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Thread: FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

    I have some problem FLAC files that do not display the ART even though it is embedded as well as in a folder.jpg. It is often track 1 but can be any track number. ALL tracks in the album are encoded at the same time with the same Art. I have tried deleting the inflicted file and re ripping but this does not eliminate the issue, perhaps because it is stored in the same location? If I re rip as M4a or convert from FLAC to M4a and delete the original FLAC file it does correct the issue but having a single M4a track in an album of FLAC causes them to display out of order as my Cambridge player displays based upon Meta Data. I thought that converting the file back from M4a to FLAC may resolve both the art issue and the display issue but the file will not convert back to FLAC. Is there a limitation preventing a FLAC to M4a back to FLAC conversion? I also tried AIFF but it also will not convert back to FLAC.
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    Last edited by MES2; 12-12-2015 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    Re: FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

    Is there a limitation preventing a FLAC to M4a back to FLAC conversion?
    I don't fully understand the nature of your problem, or what might be causing it. However, I would be remiss if I didn't warn you that when you convert FLAC to M4A (or any other lossy codec), you lose information that is permanently lost. It cannot be recovered by simply re-converting back to FLAC. It would defeat the purpose of ripping to FLAC in the first place.

  3. #3
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by MES2 View Post
    I have some problem FLAC files that do not display the ART even though it is embedded as well as in a folder.jpg. It is often track 1 but can be any track number. ALL tracks in the album are encoded at the same time with the same Art.
    Where do you have a problem displaying the art i.e. which software are you using when the art is not displayed?

  4. #4
    Administrator
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    Re: FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

    M4a could be Apple lossless which have no lossy quality loss.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Re: FLAC to M4a and back to FLAC

    I am converting to Apple Lossless so I don't worry about losing information. In terms of the problem with the Art: It happens on a Cambridge Stream Magic V6 and Cambridge CXN. I also use an Oppo 103 that does not have the same issue which confirms the files are not the issue. The Cambridge are DNLA devices that use an iOS App to access files. I am using a Seagate Central using Twonky, which passes a self test diagnostic and all firmware is up to date. I have the Seagate set with re-scan enabled and have adopted the habit of manually rescanning when I modify the drive contents. All these things point to the Cambridge Units or App as the source of the problem. Cambridge Support tells me the App does not pull Meta Data from the drive, that the Seagate Central pushes this Data. So I'm wondering if the Seagate occassionally fails to push the Art, perhaps because of network bandwidth, and from this point on the Cambridge App/Hardware holds this data (with Art missing) in a cache. The Cambridge App does come with a clear Cache option which has worked on occasion but with no reliability. Converting the afflicted files (although I don't think these files are actually afflicted at all) to Apple Lossless works because it sets up a file with differences to the original. Different location on the Seagate and different Meta Data due to format. Ideally I would then delete the original FLAC and then convert back the new Apple Lossless to FLAC. Here is where it stops because Music Converter/Batch Converter does not want to complete the conversion back to FLAC. I also tried deleting the files and re ripping but the same issue arose which again hints that the Cache is the issue because a new FLAC rip would seem identical to the original. Cambridge has passed this to their Software department as Tech Support has been unable to solve the issue.

    One last detail. The Cambridge App has multiple locations/screens where Art can be displayed. A "now playing" screen does display the Art. The CXN display and the track thumbnail does not. One of these likely uses the Meta Data and fails and the other likely uses the Folder.jpg which works. Again, this is yet to be confirmed by Cambridge but I have uploaded some of the files to them for further investigation. In the meantime I was trying to find a workaround.
    Last edited by MES2; 12-13-2015 at 10:01 AM.

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