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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    How hard would it be to add multichannel support for FLAC?

    Curious if this would be a huge task or not.

    I searched but I found only very old posts (like thirteen years old posts...).

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
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    Ireland
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    This only 10 years ago highlight technical issues (e.g. can't use spdif)
    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...-channel-audio

    edit:

    Main issue may not be the difficulty but who would have the time to would implement it.
    Last edited by bpa; 2020-05-30 at 12:05.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    586
    This doesn't directly answer your question, but as a multichannel fan myself I've had good luck for several years playing it via Kodi on an Odroid C2.

    Older Raspberry Pi models never worked well for me with multichannel, but the most recent Pi 4 works just fine.

    From the standpoint of LMS, all the official Logitech hardware is 2 channel and has no output capable of transmitting lossless multichannel PCM. While I've certainly wanted that feature for years, I can understand Logitech not wanting to pay someone to add capability that's completely irrelevant to what they used to sell. But I admit that I always fantasized that the successor to the Touch would have HDMI out and multichannel capability. Sigh...

    Kodi's library management is nowhere near as slick as LMS's (is anything?) but it's not horrific. Certainly the basics work well enough: You can play albums/tracks, add to a currently playing queue, remove tracks, rearrange tracks, etc.

    Because so much hardware that's still out there either doesn't attempt to play gaplessly or doesn't do it reliably, I finally threw in the towel and did all my multichannel FLAC (and DSD) albums as whole-disc files with cue sheets. Kodi will read the cue sheets and play the tracks gaplessly, but if I want to play the same album on something less wonderful, I can just tell it to play the giant FLAC or DSF file. I won't have track access, but I won't be annoyed by gaps. Granted, if you're more of a track person than an album person, you won't necessarily care either way.

    I've read that adapting LMS to multichannel would be a huge task. There are also other considerations like "What should happen when sending a multichannel file to a stereo-only player?" Should the server remix to a stereo file or just send the bits as is and hope the player doesn't blow up? What about when players with different capabilities are synced?

    Last time I played with this, I found that you can send a multichannel FLAC to a Touch and it will indeed play, but I don't know if it's only playing 2 of the 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 channels or if it's actually downmixing. If you send a multichannel FLAC to an SB3, it confuses it so horribly that it won't work again for anything unless you power cycle it.

    Having said all that, I'd still love it. Being able to have all my 2-channel and greater music in one place managed by one system would be spectacular.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Canada
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    6,125
    Quote Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
    This doesn't directly answer your question, but as a multichannel fan myself I've had good luck for several years playing it via Kodi on an Odroid C2.

    Older Raspberry Pi models never worked well for me with multichannel, but the most recent Pi 4 works just fine.

    From the standpoint of LMS, all the official Logitech hardware is 2 channel and has no output capable of transmitting lossless multichannel PCM. While I've certainly wanted that feature for years, I can understand Logitech not wanting to pay someone to add capability that's completely irrelevant to what they used to sell. But I admit that I always fantasized that the successor to the Touch would have HDMI out and multichannel capability. Sigh...

    Kodi's library management is nowhere near as slick as LMS's (is anything?) but it's not horrific. Certainly the basics work well enough: You can play albums/tracks, add to a currently playing queue, remove tracks, rearrange tracks, etc.

    Because so much hardware that's still out there either doesn't attempt to play gaplessly or doesn't do it reliably, I finally threw in the towel and did all my multichannel FLAC (and DSD) albums as whole-disc files with cue sheets. Kodi will read the cue sheets and play the tracks gaplessly, but if I want to play the same album on something less wonderful, I can just tell it to play the giant FLAC or DSF file. I won't have track access, but I won't be annoyed by gaps. Granted, if you're more of a track person than an album person, you won't necessarily care either way.

    I've read that adapting LMS to multichannel would be a huge task. There are also other considerations like "What should happen when sending a multichannel file to a stereo-only player?" Should the server remix to a stereo file or just send the bits as is and hope the player doesn't blow up? What about when players with different capabilities are synced?

    Last time I played with this, I found that you can send a multichannel FLAC to a Touch and it will indeed play, but I don't know if it's only playing 2 of the 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 channels or if it's actually downmixing. If you send a multichannel FLAC to an SB3, it confuses it so horribly that it won't work again for anything unless you power cycle it.

    Having said all that, I'd still love it. Being able to have all my 2-channel and greater music in one place managed by one system would be spectacular.
    If I look at squeezelite implementation, it's totally 1,2 channels. You would need to change a lot the decode and the output buffer management system to make it more than 2. Lot of work, doable, but a lot, and you have to find a motivated dev for a case that he is personally interested into
    LMS 7.9 on Pi 3B+ & Odroid-C2 - SqueezeAMP!, 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB3. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, Squeezelite on Pi, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5, Riva 1 & 3

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