Ability to play ALAC files?

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Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby Demerara » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:14 pm

New user here so forgive me if this has been covered before. I searched the forum but came up empty.

I have used Roon which allows ALAC files to be played through HQPlayer seamlessly. The vast majority of my files are in ALAC format.

Unless I am doing something wrong with Muso, there is no ability to play ALAC files through Muso with HQPlayer, is that correct? If there is in fact a way to play ALAC files, please let me know!

Would ability to play back ALAC with HQPlayer be considered for a future update of Muso?

I am aware HQPlayer itself does not support ALAC so the feature I am seeking is a conversion from ALAC to something that HQPlayer recognizes, similar to whatever Roon does to make that work.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby musoware » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:02 pm

Ah if HQPlayer doesn't support ALAC then no, Muso cannot do that. But yes I could consider it as an enhancement,I'm aware there are media conversion utilities I could use to do that. But it would have to get a few votes before it jumps the queue.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby Demerara » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Thank you for the information.

To all Muso users out there who may have ALAC files, please vote for this media conversion enhancement!
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby JohnInToronto » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:07 am

I would vote for this feature - my main library is almost all ALAC and has over 12,000 songs.
I never wanted to have to convert the files to uncompressed in order to play them in HQP since I play the files from memory in JRiver. Also, I prefer the metadata editing capability in iTunes.

But since I like Muso/HQP, I had to convert the library from ALAC to AIFF. Ouch! 370Gb converted up to over 900Gb in AIFF format!
However, I noted how fast JRiver could convert the files to AIFF, I doubt it would add much overhead to the play function of Muso.
If it does, Muso could always allow you specify how many cores/threads to use for the conversion process. Btw, JRiver allows up to 8 files to be converted concurrently.

I think being able to integrate ALAC files with Muso/HQP would allow a whole new class of users who don't want to pay for Roon to enjoy Muso.

Oh, and one last thing. Roon converts ALAC files on the fly to play in HQP.

Here is a post on the topic:

"This should be one of the big selling point for Roon. There have been a lot of people asking Miska to add ALAC playback support to HQPlayer and he has said no over and over based on certain reasons about his player being cross-platforrm and sound quality issues. Sounded like he pretty much wasn't ever going to add it.

I've seen some other work arounds to get iTunes to send the songs to HQPlayer and some windows only programs, but Roon looks like it's the easiest to play ALAC files thru HQPlayer. It also one of the easier to play Tidal tracks thru it as well."

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/play-a ... oon/6121/4

Sounds like a must-have to me!!

J.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby musoware » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:04 am

I've been looking into this using the ffmpeg converter. I can convert .m4a to .aif but I have noticed that the resultant .aif file does not have artist/album/track info displayed in HQPlayer, but it does play. Will this matter?
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG (4.23 KiB) Viewed 1951 times

Converting to flac will retain the tags. Is there a reason you'd prefer .aif over .flac ?
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby musoware » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:13 am

These changes are in 2.6.13 for you to play with:
. 5s delay after starting HQPlayer before trying to open TCP channel, to fix initial handshaking
. When .mp3 or .m4a file played, convert to .aiff before playing - it's only one at a time presently, but it's in a background thread so won't hold up the UI (the first track will start playing straight after converting while the remainder are converted).

EDIT: In patch 2, conversion depends upon you downloading the ffmpeg.exe command line utility from https://ffmpeg.org/ and pointing muso to it:
Capture.PNG

EDIT: In patch 3, conversion will use buffer folder if specified, but if not will convert and place in C:\users\public\Music\muso\temp. If using remote HQPlayer whichever folder is used will need an equivalence path mapping.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby Demerara » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:37 pm

First of all, thanks for working to implement this feature!

Converting to flac will retain the tags. Is there a reason you'd prefer .aif over .flac ?


If there is no perceived penalty from a sound quality perspective, then I think retaining tags by using FLAC instead of AIFF would be the way to go.

I've been looking into this using the ffmpeg converter. I can convert .m4a to .aif but I have noticed that the resultant .aif file does not have artist/album/track info displayed in HQPlayer, but it does play. Will this matter?


This would not matter to me as I would be using the UI on Muso and totally ignoring HQPlayer's UI.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby musoware » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:57 pm

I'll leave it to the audiophiles to decide whether flac or aiff through HQPlayer has the better sound quality - I could in theory make the choice another user option. I can investigate which is faster to convert though.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby Demerara » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:10 pm

Fair enough on the comment on sound quality assessment ;)

I find the on-the-fly conversion process generally works well for my ALAC files. There are no lags or artifacts as the album tracks advance sequentially once the initial one starts and the others queue up for conversion behind it.

The switch over to a brand new track/artist/album has about a 10 second lag before starting playback. Can this be optimized in any way to be a shorter lag?

I am not using a specified buffer folder as I am not too clear on how that works and how to set it up, but would that help with the lag in any way? I assumed the default to the muso temp folder would work in the same way but not sure.
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Re: Ability to play ALAC files?

Postby musoware » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:53 pm

I'm not sure I can do anything programmatically to help the lag - if the conversion is bringing the file across the network there's not much I can do to speed that up. Specifying a buffer folder on an SSD might save a bit of time physically writing the converted file, a RAM disk even more so.
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