Problems playing MKA files

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Radsen

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I didn’t get the problem yesterday with Windows 10, Kodi 19.2 and .m4a using a couple of PC monitors.

What screen are you using? What refresh rate is your screen set to?
It’s a 4K TV set to 4K 60hz but I also tested 59hz and 1080 same issue
 

HomerJAU

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On the difference between Atmos and FLAC question:

How many speakers in your system?
What is your AVR speaker configuration?
 

Radsen

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On the difference between Atmos and FLAC question:

How many speakers in your system?
What is your AVR speaker configuration?
I have a Samsung hw-q900t soundbar with rear speakers so essentially a q950t. It definitely sounds better in atmos but the rear speaker sound is very low compared to the 7.1 flac rip.
 

Radsen

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On the difference between Atmos and FLAC question:

How many speakers in your system?
What is your AVR speaker configuration?
to be fair I think perhaps the sound is just subtler and more atmospheric which I guess is the whole point. It definitely sounds better overall.
 

HomerJAU

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From listening tests by various QQ users we established that Atmos rears and rear heights gets mixed into your side speakers when played in a 5.1 system.

With 7.1 FLAC, rears and sides are mixed to the rears (sides) in a 5.1 system.

I would have thought these would both sound pretty much the same. Obviously there’s something else at play.

In the Object Based surround sub-forum of this forum there are some Atmos test files. Please download those and listen to which speaker is used for 7.1.4 and other test formats. You can also convert those test files to FLAC with MMH and play them too. Link to test files here:


This will tell you how your system is remixing from a full Atmos mix to 5.1.
 

Radsen

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From listening tests by various QQ users we established that Atmos rears and rear heights gets mixed into your side speakers when played in a 5.1 system.

With 7.1 FLAC, rears and sides are mixed to the rears (sides) in a 5.1 system.

I would have thought these would both sound pretty much the same. Obviously there’s something else at play.

In the Object Based surround sub-forum of this forum there are some Atmos test files. Please download those and listen to which speaker is used for 7.1.4 and other test formats. You can also convert those test files to FLAC with MMH and play them too. Link to test files here:


This will tell you how your system is remixing from a full Atmos mix to 5.1.
ok, so i'm getting sound like this: Atmos 7.1.4: Yes. All channels can be heard. The rear channels are heard in the side surround speakers, rear ceilings in side speakers and front ceiling channels into front L/R speakers

But the rear speakers are just quieter, so perhaps the problem is that i've got all the other speakers too loud so the rears are getting lost in the mix. It's a tv+soundbar setup so obviously i'm trying to find a level that fits between music and tv/film without too much faffing, plus i'm a newb with surround.

If i reduce the other speakers in volume so it's more consistent across speakers, perhaps it'll sound better, but as you say, perhaps there is something else going on because you thought the flac shouldn't sound so dissimilar to the m4a.
 

HomerJAU

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I use my AVRs microphone to set the speaker level balance automatically for the AVR’s test signals. But there’s always differences between surround mix volumes levels, including the surround channels from release to release.

Many here on QQ will increase rear channel levels to give a greater surround effect. Some by changing surround levels during Album playback, others change the volume gain permanently for rear channels in their FLAC files.

First step is to get the preset Channel levels as close to the same volume, then go from there.

Whether FLAC or Atmos the files should sound the same (on a 5.1 system) unless there’s internal processing that’s doing something to the Atmos stream. Maybe it’s applying something to give it pseudo heights?
 

Radsen

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I do always have the rears on full volume as I like the surround sound. Unfortunately this model doesn’t have a mic or config mode but I could try and get a mic to further tweak the levels. I do think it must be doing a lot of pseudo spatialisation because it does truly sound much better overall in atmos mka, but it’s just far subtler in the rear speakers. I’ll keep investigating and tweaking but I suppose ultimately subtle is better as long as it sounds good. Thanks for your help. Still can’t work out what is causing the jumping progress bar. Is there any screenshots on here for optimal kodi settings?
 

HomerJAU

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Keeping your Atmos music as Atmos (not converting to FLAC) is the way to go as you may eventually upgrade to additional speakers. (FLAC is limited to 8 channels - 7.1).
 

pat bateman

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I get the issue on windows 10 and nvidia shield both on 19.2 and the files are m4a. Using the standard kodi player, build and skin

Also, I've just realised that although I believe I've followed the guide correctly - https://reva.blob.core.windows.net/mmh4/PDFs/How to Convert Atmos Blurays to Audio Files.pdf - I don't appear to be ripping m4a files correctly. If I rip the same file to 7.1 flac there is a lot of sound coming from my rear speakers whereas ripping to m4a says it is giving me Atmos sound, but there is barely any sound coming from the rears. I'm not sure what could be going wrong there.
The progress bar in Kodi jumping around when playing .mka files is a known issue. I found it on Kodi's forums a while back, there was a complicated explanation, and I'm willing to bet its not high on their priority list, but hopefully I'm wrong.

.flac does not support atmos metadata. Although this .mka bug on kodi is indeed annoying, the solution seems to be switch to Windows.

As far as the low volume problem, hopefully the .flac files are not actually being played in discrete multi channel. I only say that because this will fix/explain your problem - try looking for a setting in your AVR that disables any sort of dialog normalization and/or dynamic compression. This fixed it for me, and should always absolutely always be turned off unless you are trying to watch a movie without waking up the family or something like that. Or watching an extremely poorly mixed movie (Tenet).
 

HomerJAU

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The progress bar in Kodi jumping around when playing .mka files is a known issue. I found it on Kodi's forums a while back, there was a complicated explanation, and I'm willing to bet its not high on their priority list, but hopefully I'm wrong.
Now the Kodi high bitrate Atmos issues has been fixed the Atmos progress bar/duration will get fixed too as it’s been brought to attention during the bitrate fix testing. So Kodi 19.3 is my guess for an official fix.
 

HomerJAU

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I've just played a 7.1 Atmos album through Kodi 19.2 on both Windows and Android and on both, the progress bar is jumping while still playing the music normally
Hi.

I'm about to log an official Kodi bug report for this issue as I just found its never been officially reported.

Can you (and any other Kodi users here) please list the exact Kodi hardware, Kodi version and TV resolution you are using so I can add to the reports ASAP.

I am using:
LibreElec 19.2 on an Intel NUCs (x2), one with a Sony 4K TV and other LG 4K TV using HDMI pass-through (both have same issue)

So no need for anyone to reports these combos. But I know its been in Kodi LibreElec since Kodi 18.

THX
Garry
 
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pat bateman

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Hi.

I'm about to log an official Kodi bug report for this issue as I just found its never been officially reported.

Can you (and any other Kodi users here) please list the exact Kodi hardware, Kodi version and TV resolution you are using so I can add to the reports ASAP.

I am using:
LibreElec 19.2 on an Intel NUCs (x2), one with a Sony 4K TV and other LG 4K TV using HDMI pass-through (both have same issue)

So no need for anyone to reports these combos. But I know its been in Kodi LibreElec since Kodi 18.

THX
Garry
Kodi 19.2
Nvidia Shield Pro (Android ARMV8A)
Pass-through audio.

Thanks!
 

HomerJAU

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pat bateman

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For those interested to following the fix process or commenting, the Kodi bug report is here:

I should have mentioned, for me, the problem only happens with .mka containers, regardless if it's atmos or not. .m4a with low bitrate atmos (768 kbps) does not have the progress bar stutter problem.
 

Radsen

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Kodi 19.3 on both Windows 10 and Nvidia Shield TV Pro, both up to date. I’d probably say it’s higher bitrate files too but I’ve not tested several. I’ve tested resolution in 1080p and 2160p and different refresh rates.
 

HomerJAU

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Can someone with a NVidia Shield please test the 19.3 Kodi build for both Atmos fixes please:

The Beatles Atmos mixes should now play without skipping
The Progressbar/Duration display skipping (this is probably not fixed)

 

Radsen

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Can someone with a NVidia Shield please test the 19.3 Kodi build for both Atmos fixes please:

The Beatles Atmos mixes should now play without skipping
The Progressbar/Duration display skipping (this is probably not fixed)

Yep, I've tested 19.3 on Nvidia Shield and Windows 10 and can confirm that on my side I'm getting perfect playback for Abbey Road (thanks!) and unfortunately the jumping progress bar remains.
 

HomerJAU

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Thanks @Radsen

I've added your comment to the Kodi bug report. 19.3 has been released without the progressbar/duration timer fix. I missed the cut-off. (19..4 hopefully for the fix).

Goes to show users need to report a Kodi bug or it won't get fixed. Not surprising at all.

I thought I'd reported this ages ago but it turns out I did but the 'fix' then was to change my 4K TV refresh rate in Kodi. That fix worked back then but not with recent Kodi releases and I'd forgot to report the 'new' bug a second time!
 
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