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Author Topic: Support for lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless)  (Read 4898 times)

erikk75

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Support for lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless)
« on: October 28, 2008, 02:32:52 AM »

It is quite frustrating that the DSM-510 can't play lossless music files such as FLAC and Apple Lossless, which are supported by UPnP servers such as Twonky.

My three DSM-510 are connected to hi-fi amplifiers and MP3 are just not good enough, especially for classical music, which is my prefered music. Of course I have tried different mp3 encoder including the excellent lame encoder, and different bitrates as well. Even at bitrate of 320, you can clearly hear it's a MP3.

For music lovers, I guess the only way to go is lossless compression. Unfortunately the DLink DSM-510 does not support any lossless compression supported by the most popular UPnP server TwonkyMedia.

Is it possible that the next firmware for the DSM-510 includes support for FLAC or Apple Lossless ?

Thankx
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DigitalUser

  • Level 2 Member
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  • Posts: 25
Re: Support for lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless)
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 07:19:37 AM »

I am no expert on this, but, as a general statement, I feel like the format the music is captured in should be separated from the issue of what format the playback device can actually handle. The idea is that the players will change over time, but there should be no need for you to re-rip your music. When I get around to it, I will probably look at a lossless open format, and FLAC/CUE seems like a possible way to go.

Now, for the playback, if the device does not support FLAC directly, there is always the possibility of transcoding. This is where my memory is fuzzy as to what format the DSM-510 supports, but I would think that, as FLAC is pretty much a raw uncompressed high bitrate wave form, would it be possible to look into something simple like wav, or LPCM?

FWIW, I am using mediatomb as a media server (under Debian GNU/Linux), and some work has been made towards transcoding of FLAC/CUE. Check it out. http://mediatomb.cc

Feel free to report your findings. I am interested in this, too.

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erikk75

  • Guest
Re: Support for lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless)
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 08:46:12 AM »

It's interesting what you're saying. That's true FLAC would be the prefered format to store the music since it's lossless and open, so if another format is needed no need to rip again, just have to transcode.

Nevertheless, for playback I am not too fond of transcoding, although it might be my only solution since I'm not sure if DLink does actually take user wishes into account.

Still I don't think it's too exagerate to ask for support of at least one lossless audio format such as FLAC which is open.

Transcoding requires that your UPnP server supports it and that it has enough power to transcode the file on the fly. There might be problems if the server does not handle well garbage collection: for example if it transcode a file into a temporary file and stream the partially or fully completed temporary file, does it clean the file correctly if the client interrupts playing the track. When moving to another track, will it generate some noticeable delay etc.

That kind of problems are easy to address or at least diagnose if your are running your server on a PC, but if your server is a NAS (like the DLink DNS-323 or the Lacie Ethernet Disks), it's more problematic ...

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DigitalUser

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  • Posts: 25
Re: Support for lossless audio (FLAC, Apple Lossless)
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 09:25:20 AM »

I am right there with you, trust me. My idea is that transcoding of audio should be ok, even on a low power NAS (I have a HP Mediavault). FLAC must be very close to wav and such.

From what I understand, the thing you lose with transcoding is the trick-play (FF, REW).

As usual, there is always the possibility of a cache. The tools to transcode could be invoked once, and the result stored for serving to the device. As long as you have the storage, it should be fine, I guess. This way, no delay, no loss of trick play, and you still maintain the initial idea of ripping just once.

From what I understand, DLink bought the firmware from a third party company for the DSM-510. I would assume they are in no hurry to incur expense on a product that arguably has reached its end of life.

This is the part where I climb on my soapbox for a minute and point this as another example of why proprietary software dedicated to specific hardware is such a poor model. If that firmware happen to be released to the community as open source/GPL, this box would be so far ahead of where it is now. Just have a look at what the community has done withh the Linksys wireless routers. It is not that software is not available, it is that it need to be adapted/compiled to this box. I am done now.
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