Which media streamers do FLAC natively? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I've got a NAS (Infrant) that I'm putting all my music in FLAC format. Which currently available media streamers support FLAC natively? Transcoding is OK, as long as it's to another lossless format.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 01:06 PM
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I don't own one, but the SlimDevices Squeezebox v3 and the new Transporter supposedly understand FLAC natively.

I use SlimServer and Roku SoundBridge, and for 16-bit FLAC files, they get transcoded to WAV first, than over wired LAN. Works fine, if you have enough CPU power. I bought the Roku before I got into lossless formats. Now, I'd probably buy a Squeezebox.

There is a third party codec for Roku Photobridge for FLAC 16 bit - i use it alot and it works fine. Well, as fine can be for a EOL-d platform :-) !
The developer of the codec lately modified it to dither 24-bit down to 16-bit to play the (rare) 24-bit FLAC files... on the soundbridge the 24-bit FLAC files just sound like static!

I believe only the ($2000) Transporter can play 24-bit FLAC files natively. I have to author and burn DVD-Audio disks to listen to them on my system.

What program do you use to import your CD's using FLAC format ? I looked at EAC but it was confusing to me.

-Mike
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 02:51 PM
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I also use the Roku Photobridge and FLAC works fine
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 03:06 PM
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for what its worth, Roku recently added ALAC (Apple Lossless) support to the 2.7 beta build of the Roku SoundBridge.

This has the advantage of working with iTunes and also being lossless.

There is also a ALAC codec available for the Roku Photobridge (3rd-party).

One sample CD I copied using iTunes in multiple formats - AIFF 22 Mb, ALAC 14.75 Mb, MP3 (using highest fidelity) 5 Mb. Apple Advanced Audio Codec - 5 Mb.

the ALAC disk space savings are about 33%. Listening on my stereo, the AIFF and ALAC versions did sound a little better. My standard for ripping now are using iTunes and AIFF. Maybe sometime I will switch to ALAC or FLAC.

-Mike
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 10:01 PM
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Xbox running XBMC will play FLAC fine and it does 24 bit FLAC too....

I have tons of flac and it works very well for this.....

I transcoded all my shortens to FLAC so I could tag them and use this aspect...

Sean
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-02-2007, 10:36 PM
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Sonos gear can handle FLAC natively and provide bit perfect SPDIF output with gapless playback. http://www.sonos.com
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-03-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpooton View Post

Sonos gear can handle FLAC natively and provide bit perfect SPDIF output with gapless playback. http://www.sonos.com


I don't own a sonos (yet), but I was wondering what you need to do in order to get gapless playback of flac files? On windows my cuesheet and player are able to glue my tracks together seamlessly.

thanks
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-03-2007, 08:12 PM
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The Roku Photobridge with third party FLAC codec does NOT do gapless playback.
I thought I should mention that because it is a little annoying when listening to live concerts with FLACs - there is a little "hiccup" when the tracks change.

the Roku PB codec does have support for Replay GAIN - I don't use it but I guess it sort of normalizes the gain of the flac's.

How much does the Sonos system cost ? It got very positive reviews in the NYTimes.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-04-2007, 07:34 PM
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to follow up my own post, here are the instructions for getting EAC to rip to FLAC format.

First, if you are using EAC you are running on XP or Win2K. Please install the FLAC package ( you will need to know the path to flac.exe )

(taken from http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/EAC/index.html)

Change Compression Options -> External compression settings
FLAC:
3. Set file extension to .flac
4. Locate path and 'flac.exe'
5. Use command line -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s

when you are ripping a CD, choose rip with compression, than it will use the custom compression program you choose. It will first rip to WAV and then launch flac.exe for each WAV track. It seems to work pretty good, I've done 3 CDs already using this format.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-27-2007, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjt5282 View Post

to follow up my own post, here are the instructions for getting EAC to rip to FLAC format.

First, if you are using EAC you are running on XP or Win2K. Please install the FLAC package ( you will need to know the path to flac.exe )

Change Compression Options -> External compression settings
FLAC:
3. Set file extension to .flac
4. Locate path and 'flac.exe'
5. Use command line -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s

when you are ripping a CD, choose rip with compression, than it will use the custom compression program you choose. It will first rip to WAV and then launch flac.exe for each WAV track. It seems to work pretty good, I've done 3 CDs already using this format.

I find using REACT (basically a batch process) with EAC to be great. Once you get it set up, using REACT with EAC completely automates your rip and creates a batch command to compress the files with whatever technique you would like external to the program.

The way I have it set up, EAC automatically gives me a FLAC copy to my FLAC directory with .cue and .log and a V0 LAME Mp3 copy to my MP3 directory; it also finds the album artwork. Check it out here:
(ok, I can't post links, so google "REACT EAC" instead.)
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-01-2007, 07:27 AM
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Your two best choices are probably the Slimdevices and Sonos. I could not in good conscience recommend anything Roku with their track record. The slimdevice and the Sonos are both mature products that handle FLAC natively and flawlessly... no hacking needed. Also you can probably install slimserver on your NAS directly and not need any PC. I have slimserver installed on my NAS and it works great.

A wise man once told me "Don't argue with fools, cause people from a distance can't tell who is who."
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-06-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony in NYC View Post

Your two best choices are probably the Slimdevices and Sonos. I could not in good conscience recommend anything Roku with their track record. The slimdevice and the Sonos are both mature products that handle FLAC natively and flawlessly... no hacking needed. Also you can probably install slimserver on your NAS directly and not need any PC. I have slimserver installed on my NAS and it works great.

I can't speak for the Slimdevices and Sonos, but I recently purchased a Roku and it works flawlessly. My entire collection is ripped to lossless wma files, which I believe windows converts to FLAC when talking to the Roku and everthing works great. I have read that Slimdevices plays at a higher bit rate and that might be true, but everything works great with the Roku.

I also have Rapsody and, again, no issue with the Roku.

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post #13 of 15 Old 03-07-2007, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLidlessEye View Post

Hi, I've got a NAS (Infrant) that I'm putting all my music in FLAC format. Which currently available media streamers support FLAC natively? Transcoding is OK, as long as it's to another lossless format.

flac.sourceforge.net is THE site for all things flac. Check out http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware. It is unlikely that every single device is listed here, but any vendor who is serious about flac will be there. I think you want native support though. I went with the Helios X5000 as it supports 24/96, which Squeezebox and Sonos do not. If 24/44.1 is good enough, then Squeezebox is probably your best bet.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-07-2007, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLidlessEye View Post

Hi, I've got a NAS (Infrant) that I'm putting all my music in FLAC format. Which currently available media streamers support FLAC natively? Transcoding is OK, as long as it's to another lossless format.

I added native FLAC support to the mvpmc project for the Hauppauge MediaMVP, and I can now play my collection directly from either of my NAS boxes. I'm going to be adding adding album art sooner or later to complete the digital transition.

Martin
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-08-2007, 11:55 PM
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The TViX M-4000 and M-5000 play OGG and FLAC files from an internal HD or streamed over ethernet. I use M-4000 myself to pipe FLACs from a server into my home stereo.
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