April 23rd, 2008

I have often been put off downloading FLAC files as the format is not supported via iTunes, converting FLAC to mp3 is a bind to say the least, and I don’t usually listen via VLC. Poor excuses I know. So the FLAC files just sit there doing nothing on my hard drive.

Somewhat belatedly I have tried Burrrn, to copy FLAC files to audio CD. From there to mp3 is a cinch, with the bonus of having a full-quality CD to listen to ‘properly’. It is a blessing. So simple, so functional and intuitive.  Another door opens.

Thank you, Matjus Vojtek.

5 Responses to “FLAC Off”

  1. irdial Says:

    this is a shell script to convert a directory of FLAC files to MP3s:


    if test “x$PRESET” = “x”; then

    if test “x$DESTDIR” = “x”; then
    mkdir -p “$DESTDIR”

    echo “Preset=$PRESET Destination=$DESTDIR Source=`pwd`”

    for a in *.flac
    OUTF=`echo “$a” | sed s/\.flac/.mp3/g`

    echo “Source=`pwd`/$a Destination=$DESTDIR/$OUTF”

    ARTIST=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=ARTIST | sed s/.*=//g`
    TITLE=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=TITLE | sed s/.*=//g`
    ALBUM=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=ALBUM | sed s/.*=//g`
    GENRE=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=GENRE | sed s/.*=//g`
    TRACKNUMBER=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=TRACKNUMBER | sed s/.*=//g`
    YEAR=`metaflac “$a” –show-tag=DATE | sed s/.*=//g | cut -b -4`

    echo “Launching: flac -c -d $a | lame –preset $PRESET – $DESTDIR/$OUTF”

    flac -c -d “$a” | lame –preset $PRESET – “$DESTDIR/$OUTF”

    echo “Setting id3 ($TITLE, $TRACKNUMBER, $ARTIST, $ALBUM, $GENRE, $YEAR)”

    if test “x$TITLE” != “x”; then
    id3 -t “$TITLE” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF” > /dev/null

    if test “x$TRACKNUMBER” != “x”; then
    id3 -T “$TRACKNUMBER” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF” > /dev/null

    if test “x$ARTIST” != “x”; then
    id3 -a “$ARTIST” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF” > /dev/null

    if test “x$ALBUM” != “x”; then
    id3 -A “$ALBUM” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF” > /dev/null

    if test “x$GENRE” != “x”; then
    id3 -g “$GENRE” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF”

    if test “x$YEAR” != “x”; then
    id3 -y “$YEAR” “$DESTDIR/$OUTF”

    You could also use the guide in this post which looks simple enough.

  2. Alun Says:

    See, as a lazy non-geek using a mac at home, all I wanted was a simple thing even I could understand. While I could probably get the OS X setup using XiphQT etc. going eventually, working with Burrrn via a work PC saves my brain any effort at all.

    That intellectual ‘laissez-faire’ attitude (I wrote ‘laziness’ originally) afflicts most people, all the time. I need to get from Here to There in a car. I know this requires combustion of volatile substances, pressure, levers, pistons and the like… but I’m happy to just turn a key and push some pedals. And if the car doesn’t work I could teach myself mechanics and fix it. Or, being lazy, I could call a garage.

    I do my bit where I can though. While some people are happy to take a drug that helps prevent the symptoms of their arthritis without understanding a mechanism, I’ve worked on TNF superfamily members, functional consequences, systemic reactions, downstream events, ‘what happens if’… There is a geek in me after all!

  3. irdial Says:

    My ‘problem’ in this case is that I do not use PC winblows anymore. I just had this FLAC problem with a bunch of Sviatoslav Richter files that I wanted to convert; all the script requires you to do is copy it into the directory where the files are and run it…it does all the magic by itself.

    Rather than use the ‘integrate FLAC into iTunes’ i opt to convert FLAC files every time. It also means that my files are portable, instead of being stuch (yes, ‘stuch’) on my desktop system.

    You would not believe how much time I had to waste finding this shell script!

    and by the way…

    If you ever get a chance to hear Sviatoslav Richter play anything….DO IT!

  4. Josh Carr Says:

    Recently received a gift of a 5LP set of Richter doing Bach’s Das Wohltemperirte Clavier. A true revelation, as until now I’ve only known G. Gould playing the piece. What a beautiful, bell-like sound he evokes, resonating in my currently empty apartment as if anticipating Eno and Anthony Manning.

  5. irdial Says:

    I have to say, that the G. Gould that I have managed to hear did not move me at all. I have his ‘Goldber Variations’ and some other stuff. Many people love his playing, and so, perhaps it’s me…I have to look into (heh or listen into) his recordings more maybe…

    Sviatoslav Richter on the other hand, took me away immediately, and the pieces that I heard him play (liszt) were also revelatory. He manages to bring something out of the music; it’s almost like it is HIS music that he is playing, so intimate is his connection with it.

    I recently managed to track down some recordings of Liszt’s Symphonic Poems, which are over the top out of this world fantastic (the music that is). There is a long story behind my connection with those pieces, which I will not trouble you with here, but suffice to say, these pieces are deeply beautiful.

    I have a version of Symphonic Poem S97 – ‘Les Preludes’ played by Jean-Paul Imbert which is magical….all of these are worth tracking down.

    There is a torrent of the 95 CD set of every Liszt piano work that you might want to leech.

    And finally, a picture:


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