Can Roon transcode my many Apple m4a tracks to flac so they can be played by my DCS Bartok DAC?
When the Roon core plays music it decodes it to PCM (or DSD) and sends that to the endpoint. Flac is just a container for PCM, like other formats. However, Roon is not sending FLAC either, it is sending the PCM.
The DCS software will not discover m4a albums, and hence can’t play them. So if I understand you correctly, Roon will do so. That alone is worth the price of the server.
And indeed, it works.
However, the album tags are not read properly by Roon. It did not put the album under its Artist.
Well, there are different reasons that might be. Best to start with what is the album in question.
Maybe consider a batch convert of the m4a files to flac first?
I had a HDD full of wma files that my then present streamer/ dac simply refused to recognize period.
I used an online program to convert the lot to flac.
The nice aspect of that particular program was that it did not convert and replace the wma files, it created a whole new batch of flac copies.
So I still had my original wma files as well.
Just a thought…
Roon doesn’t do transcoding but there’s usually a copy of ffmpeg on a Roon core which will convert between most formats.
Roon allows me to play all my Apple m4a files on my DCS Bartok. Apparently it just sends the bits to the DCS. This alone makes Roon worth the price. No conversion is needed!