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Thread: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

  1. #1

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    Talking iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    I've just joined up and tried dBpoweramp r12.3, as I have so far been using Exact Audio copy (EAC) and have been looking around if it supports something akin to iTunesEncode which I've been using on EAC. There may be a guide or How-To somewhere, but I mostly came across a few hints in posts that it could use iTunesEncode, and finally found a reference to the CLI Encoder. So I've installed everything and experimented with the CLI Encoder and iTunesEncode with the help of the helpful Help documentation (more than can be said for EAC; it's developed by a German student with limited time and limited English, so I don't blame him) . So, I thought I'd take what I've learned and produce a How-To guide for using iTunesEncode with dBpoweramp Music Converter. Parts are modified from the dBpoweramp Dynamic CLI Encoder help page and Dynamic CLI Tutorial, other information is derived from posts by the iTunesEncoder developer.

    Enjoy.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    If, like me, you're an iTunes user, and perhaps have an iPod, you may wish for greater integration between dBpoweramp Music Converter(dMC) and iTunes, and you may wish to not only have iTunes encode to AAC and tag your songs, but to have them automatically entered into the iTunes library without manually importing them. Well, this is possible because iTunes and QuickTime have an API, or programmer interface, which 3rd party programs can use to convert, tag, and import songs or audiofiles into iTunes. However, on Windows, I'm only aware of one small utility that does this: iTunesEncode. This handy little commandline-utility simply hands the encoding over to iTunes, and by default leaves the resultant files in you iTunes library. It encodes into either AAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF (Macintosh equivalent to WAV), or ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) from any format supported by iTunes, such as WAV, MP3, MP4, or unprotected WMAs.
    When used with programs like dMC and EAC, however, they first have to make an intermediary WAV file as it doesn't seem to support piping directly to iTunes. This also means that you can encode from any filetype, irrespective of what QuickTime or iTunes support, such as FLAC or Monkey's Audio, as iTunes only have to encode from a WAV file.
    It has a few bugs and limitations, but unfortunately the developer lost the sourcecode in a harddrive crash, so it won't be updated. I've twice encountered, when using it with EAC, the filename and other tags not being transferred to iTunes for a single file, or some error is produced, but so far has worked when re-converting the file.
    It is lacking a few features, for instance it seems there is no setting for Encoding Quality, so it must be set in iTunes first from the Preferences > Advanced > Importing tab. Moreover, when you use a particular encoder, the iTunes import default encoder is changed, so be aware if using iTunes to import later. There are no switches for making Gapless albums or various other newer features of iTunes. It supports passing some parameters which dMC doesn't have any dynamic variables for, such as Comments or Artwork, so some tagging tweaking may still be necessary in iTunes. For individual files, it is possible to pass these parameters manually, but not from the source files. iTunes may be able to find the artwork if the Artist and Album is properly tagged.

    There are two methods for using iTunesEncode with dBpoweramp Music converter, both using the optional CLI Encoder (Command Line Interface encoder) available from the Codec Central on this site. Naturally you must have iTunes installed.
    The first is simply to use the CLI Encoder and point it to an Encoder executable and set the commandline parameters manually. The second involves some preparatory work to make customised versions for any filetype you want.


    Method 1: Manually setting parameters to create M4A, MP3, or AIFF files:
    1. Downloaded and install the CLI Encoder from the Codec Central on this site:
      http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-cli.htm
      and make sure dBpoweramp Music Converter isn't running.
    2. Download iTunesEncode from Rarewares.org:
      http://www.rarewares.org/aac-encoders.php
      It's also available from the original Hydrogen Audio forum thread:
      http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=29821
      You can extract the Zip anywhere, such as the dBpoweramp directory, as no installation is necessary, or better yet place it in the CLI Encoder directory:
      C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\CLI Encoder\
      If you later make copies of it, that does mean multiple versions of it, though.
    3. In the folder C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\CLI Encoder\ is a file called encoder.txt. Edit this file to change the extension of the encoder, in this instance .m4a
    4. Start dBpoweramp Music Converter, select a file or files to convert (you can option- and shift-click files to convert multiple files), select the CLI Encoder, and click Locate Encoder to find where you put iTunesEncode.exe. Alternatively choose the CLI Encoder from the dBpoweramp Cd Ripper.
    5. iTunesEncode has a number of parameters preceded with a dash and a letter and a space, such as -e or -a, which can appear in any order. Some are mandatory, such as Encoder type and Input, while others are optional, such as passing ID tags to iTunes. Any parameter that may contain a space, such as Artist or Album, must be enclosed in quotes, others don't need to. Some tags may not be set in the source file, such as Total Tracks or Total Disks, so can be left out.
      Additionally, dMC has a set of dynamic variables marked by square brackets, which are replaced by the relevant value for each file as it is passed to the Encoder.
      In the Commandline input field, put:
      -e "AAC Encoder" -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"
      The -c parameter is the Comment tag, and can contain anything you like. It will be written to the original iTunes file, but if you have “dB Write ID Tags” enabled below, the Output file will have its comment overwritten by those in the Source file, or Comment field in the CD Ripper.
      All of the Tag parameters are optional, but although the -o output file parameter is optional in iTunesEncode, it is mandatory in the CLI Encoder.
      iTunes automatically places the converted file in its library, however if you don't want it there, eg if you are encoding ALAC files for backup, and just want iTunes to encode it and place it in the Output location, you can add -d to the Commandline parameters. The output file is copied to the location set by dMC, and the iTunes original is deleted.
    6. For the other options in the CLI encoder, leave Pass Wave Header and dB Write ID Tags ticked. The latter only affects the Output file, not the iTunes original in its library, which only get the tags we pass it via iTunesEncode. Hence the ID tags in the two versions will be slightly different. Leave all other options as default.
    7. Before encoding, you may want to start iTunes first, otherwise the encoder will open it for you when it is needed.
      Click Convert in dMC to convert your file. The progress window will open, the Encoder will convert the sound file to Wav before passing it to iTunesEncode, which passes it on to iTunes via its API. If iTunes isn't open at this point, it will start up first.
      Upon completion of each ripped song, iTunes usually gives off a chime to indicate encoding is complete, and depending on iTunes settings, may start to play. If you sort by the Date Added column in iTunes (right click the column header anywhere, choose it from the menu, then click on it), your newly-added songs will appear fully-tagged at the top (as far as the encoder options allow and are in the source files).

    Technical specifics for iTunesEncode with CLI Encoder variables:
    Commandline usage: [options] -i <input.wav> -o <output.m4a>

    Tagging Options:
    -a "[artist]" Adds an artist tag to the file (String)
    -l "[album]" Adds an album tag to the file (String)
    -t "[title]" Adds a song title tag to the file (String)
    -g "[genre]" Adds a genre tag to the file (String)
    -y [year] Adds a year tag to the file (Numeric)
    -n [track] Adds a track number tag to the file (Numeric)
    -m [track_total] Adds a track count tag to the file (Numeric)
    -j [disc] Adds a disc number tag to the file (Numeric)
    -k [disc_total] Adds a disc count tag to the file (Numeric)

    The following options have no dynamic variables in the CLI Encoder:
    -b <BPM> Adds a BPM tag to the file (Numeric)
    -c <Comment> Adds a comment tag to the file (String)
    -u <Grouping> Adds a grouping tag to the file (String)
    -x <Compilation> Adds a compilation tag to the file (Boolean)
    -p <Composer> Adds a composer tag to the file (String)
    -r <filename> Adds artwork to the file (String)

    Tag option notes:
    - Options that may contain spaces must use quotes.
    - Options y (year), n (track), m (track count), b (BPM), j (Disc Number), k (Disc count) are numeric.
    - Option x (compilation) is a boolean and can be either 1, true, yes, T, Y, on, enable
    iTunesEncode does not support newer tags such as Gapless playback. Set this in iTunes if needed.


    Non-tagging options:
    -i "[infile]" Specifies the input file. The input file can be
    of any format iTunes can read.
    (WAV, AIFF, M4A, MP3, WMA)

    -o "[outfile]" Specifies an output file. The resulting encoded
    file will be copied here after encoding and
    tagging are complete.

    -s <delay> Delay to use in milliseconds (default: 4000).
    Increase this if you experience problems
    using iTunesEncode on long batch encodes.

    -e EncoderName Lets you specify the encoder iTunes will use.
    Choose from
    "AAC Encoder",
    "MP3 Encoder",
    "WAV Encoder",
    "AIFF Encoder", or
    "Lossless Encoder" (Apple Lossless Audio Codec, aka Apple Lossless Encoder)
    (Default is "AAC Encoder".)

    -d This switch will make the program delete the song from
    the iTunes library once encoding and copying are complete.

    Non-tag option notes:
    If the output file exists, it will be overwritten.
    Technical specifics for the CLI Encoder:
    Dynamic Command Line Items
    The following items will be dynamically replaced on usage:
    [infile] Input filename, if not present stdin is used. Required by iTunesEncode.
    [outfile] Output filename, not required for iTunes as it places the original in its library.
    [artist] Artist
    [album] Album title
    [title] Track title
    [genre] Music genre
    [year] Year of recording
    [track] Track number
    [track_total] Total tracks on CD
    [disc] Compilation disc number
    [disc_total] Compilation disc total

    [tag]element[] Embed user defined tag element
    [unique] Unique number (not padded)
    [extension] Audio format extension
    [date] Current date
    [time] Current time
    [day_of_week] Current day of week
    [now_year] Current year

    [frequency] Frequency, eg 44100
    [channels] Channels, eg 2
    [channels_subone] Channels-1, eg 0 for mono
    [bits_per_sample] Bits, eg 16
    [bytes_per_sample] Bytes (bits / 8), eg 2

    Method 2: Customised CLI Encoders for each of the supported formats:
    1. Download iTunesEncode from Rarewares.org:
      http://www.rarewares.org/aac-encoders.php
      It's also available from the original Hydrogen Audio forum thread:
      http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=29821
      Keep it handy for now.
    2. Ensure you've downloaded and installed the CLI Encoder from http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-cli.htm
      and shut down dBpoweramp Music Converter if it's running.
    3. Browse using Windows Explorer to:
      C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder
      and copy the file CLI Encoder.dll (right click, drag, and drop; choose "copy" from the menu), rename the duplicate file to iTunes (m4a).dll
      (or whatever name you want to show in Music Converter's encoder list).
    4. Copy the CLI Encoder folder as above by dragging and dropping, choosing to Copy. Rename it to the same name as in Step 2 without the extension, eg iTunes (m4a).
    5. Extract the iTunesEncode executable from the downloaded Zip file into this new folder.
      You should have:
      C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a).dll
      C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\
      C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\iTunesEncode.exe
    6. Open up the new folder. There should be a text file called encoder.txt. If not, it should be created when it's run.
      This file is to contain the dynamic instructions for dBpoweramp.
      In encoder.txt, place:

      [codec]
      .m4a
      iTunesEncode.exe

      where .m4a is the extension of the resultant file. This is the standard extension for AAC or Apple Lossless audio wrapped in an MPEG-4 container used in iTunes and iPods. Variants are .m4b for Bookmarkable files and .m4p for Protected iTunes Store files. Don't use the latter. There are no technical differences between .m4a and .m4b, the latter is simply recognised as a Bookmarkable (resumable) Audiobook by iTunes and iPod, and placed in the Audiobook folder. Regular .m4a can also be made bookmarkable by going into the iTunes info panel under Options and choosing “Remember playback position”.
      If you want to use the other encoders iTunesEncode can use but use separate extensions, like .aif or .mp3, you will have to make separate profiles by repeating the procedure for each file type, since the CLI Encoder unfortunately doesn't allow the extension to be changed dynamically from user input.
      Using iTunes as the encoder actually means it creates its own copy in its library with the right extension, the above extension only applies to the Output file. So, if you set another extension here, say .m4b, that only applies to the dMC copy, not the one in the iTunes library. To have the iTunes version recognised as an Audiobook, simply change its extension.

      After these initial lines, dynamic items can follow, in any order. In fact, the order used sets how the commandline is constructed, items appearing first will appear first on the commandline. However the order is not important.

      The CLI Encoder allows for a customised interface with Encoder-specific options and controls. This is how the Nero AAC encoder is made, for instance.
      We'll customise the iTunesEncoder interface with an iTunes image, labels, a drop-down menu to choose between AAC and ALAC, and a checkbox offering to delete the iTunes original.
      For the image in the encoder dialog, I searched Google Images for "itunes logo".
      For example
      http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog/archives/iTunesLogo.gif or
      http://www.nubzilla.com/myspace/itunes_logo_175px.jpg
      I used IrfanView to resize the first one to half its original size (67x73px), but obviously any image editor will do, and the size is not critical. Being a GIF, the background is ideal for removal. Save it as a BMP image and place it in the "iTunes Encoder" folder as "iTunesLogo.bmp".

      The entry for the logo is in this format:

      [image]
      X Position in Dialog Units Windows unit relative to default System font.
      Y Position in Dialog Units
      iTunesLogo.bmp BMP image file in the Encoder folder
      yes yes=makes the background transparent; no=no transparency

      Labels are in this format:

      [label]
      X Position in Dialog Units
      Y Position in Dialog Units
      String to display
      Colour in Hexadecimal (same as for webpages).

      The Dropdown combo list is in this format:

      [combo]
      X Position in Dialog Units
      Y Position in Dialog Units
      Width in Dialog Units
      First-run default index (1, 2, 3 etc)
      Menu item 1
      Value 1 set on CLI if Item 1 selected (if none, leave blank line)
      Menu item 2
      Value 2 set on CLI if Item 2 selected (if none, leave blank line)

      Finally, the checkbox:

      [checkbox]
      X Position in Dialog Units
      Y Position in Dialog Units
      First-run default value (0=unchecked, 1=checked)
      Shown Text
      Commandline When Checked (if none, leave blank line)
      Commandline When Unchecked (if none, leave blank line)

      There are various other dMC technical settings, such as Maximum and Minimum frequency in Hertz or number of audio channels supported:

      [minfreq]
      8000 (16000 for MP3)

      [maxfreq]
      96000 (48000 for MP3)

      [maxchannels]
      48

      AAC has a frequency range from 8kHz to 96Khz with a maximum of 48 channels, versus MP3's range of 16kHz to 48kHz and 6 channels. You are not likely to encounter a 48-channel audiofile, and I don't know if iTunes handles this theoretical maximum.
      In our first encoder, however, we'll include Apple Lossless as an option, so we won't use the Frequency settings. We'll make separate M4a AAC and Lossless versions later.

      See the Help documentation for more details (Hint: Click the red "?" In the CLI Encoder).


    The final encoder.txt file for the iTunes (m4a) encoder reads:

    Code:
    [codec]
    .m4a
    iTunesEncode.exe
    
    [image]
    250
    3
    iTunesLogo.bmp
    yes
    
    [label]
    10
    2
    Set quality settings in iTunes preferences under Advanced > Importing
    
    [label]
    2
    24
    Encoder:
    
    [combo]
    34
    22
    96
    1
    AAC Encoder
     -e "AAC Encoder"
    Lossless Encoder (ALAC)
     -e "Lossless Encoder"
    
    [checkbox]
    2
    46
    0
    Delete original from the iTunes library
     -d
    
    [clistring]
     -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"
    
    [maxchannels]
    48
    iTunes (m4b Audiobook) encoder:
    For an m4b Audiobook version, copy the CLI Encoder DLL and iTunes (m4a) folder, rename them iTunes (m4b Audiobook), and edit the encoder.txt file. It will probably have reverted to a default file, so copy over the above code, and simply change the extension under [codec] to .m4b and save. That is the only difference. You'll have to set iTunes to a lower bitrate manually. There is a default called "Spoken word" which samples at 64kbps at 22,050kHz. Audioplays with music and sound effects probably need 128kbps.

    iTunes (m4a AAC) encoder:
    For a plain AAC encoder without the drop-down menu, remove the Combo section and accompanying label, add the commandline option for the AAC Encoder to the [clistring], and add the [minfreq] and [maxfreq] settings:

    Code:
    [codec]
    .m4a
    iTunesEncode.exe
    
    [image]
    250
    3
    iTunesLogo.bmp
    yes
    
    [label]
    10
    2
    Set quality settings in iTunes preferences under Advanced > Importing
    
    [checkbox]
    2
    46
    0
    Delete original from the iTunes library
     -d
    
    [clistring]
     -e "AAC Encoder" -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"
    
    [minfreq]
    8000
    
    [maxfreq]
    96000
    
    [maxchannels]
    48
    iTunes (mp3) encoder:
    For an MP3 encoder, modify the AAC encoder above, replacing .mp4 with .mp3 under [codec], the "AAC Encoder" in the [clistring] directive with "MP3 Encoder", the [minfreq] is 16000, [maxfreq] is 48000, and [maxchannels] is 6:

    Code:
    [codec]
    .mp3
    iTunesEncode.exe
    
    [image]
    250
    3
    iTunesLogo.bmp
    yes
    
    [label]
    10
    2
    Set quality settings in iTunes preferences under Advanced > Importing
    
    [checkbox]
    2
    46
    0
    Delete original from the iTunes library
     -d
    
    [clistring]
     -e "MP3 Encoder" -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"
    
    [minfreq]
    16000
    
    [maxfreq]
    48000 
    
    [maxchannels]
    6
    iTunes (Lossless) encoder:
    An Apple Lossless encoder is like the M4A AAC encoder above, but without the [minfreq] and [maxfreq] directives, and the [clistring] set with "Lossless Encoder".

    Code:
    [codec]
    .m4a
    iTunesEncode.exe
    
    [image]
    250
    3
    iTunesLogo.bmp
    yes
    
    [label]
    10
    2
    Set quality settings in iTunes preferences under Advanced > Importing
    
    [checkbox]
    2
    46
    0
    Delete original from the iTunes library
     -d
    
    [clistring]
     -e "Lossless Encoder" -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"
    iTunes (aiff) encoder:
    An AIFF encoder is like above, with the [clistring] set with "AIFF Encoder", and of course the extension set to .aif or .aiff

    Code:
    [codec]
    .aif
    iTunesEncode.exe
    
    [image]
    250
    3
    iTunesLogo.bmp
    yes
    
    [label]
    10
    2
    Set quality settings in iTunes preferences under Advanced > Importing
    
    [checkbox]
    2
    46
    0
    Delete original from the iTunes library
     -d
    
    [clistring]
     -e "AIFF Encoder" -a "[artist]" -l "[album]" -t "[title]" -g "[genre]" -y [year] -n [track] -m [track_total] -j [disc] -k [disc_total] -c "Encoded with iTunes via dBpoweramp" -i "[infile]" -o "[outfile]"

    Well that's it. Hope it was useful.
    Final notes:
    Here's a PDF of this HowTo.

    And if you're too lazy to copy-and-paste, here's the encoder files minus the CLI Encoder.dll. Extract to the encoder directory, copy the CLI Encoder.dll for each one you need and rename it exactly like each folder. It may initially reset the encoder.txt file to a default, if so just copy-and-paste from the zipped ones.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Mover LtData's Avatar
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    Moved to General.

  3. #3
    Ringmaster's Avatar
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    msandersen,

    I do vinyl (LP, 45 RPM) restoration, using Diamond Cut "DC-7 Live/Forensics" audio processing software. I keep all of my audio files strictly in the .wav format (I have plenty of storage space, back-up, etc) The majority of my database has to be manually entered, because the data entered into my Library are from Compilation CD's of my restored audio.

    I am not computer literate, as far as creating a "database", and "taging" are concerned. I have my Library of approx. 3,000 tracks created in "Windows Explorer". I have been working on this for about six months, trying to find a Library that supports .wav files, and I just found out recently that Windows Explorer does not support the .wav codec (at least I think that is my problem). I have at least five Library folders created, that I plan to consolidate into one Library, when I feel confident that I know what I am doing. I have several programs installed on my system, along with "dbpoweramp", and I would like to use "iTunes" for my Library, Song Lists, etc.

    The columns I would like are: Artist, Name (Song Title), Size, Type (.wav), Album Title, Duration (Track Time), Composer, Director & Orchestra; some of these could be eliminated if necessary. So far, the data for each track is listing under Name (Artist - Title), Size, & Type columns. Under the Name column, each track is listed as, Example: "Abba - Take A Chance on Me.wav"; each entry is separated by a (space)-(space).

    My problem is: I can't figure out how to get the "Artist" to list under the Artist column, and the "Title" to list under the Name column; also, if each Title has the .wav suffix, I don't need the Type column.

    I don't know if this is a logical approach, but I thought I would keep my base Library within Windows Explorer; and, from that create an iTunes Library. I don't even know if this is a logical approach; also, I have several programs and several Libraries on my computer, and I am afraid I am going to screw up my computer if I proceed any further.

    I know this is asking a lot; but, would you be willing to set up the database for me, under Windows Explorer or iTunes, so I can get away from this project, and back to my Music Restoration (which is my primary interest). I would be happy to do a few restorations for you, as a return favor.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    Hi this is a great posting thanks

    I followed the instructions and it all works except that the files are placed on my hard drive without being taken by Itunes.

    I tried cut and paste with AAC and Apple lossless scripts - same outcome.

    Itunes open at the time.

    Running on Vista.

    Thanks for any help!

  5. #5
    Moderator and Mover LtData's Avatar
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    The iTunesEncoder file hasn't been updated since 2005, the new versions of iTunes probably have made changes to where the encoder no longer works.

  6. #6

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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    Could be true but I was successully using the iTunesEncoder file last week to get Nero AAC into itunes - worked fine then...

  7. #7
    Moderator and Mover LtData's Avatar
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    Did you recently update iTunes or dMC?

  8. #8

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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    I just uploaded a fixed version of the Zip with the Encoder scripts and iTunesEncode, there was a bug affecting all the scripts.
    Annoyingly, on Vista, changing things in the Program Files directory isn't always straight-forward. It seems if you change the scripts in place, as far as the text editor is concerned, the changes are there, even of you close and re-open them, but really the old version is cached somewhere. So, to change them, move them out of the Program Files directory, modify them, and copy them back in over the original, otherwise you'll be banging your head against the keyboard wondering what is wrong. Also good for backup, of course, as messing with the CLI Encoder, like updating it, can reset the scripts to the default.

    LtData:
    I have a fairly new computer with Vista Professional, and I just upgraded to the latest iTunes and dBpowerAMP v13.1 and latest encoder plugins, in particular the CLI Encoder, and I can confirm it works.
    I can also confirm the Music Converter works perfectly via CrossOver on a Mac (specifically Crossover Games), even the optional codecs, including the Nero AAC codecs. What doesn't work is Crossover doesn't yet detect the CD drive, so the CD Ripper doesn't work and the optional Windows Media codecs don't work.
    Perhaps not surprisingly, iTunesEncode doesn't work either, as it's trying to communicate with a Mac app, though if the Windows version of iTunes was installed, it might, as it runs without errors, but produces a zero-byte file.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrms View Post
    Hi this is a great posting thanks
    I followed the instructions and it all works except that the files are placed on my hard drive without being taken by Itunes.
    I tried cut and paste with AAC and Apple lossless scripts - same outcome.
    Itunes open at the time.
    Running on Vista.

    Thanks for any help!
    Try downloading the above Zip file with the scripts, which has everything but the CLI Encoder DLLs. As per Method 2, ensure when you copy the CLI Encoder.dll file and rename it, the name matches exactly that of the folder, so as per Step 5, so you have for example
    C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a).dll
    C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\
    C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\iTunesEncode.exe
    C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\encoder.txt
    C:\Program Files\Illustrate\dBpoweramp\encoder\iTunes (m4a)\iTunesLogo.bmp

    Note in this instance iTunesEncode is inside each of the folders for simplicity and convenience as it is small. The path in the scripts point to it here.
    Also make sure as mentioned above that you edit the scripts outside the Program Files directory and copy them back over, as strange things may happen otherwise, namely that the changes don't stick or are ignored.

    Also make sure if you've upgraded the CLI Encoder, you delete the old iTunes dll versions and re-copy the CLI Encoder.dll over to the new names, or it may not work properly. You may copy the name of the folder and paste onto the dll copy to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.

    While experimenting, there were times when things weren't working as expected, including iTunes not encoding, so make sure for instance if iTunes has just updated itself, to restart it first, and if needed, restart the computer, and see if any of that magically clears it up.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Australia
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    Quote Originally Posted by Ringmaster View Post
    msandersen,

    I do vinyl (LP, 45 RPM) restoration, using Diamond Cut "DC-7 Live/Forensics" audio processing software. I keep all of my audio files strictly in the .wav format (I have plenty of storage space, back-up, etc) The majority of my database has to be manually entered, because the data entered into my Library are from Compilation CD's of my restored audio.

    I am not computer literate, as far as creating a "database", and "taging" are concerned. I have my Library of approx. 3,000 tracks created in "Windows Explorer". I have been working on this for about six months, trying to find a Library that supports .wav files, and I just found out recently that Windows Explorer does not support the .wav codec (at least I think that is my problem). I have at least five Library folders created, that I plan to consolidate into one Library, when I feel confident that I know what I am doing. I have several programs installed on my system, along with "dbpoweramp", and I would like to use "iTunes" for my Library, Song Lists, etc.

    The columns I would like are: Artist, Name (Song Title), Size, Type (.wav), Album Title, Duration (Track Time), Composer, Director & Orchestra; some of these could be eliminated if necessary. So far, the data for each track is listing under Name (Artist - Title), Size, & Type columns. Under the Name column, each track is listed as, Example: "Abba - Take A Chance on Me.wav"; each entry is separated by a (space)-(space).

    My problem is: I can't figure out how to get the "Artist" to list under the Artist column, and the "Title" to list under the Name column; also, if each Title has the .wav suffix, I don't need the Type column.

    I don't know if this is a logical approach, but I thought I would keep my base Library within Windows Explorer; and, from that create an iTunes Library. I don't even know if this is a logical approach; also, I have several programs and several Libraries on my computer, and I am afraid I am going to screw up my computer if I proceed any further.

    I know this is asking a lot; but, would you be willing to set up the database for me, under Windows Explorer or iTunes, so I can get away from this project, and back to my Music Restoration (which is my primary interest). I would be happy to do a few restorations for you, as a return favor.
    First of all, I don't know where you are, but unless you are local to Sydney, I can hardly take you up on your offer, though I am considering restoring my brother's vinyl collection. Your post is also somewhat offtopic.
    Certainly computers can be complicated and confusing when you have no interest in it and just want a tool for a job. I have both a PC and a Mac, and have a reasonable understanding of both beyond the average user, but choose not to be an all-out Geek, as there seem to be no end to how indepth you could get.
    There are several Audiophile sites and forums around, such as Hydrogen Audio, though they are towards the computer geek end, being where several audio and video software projects are also developed and supported. Hifi magazines like What Hifi have online forums that can be of great help.

    As I don't know what you know, and there seem to be some confusion, here are some basics:
    Wav is a raw uncompressed format supported by all audio software, but it has no inbuilt tagging or artwork embedding, so there are a number of nonstandard addon schemes to supply this; it is less than ideal for backup for this reason, as all the information has to be encoded into the title, as you would have seen with those horrendous long names.
    There are a number of "lossless" backup formats providing good compression and tagging, notably FLAC, ALAC, and WMA, all of which are better for archiving music because of their compression, tagging and artwork embedding. The latter format comes in both lossy and lossless versions. You need the optional plugins from this site to read and write to these formats using DMC.
    While WMA Lossless provides great quality, I wouldn't recommend it, as it is an exclusive Microsoft format not supported by anything but their own Windows Media Player and certain licensed software and perhaps hardware, and not supported by iTunes.
    ALAC (Apple Lossless) is also a great format, but like WMA, is proprietary and not officially supported by a lot of 3rd party software, though pro tools like that from M-Audio apparently does, and there are Opensource codecs, like those you can download from this site for dBpoweramp, which support it. One advantage is that it is native to iTunes and provides seamless integration of all data, be it tags, comments, lyrics, equaliser presets, or cover artwork. It is also supported by iPods. It can be transcoded with dMC to any format, though with the limitations of the target codec, eg whether they can have embedded artwork. Like FLAC, its compression ratio is around 40-50%, depending on the song.
    FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is a favourite of many enthusiasts purely because it is opensource and available for many opensource software tools, and it also has very good tagging and artwork embedding support. But it has virtually no commercial software or hardware support, and is not supported by iTunes. WinAmp can play it, I believe, other than that the kind of software used to play it is a bit on the geeky and ugly side, like Foobar2000. A codec plugin may enable Windows Media Player to play it, though I haven't been able to.

    Windows Explorer is the Windows file explorer, used purely to organise and interact with your files, and although it can show a lot of metadata (data about a song like Artist etc) of the songs, it is not ideal for organising and tagging music. It does not have a database, other than the structure of the folder and files themselves. How well it lets you display and edit song metadata depends on your version of Windows. I have Vista, but XP is similar. WAV files, as mentioned, does not have metadata to hold song information, so Explorer cannot show it.

    If you wish to use iTunes, and personally I love it and use it exclusively, then Apple Lossless may be the best choice.
    You could also upgrade to Windows Media Player 10, standard on Vista, as they have attempted to copy iTunes, although not entirely successfully in my opinion. It doesn't play ALAC or FLAC, however, only WMA, WAV, and MP3. You also have to be careful if using WMA, as they tend to embed DRM (Digital Rights Management), which means it may not play on another computer. It is on by default, but can be switched off in Preferences.

    If you import a Wav file to iTunes, it will not find any metadata for the song, and doesn't recognise the long name as encoded data. Your best bet is to use something like the dBpowerAmp Batch Converter to convert to Apple Lossless, then use the optional ID Tag Processing DSP Action, available as a download from this site, to process the name to tags. I haven't tried it, and you'd have to ask someone for advice on its use as well as do some experimentation.
    Once converted, you can either import them as they are, or use them for your backup and import as lossy AAC files to save space. Once converted, you have no need of the WAV files, as each file is maybe 50Mb or larger. Converting and testing in stages may be a good idea, as you quickly eat up hard drive space.

    Since iTunes manages and organises music as well as plays it, once you have imported music into it, you shouldn't move the files around or rename them, or iTunes won't know what happened to them. Also, you can have iTunes organise the files for you (under Preferences), though this is off by default, since back when it first came to the PC, PC users weren't used to userfriendly software that physically organised and renamed the files, so they got upset. Since I only use it and nothing else, I have no problem with it. But it's worth being aware of.

    The columns in iTunes are customisable by right-clicking on the header bar and selecting the information you want listed, and by dragging each item around on the bar.

  10. #10
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    May 2007
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    93

    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    note: There is commercial software other than winamp that plays FLAC on windows (e.g. Mediamonkey), as well as free software (e.g. Songbird).
    The next release of WMP (now in Windows 7 but I believe will be downloadable for other Windows versions) will support M4A (aac) file, but I don't know if it will play apple lossless or flac.

    (It would be good to have an option to use iTunes m4a codec to encode, as one can with nero m4a, but I assume the licensing restrictions make that infeasible.)

  11. #11
    Ringmaster's Avatar
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    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    msandersen,

    Sorry, I missed your post. I agree; I was a little "off-topic", but I'm getting desperate. I have just deleted all of my Audio (.wav) libraries, because I have not been able to find a program that will allow me to build my Library in the .wav domain, and have the ability to create "playlists" without converting files. Here is an example of my need to keep all of my Audio Files in the .wav format. A friend gave me approximately 50 LP albums of his Jazz collection. I have restored the albums and gave him CD's, in return for the collection. I had quite a problem with "sibilance" with some of the brass instruments, and vocals, due to some of the over-processing of some of the noise filters that I needed to do; this had an effect on the specific frequencies, which comprimized my ability to get the best reproduction possible (at the time). Can you imagine an "Audifile" listening to Jazz, with the slightest imperfection in the brass and vocal sections? Recently my restoration program came out with a revision that handles the sibilance problem very well.

    I plan to go back and re-do the complete series, with the intent to bring these albums back, to be as close to the original as possible; and, any conversion, including "lossless" has a direct effect on the original recording, that is irreversable. This is my problem; and, to my knowledge, there is nothing I can do that would reverse any conversion change in the wave file to retrieve the original signal for further processing.

    If anyone has any knowledge of a program that will allow me to save my files in the wave format, and allow me to create playlists, please point me in the direction.

    Many Thanks!

  12. #12
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    May 2007
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    93

    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    any conversion, including "lossless" has a direct effect on the original recording, that is irreversable.
    That is not correct--lossless can recreate bit for bit the original wav, just like a zip file can recreate the original. If the wav file has non-audio information, some lossless formats will require you to explicitly tell it to preserve that ( something like "-preservemetadata" or "-keepRiffChunks" etc.). --but I might have misunderstood your point.

    when it first came to the PC, PC users weren't used to userfriendly software that physically organised and renamed the files, so they got upset.
    One might put it another way: pc users didn't like a program that rearranged things behind their back, esp after everything had been organized the way they wanted. that's one reason for preferring foobar2000 to itunes or wmp--it's simply easier to keep it from making you do things its way. but there are also advantages the other way, or would be if music had uniform and proper tagging--itunes libraries usually end up a mess after a few months (variant duplicate artist names etc.).

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    27

    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    i tried this but some songs are skipped and have to do that manually one by one. Why doesn't dbpoweramp also have iTunes AAC Encoder? Isn't that possible to introduce it in a future release? I mean i would like to use that instead of Nero AAC Encoder,and i would like not to use iTunes. I think iTunes AAC encoder is great,we need it among dbpoweramp automated encoders Thanks!

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1

    Re: iTunesEncode HowTo: Using iTunes with dMC to make AAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 files

    This is an old thread but I have been playing about with iTunesencode.

    Just thought I'd note that the reason it missing songs out in the rip is because DB is using multi-core processing and iTunes will only encode a song at a time.

    If you go into DSPs in DB and select both Multi-CPU Force (and set it to only use one CPU) and also CPU Throttle (and play about with these settings - I used x4) then it will work ok.

    Of course you can just use the DB ALAC encoder too...

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