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#1 fallenangle

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:15 PM

By a series of circumstances I won't bore people with I have about 1GB of (legally downloaded) music (basically two albums and a few random tracks) now in .WAV format on my laptop.

I don't know much about audio files so I'm assuming that if I copy them over to my Music folder the Xbox will play them as they are. If so that's fine for the one I have fitted with a with a big HDD. However I also want to copy them to another Xbox with just the retail HDD but, quite simply, there isn't enough space.

So I've thought about converting/compressing the . WAV files to another format the Xbox can handle. Assuming this is possible, the audio quality will still be OK and there will be a significant space saving what are the best options/methods of accomplishing this?

#2 Heimdall

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:33 PM

Use Foobar 2000 and LAME 3.98 (which ships with foobar as I recall), encode to mp3 VBR -V2 (which again as I recall is the default).

If you want to know why it's the best solution, head over to Hydrogen Audio.

Edited by Heimdall, 08 June 2011 - 11:36 PM.


#3 fallenangle

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:45 AM

Excellent, looks to be just what I wanted.

Thanks, as usual.

#4 fallenangle

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:01 PM

Just a quick update.

Downloaded Foobar but had to find the right version of Lame elsewhere but easy with the links provided on the web site.

Converted the .WAV file to Mp3 giving me around 75% file size saving which is just what I'd hoped for. As for the audio quality, considering these files have been format converted twice now, sounds fine to my ears.

Very helpful solution.







#5 Master13

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 04:43 AM

I know your satisfied but to conserve the quality you could convert to Flac and save some space and the quality the new XBMC can handle Flac its my favorite Lossless Format

#6 fallenangle

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:26 PM

I'll have to have a look around and find out a bit more about FLAC as I've never heard of it before.

Only problem with the suggestion is that I'm using an 3+years old version of XBMC and without a broadband connection updating it appears impractical.

I only needed to convert a very small number of audio files as I said and it's been long winded enough as it is thanks to some wrong information I found elsewhere.

The audio files were originally in ATRAC(?) format (.oma extention) due having been downloaded/stored(?) using Sony's SonicStage audio player program + a now long gone Sony Mp3 player. What I wanted was simply to convert them directly to a format I could transfer to/use on the two Xboxes where I now keep all my music.

Problem was that the online info I found said the ony way to do this was to use SonicStage itself to burn them to CD. This is wrong and more importantly doesn't work (or didn't for me). SonicStage refused to burn the CDs. I've subsequently read this could be due to some form of copy protection system being in place.

No idea if that is correct but I was about to give up when, poking around in SonicStage for options (Properties/Tools I think), I found a 'Convert to WAV' facility 'hidden' away. So much for that earlier incorrect advice.

Anyway I converted those ATRAC files without any trouble but was then left with the WAV file size problem as regards my Xbox with retail HDD.

I realise I should have asked here or on a specialist AV form about all this first and probably saved myself some hassle. I did check but I wouldn't even be surprised if somebody now tells me XBMC will play ATRAC audio files directly.







#7 Heimdall

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 04:27 PM

FLAC is excellent. It provides lossless compressed versions of uncompressed WAV files (e.g. from a CD), allowing you to reproduce bit-perfect copies of the original CD WAV file when you play the FLAC file back. Think of it as being like zip/rar compression, but optimised for audio files. It's what I use for my CD archive (ripped using EAC, checked with Accurate Rip, and with a log file and a cue file), with a LAME -V2 MP3 copy for portable or low bandwidth playing.

However, if your files were originally in ATRAC (or any other compressed format) then FLAC is a bit pointless, because there is no point keeping a lossless copy of an originally lossy file - and in any event it doesn't meet your size constraints, as the FLAC file would be bigger than the original ATRAC file! If I were you I'd keep the ATRAC files anyway, if only because they are the closest you have to an original, and maybe one day XBMC might also play them (although I doubt it, because last time I looked there was no working open source ATRAC decoder).

If you want to check out a specialist AV forum, IMHO Hydrogen Audio is head and shoulders above the rest. It provides impartial, scientific, factual, evidence based advice, and is ruthless about expunging audiophile nonsense and presenting only testable and tested information.

Edited by Heimdall, 15 June 2011 - 05:07 PM.


#8 fallenangle

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:51 PM

Right, I converted all those ATRAC music files I had on the laptop to WAV via SonicStage and then to mp3 using Foobar as described.

First weird thing is that Windows Media Player Library still doesn't recognise a significant number of the albums as albums, specific tracks from albums, singles and less importantly, cover art, although it'll play them all, individually, manually. But it also played the original ATRAC files like this too. Not sure what's going on with that but VLC Media Player (which wouldn't play the ATRAC files at all) seems to work fine.

That's a PC problem. What is revelevant here is that I copied all those audio files converted to mp3 to a flash drive and then copied them over to my main (chipped) Xbox. All went fine and when in XBMC everything is there and looks as it should.

Now here's the second weird thing - when plaing these tracks using XBMC (BTW run as an app) I noticed inferior audio quality. I'm no audiophile so if I noticed it, it must be significant. I thought it was hardware so I checked all my optical cables/amp connections and even played a CD. Nothing wrong with any of that.

Disappointed I put it down to all the conversion/copying processes I'd used and went back to my main dash - UnleashX. I have this playing music from all sources so whilst I was doing other stuff I suddenly realised that those same audio tracks that had sounded a bit 'off' under XBMC were sounding really good under UnleashX. I tested a varied selection of them and it was the same for all.

So what gives? My version of XBMC is 3 years old and practicalities mean it can't be updated but I can't believe that simply because it is old it would cause this particular problem. Is it some audio setting issue perhaps - they're all at default.

#9 fallenangle

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:48 PM

Bizarre. I deleted the troublesome files, re-copied exactly the same files from the flash drive and they now sound fine using either XBMC or UnleashX.

But in fuller testing of the other previously copied files I found a problem but this time with UnleashX. Two albums, both in their original .wma format ie. not converted at any point in the transfer from laptop to Xbox, cause the UnleashX dash to crash when you try to to play any track from them.

The UnleashX audio player doesn't seem to select them during random play and manually it won't display them at all, it appears to skip over them. But if you go into track manager and try to play them it crashes and the similarly when doing the same using File Explorer.

However using XBMC they both play perfectly.

This is very odd and I'd be interested in some ideas about what it could be about these particular .wma files that doesn't agree with UnleashX but XBMC has no trouble with?






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