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XLD: Enabling Chapter Markers with ALAC
sankuru
post Apr 6 2012, 21:06
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Hello,

I am trying to take a bunch of albums that are currently ripped to individual ALAC files and convert them to single ALAC (one file-per-album) files with embedded Quicktime chapter markers using the latest version of XLD (20120226). I believe I have everything set up as it should, yet when I import the created files into iTunes, it only recognizes the albums as monolithic files instead of individual tracks.

By that I mean, if I import the created file "+/- - Holding Patterns.m4a" that is a single file containing 5 tracks, iTunes only displays it as a single audio track called "+/- - Holding Patterns" instead of the 5 individual tracks embedded in the file.

My assumption has been that to enable this, it requires checking the "Embed cue sheet as a chapter" option and transcoding to a single file + cue sheet? Is that correct or is there more/something different that needs to be done? Or is this option not actually functional at this time?

Thanks in advance.
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mixminus1
post Apr 6 2012, 23:05
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.CUE sheets are not QuickTime chapters - the two are basically completely different ways of doing the same (or at least similar) thing.

AFAIK, XLD does not have the ability to create and embed chapters in .m4a files, and when I was looking for a way to do that several months ago, I couldn't find any (freeware) solutions for directly converting a .CUE sheet to a QuickTime chapter file and embedding it in an .m4a/.mp4.

The closest I could find was Slideshow Assembler, which is Windows-only, so not sure if that's even an option for you, and it still can't take .CUE sheets directly. I had to build a spreadsheet template to convert from a .CUE to the format required by SSA.


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sankuru
post Apr 6 2012, 23:29
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QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Apr 6 2012, 17:05) *
.CUE sheets are not QuickTime chapters - the two are basically completely different ways of doing the same (or at least similar) thing.


You're right; I was imprecise in my language. In the latest version's changelog, there's the following addition:

QUOTE
Supported embedding track list as a MPEG-4 chapter
Available for ALAC/AAC encoding when ripping disc as a single file. Chapter is supported in Apple's apps like iTunes or QuickTime.


and in the preferences for Apple Lossless output is the option I listed in the OP (Embed cue sheet as a chapter), which is where I assumed it was basically taking the track split info in a cue sheet and converting it into Chapter Markers. If that's not true, I don't suppose anyone knows how to actually get this functionality working? I did check whether it only works when you rip a CD, as the changelog entry quoted above implies, but it doesn't work there either.

QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Apr 6 2012, 17:05) *
AFAIK, XLD does not have the ability to create and embed chapters in .m4a files, and when I was looking for a way to do that several months ago, I couldn't find any (freeware) solutions for directly converting a .CUE sheet to a QuickTime chapter file and embedding it in an .m4a/.mp4.

The closest I could find was Slideshow Assembler, which is Windows-only, so not sure if that's even an option for you, and it still can't take .CUE sheets directly. I had to build a spreadsheet template to convert from a .CUE to the format required by SSA.



I'm pretty well bought into a fully Apple ecosystem at this point, so I really would like to avoid non-Mac OSX solutions. I am willing to buy something to get this working, though, assuming that the support XLD recently added isn't actually functional.
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RobertoDomenico
post Apr 7 2012, 01:24
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QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Apr 6 2012, 23:05) *
AFAIK, XLD does not have the ability to create and embed chapters in .m4a files, and when I was looking for a way to do that several months ago, I couldn't find any (freeware) solutions for directly converting a .CUE sheet to a QuickTime chapter file and embedding it in an .m4a/.mp4.


XLD has been able to do this for a while now.

It works identical as chapter markers in quicktime movies. XLD will rip the tracks to one large file that quicktime will play with chapter markers. iTunes does not seem to display chapter markers. The cue file can be used with any player that supports cue files.

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Apr 7 2012, 01:41
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mixminus1
post Apr 7 2012, 01:42
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Both iTunes and my iPhone will show chapters in files created with Slideshow Assembler, so it can be done.

The strange thing is that the Music app on the iPhone doesn't show the chapter names in the main window, only in the track listing, which is why I don't bother with chapters anymore.


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RobertoDomenico
post Apr 7 2012, 01:50
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It comes across a gimmicky feature i personally wouldn't bother with it.
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sankuru
post Apr 7 2012, 02:27
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I can accept that it's a silly thing to worry about or bother with but, assuming I actually do want to go through with this, does that function in XLD work? Roberto, it seems as though you're saying it does work but that it's iTunes that is doing the wrong thing and not reading the chapter markers? That would be... deeply aggravating.
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RobertoDomenico
post Apr 7 2012, 02:33
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The function works with Quicktime player, iTunes doesn't display the chapter markers though. I would say it's a limitation of iTunes.

Open your disc or files in XLD select "Save as a single file (+ CUE)" and you should be good to go assuming you selected ALAC in the preferences.

I have tried with many software players MPlayer, VLC, and many more and only Quicktime seems to work as intended.

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Apr 7 2012, 02:36
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sankuru
post Apr 7 2012, 02:59
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 6 2012, 20:33) *
The function works with Quicktime player, iTunes doesn't display the chapter markers though. I would say it's a limitation of iTunes.

Open your disc or files in XLD select "Save as a single file (+ CUE)" and you should be good to go assuming you selected ALAC in the preferences.


Just tested it and it works exactly as you said. iTunes is still blind to the chapters but everything functions exactly as I'd expect in Quicktime. Damn, that's just ridiculous and frustrating.

Ah well, guess it's back to the drawing board for me. Thanks for the help.
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nao
post Apr 7 2012, 04:54
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 7 2012, 10:33) *
The function works with Quicktime player, iTunes doesn't display the chapter markers though. I would say it's a limitation of iTunes.

QUOTE (sankuru @ Apr 7 2012, 10:59) *
iTunes is still blind to the chapters but everything functions exactly as I'd expect in Quicktime.

iTunes shows chapters in the menu bar (additional 'Chapters' menu), not in the player view.
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sankuru
post Apr 7 2012, 15:33
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QUOTE (nao @ Apr 6 2012, 22:54) *
QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 7 2012, 10:33) *
The function works with Quicktime player, iTunes doesn't display the chapter markers though. I would say it's a limitation of iTunes.

QUOTE (sankuru @ Apr 7 2012, 10:59) *
iTunes is still blind to the chapters but everything functions exactly as I'd expect in Quicktime.

iTunes shows chapters in the menu bar (additional 'Chapters' menu), not in the player view.


Interesting. That might be an acceptable trade-off for me, though I notice that the music player on my iPhone doesn't show the actual track titles, but instead just shows Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. This definitely isn't something that you'd want to use in anything other than very specific edge cases.
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RobertoDomenico
post Apr 7 2012, 15:47
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Is there a reason you want to use this feature a posed to just single song files.
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sankuru
post Apr 7 2012, 20:00
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 7 2012, 09:47) *
Is there a reason you want to use this feature a posed to just single song files.


This is the shortest explanation I can give. The long and full explanation would take hours.

1) I only listen to full albums; never individual songs or song shuffle
2) My music library is large enough that:
2a) the only plausible way - for me - to listen to everything is via album shuffle
2b) managing two libraries is a rolling disaster that inevitably gets horribly out of sync
3) Nothing supports album shuffle anymore
4) My listening is 80% through the sound system in the family room and 20% iPhone while driving/working.
5) I want to keep my entertainment center setup as simple as humanly possible
6) Using Plex in the family room is an absolute requirement because I don't need/want cable but there are some shows my wife still wants to watch, and Plex is easy enough for everyone in the house to understand and use
7) Having one file per album would allow me to trick Plex into doing album shuffle while still having the ability to see individual "tracks" on iOS/Mac

The ideal solution would be using a jailbroken AppleTV with Plex installed, because it is about the last thing out there that supports album shuffle and can host a Plex client install. However, since I'm not willing to wait until some unknown time in the deep future for an untethered jailbreak to be released, I was hoping this would be a way around it all.

It unfortunately looks like it will be too complex/kludgey to bother with, though.

This post has been edited by sankuru: Apr 7 2012, 20:04
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RobertoDomenico
post Apr 8 2012, 01:02
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iTunes can shuffle by album look under the "Controls" menu you can select Songs, Albums or Groupings. There are many iOS apps that enable album shuffle like "Smart Shuffle. THe APple TV should shuffle by Album if it's enabled in iTunes. Example... make a smart playlist in iTunes to have your entire library and enable it to shuffle by album and the Apple TV then when you play the play list back on the Apple TV it will shuffle by Album.

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Apr 8 2012, 01:10
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