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For the next version?

Started by Oisin, November 02, 2008, 11:20:34 PM

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Great product so far - I'm running in on Parallels on my Mac, then dragging the exported files into my iTunes - helping me to do something I've been wanting to do for ages - listen to all my old vinyl again.

Loving it 99% but would be even better with:
* Support for compilation tracklistings. Currently you can state the artist as for example "Various", then get the track lookup (eg from Discogs, I put the LP in there myself as a test). However, once you export from from VinylStudio the artist name is back to "Various" rather then the compilation / artist for each track you get with iTunes.
* MP3 artwork - for moving into iTunes without the need to copy and paste the cover art again.
* Search - some searches for compilations return too many results to display, is this due to an artist name of "Various" ? Maybe a "compilation" check box would be useful.

Anyway - great product and keep up the good work!


Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)


Thank you for posting and glad you like the program.  You are not the first to ask for better support for compilation albums.  What I think we will do is make it possible to enter as artist for individual tracks, rather than forcing all tracks to use the album artist.  Would this solve your problem?

As for album art, again others are asking so we have it on our to-do list.  It is possible to embed it in the MP3 files, although this does make them a little larger. May I ask where you download your artwork from?

Finally, the search results we obtain from the various databases are not under our control.  I'm surprised you can find a compilation album at all to be honest, and there is no way (that I know of) to tell Discogs to return compilations only.  If you let me know what search criteria you are using I will see if I can suggest a way to make them more focussed.  Discogs does generate a lot of false hits.

Thanks again for taking the time to post.  I'm not sure if anyone else we know of is running VinylStudio under Parallels.



Ability to add artist names? Perfect!

My ideal workflow would be to add the tracklisting and photo to Discogs (to help other vinyl junkies in future) then to sync using your application.

Ability for Discogs (etc) lookups to return artist names would be even better - I added these into two LPs into Discogs yesterday then looked them up in your app. Both are retrieved by your app, but doesn't retrieve the artist names for the comp. (Compilation) (Single Artist)

I currently take photos of my vinyl, then add into iTunes.

Thanks for the quick feedback.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

OK, thank you, we will look into this.  Another way to work it might be to add your track listing and photo to Discogs via their website and then look up the track listing you have just added from within VinylStudio.  I'm not sure if there is a delay between adding the listing and being able to retrieve it though.  There might well be.

I imagine artwork retrieved from Discogs is too small to satify your requirements in iTunes.  What sort of resolution do you use when transferring your photos across?  Not the full-sized image, presumably.  That would take up far too much space in the MP3 files.  Something like a 640 x 480 JPEG would be reasonable, IMO.  That would add around 50kB to a 3MB MP3 file - about 1.5%.  Or does iTunes resize the image for you?  That would be the sensible thing for it to do.  Or maybe its store the image somewhere in the library, rather than in the MP3 files themselves.  Sorry, I don't use iTunes in anger; I must educate myself.


Thanks Paul,

Yes - thats totally right - add to Discogs forst, there is a delay of approx 4 minutes, then get the details using your great app.

Artwork? Could be a nice option, some discogs art too small, but their max is 600x600 pixels, which is acceptable.

If you are looking at iTunes I would check out how they manage and store compilations ;-)

Good luck!

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)


Yes, thank you, I will.  Embedding artwork in the MP3 files would work with Windows Media Player too, and I believe, WinAmp so we will probably go that route.  But I need to experiment a bit first.

Watch this space!



For the next verison, adding split tracks output in the VBR MP3 format would be a big help. I now have to go to a third-party tool to do that conversion after I output to high-quality MP3.

One other nicety would be for the Album Lookup feature to optionally do a combined search of all the data sources that you have already identified, and filter out the duplicates.

I find the new interface in V5 a much more intuitive model for using the program - Thanks!

All the best,

Neal Miller

BTW, the activation email for this forum finally arrived after 15 minute delay.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Actually, that's what we do do (save tracks in VBR format).  What we don't currently do is to offer a choice to save in CBR format.  We will rectify that in the next release.

I can see the attraction of searching several online databases at once and we will put it on our todo list.  I don't think it would be a good idea to try and filter out duplicates though as the quality of the information in the various databases varies and we might throw away (good) data from the wrong one.  Also, once we implement the album art stuff (which is also in the works), users will need to be able to pick the cover photo they like the best, which again dictates that VinylStudio should display all matches from all databases.

Thank you for your feedback.  We always worry, when we change the user interface, that existing users might be put out.  AFAIK, our forum sends out email confirmations immediately, but transit times for emails through various mail servers do vary.

Cheers - Paul.


Hi Paul,

I reviewed the original output from VinylStudio for 3 LP's:

1)  Charlie - Lines      From 320mbps CBR MP3 source, VinylStudio output 10 split tracks, 9 at 320mbps, 1 at 256mbps. I ran it through TotalAudioConverter to shrink it down, and it produced 5 tracks at 256mbps, 3 tracks at 224mbps, and 2 tracks at 192mbps.

2)  Various Artists - Louie Louie   From 320mbps CBR MP3 source, VinylStudio output 10 split tracks, 9 at 320mbps, 1 at 279mbps. After TotalAudioConverter shrank it down, it produced 1 track at 320mbps, 1 track at 256mbps, 4 tracks at 224mbps, and 3 tracks at 192mbps.

3)  Various Artists - The Songs That Lennon and McCartney Gave Away (an interesting collection...) From 320mbps CBR MP3 source, VinylStudio output 20 split tracks, all at 320mbps. After TotalAudioConverter shrank it down, it produced 4 tracks at 320mbps, 5 tracks at 256mbps, 6 tracks at 224mbps, and 5 tracks at 192mbps.

The output was all so similar (though not completely the same format) that the variable bit rate was not immediately apparent to me. I believe that I should be getting something similar to what I am seeing after TotalAudioConverter produces, which is a variety of bit rates that is dependent on the tonal qualities of the individual tracks. I am guessing that this is due to differences in the audio encoder used. I don't know exactly what VinylStudio uses, nor what TotalAudioConverter uses, but this is probably easy enough to determine.

I am hoping that the next version will use different encoding to produce split tracks that more closely look like what I see coming out of TotalAudioConverter, which shows different qualities depending on the source.

I hope that this helps you understand what I am seeing, and I hope that this is consistent with your experience.


Neal Miller

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Ah, OK, I understand what is going on now.  When saving tracks in MP3 format, VinylStudio does a verbatim, frame-by-frame copy whenever it can.  This is faster and preserves the quality of the original input file, but it also means that the quality setting set in VinylStudio's configuration dialog is ignored (if you recorded to MP3 format).

You can change this behaviour by turning on the rumble filter in the filters dialog in the Cleanup Audio window.  This forces VinylStudio to 'transcode' (i.e. decode and then re-encode) the file and should give you the results you are looking for.  You should also set the MP3 quality on the Configure dialog to high.  Sorry, I forgot you were recording to CBR.

The next version of VinylStudio will offer an option to enforce this behaviour without having to resort to the rumble filter. 

Cheers - Paul.


Hi Paul,

That's the kind of answer I can use :-)

For the next version, I think that the best implementation of that would be to add a fourth option to the MP3 quality setting. In addition to low/medium/high, add a new Variable or VBR option to make this clear.

Thanks again,

Neal Miller

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Yes, we plan to do something along those lines.  The distinction between VBR and CBR will certainly be clarified.  Thanks for your input.


I'm brand new to the product, with about 1200 albums, none heard in 20 years to get through...  :o

One thing that jumped out at me is the MP3 quality in the configuration setting, which only gives you Low, Medium and High.  I'd much rather see the specific rates there -- 128, 192, whatever.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Yes, the next version of VinylStudio will offer CBR settings at specific bitrates.  BUT ... VBR encoding offers a much better compromise between file size and quality than CBR as it is free to use, on a frame-by-frame basis, the optimum bitrate demanded by the complexity of the music.  The only reason not to use VBR is that a very small number of players can't handle it, but this is a very rare occurrence.

VinylStudio's 'Low quality' VBR setting produces files of around, on average, 128 kbit/sec which is what most people want for downloading to their players and these sound noticeably better than their 128 kbit/sec CBR equivalents.  There are lots of pages on the web discussing this issue; check out, for example.

Good luck with those 1200 albums by the way.


Thanks, Paul.  I'm amazed at what I'm getting out of the old LPs, and I'm hearing music I haven't heard in a very long time.  Two more requests:

One would be a little better flexibility with the output file naming.  As an example, CDEX ( has a good way of using wildcards and helpful text to where you can name the resulting MP3's however you wish--and we're all different in that regards.  I like it to be "Artist - Song-name.mp3"; the default in your software is "track# - Songname.mp3".  Ditto for what goes into the ID3 fields.  I manually remove the comments it puts in and add the genre fields.

Second, as a noob to your software would be to publish basic step-by-step instructions.  I've kind of fell into this:
1. Set levels
2. Record side A
3. Record side B
4. Run track splitter, and then manually adjust them.
5. Run the click remover
6. Run the hiss remover (but should I have done that before clicks? I don't know)
7. Save the MP3s

I have the preamp doing rumble filtering so I don't do that step.  So far, so good except one wonders about the order of 5 & 6... And am I missing something?