Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Discuss Decibel, a high quality audio player.
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rustyintegrale
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Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by rustyintegrale » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:01 pm

Hi,

Please can someone tell me if Decibel copies music files to another location or just references them? If it does copy where is the folder located on a Mac? Also is there a way to use Decibel to play music but maintain the iTunes database, play count, ratings etc and update these records when music is played using Decibel?

I'm very impressed with the demo version of Decibel but I do like the database and history function of iTunes.

Thanks,

Rich

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sbooth
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Re: Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by sbooth » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:15 am

Hi Rich,

Decibel does not copy files- it simply references their location. You can definitely use iTunes as a library manager but there is no crosstalk between the apps- so the iTunes statistics you mention won't be updated after a track is played in Decibel.

rustyintegrale
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Re: Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by rustyintegrale » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:20 am

smooth wrote:...there is no crosstalk between the apps- so the iTunes statistics you mention won't be updated after a track is played in Decibel.
Okay, sir thanks for your response. Is it possible to add the crosstalk function to future updates or is it just not a possibility?

I've really been looking into this music/sound thing on a Mac. I have around 70,000 MP3s all ripped at 320kbps and collected over a period of 10 years or so. Obviously the cost of storage space has come down over the years and the prospect of storing music in lossless format is more attainable. FLAC seems to be the most 'universal' format but iTunes does not support it. I realise of course that Decibel does, but replacing all the files with FLACs will take time so I'd need to be using both pieces of software in order to access all my music.

The other option I guess is to use Apple Lossless, but that involves another 'process' and because of the conversion required, slows the job of updating all the files.

So, if I may pick your brains?! :roll:

What do you think would be the best solution for me? I want to eventually have all my music in some kind of lossless format? I'd still like the database information and functionality of iTunes (it has my play history over many years and is useful for sorting too) and ultimately I'd like my Mac or an attached server to replace my CD player as the source of all my music.

Currently I use an old type Apple TV as a server hard-wired to my hi-fi and although I can access the music on my DROBO connected to my Mac wirelessly, I prefer to just copy down individual playlists to the Apple TV to cut out the chances of data loss on the wireless link. The Mac and DROBO are also upstairs whilst the Apple TV and hi-fi are downstairs. I also play music on the Mac whilst working so it is important I can access the music there too.

Finally, I use Audacity to convert 5.1 files to stereo, Roxio Toast to rip CDs and FLACs and XLD for those FLACs that Toast doesn't like. Are these the best tools and if not what would you recommend?

Thanks for all your help!

Rich

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sbooth
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Re: Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by sbooth » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:22 pm

rustyintegrale wrote:Okay, sir thanks for your response. Is it possible to add the crosstalk function to future updates or is it just not a possibility?
This would probably be possible, but I would have to look into the technical details.
I've really been looking into this music/sound thing on a Mac. I have around 70,000 MP3s all ripped at 320kbps and collected over a period of 10 years or so. Obviously the cost of storage space has come down over the years and the prospect of storing music in lossless format is more attainable. FLAC seems to be the most 'universal' format but iTunes does not support it. I realise of course that Decibel does, but replacing all the files with FLACs will take time so I'd need to be using both pieces of software in order to access all my music.
If you have files that are MP3s already, your best best is to leave them as MP3s. Any format conversion will result in no quality gain (and possibly a loss) since MP3 is already a lossy format.
Finally, I use Audacity to convert 5.1 files to stereo, Roxio Toast to rip CDs and FLACs and XLD for those FLACs that Toast doesn't like. Are these the best tools and if not what would you recommend?
I would not choose Toast to rip CDs. I've written Max and Rip, both of which need an update, and xLD is also a good alternative.

rustyintegrale
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Re: Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by rustyintegrale » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:12 pm

No, I wasn't intending to upscale my MP3s. I'd keep them but begin the laborious process of replacing them with hi-res files.

Having delved further it seems that Apple Lossless will be the best immediate format for me although it does concern me that FLAC is the universal standard.

As I mentioned, ultimately I want to run these high res files through my hi-fi, however I've found out that Apple TV does not output anything higher than CD quality. The Mac however does if you adjust the MIDI output settings. So now I need to find a way of hosting the files on a Mac-compatible device within hardwiring distance of my hi-fi.

The other option is to burn audio DVDs and buy a compatible player. This isn't the best option for me as I aim to reduce the clutter in my lounge and not add to it!

On the positive side I have now made a Smart playlist that will combine all the high res files I'm downloading so I can now use this in Decibel. It still sounds better than iTunes!

Any pointers as to how I can achieve my goals?

Thanks,

Rich

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Re: Pre-purchase questions about Decibel...

Post by mattn » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:34 pm

Any pointers as to how I can achieve my goals?
What *are* your goals? I've ripped hundreds of CDs to FLAC/CUE, and I play those files (using Decibel) from a big hard disk using a portable computer connected to an external DAC sitting on a shelf above my stereo system. No problem. So if those are your goals, the way to achieve them is: just do it.

However, if your goals have to do with *organizing* those FLAC/CUE files (i.e. somehow seeing them through a database similar to iTunes), I don't think that's in any way relevant to Decibel.

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