Formatting USB for car audio surround. (Using JRiver Formatting). Questions.

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marpow

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I don't expect anyone to know exactly what I need to do, but there are some things I am doing, that even though I am doing it, does not mean I understand.
My surround sound car build has gone well.
This is my 5.1 DECODER that I installed.
I thought all I had to do was take my DSD files and format into FLAC and all would be good. Did not work out. When I played the new format files it was not legible. I have re-formatted changed the settings to FLAC, the DSP to 5.1, 24 bit and volume leveling (compression) to zero. The first time which was a bust compression was set to JRiver recommended level 6.
At this new format setting, the 5.1 audio is now legible but seems too separate in each channel, meaning I would like a more balanced/faded surround, like at home.
As a side note, when I take a DSD file and format to FLAC using all the recommended JRiver settings the FLAC files play perfectly on home rig.

My questions are:
1. My compression setting choices are 0-8. I do not understand. 6 is recommended by JRiver but does not work, 0 seems to work. What does it mean 0-8?
2. I can set to various bit rates including 24 bit and 24 bit (padded), what is the difference?
3. I have set output encoding to NONE, the next setting is DOLBY DIGITAL ENCODING, maybe that would be better? I know the remaining DSD output encodings would not work.
4. Channels, I believe instead of (source number of channels), it is best to set to actual number of channels, like 5.1 or 4.0?
5. There is a selection for JRSS mixing (recommended), don't know what that means? Maybe selecting "no upmixing or downmixing" would be a better choice?

Any knowledge or suggestions would be appreciated. I know I could try all these different options above, but even if I find the way, it doesn't mean I understand.

I also know that once I find the proper format for the 5.1 decoder eventually I will need to use the JL Audio amps DSP settings which will be the final step for surround in the car.

Thanks for tips and knowledge.
 
1) That is the level of flac compression. 0 being none, 8 being the most.
This impacts the size of the file 0 = largest, 8 = smallest.
It also increases the duration of the file creation due to the CPU time it takes to compress.
None should impact playback, it just sounds like your car wants uncompressed flac which means larger files.
 
I don't expect anyone to know exactly what I need to do, but there are some things I am doing, that even though I am doing it, does not mean I understand.
My surround sound car build has gone well.
This is my 5.1 DECODER that I installed.
I thought all I had to do was take my DSD files and format into FLAC and all would be good. Did not work out. When I played the new format files it was not legible. I have re-formatted changed the settings to FLAC, the DSP to 5.1, 24 bit and volume leveling (compression) to zero. The first time which was a bust compression was set to JRiver recommended level 6.
At this new format setting, the 5.1 audio is now legible but seems too separate in each channel, meaning I would like a more balanced/faded surround, like at home.
As a side note, when I take a DSD file and format to FLAC using all the recommended JRiver settings the FLAC files play perfectly on home rig.

My questions are:
1. My compression setting choices are 0-8. I do not understand. 6 is recommended by JRiver but does not work, 0 seems to work. What does it mean 0-8?
2. I can set to various bit rates including 24 bit and 24 bit (padded), what is the difference?
3. I have set output encoding to NONE, the next setting is DOLBY DIGITAL ENCODING, maybe that would be better? I know the remaining DSD output encodings would not work.
4. Channels, I believe instead of (source number of channels), it is best to set to actual number of channels, like 5.1 or 4.0?
5. There is a selection for JRSS mixing (recommended), don't know what that means? Maybe selecting "no upmixing or downmixing" would be a better choice?

Any knowledge or suggestions would be appreciated. I know I could try all these different options above, but even if I find the way, it doesn't mean I understand.

I also know that once I find the proper format for the 5.1 decoder eventually I will need to use the JL Audio amps DSP settings which will be the final step for surround in the car.

Thanks for tips and knowledge.
1. Compression settings are exactly what it sounds like. 0 is no compression (and has a bitrate of the equivalent WAV file) whilst 8 reduces the bitrate the most.
3. Do NOT do Dolby Digital Encoding.
4. For compatibility reasons, I recommend 5.1.
 
2)
24 bit means just that, 24 bits.
If you use 24 bit (padded) it usually means it will pad the output up to 32 bits by jamming in a bunch of 0s.
 
1. Compression settings are exactly what it sounds like. 0 is no compression (and has a bitrate of the equivalent WAV file) whilst 8 reduces the bitrate the most.
If that's the case, why bother going to FLAC? Why not leave them as .wav files?

I know others on the forum have to use FLAC with 0 compression for their surround playback systems as well. They might have some input.
 
Most systems do not read all of the tag data if they are a wav file. However, a flac file retains all of the tag data, including the graphic, which is nice to have in the car.

My only experience is with the factory Acura systems, and they must have flac, zero compression, and have a full set of six channels, which means for a quad file you have to insert an empty center and LFE channel.

Garry's excellent MutiMedia Helper App takes care of most of this requirement. Check it out (Garry is QQ Member 'HomerJAU')
 
Another thing I noticed the 5.1 Decoder says is:
The capacity is 128G/Fat 32 format.

Does that mean the total of the thumb drive cannot exceed 128G?
Or the song playing cannot exceed 128g?

For instance I could not use a 1TB thumb drive?
 
Another thing I noticed the 5.1 Decoder says is:
The capacity is 128G/Fat 32 format.

Does that mean the total of the thumb drive cannot exceed 128G?
Or the song playing cannot exceed 128g?

For instance I could not use a 1TB thumb drive?
128GB would be one long track.

I'm going with that's the largest drive capacity.
 
It's really common to see products with USB ports that aren't computers require FAT32 disk format with Master Boot Record scheme. (Don't forget the correct scheme!) USB flash drives are usually formatted that way by default... But do it yourself anyway!

I've also heard of size limitations. There are some weird chip sets out there and products with odd restrictions. Even though the disk format supports it.

5.1 or 2.0 being the only formats recognized even though 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, etc are official is VERY common.

I've seen software only read flac up to level 5 (default) compression before.

I've seen software that defaults to expecting 16 bit when it sees a wav file.

If you have a stubborn digital device giving you the silent treatment it might be worth investigating. You'll at least be armed with the details if something makes it no go and you need to make a return.
 
FWIW - In formatting HDDs to play multi-channel FLACs thru OPPO BDP-93 players, I found the only formatting that would be recognized by that machine is MBR + FAT32 with it's 2TB limit. I found Oppo notes about potentially removing such limitations thru firmware then they ultimately found this could not be accomplished thru firmware. By contrast, the OPPO BDP-103 will accept my 5TB GPT NTFS HDDs with no issue.
 
I use a 1TB USB SSD with FAT32 in my Audi A5, and it'll handle FLAC (Level 5) - even at 96kHz though the manual says only 48kHz! The infotainment system software however is not user friendly, and with the touch screen, dangerous to use on the move!
 
Good stuff you guys, I am learning.
I have 1TB Samsung SSD that I can use other than FAT32, is it NFTS, something like that and works beautifully in the center console USB connect, plays through the OEM (stock) head unit, through all the new speakers, amps, etc, but only stereo, and I can basically throw all kinds of bit rates and KHz, super easy, but only stereo.
The unit that I purchased, perfect size, fits in glove box, for the 5.1 decoding, of course some obscure Chinese made product, screen function is nice with easy to use remote while driving, just sounds like crap at moment.

I am going to take all your suggestions above along with pen and paper, and I am going to start experimenting with sizes of USB and different files, I purchased 6 FAT32 thumb drives for my experiment.

I cannot return the Decoder as I took it apart so screen is in my view but unit is in glove box, actually very cool, but of course I am wondering if my Decoder is any good, but need to try a bunch of different formats first, one song over and over, thanks for your help I think I am making progress.
 
I hope you get this system to work as I want do the same thing. Wow, that is one obscure piece of gear! All of the pages leading to this item besides Amazon are gone, 404 or otherwise unavailable.
 
1. Compression settings are exactly what it sounds like. 0 is no compression (and has a bitrate of the equivalent WAV file) whilst 8 reduces the bitrate the most.
Just want to point out that FLAC compression (0 through 8) does NOT change audio quality/bit rate. FLAC is lossless compression so audio quality is same as source regardless of compression setting. As @Marplot stated above, it only determines the final size of the FLAC file. So I guess it's there for compatibility issues with decoders.

But...I actually don't know about converting DSD to FLAC...is that something that FLAC can do lossless?

Edit - looks like JRiver converts DSF to PCM before converting to FLAC. That makes sense and I'm sure it sounds fine.
 
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