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BBC R3 Lossless Stream
27-07-2017, 16:02
Post: #11
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
Hi Simon,

Again, hearty thanks for this prototype.
Really looking forward to tonight's prom.

You can add the Auralic Aries as another compatible player, without need of transcoding.
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27-07-2017, 21:16 (This post was last modified: 11-08-2017 13:21 by simoncn.)
Post: #12
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
Owing to popular demand (four more PMs in the last few hours), I have decided to publish the instructions for using the prototype.

Regarding the need for WAV transcoding, many players can play the FLAC stream without transcoding but a few players cannot. Even if transcoding isn't necessary, it might be desirable because of possible improvements to sound quality. In the instructions below, I have explained how to play the stream with and without WAV transcoding so that people can choose whether or not to enable it.

To try the prototype test build, do the following:

1) In the Packages tab of the Properties window, type the following in the 'Other package' field: minimstreamer-0.7.1

2) Click Install and follow the prompts to install the package

3) When installation is complete, click Relaunch

4) Create a .m3u playlist containing the following lines:
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:-1,[R3DASH;flac] BBC Radio 3 lossless
http://vs-dash-ww-rd-live.bbcfmt.hs.llnwd.net/al/lossless/client_manifest.mpd
The first line isn't needed if you are adding this stream to an existing radio playlist that starts with #EXTM3U.

5) If WAV transcoding is required (or desired), set the stream.transcode property in the System tab of the Properties window to the following: flac:wav24

6) Rescan the library

7) You should now be able to play the lossless stream to your renderer

Please report any problems by posting to this thread.

Edit: updated these instructions on 11th August (version 0.7.1 now released).
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28-07-2017, 00:23
Post: #13
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
Thank you very much for the instructions, which I was able to follow without difficulty.

I mentioned in my PM that I was having problems with transcoded radio streams playing to my Linn ADSM/1. Because "flac:wav24" was already set on my system, I left that setting in place. The player at first attempted but failed to play the lossless stream, and the following error message sequence appeared in the MinimServer log:

Error: java.io.IOException: Stream closed at offset 0 in file null (length 0)
MPEG-DASH: error reading initial segment
Error reading DASH stream: org.jminim.LogErrorException: MPEG-DASH: error reading initial segment
org.jminim.LogErrorException: MPEG-DASH: error reading initial segment
at org.jminim.core.LogImpl.error(LogImpl.java:219)
at com.minimstreamer.NetworkSource$DASHReaderThread.playStream(NetworkSource.java:1​915)
at com.minimstreamer.NetworkSource$ReaderThread.run(NetworkSource.java:870)

If I try to play the FLAC stream without transcoding, the DSM simply does not recognise the stream; no error message appears in the MinimServer log. This consistent with the advice from Linn in this thread on their forum that

"MPEG-DASH format is not currently supported by the DS."

If I set the stream.transcode property to "flac:wav24;", thereby invoking FFMPEG, I get the same result as attempting to play the FLAC stream without transcoding. The same is true of "flac:wav24-0KB", and, now that I have repeatedly changed the transcode setting, also of the original "flac:wav24", where there is no longer a recognition of the playlist entry, and error messages are not being produced.

As I told you in my PM, I think that the cause of the problem is Version 50 and later of the Linn Davaar firmware. This, we know, involved a complete re-write of all the rendering routines. The DSM is happy to play my locally stored FLAC files transcoded to WAV24, but is not accepting transcoded radio streams. The normal BBC streams play perfectly well when not transcoded.

I'd be grateful for advice on what further settings to try. Alternatively, if there is anything I can do to help with diagnosing the problem please let me know. I can report the problem to the Linn team, but they are more likely to respond if I can give them specific information.

David
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28-07-2017, 12:26
Post: #14
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
(27-07-2017 12:12)Cebolla Wrote:  * These streamers required the stream's URL to have a .flac suffix, in order for them to recognise it as playable - easily sorted out by adding the flac audio type as the additional audio info in the playlist entry, as per the MinimStreamer user manual.

(27-07-2017 21:16)simoncn Wrote:  5) Add the following lines to a .m3u radio playlist:
#EXTINF:-1,[*R3DASH;flac] BBC Radio 3 lossless
http://vs-dash-ww-rd-live.bbcfmt.hs.llnwd.net/al/lossless/client_manifest.mpd

Thanks to you both, I am now also able to play the dash stream on an Oppo BDP-103. This was enabled by amending the .m3u entry to include the flac audio type.

Listened to last nights prom and I was able to easily distinguish the non-compressed stream. An excellent result.

ps - just a couple of minor glitches towards the end of the concert.

pps - Simon, what does the prefixed asterisk to the stream ID signify? I could find no mention of it in the user guide.

Regards.
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28-07-2017, 12:47 (This post was last modified: 28-07-2017 12:55 by Cebolla.)
Post: #15
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
(28-07-2017 00:23)DavidHB Wrote:  If I try to play the FLAC stream without transcoding, the DSM simply does not recognise the stream; no error message appears in the MinimServer log. This consistent with the advice from Linn in this thread on their forum that

"MPEG-DASH format is not currently supported by the DS."
Not really, assuming by 'without transcoding' you mean not transcoding the prototype extracted FLAC stream to WAV as opposed to not using the prototype at all. The BBC's MPEG-DASH stream is precisely what the prototype is not providing the renderer, ie, including your DSM. The whole point of this exercise is to extract the 'pure' FLAC stream from its MPEG-DASH carrier specifically for those renderers that don't support MPEG-DASH streams!

The issue then becomes one of the renderer supporting the FLAC stream that MinimServer/MinimStreamer has extracted from the original MPEG-DASH stream. This broadcast/'live' type of FLAC stream differs from one that comes from a stored FLAC file in that its size is unknown and its stereo channels have been mid-side encoded, both of which the renderer's FLAC decoder will need to support in order to play the extracted FLAC stream.
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28-07-2017, 13:06
Post: #16
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
(28-07-2017 12:47)Cebolla Wrote:  The issue then becomes one of the renderer supporting the FLAC stream that MinimServer/MinimStreamer has extracted from the original MPEG-DASH stream. This broadcast/'live' type of FLAC stream differs from one that comes from a stored FLAC file in that its size is unknown and its stereo channels have been mid-side encoded, both of which the renderer's FLAC decoder will need to support in order to play the extracted FLAC stream.

Of course I don't know precisely what Linn meant by their statement; it may actually be shorthand for what you say here. The important point is that, however the stream arrives from MinimServer/MinimStreamer (via, I think, FFMPEG), the Linn device cannot handle it.

The Linn device ought (IMO) to be able to handle the stream transcoded to WAV24, but it can't do that. In fact, it can't handle the normal BBC streams transcoded to WAV either. This, I think, is a bug in the firmware; in my recollection, firmware versions prior to the major re-write at Davaar 50 didn't have this problem. If we could get around it using MinimServer properties, that would be good.

David
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28-07-2017, 13:49
Post: #17
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
Well, it's working for me, at the moment at least, although at first Kazoo kept selecting the AAC 320 kbps R3 stream. Streaming to a Linn Majik DS, Davaar 4.56.177, no transcoding. Kazoo reports: [R3DASH] BBC Radio 3 lossless FLAC 48kHz/16 bits 1536 kbps. Very impressive, thank you Simon.
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28-07-2017, 14:26
Post: #18
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
Not sure how relevant this is to the debate but it is an observation.

As reported earlier, I can play the dash/flac stream to an Auralic Aries and Oppo BDP-103 BUT only if I apply no transcoding via Minimstreamer.
Adding transcoding (eg. flac:wav) results in both devices 'buffering'. The Oppo eventually times out but not the Aries. (nb - transcoding of local flac files works fine)

Is the Linn player, perhaps, having trouble in a similar way?
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28-07-2017, 15:12
Post: #19
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
(28-07-2017 13:49)euphonia Wrote:  Well, it's working for me, at the moment at least, although at first Kazoo kept selecting the AAC 320 kbps R3 stream. Streaming to a Linn Majik DS, Davaar 4.56.177, no transcoding. Kazoo reports: [R3DASH] BBC Radio 3 lossless FLAC 48kHz/16 bits 1536 kbps. Very impressive, thank you Simon.

Well, that's a surprise, and very interesting. I'm on the same Davaar version, and that cannot be very different on your MDS from my ADSM. So perhaps I was wrong to blame the Linn firmware.

I'm trying to puzzle out what might be different between your setup and mine. Assuming that MinimServer and MinimStreamer are up to date on your system, as they are here, can I ask which platform you are running them on? I have been using the installation on my QNAP TS-131. IIRC, there are differences between FFMPEG versions on different platforms, so there may be an issue to look at there.

Are you using any transcoding settings? I have have been experimenting without transcoding. Whether using the DSM or the OpenHome player on my computer, Kazoo recognises that the R3DASH stream is of CD quality, as it is shown as such in the library listing. With the OpenHome, the player stalls for a while when R3DASH is selected (your buffering?), then reverts to the standard R3 stream if that is in the playlist. Behaviour on the DSM is similar, except that there is no reversion - the player is stalled until the user intervenes (there may be a much longer timeout, but I didn't wait).

David
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28-07-2017, 15:27 (This post was last modified: 28-07-2017 15:30 by euphonia.)
Post: #20
RE: BBC R3 Lossless Stream
(28-07-2017 15:12)DavidHB Wrote:  
(28-07-2017 13:49)euphonia Wrote:  Well, it's working for me, at the moment at least, although at first Kazoo kept selecting the AAC 320 kbps R3 stream. Streaming to a Linn Majik DS, Davaar 4.56.177, no transcoding. Kazoo reports: [R3DASH] BBC Radio 3 lossless FLAC 48kHz/16 bits 1536 kbps. Very impressive, thank you Simon.

Well, that's a surprise, and very interesting. I'm on the same Davaar version, and that cannot be very different on your MDS from my ADSM. So perhaps I was wrong to blame the Linn firmware.

I'm trying to puzzle out what might be different between your setup and mine. Assuming that MinimServer and MinimStreamer are up to date on your system, as they are here, can I ask which platform you are running them on? I have been using the installation on my QNAP TS-131. IIRC, there are differences between FFMPEG versions on different platforms, so there may be an issue to look at there.

Are you using any transcoding settings? I have have been experimenting without transcoding. Whether using the DSM or the OpenHome player on my computer, Kazoo recognises that the R3DASH stream is of CD quality, as it is shown as such in the library listing. With the OpenHome, the player stalls for a while when R3DASH is selected (your buffering?), then reverts to the standard R3 stream if that is in the playlist. Behaviour on the DSM is similar, except that there is no reversion - the player is stalled until the user intervenes (there may be a much longer timeout, but I didn't wait).

David

Latest versions running on a QNAP TS-251 with no transcoding. Interesting that you say yours was reverting to the standard R3 stream, I guess that was what was happening with my setup at first.
I originally put the lines
#EXTINF:-1,[*R3DASH;flac] BBC Radio 3 lossless
http://vs-dash-ww-rd-live.bbcfmt.hs.llnw...nifest.mpd
at the top of the m3u text file, it only seemed to work when I moved them to the bottom (just a fluke?).
Could it make a difference that I have CodexPack installed on the Qnap?

Regards,
Nick
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