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Topic: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7 (Read 1366 times) previous topic - next topic

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How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Hello everyone...  OK, I’m simple man with even simpler needs.  I’m in the process of digitizing my 40+year’s analog music collection.  I’ve been using the wav file format (44.1 khz/16bit) because that’s CD quality and that’s enough for me.  I recently found out that flac files do the same thing more or less, at a 50% reduction in file size, so I’ll be going that route from now on.  My problem: WMP does not wav or flac, so friends suggested FOOBAR2000.  My question: Is foobar2000 a good thing for me? Bear in mind that my music consists of either 2 or 3 hour long song compilations I originally composed on either cassette or reel/reel format (I still have the vinyl LPs they came from so trying to reproduce them digitally is being a slow but very enjoyable pastime). 
I really have an in-depth knowledge of each and every one of my musical compositions (rock/blues/folk/pop mixes from late fifties to early eighties).  All my mixes are well cataloged, by numbers, in written/paper libraries and digital files.  It’s the music I grew up with and still love today; I’m very happy with it and it satisfies me completely.  I rarely, if ever, listen to individual songs anymore, just my compilations.  So, again, do I need foobar2000?  Or is there a much simpler program that would serve my purposes better?

Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #1
Foobar2000 is as simple as you need it to be. The basic set-up is very light on resources and, on my aged Windows 7 laptop, playback is rarely affected by anything else the processor is doing. By comparison, my WMP will stutter and sometimes stop altogether if something heavy-duty is going on with the CPU.

Yes, you can get Foobar to do and show all sorts of fancy stuff with add-ons, but in the standard, "as downloaded" form, it really is a simple thing to use. And, as it is free, you may as well give it a try. Nothing to lose.

Then again, I updated my laptop to Windows 10 last year, and WMP now sees and plays FLAC with the latest OS.

  • DVDdoug
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #2
Windows Media Player 12 and Windows 10 works for me.

If your system doesn't support it, you can google how to "FLAC on WMP" (or something like that) for help installing a FLAC codec for WMP.   As far as I know, WMP has always been able to play WAV so I'm not sure what's going on with your system.

Most media players, includingfoobar2000, can play FLAC.  I still use Winamp, but it's no longer being developed/supported.

Quote
I’ve been using the wav file format (44.1 khz/16bit) because that’s CD quality and that’s enough for me.
It's good enough for ANYBODY and better than any analog format.   And, it's far-far better than cassette or vinyl (no audible noise, distortion, or frequency response variations).

Quote
I’ve been using the wav file format (44.1 khz/16bit) because that’s CD quality and that’s enough for me. 
FLAC is lossless, so when decompressed the audio data is EXACTLY THE SAME and the uncompressed file it was made from.

Another advantage to FLAC is that metadata/tagging is well supported, whereas it's not as well supported for WAV.    I don't know if WMP can read/write WAV tags.   The downside is that not everybody can play FLAC.

  • Roseval
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #3
Today even Microsoft supports FLAC.
You probably do need Win 10 to play FLAC

I do think FLAC is the best choice.
-Lossless.
-Excellent tagging support including cover art.
-Allows storing custom tags in the file.
-Checksum stored in the file. This allows you to verify if the audio is corrupted.
-Wide support on Win, OSX, Linux, Android.

Tagging support for WAV is haphazard, e.g. WMP111 (and probably WMP12) don’t write tags in WAV, it is library only.
This means that if you move your audio to another device, you will miss most of your tags.

Have a look at MusicBee. https://www.getmusicbee.com/
I do think it a very elegant piece of freeware.
Of course it play FLAC but it also allows you to use audio drivers like ASIO and WASAPI.
One of the advantages of these drives is that they can have an exclusive lock on the audio device.
No email notifications at full blast over the stereo!
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • Brand
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #4
do I need foobar2000?  Or is there a much simpler program that would serve my purposes better?
No and kinda/maybe.
There are many other programs that play FLAC (pretty much everything except default WMP and iTunes) and some do look simpler than Foobar2000. Foobar2000's author made Boom. I don't use it, but it's supposed to be very simple. (It doesn't play audio CDs, though, if that matters.)

But I'd also say that foobar2000 isn't that complicated. It might look a bit complex when you run it for the first time, but that feeling goes away if you spend ~30 minutes to familiarize yourself with it and IMO it's worth it.

  • Porcus
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #5
Tagging support for WAV is haphazard, e.g. WMP111 (and probably WMP12) don’t write tags in WAV, it is library only.
This means that if you move your audio to another device, you will miss most of your tags.

Then I guess the OP needs most of all a way to preserve the metadata.  Either by getting WMP to convert to a format where WMP writes its metadata to tags, or by exporting them in some other format.

  • Apesbrain
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #6
foobar2000 is great.  Be sure to install the "Free Encoder Pack" as well.

Here's a simple player I used a lot back in the XP days:
http://www.vuplayer.com/vuplayer.php

  • Porcus
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #7
Then I guess the OP needs

Huh, wait a minute:

I’ve been using

Have you typed the metadata already? If not, then you can just convert WAV to FLAC and tag those files.


Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #8
Hello again everyone.  Thank you all ever so much for your helpful advice, which led me to realize I needed to have given out a bit more information about myself.  I'm 67 years old, recently retired;  I am NOT computer savvy.  It was an extended nightmare for me to be able to learn how to use both Win XP (in desktop #1) and then Win 7 (on desktop #2) and then the subsequent ordeal about how to use Audio Studio 10 in both desktops (I WILL NOT SWITCH TO WIN 10).  I’ve always been happy with analog music - While overseas during our Viet-Nam fiasco, a single sailor in the Far East had the means to procure an excellent audio system: Teac reels, Sansui receiver/speakers, Dual turntables, Teac Cassette units, etc.  Back in the day, my stereo system was AWESOME (still is), but the individual units are now 45+ years old (some of the pieces are dying already).  Did I mention I'm retired?  I no longer have the "disposable" income that had been keeping them alive in their later years.  So, if I want to still keep on listening to my music, digitize it I must!  But I don’t believe my music, (in the compilation/mix format I use) needs that METADATA stuff (each digital mix becomes a single file were the songs all fade in and out of each other).  Also, I want the easy convenience I’m comfortable using:  At the end of my every day, I look forward to my 2 or 3 hours in my music room, comfortably listening to my chosen compiled mix for the evening.  I want my computer to also have just ONE library, like my current analog/paper one, so that if I choose, let’s say Mix #127, all my computer will do is to automatically start playing that Floyd, Sabbath, Doors, C S N,  Uriah, Credence,  Mountain, Santana, Airplane, Stones, E L O, Elton, Animals, Who, Byrds, Russell, Dylan, Kansas, Beatles, Deep Purple, Elton, Zeppelin, and Cream Mix I recorded October 7, 1974 in Eva Beach, Hawaii...  Only difference will be that the music will be either wav, or flac format, instead of analog.  Again, thank you all who choose to help/advise me with this problem and I look forward to reading of a good/workable solution from someone out there who might have the same dilemma I do?

  • Makaki
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #9
To create the flacs foobar2000 with the encoder pack should be easy enough to use. A lot easier than my 2nd suggestion which is the official command line tools. Any doubts on HOWTO, i'm sure you can find video tutorials, or someone here to guide you.

For playing them back, foobar2000 is also a good pick. If you want a stripped down interface, you could consider VLC media player (VideoLan.org). They are both free, you can try them both.

Since you are using Windows XP, software compatibility is important so here are the relevant quotes:
* VLC runs on all versions of Windows, from Windows XP SP3 to the last version of Windows 10
* foobar2000: Windows XP - SP2 or newer, etc.

  • Porcus
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #10
But I don’t believe my music, (in the compilation/mix format I use) needs that METADATA stuff (each digital mix becomes a single file were the songs all fade in and out of each other). 
[...]
so that if I choose, let’s say Mix #127, all my computer will do is to automatically start playing that Floyd, Sabbath, Doors, C S N,  Uriah, Credence,  Mountain, Santana, Airplane, Stones, E L O, Elton, Animals, Who, Byrds, Russell, Dylan, Kansas, Beatles, Deep Purple, Elton, Zeppelin, and Cream Mix I recorded October 7, 1974 in Eva Beach, Hawaii... 

Just to get this clear: the information that #127 contains Floyd, Sabbath, Doors, CSN w/o Y etc., is
- somewhere where Windows Media Player knows it?
or
- just something you remember, and has never been typed into your computer, you only have a file called something like "Mix#127.wav" and then you know what is on it?

In the latter case, if you are fine with a file named Mix#127.wav with no additional information anywhere except inside your head, then well, no information needs to be transferred between file formats (except what is in the filename, maybe?)

(I suspect you may find foobar2000 a bit different from WMP.)

Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #11
Hello Porcus, thank you for staying with me.  All my life, my memory has always been horrible.  I've been making such mixes for over 40 years and I knew before I started that I had to do something to help me remember both their history and contents.  That's why I have always been meticulous about keeping a written history behind each one. That is why every one of my 437 reel tape and cassette compilation/mixes has paper record in the form of a written library where their entire history/contents is recorded and documented.  I want the same such library, in digital format, to exist in my computers (The XP one handles my cassettes, the Win 7 has my reels).  When reel or cassette #XXX is digitized, I want it to retain the same number, Mix #XXX, That way, when I sit down to listen to my music, I want to open a digital music player that will show me a library that contains those 437 mixes, so I can just pick one at random for the computer to play.  I hope this makes what I want/need to do clear to understand?  Again, thank you for your help!  

  • Porcus
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #12
That is what we call metadata.
I.e., data (song titles, artist names and other description) about the data (the audio).

So I guess, you need metadata in one way or another.
You already have it on paper. 1) Do you want your media player to know it in one way or another?
If yes: 2) is it already known to WMP in one way or another? If the answer is negative, you do not need to bother about that part (yet, FLAC is still a better format); you can enter it after having converted.
If yes to question 2, then you would most likely want it in your files, so that whatever you use to play it, will know it.

This is where you need help (and I should add, I have avoided Windows Media Player so much that I do not know any details); if I understand correctly, WMP only keeps metadata (for WAV) in its library. Which means it will be lost if you have to reinstall (or replace) XP, for example.

If you do not wish to type all the information from the paper, then you could scan it (a modern cellphone camera does the job!) and use it as "album art", meaning you can read it on screen while you browse your collection.  But now there are so many what-do-you-want questions that maybe you might clarify what you have and what you need?

  • Roseval
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #13
Quote
When reel or cassette #XXX is digitized, I want it to retain the same number, Mix #XXX,

If this is all you need, simply digitize cassette xxx and rename the file containing the audio MIXxxx.
Make a folder e.g. Sound or use My Music and store all the audio files in this folder.
Browse this folder and double click the file you want to play.
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #14
Excellent Roseval...  And you too Porcus - That's what I wanted to hear!  Now all I have to do is learn how to make a library in Foobar?
(I believe I will not need a Playlist because each of my mixes is a playlist unto itself?)  Again, many thanks for your help!!!

  • Porcus
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Re: How to listen to wav/flac files in Windows XP or 7
Reply #15
Building a library in foobar2000 is under Preferences -> Media Library. Just add the folder(s) where you have your files.
That said, foobar2000 could be just overkill for your use. If you do not like it out-of-the-box, then you may choose to customize the hell out of it, or you may choose a different player which does not confuse you with all the opportunities.

Before converting to FLAC, one still needs to sort out whether WMP knows anything more about your files than the filenames.