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AIFF on Media Monkey?


Monk

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Chris,

 

You have consistantly recommended Media Monkey for PC users. You also have mentionned that AIFF files are your preferered format. Finally you mention playing AIFF on Media Monkey.

 

I have tried asking this question via other threads, but have not received a response, so I am creating one...

 

My question that has been plaguing me through this whole audiophile computer journey is how do you get Media Monkey to read the metadata on AIFF files? I know to install the codec add-in, and that will play the file, but like you, I find the experience diminished if I don't have all my metadata.

 

I am sticking with my PC. I prefer Media Monkey to iTunes (just a personal preference). I just can't seem to get all to work together with AIFF files, which I chose due to non-compression lossless format with metadata support.

 

Have you found a magic solution? Please enlighten me. Media Monkey forums have been of no help as everyone seems happy with their FLAC files and care little for AIFF.

 

Thank you

 

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Hi Monk - Thanks for bringing this one back to my attention. I'm guessing we'll have to discuss this a little bit before we come to any conclusions. I just did a little testing in MM with an AIFF album from Amy Winehouse and I was able to tag the album and embed album art. The files originated from iTunes. I copied them into a different location for this test. Can you provide a little more information about your situation so we can get to the bottom of it?

 

Thanks Monk!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Thanks for the help, in advance!

 

I'm using dbpoweramp to rip to AIFF. It creates "ID tag [itunes ID3]". If I turn Media Monkey to my files, it recognizes all the files, but it doesn't seem to want to read the metadata. I get a blank screen in MM as far as artist, album, etc.

 

I'm wondering if dbPa is writing a tag that MM doesn't read. Taking your test though... If ripping via iTunes works, and if my rips via dBpa all create tags that show up in iTunes, why would they not show in MM?

 

It's bugging the heck out of me and I'm about 30% done ripping my 1000 plus CDs.

 

 

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Chris,

 

Does that mean when you originally pointed Mediamonkey at your originally iTunes ripped/managed files that it automatically grabbed the tags?

 

I'm running into the same thing with dbpoweramp. iTunes reads the tags just fine, Mediamonkey doesn't, nor does Foobar or any other PC application. I was assuming it was because Mediamonkey etc. doesn't actually support AIF id3 tags. I suppose it's also possible that it's more of an interoperability issue between dbpoweramp and the other pc players. I saw on the XXHighend forums that dbpoweramp puts it's tag at the end of the file instead of the beginning of the file like many other programs. This is technically allowable, but it's possible that it's causing the tag to be missed.

 

Here are the workarounds I've used:

Keep the music organized with this structure:

- Album Artist Folder -> Album Folder -> Track name with Song Title & Track Artist(s)

 

In Mediamonkey you can update the library based on folder structure.

- Highlight all your AIF tracks in the Mediamonkey library

- Right click on them and select 'Auto-Tag from Filename'

- Put the cursor at the beginning of the pattern in the box at the top

- Click the double arrows '>>' on the upper left of this window.

- Select '< Album Artist >', then select '', then '< Album >', then ''

 

As you do this you'll see the metadata automatically updating. Continue tweaking the pattern until it's extracted everything you can get.

 

In Foobar you can specify to organize the library view based on folder structure - that's pretty much all that's required.

 

The methods above won't get everything, just the basics. I suppose if you ripped ahead of time knowing these limitations you could put all the critical data like genre, etc in the filename.

 

Mediamonkey will automatically use 'folder.jpg' for Album art in this scenario. Dbpoweramp will optionally add the album art this way, but not sure if you set that. I went ahead and did that as I was ripping because a lot of programs use this convention. If you didn't and you have a Mac I have an apple script that can extract the album art from the iTunes database and save it in that location. Not sure how I could go about uploading that to the site though...

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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"If you highlight all the tracks on one album and select Auto Tag From Web do you get the right tags?"

 

Woudn't I then be tagging tracks twice? I can only imagine the trouble I'd get into if a file was twice tagged. Either that, or I have no idea how a file is tagged and maybe it would support multiple tags.

 

Chris, if you could continue to rack you brain, I'd be most appreciative.

 

@Idolse:

Thank you very much for your work around and it's deep description. I was hoping for maybe a batch tag converter or something. I wonder how long your solution would take for 1 TB of files?

 

What I seem to be getting here is that iTunes rips and tags in a format that MM sees, where dBpa does not. You'd think we could devise a format that would be taken universally. Maybe I'll just have to wait until Obama fixes it. :)

 

If anyone else has any fix options, I'd ever so love to hear.

 

 

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Based on Chris' original description I suspect MediaMonkey doesn't support any AIF tags period, which is why I asked for confirmation. My workaround doesn't seem to affect the files themselves, it just updates the Mediamonkey database. I've re-installed windows several times as I tweak my music server config, and each time I re-install Mediamonkey I have to re-do this workaround. I have 500-600GB of music, it only takes 1-2 minutes to update the whole database.

 

I think aside from iTunes and some professional apps AIF is basically in the same boat as WAV. Both formats actually do support tagging, but software support for it is limited in the extreme. It's disappointing that there isn't any lossless format with widespread support for both tags and codec.

 

I haven't tried the web-based option either, but some of the things I've read about it on the boards seem to indicate it works pretty well. I imagine it works the same as the filename tagger, so you should be able to review the tags before it commits them. It won't tag the tracks twice though, so don't worry about that.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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Thanks again Idolse.

 

I have a thread going on at dBpa (which I noticed you frequent). Spoon has never heard of the issue, which doesn't help, unfortunately. Are we really that rare a breed? I have asked Spoon if there would be any way imaginable that he had some contact over at MM and they could figure out the issue. But, I know there is probably be no way he'd do that on my/our behalf. The trouble, I agree is with MM and not dBpa, and I doubt if Spoon had the time or the inkling to find and correct the issue with MM developers.

 

Frustrating! But, good to know I'm not the only one suffering. I have a few more tendrils out, and if I come up with something, I'll let you know.

 

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Well, it's not really Spoon's problem, it's definitely a lack of functionality on Mediamonkey's side.

 

I just did some additional testing, I had some AIFFs originally ripped and managed by iTunes, as well as a couple from other sources. Importing all of these resulted in a complete lack of tags, confirming that Mediamonkey has no support for AIFF tags from ANY source. (amusingly enough ALAC tags are supported out of the box though it can't even play them) I also more or less confirmed that MM has absolutely no capability to write an AIFF tag to the original file.

 

There is an improved workaround though, and it's dbpoweramp to the rescue again. It's not much changed from the previous workaround - the idea is just to further enhance the folder structure/track names based on the embedded tag data - with this you can get Genre, year, etc ported into the monkey. Check this thread:

http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=15768

 

You can use that rename function to make sure that all the tag data you want is reflected in the track name/folders, and then use the method I described previously to populate the MM database.

 

Based on all this though I've got to question the viability of using AIFF for uncompressed lossless compatibility across platforms (not that WAV is any better). The community at large doesn't seem to care at all about uncompressed lossless. There isn't a single PC application I can find outside of Dbpoweramp that support AIFF tags (a handful of tag editors seem to support WAV tags), and the only app on the Mac doing this is iTunes itself. There are a variety of standalone tag editors, but even the ones on the Mac ignore AIFF.

 

Based on reading forum activities across a number of boards it seems like there is a small but growing interest in AIFF, quite possibly sparked by this site. Perhaps some developers will listen. It's not like they need to reinvent the wheel since we're talking about standard ID3V2.....

 

I'm still evaluating players, and have several more on my list, so there may be some alternate solutions out there. Will keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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Thanks for sticking with me on this one Idolse. I agree 100% that it is not dBpa's issue. I have much more respect for Spoon and dBpa as an application to say otherwise.

 

I hope to get something out of my question to MM. At the very least it may pressure them into support.

 

Chris, it just bothers me that I take your advise very much to heart. I follow your recommendations on 'creating a reference server' on a PC, choosing the appropriate hardware and software, jump on the computer audiophile revolution, only to discover that .aiff isn't supported fully by MM as you recommended. True, you didn't say anything about using dBpa, that was the result of my research.

 

Not to flap on you, Chris, because you do provide loads of great info. Once again, it is just frustrating that I follow directions only to hit a bump where I don't think there should be.

 

Net, net it appears that this revolution is always in fluctuation as per any computer based anything. I have learned loads and continue to do so. Patience is not my forte and I expect perfection when I know it doesn't exist.

 

Thank you, Chris, for starting and continuing this site.

 

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Monk - Thank you very much for the feedback, I take it very seriously. Constructive criticism is always welcome around Computer Audiophile. I empathize with you and feel your frustration. In terms of my recommendations of certain file formats and applications, I try my best to look at all the pros and cons of every option. Hopefully a large majority of my recommendations pan out for a large majority of people. I totally understand that I will miss the mark with some recommendations and I count on the great readers of this site to make it known that something I said does not work for them.

 

As I'm sure you know, be very careful of anybody who claims to know everything. The most brilliant people I know actually understand that they know relatively little in the grand scheme of things.

 

Thanks again for the constructive comments.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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I was just going through my collection, and was wondering about whether Mediamonkey supports WAV tags. The fact that the wav format supports tagging is not well advertised, but it does. Dbpoweramp adds those tags when ripping.

 

Turns out Mediamonkey supports those tags! So the 'real' solution (for now) for someone looking for an uncompressed audio format is to use .wav format on the PC. Stick with AIFF on iTunes/Mac and .wav with mediamonkey/PC.

 

The portion of your collection you already ripped you can batch convert using dbpoweramp's batch conversion. Just rip the rest of your CDs to wav.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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WAV has a limited tagging schema.

As far as I know, dbPoweramp don't use this but writes id3v2 tags in a chunk.

Probably MM is one of the very few players reading id3v2 tags from WAV.

 

AIFF is big endian (power pc). If used on a Intel (little endian) the bits are in the wrong sequence. Apple has created a new version of AIFF in little endian. This is the format used on Intel Mac’s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Interchange_File_Format

 

 

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In case of MP3 everybody uses ID3, it is the standard.

In case of WAV, using ID3 is not a standard and that’s the limitation, only dbPoweramp, MM and Tag&Rename decided to do so. The majority of players (WMP, Foobar, etc. etc.) don’t.

So portability of the tags is close to zero.

That’s the paradox of WAV, support for playing is almost universal, support for tagging is almost zero.

If everybody would agree on ID3 support in WAV we wouldn’t have such a problems with tagging WAV.

 

 

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In your test with WAV and dBpa, were you noticing the 'quality' the tags to be consistant with AIFF? Any tag information lost?

 

Thanks for continuing to 'diddle' around with the issue. I know you've done a lot of research as well. Have you decided this to be your final solution (file type and playback software), then?

 

Dave

 

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According to spoon dbpoweramp writes the exact same id3v2 tag to both formats, and based on my testing that appears to be true, I couldn't see a difference. Please note I wasn't checking field by field.

 

@Roseval, what dbpoweramp, mediamonkey etc are doing does fit in the wav spec, so it could be considered standard. Based on my testing wav id3 tags are actually more widely supported than AIFF id3 tags.

 

The more I think about it the more I think uncompressed lossless is the way to go - compression techniques were used because of storage concerns, and we're entering an era where concerns over storage are becoming meaningless. Low power computer based transports are likely the future of hifi, and low power means not wasting time on decompression. It's just a matter of time before these expansions to the wav and aiff standard become more widespread. Not really sure which piece of software I'll be using in the long run, still trying to figure out which support wav or aiff tags and provide pc or linux based bit perfect.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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I think this is what I will do, then. Convert my AIFF to WAV and use MM. I just wish MM had a better iPhone remote, but now I'm really starting to get picky...

On another tack, I have confirmed with Apple and with some learned CA readers that bit perfect using iTunes on a PC is a pipe dream.

 

Thanks Idolse and Chris. A great thread (for me anyway). Loads of questions answered.

 

I'm starting to feel a little better...

 

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what dbpoweramp, mediamonkey etc are doing does fit in the wav spec, so it could be considered standard.

I agree and disagree.

You can store any type of information in WAV, if you do it according to the standard, it will play on any well implemented sytem. So this pratice is conform to the standard.

 

If one talks about a tagging schema, WAV has one of its one. However it is very limited. This is the WAV tagging standard. This is as far as I know the only standard for tagging WAV.

From this point of view writing IDV3 tags is not a standard practice.

Here you can find the specs, scroll down to Info List Chunk: http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/Lib/WavSpec.txt

 

Low power computer based transports are likely the future of hifi, and low power means not wasting time on decompression

As far as I know, all DACs accept PCM input only. All audio has to be decompressed first.

As cell phones or MP3 players could do it, I wonder if power is really an issue.

 

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Perhaps power wasn't the right term. Anyway the reason I used that was I was thinking about what causes many to be dissatisfied with FLAC, Alac, etc. Part of the problem seems to be resource contention between decompression and playback, and it's true, the power doesn't seem to make much difference there - throwing more processing power at the problem doesn't help.

 

But low power in the other sense is making simpler dedicated systems where non-essential software and hardware components are eliminated. Decompression is a non-essential step that's necessary for a variety of formats because people were trying to solve a problem that no longer exists, so my point was really why bother doing it. Reduce the overall system component and load requirements and you can eliminate/more easily manage manage a variety of power supply and RF issues.

 

This post in Audioasylum is what got me thinking along these lines:

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/messages/42496.html

 

The guy is basically discussing a single board computer running Linux and MPD. With MPD you move the fancy GUI to a different PC altogether, and just run the music playing engine itself on the server.

 

MPD info is here:

http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/MPD_on_OSX

 

I installed it on OS X yesterday just to test it out. Unfortunately it doesn't support AIFF or WAV tags :( otherwise I'd be an instant convert.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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You might try it the other way round, programs like JACK or Pulseaudio are able to push audio to another device. In principle you could use the media player of your choice including support for formats like WAV/ AIFF and push the audio over the network to a low power device. This concept probably allows you to use other formats with a less problematic support for tagging as the server expands it to PCM audio and therefore is the one doing the job, not the playback slave.

 

Maybe this post is already known to you but might be a good alternative too: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/messages/4/44997.html

 

The ultimate low power devices are probably the Squeezebox style ones.

No moving parts, music over the network (jitter free by design), shielded from other devices by the network and a very low power cpu. The paradox is that all you gain this way might be more than lost due to the quality of the D/A conversion cq. the Toslink out of these consumer grade products.

 

 

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Thanks Roseval, I'll check out JACK and Pulseaudio.

 

I think I'd read that AA post before, but it was worth the re-read. I'm not sure that I totally agree that Linux is no better than Windows based on that logic, but I don't really have anything against either platform at this point. It just seems to me that a user 'potentially' has a lot more control over Linux than they ever would over Windows or OS X.

 

The Squeezebox I knew about, but yeah, definitely looking for a higher quality digital out, and I just don't buy that any computer type platform will ever have great analog out on its own.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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