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#396669 - 08/30/13 11:15 AM New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
I have been using DB Poweramp to rip CD's to FLAC and MPEG for the past few years. When I originally decided to rip my music collection and use media players, verse a now ancient technology, CD mega changers, I could have done a better job. I started with 1200 cds and didn't know much about the process other than I dreaded having to do it. Tagging and cover art were two things I really dropped the ball on. Fortunately, I did understand enough to rip everything to FLAC, and I used EAC, so I had good data stored to a hard drive when I was done.

The past year or two I've become quite dependant to my Ipod's that I use in my vehicles. It's simply way more convenient, plus CD changers for vehicles is obsolete tech nowadays. I just bought a new truck, and it came with a CD player, but it was a $200 option and it's hidden away in the glove box. The truck's stereo is designed around an Ipod or USB interface. And, it does not have a hard drive to store music files either.

So anyway, as I mentioned before, my music files had messed up tagging, and most of the CD's I initially ripped did not have cover art. Genres were all messed up, and the display would only show meta data and a goofy picture of a CD. I have tried to fix tagging with FooBar, and it does seem to work OK, but I still had duplicate files, genres were hit and miss, and still no cover art. Itunes just made the problem worse. I have tried a couple different album art gathering programs, and none worked all that well. Itunes would find some, but those it did find, it wouldn't share the files with other music software for the house (squeeze box / music server). Or I should say, I couldn't figure out how to get it to share.

Last week I got an email from DBPoweramp saying they had some new software for finding album art, duplicate music files and finding music file ripping errors. I figured it was worth a try.

Well....I am extremely happy to report that it works! After Perfect Tunes was installed, I used it to scan the main folder I store the FLAC files. This folder has roughly 360 GB, 4500 folders and 18,000 music files. It took Perfect Tunes about 12 hours or thereabouts to scan the files and "fix" the files that were missing album art. I had over 1400 CD's missing album art. The software automatically fixed about 1200. The remaining 200 or so had tags too screwed up for the software to find the album art without some manual input. For example, movie soundtrack CD's might have 15 songs by 15 different artists. If they are not tagged correctly, the software can't tell who the artist is, what the song is, or what CD the song is on.

The songs and CD's that needed manual input took about 8 hours of my time to fix. The software will automatically search for the album art, but you have to make sure it's looking for the right album. You do this by manually inputted the name of the artist, album or song into the search box. It will then populate album art it found. You then click on the one you want to use. Pretty simple really, just time consuming. I can't imagine doing that for 1400 CD's. At the end of the day yesterday, I had fixed all but one boxed set of music sampler CD's that neither I or the software can find album art for. That was well worth the $36 the software costs.

After I fixed album art, I scanned the FLAC files for errors. I don't really understand how that works, but it scanned the 18,000 files for roughly 2 hours. It reported that 1200 could not be verified, for whatever reason that is, and of the remaining 16,800 files, there were four files with errors found. I need to locate the CD's and re-rip those, if I care to that is...

Finally, I scanned the files for duplicates. I had right at 200 duplicate music files. Not bad considering all the movie soundtracks that we have...... What's really cool about this process, is the duplicates are boxed together with meta data, so you can see each file's properties. You can also listen to each file by clicking the play button on each. This allows you to figure out which one to delete.

So now that my FLAC files are fixed, I'm running a batch conversion. I'm converting all the FLAC files to a high bit rate MP3 (320kb Lame) with DB Poweramp's batch converter and dumping them into their own MP3 folder. This folder will be what I sick ITunes on to use for my vehicle IPods. I'm using the CBR and slow speed option for the conversion. All four proccessers are running at a 52X speed (an 18 hour process). When it's done, I'll have to use FooBar to fix some tagging issues again, mostly due to the soundtracks.

After I get the MP3 tagging fixed, I'll have to figure out how to get I-Tunes to re-scan the new MP3 folder and dump all the data it had before. I'm not sure how to do that. Suggestions / input is very welcomed.

If anyone has similar album art or duplicate music file problems that I had, this software works great. Considering just how computer dense I am, that's saying something...

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/perfecttunes.htm
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#396674 - 08/30/13 01:09 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8133
Loc: Tacoma
This is really great and timely advice, Mike. Thank you very much. I'll be looking into this.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#396710 - 08/30/13 09:14 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
I'm in the process now of converting discs bit by bit to FLAC. I'm using EAC and it has been a fairly easy process. I ripped about 5 discs and played around with a standardized naming scheme which i prefer.
I can't say i've seen much for cover art and whether the lack thereof has been or would be an issue, but if i had the option, i would like to have the proper cover.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#396718 - 08/31/13 10:45 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
Chess - DB Poweramp uses EAC. It's just a lot simpler to use and has a whole lot more options. For one, it has a "multi decoder" option you can select that will rip the CD and convert the ripped files to any other format, and dump both in to their own respective folders; all at the same time. Very handy if you want to keep two folders with the different formats. Works for me, as I play the FLAC files through my home systems, and the MP3's for the vehicles. DB Poweramp also collects album art, and meta data from various internet based tagging sources.

I'm fighting with iTunes, again. I effin hate iTunes....

Is there another music player that is compatible with iPods??

So I thought converting the FLAC files to MP3, and forcing the converter to use constant bit rate was the best option with respect to quality. Well it might just be the highest quality MP3 format, but it doesn't compress it a whole lot more than FLAC. The folder that contains all my FLAC files is 357 GB. The folder containing the newly converted MP3 files is 125 GB. I might have to rethink this strategy...
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#396722 - 08/31/13 11:56 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: michael_d
Chess - DB Poweramp uses EAC. It's just a lot simpler to use and has a whole lot more options. For one, it has a "multi decoder" option you can select that will rip the CD and convert the ripped files to any other format, and dump both in to their own respective folders; all at the same time. Very handy if you want to keep two folders with the different formats. Works for me, as I play the FLAC files through my home systems, and the MP3's for the vehicles.

Although we have a small iPod, we don't use it. Neither of our vehicles has the plugin so our option is to use a FM transmitter and the sound quality is crap. We just don't bother.

Quote:
DB Poweramp also collects album art, and meta data from various internet based tagging sources.

I think EAC does this to some extent at least since there has been cover art assigned to some of my new rips.

Quote:

I'm fighting with iTunes, again. I effin hate iTunes....
Is there another music player that is compatible with iPods??

Yes, Media Monkey.
I don't use iTunes for this iPod.

Quote:
So I thought converting the FLAC files to MP3, and forcing the converter to use constant bit rate was the best option with respect to quality. Well it might just be the highest quality MP3 format, but it doesn't compress it a whole lot more than FLAC. The folder that contains all my FLAC files is 357 GB. The folder containing the newly converted MP3 files is 125 GB. I might have to rethink this strategy...

Considering the cheap and expanding storage options these days, i'm not concerned with using compression really. Even putting files into .wav isn't as much of an issue, although having a 27MB flac file vs. a 90MB wav, both lossless formats, only makes sense to use the lesser.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#396726 - 08/31/13 12:46 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8133
Loc: Tacoma
I think compression is still relevant for portable devices.

I'm thinking about new strategies, as I've never had good luck with the network part of Squeezebox (just flaky). I'm thinking about Apple TV, but converting all those FLAC files is going to be tedious.

Chess, I had kind of forgotten abou Media Monkey and its ability to work with Apple devices. That might be the ticket. Thanks for that.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#396731 - 08/31/13 02:36 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
Yes thanks Chess. I'm looking at Media Monkey now.

Tom - the DB batch converter worked flawlessly for me. You just click on the folder containing your FLAC files, hit the go button and walk away.
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#396734 - 08/31/13 03:30 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: tomtuttle]
ArthurC Offline
buff

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Doesn't take much to write a script to transcode from FLAC to whatever. I wrote one years ago to go between FLAC and MP3. Written in Python and uses lame under the hood. Certainly do it manually would be tedious.

I wrote a small script this morning to add replay gain information to all my FLAC files after hitting a random transition that went from quiet to insane. The M100's definitely scare you when they jump significantly in volume. Sound was clean.... just really really loud.

/a

PS. The replay gain info can be used by Squeezebox to handle playing tracks from different albums.


Edited by ArthurC (08/31/13 03:31 PM)
_________________________
Semper ubi sub ubi.

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#396753 - 09/01/13 12:04 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: tomtuttle]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I think compression is still relevant for portable devices.


yes indeed until they come out with a 1TB ipod
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#396810 - 09/03/13 08:14 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6614
Loc: PEI, Canada
I use EAC with a script to make flac and mp3 copies. Although I don't recommend EAC as it is not at all intuitive to set up by modern standards. It's been flawless since I set it up though. However, I've lost my sense of thrill in setting up unnecessarily complex things in my old age so if it ever stops working, I will be switching to something else.

My beloved and formerly trusty Squeezebox is starting to act up as well. More and more it freezes up as you move through the menus with the remote. If I use my tablet or iPod to control it, it seems fine.

Honestly, it's never been the same since Logitech bought them out and started applying patches to the server for the fancier versions they developed.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#397640 - 10/05/13 01:05 PM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: chesseroo]
Damien Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 18
With EAC after you put the cd in hit ALT G. It will grab the album art and track titles. You can try it free for ten cds then it will ask for a one time fee for $7.99 US I found it to be very accurate.

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#397759 - 10/11/13 03:09 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: Murph]
Shane White Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 142
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: Murph

My beloved and formerly trusty Squeezebox is starting to act up as well. More and more it freezes up as you move through the menus with the remote. If I use my tablet or iPod to control it, it seems fine.

Honestly, it's never been the same since Logitech bought them out and started applying patches to the server for the fancier versions they developed.


My Squeezebox expired, so now I use an old laptop running Ubuntu and a Squeezebox emulator. I have added a USB sound card as the laptop audio leaves much to be desired.

I have also used a Raspberry Pi for this purpose.
_________________________
Dell laptop(with Squeezebox emulator)->USB DAC->NAD C320BEE amp->Usher S-520 bookshelves.

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#397766 - 10/11/13 08:01 AM Re: New music software: DB PowerAmp / Perfect Tunes [Re: michael_d]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6614
Loc: PEI, Canada
Brilliant!
If you network it, do you know if the Apple/Android remote control apps will work with a Squeezebox emulator?

Although I suppose if you get to that point, there are other options. I just really like my Squeezebox though. So far, it is the only system that I have seen so far that allows you to customize it (with a good bit of effort) to handle a classical library properly.
ie..
Works by Composer
Works by Conductor
Works by Artist/Orchestra
Orchestras by Composer
Conductors by Works
and so on
and so on
and.....
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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