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FLAC tagging and other questions
theduke
post Feb 18 2003, 21:45
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I used MAC till now and consider switching over to FLAC. I read through the forum but still found some things not sufficiently covered (or didn't find them with the search tongue.gif).

First concerning tagging: I use the latest FLAC version which is 1.1.0 and the frontend 1.7 by Speek. When trying to add tags, the files will always get id3v1. This cuts all longer filenames and is not desirable. I'd like to use OGG tags, but how should I do that (using filename and additional info which I want to enter manually)? I can't find such an option in the frontend. Or is it better to use another frontend for this purpose?

the Winamp plugin: what is noise shaping and what do the options mean (from low to high)?

FLAC is known for having lower CPU usage than MAC when decoding. I made a short comparison with Winamp and the w2k taskmanager. When I turned dithering and replaygain on in FLAC plugin CPU usage seemed to be similar to MAC playback (source file was 44.1kHz 16bit so dithering shouldn't have kicked in). Is noise shaping or replaygain responsible for this?

is FLAC gapless?

In Mike Wren's Guide I read about creating a fingerprint file which differs from the likes of MD5 in a way that it only uses audio info for creating checksums which is immune to changing tags. The FLAC version he offers for download is 1.1.0b and the GUI in the pictures is different from Speek's. On the official sourceforge mirror 1.1.0 is the latest version. Thus is this fingerprint option (and also some others) a hack by him or has it been programmed by jcoalson? Has anyone tried this yet, is it useful?

And a last one: I remember that someone once posted about a tool able to create additional files out of the source files. These could be used later to reconstruct any broken source file. In the case a CD-R backup would deteriorate, one could reconstruct damaged tracks. What was the name of this utility?

I hope I didn't forget anything.

greetz
theduke
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spoon
post Feb 18 2003, 22:43
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>is FLAC gapless?


Any lossless format is gapless.


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jcoalson
post Feb 19 2003, 07:37
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I'll answer what I know:

QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 03:45 PM)
the Winamp plugin: what is noise shaping and what do the options mean (from low to high)?

It has to do with how noise is added back into the signal during resolution conversion.

QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 03:45 PM)
FLAC is known for having lower CPU usage than MAC when decoding. I made a short comparison with Winamp and the w2k taskmanager. When I turned dithering and replaygain on in FLAC plugin CPU usage seemed to be similar to MAC playback (source file was 44.1kHz 16bit so dithering shouldn't have kicked in). Is noise shaping or replaygain responsible for this?

Yes. See Speek's or my comparison pages for typical decode time comparisons.

QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 03:45 PM)
is FLAC gapless?

Yes.

QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 03:45 PM)
In Mike Wren's Guide I read about creating a fingerprint file which differs from the likes of MD5 in a way that it only uses audio info for creating checksums which is immune to changing tags. The FLAC version he offers for download is 1.1.0b and the GUI in the pictures is different from Speek's. On the official sourceforge mirror 1.1.0 is the latest version. Thus is this fingerprint option (and also some others) a hack by him or has it been programmed by jcoalson? Has anyone tried this yet, is it useful?

I don't know what the differences are, there is no flac-1.1.0b release, so I'm not sure what that version number means. The fingerprint I think is synonymous with the MD5 sum stored in the FLAC STREAMINFO block, and that hasn't changed since it was added way back when.

Josh
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madah
post Feb 19 2003, 08:30
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QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 10:45 PM)
And a last one: I remember that someone once posted about a tool able to create additional files out of the source files. These could be used later to reconstruct any broken source file. In the case a CD-R backup would deteriorate, one could reconstruct damaged tracks. What was the name of this utility?


Maybe you mean PAR
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buzzy
post Feb 19 2003, 14:22
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I haven't checked, but just from using it I think the only differences between the flac version that Mike Wren's installer creates and what you'd get at Sourceforge + Speek's page are for ease of use and cosmetics:

- only the essential compiled files are in Mike Wren's installer - no libraries, etc. as at Sourceforge
- changes to Flac Front End just to make it the "etree" version are cosmetic only AFAIK, although I imagine at some point the defaults could easily be set differently.

Per Mike his version will also check for the runtime libraries and the OCX that Speek's Flac Front End page refers to and install them if they don't exist. His installer also installs shortcuts in the Start menu, etc.

There have been very recent updates to the WinAmp plug in posted here, so the versions of that in Mike's package vs. Sourceforge vs. here will vary.

But - this is more for reassurance, and not to minimize in any way the great importance of having an installer. An installer is essential for new users of the flac format, big thanks to Mike for keeping the installer up to date.

This post has been edited by buzzy: Feb 19 2003, 15:18
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theduke
post Feb 19 2003, 16:23
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Yep, PAR it was. thx

Maybe I'll try Mike's version out. Haven't looked into it yet.

OGG tags anyone? Or does nobody use them in combination with FLAC? Are there any disadvantages?
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M
post Feb 19 2003, 16:44
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QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 19 2003 - 10:23 AM)
OGG tags anyone? Or does nobody use them in combination with FLAC? Are there any disadvantages?

theduke, I'm a little confused by your post. You say you are using Speek's FLAC frontend, so I assume this means you also have Case's Tag in the same directory (so you can use the "Add tags" feature). But this method does use OGG tags for tagging FLAC files; the Vorbis tags and FLAC tags are identically structured. As for setting up a method for auto-tagging your files as you encode, simply press the "Tag Conf." button on Speek's frontend, and with the "Custom" box you can create whatever filename template you wish, along the following guidelines:

A = Artist, L = Album, N = track number, T = title, Y = year, C = comment, G = genre, X = disregard
Any custom separators ([{-}]) may be added to the string, to assist in recognition of the parameter desired.
Setting a value for any parameter described in a separate box overrides the template for that parameter.

Again, the method and software you described already uses OGG tags for FLAC files. (And to be sure I wasn't mis-representing anything, I just did a test FLAC encode with a random set of WAVs/parameters, and got OGG/FLAC tags every time!)

- M.

This post has been edited by M: Feb 19 2003, 16:45
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theduke
post Feb 19 2003, 17:15
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Thx M, I did like you described and it worked like a charm.

I had it a bit different. I didn't have tag.exe in the same directory as the other binaries (frontend, flac). I encoded to FLAC with the option 'add tags' which always gave me id3v1 (long filenames were cut). My second try was tagging with tag.exe and Speek's frontend which also produced id3v1 only. Is it also possible to tag OGG with Speek's frontend/tag.exe?

Is there a way to see that a file has OGG tags? It seems to work fine the way you said but when I view a FLAC/OGG with tag.exe it doesn't tell me the tag type, like it does with id3v1/2/ape1/2.
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M
post Feb 19 2003, 18:14
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QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 19 2003 - 11:15 AM)
Thx M, I did like you described and it worked like a charm.

I had it a bit different. I didn't have tag.exe in the same directory as the other binaries (frontend, flac). I encoded to FLAC with the option 'add tags' which always gave me id3v1 (long filenames were cut). My second try was tagging with tag.exe and Speek's frontend which also produced id3v1 only. Is it also possible to tag OGG with Speek's frontend/tag.exe?

Is there a way to see that a file has OGG tags? It seems to work fine the way you said but when I view a FLAC/OGG with tag.exe it doesn't tell me the tag type, like it does with id3v1/2/ape1/2.

All of Speek's frontends (all those that enable taging, that is) use Tag. That includes ALL2LAME, Oggifier, Multi frontend, FLAC frontend, Tag frontend (which handles all formats appropriately)... so yes, you can use Speek's frontend to tag your OGGs.

Running tag "your-flac-here.flac" should show you something like this:
CODE
your-flac-here.flac
Format: FLAC
Details: 44100 Hz Stereo, xxx kbps, playtime xx:xx
Tag: FLAC  <-------------------------------------------( see this entry! )
Title: your song here
Artist: your artist here
Album: your album here
Year: xxxx
Track: xx
Genre: your genre here
Comment: your comment here


... so again, it's already doing what you want.

- M.

This post has been edited by M: Feb 19 2003, 18:16
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sapnho
post Feb 19 2003, 19:23
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QUOTE (theduke @ Feb 18 2003 - 12:45 PM)
I used MAC till now and consider switching over to FLAC.

Why are you doing that? Just curious because I also use APE and wonder if there is a more suitable format... whatever that may mean!


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theduke
post Feb 23 2003, 17:13
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Because FLAC uses less CPU at decoding (I have to admit that's a minor issue since today's CPUs are very powerful), because it supports replaygain (that's a good argument, isn't it), because it's multi-platform (I asked myself how long I will continue to use Windoze when this DRM crap is here...).

This post has been edited by theduke: Feb 23 2003, 17:14
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lucjansz
post Feb 23 2003, 23:42
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... and because FLAC is streamable...
greetings
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MikeW
post Feb 26 2003, 23:28
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Hey crew... this forum was just pointed out to me... wish I knew about it sooner!

Is the FLAC Winamp2 plugin from Feb 7 (1.0beta6) ready for primetime? I didn't know there was a more updated version than what's in the v1.0.0 release. I've been using it this afternoon and it seems stable enough... if there aren't any outstanding bugs with it, I'd like to include it in with the installer package. What's the word?

Also, the versioning for the installer package is based on the FLAC versioning... except as different frontend versions and winamp plugins become available, i'll make a new installer available, increment the letter. Currently, we're at v1.1.0b (the second revision of the installer for FLAC 1.1.0). If I update the installer with the new winamp2 plugin, the new installer version will be 1.1.0c. Make sense?

The FLAC Frontend I'm using is a custom version so generiously compiled and maintained by Speek for the etree guys. We're an anal bunch and very concerned about tracking audio linage. The whole "FLAC Fingerprinting" thing is just the internal FLAC MD5 hash.

Take care!
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X-Fixer
post Feb 27 2003, 09:09
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QUOTE (MikeW @ Feb 27 2003 - 05:28 AM)
Is the FLAC Winamp2 plugin from Feb 7 (1.0beta6) ready for primetime?  I didn't know there was a more updated version than what's in the v1.0.0 release.  I've been using it this afternoon and it seems stable enough... if there aren't any outstanding bugs with it, I'd like to include it in with the installer package.  What's the word?

there are some people using it and no major bugs came out yet. if you can find one, I'd be very interested wink.gif I marked it as beta, because there are some (internal) things in it, I do not like. I still want to rewrite them, but don't have time at the moment. also, Josh is sending me a patch now.
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