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Questions about file buffering and downsampling from a newbie

It looks like Foobar2000 may be the player of my dreams and I'm hoping some of you will help me understand some of the more advanced settings so I can be confident it's operating as I'm thinking.

Before I get too long-winded, here are the main things I'm wondering about in Foobar2000:

If the full file buffering is set to a sufficiently large value in the Buffering section of the Advanced preferences does Foobar play the track from memory?

What's the difference between full file buffering and the playback buffer length that can be set to 30,000 ms in the output section of the playback preferences?

I see the ReplayGain can be set to none under the Playback preferences but wonder what the Target Volume in Tools under the Replay Gain Scanner does in this case.  I've left that at the default 89 dB

Why would you want to select downsample high-definition content in the ReplayGain Scanner section?

I listen mainly to 192 kHz/24-bit flac files generated from my vinyl collection on a reasonably high-end system.  Most, though not all, of it is tagged.  I've been using the TEAC HR player which plays perfectly but is cumbersome to use in terms of loading tracks etc.  VLC player is better in this regard but I experience too many interruptions in the music for critical listening.  I'm pretty sure this is because the TEAC player can be set to load the entire track to memory before playback begins.

Foobar2000 has been playing without such interruption and I find it really helpful to be able to view my library by folder structure as well as by using the various tag options.  The library is pretty large, over 18,000 files in 1825 directories and just under 800 GB.  Foobar handles this just fine.

Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to reply.




Re: Questions about file buffering and downsampling from a newbie

Reply #1
If the full file buffering is set to a sufficiently large value in the Buffering section of the Advanced preferences does Foobar play the track from memory?
Yes. But this isn't recommended.

What's the difference between full file buffering and the playback buffer length that can be set to 30,000 ms in the output section of the playback preferences?
The core will open a file when it is time to start decoding it, so about output buffer length's worth of milliseconds before the previous track finishes playing. With full file buffering setting if the file is smaller than the configured value it will be fully loaded to memory and decoded from there.
Output buffer setting defines how much of decoded output is kept in memory.
Large output buffer helps prevent hearing glitches during playback. Large full file buffering value means you are likely to hear pauses between track changes if the file can't be loaded quickly enough.
The full file buffering setting almost never makes sense. If you have memory the OS will preload the file as it's accessed.

I see the ReplayGain can be set to none under the Playback preferences but wonder what the Target Volume in Tools under the Replay Gain Scanner does in this case.  I've left that at the default 89 dB
Different things. When scanning ReplayGain the reference level will always be 89 dB SPL as the standard defines. If user wishes to make things louder or have more headroom there are the preamp sliders under the Playback preferences.

The target volume you saw under Tools is for permanent file adjustment - a method one can use to benefit from ReplayGain with players that don't otherwise support it. The feature can be used on MP3, AAC and Opus and the adjusted files play with the new loudness everywhere the formats are supported.

Why would you want to select downsample high-definition content in the ReplayGain Scanner section?
To not take inaudible content into account. There are tracks with loud ultrasonic sound and normal ReplayGain scanning will make such tracks play too quiet to human ears. Removing the inaudible content fixes that problem.

Re: Questions about file buffering and downsampling from a newbie

Reply #2
Thanks so much Case, I think I now understand it sufficiently.  It sounds like I keep the full file buffering large enough to eliminate the playback glitches but not so large that load times get bothersome.  The TEAC player would sometimes take a minute or more to load very large files (for most classical transfers I didn't bother with track marks since I usually listen to the entire side at least).  Foobar loads these up quickly enough and as I mentioned no playback interruptions yet.  Glad to learn I can pretty much forget about the replay gain as I really only listen to FLACs for the most part, and the MP3 versions work fine in my car. 

I have a growing collection of dsd files which the basic version of Foobar doesn't support- is there a codec available that will allow those files to play in Foobar?

Thanks- I'm a really happy camper as Foobar has made pc music playback much smoother and easier to navigate.

Re: Questions about file buffering and downsampling from a newbie

Reply #3
I have a growing collection of dsd files which the basic version of Foobar doesn't support- is there a codec available that will allow those files to play in Foobar?

Solutions depend on whether you wish to keep them in their file formats as they are, or are willing to convert to WavPack, which (since version 5) has some support for DSD. Have a look at https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,110179.0.html and/or https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,117562.0.html

Note, if you want to keep your DSD files in "untaggable" file formats, then there are a couple of solutions for "external" tagging.
Case's foo_external_tags: https://foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_external_tags
m-Tags: https://foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_tags


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Re: Questions about file buffering and downsampling from a newbie

Reply #4
Thanks Porcus-  I've been able to convert these using dBpoweramp but for now I guess I'll just play them with the TEAC player when I want to hear them unaltered.  I'm no golden ears but they do seem to sound better.  For now I'm busy finding the incredible array of options available for Foobar!

 
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