I’ve searched and searched for info on this issue, but to no avail. So, I’m hoping someone here knows about this.
I’m serving music files to iTunes (on a Mac) via Firefly Media Server (hosted on a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo). I’m getting gaps between songs, and I’m wondering if this is a function of iTunes, Firefly’s iTunes server, or something else.
I’m getting gaps between songs, and I’m wondering if this is a function of iTunes, Firefly’s iTunes server, or something else.
How long are the gaps? And what compression format are your tracks(mp3, aac/m4a, flac?)
I think it’s likely just a product of the compression format of your songs. AFAIK, MP3 and AAC both “feature” short, unavoidable gaps due to the way frames are constructed in the digital file. FLAC, on the other hand, should play gaplessly.
Some players (iTunes is one) can provide gapless playback of lossy formats through some digital acoustic magic, but I don’t think Firefly can play any of these games at present.
I always encode anything that needs to play without gaps as FLAC for this reason.
So I think it’s pretty much about the encoder/decoder…I don’t think Firefly has issues with keeping the stream opened…but I’m not sure what Firefly does with the “extra” metadata specifying padding and track length that most lossy gapless schemes like iTunes depend on. ]
Thanks for the info, jtbse. Indeed, the file format does affect iTunes’ ability to play back gaplessly over the network; I tested a few Apple Lossless files and they played back perfectly. Some AAC files seemed to as well, but others had a small but noticeable hiccup during transitions.
The problem is that I’m in the process of encoding all of my CDs (around 1,000) and have done most of the process using a LAME VBR=0 scheme, thinking that I was getting a good compromise between file compatibility, audio quality, and file size. As I said, I’m using iTunes on a Mac, so FLAC isn’t an option (files are too large anyway), and Apple Lossless files are too big and not compatible with anything but iTunes. 🙁
I’m guessing that I’m SOL until Apple updates iTunes to perform it’s seamless track transition ‘voodoo’ on files served via Firefly or any other shared library. Would that be your assumption as well?
This might sound like a nasty workaround, but maybe it’s possible to have firefly to transcode mp3’s on the fly.
Transcode into a format which does play ‘gaplessly’. This might crank up the bandwidth used. But you should have plenty on your local network, right? 🙂