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J River - How to organize converted FLAC to WAV (or AIFF) files


Allan F

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If I were to batch convert a folder of FLAC files to WAV (or AIFF) and store them in a separate folder on my NAS, e.g. contents of CD/Jazz to CD WAV/Jazz, how can I get J River to automatically import the WAV files as separate albums without having to do it manually?. By default, J River appears to import files of the same album in different formats together as one album, showing duplicates of each track (unless I am doing something wrong). I don't want to delete the FLAC files at this stage.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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If I were to batch convert a folder of FLAC files to WAV (or AIFF) and store them in a separate folder on my NAS, e.g. contents of CD/Jazz to CD WAV/Jazz, how can I get J River to automatically import the WAV files as separate albums without having to do it manually?. By default, J River appears to import files of the same album in different formats together as one album, showing duplicates of each track (unless I am doing something wrong). I don't want to delete the FLAC files at this stage.

 

In my experience, if the tags are the same then JRiver will consider the files to all be part of the same album. My solution is to append the format/resolution/source to the file name. This would obviously be a PITA if you've got a lot albums. One solution would be to create a different library for your uncompressed files.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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In my experience, if the tags are the same then JRiver will consider the files to all be part of the same album. My solution is to append the format/resolution/source to the file name. This would obviously be a PITA if you've got a lot albums. One solution would be to create a different library for your uncompressed files.

 

Thanks for the reply. That has been my experience with J River as well. In the past, I have highlighted the files in the second format, e.g. DSD, and changed the Album tag to "Album (DSD)". J River then created a separate album with those files. But, doing it manually for the above would be more than a PITA as over a thousand files would be involved.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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In my experience, if the tags are the same then JRiver will consider the files to all be part of the same album. My solution is to append the format/resolution/source to the file name. This would obviously be a PITA if you've got a lot albums. One solution would be to create a different library for your uncompressed files.

 

There is a tag which is precisely the "file type".

I have added the "file type" tag on the "Files" view...on the top panes.

 

By the way, by adding "file type" tag in minimserver you would have the tag available in the compatible control points, such as lumin.

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There is a tag which is precisely the "file type".

I have added the "file type" tag on the "Files" view...on the top panes.

 

By the way, by adding "file type" tag in minimserver you would have the tag available in the compatible control points, such as lumin.

 

Unless I'm mistaken, "File Type" is a read only tag like Sample Rate and Bit Depth. I think there's probably a way to create a customized view that only shows files matching a given type.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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If I were to batch convert a folder of FLAC files to WAV (or AIFF) and store them in a separate folder on my NAS, e.g. contents of CD/Jazz to CD WAV/Jazz, how can I get J River to automatically import the WAV files as separate albums without having to do it manually?. By default, J River appears to import files of the same album in different formats together as one album, showing duplicates of each track (unless I am doing something wrong). I don't want to delete the FLAC files at this stage.

 

I wonder if you could do the following:

 

1. Search for AIFF file type

 

2. Highlight all the albums

 

3. Enter the following regular expression into the Album field of the Tag pane to batch append " (AIFF)" to the AIFF albums:

 

=[Album] /(AIFF/)

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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I wonder if you could do the following:

 

1. Search for AIFF file type

 

2. Highlight all the albums

 

3. Enter the following regular expression into the Album field of the Tag pane to batch append " (AIFF)" to the AIFF albums:

 

=[Album] /(AIFF/)

 

I don't think that would work as I don't believe that you can batch change a part of the individual Album titles. I think you could only batch change the complete Album tag which, of course, would result in all the albums having the same title.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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I don't think that would work as I don't believe that you can batch change a part of the individual Album titles. I think you could only batch change the complete Album tag which, of course, would result in all the albums having the same title.

 

I just tested it and it works fine. The key is to make sure that the search is still live when you put the regular expression into the Album field so it only applies to the selected file type. You can confirm by making sure that right file type appears in Tag pane first. If says "[Varies]" the batch append will change both file types.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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I just tested it and it works fine. The key is to make sure that the search is still live when you put the regular expression into the Album field so it only applies to the selected file type. You can confirm by making sure that right file type appears in Tag pane first. If says "[Varies]" the batch append will change both file types.

 

You lost me somewhere. I just did a search on dsf which produces all my DSD albums. If I highlight a few of them, virtually all the tags show as "Varies".

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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You lost me somewhere. I just did a search on dsf which produces all my DSD albums. If I highlight a few of them, virtually all the tags show as "Varies".

 

Most of the tags will show "Varies" because you are highlighting multiple albums with different artists, album names. release dates, etc. But the "File Type" field should say "dsf", not "Varies". Note that you may have customize your Tag pane so that "File Type" shows up as I don't think it's there by default.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Most of the tags will show "Varies" because you are highlighting multiple albums with different artists, album names. release dates, etc. But the "File Type" field should say "dsf", not "Varies". Note that you may have customize your Tag pane so that "File Type" shows up as I don't think it's there by default.

 

I'm sorry but I am still not following you. Yes, the file type shows as dsf, but how does that help me batch change only a portion of the album titles? Or are you suggesting manually changing each album title instead of every file name? That would reduce the number of manual changes from thousands to hundreds, still not a very viable option.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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It sounds like you are using the default "Album" grouping for your files.

Without making any other tag changes, you would have to create a new grouping type in the program.

This is done under Library & Folder options, in the manage library fields section.

 

Add a new field, call it what you like.

Set it to a calculated data type.

 

In the expression box, enter the data that you wish to group by.

You might want to use something like [Year] - [Album], [Artist] ([File Type])

This can be an expression that is as complex or as simple as you want. Right-click the expression box to get a list of valid field types.

 

Now at the top of your view select Group By, More, Your Custom Field.

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I'm sorry but I am still not following you. Yes, the file type shows as dsf, but how does that help me batch change only a portion of the album titles? Or are you suggesting manually changing each album title instead of every file name? That would reduce the number of manual changes from thousands to hundreds, still not a very viable option.

 

Once all the albums are selected, you can change all of the album titles by simply entering the right regular expression into the Album field of the Tag pane.

 

For example, entering the following will add " - DSF" to the current Album name of each of the selected albums:

 

=[Album] /- DSF

 

Check out the beginning of Ted's thread for more information on bulk editing of tags:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/j-river-tips-and-techniques-user-experiences-repository-13684/

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Once all the albums are selected, you can change all of the album titles by simply entering the right regular expression into the Album field of the Tag pane.

 

For example, entering the following will add " - DSF" to the current Album name of each of the selected albums:

 

=[Album] /- DSF

 

Check out the beginning of Ted's thread for more information on bulk editing of tags:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/j-river-tips-and-techniques-user-experiences-repository-13684/

 

Thanks very much. I'm with you now. You have been very helpful.

 

All of the foregoing is in preparation for possibly converting FLAC to probably AIFF - to keep metadata per your suggestion - if I can hear a difference between FLAC and AIFF in critical listening on my system. OTOH, most people seem to agree that AIFF and WAV sound the same as both are pure PCM.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Thanks very much. I'm with you now. You have been very helpful.

 

All of the foregoing is in preparation for possibly converting FLAC to probably AIFF - to keep metadata per your suggestion - if I can hear a difference between FLAC and AIFF in critical listening on my system. OTOH, most people seem to agree that AIFF and WAV sound the same as both are pure PCM.

 

You are very welcome. The bulk editing ability in Jriver is extremely useful. Let me know if you hear a difference between FLAC and AIFF. I don't hear a difference but I know others do.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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All of the foregoing is in preparation for possibly converting FLAC to probably AIFF - to keep metadata per your suggestion - if I can hear a difference between FLAC and AIFF in critical listening on my system. OTOH, most people seem to agree that AIFF and WAV sound the same as both are pure PCM.
Enabling the option to play files from memory in JRiver means that the entire track is decoded to PCM in memory before playback. File type doesn't matter.
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You are very welcome. The bulk editing ability in Jriver is extremely useful. Let me know if you hear a difference between FLAC and AIFF. I don't hear a difference but I know others do.

 

J River is a very powerful program. It's learning how to get the most out of it that presents the challenge. I will post my experience, but only after an audiophile friend of mine, my "other set of ears", also offers his opinion. If I don't hear a difference, there obviously is no reason to convert thousands of files.

 

Enabling the option to play files from memory in JRiver means that the entire track is decoded to PCM in memory before playback. File type doesn't matter.

 

All I know is that a significant number of people report hearing a difference between FLAC vs WAV or AIFF and find the SQ of the latter to be superior. IMO, the "correct" answer is what an individual determines for himself after critical, extended, and repeated listening on his own system. Pardon my ignorance but, if sufficient pre-buffering is used, I don't see why "play from memory" should make a difference.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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BTW, I just read that Matt Ashland, Chief Technology Officer of J River, recommends not using "play from memory" if your music files are stored on a NAS as mine are.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Pardon my ignorance but, if sufficient pre-buffering is used, I don't see why "play from memory" should make a difference.
There shouldn't be any difference between lossless/uncompressed formats in my opinion, and JRiver already plays from a small buffer of decoded audio.

 

But if you play from memory the entire track is decoded into memory rather than decoding during playback, which seems to be the reason people come up with for WAV/AIFF sounding better on their systems.

 

I would argue that if you're hearing any difference in sound quality due to a miniscule amount of CPU usage like that, you have bigger problems in your setup that need to be addressed, but the typical response is that "your system must not be resolving enough".

 

BTW, I just read that Matt Ashland, Chief Technology Officer of J River, recommends not using "play from memory" if your music files are stored on a NAS as mine are.
I think this is because it will keep the network connection and disk in the NAS active rather than a burst of data at the start of a track, nothing for several minutes, and a potential delay to starting the next track if the disk has spun down or the network is slow to re-establish a connection.
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There shouldn't be any difference between lossless/uncompressed formats in my opinion...

 

There are many areas of audio which give rise to the "shouldn't be any difference" argument. It is the fundamental reason for the disagreement between the 'objectivists' and the 'subjectivists'. Without opening that kimono, I can only say that what supposedly should be the case does not always accord with experience and/or reality.

 

I would argue that if you're hearing any difference in sound quality due to a miniscule amount of CPU usage like that, you have bigger problems in your setup that need to be addressed, but the typical response is that "your system must not be resolving enough".

 

As should be apparent from this thread, I haven't done any comparisons yet, so I have no position on the subject at this time. As you know, many who do hear differences between the formats disagree with your argument.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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By the way, I have several examples of the JRIver expression language (like appending "DSD" to all DSD albums, fixing ALL-CAPS tags, etc) in my JRIver tutorial screencast videos.

Part One: Intro (20:39)

• Introduction

• Installation

• Importing music

• Setting up DAC/output

• Basic JRemote setup

 

View Part One online: jriver part 1 - intro - Ted_B's library

Download MP4 video: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/jriver%20part%201%20-%20intro.mp4

 

Part Two: Tagging and Custom Views

• Tagging techniques

• Filling tags from file info

• Tag Pasting

• Mass tagging ideas

• Building customized views

• Exporting them to JRemote

 

View Part Two online: Jriver Part Two - Tags and Views - Ted_B's library

Download MP4 video: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/Jriver%20Part%20Two%20-%20Tags%20and%20Views.mp4

 

If you go to screencast to view online and it disallows you, my monthly free bandwidth is used up, so simply download the actual video (links included above)

 

The easiest way for the OP to do what he wants is to create a very simple WAV view. Simply create a new view (again, shown in the screencast) and make a simple one line rule "file type" "is" "wav". Then you can even import it to JRemote. Here it is below, concatenated into one screenshot.

 

wav view.jpg

 

More fun is on the thread I started last year, "JRiver Tips and Techniques user experience repository"

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/j-river-tips-and-techniques-user-experiences-repository-13684/

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Many thanks, Ted. Much appreciated. I've just successfully added views for DSD and Hi Res PCM to both J River and JRemote. Initially, I didn't know why the views wouldn't show up in JRemote. Then I realized that I had to reboot my CAPS server before they would show up there.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but all you need to do is create a smartlist that is defined as only WAV files or only FLAC files then it will include only the type you want for playback when you pick that smartlist. You can also define it as Flac>jazz or something like that if you want to limit it further. You don't have to change the tags of existing albums.

 

 

I wonder if you could do the following:

 

1. Search for AIFF file type

 

2. Highlight all the albums

 

3. Enter the following regular expression into the Album field of the Tag pane to batch append " (AIFF)" to the AIFF albums:

 

=[Album] /(AIFF/)

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, but all you need to do is create a smartlist that is defined as only WAV files or only FLAC files then it will include only the type you want for playback when you pick that smartlist. You can also define it as Flac>jazz or something like that if you want to limit it further. You don't have to change the tags of existing albums.
This is why I suggested using a custom grouping that adds file type rather than renaming files.

 

Renaming files to create unique album names is the "wrong" way to do it - but the only way you can in most other programs.

 

If you simply add the file type to the grouping, it means that you can still list all files rather than having one view for X filetype and another for Y.

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