Forums/Pioneer Gear/CDJ-2000

[SOLVED] Flac lossless format support ?

metcdj2k
posted this on October 08, 2011 00:44

Hello Pioneer DJs,

 

would the hardware of CDJ2000s be able to support such a format in a future firmware update?

It's getting more and more common in music webshops among available choices.

 

Comments

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jamboe

Beatport is now selling AIFF lossless quality files  with ALL of the metadata included.  This is a crosspost, yes, but important to his thread for sure, because from what i have read, FLAC will not be supported in a firmware update.

Rekordbox needs to be able to accept this metadata and import it.

 

October 08, 2011 03:47
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ

@metcdj2k > I'm a FLAC fan and hopefully it will be supported in future, but for the time being, it's not.  Sorry.

@jamboe > As noted in other threads, full AIFF will be available in 1.6.

October 11, 2011 10:50
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Irvin Cee

I'm so shocked...
No FLAC or WMA lossless support for Rekordbox or CDJ-2000.
I can't believe that for such an expensive device...
That's like ignoring all windows users that want full quality...
WAV is not really an option because no tags and the file size...

January 15, 2012 21:41
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

@Irvin > Its expensive because of R&D / components / licensing fees and a million and one other factors. As much as Pioneer would love to incorporate functionality for all files types, its just not economically feasible and so, they've chosen to support the most popular.

You can add tags to WAV in Rekordbox and it works just fine for many. As Pulse has said, we are also pushing for FLAC support but, on the current hardware, its not possible.

January 16, 2012 11:03
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Irvin Cee

Licensing could not be the problem... FLAC is opensource., WMA is supported by cheap mediaplayers, car radios (Pioneer btw) etc, so it can't be that expensive and certanly not when only decompressing...
On the hardware side  I find that strange if it plays wav, it should be posible to do a lossless to. it's the same bandwidth...
It already decodes compressed files, I find that a very strange thing to say a pioneer CDJ-2000 is not capable of decrompressing a WMA file while a cheap media can do that....

And for your information, you can not add tags in a WAV file. There is really no user meta tag supported in WAV file, only file specific technical data.
The only way to keep meta info is to store them in a database like for example Traktor and probably Rekordbox does.

January 16, 2012 12:17
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ

As posted in another thread, AIFF is just fine.  And nobody uses WMA (or shouldn't).

January 16, 2012 13:13
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Vince Wilton

Since we're on the "file formats" debate... are there any general trends amongst people here on preferred format, and why? I'm leaning towards WAV simply because conversion of the thousands of tracks I already have in FLAC is a one click affair with the current software I use... but is there any general preference?

January 16, 2012 13:34
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CAW

FLAC (and ALAC, for that matter) is a lot more computationally intensive to decode than MP3s and AACs are.  My guess is that the CDJ's, like all purpose-built embedded devices, has the CPU power to do what it was spec'd to do and not much more.  Or it might be a limitation of the RAM it was spec'd with.  Or they do all their decoding in an ASIC, and the ASIC doesn't understand FLAC.  There are many possible reasons why the hardware won't support FLAC.  Sure, I'd prefer if it did as well, but no sense beating the dead horse on this one.  (Anyone ever seen a teardown report for a CDJ-2000?  I'd be curious just what CPU and memory it does have...)

As to Vince's question about file formats: I have used AAC 320k until recently, and now have been migrating to AIFF for all new music.  Both support full tagging, without all the incompatibilities that many WAV taggers have understanding the WAV Broadcast Tag specification.  AIFFs are uncompressed, so large, yes.  But HDs are so big and cheap these days, that I no longer care about the filesize.  Even 64GB flash drives are cheap now (just did a check on Amazon, and the first one listed is $60... $90 if you want a faster one).  My AIFFs from Beatport average around 80MB per track.  Round up to 100MB to be extra conservative, and a 64GB flash drive would hold over 600 tracks (I'm also leaving a hefty bit of overhead free for the all the metadata/beatgrid/etc info that Rekordbox needs to save in addition to the tracks themselves).  That's way more than enough for any single DJ set you might do.  And for the mobile folks that need every track in their library in case of special request, an external 1TB drive is also dirt cheap these days and would hold ~10,000 tracks.

January 16, 2012 14:55
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

@Vince > .mp3, .wav, .aiff and .flac have been my file formats of choice for as long as I can remember.

@CAW > Correct, as storage media becomes cheaper and cheaper I think we'll see more and more DJs switching to lossless files and greater support for these file formats by various companies.

January 17, 2012 00:46
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Fuse Promote

I am not certain of this, but my guess would be that for FLAC support to be added to the CDJ-2000 would require some hardware changes.  So I would not expect to see this until a future model is released.  But, like I said.....  I'm just guessing here.

January 17, 2012 03:29
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ
@Fuse > Correct, as we've said in several other threads a hardware change would be required. Therefore, support for .flac could only be included in future models.
January 17, 2012 03:35
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Fuse Promote

@ Vince   --   My preferred format has been WAV for many years.  This began for me back in 2005 or 2006, when I was using Ableton Live a lot.  Ableton Live technically does not have native support for MP3.  When you load an MP3 into that software, it decodes the MP3 into a temp WAV file.  So I chose to purchase WAV files because I did not want to deal with the time wasted decoding and the extra temp storage issue with decoding the MP3s into WAV.  Better to just stick with WAV and not worry about it.  Plus, I do prefer the quality.

Now I am purchasing AIFF files.  Basically the same thing as WAV, but it does allow for the artwork to be imbedded.

Can't wait for the updated Rekordbox with some improved AIFF artwork import support.

January 17, 2012 03:35
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DeAl
@Gavin: "I think we'll see more and more DJs switching to lossless files and greater support for these file formats by various companies." Exactly! So,isn't it a shame that the CDJ's are not supporting them? And I mean FLAC and ALAC. The supported AIFF and WAVE are uncompressed formats...
February 22, 2012 10:15
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movingzachb

It is pointless to go to FLAC when as it is a compressed audio format does not reproduce the track exactly as it should.  WAV does not have this problem and furthermore with the cheap storage options that are out there nowadays when it is only growing - even though WAV files take up more space, it is pretty much a non-issue.

February 24, 2012 11:04
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movingzachb

Also I am curious about the 'idea' of possibly putting data into a AIFF file for like say  VG so that when he plays the file - his setup does what he programmed in that AIFF.   Anyone follow :)?

February 24, 2012 11:12
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movingzachb

Cant edit my post - that sucks I mean to say VJ not VG.

February 24, 2012 11:12
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ
The "data" is track info, not automation data.
February 24, 2012 12:43
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Irvin Cee

@movingzachb
I'm afraid you are wrong with that.
FLAC, WMA lossless and only recently available ALAC (M4A), are lossless compression formats.

The lossless stands clearly for a compression/decompression without any loss.
So the result after compressing/decompression a gazillion times is always identical to the original. That's the whole point of it.
That's why its called lossless!!!!
WAV or AIFF is NOT a lossless compression, there is absolutely no compression on the file level, it's just raw data.


February 25, 2012 01:14
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Irvin Cee

The main reason and only reason why someone (as I) would use a lossless compression is diskspace. You can gain between 10% and 30% of the place a WAV or AIFF takes @ same quality.
One, minor, disadvantage is ofcourse the time it takes to compress and decompress, but that is typical characteristic for all compressions.

February 25, 2012 01:17
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movingzachb

Mmm yes I see it is supposed to 're-create' the original intended sound quality. However personally I guess I have no need for FLAC.

February 25, 2012 18:49
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david

Bringing this topic back to light, does Pioneer plan to add support for Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) or FLAC media?  There are many advantages of FLAC and ALAC I don't need to go over, such as file size, quality compared to mp3, and meta-tags.   I'm sure I'm not the only one out there with a vast collection in the Apple Lossless format.  This format is now open sourced and is royalty-free.  There's no reason why a $1900 media player does not support this.  Hopefully Pioneer has plans to implement this in a firmware update?

June 14, 2012 08:29
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Fuse Promote

It has been discussed already that support of those lossless formats would require a hardware change.

Perhaps this support will exist on a future product, but the CDJ-2000 player currently does not, and will not support FLAC or ALAC.

You can, however, convert your files to AIFF or WAV.

AIFF does support metatags.  All of the music I purchase from Beatport comes as AIFF with tags, and artwork.

June 14, 2012 08:47
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ

@Fuse has given the correct answer that no firmware update will result in these changes, sorry.

Given the cost-per-gigabyte of storage these days, I'm going to give FLAC the finger and roll through to AIFF on my content.  

June 14, 2012 18:48
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Sean VanderMolen

This is really strange.  The FLAC codec was designed to not be hardware intensive as stated on their website.  

"Decoding requires only integer arithmetic, and is much less compute-intensive than for most perceptual codecs. Real-time decode performance is easily achievable on even modest hardware."  

My $100 Cowan flash player has the ability to play FLAC files along with a number of other formats.  The CDJ-2000 is essentially a reprogram-able  computer as I know most manufacturers are using FPGA's these days.  There should be no technical reason a CDJ-900 or 2000 couldn't be programmed to support FLAC.  Another thing regarding AIFF files, they were never intended to support meta data.  In fact there is no official standard.  The Beatport implementation is just a bastardized combination of an outdated PCM file format and the ID3 data chunk from MP3.  If it were official the meta data might actually show up on the CDJ's or other programs.  Unfortunately I've only seen it work in traktor.  The FLAC format was built from the ground up to support meta data and be completely loss-less.  It blows my mind that people still don't realize it is a better format all around and even more disappointing that Pioneer seems to have given a less than realistic reason why they won't support the format in a device that cost more than most computers or even an IPAD that have more functionality.  

July 25, 2012 18:15
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ

More DJs use MP3 and WAV than anything else, so it's kind of a moot point.

July 25, 2012 18:43
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Sean VanderMolen

It's really not though.  Most DJ's use MP3 and WAV because the industry can't seem to agree on the next best thing.  They make everyone think there's no alternative and the masses buy it out of a lack of knowledge or understanding.  I can't tell you how many people... Artists I know who say it helps to have a visual reference to a track like cover art.  Some people are just wired visually more than they are the names of artists or labels or what not.  These people tend to also be audiophiles and despise MP3's so a real alternative would be nice.  AIFF with ID3 was great and then I started running into problems and learned that its really not a standard its kinda a hack so not every program displays the tags, not even my friends CDJ 2000 does.  So why does everyone avoid a file format that basically answers everyone's issues.

We all LOVE music right... so why wouldn't we want to listen to it in the highest possible quality.  Now that is PCM for digital, but all the PCM formats are ancient and don't have modern methods for meta data.  But there is FLAC, it saves space, it saves bandwidth for companies that serve these files out and like to charge an arm and a leg because PCM data is so expensive to manage, Its built from the ground up to support the meta data everyone wants, its not hardware intensive, there is NO license.... and you're answer is its a moot point!!!  Why is everyone so relegated to giving up to making things work better.

 This attitude that nobody gives a dam so why try is the same reason everyone is listening to MP3s and saying I can't tell the difference and they're good enough.  (Good enough compared to what??)  Yeah sure you're overly compressed track sounds the same MP3 vs PCM.  But I'm sorry there of those of us who do give a damn and can tell the difference and there are producers who know this too.  So please don't feed me bullshit and maybe think that adding a file format might be a good thing and NOT a burden.  Who knows what might come out of it, I mean why the hell did Pioneer put woflson DACs in the players if most everyone who buys them is using MP3's???

July 25, 2012 19:22
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Sean VanderMolen

WOW my rant was not aimed at u Pulse, I'm just venting in general!

July 25, 2012 19:42
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Pasi Kärkkäinen

I'd be happy if Pioneer added FLAC import support to Rekordbox.. so Rekordbox would convert FLAC to WAV or AIFF automatically when importing the FLAC file. That way there's no need to have FLAC decode support on CDJ2000.

That would be pretty straight forward addition to Rekordbox.. the libraries needed to decode/convert FLAC are out there, they're free, and freely usable also on commercial (closed source) programs.

So far Pioneer hasn't been interested in supporting that though :(

July 25, 2012 21:37
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DeAl

@ Sean, I couldn't agree more with your very well explained burden. I'm currently analyzing which is the best (= highest quality) audio format for me to use in my different audio systems. I own 2 CDJ-900's, use iTunes for music management, listen in my car to a docked iPod Touch and have a Sonos system at home.

Sonos is brilliant and supports almost all possible audio formats, no limits there. iPod/iTunes does not support FLAC, only ALAC as compressed loss-less format. Since the CDJ's do not support any compressed loss-less format, AIFF is the only choice since WAVE supports no metadata at all.

Unfortunately for me this means a limited number of tracks on portable devices such as iPod...

 

July 25, 2012 22:15
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Jack EDM

Yes it would indeed be great if the current range supported FLAC files..

If pioneer is sure this range will never be able to do it.. then at least create a convert option within rekordbox,

July 26, 2012 02:32
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Sean VanderMolen

Just studied the service manual for the CDJ-2000.  So the hold up to FLAC is either the custom TI DSP is responsible for decoding files and its not re programmable (Can't find any info on the chip so its most likely a custom job for Pioneer). If the DSP does not do the decoding then its the amount of code that can be held on the flash memory.  They use a 64Mb/32Mb chip, when in mirror mode that gives it 4MB of storage 8MB at the most. While there is a chip for every function, meaning very little code needs to be written to make the CDJ work, I do see the hold up.  The space available on the flash memory might be an issue plus converting FLAC API libraries to run on a RISC CPU and integrate to the UI is a considerable amount of work.  I can see why Pioneer might not want to dive in that deep.  Though for the sake of pushing the industry forward I wish they would.  

Unfortunate because the parts used are not forward thinking at all especially with today's FPGA's, but what they used is probably reliable and familiar to the engineers at Pioneer.

Also interesting to note 1)the DAC can run up to 192Khz, 2)there is support for LST chunks for WAV files meaning you can have basic tags for WAV's.  I'm going to try writing these tags and test it out later tonight.

July 26, 2012 10:51
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Pulse
Pioneer DJ

It would be great if the players supported AA3, AC3, FLAC, MP4, MPA, AU, OGG, APE, RAW, WMA, QTA, ALAC ... etc, then nobody would have a reason to complain that their codec of choice wasn't supported.

Except maybe those RealMedia junkies, those jerks.

July 26, 2012 12:28
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Benjamin Goulart

FLAC is a free codec, as is OGG vorbis.  If the Pioneer CDJ 2000 does not have the processing power to do FLAC to PCM conversion, then buyers are being ripped off.  My phone and my two $50 portable audio players (one Cowon, one Sansa) can both do it just fine and have very good sound quality in the process, even with EQ or various processing features turned on.

October 30, 2012 10:34
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Sebastien

I know its a pioneer forum but my Denon MC-6000 controller supports FLAC format, very, very cool. I just hope there will eventually be a cd player that supports it cause all my files now are mostly FLAC. The only reason, i think, why beatport went for the Apple format is for MONEY. It's always about money, there is no money to do with FLAC so it's a no-go. If people complain enough the future hardware will support it i'm sure. But they want people to adopt the Apple format. If you're a popular dj and play everyone, well i guess u have to use the hardware that is at the club and usuallly it's a cdj 2000 or something like that so u have no choice to have your files in the format most of the hardware support, so no flac.

May 13, 2013 13:57
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Benjamin Goulart

Actually, Sebastien, it's your computer software that's supporting FLAC, not your Denon controller.  Without your computer, the Denon is just a mixer and a bunch of useless plastic.

May 13, 2013 14:01
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Sebastien

Oups, sorry you are right, so it's my computer that is decoding the flac not the controller.  Thanks for the up.

May 13, 2013 16:45
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pope

This issue with FLAC is more complex than just DSP cycles to process.  A media player optimized for DJs require almost random access to track data.   To utilize FLAC, the player has to effectively unwind the compressed file into a WAV to build the seek tables.  CBR MP3s use regular sized chunks (this is also the reason performance with VBR is spotty at best.)  http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/CodecMemoryUsage shows the comparison of typical memory requirements in the decode process (not including the storage space required for the unwound file.)

So, Pioneer would effectively have to bump up the memory (switch from SRAM to SDRAM) which would in turn require the use of a completely different DSP family just to interface to the new memory type.  This in turn would require a complete rewrite of signal processing code.  There are a number of us who experienced the master tempo results of that when the DSP was upgraded from the ones used in the 1000 family to the one currently used in the 2000 product line.

Having been in the DSP business much longer than I care to admit, my personal take is that (as useful as the devices are) the flexibility, speed and overall development advantages have been eclipsed by wide margin through the use of generic RISC devices such as ARM.  If engineering is reading this board, y'all should seriously consider a shift away from DSP in future product generations.  Scary as it is, the benefits in streamlined development, eased support, feature flexibility, and cost savings through simplified architecture can not be underestimated.

May 14, 2013 07:28
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Benjamin Goulart

Interesting.  It is very good, at least, that the newest Pioneers, Denon, and Gemini players can play AIFF.  Converting you library from FLAC to AIFF gives you lossless and universal tagging, which is really all us quality hounds are after.  Storage size really isn't the issue.  If WAV had universal tagging, none of this would even be an issue.

May 14, 2013 07:32
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Sean VanderMolen

@ Pope interesting observation, but if the unwinding of a FLAC and its memory size was an issue, then AAC shouldn't be supported.  However, it is and according to the Codec Memory Usage graph AAC uses even more memory than FLAC.  I do agree that the technology and development process used for the CDJ's is outdated.  

I think lack of support for this format comes down 1 or more issues...

Cost associated with supporting FLAC/ Hardware limitations

the Unknown legal Factor or Unintended Consequences  - For example FLAC is a "free" format yet no major player MS, Apple, Beatport, Pioneer etc etc will touch it.  I think this is a legal strategy.  Even though its "Free"  there is always a way to bleed money once a big pocket book enters the picture.

Competition from laptops and controllers could drastically change the role of the CDJ line, thus why bother fixing the current line.

 

@Ben - My problem with the conversion process is that the tagging supported with AIFF's isn't really a standard.  Its a neat hack adding ID3 as a chunk.  Yes it works on CDJ's and Traktor but it doesn't work in everything.  The reason I support FLAC is that is was built from the ground up to support metadata and lossless audio and saves storage space which is a plus for those of us with huge libraries.  To me it would be a wast of time converting from a great format like FLAC to AIFF.  Also WAV and AIFF have been around since the 80's and have changed very little.  I think the industry could innovate a little more.  Until then I wait till the next great thing.

May 14, 2013 19:25
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Benjamin Goulart

"Until then I wait till the next great thing."

Which in my opinion is a couple sub-$100 transport controllers, either a MIDI mixer & a 4-out interface or a conventional mixer & 8-out interface or a USB ASIO mixer, and a computer.  It can all come out for far less than half the price of a single CDJ-2000.  If you're content with MP3 and/or WAVs, there are all-in-one units that will do it well for under $500.  For the premium Pioneer gear goes for, it should loaded with premium capabilities.

May 14, 2013 21:51
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pope

@Sean:  I did a little bit more digging and you are correct, AAC is even more memory intensive as FLAC.  I've never used AAC, and find it an odd choice from an implementation perspective over FLAC.  I also researched the license for FLAC and it's about as free as you can get, both commercial and non-commercial use is royalty-free.

This leaves two possibilities:

1) there is not enough firmware space in the CDJ to support the additional codec (while not exactly a decode ram issue, still would be an architectural limitation that should have been addressed)

...just had an amusing thought.  We're using CDJ-2000's and here it is 2013;)

-or-

2) The fact that two apple formats are included, AAC is in and WMA is excluded implies that the rather obvious exclusions might be due to licensing conflicts with either Mixvibes or Apple (itunes.)  Note that Mixvibes' native products support .WAV, .MP3, .M4A, .FLAC, .AIFF, .OGG and .AAC.


@Benjamin:  IMO, that next great thing is a pro-grade Aero (that stand-alone plays SD or thumb media); one with select-able cues, hot cues, and a pair of really nice 2000-like displays that support multi-touch.  That way I have one super-reliable thing with which to gig.  Cost is not the priority for me, sound quality, performance capability, and reliability is, otherwise I wouldn't own 2000's and a DJM;)

May 15, 2013 07:33
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Sean VanderMolen

Yeah I had looked into it earlier.  I think the problem is the firmware space.  If you look at the size of the firmware downloads and read the spec there isn't much room left.  Enough for bug fixes IMO.

I'm with you on the next best thing being a next gen CDJ that I can plug my 2tb hd in and play FLACs with enhanced functionality.  In another post I suggested this and my idea, in short, was to put the brains of a cell phone in the CDJ.  Tons of power and a solid framework to build features off of.  

My problem with controllers and laptops... Besides the tons of time and issues Ive had making them work.  The last thing I want to deal with when I'm mixing and high as f**ck or whatever ;-) is to deal with buggy laptops/ midi mappings/ excessive wires/ or a cheap malfunctioning controller.  I just want gear I can plug in and it works no questions asked.!

May 15, 2013 07:48
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Pasi Kärkkäinen

.. and for the time being I'd be happy if Rekordbox added support for *importing* FLACs to Rekordbox collection, and *Rekordbox* automatically converted FLACs to WAVs or AIFFs when you export your tracks from Rekordbox to USB stick.

That would be quite simple addition to Rekordbox, and it'd solve the problem for many people, plus it doesn't require *any* changes to CDJ firmware.

May 15, 2013 08:01
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pope

Having observed the combination of computer issues, flaky power adapters and USB cables/ports killing so many otherwise epic sets has turned me off of anything "tethered."  Hell, even some of the big guys don't chance it and set up a redundant pair of players with a canned set and the stage is a pantomime act.  Horrific as it may seem, some don't take any chances when the gravy train is at stake...

and FLAC.  I want FLAC because some of the tools I use do not support AIFF.  I want FLAC because my tracks come that way.  I want FLAC because it takes 40% less download time.  I want FLAC because I can put 40% more music on a given media.  

Curious Question:  Does anyone have AAC tracks?  Do you play them out?

May 15, 2013 08:07
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Sean VanderMolen

the only AAC tracks I have are ones that are only released on iTunes and I don't think I've ever played one out yet..

May 15, 2013 09:11
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Benjamin Goulart

All you really have to do is keep your laptop lean, defrag the hard drive (any external drives you use with Pioneers should also get that), and turn the network adapter/internet & battery monitoring off. I find they're stable after that, even Windows. Much more powerful than the anemic guts of some of these overpriced transports. There are also inexpensive combo controllers that can play files directly without a PC. One of my favorites is like that and weighs a lot. Built like a tank. I also have a firewire analog mixer that can be a very high-end ASIO interface one minute (gorgeous sound), and then quickly run sound from all-in-ones or transport controller/players (in player mode) if any problems occur. Any issue, flick a switch and the music keeps going. I also have a 4-out Emu interface that sounds great, but sometimes I'm not so sure about digital mixing buses. Best bass (Alesis stuff, DJM-1000, etc), but everything else seems to suffer. I also over the years sort of preferred the warmer, more organic sound of Denon's top players to Pioneers, but the CDJ 2000 Nexus finally seems to have sound up at that level... not quite the glassy, lifeless quality the older CDJs had. Good tone. Different, but the same tier finally with Denon, who I don't think ever did as much with sponsorships and free gear to DJs & top clubs as Pioneer. To be fair, Denon and Gemini haven't cracked the FLAC nut for their transport players, either. Numark did on the HDX, I believe, though.

May 15, 2013 09:35
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

Your suggestions have been noted and I thank you for them. At the moment, there are no plans to introduce FLAC support but I will certainly put forward your suggestions for rekordbox to be able to convert the files into a playable format on the players. To be honest, I think this would be low priority given that there are plenty of good software programs out there that will cross convert formats for you such as EZ CD-DA. 

May 29, 2013 20:43
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Pasi Kärkkäinen

@Gavin: Thanks!

The whole point is that I do NOT want to convert the FLAC files to other format with EZ CA-DA. I want to have the FLAC files only once on my hard disk, in FLAC format, because all the other software I use supports FLAC.

So I'd add/import the FLAC files to Rekordbox collection, and when I want to create an USB stick for playing on CDJ, I export from Rekordbox, and Rekordbox would *then* convert to AIFF/WAV to the USB stick, only when I *export* to USB stick, and the converted file goes only to the USB stick, original file stays in FLAC format on the hard disk.

Does that make sense?

 

May 29, 2013 21:16
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

@Pasi > Totally understood. But where do you download your music from that you have them all in FLAC format already?

May 30, 2013 08:22
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Sean VanderMolen

Juno, lots of groups on Basecamp, Trying to Hound Beatport to get on the bandwagon but they won't.  There are tons of sources for FLAC.  I'm also compressing my old WAV collection to FLAC and manually adding tags and album art.  

May 30, 2013 08:25
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

@Sean > Thanks for adding to the conversation. I believe what Juno do is provide the option to download the WAV file but they'll convert it to FLAC for you... Right? For me AIFF has been my file format of choice with quite some time now - by and large, we're not limited by download speeds / limits nor in or storage capacity.

I totally understand where you are coming from and I appreciate your input.

May 30, 2013 08:38
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Sean VanderMolen

I get talking about this is like beating a dead horse.  But yes, Juno tags and converts the WAVs on the fly and it works really well.  So I'll just add my bit on this too.  I have well over 2Tbytes of music.  I couldn't imagine what it would be if it were all uncompressed.  The more music the more expensive it is to manage and backup.  Then you have to spend time converting, analyzing etc etc.  Its easy to just write this request off, but it really IS BETTER than any other format out there and the fact that everyone comes up with excuses not to support it kinda boggles my mind.  Yes storage and bandwidth is excess-able  but it can still be expensive and out of reach for many people.  But I think I'll be done with this conversation and move on with my life.  I hope pioneer changes its mind because then I might think about paying the outrageous prices for their gear.  Until then I'll stick with traktor.

May 30, 2013 08:45
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Gavin
Pioneer DJ

@Sean > I'm just trying to gather as much feedback as possible to pass along to the engineers and get all sides of the argument.

May 30, 2013 08:52
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Sean VanderMolen

I appreciate that!  What would really be great is a new industry standard.  A music format for DJs, that would contain extensive metadata, cue points, beat grids  with a lossless compression scheme with 24/96khz support.  This way you could buy the track,t load the file in whatever software or device the track is just ready to go.No waiting, analyzing...

Until ^^that happens FLAC is what I use.

 

Thanks for your help

May 30, 2013 09:22
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Sean VanderMolen

or even move past PCM and use DSD

May 30, 2013 09:35
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Benjamin Goulart

DSD is a problematic format. Fine for single-pass A/D archiving, but impossible to do post-production or any processing with in the digital domain beyond trimming (must be temporarily converted to a quasi-PCM intermediary format for more, which is what all the DSD studio boards are internally) and has noise issues in its consumer versions that tend to subtract much of the benefit from it. Considering the linear container decoding ability of AIFF, that seems the best option if these already horrendously-overpriced dedicated transport players don't have sufficient memory or processing to handle FLAC. Using Rekordbox to load from a laptop to such inferior transports and do the conversion to AIFF on-the-fly from FLAC might not be such a bad idea. Certainly it's easier to manage and find tracks using a laptop, at least, even if one does not wish to use the laptop fully for the playback and/or mix bus.

May 30, 2013 10:06
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Sean VanderMolen
There is DSD wide and DXD. Im just thinking of ways to get pitch bending to sound closer to vinyl in the digital domain. I think digital pitch bends sound artificial now.
May 30, 2013 10:20
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Pasi Kärkkäinen

@Gavin: I've bought FLACs from Juno Download. Also I've converted my existing CD collection to FLAC.

 

May 30, 2013 11:28
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Benjamin Goulart

Also known as PCM short or narrow. It's not DSD. Its multibit PCM reworded in marketing gibberish for a format that can't be processed as-is. Pitch bending sounds just like vinyl to me when you actually compare a CDJ to a flat (moving coil) cartridge through good preamps. If you really don’t believe me, try comparing it on a Numark or (better yet, because they sound better) Denon unit with rotating platter. Sounds the same with keylock off no matter what you're doing.  And that's key.  Now, the nudging sounds bigger & more intrusive and doesn't trail off right to us vinyl heads on a Pioneer CDJ (or most players & controllers) because of the jogs being rate-based. If you use time-based rotation on a non-rotating platter, then it necessitates brief vinyl-style nudging, but is horribly unnatural for most users. Companies that have tried it (Sync, American DJ, Vestax) inevitably end up pissing customers off who are used to the way normal DJ CD Players work.  Rightfully so.  Having the tempo reduce to zero or increase to max when you rotate slowly is a pain for those not used to it.  If you want vinyl-style nudging, you really need a rotating platter or DVS with your TTs.  Simple as that... well, it's not that simple as you know with all that gear & cabling for a DVS.  While it's possible you're also hearing low-pass filtering within a CDJ during bitrate conversion (required when changing pitch by way of bit rate in the DSP prior to the CDJ or DJM's own fixed-rate converters), that's pretty unlikely. And you'd have exactly the same problem with PCM short/narrow a.k.a. DSD wide. You can’t get around the math.  Phono cartridges, capacitance, inductance, and a wide variety of electrical and mechanical factors wreck far more havoc on vinyl sound than what the CDJ is doing when changing tempo without keylock.  And that’s not getting into surface-induced rumble and even acoustic energy hitting the tonearm directly from the monitors, the latter which cannot be mitigated by going mono on the subs and just produces grunge.  We're pretty spoiled with what we've got.

May 31, 2013 08:08
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