Ideas / Suggestions » "Best practices" recommendations or "quick fixes for common issues" - will anyone read?
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  • There are quite a few "simple, avoidable mistakes" around - even fairly experienced users make them.
    One example is lossy transcoding of video, for example from youtube. (When the visual part of the youtube video is just a picture, or user-generated junk, it is still easy to get a file with only the audio without transcoding it, and there are automated solutions.)

    I could offer a few hints, but frankly I doubt that they are welcome ... is there any point of this thread?


    Here are some software tips (because I am lazy and give the easiest first):

    - ffmpeg. Can be used for a helluvalot of processing, including to extract audio from video files losslessly.
    Cons: command-line! Well the command line is good for you ;-)

    - JDownloader. You can let it log on to your 4shared account (a few people here have one), stores passwords (including archive passwords), it downloads youtubes with your preferences over webm vs mp4, can auto-extract audio from youtube, and a lot more. Uses ffmpeg to demux (losslessly!) - automatically.
    Cons: Somewhat bloated Java.

    - The Torch web browser (a Chromium clone) has built-in a media downloader, which unlike most Firefox/Chrome extensions also handle Myspace (though not always without quirks, reloads, multiple attempts and a bit of cursing). Can also demux, but demuxes into raw AAC rather than m4a - a bit annoying. Also has a primitive BitTorrent client.
    Cons: beware of toolbars and that sort of stuff. (Could have improved by now.)
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    This discussion is certainly welcome, I'm sure there's plenty of folks here who can make use of the programs you've suggested. The media downloader I use personally is DVDVideoSoft's free studio package, it gets the job done pretty nicely with several functions available. I don't do very much video ripping or audio ripped from a video, but I may look into a couple of these for future options.
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    Good tips are always welcome!!!
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    For manual demuxing using ffmpeg - say, you want to extract audio from an .mp4 or .avi or .mpeg file. Using command line, give the command

    ffmpeg -i Name_of_Infile

    and read the end of the output to see what kind of audio it is. If it says mp3, give the command

    ffmpeg -i Name_of_Infile -acodec copy Outfile.mp3

    and it sends the mp3 output (losslessly without transcoding) to Outfile.mp3.

    If it says ogg, write "Outfile.ogg" rather than "Outfile.mp3". If it says AAC, write "Outfile.m4a".

    edit: AAC quirks: In order to get mp4 compliant AAC stream, you may need to use
    ffmpeg -i Name_of_Infile -acodec copy -bsf:aac_adtstoasc Outfile.m4a


    If the file has several audio streams, then things are a bit more complicated. And if there are bothersome mp4 atoms (you have set wrong chapter marks etc., or possibly there is metadata watermarking), give the commands

    ffmpeg -i Name_of_Infile -acodec copy Tmpfile.aac
    ffmpeg -i Tmpfile.aac -acodec copy Outfile.m4a


    and copy manually (using e.g. mp3tag) the tags you need.


    "batch" processing: to extract AAC audio from all .mp4's in a folder, give e.g.
    for /R %f IN (*.mp4) DO ffmpeg -i "%f" -acodec copy "%f.m4a"
    (Windows cmd shell. If you use *n*x - or Windows Powershell for that matter - you likely know what to do anyway.)
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    mp3 files with wrong length or with scratch sounds at beginning or end
    (some ancient taggers write frames wrong, intending to write metadata but failing to identify them properly as non-audio. May be audible.)

    Warning: this repair could destroy gaplessness in e.g. live albums - use with caution, and only when needed.

    Example files found in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=7925
    Some files with "technical" errors, but which largely would play fine in most players.

    Solution 1: Windows users can use the excellent foobar2000 media player. Right-click an .mp3, then under Utilities you will find "Rebuild MP3 stream" and "Fix VBR header".

    Solution 2: ffmpeg as above: ffmpeg -i Infile.mp3 -acodec copy Outfile.mp3

    Solution 3: mp3 packer can "repack" mp3 files without decoding. Can even convert between CBR and VBR losslessly. http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=MP3packer
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    TadakatsuH0nda wrote:The media downloader I use personally is DVDVideoSoft's free studio package


    From what I can tell from the web page, it must transcode. An unnecessary (in most cases) evil.
    (Not "Evil" as in Mercyful Fate's Melissa, which you actually want.)
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    One interesting way to 'rip' or download songs from sites like vk or any site which has playable mp3 for example, is to right click somewhere on the site, select view page source. You get random codes and lines of texts. Then hit ctrl + f and type 'mp3' in the box. It should show all the playable mp3s on the site. Then just copy their link, and paste it in your browser. It should load a player. Then, just click save as and it should download the mp3. (thumbup)
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    Yeah the converter I've used just binds me through. I'll definitely need something better to rip more important things lol.
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    You have a full live recording in a lossy format (audio or video) and you want tracks? No need to re-encode.

    Method 1: Single Matroska/MP4 file with track division as table of contents.
    This probably requires a tutorial by itself, so I only sketch what is possible: Matroska and MP4 supports chapters. A file with this kind of metadata can open as if it were a "folder of individual files" - mediaplayers will open the file and show you the tracks.
    Matroska supports more codec types than MP4.
    To convert losslessly, use e.g. ffmpeg. ffmpeg -i tells you what codecs are used, but Matroska can handle about everything that is DRM free (except some codecs used by the godforsaken Real Audio pieceoffaeces).

    Method 2: There are various pieces of software that can losslessly split mp3 (or AAC). One such is mp3DirectCut. You can set cutmarks, listen, and then commit to splitting up.
    You can also change volume or fade (quite coarsly though - in 1.5 dB steps). Volume change is as good as lossless (for a full-volume CD rip, I think you can reduce by some sixty decibel or so without losing anything that was on the CD) and the same goes for fading as long as you stay within reason. Who needs to fade down by more than 24 dB anyway?

    A little bit of explanation in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=145&t=17507
    (Besides, that was a good show.)


    StjarnlosBibelSvart wrote:mp3 files with wrong length or with scratch sounds at beginning or end
    (some ancient taggers write frames wrong, intending to write metadata but failing to identify them properly as non-audio. May be audible.)

    A burst sound at the beginning/end of an mp3 can be removed using mp3directcut. (That is, you remove an mp3 frame, which is the reason why it is not such a good idea other than at the beginning or the end.)

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    Dejv wrote:One interesting way to 'rip' or download songs from sites like vk or any site which has playable mp3 for example, is to right click somewhere on the site, select view page source. You get random codes and lines of texts. Then hit ctrl + f and type 'mp3' in the box. It should show all the playable mp3s on the site. Then just copy their link, and paste it in your browser. It should load a player. Then, just click save as and it should download the mp3. (thumbup)


    Rather than copy and paste in browser, try first: right-click link and save. Maybe it works.
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    Just found out that youtube-dl utility can download MySpace albums (all tracks listed as an album, at once). Remuxes (losslessly) into m4a as well.
    There is a Windows binary that includes Python, so you do not have to install that; you do however need Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86).

    It is a command-line utility. If you (Windows users - *n*x users know what to do, presumably) are not so familiar with setting paths etc., you just put it in a separate directory you use to download; you need to get the files outta there later anyway for your library. E.g., download youtube-dl.exe to a new directory c:\users\<YOURMETALHEADUSERNAME>\youtubedl\ . To use it, hold down the Windows logo key and hit r, type "cmd" and Enter. In the command-line window, c:\users\<YOURMETALHEADUSERNAME>\youtubedl\ and then the command youtube-dl.exe <URL>. For MySpace, the URL must be to a song or album, you will not get it to work with an entire artist page.

    E.g., here is the output of the command
    youtube-dl.exe https://myspace.com/lordvicar/music/alb ... ep-2305863
    (It says "video", but there is none - indeed, it has issues downloading MySpace videos, but who put videos there anyway?)

    [MySpace:album] the-demon-of-freedom-7-ep-2305863: Downloading webpage
    [download] Downloading playlist: The Demon of Freedom 7" EP
    [MySpace:album] playlist The Demon of Freedom 7" EP: Collected 2 video ids (downloading 2 of them)
    [download] Downloading video 1 of 2
    [MySpace] 8943384: Downloading webpage
    [download] Destination: Becoming One-8943384.m4a
    [download] 100% of 4.41MiB in 00:17
    [download] Downloading video 2 of 2
    [MySpace] 8943385: Downloading webpage
    [download] Destination: Running Into a Burning House-8943385.m4a
    [download] 100% of 5.02MiB in 00:21
    [download] Finished downloading playlist: The Demon of Freedom 7" EP
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