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Tagging AIFF in the MS Windows world.


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I have read some posts, that the fine thing with AIFF is, that it has the same good sound as the Wave files have (PCM Files), but has the advantage of using tags with the file, a feature Wave files do not have natively (only some specific versions do have).


So my question is: I am living in the windows world and am able to rip and also convert my files into AIFF, but with what software will I be able to tag these AIFF files, also with cover art information. For ALAC and for FLAC files, no problem for me, but I can’t do this for AIFF.


Am I right, that ALAC does support only 16 Bit, because FLAC do also support 24 Bit.


Thank you for your help in advance.


Best Regards




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dBpoweramp is a fantastic program for ripping. It will also create and populate your tags. It will tag your AIFF files.


The only problem you are going to have to consider "in the Windows world" is what playback software you will use. AIFF files play in iTunes, but not bit-transparently. Media Monkey will play AIFF, but it will not recognize any tags.


I suffered over this question, at length, and my final solution was rip with dDpa to WAV and play the WAV with Media Monkey. Tags are recognized with no issue. I continue to reside in a Windows world.


Hope that helps.




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I own the dBpoweramp with the power pack and thank you for your information, after downloading the AIFF Codec, I was able to Tag the AIFF Files and I was also able to Tag the Wave File, what I haven’t tried before. So now I have tagged every file type with text and cover art. That’s fine for the first step.


But for the second step to play back I have some “problems” in reading the tags. With JRiver Media Center I can play the AIFF File with the tags but without cover art and the Wave File without any tags. On the opposite side with Media Monkey I can play back the Wave File with the tags but without cover art and the AIFF File without any tags.


So maybe I do something wrong. Do you see in MM, playing the Wave File also the cover art?


Very strange, because with FLAC, all my playback software is reading the tags with the cover art.


So are there other solutions for AIFF in the windows world or different plug-ins for tag and play?


Regards, Juergen



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When you rip the WAV file with dBpoweramp, a seperate file should be created which holds your album art. (.jpg). So under the album folder you will have all of your tracks in WAV format plus one jpg file which has your album art.


When Media Monkey reads the folder, it will automatically pick up the jpg file as your artwork.


Maybe check your output settings?


Or, maybe, if you have a large collection, MM is just acting a little slow. Sometimes it takes a little while to show all the album art I have in my library.


Oh, and by the way - I have yet to see a windows application that will correctly read (metadata on AIFF) and play AIFF files. They all fall short one way or the other, which is why I settled on WAV and dBpa and MM.




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Ok, thank you for this additional input. I have only tagged already ripped files with dBpoweramp and tried to read the tags in the header and this hasn’t worked with MM. But when I would create an extra folder with an extra jpg file, than MM (and some other programs) will be able to read this jpg file and display them.


By doing this, I can’t take just one audio file from one to another location as this is the case with flac. So maybe I have to tweak my system in that way, that FLAC does not longer sound not as good as the wave file does. Maybe I have to improve the clock signal on the digital out or on the d/a converter. We will see.


And again, thank you for your help and at this moment, I still have the hope that there must be a solution under MS Windows for playing back the AIFF Files with a correct recognition of the ITunes ID3 Tags.


Regards, Juergen



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Until then we wait.




Glad I could be of assistance. Similar thing happened to me when I ripped all my stuff to AIFF, then used dBpa's batch converter to transfer to WAV, only to discover the jpg files didn't transfer over. Nothing an afternoon of point, click, drag and drop couldn't fix...




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The only app on windows that handles AIFF tags is iTunes, which isn't bit perfect, so that doesn't help.... I've opened some bugs with some open source projects to try and get support for aiff and wav tags. Some good news is that one of the most commonly used libraries by a lot of open source projects is called Taglib, and the developer of that library is planning to add wav and aiff support soon.





Granted, a lot of those are Linux, but many have Windows ports.


If you want Mediamonkey tag support I guess we just need to start begging on their forum...



mpdPup maintainer

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I have tried a lot in the past days but came to the conclusion, that it seams that AIFF is really not made to work easy and flawless in the windows world, so I will stay with FLAC.


Clear, FLAC doesn’t sound as good as AIFF or WAVE, even it is bit perfect true, so also Foobar with ASIO Plug-In does not sound the same as JRiver Media Center with ASIO (I can’t say what sounds better, I just can say, they sound different, even they are both bit perfect).


So when I fine tune my HIFI System with interconnect and speaker cables and power cords to sound good with foobar, they do not sound as good with JR MM. But then, when I do change some cables to get a good sound out of the JR MM, than it will not sound so good with Foobar.


So my thinking is, to tweak my setup that it will sound good with FLAC and will be happy with this. I have done this FLAC optimization some weeks ago and when I then came back to wave, the sound was too open with a diffusion in the treble region and a not so strong bass.


Maybe this sounds a little bit strange, but these are my experiences and one thing for sure, I test every Playback software, Driver and Lossless En/De-Coder against to be bit perfect true, so this has nothing to do with different digital data at the output.


I am also able to measure jitter in the digital and in the analog domain using my audio precision measuring system, but the difference between FLAC / Wave and Foobar / JR MM must be smaller that the measuring limit of this system, but it is clearly audible.





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I am also able to measure jitter in the digital and in the analog domain using my audio precision measuring system, but the difference between FLAC / Wave and Foobar / JR MM must be smaller that the measuring limit of this system


What is the measuring limit of this system?


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I do not want to explode my answer, so I try to keep it relatively short and simple.


For measuring jitter, I use the J-Test signal, which was invented by Julian Dunn (prism sound, nanophone, audio precision) and this is widely used all over the world. Because the jitter result on the analog out of a DAC depends additionally on the jitter reduction of the DAC itself, I will refer here only to the jitter at the digital out of a unit.


I am not interested in the broadband measured jitter value (this is only one number), I am doing an FFT analysis of the measured jitter in the audio band, because the jitter sensibility chances with frequency. Here for answering the question, I will refer to the jitter values between 1 kHz und 2 kHz (just as an example). So here are some results of the digital out of the EMU 1616M sound card, running on a windows xp sp3 system, all with the latest drivers.


When using playback software with native EMU ASIO support (Wavelab, Cubase, Reaper, JRiver Media Center, Foobar with ASIO Plug-In), I got bit perfect true data. With theses software I got jitter values of random nature with approximately 2.5 ps. In this case, it doesn’t matter which software I using, they all deliver nearly the same results and the difference between two measurements is in the same range as between the different software.


When using playback software that uses direct sound output (Winamp, Media Monkey), the digital data is shifted one bit into the LSB direction (just one bit, not one byte), so I receive no longer a 1:1 bit true data (but this is a different story). When I then measure the jitter a will receive the same amount of random jitter with approximately 2.5 ps, but relatively high discrete jitter with about 10 ps. (when I compare a DAC output with this two different digitals, than the direct sound output with the higher discrete jitter delivers much more worse analog out as the random jitter).


When using a playback software with wave out (Winamp, Media Monkey), I also get no bit perfect true data, because the wave driver add some dither to the signal. It is “only” a dither at the 24.th bit, but compare to only toggling the 24.th bit, it really being added to the signal, so a get a different signal with a slightly lower resolution. When I then measure the jitter, I will receive a random jitter of approximately 3.5 ps without discrete jitter frequencies.


So not only the digital content changes with different drivers (these measurements are only valid for the EMU card) and only the native ASIO delivers bit true date, but also the jitter at the digital output differs with the drivers.


But coming back to you original question: When comparing FLAC and WAVE, I got really the same range of measured results, but they sound different. And also JR MC and Foobar sound different (both in ASIO) but measured the same range. All direct sound and wave out playback software sound different but also measured different too, and are not 1:1 bit true.


I hope this answers do help a little bit, and as I stated above, I tried to keep it short, because I have done a lot a listening and hearing and still do not know why they sound different. And one other argument is that FALC does take some more CPU, so it sounds worse than WAVE, but this is really nothing compared, what different playback software consume on CPU power.


BTW: I have also an older Lynx L22, and older Digital Audio Lab Card Deluxe and some RME cards, but all of them do not deliver the low jitter as the EMU does.





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Very interesting post. Ways to short b.t.w.


I’m a bit surprised. The values you mention are in the range a excellent VCXO could manage. I expected rather 10-1 ns instead of 2.5 ps.

Can you explain a bit more in detail how and what you are measuring?

(maybe open a new thread?)



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