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Occasional Contributor
marktheshark
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2011
0

music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

I just wanted to share that I recently bought the WD TV Live Hub 1TB for the purpose of storing and playing my music

collection of 600+ CDs in my living room through my stereo system (NAD C370, NHT 2.5).  It's working great so far, so

I'm quite pleased.

 

I decided to encode my CD library into FLAC format because it's lossless and supports meta tags (song title, artist, album art, etc.)  So far I have encoded 700+ songs using Exact Audio Copy.  The process is a bit time consuming, but I am enjoying rediscovering my music collection.

 

The WD has performed flawlessly with playback.  I did experience one single mysterious reboot when I was changing song filtering options, but it was apparently an isolated incident that I'm willing to forgive.

 

My original expectation was that the analog stereo outputs of the WD would not be anything special and that an

external DAC would be required to achieve sound quality comparable to my CD player (Cambridge Audio 540C).  However, I am impressed by the quality of the stock D-A conversion of the WD.  My plan is still to purchase a Cambridge Audio DacMagic ($400) and drive it from the WD's S/PDIF optical output for uncompromising conversion.  For the additional cost, I'm hoping/expecting I'll be able to honestly hear the sonic difference.  I'll post on that once I've done it.

 

Opportunities for Improvement:
1 - when viewing album thumbnails, the "artist" (or "album artist") tag does not show up
2 - when viewing songs within an album, the artist does not show up against each track (a problem for albums of various artists)
3 - when viewing songs within an album, the tracks are listed in alphabetical order rather than by tagged track number (a problem as many albums are intended to be listened to in a specific order)
4 - queue works but once started does not seem to recognize new queued songs added unless play is stopped and

restarted

 

Any comments on ways to solve the above would be appreciated... or should I submit a firmware/feature request to WD?

 

Cheers.

-M

 

[WD TV Live Hub 1TB, Firmware: 2.05.08 (4/2011)]

Honored Contributor
RoofingGuy
Posts: 2,871
Registered: ‎08-30-2010
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

[ Edited ]

 


marktheshark wrote:

3 - when viewing songs within an album, the tracks are listed in alphabetical order rather than by tagged track number (a problem as many albums are intended to be listened to in a specific order)

 

Any comments on ways to solve the above would be appreciated... or should I submit a firmware/feature request to WD?

 


 

You can always post ideas to be voted on over in the Ideas section, if the ideas don't currently exist.

 

I know you already have a TON ripped, but I've never run into issues with the alpha-sort for either audio or video because my naming schemes come out alphapetically...

 

1962 - Dr. No.mkv

1963 - From Russia With Love.mkv

1964 - Goldfinger.mkv

etc...

 

01 - Invaders.mp3

02 - Children Of The **bleep**.mp3

03 - The Prisoner.mp3

etc...

 

 

 

It's a work-around, at least, although admittedly it would have been better for you if you'd known about it ahead of time.

Advisor
Anecdote
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

[ Edited ]

 

1. Is it intended to play music? : Yes

2. Is it intended to read digital tagging? : Yes

3. Are albums tagged properly? : Yes

4. Are albums intended to play songs in order when designed? : Yes

5. Are track layouts designed based on the first letter in the song title? : No, but lets design our device to play them that way. I mean seriously..how do these small yet critical things get missed.

 

Another EXTREMELY frustrating and just plain stupid design. This is one of the things that had I known would be so simple and common sense to NOT be done, I never would have purchased it. I mean who sits there and look at this on the shelf and says ...."I bet this plays songs in alphabetical order".

1TB Passport - 4x500GB Raid 5 - 4x750GB Raid 5 - 2TB EGO - 1TB WDTV Live Hub - Harmony 900 - Fiber 35/35 - PII 256Mhz 512mb
Honored Contributor
Tinwarble
Posts: 3,715
Registered: ‎11-16-2010
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

For tracks to display as they are in on the album, they have to be named using numerical track naming.

e.g.

 

01 track name.flac

02 track name.flac

etc.

 

Then to keep the numbers from showing up, you have to go to Setup / Music Settings / Audio Track Display, and select "By Title".

 

Now your tracks should show up in the order they appear on the CD and will only display the Track name.

I like vanilla icecream.........yeah, I said it and I don't care who knows.
Occasional Contributor
marktheshark
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2011
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

Thanks for the suggestions.  I tried this last night with success.  The song ordering is indeed correct if your filenames have the track number in front.  Since I have the 'display by title' option selected, it suppresses the ugly filename.  I do have to agree with the previous poster that an alphabetical ordering of the songs from an album is just not the way and should not be the default.  When the track number tag is right there in the file, why not use it as it was presumably intended?  I think alphabetical title listing would be appropriate for displaying all tracks from a given artist, which may span multiple albums.  Configurability is probably the key.  Let users decide how they'd like to have it displayed.  The GUI was always my concern with these media players before I ever purchase one, since this is an obvious key potential weakness compared to a full-blown media PC running say Windows Media Center for example.

 

Even without the numbering prefix, I find the filenames ugly and unartistic, so henceforth I will change my filenaming structure, which is simple to adjust in EAC.  For my already ripped .flac's, it's actually quite easy to do on a batch basis using a nifty little program called MP3TAG.  I will be making a little Paypal donation to the clever author of this very useful tool.

 

Rising to the top of my beef list is the queue feature.  It has the potential for greatness, but has a few critical glitches that make it **bleep** a little, such as:

- new songs added are not recognized unless queue play is stopped/started, even though they can be seen in the queue song list

- deletion of songs from the queue causes the song currently playing to suddenly stop (why!?)

 

In my view, the queue should be an endless party where you just add and delete songs as you want and the music just keeps going and going unless it reaches the end of the queue or you press stop.  Fun, yes?

 

-M

Advisor
Anecdote
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

I strongly recommend using Media Monkey for tagging and renaming the files. It can do them in batch.

1TB Passport - 4x500GB Raid 5 - 4x750GB Raid 5 - 2TB EGO - 1TB WDTV Live Hub - Harmony 900 - Fiber 35/35 - PII 256Mhz 512mb
Regular Advisor
yepmop1898
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎12-09-2010
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

Media Monkey is absolutely brilliant, you can even convert between certain formats as well.

Honored Contributor
RoofingGuy
Posts: 2,871
Registered: ‎08-30-2010
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

[ Edited ]

The one problem with any sort other than alphabetical is that the player supports many formats, not all of which support tags.  If you have many different types of audio files in a folder, anything other than alphabetical will produce unexpected results... user A will expect certain files first... user B will expect other files first... user C will expect different files first.  And they'll all squawk that they want it changed to their way.

 

 

Even if it's the easy way out, and unsightly, the fact remains that the alpha sort is consistent, if nothing else.

 

 

And there's the other issue that the devices all have "TV" in the name. :smileywink:

 

Since just about anything, including toasters it seems, can act as an iPod dock these days, and since as you and oldears point out, true audiophile equipment costs considerably more than these little players, I don't think it was WD's intention to produce a stunning audio playback system.  My guess would be that the audio section was more "tacked on" as a bonus, to go along with the video that is the devices' main goal.

Occasional Contributor
marktheshark
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2011
0

Re: music CD collection encoded as FLAC working great

Update.  The WD has been working very well, but I have discovered a small glitch in the analog audio output.  Sometimes, there is an audible click/pop happening at the analog audio outputs just after the start of song playback - after something like 2 seconds so.  It doesn't happen every time - roughly one third of the time.  It does not happen when the WD automatically proceeds on it's own to play the next song in the current folder.  It happens when re-starting the same song or selecting another song to play before the first has finished.  The effect is more pronounced when the first few seconds of the recording is a quiet passage.  When the music is quite active right at the start, the click is drowned out and much less noticeable.  It probably wouldn't bother most people.  Note that this is using 16-bit / 44.1kHz FLAC files and I have not tried it with other formats.

 

The problem does not happen when using the optical S/PDIF output to an external DAC.  I connected it to my NAD T760 home theatre receiver via the optical cable and simply could not reproduce the problem.  The audio worked just fine in that case.  As I had mentioned previously, it was always my plan to connect an external DAC.  In the long run, I'm confident that the WD will perform as a solid digital audio streamer into the external DAC to provide the smooth audiophile conversion I seek.

 

-M

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