JRiver Media Center - Convert on Sync?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Time Is On My Side, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Madison, WI
    I'm thinking about purchasing the Linux version of this software, specifically for music management and transfer of files onto my microSD card. Can anyone tell me if it can convert to formats like AAC or MP3 on sync to my card? This is useful because then I don't have to maintain separate libraries in order to save space. I tried searching but couldn't find anything. Thank you.
  2. The Windows version can do that. I assume the Linux version can too. But I've never tried the Linux version and am not 100% sure.

    JRiver does have a 30 day trial period. You can install it and try it to make sure it does what you want before making the actual purchase.

    Here's some Wiki pages that explain the handheld sync options in JRiver:
    Sync Handheld - JRiverWiki
    Handheld Sync Options - JRiverWiki

    JRiver can sync to any folder and treat any folder or drive or SD card as a virtual handheld. Here's what the wiki has to say:
    If your device shows up as a drive letter, you may need to add it manually as a handheld. You can add any drive or folder on your drives to Media Center as a "virtual handheld". This includes any filesystem location that is accessible to the OS, including those with drive letters and those available by UNC path. Click Handheld > Device Management > Add device to add the location if needed.​

    Files that get converted "on the fly" during a sync can get saved to a cache location so they don't have to be converted again when you resync the handheld. That cache will take space. If you're doing the conversions during sync to save space you'll want to also manage that cache so it doesn't get too big and use up the space you're trying to save.
  3. Thouston

    Thouston Well-Known Member

    Mattoon, IL
    JRiver is the best $50. that I have spent on audio.
    Coricama, ibanez_ax, walrus and 3 others like this.
  4. Londonrich

    Londonrich New Member

    Used J River for years and it's brilliant. In particular the J Remote app which means I can access all files on the go. Sure there are equivalents out there but very happy with this software.
    Kyhl and Splungeworthy like this.
  5. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    I second that emotion!
  6. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Mesa, AZ
    I just did the pre-release upgrade to MC23 coming out this summer. It's just $15 for the upgrade for current users for single license and pretty cheap for a master license also
  7. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Madison, WI
    Two questions:

    -Is there a way to keep a running list of songs I want to always sync (similar to how iTunes has the checkboxes)?
    -Is there a way I can tell it to convert FLAC files upon sync, but not to convert lossy files?

    I seem to be getting where it will convert to MP3, but only if I tell it to always convert. If I select "Convert only when necessary," it doesn't convert any of my FLAC files to MP3 upon sync.
  8. jkauff

    jkauff Forum Resident

    Doylestown, PA
    If Media Center doesn't do what you're after out of the box, it has a scripting language built in that can do all kinds of things. If you're not used to writing scripts, there's always plenty of help on the JRiver forum.
  9. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Resident

    I love the ability to stream to my phone using JRiver. The interface is the best in the business, and it's like having my entire JRMC database in my pocket.
    Kyhl likes this.
  10. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    I agree with the quote. I use JRMC, I wouldn't be without it, I pay the money each year to upgrade to the latest version, I think it's a high-quality program and invaluable for library management and USB playback.


    I agree the OP should use the trial version to see if it meets his needs. Some less-used features of JRMC can be difficult to figure out, tricky to configure right, and poorly documented. Essentially, the only documentation is an often out-of-date Wiki and a Forum and some Web pages. As an example, I tried to figure out what "Library Sync" actually does and never succeeded, and I've been working with computers since 1966, have a PhD, and can program in several languages. The documentation of less central features is just too opaque, incomplete, out-of-date, jargon-ridden, and hard to locate.

    More directly to the point, I used JRMC to sync an iPod for year, because I use JRMC for everything else and wanted to banish iTunes from my computer. The sync was more complex to set up than in iTunes, and was done fairly well, but it was somewhat flaky, and it did not synchronize the little bullets that indicate whether a selection has been played already -- useful especially with podcasts. It had a tendency to duplicate and triplicate podcasts, and I was never able to fix that.

    In summary, it's a versatile and mostly high-quality program, with some dark corners and poorly documented features . . . no substitute for trying before buying, IMO.
    gd0 likes this.
  11. Yes there is a way to have JRiver convert FLAC files but not convert lossy files during a sync. For each handheld or virtual handheld device you can create a list of supported file types. If a file type is in that list it will get copied over with no conversion. If a file type is not in that list it will get converted to what you have set in the conversion settings. The list of supported file types is a semicolon delimited list of file extensions (for example "flac;mp3;wav;aif;aiff;m4a;aac;dsf;dff"). The default list is "*" which means it supports everything. Change that setting to what file types you want supported and everything else will get converted. Then set the conversion settings to your lossy format of choice and any file type not in that list will get converted to lossy.

    JRiver has three ways of specifying what to sync to a handheld.
    Drag and drop to the handheld by dragging to the handheld in the action center (lower left corner of the JRiver window)
    Syncing specified playlists
    Syncing specified smartlists​

    I tend to use smartlists for syncing rather than playlists. I consider smartlists to be more robust (playlists break too easily if files get moved or renamed). What I do is create a custom tag field that holds of list of names. Then I create a smartlist to select any file with that tag and a particular name. I use those smartlists to select what to sync. Lots of ways to do this though.

    There are multiple ways of adding files to a playlist:
    Once you've created a Playlist, you need to add some files to it. You can add new files to a Playlist in a variety of ways. Find and select the file (or files) in your Library and:
    Drag & Drop them onto the Playlist item in the Tree.
    Right-click on the files and choose Send To > Playlist and then choose the playlist you want from the menu.
    Drop them into a Playlist you've opened in the Action Window (via the Edit Playlist in Action Window menu item referenced above).
    Drop the files into the Build Playlist Action Window.​

    Here's the wiki info on playlists: Playlists - JRiverWiki
    Here's the wiki info on smartlists: Smartlists - JRiverWiki

    JRiver has lots of settings. If you think "I want to configure the program to do this" it probably already has a setting for that. You just need to find the setting in the options dialog or one of the other settings dialogs.
    Time Is On My Side likes this.
  12. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Resident

    Their Wiki is terrible. I don't think they update it at all. But if you ask a question in their forum, they respond pretty quickly.
    gd0 likes this.
  13. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    Speaking of conversion, I use Jriver, but just had to have it reinstalled in new computer.

    They convert audio - really great feature. I take my ISO files that I have ripped from my SACD collection, and if in stereo, I convert to 24-96 FLAC.

    Yes, their Wiki is awful - there's absolutely no explanation of how to re-do my settings. I can convert to FLAC no prob. I can convert to 24bit, no prob. But the range is waaaaaaay off. Where's the setting to up-convert from a 24-88 to 24-96, or simply to have it DOWN converted from say a 24-192 file to 24-96. Or just to LIMIT this conversion to 96K. The files I just converted are now MASSIVE, because I can't get the 96khz going. 96, for me is way high enough to have plenty of top end, and "air" beyond what I can't hear.

    So sometimes I down convert, let's say a vinyl rip that's at 192khz down to 96... but how?

    I can't sign up for another board - another place where I ask a question and can't even remember what forum I had to sign up for..

    Any help would be appreciated. NONE of the options in all the usual places show me a limit on WHAT isos convert to en total. FLAC, check. 24bit, check. Range and hence files size - way out of control. My Dragonfly doesn't even go that high.

    As an aside, I convert 2.0 SACD isos to so I can cherry-pick and put on my HD Portable Player, but I KEEP isos that had a surround sound layer as a backup for playing multichannel at home.

  14. JRiver saves its settings in the library backup file. You can transfer the JRiver settings from the old computer to the new computer by copying one of the old library backup files from the old computer to the new computer. Then use that old backup to restore the settings on the new computer.

    The default location for the library backup files is in "Documents\JRiver\Media Center 22\Library Backups"
    Although it is possible to change that location in the settings so the Library Backup files could be somewhere else on the drive.

    JRiver automatically creates backups.
    You can force it to create a backup by going to the File >> Library >> Back Up Library... menu
    Do a backup and you'll be able to see what folder it is saving the backups to.

    Then copy the most recent library backup file from the old computer to the new computer

    On the new computer go to File >> Library >> Restore Library...
    In the restore library dialog you'll have options to restore the library and to restore the settings
    You want to restore the settings.
    You may also want to restore the library if you like the way the old computer was set up for playlists and where the music files are.

    Hopefully once you restore the settings the conversion settings on the new computer will behave the way they were behaving on the old computer.
  15. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    Thanks, but it just undid what I did change recently - like convert to "Ape" to "FLAC". So I made the changes I recently made. How to instruct conversion to 24-96? I wish I remembered so I can see if the option is now missing!

  16. Select a file or album
    Go to Tools >> Advanced >> Convert Format...
    A new Action Windows will open up (lower left corner of the application) for the Convert Format
    Click on the "Options" link in that Action Window
    That is where you set the options for the conversion

    To change the sampling rate during the conversion you'll need to enable the "Apply DSP" option
    That will enable the option to change and set the DSP settings...
    Click on ... DSP settings... to open the DSP Studio dialog
    Resampling is handled by the "Output Format" DSP
  17. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    That's it! Thanks much!

    Ham Sandwich likes this.
  18. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Madison, WI
    I went to MusicBee, does everything I need. I only wished their was a Linux port, but meh I'll deal with it.
  19. MusicBee is nice. I actually prefer the MusicBee UI to the JRiver UI. I find the MusicBee UI to be easier to use and I think it looks better. But I need some of the features that JRiver has and that are missing in MusicBee. So MusicBee isn't an option for me as a primary media player.

    JRiver has video support. I want the audio processing and control I have in JRiver while watching music concert videos. Particularly the VST plugin support so I can use the Waves NX plugin to do 5.1 to stereo headphone mixdown for surround sound listening on headphones (Waves NX does a really good job of that).

    JRiver has much more robust VST plugin support. I need that better VST plugin support to be able to run the Waves NX plugin and Sonarworks EQ, and a few other plugins I like to play with for headphone listening.

    JRiver does a few other playback related things better than MusicBee. Things that I find useful and preferable.

    I do sometimes use MusicBee when I bring my setup to headphone meets. Because MusicBee is generally easier for people to use and find something they want to play than JRiver is.
  20. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    What is JRiver exactly?
  21. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Mesa, AZ
    It is a digital file music management and playback software in the vein of iTunes but offers more options and features
    MikaelaArsenault likes this.
  22. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    I'll have to check it out because the software sounds neat.
  23. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Mesa, AZ
    It's JRemote is the best remote app I know of
    MikaelaArsenault likes this.
  24. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Is it available for the computer?
  25. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    It's an iPhone app. I guess if you're on your computer you can control JRiver directly? I don't know about controlling it from another computer.

    As for conversions, I haven't played with it too much, I still use dbPowerAmp to downsample or convert mono audio to actual mono files for space reasons, because it's just simpler and easier to do that than through JRiver.
    MikaelaArsenault likes this.

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