WMA (not) transcoding on NSLU2 to iTunes?

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  • #368
    Ted Harper
    Participant

    I just installed svn-1236 on an NSLU2 and everything seems to be working well *except* when I attempt to play a WMA file to iTunes (on a Mac). Playing everything to the SoundBridge is working fine (mp3, wma), and playing mp3 to the Mac iTunes is fine too, only when I attempt to play a wma file to iTunes.

    The same files *do* play correctly (svn-1236 to Mac iTunes) running the Windows build of svn-1236, just something doesn’t seem to be right with it on the NSLU2 – I don’t know whether it is my configuration being wrong, or if it is some general wrongness.

    Here is what is logged (with -d2) when I attempt to play a wma file from the NSLU2 to the iTunes client:


    2006-06-19 08:48:20: Session 0: Streaming file '01-Westway.wma' to 192.168.0.140 (offset 0)
    2006-06-19 08:48:57: Session 0: Streaming file '01-Westway.wma' to 192.168.0.140 (offset 0)
    2006-06-19 08:49:21: Thread 1609: could not read: No such file or directory

    ted.h.

    #5111
    rpedde
    Participant

    @Ted Harper wrote:

    I just installed svn-1236 on an NSLU2 and everything seems to be working well *except* when I attempt to play a WMA file to iTunes (on a Mac). Playing everything to the SoundBridge is working fine (mp3, wma), and playing mp3 to the Mac iTunes is fine too, only when I attempt to play a wma file to iTunes.

    The same files *do* play correctly (svn-1236 to Mac iTunes) running the Windows build of svn-1236, just something doesn’t seem to be right with it on the NSLU2 – I don’t know whether it is my configuration being wrong, or if it is some general wrongness.

    Here is what is logged (with -d2) when I attempt to play a wma file from the NSLU2 to the iTunes client:


    2006-06-19 08:48:20: Session 0: Streaming file '01-Westway.wma' to 192.168.0.140 (offset 0)
    2006-06-19 08:48:57: Session 0: Streaming file '01-Westway.wma' to 192.168.0.140 (offset 0)
    2006-06-19 08:49:21: Thread 1609: could not read: No such file or directory

    ted.h.

    iTunes doesn’t play wma. It has to be transcoded. The windows build has two transcoders for wma — the ssc-wma transcoder that uses the Windows Media framework, and the ssc-ffmpeg transcoder that uses ffmpeg. Either of those can transcode wma to wav for iTunes.

    On the slug, though, the package I distribute doesn’t have either of those. It uses script-based transcoding, and I haven’t set up the script to do wma. mostly because until the roku stuff, nobody around here every wanted to use wma. 🙂 It was all flac and ogg.

    It looks like there is a ffmpeg binary for the slug, so I guess I could put one together and see if I can get it working. Understand it won’t ever work for wma lossless or wma pro, or wma voice — those codecs are lock to a windows platform until someone reverses them.

    — Ron

    #5112
    Ted Harper
    Participant

    @rpedde wrote:

    iTunes doesn’t play wma. It has to be transcoded. The windows build has two transcoders for wma — the ssc-wma transcoder that uses the Windows Media framework, and the ssc-ffmpeg transcoder that uses ffmpeg. Either of those can transcode wma to wav for iTunes.

    On the slug, though, the package I distribute doesn’t have either of those. It uses script-based transcoding, and I haven’t set up the script to do wma. mostly because until the roku stuff, nobody around here every wanted to use wma. 🙂 It was all flac and ogg.

    It looks like there is a ffmpeg binary for the slug, so I guess I could put one together and see if I can get it working. Understand it won’t ever work for wma lossless or wma pro, or wma voice — those codecs are lock to a windows platform until someone reverses them.

    I understand about the transcoding requirement for WMA into iTunes (I’m the one who hassled you into putting useragent-specific transcoding into the 1.0 release – evil laugh mwahahahah), and it’s working just fine for the Windows build of Firefly (ie not transcoding WMA to Soundbridge, but transcoding WMA files when the client is iTunes).

    My WMA files are just ordinary plain-vanilla ones (no DRM, not lossless, pro or any other sort of super-duper ones)

    What I didn’t realise until you posted above was that the build of Firefly wasn’t the same in as far as its transcoding of WMA between Windows and NSLU2 builds.

    I just bought a NSLU2 and 500Gbyte drive and last night (while waiting for Australia to lose 2:0 to Brazil in the match starting 2am local time here – sigh) moved everything off the Windows PC that had been running Firefly and Twonkyvision and onto the NSLU2. The NSLU2 is running Twonkyvision 3.1 mediaserver and svn-1236 of Firefly just fine with about 6000 music files. I only got around to trying the Mac+iTunes as a client to Firefly on the new NSLU2 server this morning, and couldn’t immediately work out why the WMA transcoding had stopped working.

    I’m keen for the user-agent-specific WMA transcoding (“vanilla WMA” only of course) on the NSLU2 just like it is on the Windows svn build of Firefly. Let me know if/when you have it included in a new nightly build and I can give it a good run within 24 hours or so if it’s in the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks,
    ted.h.

    #5113
    fizze
    Participant

    well, seeing the slug is ARM, there isnt really a integer-based implementation of a wma-decoder floating around.
    I know some folks over at roku have been tinkering with one, but its not realtime, afaik.

    Some folks over at rockbox.org have been trying to get it to run real-time, but I havent heard of any progress for quite a while.

    So I think the slug really lacks CPU horsepower to decode WMA, for now.

    #5114
    Ted Harper
    Participant

    @fizze wrote:

    Some folks over at rockbox.org have been trying to get it to run real-time, but I havent heard of any progress for quite a while.

    So I think the slug really lacks CPU horsepower to decode WMA, for now.

    The thread I can find at Rockbox.org with the ongoing discussion of progress on integer WMA decoding is this one (user “Marsdaddy” is the main developer of the library): http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=3005.0

    The latest I can find from that thread is (1) the integer WMA decoding is working, and (2) there is a WMA-to-WAV test harness exercising it. Seems there are still (as of the latest update from the author – a month ago or so) issues with the decoding accuracy and the performance of the code, but it is reported as more-or-less working.

    ted.h.

    #5115
    rpedde
    Participant

    @Ted Harper wrote:

    The latest I can find from that thread is (1) the integer WMA decoding is working, and (2) there is a WMA-to-WAV test harness exercising it. Seems there are still (as of the latest update from the author – a month ago or so) issues with the decoding accuracy and the performance of the code, but it is reported as more-or-less working.

    The other one referenced there, the roku one, apparently runs at 2 – 3x realtime on a 300mhz mips.

    Sounds like it will be touch-and-go on an underclocked slug.

    I’d take a pass at building a slug package for it though, if anyone wanted to try it.

    #5116
    Ted Harper
    Participant

    @rpedde wrote:

    The other one referenced there, the roku one, apparently runs at 2 – 3x realtime on a 300mhz mips.

    Sounds like it will be touch-and-go on an underclocked slug.

    I’d take a pass at building a slug package for it though, if anyone wanted to try it.

    I’ll give it a run; my WMA files aren’t particularly demanding (128-192kbps CBR or somewhere downwards from 200kbps VBR), and I have enough of them I can give it a run with the Mac Mini iTunes as a client. My slug is still running at the default/underclocked speed, and it is also running Twonkyvision (but I have both Twonky and Firefly set for manual library scanning only – I don’t buy new CDs all that frequently), so it’s probably a reasonable test as to whether the speed and accuracy in that decoder would be of shippable quality.

    If it doesn’t work out on the initial try, it’s probably not a big deal to most users, and could I think safely be shelved until someone (else) manages some further optimisation of the WMA decoding code (which could then be re-attempted from Firefly in some post-1.0 version). The main scenario it supports is (like mine) a user who previously hosted their music library on a Windows PC (with WMC and/or maybe Twonkyvision) with some amount of their CDs ripped to WMA and they move to a NSLU2 with Firefly for the 24*7, richer SB support, and spouse-friendly convenience, and they still want to be able to serve all their content (without re-ripping) to (1) one or more Soundbridges, and (2) various PCs/Macs in the house running iTunes. Obvious workaround for me is to re-rip the CDs previously ripped to WMA to higher bitrate MP3 instead (disc space is a lot cheaper now, and I guess I could enlist my slaves^H^H^H^H^H^H^H kids to do the mechanics of feeding the CDs in to re-rip them for pocket money), but if it could “just work” for WMA from Firefly to iTunes when running from a NSLU2 like it does from a Windows box, that would be a great result.

    ted.h.

    #5117
    fizze
    Participant

    yes, on a de-underclocked slug it might work indeed.
    Well, I had lots of (fun) digital signal processing lectures, so if I only had TheTime(TM) … bleh.

    #5118
    Dave.B
    Participant

    Is there any progress on this?
    Setting up my slug for transcoding is something I’ve been putting off for a while now, but tonight I find myself alone in the house with nothing else to do, so I rolled up my sleeves, rubbed my hands together and thought, “Right, lets get this transcoding thing working then”. Sadly my aspirations were somewhat deflated when I stumbled across this thread.

    Just curious – transcoding would be just icing on the cake really as I’m more than happy with my set up as it is.

    #5119
    rpedde
    Participant

    @Dave.B wrote:

    Is there any progress on this?
    Setting up my slug for transcoding is something I’ve been putting off for a while now, but tonight I find myself alone in the house with nothing else to do, so I rolled up my sleeves, rubbed my hands together and thought, “Right, lets get this transcoding thing working then”. Sadly my aspirations were somewhat deflated when I stumbled across this thread.

    Just curious – transcoding would be just icing on the cake really as I’m more than happy with my set up as it is.

    Not really… It’s on my “to do” list, but not at the very top, if that makes sense.

    Perhaps I’ll tackle it this weekend.

    — Ron

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