FLAC with embedded CUE sheet.

I got my FUZE a few months ago - had to flash the firmware to get FLAC / OGG compatibility - great features. I was delighted to read on a forum recently that Replay Gain is now supported - it’s a fantastic feature. Only one feature on my wish list remains:

I typically create FLAC images of my CDs which include the CUE sheet - in this way I keep the album in one single file but can access individual tracks using players which recognise embedded CUE sheets.

Would this be a difficult implementation?

@nickc wrote:

I got my FUZE a few months ago - had to flash the firmware to get FLAC / OGG compatibility - great features. I was delighted to read on a forum recently that Replay Gain is now supported - it’s a fantastic feature. Only one feature on my wish list remains:

 

I typically create FLAC images of my CDs which include the CUE sheet - in this way I keep the album in one single file but can access individual tracks using players which recognise embedded CUE sheets.

 

Would this be a difficult implementation?

I completely agree, but frankly don’t know how many people create their flac’s in the way we do.  It definitely would be a nice feature to have.  You are probably already doing this, but I still create my FLAC’s in a single file using cue files, but then split the FLAC files in a temporary directory using Medievel cue splitter

I could do that, I suppose - I just like the idea of one file per album. foobar2000 can split the images to tracks as well, maintaining tags.

There is a slight complication in that I use a variable bitdepth DSP on my FLAC files for DAP use which reduces the typical bitrate to about 400kbps (the method used in the DSP was proposed by the inventor / developer of Replay Gain). This DSP makes use of a feature in the FLAC encoder where audio data with lsbs which are consistently zero is stored with higher efficiency. Unfortunately this works best with alignment of 512 sample blocks. When an image is split into its constituent tracks it is very unlikely that the block boundaries will coincide with the track boundaries.

I could just process the tracks individually using the DSP but, as I say, much prefer one file per album.

Message Edited by NickC on 04-13-2009 10:35 AM

“Would this be a difficult implementation?”

Absolutely not, it would be easy to implement, I’m sure, with a simple firmware update.  After all, a cue is simply - very simply - a bunch of bookmarks to tell the hardware where each song starts and ends.

The benefit of this is obviously GAPLESS playback!  It seems everyone wants it but we’re just given excuses. Very annoying! :slight_smile:

I think Rockbox has this already. I’m not sure if it’s implemented on the Fuze v2 builds but the option is in the menu. I don’t have any files like that to test it with, but in my testing today the latest Rockbox build has been working very well for me.

Rockbox is definitely not implemented for the Fuse v2, I’m sorry to say. :(  I just wonder how many rooftops we have to stand shouting from, until Sansa do the mind-numbingly simple act of implementing cue support.  COME ON, SANSA!  WHAT’S THE BIG PROBLEM! (And don’t give us the old chestnut about compatibility issues with different formats - I’m talking about cue support for a single FLAC file). :slight_smile:

@csavery wrote:
I think Rockbox has this already. I’m not sure if it’s implemented on the Fuze v2 builds but the option is in the menu. I don’t have any files like that to test it with, but in my testing today the latest Rockbox build has been working very well for me.

Not for embedded cue sheets as far as I know.  Just external ones.

FLACtastic wrote: 

 I just wonder how many rooftops we have to stand shouting from, until Sansa do the mind-numbingly simple act of implementing cue support.  

An embedded cue file is basically a playlist thats inside an audio file that points to different parts of that same file.  Thats actually not all that easy to support since most of the time software assumes that one file contains one track, and that playlists do not specify offsets within a file.  All of that could be changed, but then you’re changing how every type of file on the system plays.  Not to mention that the firmware itself probably still has to support gapless playback so that you don’t get a glitch going between cue tracks.  Thats certainly not “mind-numbingly simple” to implement.

IMO you’re wasting your breath.  Its not a very popular feature in general, and its mostly a hack for systems that don’t have gapless playback.  You’d be better off just asking for gapless, or else using rockbox with multiple files or separate cue files, both of which will give you glitch free playback of flac files. 

"An embedded cue file is basically a playlist thats inside an audio file that points to different parts of that same file.  Thats actually not all that easy to support since most of the time software assumes that one file contains one track, and that playlists do not specify offsets within a file.  All of that could be changed, but then you’re changing how every type of file on the system plays.  Not to mention that the firmware itself probably still has to support gapless playback so that you don’t get a glitch going between cue tracks.  Thats certainly not “mind-numbingly simple” to implement.

IMO you’re wasting your breath.  Its not a very popular feature in general, and its mostly a hack for systems that don’t have gapless playback.  You’d be better off just asking for gapless, or else using rockbox with multiple files or separate cue files, both of which will give you glitch free playback of flac files."

OK, let’s correct a couple of things here! Firstly, there cannot be a “glitch going between cue tracks” because we’re not talking about “going between tracks” - I’m talking about one single audio file, and a corresponding cue file (embedded or otherwise - you could keep it external if embedded is to difficult). The firmware doesn’t “probably have to support gapless” - there is no way the player would actually insert a gap in the middle of a continuous audio file. So if there’s no gap there already, it would be gapless.

As for offsets - Oh please! The cuesheet contains the offset information.

And who cares if you want to call it a “hack”!! If it works, it works.

BTW, I have installed Rockbox - yes, the Rockbox cuesheet support is great (as well as general gapless support), but unfortunately the sound quality is not as good as the native OS. It sounds harsher and less smooth (even with dither turned on - maybe there’s a problem with the dither, I don’t know). So for now I’m sticking to the native and suffering the gaps!

@flactastic wrote:

 

 The firmware doesn’t “probably have to support gapless” - there is no way the player would actually insert a gap in the middle of a continuous audio file. So if there’s no gap there already, it would be gapless.

 

 

Heh.  I’m guessing you haven’t done much actual audio programming.

  

FLACtastic wrote: 

 

I have installed Rockbox - yes, the Rockbox cuesheet support is great (as well as general gapless support), but unfortunately the sound quality is not as good as the native OS. It sounds harsher and less smooth (even with dither turned on - maybe there’s a problem with the dither, I don’t know).

 

 It was fine a couple weeks ago on the AMS players: 

 http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/Clip+%20-%20Rockbox%20Volume%200x1E.htm

Dither won’t help you here, it actually does something essentially unrelated.  Not sure whats going on but I get a faint humming sound in the background, so something is screwed up.  I’d either use an older build or just wait until its fixed.