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FLAC Command Line Help Needed - EAC 1.0 beta 2
batears52
post Aug 7 2011, 17:25
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Hello,

I am new to this forum - and I'm not very experienced or knowledgeable when it comes to most of the technical talk. So please go easy on me!

I had been using EAC 0.95 beta 4 for a long time. Recently, I noticed 1.0b2 is listed on your site as a "stable release" & figured it was time to update. - especially since I have a new computer (Win 7 - i7 processor - 6GB RAM). Note: I am creating FLAC files & later transcoding them to MP3 files for our iPods. But in the home, I wanted lossless.

Here are my questions:

1) I noticed that with EAC 1.0b2, the field names for the command line options have changed. (i.e. Artist = "%artist%" now, instead of "%a".) Many (most) of the online setup guides have not caught up to this change. What is a recommended command line option to use now?

2) Can someone please explain just what the command line options are for? What exactly are you providing there & telling the program to do?

3) What does the -T mean? Are you telling the program which fields to use & populate in the tag?

4) In many of the guides I've looked at, the compression level is at the beginning of the sequence. For example, this is the sequence I had been using before in 0.95b4:
-V -8 -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s

In this example pulled from your site http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_FLAC, the compression level is found near the end:
-T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" -5 %source%
Does this represent a change in how the command line needs to be sequenced or does it not make a difference where in the sequence the compression level is located? I also noticed that there is no "-V" at the front of the command line now. (I'm just trying to get a basic & simple understanding of the command line - why & how things are sequennced the way they are.)

5) What absolutely HAS to be in the command line options? (I use a cataloging program named CATraxx. One of the members has written a program that will tag the files from the database once you have entered the album into it - which I think I may experiment with.

6) I've read a lot this morning about recommended FLAC compression levels. It appears that I may have been using a level of 8 when I could have just as easily gone with the default setting of 5. From what I read, the difference in file size is negligible compared to the improved encoding speed. Question: Has anyone ever picked a song & created a a FLAC file at each compression setting, and tracked the amount of time it took to create each one & included the resulting file size?

Thanks for your help & suggestions!
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db1989
post Aug 7 2011, 17:43
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Welcome!

1) I think Ďourí recommendation for the new syntax is the one youíll already have seen:
CODE
-T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" -5 %source%
A full list of the placeholders is available on the EAC FAQís page on compression options and on our Knowledgebase page on EACís compression options

2Ė5) I think youíll find the official guide to flac.exe helpful. A few quotes:
QUOTE
Encoding: flac [<general-options>] [<format-options>] [<encoding options>] [inputfile [...]]
QUOTE
-5, --compression-level-5: Synonymous with -l 8 -b 4096 -m -r 5
QUOTE
-T FIELD=VALUE,
--tag=FIELD=VALUE: Add a FLAC tag.(. . .)
QUOTE
-V, --verify: Verify the encoding process.(. . .)

6) Iím sure itís been tested and discussed many times; one example I found on a quick built-in Google search for FLAC compression levels was the topic Why compress at anything lower than 8?, rhetorical question, which not only links to (Hydrogenaudio moderator) Synthetic Soulís comparison of different compression levels but also has discussion on various aspects of the compression vs. speed trade-off, optimisations, etc.

This post has been edited by db1989: Aug 7 2011, 17:51
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Yuna
post Aug 14 2011, 21:56
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Hi,

I wonder if there any difference between this 2 command line ?

QUOTE
-T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" -8 %source%

and
QUOTE
-8 -T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" %source%


Also the verify option (-V), it goes before or after the compression level ?

QUOTE
-T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" -V -8 %source%

or
QUOTE
-T "artist=%artist%" -T "title=%title%" -T "album=%albumtitle%" -T "date=%year%" -T "tracknumber=%tracknr%" -T "genre=%genre%" -8 -V %source%


In other words, the location of these 2 parameters (comp level and -V) in the command line is that important ?

I say this because I know that the format used by flac for encoding is :
QUOTE
Encoding: flac [<general-options>] [<format-options>] [<encoding options>] [inputfile [...]]


And from what I read, the above example is only the encoding options part. There no general or format options part in any of theses examples.


--------------------
foobar2000 v.1.3
FLAC -8 is the best!
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db1989
post Aug 15 2011, 08:39
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Why not try them all and see whether you receive any error messages, whether each pair of files are bit-identical to each other, etc.?

My hunch is that it doesnít matter, but thereís a way to find out for sure.
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batears52
post Aug 17 2011, 14:05
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One thing that I did notice was this:

I completely removed EAC from my computer & installed v1.0b2 "clean". As usual, when I launched it for the first time, I was prompted to run the Configuration Wizard. I decided to allow it to run, even though I planned to go thru all of the configuration steps manually myself afterwards.

After the Wizard completed, I started going thru the various setup modules one by one. When I got to the Compression Options, I found that an additional command line option was already entered - I assume as a "suggestion" based on what I had selected in the Wizard.

It was:
CODE
-6 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "COMMENT=%comment%" -T "BAND=%albuminterpret%" -T "COMPOSER=%composer%" %haslyrics%--tag-from-file=LYRICS="%lyricsfile%"%haslyrics% -T "DISCNUMBER=%cdnumber%" -T "TOTALDISCS=%totalcds%" -T "TOTALTRACKS=%numtracks%" %hascover%--picture="%coverfile%"%hascover% %source% -o %dest%


Interesting that it would suggest -6 when -5 is supposed to be the default. I have added Album Artist to it (after Album). Being new to this, I have no idea what much of this stuff is, but I think I'll rip a track & see - then remove what I don't really want once I can see what it looks like. My goal was to compare the supposed "default" setting of -5 vs. -8 and see how much difference there is in filesize & ripping time - so I was kind of surprised to see it "suggest" -6.
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greynol
post Aug 17 2011, 18:25
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-6 has long been considered by many as the sweet-spot between file size and encoding time.

I would probably forgo the -V. It can catch errors caused by hardware problems such as bad memory, but it is not 100% fool-proof. For those who are either paranoid or are concerned that they may have unstable systems, comparisons between the a decoded flac file and the original source done as separate operations is more robust.


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