Streaming FLAC files to HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder

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That's why you see the 320 downloads in place of Flac. I opted for 192 as the best for portable and close to what broadcasters reckon is all you need. I'm resisting buying a media player else I would have one more audio source to switch between and the Humax covers most bases. My heritage comes from minidiscs as an early adopter so happy with lossy compression but having the ability to tap into the Flac source would be good. If I manage to do anything useful with serviio I'll post it up.
 

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What would you be streaming from and to?
Basically I want the Humax as the client to pick up a bit of transcoding streaming from Serviio.... I suspect I'm going to be told not possible. But we can live in hope. If the server packages it up to look like say MP3 but in aac via transcoding then I suppose it would be possible. Although this comes back to the amount of power you need to do that.
 

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I'm limbering up but not at home at the minute. I don't think my laptop would be any good with it which means putting it on the office PC which is where the music files are (right place Ethernet connected so is the Humax) and only really around on Sunday then back to house clearance duties. I'm now great mates of the guys in the tip and the charity shops.

I did watch the YouTube video which looked promising.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
I'm limbering up but not at home at the minute. I don't think my laptop would be any good with it which means putting it on the office PC which is where the music files are (right place Ethernet connected so is the Humax) and only really around on Sunday then back to house clearance duties. I'm now great mates of the guys in the tip and the charity shops.

I did watch the YouTube video which looked promising.


Serving data across the internet is entirely different from sending data from sources that are in the same home network which is relatively straightforward and will of course is subject to data upload speeds at the sending end (likely to be the limitation) and download speeds, and of course subject to ISP download limits). Not surprised you have issues. Pretty sure everyone assumed you were trying to stream content from assets existing within your existing home network.
 

Tell

Member
The assumption was correct. My comment was connected to the guys youtube video where he said preferable to use Ethernet cable rather than WiFi. He was quote clear about that. The office PC and the Humax I have connected to the router, everything else is WiFi.
 

cdmackay

Active Member
I can't see that either a 300Kbps MP3 or 800Kbps FLAC stream is going to tax even a poorly wifi network...
 

Tell

Member
No I think the guys comments were more about video but the first time I saw the dampners put on the use of WiFi for streaming. I certainly wouldn't use WiFi on the Humax unless I really had to which I don't. I have carpets which are not stuck down :). Other options as well. I do notice that Speed test via WiFi is all over the place at times due to all the other base stations in the area and I do use inSSIDer to pick a good channel.
 

cdmackay

Active Member
Yup, wired is generally better, but not always possible. I use wifi here, via an Edimax USB dongle, and it works perfectly. And that's for streaming video (well, Portal video, at least). So audio would be easy.
 

Tell

Member
OK Thank you Martin, Serviio does work with transcoding FLAC on the fly. I found some time on Friday to install it and test it out.

The audio transcoding for Serviio audio outputs from audio input can only be MP3 or LPCM. I did get excited at one point about the latter but I wasn't updating the profiles so just MP3 on the Humax.

There are some preset profiles that you can use and inspection of the profile's configuration file and documentation the one that can be used readily to give the best FLAC conversion is "Telenet Yelo TV" which has the 320 conversion parameter, the other profiles take the default one of 192. Any album art is picked up e.g. folder.jpg is fed out to the Humax MP3 media player as the graphic.

You set it up by IP address by profile, thus the Humax gets its own profile so it does the FLAC conversion to MP3 at 320 bit rate using the "Telenet Yelo TV" profile. Random play of albums and tracks is available. For people that play a lot of video via the Humax it may have other uses. The Serviio board does have some "Humax" discussion but the developer hasn't published a specific profile for it so there is scope for someone to raise to the occasion.

I didn't get the "Online" part of it to work where it plays your own online sources like NASA HD channel. It could have been me. That side looked interesting where you could if it worked put your own online feeds in.

As explained above I am adverse to making MP3 copies at higher bit rates for portable use due to the storage size and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference out and about, at home you can....& I'm resisting buying anything more flash than the Humax for the job. It works smoothly for online transcoding of FLAC on the fly from your library source held on a PC etc.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
OK Thank you Martin, Serviio does work with transcoding FLAC on the fly. I found some time on Friday to install it and test it out.
Thanks for coming back with more information about Serviio; it certainly sounds as though it could help a number of people.
 

Tell

Member
Having had the weekend and the last few days to try it out [Serviio] it works really well. The sound to me converted from FLAC to MP3 at 320 kbps sounds "warmer" and more detailed than the 192 kbps copies I had in MP3. The album art you twig up a big by putting a fairly low resolution cover that you can find off Google images on the net [300 x 300 or so] and save into the FLAC directory for presentation as the album art in the Humax MP3 screen saver display if you don't whack the TV off whilst playing music. This is done automatically.

Always wanting more I have been exploring whether the "aBitrate" parameter of Serviio has any effect if lifted from 320 to 640. This goes outside of the domain of standard MP3 specification but is supported by Lame. I don't know whether the Serviio developers allows you to go above 320 (you are not suppose to) but it does play but this may be due to the program capping the parameter back to 320 or the default of 192. I can't find any way of telling what Serviio is generating with the 640. The bit rate field is not filled in when looking at the stream.

Also it begs the question of whether the Humax can play a non standard 640 kbps MP3 file. Although I suspect that it probably does. Another approach is to make a 640 kbps MP3 file with one of the tools that allows you to do that and attempt to play that on the Humax, if it doesn't play then Serviio isn't processing the parameter as 640 and defaulting to an un known value. Anybody who's up to speed with Lame commands please test out what the Humax does with a non standard MP3 file since that will answer part of this question.

Serviio parameter commands for audio transcoding:
>>
Audio transcoding

Audio - defines audio transcoding definitions; can be one or more, with the elements order being taken in consideration (the first definition that matches a file is used)
Attributes:
  • targetContainer - compulsory; name of container to transcode into; possible values: lpcm, mp3
  • aBitrate - optional; audio bitrate [kbit/sec] to use for transcoding, default is 192
  • aSamplerate - optional; audio sample rate [Hz] to use when transcoding audio track, default is 48000
  • forceInheritance - optional; defines whether this transcoding configuration is inherited by child profile
Matches - specifies which media files will fall into a transcoding configuration and will therefore be processed by the transcoding engine; can be one or more, with the elements order being taken in consideration (the first matcher that fits a file is used)
Attributes:
  • container - compulsory; name of container; possible values: * (any), mp4, asf, mp3, mp2, lpcm, flac, ogg, flv, rtp, rtsp, adts, wavpack, mpc, ape
<<

Note it does also play other non lossy compressed files that you see about (ape). MP4 audio doesn't need converting as we know for the Humax.

I know some people would question the value of trying to get 640 kbps MP3 from FLAC into the Humax if it was possible, but given that the overheads of doing it, if indeed it is doing it don't have any effect you might as well do it. But then if the aBitrate parameter it is using isn't fed through to Lame and it's using something else other than 320 it wouldn't be good to do it. At the minute I have gone back to the aBitrate parameter at 320 until resolved.

So yes anybody feel free to try out the Humax with a Lame produced non standard MP3 file running at 640 kbps and see whether it plays it since that will resolve the nagging feeling I have for more if it can't play these files and I'll know that Serviio isn't generating a non standard file MP3 file via Lame.
 

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Bit more info. I was hoping that someone with better Lame parameter skills would attempt to see what the Humax did with Free Format MP3 output just on the off chance that Serviio switched to this when you set the bit rate above 320 kbps.... It works but it wasn't clear what it was doing.

Having now created MP3 free format files via Lame, no the Humax doesn't play these so whatever Serviio does when the bitstream for MP3 is set above 320 it isn't producing free format output. So best to stick to the 320 profile as described above since if you edit the profile to a higher value it may very well be defaulting back to 192 kbps. E.g. stick to using the predefined Telnet Yelo TV profile which is documented to output the 320 kbps MP3 stream - the best available in the standard MP3 specification, not the extended but not mandatory Free Format MP3 spec.

Also as an additional note you can have your Flac files on the Humax run them across to a PC with Serviio on and then serve them back up to the Humax as high quality MP3. The downside is that you have to wait a bit whilst Serviio discovers the Humax directories.
 

aber1

Member
Tell - thanks for posting this. It answered my quest to stream ripped FLAC encoded audio files to the HDR-Fox T2, along with MP3 files from elsewhere that I've been achieving using WMP (as DNLA server). I used Serviio before some while ago now and it was interesting to see that it appears to have improved a lot.

Your description of the profiles on offer helped me get it working very quickly.

Quite happy to let it transcode at 320k to MP3 for playing at home on the HDR and hooked-up hi-fi. It works well and sounds good!

I'm not sure if you managed to confirm the resultant codec properties, and if so how did you do it?

Again, thanks for the postings.
 

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Aber yes I did try to check that the 320k was indeed 320k. I take it on trust that it is on those parameters. I did get the streaming to work although it was a bit fussy about what it would stream, also some Flac it wouldn't play. Podcasts and the like, sound cloud etc it did play but again fussy. On video I did get some parameters to work. It was also crashing my officer PC when I had it picking up video from the Humax, transcoding and playing on the Humax.

I'm not at home at the minute so can't share the parameters - will at the weekend. So for Flac 95 percent or so it played fine. Podcast / streaming audio a bit problematic, video experimental.
 

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Update - Serviio was upgraded to version 1.5 in mid January 2015 - FLAC playing fixed

Having used the previous release for playing audio FLAC and MP4 files plus online audio playing to a HUMAX HDR this worked fine with the exception that if a FLAC file had a long playing time of 10 minutes or more or an online podcasts was greater than 30 minutes it often refused to play it. Playing FLAC it would think about the track as far as the Humax was concerned then skip it. For online content of a long list of podcasts all greater than 30 minutes it may play the first one then skip all the rest or just skip all. Not ideal. Frustrated with a new NPM (Nils Petter Molvær) FLAC recording where it only played one track of six or so, partner telling me it was good and I said well I haven't heard all of it yet, decided to have another go at twigging Serviio or seeing if it was possible. At Xmas had checked for new release none then, but one became available in mid January.

The updated if reinstalled into the same place renames your old "profiles" file and re-creates a new standard one. For the Humax this has to be twigged as before I adopted the "Telenet Yelo TV" profile as the one to use. Basically you edit the targetACodec parameter to AC3. Add the line <Matches container="mp4" /> to the end of the audio targetContainer commands so it plays MP4 recoding to MP3 320k. Make two more final edit changes below here to commands targetACodec="ac3". Reboot the PC / Laptop whatever. Pick Serviio up off the Humax although prior to this you must tell Serviio where your media collection is. That's in library shared folders. Online content comes to the right of that if required. Apart from editing the profile if upgrading the rest is retained if you are upgrading. Ditto the association of the Telenet Yelo TV profile with the IP address, done in the status area of Serviio.

Bottom line for audio content it now works a lot better and the FLACs and podcasts it was refusing to play previously, now play without a hitch on FLAC and MP4s. Real improvement and obviously means you can keep your music library in FLAC rather than having assorted originals and MP3 / MP4 versions unless you need them for the device that you use although many new players play FLAC now, more storage but better sound. I don't think the FLAC on demand conversion when playing via the HUMAX via Serviio doesn't downgrade the sound.... and you can still remain a purist at least with the library copy.

On online content "Picklemonkey" manipulates SoundCloud audio lists into playable links that can be cut and pasted into Online RSS / Atom feeds via the translation address provided in

http://picklemonkey.net/cloudflipper/

These now work as well which were problematic with the audio delivery - saying this not always updated. Essentially the developer of Serviio acknowledged that there were delay issues in playing audio files which have now been addressed. The Humax when having these delay issues just skipped the track and the next etc (didn't wait around) . I haven't checked video playing. Certainly there are no delays in playing FLACs via the Humax so that side appears to work 100 percent of the time now and online content is less problematic.

nb. as a footnote if not breaking house rules by posting up a Serviio forum site it was FFmpeg's use in Serviio that didn't work successfully during translation with the previous release which was fixed by the developer by parameter use for the update:

https://bitbucket.org/xnejp03/serviio/issue/808/transcoded-audio-not-delivered-until-fully
 
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& to answer an earlier question is Serviio with the MP3 320kbps parameter really working and translating FLAC at the higher rate, answer yes. I installed Foobar2000 with upnp extension, configured Serviio to serve up with the modified profile to the laptop with Foobar2000 on it and checked the sample rate, that is indeed MP3 at 320.
 
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