Jump to content

How do you handle a mix of flac and mp3 in your library and converting them for use in devices that can't play flac?


Recommended Posts

 

Some time ago, I switched to wanting better quality digital files, so I started using higher bitrate mp3, then I switched to using flac instead of mp3.  So,  some of my libarray is flac, some is mp3, and some of those mp3s are lower bitrates than others.

 

My car does not play flac files, so I would need mp3 versions of all my newer files if I want to play them there.  My library is primarily stored and arranged in a hierarchical directory structure.  

 

So, my current problem is how to maintain the library if I start converting flac to mp3 for the car.  I will keep the flac files of course, but where to put the mp3 version?  I have a short script that will trickle down through the directory structure, and convert any flac files it finds, leaving an mp3 file beside it in the structure.  This presents the problem that software playing music from this library sees 2 copies of a lot of the music, and for example, if I play the album in a  particular folder, I get each song played twice.

 

Should I maintain a parallel structure with just the converted mp3s in it?  This presents the problems of keeping it up to date.  Not too hard though I suppose

 

I considered just converting them on the fly as required, but this is a bit slow.

 

Other than the script I have   - basically  "find -name "*.flac" -exec ffmpeg -i {} -acodec libmp3lame -ab 192k {}.mp3 \;"   is there a GUI program for managing and converting music file types that enables easy batch conversion and control over how they get stored?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Windows user here. It's a three-step process to simplify this problem:   1. I do a search for all mp3 files, they seem to appear like flies around a barbecue. 2. For the few mp3 files o

Wine is the problem, to much of that and the conversion will be full of errors

Jriver allows you to have multiple independent libraries, i.e. one for home and one for car. It will also convert files to different formats. Here's the web wiki on library management;   htt

If your car allows for an auxiliary input, that’s one option. Plug in a DAP.  I’m going to suggest rethinking the problem rather than converting the library. 
 

Many connect phones to car audio via Bluetooth. Car audio systems are also rather ordinary (for most of us who don’t drive fancy cars). Given the quality of the equipment and that one is usually concentrating on the road rather than music, I personally wouldn’t bother with going out of the way with audio file types in the car. And if you just stream it from your phone noting the gain in lossless is attenuated by the Bluetooth connection if you use one. 
 

Short version: work out how to connect your files to the car , not how to make your car play your files. 

Edited by Dr_Kevy
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Dr_Kevy said:

If your car allows for an auxiliary input, that’s one option. Plug in a DAP. 
 

Many connect phones to car audio via Bluetooth. Car audio systems are also rather ordinary (for most of us who don’t drive fancy cars). Given the quality of the equipment and that one is usually concentrating on the road rather than music, I personally wouldn’t bother with FLAC in the car. And if you just, just stream it from your phone noting the gain in lossless is attenuated by the Bluetooth connection if you use one. 

 

 

I really like the convenience of a USB drive plugged in (hidden away in the console).   Sure I have tried both those options and they can work.    Hmmm...  given the inconvenience of maintaining the library of dual formats -   you may have a point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though my car player will play flac files, I keep a parallel collection of all my music in MP3 Format.I can't see the point of playing flac in my Toyota Troopcarrier, using a sub $200 stereo system. And I also use USB thumbdrives to play in the vehicle.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


 

I don't have any MP3 and very few flac as I just use wav files in all my playback situations.

Keeps things simple.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bob_m_54 said:

Even though my car player will play flac files, I keep a parallel collection of all my music in MP3 Format.I can't see the point of playing flac in my Toyota Troopcarrier, using a sub $200 stereo system. And I also use USB thumbdrives to play in the vehicle.

 

I agree, mp3 quality is plenty good enough in a car

 

By parallel collection,  do you mean you keep a separate directory structure?

 

Do you just manually create the mp3 versions? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aussievintage said:

 

I agree, mp3 quality is plenty good enough in a car

 

By parallel collection,  do you mean you keep a separate directory structure?

 

Do you just manually create the mp3 versions? 

I keep a separate external drive, of MP3s converted from the flacs using MediaMonkey which is pretty well automatic.

 

So that is my full collection of flac and MP3 on NAS, with backups on external drives, and separate full MP3 collection.

Edited by bob_m_54
more info
Link to post
Share on other sites


2 hours ago, LogicprObe said:

 

I don't have any MP3 and very few flac as I just use wav files in all my playback situations.

Keeps things simple.

Your car player plays wav?

and second question... why?, or do you drive a Rolls or vehicle of similar acoustic quality?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

I manually converted (using Foobar2000) some of music to mp3 for my phone when memory was limited and expensive.  The Mp3 files are stored in a separate folder.

 

Have not used this, but this looks interesting

https://sourceforge.net/projects/flacsquisher/

 

 

That project is evidence that I am not the only one who needs to do this :)  flacsquisher (I just tried it) is basic, but it works.

 

I have used a linux program called sound converter, that takes a different approach, it's output is not the same structure, but a new one based on artis and album names.  Not as convenient.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

I keep a separate external drive, of MP3s converted from the flacs using MediaMonkey which is pretty well automatic.

 

So that is my full collection of flac and MP3 on NAS, with backups on external drives, and separate full MP3 collection.

 

Yes, that's the way I was initially headed myself.  

 

I am trying mediamonkey right now.  Running under WIne under Linux,  but it seems to be going OK

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

That project is evidence that I am not the only one who needs to do this :)  flacsquisher (I just tried it) is basic, but it works.

 

I have used a linux program called sound converter, that takes a different approach, it's output is not the same structure, but a new one based on artis and album names.  Not as convenient.

Using MediaMonkey I set it up to convert to the same directory structure as my main collection

 

ie.  Alpha Initial (A, B, C etc)/Album Artist/year - Album/ track# - Title

D:/MP3/A/AC-DC/1976 - High Voltage/01 - It's a Long Way to the Top.mp3

 

Edit: I found MM to be  cludgy under wine, but it works perfectly in a virtual Win7 machine on a Linux Mint 19 Laptop using Oracle VM Virtualbox

Edited by bob_m_54
Link to post
Share on other sites


Windows user here. It's a three-step process to simplify this problem:

 

1. I do a search for all mp3 files, they seem to appear like flies around a barbecue.

2. For the few mp3 files ones I want to keep, that I know are not otherwise replaceable by lossless, I put those into a separate drive. Such as live performances of throat singing recorded in Mongolia.

3. For all the rest of the mp3 files, CTRL-A to select all, and then DELETE.

 

A variant is to use Fakin' the Funk to find mp3s that someone has converted to flac. Then CTRL DEL the lot of 'em.

 

To sum up, the best way to handle a mix of mp3 and flac is to not have mp3.

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

Using MediaMonkey I set it up to convert to the same directory structure as my main collection

 

ie.  Alpha Initial (A, B, C etc)/Album Artist/year - Album/ track# - Title

D:/MP3/A/AC-DC/1976 - High Voltage/01 - It's a Long Way to the Top.mp3

 

Edit: I found MM to be  cludgy under wine, but it works perfectly in a virtual Win7 machine on a Linux Mint 19 Laptop using Oracle VM Virtualbox

 

I can use a Win 7 virtual machine if I have to.

 

Is that directory structure created based on tags from the files, or does it duplicate the existing real structure where it found the files?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

Windows user here. It's a three-step process to simplify this problem:

 

1. I do a search for all mp3 files, they seem to appear like flies around a barbecue.

2. For the few mp3 files ones I want to keep, that I know are not otherwise replaceable by lossless, I put those into a separate drive. Such as live performances of throat singing recorded in Mongolia.

3. For all the rest of the mp3 files, CTRL-A to select all, and then DELETE.

 

A variant is to use Fakin' the Funk to find mp3s that someone has converted to flac. Then CTRL DEL the lot of 'em.

 

To sum up, the best way to handle a mix of mp3 and flac is to not have mp3.

 

Unless of course you want to play them in a player that doesn't play flac, or there isn't any point in playing them in flac at the detriment to the amount of storage required. ie, a car audio system.

1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

 

I can use a Win 7 virtual machine if I have to.

 

Is that directory structure created based on tags from the files, or does it duplicate the existing real structure where it found the files?

 

Based on file tags

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

Unless of course you want to play them in a player that doesn't play flac, or there isn't any point in playing them in flac at the detriment to the amount of storage required. ie, a car audio system.

Based on file tags

 

Yeah, not going to work, as not all my files have valid tags, and probably never will have. :(    

Link to post
Share on other sites


7 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

You could some free software like this and send the MP3's straight to the USB stick, so not having to store duplicates.

https://www.nch.com.au/switch/index.html

 

 

Also nice looking software.  Options for naming and file structure pretty much the same as sound converter, and like media monkey - based on meta data tags, unfortunately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, aussievintage said:

 

Also nice looking software.  Options for naming and file structure pretty much the same as sound converter, and like media monkey - based on meta data tags, unfortunately.

Also it does batch conversion. You drop a whole folder of MP3 and Flac into it and only convert the Flac files and copy the already MP3 files to the destination.

 

This option.

 

 

2021-04-18_133451.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

Also it does batch conversion. You drop a whole folder of MP3 and Flac into it and only convert the Flac files and copy the already MP3 files to the destination.

 

This option.

 

 

2021-04-18_133451.jpg

 

Yes that's what I meant.  Look at the naming tab.  Output structure is based on tags.  Doesn't appear to be able to retain the original structure.

Edited by aussievintage
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, aussievintage said:

 

Yes that's what I meant.  Look at the naming tab.  Output structure is based on tags.  Doesn't appear to be able to retain the original structure.

 

 

Hangon , just noticed a box on the main screen to copy original structure.  Worth a try...

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

Yes, that's the way I was initially headed myself.  

 

I am trying mediamonkey right now.  Running under WIne under Linux,  but it seems to be going OK

Wine is the problem, to much of that and the conversion will be full of errors

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

 

 

Hangon , just noticed a box on the main screen to copy original structure.  Worth a try...

 

Yep, it's working.  Yey!!!         Except it is limited to 37 files until I buy it.  Oh well, it does some good stuff.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

Unless of course you want to play them in a player that doesn't play flac

 

My mental model for this is it's equivalent to saying "a significant defect of reel to reel is it can't play cassette tapes".

 

 

42 minutes ago, bob_m_54 said:

playing them in flac at the detriment to the amount of storage required. ie, a car audio system

 

I concede the point, and acknowledge that you think storage is more important than quality. In passing, I should point out that this is an audiophile Board and your logical end point of 128kbps mp3s won't get much support hereabouts. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

My mental model for this is it's equivalent to saying "a significant defect of reel to reel is it can't play cassette tapes".

 

Which is why I don't have a reel 2 reel machine in my car  :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So,  I am persistant.  Still looking around I find -   soundkonverter  (yep different to soundconverter).  Native linux app/gui frontend  that has the option to convert and place the files in a duplicate structure.    It is multithreaded, doing 4 at a time ,  and FAST.

 

Might be on a winner here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

 

My mental model for this is it's equivalent to saying "a significant defect of reel to reel is it can't play cassette tapes".

 

 

 

I concede the point, and acknowledge that you think storage is more important than quality. In passing, I should point out that this is an audiophile Board and your logical end point of 128kbps mp3s won't get much support hereabouts. 

 

hahaha... and you obviously didn't read my post about playing digital files in a Toyota Troopcarrier.. and where did the 128kbps come from. Flac in my vehicle is simply a waste of time, effort, and storage..

 

But in your Rolls Royce, your mileage may vary.. ?

 

Edit: Oh, and in passing, feel free to pass on any more logical end point gems. Much appreciated..

 

Anyway, I have to get moving cos I'm fitting a turntable to the troopy, cos this digital mullarky is simply not up to par for Audi phile quality..

Edited by bob_m_54
Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea re linux, but I use  DBPoweramp - can do ripping and batchconverting into various formats at the same time. So I have 3 libraries:  wav, flac and MP3.  The latter is used to make cd's and usb drives for car use.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bob_m_54 said:

Your car player plays wav?

and second question... why?, or do you drive a Rolls or vehicle of similar acoustic quality?

 

VW......................but I gotta say, on sticks it sounds crap so I usually use my phone or the ol' CD!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My tunes library is mostly FLAC, if I wanna play something in me car it’s either copy the FLAC to my phone and connect via Bluetooth, or convert to MP3 using dbpoweramp batch converter into a temporary directory then onto a USB stick. Not gunna muck about with maintaining duplicate FLAC and MP3 libraries.

 

—Geoff

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, hired goon said:

My tunes library is mostly FLAC, if I wanna play something in me car it’s either copy the FLAC to my phone and connect via Bluetooth, or convert to MP3 using dbpoweramp batch converter into a temporary directory then onto a USB stick. Not gunna muck about with maintaining duplicate FLAC and MP3 libraries.

 

—Geoff

That's all I do, except use an old external HDD to store them before putting them on the USB thumb drives. And I don't bother deleting them off the HDD... Saves me reconverting if I want to change the content on the USB thumb drives.

 

So effectively, what that gives me, is an MP3 only version of my complete collection.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bob_m_54 said:

That's all I do, except use an old external HDD to store them before putting them on the USB thumb drives. And I don't bother deleting them off the HDD... Saves me reconverting if I want to change the content on the USB thumb drives.

 

So effectively, what that gives me, is an MP3 only version of my complete collection.

 

So it builds up slowly as needed.  Yeah, fair enough, that would work.

 

Now that I have managed an easy one pass conversion of everything into a duplicate directory structure, using  soundkonverter  (fast, did them all overnight),  I can "maintain" it by converting piecemeal as you do.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

l only use flac and wav files, gave up mp3 years ago.

They are on my main pc and feed my DACs via a optical link, backed up on other PC's that l also use to play in the garage and family room.

 

l have 2 Fiilo players that do all formats and use those in the car and walking.

The old Sony MP3 players are use to test unknown eqiupment.

Keep flacs on the phone but the playback sucks. Crappy DAC l think.

l use a FM transmitter in the cars.

 

regards Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

So it builds up slowly as needed.  Yeah, fair enough, that would work.

 

Now that I have managed an easy one pass conversion of everything into a duplicate directory structure, using  soundkonverter  (fast, did them all overnight),  I can "maintain" it by converting piecemeal as you do.

I batch convert them when I rip them, or when I first get them and edit tags, so in effect, have probably 99% of the full collection anyway. Been doing it that way for years.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had same problem as OP. I mainly have Flac songs but needed mp3 for the car. Here's what I did.

  • Use freeware 'Musicbee' to convert my Flacs to mp3. This can be done in bulk.
  • Setup Musicbee converter to save mp3 to a separate location (in my case Flacs are on C Drive & Mp3 are on D Drive). This consists of setup of converter routine to create Folder/Artist/Album/Song etc on my D Drive on my PC. Don't save to same location as Flac.  This means all I do is click 'Convert' and my MP3's are automatically created correctly under same hierachy (including all tags) on D Drive.  No maintenance required.
  • When ready for car - insert USB into PC and copy from D Drive MP3 to USB. Insert USB into Car USB.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I've a little R2D2 usb stick that lives in the car and is occasionally stuck in the pc to add a few more albums.

 

I'm a +1 for memory is cheap these days and so are car head decks that play flac, my pioneer was $99 installed.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 18/04/2021 at 11:08 AM, aussievintage said:

Should I maintain a parallel structure with just the converted mp3s in it?  This presents the problems of keeping it up to date.  Not too hard though I suppose

 

Yep, can you update your script so it copies also includes pre-existing MP3s.... and point it at a whole new file structure.

 

You'll have stored your MP3s twice....  but at << $50 / TB, what's the harm?

 

On 18/04/2021 at 11:08 AM, aussievintage said:

Other than the script I have   - basically  "find -name "*.flac" -exec ffmpeg -i {} -acodec libmp3lame -ab 192k {}.mp3 \;"   is there a GUI program for managing and converting music file types that enables easy batch conversion and control over how they get stored?

 

Yes, many, but your script run over the entire library may be "better" for this purpose...  as you can schedule it and just forget about it.

 

Any reason why you're using ABR 192khz.   This is not particularly good....  unless you are very sensitive to space I would use CBR 320, or -V0.      If you are very sensitive to space you'll get better SQ with something like -V2.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...