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  1. #1

    Angry iTunes store purchases won't play

    I've put this out there before, but I'm going to try again, just to see if anyone has any new ideas.

    I have a Squeezebox 3 and a Mac. AAC files that I rip myself from CDs play fine. AAC files that I buy from iTunes--NOT the rights-protected DRM ones, but just the regular ones they sell now--do not. Both kinds of files have .m4a extensions. The Web interface for SqueezeCenter/Squeezebox Server shows the song playing, but the Squeezebox itself does not.

    I called technical support about this, and the gentleman read me something about how "AAC files are converted to FLAC" and tried to tell me that this meant I had to convert them all myself. I don't think he was reading that correctly--I think he meant SC/SS did the transcoding on the fly. But maybe I'm wrong. Am I?

    A related issue is that every time I try to play one of these songs, it spawns a "faad" process that consumes a ridiculous amount of my CPU. I end up with 3 or 4 of these processes and my Mac slows way down.

    I see that the settings for file types, under AAC, offer 3 choices for "stream format." Which one does it use? Also, I see all three choices have "faad" as part of the associated decoder. I don't remember that it used to say that--I think it just used to say "lame." Can I go back to that?

    Sorry to go on so long--this is just frustrating.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    What are you running sbs on PC, NAS, MAC?
    What OS (be specific)?
    What version of sbs exactly?
    Have you tried 7.4.2 version ?

    Is flac installed on your system ?
    Is faad installed ?

    Does these AAC plays on software players on the same computesr as sbs is running on ?

    Do you have any server.log files:
    a. when you are playing an ok AAC file.
    b. when you are playing an non ok file.

    Now I'm out of ideas, i got no AAC files myself can not participate in this bug hunt
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  3. #3
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    I've chimed in on this before, but can't offer any help. Except I can confirm that I have PURCHASED (not protected) AAC files from the ITUNES store that play fine on my SB's (duet, boom, transporter, SB3). I'm running 7.4.2 on windows XP machine. Other than some dynamic playlist, custom browse plugins, I've not done anything special under the hood on 7.4.2. The file types of these purchased AACs are "m4a" if that matters at all.

    edit: I do have FLAC installed on my system, but didn't have to tell SbS anything special about its location, etc.
    Last edited by garym; 2010-02-06 at 05:13.

  4. #4
    Senior Member flattermann's Avatar
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    There was a problem in the convert.conf file of SBS 7.4.0 (7.4.1?) that prevented the AAC files from being transcoded correctly.

    If you are still using SBS < 7.4.2, you should try an update.

    Edit: Probably that's not the reason of your problem, because playing self-ripped AACs seem to work... Hmmm...
    Last edited by flattermann; 2010-02-06 at 05:41.
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  5. #5

    full disclosure

    I was running SBS 7.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.2. I have actually downgraded to SBS 7.3.x in hopes of getting back to when "faad" wasn't in the transcoding choices (as far as I remember) and it just said "lame."

    I don't know what it means to have faad or flac installed on my system. What do I need, and where do I put it? I figured I must have faad installed, or I wouldnt be getting those faad processes running.

    The AAC files play fine in iTunes. And, as I said, they look like they're playing in the Web interface to SBS, so it seems like the server software must be doing something with them. I just don't get anything out of the Squeezebox itself.

    I have the server logs, but I'm not sure how to identify where the skipping happens. I'll try and nail that down. I'll also try 7.4.2, I guess.

  6. #6

    transcoding

    But thanks for chiming in again, garym. Your experience pretty much confirms that I don't need to convert all those AACs to FLAC myself, the way the tech support guy tried to tell me I did.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wakey View Post
    I was running SBS 7.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.2. I have actually downgraded to SBS 7.3.x in hopes of getting back to when "faad" wasn't in the transcoding choices (as far as I remember) and it just said "lame."

    I don't know what it means to have faad or flac installed on my system. What do I need, and where do I put it? I figured I must have faad installed, or I wouldnt be getting those faad processes running.
    Up to 7.3.2 (I think) Quicktime was used to transcode AAC files but I think there were issus with future version, so faad was licensed from AudioCoding (I think they own rights to AAC) and included in 7.3.3 onwards. For standard supported systems such as Windows, OSX and Linux - faad is included in the SBS build.

    I suspect the problem is something with the file packaging.

    Do you know how to use the command line ? If so then it is possible to just run faad on the file and see if it displays any message.

  8. #8
    That's something I'd do in Terminal? Sure, I'll take a crack at that. What's the command?

  9. #9
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    What you want to do is run "faad" with the command option "-i" and the name of a file. It would be good to first try with a file that works in order to have a benchmark of a "good" file for comparison. Then try the command on a "bad" file.

    I'm not that familiar with OSX so my terminology may be wrong.

    1. Open a File Manager windows and locate the "faad" file - in the same directory I would expect to find sox and flac executables as well.
    2. Open a File Manager window and locate a good file.
    3. Open a Terminal window.
    4. Drag the "faad" from th file manager window onto the Terminal window - I believe this should result in the full path of faad being added to a command line.
    5. Add " -i " to command line after "faad".
    6. Drag the good file to Terminal window - hopefully this will also add full path name. I'm not sure with OSX but ensure file had not been removed from source directory.
    7. Select Terminal Windows and press return to executed the command line. You should see output something like below.
    8. If it works - repeat but this time with a "bad" file.

    Code:
    /home/SBS/server/Bin/i386-linux/faad -i /home/xxx/albums/TestM4A/FriendofMine.m4a
    /home/xxx/albums/TestM4A/FriendofMine.m4a file info:
    
    LC AAC	237.563 secs, 2 ch, 44100 Hz
    
    title: Friend of Mine
    artist: Lily Allen
    album_artist: Lily Allen
    album: Alright, Still
    genre: Pop
    track: 10
    totaltracks: 13
    disc: 1
    totaldiscs: 1
    date: 2007-01-29T08:00:00Z
    compilation: 
    unknown: 
    unknown: joergschwieder
    unknown: ℗ 2007 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd
    unknown: ?z>
    unknown: 
    unknown: 	
    unknown: 
    unknown: 
    unknown: 
    unknown: 
    unknown: 
    unknown: 2008-11-12 01:28:43
    iTunMOVI: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    	<key>asset-info</key>
    	<dict>
    		<key>flavor</key>
    		<string>2:256</string>
    	</dict>
    </dict>
    </plist>

  10. #10
    Definitely different results. For an AAC file that plays, I get

    /Users/Jake/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Bob Dylan/Modern Times/Rollin' And Tumblin'.m4a file info:

    LC AAC 361.251 secs, 2 ch, 44100 Hz

    title: Rollin' And Tumblin'
    artist: Bob Dylan
    writer: Bob Dylan
    album: Modern Times
    genre: Folk
    track: 3
    totaltracks: 10
    disc: 1
    totaldiscs: 1
    date: 2006
    compilation:
    unknown:
    tempo: 00000 BPM
    tool: iTunes v7.0, QuickTime 7.1.2
    iTunSMPB: 00000000 00000840 000001B0 0000000000F34A10 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
    iTunNORM: 00000CE8 00000CE8 00002043 00002043 00027E85 00027E85 00000000 00000000 00043243 0000B326
    iTunes_CDDB_IDs: 10+2CA0ECDE9C8F0E9FBD9CA22DFF71ECE1+7936783

    For one that doesn't play, I get

    themacbook:~ Jake$ /Library/PreferencePanes/SqueezeCenter.prefPane/Contents/server/Bin/darwin/faad -i /Users/Jake/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Mos\ Def/The\ Ecstatic/Quiet\ Dog.m4a

    *********** Ahead Software MPEG-4 AAC Decoder V2.7 ******************

    Patched for SqueezeCenter
    http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=10602

    Build: Apr 7 2009
    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.

    ************************************************** ************************

    Does that suggest anything?

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