Feature roadmap

Discuss the current and future development of Max.
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sbooth
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Feature roadmap

Post by sbooth » Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:29 am

Here are some features I would like to add to Max, in no particular order. What are everyone's feelings regarding prioritization for these?
  • Shorten support
  • Musepack support
  • Improved/streamlined UI (see this thread for ideas)
  • MusicBrainz support
  • Improved AppleScript support (need help designing the AS interface!!)
  • CD ripping error correction- what to do here? I am a bit stumped/short on ideas. No responses to this thread.
  • Support for splitting files using a cue sheet
  • Support for joining multiple files
Edit: added cue sheet and joining files items
Last edited by sbooth on Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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krmathis
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Post by krmathis » Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:40 am

Support for more audio formats is always welcome.
But I think the most important task is to improve, if possible, the secure CD ripping engine. This is way beyond my knowledge level though, so I have no idea where to go from here.

Other than that I see a strong need for an alternative to FreeDB, since the project is abandoned and might be taken down any day. MusicBrainz seems to be the best way to go.

So I put the features is the order I want you to consentrate on them:
1. CD ripping error correction
2. MusicBrainz support
3. Improved/streamlined UI (its pretty good already, but might need some tweaking).
4. MusePack support
5. Shorten support
6. Improved AppleScript support


Once again, thanks a lot for developing this excellent application! :D

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:09 pm

My priority list is the same. Until ripping is secure, Max is just a tool, an extremely handy tool with a vibrant development. But it's not the be-all and end-all it could be, and I believe most want it to be. I have had many folk tell me they don't pay much attention to Max at all any more. They are just waiting for word of it finally getting secure right. I have considered a poll but the trouble with forum polls is they don't result in fair, correct results. I am normally OK with qualitative data but the size of results from forum polls is usually too small.

As for which database: If Max can "talk" to iTunes why can't it use its information from Gracenote? xACT does so.

Once again, thank you for Max. With the improvements in the latest build I use it and Tag for most everything.

LagunaSol
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Post by LagunaSol » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:02 pm

krmathis wrote: 1. CD ripping error correction
2. MusicBrainz support
3. Improved/streamlined UI (its pretty good already, but might need some tweaking).
4. MusePack support
5. Shorten support
6. Improved AppleScript support
I agree completely with krmathis' priority order. Well, OK, mostly agree. I don't care about MusePack or Shorten, so you could bump AppleScript support to #4 in my book. :)

To me, secure ripping trumps all. I need to know that my rips are accurate so I can archive my music with complete peace of mind. I don't know anything about ripping or programming, but can't you attempt to duplicate the secure ripping functionality of EAC by emulating its approach to ripping? I believe they provide fairly substantial documentation on their site. Perhaps the author would even be willing to provide a little insight to aid in your quest to build an EAC equivalent for Mac.

And while I would love to see EAC results from Max, I wouldn't want to see an emulation of the EAC feature set. That program is far too convoluted and offers far too many settings/options IMO. In typical Windows fashion... I want a secure ripper that "just works," without a lot of user fumbling.

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jiho
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Re: Feature roadmap

Post by jiho » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:21 am

I'll vote for:
  • Musepack support (this format seems really cool 8) )
  • MusicBrainz support (if grace note is to disappear)
  • Support for splitting files using a cue sheet + Support for joining multiple files (why not. in this case, a tool to extract audio from a DVD would be really handy because splitting/joining tracks is mostly requiered in this situation)
  • Shorten support
  • Improved/streamlined UI (less prefs, more direct UI interaction and less windows :P)
  • Improved AppleScript support
  • CD ripping error correction (the paranoia mode works great for me on very bad CDs. on good ones, the basic mode is enough. why another error correction method?)
I'll be interested to know more about te CD ripping error correction because many people seem to place this at high priority and I really do not see why.
JiHO

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:25 pm

I'll be interested to know more about te CD ripping error correction because many people seem to place this at high priority and I really do not see why.
Many Max users share with people that are of the Windows persuasion. Exact Audio Copy is a sort of magic and as it is deemed by the majority to be the best, they often won't take second best. If you want to maximize your sharing you want to do the best.

Even many who rip for personal use want to be *sure.* If better can be had let's get it. Not that I can help with this magic. : /

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jiho
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yes... but still

Post by jiho » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:55 pm

Fuga wrote:
I'll be interested to know more about te CD ripping error correction because many people seem to place this at high priority and I really do not see why.
Many Max users share with people that are of the Windows persuasion. Exact Audio Copy is a sort of magic and as it is deemed by the majority to be the best, they often won't take second best. If you want to maximize your sharing you want to do the best.

Even many who rip for personal use want to be *sure.* If better can be had let's get it. Not that I can help with this magic. : /
OK, thnaks for the reply. It lead me to read about this EAC stuff a bit... and it really looks similar to CDparanoia to me :? compare:
EAC
In secure mode, this program reads every audio sector at least twice. [...] But by using this technique non-identical sectors are detected. If an error occurs (read or sync error), the program keeps on reading this sector, until eight of 16 retries are identical, [...]. If it is not sure that the stream is correct (at least it can be said at approx. 99.5%) the program will tell the user where the (possible) read error occurred. The program also tries to adjust the jitter artefacts that occur on the first block of a track, so that each extraction should be exactly the same.
CDparanoia
cdparanoia reads audio from the CDROM directly as data, with no analog step between, and writes the data to a file or pipe in WAV, AIFC or raw 16 bit linear PCM. Cdparanoia will read correct, rock-solid audio data from inexpensive drives prone to misalignment, frame jitter and loss of streaming during atomic reads. cdparanoia will also read and repair data from CDs that have been damaged in some way.

OK, this is not really technical but at least one can see that both error correction methods are about:
- reading several times the same sector in order to avoid pops and clicks
- correcting frame jitters
The only point where I'm not sure is about the frame distortion which seems corrected by EAC but not mentionned by paranoia. Nevertheless, in my experience, even heavily damaged CDs are repared really well when using paranoia.
Therefore I persist in thinking that coding another error correction method is reinventing the wheel.

Then on the "sharing" point of view, I don't know if you were talking about sharing ideas or sharing files. If it is sharing files, Max in it's current stage is very capable in producing files Windows folks can read. If it's sharing ideas and debating on which error correction method is the best, I think that the only possible end to the debate will be to try to rip a CD kept in a "box full of gravel" (quoting paranoia FAQ) with both methods and see which succeeds. I'll vote for paranoia as it actually ripped some CD I kept in a case full of sand :D to perfect wav files (on Linux at least).
JiHO

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:39 pm

Oh, sure. cdparanoia is great, as far as it goes. The following is discussed by more knowledgeable folk than me in other relevant Max thread(s).

The issue is simply that when paranoia rereads a sector it first looks to see if the drive cached what was read the first time. If it did, it merely uses that data. Sounds self-delusionally self-defeating, no? When setting up EAC you detect if your drive caches audio and if so you tell EAC. It then performs its mysterious ability to flush the cache so as to get true re-reads. Every bloomin' drive I've tested over the last three years caches audio. If a drive doesn't then it is presumed that paranoia would be as good. No one on the Mac side has been able to make a drive flush (possibly due to the OS itself? - not all UNIX being alike). If I understand correctly settings *could* be made where you fool the caching scheme but it has been decided that time for the app to do so would make the app useless. I'm not sure of that last; it hasn't been actually tested to my knowledge. But then I don't really know anything, just what I hear.

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Post by aka » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:14 pm

Here are my top 3 (4 if you count the .cue bit) wishes:

1) Secure Rip (a *must* as far as I can see).
2) Concise Log output that includes verification info (dZp said it well):
One thing that would be nice is to have Max automatically generate a log file that is similar in style to what EAC spits out, showing that the (flac) rip is perfect with CRC checksum.
Track 1
Filename ~ 01 - One.wav

Pre-gap length 0:00:02.00

Peak level 100.0 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC E003D608
Copy CRC E003D608
Copy OK
And also provide the option to generate a cue sheet even when not encoding selected tracks to a single file.
3) Access Apple's on-board CD database for tagging, so info is mirrored on desktop, iTunes, Max, etc.

Anything else is gravy to me...

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:55 pm

ooh! What he said.

aka is right on re: logging info and database.

and about the rest being gravy. I have made comments about GUI, and work flow, but without any of the changes that have been made, with secure ripping it would be easier than booting Windows.

dZp
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Post by dZp » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:10 pm

Just chiming in to say that I'll agree with aka...
Obviously... 'cause that's my quote. ;-)

Keep up the great work sbooth. I'm a big fan of Max.

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jiho
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Post by jiho » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:22 am

Fuga wrote:Oh, sure. cdparanoia is great, as far as it goes. The following is discussed by more knowledgeable folk than me in other relevant Max thread(s).

The issue is simply that when paranoia rereads a sector it first looks to see if the drive cached what was read the first time. If it did, it merely uses that data. Sounds self-delusionally self-defeating, no? When setting up EAC you detect if your drive caches audio and if so you tell EAC. It then performs its mysterious ability to flush the cache so as to get true re-reads.
Thanks for the info on EAC Fuga. I guess I used paranoia on a no-caching drive then (this was quite a long time ago). Indeed, withouth flushing the cache this method seems self-defeating.
JiHO

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Re: Feature roadmap

Post by cabbage » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:04 am

Here's my list
[*]Support for splitting files using a cue sheet
[*]Shorten support
[*]Improved/streamlined UI (see this thread for ideas)
[*]Improved AppleScript support (need help designing the AS interface!!)

I record a lot of stuff digitally and splitting the one long aiff/wav that I record would be a huge help.

Steve
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Post by Steve » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:20 am

Yep, secure ripping is number one. All I want is an easy to use app (check) with secure ripping (not yet) and LAME encoding (check). I know secure ripping is a tough problem and I can't help with it, but you did ask for opinions...

My second priority would be something not on your list but it's been mentioned a few times in the forums. I'd like Max to (optionally) use the tags that iTunes pulls from Gracenote. That way, if freedb doesn't have tags or they are incomplete/wrong, I can grab them from iTunes and upload the right tags to freedb.

Thanks for Max! It's already the best ripper/encoder for Mac and it keeps getting better!

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Post by deuce4040 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:53 am

aka wrote:Here are my top 3 (4 if you count the .cue bit) wishes:

1) Secure Rip (a *must* as far as I can see).
2) Concise Log output that includes verification info (dZp said it well):
One thing that would be nice is to have Max automatically generate a log file that is similar in style to what EAC spits out, showing that the (flac) rip is perfect with CRC checksum.
Track 1
Filename ~ 01 - One.wav

Pre-gap length 0:00:02.00

Peak level 100.0 %
Track quality 100.0 %
Test CRC E003D608
Copy CRC E003D608
Copy OK
And also provide the option to generate a cue sheet even when not encoding selected tracks to a single file.
3) Access Apple's on-board CD database for tagging, so info is mirrored on desktop, iTunes, Max, etc.

Anything else is gravy to me...
agreed. definitely secure ripping for first priority, and a useful, concise log for second. right now, the max logs can reach up to 3mb, and they don't prove a successful rip. i'd just like something with confirmation of a clean rip, like that of EAC.

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