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Author Topic: Can anyone explain "stacks" (Or transcode from FLAC to MP3) for me for iPods?  (Read 11948 times)

Vocalpoint

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Howdy,

Like many of you - I use MC to populate my iPod and within the last three years or so - have been maintaining two separate libraries for this purpose. The main lib is all my lossless content and I created another "mobile" content lib - which is all MP3's created from the lossless originals.

I would like to consolidate down to just a singular lossless library and use that content for syncing to the iPod. I think I understand that MC will "transcode" a FLAC target to MP3 for use on the iPod - but I do not quite understand the logistics of it (or how stacks get used/created)

If someone could offer a bit of help in this area - I would appreciate it.

Cheers,

VP
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MrC

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In case you were unaware, here's a start: http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Stacks.
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Vocalpoint

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In case you were unaware, here's a start: http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Stacks.

I read that a while back - but it didn't really help. Maybe "stacks" is confusing the issue.

I always thought a "stack" was the by-product of trying to sync an unsupported file format to a device like an iPod. So if I select a FLAC based album for sync to an iPod - obviously the FLAC is not supported so I can choose to "convert" to MP3. But what happens to the MP3? Is it only created and transferred to the iPod or is this MP3 copy added as a "stacked" item to the original FLAC file?

If the above is not what happens - how/why would I ever create or want a "stack" within my library?

VP
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Lasse_Lus

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why would I ever create or want a "stack" within my library?

many different reasons, but a simple one is 10 almost identically photos, you want to keep them but not always see them..also the stacked files inherit the changes from the topstack..
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Raphoune

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I use them to manage videos and related subtitles. Once the files are correctly stacks, you only see and manage one file for each video. Some operatio. If I'm not wrong, some operations will be applied on every file of the stack : renaming tagging, etc. I don't know a lot yet, but it looks quite powerfull...
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glynor

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I don't know a lot yet, but it looks quite powerfull...

You're right.  ;)
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sunfire7

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Another case where stacks are useful: if you have your library in lossless and want to stream to a device wich not support lossless, MC checks if the lossless file have a "stacked" lossy file, if not, it encode on the fly and add as stack for future use, no need to encode on the fly again everytime you request the file, and the stacked lossy version receive changes on tags if original is changed.  OR when sync to a handheld, you avoid to encode on the fly everytime.  Also useful if you want to pass a song to a non-tech friend.

BTW, I have the feeling that J River begin to change the stacks feature to improve it and they didnt finished, some things are missing
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Vocalpoint

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Another case where stacks are useful: if you have your library in lossless and want to stream to a device wich not support lossless, MC checks if the lossless file have a "stacked" lossy file, if not, it encode on the air and add as stack for future use, no need to encode on the air everytime you request the file, and the stacked lossy version receive changes on tags if original is changed.  OR when sync to a handheld, you avoid to encode on the air everytime.  Also useful if you want to pass a song to a non-tech friend.

BTW, I have the feeling that J River begin to change the stacks feature to improve it and they didnt finished, some things are missing


OK - I messed around with it and I am now seeing the desired behavior. I added a single FLAC based album to my "lossy" library (the one I use to sync to the iPod) and set this album to be synced up. MC converts it on the fly to MP3 (Nice!) and stashes the MP3 version out in it's conversion cache. So - it behaves exactly as I suspected. Just have to point that conversion cache to a better spot and I will be all set.

Also - if I am within my lossless library - can I somehow highlight an album and create it's "stacked' MP3 counterparts manually?

VP

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sunfire7

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Also - if I am within my lossless library - can I somehow highlight an album and create it's "stacked' MP3 counterparts manually?
In the past there was a button "build cache for selected handheld", but there was removed and nothing was added to fill this option, really useful option missing, hope it will be added soon, I hate have to sync to a handheld to create stacks
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JimH

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You can convert files to MP3 (make sure that both the source and destination files are kept).  Then stack them.
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sunfire7

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You can convert files to MP3 (make sure that both the source and destination files are kept).  Then stack them.
Jim, I really miss the build stacks files feature, with convertion or sync you have to delete the destination everytime or something... can you do something about it ??  :P
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Vocalpoint

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You can convert files to MP3 (make sure that both the source and destination files are kept).  Then stack them.

How? I did a conversion of one FLAC album to MP3 to the same directory...but how do I actually create the "stack"?

VP
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JimH

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stanzani

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Hello
I am looking at the stacks stuff and I am trying to stack 'fanny and alexander' )4 episodes of the movie).
The wiki says 'Stack operations are available in the right click menu when selecting files in the Content Pane.'
I did this but the stacks menu remains inactive (gray shaded). Any idea? what is exactly the content pane? the one on the left or the one on the right?

thanks much
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blgentry

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^ Let's make it simple:

Go to a view that shows your movie files.  Highlight the 4 files you want to stack.  (Right click) > Stacks > Stack

That should do it.

Brian.
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stanzani

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thanks much!

Next question: I have the same music coded in flac and in m4a (aac) which resides in the same folder. I'd like it if they are displayed differently and a trivial remedy should be to embed in the title field the coding type. A more elegant way to filter out or keep separated lossless and lossy files? stacks may help here?

thanks much
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blgentry

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Next question: I have the same music coded in flac and in m4a (aac) which resides in the same folder. I'd like the are diplayed differently and a trivial remedy should be to embed in the title field the coding type. A more elegant way to filter out or keep separted losses and lossy files? stack may help here?

There are a lot of ways to do this.  One good way to do it, is to change your top level views so that they only display the file types that you are interested in.  You could have a view for just FLACs and another for MP3s as an example.

Or you could have a Panes view, and have the first pane be the format:  Click on FLAC and you only see FLACs.

Or you could display them all together and have an expression that grouped them by album and format.  This gets more sophisticated and is more error prone.  Explicitly filtering by format is the most reliable and easy way.

I think you could use stacks to do this, but I'm not sure how you'd automatically stack everything the way you want it.  I think that's the hard way.

The best way for you is going to be the way that reflects how you browse your collection and what you are expecting to do when you go looking.  If you'd like some guidance, give me an idea of how you will be looking and what you expect to see and we can go from there.

Brian.
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