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  #1  
Old 2005-02-04, 06:28 PM
leesumitter leesumitter is offline
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SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

I operate Windows XP, including Service Pack 2, and am suddenly having problems with BOTH shn encoding using mkwACT (which had worked well before), and FLAC Frontend (which I've never used before). I was hoping to seed the resulting compressed files here or elsewhere, so would like this to be "just exactly perfect," or as close as I can come.

My questions:

1. In mkwACT, I now (post-SP2) can't encode wav files to shns that are seekable (either seek tables included, or appended). Otherwise, encoding works fine. I've tried using the "run in compatibility mode" (or whatever) feature, checking either Windows 2000 and Windows 98/ME, and neither helps.

2. In FLAC Frontend (which I've never used for encoding before), it seems that the DOS window INITIALLY lists all files as converting properly (one line per track, with a percentage that scrolls up to 100% as encoding progresses).

BUT then, after encoding is (seemingly) finished, the window shows a BUNCH (10-15 lines per track) of track-by-track info, which indicates "General Error 1" (as I remember). It SEEMS like the error is related to trying to add tags (my SUSPICION is that the frontend is trying to create tags (whatever they are!) and I haven't given it the info to do so successfully). Sorry to be so vague.

But I guess my question is: what options should I be checking when encoding using FLAC Frontend? I've currently got it set to level 8, and have checked "verify," "add tags," "replaygain" (with sub-option "treat as whole album"), and "align on sector boundaries." U THINK these were the default settings. Other than the last one re: SBEs, I don't know what in the heck these options do, and I'm wondering if I can un-check one or all. (Having used CDWave for tracking, I'm assuming there's no SBE issue.)

HELP!
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  #2  
Old 2005-02-04, 07:03 PM
uhclem
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Uncheck "add tags"

Don't encode to SHN
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  #3  
Old 2005-02-04, 08:21 PM
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Five Five is offline
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

I agree!

you can also double-check that your conversion is accurate by using foobar2000's bit-verify function. Check the link at the bottom of my sig, the instructions are about halfway down the thread.

hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 2005-02-05, 12:01 AM
leesumitter leesumitter is offline
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Thanks guys -- between your comments, and a couple of private e-mails I've received, I now think I can confidently (and properly!) encode to flac. FYI, someone DID point me to what is apparently a brand-new-today FLAC FAQ page at etree. It's interesting and useful, although it suggests that adding tags is a critical part of the new "flac etiquette." I'll see if I can get tags to work using etree's suggestions, but otherwise it sounds like it won't be cataclysmic if they're missing, and all agree flacs (even without tags) are better than un-seekable shns.

Here's the etree-related page: http://wiki.etree.org/index.php?page=FlacFaq
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  #5  
Old 2005-02-05, 12:36 AM
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

that's great to hear! I prefer FLAC with tags, personally.

here is RainDawg's page about how to tag FLAC files:
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/...ead.php?t=1140

...and of course, you're welcome.
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  #6  
Old 2005-02-05, 01:30 PM
uhclem
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

The tagging feature in FLAC Frontend is designed to be used with Case's binary "tag.exe". You have to have this binary for tagging to work.

This binary is best at tagging files based on the file name, i.e. where you have a file named something like 01 - Beatles - Abbey Road - Come Together.wav. This is NOT useful when tagging files named according to the etree standard.

So leave the 'add tags' box unchecked and follow the good advice given above.

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  #7  
Old 2005-02-06, 10:35 AM
leesumitter leesumitter is offline
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Thanks for the additional comments, guys (even if there's some level of respectful disagreement between them!). This has all been very useful.

BTW, I now successfully encoded my files to FLAC, and have seeded Daniel Lanois, Town Hall, NYC June 3, 1993 on www.easytree.org. Link is here: http://www.easytree.org/torrents-details.php?id=26660.

This is my first seed from unknown gen. (but flaw-free) audio CDRs, which I had to extract (EAC, secure mode of course), re-track, and then encode. Given that, I'll admit that I decided to seed over there (where I've been "trading" Lanois torrents with a few other generous and hard-core Lanois fans), rather than here for now -- just a little intimidated by the rigorous (although very much appreciated!) seeding standards here. (Hope no one takes that last comment the wrong way.)
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  #8  
Old 2005-07-17, 02:33 PM
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guygee guygee is offline
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by leesumitter
(...)
2. In FLAC Frontend (which I've never used for encoding before), it seems that the DOS window INITIALLY lists all files as converting properly (one line per track, with a percentage that scrolls up to 100% as encoding progresses).

BUT then, after encoding is (seemingly) finished, the window shows a BUNCH (10-15 lines per track) of track-by-track info, which indicates "General Error 1" (as I remember). It SEEMS like the error is related to trying to add tags (my SUSPICION is that the frontend is trying to create tags (whatever they are!) and I haven't given it the info to do so successfully). Sorry to be so vague.

But I guess my question is: what options should I be checking when encoding using FLAC Frontend? I've currently got it set to level 8, and have checked "verify," "add tags," "replaygain" (with sub-option "treat as whole album"), and "align on sector boundaries." U THINK these were the default settings. Other than the last one re: SBEs, I don't know what in the heck these options do, and I'm wondering if I can un-check one or all. (Having used CDWave for tracking, I'm assuming there's no SBE issue.)

HELP!
I am currently re-encoding a shn version of "Live Trane Underground" to FLAC, using essentially the same settings as you tried, so I am having to deal with the same issues, especially issues with Replaygain.

I am working with FLAC Frontend v1.7.1 with Options:
Level 8, Verify,Add Tags,Replaygain(treat input files as one album),
align on sector boundaries, Dec. through errors(NO).
running on top of flac 1.1.2 encoder. The options I give to FLAC Frontend result in the folowing options to flac 1.1.2:
--delete-input-file --sector-align -P 4244 -b 4608 -m -l 12 -e -q 0 -r
0,6 -V

1) If you want to know what replaygain does, check out http://www.replaygain.org/

2)I am reasonably sure that the "General Error 1" you are getting is the result of FLACs failure to "guess" a tag format and find a tag. This is an example of the the output I get when encoding a WAV file:

F:\Coltrane-LiveTraneUnderground-d01t05.flac
"Tag guessing failed."
(...)
"** ERRORS:
General errors: 1
Tag - Automatic Tag from filename"

So "Tag guessing failed", but a tag is most certainly "automatically" created, as I have verified with both Flac Frontend after creating the flac file, and also with TagScanner. So "General Error 1 - Tag guessing failed." is more like a warning that the original file was untagged (as would be expected in a shn>wav>flac conversion).

3) As for using Replaygain, it can be a nice feature but you have to be careful. For example, on Live Trane Underground Disk 1, there are two different show fragments, tracks 1-4 and tracks 5-7. My idea is to encode tracks 1-4 together and tracks 5-7 together, with Replaygain(treat input files as one album), to account for different recording levels at the different venues, and to preserve relative volume amplitudes within each show. But wait! Track 05 is just a brief radio announcement (voice only), so it get boosted massively, while the music on Tracks6-7 get attenuated:

"F:\Coltrane-LiveTraneUnderground-d01t05.flac
Tag guessing failed.
Format: FLAC
Details: 44100 Hz Stereo, 590 kbps, playtime 00:15
Tag: FLAC
Title:
Artist:
Album:
Year:
Track:
Genre:
Comment: Encoded by FLAC v1.1.2a with FLAC Frontend v1.7.1
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK=0.31860352
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN=+7.95 dB
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK=0.91534424
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN=-2.59 dB
FLAC tag written.

** ERRORS:
General errors: 1"

So my solution is to treat music and voice tracks seperately - no Replaygain on voice (who cares) and music tracks from seperate venues or sources Replaygain'ed as one album.

4) What is more confusing is the Replaygain data, which is supposed to be stored in the tag. I can't seem to find a tag editor that can read this metadata, but the replaygain information is certainly there! At least, it takes effect when I play my flac files back through Winamp with the Flac plug-in. If I play that track 05 announcement back though Winamp, the flac version is definitely louder than the shn version.

But how to see, access or edit the Replaygain metadata (supposedly in the tag)?

Here I am stuck with no answer.
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  #9  
Old 2005-07-17, 07:59 PM
uhclem
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Tag guessing is where tag.exe tries to guess what the various tag fields should be from the file name. It's not required that tags be there for guessing to occur, since that's the whole point of guessing, to produce the tags. Tag guessing uses various pre-programmed 'schemes' to try to establish what scheme applies to the files in question. Generally, it is unable to recognize any scheme in etree-type file names because none has been programmed into it. But you can create schemes yourself and list them in the .ini file that tag.exe produces.

So in sum General Error 1 occurs when tag.exe can't guess the fields from the name. It also occurs if you don't actually have tag.exe installed but check the 'add tags' box.

You can edit the replaygain tags with foobar2k. You can also use various tagging programs. I like one called mp3tag. But there are others.
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  #10  
Old 2005-07-17, 09:16 PM
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guygee guygee is offline
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Re: SHN/FLAC Frontend Encoding Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhclem
(...)
You can edit the replaygain tags with foobar2k. You can also use various tagging programs. I like one called mp3tag. But there are others.
Uhclem - Good tip. I like Winamp because of some of the DSP plug-ins, so I tried mp3tag. Sure enough, given that Coltrane-LiveTraneUnderground-d01t02.flac encoded in FLAC Frontend as:

F:\Coltrane-LiveTraneUnderground-d01t02.flac
Tag guessing failed.
Format: FLAC
Details: 44100 Hz Stereo, 820 kbps, playtime 05:47
Tag: FLAC
Title:
Artist:
Album:
Year:
Track:
Genre:
Comment: Encoded by FLAC v1.1.2a with FLAC Frontend v1.7.1
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK=0.82070923
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN=-2.83 dB
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK=0.99996948
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN=-6.89 dB
FLAC tag written.

** ERRORS:
General errors: 1


If I use mp3tag to look at the tag metadata, it gives me:

COMMENT=Encoded by FLAC v1.1.2a with FLAC Frontend v1.7.1
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN=-6.89 dB
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK=0.99996948
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN=-2.83 dB
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK=0.82070923

If I click on any of these fields it allows me to edit them. Cool!
I really do not want to edit them, but at least I know they are there...

Personally,. I like the tags feature in FLAC, as it allow you to customize your tracks so when you play from your computer you know the artists, song titles, dates, and venues, without altering tghe MD5 of the file. I can customize it my way, you can do it your way, and MD5's are unaffected. Also, the Replaygain features are not carried over when you burn audio disks, it only affects computer playback.

Cheers
-guygee
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