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Lossless music with metadata

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:59 pm
by erikvanzon

I am considering buying the Denon av 3808 receiver and using my ps3 as mediacenter to play music. Does anyone has experience with a UPnP NAS storagedisk and how tonkyvision works on such a device? Because I have the Lacie ethernet disk mini, which should be able to stream my music to the PS3.

Furthermore I want to know which lossless music type is supported by the PS3, using TonkyVision, AND can contain metadata, because I can play my music but since I have all my music in wav, it does not show genre/artist etc..



Re: Lossless music with metadata

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:30 am
by rmcdouga
Furthermore I want to know which lossless music type is supported by the PS3, using TonkyVision, AND can contain metadata, because I can play my music but since I have all my music in wav, it does not show genre/artist etc..
Roxio Easy CD Creator hides tagging information at the end of .WAV files. I have a mix of tagged and untagged WAV files. Tagging is a mixed blessing. When browsing by Album, the album tracks all show up in alphabetical order rather than by track number. I'm not sure whether this is just the twonkyvision behaviour or if it's because my tagging is missing track information. Either way, it's annoying.

Re: Lossless music with metadata

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:01 am
by zorro
The Twonky**** (since long) index WAV files by file name, genre_artist_album_tracknumber_songtitle.wav. This is a lossless key factor. Unfortunately it does not index composer and that is bad for classical listeners.

The indexation works real fine, I have like 250Gb of WAV-files on my QNAP109II. I copied half my entire CD-library (Jazz & Rock etc) to the QNAP and suddenly the CD-shelf was really accessible. (I haven't decide how to handle the Classical CDs indexation yet, I guess composer will be the artist and the artist apart of album name.) A great lift for my listing.

I used MS Windows Mediaplayer (WMP) in XP to copy my CDs to the HD, and then to the QNAP, it is faster reading of the CDs than directly to the QNAP. MS WMP gets the (almost all CDs) name data from a database and it is possible to edit while reading the CD to the disk, it is also possible to edit after in the WMP library view. You must however set the file name setup in the WMP right. The WMP creates a directory structure that is good for maintenance (Genre/Artist/album) but the Twonky don't care, it indexes only on the file names. But the WMP command to update the filenames must be done afterwards, but could be done for a large number of changes or the file names will stay unchanged. WMP also retrieves a picture of the CD, that I can't try because the Roku do not show pictures like a Sonos*** or many other media players. The WMP feels slightly like a wild horse but do the job, and do some test shots to get used to it, first before masscopying you CD shelf into the Twonky. I made a top structure of Music, Video, Picture etc in my Qmultimedia folder.

I bought my 2 Rokus is a temporary solution until I found a smooth way of handling the DVD-video media and other media types*******. The QNAP media player looks interesting but I have no money right now, else I might try it. I have an XP Minimac* or a Vista PC (when I use the Minimac for programming work) as a PC to my TV. Mainly to watch the Swedish public service televisions TV-streaming that is real good. It is in Sweden about to pass Youtube in viewers, this winter. It is huge success and real good, I use the PC for that and the DVD-videos looks by far greater over the PC/Minimac. The PC/Minimac and the Roku I have connected to my NAD digital surround system. So I (believe*) I send CD-sound from the QNAP over the Roku to the NAD that does the D/A-conversion** of a true PCM (WAV) steam. The CD library is a huge task itself and the most important, done it is real great. The rapid speed in HD size development makes compress formats of lossless not that interesting and there has been very few media players supporting for instance FLAC. Also plain PCM like WAV is (I hope*) true lossless all the way in these systems. Newer media players do have more file type support, but WAV with file name indexation is better, less fuzz, memory is cheap. The only thing I tried that did not work with my system was a Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon DTS set of files that I liked to try on my surround system. Got a solution for Vista however (there is in internet a downloadable Korean codec (and one has to guess doing setup, but it works well, the only one as I know of that really works).

I find it interesting that QNAP has started with media players and it might be a turn of their future business in the media system market, there is a huge hole in the market to fill, now or too late, complete systems with servers and players smoothly integrated*****. The problem for the quality WAV user is that the media system market do not know the Twonky indexation solution solved the weakness of WAV-files in such systems. The thing that makes WAV the main solution for quality users. I hope it gets known and supported generally.

There are three areas I haven’t found smooth solutions yet, there might be:
1.) Editor and file/folder manager of WAV file names in a Twonky (in a QNAP case) to manage the indexation by smoothly amending the file names right, afterwards. For instance collection records like for instance Red hot Rio with a number of artists fill the media player search with artists in an uninteresting way, it is better to use the “Red hot Rio” to name the artist, not flooding the indexation lists in searching in the media player. Something one do not find out at start. The Genre is a topic of many views. Too many Genres will make the search/selections harder, too few, the same.
2.) I have an iAudio iPod-copy music player that act as a USB disk in the PC and is not needed to be attached to the iTunes (as the iPod, the main flaw of the iPod) and is capable of SDHC-cards (today up to 32Gb, that iPod do not support) and plays WAVs (that iPod do not support), but can’t read the indexation. In an iPod system type of unit mp3s are OK sound quality and takes half size, and there memory counts much more than in a QNAP Twonky. A SW converting the WAVs from the Twonky (by steaming or by copying files from the QNAP) into the iAudio (or loose SDHC-cards) as mp3s, making mp3 metadata from the Twonky WAV indexation file name structure, or the streaming information, would be a great thing. The same situation with a car stereo USB-stick case, mp3s in a car stereo is OK (even if in both cases quality difference is hearable both in cars and by earphones in the underground train.
3.) Burning CDs for car stereos from the Twonky using the Twonky WAV indexation file name structure for CD text data. CD text data is nice in a car and I drive a Volvo V70 taxi without USB-support. I crashed a private car once and CD out of distribution were lost, CDs never leaves my home anymore. And in Car stereos they turns into dust in a year, so never use originals in a car is a good idea. My Easy CD SW uses the file name and I have to edit it to get it right. Should be done automatically by a smooth SW.

One lesson is that, the files on the QNAP Twonky is worth a lot of work and must be backuped. Odd but the backup servers sub-feature need to be backed up elsewhere. So buy two HDs and put one in your Vista and keep a copy there. A QNAP with RAID might be a solution but a disk in a Vista in this case is enough I believe. I have one without 109II and I will not buy another soon, rather a new media player. The handling is a key factor here.

Pity the streaming do not work over DDNS that my mobile phone can reach over internet and play my music from my own library. Might be something that will come in the future, I hope so! Something making my music library available wherever I am in the world. A nice vision in anyway!
* It is real hard to prove
** I run Windows on my Minimac with the TV mostly (Bootcamp) because the media SW is better in windows, the market is larger. The advantages with Macs in general in media business of different kinds are that users liking Macs found their way solving things, butt SW and HW available is far better for Windows and has always been, something else is a myth. However the Mac is by far smoother to be an owner to, it fuzzes by far less but is limited in possibilities (it goes hand in hand). The Minimac has DVI and not HDMI and there are new Intel Atom PC mother boards like one from ASUS that is designed for the job serving the TV and has about everything including HDMI with digital sound channel and fair pricing. But the Minimac looks best in the living room, design is a task Apple truely performs.
*** Sonos show pictures on the remote control (that is real good) but is real expensive (real nice but not features for the money), will be technically and commercially old soon, and I think it is not worth it, there are by far cheaper solutions. I have a friend with more money bought Sonos and a plain stereo D/A-converter three times more expensive than my NAD surround system. Sound of it is real great. I think that is something worth the money. PCM CD lossless sound is better than the D/As and the sound systems in general, better D/As and sound systems improves quality a lot. Even with pretty bad systems mp3 is real bad sound. ****The QNAP iTunes server what I understand do not index WAV by files names but as far as I understand it does not send out PCM either, it sends mp3 all the time, even from WAV files. It is kind of surprisingly because the Mac users tend to have money and willing to pay for quality*****.
*****The Apple iTunes (and Sony******) policy of fuzzing******* with the use of the media product one owns, like a CD-library, refusing to deliver/running true lossless PCM quality, is strange. I think if Apple would sell a kit like a med server and media player like QNAP do they would be huge in the market, they are communicating with the right customers I think, willing to pay for quality but demand no fuzz instead. It leaves the way open for companies like QNAP. The problem is that the user must test and find out all them selves. Many rather pay to have it done in smooth systems, that is Apples core business idea. Any supplier can do, but none so far as I can see, do. QNAP could do it with just better manuals, defaults and presentation. The Twonky hardly do need to be much configured, just switch it on, copy the files and run it. Can’t understand why the high end home sound systems sores do not sell things like the QNAP Twonky servers. I wonder how the customers should use a Sonos without a server?? I guess they haven’t found out they must upgrade their know-how and that both TV and sound systems are going into computer integration, where a PC is a natural part of a home media and sound system. I think they learn soon. But also the mp3 stuff is so bad and the know-how in PCM lossless is poor in this world. The Twonky indexation is in fact a key factor and they don’t know it. Smooth systems available they would sell sound system upgrades on mass. A surround system is not of much use due to too much fuzz today. What I describe here with indexed WAV files in a Twonky, makes it a different thing. Still it is no package solution, nobody wrapped it up yet. I guess that is what we all actually want to have.
****** My Sony car stereo can play CDs (PCM) but can’t play WAV files (PCM) on a USB-stick and that is an insult to the customers.
******* Fuzzing with computer users, especially Windows users, is digging the vendors own grave, there is fuzz enough to battle as it is. It is also a strange thing in the market. I think the general managers do not use the stuff themselves.
******* I think the persecution mania of the media industry in the end will die, when they realise the fuzzing and victimization of their paying customers is bad business. What others do is in fact not commercially interesting. Then they might realise sales figures are bad because they are doing bad marketing on a willing to buy media products kind of market, that do not accept their bad services and expect more modern distribution methods. I think in the future we will be able to buy free PCM WAV files for fair prices to be automatically transferred and put on our Twonky servers for the same reason and use as I copy my CD library. It is the right place to have the media data, the Twonky. Until the media vendors change their way of looking at paying customers, this market will be slow. As long as they only sell mp3s there will be just an iPod and mobile phone market. But so far for quite some time rediscovering the old CD-shelf’s treasures and getting it organised and seachable will occupy us. Until that is over I think my Roku is cheap and smooth. Replacing it with something like the QNAP media player is not a bad idea, in the process. I think another important factor is learning using the technology and upgrading to new media player units after knowing what one really need and want. Things like how a remot best should work and so on. Before the first system a user can’t possibly know. The time media player units will technically and commercially last is today far too short to buy the high end real expensive systems like a Sonos. There are literally raining new products in the market. I think the servers will last much longer and the true lossless PCM WAV file format in servers like the Twonky that in fact do indexate them by file name, will last too. I think that solution is so smooth that metadata is really not necessary and the thing that will make the WAV file format last very long into the future. New SW versions will give us a thrill and our friends will buy Twonkys I believe, as soon as they find how a smooth solution is made. I think if the media vendors drop their dead-end policies and get real serious about new media distribution forms this will be the fastest growing market since the PC, VHS or the CD came, I think the WAV will survive and thrive in it, long. It is the only option for quality buyers today and will most likely be in the future. The PCM WAV format is better than most sound systems in anyway. So storing the CDs in a Twonky with the right file naming is a very good idea.

Re: Lossless music with metadata

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:31 pm
by zorro
What other lossless are there except WAV and FLAC? Why go over the river for water?

Twonky do not support FLAC what I know and some are trying some tricks to do it in anyway, doesn't look like they made it yet, see ... p?tid=8574.

On the other hand a 2TB HD can contain something like 4500 CDs, the Twonky supports CD PCM WAV-files, indexation of WAV-files. And everything in media players, except most/some Sony gear, do support WAV as well and there are several NAS servers to choose from. To buy something not supporting WAV is accepting an insult to the buyer. I would buy a RAIDed two disk system*, and buy larger HD when available (just pulling one old out and insert a new larger, and after it is updated change the other one, would work what I understand). Next year I am certain there are 5Tb disks available, I have been working with PCs since Colombia (before IBM was able to ship PC1, and ever since (1984) size and price has done free fall, it is a predictable thing that could be assumed as a fact for the future. Size is not the issue but functionality. FLAC is nice, but not enough supported, it is just to ask for more fuzz trying, in computers there are always enough fuzz, no good idea asking for more. There is no reason to look for lossless compression files in a NAS.

The WAV only support stereo, but more than stereo is not much available. It is like buying a 5.1 home theatre system, you realise that most DVD movies are just 3 channels and could be played as good in stereo. The channels are not the thing, four loudspeaker stereo playing is in fact better than two loudspeaker stereo, but the most important thing is the D/A is not in every unit but one, if you really want good sound you can buy a separate. The CD PCM sound is better than almost all sound systems in the market, why look for something else, but your old CD -shelf on the HD of the Twonky NAS?

The Twonky act like, streams music, like a Windows Mediaplayer (in both XP and Vista it act as servers, only Vista as client). Everything but the indexation of WAV-files exists in the MS WMP server. In a single disk QNAP NAS more external disks are attachable. Try it first. The great thing with the Twonky in a NAS like a QNAP is it is quiet and always on. It is a limited unit to special services and just fuzz less than a Twonky in your PC.

So try the Windows Mediaplayer, just put it as a server in its config. Then try a Twonky in your PC and if it works as you like buy a NAS, buy one with RAID because the media on the disks are to valuable to get lost. Your system can be hit by a power peak or something destroying HW, you never know. At least keep a copy n another HD.

The different NAS vendors have different quality and even if you compare them having the same Twonky they are different. I bought a Dlink DNS 313 tiny NAS at start, but Dlink did not support the SW upgrades enough and it really did not work well. It Sw upgrades looks to be crossed out from the Dlink company’s budget, I have same experience with other Dlink products (like DIR-451) the last years? The QNAP is more expensive but far better SW quality and SW upgrades than the Dlink. I found it good enough and certainly there are others good vendors in the market as well. To limit the fuzz is a good guideline!