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oiler1fan
2012-07-12, 05:25
Since iTunes was first published I have managed my music this way;
- imported CD's into iTunes using WAV encoder, these files I use to play on the Squeezebox
- created an AAC copy of each song in the same folder for use on iPods
- integrated iTunes with Slimserver and unchecked the AAC files in iTunes so that Slimserver ignores them when scanning My Music folder

Now with over 11,000 songs. lots of memory required for WAV and bugs with Slimserver - like all my multi-disc albums not displaying any songs - I want to convert all my WAV files to FLAC for use on the Squeezebox but still retain the AAC versions for iTunes use. How can I do this cleanly and quickly and in what folder should I store the FLAC files so that Slimserver does not scan both FLAC and AAC content?

garym
2012-07-12, 05:49
Since iTunes was first published I have managed my music this way;
- imported CD's into iTunes using WAV encoder, these files I use to play on the Squeezebox
- created an AAC copy of each song in the same folder for use on iPods

Now with over 11,000 songs. lots of memory required for WAV and bugs with LMS - like all my multi-disc folders not containing any songs - I want to convert all my WAV files to FLAC for use on the Squeezebox but still retain the AAC versions for iTunes. How can I do this cleanly and quickly and in what folder should I store the FLAC files so that LMS does not scan both FLAC and AAC content?

see this post for how I keep FLAC separate from mp3/aac files. (and I do NOT use itunes integration in LMS, but I do use itunes for my istuff)
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?94619-FLAC-vs-Apple-Lossles-Audio-Quality-through-Squeeze-Box&p=708100&viewfull=1#post708100

basically, you keep you lossless files in one directory, your mp3/aac only files in another directory, and your mp3/aac duplicates of lossless files in a 3rd directory. P

x:\music
x:\music\flac
x:\music\lossy
x:\othermusic\lossycopies

And in LMS you point your music library to x:\music (so it picks up only FLACs and lossy that you have ONLY lossy versions).
For itunes, you point at x:\music\lossy, and then you separately "add" the folder x:\othermusic\lossycopies.

regarding conversion, there are many option. I use dbpoweramp, and it can convert from almost anything to FLAC. You could also use foobar2000 to convert from WAV to FLAC. I suspect your main issue will be transferring metadata. There is no standard for WAV (one reason why FLAC is so much better for lossless files). And add to this that itunes stores its metadata in its own database rather than as tags in the WAV files (based on my understanding). However, if your file names and directory structures are good for the wAV files you can easily automatically create metadata from the file name/directory location (i.e., good structure means separate directories for ARTIST, with subdirectories for each ALBUM, and each wav track file has a name that includes track number and track name). You can easily do this in a batch manner with mp3tag, file > tag option (yes, mp3tag works with FLAC), or with similar approaches in foobar2000 or dbpa.

aubuti
2012-07-12, 06:02
There are several tools you can use to transcode from WAV to FLAC. Which you choose depends first on what OS you are using, and secondarily on your preferences among the available software, and third on what you're willing to pay. On Windows I can highly recommend dBpoweramp for transcoding; it is also an outstanding ripping program with excellent metadata support. If you want freeware then foobar2000 is another good choice for converting WAV to FLAC. And, of course, there is the FLAC program itself, which is available for Windows and Linux, but I'm not sure about OSX.

One thing you will have to deal with is getting the metadata (tags) into your new FLAC files. iTunes does not write tags to WAV files -- instead it keeps the metadata information in its own database. You need to figure out a way to get that information out of the iTunes database and into the tags in the new FLAC files. If the file and foldernames are consistent (e.g., \The Beatles\Revolver\01 - Taxman.wav) then you can use a tool like mp3tag to write the info in the file and folder names to tags in the FLAC files, although that will still leave frequently-useful fields such as YEAR, GENRE, etc empty. You may be able to fill in missing tag information with mp3tag as well. But you may be in for a lot of manual tagging work, which is a direct result of using WAV files to begin with, as very few programs write tags to WAV files.

Separating your AAC and FLAC files is easy: do it at a high level and maintain parallel branches. So instead of having your current situation of stuffing everything in the same album folder, like so:
\The Beatles\Revolver\01-Taxman.wav
\The Beatles\Revolver\01-Taxman.aac
\The Beatles\Revolver\02-Eleanor Rigby.wav
\The Beatles\Revolver\02-Eleanor Rigby.aac

you will have:
\FLAC\The Beatles\Revolver\01-Taxman.flac
\FLAC\The Beatles\Revolver\02-Eleanor Rigby.flac
\AAC\The Beatles\Revolver\01-Taxman.aac
\AAC\The Beatles\Revolver\02-Eleanor Rigby.aac

Then just point Logitech Media Server to \FLAC and it won't see the AAC files at all. Maintaining this kind of parallel structure as you add new albums is easy with software such as dBpoweramp.

RonM
2012-07-12, 12:28
I do believe that LMS now supports AAC, why not just use that format for everything? No conversion.

R.

aubuti
2012-07-12, 12:51
I was assuming that the AAC copy for the iPods is lossy. So if the OP wants to preserve a lossless copy for home use then the WAV needs to be converted to some other lossless codec, and kept separate from the lossy AAC.

garym
2012-07-12, 13:07
I was assuming that the AAC copy for the iPods is lossy. So if the OP wants to preserve a lossless copy for home use then the WAV needs to be converted to some other lossless codec, and kept separate from the lossy AAC.

agree. but this does make me think, what about converting from WAV to ALAC (lossless) using itunes itself. This might transfer over ALL the metadata, which would be nice. Then you can easily convert from ALAC to FLAC if so desired (and this would be lossless > lossless, so no problem). dbpa or foobar2000 could handle this on a windows machine.

oiler1fan
2012-07-13, 04:37
Thanks for the advice - but the lost metadata issues that may arise from converting 1100+ WAV albums is really concerning. I tried it last night with one artist and six albums using dbpoweramp and mp3tag and it was far from automatic as I had to do one album at a time for mp3tag to recognize the song list (unless I'm doing something wrong) so converting my entire WAV file catalog would take forever.

On a side note, strangely all my multi-disc albums that were empty suddenly become populated. I suspect that LMS does not like running scans while iTunes is open.

garym
2012-07-13, 05:07
Thanks for the advice - but the lost metadata issues that may arise from converting 1100+ WAV albums is really concerning. I tried it last night with one artist and six albums using dbpoweramp and mp3tag and it was far from automatic as I had to do one album at a time for mp3tag to recognize the song list (unless I'm doing something wrong) so converting my entire WAV file catalog would take forever.

On a side note, strangely all my multi-disc albums that were empty suddenly become populated. I suspect that LMS does not like running scans while iTunes is open.

you theoretically should be able to do all of the files in one batch from mp3tag. I have done thousands at one time. Here are the steps I use:

1. Open files in mp3tag
2. Select the files you want to convert (could be thousands!)
3. Right click, then select CONVERT from upper menu, then select FILENAME - TAG
4. Then in the popup screen, enter the format of the file name/location mapped to the metadata fields you want. When you get this right, you should see in the popup window how things will look. See my attached picture.

In my example, the files themselves have a format of: tracknumber-tracktitle.flac and are stored in directories of ARTIST, then ALBUM. So this 7 Walkers CD (band name and album name is the same in this case) looks like this for each track:

V:\music\flac\7 Walkers\7 Walkers\01-Wyat Radio-Cane River Waltz.flac

The "mask" I've entered in my convert window takes the above and creates the ARTIST field, the ALBUM field, the tracknumber field, and the Title field. The "." in front of all this just tells it to put all this stuff in the same upper level directory (i.e., V:\music\flac) that already exists. So if your WAV files are arranged by ARTIST/ALBUM/track#-Title, this would work. And it doesn't have to be exactly like mine, it can have no "-" or extra spaces, or extra info in file name, etc. The key is you have to match up the info in the filename with some field. You can even use %dummy% as a field to hold info that you don't really want in the metadata. Play around with this a bit and you'll find it quite useful and easy.

EDIT: Although I'm only showing one album here, I could have thousands of albums loaded up in mp3tag all at once, and use the same single Convert > Filename - Tag command to automatically assign whatever is in the directory and filename to the tags. So doing this album by album is not required.

RonM
2012-07-13, 05:26
I was assuming that the AAC copy for the iPods is lossy. So if the OP wants to preserve a lossless copy for home use then the WAV needs to be converted to some other lossless codec, and kept separate from the lossy AAC.

Yes, sorry all. I saw "use in iTunes" but missed the "for iPod" reference.

R.

epoch1970
2012-07-13, 06:38
If you're using a Mac you could get Max to do wav -> flac conversion.

However, I'd try something else before that: use iTunes to do wav -> alac (apple lossless) and see how your SB server copes with on-the-fly transcoding (needed with recent players?)

My old-style players won't do AAC or ALAC but I have found (a bit late...) that transcoding works very well.

(I suggest this because I suppose staying within iTunes would help avoid tag migration issues. Feel free to ditch iTunes altogether if you'd like.)

Gingernut63
2012-07-15, 01:31
I don't see the need to have a separate database for the iPods. I'd convert to ALAC and then to FLAC as previously suggested.

I use MediaMonkey for music database management, playing music when on the computer and converting and loading music to a variety of portable devices. My collection consists of mp3 and FLAC files and any new rips are done as FLAC (slowly replacing the mp3s). My wife and son have iPods and if they are not using iPeng and wish to play music from the device itself, then the iPod is connected to MediaMonkey via usb and it will convert (if required) and load the music to the iPod. One database for multiple devices. Don't use iTunes at all and use CopyTrans Manager (Freeware) for anything MediaMonkey cannot do.

Works very well for the family and myself. It can also play and manage any OGG, ALAC, AAC, MP4, M4A files you may have. MediaMonkey also offers database management for other multimedia i.e. video, however I use other programs for that.

Cheers