that box before you leave the computer.

Dave

Pat Farrell wrote:

> At 04:28 AM 9/8/2004, robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com wrote:
>
>> > Pat Farrell wrote:
>> > I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
>> > I tell EAC/CDex to include the genre in the file path.
>> > So a file goes in /songs/jazz/Wes Montgomery/A Day In The Life/....
>> You do realise that flac can be configured to use flac compression as an
>> external compressor, don't you? All the tags get written automatically.
>
>
> Yes, but I don't like to do that.
> Compression takes a long time, at least on my PC.
> So I extract a bunch of CDs, and then compress them all
> overnight. That way I don't have to wait for the compression.
>
> Its just the way I optimize my time.
>
> Pat
>
>------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>

Steve Baumgarten
2004-09-08, 06:18
> What tools to you all use to re-tag your FLACs?

Tag&Rename handles FLACs very nicely, just like MP3 tags. It supports
lookup via freedb.org and amazon.com for album/track info and cover art.
(It no longer supports allmusic.com because they changed their license
agreement when they overhauled their site not too long ago. However, I've
found the tag info at amazon.com to be as good as allmusic.com and better
generally than the data at freedb.org.)

SBB

Daryle A. Tilroe
2004-09-08, 10:43
Pat Farrell wrote:
> At 04:28 AM 9/8/2004, robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com wrote:
>
>> > Pat Farrell wrote:
>> > I just use "tag.exe" that comes with the
>> > I tell EAC/CDex to include the genre in the file path.
>> > So a file goes in /songs/jazz/Wes Montgomery/A Day In The Life/....
>> You do realise that flac can be configured to use flac compression as an
>> external compressor, don't you? All the tags get written automatically.
>
>
> Yes, but I don't like to do that.
> Compression takes a long time, at least on my PC.
> So I extract a bunch of CDs, and then compress them all
> overnight. That way I don't have to wait for the compression.
>
> Its just the way I optimize my time.

I'm having deja vu; I think we discussed this several months
ago. Anyhow I still don't understand or remember why you do
it that way. EAC cues them up (I think you may even be able
to pause the queue) and thus as I sit down for a ripping
session the CDs just go in there one after another and
after half an hour there are probably 100+ songs queued
up for compression and I go to bed. The bottom line is
you can rip and compress at the same time and I think
you *may* even be able to pause the queue to speed up the
ripping a bit. I should really check that tonight.

--
Daryle A. Tilroe

Daryle A. Tilroe
2004-09-08, 10:47
David Brittain wrote:

> Have you tried using "Compression Queue Control" in EAC? Use the
> shortcut Ctrl-Q or Select Tools | Compression Queue Control and check
> the box "Make all compression tasks sleep". That way all compression is
> queued until you uncheck the box. So, do your ripping during the day,
> then uncheck that box before you leave the computer.

There you go, I guess it is possible. I just don't use it since
the simultaneous compression does note slow my ripping down that
much (ie. I still get about 10-20+ X).

--
Daryle A. Tilroe

ron thigpen
2004-09-08, 11:54
Daryle A. Tilroe wrote:

> I'm having deja vu; I think we discussed this several months
> ago. Anyhow I still don't understand or remember why you do
> it that way. EAC cues them up (I think you may even be able
> to pause the queue) and thus as I sit down for a ripping
> session the CDs just go in there one after another and
> after half an hour there are probably 100+ songs queued
> up for compression and I go to bed. The bottom line is
> you can rip and compress at the same time and I think
> you *may* even be able to pause the queue to speed up the
> ripping a bit. I should really check that tonight.

Yes, as of EAC V0.95 prebeta5 there is the addition of the "Compression
Queue Control Center", available as the last selection on the "Tools"
menu or via <ctrl>Q. You can reorder queued compression tasks and,
optionally, make all tasks "sleep".

--rt