Jump to content
IGNORED

Squeezebox (Touch)-Mac-iTunes-24/96 how?


Recommended Posts

Looking for advice/experiences. Have had several SBs for years, all iTunes Mac ALC driven. In anticipation of the 24/96 output capability of the Touch (wasn't interested in Transporter), am plotting my hi rez strategy. Plan to use a couple into 24/96 capable DACs I have, but..

 

How are Mac/iTunes people handling 24/96 files via Squeezebox? Want to download some HDtracks stuff that's in FLAC.

 

- Do you convert from FLAC to ALC using something like dbpoweramp, then put this into iTunes? Will SC then stream this as 24/96 as it converts back to FLAC? Does iTunes even allow 24/96 out?

 

- FLAC aside, how are you working w/hirez files in this equip. scenario?

 

- Should I use a different media manager than iTunes? How much of a hassle is this to setup given a big iTunes/ALC library?

 

- Does anyone use Amarra?

 

- What are people doing out there for hirez on a Mac, using SBs?

 

Thanks.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just have SqueezeCenter read in your previous iTunes stuff (a check box in server settings menu) and use SqueezeCenter for all your library management! It will not require changing sample rates, dealing with Audio Midi, etc. And SqueezeCenter will even down convert (via SOX) anything above 24/96 should you have some. You can continue to use an iTouch/iPod for remote; simply buy the $10 iPeng app (looks and acts exactly like Remote).

 

Note: So, assuming you use SqueezeCenter (now called SqueezeBox Server), you can have FLAC 24/96 streamed to your devices (Touch) or you can have SB Server transcode to PCM/wav before sending. If you do the latter, keep in mind that an earlier version of SqueezeCenetr (7.3 I think) had a FLAC hirez bug that didn't allow on-the-fly transcoding (again, only relevant if you have customized your output to have the Server transcode to PCM before sending) higher than 16/44.....then you had to use Wavpack or some other lossless format for compressed storage. This is likely fixed in SB Server, and prolly not an issue for you anyway.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have the SB Server (v7.4) hooked into my iTunes library via the checkbox in the iTunes server settings menu. So, if I convert the FLAC file to ALC w/dbpoweramp and put it into my iTunes, the SB server will take care of things from that point on? It will transcode back to FLAC and put out 24/96 to the SBs around the house? Anything else I need to do?

 

Am I understanding you correctly, or are you suggesting I somehow bypass iTunes altogether? (don't think you are)

 

Aleready use iPeng btw.

 

Thanks!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that it hands to SB Server. Why convert to ALAC? Why not store native FLAC in SB server folder and go native FLAC (i.e not use iTunes for FLAC hirez stuff)? Yes I am saying to not use iTunes for Hirez. iTunes is no better at library managment (for Squeeze devices) than Squeezebox server is, and does not handle automatic sample rate changes...Squeezebox server does. As long as you ae using iPeng i would get iTunes out of the picture (other than having SB server read your current iTunes redbook stuff in, I guess).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that I can look up (and will), but I'll ask anyway, and thanks for the help thusfar.

 

As I've done everything thru iTunes to this point, I don't even know how to import into SB Server -- where would I put the FLAC files? And then via iPeng, the Controller, etc., I'd have to switch music sources, correct?

 

Didn't realize conceptually that SB Server can function as its own library a la iTunes, etc. You're suggestion of doing hirez stuff in it makes sense.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Point SB Server to your master folder that would hold non-iTunes music (hirez FlAC) it to that, and as long as you have iTunes also checked off in the "use iTunes" setting, you are good to go. You can use FLAC (preferred), Ogg Vorbis, Monkey's Audio, etc...as well as anything iTunes supports. The SB Server will handle the bit rate and resolution that is sent to the device (Squeezebox Touch). iPeng is already looking at that folder anyway (and then that folder points to itunes in your case), you just aren't aware of it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice, will try it out. Wish it was simpler for me at this point (hundreds of albums in iTunes already) to get everything under one roof -- not that she try much but my wife will never find the hires stuff now if it means switching libraries.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No switching of libraries, no getting rid of iTunes. SqueezeBox server takes itunes and consolidates it in with your non-iTunes music folder. No need to find anything; Squeezebox server will do that.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ted is quite correct in everythng he has said. If it helps here's my setup :

 

Squeezebox Server (SBS) is pointed to 'D:' - This is my main music drive and the foldersubfolder arrangement is - 'ArtistAlbumfiles. All files are flac in various resolutions up to 24/96.

 

SBS is also pointed to 'E:iTunesiTunes Files' - This is my repository for all the alac copies of my flac files, which is maintained for iPod purposes and as a 'different format' archive. (You never know, I might buy a Mac one day!)

 

SBS is more than happy with this arangement and all of this stuff appears in my Transporter display as available for me to play. The only difference between these two sources of music, apart from the file format, is that I do not copy any of the hi-res stuff into the iTunes folder. This is only because SBS uses the Quicktime engine to play the alac files before converting them to (normally) flac and sending them on to the Transporter. In order to get hi-res to the Transporter then, from an alac file, I would have to change the Quicktime setting to whatever is the resolution of the files I wish to play. There's no point in doing this as the Transporter will auto switch between flac files without any of the hassle.

 

Which is a rather long-winded way of saying if you want to get into hi-res then organise your folder storage accordingly, point SBS to the correct locations and all is good. Just don't bother putting the hi-res stuff into the iTunes folder!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This appeared before my reply above hit - moved my hires folder into my main music folder that includes iTunes -- thanks

 

You might be asking for trouble if you just moved the folder into iTunes yourself, rather than letting iTunes do it via its import function.! One thing iTunes doesn't do well is letting the user control what goes in and out of its library - I fear a hissy fit is on the way!

 

edit - The point being, SBS is quite happy to follow my lead and will find whatever I put onto the drive. iTunes is less accomodating! SBS knows about my iTunes files BUT iTunes knows nothing of my flac files!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just have SBS point to them. As I said earlier, you may be overthinking this. SBS handles iTunes library integration without having to move things (which, as BobH pointed out, iTunes doesn't like folder movement).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure how you direct SBS to do this.

 

Here's what I did -- seems to be working (though some other SB issues cropped up of course), don't think I'm forcing QT conversion of any kind, but let me know:

 

-- moved my HiRez FLAC folder into user/music.. My iTunes folder already resides here, as does a playlist folder. So the HiRez folder is alongside, not in the iTunes folder.

 

SB is pointed to the music folder, sees both the HiRez and iTunes folders -- I can choose in SBS/iPeng/Controller, under Music Folder, either iTunes or HiRes.

 

Since I generally do/view everything through 'playlists' (all made in iTunes btw), I attempted to make a playlist of some hirez tracks in SBS. This way I just choose 'playlists', and everything's there, no folder swapping to get to places. This should have no format conversion impact, correct? -- because this is a created by SB playlist file grabbed from iTunes and whatever else, no? Anyway, created playlist doesn't show up. WTF!! Then, ahhhhhh.... All my iTunes playlists are prefixed w/ iTunes: My hires playlist started w/a 'K' -- it was put at the end of the list, not the middle. Where the heck is the setting for prefix, etc.? Found it in SBS, of course, switch the 'iTunes:' to a suffix, now everything seems cool and in one place, 'playlists', and in the alphabetical order I expect. Again though, this should have no impact on playback rate/format, correct?

 

In SBS, I see my 24/96 file that has a VBR of 3055 kbps is being converted to 705.6 kbps -- I'm assuming this is because it is being downsampled for playback in my non 24/96 compatible SBs, correct?

 

Thanks much.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't need to physically point SBS at two folders - you tell it where your music folder is and you tell it to use iTunes - it finds out where iTunes music is stored for itself. You do seem to have done this anyway.

 

Provided your hi-res files are still in flac format then the only conversion being carried out, by SBS, will be to downsample so that your SB receivers can receive the audio. As and when you get a Touch, the flacs should travel through to it unmolested and will then be decoded for onward transmission to the dac section.

 

I don't use playlists, but again, you would be well advised to keep SBS and iTunes separated. iTunes playlists are normally stored along with the library file, downloaded album art and all that in 'My DocumentsMy MusiciTunes' etc etc.

 

You SBS playlists can be stored wherever you like - you tell SBS where they are/where you want them to be, on the first tab of the settings web page.

 

I think it may be worth re-iterating that SBS neither needs, nor uses, any part of iTunes in its operation. It requires the Quicktime audio codecs to be installed in order to process Apple-specific audio files (aac, alac) but that's it. A lot of people use iTunes for library management, so for that reason the SBS will import playlists and can access the audio files stored in 'iTunes Music Library' but it does not use iTunes at all in order to achieve this. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be under the impression that you're somehow using iTunes with SBS - nothing could be further from the truth! SBS will, as I've said, attempt to make your life easier by accessing some of your iTunes setup but it neither needs, nor uses, any part of it in its own running.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand now that SBS is simply using iTunes as a library, and that in this scenario, I'm (simply) using iTunes for library management. And therefore, that it's SBS that determines the output format and specs, not iTunes.

 

What was a bit nebulous later on in the process of understanding was the merging of playlists, those I create in iTunes vs. those I create in SBS. The single merged playlist is ideal for the way I listen, and now, understanding the way SBS uses iTunes, I see how I have no problems.

 

Other than the Touch is not avail yet...

 

Will have to explore the benefits of Amarra down the road.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have generally found that iTunes is much better for managing the library in terms of organisation. When using SB only I often find references to "No Artist" even though the folder is laid out in exactly the same way as another artist that is picked up correctly. Also no obvious way to manage the tags/names through SB directly.

 

Is this something others experience? Would be great to just use SB.

 

Jack

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SBS picks up its information from track tags, it isn't very clever at all when it comes to inferring information from a folder structure. There is a setting for this somewhere in the web interface but it's not really worth bothering with because it doesn't work very well!

 

If SBS can't find the information it needs, nice and easily, it gives up and that's when you end up with 'No Artist'! The best thing to do is to use a ripper that SBS doesn't have a problem with and a file type that accepts tags. Personally I've found dbPoweramp and flac files to be, so far, flawless. But I dare say that EAC would be just as good.

 

If anything is incorrectly tagged then there are any number of programs out there to deal with that problem, my favourite of which is 'Tag & Rename' - but I only really needed this to tidy up what I'd already ripped. dbPoweramp takes care of the new stuff nicely.

 

Tagging isn't strictly necessary but, I agree, it's a little off that SBS can't build a decent database from a well structured folder hierarchy!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...