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Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
vetinry
post Jul 16 2006, 10:03
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Good morning

I am having a very frustrating time trying to find a suitable audio format that I can use in my home network and hope that someone may have a solution.

As an ipod user, I ripped my entire CD collection (500 ish) to the apple lossless (ALAC) format using EAC and itunes encode. I use my ipod in the car as a CD changer, and I purchased a couple of Slim Devices Squeezebox 2's to stream music in the house.

SQ is more important than file size and this is why I chose a lossless format.

I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place. It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge. Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.

I have read a little about the incompatability between itunes and WMP, but it seems that both can play WAV flies, which although disc space hungry, would be acceptable.

This is where the problem starts - I've tried ripping WAV files in iTunes, in WMP, and in EAC but there doesn't appear to be consistency between the folder types.

The ability to capture Album artwork etc through WMP is appealing, particularly when using media center, but although using these different methods is recognised by the different programmes, the file structures which are so important for searching disappear.

Is there a method of ripping WAV files so that they can be viewed in correct folder structures by both itunes and windows media player?

Any help as always would be gratefully received.

Best wishes

Steve
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chelgrian
post Jul 16 2006, 13:50
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QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 10:03) *
This is where the problem starts - I've tried ripping WAV files in iTunes, in WMP, and in EAC but there doesn't appear to be consistency between the folder types.

The ability to capture Album artwork etc through WMP is appealing, particularly when using media center, but although using these different methods is recognised by the different programmes, the file structures which are so important for searching disappear.


Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.

Secondly the folder arrangement doesn't matter much if all the files are tagged correctly, obviously this means ripping to a format which supports tagging.

Thirdly album arts is something that all libraries handle differently, for example iTunes stores the art in a metadata field inside the music file. This is horriffically inefficent as it ends up storing multiple copies of the same image.

Windows Media Player uses a scheme where all tracks from the album must be in the same directory and it looks for a file called "folder.jpg" in that directory.

There are a couple of things you could do depending on what OSes you have access to.

*** If you only have access to Windows:

1) Rip to FLAC using EAC

2) You can play FLAC in Windows Media Player/Center if you install

http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/

Which provides a FLAC directshow filter

http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/

Which extend the tagging support in WMP so it can read metadata from FLAC (and several over formats).

The alternative is to cross code the FLAC to Windows Media Lossless. There are two ways to do this. The first is using dbPowerAMP Music Converter

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm

The second is using Foobar 2000 and setting up a commandline encoder using WMcmd.vbs this is a script shipped with Windows Media to enable you to encode from the commandline. Search elsewhere on the forums for infomation on the commandline options this takes.

http://www.foobar2000.org/

However you mileage may vary with preserving the tags, there are mixed reports of WMcmd.vbs correctly populating all tag fields. Unfortunately MS never seem to appreciate the need to be able to drive things via the command line :/

I'd stick with using FLAC and the extensions to WMP mentioned above.

3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/

4) You can now convert to ALAC using Foobar2000 and itunesEncode.exe. Again the tags get read by Foobar and added on the commandline to iTunesencode. You can specify Album Art on the commandline as well but since it requires a full qualified path (and the source code was lost so it can't be fixed) it's not much use.

http://www.rarewares.org/files/aac/iTunesEncode46.zip

Unfortunately the dbPowerAMP ALAC encoder is not ready for the primetime and extending iTunes itself to import FLAC is problematic. iTunes can be made to play most formats by writing a Quicktime component for it however the metadata support is built directly into iTunes itself so is not extendable. Therefore you lose tags.

Assuming you can get a conversion to ALAC preserving tags using Foobar2000 and iTunesencode then you then have the tedious job of dragging the album art into iTunes for each album or using a tool such as

http://www.yvg.com/itunesartimporter.shtml

to scrape it from amazon again.

*** If you have access to a Mac:

Things are much much easier you can use Max

http://sbooth.org/Max/

This will rip and encode to tagged FLAC and ALAC files concurrently and query amazon.com to grab the album art. As far as I can tell it will insert the Album art into ALAC files and save a copy of the file into the directory under a user defineable name and format. Therefore you can get it to write the folder.jpg that WMP requires.

You can then just import the ALAC files into iTunes and everything wiill Just Work™

Again you'd use the FLAC components mentioned above.

If you still wish to rip using EAC on windows then you could download the Album Art using something like

http://kempele.fi/~skyostil/projects/albumart/

Which will query based on the tags in the files. However this isn't going to help you get art into ALAC files for iTunes.

I wish you luck in getting all of this to work. I rather suspect that it might be easier to just buy a second hand PPC mac to run Max on than trying to deal with ALAC on Windows. Since Apple are going Intel there are quite a lot of people selling PPC Macs and PowerBooks and buying Intel based ones.

This post has been edited by chelgrian: Jul 16 2006, 13:51
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/mnt
post Jul 16 2006, 15:02
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WMA Lossless can be transcoded to AAC or ALAC in iTunes and it is possible to encode to WMA Lossless with EAC if you have the Windows Media Encoder 9 installed.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...&DisplayLang=en

There is a ffmpeg Direct Show plugin someware, that might decode ALAC in WMP.


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vetinry
post Jul 16 2006, 15:57
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Guys

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Am I right in thinking that I will actually need two copies of all files installed on my computer in order to get things running properly?

I may have not been clear in that I don't need album art in iTunes at all - only the ability to view albums and artists - so far I have managed to itunes to pick up the files that I ripped with WMP - but they are all just in a list, not grouped in albums etc? The album art is a nice to have because of using media center in the kitchen and the lounge - I would ideally continue to use itunes upstairs if possible

FLAC is interesting - I know that since it's open source, it's very popular - would FLAC files run in itunes and WMP?

Ideally I would like to only have one set of files on my hard drive which can then be viewed from both iTunes and WMP and is held in folders correctly.

Do iTunes and WMP tag the wav files or not?

Many thanks

Steve
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chelgrian
post Jul 16 2006, 17:44
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QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 15:57) *
Guys

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Am I right in thinking that I will actually need two copies of all files installed on my computer in order to get things running properly?


Yes.

QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 15:57) *
I may have not been clear in that I don't need album art in iTunes at all - only the ability to view albums and artists - so far I have managed to itunes to pick up the files that I ripped with WMP - but they are all just in a list, not grouped in albums etc? The album art is a nice to have because of using media center in the kitchen and the lounge - I would ideally continue to use itunes upstairs if possible


As I have said you need to start with a tagged format that you can then covert on into formats that WMP and iTunes can understand. Nothing speaks ALAC properly on Windows except iTunes. It's vaguely possible that iTunes might pickup the tags if you rip using WMP or EAC into Windows Media Lossless and import into iTunes on Windows but I've never tried it.

QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 15:57) *
Ideally I would like to only have one set of files on my hard drive which can then be viewed from both iTunes and WMP and is held in folders correctly.


This is not possible with a lossless format as I said iTunes and WMP do not have any losslessly compressed formats in common. They do have uncompressed WAV in common but as I have pointed out WAV files cannot be tagged.

You would have to use a lossy format such as AAC in order to have a tagged format that both iTunes and WMP can understand.

QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 15:57) *
Do iTunes and WMP tag the wav files or not?


No. WAV files do not have the ability to be tagged however if you rip to WAV using either WMP or iTunes I suspect they will put entries into their own databases which relate to the WAV files.
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vetinry
post Jul 16 2006, 19:49
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Thanks

I think I'm getting the gist of what you're saying now.

Will have to have a bit of a think

Best wishes

Steve
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John Lockwood
post Oct 11 2006, 17:19
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QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 19:49) *
Thanks

I think I'm getting the gist of what you're saying now.

Will have to have a bit of a think

Best wishes

Steve


I too also wanted to share my music between iTunes (to provide iPod and Mac compatibility) and WMP (to provide MCE 2005 compatibility). I also wanted to go further and include compatibility with the Roku SoundBridge M2000 and future proof it so that if/when I get a Sonos Zone Player that is also supported.

Initially I had thought AIFF was the way to go since it is fully support by iTunes, iPod, SoundBridge and Sonos Zone Player. I also knew that WMP could play it. Unfortunately I then discovered that WMP while it has a built-in codec to play AIFF does not have the ability to read iTunes tags for AIFF files, nor is there any plugin for WMP (currently) to address this. I had instantly discounted WAV as it does not support tags and embedded album art (for iTunes and iPod).

I then considered AAC and proved it would work with everything (by using a plugin for WMP to read the tags and an AAC codec) but this was a lossey format.

More recently the SoundBridge firmware was upgraded and FireFly server released which meant the SoundBridge could now play Apple Lossless (iTunes, iPod and Sonos Zone Player already supported Apple Loessless). As Apple Lossless uses the same MPEG4 file format and tag format as AAC this meant WMP could already read the tags for Apple Lossless via the same plugin. This drove me to look for a way to get the final missing piece an Apple Lossless codec for WMP.

As has been mentioned in this thread, in theory ffmpeg is supposed to now support ALAC (Apple Lossless) but it never worked for me. I then started googling like mad to find ALAC solutions for Windows, other than a reference to ffmpeg and solutions for winamp and foobar (which were of no use to getting it working in WMP and MCE) I eventually came across mention of the BASS audio library for Windows (see http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html ). This library has modules available for various audio formats including ALAC and AAC and the source code for those particular modules is freely available. BASS does not itself integrate with WMP and I am not a Windows programmer so I was not quite there yet. I then found another developer had already taken the BASS library and an MP3 plugin and wrapped it all together as a directshow filter WHICH WORKS IN WMP! Wow! I thought, if only I could get him to do the same thing by taking the BASS library and the source for the BASS ALAC module and wrap that together as a directshow filter!

Ta da!

He did indeed manage to do this for me and after he fixed a small bug I now have ALL my iTunes library in Apple Lossless format and I can play it in iTunes, WMP, MCE 2005, SoftSqueeze (via SlimServer), Roku SoundBridge (via Firefly server) and if I had them it would also be possible with an iPod, SlimDevices Squeezebox (via SlimServer), Sonos Zone Player, EVEN AN XBOX 360 ACTING AS A MEDIA EXTENDER (via MCE 2005).

In other-words, I have achieved the impossible and I have a universal lossless music format supported by EVERYTHING all linked to single copies of each track.

I have even got artwork working in both iTunes and WMP and MCE (although that requires some manual intervention).

I even asked Apple to add support for the "Album Artist" tag to make it easier to integrate with WMP and they added that in iTunes 7. (This works thanks to SoftPointer's Tag Extender Plugin for WMP, currently WMPTSE a very similar plugin is having problems reading iTunes tags.)

Note: I use iTunes to rip CDs and I tell WMP to not copy or move or change the files but to merely add them to its library. As a result iTunes and WMP share the same single copies of files.
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LANjackal
post Oct 11 2006, 17:31
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QUOTE (chelgrian @ Jul 16 2006, 08:50) *
3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/


WMP can fetch album art on its own. Simply right-click any audio file in the library and select "Find Album Info". WMP will then query the AMG database for art and metadata, which you can then apply directly to the file with a single click.


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beto
post Oct 11 2006, 17:50
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You should go with MP3 if lossy is an option for you because this can be played by both WMP and itunes.


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John Lockwood
post Oct 12 2006, 14:28
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QUOTE (beto @ Oct 11 2006, 17:50) *
You should go with MP3 if lossy is an option for you because this can be played by both WMP and itunes.


Yes both can play MP3 and handles tags for that format but this is literally the lowest quality standard. It is fairly easy to get WMP to play AAC and to get it to handle MPEG4 (AAC) tags and AAC for the same bit-rate can give better quality. However as I posted above I have now managed to get Apple Lossless working in WMP and really you cannot get any better than lossless!

QUOTE (LANjackal @ Oct 11 2006, 17:31) *
QUOTE (chelgrian @ Jul 16 2006, 08:50) *
3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/


WMP can fetch album art on its own. Simply right-click any audio file in the library and select "Find Album Info". WMP will then query the AMG database for art and metadata, which you can then apply directly to the file with a single click.


WMP only gives you a mere 200x200 pixel image (on average), whereas iTunes gives you a magnificent 600x600 pixels on average. In order to get artwork working in both I tell WMP to "Find Album Info" (to add an entry to its internal database) and then overwrite the resulting jpeg files with higher quality versions taken from iTunes.

Note: Amazon (and Walmart) only give you 500x500 pixels and Amazon often puts an annoying white border around the image.
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beto
post Oct 12 2006, 14:41
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Just a few comments.

QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Oct 12 2006, 10:21) *
Yes both can play MP3 and handles tags for that format but this is literally the lowest quality standard.

As for playing and handling tags ok. But your quality standard conclusion is just plain wrong. According to the last listening test LAME MP3 and AAC (iTunes) were tied within the confidence margin for 128kbps. IMO we can extrapolate the same result for higher bitrates.
What this tells us is that LAME MP3 is on par with iTunes AAC perceptually. So to me this makes MP3 slightly superior because of its wider compatibility.

QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Oct 12 2006, 10:21) *
...AAC for the same bit-rate can give better quality.

Hmmm in theory yes because it is technically superior, however this does not hold ground in practice (I mean for a large sample and user base) for 128kbps and,probably, above. You might be right for bitrates lower than 128kbps.

QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Oct 12 2006, 10:21) *
However as I posted above I have now managed to get Apple Lossless working in WMP and really you cannot get any better than lossless!

That is true. It sure gives some piece of mind. smile.gif

This post has been edited by beto: Oct 12 2006, 14:42


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saratoga
post Oct 12 2006, 14:51
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QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 02:03) *
I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place. It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge. Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.


Don't use a 360. Use an Xbox 1 running XBMC. It supports ALAC, thus you won't need to convert anything.
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Veej007
post Oct 13 2006, 09:03
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this is seems like an appropriate time to reiterate my interest in that quicktime flac component.

or, you know, decent flac support on osx at all (max only works under tiger, which i can't use, and there's still no sane playback+tagging option). what's the point of open source if it ends up just as pragmatically limited as the proprietary options?

sorry i can't help make it happen; i don't know how to write this sort of thing, i'm just a lowly power user.

(bitching session over.)
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jcoalson
post Oct 13 2006, 19:07
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don't forget to complain to apple too.
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Nick E
post Oct 13 2006, 19:53
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QUOTE (Veej007 @ Oct 13 2006, 02:03) *
this is seems like an appropriate time to reiterate my interest in that quicktime flac component.


The Xiph one? Here's the link for anyone who might find that useful:

http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/

QUOTE
What's new in this release? Intel Mac compatibility (finally!), FLAC decoder, fresh (and still warm!) Theora decoder and a number of bug fixes and other smaller changes - see the release notes for details.


But I can't recall trying it with FLAC as such, though I did try a FLAC in an OGG container with it, and that seemed fine. I usually just use VLC for more (currently) unusual formats, but I'm more of an MP3 user. (FLAC is my standard format for archiving, but I don't generally listen to it: I encode to MP3 for my portable player.)

QUOTE
or, you know, decent flac support on osx at all (max only works under tiger, which i can't use, and there's still no sane playback+tagging option).


I hadn't noticed that Stephen's program was either indecent or insane, and I'm very grateful to him for working on it and providing it free of charge to the community, but there you go. Again, I'll give the link for the benefit of anyone on OS X who hasn't heard of it before but who might find it useful. I use it a lot and would heartily recommend it to anyone:

http://www.sbooth.org/Max/

Anyone stopping by there will also find Tag, "a metadata editor for FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Monkey's Audio and WavPack files", which I've used and would also recommend and Vincent Spader's Cog, which is a lightweight open-source audio player for OS X (haven't tried Cog yet myself).

QUOTE
what's the point of open source if it ends up just as pragmatically limited as the proprietary options?


What's the "point" of open source? Well, that depends on whom you ask. According to Richard Stallman, the "point" would be that it respects a number of "freedoms":

http://www.gnu.org/events/rms-nyu-2001-transcript.txt

He says he would use it even if it were very much worse than "non-free" code purely for that reason. It has nothing to do with "pragmatism" in his book, and many would agree. But you'd get a rather different account from, for example, Eric Raymond.

But I'm not sure what bearing this has on the OP's question - or on the needs of people who might be visiting this thread, having read the title, to find out more about the audio options in iTunes and WMP, and secondarily, OS X and Windows. These are not of course "free" platforms in Stallman's sense, even if parts of OS X's kernel are open source.

Anyway, a couple more links - cover art was touched on earlier, and people might like to know that the storage set-up for iTunes has changed radically with the integration of coverflow. Images downloaded from the iTunes Store are no longer stored in the ID3 tags but in a database, which solves some problems and makes some new ones:

http://theubergeeks.net/2006/09/13/new-album-art/

http://decaffeinated.org/archives/2006/09/...now_i_regret_it
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John Lockwood
post Oct 13 2006, 21:37
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QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Oct 12 2006, 14:51) *
QUOTE (vetinry @ Jul 16 2006, 02:03) *



I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place. It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge. Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.


Don't use a 360. Use an Xbox 1 running XBMC. It supports ALAC, thus you won't need to convert anything.

According to Microsoft, Windows Media Center will transcode music to PCM to send to a Media Extender (including the XBox 360). This means the Media Extender can play any music format that Windows Media Center can, therefore the XBox 360 will also be able to play ALAC if like me you have WMP/MCE able to play it.
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chelgrian
post Oct 16 2006, 01:07
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QUOTE (jcoalson @ Oct 13 2006, 19:07) *
don't forget to complain to apple too.


It took them six years to add gapless playback support despite many complaints, including ones directly into iPod firmware developers ears. Unless the rumours of their having put FLAC into Leopard are true then we might be waiting sometime.

The irony is that all they need to do is open up the iTunes metadata reading to be plugin driven rather than hard coded into iTunes then there would be more motivation to develop XiphQT.
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EuMesmo
post Nov 11 2006, 23:06
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QUOTE (chelgrian @ Jul 16 2006, 09:50) *
Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.


Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter.

I rarely use WMP, so don't care that much for the metadata on it. And on this thread there's an information that iTunes 7 can read OGG metadata. And

I had some problems to append the metadata to oggFLAC files, but it was solved with flac 1.1.3, which converts and copy the tags from the flac files. But the only way to add the tags to ogg-flac that I found was with foobar. And in case you want to convert again to another lossless format, well, you can use foobar again.

I believe that ogg-flac needs more attention from people. It is not so widspread used as the other, but the ability to play on both players should be useful to a lot of people.

This post has been edited by EuMesmo: Nov 11 2006, 23:09
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goodnews
post Nov 11 2006, 23:33
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I see 2 main things needed to help FLAC to better accomplish 'universal compatability' across operating systems and (even) more widespread use:

1. Support by the Xiph Quicktime components for decoding the more popular native FLAC file type.

2. The soon to arrive [b]FLAC 1.1.3[b] stable release version that will support embedded ALBUM ART and converting from FLAC to FLAC formats without losing metatags.

With this, plus the new LYRICS text tag hopefully being used, one should be able to use dBpowerAMP, VUPlayer, Max and other utility programs to easily convert from your master audios in FLAC format to WMA Lossless, Apple's ALAC, M4A (AAC), MP3 or just about any format on Macs or PCs running Windows. All album art, lyrics and tags should go along with any format you convert to from your master FLAC files.

Since the illuminable Directshow plugin also supports playback for native FLAC format files, that should take care of FLAC file playback in WMP 10 or 11. Also, now that Winamp 5.31 now natively comes with a FLAC decoder you can playback files in Winamp also.

Am anxiously awaiting Josh's new 1.1.3 release of FLAC, plus Apple's rumoured built-in FLAC support in its upcoming Leopard MAC operating system...

[dream mode]Maybe iTunes will have built-in FLAC file import (and export) support in an upcoming release [/dream mode].

This post has been edited by goodnews: Nov 11 2006, 23:36
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John Lockwood
post Nov 11 2006, 23:48
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QUOTE (EuMesmo @ Nov 11 2006, 23:06) *
QUOTE (chelgrian @ Jul 16 2006, 09:50) *

Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.


Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter.

I rarely use WMP, so don't care that much for the metadata on it. And on this thread there's an information that iTunes 7 can read OGG metadata. And

I had some problems to append the metadata to oggFLAC files, but it was solved with flac 1.1.3, which converts and copy the tags from the flac files. But the only way to add the tags to ogg-flac that I found was with foobar. And in case you want to convert again to another lossless format, well, you can use foobar again.

I believe that ogg-flac needs more attention from people. It is not so widspread used as the other, but the ability to play on both players should be useful to a lot of people.


I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.

The oggFLAC solution does not [yet] support the standard FLAC file format so it is not an ideal solution. Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

Finally, FLAC does not work on iPods, so even if it is supported in iTunes in Leopard it still is not as good a solution as ALAC (yes I am aware of Rockbox).
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jcoalson
post Nov 12 2006, 00:07
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QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Nov 11 2006, 17:48) *
Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

can you elaborate?
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EuMesmo
post Nov 12 2006, 00:30
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QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Nov 11 2006, 19:48) *
I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?

QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Nov 11 2006, 19:48) *
The oggFLAC solution does not [yet] support the standard FLAC file format so it is not an ideal solution. Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

Finally, FLAC does not work on iPods, so even if it is supported in iTunes in Leopard it still is not as good a solution as ALAC (yes I am aware of Rockbox).


My tests were not through, actually I haven't even tried it on iTunes 7. But since iTunes 6 can convert the files, I found it a fine answear to the ipod transfer. I convert it on iTunes, and transfer the converted files to iPod.

But which features exctaly would you like to see support? It is just curiosity, I am not offering to answear your questions.

This post has been edited by EuMesmo: Nov 12 2006, 00:33
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windmiller
post Nov 27 2006, 13:08
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The WMPTSE plugin is certainly worth checking out.


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chelgrian
post Nov 27 2006, 13:28
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QUOTE (EuMesmo @ Nov 11 2006, 23:06) *
Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter.


Yes you can play OGG-FLAC in iTunes but you cannot read the metadata from the files as iTunes uses internal routes for doing this not QuickTime. This makes it only marginally useful. Apple may fix this at somepoint but it can hardly be very high up their priority list.
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John Lockwood
post Nov 28 2006, 01:40
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QUOTE (EuMesmo @ Nov 12 2006, 00:30) *
QUOTE (John Lockwood @ Nov 11 2006, 19:48) *

I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?


The author is Milenko Mitrovic and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de you will need to ask the author for the link to the file.

For those interested the saga in finding this solution was as follows.

1. I looked for an existing ALAC directshow filter and there was none apart from a vague mention that ffmpeg [a directshow package] was supposed to support it.

2. I then looked for ANY Windows ALAC solutions. I found one for WinAmp, one for Foobar 2000 and then when I almost gave up, mention of the BASS library ( http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html )

3. The BASS site in turn referred to a free open source ALAC module [written by someone else] for adding to BASS but both BASS and this ALAC module did not themselves work as a directshow filter and hence would not work in WMP.

4. I then found an MP3 module written using BASS that had been packaged as a directshow filter. This then lead to the obvious conclusion it should also be possible to use the same approach to package the ALAC BASS module the same way as a directshow filter.

5. I got in touch with the author [Milenko] of the BASS MP3 module (packaged as a directshow filter) and persuaded him to take the free open source ALAC module and wrap it as a directshow filter. This he did do and it is working beautifully for me.
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