How many of you can play MC flac files directly?

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Owen Smith

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Either that or time to go shopping at Ikea. LOL
With the other stuff I have in my main room there really isn't space for more furniture. I have a 100 year old family heirloom oak dresser, and that would have to go to make room. I can't do it.
 

GarryH

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This thread has inspired me to look into making my own 5.1 music available as MC FLAC.

As Mac-only user, I've found that VLC will easily create MC FLAC files from 6CH WAV using the “standard” channel order of 1Lf-2Rf-3C-4LFE-5Ls-6Rs. VLC's Metadata editing capabilities seem somewhat non-standard, but I can use video conversion software tools to complete it correctly.

Do those of you playing files from your NAS library etc. care about the FLAC Metadata (Artist, Album, Description, Date info etc.)?

Do you have a preferred sample rate? i.e. have any of you had trouble playing 96k-24bit MC FLAC files because the data rate was too high, or because your (older) hardware only supports 44k or 48k playback?
 

Jim the Oldbie

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My main music "player" these days is a cheap little netbook, and it does OK with Foobar playing multichannel 96/24 FLAC files via HDMI out, no glitches. It does stumble if I try to make it convert a DSD file as it plays, so I convert them all to PCM FLACs too. I haven't even bothered trying to play video on it; I just got it so I don't have to fire up the big old HTPC just to play some tunes.

As for sample rates: My main HTPC uses an otherwise-great Nvidia graphics card, which unfortunately doesn't do 88.2K or 176.4K via HDMI. So I was resampling my SACD rips to 96K for awhile. Now that I have the little netbook for audio, it doesn't have a problem with those rates, so I've been converting the SACDs to 176K with no problems so far.

One cool thing about Foobar and FLAC: If you set Foobar to decode dts CDs only during playback, and not during conversions, you can convert a dts CD multichannel .wav file to FLAC in its encoded form (white noise), and it will still decode and play properly. This allows addition of metadata - it'll even calculate ReplayGain correctly on the encoded file. Can't say for sure if this feature works properly on the Mac version though.
 
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Owen Smith

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I rip DTS CDs to stereo FLAC, play them through my SqueezeBox at 100% fixed gain, and run coax digital to my AV amp which then spots the DTS and decodes it. As you say, DTS in stereo FLAC allows full tagging. I don't bother with replay gain, it's something I never use.
 

PmikeK

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This thread has inspired me to look into making my own 5.1 music available as MC FLAC.

As Mac-only user, I've found that VLC will easily create MC FLAC files from 6CH WAV using the “standard” channel order of 1Lf-2Rf-3C-4LFE-5Ls-6Rs. VLC's Metadata editing capabilities seem somewhat non-standard, but I can use video conversion software tools to complete it correctly.

Do those of you playing files from your NAS library etc. care about the FLAC Metadata (Artist, Album, Description, Date info etc.)?

Do you have a preferred sample rate? i.e. have any of you had trouble playing 96k-24bit MC FLAC files because the data rate was too high, or because your (older) hardware only supports 44k or 48k playback?
Anything up to 192k is ok with me.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I rip DTS CDs to stereo FLAC, play them through my SqueezeBox at 100% fixed gain, and run coax digital to my AV amp which then spots the DTS and decodes it. As you say, DTS in stereo FLAC allows full tagging. I don't bother with replay gain, it's something I never use.
Great idea, I’m still a little pissed at how Logitech dropped the Squeezebox line :mad:
Got sidetracked on hooking mine up to a Surround Master.
 

Owen Smith

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Great idea, I’m still a little pissed at how Logitech dropped the Squeezebox line :mad:
Got sidetracked on hooking mine up to a Surround Master.
Now if only there were a multi channel Squeezebox that outputs to HDMI or multi analogue pairs. Give you can run software players for it on a Raspberry Pi and that has HDMI that end ought to be possible. The issue is whether the entire network protocols and server could cope with multi channel, I suspect not.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Now if only there were a multi channel Squeezebox that outputs to HDMI or multi analogue pairs. Give you can run software players for it on a Raspberry Pi and that has HDMI that end ought to be possible. The issue is whether the entire network protocols and server could cope with multi channel, I suspect not.
That’s getting over my head; but maybe my local Squeezebox/Pi guru @atrocity may know more about that.
 

mutant_matt

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That’s getting over my head; but maybe my local Squeezebox/Pi guru @atrocity may know more about that.
Being a large Squeezebox user (I have them all over the house/garage/shed including various v2, v3 & Pi based ones), I think there was definitely some work ongoing in "the community" to enable later hardware (like the Touch and Pi based stuff), to support MC. I can't remember if Slimserver/Squeezebox Server/Logitech Media Centre needs to know/understand MC as well or not (but if it does, I think that was also being worked on)

Personally, I use the SB "ecosystem" for "house audio", so am happy with stereo for that. I got my first couple of SB's in 2004 and never looked back (buy CD, rip CD, use SB to listen to the music thereafter). My hi-res/multichannel workflow is now also, pretty much the same (as below).

To the original question:

1) play multichannel flac files directly
Buy SACD/BluRay/DVD, rip to MC FLAC, store on file server, play via whichever device (but usually, on the main (proper-ish) system in the lounge, via Kodi (previously, home made linux based Intel/Nvidia HTPC type box, now via 2019 Nvidia Shield). This has been my method for about 10 years. Kodi is also used for all films as well. Once you have a decent souce device via a decent AVR/PrePro via HDMI, you can play pretty much everything without conversion/re-ripping, natively, and it rocks! :) (arguments about HDMI not being the best audiophile transport, aside ;) )

2) turn mc flac into discs
Never have, don't see the point

3) only listen to surround sound from DVD/BD/SACD/Q8 etc.?
Not usually. As per point 1, rip to file first, then listen to MC FLAC files.

One thing that really bugs me - I occasionally buy a hi-res FLAC download, but these are always stereo only and I don't understand why you can never buy the multichannel version of stuff via the download sites!!? I get it that I presume the labels want you to buy the physical product for that, but you'd think they would release the MC download at some point after the initial sales of the physical product had presumably died down? (talking about mainstream stuff here).

Once stuff goes out of print, they can't sell you anything, but could if they released it via download, so it makes no sense to me why they wouldn't do this. There is no extra infrastructure cost (except disc space) in selling MC as well as stereo FLAC files. There is a large out of print DVD-A and SACD hi-res/MC library that they are sitting on that they could be selling! :( :mad:

Cheers,

Matt.
 

Jim the Oldbie

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Now if only there were a multi channel Squeezebox that outputs to HDMI or multi analogue pairs. Give you can run software players for it on a Raspberry Pi and that has HDMI that end ought to be possible. The issue is whether the entire network protocols and server could cope with multi channel, I suspect not.
I was looking into a Raspberry Pi-based audio-only solution about a year ago, and at that time it still seemed a bit dodgy where multichannel is concerned. Right about then our local BigBox had these little Dell netbooks with Win10 Home installed on sale for 120 bucks(!), so I went ahead & snagged one of those - it was too good of a deal, and more of a known quantity to me anyway, not having much Linux chops to speak of.

I'll have to go see what's changed since then in the RaspPi multichannel offerings. That stuff is evolving very quickly.
 

Kal Rubinson

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One thing that really bugs me - I occasionally buy a hi-res FLAC download, but these are always stereo only and I don't understand why you can never buy the multichannel version of stuff via the download sites!!? I
That depends on genre. With classical music, the trend is to issue only CDs and reserve the multichannel/hi-res for downloads.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Thanks;)
So until now 68 have answered about question 1 and 67 do and 1 don't.
98,5%
:cool:
- That's a lot, but maybe those who have no interest for mc flac don't look in this thread?!
Hard to say ;)
Thanks for kick in the rear about answering the original questions- yikes 😳 sidetracked again!
1) Yes, mostly flac, wav & dsf through an Oppo 205 and 2 computers.
2) Only burn discs now for some stuff to play through my second (Quad only) system for the old Denon DVD-3910 unit (no USB); but I’d like to replace with an Oppo 103 or 105
3) I play both often.

I’d say about 95% plus of the folks I communicate with regularly here, now prefer the ease of access to digital files (predominantly flac) and also the ability to manipulate the audio. I’ve always felt it will all go both digital download & streaming for MC eventually (but the major labels may be trying to hold onto every little scrap of revenue while more mainstream listeners only play discs, as once it’s converted to a codec like flac it is easily shared.) I believe the folks here are predominately very tech savvy, at least the ones that post regularly which would skew the numbers higher compared to the larger buying public.
There are also a couple sites for Ambient/Electronic MC music, just can’t remember this second.
Right now I’m concerned about the latest quasi surround/Atmos garbage that’s being offered up which will further confuse music consumers. But that’s just another way to control the material is it not?
 

OdysseyMusik

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...I’d say about 95% plus of the folks I communicate with regularly here, now prefer the ease of access to digital files (predominantly flac) and also the ability to manipulate the audio. ....
Yeah! As I recall Opeth's Pale Communion had a phase error on one of the channels. A lot of people could get a new DVD and my guess it was expensive for them and because of that the next album Sorceress came out with a poor 5.1 mix (delay in the rears only).
I fixed it myself and maybe more can do it these days using Audacity or alike?!
 

J. PUPSTER

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Yeah! As I recall Opeth's Pale Communion had a phase error on one of the channels. A lot of people could get a new DVD and my guess it was expensive for them and because of that the next album Sorceress came out with a poor 5.1 mix (delay in the rears only).
I fixed it myself and maybe more can do it these days using Audacity or alike?!
The example that comes to mind for me first is the Front to Rear channel swap for:
Ten Years After - A SPACE IN TIME, easily corrected in Audacity or now I might use Garry's Music Media Helper app.
 

atrocity

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I was looking into a Raspberry Pi-based audio-only solution about a year ago, and at that time it still seemed a bit dodgy where multichannel is concerned. Right about then our local BigBox had these little Dell netbooks with Win10 Home installed on sale for 120 bucks(!), so I went ahead & snagged one of those - it was too good of a deal, and more of a known quantity to me anyway, not having much Linux chops to speak of.

I'll have to go see what's changed since then in the RaspPi multichannel offerings. That stuff is evolving very quickly.
Thanks to a generous friend, I now have a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4 gigs of RAM. I got the impression that others have had good luck with multichannel on prior Pi models, but I never did. Always wound up with dropouts in the sound. Well, with the 4, that appears to finally no longer be an issue. I played a few hours of material taken from DVD-A last night and didn't have any problem at all.

There is allegedly a plugin (maybe more than one) for Kodi that allows it to be seen to Logitech Media Server as another Squeezebox. I'm hoping to have time to check it out later today. If that works, I can envision a one-box system running Raspbian + LMS + Kodi that would play *EVERYTHING*, though end users would still have to be aware when they need to interact with Kodi vs. LMS.

I can't speak to the new Pi's video capabilities as that's less of a concern for me in this context. While I know they won't last forever, I usually stick to the Oppos for streaming video for the simple reason that they've always worked for me and have consequently given me little incentive to experiment elsewhere.
 

Jim the Oldbie

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That sounds encouraging. Can you describe your RP4 setup in a bit more detail? Are you now able to do multichannel HDMI audio at various sample rates using Kodi, without any kernel rebuilds or the like? Also, what would be the advantages to using Kodi and LMS together? Thanks.
 
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atrocity

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That sounds encouraging. Can you describe your RP4 setup in a bit more detail? Are you now able to do multichannel HDMI audio at various sample rates using Kodi, without any kernel rebuilds or the like?
I haven't done any real experimenting with different sample rates, but I was getting perfectly good 5.1 at 24/96. No fancy building or compiling or anything: I just set up the Pi 4 using the MicroSD card that came with it, so I'm running whatever version of Raspbian that gave me.

For playing 5.1, I just installed Kodi from the command line, I didn't even have to enable any additional repositories.

Also, what would be the advantages to using Kodi and LMS together? Thanks.
In my current setup, I have a house full of various boxes that connect to LMS and only play music served by LMS. In two different rooms I also have additional boxes (Odroid C2) running LibreELEC (i.e., a complete self-contained OS designed to do nothing but run Kodi).

I'm assuming (or maybe just fantasizing) that having a single box running LMS, Squeezelite and Kodi would make things a bit simpler. I'd need one box rather than two and (at least according to my fantasy!) would be able to play music served up by either LMS or Kodi controlled by OrangeSqueeze or Yatse on my phone.

Having said that, I was never able to get the alleged Squeezelite add-on working in Kodi. I don't know if it's now obsolete or if I'm just less-than-Einstein. By the time I finally got around to trying it, I had shut down the new Pi and was again working on the Odroid C2 with LibreELEC. That may also be relevant.

Before doing that, I'd installed Squeezelite on the Pi, hoping that it would be useful even though I'd obviously have to shut down Kodi to use Squeezelite. It showed up as a player on the server's web page and let me send music to it, but no matter what I put in the configuration file (/default/squeezelite, if I'm remembering correctly) I never got any sound.

At some point I might fool around with it some more, but I've been running multiple boxes for years now, so I'm just kinda used to it and not super-motivated.

Of course, what NORMAL people would probably do is run Kodi and point it to ALL their music, making it work for both standard stereo and surround. At some point I may well try that, but it will force me to carefully examine my surround genre tags to make sure I can easily find the surround material. Also, my non-surround (LMS) library is now at:

Code:
Total Tracks: 116,700
Total Albums: 10,200
Total Artists: 20,800
Total Genres: 313
Total Playing Time: 8546:04:59
and I have no idea if that will overwhelm Kodi. On the one hand, I'm curious. On the other, I've been very, very happy with LMS for over a decade now and am not in a hurry to switch. But at some point I really should give it a try.
 

jimfisheye

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This thread has inspired me to look into making my own 5.1 music available as MC FLAC.

As Mac-only user, I've found that VLC will easily create MC FLAC files from 6CH WAV using the “standard” channel order of 1Lf-2Rf-3C-4LFE-5Ls-6Rs. VLC's Metadata editing capabilities seem somewhat non-standard, but I can use video conversion software tools to complete it correctly.

Do those of you playing files from your NAS library etc. care about the FLAC Metadata (Artist, Album, Description, Date info etc.)?

Do you have a preferred sample rate? i.e. have any of you had trouble playing 96k-24bit MC FLAC files because the data rate was too high, or because your (older) hardware only supports 44k or 48k playback?
I'll let the ripping apps go online for metadata as applies. I'm fine with the file name being used by the media player when there's no metadata though. XLD (X Lossless Decoder) is a very convenient conversion app. It also has the usual lossy options. It also has 32:1 decimation conversion for DSD to PCM conversion.

For normal listening use, I'll usually leave my system set to 96k. I use an Apogee Rosetta 800 for an audio interface. I'll just let core audio upsample any other sample rate program on the fly.
Skies the limits for media players. OSX runs everything.

I still use Songbird. It's a simple GUI like iTunes but without Apple being stupid with restricting FLAC to push their ALAC.
VLC is good with most video and audio. Only 2.0 or 5.1 audio though! Screws up with other channel formats. I think it still treats separate files like chapters and makes gaps too. Not so great a music player with that.
XBMC/Kodi Media Player has a garrish GUI almost guaranteed to turn you away but the app works. All channel formats. Highest def video with 24/96 5.1 audio and all is still well. Ringer formats like dts2496 actually fully decoded properly.

Been meaning to do a shootout with the newer batch of media players again. I guess I haven't really needed to!
 

atrocity

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VLC is good with most video and audio...[snip]...I think it still treats separate files like chapters and makes gaps too. Not so great a music player with that.
In fact, as I just learned earlier this week, it even does that if you've got a full-album FLAC file and a cue sheet. Worthless.
 
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