Old 1st October 2003, 04:35   #1
psychshack
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Future of Winamp and AAC/MP4 Support

I am aware of the current MP4/AAC plugin for Winamp 2.x, and I noticed the "leaked" version of Winamp 5 has an AAC encoder built in, but no proper support for tags.

iTunes has pretty much defined a standard for the MP4 tagging format, which encoders and decoders today are using (such as dbPowerAmp and the Winamp AAC plugin). However, in Winamp 5 some version of ID3 is implemented....

I want to be sure that Winamp 5 will have full support (at least as much as available at the time) for AAC, so when iTunes for Windows comes out and other rippers have better AAC support, those files will be playable in Winamp, and able to be added to the library, etc.

Anyone know any info on this? Thanks!
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Old 1st October 2003, 04:41   #2
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Nullsoft only has licensing for MPEG2-ACC and not MPEG4-ACC (and .mp4 file format). .aac has no native tagging format, so they use ID3
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Old 1st October 2003, 05:40   #3
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Does that mean NO .MP4 or YES .MP4? Also, which format does Quicktime/iTunes use?
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Old 1st October 2003, 06:43   #4
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Will not support MP4. Most everything uses MP4 now. pretty much the main reason for AAC support in Winamp seems to be for streaming.
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Old 1st October 2003, 11:44   #5
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Remove AAC from in_mp3 config and use the AAC/MP4/M4A plugin instead.
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Old 1st October 2003, 14:06   #6
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Hello,

The fact that winamp will be able to put id3 tags on AAC files concerns me a bit. The AAC file format is an international standard that is used quite widely (ok, .MP4 is used a lot more, and it would be nicer to see .MP4 support in Winamp). Putting id3 tags on these files render them completely incompatible with the standard (most decoders will show some error at the end of the file in case of id3v1, id3v2 tagged files will become totally undecodable). This will mean that the id3 tagged files will only be playable with Winamp, and not with any other software or hardware player...

In the meantime you will always be able to play AAC and MP4 with the plugin from rarewares (link in previous post), which includes iTunes compatible tagging support.

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:11   #7
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BTW: there's nothing stopping Nullsoft from putting MPEG-2 AAC files in the MP4 container file format...

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:19   #8
THEMike
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Winamp supports MPEG-2/AAC not MPEG-4/AAC.

Winamp (nativley) can not play MPEG-4/AAC only MPEG-2/AAC.

MPEG-2/AAC has no defined standard for tagging, thus Justin chose to use ID3v1/ID3v2 as per MP3 format.

iTunes may have chosen to use the MPEG-4/AAC tagging standard. This does not make Winamp wrong, it does not make iTunes right. Sure there are players that have chosen to go the iTunes route, but, if Winamp 5 supports ripping to AAC and rips with ID3 tags, and you play back with Winamp 5 there is no problem is there?

It's only if you share your files with other people, that they might have problems. And that is illegal.

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:22   #9
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oh and Easy CD-DA 6.0 rips with ID3 tags btw

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:26   #10
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The difference between the "iTunes way" and id3 is that files that are tagged the "iTunes way" are playable on any player that reads mp4 files. AAC files with id3 tags will NOT be playable on all AAC players.

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:44   #11
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Oh, but who cares? When you're popular enough, you can define your own standards.
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Old 1st October 2003, 14:44   #12
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ID3v1 is a very limited tagging format.
On the other hand, ID3v2 is a very sucky tag format (slow, tags are at the begining of file, etc.).

MP4 tagging format can do about the same as APEv2, which is to my knowledge best format around.

Why choosing an inferior format?

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Old 1st October 2003, 14:59   #13
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If you can't do what you want with 31 characters in lower ascii then you're a fuck tard.
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Old 1st October 2003, 15:30   #14
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One of my biggest concerns is iTunes compatibility. I am hoping that one day there will be an online music store that has downloadable files that are playable in any player (such as Winamp) and burnable with any burner (such as Nero). Until this can happen, I do not see the future of online music stores going too far.... We need a universal standard.
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Old 1st October 2003, 15:34   #15
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I believe that itunes tagging format might be owned by them thats why winamp has to stick to something less proprietary.

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Old 1st October 2003, 16:11   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by sanosuke
I believe that itunes tagging format might be owned by them thats why winamp has to stick to something less proprietary.
If that's the case, then how can the AudioCoding.com AAC plugin for Winamp 2x support the same tagging as iTunes (which it does), and dbPowerAmp's Audio Converter uses the same format when tagging to AAC/MP4 (iTunes format).

It just seems that since iTunes is currently the only music app with full, decent AAC support, that their ways with it are becoming the standard. It would be nice if Winamp could maybe, just once, conform to another program's standards and use the same format.

Otherwise, I'd be happy with the AudioCoding.com plugin, but it does not allow the player to display the tagging unless you open the properties box, and the Library still does not read or add MP4 and AAC files.
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Old 1st October 2003, 16:57   #17
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just because audiocoding.com does it does not mean it is right, they could be breaking the law or they could have done the legal mumbo jumbo, which by the way is the reason why 2.95 is a leaked beta.

then again i could be wrong.

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Old 1st October 2003, 18:05   #18
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MPEG-4 is open source, why does Nullsoft need a license for it?
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Old 1st October 2003, 18:13   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by sanosuke
just because audiocoding.com does it does not mean it is right, they could be breaking the law or they could have done the legal mumbo jumbo, which by the way is the reason why 2.95 is a leaked beta.

then again i could be wrong.
Read Menno's posts again, he already explained that (btw, he is Ahead MP4 developer).

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Old 1st October 2003, 19:59   #20
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maybe we can track down the cause to the following reason.

-winamp aac support is included in in_mp3.dll

-it is there becaue they want to use aac for shoutcast streaming and in_mp3.dll is used for shoutcasting.

-they chose idv2 tags because that's the format, in_mp3.dll uses.

so the problem seems to be that only in_mp3.dll can handle shoutcast streaming.

But the problem grows. because of this situation, the ripper will refuse to use mp4s with different tags, because then in_mp3.dll/winamp couldn't play it anymore from scratch. it's a bit of a no win situation.

eeeee eeeeeee eeeee eeeee eeeee
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 88
8eee8 8e 8 8 8eee8 8e 8 8 8
88 8 88 8 8 88 8 88 8 8 8
88 8 88 8 8 88 8 88 8 8eee8
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Old 1st October 2003, 20:09   #21
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Originally posted by amano
the that only in_mp3.dll can handle shoutcast streaming.
No. NSV Streaming is handeled by the in_nsv. Though extensionless files (http://blah:8000/) do go to in_mp3.
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Old 1st October 2003, 20:33   #22
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"If you can't do what you want with 31 characters in lower ascii then you're a fuck tard."

Hah, that was pretty funny... BUT it can be a problem. Take this song for example:

"Look At You Over There, Ripping The Sawdust From My Teddybear"

Straight from the Alice Cooper box set, it's the actual name of a song. That's taking it to the extreme, I admit, but usually, if you had support for 5-10 more characters, you wouldn't have to type "&" instead of "And" or end any of your ID3 fields with "..." A couple more serious examples:

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
George Thorogood And The Destroyers
Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
I Pledge Allegience To The State Of Rock And Roll

If I remember right, I was lucky to get the first one to fit with no problem. The other two, a few characters were missing. And quite a bit of the third one had to be cut. Oh well... but it does suck that at least two dozen of my songs have a album/song title that's too long to fit.

By the way, I've never used APEv2... is it really that good?
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Old 1st October 2003, 20:41   #23
kode54
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I was bastardizing something that THEMike said in #nullsoft regarding Unicode support. All I added was "with 31 characters."

For all I know, he might have been using as much sarcasm as I was in my first two posts to this topic. Then again, maybe not.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 07:37   #24
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<-- fucktard

Mike wrote:
> [...] if Winamp 5 supports ripping to AAC and rips with ID3 tags,
> and you play back with Winamp 5 there is no problem is there?

???
And if I want to use another player? I can' t.
And if I edit an old .acc file? The same: I can' t play it with another palyer.

Hey Nullsoft boy, you are too crafty in my user opinion.
___

Kode54 wrote:
> Oh, but who cares? When you're popular enough, you can define your
> own standards.

I agree: they' ve the power to do that.
They' ve the power to r**t in Hell.

Puke.
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Winamp? Worst than Windows Media Player.
At least MS' s player doesn' t corrupt my datas for its dirty purposes.

Nullsoft? Like Microsoft.
If they' re 2nd they use their influence to strike other ones.
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Bye bye bye bye...
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Old 2nd October 2003, 08:09   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by DKDIB
Bye bye bye bye...
Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, cause I don't want assprints on my door.

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Old 2nd October 2003, 08:39   #26
THEMike
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Quote:
Originally posted by DKDIB
Mike wrote:
> [...] if Winamp 5 supports ripping to AAC and rips with ID3 tags,
> and you play back with Winamp 5 there is no problem is there?

???
And if I want to use another player? I can' t.
And if I edit an old .acc file? The same: I can' t play it with another palyer.

Hey Nullsoft boy, you are too crafty in my user opinion.
OK right. Lets try that one again shall we.

People tend to use a single player. And a single ripper. Unless they have a different ripper for a different format.

For example, personaly, I use Easy CD-DA 5.1 for my ripper for all formats. (Except AAC, because having paid for 5.1 I don't want to pay again to upgrade to 6.0 to rip AAC since I don't use it.)

I use Winamp for my playback. Except when I'm using my MP3 player. (this is why I don't use AAC, my MP3 player doesn't support it).

I never use anything else to play back mp3. If I'm on one of my machines, winamp is installed. If I'm not, then I use my MP3 player.

I can understand that winamp doesn't do some things that audiophiles want, or international users want. This would make them use another player, probably exclusivley.

Given that winamp doesn't yet have ripping, except in a leaked alpha build, people who use other players for quality/internationalisation/other anal reason* must already have a ripping solution that suits them, QED.

So. Why would you rip AAC with winamp, an audio player that is having ripping added to it if you prefer to use another audio player? You wouldn't.

If at a later date, a winamp user who has ripped all their files to AAC decideds to use another player, then perhaps they will use a player that is properly written? Having had long conversations in #nullsoft about this, we determined that the primary culprit in "Not working" with winamp's tagged files is FAAD2 from Ahead.

This is used in (full list given to me be Menno) Foobar2k, Easy CD-DA, All Ahead Nero products and Intel ppp (or something) library.

Easy CD-DA itself (6.0 trial version tested) writes ID3 tags into MPEG-2/AAC and handles this fine when transcoding from AAC to something else. Ahead Nero does not support MPEG-2/AAC (.aac files) at all. They made the decision not to do so apparantly. I do not have the Intel library to test myself, so I can't comment.

There is stuff on the site for FAAD2 that provides ID3 tagging etc etc, the line of info I was given is that you should strip tags with your application before passing only the encoded audio into FAAD2 to decode it.

So this sounds (to me) more like a bug/defect/deficiency* in Foobar2k.

To re-iterate, there is no tagging standard for MPEG-2/AAC, some applications (not just winamp) opt to insert ID3 tagging into the files. Some applications (not just winamp) cope with this fine. Some applicatins (so far only know FB2k for sure) can't cope with this at all.

The solution advocated by Ahead and iTunes is to mux the MPEG-2/AAC stream into an MP4 wrapper and use the MP4 tagging standard (whatever that is, I don't know, being a parrot here), however, Justin stated that their licence does not include MPEG-4/AAC.

Justin and Steve are aware of this issue, and the muxing suggestion. I guess that will have to run past AOL legal and stuff. But the AAC licensing is a thorny issue, and IIRC is why 2.92 and 2.95 never made it out (the leak really really pissed off many legal people cos of the licensing too)

As for characters, you shouldn't need more than lower ascii. Upper ascii is for dodgy foreign types. If you get into needing unicode to represent your language, I suggest fucking off, and learning English.

Tho, the ID3v1 tags are too short, I wasn't aware of a length limit in ID3v2, but then I've not re-encoded my Bal-Saggoth albums with ID3v2 to test yet (Starfire burning on the ice veiled throne of ultima-thule is more characters than ID3v1.1 allows )

* Delete as appropriate

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Old 2nd October 2003, 09:09   #27
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Oh I want to clear something up here:

The AAC decoder library FAAD2 is not able to handle data that is passed to it that has tagging data (id3, or whatever else), it just handles MPEG-2/4 AAC compliant data. This does not prevent the frontends using this library (there are a bit more than just named in the previous post) to skip the tag data and only pass the AAC compliant data to the library. This is also what is done by most of the named frontends.

The point is that, although I am aware of the existence ID3 tags, not every company/person implementing an AAC decoder is. And the AAC standard gives no requirement at all regarding data in front or at the end of an AAC file. So for a lot of decoder/frontend implementations the fact that there is non-AAC-compliant data in the file the decoder may decide that the AAC file is non-compliant, undecodable or broken.

Of course the exact same goes for MP3, and I know that through the years ID3 on MP3 has become so common that basically any decoder can handle it.

Still the ID3 tagging is not perfect and has some drawbacks, as stated in previous posts. Fact is that this can all be prevented by using the MP4 file format, which allows for adding data to the file in a way that does not break with any mp4 file format parser (Note that the way iTunes and Nero do the tagging is not defined in any standard, iTunes was just the first one to support anything like this). Next to that the mp4 file format will be the choice for most companies to handle all their MPEG-4 audio (AAC), video and systems data.

On the licensing issue, I don't really see why Nullsoft would want a MPEG-2 AAC license. Given the number of downloads that Winamp has the MPEG-4 AAC license would be a lot cheaper given the fact that it has a capped maximum anual payment which the MPEG-2 AAC license does not seem to have. However, I, of course, don't know any detail about the license deal that Nullsoft has, so I could be wrong on this issue

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Old 2nd October 2003, 09:33   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by THEMike
People tend to use a single player. And a single ripper. Unless they have a different ripper for a different format.
i don't
Quote:
For example, personaly, I use Easy CD-DA 5.1 for my ripper for all formats. (Except AAC, because having paid for 5.1 I don't want to pay again to upgrade to 6.0 to rip AAC since I don't use it.)
pay? haha, you can use the command line faac.exe
Quote:
I can understand that winamp doesn't do some things that audiophiles want, or international users want. This would make them use another player, probably exclusivley.
why exclusively? i don't get it
Quote:
So. Why would you rip AAC with winamp, an audio player that is having ripping added to it if you prefer to use another audio player? You wouldn't.
you want to play it on another os, a portable that plays aac, you want to keep the ability to change your player in the future if you feel like it, you want to share the aac files with others, etc.
Quote:
If at a later date, a winamp user who has ripped all their files to AAC decideds to use another player, then perhaps they will use a player that is properly written? Having had long conversations in #nullsoft about this, we determined that the primary culprit in "Not working" with winamp's tagged files is FAAD2 from Ahead.

This is used in (full list given to me be Menno) Foobar2k, Easy CD-DA, All Ahead Nero products and Intel ppp (or something) library.

[...]

So this sounds (to me) more like a bug/defect/deficiency* in Foobar2k.
both foo_mp4 and in_mp4 skip the id3v2 tags
Quote:
To re-iterate, there is no tagging standard for MPEG-2/AAC, some applications (not just winamp) opt to insert ID3 tagging into the files. Some applications (not just winamp) cope with this fine. Some applicatins (so far only know FB2k for sure) can't cope with this at all.
id3v2 is just a bad hack for mp3 files that should not be used with other files imho
Quote:
The solution advocated by Ahead and iTunes is to mux the MPEG-2/AAC stream into an MP4 wrapper and use the MP4 tagging standard (whatever that is, I don't know, being a parrot here), however, Justin stated that their licence does not include MPEG-4/AAC.
it's a nice container, like ogg for vorbis or avi for divx movies (avi is not exactly nice though)
Quote:
As for characters, you shouldn't need more than lower ascii. Upper ascii is for dodgy foreign types. If you get into needing unicode to represent your language, I suggest fucking off, and learning English.
the british empire strikes back or what?
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Old 2nd October 2003, 14:25   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by THEMike
Tho, the ID3v1 tags are too short, I wasn't aware of a length limit in ID3v2, but then I've not re-encoded my Bal-Saggoth albums with ID3v2 to test yet (Starfire burning on the ice veiled throne of ultima-thule is more characters than ID3v1.1 allows )
Actually, ID3v2 tags support strings of nearly limitless length, for all intents and purposes. ID3v2 also supports UTF-8 and UTF-16 for full Unicode text, but next to nothing actually supports this feature.

ID3v2 can also do things like bundle a 1MB scanned cover BMP in the header of a 3MB MP3 file.
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Old 2nd October 2003, 14:26   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by UltraZelda64
By the way, I've never used APEv2... is it really that good?
It is:
1. Proper unicode support
2. Tags at the end of file
3. Field names aren't hardcoded
4. Max legnth per field is 2^32-1 bytes, which is a lot more than anyone needs.
5. It is relatively fast.

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Old 2nd October 2003, 19:59   #31
UltraZelda64
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Okay, I've heard of "Unicode" support and know that it's some type of format a file can be saved/encoded in. What's really so good about it though? Also - where can the mp4/AAC encoder be found? I wanna try it out...
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Old 2nd October 2003, 20:07   #32
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Unicode is a character format, like ASCII, character coding, letters, stuff you are reading right now. Used in modern programs instead of ASCII and supported in file names and many tagging formats, just not Winamp. It is used for international characters and other shit.
http://www.unicode.org/


The ACC encoder/decoder for Winamp is in the leaked Winamp5 alpha. (No links here, but isn't like it is hard to really find). Some other encoders and decoders can be found at RareWares
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Old 2nd October 2003, 20:13   #33
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Nero 6 includes an AAC encoder. Free 30 day demo is fully functional (http://www.nero.com/).

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Old 2nd October 2003, 21:08   #34
PJay Tycy
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@Mike:

I think I won't use winamp's ripper, but I do want to use winamp to play AAC files.

It sounds like I'll have problems becuase of all this "there's no standard"-stuff...

Why can't anybody create something that sticks to the (maybe unofficial) standards? Foobar added their ape-tags to my properly id3-tagged mp3's and winamp will write id3-tags in my aac files :-(

If this continues I'll end up with 2 tags in all my audio files (which might even contain different data)
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Old 2nd October 2003, 21:30   #35
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I posted this on HA, and i think it mostly clears it up:

I'd like to explain to you guys why winamp is adding id3 tags to mpeg-2 aac files it rips.

Firstly, winamp has an mpeg-2 aac licence for encoding. Not an mpeg-4 licence.

You can say "AOL should pay for the mpeg-4 licence" all you like, it isn't going to change the position on it.

If you see here: http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg4...licenseFAQ.html
Quote:
If I am an MPEG-2 AAC licensee, should I take an MPEG-4 AAC license?
If you only wish to build MPEG-2 AAC products (for example, ISDB broadcast receivers), then an MPEG-2 AAC license is sufficient. However, if you wish to incorporate additional MPEG-4 AAC tools to target products for wireless networking or low-bandwidth streaming, then an MPEG-4 AAC license is needed.
If winamp was to use (as is the suggested solution) the MP4 wrapper, that is part of the MPEG-4 AAC tools as mentioned above (as far as I know), and as such needs an MPEG-4 AAC licence. Which winamp doesn't have.

So, we can't use that method to tag.
And as I'm sure you are aware, there is no tagging standard for mpeg-2 AAC, so any tag that we add would break the standard.

Thus winamp (optionally) adds ID3 tags. This works on a mulititude of different decoders, as it is the most widly used tagging format.

Any questions or suggestions? (apart from "use foobar or linux", cause that won't help anything)

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Old 2nd October 2003, 21:41   #36
menno
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The MP4 file format has nothing to do with AAC. It's just a container format in which you can mux AAC data. It's not an AAC tool.

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Old 3rd October 2003, 03:02   #37
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But you still need to get a proper Mp4 lisense if winamp were to use an Mp4 container

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Old 3rd October 2003, 07:25   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by sanosuke
But you still need to get a proper Mp4 lisense if winamp were to use an Mp4 container
Do you?
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Old 3rd October 2003, 07:38   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by menno
Do you?
yes you have to, just read will's post

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Old 3rd October 2003, 07:43   #40
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will says: "as far as I know", in my reply I already said that the MP4 file format is definately not an "AAC tool", so his reasoning is incorrect. Still I am not 100% sure that the MP4 file format is license free, but the way you are reasoning that it is, is not good.

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