AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like more and more artists are releasing legal, free copies of their music with flac, sometimes at greater than CD quality. With the popularity of overly compressed MP3s and the relative unpopularity of DVD-A and SACD, this may be the best hope for decent quality sound.


What is the best way to get 24 bit, 96 KHZ flac files to play from an Xbox 360 or PS3? I'd prefer to do a minimum of transcoding, but am willing to do so if necessary.


1. Can the Xbox 360 or PS3 output 24/96 sound without down-sampling over an RCA pair? How about over HDMI?


2. Does either Xbox 360 or PS3 natively support flac? From my research, it doesn't look like it, but I just wanted to confirm this.


3. If I convert the flac file to an uncompressed wave or WMA lossless, will the Xbox 360 output 24/96 without truncating or down-sampling?


4. Do I need windows XP media center edition for this, or can I just use a uPNP router?


Sorry for all the questions, but I've got a few better than CD albums and I don't want to lose audio quality by just burning them to CD. If this question would be more appropriate for a different part of AVS Forum, please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
I don't think either have native support for flac files, but why do you want to use a 360 or PS3 for this anyway? I have been playing flac files for several years now through a Squeezebox . It has it's own remote control and accessing music (wired or wireless) stored on my PC is as easy as browsing an iPod.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,357 Posts
If you like live music there's plenty at archive.org (bt.etree.org). FLAC is pretty much the preferred format of traders nowdays.


I couldn't help you with the problem, just giving you some more places to get great music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,280 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kblee /forum/post/14167286


I don't think either have native support for flac files, but why do you want to use a 360 or PS3 for this anyway? I have been playing flac files for several years now through a Squeezebox . It has it's own remote control and accessing music (wired or wireless) stored on my PC is as easy as browsing an iPod.

maybe he already has a 360 and a ps3 and doesnt want to buy a squeezebox if he doesnt need to?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by formulanerd /forum/post/14167625


maybe he already has a 360 and a ps3 and doesnt want to buy a squeezebox if he doesnt need to?

Quite true, I already have a 360. I'm thinking about buying a PS3 (and a new receiver or preamp for next gen audio
) for Blu-Ray playback. Otherwise I may just buy a Sony BDP-550 and use the analog outputs with my old preamp.


The Squeezebox costs $300 and is limited to 48 KHz rather than 96 KHz. (See http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#review .) The Transporter (another Logitech product like the Squeezebox) does 96 KHz, but lists for $1999. That kind of money would go a long way toward the new Pioneer 5020 or 6020 plasma I've been eyeing.



I appreciate the feedback so far. Does anyone know the highest bit rate and sample rate that the 360 will output over RCA and over HDMI?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
I'd be interested in finding a way to stream if possible, too. for now, i've been using audio dvd creator to put 24/96 wav's on a dvd that most players can read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
936 Posts
XB360 does not natively support FLAC at all no matter what the bit rate. If you have a Windows PC running XP you can install flac support from 3rd parties. This will allow Windows media player to transcode the FLAC files into a stream the XB360 can read. Not a very ideal solution. What I did was buy a cheap second hand original xbox with XBMC installed on it and a NAS for storing the files. XBMC supports every format under the sun and has the best user interface of any digital media streamer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All right, after entirely too much screwing around with this, here's what the 360 seems capable of:

16 bit audio at 48 KHz max.


I used foobar 2000 to convert the flac files to wave files. I then used Windows Media Encoder 9 to convert the wave files to Windows Media Audio lossless files. It looks like this conversion preserved 24 bit / 96 KHz audio. However, the limitations of the Xbox 360 audio hardware mean that this is truncated to 16 bit / 48 KHz. Quite a lot of work to eek out 48 KHz audio versus the 44.1 KHz audio on a CD.


I'm impressed with the new NIN album, but rather disappointed with the audio capabilities of the 360. I am especially disappointed with how both Microsoft and Apple make it such a PITA to play back high quality flac files.
At least games on the 360 are easy to use and impressive quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
JimboG,

Did you find a way to stream WMA Lossless to the 360? I am still trying to figure out how to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,211 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hezagenius /forum/post/14204865


JimboG,

Did you find a way to stream WMA Lossless to the 360? I am still trying to figure out how to do it.

What are you trying to figure out? Share you music using windows media player and the 360 will play Lossless files just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
iPods and iTunes do not handle flac. There are other handheld media players that will do flac ( http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html ) but I don't know which if any of these devices will handle 24 bit, 96 KHz flac files.


You should be able to get Windows Media Player 11 to stream WMA lossless files to your 360. The hardware in the 360 will limit audio output to 16 bit, 48KHz (slightly better than CD quality). I couldn't get my 360 to play the uncompressed wave files through WMP 11.


From checking the PS3 thread, it looks like the audio hardware in the PS3 is more capable than the audio hardware in the 360 (Dolby True HD, DTS-MA as well as SACD support in all but the 40 GB PS3). However the current PS3 firmware has wave playback that is dodgy at best.


It looks like the cheapest way to get full sound quality from the new NIN album is to the 24/96 flac to a wave, burn the wave onto a DVD-A, and buy an Oppo-980H for $170 for DVD-A and SACD playback. What a pain for something that ought to be straightforward!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
You can get FLAC support for Windows media Center. Thats what I use. Works flwlessly unless you want to play them while gaming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Flowerday /forum/post/14205767


What are you trying to figure out? Share you music using windows media player and the 360 will play Lossless files just fine.

When I try to stream WMA Lossless files from my PC to the 360, the sound goes in and out very rapidly. I don't have this problem with mp3 files. I don't know if there is a plug-in I should be using or what.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,211 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hezagenius /forum/post/14212697


When I try to stream WMA Lossless files from my PC to the 360, the sound goes in and out very rapidly. I don't have this problem with mp3 files. I don't know if there is a plug-in I should be using or what.

WMA lossless do require a little more network bandwidth. It's a long shot but what is your network setup?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Flowerday /forum/post/14213279


WMA lossless do require a little more network bandwidth. It's a long shot but what is your network setup?

wireless network, 801g router plugged into 360, upstream network speed~500-600k


I can stream video from my PC to the 360 wirelessly. It doesn't look great but that could be due in part to the source. Not sure if video takes more or less bandwidth than lossless audio.


I use Exact Audio Copy to rip my lossless files. Perhaps I should use WMP to do it? I noticed that WMP caps the bit rate at 940k. Some of my lossless files are in the 1100's. Can I only stream files with bit rates less than my network upstream speed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I've had no problems listening to 24/96 dvd-a's on my 360. I've got the opticial cable plugged into my reciever. Shouldn't that work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hezagenius /forum/post/14212697


When I try to stream WMA Lossless files from my PC to the 360, the sound goes in and out very rapidly. I don't have this problem with mp3 files. I don't know if there is a plug-in I should be using or what.

Jeff is slightly wrong here. WMA Lossless MUST be transcoded to be played on the 360. The in/out sound is a symptom of trying to play it without transcoding.


The confusion lies here because XP Media Center and Vista editions with Media Center (believe only Home Premium and Ultimate) do it for you seamlessly via WMP11, but other editions don't. It's friggin madness.


Worst example - a DIRECTLY CONNECTED Zune (i.e. via USB) won't even play lossless files. Trust me, I've tried it myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hancox /forum/post/14213653


The confusion lies here because XP Media Center and Vista editions with Media Center (believe only Home Premium and Ultimate) do it for you seamlessly via WMP11, but other editions don't. It's friggin madness.

I have XP MC edition but I use Orb for streaming. If I use MC for streaming, will I need to do anything extra to stream the WMA lossless files?
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top