Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

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music_mad
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Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by music_mad » Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:45 pm

Hello guys!

At the moment I'm using Squeezecenter (formally known as Slimserver) to manage my music. After scanning my music I had to recognize that all the MAX encoded Apple Loseless files didn't get recognized by the scanner in the Squeezecenter. Now I transcoded the MAX ALAC files with iTunes again to ALAC and ... boom... the scanner of SQC had found the files. Now I have to assume that the Max ALAC files are different to the iTunes encodings. Could you tell me where is the difference? Is it a bug or is it known? It would be a mess if I have to drop MAX. Switching from ALAC to FLAC wouldn't fit my needs because I want to use iTunes and the original iPod software. (just too comfortable with synching Podcasts etc)

I'm looking forward to your answers!

Regards!

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Fuga
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by Fuga » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:06 pm

Since no one else has chimed in ...

Perhaps you chose the "wrong" format. Max has too many confusing formats. Or, rather, there are too many formats with insufficient information about them. I'm thinking the format you chose was not the correct one as there is more than one. For the right ALAC you want the first of the two MPEG4 Audio choices.

music_mad
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by music_mad » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:27 am

Hello!

From my point of view I have taken the right format. There is just one possibility which offers me ALAC. I've taken some screens:

First MPEG-4 option:
http://img.skitch.com/20080716-geetnbn6 ... sbhdsm.jpg
http://img.skitch.com/20080716-djx7i7iw ... h4mrji.jpg

Second MPEG-4 option which doesn't offer ALAC:
http://img.skitch.com/20080716-jyw1y9gj ... ner59b.jpg
http://img.skitch.com/20080716-tx9awn8n ... 2sc9qc.jpg

I've choosen the first one to encode my files. And there is definetly a minimal difference between them. When playing MAX encoded ALAC files in the Videolan Client (VLC) I get the following error in the console: "mp4 warning: unknown box type meta (incompletely loaded)". But it plays the music. The scanner in the Squeezecenter also recognizes this difference and drops the files for not being conform ALAC files.

Could someone confirm that?

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Fuga
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by Fuga » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:28 pm

Yep. You have the correct one. Sorry. This is beyond me. Perusing the forums you'd see some folk do take that AAC option in the second MPEG4 choice so I was "hoping" that's all there'd be to this. Stick around. There's much more knowledgeable folk than me that regularly show up, including of course the developer. SHould you figure it out yourself do please report back as it's got my curiosity up.

music_mad
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by music_mad » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:00 am

Hmm yeah I will reply if there is something new. I hope that sbooth know something about that topic. At the moment I'm not sure which program I should use to produce ALAC files.

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Fuga
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by Fuga » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:50 pm

You could go ahead and rip with Max as it uses paranoia (best there is on mac without getting into Windows/EAC) and iTunes just does some rinky-dink error correction on essentially Finder copying from discs. Then use iTunes to ALAC.

I wonder if it's something to do with version of tags. Again, I'm not very knowledgeable about tags - they're either right or wrong and so far they've always been right for my use. IIRC Max uses the more recent "version" and iTunes does not. Perhaps Sueezecenter likes the older?

music_mad
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by music_mad » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:33 pm

Could you tell me where to get information about the reference how a tag should look like after the ALAC standard?

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Fuga
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by Fuga » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:43 pm

Sorry. I know little but that which I wrote. What I can see: iTunes tags MP3 files with v2.3 and there exists a v2.4. You can even select siad MP3s and use iTunes itself to convert to 2.4 (Advanced menu or right-click). But now I see that getting info on an ALAC file shows no tag version number. So I'm thinking there is no relevancy re: tag versions and you can flush what I've offered.

I guess it's summer and all the smart people are vacationing. Have patience. There's gotta be some explanation if not a fix.

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sbooth
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by sbooth » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:14 pm

MP4 files use boxes (atoms) to store information. Sometimes for applications which handle them, the order of the atoms are extremely important. It's possible that Squeezecenter doesn't like the way Max lays out the atoms in the generated MP4 files. One experiment that would be worth trying is running one of the files in question through AtomicParsley and see if it is recognized after that.

music_mad
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Re: Differences between Apple ALAC files and MAX ALAC files?

Post by music_mad » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:13 am

Could you give me further information about Atomic Parsley? I will try it on my own right now but I'm not so into that topic. :) I will give you information about what I found out by myself.

Update:

I've used Atomic Parsley right now and here is what I get:

For the MAX encoded file:
http://paste.lisp.org/display/63878

For the iTunes encoded file:
http://paste.lisp.org/display/63879

It is the same track from the same source. They are slightly different in file size. (something about 37.1 M to 37.2 M)

But I don't understand how I could reorder the Atom in the right way with AP in order to make ist usable for the Squeezecenter.

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