Portable Player and Conversion Formats


Distinguished Member
Hi All,

Long been a believer in having a dedicated device that's the best at it's job, despite compelling Smart-Phone convergences. I've always been more of a moviephile than audiophile, but recently been listening to music a bit more.

So I picked up a Pioneer XDP-300R Portable High-Res Music Player. I got it for circa £390 via an Amazon Warehouse open-box return, which is still a lot of money, but I have a pair of Kef M500 headphones that I was dying to pair with something worthy.

First disappointment is that MQA is not a thing that you can use as a tool to rip the CDs, but further reading I now get that CD itself is not worthy of MQA. I'm not quite ready to subscribe to Tidal at £20pm either.

So my entire CD collection has been ripped to WMA Lossless, circa 120Gb on disc and meta-data and cover-art is about 99% correct. But the XDP-300R doesn't seem to support WMA. I was hoping to just copy my whole music folder onto the 128Gb memory card.

So next best option is FLAC, though I am unfamiliar with it. Everyone recommends foobar2000 as the best tool. But it won't let me do WMA to FLAC, and says it's pointless. Further reading - and I can convert my WMA to WAV and restore the original CD PCM I ripped bit-for-bit.

Many hours later, I have gone from a WAV folder to FLAC folder. But in doing so I have gone to 160Gb folder-size, because I opted for best quality on FLAC (zero compression). It seems I can comfortably compress FLAC without audible quality loss, but before I start again, I have a couple of issues I cannot solve.

1. My WMA Folder has a root Folder of Artist, then a Sub-Folder of Album Title, and then individual Tracks with embedded meta-data (annoyingly file names all start with Track No.), plus separate image files in the folder related to Image Art.

But when I convert to WAV I lose all folder structure, and cover art. I understand that the limitation of WAV is that it can't have embedded meta-data and art, and that is why FLAC is so popular with or without compression.

2. Thereby going from WAV to FLAC leaves me with flat song files, with the annoying track number as leading title, no folder hierarchy and complete loss of cover art, and I suspect some of te more detailed meta-data from the WMA original.

And here I can't find any option in Foobar to rescan and add meta-data and album art embedded into the FLAC files.

Any suggestions as to what a better approach to this may be?

To be clear, the combination of the XDP-300R and Kef M500 is pretty exceptional, far better than any other Smartphone playing back WMA. So no regrets yet, just frustration in wanting to get the optimal experience.


Distinguished Member
OK for any interested parties, I was able to do the following :-

1. Use Microsoft's own Windows Media wma to pcm converter. This is a command line tool that ran over my entire Music Directory and created the wav files in the same folder structure, albeit no tagging/meta-data on the output files.
2. I then used Foobar2000 to input .wav files only and convert to .flac on compression level 3 in the same directory, which more or less matches the WMA lossless compression.
3. I then used MediaMonkey to import wav and flac files, inherit tagging from File Structure, and then Sync Tags back to Original Files.

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