Final tagging queries - iTunes/Sonos compatible?

Empgamer

Novice Member
At last, having gone between this and the dBpowerAMP forums I've finally got my impending rip into FLAC (PC and Sonos play) and conversion to M4A (iTunes/Ipod) sorted.

I did get mega confused over filename v. tagging and if I've got it right now Filename merely relates to the PC folder structure and file listing within those folders so you can see them on the PC/MAC and it's nothing that ANY player will take notice of. Tags are what players read.

So, I plan to use dBpowerAMP (DBPA) for rip and convert as it obtains and embeds album art which is one less thing for me to do later. For tagging I plan to use the simplest I can get away with. My main concern is that whatever tags I use I do not want them later to cause problems with either the Ipod or a Sonos.

Main two things I'm concerned about are:

Track numbering: I notice when ripping (I did a comparision to see how it ripped and tagged tracks) that iTunes uses a default of '5 of 13' etc. which is doubtless as a result of using 'track of total tracks' on DBPA tag settings. Is this convention (e.g. track no OF total tracks) likely to cause problems with a Sonos? Dependant on the answer to that would it be better (or not matter) to tell DBPA to force 2 digit track numbering (05). I am assuming here that the 'Track' column in iTunes does take its info from the Tag.

CD numbering: Same thing really. Any problems with using 1 of 2 and if not would 01 of 02 be better.

I know I can change all this with an editor later but I don't really want to have to alter 100+ albums when I can get it right on import (or at least 99% right).

Having finally arrived at what I hope is the likely tagging format I plan to use I'd appreciate if any Foobar users would indicate whether the below looks as if something is not right when using its default settings in a playlist:

10. David Bowie - [Best of Bowie [UK] CD1/2 #10/19] The Jean Genie

Only thing I'm not sure of (and I cant remember for sure) is that when I ripped some albums with EAC a week or so ago the 'read out' didin;t seem so cluttered in the middle with the [Best of Bowie [UK] CD1/2 #10/19] but I may be mistaken. I could do a test rip with EAC to compare but I don't have it installed on this PC and I'd rather avoid the time in setting up etc if everrything looks OK. It may just be the settings in foobar re how it displays a playlist. In Media Monkey everything seem to be where it should be as it is with iTunes when the FLAC is copied across into M4A.

As an aside I've read that M4A is better than MP3 which I was surprised about. I though MP3 LAME was the best????
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
>and it's nothing that ANY player will take notice of<

Some of the cheapy MP3 players make you browse by folders, but the Ipod is only concerned with tags.

>iTunes uses a default of '5 of 13' <

It may do, but it also works with straight 01 to nn sequences which I create using mp3tag. Don't know about Sonos, I'm a Transporter fanboy!

>CD numbering: Same thing really. Any problems with using 1 of 2 and if not would 01 of 02 be better.<

I don't maintain the disk # on rips anymore, just number all the tracks sequentially from 01 to nn/001 to nnn. Seems to best avoid a troublesome area for digital libraries, which all handle multi-disk sets differently/not well.

>but I don't really want to have to alter 100+ albums<

This isn't an exact science yet, you'll likely change your mind about tagging in the future. I have with 2200 albums :(

>As an aside I've read that M4A is better than MP3 which I was surprised about. I though MP3 LAME was the best?<

Hmm, could start a flame war here...IMHO ACC is a superior encoder than MP3 LAME at equivalent bit rates. The benefit of ACC is more apparent on classical music, such as piano recitals.
 

lazymatt

Active Member
>As an aside I've read that M4A is better than MP3 which I was surprised about. I though MP3 LAME was the best?<

Hmm, could start a flame war here...IMHO ACC is a superior encoder than MP3 LAME at equivalent bit rates. The benefit of ACC is more apparent on classical music, such as piano recitals.

I'd agree with that, obviously though, the main problem is with compatibility, but as you've got everything in FLAC anyway, you can transcode to your hearts content.

AAC works especially well compared with MP3 at lower bit rates (96 - 128 kbps), where MP3's sound much worse.
 

Empgamer

Novice Member
Thanks both. I'm not TOO bothered about file size, my main concern is what is the best 'reasonable' file type to transfer the FLAC into to get good sound from the Ipod, MP3 LAME (VBR) or AAC M4A (not sure if that also does VBR)?
 

Silverdtvw

Active Member
AAC works especially well compared with MP3 at lower bit rates (96 - 128 kbps), where MP3's sound much worse.


This is good advice, there is a horrendous amount of misinformation out there comparing different codecs as "better". Note that it becomes completely untrue at high bitrates.

All comparisions of Ogg vs M4a vs Musepack vs AAc vs Mp3 Lame are only really significant at bitrates under 196kbps, especially under 128kbps.

At around 256kbps and using VBR, there is essentially nothing at all between any of the codecs. In most 'proper' tests (read: double-blind) there are extremely few people on the planet who can detect a 256kbps VBR Lame-encoded MP3 from a 256Kbps VBR AAC - or from the original source for that matter. (For some heavy reading on the subject, google Hydrogen-audio forums - there are some extensively hardcore audiophiles who have spent a lot of time testing various codecs).


So (sorry I'm going on so long!) basically decide if file-size is important - if it is, choose your codec carefully - if not, I'd suggest just using a recent Lame mp3 build on a high quality setting.
 

lazymatt

Active Member
This is good advice, there is a horrendous amount of misinformation out there comparing different codecs as "better". Note that it becomes completely untrue at high bitrates.

All comparisions of Ogg vs M4a vs Musepack vs AAc vs Mp3 Lame are only really significant at bitrates under 196kbps, especially under 128kbps.

At around 256kbps and using VBR, there is essentially nothing at all between any of the codecs. In most 'proper' tests (read: double-blind) there are extremely few people on the planet who can detect a 256kbps VBR Lame-encoded MP3 from a 256Kbps VBR AAC - or from the original source for that matter. (For some heavy reading on the subject, google Hydrogen-audio forums - there are some extensively hardcore audiophiles who have spent a lot of time testing various codecs).


So (sorry I'm going on so long!) basically decide if file-size is important - if it is, choose your codec carefully - if not, I'd suggest just using a recent Lame mp3 build on a high quality setting.

Would agree (FWIW) anything above 256 you're probably just as well using MP3 for compatibility. If you want to drop down to 192 & it's for iPod use, AAC may be worth considering.
 

Empgamer

Novice Member
Thanks both. It is for an Ipod at present but for compatatibility I think i will go with LAME MP3, size doen't bother me at all as I won't be wishing to put enough on to worry.

Only worrying issue I've got now is that when playing an Audio CD through iTunes direct it slows down. Under dBpoweramp it's 50x worse. What I'm trying to figure is whether it's one of the 10 or so music related programmes I've been trying or one of the 20+ codecs I'v installed. Odd really. WMP and Foobar play the CD fine. :confused:
 

lazymatt

Active Member
Thanks both. It is for an Ipod at present but for compatatibility I think i will go with LAME MP3, size doen't bother me at all as I won't be wishing to put enough on to worry.

Only worrying issue I've got now is that when playing an Audio CD through iTunes direct it slows down. Under dBpoweramp it's 50x worse. What I'm trying to figure is whether it's one of the 10 or so music related programmes I've been trying or one of the 20+ codecs I'v installed. Odd really. WMP and Foobar play the CD fine. :confused:

Yeah, I noticed your other thread. Bit of a pain in the klackers.

Have you tried doing a system roll back?
 

Empgamer

Novice Member
I did but it wouldn't go!!!! Arrrrgghh!!!! I think (hope) I've found a solution to that in that I believe Norton AntiVirus (which will shortly be getting replaced with Kapersky Labs because it's such a system hog) interferes with System Restore. Turned it off now and disbaled the bit that screws Restore.

It's not a major problem as I rarely actually play CDs on the PC but I just noticed it when I inadvertently had iTunes set to play at the time of recording. Trouble is I now know that something is up and not being sure what the cause is I'm not sure how it might interfere with any ripping or whatever I might do. I've tried updating video/sound drivers and that's not solved it. I may do a full unistall, reboot and re-install of Windows and see if that fixes. Bizarre though that Foobar and WMP works fine but iTunes and dBpowerAMP go to rats. They're both fine on playing ripped music of the HD, it's just CDs they don't like.

Bleedin nuisance really. If all else fails I'll just back up the full drive and run a restore disk. Bit of a pain but not too much as there's not a lot on here.
 

Empgamer

Novice Member
:) It's gone, history, blitzed :) Best thing I did I reckon, that and running a full clean of the system with Adaware, CCleaner, Registry Fix and whatever. I've now ordered Kaspersky Labs Anti Virus.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Personally i cant stand Norton stuff, it's been terrible bloatware for years now. AVG Free edition has served me well for a long time now :)
 

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