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tidusaa's picture
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Ripping format
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Having just got myself a streamer (minx xi) I've decided to start the process of ripping my CDs, having only really bothered to do the odd one before.

So, obviously you want the best quality possible and I have plenty of storage space. The minx appears to be able to play virtually anything. I'm using windows media player so I've been selecting WAV files as they are lossless, but I've read that there is some sort of issue with tagging. I'm hoping somebody can explain this because media player finds the artist, album and track info absolutely fine so I don't understand what the problem is! I did notice, however, the the minx appeared to displaying the tracks in the wrong order (possibly alphabetically, rather than in track number order)

Then I realise that if I want to transfer any of these files onto my portable player or phone, they might not work which would presumably mean re converting then into MP3 or whatever. I've not tested this yet, to be fair.

The third consideration is how I'm playing these files on the Minx - the unit itself is cabled to the router (via a power line adapter) but the laptop is via WiFi. Could limitations in data transfer speed effect playback? The few I've ripped so far sound great but there's no point in using such data hungry files if what I'm actually listening too is downgraded somewhat.... if so, I might as well stick to MP3!

Anyone got any advise?

Please make it straightforward...I'm not especially techy!

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tidusaa wrote:Having just got

tidusaa wrote:
Having just got myself a streamer (minx xi) I've decided to start the process of ripping my CDs, having only really bothered to do the odd one before.

So, obviously you want the best quality possible and I have plenty of storage space. The minx appears to be able to play virtually anything. I'm using windows media player so I've been selecting WAV files as they are lossless, but I've read that there is some sort of issue with tagging. I'm hoping somebody can explain this because media player finds the artist, album and track info absolutely fine so I don't understand what the problem is! I did notice, however, the the minx appeared to displaying the tracks in the wrong order (possibly alphabetically, rather than in track number order)

Correct, WAV has been around longer than tagging has so there's limited native support for it.

Quote:
Then I realise that if I want to transfer any of these files onto my portable player or phone, they might not work which would presumably mean re converting then into MP3 or whatever. I've not tested this yet, to be fair.

They should work but the tagging may become more of an issue and WAV files on portable devices is usually bad simply because they take up so much space, limiting how much you can put onto such a device. I'd suggest storing your music on the laptop in a format such as FLAC, it's lossless, so will sound the same as WAV but typically takes up half the space and supports full tagging including album art. It's pretty widely supported (I couldn't honestly tell you if the Minx supports it or not mind you but I'd be very surprised if it didn't) but if you have a device that doesn't support it then you can create mp3 copies pretty easily.

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The third consideration is how I'm playing these files on the Minx - the unit itself is cabled to the router (via a power line adapter) but the laptop is via WiFi. Could limitations in data transfer speed effect playback? The few I've ripped so far sound great but there's no point in using such data hungry files if what I'm actually listening too is downgraded somewhat.... if so, I might as well stick to MP3!

No, the fact that you're running wireless from the laptop won't make any difference in audio quality at all, it might affect the reliability, WAV files are a relatively hefty amount to ship around a wireless network (although in theory there shouldn't be any problems at all), particularly if you have any interference from neighbours networks and the like. FLAC will reduce the required bandwidth by about 50%, mp3 even more. Obviously wiring the laptop to your router will stop any issues with wireless reliability but there's no difference in sound quality.

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Thanks for your reply, that's

Thanks for your reply, that's really helpful. It certainly seems that FLAC is the way to go. The Minx xi is compatible with the format so that's not a problem..

So, I've downloaded a third party ripper (because windows media player doesn't have a FLAC option) and ripped an album as FLAC to try it out. But the Minx can't find it on the laptop - the folder is listed as "empty". The files are definitely in the folder and listed as FLAC file format when looking on the computer (although if I try to play them on the computer it doesn't recognise the file type, but that's OK...)

It appears that WIndows Media server isn't compatible with FLAC files, according to further research, so the laptop isn't "serving" the file to the minx.

This presumably means that I need to use some sort of third party media server which is getting a bit beyond me to be honest.. Is there any easy way around this?

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Type Windows (X) codec pack

Type Windows (X) codec pack into Google and download the appropriate  one for your system, WMP will then be able to play and serve virtually every file format available. (X = The version of your OS)

NOTE: If your minx cannot see the FLAC files then there is a setting that probably needs setting in your minx. (If it still cannot see them then it may not be compatible  with FLAC files)

Hope this helps

Bill

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Just to add, wav files do not

Just to add, wav files do not support tagging, (album art, track sequence, etc), so your files will not be played in album track sequence but in alphabetical order, as you have found, (I also found this out some time ago when I put some wav files on a portable music player). For tagging integrity flac is probably the way to go for your minx, and for portable players mp3 320kbps rips will be more than good enough. 

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Thanks for the further

Thanks for the further replies. Bill I don't think it's the minx settings that need altering (though I could be wrong). Having looked in the manual regards UPnP/DNLA playback it says that the server has to support the file type, specifically pointing out that windows media server does not support FLAC.

So anyway, according to the info on FLAC's own website, you can download a plug in which will allow media player to play FLAC files:   http://www.xiph.org/dshow/

What I've not established is - will it allow the programme to serve to files to the minx? Also will it grab the album art, track listing etc? I understand this add on will not allow the programme to rip cd's to FLAC, but I've downloaded ExactAudioCopy for this so that's not the end of the world, but I don't really want to have to enter all the data manually!

I'm going to download this add-on later and I suppose I'll see for myself but if anybody has actually gone through all this I'd like to know how you got on.

As an aside, I really need to sit down and discover if I can genuinely hear the difference between a WAV file, CD playback and a high bitrate MP3 on the Minx. Because If I can't, I might as well stick to MP3 for ease. Its not like I'm getting rid of the CDs, just putting them in a box somewhere so I still have my master copies.

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have a go with this http:/

have a go with this http://serviio.org/ for serving the files.  It's free Smile

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Once you have installed the

Once you have installed the relevant codec pack WMP will serve all the files (And other relevant information) without problems (No need for 3rd party programs) providing you have activated the DLNA server in WMP. (Its slightly different for each OS so go into the help file and type DLNA for full instructions)

Hope this helps

Bill

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This is what I've ended up

This is what I've ended up doing.....

Using windows media player to rip MP3s from each CD where I haven't already - in case I want to transfer the files onto my portable, phone or whatever.

Then, I downloaded a program called MediaMonkey, which appears to be free (unless I'm on a trial!) which will rip and convert to FLAC and store them in its own library, and will cheerfully serve them to the Minx to play.

When the Minx connects to the network it detects both the standard computer library and the Media Monkey library and I'm able to select either, so I know that I'm going to be able to tell which type of file I'm going to play - which keeps it nice and neat, because I'm terrible at organising files normally. The normal library has multiple copies, full albums, individual songs, random downloaded song and albums and a mixture of formats (Mp3, the windows one, a couple in WAV). So I just select Media Monkey and I know I'm going to just get the FLAC files.

Media Monkey is actually pretty good, the only weakness so far would be that It's not that good at grabbing correct album art and tags (I think it searches free databases) but I'm managing so far. It will handle the whole library but I find it less confusing to just use it for the FLAC files.

Cheers for the replies, thought you might be interested in how I'm getting on.

 

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'DB Power Amp' is an

'DB Power Amp' is an excellent ripper, I tried quite a few & ended up with that' it's not free & not the prettiest ripper there is but has some great options, there is a free trial if you want to give it a go?  Acute

The music comes out of the speakers ~

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Thanks! So far I'm happy with

Thanks! So far I'm happy with media monkey so we'll see. Getting more to grips with the tag management now - think its just understanding how it works.

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