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FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Assuming not many members on HA have the aforementioned player,  I wonder if anyone could shed some light on why this undocumented FLAC playback happens where there should be none, as Sony claims the device should only play WAV, AAC and WMA, besides MP3.

In case someone else owns it (or want to try this on a different  model), it can be emulated by just following the (very simple) instructions bellow. If you don't but still feel like you can answer the question above, please be my guest.

For those not really willing to watch the youtube video, all there is to it is:

On your PC, place a single MP3 file into a folder with FLAC files and once you connect the external drive/memory stick into the player and navigate to the right folder, press play to start the MP3 playback, then press the advance/return buttons on the RC unit: the next played track will be one of the FLAC files. Simples!

The only drawbacks I've seen so far are the APE tags not being shown (of course), but you can still see the file name displayed.
Also the bitrate displayed is a low fixed one (320Kbps or lower), as if from an MP3. But, heck, the playback works like a charm!

The author of the video says you should rename the MP3 in a way that it comes first in the file name list (a zero in front of it will suffice).
I tested it myself and it works without any renaming, but when out of order, the MP3 song gets to be played among the FLAC ones, as if it were on shuffle mode - and that's unwanted when you're playing, say, another artist's album.

Other than those two quips, I've been listening to a FLAC-encoded AC/DC double album for the last hour or so with no skips or cacophonous noise whatsoever.

So, what's your opinion?  A simple Sony undocumented feature?
I know there can possibly be no WAV conversion or the like, so, I'm puzzled.
Listen to the music, not the media.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #1
Your Blu-Ray player is a PC running Linux, as are most Blu-Ray players.

It probably has a copy of libavcodec (or maybe even libflac!) doing the FLAC decoding, included as a prerequisite for some other component of the player software.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #2
maybe not related, but I have an old sony DAP e585 that always could play flac but was never reported to do so by sony. it fully bugged on tags and keeps showing the last mp3 I had played before going to flack as cover and titles . but the music is fine.
maybe it's the same idea, they never went through the hassle to fix the tags and just dismissed the format with half done stuff in the device?

what Octo is saying also makes a lot of sense(more than my stuff in fact ).

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #3
what Octo is saying also makes a lot of sense(more than my stuff in fact ).

No worries.
If anything, what you said  only corrobates @Octocontrabass's theory of libavcodec having something to do with it. Thank you both.

Just one thing though: if it is that library and not libflac, why wouldn't it then play other formats?

Finally, it's worth mentioning to anyone trying this on their own players later on, that my current firmware version is the latest (rather overzealous)  M06.R.0632. So, I believe this will work for any firmware version.
Listen to the music, not the media.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #4
Your Blu-Ray player is a PC running Linux, as are most Blu-Ray players.


Really? I know this was true when the first came out due to the lack of SOCs available, the same was true for HD-DVD players too, but are you sure that's the case nowadays?

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #5
Your Blu-Ray player is a PC running Linux, as are most Blu-Ray players.


Really? I know this was true when the first came out due to the lack of SOCs available, the same was true for HD-DVD players too, but are you sure that's the case nowadays?

Though I, obviously, can't make head or tails of it,  it may help either of you on finding that out by knowing the player's motherboard (Sony MB-138) is the very same for this and older models from around 2008.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can check that out on their respective service manuals: BDP-BX18/S185/S186's (page 5-3) and the newer models', which mine belongs to.
Listen to the music, not the media.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #6
On a side note, I must say that, regardless of any outcome for the above-mentioned conundrum, this unexpected FLAC support helped me give new life to a player which, apart from the odd BR title I buy once in a blue moon, had sat so far in a corner of my desk, gathering dust. It can now play the bulk of my backup music collection, without resorting to my rather old, resource-limited PC.

I do hope other owners of Sony-branded players benefit from this too.

For me at least, this is definitely a heck of a game-changing feature!
Listen to the music, not the media.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #7
Even if the player doesn't run Linux, all the code used in it probably wasn't developed just for that piece of hardware. It might be using an SoC that's in several players, or incorporating parts of code from other projects, and there just happened to be FLAC support built into those.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #8
The author of the video says you should rename the MP3 in a way that it comes first in the file name list (a zero in front of it will suffice).
I tested it myself and it works without any renaming, but when out of order, the MP3 song gets to be played among the FLAC ones, as if it were on shuffle mode - and that's unwanted when you're playing, say, another artist's album.


Just put a 1 second silent MP3 file in there, and it probably won't ever be noticable, even on shuffle mode if you've got crossfading.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #9
The author of the video says you should rename the MP3 in a way that it comes first in the file name list (a zero in front of it will suffice).
I tested it myself and it works without any renaming, but when out of order, the MP3 song gets to be played among the FLAC ones, as if it were on shuffle mode - and that's unwanted when you're playing, say, another artist's album.


Just put a 1 second silent MP3 file in there, and it probably won't ever be noticable, even on shuffle mode if you've got crossfading.

That was before a later assessment of mine, where I simply created a 2-second MP3 file on Audacity with nothing but silence. This also compensates the theoretical "burden" on storage of having to copy it into each and every folder your FLAC files are (been using a Linux script for that, BTW), as it's got a ridiculously small size (in the order of a few kilobytes).
Listen to the music, not the media.

FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #10
Just in time: Looking in retrospect, sorry to you all for the c**k up with both this thread's tittle and subtitle.

If any of the mods should like to change that, I actually meant then something along these lines:

"
"FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it.
It definitely worked with w/ my SONY BR player. No hacks. Does anyone know why?". (Keeping up with the apparent 80-character limit for said fields).
Listen to the music, not the media.

 

Re: FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #11
Assuming not many members on HA have the aforementioned player,  I wonder if anyone could shed some light on why this undocumented FLAC playback happens where there should be none, as Sony claims the device should only play WAV, AAC and WMA, besides MP3.

In case someone else owns it (or want to try this on a different  model), it can be emulated by just following the (very simple) instructions bellow. If you don't but still feel like you can answer the question above, please be my guest.

For those not really willing to watch the youtube video, all there is to it is:

On your PC, place a single MP3 file into a folder with FLAC files and once you connect the external drive/memory stick into the player and navigate to the right folder, press play to start the MP3 playback, then press the advance/return buttons on the RC unit: the next played track will be one of the FLAC files. Simples!

The only drawbacks I've seen so far are the APE tags not being shown (of course), but you can still see the file name displayed.
Also the bitrate displayed is a low fixed one (320Kbps or lower), as if from an MP3. But, heck, the playback works like a charm!

The author of the video says you should rename the MP3 in a way that it comes first in the file name list (a zero in front of it will suffice).
I tested it myself and it works without any renaming, but when out of order, the MP3 song gets to be played among the FLAC ones, as if it were on shuffle mode - and that's unwanted when you're playing, say, another artist's album.

Other than those two quips, I've been listening to a FLAC-encoded AC/DC double album for the last hour or so with no skips or cacophonous noise whatsoever.

So, what's your opinion?  A simple Sony undocumented feature?
I know there can possibly be no WAV conversion or the like, so, I'm puzzled.

Two likely possibilities that I can think of: (1) a "feature" that they didn't feel like fully fleshing out, thinking that it wasn't worth the effort, or (2) a feature that they wanted to reserve for a higher-priced model, but didn't fully disable. I found that my BDP-S590 can play .flac files from a USB stick if I simply change the file extension from .flac to .mp3. So obviously the capability is in the core of the operating system. If I don't change the extension, it doesn't recognize it as a playable file.

Re: FLAC support in a Sony device that shouldn't play it. Anyone able

Reply #12
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