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New FLAC frontend beta, Remake of the 10-year old classic
ktf
post Mar 6 2013, 23:32
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Hi everyone,

Because of the recent activity surrounding the FLAC project, the number of bugs in the FLAC sourceforge tracker regarding the frontend (which actually has never been part of the FLAC project at all) and the observation that the last version of this frontend was released 10 years ago (2003-01-26 according to W. Speek's homepage), I thought it was a good idea to remake it to make FLAC accessible to Windows-users not used to a command line as well.

It's very similar to the original, the only feature that I skipped was the tagging because I think it's a little complicated for such a 'low-level tool' and there are plenty FLAC-supporting tagging tools that perform much better these days. edit: one improvement, this tool has drag-and-drop support so it can replace FLACtester as well.

The first beta is available here. After thorough testing (Windows 7 32-bit), I couldn't find any bugs left.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/flacfronte...ad?source=files

Comments regarding the usefulness of this tool (regarding there are a lot more FLAC tools than there were at the time of the release of FLAC 1.2.1), bugs, features etc. are appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



P.S.: I'm not really sure what to do with the copyleft stuff. Making this frontend was no rocket science, so I thought it would be easiest if I released the code and binaries in public domain (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication) but is that even possible, because the binaries include linked Visual Studio stuff I guess. (But then again, FLAC itself is using this MSVC stuff too, so it should be at least GPL compatible?) The bundled flac.exe and metaflac.exe are GPL'd of course. Feedback on this would be most welcome.

This post has been edited by ktf: Mar 6 2013, 23:57


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saratoga
post Mar 7 2013, 01:04
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QUOTE (ktf @ Mar 6 2013, 17:32) *
P.S.: I'm not really sure what to do with the copyleft stuff. Making this frontend was no rocket science, so I thought it would be easiest if I released the code and binaries in public domain (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication) but is that even possible, because the binaries include linked Visual Studio stuff I guess. (But then again, FLAC itself is using this MSVC stuff too, so it should be at least GPL compatible?)


The GPL makes an exception for any libraries that are part of the compiler or target operating system, so stuff added by VS doesn't have to be open source. You should be fine just open sourcing your code itself.
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testyou
post Mar 7 2013, 03:31
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Appreciated! Working fine for me.
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Wombat
post Mar 7 2013, 03:39
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Nice! After so many people complaining about the old frontend not working i like your new version.
This way even unexperienced users should be able to easily do with flac what flac is meant to do with a kind of starter package. Like you already mentioned if someone wants to dig deeper there are several other tools.
No bug found on w7 x64 here. We may argue about keeping the encoder window open when no error occured.
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ktf
post Mar 7 2013, 09:01
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2013, 03:39) *
We may argue about keeping the encoder window open when no error occured.

Indeed. I think it should remain open to check for issues like found foreign metadata (which are no error, just a warning) or just to view the statistics.


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Wombat
post Mar 7 2013, 17:17
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QUOTE (ktf @ Mar 7 2013, 10:01) *
Indeed. I think it should remain open to check for issues like found foreign metadata (which are no error, just a warning) or just to view the statistics.

Ok. What about "Please press any key to close" ?
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eahm
post Mar 7 2013, 17:34
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korth
post Mar 7 2013, 18:16
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"FLAC frontend.exe is not a valid Win32 application." (XP 32-bit and 64-bit)


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ktf
post Mar 7 2013, 18:43
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2013, 17:17) *
Ok. What about "Please press any key to close" ?

It's supposed to do that... The program just creates a BAT-file with a FLAC command and a PAUSE command, so it should display something like press any key to exit. Mine says "Druk op een toets om door te gaan...", which is the same phrase in Dutch. I don't know how it is possible you don't get one? :S


QUOTE (korth @ Mar 7 2013, 18:16) *
"FLAC frontend.exe is not a valid Win32 application." (XP 32-bit and 64-bit)

I was afraid that might happen. It's compiled on Windows 7 with Visual Studio 2012, and sadly I don't have a Windows XP installation. I'll try to find a solution soon. I found that I need an update of MSVC 2012. I'll release a new beta as soon as it's fixed.

This post has been edited by ktf: Mar 7 2013, 18:49


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ktf
post Mar 7 2013, 19:57
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I've upgraded MSVCe 2012 to update 1 which has Windows XP targeting. Besides that, drag-and-drop support has improved, a README is included and the executable is a few kB lighter.

You can download it here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/flacfronte...a2.zip/download



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Wombat
post Mar 7 2013, 21:21
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QUOTE (ktf @ Mar 7 2013, 19:43) *
It's supposed to do that... The program just creates a BAT-file with a FLAC command and a PAUSE command, so it should display something like press any key to exit. Mine says "Druk op een toets om door te gaan...", which is the same phrase in Dutch. I don't know how it is possible you don't get one? :S

Indeed the "Any" key works but i donīt see the message. Only a blinking cursor below the last stats.
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korth
post Mar 7 2013, 21:28
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Well it starts in both versions of XP now. .NET 4.0 required (you may have been able to target an earlier version?).
I'm going to have to play with my firewall rules to allow for the changing flacfrontend.bat file before I can run it again.

This post has been edited by korth: Mar 7 2013, 21:30


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ktf
post Mar 7 2013, 21:40
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2013, 21:21) *
Indeed the "Any" key works but i donīt see the message. Only a blinking cursor below the last stats.

That's weird. I'll investigate.

QUOTE (korth @ Mar 7 2013, 21:28) *
Well it starts in both versions of XP now. .NET 4.0 required (you may have been able to target an earlier version?).
I'm going to have to play with my firewall rules to allow for the changing flacfrontend.bat file before I can run it again.

Firewall? But that .bat file is supposed to be generated locally (in the temporary-files folder of the user, usually %TEMP%) so why would a firewall would have anything to do with that?


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Wombat
post Mar 7 2013, 22:09
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QUOTE (ktf @ Mar 7 2013, 22:40) *
QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2013, 21:21) *
Indeed the "Any" key works but i donīt see the message. Only a blinking cursor below the last stats.

That's weird. I'll investigate.

As soon "chcp 65001" is in the batch i donīt see the message with PAUSE. German W7 here.
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korth
post Mar 7 2013, 22:21
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QUOTE (ktf @ Mar 7 2013, 20:40) *
Firewall?
OK, antivirus/security/firewall rules. rolleyes.gif My settings, not you.
Settings wouldn't allow the .bat to call an .exe if the hash didn't match the rule. If I allow flacfrontend.bat to be sandboxed, the .exe is called. I'll try testing from there.
QUOTE (Wombat)
"chcp 65001" is in the batch
'chcp' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file, but skips over it.

This post has been edited by korth: Mar 7 2013, 22:29


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ktf
post Mar 7 2013, 23:02
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QUOTE (korth @ Mar 7 2013, 21:28) *
Well it starts in both versions of XP now. .NET 4.0 required (you may have been able to target an earlier version?).

I rolled back to Visual Studio 2005 instead of 2012. Works just as nice for a project this small and it requires .NET 3 instead of 4.

QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 7 2013, 22:09) *
As soon "chcp 65001" is in the batch i donīt see the message with PAUSE. German W7 here.


QUOTE (korth @ Mar 7 2013, 22:21) *
'chcp' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file, but skips over it.

Kind of fixed for both. Not the nice way, but it should work.

New download link:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/flacfronte....2.zip/download


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Wombat
post Mar 7 2013, 23:10
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Weird trick but works smile.gif
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korth
post Mar 8 2013, 01:46
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Unfortunately the batch file terminates immediately with the line chcp 65001 or chcp 65001 >nul in XP (both 32-bit and 64-bit). If I delete chcp.com, I get the error but the rest of the batch runs.


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korth
post Mar 8 2013, 18:34
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These do work on XP though

CODE
@ECHO OFF
(
chcp 65001 >nul
<flac.exe or metaflac.exe command>
ECHO Press any key to continue...
PAUSE >nul
)

AND

@ECHO OFF
chcp 65001 >nul && <flac.exe or metaflac.exe command> && ECHO Press any key to continue... && PAUSE >nul


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korth
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korth
post Mar 9 2013, 22:48
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ktf,
I've built a local copy of FLAC frontend.exe, adding the appropriate batch->WriteLine("("); or batch->WriteLine(")"); to Form1.h per my previous post so I could do some testing. FLAC frontend working fine now in XP32 and XP64 so far. Still working fine in WIN7 64.

A note on XP64: On the two systems I checked, chcp.com was not in the SYSWOW64 folder. Copying chcp.com from the SYSTEM32 folder over to SYSWOW64 seems to work OK for the batch file. See also link.


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ktf
post Mar 12 2013, 11:35
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QUOTE (korth @ Mar 9 2013, 22:48) *
ktf,
I've built a local copy of FLAC frontend.exe, adding the appropriate batch->WriteLine("("); or batch->WriteLine(")"); to Form1.h per my previous post so I could do some testing. FLAC frontend working fine now in XP32 and XP64 so far. Still working fine in WIN7 64.

I've been looking for an explanation of why this works and what these parentheses are doing exactly, but I can't find anything on the matter. Can you explain it to me?


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ktf
post Mar 12 2013, 12:24
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I still don't understand what these parentheses to exactly, but using them defeats the purpose of adding chcp. I added that command to make FLAC able to handle characters like č, é, ë etc. which is doesn't handle without chcp 65001 yet, but when using these parentheses it behaves the same way as not using chcp.


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korth
post Mar 12 2013, 14:53
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The parentheses just group or nest multiple commands, same as using '&' when commands are grouped in a single line.
With fingerprint command on testfile_1.flac and testfile_2čéë.flac (>nul removed) in XP I get:
Active code page: 65001
O:\Test\testfile_1.flac:669e60dc1a3cb33866da78f026b5dec6
O:\Test\testfile_2dTF.flac: ERROR: reading metadata, status = "FLAC__METADATA_CHAIN_STATUS_ERROR_OPENING_FILE"

The FLAC file could not be opened. Most likely the file does not exist
or is not readable.
Press any key to continue...
So it isn't exactly working in XP. To keep support for XP though, the chcp command can't be on a line by itself or the batch file just terminates immediately. Maybe making chcp an option (or an option to disable it) with a note in the readme that this feature doesn't work on XP?

This post has been edited by korth: Mar 12 2013, 15:37


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agentk7
post Mar 15 2013, 21:20
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Wow, I was wondering if anyone would ever take up the mantle to improve/revamp Flac Frontend. I wanted to pass along my initial observations:

- The only issue I have with the old Flac Frontend is with files that have apostrophes in them. It skips converting those files and I have to go back and rename them. New Flac Frontend does not have this problem. (I always assumed this was a scripting issue, didn't have this come up very often but I'm always aware of it).

- When configuring the frontend I checked the box for "Keep foreign metadata". My first test was to decode some flac files and was immediately greeted with the command prompt error "ERROR reading foreign metadata: no foreign metadata found (017)". Perhaps this is a flac.exe issue and is fixed with the new version?

- One favorite feature of the old Flac Frontend was the fact that it preserved the file date of the input files. This version does not preserve the original file date.

- Will the new Flac Frontend eventually have a config or ini file to save the settings?

This post has been edited by agentk7: Mar 15 2013, 21:21
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agentk7
post Mar 16 2013, 00:24
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QUOTE (agentk7 @ Mar 15 2013, 15:20) *
- The only issue I have with the old Flac Frontend is with files that have apostrophes in them. It skips converting those files and I have to go back and rename them. New Flac Frontend does not have this problem. (I always assumed this was a scripting issue, didn't have this come up very often but I'm always aware of it).

Disregard this bit, every now and then I've noticed the old Flac Frontend not encoding certain files and I recently fixed a file by removing the apostrophe and reencoding but I just noticed a couple other recent encodes with a bunch of files having apostrophes in the name that I didn't have trouble with. It must be some other special character issue, possibly as mentioned earlier in this thread.
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