Atmos Experiences, Frustrations and a Plea for Help

QuadraphonicQuad

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It’s mainly because it can be easily tagged, just like FLAC, and can hold Atmos and TrueHD codecs. The downside is this feature (codec support) is relatively new and some application/players can’t playback. JRiver was one a couple years ago, not sure if it now supports M4A with Atmos. Old BD players like Oppos don’t recognise Atmos in M4A either.
No disagreement on any points. Hit and miss playing of m4a on VLC and PowerDVD is still a brainteaser to me. Speaking of the same files playing fine/not playing. I have noticed that importing a group of m4a files into PowerDVD sometimes will not initially play (same with VLC). On closing and reopening the PowerDVD app sometimes all is good. To be clear, as opposed to selection in the Windows File Manager "play with or open with" vs selecting through PowerDVD's browser. Would seem to indicate an app problem if it were just one, but two affected simultaneously bears out something else going on. Just not sure what.
Still I find PowerDVD overall with less problems with m4a. Confirmation bias? maybe, as I tend to use PowerDVD more. Still...
 
But how does one find out how to properly do the tagging required by Kodi? For whatever reason, I can't seem to find anything that explains this.

I wish I’d seen your post earlier, but for those interested Kodi needs the following tags to load its music database.

Track (track no) - * standard tag by all taggers
Title*
albumname*
Artist * (the track Artist)
AlbumArtist* (the Artist the album was released by)

It can also use:
Genre*
Disc*
Album Cover (image file tag)*

Tagscanner, MP3tag, MMH all have these ‘standard’ tags in there default tagging dialogs.
 
I wish I’d seen your post earlier, but for those interested Kodi needs the following tags to load its music database.

Track (track no) - * standard tag by all taggers
Title*
albumname*
Artist * (the track Artist)
AlbumArtist* (the Artist the album was released by)

It can also use:
Genre*
Disc*
Album Cover (image file tag)*

Tagscanner, MP3tag, MMH all have these ‘standard’ tags in there default tagging dialogs.
That is exactly how I did it with m4a files and using MMH for tagging and I still had lots of problems. It is a moot point now but who knows maybe sometime in the future I will give it another go. Thanks for the reply. Jim
 
All you need is any size png or jpg named: folder.png or folder.jpg for Kodi in the album folder to display the album art during playback.



For Atmos and TrueHD using M4A allows those files to be easily tagged and read into the Kodi music library (database). If you use m4a files with tagged album art Kodi displays that also.

If you’d used M4A for your Atmos albums you wouldn’t have had so many issues :)

EDIT: Kodi does not read tags from MKV or MKA files for music, that’s why users need cue files for mka files. Matroska tags are very different to other tagging systems and most apps don’t read or write them.
I also did not know that the picture file had to be named "folder.jpg" . When I named the files cover.jpg, it did work in the vast majority of cases and when I reduced the size of the problem files images to 500 pixels, they all seemed to work. You are providing good information here that will be of considerable use in the future.
 
That is exactly how I did it with m4a files and using MMH for tagging and I still had lots of problems. It is a moot point now but who knows maybe sometime in the future I will give it another go. Thanks for the reply. Jim

Did you have your album folders under a Kodi Music Library ‘Source’ folder and 'scan' your library after adding new files? This is the process where Kodi reads all the file tags and loads then into the music database. That is how Kodi displays your music. From its music database, grouping by Artist, Genre, Year etc.

For navigation I use my iPAD but users can also use iPhone and Android phones and tablets:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/official-kodi-remote/id520480364https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.xbmc.kore&hl=en&gl=US
 
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Did you have your album folders under a Kodi Music Library asource folder and 'scan' your library after adding new files? This is the process where Kodi reads all the file tags and loads then into the music database. That is how Kodi displays your music. From its music database, grouping by Artist, Genre, Year etc.

For navigation I use my iPAD but users can also use iPhone and Android phones and tablets:

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/official-kodi-remote/id520480364https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.xbmc.kore&hl=en&gl=US
Funny you should bring up scanning the library. I was about to send a reply indicating that scanning did not seem to occur because when I tried searching under album or artist, I only got 1 of each. Isn’t it supposed to update automatically on startup? That’s what I had it set to. Why wouldn’t it scan automatically otherwise how would I get it to scan?

My files are on an 8TB hard drive that was attached to a USB port on the back of the Nvidia Shield Pro. The file structure is:

D:\

Atmos MKV Files

Rock Music

Air

10 000 Hz Legend [MKV Atmos]

01. Electronic Performers.m4a

02. How Does It Make You Feel

….etc.

Air - Air 10,000 Hz Legend [M4A Atmos].cue

BLU-RAY AUDIO_t00.mkv

Cover.jpg



Beatles, The

Abbey Road [MKV Atmos]

Note: Same pattern as above for the individual songs, cue file, mkv file, cover jpg file

Let It Be [MKV Atmos]

…etc.



Note: I do my albums the same way as I do for Roon in the format Album Artist: Album Title [M4A Atmos] as in the Air example above or, for an individual artist it would be in the form I use successfully in Roon: McKennitt {Loreena}: The Visit [M4A Atmos]

This is all done via your wonderful MMH Helper program including extracting audio from the MKV files, creating the cue file, adding the artwork, and, of course, tagging.

I don’t know what you mean by “Kodi Music Library parent folder”—wouldn’t that be the Atmos MKV Files folder. Maybe that is part of the problem.

Perhaps from the information I have provided you may be able to suggest how I might get Kodi to work. If there is a reasonable chance of success, I am willing to give this another go; I am sure that the store I bought the Nvidia Shield Pro would be very happy to let me buy back the unit I just returned.

Before I forget, Kodi does seem to support Mka files after all. The list they give is ordered in a strange way that makes it easy to miss.

Again, thank you for all your efforts.
 
Read and follow this:

https://kodi.wiki/view/Adding_music_to_the_library
On your disc (if it’s only used for music) set the root folder as your ‘Music Source’.

If you are using the disc for other media and files then create a new folder name: ‘Music’ and cut and paste your existing music folders (Atmos Music, Rock Music etc) into the new Music folder (i.e move your existing music folders to the new Music folder). So ‘Music’ is your root Music Source folder and all your music media sub-folders and album folders etc are under that. You will copy your new albums under this Music Source. When Kodi scans for music it looks under that folder and all sub folders recursively. All files and tags are saved to the Kodi Music database.

By default Kodi does not scan your sources on startup. Users can do it from any music view in the Kodi UI by clicking the cursor off screen to the left. A side menu pops out with an option near bottom to ‘scan new content’ or similar (sorry can’t remember exact text).

Edit: I think the ‘left off screen menu’ is not in all skins. But the doc linked above has a reference to Scanning, please look at that. You only need to scan after you add new files.
 
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Probably a dumb question... Why can't Kodi play .mka contained files along with a .cue file?
It can. But you need to remove the chapters from the MKA file. The cue file must have identical name to the MKA file (name without the extension must be identical). Kodi then uses the cue instead of scanning the MKA for chapters.
Well that's easy enough. Personally I use the .mka container for all my bit-streamed audio format back-ups. Primarily because support for muxing lossless Dolby TrueHD (and lossy Dolby Digital Plus) within the .mp4/.m4a container (as a private stream) came quite a few years later...
 
I don't know what kodi supports in cue files, but many apps don't require the running time between tracks, which is sort of a pita to compute. Often you can just substitute INDEX 01 00:00:00 at each INDEX marker, unless of course you are working from a single file source that needs be split into chapters.
 
I don't know what kodi supports in cue files, but many apps don't require the running time between tracks, which is sort of a pita to compute. Often you can just substitute INDEX 01 00:00:00 at each INDEX marker, unless of course you are working from a single file source that needs be split into chapters.
I'll see if I can find some of the 'cue sheet' test files I created for OPPO, back in the day ;)
 
I'll see if I can find some of the 'cue sheet' test files I created for OPPO, back in the day ;)
I think, IIRC, the only times I felt a need for a cue sheet with the running album time, was when I did some "album at once" upmixing, reason being to nail down the track times to convert from fps to ms to input into discWelder for a DVDA. I do have somewhere a spreadsheet and old acquaintance wrote many years ago that does the calculations back and forth between fps and ms.
 
Hi @mandrix

Here's a link to my Microsoft OneDrive where I have uploaded a Cue file test with FLAC for you. The 'cue sheet' file can be opened and amended using any (.txt) text editor.

Cheers
Nice transitions from track to track!
But you know I can make cue files, right? Been doing it a long time, if not so much these days.
I keep cue files stored that I can fill in whatever information I need to.
I'm sure it can be helpful for others, however and I applaud the sharing. I hope those less well versed will learn from your work, SMD.
 
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