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  1. #1
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    Problem getting m4a to play (trancoded?) on Transporter

    Could anyone help me resolve why I can't get m4a files playing on my Transporter? They play fine on my Touch, but I understand this is because the Touch supports aac natively, and the Transporter doesn't. My conversion settings seem to me to be set up ok, to use faad, but it's not working.

    I'm running LMS 7.9.2 - 1578996832 on an old RPi Squeezeplug setup (Raspbian Wheezy). Here's the log extract with player.source logging set to debug, when I try to play an m4a track:
    https://pastebin.com/Dr8hUwUv

  2. #2
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    m4a files can have many reasons not to be transcoded by faad.

    Can you confirm that faad and flac work OK on your Pi. Test by playing a http/AAC stream
    http://www.somafm.com/illstreet64.pls

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    m4a files can have many reasons not to be transcoded by faad.

    Can you confirm that faad and flac work OK on your Pi. Test by playing a http/AAC stream
    http://www.somafm.com/illstreet64.pls
    Yes, that's transcoding fine and plays on my Transporter.
    Name:  2020-02-24.jpg
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    I don't why it's not working with the tracks I'm trying to play.
    Name:  2020-02-24 (1).jpg
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Size:  72.6 KB

    I notice that codec type is mentioned here (albeit as the "working" codec): https://github.com/ralph-irving/faad2/issues/4
    Last edited by rickwookie; 2020-02-24 at 01:56.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickwookie View Post
    Yes, that's transcoding fine and plays on my Transporter.

    I notice that codec type is mentioned here (albeit as the "working" codec): https://github.com/ralph-irving/faad2/issues/4
    The problem is not the codec AAC but the file structure MPEG4 (aka mp4).

    faad support some but not all the possibles variants of MPEG4.

    On LMS WebUI when you drill down onto the problem track - what does LMS say the "File format" is (this is on the same display with "View tags" as last entry) ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    The problem is not the codec AAC but the file structure MPEG4 (aka mp4).

    faad support some but not all the possibles variants of MPEG4.

    On LMS WebUI when you drill down onto the problem track - what does LMS say the "File format" is (this is on the same display with "View tags" as last entry) ?
    File Format: MPEG-4

    That's the same as what mediainfo reports (see earlier screenie).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickwookie View Post
    File Format: MPEG-4

    That's the same as what mediainfo reports (see earlier screenie).
    MPEG4 is the most generic description. It doesn't tell how file is structured. In LMS there can be an additional qualification "leading audio" which gives a hint at structure.

    Your problem is odd - usually files can be played using faad but fail when playing natively on Touch.

    Can you get a log of LMS trying to play the file to transporter with logging player.source set to INFO

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    MPEG4 is the most generic description. It doesn't tell how file is structured. In LMS there can be an additional qualification "leading audio" which gives a hint at structure.

    Your problem is odd - usually files can be played using faad but fail when playing natively on Touch.

    Can you get a log of LMS trying to play the file to transporter with logging player.source set to INFO
    https://pastebin.com/B9SQEkRG

    UPDATE: Ok I looked through all my albums to see if I had any other m4a files (nearly everything I have is my CD collection ripped to flac) and it turns out I have 12 albums in m4a format. All of the tracks from all of the other albums play on both the Transporter and the Touch, but none of the tracks from this one album in question play on the Transporter, but they DO play on the Touch.

    I've been through all the files with media info and I thought I'd found something in that all of the other albums are 256kbps variable (actual one is only 192kbps variable, but that works too) whereas this "duff" album is 128kbps constant... but then when I checked the final m4a album I had, that was also 128kbps constant, and sure enough THAT one plays on both the Transporter AND the Touch too. I really can't see ANY difference between the format of the duff album and that last one.
    Last edited by rickwookie; 2020-02-24 at 11:34.

  8. #8
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    I'm happy to DM you a link to one of the curious tracks if you're interested, but I think the sensible thing for me to do in the circumstances is just re-encode that one album and see if it fixes it, because clearly there's nothing wrong with my transcoding settings if they work for every other m4a I have.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickwookie View Post
    I'm happy to DM you a link to one of the curious tracks if you're interested, but I think the sensible thing for me to do in the circumstances is just re-encode that one album and see if it fixes it, because clearly there's nothing wrong with my transcoding settings if they work for every other m4a I have.
    I'd be interested to examine the track in detail. It;'s the only way to tackle these odd issues., MPEG4 has many options and so hard to say offhand what the issue could be. You can use something like ffmpeg to re-encode without having to rerip but it is not a friendly tool.

    I had hope some other detail might show up in the log - they didn't.

    It looks like the transcode faad/flac just stops without transcoding any audio.

    If the problem is faad - it may produce an error message if run from a shell prompt with a command such as
    Code:
    /usr/share/squeezeboxserver/Bin/armhf-linux/faad" -w -f 1 "/mnt/samba/Music/Albums/Various Artists - In the Night Garden/24 Time to Go to Sleep.m4a"  >output.wav

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    I'd be interested to examine the track in detail. It;'s the only way to tackle these odd issues., MPEG4 has many options and so hard to say offhand what the issue could be. You can use something like ffmpeg to re-encode without having to rerip but it is not a friendly tool.

    I had hope some other detail might show up in the log - they didn't.

    It looks like the transcode faad/flac just stops without transcoding any audio.

    If the problem is faad - it may produce an error message if run from a shell prompt with a command such as
    Code:
    /usr/share/squeezeboxserver/Bin/armhf-linux/faad" -w -f 1 "/mnt/samba/Music/Albums/Various Artists - In the Night Garden/24 Time to Go to Sleep.m4a"  >output.wav
    Well that had me foxed for a good while before I spotted the rogue " after faad. So assuming the command is
    Code:
    /usr/share/squeezeboxserver/Bin/armhf-linux/faad -w -f 1 "/mnt/samba/Music/Albums/Various Artists - In the Night Garden/24 Time to Go to Sleep.m4a"  >output.wav
    The command never finishes...

    ....stays static after displaying:
    Code:
     *********** Ahead Software MPEG-4 AAC Decoder V2.7 ******************
    
     Patched for Squeezebox Server:
     * ALAC decoder integrated
     * Seeking support with -j and -e switches
     * STDIN support
     * utgg win32 STDOUT patch
     * Source at https://github.com/ralph-irving/faad2
    
     Build: Apr  6 2017
     Copyright 2002-2004: Ahead Software AG
     http://www.audiocoding.com
     Floating point version
    
     This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
     it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
    
     **************************************************************************
    , and if I force quit it with Ctrl-C, output.wav is zero bytes.
    Last edited by rickwookie; 2020-02-24 at 13:43.

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