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Sonic Stage & Gracenote

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As we all know the connection to Gracenote disappeared some months back and I for one don't expect it to return, particularly as Sony don't own Gracenote anymore.

So here's a thought - Is there any good reason (either technical or legal) why Sonic Stage can't be configured to link to another database? There's loads of free software for CD ripping that does include links to databases so why not? Or am I missing something?

At the moment I rip a CD (as WAV files) with another programme then import them into Sonic Stage. Ok so it may not be a big deal but it's a bit of a faff, lacks convenience and usually ends up taking me twice as long by the time I've finished putting the tracks in the right order!

Anyone else's thoughts on this subject much appreciated.

Thanks

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I've already indicated the solution - a wrapper DLL which would intercept calls from the OLD gracenote API and forward them to the NEW gracenote API. Why Nielsen couldn't be bothered to do this boggles my mind. Sorry but it's beyond me, but surely there's some programmer type out there who groks the basic concept and can implement it.

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On 9/8/2019 at 3:51 AM, Another MD fanatic said:

At the moment I rip a CD (as WAV files) with another programme then import them into Sonic Stage. Ok so it may not be a big deal but it's a bit of a faff, lacks convenience and usually ends up taking me twice as long by the time I've finished putting the tracks in the right order!

Sonic Stage is only useful for me nowadays to transfer tracks PC <---> MD, Net-MD or real time recording. This is a long time that I have decided to use another audio software for importing albums, listening them, storing and editing them (SS ---> Winamp ---> foobar2000 ---> jRiver Media Center). When I want to make a new Md, I just convert my Flac files to Wma (with tags) the import tracks in SS. foobar2000 is perfect for correcting Tags.

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/7/2019 at 8:22 PM, sfbp said:

I've already indicated the solution - a wrapper DLL which would intercept calls from the OLD gracenote API and forward them to the NEW gracenote API. Why Nielsen couldn't be bothered to do this boggles my mind. Sorry but it's beyond me, but surely there's some programmer type out there who groks the basic concept and can implement it.

Sony Music Center uses Gracenote. One can look at network traffic via WireShark to see what info is sent to Gracenote servers (API key, etc?)

SonicStage, for CDDB, has a "proxy" option. One can write a simple proxy server that simply interrogates the request to Gracenote from SonicStage, and modifies the (presumably) HTTPS call to use the new API key. I'm guessing a couple-weekends sort of project. Best part is that there is no need to modify any DLLs.

I'm having the same issue -- how to I get a CD onto a MD, with Tags. I tried Sony Music Center /w Gracenote - wonderful. Spot on, album cover comes through. It can even recognize individual songs. I can import a CD to FLAC, MP3, AAC, or WAV. I tried WAV. Music Center did tag the WAVs, but Sonic Stage failed to read the tags. I tried AAC 320 - Sonic Stage recognized the tags, but then I'm using lossy format in the middle of the flow. Perhaps it does not matter since the final destination is LP2 ATRAC3 132kbits format.

Next, as per Philippe C, I will try Music Center to FLAC (with tags), then FLAC to WMA Lossless (w tags preserved), then to Sonic Stage and onto MD.

I'll also try to see if new Sound Forge 13 can preserve tags when doing say FLAC to ATRAC conversion .... (this way I can skip the WMA step).

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Great stuff if you're up for it. Are you sure it's as simple as a key? I got the strong impression (if I believe Nielsen's response) that the difference between versions of Gracenote is functional. However it's eminently possible that they did this on purpose to invalidate things like Sonic Stage. If that is the case, then it should be trivial to fix. It also would mean they lied to whoever asked the question about that.

OTOH if it requires translating all requests and responses (ie both directions) to marry the old client to the new server, then it may be a bit more than a couple of weekends to implement - which is so far why I haven't tried myself.

It's even possible, if there's a security string that all you have to do is substitute it and somehow sign the SS binary (either for install, or for execution, I'm not sure how things fail in this day and age, being an old timer from when real patching was routine) which we all use.

I agree that if all that's going on is a security string then you can do exactly what you say, too.

PS. One more thing - AAL is lossless! It has a lossy part but when combined with the rest makes it lossless. Oops I see you wrote AAC. Nevermind...

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  • 4 months later...

GUESS WHAT!?

I think someone paid the subscription or something - I just found GraceNote to be functional again with Sonic Stage.

Could someone else please confirm this? I had to work hard to find a CD that hadn't been imported into Sonic Stage and whose tracks were already in my database.

Stephen

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I don't know why you thought it was working again, you can see the logo of gracenote but that logo comes from within the dll that sonicstage uses to connect with gracenote and it's a pity but there is no data coming from gracenote to sonicstage.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The only solution is to use a product that has paid the license fee, I think. The difficulty with EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is that most WAV files do not have metadata in the file. Whether or not EAC generates a WAV file with metadata or perhaps some other file format (don't even THINK of suggesting the reviled MP3 in these discussions!) that accepts them is another matter. PhilippeC's response further up indicates how he does things.

Kind regards

Stephen

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I tried today M-CREW on Win XP. Needed some MD editing.

I put recently released CD (maybe 2-3 weeks ago)  album from Skalpel / Highlight  and window pop up 

image.png.e114083399e1c3b40ae3c8b6046a2639.png

So I put older CD Aerosmith / Pump

image.png.57af5dbf8e1ebd5506455850641cb64d.png

 

image.png.314d179de208caf2723986b4bb18a898.png

Where all these info come, from the CD or from the web?

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That seems odd, doesn't it - exactly what I thought I saw. The way to check is to find something that recognises CD-TEXT on its own. For example a car CD player.

You've got me all intrigued again. But I expect it's just the same thing - people put CD-TEXT on their release CDs as a matter of course. The acid test is to find something which we know has multiple matches in CDDB - it should give you lots of choices.

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YOU'RE RIGHT. It works, at least for M-Crew with XP and a CD in the XP machine.

There are numerous combinations I had tried, and I will go back and try, such as:

CMT-M333NT - didn't work, ever, I think (it's simply not included as an option, no idea why)
Windows 7 CD with virtual XP (couldn't access the CD properly - says "Can't do digital extraction")
MXD-D5C - with virtual XP (only looks at the CDs in the changer, and doesn't get their info from CDDB)
Sonic Stage, anywhere (didn't try an old version but 4.3 Ultimate always used to work), even on the same XP machine

So many people reported it down that I was beginning to give up. Somehow MCrew CDDB slipped through the net ;)

Kind regards

Stephen

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33 minutes ago, sfbp said:

YOU'RE RIGHT. It works, at least for M-Crew with XP and a CD in the XP machine.

There are numerous combinations I had tried, and I will go back and try, such as:

CMT-M333NT - didn't work, ever, I think (at least on the machine I have it hooked to)
Windows 7 CD with virtual XP (couldn't access the CD properly)
MXD-D5C - with virtual XP (this I will try again!)

So many people reported it down that I was beginning to give up. But this looks like some action has been taken.

Kind regards

Stephen

I noticed about year ago  that it seems working but i was expecting child so I had other things to do ;)

I run virtual XP machine on Windows 10 Professional  64 bit and I also had problems with CDROM access. Stil have problems with copy and past (not working at all) 

I use Virtual Machine 6.1.4 r136177 (Qt5.6.2).  I disabled CD-ROM autorun  on my host system but it is not a main problem with access.

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, a small add-on here. It seems that M-Crew Server is also still functional on Gracenote. So the BS they gave us about wanting us to use the new API is exactly that. BS. I think they turned off SonicStage because too many people were using it "for free" (ie Sony wasn't paying), that's all.

It raises for me the interesting possibility that one could pretend to be M-Crew (whilst running SS). Not sure how but I did find a bunch of registry entries for the Server. The manual is rather poor, and the GUI is appalling. But if you suck a CD into MCrew Server (2.5, the one we have here) you get a Hi-SP version of the OMA file which can be played by VLC, no further decryption needed. It has a good title, and good metadata (I didn't actually knuckle down and double check that yet).

M-Crew Server only runs on XP, I think, but maybe someone can be a pioneer and prove me wrong (as usual)!

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Simple Burner doesn't work in 64-bits, of that I am sure. Whether it works in 32-bit W7 or W10 is an issue on which I could stand being enlightened!

BTW, to follow up, the ripping by M-Crew Server (to Hi-SP, 256Kbits Atrac3+) seemed fast. I don't know if that's good, or not ;)

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