Hydrogenaudio Forums

Lossless Audio Compression => Lossless / Other Codecs => Topic started by: vetinry on 2006-07-16 10:03:46

Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: vetinry on 2006-07-16 10:03:46
Good morning

I am having a very frustrating time trying to find a suitable audio format that I can use in my home network and hope that someone may have a solution.

As an ipod user, I ripped my entire CD collection (500 ish) to the apple lossless (ALAC) format using EAC and itunes encode.  I use my ipod in the car as a CD changer, and I purchased a couple of Slim Devices Squeezebox 2's to stream music in the house.

SQ is more important than file size and this is why I chose a lossless format.

I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place.  It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge.  Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.

I have read a little about the incompatability between itunes and WMP, but it seems that both can play WAV flies, which although disc space hungry, would be acceptable.

This is where the problem starts - I've tried ripping WAV files in iTunes, in WMP, and in EAC but there doesn't appear to be consistency between the folder types.

The ability to capture Album artwork etc through WMP is appealing, particularly when using media center, but although using these different methods is recognised by the different programmes, the file structures which are so important for searching disappear.

Is there a method of ripping WAV files so that they can be viewed in correct folder structures by both itunes and windows media player?

Any help as always would be gratefully received.

Best wishes

Steve
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-07-16 13:50:13
This is where the problem starts - I've tried ripping WAV files in iTunes, in WMP, and in EAC but there doesn't appear to be consistency between the folder types.

The ability to capture Album artwork etc through WMP is appealing, particularly when using media center, but although using these different methods is recognised by the different programmes, the file structures which are so important for searching disappear.


Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.

Secondly the folder arrangement doesn't matter much if all the files are tagged correctly, obviously this means ripping to a format which supports tagging.

Thirdly album arts is something that all libraries handle differently, for example iTunes stores the art in a metadata field inside the music file. This is horriffically inefficent as it ends up storing multiple copies of the same image.

Windows Media Player uses a scheme where all tracks from the album must be in the same directory and it looks for a file called "folder.jpg" in that directory.

There are a couple of things you could do depending on what OSes you have access to.

*** If you only have access to Windows:

1) Rip to FLAC using EAC

2) You can play FLAC in Windows Media Player/Center if you install

http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/ (http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/)

Which provides a FLAC directshow filter

http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/ (http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/)

Which extend the tagging support in WMP so it can read metadata from FLAC (and several over formats).

The alternative is to cross code the FLAC to Windows Media Lossless. There are two ways to do this. The first is using dbPowerAMP Music Converter

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm)

The second is using Foobar 2000 and setting up a commandline encoder using WMcmd.vbs this is a script shipped with Windows Media to enable you to encode from the commandline. Search elsewhere on the forums for infomation on the commandline options this takes.

http://www.foobar2000.org/ (http://www.foobar2000.org/)

However you mileage may vary with preserving the tags, there are mixed reports of WMcmd.vbs correctly populating all tag fields. Unfortunately MS never seem to appreciate the need to be able to drive things via the command line :/

I'd stick with using FLAC and the extensions to WMP mentioned above.

3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/ (http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/)

4) You can now convert to ALAC using Foobar2000 and itunesEncode.exe. Again the tags get read by Foobar and added on the commandline to iTunesencode. You can specify Album Art on the commandline as well but since it requires a full qualified path (and the source code was lost so it can't be fixed) it's not much use.

http://www.rarewares.org/files/aac/iTunesEncode46.zip (http://www.rarewares.org/files/aac/iTunesEncode46.zip)

Unfortunately the dbPowerAMP ALAC encoder is not ready for the primetime and extending iTunes itself to import FLAC is problematic. iTunes can be made to play most formats by writing a Quicktime component for it however the metadata support is built directly into iTunes itself so is not extendable. Therefore you lose tags.

Assuming you can get a conversion to ALAC preserving tags using Foobar2000 and iTunesencode then you then have the tedious job of dragging the album art into iTunes for each album or using a tool such as

http://www.yvg.com/itunesartimporter.shtml (http://www.yvg.com/itunesartimporter.shtml)

to scrape it from amazon again.

*** If you have access to a Mac:

Things are much much easier you can use Max

http://sbooth.org/Max/ (http://sbooth.org/Max/)

This will rip and encode to tagged FLAC and ALAC files concurrently and query amazon.com to grab the album art. As far as I can tell it will insert the Album art into ALAC files and save a copy of the file into the directory under a user defineable name and format. Therefore you can get it to write the folder.jpg that WMP requires.

You can then just import the ALAC files into iTunes and everything wiill Just Work?

Again you'd use the FLAC components mentioned above.

If you still wish to rip using EAC on windows then you could download the Album Art using something like

http://kempele.fi/~skyostil/projects/albumart/ (http://kempele.fi/~skyostil/projects/albumart/)

Which will query based on the tags in the files. However this isn't going to help you get art into ALAC files for iTunes.

I wish you luck in getting all of this to work. I rather suspect that it might be easier to just buy a second hand PPC mac to run Max on than trying to deal with ALAC on Windows. Since Apple are going Intel there are quite a lot of people selling PPC Macs and PowerBooks and buying Intel based ones.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: /mnt on 2006-07-16 15:02:06
WMA Lossless can be transcoded to AAC or ALAC in iTunes and it is possible to encode to WMA Lossless with EAC if you have the Windows Media Encoder 9 installed.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...&DisplayLang=en (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5691ba02-e496-465a-bba9-b2f1182cdf24&DisplayLang=en)

There is a ffmpeg Direct Show plugin someware, that might decode ALAC in WMP.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: vetinry on 2006-07-16 15:57:41
Guys

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  Am I right in thinking that I will actually need two copies of all files installed on my computer in order to get things running properly?

I may have not been clear in that I don't need album art in iTunes at all - only the ability to view albums and artists - so far I have managed to itunes to pick up the files that I ripped with WMP - but they are all just in a list, not grouped in albums etc?  The album art is a nice to have because of using media center in the kitchen and the lounge - I would ideally continue to use itunes upstairs if possible

FLAC is interesting - I know that since it's open source, it's very popular - would FLAC files run in itunes and WMP?

Ideally I would like to only have one set of files on my hard drive which can then be viewed from both iTunes and WMP and is held in folders correctly.

Do iTunes and WMP tag the wav files or not?

Many thanks

Steve
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-07-16 17:44:54
Guys

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  Am I right in thinking that I will actually need two copies of all files installed on my computer in order to get things running properly?


Yes.

I may have not been clear in that I don't need album art in iTunes at all - only the ability to view albums and artists - so far I have managed to itunes to pick up the files that I ripped with WMP - but they are all just in a list, not grouped in albums etc?  The album art is a nice to have because of using media center in the kitchen and the lounge - I would ideally continue to use itunes upstairs if possible


As I have said you need to start with a tagged format that you can then covert on into formats that WMP and iTunes can understand. Nothing speaks ALAC properly on Windows except iTunes. It's vaguely possible that iTunes might pickup the tags if you rip using WMP or EAC into Windows Media Lossless and import into iTunes on Windows but I've never tried it.

Ideally I would like to only have one set of files on my hard drive which can then be viewed from both iTunes and WMP and is held in folders correctly.


This is not possible with a lossless format as I said iTunes and WMP do not have any losslessly compressed formats in common. They do have uncompressed WAV in common but as I have pointed out WAV files cannot be tagged.

You would have to use a lossy format such as AAC in order to have a tagged format that both iTunes and WMP can understand.

Do iTunes and WMP tag the wav files or not?


No. WAV files do not have the ability to be tagged however if you rip to WAV using either WMP or iTunes I suspect they will put entries into their own databases which relate to the WAV files.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: vetinry on 2006-07-16 19:49:20
Thanks

I think I'm getting the gist of what you're saying now.

Will have to have a bit of a think

Best wishes

Steve
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-10-11 17:19:40
Thanks

I think I'm getting the gist of what you're saying now.

Will have to have a bit of a think

Best wishes

Steve


I too also wanted to share my music between iTunes (to provide iPod and Mac compatibility) and WMP (to provide MCE 2005 compatibility). I also wanted to go further and include compatibility with the Roku SoundBridge M2000 and future proof it so that if/when I get a Sonos Zone Player that is also supported.

Initially I had thought AIFF was the way to go since it is fully support by iTunes, iPod, SoundBridge and Sonos Zone Player. I also knew that WMP could play it. Unfortunately I then discovered that WMP while it has a built-in codec to play AIFF does not have the ability to read iTunes tags for AIFF files, nor is there any plugin for WMP (currently) to address this. I had instantly discounted WAV as it does not support tags and embedded album art (for iTunes and iPod).

I then considered AAC and proved it would work with everything (by using a plugin for WMP to read the tags and an AAC codec) but this was a lossey format.

More recently the SoundBridge firmware was upgraded and FireFly server released which meant the SoundBridge could now play Apple Lossless (iTunes, iPod and Sonos Zone Player already supported Apple Loessless). As Apple Lossless uses the same MPEG4 file format and tag format as AAC this meant WMP could already read the tags for Apple Lossless via the same plugin. This drove me to look for a way to get the final missing piece an Apple Lossless codec for WMP.

As has been mentioned in this thread, in theory ffmpeg is supposed to now support ALAC (Apple Lossless) but it never worked for me. I then started googling like mad to find ALAC solutions for Windows, other than a reference to ffmpeg and solutions for winamp and foobar (which were of no use to getting it working in WMP and MCE) I eventually came across mention of the BASS audio library for Windows (see http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html (http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html) ). This library has modules available for various audio formats including ALAC and AAC and the source code for those particular modules is freely available. BASS does not itself integrate with WMP and I am not a Windows programmer so I was not quite there yet. I then found another developer had already taken the BASS library and an MP3 plugin and wrapped it all together as a directshow filter WHICH WORKS IN WMP! Wow! I thought, if only I could get him to do the same thing by taking the BASS library and the source for the BASS ALAC module and wrap that together as a directshow filter!

Ta da!

He did indeed manage to do this for me and after he fixed a small bug I now have ALL my iTunes library in Apple Lossless format and I can play it in iTunes, WMP, MCE 2005, SoftSqueeze (via SlimServer), Roku SoundBridge (via Firefly server) and if I had them it would also be possible with an iPod, SlimDevices Squeezebox (via SlimServer), Sonos Zone Player, EVEN AN XBOX 360 ACTING AS A MEDIA EXTENDER (via MCE 2005).

In other-words, I have achieved the impossible and I have a universal lossless music format supported by EVERYTHING all linked to single copies of each track.

I have even got artwork working in both iTunes and WMP and MCE (although that requires some manual intervention).

I even asked Apple to add support for the "Album Artist" tag to make it easier to integrate with WMP and they added that in iTunes 7. (This works thanks to SoftPointer's Tag Extender Plugin for WMP, currently WMPTSE a very similar plugin is having problems reading iTunes tags.)

Note: I use iTunes to rip CDs and I tell WMP to not copy or move or change the files but to merely add them to its library. As a result iTunes and WMP share the same single copies of files.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: LANjackal on 2006-10-11 17:31:07
3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/ (http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/)


WMP can fetch album art on its own. Simply right-click any audio file in the library and select "Find Album Info". WMP will then query the AMG database for art and metadata, which you can then apply directly to the file with a single click.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: beto on 2006-10-11 17:50:30
You should go with MP3 if lossy is an option for you because this can be played by both WMP and itunes.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-10-12 14:28:45
You should go with MP3 if lossy is an option for you because this can be played by both WMP and itunes.


Yes both can play MP3 and handles tags for that format but this is literally the lowest quality standard. It is fairly easy to get WMP to play AAC and to get it to handle MPEG4 (AAC) tags and AAC for the same bit-rate can give better quality. However as I posted above I have now managed to get Apple Lossless working in WMP and really you cannot get any better than lossless!

3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/ (http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/)


WMP can fetch album art on its own. Simply right-click any audio file in the library and select "Find Album Info". WMP will then query the AMG database for art and metadata, which you can then apply directly to the file with a single click.


WMP only gives you a mere 200x200 pixel image (on average), whereas iTunes gives you a magnificent 600x600 pixels on average. In order to get artwork working in both I tell WMP to "Find Album Info" (to add an entry to its internal database) and then overwrite the resulting jpeg files with higher quality versions taken from iTunes.

Note: Amazon (and Walmart) only give you 500x500 pixels and Amazon often puts an annoying white border around the image.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: beto on 2006-10-12 14:41:55
Just a few comments.

Yes both can play MP3 and handles tags for that format but this is literally the lowest quality standard.

As for playing and handling tags ok. But your quality standard conclusion is just plain wrong. According to the last listening test (http://www.maresweb.de/listening-tests/mf-128-1/results.htm) LAME MP3 and AAC (iTunes) were tied within the confidence margin for 128kbps. IMO we can extrapolate the same result for higher bitrates.
What this tells us is that LAME MP3 is on par with iTunes AAC perceptually. So to me this makes MP3 slightly superior because of its wider compatibility.

...AAC for the same bit-rate can give better quality.

Hmmm in theory yes because it is technically superior, however this does not hold ground in practice (I mean for a large sample and user base)  for 128kbps and,probably, above. You might be right for bitrates lower than 128kbps.

However as I posted above I have now managed to get Apple Lossless working in WMP and really you cannot get any better than lossless!

That is true. It sure gives some piece of mind.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: saratoga on 2006-10-12 14:51:37
I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place.  It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge.  Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.


Don't use a 360.  Use an Xbox 1 running XBMC.  It supports ALAC, thus you won't need to convert anything.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Veej007 on 2006-10-13 09:03:22
this is seems like an appropriate time to reiterate my interest in that quicktime flac component. 

or, you know, decent flac support on osx at all (max only works under tiger, which i can't use, and there's still no sane playback+tagging option).  what's the point of open source if it ends up just as pragmatically limited as the proprietary options?

sorry i can't help make it happen; i don't know how to write this sort of thing, i'm just a lowly power user.

(bitching session over.)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-10-13 19:07:26
don't forget to complain to apple too.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Nick E on 2006-10-13 19:53:03
this is seems like an appropriate time to reiterate my interest in that quicktime flac component.


The  Xiph one? Here's the link for anyone who might find that useful:

http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/ (http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/)

Quote
What's new in this release? Intel Mac compatibility (finally!), FLAC decoder, fresh (and still warm!) Theora decoder and a number of bug fixes and other smaller changes - see the release notes for details.


But I can't recall trying it with FLAC as such, though I did try a FLAC in an OGG container with it, and that seemed fine. I usually just use VLC for more (currently) unusual formats, but I'm more of an MP3 user. (FLAC is my standard format for archiving, but I don't generally listen to it: I encode to MP3 for my portable player.)

Quote
or, you know, decent flac support on osx at all (max only works under tiger, which i can't use, and there's still no sane playback+tagging option).


I hadn't noticed that Stephen's program was either indecent or insane, and I'm very grateful to him for working on it and providing it free of charge to the community, but there you go. Again, I'll give the link for the benefit of anyone on OS X who hasn't heard of it before but who might find it useful. I use it a lot and would heartily recommend it to anyone:

http://www.sbooth.org/Max/ (http://www.sbooth.org/Max/)

Anyone stopping by there will also find Tag, "a metadata editor for FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Monkey's Audio and WavPack files", which I've used and would also recommend and Vincent Spader's Cog, which is a lightweight open-source audio player for OS X (haven't tried Cog yet myself).

Quote
what's the point of open source if it ends up just as pragmatically limited as the proprietary options?


What's the "point" of open source? Well, that depends on whom you ask. According to Richard Stallman, the "point" would be that it respects a number of "freedoms":

http://www.gnu.org/events/rms-nyu-2001-transcript.txt (http://www.gnu.org/events/rms-nyu-2001-transcript.txt)

He says he would use it even if it were very much worse than "non-free" code purely for that reason. It has nothing to do with "pragmatism" in his book, and many would agree. But you'd get a rather different account from, for example, Eric Raymond.

But I'm not sure what bearing this has on the OP's question - or on the needs of people who might be visiting this thread, having read the title, to find out more about the audio options in iTunes and WMP, and secondarily, OS X and Windows. These are not of course "free" platforms in Stallman's sense, even if parts of OS X's kernel are open source.

Anyway, a couple more links - cover art was touched on earlier, and people might like to know that the storage set-up for iTunes has changed radically with the integration of coverflow. Images downloaded from the iTunes Store are no longer stored in the ID3 tags but in a database, which solves some problems and makes some new ones:

http://theubergeeks.net/2006/09/13/new-album-art/ (http://theubergeeks.net/2006/09/13/new-album-art/)

http://decaffeinated.org/archives/2006/09/...now_i_regret_it (http://decaffeinated.org/archives/2006/09/14/and_now_i_regret_it)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-10-13 21:37:03



I have now recently built myself a Home Theatre PC running Windows Media Center - its main purpose is to house all of my media files (TV, audio and pictures) in one place.  It is connected to the screen in the kitchen, and I am going to buy an Xbox 360 to act as media center extender in the lounge.  Since the Xbox will only be able to retrieve media files through Windows Media Center, I would like to find a format that will allow me to do this, and therefore not need a separate squeezebox.


Don't use a 360.  Use an Xbox 1 running XBMC.  It supports ALAC, thus you won't need to convert anything.

According to Microsoft, Windows Media Center will transcode music to PCM to send to a Media Extender (including the XBox 360). This means the Media Extender can play any music format that Windows Media Center can, therefore the XBox 360 will also be able to play ALAC if like me you have WMP/MCE able to play it.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-10-16 01:07:38
don't forget to complain to apple too.


It took them six years to add gapless playback support despite many complaints, including ones directly into iPod firmware developers ears. Unless the rumours of their having put FLAC into Leopard are true then we might be waiting sometime.

The irony is that all they need to do is open up the iTunes metadata reading to be plugin driven rather than hard coded into iTunes then there would be more motivation to develop XiphQT.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: EuMesmo on 2006-11-11 22:06:19
Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.


Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components (http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/) installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter (http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/).

I rarely use WMP, so don't care that much for the metadata on it. And on this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48309) there's an information that iTunes 7 can read OGG metadata. And

I had some problems to append the metadata to oggFLAC files, but it was solved with flac 1.1.3, which converts and copy the tags from the flac files. But the only way to add the tags to ogg-flac that I found was with foobar. And in case you want to convert again to another lossless format, well, you can use foobar again.

I believe that ogg-flac needs more attention from people. It is not so widspread used as the other, but the ability to play on both players should be useful to a lot of people.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: goodnews on 2006-11-11 22:33:05
I see 2 main things needed to help FLAC to better accomplish 'universal compatability' across operating systems and (even) more widespread use:

1. Support by the Xiph Quicktime components for decoding the more popular native FLAC file type.

2. The soon to arrive FLAC 1.1.3 stable release version that will support embedded ALBUM ART and converting from FLAC to FLAC formats without losing metatags.

With this, plus the new LYRICS text tag hopefully being used, one should be able to use dBpowerAMP, VUPlayer, Max and other utility programs to easily convert from your master audios in FLAC format to WMA Lossless, Apple's ALAC, M4A (AAC), MP3 or just about any format on Macs or PCs running Windows. All album art, lyrics and tags should go along with any format you convert to from your master FLAC files.

Since the illuminable Directshow plugin also supports playback for native FLAC format files, that should take care of FLAC file playback in WMP 10 or 11. Also, now that Winamp 5.31 now natively comes with a FLAC decoder you can playback files in Winamp also.

Am anxiously awaiting Josh's new 1.1.3 release of FLAC, plus Apple's rumoured built-in FLAC support in its upcoming Leopard MAC operating system...

[dream mode]Maybe iTunes will have built-in FLAC file import (and export) support in an upcoming release [/dream mode].
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-11-11 22:48:18

Firstly there is no lossless format which is shared between WMP and iTunes. It's vaguely possible that WMP could be persuaded to play ALAC by writing a DirectShow filter based on the reversed engineered ALAC decoder however no one has any incentive to do it as there are other open formats that can be used like FLAC and it would probably get up Apples nostrils to the point of sueing people.


Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components (http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/) installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter (http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/).

I rarely use WMP, so don't care that much for the metadata on it. And on this thread (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48309) there's an information that iTunes 7 can read OGG metadata. And

I had some problems to append the metadata to oggFLAC files, but it was solved with flac 1.1.3, which converts and copy the tags from the flac files. But the only way to add the tags to ogg-flac that I found was with foobar. And in case you want to convert again to another lossless format, well, you can use foobar again.

I believe that ogg-flac needs more attention from people. It is not so widspread used as the other, but the ability to play on both players should be useful to a lot of people.


I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.

The oggFLAC solution does not [yet] support the standard FLAC file format so it is not an ideal solution. Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

Finally, FLAC does not work on iPods, so even if it is supported in iTunes in Leopard it still is not as good a solution as ALAC (yes I am aware of Rockbox).
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-11-11 23:07:21
Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

can you elaborate?
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: EuMesmo on 2006-11-11 23:30:51
I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?

The oggFLAC solution does not [yet] support the standard FLAC file format so it is not an ideal solution. Also I don't like the way FLAC uses cue files to do gapless playback. ALAC (at least in iTunes) does this as standard.

Finally, FLAC does not work on iPods, so even if it is supported in iTunes in Leopard it still is not as good a solution as ALAC (yes I am aware of Rockbox).


My tests were not through, actually I haven't even tried it on iTunes 7. But since iTunes 6 can convert the files, I found it a fine answear to the ipod transfer. I convert it on iTunes, and transfer the converted files to iPod.

But which features exctaly would you like to see support? It is just curiosity, I am not offering to answear your questions.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: windmiller on 2006-11-27 12:08:28
The WMPTSE plugin (http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/index.html) is certainly worth checking out.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: chelgrian on 2006-11-27 12:28:10
Actually, you can play OGG-FLAC files on both iTunes an WMP. For iTunes, you'll need the Xiph Quicktime components (http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/) installed, and I have been able to play ogg flac files on WMP using the Illiminable DirectShow filter (http://www.illiminable.com/ogg/).


Yes you can play OGG-FLAC in iTunes but you cannot read the metadata from the files as iTunes uses internal routes for doing this not QuickTime. This makes it only marginally useful. Apple may fix this at somepoint but it can hardly be very high up their priority list.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-11-28 00:40:41

I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?


The author is Milenko Mitrovic and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file.

For those interested the saga in finding this solution was as follows.

1. I looked for an existing ALAC directshow filter and there was none apart from a vague mention that ffmpeg [a directshow package] was supposed to support it.

2. I then looked for ANY Windows ALAC solutions. I found one for WinAmp, one for Foobar 2000 and then when I almost gave up, mention of the BASS library ( http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html (http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html) )

3. The BASS site in turn referred to a free open source ALAC module [written by someone else] for adding to BASS but both BASS and this ALAC module did not themselves work as a directshow filter and hence would not work in WMP.

4. I then found an MP3 module written using BASS that had been packaged as a directshow filter. This then lead to the obvious conclusion it should also be possible to use the same approach to package the ALAC BASS module the same way as a directshow filter.

5. I got in touch with the author [Milenko] of the BASS MP3 module (packaged as a directshow filter) and persuaded him to take the free open source ALAC module and wrap it as a directshow filter. This he did do and it is working beautifully for me.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Gow on 2006-11-28 01:32:32
For iTunes there is a QT Component that allows the playback of Ogg Vorbis and FLAC in iTunes.  Than you only have to grab the plugin for WMP.  Bingo! Done.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: eofor on 2006-11-28 08:35:37
For iTunes there is a QT Component that allows the playback of Ogg Vorbis and FLAC in iTunes.  Than you only have to grab the plugin for WMP.  Bingo! Done.

Too bad that iTunes cannot read the tags and add Ogg/FLAC in the library.

The only fully-usable lossless format (ie, both playback and tag support) shared between iTunes and WMP (and foobar, and Winamp) is Apple Lossless. iTunes plays it out-of-the box, for WMP you need ffdshow and WMPTSE as add-ons. Ironically, the most closed format of them all.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: xxx666yyy777 on 2006-12-05 01:46:44
Too bad that iTunes cannot read the tags and add Ogg/FLAC in the library.

The only fully-usable lossless format (ie, both playback and tag support) shared between iTunes and WMP (and foobar, and Winamp) is Apple Lossless. iTunes plays it out-of-the box, for WMP you need ffdshow and WMPTSE as add-ons. Ironically, the most closed format of them all.


Stupid question - how? I have no problems getting ffdshow to decode lossy AAC/MP4 files (with WMP 11), but no ALAC...which version of ffdshow or which ALAC DirectShow decoder do you use?

Thx
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Klyith on 2006-12-05 02:07:44
Stupid question - how? I have no problems getting ffdshow to decode lossy AAC/MP4 files (with WMP 11), but no ALAC...which version of ffdshow or which ALAC DirectShow decoder do you use?

You have to update to daily builds, and live on the bleeding edge. There will occasionally be crashes.
http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-05 02:20:54


I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?


The author is Milenko Mitrovic and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file.

Just dropped him an e-mail, hope he still has it.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: xxx666yyy777 on 2006-12-05 04:15:23
Stupid question - how? I have no problems getting ffdshow to decode lossy AAC/MP4 files (with WMP 11), but no ALAC...which version of ffdshow or which ALAC DirectShow decoder do you use?

You have to update to daily builds, and live on the bleeding edge. There will occasionally be crashes.
http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)

I tried build ffdshow_rev621_20061203-sse2.exe with the Matroska Splitter to no avail...any suggestions?

Thx
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mangix on 2006-12-05 06:03:25
make sure to enable ALAC in the audio configuration or else it won't work.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: xxx666yyy777 on 2006-12-05 15:34:55
make sure to enable ALAC in the audio configuration or else it won't work.


Mangix,

None of the ffdshow codecs mentions ALAC...which one is decoding ALAC?

Thx
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mangix on 2006-12-06 01:45:45
now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-06 11:22:54



I have got an ALAC directshow filter working in WMP 10, and hence also in Media Center 2005. It took code from three different developers to accomplish. I also use a plugin called WMPTSE to let WMP read the metadata from ALAC (MPEG4) audio files.


That is great. Can you provide the link, or the file?


The author is Milenko Mitrovic and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file.

Just dropped him an e-mail, hope he still has it.

Still haven't recieved a reply
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-12-07 01:40:47
now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)


Libavcodec does now include ALAC support (in fact it has done so for a while). FFMpeg and MPlayer are two examples of Unix/Linux/Mac OS X programs which use Libavcodec and can therefore process ALAC files.

FFDShow is a Directshow filter that use Libavcodec and therefore SHOULD be able to also handle ALAC, hence comments from myself and Mangix to that effect. However when I tried the 'standard' FFDshow package it did not work for me. The theory at the time was that it was possibly due to not having a stream splitter that understood ALAC and could hand it off to FFDShow.

This page may be of interest http://www.irisa.fr/texmex/people/dufouil/...xy/alac_8c.html (http://www.irisa.fr/texmex/people/dufouil/ffmpegdoxy/alac_8c.html)

Because I could not get FFDShow to work I continued searching and eventually using code from three different programmers got a solution (see below).

The ALAC directshow filter I am using is written using the BASS library see http://www.un4seen.com (http://www.un4seen.com) and an ALAC module written by Maresweb (using BASS) the source for which is here http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php) this was then repackaged as a directshow compatible filter by Milenko Mitrovic (using the same technique he had previously used for an MP3 directshow filter version of a BASS module) and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file (which is NOT based on Libavcodec). This directshow filter has its own m4a (MPEG4 Audio) splitter and in order to make things simple it actually handles both ALAC and AAC (unprotected only) and both are decoded (played) by this filter, this removed the need to try and pass AAC to a different codec. I was perfectly happy with this as AAC does work and I have no protected tracks to worry about.

There is now another possible option listed here http://www.mcetunes.com (http://www.mcetunes.com) this works by allowing Media Center to play AAC (even protected iTunes store tracks) and ALAC files using QuickTime.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-07 01:49:34

now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)

The ALAC directshow filter I am using is written using the BASS library see http://www.un4seen.com (http://www.un4seen.com) and an ALAC module written by Maresweb (using BASS) the source for which is here http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php) this was then repackaged as a directshow compatible filter by Milenko Mitrovic (using the same technique he had previously used for an MP3 directshow filter version of a BASS module) and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file (which is NOT based on Libavcodec). This directshow filter has its own m4a (MPEG4 Audio) splitter and in order to make things simple it actually handles both ALAC and AAC (unprotected only) and both are decoded (played) by this filter, this removed the need to try and pass AAC to a different codec. I was perfectly happy with this as AAC does work and I have no protected tracks to worry about.

I emailed him two days ago and he still hasn't replied, got your PM, and now I'm miffed at having to wait a while for him to get around to it
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DCoder on 2006-12-07 09:11:48


now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)

The ALAC directshow filter I am using is written using the BASS library see http://www.un4seen.com (http://www.un4seen.com) and an ALAC module written by Maresweb (using BASS) the source for which is here http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php) this was then repackaged as a directshow compatible filter by Milenko Mitrovic (using the same technique he had previously used for an MP3 directshow filter version of a BASS module) and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file (which is NOT based on Libavcodec). This directshow filter has its own m4a (MPEG4 Audio) splitter and in order to make things simple it actually handles both ALAC and AAC (unprotected only) and both are decoded (played) by this filter, this removed the need to try and pass AAC to a different codec. I was perfectly happy with this as AAC does work and I have no protected tracks to worry about.

I emailed him two days ago and he still hasn't replied, got your PM, and now I'm miffed at having to wait a while for him to get around to it


Sorry, been busy in the last weeks. The Filter is now available here http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-08 00:03:05



now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)

The ALAC directshow filter I am using is written using the BASS library see http://www.un4seen.com (http://www.un4seen.com) and an ALAC module written by Maresweb (using BASS) the source for which is here http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php) this was then repackaged as a directshow compatible filter by Milenko Mitrovic (using the same technique he had previously used for an MP3 directshow filter version of a BASS module) and his website is http://www.dsp-worx.de (http://www.dsp-worx.de) you will need to ask the author for the link to the file (which is NOT based on Libavcodec). This directshow filter has its own m4a (MPEG4 Audio) splitter and in order to make things simple it actually handles both ALAC and AAC (unprotected only) and both are decoded (played) by this filter, this removed the need to try and pass AAC to a different codec. I was perfectly happy with this as AAC does work and I have no protected tracks to worry about.

I emailed him two days ago and he still hasn't replied, got your PM, and now I'm miffed at having to wait a while for him to get around to it


Sorry, been busy in the last weeks. The Filter is now available here http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip)

  Yay!
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-09 16:24:22

Sorry, been busy in the last weeks. The Filter is now available here http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip)

  Yay!

Hmm, the filter can't seem to play any Lossless files encoded with iTunes 5 (5.0.0.35 to be exact), but it can play all of the Lossless files I encoded with iTunes 7 (7.0.0.70, 7.0.1.8, and 7.0.2.16). Anyone else having the same problem?
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: xxx666yyy777 on 2006-12-09 17:21:47
now that i just saw it, i can't seem to find it. Either it's not implemented in the GUI configuration or the daily-builds are using an old version of libavcodec(which i doubt). either case, you can try some builds made by some other people(such as clsid2 or h_yamagata) at http://www.ffdshow.info (http://www.ffdshow.info)

In case anyone cares:

I went through the libavcodec source code used at www.ffdshow.info and it does NOT contain the ALAC decoder. I contains one reference, but not the required classes/files (alac.c for example) to perform the required functions. However the libvcodec tree at ffmpeg (which contains the official version of libavcodec) does indeed have the ALAC decoding funtionality included.

So it does appear that ffdshow uses an either old or modified source tree for libavcoded...

Cheers.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-09 23:57:15


Sorry, been busy in the last weeks. The Filter is now available here http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip)

  Yay!

Hmm, the filter can't seem to play any Lossless files encoded with iTunes 5 (5.0.0.35 to be exact), but it can play all of the Lossless files I encoded with iTunes 7 (7.0.0.70, 7.0.1.8, and 7.0.2.16). Anyone else having the same problem?

Anyone have any info on why it may be having trouble with iTunes 5 ALAC files? I never envisioned compatibility problems arising with older files, only newer ones.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mangix on 2006-12-10 01:34:24
as an alternative, you can use foobar2000 with the foo_alac plugin, convert to a lossless format(like WAV or FLAC), and play the file.

you could also convert it to WavPack, download CoreWavPack, and start playing it in WMP.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-10 15:34:36
as an alternative, you can use foobar2000 with the foo_alac plugin, convert to a lossless format(like WAV or FLAC), and play the file.

you could also convert it to WavPack, download CoreWavPack, and start playing it in WMP.

That'd be quite a bit of work for 1000+ ALAC songs, and I'd either need to keep two lossless copies (talk about redundancy) or ditch being able to use lossless files on my iPod.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2006-12-10 17:12:09

Hmm, the filter can't seem to play any Lossless files encoded with iTunes 5 (5.0.0.35 to be exact), but it can play all of the Lossless files I encoded with iTunes 7 (7.0.0.70, 7.0.1.8, and 7.0.2.16). Anyone else having the same problem?

Anyone have any info on why it may be having trouble with iTunes 5 ALAC files? I never envisioned compatibility problems arising with older files, only newer ones.

I started ripping all mine from iTunes 6 onwards (now using iTunes 7) so I have not seen this problem. However a quick workaround (assuming you are now using iTunes 6 or 7) would be to get iTunes to convert them all to AIFF (it should preserve the meta tags including Artwork), and then delete the bad ALAC versions, and then convert the AIFFs back to ALAC. This will be lossless to lossless conversion and should keep all the meta tags.

To get iTunes to convert to a different format, you set the iTunes import preference to the format you want to convert to (AIFF first, then afterwards Apple Lossless), then in the Advanced menu (in iTunes) select "Convert Selection to...".
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-10 17:25:40


Hmm, the filter can't seem to play any Lossless files encoded with iTunes 5 (5.0.0.35 to be exact), but it can play all of the Lossless files I encoded with iTunes 7 (7.0.0.70, 7.0.1.8, and 7.0.2.16). Anyone else having the same problem?

Anyone have any info on why it may be having trouble with iTunes 5 ALAC files? I never envisioned compatibility problems arising with older files, only newer ones.

I started ripping all mine from iTunes 6 onwards (now using iTunes 7) so I have not seen this problem. However a quick workaround (assuming you are now using iTunes 6 or 7) would be to get iTunes to convert them all to AIFF (it should preserve the meta tags including Artwork), and then delete the bad ALAC versions, and then convert the AIFFs back to ALAC. This will be lossless to lossless conversion and should keep all the meta tags.

To get iTunes to convert to a different format, you set the iTunes import preference to the format you want to convert to (AIFF first, then afterwards Apple Lossless), then in the Advanced menu (in iTunes) select "Convert Selection to...".

No need for the intermediate AIFF conversion, I can just do ALAC to ALAC. The problem is I've got 525 iTunes 5 ALAC files (compared to a measly 239 I've made with 7) and I'd also have to go and rename the files like their EAC created counterparts (make spaces into underscores) and then copy them over the older versions in order to keep my play counts, dates added, etc. I'd also have to go and properly rename any songs with titles longer than iTunes can handle as far as filename is concerned.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DCoder on 2006-12-10 18:37:24
Quote
Anyone have any info on why it may be having trouble with iTunes 5 ALAC files? I never envisioned compatibility problems arising with older files, only newer ones.


http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php)

Quote
BASS_ALAC is an extension based on David Hammerton's reverse engineered ALAC decoder which enables the playback of ALAC files through BASS.

Please notice that the current version of the add-on does not support MOV demuxing. Only unprotected MP4 files are supported.


Maybe your older Files are "just" in an old (mov) Container. However, i have no idea if there's a mov2mp4 converter.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mangix on 2006-12-10 20:05:11
mov and mp4 should be generally the same thing. there should be a few differences, but AFAIK, mp4 was based on mov.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-10 22:31:30
Quote
Anyone have any info on why it may be having trouble with iTunes 5 ALAC files? I never envisioned compatibility problems arising with older files, only newer ones.


http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php (http://www.maresweb.de/projects/bass/alac.php)

Quote
BASS_ALAC is an extension based on David Hammerton's reverse engineered ALAC decoder which enables the playback of ALAC files through BASS.

Please notice that the current version of the add-on does not support MOV demuxing. Only unprotected MP4 files are supported.


Maybe your older Files are "just" in an old (mov) Container. However, i have no idea if there's a mov2mp4 converter.

Nope, container's the same (M4A/MP4). I didn't know Apple ever made big changes to ALAC itself, it's gotta be what's causing the problem.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: sheik124 on 2006-12-11 00:30:14
In case anyone is interested, VLC has libavcodec properly implemented and can play Apple Lossless files (both iTunes 5 ALAC files, and iTunes 6/7 files); doesn't help me get it working in Windows Media Player though.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: ShinKen on 2006-12-22 02:59:02
Thanks to this forum and this thread, I was able to get my ALAC files to play in Windows MCE and my xbox360.  Thanks again!
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: tanner on 2006-12-31 04:45:46
I probably spent a few time in the last few months looking for a way to play ALAC in WMP11 and this did the trick.  I did try and see if that mp3source.ax would register with Vista, and, unfortunately not.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DCoder on 2007-01-02 07:39:52
That's a common issue with Vista.    Rightclick the "register.bat" and choose "Run As" and execute it as an Administrator.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mike Carlisle on 2007-01-04 14:07:21
Hi,

I'm trying to follow this thread to work out how to play aac via the xbox extender, but it seems like there's a few things being discussed and I can't quite follow. What exactly do I need to install to get this working?

Previously I managed to use ffdshow and WMPTS to get m4a files tagged and playing in WMP 11 on vista and locally in MCE, however they weren't tagged when viewed through the extender, and I wasn't able to play them (error playing media message).

I'd really like to get this working, any help would be much appriecated.

Thanks,

Mike
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Mike Carlisle on 2007-01-04 15:09:35
Thought I had it working... but no 

I've been trying the MP3Source.ax with WMPTS, but it just won't work on the 360. Please could someone who has this working point me in the right direction?
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Cartoon on 2007-01-04 16:31:39
But what about the other way? How to create ALAC files from WAV without iTunes on Windows? I cannot find an ALAC encoder on Rarewares...

Is iTunes or Mac solutions the only way? I use FLAC for everything now, so just wondering what ALAC encoding options are.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: eofor on 2007-01-04 17:53:16
But what about the other way? How to create ALAC files from WAV without iTunes on Windows? I cannot find an ALAC encoder on Rarewares...

Is iTunes or Mac solutions the only way? I use FLAC for everything now, so just wondering what ALAC encoding options are.


Well, there's iTunes and, err, iTunes Producer (the professional app for music publishers to upload to iTMS).
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2007-01-04 22:59:31
But what about the other way? How to create ALAC files from WAV without iTunes on Windows? I cannot find an ALAC encoder on Rarewares...

Is iTunes or Mac solutions the only way? I use FLAC for everything now, so just wondering what ALAC encoding options are.


I use iTunes on Windows quite happily but if you must use something else then look in the following...

iTunesEncode.exe this is a command line utility that can be used with EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and Foobar.

There is also now a module for dbpoweramp to encode ALAC (and of course a module to decode them). See http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?p=50839#post50839 (http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?p=50839#post50839)
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: vetinry on 2007-03-18 17:32:20
As the original author of this thread, I'm delighted to have searched through google and come back to a large amount of progress.

I'd given up ever trying to find a way around this out last year, but now I've just bought an Xbox 360, I'm really keen to get this sorted asap

John - thanks very much for your tireless effort in finding a solution, and  DCoder - great work.

Now I've just got to see if I can get it all to work.

Best wishes

Steve
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2007-03-18 19:30:41
As the original author of this thread, I'm delighted to have searched through google and come back to a large amount of progress.

I'd given up ever trying to find a way around this out last year, but now I've just bought an Xbox 360, I'm really keen to get this sorted asap

John - thanks very much for your tireless effort in finding a solution, and  DCoder - great work.

Now I've just got to see if I can get it all to work.

Best wishes

Steve


While I do have Apple Lossless working in Media Center 2005 (and WMP10), I don't have an Xbox360 myself to test as an Extender. According to Microsoft since the solution is a proper directshow filter and it is working in Media Center, it should work with an Xbox360 acting as a Media Extender. Indeed there was at least one such report to this thread that someone has managed this so it should work for you as well.

I use  Roku M2000 SoundBridges as my [music] Extenders.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: headcase on 2007-05-21 04:04:52
Sorry, can I get some noob instructions on getting this to work?  I've got 3.01 of ffdshow installed, registered the bass modules and still no go with playing alac files.  Noticed that latest ffdshow is supposed to have alac support, but no go. 

Did I miss something somewhere?


As the original author of this thread, I'm delighted to have searched through google and come back to a large amount of progress.

I'd given up ever trying to find a way around this out last year, but now I've just bought an Xbox 360, I'm really keen to get this sorted asap

John - thanks very much for your tireless effort in finding a solution, and  DCoder - great work.

Now I've just got to see if I can get it all to work.

Best wishes

Steve


While I do have Apple Lossless working in Media Center 2005 (and WMP10), I don't have an Xbox360 myself to test as an Extender. According to Microsoft since the solution is a proper directshow filter and it is working in Media Center, it should work with an Xbox360 acting as a Media Extender. Indeed there was at least one such report to this thread that someone has managed this so it should work for you as well.

I use  Roku M2000 SoundBridges as my [music] Extenders.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2007-05-21 23:16:41
If your intention is to get Apple Lossless (aka. ALAC) working in Windows Media Player then while ffdshow is supposed to have ALAC support in reality the current build is missing it. However you don't need ffdshow to get ALAC working. All you need is the BASS based module that I helped create (although I didn't write it). You can download it here http://www.dsp-worx.de/ (http://www.dsp-worx.de/) look at the January 8th 2007 entry for the details.

In addition you will want to install WMPTSE to let Windows Media Player read the meta-tags from MPEG4 music files.

Sorry, can I get some noob instructions on getting this to work?  I've got 3.01 of ffdshow installed, registered the bass modules and still no go with playing alac files.  Noticed that latest ffdshow is supposed to have alac support, but no go. 

Did I miss something somewhere?



As the original author of this thread, I'm delighted to have searched through google and come back to a large amount of progress.

I'd given up ever trying to find a way around this out last year, but now I've just bought an Xbox 360, I'm really keen to get this sorted asap

John - thanks very much for your tireless effort in finding a solution, and  DCoder - great work.

Now I've just got to see if I can get it all to work.

Best wishes

Steve


While I do have Apple Lossless working in Media Center 2005 (and WMP10), I don't have an Xbox360 myself to test as an Extender. According to Microsoft since the solution is a proper directshow filter and it is working in Media Center, it should work with an Xbox360 acting as a Media Extender. Indeed there was at least one such report to this thread that someone has managed this so it should work for you as well.

I use  Roku M2000 SoundBridges as my [music] Extenders.

Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: headcase on 2007-05-22 17:09:01
Thank you for doing all that work!    Couple of informational notes for anybody else that runs into the same issue thinking that they couldn't get it to install like I was.

#1. I couldn't get it to play through WMP if the the ax file was registered from a directory with spaces in it.  Thought that was weird, or maybe I'm just too noob to know any better.  But repeatedly registering it from a \program files\ nested dir, playback from within wmp would not work.  When registered from \windows\system32 or it's own dir off drive root, or any other dir without spaces it works.  Not tested on multiple computers, just my main music server.

#2. The second part of my problem was that alacs encoded using MAX on OS X won't play.  Bringing the MAX alac files into itunes and then reconverting them to apple lossless does the trick.  MAX must be doing something just a little bit different.  But since about half of my files were imported using MAX I didn't catch this one right away.



If your intention is to get Apple Lossless (aka. ALAC) working in Windows Media Player then while ffdshow is supposed to have ALAC support in reality the current build is missing it. However you don't need ffdshow to get ALAC working. All you need is the BASS based module that I helped create (although I didn't write it). You can download it here http://www.dsp-worx.de/ (http://www.dsp-worx.de/) look at the January 8th 2007 entry for the details.

In addition you will want to install WMPTSE to let Windows Media Player read the meta-tags from MPEG4 music files.


Sorry, can I get some noob instructions on getting this to work?  I've got 3.01 of ffdshow installed, registered the bass modules and still no go with playing alac files.  Noticed that latest ffdshow is supposed to have alac support, but no go. 

Did I miss something somewhere?



As the original author of this thread, I'm delighted to have searched through google and come back to a large amount of progress.

I'd given up ever trying to find a way around this out last year, but now I've just bought an Xbox 360, I'm really keen to get this sorted asap

John - thanks very much for your tireless effort in finding a solution, and  DCoder - great work.

Now I've just got to see if I can get it all to work.

Best wishes

Steve


While I do have Apple Lossless working in Media Center 2005 (and WMP10), I don't have an Xbox360 myself to test as an Extender. According to Microsoft since the solution is a proper directshow filter and it is working in Media Center, it should work with an Xbox360 acting as a Media Extender. Indeed there was at least one such report to this thread that someone has managed this so it should work for you as well.

I use  Roku M2000 SoundBridges as my [music] Extenders.


Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: soliluna on 2007-06-04 14:46:04
John,

thanks for all the tips I finally got my ALAC files in Itunes, WMP 11 and WMC working together in Vista 32.
I just have some trouble with the artwork.

Right now I have all my artwork from Itunes embedded in the each file and I'm trying to get WMP11 and WMC to read that artwork, I guess WMP11 does not read that info from the files tags automatically.

Do you have a work around that problem?

Thanks



You should go with MP3 if lossy is an option for you because this can be played by both WMP and itunes.


Yes both can play MP3 and handles tags for that format but this is literally the lowest quality standard. It is fairly easy to get WMP to play AAC and to get it to handle MPEG4 (AAC) tags and AAC for the same bit-rate can give better quality. However as I posted above I have now managed to get Apple Lossless working in WMP and really you cannot get any better than lossless!

3) There are a variety of programs availiable to grab Album Art from amazon.com based on the contents of the tags in the files and save it into folder.jpg file that you need for WMP for example:

http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/ (http://www.avsoft.nl/artfixer/)


WMP can fetch album art on its own. Simply right-click any audio file in the library and select "Find Album Info". WMP will then query the AMG database for art and metadata, which you can then apply directly to the file with a single click.


WMP only gives you a mere 200x200 pixel image (on average), whereas iTunes gives you a magnificent 600x600 pixels on average. In order to get artwork working in both I tell WMP to "Find Album Info" (to add an entry to its internal database) and then overwrite the resulting jpeg files with higher quality versions taken from iTunes.

Note: Amazon (and Walmart) only give you 500x500 pixels and Amazon often puts an annoying white border around the image.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2007-10-16 12:24:32
John,

thanks for all the tips I finally got my ALAC files in Itunes, WMP 11 and WMC working together in Vista 32.
I just have some trouble with the artwork.

Right now I have all my artwork from Itunes embedded in the each file and I'm trying to get WMP11 and WMC to read that artwork, I guess WMP11 does not read that info from the files tags automatically.

Do you have a work around that problem?

Thanks


Neither of the two current plugins for WMP will let WMP read embedded artwork in Apple Lossless (ALAC) or AAC files (both use the same m4a file format and tag format).

While iTunes can also handle external artwork, the way it does this will have no chance of working with WMP.

This leaves two options:

1. Do what I do, which is to manually copy the iTunes artwork to WMP (more complicated than it sounds).
or
2. Try the "MusicBridge" utility available here http://jrmwillis.googlepages.com/ (http://jrmwillis.googlepages.com/) I have not tried this utility for a long time but on paper it sounds perfect for you.


For the benefit of yourself and others I will now detail the manual steps I use to transfer artwork from iTunes.

[NOTE: Yes, this method is complex, but if you are only adding a CD or two at a time it is not torturous. It is also more importantly 100% reliable for me. I have dozens of albums shared between iTunes, WMP10 and Media Center 2005. All with the same high quality artwork and every single track plays and displays perfectly in all three programs. When I started this process, MusicBridge was not advanced enough so I had to do it manually anyway. If I was starting again now I would try it first.]

WMP typically keeps its artwork in four jpg files (it can read embedded artwork in MP3 files, but overall WMP prefers using these jpg files). The four jpg files are stored in the folder of the album, and have names like the following

AlbumArt_{903B2B7B-21D7-4BA2-B72C-5535C4A0A3B1}_Large.jpg
AlbumArt_{903B2B7B-21D7-4BA2-B72C-5535C4A0A3B1}_Small.jpg
AlbumArtSmall.jpg
folder.jpg

These files are created by WMP when either you RIP a CD in WMP (which you will not be doing as you will do this using iTunes), or when you use the "Find Album Info" command in WMP. The long number in the first two file names is a unique reference number WMP uses to associate the files in its internal database with the tracks. While WMP will happily look for just a folder.jpg Media Center seems to need to look up via the unique serial number in the WMP database (this is why I believe it is necessary to ensure you have generated these files so as to register them in the database first).

It used to be possible to use some scripts to 'search' the iTunes Store for the artwork you wanted and display the results in a webbrowser since the iTunes Store is basically a glorified website. However some time ago Apple put in extra steps that broke all these scripts.  Before it was broken, I used to search the iTunes Store for the artwork, it would display in Internet Explorer, and I would then save it as a jpg. Now the only way to get artwork from the iTunes Store is using iTunes itself.

As I mentioned, iTunes can also use external files for artwork, but these are encapsulated in a proprietary file format with the file extension .itc and stored in a different set of folders to the actual music tracks. It is possible to extract the jpg from within these files. It is also possible in iTunes itself to copy&paste the artwork to force it to be embedded instead. If you buy a track from the iTunes Store it will use a .itc file for the artwork which you get with the track you purchased, and if you use the "Get Album Artwork" command in iTunes (for your own CD ripped tracks) it will download the artwork and save it as an .itc file. These files as I said are stored in separate folders and like WMP also have long serial numbers as the names. Simply looking at the files you would not be able to tell which belongs to which album/track. Therefore either you do this one album at a time (so you only need to find the most recently modified .itc file) or you will have to extract/convert each one until you find the right one.

This site details the .itc file format or at least as much as has been deduced so far.
http://www.waldoland.com/dev/Articles/ITCFileFormat.aspx (http://www.waldoland.com/dev/Articles/ITCFileFormat.aspx)

As I said the .itc files while proprietary to Apple do contain standard jpg files (in theory you may also come across png files as well, but all the ones I have used have been jpg). As the jpg file format is well known with known start and end markers, it is possible to search for these markers in a .itc file and extract that portion. Several utilities for Mac OS X have been written to do this, however most of them have been written instead on the assumption that the jpg will start a specific length in to the .itc file. This appears to have changed with the latest iTunes so these utilities are not working properly. However GraphicConvertor for Mac OS X does work the other way, that is it looks for the jpg start and end markers and will successfully extract the jpg.

For Windows, I use a command line utility called bitmaprip which also looks for the start and end markers for jpgs and copies them out to a separate file. You can download this here http://mark0.net/soft-bitmaprip-e.html (http://mark0.net/soft-bitmaprip-e.html)

If you have only got your artwork already embedded inside iTunes Apple Lossless tracks and don't have a .itc file you can still extract the artwork either by finding a utility to do this (most are for Mac OS X), or simply by copying the artwork to the clipboard and pasting it in to a graphics utility in Windows and saving it as a jpg file. However try looking at this utility http://blog.timc.idv.tw/posts/itunes-artwork-extractor/ (http://blog.timc.idv.tw/posts/itunes-artwork-extractor/)

So by now we should have the iTunes artwork in a standard jpg format.

In theory, just putting the jpg as a file in the album folder with the name "folder.jpg" is enough and WMP will then automatically use it. However I don't feel this is reliable enough, and certainly my experience was that it might work in WMP but did not in Media Center 2005. So I do the following

i. In WMP, make sure the album is in the library
ii. In WMP use the "Find Album Info" command to search the Microsoft database for that album, and pick the best match, it will then create the four jpg files for that album I mentioned earlier. The two small files it creates are really small, the two 'large' ones are only a pitiful 200x200 pixels (a mere ninth the resolution of iTunes Store artwork). As we are going to replace the two larger files, if there is not an exact match in the Microsoft database it will not matter too much.
iii. Now replace the folder.jpg and the AlbumArt_{903B2B7B-21D7-4BA2-B72C-5535C4A0A3B1}_Large.jpg files with the iTunes copy. As you are going to use the magic serial number in the file name generated for that album by WMP it will show up properly in both WMP and Media Center but using the much better quality image taken from iTunes.

Issues to consider.

1. I don't know if MusicBridge keeps the artwork at the full iTunes size when it copies it to WMP. I also don't know if it does all four jpg files or just the folder.jpg file. If it just does the folder.jpg file then you may find it does not display properly in Media Center. However it will cost nothing to try MusicBridge.
2. WMP11 is known to trash your carefully created artwork jpg files and re-replace them with its crummy 200x200 versions.  WMP10 does not have this fault. You could try locking (making read only) the files after you have created them.
3. Internet Explorer 7 apparently patches the jpg library in Windows and this can result in perfectly legitimate jpg files showing as black squares in WMP.  As Microsoft never seem to fix bugs (they merely call it a feature) I have chosen not to upgrade to IE7 and WMP11 to avoid these problems. Unfortunately if you have been foolish enough to upgrade to Vista you do not get a choice.


... And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Windows Vista, and WMP11 followed with him. And power was given unto them over 95% of computers, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of Redmond ...
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Tuono on 2007-12-18 20:32:07
Thanks to this forum and this thread, I was able to get my ALAC files to play in Windows MCE and my xbox360.  Thanks again!


I second that, thanks a lot to the great people here for all your efforts! At last I can use ALAC both on my iPod and my Vista Media Center PC. 

However, it seems to be a small issue left to solve. I can't play the audio files using my Xbox 360 elite as a Media Center Extender. It will immidiately hang when trying to play the ALAC file. Other (supported) media formats works just fine. I thought the Media Center Extender just got a decoded and uncompressed stream from the PC, but apparently it doesn't. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

--
/Tuono
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2007-12-19 22:17:30

Thanks to this forum and this thread, I was able to get my ALAC files to play in Windows MCE and my xbox360.  Thanks again!


I second that, thanks a lot to the great people here for all your efforts! At last I can use ALAC both on my iPod and my Vista Media Center PC. 

However, it seems to be a small issue left to solve. I can't play the audio files using my Xbox 360 elite as a Media Center Extender. It will immidiately hang when trying to play the ALAC file. Other (supported) media formats works just fine. I thought the Media Center Extender just got a decoded and uncompressed stream from the PC, but apparently it doesn't. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

--
/Tuono


I don't have an XBox 360 so I have not tried this. There was an earlier report from someone who said it worked for him but that was before the Elite model shipped and more importantly before the Spring update to the XBox 360 software. It is knowing Microsoft quite possible that one of their updates broke this. I do know that they did remove the paragraph from the webpage on their site that said this should work (i.e. any audio format).
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Andy2000 on 2008-01-03 16:54:20
All,

I have the same problem. Thanks to John's efforts I can play ALAC using WMP on Vista Ultimate, but I cannot get ALAC to play via an XBOX 360 Elite.

My holy grail is to get a single lossless compression format working that can be used by:
If anyone discovers how to get the XBOX bit working then, I'd really like to hear from you!

Andy
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-01-03 23:20:45
All,

I have the same problem. Thanks to John's efforts I can play ALAC using WMP on Vista Ultimate, but I cannot get ALAC to play via an XBOX 360 Elite.

My holy grail is to get a single lossless compression format working that can be used by:
  • iTunes/iPod where iTunes is the "master source" and is used to rip CDs and will correctly display artwork
  • Windows Media Player via XBOX 360 media extender
  • SONOS
If anyone discovers how to get the XBOX bit working then, I'd really like to hear from you!

Andy


It is certainly possible to do the first and third entries in your list, but it looks like as I said that Microsoft have broken the ability to do the second one. ShinKen's reply to this thread implies it did work for him (at that time), and the following from Microsoft's website implies it also used to work but no longer does.

The Microsoft website had a page saying -

Audio formats
    •    Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard
    •    WMA Pro
    •    WMA Lossless
    •    MP3
    •    Other formats for which a DirectShow decoder is installed and registered on the PC

The same page now says just

Audio formats
    •    Windows Media Audio (WMA) Standard
    •    WMA Pro
    •    WMA Lossless
    •    MP3

See this link for an archived copy of the first version
http://web.archive.org/web/20070118163428/...der/mcefaq.mspx (http://web.archive.org/web/20070118163428/http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/extender/mcefaq.mspx)

and this for the current version
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediace...der/mcefaq.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/extender/mcefaq.mspx)

So I am afraid it looks like it is all Microsoft's fault. If this is true as appears to be the case then the only option for the Xbox 360 to play the music is not do it via the Extender method but instead the streaming method from a uPnP server e.g. TVersity which does work (such servers will automatically transcode the format on the fly). This does work with the current Xbox 360 software.

Note: The Sonos ZonePlayers, Roku SoundBridges, and SlimDevices SqueezeBox all support ALAC.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: grommet on 2008-01-03 23:54:38
Extenders can stream uncompressed PCM audio.  So, if the host Media Center system can play/decode the song (via filter), the Extender UI can still play it via streamed PCM... I don't think this function was removed.  Maybe Microsoft just doesn't want to encourage it's use, since other formats don't have direct library/metadata support.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-03 00:37:16
i'm still confused, im hoping you guys can help me.  i read this whole thread, and downloaded this: http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip) and registered it.  but my ALAC files still won't play in WMP.  i've tried WMP10 and 11

i have xp sp2
any help?

thanks in advance
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-03 06:11:33
i'm still confused, im hoping you guys can help me.  i read this whole thread, and downloaded this: http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip (http://files.dsp-worx.de/dsmp3source_aac_alac.zip) and registered it.  but my ALAC files still won't play in WMP.  i've tried WMP10 and 11

i have xp sp2
any help?

thanks in advance

It is likely another directshow filter currently has priority over the ALAC one. To test this make sure you have two test files, one as an AAC (unprotected AAC) file, and one as an ALAC (Apple Lossless one), if you have it, check them first in iTunes (or even better create them in iTunes).

If WMP is able to play the AAC file but not the ALAC one (remember both will have the .m4a file extension), then this would suggest another different directshow filter is currently controlling playback of all .m4a files and this other filter cannot play ALAC ones. If this is the case then you either need to remove this other one, or alter the priority numbers so that the ALAC one is the top priority. There is a utility called DSFMgr (DirectShow Filter Manager) which lets you do this.

There are lots of AAC capable directshow filters but only the one above will do ALAC as well.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-03 17:10:47
thanks for the quick reply, still a little confused though.  I'm not quite sure which filters i need to raise or lower the priorities on.  here's a screenshot of all my filters if you don't mind checking it out for me:

http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/3175/filtersxy1.jpg (http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/3175/filtersxy1.jpg)

i've got a feeling it has to do with those few "mpeg4 decoder DMO" filters, but it won't let me change their priorities.

thanks again for helping me out here
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-03 20:08:01
thanks for the quick reply, still a little confused though.  I'm not quite sure which filters i need to raise or lower the priorities on.  here's a screenshot of all my filters if you don't mind checking it out for me:

http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/3175/filtersxy1.jpg (http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/3175/filtersxy1.jpg)

i've got a feeling it has to do with those few "mpeg4 decoder DMO" filters, but it won't let me change their priorities.

thanks again for helping me out here

After comparing your list with mine, I believe the entry you need to move to top priority is "File Source (MP3)".

Yes the name is a bit misleading, but the history of the software explains why.

There is a programming library for writing audio software called BASS, another developer took an MP3 module written using BASS and repackaged it for use as a directshow filter in Windows Media Player. I when trying to find an ALAC solution, noticed this and that there was also an existing ALAC module for BASS, I then persuaded the author of the repackaged MP3 module to do the same for ALAC, hence the filter name still reflects the original MP3 version.

By the way, the file path of the filter would have helped you track down which one, the path points to the location you saved the filter.

To move it to top priority (file merit) double click on it and adjust the slider and then click the button.

Did you try an AAC track as opposed to an ALAC track? Did it work? If it did not then the priority may not be the problem.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-04 02:40:33
i tried an AAC track and it did indeed play through WMP.  I fixed the priority on "file source (mp3)"  and still nothing with ALAC.

if i remember correctly, i did get ALAC to play through WMP the first time i downloaded the dsmp3source a while ago.  and then a week or two later it just stopped again.  maybe because i downloaded conflicting software or something?
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-05 09:41:18
i tried an AAC track and it did indeed play through WMP.  I fixed the priority on "file source (mp3)"  and still nothing with ALAC.

if i remember correctly, i did get ALAC to play through WMP the first time i downloaded the dsmp3source a while ago.  and then a week or two later it just stopped again.  maybe because i downloaded conflicting software or something?


Possibly. If the other AAC filter also is set to the maximum priority then it may still be being chosen. If you download and run Graphedit and tell it to render an AAC track, it might indicate which directshow filter is being chosen to play it. You could then use DSFMgr to decrease the priority of it or remove it all together. Properties in WMP might also say what is being used to play an AAC track.

If AAC is working (still) then it definitely looks like another filter is getting in before the ALAC one. Also go back and make sure DSFMgr did successfully save the priority change.

From your list, it is possible Nero and others have installed AAC capable filters. If you installed the Orban AAC plugin then uninstall it.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-07 16:27:24
ok so wmp wouldn't give me any info in the properties, and graphedit gave me "default sound device" or something like that. I lowered the priorities of a few things, and deleted some unnecessary stuff.  Still doesn't play ALAC but i get this now: "The source filter for this file could not be loaded."
I tested AAC and i get the same message, did i screw stuff up even more?

i think i deleted my 3ivx filters, was that a bad move?

the file source (mp3) filter is at full priority, why would it say it can't load it?
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-07 17:50:54
i also just re-registered the "file source (MP3)" filter and brought its priority all the way up.  now WMP is giving me this for both ALAC and AAC:

"Windows Media Player encountered an unknown error. This can occur when another program or operating system component encounters a problem but does not communicate the nature of the problem to the Player."
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-08 00:49:20
i also just re-registered the "file source (MP3)" filter and brought its priority all the way up.  now WMP is giving me this for both ALAC and AAC:

"Windows Media Player encountered an unknown error. This can occur when another program or operating system component encounters a problem but does not communicate the nature of the problem to the Player."


Getting a lot of different Directshow filters all working at the same time is hard work (as you are finding). I myself had huge problems getting MKV working and ended up having to use a System Restore to revert to an earlier stage.

If your feeling adventurous you could ensure you have a system restore point, remove all or as many as possible directshow filters (e.g. Nero, PowerDVD, etc.) and unregister and reinstall the ALAC one as well. Basically try and get just the ALAC one working by itself first, and then add the others back one at a time.

Also, have you installed one of the two MPEG4 meta tag plugins for WMP, that is WMPTSE or the SoftPointer one? If so try turning it off and/or uninstalling and using the alternate one. I currently use the SoftPointer one myself.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: ptmx2 on 2008-07-08 02:38:08
I ended up here after an internet search to find a way to play Apple Lossless and all the vareties of AAC in my Windows Media Player. I saw the Directshow filter suggested by John Lockwook.

I downloaded the filter in zip format and extracted the files. It contains (3).dll files, (1) MP3Source.ax file and (2) .bat files; register and unregister.

I opened Register.bat in Notepad. It seemed to envoke regsvr32 to install the MP3Soucre.ax. So I ran WXP from Start\Run\Folder Location\Name\register.bat.

I am in uncharted waters now. I want to proceed with caution. I got a blank command prompt window and a success message. But I'm confused.

What do I do with the (3) .dll files include in the filter download file?

Was I suppose to or did I register the MP3Source.ax file properly?

What is the proper procedure for installing this Directshow filter?

thank you reader if you have come this far. Any help for the unknowing would be very much appreciated.

ptmx2

Texas, USA
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-09 18:12:37
i ended up deleting every single filter and then reinstalling the "file source(mp3) filter.  WMP plays AAC again, but still no ALAC.  i switched the tag plugin to the softpointer as well.
i must be doin something wrong
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-09 22:24:55
i ended up deleting every single filter and then reinstalling the "file source(mp3) filter.  WMP plays AAC again, but still no ALAC.  i switched the tag plugin to the softpointer as well.
i must be doin something wrong


Have you verified iTunes recognises the track as an ALAC (Apple Lossless) track and iTunes itself plays it? Try creating a new fresh ALAC track in iTunes by ripping a CD. If the ALAC track was created by something else it might be slightly none standard and this directshow filter was only tested with genuine iTunes tracks.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-10 05:23:47
to tell you the truth, I don't even have itunes.  I don't remember exactly when i deleted it, maybe thats when WMP stopped playing ALAC.  The ALAC files i have been testing were either ripped straight from a CD to ALAC or converted from FLAC, both using dBpoweramp music converter.
I'll try reinstalling Itunes and make some new ALACs with it, that sounds the best way to go.

thanks again for all your help John, i'll let you know how it goes
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-10 11:16:25
to tell you the truth, I don't even have itunes.  I don't remember exactly when i deleted it, maybe thats when WMP stopped playing ALAC.  The ALAC files i have been testing were either ripped straight from a CD to ALAC or converted from FLAC, both using dBpoweramp music converter.
I'll try reinstalling Itunes and make some new ALACs with it, that sounds the best way to go.

thanks again for all your help John, i'll let you know how it goes


You will not need iTunes to play ALAC in WMP, but it will help you verify you have good ALAC files to test with. Even if iTunes plays it I would still create a new one in iTunes to be certain.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: DrButcher on 2008-07-10 15:29:39
BINGO!  I ripped a CD to ALAC with itunes and WMP played it no problem.  I also discovered i can convert my FLACs to WMPLossless with dBpoweramp and then to ALAC with itunes, quite an annoying process however.
i'd pay money for a filter that allows WMP to play dBpoweramp's ALACs, but i guess there's nothing out there yet.

thanks again
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: John Lockwood on 2008-07-11 11:01:15
BINGO!  I ripped a CD to ALAC with itunes and WMP played it no problem.  I also discovered i can convert my FLACs to WMPLossless with dBpoweramp and then to ALAC with itunes, quite an annoying process however.
i'd pay money for a filter that allows WMP to play dBpoweramp's ALACs, but i guess there's nothing out there yet.

thanks again


In theory all ALAC files should be equal and all should play. It is clear that dBpoweramp is not creating 100% kosher ALAC files.

Depending on the source of your files, it may be as simple to re-rip all your CDs directly to ALAC using iTunes, this would be a single step and also allow iTunes to apply its own meta-information. You could also search for other tools to convert directly from FLAC to ALAC. I know on the Mac this would be possible for example using "Max" see http://sbooth.org/Max/ (http://sbooth.org/Max/) or "X Lossless Decoder" see http://tmkk.hp.infoseek.co.jp/xld/index_e.html (http://tmkk.hp.infoseek.co.jp/xld/index_e.html)

If you use anything other than iTunes obviously you need to test the results.

In my own case I used iTunes in Windows to rip all my CDs.
Title: Finding a lossless format for itunes and windows media player
Post by: Bloggeridge on 2014-10-15 23:05:38
Hi guys,

Seems this is a popular topic, I have a Pioneer AV Amp which doesn't accept WMA lossless which I've ripped all my music to - how DAMN annoying  .  Anyway the solution I came up with is a simple two step process for playing apple lossless via airplay and also on my media centres using a single archive file on a nas server complete with tags and album artwork.  Funtastic!

1) Rip all your music in Itunes to your desired folder (Lossless of course)
2) Install WMPTagPlus-2.2 (http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/index.htm?http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/wmptagplus/)
3) Install DCBassSourceSetup (http://&quot;%20<a%20href="http://www.dsp-worx.de/?n=15&quot;"%20target="_blank">http://www.dsp-worx.de/?n=15&quot;</a>)  (I used the installer zip)

It works on Windows 8.1 Brilliant 


And thanks to all that gave a little insight as to where to start looking, just what the net is for
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2018