Author Topic: "Only convert files with a lossless format" doesn't convert ALACs  (Read 8240 times)

flight16

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1. Start with a directory of ALACs (extension is .m4a).  The format is lossless.
2. Check "Only convert files with a lossless format" and set your encoder to anything (mp3 or flac in my testing)
3. Click "Preview" on a virtual device to preview how it will be sync'd.
4. Note that the action for the ALACs is "Copy".

In #4 I expected the action would transcode the ALACs to MP3 because they are lossless and I have "only convert files with a lossless format" checked.

Perhaps they are being identified as AAC (a lossy format) somewhere?

My library is a mix of flac, alac, aac, and mp3, so this behavior means I can't use MediaBee to synchronize my library to a device.
Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 02:18:11 AM by flight16

flight16

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Where does this land on MusicBee's priorities and roadmap?  My time-consuming workaround for this bug would be transcode a huge library of ALACs one album at a time and hope my custom tags get copied through.  Thanks.

psychoadept

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Steven might have more time to look into it once 3.0 is at least in beta.  That's taking most of his energies right now.

http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=15050.0
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hiccup

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Part of the problem is that Apple did not decide on a differentiating extension for alac, such as flac does.
If you have a file with the extension .m4a, it is actually a container file that might contain either lossy (aac) or loss-less (alac) audio.

For me that is the reason that first thing I do is indeed convert loss-less m4a to .flac as soon as I encounter one of those.
Both for visual identification of loss-less, and to be sure my tagging is as consistent as possible throughout my library.

flight16

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I understand that m4a is a container and it may or may not contain an alac stream.  That can be determined by inspecting the first few kb of the file.  There will be alac-specific headers and atoms.  http://fossies.org/linux/freeswitch/libs/libsndfile/src/ALAC/alac_decoder.c

I switched to ripping to FLAC this year, but I have 9 years of ALACs.

boroda

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I switched to ripping to FLAC this year, but I have 9 years of ALACs.
its easy to convert alac to flac in mb. both formats are loseless, so tere will be no quality loss on conversion.

hiccup

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This is going to depend on how Steven sees this.
Purely technical this is not really a bug, while I agree with you that it currently doesn't work the way the wording describes.

Maybe Steven could respond if he sees this as a bug that he thinks important enough to address any time soon, or as something that would rather see a wishlist request for, that he then might address when he has time and opportunity for it.

flight16

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I switched to ripping to FLAC this year, but I have 9 years of ALACs.
its easy to convert alac to flac in mb. both formats are loseless, so tere will be no quality loss on conversion.

It's easy to convert single files, but it becomes a job when it is a ton of files mixed in with another library.  Then making sure everything transcoded ok.  Metadata got copied ok.  That, and those m4as contain custom tags.  I tried converting with XLD and the custom tags don't get copied.  I'm going to try converting with MusicBee.

Don't get me wrong, I will probably go this route, but it isn't fast or trivial to do correctly. 

psychoadept

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It's easy to convert single files, but it becomes a job when it is a ton of files mixed in with another library.  Then making sure everything transcoded ok.  Metadata got copied ok.  That, and those m4as contain custom tags.  I tried converting with XLD and the custom tags don't get copied.  I'm going to try converting with MusicBee.. 

MusicBee will transfer any tags you have configured to show in MusicBee. Basically, if it shows up the tag editor, it will be fine. If it doesn't, you should configure a custom tag for it or it will be erased.
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flight16

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It's easy to convert single files, but it becomes a job when it is a ton of files mixed in with another library.  Then making sure everything transcoded ok.  Metadata got copied ok.  That, and those m4as contain custom tags.  I tried converting with XLD and the custom tags don't get copied.  I'm going to try converting with MusicBee.. 

MusicBee will transfer any tags you have configured to show in MusicBee. Basically, if it shows up the tag editor, it will be fine. If it doesn't, you should configure a custom tag for it or it will be erased.

I converted a few albums and it just worked as you said.  That's great.  That should be enough for me for now. 

I think this is still an outstanding bug because the UI text is misleading and doesn't reflect actual behavior: MusicBee doesn't transcode all lossless files, only files with certain extensions.