Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AAC, SqueezeCenter and Windows Home Server


On my Windows Home Server, I have installed SqueezeCenter.  This allows our SqueezeBox to play out music, and we don't need to leave a separate computer on.  I noticed that aac files were not playing, but the SqueezeBox was just skipping over them.



When I looked at the configuration of SqueezeCenter aac files are transcoded with mov123.  This program is essentially just a wrapper for QuickTime.  The problem is that Windows Home Server doesn't come with QuickTime installed.



I didint want to install QuickTime, as this install brings of other stuff that I didn't want.  (i.e. Apple's Software Update)  I found this thread that describes mplayer and faad as alternatives to mov123. 



After spending several hours to get either mplayer or faad to work, I decided to just install QuickTime.  I had to search on Apple's support site for a link to a version of QuickTime that would install on the home server.  (The latest version of QuickTime requires XP or Vista, and the home server is running a deritive of Windows Server 2003

7 comments:

  1. HI very interested in this blog got exactly this problem - but what heppened my copy ends with you looking for a version of quicktime...

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  2. Also had this problem, I decided to separate the iTunes files from SC files and used dbPowerAmp to batch convert all the aac files to flac. I am now (slowly) re-ripping everything to flac. It's a bit of a long way round, but avoids installing QT etc - no good though if you also want to use iTunes for playing the files...

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  3. Here's how you get faad to work (I just finished doing this on my WHS).
    1. Copy faad.exe to "C:\Program Files\SqueezeCenter\server\bin\MSWin32-x86-multi-thread"
    2. Then go to "C:\Program Files\SqueezeCenter\server" and make a copy of convert.conf. Name the copy custom-convert.conf.
    3. Open custom-convert.conf in Notepad. You'll see there's a bunch of lines at the top that begin with #. Delete everything that comes after that, and add the following:
    mov wav * *
    [faad] -w $FILE$
    mov flc * *
    [faad] -w $FILE$ | [flac] -cs --totally-silent --compression-level-0 --endian little --sign signed --channels 2 --bps 16 --sample-rate 44100 -
    mov mp3 * *
    [faad] -w $FILE$ | [lame] --resample 44100 --silent -q $QUALITY$ --abr $BITRATE$ -r --big-endian - -
    4. Restart the SqueezeCenter service and you should be golden

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  4. Word wrapping of the faad command lines on my previous comments may make things confusing. There should be three pairs of lines that you add to the file, each pair separated from the others by a blank line. Each pair has one line beginning with "mov" and one line beginning with "[faad]" (indented).

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  5. Hi Jonathan,
    I have been seaching for a long time to get my m4a files transcoded by squeezecenter until I read your tip concerning faad.
    I am running SC on Windows 2003 Server and I have the same problem with QT which requires XP or Vista. Also, I found an earlier version but this didn't help and SC was only playing the first 10 seconds without any sound.
    But your faad installation tip is great for me *** THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR WORK ****

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  6. I am experiencing a similiar or identical issue. My aac files sometimes skip or restart using slimserver on WHS. PLaying a high bit rate aac is impossible, always restarts.

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  7. This worked great with SqueezeCenter 7.2, but appearantly 7.3 requires a change in context.
    My custom-convert.conf looks like this: # Transcoding for AAC files.
    mov flc * *
    # F
    [faad] -w -f 2 $FILE$ | [flac] -cs --totally-silent --compression-level-0 --endian little --sign signed --channels 2 --bps 16 --sample-rate 44100 -
    mov mp3 * *
    # FB:{BITRATE=-B %B}
    [faad] -w -f 2 $FILE$ | [lame] --resample 44100 --silent -q $QUALITY$ $BITRATE$ -r - -
    mov wav * *
    # F
    [faad] -w -f 2 $FILE$
    If that does not copy right, you can search the Slimdevices forum for FAAD and find it.

    ReplyDelete