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Convert WMA Lossless to FLAC

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Is there a way to convert all my WMA Lossless files into FLAC with a batch program? In other words, I want to keep the WMA Lossless and just backup everything in FLAC.

The reason is that I obviously want a backup of all my files, but I can use FLAC with my Phatbox media player and WMA lossless does not work with it. I know there are programs that will convert one folder (dbpoweramp) at a time, but is there one that will just find every WMA Lossless file on a drive and save it as FLAC on a separate drive? This would give me both formats and that would be optimal for my situation.

Also, if you know of a program...will it keep the artist, album, etc.. data?

PS If you are wondering why I used WMA Lossless to begin with, it was easier since I have a DVD changer that will burn 200 CDs at a time to WMA lossless in batch mode.
post #2 of 20
1. foobar2000
2. MediaCoder

both are freeware.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by uofmtiger
Is there a way to convert all my WMA Lossless files into FLAC with a batch program? In other words, I want to keep the WMA Lossless and just backup everything in FLAC.
My painfully-earned experience is that if you want to do anything with FLAC, and anyone mentions software that's not Foobar, you should ignore them. Foobar will convert WMA-L to FLAC, and preserve metadata where feasible (no current support in FLAC for embedded album art tags, yet).
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkozlows
My painfully-earned experience is that if you want to do anything with FLAC, and anyone mentions software that's not Foobar, you should ignore them. Foobar will convert WMA-L to FLAC, and preserve metadata where feasible (no current support in FLAC for embedded album art tags, yet).
Seconded. Foobar is in my opinion the best and most pain-free way to convert formats.
post #5 of 20
Open the wma files in Foobar2000. Select them all (use Ctrl + A), right click on one, then go to Convert > Convert to..., choose FLAC, choose your folder. Yay. Optionally in foobar2000 Preferences, first go to Converter and enter in a file tree scheme such as artist\album\filename or something you like.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions! I will give Foobar a try. I already use it to play files when I am not in WMC.

I am guessing the best way to do it will be to copy all my WMA Lossless files to the drives first, then convert them.. That way, if I lose my WMA files through hard drive failure, I can at least get the album art back from the folders even after I convert them to FLAC.

Is it correct to say that there is not a program that will convert FLAC to WMA Lossless and retrieve album art during the conversion process? I want to have the album art in some kind of retrievable format for WMC.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by uofmtiger
Is it correct to say that there is not a program that will convert FLAC to WMA Lossless and retrieve album art during the conversion process? I want to have the album art in some kind of retrievable format for WMC.
You should have folder.jpg files in the directories where your WMA files are stored. If you convert your WMA files to FLAC using a similar directory structure (artist\album, I think is the default for WMP), you can use xcopy to bulk copy the album art into the directory where the FLACs are. WMP is entirely capable of displaying cover art based on the folder.jpg files, if there's nothing in the tags, so this would allow you to still use cover art in WMP later (as well as in apps that are going to use your FLAC archive, like Foobar or SlimServer).

Aside: The CoverArt plugin for Foobar is really slick, and would have saved me hours of time when I went back and added cover art to all my albums. Also, apparently drag-and-dropping cover art into WMP 11 further compresses/shrinks the art, because all the art I brought in via WMP was very low-res (and weirdly faded) compared to the originals. Post-conversion, you may want to re-get the cover art anyway, to have sharper/higher-res versions.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I finished my project using Foobar. I noticed that I now have several albums that say "unknown artist", but they seem to have the albums listed. Is there a program that will go out and tag the Flac files for me automatically?

I will also look into the CoverArt plug-in. I did not use the same directory structure due to my own laziness.

BTW I tested my Phatbox/musickeg in my car with the FLAC files and it sounds tons better than the 128kbps that was used when I first burned my albums to my computer! I just had to be picky about what I put on the 60GB hard drive.

A pic of the musickeg display from my car:

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkozlows View Post
My painfully-earned experience is that if you want to do anything with FLAC, and anyone mentions software that's not Foobar, you should ignore them. Foobar will convert WMA-L to FLAC, and preserve metadata where feasible (no current support in FLAC for embedded album art tags, yet).
That's an awful provocative statement there. I've been using flac for three years and have about 1/2 a terabyte. I've used dbPoweramp whenever doing transcodes other than the original rip when EAC does the wav->flac. dbPoweramp is a very highly regarded and well reviewed transcoder, capable of reproducing an entire directory tree of flacs into another format or vice versa with a few mouse clicks, and yes the tags are maintained. I use foobar as a player, so I know how good it is, I'm not knocking it. But if it weren't for the fact that I'm off to bed, I'd offer a few choice words about posters who take the position that anyone's opinion other than their own ought to be ignored.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nspindel View Post
That's an awful provocative statement there. I've been using flac for three years and have about 1/2 a terabyte. I've used dbPoweramp whenever doing transcodes other than the original rip when EAC does the wav->flac.
Many people like dbPowerAmp and say good things about it. Many people like EAC and say good things about it. When I tried to use those tools to work with FLAC, it was a painful, hair-tearing-out experience. (Edit: Although I went back and refreshed myself on what the issues were, and it turns out dbPowerAmp was working correctly, and the highly-regarded Tag&Rename was totally screwing up and not showing metadata properly. There's nothing wrong with dbPowerAmp, other than that Foobar can handle it, and since you're already going to be using Foobar, there's no reason not to just stick with it.) When I realized that Foobar could do ripping and conversion, converting my library from WMA Lossless to FLAC went from a highly dubious proposition to a feasible and practical one.

As for people strongly expressing opinions, well, I feel strongly about this one. I think that if someone is trying to start up with FLAC, using Foobar exclusively is going to remove a lot of barriers for them and make it far more likely that they'll succeed. (And considering how many barriers Foobar puts up in front of you, with its horrific default configuration, they've got plenty to deal with just in that program...) Other people obviously will feel differently, and will say so. I doubt anyone reading such recommendations fails to notice this, and they'll evaluate things accordingly -- but my hope is that when they're pounding their head on their desk trying to get EAC usable, they'll remember what I said and try Foobar's ripping.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkozlows View Post
Many people like dbPowerAmp and say good things about it. Many people like EAC and say good things about it. When I tried to use those tools to work with FLAC, it was a painful, hair-tearing-out experience. (Edit: Although I went back and refreshed myself on what the issues were, and it turns out dbPowerAmp was working correctly, and the highly-regarded Tag&Rename was totally screwing up and not showing metadata properly. There's nothing wrong with dbPowerAmp, other than that Foobar can handle it, and since you're already going to be using Foobar, there's no reason not to just stick with it.) When I realized that Foobar could do ripping and conversion, converting my library from WMA Lossless to FLAC went from a highly dubious proposition to a feasible and practical one.

As for people strongly expressing opinions, well, I feel strongly about this one. I think that if someone is trying to start up with FLAC, using Foobar exclusively is going to remove a lot of barriers for them and make it far more likely that they'll succeed. (And considering how many barriers Foobar puts up in front of you, with its horrific default configuration, they've got plenty to deal with just in that program...) Other people obviously will feel differently, and will say so. I doubt anyone reading such recommendations fails to notice this, and they'll evaluate things accordingly -- but my hope is that when they're pounding their head on their desk trying to get EAC usable, they'll remember what I said and try Foobar's ripping.

I find EAC to be pretty straightforward, there are excellent guides out there detailing how to set it up properly. One nice thing about EAC (and dbPowerAmp for that matter) is support for AccurateRip, which I don't believe Foobar provides for ripping. If you care enough to store your music as flac, chances are that you want to know that what you're pulling off the cd is perfect, and AccurateRip is definitely a confidence booster. When used in combination with Secure Mode ripping, drive cache disabling, and AccurateRip calibration of your read offsets, I think that's as close as you can get to knowing that you've got a perfect rip. When I'm done with a rip, and the software automatically compares checksums track-by-track against online databases and reports back to me 'Disc Accurately Ripped' I know that I feel a lot better about what I just put on my hard drive.

As for dbPowerAmp, I used it as a player when I first started using flac, then tried winamp, then finally settled on foobar. Although I never really liked the dbPowerAmp player, their transcoder is top notch and couldn't be easier to use. Besides all the nice features I described above, the other thing I really like about it is the ability to change compute priority of the transcode on the fly. As anyone who's done large transcode batches knows, this is compute intensive stuff and for large amounts of music, will run for a LONG time on your computer, days even. With dbPowerAmp, I can just select a dropdown box and select 'Idle', meaning dbPowerAmp will only use spare compute cycles to do the transcode, so your pc is still in a very usable state. Once you're done doing whatever you're doing, and can give higher priority back to the transcoding, you just switch it back to 'Normal'. It all happens very nicely on the fly.

As for tag&rename, yes I felt that pain as well. Been there, done that. Switched to Abander Tag Control, which seems much better for flac.

With regard to your strong opinion, there's nothing wrong with liking what you use and strongly advocating it. It's when you start suggesting that all other opinions should be ignored that people start to get angry, keep that in mind....
post #12 of 20
Technically you could just set it to Idle priority the entire time, since when nothing is using the cpu it will use the spare cycles anyways. Just like Prime95
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by werdwerdus View Post
Technically you could just set it to Idle priority the entire time, since when nothing is using the cpu it will use the spare cycles anyways. Just like Prime95
Actually, that's pretty much what I do. There's remarkably little difference in speed, which just goes to show you how little cpu resources are consumed by typical home pc usage....
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Can anyone answer this?
Quote:
Is there a program that will go out and tag the Flac files for me automatically?
I used Foobar and now I just need some tags that may or may not have been missing from my WMA lossless files.

Foobar worked fine for me. It did say it would take nearly 7 days to convert all my files, but I decided to do smaller batches and it worked while I was away from the house.
post #15 of 20
dpPowerAmp converter is a good one with no real problems.

JRiver Media Player will also do this very easy.

I have both and my pet is dbPowerAmp.

When possible I stay away from Microsoft products for one primary reason. If you use them they will assume control of all your files and you will have to reset everything back the way you want it. MS is setup to take control if you give it a chance. Therefore it is just a pain to use if you only want to use if for a specific purpose.
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