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Problems reading AAC audio with Sony CPF-IX001

Discussion in 'Audio' started by Neilsson, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Neilsson

    Neilsson Member

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    I must apologise in advance if there's already a thread with information pertinent to my issue, but if there is – I can’t find it!

    I have for some years now used Sony’s Sonic Stage to produce ATRAC files for my portable players, but feel that it’s time to ‘move on’, so to speak, so I’m trying out Exact Audio Copy with NeroAAC encoder to produce .m4a files. Having ripped a track to test from one CD, I can get it to play in Winamp, and can import it into Sonic Stage (for the purpose of transferring it to a Walkman), which also plays it without problems. However, even though the CPF-IX001 shows the artist, album and track information, upon attempting to play the track it displays the error “Cannot Play”. On accessing the M-crew Server software, the track appears in the library, however attempting to play it there results in the error “Processing failed”.

    I tried another track from a different CD, but the track wasn’t even recognised by the M-crew software. So I tried a third disk – same result. Time to seek some advice - anywhere I can methinks!

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. k00ka

    k00ka Regular member

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    Not sure this will help but, try using the .mp4 file extension instead of .m4a..I'm not familiar with the Sony players, so I'm not sure what the Sony CPF-IX001 supports...Perhaps someone else that does will chime in...
    Just to add, don't simply re-name the extension, but rather set to use .mp4 when ripping...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  3. Neilsson

    Neilsson Member

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    Further to my original post, I can add that using EAC to create a wave file, results in the creation of a file that plays without problems on both my CPF-IX001 and M-crew Server software.

    However, after converting it with either the compress wav option within EAC, or from a command line using neroaacenc.exe, the file refuses to play in either of the aforementioned. I’ve also tried using dbpoweramp and the nero aac codec, with the same failures.

    Having downloaded iTunes, and ripped the same tracks, the resulting .m4a files play without problems, so I’m at a loss to understand exactly where I’m going wrong!

    The question may be asked, why not then, simply stick with iTunes?
    The answer being, having read that the error correction and accuracy of files produced by EAC and similar tools, will give me better results!

    I'm afraid the .mp4 extension was even less successful!
     
  4. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I will spare you the rantings and ravings for your choices. It is a free world. If you wish to use junk to produce junkie audio that is your right.

    You very likely have a compatibility issue. High-end software doesn't share any dlls. Everything you use comes out of the same package. When you update, you update everything even if most parts do not need updating.

    All you need to do is find out each version of everything that you are using to make your audio file and verify that it is compatible with the rest.
     
  5. Neilsson

    Neilsson Member

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    True, it is indeed a free world, and opinions do differ, but I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to as junk and junkie audio?

    You lost me in the 2nd and 3rd sentences!

    OK- but how do I verify compatibility if I can't get the available versions to work with one another, other than seek advice on forums such as this?
     
  6. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Your problem is not all that unusual. There are about two of this type of post per month. To verify each componant is a very tedious process. I know of only one person that was so stubborn as to go through that process. For about 25 USDs you can use dbPowerAmp for a year. You get a 30 free trial. Everything you use is in the same package so there is never any version mismatch issues. If you update, everything is replaced together. You can rip to AAC with that. It is the best ripper/converter out there. EAC is the best free ripper and normally can produce the same quality as dbPA. With both you will be notified if there were any uncorrected read problems.

    My soap box or educational process...

    AAC uses psychoacoustic compression, a wonderful compression if done correctly. It eliminates audio data you mind does not process. You get compression without real audio quality loss. The problem with it is, the programming is very demanding. If not done right it alters the sound so there are sounds in the compressed version not in the original. These are called artifacts. Peter Chen of the Lame encoder produced the first clean psychoacoustic compression algorithm about 5 years ago. It is still the only encoder that has no known artifacts at its target quality. The target is maxed out, frequency cut off of about 320 CBR quality. No one should be able to tell the difference between that and lossless. NOT that they are te same, they just sound the same.

    AAC’s target quality is 128, at 128 it produces less artifacts than LAME. Lame is not all that good at 128. A third party group of audiophiles monitors most of the prominent encoders. About a year ago they sent Apple a well-documented list of artifact complaints. Apple responded, acknowledging that they confirmed the list and that they would work on it. I do not think they have fixed many if any. They know their clients. It is my opinion that their clients are not focused on quality.

    The above is fact that I have read from relyable sources; my opinion is on top of that I don’t like AAC because it varies the quality instead of the bit rate. Psychoacoustic compression has to be opportunistic. Depending on the music, is can compress a great deal or none at all. Lame VBR uses a quality setting with the psychoacoustic compression. The bit rate varies within a tune enough that the time index, which assumes a constant bit rate, is often noticably not accurate. One can assume that the quality varies as much with AAC as the time index varies with VBR. I like to set the quality, I don’t like varying quality in my music. I can’t see how anyone interested in quality would tolerate a variable quality. That is why I call AAC junk. VBR is the only mode that is set on pure quality. You set the high frequency cut off. These settings and cut offs are published. Even CBRs (constant bit rates) have only approximate the high frequency cut offs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  7. Neilsson

    Neilsson Member

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    Fantastic stuff, thank you!

    I must apologise for my lack of experience and understanding, but am I correct in assuming that, on the basis of my desiring quality foremost, you would recommend my using Lame to create .mp3 files at VBR 320?
     
  8. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    No such thing. VBR is a quality dependent the bit rate is a just that. With Lame V-0 is a tad less than the quality average of a 320 CBR. The cut off is 19.5 kHz. By HS most males can't hear 19.5 kHz tones especilly those that listyen to loud music. Both 320 CBR and V-0 are exteme over kill. V-0 will produce about an average 190 BR. That average can very widly. Some hard rock has a very low bit rate while I have seen a classical guitar that was almost 320. Electric guitars make sounds in our core hearing 10 hz or less. Music that is loud and has strong base gets massive compression. Low notes take very little data and over power all the data hogging high notes in the back round. PA compression has a hay day ripping out all the high note data.

    The average high end cut off 21kHz, is lost in the teanage years. About 192 CBR is good for an adult still over kill. I had to say that but in practise, I use V-0, knowing full well that is waistfull over kill. If you chose to over kill that is OK just know that it is over kill. Claiming that you are superior because you listen to extreme overkill pisses me off to no end.
     
  9. k00ka

    k00ka Regular member

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    In most material, you would be hard pressed to hear a difference between 320 CBR and -V0...And I agree for most that's over-kill..That said, to help you determine what is over-kill or not, or to determine what setting is your sweet spot, you can conduct a series of listening tests(ABX..You just might be surprised by the results..
    http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index...:Preferences:Components_(List)#ABX_Comparator
     
  10. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    k00ka, how old are you? You should be too young to drive if you think you have any chance to tell the difference between 320 and lossless. As I stated before 320 is massive over kill for an adult. Hearing is a learned skill. By the time your ears (brain) are trained to listen carefully the 320 cut off is light years away from the high end cut off of 320. There is evidance that music experts use much more O2 in the part of brain that listens to music than your average person. My son who could easily hear mosquito ring tones couldn't hear artifacts in music that annoyed me. He couldn't tell the difference between 128 and 320 BRs.


    Since you posted a HA wiki you know where it is. 5 years ago the old bulls of HA concluded the present version of Lame using the V-0 is transparent to lossless. These were mostly professional audio persons. No one dares crossing swords with them. They are the world experts. Unlike AD where you have to really push it you can get thrown off HA for stating a fact that is not a fact. Any statement of fact should have proof with the post. I recognized some of the members. They were at that time the senior programmers for the top of the line audio products I was using.

    Yes, if you have the time and resolve ABX test is the best way to see for yourself is an ABX test. I do not have the will or time my self. You will need to have at least 100 various samples to be even a little safe. I just take the word of the HA members. Many do that kind of testing for their jobs. They site you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between V-5 and lossless. k00ka, that is half the BR that you are stating. I feel plenty safe using V-0. I always have a lossless backup incase I am wrong. I have been considering going much lower now after a hearing test. I know my personal cut off is below 10 kHz. I could do with much less than V-5 but then I might introduce artifacts.

    It is well known by 20 most males cannot hear tones above 18kHz. There are multiple technologies that use that cut off. 320 CBR has a cutoff of 21-22 kHz. You lose the ability to here that by the time you can drive! So unless you are 10 yrs old you will not be able to hear a 22kHz tone in a hearing test. There is a world of difference between being able to pick up a loud tone in silence in a hearing test and picking out a tone in music. Many HA members, myself included use the DNA encoder to convert rippled lossless to an mp3. It has artifacts at about 12 kHz. Why do we do that? 1) We have a lossless archive, 2) No one has been able to pick out these relatively low tone defects while listening to music 3) The encoded is very fast 20-30 times faster than Lame.


     
  11. k00ka

    k00ka Regular member

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    Hey Mez, where in my post do I suggest, that I can hear a difference from 320k and -V0?...FYI, I can't!...Heck I've got some -V5 mp3s that sound transparent from the original wav...However most of my mp3 file are transcoded using -V2...I'm only suggesting that neither you nor anyone else can decide what is over-kill/sounds best/best format/best setting etc. since (drumroll) none of us share ears...

    I'm no expert, and music is still just a hobby for me..When I'm wrong I admit it..It seems from reading some of your posts, that you have a problem when someone disagrees or adds other advise to your replies...
    Am I wrong?...My age is NOYFB...
     
  12. Neilsson

    Neilsson Member

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    ... I'll get me coat!
     
  13. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Sorry I came down too hard. You did say I would be hard pressed not that you would be hard pressed. It is right to want to over kill. You never want to be on the border and miss something. However if someone suggests that 320 CBR is the borderline as I believe you were suggesting then it makes sense to listen to to lossless. The borderline is about 160 CRB so even 190 is over kill. Knowing that I use 320 or V-0 or an equivelent.

    Age has a great deal to do with it. Your high end cut off is age dependent and you can speed up the process my listening to loud sounds but the erosion can not be slowed down.

     
  14. k00ka

    k00ka Regular member

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    Yes, of course it does!..Guess I just found the question as to my age was intended to be a tad belittling..But, maybe I was wrong..
    AFAIC, if you're using a bitrate 0f 320kbps, then yes you might as well use lossless..But that's just me of course..
    Have a great day, I'm off to load some more lossy AAC's onto my iPod...Wasn't this a thread regarding AAC, btw?..Anyhow, have a great day!..And apology accepted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009

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