WD TV Live won't play when Transcoding FLAC -> MP3 enabled with Mediatomb server

I have recently set up a Mediatomb server running under Ubuntu server 12.04. I have ripped my CDs to the server as FLAC files to get high quality playback to my hi-fi system, via WD TV Live.

I also have an older Internet Radio/Media Player called Revo Pico Radiostation, which does not support FLAC. I have therefore set up Mediatomb to transcode to MP3 using a shell script that runs the code:

flac -cd “$1” | lame -V0 - $2

In other words it uses the flac and lame commands to create an MP3 stream from the flac file.

When this transcoding is in place, the files play to the MP3 device (Pico RadioStation) but won’t play on WD TV Live. I can still see the music files on my TV screen but I get the rotating arrow when trying to play them, and nothing more.

If I switch off the transcoding, the files play perfectly on WD TV Live, but  - obviously - not on the Pico Radiostation.

My understanding is that transcoding should be ignored by a device capable of playing the original format, or else the player should give you the option of either stream, but the WD TV Live just hangs.

Is there any cure for this problem, or do I need to exchange the WD TV Live for another player?


Can you share more details about the MP3 files you are trying to play? (Bit rate, Sample rate, etc)

The files I am trying to play are FLAC files. They play perfectly when transcoding by Mediatomb is disabled. The FLAC files come from CD, so they are sampled at 44.1 kHz, I believe.

The transcoded MP3 stream , I understand from the parameters to the lame command (lame -V0 - $2),  is variable bitrate at the highest quality

from man page:

"  -V n   0 <= n <= 9
              Enable VBR (Variable BitRate) and specifies the value of VBR quality (default
              = 4).  0 = highest quality."

However I do not want to play the transcoded MP3 stream with WD TV Live. I want to play the original FLAC files. The MP3 stream is for another device on my network.