How to split m4b audiobook files to mp3 with chapters
Although VLC can perfectly hanlde .m4b audiobook files, I usually prefer to split them to mp3 in a way that each mp3 file is one chapter of the audiobook.
If you want to do do the same, I highly suggest you to use m4b-tool. You can download the .phar file from the GitHub releases page.
This really nice tool requires php, ffmpeg and mp4v2.
In order to install them in Archlinux, I gave the following command:
myMPD - my new favorite MPD client
I hate bloated software. This is the reason I use Archlinux with i3wm or I root my smartphones to remove unneeded applications and this is the exact same reason I chose ympd to be the default MPD client of Archphile.
ympd doesn’t offer many goodies. It does one thing (file browsing mode) and it does it right, while its software dependencies are almost zero, comparing to other web based clients that need a dedicated webserver or/and interpreter.
How to quickly convert your FLAC album to mp3 with whatmp3
Even though all my music library is 99,99% FLACs, there are times when I need a quick FLAC –> MP3 conversion (for example to put music on the smartphone for running purposes)..
The best and quickest tool I have found so far, is whatmp3, that uses lame to do the conversion.
In order to install it in Archlinux, I got it from AUR:
yaourt -S whatmp3 As a last step, I (re-)installed lame :
Losslessly Compressing DSD files with Wavpack
One of the biggest disadvantages of DSD files is their size. Most of the users who like DSD format, keep large SACD ISOs or split them to dsf/dff files. In both cases, the result is horrible space-wise as the majority of music albums need more than 1.5GB (only for the 2 channel files).
It was not long ago that Wavpack project came with a solution to the above: a lossless compression algorithm for dsf/dff files, resulting in up to 60% smaller files.
Understanding the use of DSD files with MPD
DSD, although a very old and failed technology, is again one of the hottest trends in computer audio. Below you will find a quick guide for MPD (Music Player Daemon) that will cover most of your needs: MPD and DSD with DoP Assuming that your DAC supports the DoP protocol, the only you need to do is to add the following line in audio_output section of mpd.conf:
dop "yes" Below you can see an example of this section:
How to split a single flac album to separate files (and a funny story about sound quality)
Let’s assume that you have a music album in one flac file and you want to split it so that each song is a separate flac file. The linux tool needed for this task is called shntool. In order to install it in Archlinux you need to give the following:
pacman -S shntool The command you need to give in order to get the separate files is:
shnsplit -f blabla.
How to convert SACD ISO to dsf/dff files
SACD ISO support in media players is not a popular feature, especially when it comes to Linux audio.
As of today the most popular solution is an MPD fork, a program not found by default in most of the Linux distributions (if you have an Archphile supported board however you can use the package I have created for that).
If you have this type of files and you can’t currently use them, the best solution is to convert them to separate dsf or dff files.
How to verify CD rips with AccurateRip database
When we need to verify the quality of a CD rip, one of the most powerfull tools we have is the AccurateRip database.
Although I won’t go into details on how I rip my CDs (yes, I use EAC with wine :P), I will show you two easy procedures on how to verify a CD rip using AR database.
First Method (Linux Native) All we need for the first method is whipper.
DR14 T.meter - A tool to find the dynamic range of your music albums
Dr14 T.meter is an open source command line tool that computes the dynamic range of your music files. It’s a tool that I use in order to create reports for each of my FLAC albums I have in my music library.
Installing it in Archlinux was pretty easy:
yaourt -S dr14_tmeter In order to create a report for an album you need the following command:
dr14_tmeter /path/to/album/ What is really nice about it is that you can use it recursively in order to create dynamic range repors for multiple albums at once:
How to create spectrograms for audio files using sox
The use of spectrograms is one of the most accurate procedures in order to identify the quality of audio files. Let’s say that you were given an music album with 16/44.1 flacs and you want to see if the files included are actually redbook.
One of the best tools I’ve found for that is sox.
The installation in Archlinux is the following:
pacman -S libsoxr In order to create a spectrogram for a specific flac file, you need the following command: