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FLAC ripped with EAC, convert to mp3 with proper tags and folder organ
g725s
post Jan 10 2013, 22:14
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I ripped my CD collection with EAC to FLAC. Now I'd like to convert the FLAC to mp3 and put it on my android phone. I'll be using PowerAmp to play it on my phone.

Currently I have my folders named and organized as such... Artist/Artist - Album - (date)/01 - songname.flac

With EAC an m3u file was put in the album folder, as well as a text file for EAC. I have copied to each album a "cover.jpg" as the album art
I have CUE files for the rips but they were automatically left out of the Artist/Album folders by EAC

Now I'm not too familiar with m3u's and CUE's and not really sure what use they have exactly.

I just want to convert my FLAC collection to MP3 to play on my android phone (Galaxy S3) using PowerAmp.

How should I convert the FLAC to MP3 (or should I use WMA?) ?

What tags are needed...CUE's, m3u's, etc.?

And how should I name and organize my folders and albums etc.?

Or any other suggestion you might give me here.
Thanks!

This post has been edited by g725s: Jan 10 2013, 22:19
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Apesbrain
post Jan 11 2013, 00:06
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I'd use AAC and do the conversion with foobar2000. If you're interested, download:

foobar2000 -> http://www.foobar2000.org
qaac -> https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet/qaac_2.10.zip

Install foobar2000 ("Full" install) and unzip qaac to someplace permanent on your hard drive. Write back for next steps.

In the end, you'll have the same folder structure as you have now. All tags in your current FLACs will automatically come over as will cover art JPG file. Typical album size will be about 60MB. M3U and CUE files are not involved.
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Ket
post Jan 11 2013, 02:06
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Are you converting to mp3 to save space on the phone?
Because Android should be able to natively play FLAC files - I know my Galaxy Note can.
There's a program called dbPowerAmp which will do everything you want - you can set it up to rip to the same style folder structure you have now, or you can get it to dynamically set up a new folder system from the id3 tags.
They have a 21 day trial on their website so I'd recommend giving it a go...
You don't really need the m3u or the cue files I shouldn't imagine unless you can't live without each album having its own playlist.
The folder art I'm afraid you'd probably have to copy over individually...
Assuming your FLAC files are all in a folder like D:\FLAC\Artist\Artist - Album - (date)
to convert them with the same folder/filename scheme you'd use this in the naming rules [origpath]\[origfilename]
and then set the root directory like D:\mp3\[origpath]\[origfilename]

This post has been edited by Ket: Jan 11 2013, 02:18
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g725s
post Jan 11 2013, 02:24
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ Jan 10 2013, 15:06) *
I'd use AAC and do the conversion with foobar2000. If you're interested, download:

foobar2000 -> http://www.foobar2000.org
qaac -> https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet/qaac_2.10.zip

Install foobar2000 ("Full" install) and unzip qaac to someplace permanent on your hard drive. Write back for next steps.

In the end, you'll have the same folder structure as you have now. All tags in your current FLACs will automatically come over as will cover art JPG file. Typical album size will be about 60MB. M3U and CUE files are not involved.


OK, I've got the latest foobar2000 installed, version 1.2.
But I've got to ask, why ACC over MP3?
And I'm a bit hesitant to download from that page you link. What is that?

Is that download at http://www.rarewares.org/index.php ?
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g725s
post Jan 11 2013, 06:32
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QUOTE (Ket @ Jan 10 2013, 17:06) *
Are you converting to mp3 to save space on the phone?
Because Android should be able to natively play FLAC files - I know my Galaxy Note can.
There's a program called dbPowerAmp which will do everything you want - you can set it up to rip to the same style folder structure you have now, or you can get it to dynamically set up a new folder system from the id3 tags.
They have a 21 day trial on their website so I'd recommend giving it a go...
You don't really need the m3u or the cue files I shouldn't imagine unless you can't live without each album having its own playlist.
The folder art I'm afraid you'd probably have to copy over individually...
Assuming your FLAC files are all in a folder like D:\FLAC\Artist\Artist - Album - (date)
to convert them with the same folder/filename scheme you'd use this in the naming rules [origpath]\[origfilename]
and then set the root directory like D:\mp3\[origpath]\[origfilename]


Yes, that is the thought, to save space. I've only got 30gb and could easily fill that up with half my collection if flac. I might as well put the whole collection on the phone, that would be best for me.
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Apesbrain
post Jan 11 2013, 15:20
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QUOTE (g725s @ Jan 10 2013, 20:24) *
OK, I've got the latest foobar2000 installed, version 1.2.
foobar2000 1.2.1 just released; go back and update.

QUOTE (g725s @ Jan 10 2013, 20:24) *
But I've got to ask, why ACC over MP3?
Personal preference. This is a question you'll need to answer for yourself. You can start by reading results of various listening tests on this forum. No substitute for trying a few listening tests yourself, however. If you're comfortable with MP3, then go with it (and foobar2000 setup is easier). Get the latest LAME build from Rarewares. Your 60GB of FLAC will compress to about 1/3 that size using LAME -V2 or even smaller using -V4; both of which will be transparent on practically anything you play. (If you ever change your mind, or a new/better codec comes along, you still have your original lossless files, right?)

QUOTE (g725s @ Jan 10 2013, 20:24) *
And I'm a bit hesitant to download from that page you link. What is that?
Is that download at http://www.rarewares.org/index.php ?
It's a link to the QAAC encoder zip download on its Googlecode page; it's not on Rarewares, but alternative AAC encoders are there.
You can also use the Nero AAC encoder -> http://www.nero.com/enu/company/about-nero...o-aac-codec.php
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bilbo
post Jan 11 2013, 15:33
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I believe that generating playlists for an album is a wast of space. Every player that I have used lets you select by album to play. That is exactly what a playlist of the album would do.

You can also consider Cuetools.

This post has been edited by bilbo: Jan 11 2013, 15:36


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bilbo
post Jan 11 2013, 15:35
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QUOTE (bilbo @ Jan 11 2013, 09:33) *
I believe that generating playlists for an album is a wast of space. Every player that I have used lets you select by album to play. That is exactly what a playlist of the album would do.



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g725s
post Jan 11 2013, 17:28
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OK updated to 1.2.1

Also, checking my current FLAC collection...and it is currently at just under 320gb.

I'd like to go with MP3. And I'd like to use Foobar2000.

How is the process done exactly? What LAME do I need for Foobar2000? And how is it installed? I have extracted it but where should it be located. Does FooBar2000 just recognize it once it is installed no matter what folder or where it is located?

I have windows so I assume it is "Lame 3.99.5 64 bit"? Or do I use "LAME 3.99.5 using libsndfile 1.0.25 64bit"?

Does Foobar2000 make a copy in the folder where the FLAC files are located?

Is there a good tutorial for all this somewhere?

I've extracted both the LAMES and tried converting but nothing is saved.

This post has been edited by g725s: Jan 11 2013, 17:49
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Dynamic
post Jan 11 2013, 18:20
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Until you get below about 125 kbps typical bitrates, there's not a vast difference between the quality of LAME VBR MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC-LC ('Apple' QAAC, Nero or FhG, but avoid the poorly tuned FAAC) or even Opus or WMA or Musepack. They're all pretty well-tuned and difficult to separate statistically in listening test scores at such bitrates, even more so above about 150 kbps except for a few problem samples. Most Android devices have decoder libraries that natively support MP3, Vorbis and AAC so these give you most flexibility if you choose to ditch PowerAmp.

Lame MP3 isn't such a bad choice because MP3 is supported almost everywhere (except for free installations of Linux out of the box, which avoid most patented codecs, leaving Vorbis and recently Opus as viable there) so you can copy it to virtually any other music player, or access files via a USB cable with your phone mounted as a disk drive, with things like Digital TVs, some car stereos and similar devices and still have it play OK.

You can also retrospectively use tools like mp3gain to adjust the volume without re-encoding if your player doesn't support ReplayGain tags.

However, if you have kept the lossless originals to re-encode from, your choice can change later if you want to save space (e.g. Vorbis, AAC or Opus at around 96 kbps would then be better than MP3) or change software.

Foobar2000 or CUEtools let you specify the folder structure to create in the same sort of way (using foobar2000's titleformatting format) in the file naming dialogue of their Convert options:

Artist/Artist - Album - (date)/01 - songname.flac

can be represented including the folder structure (\ separates folders) as something like:

%album artist%\%album artist% - %album% - (%date%)\%track% - %title%

For the benefit of track artists in Various Artists discs, you might want to make it:

%album artist%\%album artist% - %album% - (%date%)\%track% - %title% - %artist%

You then need to locate the encoder for fb2k or CueTools to use and tell it the settings you require.

As suggested, LAME somewhere around -V4 -V3 or -V2 (in order of increasing quality and bitrate) is a sensible place to start for MP3.
For AAC, a setting giving roughly 128, 160 or 192 kbps is about right - how it's specified depends on the encoder and CBR or VBR choice.
For Ogg Vorbis a q setting of 4, 5 or 6 or thereabouts (in order of increasing quality and bitrate) is a sensible place to start.
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Dynamic
post Jan 11 2013, 19:21
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QUOTE (g725s @ Jan 11 2013, 16:28) *
How is the process done exactly? What LAME do I need for Foobar2000? And how is it installed? I have extracted it but where should it be located. Does FooBar2000 just recognize it once it is installed no matter what folder or where it is located?

I have windows so I assume it is "Lame 3.99.5 64 bit"? Or do I use "LAME 3.99.5 using libsndfile 1.0.25 64bit"?

Does Foobar2000 make a copy in the folder where the FLAC files are located?

Is there a good tutorial for all this somewhere?

I've extracted both the LAMES and tried converting but nothing is saved.


Assuming you run 64-bit Windows, either is OK. The libsndfile version supports formats like FLAC directly from the commandline, but in foobar2000 (fb2k) the file is decoded from FLAC by fb2k itself, so that feature is not necessary. fb2k will ask where to find lame.exe the first time it requires it, then it'll remember.

When you've loaded the FLAC files into a foobar2000 playlist, you can select all (Ctrl-A), right click and choose Convert...

(Don't use Quick Convert, as you want to specify the folder naming pattern)

The first thing to set under Converter Setup is the Output format, so click that:

Click on MP3 (LAME) which will probably default to V2 (standard quality, aims to be transparent, uses roughly 190kbps over a large collection of typical music). Click Edit if you want to change the quality setting. When done, click Back.

Next click on Destination

Here you have two or three viable options:
  1. Source track folder and Convert to individual file, name format set to %filename% to maintain exactly the same folder structure and filenames, just with .mp3 extension instead of .flac (alternatively, use another name format like %track% - %title% - %artist% if you'd like to modify it slightly - they'll still be in the same folder)
  2. Specify folder... and choose one such as C:\Users\Public\Music\mp3export
    Then Convert to individual file, and use the title formatting to create appropriate folder structure, so set name format to something like
    %album artist%\%album% - (%date%)\%track% - %title% - %artist%
    (this does not duplicate the album artist in the "album name - (year)" folder title as you original suggestion did, but see my previous post if you want to)
  3. Ask me later (for saving as preset), then you can later choose the base folder (e.g. C:\Users\Public\Music\mp3export) whenever you convert using that preset. Again, you can specify the subfolders, separated by '\' in the name format, e.g.
    %album artist%\%album% - (%date%)\%track% - %title% - %artist%


Option 1 could make it tricky to copy just the mp3 files (and not the FLACs) over to the phone, though you could set a synching application to sync mp3 but exclude flac extensions if your phone's synch software has that facility.
Options 2 and 3 put the files elsewhere but might make minor alterations to the naming structure if you don't have a perfect match for the structure you generated when ripping.
Hit Back.

Processing option. 'None' will do for most people. Personally, I usually apply ReplayGain / Album Gain at this stage, as I want to use AlbumGain and it's not supported by my phone's native player. I might also apply a crossfeed DSP to similate virtual speakers, esp for albums with hard-panned stereo that sounds like it's inside one ear) and use Advanced Limiter to help tame any overshoots.
Hit Back

Other: do nothing will suffice. You might want to scan for Replay Gain (I do this to enable Track Gain) and you might want to copy over JPG files containing album art, if you have any.
Hit Back

Now hit Save to save a preset if you wish (in future you can the Load the preset)

Hit Convert to commence encoding. fb2k will use multiple processor cores to encode multiple files simultaneously.
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g725s
post Jan 11 2013, 20:51
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I just cant seem to get Foobar2000 to convert to mp3. It will convert to WAV.

Not sure how to install the LAME. I unzipped it and just left it in a folder in Downloads. When I click on the lame.exe a DOS like window appears for half a second then disappears.
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Apesbrain
post Jan 11 2013, 21:31
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Assuming you are on Win 7 x64, go to http://www.rarewares.org/files/mp3/lame3.99.5-64.zip and download and unzip the files into a permanent folder on your PC such as C:\Program Files\Codecs\LAME

If open, close foobar2000 and reopen it. For now, start with one FLAC file. Drag it over to foobar2000 main window. Right-click on it and select "Convert" > "Quick convert" (at top), then "MP3 (LAME)". foobar2000 should then ask you to locate your LAME.EXE file (in the folder above) and the conversion should run in a few seconds. That's enough to confirm things are working as they should; fine tuning can be done once this succeeds. Post back with results.

BTW, you won't fit 320GB worth of FLACs into 30GB at LAME -V4 or -V5; best case, about half your collection will fit. To get more on there, you'll need to go to lower bitrates where some other codecs -- AAC and Ogg (or Opus if your player supports it) -- typically test better.
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g725s
post Jan 11 2013, 21:58
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ Jan 11 2013, 12:31) *
Assuming you are on Win 7 x64, go to http://www.rarewares.org/files/mp3/lame3.99.5-64.zip and download and unzip the files into a permanent folder on your PC such as C:\Program Files\Codecs\LAME

If open, close foobar2000 and reopen it. For now, start with one FLAC file. Drag it over to foobar2000 main window. Right-click on it and select "Convert" > "Quick convert" (at top), then "MP3 (LAME)". foobar2000 should then ask you to locate your LAME.EXE file (in the folder above) and the conversion should run in a few seconds. That's enough to confirm things are working as they should; fine tuning can be done once this succeeds. Post back with results.


Ok I was obviously going too fast and missed the "locate lame.exe" at the top of the last window that popped up the first time around. I'll have to come back to this later. But at least I was able to convert a flac to mp3.
Thanks to all for your help
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g725s
post Jan 12 2013, 00:31
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ Jan 10 2013, 15:06) *
I'd use AAC and do the conversion with foobar2000. If you're interested, download:

foobar2000 -> http://www.foobar2000.org
qaac -> https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet/qaac_2.10.zip

Install foobar2000 ("Full" install) and unzip qaac to someplace permanent on your hard drive. Write back for next steps.

In the end, you'll have the same folder structure as you have now. All tags in your current FLACs will automatically come over as will cover art JPG file. Typical album size will be about 60MB. M3U and CUE files are not involved.


How do I get Foobar2000 to convert using the qacc? I tried doing the same thing I did to get the mp3 to work but it won't do it for qacc. When I try to point f2k to the location of qacc it does not appear. Should I do a custom, and if so, how?
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Apesbrain
post Jan 12 2013, 00:52
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Yes, you set up a "Custom" converter. Some information is in this thread:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=93351

Here is a link to my config:
http://imgur.com/A2u8W

You decrease file size by lowering from "100".
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g725s
post Jan 13 2013, 01:09
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QUOTE (Apesbrain @ Jan 11 2013, 15:52) *
Yes, you set up a "Custom" converter. Some information is in this thread:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=93351

Here is a link to my config:
http://imgur.com/A2u8W

You decrease file size by lowering from "100".


Testing on one track with the same settings as yours I get this...

"1 out of 1 tracks converted with major problems.

Source: "B:\EACrips\Various\(1997) Bay Blues Live In Concert\04 - Willie and The Hand Jive (AB Skhy) .flac"
An error occurred while writing to file (The encoder has terminated prematurely with code 1 (0x00000001); please re-check parameters) : "B:\mp3\Willie and The Hand Jive.m4a"
Additional information:
Encoder stream format: 44100Hz / 2ch / 16bps
Command line: "C:\Lame and ACC\qaac_2.10\qaac_2.10\x64\refalac64.exe" --tvbr 100 - -o "Willie and The Hand Jive.m4a"
Working folder: B:\mp3\

Conversion failed: The encoder has terminated prematurely with code 1 (0x00000001); please re-check parameters"
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eahm
post Jan 13 2013, 01:26
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refalac.exe is for ALAC as the name suggests: ref ALAC...

For TVBR you have to use qaac.exe


Quality 100 for AAC is high, did you ABX? Try -V73 or even -V63 (some people I know use -V36, always ABX):

Q0 - Q4 (0) = ~40 kbps
Q5 - Q13 (9) = ~45 kbps
Q14 - Q22 (18) = ~75 kbps
Q23 - Q31 (27) = ~80 kbps
Q32 - Q40 (36) = ~95 kbps
Q41 - Q49 (45) = ~105 kbps
Q50 - Q58 (54) = ~115 kbps
Q59 - Q68 (63) = ~135 kbps
Q69 - Q77 (73) = ~150 kbps
Q78 - Q86 (82) = ~165 kbps
Q87 - Q95 (91) = ~195 kbps
Q96 - Q104 (100) = ~225 kbps
Q105 - Q113 (109) = ~255 kbps
Q114 - Q122 (118) = ~285 kbps
Q123 - Q127 (127) = ~320 kbps


The command suggested on the qaac website for foobar2000 is "-V73 -o %d -" (73 obviously replaceable with whatever you'd like to use). Not that changes anything but I like to use the ones the author give.

This post has been edited by eahm: Jan 13 2013, 01:32


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ozok
post Jan 13 2013, 01:43
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You can use TAudioConverter for this process.

Currently it cannot copy external album art (this will be added to next release. it can however, extract embedded artwork, tho not very well tested at the moment), but you can use it to convert FLAC to mp3, using lame, keeping folder structure and tags. If you have multi-core CPU conversion will be shorter.

Edit: I forgot to mention that TAC creates a temp. wav file while -AFAIK- fb2k converts on-the-fly.

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Mach-X
post Jan 13 2013, 15:56
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OR the OP could start off using winamp, which contains the fhg aac encoder, easy to use slider controls instead of commandline switching, options to copy album art files 'folder.jpg' etc, etc. Baby steps.....baby steps....., I think sometimes we forget what it's like to be new to music archiving and we just 'assume' people are comfortable with commandline switches and things like that.
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