Originally Posted by Joe Hendrix
Yes, I'm always getting those terms mixed around.
So... ripping to the Flac multi-channel format still doesn't allow 5.1 over SPDIF? Could you rip it in a lower quality multi-channel Flac format that does allow the sound to carry through on SPDIF? Or, be able to convert the rip to WMA-Pro (which I'm assuming could carry it's sound over SPDIF)? It sounds like DTS (or AC3) is the only solution for now for my current setup.
Could I first rip the music to Flac using DVD-Audio Explorer and then some other tool to bring those rips down to a format which would carry over SPDIF? I would really like to access this music through my Music Library, rather than my DVD Library. If so, what tool might that be?
I doubt WMA-Pro is going to help you, most receivers do not have the capability to decode WMA-Pro via S/PDIF. And I wonder even if your receiver did have that capability if WMA-Pro is going to sound any better than AC3/DTS since those are all lossy compressed. For multichannel over S/PDIF the options are usually AC3 (DD) or DTS. Yes you could extract the hi-res audio from the DVD-Audio, and with the right software you could decode and then re-encode to AC3/DTS (which are lossy compressed), then for playback you could 'pass-through' the AC3/DTS over the S/PDIF for decoding in your receiver.
But DVD-Audio releases usually already contain AC3 or DTS in the normal DVD portion of the disc for compatibility with non-DVD-Audio dvd players. There are many ways to extract AC3/DTS from DVDs - one tool is called 'DVD Audio Extractor'. Note that the name of that tool can cause confusion since it only extracts the audio from the normal portion (DVD part), not the hi-res audio (DVD-Audio part) of a DVD-Audio.
But other than that you don't really have many options since S/PDIF only carries the 2 channel PCM or data in form of lossy compressed DD-AC3/DTS.
-- EDIT --
1. Following up on Himey's 2nd suggestion - I used to use some very inxpensive switchers from Radio Shack for switching analog from one source to another (two 3 channel switchers). You may want to look into that until you have receiver with more/HDMI inputs.
2. Some AC3/DTS tracks from DVD-Audio can sound real good, especially compared to 2 channel equivalent. So one thought would be to extract the AC3 or DTS and the hi-res (use DVD Audio Explorer for the hi-res), then just play back the AC3/DTS for now until your system is upgraded.
3. Some computer sound solutions do include 'on-the-fly' DD-encoding to allow multichannel over S/PDIF, i.e., for game audio. If you had that then you could play the hi-res tracks, but this would effectively mean that your computer audio software would lossy compress/re-encode it to DD-AC3 in real time - if you do that then you might as well play the AC3 or DTS from the normal part of the disc.