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hpmoon

Convert ATRAC to WMA/MP3/etc. via Sound Forge 8.0d

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So far there is no path for directly converting ATRAC files into WMA files. Many situations exist today where WMA is the only option, either because: (1) you choose a lower bitrate such as 64 kbps because of flash player space limitations, and WMA is the only game in town (vs. MP3 which is indisputably inferior at 64 kbps); or (2) WMA is the only supported file type (e.g., all Verizon mobile phones with digital music capability).

Currently, the quickest way to do this is to use Hi-MD Renderer for a batch convert to MP3, retaining metadata, and then transcoding those MP3s into WMAs. Obviously, that's a lossy thing to do to already very lossy files.

There's hope on the horizon, but like always, Sony almost gets us there but not quite. With the release of Sound Forge 8.0d, Sony added support for importing all kinds of ATRAC files, including ATRAC Lossless, which can then be saved to whatever format you like among Sony's impressive list of codecs -- including WMA, and even WMA Professional (though we're still waiting on access to the Holy Grail of low-bitrate codecs, WMA Professional Plus, which is what Verizon uses for delivering music over its network). Sony also added a fantastic "Batch Converter..." option (under the "Tools" menu) that can take nested folders of media files (e.g., SonicStage's "My Library"), perform operations such as conversions to WMA format (as well as additional conversions to MP3, etc. during the same pass!), and then store the converted files into separate folders that match the folder structure of the originals.

[attachmentid=1577]

But surprise, surprise -- while you can "Open..." an ATRAC file in the same application, you can batch convert every other kind of source file except ATRAC. Since Sony spilled the beans by allowing ATRAC imports anyway, its exclusion from the Batch Converter is more likely a bug, but with Sony, you never know...

Anyway, please go to this link to encourage Sony to add ATRAC processing ability to the Batch Converter. With this addition, a whole new world of options will open up for ATRAC users. I personally don't have much of a problem having Sony's suite of software consist of components to tackle "pro" tasks versus. consumer tasks -- a big chunk of the criticism about SonicStage goes away when this Batch Converter gets its wings.

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Edited by hpmoon

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As a follow-up to this discovery on performing a batch conversion directly from ATRAC formats into WMA/MP3/etc., I've found a semi-automated way to make this work. Unfortunately, this technique is limited by your computer's processing power and memory capacity. I was successful with this procedure opening several dozens of files on a Pentium IV/3.0 GHz/2gb RAM PC. With all due respect to Hi-MD Renderer, this has become the best possible way to convert files from "My Library."

1. Open all the ATRAC files that you want to Batch Convert, from within Sound Forge 8.0d. You can do this by going to "File" then "Open...", then selecting multiple items (or all the files) in a folder. Before moving on to Step 2, you can open additional files from other folders by repeating this step.

2. There will be a delay while waiting to load the ATRAC files, due to Sound Forge's automatic peaks-building algorithm -- it will do this for each file that opens, each in its own window. Just wait for them to finish. If you don't want to deal with a bunch of .sfk files after these peaks are built, make sure that you select "Delete temporary files on close" within "Options" then "Preferences..."

3. Go to "Tools" then "Batch Converter..." and you will see all the ATRAC files you opened in the list, as demonstrated below.

[attachmentid=1579]

4. Click the "Save" tab (see example in the picture attached to the first post in this thread). Click the "Add Save Options..." button. Select your codec (e.g., WMA, MP3, OGG, WAV, etc.) and fine-tune it as desired. When you specify the destination directory, you can "Preserve source subfolders" by checking its box. Note that you can add additional save options to this tab's list for concurrent transcoding of a single source to multiple files (e.g., OMA --> MP3 and WMA).

5. Click the "Run Job" button on the bottom right. You'll see the progress under the "Status" tab.

6. Upon completion, you can easily close all the open files/waveforms as indicated below.

[attachmentid=1580]

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one very big problem with this technique: it requires Sound Forge... which is a $300+ program! Why would anyone want to get a program as expensive as my recorder just for conversions to WMA/MP3?

I'll stick with the honest programming efforts of marcnet: HiMDRenderer... I haven't come across any conversion I couldn't tackle with the use of HiMDRenderer or in the worst case in two steps by conversion to wav and editing and further conversion with another free program like audacity, etc...

I really think there are lots of other (and in SQ just as good) ways to do this

*edit: slightly edited... lost my handbag :P

Edited by The Low Volta

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well... you have showed off your specs and the expensive software you have (:P just kidding) but I still think this is a bit to elitist to say that this is 'the best' way...there are lots of other (and in SQ just as good) ways to do this

no handbags please.

i would agree that using soundforge is not the most practical for many users though, only audio specialists or those who might download an illegal version are likely to have soundforge.

seems a good if left field approach

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I'll stick with the honest programming efforts of marcnet: HiMDRenderer... I haven't come across any conversion I couldn't tackle with the use of HiMDRenderer or in the worst case in two steps by conversion to wav and editing and further conversion with another free program like audacity, etc...

I really think there are lots of other (and in SQ just as good) ways to do this.

I've tried Hi-MD Renderer, as noted in the original post. It's just not a very good program, with all due respect. Sound Forge offers many more codecs (including WMA) that Hi-MD Renderer does not -- and two steps is not an option for anyone with a meaningfully sized library (unless you enjoy killing time). Plus, it transcodes much faster -- I'll run the stopwatch if you need proof. On that subject, buying Sound Forge becomes less of a gouge when you factor in the time savings -- particularly whenever Sony fixes the Batch Converter bug so that a batch list can be created directly within the module, compared to the process I've created above.

I note again that you can perform several simultaneous transcodings (and more) with Sound Forge, as well as retain the original file folder structure. This you cannot do with Hi-MD Renderer either.

Also, don't overestimate the cost. This is more realistic.

Everyone, please hit the link in the original post to send feedback to Sony on this. Once the Batch Converter bug is fixed, we can start thinking outside the Hi-MD Renderer box.

.

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outside the HiMD Renderer box? This guy has made possible what Sony didn't allow for a long long time... I for one do think it still is great

and honestly I guess you'll find more happy users of HiMD renderer on these forums than SoundForge users

besides, I'll just wait a bit until the atrac SDK is being discovered/implemented by the software creating community ... then a lot more features to HiMD renderer or another program or even completely new open source/cheaper software could be possible (unless Sony decides to charge through the nose for the developers kit of course so we really DO have to buy SoundForge for a conversion to 64kbps WMA)

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Soundforge is an expensive professional software tool and was developped by a team of developpers who had access to the Atrac SDK. HiMDRenderer has been developped for free by one programmer (marcnet) that didn't have access to the Atrac SDK. Comparing the two doesn't seem really fair, and HiMDRenderer still has it's place. And personnaly, I would rather transcode to a more open format (Wav, FLAC ...) than WMA.

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It's just not a very good program

And what else is wrong with it? - apart from the WMA feature thing (which im looking into since your post on "alternate output formats" on www.marcnetsystem.co.uk )

And which version are you comparing against - I made a slight speed increase in the conversion process in 0.54

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I did it a try after i heard of the added Atrac importing feature with the new SoundForge 8d update

and were disappointed because you get stuck after you save the edited Atrac files as .aa3

and can't get it on Hi-MD through SonicStage or the poor implented Net-MD export feature

which only gives you LP2 files on normal formated MDs. :angry: So WHAT ?

So at the moment it still is the best to export your Atrac files to .wav directly

within SS or HiMD-Renderer and to treat your files with any Editor you're used to.

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. . . and were disappointed because you get stuck after you save the edited Atrac files as .aa3

ren *.aa3 *.oma

There ya go.

Also, side-issue: the atrac codecs for Sony's pro suite of tools won't open files with DRM on them [or at least, the version I have won't]. This means that any kind of transcoding [of, say, tracks you recorded yourself on your HiMD] must also be stripped of DRM before SF can even open them.

I've been using SF since about 1992 or 93. It has its place, to be certain.

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ren *.aa3 *.oma

There ya go.

I tried this already Dex but SS is still refusing to transfer it to my MD. Prohibited.

Did you transfer it ?

UPDATE:

I just converted the imported file within SS to the same format

but with the copy protection box checked and now it would transfer

to the MD.

Is there any transcoding involved with saving

the imported files in SoundForge to just the same format as .aa3 ?

Guess i'll have to try by myself Dex.

Edited by Philgood

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I tried this already Dex but SS is still refusing to transfer it to my MD. Prohibited.

Did you transfer it ?

UPDATE:

I just converted the imported file within SS to the same format

but with the copy protection box checked and now it would transfer

to the MD.

What exact format and bitrate [of aa3] were you using?

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I took a Atrac lossless 352kbps file from my SS folder

and saved it within SF in the same format and bitrate as .aa3

Renamed this file to .oma and imported it into SS.

Then i converted this file and the original one

to .wav and did a compare in my Audio editor.

There were no differences found. So there are no

alteration of the original file going through SF

for editing.

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I have a Sony MZ-RH1 with SonicStage 3.4.03.15140 and I also have the video editor Sony Vegas 7.0c

The advertised features of Vegas 7 include ATRAC and ".oma" as a supported audio format.

However, none of the .oma files that I have imported from my minidisc through SonicStage can be opened in Vegas. I just get "an unexpected error occurred... file xxx.oma could not be opened".

Has anyone had any success working with .oma files directly on your computer?

I know SonicStage can convert them to PCM WAV files, I tried that and it works ok, however I'd like to be able to use the original .oma files if possible.

Any suggestions would be appreciated; thanks!

Edited by jbdance

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And what else is wrong with it? - apart from the WMA feature thing (which im looking into since your post on "alternate output formats" on www.marcnetsystem.co.uk )

And which version are you comparing against - I made a slight speed increase in the conversion process in 0.54

Any progress on adding WMA codec support to Hi-MD Renderer? It's been almost a year since the issue came up, and WMA is far more widespread than any of the other codecs supported in Hi-MD Renderer (other than MP3, of course).

Thanks.

I have a Sony MZ-RH1 with SonicStage 3.4.03.15140 and I also have the video editor Sony Vegas 7.0c

The advertised features of Vegas 7 include ATRAC and ".oma" as a supported audio format.

However, none of the .oma files that I have imported from my minidisc through SonicStage can be opened in Vegas. I just get "an unexpected error occurred... file xxx.oma could not be opened".

Has anyone had any success working with .oma files directly on your computer?

I know SonicStage can convert them to PCM WAV files, I tried that and it works ok, however I'd like to be able to use the original .oma files if possible.

Any suggestions would be appreciated; thanks!

The first, critical question here is whether your .oma files have DRM (i.e., they were purchased from the Connect store or they were ripped with the "add copy protection" box checked). If so, Vegas 7 will not open them, and the WAV conversion process is your only option.

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Another solution of your problem would be to convert your files by

using http://www.convertfiles.com/

This is a great online file converter

Shockingly, there is still no diverse tool which can batch convert, other than the severely limited Sony mini-app MP3 Converter. I'll never understand why companies like Ahead (Nero), etc., never added an ATRAC codec for their conversion softwares (when ATRAC went non-DRM as an option).

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http://www.nch.com.au/switch/

Batch conversion for the Paid version , but it doesnt do ATRAC , does everything else though

Why did you post that? This thread (and the whole board) is about ATRAC, so...

I can think of dozens of applications that do exactly the same thing as this Switch Sound File Converter. No ATRAC, no dice.

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I'm not too much in converting formats, but... Since HI-md renderer failed to work in my Windows 7 beta (I have to try it in my new Windows 7 RC) I search for another program to convert atrac to mp3, aac and wma.

I found switch sound file converter...and it works for me :S It converts my atrac files to all of these other codecs above. It's true that it says a "maybe not supported format" message, and also that the first version I tried only converts 1 minute of every song, but second version works perfectly for me. And it has batch conversion. And all of this with the free version, not the pro, so... I have lost something? :S

PD: about versions I have mentioned, first was the actual one, and the working was an older version I have in a hard disc. Sorry, I don't have it now here, but if anybody is interested I'll search for him.

Edited by Taliesin

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How about converting the file to Wave/Flac using HI-MD renderer, then to whatever flavor of WMA you wish? It's one extra step in the middle, but at least it's to a lossless format.

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