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Gapless playback with a Linux DLNA server, was: "software to create cue files"
Nessuno
post Apr 15 2012, 11:47
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 15 2012, 11:51) *
I guess that limited test was one of the reasons for me getting thrown off CA...


So, correct me if I'm wrong, your point in issuing that test was not to show people plain and simple that they can't hear differences between different resampling of a same track, but that they attribute qualities to them in an apparently random way and so, in the end, demonstrating that if differencies exist, they are... well... different to every ear?

A sort of reductio ad absurdum, indeed... laugh.gif


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smok3
post Apr 15 2012, 12:06
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to the original question: I find it amazing that no server/client playback tech is actually gapless natively, because this is not something that a user (or webmaster) is to hack around, should ne native (same thing now with html5 video).

For example i can easily write a script that will know what the next clip is (or possible next clips), but i can't really do anything sane with that info.

This post has been edited by smok3: Apr 15 2012, 12:07


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julf
post Apr 15 2012, 12:10
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 15 2012, 12:47) *
So, correct me if I'm wrong, your point in issuing that test was not to show people plain and simple that they can't hear differences between different resampling of a same track, but that they attribute qualities to them in an apparently random way and so, in the end, demonstrating that if differencies exist, they are... well... different to every ear?


Well, originally I set out with the assumption that some people would actually be able to accurately identify at least the extremes, and I was curious about how accurately the "middle" ground could be identified. The +1 dB one and the MP3 file were there just as rough controls. But during the time I spent following CA while I was first preparing and then running the test, I came to realize that yes, it is all subjective. Unless you are a subjectivist, and then the subjective is the absolute. smile.gif
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Richard Kimber
post Apr 15 2012, 13:25
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Apr 14 2012, 22:52) *
QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 14 2012, 18:54) *
QUOTE (db1989 @ Apr 14 2012, 16:53) *
What does that have to do with it? You made a claim, so you provide evidence for it. How is anyone else relevant? If this is your attempt to dodge a valid challenge to your unsubstantiated and, frankly, very unlikely claim, then itís a terrible effort. Abide by the rules to which you agreed during registration in your posts, or donít make them.
I just want to see what's passed the test.
What's wrong with that? It's all supposed to be public, and publicly verifiable isn't it?
I read your post as being more about dodging the obligation that you provide evidence for your specific case. Of course thereís nothing wrong with what youíre saying here, and I hope you find the material interesting. I apologise if I seemed hostile. However, the main point raised by greynol and myself still stands, as well as the recently mentioned possibility that you were comparing apples to oranges.

That's OK. And I accept your main point, in principle. In practice it's very hard to know how to go about devising a good test that would be acceptable to people. I doubt if I could persuade my wife to sit and listen to the same piece of music over and over again, and my friends would not be inclined to do so either, so any test I could do would involve just me. If I can learn how to do streaming from the linux command line I could easily write an abx test program. Maybe I'll have a go, but I only have copyrighted music so I couldn't publish the files.
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Richard Kimber
post Apr 15 2012, 13:47
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 15 2012, 10:51) *
QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 14 2012, 22:09) *
Thank you for your help. I tried that, but just got a whole series of general links. Can you point me to just one double blind result that I can look at?


For one random data point: CA: Julf's Blog - Listening test and Listening Test Results

I guess that limited test was one of the reasons for me getting thrown off CA...

Thanks. Your experience highlights the problem of devising a good test. Once the files are published and others are invited to do the test it's not only hard to know whether they cheat by analysis of the file, but also unless they are very explicit about their equipment it's hard to tell whether they are listening to the files as intended (e.g. not resampled). One has the feeling that, short of an expensively funded research project in which a large number of people is tested in very controlled conditions, there is no practical way of anyone conducting a test that satisfies anyone but themselves.
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Nessuno
post Apr 15 2012, 14:17
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 15 2012, 14:25) *
If I can learn how to do streaming from the linux command line I could easily write an abx test program.


If you have ALSA installed, maybe aplay from CLI is what you are searching for.

Edit: julf is right, in fact I unconsciously read "playing" in place of "streaming"... wink.gif

This post has been edited by Nessuno: Apr 15 2012, 14:23


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julf
post Apr 15 2012, 14:17
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 15 2012, 14:25) *
If I can learn how to do streaming from the linux command line I could easily write an abx test program.


In what way/why do you need to *stream* from the command line (as opposed to just playing a file with mpg123 or something)?
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julf
post Apr 15 2012, 14:22
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 15 2012, 14:47) *
Your experience highlights the problem of devising a good test.


Not really. It highlights the problems involved in a purely on-line test where you have no control over what the test subjects do with the files. It is very easy to do one if you have the test subjects in a physical location where you can control the playback process.
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greynol
post Apr 15 2012, 17:30
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http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=57406

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=93853

...among many many other discussions about hi-res audio.

Anyway, my point wasn't to rehash the same old discussion; rather it's to help the OP feel better about a gapless solution that might not preserve the original bitdepth and samplerate of his files. If we're getting to the point where we're saying that because the tests can't show what is obvious during sighted listening then there must be something wrong with the test, then there is no point in continuing down that path. As 2Bdecided suggested recently, there are better things to do than try to fix the world one audiophile at a time. If we aren't going down that path and are getting through, then I think this was a worthwhile endeavor. smile.gif

This post has been edited by greynol: Apr 15 2012, 20:32


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Richard Kimber
post Apr 15 2012, 23:11
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 15 2012, 14:17) *
QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 15 2012, 14:25) *
If I can learn how to do streaming from the linux command line I could easily write an abx test program.


In what way/why do you need to *stream* from the command line (as opposed to just playing a file with mpg123 or something)?

Well that way I know that the PC is not doing anything to the music.
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db1989
post Apr 16 2012, 06:07
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That just seems paranoid to me.

What kind of interference could be introduced by the presence of a GUI? How incompetently or subversively do you think media players, especially those offering relatively advanced features such as ABXing (e.g. foobar2000), are programmed?

This post has been edited by db1989: Apr 16 2012, 06:08
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greynol
post Apr 16 2012, 06:17
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That was my initial impression as well. However, it appears that the OP is interested in a Linux ABX solution and just wants to make sure that it is implemented properly.

This post has been edited by greynol: Apr 16 2012, 08:32


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julf
post Apr 16 2012, 06:42
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 16 2012, 00:11) *
Well that way I know that the PC is not doing anything to the music.


Could you remind me - what does your playback chain look like?
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Nessuno
post Apr 16 2012, 08:38
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 16 2012, 07:42) *
QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 16 2012, 00:11) *
Well that way I know that the PC is not doing anything to the music.


Could you remind me - what does your playback chain look like?


Let's try to summarize: the OP asked for a solution to gapless stream under Linux.
We proposed a possible solution, whose feasibility is jet to be verified, using Airplay.
He didn't find it suitable for his needs because, according to him: A) Airplay is limited to 16/44.1 and B) he can hear differencies between two tracks at 16/44.1 and at 24/96.

Regarding A: no evidence has been found that Airplay as a protocol has such a limitation. Being only a transport layer, very likely this characteristic is left to be defined by the specific implementation. The OP has to try if and how it works for him. That's all about the gapless and streaming issues.

Regarding B: as far as we know, there is not in the world a single objective proof that a human ear can differentiate between two musical tracks whose only difference is in bitdepth and/or sampling frequency when both are above Redbook standards. This has nothing to do with issue A).
If the OP wants to try for himself, he has to set up an ABX test, doing it as simple as possible and so not complicating it with streaming issues: if he states B) this means at least that he already has the possibility to listen to 24/96 materials natively with his hardware. Because he is running Linux, a possible way to setup a simple and fast ABX test is to use aplay and a few bash lines: as far as I know, ALSA can be configured to be bitperfect and aplay can pipe a bitstream (for example the output of a flac CLI executable) directly to the sound hardware.

No rocket science involved here, or so it seems to me... smile.gif


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Richard Kimber
post Apr 16 2012, 12:31
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Apr 16 2012, 06:07) *
That just seems paranoid to me.

What kind of interference could be introduced by the presence of a GUI? How incompetently or subversively do you think media players, especially those offering relatively advanced features such as ABXing (e.g. foobar2000), are programmed?

Most players play through the sound card and rarely offer a facility to bypass it. The sound card resamples everything to a default sample rate. The sounds cards on computers are not that good. It's nothing to do with the GUI. I'm surprised I have to explain that.
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Richard Kimber
post Apr 16 2012, 13:11
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QUOTE (nessuno)
Regarding A: no evidence has been found that Airplay as a protocol has such a limitation. Being only a transport layer, very likely this characteristic is left to be defined by the specific implementation. The OP has to try if and how it works for him. That's all about the gapless and streaming issues.

Yes we've already been over this: I mis-interpreted a posting from another forum, and given that I've not come across any non-16bit implementations I thought that was the limit. More importantly, I've not (yet) been able to get Airplay working on my Linux machine with the N-50, so maybe that won't be a solution anyway.

QUOTE
If the OP wants to try for himself, he has to set up an ABX test, doing it as simple as possible and so not complicating it with streaming issues: if he states B) this means at least that he already has the possibility to listen to 24/96 materials natively with his hardware.

Yes. I can stream 24/96, though not gaplessly. In fact I find streaming more convenient, and in the long run if I can do it gaplessly that's how I shall play stuff, apart from CDs.

QUOTE
Because he is running Linux, a possible way to setup a simple and fast ABX test is to use aplay and a few bash lines: as far as I know, ALSA can be configured to be bitperfect and aplay can pipe a bitstream (for example the output of a flac CLI executable) directly to the sound hardware.

Yes, well I may end up doing this. But I was really looking for a gapless streaming solution.

This post has been edited by Richard Kimber: Apr 16 2012, 13:14
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Richard Kimber
post Apr 16 2012, 13:29
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 16 2012, 06:42) *
QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 16 2012, 00:11) *
Well that way I know that the PC is not doing anything to the music.

Could you remind me - what does your playback chain look like?

There are two methods:
Music on HD
miniDLNA, or a player that goes through PulseAudio/Alsa
thence to:
Pioneer N-50
Audiolab 8200A
Audiolab 8200P
Quad ESL 2805
I normally use an Audiolab MDAC for listening (it sounds better for most music - no I've not done a double blind test laugh.gif ), but I wouldn't use that for any tests, as I don't think you can defeat the upsampling. The Pioneer has a method of switching off its upsampling.
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julf
post Apr 16 2012, 16:18
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 16 2012, 14:29) *
I normally use an Audiolab MDAC for listening (it sounds better for most music - no I've not done a double blind test laugh.gif ), but I wouldn't use that for any tests, as I don't think you can defeat the upsampling. The Pioneer has a method of switching off its upsampling.


OK, but i don't see why you need streaming for the tests.
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greynol
post Apr 16 2012, 16:34
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...well, no, that was not ok.


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phofman
post Apr 16 2012, 19:13
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 16 2012, 12:31) *
Most players play through the sound card and rarely offer a facility to bypass it.


In linux players play through alsa library (libasound) which offers flexible routing of their signal.

QUOTE
The sound card resamples everything to a default sample rate.


Only older Creative soundcards and old AC97 cards resample everything to 48kHz, otherwise samplerate change is a functionality of the user-space playback chain, in linux easily configurable.
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Wolwgang
post May 17 2012, 20:40
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QUOTE (Richard Kimber @ Apr 10 2012, 15:25) *
Virtually all the music I buy now comes in the form of downloaded flac files. These have no cue sheets with them.

Some of the music needs to be played gaplessly, and I'm under the impression that flac files + cue sheets is a solution to this. If this is so, can anyone recommend a linux program that would enable me to generate cue sheets from the flac files on my hard disk? I have seen software that creates cue files from music on a CD, but I can't find anything that does it from a folder of flac files on the hard disk.



Hi Kimber; guys;
I just got the Pioneer N50 and I know from Pioneer that gapless playback was out of their hands, at least for the time being, I hope they update this one day.
I have another much troubling issue with the player; it doesn't play FLAC files in sequential manner, the tracks are out of order most of the time. This is a problem with classical music as you can't listen to a symphony as if you are using shuffle play....

The problem doesn't exist with WAV files and is much less apparant if you use the front USB for my hard drive, it is very annoying when using DLNA, and as this is the better sound quality it is disturbing me so much, I can't change my >500GB music to WAV....
Any idea of a solution for this??? I wrote to pioneer but of course they never answered....
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