WMA files, convert or re-rip


(Frank Cromer) #1

I have a new Roon install that’s working well, but I just discovered that WMA isn’t supported and the bulk of my collection is in that format from old Windows days. I don’t have an issue with WMA not being supported as DMA was always a hassle for me anyway. My question is, am I better off transcoding/converting the existing files to .flac or should I re-rip the CDs as I have them all.

Loving Roon so far!!

yourpalfranc


(Oliver P) #2

Hi Frank,

if the files are WMA-lossless, you can convert them to FLAC with no degradation in quality.
If the files are ripped with a WMA lossy bitrate, I would re-rip the CDs directly in FLAC…


(Frank Cromer) #3

Boy, that’s a good question, Oliver?? Some of my CDs were ripped 15 years ago when I knew absolutely nothing about this and just using Windows Media Player. I have (a little) more knowledge now, and I’m doing some research that is leading me to believe I’d be better off in the long run to re-rip. I download a trial of dBpoweramp and ripped a couple of new CDs. It’s not a terrible process, but it’s still gonna be at least 100 discs. Thanks for your input, and if you have more thoughts I’d love to hear.


(Tony) #4

Re-rip, no question about it. As well as lossless future proof files, dBpoweamp will give you decent metadata and cover art (usually), so will put your collection in a good state to be used by any player.


(Paul Williams) #5

I agree that re-ripping is the best option. Before you do this, work out how you want to organise and “discover” your music, so that you can modify the album name and any other metadata before you rip.

My collection is mostly classical - so Albums are generally named Composer followed by main composition, other compositions and if necessary conductor/performer. For the pop/jazz albums I have I organise using Artist followed by album title - eg Beatles White Album, Beatles Sgt Pepper; Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Miles Davis Sketches of Spain


(Mikael Ollars) #6

Just one addition to the excellent suggestions.
I have found it most useful to separate the album artist form the album name by either using a specific set of characters, such as " - " or by creating folders for album artists with each album as separa folder beneath.

And, since i have quite a lot of rips, i have a top level with the album artists beginning letters grouped by three and three. That means, one folder named “ABC”, another “DEF” etc. Roon doesn’t care about this but i have other playback options that benefits from this, other than the fact that it is easier to locate particular albums while manicuring metadata, converting/copying for other uses etc.


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #7

It took me a couple of months to re-rip my 2000 CDs - it’s no problem once you get into a rhythm - you can do plenty of other things and just come back to the computer every 15 minutes.

OR, if you have kids between maybe 10-15, you can pay them $1 per disc to do it. My son actually learned a ton about my music when I had him doing this.


(Mr Fix It ) #8

Nothing beats child labor hehehehe A $1 a disk, with 2000 disks, OUCH…still only $4 an hour depending on the ripping capabilities.


(Frank Cromer) #9

LOL!! If I had kids in that age group around, I’d be paying them to cut grass, rake leaves and shovel snow. I’m keeping the fun jobs for myself!!


(Frank Cromer) #10

Yes, it’s not that bad. Actually, it’s kind of nice to get reacquainted with some music I don’t play all that often.


(Frank Cromer) #11

For those of you that have ripped to .flac, what compression value do you use? The first few CDs I’ve ripped I’ve gone with uncompressed, but I know that’s probably overkill. I’m not really concerned about storage space, but I should really be practical.


(Andrew J Shepherd) #12

FLAC default. Adjusting otherwise is completely unnecessary.

Once you have Secure ripping configured, dBpoweramp default settings almost always follow consensus good practices. Mucking around may put you back in the same position – doing this all over again in a few years.

AJ


#13

I use maximum. It won’t make files dramatically smaller than the default compression level. But with modern CPUs, the difference in time to compress at max is a handful of seconds. So why not squeeze every last byte out of it? It’s not like ten years ago where encoding flacs was VERY slow and the max setting was orders of magnitude slower than the default level…


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #14

Oh it’s been more like 20 discs. I did the first giant batch myself. But like many others, even with Tidal, I continue to buy disks I think are worthy of physical collection. I mean, the Internet is going to go down at some point, at least for a few days or something, and I will still want to listen to music!


(Tony) #15

Default level (5?) is advisable. Apart from not making much size difference compared with maximum compression, there are compatibility issues to consider. Not that long ago, portable and in-car players were very fussy about which format of mp3 file you fed them. I presume that a similar consideration applies to FLAC formats in these players. So if you want to play these files on your phone or in your car, you might be in for a nasty surprise. Why take the risk?


(GaryM) #16

I use “5” just because that was the default in dbpoweramp ripper and I just stayed with it. That said, there was a time when many folks reported that the Squeezebox Transporter (I have one) wouldn’t handle certain FLAC files ripped at “8” (maximum) for some odd reason. Even that was fixed with a firmware update to the Transporter. I’ve done a few tests and the space savings from 5 to 8 was tiny.


#17

I disagree. I’ve never heard of any problems with FLAC readers not supporting any valid FLAC file, and I’ve personally never encountered it with any of the devices I use (including a Squeezebox Transporter).

I believe this is because pretty much everyone uses the official decoder library since it’s been available as open source from day one. With mp3, there was a lot of “roll your own” decoder software in the early days and they frequently got things wrong, because mp3 was a “closed” format initially, and Fraunhoffer (sp?) had steep licensing feeds for their code.


(Mike O'Neill) #18

This format may well confuse Roons recognition

The closer the Album Name to the original the better the chance of ID surely

The software will sort out the rest

Just my opinion


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #19

I do recall reading about a problem with FLACs encoded at higher than the default…it may have had to do with slow processors and thus be stale information. I do not recall. But I do agree there is no reason to need to encode at more than the default given that it remains an open question. Fine if you did and have no problems. Just saying that max compatibility is good if there is a big effort to fix it later.


(Anders Vinberg) #20

I use no compression, because storage is free.
Some people have yelled at me about “free”.
But I stand by that.
I did the math a few years ago (it’s somewhere in this forum), where the disk storage of a CD costs 3 cents, and storing the jewel cases in IKEA book cases that use floor space in your house costs 3 dollars. And since then, disk costs have gone down and house prices have gone up.