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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heres the latest release. I have tried to address the problems with the previous release, most notable the resolution and clock erros. Once again, I am looking to hear how it works on anyones HTPC especially if you are running a non standard resolution. Hope you enjoy!


Regards,

cwilmo

Ape Jukebox 0.25
 

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Hi


I haven't given much thought to using a CD software to manage my ripped music other than Mario's CD Lobby- and that's only because it can be setup to launch WinAmp. I have the MAD 32bit audio plug-in and special visualizations that I use when playing music through WinAmp. WIn my DeltaDio 2496 card the 32bit plugin provides a noticeable improvement in sound quality. So far I haven't found a program that gives me the sound quality that WinAmp and the Mad plugin does.


Does your Ape Jukebox provide any visualizations or special audio plugins? Does it play MP3 files with a proprietary decoder? Regarding overall sound quality, which is the number one importance, what does your app offer that can improve or equal 32bit audio?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Shawn,


I have designed Ape Jukebox to have the highest audio quality playback. It supports Windows Media, MP3 and Monkey's Audio Files. Of these Monkey's Audio is of course the best, followed by Windows Media in my experience.


The playback engine for Ape Jukebox in fact uses Winamp plugins and for MP3 in fact uses the MAD plugin therefore it has excellent sound quality. The Monkey's Audio files are played as bit perfect copies of the original CD audio.


I use an M-Audio 2496 Audiophile with excellent results using the digital coaxial output fed into my receiver.


DVD Lobby and Ape Jukebox are fundamentally different. Ape Jukebox has always aimed at allowing you to enjoy your music collection using a graphical interface using the CD cover art. It will seamlessly play the above audio formats and contains innovative advanced play modes. It will run at native HDTV 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. It reads ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags. Upcoming features include lyrics support, five disc and jukebox modes and integrated ripping and encoding to the format of your choice with FreeDDB lookup of CD's.


As far as visualizations go. The player does not play visualization s like Geiss etc. It is meant to allow you to easily select your music and thus uses all your screen real estate to display your music.


Regards,

cwilmo
 

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Is it not possible to get the equivalent upconvert with any SW by locking the sample rate in the M-Audio driver ??? I am currently waiting on my 410 so not sure but I belived you could lock 88.2 etc and that the card would upconvert and do so well ??


Does the Mad plug in sound better than this ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dear Phat Phreddy,


It has been my experience that the MAD plugin sounds better than most other MP3 plugins when operating at 24bits, however, I think APE files sound better in native 16 bit 44.1 kHz format. On my system I feel I get better definition and clarity (perhaps a little less harshness) when locking the sample rate to 96kHz in the MAudio control panel utility. I don't believe that this upsamples to 24bit /96kHz but rather that it oversamples to 96kHz and remains 16bit amplitude.


As an aside coaxial digital connection is noticable superior to RCA connections from my MAudio Audiophile 2496 card.


Regards,

cwilmo
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cwilmo
Dear Phat Phreddy,


It has been my experience that the MAD plugin sounds better than most other MP3 plugins when operating at 24bits, however, I think APE files sound better in native 16 bit 44.1 kHz format. On my system I feel I get better definition and clarity (perhaps a little less harshness) when locking the sample rate to 96kHz in the MAudio control panel utility. I don't believe that this upsamples to 24bit /96kHz but rather that it oversamples to 96kHz and remains 16bit amplitude.


As an aside coaxial digital connection is noticable superior to RCA connections from my MAudio Audiophile 2496 card.


Regards,

cwilmo


-Perhaps because Monkey's Audio does not alter the information? However fancy an algorithm one uses for upsampling, it will always be a more or less educated guesswork.








Bonus: A comparison of lossless audio formats
http://home.wanadoo.nl/~w.speek/comparison.htm
 

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I've downloaded and installed this app, and I have to say it has the makings of a VERY nice program. I've been looking for a simple interface that is big enough to read on my low-rez tv - this program looks great!


One question: I've been ripping my cd's with EAC & compressing with LAME, but have not yet found a way to get cd cover art. Where can you download them from and how does ape jukebox know where to find them?


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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I am also wondering about the cover art. Is it an automated process that the program handles or is the user expected to download hundreds of pics off the net?


I attempted to enter my "A's" a couple weeks ago using CD Lobby and with over 700 CD's archived I am not looking forward to downloading hundreds of pics. The time hunting images and downloading them all may be a factor in me not going ahead with my CD management project for a while.
 

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Yeah, getting cover art can be a PITA if you're doing it for an existing collection. I'm not aware of any automated way to get the images, unfortunately. Some of the places that will have the images are Amazon, CDNow, Columbia House, and BMG Music Service.


cwilmo,


You app looks promising, but I really don't want to have to reorganize my entire collection to your naming scheme. Any idea when you will have support for scanning a specified folder/drive and using ID3 tags to organize the listing?
 

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I don't want to rain on the APE parade here as I think it is promising, but also check out eJukebox at www.audiosoft.net . Several of us have found it's feature set to be similar to APEJukebox's and superior in some ways, though I find APEJukebox's interface to be more appealing for HTPC use.
 

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cwilmo,

Any plans for APL support?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ELMitz
I don't want to rain on the APE parade here as I think it is promising, but also check out eJukebox at www.audiosoft.net . Several of us have found it's feature set to be similar to APEJukebox's and superior in some ways, though I find APEJukebox's interface to be more appealing for HTPC use.
I just downloaded and installed eJukebox, and for my use, it's much more confusing than APEJukebox. I just like playing my albums and AJ makes that easy. One thing i did like with eJukebox is that it downloaded all the cover art automatically, although overall, there appeared to be so many little bugs or quirks to make it annoying to use.


It would be nice if APEJukebox had a "download cover art" feature though... :)


Jeff
 

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If using Media Jukebox as your ripping application (digital secure mode is like EAC for dummies) it will rip / convert to .APE / Get cover art etc all in one go...


Also the v8 has become a final release today and if you get the album view plug in and install it handles browsing by cover art too... Still looks like a PC app though but its currently my audio player...


I hope that a front end like ApeJukebox / Glissando / CDLobby / DTPro / anyone ?? gets to provide that simplistic interface that I think we are all after (plus distributed interface server application is nice too)..
 

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I've been following the development on Music browsers on this group for some time, and have even added my own browser to the mix before. I'm really curious about user's opinions of browsing interfaces.


APE easily has one of the simplest interfaces, which I think is key for music. However, how important is the interface to everyone? When using a true CD Jukebox, you typically punch in a number and listen. There was no need for a TV, keyboard, mouse, etc. I wanted the same thing for my MP3 browser, but with the added benefit of being able to use the most common browse methods. Artist/Album/Genre, and directory for special cases.


Anyways, I wrote my app to have no interface at all really. It has an ugly one, but you don't need it to browse music, the TV can be off entirely. That's because it used voice synthesis to read the info to you. It uses only 8 buttons on a remote, and I use it with WinAMP for when I do use the TV and want some wacky visualization. However, when I announced it to the community, it was basically ignored. I think because it had an ugly interface.


So my curiousity question is this? How important is it to have album covers, lyrics, etc. on your screen when browsing/listening to music? For me, it's meaningless... I'm "listening", but I'm obviously a minority.


Of course, I'd love to see my browse method integrated into something like APE so that I could have the best of both worlds. I'd like to know other people's opinions too though.


Keep up the good work on APE by the way, I don't ever think there'll be one catch all music browser and there's room for them all.


Greg
 

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The no UI approach is Interesting and quite useful MOST of the time. But when you do have the TV on, it's nice to see something that LOOKS appealing.


I personally would love to have a player that looks like the APE Jukebox, but also had a "no-look" interface (or a really simple interface that could display info on a 2 line VFD display). I like the idea of voice synthesis - don't know why, but i never even thought of that for an interface - it makes sense!


The other thing that is VITAL to a player for me is quality of music. Right now, from my understanding, Winamp with the MAD plugin has the highest quality playback available. So, why reinvent the wheel? Just make an interface that launches Winamp to do the playing.


Just my 2 cents.


Jeff
 

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As my system is up on the PJ I want a pretty non application looking interface like APE Jukebox or CDLobby etc... I do like your speaking mode idea (great for PJ owners) but one of the main reasons I got a 510 webpad was to use it on my 802.11 network for CD application control... Now with MJ's web remote plug in I can doo this (but boy is it UGLY :p !!)...


Ape looks great but I think trying to do all the back end work is foolish... its done better by other apps why compete with something that has been going a long time and has a team of paid programmers... Just scrape the data from the web control plug in and use XML or similar to format a front end...


For me it must have Girder compatibility to get pronto control too (not the transport if using MJ / WinAMp etc as thats already done) but a button press shortcut to 'Albums' 'Artists' 'Genre' etc and a butting press navication to get to the selection...


Solve this I owe you a digital beer...
 

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I think a nice UI that shows cover art, etc, is a nice idea. One thing You need to be careful about is screen burn-in unless you use a screen-saver, though.


What I would like is a nice UI that can be controlled with my Pronto/Girder setup, and allows me to easily browse for and play a single album. My MP3 drives is heirarchically organized by genre, artist, and album, so something that would allow me to take advantage of that would be nice also. For example,

Code:
Code:
F:\\MP3\\Classical\\Beethoven\\Beethoven - Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 (Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber)
F:\\MP3\\Progressive Metal\\Symphony X\\Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
 

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I stick to Digital PJ's for fear of 'the burn'...


Do you know that there are some interesting Pronto tools to speadsheet your cd collection and export to auto CCF contructs...


If you have your fave player linked by file extention to your album playlists this is a fine way to do the display off launching of albums... Sure its not 2 way and it need input for all new albums (eg it wont CDDB for you) but it is a solution...
 

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Looks very nice!


Since it's still in v0.25, I thought it not too obnoxious to throw in a suggestion...


Why not use winamp plugins for every kind of audio format?

xmplayer at http://www.un4seen.com does that (except for its mp3 playback).

That way, when there's a new and improved mp3 decoder, or lossless format you don't have to update the whole package.

Plus, one can use one's own favorite decoder if one does not agree with the canon of users.


(But wma-support should be native since it's hell trying to find a plugin for that)
 
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