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[SOLVED] Flac lossless format support ?

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.

metcdj2k

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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.

 

jamboe
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@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.

Pulse
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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...

Irvin Cee
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@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.

Gavin
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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.

Irvin Cee
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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?

Vince Wilton
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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.

CAW
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@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.

Gavin
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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.

Fuse Promote
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@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.

Gavin
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@ 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.

Fuse Promote
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@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...

DeAl
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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.

movingzachb
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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 :)?

movingzachb
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@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.

Irvin Cee
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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.

Irvin Cee
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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.

movingzachb
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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?

david
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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.

Fuse Promote
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@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.  

Pulse
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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.  

Sean VanderMolen
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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???

Sean VanderMolen
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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 :(

Pasi Kärkkäinen
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@ 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...

 

DeAl
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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,

Jack EDM