Old 4th December 2004, 19:23   #1
Seraph321
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Automatic Transcode -> iPod

I've been trying out every media player/manager out there for the last couple days, and I'm really hoping Winamp is going to be my solution. Please forgive me if this has been answered here, I tried searching and didn't find this answer.

Breakdown:
-I have an iPod.
-I have a lossless (ape) audio library that I'm willing to convert to other lossless formats, but not to lossy.
-I want to sync the library to my iPod, transcoding to mp3 on the fly.
-I want to continue to sync ratings and playcounts back and forth between the formats in the future.

I have the winamp iPod plugin working, and it's great. I have not seen anything about a feature (plugin or not) in winamp that allows automatic transcoding from Lossless to mp3 while transfering from the library to a device.
This is the key piece I need. Can it be done?

Thanks.
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Old 5th December 2004, 09:56   #2
will
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There is no transcoding support in the ipod plugin at the moment.

Unfortunalty the transcoding API in winamp is broken at the moment. I have been bitching at the developers to get it working for me.

DO NOT PM ME WITH TECH SUPPORT QUESTIONS
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Old 5th December 2004, 15:58   #3
Seraph321
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Ok, well it's good to know you are trying. Any suggestions for an alternative?

Is it actually possible to just do a one-time convert of all my lossless stuff into mp3, transfer them to the ipod, and then sync the ratings in winamp with the original files (since they have the same tags)?
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Old 5th December 2004, 16:14   #4
will
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if you can find a program which can batch-transcode to mp3, you should just be able to drag and drop the whole lot over to the ipod plugin. After that, the ratings and stuff should sync fine. (Just get the latest version from the sticky thread in the ipod forum).

Also, moved GD -> iPod plugin discussion.

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Old 5th December 2004, 21:51   #5
Seraph321
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Basically, this is where I'm at now:
-iTunes won't do the transcoding I want; files on the iPod and PC must be the same format.

-MC10 will do the transcoding, but it doesn't seem to do Audible files well (unless I'm missing something). Also, if you change the ratings for a song on the pc, MC10 assumes it needs to transfer the whole thing over again, which is painfully slow when you are transcoding everytime. Not to mention that I don't really want to use the MC10 media player whenever I listen to music at home.

-Winamp gets really close because it has a specific "ratings sync" function, but it has no transcoding.
Also, does the iPod plugin handle audible files? Because every time I've written to the iPod with it, my audiobooks are screwed up, like they only show up under "songs" and won't actually play anymore.

So I'm stuck making compromises. Honestly, from all the experiments I've run over the last few days, iTunes still comes out on top when it comes to just stability and simplicity. I think I may just keep a copy of all my lossless stuff as mp3s in iTunes, and use it for syncing.

THEN, if I could continue to use winamp to manage my "master" lossless library, and just reverse-sync the ratings from my iPod to winamp, it gets me about 90% there. But this actually doesn't seem to work, at least when I tried it. Does ml_iPod have to have put the files on the iPod for the ratings sync to work? How does it determine they are the same song? I was hoping it only looked at the tags and not the file extension or encoding. I'm not sure I have the latest version from the sticky thread, so I will try this again.

Is there any utility out there who's sole purpose is to sync one media library's tags to another?

Sorry for the length btw.
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Old 6th December 2004, 06:05   #6
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Question: What's your lossless format? Apple's, FLAC, Monkey, WAV, etc. Converting from one lossless to another as a two-step should not lose ANY quality whatsoever. Your best bet at the moment is to convert the entire library to MP3, keep it as a separate view in Winamp, and then sync back and forth from that. I understand your pain; about 200 of my songs are Vorbis, and iPod doesn't play them.

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Old 7th December 2004, 05:11   #7
Seraph321
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My library WAS in Monkey's Audio (I eluded to that in my first post when I noted that it was ape).

I converted it all to wma lossless over the weekend just because I feel like I can do more with that format, as it is being widely adopted by set-top-box makers and such. (well, I don't know about the lossless part, but wma anyway). But, as you say, it doesn't really matter, because you can convert between them with no loss of quality.

And I DID end up just creating mp3 copies of all my songs and am now syncing those to my iPod, but that wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to sync the ratings back to my lossless files and it's just so stupid that no program will do everything I need.
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Old 7th December 2004, 07:19   #8
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Hmm...not much I can say...WMA, btw, is a VERY lossy format, about the same loss rate as MP3Pro. For the file size, you'd be better off with Vorbis, which is much better quality with only a slightly bigger file.

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Old 8th December 2004, 02:42   #9
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How is the WMA Losselss format lossy? I've seen tests that confirm that you get bit-for-bit accuracy.
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Old 8th December 2004, 05:57   #10
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Oh...I thought you meant regular Windows Audio...yeah, WMA Lossless is a lossless format. Not the smallest, but size is not really an issue in choosing a lossless format, because they all have a pack ratio of about 49-53%. For iPod usage, just use Apple's stuff for now, or go lossy. Sorry, but the pricks at Apple have closed up the format way too much.

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