Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

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Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:30 am

This thread relates to the following threads:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5366&p=38315#p38315

As well as this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6121&p=38133#p38133

Here are my specs:

OS - Windows 7 64-bit
CPU - 2.66Ghz Core 2 Duo
Memory - 8GB
PS3 Media Server Version - 1.10.51/1.20.412
Streaming Device - PS3
Connection Type - Gigabit Ethernet, direct cable to switch from workstation and PS3
Transcoding Engine - MEncoder
Denon DHT-391XP 5.1 home theater system connected to PS3 via HDMI, receiver connects to TV

I decided to give the latest beta a try. The issue is that I am having issues playing MKV files with FLAC audio. One file plays with no sound, one file plays OK, most just don't play. I'm not sure if it is FLAC, 5.1 setting in PMS, 5.1 surround system (doubtful as these issues occurred without the system in place). These files also come from the same source. My first set of tests follow.

Code: Select all
PMS - 1.20.412

Bakemonogatari Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Canaan Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Heroic Age Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Trancoding to Japanese w/English subs and English w/ no subs
Plays - no (Japanese w/ English subs - AAC Audio), yes (English w/ English subs but audio doesn't work; subs do), yes (English w/ no subs but audio doesn't work)

Darker Than Black Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Katanagateri Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no


I decided to downgrade to the latest stable version. I also rebooted first and changed the name of the previous PS3 Media Server directory so the install would be fresh, of sorts.

Code: Select all
PMS 1.10.51

Bakemonogatari Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Canaan Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes, speaking voice can't be heard or is low

Heroic Age Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Trancoding to Japanese w/English subs and English w/ no subs
Plays - yes (Japanese w/ English subs - AAC Audio but audio doesn't work), no (English w/ English subs), no (English w/ no subs)

Darker Than Black Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Katanagateri Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no


I then decided to change the audio channels from "6 channels 5.1" to "2 channel stereo" with the current stable version.

Code: Select all
PMS 1.10.51 (with "2 channel stereo")

Bakemonogatari Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Canaan Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Heroic Age Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Trancoding to Japanese w/English subs and English w/ no subs
Plays - yes (Japanese w/ English subs - AAC Audio but audio doesn't work), no (English w/ English subs), no (English w/ no subs)

Darker Than Black Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Katanagateri Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no


I then decided to migrate the mencoder.exe and mencoder_mt.exe files from the beta over to the current stable version and see how they do.

Code: Select all
PMS 1.10.51 (with mencoder.exe and mencoder_mt.exe - version 30369)

Bakemonogatari Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Canaan Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - yes

Heroic Age Ep 1
5.1 FLAC
Trancoding to Japanese w/English subs and English w/ no subs
Plays - yes (Japanese w/ English subs - AAC Audio but audio doesn't work), no (English w/ English subs), no (English w/ no subs)

Darker Than Black Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Katanagateri Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no

Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
2 Ch FLAC
Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
Plays - no


I uploaded the configs, debugs, and media info here:

http://uploading.com/files/391e23f9/PMS ... sults.zip/

Folder Structure:
Media Info - media info
PMS_1-20-412 - config and debugs from the beta PMS tests
PMS_1-10-51 - configs and debugs from the stable PMS tests
PMS_1-10-51_two_channel_stereo - configs and debugs from the stable two channel PMS tests
PMS_1-10-51_beta_mencoders - config and debugs from the stable PMS tests using the builds of mencoder and mencoder_mt in the beta build

As per the other threads I linked previously:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5366&p=38315#p38315

One of the reasons I picked up the 5.1 receiver system was to listen to stuff in 5.1 if available. Also, the Heroic Age file, in 2 channel stereo mode in PMS would have a lot of static come up. It wasn't noticeable in the other FLAC audio-enabled files when played on my computer (even though I believe it may be there) or in PMS. I did, eventually notice it in the Canaan file in a later episode. I'm guessing where this is a lot of one particular frequency such as a lot of bass (from what I've been able to tell) it causes the static. I didn't get that when outputting in 5.1 but then the problem with the low speaking voice came up.


viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6121&p=38133#p38133

This thread notes that some newer MKV's are having problems being played in a configuration that would otherwise allow them to be played. I've been experiencing this which was another reason I tried using the beta.


Some of these results may be due to mencoder builds but it is possible it could be the MKV's themselves. I typically don't have any problems with AAC audio streams whether in 5.1 or 2 channel stereo configuration in PMS. These types of issues seem to come up typically when dealing with FLAC audio.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby devildog93 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:31 am

Quick question, have you tried these files with TsMuxer?
DTS/FLAC should still be remuxed to LPCM, but you will lose subs of course. This might help distinguish if the problem lies in MEncoder.

I am not experienced with FLAC in MKV, as none of my sources use it, but this might help narrow things down......maybe.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:33 am

devildog93 wrote:Quick question, have you tried these files with TsMuxer?
DTS/FLAC should still be remuxed to LPCM, but you will lose subs of course. This might help distinguish if the problem lies in MEncoder.

I am not experienced with FLAC in MKV, as none of my sources use it, but this might help narrow things down......maybe.


Honestly...I've never had TsMuxer work...:-(...any any situation.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby devildog93 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:46 am

Honestly...I've never had TsMuxer work......any any situation.


Wow. Strange, you must get your video from different sources than myself and most people.

I have at least 150 MKV HD movies plus numerous MKV TV shows I have started collecting, and other than a few that require subs (MEncoder), I only have a few that I have had problems with.
In fact I use TsMuxer as my primary engine, followed by MEncoder.

Well that makes my little test useless for you....sorry. :(
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:49 pm

devildog93 wrote:
Honestly...I've never had TsMuxer work......any any situation.


Wow. Strange, you must get your video from different sources than myself and most people.

I have at least 150 MKV HD movies plus numerous MKV TV shows I have started collecting, and other than a few that require subs (MEncoder), I only have a few that I have had problems with.
In fact I use TsMuxer as my primary engine, followed by MEncoder.

Well that makes my little test useless for you....sorry. :(


It's typically anime MKV's that require subtitles. As such, it requires Mencoder. I have yet to see TSMuxer work for any of the MKV's I've thrown at it.

As mentioned in the previous article I linked about low voice sound, when using the 5.1 setting in PMS, some FLAC MKV's will play but but with speaking sound is low. It only comes back when I change the setting to two-channel stereo. Unfortunately, it seems that compressing the 5.1 to 2 channel with FLAC creates a lot of static with more of the booming bass-like sounds (see the Heroic Age MKV). Unfortunately, when playing in 5.1, the voice audio is extremely low in FLAC MKV's. I haven't had this problem with AAC/AC3 audo (although the only AC3 file I have in 5.1 is the buck bunny demo the tutorial page links to and most of my other audio is 2 channel - however - when playing 2 channel FLAC with the 5.1 setting in PMS with the Canaan MKV, the speaking voice is either very low or off). The buck bunny demo does work like a champ outputting in 5.1 with the speaking voice being audible and correctly on level with the other sounds.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby devildog93 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:02 pm

It's typically anime MKV's that require subtitles. As such, it requires Mencoder. I have yet to see TSMuxer work for any of the MKV's I've thrown at it.


Yes I understand that most of you MKV require subs as they are anime, but still surprised other MKV that don't require subs don't play with TsMuxer.

My suggestion was to bypass MEncoder and see if the audio would play properly with TsMuxer (minus subs)

Can't really help you beyond that, sorry. And looking back I see you tried updatind MEncoder/MPlayer so as this has to do with FLAC, I can't really help.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:58 pm

devildog93 wrote:
It's typically anime MKV's that require subtitles. As such, it requires Mencoder. I have yet to see TSMuxer work for any of the MKV's I've thrown at it.


Yes I understand that most of you MKV require subs as they are anime, but still surprised other MKV that don't require subs don't play with TsMuxer.

My suggestion was to bypass MEncoder and see if the audio would play properly with TsMuxer (minus subs)

Can't really help you beyond that, sorry. And looking back I see you tried updatind MEncoder/MPlayer so as this has to do with FLAC, I can't really help.


Actually, scratch that. TsMuxer is working with regular movies that I have. Just tested to be sure. I typically have about a 80-85%/20-15% ration of anime/normal movies. Hence I don't use it ofter if ever. However, it has always crashed on my when running it from the Transcode folder for anime MKV's with subs.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:44 am

Had an epiphany of sorts:

Just tried something. Played Canaan Ep1. This time, on the beta (1.20.412). However, I'm not using the default mencoder.exe and mencoder_mt.exe. I'm using the ones I've been using with the stable version. The default mencoder_mt.exe (version 28126) and a newer version of mencoder.exe (version 32198). It plays. Tried the same thing with the other MKV's I tested previously. This is what I found:

Code: Select all
PMS - 1.20.412

    Bakemonogatari Ep 1
    2 Ch FLAC
    Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
    Plays - yes (2 channel and 5.1; no problems)

    Canaan Ep 1
    5.1 FLAC
    Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
    Plays - yes (normally with 2 channel, low/no speaking voice along with other missing sounds)

    Heroic Age Ep 1
    5.1 FLAC
    Trancoding to English w/ no subs
    Plays - yes (2 channel produces the static I've been mentioning, 5.1 produces low/no speaking voice)

    Darker Than Black Ep 1
    2 Ch FLAC
    Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
    Plays - no (mencoder crashed with 2 channel and 5.1 settings)

    Katanagateri Ep 1
    2 Ch FLAC
    Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
    Plays - no (mencoder crashed with 2 channel and 5.1 settings)

    Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
    2 Ch FLAC
    Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
    Plays - no (mencoder crashed with 2 channel and 5.1 settings)


My current config (note: the only thing that changed was moving between 5.1 and 2 channel stereo for testing):

Code: Select all
thumbnails = true
alternativeffmpegpath = C:\\Program Files (x86)\\PS3 Media Server\\win32\\dvrms\\ffmpeg_MPGMUX.exe
mencoder_ass = false
embed_dts_in_pcm = true
mencoder_usepcm = true
chapter_support = true
mencoder_mt = true
maxvideobuffer = 200
maximumbitrate = 50
mencoder_remux_mpeg2 = true
mencoder_remux_ac3 = true
folders = D:\\MOVIES
audiochannels = 2


As mentioned in the thread's I've posted about previously:

Low Speaking Volume:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5366&p=38315#p38315

Data Type Not Supported on Some Files:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6121&p=38133#p38133

By using the mencoder and mencoder_mt files from the stable build that have been working and migrating them to the beta build, I've been able to come up with a somewhat clearer picture of this. In regards to the low speaking sound issues, it seems that there is either an issue with the 5.1 setting as it relates to FLAC or with the MKV's in question (although the problem is reproduced on a 2 channel and 5.1 FLAC MKV). With regards to some of the files not playing at all, it also appears that the latest mencoder and mencoder_mt builds "may" be somewhat problematic, however, it could also be with the way or with what was used to create these files.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby datdamnmachine » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:33 am

Another update:

I tried what this person did in this thread here:

Solved - MKV files & data unsupported / corrupted messages

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7894

I updated to the latest mencoder.exe, mencoder_mt.exe, mplayer.exe and ffmpeg.exe. Here are my results:

Code: Select all
    PMS - 1.20.412

        Bakemonogatari Ep 1
        2 Ch FLAC
        Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
        Plays - yes (2 channel and 5.1; no problems)

        Canaan Ep 1
        5.1 FLAC
        Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
        Plays - yes (normal with 2 channel, low/no speaking voice along with other missing sounds)

        Heroic Age Ep 1
        5.1 FLAC
        Trancoding to English w/ no subs
        Plays - yes (2 channel no longer produces the static I've been mentioning, 5.1 produces low/no speaking voice)

        Darker Than Black Ep 1
        2 Ch FLAC
        Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
        Plays - yes (2 channel and 5.1; no problems)

        Katanagateri Ep 1
        2 Ch FLAC
        Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
        Plays - yes (2 channel and 5.1 settings)

        Tales of the Abyss Ep 1
        2 Ch FLAC
        Transcoding to Japanese w/ English subs
        Plays - yes (2 channel and 5.1 settings)



After the upgrades, all the the MKV files that wouldn't play can play and all the ones that could play, still play. Also, the static sounds noticed in the 2 channel stereo that were appearing in the Heroic Age Ep 1 MKV are now gone. I checked in Ep 4 as well at it produces this artifact and it is gone there as well. I'm not sure what did the trick specifically or if replacing everything did the trick. However, the 5.1 FLAC issue with Canaan and Heroic Age is still present. That problem has yet to be solved. I guess it still indicates that PMS may be having issues decoding 5.1 FLAC.
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Re: Problems With MKV's Using FLAC w/5.1 Surround Sound

Postby YK_Ho » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:26 pm

I tried setups form these thread too (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7894)

Problem I have is, if I used the original Mencoder from 20.410, 20.412 or latest Beta ver.
I can play most of my MKV (Dolby, DTS, AAC) but some with FLAC cannot play.

After I patched the Mencoder sets from that thread.
I can't play my MKV with DTS no matter what (I tried every setting suggested, still can't get it worked).
But the rest of mine work.

I also tried the MKVtoolnix (3.4.0), doesn't help me much neither.
By the way, most of source are animations but I disabled all subs.
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