Author Topic: FIle conversion just not working for me...  (Read 2299 times)

PickleRick

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I've been scouring MusicBee's FAQ and random websites surrounding this question and I just can't seem to get it to work.

I have a couple albums, that for some reason, came across as m4p.

I've placed the Nero ACC file in the codec folder, and the bassacc.dll in the MusicBee folder to try and cover my bases. To test things, I selected a single song...

Encode as MP3 - Max Quality
Output to new folder - personal preference

When I try to convert, I get the "status" message, "Failed- Unable to open file (error=BASS_ERROR_FILEFORM)"

Of note, it is listed as a "Protected AAC audio file" in iTunes from my purchase years ago, but I thought these steps were the "workaround" to get it into a format MusicBee would play.

What am I missing? Sorry for the novice state of my abilities on this one.



PickleRick

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Quote from: Roby on Sat Mar 14 2020 10:56:01 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
Remove drm:
https://www.wired.com/2014/03/kill-itunes-drm/


I literally just came off that page. I deleted a Soundgarden album (Down on the Upside) that was listed as "Protected AAC audio file" under the "Kind" header. Then I clicked on the cloud to re-download the album. Upon examining the song info on one of the tracks, the protected header still had it listed as a protected file.

I've downloaded "Tunefab Apple Music Converter," but I don't like the idea of a paid service and undoubtedly throttles the conversion process. Plus, I REALLY don't trust most 3rd-person stuff like that.

Any other ideas?

Oh yeah, I'm running Win10 64-bit Home.
Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 04:23:15 PM by PickleRick

hiccup

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Any other ideas?

If the music is important to you and hard to acquire freshly, you could use Audacity.
Set it up to record what you are playing real-time (using iTunes I presume), and than save the result in a format of your choosing.

PickleRick

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Any other ideas?

If the music is important to you and hard to acquire freshly, you could use Audacity.
Set it up to record what you are playing real-time (using iTunes I presume), and than save the result in a format of your choosing.

I just saw an article where some people burn the protected files to a disc and then rip them to the mp3 format. I'm not an audiophile, so hopefully I won't notice any difference if I do it this way. I'll check out Audacity as well.

frankz

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Unless these are lossless files, both of these methods will degrade the sound quality to the point that you will probably notice artifacts and fidelity loss.  If they are lossless files, burning them to CD and ripping them to MP3 will sound just like any other MP3.

hiccup

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both of these methods will degrade the sound quality to the point that you will probably notice artifacts and fidelity loss.

If you use Audacity to record the mp4 source and then save the files in a lossless format the audio quality will not degrade.

frankz

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both of these methods will degrade the sound quality to the point that you will probably notice artifacts and fidelity loss.

If you use Audacity to record the mp4 source and then save the files in a lossless format the audio quality will not degrade.
Maybe in a recording studio with thousands of dollars of digital sound equipment the difference wouldn't be noticable if you left it as a wav or flac afterward, but if you record the output of your motherboard soundcard or a consumer level soundcard, the audio quality will degrade, especially when you're re-compressing it to MP3 afterward.

The MP4 source is already compressed. It has had information removed. Playing it back doesn't replace that information - it's gone - it just assumes you can't hear the difference. Then you're removing more information recording the analog output of your soundcard and adding whatever shading or quirks lie in its circuitry or electrical interference resides in your computer case, then you're recompressing to MP3 and removing more information - different information - than was removed on the original conversion to MP4.  It's not good.

hiccup

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Then you're removing more information recording the analog output of your soundcard and adding whatever shading or quirks lie in its circuitry or electrical interference resides in your computer case

There is no analogue circuitry in play here. Audacity will record the digital output from the soundcard of what (I assume iTunes) is playing.
So that's exactly the same quality as the original m4p file.
Then if you save that to a lossless format, e.g. as flac, the sound quality of that flac file will be exactly identical to the m4p source.

Also, as the OP stated not being 'an audiophile'; if the m4p is of a good quality/high bit-rate to begin with, even when trans-coding it to mp3, many people will not be able to notice (or care much about) the regression of sound quality.

I myself have been called an audiophile, and I have tested transcoding some good quality lossy files to lossy.
Partly because I was taught you should "never do that!", and the rebel in me said, do it!
And after testing it, I must admit I was surprised that for certain types of music/recordings it was not that easy for me to notice the added regression of sound quality.
So I am guessing the OP wouldn't need to worry that much about this.

frankz

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Audacity does not copy the digital input to the soundcard when you record to my knowledge. It records the analog "Stereo Out." The soundcard's entire job is to convert digital to analog.  Do you have a resource that says otherwise?

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_recording_audio_playing_on_the_computer.html


The process you're describing is the analog hole or analog loophole and is analog as the name implies.

You could open the original in Spek, then perform this process and open the result in Spek, and then compress further to MP3 and open that in Spek to see the degradation as it progresses.
Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 11:59:36 PM by frankz

hiccup

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Audacity does not copy the digital input to the soundcard when you record to my knowledge. It records the analog "Stereo Out." The soundcard's entire job is to convert digital to analog.  Do you have a resource that says otherwise?

If you use the WASAPI loopback function, the capture is completely digital:

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_recording_computer_playback_on_windows.html

frankz

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Audacity does not copy the digital input to the soundcard when you record to my knowledge. It records the analog "Stereo Out." The soundcard's entire job is to convert digital to analog.  Do you have a resource that says otherwise?

If you use the WASAPI loopback function, the capture is completely digital:

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorial_recording_computer_playback_on_windows.html
Holy "S".  Thank you for educating me on that. How long has that been a thing?

I should really know better by now that you are never as completely wrong as I thought you were.
Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 12:52:18 AM by frankz

Bee-liever

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Especially take note of
Quote
System sounds playing through the device selected for WASAPI loopback are still captured, so you may wish to turn those off.

Darn those Action Centre notifications!  ::)
MusicBee and my library - Making bee-utiful music together

hiccup

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How long has that been a thing?
I should really know better by now that you are never as completely wrong as I thought you were.

Maybe you have been using Audacity longer than me, and it was introduced later? I really don't know.
Also, most of what I think I know are assumptions. Doubting anything I say is fair game. One of us should always end up wiser ;-)

sveakul

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Man this is sweet, you learn something new every day around here.  Now my weekend will probably be killed seeing if an autohotkey script can be made to toggle lossless recording on/off for FLAC radio stations  :-X   Thanks hiccup, "who knew?"